Business, China, Tech News

Foxconn reportedly replaced 60,000 factory workers with robots

Jane Wakefield, writing for BBC;

Apple and Samsung supplier Foxconn has reportedly replaced 60,000 factory workers with robots.

One factory has “reduced employee strength from 110,000 to 50,000 thanks to the introduction of robots”, a government official told the South China Morning Post.

Xu Yulian, head of publicity for the Kunshan region, added: “More companies are likely to follow suit.”

China is investing heavily in a robot workforce.

Replacing human workforce with a robot workforce will not only happen in China, but with other countries as well, where manufacturing is a major source of revenue like Taiwan and the Philippines.

Gadget, Tech News

Huawei suing Samsung over patents on cellular technology and software


Jamie Inocian, writing for;

Samsung is entering into legal battles against another smartphone manufacturer and this time it’s against Huawei. Huawei has filed a law suit against Samsung in both China and the US over allegations that it has been violating patents on its cellular technology and software. According to our source, Huawei isn’t looking for a payout though. In an interesting move, they’re looking for a cross-licensing deal where both companies share the patents.

Make sense for Huawei to demand cross-licensing, since they (Huawei) will benefit more with a cross-licensing deal than just getting a quick payout.

Apple, Gadget, Philippines

iPhone SE now available on the Apple Store Philippines

iphone se 01

Apple’s small but powerful smartphone is now available thru the Apple Philippines Online store. Apple officially release the iPhone SE in the Philippine this month. Read more…

Tech News, Transportation

Toyota and Uber announced partnership for ridesharing collaboration and new leasing options


Toyota Motor Corporation, an automotive company aiming for safer, more efficient and convenient mobility, and Uber, a technology platform that is evolving the way the world moves, are announcing a partnership. The companies have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to explore collaboration, starting with trials, in the world of ridesharing in countries where ridesharing is expanding, taking various factors into account such as regulations, business conditions, and customer needs. As part of the partnership, Toyota Financial Services Corporation and Mirai Creation Investment Limited Partnership are making a strategic investment in Uber.

Even though both companies did not disclose the financial details of the deal, it’s obvious that there’s a large sum of money involve, specially when Toyota said “strategic investment in Uber as part of a broader global partnership.”

This partnership will not only benefit Toyota and Uber but also the car buyers (who are also Uber drivers), since they (car buyers) can use their earnings generated as Uber drivers to pay for their new vehicles via the Toyota Financial Services.

Another part of this partnership is to “explore collaboration, starting with trials, in the world of ridesharing in countries where ridesharing is expanding, taking various factors into account such as regulations, business conditions, and customer needs.”

Which means that Uber and Toyota may be developing a technology that will integrate the Uber service within the Toyota dashboard (for drivers) or a self-driving technology for Toyota and Uber.

Another angle to this partnership is that Toyota will become the preferred cars by Uber/Uber drivers.

Connectivity, Internet, Philippines

Globe and PLDT to ‘support’ call for faster internet after incoming President Rodrigo Duterte pronouncement

Yoly Crisanto, Globe’s Senior Vice President for Corporate Communications;

We support the call for faster internet. In fact, Globe is at the forefront of building the much needed infrastructure nationwide to make Internet services easily accessible either through mobile or wireline. This is supported by heavy investments over the years to make sure the Philippines is at par with other countries in terms of technology use.

Ramon Isberto, PLDT spokesman;

We are aligned with government efforts to improve telecom services. PLDT is in fact in the middle of a major 3-year network investment program that is in process of significantly improving telecom and Internet services for PLDT and Smart customers and will support national development initiatives.

It’s great that Telcom companies reacted to incoming President Rodrigo Duterte “call” for a better and faster internet.

Notice that in both statement, from Globe and PLDT, that they’re already in the process of improving the service. Globe is said “heavy investments over the years”, while PLDT is “in the middle of a major 3-year network investment program”, which means subcribers should have at least feel some improvement on the service.

I guess, we won’t feel see the improvement until they’re done or at a premium.

You can read the full text of Globe’s statement here.

