WITH a personal fortune of US$26 billion, solar power tycoon Li Hejun was yesterday named the richest person on China’s mainland.
According to the Hurun Global Rich List 2015, the boss of Beijing-based renewable energy firm Hanergy overtook Alibaba founder Jack Ma to become the 12th person in 16 years to take the title.
Li was one of 430 billionaires from China’s mainland to make the global ranking. The number was 72 more than last year — mostly due to the stock market boom — and cemented the country’s position as second only to the United States, which secured 537 places on the list.
At the top of the pile was Microsoft founder Bill Gates, whose personal wealth was estimated at US$85 billion.
China also claimed the title for the most “rags to riches” stories, accounting for 61 percent of the self-made billionaires, compared with just 13 percent for the US.
The mean age of the billionaires from China’s mainland was 58, a full six years lower than the global average of 64.
Five Chinese cities, including Hong Kong and Beijing, were among the top 20 “homes” of the super-rich.
By industry, most of the Chinese billionaires on the list made their fortunes from real estate. The segment was topped by Li Ka-shing from Hong Kong with US$32 billion, followed by Wang Jianlin, chairman of Dalian Wanda Group with US$25 billion, who also placed second overall for the Chinese mainland.
On a global scale, technology, media and telecoms were the key industries, said Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher of the Hurun Report.
The “TMT” group included 297 billionaires from around the world, of which 41 were from China’s mainland. The tech sector was the third-biggest creator of billionaires on the Chinese mainland, after manufacturing, which produced 70.
The high market valuations of China’s technology stocks played a big role in boosting wealth in the sector.
The year’s biggest gainer was Liu Qiangdong of JD.com, who saw his personal wealth quadruple to US$6.7 billion following an initial public offering.
The personal wealth of Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma and his family soared in September following the company’s record-breaking US$25 billion initial public offering in New York.
But their combined fortune of US$24.5 billion was good enough only for third place on the list of the richest people on the Chinese mainland.
China Watch Blog reports that just three days before International Workers’ Memorial Day, honoring workers around the world who have died as a result of their jobs, two groups — Green America and China Labor Watch (CLW) — will hold a demonstration at the Apple Store on 5th Avenue in New York City to protest worker poisoning in the factories that supply Apple’s iPhones and iPads. The event will take place at 12:30 p.m. on April 25, 2014.
The planned protest stems from the “Bad Apple Campaign,” launched jointly by Green America and CLW on March 12, 2014. To date, the campaign has collected nearly seventeen thousand signatures urging Apple’s CEO Tim Cook to remove dangerous chemicals in an effort to protect the young Chinese workers who manufacture Apple’s products. See http://www.greenamerica.org/bad-apple/ for more information.
The protests’ location at Apple’s “Cube” store, near Central Park, is significant in that the store is one of Apple’s most profitable retail locations, grossing more than $350 million per year. Industry experts estimate that Apple could remove benzene and other dangerous chemicals from production for as little as $1 dollar per device.
Smartphones and other electronics are made with thousands of chemicals, many of which are known to be harmful to human health such as benzene or n-hexane. Occupational exposure to benzene can lead to leukemia. Apple is profiting at the expense of the workers who assemble their iconic products in China, even though safer chemical alternatives are available. The campaign is calling on Apple to lead the way in protecting worker health and safety.
In April 2012, Greenpeace hosted an action at this store to call attention to Apple’s wasteful energy practices. As a result, one year later, Apple announced a plan to use 100% renewable energy at its data centers.
China Watch Blog reports that Tianhe-2 has started to provide computing services to the public while in-system debugging is ongoing. The first beneficiaries are users of the previous pilot system.
Located in Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, in Guangdong Province, Tainhe-2 is regarded as the world’s fastest supercomputer.
On November 18, 2013, Tianhe-2 topped the TOP500 list of the fastest supercomputers in the world. The computer beat the second-placed Titan by a margin of nearly 2 to 1. Titan is housed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Tianhe-2 was built by China’s National University of Defense Technology (NUDT).
Tianhe-2 possesses 16,000 computer nodes, carries 32,000 XeonE5 main processors and 48,000 XeonPhi coprocessors, and counts a total of 3,120,000 cores. It was delivered to the National Supercomputing Center in Guangzhou (NSCC-GZ) on the east campus of Sun Yat-sen University after the completion of the first installation.
