- Apple’s livestream of its iPhone 12 launch event on Tuesday was not available to watch on top Chinese social media platforms.
- Tencent Video, iQiyi, Bilibili, and Weibo didn’t stream the event.
- Bloomberg reported that the platforms canceled coverage without explanation.
- The event garnered massive interest in China, Apple’s second-largest market by revenue, and the iPhone 12 was the top topic on Weibo.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Top Chinese social media platforms reportedly pulled their planned coverage of Apple’s iPhone 12 livestream on Tuesday, despite massive interest in the event.
When Apple revealed the iPhone 12, its first 5G phone, video platforms such as Tencent Video, iQiyi, Bilibili, and Weibo didn’t carry the event, despite originally planning to, Bloomberg reported.
The report said the platforms gave no explanation for not showing the event in China, Apple’s second-largest market by revenue.
The iPhone 12 was later ranked the top topic on Weibo, with users posting photos of the new phone.
Bloomberg reporter Yuan Gao said in a tweet that the platforms usually hire translators and commentators to ensure the event is covered late into the night.
—Gao Yuan (@GaoYuan86) October 14, 2020
In an analyst note, financial services and investment firm Wedbush said the news “speaks to the ongoing ‘cold tech war’ tensions between the US and China.”
It estimated that around 20% of iPhone upgrades in the coming year will come from China.
Representatives of Tencent Holdings, iQiyi, Weibo, and Bilibili didn’t respond to Bloomberg’s requests for comments.
During the event, Apple revealed four new 5G phones, starting at $699.
WASHINGTON – A mobile app launched last week in China that many there hoped would allow access to long banned Western social media sites abruptly disappeared from Chinese app stores a day after its unveiling.
Tuber, an Andriod app backed by Chinese cyber security software giant Qihoo 360, first appeared to be officially available last Friday. It offered Chinese citizens limited access to websites such as YouTube, Facebook and Google, and it facilitated some 5 million downloads following its debut.
Yet a day later, the Tuber app disappeared from mobile app stores, including one run by Huawei Technologies Co. A search for the app’s website yielded no results when VOA checked Monday. It’s unclear whether the government ordered the takedown of the app.
Experts told VOA that such ventures are sometimes designed to create the illusion of choice to users eager to gain access to the global internet, but these circumvention tools are sometimes deleted if they are deemed by the Chinese government to be too popular with consumers.
Chinese users hailed their newfound ability to visit long banned websites before the app was removed last Saturday.
Several now banned articles introducing Tuber went viral Friday on China’s super app WeChat and seem to have contributed to Tuber’s overnight success.
Sporting a logo similar to that of YouTube, Tuber’s main page offered a feed of YouTube videos, while another tab allowed users go to Western websites banned in China.
A reporter at Chinese state media Global Times tweeted that the move is “good for China’s stability and it’s a great step for China’s opening up.”
Exciting news!! #China launched a new web browser Tuber that can connect to
- A web browser called Tuber, backed by Qihoo 360, allowed Chinese users to access foreign websites such as YouTube and Facebook.
- Google, Facebook and Twitter are all blocked in China due to the country’s Great Firewall. They can usually only be accessed via virtual private networks or VPNs.
- The Tuber browser has now disappeared from app stores and its website no longer works.
GUANGZHOU, China — An app that briefly gave Chinese internet users access to foreign websites such as YouTube and Facebook — services that have long been blocked — has now disappeared.
The web browser called Tuber was backed by Qihoo 360, a Chinese cybersecurity giant. On Oct. 9, a journalist at the state-backed tabloid the Global Times
about its launch.
China’s so-called Great Firewall blocks websites such as Facebook and its services like Instagram as well as Google and Twitter. Content on Chinese websites is also heavily censored, particularly if it is deemed politically sensitive by Beijing.
A virtual private network or VPN is required to access any blocked sites in China. But the Tuber app allowed users to access these services without a VPN.
There were some caveats to the Tuber app however. Users had to register with their identity card information and phone number, according to Reuters and TechCrunch, which both tested the app.
Search results on YouTube for politically sensitive phrases such as “Tiananmen” and “Xi Jinping” returned no results on the Tuber app, according to TechCrunch.
The Tuber app was available on the Huawei app store but was no longer there when CNBC checked
The letters, which began landing in dozens of companies’ email inboxes in the spring, reflect the broadly held view among U.S. officials and lawmakers that the United States failed in recent years to adequately screen investments pouring in from China and other countries — particularly low-profile venture-capital investments that didn’t make the headlines. The 2018 Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act, or FIRRMA, aimed to address that by boosting CFIUS’s funding and powers.
Tech executives say the inquiries are part of a growing chill in U.S.-China relations that has made Silicon Valley companies more cautious about accepting foreign investments and caused some China-backed venture-capital funds to curb their activity.
The decoupling can be seen in data showing that Chinese venture-capital investment in the United States dropped to a six-year low in the first half of 2020, to $800 million, according to research provider Rhodium Group. VC investment by U.S. firms in China hit its lowest level in four years, at $1.3 billion.
Michael Borrus, the founding general partner of XSeed Capital, said CFIUS scrutiny is causing investors and companies to think twice about deals.
“We’ve had Chinese VCs or Chinese families who have been interested in putting money in” to some companies where XSeed Capital is a shareholder, Borrus said. “In the current environment, we’ve decided it’s too complicated.”
Start-ups decide which investments to accept, but existing shareholders often have a say in the matter, Borrus said. “You have discussions with companies, ‘You need to think about this very seriously, it could open you up to CFIUS investigations … if you have alternatives, you should consider them,’ ” he said. “They usually see the wisdom.”
In addition to boosting CFIUS’s work, the government is also sending national-security officials to visit venture capitalists and other tech leaders in Silicon Valley to