China Tech Newsletter – June 3, 2015

image credit: Chumenwenwen
image credit: Chumenwenwen

The developer of custom Android Wear system Ticwear launches a smart watch, which was co-designed with Frog Design. It comes in two models retailed at RMB999 (about US$160) and RMB1199 (about US$190), respectively. Online pre-order will begin on June 18 on JD.com, its distribution partner.

Ticwear has integrated a wide range of Chinese apps, Sogou Maps, JD  (shopping), Didi Dache (car hailing), Qunar (travel), Codoon (activity tracking), Toutiao (news) and its in-house developed Mandarin voice search. The free-to-download system has had more than 30,000 users since its launch in December 2014, according to the company.

Chumenwenwen, the startup behind it which was founded by former Googler Li Zhifei, started off with a WeChat-based voice search service and had developed a Mandarin voice search for Google Glass before Ticwear.


Tencent’s Qzone, the most popular online social network in terms of user numbers, turns ten.

Monthly active users (MAU) were 668 million, a 4% year-over-year increase, in the first quarter of 2015. Its mobile app grew 22% year-over-year to 568 million MAU (WeChat, Tencent’s flagship messaging app, had 549 million MAU in the same quarter).

Qzone generates revenues through a monthly premium subscription called Yellow Diamond and online advertising.


Smart phone maker Meizu launched yesterday a new version of Tmall Box which has integrated Lifekit, an Android-based communication platform for smart home. Now users can control Tmall Box, the set-top box developed by Alibaba, with Meizu phones.

Alibaba Group invested US$590 million into Meizu in February this year.


 

Focus Media, the leading digital outdoor advertising company, is relisting on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange through a reverse merger.

The company got listed on the NASDAQ in 2005 and was taken private in 2013.


 

Alibaba Group will reportedly invest US$200 million into China Business News. It is expected to be announced tomorrow. (via The Wall Street Journal)


Beijing authorities said Didi Kuaidi’s private and rental car hailing service was illegal. Didi Kuaidi said they’d cooperate with the authorities and open up data collected to them. (via Jinghua)

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