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By Bloomberg / Feb 24, 2020 02:15 PM / Finance

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Japan’s Finance Minister Taro Aso warned the world off China’s digital yuan, saying more work is needed before any issuance. China is expected to introduce the currency later this year, and Japanese officials have repeatedly expressed reservations about such a move.

“There is a big risk in a central bank digital currency unless the regulation is well-sorted,” Aso told reporters in Riyadh, where G-20 finance chiefs held a meeting this weekend. “I would say ‘hold on’ for the issuance of a government-backed digital currency, at least for now.”

The G-20 communique said Sunday that risks associated with a digital currency should be evaluated and appropriately addressed before its issuance. China’s plan and Facebook’s efforts to launch its own Libra currency have sparked central banks around the world to get up to speed on how digital currencies would function and what their impact could be.

Aso said nations should be aware of the risk of China suddenly ditching its digital currency and causing chaos in the global economy.

The Bank of Japan is teaming up with other major central banks to assess potentially developing their own digital currencies. While Japan currently has no plan to issue a digital currency, concerns are growing among lawmakers that a digital yuan being proposed by Chinese authorities could destabilize an economic order that has been revolving around the U.S. dollar.

Related: Opinion: China’s Central Bank Could Show the World How to Do Digital Currency


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By Ding Yi / Feb 24, 2020 02:04 PM / World

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

The U.S. Department of Commerce has approved a request by Chinese artificial intelligence firm iFlyTek to exempt it from a trade blacklist, iFlyTek said in a filing to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange on Monday.

The exemption will enable iFlyTek to buy American-made medical supplies to help fight the Covid-19 outbreak in China, where the epidemic has so far claimed more than 2,500 lives, according to the filing.

In October 2019, the U.S. government added iFlyTek to its so-called Entity List, barring the Chinese firm from buying products and services from American suppliers.

Since the deadly coronavirus began spreading across China in January, many of the country’s tech companies have pitched in to support the battle against the disease, donating money and medical resources to places hit by the virus.

Apart from providing financial support, iFlyTek says it is also applying its AI technology to help combat the virus. The company’s technology is being used to screen for patients infected with the coronavirus and enable students, who have been forced to stay home due to the outbreak, to continue their studies via online learning platforms, according to the filing.

Shares of iFlyTek soared 4.06% as of 1:23 p.m. Monday.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: Chinese AI Company iFlyTek Asks U.S. to Lift Export Ban So It Can Buy Medical Supplies


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By Ding Yi / Feb 24, 2020 01:10 PM / Economy

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

China was the world’s biggest purchaser of handsets compatible with 5G networks.

5G smartphone shipments in China accounted for 46% of the global total last year, according to a report by research firm Counterpoint. The country started commercial roll out of 5G services in October 2019.

Huawei and its sub-brand Honor captured a combined 74% of China’s 5G smartphone sales last year. But globally, the embattled Chinese company was eclipsed by its South Korean rival Samsung, which was the world’s biggest 5G smartphone vendor with a global market share of over 40% in 2019, the report said.

Counterpoint also said that China’s Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak will have an impact on the global smartphone market as nearly half of the world’s smartphones are made in China, where the epidemic has disrupted the supply chains of many handset makers and led to the shutdown of many brick-and-mortar stores selling the devices.

“The OEMs which will be affected the most are the ones having production facilities in the Wuhan area like Lenovo and Motorola, and the ones for whom China is the major market like Huawei,” Counterpoint analyst Varun Mishra said in a statement, making reference to hardware companies. “OEMs like Realme, Honor, and Xiaomi, which are more reliant on online distribution are likely to be least affected compared to those that have a relatively high share of offline sales,” the analyst added.

Mishra predicted that the Chinese smartphone market may see a 20% drop in sales in the first quarter of 2020 due to the epidemic.

According to a report by another research firm, Strategy Analytics, global shipments of 5G smartphones are likely to reach 199 million units in 2020, a dramatic growth from 19 million units shipped in 2019.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: Huawei Smartphones Slip Under Weight of U.S. Sanctions


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By Ding Yi / Feb 22, 2020 03:07 AM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Shares of Beijing Roborock Technology, backed by smartphone giant Xiaomi, skyrocketed in its trading debut on Shanghai’s Nasdaq-style high-tech board Friday as its market cap surged past 33 billion yuan ($4.7 billion).

