China has levied about 840 million (A$160 million) in back taxes from Microsoft in the first major case concerning cross-border tax evasion in the country, as regulators ramp up pressure on US corporations doing business there. China’s Xinhua official news agency on Sunday reported an unnamed US multinational must pay the Chinese government 840 million yuan in back taxes and interest, as well as more than 100 million yuan in additional taxes a year in the future.
Last week, Xiaomi launched its Redmi Note in India. The smartphone will be sold on India’s leading ecommerce platform Flipkart exclusively. In fact, there’s nowhere else you can buy a Xiaomi phone in India. Flipkart is the exclusive sales front for Xiaomi’s entire range of popular, attractively priced phones with cutting edge specs in the country.
The battle for online viewers in China heated up again today with Tencent’s announcement of a tie-up with HBO. The deal will see a number of shows from the American subscription channel, such as Game of Thrones and The Newsroom, streamed in China. They’ll be available soon on the Tencent Video site. All the violence, nudism, and sex scenes in Game of Thrones will make it tough to edit for approval in China. It will likely involve a number of cuts. A Tencent representative declined to comment on the record about this issue.
China UnionPay has reportedly decided to launch a mobile payment service named “AndroidPay” for Android smartphones. According to reports in Chinese local media, several information sources confirmed the new service will reportedly be available in China in the third quarter of 2015. Several smartphone makers also confirmed the news. Cao Jingsheng, vice president of Coolpad Group, said that the company and China UnionPay have been discussing for over a month and both parties have strong willingness to cooperate, although there is no specific timeline yet. Cao said one of Coolpad’s high-end products will support this new service in 2015.
Earlier today, a story originating on the 21st Century Business Herald went viral on Chinese tech media, reporting that Huawei and ZTE sent letters to Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo accusing them of patent infringement. Tech in Asia contacted Xiaomi and Oppo for a statement. Xiaomi says it never received such a letter. Additionally, Huawei’s head of intellectual property, Jason Ding, refuted the rumor on his Weibo account, confirming Huawei did not send the letter.
Xiaomi is planning to launch a product for the smart home market between the end of 2014 and January 2015 and expects the product to surprise the market, according to the head of Xiaomi’s smart hardware platform business, Gao Ziguang. Commenting on China’s smart home industry and market, Gao pointed out that vendors and makers are aggressively developing products, but consumers have yet to develop a real interest in such products. Vendors’ current focus is how they can stimulate consumers’ interests.
In May 2014, Alibaba led messaging app Tango’s $280M financing round, during a period when the mobile messaging space saw giant movements with acquisitions from Facebook (Whatsapp) and Rakuten (Viber) also hitting the headlines. It’s apparent that Alibaba didn’t want to miss out. It has been trying hard to push its own Laiwang app, but has had little success.
Chinese phone maker Xiaomi has launched the Redmi Note in India. The phone-maker has also introduced a 4G model for the Indian market. However, Xiaomi has a different game plan this time. Apart from the flash sales at Flipkart, the Redmi Note will also be sold at the Indian Telco Airtel’s flagship stores starting December 2. The Redmi Note will be sold in India at INR 8,999 (US $146) while the Redmi Note 4G at 9,999 (US $162). The Redmi Note 3G model will support a dual-SIM configuration with dual standby support.
Chinese telecom device maker Huawei will reportedly build a research and development center in South Korea. According to reports in South Korean local media, this move aims to more effectively enter the South Korean domestic market and acquire technologies related to smartphones in South Korea.
Following China-based application processor (AP) supplier Rockchip’s entry into the Chromebook industry, China-based end device makers are also expected to join the Chromebook supply chain, according to information Digitimes Research has collected from the Greater China supply chain. China-based Bitland and BYD will start producing Chromebooks for brand vendors in 2015 and they will be among only a handful of makers capable of making the device.
Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry) will sign agreements with Administration Commission of Zhengzhou Airport Economic Comprehensive Experimental Area in China by the end of 2014 to establish an airborne logistic hub 2km east of the airport. The hub is set to be fully completed in six years and after the completion, Foxconn’s e-commerce business headquarters will also be set up there.
Mobile gaming is huge in China, and thousands of new games come out each year. That’s good news for the tech industry, but it also means a lot of work for China’s government, and long delays for developers because every game released has to be formally approved by China’s censorship board. And until recently, the group that was reviewing mobile games included just ten people. (It has since been upped to twenty).
The OnePlus One smartphone has started an invite distribution for buying their smartphones in India through an exclusive contest. In the contest, participants need to post a quote along with their #neversettle hash tag and take a selfie. OnePlus will choose 100 lucky winners from among the posted picture to get the right to buy a phone in India. The entire contest strongly hints that the smartphone manufacturer is about to start selling devices in India through a local seller. According to sources, Amazon India is about to get the unique selling right for this smartphone.
China may have the ability to remotely shut down computer systems of US power utilities, aviation networks and financial companies, according to director of the US National Security Agency Mike Rogers. Testifying to the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee on cyber threats, Rogers said digital attackers have been able to penetrate such systems and perform “reconnaissance” missions to determine how the networks are put together.
NEW DELHI: Availability of low-cost smartphones and increasing penetration of mobile broadband will help India overtake the US as the world’s second largest Internet user-base by 2016, research firm eMarketer said. According to the US-based firm, India’s online population will touch 283.8 million by 2016, leaving behind the US at 264.9 million in the same period.
Chinese third-party Internet payment service provider Alipay.com announced that the company has established a new subsidiary in Sydney, Australia. Alipay will reportedly continue with a local joint venture with Paybang to meet the shopping demands of Australian and Chinese consumers. Alipay will also work together with Australia Post to promote Alipay shopping cards in 4,400 local retailing sites. With those cards, Australian consumers will be able to directly purchase products from Tmall.com and Taobao.com.
HANGZHOU, China: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang demanded a greater role for Beijing in shaping the global Internet, calling for “order” online as he failed to address his government’s censorship of content it deems politically sensitive. “We believe in an open, transparent and above all safe Internet,” Li said on the sidelines of a Chinese-created Internet conference. “That requires an Internet shared and governed by all — all stakeholders equal,” he added, in comments made to representatives from US chip maker Qualcomm and professional networking site LinkedIn.
According to Techweb, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has issued its fourth round of virtual telecom operator licenses. The licenses grant companies the right to operate a “virtual” telecom company, charging their own fees and offering their own plans but leasing their network from one of China’s three state-owned telecom companies (China Telecom, China Mobile, and China Unicom). The latest list of companies issued licenses includes Xiaomi, Youku-Tudou, and Haier.
Qualcomm wants to enter the server market, but it won’t do it alone, and will tap expertise in China to build the low-power chips. “We’re going to work with Chinese companies to bring that technology and in fact co-develop that technology with Chinese companies,” said Qualcomm executive chairman Paul Jacobs on Thursday. Jacobs made the comment while speaking at the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, China. Qualcomm is best known as a maker of smartphone processors based on chip architecture from ARM Holdings, but the company wants to take a crack at the server market, which rival Intel has long dominated.