iPhone’s market share in China drops to fifth

The performance of Apple’s iPhone in China has worsened to 11 percent market share in May 2016 with its ranking dropping from third to fifth in the first quarter, according to a report from TechWeb.com.cn, citing a latest research from analyst firm Counterpoint Technology Market Research.
TechWeb said that Apple Inc’s revenue in Greater China region fell 26 percent last quarter (as of March 26), in which the company suffered its first-ever quarterly corporate revenue decline since 2003.

The second quarter witnessed Apple’s revenue decline 13 percent year-on-year and plunge to $50.6 billion. Its net profit decreased by 23 percent year-on-year to $10.5 billion.

Hong Shibin of Internet Society of China is an Internet marketing expert. Hong says Apple’s biggest weakness is its product.

“Compared with the classic iPhone 4S and 5S, the iPhone 6S and iPhone SE lack innovation highlights,” said Hong.

By comparison, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s market share continues to grow, ranking first in China’s smartphone market.

In addition, Chinese domestic smartphone manufacturers Huawei, Xiaomi Corp, Guangdong OPPO Mobile Telecommunications Co Ltd and Vivo Electronics Corp together captured 53 percent share of the overall Chinese smartphone market.

ICANN Board Adopts Updated Five-Year Operating Plan, and FY17 Operating Plan and Budget

The ICANN Board adopted the updated ICANN Five Year Operating Plan, and the ICANN FY17 Operating Plan and Budget in June 2016 at ICANN56 in Helsinki, Finland.

These plans are the result of several months of collaborative work by the community, staff and Board Finance Committee members, and include:

Highlights of all ICANN operations
Overview of the Internet Authority Numbers Authority (IANA) Stewardship Transition and Implementation
Overview of ICANN’s FY17 budget
Detailed FY17 operating plan
Detailed portfolios of planned activities that support the goals and objectives described in the ICANN Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2016–2020 and the updated Five-Year Operating Plan
Detailed list of projects for each portfolio, with project-level budgeted costs
Summary of changes from Draft FY17 Operating Plan and Budget
The community’s continuously increasing participation in the planning process is a cornerstone of ICANN’s transparency and accountability to the public. ICANN thanks all community members who contributed to the development of the budget.

Govt to invest $422b in railways over five years

China plans to invest more than 2.8 trillion yuan ($421.68 billion) into railway construction, building no less than 23,000 kilometers of new rail lines during the 13th five-year plan period (2016-2020), the Economic Information Daily reports.
The “medium and long term railway network plan” is aimed at further expanding the country’s rail network. It was approved during a State Council meeting on June 29, presided over by Premier Li Keqiang.

The new plan targets more balanced national rail construction, bringing greater accessibility to more parts of the country. It also aims to build a comprehensive network covering rail, road, water and air transportation.

The country experienced a railway boom during the 12th five-year plan period, with total fixed-asset investment reaching 3.58 trillion yuan and putting 30,500 km of new lines into operation.

According to the new plan, the country will build more than 23,000 km of new railway over the next five years, with a total investment of at least 2.8 trillion yuan.

Wang Mengshu, a Chinese Academy of Engineering academic, told the newspaper China’s railway construction was speeding up and driving some related industries, such as metallurgy, machinery, building, computers and precision instruments.

He says railway construction creates many jobs and has enormous significance for sound economic growth and structural adjustment.

It’s one of the best options to ward off economic downward pressure, Wang added.

BGC’s Comments on Recent Reconsideration Request

Earlier this week ICANN’s Board Governance Committee (BGC) recommended that the ICANN Board deny a Reconsideration Request from dotgay LLC, in which it objected to emails to authors of letters of support having been sent by an administrator at the Community Priority Evaluation (CPE) provider rather than an evaluator. This will be considered by the full Board at its next meeting.

