China celebrates completion of rival sat navigation system

9:59:00 PM

(AP) China is celebrating the completion of its BeiDou Navigation Satellite System that could rival the U.S. Global Positioning System and significantly boost China’s security and geopolitical clout.

President Xi Jinping, the leader of the ruling Communist Party and the People’s Liberation Army, officially commissioned the system Friday at a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

That followed a declaration that the 55th and final geostationary satellite in the constellation launched June 23 was operating after having completed all tests.

The satellite is part of the third iteration of the BeiDou system known as BDS-3, which began providing navigation services in 2018 to countries taking part in China’s sprawling “Belt and Road” infrastructure initiative along with others.

As well as being a navigation aid with an extremely high degree of accuracy, the system offers short message communication of up to 1,200 Chinese characters and the ability to transmit images.

Foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the system is already in use in more than half the world’s nations and stressed China’s dedication to the peaceful use of space and desire to work with other countries.

“China is willing to continue to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in space and share the achievements of space development with other countries on the basis of mutual respect, openness, inclusiveness, equality and mutual benefit,” Wang said at a daily briefing.

While China says it seeks cooperation with other satellite navigation systems, BeiDou could ultimately compete against GPS, Russia’s GLONASS and the European Union’s Galileo networks. That’s similar to how Chinese mobile phone makers and other producers of technically sophisticated hardware have taken on their foreign rivals.

The official Xinhua News Agency said BeiDou is compatible with the three other systems but gave no details on how they would work together.

For China, among the chief advantages of the system, whose construction began 30 years ago, is the ability to replace GPS for guiding its missiles, especially important now amid rising tensions with Washington.

It also stands to raise China’s economic and political leverage over nations adopting the system, ensuring that they line up behind China’s position on Taiwan, Tibet the South China Sea and other sensitive matters or risk losing their access.

Key to China’s success was the China Academy of Space Technology’s development of rubidium atomic clocks that provide time and frequency standards for BDS satellites, Xinhua said.

It said the system was proof that attempts by Washington to impose a “tough hi-tech blockage” and crackdown on Chinese companies such as Huawei had failed.

“In spite of such measures, China’s innovation capability has only grown stronger. Just as President Xi recently said at a symposium on China’s economic work: ’No country nor individual can stop the historical pace of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” Xinhua said.

Source: Associated Press

China celebrates completion of rival sat navigation system China celebrates completion of rival sat navigation system Reviewed by AK47 on 9:59:00 PM Rating: 5

New AI underwater vehicles could hold key to final frontier

12:58:00 PM

(China Daily) As bipedal and predominantly land-based animals, human beings, while having an affinity with water, do not really count lakes and seas as part of our realm.

To us, the exploration of land comes much more naturally, to the point where we have actually mapped more of the solid surface of the moon than of our own oceans.

Using technology to help reduce this disparity, as well as increase the effectiveness of our activities in marine environments is of interest to many research companies looking for the next leap in progression.

The area of underwater AI robotics is fast becoming a field in which China is a world specialist.

Chinese research company Tianjin Deepinfar Ocean Technology earlier this month secured $17 million in B+ series funding, fast tracking its way onto a successful IPO on Shanghai’s STAR board.

Devices of the future could revolutionize numerous fields in which access and maintenance is difficult, in areas such as water rescue, hydropower, aquaculture, oil production, and underwater engineering.

Companies such as Tianjin Deepinfar, alongside others such as Edgetech in the United States and Rovco in the United Kingdom, produce what are called AUVs, or Autonomous Underwater Vehicles. These are robotic devices that are equipped with underwater propulsion systems complete with onboard computing abilities to navigate obstacles independently. Every area, from the military to science, has seen the advent of such machines, and their phenotypes vary wildly, just as much as their marine biological sea creature counterparts.

Robots designed for exploration, search and rescue, or underwater engineering all take on different shapes, ranging from torpedo-shaped self-driving submarines, to deep sea floor crawlers that look like huge slugs.

The advance of sophisticated computing power and improved power storage has increased the possibilities for this strange and other-worldly area of robotics.

Beyond traditional research, the future of AUV applications is also exciting. The flair that AUVs have for studying lakes and deep sea beds has meant that they are also of interest to those involved in the exploration of space. Sensors of all sorts that can measure elements and compounds on our planet can also be used for other predominantly liquid bodies in the solar system, such as some of the Jovian moons. They are also capable of detecting the presence of microscopic life, opening up the potential for future exciting discoveries in the solar system.

Hobbyist AUVs may also become a mainstream market in the next few years as the technology progresses. Just as drone hobbyists remained a fringe minority interest for a few years before exploding into commercial popularity, so too may AUVs.

Competitions such as Robosub in the US offer games in which AUV operators compete against each other to explore and accomplish marine objectives. Hobbyists may fit their AUVs with sonar, lights, cameras, and whatever they deem necessary.

A future leisure industry for AUVs, when the technology and economies of scale exist to make them truly accessible, may open up a huge market, considering the vast number of people around the world living near a body of water.

Soon, advances in this field of underwater research may not only allow us to explore more of our ocean for the benefit of geologists, the oil industry, or the military. They may offer us an insight into the ponds, lakes, and streams that hide secrets in our communities, opening up a huge leisure industry in the process. They could also hold the potential for us to explore worlds beyond our own, which also share liquid water. The possibility for AUVs literally stretches from our backyards to outer space.

Source: By Barry He | China Daily Global | Updated: 2020-07-30 05:08 

New AI underwater vehicles could hold key to final frontier New AI underwater vehicles could hold key to final frontier Reviewed by AK47 on 12:58:00 PM Rating: 5

Tencent to Pick Up Stake in Shanghai-listed Weaver Network for $110 Million

9:58:00 AM

(Caixin) Tencent has entered into an agreement to pick up a 5 per cent stake in Shanghai-listed office automation solutions provider Weaver Network for over 771 million yuan ($110 million). 

The deal comes at a time when the COVID-19 outbreak has further accelerated the adoption of intelligent office solutions in China.

Shenzhen-based Tencent will purchase 10.6 million ordinary shares, or a 5 per cent stake, in Weaver Network at a price of about 72.7 yuan ($10.4) apiece through Tencent Industrial Investment Fund, Weaver Network disclosed in a filing with the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) on July 27.

Tencent will become the largest institutional shareholder of Weaver Network after the transaction.

The filing indicates that Tencent already signed the agreement on July 24 with the seller, Wei Jinkun, a shareholder of Weaver Network and the father of the company founder and chairman, Wei Lidong.

Wei Jinkun and Wei Lidong currently hold an aggregate of nearly 121.8 million ordinary shares, or a 57.36 per cent stake, in Weaver Network. After the transaction, their shares will be diluted to 52.36 per cent, at about 111.2 million ordinary shares.

Established in 2011, Shanghai-based Weaver Network provides office automation solutions and collaborative management software to help enterprises improve work efficiency.

The company delivers products and solutions to clients in a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, real estate, financial, healthcare, tourism, and transportation.

Some of its corporate clients include Hong Kong-listed retail pharmacy firm Shanghai Pharma, Chinese conglomerate Fosun Group, real estate developer Greenland Group, and Beijing-based insurer PICC, per the company website.

Weaver Network raised 248 million yuan ($35 million) in an initial public offering (IPO) in Shanghai in January 2017. Its shares are listed under the symbol “603039.”

The company booked 201 million yuan ($29 million) in revenue in the first quarter of 2020, down 1.98 per cent compared to the same period in 2019. Its net profit attributable to shareholders decreased by 2.22 per cent to about 19 million yuan ($3 million) during the period, according to its latest financial report.

Source: Deal Street Asia via Caixin Eudora Wang / Jul 29, 2020 07:00 PM / Business & Tech

Tencent to Pick Up Stake in Shanghai-listed Weaver Network for $110 Million Tencent to Pick Up Stake in Shanghai-listed Weaver Network for $110 Million Reviewed by AK47 on 9:58:00 AM Rating: 5

China’s EHang Gets Green Light to Test Self-Flying Vehicles in Quebec

6:58:00 AM

(Caixin) Chinese flying carmaker EHang has obtained a Canadian test flight permit for its flagship passenger-grade autonomous aerial vehicle, EHang 216, as the company tries to commercialize its self-flying vehicle services.

The Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC), which was issued by the Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), allows EHang 216 to conduct routine trial flights in Quebec, the company said in a statement Wednesday.

“This is another milestone in regulatory breakthroughs for EHang 216 and the first of this kind of permit for periodic operations of passenger-grade autonomous aerial vehicles,” Ehang said.

EHang has so far gained test flight approvals from aviation authorities in countries including China, the U.S. and Norway, the company said.

In China, EHang has been testing its products for various uses including sightseeing, cargo logistics and search and rescue operations.

Guangzhou-based EHang is building an “airport” for sightseeing trips in the southern Chinese city of Hezhou, scheduled to be able to handle the taking off and landing of around 20 EHang 216s by the end of 2020. The Nasdaq-listed company is also using EHang 216s in a commercial pilot program for heavy-lift air logistics in Taizhou, in the east of China.

In the first quarter of 2020, EHang posted a net loss of 20.4 million yuan ($2.9 million) on revenues of 18.8 million yuan, according to the company’s quarterly earnings report. During the period, the company sold nine EHang 216s, compared with three units a year earlier, the financial report said.

