Items tagged with China

It appears that the United States is backtracking on its decision to pummel Chinese electronics company ZTE into submission. In a tweet over the weekend, President Donald Trump revealed that he is working with Chinese President Xi Jinping to give ZTE some assistance in regaining the ability to purchase components from U.S. manufacturers. In his tweet, Trump specifically calls attention to the fact that many jobs in China will be lost and that the company should have the ability to restart its operations as soon as possible. On the first front, ZTE employees around 70,000 people, mostly in China. On the second front, ZTE announced last week that it shuttered "major business operations" as... Read more...
Many smartphone makers have seen China as their key market for growth over the last few years. Chinese consumers have been gobbling up smartphones despite the booming black market in the country for devices like iPhones. That black market is so robust that smugglers had taken to flying iPhones in by drone. Canalys has some numbers that look at the Chinese smartphone market and they aren't good. Smartphone shipments in China had their worst ever decline in Q1 2018, with shipments down 21% annually to 91 million units. Shipments haven't been that low since Q4 2013. The numbers also show that eight of the top ten smartphone vendors in China saw shipments decline. The hardest hit were Gionee, Meizu,... Read more...
The hits keep coming for Chinese telecom giant ZTE. Last week, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that ZTE would be banned from buying components from U.S. companies for a period of 7 years due to its blatant disregard for a plea agreement to atone for previous transgressions.  Now, a major Chinese regulator is coming down hard on ZTE, and is blaming the company for making the country look bad. China's State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), which regulates domestic enterprises, said that ZTE's actions were simply "stupid and passive". SASAC went on to add that not only do the actions (and sometimesinaction) taken by ZTE harm its own business... Read more...
Chinese hardware OEM ZTE has just been hit hard by the U.S. Department of Commerce after the company pled guilty to illegally providing telecommunications equipment to Iran and North Korea and lying about its actions. ZTE agreed to pay nearly $1.2 billion in civic and criminal penalties for shipping the goods, making false statements, and obstructing justice. While the financial penalties were no doubt significant, the Department of Commerce has an even stiffer penalty for the company that was announced today (terms of which ZTE agreed to comply with as part of the original plea agreement). American companies like Qualcomm will now be unable to export components to ZTE for a period of up to seven... Read more...
The concept of smart glasses has not taken hold in the consumer sector, even when a company like Google was pushing the technology. Whether the timing was simply off or if the technology is not something consumers are ultimately interested in, it doesn't mean there is not a market to be had. Just ask China—local police in Beijing are testing out the use of smart glasses as security tools at highway checkpoints. According to Reuters, the smart glasses are made by LLVision. Using artificial intelligence technology, the smart glasses scan people's facial features and car registration plates, and then match the data up in real-time with a database of suspects. If one of the occupants in a vehicle... Read more...
LG is coming off its biggest year ever, in terms of overall revenue—it generated 64.1 trillion South Korean Won (around $55.4 billion U.S. currency) during all of 2017 and across all of its divisions, a 10.9 percent jump from the previous year. It also generated its highest profit since 2009, coming out ahead 2.47 trillion KRW (~$2.23 billion), so there is plenty to celebrate. However, its mobile division has been struggling, especially in China where LG has reportedly decided to stop selling smartphones. A Chinese-language news report quotes a representative at LG's Beijing office as saying that LG is pulling its "mobile phone business out of China." While this has not been confirmed by... Read more...
Just as the U.S. Navy looks to scrap its incredibly powerful railgun, the Chinese Navy have apparently installed a railgun of their own onto one of warships. A leaked image appears to give us our first glimpse at this immensely powerful weapon, but no real details are known about the Chinese weapon at this time. Image via NewScientist The image appears to show parts of the barrel of the railgun wrapped in camouflage (sort of like what we see automotive manufacturers using to hide the lines of their new vehicles during testing). If the weapon in the images is in fact a railgun, it would make China the first nation to install a railgun on a warship. The U.S. Navy has been testing railguns for years,... Read more...
