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Briefing Sep 29, 2020 06:02 pm EqualOcean

Samsung's Smartphone Sales Surpass Huawei's in August 2020

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Oct 19, 2020 02:59 pm · IT Home

Xiaomi's Fintech Arm Rebrands as Airstar Data

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Oct 18, 2020 04:41 pm ·

Xiaomi Bets on Supply Chain Finance, Renames 'Mi Financial' to 'Airstar Digits'

On October 18, 2020, Xiaomi's (01810:HK) financial service segment officially commenced operating under the new name 'Airstar Digits,' where the 'Airstar' comes from its Hong Kong-based virtual bank that launched in June 2020. The financial service specialized entity claims to have three major missions, in which it identifies the target customer groups: serving the financial needs of bricks-and-mortar businesses through fintech, serving financial institutions' industrial up-gradation, and serving for individual consumers. Resembling Ant Group and JD.com (JD:NASDAQ) which have been developing financial services based on their parent companies' established e-commerce ecosystems and user pools, Xiaomi's financial services are destined to build upon its smartphone and IoT products manufacturing and retail process that involves enterprises covering electronic components, smart hardware, logistics and so on. From March 2018, Xiaomi financials claims to provide financial support for over 3,000 bricks-and-mortar businesses with over RMB 90 billion loans, reducing the financing cost of small-to-medium business by approximately 2%. Currently, the Airstar Digits is cooperating with financial institutions to further deliver financial services to enterprises in glass manufacturing, food processing, logistics, and textile industries. Xiaomi's co-founder Hong Feng took the role of Airstar Digit's chairman and CEO. He says the renaming of Xiaomi finance to Airstar shows the company's commitment to empowering Chinese SMBs through digitalized financial services. Correspondingly, the consumer finance app that is operated under Airstar Digits will become Airstar app and continue to deliver loans, investment and insurance services to individual financial service users.

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Oct 15, 2020 12:30 am ·

Xiaomi's Global Wins Render Opportunities for Chinese Outbound App Developers

On October 14, 2020, Xiaomi's (01810:HK) Global Developers Summit is held in Shenzhen, in which the company shares strategy updates and industry trends regarding its Internet services business and related services that will empower app developers to achieve further growth in global markets.  Ranking as the fourth largest smartphone shipper worldwide, Xiaomi's smartphone sales continue to deliver rapid results in its overseas market, especially in the European market during the second quarter of 2020, as the pandemic increased consumers' dependency on mobile devices. The growth of the hardware devices arena is a strong driver for the Internet services penetration in countries that are home to Xiaomi's overseas users. With approximately 70% of the total MIUI (Xiaomi's smartphone operating system) monthly active users from outside mainland China at around 230 million, the company feels the urge to enhance its software services for the overseas user group through developing the software services ecosystem.   Two major factors contribute to the company's overseas software services growth. First, Xiaomi has strong distribution capacity. Xiaomi has a comparatively larger user base of mobile gaming users. By the end of the second quarter of 2020, the daily active gaming user is at around 120 million and daily game installation reaches 8.5 million on an average. Additionally, the company has invested lavishly in game distribution. According to samples shared by one of Xiaomi’s gaming partners, the returns of gaming promotion investment in the overseas market have increased by 90% compared to the number in April 2020. Xiaomi's app store 'GetApps' functions as the traffic portal to the various apps exhibited there. With a combination of Xiaomi’s technological capacity, streamlined operation process and comprehensive developer services, the Xiaomi-affiliated apps are more accessible to users, and consequently further drive the growth and revenue volume.  Second is the company’s platform advantage. Xiaomi meets the growing needs of global developers with marketing services covering a device’s full life cycle leveraging Xiaomi smartphone’s strong growth momentum. With pre-installation and a variety of advertising medias, Xiaomi’s marketing service not only focuses on the growth of installs, but also further helps developers increase the conversion rate and activation rate, providing marketing services to developers with an appetite to expand globally.

