Posts Tagged ‘smartphones’

China, South Korea Disagreement on missile defense

August 10, 2016

China and Hong Kong are the biggest importers of South Korean books, comics, music, video games, movies, animation and other entertainment…..

Growing Chinese anger at South Korea over a U.S. anti-missile defense system bodes ill for everything from pop star appearances to U.N. action against North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats

The Limits of Human Rights in Vietnam: Obama says only “modest” human rights improvements have been made — China Daily says Obama’s visit “bodes ill for regional peace and stability”

May 24, 2016

China says the U.S. is showing a willingness to relax standards on human rights for the sake of containing China.

Politics | Tue May 24, 2016 4:23am EDT


U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a speech at the National Convention Center in Hanoi, Vietnam May 24, 2016.

U.S. President Barack Obama said several Vietnamese civil society members were prevented from meeting him on Tuesday and that, despite great strides made by the country, Washington had concerns about the limits it puts on political freedom.

Obama was due to lay out more of his plan for stronger ties with Vietnam on the second day of his visit, after scrapping an arms ban, the last big hurdle between two countries drawn together by concern over China’s military buildup.

The removal of the arms embargo, a vestige of the Vietnam War, suggests U.S. worries about Beijing’s building of man-made island in the South China Sea and deployment of advanced radars and missile batteries in the disputed region trumped concern about Vietnam’s human rights record.


Washington had for years said a lifting of the ban would require concrete steps by Vietnam in allowing freedom of speech, worship and assembly and releasing political prisoners.

Obama met about six activists and said there were “significant areas of concern” about political freedom. He praised those Vietnamese who were “willing to make their voices heard”.

Two activists who spoke to Reuters said an intellectual, Nguyen Quang A, had been taken away by unknown men before he had hoped to met Obama, citing his relatives.

Reuters could not verify the information and Vietnam’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

On Monday, in a joint news conference with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang, Obama said “modest” human rights improvements had been made and the decision to end the arms embargo was about the changing dynamic in ties and “not based on China”.

But China’s Global Times tabloid, run by the Chinese Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, said that was a lie and made a point of what it said was a U.S. willingness to relax standards on human rights for the sake of containing China.

The White House “is taking advantage of Vietnam to stir up more troubles in the South China Sea”, it said.

Mai Khoi, a Vietnamese singer, was one of the people who met Obama and she posted a photo on her Facebook page showing several people attended the meeting.

Obama was flanked by activists on either side at a table. They listened intently as he spoke at the end of the meeting.

Some activists have expressed disappointment that Obama may have given away leverage with the communist leadership.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there was evidence engagement had worked in nudging Vietnam to make concessions, like its “unprecedented” commitment to set up independent labor unions under a U.S.-inspired Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.

In a statement late on Monday, Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong spoke of the importance of building relations of mutual respect while “not interfering in each other’s internal affairs”.


Obama gave a speech in Hanoi about the development of relations since normalization in 1995 and will champion his signature TPP, which would remove tariffs within a 12-nation bloc worth a combined $28 trillion of gross domestic product.

Vietnam’s manufacturing and export-led economy is seen as the biggest TPP beneficiary. Annual U.S-Vietnam trade has swelled from $450 million when ties were normalized to $45 billion last year, and Washington is a big buyer of Vietnam’s televisions, smartphones, clothing and seafood.

The TPP is not a done deal, with opposition expected in Washington amid concern about competition and a loss of U.S. jobs. Obama said he was confident the trade pact would be approved by legislators and he had not seen a credible argument that the deal would dent American business.

Obama will on Tuesday fly to Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s commercial hub, which was called Saigon until North Vietnamese tanks rolled into the city in April 1975 to bring U.S.-backed South Vietnam under communist rule.

He will meet young entrepreneurs at one of the co-working spaces that host Vietnam’s budget tech startups, which have been receiving attention from angel investors and Silicon Valley funds.

Obama spoke of a U.S. intention to work more closely in defense areas with Vietnam, which is keen to build a deterrent against China. Vietnam and the United States last year held coastguard and humanitarian training exercises.

Washington has longstanding defense alliances in the region with the Philippines, which is also at odds with China, and Thailand, and organizes annual war games with both.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry attended a ceremony on Tuesday in which a deal was agreed with Vietnam to allow the U.S. Peace Corps to work there.