Source: Caixin Ding Yi / Jul 30, 2020 05:11 PM 

China’s EHang Gets Green Light to Test Self-Flying Vehicles in Quebec China’s EHang Gets Green Light to Test Self-Flying Vehicles in Quebec Reviewed by AK47 on 6:58:00 AM Rating: 5

Treasury to Make TikTok Recommendations to Trump This Week

3:50:00 AM

(WSJ) Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday that a Treasury Department-led review into whether popular Chinese video-sharing app TikTok poses threats to U.S. national security will present its recommendations to President Trump this week.

U.S. national-security experts are investigating TikTok and a 2017 transaction that propelled its growth, an inquiry that has yet to wrap up after months.

U.S. officials say they are concerned that TikTok, owned by Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd., could pass on data it collects from Americans streaming videos to China’s authoritarian government. They also are increasingly concerned that the app might be spreading Chinese propaganda and that the platform’s moderators could be censoring content to appease Beijing.

TikTok’s platform, filled with goofy user-made dance and music videos, has been downloaded more than 180 million times in the U.S., according to market research firm Sensor Tower.

TikTok has said that the Chinese government hasn’t asked TikTok to censor content and that its content-moderation policies aren’t influenced by any government.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently suggested the U.S. might either ban or limit users’ access to the app.

Asked by reporters Wednesday about the potential ban, Mr. Trump responded: “We’re looking at TikTok. We’re thinking about making a decision.”

Mr. Mnuchin, speaking alongside Mr. Trump, added: “We’ll be making a recommendation to the president on it this week. We have lots of alternatives.” He didn’t elaborate on those options.

The review of TikTok has centered around ByteDance’s 2017 acquisition of a similar video-sharing platform called, a Shanghai-based platform that had built a strong U.S. user base. After the acquisition,’s platform was discontinued, and users who wanted to share videos could continue to do so on TikTok’s platform.

Mr. Mnuchin confirmed Wednesday that the TikTok review was being conducted by the Treasury-led Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., or Cfius, a panel of federal agencies that reviews deals involving foreign money to ensure they don’t put the country’s national security at risk. The panel has the power to review deals that involve U.S. companies, such as the 2017 acquisition.

If the Treasury-led panel can’t agree on whether TikTok is a security threat, it can ask Mr. Trump to decide. The president has the authority to declare that the transaction poses a threat. He also has the power to order TikTok’s owners to sell their stake to other investors who don’t pose a national security threat.

The comments from Messrs. Trump and Mnuchin came as top U.S. technology executives were preparing to testify before Congress.

“We’re going to be watching the hearings today very closely,” Mr. Trump said. “Because there’s no question that what the big tech companies are doing is very bad.”

In his prepared remarks, Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg made it clear that he intends to address threats from China—a not-so-veiled reference to TikTok’s rise.

TikTok’s new CEO, Kevin Mayer, fired back in a blog post Wednesday morning, disparaging Facebook’s “copycat” efforts to match TikTok and saying many attacks on the company are “disguised as patriotism.”

The blog post by Mr. Mayer, hired away from Walt Disney Co. in May, was the CEO’s most direct effort to address the national-security and privacy concerns that some lawmakers have raised about the app.

“For our skeptics, I am confident we have the answers and where we do not, we will improve,” he wrote. “TikTok has become the latest target, but we are not the enemy.”

Source: Wall Street Journal by Katy Stech Ferek

Treasury to Make TikTok Recommendations to Trump This Week Treasury to Make TikTok Recommendations to Trump This Week Reviewed by AK47 on 3:50:00 AM Rating: 5

Huawei overtakes Samsung as top handset maker thanks to robust China sales

12:41:00 AM

(Reuters) China’s Huawei Technologies snatched the title of biggest smartphone seller from Samsung Electronics in the second quarter, underscoring the resilience of the China market even as global demand for phones plunged amid the pandemic. 

Huawei shipped 55.8 million devices in the April-June period, trumping Samsung’s 53.7 million, according to data from research firm Canalys.

The Chinese company has felt the heat of U.S. sanctions that have disrupted its business overseas, but the latest numbers show its rising dominance in its home market.

Huawei now sells nearly two-thirds of its handsets in China, which took an early hit from the coronavirus pandemic but has since reclaimed ground as new cases have dwindled. Smartphone makers dominant in other countries are still struggling as new virus cases continue to rise.

Huawei’s sales fell 5% from the same quarter a year earlier, while South Korea’s Samsung posted a 30% drop due to weak demand in key markets including Brazil, the United States and Europe.

“Our business has demonstrated exceptional resilience in these difficult times,” a Huawei spokesman said. 

Domestic sales rose 8%, but Huawei’s overseas shipments fell 27% in the quarter.

The company’s stint as top seller may prove short-lived once other markets recover, a senior Huawei employee with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Samsung said on Thursday it expects smartphone demand to pick up in the second half of the year.

The United States has effectively blocked Huawei from using Google’s services, damaging the attractiveness of the Chinese company’s phones abroad, and limited its access to chips crucial for 5G networking. 

S&P Global Ratings said in a report on Wednesday the latest restrictions on Huawei could wipe out $25 billion in revenue from several Asia-based firms. Huawei has yet to publicly address the impact these curbs will have on its operations.

It remains unclear how much of Huawei’s second-quarter sales were driven by its 5G smartphones and high-end models that are most vulnerable to the restrictions, said Nicole Peng, vice president of Mobility at Canalys.

Source: Reuters; Reporting by David Kirton; Editing by Richard Pullin  

Huawei overtakes Samsung as top handset maker thanks to robust China sales Huawei overtakes Samsung as top handset maker thanks to robust China sales Reviewed by AK47 on 12:41:00 AM Rating: 5

Qualcomm Reached New Patent Licensing Agreement With Huawei

12:12:00 AM

Qualcomm recently announced that the company has reached a new licensing agreement with Huawei.

Qualcomm did not disclose the specific content of the agreement; however, it revealed that the related value was about USD1.8 billion. Qualcomm announced that its operating revenue prediction for the fourth financial quarter would be between USD5.5 billion and USD6.3 billion. If Huawei’s outstanding payment was included, the operating revenue would be between USD7.3 billion and USD8.1 billion.

At present, Huawei is still banned from purchasing chips from Qualcomm.

Qualcomm said that by closing this long-term agreement with Huawei, Qualcomm had signed patent licensing agreements with all major mobile phone manufacturers.

Qualcomm Reached New Patent Licensing Agreement With Huawei Qualcomm Reached New Patent Licensing Agreement With Huawei Reviewed by AK47 on 12:12:00 AM Rating: 5

Qualcomm Inks Licensing Deal With Huawei Despite U.S.-China Tensions

9:26:00 PM

(WSJ) U.S. mobile-phone chip maker Qualcomm Inc. said it resolved a protracted licensing dispute with China’s Huawei Technologies Co. and signed a long-term deal with the smartphone maker despite heightened tensions between the U.S. and China.

Qualcomm on Wednesday said it would receive a $1.8 billion lump-sum payment from the Chinese tech giant to cover previously unpaid licensing fees. The settlement was paired with a multiyear agreement to license Qualcomm’s patented technologies for Huawei use.

The deal will drive a significant increase to future sales, Qualcomm Chief Executive Steve Mollenkopf said, declining to quantify the boost. He called the twin agreements a positive outcome for the business going forward and an issue the company was pleased to see wrapped up.

The agreement was unexpected given the backdrop of an increasingly acrimonious political battle between Washington and Beijing over technologies broadly and Huawei in particular. The Trump administration has accused China of stealing trade secrets and using technology, including Huawei’s, as a vehicle to potentially conduct espionage. China and Huawei have denied those charges.

As part of that tussle, the administration and China have imposed tariffs on each other, including on electronics. In 2018, President Trump blocked the $117 billion takeover bid of Qualcomm by rival chip maker Broadcom Inc., which was previously based in Singapore. The administration saw the deal as a threat to U.S. leadership over China in technological arenas such as the emerging field of superfast 5G communications. 

Washington has imposed restrictions on sales to Huawei and several other Chinese companies. While those have all but stopped Qualcomm’s chip sales to Huawei, they don’t affect the licensing arrangement covered by the latest accord.

The San Diego-based chip maker announced the Huawei pact when reporting third-quarter earnings that saw sales almost halve from the year prior to $4.89 billion, as the coronavirus pandemic weighed on smartphone sales. Profit fell 60% to $845 million year over year. Sales and profit beat Wall Street expectations.

Qualcomm forecast sales in the current quarter of $7.3 billion to $8.1 billion, bolstered by the Huawei payment. The outlook reflects an assumed 15% year-over-year fall in smartphone shipments because of the pandemic and, the company said, the delayed launch of a flagship 5G phone. Qualcomm, which didn’t name the phone vendor, is a supplier to Apple Inc., which, people familiar with the matter have said, has delayed its launch of its first 5G phone later this year. 

Qualcomm’s business is split into two parts, one that makes chips and another that collects licensing fees on its patented technologies, many of which are included in cellular communications standards that virtually all mobile phones use. Its licensing practices have come under growing dispute in recent years, however, as some customers argued Qualcomm was using its leverage as a chip supplier to extract unfair patent fees. Qualcomm is battling an antitrust case brought by the Federal Trade Commission over its licensing practices. The case, initially won by the FTC, is under appeal.

Apple last year resolved a long-running licensing dispute with Qualcomm, which got a payout of at least $4.5 billion in conjunction with a multiyear chip-supply deal. As Huawei and Qualcomm negotiated a settlement in their fight, the Chinese company made interim payments of some of the licensing fees it owed.

