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Fri, Sep

Internet services from China will reportedly soon be available in Nepal, ending India's bandwidth supply monopoly in the country. This is set to be a great boon to the South Asian country, which is still rebuilding its shattered economy and infrastructure after a devastating earthquake in 2015.

"Nepal will be connected with the Chinese Internet from the beginning of August," Nepal's Republica newspaper reported earlier in July, citing Shobhan Adhikari, a deputy spokesperson for Nepal Telecom.

Nepal Telecom Set

The long-awaited availability of bandwidth supply from China will put an end to Nepal's long-held reliance on Indian Internet services. It goes without saying that there are conspicuous benefits of reduced dependence on Internet supply from India. As Adhikari put it, Internet connection from its northern neighbor will allow Nepali Internet users to get uninterrupted Internet services, unlike Indian Internet services, which sometimes can lose the connection. In addition, local users will be presented with various bandwidth alternatives from different Chinese companies and will be able to enjoy more affordable Internet connections.

This is absolutely good news for Nepal, as the country will no longer be confined to the Indian option, which is slow yet expensive.

In an era where the Internet is considered an almighty growth driver and job creator, it's obviously important for Nepal to build a reliable high-speed Internet infrastructure in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquake for there to be an economic leap forward.

With Chinese Internet services soon up and running, Nepal could ultimately be expected to be hooked up with the digital world and catch up with other countries in building an Internet economy. The rapid spread of mobile connectivity and increased Internet speeds in China, it is believed, will give Nepal confidence to make up for lost time.

It's especially worth noting that the rise of Chinese phone brands across the world has also been seen in Nepal, with the likes of Huawei and Xiaomi becoming household names in the South Asian country. Local users are thus able to purchase quality yet affordable smartphones. The availability of Chinese smartphones is already commonplace in Nepal and it will soon be normal to have Chinese Internet services as well. Such a combination will surely help Nepal avoid detours and delays on its road to Internet-powered innovation and growth.

By Xiao Xin Source:Global Times Published: 2017/7/13 

The author is a reporter with the Global Times. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Few Chinese have heard of Transsion Holdings, a Shenzhen-based company, which has grabbed more than 40 percent market share in Sub-Saharan African countries. In 2016, it outperformed its main competitors like Samsung in terms of feature phone shipments in the African market. Transsion's success there might inspire more domestic competitors to follow suit. But experts also warn that such mobile phone makers need to prepare to face certain challenges when doing business in Africa, such as widespread political instability and low consumption.Few Chinese have heard of Transsion Holdings, a Shenzhen-based company, which has grabbed more than 40 percent market share in Sub-Saharan African countries. In 2016, it outperformed its main competitors like Samsung in terms of feature phone shipments in the African market. Transsion's success there might inspire more domestic competitors to follow suit. But experts also warn that such mobile phone makers need to prepare to face certain challenges when doing business in Africa, such as widespread political instability and low consumption.

Chinese Mobile Maker Grabs

Transsion Holdings, a Chinese mobile phone maker based in Shenzhen, has grabbed more than 40 percent market share in Sub-Saharan African countries.

In the first quarter of 2017, the company ranked first place among Chinese mobile phone exporters, shipping 27.4 million units, according to Beijing-based data provider AVC. Huawei, the world's third largest phone maker by shipments, ranked second place.

In 2016, Transsion outperformed its main competitors such as Samsung in terms of feature phone shipments in the African market, according to a report by market research company IDC in March.

However, few Chinese have heard of the company as its mobile phones are not sold domestically.

About 10 years ago, due to rising domestic competition, "a good number of Chinese mobile phone makers started to explore foreign markets, but many have failed as they didn't focus on branding and wanted quick returns," Wang Yanhui, secretary-general of the Mobile China Alliance, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

International mobile phone makers are reluctant to enter the African market due to the low consumption there, Li Yi, chief research fellow at the Internet Research Center under the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

Li noted that it could be an opportunity for domestic mobile phone makers. But Li also warned that the path to exploring the African market will not be easy due to the uncertain risks there.

Grabbing opportunities

Transsion is one of the domestic mobile phone makers seeking opportunities in Africa. They narrowed their focus to the market in 2008. 
Wang attributed Transsion's success in Africa mainly to the company's founder Zhu Zhaojiang, who is very experienced in overseas markets. Additionally, the company operates locally in African countries to secure its dominance there, said Wang. 

At the beginning, the company set up a marketing strategy to "become a leader" of emerging economies, Arif Chowdhury, vice president of Transsion, told the Global Times. The continent has huge potential with a population of more than 1 billion, he noted.

Transsion was right about the market. Africa's population of mobile users accounted for 12 percent of the total individual subscribers in the world and amounted to 6 percent of global revenue, an increase of 70 percent compared to figures from five years ago, according to a CNN report in November 2016. 