Tuesday’s English-language China Daily said Obama’s visit “bodes ill for regional peace and stability”, and would further complicate the situation in the South China Sea, and risk turning the region into a “tinderbox of conflicts”.

(Additional reporting by My Pham, Ho Binh Minh and Mai Nguyen in HANOI and John Ruwitch in SHANGHAI; Editing by Robert Birsel)


 (Includes links to several articles, same topic)

 (May 19, 2016)

It’s Not the Economy, Stupid — Loss of Social Tranquility and Political Cohesion Need Our Attention Too

May 23, 2016

Social disarray or cohesion are not always driven by economic ups and downs, as the 1960s attest

By Greg Ip
The Wall Street Journal
May 23, 2016 8:38 am ET

Those of us who do economics for a living turn to it to answer all the big social questions. To explain the rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, we reflexively blame stagnant incomes that have left voters angry and frustrated.

Lately, though, I’ve come to question this approach. A recent Pew survey found 46% of Americans think life is worse today than in the 1960s; only 34% think it’s better. Of course, standards of living are higher today and life spans are longer.

But optimism is about where things are going, not where they are, and in the 1960s, things got better faster: real wages grew 2.4% per year compared to 0.6% for the past decade. The richest 1% of households then controlled just 10% of income, compared to 20% now.

So this confirms the connection between voter discontent, standards of living and inequality, right? Well, no.

For all the shared prosperity, the 1960s was not a period of social tranquility or political cohesion. John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. A year later the Republican Party nominated its most conservative presidential candidate ever, Barry Goldwater. From 1965 to 1968, race riots hit Los Angeles and major northeastern cities. In 1968, Lyndon Johnson declined to run for re-election, Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy were assassinated, Vietnam war protests disrupted the Democratic National Convention, and Richard Nixon became president by prying white southerners from the Democratic Party.

For many Americans, economic prosperity could not change the feeling that the world was coming apart. In her 1967 essay “Slouching Toward Bethlehem,” Joan Didion writes: “The market was steady and the G.N.P. high…and it might have been a spring of brave hopes and national promise, but it was not, and more and more people had the uneasy apprehension that it was not.”

Economics cannot really explain why rapid growth in living standards coincided with so much political upheaval, just as it cannot explain why long periods of stagnation, as Japan has endured since the 1990s, are met with relative equanimity. Economics can’t explain why Britons may leave the European Union when the preponderance of evidence is that membership has made them richer. It can’t explain why Republican voters backed insiderMitt Romney in 2012 when unemployment was 8% and an outsider, Mr. Trump, this year when unemployment is 5%. Why have Republicans warmed to Mr. Trump’s hard line against illegal immigration when the number of illegal immigrants has been dropping since 2007? Why have Democrats cheered Mr. Sanders’ promise of government-run universal health care when the number of uninsured is at an all-time low?

Sen. Bernie Sanders

Clearly, explaining political upheaval must go beyond economic factors to questions of identity, security, race and culture. In the 1960s, the baby boomers came of age, African-Americans made important civil rights gains, and oral contraceptives touched off the sexual revolution. The equivalent in this period might be the retirement of those boomers, the growth in the non-white share of the electorate, and the legalization of gay marriage. None is an economic phenomenon, but all disrupt existing social and demographic norms.

Then there’s the influence of technology and media. By the 1960s almost every American household had television, which brought traumatic events, from JFK’s assassination to the Viet Cong’s Tet offensive, into people’s homes. Today, the Internet, social media and smartphones have done the same for Islamic States’s killing sprees in Paris, San Bernardino, Calif., and Brussels, and police killings of black suspects.

There is no way to predict the effect of so many different forces on the political choices that voters make. And even if there were, you would probably still not predict the rise of Mr. Trump, who got where he is by breaking every rule of conventional political and economic wisdom. Ultimately, the best explanation may be that he isn’t the product of larger economic forces: he’s the product of Donald Trump.


That GOP Aversion to Debt? It’s Gone for Now

To Manage National Debt, Will Donald Trump Lean on the Fed?

For ‘Brexit,’ Like ‘Grexit,’ It’s Not About Economics


Intel to lay off 12,000 workers; 11% of workforce in big shift from PCs

April 20, 2016


By Elizabeth Weise, USA Today

SAN FRANCISCO — Intel will lay off 11% of its global workforce, up to 12,000 employees, a painful downsizing aimed at accelerating its shift away from the waning PC market to one more focused on cloud computing and connected devices.

