15 must-read tech stories in China this week


CTW - China tech news this week

Did you miss your regular fix of China tech news this past week? Worry not! Grab a cup of coffee and peruse through these must-read stories!

1. Xiaomi’s beta smart wi-fi router costs 15 cents – but you’ve got to build it yourself

The router will be available in a special “commemorative engineer’s beta” version that comes packaged in a beautiful wood case.

2. China’s Huawei to sell new budget smartphone for 1 Yuan less than cheapest Xiaomi

It seems Huawei won’t be content to sit back and let Xiaomi get all the glory for selling low-cost, high-performance smartphones.

3. Ahead of car roll-out in China, Tesla launches Chinese homepage

The new Tesla China site is at Tuosule.cn. Remember that Tesla Motors has lost the rights to its English name in China due to a copyright troll who claims he’s using the moniker in his own EV research.

4. Tencent and Netease to join the personal investment race against Alibaba and Baidu

These new financial services have been a popular alternative to traditional state-run banks, which have higher barriers to entry and lower interest for average citizens.

5. China Mobile turns on nation’s first 4G network, but still no sign of iPhone dea

China Mobile’s big 4G turn-on, which is happening across China today, was supposed to be the day – rumors long suggested – that the world’s biggest telco gets the world’s most fancied smartphone. But that doesn’t yet appear to be the case.

6. China-made, Android-based Smartisan OS gets $11.5 million in funding. What’s next? A phone?

Despite not having much to show for its business, Smartisan has just wrapped up series A funding worth RMB 70 million ($11.5 million).

7. Doubling down, China bans transactions between Bitcoin exchanges and 3rd-party payment companies

Less than two weeks after the government hammer came down on Bitcoin in China, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has struck another blow.

8. World’s largest Bitcoin exchange BTC China no longer accepts Chinese currency, global prices tumble

BTC China’s site has been crippled due to a massive influx of users flocking to withdraw their funds.

9. WeChat gets serious about in-app purchases and e-commerce with its latest update

In this new version 5.1 of WeChat, users can pay to do a lot of things.

10. China Mobile plans to sell 100 million 4G phones in 2014, will increase subsidies

The telco, China’s largest in terms of subscribers, will spend more on subsidies next year to boost its on-contract phone sales to customers.

11. Baidu escalates war with Qihoo, launches antivirus app for Android phones

This Android app launch comes six months after the search engine company released Baidu Guard for Windows PCs in China.

12. The average price of a new Android phone in China? A mere $233

The figure comes from data for October, and is the newest available right now.

13. Grab your popcorn: Alibaba and WeChat go head-to-head and tit-for-tat over movie tickets

Somewhere in China, someone is about to purchase a movie ticket on his or her smartphone. And that ticket purchase could tip the power balance between two of the country’s biggest companies.

14. China’s Yongche gets $60 million funding in battle against Uber and taxi app rivals

The investment cash comes from DCM and online travel booking company Ctrip.

15. Chinese phone-maker Meizu will show off MX3 at CES ahead of entering US market

No other details are available yet.

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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