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Baidu to use cloud computing, AI to improve behavioural analysis

Chinese internet giant Baidu says it plans to leverage advanced cloud computing to analyse the online data of millions of its users to help companies improve their marketing campaigns.
The Chinese search engine giant, which has real-time search data on more than 700 million internet users, is able to analyse individual users through its cloud arm’s artificial intelligence (AI), big data and cloud computing technologies, Yin Shiming, vice-president and general manager of Baidu Cloud Computing, said in Shenzhen.

“AI is bringing in new ways of thinking for many traditional industries,” said Yin, who cited the recent battle between Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo computer program and Chinese Go master Ke Jie as supporting his view that the development of AI technology has stepped up.
“Our Marketing Cloud, backed by Baidu Cloud’s data and technology, is not just saving resources and costs, but making marketing easier,” Yin said.

Despite challenges from other local search brands such as Sogou and Qihoo 360, Baidu’s dominance in online search has hardly swayed over the years, accounting for about 75 per cent of the search market.

Baidu’s mobile app is ranked as the seventh most popular in China, with 244.3 million active mobile users as of the end of March, according to Beijing-based research agency Analysys.

WannaCry hackers ‘were likely from southern China’

SCMP

The authors of the WannaCry malware, which infected computers in 150 countries two weeks ago, are probably from the southern mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan or Singapore, according to a US intelligence company.

Forensic linguistic analysis on the malware suggested it was written by native Chinese-speaking people with southern accents, said Flashpoint.

In a report on its website, Flashpoint, which provides global business-risk intelligence, said it came to the conclusion with “high confidence”. Earlier reports based on code analysis suggested North Korean programmers at work.

The WannaCry malware locked up data on infected computers and displayed a message in 28 languages demanding a ransom for restoration of the data.

The hackers drafted the note in Chinese first, Flashpoint said. Based on the Chinese text, they manually produced an English version, then converted that into other languages using Google’s translation software.

“A typo in the note, bang zu (幫組) instead of bang zhu (幫助), which means ‘help’, strongly indicates the note was written using a Chinese-language input system rather than being translated from a different version,” the report said.

The Belt-in-Road in Pictures

China Market Update

China poses a threat to US dominance in semiconductor industry

China poses a threat to US dominance in semiconductor industry

Reuters

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross sees the US semiconductor industry
as still dominant globally but said he is worried that it will be
threatened by China’s planned investment binge to build up its own
chip making industry.

Ross said in an interview this week that his agency is considering a
national security review of semiconductors under a 1962 trade law because
of their “huge defence implications” including their use in military
hardware and proliferation in devices throughout the economy.

He has launched similar “Section 232” reviews of the US steel and aluminium
sectors, where a flood of imports especially from China has depressed
prices, threatening the industries’ long-term health.

The probes could lead to broad import restrictions on the metals, and the
Trump administration could potentially take similar actions based on the
findings of a semiconductor investigation. “Semiconductors are one of our
shining industries, but they have gone from substantial surplus to the
beginnings of a deficit,” Ross said. “China has a US$150 billion program
to take that much further between now and 2025. That is scary.”

The 79-year-old billionaire investor was referring to China’s plans for
massive state-directed investments in semiconductor manufacturing capacity
under its “Made in China 2025” programme, which aims to replace mostly
imported semiconductors with domestic products.

Ross’ predecessor at Commerce, Penny Pritzker, warned last November about
looming market distortions if China builds too much semiconductor capacity

Ross added that while he understands Beijing’s logic in developing its
domestic chip industry, “that’s going to be a struggle” from a US trade
standpoint.

US semiconductor makers, meanwhile, have other ideas about how to secure
their future. Their major trade group, the Semiconductor Industry Association
(SIA), advocates open trade and increased access to international markets,
which now buy 80 per cent of US-made semiconductors.

US chip makers also depend on a complex global supply chain and have nearly
half their production capacity located overseas. “So while we fully support
efforts to ensure trade in semiconductors is fair and market-based, we do not
believe a Section 232 investigation is the right tool to be applied to our
industry” SIA President John Neuffer said. China hits milestone in developing
quantum computer ‘to eclipse all others’

One area where there appear to be some differences is how to define the industry’s
trade balance. Commerce Department trade data showed that “Semiconductors and
related device manufacturing” had a trade deficit of US$2.4 billion in 2016,
with exports of US$43.1 billion and imports of US$45.6 billion.

