Google logoAct one of Google’s spat with the Chinese authorities over censorship and government-backed hacking closed last year with Google partially retreating from the world’s most populous nation.

There was, however, still the unresolved issue of Google Maps, and act two of Google versus China may now be beginning with Google having submitted an application to Beijing to allow the service to remain in China. Read more

It may not be quite as serious as the Federal Trade Commission’s anti-trust probe in the US, but Google is facing a fight with the regulators in Taiwan that has forced the internet giant to suspend all paid apps in Android Market on the island of 23m people.

At issue is Taiwan’s consumer protection laws, which require online retailers to give customers a seven-day period for getting a full refund on their purchases – much longer than the 15 minutes Google currently gives its customers. Read more

Laptops are becoming interesting for Arm again, admits its president Tudor Brown, despite the bevy of increasingly powerful Arm-based tablet models shown at this year’s Computex. Read more

Intel’s vision of a new category of ‘Ultrabooks’ that would revolutionise the consumer PC industry has won over at least one important convert.

Speaking at a separate press conference just minutes after Intel’s keynote speech, Ray Chen, president of Taiwan’s Compal, the world’s second-biggest contract PC maker, praised the idea of Ultrabooks and said it would “ignite the next wave of laptop replacements” next year when those new models come onto the market. Read more

The new Chromebooks by Acer and Samsung may look like regular notebooks on the surface, but Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice president of Chrome, said that the parameters for every last detail, down to the individual components, were set by Google. Read more

Critics like to say that PC makers were slow to recognise the threat from tablets and to respond with their own versions to rival Apple’s iPad.

This narrative may be the popular one, but it underestimates the challenges faced by traditional PC makers in coming up with a competitive and profitable tablet, Henry Lu, senior vice president of Micro-Star International, told the Financial Times. Read more

If consumers like iPad-like devices, and they also like smartphones, what could be even better than a Padfone?

That was the thinking at Asus, which on Monday unveiled its latest invention ahead of the Computex trade show. Read more

Last year, 23m flat-screen television sets were sold in Japan. This year, according to AU Optronics, the third biggest flat panel maker in the world, there may only be 12m unit sold.

Impact from the earthquake and tsunami? The spirit of jishuku, or self-restraint, sweeping through Japanese consumers? Neither, says Paul Peng, executive vice-president of AUO. Rather, it is the end of the Y290bn ‘eco-point‘ stimulus programme that is threatening TV demand in Japan. Read more

Well, that didn’t take long. JT Wang, Acer chairman who is now running the world’s second biggest PC company after its board ousted Gianfranco Lanci, has taken his first step in transforming the company.

Less than a week after the boardroom shakeup, Acer has a new image – literally. The company on Monday unveiled a new logo, replacing the previous version that had been in use for the past decade. Read more

Gianfranco Lanci’s departure from Acer was as harsh as it was abrupt. The (now former) chief executive was effectively told to leave after two bad quarters. Prior to that, he delivered stellar growth for six years as president and three as chief executive.

There is already talk that Mr Lanci was being made a scapegoat. Read more