Posts tagged ‘New York’

09/11/2016

Watching Trump Inch Towards Victory, With Cheers, in China – China Real Time Report – WSJ

As vote tallies came in late Tuesday night, it was Wednesday morning in China and inside the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, many Chinese watchers were celebrating the increasingly likely prospect of a Donald Trump win.

The event, intended to give Chinese locals the opportunity to experience a U.S. election, featured a mock vote and the opportunity for locals to pose with large cut-out photos of Mr. Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, as well as remarks from U.S. Ambassador Max Baucus.

As he stood and watched the results roll in on a large overhead screen, Tian Junwu, a professor at the Beihang University School of Foreign Languages, said he was rooting for Mr. Trump’s victory.

“I’m a man. I don’t like a woman to be too strong,” said Mr. Tian. “She is too overbearing, like my wife. I think Trump is funny.”

Though the Republican candidate has threatened to slap a 45% tariff on Chinese goods, Mr. Tian said such a prospect wasn’t too alarming. “We [Chinese people] know now that candidates say one thing when they are running, but becoming a president is a different thing.”

Zhong Shaoliang, the Beijing representative of the industry group World Steel Association, said that the candidates seemed similar to him, but that he preferred Mr. Trump because he seemed more authentic. “He’s more American that way,” he said.

Still, he said that if he was American himself, he would see some perhaps worrying aspects at the prospect of a Trump win. “Hillary would be better for overall harmony. Trump will likely continue to further divide America up.”

As Florida was called for Mr. Trump, a pair of second-year college students studying English at the Beijing Language and Culture University said they were pleased.

“Clinton gives me kind of a sinister feeling, I’m kind of scared of her,” said Xu Xiayan, 19, who said she and her friends were paying more attention to the election this year, mostly for its entertainment value. “She’s good at pretending. Like when Trump is saying things and making her angry, she still maintains a slight smile.” Her friend agreed.Kang Xiaoguang, a professor at Renmin University’s China Institute for Philosophy and Social Innovation, said many of his friends were also cheering for Mr. Trump. “He’s saying things that people in America in their hearts might really feel — like about immigrants, about Muslims — but don’t dare say.” And from a foreign-policy perspective, he said, he thought Mr. Trump would be more likely to pull back on a global stage, including in places such as the South China Sea. “That way, China won’t have so much pressure on it,” he said.

“Also, some people feel the U.S. makes too much trouble for China, so if there’s a person making trouble in the U.S., they think Trump becoming president is a good thing,” he added.

Given the chance, he said, he might have cast his ballot for Mrs. Clinton, who he sees as steadier and easier to predict. A recent Pew survey found that Chinese respondents have a poor image of both presidential candidates, but viewed Mrs. Clinton slightly more favorably than her opponent.

Still, no matter what he does in office, Mr. Kang said he didn’t think that Trump’s impact would necessarily be too great. “America is a very mature system,” he said. It won’t be easily rocked by one person.”

Source: Watching Trump Inch Towards Victory, With Cheers, in China – China Real Time Report – WSJ

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03/08/2016

Startups hope to capitalize on the massive IoT market – Times of India

Fresh from the sale of their first venture focused on the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) market, Shishir Gupta, Nithin David and Varun Gupta embarked on what they thought was their next breakthrough idea.

In mid-2013, the trio decided to devise solar air conditioners based on their previous experience in the market but, after some pilots, they discovered the idea was commercially unviable.

From the ashes of their second enterprise, they did manage one small gain — a connected controller that reduced energy use by 30% during the night. Using this, they pushed their entrepreneurial energy in a new direction — towards the rapidly emerging opportunity in the internet of things (IoT) , or devices and objects that send and receive data over the internet. Rather than build large systems for this, their new venture Oakter is thinking much smaller. It is building out a series of IoT-based devices to “smarten” homes across India.

