China Stories June 29, 2020

India bans nearly 60 apps developed in China including TikTok, WeChat

In a press release today, a huge ban was announced on dozens of major apps — including the massively popular TikTok social network — that originate in China amid a bigger feud between India and China.

China Stories August 28, 2019

Report: US might block Google-backed LA-Hong Kong undersea cable over national security

Google has three approaches for expanding its global fiber network. Recently, the company has been building private intercontinental cables, but still buys capacity or joins consortiums where the cost is split. One Google-backed undersea cable between Los Angeles and Hong Kong could be blocked by the US under national security concerns.

China Stories September 13, 2018

Google research scientist quits over ‘Dragonfly’ China search relaunch project

A report this afternoon out of The Intercept says that a senior Google research scientist has quit in protest over Google’s plans to re-launch its search engine in China via a new app.

China Stories August 24, 2018

According to a report today out of China Money Network (via TechCrunch), Alphabet subsidiary Waymo has established a subsidiary of its own in China.

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China Stories August 17, 2018

A report that Google is planning to relaunch its search engine in China, giving in to government demands for a censored version, has understandably triggered a huge amount of opposition to the idea – not least from its own employees.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai and co-founder Sergey Brin have responded by saying that while they are looking at how to do more business in China, the company is ‘not close’ to relaunching its search engine there …

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China Stories May 22, 2018

US reportedly working with China on a deal to ‘save’ ZTE from going out of business

ZTE has been in a really tough spot for the past few weeks, but things are starting to look up, at least a little bit. According to multiple reports, the US is currently working on a deal with China to potentially prevent ZTE from going out of business.

China Stories January 15, 2018

Google marks a significant return to China with Maps relaunch for web, iOS [Update: Nope]

Update: According to a Google spokesperson, the company has not made any announcements or changes to Maps for China. A web version has been available in the country “for years.” Nikkei was also incorrect about the launch of an iOS client on Apple’s App Store, with no Android app either.


In recent months, Google’s presence within China has increased following its 2010 exit over a refusal to self-censor content. Today, the company is taking a big step with the launch of a China-specific version of Google Maps.

China Stories October 30, 2017

Huawei overtakes Oppo to take lead in China, as Vivo, Xiaomi & Apple all see growth

Smartphone sales in China may be down 5% year-on-year, but four of the five top-selling brands saw growth in Q3, reports Canalys. Oppo was the exception, seeing a slight decline in sales, that allowed Huawei to take the #1 slot …

China Stories May 5, 2017

Samsung smartphone shipments fell by 60% year-on-year in China during the first quarter of the year according to Counterpoint Research data. The company saw its market share in the country slashed from 8.6% in Q1 2016 to 3.3% Q1 2017.

The main reason for the fall at a time when smartphone sales in China are still growing was far stronger competition from local brands …

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China Stories June 14, 2016

honor5a_1

Expanding on their collection of budget friendly Android smartphones, Huawei has today announced the Honor 5A, a new $100 smartphone for the Chinese market. This device will ship in two variants, one for China Netcom, the other for remaining markets.

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China Stories June 1, 2016

There’s very little we don’t know about the OnePlus 3. The Chinese company’s flagship’s marketing campaign has been boiling up for some time now, and between that and an array of leaked specs it’s only the official launch date we didn’t know.

According to a post submitted by OnePlus on Weibo, it looks like the wait won’t be long, with a June 15 date slated for its final unveiling…

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China Stories May 5, 2016

htc-10

And it seems as if HTC’s downward spiral continues. The latest in its seemingly never-ending doomsday news cycle comes today in the form of a pair of reports from Focus Taiwan, with the former suggesting that the lower-specced HTC 10 has been an absolute flop in China and the latter saying that the company has formed a completely separate company for its VR ambitions

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China Stories April 21, 2016

Supply-chain report says Xiaomi, Huawei & other Chinese brands being hit hard by iPhone SE on home turf

While Xiaomi and Huawei may be battling it out for the top spot in China, both brands are reportedly being hit hard by Apple’s cheapest-ever iPhone, the iPhone SE.

