Archive for Chinese Tech

Japan fears China’s lead in Artificial Intelligence

This Week in Asia

Japan has announced that it is planning to invest billions of yen to fund next-
generation semiconductors and other technologies critical to AI development.

Unfortunately, analysts believe, parts of Japan’s AI sector are far behind
China, and there is little that can be done that will enable Japan to regain
its predominance.

The cost of developing new chips has become cost-prohibitive for many Japanese
firms, one of the root causes of Japan’s lacklustre performance. To address this,
the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (Meti) said it will fund start-up
companies and researchers, enabling them to devise new technologies and
simultaneously develop world-class AI experts. It plans to request up to
10 billion yen (HK$690 billion) from the government’s fiscal year 2018 budget
for its initiative.

Mitsuru Ishizuka, a professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo who specializes
in AI, confesses: “Frankly speaking, the situation in Japan at the moment is very
hard and we are slipping behind the research in this area that is being done in

“The government has set up two AI research centres, one under the Ministry of
Education and one under Meti, and there are many industries and companies that
are interested in AI, but there are a lot of obstacles,” Ishizuka told This Week
in Asia.

“For one thing, there aren’t so many AI researchers in Japan, certainly not in
comparison with those in this sector in China, which obviously has a far larger
population and a government that is investing very heavily in the sector,”
he added.

“The government’s efforts to promote research and development in the AI space are
a good step, but we are still behind the US and China seems to always be climbing
higher”, said Ishizuka.

Robotics Spending in China Leads the World

Bien Perez

Annual spending on robotics in mainland China is forecast to continue its rapid expansion and exceed US$59 billion by 2020, as demand ramps up in the country’s manufacturing industry.

The mainland will remain the single largest and fastest-growing robotics market in the world, accounting for more than 30 per cent of global spending during that period, according to a report released Tuesday by technology research firm IDC.

“China continues to lead the growth of worldwide robotics adoption, primarily driven by strong spending growth in process manufacturing and cross-industry applications,” said Zhang Jing Bing, IDC’s research director for worldwide robotics and Asia-Pacific manufacturing.

Robotics expenditure on the mainland is projected to hit US$59.4 billion in 2020, more than double the estimated spending of US$24.6 billion last year. That would make up about half of the Asia-Pacific’s US$133 billion in forecast robotic spending in 2020.

Those numbers are based on robotics spending across 13 industries on the mainland. The categories included are commercial and consumer purchases of drones, robotics systems, and related hardware, software and services.

IDC estimated that more than 50 per cent of annual robotics spending on the mainland is for so-called discrete manufacturing, which is the assembly-line production of distinct products like cars and smartphones, and so-called process manufacturing, which is the production of goods in bulk quantities like food, beverages and semiconductors.

“In China, we are also seeing an accelerated growth in the adoption of commercial service robots, especially for automated material handling in factories, warehouses and logistics facilities,” Zhang said.

Services-related robotics spending – encompassing application management, education and training, hardware deployment, systems integration and consulting across various domestic industries – is expected to grow to more than US$15.8 billion in 2020, according to IDC.

The strong market for robotics on the mainland has been reinforced by the central government’s announcement in 2015 of its “Made in China 2025” initiative, which promotes the fast-paced automation of major industries.

“The country aims to become a leader in automation globally,” Joe Gemma, president of the International Federation of Robotics, said in February.
Robotics expenditure on the mainland is projected to hit US$59.4 billion in 2020, more than double the estimated spending of US$24.6 billion last year. Photo: AP
Mainland Chinese installations of industrial robots reached about 90,000 units last year, up from 68,556 in 2015, according to the federation.

Rising interest in robotics has also fuelled investments in Chinese start-ups which deliver home-grown innovation in the field.

Worldwide investments in robotics start-ups grew to a record 174 deals last year, up from 147 in 2015, according to venture capital database service CB Insights.

In September, home service robot start-up Roobo from Beijing raised US$100 million in funding led by Shenzhen-listed software company iFlytek.

Humanoid robot maker Ubtech, headquartered in Shenzhen, obtained US$100 million in its Series B funding round from CDH Investments, Qiming Venture Partners and Citic Securities.

Drone manufacturer Da-Jiang Innovations Science and Technology, widely known as DJI, raised a US$75 million Series B funding round in 2015 from US venture capital firm Accel. That helped raise DJI’s valuation to about US$10 billion.

While Shenzhen-based DJI builds popular consumer drones like the Mavic and Phantom, it also makes drones for industrial applications like the Matrice series, CB Insights said.

China bans Windows 8 in favor of Linux

China has just banned Windows 8 due to security concerns.
Windows 7 will continue to be sold in China, but we can expect the
Windows platform start to disappear from the worlds largest I.T.
market in favor of domestic Linux based platforms. This is the cost
of the Pentagon’s infiltration into U.S. tech companies.

