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China Finance Online: ZTE Issued Internal Memo Disclosing Progress of Recovery Effort

China Finance Online, China’s only online financial information service listed on NASDAQ, recently reported that ZTE issued an internal memo to its staff on the status of its recovery effort after the U.S. government banned American companies from exporting critical supplies to ZTE. The memo said the company was seeking a stay of the U.S. government ban and was “actively communicating” with the U.S. regulators by submitting additional supporting compliance materials. The memo emphasized that, ever since the U.S. ban, “as a globalized enterprise that grew in China,” ZTE has “strictly aligned with China’s national strategy.” The company has been actively taking steps, “firmly under the guidance of the Chinese government,” in order to “resolve the issues quickly.” The memo was issued immediately after the completion of the US-China trade negotiation between high ranking Chinese officials and the U.S delegation in Beijing. Taiwanese high-tech chip maker MediaTek just received clearance from the Taiwanese authorities to resume shipment to ZTE in a few weeks.

Source: China Finance Online, May 5, 2018

Global Times: China Fiber Broadband and 4G Cellular Networks Now the Largest in the World

Global Times recently reported on a recent study of the status of the deployment of global broadband. The study showed that, by the end of first quarter, China’s fiber-based broadband customers held an 85.3 percent share of all landline broadband markets in China. This percentage surpassed previously leading countries Japan and South Korea to make China the number one in the world. The average download speed of overall Chinese landline broadband reached above 20 mbps (megabits per second). This marks a year-over-year growth of 54.9 percent. In addition, China’s 4G cellular network now has around 3.4 million 4G base stations, which makes the Chinese 4G network the largest in the world. China’s 4G market is still expanding rapidly.

Source: Global Times, May 3, 2018

HKET: China Smartphone Market Suffered Largest Quarterly Setback in History

Hong Kong Economic Times (HKET), the leading financial daily in Hong Kong, recently reported that the Mainland’s first quarter smartphone sales suffered a year-over-year decline of 21 percent. Total smartphone handset volume dropped below 100 million to 91 million. This was the lowest point since 2013 and was the biggest quarterly decline in history. With the exception of Huawei and Xiaomi, all smartphone vendors saw a sales decline. Apple iPhone’s sales ranking fell out of the top-four list. At this point, Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi – all are domestic manufacturers – lead China’s smartphone market. The top-four occupy 73 percent of the Chinese Mainland market. Analysts expressed the belief that Apple’s lack of innovation (except for the iPhone X) and high price were the reasons for its loss. In the past two quarters, China’s smartphone market had already suffered a decline. Most of the consumers in the market have completed the conversion from basic phone to smartphone. As the quality and lifespan of a smartphone improve, customers have less of an interest in switching to a handset.

Source: Hong Kong Economic Times, April 27, 2018

Beidou Navigation System Cell Phone Version APP to Launch on May 1

According to an article that Chongqing Economic Times published, the cell phone version of Beidou Navigation APP will be launched on May 1. It is expected to replace the U.S. made GPS (Global Positioning System) and meet worldwide demand by 2020. The Beidou App is reported to have a location accuracy that is within a 1 meter diameter (3.3 feet) compared to the 10 meters (33 feet) that GPS has. China Electronics Technology Group Number 24 research center in the City of Chongqing developed the Beidou Navigation System. The research center collaborates with the Chinese Academy of Sciences Chongqing Green Intelligence Technology Academy and conducts a large quantity of research and development work on satellite surveillance products. The article reported that the Beidou Navigation system has entered into stage III and that 29 satellites have been launched so far. It is expected to reach 50 billion yuan (US $7.92 billion) in production by 2020. Currently GPS has over 90 percent of the market share in the world.

Source: Chongqing Economic Times, April 8, 2018

FT Chinese: China Asked Chinese Hackers not to Participate in Competitions

Financial Times Chinese recently reported that the Chinese government has asked Chinese hackers not to participate in global hackers’ competitions. Instead, the Chinese hackers are required to report the bugs they have discovered to China’s national security government branches or to the original technology vendors. China has been tightening up its control of technology and information. Experts expressed their belief that China wants to expand its technical intelligence “reserve.” Some said China could see the bugs as opportunities to explore back doors to systems. This recent move is in line with other new requirements, such as requiring foreign vendors to store domestically collected data locally in China. Another effect of asking the Chinese hackers not to join the global events is to ensure that some important (Chinese) technicians be absent from many international gatherings that are typically considered an important venue to root out dangerous technical vulnerabilities. Chinese hackers have discovered many known system vulnerabilities. Although the Chinese government has not publicly announced anything yet, no Chinese hacker showed up at the Black Hat global conference held in Singapore a few weeks back. This largest global hackers’ conference used to be packed with Chinese hackers.

Source: FT Chinese, March 28, 2018

Best Buy Plans to Stop Carrying Huawei Handsets

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that America’s largest electronic product retailer Best Buy has stopped ordering smart phones from Huawei. In the very near future, Best Buy will discontinue selling Huawei handsets in its stores. Neither Best Buy’s nor Huawei’s spokespersons confirmed this news. Multiple international media pointed out that Best Buy’s move could be a very big loss for Huawei and it was unclear whether this was the result of political pressure from the U.S. government or not. As the world’s third largest smart phone vendor (after Apple and Samsung), Huawei has been struggling to gain a foothold in the U.S. market. Best Buy has been one of Huawei’s largest partners. Its stores are among the very rare places where one can actually see Huawei smart phones. None of the U.S. cellular carriers resells Huawei handsets, and most Americans buy their smart phones from their mobile carriers.

Source: Sina, March 22, 2018

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