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Tech

Xiaomi Is Working On MIUI Update Which Will Remove All Apps Blocked By The Indian Government

Xiaomi has confirmed that it is working on a new version of the MIUI software for its smartphone line-up, which will remove all the apps that have been blocked by the Government of India. Over the past few weeks, India has blocked multiple Chinese apps owned and developed by Chinese tech companies, over fears about user data privacy and security. The banned apps include popular social media app TikTok, instant messaging app WeChat, as well as AliExpress, UCBrowser and Shein, to name a few. Xiaomi India also confirms that all data of Indian users is stored on servers based in India, and no data is shared with anyone outside the geographical boundaries of India.

“We want to clarify that none of the apps blocked by the Indian Government are available for access on any Xiaomi phones launched in India,” says Xiaomi India in an official statement. They also confirm that they are developing an updated version of MIUI for all Xiaomi phones sold in India which will not pre-install any apps that have been blocked by the Government of India. This update will be rolled out over the next few weeks to all phones in a phased manner.

Xiaomi India also confirms the data localization compliance which requires all data of Indian users to be saved and stored on servers within the geographical boundaries of India. “Even before it was mandated, we pioneered data localization for all Xiaomi India apps and users. Since 2018, 100% of data from Indian users in stored on servers located in India and none of this data is shared with anyone outside of India,” says the company.

Xiaomi is also addressing concerns that the MIUI Cleaner app is in no way related to the Clean Master app that has been blocked in India. Xiaomi says the MIUI cleaner app is only using definitions that are vital to the functioning of the app, and to eliminate the confusion, will be removing those definitions from the MIUI Cleaner app. Users can update the app on their smartphones, or the update will be rolled out as part of the next MIUI version as well.


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Tech

How MyJio App Has Quietly Transformed Itself into India's WeChat, One Update At A Time

For mobile users, a companion app that lets them manage their prepaid or postpaid connection is now par for the course. Every mobile service provider has one. You can see the billing details or prepaid validity details, make bill payments and recharge and even make payments for friends and family who may also be using a prepaid or postpaid connection from the same service provider. In fact, you can also manage other services by the same company, if they offer home broadband or DTH TV services as well, for instance. However, not everyone does it as well as Reliance Jio, and the MyJio app for Jio prepaid and postpaid users, JioFiber subscribers as well as JioFi and JioLink users.

Is MyJio a super app, perhaps? With the sort of wide options, mini apps and functionality that are available in one app, it can most certainly be classified as one. And speaking of super apps, the Chinese owned app WeChat is in trouble in the US. It is often classified as a super app, at least in China, for the variety of options it offers, including messaging and payments. US President Donald Trump has issued an executive order that says WeChat and TikTok will be banned in the US in 45 days, if they are not sold by their Chinese owners. WeChat is owned by Tencent while TikTok is owned by Bytedance. Both apps are already banned in India, because of significant concerns around user data privacy and security.

MyJio App-2

The MyJio app is available for Android phones as well as the Apple iPhone. Recent updates have seen the evolution of MyJio from a companion app to manage your mobile or broadband connection, to something of a super app. It now offers a lot more. The basics remain very much in place, with the complete account overview of your prepaid or postpaid plan, managing multiple accounts if you have more than one SIM card and connection and make payments as and when required. The MyJio app is the single app for Jio mobile users as well as the JioFiber broadband services. Yet, that is not all. The MyJio app, at this time, integrates a lot more including JioPay, JioCinema, JioChat, JioNews, JioSaavn, UPI payments for digital payments while shopping or for bill payments including utility bills, JioCloud and JioEngage—some of these are integrated within the app, and some of these are mini-apps that offer extensive functionality without having to download another app on your phone.

If you are still not a Jio mobile or a JioFiber subscriber, you can use the app to buy a new Jio connection and get the new SIM card delivered to your doorstep. You can also quickly port to Jio as well, if you are using an Airtel or Vodafone mobile connection.

As for the extensive value additions that the MyJio app gets you, streaming remains a priority in these times. The app gives you single tap access to JioSaavn for music streaming. The service has more than 45 million songs listed on the platform at this time. Then there is the JioCinema video streaming service, which bundles movies, TV shows and Originals. Since the subscriptions for these services are included in Jio mobile and JioFiber subscription packs, for instance, access is seamless too.

JioPay is one of the most important elements of the MyJio app for Android and iPhone. This is basically your mobile wallet for making digital payments using your credit card or wallets including JioMoney, Paytm and PhonePe. UPI payments are also a critical new addition to the digital payments system in the MyJio app, that lets you make payments at stores and also online for bills and payments directly from your UPI linked bank account.