Roborock Technology closed at 500.1 yuan per share on Friday, up 84.5% from its IPO price of 271.1 yuan. It raised around 4.5 billion yuan ($641 million) in the IPO by offering 16.7 million shares.

Founded in 2014, the Beijing-based startup designs and sells intelligent home cleaners and other cleaning appliances. It received an investment from Xiaomi that year and launched its first product, Mi Home Robotic Vacuum Cleaner, in 2016. The company said that it will use the IPO proceeds to develop next-generation robotic home cleaners and a data analysis platform.

Xiaomi owns 24.7% of Roborock through its associated companies Tianjin Jinmi Investment Partnership and Shunwei Capital, according to Roborock’s prospectus.

In the first half of 2019, Roborock generated revenue of 2.1 billion yuan.


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By Ding Yi and He Shujing / Feb 21, 2020 02:54 PM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn is gradually resuming production at a key complex in the central city of Zhengzhou that was closed because of the new coronavirus outbreak. But it is only allowing workers from the surrounding province of Henan to return to work.

More than 6,600 workers from less-affected areas of Henan are allowed to restart work without quarantine, while those from more-impacted places are subject to a 14-day quarantine at home before working. Returnees from regions moderately affected by the disease need to obtain health certificates before getting back to work.

Foxconn is also restarting its recruitment drive for the Zhengzhou factory, but said it is currently only considering job applicants from “slightly” and “moderately” impacted places of Henan province as the epidemic has not been completely brought under control. A successful candidate will be rewarded with a cash bonus of 5,250 yuan ($746), according to the company.

The limited restart of production in Zhengzhou comes after Henan authorities announced they would gradually resume the province’s public transport operations from Feb. 21.

The Zhengzhou complex is Foxconn’s main iPhone-assembly facility and produces more than 40% of Apple’s iPhones worldwide.

On Monday, Apple warned that it will miss a previous first-quarter revenue forecast due to the slower-than-expected resumption of production by its Chinese suppliers.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com) 

Related: Foxconn May Not Resume Full China Production Until Month-End Amid Epidemic: Reuters

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By Ding Yi / Feb 20, 2020 05:29 PM / Business & Tech

Taobao Live, a livestreaming arm of e-commerce giant Alibaba, grew dramatically in February, as a result of many Chinese bricks-and-mortar businesses trying to digitize their marketing and sales activities in order to make up for losses caused by the Covid-19 epidemic.

As of Tuesday, the number of live broadcast rooms and livestreaming events on Taobao Live ballooned 100% and 110% year-on-year respectively during the month, according to data Alibaba provided to Caixin.

More than 30 catering companies signed up for livestreaming activities on Feb. 10, when Taobao Live removed some of the previous requirements physical stores must meet in order to qualify to do businesses on the platform as well as also providing some operational tools free of charge, the company said.

During the period, Taobao Live attracted more than 5,000 real estate agents from nearly 100 Chinese cities to join. The period between Feb. 12 and Feb. 17 saw the highest number viewings, when some 2 million people watched livestreamed real estate-related events on the platform, the company said, adding that Beijing and the provinces of Jiangsu and Shandong were the top three regions in terms of the number of livestream hosts in the property sector.

Carmakers also banked on Taobao Live to promote their sales in February. Currently, a total of 23 global automakers such as BMW and Audi have taken advantage of livestreaming events to sell cars on the platform, with BMW hiring professional livestream hosts to introduce its various car models.

Taobao Live remained attractive to entertainers in February. The company said that 21 celebrities and singers held an online concert on Taobao Live from their homes on Valentine’s Day, attracting around 4 million fans.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: Alibaba’s Taobao to Host Online Raffle During Lunar New Year TV Gala


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By Yang Ge / Feb 20, 2020 03:19 PM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

It’s great being global.

That’s the sentiment coming from PC giant Lenovo, which credited its global footprint that includes a major U.S. presence for helping to control disruptions related to the Covid-19 virus outbreak wreaking havoc in its home market.

Lenovo said Thursday the vast majority of its China factories have reopened and resumed operations on a “limited basis,” even as its suppliers and logistics partners continue to feel the impact of an outbreak that has killed more than 2,000. Like many other Chinese companies, Lenovo is just now getting back to work in its home market after an extended Lunar New Year holiday called by Beijing to limit the spread of the virus by curbing human-to-human contact.

