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Tencent Focuses on Gaming in First Quarter Investments
Meituan Starts Operation of New Unmanned Delivery Vehicle in Beijing
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China’s Smartphone Shipments See 68% Growth in March as Effects of Pandemic Level Off
Honda Partners with AutoX to Develop Self-Driving Tech For China’s Road and Traffic
92-Year Old Li Ka-Shing Receives First Dose of BioNTech Vaccine
China Becomes World’s Biggest Buyer of Chip Equipment in 2020, Says SEMI
Geely-Controlled Swedish Electric Carmaker Polestar Raises $550 Million in First External Funding
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Trending in China: The Fake Writing Competition That Conned Beijing Parents for Years
ByteDance Powers Up Gaming Investment with C4games Acquisition
Didi Given Greenlight to Test Autonomous Vehicles in Beijing Pilot Zone
Xpeng Debuts New Car As China’s NEV Market Heats Up
Lenovo Still Top Dog in Global PC Market in First Quarter of 2021
Tesla Says Any Data It Collects in China Is Stored in the Nation
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Trending in China: Farmer Given Suspended Jail Time For Felling Own Trees – Social Media Chimes In
‘Tickets Please!’ Baidu Allowed to Charge for Robobus Service in Chongqing
ECONOMY

By Ding Yi / Apr 19, 2021 05:08 PM / Economy

Smartphone sellers in China had something to cheer about in March as domestic demand that had previously been restrained due to Covid-19 pandemic has continued to grow.

Last month, China’s smartphone shipments totaled 35.3 million units, representing a year-on-year increase of 67.7%, according to a report released last week by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), a think tank affiliated with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

The shipment surge came as the number of new smartphone models released in the month rose 26.9% year-on-year to 33, the report said.

Overall, a total of 36.1 million mobile phones were shipped in China last month, about 76.2% of which were 5G-enabled handsets, the CAICT said, without breaking out phone sales by operating systems.

While smartphone shipments grew in March, the future of the market remains uncertain amid an ongoing global chip shortage that has affected a wide range of industries from automotives to consumer electronics.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: Smartphone Pioneer LG to Close Handset Business


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ECONOMY

By Liu Yukun and Ding Yi / Apr 12, 2021 04:40 PM / Economy

New energy vehicle sales in China saw robust year-on-year growth in the first quarter of 2021, as individual consumers’ appetite for green cars increased.

In the first three months of the year, sales of new energy vehicles, including battery-powered electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, totaled 515,000 units, about 2.8 times higher than the same period of last year, according to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

Xu Haidong, vice chief engineer of CAAM, attributed the growth to increased demand from Chinese consumers as well as carmakers’ efforts to upgrade their products to meet consumers’ needs. This strikes a contrast to sales over a year ago which went primarily to ride-hailing and car rental companies in China.

In 2021, about 63% of respondents in China said that they were interested in electric cars when considering their next car purchase, compared with 20% in 2017, according to a McKinsey survey.

Despite the sales growth momentum, the future of China’s new energy vehicle market remains uncertain as an ongoing global semiconductor shortage has disrupted production for some automakers. Last month, Chinese electric vehicle startup Nio lowered its first-quarter outlook due to a chip shortage which halted production at one of its Chinese plants for five days in March.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: Nio and Xpeng Both Set Quarterly Records But Still Lag Behind Tesla


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By Ding Yi / Mar 02, 2021 05:33 PM / Economy

Baidu will give a boost to state-owned power generator China Huaneng Group’s efforts to go digital, expanding the use of its advanced technologies to the energy sector.

The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding that will see Huaneng use Baidu’s artificial intelligence-powered infrastructure to improve its operating efficiency and user experience, Baidu said in a statement published on Monday.

Digging a little deeper into the partnership, Baidu will provide its artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing technologies to Huaneng for use in its planned smart sharing platform for financial services, according to the statement.

