Tag Index  /  Showing 1 - 20 of 74 results for “China”

Global Tech Manufacturing

Electronics Manufacturers Bet Big on Vietnam

Attracted by low labor costs and other advantages, global electronics manufacturers invested billions in Vietnam over the past few years. As they continue to build new factories in 2014, Vietnam’s economy will benefit from the influx of foreign capital, talent, and technology. A small player in the global electronics supply chain just a decade ago, Vietnam exported $38 billion in devices and components last year, according to data from the International Trade Center. Although this pales next to the $560 billion shipped by China, the world’s leading producer of electronics, Vietnam now ranks as the 12th largest electronics exporter in the world.   More

Global Tech

Shanghai Street View: Troubled Technology

This week’s Street View takes us to Shanghai’s rapidly aging Maglev train, which was once the city’s pride and joy when it first opened in 2004 offering the world’s fastest speeds in a commercial rail service. The Maglev celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, even as debate grows about a technology that has been overtaken by slower but less costly high speed rail trains in the last few years. More broadly speaking, the sputtering Maglev also shines a spotlight on Shanghai’s inability to become a leading center for technology development.   More

Global Tech

Facebook Moves Ahead in Beijing, Line Blocked

Two of the world’s biggest social networking service (SNS) operators are in the headlines as the new week begins, starting with word that Facebook is moving ahead with its plans to open in China. Meantime, separate reports are saying Japanese-based mobile instant messaging service Line has been disrupted in China, perhaps for carrying sensitive content. These news bits may look different on the surface, but they’re really quite similar in broader terms. China is extremely wary of offshore-based SNS like Facebook, Line, and Twitter, because they are not subject to the country’s strict self-censorship laws.   More

Business Global Tech

Huawei, ZTE on Global Hiring Sprees

The embattled telecoms pair of Huawei and ZTE are embarking on major hiring sprees outside their home market, seeking to not only import foreign expertise but also foreign faces as they try to look more global and less Chinese. That’s my major takeaway on reading separate reports that ZTE is launching a drive to recruit workers from two struggling western cellphone giants, while Huawei is also hiring thousands of new employees in Europe to cater to its largest market outside of China.   More

Global Tech Security & Privacy

China Targets IBM in Foreign Tech Crackdown

The latest reports that Beijing is pressuring Chinese banks to stop using high-end servers from computing giant IBM don’t come as a huge surprise, amid escalating tensions between China and the U.S. over cyber spying. This particular development is just the latest in a series of similar moves that dates back to last year, when Beijing began quietly pressuring many big state-run firms to stop using U.S. tech products following revelations from the Edward Snowden cyber-spying scandal. The ironic element of Beijing’s anti-foreign tech campaign is that it could actually make the nation’s technology networks and systems even more vulnerable to spying, since most domestic products are far less sophisticated than their foreign counterparts.   More

Global Tech Government

Beijing Hits Microsoft with Windows 8 Ban

When it comes to the risks and rewards of doing business in China, software giant Microsoft can write a lengthy book on the subject after years of ups and downs in the market. Just months after the company marked a modest advance with Beijing’s lifting of a decade-old ban on gaming consoles, the central government has now formally banned the installation of Microsoft’s flagship Windows 8 operating system (OS) on all government computers. It’s clear from the media reports that this ban was unexpected, though Microsoft has certainly learned to expect this kind of sudden and unexplained move after two decades in the market.   More

Global Tech

Baidu Chases Google in Silicon Valley

Chinese search leader Baidu is trumpeting its opening of a new R&D center in Silicon Valley, becoming the latest Chinese Internet company to make such a move in the tech capital of the world. The announcement is obviously full of symbolism, since Silicon Valley is home to global search leader Google, which once tried to purchase Baidu but was rebuffed by company founder Robin Li. Company watchers will also be asking if the move could auger a major new step for Baidu, which could see it challenge Google in lucrative but highly competitive western markets.   More

Global Tech

WeChat Comes Under Fire for Rumors, Fake Ads

Tencent’s WeChat has grown so quickly over the last two years that it was almost inevitable that the popular mobile messaging service would come under fire from China’s state-run media or Beijing regulators. The service briefly clashed with the telecoms regulator last year during a high-profile spat with leading telco China Mobile, and now WeChat is coming under fire from leading broadcaster CCTV for becoming a hotbed for rumor mongering and fraudulent advertisements.   More

Global Tech

China’s Hotels Give a Good Sense of its Self-Image

The grandiosity and in many cases inspired designs of the plethora of dramatic new hotels across China provide a window into its psyche. China is big. China is bold. China is where the future is happening. The greenfield of a long-depressed economy enriched with newfound wealth and a newfound sense of its own potential, even a sense of its return to former greatness—all these combine to enable a kind of imperial overreach in architecture. These buildings, many of them, are beautiful. They also bespeak a confidence in the future and a sense of destiny that is lacking in Western culture these days. These stunning buildings also implicitly celebrate technology, because they require so much to build.   More

Global Tech

Tesla Drives into China

Tesla has created the kind of buzz and excitement this week that only names like Apple and smartphone sensation Xiaomi have typically been able to muster. In the last two days, the company and its charismatic founder Elon Musk were all over the Chinese headlines as Tesla delivered its first electric vehicles (EVs) in China on the sidelines of the nation’s biggest annual auto show happening this week in Beijing. Tesla has done an incredible job of launching its first vehicle sales in China. This kind of media frenzy and hype surrounding a product launch hasn't been seen for at least a year or two, back when Apple was still at the height of coolness in China.   More

