Posts Tagged ‘China’
China’s government and people have historically been friendly toward Linux, although not quite on the level of a new deal with Canonical. The country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology is teaming with Canonical to create Ubuntu Kylin, a variant of the regular Linux distribution that would serve as a reference point for local hardware and software developers. A Raring Ringtail-based build due this April should bring Chinese calendars, character input methods and quick access to relevant music services. Later Kylin releases should integrate Baidu mapping, mass transit information, Taobao shopping and a common slate of photo editing and system tools from WPS. The hope is to foster open source development in China as part of a five-year government growth plan — and, we suspect, get away from closed operating systems that Americans control.
Filed under: Software
Via: The Register
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Google’s Motorola unit appears to be dealing with some hard times– according to an e-mail acquired by the Wall Road Diary, up to ten percent of the division’s labor force is dealing with layoffs. “While we’re very optimistic about the brand-new products in our pipeline, we still face difficulties,” explained the email. High costs and losses in competitive markets are requiring the company to make staffing cuts. “These cuts are a continuation of the reductions we announced last summer,” a spokesman told the WSJ. “It’s certainly really hard for the employees worried and we’re committed to helping them with this hard transition. Much like the company’s August personnel reduction, the brand-new layoffs will effect workers in China, India and the US, decreasing the team by about 1,200 staff members general. It’s a rocky beginning to the period, however one the business considers needed to get it with the next generation of mobile gadgets. Ideally it has something in store with enough “wow” aspect to stave off future cuts.
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Chinese Ministry Critical Of Android’s Dominance — But How Much Power Does Google Really Have In China?
China’s technology Ministry is worried about the dominance of Google’s Android platform, according to Reuters. The news agency links to a whitepaper authored by the research arm of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology which contains the above graph — so it’s not difficult to see what the Ministry’s issue is: Android has grown from a standing start in 2008 to saturate the local market, taking 72.4 per cent in Q3 2012 (Gartner sourced data).
According to Reuters, the Ministry’s whitepaper is critical of China’s dependency on a platform it argues is ultimately controlled by Mountain View. “Our country’s mobile operating system research and development is too dependent on Android. While the Android system is open source, the core technology and technology roadmap is strictly controlled by Google,” the whitepaper states.
It also claims that Google has deliberately impeded the progress of some Chinese companies seeking to develop their own operating systems (presumably by forking Android) by delaying code sharing, and accuses Google of using commercial agreements to restrain the business development of mobile devices of these companies. The paper goes on to pile praise on homegrown companies such as Alibaba, Baidu and Huawei for creating their own systems.
Google declined to comment on the allegations in the whitepaper when contacted by TechCrunch.
Alibaba’s Aliyun OS was going to be used by Acer to power a Chinese smartphone planned for launch last year — but cancelled, at least in part, after Google intervened. (Google argued that Acer was building what it described as a “non-compatible” Android device, having previously committed to building compatible devices.) Presumably this is the sort of commercial pressure the whitepaper is critical of.
Alibaba also declined to comment on the Chinese whitepaper when contacted by Techcrunch.
Another graph in the whitepaper pegs the Aliyun OS’s share of the 2012 Chinese market at around one per cent — versus 86.4 per cent for Android:
Reuters speculates that the Chinese government could be planning to impose regulations on Android to try to rein it in and give Chinese companies a chance to take some a greater share. That could also be good news for smaller foreign players such as Finnish startup Jolla, which is using the MeeGo open source OS as the foundation of its new Sailfish platform. Jolla is targeting its debut smartphone at China first, as well as setting up a base in Hong Kong to build an alliance around Sailfish. It has also attracted investment from China.
The smartphone market in China is undoubtedly huge — Jolla’s CEO describes it as a “300 million device market”. China also passed the U.S. as the world’s top country for active Android and iOS smartphones and tablets last month so it’s also a growing market. But while Android undoubtedly dominates the OS landscape not all Chinese Android-powered device are equal since a large proportion of homegrown mobile makers heavily customise Android and do not carry any of the standard Google services such as its Play store.
Analyst Enders Analysis created the below chart last year depicting Android page view data, sourced from Baidu, which illustrates how smaller Chinese device makers are increasingly dominating China’s device landscape — accounting for 39 per cent of the page views on Baidu properties in September 2012 vs just 22 per cent for the otherwise globally dominant Android OEM Samsung:
“Almost none” of the ‘other’ category of devices in this chart have Google services on them, according to Enders analyst Benedict Evans — so you could say that while Google’s platform is huge in China, Google itself may have far less influence than Android’s spread suggests because such a large swathe of locally made Androids are cut off from its services and thus can’t generate advertising sales for Mountain View.
In a recent blog post discussing Google’s failure to deliver any Android activation data since September 2012, Evans also notes that: “The great majority of Android devices sold in China, which are probably a third of total Android sales, come with no Google services installed, including no Google Play, and hence are not even included in Google’s activation numbers, since signing into Google Play is what counts as ‘activation’.”
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The greatest truism in the mobile world these days is that Android is growing, however its exponential expansion isn’t being welcomed with open arms by all. A new research paper from the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (translated by Reuters) has concluded that the country’s “mobile operating system research and development is too dependent on Android.” While acknowledging the operating system’s open source roots, the white paper goes on to say that “the core technology and technology roadmap is strictly controlled by Google” and alleges discrimination by the Mountain View company against Chinese firms seeking to develop their own software — alternately by delaying the sharing of code or through commercial…
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A cursory appearance at the ZTE Grand S may leave you worrying that it will bring quite the premium for that 5-inch screen, LTE and quad-core efficiency. Not so, according to mobile department lead He Shiyou. He approximates that the smartphone’s rate in mainland China will float in between & yen; 3,000 to & yen; 3,500 ($ 481 to $ 561), baseding upon market conditions– a reasonable anticipate a high-end design expected to deliver before the first quarter of the year is out. We’re just left asking yourself whether the value-minded pricing will hold if and when the Grand S goes on a globe trip.
