China

China’s $24 billion game market has a new competitor: Rastar Games

China Controller

A Chinese entertainment company best known for car-based toys is making a big bid for gaming.

Rastar Group announced today that it is starting a new Rastar Games brand. This will help the organization take better advantage of the growing gaming scene in China. The total Chinese gaming market size is $24 billion based on the CGIGC 2016 Chinese Gaming Industry report, and companies big and small and in and out of gaming are trying to tap…

Dawn of Titans heads to China as Zynga partners with NetEase

Zynga announced it is partnering with Chinese game publisher NetEase to publish Dawn of Titans in China on iOS and Android.

The free-to-play mobile game is one of the company’s highest profile titles. Zynga bought NaturalMotion for $527 million in 2014, partly because of the potential of Dawn of Titans and CSR Racing.

Since that time, NaturalMotion worked hard on Dawn of Titans and, after delays, launched the title last fall. I’ve been playing the game ever since, and I’m impressed with the depth of its single-player campaign and the quality of the real-time action. You build a fortress and an economy to support it, and attack rivals.

The battles are asynchronous, where the defender does not control troops in real-time. Rather, the attacker fights in real-time while the defenders simply react based on artificial intelligence controls. The big giants, known as Titans, often swing the battle decisively as the wreak havoc…

China’s Strength and Its Shopping Lift Alibaba’s Results

HONG KONG — China’s vast ranks of consumers are finding ways to spend more money online — and that’s good news for Alibaba.

The Alibaba Group, the Chinese e-commerce giant that a few years ago led the biggest share listing in the history of the American stock market, on Thursday posted strong profit growth and better-than-expected sales growth for the three months that ended in March. The surge came as Chinese government statistics showed an increase in online retail sales as well as stronger overall economic growth. Robust online activity has helped others as well, with Tencent Holdings, a major rival to Alibaba, reporting a strong rise in profit and JD.com, another rival, posting its first profit.

Alibaba’s results offer a positive sign for those tracking China’s efforts to transform its economy to rely less on government spending and more on American-style consumption. But they also show Alibaba is finding more ways to get the businesses that set up shop on its e-commerce platforms to give it more money.

But there are challenges. The results show Alibaba has a long way to go before it can diversify its business amid expectations that even China’s online sales boom has its limits. And Alibaba is increasingly dipping its toe into American politics at an uncertain time.

Alibaba said its fiscal fourth-quarter profit rose 85 percent to $1.4 billion, thanks to strong sales as well as selling some investments. Sales across its e-commerce businesses rose 47 percent.

While that’s good news for the company, full-year results showed a more complex picture. Alibaba’s…

Dog Meat Is Finally Banned From Yulin Festival In China

A huge victory for animal lovers around the world – dog meat has just been temporarily banned from the infamous Yulin Festival in China that has already taken the lives of thousands and thousands of innocent canines. The ban will come into effect on June 15 – that’s one week before the start of the festival. It will prohibit the sale of dog meat at restaurants, markets, and street vendors. Those who don’t obey will be facing a fine of up to 100,000 yuan (nearly $15,000) and arrest.

Contrary to popular belief, the festival is not some old tradition. It was invented back in 2010 as a way for dog meat traders to make more money. A lot of the dogs who are brought to the festival are stolen from their owners and still wear collars. The methods in which dogs (and cats) are killed are unparalleled in cruelty around the world.

Andrea Gung, executive director of Duo Duo Animal Welfare Project commented: “Even if this is a temporary ban, we hope this will have a domino effect, leading to the collapse of the…

China’s Tencent overshoots Q1 estimates with 58% profit jump

Above: Visitors use their smartphones underneath the logo of Tencent at the Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing on May 6, 2014.

(Reuters) — Tencent Holdings Ltd, China’s biggest gaming and social media firm by revenue, overshot estimates to post a 58 percent rise in first quarter profit on Wednesday, aided by strong growth in gaming and digital payments.

The results represent Tencent’s highest quarterly profit growth in 2-1/2 years, reaching 14.3 billion yuan ($2.08 billion) for the quarter. That was above a median forecast for a 13.2 billion yuan profit from eight analysts polled by Reuters.

The firm, Asia’s most valuable company with a market value of $316 billion, has sought to boost profits this year by expanding the use of its payments app, WeChat Pay, among local and international merchants. It wants to provide services for every shop owner in China within two years.

It has also diversified its gaming portfolio and expanded new business lines, including cloud and artificial intelligence.

Quarterly revenue was 49.5 billion yuan,…

Mother Looks So Young That People Think She’s Her 22-Year-Old Son’s Girlfriend, Now She Reveals Her Secrets

BoredPanda staff

Is it possible to look half your age? Most definitely! And Liu Yelin is walking proof.

The Chinese mother of one who rarely wears makeup is nearly 50 years old yet looks so young people think her 22-year-old son is her boyfriend. Without a wrinkle in sight and a super-toned body, Liu is constantly stunning people with her looks. “People are often shocked to find out I’m almost 50,” Liu Yelin (49) told Mail Online. “Whenever I went shopping and told people my real age, I often got mobbed by strangers who wanted to find out my secrets.”

