Malaysian Internet users, technology trends, evolution and change in telco industry


MAXIS: Data takes dominance

Maxis' CEO Morten Lundal
Net effect: According to Lundal, productivity for the future depends on the degree of Internet adoption.

When I came to Malaysia last year, I was assuming that I was going back into an emerging market which is a transition from the place I worked (London).”

“But my perception now is that this is actually a very advanced market,” says Morten Lundal, chief executive officer at Maxis Bhd, whose tenure at the company just crossed the one-year mark as of Oct 1.

Among the reasons that he feels differently about the nation’s technological progress is because of the high smartphone and broadband penetration rate.

“Malaysians’ adoption and smartness when it comes to using (mobile) applications is fully comparable with Europe,” he says.

People on our network use about 1GB per month. Some devices use more. Android more than iOS devices, I’ve noticed. We have people on Android using about 1.3GB or so per month. Both on prepaid and postpaid, people are using a lot of data in Malaysia.”

However, he points out that the local e-commerce market has yet to fully develop.

“Companies here are still fairly traditional in the way they operate. People have much more (technologically) advanced experiences personally,” Lundal says.

“This is going to change in the next five years, but it hasn’t come about yet… The corporate sector is lagging behind more mature markets in Europe.”

However, on the whole, he regards Malaysians as being “very savvy.”

In addition to common online activities such as the use of search engines, social networking sites and real-time GPS services like Waze, Lundal has noticed several distinct trends amongst Maxis’ various user segments.

For instance, he says youth between the ages of 18 and 25 years tended to favour mobile games and streaming video services such as YouTube. He also found Asian youth to be more attracted to image based social media sites such as Instagram as compared to their European counterparts.

“The Chinese are driving more online shopping than other segments and that’s quite interesting,” he says, adding that the Malay segment is active on online forums, games, social networking and instant messaging whereas the Indian segment is more focused on sports, news, instant messaging and social media.

As for the older generation, Lundal says they tended to be more “news savvy” and spent a lot of time online surfing news portals.

“They also use much more hobby and personal interest sites which are less important to the youth. So they are the more functional users of the Internet whilst the youth are the social users.”

Meanwhile, the migrant workers segment had an obvious preference for international news, particularly from their respective home countries. They also liked online comics more than most Malaysians.

Internet breeds change

One of the good things that Lundal sees out of the growing mobile networks across Malaysia is that it enables the general population to gain better access to the Internet.

Besides that, he says that “innovation for IP (Internet Protocol) communications is tremendous”.

However, he sees the ongoing buzzword of the Internet of Things (IoT) as a mere cliche.

“I first heard about IoT in 1998, I think. It’s like a very old expression and the enablers have been in place for years, but it really hasn’t happened yet. I think it is going to happen now, but in a five year perspective,” he says.

As the Internet continues to impact the way society operates, Lundal envisions a shift in the way things are done in the corporate and public sector.

“Productivity for the future more or less equals to what degree you’ve adopted the Internet,” he points out.

“As the younger workforce demand a more advanced technological infrastructure where they work, I think this will drive a big change in how enterprises and the government operates.”

Another disruptive trend that Lundal has noticed is the way users are moving away from preprogrammed content and websites.

“It’s fascinating to see how people are choosing very segmented niche content and making that their default,” he says.

In particular, he points out that youth, especially in countries like the United States, are preferring to consume news via late night comedies and social networks instead of through traditional channels.

“This unpackaging and unbundling of these channels will cause a massive societal impact and change.”

Courting change: As disruptive technologies and trends take hold, telcos including Maxis are faced with the challenge of evolving its business to meet the growing needs of its subscribers.

Telco evolution

As these trends continue to take shape, telcos across the globe, including Maxis, are faced with the challenge of evolving its business to meet the growing needs of its subscribers.

“As an industry, we as mobile operators were used to connecting people to our services. Now we connect people to the Internet,” says Lundal.

“We’ve gone from a decade of selling enablers like phones and connections to now really leveraging those enablers to change lives and companies.”

One of the major changes being faced by the industry at the moment is the dwindling emphasis on SMS and traditional voice calls.

“As an industry, we haven’t innovated on SMS… It’s the same product as it was when it was launched which is unacceptable, I would say, from a consumer’s perspective,” Lundal says.

“SMS is declining a lot globally and will be gradually replaced by IP communication. But for now it’s still widely used because when people want to be sure that the communication is getting through, they use SMS.”

In contrast, he says voice calls are also declining in importance, but at a much slower pace than was expected.

Lundal expects to see SMS fading in importance within the next three to five years whereas for voice communications, he feels it would only decline over a span of four to eight years.

In response to that, he says revenue models for mobile operators are changing globally to become more data centric.

“About 99% of our costs are driven by data,” Lundal says. “It’s a very dangerous situation indeed to have your revenues coming from voice (calls) while your costs are driven by data which is why there is a shift all over the world. That’s a bit slower in Malaysia as players are getting weaned off their old habits.”

However, he adds that he does not view this change in product emphasis as a threat, but rather “a transition that we all have to go through.”

Road to improvement

Over at Maxis, Lundal shares that the company is keeping pace with these changes in technology in three ways.

Firstly, it aims to project itself as an Internet showcase within the Malaysian economy.

“We would like to be in the forefront on how we adopt the Internet ourselves,” he explains. “We also want to change how Malaysian companies operate and help them in their process of being digitised.”

His vision for the future is that Maxis ought to be viewed as a mobile app.

“I like to take extreme positions in order to make people think differently,” he says. “I said to management that we should close our website in three years’ time. Not entirely close it, but probably it will morph into something else. The key interactions with our company should be through an app.”

Besides that, Lundal shares that Maxis is working on ensuring it offers an “unmatched customer experience” to its subscribers, calling it the company’s “flagship programme.”

“We have just built a new network for 70% of our customers this year. The rest will have that experience by next year. This is so that when it comes to the speed of data networks and dropped call rates, we will be world class,” he says.

He is quick to point out, however, that “top class doesn’t mean it’s perfect.”

But according to him, the number of complaints directed to Maxis in the past year has decreased by as much as 50%. As for dropped calls, he says it is currently at the rate of one in 300 calls.

“There are two reasons for that: our network is dramatically improving even though it’s not perfect and we have also taken some pretty drastic, proactive measures to make life better for customers by taking away any pay-per-use charges (for data usage).”

