Archive for ‘IT’

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.

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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.

04/12/2014

Intel to invest $1.6 billion in China factory | Reuters

Intel Corp (INTC.O) will invest $1.6 billion (1 billion pounds) to upgrade its factory in the city of Chengdu in western China, the latest sign of how the chipmaker is deepening ties in a market that is proving increasingly troublesome for some U.S. technology peers.

Indonesian youth walk past an Intel sign during Digital Imaging expo in Jakarta March 5, 2014. REUTERS/Beawiharta

As part of the upgrade, Intel said in a statement on Thursday it would bring its most advanced chip-testing technology to China. In exchange it will receive local and regional government support for construction.

“Deploying our newest advanced testing technology in China shows our commitment to innovating jointly with China,” Intel executive vice president William Holt said in the statement. “The fully upgraded Chengdu plant will help the Chinese semiconductor industry and boost regional economic growth.”

The announcement comes three months after Intel purchased a minority stake in a government-controlled semiconductor company to jointly design and distribute mobile chips, an industry that China considers to be of strategic importance.

Intel’s fortunes in China contrast with the travails of its rival, Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O), which is expected to announce in the coming days a potentially record-breaking settlement with Chinese antitrust regulators.

China’s investigation into San Diego-based Qualcomm, as well as a spate of recent probes against firms including Microsoft Corp, have prompted an outcry from foreign business lobbies. They say the Chinese government is increasingly adopting strong-arm tactics to yield technology-sharing or other arrangements beneficial to domestic industry.

The government, meanwhile, has defended its regulatory scrutiny as even-handed. It has pointed to a history of Qualcomm and Microsoft facing similar antitrust probes in Western countries.

Analysts say there is a broad recognition that foreign companies must do more to stay in China’s good graces.

via Intel to invest $1.6 billion in China factory | Reuters.

28/10/2014

Softbank invests $840M in India tech companies – Businessweek

Japanese telecommunications company Softbank Corp. is investing nearly $840 million in two technology companies in India, eyeing what it sees as a lucrative market for growth.

Softbank said Tuesday it is investing $627 million and becoming the biggest shareholder in Snapdeal, the largest digital marketplace in India with 25 million users and 50,000 businesses. It brings together products from thousands of big and small brands.

The Tokyo-based company, which recently acquired Sprint in the U.S., is also investing $210 million in Ola Cabs, which runs the technology to connect consumers with cab drivers in India.

Softbank executives said they were banking on India because it has a large number of Internet users, the online market is not yet saturated and connection speeds are likely to get faster.

via Softbank invests $840M in India tech companies – Businessweek.

20/09/2014

Huawei: The great disrupter’s new targets | The Economist

“THE last time there were so many people down by here, the Rolling Stones were in town.” So declared one of those attending an unusual gathering this week in a vast auditorium along the shores of Shanghai’s Huangpu River. The music was blaring, the coloured lights flashing and the ceiling shimmering, but this was not another rock concert. Astonishingly, the enthusiastic throngs—10,000 squeezed into the venue and another 13,000 joined in via streaming video—had gathered for a technology conference.

The gig was organised by Huawei, a Chinese maker of telecoms equipment, which used the occasion to unveil a new business strategy. As they strode across the stage in front of a video screen nearly as wide as a football pitch, Huawei’s bosses declared their aim of making their firm the world’s leading information-technology (IT) company. In the first stage of this, Huawei plans to increase its sales of servers, storage and other data-centre equipment by a factor of ten by 2020. Last year such products brought in only about $1 billion of Huawei’s total revenues of $39 billion.

It is an audacious goal. It pits Huawei against such titans as IBM, Cisco and HP—innovative giants with deep customer relationships and comprehensive offerings that Huawei cannot yet match. Then again, a decade or so ago Huawei faced a similar challenge in telecoms equipment and has grown to become one of the world’s dominant vendors. It has also become big in smartphones. Evan Zeng of Gartner, a consulting firm, says Huawei starts with an edge in China’s fast-growing market, where state-owned firms favour domestic suppliers. That said, it has some strong local rivals, notably Lenovo and ZTE.

Bryan Wang of Forrester Research, another consulting firm, says Huawei is taking on this daunting challenge because the telecoms-equipment market has become saturated and is set to grow only sluggishly. The IT business is also crowded. But it is a far bigger market than telecoms equipment, and Huawei, since it has such a small share of it, has enormous scope for growth.

