Archive for ‘Technology’

30/07/2015

Behind the Surge in Chinese Tech Startups – China Real Time Report – WSJ

In 2009, then-Google executive Kai-Fu Lee wrote a letter to Chinese college students discouraging them from the start-up world. Young people then simply weren’t ready to strike out on their own, he said. The gist, he said: “Don’t start a company. It’s tough. There are wolves out there.”

Today, he says, China’s young people are themselves proving to be an innovative pack. Internet availability, manufacturing know-how and the smartphone revolution have fueled a surge of Chinese startups in China over the past few years, many run by members of a post-digital generation of youngsters. The rush has led to a wave of investment in Chinese startups by investors looking for the next Alibaba, and thrown into question China’s longtime reputation as a market dependent on copycatting.

Back then, “there were so few serial entrepreneurs in China,” he said on Thursday at Converge, a technology conference co-hosted by The Wall Street Journal and f.ounders. “We really had to find either very young people or find professional managers or senior engineers out of companies like Google and Baidu and help them start a company.” Now, he says, “there are serial entrepreneurs everywhere.”

In some places, the rush may be getting ahead of itself. Mr. Lee—now chairman and chief executive of investment firm and tech incubator Innovation Works—sees “totally crazy” valuations among Chinese tech initial public offerings. Many of the best already went public overseas, including in the U.S. The few left in China “have been blown out of proportion,” he said, adding, “everybody’s chasing those few stocks.”

But overall, he says, “I’m very bullish about the future.”

Mr. Lee, famous in China for his roles at Google and Innovation Works, is also a social-media presence. He says that since forming Innovation Works in 2009 he has seen attitudes change among young Chinese.

“They grew up their total lives on the Internet, unlike us, who have all this baggage,” he said.

That’s potentially good news for Beijing, which is looking to sustain growth by broadening the world’s No. 2 economy, making it more than the world’s factory floor.

Innovation may take a different form than what the U.S. expects, Mr. Lee said. Innovators in China and elsewhere, rather than inventing the next iPhone, “can change the world because of a very clever business idea.”

“China is completely ready to build a Facebook-equivalent type of company, an Uber-equivalent type of company, in many other areas, because the market is very large and the people are very innovative,” he said.

Innovation Works currently sees promise in startups with products like a piano that can teach the user how to play, a household robot and even an online joke platform “for people to share the embarrassing moments in their lives.” And then there’s a venture built around a Chinese girl band, SNH48, that takes a page from Japan’s AKB48 and hopes to make money selling virtual products to an online community of fans.

Even if many of the ideas from China’s startups are themselves derivative, he said, “they will wow people.”

via Behind the Surge in Chinese Tech Startups – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

28/07/2015

Apple ‘fake factory’ raided in China – BBC News

A factory which allegedly made up to 41,000 fake Apple iPhones has been raided in China, with nine arrests.

iphone 6

The operation reportedly involved “hundreds” of workers repackaging second hand smartphone parts as new iPhones for export, with counterfeit phones produced worth 120m yuan ($19m).

The factory was discovered on 14 May but was revealed on social media by Beijing’s public security bureau on Sunday, according to reports.

The operation was set up in January.

It was led by a husband and wife team, on the northern outskirts of the Chinese capital, according to Beijing authorities.

They said they had been alerted to the factory by US authorities which had seized some of the fake phones.

The reports come amid an official Chinese crackdown on counterfeit goods, with authorities pushing firms to trademark their goods.

China has also agreed to work with the US authorities to try to stem the large quantities of fake goods flowing between the two countries.

The discovery of the factory comes four years after fake Apple stores were found in Kunming city, China.

Discovered by blogger BirdAbroad, the fakes were so convincing she said many of the staff themselves were convinced that they were employed by the US electronics firm.

via Apple ‘fake factory’ raided in China – BBC News.

21/05/2015

Patent applications lead the world|Focus|chinadaily.com.cn

China recorded 928,000 invention patent applications in 2014, more than that of any other country, for the fourth consecutive year, according to data released by the State Intellectual Property Office on Monday.

Patent applications lead the world

The office found that about 663,000 inventions had high quality and market value. About 4.9 patents per 10,000 population were filed, according to the data.

Enterprises have been pillars of research and the development of new technologies and products, according to the office.

