Alipay has launched in a new payment system in the Beijing subway that uses sound waves to connect smartphones with ticketing machines. The sound wave payment system was introduced with the Alipay Wallet mobile app in January and uses white noise (link via Google Translate) generated by a smartphone to carry digital information to another device. Initially used for smartphone-to-smartphone transactions, the Beijing Subway launch marks the first time the system has been used with a payment kiosk for consumer transactions, according to Xinhua (link via Google Translate).
Tag Archives: Beijing
As Apple launched its iPhone 5 in China on Friday, interest at one of the company's stores in Beijing was muted, with only two people waiting in line minutes before the store opened its doors at 8 a.m.
Stock trading portal 8 Securities, a TechCrunch Disrupt Beijing 2011 finalist, just announced that it will launch in Japan next month. The Hong Kong-based startup hopes to tap into the Japanese market, which it estimates has over 16 million online investors. It also closed a $ 3 million funding round last week, with all eight private investors from its initial round of $ 8 million returning.
For a country who doesn’t really do April Fools’ Day, you know China means business when it lays the smackdown on its weibo services. Here’s the background story: about a week ago there was a rumor on the Chinese web about a military coup on one of the main streets in Beijing, and coincidentally I was in town around the time (for the Windows Phone launch). Funnily enough, I wasn’t aware of this at all until my taxi driver in Hong Kong asked me about my visit, as he claimed that the passenger he picked up beforehand was actually a Chinese military officer who had several intense phone calls about said coup.
But of course, nothing actually happened. In fact, the guards at Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City were pretty relaxed when I visited on that very day. As for the rumormongers, the Chinese government announced through Xinhua that 16 websites have been shut down and six people have been detained, while local microblogging platforms Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo have been “criticized and punished accordingly,” though it didn’t elaborate on the details. All we know is that comments under each weibo post are now disabled until local time 8pm on April 3rd, during which these two companies can, in their own words, clean up the mess. Well, at least we now know where to draw the line for China’s April Fools’.
As you may have heard at the start of this month, Apple’s iTunes App Store had its 25 billionth download, and the prize for being the one to tip the scales went to the young lady appearing just now in Beijing newspapers collecting her prize. Chunli Fu (also reported as Fuchun Li) of Qingdao, China,
Apple abruptly canceled first-day sales of its iPhone 4S at one of its Beijing stores, prompting an irate customer to throw eggs at the building, and leaving others disappointed after waiting for a number of hours.
The biggest barrier to starting a company isn’t ideas, funding or experience. It’s excuses. And you can understand why: Starting a company is scary. It’s little wonder that even the best entrepreneurs go through a period of doubt and excuses not to take the plunge.
So when I hear complaints from entrepreneurs in other areas of the US or in other countries about how they can’t start companies because there is no angel money, no mentors, no employees that will work for a startup, I always wonder how much of these gripes are truly insurmountable odds to new company formation and how much are the grousing of someone looking for someone else to blame.
In China, the complaint du jour is that the entrepreneurs are trying to push beyond just founding companies that are clones of Western Web brands, and it’s the VCs that won’t take the risk on truly new ideas. Over two days of backstage deliberation at Disrupt Beijing, I got to see first-hand how the mind of the Chinese VC works. And I have to say, Chinese entrepreneurs have a valid point.
After many months of planning and countless flights to the other side of the world, our first ever international TechCrunch Disrupt event has come to a close. 15 companies have launched new products to the world for the very first time in our Startup Battlefield, an on-stage, high stress battle for riches (50 grand!), glory (press coverage!), the much coveted Disrupt Cup, and all the open doors you could ever desire.
Without further ado, the winner is… OrderWithMe!
Memo to Chinese startups: You made for a late night of deliberations. We typically pick five finalists. There were a few companies that were clear picks, captivating everyone– from the judges to the staff to people we talked to in the hallways. Then there was another group that each had passionate advocates on staff, making for some tough decisions.
Ultimately, the staff got down to six we liked and couldn’t agree on which one to eliminate. So in the spirit of rule breaking, we decided to pick six finalists.
First up, Tencent CEO Pony Ma, and then YouTube’s Steve Chen.
Between bridging the translation gap, the lack of and then abundance of morning coffee, collective Internet struggles and the many many hacks using TianJi’s (“the LinkedIn of China”) API, the TechCrunch Disrupt Beijing Hackathon just happened, and it was nothing short of amazing.