“Given its extensive global footprint, the company is well positioned to address the supply challenges by leveraging its strength as a global company with worldwide manufacturing capabilities and supply chain efficiency,” it said.

It added it expects demand in its core China market to rebound after the outbreak stabilizes, and said “new demand drivers could emerge to bode well for the businesses.”

Lenovo gave the upbeat assessment as it reported its latest quarterly results, which showed that revenue was flat at $14.1 billion in the last three months of the year. Its bottom line looked better, with profit up 11% to $258 million.

Investors liked what they saw, bidding the company’s shares up 6.6% in afternoon trade shortly after the announcement.

Contact reporter Yang Ge (geyang@caixin.com)

Related: Lenovo Founder Warns of ‘Extremely Hard Fights’ Ahead


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By Zhang Erchi and Mo Yelin / Feb 20, 2020 02:58 PM / World

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Huawei said it is “disappointed” after a federal judge in Texas ruled against a lawsuit it filed challenging a U.S. law that bans federal agencies and contractors from purchasing its products.

The decision, handed down Tuesday by judge Amos Mazzant at East Texas District Court, ruled in favor of the U.S. government, concluding that Congress acted within its powers by including the restriction in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

“While we understand the paramount significance of national security, the approach taken by the U.S. government in the 2019 NDAA provides a false sense of protection while undermining Huawei’s constitutional rights. We will continue to consider further legal options,” a Huawei spokesman said.

Huawei filed the lawsuit in March 2019 saying restrictions in its terms of trade as set out by the 2019 NDAA, were unconstitutional. The 2019 NDAA also targets ZTE, another Chinese telecom provider.

Read the full story on Caixin Global later.

Contact reporter Mo Yelin (yelinmo@caixin.com)

Related: Huawei Sues U.S. Government Over Equipment Ban


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By Ding Yi / Feb 20, 2020 12:44 PM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing is plowing 100 million yuan ($14.3 million) into a project to install protective plastic sheets in its cars in China in order to separate drivers from passengers and prevent the further spread of the Covid-19 virus, according to a company statement emailed to Caixin.

The project is seen as a move by Didi to boost user confidence and improve its badly hit business amid the outbreak, which has caused Chinese people to avoid public transport, including taxis.

Earlier this month, Didi began to pilot the initiative in several cities including Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, on the instruction of medical experts.

Didi has also uploaded a tutorial onto its app so that drivers can learn where to buy and how to install the protective plastic sheets by themselves. The company offers a 15 yuan ($2.14) subsidy for each driver’s first self-installation, the company said in a separate statement on its public WeChat account.

The Beijing-based firm, which is reportedly among a list of more than 300 Chinese businesses applying for preferential bank loans to offset the financial impact of the outbreak, has carried out a series of measures to combat the disease, which has so far killed more than 2,000 people in China.

The company has also required its drivers to wear face masks, take their temperature every day, and disinfect and ventilate their vehicles regularly.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: Didi to Launch Ride-Hailing Services in Sydney Next Month


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By Bloomberg / Feb 20, 2020 10:56 AM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Puma SE’s chief executive officer put a brave face on the coronavirus crisis in China, forecasting a 10% gain in revenue this year.

“Long-term, this will not have an impact on our industry and our brand,” CEO Bjorn Gulden told journalists Wednesday. “Can we reach the guidance or not? We will do everything we can.” Puma shares surged as much as 9.5% to a record, erasing a recent slide.

Rival sportswear maker Adidas AG painted a bleak picture, saying business in greater China dropped 85% in the weeks since Jan. 25. Puma’s Gulden looked past the gloom even as the company wrestles with store closures in a market that accounts for 13% of its sales.

As many as 70 of Puma’s 110 stores there are closed and almost all franchises and partners have shut as well. Most of Puma’s local factories have restarted after a lengthened holiday break for the Lunar New Year, but they aren’t fully staffed yet as travel restrictions prevent workers from returning home, according to Gulden.

Many consumer goods companies point to e-commerce to sustain the effect of the store closures. Orders are in, according to Puma’s Gulden, but they can’t be fulfilled due to the travel restrictions.

