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All posts tagged "China"

  • Instagram reportedly blocked in China after mass Hong Kong protests

    Instagram has become the latest victim of online censorship having reportedly been blocked in most parts of China. While certainly not the first site to be blocked by China, the move does reflect the amount of pressure the local government is currently experiencing amid the pro-democracy protests. On Sunday, tens of thousands of protesters gathered on the streets of financial hub Hong Kong. The protest has continuously been cited as being peaceful, though the local government has been using tear gas in order to disperse the crowds. Instagram has been one of the few Western social networks not blocked in...

  • Alibaba officially registers biggest ever US IPO

    Alibaba has raised US$21.8-billion ahead of its stock market debut, meaning that it is responsible for the largest IPO in US history. According to multiple sources, the ecommerce giant, its executives and early investors split some 320-million shares up at a value of US$68 a share. The value of Alibaba’s IPO puts it well ahead of the US$16-billion Facebook managed to raise in its IPO a couple of years back. It’s even larger than the US$17.9-billion Visa managed to raise in its 2008 IPO and falls just short of the US$22.1-billion raised by the Agricultural Bank of China in what...

  • In China, they now have designated sidewalks for people on their phones

    China has over half a billion smartphone users. It’s then almost no surprise then that in the City of Chongqing, a new sidewalk has been unveiled exclusively meant for people walking around, looking down at their glowing screens. China’s People Daily popularised the news when it tweeted that it’s an “exclusive sidewalk for mobile phone users to avoid possible crashes.” –essentially, the lanes are designated areas for slow-moving, distracted people on-foot. Chongqing City has set up China's 1st "exclusive sidewalk for mobile phone users ” to avoid possible crashes on Fri pic.twitter.com/jFiCbbE1yk — People's Daily,China (@PDChina) September 13, 2014 Ever since...

  • China’s ecommerce light shows no signs of dimming

    If you’re the kind of person who battles to understand why Alibaba’s IPO — set to be the biggest in tech history — is going to be so very big, it’s probably worth your while to have a look at the current state of ecommerce in China. According to a new report from digital marketing research group eMarketer, the Asian giant’s ecommerce market is still showing signs of serious growth, something that’s unlikely to change in the near future. eMarketer’s research shows that retail ecommerce sales will grow more than 60% this year, with healthy gains projected through 2018. ...

  • With half a billion smartphone users, China’s internet future is pretty clear

    Watching the Chinese tech scene has a kind of inoculating effect on a person when it comes to massive numbers. This is, after all, a country where that has over 618-million internet users and where an ecommerce outfit can realistically aim for the biggest tech IPO of all time. Even in the face of those numbers however, it’s still pretty astonishing to see that smartphone ownership in the country is set to go past the 500-million mark later this year. According to internet market research house eMarketer, reaching that milestone means that it’ll account for just...

  • How Chinese tech companies are (finally) going global

    In light of the Alibaba IPO and the ecommerce giant’s plans to expand in the US, there’s a lot of talk on how Chinese tech companies are now finally ready to go global. I’d argue that the ambition to go abroad has always been strong for Chinese companies. Since China officially joined the WTO in 2000, its government has promoted the “Go Global” policy for its companies to expand the footprint and soft power of the country. It was just a matter of time. In the past decade, no country offered more opportunities for growth and development than China....

  • BurnCast: Alibaba and the biggest tech IPO in history

    Welcome to BurnCast, our weekly podcast that discusses tech trends, innovation and news. Hosted by Mich Atagana and Stuart Thomas. Alibaba’s upcoming IPO is one of the most eagerly anticipated in tech history. The Chinese ecommerce giant is pushing for a stock market debut that could see it raise even more than the US$16-billion Facebook managed to raise in its IPO, giving it a massive valuation. On this week’s BurnCast, our hosts...

  • Sina’s latest Chinese infraction? That would be sexing up the web

    As part of China’s ongoing clampdown on pornographic content on the web, Chinese authorities intend to strip web giant Sina of its audio-visual and online publication licenses due to alleged pornographic content on its video and ebook websites. According to Xinhua, the state run news agency, that threatens the shutdown of Sina’s video sites and ebook portal. The report says authorities found 20 articles and four videos posted by third parties that were found to promote pornography. The content was noticed after receiving a “huge amount” of tips from the public. Some Sina staff were arrested, and officials plan...

