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All posts tagged "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...

  • 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...