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8 must-read tech stories in China this week

China tech news this week

Here are eight top news stories – plus a bonus article – of the most-read China tech developments in the past week.

1. Unblockable? Unstoppable? FireChat messaging app unites China and Taiwan in free speech

Firechat app allows iPhone users to connect with each other not just via wi-fi, but also through peer-to-peer connections and Bluetooth. It’s being used at the student-led ongoing protests in Taiwan, and people in mainland China are joining the debate about democracy as well.


2. Xiaomi rips off a Kickstarter project to give your smartphone an extra, configurable button

The big trouble with this little new gizmo is that it’s a total rip-off of not just one but two crowdfunding projects – one American and one Chinese.


3. Alibaba invests $692 million in Chinese department store chain to fuse offline and online shopping

This deal sees the ecommerce titan teaming up with a retail company that has 28 department stores and eight shopping malls across China.


4. The omen: lessons from history reveal the dangers of the Sina Weibo IPO

The upcoming Weibo IPO is a good chance for investors around the world to get a slice of the social network that’s the hive mind and collective voice of China’s web users. But if you cast your mind back to 2011, history has a harsh lesson about social media and IPOs.


5. Chinese taxi-hailing app Didi Dache now books 5 million rides a day, and it spent $225 million to get there

Boosted by an investment from Tencent that saw the taxi-booking service incorporated into WeChat, the startup app maker has been splashing some serious cash to attract new users.


6. Two Xiaomi phones crack top 10 rankings for global smartphone sales in February: report

According to a new report, two Xiaomi phone models ranked among the top 10 most-sold smartphones around the world for the month of February.


7. Xiaomi wants to sell 100 million phones in 2015, tall task to equal Lenovo

The upstart phone-maker this week revealed sales targets for 2014 and 2015. After selling just under 20 million phones in 2013, they’re certainly ambitious goals.


8. Sina Weibo picks NASDAQ for upcoming IPO, expects to make a loss this quarter

Getting back to the subject of Weibo, a few more details were added to the upcoming IPO this week.


BONUS: China’s mobile commerce spending to surpass $50 billion in 2014, nearly double last year’s total (INFOGRAPHIC)

Love infographics? Here’s a new one for you.


That’s all for this week, folks! For our full spread of China coverage, you might like to subscribe to our China RSS feed.



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