SkyscraperCity Forum banner

China-Global Brands

45578 Views 1050 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  kunming tiger
Chinese brands are rising globally
By Mike Bastin (China Daily)

Domestic firms have gained consumer trust with their competitive goods in world markets

It is that time of year again, when the annual BrandZ report on the most valuable global brands is published. The highlights this year are not too dissimilar to those of previous years: The rise of Chinese brands globally and the impressive purchasing power of Chinese consumers.

Both of these represent great news for European brands, with whom increasingly competitive Chinese brands are seeking to form alliances to continue to expand internationally. At the same time, alliances with Chinese brands will enable European brands to penetrate the Chinese market and cash in on the purchasing power of Chinese consumers.

Specifically, BrandZ 2015 places 14 Chinese brands in the world's top 100 most valuable brands. Ten years ago, only one Chinese brand made the top 100.

This international expansion is all the more spectacular for the following BrandZ findings: 25 percent of this year's top risers are Chinese brands, and three of this year's seven new entrants are Chinese brands. The newcomers perhaps exemplify the rapid rise internationally of Chinese brands, as well as the changing nature of the Chinese economy, away from low-cost manufacturing and heavy industry to technology and innovation-focused privately-owned brands.

Highest-ranked of this year's new entrants is Alibaba, which splashes in at 13th, two places behind Tencent, the highest ranked Chinese brand overall. Tencent, whose many offerings include the social messaging app WeChat and a range of e-commerce services and multiplayer online games, and Alibaba, China's e-commerce behemoth that raised $21.8 billion at its New York initial public offering late last year, are prime examples that typify the new, emerging Chinese economy in which private companies with modern, market-oriented business models are increasingly dominant.

Huawei and China Telecom, another two Chinese brands that have entered the top 100 for the first time this year, ranked 70th and 99th, respectively, provide further, demonstrable proof of a sizeable shift toward technology and entrepreneurship across Chinese industry.

In particular, Huawei, a leading multinational networking and telecommunications equipment company whose headquarters are in Shenzhen, has expanded most impressively internationally. In 2012, for example, Huawei overtook Ericsson to become the largest telecoms equipment manufacturer in the world, and now sells products and services in more than 140 countries.

Of particular note to European firms should be Huawei's international expansion strategy, which is based solidly on long-term alliances. Huawei serves 45 of the world's 50 largest telecoms operators.

Huawei is the second highest-ranked newcomer, behind Alibaba.

Among China's now numerous technology companies that have achieved international success recently is Baidu, the Internet search engine, which has been listed on the Nasdaq for several years. BrandZ 2015 ranks Baidu as the 21st most valuable brand in the world, up four places on last year, with a 35 percent increase in brand value year-on-year.

Baidu's international expansion activities appear to be behind its recent brand value increase. European potential partners should be aware of the now global vision at Baidu and many Chinese companies. Baidu's takeover late last year of Brazilian company Peixe Urbano, the Brazilian equivalent of Groupon, exemplifies its global expansion strategy.

Chinese brands are also leading the way compared with other fast-growing regions and countries. Only one of the highest-valued Asian brands is not Chinese, and only seven other Asian brands find themselves in the world's most valuable 100, alongside 14 Chinese brands.

Furthermore, despite China's recent economic slowdown, its brands contribute eight of the top 10 ranked Asian brands, the other two being Samsung (6th) and Toyota (8th).

BrandZ also reports on the growth of brands across emerging nations such as Brazil, Russia, India and China (along with South Africa they make up the BRICS bloc), the four countries often cited as the new engine of global economic growth. China and its brands also shine brightly here. None of the top Brazilian brands have made it into the BrandZ 2015 top 100.

BrandZ 2015 provides a separate section on the BRICS in which it is made clear that Russian brands remain relatively weak compared with Chinese competitors, and even Indian brands have struggled to grow internationally. No Indian or Russian brands appear in the top 100.

This year's BrandZ report cites the robust purchasing power of Chinese consumers as one of the key drivers of brand value growth, despite the relative slowdown in the Chinese economy. Combined with the increased competitiveness of Chinese brands, this provides huge opportunities for European brands and their penetration plans for the Chinese market.

BrandZ 2015 also researched perceptions of "Made in China" and "Brand China", looking at the image associated with China-made products and Chinese brands around the world.

It found that North American and Western European consumers' perceptions of Chinese brands have changed markedly in recent years. In particular, technology brands are no longer tainted with the low-cost, low-quality image that had dogged many Chinese companies for many years.

However, it is also important for many British and European brand producers to take note of the BrandZ 2015 findings on changes in the behavior of Chinese consumers. Consistent with my research in recent years, BrandZ reveals that Western brands have lost their mystique and the automatic allure they once commanded in the minds of many Chinese consumers. Improved competitiveness among many Chinese brands has contributed to the typical Chinese consumer now taking longer and thinking more rationally over many brand choices. Western brands such as Chanel and other previously invincible brands are no longer perceived as automatically superior.

BrandZ also reports that Chinese consumers, via careful consideration of the Chinese Dream, now engage and identify more with brands that build an image in the consumers' minds based on Chinese brand associations.

As a result, BrandZ 2015 is perhaps pointing more and more to the need for more Sino-European brand tie-ups, where a symbiotic relationship should help both partners penetrate each other's geographic market.

Above all, BrandZ 2015 forecasts the continued international rise of Chinese brands as well as the growing importance of Chinese consumers' purchasing power.

The message to European brand producers, therefore, is clear: Identify a suitable Chinese brand partner and consider a Chinese image for the Chinese market.
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 1
41 - 60 of 1051 Posts
TCL, LeTV in HK$2.2b strategic deal

TCL Corp and LeTV Holdings Co Ltd - two of the mainland's leading electronics and television conglomerates - have struck up a strategic pact to ride out the stiff competition in the television industry.

