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MediaTek’s Narrow-Band IoT effort

The MT2625 platform – the world’s smallest NB IoT module – is spearheading the deployment of IoT tech, with first product launches in association with China Mobile’s eSIM and supporting OneNET, China Mobile’s IoT open platform. (Note, however, that MediaTek’s major competitor, the Huawei Group already delivered such a solution with China Mobile, the M5310 module of only 19 × 18.4 × 2.7mm size using the HiSilicon Hi2110 chip. The already announced MediaTek based module would be only 16mm × 18mm in size)

eSIM – What’s it all about? (eSIM YouTube channel, Nov 27, 2015)

This makes it easy for device makers to quickly develop and bring innovative NB-IoT devices to market. For an understanding of a current view on eSIM potential see a recent 3d party (in the sense of no direct interest in any chip, device or operator companies) video:

It is all about connectivity! eSIM (Giesecke & Devrient* YouTube channel, Feb 23, 2017)

Giesecke+Devrient is a global company that offers security technologies, both in the physical and digital spheres.

MediaTek Announces Interoperability Tests with SoftBank to Drive NB-IoT Development in Japan (company press release, TOKYO and HSINCHU, Taiwan – Oct. 3, 2017)

MediaTek furthers its commitment in NB-IoT technology to meet market demand

MediaTek Inc. today announced it will conduct a series of interoperability tests of NarrowBand IoT connectivity (NB-IoT) with SoftBank Corp. (“SoftBank”), a subsidiary of SoftBank Group Corp., in the first quarter of 2018 to pave the way for development of NB-IoT commercial applications in Japan. This interoperability test will further efforts to advance MediaTek’s NB-IoT technology and ready the connectivity standard for global deployment. “MediaTek is proud to be at the forefront of NB-IoT technology innovation, which has the potential to deliver new ways to connect that are both cost effective and power efficient” said Yoshitaka Sakurai, General Manager of MediaTek Japan. “This initiative with SoftBank, along with the unveiling of our MT2625 NB-IoT SoC solution and our collaboration with leading telecommunications companies around the world, demonstrates MediaTek’s commitment to an exciting new era that’s set to fuel the massive growth of the Internet of Things.”

MediaTek has played a pivotal role in the formulation and implementation of the 3GPP LPWA specification for NB-IoT. The company recently unveiled its highly integrated and ultra-low-power MT2625 NB-IoT System-on-Chip (SoC) and announced its collaboration with China Mobile to build the world’s smallest NB-IoT module (16mm X 18mm) around the chipset.

The company’s MT2625 NB-IoT chipset is built to meet the requirements of cost-sensitive and small IoT devices and leverages MediaTek’s advanced power consumption technology to enable IoT devices to work with batteries for years. The highly integrated SoC combines an Arm® Cortex®-M microcontroller (MCU), pseudo-static RAM (PSRAM), flash memory and power management unit (PMU) into a small package to lower the cost of production while also speeding up time-to-market. The MT2625 supports a full frequency band(from 450MHz to 2.1GHz) of 3GPP R13 (NB1) and R14 (NB2) standards for a wide range of IoT applications including smart home control, logistics tracking and smart meters.

For more information about the MediaTek MT2625, please visit: http://www.mediatek.com/products/nbIot/mt2625

MediaTek’s latest technologies will be showcased at CEATEC JAPAN 2017, being held Oct. 3 – 6, 2017 at Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan. To see demonstrations and learn more, please visit MediaTek’s booth # D081.

How SoftBank head honcho Masayoshi Son thinks:
The crazy world of Masayoshi Son (Tech in Asia YouTube channel, Aug 25, 2017)

China IoT market scale estimated to exceed CNY1.5 trillion by 2020 (DIGITIMES, Sept 22, 2017)

China’s IoT (Internet of Things) market scale has posted an annual expansion of over 20% over the past few years, and the market value is estimated to exceed CNY1.5 trillion (US$227.6 billion) by 2020 from CNY900 billion in 2016, according to the China Annual IoT Development Report (2016-2017) recently released by China Economic Information Service (CEIS).

The CEIS report showed that 36 major IoT enterprises listed on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchange markets, as well as key listed enterprises in three segments, such as smart medicine, smart home and smart transportation, registered aggregate revenues of CNY277.54 billion and combined net profits of CNY16.79 billion in 2016, surging 22.3% and 15.1%, respectively, on year.

The report pointed out that the global IoT development has witnessed some new features and trends. First, the global development of IoT technologies and applications has been in high gear, and is quickly moving into the era of Internet of Everything (IoE). Advanced countries have kept strengthening their strategic IoT deployments, while application scenarios for IoT technologies have been constantly enriched. In addition, the accelerated construction of open source IoT ecosystems has fueled continued expansion of the IoT industrial scale.

Some 400,000 NB-IoT base stations to be operational by year-end

Second, China’s “13th Five-Year” IoT roadmap has been unveiled, with the NB-IoT construction upgraded to a national strategy; and the Information Communication Industry Development Plan-IoT (2016-2020), released early this year, has become a guiding document for the development of China’s IoT industry in the next five years. It’s estimated that NB-IoT networks will cover municipalities, provincial capitals and other key cities in China by the end of 2017, when a total of 400,000 base stations will be operational around the country.

Third, the accelerated integration of IoT and new technologies such as cloud computing, big data, AI (artificial intelligence), 5G and LPWAN (low power wide area network) has significantly driven industrial innovations and upgrades. China’s IoT industry ecology has been optimized comprehensively, and the platform-based development and application of IoT in diverse fields has also been enhanced greatly, while the application value of IoT has been widely recognized to facilitate extensive IoT applications.

Fourth, the open source innovation ecosystems of IoT is taking shape gradually, and business revenues and profits of leading listed enterprises have posted stable growth. With platforms, alliances and open source communities serving as carriers, China IoT enterprises are actively engaged in cross-field and transnational cooperation in IoT R&Ds, applications and promotions.

Fifth, the degree of IoT industry clustering in China cities has been further strengthened, which is conducive to building the cities to smart ones through IoT applications.

NB-IOT: NARROW-BAND IOT (MediaTek subsite, June 21, 2017)

(more…)

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Smartphone market outlook and the MediaTek Helio X10 based Xiaomi Redmi Note 2/Prime launched for $125, $140 and $156

Let’s start with an extremely good presentation video by Mrwhosetheboss:

And an actual experience video from Chinese sources (finished by comparing to iPhone 6):

Aug 16, 2015, Xiaomi Today: Xiaomi sold 800,000 Redmi Note 2 phones in 12 hours

Note that Xiaomi has already been the top Chinese company tracked here:
Dec 12, 2012UPDATE Aug’13: Xiaomi $130 Hongmi superphone END MediaTek MT6589 quad-core Cortex-A7 SoC with HSPA+ and TD-SCDMA is available for Android smartphones and tablets of Q1 delivery
Aug 1, 2013Xiaomi, OPPO and Meizu–top Chinese brands of smartphone innovation
Aug 30, 2013Assesment of the Xiaomi phenomenon before the global storm is starting on Sept 5
Sept 5, 2013Xiaomi announcements: from Mi3 to Xiaomi TV
June 12, 2014Xiaomi’s global offensive with Hugo Barra in charge is threatening Apple—with 10.4 million smartphones sold in China it had already outsold Apple in Q1’14, having “just” 9 million iPhones sold there from which we must at least understand the market situation in China upto  Q1 2014 as the reference for the Xiaomi’s progress presented here:

With the Q3 2015 Redmi Note 2/Prime advancement Xiaomi will kill the much hoped (by some stock market analysts) incremental opportunities for the $199 Apple iPhone 6 and $299 iPhone 6 Plus in China and throughout the world. And recall that those were announced 11 months ago as “The Biggest Advancements in iPhone History

China smartphone market Q2 2015 by IHS Technology -- 23-July-2015

This report is similar to later Canalys findings: Xiaomi 15.9%, Huawei 15.7%, and Apple #3. But for the rest: #4 Samsung, #5 vivo. Globally Xiaomi became the #2 Chinese smartphone brand in Q2 2015 according to TrendForce with 5.9% market share, the #1 Huawei having 7.6%, but first time surpassing Lenovo, as well as continuing to distance itself from TCL (Alcatel) and OPPO. Similar to data from Counterpoint Research. See Chinese OEMs Rule. Considering Huawei’s aggressive push since 2011, when Xiaomi devices started in China, Xiaomi’s global achievement is a very remarkable feat.  

Why? Because being in the smartphone device business for just 4 years Xiaomi has already been on or around the top in China for the last 12 months, as well as has launched an impressive global march.

That global sales campaign has been going on in Asia, Russia and Turkey so far, but it is now expanding to Latin America with new model launching in Brazil [CCTV America YouTube channel, July 14, 2015]: “The world’s third largest smartphone maker is taking a different approach in its plans for global domination. Instead of looking to expand in the obvious markets like the U.S. and Europe, Xiaomi is looking to South America. CCTV’s Paulo Cabral filed this report from Sao Paulo.”

And it is not difficult to foresee a huge global success for the company as in India Xiaomi became “the 5th biggest seller of phones in the country, a feat accomplished in only 8 months“: Smartphone company Xiaomi expanding to India and beyond [CCTV America YouTube channel, March 20, 2015]
And now 
China’s Xiaomi Begins Making Smartphones in India [Voice of America, Aug 14, 2015]: “Xiaomi’s Redmi2 Prime smartphone [NOT the Note 2 one], priced at about $110, began rolling out from a factory in Sri City in southern Andhra Pradesh state this week. … entered the Indian market just a year ago, but since then price conscious consumers have snapped up 3 million phones.

Also this all happened after “The Chinese smartphone maker, Xiaomi, held a second flash sale of its new 4.7″ Redmi 1S [at $110/699 RMB almost of the same price level as this year’s $125/799 RMB Redmi Note 2on Tuesday [Sept 9, 2014], after selling out in just four seconds a week ago.“: Chinese smartphone Xiaomi competes with Apple [CCTV America YouTube channel, Sept 9, 2014]

from which I will include the following Q2 CY2014 market share slide for China here:
Xiaomi - Q2 CY2014 smartphone market share for China by Canalys -- 9-Sept-2014
as this position of being “on the top or around it” has been kept by Xiaomi ever since. 

Then we should not forget what only 8 months ago was introduced as Xiaomi launches MiNote, a new iPhone competitor [CCTV America YouTube channel, Jan 15, 2015]: “The tech world is abuzz about Chinese tech company Xiaomi’s bid to compete with Apple and Samsung. Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun unveiled the MiNote and MiNote Pro [at $313/1999 RMB and $391/2499 RMB a kind of twice as expensive predecessors to the new Redmi Note 2/Prime] on Thursday, both are cheaper than similar iPhone models. CCTV’s Xia Cheng reported this story from Beijing.

Finally we should look at the new specification comparisons by GSMinsider: Xiaomi - Redmi Note 2 vs iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus – Specs Comparison -- 14-Aug-2015

With that Xiaomi will kill Samsung high-end opportunities as well.

Let’s look first at the quite drastic decline of the Samsung smartphone business for the last year and a half (data from Strategy Analytics as it’s been represented in the Apple and Huawei move on Samsung article of July 30, 2015 from Telecom.com, with the vendor rankings in the table according to the latest quarter, i.e. Q2 2015): Strategy Analytics - Global Smartphone Share -- Q1 2014 - Q2 2015
Note that Coolpad (Yulong) and ZTE are also globally represented Chinese brands, not mentioned so far in this article.

Which unit-wise looks like as follows (in millions):Strategy Analytics - Global Smartphone Shipments -- Q1 2014 - Q2 2015

Then I can again refer to Samsung-related high-end specification comparisons produced by GSMinsider: Xiaomi - Redmi Note 2 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S5 – Specs Comparison -- 14-Aug-2015
And don’t be fooled with the Qualcomm Snadragon 805 and 801 SoCs used by Samsung in these 2014 vintage devices as Samsung itself abandoned Qualcomm as an SoC supplier for its 2015 devices:Xiaomi - Redmi Note 2 vs Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge – Specs Comparison -- 14-Aug-2015

CINNO Research - Q1 2015 China Smartphone Rear Camera Pixel Share -- 12-April-2015Note: Such Samsung move of abandoning the Qualcomm Snadragon 805 and 801 SoCs in its latest high-end products is not an accident but a hard-pressed necessity. The octa-core Qualcomm Snadragon 810 replacing the 805/801 had serious thermal throttling problems, and the Chinese brands were starting to use other octa-cores, among them the quite competitive MediaTek Helio X10. See the following Q1 2015 technology landscape presentation composed of the graphical views from the April 12 and April 24 reports by CINNO Research (in addition to the camera related view on the right):CINNO Research - Q1 2015 China Smartphone Display and CPU Technologies -- 12-24-April-2015

And software-wise Xaomi is already 5 years in the smartphone business with a lot of quite enthusiastic supporters for its Android based Mi User Interface throughout the world. The MIUI 5th Anniversary: Greetings From MIUI Fans From All Over The World testimonial video from the MIUI ROM YouTube channel dated August 12, 2015 is stating that: “MIUI is one of the most popular Android ROMs in the world. It is based on Android, featuring a rich user experience and user customizable themes. MIUI is updated every Friday based on feedback from its users. Now with over 100 million users and 34 MIUI fan sites worldwide, MIUI is the choice of many Android users globally.

What kind of “much hoped incremental opportunities (by some stock market analysts) for Apple” I was talking about?

From India Will Overtake US to Become World’s Second Largest Smartphone Market by 2017 [July 1, 2015] by Strategy Analytics the following chart has been produced for Dazeinfo’s Global Smartphone Sales 2015 – 2017: India Will Surpass The US [July 1, 2015] report: Strategy Analytics - Dazinfo - Global Smartphone Sales Forecast 2015 - 2017 -- 1-July-2015That chart has been used by  in his Why Apple’s Growth-Related Fears Are Overblown [Aug 12, 2015] article on Seeking Alpha for its final argument that:

the market sees China as imperative to Apple’s future growth outlook and while true at the moment, there’s a catalyst forming that should lessen the company’s reliance on China and lead to many millions of new iPhone sales.

China is not that “forming catalyst” that I mentioned earlier. Instead, Apple has a prime opportunity to grow in India over the next year or two, a market that’s growing rapidly with middle class consumers and is the world’s second largest economy by population behind only China.


… with India’s help, which includes the growth in middle class consumers through 2020, India might very well one day become just as important as China to Apple.

Before coming to such final argument Nichols is talking about the current market situation in China via a chart from Above Avalon’s China Mobile Is a Game Changer for Apple [April 29, 2015] research note and with the following comments around that:

Above Avalon - Total Customers for Largest Chinese and U.S. Mobile Carriers -- 28-April-2015

I expect Apple to find additional growth in China next year, regardless of what has transpired from a macro perspective over the last few months. The reason is simple: Improved network coverage. Fact of the matter is that most Chinese consumers are still using 2G or 3G networks, which are hardly compatible with the iPhone 6. At the end of the first quarter, China Mobile (NYSE:CHL) had 153 million 4G customers, up from 90 million in December of 2014 and just 1.3 million in February of 2014. However, China Mobile had 815 million total customers. So that means the majority of its subscribers are still on 2G or 3G networks. Given the rate at which China Mobile has added 4G customers during the last 16 months, investors can rest assured that its network and 4G customers will be far larger by this time next year. Notably, most of those 4G customers will need smartphones, and Apple has quickly become the most popular choice in China.

As for China’s second and third largest wireless carriers, China Unicom (NYSE:CHU) and China Telecom (NYSE:CHA), they have nearly 500 million customers collectively. And believe it or not, China Unicom and China Telecom’s 4G network is even more underdeveloped than China Mobile’s network. However, both China Unicom and China Telecom are working just as fast to build their respective 4G networks. Once more, this increases Apple’s market opportunity in China, and is the key reason why I think Apple’s growth in China will continue through next year, probably at a very high double-digit rate.

So these are the speculations which IMHO do not take into account the new product waves from major Apple and Samsung competitors, especially Xiaomi.

Xiaomi’s new 5.5″  Redmi Note 2 launched in China just this week for $125/799 RMB (16GB version supporting TDD-LTE for a China specific 4G version of LTE as well as TD-SCDMA, the China specific 3.5G — targeted at China Mobile subscribers) and $140/899 RMB (16GB version supporting both TDD-LTE and FDD-LTE, i.e. both 4G versions — for the subscribers of any mobile operators, and especially of China Unicom and China Telecom) is the actual case in this regard. Watch the Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 Prime first look miui 7 pre-order video direct from the launch (the QR code at the start and the end has been positioned out of my embedded view): 

Announced: August 13 2015
Network Technology:
GSM / HSPA / LTE
Expected release:
August 16, 2015
Body Dimensions:
152 x 76 x 8.3 mm
Weight: 160 g
SIM: Dual SIM
Display
Type: IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size: 5.5 inches (~72.2% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels (~401 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch: Yes
MIUI 7.0
Platform OS: Android OS, v5.0 (Lollipop)
Chipset: Mediatek MT6795
CPU:
– Octa-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A53
– Octa-core 2.2 GHz Cortex-A53
GPU: PowerVR G6200
Memory Card slot: No
Internal Memory:
– 16 GB, 2 GB RAM – 2 GHz model
– 32 GB, 2 GB RAM – 2.2 GHz model
Camera:
Primary: 13 MP, 4128 x 3096 pixels, phase detection autofocus, LED flash
Features: Geo-tagging, touch focus, face/smile detection, HDR, panorama
Video: 1080p@30fps
Secondary: 5 MP, 720p
Sound Alert Types:
Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
Loudspeaker: Yes
3.5mm jack: Yes
Comms:
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot
Bluetooth: v4.0, A2DP, LE
GPS: Yes,
with A-GPS, GLONASS, Beidou
Infrared port: Yes
Radio: FM radio
USB: microUSB v2.0
Features Sensors:
Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
Messaging:
SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Mail, IM
Browser: HTML5
Java: No
– Fast battery charging: 60% in 30 min (Quick Charge 2.0)
– Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
– MP4/H.264 player
– MP3/WAV/eAAC+ player
– Photo/video editor
– Document viewer
Battery: Li-Po 3060 mAh battery
Stand-by: Up to 144 h (3G)
Talk time: Up to 11 h 30 min (3G)
Music play: Up to 46 h
Misc Colors:
White, blue, yellow, pink, mint green

The 2.2 GHz Redmi Note 2 Prime version with 32GB storage and support of  TDD-LTE + FDD-LTE will sell at $156 (999 RMB).

More information:
Aug 13, 2015All About Redmi Note 2/Prime: Specifications, Price, Hands-on Pictures! review by Xiaomi MIUI Official Forum
– Aug 13, 2015Xiaomi New Product Launch: MIUI 7(China), Redmi Note 2(Prime), Mi Wi-Fi nano full launch information (not only the Redmi Note 2/Prime)  by Xiaomi MIUI Official Forum, from which the major Redmi Note 2 and 2 Pro Android competition (Huawei P8 and P8max with Hisilicon Kirin 930 and 935 SoCs, and Meizu MX5 (with the same MediaTek Helio X10 @2.2 GHz) on the Chinese market is described as:
Redmi Note 2 and 2 Pro Android competition on the Chinese market -- 13-Aug-2015
Note: regarding the benchmarked performance of each SoC I will recommend the results made available in the Exynos 7420 vs Snapdragon 810 vs MediaTek Helio X10 Turbo MT6795T vs Hisilicon Kirin 935: Benchmark Scores [July 3, 2015] GSMinsider article
For a much broader competitive comparison I will recommend the Redmi Note 2’s comparisons by GSMinsider  which currently contains comparisons (spec-wise):

vs Asus Zenfone 2 vs Asus Zenfone Zoom
vs HTC One M9 vs HTC One M9+
vs Huawei Honor 7 vs Huawei Honor 6 Plus
vs Huawei Ascend Mate 7 vs Huawei Honor 6 Plus
vs Huawei P8 vs Huawei P8 Max
vs iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus
vs Lenovo Vibe Shot vs Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
vs Lenovo ZUK Z1
vs LG G Flex 2
vs LG G4 vs LG G3
vs Meizu M2 Note vs Meizu M1 Note
vs Meizu MX5 vs Meizu MX4 Pro
vs Motorola Moto X Style vs Moto X Play
vs Nexus 6 vs Motorola Moto Maxx
vs OnePlus 2 vs OnePlus One
vs Oppo Find 7 vs Oppo Find 7A
vs Oppo N3
vs Redmi Note
vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
vs Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
vs Vivo X5 Pro vs Vivo X5 Max
vs Xiaomi Mi Note vs Xiaomi Mi Note Pro
vs Xiaomi Mi4
vs ZTE Axon Pro vs ZTE Axon Lux
vs ZTE Nubia Z9 Max vs Nubia Z9 Mini
vs ZTE Nubia Z9

Aug 13, 2015Additional videos from XiaomiHK YouTube channel:

Xiaomi – MIUI Introduction (with English subtitles)

Xiaomi – MIUI V7 Endurance

i.e. MIU 7 on [Xiaomi’s] Mi 4, Huawei Honor 6, Meizu MX4 and Samsung Galaxy S5

Xiaomi – MIUI V7 Performance

Xiaomi – RedmiNote2″>Xiaomi – RedmiNote2

Xiaomi – RedmiNote2 Camera

Important videos available on the Bloomberg Business website only, with 3 most important videos added to them from the CCTV America YouTube channel:

June 5, 2014: Here’s Why Hugo Barra Left Google to Be Xiaomi VP: Xiaomi Early Investor Robin Chan discusses Xiaomi’s hiring of Google’s Hugo Barra on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg West.” Former Xiaomi Board Member Hans Tung also speaks.

July 17, 2015Xiaomi’s Hugo Barra: Studio 1.0 (Full Show 7/16): This week on Studio 1.0: Emily Chang sits down with Hugo Barra, vice president of global operations at Xiaomi. (Source: Bloomberg) 21 minutes from which I will include here the only slide displayed Xiaomi - Global ambition -- 17-July-2015

Plus a lot of other unique information is available in that interview: like the 2015 vintage business model of Xiaomi (investments into non-platform startups to build business partnerships, a whole ecosystem around Xiaomi etc.).

I will add to that the product shown in the Bloomberg interview as an example of such ecosystem generation. This has been documented in Xiaomi launches $13 fitness band [CCTV America YouTube channel, Aug 18, 2014] as: “Chinese Smartphone maker Xiao-mi has started selling an interactive wristband called the Mi Band. The device can measure one’s heart rate and monitor sleep patterns. It’s not the first such device to hit the market, but so far, it’s the cheapest.

I will also add the Xiaomi Buying Spree Gives Apple, Samsung Reason to Worry [Bloomberg Business YouTube channel, Jan 8, 2015] video stating that: “Xiaomi zoomed past Apple Inc. and Samsung in China smartphone sales just three years after releasing its first model. Founder Lei Jun is now on a buying spree to take that momentum beyond handsets. Bloomberg’s Edmond Lococo has more on “On The Move Asia.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Then remember the already known facts mentioned in the second video on the Bloomberg website like: “Xiaomi is not Apple“, “Xiami is an Internet company” (“an Internet platform and services brand” heard in another interview), “services are inherent part of Xiaomi“, “Xiaomi is one of the biggest e-commerce sites in China“, “the Xiaomi platform products are enhanced in functionality on requests from its users by around 50%” etc.

As the latest proof-point of such an Internet platform and service strategy of the company watch the Chinese mobile co. Xiaomi launches wallet app [CCTV America YouTube channel, March 26, 2015] video:

Other videos from Bloomberg Business YouTube channel:

Jan 15, 2015Xiaomi’s Rapid Rise to $45B Valuation Topping Uber: Xiaomi is Apple and Samsung’s rapidly growing threat. Now the world’s third-largest smartphone maker, Xiaomi is releasing its next phone on Thursday at an event in Beijing. Bloomberg’s Cory Johnson looks at how just fast this company is growing. (Source: Bloomberg)

June 5, 2014Meet the Billionaire ‘Steve Jobs of China’ Lei Jun:  Xiaomi co-founder and chief executive officer Lei Jun is known as the Steve Jobs of China, complete with a wardrobe of black shirts and a cult following. But what did he do before starting Xiaomi, and how has his personality helped drive Xiaomi’s success? Bloomberg West’s Emily Chang gives us an overview of this rock star CEO.

Jan 5, 2015Xiaomi Doubles Revenue to $12B as Phone Sales TripleXiaomi, whose investors include billionaire Yuri Milner, more than doubled its revenue in 2014, according to a blog posting by CEO Lei Jun.

Feb 13, 2015Xiaomi’s Barra: U.S. Market Is Important in Many Ways:  Xiaomi’s Hugo Barra discusses the company’s global expansion plans with Bloomberg’s Brad Stone on “Bloomberg West.”

June 4, 2015Xiaomi Grows Wearable Device Market ShareXiaomi is looking to elbow its way into the wearable device market. New figures suggest it took a quarter slice of global sales the first three months of the year. Bloomberg Intelligence’s Jitendra Waral discusses the sales figures on “Trending Business.”

Other videos from the CCTV America YouTube channel:

July 22, 2014Hugo Barra on latest Xiaomi products: Chinese tech firm Xiaomi showed off some of its latest products on Tuesday. The Beijing-based company unveiled its new Mi smartphone and billed it as a challenger to Apple’s iPhone. Analysts say the Mi 4 will be a make or break product for Xiaomi after sales of the older model proved disappointing.The company is also aggressively expanding overseas. Hugo Barra, Xiaomi’s Vice President for overseas business spoke with CCTV’s Xia Cheng.

July 14, 2015Eric Schiffer on Xiaomi’s global strategy: For more on Xiaomi’s global strategy, CCTV’s Michelle Makori spoke to Eric Schiffer, CEO of Patriarch Equity.

Dec 22, 2014
Tech company Xiaomi flourishes in China, India despite patent disputes: China’s Xiaomi tech company is often compared to Apple. Founded in 2010, Xiaomi has quickly surpassed Samsung to become the top smartphone in China and third in the world. Xiaomi phones are currently only sold online and in China and India.

Dec 22, 2014
Ari Zoldan of Quantum Networks discusses Chinese companies, patent troubles: CCTV America’s Sean Callebs interviewed tech industry expert and CEO of Quantum Networks Ari Zoldan about the rise of Xiaomi and it’s legal battles.

 



Precedence for TD-LTE by Chinese government to benefit China Mobile to launch its China-originated 4G service as early as Dec 18, 2013

… it looks like the government was waiting till China Mobile was ready to launch, meanwhile delaying FDD-LTE by declaring a necessity to “test a converged TD-LTE/LTE FDD network at a later date”.

4G TD-LTE Licenses Officially Issued by MIIT [Global TD-LTE Initiative Updates, Dec 4, 2013]

After months of waiting and dithering, China is moving into the 4G era.

Today Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has finally issued the first batch of 4G licenses to China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom. China Mobile gets access to 130MHz of spectrum (1880-1900 MHz, 2320-2370 MHz, 2575-2635 MHz), China Unicom gets 40MHz (2300-2320 MHz, 2555-2575 MHz) and China Telecom has 40MHz (2370-2390 MHz, 2635-2655 MHz) for TD-LTE operation. The commercialization of TD-LTE in China by these three operators will certainly promote the TD-LTE scale deployment globally.

China issues 4G licenses [Xinhua, Dec 4, 2013]

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) on Wednesday issued 4G licenses to three Chinese telecom operators, marking the beginning of a new era in China’s high-speed mobile network.

China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom received permits to offer fourth-generation (4G) mobile network services employing homegrown TD-LTE technology.

The ministry said the three companies have conducted large-scale tests of TD-LTE, or Time-Division Long-Term Evolution, one of two international standards, and their technology is ready for commercial service.

Zhang Feng, the MIIT’s spokesman, said 4G technology will lower bandwidth costs and promise faster mobile broadband.

The ministry’s figures showed that the Internet speed of 4G networks is 10 times that of 3G services, and allows mobile users to download a 7-megabyte music file in less than one second.

China Mobile said the rates for 4G services will be cheaper than those for 3G. In some cities where the company has launched the 4G network for trial commercial use, the tariff is 20 percent less than similar 3G network plans.

Li Yue, president of China Mobile, said the price of 4G smartphones will go down quickly following the approval of the 4G network for commercial use.

Now only a number of smartphone models in China are equipped with modules that support home-grown 4G TD-LTE technology, with their prices ranging from 350 U.S. dollars to 800 U.S. dollars.

Li said 4G terminals for as little as 150 U.S. dollars will be available on the market by the end of this year.

The MIIT also said Wednesday it will test a converged TD-LTE/LTE FDD network at a later date.

China is the major promoter of the TD-LTE standard and is also a major owner of the standard’s core patents. LTE FDD is the other international 4G standard and is popular in Europe.

The MIIT said the convergence of the two standards is gaining momentum in the global telecom industry. A total of 10 converged TD-LTE/LTE FDD commercial networks have been established so far worldwide.

China will issue licenses for LTE FDD when the condition is ripe,” said the ministry.

Experts believe the commercialization of TD-LTE will create a new impetus for China’s economic growth, as the country is home to the largest number of mobile phone users in the world.

The ministry’s statistics showed that the 3G network contributed 211 billion yuan (34 billion U.S. dollars) to China’s GDP in its first three years of commercial use.

“The 4G industry chain, which involves terminal manufacturing and the software sector, will further improve the services of China’s telecom sector,” said spokesman Zhang Feng.

60% of phone users in China have no plans to upgrade to 4G: report [Want China Times, Dec 6, 2013, 14:46 (GMT+8)]

More than 60% of China’s cell phone users have no plans to switch to the latest 4G technology, the Guangzhou-based Souther Daily reported on Dec. 5.

Though the paper did not give detailed information on how its poll was conducted, it said more than 60% of the people it surveyed said they are happy with their 3G smartphones and that they do not feel the need to upgrade.

Those polled said they have a greater choice of 3G smartphones at more competitive prices than the 4G options currently available.

Southern Daily said 4G services, for which the government began to issue licenses this week, would be attractive for the younger generation in particular but telecom carriers may need to offer more promotions and incentives to persuade people to retire their current cell phones.

3G vs. LTE Network Architecture – SixtySec [ExploreGate YouTube channel, May 4, 2012]

Visit http://www.exploregate.com for more videos on this topic.

What are the differences between TDD LTE (TD-LTE) and FDD LTE (FD-LTE)? [Global TD-LTE Initiative, Nov 4, 2013]

FDD LTE and TDD LTE are two different standards of LTE 4G technology. LTE is a high-speed wireless technology from the 3GPP standard. 3G growth reached its end at HSPA+, and mobile operators have already started deploying 4G networks to provide much more bandwidth for mobile users. 4G speed will provide a virtual LAN reality to mobile handsets by offering very high speed access to the Internet to experience real triple play services such as data, voice and video from a mobile network.

LTE is defined to support both the paired spectrum for Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) and unpaired spectrum for Time Division Duplex (TDD). LTE FDD uses a paired spectrum that comes from a migration path of the 3G network, whereas TDD LTE uses an unpaired spectrum that evolved from TD-SCDMA.

TD-LTE does not require a paired spectrum since transmission and reception occurs in the same channel. In FD-LTE, it requires a paired spectrum with different frequencies with a guard band.

TD-LTE is cheaper than FD-LTE since in TD-LTE there is no need for a diplexer to isolate transmission and receptions.

In TD-LTE, it’s possible to change the uplink and downlink capacity ratio dynamically according to the needs. In FD-LTE, capacity is determined by frequency allocation by regulatory authorities, making it difficult to make a dynamic change.

In TD-LTE, a larger guard period is necessary to maintain the uplink and downlink separation that will affect the capacity. In FD-LTE, the same concept is referred to as a guard band for isolation of uplink and downlink, which will not affect capacity.

Cross slot interference exists in TD-LTE, which is not applicable to FD-LTE.

What are TD-LTE’s technical highlights? [Global TD-LTE Initiative, Nov 4, 2013]

TD-LTE transmissions travel in both directions on the same frequency band, a methodology formally known as “unpaired spectrum.” It is distinct from “paired spectrum,” where two frequencies are allocated, one for the transmit channel and the other for the receive channel (formally called “Frequency Division”). “Time Division” means the receive channel and the transmit channel take turns (i.e., divide the time between them) on the same frequency band. The time divisions are asymmetric, meaning that more time-slots are allocated to data going from the tower to the phone than from the phone to the tower. The usage patterns of the future (fewer phone calls, more Internet) are asymmetric in this manner.

The frequency bands used by TD-LTE are 3.4–3.6 GHz in Australia and the UK, 2.57−2.62 GHz in the US and China, 2.545-2.575 GHz in Japan, and 2.3–2.4 GHz in India and Australia. The technology supports scalable channel bandwidth, between 1.4 and 20 MHz. A typical range measures up to 200 meters indoors on a 2.57–2.62 GHz radio frequency link.

China Telecommunications: Who says TD-LTE doesn’t work? [Global TD-LTE Initiative Updates, Nov 25, 2013]

Our existing ‘counter consensus’ view on the outlook for Chinese Telecoms is based on the belief that LTE will cause a reversal of fortune among the key players. China Mobile will solve the biggest problem identified in our consumer research (slow data speeds) and will once again have the ‘best’ mobile network in China on all dimensions. China Unicom, having gained strong momentum on the basis of their superior 3G data speeds will face a slowing of momentum – at least among high value customers seeking the latest technology

Over the last few weeks we have heard many arguments from China Mobile Bears as to why our hypothesis will be wrong. The initial arguments are usually targeted at the technology itself – that TD-LTE is a Chinese standard and a poor cousin to the much better FD-LTE more popular in Europe (it isn’t), that it doesn’t handle voice calls well (irrelevant – no operator in the world has launched a new LTE network with voice over LTEin all cases they use existing 2G or 3G networks for voice), that handsets will not be available (ever heard of the iPhone? Not to mention Samsung, Sony, HTC, Huawei…)

China Mobile launched its TD-LTE network in Shenzhen for ‘test’ operations in early November. We thought the best way to address the Bear’s technology concerns was to go test the network for ourselves. Nearly 120 speed tests conducted from different indoor and outdoor locations supported our hypothesis that TD-LTE will be demonstratively better than Unicom’s existing 3G network in data speeds. On average we experienced download speeds 10 times faster, upload speeds 7 times faster and a dramatic improvement in latency. We concur that service coverage for LTE is currently weaker, but locations meaningful to high value customers are already largely covered. Coverage will continue to improve as China Mobile rolls out new sites.

Over the last few years, China Mobile has underperformed the market while Unicom has outperformed – we attribute most of the difference in fortune of these two companies to the relative data speed of their respective 3G networks. We believe the launch of TD-LTE services by China Mobile will start the process of reversing this. Speed test in Shenzhen affirm our belief that TD-LTE technology works and is demonstratively superior to W-CDMA in data speeds.

Click to download:
China Telecommunications: Who says TD-LTE doesn’t work?
We experienced lightning speeds in Shenzhen

[a 10 pages long whitepaper by Berstein Research, Nov 18, 2013]

Some important excerpts from that:

China Mobile has been selling TD-LTE devices and rate plans in Shenzhen since November 1st. As 4G licenses are not yet issued, these sales are described as “trials” and are limited to a small number of devices and are only available in a few cities. The LTE rate plans are provisional: service contracts are signed under a 3G rate plan which will transfer to a 4G plan in January. We believe that sales of 4G services in advance of an actual license is an aggressive move, and highlights how important 4G is for China Mobile’s management.

We conducted over 100 speed tests in Shenzhen to compare the new TD-LTE network versus Unicom’s existing 3G network. Unicom has benefited tremendously from China Mobile’s misfortune with TD-SCDMA and its own good fortune of being licensed with WCDMA. Unicom also stands to suffer the most if its leadership on speed is lost. Our proprietary customer research indicated this was a key buying factor for many of Unicom’s existing customers. We went to Shenzhen (one of the cities where China Mobile is already selling 4G services) to pit China Unicom and China Mobile’s networks head-to-head. We conducted ~120 tests across various locations (indoors, outdoors, in-transit, and under-ground) to reach robust conclusions on speed, latency and coverage. Our test approach and sampling criteria are shown on Exhibit 1; our 4G test equipments are shown in Exhibits 2 and 3.

As expected, our test highlighted that TD-SCDMA lags Unicom’s WCDMA in 3G data speeds. First we wanted to confirm Unicom’s data speed superiority over China Mobile on 3G network. As expected we found Unicom’s WCDMA to download and upload around 3 times faster than China Mobile’s TD-SCDMA. TD-SCDMA clocked an average of 1.1MB/s on download and 0.2MB/s on upload, compared to 2.7MB/s and 0.7MB/s for WCDMA. These results were broadly similar to field tests done by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) in 2010 (see Exhibits 4 and 5).

However, China Mobile’s TD-LTE is everything it is promised to be: the new leader in data speed. We then moved on to test TD-LTE… We found it had 3 times less latency (Exhibit 6) which improves the browsing experience making the phone feel more responsive. Download speeds clocked an average of 26.2MB/s, which was ~10 times faster than Unicom’s 3G network (Exhibit 7). Upload speeds averaged 5MB/s, which was 7 times faster than Unicom’s 3G (Exhibit 8). These performance levels were consistently observed across all locations where there was a signal. Part of TD-LTE’s outperformance is due to a lack of users on the network, however, given the large amount of spectrum expected to be allocated for LTE services we believe there will continue to be a material performance advantage over WCDMA even as the subscriber base expands.

The TD-LTE network had more coverage gaps but this will improve over time. China Mobile’s TD-LTE network did have some coverage issues, even within urban Shenzhen. However the problem was less significant than feared. All the outdoor sites tested received good signals, and high traffic indoor locations (e.g. shopping malls, cafes) are also covered. The only test site where we failed to receive a signal was the underground metro station (Refer back to Exhibit 1). We suspect there are many more ‘gaps’ around, but these will be progressively fixed over time.

Anecdotally there appears to be pent-up demand for TD-LTE services; improving availability of handsets will be key to unlocking this. Currently there are only two LTE handsets available from China Mobile: a Samsung Galaxy Note II at 5299RMB [$871] and a cheaper Huawei model at 2888RMB [$475]. One clerk told us that since launching 4G “trials” 2 weeks ago, her store had only sold one TD-LTE phone. However many customers with TD-LTE compatible iPhones (5S/5C models bought in Hong Kong) are signing up to 4G plans. We are wary of making too much from this, but agree that improving handset availability will be key to a broader uptake of the service. With integrated 2G/3G/4G chipsets available and China now being the largest smartphone market, we believe it will not be long before a large number of mid to low end devices start to appear on the market.

More than Half of Asian Population Will Be Covered by LTE-TDD by 2018 [ABI Research News, Nov 4, 2013]

LTE network deployments will continue to grow rapidly globally. Time-division duplex (TDD) network is picking up the pace and gaining more market traction. In Asia-Pacific, LTE-TDD networks will cover more than 53% of the population by 2018 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 41.1% between 2012 and 2018, while frequency-division duplex (FDD) networks will reach 49% population coverage by the end of 2018.

“The increase of LTE-TDD population coverage is mainly driven by wide deployment in some Asian countries with large populations, such as China, India, and Japan,” comments Marina Lu, research associate at ABI Research. “Due to its complementarity of using unpaired spectrum, a number of LTE-FDD operators will expand their networks with LTE-TDD in additional spectrum to improve network capacity.”

Among Asia-Pacific’s recently completed, on-going, and upcoming 4G spectrum auctions, 25% concern 2,600 MHz, 25% 1,800 MHz, and 20% 800 MHz, which is consistent with the popularity of the 2,600 MHz band for LTE-TDD networks. “Asia-Pacific will be the region with the most LTE-TDD networks,” adds Jake Saunders, VP and practice director. “Of global LTE-TDD concluded contracts awarded to vendors so far, 47% come from Asia-Pacific and the second largest portion of 18% is contributed by the Middle East.”

Considering spectrum efficiency, spectrum bandwidth, network capacity, etc., a number of operators are preparing to upgrade LTE networks to LTE-Advanced networks. In ABI Research’s latest survey, there have been 29 LTE Advanced network commitments worldwide by Q3 2013, of which 10 commitments come from Western Europe, 9 from Asia-Pacific, and 5 from North America.

TD-LTE global market overview [Global TD-LTE Initiative Updates, Sept 13, 2013]

With the Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard continuing to develop, international differences in plannings and frequency allocation timetables have resulted in different frequency bands being used in different countries. TD-LTE standard’s greater efficiency in terms of frequency spectrum usage has attracted the attention of carriers in a number of other countries.

21 TD-LTE commercial networks have been launched as of August, 2013, and 39 LTE TDD commercial networks are in progress or planned. (Source: GSA)

image

TD-LTE’s unique features have also played an important part in the technology’s growing stature in the market. Because TD-LTE makes asymmetrical use of unpaired spectrum, for both uplink and downlink, it is a spectral efficient technology. Spectrum is a valuable commodity for mobile operators, especially those who operate in countries where there is a limited amount of available FDD spectrum; or where only single unpaired frequency is available. Driven by its spectral efficiency, TD-LTE is now increasingly being viewed as an attractive proposition in markets.

GSA confirms 244 LTE networks are commercially launched, LTE1800 now mainstream [news article by GSA, Dec 5, 2013]

The latest update of the Evolution to LTE report from GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) confirms that 244 operators have commercially launched LTE services in 92 countries.

98 LTE networks have been commercially launched so far in 2013.

The report confirms that 499 operators are investing in LTE in 143 countries. This is made up of 448 firm operator commitments to build LTE networks in 134 countries, plus 51 additional operators engaged in various trials, studies, etc. in a further 9 countries.

From amongst the committed operators, 244 have commercially launched services, which is 78% more than a year ago.

GSA forecasts there will be 260 LTE networks in commercial service by the end of this year.

The majority of LTE operators have deployed the FDD mode of the standard. The most widely used band in network deployments continues to be 1800 MHz which is used in over 44% of commercially launched LTE networks. 108 operators worldwide have launched LTE1800 (band 3) systems, 157% more than a year ago, in 58 countries, either as a single band system, or as part of a multi-band deployment.
1800 MHz spectrum is typically refarmed from its original use for 2G/GSM, facilitated by technology-neutral licensing policies.
As 1800 MHz is the prime band for LTE deployments worldwide, it will greatly assist international roaming for mobile broadband. Mobile licences for 1800 MHz have been awarded to 350+ operators in nearly 150 countries.
The number of LTE1800 terminals has tripled in each of the past 2 years. One third of all announced LTE user devices can operate in 1800 MHz band 3 spectrum. LTE1800 is a mature, mainstream technology.
The next most popular contiguous bands are 2.6 GHz (band 7) as used in 29% of networks in commercial service today, followed by 800 MHz (band 20) in 12% of networks, and AWS (band 4) in 8% of networks.

