05-05: China’s antitrust regulator has allegedly approved Qualcomm’s joint venture with a unit of Datang Telecom Technology; China has allegedly asked the United States to amend a 7-year ban on American companies selling components and software to ZTE; etc.

Chipsets

China’s antitrust regulator has allegedly approved Qualcomm’s joint venture with a unit of China’s state-owned Datang Telecom Technology to design smartphone chipsets, a win for the U.S. chip maker amid escalating U.S.-China trade friction. The venture would be formed between Qualcomm and Datang’s subsidiary Leadcore Technology, as well as Jianguang Asset Management and Wise Road Capital. (CN Beta, Reuters, WSJ, Market Watch)

Touch Display

Germany’s Saarland University has developed what is known as Multi-Touch Skin. Inkjet-printed onto a thin substrate of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic in less than a minute, and then adhered to the skin anywhere on the body, Multi-Touch Skin can be made in any two-dimensional shape. It incorporates two stacked layers of electrodes arranged in rows and columns, forming a grid.  (CN Beta, New Atlas, Saarland University)

Sensory

Apple has been awarded a patent for a so-called “scanning depth engine,” which includes the use of a transmitter that emits beams of light and a scanner that scans those beams to determine depth. (Digital Trends, USPTO)

Biometrics

Goodix Technology enters partnership with Samsung Electronics. Goodix’s innovative single-chip fingerprint sensor GW32J1 has been commercialized on SamsungGalaxy J7 Duo in India. (Android Headlines, Goodix, Goodix)

According to Digitimes, Samsung’s orders will boost sensor suppliers Egis Technology (Egistec) and Goodix Technology revenues in 2Q18~3Q18. Despite new orders from Samsung, both Egistec and Goodix will continue to see their gross margins under downward pressure in 2018 due to fierce competition in the fingerprint sensor market. (Digitimes, press, LTN)

Battery

Korean battery makers are increasing their investment in China as China’s electric vehicle (EV) subsidy policy, which was used to nurture the Chinese battery industry and retaliate South Korea for the deployment of the THAAD Missile Defense System, will come to an end at the end of 2019. Signs are emerging that the Chinese market will be opened again for Korean battery makers such as LG Chem, Samsung SDI and SK Innovation. (CN Beta, Business Korea)

Phone

China has allegedly asked the United States to amend a 7-year ban on American companies selling components and software to ZTE. (Android Headlines, Reuters, Business Insider, VentureBeat, Sohu, DW News, Laoyaoba)

Construction of Apple’s first global flagship store to serve the Latin American market is underway in a Mexico City mall, with the company aiming for a grand opening in early 2019. (Apple Insider, CN Beta)

Consumer commerce segment is booming in 2017. For smartphone vendors Huawei, Xiaomi, OPPO and vivo, their commerce model is mainly ‘to B’. If they like to enter commerce segment, consumer commerce is definitely the reasonable method. In the future, it is believed that Xiaomi will focus on online, whilst Ov will maintain their offline focus. (CN Beta, Leiphone, article)

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, the de facto head of Korea’s largest family-run conglomerate, met Chinese business leaders, including BYD Auto, Huawei and Xiaomi, during his trip to Asia’s No. 1 economy. (The Investor, iFeng, Sohu)

According to Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments reached 345M units in 1Q18. Despite fears of expensive pricing, Apple iPhone X was the world’s best-selling smartphone model, shipping an 16M units during 1Q18. Xiaomi Redmi 5A and Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus were the world’s top-selling Android smartphone models. (Phone Arena, Strategy Analytics, press, GizChina, CN Beta)

Google has reportedly been working on a new social gaming startup called “Arcade” quietly. It is said to be part of the company’s efforts to nurture new startups under its umbrella.  (Ubergizmo, Bloomberg, ZOL, Sohu)

PC / Tablet

Lenovo has announced that it has completed its joint venture with Fujitsu in the PC market, as first announced Nov 2017. Lenovo acquired 51% of Fujitsu’s PC business, and the Japanese company will continue to own 44% of the joint venture. (Gizmo China, Telecom Paper, Sohu, CYZone)

Robotics

Working with the China Foundation for Cultural Heritage, Intel is using its Falcon 8+  drone and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies as part of conservation efforts to help rebuild the decrepit Jiankou section of the wall some 30 miles north of Beijing. (Digital Trends, CNET, PC Mag, Intel, CNBC, CNBC)

Shenzhen-based home robotics company UBTECH has announced that it has closed a USD820M Series C. The round, led by Tencent and a whole slew of other investors, follows a USD100M Series B and USD20M Series C. (TechCrunch, Reuters, Sohu, iGeek)

Artificial Intelligence

Global business value derived from artificial intelligence (AI) is projected to total USD1.2T in 2018, an increase of 70% from 2017, according to Gartner. AI-derived business value is forecast to reach USD3.9T in 2022. The Gartner AI-derived business value forecast assesses the total business value of AI across all the enterprise vertical sectors covered by Gartner. There are three different sources of AI business value: customer experience, new revenue, and cost reduction. (Laoyaoba, Gartner, report)

E-Commerce

Alibaba is forecasting yet more growth for its business after it beat analyst forecasts with its FY 4Q18 (Jan~Mar 2018) and FY2018 (Apr 2017~Mar 2018) results. Revenue came in at CNY61.9B (USD9.9B), an increase of 61% YoY. The company’s net income for the quarter did drop, however, to CNY6.6B (USD1.1B) from CNY9.9B one year previous on account of increased investment activity. (Alizila, TechCrunch, iFeng, OfWeek)

 

During the fiscal year ended 31 Mar 2018, Alipay, together with its global JV partners, served around 870M annual active users globally. Ant Financial also supports economic development in China by serving more than 15M small businesses as of Mar 2018 through lending, cash management and insurance services. (CN Beta, Caijing, DoNews, Bloomberg)

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