He is referring to the MaxisOne postpaid plan here, whereby subscribers of this Internet plan are not charged for their phone calls and SMSes.

As for the prepaid side, the company also offers a free basic Internet connection of 64Kbps (kilobits per second) for its Hotlink product which Lundal claims is fulfilling a need that most users face.

“Most Malaysians prepaid customers are connected to high speed data (networks) only six to eight days per month and they’re buying daily passes. For the rest of the time, they’re unconnected and they’re trying to find a WiFi connection,” he says.

Last of all, Lundal shares that Maxis is transforming the way it operates internally as well.

“We’re going to rid ourselves of this habit of using paper processes and use more Cloud and mobile instead,” he says.

He says Maxis plans to implement a new human resource system that is Cloud based and accessible via mobile. It has also launched a new intranet and social networking platform for its employees.

On the whole, Lundal says Maxis is setting new benchmarks for itself to achieve.

“We don’t compare ourselves anymore (to competition) nationally, we compare ourselves internationally,” he says.

Contributed by Susanna Khoo The Star/Asia News Network

China’s Internet giants, Tencent to undercut Alibaba with billion chat app users


CHINA's Internet giants


Tencent Holdings Ltd. (700) faces the prospect of losing its position as Asia’s most-valuable Internet company this year after Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA) goes public. The Shenzhen-based company isn’t going to concede quietly.

Tencent is taking on Alibaba in almost every business related to the Web, from games to security to search. In the latest escalation of the battle, Tencent is expanding in messaging services and using the technology to drive customers to its e-commerce partners — in a direct challenge to its rival.

The fight exposes a rare vulnerability for Alibaba, which is planning an initial public offering that may be the largest in U.S. history.

Tencent has an enormous lead in messaging, with about a billion users for its QQ and WeChat products, compared with Alibaba’s last target of 100 million for its offerings.

Tencent is projected to report a 52 percent surge in profit when it announces second-quarter results today, bolstered by messaging.

“Tencent is using Mobile QQ and WeChat to take traffic away from Alibaba and direct people to e-commerce platforms backed by itself,” said Bill Fan, a Hong Kong-based analyst at China Securities Co. “Instant messaging hasn’t been Alibaba’s strong point, but it sees the viral effect that Tencent’s app is having so it’s trying to develop similar services.”

Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., 24 percent owned by Yahoo! Inc., is competing with Tencent… Read More

Tencent’s two technologies let people trade messages over mobile phones and tablets, akin to the WhatsApp service that Facebook Inc. (FB) agreed to acquire this year for $19 billion.

QQ, which began as an instant-messaging service on desktop computers and was repurposed for use on mobile devices, has about 848 million monthly active users. WeChat, known as Weixin in China, has 396 million. (WhatsApp has more than half a billion active users.)

Most Valuable

The success of the messaging services has helped boost Tencent’s market value to about $161 billion, making it the most valuable Internet company in Asia.

Alibaba will compete for that title after it goes public. The latest estimate is that after the IPO the company could be valued at $187 billion, according to a survey of 11 analysts by Bloomberg. Tencent shares declined 0.2 percent as of 9:52 a.m. in Hong Kong trading, while the benchmark Hang Seng Index was unchanged.

Alibaba is trying to close the gap in messaging. In September, it started offering a service called Laiwang. Still, Tencent has continued to expand the features available through its apps to maintain its lead

Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg
QQ and WeChat helped triple Tencent’s mobile-game revenue to 1.8 billion yuan in the… Read More

“In the latest version of QQ, we have upgraded it to a platform for food, drinking and entertainment, and the number of cities we cover is also expanding,” said Dowson Tong, president of the company’s social network group that oversees QQ, in a recent interview.

Revenue Boost

Tencent has integrated games more tightly into its messaging services to capitalize on the China online gaming market, which IResearch projects will expand to 225 billion yuan by 2017.

QQ and WeChat helped triple Tencent’s mobile-game revenue to 1.8 billion yuan in the first quarter from the previous three months.

That trend likely continued in the second quarter. Tencent’s profit rose to 5.59 billion yuan in the three months ended June, according to the average of 11 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

That would make the second successive quarter with profit growth of more than 50 percent. Earnings climbed 61 percent in the three months ended March 2011.

QQ was the first iconic product billionaire Ma Huateng created at Tencent in 1999, two years after AOL Inc. (AOL)’s messaging service took off.

As more Chinese accessed the Internet, instant messaging became the most popular online app. Ma restructured QQ’s divisions in 2012 to take it mobile and the effort paid off.

Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg
QQ was the first iconic product billionaire Ma Huateng created at Tencent in 1999, two… Read More

Last year, 83 percent of China’s Internet users subscribed to Mobile QQ and 80 percent to WeChat, compared with Laiwang’s 23 percent, according to a survey among almost 4,000 people by Shanghai-based IResearch in June.

Stake Purchases

Tencent is now leveraging its vast user base to go after a bigger share of the China e-commerce market, which IResearch estimates will more than double from last year to 21.6 trillion yuan ($3.5 trillion) in 2017.

The company in March took a 15 percent stake in JD.com Inc., a direct competitor to Alibaba, and folded its own e-commerce assets into the venture. This year, Tencent has also agreed to buy 19.9 percent of Craigslist-like 58.com Inc. and take a 20 percent stake in Dianping.com, a website similar to Yelp Inc. that users review restaurants in China.

Single Click

Tencent has been working closely with JD.com and Dianping, directing traffic from Mobile QQ and WeChat to the websites, said Tong.

Those steps are beginning to yield results. A new single-click link to JD.com from Weixin produced an eightfold increase in daily transaction volumes compared with an earlier access that took two clicks, JD.com said in June. This month a similar integration with JD.com was provided to users of Mobile QQ.

Still, Tencent and its partners are far behind in e-commerce. Alibaba, which operates platforms including Taobao Marketplace and Tmall.com that connect retail brands with consumers, accounted for 76.4 percent of total mobile retail transactions in China, according to its IPO filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The fact that Tencent wrapped its e-commerce assets into JD.com shows it wants to limit its investment in the segment, said Yao Yue, a Shenzhen-based analyst with Morningstar Inc.

“Even if Tencent’s instant messaging apps can direct a lot of traffic to JD.com, at the end of the day it still depends on who has the better shopping service, and Alibaba’s Taobao is dominant,” said Yao.