It was previously reported that third-party retailers in the country received 3.4M preorders before the iPhone SE went on sale, and now a supply-chain report says that Apple is taking market share from local brands.

Zuk Z2 Pro

The spring hardware refresh seems to be on a roll, and this year, in addition to the usual Samsungs, LGs and HTCs, a slew of Chinese manufacturers are making their way to the market with improved, highly-specced and often premium designed high end handsets.

While not all of them make it to the West, at least initially — like the just unveiled LeEco “superphones” — these devices are certainly worthy of consideration. One of them is the Zuk Z2 Pro, the new flagship of the Lenovo-backed Chinese brand that wrapped up the presentation earlier today

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China Stories April 19, 2016

For both Google and Apple, the operations on their virtual stores are hugely important, as they account for millions of dollars. However, there has historically been a disparity between the number of downloaded applications and the actual money generated by them, a trend that seems to have peaked in the first quarter of this year.

According to App Annie‘s Index Market for Q1 of 2016, in fact, Google’s Play Store saw a number of downloads that roughly doubles that of the iOS App Store, which in turns represents the platform with the highest profitability, with over 90% more revenue generated over its counterpart…

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China Stories March 28, 2016

b4a56101gw1f2benqlfekj20jg0ax74q.jpg 2016-03-28 12-41-09

Huawei’s upcoming P9 flagship has pretty much been completely revealed at this point, but ten or so more leaked images of the phone in the flesh can’t hurt, right? The phone, set to be announced early next month in London, will see the addition of a dual-camera set up, a new fingerprint sensor on the back, and of course upgraded specs compared to the P8…

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For a brief spell last night, uncensored Google search was alive and kicking within China’s borders. For roughly 105 mins, according to the South China Morning Post, residents inside the People’s Republic had free, unrestricted use of Google’s popular search domain.

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China Stories March 10, 2016

Galaxy S7 and S7 edge pre-orders are ‘stronger than expected’, Samsung exec says

There is no denying that Samsung put a lot of effort into the making of this year’s new flagship devices, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge. Despite having faced several difficulties regarding sales and profit margins, along other Android OEMs, the South Korean giant looks to be on the right track regarding numbers for the newest flagships.

Koh Dong-jin, president of Samsung’s handsets business, mentioned during a press briefing that the company saw strong pre-order numbers for the Galaxy S7 phones, saying that they were ‘stronger than expected’…

China Stories February 4, 2016

hangouts-logo

Voxer is a relatively popular messaging app for Android and iOS, and has long been considered one of the best solutions available for those looking for a great PPT (push-to-talk) experience on mobile. It received a ton of funding a few years ago, and while it never really took off in the mainstream, it’s still being updated even today with new fixes and features for its dedicated group of users. It has somewhere between 10 and 50 million Play Store installs.

George Kola, a software engineer that was most recently Chief Technology Officer of the company for more than a year, has now joined Google according to his LinkedIn profile. While it’s of course possible that Kola could have joined Google on his engineering merit alone and could be working in just about any department within the Mountain View company, it’s still worth asking: Could Google possibly have its eyes on bringing some walkie talkie features to Hangouts?..

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China Stories February 1, 2016

xiaomi

While Canalys reported last year that Huawei overtook Xiaomi to become the biggest-selling smartphone manufacturer in China during Q3, it now says strong Q4 sales enabled Xiaomi to retake the top slot for the year. It says Xiaomi ended the year with a 15.2% market share against 14.7% for Huawei, with Apple following at 12.5%.