Source: Wall Street Journal by Asa Fitch

Qualcomm Inks Licensing Deal With Huawei Despite U.S.-China Tensions Qualcomm Inks Licensing Deal With Huawei Despite U.S.-China Tensions Reviewed by AK47 on 9:26:00 PM Rating: 5

WeChat Stopped Services To Users Registered With Indian Phone Numbers

8:31:00 PM

According to reports in foreign media, a large number of Indian users claimed that they were forced to log out when using WeChat and could no longer log in.

When the account was logged out, the user received a message from the WeChat team that said according to Indian law, they cannot provide WeChat services at the moment. They value every user and data security and privacy are the most important to them. They are in contact with relevant departments and hope to resume services in the future.

It is said that users who registered with Indian local mobile phone numbers were affected. For those who registered with Chinese or other non-Indian mobile phone numbers, they can still use it normally.

So far, WeChat has not yet officially responded to the suspension of services for Indian users.

On June 29, 2020, the Indian government banned 59 Chinese applications, including UC News, UC Browser, TikTok, WeChat, and Weibo due to security concerns. As a result, Alibaba already shut down its UC Browser and UC News operations in India.

WeChat Stopped Services To Users Registered With Indian Phone Numbers WeChat Stopped Services To Users Registered With Indian Phone Numbers Reviewed by AK47 on 8:31:00 PM Rating: 5

Exclusive: Alibaba, Jack Ma summoned by Indian court on former employee's complaint

6:25:00 PM

(Reuters) An Indian court has summoned Alibaba and its founder Jack Ma in a case in which a former employee in India says he was wrongfully fired after objecting to what he saw as censorship and fake news on company apps, documents seen by Reuters showed.

The case comes weeks after India cited security concerns in banning Alibaba’s UC News, UC Browser and 57 other Chinese apps after a clash between the two countries’ forces on their border.

Following the ban, which China has criticized, India sought written answers from all affected companies, including whether they censored content or acted for any foreign government.

In court filings dated July 20 and previously not reported, the former employee of Alibaba’s UC Web, Pushpandra Singh Parmar, alleges the company used to censor content seen as unfavorable to China and its apps UC Browser and UC News showcased false news “to cause social and political turmoil”.

Civil Judge Sonia Sheokand of a district court in Gurugram, a satellite city of India’s capital, New Delhi, has issued summons for Alibaba, Jack Ma and about a dozen individuals or company units, asking them to appear in court or through a lawyer on July 29, court documents showed.

The judge has also sought written responses from the company and its executives within 30 days, according to the summons.

UC India said in a statement it had been “unwavering in its commitment to the India market and the welfare of its local employees, and its policies are in compliance with local laws. We are unable to comment on ongoing litigation”.

Alibaba representatives did not respond to requests for comment from the Chinese company or on behalf of Jack Ma.

Parmar, who worked as an associate director at the UC Web office in Gurugram until October 2017 and is seeking $268,000 in damages, referred Reuters queries to his lawyer, Atul Ahlawat, who declined to comment saying the matter was sub judice.

The court case is the latest hurdle for Alibaba in India after the Indian government’s app ban, following which UC Web has started laying off some staff in India.

Before the apps were banned, the UC Browser had been downloaded at least 689 million times in India, while UC News had 79.8 million downloads, most during 2017 and 2018, data from analytics firm Sensor Tower showed.


India has said it banned the 59 apps after it received “credible inputs” that such apps posed a threat to India’s sovereignty. Its IT minister said the decision was taken to safeguard citizens’ data and public order.

In more than 200 pages of court filings, reviewed by Reuters, former employee Parmar included clippings of some posts showcased on the UC News app that he alleged were false.

One post from 2017 was headlined in Hindi: “2,000-rupee notes to be banned from midnight today”. Another headline of a 2018 post said: “Just now: War broke out between India and Pakistan” and contained description of firing across the disputed border between the countries.

Reuters could not independently verify the veracity of the claims in the court filing. India did not ban its 2,000-rupee currency note and no war occurred between India and Pakistan in 2018.

The lawsuit also contains a “sensitive words list” with key words in Hindi and English like “India-China border” and “Sino-India war” that the court filing alleges were used by UC Web to censor content on its platforms in India.

“In order to control any news related content to be published against China was automatically/manually rejected by an audit system evolved for this purpose,” the filing said.

The Chinese Embassy in New Delhi and China’s foreign ministry in Beijing, as well as India’s IT ministry in New Delhi, did not respond to requests for comment.

Source: Reuters; Reporting by Aditya Kalra in New Delhi; Additional reporting by Gabriel Crossley in Beijing; Editing by Robert Birsel 

Exclusive: Alibaba, Jack Ma summoned by Indian court on former employee's complaint Exclusive: Alibaba, Jack Ma summoned by Indian court on former employee's complaint Reviewed by AK47 on 6:25:00 PM Rating: 5

Tencent's WeChat Pay launched in Turkey

3:18:00 PM

(Xinhua) China’s third-party payment platform WeChat Pay, run by Chinese tech giant Tencent, was launched in Turkey on Tuesday.

Speaking at an online signing ceremony, Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said the payment service is first offered in Turkey’s Istanbul Airport, and later it will be used in different parts of the country.

He said Turkey is an important destination for Chinese tourists and the system will make the visit of Chinese travelers to Turkey more comfortable.

Cui Wei, the Chinese consul general in Istanbul, said the project further strengthened the economic cooperation between the two countries.

Last year, 426,000 Chinese tourists visited Turkey, with an 8.2 percent year-on-year increase, he said.

The WeChat Pay was introduced to Turkey with a joint effort of the Turkish subsidiary of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and Tencent, according to a press release issued after the ceremony.

The Istanbul Airport served 64 million passengers over the last year after it became operational in April 2019.

Source: Xinhua

Tencent's WeChat Pay launched in Turkey Tencent's WeChat Pay launched in Turkey Reviewed by AK47 on 3:18:00 PM Rating: 5

Nice Tuan raises $80M in fundraising round

12:17:00 PM

(China Daily) Chinese community-based online retailing platform Nice Tuan announced on Wednesday it has raised $80 million in its series C2 round of fundraising, as the startup strives to deepen new infrastructure efforts for higher growth.

Led by CDH Investments, the latest round also includes GGV Capital, INCE Capital and CMBC Capital Holdings Ltd. Cygnus Equity serves as the financial advisor.

The move came not long after the GGV led a $81.4 round of investment to Nice Tuan. Founded in June 2018, Nice Tuan is one of the fastest-growing startups in terms of community-based group buying.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, the Beijing-based startup has helped many epidemic-stricken areas with fresh food supply.

With the new financing, Nice Tuan said it will boost its basic warehousing capacity and strengthen its commodity supply chain system, and at the same time seek new market growth and make strides for sustainable growth.

“The company is expected to build 3 million self-pickup stations for group buying over the next three years, which will allow both urban and rural users in the country to get fresh food within an easy walking distance of three to five minutes,” it said.

Source: By Cheng Yu | | Updated: 2020-07-29 16:35 

Nice Tuan raises $80M in fundraising round Nice Tuan raises $80M in fundraising round Reviewed by AK47 on 12:17:00 PM Rating: 5

Sogou gets $2.1 billion offer from Tencent

9:16:00 AM

(China Daily) Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd has offered to buy out the country’s second-largest search engine Sogou Inc in a $2.1 billion deal, which analysts say could help Tencent build up its online search business and fend off competition from potential market entrants such as ByteDance and Alibaba.

Sogou announced on Monday night that it has received a preliminary nonbinding proposal from Tencent to acquire its remaining shares for $9 in cash per American depositary share.

The proposed transaction, if completed, would result in Sogou becoming a privately-held, indirectly wholly-owned subsidiary of Tencent, and Sogou would be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange, the company said in a statement.

Sogou’s shares jumped 48 percent to close at $8.51 on Tuesday after Tencent proposed to take the company private, valuing the Beijing-based firm at $3.3 billion.

“We thank Tencent for its recognition of Sogou’s value, technical capabilities and product innovation potential,” Sogou CEO Wang Xiaochuan posted on his WeChat account. “Next, we will carefully discuss and evaluate relevant issues so that Sogou can create greater value for users.”

Sogou said a special committee of the board consisting of independent directors will consider the proposal. Tencent responded that it has no additional comment on the proposal.

Founded in 2005, Sogou, which is backed by Chinese media and entertainment firm Ltd, made its debut on the US bourse in November 2017 and raised $585 million at $13 per share.

Tencent has been the single largest shareholder of Sogou. It owns about 39.2 percent of Sogou’s total shares and controls more than 50 percent of its voting rights, while Sohu owns a 33.8-percent stake and controls 44 percent of its voting rights. Sogou’s search engine is integrated within Tencent’s massively popular WeChat messaging app.

Thomas Chong, an equity analyst at Jefferies, wrote in a note that the proposal was a “surprise to the street” as analysts had not anticipated that Tencent would privatize Sogou. “We consider there will be more synergies between Sogou and Tencent in search and smart devices in the future.”

Shen Meng, director of boutique investment bank Chanson& Co, said it cannot be ruled out that Sogou will explore a listing on the science and technology innovation board or the STAR Market after privatization, in an attempt to get a higher valuation and more capital resources.

Sogou’s input method and search engine are important portals to improve the stickiness of apps, and Tencent could potentially integrate Sogou with its own WeChat search, Shen said, adding tech heavyweights such as Tencent, ByteDance and Baidu will also make use of the search engine to compete in other business sectors.