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Oct 14, 2020 11:16 am ·

Xiaomi and Huawei Ban Top Mobile Games, Indicating Intensifying Competition

Recently, two famous Chinese phone makers, Xiaomi (1810:HK) and Huawei, announced that they would not allow access to two popular games on their application stores: Genshin Impact and Rise of Kingdoms. The reason is that they could not reach an agreement on revenue distribution with the game publishers. According to the Chinese Apple App Store, Genshin Impact and Rise of Kingdoms’ rank number 3 and 4 on the games list, respectively. Sources released show that Rise of Kingdoms' publisher and developer, Lilith Games, asked for a 70% share of total revenue in recent negotiations with Huawei and Xiaomi. But the two parties split on this issue. Huawei and Xiaomi used to demanding exorbitant prices Unlike a 3 to 7 payment ratio, which is the case between Apple and Epic games, China's gaming distribution channels have strong bargaining power and require more. Big smartphone systems builders like Xiaomi and Huawei ask for 50% of total revenue, topped up by gamers through app stores on the premise of paying off channel fees. In fact, the game developer and publisher can only get less than 50% of the gamers' money contributions. Rewinding the history of the main channels – the smartphone app stores spent several years building their dominant positions. As smartphone shipments rose steeply from 2012 to 2016, the top phone makers in China, including OPPO, Vivo, Huawei, Coolpad and others allied, demanding 50% of the total topline for distribution. At that time, even developers like Tencent (0700:HK) had to accept this rule. The atmosphere has changed as smartphone shipments have declined in recent years. Content providers like Tencent acquired game studios, enhancing their bargaining ability. Tencent's games accounted for 65% of total sector revenue in 2019. As game censorship tightened in recent years, the reduced games supply highlighted the success of Tencent's strategy, which helped Tencent reach a 70% distribution ratio deal on its games such as Crazyracing Kartrider, Jianwang 3 with Huawei and Xiaomi. Another gaming giant, NetEase (NETS:NASDAQ; 9999:HK), claims that it only receives 70% of the total revenue on its two games: Fantasy Westward Journey and Journey to the West. Other phenomenally popular games like Onmyoji couldn't sign such a deal. Alternative distributors are thriving Official app stores, third-party app stores and vertical apps make up the field of gaming distributors in China. Now developers and publishers are cultivating alternative channels: apps like 9Game and Tap Tap, implying that the phone maker alliance is likely crashing. Tap Tap has been a runaway success, turning into a prevalent mobile game sharing community with 4,400 listed games and 7 of them downloaded over 10 million times in 5 years. And 9Game, founded in 2009, a subsidiary of Alibaba, has become the largest Chinese android games distributing platform. These two channels provide mobile gaming news, installation packages, online communities and games ranks. They primarily generate revenue through online advertisements and can return more to the upstream. Analysys, a Chinese research body, said these vertical channels grow faster than hardware channels and third-party players. Besides, alternative media have better stickiness to gamers than other platforms, reflected by their apps' average opening times per day and daily usage. Specifically, apps of vertical channels are clicked 6.35 times per day, compared with 1.94 times for official app stores and 2.24 for third party app stores. What's more, gamers spend 23.89 minutes per day. By contrast, the figures for the other two types of apps are 4.5 and 7.87 minutes, respectively. Large games developers enjoy the fruits The bargaining power between game developers and publishers and distribution channels is decided by how much loss they can afford. The more loss a company can accept, it tends to achieve the dominant position. For example, small gaming studios that generate considerable revenue from a single platform like Huawei or Apple tend to fulfill their requirements. Instead, large gaming companies like Lilith gamers may choose to give up a vital channel like Xiaomi or Huawei while seeking revenue supplements from other media when they choose to suffer the pain. As intensifying competition on downstream, companies like Tencent and NetEase benefit from more choice on selecting partners, grasping more bargaining power.

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Oct 13, 2020 10:59 am ·

Qualcomm, Huawei, Intel Top Wi-Fi 6 Patent List

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Oct 13, 2020 10:10 am ·

Huawei Might Sell Its Co-brand Honor

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Oct 16, 2020 04:15 pm · ITjuzi

Beijing-Based AI Startup Vion Closes Series C Financing

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