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  1. Chinese search giant Baidu entered the Brazilian market last week with the launch of a localized Portuguese search engine called Baidu Busca. It’s the second international language version of its website (a Japanese site went live in 2007), and new ones are planned for Egypt and Thailand. With enthusiastic backing from the Chinese Communist Party, Baidu is one of several Chinese tech giants looking to branch out internationally and challenge the primacy of American companies. Supporting the global expansion of tech companies is not merely an economic calculation for Chinese leaders (though they do have much to gain). More important are the political dividends and the opportunity to influence international public opinion. According to Wang Xiujun, deputy director of China’s State Internet Information Center, “the future of our party and country” depends on winning “the struggle for ideological penetration.” Chinese Internet companies friendly to the state are seen as key players in the global war of ideas. It should come as no surprise, then, that the Portuguese version of Baidu produces heavily censored results on topics considered “sensitive” to the Chinese leadership. Compare search results between Google’s Portuguese edition and Baidu’s. OnGoogle.br.com, a search for Tank Man (“el hombre del tanque”) turns up photos, documentary video and news articles about the lone rebel who stood in the way of approaching tanks outside of Tiananmen Square in 1989. The same search on br.Baidu.com returns obscure blogs and a Youtube user page featuring videos of spandex-clad music ensembles. The top result is about Egypt—not Tiananmen Square. A corresponding image search generates photos of t-shirts. And where Google returns 2.8 million search results, Baidu produces just 50,000. In some cases, Baidu search results appear to have been generated based on a highly selective white list comprising only Communist Party news outlets. A Google search for “Falun Gong” generates images of meditation, links to Brazilian and international Falun Gong websites, and accounts of human rights abuses inflicted by the Chinese government. Baidu Busca is in a different world entirely, returning a total of just 66 results (compared to 1.3 million for Google). Every single one links to the state-run People’s Daily newspaper, with headlines like “Irrefutable Evidence of Falun Gong’s Anti-Humanity,” and “Falun Gong, Spiritual Opium.” Some articles resemble blood libel, accusing Falun Gong practitioners of gruesome homicides, while others are devoted to denying reports of state-sanctioned torture and abuse in custody. If Baidu succeeds in capturing the international search market, it will have a powerful platform to influence what we know and how we think about China. But if the company’s experience in Japan is any indication, that seems unlikely to happen. Since its 2007 launch Baidu Japan has lost money every year. The Japanese government warns that some of its programs spy on users, and it never came close to challenging Yahoo and Google. http://techcrunch.com/2014/08/02/chinese-communist-party-backed-tech-giants-bring-censorship-to-the-global-stage/
  2. BEIJING Thu Jan 23, 2014 6:03am EST Boxes containing Lenovo desktop computers are seen in an office in Kiev March 12, 2012. Credit: Reuters/Gleb Garanich (Reuters) - Lenovo Group Ltd, the world's largest PC maker, agreed to buy IBM Corp's low-end server business in a long-awaited deal valued at about $2.3 billion, the biggest-ever tech acquisition by a Chinese company. Lenovo will pay $2.07 billion in cash and the rest with stock of the Beijing-based PC maker, the company said in a statement to the Hong Kong exchange on Thursday. The deal surpasses Baidu Inc's acquisition of 91 Wireless from NetDragon Websoft Inc for $1.85 billion last year, according to Thomson Reuters data, and underscores the growing clout of the country's technology firms as they look to expand overseas. The acquisition will allow Lenovo to diversify revenue away from the shrinking PC business and remodel itself as a growing force in mobile devices and data storage servers. Analysts said Lenovo will likely find it easier than International Business Machines (IBM) to sell the x86 servers to Chinese companies as Beijing tries to localize its IT purchases in the wake of revelations about U.S. surveillance. The sale allows IBM to dump its low-margin x86 business - which sells less powerful and slower servers than the company's higher-margin offerings - and focus on the firm's decade-long shift to more profitable software and services. The unit had reported seven straight quarters of declining revenue. "What the business is worth to IBM is no longer relevant. The only thing that matters is what it's worth to Lenovo," said Alberto Moel, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein. "If Lenovo can improve the margins... that could offset any continued revenue shrinkage." Lenovo's purchase of IBM's ThinkPad PC business in 2005 for $1.75 billion became the springboard for its leap to the top of global PC maker rankings. The market is betting Lenovo will enjoy similar success with its latest acquisition, which is partly reflected in a 9.44 percent rise in its shares this year. Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs advised Lenovo, PC maker said in its statement. HIGHER VALUATIONS Talks between IBM and Lenovo fell apart last year due to differences on pricing, with media reports at the time suggesting IBM wanted as much as $6 billion for the unit. Analysts said the sale may have been accelerated by IBM's China woes and ongoing weakness in hardware sales, after the world's biggest technology services company reported a 23 percent drop in fourth-quarter revenue from China on Tuesday. Revenue from its hardware business, including servers, fell for the ninth consecutive quarter as more companies switched to the cloud from traditional infrastructure. IBM's server business was the world's second-largest, with a 22.9 percent share of the $12.3 billion market in the third quarter of 2013, according to technology research firm Gartner. Hewlett-Packard Co is the biggest player, while Lenovo does not appear in the top five. "The acquisition presents a unique opportunity for the company to gain immediate scale and credibility in this market," Lenovo said on Thursday. The x86 unit has annual revenues of roughly $4 billion, analysts estimate. (Reporting by Paul Carsten; Editing by Denny Thomas, Stephen Coates and Ryan Woo) http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/23/us-ibm-server-lenovo-idUSBREA0M01U20140123
  3. By Steve Adler and Paul Taylor DAVOS, Switzerland Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:59pm EST (Reuters) - Tensions between Tokyo and Beijing took centre-stage at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Wednesday as Japan's prime minister called for military restraint in Asia and a senior Chinese academic branded him a troublemaker. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe defended his visit to a controversial shrine to Japan's war dead, which outraged China and South Korea, and took a veiled swipe at China's military buildup in his speech to global business leaders. Sino-Japanese ties, long colored by what Beijing considers Tokyo's failure to atone for its occupation of parts of China before and during World War Two, have deteriorated in the past two years over a territorial dispute, Abe's visit to a shrine that critics say glorifies Japan's wartime past and a new Chinese air-defense zone. Asia's two biggest powers each accuse the other of bellicosity. Strategic experts in Davos said their tensions posed the biggest risk of conflict around the world in 2014, along with hostility between Iran and Saudi Arabia. "We must ... restrain military expansion in Asia, which could otherwise go unchecked," Abe, the first Japanese leader to give the keynote address, said in a speech dominated by a defense of expansionary economic policies dubbed Abenomics. "The dividend of growth must not be wasted on military expansion," he said. "We must use it to invest in innovation and human capital, which will further boost growth in the region." Abe is pursuing a more assertive military and national security policy, such as moving towards approving the use of force to help allies under attack and calling for debate on revising Japan's pacifist post-war constitution. His government has ended years of declines in defense spending and plans modest increases in coming years. At the same time, Tokyo has criticized China's decades of hefty rises in military spending and implicitly accused Beijing of a lack of transparency in its defense budgets. "Military budgets should be made completely transparent and there should be public disclosure in a form that can be verified," Abe said, following his government's custom of not naming China in such references. He also called for resolving disputes through "dialogue and the rule of law, and not through force and coercion", a formula Japan has used to criticize China's actions including its abrupt declaration in November of an "air defense identification zone" overlapping the disputed East China Sea islets controlled by Japan. Abe said the Yasukuni Shrine honors the dead of World War One and the 1868 Meiji war, not just war criminals or others who died in World War Two, and it also contains a memorial to all the victims of war regardless of nationality. Previous prime ministers had gone to the shrine, he said, noting he had made a commitment on his visit to ensure that Japan never again became involved in a war. "TROUBLEMAKER" His stance draw sharp criticism from Chinese academic Wu Xinbo, speaking on another Davos panel, who branded the Japanese leader a "troublemaker" and equated him with North Korea's unpredictable leadership. Wu, whose views usually reflect those of the Chinese leadership, said trust between the two countries was very low, chiefly because of Abe's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, which had fanned public hostility in China. While neither China, Japan nor the United States had an interest in war, relations were set to remain very tense, he said, adding that Beijing and Tokyo should develop a crisis communication mechanism. "Political relations between our two countries will remain very cool, even frozen for the remaining years of Abe in Japan," said Wu, professor of international studies at Fudan University in China. China demands that all aircraft flying through the zone identify themselves to Chinese authorities. Japan has urged China to rescind the decision, and its military and civilian aircraft have defied the requirements, flying through the zone without notifying China. Japan's treaty ally, the United States, refuses to recognize the zone and has sent military aircraft through it. Abe also reiterated his plans to revive growth in the world's third-biggest economy, increase the participation of women in society and review the portfolio of Japan's $1.2 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund. Asked by WEF president Klaus Schwab whether Japan's issuance of even more government debt to fund the stimulus program might not break the country, Abe said it was only by reviving growth that Tokyo could increase tax revenue to pay down the debt. John Chipman, chief executive of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said the best prospect for avoiding an escalation of disputes between the two Asian powers lay in quiet military-to-military discussions to seek confidence building measures. Both Abe and Wu called for Japan and China to develop crisis communications mechanisms. (Additional reporting by Elaine Lies in Tokyo and Lisa Jucca in Davos; Writing by Paul Taylor; editing by Anna Willard) http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/22/us-davos-japan-idUSBREA0L1NF20140122
  4. 27 January 2014 Last updated at 10:57 GMT As billions of Chinese people prepare to celebrate the new year, social network Baidu - often referred to as "China's Google" - has been tracking the mass movement of people out of the country's cities and into the countryside. The interactive map, which is updated hourly, has been made by logging where data requests were made to its maps service and other apps that use its location technologies. The thicker, brighter lines are the busiest routes. An estimated 1.3 billion people make this kind of journey every year - with millions more travelling in from abroad to join the celebrations, which kick off on Friday. At this time of year, Beijing's main train station is frequently referred to by locals as the "busiest place on the planet". View the interactive map here. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25911958
  5. 1 of 2. The Huawei Ascend Mate2 4G mobile telephone with an Android operating system is displayed at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada January 8, 2014. Reuters) - LG Electronics executive Frank Lee bounded onto a Las Vegas stage this week to show off a new phone for the U.S. market, the 6-inch G-Flex, which boasts a curved screen. Two hours later, in another room at the same hotel, Huawei Technologies' Richard Yu unveiled the razor-thin Ascend Mate II, bragging it had a battery life of nearly two days. There was one key difference between the two product launches at the Consumer Electronics Show: the South Korean G-Flex will be sold through three U.S. carriers - T-Mobile U.S. Inc, AT&T Inc and Sprint Corp. The Chinese Ascend Mate II? None, at least not yet. In two years, China's three biggest handset makers - Huawei, ZTE Corp and Lenovo Group Ltd - have vaulted into the top ranks of global smartphone charts, helped in part by their huge domestic market and spurring talk of a new force in the smartphone wars. Chinese companies took up more showspace at CES than ever before, eager to tout their products to the world's largest electronics market. Still, analysts said it will likely take years for the Chinese to make headway in the United States, where arguably the only Asian brand to have succeeded is Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. Aside from their struggles to get onto store shelves - U.S. carriers sell nine-tenths of the country's handsets - Chinese handset makers continue to grapple with low brand awareness, perceptions of inferior quality, and even security concerns. "The talk last year was premature," said Frank Gillett, an analyst with Forrester Research. "It's one thing to have the product. It's another thing to have all the relationships, build the distribution channels and do the marketing. "We'll maybe start to see things kick in in 2015." In the third quarter of last year, ZTE and Huawei accounted for 5.7 percent and 3 percent of all phones sold in the United States, respectively, trailing Apple Inc's 36.2 percent and Samsung's 32.5 percent, according to IDC. While Samsung was able to use Google Inc's Android software to offer a viable rival to the iPhone, that path now is too well trodden with many brands offering Android phones. "It's a tall order to climb into this market and gain significant share now, simply because they're coming in after habits are established, technology is established and brand names are established," Gillett said. THE CHINESE ARE COMING It's not for lack of trying. Karen Chupka, one of the organizers of CES, said more than 1,800 Chinese companies turned up this year. She did not provide a comparison. Huawei and ZTE occupied prominent - and pricey - positions at the center of one of the cavernous halls. Huawei said it doubled the size of its booth in two years, and even parked a Mercedes sedan on the floor to attract participants. For Huawei and ZTE, the push into handsets came amid a general slow-down in their bread-and-butter business of selling networking equipment to telecoms companies. Frustrated by accusations on Capitol Hill that national security would be compromised if Chinese networking equipment were installed