Archive for ‘Technology’

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.

14/02/2015

Jack Ma Tells Alibaba Staffers: No Red Packets This Year – China Real Time Report – WSJ

Instead of handing out envelopes of cash to Alibaba’s employees this Lunar New Year, Jack Ma is distributing a huge reality check.

Chinese companies typically hand out red envelopes – known as hongbao – stuffed with money to employees on the eve of the big Lunar New Year holiday, which begins Wednesday. Alibaba Group would seem to be good for a similar reward, given its $25 billion initial public offering bonanza in September.

But in a post on his personal microblog site Friday, Mr. Ma said such rewards are reserved only for exceptional results.

“The reason for not distributing red envelopes is that in the past year, Alibaba Group has not had exceptional results and not had any special surprises,” said Mr. Ma, the company’s founder and executive chairman. “The success of becoming listed should not be a surprise as it was the result of all of Alibaba’s employees’ work over 15 years. But aside from going public, objectively speaking, we haven’t been that satisfied with our results in 2014 that we should distribute red envelopes.

“We must objectively and calmly see our own results, rationally regard external views and not let ourselves be lost in illusory fame,” he said.

Ouch.

via Jack Ma Tells Alibaba Staffers: No Red Packets This Year – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

29/01/2015

China eyes mass innovation, entrepreneurship as new engine – Xinhua | English.news.cn

China’s State Council pledged to take various steps to create an amicable environment for innovation and entrepreneurship in order to power growth and generate jobs.

China should embrace the trend of mass entrepreneurship and innovation in the Internet age, a statement released after an executive meeting of the State Council presided over by Premier Li Keqiang said.

The statement said China will foster a platform offering low-cost services in a variety of areas to micro businesses and individual start-ups that show innovation.

The government will also step up policy support, such as simplifying registration procedures and giving subsidies, to innovative businesses. They will improve financing systems to give special support to start-up companies, according to the statement.

Although China’s broader economy is slowing, China’s young entrepreneurs are driving a wave of startups that has become a bright spot for the economic landscape and an important engine for future growth.

The number of newly founded companies in China surged almost 46 percent year on year to 3.65 million in 2014, the latest data showed.

via China eyes mass innovation, entrepreneurship as new engine – Xinhua | English.news.cn.

20/01/2015

China’s rising Internet wave: Wired companies | McKinsey & Company

Until recently, China’s Internet economy was consumer driven. The country leads the world in the number of Internet users, and Chinese enterprises deploy sophisticated e-commerce strategies. The same companies, though, have lagged behind the United States and other developed nations in using the Internet to run key aspects of their businesses (Exhibit 1).

That’s changing. China’s companies are quickly climbing the adoption curve. Their increased digital engagement will not only give the economy a new burst of momentum but also change the nature of growth. China sorely needs a new leg of expansion because the industrial growth of recent years—driven by heavy capital expenditures in manufacturing—will be difficult to sustain. The Internet, by contrast, should foster new economic activity rooted in productivity, innovation, and higher consumption.

For global companies counting on China for continued growth, the new Internet wave will change the nature of competition: it will enable the most efficient Chinese companies to grow more quickly, shine more transparency on business and consumer markets, and create conditions for a better allocation of capital.

A new McKinsey Global Institute report looks broadly at the coming transformation.1 Our research shows that Chinese companies are investing heavily in the building blocks of the Internet economy: cloud computing, wireless communications, new digital platforms, big data analytics, and more. Across six sectors (Exhibit 2), which accounted for 25 percent of Chinese economic activity in 2013, we find that increased Internet adoption could add 60 billion to 1.2 trillion renminbi (about $10 billion to $190 billion) in GDP to individual sectors by 2025. About one-third of these gains will come from the creation of entirely new markets, the remainder from productivity gains across the value chain. When we scale up this level of growth across all sectors of the economy, we find that Internet adoption could add 4 trillion to 14 trillion renminbi to GDP by 2025. The Internet is also expected to contribute 7 to 22 percent of total GDP growth from 2013 to 2025.2

via China’s rising Internet wave: Wired companies | McKinsey & Company.

17/01/2015

Alibaba in major initiative to court China consumer for U.S. retailers | Reuters

China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N) plans a major move to win U.S. business this year, by offering American retailers new ways to sell to China’s vast and growing middle class.

The logo of Alibaba Group is seen inside the company's headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province early November 11, 2014. REUTERS/Aly Song

Anchored by Alipay, the dominant Chinese electronic payments system that works closely with Alibaba and is controlled by its executives, the world’s largest Internet retailer is using the calling card of China’s consumers to attract U.S. partners, two sources close to the company told Reuters.

Long seen as the most potent threat to Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) with $300 billion in global sales, the moves add up to a conservative approach to expanding in the United States, contrary to industry speculation that the company may be plotting a direct assault on U.S. soil.

That considered strategy, outlined to Reuters for the first time by the sources and executives who work directly with the Chinese company, is intended to heighten awareness in the United States of what Alibaba does, gain goodwill in an important Western market, and lay the groundwork for a longer-term play.

At the heart of its push are Alibaba’s and Alipay’s trial deals to handle Chinese sales, payment and shipping for some of the biggest names in U.S. retail from Neiman Marcus Group [NMRCUS.UL] to Saks Inc. Both confirmed the agreement but would not talk about how the pilots are faring.

