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Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi to cut smartphone orders by 20%

Three major Chinese phone manufacturers, Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi, informed their suppliers that their order volume from July will be 20% less than expected, Nikkei Asia reported on Wednesday. The report cites sources who said that Xiaomi initially planned to ship 200 million smartphone units in 2022, but the company has since cut that number to 160-180 million. Vivo and Oppo reportedly informed suppliers that orders for the second and third quarters of 2022 will be 20% lower than expected. As the Shanghai lockdown continues, the report states that disrupted supply chains and weakened demand are considerations for supply reduction.

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Bilibili introduces new options for deceased user accounts

YouTube-like video platform Bilibili updated its memorial function, offering more options for users to arrange their accounts in advance before they die. Users can opt for their profile to become a “memorial account” with all information preserved or delete the entirety of their digital footprint on the platform, including comments. Bilibili also allows users’ relatives to delete an account upon receipt of a death certificate. Since 2021, the platform has allowed relatives to apply for the account of a deceased family member to be converted into a “memorial account” that can not be logged into and cannot receive any money from other users.

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Apple supplier considers relocating factory from Shanghai to Chongqing

Apple supplier Quanta is considering relocating production of the MacBook Pro from Shanghai to Chongqing due to affected supply chains, Digitimes reported on Thursday. While the Shanghai government is currently assisting key industries in resuming production, most of the city remains in lockdown. Quanta has seven subsidiaries in Shanghai, Changshu, and Chongqing for computer manufacturing, according to the firm’s official website. In an earnings call last month, its primary client, Apple, said that supply constraints caused by Covid 19-related disruptions and industry-wide silicon shortages are expected to have a $4 billion to $8 billion impact on revenue.

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TikTok plans big gaming push in Southeast Asia: report

ByteDance’s TikTok is testing in-app gaming features in Vietnam, which it hopes will boost its advertising revenue, according to Reuters. The firm has been testing web-based games from third-party developers in its app, a TikTok representative told Reuters. The report also cites sources as saying that TikTok plans to expand its gaming services in Southeast Asia, possibly making a big push in the sector in the third quarter of this year. Douyin, the Chinese sister app to TikTok, has offered such services since 2019. [Reuters]

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Tencent sues Vivo for unfair competition on the phone maker’s app store

Chinese tech giant Tencent has sued major Chinese phone maker Vivo for blocking users from downloading Tencent’s app store, Yingyongbao. Tencent accused Vivo of restricting users from downloading Yingyongbao and guiding them to use Vivo’s app store instead. The android ecosystem in China is chaotic with phone makers usually having their own built-in app stores, with several additional third-party app stores for users to choose from. However, it is often difficult to obtain all apps from any single app store. According to the court’s announcement, the case will be heard in Shandong province on Friday. [Forbes, in Chinese]

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Shanghai opens “green channels” for key industries during Covid-19 lockdown

Shanghai will open “green channels” for the semiconductor, biotech, and auto industries, in an effort to simplify administrative procedures during the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown, as announced by the local government at a press conference on Wednesday. For key semiconductor companies, the government will temporarily cancel sample tests of photoresists, which will speed up import procedures. Shanghai also plans to accelerate import and export procedures for whitelisted auto manufacturers like Tesla and FAW Group. [Economic View]

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Tencent’s total revenue stays flat, profit drops in Q1 amid regulatory and Covid headwinds

Tencent has missed market expectations after effectively reporting flat revenue growth for the first quarter of this year. The Chinese tech giant reported RMB135.5 billion ($21.2 billion) revenue for the first quarter of 2022, compared with 135.3 billion in the same period last year. The company’s profit for the period was RMB26.3 billion, a decrease of 24% year-on-year, while net margins decreased to 19% from 26% last year. Tencent’s worst performance since its IPO in 2014 is mainly being attributed to clients’ shrinking ad budgets and intensified rivalry from competitors like TikTok owner ByteDance. In a Wednesday conference call, Tencent president Martin Lau warned that the impact of regulatory crackdowns will linger despite the state signaling a releasing pressure on tech majors because it will “take time for specific regulators to translate direction into real action.” The company’s shares slid 8% in Hong Kong today. [Tencent release]

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Elon Musk praises WeChat model as he discusses plans for Twitter

Elon Musk praised WeChat as “really an excellent app” and labeled it “a good model” during the All-In Summit 2022 on Tuesday, as the Tesla owner discussed his stalled takeover of Twitter. “We don’t have anything like that,” Musk told the Summit, as he complimented the Tencent super app’s offering of services like Twitter, PayPal and more “all rolled into one.” Musk went on to say that “such an app would be really useful” in markets outside of China, speculating that it could be created by converting Twitter to something more all-encompassing or by starting a new app from scratch. Musk’s comments quickly went viral in China, with the hashtag “Musk praises WeChat” amassing more than three million views within a few hours on microblogging platform Weibo. [All-In Podcast]