In acknowledging the advent of the mobile-commerce era, Alibaba, China’s leading Internet firm, has rolled out a smartphone which it will sellat a pricetag of 299-699 yuan (US$48-$112), meant mainly for use by rural customers to do online shopping. The move contrasts the policy of some major smartphone brandswhich have stayed away from low-cost models and thus the onslaught of the huge knockoff market in China.
E-commerce giant Alibaba Group hasn’t given up on its mobile OS, and is taking the software to China’s rural markets through a series of low-cost phones. The company has partnered with mobile carrier China Telecom to sell the YunOS handsets. The eight phones will be built by lesser-known Chinese brands, and will range from 299 yuan (US$49) to 699 yuan. Although Alibaba has its own Android apps that connect to its popular e-commerce stores, the Linux-based YunOS comes with a whole suite of company-developed services.
Finnish tech company Nokia is selling its maps unit Here and trying to solicit bids from IT giants including Apple, Alibaba and Amazon, reports Sina’s tech news web portal. According to Bloomberg’s sources, Nokia also approached other potential bidders including Chinese leading search engine provider Baidu, the US satellite-radio provider Sirius XM and US audio equipment manufacturer Harman International Industries.
Alibaba Group entered the film industry last year, having acquired ChinaVision Media Group and renamed it Alibaba Pictures Group and other related companies. On April 21, Alibaba Pictures announced it was acquiring Guangdong Yueke Software Engineering Company, a supplier of a cinema-ticketing system, through an open bidding for 830 million yuan (US$134 million), Guangzhou’s 21st Century Business Herald reports.
Chinese tech giants Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent are likely to become major players in the mobile medical industry in China given their tremendous capital and well-developed platforms, reports our Chinese-language sister newspaper Want Daily. Tencent invested US$70 million in China’s largest medical and health website Dingxiangyuan in September last year, followed by an investment of US$100 million in the leading website used for making hospital appointments in China, Guahaowang, in October last year.
China’s tech giants are working hard to make sure that consumers use their phones to pay for things. Today Alipay Wallet, the Alibaba-affiliated mobile wallet, announced it now enables Chinese users to fulfill municipal fees in 12 cities. Clicking on a new “City Services” tab inside Alipay Wallet draws up a menu with options to book hospital appointments, pay for parking tickets, settle gas and water bills, and even buy gasoline. Users can also look up information regarding traffic and public transportation, and manage other minor bureaucratic tasks.
After vying against each other in mobile payment, online retail, and taxi-hailing, Chinese internet giants Tencent and Alibaba have taken their battle to a new field–government smart city initiatives. Several announcements from both Tencent and Alibaba over the past month suggest the two firms are deepening their involvement in local government’s initiatives to improve administrative efficiency and transparency.
SHANGHAI: Chinese e-commerce titan Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has tied up with Sinopec, Asia’s biggest oil refiner, to provide cloud computing services and ‘big data’ analysis, the companies said. The link-up was for technical services and did not involve equity cooperation, China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, or Sinopec, said on its official microblog. It did not say how much money was involved. Cooperation between Alibaba, a poster child for private enterprise in China, and one of the country’s biggest state-owned companies dovetails with government policy.
The third version of China’s data center server technology standard project led by China-based Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent are set to be announced at the end of 2015 and the project will cover more standards and adopt a modularized design to help reduce China data centers’ server purchasing costs, according to sources from the upstream supply chain. China launched the first version of the project in 2012 and the second in 2014 and the project is rather similar to the Open Compute Project (OCP) that Facebook has been aggressively promoting.
City Service, an application based on the Internet Plus concept, has been launched in Hangzhou in eastern China and will be rolled out to 12 other cities in the country later this month, reports Shanghai’s National Business Daily. The service provides different kinds of life-related inquiries for citizens including road rules, immigration information, real-time traffic, marriage registration reservations, medical appointments, library book reservations and others.