In around two years of operation, Oakter’s controllers have smartened some 10,000 gadgets, claims Shishir Gupta, without disclosing the number of homes his controllers have been installed in currently. The startup’s full launch hasn’t even happened, he says, since it is still reaching out informally to consumers. Around Diwali this year, Oakter is expected to make a big-bang offline launch and expects to reach 10,000 homes in a year and revenues of Rs 100 crore by 2018-19.

“Within 10 years, IoT will transform the way we manage our lives,” says Shishir. There are plenty of data points to back his enthusiasm. In 2008 itself, there were more objects connected to the internet than people, and technology researcher Gartner forecasts that by 2020 there will be nearly 21 billion connected devices. If the ATM was perhaps the first popular connected device in the early 1970s, hundreds of companies have since shown an interest in getting wired up.

IoT’s the Thing

In the US, the largest technology market, there has been a mixed response to various kinds of IoT. According to CB Insights, a tracker of this kind of deal data, deal volume is on track to surpass 2015’s total by 30%. Fundingwise, 2016 should be a robust year for IoT in the West, and the second year in a row of $1.2 billion-plus in funding. Several startups in the field raised significant amount of funding, including IoT software and services company Greenwave Systems ($45 million Series C), commercial drone developer Airware ($30 million Series C), and connected HVAC and lighting company Enlighted ($25 million Series D financing).However, deal flow looked less upbeat on a quarterly basis, with both value and volume declining in the second quarter of 2016. After an increase in the first quarter with 54 transactions, deal-making fell 26% quarter-over-quarter. And funding fell from $328 million to $325 million — a 9% quarter-on-quarter decline. At a global level, there is massive potential.

According to a statement from Gartner’s research chief Peter Sondergaard, the incremental revenue generated by IoT suppliers is estimated to reach $309 billion per year by 2020. This growth opens up new business opportunities, as half will be attributed to new startups and 80% will be in services, not products. Manufacturing, healthcare and insurance are expected to lead the IoT race.

Some of this entrepreneurial interest is being generated in India, too. For example, in May this year, Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital (EVC), an early stage investor, launched a $50 million unit to focus on IT.

Qualcomm Ventures, the VC arm of the global chipmaker, recently unveiled its $150 million India fund and made its first investment of $10 million in healthcare IoT venture Attune Technologies. In early July, a centre of excellence for IoT was launched jointly by software industry lobby Nasscom, the department of electronics and information technology and the Education and Research Network. This centre can house up to 40 startups and the model is expected to be replicated nationwide.

Source: Startups hope to capitalize on the massive IoT market – Times of India

20/01/2016

Apple seeks nod to open India stores amid concerns of slowing sales growth | Reuters

Apple Inc has applied to set up its own stores in India, one of the world’s fastest growing smartphone markets, as the iPhone-maker looks to tap new opportunities amid worries of slowing growth in its main markets.

An Apple logo is seen inside the Apple Store in Palo Alto, California November 13, 2015. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

Apple sells its iPhones, iPads and Macs in India through third party resellers, and industry analysts estimate that the Cupertino, California-based company has less than a 2 percent share in India’s smartphone market, dominated by cheaper brands.

The company has filed an application with India’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion to open its own stores, Amitabh Kant, secretary at the federal trade ministry unit told Reuters.

Apple also confirmed the application filing, but declined to give details.

Its expansion plans in India come at a time when concerns about slowing growth in the United States and China, the world’s most important market for smartphones, have weighed on the company’s stock in the last few months.

Shares in Apple, the world’s most valuable company by market value, are down 28 percent from their peak in April last year. The company operates more than 450 stores in 18 countries. Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri told Reuters in October that Apple had 25 stores in China and was opening a new one roughly every month.

Its plans for India have been held back due to restrictions on foreign investment in the retail industry, which require single brand overseas retailers to buy close to a third of the goods sold at their stores from local producers.

Apple representatives held talks with Indian government officials about a relaxation of the 30 percent local-sourcing norms before filing the application, said a source familiar with the company’s plans.