Alibaba hasn’t been able to achieve the same success in mobile messaging so far. The company in 2004 started Aliwangwang, a PC-based instant messenger for buyers and sellers, that is now used for negotiating prices, customer services and delivery notifications on its Taobao marketplace. It also has a mobile version called Wangxin.

Lagging Behind

Laiwang was started by Alibaba to broaden its reach, after billionaire founder Jack Ma alluded to Tencent being ahead in the messaging race at a Credit Suisse conference in March 2013.

“We also invested heavily, but we are not that lucky and not creative, so creative like Tencent, which has WeChat, such a powerful thing,” Ma said at the conference.

Ma has vigorously tried to promote Laiwang and said the company wouldn’t pay bonuses to staff who didn’t get 100 clients for the app before Nov. 30 last year, according to a post on the company’s microblog.

In an attempt to generate revenue from Laiwang, Alibaba said in January it would offer games on the app. A month later Alibaba’s Ma said the company’s achievement on mobile applications wasn’t satisfactory.

Alibaba spokeswoman Florence Shih declined to comment on the company’s mobile strategies, citing pre-IPO restrictions.

Jin Yuan, a Shenzhen mobile phone user, underscores the lead that Tencent has in messaging. Jin has been a QQ subscriber for the past 13 years and says Tencent does a better job of making messaging apps that are easy to use.

“I use QQ to keep in touch with friends I’ve known since the PC age and I use it for a lot of group chats,” Jin said. “I like to use WeChat a lot for sharing information about good places for food.”

By Lulu Yilun Chen Bloomberg

Related post

  Showtime for Alibaba world-wide

Tech-Dome Penang project to be ready by 2015; Skilled Staff in Demand in Penang


Penang Tech-Dome_artist

About Tech-Dome Penang

Tech-Dome Penang is an initiative by the Penang Science Cluster to create a hub for technology learning and exchange of ideas. It will be a vehicle for improving scientific literacy and technology ability in Malaysia.

Located at the geodesic dome of KOMTAR just adjacent to the George Town UNESCO World Heritage Site in Penang, visitors will discover the exciting world of technology and how they work by exploring the world-class exhibits in its galleries. Regular programs will be conducted for schools, colleges and families that are specially designed to cultivate the spirit of inquiry and teach children and teenagers the skills required to thrive in a high-tech, knowledge-based future.

OUR MISSION

  • To inspire children and students to become future technologists and nurture the interest to use and invent technology.
  • To cultivate the spirit of inquiry and nurture the passion to thrive in the fields of science, engineering and technology.
  • To showcase the progress of the world’s technology and innovation.
  • To highlight the convergence of technology, industry and people.

Why Do We Need Tech-Dome Penang?

We believe that learning is a lifelong journey of discovery and is not just limited to school lessons. Families, young adults and entrepreneurs are always looking for new ideas and stimulating and meaningful ways to spend their time. By creating Tech-Dome Penang, we will offer visitors fun-filled learning and a place to share ideas and be inspired.

For Penang and Malaysia to remain competitive in the global economy, we must continue to nurture and develop our ability to use and even invent technology. However, the 2011 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) showed that the standard of mathematics and science among Malaysian students have been dropping since 2003, and compared to all other countries, Malaysia is the country with the biggest and most drastic drop in scores from 1999 to 2011.

According to the Ministry of Education, less and less students are taking up science at the STPM level. This shows that fewer students are interested in participating in the fields of science, engineering and technology. Tech-Dome Penang aims to reverse this trend and will strive to cultivate curiosity and nurture the passion to thrive in these fields.

Tech-Dome ready by 2015 

THERM23mil Tech-Dome Penang project, a private initiative with endorsement from the state and Federal Government, aims to beoperational by end of 2015.Penang Tech Centre Bhd chairman Datuk Wong Siew Hai said Tech-Dome, to be located on the fifth floor of Komtar with a 32,000sq ft built-up area, would showcase robotic, electronics and computing and lighting technologies.

“It will also exhibit the history of Penang’s industrialisation, spearheaded by the electronics and IT sectors.

“We have appointed Huettinger, a renowned company from Germany, as design consultant for the project.

“Huettinger is a technology-engineering company specialising in exhibition planning, providing consultation services, and manufacturing of exhibits,” he said in an interview yesterday.

American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce governor and Malaysian American Electronics Industry chairman Datuk Wong Siew Hai was a panelist at the Roundtable on Graduate Employability organised by KDU University College, held at the Damansara Jaya Campus at Petaling Jaya.(21/01/2014/S.S.KANESAN/The Star)
[ Wong says a fully programmable robot called Robo Thespian will be created to educate, communicate, interact and entertain visitors to the science centre. ]

Wong said Tech-Dome would serve as a science centre to inspire children and students to become future technologists and also to nurture their interest to use and invent technology.

“Instead of taking children to movies and shopping, parents will have the alternative to take them to visit Tech-Dome during weekends.

“A robot built by Huettinger will be employed for meeting, greeting, and interacting with the public.
“Known as Robo Thespian, the robot is a fully programmable humanoid robot created to educate, communicate, interact and entertain,” he said.

Wong said the Tech-Dome had so far collected RM3.65mil, of which RM1.15mil came from the state government with the remainder from the corporate sector.

He added that the private sector had also pledged to donate RM2.3mil for the project.

“We still need another RM17.35mil which we are confident of raising by the end of 2014.

“Those who sponsor now will be known as founding sponsors of the project,” he said.

Penang Centre director Yap Soo Huey said unlike other science centres, the Tech-Dome would not just exhibit products.

“It will be designed to link the exhibits to scientific principles and their applications,” she said.

By David Tan The Star/Asia News Network

Penang Tech Centre To Complete Tech-Dome By 2nd Half Of 2015

GEORGE TOWN, Aug 5 (Bernama) — Penang Tech Centre Bhd strives to complete the RM23 million Tech-Dome Penang project by the second half of 2015.

General manager Richard Chung Chok Yin said the renovation work to house the centre at the Tun Abdul Razak Complex’s (Komtar) Geodesic Dome would begin next month and take nine months to complete.

“We still need to raise about RM10 million from the private sector and the public to bring this project to fruition,” he told reporters here Tuesday.

Chung said donations could be made online via www.techdomepenang.org and tax-exempt receipts would be issued for contributions above RM50.

A private initiative with endorsement from the state and federal government, the Tech-Dome Penang is aimed at improving scientific literacy and technology acumen among Malaysians.