In an attempt to keep the company nimble, Huawei recently introduced a system in which three of its bosses take turns, six months at a time, at being the chief executive. Guo Ping, who is in charge at the moment, argues that the telecoms operators that are now his firm’s main customers are embracing cloud computing, so it makes sense for Huawei to make sure it can provide all the gear they need to do so.

Second, Mr Guo argues, the long-predicted convergence of the telecoms and IT businesses is finally happening. The switching of telecoms and internet traffic will no longer require so much of the costly, specialist hardware that Huawei now makes. Increasingly, the job will be done by software, which will run on cheaper, standard IT equipment—what is known as “software-defined networking”. Huawei is seeking to get ahead of this disruption of its core business by being a disrupter itself.

There are good reasons to think Huawei may be up to the challenge. As a privately-held company, “its managers don’t have quarterly pressure, and can invest for the long term,” notes Mark Gibbs of SAP, a German software firm that works closely with Huawei. Ryan Ding, Huawei’s head of product development, recalls that his firm stuck with its efforts to penetrate the markets for routers and LAN switches—two important bits of telecoms gear—despite losing money on each for more than a decade. Likewise, this year it is pumping $600m, or more than half of its entire revenues from IT products, into researching future ones.

Huawei is a proven innovator entering a bloated industry, ripe for change. Its bosses speak clearly and compellingly about what innovation is for: not to win Nobel prizes, or plaudits in the media for the “coolness” of its products, but to create value for customers. To this end, Huawei stations armies of engineers at 28 “joint innovation centres” at customers’ sites around the world. “My guys don’t just ask the customer what he wants: they go to the field site together, do the installation together, and figure out together how to increase efficiencies,” boasts Mr Ding.

The American and European giants of IT have been put on notice. Mr Wang of Forrester says Huawei has already shown it can deliver a potent combination of price, service and customisation. That is why he feels sure it will disrupt the IT business just as it did with telecoms.

via Huawei: The great disrupter’s new targets | The Economist.

11/02/2014

UPDATE 1-India IT sector exports seen picking up pace in FY15-Nasscom | Reuters

IT services exports in 2014-15 are forecast to rise to as much $99 billion, according to the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom).

NASSCOM 2010

NASSCOM 2010 (Photo credit: markhillary)

The increase in growth rate compares with an estimated 13 percent rise in fiscal 2014, the lobby added.

“Clearly compared to what we saw in the industry 12 months ago to now, we are seeing a far more positive momentum in our major markets,” Nasscom Chairman Krishnakumar Natarajan, also chief executive of IT firm Mindtree Ltd, told reporters.

Last month, the International Monetary Fund raised its global economic growth forecast for the first time in nearly two years.

India’s biggest IT services outsourcing firms, Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services, have forecast stronger growth for IT spending in the next fiscal year by their main customers in Europe and the United States.

via UPDATE 1-India IT sector exports seen picking up pace in FY15-Nasscom | Reuters.

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31/12/2013

Review: Indian IT in 2013 – Times Of India

The resilient $270-billion plus Indian IT industry returned to the higher growth trajectory in 2013 and is hoping to gain momentum in the ensuing year for a greater share of the global multi-billion dollar outsourcing market.

Putting behind a turbulent 2012, the industry consolidated its presence in the software services sector, with its top four IT bellwethersTCS, Infosys, Wipro and HCL – posting better results to register a healthy 12-14% growth thus far as against 10% last fiscal (2012-13).

via Review: Indian IT in 2013 – Times Of India.

See also: https://chindia-alert.org/2013/12/28/chinas-it-sector-to-gross-12-5-trillion-yuan-chinadaily-com-cn/

28/12/2013

China’s IT sector to gross 12.5 trillion yuan – Chinadaily.com.cn

The sales revenue of China\’s information technology sector will hit 12.5 trillion yuan (about $2.04 trillion) this year, a Ministry of Industry and Information Technology official has forecast.

English: Logo Information Technology

English: Logo Information Technology (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the first nine months of 2013, the sector\’s sales revenue reached 8.98 trillion yuan, up 14 percent year on year, said Ding Wenwu, chief of the ministry\’s electronics and information department, at the 13th China Tianjin Information Technology Exposition, which opened in Tianjin on Thursday.