In an email to employees, CEO Brian Krzanich said that after the restructuring, “I am confident that we’ll emerge as a more productive company with broader reach and sharper execution.”

Intel CFO Stacy Smith said that half the workforce reduction, 6,000 people, will be accomplished by the end of this year.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel currently has about 112,400 employees worldwide. Because the shift is going to be “very, very difficult for the employee base,” Smith, in an interview with USA TODAY, declined to say where the majority of the layoffs would occur.

The layoffs will have an outsized effect on Oregon and especially the Portland area. Intel is Oregon’s largest private employer, with 18,500 working at six campuses west of Portland, according to the company. The sites are one of the main anchors of the state’s economy.

Its second largest site is in Chandler, Arizona, where it has more than 11,000 employees.

Intel said it expects the layoffs to deliver $750 million in savings in 2016 year and an annual run rate savings of $1.4 billion by mid-2017. The company will record a one-time charge of approximately $1.2 billion in the second quarter, it said.

Analysts had said layoffs were long overdue.

“It’s been a long time since there’s been a restructuring of the company. As they forge forward, they need to pare down and invest in the right area. As much as I hate that — it’s terrible for people who are laid off that — for the investors its positive,” Betsy Van Hees, an analyst with Wedbush Securities, ahead of the announcement.

Intel plans to focus on its data center and Internet of Things (IoT) businesses, which it called its primary growth engines, along with memory and field programmable gate arrays.


The company had long made money making chips for PCs, but industry sales have dropped precipitously in recent years, falling 10% in the first quarter.

For Intel, growth in its new business areas made up 40% of the company’s revenue in 2015, which helped offset the decline in PC sales, it said.

Intel (INTC) shares fell 3% in after-hours trading on the news.

News of the layoffs came as Intel reported higher profits than predicted by analysts, though growth was modest.

Intel made $2.05 billion, or 42 cents a share, in the first three months of the year, 3% up from $1.99 billion, or 41 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding certain items, it reported earnings per share of 54 cents, higher than the  48 cents per share forecast by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Revenue rose 7% to $13.7 billion. Analysts expected revenue of $13.83 billion. For the second quarter, Intel forecast revenue of $13.5 billion, which fell short of analyst estimates of $14.16 billion.

The company also announced that current CFO Smith will be taking on a broader new role within Intel, moving to lead sales, manufacturing and operations. The company will conduct a search for a new CFO, Krzanich said.

Intel’s coming layoffs will affect sites across the country.

Intel  has approximately 12,500 employees in California at two large sites, its headquarters in Santa Clara and in Folsom, as well as smaller research and development sites in Irvine and San Diego.

The company also employees about 2,300 in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, 1,700 in Hudson, Mass., 2,300 in Austin and Plano, Texas and 1,000 in Bellevue, Wash.

Telecoms maker ZTE vows to cooperate with Washington to resolve import restrictions, but China blasts US for ‘incorrect’ handling of issue

March 8, 2016

By He Huifeng
South China Morning Post

ZTE, China’s largest listed telecommunications manufacturer, said it is fully committed to cooperating and communicating with the US government after it was placed on a list of restricted imports by Washington that took effect today.

But Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was more critical of the decision, blasting the United States for imposing the restrictions on ZTE for allegedly shipping products to Iran in violation of Washington’s longstanding trade sanctions on the country.

“We don’t think this is the correct way to handle the contradictions in economy and trade between the two countries. It [Washington] is just harming others without benefiting itself,” Wang told media in Beijing on the sidelines of the ongoing National People’s Congress.

ZTE, also a major smartphone vendor in China and the United States, could face severe component supply problems from this month as a result of the restrictions.

Calling for greater cooperation across borders, Wang cited the example of the climate change talks held in Paris last December, which was capped by the signing of the Paris Agreement. China ranks as the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, followed by the United States.

ZTE’s logo is seen at a conference in Europe. Photo: Reuters

From today, any of ZTE’s suppliers that plan to ship US-made components or other products to the company must apply for permission from the US Commerce Department, making export licences harder to obtain.

Cheng Lixin, the chairman and chief executive of ZTE USA, showed no sign of ruffled feathers.

“ZTE is a constructive force playing a positive role in bilateral trade and the [growing] friendship between China and the US,” he said. “We want to keep playing that role.”

ZTE declined to comment on whether it would file an appeal.

On Monday, it requested that trading of its Hong Kong-listed shares be suspended pending the release of information about the proposed action by the US Commerce Department.