Earlier, Penang Tech Centre director Yap Soo Huey said a series of roadshows themed the ‘Magic of Science’ would be held in Gurney Plaza, Queensbay Mall, Gurney Paragon and First Avenue Mall from Aug to Dec to create public awareness on the Tech-Dome Penang.

“The roadshows will showcase science and technology-related activities on nature, math and science, life sciences, robotics and astronomy, mainly for children up to 15 years,” she said.

– BERNAMA

Financial hiccup – needs RM10mil boost

RM23mil Tech-Dome Penang project seeks public donation to help cover RM10mil shortfall. THE RM23mil Tech-Dome Penang project, a private initiative with endorsement from the state and Federal Government, is still short of RM10mil.Status update: (From left) Chung, PTC director Datuk Lim Kok Khong, Yap, PTC steering committee member Ang Lye Hin and representatives of sponsors at the press conference.

Penang Tech Centre Bhd (PTC) general manager Richard Chung said they needed the financial support from corporate sectors and the public to help turn the project into a reality.“We welcome any form of public donation. I am sure with such support, we should be able to make further headway in this project,” he said during a press conference in Komtar yesterday.

Tech-Dome Penang is a science and technology centre that aims to be a hub for technology learning and exchange of ideas.

The state government, besides granting the use of Komtar Geodesic Dome to house the centre, also provided seed-funding for the project. The centre is expected to be ready by second half next year.

PTC director Yap Soo Huey, who is also Pulau Tikus assemblyman, said the project would brand Penang as a hub for innovation and creativity.

She said cities that were known for being dynamic, progressive and innovative always boasted of having science and technology centres.

“Look at San Francisco and Amsterdam. That speaks volume of the city itself.

“Besides, wehave been hearing that our education syllabus is too rigid, employees either cannot think out of the box or lack ideas when seeking a solution.“The purpose of Tech-Dome is to address all this. We want to inspire our children to see how technology can be different and how knowledge can be applied to produce wonders. Education is not just about memorising,” she said.

As part of brand-building and public awareness, Tech-Dome Penang will organise nine roadshows scheduled to take place at the various shopping malls in Penang until the end of the year. Each roadshow will last for two days.

The first roadshow will be held at Gurney Plaza this weekend followed by Queensbay Mall (Aug 30/31), Gurney Paragon (Sept 13/14), Queensbay Mall (Sept 20/21), Gurney Paragon (Nov 29/30), Gurney Plaza (Dec 6/7), Queensbay Mall (Dec 13/14), 1st Avenue (Dec 20/21) and Gurney Plaza (Dec 27/28).

The roadshows, themed ‘Magic of Science’, will showcase various science and technology-related activities and games focusing on nature, mathematics and science, life sciences, robotics and astronomy for children aged up to 15.

The public will be able to participate in interesting hands-on activities from noon till 7pm during the event days.

More details on the roadshows can be obtained from http://www.techdomepenang.org or via Facebook /techdomepenang.

Donations can be made at the roadshows. Tax-exempted receipts will be issued for contributions above RM50 or via the website.

Skilled Staff in Demand – Jobs await seekers

Over 2,600 vacancies in various sectors are waiting to be filled and more investors are coming to Penang to offer greater employment opportunities abound including high-value positions over the next few years.

A new investor coming to Batu Kawan has about 300 positions to fill in 2016 and 1,000 in the following five years. — DATUK LEE KAH CHOON

AS of July 2014, there are 2,635 jobs available in Penang, of which 74% are for positions as junior executive and above.

Of the 2,635 jobs, some 475 are in engineering, 222 in marketing and business development, 185 in general and cost accounting, 185 in manufacturing, and 170 in IT-software, while the remaining 1,538 are for vacancies in other sectors.

InvestPenang executive director Datuk Lee Kah Choon said the openings were reported in a popular job portal.

Feedback received by investPenang and Penang Career Assistance and Talent (CAT) Centre, shows there are a number of multinational corporations (MNC) with various vacancies to be filled up.

Lee said a Japanese MNC in Seberang Prai was looking for technicians and engineers as part of its exercise to fill 1,500 vacancies.

“An American MNC in Bayan Lepas is also looking for 50 design engineers, while in the services sector, there are vacancies for 60 finance and accounting officers.

“A new investor coming to Batu Kawan has about 300 positions to fill in 2016 and 1,000 in the following five years.

“Another newMNC in BatuKawan requires 540 vacancies to be filled by the end of this year,” he said.Lee said the proposed Penang Business Process Outsourcing Prime project was expected to generate about 21,000 high-value jobs over the next five years.

“Penang is expanding from high-capital expenditure manufacturing and the state’s next growth wave hinges on investments in shared services outsourcing and other services that create higher value job opportunities for the people.

“However, the challenges of availability of right talents and well-trained workforce that meet demands of global investors have to be urgently addressed,” Lee stressed.

Lee said CAT was now working on setting up a fund to provide eligible students with scholarships and loans to pursue tertiary education.

“We are now talking with MNCs and philanthropists in Penang to set up such a fund for CAT to disburse to students, who will then work in MNCs during their vacation and upon graduation,” he said.

Lee also said investPenang was now arranging for foreign students to serve their internship in MNCs here.

“Students from New Zealand should be here next month for their internship in the local MNCs,” Lee said.

Related posts:
It is necessary for the nation to embrace Stem education in order to reach new heights. IT is imperative that schools and educational …

 
It pays to be stern 

 Hats off to a strict father

Related article:

Japanese World War II criminals’ confessions released


Japanese war criminals

  1. After the end of World War Two, when Japanese war criminals were apprehended and interrogated, they wrote confessions.

    More documents decoded to reveal Japan´s war crimes

    An archive bureau in northeast China is drawing together experts to decode a vast number of document…

    BEIJING, July 3 — Confessions made by 45 Japanese war criminals tried and convicted by military tribunals in China after World War II (WWII) were published online on Thursday.

    Handwritten confessions, along with Chinese translations and abstracts in both Chinese and English, have been published on the website of the State Archives Administration, said the administration’s deputy director Li Minghua at a press conference on Thursday.

    “These archives are hard evidence of the heinous crimes committed by Japanese imperialism against the Chinese,” Li said.

    “Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, disregarding historical justice and human conscience, has been openly talking black into white, misleading the public, and beautifying Japanese aggression and its colonial history since he took office,” Li told reporters.

    “This challenges WWII achievements and the post-WWII international order.

