Baidu Q1 earnings miss estimates, but mobile revenues on the rise

ChinaChinese search giant Baidu released its latest earnings report today, and the numbers are less than stellar. Operating profit, excluding share-based compensation expenses, came in at RMB 2.4 billion (US$394.6 million), marking a 3.8 percent decrease year-on-year, and net income hit RMB2.449 million (US$395.1 million), marking a 3.4 percent decrease year-on-year. Revenues hit RMB12.73 billion ($2.05 billion), a 34 percent increase year-on-year, but that growth is stagnating.

Strong Q1 results as Line metamorphoses from messenger to lifestyle service

JapanLine Corporation, the company behind Japan’s blockbuster messaging app Line, today announced its earnings report for the first quarter of 2015. Total revenue for January-March was JPY 28.1 billion (US$236 million), a 70 percent increase from the same quarter last year and a 9 percent uptick quarter-on-quarter. The Line app itself accounted for JPY 25.4 billion (US$214 million) of that figure, representing a 76 percent increase over the same quarter in 2014 and a 9 percent bump from last quarter.

UMC expects flat performance in 2Q15, from TW

TaiwanFoundry chipmaker United Microelectronics (UMC) expects its wafer shipments and ASPs to stay flat sequentially in the second quarter of 2015, while sales generated from 28nm process technology will continue to grow. UMC reported consolidated revenues of NT$37.65 billion (US$1.20 billion) for the first quarter of 2015, up 1.1% sequentially, when wafer shipments increased 3.5% on quarter. Gross margin and operating margin came to 24.3% and 10.9%, respectively.

Alibaba rolls out low-cost smartphone for online shopping

ChinaIn 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.

Huawei launches two flagship smartphones in Malaysia

MalaysiaChinese telecommunications giant Huawei on Tuesday launched two flagship smartphones, the Honor 6 Plus and Honor 4C, in conjunction with its celebration of the first year anniversary of the Honor brand in Malaysia. Encased in an ultra-thin 1.85mm frame with a 5.5-inch full HD LCD Corning Gorilla Glass 3 screen, and 3GB RAM, 32GB ROM capacity, the Honor 6 Plus is the first smartphone within the Honor series to have LTE Cat6 combined with a super 8+1 cores Kirin925 chipset.

Number of 4G users in China continues to surge

China4G users in the world’s second largest economy continued to surge and charges for the telecom service are expected to fall in the future, official data showed on Tuesday. 4G clients in China added about 60 million in the first quarter, including 23.88 million in March, to 162 million, according to statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). Wen Ku, an MIIT official in charge of telecommunications, expects the country’s total 4G users to reach 250 million by the end of the year.

Hon Hai subsidiaries invest NT$2bn in 4G infrastructure

TaiwanTaiwan-based telecom operator Asia Pacific Telecom and 4G service operator AMBIT, both affiliates of electronics contract manufacturing giant Hon Hai (Foxconn), will jointly invest NT$2 billion (US$65 million) for 4G base stations and equipment in Taiwan, reports our Chinese-language sister paper Commercial Times. Four major telecom equipment providers — Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Huawei — are among the bidders for this tender. The report said Huawei and Ericsson did not offer prices.

Equinix to build fourth Sydney data centre

AustraliaData centre operator Equinix will invest more than US$97 million (A$121 million) to build its fifth data centre in Australia, adding a fourth facility to its Sydney footprint. The company will stick with its traditional naming convention with the SY4 facility, which it said would address the growing demand for data centre infrastructure in the country. The addition of the 12,500 square metre SY4 brings Equinix’s total Australian investment to nearly US$360 million.,equinix-to-build-fourth-sydney-data-centre.aspx

Google Play helps Chinese developers sell apps overseas

ChinaAlthough Google Play, the Android-based app store operated by Google, has yet to enter the Chinese market officially, it has been speeding up its efforts to help developers in China export and sell their apps to Google Play users in more than 130 countries, reports the Shanghai-based China Business News. Chris Yerga, vice president of engineering and head of Google Play in the Asia Pacific, said in an interview with Chinese media that since Google announced merchant support in China, it has set up a local team to help Chinese developers enter the global market.

