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Which tech firms qualify as ‘little giants’? Beijing releases criteria for the ideal industrial enterprise

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has published detailed criteria for determining which industrial enterprises qualify as ‘little giants’, the term given to small tech firms that dominate their niche.

US commerce secretary urges lawmakers to pass US$52 billion chip-making bill, warning companies could turn elsewhere

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said companies will look to other countries if funding bill for the semiconductor industry is not passed by September.

Taiwan’s GlobalWafers plans US$5 billion silicon wafer plant in Texas after failed European investment

The plant, manufacturing 300-milimetre silicon wafers, will start being built later this year and generate as many as 1,500 jobs.

JD.com founder Richard Liu cashes out nearly US$1 billion from e-commerce giant after retreat from top job

Liu has sold Nasdaq-listed JD.com stock and Hong Kong-listed JD Health shares worth a combined US$988 million since April, according to filings.

Cryptocurrency is ‘biggest Ponzi scheme in human history’, Chinese execs from state-backed blockchain drive say

Executives from China’s Blockchain-based Service Network say Web3 games and cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin and ethereum, are investment frauds.

Tencent takes a US$7.4 billion market knock as Prosus prepares to cut stake to fund stock buy-back, sells JD.com as non-strategic asset

Naspers’ Prosus unit is preparing to trim its US$133.4 billion stake in Tencent to fund its own open-ended stock buy-back programme.

Britain’s pensions agency to remove Chinese-made security cameras, ban new purchases

Britain’s Department of Work and Pensions is the second government agency to ban new purchases of Chinese-made cameras this year.

ByteDance’s metaverse investments continue with acquisition of Chinese virtual social platform PoliQ

Beijing-based ByteDance, owner of short video app TikTok, has acquired Chinese virtual reality start-up PoliQ, the latest investment in the tech giant’s ongoing efforts to crack the metaverse.

Hong Kong star Jackie Chan attracts 130 million on Kuaishou as Chinese platforms deploy celebrity live-streams to lure users

In a fierce battle for viewers, Kuaishou, Douyin and WeChat’s Channels platform are making use of star power including Chan, Backstreet Boys, Jay Chou and Andy Lau.

How parents can help their children get ready for a digital future

Parents need to deepen their understanding of technology to support their children’s learning, and the CoolThink@JC programme helps with that by offering parent education workshops on computational thinking.

China questions the safety of open source code amid sanctions and tech dependency risks, but can it build a viable alternative?

Beijing has become increasingly worried that the country’s heavy dependence on Western-dominated open source technologies could eventually backfire.

Chinese fintech giant Ant Group appoints risk-control veteran as executive in consumer lending arm amid restructuring

The appointment of Qiao Zhanwen, a former risk strategy management executive at Ant, comes amid increasing speculation over the potential revival of the company’s botched IPO.

Stablecoin implosion shows it has ‘no role’ as a form of money, says Bank of International Settlements’ Asia chief

Their recent collapse shows that stablecoins are ill-equipped as a form of money, and central banks are better placed to run digital payments, says the Asia-Pacific chief of the Bank of International Settlements.

‘Made in China, Sold on Amazon’ community faces gloomy future amid Covid-19 lockdowns, geopolitical tensions

Shenzhen’s ‘Made in China, sold on Amazon’ community is focusing on regulatory compliance and brand building as it bids farewell to the days of rapid growth amid a tough market environment full of uncertainty.

US pop band Backstreet Boys evokes Chinese nostalgia with 44 million tuning in for concert on Tencent’s WeChat

In its latest effort to promote the video function on WeChat, Tencent live-streamed a concert featuring former hit US pop band the Backstreet Boys, generating more than 44 million viewers.

China’s live-streaming e-commerce offers lifeline to fruit farmers amid Covid restrictions and short season

Local farmers have come to rely more on Big Tech platforms to boost sales in recent years, but a tough season for some produce is proving challenging for some.

China maps out digital government plan to 2035 as Beijing taps technology to improve its overall efficiency and control

By 2035, the government will be transformed digitally and achieve a higher governance capacity, according to the document.

Chinese firm aiming to break US dominance in chip design software gets IPO approval at home

Empyrean Technology aims to become a global leader in EDA software by 2030, in a market currently led by US firms Cadence, Synopsis and Mentor Graphics.

China’s internet watchdog launches cybersecurity investigation into country’s largest academic research database CNKI

It marks the Cyberspace Administration of China’s first investigation since the new regulation on cybersecurity review measures took effect in February this year.

