Tag: China

Samsung counter-sues Huawei

fef78e0cc21705723179c3a85d917f2bSamsung has sued Huawei for patent infringements across China as the handbags at dawn row escalates between the pair.

Samsung sued Huawei in a Beijing court about two weeks ago for allegedly infringing six of its patents, a spokeswoman said. She did not elaborate on the types of patents or the other Chinese courts involved.

“Despite our best efforts to resolve this matter amicably, it has regrettably become necessary to take legal action in order to defend our intellectual property,” Samsung sang

Huawei  said in a statement it had not received a “formal complaint” but would defend itself as necessary.

“In the absence of a negotiated settlement, litigation is often an efficient way to resolve” intellectual property rights disputes, it said.

Huawei sued Samsung in the United States and China in May, accusing its rival of infringement on patents for fourth-generation (4G) cellular communications technology, operating systems and user interface software.

Analysts say that neither side will end up winning on the basis of money. Huawei could be angling to boost its reputation by taking on the top smartphone player, he said, while Samsung’s suit might be a maneuver to force Huawei to settle its claims as soon as possible.

Some have suggested that Huawei might also be trying to create some noise marketing for itself and the two firms will eventually reach a deal such as a cross-licensing agreement.

 

Curtains for Chinese Night at the Opera

opera460A $1.24 billion takeover of Norwegian online browser and advertising company Opera  by a Chinese consortium of internet firms has partly failed.

The consortium, which includes search and security business Qihoo 360 and Beijing Kunlun Tech , a distributor of online and mobile games, might try to take over parts of Opera’s consumer business for $600 million, Opera said in a statement.

Opera did not say why the deal failed other than its conditions to close the public offer were not met.

However the deal had needed the approval of Chinese and US authorities, but last week Opera warned that regulatory approval had yet to be received. it is not clear if it was the Chinese or US approval which was lacking.

The offer’s final deadline and the deadline for approval by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States were both Friday.

The Chinese consortium now plans to acquire Opera’s browser business, both for mobile phones and desktop computers, the performance and privacy apps section of the company as well as its technology licensing business and its stake in Chinese joint venture nHorizon, Opera said.

However it will not get its paws on Opera’s advertising and marketing business, its TV operations, nor the apps that are game-related.

“Closing of the transaction is expected to take place during the second half of the third quarter of 2016,” it said.

The revised deal has been approved by Opera’s board of directors, Opera said.

ZTE given a stay of execution

firing squadChinese phone maker ZTE has not been banned from the US market yet and has been given more time to co-operate with the authorities.

The US government has extended a reprieve to ZTE on tough export restrictions imposed on the Chinese smartphone maker in March for allegedly breaking sanctions against Iran.

The reprieve is until the end of August, the Commerce Department said on Monday.

The renewed Commerce Department license allows ZTE to continue exporting equipment containing US technology. The agency said in March that its first reprieve could be extended if the company cooperated with the government.

Experts had said US export restrictions were some of the toughest ever applied and would have caused disruption across ZTE’s sprawling global supply chain.

The restrictions would have banned US companies from exporting any technology to ZTE, software or equipment such as chips and processors made in the United States. The decision would also have prevented software makers from selling typical office applications like Microsoft Windows or providing updates.

But soon after imposing the restrictions in March, the agency offered the company a three-month relief from the restrictions, which was set to expire June 30. The Commerce Department announced the extension in a notice posted Monday.

In an emailed statement, ZTE Chairman Zhao Xianming said the extension shows that the company is improving its compliance and cooperating with the government’s investigation. The reprieve will allow ZTE to maintain its “relationships with hundreds of American companies and our continued investment in the U.S,” he said.

Qualcomm asks for Chinese court help

qualcomQualcomm wants a Chinese court to get a local smartphone maker, Meizu, to agree to licensing terms for patents that the company broadly agreed to with the Chinese government last year.

The chip company s has asked the Beijing Intellectual Property Court for a ruling that the terms of a patent licence it offered Meizu comply with China’s Anti-Monopoly Law, and the US company’s “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing obligations.”

Qualcomm alleges that Meizu in Zhuhai is refusing to sign the patent agreement although over 100 players, including top Chinese phone makers, have accepted the terms under a new rectification plan agreed with China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) last year.

