Tag: China

Huawei ignores US to clean up

cia-cleanerDespite being on a US spying list, China’s Huawei technologies continues to clean up.

Huawei does not have to tell us much, because it is a private company, but the world’s No.2 telecommunications equipment maker, reported a 33 percent rise in profit for 2014.

This matches company guidance, as the global adoption of fourth-generation (4G) mobile technology boosted sales.

Net profit for 2014 rose to $45.7 billion US dollars, the Shenzhen-based company told media in an earnings briefing today.

In a breakdown, its revenue from telecom operator business rose 16.4 percent year on year, to $31 billion dollars; its revenue from enterprise business reached $3.1 billion dollars, up 27.3 percent year on year; and its revenue from consumer business reached $12.1 billion dollars, up 32.6 percent year on year.

Meanwhile, the company invested $66 billion dollars in research and development, rising 29.4 percent year on year and representing 14.2 percent of its annual sales revenue.

In the past ten years, Huawei’s investment in research and development accumulated to $307 billion dollars.

Either way, despite the US’s most ironic embargo, Huawei is doing rather well.

 

Chinese CEO calls Apple Nazis

donald-duck-funny-german-germany-hitler-nazi-Favim.com-91188Chinese CEO and billionaire Jia Yueting, has created a storm by comparing Apple to the Nazi Party.

For those who are not in the know, Jia Yueting is the chairman of Leshi Television, one of the China’s most popular online video sites. Jia’s private Leshi Holding (Beijing) invests in film and TV show production.

In a weibo post, Yueting compares the attributes of the Android and iOS ecosystems as “Crowdsourced, freedom vs arrogance, tyranny”, painting Apple as the villain.

He goes on to say, “Under the arrogant regime of iOS domination that developers around the world love yet hate, we are always carefully asking, ‘is this kind of innovation okay?'”

It might be that he is wanting a reasonable debate between closed and open source, he does not seem to want to make many friends by starting the debate by invoking Godwin.

The Tame Apple Press of course is spitting blood about the comments claiming that it must be some promotional move by LeTV to enter the smartphone industry. After all the only reason people need to criticise something as perfect as Apple is for click bait or marketing,

LeTV has already announced it will be creating an electric and autonomous vehicle as well, so to the Tame Apple Press that means that Yueting wants to be Apple.

“It is rather ironic that LeTV would use the Nazi Party as a symbolism of closed source systems, when modern day China is perhaps a more usable source, with Mainland China banned from seeing anything outside the “Great Firewall” and US companies regularly attacked by Chinese regulators,” hissed David Curry on Betanews .

He then attacks Xiaomi for copying Apple’s store layouts and TV designs, perhaps forgetting that Xiaomi is not LeTV.

Apple creates old lamps for new scheme in China

lampFruity cargo cult Apple thinks that the best way for punters behind the bamboo curtain to keep buying its expensive products is if they can trade them in like a car.

Jobs’ Mob plans to introduce a trade-in program for iPhones in China in association with Foxconn.

Under the deal, people will be able to exchange older iPhones at Apple stores in China for credit against the company’s products starting March 31.

Chinese demand for larger-screen iPhones helped fuel Apple’s record profit of $18 billion in the final quarter last year.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook has said China is poised to overtake the United States as the company’s biggest market, and he is working to about double the number of stores in Greater China by the middle of next year.

The only problem is that most of Apple’s potential customers will have to sell a kidney, or body part to get enough cash to buy a phone.

Under the China programme, Foxconn will buy the iPhones directly, without Apple taking ownership, and repair the devices if needed before selling them on its e-commerce websites such as FLNet and on Alibaba’s online store.

Foxconn, a key Apple supplier, is also in talks to sell the older iPhones in physical stores and may take the trade-in program online in future.

Apple has a similar scheme in the US, where the company has started accepting non-Apple devices, Bloomberg reported.

Major US wireless carriers including Verizon Communications and Sprint last year offered subscribers schemes under which they could trade in their old iPhones for new ones.

Hutchison Whampoa to buy 02

oxygen_maskHutchison Whampoa is expected to finalise a deal to buy Telefonica British mobile unit O2 for $15.70 billion today.

The companies did not face any major issues during the two months of due diligence, which could allow the deal to be announced on Tuesday.

The deal could be announced as early as this morning, but there is some possibility that it might be delayed.

Hutchison is chatting with wealth funds including China Investment Corporation, Singapore’s Temasek and GIC, and one of Qatar’s big government-sponsored outfits to provide the cash.