JioNews is the service that includes news curations in more than 13 Indian languages, as well as videos across genres of content, access to more than 250 e-papers of the day’s newspapers and more than 800 magazines for you to access. There is also JioEngage that lets you take part in contests and games and win prizes. There is also JioInteract, which is an AI powered virtual assistant that connects you with celebrities. Then there is HelloJio which answers any queries you may have about the service, as a customer.

Focused on productivity is the JioCloud service that lets you store files and data on the cloud, accessible within the app, so that you don’t have to struggle with multiple cloud storage apps.

In a way, the MyJio app does a lot more than simply let you manage your mobile or broadband or data connection. The myriad of services that are integrated within one app ease the pain of using multiple apps for the same tasks. This also takes advantage of Jio’s billing and prepaid plans which bundle a lot of these subscription-based services as part of the monthly bill or recharge for the mobile or broadband services, to integrate everything in one place.


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Tech

China opposes U.S. orders against TikTok, WeChat, to defend interests

BEIJING China’s foreign ministry firmly opposes executive orders announced by U.S. President Donald Trump banning U.S. transactions with the Chinese owners of messaging app WeChat and video-sharing app TikTok, Beijing said on Friday.

Beijing will defend the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese businesses and the United States would have to bear the consequences of its actions, ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters during a daily briefing, without giving details.

“The U.S. is using national security as an excuse and using state power to oppress non-American businesses. That’s just a hegemonic practice. China is firmly opposed to that,” he said.

The U.S. executive orders, which will be effective in 45 days, come after the Trump administration announced its efforts to purge “untrusted” Chinese apps from U.S. digital networks and called WeChat, controlled by Tencent Holdings Ltd, and ByteDance’s TikTok “significant threats.”

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Wang said that the United States was sacrificing the interests of users and companies and engaging in political manipulation and oppression, adding that it “will only lose its moral high ground with a damaged image and a deficit of trust”.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor


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Tech

'Political Manipulation': China Reacts to Trump Order on WeChat, TikTok Ban as Tension Escalates

File image of US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. (Image: AP)

File image of US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. (Image: AP)

Trump’s order cites a threat to ‘national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States’, as the president seeks to curb China’s power in global technology.

  • AFP
  • Last Updated: August 7, 2020, 1:31 PM IST

China’s foreign ministry on Friday said that it firmly opposes executive orders announced by US President Donald Trump on Thursday banning US transactions with the Chinese owners of messaging app WeChat and video-sharing app TikTok.

China will defend the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese businesses, foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a media briefing.

Trump has ordered sweeping restrictions against Chinese-owned social media giants TikTok and WeChat that could strangle their ability to operate in the United States.

The executive order, which takes effect in 45 days, bars anyone under US jurisdiction from doing business with the owners of TikTok or WeChat.

It heaps pressure on ByteDance, TikTok’s parent, to close negotiations to sell to Microsoft and further escalates the Trump administration’s multi-front confrontation with Beijing.

Trump’s order cites a threat to “national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States”, as the president seeks to curb China’s power in global technology.

The move sent shares in the parent company of WeChat into a spin, with the issue tanking as much as 10 percent at one point in Friday trade, wiping almost $50 billion off Tencent’s market capitalisation.

It also adds to a laundry list of issues that have ratcheted up tensions between the superpowers, including Hong Kong, trade, Huawei, the South China Sea and the spread of the coronavirus.

Last month Washington ordered the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston — accusing it of being a centre for spies. China hit back by shutting the US mission in Chengdu.

The two sides have also been engaged in a war of words over who is to blame for the coronavirus since Trump first described it as a “Chinese” illness in March.

On Wednesday tensions were further stoked when the US announced its highest-level visit to Taiwan since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979, a move blasted by Beijing, which views the self-ruled island as a breakaway territory.

“TikTok automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users, including Internet and other network activity information such as location data and browsing and search histories,” Trump’s order said.

Data could potentially be used by China to track the locations of federal employees and contractors, build dossiers on people for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage, it alleged.

‘Watershed moment’

The TikTok mobile app has been downloaded some 175 million times in the US and more than a billion times around the world.

The US Senate voted Thursday to bar TikTok from being downloaded onto US government employees’ telephones, intensifying US scrutiny of the popular app.

The bill passed by the Republican-controlled Senate now goes to the House of Representatives, led by Democrats.