  • Just how vital is Gareth Cliff to making WeChat relevant in South Africa?

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the basics of Gareth Cliff’s next independent venture, CliffCentral. Cliff — arguably the most well-known broadcast personality in South Africa — is promising ‘unradio’, and while that may have more to do with giving the heavy-handed regulation of the Broadcasting Complaints Commission a wide berth, the format will probably be very different to what we’ve come to expect from commercial FM radio. The link with WeChat, where Cliff has an official account, is obvious. Programming will stream live within his channel, along with (the already active) soundbite updates and other...

  • The final milestone? Tencent’s QQ hits 200m simultaneous users

    Last Friday, Tencent’s 15-year-old QQ messenger and social network might have hit it’s final major milestone — 200 million people used the service simultaneously. That’s more than the entire population of Brazil all concurrently using a single application. While Tencent’s mobile messaging app WeChat is renowned for having 355-million monthly active users, that number is still dwarfed by its desktop-first predecessor. In it’s latest quarterly report, Tencent reported 808-million monthly active users on QQ and a peak of 180-million simultaneous users. But those growth figures have started to slow as QQ reaches saturation in its home market and the...

  • Alibaba looks to close gap between physical and online, pumps $629m into Chinese department store chain

    China’s biggest ecommerce company is fusing online shopping with good, old-fashioned brick-and-mortar retailing. Sort of. Today, Alibaba announced a US$692 million investment in InTime Retail, which has 28 department stores and eight shopping malls across China. The deal will allow users of Alibaba’s ewallet app, Alipay, to make in-store payments at all InTime malls and department stores after tying the app to virtual prepaid cards. There’s no indicated launch date for this feature. The partnership between the two shopping giants will also result in some online changes. Shoppers on Alibaba’s Tmall site will be able to claim InTime members...

  • WeChat and ecommerce push Tencent past $3.15 billion in profit

    China’s Tencent has published its Q4 and full-year 2013 earnings report, full of financial details and user numbers for its many web services. We’ve already written about WeChat reaching 355 million monthly active users, so let’s browse through the rest. Here’s the finance side first: US$9.91 billion in revenue for the whole of 2013, up 38% on the 2012 figure. Q4 revenue of US$2.78 billion, up 40% over Q4 2012. 2013’s entire operating profit was US$3.15-billion, up 24% year-on-year. Q4’s profit was US$779 million, which is up 28% year-on-year. However, it’s down one percent from Q3 2013. Online games revenue reached...

  • Why Sina Weibo, Alibaba’s US IPOs make complete sense

    Two of China’s biggest online players are getting ready to launch IPOs in the US. On Friday, the Twitter-like microblogging service Sina Weibo filed for a US$500-million IPO while Alibaba kicked off the process for its own public offering, widely expected to be the biggest since Facebook’s in 2012. As Reuters points out, Sina Weibo’s is just the latest in a long line of Chinese companies to file for an IPO in the States including search giant Baidu and its own parent company Sina Corp. Unlike many of the other companies however, its product can be drastically affected by...

  • LinkedIn ramps up hiring as it readies Chinese version of Pulse

    LinkedIn, the global social network for working professionals, has ramped up its hiring efforts in China after officially launching there back in February. According to job postings on the website, the company seeking several candidates to fill positions such as events manager, head of marketing, head of sales, and chief editor for LinkedIn Pulse, the company’s up-and-coming news aggregation branch. “The China editor will oversee a Mandarin version of Pulse (formerly LinkedIn Today), LinkedIn’s widely heralded professional content product,” reads the job description. “Currently, 1.5 million English-language publishers feed into the product. Now, for the first time, Pulse will...

  • Tencent set to take on Alibaba with 15% stake in ecommerce group JD.com

    Tencent, the tech giant behind China’s QQ and WeChat messaging apps, is radically shaking up its ecommerce operations by forming a strategic partnership with JD (a.k.a. Jingdong), China’s second-largest online shopping firm. Rumors of a collaboration between the two firms had been circulating for months. What’s the deal about? To put it as straightforward as possible, Tencent will give JD the money and visibility necessary to run Tencent’s ecommerce operations successfully. Following the completion of the deal, JD will fully acquire the business, personnel, and logistics of Tencent’s estores QQ Wanggou and Paipai. It will also acquire a minority stake in Tencent’s...