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Microsoft, BesTV bringing Xbox One to China this September

07/30, 12:30pm

Chinese launch of Xbox One follows lifting of foreign game console ban

Microsoft is working with Shanghai Media Group's BesTV on bringing the Xbox One to China for the first time, with the game console set to launch on September 23rd. Timed to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, the console will launch with a number of games in tow, including Forza Motorsport 5, Kinect Sports Rivals, and Max: The Curse of the Brotherhood.

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Microsoft shows Windows Phone 8.1 update, brings Cortana to China, UK

07/30, 9:18am

Cortana available in beta for UK, Chinese markets, alpha in Canada, India, Australia

Microsoft has formally announced its upcoming update to Windows Phone 8.1, one it will be releasing to developers next week. The GDR1 update, leaked earlier this week, introduces a number of new features and other improvements to the mobile operating system, as well as expanding the beta program for the Cortana virtual assistant to five new countries after its initial United States launch.

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China regulators launch antitrust investigation against Microsoft

07/29, 10:19am

Investigation centers on Windows operating system dominant position

Following yesterday's raid on Microsoft offices in China, China's State Administration for Industry & Commerce (SAIC) has officially launched an anti-monopoly investigation into the company's ubiquitous Windows operating system. SAIC claims to have data backing up its investigation from the raids, but says that it cannot complete the investigation until some Microsoft executives come to China.

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Chinese officials make surprise visits to four Microsoft offices

07/28, 4:13pm

Visit tied to investigation, Microsoft states that it will cooperate with officials

Officials from the China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce (AIC) showed up at four Microsoft offices in the country unannounced earlier today. Offices in Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Shanghai received the sudden visits, that could be tied to the start of an antitrust investigation for a presently-unknown reason. The visits come at a time when Microsoft faces scrutiny in the country, over spying allegations and government refusal of Windows 8.

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Wuxi, China Apple Store to open on August 2nd

07/24, 10:26am

Announcement follows quickly after Chongqing

Apple will open its next Chinese store in the city of Wuxi on August 2nd, at 10AM, according to an official listing. The outlet will be based at the Wuxi Hang Lung Plaza, and operate from 10AM to 10PM every day. Wuxi is on the east coast in the cluster of cities near Shanghai, which already has several Apple Stores.

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Briefly: Google Play Store upgrade, Cortana prepares for China launch

07/23, 5:23am

Google rolls out partial Material Design upgrade of Play Store app

Google has started to roll out its rumored changes to the Play Store, in an update to the Android app. Version 4.9.13 brings a number of smaller tweaks, reports Android Police, along with refreshed app and content pages which uses Google's Material Design rules, including an increased use of images and iconography. A future update is expected to roll out Material Design to other aspects of the store.

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Apple Q3 breakdown shows biggest growth in China

07/22, 5:17pm

iPod continues terminal decline

In addition to its official announcement, Apple has also posted a detailed breakdown of its fiscal Q3 results. "Greater China" -- including Taiwan and Hong Kong -- continued to lead the charge regionally, with its revenue increasing 28 percent year-over-year to $5.935 billion. Europe and Asia-Pacific each advanced 6 percent, to $8.091 billion and $2.161 billion, respectively. Apple's most important market, the Americas, rose 1 percent to $14.577 billion. Global retail numbers were up 1 percent to $4.104 billion.

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Apple confirms Chongqing store opening for July 26

07/21, 9:13am

Continues expansion efforts outside of Shanghai and Beijing

A new Apple Store will open in Chongqing, China on July 26 at 10AM local time, according to the company's website. The outlet is situated in the Paradise Walk Mall; it should be a prominent landmark in the area, rising at least three stories tall with a massive glass facade similar to its twin in Shanghai. At present, that facade is covered with a "coming soon" logo featuring colored dots sprayed out from the building's Apple logo.

