Commentary

New Year, Old Tidings In China's Tech Sector

Tech Market WatchBy Perry Wu
It's a new year, but with consumers complaining about electronics and deals being brokered, China's technology landscape still feels like 2006. Highlights for the last week include mobile manifestations and consumer gripes.

Japanese companies in any sector have a tough hill to climb in China. Still reeling from World War II atrocities that have gone unforgiven by the mainland and unrecognized by the Japanese, Japanese technology companies often bear the brunt of many attacks. And nothing good comes when these companies fail to appease Chinese comsumers. Witness Toshiba's recent troubles and you see what I mean: local media report that after its PC products were exposed by the Zhejiang Provincial Bureau of Industry and Commerce as having problems, Japan-based Toshiba has apologized to customers but has refused to recall the products. Toshiba's Satellite L100 and Satellite A80 laptop computers are the source of the worries, and Toshiba has chosen to take the low road in dealing with consumers in China.

Switching gears to e-waste, the much-lauded implementation of China's equivalent to the RoHS Directive, which was adopted on February 28, 2006, will enter into force on March 1, 2007 to help eliminate e-waste. This new guideline requires several standards and further regulatory measures, but its goal is to help ease pollution and create a more harmonious society in China.

There was no waste during the new year for mobile communications in China. Oriental Morning Post reports that mobile operators in Shanghai earned over CNY10 million from short message sending on the day before the New Year. The short message sending hit the highest record between 17:00 and 22:00 on that day and reached a total of 19.35 million, which was 15 times more than normal. Keep in mind that the telecommunications operators made this money and any mobile value-added services company like Kongzhong, Linktone, or Tom.com only get a small fraction of this money, and only if users utilized MVAS offerings.

China Mobile and Google also announced plans to provide mobile and Internet search services in China. In layman's terms, this means that Google will add its affiliate program search engine onto the WAP pages of China Mobile's wireless portal. It's a big deal about nothing much.

About the author:
Perry Wu is a writer and correspondent for ChinaTechNews.com and can be reached here at the site. Perry Wu does not hold any positions, long or short, on any of the Chinese or American company securities mentioned in this article.

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