Chinese Companies Had Strong Showing at CES
At the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, where tech companies from all over the world gathered last week to show off, 1,551 exhibitors (out of 4,500) were from China, almost double the number of Chinese exhibitors in 2014.
According to a chart by Quartz, at least 482 companies hailed from Shenzhen.
Baidu demonstrated the latest iteration of its Apollo self-driving platform, capable of autonomous driving even at night. It also announced it would open a $200 million transport-centric fund with Asia Mobility Industries to spread Apollo across Southeast Asia.
Huawei-AT&T Deal Killed by Political Pressure
AT&T walked away from a deal to sell Huawei’s smartphones to US customers just before the partnership was set to be unveiled at last week’s CES.
“It’s a big loss for us, and also for carriers, but the bigger loss is for consumers, because consumers don’t have the best choice,” said Richard Yu, chief executive of Huawei’s consumer business group, during his keynote speech at CES.
In the US, where the vast majority of consumers buy handsets through carriers, it would be almost impossible for a phone maker to become a major player without working with at least one.
Last month, a group of lawmakers wrote a letter to the Federal Communications Commission expressing concerns about a potential deal between Huawei and an unnamed American telecommunications company. It cited longstanding concerns among some lawmakers about “Huawei’s ties to the Chinese government.”
Recently, Alibaba-affiliated Ant Financial’s proposed $1.2 billion acquisition of US money transfer company MoneyGram was blocked by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US.
These cases illustrate that tech exchanges between US and China are becoming increasingly politicized, and Chinese companies looking to expand into the US may continue to face headwind under the current political climate.
Didi Forays into Bike-sharing
Didi Chuxing, a GGV portfolio company, announced last week that it has launched a partnership with Bluegogo, the bike-sharing startup that went bankrupt last November. Users will be able to use Bluegogo bikes through Didi’s app with no deposit required.
Didi will soon launch a comprehensive bike-sharing platform within its app, which will integrate Ofo, Bluegogo, and other potential bike-sharing partners, as well as Didi’s upcoming own-branded bike-sharing service.
This is an indication that Didi, a major backer of Ofo, no longer sees their partnership as exclusive, and could alter the already complicated dynamic in China’s bike sharing industry.
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