Items tagged with China

Nintendo has another hit on its hands with Animal Crossing: New Horizons for the Switch. The game is proving a fun distraction from real world events, notably the Coronavirus pandemic, though it has been unofficially banned from China's e-commerce platforms after a Hong Kong activist used the game as a means of protest. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a real-time simulation in which the player assumes the role of a character who relocates to a deserted island after purchasing a deserted island package from Tom Nook. The player can decorate their island and invite others to visit. It's a simple premise, and one that has been resonating with gamers. So, what's the problem in China? Hong Kong activist... Read more...
Plague Inc. is a video game that has been around for many years. The point of the game is to allow players to evolve an illness with the ultimate goal of destroying humanity. The CDC has praised Plague Inc. as providing a non-traditional route to raise public awareness on epidemiology, disease transmission, and disease/pandemic information. The Chinese government, however, has now removed Plague Inc. from the China App Store. Ndemic Creations stated on its website that the Chinese government had pulled the game and that there was nothing it could do about the removal. Ndemic says that it was informed the game "includes content that is illegal in China as determined by the Cyberspace Administration... Read more...
The coronavirus has taken the world by storm in the past month, and is actively disrupting travel, trade, and unfortunately taking lives in the process. For those that are concerned about the coronavirus, or simply would like to see a detailed graphical representation of reported cases around the globe, the Center for Systems Science and Engineering has constructed an informative live dashboard to track it. The coronavirus live dashboard gives us an incredibly detailed look at the coronavirus thanks to it pulling data from multiple sources including the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control... Read more...
Tensions with China are growing as the U.S government fears that China is attempting to spy on Americans via the myriad of electronic devices built inside the country. Recently, Washington has pressured TSMC to produce the chips that are used inside U.S. military hardware within the United States. Reports indicate that the U.S. government wants to ensure that TSMC can build high-security components free from any Chinese interference. TSMC currently makes computer chips used in the Lockheed-Martin F-35 Lighting II fighter jet and is a key supplier for Apple and AMD. TSMC also supplies chips to Huawei, a Chinese smartphone maker that has had its run-ins with the U.S. government, but the ban on... Read more...
A report has surfaced that claims the United States government plans to permanently stop its civilian drone program. The reason cited by the report is that the drones used are at least partly made in China, and the United States government fears potential Chinese spying. Currently, the US Department of the Interior has about 1,000 drones that it is reportedly considering ending the use of because the risk of spying is too high. The first rumblings of the government's plan surfaced in a report by the Financial Times that cited two people briefed about the plans. The sources claim that Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt hasn't yet signed an official policy, but is planning to pull the drone... Read more...
Nintendo is finally hopping into the largest gaming market in the world with its latest consoles. The gaming company has announced that it will be launching the Nintendo Switch in China on December 10. The launch will come in cooperation with Tencent, and the console will be called the Tencent Nintendo Switch. Nintendo plans to sell the console for RMB 2,099, which is about $300 Stateside. The price will get gamers in China a trial/demo version of New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe and a one year warranty, and games for the console will reportedly cost about RMB 299 or $42. Another nice aspect of the launch for gamers there is that Nintendo and Tencent are working with Chinese indie devs to launch... Read more...
There's weird news out of China today after a man and his friend were recently in front of a judge. The lawsuit came after the (former) friend, and defendant, sold a game character for the game "Justice Online" that the plaintiff in the case had spent $1.4 million on. The defendant/friend had been loaned the game character and reportedly accidentally sold it on the NetEase in-game marketplace for 3,888 yuan, or about $552. The owner of the character filed suit against NetEase and the friend who was loaned the character. The defendant in the case had reportedly tried to sell the character back to the owner for 388,000 yuan or about $55,138. Instead, he accidentally sold the character on the marketplace... Read more...
