Wednesday, June 29, 2005

UTStarcom's 3G and IPTV Plans

From Forbes: UTStarcom Grasps For New Growth

" (...) , faced with a 50% PAS (Personal Access System equipment) slowdown, UTStarcom has to look elsewhere for growth. UTStarcom already started diversifying its business mid-2004. To diversify its risk, UTStarcom started the process of turning itself into a global player instead of a company primarily aimed at the Chinese market."

"It took some big steps. The company licensed Code Division Multiple Access and Wideband CDMA technology from Qualcomm. Under the terms of the agreement, Qualcomm granted UTStarcom a patent license to develop, manufacture and sell subscriber and infrastructure equipment for use in CDMA2000, WCDMA (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) and TD-SCDMA systems--the standard that is being used in China. UTStarcom has been positioning itself for a big stake in China's 3G wireless future. Smart move."

"With the opportunity to sell CDMA equipment, the company started to acquire handset and infrastructure companies that could help it generate revenue. It acquired the CDMA intellectual property portfolio of Hyundai Syscomm, a Korean infrastructure provider for a price between $12 to $15 million in cash. For that, UTStarcom got the product portfolio, intellectual property--including approximately 2,900 Korean, U.S. and other foreign issued or pending patents--selected research and design assets and selected employees."

"(...) One area where he (CEO, Hong Lu) sees promise is Internet Protocol Television. Here, UTStarcom already offers a system it calls "mvision," which is designed to let telecommunications operators and broadband service providers deliver broadcast quality TV and on-demand entertainment service programming over IP networks. Lu says that UTStarcom is the leading supplier of such systems and has existing contracts in China worth more than $100 million. He also says that there are more than 42 trials taking place, and that he expects the company to capture more than 50% of the Chinese IPTV market in the long term. UTStarcom has also signed a contract with Yahoo! Broadband in Japan to provide IPTV services to 5 million users. Meanwhile, UTStarcom will install IPTV equipment for 100,000 users in Florida."

Aided by US Technology Companies, Beijing Tightens its Control of Information Flow

From YaleGlobal: China's Internet: Let a Thousand Filters Bloom

"The internet has played a key role in China's opening up to the world. But, as Rebecca MacKinnon writes, the Chinese government has cracked down on online freedom of expression. Thanks to deals with multinational corporations, US technology has facilitated Beijing's campaign to restrict internet discussions on troublesome issues like democracy, human rights, and Taiwanese independence. "Granular" technologies developed by US information technology giants enable installation of a powerful mesh of filters to control information flow: State-of-the art routers automatically track individual internet users and even filter out sub-pages from larger sites. As a result, says MacKinnon, "the picture of the world as seen by most Chinese internet users is heavily skewed in the regime's favor."

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

China's Population of Internet Users Has Surpassed 100 Million

From RedNova: China's Internet Users Top 100 Million

"China's population of Internet users has surpassed 100 million, the government said Tuesday.
China already has the world's second-largest population of people online after the United States, which has 135 million.

The latest Chinese figure was announced by Xi Guohua, an official with the Ministry of Information Industry, according to the official Xinhua News Agency."

Monday, June 27, 2005

The Taobao Offensive

From Red Herring: Taobao Plots eBay Offensive

"Meg Whitman is coming to China, and Jack Ma, founder of eBay’s largest mainland rival, can’t contain his elation. “When my team heard she was spending much of the summer in China, we were all dancing,” beams Mr. Ma, who launched auction site Taobao—the name means “digging for treasure” in Mandarin—in May 2003. The former English teacher calls Ms. Whitman’s trip to China, which was confirmed by eBay’s China team on June 2, “an admission of defeat.”"

"If the numbers that Taobao trumpets are true, Mr. Ma has reason to believe that he will win. On the sidelines of the Fortune Global Forum in May, he predicted that Taobao’s GMV (gross merchandise value) will easily outstrip the $400 million that Ms. Whitman forecast for eBay EachNet, the San Jose, California-based company’s China operation, in 2005. “We had 1.13 billion renminbi in GMV [about $137 million] just in the first quarter,” says Mr. Ma. He rattles off more metrics: $82 million in GMV in May alone, 75 million page views a day to eBay’s 15 million, 8 million new product listings a day, and 20 times the total product listings of its competitor."

"None of this, however, is actually paid for by Taobao’s users: since its launch on July 10, 2003, the site has offered all listings for free and, unlike eBay EachNet, charges no final value fee for completed transactions. To Taobao skeptics, this sounds all too familiar. “It’s a bit like the early days of the Internet,” says Paul Waide, an editor at Shanghai-based analyst firm Pacific Epoch. “They’re using metrics that don’t really mean anything. What everyone wants to know is how they’re going to turn those into revenues.”"

"Competition between the two sites has become somewhat personal, it seems. Mr. Ma alleges that eBay has spent money on outdoor advertising in Hangzhou, a city of 2 million, completely out of proportion to the city’s market importance. “In front of my office there’s a huge building with an eBay ad,” says Mr. Ma. “They’re just trying to make me unhappy. That’s just an emotional response.” Mr. Zheng (eBay EachNet’s chief operating officer) points out that his Shanghai offices are similarly surrounded in Taobao ads. “They bought ads right at the entry to the subway station in front of the eBay office,” he says."

Rivalry of eBay With China's Taobao Increasingly Fierce

From The Standard: Under the hammer

"eBay entered the mainland market by acquiring Eachnet in July 2003. Since then, much of its original management team has been replaced by staff from eBay Taiwan. The newcomers include the key man at eBay China, chief operating officer James Zheng.
The idea is to have people of Chinese culture, but steeped in Western management philosophy, running the operation. But even Taiwan may be too different from the mainland to allow for an easy transfer of expertise.

''eBay is struggling in the China market. It is not as easy as they thought,'' said TR Harrington, a partner in Shanghai-based Mithras Consulting Group.

The American company's rivalry with homegrown Taobao - started by local entrepreneur Jack Ma as an extension of his Alibaba B2B marketplace - is increasingly fierce. Softbank, the high-powered Japanese technology investor, is one of Taobao's backers."

"At the end of 2004, iResearch estimated eBay's share of the Chinese market at 65 percent, versus Taobao's 29 percent. 1Pai, a joint venture between Yahoo! and Sina, was a distant third.
Recent figures from the top two firms suggest Taobao has greatly improved its standing since.
eBay China said its total transaction volume in the first quarter this year was 820 million yuan and Taobao claimed volume of 960 million yuan."

Friday, June 24, 2005

3G Deployment Delayed in China

From CMPnet: 3G in China? Wait on

"Technical hang-ups with China's domestic 3G standard look likely to delay the handing out of 3G licences this year, according to research firm iSuppli."

"Once again, the blame is being put on TD-SCDMA, the domestic standard that China wants to deploy alongside wideband-CDMA and CDMA2000 1X. Yet while the latter two are ready to go, the former is still teething. During the government's most recent round of tests, iSuppli said only a few handsets passed qualification."

"It is highly improbable that the government would trash the standard, given that it and various companies have sunk hundreds of millions of dollars into R&D. Moreover, the government has elevated TD-SCDMA onto a political pedestal, praising it as an example of China's technical prowess and ability to develop intellectual property."

"For this reason, there is only one viable solution to the TD-SCDMA problem: delay the 3G service licences until China's home-grown technology is truly ready for commercial use ... ."

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Telecom Restructuring Strategy for China

From ChinaTechNews: University Professor Publishes 3+2 Telecom Restructuring Strategy

"Zeng Jianqiu, a professor from the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, is attracting attention from the telecom industry after he recently published a "3+2" blueprint for the restructuring of China's telecom industry.

