Showing posts with label China. Show all posts
Showing posts with label China. Show all posts

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Alibaba's Q2 cloud revenue rises 96% to US$359 million

Alibaba Group reported that Q2 2017 revenue from cloud computing reach RMB2,431 million (US$359 million), up 96% year-over-year.

Alibaba said the number of paying customers of its cloud computing business grew to 1,011,000 from 874,000 in the previous quarter. Operating loss from cloud computing was RMB532 million (US$78 million) and adjusted EBITA loss was RMB103 million (US$15 million).

Alibaba Cloud is seeing improved revenue mix of higher valued-added services, as reflected by ongoing ARPU expansion.

The company says market expansion is its top priority. Some highlights for Q2:

  • Alibaba Cloud launched several new products that lower the barrier of migrating large-scale data to cloud services for traditional companies. For example, Cloud Storage Gateway allows customers to seamlessly connect their on-premise storage with Alibaba Cloud storage. Lightning Cube, a petabyte-scale data transport solution, helps enterprises to transfer large amounts of data at high speed between their data centers and Alibaba Cloud through portable storage appliances. 
  • Alibaba Cloud is expanding its Elastic Computing Service product portfolio. As of mid-August 2017, Alibaba Cloud is providing 19 types of Elastic Computing Service products that can be applied to 173 application scenarios, such as artificial intelligence, healthcare, video streaming, finance, e-commerce, and IoT.
  • Selected enterprise customers in China include: CITIC Group, a major state-owned multinational diversified company in China; China Huaneng Group, a fortune 500 company; PICC Finance, a subsidiary of PICC, one of the largest insurance companies in Asia.
  • Alibaba Cloud announced plans to build two new data centers in Malaysia and Indonesia, adding to its presence in over 14 countries and regions.


http://www.alibabagroup.com/en/ir/earnings

Friday, July 7, 2017

China Telecom and Ericsson launch open IoT platform

China Telecom and Ericsson announced the launch of the China Telecom IoT Open Platform, a global connection management platform that will support China's One Belt One Road strategy and speed the deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions and services.

The China Telecom IoT Open Platform is designed to enable enterprises to deploy, control and scale the management of IoT devices through partnerships. Using the platform, enterprise customers will be able to integrate their business processes with the managed connectivity service offered by China Telecom to create a reliable IoT solutions. Leveraging the platform, China Telecom and its customers will be able to drive the digital transformation of industries in China and beyond.

The China Telecom IoT Open Platform is based on Ericsson's Device Connection Platform, a global, unified platform that is used by multiple enterprise customers across various industries to manage IoT connection services worldwide. The platform provides enterprise customers with reliable connectivity with service-level agreements and a common, unified view of devices and access networks.

Ericsson’s Device Connection Platform was launched in 2012 and currently supports more than 25 operators and over 2,000 enterprise customers as part of its IoT Accelerator platform. Ericsson is also collaborating with the Bridge Alliance and the Global M2M Association to support the provision of a seamless customer experience with global coverage for IoT applications.

Recently, Ericsson and China Mobile formed a strategic agreement to cooperate on IoT, signing a separate Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Ericsson and China Mobile Research Institute (CMRI) covering R&D for Cloud RAN and IoT.

With regards to IoT, China Mobile was to use the Ericsson Device Connectivity Platform to streamline the process for provisioning, as well as deploy services to capitalise on new business opportunities.



  • Earlier this year, China Telecom and Orange Business Services extended their existing strategic partnership to cover IoT space during the launch event of eSurfing on the Silk Road in Shanghai. Through the expanded agreement, multinational customers of both China Telecom and Orange will be able to deploy IoT and machine-to-machine (M2M) services across each other's networks.


Ncell Axiata selects ZTE network virtualisation

ZTE announced it is strengthening collaboration with Ncell Axiata in the field of network virtualizsation.

Under the agreement, Ncell Axiata in Nepala company of Malaysia's Axiata Group, a major telecoms group serving around 320 million customers in 10 Asian markets, is leveraging ZTE's network virtualisation technologies to develop a virtual subscriber data management (vSDM) platform.

Ncell Axiata's vSDM platform is based on the latest virtualisation technology and features an advanced distributed architecture, hierarchical storage and multi-level protection, as well as cloud capabilities.

Implementation of the new vSDM platform will allow Ncell Axiata to evolve its SDM platform from a traditional Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture (ATCA) to a virtualised architecture. This transition will enable Ncell Axiata to reduce expenditure on hardware and operations and establish a more intelligent, flexible and reliable telecommunications network. The new vSDM platform will also help accelerate deployment and enhance the end user experience.

The companies stated that they plan to continue to expand their collaboration to enable Ncell Axiata to implement network and digital transformation leveraging ZTE's solutions and technologies to help support the further development of Nepal's telecommunications industry.



  • ZTE recently announced that it had implemented a vSDM platform for Banglalink, a digital communications service provider in Bangladesh and indirect subsidiary of VEON. ZTE stated that it had migrated 60 million legacy users and launched what it claimed was the largest vSDM platform implemented.
  • The vSDM platform installed by ZTE uses advanced virtualisation technology to enable hardware and software decoupling and is based on generic commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware to allow flexible on-demand deployment and help reduce investment and operation and maintenance (O&M) costs. The solution is also designed to support network and service evolution for future applications such as 5G and IoT.
  • In April 2017, ZTE and VEON announced a global framework agreement covering network function virtualisation infrastructure (NFVI) and virtual evolved packet core (vEPC), as a part of which they planned to cooperate on the development of virtualisation technology.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Keeping an eye on Alibaba Cloud, Aliyun – Part 2

At its investor conference last week in Hangzhou, China, Alibaba's Aliyun cloud business unit disclosed plans to build out new data centres in lock step with the parent company's global e-commerce initiatives. The Asian economies are an area of focus. Another key principle in this overseas expansion is to form strategic partnerships, often the kind that the big U.S. public cloud players have been reluctant to pursue. By leveraging its core business-to-business ecommerce platform, Alibaba believes its cloud operations could attract many small to medium sized enterprises across Asia, particularly those seeking opportunities in China. Like with AWS, there is a focus on getting start-ups to move their operations into the cloud from the outset. For instance, Alibaba is looking to support Indonesia's 1,000 Start-ups Movement initiative, which was launched last year with the aim of nurturing 1,000 ventures by the year 2020.