    “The administration has made them available online before the 77th anniversary of the July 7 incident to remember history, take history as a mirror, cherish peace… and prevent the replay of such a historical tragedy,” Li added.

    The July 7 incident, or the Lugouqiao Incident, in 1937 marked the beginning of China’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, which lasted eight years.

China began publishing “confessions” of 45 convicted Japanese World War II criminals on Thursday, officials said, in Beijing’s latest effort to highlight the past amid a territorial dispute between the two.

BEIJING: China began publishing “confessions” of 45 convicted Japanese World War II criminals on Thursday, officials said, in Beijing’s latest effort to highlight the past amid a territorial dispute between the two.

The documents, handwritten by Japanese tried and convicted by military courts in China after the war, are being released one a day for 45 days by the State Archives Administration (SAA), it said in a statement on its website.

In the first, dated 1954 and 38 pages long, Keiku Suzuki, described as a lieutenant general and commander of Japan’s 117th Division, admitted ordering a Colonel Taisuke to “burn down the houses of about 800 households and slaughter 1,000 Chinese peasants in a mop-up operation” in the Tangshan area, according to the official translation.

Among a litany of other crimes with a total toll in the thousands, he also confessed that he “cruelly killed 235 Chinese peasants seeking refuge in a village near Lujiayu”.

He also “ordered the Epidemic Prevention and Water Supply Squad to spread cholera virus in three or four villages”.

The document, which is littered with descriptions of “Japanese imperialists”, appeared to have been written by someone with native-level command of Japanese, said one Japanese journalist who saw it.

However, some of the sentences were very long and contained multiple clauses, possibly indicating it had gone through several drafts.

It was not clear whether Suzuki’s or the other yet-to-be-published confessions — all of them relating to 45 war criminals put on trial in China in 1956 — were previously publicly available.

Suzuki was held by Soviet forces at the end of the conflict and transferred to Chinese custody in 1950, earlier Chinese documents said, adding that he was sentenced to 20 years in prison by the court and released in 1963.

The publication of the confessions comes as Tokyo and Beijing are at odds over a territorial dispute in the East China Sea, and as Beijing has argued that a reinterpretation of Japan’s pacifist constitution could open the door to remilitarisation of a country it considers insufficiently penitent for its actions in World War II.

China regularly accuses Japan of failing to face up to its history of aggression in Asia, criticism that has intensified since the democratic re-election in December 2012 of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has advocated a more muscular defence and foreign policy stance.

China was outraged in December last year when Abe visited Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine, where the souls of Japan’s war dead, including several high-level officials executed for war crimes after World War II, are enshrined.

“These archives are hard evidence of the heinous crimes committed by Japanese imperialism against the Chinese,” the SAA’s deputy director Li Minghua was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua news agency.

“Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, disregarding historical justice and human conscience, has been openly talking black into white, misleading the public, and beautifying Japanese aggression and its colonial history since he took office,” Li said.

The SAA said the documents were being released to mark the 77th anniversary Monday of the Marco Polo Bridge incident, a clash between Chinese and Japanese troops near Beijing, commemorated as the start of what is known in China as the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, which ended with Tokyo’s World War II defeat in 1945.

Japan’s move escalates regional tension, signals fascism emergence: foreign experts Foreign analysts and scholars have harshly …
 
 
The Japanese cabinet’s approval Tuesday of the right to collective self-defense is a major shift of Japan’s defense policy. J..

British media unprofessional over Chinese Premier meets Queen Elizabeth II


Queen Elizabeth II met with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and his wife in London Tuesday. However, British media had previously claimed it was the Chinese side who required a meeting with the Queen. In their reports, whether the Queen would grant an audience with Li seemed to become a bargaining chip for London. Diplomats might break out into laughter at such rhetoric. This hype only serves to reflect the narrow-mindedness of the British media and even the whole of its society. The once-powerful British Empire must now resort to such trickery to manifest its pride.

Anyone with a common sense of diplomacy understands fine-tuning of itinerary details are a necessity in high-level state visits. It is completely normal and proper for the Chinese Premier to meet with the British Queen, who should make her own contribution to the success of this diplomatic event. The British media are unprofessional by speculating over the negotiation process.

For China, Premier Li’s final travel itinerary is in full conformity with the significance of his visit. Designing such an agenda was quite simple for Beijing. It is London that conceives they could utilize different options to express its opinions. However, China will pay no heed to all this.

British public opinion remains prejudiced against China and highly expects to embrace an opportunity to prove that it is superior compared with the emerging nation. Nevertheless, engaging in economic cooperation with Beijing is in its practical interests. Whenever Chinese and British leaders meet with each other, the British media habitually hypes China’s human rights and calls on the British government not to sell its soul in exchange for Beijing’s trade pacts.

Britain’s national strength cannot be placed in the same rank as China now, a truth difficult to accept for some Britons who want to stress their nobility. If they refuse to recognize this fact and find fault with China on purpose, even at the cost of bilateral relations, they will not find any mental comfort. Chinese society is more and more relaxed in dealing with Sino-UK ties, while the British could not be pettier.

The Chinese public has a simple attitude toward the China-UK relationship in which national interests are the decisive factor. As an important European country, a positive bilateral relationship outweighs a negative one. There is no extra sentiment involved. But to us, British society attaches much more emotion when it comes to engagement with China, such as sense of pride and national dignity.

Perhaps Chinese people should forgive Britain’s confusing sentiment. A rising country should understand the embarrassment of an old declining empire and at times the eccentric acts it takes to hide such embarrassment. Diplomacy has to be based on realistic recognition of the two countries’ power. No matter for China or the UK, it will be tiring if they try to distort this reality.

Source:Global Times Published: 2014-6-18

China Daily Asia Weekly joins ePaper


The China Daily Asia Weekly is the latest newspaper to be part of the CIMB-Asean ePaper collaboration just as Malaysia and China celebrate 40 years of bilateral relations.

China Daily Asia Weekly_logoThe weekly newspaper will now be made free in digital for all The Star’s 80,000 ePaper subscribers, providing more accurate updates of the latest news in China and Asia Pacific.

The latest addition was launched by CIMB group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Nazir Tun Razak yesterday and witnessed by China’s Ambassador to Malaysia Huang Huikang. Star Publications (M) Bhd group managing director and CEO Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai said the partnership was the first in the country’s history as well as coming at a historic moment.

