If you’ve spent any time in a coffee shop in China, you’ll know just how popular social media is becoming in our culture, so it shouldn’t be surprising that things are looking good for WeChat, with more than half of China’s mobile users connected, putting it ahead of social media giant Facebook globally. As Facebook have discovered after the US presidential election, fake news is a real problem. Chinese social media is tackling this problem head on, by creating an AI that will detect any misinformation. We can’t see Donald Trump doing the same in the US anytime soon. It isn’t just our culture that seems to be falling for social media, it seems to be equally popular with the citizens of Thailand. This week it has been revealed 40% of Thai travellers take their reviews of locations in China from social media before travelling, choosing to trust real world opinions over those in glossy brochures. It’s good to know our opinions matter.
To celebrate its fourth anniversary, Chinese smartphone vendor OnePlus unveiled the OnePlus 5T in lava red. Demand is set to be high, as there will only be a limited number of handsets available in this colour, and we all like a bit of exclusivity. With China’s homegrown smartphones proving the most popular, OnePlus are probably on to a winner. Meanwhile, China smartphone maker Xiaomi wants to win over the Indian market, and is investing heavily in Indian start-ups to help improve its image, and speed up growth outside of China. Tencent has already secured the deal to bring Player Unknown’s Battleground (PUBG) to China, but now the popular PC game is being developed for smartphones, and Tencent is working on bringing the game to our smartphones soon. So if you enjoy fighting for your survival, soon you’ll be able to battle to the death wherever you go.
China understands the importance of technology education and is spending billions to ensure children and students of all ages have access to innovative teaching. STEMedu is authorised by the Ministry of Education, and is leading the charge to introduce science and technology into the education system, including training teachers to provide a more technology-focused education. With the rapid growth of China’s tech companies, there will be no shortage of opportunities, as proven by Alibaba and Tencent quickly moving up the league of the worlds largest companies. Overtaking Google, Apple, and Amazon will attract even more global attention, and help to secure China’s position on the global economic stage. Agriculture in China is being revolutionised by technology. No longer the domain of straw hats and hand tools, or long days spent labouring, graduate programs in topics like Protected Cultivation are smashing old stereotypes, and allowing farmers to become more efficient and profitable.
Israel has opened a China Cultural Center in Tel Aviv, to showcase clay-sculpting skills, as well as hosting art performances, cultural exhibitions, and academic seminars. It is hoped the center will help to strengthen the ties between the two countries by creating a better understanding of our culture in Isreal. While we try to strengthen future relationships on an international scale, our leaders in maritime archeology are looking to gain a better understanding of the past, and using shipwrecks to weave together the history of seaborne trade. At the same time as we are gaining a better understanding of the history of seaborne trade, we are also trying to preserve our cultural history. The launch of a website just for information about lost cultural relics is designed to help gather clues about missing artifacts, while at the same time deterring criminals from trying to steal any of our remaining artifacts.
Things are looking good for both WeChat and Weibo as they publish their Q3 figures, showing an increase in users and revenue. WeChat is nearing the 1 billion average daily user mark, hitting 902 million throughout September 2017. With Tencent’s commitment to development, it looks like Mini-Programs on WeChat may be undergoing a resurgence. Maimai’s battle to appeal to China’s professional social media users was boosted by a $75 million investment this week, with only about 2 million users difference between Maimai and LinkedIn, any investment could prove crucial.
Millennials in Shanghai should be the focus of luxury brands marketing efforts, according to recent statistics. The 23 to 28-age range have the largest disposable income and are ready to spend. Many Bluegogo users have been left stranded as the bike-share startup balances on the verge of collapse, and has stopped processing deposit refunds. As China’s global relevance continues to grow, the old saying of ‘Made in China’ is quickly being replaced by ‘Made for China’.
Technology is a bigger part of our daily lives than ever. More useful apps hit the market monthly and the Internet of Things (IoT) keeps expanding the ways we are connected. If you’re living a digital lifestyle then according to technode these are the top 15 apps for modern life. While you’re exploring new apps the Brand Relevance Index report says Alipay, WeChat and Android are the most relevant brands to us currently. Xi Jinping’s ‘New Era’ went viral on social media this week as celebrities showed their support with the #SupporttheNewEra hashtag.
The Chinese economy’s retail growth shows no signs of slowing as the first three quarters of 2017 show year on year growth of 10.4 percent. The global success of some cryptocurrencies hasn’t gone unnoticed, and China’s central bank is now conducting research into launching a sovereign digital currency. A digital currency has the potential to reduce costs and increase the reach of financial services in China. In light of President Xi Jinping’s speech companies in the UK are gearing up to invest in China. It is hoped new measures designed to increase foreign investment will make it easier for them to expand into the region.
According to a UK tabloid a Chinese digital detox camp has been subjecting teens to cruel practices in order to cure their Internet addiction. They claim the local authority found some of the claims to be true, and are fining the school. Someone who doesn’t need a digital detox is an 89-year-old grandmother who became a local social media star after going on a road trip to explore the northwest of our country with her son. With the release of dozens of apps China’s communist Party clearly sees apps and the Internet as a crucial battlefield to reach younger members.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is dealt another blow as China has successfully blocked all WhatsApp services. Disruptions started a short while ago, but where restricted to photo, video and voice messages, but the final step in blocking all messages seems to have now been implemented. The perfect solution has hit the market for the more paranoid iPhone user. Full-face masks are being sold online as a preventative measure to having your iPhone X unlocked while you sleep. This all seems a bit much when you could just deactivate Face ID and use a passcode instead, but we thought we’d let you know just in case sleeping in a full face mask has ever appealed to you.
Dior is increasing brand relevance to millennials worldwide, using Weibo Story in China, and Instagram in the west. The short narrative created using video clips and photos has proved very popular in China, and with millennials in particular. This love of Weibo Story fits with recent data that shows the next generation of consumers is more interested in spending their money on experiences and leisure time than on acquiring more things. When we are enjoying our experiences we also like to take part in another phenomenon of the digital age, taking selfies. Apparently we are so determined to take the perfect selfie, we’ll spend hundreds to buy an unremarkable camera that claims to take the perfect selfie.
Alibaba have consulted their crystal ball and have seen the future. It lies in quantum computing and AI. They’re committing to 3-year $15 billion investment that will see several new research labs open, and they hope will put them ahead of the curve in discovering breakthrough technologies. If you like your future speculations a little more affordable, then downtown Changning’s entrepreneurship and innovation week might be of more interest. With over 2000 start-ups in the region, over 30 of the best are showcasing their products, and advancements in AI seem to be taking center stage. It seems we’re already on our way to fulfilling President Xi Jinping’s wish to make China a country of innovators.
China has seen a huge increase in e-payments over the last two years, with the total last year surpassing $5 trillion. It’s not surprising to discover we could become one of the first cashless societies. Paper money is so yesterday. Is this a contributing factor in China’s central bank governor predicting an extremely healthy seven percent growth forecast? Although actual growth has been high recently, economists expected it to start decreasing, while this prediction suggests a small increase.