The two companies announced the tie-up in Shenzhen on Monday after the country's major online video company LeTV bought 348.9 million shares of TCL Multimedia Technology Holdings Ltd at HK$6.5 per share through its subsidiary LeTV Zhixin Electronic Technology (Tianjin) Co Ltd.

Total investment came to HK$2.27 billion, making LeTV the second-largest shareholder in TCL Multimedia with about 20 percent of the shares.

TCL Corp, based in Huizhou, Guangdong province, and Beijing-based LeTV Holdings said that with capital cooperation, they will jointly develop high-quality innovative products and other vertically integrated services to leverage their combined user base and transform it into a new business model.

TCL said it might jointly launch a new product in future, but the most possible cooperation format for now is to insert LeTV content and UI (user interface) system into its new televisions.

The deal signals a major strategy deviation by key industry players as traditional TV manufacturers and Internet firms have been steadfast competitors in the past.

"We used to look down on each other and even dream of eliminating each other's business," said Bo Lianming, chief executive officer of TCL Multimedia.

But now, both sides have found each other beneficial -both sides will share their user and supply chain resources. So far, LeTV has about 4 million smart TV users, while TCL has 11 million.

Jia Yueting, founder and chief executive of LeTV, said he was impressed by TCL's comprehensive supply chain of hardware products, adding that their cooperation can accelerate LeTV's globalization effort.

Getting a hold in overseas markets is also a prime target of the deal. Ablikim Ablimit, vice-president of strategy management at LeTV, said LeTV plans to penetrate further into foreign markets after having launched operations in the US.

TCL has developed its overseas markets for about a decade, while LeTV has many international intelligent properties. Bo believes that TCL's international resources can substantially save LeTV's globalization costs, and their tie-up is a win-win strategy to help Chinese brands "go out".

TCL estimates its television sales will hit 17 million globally this year, while LeTV expects three million this year and double it in 2016, focusing on the middle- and high-end markets.

Fan Yang, an analyst at Guotai Juan Securities, said the market has long regarded the LeTV model and that of traditional TV producers as being at odds, but such strategic cooperation shows they want to seek out a direction in the industry.

TCL Multimedia Technology Holdings saw its share price slip 3.03 percent to close at HK$4.8 in Hong Kong on Monday, while the Hang Seng Index shed 0.74 percent.
See less See more
Hello Huawei, Xiaomi, bye-bye big brands

At the first staff meeting of the year, when everybody seemed to be stealing a glance at their cellphones now and then, I did a quick check on which was the most popular brand with my colleagues.

Apple? Samsung? Nope, guess again. It was Huawei.

Personally, I've been an early adopter of the Chinese brand and I'm using a big, sleek Mate 8 that is its latest flagship product. But only a year ago, I had to explain to almost everybody in my office that Huawei, though cheaper, was almost as good as my old Samsung. They might have found it difficult to understand. They were Apple fans who went gaga over every new iPhone launch.

Earlier still, I had removed the "Sent from my Huawei" signature at the bottom of the e-mail app and I would leave the device in my pocket when I met people, because Chinese brands were often associated with low-income laborers.

My decision to switch to Huawei was based on value for money, after I realized that my love affair with more expensive top brands was always short and costly. Each cellphone had lasted only a year or two either because I lost it or it began to malfunction for some reason. Huawei turned out to be a good substitute with the optimum combination of functions and costs.

My only concern then was that it didn't have the same status as an iPhone, and a cellphone is often the first thing that people notice about you. But to my relief, Huawei has caught up fast as a visible accessory, eyeing Apple and Samsung's share in the premium-end markets.

Sometimes, when a colleague and I exchange a WeChat post or a video, both with a Huawei or Xiaomi in our hands, I wonder if the tipping point for the much-anticipated "Made in China" upgrade has already arrived, at least for consumer electronics, while shoddy, inferior products and services are still a daily reality.

Decades ago, Japanese television sets, refrigerators and video players were considered luxury possessions that were available only to the rich and the privileged who shunned Chinese products. Now, people often prefer indigenous brands for their smarter features and more generous promotions.

During Spring Festival in February, Chinese tourists in Japan snapped up Japanese condoms, sanitary pads, nail clippers and other cheap items. But it might be good news to some Chinese makers that the domestic fever for Japanese electronic gadgets, including rice cookers and toilet seats, has vanished.

Some of the most successful Chinese companies have aspired to be globally competitive multinational groups through acquisitions as well as innovation. Chery Automobile, a Chinese carmaker, has probably gone several status symbol levels beyond its former self by producing Chery Jaguar Land Rover through a business tie-up.

But it's the Chinese smartphones that are leading the rise of the Chinese manufacturers, as they become a status symbol in their own right.

Contact the writer at [email protected]
See less See more
Baidu reports 33% jump in Q4 revenue
By Meng Jing (

China's Internet giant Baidu Inc reported on Friday a 33 percent jump in its revenue in the fourth quarter, beating Wall Street expectation.

The company, which is dubbed as China's Google, saw its revenue between October and December rise 33.1 percent year-on-year to 18.7 billion yuan ($2.89 billion).

Robin Li, chief executive officer, said in the earning release that the year 2015 was a touchstone year for Baidu as the company made significant progress in broadening its online marketing platform and further extending its reach into transactions services.

"Even as China's overall growth slows, services and domestic consumption are growing. Services and domestic consumption-related verticals are supported by the government's Internet+ initiative and hold tremendous potential," he said.

Retail and e-commerce, local services, financial service, healthcare and education are the top sectors generating Baidu's revenue.

The Beijing-based company saw it net income increase 663 percent year-on-year in the four quarter to 24.71 billion yuan.

