WeChat, Weibo ordered to crack down on viral pollution film ‘Under the Dome,’ but discussion continues

ChinaOver the past week, China has been going gaga over pollution. No, the skies aren’t any grayer than usual; the reason is Under the Dome, a documentary about pollution from popular CCTV journalist Chai Jing that hit the web and went viral. The film burned its way through WeChat and Weibo, racking up tens of millions of views in just 24 hours. Now, around a week later, it has already been watched more than 100 million times.


5 problems standing between Netflix and its ambitious China plans

ChinaNetflix wants to come to China. That’s what Ted Sarandos, the company’s chief content officer, told reporters earlier this week in Shanghai. Breaking into the Chinese market is an aspiration of many Western companies, of course, but Netflix’s vision is a little different: it wants to go it alone. Sarandos told reporters that the usual model for launching a Western tech service in China – partnering with a local company for a joint venture – doesn’t much interest Netflix. Such ventures are, Sarandos said, “difficult to manage.”


Xiaomi’s revenue to soar 50% to US$16b

ChinaXIAOMI Corp expects revenue to surge 50 percent to 100 billion yuan (US$16 billion) in 2015, and the smartphone maker targets to become the world’s No. 1 player within a decade. Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner Inc, said Chinese vendors such as Huawei and Xiaomi “are producing higher-quality devices with appealing new hardware features that can rival the more established players in the mobile phone market.”


Apple’s market share in China rises to highest ever

ChinaTHE popularity of the iPhone 6 has driven Apple’s market share in China to its highest ever while Samsung has continued to lose ground, a consumer survey showed. Kantar Worldpanel ComTech said yesterday that its latest survey of 15,000 people living in Chinese cities showed Apple’s market share hit 25.4 percent in the November-January period, up from 20.9 percent a year earlier. That was a record for Apple in the world’s largest smartphone market, but not enough to catch up Chinese maker Xiaomi, which claimed 27.6 percent.


Unicom to spend US$16b to boost 4G

ChinaCHINA Unicom plans to spend 100 billion yuan (US$16 billion) to upgrade its network and on promotions to woo more 4G users this year, the country’s No. 2 mobile carrier said yesterday. The telco’s capital spending in 2015 is an increase from 84.8 billion yuan in 2014 and comes on the heels of a 15.8 percent annual jump in net profit to 12.1 billion yuan last year. Its revenue, however, slipped 3.5 percent to 284.7 billion yuan, missing analysts’ expectations for 286.7 billion yuan.


Foxconn-Alibaba alliance grows

TaiwanTAIPEI – The Foxconn Technology Group, constantly searching for opportunities other than assembling Apple gadgets, is joining hands with China’s Alibaba Group in e-commerce and cloud-computing ventures. Terry Gou, chairman of the Taiwanese contract manufacturer, has been aggressively branching into other sectors, including telecommunications and robots, as his empire grapples with tight margins from churning out iPhones.


Huawei, Intel expand tie-up amid China’s rising scrutiny of US tech firms

ChinaBEIJING: China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and Intel Corp are expanding an existing alliance to provide cloud computing to global telecoms carriers, as U.S. tech firms vie for Chinese tie-ups to retain access to a tough mainland market. The partnership, announced by Huawei in a statement, comes as U.S and other Western tech firms’ scramble to burnish their bona fides with China, which has become increasingly wary of foreign technology.


Foundry houses in China, Taiwan set to compete for specialty process orders

TaiwanCompetition by foundry houses in China and Taiwan on specialty BSI (backside illuminated) technology is heating up after China-based SMIC (Semiconductor Manufacturing International) announced recently that it is ready to fabricate CMOS image sensors using a 0.13-micron BSI process, according to industry sources. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) both have been using a BSI process to produce chips used in an array of consumer electronics products including smartphones and tablets, said the sources, adding that the process can also produce chips for telematics devices, industrial equipment and high-end monitors.


Lenovo launches financing scheme for PC buyers in Punjab

IndiaCHANDIGARH: Leading personal computer player Lenovo today announced the launch of a financing support scheme to help consumers especially youth to buy computers and laptops.  “As part of the initiative, Lenovo is providing an end-to-end package to make computers more accessible to youth across these markets. This includes an attractive finance scheme, Internet access and huge-scale promotion to drive awareness,” said company’s Director- Home and Small Business, Shailendra Katyal here today.


Alibaba buys US$383 mln stake in TV programme producer Beijing Enlight

ChinaSHANGHAI: Chinese e-commerce titan Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has invested 2.4 billion yuan (US$382.67 million) in TV programme producer Beijing Enlight Media Co Ltd , Beijing Enlight said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday. The move follows investments by Alibaba worth more than US$3.1 billion in the entertainment industry last year as the company aggressively expands into film and entertainment content.


