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China Times: TSMC Responded to the Plan to Manufacture Chips in the U.S.

Major Taiwanese newspaper, China Times, recently reported that the Taiwanese chip maker TSMC officially responded to the question of whether it has a plan to invest in new manufacturing capabilities in the U.S. TSMC is the world’s top chip maker with 7 nano-meter manufacturing technology. It receives orders from leading companies such as Apple and Huawei and holds a massive global market share. TSMC also makes chips which the U.S. military uses in high volume. The news triggered a number of reports that TSMC is under heavy pressure from the U.S. Department of Defense to make chips in the United States, citing national security concerns. TSMC clarified that it has no immediate plan to open new factories in the States, but the company is continuously looking into this option. TSMC did admit that it is producing military chips. The primary challenge for manufacturing in the U.S. is cost. The company hinted that it would need a substantial subsidy. However, the new announcement also indicated that, to solve the national security issues that some customers have, the company is devoted to developing traceable chips.

Source: China Times, October 31, 2019
https://www.chinatimes.com/realtimenews/20191031004013-260410?chdtv

Beijing’s Subway System to Use Facial Recognition for Security Checks

The Beijing Subway Company announced that it plans to use facial recognition technologies to perform security checks and establish a database. Beijing Metro will also establish a passenger “white list,” which enables the company to enforce the notorious social credit system.

An official with the Beijing Metropolitan government observed that the current method of security inspections is inefficient, considering the massive volume of passengers using the rail transit. In addition to continuously optimizing security inspection equipment, the Beijing Subway will also apply facial recognition technology to classify passengers and do research to establish “personnel classification criteria” to build a corresponding “facial database.” The facial recognition system will screen the passengers and tell the security personnel what different measures to take .

The Beijing Subway currently has 21 routes with a total operating mileage of 699 kilometers. The annual transportation volume is 3.848 billion riders, with an average daily ridership of approximately 10.54 million.

Source: Central News Agency, October 29, 2019
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/acn/201910290107.aspx

Xinhua: Xi Jinping Asks for Innovation in Blockchain Technology

Xinhua recently reported that Chinese President Xi Jinping emphasized, in the eighteenth Collective Study of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party Central Committee, that blockchain technology should be a focal core innovation area for the Chinese industrial development strategy. It should be treated as a break-through point. Xi asked for a clear development direction, coupled with heavy investments, and to push forward the industrialization of a set of core blockchain technologies. Xi mentioned that blockchains are penetrating various key economic areas like digital finance, the Internet of things (IoT), smart manufacturing, supply chain management, and digital asset trading. Leading countries in the world are all strategically developing blockchain technology, and China should quickly improve technological support on blockchain standardization, application, innovation, and commercialization. Xi wants to improve China’s say in international collaborations and rule-making. Connecting blockchain technology and artificial intelligence and big data technologies was specifically mentioned. Deploying blockchains in all aspects of society is also being planned.

Source: Xinhua, October 25, 2019
http://www.xinhuanet.com/politics/2019-10/25/c_1125153665.htm

The Paper: China Organized 2019 World Young Scientist Summit

The Paper recently reported on the World Young Scientist Summit, which was held in Wenzhou city on October 26. The China Association of Science and Technology, the Zhejiang Provincial People’s Government, the Zhejiang Science and Technology Association and the Wenzhou Municipal People’s Government hosted the summit. This summit involved the strategic cooperation agreement signed between the China Association for Science and Technology and the Zhejiang Provincial Government. It is a high-level and international talent exchange that the China Association for Science and Technology and the Zhejiang Provincial Government created. One-hundred nine domestic and foreign academicians attended the summit, including four Nobel Prize winners, one Turing Award winner, 57 overseas academicians, 52 domestic academicians, 269 overseas representatives, and 475 young science and technology professionals from 102 countries, regions, and international organizations. According to the article, the summit will set up a young scientists’ network to enable commercialization of scientific inventions and projects, set up new business funding and introduce a talent acquisition policy.

Source: The Paper, October 26, 2019
https://www.thepaper.cn/newsDetail_forward_4783203

DW Chinese: Chinese Companies Collecting Big Data across the Globe

Deutsche Welle Chinese Edition recently reported that, according to a research report that the Australian Strategic Policy Research Institute published, Beijing is establishing a global data collection network. The approach is to work actively with Chinese companies and foreign universities. The goal is to influence global online public opinion and even to exert control. China is quietly penetrating the higher education systems in Britain, the U.S. and Australia. The effort is not done in an aggressive fashion. For example, Global Tone Communications Technology Co. provides advanced online software for translation, voice recognition, and video recognition. In the meantime, it collects online information across 65 language areas globally. This company belongs to the Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. It works with many universities around the world, such as The University of New South Wales in Australia. Its data is shared with big data Artificial Intelligence Company Haiyun Data, which is the company accused of monitoring the Uyghurs in Xinjiang. Similarly, in addition to software and online services, China is using other channels of communication and networking hardware layers such as products offered by Huawei.