"We are very pleased to deliver a strong set of results in the fourth quarter. In 2015, we further executed on our vision to connect people with services and drove strong momentum in this area," said Jennifer Li, the chief financial officer. "We look forward to continuing this journey in 2016 to further build out Baidu's online marketing and transactions services platform."
See less See more
Huawei to open new office in Seattle, go on hiring spree

Huawei Technologies will open a new office in Bellevue, Washington, this month and hire as many as 100 workers at the location.

Huawei Technologies North America's research and development office will be staffed by up to 100 workers by 2017, according to William Plummer, vice-president of external affairs.

The North American unit of the Chinese telecommunications giant currently has a small office in Kirkland, Washington. Its North American website and LinkedIn page both had open positions for the Bellevue location. Bellevue is about 12 miles east of Seattle.

The office building, the Plaza Center Bellevue, is located in the heart of Bellevue's business district. Huawei's lease is for 11,000 square feet on the fifth floor.

Grant Yerke, a senior vice-president at Broderick Group, a Bellevue real estate company, said it is not enough space for 100 employees, but the company may have an option to expand.

The Greater Seattle area is a hot spot for tech companies, not only because it is the home to Microsoft, T-Mobile and Expedia, but also for its healthy ecosystem, the talent pool for tech company development, and its lower costs compared with Silicon Valley in Northern California.

In 2010, Facebook opened its first engineering office outside of Silicon Valley in Seattle. Google is expanding its existing Kirkland campus, significantly boosting its presence in the Seattle region.

"I believe Huawei chose the area because it is the center of the development of cloud computing technology," said Zhaohui Tang, CEO of adSage, a Chinese digital advertising technology company that also has an office in Bellevue. "A big benefit is that the city is filled with skilled programmers and developers who have expertise in the cloud and all its capabilities," said Bill Liu. He is president of the Association of Technology and Innovation, an organization that promotes entrepreneurship, technical leadership and technical exchange between China and the US.
"The city is excited Huawei has chosen Bellevue as the site for their new R&D center," said James Henderson, economic development director for Bellevue, in an article on

Huawei grew its shipments by nearly 45 percent in 2015 and is one of the world's top smartphone makers. The company is engaged in some 100 research projects with more than 50 universities in the United States

More than 70,000 of Huawei's 150,000 global employees work in R&D. At CES 2016, Huawei said it expects to surpass Apple in the next two to three years, and then pass Samsung by 2021, ultimately becoming the world's largest smartphone manufacturer.

Huawei Technologies Co Ltd is based in Shenzhen, Guangdong province. Founded in 1988 by Ren Zhengfei, it is the largest telecommunications-equipment maker in the world.
See less See more
China urges US to stop sanctions against ZTE

BEIJING -- China urged the United States to stop imposing sanctions against telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp for alleged violation of US export controls on Iran.

"We hope the US side can stop the wrong decision to prevent harming our trade cooperation and the bilateral relations," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei Monday in Beijing.

Hong told a daily press conference that China always opposes incidents where the United States uses its domestic laws to impede Chinese companies.

It is reported by Reuters that the US Commerce Department is set to place export restrictions on ZTE. The restrictions will make it difficult for the company to acquire US products by requiring ZTE's suppliers to apply for an export license before shipping any American-made equipment or parts to ZTE
See less See more
China hits back at US over restrictions on ZTE
By Gao Yuan and Zhong Nan (China Daily)

Company says it is working toward a resolution of the issue

Chinese officials on Tuesday hit back at the United States over its decision to impose restrictions on telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp for allegedly selling products to Iran in violation of sanctions.

Calling the restrictions "not a correct way" to handle economic disputes, Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters the approach "only hurts others without necessarily benefiting oneself".

The US Commerce Department on Monday banned US suppliers from selling components to Guangdong-based ZTE. It claimed the company "illicitly exported" controlled items to Iran and its suppliers in the US will need to apply for a hard-to-get permit before selling products to ZTE again.

ZTE said the company is "fully committed" to compliance with the laws and regulations in the jurisdictions in which it operates.

"ZTE has been cooperating, will continue to cooperate and communicate with all US agencies as required. The company is working expeditiously toward a resolution of this issue," it said in a statement.

ZTE, whose 2015 revenue exceeded 100 billion yuan ($15 billion), has suspended trading in its stocks on the Shenzhen and Hong Kong exchanges since Monday.

The Ministry of Commerce also criticized the US restrictions on the country's second-largest telecom equipment maker.

"The US move will severely impair the normal commercial activities of the Chinese firm. China will continue to engage with the US side on the issue," the ministry said in a statement.

James Yan, research director at consultancy Counterpoint Technology Market Research, said the hardest-hit area will be chip supply.

ZTE relies heavily on San Diego, California-based semiconductor firm Qualcomm Inc for mobile chips. The company's other major US suppliers include programmable logic devices makers Xilinx Inc and Altera Corp.

"I believe ZTE will team up with the Ministry of Commerce and its major partners in the US, including Qualcomm, to negotiate with the US authorities," said Yan.

Qualcomm and other suppliers have yet to comment on the case.

Because of robust sales of its inexpensive prepaid devices, ZTE is the fourth-largest smartphone vendor in the United States by shipment, taking about a 7 percent market share, according to research firm International Data Corp. Its sales channels include major telecom carriers such as AT&T Inc, T-Mobile US Inc and Sprint Corp.

However, ZTE's presence in the world's most profitable handset market lags far behind the front runners Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.

It is not the first time ZTE has faced tough scrutiny in the US.

In 2013, the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee conducted a hearing on ZTE and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd to see if their US operations were a risk to information security. Huawei and ZTE were bidding on a number of telecom infrastructure projects in the US at the time.

Both companies have since been unable to clinch major telecom construction deals in the country.

ZTE is focusing on telecom network construction projects in China, the Middle East and Europe as well as global smartphone sales for its profits.

