Posts filed under ‘Technology’

Global Technology Companies Protest Chinese Procurement Law

Global technology, service and manufacturing companies are raising concerns to the Chinese government over new rules they fear could restrict or block foreign vendors from selling high-tech gear to China’s government agencies. More than two dozen major industry groups from North America, Europe and Asia — representing most of the world’s major technology companies — sent a letter Thursday to Chinese ministries saying they were “deeply troubled” by the Chinese requirement.

The new rule requires vendors to gain accreditation for their products before they can be included in a government procurement catalog of products containing “indigenous innovation.” Companies that aren’t listed in the catalog will theoretically be allowed to bid for government contracts. But those that are listed will apparently be given preference.

At stake are billions of dollars of Chinese government spending on personal computers and application devices, communication products, office equipment, software and energy-efficient products. (By LORETTA CHAO, The Wall Street Journal, DECEMBER 11, 2009)

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December 14, 2009 at 8:00 am

Payment Options for International Transactions

You and your customer will assess many factors as you negotiate the payment term that will be used for your international transaction. They include, but are not limited to:
Value of the transaction;
Your relationship with your customer, new or long-standing;
The country where the goods are destined;
The buyer’s country’s rules about how money will be released to you, the seller; and
Whether the product being shipped is customized, built to specification, or off the shelf.
The global economy is fluid; firms will benefit from regularly examining its own customer base and assessing political, credit and foreign-exchange risks to determine which payment term best suits the situation. There are several sources that provide background information on the buyer’s country and their economy. Options that are available on the internet include:

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December 8, 2009 at 8:00 am

China’s Big Brands Tackle Web Sales

Li Ning, founded nearly 20 years ago by a former champion gymnast of the same name, opened its first Web site for selling direct to consumers last year. While still a small share of total sales, traffic on the site has grown so quickly that Li Ning has hired International Business Machines Corp. to help it build a new site, expected to launch in March, that will be able to handle more volume and will include a new features like wireless services.

China has the largest population of Internet users in the world, with 338 million at the end of June. But until fairly recently, they didn’t spend much buying things on the Web. That is starting to change.

Online transactions accounted for 1.2% of total retail sales in China last year, compared with more than 5% in the U.S., but they are growing much faster: the value of goods sold online is likely to grow 89% this year to $35.6 billion,estimates Credit Suisse. (By AARON BACK, The Wall Street Journal, NOVEMBER 30, 2009)

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December 3, 2009 at 8:00 am

An Online Market Flourishes in China (E-commerce Fever Makes Taobao China’s Newest Internet Darling)

The so-called Taobao addicts are helping to pick up the slack in a sluggish economy. “I can’t live without Taobao,” said Zhang Kangni, a graduate student in Shanghai. “First, it’s cheaper. I found a dress at a store in Shanghai. It’s a Hong Kong brand that sells for $175. I found it on Taobao for $33.”

But skeptics ask: Can Taobao actually make a profit and emerge as a true Web powerhouse?

The company is not publicly traded and therefore does not disclose financial information, but listings are free on Taobao and the company makes no money from online transactions. Almost all Taobao’s $200 million in revenue comes from advertising, which the company says covers virtually all its operational costs. (By DAVID BARBOZA, The New York Times, August 9, 2009 )

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November 30, 2009 at 9:18 am

In China, Online Advertising Holds Real Promise

HONG KONG — While Internet advertising revenue growth in the U.S. has stalled since the global downturn set in, some hope remains for China’s highly trafficked Web sites.

“For 2010 we’re estimating about 20% growth for online advertising,” says Ben Cavender, a senior analyst at Shanghai-based China Market Research Group. “That’s compared with the U.S., where it’s under 5% a year.”

China’s largest Internet portal, Sina Corp., is optimistic about online advertising–and rightly so. Forecasting advertising growth in 2010, Sina, which Forbes Asia named one of the “Best Under A Billion” companies, posted third-quarter profits Tuesday that beat some analysts’ expectations.(by Hana R. Alberts,Forbes, 11.17.09)

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November 24, 2009 at 8:00 am

Cellphone Entertainment Takes Off in Rural India

MUMBAI—In the furthest reaches of India’s rural heartland, the cellphone is bringing something that television, radio and even newspapers couldn’t deliver: Instant access to music, information, entertainment, news and even worship.

Despite its rapid modernization, many of India’s 750,000 villages remain isolated except for the cellphone reception that now blankets almost the entire country after a decade of rapid expansion by operators. So in villages that don’t receive any FM radio stations, people have begun calling a number that has a recording of Bollywood tunes and listening to it on their headsets.

This primitive cellular “radio” service was used by close to 20 million Indians last year, phone company executives estimate.(By ERIC BELLMAN, The Wall Street Journal, NOVEMBER 22, 2009)

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November 23, 2009 at 8:00 am

E.U. Plan Could Lead to Lower Cost International Calls

BERLIN — The European Commission will urge the 27 European Union countries Wednesday to reserve a uniform slice of broadcast spectrum for a pan-European mobile broadband network, one that could enable flat-rate, international voice and data calling plans.

A copy of the proposal, reviewed by the International Herald Tribune, sets out technical guidelines for E.U. countries that choose to redeploy part of their low-frequency spectrum, a bandwidth that has been used exclusively by television broadcasters since the inception of the industry more than 50 years ago. (By KEVIN J. O’BRIEN, The New York Times, October 27, 2009)

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November 3, 2009 at 8:00 am

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