Several US agencies already bar employees from downloading TikTok onto their phones. “This is yet another watershed moment in the US-China technology cold war,” Paul Triolo, head of global technology policy at Eurasia Group, told Bloomberg.

“It shows the depth of the US concern.”

India last month also outlawed TikTok along with 58 other Chinese apps, citing data security fears. Trump has set a deadline of mid-September for TikTok to be acquired by a US firm or be banned in the United States.

Microsoft has expanded its talks on TikTok to a potential deal that would include buying the global operations of the fast-growing app, the Financial Times reported Thursday.

Microsoft declined to comment on the report, after previously disclosing it was considering a deal for TikTok operations in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

‘Keeping tabs’

TikTok’s kaleidoscopic feeds of short video clips feature everything from hair-dye tutorials to dance routines and jokes about daily life.

The company on Thursday announced plans for its first data center for European users, to be set up in Ireland.

WeChat is a messaging, social media, and electronic payment platform and is reported to have more than a billion users. It is not widely used in the US but in China it is difficult to function without it as the platform is used by nearly all businesses instead of email.

Also Watch

Acquiring TikTok Could Help Microsoft Become A Force In Social Media Space

Trump’s order contended that WeChat captures user data that could then exploited by the Chinese government but provided no evidence that is happening.

“WeChat captures the personal and proprietary information of Chinese nationals visiting the United States,” the order read, “thereby allowing the Chinese Communist Party a mechanism for keeping tabs on Chinese citizens who may be enjoying the benefits of a free society for the first time in their lives.”


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Categories
Tech

Latest Airtel Thanks App Update Hints At A New Xstream Fiber Plus Mesh Plan For Broadband Users

With home broadband plans in heavy demand, Airtel has hinted at a new Xstream Fiber Plus Mesh Plan for broadband users in India. This comes as part of the latest update for the Airtel Thanks app, presently visible for iPhone users on the Apple App Store. However, there are no further details about the Airtel Xstream Fiber Plus Mesh Plan within the app for Airtel Xstream broadband users. That leads us to believe that the offer will be rolled out on the app in the coming days, and the update just provides the groundwork for the same. Airtel says this plan will be listed with the other Xstream broadband plans, but at this time, we do not know how much this will cost. When this does roll out, this will be the first of its kind broadband plan to be launched in India that bundles a premium Wi-Fi mesh system.

So, what do we know about the Airtel Xstream Fiber Plus Mesh Plan so far? Not much, to be honest. Except that Airtel is perhaps going to bundle a Wi-Fi mesh system with the Xstream broadband plans for those who want a better Wi-Fi coverage at home. At present, Airtel provides pretty basic Wi-Fi routers, at least as far as the Wi-Fi range in the home is concerned, with the Airtel Xstream broadband plans. These routers are made by Nokia or Huawei, and what you get depends on what is available in stock at the time. This will be fantastic news for those who are currently using a basic Wi-Fi router at home or still using the default router that Airtel offered with their broadband connections—you will not need to spend on buying a new router or Wi-Fi Mesh system now.

Wi-Fi Mesh systems are basically a set of multiple Wi-Fi units that can be placed at different places in your home to ensure seamless connectivity all through. These connect to each other via what are called backhaul channels, on the 5GHz network. You need to hook up the primary unit of a Wi-Fi system to the internet line to get this going. The additional units, known as satellites, are linked wirelessly to the primary unit—they have their own dedicated backhaul channels for communication and data transfer, which minimizes speed drops that the Wi-Fi repeaters otherwise struggle with. These satellite units can be spread across your home as required, where Wi-Fi signals tend to be weak, for seamless internet coverage. Most Wi-Fi mesh systems cover between 2,000 square feet to 6,000 square feet of indoor space.

At present, you can buy Wi-Fi mesh systems in India from multiple networking equipment and router manufacturers, including Linksys who have the Velop range of Wi-Fi mesh systems and Netgear who have the Orbi Wi-Fi mesh systems. It is not clear which mesh system Airtel will provide with the Xstream Fiber Plus Mesh Plan, or how much it will cost.

At this time, the Airtel Xstream broadband plans are priced between Rs 799 to Rs 3,999 per month. The Basic plan priced at Rs 799 per month bundled 150GB data at speeds of 100Mbps. The Entertainment plan is priced at Rs 999 per month and bundles 300GB data at 200Mbps speed. The Premium plan offers 500GB data at 300Mbps speeds for Rs 1,499 per month. With these three plans, you can choose to add-on the unlimited data usage top-up for an additional Rs 299 per month, which takes your data usage limit per month to 3333GB. Last but not least is the flagship VIP plan, that offers unlimited data usage at 1Gbps speeds and is priced at Rs 3,999 per month.


