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What I learned about mobile in China

In China I met several entrepreneurs and others at the Bluetooth World conference there. China has a very different mobile culture, so thought I'd share what I learned here:

1. Facebook and Twitter and many other sites don't work. Neither do their mobile apps. Yes, you can use a VPN or a proxy server, but most sites are very slow compared to when I use those sites in the US. (The government blocks those sites. Most of the entrepreneurs I talked with said the government does that to protect local businesses and their own pocketbooks).

2. Almost every high-end user had an iPhone. Others had Android. I never saw Windows Phone or Blackberry's being used. Android is coming on strong, everyone admits.

3. Every iPhone was jailbroken. Why? Because using the Apple App Store is painful at best and totally unusable at worst. Why? The speed of downloading apps from Apple is horrid. So, everyone makes their phone have a Chinese app store so they can download apps fast. That means Apple will see lower revenue per device than it does in the states, where it can sell movies, music, and apps directly.

4. Every service has a Chinese copy. In the shot I took below there is a YouTube copy. Actually several copies. 

5. The Chinese hate the firewall too, but they say it just means you gotta be "entrepreneurial" to get around it. Either by using Chinese copies of services you like, or by using VPNs.

6. There isn't LTE in Shanghai yet. That I thought was totally shocking, given how modern and wealthy the city is. My phones, back in San Francisco, are dramatically faster on videos and things like Waze. Everyone says that LTE finally got approval from the government and should be showing up by the end of the year.

7. There is a strong mobile culture. It felt a lot like San Francisco, with lots of apps for local food, transit, etc. Plus, the people i met with knew exactly how the local apps compared with things like Yelp or OpenTable.

8. Many apps have "offline" features. Baidu maps, for instance, aren't as accurate as Google's maps, but they work offline, which matters because of lack of LTE and also pricing plans that charge you per megabyte downloaded.

9. There are lots of low-cost Android phones and systems coming out. Think about how Facebook's new Home App takes over app launching and you are close to how these new Chinese phones take over your notifications and app screens. They also strip out all Google stuff and add in their own apps and search. 

10. Everyone knows how to get their phones customized. You can pay people to root your phones for a few dollars and load you up with the apps you want. This lets people who buy very low-end phones get similar experiences you'll get on more expensive phones.

For those of you who have visited China, or who live there (Google+ was the only social network I could use directly -- the others I used through Flipboard just fine) what other things have you noticed about how Chinese use mobile phones vs. how people in US and Europe use them?
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254 comments
 
Excellent comments. Thanks for sharing your insights.
 
+Robert Scoble Very interesting insights thanks for sharing Robert. This is one of, if not the, key market to watch and where the growth is.
 
Interesting findings. Thanks for sharing
 
I personally like the 10th point. When you can get the same features as what you can get on the high end phones. What is the difference? when a small scale manufacturer can provide the same for 1/4th of the price? why do we have to pay so much for the original? Goophone 5 is same as iphone 5 and as good.. why?
 
Great overview. Thanks for all the insights. My iPhone was almost useless in China. Next time, I will jailbreak it. 
 
I‘m using wp7 and have used bb :)
 
Unlikely, I'm a Chinese with hate of where i live!
 
+Allen Taylor  I Love my Pixi Plus (needs more memory) but otherwise it's too bad webos didn't catch on, the UI is really nice.
 
Robert, did you notice what the break down of high-end phones was compared to low-end? Did you find most people had cheap Androids as opposed to a Galaxy S3 etc?
 
It's because of The GFW
Great FireWall 
 
Everyone jailbreak their iPhone because in China no one wish to pay money for apps, though they will pay good money for phone hardware...
 
And LTE will not that quikely,maybe next year , or even later
 
I so appreciate the pith.
Excellent and thanks as always for sharing your lens
 
I don't totally agree about Apple download speeds. I regularly get speeds peaking above 20Mbps when downloading from Apple (with, or without VPN). That's via my home connection though, I guess 3G could be worse. That said, I don't think I would want to waste 3G bandwidth on large updates.