Intel is in hot water after a report from The Wall Street Journal surfaced yesterday that claims that Intel announced to a handful of customers, including several Chinese companies, that its chips were susceptible to Meltdown and Spectre security flaws. Those two flaws affected chip technologies from Intel, AMD, and ARM. Security experts have taken issue with what Intel did because the early warning to the Chinese firms could have allowed the companies to alert Beijing officials on the flaws, giving China operatives extra lead time to exploit the vulnerabilities in the chips. Jake Williams, head of Rendition Infosec and a former NSA employee said that it was a "near certainty"... Read more...
Fans of the shooter genre in China will soon be playing PlayerUnknown's Battlefield under the watchful eye of Tencent. Tencent has announced that it has landed exclusive rights to PUBG in China, its home market. Tencent will run the servers for the game and has promised to deal with cheaters. Cheating in the game is a major problem; especially so in China. "PUBG has sold more than 20 million copies since we released the game in March 2017, and we expect our strategic partnership with Tencent to open up new horizons in the Chinese market," PUBG Corp chief executive officer CH Kim said. "We will do our best to present a great game to the Chinese users in close cooperation with the company."... Read more...
Apple's decision to launch three different iPhone models has been met with a bit of intrigue since the plan originally came to light. Many figured that iPhone 8 sales might be sluggish as people held off for the fancier iPhone X. In China this has proven particularly true, as two major online retailers in China are already offering big discounts on the device to try and move iPhone 8 stock. Chinese e-tailer Suning.com is offering the iPhone 8 with discounts as large as 1,100 yuan, which works out to about $165.50 off the device. That discount makes it cheaper than pricing offered on the smartphone in other parts of Asia, such as Hong Kong. Suning's official store on Tmall is also offering... Read more...
The gloves are coming off in the legit brawl between two major players in the smartphone industry: Qualcomm and Apple. While we've detailed the legal bickering between the two tech giants on this site on numerous occasions, Qualcomm's latest move is aimed at crippling Apple's base of manufacturing in China. The majority of Apple's iPhones are manufactured in China, and Qualcomm has filed lawsuits in that country that seek to have production halted and ban all sales. Qualcomm alleges that Apple is infringing upon three non-standard patents, which include the technology that enables Force Touch on the iPhone 6s and later models, and certain power management aspects of the iPhone. "Apple employs... Read more...
A company called Blu Products is seeing red after Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, decided to halt sales of Blu brand smartphones over concerns that the company's handsets might contain spyware. Blu, which is based in Miami, denies that anything nefarious is going on and says that previous data collection capabilities through a third-party OTA application have been disabled. While Blu does not enjoy the same brand recognition as Samsung or Apple, it was able to carve out a following by selling lower cost Android devices. However, concerns over privacy started to mount after cybersecurity firm Kryptowire showed that Blu brand phones were collecting data and sending the information... Read more...
Is your Apple ID and other data safe? Chinese authorities recently arrested twenty-two people accused of selling the personal data of Apple customers. It is currently unclear how many customers have been affected. Police officers from the provinces of Guangdong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Fujian arrested the suspects this past weekend. Twenty of the the twenty-two suspects were “domestic employees of Apple” and worked for a “domestic direct sales company and outsourcing company”. The suspects reportedly used an “internal company computer system” to collect the data. We do not know the identities of the suspects or the vocations of the other two suspects at the this moment. Apple headquarters in Cupertino,... Read more...
Apple has been criticized for not innovating as much as it could have with its iPhone 7, a handset that critics feel is an uninspired upgrade over previous iPhone models. If Apple is unwilling to listen to the critics, it may want to pay attention to the sales figures and market share reports, which seem to be saying the same thing. Over in China, Oppo is now the top dog while demand for the iPhone was "lower than expected." The latest figures from Counterpoint's Market Monitor service show that smartphone demand in China is still robust and growing. Smartphone shipments in the fourth quarter rose 12 percent annually in China, and 9 percent sequentially. Counterpoint described the landscape as... Read more...