China\’s information technology sector has maintained stable growth in the past three years, with its output of mobile phones, computers and color TV sets world leading, according to Ding.

With new developments such as the Internet of Things, cloud computing and big data, the information technology sector faces new growth opportunities, he said.

The ministry will underscore innovations in the sector to enhance its core competitiveness and promote the consumption of information products and services, and deep integration between industrialization and informationization, the official added.

China aims to boost the consumption of information products and services and make the sector a new engine for domestic demand and economic growth.

via China’s IT sector to gross 12.5 trillion yuan – Chinadaily.com.cn.

20/11/2013

Indian women in business: has the glass ceiling been shattered? – The New Silk Road, Stephenson Harwood

From: The New Silk Road, Nov 13 to Jan 14; Stephenson Harwood

http://f.datasrvr.com/fr1/413/26346/NSRissue17-interactivePDF-v15.pdf

India is a country of acute contrasts; and perhaps nowhere is the divide more pronounced than in the status of women. In terms of the big milestones, the country has a reputation for leapfrogging others – Indira Gandhi became the world’s second ever female prime minister way back in 1966 (pipped to post by Sirimavo Bandaranaike of Sri Lanka), and women have since served in multiple senior political roles.

They’ve also stormed ahead in the professions (notably medicine and law) and in the international corporate world. One might cite Indra Nooyi, who beat all comers to secure the top job at Pepsi-Co; ot her aptly named Padmasree Warrior, chief technology and strategy officer at Cisco Systems. Meanwhile, a generation of newly-empowered and highly-educated young women are going out to work in larger numbers than before.

Set against these achievements, however, is the increasingly troubling situation facing Indian women more broadly. A recent Reuters Trustlaw investigation – examining a wide variety of measures from male-to-female pay disparity, through female foeticide, to deaths in dowry disputes – ranked India  as the worst country in the G20 to be born female.

Assushma Kapoor, South Asia deputy director for UN Women sums up: “There are two Indias: one where we can see more equality and prosperity for women, but another where the vast majority of women are living with no choice, voice, or rights.”

Although more than two decades of economic liberalisation has opened up opportunities in progressive cities such as New Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore, large parts of the country – particularly in the north – remain entrenched in feudalism. The upshot, according to The Economist, is that just 29 per cent of Indian women are currently in the workforce, compared with two-thirds of women in China.If deep-rooted changes in social attitudes are needed, who better to lead them than India’s companies? The willingness with which multinational companies (especially in the IT sector) have embraced the female graduates of India’s management schools is surely indicative of their quality. As well as Vanitha Narayan of IBM (profiled overleaf) the managing directors of both CapGemini India and Hewlett-Packard India are women. Female representation at the top of the banking profession is also much higher in India than many other countries.

The sectors in which women are currently thriving at senior levels – FMCG, retail, IT and retail banking – tend to be consumer-centric, says headhunter Ronesh Puri of Executive Access: reflecting the fact that household buying decisions are usually made by women and companies feel the need to ‘connect’. In more labour-intensive industries like mining, oil and gas, and aviation, women are still under-represented – as they are in the west – though that is beginning to change.

Indeed, demand for female directors at Indian companies across the board is growing at an estimated rate of about 10 per cent each year. That’s partly the result of new legislation mandating at least one board for certain classes of companies. But it’s also a response to the growing body of research suggesting a link between business growth and profitability, and gender diversity.Many women in corporate India might protest that there’s a long way to go. But the same is true in virtually every other developed nation. And one thing India is not short of is distinguished role models. Here we profile four inspirational women, who’ve made their mark across very different sectors.

Shubhalakshmi Panse

Chairman and managing director, Allahabad Bank

When Shubhalakshmi Panse’s became the first woman to lead India’s oldest bank last year, it marked the culmination of a near 40-year career at the financial coal-face. It almost never happened. Panse, 59, was pursuing a doctorate in embryology at Pune University when she stumbled across a recruitment advert from the state-owned Bank of Maharashtra. She took the qualifying exams “just for fun”. Having successfully climbed the professional ladder, Panse made the most of a sabbatical in the US in the early 1990s, completing a three-year MBA in twelve months flat before returning to India. The sizeable challenge she was hired to tackle at Allahabad Bank was to turn round the struggling institution in a year, ahead of her retirement next January. Panse admits “networking” isn’t her forte. She credits her success to her work ethic (“my commitment has always been 200 per cent”); and her parents. “We were raised as independent individuals. My mother would say ‘you can do it’.

