Tag Archives: internet

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.

No better way to summarize China

Capturing the diversity and dynamism of a country the size of China is not an easy feat.

This week’s announcement from the People’s Daily is likely to achieve it: the online avatar of the Chinese Communist Party’s (People’s Daily Online) is going to be listed on the Shanghai stock exchange.

For many one of the CCP’s mouthpieces embracing capitalism may seem a contradiction in terms or, worse, the proof that the Party has definitevely distanced itself from Marxism-Leninism. It shouldn’t. Symbolism aside, the People’s Daily is not very much different than any other state-owned enterprise listed on the stock exchange: it is majority-owned (and controlled) by the government raising capital where it is available. In fact, it is a similar story than with the Internet where the government has always shown its intent to embrace it while controlling it.

One can’t get more pragmatic than that!

China’s key words

Baidu, China’s leading search engine, has published the hottest searched keywords in 2011 – my comments:

1. Tiangong-1 – China’s space technology slowly filling the void left by the US

2. Jobs – not employment although that may be the case in the future if the government does not manage to re-balance the economy

3. Gadhafi – another testimony that Chinese netizens are global citizens too

4. Earthquakes – a sober reminder that the ground shakes frequently in China and causes massive damages. Still a mystery since one tends to be concerned by the future ones and not the past ones.

5. Food safety – this is not about fake organic pork but rather life-threatening products which make it through the controls of China’s  State Food and Drug administration

6. Personal Income Tax Threshold – The People’s Congress announces that tax exemption was raised from USD 314 to USD 550. Do the netizens trust Baidu more than the People’s Daily?

7. Housing prices – High time to have a structured product to hedge against real estate bubbles in China. But of course, this requires someone to be bullish on real estate in China.

8. 90th anniversary of CCP founding – The party is reaching a respectable age but doesn’t seem intent on retiring yet.

9. Laden – Gadhafi, Laden. The one missing is Kim Jong-Il…

10. European debt crisis – I wonder if the Chinese are more concerned about than the European themselves!

As a “comparison” in Europe the fastest rising words on Google in 2011 are: Rebecca Black, Google Plus, Ryan Dunn, Casey Anthony, Battlefield 3, iPhone 5, Adele, Tepco, Steve Jobs and Ipad2.

Ultimate growth

A growth rate of 19218% (no, you didn’t miss a comma: nineteen thousand and two hundred eighteen percent).

That’s what the winner of the 2011 Deloitte Technology Fast500 Asia Pacific achieved over a 3 year period. Launched in 2008, the Store Corporation (Yihaodian) provides Chinese customers with a one-stop shopping platform, offering all their essential daily items at competitive prices (3-5% cheaper than in supermarkets).

The next question is of course whether such growth can be sustained. So far, one of the biggest problem faced by the firm is storage. At least one company feels it’s worth the try: Walmart acquired a minority stake in the firm during the summer: it may not be enough tho maintain such hyper-growth rates but a strategic partnership with the world’s largest supermarket chain will at the minimum bring some insight into the logistics aspect of the business.

P.S.: According to BCG another 30m Chinese will go online to shop for the first time every year until 2015.