in the United States, they have sought to double down on handsets for American consumers instead. "That's a cloud over Huawei's ability to operate here," said Endpoint Technologies analyst Roger Kay. "Huawei suffers from something that Lenovo is also smeared with, but Huawei is tarred even worse than Lenovo ever was" in part because of persistent reports about its ties to the Chinese military. Compared to many other markets where consumers buy phones at full price for use on pre-paid plans, 92 percent of Americans buy heavily subsidized devices through carriers, IDC says. "The key to success in the U.S. is the carriers," ZTE USA President Lixin Cheng told Reuters this week in Vegas. He pointed to a nearby stack of papers. "That's my schedule." "I'm meeting all the carriers' C-level executives." ZTE unveiled late last year the Grand S, an unlocked phone that arrived in the U.S. market to mixed reviews. This week, the company unveiled a successor device, the Grand S II. Billed as the world's slimmest smartphone, Huawei's Ascend P6 debuted to mostly positive reviews last year but was never picked up in the United States. T-Mobile said it carries Huawei and ZTE devices, and Sprint said it sells a ZTE device. But these phones are not easily found in stores nor are they promoted on the carriers' websites. AT&T and Verizon did not respond to requests for comment. THERE'S HOPE Still, some analysts think the Chinese firms may have a better shot if the U.S. wireless operators change how they sell handsets. T-Mobile made waves last year when it said it would eliminate contracts for customers who pay full price for phones, and its bigger rivals followed suit with similar offers. More changes may be underway: at CES this week, T-Mobile offered to pay termination fees for users who switch over, essentially offering more freedom to move than before. Huawei and ZTE could make headway if carriers slash subsidies and more consumers are willing to pay full price, giving them an edge over high-end phones. But they may not see meaningful gains for at least two years, said ABI Research analyst Michael Morgan. "They are already setting themselves up for where the puck is going to be tomorrow, when price becomes visible to the consumer again," Morgan said. "There's the crack in the armor for them to sneak through." Just as essential is marketing, something Chinese firms have less experience with than their foreign rivals. Huawei last year uploaded a tongue-in-cheek video of a man asking people around New York's Times Square to pronounce "Huawei." Most failed. And "ZTE apparently has zero brand presence. No one knows who ZTE is," Kay said. In Vegas, Huawei touted figures showing brand recognition has doubled worldwide in the past year. But the least progress was made in the United States and Japan, where its brand awareness rose 5 percent and 9 percent, respectively. The Chinese firm has been marketing directly to consumers only in the past three years, sponsoring European sports events and music events, such as a recent Jonas Brothers tour. ZTE signed a deal with the Houston Rockets basketball team and released a Rockets-branded phone. Yet it will be hard-pressed to match Samsung's 2013 marketing budget of $14 billion, greater than Iceland's economy. "Our approach is grassroots, not like many tier-one brand names," Cheng said. "They're burning hundreds of millions of dollars of your money - consumer money - to build their brand." Some think Lenovo stands the best chance of cracking the local market, given its longer track record here and a more established brand in the United States, courtesy of its 2005 acquisition of IBM's PC division. Lenovo itself expressed an interest in October in Blackberry, but the deal was reportedly nixed by Canadian regulators. Lenovo USA president Gerry Smith declined to discuss specific deals but said Lenovo will "continue to look." Kevin Restivo, an IDC analyst, said the Chinese contenders were making the right moves but it would take time. "The Chinese smartphone makers have grown by leaps and bounds," Restivo said. "But there's a lot of heavy lifting in order for them to approach Samsung as far as status, brand and market share in the U.S. It's very early days." (Additional reporting by Paul Carsten in Beijing and Sinead Carew in New York; Editing by Edwin Chan, Tiffany Wu and Bernard Orr) http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/10/us-ces-china-handsets-idUSBREA091BT20140110
  6. The recently announced Lumia 525 (a version of the Lumia 520 with 1GB RAM) has just made it to select markets putting an end to our guessing about its price. The surprise is that it's got an even more cutthroat pricing than the Lumia 520 right out of the gate. Online Chinese phone retailer Tmall has priced the 525 at ¥629, which is the equivalent of around $100.Amazon China, which sells both the Lumia 525 and Lumia 520 has the first listed as ¥699 ($115), making it the cheaper of the two despite its better specs.These prices are very appealing, considering what buyers get: a 4-inch display with the latest Windows Phone 8 and 1GB RAM. The boost in RAM is perhaps the biggest draw of the 525 over its 520/521 counterparts. 1GB of RAM would allow users access to all of the apps in the Windows Phone marketplace (some high-profile apps won't run on any less than that). The expandable storage and the free voice-guided navigation are also very enticing. There's no official date as to when the 525 will be made available in the US and Europe, but when it comes, we expect the phone to sell just as well, if not better, than the 520 and 521. (Note: Even though the picture at Tmall reads "520" the description indicates it is indeed the 525). Source
  7. Geneva, Switzerland (CNN) -- The diplomatic gridlock between Iran and the West seemed immovable for decades. But on Sunday, diplomats made history when Iran and six world powers came together on an agreement over Iran's nuclear program. The deal dials back Iran's ability to work toward a nuclear weapon and at the same time loosens the choke hold of international sanctions on Iran's economy. The two sides now have six months to find out how historic the breakthrough really is. That's the duration of the preliminary agreement hammered out in Geneva, Switzerland, by Iran and the P5+1 -- the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany. "There are lots of things, regrettably, that we still have to work on. Our hope is that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif want to build this different relationship, want to show in clear ways as we go forward that the program is peaceful," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told CNN's "State of the Union." The foreign policy chiefs from the nations making up the group traveled to Geneva from the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany on Saturday to pound out the last key points of the deal. Iran has stumbled from one economic crisis to the next under the sanctions, and unemployment currently runs over 24%. The breathing room is intended to buy Iran and the negotiating powers time to arrive at a more comprehensive agreement. But it represents an opportunity, not a guarantee. "It's a little too early to break open Champagne bottles and put on the party hats on this one," said Middle East diplomatic expert Aaron David Miller. Its success hinges on whether or not it leads to a bigger agreement to "put Iran's nuclear weapons program to rest." That the diplomats came to any accord at all represents a momentous budge in a nearly 35-year deadlock marked by distrust, suspicion and open animosity between the United States and Iran, which broke off diplomatic relations after Iran's revolution in 1979. It was the first such agreement in 10 years of negotiation attempts over Iran's nuclear program. "What happened over the last several weeks is by any standard extraordinary," Miller said. Kerry told CNN that it will be vital to verify Iran's compliance with the deal. "None of this is based on trust. It's