About Contributor

C. Custer

I'm a guy who writes stuff, mostly about technology and video games in China. I also made a documentary film about child trafficking. You can follow me on Twitter as @ChinaGeeks.
It's pretty low, but growing. Perks like a leg-up in the lottery system are attempts by the government to increase demand for electric vehicles.

Commented 6 hours ago on

2016 could be a big year for Tesla in China. Here’s why.
Yes, definitely. Tesla in China is a luxury product, like an LV bag or the Apple Watch Edition (or whatever they call that ridiculous gold one). If you care at all about the price you're paying, you're not buying a Tesla.

Commented 6 hours ago on

2016 could be a big year for Tesla in China. Here’s why.
Yeah, I think that's still in effect too (the license plate law you mentioned, I mean). Even when you get a plate, you can't actually drive it anytime you want.

Commented 6 hours ago on

2016 could be a big year for Tesla in China. Here’s why.
There's big potential for the Model X, because SUV/crossover growth is really big in China right now. Tesla will never compete with Chinese automakers on volume until it comes out with some budget-priced models, but the Model X could challenge Mercedes/Audi/BMW/etc. for some of the high-end SUV market.

Commented 7 hours ago on

2016 could be a big year for Tesla in China. Here’s why.
Congrats to FX Mart (and Flipkart)

Commented 7 hours ago on

Flipkart just found a way to solve its epayment problem
It's definitely not a top internet company in the context of its SNS platform; that's dead in the water. It has a lot of other stuff going on at this point, though; everything from mobile games to investments in a bunch of startups around the globe.

Commented 7 hours ago on

Why one of China’s most successful founders isn’t afraid to be a copycat
Well keep in mind that was like a decade ago. IP law enforcement in China at the time was kind of a joke, and FB was also a much smaller company that probably didn't want to use the resources to try to wage legal battle halfway across the world.

Commented 17 hours ago on

Why one of China’s most successful founders isn’t afraid to be a copycat
If you're going to accuse me of being a paid shill, at least have the balls not to hide behind an anonymous screen name like a coward. I've never been paid for an article here by anyone other than Tech in Asia. As for Qihoo's phone, we'll see. They've already failed three times. Maybe the fourth time's the charm. I highly doubt it.

Commented 3 days ago on

3 reasons Zhou Hongyi’s Qiku is not going to beat Xiaomi
China's military definitely is already making drones. The Pentagon estimates it will have 42,000 by 2023.

Commented 4 days ago on

Drone explosion? Nearly $200M has been poured into China’s drone industry in the past few months
Well these are all consumer drone companies, but yeah. I can see it dropping fast. When the novelty wears off, only a very small group of people have practical need for a $1000 camera drone.

Commented 5 days ago on

Drone explosion? Nearly $200M has been poured into China’s drone industry in the past few months
Seems like a cool idea. Guessing they're going to need a lot more funding, though.

Commented 5 days ago on

These ex-directors of Flipkart show sellers how to crack ecommerce
Good news for startups, especially in this economic climate!

Commented 5 days ago on

The Infosys old boys’ club spawns a new fund for startups in India
I feel like this is a product that's actively making the world a worse place.

Commented 5 days ago on

Otaku dream: this smart anime body pillow responds to your caress
But the funny thing is that if the rate of assault is 1 per 500 with taxis and 1 per 10,000 with Ubers, people will still condemn Uber because it is new.
That's not really why. It's because Uber is operating outside of the established law for transportation companies, and its driver hiring and safety processes are not public. If the rate of assault is 1 per 500 with taxis, then you can go to the government and do something about that - there is legislation in place, legal standards for hiring ALL cab companies must abide by, etc. You can change those standards. But Uber wants to place itself outside this system, so if Uber has a systemic problem with unsafe drivers, what can you do? Avoid Uber or complain and hope they change on their own. There's not enough transparency or oversight at present.
people are probably generally safer in Ubers
Genuine question - why do you say this? What would make Uber drivers less likely to partake in criminal activity than drivers for other companies?

Commented 6 days ago on

Uber nightmare: Chinese woman robbed, sexually assaulted in three-hour ordeal
If a driver knows that someone is looking out for their passenger, they will think twice.
Why do you assume this, though? I mean yes, that might be true. It's certainly logical. But why ascribe a lot of logic to someone who's going to rob and rape somebody in the middle of a crowded city with millions of surveillance cameras at every intersection, not to mention someone who booked an app that would probably make it easy for police to find him. I mean yeah, in theory, maybe it would help deter some people. But I don't think it's wise to assume that it will deter all, or even most, criminals. I highly doubt it would have deterred this one.

Commented 6 days ago on

Uber nightmare: Chinese woman robbed, sexually assaulted in three-hour ordeal
Possibly. But the difference, I think, is that for taxi cab drivers there's an established legal framework set up by the government. Their ID information is right there in the cab with you. If one of them commits a crime, there's a system that's in place that we can look to to see what maybe went wrong, or get information about how they got hired, licensed, etc. - at least in theory. Maybe it's not perfect or not applied well, but there's a framework there. For services like Uber there isn't - and Uber doesn't want there to be, because it doesn't want to have to treat drivers like employees. So these cases are especially significant when they happen to ridesharing apps, I think, because they call these questions to light: what processes does Uber use to hire drivers? To check their background, etc.? Uber is a private company and claims not to be subject to regular transportation laws, so it's really not as clear. This is not to say that Uber does bad background checks or anything - we have no evidence of that in China. But because it's a private company that doesn't need to share ANYTHING about its hiring process and that's fighting against having taxi-cab legislation apply to it, I think it's very logical that these cases get a lot of attention. They highlight one of the reasons why some people think governments should either apply regular transit law to Uber and competitors or come up with a new legal framework to regulate this industry so that it has things like standardized driver background checks and safety standards.

Commented 6 days ago on

Uber nightmare: Chinese woman robbed, sexually assaulted in three-hour ordeal
I don't think pretending to be on the phone would help at all. This guy was willing to rob her at knifepoint, rape her, and hold her for three hours despite knowing there was an electronic trail that could lead to him and that he was driving by all kinds of surveillance cameras. I highly doubt he would have been put off just because the victim was on the phone.

Commented 6 days ago on

Uber nightmare: Chinese woman robbed, sexually assaulted in three-hour ordeal
Yeah. Uber competitor Ola has a women for women cab service in India, but Uber hasn't adopted it anywhere yet AFAIK. Not sure why; it seems like a great idea.

Commented 6 days ago on

Uber nightmare: Chinese woman robbed, sexually assaulted in three-hour ordeal
I actually wrote an article a while back that explains exactly why Smartisan (and many other companies) say things like that. The short version of it: they don't really plan to kill off Apple and are well aware it's a totally different audience, but using that kind of rhetoric is great for promotion. They can play the local underdog battling the foreign behemoth - it's a compelling narrative they can push and benefit from without actually having to compete with Apple.

Commented 6 days ago on

After tough first year, China’s Smartisan reveals new smartphone