Interest in the TDD mode continues to be strengthening globally ahead of the large-scale commercial deployments in China. Worldwide, 25 LTE TDD (TD-LTE) systems are commercially launched in 20 countries, of which 12 are deployed in combined LTE FDD & TDD operations.

image
The report includes a growing list of operators who have commercially launched or preparing to introduce enhancements to their networks including multicarrier support for Category 4 user devices (150 Mbps theoretical peak downlink speed), and LTE-Advanced features, especially carrier aggregation, which is a key trend.
The report also confirms how voice service has moved up the agenda for many LTE operators as network coverage has improved (nationwide in many cases) and as the penetration and usage of LTE-capable smartphones has increased. VoLTE services have been launched by operators in Asia, Europe, and North America and several more operators have committed to VoLTE deployments and launches over the next few months.
The Evolution to LTE report (December 5, 2013) is a free download for registered site users
Registration page for new users: http://www.gsacom.com/user/register
Numerous charts, maps etc. confirming the progress of mobile broadband developments including LTE are also available on the home page and at www.gsacom.com/news/statistics.

GSA confirms 1,240 LTE user devices launched, support building for LTE-Advanced systems [news article by GSA, Nov 7, 2013]

The latest update to the ‘Status of the LTE Ecosystem’ report published by the GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) confirms that 120 manufacturers have announced 1,240 LTE-enabled user devices, including frequency and carrier variants.
680 new LTE user devices were announced in the past year. The number of manufacturers increased by 44% in this period. Smartphones continue to be the largest LTE device category with 455 products released, representing 36% share of all LTE device types. 99% of LTE smartphones also operate on 3G networks (HSPA/HSPA+ or EV-DO or TD-SCDMA technologies).

The report embraced devices that operate on the FDD and/or TDD modes of the LTE system. The majority of products are designed for operation in the FDD mode. However, 274 devices can operate in the LTE TDD (TD-LTE) mode, and this figure is 159 higher than a year ago.

The largest LTE device ecosystems for the FDD bands are as follows:
– 2600 MHz band 7 = 448 devices
– 1800 MHz band 3 = 412 devices
– 800 MHz band 20 = 314 devices
– 2100 MHz band 1 = 305 devices
– 700 MHz bands 12, 17 = 289 devices
– AWS band 4 = 279 devices
– 700 MHz band 13 = 250 devices
– 850 MHz band 5 = 189 devices
– 900 MHz band 8 = 174 devices
– 1900 MHz band 2 = 134 devices
TDD bands:
– 2600 MHz band 38 = 197 devices
– 2300 MHz band 40 = 184 devices
– 1900 MHz band 39 = 71 devices
– 2600 MHz band 41 = 63 devices
– 2500 MHz bands 42, 43 = 15 devices
(totals include carrier and operator variants)

The Evolution to LTE report (October 17, 2013) is also available as a free download to registered site users via the link at http://www.gsacom.com/gsm3g/infopapers

Note that by the time of 4G based on TD-LTE the leading edge of LTE will much further ahead as SK Telecom Demonstrates 225 Mbps LTE-Advanced [press release, Nov 28, 2013]

  • Successfully demonstrates the upgraded LTE-Advanced: Aggregates 20MHz bandwidth in 1.8GHz band and 10MHz bandwidth in 800MHz band to offer up to 225Mbps of speed
  • Expects to launch the ‘20MHz+10MHz’ LTE-Advanced service in the second half of 2014 and plans to introduce 3 Band Carrier Aggregation in an early manner
SK Telecom (NYSE:SKM) today held a press conference to demonstrate the upgraded LTE-Advanced service that offers up to 225Mbps of speed by aggregating 20MHz bandwidth in 1.8GHz band and 10MHz bandwidth in 800MHz band.

LTE can only offer up to 150Mbps of speeds using a maximum of 20MHz of continuous spectrum in one band, while LTE-Advanced can support speeds over 150Mbps by combining different bands through Carrier Aggregation (CA).

Insert of mine:
[WIS2013] SK텔레콤 LTE-Advanced [SK telecom YouTube channel, May 20, 2013]

SK텔레콤도 World IT Show 2013에 ‘선을 넘다.’라는 테마로 함께 했습니다. LTE를 넘어서는 LTE-Advanced! WIS2013도 SKT와 함께 하세요! 🙂 (Bing translation: SK Telecom also World IT Show 2013 ‘ Over the line ‘ called the theme together. LTE beyond LTE-Advanced! W I S – SKT with now!)
In June 2013, SK Telecom has commercialized, for the first time in the world, LTE-Advanced service using 10MHz bandwidth in 1.8GHz band and 10MHz bandwidth in 800MHz band. Backed by a wide range of mobile value added services specially designed for the LTE-Advanced network, and a rich lineup of LTE-Advanced capable devices (8 different smartphone models), SK Telecom’s LTE-Advanced service is attracting subscribers at a rapid pace.
Moreover, on August 30, 2013, SK Telecom has gained authorization to operate the 35 MHz bandwidth (20 downlink + 15 uplink) in 1.8GHz band, and immediately launched diverse measures to strengthen both its LTE and LTE-Advanced services by utilizing the newly acquired bandwidth.

Once SK Telecom commercializes the upgraded LTE-Advanced (20MHz+10MHz), customers will be able to download an 800MB movie in just 28 seconds, significantly faster than other networks. Measured at their maximum speeds, downloading the same movie file via 3G, LTE, and the existing LTE-Advanced (10MHz+10MHz) would take 7 minutes and 24 seconds, 1 minute and 25 seconds, and 43 seconds, respectively.

The company said that it expects to launch the ‘20MHz+10MHz’ LTE-Advanced service nationwide through smartphones in the second half of 2014 as the smartphone chipset that supports 225 Mbps of speeds is currently being developed.

Furthermore, by successfully demonstrating the ‘20MHz+10MHz’ CA, SK Telecom moves one step closer to realizing the next level of LTE-Advanced technology: Aggregating three component carriers (20MHz+10MHz+10MHz) to support up to 300Mbps of speed.

Alex Jinsung Choi, Executive Vice President and Head of ICT R&D Division at SK Telecom said, “SK Telecom has been leading the development of wireless networks since it commercialized CDMA (2G) technology for the world’s first time in 1996. Today’s successful demonstration of 225 Mbps LTE-Advanced will serve as a momentum for SK Telecom to realize more innovative network technologies, which will also lead to the growth of relevant industries, including device, content and convergence fields.”
But already SK Telecom, China Mobile agree on automatic LTE roaming service [Yonhap, Dec 5, 2013]
SK Telecom Co., South Korea’s largest mobile operator, said Thursday that it has agreed to launch an automatic international Long Term Evolution (LTE) roaming service with China Mobile Ltd., as well as other LTE services.
Under the deal, travelers and businesspeople will be able to use their regular LTE services offered by the two mobile carriers more easily between the two countries, according to SK Telecom.
About 6.8 million Koreans and Chinese traveled between the two countries last year.
Early this year, SK Telecom and CSL Ltd. of Hong Kong successfully demonstrated the compatibility of their two LTE networks. The international automatic LTE roaming service has been available since June this year.
Since October, SK Telecom also has offered a similar roaming service with Saudi Arabia.
image
SK Telecom CEO Ha Sung-min (R) and China Mobile’s Chairman Xi Guohua
pose for a photo at SK Telecom’s headquarters in Seoul.


China Mobile:

New era for mobiles as 4G licenses issued to carriers [Xinhuanet, Dec 5, 2013]

China issued long-awaited 4G licenses to three telecommunications carriers yesterday, which would offer mobile Internet access 20 to 50 times faster than the current 3G network and create a new trillion-yuan market for devices and services.
China, the world’s biggest mobile phone market, has now officially entered the 4G era five years after it issued 3G licenses. The technology is widely adopted in the United States, Europe, Japan, South Korea and other regional markets.
The network, along with e-commerce and software businesses, is expected to boost information consumption and market demand, and encourage innovation in China, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

China Mobile will launch 4G services in Shanghai, Beijing and 11 other cities by the end of this year. The number of cities will expand to 340 by the end of 2014.

Users can upgrade to the 4G network without changing phone numbers, China Mobile said yesterday. It has been testing 4G networks for two years.

China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom all got 4G licenses based on TD-LTE (time division-long term evolution) technology. China Unicom and China Telecom also got approval to test another 4G technology FD-LTE (frequency division-LTE), which is mainly used in overseas markets.
China will issue FD-LTE 4G licenses later, the ministry said.
China Mobile also got the approval to operate fixed-line business including family broadband, which makes it possible to launch bundled services, the ministry added.
“It’s a national strategy to boost commercial 4G development to boost consumption and fuel-related investment,” the ministry said on its website.
The ministry said that 4G had become an engine for the development of the whole IT industry, fueling demand for the latest smartphones. With greatly improved speed and more powerful phones, new mobile Internet services will appear that will enrich people’s daily lives, the ministry said.
With 4G, mobile users can download a film (700 megabytes) in two minutes and a high-quality song (7MB) in less than a second. More 4G-related services such as video on demand, conferencing, high-quality music streaming, multiplayer games and remote video monitoring for medical and security services are being tested, industry insiders said.
The initial investment for 4G will reach 500 billion yuan (US$82 billion) in a few years, and is expected to hit 1 trillion yuan with the industry’s development.
“4G LTE is the fastest growing mobile technology since the inception of mobility some 25 years ago. And we know that mobile broadband will have a huge impact on people, business and society and be one of the most critical infrastructures for any country,” Hans Vestberg, chief executive of Ericsson, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment vendor.
By 2019, China will be home to 700 million mobile subscribers on 4G, making it the world’s biggest 4G market, according to Ericsson.
Equipment makers including Ericsson, Huawei, ZTE and Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell are going to benefit from the 4G wave.
“We are fully prepared for providing handsets for China’s own 4G technology, from entry-level to high-end phones,” said Cher Wang, HTC’s chairman.

China Mobile is going to launch 4G services with a new brand He, meaning harmony in Chinese, on December 17. The carrier may offer iPhones supporting TD-LTE then, according to industry sources.

In cities such as Beijing and Shenzhen, China Mobile have allowed users to apply for trial commercial use of 4G services with their own devices. In Shanghai, more than 1,800 people had been invited to test 4G services.

Its target is to cover 100 cities by the middle of next year and 340 by the end of 2014, when it plans to launch 4G phones that cost less than 1,000 yuan each. In the first half, it will launch 50 new 4G phones.

In Shanghai, nine TD-LTE phones will be available by the end of this year. Users can apply for 4G services at China Mobile’s outlets on Madang Road and Minsheng Road initially, to be expanded to 20 outlets citywide.

Shanghai Mobile also plans to establish an additional 3,000 4G base stations next year from the current 700, to cover the whole city including suburban and rural regions.

(Source: Shanghai Daily)

From 2013 Interim Results Presentation as of Aug 15, 2013

image

From China Mobile 2012 Annual Report [April 25, 2013]

Business Overview

… starting from 2013, we commenced investments in the development of TD-LTE network. We intend to use the TD-LTE network to primarily carry high bandwidth and high quality wireless broadband businesses. In 2012, the extended large scale trial of the TD-LTE network was carried out in 15 cities in Mainland China and approximately 20,000 base stations were built. The quality and scale of the TD-LTE networks in Hangzhou, Guangzhou and Shenzhen have reached pre-commercial standard. In addition, we started providing commercial 4G services in Hong Kong in 2012 with the LTE FDD and TD-LTE bandwidths we previously obtained from the Office of the Telecommunications Authority of Hong Kong in 2009 and 2012, respectively. We plan to construct more than 200,000 TD-LTE base stations in 2013. [Certain 3G base stations may also be upgraded to TD-LTE base stations.]

China Mobile lifts hopes of Apple deal and 4G launch [Shanghai Daily via Xinhuanet, Oct 31, 2013]

China Mobile is raising consumer hopes that the next-generation 4G mobile network will be launched soon and that a long-awaited deal between the world’s largest telco and Apple Inc may be unveiled as early as next week.

The telco’s website displays a cartoon tornado advertisement that announces “the invasion of 4G” and “November 9-11.” The ad links to a page showing two images of smartphones that resemble iPhones and a caption that says “special discounts.”

November 11, or Singles’ Day, is the busiest shopping day of the year in China. Last year, it generated 4 billion U.S.dollars in online sales alone, according to retail consultant McKinsey Global Institute.

China Mobile declined to comment but its senior executives said earlier that it would distribute 4G phones, including Apple’s latest iPhone 5S, after China issues 4G licenses expected by the end of this year.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has approved the sale of several 4G models made by Sony, ZTE and other vendors.

China Mobile hopes the expected tie-up with Apple will boost revenue and profit, especially in the high-end market segment, after its net profit for the first three quarters of this year fell for the first time by 1.9 percent to 91.5 billion yuan (14.8 billion U.S.dollars).

China Mobile’s Beijing branch jumps on 4G technology wave [China Daily USA, Nov 6, 2013]

Carrier to begin sales of newest network-enabled smartphones
Beijing has become the latest Chinese city to join the wave of tests for fourth generation, or 4G, mobile networks, despite the fact that the government has yet to issue 4G licenses to telecom carriers.
On Tuesday, China Mobile Ltd’s Beijing branch said it would start sales of 4G smartphones on Wednesday. The first batch of 4G handsets includes two models – Sony Corp’s M35T and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd’s Galaxy Note 2.
Customers do not need to change their phone numbers but just have to get a new SIM card for their 4G handsets, according to a statement from China Mobile. Fourth-generation wireless networks achieve data download speeds of up to 80 megabits per second, four times faster than 3G networks.
However, the coverage of 4G networks in Beijing is limited, said Gao Shu, a spokeswoman for China Mobile’s Beijing branch. Only people in areas inside the capital’s Third Ring Road will be able to access the network.
“Our 4G smartphones are aimed at high-end, white-collar workers in Beijing,” Gao said.
Before Beijing, a handful of affluent Chinese cities, including Guangzhou and Hangzhou, have started offering 4G services on a trial basis.
China Mobile – the only operator in the country currently testing 4G networks – has adopted the domestic Time Division-Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE) 4G technology.
The number of applicants for 4G services is expected to surpass 100,000 in major cities, according to a China Mobile official, who asked not to be named.
Meanwhile, the lack of mature 4G smartphones has long been seen as a major obstacle for the expansion of China Mobile’s 4G business. But the situation has improved in recent months. According to a report from Bank of China International Securities, as of Sept 11, smartphone models received the permission from Chinese authorities to run on 4G networks. The new smartphones are being made by domestic and international companies, including Samsung, Sony, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and ZTE Corp, the report said.
“The planned 4G commercial rollout is very good news for China Mobile, as well as for smartphone companies and mobile Internet companies,” said Wang Jun, an analyst with Beijing-based research firm Analysys International.
China Mobile’s net profit dropped 9 percent in the third quarter partly due to the increasing challenges posed by mobile Internet applications such as Tencent Holdings Ltd’s WeChat.
“The 4G business can help the carrier to attract more high-end users from rivals,” Wang said.
Apple Inc has also said that its latest iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C handsets may support TD-LTE technology.
James Yan, an analyst with IDC China, pointed out that the timing for launching 4G services in China is right.
“The environment could not be better. Customers favor smartphones, carriers have the motivation to do 4G services, and distributors know how to sell 4G products to people,” Yan said.
The launch of 4G services in China will definitely be a new driver for the growth of the nation’s smartphone market, he added.
“4G will be an important factor to make people buy new phones,” Yan said.
Ryan Reith, program director at IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, said that China has become one of the fastest-growing smartphone markets in the world, accounting for more than one-third of total shipments in the third quarter of the year.

China Mobile to launch all-service brand [China Daily, Nov 20, 2013]

China Mobile Ltd, the nation’s biggest telecom carrier by subscriber numbers, revealed onTuesday that it would officially launch a new brand “He” (And) on Dec 18, mainly targeting the upcoming fourth generation (4G) mobile business.

The new brand’s logo features grass green and peach blossom colors. According to ChinaMobile officials, the company’s current-running brands – GoTone, EasyOwn, M-Zone and G3for 3G mobile services, will be phased out after the launch of “He”.

That means “He” will take the stage as an all-service brand for China Mobile and provide customers with integrated 2G, 3G and 4G mobile services.

Commercial 4G to start December 18 [Shanghai Daily, Nov 25, 2013]

China will start commercial 4G mobile communications services on December 18, bringing the most advanced telecommunications technology to the country’s more than 1 billion mobile users.
China Mobile, the country’s No. 1 mobile operator with over 700 million users, will start 4G services on that date with a new brand He, meaning harmonious in the Chinese language.
China is expected to issue licences for 4G before the telco’s new services start.

“It will be a national event and users are allowed to apply for 4G services without changing numbers,” said a Shanghai Mobile official.

Users in Beijing, Guangzhou and Chongqing will be the first to enjoy commercial 4G, or fourth generation, services. Shanghai, which is still building a citywide 4G network, will launch the services later.

Though China is the world’s biggest mobile phone market with more than 1 billion users on its mainland, it lacks the 4G technology that is used in some other countries and regions including the United States, South Korea, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong.

The 4G phone will become rapidly popular on China’s mainland, thanks to the low cost of 4G phones, according to Li Yue, China Mobile’s president, who expects some 4G phones priced below 1,000 yuan (US$162) to appear in the second half of next year.

Apple Inc is also set to introduce iPhones supporting the 4G network in China, industry insiders said. The US giant and China Mobile are in negotiations over the 4G iPhone and they will launch it officially on December 18.
China Telecom and China Unicom are now Apple’s carrier partners for its smartphone on the Chinese mainland.

Apple will partner with China Mobile [CNN YouTube channel, Dec 5, 2013]

Sanford Bernstein Senior Analyst Mark Newman discusses reported China Mobile iPhone deal.

China Mobile still talking to Apple on iPhones [Reuters, Dec 5, 2013 9:27am EST]

Earlier in the day, the Wall Street Journal reported that the two giants had signed a deal, citing an anonymous source familiar with the matter.

We are still negotiating with Apple, but for now we have nothing new to announce,” China Mobile spokeswoman Rainie Lei said, declining to elaborate. Apple also declined comment.

Moody’s: TD-LTE License Is Credit Positive for China Mobile [Moody’ Global Credit Research announcement, Dec 6, 2013]

Hong Kong, December 06, 2013 — Moody’s Investors Service says that the Chinese government’s decision to issue a Time-Division Long-Term Evolution (TD-LTE), or 4G, license, is credit positive for China Mobile Limited (Aa3 stable) as this will help strengthen its market position in the growing wireless data business.

On 4 December, China Mobile announced that the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology had granted its parent, China Mobile Communications Corporation (CMCC, unrated), permission to operate the TD-LTE business and China Mobile will assist CMCC in the construction and operations of the TD-LTE network.

China Mobile is likely to enjoy the first mover advantage in the TD-LTE business as it has been investing in the technology since early 2013, well ahead of its competitors.

China Mobile targets to build over 200,000 commercial-ready base stations and expand its network coverage to 100 major cities by the end of this year. It has already started trials in some of the major cities, including Beijing.

While its two major competitors — such as China United Network Communications Group Co Ltd (China Unicom, unrated) and China Telecom Corporation (unrated) — also obtained TD-LTE licenses at the same time, we expect these companies to only start major investments in 2014.

In fact, these companies plan to use Frequency Division Duplex (FDD)-LTE — an international standard used outside China — as their mainstream 4G technology. However, the FDD-LTE licenses have not yet been granted and any delay in the issuance of the licenses will be advantageous for China Mobile.

Although TD-LTE is a home-grown technology, China Mobile is unlikely to be hampered by the lack of choice in 4G handsets, as was the case with its 3G indigenous technology platform (Time Division-Code Division Multiple Access, or TD-SCDMA).

TD-LTE technology has been accepted internationally, with 59 operators and 54 manufacturers joining the global TD-LTE initiative as of H1 2013. In addition, 25 models of TD-LTE trial devices were launched and over 100 models are under development, of which 15 handsets are intended for commercial use.

Moody’s believes that Apple’s new iPhones have also become technologically compatible with TD-LTE, as well as TD-SCDMA, although China Mobile has not yet started selling iPhones.

The launch of TD-LTE is strategically important for China Mobile to strengthen its market position in the growing wireless data business.

China Mobile had about 759 million customers as of October 2013, of which 176 million were 3G customers. Its 3G subscribers are growing rapidly with over 100% growth since May 2013 on a year-over-year basis.

Moody’s expects its wireless data business to continue its solid growth. The wireless data revenue has grown 62% in H1 2013 on a year-over-year basis. In H1 2013 the business accounted for 17% of its telecommunications services revenue, up from 11% in H1 2012.

However, China Mobile’s market share for 3G services has been much smaller than its overall mobile market share. As of October 2013, its 3G market share was 45% (China Unicom 30% and China Telecom 25%) while its overall mobile market share was 62% (China Unicom 23% and China Telecom 15%), largely because of the use of TD-SCDMA despite the recent improvement in its 3G market share.

Moody’s expects the launch of TD-LTE will help China Mobile improve its market position in the wireless data segment and slow the pace of declines in average revenue per user (ARPU), as the ARPU of data users tends to be higher.

The large investments in TD-LTE will continue to pressure China Mobile’s cash flow. Moody’s expects its adjusted free cash flow (FCF)/debt to fall to below 0% in 2013 and 2014 from over 60% in 2012.

Moody’s expects that the company’s adjusted capital expenditure as a percentage of revenue from telecommunications services will increase to over 30% in 2013 and 2014, from below 25% of its revenue in 2012.

Nevertheless, its overall credit profile will remain in line with its rating, supported by its solid overall operating and financial profiles, as well as its excellent liquidity. For example, Moody’s expects China Mobile’s adjusted debt/EBITDA to remain at approximately 0.3x.

The principal methodology used in this rating was the Global Telecommunications Industry published in December 2010. Please see the Credit Policy page on http://www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

China Mobile is the leading provider of mobile telecommunications services in China, offering voice and data services in all 31 provinces and autonomous regions, as well as in Hong Kong. It is 74% owned by CMCC, which in turn is wholly owned by China’s State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission.


China Telecom:

LTE/4G DIGITAL CELLULAR MOBILE SERVICE OPERATION PERMIT [China Telecom’s regulatory announcement for Hong Kong Exchange, Dec 4, 2015]

This announcement is made pursuant to Rule 13.09 of the Rules Governing the Listing of the Securities on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited and Part XIVA of the Securities and Futures Ordinance (Cap. 571 of the Laws of Hong Kong).
 

The Board (the “Board”) of directors of China Telecom Corporation Limited (the “Company”) announced that the Company was notified by China Telecommunications Corporation (the parent company of the Company) that China Telecom has been granted by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the PRC the permit to operate the LTE/4G digital cellular mobile service (TD-LTE). Meanwhile, China Telecom will apply for the permit to operate the LTE/4G digital cellular mobile service (LTE FDD) as soon as practicable.

In order to proactively implement national innovation strategy and leverage collaborated use of different spectrum resources to meet customers’ demand, the Company aims to adopt a flexible approach in deployment of LTE network with one hybrid network of integrated resources. The Company will flexibly deploy the LTE network with regard to data business growth and value chain development. In particular, the LTE deployment would only start from densely populated areas, overlaying on existing superior 3G network for long-term integrated operation. The Company would grasp the rapidly growing data business opportunities with an aim to better enhance customers experience and corporate return.
The Company believes that the issue of 4G digital cellular mobile service operation permit will be beneficial to the sustainable development of the telecommunications industry. It will also foster the informatisation consumption and economic growth. However, it will simultaneously intensify market competition. The Company will proactively leverage its operation edge and strive to foster the sustainable development of its business.
In the meantime, investors are advised to exercise caution in dealing in the securities of the Company.
By Order of the Board
China Telecom Corporation Limited
Wang Xiaochu
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

From Edited Transcript of 2013 Interim Results Investor Presentation and 2013 Interim Results Presentation of Aug 21, 2013:

image

Slide 10: To Deploy LTE Trial Network Timely & Appropriately
To support national technology innovations and allow flexible use of spectrum resources to meet customer demand, we plan to deploy one hybrid LTE network of integrated resources, sharing the core network with wireless access through both TDD and FDD. Thus, most of the LTE network investments would support both TDD and FDD services, offering us flexibility in long term development and return enhancement.
We will continue to fully leverage existing nationwide superior 3G and fibre broadband networks to serve our customers. LTE deployment would only start from densely populated areas.
We plan to flexibly deploy LTE network with regard to future LTE licensing, data business growth & value chain development, overlaying on existing superior 3G network for long-term integrated operation to enhance customer experience & return.

China Telecom to launch TD-LTE trial network construction [Global TD-LTE Initiative Updates, Oct 25, 2013]

According to informed sources, the Ministry has recently approved the China Telecom launched TD-LTE trial network construction and pre-commercial related business. This means that China Telecom 4G future will get two licenses for FDD LTE/TD-LTE network integration.

“China Telecom will use FDD LTE/TD-LTE network integration approach build 4G network.” China Telecom Chairman Mr. Wang had previously publicly stated that “since the frequency is restricting the operator’s core resources in the 4G era, network integration is inevitable.”

A week ago, China Telecom completed the LTE core network master device EPC Jicai tender. It is understood that although China Telecom’s LTE core network master device bidding amount is not large, but the coverage of the country’s 31 provinces, including ZTE, Huawei, Shanghai Bell, Ericsson and other equipment manufacturers, including domestic and international mainstream have received certain share, which, ZTE, Huawei, Shanghai Bell’s winning share is relatively large.

It is understood that the successful vendor device support FDD/TDD multi-mode network, this also shows that China Telecom has begun preparations related to the deployment of TD-LTE.

Late last year, China Telecom in Shanghai, Nanjing and other cities in Guangdong 4G trial, however, was mainly dominated by FDD LTE trial network. The Ministry of approval, indicating that China Telecom has determined will be FDD LTE/TD-LTE 4G mode hybrid network test network construction.

Prior to the introduction, according to Mr. Wang in China Telecom’s 4G network planning, large-scale, wide coverage 4G networks will use FDD standard, while the urban area densely populated areas will use TDD system, using this integrated program will be able to achieve all of the user needs.

In addition, from China Telecom’s terminal planning can be seen that China Telecom in 4G mobile phones mainly uses standard FDD LTE multimode phones, but in the data card is the main use of TD-LTE network resources.


China Unicom:

Announcement LTE/4G Digital Cellular Mobile Service Operation (TD-LTE) Permit [China Unicom’s regulatory announcement for Hong Kong Exchange, Dec 4, 2015]

This announcement is made pursuant to Rule 13.09 of the Rules Governing the Listing of Securities on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the “Listing Rules”) and Part XIVA of the Securities and Futures Ordinance (Cap. 571).

On 4 December 2013, China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited (the “Company”) was notified by its ultimate parent company, China United Network Communications Group Company Limited (中國聯合網絡通信集團有限公司) (“Unicom Parent”), that Unicom Parent has been granted the license to operate LTE/4G digital cellular mobile service (TD-LTE) by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People’s Republic of China (“MIIT”) on 4 December 2013. MIIT has also granted approval for Unicom Parent to license China United Network Communications Corporation Limited (中國聯合網絡通信有限公司), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, to operate LTE/4G digital cellular mobile service (TD-LTE) nationwide in China

Meanwhile, the Company will continue to proactively apply for the launch of LTE FDD technology test run. It aims to leverage on the 3G network in order to provide users with mobile broadband data services with a higher speed.

By Order of the Board
CHINA UNICOM (HONG KONG) LIMITED
CHU KA YEE
Company Secretary

From 2013 Interim Results Presentation as of Aug 8, 2013

image

From INTERIM REPORT 2013 as of August 8, 2013

[p. 3]

To support its sustainable growth in the future, the Company further enhanced its network capabilities with a focus on network architecture as well as mobile, broadband and transmission networks so as to strengthen its network advantages in broadband and mobile Internet. In the first half year, the Company added 33 thousand new 3G base stations, and opened HSPA+ 21Mbps services over the whole 3G network, with speed up to 42Mbps at some urban hot spot areas. The Company accelerated fiber optic deployment. Its broadband access ports increased by 19.9% year-on-year, and FTTH/B accounted for 63% of total access ports, representing an increase of 10 percentage points over the same period last year. In order to better meet the demand from HSPA+, LTE and integrated services, the Company optimised the structure and enhanced the coverage of its infrastructure and transmission networks.

From China’s telecom firms reveal 4G strategies [Xinhuanet, June 27, 2013]

… the other two smaller Chinese telecom operators – China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd and China Telecom Corp Ltd – have expressed their willingness to adopt the Frequency Division Duplex-Long Term Evolution, or FDD-LTE, technology, or at least to build a converged network under both standards.

TD-LTE and FDD-LTE are the two major 4G international standards, but the latter has gained more popularity across the globe and has stronger industry support.

Lu Yimin, general manager of China Unicom, said the company is conducting tests for 4G wireless networks with mixed technologies. It is the first time that China Unicom has admitted that it is actively preparing to launch 4G services.

However, Lu added that because the Chinese government has not yet awarded the 4G licenses, China Unicom’s final strategy is still “uncertain.” Lu also made the remarks at Shanghai’s Mobile Asia Expo.

Last weekend, Wang Xiaochu, China Telecom’s chairman, confirmed that the company is stepping up efforts for its LTE network trials.

“It’s inevitable (for China Telecom) to adopt a converged network, since the spectrum is at the core of every carrier’s resources,” Wang said.

China Unicom tests 4G network [China Daily via Xinhuanet, Aug 9, 2013]

China United Network Communications Co Ltd, known as China Unicom, said on Thursday that it has started testing a TD-LTE 4G network, which it will use if the government doesn’t allow it to use its favored FDD-LTE technology in the upcoming 4G licensing process.

China’s second-biggest mobile operator by subscribers is said to have taken the preemptive action because it expects the government to follow a similar strategy as in its 3G auction, when it first awarded licenses for TD-LTE networks, a technology which is mostly backed by its arch-rival China Mobile Ltd, which has the most subscribers in the country.
The government is widely expected to award 4G licenses before the end of the year. And if it licenses TD-LTE networks first, it will give China Mobile a big edge in the 4G market over its competitors.
After reporting a 55 percent jump in its first-half profit, Chang Xiaobing, the company’s chairman, said investment on TD-LTE technology has already started and testing will begin in major cities. Funds will come from Hong Kong-listed China Unicom, rather than from its controlling company China United Network Communications Corp Ltd, which previously funded some of China Unicom’s network tests.
“I expect Beijing to license TD-LTE first, so we have to prepare,” Chang told a news conference in Hong Kong on Thursday.
Beijing favors TD-LTE, or Time-Division Long-Term Evolution, because the network’s core technologies are developed by Chinese companies. The technology was developed specifically for the Chinese market and is expected to serve a quarter of the global market by 2016.
China Unicom’s infrastructure mainly supports FDD-LTE, or Frequency Division Duplexing Long-Term Evolution, which is the world’s dominant 4G technology. Out of the 156 commercial 4G networks operating around the world in March 2013, 142 were FDD-LTE and 14 were TD-LTE networks. China Mobile operates a FDD-LTE network in Hong Kong and is trying to integrate it with the mainland’s TD-LTE market.
Chang said China Unicom’s capital expenditure will stay within the full-year budget of 80 billion yuan (12.96 billion U.S. dollars), despite the planned investment in TD-LTE networks.
Media reports said that China Telecom Corp Ltd, the other major operator in China, will rent China Mobile’s TD-LTE 4G infrastructure. Chang refused to say if China Unicom will do the same.
China Unicom’s first-half profit surged to 5.32 billion yuan compared with 3.43 billion yuan in the same period in 2012. Revenue was up 18.6 percent to 144.3 billion yuan, boosted by a 52 percent increase in income from 3G services to 40.9 billion yuan. The company’s 3G subscribers grew a stunning 74 percent to more than 100 million.
China Unicom shares gained 2.67 percent on Thursday. Trading of the stocks was suspended in the afternoon, after the website of the State-owned Asset Supervision and Administration Commission published the company’s earnings before they were reported to the Hong Kong stock exchange. China Unicom shares surged after the disclosure at around 3:30 pm.
A China Unicom spokesman apologized for the incident and promised it won’t happen again.

China Unicom to procure TD-, FDD-LTE equipment, says report [DIGITIMES, Oct 24, 2013]

China United Network Communications (China Unicom) has started an open-bid process for procuring 34,000 FDD-LTE base stations, 10,000 TD-LTE base stations and 8,000 FDD-LTE small cells, according to China-based tech.sina.com.

Of the mobile telecom carriers in China, China Mobile has adopted TD-LTE only, while China Telecom and China Unicom have adopted FDD LTE as their main 4G standard and TD-LTE as an auxiliary in line with the China government’s policy promoting TD-LTE.

China Telecom procured about 50,000 FDD-LTE base stations and about 20,000 TD-LTE ones in the third quarter of 2013.

The Upcoming Mobile Internet Superpower

download this PDF-format mini e-book
(now with an extensive follow-up & ‘The global forces behind …’ analysis, later in this post)

Subtitle:
China is the epicenter of the mobile Internet world, so of the next-gen HTML5 web

Put* together by Sándor Nacsa in August 2013

This mini e-book is a follow-up to the findings of “China is the epicenter of the mobile Internet world, so of the next-gen HTML5 web” [Aug 5, 2013] post from my trend-tracking blog “Experiencing the Cloud”, as well as the following posts which lead to those findings:

IMT-Advanced (4G) for the next-generations of interactive mobile services, China is triumphant [Oct 24, 2010]
Good TD-LTE potential for target commercialisation by China Mobile in 2012 [July 13, 2011 – Feb 8, 2012]
TD-SCDMA: US$3B into the network (by the end of 2012) and 6 million phones procured (just in October)[ Oct 18, 2011]
China becoming the lead market for mobile Internet in 2012/13 [Dec 1, 2011]
MWC 2012: the 4G/LTE lightRadio network [Oct 16, 2012]
China: 20,000 TD-LTE base stations in 13 cities by the end of 2012 and about 200,000 base stations in 100 cities launched in 2013 with the 2.6GHz TDD spectrum planning just started—SoftBank with TD-LTE strategy in Japan getting into global play with Sprint (also the 49% owner of US TD-LTE champion, Clearwire) acquisition [Oct 16, 2012]

download this PDF-format mini e-book

Now an extensive FOLLOW-UP
(& ‘The global forces behind …’ analysis after that)

China emerging as ‘mobile only’ in sharp contrast to the US multiscreen market [DIGITIMES, Aug 19, 2013]

With smartphone penetration still in the early stages in China, a new study indicates that the country could become a “one screen nation,” outpacing the US in consumers who use smartphones as their sole or primary media device, according to research developed by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Interactive Internet Advertising Committee of China (IIACC).
The research revealed that media consumption is more impacted by smartphone ownership in China. More than a quarter of China-based smartphone owners report less TV watching and reduced print consumption as a result of owning a mobile connected device (28% and 27% respectively). In comparison to their US counterparts, China-based smartphone owners are 86% more likely to report less TV usage and 42% more likely to report less print usage.
In contrast to China smartphone owners’ concentrated focus on the small screen, US smartphone owners are much more likely to consume other media with their mobile devices in hand. For example, while watching TV, smartphone users report participating in Internet communication (51% US vs. 10% China), reading social media (38% US vs. 9% China), and conducting a local search (34% US vs. 8% China). The data shows similar disparities when it comes to reading print media, the research found.
The two firms said the research also illustrates Americans’ greater dependency on their smartphones as devices that they would “never leave home without” (69%). In comparison, merely 6% of their China counterparts said the same. Approximately one-third (34%) of Americans said that their smartphone is the “first thing I reach for when I wake up,” as opposed to 7% of China-based smartphone owners.
China-based consumers are also more apt to use their smartphones for web browsing than Americans (32% China vs. 21% US), the research found. More than one fifth (23%) of China-based respondents said that they spent three hours or more per day in the last week accessing the Internet with their smartphones. The top reason they cited for turning to their smartphones was “entertainment.”

Slush 2012: Keynote by John Lindfords (Digital Sky Technologies – DST) [startupsauna YouTube channel, Nov 24, 2013]

Nov 21, 2012 [16:30-16:50]: John Lindfors of DST chats about how the Internet and especially mobile are changing the world as well as the ample startup opportunities that ensue out of that unprecedented connectedness. But what has he to say of Asia’s perception of European startup activity? John Lindfors is a Partner of Digital Sky Technology (DST) and Managing Director of the Asian office in Hong Kong. He joined DST in 2010. Prior to joining DST, he was the Partner in charge of the European Technology and Media department for Goldman Sachs. He joined Goldman Sachs in London in 1993 and worked in London and New York during his 17 years at the firm focusing on the technology and media sectors. John has a M.Sc. (Econ) from the Swedish School of Economics in Helsinki.

How Social Media & E-Commerce Operate in China [Tim Swanson YouTube channel, Aug 13, 2013]

Tim Swanson, author of Great Wall of Numbers, interviews Matt Garner, a seasoned China specialist about companies such as Tencent and Alibaba — the giants of the Chinese Internet. Matt worked for a brand marketing consulting company and large NGO in Shanghai and is an expert on Chinese web trends and market analysis. Website: http://www.ofnumbers.com

China’s E-Commerce Boom: Millennials Shop Alibaba & ASOS [ForaTv YouTube channel, Aug 3, 2013]

Full video available at: http://fora.tv/2013/07/11/Around_the_World_in_Almost_10_Slides Matt Hiscock, senior vice president for ASOS US, describes how the fashion e-commerce company plans to work with the demands of shoppers in China.

Weibo: How Chinese Microblogs Sneak Fashion Past Censors [ForaTv YouTube channel, June 14, 2013]

Full video available for purchase at: http://fora.tv/2013/05/21/Do_in_Rome_as_the_Romans_Do_-_Winning_Strategy_in_a_Fast-Changing_Market Executive vice president of Shanghai Jahwa United Co. Ltd. Hua Fang shows how microblogging tools like Weibo – the equivalent of Twitter in China – are helping to globalize brands.

Alibaba investment spooks some of China’s online shoppers [Reuters TV YouTube channel, Aug 4, 2013]

Aug. 5 – E-commerce giant Alibaba’s investment in the Weibo microblogging service has resulted in users being bombarded with targeted ads for everything from bikinis to coffins. Anita Li examines the reaction.

Chinese Tech Giant Sets Sights on $265 Billion “Smart TV” Market [TheMotleyFool YouTube channel, July 24, 2013]

It’s no secret that the television will be the next great tech battleground. But what is less clear— and what will ultimately prove most profitable to tech-oriented investors— is what company will be the last one standing. Motley Fool analyst Lyons George discusses Alibaba, a Chinese Internet giant that deals in e-commerce, online auctions, and— as early this week— “smart television” operating systems. With an IPO expected any day now, Alibaba’s entrance into the projected $265 billion next-gen TV market is raising investor eyebrows around the globe.

In China smartphone market, cheap rules – and Apple suffers [Reuters TV YouTube channel, Aug 19, 2013]

Aug. 19 – Apple’s seen its market share in China dwindle as homegrown smartphone makers crank out feature-packed budget models. Could the launch of a cheaper iPhone restore its flagging fortunes?

FACTBOX: Will China Mobile deal widen Apple’s wedge? [Reuters TV YouTube channel, Aug 20, 2013]

Aug. 20 – Apple is losing market share to cheaper rivals in China. But a tie-up with top carrier China Mobile seems to be getting closer, and could quickly alter the country’s billion-strong playing field.

‘Broadband China’ aims to speed up network [CCTV News YouTube channel, Aug 18, 2013]

In its emphasis on ensuring that information technology becomes a key driver of growth, China has unveiled its new Broadband China strategy. As in the US, and Europe, the goal is that faster broadband should result in greater industrial efficiency, and, convenience for households.

More foreign carriers to deploy TD-LTE [China Daily video published on March 14, 2012 via SPHRazorTV YouTube channel]

March 14, 2012: Wang Jianzhou, Chairman of China Mobile Communications Corporation and a CPPCC member, talked about the current situation of TD-LTE’s development and promotion as an international 4G standard.

TD-LTE Subscriptions to Surpass 500 Million by 2017, Representing Annual TD-LTE Operator Service Revenues of $91 Billion Worldwide [Research and Markets announcement via PRNewswire, Aug 16, 2013]

More than 50 mobile carriers worldwide have so far committed to TDD LTE technology, and over 30 OEMs have commercially launched TD-LTE compatible devices, with a major proportion of these devices supporting both FDD and TDD modes of operation.
This forecast datasheet presents revenue and shipment market size and forecasts for both infrastructure and devices, along with subscription and service revenue projections for the LTE market as a whole, as well as separate projections for the TD-LTE and FDD-LTE sub-markets from 2012 through to 2017. Historical figures are also presented for 2010 and 2011, along with vendor market share data.
Driven by large scale TDD spectrum availability and the technology’s lower deployment costs, the industry witnessed several prominent TD-LTE network deployments in late 2011 and early 2012, including Softbank in Japan, Etisalat Mobily and STC in Saudi Arabia, and Bharti Airtel in India. More recently, in October 2012, the TD-LTE ecosystem received a major boost when China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced that the entire 190 MHz of spectrum in the 2.5/2.6 GHz band will be allocated for TD-LTE deployments in China, which harmonizes its TDD spectrum with Japan and the US, two major LTE markets.
These developments could allow the TD-LTE ecosystem to reach significant economies of scale, boosting further infrastructure and device investments in TD-LTE technology.

20130430 SoftBank、Sprintについての会見。質疑最終部分と囲み [Tamotsu Hashimoto YouTube channel, May 1, 2013]

Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son arguing against Dish Network counteroffer to acquire Sprint.

