Today marks the 22nd anniversary of the Philippines’ connection to the World Wide Web, which might set off waves of nostalgia for some of you who may be old enough to remember the infancy of Internet culture in the country.
But enough about me, let’s talk about how where the Philippines is right now in terms of Internet adoption. Spoiler alert: Things don’t look rosy if the latest State of the Internet Report by networking-services company Akamai Technologies is to be believed. In fact, judging by how local Internet service providers have performed the past quarter, you could argue that the Philippines hasn’t matured enough with time. Which is a bit like saying the rest of the world has moved on to HTML5, whereas we’re still collectively living in the Adobe Flash Player era. Or that we’re rooting for Michael Jordan and the 90’s Chicago Bulls to win the NBA championship in 2016.
The Philippines, based on Akamai’s Q4 2015 survey, has the second-worst average broadband connection speed in the Asia-Pacific region, barely besting only India (3.2Mbps vs. 2.8Mbps). The country’s peak download speed of 27Mbps also trails most of its Asian neighbors, with only China and India faring worse. On a slightly positive note, the numbers have improved drastically year-over-year, which might indicate better days are ahead. Or at least I’d like to think so, what with the proliferation of residential fiber-broadband access and increasing competition between service providers. And I don’t mean the kind of competition that’s led to Australian telecom giant Telstra waving the white flag on a joint venture with San Miguel Corporation, as unfortunate as the situation with the local telecom industry is.
Samsung will re-evaluate fake Supreme partnership after criticism
They incited the ire of the hypebeasts
Recently, Samsung China committed a public relations boo-boo. After launching the Galaxy A8s, the Chinese branch announced a future partnership with Supreme, the popular lifestyle brand. Unfortunately, the partnership was not with the original Supreme brand. Rather, the partnered party is Supreme Italia, a knock-off brand based in Italy. At the time, Supreme NYC (the original) and Samsung China knew about Supreme Italia’s status. Regardless, Samsung China still went for the deal.
Now, the company is re-evaluating the partnership once again. According to Samsung leaker Ice Universe, Samsung China issued a statement about the partnership. Translated from the original Mandarin, Samsung said: “Recently, Samsung Electronics announced at the Galaxy A8s conference that it will cooperate with Supreme Italia in the Chinese market. We are currently re-evaluating this cooperation, and we deeply regret the inconvenience caused.”
Based on the original Weibo post, Samsung China received a significant amount of criticism for the snappy decision. Further, it didn’t help that Leo Lau, Samsung China’s digital marketing manager, defended the controversial decision.
Despite not having rights in the country, Supreme maintains a healthy following in China. However, because of the lack of selling rights, Chinese Supreme fans resorted to off-brands like Supreme Italia.
However, it doesn’t excuse Samsung China. With the decision, the Chinese branch has been assaulted by criticisms from both Supreme fans and Samsung’s higher brass. Regardless, the company has a lot of brand equity to lose by being associated with a knock-off brand. With a re-evaluation, the brand is working to restoring some lost credibility.
China bans Apple from selling iPhones
All thanks to Qualcomm
Following Huawei’s kerfuffle, all eyes are on China’s tenuous relationship with the United States. However, for all of China’s troubles, the Asian country is making some moves on its own.
In the corporate world, Qualcomm has gone on a warpath against a bunch of other companies — Apple and Huawei. The chipset maker has even hired a smear campaign against Apple supposedly. Now, the company has advanced more chess pieces in the legal department.
Recently, Qualcomm engaged in a legal battle against Apple in China. According to the company, Apple violated some critical software patents. Allegedly, the patents allow photo resizing and app management on a touchscreen.
To Qualcomm’s favor, China issued a guilty verdict against Apple. Additionally, the Chinese court has banned the American company from selling and importing most of its iPhones to the country.
The ban includes all the company’s older models. Surprisingly, it doesn’t include this year’s triage of new iPhones — the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. Apparently, the ban only covers older software versions.
Luckily for Apple, the ban hasn’t been completely enforced yet, allowing the company to remain in business for now. According to Apple, “All iPhone models remain available for our customers in China.”
In response, Apple will work to overturn this verdict in the future. “Qualcomm’s effort to ban our products is another desperate move by a company whose illegal practices are under investigation by regulators around the world… We will pursue all our legal options through the courts,” Apple said.
Besides this battle, Qualcomm claims that Apple owes them US$ 7 billion in damages.
The move opens up another theater in the ongoing trade war between China and America.
Huawei pledges $2 billion to secure cybersecurity of hardware
It starts in Britain for now
Throughout the past few weeks, Sinophobia has reached an all-time high. Various countries have started banning Chinese telecommunications companies from taking over their technology market. Huawei and ZTE have faced tremendous adversity while expanding their 5G operations. Of note, the US, the UK, and Australia have stopped Huawei’s 5G plans before they could start.
It was only a matter of time before Huawei responds. Now, the company has finally promised to solve these crucial cybersecurity issues. In Britain, Huawei has met with government officials regarding their ban. Like the rest of the Western world, Britain criticized Huawei’s technology as potential backdoors for Chinese espionage.
Both parties have agreed to a compromise. To alleviate Britain’s fears, Huawei will pledge US$ 2 billion for cybersecurity. The company will then attempt to solve whatever Britain found in cybersecurity investigations.
While the United Kingdom is more forgiving, other countries are still very wary. After the initial lineup of banning countries, Japan has joined the conversation. The country is working to ban both Huawei and ZTE from 5G development as well. With that, Japan will be the first Asian country to ban both companies. Western fears are now invading the East.
At the other end of the world, Huawei is also facing another crisis. The company’s chief finance officer, Meng Wanzhou, was recently arrested for allegedly violating embargo regulations. According to Huawei, their retaliation plans in Britain were made before the arrest. Thus, the arrest is another separate battle that awaits the company after issues of cybersecurity.
Huawei is in a world of pain. Despite offering amazing products, the company can’t find any traction in hardware development. Geopolitical fears have and will continue to bog down the company throughout the rise of 5G networking.
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