The company reported a net profit of almost 3.78 billion yuan last year, a 43 percent jump year-on-year. The Chinese company attributed the growth to 4G network expansion in China and handset sales around the globe.
See less See more
Xiaomi CEO: Win or lose, Go match a 'landmark event'

Lei Jun, CEO of Xiaomi Corp, is taking a keen interest in the matchup between Google's artificial intelligence program AlphaGo as it squares up against world champion Lee Sedol in the ancient Chinese board game Go.

Artificial intelligence is quickly developing, and computers will beat the best human players in a Go match "sooner or later", Lei said Thursday.

It may be sooner rather than later.

AlphaGo won its second game on Thursday against Lee, 33 of South Korea. The five-game match is set to run through next Tuesday at a hotel in central Seoul, unless AlphaGo upsets Lee once more.

Lei told China Daily on Thursday that Xiaomi has established an R&D team working on artificial intelligence, or AI, as it's very important supporting technology for robotics.

"Virtual reality and robotics are two directions for Xiaomi to explore in the future. We have invested in four companies related to robotics and we are setting up our own project to develop robots,” Lei said, adding that the companies are developing both service and industrial robots.

Lei said that he learned to play Go as a child, and as a deputy to the National People's Congress, he was keeping track of the match despite a busy schedule of meetings during the two sessions in Beijing.

He posted a comment on his Sina Weibo, a popular microblogging service in China, about the game, writing, "Whether the computer wins or loses, its match against a top human Go player is another landmark event!”

"The Go game may be the most difficult project for AI because there are so many possible changes and to win the game, players must consider the overall situation rather than fix their eyes on several parts,” Lei said.

"That's why AI stayed equal to amateur human Go players in the past 20 or 30 years, with such a big gap that people didn't think computers can leap over and beat mankind in a Go game.”

But the tech-savvy entrepreneur is confident that AI development will surpass people's expectations.

"A computer is good at calculation and a properly designed AI model can give a computer 'instincts' to avoid unnecessary calculations and respond to changes quickly,” Lei said. "A computer is good at numeracy, which is vital to winning a Go game.”

Deep learning is a hot issue in AI in recent years and researchers have made some breakthroughs, Lei said.

For example, "Xiaomi's R&D team on artificial intelligence has invented the function of face recognition on the Xiaomi phone and the function's accuracy has been increased significantly in the past few years”, Lei said.

Face recognition puts all the photos of the same face under a single directory, which is very helpful as Xiaomi phone users sort through thousands of pictures.

Many Chinese people have been watching the Go game live online, amazed by the computer program's performance and the world-leading high-tech achievements made by western scientists, including those in the United States.

"China is still about 10 years behind the US in the high-tech research and development in basic sciences,” Lei said. "We are filling the gap starting from micro-innovation and we need to be patient. China is also in an encouraging climate for innovation.”

When asked why Xiaomi has invested in companies developing industrial robots, Lei said, "Xiaomi is actually real economy, or is highly dependent on real economy.”

"Xiaomi has been advocating what we called 'new made-in-China products' for the past five years, which requires craftsmanship and perfection in manufacturing,” he said.

Lei revealed that Xiaomi has sent many engineers to suppliers' factories and he has been advocating automation in the factories for the past two years.

"I have been paying attention to industrial automation for a long time. I think automation equipment is important to both increasing productivity and securing quality,” he said.

Whether AlphaGo wins the match against Lee or not, Lei is calling for a rematch. This time, he wants the program to play Chinese master Ke Jie.
See less See more
Smartphone-based VR goggles on HTC agenda
By Ma Si (China Daily)

HTC Corp is working on developing smartphone-based virtual reality goggles, as part of its broader efforts to diversify and boost revenues.

The announcement comes shortly after the company also opened pre-orders for its new $799 HTC Vive VR headsets, which currently only work with personal computers and consoles.

Raymond Pao, its associate vice-president of VR new technology, said: "We have been working on VR equipment that can work with smartphones and tablets.

"It is a very important research direction, but we will only release the mobile version when we think it can deliver the best immersive experience to consumers."

Virtual reality equipment allow consumers to experience a 360-degree digital world where they can fight against zombies, ride spaceships and perform other tasks which are impossible or difficult in real life.

Pao declined to reveal exactly how many Vive headsets had been pre-ordered so far, but said the results were "beyond our expectations".

HTC's VR product specialist Shen Ye said earlier in a Twitter post the company sold more than 15,000 units in the first 10 minutes, when orders started being taken on Feb 29.

The equipment, which include a headset, two wireless controllers and two motions sensors, will begin hitting the streets next month.

HTC is competing with Facebook Inc's Oculus Rift and Google Inc-backed Magic Leap in the race for the control of the nascent VR market.

Alvin Wang Graylin, who is in charge of HTC's VR business in China, said the company is planning to open more than 100 VR experience stores this year.

He said the company is also in discussion with partners like Internet cafes in many countries.

In November, HTC inked a deal with Hangzhou Shunwang Technology Co Ltd, a company that offers management software to Internet cafes in China.

Under the pact, the two companies will cooperate on promoting VR games in China.

Research firm Digi-Capital estimated the global VR industry will be generating $30 billion in revenue by 2020, split 50/50 between VR games, and hardware, films and theme parks.

She Shuanglin, an analyst at Beijing-based Internet consultancy Analysys International, said HTC is betting big that its VR equipment will boost revenues, after the company's core smartphone business was hit by stiffening competition.

"HTC is a leader in PC-based VR headsets which chiefly target hardcore gamers and movie fans.

"The involvement in smartphone-based VR goggles will help it reach more consumers, especially those who are more price-sensitive."

She said HTC is likely to roll out smartphones which are specially designed to bring VR experience into full play.

