StarHub cuts frequency of 'unskippable' ads for TV+ users after uproar over recently introduced feature

The company added that it has made” significant changes to optimize the speed of advertisements within the user program and reduce interruptions the seeing experience.” The company has partnered with branding software Magnite and Hoppr to begin offering regional advertisers access to its “premium TV inventory,” according to an onlineContinue Reading

TSMC is chasing a trillion-transistor AI bonanza - Asia Times

The disaster that hit Taiwan on April 3 has slowed down TSMC’s semiconductor production operations, and the company’s revenue goal for 2024 has remained unchanged. The company’s companies were built with a high level of disaster weight.

Management is conducting a thorough analysis of the situation, but as it stands, we may take a step back and ensure that the 10-year plan for systems development that Chairman Mark Liu and Chief Scientist Philip Wong have in mind before being forgotten.

On March 28, IEEE Spectrum, the publication of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, published an essay,” How We’ll Approach a 1 Trillion Transistor GPU”, which explains how “advances in electronics are feeding the AI boom”.

First, take note that Nvidia’s new Blackwell architecture AI processor combines two system-on-chip ( SOC ) limited to 104 billion transistor graphics processing units ( GPUs ) with a 10 terabytes-per-second interconnect and other circuitry in a single system-on-chip ( SOC). &nbsp,

Reticle-limited means only limited by the printing process’s ability to transfer pattern to silicon wafers at the largest possible size. In the upcoming century, TSMC hopes to increase the number of circuits per GPU by almost twofold.

The article begins with a review of the state of semiconductor production and unnatural intelligence:

  • The IBM Deep Blue computer that defeated world games hero Garry Kasparovs in&nbsp, 1997&nbsp, used&nbsp, 0.6- and 0.35- micron&nbsp, node&nbsp, systems.
  • The&nbsp, AlexNet&nbsp, neural network that won the ImageNet Large Scale Visual Recognition Challenge&nbsp, in 2012, launching the&nbsp, era of machine learning, &nbsp, used 40 nanometer ( nm ) technology.
  • Similar to the first edition of ChatGPT, AlphaGo’s program system used 5- mm technology, which defeated German Go Champion Fan Hui in 2015, to be implemented.
  • The Nvidia Hopper GPU, a refined type of the 4 mm method used by TSMC to create its president, is used to make Blackwell GPUs.

With the&nbsp, computation and memory&nbsp, capacity&nbsp, required for AI training&nbsp, increasing&nbsp, by orders of magnitude, Liu and Wong note that” If the AI revolution is to continue at its current pace, it’s going to need even more from the semiconductor industry” .&nbsp,

This will require not just moving to the 2- mm process network, which is scheduled for 2025, and then the 1.4- mm ( or 14A, A for particle ) network in 2027 or 2028, but likewise advancing from 2D ramping to 3D program integration:

” We are then putting together some cards into a firmly integrated, massively connected program. This is a paradigm change in silicon- technology inclusion”, say the two executives. They explain this as follows:

In the age of AI, the functionality of a system is immediately proportional&nbsp, to the number of circuits integrated into that program. One of the main drawbacks is that the reticle control, or no more than 800 square millimeters, has been established for printed chipmaking equipment. However, the included system’s size can now be increased beyond the reticle control of lithography.

We may integrate a system that can fit many more devices onto a larger piece of silicon than is possible on a single chip by putting some chips on top of a larger interposer, which is the silicon that interconnects are built into. For instance, TSMC’s&nbsp, device- on- wafer- on- material ( CoWoS ) technology can handle up to six reticle fields ‘ value of compute chips, along with a hundred high- throughput- memory ( HBM ) chips.

TSMC has previously used CoWoS in its shift from 7- nm&nbsp, to&nbsp, 4- m technology, putting 50 % more transistors in the same location for Nvidia and different customers. The HBM can be used with GPUs using a technology known as system-on-integrated chips ( SoIC ). &nbsp,

A large- badwidth memory chip consists of a stack of diagonally connected active random- access memory chips&nbsp, atop&nbsp, a control&nbsp, logic integrated circuit. According to TSMC, 12- layer HBM test structures have been created using&nbsp, 3D SoIC&nbsp, technology.

