Posts Tagged ‘China’
According to a report by the Southern Metropolis Daily, China’s third largest mobile operating China Telecom has begun preparations for sales of Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5, training staff to accept orders for the phone at the end of September.
Sources have indicated that the carrier has already announced availability of the device at one of its stores, with official sales beginning in October. The operator, now bigger than Verizon Wireless and the world’s biggest CDMA carrier, is predicted to sell more than a million next-generation iPhones by the end of 2011.
Company chairman Wang Xiaochu has already indicated the company will increase subsidies to tempt mobile customers to the network should they want an iPhone 5. This, coupled with a rumoured 1.5 billion yuan ($235 million) spend on marketing the iPhone 5, is likely to help Apple boost sales significantly in the country.
We reported yesterday on two independent reports indicating release dates for Apple’s iOS software and next generation iPhone. It was suggested that Apple will begin signing of its iOS 5 Gold Master from September 23, with a separate rumour suggesting the iPhone 5 will become available on October 15.
Apple has reportedly instructed Foxconn to boost its daily production capacity of the iPhone 5 to 150,000 units, supplying between 5 and 6 million units in September. With iPhone 4 orders being cut, supply of the iPhone 5 could hit 22 million units in the fourth quarter.
Alibaba Group, one of the most powerful Chinese internet companies, is building its own mobile operating system, the Journal reports.
This is an unusual move for Alibaba, which is mostly an e-commerce destination. But if Amazon is building app stores…
The OS will be “cloud-based” with most applications in the cloud instead of having to be downloaded. And even though it will initially launched in China, Alibaba doesn’t rule out rolling it out elsewhere, the Journal’s source says.
It’s hard to overestimate how powerful Alibaba is, and how big and important the Chinese market is, so this is worth paying attention to.
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TechWeb suggests that China’s biggest search engine, Baidu, is developing its own Android-based Mobile OS called Qiushi, which will be released by year-end with hopes of dominating the Chinese market by going super local.
While it reinforces the rumor of Baidu’s search-focused light operating system for mobile devices that was revealed a couple of months back, the company continues to deny it by referring to Qiushi as a mobile ad product.
“Mobile internet is an important component of our future strategies. Baidu is hoping to play a key role in the mobile internet field, partnering with operators, content producers, mobile vendors and software developers to push forward the industry development,” said Baidu VP Ren Xuyang.
Creating its own mobile OS would definitely support this vision by seamlessly integrating the different mobile services of Baidu, including its mobile input method, service aggregator, maps, browser and search.
This does not exactly bode well for Apple as China has always been dependent on homegrown, local Internet sites and services.
Not just Apple likes Twitter, Sina Weibo actaully wants to compete:
TechWeb reports that according to informed sources, Sina Weibo is “actively preparing” to release its microblogging platform in English to go directly head on against Twitter, in about 2-3 months.
Earlier this year, Sina announced its plans to monetize its hugely popular microblogging service and since then has been very active with rolling out new features. Probably the most conclusive piece of evidence to support the rumor is the introduction of an English version of its iPhone app last month.
This will make Sina Weibo one of the first Chinese social networks to be launched in the U.S. in English. As of May, Sina Weibo has reached more than 140 million registered users and expects to top 200 million users by the end of the year, making it one of China’s hottest social networks today.
It will be interesting how Sina Weibo will apply the mandatory China censorship to other countries, especially ones that are protected by laws on Internet freedom, which require sites to be completely open.
Twitter, founded in 2006, has more than 300 million registered accounts globally. It is available in English, Spanish, Japanese, German, French, Italian, Korean and other 9 languages, with 70% of traffic from outside the United States.
China has a huge Internet market capable of sustaining itself and despite the hardships for a Chinese Internet company to enter foreign markets, it looks like Sina Weibo has the best shot among social networks.
We reported earlier that Sina Weibo is bigger in China than Twitter is in the US but it’s still hard to compare since they are two very different markets. Being made available in English will certainly even out the playing field that we might be able to tell which microblogging platform is superior.