Some Chinese media outlets conjectured that Beijing will suspend
purchase of all computer products with the Windows 8 operating system,
inflicting some 10 billion yuan (US$1.6 billion) of lost revenue for

Liu Jiepeng, vice president of Tsinghua Tongfang, said that there is
an increasing call for the purchase of indigenous products by government
agencies, partly due to concern over the security of key information
systems, such as government agencies, power grid, and finance.

A notice for a recent procurement project by a central government agency
specifies that bids for products embracing indigenous Linux operating
systems are entitled to two extra points in the evaluation for tenders.


China Hits Back- IBM Servers and Windows 8 now banned in China

So let’s recap. U.S. outs four Chinese cyberspies and puts them
on a “most wanted” list despite not ever having a chance to prosecute
them because they live in China. China counters by inflicting
BILLIONS in lost sales on U.S. tech companies. Of course
the Snowden revelations started the U.S. tech meltdown in China
that is now just getting underway, but going after cyber-spies in
China served no purpose.

Cloud Computing in China booming as American giants are pushed out


China’s cloud computing market is expected to be worth 37.2 billion
yuan (US$6 billion) in 2017 as demand for the service grows, the
Chinese-language China Securities Journal reported on Friday.

Some American tech companies are watching the largest and fastest I.T.
market in the world, China, now pushing them out of of the country.
IBM for one is a company imploding fast with negative year over year
sales as customers in China walk away. This was the direct result of
the Snowden case and it was a real wake up call for Central leadership
in Bejing.

A report that came out today citing Wang Feng, manager of China Telecom’s
cloud computing company, said the global cloud computing business is on
the rise and that China is one of the nations witnessing fastest development
in the sector.

The average annual growth rate of the market is projected to stand at 26%
in China between 2013 and 2017, higher than the global rate of 17%, Wang
said. The market was valued at 13.4 billion yuan (US$2.1 billion) last year,
according to the report.

From the report, China’s three telecommunication giants–China Mobile, China
Telecom and China Unicom–have shown great interest in tapping the potentially
large market. China Mobile will inject billions of yuan in cloud computing
facilities to construct large-scale data centers, said Li Huidi, the firm’s
assistant president. China Unicom, meanwhile, plans to set up 10 cloud data
centers across the country, said Jiao Gang, general manager of its cloud data
company and China Telecom aims to develop a hybrid cloud business in 2014 and
2015, Wang said, predicting that its compound annual growth rate in cloud business
will surge by 156% in 2017 and take an 18% market share in China at that point.

US and Japan to develop supercomputer to challenge China

The US and Japan are to work together to develop a new supercomputer
in order to challenge China’s Tianhe-2 supercomputer, reports the
Global Times, a tabloid under the auspices of the Communist Party
mouthpiece People’s Daily. Sebastian Anthony, editor of technology
weblog Extreme Tech, said that China is currently winning the
supercomputer arms race against the United States, adding that China’s
Tianhe-2 is capable of operating as fast as 33.86 petaflops per second,
almost twice as fast as the US Department of Energy’s Titan.

Developed by China’s National University of Defense Technology, the
Tianhe-2 is recognized as the fastest supercomputer in the world.
It was originally scheduled for completion in 2015 but the Tianhe-2—
which is housed at the National Supercomputing Center in Guangzhou
in southern China’s Guangdong province — was put into operation in
June this year. Japan’s K computer, designed by the Japan-based Fujitsu,
was originally the world’s fastest computer in 2011 but has been
surpassed by the Tianhe-2 and the US systems Titan and IBM Sequoia in
just two years.

The US Department of Energy will now team up with the Japanese Ministry
of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology to develop the
new supercomputer with the ability to surpass the Tianhe-2. It is
believed the supercomputer will be completed by 2020 and will be 100
times faster than Japan’s current K computer, the Global Times said.

Chinese Super Computer, Tianhe-2, twice as powerful as anything in the U.S.

As the U.S military industrial complex focuses on spying on
its own people they continue to loose technical advantages via
their key competition.


Two weeks ago, Jack Dongarra flew to Changsha, China for a meeting with
researchers at the National University of Defense Technology, home to
the country’s top supercomputing program. He expected an update on
their plans for a new mega-machine, but they had a little surprise for
him: The system was already up and running.

It’s called Tianhe-2, and with more than 3 million processor cores, it’s
the world’s most powerful supercomputer. It can perform more than 30
quadrillion calculations per second, easily dwarfing the runner-up, an
Oak Ridge National Laboratories machine known as Titan. The Oak Ridge
system can do 17.59 quadrillion calculations per second, according to
its most recent published benchmarks.