The WSJ reports that this view is echoed by rival market intelligence company Strategy Analytics. However, with more Chinese consumers looking to upgrade to mid-range handsets this year, Canalys analyst Nicole Peng believes the positions could be reversed during the course of this year …

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China Stories January 21, 2016

Lei Jun, founder and CEO of China's mobile company Xiaomi, speaks at a launch ceremony of Xiaomi Phone 4, in Beijing, July 22, 2014. China's Xiaomi unveiled on Tuesday its new flagship Mi 4 smartphone, aimed squarely at the premium handset market dominated by Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. REUTERS/Jason Lee (CHINA - Tags: BUSINESS TELECOMS SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY LOGO) - RTR3ZN52
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Lei Jun, founder and CEO of China's mobile company Xiaomi, speaks at a launch ceremony of Xiaomi Phone 4, in Beijing, July 22, 2014. China's Xiaomi unveiled on Tuesday its new flagship Mi 4 smartphone, aimed squarely at the premium handset market dominated by Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. REUTERS/Jason Lee (CHINA - Tags: BUSINESS TELECOMS SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY LOGO) - RTR3ZN52

Xiaomi is openly facing increased competition as it missed its 2015 target of selling 80 million phones—the 70 million devices they did sell is a clear miss compared to an optimistic 80-100 million device target. According to a Reuters report, the Chinese company that fashions itself as the Apple of China is now planning new stores in hopes of doubling offline smartphone sales…

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China Stories January 11, 2016

Lei Jun, founder and CEO of China's mobile company Xiaomi, speaks at a launch ceremony of Xiaomi Phone 4, in Beijing, July 22, 2014. China's Xiaomi unveiled on Tuesday its new flagship Mi 4 smartphone, aimed squarely at the premium handset market dominated by Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. REUTERS/Jason Lee (CHINA - Tags: BUSINESS TELECOMS SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY LOGO) - RTR3ZN52
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Lei Jun, founder and CEO of China's mobile company Xiaomi, speaks at a launch ceremony of Xiaomi Phone 4, in Beijing, July 22, 2014. China's Xiaomi unveiled on Tuesday its new flagship Mi 4 smartphone, aimed squarely at the premium handset market dominated by Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. REUTERS/Jason Lee (CHINA - Tags: BUSINESS TELECOMS SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY LOGO) - RTR3ZN52

Investors are “beginning to question” Xiaomi’s $46B valuation after the company reportedly failed to hit its sales target of 80M smartphones in 2015, reports the WSJ. That target was itself reduced from 100M last summer, and the company has also not yet delivered on its promise of substantial revenue from Internet services.

Xiaomi has faced tougher competition from more established brands like Huawei.

Huawei’s engineering strength and brand image, built up over decades, make it difficult for Xiaomi to compete in China, analysts say.

“The competition in China’s smartphone market has intensified tremendously this year,” said a Xiaomi spokeswoman, who declined to comment on the company’s valuation or say whether it met its 2015 sales target.

Huawei comfortably overtook Xiaomi to become the Chinese market leader in October of last year …

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Lenovo chief: Google Play Services will be in China this year

According to a report by Tech.Sina, Google will finally bring its services in to China. Lenovo chief, Chen Xudong claims Google is on track to bring its Play Services to the nation at some point in 2016, and that its desire to do so isn’t a secret. Google wants its services back in China, but has faced strong opposition from the government in the past, heavily restricting its presence there.

While Android has long been the dominant smartphone platform in China, Google’s presence there is still very limited. In fact, Google Play Services are practically non-existent. Before the Nexus 6P was built, it was rumored by a reliable publication that Google had chosen Huawei specifically because of its influence in China. With Huawei being a Chinese brand, and the biggest seller of smartphones in the country, its influence is huge. What’s more, Google also recently partnered with (and took a minor stake in) Mobvoi, one of the most widely-used and advanced Chinese AI and voice recognition companies.

Clearly, with Android being the most widely-used smartphone OS in China, Play Services aren’t required or critical to the platform’s success. Bringing Play Services in to China would mostly be an effort to help end fragmentation in a country where multiple app stores exist for Android.