Apple’s plans come against the backdrop of initiatives unveiled by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who met with Apple chief Tim Cook during his U.S. visit last year, to boost foreign investments in India.

In November, the government eased foreign investment norms in 15 major sectors, including relaxing the mandatory local-sourcing rule for foreign single-brand retailers in the case of “cutting-edge technology” products.

Kant said his department would examine Apple’s application in view of the changes made for local sourcing.

For years, India has been a low priority market for Apple as spending power is weaker than in China, where the company’s iPhones swiftly became must-have devices after their 2007 launch.

But Apple is now looking to boost its market share in India’s rapidly growing market, and the company’s recent growing spend on advertising in the country has indicated an aggressive campaign to sell more.

India is likely to overtake the United States to become the world’s No. 2 smartphone market in 2017, according to research firm Strategy Analytics. The local smartphone segment is dominated by Samsung Electronics and India’s Micromax.

Source: Apple seeks nod to open India stores amid concerns of slowing sales growth | Reuters

21/07/2015

Indian Companies Invest Billions, Create Thousands of Jobs in the U.S. – The Numbers – WSJ

As India attempts to thaw its business environment and attract the interest of foreign companies, a hundred Indian firms have together made investments worth more than $15 billion in America, according to the findings of a new survey by the Confederation of Indian Industries and audit firm Grant Thornton International Ltd.

The findings, which were released in a report titled “Indian Roots, American Soil” on Tuesday, suggest that Indian companies in the U.S., most operating in the information-technology sector, have created thousands of jobs there and show a growing interest in hiring more American workers in the next few years.

Indian outsourcing companies in the U.S. have in recent months been criticized for depending too much on foreign staff — H1-B visa holders – instead of hiring locals.

The 100 Indian companies surveyed are spread across all 50 U.S. states, the report said. Here are the main numbers from the report.

91,000

The survey says Indian firms have created more than 91,000 jobs in the U.S., most of them concentrated in New Jersey, where they have hired over 9,000 people. In California, more than 8,000 people work for Indian companies.

$15.3 billion

The total value of tangible investments – for example in real estate or equipment — made in the U.S. by the surveyed companies. Texas has received the largest amount — almost $3.85 billion from 17 Indian companies, most in the information-technology and telecom sectors. The report didn’t give a timeframe for these investments.

40%

The percentage of surveyed companies that do information-technology business is 40%. The report also highlights the emergence of Indian companies in the pharmaceutical and manufacturing sectors, which each accounted for 14% of the firms surveyed.

84%

That’s the proportion of companies in the survey that plan to make more investments in the U.S. in the next five years. California, New Jersey, New York and Texas are the “most promising states for expected future investment,” the report said.

90%

The forecast for hiring local U.S. employees is also encouraging, the survey reveals. Almost 90% of the companies responded positively when asked if they foresaw hiring locally in the coming five years.

via Indian Companies Invest Billions, Create Thousands of Jobs in the U.S. – The Numbers – WSJ.

13/01/2015

In a Record Year for Skyscrapers, China is Miles Above Everyone Else – China Real Time Report – WSJ

In China, polluted skies aren’t the limit – at least for skyscrapers.

The world built a record 97 buildings that were 200 meters (656 feet) or taller in 2014, and for the seventh year in a row, the Middle Kingdom completed the greatest number of them, according to a new report (pdf) from the U.S.-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.

China’s output of 58 skyscrapers was a 61% increase from its previous record of 36 buildings in 2013, according to the report. Tianjin, the eastern sister city of Beijing, completed the most 200-meter-plus skyscrapers, totaling six. That’s more than all such skyscrapers built in the Philippines, the world’s No. 2 builder behind China with five.

Within China, there was a four-way tie for second place between Chongqing, Wuhan and Wuxi, all with four buildings each.

If you were to stack all of China’s new skyscrapers on top of each other, they would reach 13,548 meters (44,449 feet) into the sky — close to the upper altitude limit for most commercial airliners. The Philippines, meanwhile, built a total of 1,143 meters’ worth of skyscrapers.