Additionally, Baidu will help Huaneng build a digital platform for free exchanges of energy data, a professional databank for the energy industry and a software-as-a-service system that allows data to be accessed from any device that is connected to the internet.

The tie-up with Huaneng adds to the growing number of agreements Baidu has with the country’s energy giants including the State Grid, the latter of which involves optimization of power production and distribution processes.

Hoping to break its addiction to online advertising, Baidu has doubled efforts in developing artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing technologies, which it aims to adopt in various industries including smart transportation, finance and education.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: Mobike Co-Founder Hired to Lead Baidu-Geely Electric Car Firm


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By Yang Ge / Feb 25, 2021 01:02 PM / Economy

When Beijing sets its mind to building new infrastructure, there’s very little that can stop it.

That’s the message coming from a top telecom official who was talking up China’s fast-growing 5G network at a major industry event taking place this week in Shanghai. The nation now has more than 718,000 base stations for the cutting-edge communications technology, covering all of its major cities, said Liu Liehong, a vice minister at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

The nation’s huge base station buildup means China is now home to a whopping 70% of all such 5G infrastructure worldwide, he added. Beijing has strongly pushed 5G at the consumer end as well, with 77% of all 5G smartphones sales worldwide taking place in China during last year’s third quarter, according to data tracking firm IDC.

Analysts told Caixin that China’s dominant position in 5G owes to Beijing’s strong focus on the technology and its ability to execute plans through its state ownership of many key sector players, including the nation’s big three wireless carriers. They added its strong position is likely to continue, though its share of the global market will fall gradually as other countries step up construction.

Liu pointed out that Chinese telecom product and service providers have spent a collective 260 billion yuan ($40 billion) on 5G technology to date. That includes construction not only by the country’s big three carriers, but also by industry-specific network operators in areas like energy, medicine and education. He noted that 5G customers in China on average are using 50% more data than those using older 4G service that is still most widely used in the rest of the world.

To read the full story, click here.

Related: Charts of the Day: China Powers Up Global 5G Smartphone Market

Contact reporter Yang Ge (geyang@caixin.com)


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By Ding Yi / Feb 23, 2021 12:26 PM / Economy

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

China was the world’s biggest chip buyer last year, but it’s still just a bit producer.

In 2020, sales of integrated circuits in China jumped 9% year-on-year to $143 billion, according to a recent report by market research firm IC Insights. But only about 5.9% of the total went to indigenous companies, signaling that the country still has a long way to go to become self-sufficient in chip production.

Around 15.9% of integrated circuits sold on the Chinese mainland last year were manufactured locally. But most of those were made by foreign and Taiwan-based companies with mainland-based factories, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd., United Microelectronics Corp., SK Hynix and Samsung, the report showed.

IC Insights estimated that about 60% of integrated circuits sold in China last year were installed in products that were later exported.

Logic chips were the largest segment of China’s integrated circuit market in 2020, accounting for 26% of the total sales, followed by microprocessor with 23%, according to the report.

China aims to domestically produce 70% of its semiconductors by 2025 as part of its broader plan to attain global leadership in manufacturing in high-tech industries like artificial intelligence and information technology. That goal was made against the backdrop of tightening U.S. restrictions on American and overseas chipmakers that hope to ship to Chinese tech firms like Huawei.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: Huawei Unveils New Foldable Phone Despite Growing Chip Deficit


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By Bloomberg / Feb 16, 2021 12:38 PM / Economy

Imax China Holding Inc. led a rally in Chinese entertainment stocks after data showed local box-office revenue hit a record high for the Lunar New Year.

Ticket sales for the first five days of the Lunar New Year holidays starting Feb. 11 touched 5.7 billion yuan ($880 million), about 33% more than the same period in 2019, which was the previous record, according to Maoyan Entertainment, with Chinese films emerging as the top contributors.

