Network gear maker Cisco is forming a joint-venture with Chinese server maker Inspur to sell networking and cloud computing products in China.
The Silicon Valley firm has been suffering behind the bamboo curtain because of political pressure and declining sales.
Cisco and Inspur said they would invest $100 million in the project, although they offered few other details.
However this deal is typical of a growing number of tie-ups between Chinese and US technology firms which are part of a cunning plan to get government regulators off the backs of the big multi-nationals.
Microsoft is to partner with Baidu and Chinese state-owned private investment firm Tsinghua Unigroup on cloud technology. Dell announced last week it would invest $125 billion over five years in China. IBM pledged to help develop China’s advanced chip industry with a “Made with China” strategy.
Chipmakers Intel and Qualcomm are developing chips with smaller Chinese companies.
Similar to its dealings with the foreign auto industry in decades past, Chinese officials have made clear to foreign technology firms that market access depends on their sharing technology and cooperating with Chinese industry.
Cisco’s market share has fallen in China, where its products have been labelled a cybersecurity threat by state media and government-affiliated experts.
Software giant Microsoft has decided that it has had enough of the display advertising business and is giving it to AOL to sort out.
Instead Microsoft will focus on its growing search advertising business based around its Bing search engine.
Microsoft, which employs hundreds of people in its display ad business around the world, said those employees would be offered the chance to transfer to AOL and that it was not making any layoffs.
Microsoft’s MSN web portal and Bing, have lost more than $10 billion over the past five years. Chief Executive Satya Nadella has said Bing will turn a profit next fiscal year.
“Today’s news is evidence of Microsoft’s increased focus on our strengths: in this case, search and search advertising and building great content and consumer services,” said Microsoft in a statement.
Under a 10 year deal struck with AOL, the outfit will sell display ads on MSN, Outlook.com, Xbox, Skype and in some apps in major countries. As part of the deal, Bing will become the search engine behind web searches on AOL starting next year.
Microsoft also struck a multi-year extension to its existing deal with AppNexus, which provides the tech platform for buyers to purchase online ads.
Redmond has also signed over part of its mapping unit to Uber which will see the taxi company take over the part of Microsoft’s mapping unit that works on imagery acquisition and map data processing. Uber will offer jobs to the 100 or so Microsoft employees working in that area.
Uber uses a combination of map services from Google, Apple and Baidu already and apparently has no plans to stop this.
Microsoft will no longer collect mapping imagery itself, but it will continue to work with imagery providers for underlying data on its own maps. Microsoft already gets much of its map data from Finland’s Nokia.
Baidu and Foxconn are reportedly embarking in cosy discussions about building a low priced smartphone, which will run the Chinese web company’s mobile operating system.
According to the rumour mill, the phone will cost around $159 (1,000 RMB) and include
a 3.5-inch touchscreen, 1400mAH battery and high-resolution camera.
As well as running Baidu’s “Yi” OS, there will also be software such as Baidu’s cloud storage service, Baidu Music and Baidu Maps.
This isn’t the first mobile phone move by Baidu. Late last year the Chinese giant went into partnership with Dell. However, their mobile offspring – the Dell Streak Pro D43 – is said to be targeted at business users and has higher specs and a $474 (2,999 RMB) smartphone price tag than the rumoured Foxconn phone.
In previous reports, Baidu CEO Robin Li said the company had earmarked mobile as an important growth channel.
And Foxconn is of course no stranger to the handset market having produced the Android-powered Journey A890 budget handset for the Indonesian manufacturer Nexian as well as making gadgets for Apple, HP and Best Buy.
Baidu is expected to report its first quarter results next Tuesday and according to Forbes the outlook is positive. It is predicted that the company will announce a profit of around 84 cents a share, which Forbes says is a rise from 47 cents per share last year.
The company’s revenue is thought to rise by 82.1 percent to $677.5 million for the quarter from last year’s $372 million. For the year, analysts forecast a revenue of $3.57 billion.
Another potential spanner in the works for Intel and its late-to-market mobile strategy: footsoldier Dell is working with Baidu in China to take on Intel’s Omerta with Tencent.
