Huawei to Expand in US Smartphone Market Next Year

Huawei to Expand in US Smartphone Market Next Year

Chinese smartphone brand Huawei will start sales through US carriers next year, a Huawei executive said Monday, stepping up the No. 3 global handset seller’s presence in the home market of rival Apple Inc.

The president of Huawei Technologies Ltd.’s consumer business, Richard Yu, said he would announce details at next month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. He said sales would start with the flagship Mate 10 but declined to give a price or say through which carrier or carriers they would be sold.

Huawei sells some models in US electronics stores and online but has a minimal share of an American market in which most sales are through carriers. Globally, the company trails Samsung and Apple by handset shipments but leads in China, the biggest market, and says it expects to ship a total of 150 million units this year.

“We will sell our flagship phone, our product, in the US market through carriers next year,” said Yu in an interview. “I think that we can bring value to the carriers and to consumers. Better product, better innovation, better user experience.”

Yu expressed confidence the smartphone business wouldn’t be affected by American government concerns Huawei might be a security threat, which derailed US demand for its network gear.

“In consumer sales, when people really start using Huawei products, they will change their minds,” said Yu.

Huawei, founded in 1987 by a former military engineer, is the first Chinese brand to break into the top ranks of global technology suppliers.

The company, headquartered in Shenzhen, near Hong Kong, is the world’s biggest supplier of switching equipment used by telephone and internet companies. It has manufactured mobile phones since the 1990s and launched its own smartphone brand in 2010.

Huawei reported 2016 profit of CNY 37 billion ($5.4 billion) on revenue of CNY 521.6 billion ($75.6 billion). The company is owned by its employees, with no publicly traded shares, but reports financial results in an effort to allay security concerns in the United States and Europe.

Helped by a strong position in China, India and other developing markets, sales by its premium-priced Huawei and mid-market Honor smartphone brands have grown faster than those of Samsung or Apple. That prompted suggestions Huawei might pass its American rival.

In the latest quarter, Huawei’s handset shipments rose 16.1 percent over a year earlier to 39.1 million, well ahead of Apple’s 2.6 percent growth to sales of 46.7 million, according to IDC. Samsung sales expanded 9.5 percent to 83.3 million units.

“We are a Top 3 smartphone supplier but we are very close to the Top 2. So maybe quickly we can be Top 2,” said Yu.

The Mate 10, unveiled in October, offers an extra-wide display, high-end cameras and other advanced features at prices 15 to 30 percent below those of Samsung and Apple.

Yu said the Mate 10 will be “competitively priced” in the United States but Huawei expects to compete on performance instead of cost.

“Our strength is in developed markets,” where consumers will pay for performance, said Yu. “We are not a cheap, low-cost company.”

Also next year, Huawei plans to start selling through carriers in Japan, where its phones already are sold in stores, Yu said.

“I think next year is a very important year for Huawei,” he said.

Huawei’s US business suffered a setback when a congressional panel recommended in October 2013 that phone carriers avoid doing business with it or a smaller Chinese rival, ZTE Corp. Beijing rejected the report as false and an effort to block Chinese companies from the US market.

Huawei denied being a security threat and rejected the US complaints as politically motivated or possibly an attempt by competitors to keep it out of the market.

“They are lying,” said Yu. “We are a company that really cares about cybersecurity and privacy protection. We do a lot better than the other vendors.”

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Cheetah Mobile’s Live.me App Gets $50 Million in Funding, Looks to Expand in India

Cheetah Mobile's Live.me App Gets $50 Million in Funding, Looks to Expand in India

Aiming to make inroads into the Indian market, Chinese firm Cheetah Mobile on Tuesday announced that its live-streaming platform Live.me app has received $50 million (roughly Rs. 326 crores) in funding from China-based tech company Bytedance.

With the new alliance and funding, Live.me, that has more than 35 million global users, seeks to expand into more local languages and other content genres to reach an even broader audience in India.

“We are delighted to welcome Bytedance as a strategic partner for our fast-growing, live-streaming business. Bytedance’s investment will accelerate the growth of Live.me’s live video and short video businesses,” Sheng Fu, Cheetah Mobile’s Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement.

Following its debut in India earlier this year, Live.me is now pursuing an expansion strategy by setting up a new office in Mumbai and building strategic partnerships with local influencers with the goal of creating popular content for the users.