Sprint shareholders approve $21 6 billion deal with SoftBank [KansasCityNews YouTube channel, news article and video on June 25, video published via YouTube on Aug 13, 2013]

By combining their interests, Sprint and SoftBank hope to be able to negotiate better deals with network equipment companies, cellphone makers and lenders. Their aim is turning Sprint into a stronger competitor for Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. Sprint and SoftBank’s plans rely heavily on valuable wireless spectrum controlled by Clearwire Corp. Spectrum are the licensed airwaves that carry video, downloads and other data-heavy activity of smartphone customers. Sprint has a deal to buy the roughly half of Clearwire it doesn’t already own for $5 a share. The Clearwire merger is part of the plans Sprint and SoftBank submitted to the FCC’s review. Clearwire shareholders vote July 8 on the merger with Sprint. Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/06/25/4311893/sprint-shareholders-approve-deal.html#storylink=cpy

Sprint CFO: SoftBank deal lets us take Clearwire spectrum nationwide [FierceWireless, July 30, 2013]

Sprint (NYSE:S) will be able to deploy Clearwire’s 2.5 GHz spectrum for TD-LTE service on a nationwide basis now that it is flush with fresh capital from SoftBank, which now controls 78 percent of Sprint, according to Sprint CFO Joe Euteneuer. Sprint formally took control of Clearwire earlier this month.
Steve Elfman, president of network operations at Sprint, noted during the company’s second-quarter earnings conference call that Sprint now plans to deploy Clearwire’s 2.5 GHz spectrum on all 38,000 of its planned Network Vision cell sites and even more sites than that in a nationwide rollout. Previously, Sprint had said it would use Clearwire’s spectrum as a “hotspot” LTE network to offload traffic in urban markets.
In an interview with FierceWireless, Euteneuer said SoftBank’s $21.6 billion acquisition–which includes $5 billion in new capital and allowed Sprint to buy Clearwire–spurred Sprint to make the shift in strategy. The move will let Sprint add more capacity to its own FDD-LTE network, which it is still in the process of being built out. Euteneuer noted that Sprint and Clearwire originally planned to deploy Clearwire’s spectrum on around 5,000 cell sites as an offload network in urban markets. Those plans are still proceeding this year, but Sprint now wants to expand that to improve the customer experience.
“Now that we own 100 percent of Clearwire, with the help of SoftBank, we said, how do we take full advantage of the 2.5 GHz spectrum?” Euteneuer said. “The best way to do that is to have it fully integrated with the rest of your spectrum capabilities. And to do that you really need to put it on every tower.”
The Sprint CFO said because of the weaker propagation characteristics of 2.5 GHz, Sprint will deploy small cells and other sites beyond the 38,000 Network Vision sites the company has mapped out. He said it is unclear at this point if the nationwide deployment of Clearwire’s spectrum will be finished by the end of 2014. Clearwire commands around 160 MHz of spectrum in the top 100 markets.
It is unclear exactly how many TD-LTE cell sites using Clearwire’s spectrum will be online by year-end. Iyad Tarazi, head of network development and integration for Sprint, recently told CNET that Sprint will have 5,000 Clearwire sites on air by year-end, but on Tuesday Elfman was less specific, and said “we’ll have several thousand sites up this year because of the work that Clearwire was doing before us.”
“We are working with Clearwire on plans and will share more soon,” Sprint spokeswoman Roni Singleton said in a follow-up statement.
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said the deployment of a nationwide LTE network on 2.5 GHz will help give Sprint “competitive parity” with its rivals. “And the important thing in terms of what we believe will be a better, a superior network experience will depend upon how quickly we roll out the 2.5 [GHz spectrum], because that will give us extraordinary capacity and some speed and performance advantages in the market,” he said. …

Xiaomi CEO: Don’t call us China’s Apple [Reuters TV YouTube channel, Aug 15, 2013]

Aug. 15 – China’s Xiaomi has sparked a frenzy with a low-cost smartphone that may help the tech firm widen its lead over Apple in the local market — but CEO Lei Jun says it has very different ambitions.

China’s Tencent tops leaderboard, but rivals loom [Reuters TV YouTube channel, Aug 15, 2013]

Aug. 15 – China’s biggest Internet firm, Tencent, has been signing up users and burning up the stock charts. But its recent results point to a tougher future marked by higher costs and tougher competition.

WeChat, Made-in-China Messaging App Grows in Popularity [CCTV News YouTube channel, July 30, 2013]

As SMS messaging continues to grow, more and more players has entered this competitive space. One of those grabbing a bigger and bigger share of this market is the App – WeChat – owned by the Chinese internet company Tencent Holdings Ltd. WeChat is currently the number one messaging App in China. Follow us on Twitter/Facebook/WeChat @CCTVNEWS

Tencent Corporate Video [Alison Lee YouTube channel, Aug 6, 2013]

 


The global forces behind the overall setup of Chinese Internet giants:

China’s doors may be closed to social network company Facebook, but for its pre-IPO investor DST Global, the gates are wide open.
As a result, the firm has managed to invest about $1.5 billion into China-based companies over the past four years, translating into around half the amount of capital it has invested worldwide, Partner John Lindfors told Venture Capital Dispatch.
Unlike some foreign investors, DST Global is happy to take a minority shareholding in portfolio companies, and being a late-stage investor with the ability to write bigger checks, it has also encountered less competition among China-focused investors when targeting new deals.
“We don’t want to take control. If you think about it, some of the most successful companies have been run by their owners. We’re trying to find the next Bill Gates, and back him,” said Lindfors.
DST Global counts Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and online retailer Jingdong Mall as part of its Asian portfolio. DST, alongside other private equity firms like Silver Lake agreed to buy shares in Alibaba at a tender offer of $1.6 billion in 2011. That same year, DST Global also participated in a $1.5 billion third round of funding in Jingdong, with media reports stating that DST bought a 5% share in the online retailer for $500 million.
Although DST Global spent around $1.5 billion on both of those deals, said Lindfors, he noted that the firm is also “happy” to invest far less in a deal, even from $50 million, as deal sizes in China can often be smaller due to the general market size.
Other firms active in China’s Internet space include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Capital, which typically target lesser-sized deals than DST Global, opening the playing field for the Russian investment firm.  In fact, KPCB China Investment Partner Wei Zhou last year told Venture Capital Dispatch that it had even started investing in pre-Series A deals.
DST Global, headed by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, expects to invest in a “few” more deals in the next year or two across China’s Internet sector, specifically in e-commerce and mobile Internet, on expectations that growing domestic consumption and increasing users of mobile devices will bolster growth in these areas, said Lindfors.
“We see an explosion of smartphone usage,” said Lindfors. Indeed, industry insiders, including Kai Fu Lee, founder of Chinese investment firm Innovation Works, predict China will have 500 million smartphone users by the end of this year, jumping up from the current 330 million.
On the other side of the Pacific Ocean, DST Global has invested in the likes of Twitter and now-Nasdaq-listed Facebook–which faces restricted use in China–and manages three funds. Last year, Bloomberg reported that DST Global was raising $1 billion for a new technology fund, and separately reported that DST Global I achieved an annual 151% gross internal rate of return. Lindfors declined to comment on the firm’s funds.
DST Global likes other countries across Asia such as Indonesia and India, but for the meantime, opportunities are too early stage, said Lindfors, who previously worked at investment bank Goldman Sachs.
DST Global, which has an Asia-based office in Hong Kong, was set up by entrepreneur Milner, and is best known for investing $200 million in Facebook in 2009, and then a subsequent round in 2011 worth $500 million with Goldman Sachs.

Milner Discusses Social Networking Companies, Facebook: Video [Bloomberg YouTube channels, March 23, 2012]

Yuri Milner, chief executive officer of Digital Sky Technologies, talks with Bloomberg’s Cris Valerio about his company’s investment strategy in social-networking companies like Facebook Inc. Digital Sky is a privately held company investing in Internet related companies. Bloomberg’s Betty Liu also speaks.

2012 – My Recipe for a Better Tomorrow – Mr. Yuri Milner [PresidentialConf YouTube channel, June 24, 2012]

The fourth Israeli Presidential Conference, Facing Tomorrow 2012. Plenary: My Recipe for a Better Tomorrow. Speaker: Mr. Yuri Milner.

Encouraging Innovation – Yuri Milner at European Zeitgeist 2011 [zeitgeistminds YouTube channel, May 17, 2011]

Yuri Milner talks about his primary aims, which include finding investors for new businesses and to encouraging innovation. He calls social a dominant theme and says that innovation happens when there is concentration and a critical mass.

Юрий Мильнер с 2005 года началась эра социального Интернета [Umid Matnazarov YouTube channel, Sept 20, 2011]

Президент компании Digital Sky Technologies Юрий Мильнер – член президентской комиссии по модернизации и технологическому развитию экономики. В интервью “Вестям” он рассказал о направлениях работы комиссии и о тенденциях развития Интернета.

Alibaba Said to Have Applied for HK Listing [The China Perspective, July 23, 2013]

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, China’s dominant e-commerce service provider, has lodged its application for listing at the Hong Kong stock exchange aimed at raising up to $20 billion, Hong Kong-based Oriental Daily reported. The company is expected to float in October with a valuation of $100 billion. Approximately $7 billion from the money raised will be used to buy back Alibaba’s share owned by Yahoo! Inc (Nasdaq: YHOO), the source said. Alibaba delisted its B2B site Alibaba.com a year ago in preparation for the initial public offering of the group as a whole. Its Taobao.com is China’s top C2C site; its Tmall.com is China’s top B2C site; its Alipay is China’s top third party billing service provider. Japan’s Softbank is Alibaba’s largest shareholder, holding a 35% stake; Yahoo owns 23%, Alibaba’s management owns 24.7%; some private equities and institutional investors own 10.3%; its founder Jack Ma owns 7%.

Masayoshi Son [Wikipedia]

Masayoshi Son (Japanese: 孫 正義 Hepburn: Son Masayoshi?, Korean: 손정의 Son Jeong-ui; born August 11, 1957) is a Japanese businessman and the founder and current chief executive officer of SoftBank, the chief executive officer of SoftBank Mobile, and current chairman of Sprint Corporation. According to Forbes magazine, his net worth is $8.1 billion as of 2011 and he is the second richest man in Japan,[1] despite having the distinction of losing the most money in history (approximately $70 billion during the dot com crash of 2000). [2] Forbes also describes him as a philanthropist.

Masayoshi Son is known for his extreme persistence to achieve his business goals. As example, when Japan’s Post and Telecommunications Ministry denied his application for a particular telecommunications license, he is reported[3][4] to have threatened to set himself on fire inside the Ministry if his company is not awarded the desired license (however, he is reported[5] not have brought any fuel along to back up his threat).

Former Amazon manager takes Chinese e-commerce company global [GeekWire, Aug 16, 2013]

Watch out, Amazon.com. A Chinese e-commerce company is out to redefine notions of customer service. If you think free shipping in two days is fast, how about in three hours?
In cities across China, customers can order everything from fresh produce to a new laptop, get it delivered for free the same day, pay cash on delivery and even refuse the goods at the door if they fail to meet expectations.
It’s all part of a strategy of JD.com (formerly 360buy) to become China’s largest e-commerce company and expand globally. China’s booming and highly competitive e-commerce market gets more interesting all the time, and JD.com is a major player to watch.
JD.com stands for parent company Jingdong, which has grown to become China’s largest online company that sells directly to consumers, with 100 million registered users, 5 million orders a day, and a whopping 60 billion RMB in sales ($10 billion) in 2012. The company rebranded itself earlier this year and may be planning a U.S. IPO.
Jingdong Vice President and General Manager Shi Tao, who spent more than three years working for Amazon China, visited Seattle this week to introduce the company and meet with prospective customers and partners.
JD.com operates differently than its major competitor, Alibaba’s Tmall, in that Jingdong spent years building its own network of warehouses and fulfillment centers, allowing it to manage its own delivery rather than simply matching buyers and sellers or relying on third parties to ship the goods.
“Chinese consumers want to shop on the platform with the best experience, especially shipping and post-sales customer services,” Shi said. In May Jingdong introduced nighttime and three-hour delivery services in six Chinese cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Wuhan and Shenyang. The company offers same-day delivery in 27 major cities and next-day delivery in more than 150 cities across China.

Tmall is still the leading B2C company in China overall, with more than 51 percent of the market, compared to Jingdong’s 17 percent, according to iResearch. Amazon China has about 2 percent of that market.

China’s e-tailing industry has posted 120 percent annual growth since 2003, and online sales in China could reach $650 billion by 2020, according to McKinsey Global Institute.

What was not mentioned in the DST/Lindfors interview earlier:

DST has strong ties to
DST’s partners and employees
Goldman Sachs. Alexander Tamas
in 2008 and John Lindfors,
Goldman Sachs, joined DST in
employees include Rahul Mehta and
2011, DST has orchestrated an
brought Goldman Sachs into the
Goldman Sachs. The majority of
have previously worked at
joined DST from Goldman Sachs
a previous partner at
2010. Other ex-Goldman Sachs
Shou Zi Chew. In January
investment into Facebook and
deal.

From Digital Sky Technologies is …

Asia Awards: VC Deal of the Year – Xiaomi [Asian Venture Capital Journal, Dec 5, 2012]

Validation of Xiaomi’s approach was provided by Yuri Milner of DST Advisors who led a $216 million third round of funding in June – valuing the company at $4 billion – with Government of Singapore Investment Corp. (GIC) also involved.

DST Founder Yuri Milner Invests in Xiaomi [Tech In Asia, Dec 23, 2011]

We already knew Xiaomi had scored $90 million RMB in new financing — they announced that at their press conference with China Unicom on Tuesday — but Lei Jun has now revealed on Weibo where at least some of that money came from: DST founder Yuri Milner.

Xiaomi’s market value could reach US$10bn after new financing [WantChinaTimes.com, July 28, 2013]

Xiaomi Technology, a Chinese manufacturer of own-brand budget smartphones, will soon launch another round of financing worth more than US$2 billion, with insiders suggesting the main investor will be Russian venture capital firm Digital Sky Technologies (DST), the Shanghai-based First Financial Daily reports.

Leading Chinese internet firm Tencent Holdings invested US$300 million in DST in April 2010 and would therefore become an indirect investor in Xiaomi, the report said, though both Tencent and Xiaomi have declined to comment.

Rumor: Tencent Invests in Xiaomi via Russian VC [Marbridge Consulting, July 23, 2013]

According to industry insiders, Beijing-based Android handset developer Xiaomi has secured a new round of funding exceeding USD 2 bln from Chinese internet and mobile services firm Tencent (0700.HK), with Russian investment firm Digital Sky Technologies (DST) acting as an intermediary.

The latest round of funding values Xiaomi at approximately USD 10 bln.

Tencent Invests $300m in DST and Establishes Strategic Partnership [Tencent press release, April 12, 2010]

Tencent Holdings Limited (“Tencent” or the “Company”, SEHK 00700), a leading provider of Internet and mobile & telecommunications value-added services in China, and Digital Sky Technologies Limited (“DST”), one of the largest Internet companies in the Russian-speaking and Eastern European markets, today jointly announced that Tencent will invest approximately US$300 million in DST, thereby establishing a long-term strategic partnership between the two companies.
The aggregate consideration of approximately US$300 million, which will be paid in cash, gives Tencent approximately a 10.26% economic interest in DST upon completion of the transaction. Tencent will hold approximately 0.51% of the total voting power of DST and have the right to nominate one observer to the DST Board.
DST and Tencent will embark on a long-term partnership and co-operation as they seek to benefit from each other’s insights gained from their respective markets. DST’s deep understanding of the Russian Internet market, together with its leading brands such as Mail.ru, Odnoklassniki and VKontakte, will enable Tencent to benefit from the high growth of the Russian-speaking Internet market. At the same time, Tencent’s leading position in China will provide DST and its companies with unique and valuable operational insights and access to its regional network that can help DST further accelerate its growth path.
Chief Executive Officer of DST, Mr. Yuri Milner, said, “We are extremely pleased to welcome Tencent as a shareholder in DST. This investment is a vote of confidence in DST from the market leader in China and one of the world’s most successful and dynamic Internet companies overall. Our teams share many common views and beliefs and a clear vision about the significant opportunities that lay ahead. We look forward to working together with Tencent and benefiting from their expertise as we both push forward with our plans to capitalize on this immense growth in our markets.”
President of Tencent, Mr. Martin Lau, said, “We are excited to enter into a long-term strategic partnership with DST, a key global Internet player and a leader in Russian-speaking Internet markets. The investment allows us to benefit from the fast-growing Internet market in Russia, as well as to leverage our technical and operational know-how to strengthen the leadership position of DST and explore new business opportunities in the Russian-speaking Internet markets.”
Details of the transaction can also be obtained from the statutory disclosure documents available on http://www.hkexnews.hk website and http://www.tencent.com/ir .
About Digital Sky Technologies
DST was founded in 2005 and is one of the largest Internet companies in the Russian-speaking and Eastern European markets and one of the leading investment groups globally to exclusively focus on internet related companies. DST, together with its affiliate DST Global, also hold stakes in Internet world leaders such as Facebook and Zynga. DST is a privately held company backed by leading Russian and Western financial institutions. For more information please visit http://www.dst-global.com .
About Tencent
Tencent aims to enrich the interactive online experience of Internet users in China by providing a comprehensive range of Internet and wireless value-added services. Through its various online platforms, including Instant Messaging QQ, web portal QQ.com, QQ Game portal, multi-media social networking service Qzone and wireless portal, Tencent services the largest online community in China and fulfills the user’s needs for communication, information, entertainment and e-Commerce on the Internet.
Tencent has three main streams of revenues: Internet value-added services, mobile and telecommunications value-added services and online advertising.
Shares of Tencent Holdings Limited are traded on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited, under stock code 00700. The Company became one of the 43 constituents of the Hang Seng Index (HSI) on June 10, 2008. For more information, please visit http://www.tencent.com/ir .

Naspers makes strategic investment in DST [press release, July 14, 2010]

DST to assume full control of Mail.ru upon share swap with Naspers
Johannesburg and Moscow, 14 July 2010 – Naspers Limited (“Naspers”), the broad based international media group, and Digital Sky Technologies Limited (“DST”), one of the largest internet companies in the Russian-speaking markets, announces today that Naspers’s subsidiary Myriad International Holdings B.V. (“MIH”) will take a 28,7% stake in DST. The transaction will be effected by Naspers contributing its 39,3% stake in Mail.ru into DST and investing US$388m in cash. Concurrently, Mail.ru management and other minorities will also convert their shares into DST.
Upon the close of this transaction, DST will own over 99,9% of Mail.ru. Mail.ru is the leading communication and entertainment platform in the Russian-speaking internet world, with over 50m registered email accounts, leading market share in MMO games and one of the leading social networks in Russia.
Naspers and DST have worked closely together over the past three years as co-owners of Mail.ru and today’s transaction will enable them to further strengthen that relationship.
Chief Executive Officer of DST, Yuri Milner, said, “Naspers’s strategic insight has already proven to be valuable in our partnership and we welcome the expertise they will bring to DST. We are delighted to announce this transaction and look forward to creating further value through our relationship.”
Antonie Roux, head of Naspers’s internet operations, commented: “We have known DST and its management for years and we share a similar view and approach. We are excited to strengthen our partnership. This opportunity further expands our exposure to emerging markets and the fast-growing internet sector.”
About Digital Sky Technologies
DST was founded in 2005 and is one of the largest internet companies in the Russian-speaking and Eastern European markets and one of the leading investment groups globally to exclusively focus on internet related companies. DST, together with its affiliate DST Global, also holds stakes in internet world leaders such as Facebook, Zynga and Groupon. DST is a privately held company backed by leading international financial institutions and companies. For more information please visit http://www.dstglobal.com.
About Naspers
Naspers is a leading emerging market media group operating in 129 countries. It is listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE), with an ADR (American Deposit Receipt) listing on the London Stock Exchange. The group’s principal operations are in internet platforms (focusing on commerce, communities, content, communication and games), pay-television and the provision of related technologies and print media (including publishing, distribution and printing of magazines, newspapers and books). The group’s most significant operations in emerging markets include South Africa and subSaharan Africa, China, Central and Eastern Europe, India, Brazil, Russia and Thailand. For more information visit http://www.naspers.com.

imageTencent (700 HK) [RHB OSK Securities (Thailand) report, Aug 15, 2013]

Internet – Online Games and Media
Market Cap: USD88,608m

Shareholders (%)
MIH China (Naspers)         33.9
Ma Huateng [Pony Ma]     10.2
JP Morgan                             4.5

Good WeChat progress. The pace of development on Tencent’s mobile social platform WeChat has exceeded our expectations since its launch. Monthly active users (MAU) breached 236m in 2Q13 (1Q13: 194m) while new services such as sticker sales, targeted ads and the first game released on the platform, TTAXC (天天爱消除), showed monetisation potential.

image

Online advertising is a major earnings driver at the gross profit level.

SWOT Analysis

image

Company Profile
Tencent is a leading internet conglomerate in China with operations in online games, social networks, advertising and e-commerce. The company operates leading online games in China while its mobile chat application, which has expanded globally, has a user base exceeding 300m.

Naspers Fact Sheet June 2013:

Business overview
Founded in 1915, Naspers is a leading multinational group of eCommerce and media platforms, with operations in more than 133 countries. Listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) since September 1994, it also has an ADR listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
The group’s principal operations are in e-commerce, paytelevision & related technologies and print media. It also has minority investments in listed, integrated social-network platforms Tencent (SEHK 0700) and Mail.ru (LSE: MAIL).
The group focuses on attaining sustainable market positions in growing emerging markets which it believes to present above-average growth opportunities. These markets include South Africa and the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, China, Brazil and the rest of Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, Southeast Asia, India and the Middle East.

image

INTERNET
Naspers operates platforms that offer customers fast, intuitive and secure environments where they can communicate, participate, entertain and shop. The group’s e-commerce services include marketplaces, general and vertical e-tail, classifieds, lead-generation and payments.
Naspers major e-commerce operations are:
  • Allegro (97%), a leading e-commerce business in Central and Eastern Europe.
  • BuscaPé (95%), a major e-commerce platform in Brazil.
  • OLX (84%), a strong classifieds operator in a number of emerging markets.
Other investments include 36Boutiques, Avito, Brandsclub, Dealfish, Dubizzle, eMag, Fashion Days, Flipkart, Fixeads, ibibo Group, kalahari.com, Korbitec, LevelUp!, Markafoni, Movile, Netretail, OLX, PayU, PriceCheck, redBus, Ricardo, Sanook!, Souq, Sulit, Tokobagus, Travel Boutique Online and Trendsales.
Naspers also holds minority positions in:
  • Tencent (34%) – China’s largest and most used internet services platform.
  • Mail.ru Group [DST] (29%) – the leading internet company in Russian-speaking markets.

Naspers rides Tencent to Internet fortune [TechCentral (South Africa), Aug 31, 2012]

When Naspers stumbled on a little-known Chinese Internet company in 2001, it could not have dreamed that a US$32m investment would account for more than 80% of the media conglomerate’s R200bn market cap now.

Tencent Holdings is the largest Internet solutions provider in China and Naspers, which owns a 34% stake, is its largest shareholder. R4,8bn of Naspers CEO Koos Bekker’s personal fortune of R6bn in shares is linked to Tencent.

It [Naspers] has a market capitalisation of about $57bn and its total revenue for the year to 31 December 2011 was up by 45% to $4,4bn. Profit attributable to equity holders was $1,6bn — 27% higher year on year — and its profit for the second quarter of 2012 was up by 32%. The p:e ratio (share price compared with  its earnings) is 33.
Founded in November 1998, Ten­cent has become one of China’s largest and most widely used Internet service portals and, in 2004, it was listed on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
More than 50% of Tencent employees are research and development staff and the company has obtained patents relating to technology for instant messaging, e-commerce, online payment services, search engines, information security, gaming and more.
Its leading Internet platforms in China include instant messaging, social networking (with 580m active users) and a mobile chat and micro-blogging service known as Weixin. It is also the largest online gaming company in the world.


And the DST money is said to come from:

image
THE THREE KINGS & THEIR PRINCES(S)

“Larry Summers is ethically challenged.”
   Former Economist Colleagues

Larry Summers and his Facebook Friends conspire to undermine U.S. “checks & balances” and take control of the world economy by stealth, we believe.

First see a specially written article to understand very easily the whole affair with the judicial and other systems in U.S. in Facebook — a force for freedom perhaps, but at odds with the rule of law in the U.S. [Americans For Innovation (AFI) via Open Trial, July 26, 2013] from which I will include here only the following excerpts:

In the late 1990s Innovator Leader Technologies invented a technology we now call “social networking.” By the time they filed for their first patents in 2002, they had invested 145,000 man-hours and over $10 million. Literally within three months of Leader perfecting the lynch-pin of their invention, Mark Zuckerberg and his PayPal associates were in the market, on February 4, 2004. Zuckerberg claims to have done all the work himself in “one to two weeks” while chasing girls and studying for finals.

New evidence indicates he received Leader’s source code from a mole who was cooperating with Zuckerberg’s apparent mentor, James W. Breyer, of Accel Partners LLP and with Fenwick & West LLP, who was also Leader’s attorney at the same time. It appears that they were waiting for Leader to finish debugging its invention so that they could roll out the Harvard-boy-genius-Facebook-origins myth, with Zuckerberg in the leading role.

Not so coincidentally, Lawrence Summers was President of Harvard at the time. Summers arranged for the 19-year old Zuckerberg to get more Harvard Crimson news coverage than any world leader or event. Breyer was a big alumni contributor. PayPal COO, Reid Hoffman (later LinkedIn CEO) was coaching Zuckerberg and feeding him spending money, as was Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal. Tellingly, these three sold over $6 billion of their Facebook stock on Day 3 of the Facebook IPO, at the highest price anyone received for their stock before it crashed. Summers popped up in Silicon Valley before the IPO too—as “special advisor” to Instagram that sold their 13-man company to Facebook for $1 billion. Could it be that their CEO, Matt Cohler was able to exert some influence over Zuckerberg, as he knew about the theft of the Leader invention?

Forty-four months after filing for their patents, Leader received their first patent on November 21, 2006—U.S. Patent No. 7,139,761. On November 19, 2008, Leader filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Facebook. Leader Technologies, Inc., v. Facebook, Inc., 08-cv-862-JJF-LPS (D.Del. 2008).

Current Federal Reserve Chairman candidate, Lawrence “Larry” Summers has mentored Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg since the early 1990’s. He also mentored Russian Yuri Milner, who has close ties to Russian oligarch Alisher Asmanov and the Kremlin. Summers was one of the Harvard-wunderkind architects of the disastrous Russian voucher system in the early 1990’s while Chief Economist for the World Bank. Milner is Facebook’s second largest shareholder and is partnered with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. With Goldman’s and Morgan’s help, Milner moved billions of dollars into Facebook pre-IPO. Curiously, Cohler helped Hoffman start LinkedIn in 2004. There appears to have been a feeding frenzy surrounding the debugging of Leader’s invention.

This occurred after the US taxpayers bailed out Goldman and Morgan Stanley in 2008. To this day no one knows the origins of those funds, which pumped Facebook’s valuation up to $100 billion. Milner is also connected with Bank Menatep, which was caught laundering $10 billion in Russian mob funds and diverting $4 billion in IMF funds. Summers’ conduct here has never been scrutinized, even though he was appointed to oversee the bailout soon after Barack Obama was elected President. See Congressional Briefings.

Georgia [Beardslee] interviews the real inventor of social networking, Michael McKibben, CEO of Leader Technologies, Columbus, Ohio: GEORGIA! KSCO AM 1080, Apr. 10, 2013 Michael McKibben interview, CEO of Leader Technologies, Inc. [leadertv100 YouTube channel, April 12, 2013]

Georgia: “One of the most interesting, complicated and disturbing stories of the decade.” On April 10, 2013, news-talk show host Georgia Beardslee interviewed Michael McKibben, CEO of Leader Technologies, Columbus, Ohio on her weekly radio show GEORGIA! KSCO 1080 (Santa Cruz, CA) about Leader’s battle with Facebook over Leader’s U.S. Patent No. 7,139,761. The interview covers (1) background on the LEADER V. FACEBOOK patent infringement lawsuit; (2) the suspicious split verdict; (3) the Harvard back story; (4) the Federal Circuit judge’s stock in Facebook; (5) the refusal of the Federal Circuit court to disclose their Facebook stock holdings; (6) the likely undue influence of the federal courts by financiers, bankers, underwriters, Silicon Valley venture capitalists; (7) the questionable conduct of the U.S. Patent Office; (8) the judges’ ignoring of Zuckerberg’s concealment of 28 hard drives and Harvard emails; (9) the Facebook-doctored trial evidence; (10) the ruling against Leader without a shred of evidence; (11) the involvement of billions of pre-IPO investments in Facebook by Russian companies, (12) Goldman Sachs’ and Obama bailout director Larry Summers’ involvement, and now (13) the interference of the White House at the U.S. Patent Office. This case appears to have exposed an underbelly of corruption at the national and international levels that is much worse and even more organized than we might have otherwise suspected. While the video plays, pages from Leader’s Petition for Writ of Certiorari, Leader Technologies, Inc. v. Facebook, Inc., No. 12-617 (U.S. Supreme Court Nov. 16, 212) will display, page by page (41 pages not counting the appendices). This document can be obtained at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/113545399/P… For background facts, see alsohttp://americans4innovation.blogspot…. This broadcast and these notes may contain opinion. As with all opinion, the information should not be relied upon without independent verification.
Georgia: “One of the most interesting, complicated and disturbing stories of the decade.” On April 10, 2013, news-talk show host Georgia Beardslee interviewed Michael McKibben, CEO of Leader Technologies, Columbus, Ohio on her weekly radio show GEORGIA! KSCO 1080 (Santa Cruz, CA) about Leader’s battle with Facebook over Leader’s U.S. Patent No. 7,139,761.

The interview covers

  1. background on the LEADER V. FACEBOOK patent infringement lawsuit;
  2. [18:30] the suspicious split verdict;
  3. [34:25] the Harvard back story;
  4. the Federal Circuit judge’s stock in Facebook;
  5. the refusal of the Federal Circuit court to disclose their Facebook stock holdings;
  6. the likely undue influence of the federal courts by financiers, bankers, underwriters, Silicon Valley venture capitalists;
  7. the questionable conduct of the U.S. Patent Office;
  8. the judges’ ignoring of Zuckerberg’s concealment of 28 hard drives and Harvard emails;
  9. the Facebook-doctored trial evidence;
  10. the ruling against Leader without a shred of evidence;
  11. the involvement of billions of pre-IPO investments in Facebook by Russian companies,
  12. Goldman Sachs’ and Obama bailout director Larry Summers’ involvement, and now
  13. the interference of the White House at the U.S. Patent Office. This case appears to have exposed an underbelly of corruption at the national and international levels that is much worse and even more organized than we might have otherwise suspected.
While the video plays, pages from Leader’s Petition for Writ of Certiorari, Leader Technologies, Inc. v. Facebook, Inc., No. 12-617 (U.S. Supreme Court Nov. 16, 212) will display, page by page (41 pages not counting the appendices). This document can be obtained at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/113545399/P…
For background facts, see also http://americans4innovation.blogspot….
This broadcast and these notes may contain opinion. As with all opinion, the information should not be relied upon without independent verification.

Obama is protecting his 47 million Facebook “likes” at the expense of the U.S. Constitution [Georgia! KSCO-AM1080, May 31, 2013]

image(My collaboration with a listener, 5/31/2013):Washington D.C. is toxic and fiendishly deceptive these days. Speaker John Boehner described the flow of scandal developments as “Drip, drip, drip.” I take this to mean that the Deception Tank is full and starting to leak. (At last!)
imageInvestigators are now uncovering common people driving these scandals. The Leader v. Facebook property rights debacle seems to have been another one of their pet deception projects. Remember, Facebook was judged guilty on 11 of 11 counts of stealing the inventions of Columbus-based innovator Leader Technologies, Inc., yet the federal courts ruled for Facebook anyway. They had to ignore the Consitution to do it.
Many people lusted after Leader’s innovations that we know as “social networking.” Obama and his handlers needed it to raise election dollars and polish Obama’s persona many times a day. Larry Summers, Accel Partners and the PayPal Mafia wanted it as their global financial transactions platform, Zuckerberg and his fellow thieves wanted it as a global voyeur platform to invade everyone’s privacy, the Kremlin wanted it as a money-laundering vehicle, James W. Breyer wanted it as his ‘pump and dump” stock manipulation scheme, the greedy law firms wanted it to rake in fees. And, at least two Federal Circuit Judges Alan D. Lourie and Kimberly A. Moore were beefing up their financial portfolios with the pump of their undisclosed Facebook shares at the IPO. Wow, that’s a lot of interests all lusting after Michael McKibben’s innovation! (I have interviewed him on this show twice.)
Beware of McBee Strategic lobbyist Jeff Markey bearing gifts
Americans for Innovation has smoked out intimate, undisclosed relationships among Facebook’s chief litigator in Leader v. Facebook, Cooley Godward LLP’s Michael Rhodes, Obama’s Justice Department Cooley “Advisor,” Donald K. Stern, the failed $1.6 billion BrightSource Obama “green” stimulus project, big Facebook IPO winner J.P. Morgan Chase and McBee Strategic’s Steve McBee and Jeff Markey.
This is so convoluted I asked by resident artist to do me a diagram of these relationships. No wonder Washington is so confused. It’s intentional on the part of some morally bankrupt people and organizations (click to enlarge):

image

Figure 1: Conflicts of Interest Map among Barack Obama, Executive Branch, Justice Department,  Cooley Godward Kronish LLP, Michael Rhodes, Donald K. Stern, McBee Strategic, Steve McBee, Jeff Markey, Judge Leonard P. Stark, Judge Alan D. Lourie, Judge Kimberly A. Moore, Leader v. Facebook, BrightSource, Solyndra,Tesla Motors, Solar City, Elon Musk and 47 million “likes” on Facebook.
McBee Strategic and their lobbyist Jeff Markey have lied at least twice on disclosures that we have already identified. On their BrightSource Senate disclosure on 11/20/2009 they answered “No” to affiliated organizations that actively participate in their activities. This was false since on 4/23/2009 they had publicly announced their alliance with Facebook’s attorney Cooley Godward Kronish LLP specifically about helping companies access Obama’s “green energy” money. That’s LIE #1. Then, we discover that Jeff Markey is accustomed to lying whenever it is to his benefit. On 4/30/2004 Markey lied on a financial disclosure that he was an Executive for SAIC in an apparent deception to gain access to the National Congressional Republican Committee. That’s LIE #2.
Markey clearly plays on both sides of the ball in Washington. While he is busy spending Obama’s billions, he donates mostly to Republicans, including MITCH MCCONNELL, ROB PORTMAN, ARLEN SPECTER, LINDSEY GRAHAM. Republicans beware of this wolf in sheep’s clothing. Such cynical parlaying of contacts just to keep one’s job in Washington is why Washington is failing. These people are there for the wrong reasons. They need to get real jobs. Professional bureaucrats and politicians (and the lobbyists who feed on the rotted meat) are the death knell of a democracy.
While we’re on the subject of lying to Congress, then Magistrate Judge Leonard P. Stark told Congress in his 4/22/2010 confirmation hearing that he would follow the decisions of the Supreme Court and the Appeals Courts. However, three months later he ignored that promise and even after instructing the jury to do so, he ignored the Supreme Court’s Pfaff test of on-sale bar evidence, as well as the Federal Circuit’s Group One tests. Obama and his Facebook “friends” just seem to lie all the time.
Don’t believe me? Check out the source material yourself. Here are some of them we downloaded quickly. Please share more as you find your own information.

Detailed information is available in Mark Zuckerberg used Leader white paper to build Facebook [Origin of Facebook technology?, Aug 27, 2011] post, from which I will include just the most relevant excerpt in my opinion:


The court documents reveal how Mark Zuckerberg was able to accelerate from 0-to-60 mph in “one or two weeks” while studying for his Harvard finals to start Facebook on February 4, 2004. The idea for the student facebook was already known at Harvard from three well-documented sources prior to Mr. Zuckerberg: (1) the Winklevoss twins’ ConnectU,[1] (2) Aaron Greenspan’s houseSYSTEM,[2] and (3) from the Harvard computer administration.[3] And, if Leader Technologies (“Leader”) is right, Mr. Zuckerberg lifted the ideas for the structure of the platform from Leader Technologies’ patent pending white papers, one published on October 22, 2003, along with Leader’s first patent publication on June 24, 2004—exactly when Mr. Zuckerberg says “Steven Dawson Haggerty” was hired to build the “groups functionality” which is disclosed in the Leader patent publication.[4][5][6][7]

 


More on Yuri Milner
:

Mark Pincus, founder of Zynga: I Love Yuri Milner [PandoDaily YouTube channel, July 19, 2012]

From the Wikipedia article: The company develops social games that work stand-alone on mobile phone platforms such as Apple iOS and Android and on the Internet through its website, Zynga.com, and social networking websites such as Facebook, Google+, and Tencent.[5] Zynga states its mission as “connecting the world through games.”[6]

Russian Billionaire buys $100 Million U S Mansion Yuri Milner [estarcobusiness10 YouTube channel, (originally made the news on March 31, 2011) April 2, 2012]

Home Brings $100 Million [WSJ.com, March 31, 2013]

A Russian billionaire investor paid $100 million for a French chateau-style mansion in Silicon Valley, marking the highest known price paid for a single-family home in the U.S.
The purchase of the 25,500-square-foot home in Los Altos Hills, Calif., underscores the strength of some luxury properties in an otherwise depressed housing market.
The buyer, Yuri Milner, 49, who heads Digital Sky Technologies and whose investments include Facebook Inc., Groupon Inc. and Zynga Inc., had no immediate plans to move into the home, said a spokesman.
Mr. Milner is the stocky founder of DST, a Moscow-based fund that’s made a splash in Silicon Valley via its investments. Its first in the U.S. was a $200 million check for Facebook in 2009. His primary residence is in Moscow, where he lives with his wife and two children.
The sky seemed to be the limit for Mr. Milner’s new house, a symmetrical limestone mansion with San Francisco Bay views that was inspired by 18th-century French chateaux.

The home has indoor and outdoor pools, a ballroom and a wine cellar. The grounds include a tennis court and inside are chandeliers and a frieze around a skylight in the entryway, among other details.

Mr. Milner bought the home through a limited-liability company; the home wasn’t on the market, according to people familiar with the deal.
Mr. Milner, who studied theoretical physics in Moscow and attended the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, began his career in Moscow in the 1990s. By 1999, he had focused on the Internet after dabbling in everything from private equity to a macaroni-and-cheese factory. …


Larry Summers
:

The Asian Financial Forum (AFF) 2013 welcomed Professor Lawrence H Summers, one of America’s most influential economists, who served as Treasury Secretary under President Bill Clinton and Director of the National Economic Council under President Barack Obama. In this AFF luncheon on day one of the 14-15 January event – Prof Summers discussed potential short-term and long-term solutions for the global economy, and the unique opportunities presented by low interest rates.
Bloomberg’s Hans Nichols reports on President Barack Obama’s search for the next leader of the Federal Reserve, his personal relationships with Lawrence Summers and Janet Yellen and the prospects of a confirmation battle for whoever is the candidate. He speaks on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg Surveillance.”
There is some serious talk in Washington about appointing Larry Summers as the new chairman of the Federal Reserve. Obama has been out on the stump praising Summers, but when you look at his record, there isn’t anything worthy of praise on this guy’s resume’. Ring of Fire host Mike Papantonio talks about the disaster that is Larry Summers with economist Dean Baker.


Alisher Usmanov
(+Irina Viner):

This year’s Sunday Times Rich List has been revealed — with Arsenal FC 30 per cent shareholder Alisher Usmanov, who hails from Uzbekistan leading the way with a fortune of GBP 13.3 billion. Usmanov is married to a Jewish lady – Irina Viner, who is the Russian national team gymnastics coach.

BBC News – Sunday Times Rich List: Alisher Usmanov [BBCWorldNewsWatch YouTube channel, April 21, 2013]

Russian businessman Alisher Usmanov has topped the Sunday Times ranking of the wealthiest people in Britain and Ireland with a fortune of £13.3bn. The wealthiest British-born person in the list is the Duke of Westminster in eighth place with £7.8bn from property.

Moshiri Becomes Billionaire Helping Usmanov [jagan washpost YouTube channel, July 9, 2012]

Bloomberg’s Matthew G. Miller reports on Farhad Moshiri, an Iranian-born accountant who is now a billionaire after a two-decade alliance with Alisher Usmanov, Russia’s current richest man. Miller speaks on Bloomberg Television’s "InBusiness With Margaret Brennan."

Russia’s Usmanov – Fed Tapering ‘Vital & well-balanced’ (CNBC) [gmshadowtraders YouTube channel, July 11, 2013]

Full video here http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000177176 Alisher Usmanov, founder of USM Holdings, says that the decisions taken by the Fed regarding money and derivatives are “vital” to the global economy and the decision on tapering is “well-balanced”.

Full video: Russia’s Richest Man Supports Fed [CNBC, June 20, 2013]

Форум в Давосе. Интервью А.Усманова [Моше Кац YouTube channel, Jan 23, 2013]

Алишер Усманов одобряет планы, поставленные российскими властями, которые заключаются прежде всего в диверсификации экономики, уменьшении зависимости от сырьевого сектора и развитии новых технологий. Все это позволит построить новую экономическую действительность. Потому бизнесмен уверен: вероятность, что Россия избежит любого из обозначенных на форуме негативных путей, достаточно высока. Интервью главы холдинга “Металлоинвест” Алишера Усманова телеканалу “Россия 24”.

Алишер Усманов: на Россию надвигается этап сложностей [Моше Кац YouTube channel, June 23, 2013]

Инициативы президента Владимира Путина глазами одного из крупнейших бизнесменов России. Предложения и темы ПМЭФ-2013 в интервью телеканалу “Россия 24” комментирует учредитель USM Holdings Алишер Усманов. Он предположил, что мир может находиться в середине кризиса, начавшегося в 2008-ом году. В таком случае выводы, сделанные на форуме, дадут реальный шанс преодолеть предстоящие трудности. Также Алишер Усманов дал ответ на вопрос, который активно обсуждался участниками форума: замедление экономического роста – это миф или реальность?

Без галстука с Ириной Винер [Russia24TV YouTube channel, Nov 7, 2012]

Те, кто хорошо знает Ирину Винер, говорят: “женщина странная”. Добилась всего на самом высоком уровне, уважаемая, заслуженная, доктор, профессор – и все же никак не успокоится: что-то планирует, строит, генерирует новые идеи. Тренер сборных России и Узбекистана по художественной гимнастике стала героем нового выпуска программы “Без галстука”.

Russian Billionaire Usmanov Bets $100M on Apple’s Rebound [Bloomberg YouTube channel, April 30, 2013]

In today’s “Movers & Shakers,” Bloomberg’s Betty Liu reports that Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has bet big on Apple, investing $100 million on a rebound of the company’s stock. She speaks on Bloomberg Television’s “In The Loop.” … He is the world 35th richest person with just under 20 billion dollars.
Алишер Усманов прокомментировал ситуацию в “Норильском никеле”. В эксклюзивном интервью телеканалу “Россия 24” известный российский бизнесмен сказал, что не хочет участвовать в олигархических сговорах. Кроме того, он предостерег инвесторов от ошибочных выводов: по мнению совладельца крупных предприятий, разочаровываться в Facebook рано. Алишер Усманов рассказал также о том, что планирует увеличить свою долю в социальной сети “ВКонтакте”.