Ishita Swarup

Founder, Orion Dialog and 99.labels.com

Ishita Swarup knew from an early age that she wanted to do “something of my own” rather than get stuck in “the cog in the wheel syndrome”. After completing her MBA, she joined Cadbury’s Indian brand management team, but stayed in the corporate cocoon just three years before starting the online phone marketing firm, Orion Dialog, in 1994 aged 27. The firm, which numbered Citibank among early clients, caught the rising tide of business process outsourcing. In 2004, Swarup exited in style: selling out to Aegis BPO (part of the Essar group). Still, she’s had much a choppier time with her second big venture, the ecommerce outfit 99.labels.com. Launched in 2009, the site was India’s first ‘flash sales’ shopping portal. But a proliferation of ‘me too’ competition and profitability concerns have dogged the firm and, in May, a big investor pulled out. Swarup hasn’t given up. She’s rejigging the business model and looking for new backers. “Seeing a venture take shape from idea to reality, and then taking it to a growth level, motivates me,” she says. “Making mistakes is part of that process.”

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

Founder, Biocon

India’s wealthiest self-made woman started Biocon aged 25 in 1978, out of the garage of a rented house with the bare minimum of capital because she could not get financial backing. The decision to strike out on her own – becoming India’s first biotech entrepreneur – was taken almost by default. She had hoped to get a job at Vijay Mallya’s United Breweries, but was shocked to hear that male colleagues wouldn’t accept her. “That’s when the hard fact hit me. There is a gender bias.” Biocon began life as an enzyme specialist, before moving whole sale into the lucrative bio-pharma sector in the late 1990s, ahead of the great ‘off patent’ bonanza. IN 2004, Mazumdar-Shaw too the company public, Now 60 and worth US$625 million, according to Forbes, she lives in an estate outside Bangalore. “You could be in California”, she said last year. “Then you step outside and see poverty. That’s not a nice feeling.” She has pledged to five away three-quarters of her wealth.

Vanitha Narayanan

Managing director, IBM India

In contrast, one woman who has thrived on corporate life is Vanitha Narayanan, an IBM ‘lifer’ who became responsible this year for all Big Blue’s operations in India and South Asia – one of the company’s fastest-growing regions. With 150,000 people on the payroll, IBM is the largest multinational employer in India. Naraythan, a graduate of the University of Madras, cheerfully admits that, apart from a brief stint in a department store, “IBM is my only job”. She joined the company’s US telecoms group as a trainee after taking an MBA at the University of Houston, and made her name working with just one client, the Southwestern Bell Telephone Company. “It helped me lay a foundation – you respect the industry of your client, and sometimes the client is your best teacher.” That certainly proved true in her case. She went on to become a global vice-president of IBM’s telecom solutions, and in 2006 moved to China to run the Asia Pacific Unit. At 54, Narayanan is modest about her achievements, preferring the word “influence” to power. “She’s no pushover,” says a colleague. “But she can build trust very easily”.

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22/09/2013

US immigration bill to hurt Indian IT, ITES firms’ interests

Times of India: “As Prime Minister Manmohan Singh prepares to leave for his bilateral meeting with US President Barack Obama, New Delhi has reiterated that the proposed immigration Bill being discussed in the US Congress will hurt Indian information technology (IT) companies by adversely impacting visas for highly skilled non-immigrant workers.

Foreign secretary Sujatha Singh said Indian IT companies have a certain business model and that the procedures that are being discussed in the US Congress would make it difficult this business model to be continued successfully.

“So, what we are trying to do basically is to flag our concerns in the manner in which this is going to impact on our highly-skilled non-immigrant workers. We are trying to flag the fact that some aspects of the proposed immigration reform would adversely impact visas for highly-skilled non-immigrant workers,” said Singh, briefing reporters about the visit.

In July, the US Senate had passed an Immigration Bill that changed rules governing H-1B and L-1 employment visas intended for high-skilled workers. The Bill will now be sent to the House of Representatives.

If passed in the current form, the Bill will make it mandatory for firms with temporary foreign employees to pay a sharp supplemental fee for each such non-US national. It may also prevent any firm from hiring people on H1-B visas if 50% of its employees are not Americans.”

via US immigration bill to hurt Indian IT, ITES firms’ interests – The Times of India.

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