Distinct from the international sanctions placed on Iran over its nuclear programme, which were lifted in January, the US has imposed restrictions on trade with the Middle Eastern country since 1979 following the seizure of the American embassy in Tehran.

Stressing that ZTE USA is off the restricted-imports list as it is a separate entity from ZTE, Cheng was quick to downplay any adverse fallout from the move on the company.

He said the affiliate has trusted partnerships with major operators and was able to ship over 15 smartphones to US consumers in 2015.

“Our market share in the fastest-growing US$200 to US$400 handset segment has almost tripled from 11 per cent to 30 per cent in the US market over the past two years,” he said.

The company also has 2,000 employees in the US who are dedicated to supporting its business locally, he added.

Keen to expand to foreign shores, ZTE already ranks as the fourth-largest smartphone vendor in the US with a nearly 8 per cent market share, according to consultancy firm Strategy Analytics. It follows Apple, Samsung and LG in that market.

FBI defends stand against Apple at congressional hearing

March 2, 2016


© Nicholas Kamm, AFP | FBI director James Comey testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on the encryption of the iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino attackers on March 1, 2016


Latest update : 2016-03-02

FBI chief James Comey on Tuesday defended his agency’s efforts to force Apple to help unlock an iPhone in the San Bernardino attacks probe.

Testifying at a congressional hearing on encryption and privacy where lawmakers voiced concerns about a harmful precedent, Comey said law enforcement’s job may be crippled by “warrant-proof spaces” that become inaccessible to investigators.

Addressing a case that has set off a fierce public debate, Comey said Americans need to know the safety implications if encryption makes it impossible to access data on smartphones and other devices.

“It’s our job to tell the American people the tools we use to keep you safe are becoming less effective,” Comey told the House Judiciary Committee hearing.

“If there are warrant-proof spaces in American life, what does it mean? What are the costs?”

But Comey also acknowledged that forcing Apple to help unlock the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone could set a precedent for other investigations.

“It is going to be potentially precedential, that’s just the way the law works,” he said in response to a question from Representative John Conyers, Democrat of Michigan.

The hearing comes amid an intense legal and political battle after Apple said it would challenge a court order to provide the FBI technical assistance to help break into the San Bernardino iPhone.

Apple has argued the FBI is effectively asking the company to “hack” its own devices and create a “back door” that could be exploited by malicious actors.

Comey told the hearing that in his view, “it’s not about back doors… there’s already a door on that phone, we’re asking Apple to take away the vicious guard dog.”

Citizens’ rights are protected by an independent judiciary, he added, citing a longstanding principle that “if an independent judge finds reason to believe that certain private communications contain evidence of a crime, then the government can conduct a limited search.”

Lawmakers from both parties appeared skeptical of the FBI efforts, questioning whether they could lead to weaker overall security in the future for new technologies.

“It won’t really be a one-time request? It will set a precedent for the FBI and other law enforcement agencies?” the committee chairman, Virginia Republican Bob Goodlatte, asked.

He also questioned whether Apple’s creation of new software would “fall into the wrong hands and make everyone less secure.”

Conyers said meanwhile that the FBI’s legal efforts could be seen as “an end run” around the legislative process to step up its access to encrypted devices.

“I would be deeply disappointed if it turns out that the government is exploiting a national tragedy to pursue a change in the law,” he said.

“This committee and not the courts is the place to consider the appropriate consequences.”

In remarks prepared for the same hearing, Apple general counsel Bruce Sewell said the public should understand that “encryption is a good thing, a necessary thing” even if it makes the work of law enforcement more difficult.

German government to use Trojan spyware to monitor citizens

February 25, 2016

Intelligence agencies in Germany can now use malware to track computers of people under suspicion. The Trojan will be able to track user chats and conversations on smartphones and PCs.

A spokesman for the German interior ministry announced on Monday that the government had approved the usage of Trojans to monitor suspected citizens.

The interior ministry spokesman defended the government’s decision, saying “basically we now have the skills in an area where we did not have this kind of skill.” The program was already endorsed by members of the government in autumn 2015, the ministry said.

Trojans are software programs, also known as malware, specially designed to get into users’ computers. They are often used by hackers and thieves to gain access to somebody else’s data.
In order to use the malware, government officials will have to get a court order, allowing authorities to hack into a citizen’s system.

