Tech

Tech

Huawei becomes top dog in China’s smartphone market
The days of the iPhone being the king of smartphones in China are over, according to newly-released figures from research firm QuestMobile. More than 26% of all smartphone owners in China are now Huawei users, compared with just above 21% for Apple. In June, the share of active iOS systems dropped about two percentage points from a year ago, the report said.  That being said, Apple is still doing well in China. The company saw a 225% jump in iPhone sales in the three months ending in June 2020. The growth suggests a strong recovery from the first three months of 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic forced the company to shut stores across China. Huawei has also become one of the most visibl
Millions of phones in China are now connected to 5G
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features a single, illuminating number that helps you make sense of China. 66 million: the number of mobile phones in China connected to 5G networks as of June. About 66 million phones in China were connected to 5G networks by June, according to the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.  The number of 5G users had been growing in China and more than 400,000 5G base stations have been built, a ministry official said at a press conference in July.  China has become a leader in commercial applications of the next-generation networks, with state telecoms companies rolling out 5G phone services in November 2019.  And Chinese consumer
US puts Chinese apps on notice as Trump gives TikTok 45 days to sell
President Donald Trump will take action against TikTok, WeChat and “countless” Chinese software companies that pose a national security threat to America, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday, apparently widening the scope of attention the US government is paying to online tech platforms developed in China. “These Chinese software companies doing business with the United States, whether it’s TikTok or WeChat, there are countless more,” Pompeo said in a Fox News interview on Sunday, accusing Chinese technology firms of “feeding data” to the ruling Communist Party’s security apparatus. Pompeo’s warning to Chinese software companies came as Trump agreed to a 45-day timeline for the Chi
Meet the Chinese company behind the growing moped sharing scene in the US
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Explains unravels the ideas and context behind the headlines to help you understand news about China. They are fast, quiet, fashionable, and taking over the streets of America. The popularity of electric mopeds has spiked in major US cities in less than a year, driven largely by the popularity of moped sharing services.  Renters jump on mopeds for thrills (it can go up to 30 miles per hour) as well as convenience. The mopeds first caught on in Brooklyn, New York, where its small size and speed make for a convenient alternative to cars, bicycles, or walking. One company that is driving the moped popularity boom is a Chinese startup called NIU Technologies.
China launches its first Mars probe
China launched its first independent probe to Mars on Thursday, joining a growing number of countries aiming to lead exploration of Earth’s nearest neighbor. The probe, named Tianwen-1, was launched from the southern island of Hainan and is expected to reach Mars’ gravitational field next February, according to Chinese media. If the 5-tonne probe makes a successful landing on the fourth planet from the sun, it is expected to work for at least 90 Mars days – a little longer than three months on Earth. Tianwen-1 – the name means “questions to heaven” in Mandarin, inspired by an ancient poem by Qu Yuan – consists of an orbiter, a lander and a rover. The lander and rover will attempt a soft land
Hong Kong’s new security law puts social media giants in a tough spot
The Hong Kong authorities could block social media giants if they refused to hand over user data to the police under a new national security law, analysts said, describing a worst-case scenario that could drive global internet companies out of the Asian financial center. The world’s leading social media firms, including Google, Facebook (and its messaging app WhatsApp), Twitter, Telegram and LinkedIn, have so far presented a united front against such requests.  Their announcements to hit pause on processing requests by Hong Kong authorities for user data came a week after Beijing imposed the security law that critics feared could be used to crack down on dissent in the city. The former Briti
How a Chinese short-video app took the world by storm
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Explains unravels the ideas and context behind the headlines to help you understand news about China. TikTok is one of the world’s most popular apps, allowing some 800 million users worldwide to make and watch addictive short videos. It is the international version of the Chinese app Douyin, which was launched by Beijing-based tech conglomerate ByteDance in 2016. But with its explosive popularity has come accusations of content censorship – something that Douyin routinely does in the Chinese market – and concerns of data security. As US-China tensions have worsened, some American lawmakers have expressed skepticism over the relationship between TikTok and
India bans TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps as border row escalates
The Indian government has banned TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps as its border row with China spilled over into arenas including tech, privacy and national security. The unprecedented ban, which came weeks after 20 soldiers died in a border clash in the Himalayas, is likely to affect one in three mobile users in India. India is the biggest market for TikTok, the wildly popular video-sharing app that has been downloaded more than 660 million times since its launch, according to an estimate by app intelligence agency Sensor Tower. TikTok has between 120 and 200 million active users in the country. The move marked another attempt by India to reduce dependence on its neighbor’s products and put
TikTok knows how to open users’ wallets
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features a single, illuminating number that helps you make sense of China. $78 million: how much money users spent on TikTok and Douyin in April.  Short-video fans globally spent more than $78 million on TikTok and its mainland Chinese version Douyin in April.  The twin short-video services, from Beijing-based ByteDance, generated more revenue through in-app purchases than any other apps that are not games, according to San Francisco-based analytics firm Sensor Tower. The second and third highest mobile app revenue generators were YouTube and Tinder respectively. Advertising revenues, which make up the bulk of ByteDance and YouTube’s earnings, were
How China engineers an alternative internet for its people 
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Explains unravels the ideas and context behind the headlines to help you understand news about China. Stretching along the entire border of mainland China is an invisible barrier, dubbed the Great Firewall, that keeps out information that the Chinese authorities deem inappropriate. Sites such as Facebook, Google, Twitter – and Inkstone – are inaccessible in the mainland thanks to this metaphorical wall. The list of banned websites is ever expanding. While software to bypass the wall exists, the sophisticated system of censorship has become a powerful tool for the ruling Chinese Communist Party to strengthen its rule by limiting what China’s 900 million in