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Gionee smartphone spotted at Chinese regulator with 5mm-thick body

07/21, 5:54am

Thin Gionee smartphone sacrifices specification for compact body

China could soon see the release of what may be the world's thinnest smartphone. A listing with Chinese regulator TENAA confirms an Android device from Gionee with the model number GN9005 is on the way, with its thickness of just 5mm (0.2 inches) being half a millimeter thinner than the company's own Elife S5.5, and two thirds of the thickness of the iPhone 5s.

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Samsung suspends business with supplier over child labor discovery

07/14, 1:18pm

Dongguan Shinyang Electronics investigation causes company to temporarily halt business

Samsung announced today that it has suspended business with Dongguan Shinyang Electronics after an investigation into child labor practices. Samsung launched an investigation after a July 10 accusation by watchdog group China Labor Watch that it found evidence of child labor at the factory, which supplies Samsung.

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Apple responds to China media report of iOS 'national security issue'

07/12, 3:00pm

Apple defines what location tracking does, how it works

Apple has responded to Chinese government media allegations of the iPhone and iPad being a national security threat. A Chinese-language statement titled "Your Location Privacy" has been posted by the Cupertino manufacturer, with the company guaranteeing that it won't track users, or share information location with outsiders. Additionally, it claims that the "frequent locations" feature touted for iOS8 will just "quickly and reliably determine their current locations for specific activities such as shopping, travel, finding the nearest restaurant or calculating the amount of time it takes them to get to work," and not leak any personal data.

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Beats files suit against Chinese counterfeiters with fake storefronts

07/11, 2:50pm

Case could be worth billions of dollars

Speaker and headphone maker Beats -- currently undergoing an acquisition by Apple -- has filed a lawsuit against a collection of Chinese counterfeiters, asking for billions of dollars in damages. "This action has been filed by Beats to combat online counterfeiters who trade upon Beats' reputation and goodwill by selling and/or offering for sale unlicensed and counterfeit products featuring Beats' trademarks," the complaint reads. "The Defendants create [fake Internet storefronts] by the hundreds or even thousands and design them to appear to be selling genuine Beats products, while actually selling low-quality Counterfeit Beats Products to unknowing consumers."

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Chinese state TV calls iOS 7's Frequent Locations 'security concern'

07/11, 9:48am

Claims data could be used to glean state secrets

State-run China Central Television has called iOS 7's Frequent Locations function a "national security concern" in a noon broadcast, according to the Wall Street Journal. The report quoted researchers as saying that people with access to the underlying data could get a glimpse of the broader Chinese situation, or "even state secrets." Electronic security has become a sensitive topic for the Chinese government in the wake of leaks from Edward Snowden, revealing that the NSA is spying on Chinese leaders, and that American businesses have willingly or unwillingly provided the NSA with access to demanded data.

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Samsung child labor violations spotted in Chinese phone factory

07/10, 1:06pm

Shinyang Electronics audit finds 15 violations of child labor laws

Samsung has come under fire for use of underage employees at one of its Chinese supplier factories. Watchdog group China Labor Watch alleges that it has found children and underage students at Shinyang Electronics in Dongguan, China -- contrary to a June 30 report by the company which found no violations by the Korean hardware giant.

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New Foxconn robots to serve in supporting role, report says

07/09, 10:22am

May minimize job losses

Foxconn's upcoming robot deployment on Apple-based production lines will only be in a supportive role, leaving human jobs mostly intact, claims Taiwan's United Daily News. Sources say that the robots will help in tasks like locking down screws and polishing parts, leaving the most essential tasks -- namely assembly and quality control -- to people. The sources add that the robots will first be used at Foxconn's Zhengzhou factory, where flagship iPhones are built.

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Beijing court upholds Zhizhen patent in dispute over Siri

07/09, 9:15am

Appeal already in works

Beijing's No. 1 Intermediate People's Court has upheld a 2006 Zhizhen patent challenged by Apple, says China's official Xinhua news agency. Zhizhen filed suit against Apple in 2012, accusing it of violating a patent used for its "Little I Robot" voice-controlled assistant with Siri, the voice command system used in iOS. Apple though sued Zihizhen and China's Patent Review Committee late last year, with the hope that the court would render Zhizhen's patent invalid.