As a reminder, the CPE process was developed by the global ICANN community. It is the responsibility of ICANN to ensure the process is followed. To reiterate, this BGC recommendation is not a statement about the validity of dotgay LLC’s application or dotgay LLC’s supporters. ICANN supports and encourages diversity and inclusion, both internally within ICANN organization and within our community.

Four applicants for .GAY remain in contention (including dotgay LLC), and we look forward to the award of the .GAY TLD in the near future.

For additional background information, I encourage you to read my earlier blog and view examples of CPE results, which are both published below.

Community Priority Evaluation Results: Examples
BGC’s Comments on Recent Reconsideration Request
Chris Disspain, Chair, BGC – 3 February 2016

During its meetings on 13 January and 1 February 2016, ICANN’s Board Governance Committee (BGC) considered a Request for Reconsideration filed by dotgay LLC. This request asked us to reconsider the outcome of a Community Priority Evaluation (CPE), which resulted in dotgay LLC’s .GAY application not achieving community priority. Having carefully considered the Request for Reconsideration, the BGC denied it at our face-to-face meeting on 1 February 2016.

The information below provides a bit more detail about CPE and Reconsideration, and clarifies what this decision means for the dotgay LLC application, dotgay LLC’s supporters and the .GAY TLD.

This decision does not mean there will be no .GAY TLD. There are four applicants (including dotgay LLC) vying to operate this TLD. These applicants have the option to resolve the contention among themselves, through channels outside of ICANN processes. If self-resolution cannot be achieved, the four applications for .GAY will be scheduled to participate in an ICANN-facilitated “method of last resort” auction to resolve the contention.

Of the four entities applying for the .GAY TLD, dotgay LLC’s application was the only community application, and therefore the only application eligible to seek community priority through CPE. If an application achieves community priority, it is then able to move forward towards contracting, and the other applications will no longer proceed. dotgay LLC’s .GAY application did not achieve community priority so it continues to compete with the other three applications.

It should be noted that dotgay LLC has been through both the CPE and Reconsideration processes twice. After completion of the first CPE in October 2014, through the Reconsideration process, a procedural error in the CPE was identified and the BGC determined that the application should be re-evaluated. However, the same outcome and score were achieved both times.

The BGC, which is responsible for evaluating such requests, is limited by the Bylaws in evaluating this Request for Reconsideration. Specifically, the BGC is only authorized to determine if any policies or processes were violated during CPE. The BGC has no authority to evaluate whether the CPE results are correct.

I want to make clear that the denial of the Request for Reconsideration is not a statement about the validity of dotgay LLC’s application or dotgay LLC’s supporters. The decision means that the BGC did not find that the CPE process for dotgay, LLC’s .GAY application violated any ICANN policies or procedures.

It is ICANN’s responsibility to support the community-developed process and provide equitable treatment to all impacted parties. We understand that this outcome will be disappointing to supporters of the dotgay LLC application. We appreciate the amount of interest that this topic has generated within the ICANN community, and we encourage all interested parties to participate in the multistakeholder process to help shape how future application rounds are defined.

For more information about CPE criteria, please see ICANN’s Applicant Guidebook, which serves as basis for how all applications in the New gTLD Program have been evaluated. For more information regarding Requests for Reconsideration please see ICANN’s Bylaws.

I Am New to ICANN – Now What?

As you begin your engagement with ICANN, keep in mind that everyone was a newcomer at one time. We have all had that same overwhelmed feeling when looking around the ICANN website or participating in an ICANN meeting for the first time, trying to understand the work of ICANN, the Multistakeholder model, and all of the pieces and parts that make up the ICANN community.

Our goal here is simple: to share some key areas of our website for you to explore and quickly link to in order to gain an understanding of ICANN’s mission, how our bottom-up, Multistakeholder model works, and how to participate within the ICANN community.

