After launching it's mega-super-smartphone 'Huawei Ascend Mate' at CES last week (also known as a Phablet, also known as a farce) have made news again by launching the G520. This substantially smaller and more realistic phone is meant to fill the gap in the market for an affordable smartphone.
What's new about this phone?
A gap in the market
Changes in demand
Who wants to hear the best news of 2013 so far?
Anyone who lives in China and is not like a close personal friend of the politburo will know exactly what it feels like to have a shoddy internet connection that is so unreliable it almost makes you want to go to the office on a Sunday.
Gone are those days my fellow netizens! News just in from our friends down at the Ministry Of The Internet: new legislation will stop the monopoly of internet providers on residential complexes. Indeed, up until now, one had to use the internet that was provided by the building management who had already signed a deal with one of the providers. This left the user with no choice and no one to complain to when the connection was terrible.
This will no longer be our plight and a healthy competition will start up between different providers. Not gonna lie, the best thing to do when you live in the UK is call up Sky customer service and threaten to switch to Virgin media unless they give you faster internet connection. Now we can all do the same in China.
Further good news: all new apartment complexes are to have fiber-optic connection installed. This proves the will of those at the top to make internet connection a sure thing for the future generations who will never have to admit to screaming at a disconnected Skype screen on a Sunday evening wondering why the hell they live in this godforsaken place (I mean, who does that?).
Hope for the future?
Not only is this immediate good news for us all who have suffered through choppy internet. But it shows an impressive commitment from the forces that be to do something to ensure a healthy growth of the internet in China. When you see the number of internet startups, apps and other online wonders that are coming out of China every day, you realize this growth can only continue if the connection holds everyone up. This recent news from MIIT is much better for China's future than many will acknowledge.
THEM China is growing and we’re currently looking for a new Web Designer to join our team. This position is based in Beijing (China). Here is the job description:
Title of Position:
THEM is a leading digital agency based in China (Beijing, Shanghai) and Russia (Moscow) and specialized in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). We offer a complete range of web services, from high quality web design and clean web development to professional SEO and SEM.
Our multicultural team is composed of high-level Internet professionals from Europe, Asia, North and South America.
Known for our fresh and brilliant ideas, we help our clients be visible on the Internet and keep their website ahead of the competition.
We also implement our know-how of web to develop internal projects, notably in the fields of e-commerce and ranking monitoring (SEO tools).
The Web Designer is responsible for day-to-day website design and creation. His/her duties involve:
- Meeting clients and translating their idea/marketing/informational content into a design output adapted to their target market
- Providing clients with design advice, explanation and suggestions
- Designing web pages and websites appearance and User Interface (UI)
- Creating or editing images and graphics for website use
- Coordination with project manager and clients to ensure that goals and needs are met in the design process
The Web Designer is required to have:
- Minimum 1 year experience in designing websites in variety of formats
- Advanced proficiency in Adobe Illustrator and/or Photoshop
Creative, capable of creating something totally new e.g logos, modern, interesting, fresh web designs
Methodological, capable of executing repetitive work and to do variations on an existing project
Good communication skills with both internal and external contacts
Web culture (must)
SEO notions (plus)
Oral and written English proficiency mandatory
Other languages is a plus
- Position: Full time, available from now on
- Job location: Beijing, China
- Salary: Depending on your experience
- Benefits: Visa & Medical insurance
Please apply to this job position by sending your resume/CV to: jobs(at)them.pro
Other Job Positions at THEM China:
Looking for another job position within THEM China? We’re always looking for new talents to join our company. If you want to be part of a successful and productive team, feel free to send us your unsolicited application (web development + SEO).
Call in extra barriers around Beijing's Apple store, the iPhones are landing! News has dropped, our fair country will finally become one of the cool ones again as the latest iPad and iPad mini are set to arrive on the 7th of December. The iPhone 5 will arrive a little later on the 14th.
Despite China being one of Apple's larger market for its handheld gadgets (iPad shipments are up 45% - and its not like they are buying them all up as Christmas gifts), the two leviathans still insist on bickering over the iPhones' functions on the Chinese networks. Word of the street is that the iPhone 5 has finally been granted its permit from MIIT - a sort of work visa for phones.
For those familiar with the hubbub around Beijing's Apple store in sanlitun will be steering clear of the area the night before and the day of the launch as the mobs become agitated. Indeed, when the iPhone 4s launched, authorities were forced to halt the selling of the device because of unruly crowds. However, since Beijing has opened a second Apple store in Beijing, there could be dissipating of crowds between the two venues… or twice the number of buyers, who knows.