In total, 215.3 million mobile phones were shipped to Africa in 2016, up 10 percent year-on-year, according to data released by IDC in March. 

Tailoring to customer needs 

Chinese-made mobile phones indeed have the positive reputation of good functions and low prices and are strongly welcomed by most African consumers. 

"Chinese mobile phone makers can produce what you want and are flexible in designing products to meet customers' needs," Rayan Abdelrahman Ahmed Mohamed, a 33-year-old Sudanese, told the Global Times. 

Africans love music, loud speakers and two SIM cards, which Chinese mobile phones can provide, he said.

Many larger companies intend to sell the phone's brand instead of the quality of the product, he said. "Why [should] I pay for the brand? I pay for my need."

There are many telecom operators in Africa, and it's not cheap to dial between networks, so we produce phones with dual, and sometimes even four, SIM card slots, said Chowdhury.

African customers, like many other smartphone customers around the world, love taking 'selfies'. But the customers with darker skin say it is hard for them to take good quality photos as many smartphone cameras have poor facial recognition. 

Transsion, on the other hand, designs specialized cameras that focus on people's teeth and eyes to ensure photographic clarity. 

"We have different brand tactics to provide high, medium and low-end products for our diverse consumers," Chowdhury noted.

Competition and challenges 

Recently, the interest in the African market from Chinese mobile phone makers has been increasing; they have been expanding their businesses to more and more countries, but this new venture has invited mixed results from across the continent, according to IDC.  

Of the big Chinese mobile phone makers, Huawei saw year-on-year shipment growth to "remain as Africa's No.3 smartphone vendor in 2016, while Lenovo saw flat growth and ZTE and Alcatel both [witnessed trimmed sales]," said IDC.

Huawei and Lenovo didn't respond to the request to give comment on their performance in the African market. 

"Price competitiveness has become a key issue in many African markets," said an IDC report released in March citing Ramazan Yavuz, research manager for mobile devices in Africa at IDC.

Both Wang and Li said that vendors have to provide phones which are priced very competitively to aid to the large amount of low-income populations in the continent.

Meanwhile, mobile phone makers face the fact that the cost of phone components is rising. They need to produce good quality products but with affordable prices, as well as to keep companies profitable.

Before raising the value of their phones, Chowdhury said the company will monitor the prices of the components provided by different suppliers by buying a large amount of them at reasonable prices. 

"In the short run, Transsion has had less pressure from other competitors in the African market," said Wang, the secretary-general, noting that Africa is a big market, with more than 50 countries, and therefore huge potential. 

Most companies will face challenges due to differences in culture, language and regulations when operating overseas, said Wang.  

Echoing Wang's statement, Chowdhury said that they have spent $75 million to establish after-sales networks in African countries during the recent few years. 

Transsion also has sales networks in 58 countries, including Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Egypt.

Moreover, companies need to understand the development and political situation in some African countries, said Li, the aforementioned chief research fellow, noting that it will take at least another 15 years for the market to mature in Africa. 

Even for Transsion, it has taken almost a decade for the company to gradually build its brand in order to meet local customers' needs.

Few Chinese have heard of Transsion Holdings, a Shenzhen-based company, which has grabbed more than 40 percent market share in Sub-Saharan African countries. In 2016, it outperformed its main competitors like Samsung in terms of feature phone shipments in the African market. Transsion's success there might inspire more domestic competitors to follow suit. But experts also warn that such mobile phone makers need to prepare to face certain challenges when doing business in Africa, such as widespread political instability and low consumption.Few Chinese have heard of Transsion Holdings, a Shenzhen-based company, which has grabbed more than 40 percent market share in Sub-Saharan African countries. In 2016, it outperformed its main competitors like Samsung in terms of feature phone shipments in the African market. Transsion's success there might inspire more domestic competitors to follow suit. But experts also warn that such mobile phone makers need to prepare to face certain challenges when doing business in Africa, such as widespread political instability and low consumption.

Transsion Holdings, a Chinese mobile phone maker based in Shenzhen, has grabbed more than 40 percent market share in Sub-Saharan African countries.

In the first quarter of 2017, the company ranked first place among Chinese mobile phone exporters, shipping 27.4 million units, according to Beijing-based data provider AVC. Huawei, the world's third largest phone maker by shipments, ranked second place.

In 2016, Transsion outperformed its main competitors such as Samsung in terms of feature phone shipments in the African market, according to a report by market research company IDC in March.

However, few Chinese have heard of the company as its mobile phones are not sold domestically.

About 10 years ago, due to rising domestic competition, "a good number of Chinese mobile phone makers started to explore foreign markets, but many have failed as they didn't focus on branding and wanted quick returns," Wang Yanhui, secretary-general of the Mobile China Alliance, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

International mobile phone makers are reluctant to enter the African market due to the low consumption there, Li Yi, chief research fellow at the Internet Research Center under the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

Li noted that it could be an opportunity for domestic mobile phone makers. But Li also warned that the path to exploring the African market will not be easy due to the uncertain risks there.