While One World Trade Center in New York, at 541 meters tall (1,775 feet), earned the top spot as the tallest building completed in 2014, the southern Chinese city of Wuxi was home to three of the top-10 tallest buildings erected last year. The Wharf Times Square, a 339-meter tall mixed-use hotel and office complex in Wuxi was the tallest Chinese building completed last year. The city also finished a 328-meter tall hotel and office complex called Wuxi Suning Plaza and a 304-meter-tall Marriott hotel.

via In a Record Year for Skyscrapers, China is Miles Above Everyone Else – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

18/12/2014

Birla Said to Plan $1 Billion Aluminum Exports: Corporate India – Businessweek

Hindalco Industries Ltd. (HNDL), owned by Indian billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla, is targeting a record $1 billion of aluminum exports by March 31 buoyed by rising U.S. and European demand, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Overseas shipments may triple to as much as 400,000 metric tons in the 12 months ending March 31 from the previous year, said two people, who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak to the media. The Mumbai-based company had exported less than half the target as of the middle of last month, the people said.

Stricter emission norms in the U.S. and Europe are prompting vehicle makers to choose the lighter alloy over steel, helping the owner of the world’s largest supplier of aluminum sheets to carmakers boost overseas sales and counter a domestic slowdown. The additional demand will aid Hindalco revive profit growth after five straight quarters of decline and find a market for its new capacity.

via Birla Said to Plan $1 Billion Aluminum Exports: Corporate India – Businessweek.

20/09/2014

China approves plan to combat climate change – China – Chinadaily.com.cn

The Chinese central government on Friday approved a plan that maps out major climate change goals to be met by 2020.

The State Council, China’s cabinet, gave a green light to the plan, which was proposed by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country’s economic planner. A statement released on the State Council’s website urged the NDRC to carry out the plan.

China has pledged to reduce its carbon emission intensity, namely emissions per unit of GDP, by 40 percent to 45 percent by 2020 from the 2005 level. It will also aim to bring the proportion of non-fossil fuels to about 15 percent of its total primary energy consumption.

Other targets include increasing forest coverage by 40 million hectares within the next five years.

The government will speed up efforts to establish a carbon emission permit market, under the plan, which also calls for deepened international cooperation under the principles of “common but differentiated responsibilities,” equity and respective capability.

The State Council said local governments and departments at all levels should recognize the significance and urgency in dealing with climate change and give higher priority to action on this issue.

China’s release of the action plan came just before a climate summit to be held at UN Headquarters in New York on Tuesday. Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli will attend.

Xie Zhenhua, deputy chief of the NDRC and the country’s top official on climate change, told a press conference that the plan was concrete action by China to participate in the global process to tackle climate change.

By the end of last year, China had reduced carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 28.56 percent from 2005, which was equivalent to saving the world 2.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, Xie said.

At the end of 2013, China’s consumption ratio of non-fossil energy to primary energy stood at 9.8 percent. Forest growing stock had increased by 1.3 trillion cubic meters from 2005 to two trillion cubic meters, seven years ahead of schedule, according to the official.

In the first nine months of 2014, China’s energy consumption per unit of GDP dropped by 4.2 percent year on year and carbon intensity was cut by about 5 percent, both representing the largest drops in years, he said.

As a developing country, China is the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter. With the plan, the country has showed its confidence in achieving its green goals.

via China approves plan to combat climate change – China – Chinadaily.com.cn.

05/09/2014

Nawaz Sharif attempts mango diplomacy to placate Modi

Pakistan government keen on reigniting diplomatic ties with India

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday sent a package of special mangoes from his country through “official channels” to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi. This move is seen in Indian diplomatic circles as Pakistan’s initial attempt to rectify the damage caused by its High Commissioner Abdul Basit’s meetings with separatist leaders from Kashmir last month. In response to these meetings, India had cancelled foreign-secretary levels talks with Pakistan scheduled for August 25. Meanwhile, there is speculation that Modi and Sharif might conduct bilateral talks on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly summit in New York later this month.

via Scroll.in – News. Politics. Culture..