No specific timeframe was given in terms of when we might see Google Play back in China. One can only assume getting the service approved takes multiple jumps over political hurdles and cutting through endless miles of red tape. We’ll keep you updated when/if there’s any more to share on the issue.

China Stories December 28, 2015

redmi-3

A Xiaomi device likely to be the Redmi 3 has passed through China’s TENNA regulatory agency and the process has revealed photos and specifications of the upcoming device. The Redmi is the company’s more entry-level smartphone and has specs to reflect that.

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China Stories December 18, 2015

Samsung-Pay

Samsung Pay will be available in China “as soon as early 2016” after the company signed a deal with card-processor UnionPay. The deal was an essential step as UnionPay has a monopoly on payment terminals in China. Apple yesterday announced its own deal with the company for Apple Pay.

Injong Rhee, Executive Vice President at Samsung Electronics said, “The collaboration with China UnionPay, coupled with the support from major UnionPay partner banks in China, will bring this secure and easy-to-use mobile payment solution to more Samsung mobile users.”

The deal will allow Samsung Pay users to use both swipe and contactless payment terminals, but there is still some red-tape to overcome first …

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China Stories November 20, 2015

china

A few months ago a report surfaced suggesting that Google has plans to bring the Play Store to China, and today another report surfaced (via Reuters) that Google has plans to bring the Play Store to China. You read that sentence correctly; there isn’t anything new here. But if you had any doubt that Google was going to be headed (back) over the Pacific, I think you can put that doubt to rest… expand full story

China Stories October 23, 2015

Mid-tier Samsung Galaxy On5 and Galaxy On7 launched quietly in China

In an effort to claw back some market share at the bottom end of the market, Samsung has released a couple of new modestly-specced smartphones in China. With the rise of several Chinese brands offering great handsets at low prices, Samsung has to fight back. The Galaxy On5 and On7 are part of the the company’s attempt to put pressure on the likes of Huawei and Xiaomi.

There’s little here to whet the appetite of the spec-hungry tech fan. Both phones are equipped with similar components, the only real difference between the Galaxy On5 and On7 is the size. The On5 has a 5.0-inch screen, while the On7 has a 5.5-inch screen. Both share the same 1280 x 720 resolution TFT screens, giving pixel densities of 294ppi and 267ppi respectively. Inside, powering the phones, is an Exynos 3475 quad-core processor paired with 1.5GB RAM and 8GB of internal storage (expandable up to 128GB). There’s a 13MP camera on the back and 5MP camera on the front. Samsung’s page doesn’t give full specifications for the On5, but we’re assuming it doesn’t have the same 3,000mAh battery found inside the larger, 8.2mm thin, On7.

One interesting thing to note is the software installed on the phones. Samsung recently got in to trouble in China because of its insistence on pre-installing tons of bloatware which can’t be uninstalled. Because of this, the Samsung page for the On5 and On7 now detail exactly how much space the pre-loaded apps take up (all of which can be deleted). One of those apps, making its way to China for the first time is Samsung Milk , the Korean tech giant’s music streaming services.

No pricing information has been released yet, but given the specifications, it’d be very unlikely if the phones weren’t in the bottom end of the market.

China Stories October 22, 2015

Huawei takes #1 crown from Xiaomi in China after seeing shipments climb 81%

According to data obtained by Canalys (reported by WSJ), Huawei became the largest smartphone maker in China, overtaking Xiaomi during Q3 this year. The smartphone maker’s shipments grew a huge 81% year-on-year, while Xiaomi saw its own shipments drop in the same period. It’s a significant achievement for Huawei, and marks the first time the company has been in top spot in China.

Although Canalys didn’t reveal exact sales figures for the third quarter, it did say that it will release a detailed report at the end of this month. It did note however that Xiaomi’s year-on-year drop in shipments is also a first, suggesting the two companies are moving in opposite directions.