Tencent has updated the search functions within its WeChat, and allowed people to search for a wide range of contents, including news, knowledge and mini programs, an applike service embedded in the WeChat ecosystem.

Source: By Fan Feifei | China Daily | Updated: 2020-07-29 09:06 

Sogou gets $2.1 billion offer from Tencent Sogou gets $2.1 billion offer from Tencent Reviewed by AK47 on 9:16:00 AM Rating: 5

U.S. cybersecurity firm says Beijing-linked hackers target Vatican ahead of talks

6:16:00 AM

(Reuters) Hackers linked to the Chinese government have infiltrated Vatican computer networks, including the Roman Catholic Church’s Hong Kong-based representative, a U.S. firm that tracks state-backed cyber attacks said on Wednesday.

It said the attacks began in May. The Vatican and Beijing were expected to engage in talks this year over the renewal of a landmark 2018 deal that stabilized relations between China and the Church.

U.S. cybersecurity firm Recorded Future said in the report that the attacks targeted the Vatican and the Catholic diocese of Hong Kong, including the head of the Hong Kong Study Mission, who is seen as Pope Francis’ de facto representative to China.

The report said the targets included communications between the Hong Kong diocese and the Vatican and used similar tools and methods previously identified with Chinese state-backed hacking groups.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin, speaking at a daily news conference in Beijing on Wednesday, said that China is a “staunch defender” of cybersecurity.

Ample evidence rather than conjecture is needed when investigating cyber events, said Wang. 

Beijing routinely denies it engages in any state-backed hacking attempts, and says it is a victim of such threats.

A Vatican spokesperson had no immediate comment. The Hong Kong Study Mission did not respond to a request for comment.

The reported hacking follows an extremely rare meeting between Beijing and the Vatican’s foreign minister earlier this year in Germany, marking the highest-level official encounter between the two sides in decades.

Relations between the two have been improving and they have been expected to renew the provisional two-year deal on the operation of the Catholic Church in China this September.

A Chinese delegation had been due to visit the Vatican as part of continuing talks but there was no indication if or when they would travel because of the coronavirus outbreak, a senior Vatican source has said.

The source, who spoke to Reuters before the hacking report, said it was still not clear if the deal would be automatically extended because of the pandemic and for how long.

Source: Reuters; Reporting by Cate Cadell and Gabriel Crossley in Beijing, Greg Torode in Hong Kong and Philip Pullella in Rome; Editing by Tony Munroe, Raju Gopalakrishnan and Gareth Jones 

U.S. cybersecurity firm says Beijing-linked hackers target Vatican ahead of talks U.S. cybersecurity firm says Beijing-linked hackers target Vatican ahead of talks Reviewed by AK47 on 6:16:00 AM Rating: 5

Harvard professor accused of lying about China ties faces U.S. tax charges

3:10:00 AM

(Reuters) U.S. prosecutors brought tax charges on Tuesday against a Harvard University professor accused of lying to authorities about his ties to a China-run recruitment program and funding he allegedly received from the Chinese government for research.

Charles Lieber, the former chair of Harvard’s chemistry and chemical biology department, was charged in an indictment filed in federal court in Boston with failing to report income he received from Wuhan University of Technology in China.

The four tax-related counts are in addition to two counts of making false statements to federal authorities that Lieber, 61, pleaded not guilty to in June.

Marc Mukasey, his lawyer, said in a statement that Lieber was innocent. “He didn’t hide anything, and he didn’t get paid as the government alleges,” he said.

Lieber’s case is one of the highest-profile to emerge from a U.S. Justice Department crackdown on Chinese influence within universities amid concerns about spying and intellectual property theft by the Chinese government.

The case centers on China’s Thousand Talents Program, which U.S. authorities say China uses to entice overseas Chinese citizens and foreign researchers to share their knowledge with China in exchange for perks including research funding.

Prosecutors said Lieber in 2011 became a “strategic scientist” at Wuhan University of Technology and later contractually participated in the Thousand Talents Program.

Under his contract, Lieber was paid up to $50,000 a month and living expenses of up to $158,000, prosecutors said. He also was awarded more than $1.5 million to establish a research lab, the prosecutors said.

In exchange, Lieber agreed to organize international conferences, publish articles and apply for patents in the university’s name, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors alleged that in 2018 and 2019, Lieber lied to U.S. authorities about his involvement in the Thousand Talents Plan and affiliation with Wuhan University of Technology.

Source: Reuters; Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston; Editing by Peter Cooney 

Harvard professor accused of lying about China ties faces U.S. tax charges Harvard professor accused of lying about China ties faces U.S. tax charges Reviewed by AK47 on 3:10:00 AM Rating: 5

Arm Ltd accuses Chinese subsidiary's CEO of 'creating a culture of fear'

12:08:00 AM

(Reuters) Softbank Group Corp-owned chip technology firm Arm Ltd fired back against its Chinese subsidiary in a statement on Wednesday, accusing Arm China CEO Allen Wu of “propagating false information and creating a culture of fear and confusion among Arm China employees.”

The remarks are the latest in an ongoing conflict between the two companies, which first emerged in June.

“Allen’s focus on his own self-preservation has also put China semiconductor innovation at risk as he has attempted to block the critical communication and support our China partners require from Arm for ongoing and future chip designs,” UK-based Arm Ltd said in the statement.

Arm China did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Arm Ltd’s comments come hours after Arm China published an open letter signed by nearly 200 staff members accusing Arm Ltd of attempting to cut Arm China’s contracts with its business partners.

The rift between the two firms first became public in June, when Arm Ltd announced that Wu would be replaced as the CEO of Arm China. Immediately following that announcement, Arm China issued a statement that said Wu would remain in his position.

Arm China, generates revenue by licensing chip architecture to Chinese companies. The company was established in 2018 when SoftBank sold a 51% stake in Arm Ltd’s Chinese subsidiary, Arm Technology (China) Co Ltd, to a group of Chinese investors. SoftBank had acquired Arm in 2016 for $32 billion.

Source: Reuters; Reporting by Josh Horwitz; Editing by Jacqueline Wong  

Arm Ltd accuses Chinese subsidiary's CEO of 'creating a culture of fear' Arm Ltd accuses Chinese subsidiary's CEO of 'creating a culture of fear' Reviewed by AK47 on 12:08:00 AM Rating: 5

Exclusive: ByteDance investors value TikTok at $50 billion in takeover bid - sources

9:07:00 PM

(Reuters) Some investors of TikTok’s parent company ByteDance seeking to take over the popular social media app are valuing it at about $50 billion, significantly more than peers such as Snap Inc, according to people familiar with the matter.

Beijing-based ByteDance is considering a range of options for TikTok amid pressure from the United States to relinquish control of the app, which allows users to create short videos with special effects and has become wildly popular with U.S. teenagers. The app’s success has helped turn ByteDance into one of only a handful of truly global Chinese conglomerates.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a U.S. government panel which reviews deals by foreign acquirers for potential national security risks, has raised concerns about the safety of the personal data that TikTok handles under its Chinese owner, Reuters has previously reported.

Privately held ByteDance has received a proposal from some of its investors, including Sequoia and General Atlantic, to transfer majority ownership of TikTok to them, the sources said. It has also fielded acquisition interest in TikTok from other companies and investment firms, the sources said.

The investors’ bid values TikTok at 50 times its projected 2020 revenue of about $1 billion, according to the sources. By comparison, Snap is valued at 15 times its projected 2020 revenue, at about $33 billion, according to data provider Refinitiv.

It is unclear whether ByteDance’s founder and CEO, Yiming Zhang, will be satisfied with the offer. ByteDance executives recently discussed valuation projections for TikTok that exceed $50 billion, one of the sources said.

TikTok is growing rapidly as it rakes in more cash from advertising, and its management team expects to achieve $6 billion in revenue in 2021, one of the sources said. ByteDance, which owns other apps including TikTok’s Chinese counterpart, Douyin‎, has set itself a revenue target for 2020 of about 200 billion yuan ($28 billion), Reuters has previously reported.

ByteDance was valued at as much as $140 billion earlier this year when one of its shareholders, Cheetah Mobile Inc, sold a small stake in a private deal, one of the sources said.

If a deal for the whole of TikTok cannot be reached, ByteDance is exploring divesting only TikTok’s U.S. operations, one of the sources said. It is not clear what such a deal would be worth and what ties TikTok in the United States would maintain with its global operations.

There is no certainty that ByteDance will agree to any deal, the sources said. It is pushing ahead with structural changes that will further ringfence the U.S. business of TikTok from its global empire, the sources added. These changes could include a new holding company for TikTok and an independent board, one of the sources said, cautioning that no decision has been made. The company has already separated TikTok operationally from its other apps through dedicated teams.

The sources requested anonymity because the deliberations are confidential.

ByteDance, General Atlantic and Sequoia declined to comment, while Cheetah Mobile and a CFIUS spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment.

TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer said in a blog post on Wednesday that the company was committed to following U.S. laws, and was allowing experts to observe its moderation policies and examine the code that drives its algorithms.


As relations between the United States and China deteriorate over trade, Hong Kong’s autonomy, cyber security and the spread of the novel coronavirus, TikTok has emerged as a flashpoint in the dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

Last week, the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs unanimously passed a bill that would bar U.S. federal employees from using TikTok on government-issued devices. It will be taken up by the full Senate for a vote. The House of Representatives has already voted for a similar measure.