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Oculus VR halts Chinese Oculus Rift sales over orders from scalpers

07/04, 2:31pm

Oculus Rift intended for developers, not for resale at a profit

The Oculus Rift has managed to achieve over 100,000 developer kit sales, but not without some issues. The Facebook-owned company, Oculus VR, has been forced to suspend sales of the virtual reality headset to Chinese customers, with many orders to the country canceled under the suspicion that Oculus Rift headsets are being resold at a profit, instead of being used by developers as the company intended.

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Xiaomi boasts large phone sales numbers for first half of 2014

07/02, 4:04pm

Chinese manufacturer continues market growth with 26.1 million phones sold

Smartphone and tablet manufacturer Xiaomi announced that it hit a major sales milestone this year. The China-based company announced today that it sold 26.1 million phones in the first half of 2014. A triple-digit increase over the same point as last year, Xiaomi is looking for greater growth by the end of the year as it hopes to gain an even greater market share.

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Apple begins hiring for six new Chinese Apple Stores

06/30, 10:34am

Includes three previously unknown locations

Job listings on Apple's Chinese website are now calling for managers for six new Apple Stores, Bloomberg notes. In particular the company is building outlets in Tianjin, Wuxi, Zhengzhou, Chongqing, Shenyang, and Hangzhou. The latter three were rumored last week.

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Foxconn to recruit over 100,000 to help build new iPhone

06/23, 9:21am

Pegatron also boosting workforce

Hon Hai -- better known as Foxconn -- is preparing to hire some 100,000 people in mainland China to help manufacture new iPhones, says Taiwan's Economic Daily News. The effort is described as the company's largest-ever Chinese hiring spree. Another major Apple supplier, Pegatron, is meanwhile said to be boosting labor at a mainland factory by 30 percent for the sake of iPhone production. Foxconn is expected to handle 70 percent of orders, while Pegatron will deal with the remainder.

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Chinese officials let Microsoft's anti-Android patents out of the bag

06/17, 4:55pm

Regulators reviewing Nokia deal find 310 patents Microsoft leverage against Android

After the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) approved Microsoft's purchase of Nokia's device and services business, Microsoft was found to have 200 patent families necessary to build Android phones. In the process of posting news on the merger approval, however, the MOFCOM posted a list of 310 Microsoft patents that Android could be infringing upon.

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Apple announces slate of 2014 summer Apple Camps

06/17, 9:18am

Includes separate iMovie, iBooks workshops

Apple has opened registration for the 2014 edition of its annual Apple Camps. The program is aimed at teaching creative projects to kids aged 8 to 12 while simultaneously promoting Apple products. This year, two sets of three-day workshops are available: one is dedicated to creating a short film using iMovie and the iPad version of GarageBand, while the other involves producing an interactive book using iBooks Author and illustrations done on an iPad.

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Sources detail Ahrendts' restructuring of Apple retail, new stores

06/16, 3:35pm

Four new Chinese stores in next few months

Angela Ahrendts' plans for Apple Retail include restructuring how stores are currently grouped, sources say. At the moment stores are linked by their geography, such that all the locations in Texas, for instance, are considered within the same region. In some cases that grouping is smaller, one example being the shops in California's Bay Area.

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Report: New China Apple Store will again use 'glass cylinder' design

06/12, 8:37pm

Chongqing store to borrow iconic look from Shanghai store, be located below ground

As part of Apple's effort to dramatically increase its retail presence in China over the next two years, a new store intended for the mega-municipality of Chongqing may copy an iconic design from its sister store in Shanghai: a large glass cylinder that serves as a landmark and entrance while the actual store is located below ground. A rendering of the proposed store shows plans for a glass cylinder kiosk entryway, though the store will also have a second entrance nearby.

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Chinese state media demands US tech company punishment for NSA actions

06/04, 9:37am

Tech companies declared 'pawns' of US government surveillance program

Chinese state media is calling for the country's government to penalize US technology companies for their alleged roles in the National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance row. The People's Daily and China Daily accuse companies including Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Apple of helping the US government to monitor and threaten the security of users in China, asking for Beijing to "punish severely the pawns."