It’s an interesting time for both companies. On the global scene, Huawei has seen its brand become far more recognizable over the past 12 months. Now, with the launch of the Nexus 6P and Huawei Watch, the manufacturer is on the cusp of becoming one of the ‘big brands’ in terms of sales and mindshare among consumers. In stark contrast, Xiaomi relies on sales in its homeland, China for its growth. With Huawei outperforming Xiaomi in China, and the Mi-makers not having a well-known brand outside Chinese borders, it could spell a slowdown in momentum for the once all-conquering Xiaomi. What’s more, Xiaomi is no longer the only company producing competitive phones at low prices. Brands like OnePlus, Oppo and Meizu are all producing similar devices.

While Xiaomi uses Chinese social media to create buzz in its home nation, Huawei has been far more active in its marketing abroad. What’s more, Huawei has its own sub-brand — Honor — which sells great value handsets in Europe offering performance and build quality that’s hard to beat at their price-points. Devices like the Honor 7, which we unboxed recently, offer a near-flagship experience for a fraction of the price.

China Stories October 12, 2015

pepsi-phone-p1

Update: According to a report out of Reuters this morning, the sugar water maker is indeed planning to launch a smartphone. At this time, however, the plans are only for China.

“Available in China only, this effort is similar to recent globally licensed Pepsi products which include apparel and accessories,” a spokeswoman told Reuters.

Never mind Android versus Apple, if the rumors are true, the next smartphone battle could be Pepsi v Coke. Mobipicker spotted what appears to be a verified Pepsi page on the Chinese social media site Weibo with a ‘Pepsi phone’ banner. expand full story

China Stories October 8, 2015

samsung-pay-1280x713

Samsung has said that a hack at LoopPay reported in the New York Times did not compromise any of its customer data. LoopPay’s technology forms part of the company’s electronic wallet offering, Samsung Pay.

Samsung Pay was not impacted and at no point was any personal payment information at risk. This was an isolated incident that targeted the LoopPay office network, which is a physically separate network from Samsung Pay. The LoopPay incident was resolved and had nothing to do with Samsung Pay … 

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China Stories September 11, 2015

ele-watch-2

China-based Elephone isn’t known for making any high-end hardware, and besides being yet another maker of really cheap Chinese phones, they aren’t known for much of anything at all. But that might change soon, as the company is purportedly preparing to launch a smartwatch running Google’s Android Wear. And while that alone might not be all too exciting (other Chinese OEMs like Huawei have beaten them to the punch), this could — knowing Elephone’s target market — be part of Google’s bigger plan to make a move back into mainland China… expand full story

China Stories September 8, 2015

moto-360-china

Android and Mobvoi have formed a ‘strategic partnership‘ to bring Android Wear to mainland China for the first time. This news comes days after revelations that Google is working to bring a tweaked version of Android and the Google Play Store to China. Negotiations have been difficult, and require compromises from Google, but with Android Wear officially landing, it signals the beginning of a much bigger focus on China than has been possible in recent years…

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China Stories September 4, 2015

According to a new report out this morning from The Information, Google is planning a re-entry into China which could come as early as this fall. Among other initiatives, the report says that Google is planning to launch a special version of its Google Play Store app marketplace made specifically for the Chinese market, as well as bringing support for its Android Wear mobile operating system to the country… expand full story

China Stories August 25, 2015

IDC: China slowdown cuts smartphone forecast, Android will continue to hold lead through 2019

IDC released an updated forecast today lowering its expectations for worldwide smartphone shipments this year with a continuing slowdown of growth in China cited as the biggest contributor to the lower than expected shipments. It also shared some insight into the future of Android, expecting its current 81% share of the global smartphone market as of 2015 to hold strong through 2019, citing continued price sensitivity in the markets with the biggest growth potential (read: China, India, and everyone else in the Asia-Pacific region).