As you continue your journey, it may be helpful to have a glossary of terms to help you to better understand some of the words and concepts. Using Quizlet software you can research the various acronyms in multiple languages. Discover http://quizlet.com/ICANNLangs

ICANN-commissioned Study Finds Increased Awareness and Trust in Domain Name System

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today published [PDF, 2.88 MB] the findings from its Phase 2 Global Consumer Research Survey. Conducted by Nielsen, the study measured current consumer attitudes toward the gTLD landscape and domain name system (DNS), as well as changes in consumer attitudes from the first wave study in 2015. Internet users were asked about aspects of consumer awareness, consumer choice, experience and trust.

The survey findings will inform the work of the Competition, Consumer Trust and Consumer Choice (CCT) Review Team. The team is examining the impact of the New gTLD Program on consumer trust in the DNS.

“Survey results show that overall awareness of generic top-level domain has grown when compared to the baseline study that was conducted last year and continues to grow,” said Akram Atallah, president of ICANN’s Global Domains Division. “I encourage community members to review this important report to learn more about the current market, as well as to inform the numerous discussions that are occurring about subsequent rounds.”

Online survey participants included 5,452 consumers ages 18+ in 24 countries throughout Asia, Europe, Africa, North America and South America. The survey was administered in 18 languages. This year, the study also included a sample of Internet users, ages 15-17.

The CCT Review Team will consider data from a separate survey of domain name registrants about their experiences later this year, when the Phase 2 report on registrants is published. The phase 1 registrant report was published in September 2015.

Key findings:
New generic top-level domains (gTLDs) showed a modest increase in awareness around the globe

More than half of respondents (52 percent) were aware of at least one new gTLD.
Awareness has particularly increased in North America (29 percent in 2015 vs. 38 percent in 2016), Asia Pacific (53 percent vs. 58 percent) and Europe (33 percent vs. 45 percent).
Reported visits to new gTLDs decreased (65 percent vs. 50 percent).
Awareness and trustworthiness remain high for well-known legacy TLDs

Of a subset of legacy TLDs, consumers were most aware of .COM (95 percent), .NET (88 percent) and .ORG (83 percent).
These TLDs rated highly (91 percent) as trustworthy destinations on the Internet.
ccTLDs are considered trustworthy by most consumers (95 percent) in regions where they are commonly used.
Consumers tie registration restrictions to trust

More than 70 percent of respondents favored some level of registration restrictions on both legacy and new gTLDs, an increase from 2015.
In thinking about new gTLDs, consumers expect the content of a website to closely match the implied meaning of the domain name at the second-level when considered in concert with the gTLD in which the name is registered.
Additional highlights include:

Overall, trust of the domain name industry relative to other technology-related industries has improved.
When asked to describe the purpose of gTLDs, respondents focused on the idea of structure to the Internet’s content. When asked what new gTLDs will provide, respondents said they will improve this structure, improve credibility and meet the demand for more domain names.
Globally, teens’ responses are similar to adults, though they show slightly more familiarity with new gTLDs, and use apps and wikis more than they rely on gTLDs for navigating online content.
Consumer concern about being a victim of online abusive behavior or cybercrime is relatively stable with 2015 numbers, though consumers do report being less comfortable providing personal information on a site using a new gTLD than a legacy gTLD or ccTLD.
About the Global Consumer Survey and Supporting Materials
The Global Consumer Survey was conducted by Nielsen on behalf of ICANN. The data collection and analysis phase of the survey took place from April 12 – May 2 2016, and the final report was delivered in June 2016. A total of 5,452 consumers ages 18+ representing Asia, Europe, Africa, North America and South America were selected based on the number of hours per week spent on the Internet. The survey was administered in 18 languages and drawn from 24 countries. This year the study also included a sample of teenage Internet users ages 15-17.

Significance testing was performed at a 95 percent confidence level throughout the survey.