President Donald Trump and top administrations officials have said they are considering a broader ban on TikTok and other Chinese-linked apps.

ByteDance acquired Shanghai-based video app app in a $1 billion deal in 2017 and relaunched it as TikTok the following year. About 70% of the equity capital ByteDance has raised from outside investors has come from the United States, according to one of the sources.

Source: Reuters; Reporting by Echo Wang in New York and Kane Wu and Julie Zhu in Hong Kong; editing by Greg Roumeliotis, Leslie Adler and Louise Heavens  

Exclusive: ByteDance investors value TikTok at $50 billion in takeover bid - sources Exclusive: ByteDance investors value TikTok at $50 billion in takeover bid - sources Reviewed by AK47 on 9:07:00 PM Rating: 5

TikTok Could Be Tougher Target for Trump Administration

6:07:00 PM

(WSJ) The Trump administration’s efforts to thwart a perceived security threat from video-sharing app TikTok faces challenges beyond those it faced when taking on other Chinese-owned businesses such as Huawei Technologies Co., in part because the U.S. has never blacklisted a wildly popular app.

The millions of Americans who have flocked to TikTok for amusement during the coronavirus lockdown pose just one of several possible hurdles, which is likely leading the Trump administration to move cautiously as it considers taking action, said Samm Sacks, a cybersecurity specialist at Washington-based think tank New America.

“They are trying to figure out how to thread the needle and avoid that backlash,” Ms. Sacks said.

U.S. officials say they are concerned that TikTok, owned by Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd., could pass on the data it collects from Americans streaming videos to China’s authoritarian government. TikTok has said it would never do so. U.S. officials also are increasingly concerned about the risk of misinformation and Chinese propaganda being spread on the app.

The Trump administration has several tools at its disposal to hobble TikTok, including unwinding the cross-border merger that gave TikTok a big user base in the U.S.

Another possibility would be for President Trump to invoke his seldom-used international emergency economic powers to bar social-media apps with ties to foreign adversaries.

The administration also could seek to include TikTok under rules the Commerce Department is developing to ban the use and installation of foreign technology that threatens U.S. national security.

Yet another option would be to put the app on a so-called entity list, which the Commerce Department used to block U.S. companies from selling to Huawei. Unlike TikTok, however, Huawei never had a significant consumer market in the U.S.

Putting TikTok on the entity list—essentially an export black list—could force app providers such as Apple Inc.’s App Store and Google Play to drop TikTok from their offerings, and would likely be challenged, legal and cybersecurity specialists familiar with the issues say.

“Using export regulations may not actually legally apply to an app,” said Theresa Payton, former White House chief information officer under George W. Bush, who now runs a cybersecurity consulting firm. “Typically the U.S. uses it to bar companies from exporting key technology. Not sure they have jurisdiction or legal precedent to extend it to Apple and Google.”

Commerce Department officials didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

A TikTok spokesman said the company “won’t comment on specific theoretical options beyond saying that we are committed to ensuring the long-term success of TikTok in the U.S.”

TikTok parent ByteDance has recently considered changing the corporate structure of TikTok as it comes under scrutiny in the U.S. and elsewhere over its Chinese ties. TikTok also recently hired longtime Disney Co. executive Kevin Mayer, who is based in Los Angeles, as its CEO.

Best known for whimsical user-made dance and music videos, TikTok was second only to Zoom for downloads in the U.S. in the first half of 2020, according to market research firm Sensor Tower. The app has been downloaded more than 180 million times to date in the U.S. through Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

Any action against TikTok would likely further fray strained relations with China, but U.S. officials say Chinese-owned apps such as TikTok and Tencent Holdings Ltd. ’s multipurpose WeChat pose a risk through the data they soak up on American users.

“There are a number of administration officials who are looking at the national security risk as it relates to TikTok, WeChat and other apps that have the potential for national security exposure, specifically as it relates to the gathering of information on American citizens by a foreign adversary,” White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters recently. “I don’t think there’s any self-imposed deadline for action, but I think we are looking at weeks, not months.”

That is cheering some TikTok critics in Congress.

“I’m heartened by the tough tone” coming from the administration lately, said Sen. Josh Hawley (R., Mo.), who has introduced several bills taking aim at TikTok, including one to prevent federal employees from using it. “This isn’t going to stop” without concerted government action, he said, referring to apps tied to foreign adversaries.

Adding to the concerns is the looming election season. Some lawmakers worry that TikTok could become a haven for political misinformation and Chinese propaganda.

Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign, meanwhile, has run recent ads on Facebook accusing TikTok of spying on its users. “TikTok has been caught red-handed by monitoring what is on your phone’s clipboard,” one ad said.

“We don’t want to be in the business of casually stripping away Americans’ rights to use apps they like, but we must take into account when a foreign authoritarian regime that suppresses free speech for its citizens uses malign and covert means to influence speech in free countries,” said Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, in a statement.

Ms. Payton, who wrote “Manipulated: Inside the Cyberwar to Hijack Elections and Distort the Truth,” said TikTok’s young audience can be especially vulnerable to such misinformation.

“It could be a potential disaster for our presidential election cycle,” said Ms. Payton. “We used to socialize on our neighborhood square. Now with the pandemic this is our neighborhood square.”

Some are cautioning against the administration’s approach, however.

“TikTok is a potential security menace, but banning TikTok hardly confronts the profound threat China poses to our national security, economy, & democracy,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) tweeted recently.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, however, said on Fox News earlier this month that the administration is taking the perceived threat from TikTok seriously.

“With respect to Chinese apps on people’s cellphones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right,” he said.

Source: Wall Street Journal by John D. McKinnon and Shan Li

TikTok Could Be Tougher Target for Trump Administration TikTok Could Be Tougher Target for Trump Administration Reviewed by AK47 on 6:07:00 PM Rating: 5

HSBC denies Chinese media reports that it 'framed' Huawei

2:59:00 PM

(Reuters) HSBC on Saturday denied Chinese media reports that it had “framed” Huawei Technologies and played a role in the arrest of the chief financial officer (CFO) of the world’s biggest telecoms equipment maker.

In a statement posted on the bank’s Chinese WeChat messaging service account, the London-headquartered lender said it did not participate in the decision of the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate Huawei.

The HSBC statement comes a day after China’s official People’s Daily newspaper published a report accusing HSBC of being an accomplice of the United States and lying about Huawei, resulting in the arrest of its CFO Meng Wanzhou.

Meng was arrested in December 2018 at Vancouver International Airport on a warrant from the United States.

She is accused by U.S. authorities of bank fraud for misleading HSBC about Huawei’s relationship with a company operating in Iran, putting HSBC at risk of fines and penalties for breaking U.S. sanctions on Tehran.

“The context of the development of the Huawei incident clearly shows that the U.S. investigation of Huawei was not triggered by HSBC,” the bank said in its WeChat post, without directly referring to the People’s Daily report.

“HSBC has no malice against Huawei, nor has it ‘framed’ Huawei,” it said.

“In response to information requests from the U.S. Department of Justice, HSBC only provided factual information. HSBC has not ‘fabricated’ evidence or ‘concealed’ facts, nor will it distort facts or harm any customers for our own benefit.”

The People’s Daily report on Friday alleged HSBC was well aware of Huawei’s business in Iran, and had been “setting traps” for the company since 2012.

Other Chinese media, including the China Global Television Network, have made similar allegations against HSBC.

Meng is fighting extradition to the United States and has said she is innocent. She has been in house arrest in Vancouver since her detainment.

Source: Reuters; Reporting by Gabriel Crossley; Editing by Sumeet Chatterjee and Mark Potter 

HSBC denies Chinese media reports that it 'framed' Huawei HSBC denies Chinese media reports that it 'framed' Huawei Reviewed by AK47 on 2:59:00 PM Rating: 5

Tencent May Bid For French Mobile Game Publishing Company Voodoo

2:28:00 PM

According to reports in foreign media, Tencent is considering bidding for a minority stake in French mobile game publisher Voodoo.

Voodoo’s representative works include Roller Splat and Snake VS Block.

An insider revealed that Tencent plans to acquire about 20% to 25% shares of Voodoo for less than EUR500 million, which is about USD568 million. The insider also said that there are other companies bidding for the shares and it is still uncertain if Tencent can close the deal with Voodoo.

Prior to this, Ubisoft Entertainment and Zynga showed their interest in Voodoo. A media report in May 2020 revealed that Voodoo’s valuation had reached over USD1.6 billion.

At present, Voodoo’s majority shares are hold by co-founder Alexandre Yazdi and Laurent Ritter. In addition, Goldman Sachs’ private equity department West Street Capital Partners owns some shares of Voodoo.

Tencent May Bid For French Mobile Game Publishing Company Voodoo Tencent May Bid For French Mobile Game Publishing Company Voodoo Reviewed by AK47 on 2:28:00 PM Rating: 5

Putin says Russian Navy to get hypersonic nuclear strike weapons

11:53:00 AM

(Reuters) Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday the Russian Navy would be armed with hypersonic nuclear strike weapons and underwater nuclear drones, which the defense ministry said were in their final phase of testing.

Putin, who says he does not want an arms race, has often spoken of a new generation of Russian nuclear weapons that he says are unequalled and can hit almost anywhere in the world. Some Western experts have questioned how advanced they are.

The weapons, some of which have yet to be deployed, include the Poseidon underwater nuclear drone, designed to be carried by submarines, and the Tsirkon (Zircon) hypersonic cruise missile, which can be deployed on surface ships.