China Stories August 20, 2015

gartner

New data from Gartner suggests that Samsung saw its worldwide sales fall by 5.3% year-on-year, its market share dropping from 26.2% in Q2 2014 to 21.9% in the same quarter this year. The company lost ground to both Apple and Chinese brands Huawei and Xiaomi.

Despite the launch of new S6 models, Samsung’s premium phones continued to be challenged by Apple’s large-screen iPhones. Samsung lost 4.3 percentage points in market share and declined 5.3 percent in unit sales in the second quarter of 2015.

Samsung was hit hardest by Huawei, which saw sales growth of 46.3%, followed by Apple, which increased its sales by 36% …  expand full story

China Stories August 13, 2015

htc building

In a move that’s no surprise to anyone who’s been following HTC news recently, the company just announced that it’s going to cut 15% of its workforce. Some 2,250 people will lose their jobs as part of the company’s aim to cut 35% of its expenses before 2016 rolls in.

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China Stories August 10, 2015

Xiaomi announces new Redmi 2 Prime, its first smartphone ‘made in India’

Smartphone manufacturers are climbing over each other to take full advantage of the rapidly expanding market opportunities in India. Chief among them is Chinese smartphone manufacturer, Xiaomi, which has just announced its first smartphone assembled in India, for the Indian market only. The Redmi 2 Prime still predominantly uses parts from China, but is assembled in Sri City.

As for the device itself, the Redmi 2 Prime offers a considerable memory and storage upgrade on the regular Redmi 2 without costing a whole lot more. For just under 7,000 Rupees ($110 USD) you get a device packing 2GB RAM and 16GB storage, that’s double the memory and capacity of the Redmi 2 which costs just under 6,000 Rupees ($94 USD). Both devices make use of Qualcomm’s 64-bit Snapdragon 410 processor and host 4.7-inch IPS HD (1280×720) displays and an 8MP camera on the back. What’s more, they’re dual SIM and can cope with LTE speeds up to 150Mbps.

Xiaomi plans to bring more of its manufacturing process to India, eventually producing more of its components and packaging within Indian borders. Hugo Barra, Xiaomi’s chief stated “this is like the typical chicken and egg story. Unless there is any smartphone manufacturing happening in the country, you cannot expect to get components locally.” So this is very much just the first step in its journey to cracking the Indian market.

Indian consumers can purchase the new Redmi 2 Prime direct from mi.com from today.

China Stories August 6, 2015

Kantar: Samsung and LG account for 78% of US Android smartphone sales

Consumer insights and research firm Kantar Worldpanel has released its smartphone sales data for the second quarter of 2015, which runs from April through June, and it’s a bit of a mixed bag for Android. Growth in the United States and China, but declines in Europe. Android also saw market consolidation stateside during the three month period.

Let’s get the bad news out of the way. In the second quarter, Kantar says Android posted its “strongest year-on-year share drop in Germany” since the beginning of 2015. 81% of all smartphones sold in Germany during the same period last year were powered by Android, compared to 75% this year — other smartphone operating systems have seen gains in the country during the same period.

China Stories July 30, 2015

The invite waitlist for OnePlus 2 purchases has surpassed one million people

OnePlus earlier this week finally took the wraps off the much anticipated OnePlus 2, the successor to the company’s first Android smartphone, the OnePlus One. And while the young Chinese company says it significantly increased manufacturing capacity for the 2 over the One, it still seems to believe that demand will initially outstrip supply. As such, once the OnePlus 2 launches on August 11th you’re likely to do some more waiting before you get it.

China Stories July 22, 2015

Huawei smartphone shipments up 39% year-on-year, to 48.2M in first half of 2015

Huawei shared some of its financial results on Monday, showing a strong first half of 2015, and it has now shared one additional key piece of data: smartphone sales. Huawei told Reuters that it had shipped 48.2M smartphones globally in the first half of the year, up 39% year-on-year.

