Xiaomi announces $13 Mi Band wearable with phone unlock feature, and first LTE phone

mi-band

Rapidly-growing Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi announced its first wearable today, the Mi Band. While it’s a fitness band rather than a smartwatch, it does have one smartwatch-style feature: it can be used instead of a passcode to unlock Mi phones.

The waterproof Mi Band measures activity levels and sleep patterns, has a smart sleep-cycle alarm and claims to have a 30-day battery-life. Amazingly, it will be going on sale in China and Singapore for the equivalent of just $13 …  Read more

Samsung suspends contract with Chinese supplier over child-labor allegations

Samsung-Xian-Fab

Following allegations that one of Samsung’s suppliers in China was using child labor despite passing three separate Samsung audits, the company has now suspended its contract with the supplier. It says that if the allegations are substantiated, it will permanently cease doing business with the supplier.

Samsung’s 2014 Sustainability Report originally claimed that no instances of child labor had been found, but China Labor Watch said that it had found examples of child labour at a Samsung supplier in Dongguan, China, with several children found to be working 11 hours a day …  Read more

Google services again facing outages in China after brief restoration this morning

Google Personal Search

Earlier today, access to Google’s variety of web services was finally restored in China, after weeks of them being offline. This evening, however, Reuters reports that once again, the Mountain View company’s services are being disrupted in China. This includes tools such as Google Search, Maps, Gmail, advertising services, and more.

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Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi more than doubles sales as it begins international expansion

xiaomi

Samsung, HTC and Motorola are likely to be looking a little nervously over their shoulders as Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi more than doubled its year-on-year sales. The company announced (via TNW) that it sold 26.1M phones in the first half of this year, more than it sold in the whole of 2013.

These are impressive sales for a company which sold its first smartphone just three years ago, and whose sales were initially limited to China. Its growth has been fuelled by expansion into Singapore, Malaysia, India and the Philipines, with the company now eyeing up Latin America as its next market …  Read more

Microsoft’s private Android patents revealed by the Chinese government

MicrosoftAndroid

For the past few years, Microsoft has been licensing several of its patents with Android device makers. These agreements reportedly generate around $1 to $2 billion in revenue for the company. The software maker estimates that it has active licensing deals that cover around 70 percent of the Android devices in the US. So far, the company has never outlined what patents are being infringed on by Android, but a recent investigation by China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) has uncovered a stockpile of patents and filings held by Microsoft while reviewing the company’s acquisition of Nokia.

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