Source: DW Chinese, October 16, 2019
https://p.dw.com/p/3RNOd

HKET: Apple Removed HK Police Tracking App Again

Hong Kong Economic Times (HKET), the leading financial daily in Hong Kong, recently reported that Apple once again unlisted the popular app HKmap.live from its AppStore. The app tracks, in real-time, the police activities around Hong Kong. It’s highly valuable at a time when the police are brutally cracking down on demonstrators in the city who are demanding freedom and democracy. Apple earlier unlisted the app once already, citing legal reasons. However, critics around the globe pointed out the decision was not aligned with Apple’s image of defending the rights of freedom-loving people. Soon after that Apple put the app back into the AppStore, which caused the Mainland Chinese media such as People’s Daily to issue major warnings. The Chinese official newspaper asked Apple, in an open commentary, to think really hard on whether this was good for its business or not. Apple then removed the app for the second time from the AppStore. The explanation was that it was supporting the Hong Kong police. The app has remained unavailable since then.

Source: Hong Kong Economic Times, October 10, 2019
https://bit.ly/2VDCUSf

Samsung Closed Its Last Handset Factory in China

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that Samsung announced on October 2 that it stopped its manufacturing work in the factory located in Huizhou, Guangdong Province. It is the last handset factory Samsung has in China. Samsung started to lay off its workers in the Huizhou factory in June and all manufacturing lines were closed by the end of September. The company used to have three factories in China. Samsung closed its Shenzhen (Guangdong Province) factory in April, 2014. The Tianjin factory was closed in December, 2018. This newly closed Huizhou factory was established in 1992 with an initial investment of US$190.7 million. Its monthly smartphone manufacturing capacity was 400,000. Samsung has been shifting its investments from China to Vietnam. In the past ten years, Samsung’s total investment in Vietnam grew from US$630 million to US$17.3 billion, with eight factories. Also, Samsung has its largest handset factory in India, producing 120 million handsets per year. Analysts pointed out that, given the growing cost of labor in China, Samsung has little reason to manufacture there.

Source: Sina, October 2, 2019
https://news.sina.cn/2019-10-02/detail-iicezueu9726872.d.html?vt=4

Aboluowang: China’s Internet Users Say Invention to Break VPN Technology is “Inhuman”

Many internet users in China use VPN (Virtual private network) to break the fire wall in order to access the websites overseas. Three teachers and students from the Beijing Institute of Technology invented the latest method of making it more difficult for people to use VPN in China. According to an article from Aboluowang, three teacher and students from the Beijing Institute of Technology recently invented a technology which uses online memory to detect and follow VPN identity. In March of 2019, the team filed a patent application. However, Internet users in China widely criticized their actions calling it an “inhuman and immoral invention.” Some online experts who saw the patent application also noticed that it didn’t detail the core technology. They speculated that there was a possibility that the application was submitted to deceive people in order to swindle them out of some research funds. Some Internet users are also optimistic and believe that even if the patent turns out to be useful, there will be a corresponding technology to break it.

Source: Aboluowang, October 6, 2019
http://www.aboluowang.com/2019/1006/1352211.html

China Times: Huawei Will “Optimize” Its Workforce

Major Taiwanese newspaper China Times recently reported that, according to Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, to ensure competitiveness, Huawei must refresh ten percent of its upper management every year. The goal is to replace all the “lazy people” on the management team in three to five years. Also, according to leaked internal news, Huawei is planning to lay off around 6,000 people by the end of September, under the name of workforce optimization. Multiple Huawei employees confirmed that they themselves were asked to leave the company by the end of September. Some internal sources also said that new college graduates hired by Huawei with less than one and a half years of service time would be fired directly. Every day, the company’s internal employees’ forum is full of negative discussions. Huawei declined to make an official comment. Founder Ren Zhengfei suggested that, those who may be laid off can make themselves useful. For example, they can join new product development “death squads” for a final chance.

Source: China Times, September 17, 2019
https://www.chinatimes.com/realtimenews/20190917004240-260410?chdtv

DW Chinese: Global Times Chief Hu Xijin Complained about the Great Firewall

Deutsche Welle Chinese Edition recently reported that Global Times (Huanqiu) Editor in Chief Hu Xijin just posted a complaint on social media Weibo that it has been really hard to get onto the “foreign Internet.” Hu and the Global Times are strong defenders of the Communist Party’s propaganda policies and Internet access control policies. However, they were often given privileges to get outside the Great Firewall to speak for the Party. Hu has been actively posting pro-Mainland messages on twitter for over a year now. It appears he just lost his access to the outside Internet world. China is currently in preparing for the celebration of the Communist government’s 70th anniversary. Internet access controls have been tightened up. Within two hours, Hu’s complaint on Weibo was quickly deleted. Chinese President Xi Jinping recently pointed out that the Chinese internet needs to be “safe and controllable.” China has also been cracking down on VPN providers recently. Hu Xijin also defended the Great Firewall himself when he had an interview with Hong Kong TVB, saying controlling access to outside networks is necessary.

Source: DW Chinese, September 18, 2019
https://bit.ly/2ksBcoB