While Intel recently announced a partnership with the huge Tencent and ZTE over in China to push its Oak Trail in mobile devices, like tablets and, er, mobile, ally Dell has announced it plans to swamp China with its own small tin boxes.
Dell’s relationship with Intel is a deep one. Both were foisted in front of the courts on antitrust allegations. It plans to design and develop smartphones for the booming Chinese market which will run on Baidu’s recently announced mobile platform Baidu Yi.
Baidu isn’t just China’s equivalent search portal to Google. It holds a phenomenal amount of share online, helped along by small factors like it’s hard to pronounce Google in Han. However, there is still a link and a boost for Google as the platform is not drawn up from scratch, and is Android based.
However, execs at the Chinese search company have not completely ditched plans for a platform of its own, reports Auntie.
It also claimed to be working with other handset makers, which could be a good bet considering Dell’s very limited success so far in the smartphone market.
If Dell decides to go ahead with Intel chips, it’s a win for Chipzilla, but the details are sparse right now. With MeeGo looking like it has been canned, the massive Chinese market is one which Intel will need to really capitalise on if it is to stay afloat and convince the world it can do mobile, too, depending on which way Windows 8 turns out.
A release date hasn’t been penned in publicly yet.
Baidu intends to push into foreign markets in a bid to become the number one search engine.
Senior vice president Shen Haoyu told a technology forum in Beijing that the firm is eyeing up foreign markets as a way of driving growth. He claims that “a lot of the company’s growth in the next 10 years will come from overseas expansion,” as part of its “global aspirations”.
Baidu has already created a Japanese language search engine and is now mulling over which markets to attempt to move into next. It’s already setting up a multi-language platform in anticipation of further developments.
It has already been suggested that Baidu has been talking to Facebook and that is likely to put its main competitor both at home and abroad, Google, on the back foot.
Furthermore Microsoft is thought to be cosying up to Baidu, which could be the beginnings of a threat to Google’s hegemony on a larger scale.
However, according to AFP, Google, which was forced to fall back on its own attempts to invade the Chinese market following a row over censorship and cyber attacks, tried to make it clear at the same forum that it would not be swayed by Baidu’s ambitions.
One of Google’s many vice presidents, John Liu, told the forum that “competition is just a reality” and that it is confident of its market prospects, despite dropping from 19.6 percent of the Chinese search market to 19.2 in this quarter.
Baidu also pointed towards its domestic market as an important factor in its expansions over the next few years, seeking to grab a greater slice of the mobile search market as the country’s mobile internet users grows.
With 900 million mobile phone subscribers in the country potentially available to tap into, Baidu is anticipating explosive growth in this market and wishes to capitalise on it like it has in the overall search market – with its 75.8 percent share.
Software giant Microsoft is close to inking a deal with the Chinese outfit Baidu which would mean that Bing would take over Baidu’s English language site.
Baidu is the Google of China and Vole wants to forge a few links in the ever growing Chinese market.
No one is talking publicly about the deal, but there are enough people leaking details for it to be considered more than an industry rumour.
It appears that Baidu will take over the paid advertising on Vole’s Chinese site, while Bing results will be used for Baidu’s English language site.
It all makes sense. Google is not exactly the flavour of the month with China ever since it claimed that it had been hacked by the Chinese government.
While the row was going on, Microsoft was curiously silent, even while its rival was being stoutly defended by Western governments.
However Microsoft’s involvement with the Chinese might get it into a lot of trouble at home, particularly as there are those who remain concerned about Western outfits selling out any ideas about human rights for a quick buck.
It seems Mark Zuckerberg’s wining and dining with Baidu’s head honchos may pay off.
Inside sources have told Chinese news outlet Sohu that the Facebook founder has signed on the dotted line with Baidu to set up a new social networking site.
Although Zuckerberg has managed to get his foot in the door of a country famed for tough internet protocol, there are reports suggesting that the Chinese website won’t be integrated with Facebook’s international service.
Instead the pair will work together to build a new service – presumably with the tight internet controls China requires.
Chinese citizens are banned from viewing content in relation to pornography, gambling and dissent. Facebook is one of the websites, along with the likes of Twitter and YouTube, which has been banned for not adhering to censorship regulations.