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Apple reportedly asks Chinese authorities for help on iPhone 6 leaks

05/30, 2:42pm

Crackdown on iPhone accessory leaks said to involve 200 security officers

Apple is attempting to prevent leaks for the iPhone 6 from slipping out, by allegedly getting help from Chinese authorities. The company is said to be concerned enough about leaks for the smartphone that it is going after accessory manufacturers who are producing items specifically for the iPhone 6, just in case any important details are accidentally made public before Apple's unveiling.

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US government weighs blocking Chinese hackers from DefCon, Black Hat

05/26, 3:51pm

Denying visas to possible attendees considered over Chinese hacking indictment

Members of the US government are considering issuing visa restrictions on Chinese nationals seeking to attend DefCon and Black Hat. The effort would be aimed at computer hackers coming to the Las Vegas conferences from China in order to keep them from attending. These efforts would be "part of a broader effort to curb Chinese cyber espionage," an official told Reuters.

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Sony's agreement with OPCD sets stage for Playstation 4 sale in China

05/25, 7:31pm

Partnership will see console manufactured in free trade zone, companies formed

Following the lift of the ban on foreign console sales in China in January, Sony has confirmed that the Playstation 4 will be coming to the country. A deal with Shanghai-based Oriental Pearl Culture Department (OPCD) has been announced that will see manufacture of the console in the country, inside of Shanghai's free trade zone.

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China Mobile: half of all LTE subscribers are iPhone users

05/22, 11:23am

High-end cellular data market small but growing rapidly, says CEO

The head of the world's largest cellular provider, China Mobile's CEO Li Yue, has revealed that about half of the 2.8 million TD-LTE "4G" subscribers on his network are iPhone users. While dwarfed by the total number of customers China Mobile has -- some 780 million -- the figure suggest that the iPhone is the preferred brand as Chinese customers transition from "feature" phones to LTE-capable smartphones.

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China bans Windows 8 from government computers over support concerns

05/20, 10:07am

End of Windows XP support pushes China to avoid Windows 8

China has banned the use of Windows 8 on new computers used by the government, citing security issues. The limited lifetime of support for Microsoft operating systems, as evidenced recently with Windows XP, is said to have forced the government to decree all desktops, notebooks, and tablet PCs to run any other operating system than Windows 8.

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US charges Chinese military with cyber-spying for tech trade secrets

05/20, 12:15am

Chinese government angered, promises retaliation if case goes forward

US Attorney General Eric Holder announced on late on Monday that the federal government was formally charging five military officials in the Chinese government's People's Army with cyber-spying and espionage, claiming that the perpetrators hacked into US tech companies in search of nuclear and solar techonology, business and trade secrets and other internal communications for competitive advantage.

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Ahrendts aiming at major overhaul of Apple retail

05/19, 3:04pm

Changes should impact physical, online worlds

Apple's new retail head, Angela Ahrendts, intends to make major changes to the company's operations, sources claim. One example is in China, where plans involve growing from 10 stores to 30 by 2016. That pace is unusually rapid, since the company typically adds no more than 30 or so locations worldwide in a year.

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Foxconn shutters Vietnamese production in response to violence

05/16, 10:51am

Anti-Chinese sentiment impacts Taiwanese firm

Prominent Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn has been forced to shut down its production in Vietnam for three days due to anti-Chinese protests in the country, says the Financial Times. China recently began drilling for oil near the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, a region claimed by China, Vietnam, and Taiwan alike. Confrontations between Chinese and Vietnamese boats has led to hostility between the two countries' governments, and anti-Chinese violence by some in the Vietnamese public. 21 people have been killed so far, and protesters have ransacked factories near Ho Chi Minh City thought to be linked to China, regardless of whether they actually are.

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China's smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi nears launch of first tablet

05/11, 4:45pm

Tech company expands device offerings with seven inch tablet following phablet release

A new tablet referred to as the "MiPad" is soon to be released from Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi. The launch of a tablet follows on from Xiaomi's release of the Redmi Note, a 5.5-inch phablet that allegedly sold 1,000,000 units in 34 minutes upon its release in March.

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Briefly: Uber in Beijing, Madame Tussauds creates Zuckerberg waxwork

04/24, 8:09am

Uber launches in Beijing, China, operates in 100 markets

Transportation service Uber has launched its service in its 100th market, with Beijing, China being the milestone location. The new addition to Uber's roster comes just under four years after the service first started in San Francisco, with the company also launching a commemorative page showing all locations it currently operates and highlighting Uber stories posted on Twitter.

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Apple Q2 numbers show lower iPad revenue, growth in China and Japan

04/23, 5:30pm

Retail revenues virtually flat

As a part of announcing its second-quarter results, Apple has also posted a detailed breakdown (PDF), exposing further facts. They reveal, for instance, that Apple's iPad revenues dropped 16.4 percent year-over-year, shifting from roughly $8.7 billion to $7.6 billion. The company has typically seen continuous growth for the iPad, but units fell from just under 19.5 million to 16.3 million. Cook later clarified that inventory changes made the drop seem much more dramatic than it actually was in terms of end-user sales.

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Microsoft, Nokia gain Chinese approval for $7.2B acquisition

04/08, 6:18am

Approval from Chinese Ministry of Commerce brings purchase closer to completion

The acquisition of Nokia's Devices and Services arm by Microsoft has been given the green light by Chinese authorities, both companies have revealed. The approval by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) brings the $7.2 billion purchase one step closer to completion, and brings the total number of markets approving the deal to 16.

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Chinese iPhone 5s demand disappointing, analyst says

04/04, 10:37am

Vendors looking forward to big-screen iPhones

Carriers and other vendors in China are seeing relatively weak demand for the iPhone 5s, suggests Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White. White is currently touring the country and speaking with various parties. Instead demand is said to be rising for various local smartphone brands, like Xiaomi. Vendors are, however, said to be expressing "great enthusiasm around the potential for Apple to introduce a larger iPhone form factor in China this year with the iPhone 6."

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China now selling TD-LTE compatible iPad Air, iPad mini

03/31, 8:55pm

First time iPad buyers will have access to China's limited LTE network

Apple has revealed that China Mobile and its other Chinese telecom partners -- along with its own stores and resellers -- are carrying a special model of the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display that is specific to the Chinese market, and compatible with the country's proprietary TD-SCDMA wireless standard, meaning new iPad buyers can now use the tablets on China's limited TD-LTE cellular network, which is mostly limited to the biggest cities. The Chinese iPads are separate models from the ones sold outside China.

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Judge: Baidu exercising 'editorial control,' not Internet censorship

03/29, 11:43am

Lawsuit sought financial renumeration, not change in business strategy

District Judge Jesse Furman of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York has ruled in Chinese search engine giant Baidu's favor, shutting down an Internet censorship lawsuit. Furman called the blocking of pro-democracy websites "editorial control" by Baidu, and noted that nothing was preventing US users from using different search engines, such as Google or Bing.

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China Mobile adds 1 million iPhone users in February

03/20, 10:44am

Expansion may be hampered by limited 4G network

China Mobile added some 1 million new iPhone customers during the month of February, according to the company's annual earnings statement. Despite being the world's largest wireless carrier, it only formally launched iPhone sales in mid-January, well after rivals China Unicom and China Telecom. "We are happy with the progress as we are still building our 4G network and the coverage is only available in some major cities," comments China Mobile chairman Xi Gouhua.

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Nokia X reaches 1M pre-order milestone in China after four days

03/14, 3:05pm

Android-based Nokia smartphone sees high sales before release

Nokia's first attempt at an Android-based smartphone may be a success in one country before it's even been released, according to the company's social media accounts. The Nokia X, first shown at Mobile World Congress last month, has apparently received more than 1 million pre-orders in China alone, after being made available to customers just four days ago.