USM Holdings is a leading global investor in companies in the digital space. Its deep understanding of the internet sector has played a key role in the success of its businesses and the development and diversification of
internet services.

USM Holdings is a major shareholder in Mail.ru Group, with a 17.9% economic stake and 58.1% voting power, and the largest investor in the Digital Sky Technologies (DST ) family of funds, an investment company specialising in late stage, high growth private businesses in the global internet sector. USM Holdings recognises the future growth prospects of e-commerce, social networks, online video, online gaming, mobile internet and online advertising.

MAIL.RU GROUP
Founded in 1998, Mail.Ru Group is the number one internet company in the high growth Russian-speaking internet market reaching c. 85% of Russian users on a monthly basis. It is the world’s fourth largest internet company based on total page views, with a global monthly audience of 97.4 million users.
In line with its ‘communitainment’ strategy, the company is moving rapidly to build an integrated communications and entertainment platform. Mail.Ru Group comprises the most popular Russian free email service Mail.Ru and two popular Russian-language internet instant messengers. The company operates two leading Russian social networks, My World and Odnoklassniki.ru, and owns a 40% stake in VKontakte, Russia’s number one social networking site. Mail.Ru Group is also a leading player in the online games market.
In 2010, Mail.Ru Group successfully completed an IPO on the London Stock Exchange worth c. US$92 million.
Mail.Ru Group’s aggregate segment revenue in 2012 was RUR 21,151 million, representing a 39% year-on-year increase.
PORTFOLIO INVESTMENTS WITH DST
DST was the group’s first internet investment. In 2008, DST became a backer of Facebook based on a firm belief in the strong growth potential of the internet, and particularly social networking. The current market valuation of Facebook exceeds the initial value at the time of DST ’s entry by approximately seven times.
In 2009, DST spun off DST Russia, later renamed Mail.Ru Group (see above), which is a separate business at present.
Through DST and Mail.Ru Group investments, USM Holdings gained international prominence with stakes in some of the world’s leading and most valuable internet assets, including Facebook, Twitter, Groupon, Zynga, Spotify, Zocdoc, Airbnb, Alibaba and 360buy.

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USM Holdings is a major investor in some of Russia’s leading telecoms businesses. It is ideally positioned to leverage its assets
and experience in the rapidly growing market
for 4G and other mobile services.

USM Holdings owns 82% of Garsdale, a telecoms holding, which in turn controls 50% plus 100 shares of MegaFon, Russia’s second largest mobile operator; 100% of Yota, a pioneering international 4G services provider; and 51% of Peter-Service, a billing services company. Through Garsdale and MegaFon, USM Holdings owns 50% of Euroset, Russia’s number one mobile retailer.
MEGAFON
Formed in 1993, MegaFon is Russia’s second largest mobile operator in terms of revenue and subscribers and the market leader in the mobile data segment.
With over 33,000 employees, MegaFon is a leading universal telecommunications provider with c. 62.7 million wireless subscribers in the Russian Federation as of 31 March 2013. The company offers a full range of voice, data and other mobile and fixed-line telecommunications services, including digital TV and IP telephony, to retail customers, businesses, government clients and telecommunications services providers. MegaFon operates one of the most extensive 3G networks in Russia and renders a wide range of mobile services in Tajikistan, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The company has a strong track record in innovation and pioneered the introduction of a number of services in Russia, including the launch of MMS and mobile TV in 2004, free incoming calls in 2006, 3G services in 2008, significant reduction in roaming charges in 2011, and 4G/ Long Term Evolution (LTE ) services in 2012.
Through MegaLabs, a fully owned subsidiary, the company develops a variety of new projects in the promising value-added service (VAS) market in a number of areas, including content and media, mobile finance, mobile advertising, cloud and IT solutions, M2M, e-government and m-health.
MegaFon owns a large distribution network. As of the end of 2012, it included 1,785 owned and operated stores and 1,757 third-party points of sale operating solely under the MegaFon brand. In addition, its acquisition in late 2012 of a 25% stake in Euroset, the largest wireless mobile equipment retailer in Russia, is expected to enhance the company’s initiatives focused on improving the quality of MegaFon’s subscriber base and broadening the marketing of its products.
In November 2012, the company listed c. US$1.7 billion worth of shares in an IPO. The company’s shares are traded on MICEX-RTS , and its GDR s on the London Stock Exchange.
In 2012, MegaFon’s revenue grew 12.4% year-on-year to RUR 272.6 billion. The company demonstrated a strong performance in Q1 2013, achieving consolidated revenue growth of 7.6% y-o-y to RUR 67.7 billion.
YOTA
Yota was founded in 2007. It is the leader of the mobile broadband sector in Russia. It was the first company to offer its subscribers access to services based on WiMAX and LTE technologies, and is one of the leading companies in this segment globally.
In 2013, Yota was divided into two companies: Scartel, which is involved in construction and management of 4G infrastructure, and Yota (Yota LLC), a mobile operator.
Scartel operates LTE networks and provides access to its networks for telecom operators using a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) model. It was the first company worldwide to launch LTE-Advanced technology for a commercial network, enabling data transfer rates of up to 300 Mbps. The company’s LTE networks are currently available in 31 regions and more than 100 cities in Russia. Its total investments in LTE infrastructure in Russia to date exceed US$400 million and are set to reach US$1 billion by the end of 2014.
Yota provides communication services to its subscribers through Scartel’s platform. Yota owns an extensive retail and dealer network throughout Russia, offering its users a truly unlimited LTE experience, coupled with the provision of hardware and the highest level of customer service. At present, Yota services are available in more than 20 major cities in Russia.
Yota and Scartel are 100% owned by the telecoms holding Garsdale, which is part of USM Holdings.
EUROSET
Founded in 1997, Euroset is the largest mobile retail chain in Russia, with more than 5,000 outlets. Its stores offer a wide range of goods, such as handsets, accessories, tablets and netbooks; and services, such as mobile top-ups, repairs and financing.
Euroset is one of the best known brands in the Russian market for consumer goods and services. The retailer’s share of Russia’s mobile phone market is approximately 30%. The company operates in more than 1,500 towns and cities in Russia and Belarus, and attracts more than 40 million customers to its stores each month.
The company today is one of the largest Russian employers, providing jobs to over 30,000 people.
PETER-SERVICE
Peter-Service is the first Russian developer of billing systems for telecoms operators. It provides billing solutions along with product installation, integration and support services. The company has regional offices across Russia and in Ukraine. Since its establishment in 1992, Peter-Service has completed over 100 projects for more than 50 operators of fixed and mobile networks in 10 countries.

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USM Holdings owns 50% of UTH Russia, one of the country’s fastest growing commercial television broadcasters. The company aims
to capitalise on the expansion of the youth entertainment
market and the ever increasing interest
in youth lifestyle and wellbeing.

UTH RUSSIA
Through UTH Russia, USM Holdings owns some of the country’s most popular outlets in broadcast and digital media. Building the main framework on its two free-to-air channels – the Disney Channel and U channel – and the cable MUZ-TV channel, UTH Russia is on its way to becoming the leader in youth entertainment and lifestyle programming. U channel and the Disney Channel broadcast in more than 880 cities, and the company continues to expand its market share.
The UTH platform also houses the specialist online video service ClipYou, which offers licensed content from leading Russian and international music companies, including some of the top labels, such as Universal Music, Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and EMI.

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USM Holdings invests in a number of Russia’s steel and mining companies. It owns 100% of METALLOINVEST, a leading global iron ore
and hot briquetted iron (HBI) producer
and one of the regional steel producers.

METALLOINVEST
METALLOINVEST extracts and exploits iron ore from the second largest measured reserve base in the world (c. 14.9 billion tonnes).
In 2011, the company was the largest commercial iron ore producer in Russia/CIS and the fifth largest globally, the leading producer of pellets in Russia/CIS and the third largest globally, and the leading producer of merchant HBI globally.
The main production assets of the company are strategically located in the European part of Russia and the Urals.
The company is organised into three integrated operating segments focusing on mining operations, steel production and auxiliary businesses and other assets. The mining segment includes Lebedinsky GOK and Mikhailovsky GOK, and the steel segment includes OE MK, Ural Steel and Ural Scrap Company. In addition to its mining and steel businesses, the company owns several supporting businesses and other assets that provide services and raw materials to the mining and steel segments.
Lebedinsky GOK is a leading manufacturer of iron ore products in Russia and operates as an integrated mining company whose assets comprise iron ore extraction facilities and secondary processing facilities, including beneficiation and secondary beneficiation plants, a pellet plant and two HBI plants.
Mikhailovsky GOK is the second largest iron ore extraction and processing operation in Russia, after Lebedinsky GOK. In 2014, Mikhailovsky GOK intends to finish construction of what is expected to be the largest pelletising plant in Russia, with a capacity of five million tonnes a year.
OEMK is one of the most modern steel mills in Russia, employing Midrex DRI technology. The unique application and properties of the steel and finished products from OE MK have ensured stable demand in Russia, the CIS and worldwide. It is located close to Lebedinsky GOK, which supplies OEMK with high grade iron ore concentrate through a 26-kilometre slurry pipeline. OEMK sells products for engineering, automotive, pipe, hardware and bearing industries in the domestic market, and exports its high quality pipe and cast billets and long rolled products such as wire coil and bar to foreign customers.
Ural Steel is a major manufacturer of strips for large diameter pipes, pipe billets, bridge construction steel and heavy plates. Ural Scrap Company purchases, processes and delivers ferrous scrap to METALLOINVEST’s steel producing assets.
Baikal Mining Company, a subsidiary of METALLOINVEST, holds the licence for the development of the Udokan copper deposit, which has a mineral resources base of c. 2.7 billion tonnes. Udokan is one of the world’s largest undeveloped deposits of copper amounting to c. 25.7 million tonnes of metal. The licence covers 60% of copper deposits in Russia.
With a 21% holding, METALLOINVEST is a major shareholder of the Canadian company Nautilus Minerals. Nautilus Minerals commercially explores the seafloor for massive sulphide systems, which are a potential source of high grade copper, gold, zinc and silver. The company is developing the world’s first seafloor copper-gold project in Papua New Guinea.
METALLOINVEST has a shareholding of approximately 5% in Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest producer of nickel (18% of the market) and palladium (41%), as well as a leading producer of platinum (11%) and copper (2%). Norilsk Nickel also produces multiple by-products, such as cobalt, rhodium, silver, gold, iridium, ruthenium, selenium, tellurium and sulphur.
In 2012, METALLOINVEST’s net income grew by 20.4% year-on-year to US$ 1.7 billion.

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USM Holdings – Alisher Usmanov Founder of USM Holdings [June 12, 2013]

Mr. Usmanov is an investor, industrialist and philanthropist.
He created and built up USM Holdings by identifying
and focusing on growth businesses.

Mr. Usmanov was born in 1953 in the town of Chust in the Namangan region of Uzbekistan, which was then part of the USSR . He graduated in 1976 from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, a leading Russian university, with a degree in international law. In 1997, he received a degree in banking from the Finance Academy under the Government of the Russian Federation. He is fluent in English, French, Russian and Uzbek.
Mr. Usmanov has played a number of key roles in businesses essential for the advancement of the Russian economy. Since February 2006, he has been a member of the Board of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, and currently heads its Committee for Updating of Control and Supervision and Elimination of Administrative Barriers. Mr. Usmanov has served as General Director of Gazprom Investholding since 2000, prior to which he was as an Advisor to the Chairman of Gazprom and was First Deputy General Director of Gazprom Investholding. From 1994 to 1998, Mr. Usmanov held the position of General Director of Interfin Investment and Finance Company. From 1995 to 1997, he served as the First Deputy Chairman of MAPO-Bank, and from 1994 to 1995, he was an Advisor to the General Director of Moscow Aviation Industrial Enterprise. From 1990 to 1994, Mr. Usmanov worked as the Deputy General Director of Intercross JSC.
Mr. Usmanov is the President of the International Fencing Federation and a member of the councils of the 2014 Sochi XXII Olympic Winter Games and XI Paralympic Winter Games, the 2013 Kazan XXVII Summer Universiade and the Russian Olympian Sportsmen Support Fund. He is a Trustee for a range of social, educational and cultural organisations, including the Russian Geographical Society, Moscow State Institute of International Relations, National Research University Higher School of Economics, and European University at St. Petersburg.
Mr. Usmanov is the founder of the Arts, Science and Sports Charity Foundation.
In 2013, Mr. Usmanov was awarded the Order for Service to the Fatherland IV class in recognition of his services to the state, as well as his community and charitable activities. In 2004, he was presented with the Order of Honour of the Russian Federation for his contribution to business and charity.
In 2011, he received the Order of Friendship of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Alongside his investments within USM Holdings, Mr. Usmanov owns Kommersant Holding, the leading Russian business media group, as well as almost 30% of Arsenal, an English football club.

USM Holdings – About us [June 21, 2013]

USM Holdings Limited (“USM Holdings”) is a diversified, international company with significant interests across the metals and mining,
telecoms, internet and media sectors. It was established in 2012
to consolidate the various investments and holdings of
Alisher Usmanov, which are the result of more than
30 years of his investment and business
development activities.

In consolidating Mr. Usmanov’s interests into one company, USM Holdings has the right structure to enable the sharing of both intellectual and financial capital amongst its various businesses. The group’s companies benefit from a global network of relationships and a wealth of experience, which enable them to access international investment opportunities. Through its structure, reporting and transparency, USM Holdings aims to ensure that its companies adhere to the highest international standards of corporate governance.
In carrying out its operations, USM Holdings acts in a socially responsible way, investing in long-term sustainable enterprises, stimulating economic development and creating employment opportunities in Russia. The group cares about the communities in which it conducts its business, and supports them through a wide range of social projects in the fields of education, sports, arts, science and ecology.

The main shareholders of USM Holdings are Alisher Usmanov, Vladimir Skoch and Farhad Moshiri. Their economic interests are divided 60%, 30% and 10% respectively, while Mr. Usmanov holds 100% of the voting rights with respect to USM Holdings.

Russian Billionaire Usmanov Links Fortune to Partnership [Bloomberg, Feb 6, 2013]

Alisher Usmanov, Russia’s richest man, and two of his long-time billionaire investment partners have joined all of their assets in USM Holdings, a limited liability company based in the British Virgin Islands.
Conceived in early 2012 and completed in December, the new formation holds the trio’s assets in mining, technology, telecommunications and media, and carries a value of more than $29 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
“We have completed the process of consolidating assets into USM Holdings,” Usmanov, 59, said by e-mail Feb. 5. “The formation of a single holding company enables us to optimize business processes, enhance the efficiency of managing subsidiary companies, and provide more opportunities to access international capital markets.”
According to the company’s website, which went live late last month, USM was established to consolidate the holdings Usmanov has built up during the last 30 years, including closely held Metalloinvest Holding Co., Russia’s largest iron ore producer, publicly-traded mobile phone company MegaFon OAO and Internet company Mail.Ru Group Ltd., as well as the technology investments he has made through the DST investment funds.
USM shareholders include Usmanov, who holds 60 percent; Vladimir Skoch, who holds 30 percent on behalf of his son, Russian Duma deputy Andrey Skoch; and Ardavan Farhad Moshiri, an Usmanov adviser of 23 years, who owns 10 percent.
Usmanov and Moshiri continue to hold their shared 29.9 percent stake in London-based Arsenal Football Club Plc separately. Usmanov owns all of newspaper Kommersant outside of USM.
‘One Roof’
Usmanov controls all of USM’s voting rights and also has the ability to block his partners from selling any assets it holds without his consent. He first disclosed his plans for the holding company in April 2012, and released further details of its formation in MegaFon’s preliminary prospectus, which was released in November.
Ivan Streshinskiy, who has helped manage Usmanov’s investments since 2006, was appointed to the USM Holdings board and named chief executive officer of USM Advisors, an affiliated company that will provide advisory services to the holding entity.
“Having all of the assets under one roof makes it easier to manage them and value them,” Kirill Chuyko, head of equity research at BCS Financial Group said by phone Jan. 21, explaining the possible reasons for structure.
Longtime Allies
The two minority partners acquired their stakes in USM by swapping their existing equity in holding companies controlled by Usmanov and making a cash investment. After the transaction, Usmanov has a net worth of $21.4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, while Moshiri controls a $1.7 billion fortune. Skoch is valued at $6.2 billion.
Rollo Head, a spokesman for Moshiri at London-based RLM Finsbury, said Moshiri declined to comment on his net worth. Albert Istomin, a spokesman for Skoch, declined to comment on the net worth calculation. Usmanov also declined to comment.
Usmanov first met Andrey Skoch in 1992, when he was importing cigarettes to Russia and Skoch was working as an oil trader. At the time, the country was suffering from a deficit of consumer goods, which enabled Usmanov to build a thriving trade business.
He and Skoch purchased metal and mining assets during and after the country’s chaotic privatization years, including a steel plant in the Belgorod region, central Russia, and iron ore producer Lebedinsky GOK. In 2006, after buying Mikhailovsky GOK from Georgia’s current prime minister, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, they created Metalloinvest, now Usmanov’s most valuable asset.
Government Ally
Usmanov’s rise to prominence was boosted in the early 2000s, when he proved to be an ally to the new government led by Russian President Vladimir Putin. As head of Gazprominvestholding, the investment arm of Russia’s gas monopoly OAO Gazprom, Usmanov helped negotiate the return of assets to state-run Gazprom that had been moved out of the company under previous management.
In 1999, Skoch was elected as a deputy of the State Duma, Russia’s main legislative body, representing the Belgorod region. He later transferred the fortune he had built to his father, Vladimir, shielding himself from public criticism. He was re-elected to the Duma four times.
Iranian Emigrant
Moshiri, an Iranian emigrate to London who now resides in Monaco, first met Usmanov in 1989, and has served as Usmanov’s financial consultant ever since. Through the years, he earned shares in some of Usmanov’s most important assets, including Metalloinvest, MegaFon and Arsenal.
The former accountant, who is a British citizen, resisted Usmanov’s diversification into technology investments, which began in 2008, using billionaire Yuri Milner’s DST funds.
“Moshiri also didn’t believe in the prospects for investments in Facebook and Groupon,” said Usmanov in an April 2012 phone interview with Bloomberg News.
His hesitation did not prevent Usmanov from allowing him the chance to participate, which has given Moshiri holdings through DST in publicly-traded Facebook Inc., Zynga Inc. and Groupon Inc., as well as other investments in a number of closely-held technology companies, including Twitter Inc.
USM did not disclose how much Moshiri and Skoch may have paid to make those investments, or their exact stakes.
New Valuation
The new holding company requires a revised method for the Bloomberg ranking to calculate the net worth for Usmanov and Moshiri, and established a valuation for Skoch’s fortune.
Prior to the transaction, Usmanov and Moshiri controlled half of Metalloinvest through Cyprus-based Gallagher Holdings Ltd., which has since been renamed USM Steel & Mining Group Ltd. That stake was combined with the 30 percent held by Skoch. The remaining 20 percent of Metalloinvest was bought back by the company from Moscow-based OAO VTB Bank at the end of 2012 through debt financing, consolidating all of the company under the control of USM.
Further details on the debt financing will be provided when Metalloinvest releases its earnings in April, the company said.

Alisher Usmanov: Uzbek eyes a prize listing [Financial Times, Nov 16, 2012]

The billionaire businessman reflects the new style of oligarch that puts a premium on loyalty and predictability

When Alisher Usmanov met Lloyd Blankfein on the sidelines of the St Petersburg Economic Forum in June, the two men appeared to strike up a rapport. The Uzbek-born billionaire and the chairman of Goldman Sachs discussed the planned initial public offering of Megafon, the mobile phone company owned by Mr Usmanov, say people familiar with the conversation. Mr Blankfein courted Mr Usmanov, one of Russia’s most powerful and best-connected businessmen, for an insight into upcoming deals.
Within months, everything had changed. By early October, Goldman had dropped Mr Usmanov and the Megafon deal, throwing a spanner in the company’s IPO plans and launching a storm of bad publicity around Mr Usmanov personally.
Goldman declined to comment on its reasons for quitting the IPO. Morgan Stanley, Sberbank, Citigroup, Credit Suisse and VTB are still working on the deal, which began formal marketing on Thursday after receiving delayed approval from the UK regulator, which appeared to have been shaken by Goldman’s exit.
Should the deal, which could raise as much as $2.1bn, go through, it would be the biggest flotation by a Russian company in nearly three years. If it flops, it will be another setback for Mr Usmanov, a symbol of a class of powerful Russian businessmen who work closely with the state, and his plans to take his empire public.
Businessmen close to the 59-year-old oligarch say he was dumbstruck by Goldman’s move. In his world, loyalty and predictability are prized above all else, and it is partly because of his strict adherence to such a code that he has risen so far in the Russia of President Vladimir Putin.
Today’s oligarchs are not the brash, buccaneering variety of the 1990s, who wielded both wealth and influence in Boris Yeltsin’s Kremlin. Putin-era billionaires such as Mr Usmanov are expected to respect state power in order to thrive.
It was in this context that Mr Usmanov – worth $18bn, according to Forbes – bought the art estate of cellist Mstislav Rostropovich and then donated it to the state. It was also for that reason, analysts say, that he agreed to take a stake in Megafon, interceding in a years-long shareholder feud that was damaging Russia’s investment climate.
Usmanov is known as a person able to resolve delicate situations to the satisfaction of all the parties,” says Ivan Streshinsky, a long-time associate.
That is not all he is known for. The 45 pages of Megafon’s IPO investor prospectus entitled “Risk factors” includes “media speculation” about Mr Usmanov’s alleged mafia ties and the six years he spent in an Uzbek jail in the 1980s, along with more media speculation that the real owner of a large share in Megafon might be Leonid Reiman, a former communications minister.
This week it also emerged that a public relations firm had tampered with Mr Usmanov’s Wikipedia page to remove mention of an incident in which the billionaire had allegedly threatened bloggers who repeated allegations that he was a “gangster and racketeer”, and also edited out mentions of his jail term.
Mr Usmanov and his partners deny issuing such threats, deny having any ties to organised crime groups, and he and Megafon’s management deny Mr Reiman is a shareholder. Andrei Skoch, a long-time friend and business partner, blames Mr Usmanov’s fraud conviction in 1980 on enemies of his father, a local Uzbek prosecutor. The criminal charges were overturned in 2000.
The criminal conviction did dash Mr Usmanov’s dreams of a career as a diplomat moving between the world’s capitals, an ambition forged in a remote corner of central Asia in his native Uzbekistan, where he was born in 1953 in the small city of Chust, a place renowned as home of the traditional Uzbek skullcap.
Once out of jail Mr Usmanov built up a number of small businesses before consolidating some of Russia’s biggest metal and steel holdings into holding company Metalloinvest in 2006. Since then he has expanded outside Russia: acquiring stakes in internet groups such as Facebook and Groupon, and buying properties and trophy sporting assets in London as well as some of Russia’s most prestigious media properties.
Some international ventures have been less than happy. At Arsenal, the English Premier League football club in which he holds a near 30 per cent stake, he has waged a running battle with the board, criticising strategy and complaining that the best players have been let go.
Football is one of his passions, along with opera, ballet and fencing.
His approach to business involves close attention to detail. Despite poor eyesight, he is said to read up to 300 pages of analytics, reports and news items a day that are tirelessly rewritten into Russian by a retained group of round-the-clock translators.
Close links to the Kremlin have not harmed his prospects, say analysts. In 2009, at the height of the financial crisis, Metalloinvest received Rb61bn in bailout loans from state bank VTB, allowing Mr Usmanov not only to emerge from the crisis unscathed but also in the same year to spend $200m on a 2 per cent stake in Facebook through Digital Sky Technologies, a company in which he is a shareholder.
Associates say any political connections are normal. “With the scale and size of his business it would be misleading to say he has no relationship with the authorities – just like any major business leader in the world,” says Mr Streshinsky.
But Mr Usmanov’s political allegiances came under scrutiny last year when he fired two executives at his news weekly Kommersant Vlast because of a cover, published at the peak of mass anti-government protests in Moscow, that featured an obscene comment about Mr Putin.
Critics saw this as trampling on editorial freedom. Friends say he acted for reasons of taste. “He’s an old-fashioned guy. This overstepped the bounds of decency,” says Mr Streshinsky. “This has nothing to do with freedom of speech”.


The ‘Facebook Corruption’ accusations via a U.S. Congress Representative:

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in addition a page from Who is Lawrence “Larry” Summers? [FB Cover-up opinion blog, Jul. 31, 2013]

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China is the epicenter of the mobile Internet world, so of the next-gen HTML5 web

My preceding posts on this site are already leading to such a massive conclusion. Read:

IMT-Advanced (4G) for the next-generations of interactive mobile services, China is triumphant [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Oct 24, 2010]
Good TD-LTE potential for target commercialisation by China Mobile in 2012 [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, July 13, 2011 – Feb 8, 2012]
TD-SCDMA: US$3B into the network (by the end of 2012) and 6 million phones procured (just in October) [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Oct 18, 2011]
China becoming the lead market for mobile Internet in 2012/13 [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Dec 1, 2011]
MWC 2012: the 4G/LTE lightRadio network [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Oct 16, 2012]
China: 20,000 TD-LTE base stations in 13 cities by the end of 2012 and about 200,000 base stations in 100 cities launched in 2013 with the 2.6GHz TDD spectrum planning just started—SoftBank with TD-LTE strategy in Japan getting into global play with Sprint (also the 49% owner of US TD-LTE champion, Clearwire) acquisition [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Oct 16, 2012]

The latest information collected to support my headline here is providing further evidence:

  1. The new frontier: application service (e.g. WeChat) global expansion with lead market advantage and tremendous growth opportunity lying ahead
  2. Online shopping growing very fast
  3. Applications, applications to be added to the search
  4. Xiaomi to take Apple place
  5. Strong central government support
  6. Country-wide 4G roll-out by year end 2013 after extensive trials
  7. From operator branded to white-box superphones supporting all that

Lead #1: Choosing Sides: Who’s Partnered with Who in China’s Internet War? [Tech In Asia, Aug 5, 2013]

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The battle between China’s internet giants is only becoming more contentious, and the nation’s major companies seem to be making acquisitions and partnerships at a breakneck pace this year (not to mention rolling out products designed to invade rivals’ markets).

In the interest of clarity, I thought it would be fun to do a roundup of who’s on whose team so far, based on China’s three most internet profitable companies. Obviously none of this is cast in stone, but it’s still quite an interesting way to understand the internet sector. (Note: these lists only include acquisitions and partnerships from 2013).

Team Alibaba:

  • Sina Weibo – a huge new partnership that’s likely to yield more social products from Alibaba.
  • Qihoo 360 – Arguably an independent player, but Qihoo has worked with Alibaba on a product search engine. Qihoo is itself rumored to be buying Sogou.
  • Autonavi – Alibaba invested a boatload in the online mapping company, though it’s not yet clear what role this will play in Alibaba’s long-term strategy.
  • Xiami (acquisition) – Another likely part of Alibaba’s social plan.

Shots fired: Alibaba has been especially harsh to Tencent this year, banning third-party communication tools (mostly WeChat and QQ) in its offices andshutting down the Taobao-WeChat interface. But it has also taken a swipe at Baidu via the launch of its own search engine.

Team Tencent:

  • Xiaomi – A very new partnership, but one that could see Tencent strengthen its strangehold in mobile.
  • China Unicom – WeChat’s popularity has got all of China’s telecoms trying to cozy up to Tencent to get in on the money train.

Shots fired: New security features in WeChat 5 will challenge Qihoo, and Tencent is also rumored to be interested in buying Sogou which would put it at odds with Baidu. Additionally, Tencent dealt old rivals Qihoo a loss in the courts this year.

Team Baidu:

  • 91 Wireless (acquisition) – A huge buy that shows Baidu is serious about mobile.
  • PPS (acquisition) – Another major buy that turned Baidu into one of the major players in internet video.
  • Qunar – Baidu has invested big in the online travel company.
  • Kingsoft – Baidu has also invested in Qihoo rival Kingsoft.

Shots fired: Baidu really hates Qihoo, and has launched an antivirus suite and Baidu Guard, both of which are designed to break into Qihoo’s PC security market. Entering Alibaba’s domain, it has also released a product search engine. Plus, just like Tencent, Baidu has spanked Qihoo in court this year.

First watch this video about Baidu [firecracker888 YouTube channel, Dec 4, 2012]
Baidu is one of the WPP, BrandZ Top 50 Most Valuable Chinese Brands 2013. Each brand has its own individual story and to tell them we have put together 50 short films – one on each of the brands in the rankings.
as well as about Baidu’s recent expansion by acquiring 91 Wireless, the biggest 3d party appstore in China: Baidu Gains Mobile Share in $1.9B 91 Wireless Deal [BloombergMarket YouTube channel, July 16, 2013], note Baidu’s earlier platform attempts—Baidu Site App Platform [Sept 3, 2012] and Baidu Yi [Sept 2, 2011]—now joined by 91 open mobile platform [Oct 11, 2012] as well.

Jin Yoon discusses Baidu on CNBC World [BeyondPixInterviews YouTube channel, July 30, 2013]

Jin Yoon, Nomura Live at Beyond Pix Studios in San Francisco, CA. July 16, 2013. http://www.beyondpix.com
Then go deeper first with:
Alibaba is one of China’s largest–and most successful–online retailers, and its IPO could command upwards of $70 billion dollars. With a offering coming as early as September, Alibaba appears to be taking steps to limit the counterfeit merchandise on its platform. The Wall Street Journal reports:
Unlike Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), Alibaba doesn’t sell products itself but operates websites that help sellers find buyers. While Alibaba doesn’t have much control over who sells what on Taobao–a mammoth site with more than 800 million product listings—it has been continuously upgrading the system to delete listings for counterfeit goods. In Alibaba’s efforts to maintain credibility, Tmall, another shopping site that became independent from Taobao in 2011, plays a key role. While anyone with a national identification document can become a seller on Taobao, Alibaba’s criteria for Tmall, which hosts storefronts for major brands such as Nike Inc. (NKE) and Gap Inc. (GPS), are more stringent as it tries to make the site a piracy-free zone…
…Alibaba said it blocks some items from being posted on Taobao using filtering mechanisms based on certain keywords used by sellers to describe counterfeit goods. Brands like[guitar-string manufacturer] D’Addarioconstantly monitor Taobao and report any counterfeit items to Alibaba.
which provides a good introduction to Jack Ma: E-commerce in China and Around the World [Credit Suisse YouTube channel, March 20, 2013]
With 242 million people in China expected to shop online in 2013, spending an estimated US$265 billion, China’s e-commerce industry is a force no-one can afford to ignore. Jack Ma, the head of Alibaba Group, China’s largest e-commerce company, discusses how the sector has been generating grassroots economic opportunities and changing lives in China and beyond, and what the future of e-commerce will be like.
And now it’s time to learn via an authentic video of how that business started in 1999 (with the experience of the first Internet company “China Pages” started in 1995 and then 14 months of work for the goverment behind) Jack Ma Speech From “Crocodile In The Yangtze” [PandoDaily YouTube channel, Jan 16, 2013]
Alibaba founder Jack Ma gives an inspirational speech to his recruits in the company’s first office: his apartment. This clip is from Porter Erisman’s documentary film about Alibaba: “Crocodile In The Yangtze.” See http://www.crocodileintheyangtze.com/

Then continue with Alibaba Founder Jack Ma: Ideas & Technology Can Change the World [stanfordbusiness YouTube channel, June 19, 2013] the same appeared as Jack Ma: E-Commerce and the China Opportunity [TeamAlibaba YouTube channel, May 9, 2013] with “… talks about his unusual entrepreneurial beginnings at …. See what else he has to say about e-commerce and the China opportunity.

Jack Ma, the founder of China’s most profitable e-commerce company Alibaba Group, made his last public speech at Stanford University on May 4th, 2013 before stepping down as CEO. In his talk, Ma discussed why embracing change is critical for global leaders managing the fast turnover of technology. The event was co-hosted by Alibaba Group and the Stanford Graduate School of Business’s Stanford Program on Regions of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SPRIE): http://stnfd.biz/lVQGt Transcript (English): http://stnfd.biz/mZAZw Transcript (Mandarin): http://stnfd.biz/mZB1D
Jack Ma reflects at Stanford during final days as CEO; says ‘people bet I’d be a loser’ [By Daniel Limón on SPRIE, May 14, 2013], see also the full transcript in English (PDF)
Speaking without notes or visual aids on May 4th at Stanford University’s NVIDIA Auditorium, founder and former CEO of Alibaba Group Jack Ma unspooled a farewell talk that at moments turned highly personal and deeply reflective: Ma spoke openly about his persistent failures in school, including spending seven years in elementary school and being rejected by Harvard ten times, and about his struggles to jumpstart Alibaba with only 50,000 RMB.
Less than two minutes into his talk at the event co-hosted by Alibaba Group and the Stanford Program on Regions of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SPRIE) of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Ma touched on the trials and travails he had faced early on as an internet and e-commerce pioneer in China. “Back in 1995,” revealed Ma, “I felt I was a loner and people thought I was a cheater. They said I was trying to make something out of nothing.” In fact, added Ma, his first interview with CCTV was censored at the behest of the producer, who feared Ma’s talk about giving the Chinese government internet access was “not a positive influence” and made Ma “look like a bad guy.”
Ma’s personal struggles, however, began well before he knew anything about e-commerce—in elementary school—where Ma confessed to being such a bad pupil that no school in his hometown of Hangzhou wanted him. In high school, he spent three years taking the college entrance exam before scoring high enough to enroll in a local teachers college. Harvard rejected him ten times. “Nobody said that I would be a very capable person that would do something significant or meaningful in the future,” Ma admitted to a silent and still audience of about 100 people. Ma also recalled his father asking him to focus and do calligraphy. “I couldn’t really do it—I didn’t have good penmanship,” he said.
It’s clear the former English teacher turned internet billionaire never let the doubts of his detractors or the rejections from Harvard spoil his high aspirations—in fact, Ma credited the Silicon Valley for inspiring him to bring internet innovation to China amid the setbacks: “I knew nothing about technology, but every time I came to Silicon Valley, on the weekends I would see cars fill each and every parking lot… I saw the lights were on at each and every office building. When everyone spoke, their eyes were filled with sparkles. They were really hopeful about the future. So I was really inspired when I went back to China—I thought that I should do an internet business.”
So Ma did, founding Alibaba Group in 1999 with 17 other co-founders. Today, Alibaba is China’s largest e-commerce firm, something Ma readily admitted exceeded his wildest dreams: “I never thought that Jack Ma would have, in the future, a day like today. I never thought that Alibaba or Taobao or any type of transaction developed by Taobao would have a day like today. I never thought the internet would have a day like today.”
Midway through the speech, the 49-year-old seasoned entrepreneur also struck a philosophical and political chord, making tacit references to god, social conflict, war, and generational change. He encouraged the audience to be grateful for living in an era of great opportunity, adding “the worst thing is that mankind experiences war… if we can actually solve problems through economic development, we will not need wars and we can actually use economic development to influence many people.” He warned, nonetheless, that in the next 30 years the world would face a host of unknown vicissitudes, including “lots of social conflicts,” which Ma described as opportunities for young people. “If everything stays stable, we are not going to have any opportunities.”
Ma also gave the audience his views on the state of China’s present social milieu: “This is the best of times, this is the worst of times,” remarked Ma. “Nobody is happy in China… there’s a lack of trust and nobody is happy. The poor people are unhappy; the rich people are unhappy. The government doesn’t trust media; the media doesn’t trust government. We are in an era of constant change.”
At least twice during his speech, the founder of China’s most profitable e-commerce company also took spirited swipes at some of his personal critics. “You know, we are experiencing economic and political restructuring and they want me to commit suicide. Lots of people are asking, ‘why are you not advocating for political restructuring?’ I don’t feel that’s actually something that can be done. I feel that lots of people encouraging me to do that have foreign passports. And they aren’t going to stay in China as long as they see the situation changing. They’re going to flee the country.” Ma also took to task those that ask why he runs a technology company if he knows so little about technology. He said it’s like asking a real estate developer “you know nothing about constructing a house—how can you be a real estate developer?”
Fourteen years removed from when he founded Alibaba, Ma’s personal belief is that one shows respect and admiration for technology and the people that develop it. “That you don’t know about technology,” said Ma, “doesn’t mean you don’t respect technology.”
You can understand the role of Alibaba in global e-commerce (already) via Small Business Success: DS Global Corporation (DS글로벌) [TeamAlibaba YouTube channel, July 17, 2013]
A look at how DS Global Corporation (DS글로벌) president, Heaon-Jae Lee, found success for his small business in the automotive industry using Alibaba.com from Korea. From early on, Lee understood how the internet could help him reach new markets around the world. He now works with companies across 70 countries, including Turkey, USA, Spain, South Africa, Brazil and Russia.
and for making simple the task of global sourcing for potential customers there is an all-encompassing service on Alibaba.com, the AliSourcePro [TeamAlibaba YouTube channel, July 3, 2013]
Find out more and submit your buying request now at:http://www.Alibaba.com/AliSourcePro Save time and find quality suppliers in one easy step to use sourcing platform. AliSourcePro makes sourcing easy!
More information:
Why Alibaba’s Future Looks Bright [Tech In Asia, May 21, 2013]
Why Alibaba could be China’s next $100bln IPO [Reuters’ Analysis & Opinion blog, April 25, 2013]
Interview with Alibaba.com’s Chairman, Jack Ma [a bmpcroxon article now available only via Alibaba Trade Forums, Oct 23, 2006]
Jack Ma, In the Chinese Cave of Alibaba – La Tribune, Business section [Alibaba Trade Forums, Aug 13, 2007]

Lead #2: Here’s why a war has started between Chinese Internet giants Tencent and Alibaba [The Next Web, Aug 5, 2013]

Chinese Internet giant Tencent has been on a roll recently — for a while last week, it seemed that plenty of other Chinese tech companies wanted to be friends with the firm behind WeChat, a wildly popular messaging service in the country.
However, a huge crack appeared in its veneer of popularity toward the end of the week when Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba suddenly suspended its working relationship with WeChat, marking the start of war.
A series of collaborations and one break-off
Last week, Chinese telecom operators did a surprise turn-around after previously getting upset that WeChat was allegedly stealing users away from traditional SMS.
China Unicom officially announced the introduction of a new SIM card that includes an independent data package for WeChat. Subsequently, it was reported that China Telecom would launch a plan that includes 2GB worth of data specifically for WeChat as well as Sina Weibo — though WeChat was obviously the focus of this package.
Following that, Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi launched its latest Hongmi phone — at $130, it is the lowest-priced in Xiaomi’s range — in collaboration with Qzone, a social networking website owned by Tencent.
Tencent seemed to be riding the wave of popularity throughout last week — until all of a sudden, Alibaba announced that it was suspending all WeChat-related marketing applications from its e-commerce sites.
Alibaba cited misuse by sellers as the reason for doing so, but in the next moment, the company announced that it was launching a “Weibo-Taobao” platform to make it easier for customers on the Twitter-like microblogging platform to shop on e-commerce site Taobao. Interestingly enough, it was also revealed that Sina Weibo will provide Taobao sellers with marketing services.
This suspension of any existing working relationship is a clear indication that war has started between the two Chinese Internet giants — Tencent and Alibaba.
Unlikely rivals cross paths
It would seem that the two make unlikely rivals. The former focuses on providing service portals, while the other mainly dabbles in e-commerce.
However, Alibaba — which makes more money than eBay and Amazon combined — has been showing interest in tapping into the social market. It took an 18 percent stake in Sina’s Weibo in a bid to slow down Tencent’s WeChat success and also bought 28 percent of AutoNavi, China’s top mapping system, suggesting that it is focusing on maps as another prong of its social strategy.
This comes as Tencent revealed last year that it was looking to expand its business into a number of new areas as it sought to increase its already sizable online presence and appeal to advertisers — one of which was e-commerce, which would infringe on Alibaba’s presence. Subsequently, it created an e-commerce subsidiary called Tencent E-Commerce Holding Company.
Just recently, Tencent also led a $150 million investment in design-focused e-commerce service Fab.com, aimed at helping the firm learn more about global e-commerce models.
Alibaba’s fear of Tencent’s social power
Why would Alibaba be so afraid of Tencent though, given that Tencent has not yet made its big jump into e-commerce? The reason is simple:
Tencent’s dominance in the social market.
The power of social is something that every company aspires to have. Communities form opinions and can ultimately define future products and services, according to Jeremiah Owyang, an industry analyst and partner at Altimeter Group.
Right now, it is clear that even if communities haven’t entirely started defining products and services yet, they can decide which ones should get the love. This means that if you have the community on your side, you have a significant advantage.
And Tencent has the power of communities on its side, which could easily become a force to be reckoned with. QQ had close to 800 million active accounts at the end of 2012, while WeChat has nearly 400 million users in all, out of which there are 195 million monthly active users.
This means that any new initiative rolled out by Tencent, such as e-commerce, could very possibly tip the scale to its favor.
Even though Tencent has not started mapping a clear route to develop e-commerce, its dabbling into selling peripherals such as stickers and games could see it inch slowly toward rolling out more products.

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Furthermore, Tencent has the payments solution in place to enable possible e-commerce. The company owns Tenpay, a PayPal-like online payments solution. Its QQ platform also has a virtual currency already, while the latest update to Weixin (what WeChat is known as in China) saw it introduce mobile in-app payments linked to a banking account which is in turn supported by TenPay.
A Sina Tech report noted that by introducing payments onto WeChat, Tencent is literally declaring war on Alipay, the mobile payments company spun off by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. The report cites a source close to Alipay as saying that the company had already sensed the impending threat of TenPay being integrated into WeChat, and has been developing new techniques to head off the challenge – for example, it recently announced a major update of its mobile app, Alipay Wallet.
Who will win the war?
Alibaba has shown all intentions of fighting this war to victory. Newly-installed Chief Executive Jonathan Lu has pledged to continue the e-commerce giant’s recent string of big investments as it continues focusing on improving its services for mobile. Lu wants Alibaba’s service – and in particular its two biggest e-commerce businesses: virtual ‘mall’ for brands Tmall and eBay-likeTaobao marketplace – to make better use of customer data to provide a more tailored user experience.
However, even Tencent’s rival — and Alibaba’s ally – Sina has publicly admitted that WeChat is causing its users to spend less time on the Twitter-like Sina Weibo service.
In other words, Tencent isn’t China’s biggest Internet company without a reason. By harnessing the power of social, Tencent has laid its foundation well and could easily spread its influence into a wider variety of businesses.
John Hancock once said: The greatest ability in business is to get along with others and to influence their actions.
The community that Tencent has painstakingly built up over the years will lead to much easier influence in the future, which bodes well for its business. On the other hand, Alibaba needs to brush up on its social influence in China. It is doing swimmingly well in its main businesses — which include e-commerce, financial solutions and big data — and has been tipped for a multi-billion-dollar initial public offering (between $60 billion-$70 billion), but its lack of a persuasive social strategy still sticks out like a sore thumb.
Could the tables turn though? Definitely, considering that Alibaba has already recognized this and is taking steps to beef up its social strategy. In war, victory is always possible as long as you keep fighting. Who knows, Alibaba could one day just as easily roll out a phenomenal success like WeChat.
Then I recommend to watch Tencent [firecracker888 YouTube channel, Dec 4, 2012], note that the “weixin” service (mentioned in the video by Chinese) is WeChat mentioned above
Tencent is one of the WPP, BrandZ Top 50 Most Valuable Chinese Brands 2013. Each brand has its own individual story and to tell them we have put together 50 short films – one on each of the brands in the rankings.
To close this lead section is best with these 13 months old Tencent CEO interview which speaks for the whole Internet industry in China, also by clearly expressing its global expansion potential:  Tencent’s Pony Ma (马化腾) on China’s internet economy [NUS Business School  YouTube channel, July 1, 2012]
Founder and CEO of China’s biggest internet company speaks to NUS Business School on the challenges and opportunities in China’s fast-changing dotcom sector.