not a question of trust," he said. "It's a question of having the verification and the intrusive inspections and the insights into the program and the commitments that can be held accountable, so that you are in fact creating a fail-safe mechanism by which you are making your judgments." Success or setback? Reactions to the breakthrough ran the gamut from joy in Iran to dismay in Israel. In a televised speech, Rouhani sold it as a win for his negotiators. "We are pleased after 10 years that an agreement on this level has been reached," he said. He played up the fact that the deal allows Iran to enrich uranium to a level making it usable as nuclear fuel. During the six months of the agreement, major facilities in Iran will continue doing so, he said. That level, 5% enrichment, is well below the level needed to make weapons. The deal also marks the beginning of the end of sanctions, Rouhani said. The announcement was extremely popular with Iranian citizens. They believe this is a golden opportunity to improve relations with the West. "Everyone in Iran is very happy," Ali, a factory manager, told CNN. "Iranian people want to cooperate with all countries so we can make a best life. ... Iranian people are not dangerous." He said life with sanctions has been difficult for young people like him. In the end, Iran's insistence that it has never sought nuclear weapons will be vindicated, Rouhani said, and that notion will go down as a "historical joke." Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, traditionally very distrustful of Western powers, seemed pleased. This could be the basis of intelligent actions of the future, he said. U.S. President Barack Obama took to live television to announce the deal as a success that includes "substantial limitations that will help prevent Iran from creating a nuclear weapon." Kerry has stressed that Iran will not be permitted to produce bomb-grade enriched uranium. But decades of mistrust run deep. Obama's Republican opponents in Washington scorned the deal, and key ally Israel frowned upon it. Both say it will have the opposite effect, advancing Iran's alleged quest for a bomb. "This agreement shows other rogue states that wish to go nuclear that you can obfuscate, cheat, and lie for a decade, and eventually the United States will tire and drop key demands," said freshman Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida. Rubio has been touted as a potential presidential hopeful in the 2016 elections. Netanyahu: obligation to defend Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu adamantly distrusts Iran and decried the agreement as a "historic mistake" on Sunday. For decades, he has listened to Iranian leaders threaten the Jewish state, one even saying Israel should be wiped off the map. During the negotiations in Geneva, Khamenei responded to passionate Israeli skepticism by saying Israeli officials "cannot be even called humans" and referred to Netanyahu as "the rabid dog of the region." Now that sanctions are working, Netanyahu wants to see the thumbscrews tightened, not loosened, until Iran shuts down much of its nuclear capability, which Tehran claims it will only use for peaceful purposes. The agreement does not apply to Israel, he said Sunday. If need be, Israel will take matters into its own hands, he said. "The regime in Iran is dedicated to destroying Israel, and Israel has the right and obligation to defend itself with its own forces against every threat. I want to make clear as the prime minister of Israel, Israel will not let Iran develop a nuclear military capability." Israeli President Shimon Peres backed up Netanyahu's show of strength but also extended an olive branch. "I would like to say to the Iranian people: You are not our enemies and we are not yours. There is a possibility to solve this issue diplomatically," Peres said. He called on Iran to drop ambitions of acquiring a nuclear weapon and end support to terrorists threatening Israel. Kerry: Israel safer Kerry thinks Israel became safer from an Iranian threat on Sunday than it was on Saturday, he told CNN's Candy Crowley. "Israel is threatened by what has been going on in Iran," he conceded. But it is better to have a chance to put Tehran's program in reverse than to let it secretly roll forward toward creating a nuclear bomb. It's not about getting cozier with Iran, Kerry said. "We are open not to being duped and not to being tricked and not to being led down the primrose path, but open to setting up a verifiable, clear process," Kerry said. Washington skeptics In the weeks before the start of the negotiations, U.S. legislators appeared to be obliging Netanyahu, as they considered loading new sanctions onto the Islamic Republic. If that happens, Obama may have to veto them, Kerry said. New sanctions would torpedo the deal. But Kerry said he will assure Congress the deal supports its goal of preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. Obama has said that the agreement only involves some of the sanctions, leaving the toughest ones in place. The agreement is not about trusting Iran, it is about being able to verify the country's compliance, a White House official said. The U.N.'s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, said it is ready to inspect and monitor Iran's nuclear activities. It called the new deal a "another important step forward." If things go sour, all options are still on the table, Obama has said, including military strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities. Obama understands how Israel in particular feels about Iran, a senior administration official said. "You can be sure that President Obama will speak to Prime Minister Netanyahu" on Sunday. He may also need to have a conversation with Saudi Arabia, which has lasting tensions with Tehran and has been at odds with Obama over much of his Middle East policy. The government expressed displeasure Sunday with the preliminary deal. "The Saudi government has been very concerned about these negotiations with Iran and unhappy at the prospect of a deal with Iran," a Saudi government official who is not authorized to speak to the media told CNN. All about enrichment The White House and Zarif both insist that the agreement meets their expectations on the issue of uranium enrichment. Iran has consistently said it is enriching uranium and building nuclear reactors only for peaceful civilian energy needs. Nuclear power plants use uranium that is enriched to 5%. It's the fuel that the plants use to generate electricity. The White House has said enrichment may not go above that. Iran must also dilute to below 5%, or convert to a form not suitable for further enrichment, its entire stockpile of near-20% enriched uranium before the end of the initial phase of the deal. It may not turn on certain centrifuges, the devices used to enrich uranium, that have not yet been brought on line. This is in line with the terms of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which Iran has signed onto. It requires Tehran not to create nuclear weapons or enable other countries to obtain them. Iran has also agreed to what Kerry described as "unprecedented international monitoring" of its nuclear program. The Rouhani difference This final round of negotiations in Geneva stretched on for four days, but began months ago in secrecy, shortly after Rouhani replaced Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as Iran's president earlier this year. Ahmadinejad's foreign policy rhetoric was marked by caustic jabs at the United States and bellicose threats toward Israel. He railed against economic sanctions and drove the advancement of nuclear technology. Rouhani has struck a more conciliatory tone and made the lifting of sanctions against his country a priority. U.S. and Iranian officials for months have been holding private, previously secret discussions to generate ideas for the wider nuclear negotiations, a senior Obama administration official confirmed Saturday. The Americans briefed their P5+1 colleagues. It led to formal negotiations in Geneva. Catherine Ashton, the European Union's foreign policy chief, led the working negotiations to their near conclusion. Then, to pound out difficult details, she called in the heavy lifters on Saturday: Kerry, his British counterpart William Hague, France's foreign minister Laurent Fabius, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Russia's foreign policy chief, Sergey Lavrov. Shortly after 3:00 a.m. local time Sunday, a tweet from a European diplomat let on that there was a deal. An hour later, an Iranian colleague followed suit. Minutes later, Ashton made the official announcement. A diplomatic mountain had been moved. :view: Source: Read more on CNN | Washington Post