Supporting Materials
Phase 2 Global Consumer Survey Full Report [PDF, 2.88 MB]
Phase 1 Global Consumer Survey Full Report [PDF, 2.4 MB]
Guide to Data Tables [PDF, 572 KB]
Phase 2 Data Tables by Region [PDF, 1.12 MB]
Phase 2 Data Tables by Country Table 1 [PDF, 1.61 MB] (United States, Canada, Mexico, Italy, Turkey, Spain, Poland, UK, France, Germany, China, Vietnam), Country Table 2 [PDF, 1.65 MB] (Philippines, Japan, South Korea, Russia, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil). Note: These tables include both Phase 1 and Phase 2 results.
Phase 2 Data Table for Teens [PDF, 1.12 MB]
Phase 1 Data Tables by Region [PDF, 4.9 MB]
Phase 1 Data Tables by Country [PDF, 4.7 MB]
Frequently Asked Questions

Legend takes small stake in Le Super Car

Legend Holdings Corp, the major shareholder of the world’s biggest PC maker Lenovo Group Ltd, has invested in the first round of financing for the electric-vehicle project of Le Holdings Co Ltd.

“We are only a minority shareholder in this deal,” Legend said in an e-mail statement on Thursday, without providing the exact amount of the investment.

The deal is Legend’s first investment in the car business, following its earlier investments in agriculture, food, information technology, financial services, medical service, and internet and innovation related consumer products.

The stock price of Hong Kong-listed Legend closed at HK$17.48 ($2.25) on Thursday, up 1.04 percent.

And Beijing Leshi Internet Information and Technology Corp, the listed arm of Le Holdings, closed at 46.9 yuan ($7.13), down 0.21 percent, on the Shenzhen bourse on Thursday.

Several media outlets reported earlier this week that Legend invested about 100 million yuan ($15.2 million) in the first round of financing of Le Super Car, the LeEco electric-car branch.

“It would be a symbolic move to show that Legend is optimistic about the future of smart cars if the investment is just 100 million yuan”, said Zhang Yu, managing director of Automotive Foresight Co. He said the research and development of a new model would cost several billion yuan, so 100 million yuan would be “just a trial” and would not influence much on both sides.

Zhang is negative about the future of LeEco as well as Le Super Car.

Zhang said Le Super Car does not have a clear positioning for its products because it has not identified target customers and has no know-how in car sales.

Founded in 2004, LeEco is engaged in several businesses including smart TVs, smartphones and cloud computing. Its electric car branch was set up last year.

In April, it released LeSEE, its first concept self-driving electric car.

Britons vote in historic poll to leave European Union

British voters elected to leave the European Union in a historic decision that will have far-reaching repercussions both domestically and internationally, and immediately plunged the 28-member political and economic union into its worst crisis since it was founded.

In a campaign that was at times bitter and acrimonious, the Leave campaign, headed by former London Mayor Boris Johnson, took 51.9 percent of the vote to the 48.1 percent that the Remain campaign, headed by Prime Minister David Cameron. According to the British Broadcasting Corporation, 72 percent of the electorate voted.

The result had an immediate effect on the financial markets, with the pound plunging to a 30-year low against the US dollar and the euro, Europe’s single currency, slid 3 percent against the US currency.

Reaction was immediate.

Whilst maverick UKIP leader Nigel Farage, a fervent anti-EU campaigner, proclaimed June 23 as Independence Day for the UK, others were shocked.

“Never in a thousand years would I have believed that the British people would have voted in this way. This is catastrophic for our country,” said Keith Vaz, a Labour member of parliament who is chairman of the powerful Home Affairs Committee.

Chuka Umunna, a Labour legislator and a prominent Remain campaigner, described the decision as a “seismic event for our country.”

Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the European Union and Nicola Sturgeon, the country’s first minister, hinted that her SNP party may seek a fresh referendum on Scottish independence; the SNP narrowly lost a national vote on quitting the United Kingdom in 2014.

JK Rowling, multi-millionaire author of the Harry Potter series of books, was a prominent backer of the Remain campaign, and tweeted: “Scotland will seek independence now: Cameron’s legacy will be breaking up two unions. Neither needed to happen.”