End of the Lead Contents

My preliminary investigation was concluded in an ‘April 13, 2013 Report’, which is following after the above sections, and organized around the following findings:

Digitimes Research: Smartphone sales to reach 329 million in China in 2013 [DIGITIMES Research, March 18, 2013]
China Mobile aims to sell 100-120 million TD-SCDMA handsets in 2013 [DIGITIMES, March 15, 2013]
China Mobile 2013 capex increases 49% on year [DIGITIMES, March 14, 2013]
China Mobile to build world’s largest 4G network [CCTV News via GoUTube123 YouTube channel, Feb 27, 2013]
China Mobile launched 100 cities 1 million terminals-covered 4G plan to create world’s largest 4G network [GTI News, March 8, 2013]
China Mobile to procure TD-LTE devices from Huawei, ZTE, Samsung [DIGITIMES, March 19, 2013]
China Mobile: 4G licensing expected by year-end [China Daily, March 13, 2013]
China to lead mobil payment technology [CCTV News via GoUTube123 YouTube channel, Feb 27, 2013]
Commercializing 4G in China needs 1 yr: minister [China Daily, March 15, 2013]
FRANCE 24 Report : Chinese smartphone brands take bite out of APPLE [france24englishYouTube channel, Feb 18, 2013]
Rise of Chinese smartphones [CNNInternational YouTube channel, Feb 26, 2013]
Mike Walsh on Global Innovation [cmispeakers YouTube channel, Feb 5, 2013]
China Smartphone Sector [Asia Pacific/China Equity Research, Credit Suisse, Jan 7, 2013]
Chinese Smartphones [FinancialTimesVideos YouTube channel, April 5, 2012]
Chinese smartphones going big [CCTV News via the GoUTube123 YouTube channel, July 11, 2012]
Handset Industry 2013 Outlook [Asia Pacific/China Equity Research, Credit Suisse, Jan 7, 2013]
SED Electronics Market (Tablets Market) in Shenzhen walk-through [Charbax YouTube channel, March 17, 2013]
Allwinner A31 9.7″ Retina factory tour at Celeb Tech [Charbax YouTube channel, March 17, 2013]

Then followed by More information

This getting even more interesting as the quite dramatic by itself introductory information is only one of the reasons (more will follow below) why we can say that China is the epicenter of the mobile Internet world, so of the next-gen HTML5 web … even if such a power of influence is too new for the country to be able to exercise that to a greater degree (yet): China Knocks Off U.S. to Become World’s Top Smart Device Market [Peter Farago on the Flurry blog, Feb 18, 2013]

Nevertheless the collection given below in the ‘Background’ section is showing that potential. Just look at the major headlines in that section:
China becomes world’s top smartphone producer
China’s e-commerce revenue hits over 1 trillion yuan in 2012: minister
China’s top microblog site boasts 500 mln users
China expected to issue 4G licenses this year: minister
Preparing for a 4G network across China
ZTE leads in 4G wireless networks
EU telecom demands raise tensions with China
China has till June for solar, telecoms trade deal: EU
China’s mobile phone users reach 1.11 bln
China market: Samsung takes up 22.5% of 2012 smartphone sales, says iiMedia Research
Smart phones cover 70 pct of mobile market: report
Android powers a third of all mobile phones shipped in 4Q12, says Canalys
Google controls too much of China’s smartphone sector: ministry
Too late for China to develop own mobile operating systems, say Taiwan makers
China handset makers hope to reduce reliance on Android
China to modify plan to open up mobile telecom sector
4M[bps] broadband to cover 70 percent of Chinese users in 2013
Broadband network expansion in the pipeline

DETAILS


1. The new frontier: application service (e.g. WeChat) global expansion with lead market advantage and tremendous growth opportunity lying ahead

The new frontier: WeChat striving for global expansion [ChinaDaily, Aug 5, 2013]

Lisa Tseretzoulias, a 51-year-old office administrator living in Montreal, Canada, came across WeChat a year ago and instantly fell in love. “I like it a lot and have recommended it to family and friends.”
WeChat, known as weixin in Chinese, is the country’s most popular messaging and social media app developed by Tencent, China’s biggest Internet firm. WeChat is often likened toWhatsApp, developed by a US firm, and Japan’s Line.
But WeChat is more than a messenger app and packs a host of other features, including a hold-to-talk function that allows users to send audio messages to other WeChat users, much like a walky-talky. It’s also a social media platform to post photos and make comments, much like Facebook. Companies and celebrities can open a special account to interact with fans and build a following. NBA basketball player LeBron James has an account.
Founded in 1998 in the southern city of Shenzhen, Guangdong province, Tencent has over the past decade proven itself to be China’s undisputed king of messaging, with its banner instant messaging service called QQ, China’s largest instant messaging service with over 800 million users. With a shift in Internet usage from personal computers to smartphones and tablets, Tencent launched WeChat in 2011.
By the end of the first half of 2013, the number of WeChat users in China had exceeded 400 million, driving revenue growth from mobile traffic up by 56.8 percent, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
Just like the impact Skype has had on landlines, the heavy use of WeChat in China now poses a challenge for telecom operators, whose revenues for text messaging—its most profitable business—fell markedly, leading to a debate overwhether or not to charge a user fee for the application. The attempt by telecom operators to pressure WeChat to charge for the service was roundly condemned by Chinese netizens and others who called on the phone companies to leave WeChat alone and develop their own products to compete. So far, Tencent has no plans to charge users for the popular app but says it will cooperate with China’s big telecom players in other ways.
WeChat is already a huge domestic success and is used by everyone from teenagers to their parents to their grandparents. But Tencent is not satisfied with success in the home market and is branching out globally tooth-and-nail. Roadblocks, however, remain.
With an eye on the international market, WeChat is now available in 18 languages, including English, Indonesian, Spanish, Portuguese, Thai, Vietnamese and Russian. The app can be used on almost all mainstream mobile phone systems thanks to a first-class research and development team at Tencent. WeChat is growing quickly in overseas markets. Tencent announced on July 3 that WeChat has accrued over 70 million registered overseas users, a sharp jump from the 40 million users it claimed it had back in April.
“The software has been especially successful in Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore and the Philippines,”said Martin Lau, President of Tencent, at a developer conference held in Beijing on July 3.
To further expand its user coverage, Tencent has unveiled an advertising campaign featuring internationally famed soccer star Lionel Messi to run in 15 countries, including Argentina, Brazil, India, Italy, Mexico, South Africa, Spainand Turkey.
WeChat has adopted a localization strategy when branching out by hiring celebrities as part of its marketing efforts. A much-loved feature of WeChat is a wide range of cartoon emoticons that users can send to each other, called emoji. With overseas markets in mind, WeChat hasd esigned emoticons featuring local big names. For instance, in India, Tencent roped in popular Bollywood actors Parineeti Chopra and Varun Dhawan as brand ambassadors. Emotes featuring the two Bollywood stars caused a sensation in the country. WeChat is also working closely with businesses overseas and is cooperating with Chang, a well-known beverage company in Thailand.
WeChat’s fun features coupled with Tencent’s strong marketing skills have made the app popular across different markets and helped the app’s popularity soar. User growth is one encouraging sign for the tech company, one of several Chinese Internet companies that have ambitions to expand their businesses abroad. “Successful or not, this is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Tencent,” said Ma Huateng, co-founder and Board Chairman of Tencent, speaking about Tencent’s global layout.
Not easy
While boosting popularity among users outside China, WeChat is faced with competition in the global mobile-chat app market from WhatsApp, Line and Kakao from South Korea.
WhatsApp announced in June it has racked up over 250 million active monthly users worldwide. Line announced on July 23 that it has amassed 200 million global users, and Kakao said in July that the number of its users has topped 95 million. The four are bound to duke it out in the global market.
WeChat has made a splash in emerging nations, especially in Southeast Asia, and has yet to gain a foothold in a large developed economy like the United States, a highly coveted market. By the end of September 2012, there were 100,000 registered WeChat users in theUnited States, a distant cry from the numbers WeChat will need to make an impact beyond the limited population of Chinese-Americans and Chinese students studying there. To that end, Tencent opened an office in February to study the US market and form partnerships with US firms to boost the app’s popularity.
In comparison with the boom in Southeast Asia, WeChat is in its nascent stages of development inthe United States. WeChat faces stiff competition from Line and the Japanese company also has designs on the US market. For now, it’s unclear exactly how WeChat stacks up against its rivals in the battle for the UnitedS tates.
“The US market is a difficult and important one for any Internet company. Many first-class Internet products and companies were born there. The US market is highly sought out by many foreigncompanies and products, and WeChat is no exception,” reads a recent statement from Tencent in February.
“The United States is the most difficult market to tap in our global campaign,” said Ma. “China’s Internet companies lag far behind their globally successful peers and have never been a globals uccess. But now mobile phone and Internet use is developing faster in Asia than in the West. This has given China’s Internet companies a precious opportunity to surpass Western ones,” said Ma, who touts that WeChat is more innovative and user-friendly than its rivals.
But one major concern has Tencent worried: If its popularity grows, could other nations erect the same kind of roadblocks to expansion that have plagued Chinese telecommunications companies like Huawei and ZTE? Both companies have seen their efforts to expand into the United States halted over “national security” concerns.
WeChat has already run into such resistance. India’s intelligence bureau has reportedly proposed a ban on WeChat, saying that the app has already possessed too much personal information on Indians. The United States and other Western nations may suggest the same, fearing that too much citizen data could easily fall into the hands of the Chinese Government.
In response, a spokeswoman for Tencent said, “We have taken user data protection seriously in our product development and daily operations, and like other international peers, we comply with relevant laws in the countries where we have operations.”
Given the recent revelations that the US National Security Agency has been snooping on the e-mails of Americans, users may have few nagging doubts about downloading the Chinese app.
Another issue is whether China’s global image will hold back WeChat in international markets since China is often associated with producing cheap, low-quality products. Persistent foods candals and toxic toys have created a lack of trust of Chinese-made goods in developed countries and beyond.
Duncan Clark, Chairman of BDA China, a consulting firm that specializes in China’s technology and Internet sectors, told The New York Times that WeChat has the potential to overcome anylingering doubts in the West over the made-in-China label, saying potential users would haveno idea the product is Chinese when visiting, for example, an app store, thereby leveling theplaying field for mobile-chat app developers.
Robin Pinsto, a 54-year-old WeChat user in Canada, said she was surprised the app is Chinese.
“I started using WeChat six months ago and I use it every day now. I think WeChat is even better than WhatsApp, with its wide range of cartoon images and other functions,” said Pinsto. “I think WeChat has a shot at being a global success.”
Tseretzoulias, the office administrator in Montreal, has no qualms about WeChat’s origins.
“It doesn’t concern me which country developed it, as long as it’s good to use.”

The lead market advantage: China´s online population nearly 600 mln [CCTVupdates YouTube channel, July 19, 2013]

China’s online population hits 591 million [Shanghai Daily via Xinhuanet, July 18, 2013]

China’s Internet population reached 591 million by the end of June, fueled by a booming mobile Internet user base, a top industry group said yesterday.

More than 70 percent of the new users accessed the Internet via smartphones or other wireless devices. These users are already accustomed to services like instant messaging such as Tencent’s WeChat and payment modes like Alibaba’s Alipay on handsets, according to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), a government-authorized Internet research organization based in Beijing.

CNNIC publishes China’s Internet development report twice a year, which is regarded as an authoritative dot-com review of the country.

“The traditional Internet applications (e-mail and search engine) have developed smoothly in the period but mobile Internet has come into the spotlight,” CNNIC said in a statement on its website.

By the end of June, China had 591 million Internet users, a 10 percent growth from a year ago, and indicating that 44.1 percent of the country’s population uses the web. The Internet penetration rate was 2 percentage points more from the end of last year, CNNIC revealed.

The growing web applications were online music, video, games and literature, according to CNNIC.

China’s mobile Internet user base reached 464 million by June, 78.5 percent of the total Internet users, compared with 72.2 percent a year ago, the center said.

Mobile Internet has become new economy development engine with an increasing number of users and latest innovation, according to Analysys International, a Beijing-based research firm.

WeChat, which is mainly used on mobile platforms, has attracted more than 400 million users in China within about a year. Its developer Tencent has launched WeChat in overseas markets and expects to reach the 500-million user mark soon.

GSMA, a global mobile communications industry association, said last month that by 2017, the Asia Pacific region will have 1.9 billion mobile subscribers, accounting for almost half of the predicted global total of 3.9 billion.

The popularity of smartphones and wider coverage of 3G network, which provides faster web access, will continue to boost the user base of mobile Internet, CNNIC added.

And there is tremendous growth ahead. Here are the latest quarterly trends for the current situation of the mobile Internet according to operators’ company data:

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China’s H1 telecom income up 8.9% [Xinhua, July 24, 2013]

China’s telecom business income increased 8.9 percent year on year in the first half of 2013, with 319 million users of 3G technology, a Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) official said on Wednesday.

At a press conference about the communication industry, Zhu Hongren, the MIIT’s chief engineer, also said that from January to May, the country’s information consumption surged 19.8 percent year on year to 1.38 trillion yuan (223.68 billion U.S. dollars).

He said the mobile Internet sector has grown along with broadband access, online shopping and mobile payments.

Information consumption has become a new way to stimulate domestic demand and has been crucial in boosting China’s economy as foreign trade of goods and services only contributed 0.9 percent to the gross domestic product in the first half of 2013.

Zhu said China had more than 400 million users of Weixin, a popular free WhatsApp-like messaging service with all the functions of short messaging service (SMS) by the end of June.

The application, developed by one of the country’s largest information technology (IT) companies, Tencent Holdings Ltd., helped income through mobile Internet data traffic rise “56.8 percent in the January-June period,” according to Zhu.

Thanks to new platforms like Weixin and Sina Weibo, China’s most popular Twitter-like microblog, the country’s e-commerce market size grew 38.5 percent year on year to 5.4 trillion yuan and sales of smart phones and televisions both surged over 25 percent, Zhu added.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang demanded at a meeting of the State Council, China’s Cabinet, on July 12 an average growth rate of over 20 percent in information consumption in the next three years.

Zhu Jun, another MIIT’s official, said the ministry is mapping out measures to realize the growth objective through building and upgrading the network communication infrastructure, enhancing the application and service of 3G technology and promoting the private capital in the telecom market.

Meanwhile, the government will push the share of education and medical treatment resources, encourage innovation in e-commerce and strengthen the safety of private network information, Zhu Jun added.

Digitimes Research: China 3G service subscribers to top 300 million in 1H13 [DIGITIMES Research, June 26, 2013]

The number of 3G service subscribers in China is expected to top 322 million by the end of the first half of 2013, representing a penetration rate of 27.1%. Meanwhile, sales of smartphones in China will total 170 million units in the first half of 2013, up 51% on the prior six-month period, according to Digitimes Research.

In the second quarter of 2013, Samsung Electronics delivered a total of 14.5 million smartphones, including entry-level to mid-range 3G models and the high-end Galaxy S4, in China, accounting for a 15.7% share.

Lenovo ranked second with smartphone shipments totaling 8.6 million units in the second quarter, followed by Coolpad with 8.4 million units, Huawai with 8.0 million units and Apple with 7.7 million units.

Buoyed by brisk sales of its 3.5-inch entry-level models and CNY1,000 (US$163) dual-core models, Coolpad outperformed both Huawei and Apple to take the third-rank title in China in the second quarter and accounted for a 9.1% share.

Sales of Apple smartphones were lower than expected in the second quarter as the US-based vendor did not release any new models during the period. But Apple may see its sales rebound in the second half of 2013, powered by the planned launch of a low-priced model as well as a TD-SCDMA version iPhone.

The penetration rate of 3G telecom services in China is expected to reach 30-40% for all of 2013, and total smartphone sales will reach 390 million units in the year, including 280 million units sold through the retail channels of telecom carriers, estimated Digitimes Research.

The world biggest operator, Chinal Mobile is heavily increasing its 3G penetration. Here are the latest monthly change trends for the current situation according to operators’ company data:

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CBBC Webinar – The Evolution of Social Business in China [China-Britain Business Council YouTube channel, recorded on July 17, published on July 30, 2013]

Wednesday 17th July 2013 – Presented by: Lewis Rosa, Consulting Manager, Social Business Consulting, CIC Background: China is home to an active community of over half a billion internet users, or netizens, over three quarters of whom are creating original content, which when compared to less than a quarter of American internet users, puts any accusations that China lacks creativity firmly to bed. They’re also far more inclined to discuss brands, products and services. This committed engagement and creativity begets a bonanza of social business intelligence if you know where to look, or more accurately, how to listen This webinar covers: • China’s vast, fractured and dynamic digital landscape • The evolving tastes and behaviors of Chinese netizens • Social listening to inspire creative and inform strategy • Operational implications of social business development

Half of Chinese urban kids surf Internet [Xinhua, July 30, 2013]

About half, or 52.6 percent, of kids aged four to six in urban areas of China know how to use the Internet, according to a report on the lifestyle of Chinese children.

In the survey, which covered 9,114 four-16 year olds in 10 provincial areas or cities including Beijing, Wuhan and Qingdao, 93.2 percent of 13-16 year olds have used the Internet, The Beijing Times cited the report as saying on Saturday.

The report put the proportion of seven-nine year olds and 10-12 year olds accessing the Internet at 58.6 and 77.1 percent respectively, according to The Beijing Times.

In addition, it showed that 57.5 percent of the respondents use mobile phones, about 26 percent use Twitter-like microblogs, and 17.9 percent use tablet computers.

China’s netizen population, the world’s largest, continues to grow and reached 591 million at the end of June, according to the China Internet Network Information Center.

China Blocks Swedish Town Because of It’s Name [ChinaForbiddenNews, Feb 16, 2013]

Beijing launches platform for debunking online rumors [Xinhua, Aug 1, 2013]

Six Chinese websites jointly launched a platform on Thursday to refute online rumors, a move that an official has termed Beijing’s latest endeavor to clean up the “Internet environment.”

The platform is a website that collects statements from Twitter-like services, news portals and China’s biggest search engine, Baidu, to refute online rumors and expose the scams of phishing websites.

The platform operates under the instruction of the Beijing Internet Information Office (BIIO) and the Beijing Internet Association, a non-profit social organization.

The popular use of the Internet has expanded Chinese people’s channels of expression, but also facilitated the circulation of rumors and false information, said Chen Hua, director of the Internet information service and management department under the BIIO.

“The platform will be a new try by Beijing’s websites to eradicate online rumors and raise Internet users’ awareness of telling rumors from the truth,” he said.

The platform was jointly launched by websites Qianlong, Sogou, Sohu, Netease, Baidu and Sina Weibo, a Chinese Twitter-like microblogging service.

So far, the first phase of the platform has been completed, said Chen.

It has collected about 100,000 brief statements on online rumors and phishing websites and offered Internet users about 30 websites through which they can report online rumors or scams.

Operators of the platform will spend another year finishing the second phase. Once that is complete, more entertaining and interactive programs will be introduced to encourage the public to report online rumors.

WHY RUMORS TRAVEL FAST

Some Internet users create rumors to attract attention, while others do it to blow off some steam. But rumors fabricated on purpose can be dangerous and incite panic, said Min Dahong, a researcher on Internet usage.

Based on Wu Chenguang’s observations, rumors travel especially fast in times of emergency such as natural disasters and other mass incidents.

Wu is the news center director of Sohu. In June last year, the web portal’s news center launched a program called “Rumor Terminator” and has handled 300 rumors to date.

Soon after downpours hit Beijing on July 21, 2012, Internet users began disseminating photos of severe flooding that had been taken years earlier.

Another example involves rumors about earthquake forecasts. Internet users claim that people had successfully predicted that an earthquake would shake Lushan County, Sichuan Province, as early as five years ago, but these claims weren’t made until after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Lushan County on April 20, leaving at least 196 dead.

Such rumors had an extremely harmful influence, Wu Chenguang said, adding that the government’s slow pace in releasing information has allowed Internet users to spread their rumors easily.

When explaining why rumors travel fast in China, Min Dahong proposed that it is because rumors touch on issues of common concern.

The Chinese people now care about their surroundings. Rumors travel fast because they cater to public curiosity and concern about environmental protection, food safety and corruption, he said.


2. Online shopping growing very fast

CHINA’S SHOPS SUFFER AS ONLINE RIVALS BOOM [CCTVupdates YouTube channel, June 4, 2013]

CBBC Webinar – yourcompany com cn — Online Presence in China [China-Britain Business Council YouTube channel, recorded on Jan 16, published on July 30, 2013]

Wednesday 16th January 2013, presented by Richard Unwin, Backbone IT Group. This webinar discusses webpage content, social media and how Chinese people interact with the internet. The topics covered are as follows: – How does the internet differ between UK & China? – Visual impact of web design in China – Content — what do Chinese readers want to learn from your website? – Engage your target audience while retaining your corporate image – Social Media

China Focus: Online shopping penetrates smalltown China [Xinhua, July 30, 2013]

Online shopping is no longer exclusively for city dwellers, as residents of smaller locales are now spending more money buying goods on the Internet.

People living in counties and townships each spent an average of 5,628 yuan (910.7 U.S. dollars) online in 2012, almost 1,000 yuan more than their urban counterparts, according to a report released Monday by Taobao, China’s leading online shopping website.

The report showed that township residents placed an average of 54 orders each on Taobao in 2012, far more than the 39 orders placed by e-shoppers living in China’s first- and second-tier cities.

Major international brands like Estee Lauder have sold well in counties and townships. Shoppers in those locations spent an average of 765 yuan apiece on Estee Lauder cosmetics, slightly more than the 652 yuan spent by first- and second-tier city residents.

Over 30 million county residents spent a combined total of 179 million yuan on Taobao, according to figures posted online by the company.

Although residents’ incomes tend to be lower in small towns and counties, their online spending habits are similar to those of urban residents, according to a report released in March by McKinsey Global Institute.

The McKinsey report said that for every 100 yuan spent online, 57 yuan is spent by people in third- and fourth-tier cities, greater than the national average of 39 yuan.

The county-level city of Yiwu, ranked by Forbes as the richest county in China, topped the Taobao ranking, with online spending totaling 3.4 billion yuan.

Residents in Qingliu County in southeast China’s Fujian Province spent a staggering 20,151 yuan, or 72.55 percent of their combined income, on online shopping. In first-tier cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, the ratio has yet to exceed 27 percent.

The report also showed that 22 percent of Taobao customers in small towns used its mobile application to shop online. But the percentage declined to 17 percent in first- and second-tier cities.

Commentary: Global online shopping benefits Chinese manufacturers [Xinhua, July 16, 2013]

With just a few clicks on a shopping website, a Nigerian girl buys her favorite wig, to be delivered to her home several days later from China.

That was a scene shown Sunday by Chinese national broadcaster CCTV.

An African girl buying Chinese products on the Internet is, by no means, an isolated case. In fact, cross-border online shopping has become quite a frenzy in recent years.

Despite that, though, online sales of Chinese-made goods in foreign markets are still a new phenomenon and represent a strategic opportunity for China’s giant manufacturing sector.

If the popularity of global online shopping continues to grow, it would provide a vital channel for China to sell more of its products to the rest of the world. In the long run, it may even reshape the face of global trade.

Overseas consumers can save a lot of money by purchasing quality goods from China via the Internet because the products are generally cheaper than their counterparts from elsewhere in the world.

This comparative advantage has made Chinese goods popular among online shoppers in Russia, Brazil, America and Europe. Chinese-made commodities such as clothes, suitcases, mobile phones and shoes are among the best-selling items.

In the larger picture, the trend may also help modify the unfair distribution of profits in global trade.

China has been the world’s largest exporter since 2009. However, it receives only a small portion of the profits generated by goods that are domestically produced but sold through retailers in developed economies.

The situation may be corrected, though, if online shopping continues to prosper across the globe and the made-in-China label can be brought directly to individual consumers.

Global online shopping, however, is still in its infancy and its future is closely tied to the development of online payment mechanisms, cross-border deliveries and tax issues.

It is safe to say, meanwhile, that online shopping is a rising wave sweeping the globe. Online shopping boasts unprecedented vitality and its significant role for Chinese-made goods should not be underestimated.

Mobile payment new technology [NFC] changing ways of consumption [CCTVupdates YouTube channel, July 3, 2013]

Beijing China Mobile users can make purchases with phone [cntv.cn via Xinhuanet, July 23, 2013]

Transit cards make taking the bus and subway in Beijing an easy thing. But they may soon be unnecessary.

Starting Monday, China Mobile users can use near-field-communication, or NFC-enabled handsets to get access to public buses and subway lines in Beijing. They can also make payments below 1,000 yuan at a number of up-scale shops. Beijing China Mobile customers can visit any of six designated China Mobile shops to switch their SIM cards out for new ones that will allow them to connect their phones to their bank accounts.

Samsung’s Galaxy S4, the HTC One, and some Huawei and ZTE models can support NFC functions.

China’s mobile payments to exceed 9 trln yuan in 2015: report [Xinhua, July 30, 2013]

Online payment transactions handled by Chinese mobile payment service providers will exceed 9 trillion yuan (1.45 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2015, according to an industry report published on Monday.

In 2012, the country’s mobile banking sector handled 800 billion yuan in online payment transactions, an increase of 265.3 percent from a year earlier, according to a report published by the Internet Society of China (ISC).

Last year, the country’s online payments rose 66 percent to nearly 3.7 trillion yuan, with fast growth in payments on premiums, according to the report.

Online premiums payments grew 123.8 percent year on year to 3.66 billion yuan in 2012, the report said.

The country’s online payment market is maturing with an accelerated growth of internet finance, said Shi Xiansheng, deputy secretary-general of the ISC.

Online payment transactions handled by Chinese payment service providers totaled 830 trillion yuan in 2012, according to data from the Payment & Clearing Association of China (PCAC).

China’s online payments total 830 trln yuan in 2012 [Xinhua, June 27, 2013]

Online payment transactions handled by Chinese payment service providers totaled 830 trillion yuan (about 134.3 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2012, according to an industry report published on Thursday.

In 2012, banks handled 19.2 billion online payment transactions totaling 823 trillion yuan, according to a report published by the Payment & Clearing Association of China (PCAC).

Another 10.46 billion online payment transactions amounting to 6.89 trillion yuan were handled by other payment agencies last year, the report said.

Online transactions are being used not only in traditional areas, such as online shopping and bill-paying, but also in areas related to education, tourism, fund products, insurance, community services and medical and health services, the report said.

But experts noted that the increasing variety of payment tools has also caused problems concerning the safety of funds and customer information, calling for strengthened regulation and supervision.

“The payment business is closely linked with people’s daily lives, so customers will be less tolerant of risks,” said PCAC’s deputy secretary-general Kang Lin.

The People’s Bank of China, or the central bank, has so far approved 197 non-financial institutions to provide payment services, of which 72 are eligible for online payment business, tPCAC data showed.

The association said mobile payments, or online payments made through mobile phones, totaling 2.31 trillion yuan were handled by banks in 2012, as well as 181.2 billion yuan in transactions handled by non-bank payment service providers.

China cloud computing conference kicks off [CCTVupdates YouTube channel, June 6, 2013]

[1:36] “China’s biggest cloud is Aliyun run by e-commerce giant Alibaba [China’s Amazon].” … … [2:44]

Alibaba, e-concierge, soon at your service [ChinaDaily via Xinhuanet, July 26, 2013]

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd plans to boost its presence in China’s online market, and is adding services to ease consumers’ daily lives, from ordering food to booking movie tickets.

The company expects the new business area to become a major revenue source in the future.

Online shopping has become a new way of life for many Chinese consumers, said Zhang Jianfeng, vice-president of Alibaba Group. And the company has realized that customers are not satisfied with merely buying items on Internet.

“Gradually, consumers are developing a strong demand for daily life services, in fields like catering, entertainment and travel,” Zhang said at a Beijing news conference on Thursday.

Taobao Life, a platform owned by Alibaba that provides such services, has been receiving unprecedented attention from Alibaba’s management since the beginning of the year. In March, Alibaba’s chairman Jack Ma said that “amazing” things will happen if everyday activities are combined with mobile Internet services.

Ma compared the growing importance of e-commerce in people’s lives to “the rising sun at 5 or 6 am”, and Alibaba expressed its ambition to develop the new business to reach a scale similar to its booming Taobao Marketplace.

If so, investors who are eyeing Alibaba’s possible initial public offering will find another bright spot for the company’s future profitability, analysts said.

Alibaba is said to be planning to include its e-commerce platforms – Taobao Mall, Taobao Marketplace and eTao – into the planned IPO package. Last year, Taobao Mall and Taobao Marketplace posted about 1 trillion yuan ($163 billion) in total transaction value.

Zhang revealed that the Taobao Life platform has three strategic business sectors. One is Taobao Diandian, a mobile application launched in July that helps customers order food. More than 100 restaurants in Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou have opened services on Diandian.

Meanwhile, Taobao Movie is the nation’s biggest mobile platform to buy film tickets. It allows clients in more than 100 Chinese cities to select seats from about 800 theaters, Zhang said.

The company also set up a platform on Taobao Life, known as Offer, which provides people with classifieds in areas such as apartment rentals and housekeeping services.

Song Yang, e-commerce senior analyst with the Beijing-based research firm Analysys International, said that there’s a promising future for companies able to successfully combine people’s everyday needs with the Internet-based services.

“There are no official statistics about the size of the market, but this is the future of e-commerce. Because the services are all about making people’s everyday life better and easier, ” Song said.

Video Alibaba Group launches China Smart Logistics Network [CCTVupdates YouTube channel, May 30, 2013]

Tencent invests in Fab, takes on Alibaba [ChinaDaily via Xinhuanet, June 20, 2013]

US e-commerce website Fab.com said on Wednesday it had raised investment of $150 million from companies including Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd.

Analysts said Tencent may help Fab enter the Chinese online market, which is expected to record nearly 2 trillion yuan ($326 billion) in sales by the end of this year.

Shenzhen-based Tencent said it will make a “minority investment” in the US company, but has not disclosed the value of its investment.

Tencent will have a seat in Fab’s boardroom after the deal is done.

Fab could take on as much as $100 million in further investment over the following months, company CEO Jason Goldberg told The Wall Street Journal.

The funds will be used to build its online stores, develop exclusive products and expand its international footprint, he said.

Fab is one of the leading online design retailers in the world. Tencent believes Fab has the potential to further develop under the wave of the global, social and mobile transformation of the e-commerce industry,” Tencent said via e-mail.

Founded in June 2011, Fab recorded revenue of $120 million last year. That figure is likely to reach $250 million by the end of this year, tech news website TNW said.

The Manhattan-based startup has 14 million registered members.

Tencent said its social strength and technical capabilities will help bring Fab to Internet users around the world.

Fab’s other investors include Japanese retail conglomerate Itochu Corp, an indication the company may be looking toward Asian markets.

China’s online shopping business is dominated by the Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. The company’s customer-to-customer platform, Taobao, contributed roughly 70 percent of the sector’s turnover. Alibaba also owns Tmall, the country’s No 1 business-to-customer portal.

Tencent has been vigorously building up its e-commerce segments to challenge Alibaba’s dominance. Its most recent attempt is authorizing payments via WeChat, its popular smartphone application.

Statistics from the China Internet Network Information Center revealed that China had 242 million online shoppers by the end of 2012 – or more than 40 percent of the country’s entire Internet population.

Internet giants enter online pay market [ChinaDaily via Xinhuanet, July 11, 2013]

Chinese Internet giants Baidu Inc and Sina Corp received third party payment licenses from the People’s Bank of China, the central bank, to conduct related online payment services within the country.

According to the bank, the two Internet companies received official approval on July 6. Both companies were granted a five-year permission to conduct Internet payment businesses. Sina, which operates the twitter-like micro-blogging service Weibo, also got the nod to run a mobile phone payment business.

It means all major Chinese Internet companies, including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Tencent Holdings Ltd, have obtained third party payment licenses. Alipay, the online payment arm of Alibaba, together with Tencent’s Tenpay, were among the first companies to receive licenses from the People’s Bank of China – in May 2011.

The reasons why Baidu and Sina are latecomers in the online payment industry, even lagging far behind some Chinese telecom companies, is because their online payment branches are weak and didn’t receive much attention from their management, said Zhang Meng, an analyst with Beijing-based research firm Analysys International.

“Baidu’s and Sina’s application for online payment licenses have more strategic significance than immediate practical meaning for the two,” Zhang said.

Sina started to explore the Internet payment business in 2011. It launched the online payment tool SinaPay that year and upgraded the service into WeiboPay (micro-blogging wallet) in 2012. Every Weibo user automatically has a WeiboPay account. Sina said it hopes to provide a more convenient way for micro-blogging users to conduct transactions online and developers to charge users for products and services.

Sina Weibo introduced Alibaba as a stakeholder in May to act as a bridge for Sina to make use of the Alipay service. Analysts said it’s safer for Sina to have its own payment tool as it’s important to keep transaction data in Sina’s own realm.

“An online payment service will prompt Sina Weibo’s commercialization process,” Zhang said. Previously, Sina had made some attempts to generate money from its Weibo platform. It cooperated with mobile phone manufacturer Xiaomi Corp to sell Xiaomi smartphones through WeiboPay last year. However, some shoppers complained after WeiboPay was paralyzed for a while through excessive use.

Baidu started investigating an online payment service as early as 2008 but the company’s enthusiasm for it cooled alongside the fall of its e-commerce business Baidu Youa.

Alibaba’s Alipay still dominates the Chinese Internet payment market. According to a report issued by Analysys International, Alipay had a 46.3 percent share of the online payment market in the first quarter of 2013, followed by Tencent’s Tenpay, with 20.3 percent.

Alipay had a total of 800 million registered accounts by the end of April. Tenpay said it had 200 million registered users by the end of last year.

Alibaba´s new online investment tool faces regulation challenge [CCTVupdates YouTube channel, June 24, 2013]

about Alipay

Say no to streaking to ensure online payment security [CRIENGLISH.com via Xinhuanet, April 12, 2013]

Seven leading internet companies, including Baidu, Microsoft and Alibaba, have formed an Internet Security Working Group.

It’s hoped the new collaboration will help lead to the better safeguarding of users’ and companies’ online profiles.

While Consumers enjoy the ease and the financial benefits of online shopping, sometimes their financial security and personal information can be threatened during the online payment process.

Many so-called phishing scams and malicious websites try to cheat consumers by convincing them to transfer money to their accounts instead of an online dealer’s accounts.

Li Xiaoling is a product manager with Alipay, the largest third-party payment company in China.

“Phishing websites imitate a popular website, like taobao.com and some other shopping websites. Consumers have to tell from small details whether they are really the websites that they want to visit.”

Ding Rui, a senior product manager with Microsoft, says no matter how strong systems become, phishing websites will never completely disappear.

“Driven by a strong financial interest, someone always wants to take the risk. And the word ‘risk’ is not so accurate, as there isn’t too much risk as a result of a lack of supervision and difficulty in handing out punishment.”

Alipay began fighting the problem of phishing sites at the end of 2007.

Li Qiushi is Alipay’s leading expert on market security.

“Actually, merchants, payment platforms, banks and consumers online are all victims of such behavior. We joined together to prevent these problems from occurring in advance initially. That has yielded noticeable effects.”

To be more alert, Alipay product manager Li Xiaoling suggests web users don’t access the internet without some sort of internet protection, such as an anti-virus software program or other safe control programs.

“Firstly, we hope consumers do not use the same pass code for various accounts online. Secondly, do not input personal information like ID numbers into unfamiliar websites or into those websites that the browser reports as being dangerous. Thirdly, check clearly the usage of different verification codes and do not tell strangers the codes.”

The internet companies taking part in the collaboration say it’s their hope they can raise consumer awareness to try to bring down the number of cases of online fraud here in China.


3. Applications, applications to be added to the search

Baidu searches for growth [TheDealVideo YouTube channel, July 17, 2013]

China’s largest search engine pays $1.9 billion for Chinese mobile app distributor 91 Wireless, betting big on a still small market

Baidu to buy 91 Wireless for 1.9 bln USD [Xinhua, July 16, 2013]

China’s leading search engine, Baidu, Inc. announced Tuesday that it will buy all equity interests in smartphone apps distributor 91 Wireless Websoft from NetDragon for a record 1.9 billion U.S. dollars.

The move, which is Baidu’s latest effort to diversify beyond its core search engine business, is set to mark China’s biggest merger and acquisition (M&A) in the Internet market after Yahoo’s 1-billion-U.S. dollar deal with Alibaba in 2005.

According to the MOU, Baidu will purchase the entire issued share capital of 91 Wireless for a total of 1.9 billion U.S. dollars.

Baidu and NetDragon will further negotiate and agree on the relevant terms of the proposed acquisition by Aug. 14 as the “Long Stop date” to buy Hong Kong-listed NetDragon’s 57.41-percent stake in 91 Wireless.

NetDragon is restricted from approaching or discussing with any third parties the sale of 91 Wireless.

Baidu said it intends to purchase the remaining equity interests in 91 Wireless from other shareholders based on terms and conditions similar to those offered to NetDragon, if they are willing to sell by Aug. 14.

In May, Baidu announced its plan to buy the online video business of PPS to rival industry leader Youku Tudou, which was created last year through the merger of the country’s two major video giants, Youku and Tudou.

My own insert: China’s Alibaba Buys Stake in Sina Weibo [NTDonChina YouTube channel, April 30, 2013]

A China’s e-commerce giant has purchased a stake in Sina Weibo, the country’s largest service provider of Twitter-like microblogs. Alibaba announced on Monday that it is acquiring 18% of Sina Weibo for $586 million. If the online retailer wanted to, it could increase the stake to 30% at an unspecified future date. Alibaba is like eBay in the United States. With the new deal, it will have access to Sina Weibo’s 46 million daily active users. According to the Wall Street Journal, Alibaba could be looking to boost its share of the mobile market against Google’s Android smartphones. Alibaba has been promoting its own smartphone operating system. It could boost the use of its OS by leveraging off the large amount of mobile customer data available through this alliance with Sina Weibo.

The deal came on the heels of Alibaba‘s announcement in April that it would take an 18-percent share in Sina Corp‘s microblogging service Weibo and a 28-percent stake in digital mapping company AutoNavi Holdings Ltd.

Experts said the M&A spree highlights the intense competition among Internet giants to secure dominance of the mobile Internet market, as an increasing number of Chinese are going online through mobile devices.

Data from the China Internet Networks Information Center show that China’s online population reached 564 million as of the end of last year, with the number of mobile Internet users hitting 420 million.

Baidu Buys Up China’s Internet [TheStreetTV YouTube channel, July 16, 2013]

Baidu is spending $1.9 billion to buy mobile app store 91 Wireless, making this the biggest Chinese internet takeover.

Baidu, 91 Wireless deal epitomizes mobile Internet scramble [Xinhua, July 17 2013]

The attempt by China’s biggest search engine, Baidu, to buy a leading apps platform epitomizes Chinese Internet giants’ quickening steps in mobile Internet, even though some question if the company to be bought is worth the price offered.

NASDAQ-listed Baidu Inc. announced on Tuesday its bid to buy all equity interests in smartphone apps distributor 91 Wireless Websoft for 1.9 billion U.S. dollars. The deal, if completed, will mark China’s biggest merger and acquisition in the Internet market after Yahoo’s 1-billion-U.S. dollar deal with Alibaba in 2005.

Analysts viewed the alliance as complementary in that Baidu will promote 91 Wireless’s smartphone app distribution systems, and in return, Baidu will be better able to contend for a position as a leading access portal for mobile Internet.

“Through the acquisition, Baidu not only gains access to app distribution, it will also attract around 100,000 app developers to its own platform in the future,” according to Ge Jia, an Internet analyst who was quoted in a Tuesday report by the Beijing News.

Ge said that digital mapping, voice, and app distribution represent the three battle grounds in the mobile Internet market in the future, and the deal could turn around Baidu’s current disadvantages in a market that already boasts strong rivals including Tencent and Alibaba.

On the same day as Baidu’s announcement, China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba also confirmed that it has made a strategic investment in outbound travel site qyer.com, as it seeks to boost its travel offerings, including plane tickets and hotels, on its marketplace site Taobao.

Industrial analysts even labeled this year’s mergers and acquisitions in the Internet industry as major players’ efforts to split the mobile Internet market and obtain a lion’s share.

In May, Baidu announced its plan to buy the online video business of PPS in order to rival industry leader Youku Tudou. Just one month earlier, Alibaba revealed it would take an 18-percent share in Sina Corp’s microblogging service Weibo and a 28-percent stake in digital mapping company AutoNavi Holdings Ltd.

Ge Jia said that Baidu expects to attract large numbers of advertisers through its purchase of 91 Wireless. Data shows that 12.9 billion apps had been downloaded through 91 Wireless’s two leading smartphone app distribution platforms in China as of Dec. 2012.

However, some believe that the 1.9-bln-U.S.-dollar tender by Baidu is too high for a company with an estimated value of only 140 million U.S. dollars two years ago.

“Baidu has no better choices because its strategic arrangements for the mobile Internet came too late and it has been at a disadvantaged position. So it is seeking to change the status quo through the costly deal,” said Wang Jun, a mobile Internet analyst with Analysys International.

Data from the China Internet Networks Information Center show that China’s online population reached 564 million as of the end of last year, with more than 74 percent of them, or 420 million, using cell phones to access the Internet.