Around 300 hackers signed on to spend 24 hours together, and 100 actually braved a night full of spotty connectivity and vegetable noodles in order to present their hacks at 11:00 am Beijing time. Each team was given a minute to show their stuff in front of the multi-lingual audience and judges.
Ni hao! It’s now morning and all of us here at the Disrupt Beijing Hackathon are somehow awake. We’ve got around 50 survivors of a grueling night spent coding about to take the stage and present the fruits of their labors, the excitement is palpable.
For the many of you not in China, you can (miraculously) watch the very first ever international Disrupt hackathon on the livestream above.
With all chips in, see what our hackers are up to in the wee hours of the night at the TechCrunch Disrupt Beijing hackathon!
It’s 12:49 am at the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon Beijing; Unlike any other hackthon I’ve attended, late night hacker snacks here include Tea Eggs, Italian Red Meat Flavor potato chips, Yanjing beer, Apples, and Pokki sticks. Other differences? Well I’m writing this through a VPN because WordPress is blocked, and I’m probably going to had to go back to the hotel room to finish because the Internet keeps crapping out half way in the middle of my post.
Hackers, are you ready? The Disrupt Beijing Hackathon is almost here. Not only is this our fifth time hosting the Hackathon at TechCrunch Disrupt, but it is our very first time hosting it overseas. The Hackathon has become an incredibly popular event, where hackers of every stripe come together to build cool products and businesses — from funny to useful, from bizarre to essential. The goal of the Hackathon is to push innovation forward.
WHAT’S MORE, all hackers who finish their hacks AND present in the 24-hour allotted time period will get FREE tickets to Disrupt Beijing!
We have been lucky enough to receive support from some amazing companies. These companies will be helping hackers by hosting their own API platforms, providing educational workshops, and offering exciting prizes from their own contests. Make sure to check out the contests and prizes below, and make sure to get your ticket soon! It’s our first Hackathon overseas and one you don’t want to miss.
Disrupt Beijing is almost here. With speakers like Pony Ma, Lin Bin, Peter Vesterbacka and Niklas Zennström, it’s going to be an amazing conference. This October 31st to November 1st, our very own Jason Kincaid, Alexia Tsotsis, Leena Rao, Greg Kumparak, John Biggs and many more will be flying to China to shake things up. Of course, our own Sarah Lacy will be hosting, along with special guest Peter Goodman. Peter Goodman knows a thing or two about disruption and China. He has more than a decade of reporting on the economy, business and technology for The New York Times and The Washington Post, with 5 of those years being spent in China. He currently is the executive business editor at The Huffington Post.
With all the recent TechCrunch drama– not to mention my own busy September giving birth– you might think our upcoming Disrupt Beijing conference had gotten pushed to the back-burner. You’d be wrong.
We’ve been busy ferreting out and booking more of the hottest names in the Chinese startup scene to augment our already announced keynotes by Tencent CEO Pony Ma, Chinese angel and entrepreneur Lei Jun, and a host of Western entrepreneurs who are traveling to China along with the TechCrunch staff.
One of our most anticipated keynotes is no stranger to Silicon Valley: Innovation Works founder and former head of Google China Kai-Fu Lee. Lee is one of those rare executives who has deep experience in the US with top companies like Apple, Microsoft and Google and deep connections in China as well.
Until now we’d only come across NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 (aka Kal-El) in reference tablets and demos, but here we are finally looking at an actual product revealed at PT/Expo Comm China. It’s a 7-inch slate from ZTE called the T98, apparently running the quad-core 1.5GHz processor slightly underclocked at 1.3GHz, beneath Android 3.2, a 1280×800 display, 1GB RAM, 16GB storage, a 5MP rear camera and 2MP front-facer. The 11.5mm-thick body also houses a 3G modem and a 4000mAh battery, which won’t see many easy days powering this beast. No definitive word on price or release date yet, but click past the break for a reverse shot.
The data could lead to novel city planning solutions that would work in sprawling cities everywhere.
Beijing is a city famous for traffic jams. In 2006, rush hour reportedly lasted 11 hours a day, and the city has been called a “virtual car park” during daylight hours. As in most major cities, urban planners have been trying for years to relieve the pressure by adding new roads or public transit lines, or providing better enforcement for traffic laws.