Most analysts seemed unclear what exactly will happen next. Cameron himself said before the vote that in the event of a Leave victory he would immediately initiate Article 50 of the EU accession treaty, which would in effect start then negotiation process for Britain’s departure.

However Cameron has two years in which to invoke the start of the exit process, and there have been suggestions that it might be delayed in order to negotiate the best departure terms.

What has not yet become clear is the future of Britain’s relations with two of its major trading partners, China and the US.

The US has for years had British membership of the EU a core part of its European policy, while the UK and China are experiencing what Cameron and President Xi Jinping labelled “a golden era” after the Chinese leader’s state visit to Britain last October, when deals worth 40 billion sterling were announced.

China’s official reaction, as voting got under way, was outlined by Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying at her regular press conference in Beijing on June 23.

“We follow closely the upcoming referendum in the UK. We respect the choice made by the British people, China always supports the integration of Europe, and is happy to see a united, robust and stable EU play a significant role in international affairs,” she said.

“China attaches great importance to its relations with the UK, and is willing to carry out mutually beneficial cooperation with the UK across the board.”

Baidu and Huawei nominated as world’s smartest companies

Chinese technology companies Baidu Inc and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd were listed as two of the world’s 50 smartest companies on Tuesday by a US tech magazine.

MIT Technology Review announced its annual ranking of the “50 Smartest Companies 2016″, which identified 50 enterprises that are believed by the news outlet’s editors to be “smart” in the way that best combines innovative technology with effective business models to create new opportunities.

Apart from Baidu and Huawei, Chinese tech giants Tencent Holdings Ltd and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd are also on in the list. Didi Chuxing, a four-year-old ride-hailing app that’s beating Uber in the domestic market, has also joined the group among the other world’s tech behemoths and ambitious startups.

Being one of China’s major internet search engines, Baidu is developing autonomous cars, backed by a big research and engineering team in Silicon Valley and the company plans to employ more than 100 autonomous-car researchers and engineers in California by year’s end, said the magazine.

Another Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei “is now the world’s third-largest smartphone vendor thanks to strong sales in both premium and entry-level devices,” said the magazine.

According to market researcher International Data Corporation (IDC), the number of smartphones Huawei shipped in the first quarter of 2016 reached 27.5 million units.

Last year, three Chinese companies: Xiaomi Corp, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Tencent Holdings Ltd were nominated on the list, with the smartphone manufacturer ranking second.

Baidu and Huawei nominated as world’s smartest companies
According to the website of the magazine, some of this year’s stars are large companies, like Amazon and Alphabet that are using digital technologies to redefine industries. Others are wrestling with technological changes: companies like Microsoft, Bosch, Toyota, and Intel. Also on the list are ambitious startups like 23andMe, a pioneer in consumer-accessible DNA testing and 24M, a re-inventor of battery technology.

Anti-terror drive to be stepped up

China and Uzbekistan agreed on Wednesday to deepen their fight against terrorism amid rising concerns over extremists in Central and Western Asia.

The joint decision was reached during President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Uzbekistan.

The two countries have reached consensus on jointly combating the “three forces of terrorism, separatism and extremism”, combating cross-border organized crime, and jointly maintaining regional peace and stability, Xi said after talks with Uzbek President Islam Karimov.

Xi also said the two nations pledged to deepen energy cooperation and ensure the safety of the China-Central Asia gasoline pipelines — which are vital for China’s energy security.

Xi began his state visit to Uzbekistan — his second since 2013 — on Tuesday. He will also attend the 16th meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Council of Heads of State on Thursday and Friday in Tashkent, the Uzbek capital.

China and Uzbekistan share concerns about terrorism, with extremists in the two countries sometimes conspiring together. Uzbekistan is also a key point for terrorists wanting to penetrate China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

Karimov said at a news briefing that Uzbekistan firmly supports China’s fight against terrorism, separatism and extremism.

Describing China as “a great neighbor” with huge advantages in its economy, innovation and talent, he called for ties with Beijing to be enhanced.