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CGTN: China gears up for sci-tech development, focusing more on self-reliance

Inside Telecom Staff

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sci-tech

Almost two weeks ago, China succeeded in its first Mars landing, attracting world’s attention to the important milestone in China’s space exploration.

On Friday, science, and technology as strategic support to national development, focusing on self-sufficiency and innovation, was once again highlighted in the country’s development roadmap with the convention of the 10th national congress of the China Association for Science and Technology in Beijing.

Sci-tech self-sufficiency and self-reliance

Accelerated efforts are needed in building China into a leading country in science and technology and achieving sci-tech self-reliance and self-sufficiency at higher levels, said Chinese President Xi Jinping while addressing the meeting attended by about 3,000 people.

Noting the importance of making breakthroughs in core technologies in key fields, President Xi stressed building a modern science and technology system with the innovation confederations led by leading enterprises, supported by universities and institutions, and coordinated innovation entities.

He pointed out that it is necessary to spur on the problem solving in major sci-tech tasks, targeting the most urgent and pressing problems, and proceed from the immediate and long-term needs of the country.

Basic and original research are critical in expanding new cognitive frontiers, he added.

China’s pursuit of independence in scientific innovation is reflected in its various achievements, including the Beidou Navigation Satellite System, the space exploration including lunar and Mars probes and the construction of China’s own space station, and the deep-sea manned submersible Fendouzhe. The country has also developed its own high-speed railway technologies, 5G communication technologies and artificial intelligence.

He also stressed the role of national laboratories and scientific research institutions, high-level research universities, and leading enterprises in science and technology, calling on them to make more strategic and key scientific and technological achievements and strive to solve major scientific and technological problems that affect China’s overall development and long-term interests.

Important are efforts in cultivating top-notch scientific and technological personnel with global influence, steadily supporting a number of innovation teams, and training more high-quality technical and skilled personnel, Xi said.

Innovation-driven development strategy

President Xi restressed the importance of innovation in the pursuit of developing and shaping the new development advantages mentioned in China’s 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for national economic and social development and the long-range objectives through to the year 2035.

In 2016, the Chinese government set the target to make China one of the most innovative countries by 2020 and a leading innovator by 2030, as well as a leading global S&T power by the 100th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 2049.

Efforts are needed in deepening the reform of the sci-tech system and form a basic system that supports all-around innovation, Xi said, adding that full play should be given to the role of the state as an organizer of major scientific and technological innovations.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering, as national strategic scientific and technological forces, should play a leading role, Xi noted, adding that the China Association for Science and Technology should shoulder the responsibility of the bridge between the government and the scientific and technological workers.

He called for efforts to get deeply engaged in global scientific and technological governance in areas such as public health and climate change and make Chinese science and technology to contribute more to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

The Chinese president also extended greetings to sci-tech workers across the country ahead of China’s national sci-tech workers’ day, which falls on May 30.

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Didi pushes back on IPO rumors

Daryn Kara Ali

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Famous Beijing-based giant Didi denied any allegations of plans to go private in a bid to satisfy the Chinese government amidst latest regulations concerning users’ data security.  

After the Wall Street Journal released a report discussing the possibility of Didi going private, the ride-hailing app’s shares increased by approximately 50 percent in Thursday’s pre-market trade. 

The company has been targeted by Beijing regulators ever since it made its U.S. market debut about a month ago, followed by several U.S. senators asking its financial markets regulator to launch an investigation concerning the company’s Chinese share listings. 

In a statement that came as a reaction to the report, Didi debunked any allegations of going private as it currently switching it focus to cybersecurity. 

“The rumors about the privatization of Didi are untrue, and the company is currently actively cooperating with cybersecurity reviews,” Didi said on Chinese social media platform Weibo.  

Two days after the Beijing-based firm began trading shares on New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the Beijing cyberspace supervisory authority ordered Chinese online stores to remove Didi from their app stores under the pretense that it is illegally collecting users’ personal data. 

The Chinese authorities’ move influenced the firm’s market value, leading to a sharp drop by around a third ever since Didi raised its initial public offering (IPO) to $4.4 billion a month ago. 

Since Didi’s released its IPO on NYSE at the end of June, the Chinese driver service broker’s shares fell drastically in value.  

On Thursday, Didi shares finished its U.S. trading day with a rise of 11.3 percent.  

Didi, alongside many Chinese Big Tech companies such as Alibaba and ByteDance have been under the Chinese government’s scrutiny regarding their behavior of monopolizing the market to their benefit.  

