Archive for ‘Technology’

20/04/2015

Xiaomi to Unveil its Newest Phone in India First – India Real Time – WSJ

Cheap smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp. is set to unveil its latest phone on Thursday in Delhi – the first time it has held a global launch in India – and in typical fashion is drumming up interest by turning the event into a velvet-rope affair.

Xiaomi has released no details about the new phone or any of its features, but that didn’t stop over 6,000 people from applying for a limited number of tickets to attend the “global premiere” on the company’s Facebook page.

The Chinese firm hasn’t said how many public tickets are on offer, but a post by the company on Facebook said that “seats are very limited.” Siri Fort, where the event will be held, has four auditoriums and the largest can seat 1,865 people.

via Xiaomi to Unveil its Newest Phone in India First – India Real Time – WSJ.

19/04/2015

E-commerce boom spurs record demand for VRL Logistics IPO | Reuters

A $75-million market debut for Indian parcel delivery firm VRL Logistics Ltd IPO-VRLL.NS has encountered record demand, drawing bids for more than 70 times the number of shares on offer late last week, as investors bet on an e-commerce boom.

Subscription levels were the highest in nearly eight years, stock exchange data showed, roughly the highest since the global financial crisis hit.

Analysts said strong demand was helped by the successful listing of renewable energy firm INOX Wind (INWN.NS), which has lifted primary market sentiment, and growing demand for logistics services as Indians buy more online.

The sale received bids amounting to 74.26 times the number of shares on offer by the last day on Friday, stock exchange data showed.

via E-commerce boom spurs record demand for VRL Logistics IPO | Reuters.

12/04/2015

Modi’s ‘Make in India’ Gets $2 Billion Vote of Confidence From Airbus – India Real Time – WSJ

On Saturday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid a visit to Airbus Group ‘sEADSY +0.49% facilities in Toulouse, France.

He was greeted with a vote of support, from the aerospace company’s CEO, for his Make in India initiative to build up manufacturing in the South Asian country.

Airbus is “ready to manufacture in India, for India and the world,” said Airbus chief Tom Enders. “India already takes a center-stage role in our international activities and we want to even increase its contribution to our products.”

Airbus Group aims to increase its sourcing of aerospace parts from Indian companies to $2 billion in the next five years, the company informed Mr. Modi, as it seeks to diversify its supplier base and tap low-cost suppliers worldwide.

The company’s strategy to ramp up outsourcing from India comes as it competes to secure billions of dollars in deals for military hardware from the country.

India has yet to decide on a joint bid by Airbus and India’s Tata Group to make Airbus’s C295 aircraft, in a contract estimated at about $3 billion. The company is also pursuing separate deals for hundreds of helicopters from the Indian military.

India has already selected Airbus to supply six A330 multirole tanker-transport planes for an estimated $2 billion.

In a presentation to the Indian prime minister on Saturday, the company said it would work with partners in India in areas such as engineering, customer services and pilot training, and to establish centers for the maintenance, repair and overhaul of planes, according to Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin.

In a statement, Airbus said it aims to produce helicopters, military planes, sensors as well as satellites in India, in partnerships with local firms. The company predicted India would India would require 1,291 new planes over the next two decades. It forecast the Indian air travel market to grow 11% each year through 2025.

via Modi’s ‘Make in India’ Gets $2 Billion Vote of Confidence From Airbus – India Real Time – WSJ.

03/04/2015

A New Cancer Drug, Made in China – China Real Time Report – WSJ

Xian-Ping Lu left his job as director of research at drug maker Galderma R&D in Princeton, N.J., to co-found a biotech company to develop new medicines in his native China. As the WSJ’s Shirley S. Wang reports:

It took more than 14 years but the bet could be paying off. In February, Shenzhen Chipscreen Biosciences’ first therapy, a medication for a rare type of lymph-node cancer, hit the market in China.

The willingness of veterans like Dr. Lu and others to leave multinational drug companies for Chinese startups reflects a growing optimism in the industry here. The goal, encouraged by the government, is to move the Chinese drug industry beyond generic medicines and drugs based on ones developed in the West.

Chipscreen’s drug, called chidamide, or Epidaza, was developed from start to finish in China. The medicine is the first of its kind approved for sale in China, and just the fourth in a new class globally. Dr. Lu estimates the research cost of chidamide was about $70 million, or about one-tenth what it would have cost to develop in the U.S.