Meizu has more than 1,000 employees and sells its smartphones through 600 retail stores. It claims a global presence in Hong Kong, Russia, Israel and Ukraine, according to its website.

Last year, Qualcomm paid a $975 million fine to Chinese authorities for alleged monopolistic business practices relating to its patent licensing business. It also agreed to modify its business practices.

The outfit has been doing its best building its bridges in China, including by setting up a server chipset design and sales unit with the Guizhou provincial government.

The company has also announced other collaborations in the country that would help it gain access to the local market, including for the local production of its Snapdragon mobile processors by Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation.

Qualcomm charged Meizu with “unfairly expanding its business through the use of Qualcomm’s innovations without compensating Qualcomm for the use of Qualcomm’s valuable technologies.” It added that Meizu’s move to use the technologies without a license was also unfair to other licensees.

 

China makes supercomputer without US chips

Mao Tse Tung - Wikimedia CommonsThe People’s Republic of China has made a huge supercomputer without needing to buy any US chips.

The Sunway TaihuLight China has 10.65 million compute cores built entirely with Chinese microprocessors and there is not a single US computer which matches it. The TaihuLight sticks two fingers up at the US for banning the sale of Intel’s Xeon chips to China.

The super computer has a theoretical peak performance is 124.5 petaflops and it is the first system to exceed 100 petaflops.

TaihuLight is installed at China’s National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, uses ShenWei CPUs developed by Jiangnan Computing Research Lab in Wuxi. The operating system is a Linux-based Chinese system called Sunway Raise.

It is used for advanced manufacturing, earth systems modelling, life science and big data applications.

The US initiated this ban because China, it claimed, was using its Tianhe-2 system for nuclear explosive testing activities. The US stopped live nuclear testing in 1992 and now relies on computer simulations. Critics in China suspected the U.S. was acting to slow that nation’s supercomputing development efforts.

The fastest US supercomputer, number 3 on the Top500 list, is the Titan, a Cray supercomputer at US Dept. of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory with a theoretical peak of about 27 petaflops.

Chinese court bans iPhone 6 sales

big-trouble-in-little-chinaFruity cargo cult Apple is having Big Trouble in Big China after its iPhone 6 phone was banned from by a court because Jobs’ Mob is alleged to have stolen the designs of a Chinese company.

A Chinese regulator has ordered Apple to stop selling two versions of its iPhone 6 in Beijing after finding they look too much like a competitor, but Apple insists that sales are going ahead while it appeals.

While Apple is hoping that Chinese sales will save its bacon, the outfit is having huge problems getting its goods to market behind the bamboo curtain. Apple’s iBooks, iTunes Movies, music service has also been banned in China. Meanwhile what is left of Apple’s business faces completion from local brands including Huawei and Xiaomi.

The order by the Beijing tribunal said the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus looked too much like the 100C model made by Shenzhen Beili, a small Chinese brand. The order was issued in May but reported this week by the Chinese press.

Apple said a Beijing court stayed the administrative order on appeal and the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus still were on sale.

Already Apple has to share the name “iphone” with a Chinese bag maker, which got the name first. Apple said it would appeal that judgement too.

Eight out of 10 smartphones made in China

Mao Tse Tung - Wikimedia CommonsChina is giving the Korean and Western mobile hardware brands a good kicking.

Beancounters at IC Insights predictably positioned Samsung and Apple on top of the smartphone manufacturer hierarchy but they were followed entirely by Chinese vendors.

Huawei came third, with 28.9 million units sold, still considerably behind Samsung with  81.5 million and Apple with 51.6 million.  But OPPO exceeded its most optimistic expectations, leaping from eight place in 2015 to fourth, as it shipped 16.1 million affordable, mid-range Androids.

Xiaomi retained the fifth spot, Vivo went from tenth to sixth, Korean-based LG dropped a slot to 7, while ZTE, Lenovo, TCL, Meizu and Micromax were all in the  top twelve. Absent was Sony, Microsoft, HTC, and Coolpad.

IC Insights forecasting an identical chain of command at the end of the year.

A number of Chinese OEMs, including Huawei, OPPO, Vivo and Meizu, plus India’s Micromax, are tipped to register massive year-to-year growth of between 29 and 74 percent, whereas Samsung, Apple or LG should see shipment declines ranging from 1 to 5 percent.

