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Tech Thursday Episode 30

Death of a cashless store, China’s internet habits, males using phones, and another phone-maker accused of spying

Each Thursday, The World of Chinese takes the most ground-breaking, impressive, or just plain weird technological advancements related to the Middle Kingdom and serves them in bite-sized chunks to keep you up-to-date on the latest news in the world of Chinese technology.


Closed for Business

Just as Amazon officially opened Amazon Go in Seattle, their version of a cashier-less grocery store, GOGO无人超市, the first unmanned store in southwest China, closed down after only four months in operation.

According to reports, the reason for shutting down the automated supermarket is—perhaps somewhat ironically—an inability to pay their employees on time.

But it’s not all bad news for fans of the store. Representatives say that the closure is temporary while their sort out their financial problems and they hope to reopen by April or May.


OnePlus Spy 

Chinese phone maker OnePlus stepped onto the scene in 2014 as a competitor that would be able to offer higher-end devices without the inflated prices.

And despite poor reputations dogging phones from China, international consumers and developers welcomed OnePlus with hearty enthusiasm.

Unfortunately, in the wake of accusations of espionage directed towards Huawei, a recent post on Twitter insinuated that OnePlus may be sending user clipboard data to China.

According to the post, the newest update to OxygenOS Beta (OnePlus’s operating system) includes an app called Clipboard which transmits personal data to Teddy Mobile, a Chinese server that helps in identifying unknown caller IDs.

In response, a spokesperson from OnePlus told TechNode that this claim is incorrect and “the code is completely inactive in the open beta of OxyOS and user data is not sent to any server without the user’s consent.”


Phone User Breakdown

Speaking of Chinese phones, Jiguang Data recently released reports on two of the country’s biggest phone makers: Xiaomi and Huawei.

One aspect that has caught attention is the fact that male users make up the vast majority for both companies.

Fortunately, Jiguang Data included a visual representation of why they think this is the case.


Internet Users Still Increasing

The China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) announced that China now has 772 million internet users.

Although this sounds impressive, let’s put it in context:

  • 55.8 percent of the Chinese population uses the internet
  • – There are more users than the combined overall population of USA, Pakistan, and Brazil
  • – This number is an increase of 5.6 percent (40.74 million) from last year

In addition, the number of mobile phone users has reached 753 million, although users of other gadgets, such as laptops and tablets, have decreased.

Then there are the mobile functions that the population utilizes:

  • 65.5 percent of internet users employ mobile payments
  • 22.6 percent of internet users take part in live streaming (53.1 percent of which is in gaming)
  • 129 million buy financial products
  • 221 million rent bikes



Ethan Yun is a contributing writer at The World of Chinese.

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