This is not mobile, but, I did have recurring speed problems with the Mac App store a while back. Ironically, it turned out that using Google's dns servers was confusing Apples CDN provider. When I switched to my ISP's dns, everything speeded up significantly.

I don't agree on point 2 either. I commute on the metro two or three days per week and I see at least 50% Android devices, maybe more. Samsung especially. Amongst Chinese colleagues and friends, I've seen more Android devices, amongst American expat colleagues and friends I see more iPhones.
Ye Wang
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Meizu MX2, so far the best Android phone. Try it out.
 
So very interesting. Do they not work because they are not compatible?
 
Robert, did you buy any phones or tablets there to use in the US? 
 
Youku actually isn't a bad alternative to YouTube
 
its not just China that's behind on LTE.  In the UK, only one network has LTE and is still slowly rolling it out. The vast majority of people are on 3g/HSPA+
 
Google Maps has offline mode too.
 
This is fascinating. The China smartphone market wants to have the same capabilities and apps as the Western world. Of course, this is obviously like all standards of living where they (rightfully) say "don't hold us back, we see what others have". Go China I say.
 
+Brian Groth China (or at least it's goverment) wants the same capabilities but only on their terms, their censorship.
 
Got to remember that many of the iPhones you see in China are either fakes (using featurephone hardware and OS) or look alikes using Android (older ones use Windows CE).
 
I have been an international Cell phone user for almost a decade now. Years traveling throughout China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau for business showed me how incredibly easy it can be, and MUCH cheaper than the US.

Though China Mobile has been the only provider in China, rates are low, you pay per minute and there are TONS of workarounds that US carriers do not offer their hostages...I mean customers. And I had issues with speed trying to text, etc friends' US cell phones (I purchased a great unlocked phone in Hong Kong for use in Asia-only)

I live in Mexico and have a Galaxy3 (for US-only use over wifi to avoid international rates), and an unlocked Blackberry (I use on Mx with TelCel) and have used all over Central and South America.

US cell carriers are the most egregious in terms of costs, restrictions, lack of international-able, etc. So far the only country where I could not purchase a pay-per-minute chip.

AND...you should know that MANY MANY of the "iPhones" you have been seeing are possible counterfeit. One of the easiest things to find were faux iPhones, iPods and nanos.

(you asked the quesition, Robert)
 
+Carl Draper
And don't you forget it either! Be careful what you say or text on your phone
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Actually, I do not think your post is totally right .  I am from China and use Blackberry mobile service for email work in day work . also have Android Tablet and iPhone for entertainment and normally fun. never do any thing about jailbroken. in my culture and mind , we should respect those of developer , only buy reasonable and useful application through Play and App store . However, your wrote is critical issue in China right now . 
 
I live in Beijing, China and I agree with you mostly. And there are some people who use WP Phone but nearly no one use blackberry because you can't use blackberry sms in China. Chinese mobile network maybe the slowest and most expensive except North Korea.

What's more, half of smartphone users use Android. Of course maybe there are more iPhone users in Shanghai where lives more rich people.
And lots of people choose to jailbreak their iPhone not only because the slow speed but also they want to use apps for free. Every iPhone users have played Angry Birds but few of them have ever paid. As you may know, there is nearly no copyright mind in China.
+Maureen Smullen If you use the 3G network provided by Unicom it would be much more quickly.
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I actually disagree with you on a few points.
 
Point 1, the Chinese government blocked those sites not to protect local businesses. They are trying the best prevent the Chinese people knowing the truth so they will continue rule this country. You had known it if you have ever talked to any people other than the (state-owned) entrepreneurs.
 
Point 2, can you define high-end user here? To my best knowledge the official / rich people buy iPhone but they hardly know anything about iPhone. They use iPhone to make calls only. Some poor fellows even sell kidney to buy an iOS device just to show off to others. Basically iPhone shows your social status in China.
 
Point 3, not every iPhone was jailbroken. Those do jailboken their iOS devices simply do not want to pay for apps. It must have seen weird to you guys that people pay a lot for a phone yet not willing to buy apps, but that is true.
 
Point 4, I second you.
 