Related: Adidas Opens Mega Asia Headquarters in Shanghai, Determined to Win China


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By Bloomberg / Feb 20, 2020 05:55 AM / Business & Tech

Photo: Bloomberg

Photo: Bloomberg

The coronavirus outbreak isn’t damping China’s appetite for rare-earth minerals. The country increased the first batch of mining quotas by 10% for the strategic materials used in products from electric vehicles to military hardware.

The quota for six dominant producers, including China Northern Rare Earth Group High-Tech Co., was set at 66,000 tons, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said Wednesday in a statement. That is half of last year’s total of 132,000 tons and compares with 60,000 tons in the 2019 first batch.

China, which issues two rounds of quotas every year, raised the annual rare-earth mining quotas to a record high last year as domestic demand rose. This year’s second-batch quota will be issued in the second quarter, according to the ministry. The annual total will be capped below 140,000 tons to preserve the resource under the government’s five-year plan for 2016 to 2020.

Rare earths were thrust into the spotlight last year on speculation China may restrict exports as part of its trade war with the U.S.

The ministry also set the first batch of tungsten concentrate mining quotas for 2020 at 52,500 tons.


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By Ding Yi / Feb 19, 2020 05:55 PM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Tesla and China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) are in the advanced stages of negotiations that may see the U.S. electric car maker use the latter’s cobalt-free batteries in vehicles built at the U.S. automaker’s Shanghai factory, Reuters reported Tuesday, citing sources familiar with matter.

Cobalt is an expensive mental. The use of cobalt-free batteries, also known as lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, could help Tesla lower its production costs in China, where sales of new energy vehicles suffered a sharp drop of 54.4% in January amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

A source told Reuters that LFP batteries will be “double-digit percent” cheaper than Tesla’s existing batteries, saying that the two firms have been trying for more than a year to reach an agreement.

LFP batteries are typically less energy-dense than nickel-cobalt-aluminium (NCA) and nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) batteries, the two types of batteries that electric vehicle makers usually install on passenger vehicles. A battery with higher energy density enables an electric car to run farther on a single charge.

The sources revealed to Reuters that CATL has been developing a technology to boost the energy density and safety of its LFP batteries, adding that Tesla has no plans to stop using its NCA batteries.

The news comes more than two weeks after CATL announced a two-year battery supply agreement with Tesla. But the Chinese battery maker did not specify which kinds of batteries it will provide to Tesla.

Tesla, which is betting big on its Shanghai-made Model 3 sedans to win China market share, also buys batteries from Japan’s Panasonic and South Korea’s LG Chem.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: Chinese Battery Maker CATL Confirms Partnership with Tesla


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By Liu Yanfei and Lu Yutong / Feb 19, 2020 03:55 PM / Economy

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Hong Kong’s unemployment surged to a three-year high as consumption figures plunged in the city caused by months of unrest and the Covid-19 outbreak. Economists forecast the Asian financial center could post an unprecedented second year of economic contraction in a row.

The city’s unemployment rate rose to 3.4% for the period of November 2019 to January this year, the highest since 2017, data from the Hong Kong government said Tuesday. As of January, Hong Kong’s unemployment rate has increased for five consecutive months.

“The recent coronavirus infection has seriously disrupted many economic activities, especially tourist-related industries,” said Law Chi-kwong, secretary for Labour and Welfare Bureau in Hong Kong. Industries including retail, catering and lodging have a combined unemployment rate of 5.2% , and it further rose to 5.7% with regards to the construction industry, the highest rate in six years, Law noted.

Hong Kong closed parts of its border crossing with the mainland in early February in an effort to stem the spread of the highly contagious epidemic, and Chinese mainland suspended the issuing of traveling passes to Hong Kong and Macau, which has further hit the city’s economy.

Read the full story on Caixin Global later.

Contact reporter Lu Yutong (yutonglu@caixin.com)

Related: Moody’s Downgrades Hong Kong for ‘Inertia’ Over Protests


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By Ding Yi / Feb 19, 2020 01:28 PM / World

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Huawei will launch its Honor V30 handset, the first smartphone preinstalled with Huawei Mobile Services (HMS), in the European market next week as the company seeks to combat U.S. restrictions on doing business with American suppliers, the Beijing News reported Monday.