So, what is that secret of hers? Regular exercise for three decades. “I swim in the lake and do weight training every day,” she said. “My favorite thing is swimming outdoors in winter.” In fact, Liu has swum across the Yangtse River in China and the Han River in South Korea. And last year, she swam from the shores of Penang, Malaysia to the Strait of Malacca – that’s…

Samsung’s Battery Paranoia Broke The Galaxy S8’s Push Notifications, Like On Chinese Smartphones

How Two Young Marijuana Entrepreneurs Stumbled Into Creating Eco-Friendly Disposable Smartphone Charger

The Galaxy S8 is a gorgeous device but breaks your push notifications like Chinese devices.
The Galaxy S8 is a gorgeous device but breaks your push notifications like Chinese devices.

Ben Sin

The Galaxy S8 is a gorgeous device but breaks your push notifications like Chinese devices.

In the smartphone realm, Chinese brands have made great strides in recent years. Huawei, Xiaomi, OnePlus and Meizu all make excellent, top-notch hardware with good-to-great software (that are offer way more customization than what you’d find on Samsung or HTC devices), and even brands with software I’m less fond of — Vivo, Oppo, Gionee — are improving by the month. The low-end budget phones can still feel cheap and plasticky and underpowered, but use any flagship device from Xiaomi or Huawei or Meizu and the experience is more less the same as a higher-profile phone by Apple or Samsung. In fact, I’d argue that Huawei makes better and more premium-feeling hardware than Apple or Samsung (not counting the stunning S8 with the slim bezels).

One area that Chinese phones haven’t fixed — and I’m not even sure they will fix because they may see this more as a feature than a problem — is broken push notifications. For some reason, every Chinese phone has a very aggressive battery saving software feature that shuts down app when it’s not being used. That means if you have, say, the Facebook app closed, and someone leaves a comment on your profile photo, you’re not going to get a notification about that until you next open the app. This isn’t that big a deal for apps with superficial, non-important notifications — it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get notified that someone liked your selfie on Instagram right away — but for messaging apps like WeChat, WhatsApp, it’s infuriating and potentially career/life-damaging.

Fortunately, there is a way around that, and it involves a convoluted process of digging deep into settings and turning off battery optimization one by one and also locking the important apps in the background of your phone at all times. The last step is absurd if you think about it — if you want to get Gmail notifications on time, you have to leave Gmail running on your phone at all times by locking the app in the “overview” window that pops up when you hit the square button on Android.

Because I handle like 20-plus phones a year, I’ve gotten used to setting all these things up right away and…

The largest Chinese cemetery in the world outside of China dates back to the 15th century.

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Bukit Cina, Malacca’s Chinese cemetery.
A Chinese grave from 1944. Vmenkov (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Bukit Cina hillside. Vmenkov (CC BY-SA 3.0)
A grave on Bukit Cina. Jnzl’s Photos (CC BY 2.0)
A more recent grave on Bukit Cina. Bjørn Christian Tørrinsson (CC BY-SA 3.0)
The cenotaph for Chinese victims of WWII. Jnzl’s Photos (CC BY 2.0)
Old graves on Bukit Cina. Jnzl’s Photos (CC BY 2.0)
Old graves on Bukit Cina. CEphoto, Uwe Aranas (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Bukit Cina in the late 19th century. The National Archives UK (Public Domain)
Ming Dynasty princess Han Li Po’s well on the grounds of Bukit Cina. Jnzl’s Photos (CC BY 2.0)
Poh San Ten Temple, on the…

China Box Office: ‘Shock Wave’ Dents ‘Furious 8’ for May Day Weekend Win

China Box Office: 'Shock Wave' Dents

A crowd of Chinese movies jostled with record breaking “The Fate of the Furious” for the top spot at the China box office during the first weekend of the May Day holiday week.

Star-studded bomb disposal action thriller, “Shock Wave” emerged on top on Friday and Saturday giving it a weekend win. Directed by Hong Kong’s Herman Yan, produced by and starring Andy Lau, the film played some 55,000 screenings per day and earned a score of $24.1 million in three days.

Wanda’s crime suspense film, “Battle of Memories” started with 64,000 screens on its first day, but saw its play-dates shrink over the weekend. It finished in third place with $21.5 million.

Splitting the two newcomers, and taking second place, was “Furious 8” in its third week on release. Despite coming third on Friday and Saturday, it revved back into…

One of the Earliest Industrial Spies Was a French Missionary Stationed in China

Fine porcelain originated in China (that’s why it’s called china), and in the 17th century, Europe couldn’t get enough of it. French potters would have loved to get in on that business, but they did not know how to produce porcelain. The Chinese weren’t about to give away their secret techniques. The Jesuits sent missionaries to win souls around the world, and they were also into gathering knowledge from every culture they visited. So they assigned Francois Xavier d’Entrecolles to figure out how porcelain was made when he was sent as a missionary to China. D’Entrecolles had to learn the language, gain the trust of the Chinese, and then learn how to make…