Next, we are told, optical interfaces based on silicon photonics” will allow the scaling up of energy- and area- efficient bandwidths for direct, optical GPU- to- GPU communication, such that hundreds of servers can behave as a single giant GPU with a unified memory” .&nbsp,

These developments, along with advancements in materials science, materials science, and fab equipment, should keep semiconductor systems ‘ energy-efficient performance ( EEP ) rising at a historical rate of about three times every two years. Energy efficiency and processing speed are both expressed in EEP. &nbsp,

If this sounds complicated, that’s because it is. Liu and Wong themselves say,” From here, semiconductor technology will get harder to develop”. But help is on the way in the form of 3Dblox, an open- standard 3D IC design system sponsored by TSMC, Intel, EDA companies Cadence, Siemens and Synopsis and engineering software company Ansys. They call this” A Mead- Conway Moment for 3D Integrated Circuits” .&nbsp,

In 1978, &nbsp, Professor&nbsp, Carver Mead&nbsp, of&nbsp, the California Institute of Technology and Lynn Conway&nbsp, of the&nbsp, Xerox PARC&nbsp, research and development company created a computer- aided design system that enabled engineers to design very large- scale integrated circuits without much knowledge of the semiconductor process technology required to make them. 3Dblox does the same for 3D ICs and packaging, say Liu and Wong, giving designers” a free hand to work on a 3D IC system design, regardless of the underlying technology” .&nbsp,

According to Liu and Wong,” an integrated AI system can be made of as many energy-efficient transistors as possible, have a suitable system architecture for specialized compute workloads, and have an optimal relationship between software and hardware in the era of artificial intelligence.” That sounds like AI- enabled design of AI processors, most of them made by TSMC. &nbsp,

Meanwhile, Taiwanese media report that most of TSMC’s manufacturing capacity is back on line. Buildings, some pieces of equipment and wafers in process were damaged, but the most important parts of the production lines, including the advanced ( and very expensive ) EUV lithography systems, were not. &nbsp, &nbsp,

To protect its operations from earthquakes, TSMC has been putting in what are known as seismic management measures for the past 25 years. As an indicator of their success, Taiwan’s DigiTimes reports that TSMC’s estimated loss from the April 3 earthquake, after insurance payments, is likely to be about NT$ 2 billion, or only US$ 62.2 million at the current exchange rate.

Follow this writer on&nbsp, X: @ScottFo83517667

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Why Yellen’s reflation pleas fall flat in Beijing - Asia Times

The People’s Bank of China is giving a total new meaning to “monetary knowledge”. Asia’s biggest economy’s central bank is devising a program to provide as much as 500 billion yuan ( US$ 69 billion ) to support innovation in science and technology.

It’s a “relending” system, meaning that the&nbsp, PBOC&nbsp, may extend funds to choose institutions that lend&nbsp, money to qualified sectors in need of financial support. The Communist Party’s presentation of the business on April 7 during US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s attend to Beijing demonstrates why Washington’s hope for significant reflationary stimulus seem implausible to materialize.

China’s 2024 plan combination is inspiring a lively debate among global economics. Some think that the PBOC should use yuan to prevent deflation and study from Japan’s errors from the 1990s. Others believe that fundamental reforms are much more essential to address China’s property crisis, stabilize the economy, and reduce the number of youth unemployment records.

However, President Xi Jinping’s team appears to be in favor of a second strategy: hyper-targeted liquidity infusions, efforts to change growth engines to tech-driven future industries that promote disruption and productivity, and a strategy that is specifically targeted at the areas where the PBOC’s liquidity might be most influential in boosting China’s upmarketness.

New hints from the group led by Governor&nbsp, Pan&nbsp, Gongsheng suggest the PBOC is assuming a key role in driving the supply- side renaissance that Xi and Premier Li Qiang pledged – &nbsp, And that this retooling effort, certainly aged- school blasts of stimulus, is the priority.

Pan Gongsheng ( pictured here as vice governor ) is now the governor of the People’s Bank of China ( PBOC). Photo: Twitter / New Straits Times / Screengrab

To start, the&nbsp, fresh program&nbsp, will channel one- year loans through 21 economic entities, including China Development Bank, Postal Savings Bank of China and various policy banks, state- owned business banks and combined- stock commercial banks. The loans are intended for small and medium-sized technology companies with a 1.75 % interest rate. The money may be re-allocated.

The drive aims to increase support for technology and technology-focused SMEs in both the growth stage and the early stages of development. It will prioritize businesses with the greatest potential to spur China’s transformation, as well as provide funding for a range of equipment renewal projects to promote natural initiatives across sectors.

The PBOC’s minutes from its first-quarter Monetary Policy Committee meeting next week included the hinge. Pan’s group emphasized the need to intensify efforts to implement structural reforms and develop new tools to improve performance in the real economy.

In order to boost demand and support distressed property developers, the meeting highlighted the need to update cover credit policies that are tailored to city-specific needs. In response to China’s economic opening, legislators urged officials to develop a new model for real estate development to lessen boom/bust processes and lessen challenges.

More significantly, officials referred to” mix- continuous adjustment”. That includes addressing longer-term structural issues, and how Pan’s PBOC addresses one of the most contentious topics in contemporary economic technology: whether central banks have a distinct role to play in promoting greater sustainability through increased innovation and productivity.

It’s a sign that Yellen’s hopes that China may accept Washington please- reflate- soon stance is a non- starter. On Saturday, after two days of meetings with Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng, Yellen said the two had agreed to promote “balanced” economic growth amid US concerns about&nbsp, overcapacity in China’s manufacturing industry.