In the blueprint, Zeng suggests that China Telecom and China Netcom be merged; China Railcom be incorporated into China Unicom; and China Mobile and China Satelitecom remain as they are. He says he is not satisfied with the 2002 government decision to partition the telecom industry into North and South sections."

Asia Leading Global IPTV Revolution

Form Converge!: Why is Asia leading the Global IPTV Revolution?

"What may be surprising to many people is the fact that Asia is leading the IPTV revolution and is the fastest growing market for IPTV with subscribers set to double in the next 12 months (Source: Gartner, March 2005), followed by Europe and the U.S. as a distant third."

"While Asia as a region is far from homogeneous, there are a number of common factors across many countries which have provided a fertile ground for telecommunications operators here to venture into the IPTV arena."

"First of all, telcos in Asia tend to have the advantage to be well financed and to have existing connectivity to a much larger number of homes than other platforms such as cable or satellite."

"Secondly, Asia, and particularly China, is leading the world in broadband penetration growth, indicating that the bulk of global IPTV subscribers will come from this region. The broadband explosion in Asia is connected to the strong overall economic outlook for the region which is set to bring increased affluence to many countries in the coming years, fuelling growing entertainment consumption and demand for choice which is where IPTV with channel variety and on-demand capability can tap into."

"Thirdly, ADSL with at least 6.0 Mbps to households is more widespread in Asia (95% in Hong Kong) thanks in part to geographic densities."

"And finally, governments in many countries have embraced the broadband platform and are smoothing the way for the industry."

Cisco Sees China as No. 2 Market in 10 yrs

From Reuters: Cisco sees China as No. 2 market in 10 yrs

"Cisco Systems Inc. expects China to become its second-biggest market within 10 years, the network equipment maker's country chief said on Wednesday.

Growth would come as China's mobile and fixed-line carriers upgraded their networks, government offices put more functions online and the country built more infrastructure, said Jia-Bin Duh, president of Cisco Systems China."

"More than 20 percent of Cisco's total manufacturing budget is spent with outsourcing partners in China, the company said later.
Last month, Cisco opened its ninth office in China, in the city of Urumqi in the far-flung western region of Xinjiang Uygur."

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

China Net Investor Introduces Reference

Dear Readers,
You can now click on the green links to get further relevant, concise information from I hope this will facilitate your research and help you to learn about new companies, terms and abbreviations.

Examples: UTStarcom, Lenovo Group, baidu, TD-SCDMA

Highly recommended!
You can also download free software from allowing you to get answers by Alt-clicking on any word on any screen. In my opinion "1-Click Answers" is one of the most useful, smartest, internet innovations in years. I don't get paid for saying this ;-)
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Chinese Investors Overpaying for Struggling American Companies

From Slate: The China PriceWhy - Why Chinese investors are overpaying for struggling American companies.

"Haier, (...), is a strategic buyer. Strategic buyers look beyond cash flow and hard assets. Rather, they consider how all the target's assets—everything from its cash on hand to its brand name—can further its core strategy. Maytag Corporation's intangible assets—its brand, its management, its century of washing-machine-making experience, and distribution relationships—are what Haier finds most appealing. Potential American strategic buyers, such as, say, Whirlpool, might view Maytag's assets as irredeemably damaged and wasting. But for a Chinese firm like Haier, even Maytag's tarnished good name is a vast improvement over what it has. It can take decades and tons of money to build name recognition among U.S. consumers. Now Haier can buy it in a matter of weeks. Sure, Haier will have to pay a premium (and perhaps a big break-up fee). But so what?

The Maytag bid resembles the recent sale of IBM's PC unit. Competition had run the unit into the ground. Who would want to buy what was becoming a marginal player in the PC industry? Not Dell or Hewlett-Packard. They had already crushed IBM's PC business, and they had nothing to gain by acquiring the IBM brand name. But Chinese computer maker Lenovo Group, an ambitious company with no name recognition in the United States, certainly did. It leapt at the opportunity to acquire the IBM PC mark, as well as its American management team, for $1.75 billion."

Read more:
China's Haier bids $1.28 bln for Maytag

Time Magazine Cover Story: "China's New Revolution"

Time Magazine has a cover story "China's New Revolution," accompanied by several articles and features about China.

Huawei Forecasts Triple Europe Sales; Chosen for China Mobile 3G Network Test

From Forbes: Huawei Technologies chosen for China Mobile 3G network test

"Shenzhen-based telecommunications equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co Ltd has been chosen by China Mobile to deploy a test network for third generation (3G) wireless telecommunications in the country's southern province of Guangdong, the National Business News reported."

From Forbes: China's Huawei sees sales in Europe tripling to 600 mln usd in 2005

"Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, a major telecom equipment maker, expects sales in Europe to triple to 600 mln usd this year on an aggressive expansion program, the China Daily reported. Citing Richard Li, Huawei's European spokesman, the newspaper said the company racked up 200 mln usd in contract sales in Europe last year."

From Telecomweb: ABI Chronicles The Rise Of Huawei

"China's largest domestic telecom equipment supplier Huawei could be on the brink of becoming one of the leading worldwide vendors, in part owing to an emerging wireless-centric strategy applicable to the whole global telecom scene. So says Oyster Bay, N.Y.-based research house ABI Research, which just concluded a report exclusively about the Chinese manufacturer.

Huawei: On the Road to Becoming a Leading International Equipment Supplier, from ABI's Asia bureau, points out that 2004 revenue growth from Huawei's contract sales reached a four-year high at a 41-percent growth rate while it also reported healthy operating and profit margins reaching 18 percent and 16 percent, respectively, last year."

China's Locally Developed 3G Standard Fares Poorly in Tests

From Forbes: China's locally developed 3G phone standard fares poorly in tests

"China's homegrown third generation (3G) mobile standard TD-SCDMA performed poorly in a government-sponsored technical trial, the China Daily reported, citing various unnamed sources.

During the trials, the TD-SCDMA phones could only be used to make voice calls or send short text messages. Multimedia messages, video calls, downloading and playing video clips - all of which are key 3G applications - were less successful, the sources told the newspaper."

"Beijing-based independent telecom analyst Gary Cai was cited as saying that the poor tests may undermine the confidence of regulators backing the standard."

China's Broadband Households Reached 30.18 Million at End of May

From China Knowledge Online: China's Broadband Households Rise to Over 30 million

"China's broadband households reached 30.18 million at the end of May, according to latest figures released by the Ministry of Information Industry (MII). This is a rise of 5.34 million from the start of the year.

In a recent report, market research company, eMarketer, forecasts that China will soon replace the US as the country with the largest broadband households in the world.

As of the end of 2004, the US had 34.3 million broadband households, with a penetration rate of 29.9% (as a percentage of total households). The rate was much lower in China at 6.5%."

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

China Telecom And China Netcom To Begin IPTV Trials

From ChinaTechNews: 18 Cities Test IPTV

" China's two major fixed telecom operators, China Telecom and China Netcom, have separately signed cooperation agreements with Shanghai Media Group, who just obtained the first IPTV license in China. "

"China Telecom has reached an agreement with Shanghai Media Group to test the service in 17 cities including some in Guangdong, Jiangsu and Shaanxi provinces. China Netcom will test in the Heilongjiang province city of Harbin."

Growing Global Importance of China's Network Industry

From ITworld: Bullish on China

"In recent years, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., China's largest telecom equipment provider, has been seen as a rising threat to established telecom equipment makers.

However, most of the company's successes have been in developing countries, where cost was often considered the principal factor when choosing an equipment supplier. That all changed in April, when the U.K.'s BT Group PLC chose Huawei as one of eight suppliers for its ambitious 21st Century Network."

"The deal underscores the growing global importance of China's network industry. In recent years, Huawei and ZTE Corp., another Chinese telecom equipment maker, have won a number of contracts in emerging markets. Such deals helped to more than double Huawei's international revenue in 2004 to $2.3 billion, while ZTE saw its international sales jump nearly threefold to $1.6 billion."