But that category includes rapidly growing imports of non-semiconductor devices
including solar cells and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) as well as some raw
materials. In a new submission late on Wednesday to Commerce for a study on trade
deficits, SIA said that excluding the non-semiconductor products shows the sector
had a US$6.4 billion trade surplus last year, with exports of US$41.3 billion
and imports of US$34.9 billion.

Neuffer said the industry was ready to work with the Trump administration to
find ways to persuade China to allow its semiconductor industry to develop in a
market-driven way and not discriminate against foreign firms.

He added the government could make the United States a more competitive environment
for semiconductor output through tax reform that does not penalise overseas earnings, immigration reform that allows the industry to attract new talent, improvements to
US education and more spending on basic research.

“The Chinese are determined to build a semiconductor industry,” Neuffer said.
“I think the strongest pillar of any strategy going forward has to be our government
helping to create an environment where we can pedal faster and stay as far ahead as
possible.”

Nude pics as IOU: a new, risky online loan among Chinese university students

Global Times

Many Chinese university students were found to have used their nude
pictures as IOUs on some online lending platforms, putting themselves at
the risks of having everybody – including their parents – see them naked.

Such risky methods of IOU is found usable on several online lending
platforms, but it is usually more often accepted within the QQ group chats
connected to such platforms. Borrowers are also required to upload pictures
of their ID cards and report their family information, including their
address and cell phone numbers.

Once a clear photo of a naked borrower holding his or her ID card is
uploaded to lenders, he or she can get up to 15,000 yuan ($2,277) credit
with a maximum of 36 month installments, the Nandu Daily reported.

The credit varies based on the borrower’s education background. Usually an
undergraduate student can receive 15,000 yuan in credit, while those studying
at famous universities as well as doctorate students can receive even
larger loans.

What comes with the seemingly easy business transaction is costly overdue
repayment. According to a self-claimed former borrower Li Li (pseudonym), the
weekly interest rate was 30 percent for her 500 yuan borrowed from an online
platform in February. As she kept failing to pay back on set payment due dates,
she borrowed more money from the platform with the same weekly interest rate
until the overdue payment grew to 55,000 yuan, which then led to a threat
with her naked pictures, the Nandu Daily reported.

Li told the newspaper that many of her fellow students have borrowed money in
this way, but most were too ashamed to talk. Snapshots of similar threatening
collection messages have also gone viral, with a photo of a female borrower and
a message reading how the lender would send the photo and her naked video footage
to her family members if she could not pay back her 10,000 yuan borrowed on an
annual interest rate of 24 percent within a week.

“Naked IOUs started long ago. Not only university students but many others
also borrowed money with nude pictures,” an insider surnamed Zhang told Nandu
Daily.

Another Chengdu-based insider said naked pictures are often acceptable as IOUs
in underground private loans companies and borrowers – who are usually loaded
with debt – are ineligible at standard companies, but they can get tens of
thousands from such underground sources.

By Monday evening, several online lending platforms that secretly offer naked
IOUs have issued notices on their QQ group chats to stop receiving nude pictures
as IOU, Nandu Daily reported.

Beijing braces for WannaCry 2.0

By Deng Xiaoci Source:Global Times Published: 2017/5/14 23:33:40

Mutated ransomware has overridden kill switch.

Beijing authorities announced on Sunday that they have detected a new
mutated version of the malicious ransomware WannaCry, and have urged
all departments to take measures to prevent attacks.

The malware was first detected on Friday, and has so far affected
institutions in more than 100 countries.

Beijing Cyberspace Administration, Beijing Public Security Bureau and
the Municipal Commission of Economy and Information Technology jointly
issued a notice on Sunday,saying that the mutated version, dubbed
WannaCry 2.0, has managed to override its previous kill switch and can
no longer be prevented from spreading. It is likely to spread faster,
reported qianlong.com, a news portal affiliated with the Beijing municipal
Party committee.

The notice urged departments to take measures to stop the virus attack,
including updating operating systems and disconnecting affected computers
from the Internet.

There was concern about the level of potential attacks from new versions
that would hit on Monday morning, the BBC reported.

WannaCry, a new type of “worm” ransomware virus, broke out on Friday
evening. Europe’s police agency, Europol, called the attack “unprecedented,”
and warned a complex international investigation was needed to identify
the culprits. The virus took control of users’ files, demanding payments.

According to a release by the China National Petroleum Cooperation on Sunday,
the company has recovered more than 80 percent of its network. The virus
affected gas stations, preventing customers from using cards to pay, but
now the company is recovering payments for gas filling cards, bank cards
and third-party payments.