Simon Hu, SVP of Alibaba Group and president of Alibaba Cloud, commented, "I believe Alibaba Cloud, as the only global cloud services provider originating from Asia, is uniquely positioned with cultural and contextual advantages to provide innovative data intelligence and computing capabilities to customers in this region. Establishing data centres in India and Indonesia will further strengthen our position in the region and across the globe".

Equinix accelerates connectivity into Aliyun

Earlier this month. Aliyun and Equinix, the global interconnection and data centre company, announced a collaboration to provide enterprises with direct, scalable access to Alibaba Cloud via the Equinix Cloud Exchange at its Hong Kong, Silicon Valley, Sydney and Washington DC International Business Exchange (IBX) data centres, with Frankfurt and London due to be added shortly. With the addition of direct access to Alibaba Cloud on Equinix Cloud Exchange in markets across Asia Pacific, EMEA and the Americas, Equinix can offer private access to Alibaba Cloud in five markets. Equinix noted that it previously offered access in its Singapore IBX. Alibaba Cloud is also a colocation customer in Dubai with Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (known as du). The deal could expand to other locations. Equinix operates 179 data centres in 44 markets worldwide.

India, Indonesia and Malaysia

Also this month, Aliyun announced plans to establish new data centres in Mumbai, India and Jakarta, Indonesia. Both facilities are expected to open during the current fiscal year, ending March 2018. Aliyun recently announced a data centre in Malaysia. The company said each of the new Asian data centres will offer a full suite of services, providing the flexibility for enterprises and organisations to build their entire IT infrastructure for business on Alibaba Cloud or run mission-critical and core applications on it. This brings the total number of Alibaba Cloud data centres to 17 worldwide, including mainland China, Australia, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and the U.S.

In India, Alibaba Cloud is working with Global Cloud Xchange (GCX), a subsidiary of Reliance Communications, to directly access Alibaba Cloud Express Connect via GCX's CLOUD X Fusion. In addition, Alibaba Cloud has established a global partnership with Tata Communications to provide direct access to Alibaba Cloud Express Connect via Tata Communications' IZO Private Connect service. In Malaysia, Alibaba signed an MoU with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Malaysia's digital economy development agency and the Hangzhou Municipal Government to connect the first e-hubs in the two countries under its Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP). The MoU seeks to build infrastructure for seamless cross-border e-commerce trade between Malaysia and China. In addition, Aliyun will take part in the Malaysia Multimedia Super Corridor initiatives, with a planned data centre in Malaysia later this year and certification program for local tech talents, to help local SMEs to succeed in the digital age through technology such as big data and Internet of Things (IoT). Aliyun has also been operating a data centre in Singapore since August 2015.

Big plans for Pakistan

In May, Alibaba signed a memorandum with the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan to support ecommerce development of SMEs and financial services. The goal here is for Alibaba and Ant Financial to foster growth of worldwide exports of products by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Pakistan through ecommerce. The project is supported at the highest levels of the Pakistan government, with Alibaba Group's executive chairman, Jack Ma and prime minister Nawaz Sharif witnessed the signing of the MoU. Aliyun has not built or even announced plans for a data centre in Pakistan, but this would be a logical next step. The nearest already announced Aliyun data centre would be in Mumbai, which is not a viable option for political reasons.

Under its One Belt, One Road initiative, the government of China is heavily involved in building critical infrastructure in Pakistan. For instance, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, which was announced in 2015, includes the construction of a new deep-water international commercial port at Gwadar on the Arabian Sea in the Pakistan Province of Baluchistan. There are also upgrades to the electrical grid, highway system and airports. If Aliyun were to build a hyperscale cloud data centre in Pakistan, we would expect further upgrades to the telecom infrastructure, including perhaps large capacity terrestrial fibre cables serving the length of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor.

The full-service cloud pitch

While Aliyun continues to add to its portfolio of cloud services, often at a cadence remarkably similar to AWS, the parent company sees a bigger picture. Aliyun's mission is to move from Infrastructure-as-a-Service to Application-enhanced Cloud as a Service as rapidly as possible. There are a lot of Alibaba services under this umbrella, including:


  • Retail Cloud – Alibaba's Taobao.com and TMall application; Aliyun customers will list their products here.
  • Digital Marketing Cloud - Alimama.com, the online marketing service powered by data from Alibaba's core operations, providing customers visibility amongst Alibaba's base of buyers.
  • Logistics Cloud - Cai Niao for moving products to customers across China.
  • Digital Media Cloud - YouKu, the so-called YouTube of China, a video sharing platform and CDN that would be of interest to Aliyun customers as well.
  • Financial Services Cloud - Ant Financial, formerly known as AliPay, services include online payment processing, credit reporting, private banking and wealth management.
  • Customer Service Cloud – TIMI.
  • CityBrain – the company's SmartCity initiative, which aims to leverage AI and cloud scale to municipal traffic management, online utility management and city hall services.
  • Tailored Industry Solutions - Aliyun is working on pre-packaged and customised services for manufacturers, financial companies and hospitals.
Aliyun’s global data centres are also expected to play a role in the delivery of products sold on the Alibaba marketplaces to consumers in local markets. For instance, Alibaba is launching an AliExpress service for cross-border, direct-to-consumer retail from select Chinese manufacturers. AliExpress initially is focusing on buyers in the U.S., Russia, Spain, France, Brazil and the UK. The company claims 60 million active buyers over the past year. A similar Lazada shopping service is launching in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam. All this activity is to meet company goal of growing the gross merchandise volume (GMV) transacted across Alibaba from an estimated $ 547 billion in 2017 to $1 trillion in 2020.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Keeping an eye on Alibaba Cloud, Aliyun – Part 1

Alibaba's Jack Ma made headlines across the world last week by laying out a plan for rapid global expansion of China's e-commerce behemoth. In an Investor Conference held at the company's Xixi headquarters in Hangzhou, China, Ma made the bold claim that Alibaba could reach $1 trillion in gross merchandise value by 2021 by becoming the primary online store for 2 billion people, as well as by expanding into new areas, one of which is the international public cloud services business. While Alibaba's investor event was overshadowed somewhat by the news that Amazon will spend $13.7 billion in cash to acquire Whole Foods, the premium U.S. grocery store chain, Jack Ma unveiled a strategy with clear potential to disrupt the cloud market.

Meanwhile, business at Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA) is 'fantastic' and is only going to get better this year, according to the company CFO. For the most recent fiscal quarter ended March 31, 2017, the company reported revenue of RMB 38,579 million ($5,605 million), an increase of 60% year-over-year, including:

•   Revenue from core commerce of RMB31,570 million ($4,587 million), up 47% year-over-year.