Point 5, not every netizens know the existence of the firewall. Many only use baidu.com and QQ, that's what the internet means for them.
 
Point 6. That's right, 3G now is popularized. And I do not think every US cell phone owners uses 4G.
 
Point 8, actually you can download those map data using WiFi. I store offline maps not because of the pricing plans, 3G connection eats up your power quickly.
 
I have no idea about how long you stayed in China, but I am impressed with what you learned. Next time when you come to China, don't just meet the officials and entrepreneurs, also have more discussions with the grass roots, just my two cents.
 
they are disposable and some batteries not good....don't like china
products really...=)
 
I am a Chinese. And I have to admit your description is absolute true in china. 
mani S
 
Everyone has their point of view and china has different cultural and livelihood style . Observations made are totally different from actual situation .
Very poot oberervation . Out o the world similes used .
Grow up .man !!!!
 
hahahhaha well they are cheap in my place i could buy only 500 pesos in my place..but do not complain when broken..just buy another ..hahahahaha so i bought one which is not from your country..I always ask is this china phone..cause i don't like the product..so many issues about the products coming from there..from the babies food to other products...what is going on?
 
There are some fantastic apps for iOS there that will allow  you to pick a club, bar, restaurant, hotel, etc. and it will display the appropriate instructions to a cab driver including the name in mandarin. It's SO handy!
 
+Alex Zaah It's not weird to see people in China don't want to buy apps. You would be arrested by policeman if you steal an iPhone but no one would blame you if you steal apps in China. The free, the best.
 
I'm a Chinese student.I know your feeling and what you have said is really true. What a pity!
 
Great insight into how mobile as a culture is embraced. Innovations with a slightly different application, yet towards the same overall goals.
 
+Yashwant Piduru This may not account for all the difference, but I think when someone does something the first time and puts in a huge amount of money in R&D they expect their consumers to pay. 
 
It's not true the first item said. the gov blocked facebook and twitter and other SNS, that's right. but their purpose is to block some bad news, especially news against gov, not to protect their own relevant services.
 
+Carl Draper all countries are exactly like that. Chinese government is just open about it because they have this awesome reputation from a long time. A reputation they gained because they are communists. Also, I think they strongly dislike being someone's b***h. Can't blame them for that can you? 
 
I am a chinese ,I hate the firewall,and goverment. in china,you have to  use VPN or SSH to connect foreign websit.like facebook and twitter.
 
+David Williams +Robert Scoble I'm using a xiaomi mi2, it's basically the internals of a nexus 4 with 32gb, just upgraded to the latest snapdragon 600 as the mi2s.

Xiaomi flash sale online only, this has created crazy demand for their phones which are even less expensive than the nexus 4.

They are building themselves up as the Apple of China, within the mobile and content market, post PC era. They have a store, an online currency, have just released a tv box ala apple TV (only available here in Shanghai, Hangzhou and Changsha), and there is talk of their tablet on the way.

Definitely an interesting, if presently small, technology company to watch. I predict big things... 
袁圣
 
还有一样,请尽快学会用说中文
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I'm a chinese ....It's shocked me that your summary is so  exactly...now 3G(WCDMA ,TDSCDMA,CDMA2000) is not poppular in china ,because it's very expensive for normal users ...Lot of peaple especially young peaple like me use the 2.5G(EDGE).the Peasants   (peasants occupied our country demographic majority).they use 1G.....
 
First of all I don't live in china nor will I ever live in china and I love my iPhone and iPad and don't care about the android phone or any other phone for that matter. 
 
Iphone users in my place laugh at China made phones because they believe anything that is made in China is crap! They don't want to buy anything cheap they would rather spend more an Iphone to look good... Err... Iphones are MADE IN CHINA! Look for it at the back of your Iphone!
 
+Robert Scoble Excellent write up.  Very interesting to see how this part of the world is developing.  My son is in Thailand this week and sharing pictures on G+.  Amazing advances.
 
Fantastic :) that's my phone!
 
+Aditya Dodda Yeah i agree that there is something called original. Whats with the android devices? Its an open source, the basic features with some classy named manufacturer apps/features costs you $500 more. I feel that nexus 4 is priced the best. 

