Jan 03, 2019 07:08 PM

Thursday Tech Briefing: Tim Cook Blames China for Weak IPhone Sales

1. Apple CEO Tim Cook Blames China for Weak iPhone Sales

Apple has revised its expected revenue for the fiscal quarter ending Dec. 29 downward, blaming poor sales in China.

The company’s revenue in the recently ended quarter is now expected to be $84 billion, lower than the previous estimate of $91.5 billion, CEO Tim Cook said in a letter to investors on Wednesday.

“Most of our revenue shortfall to our guidance, and over 100 percent of our year-over-year worldwide revenue decline, occurred in Greater China across iPhone, Mac and iPad,” Cook wrote, explaining that sales in China were affected by slowing economic growth in the country and “rising trade tensions with the United States.” (Company statement)

2. Google to Charge Chinese Smartphone Makers for Android Apps by Q3

Google plans to charge Chinese smartphone manufacturers for Android apps by the third quarter of 2018, BGR reports.

This follows news that Google is rolling out a paid-licensing plan in which European hardware companies will be charged to use Android apps, after the European Commission fined the company for forcing manufacturers to pre-install Google Search and Google Chrome apps on Android phones. (BGR)

3. Alisport CEO Steps Down

Zhang Dazhong, the CEO of Alibaba sports affiliate Alisport, is stepping down at the scheduled end of his tenure, the company announced late Tuesday.

Dai Wei, general manager of Alibaba subsidiary Youku Sports, will take over Zhang’s role. At the same time, Alisport will be absorbed into the Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Business Group.

Alisport, set up in 2015, has been exploring business models that include esports and online-to-offline services in the sports sector, with little success. (Caixin)

4. Xiaomi Spins Off Redmi Brand

Phone maker Xiaomi will spin off its Redmi budget phone line as a separate brand on Jan. 10, Xiaomi announced on Wednesday. Lu Weibing, former president of smartphone manufacturer Gionee Group, has been hired to lead Redmi.

Redmi is known for its low prices, with the average Redmi phone selling for less than 1,000 yuan ($146). Redmi’s sales hit 14.28 billion yuan in the first quarter of 2018, accounting for 77.6% of Xiaomi’s revenue. (Caixin)

5. Didi Launches Nationwide Financial Services

Ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing has rolled out financial products available to users across China, including “mutual protection and crowdfunding for critical illnesses,” as the company tries to diversify its business, Xinhua reports.

The products are targeted at gig economy workers and use Didi’s credit mechanism and “data-based risk control architecture.” (Xinhua)

6. After Getting Spurned in 5G, Could China Go It Alone in 6G?

Huawei and ZTE have made “nearly nonstop global headlines for much of 2018 for all the wrong reasons,” Caixin columnist Doug Young writes. “If current trends continue, China may decide to walk away from the table of global standard-setting that it worked so hard to join.”

Young says he can certainly see Huawei, ZTE and Beijing “deciding at some point that maybe it’s better to start a new club to develop their own made-in-China standards for telecoms. That could provide some cheaper alternatives both at home and in more price-sensitive developing markets, even at the risk of fracturing the global telecom market.” (Caixin)

Complied by Bonnie Wang

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