“The Internet giants will not miss any opportunity amid the boom of mobile Internet,” said IT commentator Hong Bo. In a report published Tuesday by the China Business News, Hong said that Alibaba’s advantages lie in its strong capabilities to do business, while Tencent has flagship apps including WeChat, a free app that enables all-round communications in text, voice, picture and video form.

However, the commentator added that with advantages in technology, Baidu is also seeking to become a titan in app distribution through the acquisition of 91 Wireless.

Official stresses Party building in non-public enterprises [Xinhua, May 22,  2013]

A senior Communist Party of China (CPC) official has called for efforts to strengthen Party building in the country’s non-public enterprises.

Zhao Leji, head of the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee, made the comments on Wednesday during an inspection in Beijing.

Visiting Baidu, China’s leading online search engine operator, Zhao called for more efforts to integrate businesses’ own developments with the progress of the country and society.

Moreover, the fostering of a corporate culture should be consistent with the practicing of socialist core values, the official said.

During his inspection, Zhao also underlined efforts to improve China’s talent pool, including innovations to attract, train, use and support talented people.

China’s Internet giants in acquisition spree [Xinhua, May 14, 2013]

China’s Internet giants have gone on a new acquisition spree in recent months as they ramp up efforts to diversify businesses amid the industry’s constantly changing dynamics.

Alibaba, China’s leading e-commerce firm, announced last week that it will pay 294 million U.S. dollars for a 28-percent stake in digital mapping company AutoNavi Holdings Ltd..

The move, following Alibaba’s previous deal to take an 18-percent share in Sina Corp’s microblogging service Weibo, is the giant’s latest attempt to map out a strategy in the key mobile Internet market, in which major companies have been vying for presence.

Li Zhi, an analyst with Internet service provider Analysys, noted that rather than developing new products on their own, the Internet giants have preferred to make up for their weak areas through mergers and acquisitions (M&A) to consolidate their positions.

Earlier this month, China’s online search leader Baidu Inc. announced its plan to buy the online video business of PPS, to rival industry leader Youku Tudou, which was created last year through the merger of the country’s two major video giants, Youku and Tudou.

The purchase is Baidu’s latest step to diversify beyond its core search sector.

The string of M&A deals has highlighted the heated competition among Internet giants to secure dominance of the mobile Internet market as an increasing number of Chinese are going online through mobile devices.

Currently, Tencent, which has so far attracted 300 million users to its popular voice messaging platform Wechat, is widely regarded as having secured a dominant seat in the mobile Internet market.

But Ma Huateng, Tencent’s chairman and CEO, took a cautious view about the company’s position.

“No matter how well-placed we are now in the mobile market, a slight oversight may cause a shipwreck,” he said at an Internet conference earlier this month.

According to data from the China Internet Networks Information Center, China had 420 million mobile Internet users as of the end of 2012.

With the market potential yet to be tapped, the Internet giants’ M&A activity will likely to go on for a while, according to Li.


4. Xiaomi to take Apple place

Xiaomi takes aim at Apple after big increase in sales [ChinaDaily via Xinhuanet, July 17, 2013]

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi Corp said on Tuesday it sold 7.03 million Xiaomi mobile phones in the first half of this year and realized unaudited revenue of 13.3 billion yuan (2.16 billion U.S. dollars) during the same period.

According to a news release sent to China Daily, Xiaomi disclosed that its half-year revenue in 2013 exceeded the company’s 12.6 billion yuan revenue from all of 2012 but it did not reveal the profitability ratio.

The company is on track to reach its annual goal of selling 15 million Xiaomi smartphones by the end of the year, according to officials from Xiaomi’s public relations department on Tuesday.

As of June, Xiaomi had more than 14 million smartphone users on the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan, the news release said.

Lei Jun, founder and chief executive officer of Xiaomi, attributed the good performance to the company’s more influential branding, better industry partner support and an improved logistics and warehouse system.

Founded in 2010, Xiaomi has experienced rapid growth. The company launched its first smartphones in August 2011 and quickly gained market share, beating some traditional mobile phone giants.

“In the Chinese market, with the exception of Apple and Samsung, if the shipment of one smartphone model exceeds 1 million during its life cycle, it can be described as ‘quite successful’,” said James Yan, an analyst with the research firm IDC China.

Xiaomi has managed to sell every one of its smartphone models above the 1 million level and is easily ahead of companies such as Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and ZTE Corp in terms of single smartphone shipments, Yan added, pointing out the latter firms have been selling mobile phones for about a decade.

Xiaomi is now directly challenging international giants Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Apple Inc, which both keep single smartphone sales records in China. According to IDC, Apple had sold about 16 million iPhone 4 and 15 million iPhone 4S handsets in China as of March.

Xiaomi’s Lei sees Apple as a target to overtake in the future. During a previous interview with China Daily, Lei expressed Xiaomi’s ambition to ship more than 100 million smartphones annually worldwide for each model by 2016.

Apple, based in Cupertino in the United States, managed to break the 100 million iPhone devices mark in 2012, less than five years since the first iPhone was sold in 2007.

Lei dreams of achieving a similar, or even faster, pace of development.

“I know it is crazy, but we would like to have a try,” Lei said last year.

image

[in the Q1 2013, see below]

Overall, Xiaomi’s smartphone shipments in China, if they are not counted on the basis of single device shipments, are still small. The company even failed to become a top 10 smartphone supplier in China in the first quarter, according to the Beijing-based research firm Analysys International.

Samsung was the top smartphone company after acquiring a 17.3 percent share in the Chinese market in the first quarter, followed by Lenovo with 13.1 percent and Coolpad with 10.3 percent. The country had sales of 75.3 million smartphones, a year-on-year rise of 141.5 percent, in the first quarter ending on March 31.

Fewer Chinese consumers picking Apple’s iPhone [ChinaDaily via Xinhuanet, July 25, 2013]

image

Apple said on Tuesday that its revenue from China
fell 14 percent year-on-year to $4.6 billion in the
quarter ended June 29. Provided to China Daily

The devices are becoming so common in China these days that many people lost their once strong desire to own one. Also, iPhones are considered too expensive, and many consumers are opting for cheaper phones with similar capabilities.

And the Chinese market’s hesitation has showed in Apple’s latest quarterly financial report. Even though the California-based company delivered better-than-expected global iPhone shipments of 31.2 million units during the quarter ended June 29, its performance in Greater China, including Hong Kong and Taiwan, was sluggish in the period.

Apple said on Tuesday that its revenue from China fell 14 percent year-on-year to $4.6 billion in the quarter ended June 29. The figure, which represents a 43 percent decline from the previous quarter, marked the first time that revenue decreased in the region.

Overall, Apple’s quarterly global revenue remained flat at $35.3 billion.

Apple said its growth in the Chinese market had slowed, particularly due to economic headwinds. China’s GDP growth eased to 7.6 percent in the first half, compared with 7.8 percent a year earlier.

Apple’s chief executive officer Tim Cook said that he wasn’t discouraged by the numbers from just one 90-day period.

“I continue to believe that in the arc of time here, China is a huge opportunity for Apple,” Cook said on an earnings call on Tuesday.

However, analysts believe that fiercer competition, together with other factors, played a much bigger role in Apple’s lackluster performance in China than the macro-economic effects.

“The iPhone 5 was less popular than its predecessor, the iPhone 4S, in China during the first 100 days after they hit the market,” said James Yan, an analyst with research firm IDC. IPhone 5 handsets also saw stronger competition from brands such as Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and HTC Corp, as well as some local brands like Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and Xiaomi Corp, Yan said.

Meanwhile, Chinese telecom operators have cut their subsidies for iPhone 5 devices.

“Consumers and industry partners adopted a wait-and-see attitude toward the iPhone 5,” Yan said. On the consumer side, they started to look for other high-quality smartphones with lower prices, or they are planning to buy the upcoming iPhone 5S or the iPhone 6, which seem to be more innovative products, he added.

Kevin Wang, an analyst with IHS iSuppli, said that Apple’s pricing strategy also discouraged some first-time smartphone buyers and low-end customers. A 16 GB iPhone 5 costs at least 5,000 yuan ($809.80), more than the average monthly salary of people working in Beijing.

“The situation will only change when Apple introduces a less-expensive version of the iPhone, then we’ll see a new sales surge in the country,” Wang said.

For instance, Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei, which in recent years expanded to the smartphone market, launched its P6 model in June, targeting high-end users but selling at a mere 2,688 yuan.

Huawei said on Wednesday that its first-half revenue was 113.8 billion yuan, up 10.8 percent year-on-year.

Meanwhile, the Beijing-based Xiaomi is selling high-quality smartphones at extremely low prices, usually below 2,000 yuan. Xiaomi said it sold more than 7 million smartphones in the first half.

But Apple still has ways to protect its status as a major player in China, said Xiang Ligang, a telecom industry insider.

Xiang said that Apple will likely quicken the pace of its collaboration talks with China Mobile Ltd, the nation’s biggest telecom operator, to boost iPhone sales.

China Mobile and Apple have been in talks for years, but the two have yet to reach an agreement. Some industry sources said that the two companies will likely start cooperating soon, since all the preliminary work is done.


5. Strong central government support

IT push aims to boost domestic demand [ChinaDaily via Xinhuanet, July 14, 2013]

China is to promote consumption of IT-related products and services as it seeks to spur domestic demand and push economic upgrading.

It will speed up work to issue licenses for the fourth generation (4G) mobile network this year and accelerate development of broadband Internet access, according to a statement released after an executive meeting of the State Council presided over by Premier Li Keqiang.

The nation is aiming for annual average growth of 20 percent in the information consumption industry from 2013 to 2015, the statement said.

The meeting demanded implementation of the “Broadband China” strategy, stepped-up efforts to construct and upgrade network infrastructure, pushing forward the FTTH (Fiber To the Home) project and improving Internet speed.

China, which has the largest number of mobile phones in the world at 1.2 billion, is already building 4G trial networks in major cities.

Liu Lihua, vice-minister of industry and information technology, said last year that China aims to have more than 250 million broadband users by 2015.

The central government is also encouraging private capital to enter the basic telecom service market, such as the voice and messaging business, by setting up joint ventures with State-owned players.

Projects to merge telecommunications, television and Internet services will also move forward on a nationwide basis this year, according to Friday’s meeting.

The meeting also called for quicker development on energy saving, with the goal of ensuring the market share for efficient energy-saving products reaches 50 percent by 2015.

Private capital set to enter telecom industry [CCTVupdates YouTube channel, June 18, 2013]

China eyes energy-saving, IT industries to spur domestic demand [Xinhua, July 12, 2013]

China is to speed up development in the energy-saving industry and promote consumption of IT-related products and services as it looks to spur domestic demand and push economic upgrading.

Stimulating growth in the two sectors is a multi-purpose approach aimed at easing resource restraints, unleashing consumption potential, stimulating effective investments and fostering emerging industries, according to a statement released after an executive meeting of the State Council presided over by Premier Li Keqiang on Friday.

Regarding IT-related consumption, including communication services and e-commerce, the State Council said China will press ahead with the construction of network and telecommunication infrastructure and strive to issue 4G licenses by the end of this year.

Efforts to boost consumption in the area also include widening Internet-based information services, piloting “smart city” schemes, boosting e-commerce, and increasing information securities.

Through these plans, China aims to achieve an annual growth of over 20 percent in IT-related consumption for the 2013-2015 period, the State Council said.

In the first five months of 2013, China consumed 1.38 trillion yuan (22.4 billion U.S. dollars) worth of IT-related products and services, up 19.8 percent year on year, data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has showed.

Sub-anchor: China’s industrial structure optimized [CNETTV.cn via Xinhuanet, July 24, 2013]

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology held a press conference this morning — it’s about China’s industrial output in the first half of this year, and what’s being done to boost the IT industry.

Let’s chat to our reporter Guan Xin — who has been following the press conference.

Q2. IT industry is one of the strategic emerging industries, what initiatives can we expect?

A: The Ministry says IT will become a new engine to boost China’s consumption, with explosive growth of IT services and products. The spokesman shared some figures this morning….revenue from mobile internet traffic grew some 57% in the first half. The e-commerce market reached a whopping 5.4 trillion yuan, growing 38.5%, and sales of smart phones and smart TVs, are up more than 25%. The Ministry is now working on new measures to further boost IT consumption…including IT infrastructure building, expanding IT products supply, and improving public services. And these new measures will come out soon.


6. Country-wide 4G roll-out by year end 2013 after extensive trials

China’s telecom firms reveal 4G strategies [ChinaDaily.com.cn via Xinhuanet, June 27, 2013]

China’s three telecom operators have laid out their strategies on the development of fourth-generation, or 4G, mobile networks, as the official issuance of 4G licenses is expected to happen soon.

China Mobile Ltd – the world’s biggest telecom operator by subscribers – has always been an aggressive promoter of the domestic Time Division-Long Term Evolution, or TD-LTE, 4G technology.

Xi Guohua, its chairman, briefed the press on the company’s latest progress on TD-LTE network deployment at Shanghai’s Mobile Asia Expo on Wednesday.

Xi said that China Mobile has built more than 22,000 4G base stations in 15 Chinese cities, but that it plans to set up 200,000 base stations in 100 cities by the year-end.

However, the other two smaller Chinese telecom operators – China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd and China Telecom Corp Ltd – have expressed their willingness to adopt the Frequency Division Duplex-Long Term Evolution, or FDD-LTE, technology, or at least to build a converged network under both standards.

TD-LTE and FDD-LTE are the two major 4G international standards, but the latter has gained more popularity across the globe and has stronger industry support.

Lu Yimin, general manager of China Unicom, said the company is conducting tests for 4G wireless networks with mixed technologies. It is the first time that China Unicom has admitted that it is actively preparing to launch 4G services.

However, Lu added that because the Chinese government has not yet awarded the 4G licenses, China Unicom’s final strategy is still “uncertain.” Lu also made the remarks at Shanghai’s Mobile Asia Expo.

Last weekend, Wang Xiaochu, China Telecom‘s chairman, confirmed that the company is stepping up efforts for its LTE network trials.

“It’s inevitable (for China Telecom) to adopt a converged network, since the spectrum is at the core of every carrier’s resources,” Wang said.

Even though Chinese authorities have not said exactly when they plan to issue the 4G licenses, industry experts expect the licenses to be awarded shortly.

He Shiyou, executive vice-president of ZTE, expressed an optimistic view on TD-LTE’s prospects in China.

“I think that all the three Chinese telecom carriers will get TD-LTE 4G licenses because the rich TD-LTE spectrum resources in China allow the government to do so,” he said.

Shang Bing, vice-minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said the development of the TD-LTE technology has entered a fast-track phase.

“The Chinese government will firmly support TD-LTE industry development, and help create a favorable policy and market environment,” he said on Wednesday.

The moves by the three Chinese carriers will help to further back the development of 4G technology globally, said Anne Bouverot, director-general of the GSM Association, an industry alliance of mobile operators and related companies.

“In general, what matters is not to have the absolutely best technology, but that everybody agrees to deploy it. That’s where you get the economy of scale, and get the equipment for networks and handsets to improve each time there is a new release,” she said.

Analysts have said that LTE 4G technology will usher in a society much more connected and convenient for people.

Jin Lee, senior managing director at Accenture’s mobility department in South Korea, said that LTE will provide speeds about 50 percent higher than current Wi-Fi networks.

“Once consumers get to taste that speed, they will never go back,” Lee said.

Related:
5,000 city users to put 4G services to the test
BEIJING, May 18 (Xinhuanet) — Long-awaited 4G services, which provide mobile users with Internet access 20 to 50 times faster than 3G network, make their debut in Shanghai next month when China Mobile begins large-scale trials, the carrier said yesterday.
The trial in the world’s biggest mobile phone market indicates that the country is ready to adopt the most advanced mobile technology for more than a billion handset users, and create a billion-dollar market for telecommunications equipment and handsets. Full story
4G market set to ignite hot competition
BEIJING, March 25 (Xinhuanet) — Foreign telecom companies are keen to join China’s fourth generation (4G) mobile network deployment with the country looking likely to issue the relevant licenses as early as this year.
Minister of Industry and Information Technology Miao Wei said the country is expected to award 4G licenses to domestic telecom operators by the end of 2013. Full story
China expected to issue 4G licenses this year: minister
BEIJING, March 6 (Xinhua) — China is expected to start licensing telecom operators to offer services on its fourth-generation (4G) mobile phone network within 2013, a senior official has said.
“China has made breakthroughs in R&D of 4G technologies, but is still facing restrictions in commercial use,” Miao Wei, minister of industry of information technology, said on the sidelines of the ongoing annual session of the country’s national legislature. Full story

China likely to issue 4G licenses by year end [CRIENGLISH.com via ChinaDaily, July 26, 2013]

Internet users in China are eagerly looking forward to ultra-fast 4G mobile Internet services.The anticipation has heated up following the government’s announcement that licenses tooperate such wireless system will be issued before the year’s end.

At a 4G service center of China Mobile in Henan’s Zhengzhou city, customers are trying out the new service with high expectations for faster speeds and easier access.

“I look forward very much to the availability of 4G service, which will be faster than the current3G network. But I’m not sure if it will be able to synchronize with televisions and other homeappliances.”

“I hope it will be launched soon. I really want to experience it as soon as possible.”

The fourth-generation wireless service is designed to deliver a speed four to ten times faster than today’s 3G system, the most widespread, high-speed wireless service at the moment.

China Mobile, China’s largest cell phone provider, is now promoting a homegrown 4G standard and hopes to start commercial rollout soon.

The core technologies are ready and the company has been ramping up installations of its base stations, which will be shared by both 3G and 4G networks.

Li Xiaobang is an engineer with China Mobile.

“We need to examine all the base stations currently used for 3G services, including the machine room and the roof, and carry out Long Term Evolution upgrade, either to F frequency band or to D frequency band, based on overall conditions of the base stations.”

According to Li, the company is hoping to finish the work as soon as possible so people can use the new service once the 4G license is issued.

The government says it will press ahead with building infrastructures and hopes to issue 4G licenses by the end of this year.

There are 1.2-billion mobile phones in China, more than any other country in the world.

New battle for 4G equipment market share [ChinaDaily, June 25, 2013]

China Mobile Ltd has officially launched its largest tender ever for the construction of its fourthgeneration (4G) network in China, igniting a new battle among telecom gear makers for marketshare.

On June 21, China Mobile, the world’s largest telecom operator by subscribers, posted an online tender saying it plans to purchase equipment for 207,000 4G base stations.

That purchase means the number of China Mobile’s 4G base stations is likely to catch up with that of its 3G base stations soon.

China Mobile is using the domestic Time Division-Long Term Evolution technology for its next-generation mobile network.

Unlike its 3G tenders, China Mobile said it will not accept agent bidders or those who make allcritical equipment on an original equipment manufacturing basis.

The Chinese telecom operator’s capital spending will jump 49 percent year-on-year to 190.2billion yuan ($30.5 billion) in 2013. More than half of the company’s network expenditure, or 42billion yuan, will go on 4G projects this year.

Foreign and domestic telecoms equipment vendors have shown strong interest in ChinaMobile’s 4G network deployment.

Yuan Xin, president of Alcatel-Lucent China, said he is very optimistic about achieving a satisfactory result in the third quarter, when China Mobile announces the final bidding results.

“TD-LTE business will be the core foundation for Alcatel Lucent’s future development,” Yuan said at a Shanghai news conference on Monday. China’s 4G industry is about to take off, since the market environment for LTE development has matured, he said. “Based on our solid technology and 4G experience in and out of China, we are confident of performing well,” headded.

Alcatel-Lucent had the largest share, or 14.5 percent, among foreign telecom gear makers during China Mobile’s first round of 4G tenders last year, according to research firm IHS iSuppli.

The company is the major telecom equipment supplier for Verizon Communications Inc’s 4G network, which covers about 200 million subscribers in the United States.

“We even dream of introducing TD-LTE technology to the US market, which follows the trendthat carriers worldwide want to make the best use of spectrum resources,” he said.

Because foreign telecom equipment vendors achieved less than a 30 percent market share in total during the first round bidding of China Mobile’s TD-LTE tender, they seemed more anxious to improve their positions by grabbing bigger shares this time.

“We are not satisfied with the results Ericsson achieved in China Mobile’s first-round 4G bidding last year,” said Mats H. Olsson, senior vice-president of Ericsson Asia-Pacific, duringthe 2013 Mobile World Congress held in Spain in February.

“In the past Ericsson paid a lot of attention to countries including the United States, Japan and South Korea and mainly focused on the deployment of FDD-LTE networks. Now we have turned our sights on China and TD-LTE technology,” Olsson said.

However, analysts argued that domestic rivals still hold advantages over foreign players. ChenPeng, analyst with China Merchants Securities Co Ltd, said he expected Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and ZTE Corp to gain more than half of the share in China Mobile’s 4G bidding.

image

Guangxi to build wireless cities with 4G network [ChinaDaily Liuzhou Guangxi, June 25, 2013]

The Guangxi branch of China Mobile, which is the world’s biggest telecom carrier, said it will start construction of a fourth-generation network in 14 cities in the autonomous region in the second half of this year in a bid to build high-speed “wireless cities”.

Nanning, Liuzhou and Guilin are among the 14 cities, which will soon be covered in the 4G network in Guangxi. The 4G technology transmits data to wireless devices and has a theoretical speed as high as 100 Mbps.

It takes a 2G network 16 hours to download a 1 gigabyte movie, while it takes a 3G network two hours to download the same movie. The 4G network can complete the download within two minutes.

In addition, with the growing popularity of mobile phones, tablets and other wireless devices, 4G networks can effectively link people with each other and eventually build a convenient “wireless city”.

A woman surnamed Lin, who works in the media sector, said she is looking forward to the 4G networks in Guangxi. “We often need to carry a laptop on business trips in order to send stories back to our headquarters. With the 4G network, I will be able to do it with my mobile phone in the near future,” she said.

Though the 4G network is very high-end, the cost of using the network is even lower than 3G technology because 4G is a Chinese home grown technology.

China Mobile has spread its 4G network in 13 cities in China, including Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hangzhou, and it plans to include 100 cities into its 4G network by the end of 2013. With the completion of the project, China Mobile is expected to build the largest 4G network in the world, covering 500 million people.

4G network covers Pingtan [ChinaDaily Pingtan Fujian, May 21, 2013]

The city of Fuzhou, capital of Fujian province, launched a fourth generation, or 4G, wireless Internet service on May 17, which was also World Telecommunication Day.

The 4G network mainly covers the downtown area within Second Ring Road, the university zone, and the Pingtan Comprehensive Pilot Zone, said the Strait News on Saturday.

Fuzhou became a pilot city for 4G trial network in September 2012. After eight months of construction, it has built 1,138 base stations and carried out several rounds of signal upgrading.

With the launch of the 4G network, residents in both Fuzhou and Pingtan will enjoy free high-speed Wi-Fi to play videos, surf the Internet, and start online video chats on their mobile phones.

Telecom giants tap Internet potential [ChinaDaily via Xinhuanet, May 18, 2013]

Chinese telecom operators have stepped up their efforts to boost their business through exploring online channels, since more people in the country prefer shopping on the Internet.

On World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, which fell on Friday, Chinese mobile carriers launched different e-commerce campaigns to attract clients’ attentions.

China Mobile Ltd, the nation’s biggest mobile carrier with 726 million subscribers, said that Friday was its first “Online Shopping Day” and offered favorable prices for people topping up accounts, purchasing mobile phones, or registering a telecom service plan.

The operator, which suffered weak profit growth in the first quarter, said it has also developed an optional package, consisting of diversified telecom services, for customers to build up tailored telecom contracts.

Xing Hongtao, an official from China Mobile’s market operation department, said that the new service was a bit like “going to a cafeteria, looking at the menu and choosing your favorite dishes”.

Previously, the operators designed the service plans, but now it is up to customers to devise the contracts,” he said.

China Mobile is the first telecom operator in the nation to deliver this kind of service. The company started a pilot of the optional package in 13 provinces in the second half of last year, which more than 8 million customers have signed up to so far.

On Friday, China Mobile officially rolled out the service across the nation.

China Mobile’s sales from e-commerce channels have grown rapidly in recent years, according to the company.

By April, China Mobile had sold around 250,000 mobile phones per month on its website, an increase of 30 percent on the figure in January.

Ma Jingxin, deputy general manager of China Mobile Terminal Co, said in an earlier interview with China Daily that the company aims to sell up to 30 percent of its customized mobile phones through e-commerce channels by 2015.

China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd, the nation’s second-biggest telecom carrier, started building its e-commerce channels in 2007.

The average daily sales on China Unicom’s online platform now surpass 150 million yuan ($24.4 million) and its daily user base is more than 10 million, according to Zong Xinhua, general manger of China Unicom’s e-commerce department.

From May 17 to May 23, China Unicom plans to offer 10,000 smartphones at discounts to new telecom service subscribers.

The growing number of Internet users in China, combined with the public’s growing acceptance of e-commerce, is driving online sales of mobile phones.

“The most important reason for choosing a device online is because mobile phones are cheaper on the Web,” said Deng Kuibin, deputy general manager of SINO Market Research Co.


7. From operator branded to white-box superphones supporting all that

China Mobile launches own-brand smartphones [ChinaDaily via Xinhuanet, Aug 3, 2013]

China Mobile Ltd officially entered the booming mobile terminal market on Friday as it unveiled its own-brand smartphone models.

The China Mobile M701, a 5-inch screen Android-based smartphone equipped with MediaTek Inc’s 1.2-gigahertz quad-core processor, is priced at 1,299 yuan ($212). The China Mobile M601 is a 4-inch screen, dual-core Android smartphone that targets lower-end users with a price of 499 yuan.

The two smartphones are produced by original equipment manufacturers, Hisense Group and Shenzhen-based BYD Co Ltd, respectively. They will hit the Chinese market through China Mobile’s online and offline outlets this month.

Li Yue, chief executive officer of China Mobile, the world’s biggest telecom operator by subscribers, said the company has about 740 million customers.

Li said those customers usually change their mobile phones every 23 months, so at least 300 million new mobile devices are needed every year.

China’s mobile terminal industry has a very bright future,” Li said, during a Beijing news briefing on Friday.

Analysts pointed out some additional implications for China Mobile’s smartphone launch.

James Yan, an analyst with research firm IDC China, said China Mobile’s move aims to create a platform that seamlessly integrates its current mobile services, such as the instant messaging tool Fetion, and other mobile applications.

“Chinese mobile carriers hope to decrease the risks of being a ‘dumb pipe’ and to relieve the pressure from Internet companies’ challenges,” Yan said.

Lingxi, the Chinese version of Apple Inc’s Siri service, will be installed on the new China Mobile smartphones. A year ago, China Mobile struck a $214 million deal to acquire a 15 percent stake in Anhui USTC iFlytek Co Ltd, a Chinese company that develops software and apps related to voice input services.

“Lingxi is a highlight of China Mobile smartphones,” said Li Lin, a marketing manager with iFlytek. Compared with Siri, Lingxi is more localized and has partnered with third-party service providers such as Dianping.com and douban.com to offer helpful daily living information for customers, Li said.

“You can ask Lingxi to make a phone call, send a text message or find a nearby restaurant,” Li explained.

The other benefit for China Mobile in its launch of own-brand smartphones is that it helps the carrier to expand and strengthen coverage in county-level markets.

In tier five, tier six cities, which most mobile phone companies fail to reach, China Mobile can successfully sell smartphones through its powerful distribution channels,” Yan from IDC said. Those areas are usually remote from bustling cities and have less intense market competition, he said.

Kevin Wang, an analyst with the research firm IHS iSuppli, said China Mobile’s move will help reinforce its branding, but he said that he doubted the smartphone business will be a major revenue driver for the company.

Foreign telecom operators such as AT&T and Vodafone have offered own-brand products for many years, but the own-brand smartphone proportion they sell is still small,” Wang said.

China white-box vendor introduces ultra-thin smartphone [DIGITIMES, July 3, 2013]

China-based white-box smartphone vendor UMeox Mobile has joined the world’s ultra-thin smartphone market by introducing its UMeox X5, which has a thickness of only 5.6mm.

The Umeox X5 is equipped with a 5.3-inch touchscreen and is powered by a dual-core processor set on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. It has an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 3-megapixel front camera.

The UMeox X5 comes less than a month after fellow company Huawei unveiled on June 18 its ultra-thin model, the Ascend P6, which the vendor claimed to be the world’s slimmest smartphone at 6.18mm during a launch event. The Ascend P6 has a 4.7-inch 1280 by 720 in-cell display and is powered by a HiSilicon 1.5GHz quad-core K3V2E processor.

In China, the ultra-thin segment was previously dominated by branded players including Huawei, ZTE and Oppo; the entry of white-box vendors will eventually heat up the competition in the sector, said industry watchers.


April 13, 2013 Report:

Digitimes Research: Smartphone sales to reach 329 million in China in 2013 [DIGITIMES Research, March 18, 2013]

There will be 329 million smartphones sold in the China market in 2013, hiking 67.0% from 2012 due to large growth in the total number of 3G subscribers, while sales of feature phones will drop 39.9% to 146 million units, according to Digitimes Research.

The 2013 sales of smartphones will consist of 110 million TD-SCDMA models [88M till end of 2012 in total !!!], increasing 155.8% from 2012, 77 million WCDMA models [76.5M till end of 2012 in total !!!], up 45.3%, 67 million CDMA models [80M till end of 2012 in total !!!], up 59.5% and 75 million EDGE models, up 27.1%.

The average production cost of entry-level smartphones will decrease from US$35 in the fourth quarter of 2012, to US$31 in the first quarter of 2013, according to Digitimes Research.

Here is the monthly change trend for the current situation according to operators’ company data:

image

So 2013 indeed will be quite a different year, especially for the biggest by far operator China Mobile (having the world’s largest customer base which is 64% of the market in terms of the overall number of 1.11 billion Chinese subscribers there), with new 3G subscribers to be added greatly exceeding even the total number of 3G subscribers accumulated so far over the last 4 years (since February 2009, precisely):

China Mobile aims to sell 100-120 million TD-SCDMA handsets in 2013 [DIGITIMES, March 15, 2013]
China Mobile, the only TD-SCDMA mobile telecom carrier in China, aims to sell 100-120 million TD-SCDMA handsets in 2013, 80% of which will be smartphones, according to company president Li Yue.
China Mobile saw the total number of TD-SCDMA subscribers increase by 36.72 million in 2012 to 87.93 million at the end of the year, China-based sina.tech.com indicated. There were 242 models of TD-SCDMA handsets, including 138 smartphones, launched in the China market in 2012 and the total sales volume stood at 56 million units, of which more than 60% were smartphones, sina.tech.com pointed out.
China Mobile spent CNY23.8 billion (US$3.77 billion) to subsidize purchases of TD-SCDMA handsets bundled with contracts in 2012, and has set aside a budget of CNY27.0 billion for 2013, the company indicated.
image
source: 2012 Annual Results presentation [China Mobile, March 14, 2013]

So a dramatic change will be not only for 3G but for 4G/LTE as well:
China Mobile 2013 capex increases 49% on year [DIGITIMES, March 14, 2013]

China Mobile, one of the biggest telecom carriers in China, reported 2012 total revenues of CNY560.4 billion (US$90 billion, up 6.1% on year. Net profits were CNY129.3 billion, representing an on-year increase of 2.7%, said the firm. China Mobile reported that 2013 capex will reach CNY190.2 billion, an on-year growth of 49.29% compared to CNY127.4 billion in 2012.
In particular, the capex for 4G networks will be CNY41.7 billion in 2013. The capex is for investments regarding 200,000 TD-LTE base stations. However, currently, TD-LTE service coverage is only 35-40%, and according to company CEO Li Yue, if the firm pushes TD-LTE service coverage to 90%, another CNY40 billion needs to be invested. China Mobile currently has no schedule for this type of investment.
China Mobile currently has 710 million users with 87.93 million being 3G users, a relatively low 3G service penetration rate. According to China Mobile chairman Xi Guo-hua, the firm’s sales of handsets in 2013 will reach around 100-120 million units and 80% will be smartphones.
In addition, China Mobile has been seeing strong growth in the usage of mobile networking among users. According to the firm, 2012 usage increased 187.6% on year and revenues from mobile networking services increased 53.6% on year, accounting for 12.2% of total revenues.

China Mobile to build world’s largest 4G network [CCTV News via GoUTube123 YouTube channel, Feb 27, 2013]

China Mobile announced on Tuesday that it plans to deploy the world’s biggest 4G LTE network in China this year, covering more than a billion people. During a keynote speech at the Global TD-LTE Initiative summit in Barcelona, the vice-chairman of China Mobile said homegrown TD-LTE technology is gaining popularity across the world as the industry matures, and the company will build the world’s biggest 4G network this year.
image
source: 2012 Annual Results presentation [China Mobile, March 14, 2013] 
Note that GTI stands for the Global TD-LTE Initiative

China Mobile launched 100 cities 1 million terminals-covered 4G plan to create world’s largest 4G network [GTI News, March 8, 2013]

On February 26th, Mr. Xi Guohua, Chairman of China Mobile announced China Mobile’s new 4G plan at the Mobile World Congress 2013 (MWC) in Barcelona that China Mobile will build the world’s largest 4G network covering over 100 cities in China and purchase more than 1 million 4G terminals by this year.
Since GTI announced the GTI Plan & Actions that was initiated to construct over 500,000 TD-LTE base stations in 2014 covering over 2 billion population, global commercialization of TD-LTE has seen a great leap forward. At present, TD-LTE has set up a complete end-to-end industry chain involving widespread participation of global industries and highly mature products. Significant progress has also made in terms of chips. In addition, the scale of TD-LTE commercial networks and user base has been enlarged to a large extent. The capability of LTE global roaming has also been proven.
Mr. Xi Guohua expressed in his opening address, “TD-LTE technology and industry have been mature enough for large-scale development. China Mobile will scale up the construction of trial network to create the largest LTE network in the world. Besides, China Mobile will purchase more than one million units of TD-LTE terminals, with a hope to promote TD-LTE multi-mode multi-band terminal to reach 3G standard as soon as possible and lay a good foundation for its complete commercialization.
It was reported that China Mobile, as a leader and main driving force for the global deployment of TD-LTE, has built pilot TD-LTE networks in 15 cities across China, among which the networks in Hangzhou, Shenzhen and Guangzhou have achieved full coverage in main districts. China Mobile also launched diversified TD-LTE trial commercial services, receiving high praise from consumers. According to this latest released program, China Mobile’s TD-LTE network will cover all the prefecture-level cities and above with over 200,000 base stations covering more than 500 million population, which will be the largest 4G network in the world.
Dynamic development in the field of TD-LTE terminals has also been seen. At the summit, China Mobile and its industry partners, including Huaiwei, ZTE, Samsung, HTC and LG, jointly launched 5 models of TD-LTE multi-mode multi-band smart phones. Remarkably, China Mobile also released 3 eye-catching independently branded MiFi [wireless router that acts as a mobile WiFi hotspot, the abbreviation stands for “My Wi-Fi”] products. With the joint efforts by global chip vendors, the technologies for TD-LTE multi-mode multi-band smart phones are getting mature increasingly. It is estimated that booming development of TD-LTE terminals will be realized in a diversified, large-scale manner in the coming two years. Beside high-end mobile phones, middle and low end mobile phones will enter into the market. This will provide consumers with enriched choices while allowing seamless global roaming.
In pace with further promotion in the fields of commercial network deployment, multi-mode multi-band terminals, global roaming test and commercialization as well as the application of automotive consumer electronics, 2013 will be a key year for the global deployment and large-scale development of TD-LTE.

China Mobile to procure TD-LTE devices from Huawei, ZTE, Samsung [DIGITIMES, March 19, 2013]

China Mobile, the only TD-SCDMA mobile telecom carrier in China, will procure TD-LTE terminal devices from Huawei Technologies, ZTE, and Samsung Electronics, and will offer two own-brand Mi-Fi models, according to industry sources in Taiwan.

China Mobile will procure Huawei Mi-Fi model E5375, ZTE Mi-Fi model MF91S and offer own-brand CM510 and CM512. It will procure Huawei’s Ascend D2-TL smartphone, Samsung’s Galaxy I9308D smartphone and ZTE’s network interface card MF820T. These devices support TD-LTE, FDD-LTE, TD-SCDMA, WCDMA and GSM standards and 10 frequency bands.

CM512 will be produced by Tech-Full (Changshu) Computer, a China-based subsidiary of Quanta Computer.

China Mobile has launched a 4G network trial in Guangzhou and Shenzhen, with signal coverage over 30% of the population. This marks a further step in the network being fully operational. “4G, Life-Changing Experience.” The importance of the new data network to China Mobile has two meanings. First, it is the only 4G network in China, giving China Mobile an obvious lead over the other two telecom giants. Second, the 4G network, TD LTE, designed and developed by China, strengthens the country’s place in the field of information technology. Sun Lian, planning & development manager of China Mobile Guangdong, said:”The 4G network developed by China can have an impact beyond the whole telecom industry. It brings opportunities for electronics and mircro-chip companies, online service and content providers. It could change our entire experience of the information service.” But it is never easy to tap into new markets. China launched its own 3G network, the TD SCDMA in 2009, but even standing on the shoulder of this telecom giant, its development was anything but smooth sailing. It is incompatible with other 3G networks in the world, and users cannot choose carriers outside China Mobile. This time, the telecom giant has vowed not to make the same mistake. Yang Wenbin, engineer of China Mobile R&D Center, said:”There are currently two kinds of 4G network, the TD LTE network in China, and the FDD LTE network already adopted by some countries. Many of the communication protocols they use is the same, therefore it is easier to achieve compatibility on software level, without making tweaks on the hardware.” The 4th Generation network is marked by its high speed. On the launch of the trial, the top download speed could reach around 80 megabytes per second. The speed of the 4G network is amazing, it can download several gigabytes of contents in just a few minutes. But unless you have an unlimited download plan, this could also mean a very heavy telephone bill. For those not using the monthly package, the current price for 3G usage is 1 yuan per megabyte. This means downloading a movie will cost over 500 yuan on average, or about $80 US dollars. So knowing what kind of package comes with the 4G network is key for customers. A customer in Guangzhou said:”Of course I look forward to a faster network, but I hope it won’t be too expensive.” A customer in Guangzhou said:”On my current data plan, the cost of the 3G network is acceptable. I hope the 4G network won’t be more expensive than the 3G network.” A retail store manager of China Mobile Guangdong said:”We are now offering more data plans and discount packages to meet the growing demand. And along with the 4G network, we will also have many discounts to encourage users to switch to faster services.”

China Mobile: 4G licensing expected by year-end [China Daily, March 13, 2013]

The chairman of China Mobile, the world’s largest carrier by subscriber base, says the rollout of4G technology in the country is just around corner. Speaking on the sidelines of the on-going two sessions, Xi Guohua, a CPPCC member, also said that the carrier is extending a trial of 4G networks
<embedded video worth to watch>
According to China Mobile, the fourth generation technology offers 10 times bigger bandwidthand 10 times transmission speed than its 3G predecessor. The operator plans to build more than 200,000 4G base stations. The network, when completed, will be the largest of its kind worldwide, and will cover a population of more than 500 million.
Xi Guohua, chairman of China Mobile, said, “We will further expand the current trial on a large scale network. We plan to build 4G base stations in 100 cities, and purchase 1 million terminals.”
Xi also expects the government to issue its fourth generation license before the end of thisyear.
Xi said, “The timing of licensing should be in line with technological development. I think it is appropriate to do that by the end of this year.”
China Mobile started its large-scale 4G trial last year. Industry insiders say if commercialized, the new technology will give a major boost to every part of China’s telecommunications industry.

China to lead mobile payment technology [NFC] [CCTV News via GoUTube123 YouTube channel, Feb 27, 2013]

Smartphones may soon replace cash and credit cards. Constantino de Miguel reports from the Mobile World Congress, China is poised to be the leader in this technology. Just like motorists who pay tolls electronically, consumers the world over may soon be paying on-the-go at any shop, using smartphones or tablets. Mobile devices will be our wallets thanks to a technology called “near field communications”, or NFC. China is expected to lead mobile payments since it already has the largest network of credit cards.

Commercializing 4G in China needs 1 yr: minister [China Daily, March 15, 2013]

With the third-generation communication network flourishing in China, consumers are eager to know when they will be able to start using the next generation’s network, 4G. On the sidelines of the NPC sessions, the Chinese Minister of Industry and Information Technology, Miao Wei,said that the large-scale commercialization of 4G is currently in a testing phase, but that the network coverage still has a long way to go.
<embedded video worth to watch>
Miao Wei, Minister of China Ministry of Industry & IT, said, “Some factors are blocking the 4G development. First is the network. At the moment, even the 3G network is not fully received in many places across China, as it always drops to 2G due to poor network coverage. We have to speed up the installation of coverage technology so as to realize the smooth switching between 3G and 4G. Licenses will still be given to China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom. 4G will first be commercialized in six pilot cities as the network coverage will be available there. But it needs at least one year to commercialize it across the country.”

FRANCE 24 Report : Chinese smartphone brands take bite out of APPLE [france24english YouTube channel, Feb 18, 2013]

Global technology heavyweights are eager to make inroads into China, the world’s biggest smartphone market. Yet local brands like Xiaomi, Lenovo, Coolpad, Huawei are putting up stiff resistance, selling phones for around half the price of their larger competitors. They’ve even beaten the iPhone into fourth place in rankings of Chinese smartphone sales… and now they’re setting their sights on foreign customers too.

Rise of Chinese smartphones [CNNInternational YouTube channel, Feb 26, 2013]

Fortune magazine writer Michal Lev-Ram examines the rise of Chinese smartphones.

Mike Walsh on Global Innovation [cmispeakers YouTube channel, Feb 5, 2013]

86% of the worldwide web comes from global markets…only 14% from the US…learn about China’s ‘Shanzhai’ innovation on cloned phone technology.