The virus has affected several thousands of computers from 29,372 domestic
agencies. Among them, 4,341 education research agencies were the worst hit,
said a report from the Threat Intelligence Center of the leading Chinese
anti-virus software firm Qihu 360 on Sunday.

The report said that East China’s Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces are the most
affected regions in China. Affected agencies cover universities, train stations,
post offices, hospitals and government terminals, and the number is on the rise.

WannaCry is believed to use the EternalBlue exploit, which was developed by
the US National Security Agency to attack computers running Microsoft Windows
operating systems.

The virus poses serious challenges to international collaboration and demands
a buildup of a cyberspace security community, Qin An, director of the China
Institute of Cyberspace Strategy, told the Global Times.

Network weapons deployed by the US government have served as a core factor of
the virus rampage, which again reminds the world of the great harm the US’
network hegemony and its network weapons can bring about, Qin noted.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has stressed the importance of upholding cyberspace
sovereignty, calling on all nations not to engage in “Internet hegemony.”

China now accounts for 57% of global Esports audience.

In its report published this week on Tuesday, IHS found that more than half
of the global esports audience is in China, accounting for 57 per cent of
all viewing in 2016.Games were watched more than 11bn times online in China last
year, more than four times as many as in North America, the second-largest
market.

The amount of time people around the world watch competitive video games as
a spectator sport continues to rise at a rapid pace, up 19 per cent last
year to more than 6bn hours.

IHS analysts expect annual esports viewing to exceed tournaments, such as the
League of Legends world championship, hosted by Tencent-owned Riot Games, and
the Dota 2 international, held by US games group Valve, attract multimillion-
dollar prize funds, often contributed by fans through crowdfunding campaigns.

PBOC Exploring Digital Currency and allowing consumers to have accounts with Central Bank

CMR Editor

It is now apparent that the traditional banking system is like the
former telecom monopolies in the States. They are big, bureaucratic
slothful like institutions who literally live by sucking the prosperity
of society.

The over-gorged New York City and London elite take your money, pay you
no interest, then print money based off of your deposit.(fractional
reserve banking system) In addition to that they have a license to receive
money at near zero interest from the private Central Bank (The Fed) that
they own and then buy up government debt shackling the very governments
with debt that gave them the right to print the funds in the first place.

All of this fictionally created cash then washes into the market to compete
with normal investors in buying stocks, commodities, and other assets.
Prices and bubbles get created with so much new freely printed currency.
Normal people then have to imprison themselves with life-long debt to purchase
a house or pay for college tuition as costs explode all the while the Fed
themselves tell you there is no inflation. When the gambles on currencies and
commodities go bad as they do every decade or so…no problem,print more money
and expand the Fed balance sheet and devalue your life-long earned savings.

More supply of dollars equals less value, its simple supply and demand.

Now, there is a light at then end of the tunnel in this banker induced serfdom
for people around the global. Digital currencies and Fintech are threatening
the very existence of this 19th century banking infrastructure. Some Fintech
company will become the Amazon that blows up the retail sector or the Netflix
that blows up Blockbuster or even the Skype type company that blew up the
long-distance telephone scam on American consumers. Big Banking brands may not
be around in twenty years as they fail to cope with the digital challenge in
banking.

The Chinese banking system on the other hand has been nationalized and held into
strict types of businesses,by law not allowed to invest in exotic financial
products. And if you put your cash into a Chinese savings account, you actually
receive interest,at current rates about 4%.

Recently, an article has appeared showing the the PBOC is exploring digital
currencies and even the idea of allowing citizens to set up accounts with the
PBOC directly.Combined with Fintech companies such as Ant Financial will allow
frictionless, low cost banking to proliferate across the globe.

The original Chinese article (http://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/H0wDjzUL2Nn6mU42e2Dk8Q)
is written by YAO Qian of the Technology Department of People’s Bank of China
(PBOC).

This article discusses the relationship between digital currency and bank
account and proposes a design concept where bank accounts and digital currency
wallets coexist and operate at different layers. This article also demonstrates
a use case of earmarked subsidy distribution and suggests focus areas for further
studies.

It says,digital currency can leverage existing IT infrastructure with a variety
of applications and services, the costs of promoting digital currency would be
significantly reduced and its usage would be more convenient and flexible,
which would facilitate the wide adoption of digital currency by the public.
In addition, the incorporation of digital currency into existing applications
would generate more diversified scenarios, which would in turn contribute to
greater competitiveness of digital currency and enable it to provide better
services.