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Via Licensing is amassing quite a deep well of patents from which its members able to pull. All in the name of keeping standards-essential LTE technology accessible to those willing to play ball. Now China Mobile and Deutsche Telekom are joining the ranks of industry giants like AT&T and NTT DoCoMo in an effort to guard themselves against litigation and ease the act of licensing each other’s patents. Others have tried and failed where Via Licensing seems to be succeeding in building a coalition around sharing standard-essential patents. Though, while plenty of big names have signed on, there are still quite a few notable holdouts.
When NVIDIA officially pulled back the curtains on its new Tegra 4 SoC at CES, it had no shortage of praise for the thing — the company referred to it as “the world’s fastest mobile processor” — but there was something missing from the announcement. Who would be using be using it?
Sure, Vizio revealed a 10.1-inch, T4-powered tablet just a day later, but there was nary a phone partnership in sight until tonight. NVIDIA has just announced it is working with the folks at ZTE to launch the first Tegra 4-powered smartphones in China during the first half of this year.
Here’s a quick refresher on the Tegra 4 in case you haven’t been keeping up with the wild and woolly world of mobile systems-on-chips. This particular SoC sports 72 GPU cores, as well a quad-core processor that feature’s ARM Cortex A15 core, and LTE support by way of NVIDIA’s Icera acquisition.
NVIDIA’s deal with ZTE honestly seems like a mixed bag. Don’t get me wrong — the Chinese company is capable of crafting some nice hardware (and we’re sure to see some of it at Mobile World Congress next week), but one can’t help but wonder if NVIDIA would’ve preferred a higher-profile partner to help usher in the age of Tegra. That’s not to say that NVIDIA isn’t getting anything out of this deal though. Far from it, actually — continued buy-in from a notable Chinese OEM will only help NVIDIA strengthen its position in a fast-growing mobile market.
For now, there’s no word on exactly what ZTE devices the Tegra 4 will find itself in, but NVIDIA is awfully fond of throwing the term “superphone” around, so I’d expect something with at least a little bit of wow factor.
Meanwhile, some of rival Qualcomm’s recently revamped chipsets have appeared in high-end hardware — HTC’s new One has a Snapdragon 600 ticking away inside of it, and it may not be alone. Rumor has it that Samsung is having some heat management problems with its newer in-house Exynos chipsets, and is mulling a switch to a Qualcomm SoC for its flagship Galaxy S IV. Couple that with the high-end 800 we saw at CES and the Snapdragon 200 and 400 chipsets that just officially got the nod and NVIDIA’s certainly got a fight on its hands.
The Wall Street Journal snagged a preview of an upcoming book co-authored by Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and the company’s Jared Cohen, and it doesn’t seem to paint the rosiest picture of China. Dubbed The New Digital Age, the tome reportedly claims China is “the world’s most active and enthusiastic filterer of information” in addition to “the most sophisticated and prolific” hacker of foreign firms. Recent stats and events don’t exactly help the nation’s image.
In addition to the threat of hacking attempts originating from China, the work also touches upon the Chinese government’s alleged involvement with network infrastructure providers such as Huawei. According to the book, such cooperation puts the US at an economic and political disadvantage since “the United States will not take the same path of digital corporate espionage, as its laws are much stricter (and better enforced) and because illicit competition violates the American sense of fair play.” However, Schmidt and Cohen posit that even western firms “will coordinate their efforts with their governments on both diplomatic and technical levels” as the future unfolds.
In terms of what’s to come, the work also considers that the country’s “mix of active citizens armed with technological devices and tight government control is exceptionally volatile,” and that it could cause “widespread instability,” and even “some kind of revolution in the coming decades.” If you’re interested in more prognostication from Google’s head honcho, the book is slated to hit shelves this April. For now, you can hit the neighboring source link for additional morsels.
[Image credit: TechCrunch, Flickr]
Filed under: Google
Via: The Verge
Source: Wall Street Journal
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Fired? I would have given him a raise for ingenuity.
A software developer was recently fired after his employer discovered he had secretly outsourced his entire job to China for a mere 20% of what he was making. And, since brobro had so much free time on his hands, he also accepted a bunch of freelance gigs and outsourced all of those too. Clearly we have some sort of business genius on our hands.
…relying on a case study presented by the security team at Verizon, the gentleman in question was very interested in Reddit, eBay shopping, and watching cat videos during working hours.
So he allegedly outsourced his work to China. Yes, all of his work. He did nothing at all — workwise, that is, according to Verizon.
However, the Verizon folks say he also attempted to perform this liberating ploy simultaneously on other companies — presumably he was accepting freelance projects on the side.
What some might find amusing — or even dispiriting — is that his employers valued him highly, as the work was of an excellent standard.
Ahahahahahaha, they loved the quality of work he turned in. That’s beautiful. I bet they’re just embarrassed this dude figured out how to cut their costs by 80% and they didn’t think of it first. Screw firing him, I say make him president of the company. God willing he’ll outsource that too.
Thanks to LupusYonderboy, who was bragging about outsourcing this tip. Oh yeah — WELL GUESS WHO WROTE THIS ARTICLE?