  8. February 07, 2014 22:01 The United States’ top diplomat said this week that the US will not walk away from Japan as tensions worsen in the Far East between America’s Asian ally and China regarding a heated territory dispute in the Pacific. US Secretary of State John Kerry was meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida on Friday when he reiterated previous remarks from the White House about the Obama administration’s willingness to come to Japan’s aid if events escalate in the East China Sea. Late last year, China declared a portion of the East China Sea between Taiwan and Japan to be Chinese territory, infuriating Japanese officials who had long considered that region to be within their control. In an almost immediate response, the US mobilized in the region and sent surveillance craft and B-52 bombers over the air defense zone in defiance of China’s wishes. "We, the United States, are deeply concerned by the attempt to unilaterally change the status quo in the East China Sea," Vice President Joe Biden said back in December during a news conference held there alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Now speaking in Washington, DC two months later, Kerry this week hammered home the notion that the US won’t abandon Japan should an attack from China emerge. "I... underscored that the United States remains as committed as ever to upholding our treaty obligations with our Japanese allies,” Reuters quoted Kerry as saying, referencing the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between both nations signed in 1960. "The United States neither recognizes nor accepts China's declared East China Sea [Air Defense Identification Zone] and the United States has no intention of changing how we conduct operations in the region," he added, according to the Associated Press. "We are deeply committed to maintaining the prosperity and the stability in the Asia-Pacific. And that won't be possible without respect for international law, including freedom of navigation and overflight.” The US has numerous military bases in Japan and across the region, and would be obligated to provide military assistance under the mutual cooperation treaty should China launch a strike in an attempt to strengthen their hold on the disputed territory. China had the second largest defense budget of all nations in the world as of last year, according to a report by HIS Jane’s Aerospace, Defense and Security, but is leaps and bounds behind what the Pentagon spends annually. Japan currently has roughly the fifth-largest budget of its kind, but made headlines back in December when it was revealed that they are in the midst of boosting defense spending by a significant amount for the first time in nearly 20 years. Any assistance from the US Department of Defense would largely outmatch even the might of the second biggest military in the world. “China is firmly opposed to Japan’s relevant actions,” state-owned news agency Xinhua quoted the Chinese minister of defense after news of increased spending came out of Tokyo last December. Kerry is expected to make his way to China next week. If history is any indication, however, he’s likely to be met with strong opposition from opponents who wants the US out of the dispute. Vice President Biden made a visit there himself in the midst of his Asian-tour in late 2013, and a planned trip to China prompted the country’s Global Times newspaper to warn against even introducing the topic while meeting with dignitaries. "The only choice he has if he wants a successful trip [to China] is not to go too far in his words over there," an op-ed published at the time read. "If he openly supports Tokyo and wants to 'send an expedition to punish' Beijing, the Chinese people won't accept it." Following Friday’s meeting, Kishida said he and Kerry agreed they will respond to any action from China in the future “calmly and with resolve.” In the meantime, though, both the US and Japan are interested in other endeavors — like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP. According to the AP, the multi-nation trade deal between the US, Japan and 10 other Pacific-region countries was also among the issues discussed by Kishida and Kerry during Friday’s meeting. “[F]inalizing the TPP is one of the most important things that we can do for our countries’ economic futures,” Kerry said, according to the AP, and Kishida reportedly added that has tentatively agreed to cooperate towards a “prompt conclusion” of the negotiations. http://rt.com/usa/kerry-kishida-china-japan-119
  9. Microsoft found a clever way to get Chinese companies to pay for its software—exactly what it doesn't need. Give credit where credit is due: Microsoft's new approach to anti-piracy in China is awful clever. Heck, it might even work. But by filling up its coffers on yesterday's technology and an outdated business model, Microsoft may end up winning the piracy battle but losing the war completely. Have State Attorneys General , will sue As The Wall Street Journal reports, Microsoft has enlisted unlikely allies to get Chinese companies to pay for pirated software: U.S. state attorneys general. Microsoft has tried all sorts of ways to cut piracy globally, and more particularly in China: Lawsuits, cheaper prices and technologies that seek to make piracy harder. None of them, however, have really worked to dent the estimated $63.4 billion in revenue lost to software piracy. That's why Microsoft is trying a different tack, one that still relies on the legal system but in a different way. From the report: Attorneys general don't typically get involved in overseas disputes involving companies from outside their state borders. But Microsoft, based in Redmond, Wash., has helped persuade attorneys general that overseas software piracy leads to job losses at manufacturing companies in their states. That's because foreign manufacturers exporting products to the U.S. can shave business expenses by using stolen software, gaining an unfair cost advantage over American rivals who pay for software, according to Microsoft and its allies, including the National Association of Manufacturers trade group. By blocking Chinese companies from doing business in the U.S.