The effort, Yellen says,” will facilitate a discussion around macroeconomic imbalances, including their connection to overcapacity, and I intend to use the opportunity to advocate for a&nbsp, level playing field&nbsp, for American workers and firms”.

In Guangzhou on Friday, Yellen chided China for pursuing “unfair economic practices, including imposing&nbsp, barriers to access&nbsp, for foreign firms and taking coercive actions against American companies”. She expressed concern that mainland factories could produce more goods than the world’s economy could handle. Vice Premier&nbsp responded by saying that China wants to” create a favorable environment for businesses and deliver benefits to our two countries and our two peoples.”

Yellen made a point of shouting out Deng Xiaoping’s 1992 visit to manufacturing&nbsp, and export powerhouse Guangzhou. Yellen hopes the Xi era will level the playing field for Western companies, marking a significant milestone in China’s transition to a market economy.

According to Yellen,” I firmly believe that this will not only harm these American businesses; it will also benefit China by promoting the improvement of the business climate in this country.” She added that many corporate CEOs worry about” the impacts of China’s shift away from a&nbsp, market approach“.

Yet Yellen’s recent pitch has influenced China to increase its stimulus efforts significantly. And there’s a lost- in- time element to Washington’s latest pleadings.

Change a few numbers, a few dates, and a few names, and Yellen’s remarks will sound similar to those made by Washington in the middle to the late 1990s. It’s not difficult to imagine then-Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin or his successor Lawrence Summers offering Tokyo officials the same counsel.

Japan has been trying to do this for 25 plus years with little success, as Yellen is advocating. The fiscal and monetary floodgates opening up year after year undoubtedly helped to boost the country’s gross domestic product. Tokyo’s only action was to address the signs of the weak demand that contributed to its multi-decade funk, but without bold supply-side reforms.

Japan currently accounts for roughly 260 % of GDP, which is the most of developed nations ‘ debt burden. The&nbsp, Bank of Japan, &nbsp, meanwhile, has kept interest either near zero, or below, since 1999. Six years ago, the BOJ’s balance sheet even topped the size of its US$ 4.7 trillion economy, a first for a Group of Seven economy.

The Bank of Japan. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

All this excess wealth covered the underlying economy’s deepening gaps. It took the onus off government after government to do the needful: cut red tape, internationalize labor markets, catalyze a startup boom, increase productivity and empower women. It lessened the need for corporate CEOs to experiment, change, and take risks.

When the Liberal Democratic Party won back control of the country in 2012, things got worse. With bold plans for a supply-side shakeup like Japan Inc. had never seen before, the LDP did so. Instead, the three governments have since allowed the BOJ to take the lead with more easing measures.

This includes Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s government today. Look no further than the BOJ’s refusal to increase interest rates beyond 0.0%- 0.1 % on March 19. So tepid was the BOJ’s “rate hike” that day that the yen is 1.8 % weaker now.

No matter how much Yellen & Co. is receiving from China, Beijing must stay away from this formula for economic mediocrity.

International Monetary Fund head Kristalina Georgieva urged China to prioritize future-oriented industries over smokestacks during a trip to Beijing last month.

” Domestic consumption depends on income growth, which in turn relies on the productivity of capital and labor”, Georgieva explained. ” Reforms such as strengthening the&nbsp, business environment&nbsp, and ensuring a level playing field between private and state- owned enterprises will improve the allocation of capital. Higher labor productivity and higher incomes will be achieved when human capital is invested in: education, life-long training, and reskilling.

Such upgrades, Georgieva stressed, are “particularly important as China seeks to seize the opportunities of the AI ‘ big bang.’ Countries ‘ readiness for the artificial intelligence world is already a problem for today.

This has long been Xi’s plan. Efforts to champion high- tech industries, particularly cutting- edge manufacturing and&nbsp, service sectors, are centerpieces of the party’s” Made in China 2025″ project.

The plan is to lead the global charge on semiconductors, &nbsp, biotechnology, aerospace, renewable energy, self- driving vehicles, artificial intelligence, green infrastructure, logistics and other areas.

It is “absolutely necessary to support the efforts to modernize the industrial system and accelerate the development of new productive forces,” according to Xi’s team’s statement at the National People’s Congress last month.

More recently, Xi’s party unveiled a list&nbsp, of state- owned enterprises and conglomerates that will spearhead this fresh wave of&nbsp, future- oriented sectors&nbsp, that will raise Japan’s economic game. Priority areas include AI, neuroscience, nuclear fusion and quantum computing.

The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission will be in charge of the business. According to Lin Xipeng, an analyst with China Merchants Securities, it has been “given a clear mandate that developing emerging and future industries is a crucial task.” ” While cultivating start- ups and units within their ecosystems, SOEs will also tap external investment and merger opportunities”.