•   Revenue from cloud computing of RMB 2,163 million ($314 million), up 103% year-over-year.

•   Revenue from digital media and entertainment of RMB 3,927 million ($571 million), up 234% year-over-year.

Growth at the parent company is primarily being driven by the steady increase in active buyers on its ecommerce platforms, both in numbers and in the value of goods and services being transacted. Annual active buyers reached 454 million, an increase of 31 million from the 12-month period ended on March 31, 2016. Mobile monthly active users (MAUs) on Alibaba Group’s China retail marketplaces reached 507 million in March, up 97 million over March 2016. Gross merchandise volume (GMV) transacted on Alibaba’s China retail marketplaces in fiscal year 2017 was RMB 3,767 billion ($547 billion), up 22% compared to RMB 3,092 billion in fiscal year 2016.

Alibaba Cloud, or Aliyun as it is known in Chinese, is firmly established as the leading infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud in mainland China and is moving rapidly to become a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) provider and a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) retailer. Some important Aliyun metrics emerged from the Investor presentation, including (with additional commentary):

·         Public cloud is growing: based on Gartner's figures from March 2017, Aliyun estimates the global public cloud market will amount to $245 billion in 2017, growing to $436 billion in 2021, a 15.9% CAGR.

·         China’s public cloud market is growing even faster, with Gartner figures showing China’s public cloud market, valued at $14 billion this year, growing to $25 billion in 2021, a 17.2% CAGR; by 2021, China’s share of the global public cloud market would still be under 6%, which seems odd given the country's share of global GDP is much higher and that ecommerce, social media and mobile technologies are booming in China - why so low versus the U.S. market?

·         Aliyun cited figures from IDC Tracker 2016 H1/H2 Global Cloud Market (IaaS), indicating it currently is the No.4 player in public cloud services worldwide, but with only a 3.2% share; No.1 was AWS, $8.4 billion, 46.1% share; No. 2 Microsoft, $1.4 billion, 7.6% share; No.3 IBM, $1.0 billion, 5.8% share; No.4 Alibaba, $0.57 billion, 3.2% share; No.5 Google, $0.519 billion, 2.9% share.

Clearly, AWS is dominating the public cloud market, especially in the U.S. The other U.S. public cloud players are investing aggressively to catch up and they too seem to have ambitions that reach to the sky. Alibaba's Jack Ma has previously been quoted in the press as saying that Alibaba would catch and surpass Amazon. When it comes to cloud services at least, this will be extremely difficult given its current 3.2% share versus AWS’ 46.1% share, and a capex budget that appears decisively smaller.

In its home market of China, Aliyun's IaaS revenue is equivalent to the next seven players combined. The numbers cited in IDC Tracker 2016 H1/H2 Global Cloud Market are as follows:

·         No.1 – Alibaba Group, $587 million, 40.7% market share

·         No.2 - China Telecom, $123 million, 8.5%

·         No.3 – Tencent, $106 million, 7.3%

·         No.4 – Kingsoft, $87 million, 6.0%

·         No.5 – Ucloud, $79 million, 5.5%

·         No.6 – Microsoft, $72 million, 5.0%

·         No.7 – China Unicom, $67 million, 4.6%

·         No.8 – AWS, $55 million, 3.8%

In addition, as of March 31, 2017 Aliyun had 874,000 paying customers, had 15 data centres worldwide and had 186 cloud service offers. It also claims a 96.7% retention rate amongst its top paying customers in Q1 2017 compared to a year earlier.

Over one-third of China’s Top 500 companies are on Alibaba Cloud, including China's Public Safety Bureau (PSB), CCTV, Sinopec, Sina Weibo, Xinhua News Agency,Toutiao, Geely, Mango TV, CEA, Quanmin Live, Panda TV and DJI, while two-thirds of Chinese Unicorn companies are on Alibaba Cloud. Global Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) now available on Aliyun include Accenture, SAP, Docker, here, SUSE, Haivision, Wowza, AppScale, AppEX, Hillstone, Checkpoint Software Technologies, Hitachi Data Systems and Red Hat.


Aliyun’s Computing Conference 2016 was attended by over 40,000 developers in person, with more than 7 million viewers online. At its investor conference, Aliyun also disclosed a number of major international brands that are now using its services, including Schneider Electric, Shisheido, Philips, Nestle and Vodafone, which is a good start. Nevertheless, attracting international companies will be harder, first, because Alibaba has only just recently begun building data centres outside of China, and two, they will be much less known and trusted than established brands such as IBM.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Huawei Marine Selected for Cameroon-Brazil Subsea cable

Huawei Marine, the joint venture between Huawei Technologies and UK-based Global Marine Systems, announced it has been contracted by China Unicom and Cameroon government-owned infrastructure operator Camtel to construct the South Atlantic Inter Link (SAIL), marking the official commencement of the SAIL cable system implementation phase.

Funded with investment from China Unicom and Camtel, the SAIL system will link Cameroon and Brazil and span around 6,000 km. The cable system will comprise 4 fibre pairs and offer a design capacity of 32 Tbit/s based on Huawei Marine’s advanced 100 Gbit/s technology.

The SAIL system will be the first direct access cable to connect Africa and South America, and on completion is designed to provide a reliable, high-quality intercontinental communications infrastructure between the two developing regions.



  • Huawei Marine originally announced that it had been commissioned to construct the Cameroon-Brazil cable system, initially called Cameroon-Brazil Cable System (CBCS), in October 2015.
  • Also in 2015, Huawei Marine announced it had started marine installation of the Nigeria-Cameroon Submarine Cable System (NCSCS), Cameroon's first wholly-owned submarine cable and part funded by the Cameroon government. Spanning around 1,100 km, the NCSCS directly connects Kribi in Cameroon with Lagos in Nigeria and will deliver 12.8 Tbit/s of capacity.
  • Camtel states that to date it has deployed more than 8,000 km of fibre that connects the ten regional chief towns in Cameroon, as well as around 60 divisional/sub-divisional chief towns and hundreds of rural communities; it also provides connectivity to CEMAC region countries including Chad. The company is aiming to build a network spanning over 20,000 km.

Monday, June 19, 2017

ZTE completes 26 GHz field testing in Beijing

ZTE claims that it has become the first vendor to conduct 26 GHz high-frequency field tests during the second phase of China's 5G test in Huairou, Beijing.