“Malaysia and China are celebrating a special relationship of 40 years and today, we celebrate the friendship of two media groups. The combined readership from both China Daily Asia Weekly and The Star will make up a larger audience for the ePaper,” he said.

Wong said on Wednesday, Malaysians had welcomed the arrival of pandas, Feng Yi and Fu Wa.

“And today, we welcome the arrival of China Daily into the CIMB-Asean ePaper collaboration,” he added.

China Daily Asia Weekly_ePaper

Combined forces: (from left) Star chairman Datuk Fu Ah Kiow, Nazir, Huang, Wong and Zhang during the official partnership ceremony as China Daily Asia Weekly joins the CIMB-Asean ePaper fold at Menara Star.

Zhang Haizhou, China Daily Asia Weekly assistant to publisher, said the missing plane MH370 had seen netizens from both countries attacking each other and forgetting that both Malaysia and China were partners.

“We need a strong and reliable platform to bridge this gap of understanding among people and this is why we are having this bundle with The Star. We are now messengers between the two nations, telling better stories and enhancing mutual understanding,” he said.

Last month, Nazir had launched the CIMB-Asean ePaper collaboration comprising newspapers from four South-East Asian countries – The Star, Thailand’s The Nation, Indonesia’s The Jakarta Post and the Philippines’ Daily Inquirer – the first of its kind in the Asean region.

Nazir said the initiative was fabulous and had exceeded his expectations with 80,000 subscribers.

“Malaysia is the first South-East Asian nation to connect with China and we are very happy to support this initiative, helping people to see the world in all perspectives,” he said.

Agreeing, Huang said the media was the bridge for a better understanding between two nations.

“The Internet is an important channel for exchanging information and the collaboration of The Star and China Daily Asia Weekly is like a combination of giants,” he said.

Also present were China Daily Asia Weekly editor K.S Chan, Malaysia-China Friendship Association president Datuk Abdul Majid Ahmad Khan, Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia deputy secretary-general Datuk Dr Chin Yew Sin, Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce president Datuk Bong Hon Liong and Associated Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Indust­ries Youth chief Datuk Ng Yih Pyng.

Top businessmen who joined in the celebration included Eco World Development Group director Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin, i-Berhad executive chairman Tan Sri Lim Kim Hong and Mah Sing Group group managing director and chief executive Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum.

Contributed by  by Christine Cheah The Star/Asia News Network

Related posts:

Malaysia-China relations 马中友好; Feng Yi wants love, given the cold shoulder
40 years of diplomatic ties between China and Malaysia Video Feng Yi given the cold shoulder KUALA LUMPUR: Just three days i…
Sharing the care of such precious animals strengthens the bonds that China has with its ‘inner circle’ of countries. HERE are a few fun…

A booming WhatsApp posts mixed message as strong rivals emerge in Asia; War of the Apps heats up in China



What’s inside WhatsApp?

WhatsApp: A booming smartphone message service

SAN FRANCISCO – WhatsApp was launched five years ago as a shot at doing to text messaging what Skype did to telephone calls.

If Facebook’s move to buy the startup in a cash-and-stock deal valued as high as US$19 billion (S$24 billion) is any indication, the California-based WhatsApp may have hit the mark.

The firm founded by former Yahoo employees Brian Acton and Jan Koum in 2009 took its name from a play on the phrase “What’s Up,” according to its website.

They also devoted themselves to a credo of “No Ads. No Games. No Gimmicks.”

A note stating just that and signed by Acton remains taped to Koum’s desk, according to venture capital firm Sequoia, which invested in the startup early and stands to cash in big time on the Facebook take-over.

The “contrarian approach” of gathering no information about users for targeting ads was shaped by Ukraine-born Koum’s aversion to tactics of secret police in communist countries, Sequoia partner Jim Goetz said in an online note.

“Jan’s childhood made him appreciate communication that was not bugged or taped,” Goetz said.
“When he arrived in the US as a 16-year-old immigrant living on food stamps, he had the extra incentive of wanting to stay in touch with his family in Russia and the Ukraine.”

Koum remained true to those ideas when, after working at Yahoo with his “mentor” Acton, he turned to building WhatsApp, according to Goetz.

The stated mission was to build a better alternative to traditional SMS messaging in a world where smartphones were clearly becoming ubiquitous.

The founders jokingly described themselves at the website as “two guys who spent combined 20 years doing geeky stuff at Yahoo! Inc.”

WhatsApp is a platform for sending images, video, audio, or text messages for free over the Internet using data connections of smartphones.

The application is free, but after using it for a year, there is an annual subscription fee of 99 US cents.

“We feel that this model will allow us to become the communications service of the 21st century, and provide you the best way to stay in touch with your friends and family with no ads getting in the way,” the startup said in a blog post discussing pricing.

WhatsApp is reported to have grown stunningly fast to more than 450 million users and said to handle 50 billion messages daily.

As of the start of this year, WhatsApp had 50 employees, more than 30 of them engineers. While the company has its headquarters in the California city of Mountain View, where Google has its main campus, most of the engineering work is reportedly done in Russia. – AFP

In Asia, WhatsApp posts mixed message for Facebook

Singapore: WhatsApp may be hugely popular but its forays into Asia, the world’s biggest mobile market, have had mixed success, raising questions about whether it can sustain the explosive growth Facebook Inc cited to justify its $19 billion price tag.
Data from app metric company App Annie, for example, shows that WhatsApp ranks as the top communications app in only three of 13 Asian countries tracked – Hong Kong, India and Singapore.
“WhatsApp has been a strong player in Asia, but in the past year has faced strong competition from LINE and WeChat,” said Neha Dharia, India-based analyst for Ovum, a technology consultancy. “WhatsApp has not been displaced by these players, but has seen stiff competition in growing its market share.”

Facebook said on Wednesday it would buy WhatsApp for $19 billion in cash and stock, in a deal worth more than Facebook raised in its own IPO. [ID:nL3N0LO52J]

For sure, WhatsApp has been phenomenally successful. For many users it has replaced sending costly texts, or SMS messages. Since its launch in 2009 it has built an active monthly user base of 450 million users.
A survey by marketing and research company Jana found WhatsApp to be the most used messaging app in all the countries it surveyed – India, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Brazil and Mexico – beating competitors by a huge margin.
The reason: users most prize the basic functions it offers – ad-free chat and photo sharing.
WhatsApp subscribers sent 18 billion messages a day in January. The overall market is growing rapidly: According to Ovum, 27.4 trillion such messages were sent last year; this year that figure will be close to 69 trillion.
CHINA CALLING
By hooking up, Facebook and WhatsApp may be able to take on those markets that have been elusive to Facebook so far. With Facebook blocked in China, and lagging Twitter Inc and Naver Corp’s LINE in Japan, WhatsApp “is a potential avenue for Facebook” into those markets, said Vincent Stevens, a senior manager for telecoms consultancy Delta Partners.