Imax China surged by as much as a record 88% in Hong Kong on Tuesday, while Alibaba Pictures Group Ltd. jumped 35% and Maoyan rose 25%, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

With new Covid-19 cases down to a handful a day, Chinese moviegoers are flocking back to cinemas, boosting collections at the box office. China overtook the U.S. to become the top movie market last year, as the pandemic shut American film theaters for longer than their Chinese peers.

Contact editor Marcus Ryder (marcusryder@caixin.com)

Related: China’s Box Office Revenue Grew 5.4% in 2019, Bolstered by Domestic Films


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By Ding Yi / Jan 12, 2021 05:24 PM / Economy

China’s smartphone sellers experienced a shipment contraction in December as coronavirus infections saw a year-end flare-up.

Last month, China’s smartphone shipments totaled 25.2 million units, representing a year-on-year decrease of 12.8%, according to a report released on Monday by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), a think tank affiliated with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

Despite the shipment drop, the number of new smartphone models released in the final month of 2020 rose 48.1% year-on-year to 40, the report said

Overall, the number of smartphones shipped in 2020 nosedived 20.4% year-on-year to 296 million units, about 55% of which were 5G compatible, according to the report.

The yearly negative figure reflects how the Covid-19 pandemic affected handset makers’ supply chains and consumers’ hesitation to switch to commercial 5G services which were launched in China in late 2019.

Meanwhile, the U.S. restrictions on supplies of handset chips to Huawei, one of China’s biggest smartphone vendors, could also be a major factor behind the shipment slump, as Huawei’s phone production was significantly affected by the crippling American campaign.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: Major Chinese Supplier to Apple Raises $2.3 Billion to Boost Production


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By Yang Ge / Dec 14, 2020 03:44 PM / Economy

Things are looking bright for solar power in China, which is on track to edge past wind to become the nation’s third largest electricity source by the end of this year.

That’s the latest assessment from the nation’s National Energy Administration, which forecast that China will have around 240 gigawatts of solar capacity by the end of the year, representing about 16.2% growth from the end of 2019. That would be enough to push it ahead of wind, which was tied with solar at the end of October in terms of installed capacity.

Both solar and wind currently supply about 11% of China’s total electric capacity, while hydropower is No. 2 at 18%. Dirtier coal-fired power is still the clear leader, accounting for about half of China’s 2,100 gigawatts of capacity.

Solar has surged in recent years as maturing technology makes the clean energy source increasingly efficient while also bringing down prices. The China Photovoltaic Industry Association predicts China could add as much as 70 gigawatts to 90 gigawatts of new capacity annually over the next five years, as the country tries to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels that produce carbon dioxide and contribute to global warming.

Over the weekend, Chinese President Xi Jinping said China, the world’s biggest carbon-dioxide emitter, would cut emissions per unit of GDP by 65% from 2005 levels and increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 25% by 2030.

To read the full story, here.

Contact reporter Yang Ge (geyang@caixin.com)


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By Ding Yi / Nov 12, 2020 05:13 PM / Economy

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Chinese e-commerce giants Alibaba and JD.com have set new sales records for this year’s “Double Eleven” shopping bonanza as the two online retailers have extended the sales window for the shopping event to drive up consumption crippled by the Covid-19 pandemic.

During the shopping festival that ran from November 1 to November 11, Alibaba generated 498.2 billion yuan ($74.1 billion) in gross merchandise value, sharply up from 268.4 billion yuan a year ago.

Alibaba said that some 250,000 brands participated in the shopping carnival, about 31,000 of which were from overseas, with livestreaming becoming a key marketing tool for vendors.

Meanwhile, JD.com logged 271.5 billion yuan in transaction volume for the 11-day period, compared with 204.4 billion yuan it registered last year.

JD.com said that the cities with the highest per capita consumption from new users were lesser known ones including Yingtan in Jiangxi province, Tongchuan in Shaanxi province and Chuzhou in Anhui province, a trend implying that the shopping event is used as a way to attract price-conscious new users in lower-tier Chinese cities.