Grabbing opportunities

Transsion is one of the domestic mobile phone makers seeking opportunities in Africa. They narrowed their focus to the market in 2008. 
Wang attributed Transsion's success in Africa mainly to the company's founder Zhu Zhaojiang, who is very experienced in overseas markets. Additionally, the company operates locally in African countries to secure its dominance there, said Wang. 

At the beginning, the company set up a marketing strategy to "become a leader" of emerging economies, Arif Chowdhury, vice president of Transsion, told the Global Times. The continent has huge potential with a population of more than 1 billion, he noted.

Transsion was right about the market. Africa's population of mobile users accounted for 12 percent of the total individual subscribers in the world and amounted to 6 percent of global revenue, an increase of 70 percent compared to figures from five years ago, according to a CNN report in November 2016. 

In total, 215.3 million mobile phones were shipped to Africa in 2016, up 10 percent year-on-year, according to data released by IDC in March. 

Tailoring to customer needs 

Chinese-made mobile phones indeed have the positive reputation of good functions and low prices and are strongly welcomed by most African consumers. 

"Chinese mobile phone makers can produce what you want and are flexible in designing products to meet customers' needs," Rayan Abdelrahman Ahmed Mohamed, a 33-year-old Sudanese, told the Global Times. 

Africans love music, loud speakers and two SIM cards, which Chinese mobile phones can provide, he said.

Many larger companies intend to sell the phone's brand instead of the quality of the product, he said. "Why [should] I pay for the brand? I pay for my need."

There are many telecom operators in Africa, and it's not cheap to dial between networks, so we produce phones with dual, and sometimes even four, SIM card slots, said Chowdhury.

African customers, like many other smartphone customers around the world, love taking 'selfies'. But the customers with darker skin say it is hard for them to take good quality photos as many smartphone cameras have poor facial recognition. 

Transsion, on the other hand, designs specialized cameras that focus on people's teeth and eyes to ensure photographic clarity. 

"We have different brand tactics to provide high, medium and low-end products for our diverse consumers," Chowdhury noted.

Competition and challenges 

Recently, the interest in the African market from Chinese mobile phone makers has been increasing; they have been expanding their businesses to more and more countries, but this new venture has invited mixed results from across the continent, according to IDC.  

Of the big Chinese mobile phone makers, Huawei saw year-on-year shipment growth to "remain as Africa's No.3 smartphone vendor in 2016, while Lenovo saw flat growth and ZTE and Alcatel both [witnessed trimmed sales]," said IDC.

Huawei and Lenovo didn't respond to the request to give comment on their performance in the African market. 

"Price competitiveness has become a key issue in many African markets," said an IDC report released in March citing Ramazan Yavuz, research manager for mobile devices in Africa at IDC.

Both Wang and Li said that vendors have to provide phones which are priced very competitively to aid to the large amount of low-income populations in the continent.

Meanwhile, mobile phone makers face the fact that the cost of phone components is rising. They need to produce good quality products but with affordable prices, as well as to keep companies profitable.

Before raising the value of their phones, Chowdhury said the company will monitor the prices of the components provided by different suppliers by buying a large amount of them at reasonable prices. 

"In the short run, Transsion has had less pressure from other competitors in the African market," said Wang, the secretary-general, noting that Africa is a big market, with more than 50 countries, and therefore huge potential. 

Most companies will face challenges due to differences in culture, language and regulations when operating overseas, said Wang.  

Echoing Wang's statement, Chowdhury said that they have spent $75 million to establish after-sales networks in African countries during the recent few years. 

Transsion also has sales networks in 58 countries, including Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Egypt.

Moreover, companies need to understand the development and political situation in some African countries, said Li, the aforementioned chief research fellow, noting that it will take at least another 15 years for the market to mature in Africa. 

Even for Transsion, it has taken almost a decade for the company to gradually build its brand in order to meet local customers' needs.
Source by: globaltimes.cn

WASHINGTON, June 19 -- China's Sunway TaihuLight and Tianhe-2 are still the world's fastest and second fastest machines, but America's Titan was squeezed into fourth place by an upgraded Swiss system, according to the latest edition of the semiannual T0P500 list of supercomputers released Monday.

WUXI, June 20, 2016 (Xinhua) -- Photo taken on June 20, 2016 shows Sunway TaihuLight, a new Chinese supercomputer, in Wuxi, east China's Jiangsu Province. (Xinhua/Li Xiang) (File photo)

CHINA'S HOMEGROWN SUPERCOMPUTERS

Sunway TaihuLight, described by the T0P500 list as "far and away the most powerful number-cruncher on the planet," maintained the lead since last June, when it dethroned Tianhe-2, the former champion for the previous three consecutive years.

