China Tech Today – Alibaba Pictures splashes USD 157M on young filmmakers

Alibaba Pictures Group spends USD 157 million in search for young filmmaking talent
Alibaba is aiming to revamp the Chinese film industry by spending RMB one billion over the next three years to launch a search for young filmmakers across the globe. Alibaba will join Youku, the Beijing Film Academy, and others to incubate new talent. BAT companies are all racing to make money from the film industry, with Tencent setting up two film factories in September and Baidu setting up a film company in January.  

Delicious no wait app announces funding of USD 78.6 million
Delicious no wait, an app for making restaurant reservations, has announced the completion of a round of funding for RMB 500 million with Dianping and Baidu as the lead investors. After this round of funding, the app will be worth almost RMB two billion, according to an insider.

Liweijia receives USD 15.7 million, a year after Lei Jun investment
Liweijia, an online home furnishing store, has completed its first round of fundraising of RMB 100 million. Last September Xiaomi CEO Leijun’s company Shunwei Capital invested tens of millions of yuan (over USD 1.5 million) in the company. Xiaomi has reportedly turned to the development of smart home devices. Its investment in furniture companies is an important step to further this cause.

Apple China revenue soars 99%, accounts for 25% of the global share
According to Apple’s latest quarterly revenue report, the Chinese market once again proved to be the driving force of Apples businesses, with sales in China accounting for almost 25% of the global share. Its revenue in the Greater China region soared an astounding 99% to total 12.5 billion. However, the report showed a 25% drop in Apple China’s revenue in the fourth quarter compared with the beginning of the year, with month-on-month revenue from China showing a trend of decreasing, possibly due to a shrinking potential market for Apple in China.

Alibaba achieves revenue of USD 3.488 billion in the latest financial quarter, with a YOY increase of 32%
Alibaba has released its financial report ending on Sept. 30. It reported a revenue of USD 3.488 billion in the quarter, a year-on-year increase of 32%. Its regular stockholders saw a total profit of RMB 22.7 billion (USD 3.58b), an increase of 665%. Alibaba’s gross merchandise volume increased by 56%, and the number of active users for Alibaba mobile services increased by 39 million.

Huawei’s Mate S falls short of expected sales performance
Huawei’s Mate S has been on the market for two months, but its sales performance is falling short of expectations, with the phone’s average online price dropping from 4185 RMB to 3653 RMB since its release in early September. The Mate S is Huawei’s first smartphone priced over 4000 RMB. Huawei competes on a higher price level than Xiaomi, Meizu, and Smartisan, focusing on the high-end market, and the performance of the Mate S marks a setback for Huawei in this market.  

LeTV launches 120-inch Super TV for USD 78 454
LeTV’s new SuperTV, the uMax 120 was launched yesterday at the price of RMB 499,000 (USD 78 454), half the price of other TVs its size in the market, which sell for over one million RMB.  It remains to be seen whether this new marketing strategy will help LeTV differentiate itself from competitors like Xiaomi TV, PPTV, Coocaa, Whaley and Baofeng TV. Smart TV market leader Xiaomi released their new 60-inch Mi TV 3 at a price of RMB 4999 two weeks ago.

Chinese fiber optic broadband users surpass 100 million 
According to a report from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the number of Chinese fiber optic broadband users increased by 73.8% from last year to a total of 102 million. Earlier this year, Premier Li Keqiang put pressure on internet providers to reduce their fees, and in early May, the ministry deployed its “Broadband China” strategy, building 600 000 new 4G bases and providing 4G coverage for counties and towns. Fiber optic cables carry data faster and are more reliable than traditional cables.

(Top photo from Baidu Image)

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