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8 Must-Read Tech Stories in China This Week

CTW - China tech news this week

This week’s tech news in China has all the big names – Google, Baidu, Alibaba, WeChat. But there’s bad news for half of those, and much more positive news for the others. Let’s start with China’s top social media export:

1. In Just 6 Weeks, WeChat Blasts from 50 Million to 70 Million Users Outside of China

China-made social messaging app WeChat signed up Lionel Messi as its global face this week. But even before the Messi boost kicks in, the app is growing its non-Chinese user-base pretty quickly.


2. Why China Doesn’t Produce Disruptive Technologies…Yet

My colleague Charlie reacts to a TEDTalk by Shanghai-based VC Eric X. Li to ponder the many barriers to China’s tech innovation.


3. These Two Graphs Show Painful Drops for Google and Baidu in China Search Engine Market

Google is now fifth in the search engine market in China, and Baidu is losing its dominance in the face of a new rival. That makes for two pretty topsy-turvy graphs.


4. Air China Rolls Out Free In-Flight Wifi But Bans Smartphones From Using It

China’s top national carrier is slowly rolling out proper ground-to-air wifi on some of its planes – but you better bring along a laptop or tablet.


5. How China Spawned a Bitcoin Industry in Three Months (and Why it Might be Doomed)

Traffic is booming on China’s homegrown Bitcoin exchanges, but we get the feeling that the government is eyeing the success very closely and with some measurement of disapproval.


6. China Launches Online Petition Site, Which Then Crashes Predictably

Forget the silly petitions on the White House site in the US because petitioning is an ancient and serious business in China. For ordinary folk with grievances, it might be the only channel to pursue in seeking to get a wrong righted.


7. Alibaba’s New Online Personal Finance Product Hits 2.5 Million Users, $1 Billion Already Deposited

China’s e-commerce titan is now a lot closer to being an online bank. And that is massively disruptive.


8. E-Commerce in China: The New Digital ‘Fapiao’ Explained

The consumer-to-consumer (C2C) e-commerce sector in China – on sites like Taobao – has long been boosted by tax-dodging grey imports that make the goods cheaper than in stores or on official online sales channels. But these new digital receipts could finally stamp that out.


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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