ZTE stated that it led the 26 GHz high-frequency field testing of its 5G new radio (NR) pre-commercial base station, which was demonstrated to deliver strong performance in interconnecting with the instruments and chips from a number of manufacturers. In addition, ZTE has applied to conduct official tests using frequency bands greater than 40 GHz in its Shanghai R&D centre as part of its efforts to develop solutions for the high frequency bands.

ZTE noted that the 5G testing is led by China, and organised and implemented by the IMT-2020 (5G) Promotion Group, which includes the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom and DOCOMO of Japan.

The latest 5G test program in China is covers technical solution verification as part of the second phase of testing and focuses on verifying technical solutions in the areas of continuous wide coverage, high capacity (low and high frequency), low latency and high reliability, low power consumption and hybrid scenarios.

ZTE added that China started to build the 5G test program earlier this year, which is believed to be the largest such test initiative, as well as the most advanced, and is based on an open test platform. Through the program, China is aiming to integrate core strengths in the industry and to promote global 5G standardisation and technology development.

Following the completion of the first phase of China's 5G technology R&D test, ZTE noted that it is engaged in the second-phase testing. Using its latest IT baseband unit (BBU), 5G multi-band active antenna unit (AAU) and NR air interface technologies, ZTE has launched field tests designed to address key performance requirements in typical application scenarios such as enhanced spectral efficiency, greater connection density, higher reliability and lower delay air interfaces.

http://www.zte.com.cn/global/about/press-center/news

oyment of 3D-MIMO, also termed Pre5G Massive MIMO in the city of Quanzhou in Fujian province.ZTE stated that with 16 commercial terminals connected, the single-carrier downlink peak cell rate has been increased to 730 Mbit/s, with a single-carrier 16-stream downlink peak rate using 3D-MIMO of up to 700 Mbit/s achieved. In addition, a three-carrier rate of up...

Friday, June 16, 2017

China Mobile and ZTE Demo 2.1 Gbit/s using 3 CA + 3D-MIMO

ZTE and China Mobile Quanzhou Branch announced that they have completed the commercial deployment of 3D-MIMO, also termed Pre5G Massive MIMO in the city of Quanzhou in Fujian province.

ZTE stated that with 16 commercial terminals connected, the single-carrier downlink peak cell rate has been increased to 730 Mbit/s, with a single-carrier 16-stream downlink peak rate using 3D-MIMO of up to 700 Mbit/s achieved. In addition, a three-carrier rate of up to 2.1 Gbit/s was achieved. ZTE claims that these speeds mark a record for a commercial environment, and build on three-carrier, 8-stream downlink rate with 3D-MIMO of 1 Gbit/s, also working with China Mobile.

ZTE explained that using the key 5G technology massive MIMO on the same bandwidth, 3D-MIMO base stations are able to deliver a peak throughput 7x higher than existing 4G macro stations, enhancing services and enabling reliable video transmission.

Quanzhou Mobile and ZTE noted that they have commercially deployed 3D-MIMO in 'big video' environments and verified the peak cell rate, representing a milestone towards the commercialisation of massive MIMO technology. The partners plan to continue to work together to expand the 5G-like Internet experience to more end users.

China Mobile and ZTE stated that they have been jointly developing and verifying 3D-MIMO technology since 2015, and in 2016 conducted 3D-MIMO pre-commercial verification in 50 cities across 29 provinces of China. The new-generation 3D-MIMO product is claimed to be suitable for engineering installation in macrocell and hotspot scenarios. The product provides support for multiple bands (3.5, 2.6 and 2.3 GHz), multiple carriers and multiple bandwidths and can be integrated with existing networks.


ZTE's Pre5G strategy is based on applying key 5G technologies such as massive MIMO to existing commercial 4G networks, as well as the enhancement of LTE-A Pro technologies within a 3GPP architecture via technology such as carrier aggregation (CA), unified delivery network (UDN), 256QAM, licensed assisted access (LAA), LWA (LTE and WLAN aggregation) and NarrowBand IoT (NB-IoT). ZTE claims that to date its Pre5G-related solutions have been deployed on over 60 networks in 40 countries.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Equinix partners with China's Alibaba Cloud to expand cloud connectivity

Equinix, the global interconnection and data centre company, announced a collaboration with Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of China's Alibaba Group, to provide enterprises with direct, scalable access to Alibaba Cloud via the Equinix Cloud Exchange at its Hong Kong, Silicon Valley, Sydney and Washington DC International Business Exchange (IBX) data centres, with Frankfurt and London due to be added shortly.

Equinix noted that according to the U.S. International Trade Administration, the Chinese cloud market is forecast to grow 40% per year to 2020. Access to Alibaba Cloud is key for multinational customers seeking to expand cloud-based applications into the region. By offering multinationals secure, direct access to Alibaba Cloud, Equinix can provide connectivity to the suite of Alibaba cloud services, while Alibaba Cloud Express Connect provides access to its cloud network in mainland China.

With the addition of direct access to Alibaba Cloud on Equinix Cloud Exchange in markets across Asia Pacific, EMEA and the Americas, Equinix is able to offer private access to Alibaba Cloud in five markets. Equinix noted that it previously offered access in its Singapore IBX. Alibaba Cloud is also a colocation customer in Dubai with Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (known as du).

Alibaba Cloud provides a suite of global cloud computing services to support international customers' online businesses as well as Alibaba Group's own e-commerce ecosystem. Its international operations are headquartered in Singapore, with international teams based in Dubai, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, New York, Paris, San Mateo, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo.


Equinix operates 179 data centres in 44 markets worldwide. The Equinix Cloud Exchange offers direct private access to multiple cloud service providers and is available in 21 markets including: Amsterdam, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, New York, Osaka, Paris, Sao Paulo, Seattle, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, Washington DC and Zurich.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

China Mobile to deploy Nokia home gateways for 30m users

Nokia and China Mobile announced the deployment of millions of home gateways to provide residential customers in 29 provinces in China with access to fibre-based ultra-broadband applications and intelligent home services.

Under the agreement, China Mobile will deploy home gateway units featuring Nokia's solution to over 30 million users during 2017. Utilising established FTTH networks that enable gigabit speeds for end customers, deployment of the new gateway is intended to extend Internet coverage within the home and enable IoT communications between devices and sensors.

Additionally, the ability to flexibly add software functions and enhanced analytics capabilities will allow China Mobile to deploy and deliver a new intelligent home experience and associated services.