Alibaba to set up venture capital fund in Taiwan

TaiwanChina-based Alibaba Group has said it plans to set up a NT$10 billion (US$319 million) non-profit venture capital fund in Taiwan to finance local young entrepreneurs to build up a business on its e-commerce system. The funding also aims to assist local youths develop and market related products and services to China via Alibaba, the Internet service company said in a statement.


Alibaba’s cloud computing service launches in US, wants to rain all over Amazon

ChinaAlibaba’s cloud computing service is expanding outside of China for the first time. Alibaba today announced that its Aliyun platform, which started in China in 2009, is now adding a data center filled with servers in Silicon Valley and going after businesses who need cloud horsepower across the US. Yu Sicheng, vice president of Alibaba’s Aliyun division (“yun” means cloud in Chinese) and head of its international business, says in today’s announcement (on the company’s blog) that US-based servers are just the beginning.


Airtel, China Mobile to tie-up for 4G

IndiaNEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel has entered into a strategic collaboration with China Mobile under which the two companies will work towards the growth of the LTE (long term evolution) ecosystem and evolving mobile technology standards, a company statement said here Tuesday. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by China Mobile chairman Xi Guohua and Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal.


Huawei bumps up patent portfolio as 5G era draws near – CEO

ChinaBARCELONA: China’s Huawei Technologies , the world’s second-biggest maker of network gear, is beefing up its patent portfolio ahead of 5G, the next generation of mobile equipment, its chief executive said on Tuesday. Huawei, also the world’s fourth-largest maker of smartphones, has said it plans to spend US$600 million on 5G wireless research and development from 2013 to 2018. But speaking to reporters at the Mobile World Congress on Tuesday, Huawei Chief Executive Ken Hu said that 5G research spending was likely to rise, without giving specific figures.


Taiwan forcing out Alibaba over investment violations

TaiwanTAIPEI — Taiwan has demanded Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba withdraw from the island within six months for violating investment restrictions on mainland-controlled firms, officials said Tuesday. The island’s Investment Commission has ordered Alibaba to withdraw or transfer its holdings from its Taiwanese branch, saying that it registered as a foreign company when it was in fact a mainland company. Alibaba can appeal the ruling, which also carries a T$120,000 (US$3,820) fine.


Sorry, Jack: Alibaba founder no longer tops Forbes’ China billionaires list

ChinaLast October Forbes revealed a list of China’s wealthiest men and women, which for the first time placed Alibaba founder Jack Ma at the top. Following that company’s completion of the world’s biggest IPO, the Hangzhou native’s personal wealth nearly tripled from US$7.1 billion to to US$19.5 billion, according to Forbes’ estimates. But Forbes is now reporting that Wang Jianlin, best known as the owner of Dalian Wanda Group, has reclaimed the title of China’s richest man.


Qihoo CEO explains why it’s not too late to enter China’s smartphone market

ChinaSince its massive US$400 million investment into a smartphone joint venture with Coolpad last year, it has been clear that Qihoo 360 really wants into China’s lucrative smartphone handset market. The few details it has shared about its next foray into that market haven’t looked promising – especially the US$800 price point. But at an industry forum in China yesterday, Qihoo CEO Zhou Hongyi spoke to Sina Tech about why he thinks his new phone will have a chance in China.


Alibaba and top Chinese university launch new education portal for MOOCs

ChinaOne of China’s most highly regarded universities has partnered with the country’s biggest ecommerce company to create a new website for massive open online courses, or MOOCs. The generically named Chinese MOOCs was just launched by Peking University and Alibaba as schools around the country begin their new semesters following the Chinese New Year holiday (h/t to TechNode).


China releases FDD-LTE licenses to China Telecom, China Unicom

ChinaChina’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) on February 27 announced the release of FDD-LTE licenses to China Telecom and China Unicom. MIIT released TD-LTE licenses to China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom in December 2013 and approved experimental TD-LTE/FDD-LTE convergence network test by China Telecom and China Unicom in main cities around China in June 2014.


China January mobile phone user base grows to 1.290 billion, says MIIT

ChinaThere were 1.29 billion subscribers of mobile communication services in China as of the end of January 2015, growing 0.34% on month and 4.47% on year, and 485.05 million (37.59%) of them were 3G users, 117.87 million (9.13%) were 4G users and 880.14 million (68.20%) were mobile Internet-access users, according to statistics published by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).