The United States Interior Department is home to one of the largest fleets of aerial drones in the US government, with more than 800 of them in the agency's employ. However, every single one of them has reportedly been grounded. They are not defective, and instead this is said to be a precautionary measure over growing tensions with China. At issue here is that each of the drones is either made in China, or uses parts sourced from Chinese factories, according to what a "person familiar with the matter" told The Wall Street Journal. The apparent concern is one of national security—as tensions between the US and China continue to grow, it was decided to ground the drones while government... Read more...
As part of the built-in protection in Safari to keep iOS users safe from malicious websites, Apple sends to browsing data to Tencent, a technology firm in China. This is revealed in an updated privacy notice, in which Apple says Tencent "may also log your IP address" in addition to the web address. Apple is not being nefarious here. Quite the opposite, at least in intent—when an iOS user visits a website, the URL and, in some cases, their IP address is sent off to be cross checked against known fraudulent websites. This step serves as an additional layer of protection against being caught up in a phishing scam. Previously in the US, Apple relied on Google and it's Safe Browsing service... Read more...
A week ago, Google disclosed findings from its Project Zero Threat Analysis Group, which discovered 14 vulnerability in iOS that were used across five exploit chains. According to Google, the exploits were used over a period of more than two years in a "sustained effort to hack the users of iPhones" by monitoring their private data and location information in real-time. It was later learned that the Chinese government was at least using some of these vulnerabilities to spy on Muslim minority groups in its Xinjiang territory. At the time, Apple didn't make any public statements about Project Zero's findings in part because it released an iOS security fix within two weeks of being... Read more...
A new app rocketed to the top of the Chinese Apple App Store charts over the weekend called Zao. The app launched in China on Friday and allows users to swap their faces with film or TV characters very easily. The app required users to submit a series of selfies to the app where the user blinks, moves their mouth, and makes facial expressions. The app then uses the selfies submitted to realistically morph the person's animated likeness on to popular characters in movies, TV, and other content. The deepfake tech is so good at putting faces onto the bodies of other people that some have been concerned about the potential for misuse. Some who downloaded the app were also very critical of the... Read more...
Last week we reported on multiple flaws in iOS that were found by Google's Project Zero team that primarily affected iPhones. There were a total of 14 vulnerabilities uncovered, which included exploits for the Safari web browser and the iOS kernel itself. Amazingly, perpetrators of these exploits were able to perform "drive by" attacks to pilfer photos, user contact details, and app data from users that simply visited malicious websites with their iPhones. While Apple was quick to fix the vulnerabilities when it was alerted about them, we didn't learn last week who had actually carried out the attacks using these previously unknown vectors. Now, thanks to reporting from TechCrunch,... Read more...
The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge popularized the notion of curved displays on smartphones, and the feature has proliferated on Android smartphones in the years that have followed. Oppo is taking the curved display concept to the extreme with what it is calling the Waterfall Screen. The curve of the display extends much further down along the sides of this smartphone concept at 88 degrees on both right- and left-hand sides. The immediate effect of the dramatic curvature is that when looked at directly from the front, it dramatically minimizes the appearance of the side bezels.  Oppo Waterfall Screen (R) One other consequence of this display arrangement is that there don't appear to be any buttons... Read more...
Is your VPN truly private? A recent study revealed that many VPN services are owned by companies that are based in China and Pakistan. User data could potentially be shared or sold to governments with notoriously poor privacy laws. VPN Pro recently investigated the VPN market and uncovered quite a bit of hidden information. At least 97 VPN services are owned or operated by only 23 companies. Their findings are concerning for a variety of legal, personal, privacy and security reasons. First, 29 or roughly 30% of the world’s top VPN services are owned by companies based in China. Another 7 VPN services are owned by Gaditek, a Pakistani company. Many national governments could potentially... Read more...
A new rumor is making the rounds at several Chinese websites this week claiming Apple is considering a new iPhone model specific for the Chinese market. The new model would ditch the Face ID sensor in favor of an in-screen fingerprint reader according to the report. Apple is famous for its high margins on its products, and it is reluctant to cut prices to maintain sales at the expense of its margins. What Apple often prefers to do is beat on suppliers to reduce its cost on components used inside its devices. The new rumor claims that one of the places that Apple is looking to reduce its cost on the iPhone and compete more effectively in China is by eliminating the Face ID sensor. Apple is facing... Read more...
