Meanwhile in China: Weekly News Roundup [11/27-12/1]

  • Skype disappears from China’s app stores

If you hope to download Skype to keep in touch while you’re in China, you may be in for a rude surprise. Apple, Huawei, Xiaomi and other companies have been removing Microsoft’s internet calling software from their app stores in recent weeks in response to a crackdown on VoIP apps that don’t obey local digital security laws. The service still works if you already have the app installed, but you can’t download a fresh copy or pay for features directly through stores.

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Source: Engadget


  • Chinese tech titans Baidu and Xiaomi announce A.I. and internet of things partnership

    Two of China’s biggest tech companies, internet search giant Baidu and smartphone maker Xiaomi, have entered into a partnership that will see them “establish in-depth cooperation.” The businesses said Tuesday that the partnership would leverage their strengths in both artificial intelligence (AI) and the internet of things (IoT) to provide “an enhanced experience” to users of consumer electronics and smart devices.

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Source: CNBC


  • China’s tech giants reach global elite with gamers, shoppers

Powered by Chinese smartphone users splurging billions on mobile games and online shopping, China’s tech giants Tencent and Alibaba are racing up the elite league of the world’s most valuable companies. Hong Kong-listed Tencent, famous for its games and WeChat messaging service, became the first Asian firm to break into the $500 billion league last week—briefly overtaking Facebook as the world’s fifth-biggest company in terms of market value. Alibaba is just a few billion shy of joining its Chinese competitor at the top table of public listings—and is already there when taking into account its private affiliates.

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  • Toyota plans to start selling EVs in China in 2020

(SCMP) Chinese artificial intelligence leader Baidu has invested in a Beijing start-up focused on assistive driving technology, seen as an interim step towards fully autonomous cars. Beijing Smarter Eyes Technology raised close to 100 million yuan (US$15 million) in a third round of funding this week, led by Baidu’s autonomous driving fund. The investment comes amid Baidu’s commitment to invest in more than 100 autonomous driving projects over the next three years, as it competes with rivals from Google and Uber to in the development of AI-powered autonomous vehicles.

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Source: China Technology News