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Tech

Why Does Microsoft Want To Buy TikTok? The Answer Is You, The Consumer, And The Data You Create

Microsoft wants to buy TikTok. Donald Trump is not happy about it. Donald Trump is okay with it. Donald Trump has given his blessings. Donald Trump has set a deadline for the deal. Well, depending on which side of the bed you wake up and what day it is, the intersection of politics and technology is undoubtedly creating more confusion that it does good. At the time of writing this, it seems the political dispensation in the US is okay with Microsoft going ahead with the attempt to follow through on its interest in acquiring TikTok. At least the operations for certain parts of the world, including the US. Works out well for the tech giant, because TikTok is trying everything possible to remain present and active, in the US in particular, where it has a large and active user base. But the question still remains, why does Microsoft want to buy TikTok?

The way things have been over the past few years, Microsoft has focused on the enterprise space. The part consumer plays, that have included the Surface computing device line-up and the revamped Microsoft 365 subscriptions, in the end, do plug into the enterprise space very nicely. But Microsoft, for most intents and purposes, doesn’t really do consumer products. Except perhaps the Microsoft Xbox ecosystem. Let us look at some of Microsoft’s consumer products that no longer are around. Windows Phone, Groove Music, the Microsoft Band fitness accessory are some examples. Cortana, the virtual assistant, seems to be going down that path—the app for Android and iOS will be shut down next year, along with Cortana access for Harman Kardon Invoke smart speakers and the first-generation Microsoft Surface headphones. Cortana instead is getting deeper integration within the Outlook email app and Teams video meeting app, which have great enterprise significance. Gives you a sense of the demographic of users Microsoft is largely designing products and services for.

At this time, it is believed Microsoft wants to acquire TikTok’s operations for US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. “This is a unique deal of a decade opportunity with a price tag that could easily be consummated,” wrote Dan Ives, analyst at Wedbush, to the investors earlier this week, as reported by CNN. It is believed TikTok’s value stands at $50 billion.

One of the primary reasons why Microsoft believes TikTok is an investment worth doing is it will get a readymade product in the social media space. The closest Microsoft right now is to that space is with LinkedIn, a professional network. Yet, it is no match for the might of Facebook, the Facebook owned Instagram and even Twitter and Snapchat. Maybe that LinkedIn acquisition holds a clue—Microsoft didn’t change the branding or the foundations of the network that made it successful in the space it operates. If the company does the same with TikTok, as in leave the branding and the app as is, it could simply be successful because of the numbers that drive TikTok engagement on a daily basis. The only change would be that the user data for US based accounts will be saved on servers in the US. As a consumer, that would make no difference, except you may perhaps have to again accept the new terms and conditions at some point when you open the app post the expected Microsoft acquisition.

Second, it is the oil of the modern world. Data. It all started with data, and the fears that data of US users was ending up with the Chinese government. After all, TikTok is owned by Chinese company ByteDance. In China, the National Intelligence Law of 2017 governs all tech companies that are based in China or are under Chinese ownership. The law mandates all businesses to share any and all information that the Chinese Government may ask for. This is something that is worrying governments around the world, including India.

Microsoft acknowledges the importance of the data that it’ll get from TikTok. “Among other measures, Microsoft would ensure that all private data of TikTok’s American users is transferred to and remains in the United States. To the extent that any such data is currently stored or backed-up outside the United States, Microsoft would ensure that this data is deleted from servers outside the country after it is transferred,” says the company in an official statement confirming the talks.

As of January, TikTok had clocked 800 million users worldwide. The app saw more than 49 million downloads in the US just last year. On an average, TikTok users in the US open the app 8 times a day, with each session around 5 minutes—that works out to around 40 minutes of app usage in a day. This is the sort of ready-made platforms that don’t become available so easily for tech companies to acquire. Microsoft will finally have a product to take Facebook on with.

If you notice the list of countries that Microsoft wants to acquire TikTok in, these are all English-speaking. That would mean limited challenges when it comes to moderating content as well, without having to deal with complexities of localization.

TikTok is as consumer centric as it gets. In fact, this gives Microsoft a head-start in trying to understand a younger demographic of users, who will consume more services and apps in the years to come. While Microsoft fell behind with the previous generation with its much delayed attempts at battling with Google, Apple and Facebook in the past when it came to platforms such as Windows Phone, Outlook Mail, Bing Search and social networks in general, it’ll have an advantage over the rival big tech companies when it comes to understanding these users that it’ll adopt with TikTok.