Global Tech

How Tencent Uses WeChat to Target Alibaba

Alibaba founder Jack Ma’s worries about the rapid rise of mobile instant messaging service WeChat appear to be well founded, with word that Tencent’s wildly popular platform will create an exclusive shopping channel for Alibaba’s chief rival JD.com. This kind of deal must certainly be Ma’s biggest nightmare, as it will instantly link JD, China’s second largest e-commerce company, with the hundreds of millions of young Chinese who regularly use WeChat to communicate. What’s more, WeChat has shown itself quite capable of converting its users into shoppers who could easily become JD customers.   More

E-Commerce Global Tech

NetEase Moves into U.S., Vipshop Tries Russia

Two of China’s leading Internet companies are taking their first baby steps outside their home market, with word that online game maker NetEase is moving into the U.S. and fast-rising discount e-commerce firm Vipshop is tying up with a Russian partner. The pair are joining China’s “big 3″ Internet firms, Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent, in making recent moves outside their home market, as each looks for new growth opportunities. All of these companies also want to convince the world that they can compete in the real world outside their own highly protected and heavily restricted home market.   More

Finance Global Tech

Alibaba Changes IPO Course, Heads For New York

All my previous predictions that e-commerce leader Alibaba would ultimately make its mega IPO in Hong Kong were wrong, with word that the company is now firmly fixed on New York for its highly anticipated share sale. In my defense, I should say that a huge surge in positive sentiment over the last 5 months towards China Internet stocks on Wall Street undoubtedly helped change Alibaba’s mind. The company had previously stated on numerous occasions that Hong Kong was the preferred venue for its blockbuster IPO, which reports are now saying could raise up to $15 billion, making it the world’s biggest Internet offering since Facebook raised $16 billion in 2012.   More

Global Tech

Tencent-JD Tie-Up Takes Aim at Alibaba

The new week is just beginning, but it could well go down as a pivotal moment in Chinese Internet history with Tencent’s new announcement of an e-commerce alliance with JD.com that could threaten the dominance of sector leader Alibaba. The tie-up, which was first rumored last month, will see Tencent pay $215 million for 15 percent of JD.com, which will also receive some of Tencent’s e-commerce assets including a minority stake of its flagship Yixun.com B2C service. The companies will merge their e-commerce businesses, creating a new player with nearly a quarter of China’s B2C e-commerce market.   More

Energy & Green Tech

Can Drones Help Scrub China’s Filthy Skies?

Just how bad is China’s air pollution? A recent M.I.T. study concluded that a huge swath of the Chinese population is losing an average of five years in life expectancy due to pollution. The Chinese government is getting serious about the issue, and not just because the thick smog actually interferes with domestic surveillance efforts. China's pollution has become a source of national embarrassment and outrage, with Chinese scientists comparing it to a nuclear winter. The government is now escalating the use of drones to fight its recently declared “war on pollution.” In a plan reminiscent of the futuristic geo-engineering discussed at Techonomy 2012, aircraft disperse chemicals that freeze pollutants, making them fall to the ground. But what becomes of this solidified smog, not to mention the chemicals, once it's been scrubbed from the sky?   More

Global Tech

How WhatsApp Can Succeed in China

I haven’t written about Facebook in a while, mostly because the company hasn’t made any concrete moves into China lately despite previous assertions that it would like to enter the market. But the company’s purchase of the popular WhatsApp mobile messaging service for up to $19 billion looks like a good opportunity to revisit the topic, and what this deal might mean for Facebook in China. Facebook’s own site has been blocked in China since 2009, making it inaccessible to the vast majority of more than 600 million Chinese Web surfers. But WhatsApp is widely available, even though it competes with the wildly popular rival WeChat service from local Internet giant Tencent.   More

E-Commerce Global Tech

WeChat Wrings Money From Unicom, Wangfujing

Much has been written about the meteoric rise of Tencent’s WeChat mobile instant messaging service, with many drawing parallels to the equally rapid ascent of Sina’s Weibo microblogging service starting in 2010. But while Sina has struggled to wring money out of Weibo, Tencent is having much more success with WeChat, as evidenced by news of its latest commercial tie-ups with retailer Wangfujing Department Store and mobile carrier China Unicom. I have a lot of respect for Sina, which has emerged as a leading information provider in China since it first went public in 2000. But the company has shown itself less adept at earning money, unlike Tencent, which has proven much more skillful at milking cash from its innovative core social networking service (SNS) products.   More

Global Tech

LinkedIn Takes New Step in Slow Road to China

Online professional networking leader LinkedIn took a big step towards entering the lucrative but tricky China market last week when it created a new China chief position and filled it with an industry veteran as it explores a formal service launch. The move was just the latest in the company’s slow and careful approach to China, and could boost its chances of success in a market that has proven difficult for other global giants like Google, Yahoo, and eBay.   More

Global Tech

Chinese Microblogging: Weibos May Be on the Wane

New data is highlighting an online trend that I wrote about last year, namely that microblogs have peaked in popularity and are starting to decline, in a bad sign for leading Web portal Sina as it rushes to monetize and list its popular Weibo service. Frankly speaking, I’m not too optimistic anymore about the prospects for Sina Weibo, which is really just a copy of U.S. social media pioneer Twitter and hasn’t shown much ability to innovate in the rapidly changing social networking space.   More

Manufacturing

China’s Auto Export Drive Sputters in Detroit

A slew of year-end news about China’s auto industry is shining a spotlight on the tough times that domestic car makers are facing not only at home but also abroad as they grapple with tough competition and other market factors. Domestic nameplates like Geely, Chery, and BYD have steadily lost share in their home market over the last few years to big foreign names like GM and Volkswagen, but posted strong export gains as they looked to overseas markets to partly offset the declines at home. But now even the export picture is looking bleak, with the latest word that no Chinese car makers will attend the industry-leading North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week.   More