The record sales numbers come days after China’s State Administration for Market Regulation published a draft guideline aimed at preventing monopolistic behaviors by internet platforms, a clear sign of the government’s growing concerns over the risks of digital platforms run by the likes of Alibaba and JD.com.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: ‘Double 11’ Shopping Fest Faces Covid-19 Supply Chain Pressures


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By Nikkei Asian Review / Nov 12, 2020 11:05 AM / Economy

Photo: Visual China

Photo: Visual China

China aims to have vehicles with partial self-driving technology account for 50% of all new-auto sales by 2025, double its previous goal, as the country encourages local companies to pull ahead of the U.S. in the field.

Under a plan released Wednesday, new vehicles with "level 2" or "level 3" automation are to make up 70% of sales by 2030. Level 2 assists the driver with steering, acceleration and braking, while level 3 means vehicles drive themselves under certain conditions such as on highways.

China in 2017 called for level 2 and 3 vehicles to make up 25% of new-car sales in the world's largest auto market by 2025. Beijing considered raising the target to 30% last year, but is hitting the gas pedal now as China positions autonomous and "new energy" vehicles as a strategic emerging industry.

About 10% of new vehicles sold in China during the first half of 2020 carry level 2 automation, local media report.

The new plan also seeks to have level 4 autonomous vehicles, which require no human input except in emergencies, on the market by 2025 and account for 20% of sales in 2030. China looks to expand use of high-level self-driving technology nationwide by 2035 and integrate such vehicles into so-called smart cities.

China will enact policies and legislation based on this road map, released by the National Innovation Center of Intelligent and Connected Vehicles at the direction of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Beijing is counting on Chinese tech companies to make this vision a reality.

Search engine company Baidu has received state support for its Apollo self-driving technology project, launched in 2017. Trials of an autonomous taxi service are underway in Hunan and Hebei provinces and parts of Beijing. Didi Chuxing, China's largest ride-hailing company, is testing a similar service in Shanghai.

Tech names ranging from startups like Pony.ai to giants such as Alibaba Group Holding and Tencent Holdings are increasing development in the field.

Though Tesla and Toyota Motor have led the way among automakers, Chinese players such as Geely Automobile Holdings, part of the group that owns Sweden-based Volvo Cars, are pushing into the fray as well. Nearly 100 new models with level 2 technology reportedly were rolled out in the first nine months of 2020, according to Chinese media.

On the regulatory side, with the commercialization of level 3 vehicles on the horizon, China is considering easing rules as early as next year to allow self-driving vehicles on public roads.

Contact editor Marcus Ryder (marcusryder@caixin.com)

Related: Beijing Eyes Commercialization of Self-Driving Technology with Demonstration Zone Plan


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By Anniek Bao / Nov 10, 2020 12:36 PM / Economy

Recent results show a group of Chinese electric vehicle startups are moving into the financial fast lane, as they seek to follow larger U.S. rival Tesla. The race is now on to see who can become the General Motors and Toyotas of a future powered by cleaner-burning vehicles.

Demand for Chinese EV makers’ shares listed in the U.S. have soared in recent weeks, in a sign that investors are betting on long-term prospects for the fast-emerging sector as these startups reported higher-than-expected sales in October.

Nio Inc. almost doubled its share price in the 30 days through Nov. 9, giving the company a market value of $59.96 billion, ahead of the 112-year-old General Motors Inc. at $55.76 billion as of market close on Monday.

Nio’s founder and President Li Bin took the soaring stock prices as a sign that Chinese NEVs will inevitably expand their foothold overseas.

Although the Chinese-based automaker is now more valuable than General Motors, the Detroit-based automaker outperformed Nio in terms of deliveries by a considerable margin. The U.S. giant delivered 771,400 vehicles in the third quarter in China alone, compared with Nio’s far more modest total of 5,055 vehicles for the month.

Read the full story here.