As part of the definitive agreement, Live.me will provide live-streaming services to Bytedance in the overseas markets.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

LeBlanc: Top Gear to ‘expand the comedy’

Matt LeBlanc

Matt LeBlanc joined Top Gear in 2016

Matt LeBlanc has given viewers a taster of what they can expect from the next series of Top Gear.

The 25th season of the show – due to air in spring 2018 – will see LeBlanc return to host alongside Rory Reid and Chris Harris.

“I think we’ve tried to broaden the demographic of the show,” the presenter said.

“Try to make it not lose the petrolhead nature of it but maybe open it up to people who aren’t so petrolheady.

Rory Reid, Matt LeBlanc and Chris Harris
Image captionLeBlanc co-presents with Rory Reid (left) and Chris Harris

“Expand the comedy, try to have bigger, broader films, but it will be more of the same in the sense it starts with the car.”

LeBlanc will return to the UK in the coming weeks to shoot footage for the show – so far he’s been filming in Norway, France, Italy and California.

“It will be closer to what it was last year versus the season before,” he added.

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The most recent series was more popular with critics than the one before it – which saw Chris Evans on hosting duties.

Evans hadn’t been popular with viewers and he left the show after fronting one series.

But LeBlanc declined to discuss viewing figures, which have generally been lower since the departure of previous hosts Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond.

Matt LeBlanc and Chris Evans
Image captionMatt LeBlanc was popular with viewers. Chris Evans… not so much

The trio moved to Amazon Prime to start the Grand Tour after Clarkson punched a producer. He later apologised after settling a £100,000 racial discrimination and injury claim.

BBC Two controller Patrick Holland has previously said Top Gear’s last season drew a “much healthier” audience and it should not be compared to the Clarkson era, which was a “completely different” show.

The BBC has also said that younger audiences rated the most recent series “far higher” than they did previous ones.

LeBlanc was speaking from Los Angeles as he promoted the last series of Episodes, the comedy he stars in alongside Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig.

The 50-year-old said it will be hard to leave behind the show, which has been a “inspiring, magic, special journey”.

[“Source-bbc”]

Government Working to Expand Digital Transactions at Great Pace, Says Jaitley

Government Working to Expand Digital Transactions at Great Pace, Says Jaitley
Asserting that the government is working to expand digital transaction at a great pace despite criticism, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday asked Opposition not to eulogise the virtues of cash as it leads to temptation for shadow economy.

“If an economy runs on cash, it is not credit to the country. …Cash gives temptation for shadow and parallel economy. …Don’t find fault with the system, don’t start singing the virtues of cash,” Jaitley said while intervening in the discussion on Motion of thanks to President’s Address in Rajya Sabha.

On Opposition’s criticism that the country does not have adequate infrastructure to support digital economy, Jaitley said that there are 1.5 lakh bank branches, 2.10 lakh ATMs and 1.25 lakh banking correspondents.

Besides, telecom companies have been licenced to act as payment banks in addition to Department of Posts which will further enhance financial inclusion, he added.

On concerns on additional cost associated with digital payments, Jaitley said there are several modes of payments including UPI and e-wallets.

“This expansion is taking place at a great pace,” he said. Jaitley said the technology has advanced so much that people can withdraw money without going to brick and mortar bank and asked the Opposition not to find faults with digital system.

“Don’t underestimate power of technology. Let us not underestimate this country,” he said and added that predominantly cash-based economy is not good for the country.
The Finance Minister said that cash leads to temptation for dealing in black money. “I can’t think of any country which propounds only cash transactions. Why are you sprouting virtues of cash?”

Stressing that demonetisation was not a sudden decision, he said the government had been working since assuming office in May 2014 to address the problem of black money.

In this context, he cited steps like review of double taxation agreements and amendments to Benami Act among others.

“This government has been working since day one to end black money which had become a part of life,” he said. He said that 2016 was a “historic” as the government amended its double taxation agreements with Singapore, Cyprus and Mauritius.

Jaitley also pointed out to Congress that the White Paper on black money by UPA government in 2012 itself had talked about vices of cash which leads to parallel economy, lesser revenue to the government and corruption.

The Finance Minister said it is true that terrorists don’t deal only in cash but it is a great enabler.

Tags: Digital Payments, Cashless Payments, Internet, Apps, India, E Wallets

[“Source-Gadgets”]