China’s new live-streaming guidelines set to change the influencer business known for its ‘low threshold, high income’

In the latest crackdown on China’s once-booming live streaming industry, authorities are requiring platforms to check the credentials of influencers in certain fields.

Talent flourishes in Hong Kong’s vibrant I&T ecosystem, with global and diverse minds developing careers in the city

Young talents keen to capitalise on opportunities in the city’s I&T sector are being drawn to to HKSTP’s Technology Leaders of Tomorrow programme, which provides placements and full-time R&D jobs.

Apple and Android phones hacked by Italian spyware, Google says

Hacking tools from Italian company RCS Lab were used to spy on Apple and Android smartphones in Italy and Kazakhstan, Google said in a report on Thursday.

CityU students’ blockchain-powered solution for used car buyer protection wins bronze in the Fintech Olympiad 2022

[Sponsored Article] Digitalisation has spurred growth and tackled many financial problems globally, and Fintech powers a broad range of practical applications, from all types of commercial activities and advanced banking transactions to many challenges encountered in our daily life. In response to this fast-paced development, City University of Hong Kong (CityU) organised the “Fintech Olympiad 2022” (FTOL) with HSBC’s support to cultivate the next generation of Fintech-savvy talents for the Greater Bay Area (GBA). To avoid purchasing ‘lemons’,  a colloquial term for cars found to be defective after transactions, three CityU students formed a team, namely “LemonT”, and developed a tamper-proof method to record cars’ odometers and repairs that works with an App, a data logging dongle and an encrypted data system powered by blockchain. With this idea, the team was awarded the Bronze Medal at the FTOL 2022. The three awarded CityU students, all hail from Germany and Australia with computer science and materials science backgrounds, impressed the judges with their innovative yet practical solution that aims to safeguard consumer interest and help honest used-car dealers enhance their reputation. “The team named their project  “LemonT,” a creative twist to “lemon tea”, an iconic local beverage, reflecting the project roots in its birth city,” says Professor Raymond Chan, Vice-President (Student Affairs) of CityU, who praised this year’s projects being practical and impactful Fintech and youth powered solutions for everyday problems. Launched in 2020, the competition was originally called “Blockchain Olympiad”. Due to its popularity with students and the burgeoning interests in the GBA, CityU has expanded the scope to covering Fintech and universities in the GBA with HSBC’s support this year.  “We aim to enlarge the future pool of talent well-versed in Fintech who can work across the border,” Professor Chan noted. Financial service is one of Hong Kong’s pillar industries. Under the Hong Kong…

Two dead after Nio car falls from third floor of headquarters building in Shanghai during test drive

Two testing staff members died during a test drive after a car by Chinese electric vehicle start-up Nio fell from the third floor of an office building housing the carmaker’s headquarters in Shanghai on Wednesday.

US-China tech war: top Chinese scientist envisions forked RISC-V chip design standard to cushion decoupling impact

Chinese Academy of Sciences expert Bao Yungang said the country could handle sanctions better than Russia by developing a ‘RISC-X’ chip architecture to be used by Belt and Road countries in the event of technological decoupling.

Chinese video gaming revenue falls in May, a third month of decline amid slowing economy and less player spending

China’s video gaming revenue fell 6.7 per cent to US$3.4 billion in May, as the local economy struggles with less consumer spending amid Covid-19 controls.

China’s payments, fintech sectors to ‘play bigger role’ in boosting economy, President Xi says, in positive signal for Big Tech

President Xi Jinping encourages the operators of these online services to ‘play a bigger role’ in strengthening China’s economy.

China bans over 30 live-streaming behaviours, demands qualifications to discuss law, finance, medicine

The guideline published on Wednesday require influencers to have relevant qualifications to discuss law, finance and medicine, among other topics.

Shenzhen tightens Covid-19 controls with 48-hour negative test result required to use public transport after three new cases found

Shenzhen residents will need to present negative nucleic acid test results issued within 48 hours to take the subway, or travel by taxi and other public transport, according to a government notice issued on Thursday.

Amazon has a plan to make Alexa mimic anyone’s voice

Online retail giant Amazon is developing a system to let Alexa mimic any voice after hearing less than a minute of audio, but such a feature could raise questions about potential benefits and abuses.

Google faces second turnover fine in Russia over failure to delete banned content about Ukraine

Google may be fined 5-10 per cent of its turnover in Russia for failing to delete banned content, including ‘misleading information’ on YouTube about events in Ukraine, the state communications regulator said.