—unless they come clean on Microsoft software licenses—Microsoft might manage to generate a few billion dollars more in revenue. But that's the bad news. Microsoft's Problem Isn't Piracy Microsoft's anti-piracy efforts are a suggestion that it continues to fight the wrong battle. While Microsoft is tapping China to pay for its licensed desktop software, the world has moved on to mobile. There, Microsoft is a still a nonentity, as recent Asymco data on smartphone shipments shows: Windows barely registers in this chart. As such, Microsoft could squeeze China for the estimated $63.4 billion in lost piracy revenues and would still lose the war. That war has nothing to do with the desktop. It has everything to do with mobile and cloud. In both spheres, Microsoft's business model is irrelevant. Granted, pirates prey on Apple iOS and Google Android ecosystems. Within minutes of a paid app hitting one of these app stores, a free version is available on alternative sites. But even so, mobile app piracy is far less serious today than desktop software piracy is, in part because the major ecosystems are distributed through centralized app stores. Yes, some people get their apps from warez sites, but they're the exception, not the rule. The Real Problem Is Adoption In 2014, Microsoft's "license an app, get paid billions" business model looks antiquated. Apple sells a seamless hardware/software/cloud experience. Google distributes apps for free and then monetizes them through advertising. (How much of Google's advertising business is threatened by piracy? None of it.) Google's business in China is projected to scale with Internet adoption there. In other words, Microsoft's problem isn't piracy. It's adoption. And it's a matter of the company's business model. Microsoft understood this years ago. As then-CEO Bill Gates declared, on the topic of desktop Windows struggling to compete with Linux in China, "It's easier for our software to compete with Linux when there's piracy than when there's not." Bingo. Horace Dediu of Asymco captures this point nicely: Microsoft’s software licensing business model is severely limited in China because what it offers is not what is valued. Both on the PC or on the mobile device, what China values is the tangible. Software can be made valuable only if it can affect the purchase decision of hardware and it can do so only if it’s sold as part of an integrated product. Microsoft keeps fetishizing software licensing when the world has moved on to tangibles like hardware and advertising. Until Microsoft stops fixating on making money on yesterday's technology with yesterday's business model, it will struggle to become relevant for current and future users of its software—in China and elsewhere. Source
  10. Feb 12, 2014 10:59 AM ET Yutu moon buggy had been experiencing problems since Jan. 25 The Yutu or Jade Rabbit lunar rover arrived on the moon in December aboard the Chang'e 3 lander, which took this photo of the rover. (Xinhua/The Associated Press) China's first lunar rover, Yutu, has officially been declared lost. The English-language website of the state-owned China News Service reported Wednesday that Yutu "could not be restored to full function Monday as expected and netizens mourned it on Weibo, China's Twitter-like service." In this image made off the screen at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing, is the Chang'e-3 moon lander, taken by the camera on the 'Yutu' (Jade Rabbit) moon rover, during the mutual-photograph process in the area known as Sinus Iridum (Bay of Rainbows), on Dec. 15, 2013. Yutu touched down on the moon and left deep traces on its loose soil, according to Chinese media. In this image taken by the on-board camera of the lunar probe Chang'e-3 and made off the screen of the Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing, China's first moon rover 'Yutu' - or Jade Rabbit - is on the lunar surface in the area known as Sinus Iridum (Bay of Rainbows). A picture of the moon surface taken by the on-board camera of the lunar probe Chang'e-3 on the screen of the Beijing Aerospace Control Centre in Beijing. China landed an unmanned spacecraft on the moon on Saturday, state media reported, in the first such A photograph taken on a giant screen at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing shows an animated image of the Chang'e-3 lunar probe descending onto the surface of the moon, Dec. 14, 2013. The Chang'e 3, a probe named after a lunar goddess in traditional Chinese mythology, is carrying the solar-powered Yutu, or Jade Rabbit buggy, which will dig and conduct geological surveys. Visitors take pictures of a prototype model of a lunar rover at the 15th China International Industry Fair in Shanghai, China. China landed its first probe on the moon on Dec. 14. The Long March 3B rocket carrying the Chang'e-3 lunar probe blasts off from the launch pad at Xichang Satellite Launch Center, southwest China's Sichuan Province on Dec. 2, 2013. It will be the first time for China to send a spacecraft to soft land on the surface of an extraterrestrial body, where it will conduct surveys on the moon. Researchers work in the control room of the Chang'e 3 lunar probe at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing, China. The six-wheeled, solar-powered moon buggy, whose name translates to "Jade Rabbit" in Chinese, hasn't been working since Jan. 25, when it experienced mechanical problems. The problems appeared to be related to the probe's process for shutting down for the lunar night, which lasts more than two weeks and brings the surface temperature down to –180 C. The 140-kilogram rover arrived on the moon in December aboard the stationary Chang'e 3 lander, which became the first man-made vehicle to land on the moon in 37 years. It was designed to spend three months exploring for natural resources on the moon. Chang'e 3 was named after a mythical Chinese goddess of the moon. It is designed to take scientific measurements for a year. http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/china-s-jade-rabbit-lunar-rover-dies-on-moon-1.2533780
  11. BEIJING/WASHINGTON Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:16pm EST U.S. President Barack Obama signs the ''omnibus'' spending bill in Washington January 17, 2014. Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque (Reuters) - China's Commerce Ministry has condemned a $1.1-trillion spending bill passed by the U.S. Congress last week over clauses that limit technological purchases from the Asian giant, saying they clash with the principles of fair trade. The bill, signed by President Barack Obama on Friday, included a cyber-espionage review process for federal purchases of technology from China, a measure incorporated last year amid growing U.S. concern over Chinese cyber attacks. In a weekend statement, China's Commerce Ministry said the move "went against the principles of fair trade" as it sought to curb purchases of Chinese technology and export of satellites and parts to China. "China is resolutely opposed," the ministry said in comments attributed to an unnamed official in its U.S. trade division. The bill sent a wrong message, did not aid exchanges and cooperation in the high-tech field and would have a negative effect on Chinese companies, besides harming the interests of U.S. firms, it added. "We have noted that U.S. business groups have already made noises opposing the bill. The U.S. side should correct its mistaken ways, and create good conditions for the healthy development of Sino-U.S. trade and business cooperation." Last year's funding legislation bars U.S. space agency NASA and the Justice and Commerce Departments from buying information technology systems without the approval of federal law enforcement officials. That formal assessment must include "any risk associated with such system being produced, manufactured or assembled by one or more entities that are owned, directed or subsidized" by China, it says. U.S. Representative Frank Wolf, the Republican chairman of the House Appropriations Commerce-Justice-Science subcommittee, said he directed the language to be included last year because of concerns about potential cyber threats from Chinese firms such as Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and ZTE Corp. Wolf cited a 2012 congressional intelligence report that found such firms were closely connected to China's army, which coordinates cyber espionage against the United States. "A slightly modified version of this language was continued again this year by bipartisan agreement with the Senate, and I believe it should be maintained and expanded to all civilian federal agencies in the year ahead," Wolf said in a statement on Friday. U.S. curbs on foreign access to satellite technology since 1999 have effectively banned the export, re-export or transfer of this equipment or know-how to China. The restriction followed a 1996 Chinese rocket launch accident that claimed a U.S.-manufactured satellite. In the course of the investigation, the company was accused of inadvertently transferring restricted technology to China. But there were no new curbs on satellite exports in the latest spending bill, Kevin Wolf, a U.S. Commerce Department official, told Reuters in Washington. "Since the late 1990s, there has been, under U.S. law, an absolute prohibition on the export and re-export to China of all satellites and related items," said Wolf, who is no relation to the congressman. "This was reconfirmed in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013." "The Chinese have complained about it a lot over the decades - that's not new," he said on Saturday. China and the United States have clashed repeatedly over trade issues. (Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Norihiko Shirouzu; Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu, Richard Cowan, David Lawder and Patricia Zengerle in WASHINGTON; Editing by Clarence Fernandez) http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/19/us-china-usa-trade-idUSBREA0I00Z20140119
