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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As expected, Samsung Mobile profits slump 31 percent as Chinese competition bites

Trial Begins In Apple-Samsung Patent Battle

Samsung has announced a 31 percent drop in for its mobile division, broadly in line with its earlier guidance, when almost 200 managers “voluntarily” handed back 25 percent of their bonuses. Year-on-year operating profits fell from 6.43T won ($6.28B) to 4.42T won ($4.32B).

Chinese competition in low- and mid-range handsets was cited as one of the key reasons for the slump, with Samsung Mobile’s SVP Kim Hyun-Joon promising that the company would address this.

We will respond more aggressively to meet demand in the Chinese market […] in the latter half of this year by introducing more products with better specification as well as better price competitiveness …

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Samsung & Apple lose share to smaller Chinese OEMs in Q2 smartphone shipment numbers

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Following releasing its second quarter data for tablet shipments worldwide, IDC today released its Q2 2014 report for smartphone shipments during the three month period that ended in June. The numbers line up with Apple’s fiscal Q3 earnings call that took place earlier this month where the company reported iPhone sales of 35.1 million units for the quarter. With 295.3 million units shipped total during Q2, IDC notes that both Samsung and Apple lost share to the smaller Chinese manufacturers: Read more

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

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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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