The FBI is currently investigating a series of cyberattacks on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), that they believe the Chinese military to be responsible for. The attacks on high-level employees' computers started in 2010 and resurfaced again in 2011 and 2013. Victims included former FDIC Chairwoman Sheila Bair. The FDIC is one of three institutions responsible for regulating commercial banks in the United States. They manage confidential plans regarding how big banks would deal with bankruptcy. They also have access to the information of millions of individual American deposits. The FDIC allowed congressional staff last month to look at communications between high-level FDIC... Read more...
The supercomputer race has only just begun. Japan is currently planning to build the world’s fastest supercomputer. The machine, nicknamed AI Bridging Cloud Infrastructure (ABCI), would ideally be able to process 130 quadrillion calculations per second or 130 petaflops. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called for scientists, companies, and bureaucrats to work together in order to dominate robotics, renewable energy, and other up and coming industries. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will spend 19.5 billion yen ($173 million) on the supercomputer project and should commence in early 2017. IBM's supercomputer WatsonJapan is particularly interested in artificial intelligence such... Read more...
Facebook has taken censorship to a new level. The company has reportedly created software that can suppress certain posts from appearing in specific geographic areas. Zuckerberg hopes that this new software will help the company gain access to China’s market of 1.4 billion people. This is not the first time Facebook has blocked content. The company blocked roughly 55,000 pieces of content between July and December 2015 in twenty different countries. Facebook is known for employing this technique in countries such as Russia, Pakistan, and Turkey. Facebook will also block posts, even in the United States, if the post relates to a confidential criminal case. Facebook would not be suppressing the... Read more...
Apple may be an American company, but the bulk of its products (save for the long-neglected Mac Pro, which is assembled in the United States) are manufactured in China. The relatively low cost of labor, coupled with premium pricing for devices like the iPhone, has allowed Apple to become one of the most profitable companies in the world. However, according to a new report from the Nikkei Asian Review, during the past year, Apple has at least explored the idea of manufacturing the iPhone in the United States. According to a source for the publication, “Apple asked both Foxconn and Pegatron, the two iPhone assembly plants, in June to look into making iPhones in the U.S. Foxconn complied, while... Read more...
Nearly a week after the U.S. Presidential election, many in the United States (and around the globe) are anxious about how President-elect Donald Trump will govern once he takes office on January 20th. Will then President Trump adhere to promises that he made during the campaign or will he take a more measured approach to appease a larger slice of the American populace? But it’s not just those within the United States that are a little on edge; some nations around the world are concerned about the power that President Trump will wield. One of Trump’s frequent targets on the campaign trail was China. He relentlessly assailed the country and its trade practices, often in very unflattering terms.... Read more...
Will the Chinese population ever get to “Netflix and chill”? Not according to Reed Hastings. The Netflix CEO does not believe that his corporation will be able to enter and succeed in the Chinese market. China is currently the most populous country in the world with 1.357 billion people. Its expanding consumer class has led many international companies to invest in the country. The Chinese government, however, has an incredibly tight hold on the media and has blocked numerous major corporations. Hastings noted, “We’re focused on the rest of the world. Disney, who is very good in China, had their movie service shut down. Apple, who is very good in China, had their movie service closed down. It... Read more...
As most US-based companies have learned by now, it's very difficult to penetrate the Chinese market (just ask Microsoft), with the country's government being at the crux of the issue more so than cultural differences. Apple in particular has had a rough go at feeling comfortable in China, and recently, things have been made more difficult with sliding sales. In the past year, Apple had to mold its products to better-suit the Chinese market, which included getting rid of iTunes Movies and iBooks, and crippling its popular news app. Since then, Apple has invested more in the Chinese market, which included a staggering $1 billion investment in "Chinese Uber" Didi Chuxing. Next up? The opening up... Read more...
Apple’s sales across the board are continuing to slump, and that was on full display in the company’s Q3 earnings report. But despite downward-trending sales, its revenue and profit totals for the quarter are nothing to scoff at. The company reported quarterly revenue of $42.4 billion and net income of $7.8 billion — this is compared to $49.6 billion and $10.7 billion respectively for Q3 2015. “We are pleased to report third quarter results that reflect stronger customer demand and business performance than we anticipated at the start of the quarter,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. “We had a very successful launch of iPhone SE and we’re thrilled by customers’ and developers’ response to software and... Read more...
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