Australia’s telcos in early battle over regional 4G auction

AustraliaAustralia’s second and third largest telcos Optus and Vodafone are arguing for the Government to restrict market leader Telstra from increasing its regional advantage in the upcoming 1800MHx spectrum auction. The ACCC was earlier this month directed by the Communications department to advise on whether the Government should introduce limits to the ACMA’s November auction for licences covering parts of the 1800MHz band in regional Australia.,australias-telcos-in-early-battle-over-regional-4g-auction.aspx

StarHub starts transformation to open, cloud-based network using SDN

SingaporeStarHub has started transforming its existing core and access networks to open, cloud-based networks using software-defined networking (SDN) technology. This forms part of StarHub’s aim to enhance its network operational capabilities, enabling the company to better respond to its corporate customers’ business needs as well as to support Singapore’s Smart Nation initiatives.  This came after StarHub recently finalized the design of its SDN environment and identified various strategic partners, including Cisco and Huawei who will be involved in the development of StarHub’s SDN ecosystem.

Cloud: The great leveler for SMEs, from Philippines

PhilippinesMANILA, Philippines – Let’s start with a few assumptions, said May-Ann Lim, executive director of Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA): if you think that Asia will be the next driver of global growth, then you’ll wonder what powers that growth. “Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) make up 99.95% of all enterprises in the Asia-Pacific region,” Lim said in an exclusive interview. Enabling faster SME growth therefore enables you to have the greatest positive impact on regional development, she added.

Powered by Singtel, this incubator wants to help social impact startups reach success

SingaporePrograms for civic-minded startups are few and far between. Singapore, however, is fortunate to have a number of them, and today it adds another to its number. Unframed, a social impact startupincubator, this afternoon launched a five-month program calledEnabling Change. The incubator is backed by Jan Croeni, a serial entrepreneur turned philanthropist who co-founded For the incubation program, local telco Singtel will come on board as a strategic partner and majority funder.

Lei Jun’s awkward English speech at Xiaomi’s India launch deserves praise, not criticism

India“Are you OK?” – it’s a phrase that’s gone sarcastically viral in China after Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun gave a rather awkward English-language presentation at Xiaomi’s recent launch event in India. If you haven’t heard about this, The Wall Street Journal has a nice rundown, but the video really speaks for itself:

Digitimes Research: Taiwan IC design industry output value to rise 14.3% in 2Q15

TaiwanThe production value of Taiwan’s IC design industry is forecast to rise 14.3% sequentially to NT$140.07 billion (US$4.58 billion) in the second quarter of 2015, buoyed mainly by a seasonal pick-up in shipments for smartphones, according to Digitimes Research. Taiwan’s IC design industry, led by MediaTek and the local major LCD driver IC specialists, posted production value of NT$122.5 billion in the first quarter of 2015.

Global HDD demand to keep falling, says HGST executive

TaiwanGlobal demand for hard disk drives (HDDs) of all sizes will continually decrease from 561 million units in 2014 to 550 million units in 2015 and further to 538 million units in 2016, according to Taiwan and Shanghai general manager Vincent Chen for HGST. For HDDs used in notebooks in particular, global demand will slip from 171 million units in 2014 to 161 million units in 2015 and 147 million units in 2016 mainly because global notebook sales are on the decline and increasing adoption of SSDs in notebooks, Chen said.

How Malaysia is championing open data

MalaysiaThe number of datasets on Malaysia’s open data portal has grown over 50 per cent just this month. The official leading the country’s big data initiative credits this to the work of the government’s “open data champions”. FutureGov spoke with Dr Karl Ng, Director, Innovation Capital, Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), to find out how Malaysia plans to open up its data to citizens.

Bharti Airtel Q4 profit up 30.5% to Rs 1,255 crore

IndiaMUMBAI: India’s top mobile carrier Bharti Airtel reported a 30.5% rise in quarterly net profit, helped by strong subscriber growth for its mobile data services, although the rise was smaller than expected.  Bharti Airtel, which operates in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, said on Tuesday net profit rose to Rs 1255 crore ($198.80 million) for its fiscal fourth quarter to March 31, from Rs 962 crore a year earlier.

MediaTek MT6735 chip adopted by major China smartphone firms

TaiwanMediaTek has announced that its MT6735 quad-core 4G 64-bit full-mode chip solution has been adopted by China-based ZTE, Lenovo and TCL for their upcoming smartphones. MediaTek indicated that volume production for the MT6735 SoC has kicked off. The solution will be incorporated into several new smartphones set to roll out in May.

Cloud spending in public sector estimated greater than $107 billion in 2017

APACWorldwide spending on public IT cloud services is expected to exceed $107 billion in two years’ time. This estimation is based off the public cloud cumulative annual growth rate of 23.5 per cent – five times that of the IT industry. The results are found in the report, ‘Innovation in the Cloud’, a 20-page report with detailed analysis of government spend and their outlook on cloud usage.