Microsoft is also in a safe spot as far as regulators are concerned. While Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon are all very much under scrutiny by the US Congress, Microsoft hasn’t been dragged into it just yet because of its business and enterprise focus.

Remember, TikTok is the one social media platform that has had Facebook worried for a while now. The popularity, the quick video format and the product itself has been some concern for Facebook, which is trying the same with Instagram Reels. With Microsoft’s might behind it, TikTok can logically stand to gain. The key for Microsoft will be to leave TikTok as is, and not make it a Microsoft product.


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Tech

India widens China app ban to cover more from Xiaomi, Baidu

NEW DELHI India has banned some mobile apps of Chinese companies such as Xiaomi Corp and Baidu Inc, three sources told Reuters on Wednesday, in New Delhi’s latest move to hit Chinese companies following a border clash between the neighbours.

India in June outlawed 59 Chinese apps for threatening the country’s “sovereignty and integrity”, including ByteDance’s video-sharing app TikTok, Alibaba’s UC Browser and Xiaomi’s Mi Community app.

Another ban was imposed in recent weeks on about 47 apps which mostly contained clones, or simply different versions, of the already banned apps, the sources said.

Unlike its June move, the government did not make its latest decision public, but there are a few new apps that have made it to that list, including Xiaomi’s Mi Browser Pro and Baidu’s search apps, the sources said.

It wasn’t immediately clear how many new apps have been affected.

India’s IT Ministry and the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi did not respond to a request for comment. China has previously criticized India’s decision to ban the apps.

A spokesman for Xiaomi in India said the company was trying to understand the development and will take appropriate measures. Baidu declined to comment.

A ban on the Mi Browser, which comes pre-loaded on most Xiaomi smartphones, could potentially mean the Chinese firm will need to stop installing it on new devices it sells in India.

Xiaomi is India’s No.1 smartphone seller with close to 90 million users, according to Hong Kong-based tech researcher Counterpoint.

The bans are part of India’s moves to counter China’s dominant presence in the country’s internet services market following a border clash in June between the two nuclear-armed neighbours in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed.

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India has also made approval processes more stringent for Chinese companies wanting to invest in the country, and also tightened norms for Chinese companies wanting to participate in government tenders.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor


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SMIC founder says 'optimistic' China can catch up with U.S. in semiconductors

SHANGHAI The founder of China’s largest chipmaker SMIC said on Tuesday he was “optimistic” China could catch up with the United States in the next generation of semiconductors but that U.S. efforts to contain its technology sector could not be taken “lightly”.

Richard Chang, also the former CEO of Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC), told a livestream forum that persistent research and development as well as investment in new raw materials would enable China to compete, according to an official transcript on Wednesday.

The comments come as Washington and Beijing continue to spar over Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, which has brought new urgency to China’s calls to improve its domestic chip industry.

“I am optimistic and believe we can catch up,” Chang said in a rare appearance at the forum, organized by China Securities.

He said that while China’s talent base was a “weakness” in the short-term, the country had made “great progress” in manufacturing raw materials and remained a leader in next generation super-fast 5G technology.

“If China maintains its leadership in 5G technology, it can remain far ahead in wireless connectivity, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing, because China already is strong in high-tech applications,” Chang said.

The United States and China have been fighting over the alleged national risk posed by the products of Chinese tech giant Huawei for over a year, and relations between the world’s two largest economies has deteriorated since the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Chang said that during his time at SMIC in the early 2000’s, the U.S. Department of Commerce had been generally supportive of Chinese tech companies, but that now it sees them as its “biggest obstacle.”

The U.S. government has cited “national security” as grounds for its restrictions on Huawei. The firm has denied holding any ties to the Chinese government.

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Chang founded SMIC with funding from China’s government in 2000 as a domestic Chinese rival to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation. He resigned in 2009.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor


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SMIC founder says 'optimistic' China can catch up with U.S. in semiconductors => Nitya Gopal Das: Ram Temple Will Be Constructed Soon,Wishes Of Devotees Will Be Fulfilled
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SMIC founder says 'optimistic' China can catch up with U.S. in semiconductors => RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat: Have Proved We Can Do What We Want To Do | CNN News18
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Categories
Tech

China will not accept U.S. 'theft' of TikTok – China Daily

SHANGHAI China will not accept the “theft” of a Chinese technology company and is able to respond to Washington’s move to push ByteDance to sell short-video app TikTok’s U.S. operations to Microsoft, the China Daily newspaper said on Tuesday.