"While Chinese companies are not expected by most industry watchers to have much impact anytime soon on the fiercely competitive North American enterprise or carrier markets, the growing strength of these equipment makers will inevitably impact how key U.S. suppliers operate. This already has been seen to some extent, with 3Com Corp. forging a joint venture with Huawei and Cisco Systems Inc. taking the Chinese company to court over patent infringement."

Huawei Has Released Quidway ME60 MSCG for Carrier-class IP Networks

From LightReading: Huawei Unveils God Box

"Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. made its latest bid to attract the attention of the world's leading carriers today with the simultaneous unveiling in Paris and Beijing of its Quidway ME60 MSCG (multiservice control gateway), a new multiservice, multifunctional, all singing, all dancing product that pulls together the functionality of a number of discrete boxes into one integrated chassis.

The Chinese vendor is positioning the ME60 as a panacea for numerous IP network problems related to service quality and security. It's an edge router that sits between the IP core and the access network (fixed or mobile) that integrates the capabilities currently found in a B-RAS, a session border controller, a firewall, and a deep packet inspection product.

This, says Huawei, allows a carrier to manage and provision IP and traditional voice and data services, and provide security on a per-customer basis, from the same platform."

China's Haier bids $1.28 bln for Maytag

From Reuters: China's Haier bids $1.28 bln for Maytag

"Haier Group, the top Chinese appliance maker, and private equity giants Bain Capital and Blackstone Group have bid $1.28 billion for Maytag Corp., the No. 4 U.S. appliance maker, topping an offer from U.S. private equity firm Ripplewood Holdings LLC.

Haier's global ambitions would be boosted by adding Maytag, which also makes Hoover vacuums and Amana and Jenn-Air appliances. Maytag has fallen on tough times amid rising raw material costs and competition from lower-cost makers."

Monday, June 20, 2005

China Mobile Adds 3.4M Subscribers in May

From Forbes: China Mobile Adds 3.4M Subscribers in May

"China Mobile Ltd., the Hong Kong-listed arm of China's largest mobile operator, said Monday it added nearly 3.4 million new subscribers in May, the highest monthly net addition so far this year."

"At the end of May, the company had 220.505 million subscribers, of which 159.998 million were using the prepaid service and 60.507 million were on post-paid contracts. China is the world's largest telecom market, with about 354 million mobile users at the end of April, and a mobile penetration rate of 25.9 percent."

Tom Online Signs Wireless Partnership With Warner Bros. Online

From ChinaTechNews: Tom Online Signs Wireless Partnership With Warner Bros. Online

"Warner Bros. Online today announced that Tom Online (TOMO) will be the sole wireless and Internet distribution partner for Warner Bros. Online in China.

The partnership includes the launch of the first official Warner Bros. Studios site in China on the back of's website name. Warner Bros. Studios' characters such as Scooby-Doo, Bugs Bunny and Tweety will be featured on the site along with sections dedicated to the Studios' movies, games, and wireless Internet products. Websites for upcoming feature films will also be available."

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Sina's New Search Engine is Live

Sina's new search engine seems to be up an running.
(Got informed by email, no press release yet.)

Link: iSou Sina

Read more:
Sina Reports Net Quarterly Revenues - To Enter Search In June
Baidu IPO Planed for July
Google Steps up Fight for the China Market
Chinese search engine market seen as gold mine

Europe Particular Focus of ZTE's Overseas Activities

From RedNova: ZTE Raises European Profile

"Based on all or any of the appropriate metrics - sales volumes, regional partnerships, levels of investment and strength of local presence - ZTE Corporation is today one of the fastest growing telecommunications suppliers in the global marketplace in general, and in the European market in particular. The largest publicly listed Chinese telecommunications vendor, with FY 2004 sales of US$2,563 million and some 17,000 employees, the group currently derives US$553.28 million or nearly 22 % of its turnover - from overseas markets and is active in some 60 countries worldwide. The rate of growth of ZTE's international business is particularly striking, increasing in 2004 by 133.5% compared to the previous year and putting the group on target to reach 40% of turnover from export sales by 2006."

Focus On Europe

"Given its overall size, the on-going enlargement of the EU single market, and the considerable potential for expansion in Central and Eastern countries in the region, Europe is a particular focus of ZTE's overseas activities. Perhaps surprisingly, the fact that this is also a highly developed market with well-established, large- scale local suppliers also provides incentives for ZTE's participation. "Competing successfully in this very demanding market - as we do - can help us improve our technologies, products and services. It puts an added emphasis on our ability to deliver ultra- reliable, highly flexible, cost-effective solutions. Also, we can investigate the different business and operating models used by other industry players" explains Mr Lin Cheng, General Manager of ZTE Western Europe. "Again, it's demonstrable that success in the European market is a very valuable reference when ZTE is competing in other geographic markets." "

Friday, June 17, 2005

The Chinese MMORPG Market: Legend of Mir II vs. World of Warcraft

From Azzor: Azzor visits China - The Chinese MMORPG Market

"The Chinese market is dominated by Legend of Mir II (or Legend2 for short). A historical mythical battle adventure MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game), Legend2 is "virtual China". Averaging 600,000 concurrent users online (and sometimes more than a million), the game has dominated the Chinese MMORPG scene for the last three years. Legend2 now has over 20 million subscribers, and has been able to trounce all would-be competitors who have attempted to overthrow its top rung as a Chinese MMORPG."

"The game is run by Shanda, a large Chinese online entertainment company. With over 140 million subscribers across all games, the huge market has made the company's owner the richest man in China. Massively multiplayer online games are some of the most popular games in China. They don't have piracy problems like other games, and generate ongoing revenue streams that entice companies like Shanda to invest in them."

"Many Chinese fans think WoW will take the leading place away from Legend2 in the Chinese market. As Fears was quick to point out, Legend2 is now five years old and the graphics are very outdated. Still, impressive graphical games like Lineage2 have been unable to crack the stranglehold that Legend2 has on the market. World of Warcraft requires a more powerful computer than Legend2 does, so it will have difficulties on that front. For a new game however, WoW's requirements are relatively low when compared with other games (like Lineage2)."

"WoW China's launch could end up being a very profitable venture for 9city and Blizzard. Analysts believe that WoW's success will bring new people to the MMORPG genre in China, and as a result the game won't have a large negative impact on Shanda and other MMO companies in China."

Read more:
The9 commits $74m for WoW; World of Warcraft, The9, Vivendi Universal
Bear Stearns reports on Shanda and The9: WOW (World of Warcraft) potential blockbuster in China
Online Game Operator NetEase Prepares for "World of Warcraft'' Arrival
New research reports on Chinese online game market: Shanda, Netease, The9, World of Warcraft (WoW), Tencent, Sina

Cisco's China Plans

From Asia Times Online: Cisco plans for China

"Cisco's latest moves in China include opening a Urumqi representative office and expanding the Shanghai research and development center this month. The Shanghai center will start with the telecom sector and expand to other areas in future. Built at a cost of $32 million, it is recruiting around 100 Chinese engineers to work better in the local market and cut costs."

"Cisco entered China 11 years ago. So far it has invested in six Chinese companies, including the Shanghai-based Shanda Interactive Entertainment, the biggest Chinese online game operator. All Cisco's acquisitions in China are made through the Softbank Asia Infrastructure Fund, set up by Cisco and Japan's Softbank. "Our investment returns from China are better than those from America," Chambers (CEO of Cisco Systems) said."