Contact editor Marcus Ryder (marcusryder@caixin.com)

Related: Almost All New Cars Sold in China Will Be Battery Powered by 2035, Blueprint Predicts


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By Nikkei Asian Review / Oct 23, 2020 11:20 AM / Economy

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

China has achieved its goal of building 500,000 new fifth-generation wireless base stations in 2020 well ahead of schedule, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said Thursday.

The country had a total of 690,000 base stations at the end of September, up 70% from June, with more than half a million deployed this year alone. Meanwhile, shipments of smartphones and other devices compatible with ultrafast 5G service topped 100 million in the first nine months of 2020.

China will "continuously deepen" its usage of 5G, industry ministry spokesperson Huang Libin said, citing examples including high-definition video, medicine and autonomous-driving technology.

The 5G drive benefits companies including Huawei Technologies, which is now essentially barred from accessing products made with American technology, as well as blocked from many countries' 5G networks. As tensions with the U.S. continue, Beijing aims to protect China's development capabilities and maintain and expand its edge in telecommunications and information technology.

The city of Shenzhen said in mid-August it had achieved "full coverage" of 5G service, the first in the country. The municipal government partnered with Huawei and Tencent Holdings, both based in Shenzhen, to lay out a plan to test industrial applications for 5G.

Contact editor Marcus Ryder (marcusryder@caixin.com)

Related: China’s Mobile Tower Giant Reports Modest Revenue Growth


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By Anniek Bao / Oct 22, 2020 06:07 PM / Economy

picture

picture

They’ve got no experience, no technology and no talent. But that hasn’t stopped a disparate range of firms from charging into the race to be China’s next chipmaking champion.

The nation’s top economic planner is now throwing cold water on the ambitions of some of China’s more shady semiconductor companies, those that are trying to take advantage of generous government funds and “blindly take on projects” that require a high level of technological sophistication.

China has been betting big on funding immature chipmakers to help shake off the country’s dependence on foreign suppliers in the face of the U.S.’s tightened export restrictions.

But the decision to overhaul the industry follows several high-profile collapses of chipmakers that received government funds but never made a single chip after burning through millions or billions of dollars.

Read the full story here.

Contact editor Marcus Ryder (marcusryder@caixin.com)


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By Ding Yi / Oct 19, 2020 05:35 PM / Economy

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

China is expected to be the world’s biggest purchaser of 5G smartphones in 2020 as handset makers race to roll out cheaper 5G phones in the country.

More than 160 million 5G smartphones will be sold in China this year, accounting for about 67.7% of the global total, according to a report by research firm IDC.

IDC largely attributed the expected sales to the aggressive pricing strategies smartphone makers are adopting in China, where the average selling price of a 5G phone was only $464 in the second quarter, compared with $837 globally during the same period.

IDC also predicted that sales of higher-priced 5G smartphones will continue to grow in China with the launch of Apple’s 5G-enabled iPhone 12 series priced between $699 and $1,099.

In the first half of 2020, some 23.5 million smartphones of all types priced $600 and above were sold in China, with Huawei leading the market with a share of 44.1%. Apple was China’s second-largest smartphone vendor for that price range during the period with a market share of 44%, according to IDC.

As of the beginning of September, China had established 480,000 5G base stations, with the number of 5G terminal devices surpassing 100 million, according to IDC.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: China's Oppo makes play for European growth as Huawei slips


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By Matthew Walsh / Oct 06, 2020 12:36 PM / Economy

Photo: IC

Photo: IC

China’s box office took 2.21 billion yuan ($325.46 million) in the first four days of the “Golden Week” national holiday, around three-quarters of last year’s total, as moviegoers steadily return to cinemas following the country’s coronavirus outbreak.

The takings recorded between Oct. 1 and Oct. 4, which this year encompasses both the Mid-Autumn Festival and part of the annual National Day celebration, came after six new films were released to coincide with one of China’s peak moviegoing periods.