Minister Says Web Users May Reach 9.5M by 2020, from Cambodia

CambodiaPosts and Telecommunications Minister Prak Sokhonn estimated Monday that the number of Internet users in Cambodia would reach 9.5 million by 2020. Mr. Sokhonn said the estimate was made by extrapolating from annual figures showing growing rates of Internet use in the country, as well as by taking into consideration the increasing number of ways people can now access the Web.

Micromax Canvas Play listed online

IndiaNEW DELHI: Indian handset brand Micromax has expanded its Canvas series with the launch of a new smartphone, Canvas Play. The smartphone has been listed on the company website and is available via online website at Rs 7,490. At this price, the smartphone competes with Lenovo A6000 Plus, Gionee Pioneer P4S and Spice Stellar 526n. The dual sim smartphone features a 5.5-inch FWVGA (480×854) display. Powered by a 1.3GHz MediaTek quad-core processor, Canvas Play has a 1GB RAM, and comes with 8GB internal storage, which is expandable up to 32 GB via microSD card.

Huawei launches Honor 4C in China

China.gifBEIJING: Huawei Technologies Co Ltd has launched Honor 4C smartphone, the latest bid by the Chinese technology firm to gain market share in the highly competitive budget handset segment from domestic rivals such as Xiaomi Inc. The phone has a 5-inch display, slightly larger than the iPhone 6 and the same as Xiaomi’s Mi 4 smartphone, and starts at 799 yuan ($129). By comparison, the iPhone 6 starts at around $750 while the Mi 4 costs around $250.

PM Narendra Modi third-most followed world leader on Twitter: Study

IndiaNEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi remains the third most followed world leader on the micro-blogging site Twitter while external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj is the most followed foreign minister, according to a latest study. Twiplomacy Study 2015, accessed by IANS, showed that Sushma Swaraj is the most followed foreign minister with 2,438,228 followers. She is far ahead of UAE’s Abdullah Bin Zayed (1,608,831) and Turkey’s Mevlut Cavusoglu (376,429).

WeChat’s movie ticketing app raises $105M series B funding

China.gifThe startup that runs Chinese messaging app WeChat’s movie ticket sales service has announced the completion of a US$105 million series B round of funding, according to QQ Tech. Investors include WeChat maker Tencent, real estate giant Wanda Group, Chinese film investment fund Wenzi Huasha, Shandong Luxin Investment Holdings Group, Shanghai Gangtai Group, and ECapital.

Apple announces strong second quarter in Asia, and record-breaking numbers in China

ChinaApple today announced its financial results for what it terms the second quarter of 2015, and by all accounts, things went well. The company posted strong numbers across the board, but nowhere were they stronger than in Asia, where Apple’s mobile products performed particularly well. In the company’s Q2 earnings call, CFO Luca Maestri revealed that Apple set an all-time quarterly record for revenue in China, taking in US$16.8 billion during the quarter (up 77.8 percent year-on-year).

Thanks to China, Android apps now make more money than iOS apps

ChinaA new report (paywall) today from tech-focused investment bank Digi-Capital shows, for the first time, Android apps made more money than iOS apps in 2014. But before you switch to an Android-first development schedule, keep in mind that iOS apps are still far more lucrative on a per download basis. The wider proliferation of Android devices across the world means Android makes more as a gross total, despite iPhone owners spending much more on apps than their Android counterparts.

ChatWork, a year older than Slack, raises $2.5M for team chat and collaboration tool

JapanChatWork, an enterprise social network, today announced that it has raised JPY 300 million (US$2.5 million) from GMO Venture Partners (GMO VP). It marks the first investment in the startup, which is based in Japan and California. (Update: a press release provided to Tech in Asia inaccurately stated the funding amount in dollars. The investment was actually JPY 300 million, or just over US$2.5 million at the current exchange rate. The text and headline have been updated accordingly.)

Singapore is part of the digital Silk Road, a test bed for the world: Vivian Balakrishnan

SingaporeAll of Singapore’s ministers may not be the eminence grise of politics but they are also not your typical jesting orators–at least that is the general perception. One minister, Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, however, broke off from the stereotype and injected a dose of humour on stage during a conference on tech innovation. The occasion was the inauguration of ‘Innovfest Unbound’ on Tuesday, a two-day conference on Innovation and entrepreneurship organized by the prestigious National University of Singapore (NUS) at Suntec City Convention Centre, Singapore.

Alibaba looks to rural China to popularise its mobile OS

China.gifE-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.