Shoving money into Apple store in China

中国和苹果From today onwards I will add in more Chinese news links in my blog, because so many important and interesting news in China are not yet covered by English media. If you are really curious about certain article but cannot read Chinese, just send me an email and I can explain the gist of it to you.

These two weeks iPhone 6 remains the new star in Chinese media. Apple Pay immediately attracts some big Chinese suitors: China UnionPay, the Chinese counterpart of PayPal, is said to have reached an agreement with Apple to bring its new smartphone payment option to China. UnionPay is trying to gain an upper hand in its competition with its fearsome Chinese competitor Alipay, according to Caixin news.

Apple is also happily benefiting from the WeChat, a social media established by Tecent with 438 million monthly active users globally. WeChat has evolved into a powerful app from a social media to a giant providing SMS service, games, taxi booking and online shopping. It is also helping to shove money into Apple store.

Just FYI, the other social media giant in China, Weibo, is seeing its active user down by 10.95 in August. The decline of Weibo is due to a  combination of censorship and the rise of WeChat, which is more secretive and fits well with Chinese communication culture.

Some puzzle I would like to seek answer from the investors: Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank (ECB) said that the sluggish GDP growth in EU has driven many investors to search for new opportunities in Asia, particularly in China.  However, a manager of a global consultancy company told me last month that the returns in the growth markets, including China, are generally disappointing. It probably has to do with too much expectations of the investors at the first place?

Something new: an online peer-to-peer lending service, JimuBox (Jimu means building block in Chinese), has raised US$37.19 million in Series B funding led by Xiaomi Corporation, the Chinese smart device and Internet service company, and Shunwei China Internet Fund, a venture capital fund co-founded by Xiaomi CEO and co-founder Lei Jun. This is an interesting experiment, but China’s legal system might not have prepared well for it.

The better prepared for the future is China’s space technology. China will establish its space station around 2022. Meanwhile, Russia and Europe are cooperating with China in its manned space program with future plans for possible coordinated space module dockings. If I were a film producer, I would start to search for film scripts with stories about Chinese astronauts by now, preferably with German scientists and a beautiful Russian woman astronaut involved.

Cristiano Betta via photopin cc



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