What's the tablet situation like in China?
With the news of the wifi only iPad arriving on our shores and stores around mainland China, what is the state of the tablet market in China today? First things first, it seems EVERYONE has a tablet and compelling me to buy one myself just to feel relevant.
Ipads are seen everywhere from the subway to the local food market. However, tablet makers such as Lenovo are slowly creeping up behind them. Samsung is currently leader in the country for smartphones but does not seem to have much of a share of the tablet market. For now then, the iPad is king of the tablet kingdom in China.
China's future will be apple shaped
With 15% of Apple's revenue coming in from China and considering the harder times they've had recently since the loss of the great founder and CEO Steve Jobs; how they innovate and adapt to a growing but very different market like China could cement their place at the top of the market once again.
Or they could find themselves swiftly beaten by a still unknown competitor from China's fast growing electronics industry.
Renren is firing people, should we be worried?
Rumors of layoffs and decreasing advertisement revenues could be the start of a slow decline for the once great Renren.
Two problems face this company as of the end of 2012. An increasingly competitive environment with other platforms like WeChat and Weibo stealing the proverbial thunder from Renren. Apparently there can only be so many social networks out there before we get bored of some for not evolving at the speed of light.
The other problem Renren is faced with is how to make money out of mobile advertising. This seems to be quite the pickle for more than one e-commerce/web company out there. In a bid to stay with the times, Renren's CEO Joe Chen has announced that there will be more management and higher investment geared toward the mobile aspect of Renren's products.
Inevitably, another aspect of their decline is a general sluggishness of the economy and the sector they are in. But, because everyone suffers from that and it's not really a reason in itself to explain the situation compared to other companies.
The end is nigh
These layoffs may or may not have been blown out of proportion. It sound like it could make sense as the company has seen decline in advertisement revenue and has openly acknowledged the strains of adapting to a world that has shifted to mobile. If they are downsizing for fears of the future then WeChat and Weibo will be rubbing their hands with glee. If, on the other hand it is not more than a little strategic recalculating then Renren will not be just another victim of China's social networking world.
Renren's golden boys?
The company's gaming department is getting bigger and better. It was announced on the App Store China that Renren was the top publisher of games this year. On top of that, Nuomi which is their group buying service has risen and now accounts for over 10% of Renren's net revenues in the 3rd quarter.
Layoffs due to a company worried for its future? Maybe. A definite and quantifiable decline of Renren group? Surely not. It is impossible to evaluate what will happen to this company but lets meet back here at the end of next quarter and talk about it.
You have probably troubles using Google when you're not on a VPN in China. There is a quick trick to avoid the lag.
It's the Google redirection that is causing the delay. There are browser addons to avoid the google redirections :
for Firefox download it here : http://matagus.github.com/remove-google-redirects-addon/
for Chrome download it here : https://chrome.google.com/
enjoy surfing the web on google from china ;)
Hosting a website in China can be seen as messy, difficult and extremely confusing for most people but, in fact, the process is quite straight forward. With this guide, we aim to guide you through the whole registration process from the very beginning to the launch of your website in mainland China.
As we are a web agency based in Beijing and Shanghai, we are accustomed to this process and can assist you with the registration if you require assistance. Do not hesitate to contact us if you are facing any difficulties.
Internet Content Provider License: Definition
The Internet Content Provider License, also known as ICP License or 备案 (Bei An) in Chinese, is a permit issued by the Chinese Ministry of Industry & Information to allow internet website to legally operate in China mainland. Each website hosted in China must have its own ICP license, but if your website is hosted in Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan you don't need to apply for a license.
Without a proper license or a partnership with a Chinese counterpart, your website can be shut down by the China-based Internet service providers that you are using as it’s required to block the site if a license is not acquired within a grace period.
Moreover, each hosting company based in China is required to regularly check that all their clients comply with the regulation. If your license number is not displayed properly or your license number is not right (incorrect number), your hosting company can shut down your website without any prior warning.
Application Process: Procedure, Cost, Delay
The whole registration process is organized by the Ministry of Industry & Information which is part of the State Council. The MII is in charge of the manufacture of electronic and information products, the communications and the software industry. It is also involved in the promotion of the national economy and social services across China.
1. You need to create an account at http://www.miibeian.gov.cn (Ministry of Industry & Information) by entering your e-mail address and cell phone number in the form.
