China’s elevated bus test site has been abandoned for months

Remember China's wacky Transit Elevated Bus aka TEB which promised to carry passengers over traffic? Well, we have some bad news for you. China News reported that the 22-meter-long prototype unveiled in early August had been collecting dust in its ha…

Apple Enters Agreement With World’s Largest Wind Turbine Maker for Clean Energy Projects

Apple recently struck a deal with Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology, known as the world’s largest wind turbine maker, which will bring clean energy into the production processes and manufacturing plants of Apple’s partner facilities in China (via South China Morning Post).

Specifically, Goldwind’s wholly-owned subsidiary Beijing Tianrun New Energy Investment will transfer a 30 percent stake each in four project companies to Apple. The subsidiary of Goldwind is focused on the construction and operation of wind power farms and will likely assist Apple in providing clean energy to its many iPhone manufacturing facilities in the region, potentially including well-known assemblers Foxconn and Pegatron.

applewindpower

“Apple is committed to powering all of its facilities around the world with 100 per cent renewable energy, and is now working with its suppliers to power Apple’s product manufacturing with renewable energy,” Goldwind said.

The details of exactly which supplier, and how much money Apple will spend on the project, were left undisclosed. In the filing sent to the Hong Kong stock exchange yesterday by Goldwind, which revealed its partnership with Apple, it was also mentioned that each of the projects will be “cooperative joint ventures” that won’t be consolidated solely in Goldwind’s financial statements. Both Goldwind and Apple will have more of an equal presence, “since important matters will require unanimous approval by their directors.”

Apple has always been a proponent of clean energy and general environmental friendliness, this year joining global renewable energy initiative RE100 and replacing its retail stores’ plastic bags with paper bags made from 80 percent recycled materials. The cooperation with Goldwind is a new step in Apple’s attempts to introduce clean energy into the manufacturing processes of its supplier partners, last year announcing the installation of 200 megawatts of solar projects in the northern, eastern and southern regions of China, as well as encouraging partners like Foxconn to be more energy efficient.

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Chinese Consumer Group Complains of Spontaneous iPhone 6 Fires, but Apple Blames ‘Physical Damage’

As Apple’s iPhone 6s is facing scrutiny in China over a battery issue that causes unexpected shutdowns, a Chinese consumer group has complained of a separate problem with the iPhone 6 – spontaneous battery fires.

According to the The Wall Street Journal, the Shanghai Consumer Council says it received eight reports from Chinese users claiming their smartphones spontaneously caught on fire, but Apple inspected the devices and says “external physical damage” is to blame.

iphone6-stock

Apple said it analyzed the affected phones and found that the fires followed “external physical damage.” The company encouraged customers with issues to visit an Apple store or contact company support.

“We appreciate that customers are more concerned than ever about the performance and safety of batteries in their mobile devices,” Apple said in a statement.

Given that the iPhone 6 has been available since 2014 and there have been no notable reports of device fires, Apple’s physical damage explanation rings true. With the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, which had a true faulty part leading to fires, reports from around the world started flooding in just weeks after the device was released.

Complaints from Chinese consumer groups over iPhone 6s battery problems led Apple to introduce a repair program for iPhone 6s devices that unexpectedly shut down, and Apple has gone out of its way in China to explain the issue and assure customers that it is not safety related.

Apple’s repair program will see it providing new batteries to customers with iPhone 6s devices primarily manufactured between September and October of 2015. Just today, Apple expanded the repair program to encompass a small number of customers “outside of the affected range” who are also experiencing shutdowns.

On its Chinese site, Apple explained that the iPhone 6s shutdown issue was caused by exposure to “controlled ambient air” during the manufacturing process, which caused the battery to degrade faster than a normal battery.

Next week, Apple plans to introduce a diagnostic tool that will allow it to gather information and better manage battery performance levels to prevent shutdowns. With iOS 10.2 nearly ready to launch, it’s likely the diagnostic capability will be included in that update.

As Apple’s third largest market after the United States and Europe, China has become increasingly important to Apple over the last several years. Apple has made an effort to introduce a number of retail stores in the country, and it has made a $1 billion investment in Chinese ride-sharing company Didi Chuxing.

Despite its efforts, Apple has struggled in China. In Apple’s third quarter earnings report, revenue in China was down 33 percent year over year, dropping from $13 billion in 3Q 2015 to $8.9 billion in 3Q 2016.

Chinese officials have said Apple is “too deeply established in the country’s core industries,” and along with recent trouble over its iPhones, Apple has also struggled with its iTunes Movie and iBooks Store in China, which were shut down by Chinese administrators in April.

Related Roundup: iPhone 6s
Tag: China
Buyer’s Guide: iPhone (Buy Now)

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Apple’s Next Store Opens in Shanghai on December 10

Apple has announced it will be opening a new retail store at Vanke Mall in Qibao, an ancient town and popular tourist destination in the suburbs of Shanghai, China, on Saturday, December 10 at 10:00 a.m. local time. The location will become Apple’s seventh retail store in Shanghai and its 489th store overall.

qibao

Apple is closing in on 500 retail stores worldwide following the grand openings of its Marché Saint-Germain location in Paris, France and Zhujiang New Town location in Guangzhou, China earlier this month. Apple has opened 20 new retail stores in 2016, excluding the upcoming Shanghai location.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores
Tag: China

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WeChat, China’s top messaging app, no longer tells users when it censors their messages

wechat Users of WeChat, China’s most popular messaging app, are having conversations secretly censored without their knowledge, according to a new report from Citizen Lab. Read More

WeChat, China’s top messaging app, no longer tells users when it censors their messages

wechat Users of WeChat, China’s most popular messaging app, are having conversations secretly censored without their knowledge, according to a new report from Citizen Lab. Read More

Crunch Report | Casey Neistat’s Beme Acquired by CNN

Casey Neistat’s Beme gets acquired by CNN, how did Black Friday 2016 do?, getting iCloud spam calendar invites?, Uber China gets its own app and San Francisco’s Muni gets hacked. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

Uber’s app no longer works in China

Uber has parted ways with its Chinese subsidiary, which is going to prove problematic for tourists looking to hail a ride in the Middle Kingdom. As part of the deal that saw Uber China merge with Didi Chuxing, the global Uber app has been disentangle…