Report: Chinese smartphone maker Coolpad hides malicious backdoor on millions of Android devices

Coolpad

While most malware is the result of third-party attackers trying to gain access to your device or information, security research firm Palo Alto Networks has discovered that Chinese handset maker Coolpad has deliberately installed a backdoor on two dozen of its Android handset models. The so-called “CoolReaper” backdoor presents several security risks and is believed to impact over 10 million users. Read more

Huawei launches 5.5″ Honor 6 Plus w/ dual rear-facing cameras for shooting in the dark

Huawei 6 Plus

Chinese handset maker Huawei took the stage in Beijing today to introduce its next-generation flagship smartphone, the familiar sounding Honor 6 Plus. The all-new device, which has an unforgivably similar name to the iPhone 6 Plus, has a sleek, metallic design and takes on HTC with dual 8-megapixel rear-facing cameras and another 8-megapixel front-facing camera for added measure. Read more

Xiaomi earned $56 million profit in 2013 despite razor-thin margins

xiaomi-phones

Chinese handset maker Xiaomi has seen explosive growth since entering the market in 2010, emerging to become the world’s third-largest smartphone maker after just four years. According to a recent regulatory filing, the company is also profitable too, bringing in $56 million profit in 2013 despite having razor-thin margins on its smartphones and tablets. Read more

Patent dispute halts some (all?) Xiaomi smartphone sales in India (Update: confirmed)

xiaomi-phones

The Times of India reports that the Delhi high court has banned Xiaomi from both importing and selling smartphones in India following a patent infringement claim by Ericsson.

Hearing a case filed by Ericsson India against Xiaomi, the court on Monday passed an ex parte order forbidding the popular Chinese manufacturer from importing and selling its smartphones in India […]

It is not clear if the order will impact all Xiaomi devices sold in India or specific devices that violate the patents.

However, as the patents concerned are Standard Essential Patents – patents which are so fundamental to a particular product category that the patent owner is obliged by law to license them on reasonable terms – it appears likely that the ruling applies to all Xiaomi handsets …  Read more

There’s a new title-holder in the world’s slimmest smartphone race – and it’s just 4.75mm thick

x5max

Just when you wondered how much slimmer smartphones could get, Chinese brand Vivo has set a new record with the X5Max at just 4.75mm thick, beating the 5mm thin iPhone 6 clone Gionee Slim 5.5. Astonishingly, it has achieved this while still managing – just – to fit in a standard 3.5mm headphone socket. It does, though, the now-standard cheat of allowing the camera to protrude by 2mm.

headphoneIt’s also no slouch in the specs department, with a 64-bit octacore Snapdragon 615 processor, 5.5-inch 1080p display, 13MP main camera, 5MP front camera, 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage – with a clever dual-SIM tray that allows you to substitute a microSD card of up to 128GB for one of the SIMs …  Read more

Xiaomi thinks it can top Samsung and Apple as world’s largest smartphone maker within a decade

Xiaomi Mi2

Just weeks after Xiaomi overtook Huawei and LG to become the world’s third-largest smartphone maker, The Guardian reports that the Chinese handset maker’s chief executive and founder Lei Jun is out with a bold prediction that his company could move past Samsung and Apple to become the world’s largest smartphone maker within the next five to ten years. Read more

Google announces Play Store merchant support for developers in China

google-play-logo

Google, in its continued effort to support developers and users from all across the world, announced today that developers in China are now be able to list both free and paid apps on the Play Store. The company made the announcement via a post on the official Android Developer Blog, saying that the addition of China means that developers can now sign up to be merchants in more than 60 countries. Users in more than 130 countries can purchase apps those apps, as well.

As part of that continued effort, we’re excited to announce merchant support in China, enabling local developers to export and sell their apps to Google Play users in more than 130 countries. Chinese developers can now offer both free and paid applications through various monetization models, including in-app purchasing and subscriptions. For revenue generated on Google Play, developers will receive payment to their Chinese bank accounts via USD wire transfers.

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Chinese iPhone clone maker Xiaomi investing $1B in YouTube clone

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Xiaomi, the Chinese Android manufacturer which heavily bases its product designs and marketing on Apple products, is to invest $1B in the Chinese YouTube equivalent, Youku.

Xiaomi has long been aware of the importance of an integrated hardware-and-services offering, initially selling its smartphones at cost-price in order to build market share, relying on its app store to generate profits. A tie-in with a video service makes similar sense – smartphones and tablets providing an audience for video content, and video content driving demand for devices on which to view it – but the move is likely to be primarily driven by Xiaomi’s move into the smart TV market …   Read more

Xiaomi to seek funding round that could value smartphone maker at up to $50 billion (Update)

Xiaomi Smartphone

Update: Financial Times reports that Xiaomi has lined up $1.5 billion in venture funding as part of a valuation that could exceed $40 billion. Russian internet company DST, which also backed companies like Alibaba, Facebook and Airbnb, is one of the investors currently in negotiations with the Chinese handset maker.

Bloomberg on Tuesday, citing sources familiar with the matter, reports that Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is in talks to hold a funding round that could value the smartphone maker at between $40 billion to $50 billion. The news arrives just days after it was reported that Xiaomi overtook LG to become the world’s third-largest smartphone maker. Read more

Lenovo reports phone sales & profits up as it focuses on international expansion with Motorola brand

lenovo

Chinese company Lenovo, which is in the process of buying the Motorola brand from Google, has reported a 23 percent year-on-year increase in first-quarter profits to $214M, reports Reuters. The company also said that worldwide phone sales were up 39 percent, in line with recent IDC numbers.

While Lenovo recently became the market leader within China, CEO Yang Yuanqing said that the company will in future be focusing on more profitable overseas markets …  Read more

Hong Kong court finds Google liable for defamation via auto-complete suggestions

triad

Things are getting interesting for Google on the legal front. Not long after the ‘right to be forgotten‘ ruling and the messy fallout from that, a Hong Kong court has ruled that the company is responsible for auto-complete suggestions where they could be said to defame.

MyBroadband (via The Loop) reports:

A Hong Kong court has ruled that a local tycoon can sue Google Inc for defamation because searches for his name on Google suggest adding the word ‘triad’, Hong Kong’s notorious organized crime groups.

Searches in both English and Chinese for Albert Yeung Sau-shing, the founder and chairman of Hong Kong-based conglomerate Emperor Group, will automatically suggest phrases related to organized crime using Google’s ‘autocomplete’ function.

On Tuesday, the High Court of Hong Kong dismissed Google’s argument that it was not responsible for the autocomplete suggestions related to Yeung and that the court did not have personal jurisdiction over the U.S. search giant … 

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