China Tech Today – Xiaomi makes environmentally-friendly batteries

Don’t miss out these headlines. All China Tech has selected the most watchable news from today in China’s tech sector.

Xiaomi makes environmentally-friendly batteries
Today, Xiaomi announced their new Rainbow #5 batteries. These Alkaline batteries sell for only USD 1.56, (RMB 9.9), or RMB 99 cents per battery. For a while, there were only a few Chinese manufacturers making batteries, which are normally expensive and non-environmentally friendly. This is another new product in Xiaomi’s move towards diversifying their products after losing its spot as top smartphone maker. The company also launched a hoverboard and a fitness band earlier this year.

Comic sub-culture social network Guotang receives USD 8 million funding
Guotang, the company behind social media app Clans, has received USD 8 million in funding from Crystal Stream, an investment fund that focuses on TMT startups. The app appeals to animation, cartoon and gaming fanatics, a sub-culture predominately made up of the post-’90 and post-’00 generations of young Chinese. The comic sub-culture market is seen to contain high potential.

Smartphone market leader ZTE joins sports action by sponsoring 5 NBA teams
ZTE has become the official sponsor of five NBA teams. The popularity of basketball promises tech companies access to worldwide markets, hence the appeal for ZTE, one of the largest smartphone makers in China, with widespread distribution overseas. Recently, there has been a trend of Chinese IT companies biting into the sports sector. Smartphone makers Meizu and Oppo have also invested in domestic and foreign sports teams, and video giant LeTV just purchased 20% of WSG, the biggest sports media company in Asia.

Report: Baidu dominates Chinese search engine market with 86% share
According to Analysys International, based on revenue share, not including other channels and overseas revenue, Baidu is dominating the Chinese search engine market with an 86.19% market share. Sogou is second with 6.54%, Google China third with 3.92%, and other search engines own 3.35%. The pie looks very different globally, with Google at 67.49%, followed by Yahoo, Bing, and Baidu at fourth place with 8.13%, based a IDC report.

Graphic by Catherine Lai
Graphic by Catherine Lai; Source: Analysys International.

Uber introduces up to RMB 1 million passenger insurance after Chengdu police crackdown
Uber will definitely go public in China, but it won’t be until at least two years later, says Uber’s Head of China strategy Liu Zhen. She stated that Uber aims to cover over 100 cities in China, and it will go public at the appropriate time. Yesterday, Uber announced its passenger accident insurance policy with Taiping insurance, which was somewhat overshadowed by Didi’s announcement of its own insurance policy the day before – a policy that covers drivers as well. As 30% of Uber’s fares are from China, China is an important market for Uber, but its fierce competition with Didi, which dominates a large percentage of the market, is a big challenge for the company.

Alibaba co-launches Cover Media with state-owned media group
Alibaba has announced that it will work with the Sichuan Daily Press Group to create a new media mobile platform. According to Alibaba Senior Vice President Wang Shuai, Alibaba will combine its tech capabilities with the media experience and manpower of the Sichuan Daily Press Group to distribute Cover Media across the world. This marks another big move into new media for Alibaba, which has already invested in the China Business Network in Shanghai with aims to build a large business media platform to rival Bloomberg.

Hujiang, online education portal, raises USD 157 million D-series funding
Hujiang, an online education portal, has raised RMB one billion (USD 157 million) from various RMB funds, and aims to list next year. Hujiang, which was established in 2001, received RMB 6.4 billion (USD 100 million) in a round of financing led by Baidu last year. Baidu is developing its own online education platform and it also purchased online education giant last year.

(Top photo from Xiaomi)

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