Monthly Archives: April 2012


The Swedish furniture retailer IKEA is linking up with the Chinese electronics manufacturer TCL to offer a furniture-TV named UPPLEVA. One of the central value proposition will be the disappearance of cables (or at least hiding them better) and a better integration of the TV in the furniture.

So after getting their feet wet with Electrolux and Whirlpool, IKEA now moves out of the kitchen. The challenges for UPPLEVA? Keeping up with the fast evolution of consumer electronics will most likely require a very modular approach as well as managing the partnership with TCL

A Chinese stem-cell therapies boom and bust?

The Chinese Ministry of Health has a new battle to fight: closing down stem-cell clinics.

A recent article by Nature sheds some light on the booming and seemingly very lucrative business of stem-cell treatments for a range of diseases including autism or Parkinson. The problem? There is to date no scientific evidence that stem-cell therapies actually work.

A law passed in 2009 even requires those offering stem-cell procedures to  present clinical data supporting their efficacy and to secure approval from the Health Ministry. Unfortunately weak capacity of implementation and enforcement coupled with grey legal areas has created niches for experimentation.

Stem-cell therapies may well prove one day to be very promising avenues. Clinical trials run over many years will however be the only way to demonstrate the efficacy of Chinese stem-cell therapies.

ITU + IoT = IoU?

Things seems to be moving on the front of Internet of Things (IoT) standardization.

According to the Chinese news agency Xinhua a draft standard for the overview of IoT appears to have been approved by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) at the end of March. It will be interesting to see whether the draft goes further than the “technical” (e.g., spectrum, numbering) aspects of IoT standardization and covers issues such as recycling, privacy, security or the environment.

Given the different views that Europe, the United States and China hold on these issues, reaching a global agreement might imply a lot of horse-trading between the key players. While not surprising given the size of the Chinese Internet population (and its potential for growth), it is nonetheless a sign of times that China positions itself among the lead countries for standardization emerging technologies.