Forrester, a consultancy, forecasts that China will have more than 500 million smartphones this year.

And in the fast growing smartphone market of India, says Neil Shah, research director of devices and ecosystems at Counterpoint Research, local users now account for almost 9 percent of total active WhatsApp users around the world – some 40 million of them.

But Facebook and WhatsApp face formidable foes. Where once messaging apps were simply about messaging, now Tencent Holdings Ltd’s WeChat, LINE and KakaoTalk offer a slew of additional services, from icons and games to buying goods and services.

“LINE and the others are very different to WhatsApp. They’re much more innovative in the business models they engage in,” says Michael Vakulenko of VisionMobile, a UK-based consultancy. “They are innovating much faster than WhatsApp and going in a different direction.”

This could prove decisive in Asia – the biggest battleground for social messaging apps – where no single player dominates.
Data from market research company Nielsen, for example, showed BlackBerry Messenger as the most downloaded messaging app in Indonesia last October, the latest data available, while Viber, bought by Japanese online retailer Rakuten Inc for $900 million last week, was the most popular in the Philippines, and LINE in Thailand.
WhatsApp was third in Indonesia, second in Malaysia and not in the top-10 in the Philippines or Thailand. And while locals say WhatsApp remains the default messaging app in Indonesia, some notice a shift.

FICKLE FORTUNES

Jerry Justianto, who runs a radio station network in Jakarta, says he’s noticing fewer of his friends using WhatsApp than before. “I think it’s reached a plateau in Indonesia,” he said. “I see a lot of WhatsApp accounts in my list are inactive.”

A survey by market research firm On Device Research late last year found that while nearly two thirds of Indonesians surveyed had installed WhatsApp, less than half used it at least once a week, compared to three quarters of Brazilians who had installed it.

Part of the problem, Justianto says, is that WhatsApp’s approach of linking accounts to a phone number doesn’t suit Indonesians who change their SIM card frequently. “Some of my early adopter friends are moving to Telegram messenger, where you can activate multiple devices with one number.”

Telegram, which offers much the same features as WhatsApp, is evidence of the fickleness of users. The app is free and heavily encrypted, and is popular in some countries. In Spain, for example, it has risen from its launch last year to be the No.1 communications app in Google’s Play store, at the expense of WhatsApp, according to App Annie data.

This, said one executive at a handset company in Spain, was partly because of a viral campaign among users to switch, and partly because many users dumped WhatsApp before they were charged at the end of their first, free year.
GETTING USERS TO USE MORE
Across Asia, the fragmentation is evident to users such as Martin Tomlinson, Asia Pacific director for On Device Research, who says he has installed at least six messaging apps for work: “I need to have at least three of these on my phone because that’s how my clients communicate.”
LINE, for example, considers its top markets as not only Japan but also Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia. Now, says Simeon Cho, general manager at LINE Plus, which handles LINE’s ex-Japan business, the goal is less about winning new users than getting existing ones to use the app more frequently.
Kakao, which started the KakaoTalk messenger service in 2010 and has since grown rapidly to 130 million users, said it was also focusing heavily on Southeast Asia, where there is relatively low smartphone penetration and no dominant messenger service.
And for China’s Tencent, KakaoTalk and LINE are more of a threat overseas than WhatsApp, as the company’s WeChat expansion is focused on Southeast Asia.
WhatsApp would only pose a serious threat if the likes of Tencent were to expand farther west. “This means it’s now going to be more difficult for LINE to win in North America and Europe,” said Serkan Toto, a Tokyo-based technology consultant.

 – By Jeremy Wagstaff Reuters

Facebook deal sends message to WhatsApp’s Asia rivals

HONG KONG – Facebook’s stunning US$19 billion (S$24 billion) deal for messaging service WhatsApp places the social network in an arena where competition is fierce, particularly in Asia, where fast-growing chat rivals dominate their home markets.

The multi-billion dollar valuation of WhatsApp is based on expectations that its 450 million monthly users will eventually pass one billion, powering the social network’s drive into the fast- growing mobile space – particularly in emerging markets, where the simplicity of the messaging app can thrive on less expensive phones.

But it is not the only service gaining traction around the world, particularly in parts of Asia, where players such as WeChat in China, Kakao Talk in South Korea and Line in Japan dominate – and, according to analysts, show greater potential for making money given their different products and strategies.

While WhatsApp, which is free to download but charges users US$1 per year, is popular in some Asian markets such as Hong Kong and Singapore, services such as Line, WeChat and Kakao have also expanded around the region and beyond.

“Mobile-messaging apps are growing fast in Asia,” noted Elinor Leung and Seung-Joo Ro in a report for regional brokerage CLSA.

“While Facebook dominates the US, mobile-messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Line and WeChat have rapidly taken over Asian SNS (social networking service) markets, especially in the emerging markets.”

WhatsApp currently has a larger base than each of the three Asian services but they are growing fast, particularly when it comes to emerging markets, where smartphones or less expensive “feature” phones are seeing explosive growth.

CLSA noted that “Asian mobile-messaging apps like Tencent’s WeChat and Naver Corp.’s Line should be valued at a premium to WhatsApp with their wider service offerings and higher revenue potential from games to e-commerce and payment.”

WeChat is currently valued by CLSA at US$35 billion and Line at US$14 billion.

Global social messaging volumes are expected to reach 69 trillion and subscribers to such services 1.8 billion by the end of 2014, according to data from market research firm Ovum.

“In SouthEast Asia there is a huge tussle for market share,” Neha Dharia of Ovum told AFP.

“WhatsApp will be able to claim the Facebook share of those markets as well, making it hard for these other guys to grow.”

WeChat

WeChat, or “Weixin” in Chinese, is a free instant messaging and social media mobile application developed by Chinese Internet giant Tencent and officially launched in January 2011.

It has not only become a popular mobile communications tool in China – where Facebook is mostly blocked and WhatsApp usage is comparatively low – but has also attracted tens of millions of users in overseas markets.