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Report: Apple owns high-end smartphone market in China already

03/14, 2:05am

Segment constitutes more than a quarter of entire smartphone base

A study in China by app and mobile advertising analytics firm Umeng shows that Apple's consistent smartphone strategy of leaving the low end of markets to others (what CEO Tim Cook calls "junk devices") and targeting affluent users as influencers has again resulted in high profitability and potentially surprising share in the face of a flood of competitors. Despite having only recently emerged to a full national presence on all the top carriers in China, Apple is said to already account for 80 percent of the $500-or-more segment of the Chinese smartphone market.

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Apple runs hiring spree in China and Taiwan to speed up development

03/03, 9:47am

HTC allegedly among poaching targets

Apple has been hiring "hundreds" of new engineers and supply chain managers in China and Taiwan, according to sources for the Wall Street Journal. In particular the company is said to be building up teams in Shanghai and Taipei to accelerate product development and ship a wider range of devices. The supply managers may be at least partly meant to cope with allegations of labor and safety abuses at supplier factories.

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Apple sues Chinese government, Zhizhen in Siri-related patent dispute

02/24, 10:50am

Alleges government failed to invalidate Zhizhen voice recognition patent

Apple has filed a lawsuit against China's State Intellectual Property Office, as well as Shanghai company Zhizhen Network Technology, according to news agencies Xinhua and Agence France-Presse. Zhizhen owns a voice recognition patent which Apple previously asked the SIPO to invalidate. The lawsuit is due to reach the Intermediate People's Court on Thursday.

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iPhone leads to surge in China Mobile's high-speed data subscribers

02/20, 4:07pm

Rival carriers see stagnation

China Mobile added 14 million more high-speed data subscribers in January, a growth faster than at any other time in its history, according to data from Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White. The 7.4 percent increase is attributed mainly to the iPhone, which Mobile started selling on January 17th. In December, by contrast, Mobile's high-speed base grew by less than 6 percent.

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WSJ: iPhone jumps to seven percent share in China

02/18, 10:48pm

Recent release of iPhone 5 lineup prompts one percent rise

Apple is now the fifth-largest cellphone maker in China, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal based on numbers from analyst firm IDC. The iPhone maker leapt a full percentage point in the last quarter of 2013 on the strength of its iPhone 5s and 5c, and the report does not even include sales from China Mobile, with which Apple finally inked a deal in December. The surge in sales moved the iPhone into a seven percent share of the smartphone market.

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Briefly: Sony sells 5.3M PS4 consoles, Dropbox China block lifted

02/18, 6:53am

Sony shifts 5.3M PlayStation 4 consoles, beats recent Xbox sales figures

Sony has sold over 5.3 million PlayStation 4 game consoles globally as of February 8th, the company has revealed. The news comes just days before the company launches the console in its native Japan on February 22nd. In comparison, Microsoft's January financial results toward the end of January showed it sold 3.9 million competing Xbox One consoles and 3.5 million of the Xbox 360.

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HTC teases Desire 8 in China while new M8 photograph leaks

02/17, 12:53pm

HTC Desire 8 launching in China this month

HTC has confirmed the existence of its upcoming Desire 8 smartphone, via a teaser on the company's Weibo account, at the same time as a separate leak shows the apparently-metallic appearance to the HTC M8. The Desire 8 image states there will be a launch on February 24th in Beijing, China for the phablet, which is currently believed to have a 5.5-inch display, with the launch date hinting at a dual launch at the same time as the opening day of Mobile World Congress.

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Apple releases iOS 7.0.5 for iPhone 5s, 5c

01/29, 1:33pm

Fixes problems with Chinese cellular networks

Apple is now seeding a rare iPhone-only iOS update, v7.0.5. The release is intended exclusively for the iPhone 5s and 5c, and deals with unspecified "network provisioning" problems on some Chinese models. For people who already have iOS 7.0.4 installed, the download is just 35.4MB when fetched via Software Update.

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