The Chinese companies will also work with U.S. startup Shoprunner, an online mall for U.S. retailers in which it owns a stake, and retail services provider Borderfree Inc (BRDR.O) to court Chinese consumers.

And Alibaba is preparing a marketing campaign to raise awareness among U.S. businesses of its global business-to-business wholesale platform, Alibaba.com, so they can buy and sell to and from global suppliers.

via Alibaba in major initiative to court China consumer for U.S. retailers | Reuters.

16/01/2015

China accepts more invention patent applications – Xinhua | English.news.cn

China accepted about 928,000 invention patent applications in 2014, some 103,000 more than in 2013, the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) said on Thursday.

SIPO director Shen Changyu said invention patent applications accounted for 39.3 percent of all patent applications last year, compared with a 34.7 percent in 2013.

China grants patents for three major categories: invention, utility model and design.

Invention patent application growth slowed from 26.3 percent in 2013 to 12.5 percent in 2014, according to Shen.

Growth in invention patent applications is moderating, but its share in total patent applications is rising, said Shen.

The director said the SIPO will step up law enforcement in 2015 and put more efforts in intellectual property protection.

via China accepts more invention patent applications – Xinhua | English.news.cn.

15/01/2015

China to create $6.5 billion venture capital fund to support start-ups | Reuters

(Reuters) – China will set up a government venture capital fund worth 40 billion yuan (4 billion pounds) to support start-ups in emerging industries, in its latest move to support the private sector and foster innovation.

“The establishment of the state venture capital investment guidance fund, with the focus to support fledging start-ups in emerging industries, is a significant step for the combination of technology and the market, innovations and manufacturing,” China’s State Council, the cabinet, said in a statement.

“It will also help breed and foster sunrise industries for the future and promote (China’s) economy to evolve towards the medium and high ends,” it said in the statement published in the government’s website, http://www.gov.cn, referring to sectors which the government is promoting such as technology and green energy.

The government issued the statement after a meeting on Wednesday. It did not give a timetable, but past experience has shown that such a fund could be established within a few weeks after an announcement.

China’s venture capital market remains small, the legacy of the country’s decades of the planned economy in which private sector’s development is largely subject to a great variety of restrictions.

via China to create $6.5 billion venture capital fund to support start-ups | Reuters.

18/12/2014

India’s tech opportunity: Transforming work, empowering people | McKinsey & Company

Millions of Indians hope for a better future, with well-paying jobs and a decent standard of living. To meet these aspirations, the country needs broad-based economic growth and more effective public services. Technology can play an important role in enabling the growth India needs. The spread of digital technologies, as well as advances in energy and genomics, can raise the productivity of business and agriculture, redefine how services such as healthcare and education are delivered, and contribute to higher living standards for millions of Indians by raising education levels and improving healthcare outcomes.

India’s tech opportunity: Transforming work, empowering people

Empowering technologies in India

McKinsey’s Noshir Kaka and Anu Madgavkar discuss how India could transform its economy by employing 12 technologies.

A dozen empowering technologies

A new McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) report identifies a dozen technologies, ranging from the mobile Internet to cloud computing to advanced genomics, which could have a combined economic impact of $550 billion to $1 trillion a year in 2025. The selection of the 12 technologies for India was based on a similar process established by MGI’s earlier work on disruptive technologies.1 For India, we used additional criteria to identify the technologies that would have a direct impact on the country’s economic and social challenges in the coming decade. As a result, we include technologies such as electronic payments, which are well established in other parts of the world but not well developed in India. By 2025, however, electronic payments could help 300 million Indians join the country’s financial system.

We group the 12 technologies into three areas: digitizing life and work, smart physical systems, and energy technologies:

digitizing life and work—the mobile Internet, the cloud, the automation of knowledge work, digital payments, and verifiable digital identity

smart physical systems—the Internet of Things, intelligent transportation and distribution systems, advanced geographic information systems (GIS), and next-generation genomics

energy—unconventional oil and gas (horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing), renewable energy, and advanced energy storage

Each of these technologies has the potential for rapid adoption in India between now and 2025 (exhibit) …

via India’s tech opportunity: Transforming work, empowering people | McKinsey & Company.

16/12/2014

Logistics Hold India’s E-Commerce Companies Back – Businessweek

Laxminarayan Krishnamurthy figured a Samsung (005930:KS) Galaxy Core 2 smartphone would make a perfect gift for his wife. So he ordered one from New Delhi-based e-retailer Snapdeal.com. When the package arrived, it contained a brick and a bar of soap but no phone. When he contacted the company, Krishnamurthy was told the phone was stolen by unscrupulous middlemen transporting the package. So he took his complaints to Facebook (FB).

Logistics Are Holding India’s E-Commerce Companies Back

“Had ordered a samsung mobile through snapdeal and we got a soap bar!!!” Krishnamurthy wrote. “The worst customer service ever received!!! Beware of snapdeal guys!!”

Anjana Swaminathan, a Snapdeal spokeswoman, didn’t respond to a request for comment.

via Logistics Hold India’s E-Commerce Companies Back – Businessweek.

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