China's Xiaomi announces telecom carrier service, new flagship handset

Foray into sector could kickstart MVNO industry and provide a boost for Chinese telecom regulators

Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - Xiaomi Inc, China's leading smartphone maker, announced on Tuesday two prepaid wireless plans to mark its debut as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) competing against China's national carriers.

MVNOs, which purchase network capacity from large carriers and resell mobile plans under their own branding, have failed to gain traction in China, where three state-owned giants dominate the telecoms industry.

China tells U.S. to stop 'groundless' hacking accusations

Denies any involvement in hacking and says it is also a victim

Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - China reacted angrily on Friday following a call by America's top intelligence official for cyber security against China to be stepped up, and said the United States should stop "groundless accusations".

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said the United States must beef up cyber security against Chinese hackers targeting a range of U.S. interests to raise the cost to China of engaging in such activities.

Clapper's testimony adds pressure on Beijing over its conduct in cyberspace weeks before President Xi Jinping visits the United States.

Google won't have easy ride back into China

Pulled most services out five years ago after refusing to continue self-censoring search results

Reuters

SINGAPORE/BEIJING (Reuters) - Google Inc CEO Sundar Pichai has made no secret that he wants to get back into China via Google Play, the app store for its Android mobile operating system.

But it's unlikely to be a smooth ride.

Google largely pulled its services out of China five years ago after refusing to continue self-censoring its search results. Since then, it has maintained a limited presence in the world's biggest Internet market, but most of its services, including Play, have been rendered borderline inaccessible.

China summons Western tech firms, revives bank cyber rules

Foreign tech companies were briefly optimistic that the rules would be dropped

Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has resumed work on a set of banking cyber security regulations it suspended earlier this year, reviving a potential source of friction with the United States just weeks before Xi Jinping makes his first trip to Washington as China's president, people with knowledge of the matter said.

China smartphone sales fall for first time: Gartner

The country accounted for about 30 percent of total smartphones sales during the second quarter

Reuters

(Reuters) - Smartphone sales in China, the world's biggest market for the devices, fell in the second quarter for the first time, market research firm Gartner Inc said on Thursday.

Sales of smartphones in China declined 4 percent in the quarter, the first year-over-year fall, the company said.

"China has reached saturation — its phone market is essentially driven by replacement, with fewer first-time buyers," said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner.

U.S. businesses lobby Obama on China tech protectionism concerns

Trade groups question the world's second-largest economy's commitments to open markets

Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - American business groups are lobbying U.S. President Barack Obama to press Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on technology protectionism concerns during Xi's upcoming U.S. visit, according to a letter addressed to Obama seen by Reuters.

China's ZTE refuses to bring executives to U.S., cites arrest fears

Civil and criminal probes allege ZTE in 2010 had a $120M contract with Iran's largest telecom firm

Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. criminal investigation into allegations that China's ZTE Corp for sold banned U.S. computer products to Iran has spilled into a civil dispute with a New York-based patent licensing firm, as ZTE has refused to make one of its top executives available for questioning over fears he will be arrested.

China to put security teams in major Internet firms, websites

The law will strengthen user privacy protection, and elevates the government's powers

Reuters

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China is planning to set up "network security offices" in major Internet companies and for websites so authorities can move more quickly against illegal online behavior, the Ministry of Public Security said in a statement.

Police should take a leading role in online security and work closely with Internet regulators, the deputy minister, Chen Zhimin, told a conference in Beijing on Tuesday.

Huawei Technologies' H1 smartphone revenue more than doubles in China

Analysts say Huawei's sales growth may not be down to company strategy alone

Reuters

HONG KONG/BEIJING (Reuters) - Huawei Technologies Co Ltd more than doubled its China smartphone revenue in the first half of 2015, defying a slowdown in the world's biggest handset market that is enveloping rivals Xiaomi Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.

The fourth-largest smartphone maker globally missed shipment targets for two years, but a focus shift to high-margin premium models pushed January-June worldwide shipments to 48.2 million phones, Huawei said on Wednesday. That puts it on course to move 100 million mobiles this year, 33 percent more than last.

China's Xiaomi will strengthen IP ahead of U.S. entry: executive

Executives have acknowledged that the five-year old startup's thin portfolio is a major weakness

Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - Fast-growing Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Inc is strengthening its patents in preparation for its entry into the U.S. market, head of international operations Hugo Barra told Bloomberg Television on Thursday, without offering a time table.

The company has already encountered intellectual property hurdles in India, where a patent infringement complaint from telecom equipment giant Ericsson briefly halted sales of its handsets late last year.

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