  12. The yet to be announced, Nokia Lumia 929 went on sale in China. The top-end Windows Phone device is currently available for purchase in the popular online marketplace TaoBao for ¥3800 ($628). Also known as Nokia Lumia Icon, the smartphone is shown in a number of live photos, proudly wearing its Verizon Wireless branding. This is hardly a surprise, as the handset is bound to replace the Nokia Lumia 928 when it goes official on the Big Red. In addition to the host of live photos, the seller reveals the full specs of the Nokia Lumia 929. They include Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of built-in memory, microSD card slot, 5” 1080p display, and 20MP PureView camera. With enough leaks this far to leave nothing to imagination, all Verizon and Nokia are left with, is to finally take the wraps off the device. Considering its recent appearance on the carrier’s webpage, we doubt it will be a long wait. Source
  13. BEIJING Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:36am EST (Reuters) - Chinese Internet users are now required to register their real names to upload videos to Chinese online video sites, an official body said, as the Communist Party tightens its control of the Internet and media to suppress anti-government sentiment. The new rule has been implemented to "prevent vulgar content, base art forms, exaggerated violence and sexual content in Internet video having a negative effect on society," China's State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) said on its website on Monday. Online video sites are often a lodestone for comment and critique on social issues in China, with users uploading videos documenting corruption, injustice and abuse carried out by government officials and authorities. Online video sites are extremely popular in China, with 428 million users. Those allowing user uploads include sites operated by Youku Tudou Inc and Renren Inc. Neither Youku Tudou nor Renren were available for immediate comment. Last year the Communist Party began a heavy-handed campaign to control online discourse, threatening legal action against people whose perceived rumors on microblogs such as Sina Weibo are reposted more than 500 times or seen by more than 5,000 people. Rights groups and dissidents criticized the latest crackdown as another tool for the ruling Communist Party to limit criticism of it and to further control freedom of expression. China has attempted to implement similar real-name registration rules, including when buying SIM cards for mobile phones and signing up for Tencent's WeChat mobile messaging app and microblogs. However these have proven difficult to implement and easy to avoid for China's tech-savvy Internet population. China's Internet regulation system is mired in bureaucracy and overseen by a number of government agencies, including SARFT, the State Council and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which can lead to conflicts of interest between these bodies. (Reporting by Paul Carsten; Editing by Michael Perry) http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/21/us-china-internet-idUSBREA0K04T20140121
  14. January 29, 2014, 3:56 PM PST One of the more interesting factoids if you are thinking about the upgraded role of Lenovo in the U.S. smartphone market going forward after it bought Motorola Mobility today is that Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang is an observer on its board. While he does not have any voting rights as a director, apparently due to issues related the Hong Kong stock exchange, Yang did land the now high-profile cross-cultural gig that also earns him up to $200,000 a year in cash and stock about a year ago. And sources said he was quite involved in helping the company think through its nearly $3 billion deal to buy the Motorola handset business from Google to further diversify its offerings in the mobile arena. Ironic, of course, given Yang also lent a hand to the search giant in the late 1990s, giving it a plum opportunity to power Yahoo search when it was in its heyday. The arrangement was one of the most important initial transactions for Google in its early formation and most definitely helped its brand become known. Interestingly, Yang also was a key player in Yahoo making the $1 billion investment in Chinas Alibaba Group, one that has appreciated to such a degree that it has proved to be a lifesaver for its current CEO Marissa Mayer also an ex-Googler. In an interview with me several years ago, Alibabas co-founder and former CEO Jack Ma said Yangs friendship with him was critical and pointed to one particular dinner with Yang in sealing the now prescient deal. Yahoos current stock has risen largely due to that transaction and its current 24 percent stake in Alibaba. It is a boost that has given the company ample air cover as it struggles to right itself (which is, as yesterdays earnings show, a work still very much in progress). Here, Yang deserves obvious kudos (and a big, expensive present from Mayer for making her look so good would be in order too). As most know and I also gave him a very hard time then he had a tough tenure when he was Yahoo CEO from mid-2007 to early 2009, having to face down a hostile takeover attempt from Microsoft, as well as other vexing issues at the company. Since he ended involvement with Yahoo several years ago, though, Yang has become an wide-ranging, if shy, investor. A few weeks ago at lunch in Silicon Valley, he walked me through a range of the companies he has invested in and looked about as excited and charged up as I have ever seen him in the nearly 20 years we have known each other (Yes, Jerry we are old!). He has been doing this via several investment vehicles, most especially his own Ame Cloud Ventures. In a post I did about that last May, I called him Jerry 2.0, a name he of course grimaced at (just like I know he is grimacing now at all this attention I am giving him). I feel like the thing I missed the most is what really early entrepreneurs were doing, he said at the time. There are no LPs just me, myself and I. I invest in things for the long term and have a long horizon and the flexibility. Ame means rain (雨) in Japanese and happens to be the acronym of the names of his wife and kids. At the time and also again recently, he said he was very interested activity around mobility, sensors, cloud and big data that is enabling the next generation of computing. Among his investments is Tomfoolery, which is aimed at improving mobile enterprise apps and which, drum roll, Yahoo is buying. He also has invested in small satellite maker Planet Labs and body-tech startup Lumo. In addition, Yang also works closely with another former Yahoo, Ash Patel who started the $10 million micro-venture fund Morado Ventures, which means purple in Spanish, and has a lot of ex-Yahoos as investors as well as individual angel and former Yahoo CTO Farzad Nazem. Yang has also remained active in Asia. The Taiwan-born entrepreneur is very active in the region and considered quite a superstar there. As I previously noted, to select from the companies he mulls, Yang has only one young