“They are a good example of the potential for innovation in China,” said Angus Cole, director at Monitor Deloitte and pharmaceuticals and biotechnology lead in China.

China’s spending on pharmaceuticals is expected to top $107 billion in 2015, up from $26 billion in 2007, according to Deloitte China. It will become the world’s second-largest drug market, after the U.S., by 2020, according to an analysis published last year in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice.

via A New Cancer Drug, Made in China – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

03/04/2015

IBM forges mobile app partnership with China Telecom | Reuters

International Business Machines (IBM) (IBM.N) has struck a deal with China Telecom Corp Ltd (0728.HK) to offer and manage corporate-grade mobile apps, the latest in a string of tie-ups with Chinese firms.

A worker is pictured behind a logo at the IBM stand on the CeBIT computer fair in Hanover February 26, 2011. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz

Under the agreement, state-owned China Telecom will host on its servers IBM’sMobileFirst service, which helps corporations manage apps for Apple Inc‘s (AAPL.O) iPhone and iPad devices.

The two companies have not yet disclosed any customers but will seek out everything from large, state-owned enterprises in sectors like banking and insurance to private startups, Nancy Thomas, a Beijing-based managing partner of global business services, said in a telephone interview.

IBM’s strategy has been to deepen its presence and win favor in China through partnerships with local firms despite political headwinds.

Citing cybersecurity concerns, the Chinese government recently announced regulations that encourage state-affiliated companies to procure more tech products from domestic suppliers and shun international vendors. Western business lobbies say this is an unfair tactic to protect Chinese companies or spur technology transfer.

IBM Chief Executive Virginia Rometty said in a speech before business and political elite in Beijing last week that the company would share its technology and help Chinese companies to continue doing business in the country.

Thomas, the Beijing-based executive, said IBM intended to collaborate closely with China Telecom, the largest cloud provider in China and the largest fixed-line carrier.

“When we think about technology sharing, that is the first foundation we’ll be working on when we’re bringing MobileFirst to China Telecom’s cloud,” Thomas said.

MobileFirst is the result of a collaboration between IBM and Apple. IBM has released dozens of iPhone and iPad apps that for instance help shipping companies manage freight or provide records on-the-go for medical doctors.

via IBM forges mobile app partnership with China Telecom | Reuters.

02/04/2015

African phone sales soar, Chinese makers have 30% of market – Business – Chinadaily.com.cn

With a growing number of Chinese cell phone makers taking giant strides in overseas markets, Africa, with its huge population, is also in its sights.

African phone sales soar, Chinese makers have 30% of market

OPPO, a Chinese producer, has unveiled two smartphones, OPPO N3 and OPPO N5, in Morocco, taking the number of Chinese cell phone makers in Africa above 10.

The first batch of manufactures entering the African market were copy makers based in Shenzhen, South China’s Guangdong province, China Business News cited Yan Zhanmeng, a senior analyst of IDC China, as saying. With a smartphone boom in 2013, more famous Chinese makers have been tapping into the market, Yan added.

IDC data showed that the market share of Chinese cell phone brands rose to 30 percent in 2014, from 15 percent two years earlier. Huawei, Tecno and Alcatel have entered the top five in the African market, which surged 108 percent last year.

Africa has a population of one billion, accounting for 15 percent of the world population. Most important is that the number of cell phone users has exceed 200 million, even during the 2009 financial crisis, the growth rate hit 14.8 percent.

Nigeria, with the biggest population in Africa, currently has the most cell phone users, accounting for 16 percent of total users on the continent, followed by Egypt and South Africa. In the next five years, the most obvious growth will focused in Central and East Africa, among which growth in Ethiopia, Congo, Eritrea and Madagascar is expected to exceed 100 percent.

via African phone sales soar, Chinese makers have 30% of market – Business – Chinadaily.com.cn.

02/04/2015

Why China May Have the Most Factory Robots in the World by 2017 – China Real Time Report – WSJ

Having devoured many of the world’s factory jobs, China is now handing them over to robots.

China is already the world’s largest market for industrial robots—sales of the machines last year grew 54% from 2013. The nation is expected to have more factory robots than any other country on earth by 2017, according to the German-based International Federation of Robotics.

A perfect storm of economic forces is fueling the trend. Chinese labor costs have soared, undermining the calculus that brought all those jobs to China in the first place, and new robot technology is cheaper and easier to deploy than ever before.

