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Information/Technology

China Faces Shortage of Tens of Millions of High Tech Workers

According to an article in Xinhua, China faces a labor shortage of tens of millions of high tech workers while its college graduates are struggling to find a job. The article stated that in Sichuan Province there are only 6.8 million technical workers and only 1 million of them are high tech workers. In the Hangzhou labor market, 71.4 percent of the companies lack high tech workers. In Tianjin, the ratio of the demand for high tech workers to the supply is 10:1. The statistics also indicate that, due to workers’ low skill level, Chinese labor productivity is only at 40 percent of the world’s average or 7.4 percent of the rate in the U.S. The article pointed out that this is one of the main reasons that China is a giant but not strong.

Source: Xinhua, April 17, 2017
http://education.news.cn/2017-04/17/c_129542053_2.htm

China’s New Regulation: Those Who Use VPN to Break the Firewall for Unauthorized Access to International Internet Will Be Punished

In January 2017, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued a document about monitoring the grey area of using a virtual private network (VPN) to break China’s “firewall.” On March 27, China’s Chongqing Municipality re-issued a revised version of the “Guidance for Administrative Punishment for Chongqing Public Security’s Internet Supervision.” The revised document stipulates that anyone falling within the jurisdiction of Chongqing who uses tools to break the information firewall of the Chinese authorities to visit websites outside the wall may be fined.” Those whose acts are deemed to have constituted a crime shall be held for having criminal responsibility.”

For mainland Internet users, the VPN is no stranger. It is seen as an effective tool to break the firewall in China, making the visit to the outside world over the wall simple and inexpensive.

Source: Duowei, March 28, 2017
http://china.dwnews.com/news/2017-03-28/59807821.html

RFA: Microsoft Customized Windows 10 for the Chinese Government

Radio Free Asia (RFA) recently reported that, according to Microsoft, a joint effort between Microsoft and its Chinese partner has been completed. The project was to customize the Windows 10 operating system to comply with the requirements that the Chinese government imposed. Experts expressed their belief that this new accomplishment may improve the weak sales situation of Microsoft products in the Mainland China market, which has heavily regulated and controlled the Internet market landscape. The customized Windows 10 version is designed specifically for government purchases instead of for the consumer market. Many international technology companies had to do the same thing. Qualcomm, Intel, and IBM all took the same approach. However, Microsoft did not reveal what they did for the Chinese government. The customization was required under the Chinese government’s worry about “back doors.” This task was challenging because Microsoft had to satisfy China’s requirements while protecting its core intellectual properties as well as ensuring that the Chinese government would not monitor the company.

Source: RFA, March 22, 2017
http://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/meiti/nu-03222017105817.html

Global Times: U.S. Tells South Korea to Stop Using Chinese Company’s 5G Mobile Products

On March 13, Global Times, a subsidiary of the Chinese Communist Party’s official newspaper People’s Daily, reported in its Technology Section that the U.S. has told South Korea to stop using 5G mobile products from China’s No. 1 telecom equipment manufacturer, Huawei. The report’s title reads, “The U.S. Comes Up with Another Provocation, Urging South Korea to Stop Using Huawei’s 5G Products.”

It cited overseas reports, without listing any of their sources, that the Pentagon received a letter last December from three members of Congress to investigate the role Huawei plays in South Korea’s 5G networks and to assess the security risks that Huawei poses to American facilities and military forces because of its close relationship with the Chinese government.

Global Times pointed out that this letter indicated the Pentagon intended to stop Huawei from helping South Korea build a new wireless network, while South Korean wireless vendors apparently are unwilling to have any confrontation with Huawei as they speed up building the 5G network.

According to the report, Huawei has signed contracts with organizers of the 2018 Winter Olympics to be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea. In addition, Huawei and LG U+ have worked closely together to use Huawei’s NB-IoT equipment on 4G networks. There have been no reports about Huawei products deployed by LG U+ having any security loopholes.

Global Times cited market watchers that Huawei’s products are reliable in quality and priced competitively, which raised U.S. concerns about its competitive advantage.

Shortly after the publication of this report, Global Times took it offline, but it can still be accessed at other online portals which carried the original report, including at China Finance Online, a financial services site based in the South-East Chinese city of Fuzhou.

Sources:
Global Times, March 13, 2017
http://tech.huanqiu.com/comm/2017-03/10301456.html
China Finance Online, March 13, 2017
http://news.cnfol.com/it/20170313/24423177.shtml

BBC Chinese: China Cracks Down on “Illegal” VPN Services

BBC Chinese recently reported that China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology just revealed a one year plan to crack down on “illegal” Internet provider services. The Ministry issued a nationwide memo to identify and remove unlicensed or multi-level leased VPN services, regardless of whether the method was self-established or via leased lines. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, which is a technology that establishes a virtual “direct connection” between two computers based on encryption. This structure is widely used in countries with Internet censorship to bypass government monitoring. Many Chinese netizens use VPN to visit websites that the Chinese Great Firewall bans, such as Facebook and Twitter. The Chinese government’s latest move was conducted in the name of cracking down on “inappropriate content.”

Source: BBC Chinese, January 23, 2017
http://www.bbc.com/zhongwen/simp/chinese-news-38714639

PLA Online Warfare Headquartered in Two Beijing Hotels

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported on an article from Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA). The article indicated that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has its online warfare headquarters hidden in two Beijing hotels. The two hotels are the Jingtang Hotel and the Seasons Hotel in the Haidian District, Beijing. The Fourth Division of the General Staff of the Central Military Committee used to own the hotels, either directly or indirectly. The Fourth Division was once called the Electronic Warfare and Radar Operations Unit. With the latest Chinese military reform, the Fourth Division was assigned new roles to handle Strategic Support, Foreign Electronic and Intelligence Warfare, and Internet Attacks. Network Intelligence assignments are typically highly classified operations. It therefore makes sense to use the hotels as “under cover” headquarters locations. According to sources from the U.S. intelligence community, some guests who stayed at the Jingtang Hotel in 2012 left guest notes there mentioning the Fourth Division’s ownership of the hotel. In 2015, researchers attempted to book rooms in the two hotels and encountered booking system errors or received apologies from the hotel for closures.

Source: Sina, January 5, 2017
http://dailynews.sina.com/gb/news/int/cna/20170105/19597680155.html

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