Nokia noted that the latest contract with China Mobile extends a long-term fixed networks partnership between the companies that also encompasses the development of the telco's GPON network to support mobile backhaul.
According to market research company IDATE, China Mobile is expanding its position as a converged telecom operator and currently serves more than 31 million FTTH subscribers. It noted that the operator is leveraging its extensive fibre access network to deliver ultra-broadband applications such as 4K TV and gigabit access to customers in a number of provinces. The addition of intelligent home gateway technology is expected to enable China Mobile to differentiate its services.



  • Earlier this year, Nokia announced that its Nuage Networks venture had been awarded a contract to supply its Virtualized Services Platform (VSP) for China Mobile's first commercial public cloud project. For the project China Mobile is using Nuage's scalable SDN solution for a deployment of approximately 2,000 public cloud servers in Beijing and Guangzhou.
  • Nuage Networks' VSP solution is designed to enable China Mobile to virtualise its multi-tenant data centre networks and establish connectivity among computing resources while also delivering new features to customers. China Mobile had previously deployed Nuage Networks SDN technology in CMCC's DevOps private cloud architecture.

China Telecom Shanghai selects Huawei for gigabit network

Huawei announced that it will help the Shanghai Branch of China Telecom to deploy a gigabit network featuring 10 Gbit/s PON optical network terminals (ONTs) to support smart home services.

Shanghai Telecom is planning to build what is believed to be the first commercial FTTH network in China using 10 Gbit/s PON technology as it progresses towards providing full fibre coverage enabling 1 Gbit/s bandwidth in Shanghai over the next 3 years. This project is expected to make Shanghai the first gigabit city in China.

Huawei noted that Shanghai Telecom established a 3-year goal of moving from 100 Mbit/s to 1 Gbit/s in 2016, and is a leading company in the construction of 10 Gbit/s communities and delivery of 1 Gbit/s bandwidth to households.

By the end of 2016, Shanghai Telecom was providing 1 Gbit/s access for 269 communities. By the end of 2018, the average access rate of Shanghai Telecom's network is expected to rise from 50 to 280 Mbit/s, while user-perceived download rates are expected to rise from 13 to 100 Mbit/s.

As part of its gigabit services offering, Shanghai Telecom has released a range of home broadband services, including multi-channel 4K, video calling, video conferencing and other smart home services.

To address Shanghai Telecom's requirements, Huawei is supplying its large-capacity distributed optical line terminal (OLT) MA5800 and next-generation smart 10 Gbit/s PON ONT. The single sub-rack solution is able to support streaming of UHD 4K videos for 16,000 households concurrently, as well as offering support for 8K video.

The Huawei OLT is designed to enable gigabit convergence through multiple media, allow different services to share the same platform during cloud evolution and to support a large number of physical connections for smart home applications.


The ONT supports multiple Gigabit Ethernet ports and can bear simultaneous multi-channel 4Kvideo, video calling and virtual reality (VR) services. Additionally, Huawei is providing an open intelligent platform designed to flexibly support a range of smart home services.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

China Telecom selects Huawei for all-optical backbone

Huawei announced that it won the bid as supplier for China Telecom's ROADM Network Project encompassing the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River area, claiming that the project represents the first intelligent ROADM WDM backbone network to be built in China.

The ROADM project is the initial phase of China Telecom's program designed to transition its optical transport network into an intelligent optical network, and also represent a key step for the CTNET2025 network transformation strategy of China Telecom.

Huawei noted that the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River extend across the fastest developing region in China and include the growing Internet industry. By building a ROADM network in the region, China Telecom is seeking to significantly improve the security and intelligence of its optical transport network to enhance its operational capabilities and improve broadband services in support of Internet enterprises, e-commerce and government/enterprise customers.

The project awarded to Huawei covers 21 ROADM sites in Hubei, Jiangxi, Anhui, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shanghai, extending along the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River. For the project, Huawei is supplying its CD-ROADM technology, which is designed to facilitate the provisioning of new routes on upper-layer service networks, such as routes offering capabilities such as one-hop transmission, full mesh interconnection, optimal path and latency and rapid dynamic recovery.

The project is also designed to address the low latency and high performance requirements for data centre private lines and financial customers. Huawei stated that the current phase of the project will deliver more than three hundred 100 Gbit/s electrical lines and enhanced network recovery capability.

In the all cloud era, to meet the demand for higher bandwidth and lower latency, Huawei noted that it aims to help operators create advanced CloudOptiX transport networks that can enable a simplified, efficient one-hop transmission network architecture.

ZTE claims 70% share of China Mobile's PTN procurement project

ZTE reports that it has been awarded a 70% share, making the company the largest supplier of equipment, for China Mobile's New Packet Transport Network (PTN) Procurement Project.

ZTE stated that this latest contract win follows previous awards under China Mobile's PTN Procurement program, consolidating its position as a supplier of PTN solutions. The company noted that with only two vendors on the shortlist, China Mobile awarded the vendor ranked top in the procurement with a more than 70% allocation for the project, with the second vendor awarded a share of not more than 30%.

ZTE noted that with software-defined networks (SDN) destined to become a key communications network technology in the future, as part of the procurement program China Mobile arranged SDN-based tests covering solutions including SPT controllers and centralised operation and management centres (OMC).

Based on its expertise and capabilities in the SDN field, ZTE's SPTN controller is designed to provide high performance and advanced functionality that can enable centralised intelligent control, together with high resource utilisation and flexible service scheduling, while facilitating the network evolution.


Based on the development of its transport network and technologies, China Mobile is engaged in research into 5G networks and implementing pilot trials. As part of its 5G development effort, ZTE launched its 5G Flexhaul solution at this year's Mobile World Congress (MWC), designed to enable operators to build advanced, flexible, efficient and unified 5G transport networks.



  • Recently, ZTE announced that, working with China Mobile, China Mobile Zhejiang and the China Mobile Jiaxing Branch, it has completed a commercial deployment and multi-scenario test verification of 3D-MIMO technology utilising its Pre5G Massive MIMO solution in Jiaxing.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Nokia and China Huaxin establish Nokia Shanghai Bell JV

Nokia and China Huaxin Post & Telecommunication Economy Development Center announced the signing of definitive agreements relating to the proposed integration of Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell (ASB) and Nokia's China business, with the new joint venture to be branded as Nokia Shanghai Bell (NSB).

Through the agreement, the joint venture will become Nokia's exclusive platform in China for the development of new technologies in spanning IP routing, optical, fixed and next-generation 5G, while with the support of Nokia, NSB will continue to seek opportunities in select overseas markets. Nokia noted that ASB and its China business have been operating as a single entity since January 2016, when an interim operational agreement was signed.