"Such smartphones will give the company an unrivaled edge over competitors, but it is not an easy job."
See less See more
Qualcomm chipping in for China's smart tech future

Frank Meng wants to ensure Qualcomm China seizes 'opportunities that do not even exist today'

If seven out of ten smartphones sold worldwide last year were assembled in China, much credit for that should probably go to the China arm of US chipmaker Qualcomm. Thanks to its famed processors such as the Snapdragon, Qualcomm emerged as the world's biggest chip supplier to smartphone companies.

But Frank Meng, 56 years old, the soft-spoken chairman of Qualcomm China, is not an executive who will rest content with past achievements. His mind is focused on things futuristic.

"I love to deal with challenges," he told reporters at the first public event after taking over as chairman of Qualcomm China in mid-2015.

And, in an exclusive chat with China Daily, Meng said Qualcomm will step up its investments in China. For, the country is entering the age of the Internet of Things, which will see billions of computers, gadgets, appliances, furniture, machines and vehicles inter-connected in real time via the Internet.

"Well, 'keep investing in China' has been a major strategy for us. Qualcomm will work with its Chinese partners to seize opportunities that do not even exist today."

By that he means making super-efficient chips for, besides the Internet of Things, servers and a new class of vehicles like drones.

Decades of experience in China's information technology industry, Meng said, helps him to instinctively sense what the next big thing could be. "New gadgets such as drones and inter-connected smart home devices are set to create exciting demand just as smartphones did a few years ago."

Meng is excited that the Chinese tech industry is ready for the new era, which will be marked by "China-centric" and "China-first" opportunities. Local innovations in consumer electronics will drive growth, said Meng.

The telecom veteran loves to compare today's market conditions with those that existed a decade back. After all, past experiences unveil tomorrow's trends, he said.

"About 30 years ago, Japan used to lead growth of camera and other consumer electronics because of its huge domestic demand. China is at a similar flashpoint now. The market cannot just wait for technology breakthroughs imported by overseas companies. Instead, local players are coming up with gigantic amount of ideas that suit Chinese customers' requirement."

In terms of innovation, Qualcomm has always been keeping pace with Chinese tech firms, Meng said. The US company's local arm set up a research and development team in China to support its Chinese customers.

That is one of the high points of his second stint with Qualcomm China. During his first stint from 2003 to 2010, he served as Qualcomm China's president, and led the company into major deals with Chinese hardware manufacturers.

During that period, Qualcomm became one of the biggest suppliers of CDMA chipsets, a mainstream 3G technology used in China. "Chinese vendors started to export 3G phones in 2005. We thought it was a great opportunity for us to fuel the trend."

Qualcomm offered a wider-tiered product portfolio than Taiwan-based competitors such as MediaTek Inc. That helped Chinese smartphone manufacturers to boost their sales manifold over the last decade, as demand for 3G and 4G devices soared.

For its part, to reinforce its commitment to the China market, Qualcomm pledged a $150-million venture investment fund, to support Chinese startups in areas such as Internet, e-commerce, semi-conductors and health.

The US company was also one of the earliest investors in Xiaomi.

Around the time Meng returned to the company, a Qualcomm affiliate formed a joint venture with Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp, the largest chip foundry in China together with Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, a telecom equipment maker, and imec, one of the world's leading nano-electronics research and development centers, to develop the next-generation integrated circuits.

Industry research firm IDC said joint ventures with local players could be an efficient way for overseas tech companies such as Qualcomm to penetrate the Chinese market further in coming years.

To prepare for the future, Meng-led Qualcomm China announced another JV in late January, this time with Southwest China's Guizhou province, to develop and manufacture server chips.

Qualcomm took a 45 percent stake in the 1.85-billion-yuan ($280-million) joint venture, while the rest was held by the investment arm of the Guizhou provincial government.

Xu Shaoshi, head of the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic planner, said cross-border technological innovation will play a key role in China's economic growth. "China welcomes foreign investment (in the IT sector)," Xu said.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Chinese IT manufacturing segment grew by a healthy 10.5 percent year-on-year in December 2015. The ministry said IT will drive growth as the export-oriented manufacturing sector continues to wither. Meng is confident China is a huge market where domestic consumption of electronics is set to grow.
See less See more
Baidu O2O app for food delivery is using AI, just like AlphaGo

Internet giant Baidu claims the company has made great strides in artificial intelligence and is applying it to the company's O2O food delivery service, reported on Tuesday.

It was a response to a joke among netizens that Google's technology can beat a champion at a board game while Baidu's technology just concerns food delivery, making fun of its O2O app.

But it may be a little quick to say Baidu's food app is low-tech.

Three elements affect the time that food ordered from restaurant kitchens reach the clients' door: how long it takes couriers to arrive at the restaurant, how long they take from the restaurant to the client's door and how long it takes for kitchens to prepare food.

According to Baidu, it's been impossible to calculate how long kitchens will take to get food ready due to different cooks and volumes of clients in restaurants.

If cooks get food ready too fast, the food may go off by the time it's delivered; if couriers arrive at the diner too early, they have to wait and lose other orders.

That's where artificial intelligence steps in.

It is used in the automatic system to precisely calculate every step.

The system will tell couriers how long it will take for the food to be ready and offer a route plan for them.

Baidu said all data have been collected such as the time cost of every order and every meal from every restaurant. AI can estimate the time a meal is ready based on the data.

Wu Enda, Baidu's specialist in AI, said: "That's what we do to use cutting edge technology to solve the daily ordinary problems of consumers."

Baidu said the model has been used in their food delivery logistics system for people to have a better experience when ordering food.

A member of staff at Baidu made an interesting comment on AI's different functions: "It may need some discussion to say which one is more valuable, to ask AI to win a board game? Or help people have warm, fresher meals?"

Google's AlphaGo grabbed worldwide attention when it won 4-1 in a five-match series against human world Go champion Lee Sedol of South Korea.
See less See more
ZTE in talks with US govt over trade curbs

Beijing calls on Washington to handle the issue 'with discretion' to avoid harming growth of ties

ZTE Corp is in talks with the United States government over the telecom equipment manufacturer's alleged violations of a US trade restriction.