The combination of speed, maneuverability and altitude of hypersonic missiles, capable of traveling at more than five times the speed of sound, makes them difficult to track and intercept.

Speaking in St Petersburg at an annual naval parade that showcases Russia’s best ships, nuclear submarines and naval aviation, Putin said the navy’s capabilities were growing and it would get 40 new vessels this year.

He did not specify when it would receive new hypersonic weapons, but suggested that day was drawing closer.

“The widespread deployment of advanced digital technologies that have no equals in the world, including hypersonic strike systems and underwater drones, will give the fleet unique advantages and increased combat capabilities,” Putin said.

In a separate statement released via Russian news agencies, the defense ministry said testing of the Belgorod, the first submarine capable of carrying the Poseidon drones, was underway and testing of the weapons systems was nearing completion.

“Work is being successfully completed to create modern weapons systems for the Navy,” it was cited as saying.

Putin last year threatened to deploy hypersonic missiles on ships and submarines that could lurk outside U.S. territorial waters if the United States moved to deploy intermediate-range nuclear weapons in Europe.

Washington has not deployed such missiles in Europe, but Moscow is worried it might.

Source: Reuters; Editing by Barbara Lewis 

Putin says Russian Navy to get hypersonic nuclear strike weapons Putin says Russian Navy to get hypersonic nuclear strike weapons Reviewed by AK47 on 11:53:00 AM Rating: 5

Baidu, CNBM Signed Strategic Cooperation Agreement

10:48:00 AM

According to reports in Chinese local media, Baidu and China National Building Material Group have signed a strategic cooperation agreement.

Based on the agreement, the two parties will implement in-depth cooperation in various sectors, including intelligent logistics, digital mine, intelligent factory, industrial unmanned driving, data center new infrastructure, and enterprise AI brain.

For the first phase of the cooperation, the two parties already signed CNY27 million worth of contracts and the entire strategic cooperation value will be over CNY10 billion. To respond to China’s call for “new infrastructure”, the two parties will jointly accelerate digital and intelligent transformation of Chinese companies.

China National Building Material Group is a large comprehensive building material industrial group and a leading new material developer and comprehensive service provider. By the end of 2019, the group had total assets of CNY600 billion, annual operating revenue of CNY390 billion, and 200,000 employees. It has 13 listed companies, including two listed overseas.

Baidu, CNBM Signed Strategic Cooperation Agreement Baidu, CNBM Signed Strategic Cooperation Agreement Reviewed by AK47 on 10:48:00 AM Rating: 5

Tesla hiring in Shanghai as production ramps up

8:50:00 AM

(Reuters) Tesla Inc has launched a hiring spree in Shanghai with plans to bring on designers at its China studio and about 1,000 factory workers, job posts show, as the U.S. electric vehicle maker ramps up production in the world’s biggest auto market.

The posts on the Tesla human resources department’s official WeChat account mark the first time the California-based automaker has looked to hire designers in China. Tesla said in January it planned to open a design and research centre in China to make “Chinese-style” cars.

The posts did not reveal how many designers Tesla planned to hire.

The company also planned to hire 600 workers at stamping, bodywork, painting and assembly workshops in Shanghai, according to a separate job post by the Lingang local government. Another 150 workers were needed for quality checks, 200 for logistics work and 20 for security, it added.

Two sources familiar with the matter said the recruitment drive was partly for the preparation of Model Y sport-utility vehicles at the Shanghai plant. Tesla is building manufacturing facilities for Model Ys in Shanghai from next year.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The company delivered over 30,000 units in China in the past quarter, most of them locally made Model 3 sedans.

In March it advertised for solar and energy storage project managers in China, as it moves to expand its energy business into the country.

Source: Reuters; Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; Editing by Stephen Coates 

Tesla hiring in Shanghai as production ramps up Tesla hiring in Shanghai as production ramps up Reviewed by AK47 on 8:50:00 AM Rating: 5

Alibaba To Cut UCWeb Indian Operating Team After App Banned

7:01:00 AM

According to reports in foreign media, Alibaba has decided to close its UC Browser and UC News operation in India.

Prior to this, the Indian government announced on June 29 that due to security concerns, they had decided to ban 59 Chinese apps, including UCWeb, Vmate, TikTok, WeChat, and Weibo.

Information from employees of the company revealed that Alibaba’s UCWeb is cutting employees in India and some of them received a notice of layoff on July 15.

Alibaba said in the notice that the termination of employment was attributed to India’s ban on UCWeb and Vmate, which hindered the company’s ability to continue providing services in India.

Indian local media reports said that UC Browser usage in India is second only to Google and India is a major market of UC Browser. UC Browser has over 430 million global users, including over 130 million from India.

Alibaba To Cut UCWeb Indian Operating Team After App Banned Alibaba To Cut UCWeb Indian Operating Team After App Banned Reviewed by AK47 on 7:01:00 AM Rating: 5

China to cut broadband fees for companies by an average 15%

5:50:00 AM

(Reuters) China’s state planner said on Tuesday that it plans to cut broadband fees for companies by an average of 15%.

The measure is one of many that policymakers have announced to reduce costs for companies attempting to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Reuters; Reporting by Judy Hua and Huizhong Wu; Editing by Kim Coghill 

China to cut broadband fees for companies by an average 15% China to cut broadband fees for companies by an average 15% Reviewed by AK47 on 5:50:00 AM Rating: 5

Alibaba's International Site Provides CNY1 Billion Subsidy For New Foreign Trade

3:06:00 AM

Alibaba’s international site recently set up CNY1 billion “new foreign trade special subsidy” to help traditional foreign trade companies realize digital transformation.

It is said that for traditional foreign trade companies which only gained overseas orders through exhibitions, the new foreign trade special subsidy will help them complete digital transformation by providing six-month growth escort service.

Alibaba international site will provide full-chain one-stop hosting intelligent service to help those companies develop cross-border e-commerce from scratch and promote their growth in the fastest and easiest way.

At the same time, latest measures to support the digital transformation include full opening of various live streaming authorization and free participation in Alibaba international site online exhibition.

Alibaba's International Site Provides CNY1 Billion Subsidy For New Foreign Trade Alibaba's International Site Provides CNY1 Billion Subsidy For New Foreign Trade Reviewed by AK47 on 3:06:00 AM Rating: 5

Facebook Offers Money to Reel In TikTok Creators

2:49:00 AM

(WSJ)  Facebook Inc.’s Instagram has offered financial incentives to TikTok users with millions of followers to persuade them to use a new competing service, an escalation in a high-stakes showdown between the two social-media giants.

Instagram has made lucrative offers to some of TikTok’s most popular creators to use the new service, Reels, according to people familiar with the matter. Facebook is planning to unveil Reels next month. The potential payments for some would be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, some of the people said.

Many active TikTok users, known as creators, have gathered large followings on the platform. Companies have tried to reach these large audiences by paying popular creators to use specific songs, wear branded clothing and directly promote products in their videos.

Instagram has “approached a diverse range of creators about Reels in several of the countries where it’s currently being tested,” company spokeswoman Sarissa Thrower said. “We remain committed to investing in both our creators and their experience.”

The move is the most significant sign yet that Facebook intends for its Instagram Reels service to directly compete with ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok. Reels is an Instagram feature that, like TikTok, allows users to share short-form video, and is scheduled to launch in the U.S and several other countries next month.

The Instagram overtures to creators are the latest in a continuing back-and-forth between the two social-media giants. In recent years, TikTok has flooded Facebook and Instagram with ads, targeting their users on the home turf of the social media company.

To counter the Instagram push, TikTok announced a $200 million fund on Thursday that will help creators on the platform “realize additional earnings that help reward the care and dedication they put into creatively connecting with an audience that’s inspired by their ideas.”

Such payments in exchange for exclusive content from top creators aren’t unheard of on social-media platforms. Last year, talent agents representing online celebrities said Microsoft Corp. likely offered celebrity videogamer Ninja tens of millions of dollars to play games live on its now-shut Mixer streaming platform.

Facebook also isn’t alone in seeking to offer its own alternative to TikTok, which has skyrocketed in popularity among younger users, with 70% of 10-year-old girls with smartphones in the U.S. using the app in 2019 according to Jiminy, an app for parents that measures the smartphone habits of children. YouTube also said last week that it is testing new features that resemble video options available on TikTok.

The outreach campaign, which has taken place in recent weeks, comes as the Trump administration and some U.S. lawmakers are weighing limiting the access of U.S. users to TikTok. The Chinese-owned social-media platform has drawn criticism due to security and privacy concerns. TikTok has previously said it has never provided user data to the Chinese government and won’t do so.

In discussions that have taken place in the past month, Instagram has told creators it hopes to launch Reels with a splashy first week with numerous exclusive posts from prominent creators, some of the people said. It is offering the most money to creators who commit to posting their videos exclusively to Reels, according to a TikTok creator who is considering taking the deal.

For creators who won’t post exclusively to Reels, Instagram is asking that they post their videos to Reels before adding them to other platforms, known in industry terms as “first looks,” people familiar with the discussions said. Instagram is also offering to cover the costs of producing their videos. Instagram has used nondisclosure agreements to dissuade creators from sharing the terms of the potential deals, one person said.

A popular teenage TikTok user with millions of followers said that he would likely join Instagram Reels after the company reached out earlier this month. He declined to discuss the details of the call, saying that the company wanted him to be discreet.

