Posts tagged China
Alipay Launches in Hong Kong Dollars

Sijia Jiang reporting for Reuters:

"Chinese online and mobile payment platform Alipay on Wednesday launched in Hong Kong its first app to handle transactions not denominated in the yuan currency, moving closer to its ambition of widening currency payment options."

China's tech giants have almost universally struggled to do well outside of their home market. Whether Alipay succeeds in Hong Kong, may be a harbinger of things to come for offering worldwide.

Read on Reuters.

Header image from Reuters.

Apple Tells WeChat Tips are In-App Purchases

Li Yuan reporting for the Wall Street Journal:

"Apple Inc. has seen its challenges multiply in the all-important China market over the past year or so, from declining market share to increased government scrutiny. Now, its effort to wring more revenue from Chinese iPhone users may be setting the company up for more trouble.

"Apple’s latest predicament centers on its App Store. Last month, Apple told several Chinese social-networking apps, including the wildly popular messaging platform WeChat, to disable their “tip” functions to comply with App Store rules, according to executives at WeChat and other companies. That function allows users to send authors and other content creators tips, from a few yuan to hundreds, via transfers from mobile-wallet accounts.

"Those transfers are offered by the social-networking apps free of charge, as a way to inspire user engagement. Now, those tips will be considered in-app purchases, just like buying games, music and videos, entitling Apple to a 30% cut."

This may be a direct response to the what Ben Thompson calls Apple's China Problem

"The fundamental issue is this: unlike the rest of the world, in China the most important layer of the smartphone stack is not the phone’s operating system. Rather, it is WeChat."

Read on the Wall Street Journal.

Header image from Unsplash.

Tencent’s Video & Gaming Content Investments are Paying Off

Lulu Yilun Chen reporting for Bloomberg Technology:

"Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s investments in blockbuster video and gaming content are paying off — big-time.

"China’s largest internet company posted record quarterly sales and profit that topped all analysts’ estimates as blockbuster titles including Honour of Kings drove a billion-plus users on WeChat and QQ to spend on game items. Chairman Pony Ma’s strategy of stockpiling rights to hit anime and novels and developing shows in-house is transforming the company into a hybrid Marvel Studios-Netflix style content factory.

"Soaring growth at Tencent’s mobile gaming and advertisement units is buying the company time to develop new channels of revenue in finance and cloud, and bankrolling a foray into Hollywood. After backing “Kong: Skull Island,” the company is helping finance the upcoming summer tent-pole “Wonder Woman.” A market value of about $320 billion underscores how China’s online titans, including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., are outstripping traditional state sectors and defying a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy."

Read on Bloomberg.

Header image from Business Insider.

The Chinese Government is Building a State-controlled Wikipedia

Dave Gilbert reporting for Vice News:

"The Chinese government is recruiting 20,000 people to create an online encyclopedia that will be the country’s own, China-centric version of Wikipedia, or as one official put it, like “a Great Wall of culture.”

"Known as the “Chinese Encyclopedia,” the country’s national encyclopedia will go online for the first time in 2018, and the government has employed tens of thousands of scholars from universities and research institutes who will contribute articles in more than 100 disciplines. The end result will be a knowledge base with more than 300,000 entries, each of which will be about 1,000 words long."

This is a massive and expensive undertaking, and it shows how highly the Chinese Government values control over the media its citizens consume. Wikipedia has been blocked in China since 2015.

Read on Vice News.

Header image by Luke Chesser on Unsplash.