"Cisco, with routers and switches as its core products, faces challenges from major Chinese companies like Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corporation, which are quickly expanding in both domestic and overseas markets, with cheaper products. "We don't have an architecture business competitor; competition comes from one or two products, and competition varies by market," Chambers said. Cisco routers have competitors in China like Huawei and ZTE, but "we don't compete much", said Volpi (Cisco's senior vice president), who is also the general manager of Cisco's Routing Technology Group. Cisco has 70% of the market share in routers globally, he said. Volpi also ruled out the possibility of Cisco buying Huawei. The company is expected to manufacture 40% of its products in China in the coming years to cut costs. All Cisco's products are produced through outsourcing."

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Rivalry between eBay and its Chinese Competitor Alibaba Heats up

From auctionBYTES: eBay Creates B2B Site for Sourcing Products from China

"eBay has formed a strategic alliance with Global Sources Ltd. to create inventory-sourcing opportunities for eBay PowerSellers in China and globally."

"Global Sources Ltd. will make possible for its clients to post merchandise on eBay's Chinese marketplace eBay EachNet, and the service will be provided worldwide via eBay's Reseller Marketplace, an off-eBay B2B website designed to help eBay PowerSellers source products for resale on the eBay marketplace."

"The move heats up the rivalry between eBay and its Chinese competitor Alibaba currently markets its business-to-businesses (B2B) marketplace to eBay PowerSellers in the U.S., allowing powersellers to acquire inventory at wholesale prices to resell on Alibaba's consumer auction site Taobao has been competing fiercely with eBay EachNet in China and also offers an online payment system in China called AliPay."

Read more:
China Auction Wars Episode III Part 6 - Revenge of the Taobao
China's Online Auction War Rages On: 1pai General Manager Zhen Zhaodong Resigns
eBay Targets China as its Biggest Market Within a Decade
Putting a value on China's Alibaba
Ebay Aims to Conquer China but Homegrown Rival Taobao Tries to Repel the Invasion

PCCW Boss Richard Li Faces Trading Charge

From PCCW boss faces trading charge

"(...) Richard Li, is being investigated for possible insider trading after buying shares in his company, PCCW, ahead of a $330 million deal this week to buy a mobile phone company.

The deal will see PCCW re-enter the mobile phone business in Hong Kong, putting it in direct competition with Telstra, which bought Mr Li's original mobile company, CSL, for almost 10 times the price in 2001 and 2002.

Sources at Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission confirmed this week that they were investigating a series of share purchases by Mr Li in his own company ahead of the deal announced this week for PCCW to buy Hong Kong's smallest mobile company, Sunday."

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

China's Largest Appliance Maker May Bid on Maytag

From Business Week: Maytag stock up as Haier Group ponders bid

"Maytag Corp. stock inched up Tuesday after Chinese appliance maker Haier Group indicated it may bid for the company.
An unidentified official at Haier was quoted in dispatches from Shanghai as saying the company is "studying Maytag carefully" prior to deciding whether to go after the No. 3 appliance maker in the United States."

"While some analysts have predicted that a foreign buyer might emerge, Haier hasn't been high on their lists, even though it is China's largest appliance maker.
In the United States, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is a major retailer for Haier refrigerators, portable dishwashers and air conditioners."

World of Warcraft Reaches 2 Million Subscribers Worldwide

From Gamespot: World of Warcraft: Population 2,000,001 (and rising)

"Many in the game industry consider China to be the ultimate prize in the massively multiplayer online role-playing-game market. Today, the public got some proof why. Blizzard Entertainment announced that, less than a week after it launched its überpopular World of Warcraft in China, the game's worldwide subscriber base has surpassed two million."

"The figure marks an increase of over 500,000 subscribers since mid-March, when World of Warcraft was already the most popular MMORPG in North America, Europe, Korea, and Oceania. China likely contributed many of those subscribers, as anticipation for WoW was extremely high in the country. That enthusiasm hasn't diminished now that the game has been released. According to Blizzard, the beta test of the Chinese WoW localization saw 500,000 players online concurrently--roughly the same peak-number figures for North America, Europe, and Oceania combined."

China to Surpass Japan's Mobile, PC Markets

From Forbes: Sales of cellphones in China likely to top those in Japan in 2005

"Sales of mobile phone handsets in China are likely to surpass those in Japan in value for the first time in 2005, Nomura Research Institute said Tuesday."

"The Chinese market, which has already outgrown the Japanese market in volume since 2001, is forecast to amount to 1,832 billion yen for this year, compared with 1,823 billion yen projected for Japan, the leading think tank said in an analysis of information technology markets in Japan and China."

"The same value-basis reversal may take place in the personal computer market in 2005, while unit sales of PCs in China have already topped those in Japan since 2002."

1 US Dollar (USD) = 109.460 Japanese Yen (JPY)

Chinese Instant Messaging (IM) Market Undergoing Big Shakeup

From eCommerceTimes: MSN Poses Threat to Chinese IM Operators

"The Chinese instant messaging (IM) market is currently undergoing a big shakeup, as American-based MSN expands further into an already-crowded field.
Software giant Microsoft on May 26 launched MSN China, a Chinese-language Web portal run through Shanghai MSN Network Communications, a joint venture with Shanghai Alliance Investment. Hotmail and Messenger services, which have already been run in China, will be the focus and core contents of the Chinese-language portal."

"While Microsoft debuted the MSN China, Tencent, the bellwether in the Chinese domestic IM market, also accelerated its expansions into the portal market. To present the best comprehensive portal, the company has started to recruit various Web content producing talents in Beijing."

"The total revenue in the Chinese IM market will exceed $241.2 million (CNY 2 billion) in 2005, according to the forecast of CCW Research. If the corporate market can be started smoothly, the size will reach $1.2 billion (CNY 10 billion) in 2008."

"At present, Tencent is the only IM software operator in China starting to diversify its product mix. The other small IM software providers, such as NetEase POPO, Sina UC and IMU, are still busy with increasing their user groups."

Lenovo Expects Profit from IBM in One Year

From BusinessWeek: Lenovo Group Founder Expects Profits Soon

"The founder of Chinese personal computer maker Lenovo Group Ltd. said Tuesday he expects to soon see a profit from the loss-making PC division of International Business Machines Corp., which Lenovo purchased earlier this year.
"We expect the business to turn around in about one year's time," Liu Chuanzhi, president of Lenovo's parent company Legend Holdings Ltd., told reporters at the Pacific Basin Economic Council meeting in Hong Kong."

"The US$1.25 billion (euro1.3 billion) acquisition made Lenovo the third-largest PC maker in the world. Though Lenovo was already the leading computer maker in its home market of China, the IBM business is three times larger than Lenovo's legacy operations."

Read more:
Microsoft's Red Menace: IBM-Lenovo Deal Could Threaten Bill Gate's Empire
Lenovo Moves Into Global PC Top Ranks
Lenovo Group tops China's PC market in the first quarter

Huawei Forecasts Its Asia-Pacific Sales Will Surge

From Bloomberg: Huawei Forecasts Asia-Pacific Sales to More Than Double in 2005

"Huawei Technologies Co., China's biggest telecommunications equipment maker, forecast its sales in India and 15 other Asian countries will more than double this year, underscoring China's growing role in the industry.

Revenue in Asia, excluding China, Japan and South Korea may jump to more than $1 billion this year from about $460 million in 2004, Jeffrey Liu, vice president of Huawei's Asia-Pacific business, said in an interview yesterday. Huawei plans to add more than 10 customers in the region this year, said Liu, declining to name companies."

"Huawei said in February total sales may soar by more than a third to $7.5 billion this year on rising exports and increased spending by domestic phone companies. Combined revenue last year rose 45 percent to a record $5.58 billion as exports more than doubled, Huawei spokesman Fu Jun said on Feb. 1 in a telephone interview from Shenzhen."

