Posts Tagged ‘china’
GreatFire.org, a group which focuses on China-based freedom of speech, said in a statement that Microsoft search engine, Bing, was filtering search results for search terms like “Dalai Lama”, on behalf of the Chinese authorities (who think that the Dalai Lama is a violent political separatist).
Microsoft said it was a system fault that had removed some search results for users outside China and this is nothing like that time they censored the Chinese versions of their smartphones and Skype. Nothing at all.
“Due to an error in our system, we triggered an incorrect results removal notification for some searches noted in the report but the results themselves are and were unaltered outside of China,” Stefan Weitz, senior director for Bing.
You’ll notice that Weitz didn’t say whether or not they’d fixed the problem or, indeed, if the Bing team have any intention of sorting this out.
And what did Microsoft tell China? Well, they sent out an edited version of their statement to Chinese media organisations and handily omitted any references to GreatFire.org. Why? A China-based Mircosoft spokesperson said: ”There were too many points in the original statement.”
It goes without saying that China isn’t too keen on social media networks and censorship is not something Chinese governments have ever shied away from. This means that any internet companies wanting to work there have to be careful or cavalier. They usually choose ‘careful’ because there’s a lot of money to be made from the Chinese market. Still, you have to assume that the comment sections on Chinese website aren’t a cesspit of flaccid yelling and people saying “everything isn’t as good as it used to be!”, which is something.
Thank goodness that there’s absolutely no examples of internet giants kowtowing to governments in the West, eh?
While gamers of the world have been playing Battlefield 4, and generally causing no trouble to anyone other than the seat of their jeans, the same can’t be said for our pals over in China. They won’t be playing the game at all.
Reports state that Dice’s shoot-’em-up has been banned from sale all over China because, and get this, Battlefield 4 has ‘aggressive content that endangers national security’ and is ‘a cultural invasion’.
Chinese authorities have got all jumpy because BF4′s storyline involves a potential war between The United States of America and China themselves. With it being a shooty game, there’s fighting between both countries (with added Russians).
Of course, this has kicked off something of a Streisand Effect, with gamers in China more keen to play it, taking to torrents to illegally download BF4, which means they can go around shooting pixels that aren’t real and won’t at all invade their culture or threaten national security.
The firm, who assembles products for Apple and Sony, has admitted breaching labour laws with their interns, saying that they have been making students work night shifts and overtime, which is in violation of company policy.
Naturally, no-one will have any real sympathy because this story involves interns and students, and they’ve got less feelings than fish.
“In the case of recent allegations regarding the internship programme at our Yantai campus, we have conducted an internal investigation,” the company said in a statement. ”And have determined that there have been a few instances where our policies pertaining to overtime and night shift work were not enforced.”
This comes on the back of a story that an information engineering university in the city of Xian forced students to join the Foxconn internship programme in Shandong, or they wouldn’t be allowed to graduate. Some students claimed that they were forced to quit their coursework and do 11 hour shifts instead. Anyone threatening to jack it in would be told that they wouldn’t receive their diplomas.
Foxconn took immediate action “to bring that campus into full compliance with our code and policies”. The company has also raised wages by nearly 70% at their Chinese plants too. Eventually, they might actually be a decent company to work for… provided they’ve cleared all the cadavers out of the suicide nets.
A city government official said: “Such uncouth use of a public toilet will be fined 100 yuan ($16/ £10) by authorities.”
Not specified are the levels of ‘spillage’ that will constitute a violation, and of course, this has created something of a shit storm in China.
One user on a Chinese social networking site said: “A number of new civil servant positions will be created. There will be a supervisor behind every urinating person to see whether the pee is straight.”
Another added: “Very good measures. I expect they can create 20 jobs on average for every public toilet.”
Would you like to see this sort of thing in Britain? Maybe they’ll introduce CCTV into all cubicles to make sure you’re not wazzing up the walls or crapping all over the cistern?
A user on China’s microblogging site, ‘Sina Weibo’ has invented ‘hairy stockings’ so you girls don’t need to be pestered by perverts anymore!