China Smartphone Sector [Asia Pacific/China Equity Research, Credit Suisse, Jan 7, 2013]

A specific growth opportunity within China
The Chinese market is a critical market for the local branded Chinese smartphone brands, whitebox and chipset suppliers into that channel. Overall market growth is poised to continue, driven by a significant step-up in subsidies of sub-Rmb1,000 smartphones from Chinese brands and much better low-cost handset availability and quality.
The market is also a key market not dominated by the traditional Tier 1 brands, with feature phones traditionally 60% served by whitebox and local brands. The initial ramp of smartphones was dominated by the traditional global Tier 1s at 70% share in 2011. In 2012, however, this market made a marked turn and is now only 36% supplied by Tier 1s, 35% by the Top 4 Chinese brands (Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo and Coolpad), and 29% by the whitebox and Tier 2 Chinese brands. The key shift was substantial lowering of entry barriers due to higher quality chipset reference designs, better availability of components (panels, touch, image sensors, low cost mobile DRAM) and a stable Android platform.
The availability of these smartphones has already prompted a substantial rise in smartphone penetration of device purchases, from 17% of units in 2011 (78 mn smartphones out of 458 mn handset sales) to 38% of units in 2012 (197 mn of 512 mn handset sales). By 2015, we model in our global forecast 421 mn of 570 mn handset sales (74% of device units). The export channel has taken off a bit slower, with penetration in emerging markets increasing YoY from 16% to 23% in 2012 and projected to reach 54% in 2015 (619 mn of 1.13 bn devices), a potential area of further upside.
Based on rising affordability and quality continuing to improve, we expect the Chinese smartphone market to grow from 197mn units in 2012 to 421mn in 2015, with 30% from tier one’s, 33% from the top Chinese brands and 37% from other brands.
We note that the whitebox and other brands can expand as Tier 2 brands (Hisense, BBK, Oppo, Gionee, Tianyu/K-Touch, TCL, Xiaomi) become household names in China and emerging markets and the quality of clone Galaxy and iPhones improve with better touch, quad core and sweeter flavours of Android versions.

Chinese Smartphones [FinancialTimesVideos YouTube channel, April 5, 2012]

http://www.FT.com/ The popularity of smartphones is causing a fundamental shift in the handset market in China. The FT’s Kathrin Hille visits Shenzhen in southern China to discover where the mobile phone industry is heading.

Chinese smartphones going big [CCTV News via the GoUTube123 YouTube channel, July 11, 2012]

Last year 488 million smart phones were sold worldwide. That’s nearly two thirds more than 2010. The smart phone industry has quickly become so hot that many investors feel that they must get in on the action, and in China they’re doing it fast.

Handset Industry 2013 Outlook [Asia Pacific/China Equity Research, Credit Suisse, Jan 7, 2013]

Increased push towards lower end smartphones. One of the common themes emerging out of all three carriers in China is the increased push toward bringing down smartphone price points. During 2011, the focus had been on launching smartphones priced at around Rmb1,000 with a number of product introductions in that price range. For 2012, the target seems to be to further price point reductions.
  • China Mobile noted that out of 166 smartphone models it offered during mid-2012, 126 of them are being sold at a price point of around Rmb1,000 (or US$150), with the company already working towards launching smartphones priced at Rmb500.

  • China Unicom highlighted that after having successfully launched a series of Rmb1,000 smartphones in 2011, it has been working on to introduce smartphones priced at Rmb700 (US$ 100) or below during 2012.
  • China Telecom had an offering of around 240 models for smartphones in mid-2012, compared to only 100/200 models at the end of 2010/2011. Further, the carrier sold 16mn smartphone devices in 1H12 compared to 17mn in 2011 (up 2x yoy).

And the Chinese industry and supply chain positions are even better in the tablet ecosystem space as well described in my spinoff blog:

SED Electronics Market (Tablets Market) in Shenzhen walk-through [Charbax YouTube channel, March 17, 2013]

Here’s my latest steadicam/GH3 walk through the SED Electronics Market in Shenzhen, that building is my favorite in the Shenzhen Huaqiangbei Electronics market area. This is where you can find all the tablets, HDMI sticks and tablet accessories.

Allwinner A31 9.7″ Retina factory tour at Celeb Tech [Charbax YouTube channel, March 17, 2013]

Here is a tour of the Celeb Tech factory in Shenzhen China. This is their touchpanel [TP] assembly line, they also have a more general tablet assembly factory in another part of Shenzhen (Dongguan) which I may go to and film at the next time I visit Shenzhen. They are in full swing producing the pretty awesome 9.7″ Retina Allwinner A31 Quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 tablet that sells at some pretty amazing prices on the Chinese market.

 


More information

This getting even more interesting as the quite dramatic by itself introductory information is only one of the reasons (more will follow below) why we can say that China is the epicenter of the mobile Internet world, so of the next-gen HTML5 web … even if such a power of influence is too new for the country to be able to exercise that to a greater degree (yet): China Knocks Off U.S. to Become World’s Top Smart Device Market [Peter Farago on the Flurry blog, Feb 18, 2013]

SmartDevice InstalledBase China vs US Feb2013 resized 600

Nevertheless the collection given below in the ‘Background’ section is showing that potential. Just look at the major headlines in that section:

China becomes world’s top smartphone producer China’s e-commerce revenue hits over 1 trillion yuan in 2012: minister China’s top microblog site boasts 500 mln users
China expected to issue 4G licenses this year: minister Preparing for a 4G network across China ZTE leads in 4G wireless networks
EU telecom demands raise tensions with China China has till June for solar, telecoms trade deal: EU China’s mobile phone users reach 1.11 bln
China market: Samsung takes up 22.5% of 2012 smartphone sales, says iiMedia Research Smart phones cover 70 pct of mobile market: report Android powers a third of all mobile phones shipped in 4Q12, says Canalys
Google controls too much of China’s smartphone sector: ministry Too late for China to develop own mobile operating systems, say Taiwan makers China handset makers hope to reduce reliance on Android
China to modify plan to open up mobile telecom sector 4M[bps] broadband to cover 70 percent of Chinese users in 2013 Broadband network expansion in the pipeline
China Unicom’s 3G
[W-CDMA] subscribers hit 76.46 mln
   

For the mobile Internet world, and consequently for the next-gen HTML5 web there is still a huge untapped potential in China, especially for the far the biggest network operator, China Mobile:

image

China Mobile’s untapped potential in the 3G space is even greater than that of other two operators as from Q4’11 to Q2’12 it was operating at much lower quarterly growth rate of 3G penetration than its bigest domestic rival, China Unicom (see the chart in the middle). In fact during the last 2 years both China Unicom (W-CDMA) and China Telecom (CDMA) had a consistently faster growth of 3G subscribers than China Mobile (TD-SCDMA) as well illustrated by the first chart on the top. In fact the resulting 3G penetration rates by the end of the period (Q4’12) speak for themselves:
– China Mobile (TD-SCDMA): 12.4% (vs. 3.5% in Q4’10)
– China Unicom (W-CDMA): 32% (vs. 8.4% in Q4’10)
– China Telecom (CDMA): 43% (vs. 13.6% in Q4’10)

The major reason for China Mobile’s significant underperformance between 2010 and 2012 is related to all the difficulties related to the stubborn attempt to deliver a completely homegrown solution in the 3G space, 100% of China’s own, end-to-end: TD-SCDMA, SoCs, operating system, services etc.

  1. TD-SCDMA defined and developed totally independent of the Qualcomm driven CDMA  and the Europe driven W-CDMA (including HSPA) which both had broad involvement of all kind of interested parties, especially the final 3G+ winner W-CDMA (including HSPA). This is well expressed by the following technology adoption chart (which includes forecast for the recently launched 4G LTE as well):

    From: Report: LTE Connections To Hit 90 Million By Year’s End, 1 Billion By 2017 [TechCrunch, May 17, 2012], i.e. LTE was in its 3d year in 2012
  2. China Mobile, as a SOE (State Owned Company, see SOEs and state coexistence in China [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, June 19, 2011]) with only 25.82% of shares not in the state hands as of 31 December 2011, got full support of the state via different financial means and other TD-SCDMA related companies of the state as well. See China Mobile repositioning for TD-LTE with full content and application aggregation services, 3G [HSPA level] is to create momentum for that [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, June 18, 2011]. China Mobile awards 12 companies TD-SCDMA research grants [May 17, 2009] and  China Mobile Reveals TD-SCDMA Handset Subsidy Bidding Results [May 17, 2009] there are particulary revealing such efforts in the very beginning.

    There was no lack of resources for everything, despite of doing it all alone, nevertheless it took no less than 3 years from the TD-SCDMA launch to have a workable plan which resulted just in the end of the fourth year in the significantly improved results of greater quarterly TD-SCDMA penetration growth of 14.4% in Q4’12 Q vs. 13.2% in Q1’12, 10% in Q2’12 and 10.2% in Q3’12. The plan was TD-SCDMA: US$3B into the network (by the end of 2012) and 6 million phones procured (just in October) [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Oct 18, 2011] and the Q4’12 result is quite visible in the penetration growth rate jump (copied here as well for convenience):

    image

  3. It was clearly identified from the very beginning that SoCs would be needed from several sources. China Mobile was getting that quite early from local  chip design houses Spreadtrum and Leadcore as well as from ST-Ericsson, MediaTek and Marvell coming from outside (see Marvell beaten by Chinese chipmakers in sub 1,000 yuan handset procurement tender of China Mobile [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Nov 15, 2010] and Marvell’s single chip TD-SCDMA solutions beaten (again) by two-chip solutions of Chinese vendors [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, July 11, 2011]). Despite of Marvell’s very strong and early 2008 commitment to capitalise on the TD-SCDMA opportunity only, even strengthening that with Kinoma is now the marvellous software owned by Marvell [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, March 8, 2011] and ASUS, China Mobile and Marvell join hands in the OPhone ecosystem effort for “Blue Ocean” dominance [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, March 8, 2011], it was much more later that there were First real chances for Marvell on the tablet and smartphone fronts [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Aug 21, 2011].

    Then, in fact, rather its long-time local competitor gained the upper hand with World’s lowest cost, US$40-50 Android smartphones — sub-$100 retail — are enabled by Spreadtrum [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Dec 11, 2011] which was already at the time of  China becoming the lead market for mobile Internet in 2012/13 [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Dec 1, 2011] and The new, high-volume market in China is ready to define the 2012 smartphone war [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Jan 6, 2012]. In the end not Marvell but Spreadtrum exploited best the tremendous volume opportunities when it was possible to state that Lowest H2’12 device cost SoCs from Spreadtrum will redefine the entry level smartphone and feature phone markets [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, July 26 – Nov 9, 2012] as the 2.5G only $48 Mogu M0 “peoplephone”, i.e. an Android smartphone for everybody to hit the Chinese market on November 15 [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Nov 9, 2012] arrived. And the increase in the number of TD-SCDMA subscribers was still not that much more: 12.3 million in Q4’12 vs. 8.5 million in Q3’12.

    So Spreadtrum’s H2’12 success came much more from its extremely low-cost with 2.5G+WiFi (SC6820) capability than from the one which included as well  the TD-SCDMA capability. This also means that for our final word about the maturity of the TD-SCDMA technology stack from the network basestations through the TD-SCDMA SoCs we will able to say just in 2013, after similar kind, or even higher, increases in the number of TD-SCDMA subscriber additions would indeed be reported by China Mobile. The findings of the market research panels published just last week are well supporting this reasoning (see the full press release much more below of the excerpts included here):

    Wi-Fi is the Data Beast of Burden among Smartphone Panelists [Arbitron press release via PRNewswire, March 4, 2013]

    … Even as carriers aggressively promote their newest generation of cellular data networking, the Arbitron smartphone panelists in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, and China, still consume nearly two thirds of their mobile data through public and private Wi-Fi networks. …

    … China and France have the lightest users of mobile data … However, their respective share of Wi-Fi networks as a data source stands at a polar opposite. China panelists consume the largest share—70 percent—on Wi-Fi networks. French panelists, consume the smallest share—53 percent—of mobile data on Wi-Fi. …

    This means that the Chinese were well satisfied with their less costly 2.5G mobile connections for less data consuming tasks, while for most consuming ones the great majority of them were relying on the Wi-Fi networks available to them in the various hotspots and at home (probably at the workplace as well). Considering that along with the 4G/LTE there is the upcoming 5G WiFi with Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ ac Miracast™ from Broadcom for streaming content to UHD (4K) TVs as well [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, March 3, 2013] this situation will not change in the future either, definitely not in the much more cost-concious Chinese market (see: China: going either for good quality commodities or the premium brands only [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Nov 21, 2012]).

  4.  Wi-Fi is the Data Beast of Burden among Smartphone Panelists [Arbitron press release via PRNewswire, March 4, 2013]
How much mobile data Arbitron smartphone panelists consume varies by country and mobile platform
Wi-Fi® remains the leading data network for on-the-go data consumption in the five leading Arbitron Mobile-based smartphone panels.
Even as carriers aggressively promote their newest generation of cellular data networking, the Arbitron smartphone panelists in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, and China, still consume nearly two thirds of their mobile data through public and private Wi-Fi networks.
Wi-Fi Data Consumption by Arbitron Mobile-based Smartphone Panelists
Sorted by average mobile data consumption per month (cellular +Wi-Fi)
 
% via
Wi-Fi
Cell + Wi-Fi Data
MB/User/Month
% of panelists
> 1,000 MB/month
U.S.
61%
1,496
49%
U.K.
69%
1,181
37%
Germany
63%
861
37%
France
53%
730
24%
China*
70%
719
25%
Source: Arbitron Mobile Index: Executive Summary Reports, 4th quarter 2012
* Operated by iResearch using Arbitron Mobile technology

The United States and United Kingdom have the heaviest users of mobile data in their Arbitron smartphone panels. A substantial share of the data consumption—61 and 69 percent respectively—relies on Wi-Fi networks.
China and France have the lightest users of mobile data in their Arbitron Mobile-based smartphone panels, both in terms of the average monthly data consumed and the share of the panel who consume more the 1,000 MB a month. However, their respective share of Wi-Fi networks as a data source stands at a polar opposite.
China panelists consume the largest share—70 percent—on Wi-Fi networks.  French panelists, consume the smallest share—53 percent—of mobile data on Wi-Fi.
In all five of the Arbitron Mobile panels, Apple iOS users are heaviest consumers of mobile data and are the heaviest users of Wi-Fi for their on-the-go data needs.
Data Consumption by Leading Mobile Operating Systems
Sorted by average mobile data consumption per month (cellular +Wi-Fi) on iOS
Apple iOS
Android
 
MB/User
/Month
% via
Wi-Fi
MB/User
/Month
% via
Wi-Fi
U.S.
2,512
66%
821
57%
U.K.
2,216
80%
740
64%
China*
1,636
81%
347
65%
France
1,527
70%
635
52%
Germany
1,203
71%
566
56%
Source: Arbitron Mobile Index — Executive Summary Reports, 4th quarter 2012
* Operated by iResearch using Arbitron Mobile technology

Apple iOS was the predominant operating system among the heavy data users in these five smartphone panels.  Seventy-two percent of iOS users in the U.S. and German panel were in 1,000+ MB/month club; in the U.K., 76 percent, and in China 60 percent. In stark contrast, only 29 percent of the iOS users in the France panel consumed more than 1,000 MB/month in the fourth quarter 2012.
About iResearch Consulting
iResearch Consulting, founded 2002, is the leading consulting and media measurement company in the Internet industry in China. With more than 200 employees, iResearch, headquartered in Shanghai, has been at the forefront of Chinese Internet measurement and operates a currency Internet audience rating service for China.
About Arbitron Mobile
Arbitron Mobile Oy, a wholly owned subsidiary of Arbitron Inc., uses a proprietary, on-device software meter to provide marketers, the media, content providers, app developers, and wireless access suppliers with information on how mobile consumers use apps, surf the web, engage in social media, participate in e-commerce, and employ their devices to communicate.
For more information, visit www.arbitronmobile.com or contact mobile@arbitron.com.
About Arbitron
Arbitron Inc. (NYSE: ARB) is an international media and marketing research firm serving the media—radio, television, cable and out-of-home; the mobile industry as well as advertising agencies and advertisers around the world.  For more information, visit www.arbitron.com.
Wi-Fi® is a registered trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance.

Background

China becomes world’s top smartphone producer [Xinhua, Jan 16, 2013]

Chinese shipments of smartphones totaled 224 million units in 2012, making the country the world’s largest smartphone producer, official data showed Wednesday.
In 2012, over 730,000 Chinese apps were launched on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad platforms, and the number of apps in China Mobile’s online Mobile Market approached 150,000, according to a statement from the China Academy of Telecommunication Research under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
Beijing-based research firm Analysys International predicted that China’s mobile Internet market will reach 429.6 billion yuan (68.19 billion U.S. dollars) in 2015.
China added 50.9 million Internet users in 2012, bringing the total to 564 million at the end of last year, according to data released Tuesday by the China Internet Network Information Center.
The number of mobile Internet users increased 18.1 percent to 420 million, with mobile phones becoming the primary channel for using the Internet in China.

More information:
Huawei challenges Apple, Samsung with world’s biggest smartphone [Xinhua, Jan 7, 2013]
Lenovo seeks top smartphone spot [in China] [China Daily via Xinhuanet, Jan 5, 2013]

China’s ZTE unveils latest Android smartphone in Indonesia [Xinhua, Dec 19, 2012]
Smartphones give family ties the busy signal [Xinhua, Oct 18, 2012]
Smartphones in use top 1 bln worldwide: report [Xinhua, Oct 17, 2012]

The number of smartphones in use in the world has risen to over 1 billion, 16 years after they were first put into market, report from Strategy Analytics showed on Wednesday.
According to the third quarter figures released by the research firm, the number of smartphones in use increased by around 330 million from the third quarter of 2011 and by 79 million from the second quarter of this year.
Executive Director at Strategics Analytics Neil Mawston said one in seven people in the world now has a smartphone.
Mawston pointed out that there will be more smartphone penetration in the future because of the “huge scope for future growth, particularly in emerging markets such as China, India and Africa.”
It is calculated that although 16 years were needed for the first billion smartphones to come into use, it will need just three years for that number to double to 2 billion.

China’s e-commerce revenue hits over 1 trillion yuan in 2012: minister [Xinhua, March 8, 2013]

China’s booming online commerce industry is expected to reap more than 1.1 trillion yuan (about 175 billion U.S. dollars) in revenue in 2012, Minister of Commerce Chen Deming said on Friday.
“The total revenue of online commerce is estimated to be around 1.1 trillion yuan (about 175 billion U.S. dollars) to 1.2 trillion in 2012,” said Chen, noting that the exact figure was not available.
China’s online commerce has experienced rapid growth in recent years, with its total revenue expanding from 25.8 billion yuan in 2006 to 780 billion in 2011, the commerce minister told a press conference held on the sidelines of the ongoing national legislature.
“Online shopping is changing people’s way of life and consumption, taking advantage of the huge potential of China’s industrialization and urbanization,” Chen said.
The commerce minister said the growth dwarfed that of many western countries, attributing to the fact that China’s commerce industry was not as developed in the first place, and online shopping could serve to reduce the cost of logistics by a huge margin.

More information:
Chinese booming e-commerce nibbles traditional retailers [Xinhuanet, Feb 18, 2013] with internal headlines: online business booms + traditional retail industry threatened
Conference updated on China’s regulation of e-commerce [Xinhua, Nov 27, 2012]
Securing China’s e-commerce growth [Jeff Liao, country manager of Visa China on Xinhuanet, Nov 20, 2012]

Between June 2011 and 2012, China’s Internet population reached 538 million, of which some 194 million had shopped online. Online retail sales in China have soared in recent years and are expected to hit 360 billion U.S. dollars by 2015 – up from about 121 billion dollars in 2011 – according to The Boston Consulting Group.
Impressive as the numbers are, there’s another set of statistics that’s even more striking: Nearly one-third of the online shoppers in China fell prey to fraudulent websites during that period, costing them 4.7 billion dollars, according to the China Electronic Commerce Association.
<quite worth to read after that>

China’s top microblog site boasts 500 mln users [Xinhua, Feb 20, 2013]

Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, had attracted over 500 million users by the end of 2012, a year-on-year increase of 74 percent, Sina Corp. announced on Wednesday.
Sina Weibo’s active daily users have exceeded 46.2 million, the company said.
The site’s revenues totaled 66 million U.S. dollars in 2012, of which 23 percent came from surging income from value-added services.
The other 77 percent came from advertising, the revenues of which exceeded 50 million U.S. dollars.
The company plans to further improve its user experience and expand its services while veering its focus to mobile Internet, said Cao Guowei, CEO and president of Sina.
Some 75 percent of Sina Weibo’s active users log in using mobile devices.
Sina also issued financial reports for the last quarter and full fiscal year of 2012 on Wednesday, showing that its net revenues hit 529.3 million U.S. dollars with a year-on-year increase of 10 percent.

Web China: Xi Jinping fan microblog triggers curiosity [Xinhua, Feb 6, 2013]

… a personal microblog on Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, which has released exclusive photos and other news regarding China’s top leader Xi Jinping, has raised eyebrows with its candid coverage.
Netizens have become increasingly curious about the blog, titled “Xuexifensituan” (“Learning From Xi Fan Club”), which covers the latest moves made by Xi, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, during his inspection tours.
Entries on the blog are often written in the style of a tabloid, with brief phrases (“he’s returned to the hotel”) describing Xi’s whereabouts. However, the posts are exclusive and always come ahead of reports from official media.
Sometimes there are rare first-hand pictures — distant shots of Xi dozing in a van or photos taken by a shaky camera while Xi walks through a crowd of people.
The microblogger refers to Xi as “Xi Dada,” a term that translates as “Uncle Xi” in some parts of China. “Pingping,” a dual-syllable nickname often used by intimate friends or relatives, is also used to describe China’s top leader.
The blog has attracted nearly 500,000 followers since going online in November 2012. Although the information contained in the blog has interested the public, netizens are also curious about the real identity of the blog’s owner.
The blog does not feature a “V” emblem, a mark which indicates that the blog owner’s identity has been verified by Sina Weibo. The only clues are profile details stating that the blog’s owner is a female from northwest China’s Shaanxi province.
The mysterious blog is suspected to be maintained by someone very close to Xi, as the information it contains is supposed to be unavailable to the public and some of its photos were shot from vantages close to Xi.
The blog’s owner has denied claims that he or she is close to Xi. “I am just an ordinary office worker, not a CPC member, nor an official,” an entry on the blog said.


China
expected to issue 4G licenses this year: minister
[Xinhua, March 6, 2013]

China is expected to start licensing telecom operators to offer services on its fourth-generation (4G) mobile phone network within 2013, a senior official has said.
“China has made breakthroughs in R&D of 4G technologies, but is still facing restrictions in commercial use,” Miao Wei, minister of industry of information technology, said on the sidelines of the ongoing annual session of the country’s national legislature.
China needs to speed up base station construction and provide more terminal products, which require greater financial and technological input, he said on Tuesday.
“We will promulgate supporting policies at an appropriate time to guide the construction and development of the 4G network,” Miao added.
In early February, two cities in east China’s Zhejiang Province launched a 4G mobile phone network for commercial use on a trial basis, marking a new age of high-speed mobile Internet in the country.
With a 500-yuan (80 U.S. dollars) deposit, subscribers to China Mobile in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang, and Wenzhou, can access the service.
China Mobile, China’s largest mobile operator, employs TD-LTE technology, or Time Division Long Term Evolution, one of two international standards, for the 4G network. Its maximum Internet speed is up to 10 times faster than 3G.
4G user should be able to download a 10-megabyte piece of software in two seconds, and a two-gigabyte HD movie in just several minutes.
With the advancement of 4G technology, 4G wireless cards and 4G mobile phones are expected to be ready for commercial use this year.
China Mobile began building a trial 4G network in several Chinese cities, including Hangzhou, in 2011. The city is currently home to over 2,400 4G base stations, covering an area of around 500 square km.
The minister also reiterated that China will further encourage private investment in the telecom industry.

More information:
China Mobile expands 4G trials to Zhejiang [China Daily via Xinhuanet, Feb 6, 2013]
East China cities launch commercial 4G network [Xinhua, Feb 4, 2013]
Preparing for a 4G network across China [China Daily via Xinhuanet, Nov 19, 2012]

… The ministry officially defined the TD-LTE spectrum – 2,500-2,690 MHz – in China in October, paving the way for future TD-LTE network commercial use.
Xi Guohua, chairman of China Mobile, said in June that China Mobile plans to have a total of more than 200,000 TD-LTE base stations through new builds and upgrades by 2013.
Rumors have circulated in Chinese media that China Telecom, the nation’s smallest mobile carrier, will probably adopt TD-LTE technology when it starts to deploy its 4G network. If true, it would be a great boost for the TD-LTE industry both at home and abroad.

ZTE leads in 4G wireless networks [China Daily via Xinhuanet, July 22, 2012]

ZTE Corp revealed on Friday that it has gained an upper hand over rivals in the construction of fourth generation TD-LTE wireless networks globally, after it grabbed more than 70 percent of the world’s contracts of this kind by May.
“We had absolute advantages … since the number of ZTE’s TD-LTE projects accounted for more than 70 percent of the world’s total,” said [ZTE Vice-President] Liu [Peng].
“We had absolute advantages … since the number of ZTE’s TD-LTE projects accounted for more than 70 percent of the world’s total,” said Liu.
ZTE announced on Thursday that it had been selected as one of two telecom equipment suppliers by China Mobile Hong Kong Ltd, a subsidiary of the world’s largest mobile operator China Mobile Ltd, to build a seamless converged LTE TDD and LTE FDD network in Hong Kong. The other selected supplier was Sweden-based Telefon AB LM Ericsson.
It is also the first commercial TD-LTE network set up and operated by China Mobile, and because of that, it will play a critical role in China Mobile’s overall plan to promote TD-LTE technology both at home and abroad, analysts said.
Chen Jinqiao, deputy chief engineer of the China Academy of Telecommunication Research, said: “It is a real, tangible commercial TD-LTE network, and China Mobile will learn operating experience from it and may do a better job in the commercial use of TD-LTE technology in the Chinese mainland.”

Implications of ZTE’s $20 Billion Credit Line [TBRIChannel YouTube channel, Feb 21, 2013]

ZTE’s new $20 billion credit line, awarded on Dec. 4 by the China Development Bank (CDB), is timely for the struggling China-based vendor and has breathed new life into the firm; however, it portends more woes for close competitors such as Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia Siemens. On Wednesday, Feb. 20, analyst Chris Antlitz recorded a webinar that delved into how and why ZTE’s massive credit line is a game changer in the telecom vendor market, and discusses how it will reshape the industry over the next few years. Specifically, this webinar will cover three key topics: •How will the money help ZTE streamline its internal operations and regain traction in the marketplace? •How will competitors be affected by ZTE’s resurgence? •How will this loan reshape the telecom vendor landscape over the next few years?

EU telecom demands raise tensions with China [CNTV.cn via Xinhuanet, Feb 3, 2013]

According to a report in the Financial Times, Europe’s top trade official has urged China to grant it a bigger share of the Chinese market in telecoms network equipment.
The EU trade commissioner, Karel De Gucht, is reported to have requested a 30 percent share of China’s telecoms market to EU suppliers in return for dropping a highly contentious EU investigation into alleged subsidies to Chinese companies.
It’s also claimed De Gucht is insisting that Chinese telecom suppliers Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp raise the price of their exports by 29%. The case centres on Brussels’ contention that Beijing has awarded illegal export subsidies to the two companies in order to fuel their growth in foreign markets.
A delegation from China’s Ministry of Commerce met with top EU trade officials on Friday to seek a way to settle the issue without sparking a trade war.
The EU is currently carrying out its biggest ever anti-dumping investigation into Chinese solar panel exports. It’s expected to make a formal decision on whether to impose temporary duties by the end of May.

China has till June for solar, telecoms trade deal: EU [Reuters, Feb 27, 2013]

China has until June 7 to negotiate a deal with the European Union on state subsidies for solar panels and mobile telephone networks or face possible punitive measures, the EU’s trade chief said on Wednesday.
European Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht told a Reuters Summit on the future of the euro zone the Chinese had told Brussels they wanted to negotiate an amicable solution to EU concerns over alleged trade distortions in the two cases.
“It is the Chinese who have requested that we would have negotiations on a possible amicable solution. We have already have contacts, we have already sent people to Beijing, and the Chinese already came to Brussels,” he said.
The hi-tech telecoms case is less advanced but potentially far bigger in political and economic impact.
The EU is collecting evidence to prepare a possible case against Chinese network equipment makers Huawei (002502.SZ) and ZTE (000063.SZ) over state subsidies, but has not received a formal complaint from European industry.
De Gucht said the Commission had the power to initiate proceedings on its own authority even if no European competitor came forward.
A complaint is the normal starting point for an investigation, but European manufacturers Ericsson (ERICb.ST), Alcatel-Lucent (ALUA.PA) and Nokia Siemens Networks NOKI.UL have remained silent because trade experts say they fear retaliation against their business in China.
The case over mobile network equipment makers would dwarf that in size. The European telecoms industry accounts for an estimated 4.8 percent of the EU’s gross domestic product.
Such self-initiated cases can be awkward for the Commission, as it appears to be both complainant and judge and still needs evidence from EU producers and approval from EU member states, which ultimately vote on Brussels’ proposals to impose duties.
De Gucht said that talks over alleged state subsidies by China to the telecom firms were running in parallel with negotiations to avoid duties on Chinese solar panels.
There were also “serious security concerns” involving mobile telecom networks, which had become the backbone of modern European society, he said, noting that the United States and Australiahad effectively shut Huawei out of their markets.
Diplomats said EU countries are divided in their approach to Huawei, with Britain and the Netherlands embracing the Chinese firm as a major job provider while others are more wary of Chinese inroads into such a sensitive sector.
A leaked internal EU report last year said that action against Chinese telecom equipment makers was needed because their increasing dominance of mobile networks makes them a threat to security.


China’s mobile phone users reach 1.11 bln
[Xinhua, Jan 25, 2013]

The number of Chinese mobile phone users reached 1.11 billion as of the end of 2012, according to official data unveiled Thursday.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said in a statement that mobile phone users represent 80 percent of all phones users in the country.
The number of mobile phones owned by every 100 people reached 82.6 by the end of 2012, up by nine from a year earlier, according to the statement.
Last year, the country recorded 125.9 million new mobile phone users, among whom 104.38 million were 3G mobile phone users, bringing the total number of 3G users to 232.8 million, the MIIT said.
The ministry said the number of Internet users rose by 51 million to 564 million people, among whom 74.5 percent, or 420 million people, surf the Internet with their mobile phones.
The Internet penetration rate reached 42.1 percent by the end of last year, up 3.8 percentage points from a year earlier.

China market: Samsung takes up 22.5% of 2012 smartphone sales, says iiMedia Research [DIGITIMES, March 7, 2013]

There were 169 million smartphones sold in the China market in 2012, hiking 130.7% from 2011, and Samsung Electronics was the largest vendor with a market share of 22.5%, according to China-based consulting company iiMedia Research.
Lenovo was the second largest vendor accounting for 10.7% of the smartphone sales volume, followed Huawei Device, Coolpad and ZTE with 9.9%, 9.5%, 8.9% respectively, Apple with 7.7%, GiONEE with 6.4%, HTC with 4.7%, Motorola Mobility with 3.5% and Nokia with 3.1%.
In terms of operating system, Android occupied 68.6% of the smartphone sales volume, followed by iOS with 12.8%, Symbian with 12.4% and Windows Phone with 3.8%.
There were 380 million smartphone users in the China market at the end of 2012, increasing 72.7% from a year ago.

iiMedia: Percentage breakdown of smartphones
sold in China by price, 2012

Price range (CNY)
Market share
Below 1,000 (US$158)
34.9%
1,000 to below 2,000
42.2%
2,000 to below 3,000
14.6%
3,000 to below 4,000
5.2%
4,000 and above
3.1%

Smart phones cover 70 pct of mobile market: report [Xinhua, March 6, 2013]

Seventy-million smart phones were shipped in China in the last quarter of 2012, covering 73.2 percent of the country’s mobile market share, newly released statistics showed Wednesday.
The volume of smart phone shipments saw a 112.1 percent year-on-year increase, according to statistics by the International Data Corporation (IDC), a global market research, analysis and advisory company.
Figures showed that shipments of mobile phones in the last three months of 2012 stood at 96 million, a 1.6 percent year-on-year rise.
Total shipments of mobile phones in China last year reached 362 million, among which smart phones recorded 213 million, a year-on-year increase of 135 percent, said IDC.
The corporation said that strong demand, subsidies from phone operators and new smart phone arrivals were the driving force behind the boom.
“Producers’ heavy investments in smart phones also contributed to the success,” said Wang Jiping, an analyst with IDC’s China subsidiary.
The company forecasts that the country’s smart phone industry will witness steady growth in the next few years.
It said smart phone shipments are expected to reach 460 million in 2017, which will take up 90.1 percent of the country’s total mobile phone sales.

More information:
China smartphone shipments to rise to 460 million by 2017-IDC [Reuters, March 7, 2013]
Smartphones Expected to Outship Feature Phones for First Time in 2013, According to IDC [IDC press release, March 4, 2013]

… Smartphone shipments to China, Brazil, and India will comprise a growing percentage of the device type’s volume in each forecast year. Smartphone demand is burgeoning in these large, populous nations as their respective economies have grown; this has made for a larger middle class that is prepared to buy smartphones. China, which supplanted the U.S. last year as the global leader in smartphone shipments, is at the forefront of this shift.
“While we don’t expect China’s smartphone growth to maintain the pace of a runaway train as it has over the last two years, there continue to be big drivers to keep the market growing as it leads the way to ever-lower smartphone prices and the country’s transition to 4G networks is only just beginning,” said Melissa Chau, Senior Research Manager, IDC Asia/Pacific. “Even as China starts to mature, there remains enormous untapped potential in other emerging markets like India, where we expect less than half of all phones shipped there to be smartphones by 2017, and yet it will weigh in as the world’s third largest market.”
Brazil is another market where smartphone growth will remain high over the course of the forecast as its economic fortunes improve. “Brazilians have yet to turn in their feature phones for smartphones on a wholesale basis,” said Bruno Freitas, Consumer Devices Research Manager, IDC Brazil. “The smartphone tide is turning in Brazil though, as wireless service providers and the government have laid the groundwork for a strong smartphone foundation that mobile phone manufacturers can build upon.” …

Android powers a third of all mobile phones shipped in 4Q12, says Canalys [DIGITIMES, Feb 8, 2013]

Canalys: Worldwide smartphone shipments and share by vendor, 4Q12 (m units)
Vendor
4Q12 shipments
Market share
Samsung
62.9
29%
Apple
47.8
22.1%
Huawei
11.5
5.3%
ZTE
10.1
4.7%
Lenovo
9.5
4.4%
Others
74.7
34.5%
Total
216.5
100%
Source: Canalys, compiled by Digitimes, February 2013

Canalys: Worldwide smartphone shipments and share by OS vendor, 4Q12 (m units)
OS vendor
4Q12 shipments
Market share
OHA (Android)
149.8
69.2
Apple
47.8
22.1%
BlackBerry
7.6
3.5%
Microsoft
5.1
2.4%
Nokia
3.2
1.5%
Others
3.0
1.4%
Total
216.5
100%
Source: Canalys, compiled by Digitimes, February 2013

More information:
Mobile device market to reach 2.6 billion units by 2016, says Canalys [DIGITIMES, Feb 26, 2013]
Entry-level smartphone sales expected to stay strong in China throughout 2013 [DIGITIMES, Jan 2, 2013]

Google controls too much of China’s smartphone sector: ministry [March 5, 2013]

Google Inc has too much control over China’s smartphone industry via its Android mobile operating system and has discriminated against some local firms, the technology ministry said in a white paper.
The white paper, authored by the research arm of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, also said China had the ability to create its own mobile operating system. (here)
“Our country’s mobile operating system research and development is too dependent on Android,” the paper, posted online on Friday but carried by local media on Tuesday, said.
While the Android system is open source, the core technology and technology roadmap is strictly controlled by Google.”
The paper said Google had discriminated against some Chinese companies developing their operating systems by delaying the sharing of codes. Google had also used commercial agreements to restrain the business development of mobile devices of these companies, it added.
A Google spokesman in China declined to comment.
The ministry did not recommend any specific policies, regulatory actions or other measures.
Analysts said the white paper, which lauded Chinese companies such as Baidu Inc, Alibaba Group and Huawei Technologies for creating their own systems, could be a signal to the industry that regulations against Android are on the horizon.
“In China, regulators regulate regularly especially where they can position the regulations as helping out domestic companies,” Duncan Clark, chairman of technology consultancy BDA, said in an email to Reuters.
“Ironically, Android’s success has underpinned a lot of the growth in China smartphone vendors in recent years,” Clark said. Home-grown companies had failed previously in China’s market for simple handsets, he said, due to weakness in software and operating systems.
South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, the world’s largest smartphone maker, uses the Android system, as do Chinese manufacturers Huawei and ZTE Corp.
Last September, the launch of a smartphone between Acer Inc and a unit of Alibaba Group was cancelled due to what Alibaba said was pressure from Google on the Taiwanese group. Representatives for Acer and Google declined to comment on the matter at that time.
Technology research firm IDC has estimated that China surpassed the United States as the world’s biggest smartphone market in 2012, accounting for 26.5 percent of all smartphones shipped.
In 2010, Google conducted a partial pullout from China on the basis of censorship and after it suffered a serious hacking episode that the company said emanated from China. Since then, Google’s search market share in China has fallen from almost 30 percent to 15 percent at the end of 2012. Android has been Google’s bright spot in China.
In the third quarter last year, Android accounted for 90 percent of all mobile operating systems in China while Apple Inc’s iOS system was at just 4.2 percent.

Too late for China to develop own mobile operating systems, say Taiwan makers [DIGITIMES, March 7, 2013]

While China Academy of Telecommunication Research under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in its white paper calls for China’s development of own operating systems for use in smartphones, tablets and other mobile terminal devices to lessen existing heavy reliance on Google Android, sources with Taiwan-based handset supply chain makers pointed out that it is too late for such development because of difficulties to develop related technologies and establishing necessary ecosystem as well as lack of relevant patents.
It will take at least three to five years for a new mobile operating system to become competitive in market, and if China-based companies – such as device vendor Lenovo, Huawei Device, ZTE and Coolpad, and Internet service providers Alibaba and Baidu – only begin to develop own mobile operating systems now, it is already too late to catch up with competitors, the sources indicated.
Instead of developing own mobile operating systems, China-based companies can ask Google to loosen its regulations on using Android, for example, to allow development of various operating system versions based on the Android architecture, the sources said. In addition, the China government can encourage China-based companies to provide rich mobile services and develop various mobile applications based on not only Android but also iOS, Windows Phone and other operating systems, the sources indicated.

China handset makers hope to reduce reliance on Android [DIGITIMES, March 6, 2013]

The China Academy of Telecommunication Research for the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has published a white paper stating that China’s handset industry has been relying heavily on the Android platform. In fact, China’s handset industry has been hoping to reduce its reliance on Google’s Android platform by switching to other platforms such as Windows Phone, Tizen, and Firefox OS. Industry sources believe the percentage of products using the Android platform is likely to fall continuously in China.
Android is an open platform, and with price advantages, many handset makers in China are using the Android platform. Currently, Android has more than 80% of share in the China smartphone platform market. The heavy reliance has been causing concerns in China.
Some China-based handset brands have been seeking cooperation with other platform developers. ZTE and TCL are the first two firms to cooperate with Mozilla and plan to introduce new products with Firefox OS platform in mid-2013. The new products are aimed at emerging markets such as Central and South America and Eastern Europe. Huawei is cooperating with Mozilla and Tizen.
However, handset makers believe China-based firms are unlikely to massively adopt other platforms in the short run as Android continues to be the most attractive and mature open platform on the market.
Handset firms noted that most China-based handset brands face the problem of relying heavily on the Android platform, which is the same problem for Samsung and HTC, but Samsung has been putting effort into diversifying by acquiring MeeGo, integrating Bada and developing Tizen while other handset makers simply do not have the resources and time to do the same.


China to modify plan to open up mobile telecom sector
[Xinhua, Jan 23, 2013]

The government is considering adjusting a plan that will allow privately-owned companies to enter the mobile telecommunications sector, a government official said on Wednesday.
Zhang Feng, director of the telecommunications development department of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), said at a news briefing that the ministry is reviewing opinions collected from the public and will improve the plan based on its review.
In early January, the MIIT created a pilot plan that will allow Chinese-funded private companies to buy basic mobile telecom services from the country’s major operators, add their own services and then sell the services to customers through their own brands.
Private companies will not have to build mobile telecoms infrastructure, but only set up a customer service system and other supporting networks if necessary, the plan said.
The ministry said the pilot program aims to allow private capital to further enter the telecom industry and give full play to the flexibility and creativity of private firms, as well as promote market competition and improve mobile telecom services.
The plan was published online on Jan. 7, with public opinions to be solicited until Feb. 6.
At present, China’s mobile telecom sector is dominated by the state-owned companies China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom.

More information:
News Analysis: China to open up mobile telecom sector [Xinhua, Jan 15, 2013]

… Shi Wei, an expert with the Institute of Economic System and Management under China’s top economic planner, said that private firms participating in the program must strive to make innovations in their services, or else they will become just agents for major carriers.
“Private companies should develop more innovative applications and provide differentiated services to win their share of the market,” Shi said. …
… The pilot program is designed to last for two years.
Private enterprises can send applications to telecom authorities within the first year of the program.
China has attached great significance to encouraging private investment, as it plays an important role in creating jobs, boosting domestic consumption and maintaining sustainable economic growth.
In 2010, China’s State Council, or the Cabinet, announced policies to open a range of government-run industries to private investment, including water projects, power generation, mining, as well as the telecommunication sector.
To help implement those policies, the MIIT made a detailed plan for guiding private capital to enter the telecom industry in June 2012.

So there are wider reasons for such a change of attitude as well:
2012 profits slow at China’s central SOEs [XinHua, Feb 8, 2013]
Private, collective businesses’ trade outpaces SOEs [Xinhua, Jan 3, 2013]

Private and collectively-owned businesses saw their foreign trade expand faster than that of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and foreign-funded companies in the January and November period, according to the national economic planner.
In the first 11 months, foreign trade at private and collectively-owned companies totaled 1.09 trillion U.S. dollars, up 18.1 percent year on year, according to data released by the National Development and Reform Commission on Thursday.
The total figure included 687.32 billion U.s. dollars in exports, up19.4 percent, and 402.75 billion U.S. dollars in imports, up 15.9 percent, the data showed.
In contrast, foreign-funded firms saw foreign trade rise 1.9 percent year on year to reach 1.72 trillion U.S. dollars between January and November.
Meanwhile, trade for SOEs dropped 1.1 percent from a year earlier to 685.9 billion U.S. dollars in the first 11 months, as exports declined 4 percent in the period while imports posted a slight increase of 0.9 percent, the data showed.
The General Administration of Customs previously released disappointing trade data for November due to slackened external demand. China’s exports grew just 2.9 percent year on year in November, while the growth of imports remained unchanged from a year earlier.