The closing of the agreement, which is expected to take effect in July 2017, is subject to customary administrative, legal, regulatory and other conditions. On completion of the agreement, Nokia will own 50% plus one share of NSB, with China Huaxin owning the remainder, and the new joint venture having one board of directors and one management team.

The new NSB will represent the major part of Nokia's overall Greater China business and will leverage the strengths of both parties, encompassing innovation, global scale, efficiency and an understanding of the local market, with the goal of expanding Nokia's market presence in China. The operation will also support Nokia's strategic goals of delivering high-performance networks for service providers and expanding into new vertical markets.

NSB R&D will constitute an integral part of Nokia's global R&D community, housing a total of around 16,000 personnel, including 10,000 researchers, distributed across six R&D sites in China.

China Huaxin is an industrial investment company that aims to address long-term commercial growth opportunities in the ICT sector leveraging global operations and international investment experience. China Huaxin is aiming to be a major global industry holding group through supporting and advancing technology development in the information industry.



ZTE participates in second phase 5G testing led by China's MIIT

ZTE announced its participation in the second phase of 5G testing, carried out under the guidance of the Chinese government via the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), as well as advances through a number of technical verifications.

China's 5G testing is being led by China's MIIT and implemented by its IMT-2020 (5G) promotion group, with R&D activities divided into three phases: technology verification, technical solution verification and system verification. ZTE noted that the project entered the technical solution verification phase in 2017.

ZTE is participating in R&D work relating to a range of 5G new radio (NR) prototype products based on early key technology verification, and is now seeking to verify product functionality and performance in typical 5G scenarios in preparation for 5G commercial network deployments. For the latest phase of testing, ZTE is providing a series of 5G prototype products based on a new unified platform and is working with test equipment suppliers including Keysight and Rohde & Schwarz.

The technical solution verification centred on four key technologies, specifically: 5G NR operating at sub-6 GHz and mmWave bands, massive machine type communication (mMTC) and ultra-reliable low latency communications (uRLLC). The tests also included seven scenarios: continuous wide-coverage scenario; low-delay and high-reliability scenario; low-power and massive-connection scenario; hotspots at sub-6 GHz scenario; hotspots at mmWave scenario; and sub-6 GHz and mmWave hybrid networking scenario.

ZTE stated that as part of the process, in the prototype sub-6 GHz field it provided a new 3.5 GHz NR pre-commercial base station, with all entries passing the RF tests of the MIIT and the RF bandwidth of the base station reaching 200 MHz. In addition, the solution's volume, weight, power and other key features comply with requirements for pre-commercial networks.

Additionally, related field performance tests in Beijing have also commenced. In the mmWave field, ZTE launched a series of prototype products and claims that it has made significant progress in technical solutions, machine integration and other aspects pertaining to performance.

In a recent pre-test at the ZTE Shanghai Institute, ZTE showcased its latest 26 GHz base station at mmWave, where single-user peak rate of nearly 16 Gbit/s was achieved. In addition, ZTE conducted a 60 GHz prototype at mmWave comparison test. As well as developments in the fields of mMTC and uRLLC, ZTE has launched an improved enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) platform based on its previous technology verification platform.


Following the completion of the first phase of China's 5G technology testing, the second phase and testing ongoing 5G tests in Beijing have been implemented, providing 5G NR at sub-6 GHz, mmWave and mMTC and uRLLC test conditions designed to support progress towards the future large-scale commercial use of 5G.



Wednesday, May 17, 2017

China Telecom launches 100G Asia-Europe on Terrestrial Route

Hong Kong-based China Telecom Global (CTG), the subsidiary of China Telecom established in 2012, announced the launch of 100 Gbit/s service capability over its terrestrial cable system to address demand for high capacity connectivity between Asia and Europe in collaboration with Russian operators.

Building on the launch of the Super TSR (Transit Silk Road), an ultra-low latency terrestrial route via the China-Kazakhstan Gateway, the latest initiative further diversifies CTG's product portfolio across the Europe-Asia route.

CTG's new 100 Gbit/s capability is supported by cross-border transmission systems leveraging the China-Russia, China-Mongolia-Russia and China-Kazakhstan-Russia routes. The solution will be managed in collaboration with Russian partners, with which CTG has established a long-term strategic relationship.

CTG stated that the service launch represents the first terrestrial 100 Gbit/s bandwidth option available between Asia and Europe, and is intended to support increasing IP transit/transmission demand from carrier partners and IP service providers.

CTG launched the Super TSR last year, offering latency performance of 147 ms from Shanghai to Frankfurt, Germany and 159 ms between Hong Kong and Frankfurt, which is claimed to be 10 ms lower latency than on existing routes. The new shorter route was implemented in partnership with a Kazakhstan operator. CTG noted that the developments are part of its efforts to support China's Belt and Road initiative.



  • Previously, last December CTG and Nepal Telecom announced an agreement to deliver IP services in Nepal leveraging the newly launched terrestrial route connecting China and Nepal, via Jilong (Rasuwa) Gateway.

Beijing Internet Harbor Tech Deploys Coriant's DCI

Beijing Internet Harbor Technology Co., Ltd. (BIH), a leading provider of Internet Data Center (IDC) and value-added cloud computing services in China, has deployed the Coriant Groove G30 Network Disaggregation Platform (NDP) to scale metro network capacity and enhance high-speed interconnect services for its end-user customers, including large and small enterprises, Internet and Web 2.0 providers, and government agencies. The Coriant Groove G30 solution for Internet Harbor includes coherent 200G line side transmission, and spans major metropolitan cities across China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen.

“Digital technologies and cloud computing are rapidly transforming the enterprise communications landscape across China and driving the need for more scalable, flexible, and efficient data center interconnect services,” said Ren Zhiyuan, CEO, Beijing Internet Harbor Technology Co., Ltd. “From best-in-class metro transport solutions to a world-class service and support team, Coriant has proven the ideal technology partner as we have expanded our footprint and scaled our metro infrastructure. With the addition of the Coriant Groove™ G30 solution, we are positioned to take our data center interconnect services to an entirely new level.”