The most straightforward way to leverage the bank account system is to expand
the scope of central bank’s balance sheet. In fact, claims on central bank of
commercial banks and other financial institutions in the form of central bank
deposits have already been digitized. However, should the central bank provide
such services to broader counterparties? Should non-financial institutions such
as households be allowed to open accounts at the central bank?

If that happens, the middleman standing in the way of people and credit creation
will disappear.If you own a Lamborghini dealership in NYC it may be time to sell.

China is bent on world domination — but not in the way you think

Washington Post
By Fred Hiatt Editorial Page Editor

China is bent on world domination — not with its missiles and aircraft carriers,
but by controlling solar energy, cloud computing and other industries of the
future.

That is an only slightly exaggerated version of a warning coming from the American
chamber of commerce in China. It sent a delegation to Washington last week to
warn that “China’s aggressive mercantilist policies are one of the most serious
threats facing the future of U.S. advanced technology sectors,” as their policy
paper says — and that the U.S. government isn’t doing enough to counter the threat.

The warning is especially startling coming from AmCham China, as it calls itself,
which for years flexed its advocacy muscle persuading the United States to let
China into the world trading system and rebutting Americans who it felt were too
hard on China.

“Now we’re saying that things are really lopsided, and the government needs to wake
up and take action,” James McGregor, chairman of APCO Worldwide in China and part
of last week’s delegation, told me during a visit to The Post. “This is aimed at
domination of the industries of the future. We’re talking about artificial intelligence
and all the things that are important to the American economy.”

Given President Trump’s anti-China rhetoric during the campaign, you might expect U.S. executives in Beijing and Shanghai to feel optimistic about the prospects for a U.S.
response. They are hopeful — but they are also nervous, for reasons I’ll get to in a
minute, that the administration may miss this opportunity to course-correct.

First, though: Why has AmCham changed its tune so dramatically since the upbeat days
of China’s entry into the World Trade Organization? The chamber’s answer: China has
changed, not us. Its policy has shifted, McGregor said, from “reform and opening” to
“reform and closing.” The Communist regime still wants economic growth and market
mechanisms, in other words, but without subjecting its economy to open competition
from outside. In fact, a recent survey showed that more than 80 percent of the chamber’s
members “feel less welcome than before,” another delegation member, Lester Ross of the WilmerHale law firm, told me.

China has a well-developed, long-term industrial strategy, the chamber says. It limits
U.S. firms’ access to its market; demands that American companies share their advanced technology to get even that limited access; buys foreign companies that possess
technology it needs while preventing U.S. firms from investing in China; shovels
resources to Chinese companies as they ramp up; and then, once those Chinese firms have
fattened on the vast and protected Chinese market, sends them out to compete in the world.

“The economic relationship is critical to both the United States and China,” said
William M. Zarit, a former U.S. diplomat and now senior counselor at the Cohen Group and chairman of AmCham China. “But as strong as it might be, we have an investment and trade relationship that is out of whack. . . . We need to address this.”

During the campaign, Trump maintained that China was “ripping us left and right.”
“There are people who wish I wouldn’t refer to China as our enemy,” he wrote in 2015.
“But that’s exactly what they are.”But will his earlier skepticism translate into smart
policy?

Macau Shares Fall as Corruption Crackdown Widens

Apple’s Sales in China Continue to Crash

SCMP

Apple posts fifth quarter of sales drop in greater China, hurt by Huawei, Oppo and Vivo
iPhone maker’s combined revenue in Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland fell 14 per cent in the March quarter to US$10.7 billion

Apple reported its fifth consecutive quarter of revenue decline for its greater China business, buffeted by the strong US dollar and intense competition from Chinese smartphone brands led by Huawei Technologies, Oppo and Vivo.
The world’s most valuable company reported a 14 per cent decrease in combined first-quarter revenue from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan to US$10.7 billion, compared with US$12.5 billion a year ago.

Chinese scientists use drop of blood to detect cancer

CGTN
By Xie Zhenqi

Scientists around the world are striving for effective detection of
cancer in the early stages, and a Chinese scientist may have found
a quick way of knowing whether malignant tumors exist in a patient’s
body, with just one drop of blood.

Luo Yongzhang and his team in Tsinghua University’s School of Life
Sciences in Beijing have successfully invented a reagent test kit of
Hsp90α for clinical use, which can diagnose multiple kinds of cancer
by analyzing a drop of human blood.