Read more:
Chinese Equipment Vendor Huawei on a Roll - Deepens DSLAM Penetration
BBC News Report on Huawei: China IT giant eyes new horizons
China’s 3G attack, via Europe - ZTE, Huawei clinching important deals in Europe
Huawai gaining attention of North American carriers

Moody's: China Mobile 'A3' Rating under Review for Possible Upgrade

From Forbes: China Mobile 'A3' rating under review for possible upgrade

"Moody's Investors Service said it has placed the 'A3' senior unsecured rating of China Mobile (Hong Kong) Ltd on review for possible upgrade. Moody's said in a statement the decision reflects the progress that China Mobile continues to achieve in building its operating and financial profile and the completion of major asset acquisitions from its parent."

"Moody's added that China Mobile has enjoyed a significant time-to-market advantage over its competitors, with the result being a higher value customer base. Consequently, China Mobile holds a very strong competitive position that is unlikely to erode quickly, Moody's said."

Read more:
China Mobile: You're Still the One
China's Dueling Wireless Players: China Mobile vs. China Unicom
China's Mobile Giants Squeeze Tencent Earnings
Top China Mobile Operator Adds 3.2 Million Subscribers in April

eBay's Whitman Concentrates on China this Summer - PayPal Launch Planned

From Forbes: eBay's Whitman to make frequent trips to Shanghai, PayPal launch planned

"Meg Whitman, president of eBay Inc, will be making frequent visits to China over the summer months to work on several projects, including the delayed launch of the company's online payment system PayPal, a spokesman for the company's China business said."

"Aside from the PayPal plan, he said the company could not disclose details on specific projects. Industry sources have said that Whitman is concerned about the company's declining position relative to Chinese rival"

"eBay, which had first-mover advantage in China's online auction market, had initially intended to launch its PayPal site in the first quarter of this year. The lack of a means to make secure online payments has been one of the main hurdles for on-line businesses in China and eBay has been losing market since Taobao launched its AliPay system in October 2003."

Read more:
China Auction Wars Episode III Part 6 - Revenge of the Taobao
China's Online Auction War Rages On: 1pai General Manager Zhen Zhaodong Resigns
eBay Targets China as its Biggest Market Within a Decade
Putting a value on China's Alibaba
Ebay Aims to Conquer China but Homegrown Rival Taobao Tries to Repel the Invasion

Monday, June 13, 2005

China's Refocuses on Search

From The Standard: Sohu goes back to its roots

", one of China's earliest Internet plays, is returning to its roots as a search engine with double-digit growth expected in the area for the rest of this year, its chief executive said Monday."

"Sohu, whose name literally means "search fox,'' started off as a search specialist but later neglected the field in favor of other pursuits, most notably mobile phone-based services.
The company rededicated itself to the search area last year with the launch of its Web site, and now expects the business to grow at double-digit rates for the rest of this year on a quarter-to-quarter basis, said chief executive officer Charles Zhang."

"At that rate of growth, sponsored search revenues, which totaled US$2.73 million (HK$21.29 million) in the first quarter, could go from a current contribution of about 11.5 percent of total sales to possibly 20 percent by the end of the year, he added.
"Our [search] traffic has tripled in the last six months,'' Zhang said. "In the next two months, we'll focus a lot on Sogou.''

"China's top search engine in terms of traffic is, which aims to raise US$200 million in an initial public offering this year, sources familiar with the situation have said. It is followed by Sogou and then Yahoo's site, according to Web research site Google is also a major player in the market, but until recently did not operate a separate China Web site."

Intel Sets up $200 Million Venture Fund in China

From LightReading: Intel Invests in China

"Intel Corporation today announced the establishment of a US$200 million venture capital fund to invest in Chinese technology companies developing innovative hardware, software and services."

"The Intel Capital China Technology Fund will be used to invest in companies that complement Intel's technology initiatives and to further build out the Internet infrastructure in China. The fund will also provide local businesses with capital to help nurture important technologies and products developed in China. Examples of initial focus areas include cellular communications, broadband applications for consumers, and semiconductor design."

"Intel Capital, which has investment managers based in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing, made its first strategic investment China in 1998 and since then has invested in close to 50 Chinese companies across nine cities in mainland China and Hong Kong. Eleven of these companies have since gone public or have been acquired, including AsiaInfo Holdings Inc., a telecom software supplier; Chinacast Communications Holding Ltd., a total solution service provider for remote education;, an Internet portal; Techfaith Holdings Ltd., an independent cell phone design house; and UTStarcom Inc., a telecom equipment manufacturer."

Sunday, June 12, 2005

PCCW to Buy Hong Kong Wireless Provider Sunday for $200 Mln

From Forbes: HK's PCCW plans to acquire SUNDAY for maximum 200 mln usd

"PCCW plans to acquire SUNDAY Communications for a maximum of 200 mln usd, PCCW chairman Richard Li said. He said PCCW plans to integrate SUNDAY Communications' mobile business into its operations, allowing PCCW to re-enter the mobile phone business as early as this year. This will be PCCW's second attempt at mobile phone operations. It earlier sold its mobile phone business interests to Australia's Telstra Corp. "

"He (PCCW chairman Richard Li) did not give additional financial details about the planned acquisition, but analysts noted that the 200 mln usd price approximates SUNDAY's current market capitalization, which means the sale may be concluded at a minimal premium for SUNDAY."

Deutsche Bank Expects China's Internet Travel Market to Take off

From Hotels: China's Internet travel market about to take off - Deutsche Bank

"China's travel market and Internet-based travel consolidators will experience strong and steady growth in the next few years, driven by increasing independent travel and China's robust economic growth, Deutsche Bank said."

"China's leading online travel consolidators, Ctrip and eLong, currently hold two to three pct of the travel market but are poised to capture the lion's share of market growth.
'We believe that the leading travel consolidators are well positioned to eventually dominate the entire travel industry in China,' the brokerage said in a research report."

"Ctrip, which Deutsche Bank estimates holds 50 pct of the market for hotel bookings, and rival eLong which holds 20-25 pct, will dominate the market due to their control of hotel supply and air ticket and hotel room demand as well as an industry-wide move from tour-group travel to independent travel."

Microsoft Bans 'Democracy' for China's Web Users

From MSN Money: Microsoft bans 'democracy' for China web users

"Microsoft's new Chinese internet portal has banned the words "democracy" and "freedom" from parts of its website in an apparent effort to avoid offending Beijing's political censors.

Users of the joint-venture portal, formally launched last month, have been blocked from using a range of potentially sensitive words to label personal websites they create using its free online blog service, MSN Spaces.

Attempts to input words in Chinese such as "democracy" prompted an error message from the site: "This item contains forbidden speech. Please delete the forbidden speech from this item." Other phrases banned included the Chinese for "demonstration", "democratic movement" and "Taiwan independence"."

"MSN on Friday declined to comment directly on the ban on sensitive words, but its China joint venture said users of MSN Spaces were required to accept the service's code of conduct. (...) But while China's ruling Communist Party deals harshly with political dissenters, there is no Chinese law that bars the mere use of words such as democracy."

Financial Times on China: A long wait for the “Chinese century”

From FT: A long wait for the “Chinese century”

"Every few months seem to bring fresh news of a Chinese company buying up a piece of some famous European or American manufacturing firm. Last year, it was television maker TCL acquiring control of France-based Thomson SA’s TV business, and later the mobile-phone handset unit of Alcatel. Then, Chinese computer group Lenovo bought IBM’s iconic personal-computer business."

"What these transactions really show, however, is how far off the “Chinese century” lies. When they take over moribund western manufacturers, Chinese firms do so on far less favourable terms than their Taiwanese cousins. This reflects serious weaknesses in Chinese companies that will take many years to overcome."

