‘Made in Indonesia’ law to hurt smartphone companies

IndonesiaJAKARTA/WASHINGTON: The United States is pressing Indonesia to relax local-content rules it believes will handicap efforts of tech firms such as Apple to expand into one of the world’s last big markets where demand for high-end smartphone has yet to really take off.  The regulation, which would come into force on January 1, 2017, requires companies that sell smartphones and tablets in the fast-growing economy of 250 million people to produce 40% of their content locally.


Aside from patents, there’s a big reason Xiaomi isn’t selling its phones in the US yet

ChinaChinese mobile tech darling Xiaomi held a press event in Silicon Valley yesterday to introduce itself to the US. And while some thought the company might announce that its popular phones are finally coming to America, that is not happening this year. Xiaomi president Bin Lin and VP Hugo Barra maintained at the event that the decision not to launch phones in the US has to do with things like America’s already-high smartphone penetration rate, but an obvious reason,,,


Alibaba quizzed by US regulator

China.gifSAN FRANCISCO: Alibaba Group said on Friday it was asked by the US Securities and Exchange Commission for information about its dealings with a Chinese regulator, coming just five months after the company’s stock market debut. The SEC’s request follows an unusually public fracas between Alibaba and China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce, or Saic, over the issue of fake products being sold on the company’s websites and a series of related lawsuits filed in the United States.


Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi dipping toes in US market

ChinaSAN FRANCISCO: Xiaomi, one of China’s hottest companies, is bringing its blend of cheap yet fashionable technology and crowd-pleasing antics to the US.  While its smartphones won’t be available here anytime soon, Xiaomi unveiled plans Thursday to test the US market by selling inexpensive headphones and other accessories online, hewing to the Internet-driven, customer-friendly model that has helped turned the company into a major player in mobile computing just five years after its founding.


Tech Mahindra plans more facilities in United States

IndiaMUMBAI: Tech Mahindra Ltd will build more technology development facilities in the United States and Canada and boost local hiring to tap new business opportunities linked to digital technologies, its chief executive officer said on Wednesday.  “We are investing heavily in building local delivery centres in the United States and in Canada. We’ve opened two in Canada and six in the United States over a period of the past six or seven months,” C.P. Gurnani told Reuters in an interview.


Gree invests in San Francisco-based Make School, to open class this summer

JapanJapanese gaming firm Gree continues to branch out, this time with the help of an American education startup. The company announced today that it will invest in and form a business partnership with Make School, the self-styled “college for founders and developers.” With the new partnership, Gree will oversee a Make School-produced class on game development. The eight week course will take place this summer. Students, some of whom will be Gree engineers, are expected to plan, develop, and release a game within the eight weeks.


Possible Class Action Suit Against Alibaba For Disclosure Failures

ChinaAlibaba and its executives may feel the sting of American jurisprudence as law firms line up for possible class action lawsuits in the United States against the Chinese e-commerce company. At least five law firms so far have expressed intentions to commence class actions against Alibaba. For example, a complain from Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP charges Alibaba and certain of its officers and directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.


US joins Indian smart cities race, signs three deals

IndiaThe United States has joined the race to help India build 100 smart cities, signing memorandums of understanding with three Indian states to assist with new projects. The deals were signed this week as part of President Obama’s visit to India. The states of Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan signed the deal with the U.S. Trade and Development Agency on 25 January to develop Vishakhapatnam, Allahabad and Ajmer.


HTC left far behind Apple in US cellphone market in Q4: survey

TaiwanTAIPEI–A poll among cellphone users in the United States found that Apple Inc. had the largest share of that market in the fourth quarter of last year, way ahead of Android phone makers like South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. and Taiwan’s HTC Corp. The survey, conducted by the Chicago-based Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), indicated that 50 percent of all phones sold in the U.S. during the October-December period last year were iPhones, a slight increase from the previous year when it was 48 percent.