Of those, fantasy flick “Jiang Ziya,” produced by Beijing Enlight Pictures Co. Ltd. and the sequel to last year’s smash hit “Nezha,” topped the box office charts Thursday and Friday before being dislodged by Beijing Jingxi Culture and Tourism Co. Ltd.’s comedy offering “My People, My Homeland.”

As of Monday, “My People, My Homeland” had taken a total of 1.05 billion yuan, slightly ahead of “Jiang Ziya” on 1.01 billion yuan. Both sit comfortably among China’s three highest-grossing movies of the year so far.

Other movies in the current box office top 10 include “The Eight Hundred,” a war epic that unexpectedly became this year’s highest-grossing movie worldwide last month; director Christopher Nolan’s science-fiction thriller “Tenet”; and Disney’s controversial and poor-performing live-action remake of “Mulan.”

China’s leaders are pushing “revenge” spending during the National Day holiday as consumers look to release pent-up demand after months of pandemic-induced restrictions came to an end earlier this year.

Cinemas are doing a brisk trade compared with their overseas counterparts, raking in 742 million yuan on the first day of the holiday — the highest one-day takings since movie theaters reopened in July.

Chinese consumers splurged more than 4.4 billion yuan on movie tickets during the National Day holiday last year. The country’s box office has taken on greater global significance this year after some cinemas in other parts of the world, including Cineworld Group PLC, have temporarily or permanently closed theaters under strain from the pandemic.

Contact reporter Matthew Walsh (matthewwalsh@caixin.com) and editor Marcus Ryder (marcusryder@caixin.com)


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By Ding Yi / Sep 14, 2020 04:16 PM / Economy

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Beijing plans to build what it calls the world’s first high-level autonomous driving demonstration zone in the hope of accelerating the commercial application of self-driving technology, according to a report by state television broadcaster CCTV.

That was the message delivered by Kong Lei, the deputy head of the administrative committee of Beijing Economic-Technological Development Area, during a press conference held in Beijing on Friday.

The demonstration zone will feature a powerful self-driving infrastructure network consisting of a low-latency telecoms system, an accurate obstacle perception system, a high-accuracy positioning system as well as a cloud-based transport network control platform, which are needed for testing the large-scale operation of driverless vehicles featuring Level 4 autonomy and the application of the internet of vehicles, the report said, without providing a specific date for the project’s completion.

The U.S. Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) categorizes autonomous driving technology into six levels from 0 to 5. Level 4 technology allows a car to run almost completely independent of human intervention.

Beijing is among the few Chinese cities that allow companies to test their passenger-carrying autonomous vehicles. Last week, the Chinese capital approved Baidu’s Apollo Go robotaxi service in designated residential and business areas that cover 100 pickup and drop-off stations, becoming the third city after Changsha and Cangzhou to be used by Baidu to pilot its autonomous taxis.

According to a development plan released by China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China aims to achieve mass production of self-driving vehicles featuring Level 3 technology by 2025 as part of efforts to build a new-generation transport network control system .

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: Baidu Expands Free Robotaxi Trial Service to Northern City of Cangzhou


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By Ding Yi / Sep 14, 2020 12:36 PM / Economy

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

China is expected to be the biggest purchaser of 5G smartphones in 2020, as the country accelerates the deployment of its 5G infrastructure.

Some 172 million 5G smartphones will be sold in China this year, accounting for about 62% of the global total, according to a report by research firm Canalys, which looked at the combined figures for the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

Canalys attributed the expected sales to the rapid commoditization of 5G smartphones on the Chinese mainland and Chinese handset makers’ efforts to launch cheaper phones compatible with 5G networks.

In September, Realme, a budget brand of Chinese smartphone maker Oppo, launched the V3 in China, which is the world’s cheapest 5G smartphone thanks to its starting price of $150.

Jin Shengtao, an analyst at Canalys, described the V3’s launch as a milestone in bringing 5G functionality to entry-level smartphones.