Opinions are split on whether the negotiations could help resolve the dispute, which, if it remains unresolved, could have a negative impact throughout China's IT industry.

Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng on Tuesday said China is "greatly dissatisfied" with the US decision to ban the Shenzhen, Guangdong-based company from buying parts from US suppliers.

"I hope the US could handle the issue with discretion to avoid harming the stable, healthy development of Sino-US trade ties," said Gao. He added ZTE has sent a delegation to Washington to discuss the issue with the US authorities.

The US Commerce Department confirmed to The Wall Street Journal that negotiations are under way.

"These discussions have been constructive, and we will continue to seek a resolution," said the US newspaper, citing an unnamed senior official at the department. ZTE did not elaborate on the details of the talks, saying no final decision has been made.

The US Commerce Department last week banned ZTE's suppliers in the US from selling components to the Chinese company amid claims that ZTE exported prohibited products to Iran.

The US suppliers, including mobile chip giant Qualcomm Inc, will need to apply for permits from the US government before selling products to ZTE.

ZTE said in a statement its operations were in compliance with the laws and regulations in every local market. The company pledged to cooperate with the investigation.

Hu Lu, an analyst at Changjiang Securities Co Ltd, said the punishment was related to a multi-million-dollar hardware and software export deal ZTE signed with Telecommunication Company of Iran in 2012. The US forbids a long list of US-made IT products from being sold to Iran.

"It was not the first time for the US to investigate Chinese IT companies. Due to strong government interference, ZTE and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd are finding it difficult to penetrate the US market," Hu said. "But considering that talks are taking place, and the obvious negative influence on the trade relationship with China, the US government is likely to ease the punishment."
See less See more
Chinese firms earning more from overseas on better perception of 'made in China'

Chinese brands, especially those from the technology sector, continue to earn an increasing proportion of their revenue from overseas, according to the newly released 2016 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Chinese Brands.

The top three brands with the greatest proportion of revenue from overseas business include Lenovo Group Ltd, with 68 percent of its revenue from international business, followed by Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, a newcomer to the ranking with 62 percent, and ZTE Corp with half of its revenue from business overseas, it said.

"With Chinese companies continuing to expand their operations overseas and a more positive perception of 'made in China', Chinese brands are deriving increasing overseas earnings," said Doreen Wang, global head of BrandZ, Millward Brown.

The expansion of international business is especially important as the growth of the domestic economy slows and Chinese companies attempt to raise awareness of Chinese brands, she said.

Wang said she believed that Chinese companies would see a steady growth in their revenue from abroad in the years to come.

Leading the top 20 Chinese brands with most revenue overseas, Lenovo, the world's largest PC maker, continued to grow its PC, mobile and enterprise businesses outside of China, helping balance the softening of the Chinese market.

It gained 68 percent of its total revenue from overseas business, up from 62 percent from the previous year.

Analysts said Chinese brands are increasingly gaining more revenue and market share not only in emerging markets but also from the developed markets.

Offering quality smartphone at a more affordable price, Huawei has successfully gained market share not only in emerging markets but also in Europe, while ZTE has also expanded its presence in the Android-based market in the United States.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has been aggressively investing in global growth with initiatives such as AliExpress, a platform to sell Chinese products to overseas customers, and establishment of a cloud-computing center in California.

"Western consumers used to view Chinese brands as makers of low-quality and cheaper items, but this perception has gradually changed as Chinese brands are coming up with more quality and value-added products under their own names," said Wang.

Wang said she was confident the Chinese brands will be better perceived on the global market in the same way as how the world came to see products made in Japan and South Korea.

According to the survey, 15 of the top 20 Chinese brands in terms of overseas revenue come mainly from three categories, including six from home appliances, five from airlines and four from technology.

With Chinese outbound travel growing 12 percent in 2015, according to the World Tourism Organization, increasing Chinese companies from the aviation sector are also seeing rising overseas revenue, with Spring Airlines Co Ltd, Air China Ltd and China Eastern Airlines Corp Ltd continuing to add international routes.

Half of the top 20 brands are market-driven and half are State-owned enterprises, mostly in the oil, gas and banking sectors.

The average proportion of overseas revenues of competitive SOEs is higher than the market driven ones, which suggests the government support still remains important for Chinese brands trying to gain a global presence.
See less See more
BOAO - Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, on Wednesday called for a fresh global e-commerce platform to accommodate the interests of small traders who have been enabled by e-commerce to buy and sell across borders.
Speaking at the Boao Forum for Asia in the southern province of Hainan, Ma said he calls for an Electronic World Trade Platform, or e-WTP, to enable small and medium enterprises that had been largely left out of the free trade regime of the world in the past.

"In the Internet Age, we need trade platforms that are more open, fairer and freer," Ma said.

"We need to go back to trade itself. It is not an organization. It is not a negotiation. It is just a platform to enable the small and medium enterprises and the consumers of the world, especially the young," he added.

Ma did not specify details of the rules for the platform, but customs and tax procedures are the main barriers to cross-border e-commerce.

Ma said the e-WTP he envisages will better connect small and medium enterprises through logistics and inclusive financing, thereby, offering 80 percent of those not engaged at the current time to participate in trade.

He said the free trade regime represented by the World Trade Organization (WTO) has largely benefited large corporations and multinationals, the top 20 percent, while small and medium enterprises and the young in developing countries are left behind.

"Trade blocs are often used to advance protectionism rather than as enablers," he said, citing weak global trade growth.

"Trade is the best way for people across the world to communicate with each other. No matter if you like it or not, an age of new trade has come," Ma added.