Enhancing the quality of growth rather than just increasing the quantity has always been a top Xi priority. A major priority for moving there is increasing the percentage of GDP driven by technology. According to a recent Bloomberg Economics study, the high-tech sector’s contribution is projected to surpass that of real estate by 2026.

According to economists Chang Shu and Eric Zhu,” the high-tech sector has the potential to become a much more significant source of growth.” Tech is seen driving demand worth nearly 19 % of GDP by 2026, up from 14.3 % last year. Just over 20 % of GDP is driven by the property sector.

The PBOC’s lending program could help hasten the transition, particularly if Xi and Li ensure that this initial&nbsp, 500 billion yuan to support science and technology is just the beginning.

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Sydney floods: Warnings of further deluge as major dam spills

Police tape in front of a closed-off flooded road in the Sydney suburb of North Narrabeen on 6 AprilAFP

Authorities have issued a warning that flood waters are expected to rise in Sydney after heavy rain on Friday caused flash flood in pieces of Australia’s second-largest area.

Heavy rains pummelled parts of the city for 24 hours, forcing hundreds to leave the state’s outskirts.

The rain also caused the city’s primary supply of water, the Warragamba Dam, to flow two days earlier than expected.

People who reside upstream of the bridge have been warned to expect more storms.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the bridge started spilling on Saturday night and has since been pumping inland the equivalent of 80 000 Olympic-sized swimming pools every minute.

The dam’s water levels were expected to peak by midnight local time ( 13: 00 GMT ) on Saturday, according to officials. However, some people have been informed of additional flood threats because the majority of the water from the bridge has not yet reached Sydney’s flood-prone areas.

New South Wales State Emergency Service director Carlene York stated to writers,” We have been out with the group, letting them know what is coming and making sure they prepare.”

We do n’t believe that the water in those areas is having a significant impact on rural farmland, stock, families, and businesses; however, we do know that the river will continue to flow at a high level in those areas.

In the upcoming weeks, the water levels in the Hawkesbury and Nepean river are expected to rise.

WaterNSW CEO Andrew George reported that another reservoirs, including the Blue Mountains bridge and the Tallowa Dam on the Shaolhaven River, were likewise leaking waters. Spillages from three different urban reservoirs was expected, he said, quoted by 9News.

Authorities issued emergency evacuation instructions for many of the state’s low-lying regions, including Richmond and Windsor, after a week’s worth of rain started to pour through Sydney on Friday.

While the incident rain situation appears to be easing and it appears as though Sydney is currently sporting blue skies, it is important to take into account that overflow levels in some of the rivers, especially in northern Sydney, are still rising, which poses a threat to some communities, according to New South Wales Premier Chris Minns, who spoke to reporters on Saturday.

More than 150 people were rescued from landslides on Saturday, the New South Wales State Emergency Service said, adding that 72 rescue took place in Sydney.

One man was found deceased in waters near a supply in Penrith, in Sydney’s east on Saturday. It was not immediately apparent whether his dying was related to the storm, according to New South Wales officers.

Some trains in Sydney have been halted because of flooding along the paths, and many streets have also been closed.

Additionally, thousands of people have been left without electricity.

Images also show houses being destroyed in Wollongong area, north of the state capital, in addition to the disruption in Sydney.

Queensland state has also issued flood instructions, with people advised to avoid unnecessary vacation.

A man walks passed part of a house washed up onto Koloona Avenue in Mount Kiera, Wollongong, Australia, 6 April 2024.

DEAN LEWINS/EPA- EFE/REX/Shutterstock

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Samsung: Tech giant sees profits jump by more than 900%

A Samsung Semiconductor display on day two of the Mobile World Congress.Getty Images

Samsung Electronics claims that its revenue for the first three weeks of 2024 will increase by more than tenfold over the same period last year.

It comes as chip prices rebound from a post-pandemic slump and as demand for products relating to artificial intelligence ( AI ) rises.

South Korea- based Samsung is the world’s largest manufacturer of memory cards, smartphones and televisions.

On April 30th, the business is scheduled to release a thorough financial report.

The technology giant estimated that its operating profit rose to 6.6 trillion won ($ 4.9bn, £3.9bn ) in the January- March quarter, 931 % higher than the same period in 2023. That exceeded experts ‘ predictions of about 5.7 trillion won.

Following a significant decline a year earlier, its earnings are anticipated to be boosted by a rise in silicon prices on the international market.

International memory chip prices are thought to have increased by about a five in the last year.

The silicon division of Samsung is typically the company’s biggest income earner.

This time, helped by the increase in AI systems, is expected to continue to be strong in demand for semiconductors.

The world supply of cards may also be tightened by the earthquake that hit Taiwan on April 3, which could cause Samsung to increase prices further.

Taiwan is home to some big chipmakers, including TSMC- which is a distributor to Apple and Nvidia.

TSMC has stated that the earthquake did not significantly affect its output, but that it did experience some operational upheaval.

Samsung is also expected to get a raise from sales of its new flagship Galaxy S24 phones, which were launched in January.

