Posts Tagged ‘china’
The first bit of news is that Chinese state media have warned their people that Apple’s iPhone is a threat to national security. Why? Well, iPhones can track you and transmit data back to the firm, which of course is paranoid and wei… hang on.
China might have a point there.
A report on China Central Television (yes, the acronym for that is ‘CCTV’, which is just hilarious really) said that the iPhone’s “Frequent Locations” function was dangerous and intrusive to Chinese citizens. ”This is extremely sensitive data,” a researcher told CCTV, before adding that iPhones could well tell everyone about the Chinese economy and “even state secrets”.
Cast your mind back to Edward Snowden’s claims that he once taught a course in “cyber-counterintelligence” against China, and things that may have been dismissed as the hootings of crackpots look far more probable.
Apple’s notes on the Frequent Locations service says: ”Your iPhone will keep track of places you have recently been, as well as how often and when you visited them, in order to learn places that are significant to you. This data is kept solely on your device and won’t be sent to Apple without your consent. It will be used to provide you with personalized services, such as predictive traffic routing.”
CCTV have previously referred to Apple as “incomparably arrogant”, which is also funny.
However, Samsung have been pointing at China, saying that they’ve found evidence of “suspected child labour” at a factory of one of their suppliers. Say hello to our old pals at Dongguan Shinyang Electronics again!
Samsung undertook an investigation after the group China Labor Watch accused them of hiring children, with the tech-makers suspending business with the factory while they look into everything.
“If the investigations conclude that the supplier indeed hired children illegally, Samsung will permanently halt business with the supplier in accordance with its zero tolerance policy on child labour,” Samsung said in a statement. “Furthermore, Samsung will strengthen its hiring process not only at its production facilities but also at its suppliers to prevent such case from reoccurring.”
Dongguan Shinyang Electronics have decided to stay quiet for the time being.
So there you have it. In China, it seems it is okay to work children like dogs, but if you tell Americans about their whereabouts, then you’re ‘incomparably arrogant’.
House of Fraser might seem like the kind of place your mum goes to buy tights and have a nice cup of tea in the cafe, but now the trusted British store is broadening its horizons and GOING GLOBAL.
After a successful £480m takeover bid by Chinese tycoon Yuan Yafei, there are plans to open 4 stores in Russia and two in Abu Dhabi, as well as a flagship ‘Oriental Fraser’ in Nanjing, where Yafei is based.
Apparently Chinese department stores are a bit crap, so Yafei is taking the traditional ‘Are You Being Served’ House of Fraser style and shipping it wholesale to Asia. He’ll also inject tons of money into the UK business – which has been going for an unbelievable 165 years – and renovate existing stores.
This is just the latest example of British retailers branching out internationally, following an increased interest in British clothing and accessories from abroad.
With M&S and John Lewis at the helm of UK online retail, at the moment, it seems like Britannia rules the (retail) waves.
How long before there’s a Moscow branch of Poundstretcher?
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!