"In the two major Chinese takeovers announced last year, Lenovo and TCL acquired established — if unprofitable — foreign brands and distribution channels by selling their equity very cheaply. While TCL bought Thomson’s TV assets for virtually no cash, Thomson retained a one-third stake in the TV business, with an option to convert that stake into TCL shares. Lenovo not only paid IBM US$1.75bn in a combination of cash and debt assumption, but also gave IBM a hefty 19 per cent stake in Lenovo."

"In both deals, the western companies exited an unprofitable business line at no cost — and in IBM’s case, for a nice consideration — and gained a low-cost option enabling them to profit if the Chinese companies managed to turn the businesses around. Both deals were an excellent bargain for the western companies. For the Chinese, they have the air of a desperate gamble."

New Undersea Cable to Speed Net Access in China

From FinancialTimes: Undersea cable to speed net access in China

"Chinese authorities have approved the laying of an undersea cable that is expected to increase the speed at which internet users in northern China can access overseas websites by up to 50 per cent."

"Asia Netcom, the international cable arm of state-controlled fixed-line telephone operator China Netcom, will run the new 350km cable from the eastern port of Qingdao to its submarine regional network linking South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
The new cable, which will be connected early next year and have capacity of 80 gigabytes, will ease the strain on Chinese networks burdened by growth in the number of local internet users and the popularity of data-heavy services such as video downloads and online games."

"The cable would have capacity of 80 gigabits per second and bring a noticeable improvement in internet access speeds to websites in the region and North America for northern Chinese users, said William Barney, Asia Netcom's president and chief operating officer.
“Across the Pacific it will probably be a 10-15 per cent improvement, depending on where you are. To access websites in Korea and Japan it will be almost 40-50 per cent better,” Mr Barney said."

Friday, June 10, 2005

Huawei Accuses ZTE of Unfair Competition

From CRIonline: Huawei Files Complaint Against ZTE

"“Huawei has filed complaints to the China Chamber of Commerce in Nepal, claiming ZTE’s US$3.9 million bid for the national GSM network in Nepal in April was lower than actual production costs,” the Shanghai-based paper quoted the source as saying. For the same bid, Huawei’s proposal was US$12 million, the paper added."

"ZTE also won a national CDMA network from Nepal Telecom last November with a bid of US$29 million against Huawei’s US$42 million proposal. “It is very natural for companies to offer low prices on entering a country but as a dual-listed company in both China and Hong Kong, ZTE should not offer a price lower than production costs,” said a ZTE official who declined to be named."

China Remains Country with Largest DSL Population

From CommsDesign: DSL powers ahead to reach 107 million subscribers

"... the EU remains the world's leading region for DSL lines, accounting for almost a third, according to the latest figures from market research group Point Topic on behalf of the DSL Forum."

"Globally, DSL notched up over 10 million new subscribers during the first quarter of 2005 to reach 107 million, cementing its position as the most popular broadband technology. Point Topic estimates the number will reach 115 million by the end of this month."

"In the U.S., DSL increased its share of the broadband business, with 1.37 million subscribers added in the first quarter of 2005 " the second largest subscriber increase worldwide."

"As of March 31 2005, China remained the country with comfortably the largest DSL population worldwide, with 2.5 million users added during the first quarter. Its 19.5 million subscribers account for 95 percent of the total subscribers in South and South East Asia."

Baidu IPO Planed for July

From Red Herring: Baidu Plans July IPO

"A high-placed individual at leading Chinese search engine Baidu said the company’s IPO on the Nasdaq stock exchange will take place in early July.
Baidu’s IPO has easily been the most anticipated listing of a Chinese company this year, and is expected to be heavily subscribed."

"In 2004, San Jose, California-based Google led a group of investors that bought a roughly 10 percent stake in Baidu for a valuation said to be just over $100 million. Google, which Shanghai-based Internet research firm iResearch ranks as the No. 2 search engine in China by frequency of use, has 30.1 percent market share behind Baidu’s 44.7 percent."

"There has been speculation in the Chinese Internet industry that Google will make a bid to acquire Baidu shortly after its listing. The global search giant is rumored to be looking for an entrée into China, but has yet to hire any staff on the mainland. A Google spokesperson declined to comment on any such moves."

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Asian Cell Phone Dominance

From Computerworld: Europe makes way for Asian cell phone dominance

"When a group of European manufacturers and carriers met in the early 1980s to agree to a mobile phone system that could be used across the continent, they had no idea that GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) would someday become the most widely used cellular technology in the world.And after the technology took off, none of the manufacturers involved in those early talks -- Alcatel SA of France, Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson of Sweden, Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV of the Netherlands, Siemens AG of Germany and Nokia Corp. of Finland -- ever imagined themselves as anything less than major suppliers of phones to this new market.

Now, fast-forward to the year 2005.On Tuesday, Siemens became the most recent member of that original Club of Five to unload its mobile phone production to a low-cost Asian manufacturer. The German company agreed, effectively, to give Taiwan's BenQ Corp. 250 million (US$307 million) as an investment "to ensure a smooth transition" and to buy shares in the Taiwanese company worth 50 million. The unit has been losing nearly 1.5 million a day.

Siemens follows similar moves by Alcatel and Philips. Last month, Alcatel sold its mobile phone business to China's TCL Corp. lock, stock and barrel, putting an end to TCL & Alcatel Mobile Pone Ltd., the joint venture that the two companies had formed only months earlier.Philips sold its mobile phone production to China Electronics Corp. (CEC) in 2001, the same year Ericsson teamed up with Japan's Sony Corp. to form Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications BV."

Lenovo Says Full-Year Profit Rose

From Forbes: Lenovo Says Full-Year Profit Rose

"China's Lenovo Group Ltd., which recently bought IBM's personal computer business, said Wednesday its full-year profit rose 6 percent, helped by PC sales to individual consumers. Net profit in the year that ended March 31 rose to 1.12 billion Hong Kong dollars ($143 million) from HK$1.05 billion the previous fiscal year, Lenovo said. However, the company said revenue dropped to HK$22.55 billion (US$2.89 billion) from HK$23.18 billion."

China Restricts Web Sites

From BusinessWeek: China orders all Web sites to register

"Authorities have ordered all China-based Web sites and blogs to register or be closed down, in the latest effort by the communist government to police the world of cyberspace.
Commercial publishers and advertisers can face fines of up to 1 million yuan ($120,000) for failing to register, according to documents posted on the Web site of the Ministry of Information Industry.
Private, noncommercial bloggers or Web sites must register the complete identity of the person responsible for the site, it said. The ministry, which has set a June 30 deadline for compliance, said 74 percent of all sites had already registered."

UTStarcom/Cisco Announce Triple Play Partnership

From tmcnet: UTStarcom and Cisco Partner to Deliver Triple Play Services in Brazil

"CHICAGO, SUPERCOMM, -- UTStarcom, Inc. , a global leader in IP-based, end-to-end networking solutions and services, and Cisco Systems, Inc. , the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, today announced a partnership to deliver triple play services -- high-speed data, voice-over-IP (VoIP) and television-over-IP (TVoIP) -- to the Brazilian market."

"As a part of the agreement, UTStarcom will provide its broadband and video solutions, which will be running over Cisco's IP-core, aggregation and metro-Ethernet infrastructure products. Cisco currently has a leadership position in all key IP network elements in Brazil, making it a great fit with UTStarcom's IP video products to create an end-to-end solution.A similar solution to the one being offered in Brazil is running today in Japan, where both UTStarcom and Cisco together play a similar role to provide an end-to-end triple-play solution to subscribers."

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

World of Warcraft Invades China

From Ferrago: WoW launches in China

"Blizzard announce today that their World of Warcraft MMORPG has now officially launched across China, introducing one of the world's fastest growing gaming community's to one of the world's most popular online games. The launch in the People's Republic follows an intensive beta test, at which 500,000 players simultaneously participated at its peak."

"Local games firm The9 have been employed by Blizzard to manage the title, offering technical and billing support, as well as synchronising content updates and the like. The firm are also aiding Blizzard in protecting the title not only from hackers but piracy too, a CD-key based system working in tandem with point cards to help prevent players playing without paying. Piracy is currently rife in the Chinese software market, in part owing to legal apathy towards copyrights, something western nations are urging the rapidly-developing super-state to address." Unveils Chinese Business Search Engine

From ChinaTechNews: Unveils Chinese Business Search Engine

"Search engine has launched a business-related search engine that will offer Chinese users an online business database of millions of Chinese business records and company profiles from all over the globe.

Users throughout China now have one-click access to current business information, including business descriptions, contact names, phone and fax numbers, yearly sales, number of employees, company headquarters and branch/office locations."

From searchenginejournal: Accoona: Time to Worry?

"The earlier media attention centered on the fact that the company’s technology involves “artificial intelligence” (allegedly) and the fact that Bill Clinton performed the first search (they donated money to a Clinton-favored charity apparently). It’s also run by Eckhard Pfeiffer, the former CEO of Compaq. And it’s got a strong presence in China—one of its investors is China Daily Information Services, which operates the largest English-language Web site there.

All of those things are to varying degrees impressive. Yet, but for Accoona’s China connection, I’d be tempted to say “stick a fork in them”—to use the American colloquialism. Why?
I’m now repeating myself for the umpteenth time when I say that no search engine going head to head with Google, Yahoo!, MSN, Ask Jeeves, AOL, etc. will succeed unless it’s very obviously better. And Accoona is clearly not. Thus it’s not going to get more than 1% market share (if that)—ever."

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Three Factors Determine China's 3G Schedule

From CRIonline: What's Behind 3G Fever?

I. "The reshuffling of China's telecom companies is one of the important factors in the government's issuing of 3G licenses, ViceMinister of Information Industry Xi Guohua said at the Boao Forum for Asia in April. The ministry set the reshuffling as one of its major tasks for the year 2005, but no plan of reform has yet been made, said Xi. "

II. "It is the hope of both the Chinese government and the mobile communication industry to get rid of the high patent fees in the 3G market. Yet, even TD-SCDMA, China's homegrown 3G standard, has still to settle the patent issue through negotiation.
A report from the Telecom Academy under the Ministry of Information Industry shows that China's Datang Group, a major proponent of the TD-SCDMA standard, only holds 7 percent of TD-SCDMA's patent, Nokia 32 percent, Ericsson 23 percent and Siemens 11 percent.
According to ministry sources, negotiations with American company Qualcomm, owner of the property rights of CDMA, have been stagnant for more than a year due to the high patent fee charged by Qualcomm."

III. "The maturity of TD-SCDMA is another key factor determining China's 3G process. According to the government schedule, TD-SCDMAwill be ready for commercial use in June this year. The result of the test for commercial use to be published this September is alsoexpected to have a major influence over the 3G process."

Read more

Friday, June 03, 2005

U.S. Web Giants Target China

From BusinessWeek: U.S. Web Giants Target China

"As China's internet market sizzles -- 94 million Chinese now go online, second only to the U.S. -- many of its Web companies have rocketed from startup obscurity to stock-market fame. Shanghai gaming innovator Shanda Interactive Entertainment Ltd. (SNDA) last year raised $100 million in an initial public offering and now stands 249% above its launch price. (CTRP), which provides online travel reservations, raised $40 million in an initial public offering in December, 2003, and its shares have since more than doubled. Tencent, which operates China's top instant-messaging service, pulled in $200 million in its Hong Kong IPO last June and has seen its shares rise by 30%."

"Now, Net giants from the U.S. want a piece of that China magic. On May 11, Microsoft Corp. said its MSN portal had formed a joint venture with a Shanghai company to operate a Chinese-language version of MSN. Later in the month, Google Inc. opened a small office in Shanghai, following a February deal with Tencent to provide search services for the Chinese company. And Yahoo!,, eBay, and Expedia have been on the prowl in China, too. "The sense of urgency among big players has accelerated," says Safa Rashtchy, an analyst with Piper Jaffray & Co. in Menlo Park, Calif. "If you don't have a major stake in China, you could be left out."

Read more

Thursday, June 02, 2005

UTStarcom's F1000 Portable Wi-Fi Handset Wins 2005 SUPERQuest Award

From Yahoo finance (press release): UTStarcom's F1000 Portable Wi-Fi Handset Wins 2005 SUPERQuest Award

"UTStarcom, Inc. (Nasdaq: UTSI), a global leader in IP-based, end-to-end networking solutions and services, has been honored by SUPERCOMM with a SUPERQuest Award for its F1000 portable Wi-Fi handset for the "Best Access Networking Equipment" in the "Most Promising New Technologies in 2005" category."

"UTStarcom will be displaying the award-winning F1000 portable Wi-Fi handset at the company's booth (Booth# 64073) at SUPERCOMM 2005. For more information on the F1000 Wi-Fi handset, please visit:"

Lenovo: Dell Talks Trash

From Red Herring: Lenovo: Dell Talks Trash

"A Dell employee’s claim that Lenovo has monetary ties to the Chinese government sparked angry stories Wednesday in state-owned Chinese newspapers.

According to China Daily, an English-language newspaper based in Beijing, a Dell account manager named “Chris” sent an email to a customer saying that sales of IBM machines are “directly supporting/funding the Chinese government.”
Lenovo’s purchase of IBM’s PC division was finalized in May.

Though the comments were from one person whose full name has not been disclosed, the email has caused anger in a country trying to catch up economically and technologically with the West. Success stories like Lenovo are a matter of national pride in China, and governments do subsidize big corporations in the hopes that they will become global players with the same status as Western or Japanese rivals. An affront to these companies can be seen as an affront to China itself."

Read more

Global Mobile Phone Giants Are Regaining Turf Lost to Chinese Manufacturers

From billingsgazette: Top cell-phone makers fight for sales in China

"Motorola, Nokia and other global mobile phone giants have made a comeback in China over the past year, regaining turf lost to Chinese manufacturers.

China is regarded as one of the most important mobile phone markets in the world. The nation already accounts for 10 percent of worldwide mobile phone sales, but less than 30 percent of consumers have them-meaning there is plenty of room for growth."

"Motorola and other global cell phone makers had traditionally been dominant in China. But a few years ago, Chinese manufacturers went on an offensive.
Their market share rose from 4 percent in 1999 to more than 36 percent by 2003, according to recent report by Gartner Inc. It has fallen since then, though Gartner doesn't specify how much. Analysts note that it is more difficult to measure market share in China than elsewhere.
But several other wireless industry analysts agree Chinese companies have lost ground, partly because Chinese consumers shifted towards higher-end phones made by Nokia, Motorola and Samsung."

Read more

'Silicon Valley' planned for China

From Herald Tribune: 'Silicon Valley' planned for China

"Shui On Land, the China property unit of Shui On Construction & Materials of Hong Kong, said Thursday that it planned to invest 10 billion yuan, or $1.2 billion, to develop a community in Shanghai modeled on Silicon Valley in the United States.

The Chuangzi Tiandi project will include about one million square meters, or 11 million square feet, of floor area, 40 percent residential and 60 percent commercial, on an 84-hectare, or 207-acre, site.

The architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill is master plan consultant for the project in Shanghai's Yangpu district, Shui On said. It will contain a technology park, offices, retail space, apartments and leisure, cultural and recreational facilities. The first phase is scheduled for completion in the second half of 2005."

China’s Ministry of Information Industry (MII): China Has 353.7 Million Mobile Phone Users

From DigiTimes: China recorded 353.7 million mobile phone users and 329.5 million fixed-line phone users at end of April

"China has 353.7 million mobile phone subscribers and 329.5 million fixed-line telephone subscribers as of the end of April, accounting for 25.9% and 24.9%, of its current population respectively, according to statistics published by China’s Ministry of Information Industry (MII) on its Chinese-language web site.

For Internet-access services, China had 29.26 million broadband subscribers, of which 20.25 million or 69.2% used some iteration of DSL, and 42.50 million dial-up users and about 65,200 dedicated-line users by the end of April."

China’s Telecommunications Manufacturer ZTE On A Roll

From Telecomweb: ZTE Lands Largest Next-Gen Network Deal

"China’s ZTE won a contract from China Telecom, China’s largest fixed-line operator, to build what it says will be the world’s largest fixed, next-generation network (NGN). As part of the deal, ZTE will be the exclusive provider for the fixed NGN-backbone, long-distance voice portion of the network. Suppliers for the data portion have not yet been disclosed, nor has China Telecom said how much it plans to spend on its network in total. As a benchmark, the U.K.’s British Telecom is spending $19 billion during the next five years building its NGN."

Read more

From Unstrung: ZTE Expands US Presence

"China’s largest listed telecommunications manufacturer and leading wireless solutions provider, has announced today the opening of its new US Corporate Headquarters in Dallas, Texas.

The new office will support ZTE’s long established R&D centres in New Jersey, Dallas and San Diego and signifies the Corporation’s commitment to its progress within the US market. Since 1998, ZTE’s US R&D centres have focussed on three principal communications systems: VoIP, optical broadband access and wireless solutions, and have established ZTE as one of the leading manufacturers of WiMAX technology."

From webitpr: ZTE Becomes Mongolia’s Biggest Telecom Equipment Provider

"Existing ZTE network is expanded to cover the whole of Mongolia – the largest deployment of ZTE’s CDMA2000 1X technology

ZTE Corporation, China’s largest listed telecommunications manufacturer and leading wireless solutions provider, is now the largest provider of telecommunications equipment in Mongolia. The announcement follows a series of contracts won with Mongolia Telecom, the country’s biggest fixed line operator; Skytel, the country’s only CDMA mobile operator; and government departments including the Information Communication Technology Authority (ICTA)."

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Online Travel Service Provider eLong to Acquire Fortune Trip; Three Year Advertising Agreement with SINA

From Yahoo finance: eLong Announces Plan to Acquire Fortune Trip, One of China's Leading Hotel Consolidators; Enters Three Year Strategic Advertising Agreement with SINA

"eLong, Inc. (Nasdaq: LONG), a leading online travel service provider in China, and SINA Corporation (Nasdaq: SINA), a leading online media company and value-added information service provider for China and for global Chinese communities, today announced that they have entered into definitive agreements by which eLong will acquire Shanghai Xinwang Computer Technology Co., Ltd. and its affiliate Bravado Investments Limited which together are engaged in the business of providing online and offline hotel booking services in the People's Republic of China ("PRC") under the Fortune Trip brand name."

"eLong and SINA separately announced they have entered into a three year strategic advertising cooperation agreement whereby eLong will become SINA's exclusive hotel bookings partner in the PRC upon the closing of the Fortune Trip transaction. During this period, SINA and eLong will operate a co- branded online hotel booking channel, and eLong will receive advertising placements on SINA's website including SINA's travel channel."

Read more

China Net Invstor: Barry Diller's InterActiveCorp, which owns US online travel services provider Expedia, owns 51 percent of eLong.

Read more:
Barry Diller (IAC) infuses cash to Chinese online travel site eLong

Shanda To Launch IM Software

From ChinaTechNews: Shanda Plans Instant Messaging Software

"Shanda (SNDA) is going to compete with Tencent and Netease (NTES) with a newly developed instant message communications software temporarily called "Quan Quan" (Circle).

But local media reports that Tencent's CEO Ma Huateng claims QQ's (Tencent's IM software) only competition comes from Microsoft's (MSFT) MSN Messenger and he is not worried about other local Chinese competitors like Shanda. MSN, itself, last week launched MSN China, an integrated portal of services to complement the Messenger software."

ZTE Wins Contract to Provide 1 Million ADSL Lines in China

From ZTE Wins Contract to Provide 1 Million ADSL Lines in China

"ZTE Corporation (Shenzhen: 000063, Hong Kong: 0763), China¡'s largest listed telecommunications manufacturer and leading wireless solutions provider, is to provide more than one million lines of ADSL equipment to China Telecom, the country's largest fixed line operator, in a contract announced today.

The latest success, which represents 30% of the total award by China Telecom, confirms ZTE's global market strength in ADSL provision and follows previous two million-line ADSL orders clinched in December 2003 and August 2004 with the same operator."

Read more


From IEEESpectrumOnline: TEN TO WATCH

China's leading technologists:

RICHARD CHANG, CEO of Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp.. SMIC has become China's leading chip maker.

LI DONGSHENG is cofounder, president, and chairman of TCL Corp.
Two years ago, TCL became the world's biggest TV maker when it bought the television division of France's Thomson SA, in Boulogne.

LI GUOJIE As director of the Institute of Computing Technology, part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Li Guojie wants China to become a world leader in information technology.

MA HUATENG cofounded Tencent Computer System Co., in Shenzhen. The firm now hosts China's largest instant-messaging platform, with more than 300 million subscribers, and it recently launched a successful online gaming business.

REN ZHENGFEI, a former People's Liberation Army telecom engineer, cofounded Huawei Technologies Co., in Shenzhen. Huawei is now competing with the likes of Cisco and Alcatel in the design and manufacture of telecom equipment.

YANG MIANMIAN may get less press than Haier Group Co.'s CEO, Zhang Ruimin, but as president of Haier, in Qingdao, China's largest appliance maker, she is a key player behind the scenes.

WU JIANPING the "main sponsor and organizer of China's next-generation Internet." A computer networking expert, Wu is managing director of the China Education and Research Network, which connects the nation's universities and research institutions.

YANG YUANQING Few people had heard of Lenovo Group Ltd., in Beijing, until it bought IBM Corp.'s PC division last year. Even fewer had heard of Lenovo's 40-year-old CEO, Yang Yuanquing, who brokered the deal that turned Lenovo into the world's third-largest PC maker.

WANG YONGZHI China was the third nation to send a person into space, and its manned space program owes much to chief designer, Wang Yongzhi.

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China's Tech Revolution

From SPECTRUMonline: China's Tech Revolution

"When a relatively unknown Chinese TV maker called TCL, based in Guangdong province's Huizhou, bought the TV division of France's Thomson SA, in Boulogne, last year, it instantly became the largest TV maker in the world. And when Chinese computer maker Lenovo Group Ltd., in Beijing, picked up IBM Corp.'s PC division for an estimated $1.75 billion, the symbolism was thick enough to cut with a cleaver: China had taken possession of the brand that was once synonymous with computers. "Will your next boss be Chinese?" the normally reserved conservative daily Le Figaro asked its French readers with a mixture of alarm and awe."

"Alcatel's Chengdu operation is, (...), global. (...) Wang (deputy director of Chengdu's 82-square-kilometer high-tech park) notes with pride that his big priority this year is fulfilling a $1.7 billion contract with SBC Communications Corp., in San Antonio, to extend its new fiber-optics network to 18 million U.S. households.

Twenty-five years ago, most people would have been astounded to hear that a U.S. telecom network was being developed by a group of researchers in a remote interior city of China. These days, it's fast becoming the norm."

"In 2004, three years after its entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), in Geneva, and a quarter-century after China began welcoming foreign investment, China's trade volume hit $1.2 trillion, displacing Japan as the world's third largest trading nation, behind the United States and Germany. This milestone is all the more staggering in light of the fact that China's two-way trade, barely $20 billion in 1978, has increased 60-fold since then. For the first time in history, what China does, or does not do, ripples with consequence across the planet."

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