9 must-read tech stories in China this week


CTW - China tech news this week

Major developments from Tencent and Alibaba this week as they take their e-commerce battle up another notch. But even these mighty firms have to play by the rules, as the Chinese government intervenes in WeChat and virtual credit cards.

1. Sina Weibo files for US IPO, aims to raise $500 million

Ending months of speculation, China’s top Twitter-esque social network, Sina Weibo, has filed for a US public listing.

2. Compared to the iPhone 5s, this chart shows the iPhone 5c has bombed in China

Apple isn’t going to tell everyone precisely how much of each model it sold in every country, so we need to find an alternative source of data to dig up some insights about its phones.

3. What you need to know about China’s 700 million smartphones and tablets

Among the top 1,000 apps (apps and games) in the Chinese market, 55 percent of them provide links to Chinese social networking services.

4. ZTE set to release China’s first games console later this month

This is not an unexpected development, given China’s recent removal of its thirteen-year console ban.

5. Cough up the money: Panasonic will pay employees sent to China a pollution bonus

While Beijing is doing what it can to curb China’s smog – most recently demonstrated by pollution-fighting drones – most analysts agree the problem is going to get worse before it gets better.

6. WeChat clamps down on political content, bans several outspoken bloggers

An alleged crackdown on WeChat this week led to at least a dozen public accounts being unexpectedly blocked.

7. WeChat and Alibaba hit roadbumps as China bans online payments made using QR codes, virtual credit cards

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) issued an edict late yesterday that bans two particular things: epayments made via QR codes, and online ‘virtual’ credit cards.

8. Alibaba buys $804 million majority stake in ChinaVision, which Tencent also owns a part of

Hong Kong-based ChinaVision Media Group produces several popular Chinese-language TV shows and movies, along with some print media, mobile media, and mobile gaming operations.

9. After JD deal, a little-known online marketplace could be Tencent’s secret weapon against Alibaba

Many analysts view Tencent’s new 15 percent stake in China’s largest B2C marketplace JD (a.k.a. Jingdong) as a landmark move in the country’s ecommerce industry and as bad news for Alibaba. But sources close to the deal have told Tech in Asia that most media and analysts are missing another important aspect of the partnership.

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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