I use Galaxy Note II. I feel some of the features just to drain the battery. 
 
From memory, MIUI (http://en.miui.com/) is created in China. Very high quality themes and integration of features.

The only quibble I have is the grouped home screen icons don't use the new ICS appearance.
 
google plus app has been unblocked for the last year but it is blocked through the browser. I haven't seen a lot of Chinese using it. Sina Weibo, Twitter copycat, is what people us as well as WeChat. I have lived in Shanghai for the last 10yrs.
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In fact , poeple in China can't even use Google plus directly, for the Google service framework is cut off from every device. We need an extra zip to add it.
 
中国人表示很淡定
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People use Iphone in China because it's an expensive phone and chinese like to show off status and class by using expensive tech...Also your evaluation maybe misled because there are many chinese knockoffs or fake iphones..phones that look like iphone but is in fact other OS...don't be decieved... mobile data tarriffs are expensive in china. 
 
I am a chinese man. What he said is exactly right.
Dick K
 
Seems battery life is key.
 
so there are mtk based phones coming this month. I saw one with 1g ram and 16g memory, one with 2g and 32g, both have 4core cpu, mixrosd slot, dual sim, cdma and gsm dual standby, 720p screen. guess the price? rmb 900 for the 1g model, which is roughly 150usd. It is crazy price, and I know multiple factories are outing similar spec, similar price phones this or coming month.
 
Some very good insights for a short time there - China is very complex and takes a while to peel back. A few comments after living here for 18 months in Shanghai and launching a mobile platform company here ...

Regarding your points #'s:
#2 - Depends on definition of high-end user, but Samsung is as or more popular than iPhone. A ride on the Shanghai subway will demonstrate this, but there are public stats with the exact numbers.
#3 - The jailbroken iPhone percentage is actually less than 50%, much less I believe, but I don't have access to the exact stat right now. A search should find it. 
#4 - Absolutely. To operate an internet content service in China (mobile or not) you need an Internet Content Provider license (ICP). To get one, you have to be a 100% Chinese national owned company. There are contractual structures around this - read the Yahoo Alibaba situation and you will learn all about it (the structure is the vehicle Chinese companies use to list on foreign exchanges, but it can be applied in reverse to operate an ICP on mainland theoretically). 

Yelp = Dianping
Foursquare = Jiepang
WhatsApp = Wexin (WeChat - owned by Tencent)
Facebook = Tencent/QQ, RenRen
Twitter = Sina Weibo
Amazon = TMall (Alibaba owned)
eBay = TaoBao (Alibaba owned)
Alipay = Paypal (Alibaba owned)
YouTube = YouKu / Toudou
Etc. etc.

#5 - Firewall is inconsequential to the Chinese except for those that are traveling globally or have global reach with their business. Because of the above and the fastest growing consumer economy of scale and the #2 in the world in GDP, they don't need to do anything other than the China internet. Getting outside is for the wealthier or foreign educated or those that have business outside of China to stay in touch - via Facebook, etc. and to have a source of news outside of China. Granted this % of the population with this need is rapidly growing in China, so this will be a growing issue over time. It is likely you spoke mostly with those that are in this relatively smaller segment now. 

#6 - lack of LTE - very frustrating! A result of a state controlled process of allocating the services and deciding when to implement based on centrally planned goals. China has three mobile operators - all State Owned Enterprises - so all the same really, China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom. The issue really is where the government wants to allocate the rollout and balancing the economics of doing so with the country's centrally planned goals. 

#7 - Totally. Mobile is king in China. It IS computing for the Chinese, which are largely leapfrogging past the PC and Web directly to Mobile. Mobile is the primary computing device here. 

Great discussion and points - thanks for sharing and creating more awareness of mobile in China!
 
+Robert Scoble Which city did you visit? i am in Shanghai and Samsung most definitely has it over Apple, i commute on the subway and i quite often Android phones probably to a 3-1 ratio. Besides the many Apple Stores here Samsung have invested a lot in advertising. You see ad's everywhere, Also i've seen a fair few kindles on the subways too, the Chinese love to read and watch movies on the go.
 
