China technology

China technology

Latest news, features and opinion on China’s technology industry, including AI, the US-China tech war, 5G, smartphone makers and apps, and issues surrounding China’s Great Firewall.

Enjoy a perfect holiday snooze with these 5 sleep-tech products
The Chinese people are not sleeping well. According to a new study from March 2020, co-authored by Xilinmen, a mattress company, and the Chinese Sleep Research Society, about 36.1% of the Chinese respondents said they have trouble sleeping, which roughly translates to 400 million people. The report says the average sleep duration in China is about 6.92 hours per night, below the 7 to 9 hours recommended for adults. The number is also shorter with the younger generation. For people born in the 1970s, the average is 7.22 hours, while for people born after 2000, the average is 6.45 hours. It takes a long time for people to fall asleep too, at an average of 23.5 minutes. In general, people go to
Fake viewers, fake transactions, big business
In 2018, when China’s live-streaming industry was growing at lightning speed, Huang Xiaobing thought her one-year career as an online live broadcaster had hit a bottleneck. So she decided to start an agency in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin focused on entertainment live-streaming. The company managed online broadcasters who sang, danced or chatted with audiences in return for virtual gifts that could be converted to money. The agency took a cut. In her new role, she helped the aspiring live-streamers gain popularity in the crowded online space.  One of the common ways to achieve this was to buy virtual gifts for live-streamers under the guise of real viewers to boost their apparent po
Fed up with facial recognition technology? Here is how to outsmart it
Face masks can help protect against the coronavirus, but they may not be enough to hide from increasingly prevalent and powerful facial recognition technology. The global pandemic has seen governments deploy monitoring systems to help detect coronavirus, enforce quarantines and monitor social distancing. One controversial new tool has been facial recognition technology, with some companies advertising that masks are no barrier to their surveillance. It has also been used by police to keep an eye on protest movements worldwide. But some have sought to subvert this technology, armed with anti-surveillance masks, make-up, clothing and even lasers. Mark Andrejevic, an expert in surveillance and
China’s deep-space antenna tunes into Mars mission
China's first deep-space antenna array system has been put into use at the Kashgar satellite monitoring station in western China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. Four antenna dishes, each measuring about 115ft in diameter, form the newly commissioned system. The array has already been put to work supporting the Mars exploration mission of the Chinese probe Tianwen-1.   
Shenzhen residents told to take time off to improve the city
Taking a day off in China can often be tricky. Peer pressure from colleagues and bosses often means workers stretch themselves to the breaking point, spending long hours in overtime or dragging themselves to work when they don’t feel well.  Shenzhen, the southern megacity in China, is trying to change the work culture by forcing companies to respect their employees’ mandated days off. The guidelines are part of a larger plan to improve Shenzhen’s living standards by fighting air pollution, improving food safety, and ensuring mental and physical health. The new ordinance will come into effect at the start of 2021. Under the section titled “healthy profession,” the rules stipulate that employ
Chinese city’s lamp posts charge mobile phones
Mobile phone users who need a quick charge now only need to look for the nearest street light in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. More than 60 lamp posts on the busy Jianghan Road have been fitted with wireless charging equipment. Two charging points were installed on each street lamp in a pedestrian zone as part of a pilot scheme organized by the Wuhan Urban and Rural Construction Bureau. The bureau said the free service can charge most phones to about 70 percent in about 20 minutes. The smart lamp posts also have equipment which can monitor crowds, broadcast announcements and improve 5G wireless network coverage.
Foreigners join China’s live-stream sales army
China’s live-stream retail market is projected to grow to be worth $145 billion in 2020, according to iiMedia Research. The increase has been linked to a surge in online activity during the coronavirus pandemic. But Chinese retailers are eager to expand their businesses beyond the country and are hiring multilingual foreigners living in China to approach customers abroad.  
A university wants to bring China's elderly into the digital future
People are increasingly worried that old people are being left behind in China as the nation hurtles ahead and digitizes nearly all aspects of its economy and society. Ma Chunxia, a 67-year-old resident of Nanjing in the eastern province of Jiangsu, had adapted once and had successfully gotten onto WeChat to keep in touch with her friends. But she has no idea how to use video chat, pay for goods online or make appointments at the hospital, all tasks that have gotten more difficult offline as they become streamlined online.  So, Ma decided to fix the problem. She has been taking smartphone courses at the Drum Tower Open University for the past three weeks. The college is specifically designed
What 5G means for the world, and for you
As the latest advance in mobile communications, 5G has been promised as the future of technology.  That development is expected to rev up digitization across traditional industries and spur major growth in the coming decade.  Initial commercial 5G mobile services were rolled out last year in South Korea, the United States, Australia, Britain, Switzerland, Spain and Monaco.  The roll-out of 5G mobile network services across China, with the world’s biggest internet user population and largest smartphone market, is already forecast to spur new growth in the country’s information technology industry by $491 billion in the five years leading up to 2024. While most people see 5G as a technical u
What is Jack Ma’s Ant Group, the fintech giant set for the world’s biggest IPO?
Digital financial services giant Ant Group is on the cusp of pulling off the world’s biggest initial public offering and could be worth over $500 billion in the near future, riding on the digitization of financial services in the world’s second-largest economy. Ant’s coming out parade illustrates China’s lead in digital finance. Its super-slick mobile payment app, Alipay, has over 1 billion users, who can click on the Alipay app for services ranging from food deliveries to garbage collection. It is the world’s most popular app outside social-media networks. Ant plans to plough the $34.5 billion it is raising from dual listings in Hong Kong and Shanghai into future revenue drivers, such as bl