While Samsung and Apple will remain the top two smartphone makers it is clear that that the only competition they are getting is Chinese.

Microsoft sells 1,500 patents to Xiaomi

Microsoft campusSoftware king of the world Microsoft is flogging off 1,500 of its patents to Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi in what the two companies say is the start of a long-term partnership.

The deal includes a patent cross-licensing arrangement and a commitment by Xiaomi to install copies of Microsoft software, including Office and Skype, on its phones and tablets.

Wang Xiang, senior vice president at Xiaomi said that this is a big collaboration agreement between the two. It means that Xiaomi can be a major player outside China where it is hampered by weak patent protection and a fear of a prolonged patent battle.

Wang said the acquisition of Microsoft patents, which included voice communications, multimedia and cloud computing, on top of some 3,700 patents the Chinese company filed last year, were “an important step forwards to support our expansion internationally.”

Xiaomi launched its first US device earlier this month, a TV set-top box it developed in cooperation with Google, which owns the Android operating system it and most Xiaomi devices run on. Xiaomi has also launched a tablet which runs a version of Microsoft’s Windows operating system.

Jonathan Tinter, corporate vice president at Microsoft, said the company was keen to tap into Xiaomi’s young, affluent and educated users by having its products pre-installed on their devices. He declined to go into detail about the patent deals, but said the overall deal was something “we do only with a few strategic partners.”

Florian Mueller, a patents expert who consulted for Microsoft in the past, said it was rare for Microsoft to actually sell its patents, adding “it’s possible Microsoft found it easier to impose its Android patent tax on Xiaomi as part of a broader deal that also involved a transfer of patents.”

China prepares to fluff up local tech companies

ChinaThe Chinese government is preparing to invest shedloads into local technology companies as part of its cunning plan to raise IT competitiveness.

China’s President Xi Jinping’s move has US tech companies worried that it might  be making steps towards  protectionism and many of them, like Apple had been hoping to make a bob or two out of the huge market.

Beijing has put forward what it calls Internet Plus and Made in China 2025 strategies, which aim to make Chinese firms world technology leaders and call for progressive increases in domestic components in priority industries such as robotics and aerospace equipment.

The official Xinhua news agency cited Xi as saying that to be the world’s major scientific and technological power, the state will have to champion first-class institutes, research-oriented universities and innovation-oriented enterprises.

Xi said the country will “provide bigger support for tech companies”, especially small and medium-sized firms, reorganise research institutes and universities, and plan cities and regional centres to be attractive to innovation industries.

“Our biggest advantage is that we, as a socialist country, can pool resources in a major mission,” Xi said, in comments reported late on Monday.

He also vowed to give scientists more power in allocating funding and directing their research, Xinhua reported.

 

Chinese rebel against Windows 10 upgrade

boxer-rebellion-hero-ABThe Chinese have put on their ceremonial boxers and revolted against Microsoft’s Windows 10 upgrade methods.

Chinese users of Volish products are criticizsng the software company’s push to get them to mandatorily upgrade their Windows operating systems.

According to the official Xinhua news agency posts critical of Microsoft on microblog site Weibo relating to the Windows 10 upgrade, which Microsoft users must switch to, have grown to over 1.2 million in number, it said.

Zhao Zhanling, a legal adviser with the Internet Society of China was quoted as saying Vole had abused its dominant market position and broken the market order for fair play.

He said users or consumer protection organizations had the right to file lawsuits against the company as Microsoft had not respected users’ right to know and choose, and may eventually profit from the unwanted upgrades.

Last year, Microsoft said it would offer free upgrades of Windows 10 to all Windows users, regardless of whether they are running genuine copies or not.

The move was seen at the time as an aggressive strategy by Microsoft to tackle rampant piracy in the Chinese computing market. Microsoft has been attempting to boost its business in China, where an anti-trust investigation into the company over its Windows operating system was launched in 2014.

But when the Windows’ pop-up upgrade window does not offer a “decline” option, only an option to upgrade later, Vole broke the rules.

Yang Shuo, a worker at a Beijing-based public relations company, told Xinhua that the sudden update interrupted his drafting of a business plan and led to a meeting cancellation for a deal worth $457,735.

“Just because I didn’t see the pop-up reminder does not mean I agreed,” he pointed out.