Oct 15, 2021 10:16 PM

Tech Insider: Sogou Founder Splits, SAIC Turns Sod on Hydrogen Truck Plant

TikTok remained the world’s most downloaded non-game app in September with more than 59 million installs globally. Photo: VCG
TikTok remained the world’s most downloaded non-game app in September with more than 59 million installs globally. Photo: VCG

Welcome to Caixin’s Tech Insider, your twice-weekly wrap on the movers, shakers and deal-makers in China’s tech scene.

Sogou founder departs as Tencent clinches search merger

Sogou founder Wang Xiaochuan stepped down as CEO of the Chinese search engine on Friday after 11 years at the helm, as the company completed its long-awaited merger with internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. Wang said he would continue to consult for the firm.

Sogou’s core businesses including search, its popular Chinese language input system and PC-based browser will continue to operate under the Sogou brand for the time being, but will be run by Tencent’s Platform and Content Group.

Tencent offered to buy out Sogou’s American depository shares for $9 each in July 2020, as part of a strategy to take on search giant Baidu. The privatization offer was finally approved by China’s market regulator in July 2021.

 Read more  
Tencent to Challenge Baidu in Search, but No One Cares

SAIC turns sod on Ordos hydrogen truck plant

SAIC-Iveco Hongyan Commercial Vehicle Co. Ltd. started building a factory for heavy-duty hydrogen fuel-cell trucks in North China on Wednesday.

Located in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, the 2 billion yuan ($310 million) facility is expected to start operating in 2024. It will be able to make 24,000 trucks and 5,000 fuel cell systems each year, the company said (link in Chinese), adding that their use could help cut greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 500,000 tons a year.

SAIC-Iveco Hongyan is a joint venture of SAIC Motor Corp. Ltd and Iveco Ltd.

Intel eyes China video data business

Intel Corp. has selected China as the global headquarters of its new Internet of Things (IoT) video business unit, aiming to profit from China’s increasing deployment of cameras used in industries including surveillance, retail, transport and manufacturing, according to a report by the South China Morning Post.

The new unit, set up in Shanghai earlier this year, will use its own chips and software, including computer vision and artificial intelligence, to help industries to handle video data, Chen Wei, vice president of Intel’s IoT Group and head of the group’s China operations, said at an industry summit on Tuesday, according to the report.

Midea launches electronics platform using Huawei’s new operating system

Chinese home appliance giant Midea Group Co. Ltd. launched what it says is the country’s first smart household device operating system powered by Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.’s open-source Android alternative HarmonyOS 2.0.

Midea said it aims to develop it into a cross-platform IoT system capable of linking different devices from different brands via a mobile app. However, Xiang Jiangxu, Midea’s vice president of technology, said doing so would require appliance manufacturers to adopt the same open-source operating system.

In that regard the app would resemble rival electronics maker Xiaomi’s Mi Home system.

TSMC announces Japan chip plant as profits surge

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC) posted a 13.8% jump in third quarter profit to NT$156.3 billion ($5.6 billion), according to its earnings report released on Thursday, as demand for chips stayed strong in the face of worsening supply chain problems. Its revenue rose 16.3% year-on-year to NT$414.7 billion.

“Our third quarter business was mainly supported by strong demand across all four growth platforms, which are smartphone, HPC (high-performance computing), IoT (Internet of Things) and automotive-related applications,” said Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Wendell Huang.

During Thursday’s earnings conference call, TSMC CEO C.C. Wei announced plans to build its first-ever plant in Japan which will focus on larger 22-nanometer and 28-nanometer technology, which can be used in many chip types from image sensors to microcontrollers. Mass production is expected to start in 2024, Wei said.

TikTok remains top of the pops

TikTok remained the world’s most downloaded non-game app in September with more than 59 million installs globally, around the same number as September last year, according to SensorTower. Mainland China, where the ByteDance-owned app is called Douyin and is subject to different content rules, accounted for 16% of the new downloads, becoming the app’s biggest download contributor for the month, ahead of the U.S. with 12%.

Alibaba logistics arm expands to Spain

In partnership with the Spanish branch of General Logistics Systems, Cainiao Network Technology Co. Ltd., the logistics arm of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., launched a delivery service this week for AliExpress merchants in Spain, pledging to deliver goods within 48 hours of being ordered, according to China Daily.

Cainiao has been growing its European logistics network, adding a hub at Liege airport in Belgium this year. It is also building a trucking network spanning 30 European countries.

CATL to build $5 billion battery recycling plant

China’s leading vehicle battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. (CATL) plans to invest up to 32 billion yuan ($4.96 billion) to build a battery material recycling and manufacturing facility in Yichang, Hubei province, according to a stock filing (link in Chinese) published on Tuesday.

As part of the investment plan, a CATL subsidiary will form a joint venture with Hubei Yihua Chemical Industry Co. Ltd. to recycle used vehicle batteries and extract cobalt and lithium, the filing said.

This Caixin Tech Insider was compiled by Ding Yi ( and edited by Flynn Murphy ( Send us your tips and feedback.

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