The embattled Chinese tech giant has lost access to Google Mobile Services (GMS) since it was placed on the so-called U.S. Entity List in May. The move means Huawei cannot run Google apps and services on its smartphones. Huawei has also been blocked from receiving updates to the licensed version of Google’s Android operating system that powers many of its devices.

Concerns over the U.S. trade blacklisting has forced Huawei to develop HMS, which it expects to grow into a mobile ecosystem that can match GMS. To achieve that goal, the Shenzhen-based company is dipping into a billion-dollar incentive fund to encourage global developers to integrate their apps into HMS. The company is also working with domestic peers to build an alternative to Google’s Play Store.

According to the Beijing News, the V30 smartphone is also the first Honor mobile phone that is compatible with 5G networks. Huawei will hold a launch event for the V30 smartphone in Europe despite the fact the Mobile World Congress (MWC) was called off as a result of the novel coronavirus outbreak, the report added.

Whether a Huawei smartphone without GMS can gain popularity in Europe remains to be seen. The region is one of Huawei’s most important overseas markets. According to a report by research firm Canalys, Huawei ranked second in smartphone shipments in Europe in the third quarter of 2019 with a market share of 22.2%, behind Samsung which controlled 35.7% of the European market during the period.

Reuters reported last week that Turkish telecoms firm Turkcel had reached an agreement with Huawei to use the HMS services, becoming the first company outside of China to use the system. The Turkish company also said that it plans to sell 1 million HMS-enabled Huawei smartphones between April and the end of 2021.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: Chinese Phone-Makers to Team Up for Google Play Store Alternative: Report


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/ Feb 19, 2020 10:54 AM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Jaguar Land Rover Automotive says it may never recoup the sales lost because of the deadly coronavirus outbreak that’s stifled production and kept customers away from dealerships in one of the company’s biggest markets.

“At the moment, we don’t see anything happening in terms of demand in China,” Chief Executive Officer Ralf Speth said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “Now the question will be: ‘Will this kind of loss of demand be caught up, or will we just see a normal rise in demand?’ Nobody knows and nobody knows how long it will take.”

JLR, a unit of India’s Tata Motors Ltd., gets about 20% of its sales from China. While its facility in the city of Changshu near Shanghai is expected to reopen next week, the impact of parts shortages could affect the company’s U.K. production. Its plants have only about two weeks worth of supplies left, Speth said.

Separately Reuters reported that Speth said the company’s British production lines only have enough parts produced in China to maintain two more weeks of production at the moment.

Reporting by Bloomberg and Caixin

Related: Jaguar Land Rover in Uphill Battle to Revive China Operation


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By He Shujing and Denise Jia / Feb 19, 2020 07:33 AM / Business & Tech

Photo: Bloomberg

Photo: Bloomberg

A U.S. federal jury awarded Motorola Solutions $764.6 million in compensation in a copyright infringement lawsuit against Chinese rival Hytera Communications Corp.

Shenzhen-based Hytera said it was disappointed by the jury’s verdict and will appeal if the decision is upheld by the court.

The jury at a federal district court in Chicago found that Hytera had stolen Motorola Solutions’ trade secrets for two-way radio technology used in walkie-talkies and infringed Motorola’s copyrights. The jury awarded Motorola $345.8 million in compensatory damages and $418.8 million in punitive damages, the maximum amounts that Motorola Solutions had requested.

Hytera said Monday in a statement that the ruling will have a significant impact on the company’s net income in 2019 and it doesn’t rule out a decline in profit or a loss. The company had expected a 2019 net profit of 480 million to 580 million yuan ($68.6 million to $82.9 million), compared with 477 million yuan in 2019. It is scheduled to release its annual report April 8.

Motorola is Hytera’s direct competitor in the global market for walkie-talkies. The American company brought a series of lawsuits against its rival since 2017. An earlier ruling from the U.S. International Trade Commission had banned the import and sale of certain walkie-talkie products by Hytera in the U.S. Another copyright infringement lawsuit against Hytera is still pending.

Contact reporter Denise Jia (huijuanjia@caixin.com)

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By Qu Hui, Niu Mujiangqu and Lu Yutong / Feb 18, 2020 05:00 PM / Business & Tech

Photo: IC Photo

Photo: IC Photo

Chinese property giant Evergrande is offering massive discounts on its properties nationwide starting Tuesday and providing the ability to buy houses online, as measures to control the spread of the Covid-19 virus have led to serious cash crunch for the company.