26/06/2014

Chinese tycoon’s stunt to feed New York homeless ends in shambles – Telegraph

A stunt by a Chinese tycoon to provide free lunch to 300 homeless people in one of New York’s finest restaurants degenerated into a shambles as word spread that the participants would not be receiving an anticipated cash handout.

A waiter serves dessert to a table of men listening to Chinese billionaire Chen Guangbiao during a lunch he sponsored for hundreds of needy New Yorkers

The first simmerings of discontent emerged in the Central Park Boathouse as sesame-encrusted tuna appetisers were being served.

By the time the main course of rump steak was on the tables, the mood had turned thoroughly sour, as news that there was to be no cash give-away passed around the room.

And as white-gloved bow-tied waiters cleared berries and creme fraiche from the tables, there was near-mutiny, with burly private security men forced to prevent some angry diners from storming the podium.

Chen Guangbiao, a controversial recycling magnate, self-publicist and philanthropist, had earlier sung a version of We Are The World, the Michael Jackson hit written to raise charity funds for Africa.

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But the mood of goodwill and gratitude quickly dissipated as diners learned that they would not be receiving the $300 in cash that Mr Chen had originally promised everyone who attended after the meal.

Officials at The New York City Rescue Mission, which the billionaire had approached to help organise the event, told him they would only participate if the money was donated to their organisation to provide meals for the homeless.

“We work with the homeless every day, many of them unfortunately have drink and drugs problems, and it just isn’t a good idea to give that sort of cash out to people,” said Michelle Tolson, the mission’s spokeswoman.

“Mr Chen agreed that he would donate the $90,000 to the mission and that is the basis on which we are here today.” That message had not, however, reached many of the recipients of the free meal who were bused to Central Park from a downtown shelter.

“We have been duped to come along here under false pretences and now we are just part of a propaganda trick for the rich” said Harry Brooks, a Vietnam war veteran who tried to reach the stage to voice his complaints in person.

“We don’t need their steak, we need the money so that we can pay for food and clear debts. Now we’re never going to see it. This is a disgrace.”

via Chinese tycoon’s stunt to feed New York homeless ends in shambles – Telegraph.

23/05/2014

In China, Cruise Lines Hope to Woo Millions of First-Time Guests – Businessweek

Cruise lines are betting that the growing number of middle class consumers in China are keen to sample chocolate buffets and stroll the Lido deck. And that’s leading to an influx of ships being sent to sail year-round from mainland China.

Cruise Ship

Cruise Ship (Photo credit: sebastien.barre)

China is expected to be the world’s second-largest cruise market (after the U.S.) by 2017, with growth rates far higher than in North America and Europe, the two regions where the industry has historically collected most of its profits. Carnival (CCL), the industry’s largest player, with 10 brands and more than 100 ships, plans to base four ships in mainland China next year, while also boosting its year-round fleet in Australia. The Asian Cruise Association estimated in a 2013 report that area demand will nearly triple to 3.8 million annual cruisers in 2020, with 1.6 million from China.

“The reality is that the [Asian] market’s huge, and it’s going to be very significant over the next 10 to 20 years,” Carnival Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald says. “We have never been more committed to China as a market of great strategic importance for our company.”

The industry’s second-largest cruise company, Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL), surprised many in the industry last month by announcing plans to move a brand new ship, Quantum of the Seas, to Shanghai in May after its inaugural six-month run in New York. Traditionally, the industry has deployed only older ships to Asia—a practice that’s likely to wane, given Chinese consumers’ demand for equal access to the newest and best amenities from companies vying to break into the market.

via In China, Cruise Lines Hope to Woo Millions of First-Time Guests – Businessweek.

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