The Facebook deal values active WhatsApp users at US$42 a piece. According to analysts with Japan’s Mizuho bank, WeChat is worth twice that amount “on the back of its gaming, [commerce] and mobile payment potential”.

WeChat’s number of monthly active users worldwide reached 272 million by the end of September last year, more than doubling from a year earlier amid a drive to attract more users in countries such as India, Spain and South Africa.

WeChat provides text, photo, video and voice messaging services on major mobile platforms. It also offers games, online payments and taxi booking.

Line

Launched in 2011 as an instant message and free voice call app, Line – whose parent company is South Korea’s Naver Corp. – has grown to 350 million users worldwide and aims to hit 500 million this year.

Its user-friendly interface and voice communication capacity have helped it become one of most successful apps in Japan, while also seeing popularity in Thailand, Taiwan, Spain and Latin America.

The app is best known for “stickers” – cartoon-like images purchased by users, sales of which are core to Line’s revenues.

Kakao Talk

Launched in 2010, Kakao Talk is used by 95 per cent of South Korea’s smartphone users and boasts 130 million users worldwide. It is reported to be preparing for an initial public offering next year that could value it at US$2 billion.

The free app allows users to send messages, pictures, soundbites and video via the Internet, either on WiFi or through cellphone networks.

Gifts can be bought using Kakao’s online shopping facilities, a feature that helped push revenue last year to 230 billion won (US$215 million) from 46 billion won a year ago.

It is eyeing Southeast Asian markets including Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia where it is fighting for market share against Line and WeChat.

Viber

Developed by Cyprus-based Viber Media, which was founded in 2010, the service boasts 280 million users and was recently purchased by Japanese IT firm Rakuten for US$900 million – or roughly US$3 per user. It allows free text messages and phone calls as well as video messaging. It recently launched a service allowing desktop users to call non-Viber users’ mobile phones, in a challenge to Skype, owned by Microsoft.

Analysts have questioned whether it can make more money from customers in the same way that the likes of Line and WeChat have, leading to Rakuten’s share price plunging as much as 13 per cent on the first trading day after it announced the deal.

- AFP

War of the apps heats up in China
In the Battle between the two Chinese Internet giants Alibaba and Tencent, the consumers are the real winners.
AlibabaTencentRAISING a hand to flag down a taxi by the streets could be passé in China, or at least in the eyes of the taxi booking app developers.

Two popular mobile apps, Kuaidi Dache and Didi Dache (“dache” means taking the taxi), make it possible for passengers to hail a cab without flailing an arm, but just tapping on their smart phones.

The war between the two apps, which are backed by Chinese Internet giants Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings Ltd respectively, has gotten more intense this week.

On Monday, Didi Dache announced that it was going to revive its 10-yuan (RM5.42) rebate programme for users who book a cab and pay via Tencent’s instant messaging app Wechat.

Every passenger is entitled to receive a subsidy of 10 yuan each trip, for up to three trips a day.

For taxi drivers in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hangzhou, a reward of 10 yuan awaits for up to 10 bookings they successfully respond to through Didi Dache.

Cabbies in other cities will receive 5 yuan (RM2.71) for the first five trips and 10 yuan for the next five trips.

To prevent users from cheating, Didi Dache said it would block passengers and drivers who reach mutual agreements to use the app only after the passengers get into the cabs, with the motive of earning the rebates.

Didi Dache reportedly poured in 1bil yuan (RM542.18mil) for this round of subsidy.

Kuaidi Dache was quick to follow up with an “always-one-yuan-more” reward.

Users who hail a cab through its app and pay via Alibaba’s mobile payment service Alipay Wallet were promised that they would always enjoy one yuan more than users of its competitor.

It is not the first time these two apps are using these tactics to entice users.

In January, Didi Dache rolled out the 10-yuan rebate promotion, prompting Kuaidi Dache to offer the same rebate in response.

When Didi Dache reduced the 10-yuan incentive by half on Feb 10, Kuaidi Dache seized the chance to announce that it would retain the 10-yuan offer.

Now that Didi Dache has readjusted the rebate back to 10 yuan, Kuaidi Dache has decided to have the upper hand by pledging “always-one-yuan-more”.

However, just a day after these announcements were made, Didi Dache upped the rebate once again. Passengers would now receive between 12 yuan and 20 yuan (RM6.51 and RM10.84) per trip.

Kuaidi Dache followed suit to offer a subsidy of at least 13 yuan (RM7.05) per trip.

While Didi Dache offered 10,000 free trips a day to lucky passengers, Kuaidi Dache pledged 15,000 free trips a day.

It appeared that there was no end to this intense price war.

This “war” between the two apps is only one segment of the fierce rivalry between the two Internet companies, Tencent and Alibaba.

Tencent owns Wechat while Alibaba has developed a similar app known as “Laiwang”.

Alibaba bought 18% stake of the popular Twitter-like service Sina Weibo last year, which is the contender of Tencent’s Wechat.

Last week, Alibaba offered to purchase mobile mapping app AutoNavi. Tencent, meanwhile, already has a mapping service that boasts a similar function to Google’s Street View.

This latest contest in the taxi-booking app was seen as a tactic to encourage smart phone users to adopt the habit of using mobile payments.

During the just-concluded Chinese New Year holiday, Wechat users went gaga over the electronic angpao.

They had to first link their bank accounts to Wechat before they could give or receive money among their circle of friends.

According to Beijing Times, from the eve until the eighth day of Chinese New Year, more than 40 million angpao were handed out in the activity participated by more than eight million people.

Even Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma described the phenomenon as a “Pearl Harbour attack”.

In a poll on finance.ifeng.com, 70.42% of some 5,600 respondents felt that the war of taxi booking apps between Tencent and Alibaba was not a vicious competition.

Almost half of them believed that what mattered most at the end of the day was the product experience.

They were of the opinion that the company with the better service would prevail, in contrast to only 23.38% of the respondents who predicted that the one with bigger financial capability would eventually be declared the winner.

With the two giants locking horns and trying to outdo each other, many believed that the consumers are the biggest beneficiaries.

The rebates did not have a reported deadline. Until the cash rewards are withdrawn, users can continue to enjoy the subsidies to save some pennies.

Contributed  by Tho Xin Yi The Star/Asia News Network

Related posts:
1. WhatsApp deal dwarfs other high-profile Tech acquisitions 
2. Tech players race to widen reach !

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,245 other followers

%d bloggers like this: