Xiaomi, a 5-year-old upstart, whose tablets and smartphones have enjoyed remarkable sales in China, is now setting shop in Europe and the U.S.; however, smartphones and tablets will not be featured in the company’s European and U.S. markets. Xiaomi plans to launch an online platform for U.S. consumers this coming Monday evening. Through this online marketplace, consumers will enjoy a variety of accessories that include portable battery backs, headphones, and activity trackers. Later on Tuesday, Xiaomi will also hit the ground running in France, Germany and the U.K., according to Billboard.
Tencent reportedly invested USD60 million in the acquisition of a 20% stake in Pocket Gems, a start-up mobile game company in America. Tencent will gain one position on the board of directors at Pocket Gems, according to reports in foreign media. Founded in 2009, Pocket Gems is headquartered in San Francisco and the company is supported by Sequoia Capital. Its latest product is War Dragons, which was launched in April 2015. This mobile game uses Pocket Gems’ own 3D graphics technology, aiming to attract hardcore players who are willing to spend more time and money on games.
Baidu, China’s biggest search engine company, today announced a multi-million dollar investment in US-based discovery platform Taboola. The exact sum is undisclosed. Taboola is responsible for those “You might also like” or “Around the web” recommendations you see on so many websites that lead to external content. It’s a way for web publishers to make money from something other than conventional ads.
To expand its cloud computing business, China’s Alibaba Group is preparing to open more data centers across the world. In March, the Chinese Internet giant launched its first data center in the U.S., as part of a push into the country’s market. On Tuesday, Alibaba said it would establish data centers also in Europe, Japan, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Simon Hu, president of Alibaba’s cloud computing arm, said a key goal was to globalize its operations, according to an interview posted online by the company.
The business ambitions of Aliyun, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s cloud-computing unit, is far greater than its current presence in the Alibaba Group. Aliyun is expected to control over 12 data centers around the world by the end of 2015, half of which will be situated in places outside China, according to a report on the Chinese online news service Caixin.com. Aliyun signed an agreement with Dubai-based Meraas Holding May 12 that the two will set up a joint venture to offer big data and cloud computing services to governments and private enterprises in the Middle East and North Africa.
NEW YORK: A group of luxury goods makers sued Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, contending the Chinese online shopping giant had knowingly made it possible for counterfeiters to sell their products throughout the world. The lawsuit was filed in Manhattan federal court by Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and other brands owned by Paris-based Kering SA seeking damages and an injunction for alleged violations of trademark and racketeering laws.
MUMBAI: Leading IT services company, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has been ranked as the 57th leading brand in the US by Brand Finance in its second annual Top 500 US Brands survey, the company said today. The survey evaluates the financial value of a company’s brand name, intellectual assets and trademark, as compared to companies across industries. This is also the first time that TCS has featured among the top 100 brands in the survey, the company said in a statement.
The Australian Academic Research Network (AARNet) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have demonstrated internet-scale software-defined network routing to the United States, using open source components. Using a high throughput programmable Corsa OpenFlow DP6410 data plane, the Australian institutions set up a production SDN-based peering router with a switch deployed in AARNet’s data centre in Haymarket, Sydney, and an Open Network Operating System (ONOS) application 15km away in Marsfield.
American fintech startup MX today announced US$30 million in series A funding, led by USAA and joined by Digital Garage. Digital Garage, a Tokyo-based incubator and venture capital firm, will also assist MX with expansion into Japan and other Asian markets. MX specializes in digital money management and omnichannel banking through a suite of apps and services for both financial institutions and their clients. The startup already works with more than 500 banks and credit unions in the US to provide streamlined online and mobile banking.
Past political trouble in the U.S. isn’t stopping Huawei Technologies from selling its enterprise services in the country. The Chinese company, which was labeled a U.S. national security threat in 2012, has been effectively blocked from selling telecommunication gear to U.S. carriers. Government officials there are concerned about Huawei’s alleged ties with the Chinese government, even as the company has repeatedly denied the claims. Huawei, however, hopes it can still attract U.S. customers to its enterprise products, which include servers, storage and IT services.
Taiwanese computer maker Acer is expanding its smartphone business into the United States for the first time by bringing its Windows 10-ready handset to Microsoft retail outlets. The Acer Liquid M220 smartphone will be available at Microsoft Stores and Microsoftstore.com in the United States from June for US$79.99, Acer announced at its global press event in New York on Thursday to launch new products for the back-to-school season.
BENGALURU: Infosys has acquired US-based digital experience solutions company Kallidus for $120 million that includes a deferred component and retention bonus. Kallidus offers including mobile commerce and in-store shopping experiences to large retail clients. It develops and host mobile websites, apps, and other digital shopping experiences across mobile, tablet, desktop, in-store and all emerging channels. The latest acquisition is Bengaluru-based IT company’s second acquisition this year.
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.
Last year, problems were found with 1,000 modems HG8045A imported by the Vietnam Post and Telecom Corporation (VNPT) from Huawei, a large Chinese large telecom device manufacturer. VNPT customers complained they could not change passwords and had to use a default password provided by the supplier. Dang Anh Son, deputy director of VNPT Hanoi, explained at a press conference held to clarify the problem that VNPT’s technicians made mistakes when providing the wrong password to clients.
China’s aggressive new policy to expand its semiconductor industry is worrying U.S. chipmakers, many of which are based in Silicon Valley, and raising potential national security concerns as it begins to acquire U.S. tech companies. The world’s largest market for integrated circuits, China is expected to spend up to $100 billion on both domestic investments and acquisitions abroad to grow its semiconductor industry by more than 20 percent annually over the next five years.
While the Indian IT firms are getting aggressive in buying smaller ticket size companies in the US, sources with direct knowledge share that one such candidate, Sierra-Cedar with HQ in Georgia, US is close to launching a sale process soon. Valuation expectation for a complete sale of Sierra-Cedar is pegged at around $350 million, a source said.
The United States and Russia announced a joint effort to construct a new space station to replace the International Space Station (ISS), but festering geopolitical tensions might yet undo this plan. The announcement made March 28 in Moscow by the Russian Federal Space Agency or Roscosmos is being hailed as a welcome move despite stubborn tensions between Russia and the U.S., especially over the war in Ukraine.
Japanese hardware startups were out in force at this year’s SXSW Interactive. In fact, the Japan section of the SXSW trade show was the largest display by any foreign country that made the trip to Austin. The University of Tokyo’s “Todai to Texas” area, which showcased 10 up-and-coming hardware startups, made up the bulk of the Japan section and was one of the event highlights. You can read all about Todai to Texas and their first five startups in yesterday’s post.
Acer Octon, a joint venture established in November 2014 by Taiwan-based IT vendor Acer and US-based multimedia application developer Octon, will soon announce the outcomes of talks it has been holding with the three largest telecom carriers in North America about cooperation, according to company president James Sha. Acer Octon has also been making deployments in the China and Southeast Asia markets concerning adoption of abPBX plus, its cloud computing-based IP communication solution for businesses, Sha said.
Greatfire.org, the outspoken activist website that openly fights against web censorship in China, reported yesterday it is under a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. Greatfire representative Charlie Smith (a psuedonym) says the attack began shortly after the website was cited in a Wall Street Journal article describing tactics used to circumvent China’s censors and make mirrors of blocked websites accessible from the mainland.