Our usual caution should be noted: shipments does not necessarily indicate sales. There’s no telling what percentage of those devices are sitting on warehouse shelves or in retail stores. But assuming there is some reasonable correlation between the two, it does lend weight to the earlier suggestion that the company is on-track for its target of 100M sales by the end of the year, as sales should increase significantly during the holiday season.

Huawei has had a rather troubled history in the U.S. thanks to unproven allegations of involvement in state-sponsored spying, exiting the country in 2013 (bar white-label products for other brands) before returning in 2014 with the Ascend Mate2.

China Stories July 20, 2015

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Huawei, the Chinese-based manufacturer making a name for itself in the Android smartphone market, has released a peek at its earnings results for the first half of 2015, despite being a privately-held company. The results suggest Huawei is doing quite well for a company which already ships millions of phones globally on an annual basis, although the company doesn’t just make smartphones — it also has its hand in enterprise with products in cloud computing, data storage, and more, as well as in the carrier business where it offers network technologies for telecommunications operators to easily scale their mobile broadband infrastructure.

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China Stories July 14, 2015

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Samsung today launched its promising mid-range phablet in China. The Galaxy A8 comes with a bunch of mouth-watering specs built inside a beautiful-looking metal chassis. It’s available to pre-order in mainland China in the usual trinity of colors: Black, White and Gold… expand full story

China Stories July 6, 2015

samsung

At long last, action is being taken against bloatware on Android devices. Samsung and Oppo are facing lawsuits over their use of pre-installed apps. Both companies are being sued by the Shanghai Consumer Rights Protection Commission, as revealed in a report by the Shanghai Daily. In a study of 20 phones, multiple devices were found to have apps which were not only pre-installed but also unremovable.

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China Stories July 2, 2015

Images of purported Xiaomi Mi Band 1s surface, includes heart rate sensor

Chinese website SOGI.com.tw has posted images of what is purportedly a next-generation Xiaomi Mi Band, reportedly to be called the Mi Band 1s. The only difference we can notice by observing the externals is that it houses a heart rate sensor.

This minor difference would make sense as most Xiaomi hardware is priced incredibly competitively, and anything more than the addition of a heart rate sensor may raise the price more than they’d like. The current Mi Band is available ranging between $15-20 on Mi.com and AliExpress. My only concern is how the sensor will impact battery life, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Have you tried the Mi Band? And if so, do you like it? I personally haven’t tried it, but at such a low price it’s pretty hard to beat. Unless of course you already have a smartwatch or other fitness band with a heart rate sensor.

[tweet https://twitter.com/xiaomi/status/616414920855257089/]

Xiaomi has announced sales of 34.7M smartphones in the first half of 2015, up 33% year-on-year. While the number is a substantial one, it’s a long way short of the 227% growth it experienced last year, and the company told Re/code that it has reduced its target for the year from 100M to 80M units …  expand full story

China Stories June 19, 2015

Samsung launches the Galaxy J7 and J5 in China, its first phones with front-facing camera flash

Samsung has launched its first two phones with front-facing camera flash, a feature aimed at a younger crowd that might want to take selfies in lower light. The phones were announced in China today, and are scheduled to be released over the coming week.

China Stories May 27, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 10.47.56 AM

Gartner today released the results of a report on worldwide smartphone marketshare in Q1 2015 (first three months) which most notably found that Android’s hold on the smartphone OS market dropped 1.9% while Apple’s iOS saw it’s third consecutive quarter of gains. The research firm attributed Android’s loss largely to Apple’s newfound success in China – where Android saw a 4% decline over its share of that market last year –  on the back of the larger-screened iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, as well as increased differentiation and ecosystem lock-in through offerings like Apple Pay and Apple Watch. expand full story

China Stories May 25, 2015

Xperia-Z4-China

When Sony announced its new flagship smartphone back in April, the Xperia Z4, there wasn’t a solid launch date other than this summer for the Japan market. Now, it appears Sony’s team in China has announced a May 26 launch date, meaning we could see the device sooner rather than later outside of Japan. expand full story

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