The company has plans to sell stake worth about 3 billion pounds, which makes about 30 percent of the group to outside investors, the newspaper reported.

Hutchison Whampoa is owned by Asia’s richest man, Li Ka-shing, and there might be those in the British government who are not that keen to have a British asset like O2 in the paws of the Chinese. However since no one minded when an Armada of Spanish financiers took the outfit out of British ownership, it is too late to bang Drake’s drum now.

IBM cosies up to China

ibm-officeThe CEO of IBM said she has a strategy in which her company will share tech with Chinese firms.

Virginia Rometty was speaking in Beijing at a government sponsored conference, according to Reuters.

She said that a country of over one billion people needed its own IT industry and it was unfair of foreign multinationals just to milk the market or use it as a place to manufacture kit.

Many foreign companies have made successful businesses in China by taking a partner in the country – the government makes this something of a condition in order to trade there.

The report said that IBM would let local companies build servers using the Power chip and also use the software for the mainframes.

The first beneficiary of the deal is a Chinese firm called Suzhou Powercore, which will manufacture the Power chips for home grown servers.

Rometty didn’t appear to speak of human rights in China, which remain an obstacle for other firms.

Chinese government downs Reuters

android-china-communistThe Chinese government seems to believe that if its citizens read Reuters websites their minds will be totally corrupted.

Reuters said both its English and Chinese websites were inaccessible in China today, and it appears to be the government that’s made them unavailable.

Communist China blocks a large number of foreign websites – the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and Bloomberg are all banned.

Reuters asked the government internet watchdog what was going on but the watchdog doesn’t appear to be listening, yet.

The news service said in a statement that it is committed to fair and accurate journalism across world. “We recognise the great importance of news about China to all our customers, and we hope that our sites will be restored in China too,” Reuters said in a statement.

The company’s financial and data services to Chinese clients haven’t been tampered with.

 

Solar panels go through the roof

solarsA report said that total global solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity will be 498 gigawatts in 2019, a 177 percent increase over capacity in 2014.

IHS said that last year the market became supply driven. That trend will continue until 2019 when the use rate of module projection will exceed the peak usage rate in 2010. That is when the global market really started to soar.

As this chart from IHS shows, China leads the pack in using solar panels, followed by Japan, the USA, the UK, Germany and India.

Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 11.03.43

And there’s good news if you’re in the mood to buy, because the average selling prices of standard modules will fall by 27 percent between 2015 and 2019.

Thin film modules aren’t experiencing stellar growth patterns, but IHS believes that this year market share for those will be around seven percent.

That market share is likely to remain at around seven percent between now and 2019.

 

Microsoft gives the Chinese free Windows 10

eclipse-chinaSoftware king of the world Microsoft has decided that the best way to stop the Chinese pirating its Windows 10 operating system is to give it to them.

Microsoft has decided to push into the heavily pirated Chinese consumer computing market this summer by offering free upgrades to Windows 10 to all Windows users, regardless of whether they are running genuine copies of the software.

The big idea is to get legitimate versions of VoleWare onto machines of the hundreds of millions of Windows users in China. Recent studies show that three-quarters of all PC software is not properly licensed there.

Terry Myerson, who runs Microsoft’s operating systems unit, announced the plan at the WinHEC technology conference in Shenzhen, China.

Microsoft will upgrade all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10. The plan is to “re-engage” with the hundreds of millions of users of Windows in China, he said, without elaboration.

Windows 10 would be released globally sometime “this summer”. That is the first time Microsoft has put a time frame on the release, although it has been expected in autumn.

Microsoft said in January it would offer free upgrades to Windows 10 for users of Windows 7 or later in an attempt to hold onto users and make up for lost revenue by selling services such as Office over the Internet.

Microsoft is working with Lenovo to roll out Windows 10 in China to current Windows users, Myerson said.

It also is offering Windows 10 through security company Qihoo 360 Technology and Tencent Holdings, China’s biggest social networking company, which will build a Windows 10 app that will work on smartphones and PCs for its popular QQ gaming and messaging service. QQ has more than 800 million users.

Lenovo said in a statement that it will make phones running Windows software, available through China Mobile, sometime later this year.

 

China puts anti-western tech law on hold

1900-intl-forces-including-us-marines-enter-beijing-to-put-down-boxer-rebellion-which-was-aimed-at-ridding-china-of-foreigners-A law, China claimed was all about counter-terrorism but stopped US technology companies selling so much behind the bamboo curtain, has been put on hold.