They say: “Super sexy, summertime anti-pervert full-leg-of-hair stockings, essential for all young girls going out”
Or, of course, you could just grow your leg hair out and buy a knife.
Poshos will be all of a flummox when they find out that a Chinese property group is going to be buying Britain’s biggest luxury yachtmaker, Sunseeker. Once again, a little piece of their nation is being carved up and sent abroad, which is funny because posh people are all thundering bumwads.
The firm, who have shown off their wares in James Bond films and have sleb customers like Simon Cowell, Eddie Jordan and Nigel Mansell, is going to be bought by Beijing-based Dalian Wanda for around £300million.
Wang Jianlin, chairman and founder of Dalian Wanda, told the Financial Times: “We bought the best yacht company in the UK.”
A spokesman for Sunseeker said that the buyout will be a ‘significant investment’ but insisted ‘one thing is for sure, Sunseeker will remain a British brand’.
Even though it won’t be.
China has been buying loads of big British firms recently, gobbling up MG Rover, Weetabix and Birmingham City football club. They’ll be buying the Queen next.
The Chinese really love whisky and, for those with more money than sense, they’re willing to pay £200k for it.
“The starting price for a bottle of Johnnie Walker Scotch through the Johnnie Walker House is $3000,” said Diageo’s Asia-Pacific President Gilberte Ghostine. ”It starts at $3000 a bottle and goes up to $300,000 a bottle. And people are paying that.”
And people are wise to keep an eye on the Chinese market.
“Eighty percent of Chinese millionaires are below 45 years old. So it’s a younger profile than in the US, for example, where only 35% of their millionaires are below 45,” Ghostine explained. ”The Chinese have an interest in brands with real heritage, history, provenance, craftsmanship and real substance. And this exactly what we have.”
Scotch whisky makes up 40% of international spirit imports into China too.
Mr Ghostine said: “It is definitely great for Scotland. Today the Scotch whisky industry is very important for the UK. Every second £134 is being generated by Scotch whisky for the UK and the potential is huge. There is a big correlation between Gross Domestic Product growth in emerging markets and Scotch whisky. The Scotch whisky category is 50% of international spirits market in the whole Asia-Pacific region, and so the potential is very big.”
Just wait ’til they discover Buckfast (start stocking up now so you can sell it for inflated prices in the New Year).
With Apple and Samsung currently locked in a battle of Who Can Piss The Highest, they’ll both be looking at each other for flaws to leap on.
So Apple, who have previous when it comes to having suppliers with underage workers and people committing suicide all the time, will no doubt have been thrilled that Samsung were being investigated for the very same thing.
However, sadly for Apple, authorities in China have found no underage workers at a Samsung Electronics manufacturing supplier. Samsung are either nicer people or better at hiding illegal workers, obviously.
The Huizhou Zhongkai Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone (catchy name) said that authorities investigated Samsung supplier HEG Electronics after hearing reports of underage workers, earning $1 an hour and working 11 hours a day, six days a week.
Local authorities found no such violations and Apple will no doubt be fuming.
We’ve all seen a desirable item at one point or another that has caused us to say ‘Wow – I’d give my right arm for that!’. Over in China, a teenager recently took it a step further said ‘An iPhone and an iPad? Wow – I’d give my kidney for that!’ in an internet chatroom.
The teen, whose surname is Wang, duly went ahead with the procedure, and received $3,000 for his troubles, which he duly spent on the Apple gadgetry. Sadly, he now has renal failure, but he’s gotten really got at Angry Birds.
Wang’s kidney was procured through an internet chatroom and the shady group who lured him into it have been arrested. They did much better out of the deal, receiving $35,000.
There is a constant shortage of organ donors in China, with 1.5 million people needing transplants and only 10,000 performed each year. Also, modern gadgetry is unaffordable for most people in China, so you can see why Wang went to the lengths that he did.
If you get offered one of these iPhone stoves down the pub this weekend, we think you should know that they are FAKES.
The Chinese authorities have confiscated 681 of them but we can’t be certain that hundreds of thousands of others haven’t already spread across the globe like, erm, stove-shaped erm, tentacles. If you’re worried that you might get caught out, we’d advise printing out this news story and carrying it around with you at all times. You’re welcome.
