Items tagged with China

Slowly but surely, it is becoming the absolute worst time to buy computer components as a new tariff that went into effect earlier this year is starting to trickle down to retailers. Customers in the market for PC components such as GPUs, motherboards and more, are beginning to see price hikes in stores and online, while these components were already in short supply. In 2018, President Donald Trump levied tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of Chinese products; however, these were put off until 2020. People expected that an extension would be granted for the tariffs, but that did not happen, so now PC component manufacturers face extra taxes anywhere from 7.5% to 25% at the high end. These... Read more...
Before U.S. President Donald Trump leaves office 14 days from now, he is taking another swing at China with his latest executive order. This new order bans transactions with eight Chinese software applications, which will heat Washington-Bejing tensions in the coming weeks. Moreover, it signals a stronger U.S. Government stance and more aggressive national security protection against Chinese companies and software. Yesterday, Reuters reported that the executive order is “aimed at curbing the threat to Americans posed by Chinese software applications,” arguing that “the United States must take ‘aggressive action’ against developers of Chinese software applications... Read more...
It is certainly a tough time to be a gamer in need or want of a PC hardware upgrade. Some of the newest and most desirable parts are in short supply, including the latest generation graphics from AMD (Radeon RX 6000 series) and NVIDIA (GeForce RTX 30 series). This has led to inflated pricing by marketplace sellers, but there are two other reasons why GPU prices are poised to shoot up—tariffs and cryptocurrency mining. Starting with the former, President Trump imposed tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of Chinese products in 2018, as outlined by a document at the Federal Register. As a result, thousands of companies asked for and were granted temporary exemptions. This helped... Read more...
It looks as though DJI could be in for some rough seas ahead as the U.S. Department of Commerce has just placed the drone maker on its dreaded Entity List. This is essentially an economic blacklist that prevent DJI from conducting business with U.S. companies due to potential threats to national security. If you recall, Huawei was also placed on the Entity List, and it practically torpedoed its smartphone business. This would represent a significant blow to DJI, as the China-based company is by far the largest producer of consumer (and commercial) drones in the world. In the United States alone, the company commands nearly 80 percent of the consumer drone market. DJI Enterprise even has... Read more...
Yesterday, Apple reported a record-breaking quarter, where it earned $64.7 billion in revenue thanks to strong Mac sales, better than expected iPad sales, and its booming Services division. However, one area that saw a significant decline was its iPhone business. Apple recorded $11.1 billion in sales in the China region during Q3 2019, but that number fell 28.9 percent to $7.9 billion. During the company’s earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook talked about the poor showing in China. "Back in April, I said we were in the most challenging environment in which Apple, as a company has ever operated," said Cook. "China is the region that was most heavily impacted by the absence of the new iPhones... Read more...
Oh great, as if 2020 has not been challenging enough already, the latest Digital Defense Report from Microsoft outlines some troubling cybersecurity trends. Threat actors are "rapidly" increasing the sophistication of their cyberattacks, ultimately making them more difficult to detect, and more likely to trick "even the savviest targets." "For example, nation-state actors are engaging in new reconnaissance techniques that increase their chances of compromising high-value targets, criminal groups targeting businesses have moved their infrastructure to the cloud to hide among legitimate services, and attackers have developed new ways to scour the internet for systems vulnerable to ransomware,"... Read more...
With the announcement of a ban for TikTok and WeChat, companies with foreign interests or investors have been under quite a lot of scrutiny. Now, the U.S. government is requesting domestic games companies with investments from Tencent disclose information about data security. According to a source to Bloomberg, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., chaired by the Treasury Department, sent letters to companies such as Epic Games, Riot Games, and other game development companies. These letters requested these companies divulge information regarding “security protocols in handling Americans’ personal data.” Recently, the Trump administration has gone all-in on companies... Read more...
Around the world, democracy is being attacked physically and digitally. Following the election interference in 2016, Microsoft has stepped up their game to help quell issues. In early September, they announced DeepFake detection A.I., and now Microsoft is detecting cyberattacks that target U.S. elections. From countries such as Russia to China, cyberattacks against the U.S. are a constant threat. Back in 2016, Russia was accused of breaking into the DNC email servers and stealing information. Elections and political groups are not the only targets, however. More recently, an attack on the U.S. power grid was perpetrated by an unknown source. Although this attack did not have any significant effects,... Read more...
In August, after a long line of accusations, US companies, such as Qualcomm and MediaTek, were barred from selling to Huawei. On Friday, MediaTek stated it went to the U.S government to request permission to sell to Huawei.  Recently, Qualcomm went to request permission with the argument that MediaTek could take advantage of the situation. As it turns out, though, all these companies are on the same playing field. In fact, according to the Reuters report, analysts believe that MediaTek could take the biggest hit if they were not allowed to sell to Huawei.  Though they could be in financial rough waters, MediaTek is still respectful of the system. With the appeal to the government, they... Read more...
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...
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