In 2014, about 485,000 invention patent applications were filed by enterprises, more than the number filed by individuals, academies or research institutes.

“It shows that China has already established a new technological innovation system that is strongly bolstered by enterprises,” said Gan Shaoning, deputy head of the office.

Huawei Technologies, the world’s biggest maker of telecommunications equipment, was granted 2,409 invention patents in 2014, according to the SIPO data.

China’s inventors need to raise the quality of their inventions in order to catch up with world’s best, Gan said.

Market insiders said economic growth, as well as higher demand from industry and individual consumers, have pushed up the number of inventions.

“New inventions enable businesses to run at lower cost, with greater efficiency and with more care for the environment. For customers, inventions simply mean a better life and more choices,” said Zhang Ming, a Shanghai-based patent consultant.

In 2014, applications for invention patents accounted for 39.3 percent of all applications, exceeding that of so-called utility model applications – mainly cosmetic design or appearance – which stood at 36.8 percent, a recent SIPO circular said.

One of China’s priorities has been to boost innovation by improving protections for intellectual property, an effort that has induced many intellectual property rights firms to expand business here.

The country also plans to set up a standardized IPR service system by 2020, according to a guideline jointly released by the SIPO, the Standardization Administration, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce and the National Copyright Administration.

Awapatent, a consultancy firm specializing in intellectual property, launched its Asian arm this month in Beijing and Hong Kong – AWA Asia – in response to increasingly frequent calls from clients in the region.

via Patent applications lead the world|Focus|chinadaily.com.cn.

14/05/2015

India learns to ‘fail fast’ as tech start-up culture takes root | Reuters

After ping pong tables, motivational posters and casual dress codes, India’s tech start-ups are following Silicon Valley‘s lead and embracing the “fail fast” culture credited with fuelling creativity and success in the United States.

Taking failure as a norm is a major cultural shift in India, where high-achieving children are typically expected to take steady jobs at recognised firms. A failed venture hurts family status and even marriage prospects.

But that nascent acceptance, fuelled by returning engineers and billions of dollars in venture fund investment, is for many observers a sign that India’s $150 billion tech industry is coming of age, moving from a back office powerhouse to a creative force.

“There is obviously increased acceptance,” said Raghunandan G, co-founder of TaxiForSure, which was sold to rival Ola this year. He is now investing in others’ early stage ventures.

“My co-founder Aprameya (Radhakrishna) used to have lines of prospective brides to meet … the moment we started our own company, all those prospective alliances disappeared. No one wanted their daughters to marry a start-up guy.”

Srikanth Chunduri returned to India after studying at Duke University in the United States, and is now working on his second venture. “I think what’s encouraging is that acceptance of failure is increasing despite the very deep-rooted Asian culture where failure is a big no,” he said.

“IT’S OK TO FAIL”

via India learns to ‘fail fast’ as tech start-up culture takes root | Reuters.

07/05/2015

After Fresh Investment, Chinese Drone Maker DJI Valued at About $8 Billion – China Real Time Report – WSJ

Chinese drone maker SZ DJI Technology Co. secured a $75 million investment this week that values the company at roughly $8 billion, according to people familiar with the situation, propelling the firm into an exclusive club of startups and signaling Silicon Valley’s high hopes for the commercial promise of flying robots. As the WSJ’s Jack Nicas and Douglas Macmillan report:

Venture-capital firm Accel Partners said its $75 million investment in SZ DJI Technology is one of its largest ever.

“We think [the drone sector] is still an early market, but one that we think is a new global technology category,” said Sameer Gandhi, who led the investment for Accel, based in Palo Alto, Calif. “This is the company we believe is going to be the leader in that category.”

The Accel deal flows out of broader DJI fundraising talks reported last month by The Wall Street Journal that could ultimately value the drone maker at around $10 billion. Those talks continue with other potential investors, according to one of the people familiar with the situation.

DJI says venture firm Sequoia Capital already is an investor.

DJI, based in Shenzhen, China, has quickly become the world’s top consumer drone maker by revenue, expecting to exceed $1 billion in sales this year, compared with $130 million in 2013, according to people familiar with its finances.

via After Fresh Investment, Chinese Drone Maker DJI Valued at About $8 Billion – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

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.

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