Flipboard is your friend if you don't have a VPN
 
that's almost exactly what I imagined. I also pictured 99 percent of phones having Go Launcher ex and every female Chinese having hello kitty UI. 
 
Hi . in iran too
1. vpn is block.
2.Internet is deluxe service.
3.Internet speed is blate .
4.very amusment is ill gotten.


 
Here are some points to get things straight:

on point 1. You are right and you are wrong. 
You are right about the fact that Facebook and Twitter are blocked. 
You are wrong about the reasons. There are many of them. Protecting local market used to be true, when it started, not anymore. 
Facebook and Twitter weren't blocked until 2007. At that same time the Chinese copies came about, offering the MOST IMPORTANT service that both Facebook and Twitter omitted from the start: CHINESE version. When Facebook and Twitter were shut down in 2007, Chinese were mainly using their Chinese equivalent versus 10% of accounts on Facebook, Twitter, 80% of which were ghost accounts. 

As of today, can you still consider them copies. The answer is no because Sina Weibo offers and has made more innovations in the past 5 years than Twitter has even dreamed of. 

on point 4. If I take your reasoning, Dailymotion, Vimeo are copies of Youtube? Even though some people claim that Dailymotion started before Youtube. So that would make Youtube a copy of Dailymotion?

On important thing when tackling China: Know your background, get some more insights before blurting out facts. There is always a reason as obscure as it may seem. Limitation leads most of the time to creativity. 

When it comes to imitation: Would you call Quora an imitation of Baidu? Baidu not being able to beat Google at their own game created the same question/answers system. You can argue it is not. But then this is how the world works. Perception and Reality.
 
Google maps has offline mode now too :-) 
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Brilliant and interesting. Thanks
 
GFW 是为了保护国内企业这说法估计只有官方敢说!3G、4G啥得都有啊,只是难普及,贵啊,而且信号覆盖率小,不稳定。
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This is a great post - thanks for the information!  My wife and I moved down to Cabo San Lucas, Baja from southern CA so we had to learn some tricks and make some adjustments to our iPhone to receive this best rates while still connecting with the US...
 
Nice share..
Hope someday you could come to Indonesia and see our mobile behaviour.. ;)
 
If they hate the firewall, what is their reasoning for just accepting it? 
 
Thanks a lot for sharing... :))
 
world every thing in better for the eyes persons while all the dark
 
most of you say is right .
china is not freedom as its said
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1. Not exactly. IBM, Cisco, Microsoft are all beating their Chinese competitors a thousand miles. The GFW is more for information control than protecting local business. ;
3. There are other benefits other than just app store. For example, many Chinese users prefer to the old school 12 key keyboard input. iPhone doesn't tell you where the incoming call is from. You can have much more fancy themes after Jailbreaking. I knew many Asian girls love it!
5. NO one likes being blind, i guess. 
7. The Chinese Yelp is actually started earlier than Yelp. 
8. Data cost is also an important reason for offline feature. People downloads the map when they have Wifi.
9. China is a wild jungle for Android experiments because it is a big open market. There is no control freak named ATT or Verizon.
 
I think the rest of world is naive if they think their governments are not blocking or censoring or monitoring their internet traffic. For example ..... Pirate bay is blocked and censored using corporate influence. At least Chinese government are honest and tell their citizens.

People also need to rememeber, China is playing catch up. And in deed it is catching up very quickly. Wealth and 'freedom' has only been around really since the late 90's 
 
Do these restrictions also apply to Hong Kong and Macau? Because I've been there and I don't think I had much trouble accessing services, but it was a while ago and I don't remember clearly. 
 
Very interesting. Thanks for sharing a first hand experience. 
 
funshion is the nuts!! they have any english version as well
 
United States has censorship. The instant someone shoots up a place their social networking space disappears, blogs, web sites. 
 
Yeah,its true. 
 
+Shitiz Garg Nope.HK and Macau is Freeland.No restrictions at all.Some visitors can even go to HK to buy some bannedbooks.
 