The United States’ “bullying” of Chinese tech companies was a consequence of Washington’s zero-sum vision of “American first” and left China no choice but “submission or mortal combat in the tech realm”, the state-backed paper said in an editorial.

China had “plenty of ways to respond if the administration carries out its planned smash and grab”, it added.

Microsoft Corp said on Monday it was in talks with ByteDance to buy parts of TikTok after U.S. President Donald Trump reversed course on a plan to ban the app on national security grounds and gave the firms 45 days to strike a deal.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said over the weekend that Trump would take action shortly against Chinese software companies that shared user data with the Chinese government.

The Global Times newspaper, which is also government-backed, said U.S. treatment of ByteDance and Huawei Technologies, now on a U.S. trade blacklist, was indicative of U.S. efforts to separate its economy from China’s.

China had “limited ability” to provide protection to these Chinese companies by retaliating against U.S. companies because the United States had technological superiority and influence with its allies, it added.

“China’s opening-up to the outside world and disintegrating the U.S. decoupling strategy should be priorities,” it said in an editorial.

Also Watch

India Records 52,050 COVID-19 Cases & 803 Deaths In Last 24 Hours, Total At 18,55,745 | CNN News18

The Global Times is published by the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor


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Categories
Tech

Google Pixel 5 And Pixel 4a 5G Will Not Come To India And It Is A Long Wait For Google Pixel 4a

Google has finally announced the 2020 Pixel phone updates, and perhaps forced into the situation because of the global Coronavirus pandemic, the company announced three phones in total of which two will only arrive later this year. In fact, the rollout schedule of the new Pixel phones is pretty complicated whichever way you look at it, particularly if you are in India. Let us get the complication out of the way first. First and foremost, Google announced three phones—the Google Pixel 4a, the Google Pixel 4a 5G and the Google Pixel 5. Interesting to note, there is no XL version of any of these phones this year. The Google Pixel 4a is up for preorders in the US with prices starting $349, which would be around Rs 26,200 on direct conversion, without factoring in local taxes etc. Nevertheless, a whole lot of disappointment awaits you if you live in India and had been eyeing splurging on a new Google Pixel phone.

All these phones, the Google Pixel 4a, the Google Pixel 4a 5G and the Google Pixel 5, will roll out in various countries before the end of the year 2020, while the exact roadmap remains as a good a guess as any. What does Google say? The Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5 will be available in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Japan, Taiwan and Australia in the coming months, is all they say.

But what About India?

Well, let us look at the two important takeaways for India from the Google Pixel phone announcement for 2020. First and foremost, of the Google Pixel 4a, the Google Pixel 4a 5G and the Google Pixel 5 phones, only the Google Pixel 4a will arrive in India. Google has categorically said that the Google Pixel 4a 5G and the Google Pixel 5 phones will not be launched in India. And Singapore. “Regarding the two new 5G Pixel phones that were announced globally today, these will not be available in India or Singapore, based on a variety of factors including local market trends and product features. We remain deeply committed to our current Pixel phones and look forward to bringing future Pixel devices to these countries,” says an official statement by Google. The company hasn’t clarified why the two phones are giving India a miss, though one would suspect it could also be a cost issue since 5G is not yet available in India and 5G networks which you and I can use are still some way away. Though, that hasn’t stopped rivals from launching phones that are 5G ready, in India, over the past few months.

This is a follow through on last year, when the Pixel 4 and the Pixel 4 XL phones were also never launched in India. Some suspected it was because of the Soli radar chip, since some wireless frequencies in India are not unlocked for commercial usage.

Secondly, and more important, is when should we be ready to welcome the Google Pixel 4a—the only Google Pixel phone of 2020 that will be launched in India. Well, it is still a long wait because Google just says that the Google Pixel 4a will launch in India in October. It will be available on Flipkart, something that is now confirmed. We do not yet know the India specific price of the Google Pixel 4a, which Google says they will reveal closer to the date of the launch.

Is The Google Pixel 4a Up For Sale Anywhere in The World?

The Google Pixel 4a is up for preorders in the US with prices starting $349. As far as the Google Pixel 4a specs are concerned, this has a 5.81-inch display, is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 processor and retains the single 12-megapixel camera at the back, something that Google Pixel phones have rocked for many years now. There is just one variant at this time, with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. The Google Pixel 4a has a 3140mAh battery.


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