A senior US official welcomed the move which he said was a good sign for Western businesses that saw the rule as a major impediment to working in the world’s second largest economy.

President Barack Obama said in an interview with Reuters on March 2 that he had raised concerns about the law directly with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Michael Daniel said the Chinese have decided to suspend the third reading of that particular law, which has put the law on hiatus.

“We did see that as something that was bad not just for U.S. business but for the global economy as a whole, and it was something we felt was very important to communicate very clearly to them,” Daniel said.

The law would require technology firms to hand over encryption keys, the passcodes that help protect data, and install security “backdoors” in their systems to give Chinese authorities surveillance access.

The move has given companies “some breathing room, but not complete relief” because the bill could be picked up again at any point.

The thought is that the Chinese are not ready to kick out all foreign companies, and because they weren’t ready to take that step, they backed off.

The initial draft, published by the NPC late last year, requires companies to also keep servers and user data within China, supply law enforcement authorities with communications records and censor terrorism-related Internet content.

Although the law would apply to both domestic and foreign companies, officials in Washington and Western business lobbies complained that the combination of that law, the banking rules and anti-trust investigations amounted to unfair regulatory pressure targeting foreign companies.

 

Intel and Huawei snuggle up

cuddling-dog-catIntel and Huawei Technologies are getting closer even as their rival governments fall out over trade blocks.

According to Huawei, the pair are getting closer and will share technology and adopt Huawei branding behind the bamboo curtain to make Intel products more palatable to local buyers and the Chinese government.

The technology involved focuses on the cloud, with the pair working on a project to create new servers, a data centre, software and cyber security for a global cloud-computing network.

China’s government has been openly pushing for the use of more Chinese and less foreign-made technology, both to grow its own tech sector and as a response to Edward Snowden’s leaks about widespread US cyber surveillance.

Intel and Huawei have collaborated previously, including a server and cloud product team-up in 2012 and an agreement to cooperate on data storage last April.

Although the announcement is mostly Chinese focused it is likely that the Intel side of the deal will result in other products seen worldwide. Intel would take the lead in nations where Huawei is not trusted, and Huawei stepping forward in countries which are worried about US surveillance.

China irritates tech firms

chinaflagA law set to be passed by Chinese authorities would make tech vendors provide the government with encryption keys and put backdoors in systems.

According to Reuters, the law relates to counter terrorism and the legislation is likely to be passed into law in the near future.

Other elements of the counter terrorism law include a reqirement for companies to locate their servers and user data in China, as well as forcing vendors to censor content that China believes is related to terrorism.

China already forces banks to buy from home grown vendors, rather than buying abroad.

Reuters said that the implications of this new piece of legislation would be to forbid secure VPNs, to send financial information securely, and to hide any detail of a commercial business.

Google might find itself thanking its lucky stars that it doesn’t do business in mainland China, but other vendors including Apple, Intel and Microsoft will certainly be hit by the legislation.

Intel buying its way into China

Intel Q4_14_ResultsMegachip maker Intel has decided that the only way to get around the inscrutable Chinese is to invest in shed loads of scrute and buy its way into the market.

Intel is pouring billions of dollars into expanding its influence in China, where fewer than half the country’s roughly 500 million mobile phone users have smartphones and the market is ruled by Qualcomm.

Intel is apparently trying to use its relationship with PC clients in China as a foot in the door to mobile devices. It is chummy with Lenovo, the No. 1 global PC seller, and its hardware powers a handful of Lenovo smartphones. It is also mates with Chinese internet giant Tencent, which includes a joint research centre, helps ensure that the WeChat maker’s software works smoothly with Intel chips.

Intel paid $1.5 billion in September for a 20 percent stake in state-run Tsinghua Unigroup, which controls two domestic mobile chipmakers. It did not need to spend that much, in some observers thought that it was double the outfit’s value. In December, Intel said it would pay $1.6 billion to upgrade its factory in the central Chinese city of Chengdu, which cost $300 million to build a decade ago. The plant, designed for back-end testing, will absorb some of the work previously done in a shuttered Costa Rican facility.

That appears to suggest that Chipzilla is shifting a lot of its tech to China. The idea being that it will intergrate itself into the local supply chain and impress the Chinese officials, who are having a few problems with Qualcomm. Intel may be more favorably treated by Chinese regulators because of its stake in Tsinghua Unigroup—as well as its willingness to build high-end local labs. So far, Intel hasn’t been touched in China’s crackdown on foreign companies.