4M[bps] broadband to cover 70 percent of Chinese users in 2013 [Xinhua, Feb 26, 2013]

More than 70 percent of China’s Internet users will enjoy access to broadband Internet services in 2013, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said Tuesday.
The percentage of users with access to 4M[bps] or faster services climbed 23 percentage points to 63 percent in 2012 from the previous year, said Miao Wei, minister of industry and information technology.
Fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) services will cover 35 million households this year, as FTTH households grew by 49 million to reach 94 million in 2012, Miao said.
The government also hopes to add more than 25 million new fixed-line broadband subscriber households, as the number of fixed-line broadband subscriber households rose by 25.1 million to 175 million in 2012, Miao said.
Other goals expanding the number of public wireless hot spots by 1.3 million, Miao said.
FTTH refers to a form of fiber-optic communication delivery that reaches one living or working space. The fiber extends from a central office to the subscriber’s living or working space.

Broadband network expansion in the pipeline [China Daily via Xinhuanet, March 31, 2013]

China is expected to have 20 million new broadband Internet subscribers this year and a total of 250 million subscribers by the end of 2015, the country’s top industry regulator said on Friday.
“The nation needs to improve broadband speed. Our aim is to install fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband connections for 35 million families this year,” said Industry and Information Technology Minister Miao Wei.
The announcement came after an investigation of two domestic telecom giants over alleged monopolistic practices in November.
[see: China Telecom, China Unicom pledge to mend errors after anti-monopoly probe [Xinhua, Dec 2, 2011]]
The broadband development plan is a part of China’s 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15), which is to increase the country’s average broadband speed to 20 megabytes per second by the end of 2015.
China had 156 million Internet broadband users in 2011, 83 percent of the users’ Internet speed exceeding 2MB/s. About 45 million families were covered by the FTTH network, and the Internet surfing fee decreased by 30 percent compared with 2005.
However, Wu Hequan, vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said in an earlier report that the average download speed of China’s broadband is 1.15MB/s, half of the global speed.
China’s three telecom carriers will implement the plan and invest more in the industry.
As the major provider of China’s Internet broadband infrastructure, China Telecom will invest 40 billion yuan ($6.3 billion) to build the FTTH network this year, and attract 25 million new FTTH users, bringing the total number to 55 million, said Wang Xiaochu, chairman of China Telecom.
Xi Guohua, China Mobile‘s new chairman, said the company has built a broadband network for 4,100 villages and that number is expected to reach more than 8,000 by the end of this year. He also said the company will add 1.4 million WLAN wireless hotspots this year, and 1.2 million new Internet users.
China Unicom has more than 44 million broadband users, 90 percent of them connected at more than 2MB/s. The company has injected 60 billion yuan into broadband development in the past three years, said its Chairman Chang Xiaobing.
Sixteen Internet giants, including Baidu and Sina, attended the meeting and promised to improve their services online.

China Unicom’s 3G subscribers hit 76.46 mln [Xinhua, Jan 19, 2013]

China Unicom [W-CDMA], the country’s second-largest mobile operator by subscribers, said in a latest report that it added 3.13 million 3G subscribers in December, bringing its total 3G users to 76.46 million.
The carrier’s 2G subscribers totalled 163 million as of the end of December, a decrease of 36,000 from November, according to the report filed with the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
The operator’s Internet users with broadband access amounted to 93.87 million as of last year, the statement said.
Statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) showed China’s 3G users had reached 220 million by November.
The MIIT said China will add an estimated 100 million new 3G subscribers this year.

China: Entry-level dual core IPS WVGA (480×800) smartphones $65+ now, quad-core $70+ in June

China market: Qualcomm, Spreadtrum cutting quad-core processor prices [DIGITIMES, April 25, 2013]

Qualcomm and Spreadtrum Communications have both cut prices for their quad-core products to better compete against MediaTek, which controls half of the smartphone-chip market in China, according to industry sources.

Qualcomm recently quoted its quad-core solutions at less than US$10, slightly cheaper than MediaTek’s offerings, the sources indicated. Meanwhile, Spreadtrum has lowered its quad-core processor prices to similar levels. Both firms are trying to gain market share through aggressive pricing, the sources said.

Monthly shipments of MediaTek’s smartphone chips have topped 15 million units recently, and even approached the 20 million level, the sources revealed. The booming shipments already lifted MediaTek’s share of China’s smartphone-IC market to 50%, the sources said.

MediaTek’s quad-core solutions reportedly have attracted orders from Coolpad, Huawei, Lenovo and ZTE.

In other news, MediaTek has reported higher-than-expected sales for the first quarter of 2013. The firm has scheduled an investors meeting on May 6 to discuss its performance in the first quarter, and business outlook.

Remark: the inserted slides are from 1Q13 Investor Roadshow Presentation [Feb 26, 2013] from Spreadtrum

image

And as $48 Mogu M0 “peoplephone”, i.e. an Android smartphone for everybody to hit the Chinese market on November 15 [Nov 9, 2012]
now Mogu S2 went on sale today [China Smartphones, April 22, 2013]

A leader in the production of super cheap smart phones, the Chinese company Mogu, today held a preliminary sales of its new budget smartphone Mogu S2. The official price of the unit is 399 yuan, or about $65. Today, the sale was put on a limited batch of 5000 smartphones at the price of 299 yuan ($48).

image

Mogu S2 is running the 2-core processor with a clock speed of 1.2 Ghz, and used 4-inch screen with a resolution of WVGA [480×800] to display the information. In addition there is 512 MB RAM, 4GB of ROM and a 5-megapixel camera. A nice addition is its support for two SIM cards, modules, WIFI, Bluetooth, and GPS. The operating system is installed MOGO OS (Android 2.3 Gingerbread).

Additional key information from the company’s product page [MOGU蘑菇手机, April 20, 2013]: i.e. IPS display and the Spreadtrum SC8825 or SC6825 SoC

imageimage

We’ve seen the effect of the earlier SC6820 SoC leading to Temporary Nokia setback in India [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, April 28, 2013]. This is how Spreadtrum presented this situtation recently:

image

The two new SoCs are the same to the maximum as SC8825 has only the following additional functionality:

TD-SCDMA standards (3GPP R7), 2010~2025MHz / 1880~1920MHz/2300~2400MHz

and prospects for that additional functionality (internal to China) were presented as exceptionally bright by the company: 

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Spreadtrum Announces Commercial Launch of Dual-Core Smartphone Chipsets for TD-SCDMA and EDGE [press release, April 2, 2013]

SC8825 (TD-SCDMA) and SC6825 (EDGE) set new standard for dual-core smartphone chipset cost and performance with high level of integration, standout graphics performance and best-in-class TD-SCDMA technology
Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPRD; “Spreadtrum” or the “Company”), a leading fabless semiconductor provider inChina with advanced technology in 2G, 3G and 4G wireless communications standards, today announced the commercial availability of its dual-core 1.2GHz smartphone chipsets for TD-SCDMA (SC8825) and EDGE (SC6825), following the successful qualification of its platform by China Mobile.
“With our new dual-core chipsets, Spreadtrum has leveraged our expertise in system design to deliver the lowest-cost dual-core platform in combination with high end graphics performance for the TD-SCDMA and EDGE markets,” said Dr. Leo Li, chairman and CEO of Spreadtrum. “This combination of low-cost architecture, standout graphics performance, and best-in-class TD-SCDMA technology provides smartphone designers with unprecedented value in bringing high end features to low-cost devices.”
Spreadtrum’s SC8825, which supports dual-mode TD-SCDMA/HSPA & EDGE/GPRS/GSM and the SC6825, which supports EDGE/GPRS/GSM, are based on a highly efficient multi-core architecture delivering the lowest cost platform available for dual-core TD-SCDMA and EDGE smartphone products. The single-chip chipsets integrate a dual-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A5 core processor, a dual-core Mali 400 graphics processor and multimedia and hardware accelerators for differentiated performance and user experience. Both chipsets are further paired with a single-chip mutimode RF transceiver for a high level of integration and are pin-to-pin compatible, enabling handset makers to leverage a common handset development effort for products shipping to China as well as to emerging markets.
In addition to their high level of integration and low-cost architecture, Spreadtrum’s chipsets further deliver standout graphics performance. The solutions’ powerful graphics processing capability enhances the user experience for games and other graphics-rich applications, and enables Spreadtrum to bring high end features such as the larger screen sizes more commonly found in premium smartphones to low-cost devices.
“The benchmark results we are achieving for our dual-core solution, measured by popular benchmark programs such as AnTuTu and GLBenchmark 2.5, significantly outperform other commercial dual-core products,” added Dr. Li. “This powerful processing capability provides our customers with an even more cost-effective and power-efficient way to deliver high end features in low-cost smartphones.”
Other features of Spreadtrum’s SC8825 and SC6825 chipsets include support for HD 1280×720 LCD display, H.264 720p video playback, up to 8 megapixel RGB camera and dual-SIM, dual-standby capability. The chipsets ship with turnkey Android and systems software, reducing the engineering time and resources required by handset makers to bring devices to market, with reference implementations available for both 4-layer and 6-layer PCB layouts.
The SC8825 and SC6825 are commercially available now. The chipsets have already been incorporated by leading China handset makers into smartphone models that are expected to ship commercially during 2Q 2013.
About Spreadtrum Communications, Inc.
Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPRD; “Spreadtrum”) is a fabless semiconductor company that develops mobile chipset platforms for smartphones, feature phones and other consumer electronics products, supporting 2G, 3G and 4G wireless communications standards. Spreadtrum’s solutions combine its highly integrated, power-efficient chipsets with customizable software and reference designs in a complete turnkey platform, enabling customers to achieve faster design cycles with a lower development cost. Spreadtrum’s customers include global and China-based manufacturers developing mobile products for consumers in China and emerging markets around the world. For more information, visit www.spreadtrum.com.

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SC8825 TD-HSPA+/TD-SCDMA/GSM/GPRS/EDGE Baseband Chip [product site, April 2, 2013]

Spreadtrum’s SC8825 is a highly integrated mixed signal baseband processor for dual-mode TD-SCDMA/HSDPA/HSUPA/HSPA+ and GSM/GPRS/EDGE applications. SC8825 integrates a dual-core 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A5 processor, a dual-core Mali 400 graphics processor and multimedia and hardware accelerators in a highly efficient system architecture that brings differentiated performance and user experience to low-cost smartphones. SC8825 is coupled with Spreadtrum’s single-chip tri-band TD-SCDMA/quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM RF transceiver for small footprint, and ships with turnkey Android systems software for rapid time to market and efficiency in handset design.

SC8825 Baseband Chip Diagram

image

SC8825 Key Features

Core Description

  • ARM Cortex-A5 dual-core, clock speeds up to 1.2GHz
  • 32KB I-Cache, 32KB D-Cache
  • 32KB I-Cache, 32KB D-Cache
  • 128bit FP data path

Communication Features

  • GSM/GPRS/EDGE standards, GSM850/EGSM900/DCS1800/PCS1900
  • EGPRS Class 12
  • TD-SCDMA standards (3GPP R7), 2010~2025MHz / 1880~1920MHz/2300~2400MHz
  • HR, FR, EFR, AMR-NB
  • HSPA+ 4.2 Mbps,HSUPA 2.2 Mbps

Multimedia Support For

  • Mali 400 GPU MP2, 40MTri/s, 700Mpix/s, OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0
  • Decoder: MPEG4/H.263 720p@30fps; H.264 720p@30fps ; VP8 720p@30fps
  • Encoder:H.263/H.264/MPEG4 D1@30fps
  • Video Streaming: MPEG4/H.263/H.264 720p@30fps
  • 3G-324M Video Telephony
  • 8 MP Camera Sub-system JPEG decoder/encoder
  • Support MP3/AAC/AAC+/MIDI/AMR-NB/WAV format
  • Audio codec included

LCD Display Features

  • Support up to HD resolution
  • Built-in LCD Controller,touch panel controller
  • MIPI and RGB @60fps
  • Support OSD / Rotation / Scaling

Memory I/F Support For

  • NAND flash(8bit and 16 bit devices)
  • HW ECC, multi-bit ECC
  • 2G byte SDR/LPDDR1/LPDDR2 (16bit and 32bit devices)
  • eMMC(4.4.1) boot

Peripheral I/F Support For

  • HS USB 2.0
  • 4 x UART
  • 3 x SPI interface , 3-wire SPI,4-wire SPI, synchronous SPI
  • 4 x I2C interfaces
  • 2 x I2S and PCM interface
  • 3 x SDIO interfaces
  • 1 x eMMC interfaces
  • 2 x SIM/USIM interfaces
  • 4 x PWM outputs
  • ETM port
  • More than 100 GPIO pins
  • 8*8 keyboard interfaces

Other Features

  • Operating ambient temperature range: -45 to +95 degrees centigrade
  • 12.1mm×12.1mm 517-ball, 0.4mm ball pitch

SC6825 GSM/GPRS/EDGE Baseband Chip [product site, April 2, 2013]

Spreadtrum’s SC6825 is a highly integrated mixed signal baseband processor for GSM/GPRS/EDGE applications. SC6825 integrates a dual-core 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A5 core processor, a dual-core Mali 400 graphics processor and multimedia and hardware accelerators in a highly efficient system architecture that brings differentiated performance and user experience to low-cost smartphones. SC6825 is coupled with Spreadtrum’s single-chip quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM RF transceiver for small footprint, and ships with turnkey Android systems software for rapid time to market and efficiency in handset design.

SC6825 Baseband Chip Diagram

image

SC6825 Key Features

Core Description

  • ARM Cortex-A5 dual-core, clock speeds up to 1.2GHz
  • 32KB I-Cache, 32KB D-Cache
  • 256KB L2 Cache
  • 128bit FP data path

Communication Features

  • GSM/GPRS/EDGE standards, GSM850/EGSM900/DCS1800/PCS1900
  • EGPRS Class 12
  • HR, FR, EFR, AMR-NB

Multimedia Support For

  • Mali 400 GPU MP2, 40MTri/s, 700Mpix/s, OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0
  • Decoder:MPEG4/H.263 720p@30fps; H.264 720p@30fps ; VP8 720p@30fps
  • Encoder:H.263/H.264/MPEG4 D1@30fps
  • Video Streaming: MPEG4/H.263/H.264 720p@30fps
  • 3G-324M Video Telephony
  • 8 MP Camera Sub-system JPEG decoder/encoder
  • Support MP3/AAC/AAC+/MIDI/AMR-NB/WAV format
  • Audio codec included

LCD Display Features

  • Support up to HD resolution
  • Built-in LCD Controller,touch panel controller
  • MIPI and RGB @60fps
  • Support OSD / Rotation / Scaling

Memory I/F Support For

  • NAND flash(8bit and 16 bit devices)
  • HW ECC, multi-bit ECC
  • 2G byte SDR/LPDDR1/LPDDR2 (16bit and 32bit devices)
  • eMMC(4.4.1) boot

Peripheral I/F Support For

  • HS USB 2.0
  • 4 x UART
  • 3 x SPI interface , 3-wire SPI,4-wire SPI, synchronous SPI
  • 4 x I2C interfaces
  • 2 x I2S and PCM interface
  • 3 x SDIO interfaces
  • 1 x eMMC interfaces
  • 2 x SIM/USIM interfaces
  • 4 x PWM outputs
  • ETM port
  • More than 100 GPIO pins
  • 8*8 keyboard interfaces

Other Features

  • Operating ambient temperature range: -45 to +95 degrees centigrade
  • 12.1mm×12.1mm 517-ball, 0.4mm ball pitch

High-volume Nokia Lumia superphones with Windows Phone 8 extended on the top for China, and on the entry level needed for Asia and Middle-East as well UPDATE: at even lower price by 27%

After the Lumia 820 and 920 models introduced for Windows Phone 8, see:

Nokia extended the range with the China specific TD-SCDMA model Lumia 920T, as well as introduced the entry-level model 3.8” Lumia 620 for the WP8 range.

Update: In March the Lumia 620 has been extended by an even a lower priced and configured 4” Lumia 520 which was “developed in China, made in China, for China”. It is introduced already both in China and India for $209 and $193 respectively (compared to the lowest $263 price in India for Lumia 620 the 520 is quite attractive for the market). Here is the latest Lumia 520 vs 620 : First Impression & Initial Thoughts [wpxbox, YouTube channel, March 21, 2013] comparison from India:

Had a chance to check both Lumia 620 and Lumia 520 side by side. My initial thoughts if I have to choose between the two devices.

There was an extension of the entry level 620 somewhat higher as well by the 4.3” Lumia 720. Here is a Nokia Lumia 520 Vs 720– Quick Comparison Video [intellectdigest YouTube channel, March 20, 2013] from the launch in India:

Nokia Lumia 520 and 720 are both low cost Windows Phone 8 smartphones from Nokia and both have many similarities as well as differences. In this video we highlight some of the differences which includes: 1. Battery capacity 2. Screen Size 3. Gorilla Glass 2 4. Camera Quality 5. Front Camera 6. Wireless Charging etc.

Update: Lumia 520 W-CDMA appeared on 360buy Jingdong: at price of ¥1299 [$209] [MyDrivers.com, March 21, 2013] as translated by Google and Bing from Chinese, with manual edits

Earlier news that the most low end of WP8 from Nokia, the Lumia 520 will be put on sale at the end of the month, at present, Unicom WCDMA Lumia 520 has appeared on 360buy Jingdong Mall [http://www.360buy.com, see 360buy on Wikipedia], and concrete prices are given.

The Jingdong product page displayed Lumia 520 W-CDMA price of 1299 yuan [$209], with pre-ordering in the country starting from March 25 (next Monday), and the first batch of Lumia 520 will be available in lemon yellow, twilight black and sky blue color selections.

image

Update: Nokia Brings Innovation to India; Launches Affordable Lumia 520 and Lumia 720 [Telecom Talk, March 20, 2013]

… will be available for sale from early April 2013. The Nokia Lumia 520 seems to be the Nokia’s most affordable Windows 8 smartphone with a price of approx. Rs 10, 500 [$193] while that of Lumia 720 will be around Rs. 20,000 [$368].

Note that compared to the lowest Lumia 620 price in India at $263 [Rs 14, 299] the Lumia 520 is quite attractively priced for the Indian market.

Update: Nokia Lumia 520 Hand On Review, Price In India and Features [intellectdigest YouTube channel, March 20, 2013]

Update: The Nokia Lumia 520: Made in Beijing [Nokia Conversations, Feb 28, 2013]

Unveiled at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the Nokia Lumia 520 is the most affordable Windows Phone 8 powered Lumia that Nokia has released so far.
It offers tremendous value for money without compromising on its good looks and is still packed full of eye-grabbing features such as a 4-inch super sensitive touch screen, Nokia’s unique camera lenses such as Cinemagraph and Smart Shoot, as well as changeable shells.
In short, the Lumia 520 offers an innovative and rich smartphone experience at a highly competitive price point.
The product team behind the Nokia Lumia 520 wanted to create a smartphone for a mass market and, especially, for young people. Currently, there is no market bigger than the one in China and, in fact, the Lumia 520 was developed out of Nokia’s Beijing site.
We spoke to Mikko Kahlos, the Lumia 520’s lead product manager, about the team behind this smartphone, the difference it makes working in Asia and why he enjoyed making this device more than any other.
What was the guiding principle for the team behind the Nokia Lumia 520?
From the beginning it was important that we wanted to make it affordable. So what does that mean? We really kept that in our minds and stayed on target with everything that we did.
What are the major roles within the team?
We had a programme manager who was driving the overall R&D work and a technology manager who was ensuring that the quality was what we wanted.
I was the guardian of the consumers so that the market could see we had made a valuable smartphone that we could differentiate against the competition.
So it was us three who were running the show, but in reality this was a team effort.
How did you approach the task?
One of the first things we did was create a ‘war room’ where we worked really intensively for the first few months so that we were constantly interacting. So when we made the first decisions everybody was there.
I feel that discussions are more effective when all people involved are next to each other and share a common goal. We were able to do an excellent job with clear guidance on where to go.
How strong was the Chinese influence?

Although the Lumia 520 is a global product, the team behind the phone kept it in mind that this was a smartphone made in China, for China.

Most of the people on our team are Chinese and also new to Nokia. What makes the group even more fascinating is that more than half of the team were making their first mobile phone ever, having worked previously with suppliers, other companies or elsewhere in Nokia
They had a real challenger mindset and an opportunity to show what they can do. With guidance and support from the more experienced guys in the team, they did a great job!
How proud are you of the Nokia Lumia 520, considering it’s such a new team?
I have done products for five years in Nokia and I have enjoyed this one the most. With this product, we have experienced the Asian culture, how people here work and how they succeed.

It is great to see people doing their absolute best and enjoying being part of something great.

This is the youngest and least experienced team ever in Nokia to have made a phone. We’ve been able to do it in the fastest time ever too. If you put all this together we have a lot to celebrate.

The Compact Nokia Lumia 620 — Marko Ahtisaari, Nokia Design Team [nokia YouTube channel, March 13, 2013]

Marko Ahtisaari, Head of Nokia Design, talks about the design approach behind Nokia’s compact smartphone, the Nokia Lumia 620.

Update: Nokia signals China ambitions [China Daily via China.org.cn, March 7, 2013]

This year could be a tipping point for Windows Phone device manufacturers such as Nokia Oyj with early indications the handsets have achieved a good start in major smartphone markets including China, according to the boss of Nokia China.
In an exclusive interview with China Daily, Gustavo Eichelmann, chief executive officer of Nokia China, expressed confidence in Nokia’s turnaround in China, as well as in the global smartphone market in 2013.
Mexico-born Eichelmann took the job in China amid a turbulent time. He has been the third China chief since Nokia devoted itself to developing smartphones on Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system in 2011.
Finland-based Nokia held almost half of the smartphone market share in China more than two years ago, but the figure slipped to a mere 2.4 percent in the fourth quarter last year, according to Beijing-based firm Analysys International.
“It is because it has only just begun,” Eichelmann said. “Think about iPhone and Android devices in their first six months. If you look at the Windows Phone, its trajectory is actually right on track. There will be an increasing but gradual acceleration in 2013. If we fast-forward to 2016 and we look back, you will see that 2013 was the turning point in terms of changing the trajectory.”
One of the possible reasons why Windows Phone devices may enjoy greater popularity is because more people will get to know about the platform. Microsoft, the developer of the Windows Phone operating system, has begun introducing Windows PCs and Windows tablets with exactly the same user interface.
More people know about the system. The viral effect – word of mouth – is starting to take place,” Eichelmann said.
Competitive market
Stephen Elop, CEO of Nokia Corp, said at the end of last year that China is the biggest market globally for Nokia’s Lumia series Windows Phone devices.
The company launched its first Lumia smartphone in China in early 2012. Since then Nokia has introduced eight Lumia models to the Chinese market.
Across the world, Nokia remains the No 1 Windows Phone vendor, with a market share of 78 percent, compared with HTC Corp’s 14 percent and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd’s 6 percent, according to a Forbes report.
The company sold 4.4 million Lumia smartphones worldwide in the fourth quarter. Nokia Lumia 920, the latest Nokia flagship smartphone that runs on the Windows Phone 8 operating system, received “extremely encouraging feedback” from Chinese clients, Eichelmann added.
“The simple target for Nokia in China this year is growth,” he said.
From subways and shopping malls to chic flagship stores in Beijing, various Nokia advertisements, fronted by Chinese singers and movie stars, have been attracting people’s attention.
Li Yan is a 28-year-old worker in the finance industry in Beijing who wants a new smartphone. “The first mobile phone brand that popped into my mind was Nokia. It seems that I have a natural affection for the brand,” Li said.
When Li was a college student, her father sent her a Nokia device. It was the first mobile phone she ever owned. There are millions of people in China like Li that adopted Nokia as an integral part of their lives.
Compared with other international smartphone vendors such as Apple and HTC, one of the major advantages of Nokia in China is its branding,” said Yan Xiaojia, a telecom analyst at Analysys International.
Nokia has had a presence in China for more than two decades and the company has about 250 million users in the country.
But Li was not very comfortable with the Windows Phone system. “I used an Android phone before so when I tried the new Nokia models I needed time to get used to them,” she said. Eventually she gave up and bought an iPhone 4S.
In a China Mobile outlet in Changchun, in Jilin province, salesman Zhao Xin said many people were curious about Nokia phones, especially the latest Lumia 920, but there were too few in stock and the outlet missed out on the traditional Spring Festival shopping season.
The biggest winners now are domestic brands, such as Huawei, Lenovo and ZTE. People buy them because they are good quality and also are much cheaper,” Zhao said.
“The Chinese market is highly competitive. The dynamics of the competition are probably the most advanced I have ever seen,” Eichelmann said. With about 1.1 billion mobile phone subscribers, China attracts a lot of industry players both at home and abroad.
“The product cycle in China’s smartphone market is the fastest. Nokia needs to drive the consistency of its brand and innovation,” he said.
Chinese rivals emerged and gradually snatched the market share that Nokia lost. Huawei, the Shenzhen-based telecom giant, rose to become the world’s third-largest smartphone vendor in the fourth quarter last year, with a 4.9 percent market share worldwide, according to a report issued by International Data Corp.
In contrast, Nokia’s China ranking dropped to fifth place in the first half of 2012, from the top position at the end of 2011, according to research by IHS.
Samsung topped the list and shipped more than double the number of smartphones than Nokia managed, gaining a market share of 20.8 percent – 14.4 million smartphones – in the first six months of last year, IHS said.
Nokia faced the most direct competition in the territory of Windows Phone devices. Taiwan-based HTC jumped ahead of Nokia to launch the first Windows Phone 8 handset in the Chinese mainland. Samsung, ZTE and Huawei have also expressed an ambition to develop Windows Phones.
“Nokia welcomes the competition, and the competition fuels the strength of the Windows Phone ecosystem,” Eichelmann said. Among all the devices, Nokia definitely has its own unique qualities, he said.
The latest Nokia smartphone Lumia 920 has the ability to synchronize content between Windows Phone 8 smartphones, Windows 8-based PCs, tablets and the Xbox, said Flann Gao, Nokia China communications manager.
There are other innovative functions as well, he added. The Nokia City Lens, one of the highlights, is an augmented reality software that gives dynamic information about users’ surroundings. “City Lens makes finding the best of what’s around you as simple and natural as looking through the smartphone display,” Gao said.
“Nokia has a unique position within the latest Windows Phone 8 ecosystem. All our best work and resources is on the Windows Phone 8,” Eichelmann said.
What’s next?
Unlike other international smartphone players such as Apple that focus mainly on the North American market, Nokia has long positioned the Chinese market as its top priority.
Eichelmann said Nokia would be part of China’s progression as it enters the fourth generation mobile network age. Rumors have circulated that China is likely to kick off the 4G commercial rollout in the second half of this year. China Mobile Ltd, the nation’s biggest telecom carrier, is conducting large-scale 4G trials in 13 Chinese cities.
Eichelmann did not respond directly to questions as to whether Nokia would develop smartphones suitable for the Chinese homegrown TD-LTE 4G technology but did say: “Clearly that’s something we will be part of.”
In order to revive its Chinese market performance, Nokia has also started to cooperate with local e-commerce websites and expand its online sales in the country.
Online shopping is booming in China,” Eichelmann said. He emphasized the importance of e-commerce but said Nokia will not open its own mobile phone e-store, a step that Chinese rivals Xiaomi Corp and Huawei have already taken.
“Nokia will strengthen cooperation with third party e-commerce websites,” Eichelmann said. All future Nokia devices will sell through online and offline channels in China simultaneously.
360buy.com, China’s second-largest business-to-consumer e-commerce retailer, agreed to buy 2 billion yuan ($320 million) of mobile phones from Nokia this year.
About 30 million mobile phones were expected to be sold online in China last year, up 68 percent from 2011, according to a report issued by SINO Market Research. The growth rate is more than 10 times that for mobile phones that were sold in offline outlets during the period, according to the report.

Update: Nokia takes high-end innovation to new audiences at Mobile World Congress [Nokia press release, Feb 25, 2013

Nokia Lumia 720 [Windows Phone 8 with Long Battery Life] and Nokia Lumia 520 [Affordable Windows Phone with Dual Core Processor]
deliver high-end Lumia innovation to more affordable price points [at 27% lower entry price for the new Lumia 520, see the Lumia 620 for $249 vs. Lumia 520 for $182 (excluding taxes and subsidies) in the comparison table below]

Nokia also announced that following the launch of the Nokia Lumia 920T by China Mobile last year, the world’s biggest mobile operator would bring the Nokia Lumia 720 and the Nokia Lumia 520 to China. Further details on exact availability will be announced in due course.

Update:
A closer look at the Nokia Lumia 520 and 720 [Conversations by Nokia blog, Feb 27, 2013]
Have more fun with the Nokia Lumia 520 [Conversations by Nokia blog, Feb 25, 2013]
Sleek stylish Nokia Lumia 720 [Conversations by Nokia blog, Feb 25, 2013]
10 things you need to know about the Nokia Lumia 720 [Conversations by Nokia blog, Feb 26, 2013]
An innovative approach to imaging with the Nokia Lumia 720 [Conversations by Nokia blog, Feb 27, 2013]

Nokia’s imaging experts followed a familiar path to the acclaimed Nokia Lumia 920 when creating the camera for the Nokia Lumia 720, with a mission to let people capture stunning images at both day and night.

Essential comparison: [+ Source 1, Source 2]

With this announcement the entry to mid-range Nokia Lumia superphones are based on the same SoC from Qualcomm: Snapdragon S4 MSM8227, 1.0 GHz dual-core Krait 200, Adreno 305.
Lumia 520 Lumia 620 Lumia 720
Affordable Windows Phone with Dual Core Processor Windows Phone 8 with MS Office Windows Phone 8 with Long Battery Life
EUR 139 [$182] excluding taxes and subsidies
from March’13 (Hong Kong, Vietnam first)
and Q2’13 (elsewhere)
$249 excluding taxes and subsidies
from Jan’13 on
(Asia first)
EUR 249 [$326] excluding taxes and subsidies
from March’13 (Hong Kong, Vietnam first)
and Q2’13 (elsewhere)
4 inches 3.8 inches 4.3 inches
IPS
Luminance 600
RGB Stripe
TFT
ClearBlack
RGB Stripe
TFT
IPS, ClearBlack

Corning® Gorilla® Glass
Luminance 600 NITS
RGB Stripe
TFT

EDGE Class B
GPRS Class B
HSDPA Cat14 21 Mbps
HSUPA Cat6 5.76 Mbps
WCDMA
WLAN IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n

EDGE Class B
GPRS Class B
HSDPA Cat14 21 Mbps
HSUPA Cat6 5.76 Mbps
WCDMA
WLAN IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n

EDGE Class B
GPRS Class B
HSDPA Cat14 21 Mbps
HSUPA Cat6 5.76 Mbps
WCDMA
WLAN IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n

Snapdragon S4 MSM8227
1.0 GHz dual-core Krait 200
Adreno 305
Snapdragon S4 MSM8227
1.0 GHz dual-core Krait 200
Adreno 305
Snapdragon S4 MSM8227
1.0 GHz dual-core Krait 200
Adreno 305
2 Microphones 2 Microphones 2 Microphones
3D Accelerometer Ambient Light Sensor
Proximity Sensor
3D Accelerometer Ambient Light Sensor
Compass (Magnetometer Sensor)
Proximity Sensor
3D Accelerometer
Ambient Light Sensor
Compass(Magnetometer Sensor)
Proximity Sensor
Positioning:
A-GPS
CellID
GLONASS
GPS
SA-GPS
WiFi positioning
Positioning:
A-GPS
CellID
GLONASS
GPS
SA-GPS
WiFi positioning
Positioning:
A-GPS
CellID
GLONASS
GPS
SA-GPS
WiFi positioning
2592 x 1936 pixels
5.0 Megapixels
f/2.4 aperture
2592 x 1936 pixels
5.0 Megapixels
f/2.4 aperture
2848 x 2144 pixels
6.7 Megapixels
f/1.9 aperture
Auto and Manual White Balance, Continuous Auto Focus, Full Screen Viewfinder, Geotagging, Lenses Applications, Still Image Editor, Touch Focus

+ LED Flash

Auto and Manual White Balance, Continuous Auto Focus, Geotagging, Lenses Applications, Still Image Editor, Touch Focus
+ LED Flash

Auto and Manual White Balance, Continuous Auto Focus, Geotagging, Lenses Applications, Still Image Editor, Touch Focus
+ LED Flash

1280 x 720 pixels
video recording resolution
1280 x 720 pixels
video recording resolution
1280 x 720 pixels
video recording resolution
Video Call Video Call

Audio Streaming
Bluetooth Stereo
Handsfree Speaker
Music Player
Uplink Noise Cancellation

Audio Streaming
Bluetooth Stereo
Handsfree Speaker
Music Player
Uplink Noise Cancellation

Audio Streaming
Bluetooth Stereo
Handsfree Speaker
Music Player
Uplink Noise Cancellation

Secondary Camera:
640 x 480 pixels

f/2.4 aperture
Secondary Camera:
1280 x 960 pixels

f/2.4 aperture
512 MB RAM 512 MB RAM 512 MB RAM
NFC
Secure NFC
NFC
Secure NFC
USB Charging USB Charging USB Charging
up to 14.8 hours talk time

up to 360 hours standby time
up to 4.8 hours video playback time
up to 61 hours music playback time

up to 14.6 hours talk time (GSM)
up to 9.9 hours talk time (WCDMA)
up to 330 hours standby time
up to 6.0 hours video playback time
up to 61 hours music playback time

up to 23.4 hours talk time

up to 520 hours standby time 
up to 8.3 hours video playback time
up to 79.0 hours music playback time

Update: Compact, vibrant, and lots of fun: our Nokia Lumia 620 hands-on [Conversations by Nokia blog, Feb 24, 2013]
Update*: Nokia 620 in China as of Feb 5, 2013 [Windows Phone 8 with MS Office]

Merchants offer: ¥ 1665 [$267] to ¥ 1899 [$305] a total of 521 businesses

*Note that The first Windows Phone 4Afrika from Huawei for $150 = Huawei Ascend W1 for $240 (in China) and more elsewhere [Feb 5, 2013] and the device is using the 1.2 GHz MSM8230, a higher level SoC (with essential difference of 1080p video vs. Lumia 620’s 720p video from MSM82227) – see the SoC comparison

Now there only one hole is left between the Lumia 620 and 820 (presumably will be Lumia 720 when launched).

See also my companion post: Marko Ahtisaari from Nokia and Steven Guggenheimer from Microsoft on the Internet of Things day of LeWeb Paris’12 [December 6] from which you could watch this short video as a teaser:

Three questions to Marko Ahtisaari, Executive Vice President of NOKIA, and responsible for the Design 1. How the connected objects changed your life? 2. What is the connected object which you dream? 3. What will be your news in the next 12 months? Trois questions à Marko Ahtisaari, vice-président exécutif de NOKIA, et Responsable du Design 1. Comment les objets connectés ont-ils changé votre quotidien? 2. Quel est l’objet connecté dont vous revez? 3. Quelle va etre votre actualité dans les 12 prochains mois?

Regarding the new products below the Windows Phone 8 based Lumias (Lumia 620 … Lumia 920) see:
With Asha Touch starting at $83 and Lumia at $186 Nokia targeting the entry-level and low-end smartphone markets–UPDATED [Dec 19, 2012] new entry prices and Lumia 505 (? $220 ?) with AMOLED ClearBlack and Gorilla Glass [Nov 1 – Dec 19, 2012]




For the already available Lumia 820 and 920 models see my earlier:
Core post: Unique differentiators of Nokia Lumia 920/820 innovated for high-volume superphone markets of North America, Europe and elsewhere [Sept 6 – Nov 13, 2012]

With this Nokia established the sweet spot at $250 (list) for the entry-level of the Windows Phone 8 superphones. Note that there is already a lower level sweet spot defined by the company for the Windows Phone 7.5/7.8 smartphones described in my earlier post: With Asha Touch starting at $83 and Lumia at $186 Nokia targeting the entry-level and low-end smartphone markets [Nov 1, 2012]
With Asha Touch starting at $83 [Feb 22: $65] and Lumia at $186 [Feb 22: $168] Nokia targeting the entry-level and low-end smartphone markets–UPDATED [Dec 19, 2012] new entry prices and Lumia 505 (? $220 ?) with AMOLED ClearBlack and Gorilla Glass

Specifications and prices compared for the whole WP8 range of Lumias from Nokia

Specifications are shown here by essential differences between the next to each other models as moving up on the range (source Compare Mobile Devices on Nokia Developer):

Nokia Lumia 620: $249 excluding taxes and subsidies

will begin selling in January 2013 in Asia, followed closely by Europe and the Middle East before expanding further

Nokia Lumia 620: http://nokia.ly/R6EBEb smart, inside and out. Turn smiles into laughs with Cinemagraph, capture the perfect group shot with Smart Shoot, and make double the impact with dual-colour changeable shells.

Essential differences:

Lumia 620 Lumia 820
3.8 inches 4.3 inches
ClearBlack
RGB Stripe
TFT
AMOLED, ClearBlack

EDGE Class B
GPRS Class B
HSDPA Cat14 21 Mbps
HSUPA Cat6 5.76 Mbps
WCDMA
WLAN IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n

EDGE Class B
GPRS Class B
HSDPA+ Dual Carrier Cat24 42 Mbps
HSUPA Cat6 5.76 Mbps
LTE Cat3 Downlink 100 Mbps
LTE Cat3 Uplink 50 Mbps
WCDMA
WLAN IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n

Snapdragon S4 MSM8227
1.0 GHz dual-core
Adreno 305
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8960
1.5 GHz dual-core
Adreno 225
2 Microphones 2 High Dynamic Range Microphones
Gyroscope
2592 x 1936 pixels
5.0 Megapixels
f/2.4 aperture
3264 x 2448 pixels
8.0 Megapixels
f/2.2 aperture

Auto and Manual White Balance, Continuous Auto Focus, Geotagging, Lenses Applications, Still Image Editor, Touch Focus
+ LED Flash

all that +
Auto and Manual Exposure
Carl Zeiss Optics
Dual-LED Flash
1280 x 720 pixels
video recording resolution
1920 x 1080 pixels
video recording resolution
Video Stabilization

Audio Streaming
Bluetooth Stereo
Handsfree Speaker
Music Player
Uplink Noise Cancellation

all that +
Dolby Headphone
512 MB RAM 1 GB RAM
USB Charging USB Charging
Qi Wireless Charging
up to 14.6 hours talk time (GSM)
up to 9.9 hours talk time (WCDMA)
up to 330 hours standby time (GSM/WCDMA)
up to 61 hours music playback time
up to 15.4 hours talk time (GSM)
up to 8.1 hours talk time (WCDMA)
up to 360 hours standby time (GSM/WCDMA)
up to 61 hours music playback time

[Nokia Lumia 720: TBD later as here is a definite hole in the WP8 Lumia range]

Nokia Lumia 820:

  • Mobile City Online, Unlocked Import: $699.99 $599.99
  • Amazon, LTE 8GB/1GB Ram: $644.99 
  • Best Buy, AT&T LOCKED unactivated – Black: $479.99
  • in India: Rs. 25000 $458 
The World’s most innovative smartphone Powered by Windows Phone 8, Nokia Lumia 820 combines smartphone innovations with a versatile design:http://nokia.ly/Q6x4Uq Smart Shoot lens takes multiple photos with a single click and lets you edit faces and backgrounds easily to get the perfect shot. Back shells can be exchanged to add a new color, more protection or enable wireless charging. Unlike other smartphones, Lumia 820 has built-in Microsoft Office

Essential differences:

Lumia 820 Lumia 920 and Lumia 920T
480 x 800 pixels screen resolution 768 x 1280 pixels screen resolution
4.3 inches 4.5 inches
AMOLED, ClearBlack

ClearBlack
Corning® Gorilla® Glass
HD IPS
LCD transmissive
Luminance 600 NITS
Pixel Density 332 PPI
Puremotion HD+
RGB Stripe

2 High Dynamic Range Microphones 3 High Dynamic Range Microphones
3264 x 2448 pixels
8.0 Megapixels
f/2.2 aperture
3552 x 2448 pixels
8.7 Megapixels
f/2 aperture
Auto and Manual Exposure, Auto and Manual White Balance, Carl Zeiss Optics, Continuous Auto Focus, Dual-LED Flash, Geotagging, Lenses Applications, Still Image Editor, Touch Focus all on the left + Optical Image Stabilization, Pixel Size 1.4 µm, Sensor Size 1/3″, Sensor Type: BSI

Video Call
Video Player
Video Recorder
Video Stabilization
Video Streaming

all on the left + Optical Image Stabilization
640 x 480 pixels secondary camera 1280 x 960 pixels
with f/2.4 aperture etc.
8GB internal memory 32GB internal memory
up to 15.4 hours talk time (GSM)
up to 8.1 hours talk time (WCDMA)
up to 360 hours standby time (GSM/WCDMA)
up to 61 hours music playback time
up to 18.6 hours talk time (GSM)
up to 10.8 hours talk time (WCDMA)
up to 360 hours standby time(GSM/WCDMA)
up to 74 hours music playback time

Nokia Lumia 920:

  • Mobile City Online, Unlocked Import – Black: $799.99 $699.99
  • Best Buy, AT&T LOCKED unactivated – Red: $599.99 
  • Amazon, AT&T LOCKED [unactivated] – White: $649
  • Amazon, LTE 32GB/1GB Ram AT&T LOCKED– YELLOW: $899.99 $729
  • in India: Rs. 32000 $587 
The World’s most Innovative Smartphone. Powered by Windows Phone 8, Nokia Lumia 920 offers the world’s best smartphone experience:http://nokia.ly/Q6tDgC World’s best video and pictures with PureView camera, even with shaky hands or at night. World’s brightest, fastest and most responsive touchscreen — even if you are wearing gloves or have long fingernails World’s first smartphone with built-in wireless charging in your country World’s best smartphone for business with built-in Microsoft Office World’s most unique and iconic smartphone design

Nokia Lumia 920T:

  • China Mobile, without contract: RMB 4599 $738

The Lumia 920T will be available for order by the end of the year.

Essential differences:

Lumia 920 Lumia 920T

EDGE Class B
GPRS Class B
HSDPA+ Dual Carrier Cat24 42 Mbps
HSUPA Cat6 5.76 Mbps
LTE Cat3 Downlink 100 Mbps
LTE Cat3 Uplink 50 Mbps
WCDMA
WLAN IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n

EDGE Class B
GPRS Class B
TD-SCDMA
WLAN IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n

Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 Snapdragon S4
Secure NFC

NFC
Secure NFC

10.8 hours talk time (WCDMA) 18.8 hours talk time (TD-SCDMA)

Note that the Lumia 920T will definitely have the TD version of LTE as well as soon as that is licensed to China Mobile by the government.