As many as 613 Evergrande properties will be sold at a 25% discount from Tuesday till the end of the month, and they will be sold at a 22% discount throughout March, the real estate giant announced on its Wechat account. Home buyers who pay the full amount in one year will be given a further 2% discount.

The company also initiated online purchasing on Sunday, enabling virtual reality technology so customers can view properties without actually having to travel to the property and limit the potential of spreading the virus.

The latest sales promotion could potentially reflect Evergrande’s need for cash, after it extended the Lunar New Year holidays to Feb. 20 for its 1,040 offline sales divisions.

“Keeping turnover moving quickly is crucial for real estate firms,” said Li Yujia, chief researcher at a housing policy research institution in South China’s Guangdong province. “Two weeks of suspension at sales department will have a significant impact on funding.”

Read the full story on Caixin Global later.

Contact reporter Lu Yutong (yutonglu@caixin.com)

Related: 459 Real Estate Bankruptcy Filings Raise Concerns of Homebuyers Losing Out


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By Ding Yi / Feb 18, 2020 04:06 PM / World

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing will start operations in Sydney from Mar. 16, as the Covid-19 epidemic cripples its business in its home market, the company said in a statement.

The Beijing-based company will initially provide Didi Express and Didi Max services in Sydney, the most populous city in Australia, where it currently operates in seven cities across four states, according to the statement.

“Introducing our services to the global economic and cultural hub of Sydney is a major milestone for our young team there,” said Lyn Ma, general manager of Didi Australia.

Didi first moved into the Australian market in May 2018. So far, it has accumulated more than two million passengers there on its app, the company said.

The launch of the Sydney operations comes as a part of Didi’s global expansion plans. The company, which was under fire for its murder-linked carpooling service in China two years ago, also has a presence in Japan, Brazil, Chile and Colombia.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: Didi-Owned Brazilian Ride-Hailing App Completes 1 Billion Trips


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By Ding Yi / Feb 18, 2020 01:37 PM / Society & Culture

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picture

Alibaba-owned payment platform Alipay will launch a national health code system this week to assess people’s physical status amid government calls for tech firms to contribute to the battle against the Covid-19 epidemic in China, the company said in a WeChat post.

The system was initially rolled out last week in Hangzhou, the capital of eastern China’s Zhejiang province, where residents are now asked to fill out an online form reporting their ID number, travel history and various health conditions before getting a color-based code.

People with a red code are subject to a 14-day quarantine and should provide regular check-in via DingTalk, a workplace chat app also developed by Alibaba, while those with a yellow code are quarantined for a week. A green code means people can move freely around the city.

Currently, Hangzhou residents need to have their health status scanned via a QR code when entering public places including residential communities, office buildings, supermarkets and travel checkpoints. As of Monday, Hangzhou has issued more than 7.25 million health codes including 6.7 million green codes.

Tencent has also developed a similar QR code tracking platform, which the tech giant said is currently being used in the southern city of Shenzhen and will soon be deployed in more cities in Guangdong province.

During a press conference last week, Chen Yueliang, an official with the Ministry of Civil Affairs, encouraged Chinese tech giants including Alibaba and Tencent to develop software to help contain the spread of the novel coronavirus within residential communities.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: Genome Giant BGI Gets Regulator Approval to Sell Coronavirus Test Kits


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By Bloomberg / Feb 18, 2020 05:43 AM / Business & Tech

Photo: Bloomberg

Photo: Bloomberg

Apple Inc. doesn’t expect to meet its revenue guidance for the March quarter due to work slowdowns from the outbreak of novel coronavirus in China, the company said Monday.

“Work is starting to resume around the country, but we are experiencing a slower return to normal conditions than we had anticipated,” the company said in a statement. Apple said global iPhone supply will be “temporarily constrained” and that demand for its products in China has been affected by store closures and reduced customer traffic.

The tech giant didn’t provide an updated sales estimate, saying that the situation in China is evolving. Apple had projected record revenue for the current quarter of between $63 billion and $67 billion.

Related: Caixin’s coverage of the new coronavirus

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