In December we reported Zuckerberg had been getting up close and personal with Baidu chief executive Robin Li, while on a holiday to the country to meet with his girlfriend’s family.
Last week those in China also told Bloomberg that he had been holding meetings with potential partners on how to enter the tough market.
Baidu has been trying to rectify mistakes. Earlier this week it had a blitz on infringed literary works and today it has announced that it will begin paying an agency, which looks after songwriters, for any piece of their music downloaded from the site.
The move follows years of grumblings by the record industry, which claims that the Chinese search engine has been providing links to pirate music sites.
And now Baidu has bowed down to the all mighty industry announcing that it has done a deal with China’s Music Copyright Society of China.
Together the pair will work together in a bid to protect legal digital music. Baidu will also take note of the artists downloaded from its site and pay copyright holders.
However, major record labels won’t be pleased to hear that they have been somewhat excluded from the deal with the money only given to songwriters behind the lyrics to the music. On top of this Baidu will also give Music Copyright Society of China data of what has been downloaded.
Baidu hasn’t had a very good reputation so far, it was named as a “notorious market” for MP3 piracy and for peddling other illegal goods by the US government and has been the subject of many a lawsuit but it’s trying to rectify it of late.
Earlier this week it panicked and deleted around three million pieces of literature to prove it was doing its best to appease copyright holders.
After an ongoing copyright dispute with writers, the Chinese search engine went on a three day rampage and deleted nearly three million “potentially infringing” works from its online literary section – Baidu Wenku.
Baidu has panicked and deleted about three million pieces of literature to prove it’s doing its best to appease copyright holders.
After an ongoing copyright dispute with writers, the Chinese search engine has gone on a three day rampage and deleted nearly three million “potentially infringing” works from its online literary section – Baidu Wenku.
According to AFP this leaves the service, which was created to allow users to read, share or download texts for free, with just under 1,000 works to leaf through. Baidu says any uploads in the future will be carefully vetted before going public.
The Chinese site has taken the measures after over 40 authors signed a letter which painted Baidu as allowing their works to be available as free downloads without their permission.
Despite disagreements and break downs, Baidu saw the light and bowed down to the group at the weekend
The service worked by allowing users to upload texts and books from authors, which of course led to copyright complaints. However authors had faced a brick wall in trying to get these taken down, being referred to a complaints site, which promised deletion of the texts within 48 hours.
This often didn’t happen, but Baidu covered itself by posting a disclaimer online which made users who uploaded the content responsible. The writers had insisted the firm should bear responsibility.
A US report has come down hard on two of China’s biggest websites, claiming that they are supporting pirated and counterfeit goods.
The two in question are the country’s popular search engine Baidu and e-commerce site Taobao, both of which have been described in the report as “notorious markets.”
The report pointed the finger at Baidu claiming that some of the links it provides go through to pirated goods sites via a third party – something record labels have been moaning about since 2008. In fact, they felt so strongly about it they even tried to sue the site but failed miserably.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative report also pointed its finger at Taobao accusing it of allowing merchants to offer counterfeit goods on its website.
However, it’s also had a few problems with “hackers”. In January the site was found to have been selling hacked accounts for the iTunes Store. At the time the going rate on-site for hacked user accounts was around $30, with the promise of $200 worth of downloads of songs, movies and other such products available on Apple’s iTunes store.
It also provided a disclaimer with regards to the legality of what was being posted as well as a note encouraging buyers to complete all downloads within 24 hours before the authorities or cardholder realised the theft. To this, Taobao added that it had no legal liability for the items sold, nor could it vouch for their authenticity.
However, once this all came to light Taobao went running to Apple, claiming that it knew nothing at all.
The report claims Taobao was “making significant efforts to address the availability of infringing goods through its website.”
Speaking about the report, United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk said: “Piracy and counterfeiting undermine the innovation and creativity that is vital to our global competitiveness. These notorious markets not only hurt American workers and businesses, but are threats to entrepreneurs and industries around the world.
“The review we are announcing today shines a light on examples of many offending markets, and highlights an opportunity to work together with our trading partners to curb illicit trade and expand legitimate commerce in creative and innovative industries.”