The compact 1RU Groove G30 solution, which can be configured as a muxponder, enables Internet Harbor to cost-efficiently support delivery of 10G, 40G, and 100G interconnect services while maximizing utilization of fiber resources with coherent 200G DWDM transport. The Groove G30 NDP stackable solution supports 3.2 terabits of capacity throughput in a compact and highly pluggable 1RU form factor.

http://www.coriant.com

China telecoms market update - Part 2

Fixed broadband subscribers for March 2017 (millions):

Total subs Added March Total '16 March vs trend
China Mobile 85.681         2.411   22.595 Above average
China Unicom 76.589             0.357   2.906   Above average
China Telecom 125.82           0.970   10.590 Average
Total 288.352           3.738   36.091 Above average

Comment on the above

There is nothing exceptional about these monthly numbers, although its worth noting that China Mobile, a very late official entrant to this market, only reporting its first surprisingly large international numbers in February 2016, is now well past China Unicom and with around 30% actual fixed broadband market share is also taking almost two thirds of month to month market growth. As a result, its market share is growing steadily each month by about 0.35 points. Also, at the present rate of comparative growth China Mobile could possibly overtake China Telecom in the next three years or so to become the largest fixed-broadband operator. Given China Mobile is already by far China's largest mobile broadband operator it is still difficult to understand what MIIT's plans are for an industry so increasingly dominated by one company. As things stand it would seem logical to merge Unicom and Telecom, which have never really overcome their historic regional bias, and hand out another couple of converged licenses to some of the more successful MVNOs.

The FTTH market

The numbers for this market are not in general publicly reported by the three big operators, though numbers do slip out from time to time. Possibly they report them to MIIT, at least it would be surprising if they did not. On April 18th Digitimes Research reported that, in line with the Chinese government's Broadband China Policy of 2013, and helped by China Mobile's involvement in the fixed-line market, fibre infrastructure has been 'quickly established', and claimed that at the end of 2016 the number of FTTH subscribers in China had increased to 227.7 million, of which 61 million lived in rural areas. Digitimes also claimed 77.8% had download speeds of 20 Mbit/s and above. However, according to the report the number of xDSL subscribers shrank to 19.8 million at the end of 2016, decreasing 60.6% year on year.

It should be noted that Digitimes is normally a quality source of information, mostly about Taiwanese companies, but usually also heavily involved in China. However, this report claimed that the 227.7 million FTTH subscribers accounted for 76.6% of all fixed-line broadband Internet subscribers, which implies that the number of fixed-line broadband subscribers in China at the end of 2016 was 297.26 million. Based on the above official numbers, this seems to be roughly 20 million too high. Digitimes has access to the operator numbers so the implication is that for some reason they are adding estimates for one or more other operators. One possibility is that Digitimes knows or believes that the China Mobile numbers do not include the broadband subscribers of the one time railway operator TieTong.

Although it was reported in November 2015 that China Mobile had agreed a RMB 31.9 billion deal to acquire fixed broadband provider TieTong from China Mobile sister company CMCC it is possible that that consolidation has not yet been fully completed. Moreover, given the size and complexity of China and the power of some of the provinces there may still be a few small local telcos that have maintained an independent existence. Some of the many provincial cable companies, nominally consolidated at national level but still in many cases rather independent, may also serve some customers with fibre. It also seems likely that huge corporations like State Grid Corporation of China also run some internal broadband operations and in any case SGCC has certainly dabbled in the FTTH market in the past, though to what actual level remains unclear.

TenPay online mobile payments system gaining very rapidly on AliPay

In early April 2017 estimates by Analysys of vendor market shares of the huge Chinese online third party mobile payments market for Q4 2016, valued at around RMB 12.8 trillion ($1.741 trillion), up 41.7% Q/Q and 126% YoY, showed Tencent's payment system, TenPay, continuing to gain ground steadily on the market leader AlIPay, a subsidiary of Alibaba. The other more than a dozen payment operators, including ApplePay, averaged less than 1% market share each. Despite a year on year loss of almost 17 points from 71% in Q4 2015, Alipay, remained the market leader in this market with a 54.1% share in Q4 2016, followed by TenPay (including WeChat Payment and QQ Wallet), on 37.02%, with the third-ranked player Yiqianbao on 2.19% and the rest on 1% or less.

According to analysts, TenPay has benefited from the huge 890 million user base of its market leading WeChat social media platform and also since 2014 has successfully targeted China's 'hongbao', or red envelope tradition during the Chinese New Year with reportedly 32 billion virtual red envelopes handled online in 2016,

(NB: the Chinese mobile payment market for 2016 is estimated at $5.5 trillion, or around 50 times the estimated $112 billion for the U.S.)

Top 3 Chinese smartphone vendors in Q1 show 3.7 point market share gain

According to IDC estimates of the size, growth rate and vendor structure of the global smartphone market in Q1 2017, the top three Chinese suppliers - Huawei, Oppo and Vivo - were collectively up 3.7 points in market share year on year to reach a collective 22.40%, while Samsung lost a percentage point from 23.80% and Apple lost 0.5 points from 15.4%. While the market grew an unexpected 4.3% to 347.4 million units the net result of market growth and share decline for the two leaders was that both Samsung and Apple shipments were virtually static year on year at 79.2 million and around 51 million, respectively.

Meanwhile, Huawei grew 1.4 points year on year in share from 8.4% to 9.8% and 22% in unit shipments. While very impressive for a company which has only been seriously in the market since 2011 there are two points that should worry Huawei about these numbers given its clearly stated outrageous ambitions to be the global market leader. The first is that even if Huawei could continue to gain 1.4 points a year, which seems unlikely, it would still take about a decade to overtake the leader Samsung. Secondly, and in some ways more worrying, is given that in almost all the many markets it has entered Huawei is accustomed to being by far the most aggressive competitor, Oppo, whose market share was also up 1.4 points YoY from 5.9% to 7.4%, is growing at least as strongly as Huawei and that is an unusual environment for Huawei. However, according to a Fortune article of January 24th, Richard Yu, head of Huawei's Consumer Group said in November that he expected to overtake Apple in unit market share sometime in 2018. Vivo, meanwhile grew market share much more slowly than Huawei or Oppo, from 4.4% to 5.2%.

China Mobile, Enea, Cavium and ARM to collaborate in validating NFV test cases

On May 2nd it was announced that China Mobile, real-time OS developer Enea of Sweden, ARM of the UK and Cavium of San Jose, a supplier of ARM- and MIPS-based processors, had signed a collaborative agreement whereby Enea's open OPNFV-based commercial core platform (based on OpenStack), ARM's 64-bit processor and Cavium's ThunderX workload-optimised data-centre server processors would be used in China Mobile's Open NFV Testlab as part of its Telecom Integrated Cloud program. The program is designed to validate a variety of NFV tests cases, such as vCPE, vBRAS, vEPC and vIMS, and support Open Network Automation Platform project development and integration.