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Vistara: Top India airline to reduce flights amid protests by pilots

A Vistara aircraft prepares to land at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in MumbaiGetty Images

A significant Indian airline is halting businesses this month as a result of frequent flight cancellations and delays as a result of pilot availability.

Since 31 March, Vistara has seen almost 150 flight delays and 200 flight delays.

According to reports in the media, pilots were forced to take a massive sick leave to rally changes following the firm’s merger with Air India.

Vistara claims to be looking into better work-life compromise for its aircraft.

A Vistara representative told the BBC that the airline was “scaling up its network partially” and that clients would be reimbursed for delayed flights.

According to The Hindu news, at conference on Wednesday, Vistara CEO Vinod Kannan apologised to planes for “taxing schedule” and sought their” help” in resolving problems.

Additionally, Mr. Kannan stated that in order to create a pilot cushion, flight cancellations may continue until the end of the month.

The Tata Group, which holds the majority stake in Vistara, bought debt- ridden Air India- formerly India’s national carrier- from the government for$ 2.2bn ( £1.8bn ) in 2021.

It is currently undergoing the consolidation of its flight company as it merges its different businesses.

Once the merger is complete, Vistara will make an investment of$ 250 million to acquire a 25.1 % stake in the combined entity through a joint venture between Tata Group and Singapore Airlines.

According to reports over the past few weeks, Vistara pilots have expressed dissatisfaction with the fresh pay structure and working hours.

After the consolidation, which is scheduled to be finished in the following year, pilots have also voiced concerns about unplanned staffing practices and concerns about their career prospects.

According to an Tv report, planes have been falling ill with increasing speed, “flying at the limits of the greatest work limitations”. This had raised questions about their safety and health.

A Vistara standard told the BBC that the airport acknowledged that its “rosters had been utilised to the max” and that it was working to alter the squad to help its aircraft achieve a “better work-life equilibrium.”

The airline, however, said there had been no significant rise in pilots reporting sick and attributed the delay in flights in March also to other factors such as “bird hits, planned maintenance, weather disruptions and congestion”.

Presentational grey line

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China's big bet on 'new quality productive forces' - Asia Times

Do n’t tell Donald Trump, but his pledge to impose 60 % tariffs on Chinese goods may help Xi Jinping’s efforts to boost the biggest economy in Asia in ways that Washington did n’t expect.

Granted, President Xi has been previewing his buzz- expression of “new excellent successful forces” since at least next September. Though mysterious and a tad confusing, Xi’s interior circle has been selling it as the solution to China’s financial future.

Little did Team Xi know that former US president Donald Trump would be assisting the Communist Party in selling the plan. In the decades since September and the National&nbsp, Women’s Congress in early March, Trump unveiled his plan to make deal war great again.

On top of crushing new import fees, Trump says he plans to withdraw China’s “most popular state” position if elected in November. These steps may produce Trump’s 2017- 2021 tenure in the White House seem calm by assessment.

Trump’s Republican Party is doing so by repeatedly reminding Xi’s celebration of the absurdity of acting consistently to encourage local demand-driven growth.

To maintain development of nearly 5 % year over year, China must encourage its customers to spend more and keep less. That entails boosting incomes and creating stronger social safety nets to stimulate spending.

Additionally, it means developing more reliable capital markets so that the typical Chinese may participate in both stocks and bonds rather than just real estate.

Yet Beijing’s intense concentrate on goosing use time and time again is destructive, some economists say. It makes China vulnerable to boom-and-bust cycles that necessitate immediate interest at the expense of reinvigorating the economy. Additionally, China’s heavy emphasis on exports makes the economy vulnerable to Trump-like trade war tics.

There’s no better option to accelerating and broadening China’s development as a large- technology powerhouse, advancement experts agree. And as 2024 draws near, there are signs that this is the hinge that Xi and Premier Li Qiang are trying to achieve.

In a report pictures, Li Qiang and Xi Jinping. Image: Twitter / Screengrab

Xi’s party stated at the NPC last month that” It’s crucial to support efforts to modernize the business system and promote the creation of new successful forces.”

According to Xinhua, the top priorities are “promoting green successful forces” throughout the country and” spurring revival of north China.” And making China a strong pioneer in semiconductors, electronic- car supply chains, clean energy, advanced infrastructure, aviation and unnatural intelligence.

Justin Yifu Lin, a former World Bank chief economist, argues that China “has enough space for ascent of technological development, business upgrade and performance level”. He cites the nation’s high savings rate, abundant investment resources and government commitment to economic development.

China, Lin says, has certain advantages that often get lost in worries about current economic challenges. As a major developing economy, Lin notes, China is” still in a process of industrial upgrade and still faces a big gap with developed countries, but this creates a latecomer’s advantage”.

During this catch- up stage, other economies including Japan, South Korea and Germany achieved a growth rate of 8 % or above. According to Lin, China has the potential to accomplish that if they can.