China’s Alibaba Will Ban Toy Sales To American Buyers

ChinaAlibaba will prevent Chinese vendors from selling children’s products that are considered dangerous or illegal to American consumers. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has provided a list of up to 15 products which are considered illegal or have been recalled by manufacturers. Those products include baby seats and powerful magnets, and they are currently being sold on Alibaba to global buyers.


Japan’s SmartNews booming in US with 1M monthly active users

JapanJust three months after debuting in the US, Tokyo-headquartered news app SmartNews has achieved a major milestone: one million Americans are already monthly active users. It has also reached the number-one spot in the news category for apps on the US versions of the App Store and Google Play.


Alibaba in major initiative to court China consumer for US retailers

SAN FRANCISCO/BEIJING/SHANGHAI: China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd plans a major move to win US business this year, by offering American retailers new ways to sell to China’s vast and growing middle class. Anchored by Alipay, the dominant Chinese electronic payments system that works closely with Alibaba and is controlled by its executives, the world’s largest Internet retailer is using the calling card of China’s consumers to attract US partners, two sources close to the company told Reuters.


Infosys implements IT solutions for US-based L A Care Health Plan

NEW DELHI: IT services major Infosys today said it has implemented billing and payments solutions for L A Care Health Plan, the largest publicly operated health plan in the US.  Its US-based subsidiary Infosys Public Services has implemented the IT solution for L A Care Health Plan, which serves over 1.6 million members.  This solution will help improve access to health benefits for 24,000 members on its L A Care Covered plan offered through the Covered California health insurance marketplace, Infosys said in a statement.


Modi promises ‘unlimited’ reforms in India

GANDHINAGAR, India–Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised “truly unlimited” reforms Sunday in his bid to transform India’s economy into a global powerhouse as he showcased his long-time fiefdom to global political and business leaders. Speaking at a major investment summit in the western state of Gujarat attended by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon and World Bank supremo Jim Yong Kim, Modi pledged to slash red tape and banish India’s reputation as a hard place to do business.


Singapore’s Block 71 takes flight and lands in San Francisco

Singapore’s Block 71 is well-known globally as an example of how the government can foster and bring together a startup ecosystem under one roof. Housing about 250 startups – the new expansion will double its capacity to 500 companies – the model is now being transplanted halfway across the world to the mecca of tech startups, San Francisco.


10 lessons U.S. tech managers can learn from their counterparts in China

China is on a technological roll these days — one that American companies ignore at their own peril. Contrary to outdated Western perceptions, 680 million Chinese have access to either a laptop or a mobile phone, and some 95% of homes in every city in China are now wired for the Internet, according to figures from the Chinese government. In comparison, in 2013, 74.4% of all households in the U.S. reported having Internet access, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau (though that figure includes urban, suburban and rural households combined).


Reports: North Korea’s Internet access, mobile networks down

North Korea is reportedly suffering Internet and mobile phone service outages Saturday, as the country lashes out against the U.S. government and President Barack Obama. Late Saturday local time, Internet access faltered for the few North Koreans who can go online, and the country’s 3G mobile network also malfunctioned, according to multiple reports citing Chinese news agency Xinhua.


HCL Technologies signs 30-month contract with Washington Gas

NEW DELHI: India’s fourth-largest information technology company HCL Technologies said it signed a 30-month agreement with WGL Holdings’ unit Washington Gas, which distributes natural gas to about 1.1 million customers in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia in the United States.  As part of the deal, whose value was not diclosed, HCL will modernize the billing software for Washington Gas’ legacy mainframe customer care and billing software. Washington Gas will also replace its scheduling and dispatch mobile workforce software with a single, integrated and more efficient platform for utility billing.


China’s Singles Day shopping spree was way more mobile than America’s Cyber Monday

China’s Singles Day is well behind us at this point, but its American analog, Cyber Monday, just happened earlier this week. China’s online shopping spree brought in more money – there was little doubt of that – but according to Sina Tech, it was also way more mobile: Mobile ecommerce is growing in the US too, and this year’s Cyber Monday mobile numbers were up compared to last year, but they’re still nothing compared to China’s.


NSA chief admits Chinese cyber attacks could shut down US infrastructure

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.