Chinese guys always make a copy application over and over again.
 
what you said is not news
 
Wonder what happens if India does this all.....
 
Jailbreak is not only for the pirate-ware. Some features are just not available if you dont jailbreak, and they are important for Chinese. Such as a good Chinese input method. Such as a phone call from a number you don't know, and you want to know where it is from. There are lots of fraudulent phone calls/text msgs. It is important to know that this is your son asking you for money, not someone else claiming who is your son and lost his cell phone. Anyway, it is hard to explain a culture in a short article.
Bin Ye
 
The speed of downloading apps from Apple is really slow in China!!! Almost drive me crazy!!
姜磊
 
one great reason for ios jailbreak in china is that apple just neglects our feeling for input method
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I hate the GFW. Most links I have in G+ are blocked. And you'll never believe the guys who teach others to use VPNs, proxy even dropbox were sent to prison…
 
Thats mean different by difertent.
 
Thanks to Robert Scoble, Alex Jah and Mani S.

Somebody Posts their comments their own wish.

what ever may be they told something.

i was known some points from your post Robert brother.
thanks for share this Article.

Now a days i see and use some mobile apps from Chinese Developers,
that's apps are stable and fast working in 2G and 3G Networks.
as well as
computer platform also.
I daily use Maxthon Browser for Internet Access.

I'm thinking in positive way,
"Chinese also Develop in all ways"
if you like it or not?

thanks for everybody comment on this post,
because,
those all are read it.
 
+Yashwant Piduru that is because the plants that make actual iPhone will do production runs on "gray market" phones using apples part bins....
 
Every single thing which is good on the west, chinese copy, badly! I might add! Thanks for sharing. Bloody excellent! ;-) 
 
yeah our government sucks
 
Thanks for sharing.. Very interesting 
 
Chinese people are smarter with thier phone
金月
 
太对了。好眼力。
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Some Chinese are stupid enough to totally trust foreign news source, whether from a press or an indivisual. This makes me feel that the wall is not that bad.
 
+Robert Scoble I've been in China for 5 months and here is few additional insights to complement your already insightful list :

1 and 3. Connexion is slow even using a VPN because the tubes are limiting in/out bound connexions from/to the US and europe while intra-china connexions are very fast (fiber everywhere in SH). Chinese governement is able to block certain VPN protocol such as PPTP (and did for a few months because of the decennial presidential change). However OpenVPN and LT2P seems fine for now.
The government seems to tolerate VPN use for now, but their technology enable them block some of it.

4. Their youtube copies (youku for instance) are craptastic in comparison to the real deal, and plagued with intrusive advertisement, not mentionning the very poor content (exclusively chinese content of course). However Sina Weibo and other hybrid social platforms seemed quite solid.

As for the rest, Chinese people use very much 3G and instant messaging/voip apps and not so much traditionnal SMS. Operators sells packages that come very cheap for 3G heavy user with very little voice and SMS available to cater to that segment of user (which i imagine is very large and not niche at all).
The penetration of smartphones and heavy app usage over 3G seems much much stronger that what i acknowledge in France.
 
+某因幡 that happens everywhere around the world. even in "free" America, where millions actually believe in The Onion and Andy Borowitz.
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Although with GFW and other network limitation, but the mobile internet in China still developed quickly. You can see a lot of entrepreneurs is copying now but the creative is also growing up.
 
great post but I have to disagree on data pricing anyone with a decent level of mandarin can get a very cheap data plan. In actuality the main group of chinese who hate the firewall are the ones who've been abroad. I've met well educated chinese who don't care for anything western because the chinese version is as good or sometimes better.
 
Personally, I hate the GFW badly.
 
+Yashwant Piduru U are right.. why the hell, in India too, we started spending too much money on costly phones? because of advertisements? I saw some friends using touch screen phones 10 years back when there was no such phone for a normal earning person..they are having that features for low cost in china mobiles. Until Reliance came to mobile market, we were buying some company's mono color mobiles for 2000+. On this, I tweeted too. We unnecessarily increasing every items price. It would be difficult to down later. See commodities... for example...rice. 
 