In relation to the above announcement, in 2015 Wind River, a supplier of software for intelligent connected systems, and China Mobile said they had joined forces on multiple NFV projects including a new NFV test lab as well as the development of virtualised small cell gateway and cloud radio access network (C-RAN) solutions. Also, in January 2016 the OpenStack Foundation published a press release in support of the report Accelerating NFV Delivery with OpenStack on the adoption and business cases driving NFV deployment at leading telecom providers. It claimed that OpenStack was the platform of choice for NFV deployment and noted that AT&T, Bloomberg, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, NTT Group, SK Telekom and Verizon were among the organisations documented using OpenStack and NFV.

In addition, in June 2016 Nokia and China Mobile announced the signing of a one-year, Euro 1.36 billion frame agreement for Nokia to provide China Mobile with cloud services, mobile, fixed, IP routing, optical transport and customer experience management technology, as well as support and global services during 2016.



Tuesday, May 16, 2017

China telecoms market monthly update - Part 1

Mobile subscribers for March 2017 (millions):


            Total subs       Added March   4G subs  Added March
China Mobile 856.485           2.787   568.074           9.471
China Unicom 266.265           0.641   122.726           6.613
China Telecom 221.53           3.010   137.640           5.930
Total 1,344.28        6.438   828.440           22.014

Comment on the above

There has been a slight acceleration over the last few months in China Mobile's new mobile additions and the March numbers were the highest since 2.831 million in September 2016 and the second highest of the last 15 months. However, the numbers for the first three months of 2017 are surprisingly similar to those of the first three months of 2016, so year on year the collective total for the first quarter was virtually flat. The standout number for the quarter was China Telecom's net addition of 3.01 million, which was not only higher than the China Mobile number for March but also almost 1 million higher than its own previously highest over the last 15 months of 2.02 million.

On the 4G side, while China Mobile continues to lead in new additions the level is now only about 50% of its average monthly additions in 2016. By comparison, China Telecom net additions in March were its second highest for the last 15 months and the China Unicom figure was by far its highest for the same period. Clearly, since both companies' share of net 4G additions during the month are higher than their share of cumulative 4G subscriptions to date both must be gaining share against China Mobile, but the gains are at a very slow rate.

Companies with 61% stake in Singapore telco M1 seeking sale

On April 21st Reuters reported that sources had told it that the three principal investors in Singapore operator MI, namely Malaysia's Axiata Group, Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation, which collectively own around 61% of the $1.36 billion valued telco, had been contacting a number of telecoms firms, including China Mobile, and private equity companies, cash-rich business groups in China and Japanese tech firms, to gauge their interest in bidding for their majority ownership of the business.

M1's share price has nearly halved over the past two years due to its weak business performance amid increased competition, which is about to get even more intense once TPG Telecom of Australia, which has been awarded Singapore's fourth mobile licence, launches its services in 2018. Despite being by far the world's largest telco in terms of subscriptions served, China Mobile has historically been very tentative in terms of overseas expansion and so far has focused on investments in operators that serve neighbouring countries to China, i.e., in 2007 it bought a minor operator in Pakistan and in 2014 bought an 18% stake in Thailand's True.

Foxconn, with growing interests in electric vehicles, invests in CATL

On March 30th Taiwan News reported that Foxconn of New Taipei City, Taiwan and the world's largest electronics equipment manufacturing subcontractor with over 1.3 million workers and revenue of $136 billion in 2015, would invest NT$4.4 billion ($147 million) for a 1.19% stake in six year-old Chinese electric vehicle battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL). CATL is based in Ningde, a 3rd tier city of 252,000 people in the north of the south western coastal province of Fujian, which faces across the Straits of Taiwan to Taiwan.

CATL was founded by Robin Zeng, who has a doctorate in Chemistry and also previously founded Amperex Technology (ATL), also headquartered in Ningde but now majority owned by TDK of Japan, focused on consumer lithium-ion battery development and production for Apple, TDK, Amazon, HTC, Lenovo, Huawei and Coolpad. Under China's 13th 5 Year Plan (with 2020 targets including halving battery costs to below  RMB 1 (14.4 cents) per kilowatt hour, and improving energy density by two-thirds), CATL is one of three government-nominated Chinese battery makers (along with Guoxuan and Lishen) that will receive around $15 million in support funding if it meets those targets.

According to a Reuters report, CATL overtook global rival LG Chem of South Korea in battery output in 2016 and is close on the heels of two other international leaders - Japan's Panasonic and Warren Buffet-backed BYD of Beijing. CATL is aiming to grow its battery capacity six-fold by 2020 to 50 gigawatt hours, which if achieved would by then possibly put it ahead of Tesla Motor's Nevada Gigafactory. CATL electric car battery clients include German luxury car brand BMW, Chinese brands Yutong (Xiamen King Long United Automotive) and BAIC Motor.

In addition to its recent investment in CATL, Foxconn has increased its investments in self-driving electric vehicles in recent years, signing, in March 2015, a strategic partnership agreement with dealership chain China Harmony Auto and Chinese Internet specialist Tencent Holdings to launch the joint venture Zhejiang I-car Internet and Intelligent Electric Vehicle in Zhengzhou City, Henan province to develop connected smart electric vehicles.

In November 2016 it was reported that the above start-up had signed an agreement with local government officials to build a $2 billion assembly plant in the Chinese city of Shangrao in the south eastern province of Jiangxi, with the capacity to build up to 300,000 electric vehicles annually, as well as a production line to assemble battery packs for EVs.

Tencent, Harmony Auto and Foxconn have also formed a partnership to establish another EV start-up, China Future Mobility, to develop connected and automated electric cars. According to China Harmony Auto's financial report released in mid-2016, Future Mobility expected to unveil its first model next year and put it on sale in 2019. In late January 2017, it was reported that Future Mobility planned to invest RMB11.6 billion ($1.7 billion) to build a new factory in 2019 in Nanjing (the capital of Jiangsu province) with the capacity to produce 300,000 cars a year, with its first car likely to have a price tag of about RMB300,000 ($43,700).

Foxconn currently China Harmony Auto's second largest shareholder


A recent report by Taiwan's United Daily News also noted that two Foxconn subsidiaries (Eson Precision Industry, a module manufacturer, and BizLink Holding, a supplier of automotive equipment cabling and both important suppliers to the electric vehicle market) were key suppliers of Tesla electronic vehicle components, and speculated that Foxconn could play an important role in any future electric car developments by Apple.

See also