Those queues you see outside Apple’s UK stores when a new iGadget is about to be launched? They’re like a vicar’s tea party compared to what has just gone on in China, as the iPhone 4S went on sale for the first time.
It all kicked off big-style at the Apple store in Sanlitun, Beijing in the wildest scenes witnessed since Gazza went over there to have a crack at becoming a football manager. Reports say that a massive crowd assembled and when store bosses decided not to open up, the wannabe iPhone owners scuffled with police and threw eggs at the shop. Ah, the long-standing tradition of taking eggs to a product launch – where would we be without it?
One gutted hopeful told Reuters TV: “I’ve been waiting here since yesterday afternoon, then this morning they say they won’t sell. They broke customers’ hearts”.
Are you reading this, Apple? You broke their hearts!
It seems as though the problems at Foxconn’s gadget-making factory in China haven’t gone away, and a recent mass suicide was averted at the last minute, with 300 workers persuaded not to jump as they stood on the edge of the building instrad of making Xbox 360s. Foxconn have previously installed anti-suicide nets around the edge of the building, but we’re guessing that they wouldn’t be all that effective if 300 people plunge through them at once.
The ultimate protest happened recently after workers’ requests for a pay rise was rebuffed and they were told that they could quite with compensation or stay in their jobs on the same money. Those who quit reportedly returned for the mass suicide attempt once the promised compensation failed to materialise. Foxconn, who employ a staggering 400,000 people, closed down the factory to deal with the protest, which apparently ended peacefully.
As well as Xbox 360s, Foxconn employees work tirelessly to make gadgets and gizmos for Apple, Amazon, Nintendo, Dell and Sony in a walled factory campus in Shenzhen. Dear readers, does it bother you that the beautiful gadgets that you lovingly prize are crafted by people who regularly feel compelled to take their own lives? Or are you not arsed? Your thoughts would be welcomed in the box below.
Despite the fact China had all those hooky Genius Bars, Apple is still facing a 10 billion yuan (£1billion) court case for trademark infringement which could see the sale of iPads banned in two Chinese cities.
Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, recently told investors that China was key to the company’s success, hooting: “China – the sky’s the limit there!” Sadly for him, a Chinese court has ruled that Apple slipped up when buying up the rights to the iPad name in 2006.
The “IPAD” name had already been registered over a decade ago by Proview, a computer monitor manufacturer. They claim to have the rights in eight regions, including China, South Korea and the European Union. They agreed to sell them to an agent secretly working for Apple in 2006 for just £35,000.
Paul Schmidt, a lawyer for Baker & Mackenzie (representing Apple) explained that because Apple products are subject to a lot of interest and hype, they had to use a third party to maintain confidentiality.
“Apple faces the dual challenges of maintaining the confidentiality of the product… and ensuring that upon its launch the product can be marketed under the name selected for it,” he wrote, in an affidavit to a court in Hong Kong. “In order to meet the second challenge, Apple buys up global rights to its product names, but uses a “special purpose vehicle”, he added.
However, Apple’s lawyers appear not to have noticed that the rights to the name in China were not actually held by Proview Electronics in Taiwan. Instead, to comply with Chinese law, the company had registered the rights with its arm on the mainland, Proview Shenzhen. All trademarks in China have to be registered with a China-based company.
When Apple asked for the rights to be transferred, Proview clocked on that they were dealing with someone with a lot of money to throw around and promptly demanded $10 million (£6.4 million). Apple refused, sued in a court in Shenzhen and lost.
“Apple was quite deceptive when it first approached Proview to buy the name,” said Xiao Caiyuan, the head of the Guangdong Guanghe law firm, which is representing Proview. “They had lawyers in Europe, Hong Kong and Taiwan to look through the paperwork, but they failed to spot that the trademark was registered elsewhere. They tried to claim in court this was because they could not read Chinese!” he said.
Proview has applied to block iPad sales in Shenzhen and Huizhou and its lawyers said that a nationwide ban is on the cards too.
Over on the Mobot side of the office, Lewis has been throwing together all the iPad 3 rumours here.