Connectivity, Government Tech, Philippines

Incoming President Duterte plans to blow telecom “cartels” improve their services

GMA News;

Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte is planning deal a blow on “cartels” in the energy and telecommunications industries to improve services.

Duterte told the media in Davao on Saturday evening that he would hammer out a policy to improve the country’s internet speed, one of the slowest in Asia.

If telcos fail to shape up, the industry would be opened to foreign competition, Duterte was quoted as saying.

It’ll be interesting how the Duterte admin, will approach this problem, since there have been a number of new Acts and Bills, which aims to improve the internet connection in the Philippines.

Pakistan, Philippines, Startup

Rocket Internet shuts down Sparklist, an app-based classified ads startup

Osman Husain, writing for Tech in Asia;

Its global site GetSparklist is gone. Both its Pakistan site and Philippines site don’t work either. A search on the Google Play store reveals nothing.

The news comes 6 months after is was launched and 5 months after it expanded to the Philippines.

Rocket Internet may have over looked that mobile-first strategy of Sparklist, it does look good on paper though.

Google, Google I/O 2016

ICYMI: All things Google I/O 2016

If you’re catching up on all things Google I/O 2016, this article from TechCrunch is a good start. It feels like I’ve been living under a rock for almost 2 weeks.

China, Gaming

Mojang release Minecraft tailored for the Chinese market


Today we’re proud to announce an exclusive agreement to license Minecraft for Pocket and PC to a NetEase, Inc. affiliate in mainland China. The plan is to develop a version of Minecraft tailored for the Chinese market. It probably won’t affect most of you, seeing as you’re probably not based in China.

But still, this is significant news and significant news requires significant quotes, so here are two. One from our CEO, and one from NetEase’s.

Thousands if not millions of Chinese may already be playing Minecraft.

Gadget, Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia: Huawei P9 in the flesh


Last weekend, Huawei Saudi Arabia just showcase their flagship smartphone at the Granada Mall. The representative was kind enough to let me try the phone and, of course, I took a number of photos. You can checkout the photos after the break. Read more…

Philippines, TechFest 2016

CodeCon – TechFest by Civicom

Tomorrow is the last day to register for the event.

TechFest sponsored by Civicom is open to all graduating students and fresh graduates of any IT related course. Participants must successfully pass a short online exam to be awarded a seat at the event. All participants are expected to bring their own laptop/computer.

App, Apple

Apple Celebrates Chinese Music with GarageBand Update


Apple® today announced an update to GarageBand® that celebrates the rich history of Chinese music with new instruments and extensive Chinese language localization throughout the app. Building on GarageBand’s extensive collection of sounds, this update adds traditional Chinese instruments — the pipa, erhu and Chinese percussion — along with 300 Apple-created Chinese musical loops, giving users the power to tap into their creativity and make beautiful Chinese-inspired music right on their iOS device or Mac®. GarageBand for iOS users also get two new Chinese templates for Live Loops, and new sharing options to popular Chinese social networks, so they can easily share their music creations with friends and followers across QQ and Youku.

Interesting in a way, because it’s the next Chinese Holiday is on June 1 (Children’s Day) and the update came 4 days after Apple invested $1 billion to Chinese ride-hailing company, Didi Chuxing.

If you have not received the update, the Garage Band update is 1.1 GB for iPhone 6s users.

Australia, Startup

Canva now available in 6 more languages, expands globally


Online Graphics startup, Canva just announced that the service will be available in 6 more languages. Read more…

Apple, Gadget

Apple releases iOS 9.3.2 update

ios 9.3.2

Today, Apple release the iOS 9.3.2 update for iOS Devices. The iOS 9.3.2 update, depending on what device you have, will affect in different ways. Read more…

Facebook, Saudi Arabia, Tech Tips

Facebook Messenger now working for Users in Saudi Arabia

I’ve been getting a lot of messages lately that Facebook Messenger app is now working, or the voice and video call feature is now working. They’ve also suggested a number of steps that you can take in case Messenger is still not working. Read more…

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