World's largest carrier inadvertently confirms 4.7- and 5.5-inch models
China Mobile, the top carrier in China with over 800 million subscribers (and more than 20 million LTE users), opened pre-orders for the iPhone 6 to Beijing customers on Tuesday. Surprisingly, the carrier has seemingly confirmed the existence of two models, at 4.7 and 5.5 inches, and reported over 33,000 preorders in the first few hours. Customers can also save a place in line for the (unrevealed) debut date through the company's website.
Weibo posting about Windows 9 Start Menu quickly pulled from view
Microsoft's Chinese business arm may have jumped the gun, by mistakenly promoting Windows 9 too early. The company's regional Weibo account reportedly put an image up promoting the next iteration of Microsoft's operating system along with a question hinting at the Start Menu, a posting which has since been removed from view.
Latest remarks give Microsoft 20 days to respond to anti-trust complaints
China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) has questioned Microsoft Vice President Chen Shi regarding allegations of abuse of Microsoft's monopoly on operating systems, productivity software, and browsers in the country. As part of the questioning, Microsoft has been given 20 days to respond to complaints alleging that Microsoft's use of serialization of software may have violated China's anti-monopoly laws.
Chinese MSN Messenger service closure marks end of app's 15-year life
Microsoft is ready to close the last remnants of MSN Messenger, also known as Windows Live Messenger, on October 31st. Chinese users have reportedly received a notification of its shutdown via e-mail, encouraging users to migrate over to Microsoft's other messaging service, Skype, before the service is terminated in the country.
Microsoft, SAIC refuse comment on reports of executive's travel
Sources close to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella claim that the executive is slated to visit China in late September. While the visit is scheduled, and has been for at least two weeks, unclear is whether Nadella will visit the Chinese government, or attempt to clear up any issues related to the China State Administration for Industry and Commerce's (SAIC) antitrust examination of the software giant.
Apple tries to assuage privacy concerns
Apple is now hosting Chinese iCloud content on a mainland datacenter operated by China Telecom, the company has confirmed to Reuters. Questions were raised when the city of Fuzhou posted a notice on its website confirming the transfer of content to the datacenter, but then retracted the statement. The message indicated that Apple actually began the project 15 months ago, but only finished it on August 8th.
First quarter results from reveal boost in movile devices, desktop computers
Device maker Lenovo has released its financials for the first quarter ending June 30, revealing revenues of $10.4 billion. While the company posted a year-over-year increase in overall revenues, figures from the smartphone sales shows a more revealing number, with sales tallying more than 15.8 million units, an increase of 39 percent. Income increased to $214 million, a 22 percent increase, while earnings grew 23 percent to $214 million. Gross profit increased 13 percent, to $1.3 billion.
Executive outlines technology tied to server reporting, changes including ability to opt-in
Since last month, Chinese phone and tablet manufacturer Xiaomi has been under suspicion of data practices that could be considered harmful to its user base, including the discovery of spyware installed in the Star N9500. Recent reports, and testing by a security firm, indicates that Xiaomi's smart phones, including the RedMi 1S, are reporting information back to servers in China.
Internal memo says Apple is donating to relief charities
(Updated with precise donation figure) Apple CEO Tim Cook has issued an internal memo expressing "deepest sympathies" to the victims of this weekend's earthquake in Yunnan, China, and promoting the company's related charity efforts. "Our deepest sympathies go out to the people of China's Yunnan Province, which was struck by a devastating 6.5-magnitude earthquake over the weekend," he writes. "Nearly 600 people died and over 2400 were injured in the worst earthquake to hit the region in 100 years. Rescuers have evacuated 230,000 people who are now displaced from their homes. The road to Longtoushan Township, the epicenter of the quake, has been blocked by landslides, making the rescue effort there even more challenging.
Apple never applied to be on energy-saving list, all parties say
The Chinese Central Government Procurement Center -- as well as the Finance Ministry, and Apple itself -- have all denied a recent Bloomberg report claiming that Apple had been deliberately excluded from procurement lists for security reasons, according to Reuters. It had been said that Chinese government agencies were newly banned from buying devices like iPads and MacBooks. All three parties involved now say, however, that Apple never applied to be on the list in question to begin with.
Former employees get a $162 phone if they leave, but limited to 300 offers a day
It seems that Microsoft is trying to sweeten the pot to get workers to leave the Nokia factory and research and design center in Beijing. The software company is offering any of the former employees at the Nokia locations a free phone if they voluntarily split from the company. The offer is part of Microsoft's plans to eliminate about 4,700 jobs in the Beijing locations.
Cites security concerns
[Updated with Chinese government denial] The Chinese government has excluded 10 Apple products from its latest procurement list dictating which products can be bought using public funds, according to officials cited by Bloomberg. Among the banned products are all variations of the MacBook and the iPad, but not the iPhone or other Mac models. The products were on a June version of the list, but are said to have been left out as of July due to security worries, though another report quotes government officials as denying this.
Raids focusing on financial data, other marketing information about Windows
New raids by the Chinese State Administration for Industry and Commerce against Microsoft have taken place, related to the ongoing antitrust investigation against the software giant. Raids on Microsoft took place yesterday in Beijing, Liaoning, Fujian, and Hubei, with a related event happening at Microsoft's financial firm Accenture in Dalian.
Firm states that Chinese company overtook Samsung on weak shipment quarter
Research firm Canalys ushered in some less-than-welcome news for Samsung this week, as the firm indicates that the Korean electronics manufacturer has lost the leading smartphone spot in China. Xiaomi, a Chinese manufacturer that has rapidly risen in popularity, has claimed the top spot for market share in the country, dethroning Samsung on the back of weak quarterly results.
Kaspersky, Symantec said to be excluded from procurement lists, could be due to security concerns
One of China's state-sponsored media channels is indicating that the government has removed all foreign-made software from its list of approved security software purchases. Newspaper The People's Daily posted on Twitter yesterday, indicating that Kaspersky and Symantec are now excluded from the country's government procurement channels.
Crowd of over 500 protest 'disrespectful' layoffs, calls acquisition hostile
Chinese Nokia employees staged a protest today, decrying mass layoffs coming as a result of the company's acquisition by Microsoft. Protestors decried "Microsoft's hostile takeover" of the company, and called the layoffs to come "violent" and disrespectful for over five hours. The protesters claim that they will be giving demands to Microsoft later this afternoon.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.