Thursday Tech Briefing: Huawei, Apple, NIO
BIG TECH COMPANIES
1. Dual-SIM Support Comes to New iPhone XS in China
What: Apple debuted three iPhones Wednesday, introducing a dual-SIM feature for the first time in the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. The Dual-SIM function allows users to insert one physical SIM and one eSIM into each phone. Since eSIM’s aren’t available in China, special models featuring two physical SIM slots will be sold in the country, Technode reported.
Why it’s important: “We expect the dual-SIM cards iPhone XS to be available in China first and then rolled out to other regions (Asia, Europe), except the U.S. because it's not in the interest of the local mobile carriers,” an analyst told Forbes. (Source: TechCrunch, Forbes)
2. Huawei Plans to Open Third R&D Center in Russia in 2018
What: “Huawei Russia is considering opening a new research and development (R&D) center in Russia, which would be the third in the country after the Moscow and St. Petersburg R&D centers,” Global Times reported.
Big picture: In August, the U.S. banned government personnel from using Huawei, while Australia barred the company from providing equipment to upgrade the country's telecom networks. “When operators in Europe, the U.S. and China are bringing forward 5G plans, Russia still lags behind,” said Global Times. (Source: Global Times)
3. China’s Tesla-Wannabe Runs Out of Steam
What: The New York-listed shares of electric-car maker Nio Inc. recovered from a 15% dip at market debut, rising as much as 11% to $6.93 in afternoon trading. The stock closed at $6.60 with a market capitalization of $6.77 billion. The top 10 subscribers for the listing accounted for nearly 90% of all orders, a source told Caixin.
Why it’s important: Nio, which said it wanted to follow in the footsteps of Tesla, is one of many electric vehicle (EV) makers in China that is trying to take advantage of Beijing’s push to move to low- and zero-emissions vehicles. Beijing previously offered large tax and other incentives to both EV buyers and manufacturers, but has recently begun rolling them back in response to mediocre models with outdated technology flooding the market. (Source: Caixin)
4. Chip Stocks Slump as Apple Gains Ahead of iPhone Announcement
What: Apple’s iPhone has failed to lift semiconductor stocks, which continued to fall Tuesday and have been diverging from other tech stocks. Apple was up 2.5% at $223.85 a share on Tuesday, but the VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF was down 1.3% and the iShares PHLX Semiconductor ETF was down about 1%.
Why it’s important: “Semiconductor stocks have been under pressure as trade disputes with China weigh on investor sentiment. Analysts are watching to see how chips react to Apple’s product announcement, and how Apple prices its new phones,” CNBC reported. (Source: CNBC)
5. Blockchain Data Accepted as Evidence in Legal Complaint Filed by Video App Douyin
What: “Hit Chinese short video app Douyin, operated by Beijing-based Bytedance, has used the newly-established Beijing Internet Court to file a copyright infringement lawsuit against Baidu’s Huopai Video platform,” South China Morning Post reported.
Why it’s important: “Douyin is seeking compensation of around 1 million yuan (US$145,600) from Huopai for unauthorized operation and downloads of a short video in May. The court announced on Monday that it would hear the case and will recognize evidence stored on blockchain, a first in the country’s video industry.”
Big picture: “China’s internet courts now accept and process internet-related legal cases online. Beijing Internet Court, launched on Sunday, said it had already received 207 legal complaints as of 6pm Monday. Hangzhou Internet Court, China’s first internet court, was launched last August.” (Source: SCMP)
6. Backer of Up-And-Coming Messaging App Says WeChat Wanted to Invest
What: Bullet Message, an app made by Chinese smartphone brand Smartisan, has become a hit since its launch in late August. Smartisan has claimed that it had attracted “investment interest” from Tencent, the owner of rival platform WeChat. Smartisan chief Luo Yonghao said the investment team from Tencent had approached Bullet Message several times to request “meetings, communication or collaboration.” Tencent has denied these claims.
Why it’s important: Luo said the company plans to spend 1 billion yuan ($146 million) over the next six months to increase Bullet’s user base to 100 million. He will continue to beef up the app’s features, and is incorporating the mobile payment platform Alipay into the app. (Source: Caixin)
Compiled by Qian Tong and Hou Qijiang
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