Not to mention that many of China’s fastest-growing industries, such as autos, tend to rely on high levels of automation regardless of where the factories are built.

“We think of them producing cheap widgets,” but that’s not what they’re focused on, says Adams Nager, an economic research analyst at the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation in Washington. Mr. Nager says China is letting low-cost production shift out of the country and is focusing instead on capital-intensive industries such as steel and electronics where automation is a driving force.

via Why China May Have the Most Factory Robots in the World by 2017 – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

02/04/2015

India’s IT plans suffer from power cuts, congestion – and monkeys | Reuters

As India launches an $18 billion plan to spread the information revolution to its provinces, the problems it faces are a holdover from the past – electricity shortages, badly planned, jam-packed cities, and monkeys.

The clash between the old world and the new is sharply in focus in the crowded 3,000-year-old holy city of Varanasi, where many devout Hindus come to die in the belief that doing so will give them salvation. Varanasi is also home to hundreds of macaque monkeys that live in its temples and are fed and venerated by devotees.

But the monkeys also feast on the fibre-optic cables that are strung along the banks of the Ganges river.

“We cannot move the temples from here. We cannot modify anything here, everything is built up. The monkeys, they destroy all the wires and eat all the wires,” said communications engineer A.P. Srivastava.

Srivastava, who oversees the expansion of new connections in the local district, said his team had to replace the riverside cables when the monkeys chewed them up less than two months after they were installed.

He said his team is now looking for alternatives, but there are few to be found. The city of over 2 million people is impossibly crowded and laying underground cable is out of the question. Chasing away or trapping the monkeys will outrage residents and temple-goers.

Varanasi is part of the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist leader who came to power last May.

A shortage of electricity is further complicating efforts to set up stable Wi-Fi in public places – daily power cuts can last for hours during the sweltering summer in Varanasi and across much of India.

Modi’s government has pledged to lay 700,000 kms (434,960 miles) of broadband cable to connect India’s 250,000 village clusters within three years, build 100 new “Smart Cities” by 2020 and shift more public services like education and health to electronic platforms to improve access and accountability.

via India’s IT plans suffer from power cuts, congestion – and monkeys | Reuters.

20/02/2015

Indian IT firms eye robotics, driverless cars for next round of growth | Reuters

After decades of low-margin work like server maintenance, India’s information technology services firms are moving upscale in search of lucrative contracts for driverless cars and other advanced projects as online innovation changes clients’ needs.

Employees walk along a corridor in the Infosys campus in the southern Indian city of Bangalore September 23, 2014. REUTERS/Abhishek Chinnappa/Files

Companies from Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS.NS) to Wipro Ltd (WIPR.NS) are all joining Infosys Ltd (INFY.NS) in investing in new, high-end technology, industry watchers say. Earlier this week Infosys bought U.S. automation specialist Panaya Inc for $200 million.

Triggering change is a wave of invention allowing machines to talk to each other online, dubbed ‘the Internet of things‘. Customers are ramping up: from about 5 percent now, strategy advisor Offshore Insights estimates automation and artificial intelligence work will grow to 25 to 30 percent of an IT outsourcing market seen by the national industry association as worth $300 billion by 2020.

“We’re in the midst of a new wave of software, and IT services companies really don’t have a choice,” said R. Ray Wang, principal analyst and founder of Silicon Valley-based Constellation Research.

via Indian IT firms eye robotics, driverless cars for next round of growth | Reuters.

18/02/2015

Modi wants more technology transfer from global defence firms | Reuters

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked global defence contractors to transfer more technology to India as part of the lucrative deals that they win to modernise its armed forces.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi attends an event organised by the Christian community to celebrate the beatification of two Indians by Pope Francis late last year, in New Delhi February 17, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

The country’s offsets policy, which requires contractors to invest a percentage of the value of the deal in India, will be tweaked to encourage more technology transfer, and less simple assembly or production, Modi said at the opening ceremony of the Aero India airshow at Yelahanka air base in Bengaluru.

“We have the reputation as the largest importer of defence equipment. This may be music to the ears of some of you. But this is an area where we do not want to be number one,” Modi said before an air display of Indian military planes.

“It will no longer be enough to buy equipment and simply assemble here.”

India is forecast to spend $250 billion over the next decade to upgrade its military, which still largely relies on Russian equipment it bought from the 1960s to the 1980s, and catch up with strategic rivals like China.

via Modi wants more technology transfer from global defence firms | Reuters.

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