Other TikTok creators who haven’t received offers from Instagram say they plan to sign up for Reels regardless, because they are concerned about TikTok’s future in the U.S.

Devain Doolaramani, a 22-year-old talent manager who said his company oversees about two dozen influencers, said speculation about TikTok’s uncertainty has driven him to want to diversify his talent roster.

“We are going to onboard all of them to REELS ASAP!” he said in an email.

Reels appears to be the latest Facebook product with features similar to those on TikTok. Lasso, an app launched by Facebook in 2018 that, like TikTok, allowed users to post short videos and view them in an algorithmic feed, was shut down earlier this month.

“Given that Lasso didn’t catch on, it’s not surprising to see Facebook try this tactic with a copycat product tied to Instagram,” a spokeswoman for TikTok said. “No matter how you dress things up, hundreds of millions of people truly just enjoy TikTok.”

Ms. Thrower said that Instagram is “responding to a demand, and working to innovate on the user experience, and our focus here is offering choice, which we believe is a great thing for people to have.”

As Facebook and TikTok square off in a contest for popular users, Facebook continues to deal with scrutiny of its competitive behavior in the past. Snap and other rivals have complained to federal regulators about what they say are Facebook’s efforts to thwart and undermine rivals. Facebook has previously said that its acquisitions fuel innovation and its addition of new services have given consumers more choices.

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg is set to testify before Congress at an antitrust hearing Wednesday, joining the CEOs of Apple Inc., Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google.

Source: Wall Street Journal by Euirim Choi

Facebook Offers Money to Reel In TikTok Creators Facebook Offers Money to Reel In TikTok Creators Reviewed by AK47 on 2:49:00 AM Rating: 5

ByteDance AI research head to leave as pressure mounts on TikTok

11:34:00 PM

(Reuters) Beijing-based ByteDance said on Tuesday the head of its artificial intelligence lab will leave the company, as its short-video app TikTok faces U.S. scrutiny over security and privacy issues. 

Ma Wei-Ying joined ByteDance from Microsoft to become a vice president and head of the AI lab in 2017.

His departure comes as TikTok faces regulatory challenges across the globe, and a potential ban by the U.S. government over suspicions Beijing could force its Chinese owner to turn over user data.

“We are extremely grateful to Wei-Ying for his important contribution to ByteDance,” a ByteDance spokeswoman said.

Ma will leave ByteDance this week, according to a person familiar with the matter. It is unclear who would replace him.

Ma did not immediately respond to a request to comment.

Trained in Taiwan and the United States, Ma was assistant managing director of Microsoft Research Asia before taking the post at ByteDance, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Technology news website The Information first reported Ma’s departure and said he planed to take a position at China’s Tsinghua University.

Reuters has reported that ByteDance is expanding its engineering and research team in Mountain View, California, and had hired more than 150 engineers there.

Source: Reuters; Reporting by Yingzhi Yang in Beijing and Brenda Goh in Shanghai; Editing by Stephen Coates 

ByteDance AI research head to leave as pressure mounts on TikTok ByteDance AI research head to leave as pressure mounts on TikTok Reviewed by AK47 on 11:34:00 PM Rating: 5

Tencent Plans To Fully Acquire Sogou

11:19:00 PM

Sogou recently confirmed that the company had received an initial non-binding proposal from Tencent which aimed to fully acquire Sogou at the price of USD9 per share.

If the transaction was completed, Sogou would become a fully-owned subsidiary of Tencent and it would be delisted from New York Stock Exchange.

Wang Xiaochuan, CEO of Sogou, said that they appreciated Tencent’s recognition of Sogou’s value, technology ability and product innovation ability. The company will carefully discuss and measure relevant issues to allow Sogou to continue to create greater value for users.

Prior to this, Tencent already invested USD448 million in Sogou in September 2013 and gained a 36.5% stake in the latter. After that, Tencent merged its search business and relevant assets into Sogou and Sogou continued its independent operation as a subsidiary of Sohu.

In November 2017, Sohu was listed on New York Stock Exchange.

By March 31, 2020, Tencent was the largest shareholder of Sogou with 39% shares; Sohu was the second largest shareholder with 33.8% shares; Sohu’s CEO Zhang Chaoyang had 6.4% shares; and Sogou’s CEO Wang Xiaochuan had 5.5% shares.

At present, Sogou has several main businesses, including search, input method, and smart hardware. Search and related revenue is the main income source of Sogou.

Tencent Plans To Fully Acquire Sogou Tencent Plans To Fully Acquire Sogou Reviewed by AK47 on 11:19:00 PM Rating: 5

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou demands release of spy agency documents linked to Canadian arrest

8:26:00 PM

(Reuters) Lawyers representing Huawei Technologies’ Meng Wanzhou, who is fighting against extradition to the United States, argued in a Canadian court on Monday that redacted documents prepared by the Canadian spy agency relating to her December 2018 arrest should be released.

The lawyers said national security should not limit the release of the documents, parts of which were made public during ongoing court proceedings over whether Meng, Huawei’s chief financial officer, should be extradited, court documents showed.

Meng’s lawyers have asked for additional documents from the Canadian government pertaining to her arrest, hoping to support their claim that Canadian authorities committed abuses of process during her arrest. The lawyers are pressing for a stay in Meng’s extradition.

Meng is accused by U.S. authorities of bank fraud for misleading HSBC about Huawei’s relationship with a company operating in Iran, putting HSBC at risk of fines and penalties for breaking U.S. sanctions on Tehran.

The documents in question relate to communications between the FBI and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and show the involvement of the Canadian spy agency in the arrest of Meng, which soured diplomatic ties between Ottawa and Beijing.

In a redacted document from Dec. 1, 2018, CSIS said it was advised by the FBI of plans to arrest Meng when she arrived on a flight at Vancouver International Airport later that same day.

Lawyers for the Canadian attorney general have released some of the requested documents, but claimed privilege over others, saying a full unredacted release of the documents would compromise national security.

“National security privilege should not be used to cover up abuse,” Meng’s lawyers wrote in a submission outlining their arguments. “Additionally, national security privilege should not be used to protect government enforcement officials from being embarrassed.”

A special closed hearing of the case will resume in the federal court on Thursday, during which the Canadian government’s lawyers will produce the redacted documents, to be reviewed by a court-approved representative for Meng’s legal team to assist the court to decide whether to release the documents in its entirety.

Source: Reuters; Reporting by Moira Warburton in Toronto; Editing by Tom Brown and Peter Cooney 

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou demands release of spy agency documents linked to Canadian arrest Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou demands release of spy agency documents linked to Canadian arrest Reviewed by AK47 on 8:26:00 PM Rating: 5

TikTok Plans To Increase 10,000 Jobs In US Within Three Years

7:24:00 PM

According to reports in foreign media, Chinese short video platform TikTok announced plans to increase 10,000 jobs in the United States over the next three years.

TikTok’s spokesperson said in a statement that those are all high-paying jobs, which will help the company continue to build fun and safe experience and protect their community privacy.

TikTok said that in 2020 their American employees have increased from 500 at the beginning of the year to nearly 1,400. New positions will be available in California, Texas, Florida, and New York and those positions will focus on sales, content review, engineering and customer support.

It is said that TikTok and its parent company ByteDance are facing doubts about their handling of user data. US senators worry that the company’s user data may eventually be shared.

In response, TikTok said that the company stores US user data in the United States and Singapore. In addition, some cybersecurity experts previously stated that the United States’ concerns about TikTok’s security had not been proven by conclusive evidence.

TikTok Plans To Increase 10,000 Jobs In US Within Three Years TikTok Plans To Increase 10,000 Jobs In US Within Three Years Reviewed by AK47 on 7:24:00 PM Rating: 5

UK Defense Secretary to boost ability to handle space threat from Russia, China

5:25:00 PM

(Reuters) Britain will boost its ability to handle threats posed by Russia and China in space as part of a foreign, security and defense policy review being conducted by the UK government, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said late on Saturday.

On Thursday, Britain said it was concerned about a Russian satellite test which involved the launch of a projectile with the “characteristics of a weapon”.

“This week we have been reminded of the threat Russia poses to our national security with the provocative test of a weapon-like projectile from a satellite threatening the peaceful use of space”, Wallace wrote in The Sunday Telegraph newspaper, adding that China also posed a threat.

“China, too, is developing offensive space weapons and both nations are upgrading their capabilities. Such behavior only underlines the importance of the review the (UK) government is currently conducting”, he added.

Tensions between Britain and Russia have been high in recent weeks, as Britain has targeted Russians with new sanctions, accused Russian actors of trying to meddle in last year’s election and said Moscow has tried to hack into vaccine research.

Separately, Britain announced on Monday it would suspend its extradition treaty with Hong Kong in an escalation of a dispute with China over its introduction of a national security law for the former British colony.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered equipment from China’s Huawei Technologies to be purged completely from Britain’s 5G network by the end of 2027.

China – once courted as the prime source of investment in British infrastructure projects – has accused Britain of pandering to the United States.

The Mail on Sunday newspaper reported that Johnson was also set to overhaul the United Kingdom’s treason laws to counter threats posed by China and Russia, with the step likely to see a new Treason Act, a new Espionage Act and a rewriting of the Official Secrets Act.

Source: Reuters; Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler 

UK Defense Secretary to boost ability to handle space threat from Russia, China UK Defense Secretary to boost ability to handle space threat from Russia, China Reviewed by AK47 on 5:25:00 PM Rating: 5

Guangdong Built Over 78,000 5G Base Stations

3:36:00 PM

Department of Industry and Information Technology of Guangdong Province recently announced that by the end of June 2020, Guangdong has built over 78,000 5G base stations, including 41,000 built in the first half of 2020.