This led to some of the firms’ largest share prices slump in the U.S., Hong Kong, and mainland China’s trading market as China puts the industry under tough scrutiny. 

In parallel, Didi follows a comparable business model to its American competitor Ube. The Chinese app had already conquered Uber in a vicious price war in its home market. 

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Google is battling against a $1 billion legal claim

Rim Zrein

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$1 billion

Google is charging people for their digital purchases in its Play Store through an “unfair and excessive” manner, according to a new legal lawsuit filed against the tech giant. 

On behalf of 19.5 million Android phone users in the UK, the legal action is seeking up to $1 billion from Google. 

The lawsuit has been filed with the Competition Appeal Tribunal in London by former Citizens Advice digital policy manager Liz Coll, who’s claiming that the 30 percent cut Google takes from digital purchases on its app store is unjust. 

“Google created the Android app marketplace and controls it with a vice-like grip,” Coll said, explaining that Google has went against UK and European competition law. 

In response, Google defended its case by issuing a statement saying that “Android gives people more choice than any other mobile platform in deciding which apps and app stores they use, in fact most Android phones come preloaded with more than one app store.” 

“We compete vigorously and fairly for developers and consumers,” Google noted, mentioning that 97 percent of developers on Google Play don’t pay any service fee at all, which means their apps are free to consumers.  

“Less than 0.1 percent of developers are subject to a 30 percent service fee and only when they’re earning over one million dollars, that fee is comparable with our competitors and allows us to constantly reinvest in building a secure, thriving platform that benefits everyone who uses it,” Google highlighted. 

The trillion-dollar tech giant recently decreased its service charge to 15 percent for all app creators making less than $1 million, with only a small group of the most valuable app developers paying 30 percent. 

According to Google, the charge allows the company to “constantly reinvest in building a secure, thriving platform that benefits everyone who uses it.” 

The $1 billion lawsuit is the latest incident in an ongoing battle with both Apple and Google, as they’re currently under intense scrutiny following Epic Games’ legal action. 

Epic argued that the Play Store and Apple’s app store policies and management were against producing fruitful competition, as the American video game and software developer described the two tech giants as “monopolistic.” 

For the past years, major tech firms have been in hot water over anti-trust and monopoly charges. 

In 2020, ten U.S. states led by Texas, brought legal action against Google over its ad revenue practices, accusing Google with illegally collaborating with the popular social network Facebook. 

“As internal Google documents reveal, Google sought to kill competition and has done so through an array of exclusionary tactics, including an unlawful agreement with Facebook, its largest potential competitive threat,” the lawsuit stated. 

“This Goliath of a company is using its power to manipulate the market, destroy competition, and harm you, the consumer,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said regarding Google through a video released on Twitter. 

The key question many analysts have been asking is to what extent Google should be given the freedom to charge its services as it sees fit, no matter what the cost is to other developers. 

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Rick rolls past a billion views on YouTube

Rim Zrein

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Rick Rolls

When it comes to famous memes from the 2000s, millennials are just never going to give them up. 

Anyone who was active on the internet since 2009 surely stumbled upon Rick Astley’s music hit “Never Gonna Give You Up.” Almost 12 years later, and the music video has exceeded one billion views on YouTube on Wednesday. 

For the Generation Z who weren’t surfing the web at that time, the video itself started off as an internet meme under the name “Rick Roll,” which is the most famous prank in the internet’s history. 

The prank consisted of luring people to click on a hyperlink that claims to be one thing but turns out to be the red-haired iconic singer’s video “Never Gonna Give You Up.” 

The British singer cannot deny the impact the meme had on his music video. According to YouTube, on April Fool’s Day this year, the “Rick roll” generated 2.3 million views. 

Following Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child o’ Mine,” A-ha’s “Take on Me,” and Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” Rick Astley’s song is the fourth in line to join the 80’s hits on YouTube. 

The 55-year-old singer celebrated the achievement on Twitter, saying in a video “So I’ve just been told that ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ has been streamed a billion times on YouTube. That is mind-blowing. The world is a wonderful and beautiful place, and I am very lucky.” 

To celebrate the huge milestone, 2,500 copies of the 7-inch blue vinyl of Astley’s popular song were released. Exclusively signed by the singer himself, the $17 vinyl completely sold out, according to Astley’s official website. 

In the past, the singer voiced his perspective on the “Rick roll” meme, saying that he’s completely fine with it. 

In a 2008 interview with the L.A. Times, the famous meme figure in every millennial’s childhood said “I think it’s just one of those odd things where something gets picked up and people run with it. That’s what’s brilliant about the internet.” 

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