China “has yet another advantage in the new economy, which is characterized by artificial intelligence and the digital economy.” China is placed in the same starting position as those developed nations, but it has shown a significant advantage in developing new technologies in the process, Lin claims.

Lin also highlights China’s “abundant human capital” and its massive scale. That is, “any technological advancement or new product development can quickly enter the domestic market and benefit from economies of scale. China can outstrip developed nations in terms of scale thanks to its enormous domestic market size.

Also, China has, in Lin’s view,” the best industrial supporting capability of almost any economy globally”.

Beijing made a number of state-owned companies and conglomerates known on March 29 that it hopes will encourage China’s next big foray into future-oriented sectors and lessen US-led efforts to stop China’s rise. They include AI, neuroscience, quantum computing, nuclear fusion and other tech- driven industries.

This “pioneer” scheme is being overseen by the State- owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission. The goal is to deputize several conglomerates in order to start a boom in startups that will foster a vibrant ecosystem for a new wave of tech “unicorns.”

According to Lin Xipeng, an analyst with China Merchants Securities, the commission “has given a clear mandate that developing emerging and future industries is a crucial task.” ” While cultivating start- ups and units within their ecosystems, SOEs will also tap external investment and merger opportunities”.

The key is to end the West’s” chokehold” on China’s tech development, says Hu Yongjun, an analyst at the State Information Center under the National Development and Reform Commission.

This, of course, raises any number of risks as the US tightens the screws. Current President Joe Biden has sharply restricted China’s access to semiconductors and other important technology while Trump imposed massive tariffs. In addition, Beijing has united allies Japan and South Korea in a close relationship with China. Additionally, he has pledged to make hundreds of billions of dollars investment to rebuild home tech.

For China, it is a clear inefficiency that has hampered Beijing’s up-tech plans by making new high-tech products with less-than-modern machinery. Even so, the quicker China puts innovation and entrepreneurship in the economy’s driver’s seat the better.

China’s semiconductor market faces US sanctions. Image: Asia Times Files / iStock

A segue of this size, according to Xi’s inner circle, will increase Chinese competitiveness to levels comparable to those of its US and European counterparts. Beijing also believes it will replace a high-wage workforce in order to raise living standards and consumption. Then, over time, China’s growth will be self- reinforcing without the need for bursts of traditional fiscal and monetary stimulus.

Not everyone is convinced it’ll work, though. According to Arthur Kroeber, an analyst at Gavekal Dragonomics,” the theory is that all of these investments in high-tech industries will ultimately lead to very successful companies that will be able to employ people at high wages and that will ultimately lead to a lot of employment growth and consumption growth in the future.”

Kroeber warns that” the issue with that is, number one, that no matter how successful they are, will be able to completely replace the lack of demand that you are having from a property sector that is probably shrinking by somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 to 40 %.”

The” second thing,” according to Kroeber, is that even if these investments in high tech pay off, and I honestly believe a lot of them will, it does n’t necessarily mean that productivity will increase across the entire economy.

Kroeber warns that these high-tech companies may end up contributing only a small percentage to the economy’s overall employment. Most employment in the last decade has come from service sectors, largely from consumer- facing industries, and there’s no particular reason for that to change.

” So”, Kroeber argues,” the idea that you are going to create an economy- wide productivity boom that will raise overall wages and consuming power from these high- tech investments, I think is a little bit fantastical, frankly. So when I add all of this up, I believe that looking ahead to the upcoming years, we can anticipate that China will continue to struggle to maintain growth.

Yet, all the more reason for China to forge a new, different path forward. One reason is to address its getting more complex demographic problems. China must act urgently to increase productivity as its 1.4 billion-person population gets older and local government debt levels swell.

According to David Mann, the Mastercard Economics Institute’s chief economist for Asia-Pacific, the mainland had” a lot of growth coming purely from just more people showing up each year” before it was able to ignore economic inefficiencies.

In that context, private sector expansion and disruption have never been more crucial. The key question, as Mann sees it, is how rapidly and reliably Xi’s team is “able to bring in those innovations and introduce them in a way that does keep growth a bit stronger, without needing to resort to, for example, residential real estate investment, which is not as productive”.

International Monetary Fund head Kristalina Georgieva made the adage that China should increase domestic demand-driven growth when she spoke in Beijing last month. She also made a compelling argument for greater productivity and innovation.

” Domestic consumption depends on income growth, which in turn relies on the productivity of capital and labor”, Georgieva explains. The allocation of capital will be improved by changes such as improving the business environment and ensuring a level playing field between private and state-owned enterprises. Higher labor productivity and higher incomes will be achieved when human capital is invested in: education, life-long training, and reskilling.

Georgieva emphasized that these changes are “particularly crucial as China attempts to capitalize on the opportunities of the AI “big bang.” The state of a country’s readiness for the artificial intelligence world is already a problem for today.