Being able to post stuff up via Google+ was a God sent. I was good to be able to at least get some photos online that way. 
Kam Siu
 
I remember last time I visited China, I downloaded and precache all the maps I needed with Google maps for my travels, which actually worked well. Unfortunately I wasn't able to search anything as well
 
Wow... China is a whole different planet.
 
Generally china cheats the system and profit themselves for higher profits when people are willing to pay for iphones and now samsung as well.
 
Can't say robbers.....but thieves !"!!
Wei Tan
 
Why we that Chinese do not use blackberry or windows phone? Because our Operators do not to do ads for them, I don't know why. There are a lot of ads of iPhone and Samsung but no BlackBerry or Nokia, At last I never see that. And we have a lot of discount for iPhone by Operators, even free if you save enough money to be phone charges, but for Blackberry, I cannot even see them which be sold by operators.
施翩
 
+某因幡 要是牆真的倒了,那估計短時間內姬家就會被污染了…所以讓牆暫時豎著有點好處…
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Thanks for sharing! I wasn't aware of such things before reading this.
 
How about you stop stealing other's IP and make your own original ideas come to life for once?
 
The Chinese authorities are scared.
 
I don't own a smart phone but still found the entrepreneurial spirit refreshing.
 
When you say EVERYONE has a jail broken iPhone are you talking only about the people at the Bluetooth conference or the entire population knows how to and has a jail broken iPhone?
 
VERY spot-on assessment.  Great article. I noticed that even the iOS developers carried an Android phone because it was "easier" to use freely since XDA developers forums and Cyanogenmod had all of the ROMS they needed.  WhatsApp was HUGE there for my team and they used it like the regular text message app and they could ping me while I was home.  
 
point eight shows the strickness to freedom of movement by giving maps which aren't accurate! point ten begs for the eccomical guys,
"if you can buy a motorbike and modify it with a small fee to fit to land tiling, then why buy a tractor?" wish i were there. 
 
Thanks. I don't think I'll go there anyway. 
 
Don't exaggerate things, use numbers. But overall it makes a bit sense.
 
Thanks for the information, its really useful.
 
We feel great as we know the other face of china in developing technical matters
So thanks for that information #india
 
What? You can use Google+? I believe that one is blocked, too... Anyway, great comment, but there are some misunderstanding though
 
Hey Robert! Using Google+ in Shanghai without a VPN sucks big time. Plus, one can't watch the attached videos, especially YouTube attached videos. So, Google+ still has lot of leeway for improvement here. Cheers!
 
nice review robert,tks
 
Thanks for the writeup. I knew it was different but didn't realize it was that different. Did you happen to get the name of the side-loading app store they use? I am sure it is a variation of Cydia. 
 
Chinese invasion into manufacturing is extending towards inoovation based services.  Thanks for the informative article
 
Not exact, almost everyone in China has iPhone mobile, although most of them still use GPRS but not WCDMA, LTE,. The reason why every one have iPhone is iPhone make owner feel have face. 
Ping He
 
+Robert Scoble only the Chinese equivalent of AT&T has spotty 3G service while people on other network use their smart phones solely on 2G networks and Wi-Fi. 300MB per month is considered big data plan costing 7 U.S. dollars. Therefore a lot of services let you opt out push, let you read it later or let you choose a "data saver" view before redirecting you to a website
 
+Kevin Boutin this type of app exists for Android as well....the difference, it is free on Android.
 
Try the rssident site while visiting China. 
 
This clearly is a culture that doesn't innovate technology, but copies or steals it. This is why the USA has only 330k people but almost twice the GDP of China. Even with the sad state of education in America we out innovate the rest of the known world. It's why the Internet was invented here, Google, Microsoft, Intel, Apple and everything else.
 
everything is awesome but i dont like china ..
 
+Carl Draper yeah, but only at some countries, not world wide. that's why i bought sygic.
 
i don't understood, why you post this it zero information. i newer be in china, but i knew much more.....????????
 
China and India are going to use TD-LTE. It is going to be a new type of LTE even for the whole world. I heard even 3G is TD-CDMA in China.
 