The United States and People’s Republic of China have been engaged in a trade war for the last few years. The US is reportedly about to take this battle to the next level. President Trump will likely sign an executive order this week that would prohibit telecommunications companies from using equipment from companies such as Huawei. Three anonymous officials insisted that an upcoming executive order would ban telecommunications providers from using products from other companies that have been deemed a threat to national security. It is no secret that the United States believes that Chinese telecommunications company Huawei is a threat. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) recently confirmed... Read more...
The mobile version of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUGB) sees over 70 million average daily users in China, but even so, Tencent Holdings is yanking the game and replacing it with a more government friendly alternative called Game for Peace. Analysts believe it could generate over $1 billion annually through in-game purchases. Tencent announced the launch of Game for Peace on Weibo, where a Google translation pegs the name as Peace Elite. Whatever you want to call it, the game is not PUBG. This is a big deal for Tencent. PUBG Mobile is a big time money maker for the developer, with users having forked over more than $320 million, based on data from Sensor Tower. Nevertheless, its removal from... Read more...
The United States government and Chinese telecommunications company Huawei have a strained relationship. The US Department of Justice and various member of Congress have accused Huawei of spying on behalf of the Chinese government and committing a variety of crimes, while Huawei has accused the US government of launching a smear campaign. Now the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has thrown its hat into the ring. The CIA claims that Huawei is directly funded by the Chinese government. The National Defense Authorization Act prohibits American government agencies from using products from Huawei and their smaller competitor ZTE. Huawei has been accused of spying on behalf of the Chinese... Read more...
Apple loves its high margins, and it rarely cuts prices on devices, save for the occasional sale. It did institute a price cut in China back in February that saw prices fall modestly in the country, and sales boomed as a result. Apple cut prices in China as it faces very strong competition from local brands like Huawei and Xiaomi. Reports indicate that Apple has now cut prices in China once again. A reduction in the value-added tax (VAT) went into effect in China on April 1. Apple passed the tax savings on to the consumer in China and cut prices as much as 300 to 500 yuan, or about $44 to $75, for some of the latest iPhone models. Price cuts were made to the iPhone X, iPhone 7, and iPhone 8 smartphones.... Read more...
Chinese tech giant Huawei and the U.S. government aren’t exactly on friendly terms these days. The U.S. has long claimed that Huawei represents a security risk to governmental agencies and consumers alike, while at the same time torpedoing the company’s efforts to expand its presence Stateside with wireless carriers like AT&T and Verizon. Huawei recently fought back, suing the U.S. government over what it calls an unjust and unconstitutional ban. "This ban not only is unlawful, but also restricts Huawei from engaging in fair competition, ultimately harming U.S. consumers,” said Huawei in its filing. “We look forward to the court's verdict, and trust... Read more...
As was expected, Huawei on Thursday announced that it has filed a lawsuit against the United States government over a provision (Section 889) to the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that effectively bans all US government agencies from using products manufactured by the company (as well as ZTE), over spying concerns. The ban on Huawei and ZTE underscores the tensions that exist between the US and China, and efforts to stay one step ahead in today's cybersecurity landscape. On multiple occasions, US intelligence agencies have warned that Huawei and ZTE present a security threat and could be spying on users at the behest of China's government.   Huawei has repeatedly denied the... Read more...
Perhaps feeling as though it has been backed into a corner, Chinese telecom Huawei is preparing to sue the United States government over a defense bill that would further dissuade domestic companies from doing business with the company. The bill is the latest move in an ongoing effort to encourage businesses to distance themselves from Huawei over concerns that it is spying on users for the benefit of China. At issue here is an amendment to the US National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that was signed in 2018. The new language further blocks certain US agencies from using equipment by Huawei and also ZTE, another Chinese company that security officials have previously said could be spying... Read more...
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