On Monday, the folks who keep track of the world’s biggest supercomputers
will release the latest rankings, called the Top500 List, and the smart
money is betting Tianhe-2 will be on top.

The United States, long the dominant power in supercomputing, won’t have
a comparable system until around 2016, when the U.S. Department of Energy
is expected to build a Tihane-2-range supercomputer called Trinity.
Tihane-2 probably will beat out all U.S. systems for a few years, which
is more than a loss of bragging rights for the U.S. It raises questions
about whether the U.S. is investing enough in research and development
to keep its supercomputing lead.

“The most important thing about this system is that it not only has a
top performance, it also has a substantial investment in technology,”
says Dongarra, a computer science professor with the University of

In fact, the Tianhe-2 is remarkably Chinese. It runs a special version
of Linux called Kylin, developed by the National University of Defense
Technology. It also has its own homegrown networking gear. It’s even
using Chinese processors to power the supercomputer’s management tools.
In fact, the only American components are the Intel microprocessors
used to do the system’s mathematical calculations.

To be sure, those Intel chips are critical components, but Dongarra
believes that on future supercomputers, they eventually will be replaced
by Chinese chips — though he’s not sure when that will happen.
“They’re developing components here that will go into a system that will
ultimately be all Chinese,” he says.

It’s a remarkable success story for a country that didn’t have a single
system on the 500 top-ranked supercomputers in 2001. It’s also a warning
sign that the United States is losing its lead, as Europe, Japan, and
China ramp up their supercomputing efforts. “A decade ago, if it were a race,
we had laps on the field,” says Daniel Reed, vice president of research
and economic development at the University of Iowa. “Now the delta is a few
lengths and closing.” That matters a lot. Supercomputers are the test bed for
many of the computing advances that we now see in everything, from the multicore
processors in Apple’s iPhone to the futuristic networking technologies in
Google’s data centers.

“Cloud data centers and [high performance computing] system are twins separated
at birth,” Reed says. He should know. Four years ago, Microsoft hired him to
help figure out how to build next generation systems for its data centers.

It wasn’t supposed to get this close. Five years ago, the U.S. was on track to
build a supercomputer on par with the Tihane-2. The plan is still to someday
build these “exascale systems” — machines that are 30 times as powerful as
Tihane-2 — but by 2010 the recession intervened and funding never materialized,
says Horst Simon, Deputy Laboratory Director at Lawrence Berkeley National
Laboratory. “At the same time that the Chinese have made this big step forward,
the American investment is stagnating,” he says.

To build these so-called exascale systems will take a coordinated effort. Many
of the components are under development. Chipmakers such as Nvidia, Intel and
AMD are working on new microprocessors that will be power-efficient enough to
make these systems work. But the country also needs basic research to develop
the networking and software tools that will power these systems.

That isn’t happening fast enough, says Dongarra. “The country’s paralyzed in
terms of spending money,” he says. “Right now, we can’t get our act together
in terms of the exascale plan.”


China’s Star Trek: China has surpassed the U.S. in Space

Dan Collins
The China Money Report

A total of 78 orbital launches were attempted in 2012, with 72 being reported
as successful, and a total of 139 payloads launched.

The three most prolific spacefaring nations were Russia, with 29 launches and
27 successes; China, with 19 launches, all of which succeeded; and the United
States, with 13 launches, of which 12 succeeded and one was a partial failure.

Regarding manned space flight, the U.S. had zero and does not have manned space
launch capability any longer. China had a manned mission using
the Shenzhou spacecraft. While the U.S. relies on Russian rockets to get their
astronauts to the international space station, the Chinese have their own
manned rockets and their own space station. In 2012, China’s Shenzhou 9 docked
with the Tiangong-1 orbital laboratory.

What may even be more concerning is that the U.S. space agency, NASA finished
2012 with a Budget of $17.7 billion dollars and had 13 space launches with a
an 87% success rate. The Chinese “Guó Jiā Háng Tiān Jú”, or “National
Astronautics Bureau” had a 100% success rate with 27 launches with a budget
of only $1.3 billion dollars. The Chinese launched more than twice the amount
of rockets with a budget of only 1/17th of NASA’s.

Clearly these are basic rough data points and I am sure their is much detail
behind the numbers ,however, NASA just like most of the American economy has
become a jobs program. It is sinking indefinitely , producing less and less
with more and more resources. Chinese space plans are set by the Space bureau
and do not change when political leadership changes. In the United States,
they have become poisoned by the success of the moon landings and Kennedy’s
involvement in the program. Every time their is a new President, he decides
to completely alter the course of what the space agencies missions are.
Is it any wonder we have accomplished so little in space in the last 50 years.