Also, might i mention that China is getting VERY adept at blocking access to VPNs. So just because a VPN works today doesn't mean it will work tomorrow.
 
Wow thank you. Would you say people in China are aware how restricted they are compared to other countries like the US because of mobile smartphones?
kun yan
 
I come from China, I can see that you evaluate China is not easy, and I just want to know the latest technology experience what real Internet fackbook Twitter, including google normal circumstances It is really disappointing not to be used.
 
We lived in China until mid last year, and the cost of data was the cheapest I've ever encountered. I paid 10rmb ($1.50) for 150mb data p/m (I didn't need any more data since I couldn't stream youtube etc.) The site blocking was doing my head in at the end, glad to be out now!
 
A chineaw brand being marketed in UAE at Aed.600/- has all these features and is the slimmest phone I ever came accross with 2 simcards.
I would be paying through my Nose.

 
this phone is a fashion in morrocco
 
Great details and nice that u shared 
 
It's very interesting. But some of the points are not quite true. I am a Chinese. Most of my friends have the iPhone jailbroken , because they want to customize the phones. The copycat things of the services, I think the most important reason is some of the servises are blocked or they are not doing good enough in localization in China. Amazon is one of the examples. Sorry for my poor English.
 
interesting information. so, i dont know about facebook and twitter dont work in their apps.. then, who make this apps for mobiles?¡
 
> Google+ was the only social network I could use directly

It depends. For me, I have to change the ip address for plus.google.com to its European CDN to get through.
 
everything is made in china what else did you expect? we get overcharged dramatically
 
you just cant do anything about it ,cos china is way far too complicated,the gov is like a dictator ,
Jon Rai
 
Community helps 
 
还有一点,大陆人喜欢买水货。
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The gprs is so dear in china and every month you just have 100m cell phone traffic.And it is said that the wechat will have to pay for using it.
XX Wu
 
Every girls use Wechat...
曾宁
 
我讨厌苹果!
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Too many people use iPhone in China,rich or poor.You can see iPhone everywhere.苹果是真正的街机,以上有人说上海只有富人才用苹果手机,这个说法是错误的。
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I'm come from China.Most of your discription are right, but every iPhone was jailbroken, not because of the slow download speed, but because they want to use apps for free.
 
yep thats true ...really nive post.ive been.staying in china for 2 years...
 
When i was in China last year i saw the same, alot of iphones and androids and all where customized. And i must say the.chinese services where very good, sometimes better... Unfortnatly there in Chinees
 
Very informative -- Interesting about the Chinese app store. In Indonesia, where I'll be for the next six weeks, there is apparently huge trade in bootleg CDs and other software
 
Thanks for sharing Your experience Sir. It's actually informative. I personally ie the China government system. Government of a country should figure out what is best for the country and go for it, and not letting everything come and go. Factually we can see that the economy is booming well. 2nd in the world. That's what leaders do, and take their country to greater heights.
I'm a Nigeria and I wonder when our leaders will actually lead us to instead of others lead them.
The Chinese company Baidu is now a highly profitable company to both the Chinese and the government to a place that probably a foreign company would've occupied and dominate using their own foreign perspective etc.
Thanks Robert. 
 
You make me recall a Chinese proverb: a blind person touchs an elephant for getting to know what it is like. Some people like you always see every Chinese as the same as a few of them who you have met. I am not going to say your 'research' is totaly wrong, but not everyone!!!
 
Many middle-age users I know in China who have an iPhone hardly use it for more than making calls and sending text messages (often without even having set up iMessage). They could just as well do with a Nokia. But it's a status symbol. (Oh, and their phones are most certainly not jailbroken.) 
 
One more thing. China's 3G network is not widely popular yet and most people are still on Edge. The largest mobile carrier is China Mobile (popular because of wider coverage and better reception) but their homegrown 3G network is still not supported on most devices. They're pushing people to use 3G hotspots by offering them free with data plans, but their data plans are still too expensive. Obviously expensive because they want to recoup their R&D costs.
 
I LIKE youtube ,but it's slow~I have to use vpn to surf it .
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