Currently, the Tianhe-2 host system is undergoing commissioning and operation trials, and providing computing services to some users. Guangzhou Supercomputing Center will hold an application promotion and make preparations to formally provide computing services.
Successful exploitation of Tianhe-2 will require a large number of professionals, especially interdisciplinary talents who possess professional knowledge and understand supercomputing.
According to personnel from the Guangzhou Supercomputer Center, there is a shortage of supercomputing professionals in China. In addition to introducing overseas supercomputing talent, an interdisciplinary supercomputer application research institute will be established in Sun Yat-sen University in the future for the domestic training of interdisciplinary supercomputing professionals.
China Watch Blog has learnt that the heart of the Internet is “bleeding” from a bug in widely-used encryption technology, according to security experts.
The online threat, code-named Heartbleed, could affect millions of Chinese computer users by exposing their passwords, credit card numbers and other sensitive information to potential theft by computer hackers.
“Heartbleed is the No. 1 online threat this year,” said Shi Xiaohong, a security expert with Qihoo 360.
Shi likened it to a “nuclear crisis in the Internet landscape” due to its potential for damage.
More than 30 percent of domestic websites requiring web log-ins — covering online payment, e-commerce, online bank and e-mail services — have been affected by the bug. Users can’t protect their information if they have used the services of websites with OpenSSL encryption technology, even if their computers are well protected by anti-virus tools, according to Qihoo 360.
The security researchers who uncovered the threat are particularly worried about the breach because it had gone undetected for more than two years. Hackers may have been exploiting the problem over that period.
Domestic websites, including Taobao, the online shopping site, and train ticket site12306.cn, and global sites such as Yahoo were found to have the bug. By yesterday evening, most websites had been upgraded to fix the bug.
“All of our websites, including Taobao, Alipay and Tmall are safe now with system upgrading,” Alibaba said.
Beijing-based Qihoo 360 sent alerts to around 120,000 website owners in China urging them to upgrade their systems.
The Heartbleed bug was found by Google Inc and US security firm Codenomicon, and prompted the US government’s Department of Homeland Security to advise businesses to review their servers to see if they were using vulnerable versions of OpenSSL, Reuters reported.
Ordinary computer users are advised to change passwords or at least not to access websites that haven’t been upgraded.
Yahoo, which has more than 800 million users worldwide, said most of its most popular services — including sports, finance and Tumblr — had been fixed, but work was still being done on other products it didn’t identify.
In a statement, it said it was “continuously working to protect our users’ data.”
China Watch Blog reports that twenty-five distinguished scholars and internationally recognized experts have been appointed to the Global Commission on Internet Governance’s (GCIG) new Research Advisory Network (RAN).
The Global Commission is a two-year initiative launched in January 2014, by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and Chatham House. Chaired by Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, the commission will produce a comprehensive stand on the future of multi-stakeholder Internet governance.
The commission’s RAN, led by CIGI Senior Fellow Laura DeNardis, will assist in identifying and prioritizing Internet governance and Internet policy related issues within the commission’s mandate. Members of the RAN will provide expert briefings to the members of the commission and conduct research and analysis for the commission’s preparatory work and final report.
“The research advisory network will be an indispensable component of the Global Commission on Internet Governance,” said Fen Osler Hampson, co-director of the commission and director of CIGI’s Global Security & Politics program. “Under the direction of Laura DeNardis, the RAN will be of great benefit to this initiative’s critical analysis and findings. I’m grateful that these experts have agreed to participate.”
The twenty-five member network consists of:
Peng Hwa Ang
Rolf H. Weber
Christopher S. Yoo
Additional RAN members will be confirmed over time. For more information on the GCIG, including its twenty-nine commissioners and twenty-five research advisers, please visit: www.ourinternet.org. Follow the commission on Twitter @OurInternetGCIG.
China Watch Blog reports that no one could argue very convincingly that mobile isn’t one of the most disruptive, transformational factors in business – and in life – today. Consumers are armed 24/7 with ever more powerful smartphones and tablets. But most aren’t dying to download the app you paid handsomely to develop.
Most consumers are using their mobile devices to access the web while away from home and from the couch. They’re using them to read your opt-in emails, clicking on your links and forwarding your offers to friends. They’re comparison-shopping, pitting brick-and-mortars with online stores, and reading reviews as part of their decision-making process. They’re relating their experiences with ratings and photos in real time with their social networks.