To keep up with China, Pentagon must cut red tape and embrace latest technology, top US official says

Beijing has recognised importance of producing ‘more of the high-technology goods they want in their own economy’, says Defence Innovation Unit chief Michael Brown.

Microsoft supports Hong Kong start-ups in partnership with Science Park, Cyberport

More than 40 local start-ups have joined the programme, including AI-powered marine trash-collecting robot maker Clearbot and algorithmic trading marketplace AlgoBot.

Bitcoin market meltdown prompts fresh warning in China that value of world’s leading cryptocurrency could fall to zero

Investors should beware the risk of bitcoin prices ‘heading to zero’, according to state-run newspaper Economic Daily.

Tech war: Shenzhen recruits Japanese semiconductor heavyweight as China moves to challenge US, Korean dominance in memory chips

A Shenzhen memory chip start-up has named Japanese industry veteran Yukio Sakamoto as its chief strategy officer, the latest sign of China’s ambitious efforts to challenge US, Korean dominance in DRAMs.

Bitcoin resumes slide amid mounting concerns about recession

Bitcoin resumed its fall on Wednesday, moving in tandem with weakening stocks amid mounting concerns about a global recession.

UK developer backed by Hong Kong tycoon Henry Cheng eyes US$171 million in tokenisation plan for London residential tower

Billionaire Henry Cheng’s Knight Dragon is selling tokens that allow buyers worldwide to share the rental income from a residential property in central London.

Microsoft scraps some AI facial-analysis tools, citing risk of bias

Microsoft will stop selling AI-based facial-analysis software that infers a subject’s emotional state and other personal attributes after the algorithms were shown to exhibit problematic bias and inaccuracies.

Alibaba sales for 618 shopping festival rise with growing appetite for camping, fishing goods

Alibaba reported positive sales growth for the shopping festival, with camping, fishing and skateboarding as stand-out categories, but e-commerce growth has taken a hit from Covid-19 restrictions this year.

Turmoil in global market for blockchain-based DeFi products leaves investors holding the bag

Hong Kong investors caught in the decentralised finance market’s global rout can expect little to no chance of getting any remedy.

China plans to review every single social media comment, sparking more censorship fears

China’s internet watchdog wants all social platforms to review all user comments before they are published, fanning concerns that freedom of speech will be further restricted.

Didi apps ousted from China app stores for privacy reasons near return after ride-hailing firm’s NYSE delisting, sources say

Final data compliance-focused updates to Didi’s apps should see them restored to app stores soon, sources said, a crucial step to enable recruitment of new users after nearly a year.

Tencent’s WeChat bans public accounts from providing secondary trading services for NFTs

WeChat is banning secondary trading of NFTs, heeding Chinese regulators’ guidelines to steer clear of the financial aspect of such digital assets.

Will NFT, metaverse developments in Hong Kong help deliver the city’s next ‘Octopus moment’ in a post-pandemic world?

A new wave of digital-first enterprises focused on NFT and metaverse projects may be in a position to deliver the city’s next tech breakthrough, nearly 25 years since the Octopus card was launched.

Tencent trims stake in Koolearn, New Oriental’s live-streaming unit, as new venture fuels a six-fold jump in stock

Tencent collected US$92 million by selling down its stake in Koolearn Technology in two transactions this month after the education group switched its focus to live-streaming business.

NetEase to launch app of virtual meeting platform Yaotai in August, as competition heats up on metaverse-related products

Chinese video gaming giant NetEase plans to introduce its Yaotai app as early as August to help expand the virtual meeting platform’s user base.

China’s national ambitions have become untethered from personal aspirations in the name of zero Covid

Lockdown fatigue and fear of a mostly non-lethal virus has left China’s entrepreneurial class discouraged, hurting the people needed to achieve national goals.

Chinese game studio XD makes US a priority in its overseas expansion drive as home market becomes increasingly difficult to navigate

Beijing’s slow issuance of gaming licences and fierce industry competition are hurting many studios’ growth prospects, pushing them to speed up their overseas expansion, says senior XD executive.

Hong Kong film star Louis Koo sees G Storm poster image misappropriated by Chinese NFT platform

NFTs continue to change hands among Chinese enthusiasts in a largely unregulated space, despite repeated warnings from authorities.

Chinese court rules car sale made using digital currency invalid as Beijing’s unrelenting crypto crackdown continues

A Shanghai court voids a car sale contract, saying that cryptocurrencies do not have the same legal status as national fiat currencies, and should not be circulated in the market.