Speaking in the panel discussion, Long Yongtu, former vice minister for trade and a top trade negotiator, said the globalization process is not losing steam.

Long said industrial restructuring, driven by technological advancement, was changing the process of globalization, and new momentum will be created as more industries "go digital."

Previous Page12Next Page
See less See more
Technology major LeEco Holdings Co Ltd is gearing up to become a global company with plans to enter several overseas markets within the year.

Hank Liu, cofounder and vice-chairman of LeEco, formerly known as LeTV, said on Wednesday that it has targeted the United States and India as its two major markets outside China in 2016.

"The year 2016 marks the beginning of our globalization. We don't make it a goal to overtake tech giants, such as Apple Inc, Inc or Tesla Motors Inc. But we do have an ambition to become a globalized company, because all great companies are globalized," Liu said on the sidelines of the 2016 Boao Forum for Asia, in Boao, Hainan province.

According to Liu, LeEco recently entered the US and India markets by opening online channels to sell its smartphones and smart televisions. "Later in the first half of this year, we will make a major foray into Southeast Asia and in the second half of this year, we will enter the Russian market," he said.

He said the Beijing-based firm, which sells Internet-enabled devices that are bundled with video contents in China, is going to replicate its business model in overseas markets.

He refused to reveal the amount of money LeEco plans to pour for the ambitious globalization strategy. But he said the investment will mainly be used to make sure its overseas users have great experience of watching online videos and have a rich selection of video contents to choose from.

"We use different strategies to get contents into different markets. In the US, we adopt a strategy to open our platform to content producers, allowing them to reach audiences through our channel. And in some other countries, we could invest or even buy up some studios, so that we could produce our own programs."

LeEco's newly launched Super TV X65 equipped with a 65-inch 4K screen is priced at 4,999 yuan ($769) in China. Some analysts argued that LeEco could never make profit by setting the price this low. But Liu said the company has no intention to make money from selling devices. "We had 12 million paid subscribers for our TV contents alone in 2015," he said.

The reason LeEco chose US and India as the top priorities for overseas expansion is that the market in the US is very developed with cutting-edge tech companies while India is the most important emerging economy with a large population.

"If we could be successful in those two markets, we can be successful around the world," he said, adding being successful means that LeEco needs to become one of the top three players there not only in terms of market shares but also in the number of users.

The company has a unique business model that is based on the so-called ecosystem, covering smart devices, video contents and now electric cars.
See less See more
Xiaomi speeds up expansion in India with $25m investment in content provider

China's top smartphone vendor Xiaomi Inc announced on Monday that it has invested $25 million in India's Hungama Digital Media Entertainment, along with Intel Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Indian billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala.

This indicates Xiaomi's aim to duplicate its home market success in India by selling smartphones as platforms for internet services.

"As our user base grows and 4G penetration continues picking up in India, we will start to see more and more consumption of digital media through Xiaomi devices. We are investing in Hungama not only to start integrating content into our smartphones, but also to grow together with them and deepen our understanding of the content sector in India," said Hugo Barra, vice-president of Xiaomi.

Barra launched the Mi 5, Xiaomi's latest flagship devices in the India market on March 31.

Hungama has more than 8,000 movies in Hindi and other Indian regional languages on its platform and boosts over 65 million monthly active consumers of its music, video and movies.

Xiaomi is ranked the sixth or seventh in smartphone sales in this prioritized overseas market, Lei Jun, its founder, disclosed in early March and added that he hoped the company could break into the top three club this year.

The tech giant entered India in July 2014 and started local manufacturing a year later and now over 75 percent of its smartphones sold in India are made in India.

The company sold 64.9 million smartphones in China last year, taking a market share of 15 percent, defending its crown as the No 1 seller at its home market, according to data from research firm International Data Corp.
See less See more
BEIJING - Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has announced plans to work with national bank card association China UnionPay to grab a bigger share of the growing mobile payment market.

The two parties will design a mobile payment product for Xiaomi's smartphones, Xiaomi said on Thursday night without specifying a timetable.

Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun said the company, the biggest seller of phones in China last year, will develop Near Field Communication (NFC) for safe and convenient mobile payment services.

Xiaomi and China UnionPay have already collaborated to offer mobile payment functions with the latter's QuickPass service, which allows users to complete transactions by placing their mobile phones near the card slots or the NFC reading areas of compatible point-of-sale (POS) terminals.

Last year, 620 million people in China, or more than 90 percent of the nation's Internet users, used a phone or tablet to get online, according to the China Internet Network Information Center. Research firm Analysys valued the country's third-party mobile payment market at 16.36 trillion yuan ($2.52 trillion) in 2015.

While Chinese Internet giants Alibaba and Tencent dominate mobile payments in the world's largest smartphone market, foreign players are also rushing in. Apple Pay became available in China in February and Samsung's mobile payment service Samsung Pay was launched in China in late March
See less See more
Baidu will shift its business model to AI

The head of Baidu Inc has pledged to shift the company's business from a search-oriented model to one based on artificial intelligence, after a recent government probe put a chill on its core search business.

Baidu CEO Li Yanhong said in an internal letter on Tuesday that the shift will allow the company to develop such areas as voice search, automatic translation and driverless vehicles.

Li, who is a co-founder of Baidu, which runs China's largest online search engine, also vowed to emphasize user experience over income and to set up a department to root out any behavior that might damage user experience.

"The department will have the final say to veto any behavior that is not in line with a good user experience," Li said in the letter, which Baidu made public later on Tuesday. "Some of the measures we take may have a negative impact on the company's income. But I believe it is the right thing to do."

Analysts said the move is expected to dampen Baidu's near-term profitability, which in turn would make it more challenging for the company's new business initiative to gain momentum.

The vow to put users ahead of business performance came after a government investigation led to a demand that the search giant overhaul its paid listing system. The probe came after the death of Wei Zexi, a 21-year-old college student, who underwent an experimental medical treatment that had been advertised among Baidu's search results.

