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Go East, Nokia
A Cultural Revolution of Another Kind...
But a Reuters article noted that China's tech economy still has a lot of room for growth and improvement. The article said China's "contribution to complicated products like computer processors and flat screens is limited mostly to low-margin work and 'assembled in China' sticker. ... China's emerging role as high-tech finishing shop has left it focused on work that tends to bring in fewer profits than the more technically difficult manufacturing earlier in the production process. It also means that multibillion dollar investments for the most sophisticated factories usually go elsewhere. A combination of weak infrastructure and political factors are largely behind China's failure so far to make the cut as a prime-time tech player, analysts and industry executives say."
... And the Great Leap Backward
"Their cat-and-mouse game with the country's cyberpolice highlights the unique challenge the Internet poses to the party as it struggles to build a free-market economy while preserving the largest authoritarian political system in the world. It also illustrates how the bounds of permissible speech in China are blurring. Nearly three decades after the death of Mao Zedong, Chinese enjoy greater personal freedom than ever before under Communist rule, and they routinely criticize the government in private without fear. But people are increasingly using the Internet to broadcast their opinions in public, challenging a key pillar of the party's rule -- its ability to control news, information and public debate. The party is swift to jail some people who criticize senior leaders or express dissent on sensitive subjects such as Tibet, Taiwan and the Tiananmen Square massacre; at least 55 people are in Chinese prisons on charges related to their Web postings. But others who express the same views go unpunished, because police officers are sometimes apathetic about tracking them down and local Internet businesses are often more interested in attracting customers than enforcing vague rules."
Your Search Results for 'Handshake'
Plaxo today announced that it "integrates Yahoo's search engine directly into the Outlook e-mail program. Under the deal with Yahoo, Plaxo will get paid for channeling people to Yahoo's search engine. The search box will be placed beside a Plaxo icon that sits atop Outlook," The San Jose Mercury News reported. "The deal is significant because it puts Yahoo search directly into one of the most popular e-mail programs. That helps Yahoo leapfrog rival Google, which earlier put its search engine on the bottom of the computer desktop with its Google task bar. Plaxo's moves have caught the attention of investors. Today, Plaxo will announce $7 million more in venture capital backing. The round is being led by Cisco Systems and includes, among others, existing investor Michael Moritz, a venture capitalist at Sequoia Capital. Plaxo has now raised nearly $20 million. The interesting twist is Plaxo's move to team up with Yahoo. Plaxo investors and board members Moritz and Ram Shriram are also backers of Google and sit on that company's board of directors. Plaxo's move to give Yahoo more exposure to Web users at a time when Google is locked in a full-fledged search engine battle against that company is something neither Moritz nor Shriram would comment on."
CNET's News.com wrote about Plaxo's plans to make more money. The company's product "automatically updates information, either by finding it on its own network or sending e-mails to the last known address, requesting information. A Web version is also available. The basic service is free, but the company plans to charge for more elaborate versions, said co-founder Todd Masonis, who started the company after graduating from Stanford University. A VIP version that costs $19.95 a year offers better customer support, for instance. Future paid-for versions might include automatic synchronization for cell phones and handhelds, he added. Third-party partnerships will also bring in revenue, the company said. Plaxo version 2.0 incorporates a Yahoo search bar into the Outlook interface. Ideally, subscribers will instigate searches from the Outlook bar. Yahoo and Plaxo share revenue generated from these searches."
The Ad Bug
An article in The Los Angeles Times today noted that search engines are fueling online advertising growth. "Sponsored search lured advertisers back to the Internet after the dot-com crash. Now it's a huge moneymaker for tiny websites, Internet service providers and heavyweights such as Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc. The fight for advertisers is ferocious as targeted ads in search results have supplanted flashy banners as the way to connect merchants and buyers online."
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