2. After the approval by the MII, you will receive a confirmation code on your both cell phone and e-mail account.
3. After receiving the code you have to login into the MII website, enter the code, and access your account. This step allows the MII to verify your identity and that you are the owner of the website.
4. After login into the MII Web site, you will have to fill out an on-line form with your name, mobile phone number, home phone number, home address, domain name, host provider, company name, and a description of your website.
You still need to have a partnership with a local company to apply for it if you are a foreign company. The processing time is about 3 weeks from the day you are starting the application but it can takes up to 60 days depending what kind of business you are doing in China. Take in consideration that national holiday can increase the delay of getting your ICP license delivered on time.
Keep in mind that there is no guarantee that your application will be accepted.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What will happen if I don’t follow the regulation rules?
Many websites don’t have their own ICP license yet or haven’t started the process and are still online but as soon as their hosting company knows that they don’t have their own ICP License, they will shut down it and invite them to get one as fast as possible.
2. I’m working for a foreign company (not Chinese), should I still apply for it?
Every single website hosted in mainland China has to have its own proper license whatever is the owner’s nationality. But foreign companies have to set up a partnership with a Chinese company in order to register. You will not be able to obtain one if you go on your own without a local partnership.
Following the Ministry of Information Industry’s rules, all foreign companies which wish to register an ICP license must withdraw all foreign investments or hand over its service operations including assets, staff, domain name, trademark and clients to a local partner, and set up another company that is totally controlled by the Chinese partner.
THEM is able to register and do the whole process for you as we are a fully incorporated company under the Chinese law.
3. I don’t want to have a .cn domain name, should I still apply for the license?
As soon as your website is hosted in any datacenters located within the border of Mainland China you need to apply for it. The registration is compulsory whatever your domain name is.
If you are operating within China through a joint venture company with a local partner, then the foreign-owned shares must be kept below 50% of the total shares.
4. What kind of sites can be hosted in China?
Any website which doesn’t violate Chinese law could get a license. The Chinese law prohibits the following topics: pornographic or promoting immoral behavior, websites offensive to the Chinese government, websites selling drugs or satellite equipment and websites that promote banned activities or organizations.
5. My website is an e-commerce platform not a corporate website. Do I still need to apply for the ICP?
As your website will be registered under the business category, you will need to provide additional information during the application process. You will be granted a business license (commercial license).
If you have any troubles, misunderstanding, questions, remarks about the ICP registration within Mainland China, you are welcome to contact us and we will be happy to help you.
These days, the weather in China seemed a bit cloudy for the world famous fruit brand...
Dispute about the ‘iPad’ name
First, there was Proview, the Chinese company of media devices that claimed it owned the rights to the ‘iPad’ name in the Chinese market as they registered it back in 2000. However, Apple said it acquired the worldwide rights in 2009. To settle this, two weeks ago, Apple agreed to pay $60m to Proview and, hence, bought the global rights to the ‘iPad’ name for good.
Dispute about the ‘Snow Leopard’ name
There was also Jiangsu Xuebao, a chemistry company that bought the rights for the brand ‘Xuebao’ in China in 2000.
Xuebao? What’s the deal with Apple? Have you lost your mind?
Did you know that ‘Xuebao’ means ‘Snow Leopard’ in Chinese? You must have recognized the name of the OS (Mac OS X 10.6) of Apple. That’s why Xuebao decided to sue the Californian company. Still they sold their OS in China under the name ‘Snow Leopard’ even if in 2008, the China Patent & Trademark office rejected the request of Apple to buy the name ‘Xuebao’. That one got solved at the court of Shanghai Pudong last Tuesday : Since Apple never sold its product under its Chinese name, there was nothing to worry about.
Dispute about the Siri technology
And you can throw another one on the pile: Lately, another Chinese company named Zhi Zhen internet technology claimed that Siri, Apple’s digital voice assistant, infringes on their Xiao i Robot. Since the announcement of Apple adding Mandarin and Cantonese to Siri, Zhi Zhen seems afraid it might cause infringement to its software.
And this is only in China? O_o
Yes! There is also a bigger problem for the apple brand with an American company called Noise Free Wireless that accuses them (not us!) to have stolen its noise cancelation technology.
Anyway those cases might be a danger for Apple as others Chinese brands might follow the trend and sue them for any kind of infringement … as long as it works!
