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Weibo services ‘punished’ for Beijing coup rumors, comments temporarily disabled

Saturday, March 31st, 2012
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For a country who doesn’t really do April Fools’ Day, you know China means business when it lays the smackdown on its weibo services. Here’s the background story: about a week ago there was a rumor on the Chinese web about a military coup on one of the main streets in Beijing, and coincidentally I was in town around the time (for the Windows Phone launch). Funnily enough, I wasn’t aware of this at all until my taxi driver in Hong Kong asked me about my visit, as he claimed that the passenger he picked up beforehand was actually a Chinese military officer who had several intense phone calls about said coup.

But of course, nothing actually happened. In fact, the guards at Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City were pretty relaxed when I visited on that very day. As for the rumormongers, the Chinese government announced through Xinhua that 16 websites have been shut down and six people have been detained, while local microblogging platforms Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo have been “criticized and punished accordingly,” though it didn’t elaborate on the details. All we know is that comments under each weibo post are now disabled until local time 8pm on April 3rd, during which these two companies can, in their own words, clean up the mess. Well, at least we now know where to draw the line for China’s April Fools’.

Weibo services ‘punished’ for Beijing coup rumors, comments temporarily disabled originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 31 Mar 2012 22:40:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Tech In Asia  |  sourceXinhua  | Email this | Comments

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Microsoft to release Windows Phone 7.5 in China on March 21st

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Microsoft on Wednesday began sending out invitations to the press for the company’s Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh launch event in China. According to Liveside, the event will be held in Beijing on March 21st. While the invitation doesn’t mention any specific handsets, HTC recently launched the Titan — becoming the first manufacturer to release a Window Phone device in China. Nokia CEO and president Stephen Elop will also reportedly host a separate event on March 28th. The company is expected to launch three Lumia devices, most likely running the refreshed Windows Phone 7.5 operating system. As of the fourth quarter of 2011, Nokia controls 16.1% of the Chinese mobile market, second only to Samsung.

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China Telecom launches iPhone 4S after taking 200,000 pre-orders

Friday, March 9th, 2012

China’s third largest carrier, China Telecom, launched the iPhone 4S on Friday. The popular smartphone starts at free on contract for the 16GB model and is available at 2,850 of the carrier’s retail locations. According to M.I.C. gadget, Apple’s smartphone received an astonishing 200,000 pre-orders, with orders in Beijing and Shanghai exceeded 10,000 and 20,000 units, respectively. China Telecom has 129 million subscribers and operates the largest CDMA network in China. The carrier is the second, behind China Unicom, to offer the iPhone China.

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Apple defends rights to iPad name in Shanghai court

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Apple on Wednesday defended itself in a Shanghai court against Proview International, which claims Apple is violating a trademark it holds on the “iPad” name, the New York Times reported. Proview’s allegations have prevented the Cupertino-based company from selling its popular tablet in numerous smaller Chinese cities, however Apple Stores in Beijing and Shanghai continue to sell the device. The four-hour session at the Pudong New Area People’s Court ended without any ruling from the district judge, though both sides reportedly presented new evidence in the case. Apple claims it acquired the iPad trademark from Proview in 2009. “We bought Proview’s worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 10 different countries several years ago,” the company said in a statement. “Proview refuses to honor their agreement with Apple in China and a Hong Kong court has sided with Apple in this matter. Our case is still pending in mainland China.” Proview claims that Apple is using the iPad name illegally, however, as the subsidiary that licensed the trademark to Apple was not authorized to do so.

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Apple stops selling iPhone 4S in China to protect its staff

Friday, January 13th, 2012

Apple says it’s suspending iPhone 4S sales in mainland China following the violence we reported earlier, in which angry customers threw eggs at the company’s flagship store in Beijing. The crowd had queued in freezing temperatures to purchase the newly-arrived 4S, but were subsequently told the store would not be opening for business — hence their angry response. It seems that many in the mob weren’t normal consumers, but were workers put in place by resellers who wanted to buy up devices and sell them on at a profit. There was similar disorder when the iPad 2 went on sale in China, and now an Apple spokesperson has said the risk to its staff is too great, forcing it to halt 4S sales “for the time being.”

Apple stops selling iPhone 4S in China to protect its staff originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 13 Jan 2012 06:38:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceNYTimes, BBC News  | Email this | Comments

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Irate Customers Egg an Apple Store When the New iPhone Is a No-Show [Apple]

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Drunk RIM execs handcuffed to seats, force Air Canada to make emergency landing

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Two Research In Motion executives were so drunk on a recent Air Canada flight that the airline was forced to make an emergency landing to remove the men from the plane. The pair, George Campbell and Paul Alexander, were ordered to pay a total of $71,757 in restitution fees, The Record reported on Friday. The two men were apparently so drunk that the crew on the flight from Vancouver to Beijing needed to handcuff them to their seats before the plane was forced to make an unscheduled landing back in Vancouver. Read on for more.

“Based on the limited information available at this time, RIM has suspended the individuals involved pending further investigation,” RIM spokeswoman Marissa Conway said in a statement.