According to Dong Jin, director of software service division of Department of Industry and Information Technology of Guangdong Province, said that since the beginning of 2020, Guangdong has accelerated its construction of 5G network and new information infrastructure represented by data center. With the efforts of basic telecom operators and tower companies, the province completed 41,401 new 5G base stations during the first half of 2020. Meanwhile, Guangdong’s 5G users reached 14.344 million.

Dong said that Guangdong will continue to enhance 5G base station construction to realize large network coverage. At the same time, it will promote distribution system construction in indoor areas with dense crowds to improve indoor 5G signal and 5G network experience.

In addition, the province also plans to promote typical applications of 5G vertical industries. By mobilizing the enthusiasm of industry leaders, it will implement 5G+ industry application new models, create a batch of reproducible 5G application demonstration scenarios, and stimulate the fast development of the industrial chain.

Guangdong Built Over 78,000 5G Base Stations Guangdong Built Over 78,000 5G Base Stations Reviewed by AK47 on 3:36:00 PM Rating: 5

Trade, technology and security at risk in US-China feud

2:25:00 PM

(AP) They have the largest economies in the world. They spend more than anyone else on their militaries. From high-tech chips to control of the high seas, their interests are closely intertwined.

The ongoing sharp deterioration in U.S.-China ties poses risks to both countries and the rest of the world. In the latest escalation, a U.S. consulate in Chengdu in southwestern China shuttered Monday, ordered by China to close in retaliation for the U.S. shutting down its consulate in Houston last week.

With the U.S. presidential campaign heating up, all bets are that relations with China will only get worse. A look at what’s at stake:


Both countries already have suffered heavy losses in a tariff war that erupted in 2018 over Beijing’s technology ambitions and trade surplus. If talks on ending the dispute fail, the world could face downward pressure on trade at a time when the global economy is already reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.

The United States is China’s biggest single-country export market, even after President Donald Trump imposed punitive tariffs on Chinese goods. And China is the No. 3 market for American exporters, as well as a huge market for goods and services produced in China by U.S. companies ranging from General Motors Co. to Burger King.

Chinese purchases of American farm goods, semiconductors and other goods declined 11.4% last year but still exceeded $100 billion. Exports to China support just under 1 million American jobs, according to the U.S.-China Business Council, though that was down 10% from 2017’s peak.

China is the biggest export market for Iowa and other American farm states, which were slammed when Beijing suspended imports of soybeans and raised tariffs on pork and other goods.

That briefly boosted sales for soybean exporters in Brazil and Argentina, though China resumed buying lower-priced American beans under the “Phase 1” trade truce signed in January.

But if the two can’t resolve broader differences on trade, it will be a blow not only to their exporters but also to other Asian economies that supply China’s factories with raw materials and components.


U.S. and Chinese producers of telecom, computer, medical and other technology and their markets are tightly interwoven. Apple, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and others rely on Chinese factories to assemble most of their smartphones, computers and other consumer electronics. Those factories need processor chips and other components from the United States, Japan, Taiwan and Europe.

The disruption caused by moves including the Trump administration’s curbs on Chinese tech giant Huawei’s access to U.S. components and technology threatens to disrupt those flows and cost suppliers, including Silicon Valley companies, billions of dollars in lost revenue.

China is also a top market for Apple and other U.S. tech brands, and is increasingly becoming a technology competitor with its own brands in smartphones, medical equipment and other fields.

The United States often is the top market for China’s highest-value-added goods. Beijing has been urging exporters to find other markets, but many say Asian and even European markets won’t buy such high-value goods.


While the U.S. has long been the predominant military power in the Pacific, China now has two operational aircraft carriers and an arsenal of missiles seen as a threat to U.S. vessels and bases in the region.

Military tensions have largely focused on the South China Sea, a crucial waterway that is the subject of overlapping territorial claims by China and several smaller Asian nations.

In 2018, a Chinese destroyer came perilously close to colliding with a U.S. destroyer, the USS Decatur, while executing what the Navy called an “unsafe and unprofessional maneuver” in the South China Sea.

A Chinese fighter jet collided with a U.S. Navy surveillance plane in international airspace over the South China Sea in 2001, leading to major diplomatic incident after the U.S. plane made an emergency landing on a Chinese island.

Taiwan is another potential flashpoint. China claims the self-governing island as its territory, to be taken by force if necessary. The U.S. is bound by its own law to ensure the island has a credible defense and has approved military sales to Taiwan under Trump.

Taiwan’s foreign minister said last week that Chinese military flights near the island have been taking place on a near-daily basis, more frequently than previously reported.

Washington upped the ante earlier this month by declaring that it did not recognize most of China’s maritime claims in the South China Sea, a break with its previous policy of not taking a stance on the sovereignty disputes.

Source: Associated Press

Trade, technology and security at risk in US-China feud Trade, technology and security at risk in US-China feud Reviewed by AK47 on 2:25:00 PM Rating: 5

AWS To Launch Financial Management Services In China

11:56:00 AM

According to reports in Chinese local media, AWS formally launched its financial management services in China region.

It is said that AWS financial management services include AWS Cost Explorer, AWS Budgets, AWS Cost & Usage Report, reserved instance recommendations and reports, and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud reasonable finishing suggestions.

AWS financial management services allow customers to better organize, report, control, and optimize cost and resource utilization while using AWS cloud service, which is valuable for customers who have large assets on cloud.

AWS financial management services can establish a cost allocation model to lay a foundation for cost supervision improvement; it can enhance the cost awareness during cloud usage and realize accountability; it can track bills for the entire organization in a single integrated view to get a clear glance at the cost of cloud usage, it can customize a budget threshold and control cost through automatic alarm notifications; and it can build scalable modern applications while optimizing cost and usage.

AWS To Launch Financial Management Services In China AWS To Launch Financial Management Services In China Reviewed by AK47 on 11:56:00 AM Rating: 5

Powered by China, a Technology Benchmark Opens in Hong Kong

11:17:00 AM

(WSJ) A new technology stock benchmark that includes China’s two most valuable companies made its debut on Monday, falling more than Hong Kong’s broader stock market as it sought to give investors a better read on the tech sector’s growth and relative performance.

The Hang Seng Tech Index, which tracks 30 technology companies listed in the city, climbed as much as 2.2% on Monday morning before ending the day down 1.3%, versus a 0.4% decline in the broader 50-stock Hang Seng Index.

Three of the tech index’s biggest constituents— Tencent Holdings Ltd., Meituan Dianping and Xiaomi Corp. —fell, while the Hong Kong-listed shares of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. ended the day unchanged. The four companies together make up a third of the index’s performance.

Many stocks in the new benchmark scored big gains earlier this year and rose last week after index compiler Hang Seng Indexes Co. unveiled plans for the technology index on July 20. “A lot of the short-term optimism” was already reflected in their prices ahead of Monday’s small declines, said Gabriel Chan, head of investment services for Hong Kong at BNP Paribas Wealth Management.

Using historical prices of the Hang Seng Tech Index’s constituent stocks, the new benchmark would have been up 45.6% in the year through July 24, according to a backdated simulation on the index provider’s website. That compared with a 15.5% gain in technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index over the same period.

The broad Hang Seng Index, on the other hand, is down 12.4% in the year through July 24, pulled down by the shares of banks, insurers and property developers, which have borne the brunt of China and Hong Kong’s economic weakness during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr. Chan said Hong Kong’s market benchmark has for a long time been dominated by old-economy companies, which is why it has underperformed most overseas counterparts. As more Chinese internet and technology companies list their shares in the city, the market should benefit, he added.

“Hong Kong is really embracing China’s new economy,” said Andy Maynard, managing director of equities sales trading at China Renaissance Securities. He said the tech index reflects how the market is evolving.

Over the past nine months, three large U.S.-listed Chinese companies—Alibaba, Inc. and NetEase Inc. —have sold shares in Hong Kong and added secondary listings in the city. Mainland Chinese companies make up nearly 78% of Hong Kong’s total stock market capitalization, versus 67.5% at the end of 2018 and around 57% a decade ago, according to data from the exchange.

Last week, Alibaba’s giant financial-technology affiliate, Ant Group, said it is planning concurrent initial public offerings in Hong Kong and on Shanghai’s year-old STAR market for homegrown technology companies. The Science and Technology Innovation Board last week rolled out its own benchmark called the STAR 50 Index, which tracks 50 companies listed on its Nasdaq-style exchange.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Tech Index could inspire the creation of exchange-traded funds tracking its performance, said Bruno Lee, chairman of the Hong Kong Investment Funds Association, whose members include BlackRock Inc., Fidelity International and dozens of other global and Chinese asset managers. “The launch of a tech index is a timely move,” he said.

Hang Seng Indexes is also revamping its flagship benchmark, which has Tencent as its only technology stock. In May, the index compiler said it would start allowing companies with shares with unequal voting rights to join the 50-year-old index. That decision paves the way for Alibaba and other Chinese tech companies to join the main Hang Seng Index this year.

Source: Wall Street Journal by Joanne Chiu

Powered by China, a Technology Benchmark Opens in Hong Kong Powered by China, a Technology Benchmark Opens in Hong Kong Reviewed by AK47 on 11:17:00 AM Rating: 5
Powered by Blogger.