The new software will be able to monitor users’ activities in real time

The approval will help officials get access to the suspect’s personal computer, laptop and smartphone. Once the spyware installs itself on the suspect’s device, it can skim data on the computer’s hard drive and monitor ongoing chats and conversations.

Members of the Green party protested the launching of the Trojan, with the party’s deputy head Konstantin von Notz saying, “We do understand the needs of security officials, but still, in a country under the rule of law, the means don’t justify the end.”

Germany-based hacker association Chaos Computer Club (CCC) also expressed doubts with the government’s decision. Its spokesman, Frank Rieger, told German radio Deutschlandfunk that the technical capabilities of the software needed to be toned down. “It’s almost like you’re watching people think, if you’re reading as they type,” Rieger said.

According to a 2008 decision by the German Constitutional Court, remote access to a citizen’s computer is permissible only if there is life-threatening danger or suspicion of criminal activity against the state.
mg/rc (dpa, Reuters)

Can Singapore and Hong Kong Keep Economies Moving While China Slows?

February 4, 2016


Their conclusion: While China’s economy is slowing, it is not a monolith that booms and crashes in a cycle where all boats rise or fall together.

Glenn Solomon of GGV Capital views China as two economies: the “old,” largely comprising state-owned enterprises, and a “new” economy of venture-backed, mobile, and Internet start-ups. The old guard—from declining manufacturing to brick and mortar retailers—is suffering. Tech-enabled companies leveraging the Internet, mobile devices, and social media are booming.

“While old economy industries in China are slowing, the growth in new economy industries remains vibrant,” Solomon writes on his blog, Going Long.

In the last 30 years, China’s economy has grown as much as the United States did in 150 years, and now its “old” economy is set for a painful correction. But while the world’s second-largest economy grew at its slowest pace in a quarter of a century last year, China is hardly collapsing.

Growth was 6.9% in 2015, just below government expectations of 7% and the 7.3% recorded in 2014.

Shanghai Stock Exchange. Photo courtesy Flickr/Aaron Goodman.

Shanghai Stock Exchange. Photo courtesy Flickr/Aaron Goodman.


Much of that growth is spurred by the “new” economy that will continue expanding, driven by BAT—Baidu or the “Google of China,” e-commerce firm Alibaba, and social media giant Tencent. These three firms have been on a massive spending spree, buying up startups to dominate China’s rapid shift to smartphones and mobile devices. The woes of China’s “old” economy should do little to alter that course.

Keytone Ventures Director Eric Tau says the “C2C” (copy to China) model—replicating successful firms such as Google or Facebook—has been a boon. He explains, “With many similarities in culture and market size, people expect to see many ‘copy to ASEAN’ cases in the next 10 years as the infrastructure matures and spending power increases.”

Helen Wong, a partner at Qiming Venture Partners, says Indonesia’s low smartphone penetration rate and sizable potential user base make it attractive.

Meanwhile, Singapore has benefited from China’s weakening stock market. Late last year, there was an uptick in foreign money into Southeast Asia from investors who had historically invested in China. The shift was buoyed by valuations in China being expensive. VC investors are also diversifying portfolios across Asia, increasing exposure to Southeast Asia and India.

Founding General Partner Hian Goh of NSI Ventures, a Series A fund focused on Southeast Asia, says as venture capital has grown regionally, Singapore and Hong Kong—already established financial centers—have become hubs for Series B and later rounds of financing. Seed investment in earlier rounds is split between Singapore and localized offices in places such as Vietnam and Indonesia.


Singapore skyline. Photo courtesy Flickr/Roman Èmin.


Singapore, with strong policies promoting entrepreneurs, is a safe bet. Singapore’s government poured S$16.1 billion into technology and research grants from 2011-2015 and will invest another S$19 billion over the next five years.

Vinnie Lauria, managing partner of Golden Gate Ventures, says the island economy has diversified ties with China and a host of other nations including India, Indonesia, Israel, and the United States.

As China addresses its economic challenges and companies seek a safe venue for investment cash, Singapore’s startup scene should benefit.

Venture capital has been booming in Southeast Asia, and especially in Singapore. A report by Preqin and the Singapore Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SVCA) revealed that Singaporean private equity and venture capital fund managers deployed more than $9 billion in 2014. And in 2013, venture funding for Singapore’s technology sector was $1.71 billion, up from just $27.9 million in 2011, according to Asian Venture Capital Journal Research.