Anyone competing today for consumers’ hard-earned income, loyalty or even just their attention simply MUST embrace mobile. And they must develop a multi-faceted strategy to take advantage of it..
Building your own mobile app is hardly ever a best first step. Building a useful app is a considerable investment in time and money. Instead, these four strategies can make you immediately mobile friendly. Plus, they can actually inform your future app development process.
1. Make your website mobile friendly
More than half of your customers are searching for your information using their smartphones. Three-quarters of them won’t come back if your site isn’t optimized for mobile. More than 90 percent of websites are not optimized for mobile, so optimizing yours becomes a competitive advantage. What’s more, your mobile site can incorporate features unique to mobile device like geolocation, tap-to-call and others.
An easy way to make your site mobile friendly is to create a dedicated mobile website, separate from your main site. This site would be served up automatically when people navigate to your site using a smartphone or tablet. The drawbacks to having separate sites are that the branding between the two can be limited and the need to coordinate the content between the main site and the mobile version.
Responsive design is a set of web technologies that enables developers to change the visual appearance of specific elements of your website depending on the screen size the site is displayed on.
2. Collect customer and prospect contact info with a tablet in your store
People love to have insider access to special offers, flash sales and seasonal discounts. While they’re in your store or interacting with you at an event, use a tablet to collect their email address for exactly those purposes. Never use paper forms—they send the wrong message in this age of mobile and require someone to input the data after it’s collected. Offering a coupon or chance to win in exchange for contact information will significantly increase the volume of contact details you collect.
Even if you don’t yet have a structured email marketing process in place, you can start collecting this info to build this very strategic asset for future marketing activities.
3. Use mobile to grow your social following
People engaged with a personable employee in your store or at an event are great candidates to become Facebook or other social media followers. All you have to do is ask. Why not have them—right then and there—use their personal mobile to like your FB page or follow you on your other social outlets?
(photo attribution: http://www.wildli.com/blog/slick-facebook-like-counter-for-your-shop-or-event/)
4. Engage event attendees using mobile
Event attendees can be easily engaged with a mobile survey at your booth or out on the floor of the event. You can survey in real time via a QR code or offline with a tablet-based survey that will upload survey results the next time the tablet connects to the internet.
This real-time interaction with your audiences yields a goldmine of fresh insights and opinions you simply won’t be able to capture days or weeks later—assuming you even have their email address.
Mobile has changed everything, and you can leverage it to your advantage.
Use some of these quick-strike strategies to begin creating a more well-rounded mobile strategy.
Stefan Debois is Co-founder & CEO of Survey Anyplace. Survey Anyplace Mobile Surveys allow for the capture of real-time customer insights without an app or need for an email address.
China Watch Blog reports the malware attack that took advantage of Yahoo’s Java-based ad network around Christmas Eve was far greater than anticipated, the company confirmed in a post (via CNET) on its help web pages.
Initially believed to have affected only European users on January 3, 2014, the malware ad attacks were then said to have occurred during December 31, 2013 – January 3, 2014.
But Yahoo on Friday revealed the attack actually took place between December 27, 2013 – January 3, 2014, and affected users outside of the European Union as well.
It’s not clear how many users may have been affected by the hack, although initial estimates from security companies said that up to 2 million machines might have been compromised during a four-day attack.
Yahoo says that the attack happened after an account was compromised, without revealing more details about said account.
China Watch Blog reports the leak of information via Alipay, China’s largest third-party payment platform, has sparked a public outcry over transaction security at a time when the Internet is soaring as a major shopping avenue.
“The leaked data revealed only transaction information before 2010. They excluded sensitive information such as usernames or passwords, which were ciphered through a sophisticated method that is not available to anyone,” according to a statement by Alipay on Sunday.
The China Daily reported that Alipay apologized for the leak, saying it has notified Chinese regulators and will keep the public informed about the investigation in a timely manner.
Alipay accounts for 61 percent of the country’s third-party payment market, according to IT consultancy iResearch. Currently, about 200 banks and 400,000 e-commerce vendors or online units of brick-and-mortar stores accept Alipay as an online payment channel, according to company statistics.
Earlier media reports said police have held a former employee of Alipay, who told police he downloaded 20 gigabytes of personal information in 2010 — including users’ names, cellphone numbers, e-mail addresses, home addresses and purchase records — and his accomplices sold the information to others. Industry insiders said the information was useful for some e-commerce websites who need to locate their potential customers.