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China Tech Today – Social network giant Sina’s CEO denies hiring freeze & more

The ACT team hand-picks the most readable news of the day from China’s booming tech industry. Don’t miss out on these headlines:

Screenshot from Cao’s Weibo account

Sina CEO denies hiring freeze
Today, Sina’s CEO and Chairman Cao Guowei denied on Weibo that Sina has halted its general recruiting efforts. The rumor was started by Sina insiders who said that when they applied for new hires, they were refused by HR. Cao said he’d never heard of it. Baidu has already stopped its general recruitment and Alibaba has significantly reduced its campus recruitment. There are rumors that Sina may be bought by Alibaba and the recruitment reductions could clean up finances to give it a higher price, but Cao has not responded to this matter.

A round table discussion at the summit

BAT vow to cooperate on security mechanism 
At the first ever China Cyber Security Summit Tuesday, the managers responsible for security at all three BAT companies gathered onstage to discuss the issue of web security. They unanimously agreed that the establishment of an industrial chain security collaboration mechanism was necessary. Tencent’s CTO Information Security Survey Report came out on the same day, which says that over 45% of enterprises have had information security threats in the past three years, and only 15% of those polled are confident that their security can totally prevent risks.

Vertu sold to HK fund in a bid to tap Chinese taste for luxury tech
Nokia-spinoff and luxury phone brand Vertu has been sold to HK-based Godin Holdings. The sale has been described by some as an attempt by Godin Holdings and an unspecified group of international investors to capitalize on the demand for luxury tech on China’s mainland. Meanwhile, Godin Cyberspace Security Technology, the parent company of Godin Holdings, is developing a new ‘secure’ operating system, which means a luxury version of a BlackBerry may very well be in the making.

Liu Qing chairman of Didi Chuxing, and John Zimmer CEO and president of Lyft

Lyft’s John Zimmer on 3rd trip to China to launch new service with Didi
John Zimmer, the co-founder and president of Lyft, is making a few trips to China to discuss its strategic partnership with Didi Chuxing following Didi’s investment in Lyft back in September. Zimmer made his third trip to China in two months on Nov. 2. The goal of this trip is to discuss how to integrate Lyft and Didi apps so that both apps can be used in both China and the US. Lyft and Didi also plan to develop seamless navigation and payment functions in the future.

JD.com denounces Alibaba over  Double 11 shopping day measures
Yesterday, JD.com condemned Alibaba in public, accusing Alibaba of disrupting the e-commerce market. JD.com said in its open letter that Alibaba has warned its third-party merchants to exit other e-commerce markets, with severe repercussions on Alibaba’s own platform if they did not comply. Last year, the November 11 shopping day held by Alibaba made a new record of a 57.1 billion RMB (USD 9.3 billion) sales in only one day.

Alipay app temporarily removed from Google Play
Alipay was removed from Google Play on Tuesday, according to Sinatech. According to Alipay, it was removed because Alipay’s Android version contains its own update system. Google Play has a rule that apps can only be updated through the Google Play store. However, Alipay says the modified version has already been uploaded and will soon be available through Google Play again.

China’s Quora receives USD 50 million
On Tuesday, Zhihu.com, the Chinese version of Quora, received USD 50 million in its C-round financing, giving it a valuation of USD 300 million to USD 400 billion, according to 36kr.com. Tencent took the lead in this investment, followed by Softbank Asia Infrastructure Fund, Sogou.com and Innovation Works.

Screenshot from the new site Baidu Mall

Baidu launches Baidu Mall, its third attempt at e-commerce portal
Baidu’s e-commerce portal Baidu Mall has been launched, just before the double11 shopping festival. Baidu Mall targets middle-class consumers with products in a relatively high price range such as Beats headphones. This is Baidu’s third attempt at launching an e-commerce portal, but neither of the last two were successful. Baidu also invested in two retail sites Mia.com and Bolome in the past two months.  

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