associate, Nick Adams, who codes, helps on deal mechanics, interacts with entrepreneurs and also has had extensive experience in Asia. That has been important, since Adams also leads business development for Chinas Cloud Valley, which is run by Edward Tian, one of Yangs strategic partners in that country. It was with Cloud Valley that Evernote, the hot productivity app in which Yang is also an investor, partnered to create a business there. Yang has also served as a director of Chinas Alibaba and also Yahoo Japan, although he left both boards in 2012. But he has also had some trouble related to China, most especially in taking the heat in a difficult Congressional hearing in 2007 concerning a controversial move that Yahoo China made there in handing over information about a journalist Shi Tao to authorities. Tao was then jailed in 2004. At the time of his appointment to the Lenovo board, its CEO Yang Yuanquing said: Jerrys appointment as an observer to our board furthers Lenovos reputation as a transparent international company As Lenovo continues to build on its momentum and establish itself as a global technology leader, Jerrys perspective, experience and proven entrepreneurial spirit will help us continue to drive growth and expand our business. Lenovo has tried to diversify its board in recent years to make it different from others in China by pushing transparency, which will surely help with any regulatory issues in getting approval of the Motorola deal. http://recode.net/2014/01/29/jerry-yangs-lenovo-connection-in-china-and-lets-not-forget-alibaba-either
  15. On April 8, 2014 Microsoft will officially end support for it's once popular Windows XP operating system. The company has given plenty of notice regarding this intention as, after all, a surprising number of businesses were, and still are, using the decade old OS. That may sound shocking, but the IT industry doesn't particularly like to rush into things -- many still used Internet Explorer 6 until not so long ago. Now the world's most populous nation is begging for the death warrant to be repealed and XP's life to continue a bit longer. China claims that 54-percent of its population is still using the 12 year old operating system. 38-percent have moved onto Windows 7, but Microsoft also is no longer selling that in the country. The nation claims that ending support for XP would place a financial burden on the citizens. While China's concern for its citizens seems touching, the truth is that much of the government is still using the operating system. "With every new version of Windows we have made substantial security updates from the previous versions and both consumers and organisations can get advice on how to upgrade to a more recent operating system at www.get2modern.com", a Microsoft spokesperson claimed in a statement to PCR. In other words, Microsoft has no plans to back down from the currently scheduled end-of-life for XP. Source
  16. The second Windows Phone phablet, the Nokia Lumia 1320, launched Friday in China with the device headed to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore in the coming weeks. Some of the specs on the far superior Nokia Lumia 1520 can be found on this device, such as the 6 inch Gorilla Glass screen. But instead of the 1080 x 1920 resolution found on the Lumia 1520, which provides it with an outstanding pixel density of 368ppi, the 720 x 1280 resolution on the Lumia 1320 works out to a 245ppi pixel density. Powered by a dual-core 1.7 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 CPU (as opposed to the quad-core 2.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU on the Lumia 1520), the Nokia Lumia 1320 offers some pre-loaded apps such as HERE Maps and HERE LiveSight. The latter lets you use the camera on your phone to help find your parked car. Nokia MixRadio, Instagram and other popular apps run on the model even though it has 1GB of RAM, just half of the 2GB of RAM you'll find on the Nokia Lumia 1520. Both phablets do share a 3400mAh battery which means that you can expect 21 hours of 3G talk time and 100 hours of music playback on a single charge from the Nokia Lumia 1320, which also offers 4G LTE and HSPA+ connectivity. Source
  17. According to reports, Apple has finally signed a deal with China Mobile, the world's largest mobile phone carrier with over 750 million subscribers. The multi-year deal will allow consumers on China Mobile's network to purchase the iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S, and the phones will be sold in China Mobile and Apple retail stores starting January 17th. This news comes only a week after the carrier's announcement that they would be spending $13 billion to launch what will be the world's largest 4G network with over 500,000 base stations, bringing 4G access to over 340 cities in China. And according to NASDAQ, the deal will benefit both Apple and China Mobile greatly -- the carrier has nearly 500 million more subscribers than the two largest in America combined and a majority market share in China, a demographic which has largely been untapped by Apple. In October leaked documents from TENAA, a Chinese telecommunications organization, showed that iPhone 5 phones had passed certification and radio compatibility for use on China Mobile's networks, a move which strongly hinted towards a future launch. With the deal now in ink, Apple has secured a strong place in the Chinese market, which may allow them to gain the upper hand against rival competitors such as Samsung and HTC. Source
  18. Unhappy with the dominance of foreign mobile and desktop operating systems in its country, the Chinese government it backing a China Operating System (COS) that is supposed to take on Google, Apple and Microsoft in the region. Shanghai Laintong is the company developing COS in partnership with the Institute of Software at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ISCAS), Engadget reports. Interestingly, it’s HTC that’s actually providing hardware for the COS platform, at least for now. As for the operating system itself, COS is based on Linux and it’s said to be developed “entirely independently,” as China wants it to be a viable alternative to what’s available from foreign companies. During the COS launch, the ISCAS head criticized iOS for being a closed system, Android for its fragmentation problem, and Android and Windows for their poor security. Engadget says that COS looks pretty much like Android so far, even though it should be available on a variety of devices including smartphones, tablets, PCs and set-top boxes. The software was demoed on HTC One and Butterfly S versions, which looked like “they were still carrying Sense 5.” Meanwhile, Apple is getting ready to launch its 2013 iPhones with China Mobile, the largest carrier in the world, while Android is the dominant mobile platform in China, with many local OEMs selling very affordable Android-based smartphones and tablets in the region. A COS demo video showing Engadget’s hands-on experience with the new OS, as well as a promotional video for it follow below. Source
  19. The Chinese variant of the upcoming Nokia Lumia 525 has received certification in China. The Nokia Lumia 526 passed through TENAA which is China's version of the FCC. The Nokia Lumia 525 is the Finnish OEM's replacement for the hugely successful Nokia Lumia 520 and Nokia Lumia 521. The Nokia Lumia 520 has sold over 5 million units, and the T-Mobile branded Nokia Lumia 521 was largely responsible for the platform's gain in U.S. market share in the third quarter. Specs for the Nokia Lumia 525 recently leaked, and we expect the Chinese variant to offer the same 4 inch LCD screen with resolution of 480 x 800 (WVGA). Under the hood is a dual-core 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of native storage. The phone brings a 5MP rear-facing snapper and is powered by a 1430mAh battery. The Lumia 526 connects to the proprietary TD-SCDMA network used by China Mobile. SOURCE
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