“It is expected that by 2021, nearly 60% of 5G smartphone shipments in China will be cheaper than $400, while 5G penetration in China will reach 83% in the next 12 months,” Jin said in a statement.

Jin predicted that it will have a significant ripple effect on other regions such as Southeast Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa and even Latin America, where Chinese vendors are expanding their presence.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: Huawei May Become the World’s Biggest 5G-Phone Maker This Year


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By Lu Yutong / Sep 11, 2020 03:33 PM / Economy

Following the fate of blacklisted Chinese tech firms Huawei and HikVision, Beijing has begun to worry that U.S. sanctions could bleed into other industries like cloud services.

The concern may be justified. In late June, China’s largest server-maker, Inspur, had its supply of chips from American giant Intel Corp. cut off for two days after the U.S. Department of Defense alleged it had military links.

Beijing is now scrambling to protect against such risks.

Enter China Electronics Corp. (CEC), the country’s largest centrally-controlled state-owned IT company, which announced this week it is wading into the cloud services arena — with government support.

On Wednesday, the firm unveiled its “China Electronics Cloud” services with the goal of “guaranteeing the safety of government and companies’ digital transformation.”

The cloud services will exclusively use domestic technologies, and CEC is hoped to be able to offer an alternative to the current Chinese cloud services market, which mostly utilizes Intel’s X86 architecture.

It will also compete with big private cloud providers Alibaba and Tencent.

Read the full story: As Washington Restricts Tech, State-Owned Giant Gets Into Cloud Computing

Contact reporter Lu Yutong (yutonglu@caixin.com) and editor Flynn Murphy (flynnmurphy@caixin.com)


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By Ding Yi / Sep 10, 2020 02:43 PM / Economy

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

In the second quarter of 2020, Alibaba maintained its spot as the biggest cloud services provider in China, where total spending on such services climbed to a record high of $4.3 billion due to growing demand amid the Covid-19 pandemic and government stimulus measures.

During the period between April and June, Alibaba Cloud, Huawei Cloud, Tencent Cloud and Baidu AI Cloud collectively controlled 78.7% of China’s cloud infrastructure services market, with Alibaba Cloud accounting for a whopping 40.1% market share, though the figure is 4.4 percentage points lower than its share in the previous quarter, according to a report by research firm Canalys.

Huawei Cloud ranked second with a market share of 15.5%, up from 14.1% in the first quarter, closely followed by Tencent Cloud, which grew its market share to 15.1% from 13.9% in the previous quarter, the report showed. Baidu AI Cloud was the fourth-largest cloud services seller during the period, maintaining its market share basically unchanged at 8%.

Overall, China’s $4.3 billion spend on cloud services, which represents a year-on-year increase of 70%, enabled the country to maintain its position as the world’s second-largest cloud services market in the second quarter after the U.S., home to industry leaders Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

“Momentum in China’s cloud infrastructure services is set to accelerate,” said Canalys analyst Blake Murray in a statement. “An already growing market is being propelled by government initiatives, commitment by cloud service providers to invest, as well as increasing demand for digital transformation and online services in the post-Covid-19 economy,” Murray added.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: Alibaba Takes Lead in China’s Cloud Services Market


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By Liu Peilin, He Shujing and Anniek Bao / Sep 08, 2020 02:01 PM / Economy

China's cable television networks were already close to the brink as people ditched old fashioned TV in favor of disruptive new services.

A pandemic that had everyone sitting around at home might have been expected to boost their fortunes.

But as advertisers counted their pennies and the government pushed networks to provide free content in order to keep people at home, cable firm margins dissolved.

All 11 Chinese listed cable network companies reported tumbling profits and revenue in the first half, with some nosediving deep into the red.

Read the full story on Caixin Global here.

Contact editor Marcus Ryder (marcusryder@caixin.com)

Related: National Broadband Firm Takes Shape With $3 Billion From Alibaba, State Grid


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