Monthly Archives: August 2011

Interconnected

If anyone needs an additional proof that companies and financial markets are tightly integrated across the Pacific, just look at the movement of share prices in the IT industry following the announcement of Steve Jobs resignation as CEO.

On the one hand, shares of Apple’s direct competitors – Samsung, LG and HTC – rose by 1-2% on their respective stock exchanges. On the other hand, the shares of Apple suppliers – Hon hai/Foxcon, Wintek and Catcher Technology – fell by 4-6%.

The surprise came from the Hong Kong stock exchange where the shares of China Unicom – iPhone distributor in China – gained more than 10%, a reminder that second-guessing the reaction of investors is never easy.

A cybertruce?

When it comes to Internet matters, the US and China are seldom on the same page. For once though they seem to be reading from the same book. At least that’s what appears from the report of the Second Worldwide Cybersecurity Summit recently held in London.

A team of Chinese and American experts have produced two joint recommendations and 46 best practices that, if implemented, would be very effective in reducing spam. Delegates have also agreed, as part of future work, to come up with a cyber taxonomy as well as multilateral meetings on “rules of the road” for cyber conflict.

It may not yet be cyberpeace between the two countries but at least a cybertruce is a good way to start.

Renew-able

After trusting the top spot for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), China now leads the world in total investment in renewable energy with USD 50 billion.

The indicators listed in the report by REN21 are telling : in 2010 China was the top installer in wind turbines and solar thermal systems as well as the top hydropower producer. It added 29 GW of grid-connected renewable capacity. Renewables accounted for 26% of total installed electric capacity (18% of generation but only 9% of final energy consumption). China accounts for the world’s half of new installed capacity in wind power. It also leads the list of new capacity in solar hot water/heat.

The country plans to have 362 GW of renewable capacity installed by 2020 (the equivalent of 300 nuclear reactors), including 300 GW hydro, 30 GW wind, 30 GW biomass and 1.8 GW solar PV. Central government’s policy are complemented by initiatives at the local level. For instance, Beijing aimed to have 40% of electric power capacity by 2010 and Shanghai aimed to have 200-300 MW of wind and 10 MW of solar PV by 2010. The city of Lianyangang requires solar hot water in all new residential buildings up to 12 stories.

In spite of this major drive, renewable energy (including hydropower) only fills for 25% of its energy needs. The rest comes from nuclear 1% and thermal 73%.

A global mobile standard

 The chances to have LTE as a global standard for mobile telephony are looking better and better… at last

For sure it has taken some time to clear the Chinese 3G hurdle but business sense is prevailing again and there has been (almost) no loss of face with the  TD-SCDMA standard - Chinese engineers and politicians can rest their case.

China Mobile, who was “entrusted” with rolling out TD-SCDMA, is looking towards deploying LTE before the end of the year. The company has even joined its former strategic partner Vodafone for a pilot trial.

Two questions remain: when will the legacy technologies be decommissionned and who will get the royalties fees? Maybe industrial policy is not dead after all.