Express Mobile, an information technology company in the U.S., has sued China’s Alibaba for patent infringement. According to Express Mobile, the company filed the patent infringement lawsuit against the Alibaba Group in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division. In the statement, Express Mobile accused Alibaba for infringing its patent related to the development of platform independent websites. The involved patent record number is 6,546,397.
NEW DELHI: Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is looking at acquisition of Indian e-tailers that have a large customer base as well as a robust network of merchants. It is also looking at firms that can help improve customer experience as well as expand its range of products and services. “Alibaba Group’s investment strategy focuses on three aspects of our business: increasing user acquisition and engagement, improving customer experience and expanding our products and services,” an Alibaba spokesperson told PTI.
BMG, a music business subsidiary of Germany’s Bertelsmann Group, has signed an exclusive online music distribution agreement for the Chinese market with Alibaba. Under the agreement, Alibaba will become the exclusive online distributor of BMG music and artists in the Chinese market. Alibaba will sell those products on its own platforms such as Xiami.com. In addition, the Chinese e-commerce group will assume the monitoring responsibilities and take actions for BMG-related infringements in the Chinese market.
BENGALURU: China’s Alibaba Group, together with Bengaluru-based mobile and analytics solutions company Globals, will establish a startup incubator in the city that will focus on mobile internet and mobile commerce. “We met Jack Ma (Alibaba founder) and his team in Delhi on Monday, and we came to an in-principle agreement on the incubator,” Globals founder Suhas Gopinath told TOI.
NEW DELHI: Alibaba founder Jack Ma is back in the capital after a gap of four months and has backed business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce as the model best suited for India and China, while pointing out that B2C, being pushed by the likes of Amazon and Flipkart, was the American model. Ma — a schoolteacher who became China’s richest man after listing Alibaba last year — met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday and indicated to the possibility of a larger India presence, sources said.
Alibaba cloud subsidiary Aliyun announced Monday that more help is on the way for Chinese startups thanks to its new “Founder+” program. The program was created by Aliyun together with 30 venture capital firms including Zhenfund, IDG, and Innovation Works, as well as 20 research institutes and incubators and 20 marketing, distribution, and development firms. The collective effort will offer founders funding, office space (including office management resources and hardware), links with and guidance from investors, tax breaks, development units, and soft distribution and marketing services.
BEIJING: Germany’s BMG music rights company said on Monday it had signed a music digital distribution deal with China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, as the world’s largest e-commerce firm firms up its bid to become a digital media empire. The deal, one of the first in China made by a major music publisher rather than a label, will bring more than 2.5 million copyrights to Alibaba, whose music platforms already had many of the songs from artists including Kylie Minogue, the Rolling Stones and Jean-Michael Jarre, an Alibaba spokeswoman said.
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has recently launched a competition that challenges young contestants’ capability to apply big data to some of the company’s current business areas. The winning team will be awarded 1 million yuan (US$160,000) and career opportunities. Behind the initiative, dubbed “Tianchi” or Heaven Lake, is the Institute of Data Science and Technologies (IDST), led by the company’s vice president Jack Tu, a former Silicon Valley IT expert and the author of The Big Data Revolution.
Cainiao Network, Alibaba’s subsidiary providing logistics services, announced its logistics data on Cuntao, Alibaba’s e-commerce site for villages in rural regions, saying that 13% of Cuntao orders can be delivered on the day they were ordered or the next day, reports Shanghai’s National Business Daily. Since being established in May 2013, Cainiao Network has built up a network that covers 7,600 county-level internet areas, 26,000 town-level internet areas and 190,000 village-level areas, according to Wan Lin, vice CEO of Cainiao Network.
Yesterday at Cebit in Hanover, Alibaba founder Jack Ma took the stage to wax philosophical on entrepreneurship and the future of technology. While he oozed charisma on stage, the real treat came at the end of his address. After noting how online payments can sometimes be troublesome, the founder took out his smartphone and paid for a set of stamps on Alibaba using face-recognition technology.