Hong Kong has closer ties to Beijing and so may see some volatility, but overall it too remains a good bet, says Kauffman Fellow Anthony Chang, managing director at TL Ventures. Hong Kong attracts talent because of its unique location, with highly developed infrastructure where you can ride a subway to meet your OEM partner. “I don’t see the recent market turmoil having a huge effect on the level of activity happening in the startup world here in Hong Kong,” Chang says.

Investors will continue to be drawn to Southeast Asia for its young, highly educated workforce and the business-friendly environment that makes it perfectly positioned to prosper.

About one third of Singapore’s population comes from elsewhere—a dynamic associated with innovation. (For example, a 2012 Kauffman Foundation study revealed that in the previous seven years, 43.9 percent of Silicon Valley startups had at least one founder born outside the United States.)

Night in Hong Kong. Photo Courtesy Flickr/Barbara Willi.

Night in Hong Kong. Photo Courtesy Flickr/Barbara Willi.


As China shifts to become a consumption economy, its growth is increasingly spurred by a sophisticated, young workforce. Demographics and cultural trends should underpin consumption growth.

For example, the Motion Picture Association of America expects that by 2017 China will take in more money at the box office than U.S. movie theaters. Countless global firms are enjoying their fastest growth in China, including the world’s second-most valuable brand, Apple, and sharing-economy innovators Uber and AirBnB.

To be sure, China faces struggles. Millions of people are mired in poverty, it has a rapidly aging (and male) population, and it faces strong pressure to devalue the renminbi and open technology markets. Nevertheless, China’s new economy will drive the region’s appetite for venture capital. To ignore the power of China’s new economy would be to risk missing out on the next Alibaba.

Will China’s Woes Threaten The Tech Economies In Singapore And Hong Kong?

German police stage raids against malware users

October 29, 2015


Malware DroidJack allows cybercriminals to assume control of Android smartphones without users being aware

BERLIN (AFP) – German police have searched the homes of 13 people as part of an international swoop on users of the mobile phone malware DroidJack, authorities said Thursday.DroidJack allows cybercriminals to assume control of Android smartphones without users being aware.

Prosecutors in the western city of Frankfurt confirmed Germany initiated the European crackdown, which also included raids on Tuesday in Britain, France, Belgium and Switzerland coordinated by Europol, the EU’s law enforcement agency, and Eurojust, its judicial network.

The German searches, which were carried out across six states, targeted people who had bought DroidJack and used it in 2014 and 2015.

The suspects ranged in age from 19 to 51 and had no links between them, a spokesman for the Frankfurt prosecutor’s office, which specialises in cybercrime, told AFP without providing further details.

A spokeswoman for Switzerland’s federal police said one search was carried out, with no arrests.

According to Europol, DroidJack allows its users to snoop on a smartphone’s data traffic, listen in on conversations, use the camera and send text messages without the owner knowing.

India’s InMobi ties up with China’s APUS in bid to challenge Google

September 16, 2015


Indian mobile advertising firm InMobi said on Wednesday it is partnering APUS, a Chinese start-up that customizes Android software, in an alliance that InMobi expects will help it reach 500 million new users in China and other countries by 2016.

InMobi competes with Google and Facebook in the $100 billion global mobile advertising market, and is one of the few Indian start-ups to make a profit. It already reaches 1.4 billion devices and turned profitable in the three months to December.

With the partnership, APUS will earn revenues through advertisements on its apps that run on InMobi’s platform. InMobi will help APUS boost its user base and share in India’s booming smartphone market.

InMobi’s deal with the Chinese company comes on the heels of media reports that Googleplans to re-enter China, making it crucial for the Indian company to secure its base there.Google largely pulled its services out of China five years ago, after refusing to self-censor search results.

APUS’s flagship product lets users of the Android operating system customize their smartphone home screens. The Chinese firm aims to acquire more than 80 million users in India by 2016, the companies said in a joint statement.

InMobi is also betting heavily on its new mobile advertising product, Miip, that takes curated lists of products to customers based on their personalities and choices.

InMobi, currently estimated to be worth around $2.5 billion, was set up in 2007 and is backed by the likes of SoftBank and early Google backer Sherpalo Ventures.

Its founder and chief executive Naveen Tewari told Reuters that more than 65 percent of his company’s business will come from Miip, which will bring in about $1 billion in revenues over the next couple of years.

Clients for Miip include Inc in India and Spotify.

(Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)