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All posts tagged "China"

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 5 Chinese online trends every developer needs to know about

    With 1.3 billion people supporting a booming mobile and software development industry, China is the blue whale of emerging tech markets. China will be the No. 1 market for Apple moving forward, but everyone in the mobile sector needs to think about how to develop for China’s market and work with Chinese developers, who have a much better understanding of the culture than we do. With its recent deal to sell the iPhone on China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile carrier, Apple, looks to move an additional 20 to 40 million devices. Currently, China’s mobile market is dominated by Android...

  • Dropbox allowed to pass through the Great Firewall as China uncensors it

    Dropbox got blocked in China in 2010. It was probably due to Chinese authorities finding politically sensitive material being shared or stored via the US-based cloud syncing site. However, in a surprise move, Dropbox is now unblocked in China, Tech in Asia has discovered. It’s not clear when Dropbox became unblocked in China. We noticed it was accessible in the country late last week, and then we waited a few days to verify it wasn’t a freak result and also to check that it’s available throughout the country. In addition to personal cloud syncing, we’ve also verified that sharing files...

  • Take a gorgeous tour of China’s Lantern Festival with Google Street View

    The Google Street View team recently sent its cameras into a few major tourist spots in China to get a 360-degree view of the scenery for this year’s Lantern Festival. This year, Google added three fresh sites in Shandong Province and Hong Kong. Below, we’ve embedded the interactive street view maps so you can take a virtual tour and see for yourself. First off is my personal favorite, Tai’erzhuang in Shandong. The place was made into a monument after a battle between the Chinese Kumintang and Japan in the Second Sino-Japanese War. Up next is the West Kowloon Bamboo Theatre in...

  • 5 reasons WeChat is way more innovative than you might think

    We has been covering WeChat, China’s most popular mobile message app, before it even had an English name. Meanwhile, international tech media outlets have also been following the evolution of other messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Line, Facebook Messenger, and many, many others. Over the past year or so there’s been lots of talk about how these messengers are maturing into “platforms” – or, apps that users will use to buy things, and that business and organizations can use to reach an audience. However, as others have correctly pointed out, it’s not appropriate to lump China’s WeChat alongside these other...

  • This Baidu heatmap shows massive scale of human movement over Chinese New Year

    Baidu has launched a heat map of where Chinese travelers are heading to, coming from, and which routes are most popular during Chinese New Year, the country’s largest national holiday. It’s a time when most Chinese either return home to their families or go on vacation, and it’s the largest annual mammalian migration on Earth. During the 40-day holiday period – which is called Spring Festival in Chinese -- 3.6-billion passenger trips will be made across all modes of transportation (Note: most people only get eight days off). Baidu gathers data from smartphones with Baidu Maps and other apps using its...

  • Tencent slide sees Naspers stock take 7% hit

    Media and technology giant Naspers' stocks fell sharply today on the back Chinese internet company Tencent taking a beating on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The South Africa-based company saw its stocks fall over seven percent following a five percent slide from Tencent earlier in the day. It seems as if the Tencent fall is largely down to a fall in investor confidence on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange as a whole. That lack of confidence may have been spurred by the banning of a number of US accounting companies from operating in China. The ban came about...

  • China’s massive internet numbers: 618m online, 500m connected to mobile web

    China now has 618-million internet users and 500 million mobile web users, according to new figures from the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC). The new numbers from CNNIC are for December 2013. They show strong growth from the agency’s last report midway through 2013 when we saw that China had 591-million internet users and 460-million mobile netizens. The number of mobile web users has more than doubled from the end of 2009 when there were only 233 million accessing the web via phones. China’s smartphone boom -- there are about 270-million active Android users in the country right now –...

  • 8 Chinese tech trends to keep an eye on in 2014

    The new year is a time for reflection, but it’s also a time for looking forward. In this regard, we’ve taken a broad look at some of the budding trends we expect to continue in China in 2014. In an ecosystem growing as fast as China’s tech scene, anything is possible within a year, but here’s a few predictions we think will change the country’s landscape. Weibo will go out of style Weibo was still growing as of Q3 2013, and revenues were up, but we still predict the service’s popularity will taper off. Many reasons factor into this. WeChat has...

  • It’s a blue world: Facebook’s empire grows in latest map of social networks

    Facebook may or may not be dead to teenagers. If it is, it could certainly be an issue in the future but right now, the world's largest social network is on top in all but a few countries. The latest world map of social networks from Vinco shows that Facebook is dominant in 127 of the 137 countries analysed. That's as many as it laid claim to when the last map was released in June 2013, but there has been a bit of shuffling. According to the blog's creator Vincenzo Consenza, Facebook lost Kyrgyzstan, but managed to take...

  • Amazon Prime Air: just another pipe dream or technological breakthrough?

    On 1 December, Jeff Bezos revealed on CBS’ 60 Minutes that Amazon is working on the creation of a new drone delivery system. The new service, labelled Amazon Prime Air, will enable Amazon to offer 30-minute delivery through the use of unmanned Octocopters. These drones will be able to deliver packages weighing up to 2.3 kg within a 10-mile radius from the given fulfillment center. The announcement became the leading tech news globally, however its public reception was largely mixed. Due to current U.S. aviation regulations, the service cannot be implemented in the next couple of years. Many experts and...