The Cyberspace Administration of China, which launched a joint investigation of Baidu with other authorities last week, said on Monday that the company had "influenced the impartiality and objectivity of its search results, making it easy to mislead users, and this must be immediately rectified."

In response to the government's demand, Baidu said on Monday that it will restrict the proportion of sponsored search results to 30 percent per web page and adopt a new listing system that does not fully depend on the advertising price, but also considers advertisers' "reputation".

Other actions include placing clear disclaimers on advertisements, so that online users can tell them apart from natural search results, and establishing a 1 billion yuan ($153.4 million) fund to compensate netizens cheated by false promotions.

Industry observers said the moves are likely to hurt Baidu's short-term profitability, since medical-related ads are estimated to account for 25 percent of its revenue.

Lyu Ronghui, analyst with internet consultancy iResearch, said Baidu's revenue is likely to decline in the near future because the company will have to turn down some medical-related ads and might also spend more money to verify the qualifications of medical organizations or enterprises
See less See more to smart up logistics ecosystem with robots, drones

Chinese e-commerce giant Inc is taking a new approach to intelligent logistics.

On Friday, the online retailer announced it is providing an open door for companies looking to step into the "smart" industry by signing a strategic partnership deal with a global leading Chinese robot maker, Siasun Robot & Automation Co Ltd.

The Nasdaq-traded retailer said the smart logistics system will be built on integrated smart applications. Robots and drones and the huge pool of data it gathered in the past two decades are to be used in efforts to speed up the company’s sorting and delivering process. It will also be used to cut costs and bring better results to the last-mile distribution of remote areas.

Zhang Chen, CTO at, said the future of the logistics industry will not only be driven by the upgrade of equipment, but shaped by booming technologies.

"When it comes to the Internet of Things, cloud computing, big data, and artificial intelligence, it's still an unknown world. How well the smart system would fare will hinge on many factors, including the progress of R&D and the overall technological upgrade in the country," Zhang said.

So far, the company has built seven logistics centers operating 209 large-scale warehouses across the country. In 2015, online orders via surged to 1.26 billion, nearly double the number from the previous year. As much as 85 percent of online orders reached clients within two days.

Siasun, a listed tech company under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has become the online retailer's first partner in the field of robotics to provide robotic solutions.

Their first solution for the partnership is to offer automated guided vehicles to warehouses.

Qu Daokui, president of Siasun, said the cooperation of the two companies is the start of a new era.

"New tech applications in the logistics industry such as robots and drones are game-changing, which will be a big push to the e-commerce development," said Qu.

According to Li Yan, secretary of China Association of Warehouses and Storage, China's social logistics cost stood at 11 trillion yuan ($1.69 trillion) last year, covering 1 billion sq m in total.

Xiao Jun, current vice-president of, will head the new JDX unit that is focused on using top-of-the-line technology to turn the logistics industry into a "smart" industry.

Xiao said the company is also setting up a logistics lab to test run technologies and applications coming out of the open smart platform.

"Besides robots and drones, we will develop driverless vehicles to help smooth the logistics process," Xiao said.
See less See more
Alibaba to expand its ticketing operation beyond movies

Alibaba Pictures Group Ltd is to expand its online movie-ticketing business into a wider marketing platform, as the Hong Kong-listed company continues its ambitious foray into the entertainment sector.

Officials at the film offshoot of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group said on Monday it was rebranding the unit into "Tao Piaopiao", and that it would now handle ticketing for concerts, sports events and other entertainment events it organizes, as well as provide promotional and distribution services.

Tao Piaopiao, previously known as Taobao Dianying and launched at the end of 2014, already claims a 20 percent share of China's online movie-ticketing market.

Alibaba to expand its ticketing operation beyond movies

Kong Qi, the general manger of Tao Piaopiao-which translates as "hunting for tickets"-said its ultimate goal is to become the country's largest entertainment marketing platform.

A 1.7 billion yuan ($260 million) financing package was unveiled for the revamped business over the weekend, led by a group of investors including CDH Investments, Ant Financial Services Group and, which gives Tao Piaopiao an estimated 13.7 billion yuan valuation.

The expansion plan was met with analyst approval, at a time of fierce competition within China's online movie ticketing sector.

"We carried out a recent survey that found cinema goers care most about price, and little about where to buy tickets, as long as they are cheap," said Huang Guofeng, analyst with the Beijing-based internet consultancy Analysys International.

He said the current cash-burning practice by many firms of offering subsidies to cinema goers is unsustainable long-term.

"Expanding its business into promotion and distribution, and providing more value-added services will be key for Alibaba Pictures, which in turn will drive up online ticketing revenue," he said.

Kong said the company's upgraded platform will be able to tailor-make specific movie promotions, based on big-data-led technology.

"For example, we can predict in which cities a movie might be a big hit, which will significantly help movie makers," he said.

By leveraging Alibaba's huge resources, he said the platform will also provide financing services to cash-thirsty moviemakers.
See less See more
Sogou launches English-language search service with Microsoft

Sogou teamed up with Microsoft on Thursday, launching an English language search service in a bid to gain more market share in China's online search market.

Sogou, a relatively small online search engine operator in China, said in a statement that it will leverage the global search technology of Microsoft's bing and provide English-language web information and academic data to better serve Chinese's increasing demand for global information.

The newly launched service is able to help Chinese users get access to trillions of pieces of English-language information. To better tailor to the demand of Chinese, the service is able to automatically translate Chinese language search requests and get users English-language research results.

The announcement came at a time that Baidu, which accounts more for 70 percent of China's online search market, is being questioned on its authority due to its paid listing system.

A college student died in April after seeking information on a controversial medical treatment, which was posted among the top results on Baidu.
See less See more
41 - 60 of 1051 Posts