The next battle is believed to be for wearable tech and if Intel has invested in Chinese start-ups it might have a leg-up and a way to make these as cheap as possible.

Samsung starts trading in Chinese currency

samsung-hqSamsung Electronics has announced that it will start trading the Chinese currency directly with the South Korean won.

The news came as the South Korean government announced that it hoped to sign a final free trade agreement with China within the first half of the year, in a further sign of strengthening relations between the countries.

South Korea is the third country in the world to begin direct trading of the yuan for a local currency in December under the aim of grabbing a larger share of the growing business opportunities involving the yuan outside China.

With a big player like Samsung taking part, the thought is that other big companies will join in.

Samsung said in a statement it was “looking into starting won-yuan direct trading”. It did not elaborate, but traders said such a move would be a big boost for the market, which until now has been in operation led by banks.

“The fact that there’s real demand and supply for commercial purposes carries a big significance even though the amount is small,” said one currency dealer at a local bank.

South Korea has been encouraging companies trading with China to settle transactions with the yuan or the won instead of the US dollar, but actual use of the local currencies in trade deals remains very low.

Samsung uses the currency market to settle direct transactions between its headquarters and its foreign subsidiaries, and it is not clear how much influence it can make on the market on its own.

AMD might get lots of Chinese cash

 Photo of China from satellite - Wikimedia CommonsThe dark satanic rumour mill has manufactured a hell on earth yarn which suggests that AMD might be set to expand thanks to wodges of Chinese cash being thrown at it.

Since Intel paid AMD a billion for its anti-trust doings,  AMD’s bottom line has not been that good.

However it is still in a good position to churn out processors and video cards. This would make it a good deal for a buy out.  Some have suggested Samsung, but others Qualcomm.

But there is also one name which is cropping up on the rumour mill a lot more — a Chinese company called BLX IC Design Corp.

The sticking point to any buy out is that it would require the renegotiation of the licence with Intel over the x86 architecture, however an investment by a third company would work. Trade restrictions by the US government could prevent an outright purchase by an institution run by the Chinese government, but the US loves Chinese cash.

BLX has collaborated with AMD in the past, and does not need to buy the company to get what it wants.

The rumour, looked at  by Tom’s Hardware suggests that BLX IC Design could buy a share of AMD .  It controls the manufacturer of microprocessors Loongson Technology (MIPS architecture, family Godson), may make a strategic investment in technologies and products from AMD with the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The Chinese chip designer could provide enough money to AMD to increase its capacity for research and development. The budget of AMD in research and development for this quarter will be about $ 200 million, well below the historical spending. As the company’s sales are shrinking, will not increase spending in this area, which could jeopardize its future and the long-term survival.

AMD bosses were in Beijing in late January and early February for meetings related to the possible deal.

Armed with Chinese cash, AMD could damage Intel with projects like Zen and K12 and put the fear of god into Nvidia. Its new partners could help it make inroads into the huge Chinese market and provide the Chinese semiconductor industry with much needed patents and R&D.

 

TSMC flees Chinese unions

tsmcTSMC is set to invest US$15.8 billion in the Central Taiwan Science Park (CTSP).

The outfit is set to start building its 18-inch wafer foundry in March which will apply the 10 nanometre manufacturing process with a target for mass production in 2017.

However the location of the plant, away from mainland China has raised an eyebrow or two.

Last year the BBC ran a yarn about how China’s labour unions were getting antsy at Apple’s broken promises on work conditions.

Apple’s response to the BBC’s report at the time was that it strongly disagreed: “We are aware of no other company doing as much as Apple to ensure fair and safe working conditions. We work with suppliers to address shortfalls, and we see continuous and significant improvement, but we know our work is never done.”

However, another news site in China is reporting that “in response to the growing criticism of Foxconn’s treatment of its employees, the company has invited its critics to visit its production bases to get a better understanding of its operations”. During the visit, the critics could also talk to the employees to hear their views,” Foxconn said.

But it is starting to look like another row is flaring up between Foxconn via the labour unions – this time  it is about overtime. It seems that there has been a rash of suicides at its plant, and the unions are blaming them on the overtime.

So it does seem that Foxconn is avoiding any conflict with the Chinese unions getting in the way of its relationship with Apple by shifting its new plant to Taiwan.