Alibaba, which filed for its US IPO on Tuesday, is frequently called the Amazon or eBay of China. But while there may be similarities in their business model, the online shopping experience for customers can be quite different indeed.
Here, a look at some of the things one finds on Alibaba’s various shopping platforms, how they differ from each other, and some of the ways in which they are vastly different from their western counterparts. Read more
Alibaba on Tuesday submitted the first filing for its upcoming initial public offering in New York. Unusually for a private company, prospective investors already knew some of its key financial details, since Yahoo, its major shareholder, reports them as part of its quarterly results.
So what did we learn from the new filings? Read more
Alibaba’s shareholder list contains some well-known names from around the globe — from China and Japan to Singapore, Silicon Valley and Russia. Here is a breakdown and guide to the biggest names to profit from the listing. Read more
Steve Ballmer may not be Microsoft’s chief executive any more, but as of today he is looming larger than ever at the company he worked at for over three decades. Read more
Concerns about children’s privacy and security have prompted the closure of one education technology start-up backed by $100m from supporters including Bill Gates’ foundation. Read more
Square, the payments processing start-up, is looking for new users for its credit card device among the US’s growing Latino community.
The company, co-founded by Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, is today unveiling Spanish language support and software in hopes of tapping into the purchasing power of America’s more than 50m Latinos. Read more
Payments start-up Stripe is betting that retailers will leap at the chance to sell to an international audience, if only a company like Stripe were there to make it easier.
The company, run by Irish brothers John and Patrick Collison, is launching a feature allowing sellers who use its platform to price their goods in more than 130 currencies. Stripe takes a fee for the conversion, but handles the paperwork and bank transfers that can make cross-currency a hassle. Read more
The world’s most popular smartphone range is finally available to subscribers of the world’s biggest mobile carrier. Yes, the iPhone today went on sale to China Mobile subscribers.
But it does not come cheap. It is not quite Brazil prices (R2,799, or US$1,184 for the 16GB iPhone 5s from the Apple store) but iPhone in China is more expensive than it is in the US, at Rmb 5,288 ($872) versus $649 for the iPhone 5S 16GB. Read more
China’s mountainous Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region has little of the wealth and fast development of the places in China foreigners have already heard of, but on one key measure of economic development, Guangxi is winning — the growth rate of spending online.
Online shopping throughout China is expanding fast – far faster than the US and Europe – but it’s growing particularly fast in China’s poorer regions like Guangxi, where malls are sparser and the number of people getting online for the first time is greater. Read more
Google will double its investment in a new data centre it is building in Taiwan as internet use in Asia rockets beyond what the US internet group predicted a few years ago when it first planned the site, one of its first two data centres in Asia.
The search company already invested $300m in the massive centre on a flat plain outside a city in central Taiwan, and says it will double that in the next stages of the data centre’s development. Read more
A customer celebrates buying two new iPhone 5s at the Wangfujing flagship store in Beijing
When Xiaomi, a popular Chinese smartphone maker, overtook Apple’s market share in China the second quarter, the shift prompted a double take by consumers and investors who had never heard of the small but growing brand.
The ascent was short-lived. Apple’s two new iPhones have proved popular in China, enabling the US company to shoulder past Xiaomi in the market share rankings for the three months ended in September.
But Apple and everyone else are still miles behind the clear market leader — Samsung, which now has a fifth of China’s smartphone market, up from 14 per cent in the third quarter of last year. Read more
Rihanna gives away a personalised HTC phone on stage
How badly is smartphone maker HTC doing?
By many measures, very badly. October sales are down 13 per cent year on year. Revenue next quarter could be as low as NT$40bn, a third less than the same quarter last year and lower than analysts’ expectations. And after reporting its first ever quarterly operating loss as a company in the third quarter, it shows no sign of returning to profit in the fourth.
But one measure in particular, released today with its full third quarter results, shows the Taiwanese company’s travails — its accounts payable. That measures how long it is taking the company to pay its bills to its suppliers, who make the parts of its phones. Read more
Taiwan smartphone maker HTC will sell back its remaining stake in headphone and audio tech company Beats Electronics as the Taiwanese group tries to turn around its shrinking core phone business. Read more
Environmentally conscious or just clumsy people buying a smartphone are better off with a new Samsung or Motorola than with one of the new iPhones.
A new ranking from iFixit, a group that specialises in tearing apart phones to figure out to repair them, looks how easy it is to fix the top smartphones on the market. Read more
Trendy China tech group Xiaomi is branching out from smartphones into China’s increasingly competitive market for smart TVs.
The private company, which said its latest round of fundraising valued it at $10bn, launched the $489 TV at a jam-packed and much-hyped launch event in Beijing Thursday afternoon. Read more
Acer, the Taiwanese computer company, has struggled for a while to sell enough computers to stay profitable, but investors still found room for disappointment in its most recent results.
Shares were down nearly 4 per cent in Taipei today after management spoke with analysts and the media to explain its second quarter operating loss of NT$613m and its 19 per cent year on year fall in revenue to NT$89.4bn. Read more
Alibaba, China’s ambitious internet conglomerate, has spread its reach from e-commerce to finance, and now to internet television. Read more
Smartphone-maker HTC spent relatively little time at its launch event today bragging about the technical specs of its new flagship phone, the HTC One.
Instead, the Taiwanese company focused in on the phone’s redesigned user interface and new offerings — including a homescreen with live
content feeds, a camera app that automatically creates montages of a user’s pictures and video clips, and stereo speakers sounding halfway decent — that company designers say reflect how they see people using their phones to consume, create and share increasing quantities of content. Read more