But, Georgieva said,” the transformation ahead is not easy. The remarkable development success of China has benefited hundreds of millions of people. The younger generations are going through what many countries have gone through before as economies mature and growth&nbsp, moderates, and have lived their entire lives in an environment with exceptionally high growth rates.

In recent years, Xi’s efforts to champion high- tech industries, particularly cutting- edge manufacturing and service sectors, flowed from his” Made in China 2025″ project. That plan is to lead the global charge on semiconductors, biotechnology, aerospace, renewable energy, self- driving vehicles, artificial intelligence, green infrastructure, logistics and other areas.

This 2025 vision matched efforts to establish a form of” Silicon Valley East” in southern China. Xi’s so- called Greater Bay Area enterprise has sought to group Hong Kong and Macau with Shenzhen and eight other municipalities all angling to become economic powers of their own, namely Guangzhou, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing.

The 55- kilometer Hong Kong- Zhuhai- Macau Bridge cost more than US$ 15 billion to build. Photo: Xinhua

Municipal leaders across the country are catching up on the innovation-first zeitgeist in a quick move.

In January, for example, the eastern city of Hefei christened the first tranche of a series of big projects in areas including new energy vehicles ( NEVs ), new- generation information technology and photovoltaics. The wave of investment totals 36.7 billion yuan ( US$ 5.1 billion ).

Hefei is on the vanguard of locales for China’s scheme to build 10 national research labs, each charged with a different area of specialization. In the case of Hefei, it’s a quantum computing lab, in Shanghai, its a lab focused on AI pursuits.

ln the eastern Xiamen city, part of Fujian Province, more than 53 billion yuan ($ 7.3 billion ) worth of productivity- enhancing projects in new energy, new materials and biomedicine have been greenlit.

In central Henan Province, contracts for cutting-edge manufacturing facilities and a number of future-oriented emerging industries have been signed for almost 600 billion yuan ($ 83 billion ).

Such efforts are important because they provide a route for local governments looking to leave the land sales industry. Municipal leaders from developing local economies were disoriented by the almost linear focus on selling and leveraging land to generate tax revenue over the years.

None of this will, to be sure, be simple in the long run. Xi’s efforts to deleverage the economy are focused on the provinces of China. Banks are being advised by regulators to repress their use of offshore bond-issuance laws by local government financing vehicles ( LGFVs ).

The$ 9 trillion&nbsp, mountain of LGFVs ‘ debt&nbsp, is a major challenge to Xi’s efforts to pivot toward more productive and sustainable tech- driven growth.

In the interim, Jeremy Zook, an analyst at Fitch Ratings, says that “economically weaker regions may face further deterioration in fiscal revenue and tighten expenditures”. He continues,” It’s quite a balancing act” at the moment when Xi wants to encourage economic growth and reduce rampant borrowing across the country.

Indeed, massive state-led economic transitions of the kind China is attempting to pull off take time and a lot of risk. The key, though, is that Xi and Li ensure that “new quality productive forces” is more than just an empty slogan.

Shifting engines in such fundamental ways&nbsp, without crashing the economy will require, at least for a time, increased foreign direct investment ( FDI), which just fell to a 23- year low of$ 42.7 billion of inflows in 2023.

On March 27, 2024, Chinese leader Xi Jinping meets with US CEOs and academics at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. &nbsp, Photo: Xinhua /
Huang Jingwen

Another issue that many foreign investors are concerned about is that Xi’s blueprint for a more innovative economy is full of soaring rhetoric and promises but is lacking in specific reform measures to increase investor confidence.

True, the$ 7 trillion stock market rout from a 2021 peak to January has seemingly stabilized. It’s worth noting, too, that Xi recently hosted a who’s- who of global CEOs from Apple’s Tim Cook to Blackstone’s Stephen Schwarzman to Tesla’s Elon Musk to Boeing’s Stan Deal to Pfizer’s Albert Bourla to reassure the international business establishment.

However, Beijing’s actions will speak louder than words. Trump hardly deserves praise for all of this. However, the trade war presents a chance for Trump to win the presidency, which supports the claim that China needs to change its economic stances quickly.

Follow William Pesek on X at @WilliamPesek

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Evil Does Not Exist: a powerful Japanese eco-drama - Asia Times

Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s breakthrough cinematic masterpiece, Drive My Car ( 2021 ), won him deserved critical acclaim. The movie does a wonderful job of blending the agony of pain with the daily.

His fresh film, Evil Does Never Occur, is extremely effective in its use of juxtaposition. However, he is addressing the delicate issues of gentrification ( where wealthy people move in and replace and price locals out ), environmentalism, and the urban-rural divide. I was delighted to discover areas flourishing in the face of political and economic force.

The movie is a serene ( but occasionally on the verge of unsettling ) tale set in the small town of Mizubiki near Tokyo. Its close proximity to such a large district belies the decidedly opposite quality of life in the town.

