Twitter Want to Make Money by Opening a Hong Kong Office

While mainland China is still blocking Twitter, the social media giant still sees potential in making money from the outside its territory. This is why it has opened a new Hong Kong-based office today, aiming to help Chinese companies market to overseas customers.

“Opening our Hong Kong office now and hiring a sales team to work directly with advertisers across the Greater China market will contribute to our next phase of growth in Asia,” Twitter’s vice president for Asia Pacific, Shailesh Rao, told the South China Morning Post.

Facebook, who is also banned in China, has taken a similar strategy a while ago. By giving companies on international marketing too, Facebook does not necessarily need to have an actual office there to make money. However, both social media giants still face strong competition from China’s own WeChat and Sina Weibo services.

Twitter is said to be currently looking for an account executive and media partnership manager in Hong Kong, which leads to believe that it may plan to convince more celebrities and entertainment companies to create accounts that will reach their international customers.

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information

China Imposes New Restrictions on Instant Messaging and First Detained

Last year, China launched a campaign to clamp down on on-line rumour mongering and “clean up” the internet. The crackdown has led to an exodus of users from microblog platforms such as Weibo after authorities detained hundreds of outspoken users.

The latest restrictions will affect hugely popular mobile messaging apps such as Tencent’s WeChat, which has almost 400 million users. Other instant messaging tools include Tencent’s QQ, Laiwang app, Yixin and Miliao.

The official Xinhua news agency said, “Accounts that haven’t been approved by the instant messaging service provider are forbidden to publish or reprint political news. Service providers must verify and publicly mark accounts that can publish or reprint political news.”

Public account users must also sign an agreement with the service provider when they register, promising “to comply with the law, the socialist system, the national interest, citizens’ legal rights, public order, social moral customs, and authenticity of information,” Xinhua said.

These new regulations could have a similar effect to the one seen on Weibo last year. “The new rules could cool down the traffic of WeChat public accounts and discourage journalists from setting up individual WeChat public accounts,” said Fu King-wa, an assistant professor at the University of Hong Kong.

Tencent said it would work within the new regulations which it stressed would only apply to public accounts and not to everyday users. “We will take measures against offensive and abusive activities to ensure compliance with relevant regulations,” a spokeswoman said in an e-mailed statement to Reuters. The other companies could not be reached or declined to comment.

On Thursday, South Korea said Chinese authorities had blocked messaging apps KakaoTalk and Line in an effort to fight terrorism, but the disruptions to the network already started a month ago. Other services such as on-line video streaming sites have also been targeted by censors in recent months.

[Update]

I had barely finished this article and about to publish it as more news ticked in. Chinese authorities have detained someone for the first time for spreading panic on mobile messaging app WeChat. Just hours are the new rules were imposed.

The man was taken into custody after writing on WeChat that three people carrying explosives had been shot dead by the police outside a hospital in the eastern province of Juangsu. A report said the police had investigated the claim and found it to be untrue, it’s intention was to gain attention and boost his on-line business as an e-commerce merchant.

It is not clear what sanctions he might face from the Chinese authorities, but we can assume it will be more then a slap on the wrist. Up until now, Instant-Messaging apps had been considered pretty safe compared to microblog sites like twitter. This view has already changed.

Thank you Reuters for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of TechAttitude.

Microsoft Mistakenly Presents WhatsApp For Windows 8

Microsoft unintentionally revealed some never-before-seen Windows 8.X apps at its Worldwide Partner Conference yesterday. In a presentation given by marketing executive Tony Prophet Microsoft discussed the progress they have been making with their Windows 8 Apps and their Windows App Store. Upon the demonstration system running desktop Windows 8 Microsoft paraded apps for WhatsApp, WeChat and Pandora: three apps not seen before on Windows 8. Just as everyone started to get excited by the new apps it turns out that these apps will not be made available on the Windows 8 platform after all, they are merely Windows Phone 8 apps that Microsoft mis-presented. WhatsApp’s business head even came out to confirm it was a mistake by Microsoft and that they are not developing WhatsApp for any desktop or notebook platforms. Good job Microsoft…

Source: Softpedia

Image courtesy of Softpedia

Huawei Reported To Be Selling High-End Smartphones Via Messaging App

The increased competition of smartphone manufacturers in China has apparently resulted in companies approaching unique marketing techniques. For example, Xiaomi is said to have success with its ‘Hunger Marketing’ technique, having customers pre-register their interest in a handset in order to grab the e-mail addresses of potential buyers. As soon as the particular handset hits the spotlight, a limited number is manufactured and sold. This is how the company recently sold an estimated 10,000 Xiaomi Redmi Note phablets in less than a second.

Networking and telecom manufacturer Huawei apparently has its own tactics. Sources indicate that the company is apparently using popular messaging application WeChat as a channel to sell its Huawei Honor 6 handset. The device is said to boast an Octa-Core processor, a 5-inch display with a resolution of 1080 x 1920, as well as a 13 MP back camera and 5MP front camera.

The company previously used only local carriers to sell its handsets, but due to the increased competition, it is hoping to widen the distribution of its products using the WeChat app. The application, which is said to be in partnership with Chinese e-commerce company JD, has apparently hosted a competition in which the lucky winner was awarded with a Huawei Honor 6. The rules appeared to have been simple as well, having competitors guess the price of the handset in question. The winner would have had to answer ¥1999 / $322, the actual price of the Huawei Honor 6 handset.

Huawei is said to have 8% of the Chinese market, placing it on the 6th position in the country. This is due to change in the future, providing that the partnership between the company and WeChat app is successful. WeChat is said to have over 400 million users, having it be used as a text and voice messaging app, a gaming app and even a cab hailing app. Reports show that an update last year has even added a payment system, something which Huawei is attempting to exploit. Also, Huawei might have been the first to use this type of marketing camping, but it most certainly will not be the last.

Thank you Phonearena for providing us with this information