It means that a Chinese supercomputer has topped the rankings maintained by researchers in the United States and Germany for nine times in a row.

What's more, Sunway TaihuLight, with a performance of 93 petaflops, was built entirely using processors designed and made in China.

"It highlights China's ability to conduct independent research in the supercomputing field," Haohuan Fu, deputy director of the National Supercomputing Center, where Sunway TaihuLight was installed, told Xinhua.

"China is simultaneously developing hardware and software technologies of supercomputers," Fu said. "It is expected that rapid development in homegrown hardware technologies, supported by homegrown software, will lead to a stronger research and engineering test capacity in many fields, thus promoting an industrial upgrading and, eventually, a sustainable development of China's homegrown supercomputing industry."

Tianhe-2, capable of performing 33.9 petaflops, was based on Intel chips, something banned by the U.S. government from selling to four supercomputing institutions in China since 2015.

SWISS SYSTEM "REALLY A SURPRISE"

In the latest rankings, the new number three supercomputer is the upgraded Piz Daint, a system installed at the Swiss National Supercomputing Center.

Its current performance of 19.6 petaflops pushed Titan, a machine installed at the U.S. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, into fourth place. Titan's performance of 17.6 petaflops has remained constant since it was installed in 2012.

"This is the second time in the 24-year history of the TOP500 list that the United States has failed to secure any of the top three positions," the TOP500 organizers said in a statement.

The only other time this occurred was in November 1996, when three Japanese systems captured the top three spots.

"Nevertheless, the U.S. still claims five of the top 10 supercomputers, which is more than any other nation," they said.

Fu called the upgraded Swiss system "really a surprise," saying that "it reflects the increased investment in large-scale supercomputers in Europe."

AMERICA'S STRONG STRENGTH

"Although the U.S. dropped out of the top three, it still has strong strength in high performance computing," Fu told Xinhua. "If everything goes well, we could see two U.S. systems with a performance of 200 to 300 petaflops in the next rankings at the end of the year."

Just days before the TOP500 announcement, the U.S. Department of Energy said it has awarded AMD, Cray, HP Enterprise, IBM, Intel and NVIDIA a total of 258 million U.S. dollars in funding to accelerate the development of next-generation supercomputers.

"Continued U.S. leadership in high performance computing is essential to our security, prosperity, and economic competitiveness as a nation," U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said in a recent statement.

The immediate goal of the United States is to develop at least one exascale-capable system by 2021, which will be at least 10 times faster than China's Sunway TaihuLight.

"Global competition for this technological dominance is fierce," the U.S. Department of Energy asserted. "However, the U.S. retains global leadership in the actual application of high performance computing to national security, industry, and science."

In addition, the latest list showed that the United States leads the pack in the total number of TOP500 systems, with 169, while China is a close second with 160. Both countries lost share compared to six months ago, when they each claimed 171 systems.

Besides the United States and China, the most well-represented countries on the list are Japan, with 33 supercomputers, Germany, with 28, France, with 18, and Britain, with 17.

Overall, aggregate performance on the TOP500 rose to 749 petaflops, a 32 percent jump from a year ago.

Such an increase, though, is well below the list's historical growth rate of about 185 percent per year, said the organizers.

"The slower growth in list performance is a trend that began in 2013, and has shown no signs of reversal," they said.

When it comes to companies making these systems, the U.S.-based Hewlett-Packard Enterprise claims the number one spot with 143 supercomputers. China's Lenovo is the second most popular vendor, with 88 systems, and Cray is in third place, with 57.

There are three other Chinese companies in the vendor list: Sugon (No. 4 with 44 systems), Inspur (No. 6 with 20 systems) and Huawei (No. 7 with 19 systems).

The Top500 list is considered one of the most authoritative rankings of the world's supercomputers. It is compiled on the basis of the machines' performance on the Linpack benchmark by experts from the United States and Germany.

Source by: en.people.cn

 

On June 18, students at six Chinese universities received items they had purchased from JD.com from robot couriers.

Still a pilot project, the robots were dispatched to just half a dozen universities, including Renmin University, Tsinghua University and Zhejiang University. At JD.com delivery stations, items were first divided among the robots according to size. The smart robots were then able to plan their routes with the help of an automatic navigation system, which also assists them in avoiding obstacles en route.

They follow preset routes and send messages to the recipients when they are 100 meters away from their destinations. The robots can move as quickly as electric bikes, though they are set to walk at the speed of pedestrians when on campus. They also slow down in advance of speed bumps.

University students will be the first group to benefit from the new technology. Considering the openness of college students when it comes to hi-tech products, JD.com will highlight its 1,300 delivery stations at universities as the promotional campaign for robot couriers kicks off.

Source by: en.people.cn

 

 

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