Yikatong now launches contactless payment through smartphone devices
Apple is looking to further expand its services in China, but has recently created significant tensions by eradicating all unlicensed VPN’s in the country, in a bid to abide by its strict censorship and cyber security rulings. It has also recently agreed to build a new data centre in Guizhou as part of a $1 million investment plan.
Diving into an increasingly competitive market, Apple have always made its products solely accessible by paying customers. Its products will only work with other compatible Apple products, creating irritation amongst its users. However, Apple’s approach has now backfired in the Chinese market with regards to developments within its new public transport payment system.
Traditionally, individuals in Beijing would utilise a traditional transport card by Yikatong. However, the company has recently stated that customers can now pay for its services through its contactless payment app, accessible on smartphones only.
The new app will now let android users tap their smartphone on public transport, rather than use their transport card – an innovation with NFC which is sure to gain momentum with other payment and transport providers within Beijing.
The move will come as a huge blow to Apple’s ambitions to gain a slice of what is considered a huge area of revenue. With such strong competition from other well-known mobile providers and tech companies such as Tencent and Alibaba, which link its payment apps with its messaging apps, Apple has yet to gain potential ground.
With depleting iPhone sales and minimal payment transactions through its Apple Pay service, Apple’s policy surrounding third party contactless payments has now seen it barred from enabling users to use its services on public transport. However, android companies, such as Samsung and Huawei, do allow third party apps to be installed on its products.
Business Review Asia Magazine - August issue
First Solar to Invest US$684mn in Indian Energy Sector
First Solar is about to set up a new photovoltaic (PV) thin-film solar manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu, India. The 3.3GW factory will create 1,000 skilled jobs and is expected to launch its operations in Q3 of 2023. According to the company, India needs 25+ gigawatts of solar energy to be deployed each year for the next nine years. This means that many of First Solar’s Indian clients will jump at the chance to have access to the company’s advanced PV.
Said Mark Widmar, First Solar’s CEO: ‘India is an attractive market for First Solar not simply because our module technology is advantageous in its hot, humid climate. It’s an inherently sustainable market, underpinned by a growing economy and appetite for energy’.
A Bit of Background
First Solar is a leading global provider of photovoltaic systems. It uses advanced technology to generate clear, reliable energy around the world. And even though it’s headquartered in the US, the company has invested in storage facilities around the world. It displaced energy requirements for a desalination plant in Australia, launched a source of reliable energy in the Middle East (Dubai, UAE), and deployed over 4.5GW of energy across Europe with its First Solar modules.
The company is also known for its solar innovation, reporting that it sees gains in efficiency three times faster than multi-crystalline silicon technology. First Solar holds world records in thin-film cell conversion efficiency (22.1%) and module conversion efficiency (18.2%). Finally, it helps its partners develop, finance, design, construct, and operate PV power plants—which is exactly what we’re talking about.
How Will The Tamil Nadu Plant Work?
Tamil Nadu will use the same manufacturing template as First Solar’s new Ohio factory. According to the Times of India, the factory will combine skilled workers, artificial intelligence, machine-to-machine communication, and IoT connectivity. In addition, its operations will adhere to First Solar’s Responsible Sourcing Solar Principles, produce modules with a 2.5x lower carbon footprint, and help India become energy-independent. Said Widmar: ‘Our advanced PV module will be made in India, for India’.
After all, we must mention that part of First Solar’s motivation in Tamil Nadu is to ensure that India doesn’t rely on Chinese solar. ‘India stands apart in the decisiveness of its response to China’s strategy of state-subsidised global dominance of the crystalline silicon supply chain’, Widmar explained. ‘That’s precisely the kind of level playing field needed for non-Chinese solar manufacturers to compete on their own merits’.
According to First Solar, India’s model should be a template for like-minded nations. Widmar added: ‘We’re pleased to support the sustainable energy ambitions of a major US ally in the Asia-Pacific region—with American-designed solar technology’. To sum up: Indian solar power is yet the next development in the China-US trade war. Let the PV manufacturing begin.