Malignant tumors in early phases can be cured but once they have spread
all over the patient’s body there is no way to save the person’s life.
However, it’s extremely difficult to be aware of cancer in its early stages,
as patients don’t show obvious symptoms and thus it can only be found in
its later stages, which is already too late, so to detect cancer early
remains a global challenge for scientists.Back in 1989, scientists have
found a kind of heat shock proteins (HSP), named Hsp90α, which existed in
human bodies and can be used as a cancer biomarker detection kit.

Scientists around the globe have been working on it since then, and more
than 10,000 journals have been published on accredited magazines, yet no
one has actually turned their research results into medical products.

However, Luo and his team seemed to have cracked the code, after working
on theproblem since 2009. The team has produced an artificial Hsp90α protein
that gains structural stability by regrouping proteins. This means they are
able to “create” the protein, in any quantity, and at any time they wish to.

The kit has since been used in clinical trials involving 2,347 patients at
eight hospitals in China. It was the first clinical trial in the world to
test if the protein could be a useful tumor biomarker for lung cancer, and
it succeeded.

Now, the kit has been certified to enter the Chinese and European markets,
24 years after Hsp90α was discovered.Cancer is a group of diseases involving
abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts
of the body.

In 2015, about 90.5 million people had cancer in the world, with roughly
14.1 million new cases occurring each year. Approximately 8.8 million human
deaths, or 15.7 percent of all deaths in the world, are caused by cancer.

In China alone, 4.29 million people were detected as having cancer in 2015,
and 2.8 million of them died in that year.

China Market Update

Keiser Report – Show1062-Chinese Fintech

Max interviews Dan Collins of TheChinaMoneyReport.com about China’s tech sector coming up with all the innovations while drawing in all the investment. While Silicon Valley wastes capital on complex juicers, China attracts 50% of global fintech investment and its digital payments market is 50 times larger than America’s.

Thailand chooses China to build out Submarine fleet

Full article here

China Market Update -24APRIL2017

JD.com to build 150 operation sites for drone delivery in SW China

CHENGDU – Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com said Thursday it will build
150 operation sites for unmanned aerial vehicle delivery in southwestern
province of Sichuan.

JD.com CEO Richard Liu said the operation sites are expected to open
in three years and the drone delivery will help reduce the freight costs
by 70 percent.

The drone service will deliver Sichuan’s products to shoppers nationwide
within 24 hours and will improve delivery efficiency in remote mountainous
areas in Sichuan, Liu added.

JD.com has been developing drone delivery to meet the rising retail demand
in China’s rural areas, where complex terrain and underdeveloped infrastructure
have compromised timely human courier delivery.

JD.com said its drones, which can carry 50 kilograms of parcels, have been put
into use and drones that can carry 500 kilograms are in the pipeline.

The company’s drone delivery project has received approvals in some provinces,
and planning of air routes began in May.

Chinese Property Prices Reach Continue Surge

Corrupt Tycoon Goes Rogue and Threatens to Drop a “Nuclear Bomb of Corruption Allegations” on Top Communist Party Officials

CMR

Never a dull day in the Chinese fight against corruption. Property developer
and multi-billionare tycoon Guo Wengui has gone into hiding overseas and has
now been put on Interpol’s red notice. Mainland officials have launched an
unusually savvy media and cyberspace campaign at home and abroad to discredit
the tycoon. It’s another case of a corrupt tycoon losing his “umbrella” or
protection and then going down the drain with the disgraced official. What
makes this case special is the extremely sensitive nature that Guo may posses
as in his case his protection was former deputy spy chief Ma Jian who has now
been taken down for corruption.

Guo is expected to be hiding in the U.S. and one would assume most likely
now under the protection of American intelligence services.

Mainland media earlier reported that Guo allegedly plotted the fall of former
Beijing vice-mayor Liu Zhihua after Liu refused to help him recover the
development rights to the Pangu Plaza project next to the “Bird’s Nest”
National Stadium in Beijing. The reports also said that Ma or his aide had a
role in a 2006 sex-tape scandal that brought down Liu.

Guo, who has also shown himself to be adept at using overseas media to make
strong allegations of corruption against many high-ranking Chinese officials,
was scheduled to give a three-hour interview with the US-government funded
public broadcaster Voice of America (VOA) on Wednesday night.

He claimed beforehand that he would “drop a nuclear bomb of corruption allegations”
against the families of top communist officials.