One of the arresting officers said the incident stands out because the plane had to divert so far off of its flight path. “They were far too intoxicated and were just being unruly. The flight crew was asking them to smarten up, but they weren’t listening to anything they were being told,” Corporal Sherrdean Turley said.

The two RIM employees have been banned from flying on Air Canada during a probation period. The flight they were on was forced to switch crews airline regulations, and it landed in Beijing 18 hours behind schedule.

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Dell Streak 10 Pro tablet makes global debut in China, we go hands-on

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

There’s a Chinese saying that will suit most of our Western readers here: “quenching thirst by gazing at plums.” Oh yes, we’re talking about Dell’s Streak 10 Pro alright. Just as promised, said US company has skipped its home country to debut its first 10.1-inch Honeycomb tablet in China (ka-ching!), and we happened to be at the Beijing press event for some intimate hands-on time. To be honest, you won’t be needing many imaginary plums for this Android’s rather mundane specs: it’s equipped with the oh-so-familiar 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 T20 chip, 1GB DDR2 RAM, 1,280 x 800 LCD (with Corning’s Gorilla Glass), 5 megapixel camera and 2 megapixel camera back and front, and regular-size SDHC expansion. That said, Chinese buyers can grab this 16GB WiFi tablet plus 2GB of cloud storage at just ¥2,999 ($465) a pop — a slightly more attractive price compared to its competitors. Check out our impressions after the break.

Continue reading Dell Streak 10 Pro tablet makes global debut in China, we go hands-on

Dell Streak 10 Pro tablet makes global debut in China, we go hands-on originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 29 Jul 2011 01:20:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WTO says China’s rare earths export controls violate international rules, US applauds

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011
China’s monopolistic approach to the rare earths market is in violation of international trade regulations, according to a new ruling from the WTO. The verdict, issued yesterday, covers exports of nine minerals — including zinc, manganese and magnesium — that are used to produce a wide variety of smartphones, tablets and other gadgets. China, which controls about 95-percent of the world’s rare earth supply, had previously argued that its export restrictions were needed to prevent overproduction and to conserve natural resources, but the WTO determined that the country was “unable to demonstrate” these environmental benefits. The investigation was originally spurred 18 months ago, after the US and other countries complained that China’s quotas and tariffs unfairly favored domestic manufacturers, while distorting global prices. Experts expect Beijing to appeal the ruling, but this extra international pressure, combined with shifting supply chains and newfound deposits, may bring about the changes many have been calling for. If it doesn’t, we’ll all be stuck with corn phones.

WTO says China’s rare earths export controls violate international rules, US applauds originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 06 Jul 2011 06:38:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceBloomberg  | Email this | Comments

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Chinese designer makes Megatron tank a steel-toothed reality

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

It doesn’t move and it certainly doesn’t transform, but we’re still not sure we’d stand anywhere near this jagged metal contraption ripped right out of the silver screen. The giant Megatron tank replica from Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen not only looks like it’d grind us up like so much beef beneath its spiky treads, it reportedly weighs five tons and stands eight feet tall. It’s allegedly constructed entirely out of scrap metal by a designer known as “Steel Legend” — a honorific that we imagine few will dare question now. If only it could take on junkyard Optimus Prime in a Beijing Battle Royale. More pics of the tank at our source links below!

[Thanks, leungxd]

Chinese designer makes Megatron tank a steel-toothed reality originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 27 Feb 2011 02:02:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink M.I.C Gadget, Cloned in China  |  sourceZcool  | Email this | Comments

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Nokia to launch dual-core smartphones, new Symbian UI in 2011

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Following word that the release of Nokia’s E7 smartphone has been delayed, some uplifting Nokia news comes from Beijing Tuesday morning. IDG reporter Mikael Ricknäs is in attendance at the 2010 International Mobile Internet Conference, and he has relayed some tasty tidbits from the show. First, Nokia apparently has some big things in store for the Symbian OS in 2011. The somewhat stale UI will be a primary focus, which is of course great news for Symbian users. Of course we’ve known that the Symbian UI would be overhauled in 2011 for quite some time now — Symbian^3 was intended to be a major behind-the-scenes update, while Symbian^4 and S^5 would address more user-facing issues. The only difference now is that the S^4 and S^5 monikers have wisely been dropped.

Getting into specifics, an update in Q1 2011 will include more than 50 enhancements, such as an overhauled Web browser UI. Second and third quarter updates will bring “a new look and feel for the user interface, a more flexible home screen, an updated HTML5 browser and an easier software update experience.” Nokia will also issue more powerful hardware next year as it reportedly prepares to release 1GHz and dual-core devices. Finally, Nokia is planning to release hardware with “true zoom camera” technology in late 2011 or early 2012. While Nokia did not clarify what this new camera technology is, it could very well bring optical zoom to Nokia’s smartphones.

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The Beautiful Water Cube In Beijing Is Now A Water Theme Park [Watercube]

Sunday, August 15th, 2010