A big company called Playmode turns community life upside down as Takumi and his daughter Hana go about doing so. This business wants to establish a glamping ( glamorous camping ) location for visitors to Mizubiki.

Glamping is typically a pricey activity for middle-class professionals who want to station but in peace, a kind of experience with nature but with all the niceties of the modern world. Consider tepees with correct beds, wood- losing stoves, toilets and more.

The business name Playmode undoubtedly attempts to work some sort of ignorance, despite what may appear innocent. The paradoxes at play these, which are durable but pleasant, and are natural but no nature, are central to Hamaguchi’s subtly philosophical analysis of the effects of business, gentrifying capitalism on traditional Japanese life and rurality.

Views from actual living

Takumi is a person of the world, embodying the island’s connection with nature. His work as a woodcutter and water-collector creates a rich mosaic of remote life’s patterns. His measurements, whether about the native flora or the nuances of woods life, appeal with the show’s understated but profound narrative style.

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A town hall meeting is held at which two corporation officials are dispatched to try to satisfy the villagers once they are all aware of the potential growth and impact on local water value, risk of wildfires, and disruption to animals. However, the two know they are infallible and are.

They are incredibly aware of the harm their business is causing to the community and their function there. This line of business straddles what social theorist Hannah Arendt characterized as” the banality of evil,” where people who unthinkingly follow orders be complicit in large-scale acts of violence.

This town hall meeting scene, in which villagers express concerns about the company’s ability to protect water quality from wildfires and the environment, is a fantastic example of how the two conflict more frequently arise between business interests and social values.

For those of us acquainted with climate engagement, especially in small communities, the city hall scene is all too common. It is well known how frustrated people are when they are confronted by business representatives who work with local officials, neither of whom are actually interested in speaking to or taking action on nearby issues. Unfortunately, it is becoming very prevalent within the context of native politics and environmental protection.

A Nebraska producer in the US in 2015 gave an excellent illustration of this type of situation by requesting a pro-fracking council to consume the tap water. On social advertising, this film is still being shared.

A changing cultural material

The invasion of Playmode is not just a risk to the island’s economic tranquility, but also to its cultural material. The company’s plans to build a tourist area in the nearby town are symbolic of bourgeois industrial growth and show disregard for the community’s way of life’s intrinsic value.

The villagers ‘ resistance, depicted by their sincere and sincere defense of their land and way of life, alludes to numerous real-world counterrevolutions against the exploitation of resources and culture. It brings to mind the recent striking images of villagers and activists in the small German village of Lützerath, where residents are being forced to leave to make room for a new coal mine.

I was also reminded of the Standing Rock protests against the Dakota Pipeline in the US in 2016, where indigenous people dominated the majority of the resistance.

A subtle yet potent critique of capitalism is presented through the lens of a small, traditional village that is under the weight of contemporary economic forces. The often-underappreciated effects of economic development and the resilience of communities in the face of such challenges are beautifully captured in Hamaguchi’s film. It is a narrative that not only illustrates the existence of a single village, but also highlights the struggle to keep traditional ways of life alive and the steadfast advance of capitalism.


At Royal Holloway University of London, Professor Oli Mould teaches human geography.

The Conversation has republished this article under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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Proposed law will require owners of critical services like water, banking to report more types of cybersecurity incidents

WHAT THE BILL COVERS

Currently, CII owners are just required to report security incidents involving connected or communicated laptop systems under their control.

Users will also be required to report incidents involving systems that are outside of CII if the fresh law is passed. &nbsp,

The Bill may enable CSA to safeguard STCCs in advance of their security, along with other crucial facilities.

The temporary systems used to help the circulation of crucial vaccines during a pandemic serve as an example of an STCC. During the COVID- 19 pandemic, destructive cybercriminals targeted the immunization distribution systems used by healthcare organizations all over the world.

In addition, CSA will create two new classes of regulated entities: Entities of Special Cybersecurity Interest ( ESCI) and Foundational Digital Infrastructure ( FDI). &nbsp,

These two courses may be subjected to “light effect” regulations as they are not critical information system. &nbsp,

ESCI, such as automatic universities, may keep sensitive information or do a work of national interest, for that their disruption could produce potential adverse effects on the defence, international relations, economy, public health, &nbsp, safety, or order of Singapore.

Under the Bill, CSA will be able to&nbsp, identify and control ESCI for security. According to Singapore’s cybersecurity agency, these entities ‘ obligations wo n’t be the same as those for CIIs. &nbsp,

In addition, the Bill mandates that businesses, such as data centers and cloud service providers, get in charge of cybersecurity of such online facilities.

This includes adhering to cybersecurity standards and codes of conduct as well as reporting prescribed cybersecurity incidents to CSA, which wo n’t also be at the level of a CII, according to the organization.

CSA added that it had consulted thoroughly on the Bill, through customer and public sessions. If passed, the organization stated that it would remain to consult with partners to make the Bill work.

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