So far, the firm settles its disputes with money. China is a very important market for Apple and they don’t want to lose its precious time with long trials. It’s time to settle down there and for good!
However, the ‘fat’ years are probably not over!
Opening of a new Apple Store in China?
Have you heard of a rumor about the opening of the biggest Apple Store in the world? Well, according to a few sources (not especially good ones, but still), it might takes place in Dalian, China.
You must know that there are only 6 Apple stores in China even though it’s the biggest market in the world. Those stores have some of the best results in the world but it feels like China misses Apple in so many places.
Opening of a new market for iPhones in China?
Then Apple and China Mobile (the world’s biggest mobile phone network that owns about 67% of the Chinese market shares) are apparently ‘in talks’ to offer China Mobile’s customers an iPhone. Its rivals, China Telecom and China Unicom, are already including this possibility in their currents offers.
Even though the iPhone is not an official product of China Mobile, it’s estimated that 15 million of the company’s customers are already iPhone users, according to BBC. If these ‘talks’ went to a good end, Apple might infiltrate a huuuuuuuge market.
However, it seems that it’s more a problem of technology and compatibility. China Mobile’s network does not support the iPhone yet, for technical reasons everyone might not understand...
Who said me?
Anyway the iPhone operated by China Mobile will be released soon but it’s more likely, we’ll have to wait until the 4G network is really working in China. Question is: how long?
Google won’t be the default search-engine in Safari anymore… At least in China!
Last (but definitely not least) is that iOS6 will be released in China with a couple unexpected things. The first one, I told you about it earlier : Siri will speak Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese so far)! The second one (and the most important one as I work for a SEO company) is that Baidu will now be the default search-engine in Safari! Ouch for Google…
The internet market is still growing at a very fast pace in China and it’s already the time for mergers and acquisitions here! We have learnt, few days ago, that the leading Chinese search engine Baidu was planning to acquire the second search engine Sogou earlier this year but failed to finalize the deal.
Sogou, a Not So Small Competitor
Sogou, the search engine owned by the web portal Sohu, is still a small player in the search engine field in China compare to the giant Baidu but it has been reported by Infodesk that Sogou would be considered the second player just in front of Google. In a very fragmented search engine market, where more than eight local and international platforms are competing, it comes with no surprise that some players want to gain time by choosing to grow externally and remove potential threats by acquiring some competitors.
Internet in China: A Now Mature Market
Earlier in March this year, the two video sharing platforms Youku and Toudu had announced their merge into one bigger company called Youku Toudu Inc. Currently Youku’s market share is about 25% while Toudu is about 14%, the deal is about US$ 1 Billion and will create the first video sharing platform in China with around 40% of the market share.
With all the acquisitions going on during the past months, it is very likely that the internet market in China is going to concentrate within the next months.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology recently published a statement saying that the number of mobile subscribers within Mainland China has reached over one billion. During the past three months, the Chinese mobile market has gained more than 43 million new customers; the total number of subscribers is now over 1,030,052,000.
More Subscribers, More Connections
The three major state-owned players, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom, are competing in a tough but huge market which has seen a year on year increase, from the first quarter of 2011 to the first of 2012, of 14.8% putting the total business value at more than 419 billion RMB (65.7 US$ Billion) this quarter.
They are now heading their way to upgrade their networks to allow customers to enjoy the benefit of 3G speed, unlike China Unicom which, few weeks ago, has recently announced the deployment of their HSPA+ 3G network to its customers. The HSPA+ technology will allow users to enjoy a 21 Mbps speed link directly to their smartphone, it means that they will get an even higher speed compare to the average DSL speed of 1.8 Mbps at home.
China mobile has 673 million users whom 62 million are 3G subscribers, China Unicom has 213 million users whom 52 million are 3G subscribers and China Telecom has 139 million subscribers whom 46 million are 3G subscribers. The total of 3G subscribers is now up to 160 million which is more than half the size of the USA population.
Smartphones Versus Old Phones
As the sales of smartphones are increasing each month and with the emergence of cheap android based smartphones released by Netease, Samsung and Baidu (read our news about Baidu's new phones), we can expect that the number of 3G subscribers will keep growing strongly in the upcoming months. Moreover, we wouldn’t be surprised if the number of visitors for a given website, especially for the social media ones, coming from smartphones exceed the number of computer based ones.
This will reinforce the problem of accessibility for mobile users visiting non-adapted website and stress the importance of new web-technology like responsive design and adapted languages such as HTML5.