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Asia's Tech News, April 2024
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Cyber attacks in Asia-Pacific in Q1 2024

Critical technologies: April 2024

Critical technologies, globally, in April 2024 spanned an obviously-large range of technologies and applications, issues and concerns.  These included: the psychology and impacts of deepfake technologies on society, and on democratic elections; developments in fusion energy; an increasing global focus on quantum technologies and associated cyber risks; semiconductor industry developments; and many more.  Hit the links here to read each critical technology article in full.

Our other editions span daily updates, weekly newsletters, monthly round-ups, and quarterly collections.

WEF Global Risks Report 2024

World Economic Forum Global Risks Report 2024

  • US Dep’t of Defense looks to establish ‘mine-to-magnet’ supply chain for rare earth materials, seeing overseas supply as presenting single-points-of-failure risks / read it here
  • Critical minerals: “International prices for gallium are now more than double where they were when Beijing’s new export curbs were announced…” / read it here
  • Deepfakes: “If you tell somebody they’re looking at a deepfake before they watch it, the social psychology of watching that video is so powerful that they will still reference it as if it was fact.” / read it here
  • “As more than 2 billion people in 50 countries head to the polls this year, artificial intelligence-generated content is now widely being used to spread misinformation, as well as to confuse and entertain voters…” / read it here
  • An intro to Norway’s Photoncycle, working on solid hydrogen-based tech to store energy in an ammonia synthesis reactor, claiming vastly lower cost and flexibility than other solutions / read it here
2024 AI impact on Elections

2024 Artificial Intelligence impact on Elections Tracker

  • Zap Energy, backed by Bill Gates and others, hits fusion energy milestone, claiming energy production at a fraction of complexity and cost of other systems / read it here
  • Quantum tech startup Alice & Bob lands $17.8M innovation grant from France’s public investment bank, Bpifrance, aiming for a new architecture for fault-tolerant quantum computing by 2027 / read it here
  • Eliyan Corp lands $60M Series B led by Samsung with connecting architecture for semiconductor ‘chiplets’ / read it here
  • US chips firm, Rivos, raised $250M tomanufacture its first server-grade chip geared for artificial intelligence work, built on RISC-V open-standard architecture / read it here
  • A brief intro to Astranis satellite internet operator, potentially a StarLink competitor but placing sats in orbit at at 22000 miles rather than low-Earth orbit at 340 miles / read it here
Microsoft: East Asia cybersecurity

Microsoft: East Asia cybersecurity – Same targets, new playbooks

  • An intro to Paris’ Dark and its Interceptor space vehicle, low-impact tech to de-orbit debris without creating new debris fields / read it here
  • OpenAI delays roll-out of Voice Engine cloning tech in bid to minimise misinformation in an important global election year / read it here
  • “Biology is code. It’s code written in As, Ts, Cs, and Gs, not 0s and 1s like in a computer… is the programming code that defines what the organism is made out of, how it builds itself, and all the things it does…” / read it here
  • China: Huawei to roll out MateBook Pro X laptop featuring Intel AI chipset running Huawei’s Harmony OS and Pangu LLM / read it here
Critical technologies 2024

Critical technologies, quarterly: First quarter 2024 news summary

  • Europe sees production of the region’s first lithium with Vulcan Energy Resources set to address portions of the battery supply chains for electric vehicles / read it here
  • Japan and NASA partner for lunar exploration with Japan to develop rover vehicle for crewed and uncrewed use, and NASA providing launch and delivery / read it here
  • Australia: Diraq quantum tech firm hits milestone for spin-based quantum processors, functioning at temperatures 20 times warmer than before while holding stability and accuracy / read it here

“India is in talks with several countries seeking partnerships for technical help on lithium processing… to bolster its nascent lithium mining and electric vehicle industries and avoid relying on China.” / read it here

  • South Korea’s Quantum Intelligence Corp partners Classiq quantum computing software firm to speed drug development using quantum computing in pharmacology / read it here
  • Video: ‘Australia’s Place in the Global Quantum Economy’, a panel discussion from the recent Quantum Australia 2024 conference / watch it here
  • China: Origin Wukong quantum computer boosts data security with implementation of post-quantum cryptography / read it here
Critical technologies summit 2024

ASPI: The Sydney Dialogue – critical, emerging & cyber technologies

  • China: Origin Wukong quantum computer boosts data security with implementation of post-quantum cryptography / read it here
  • Australian gov’t makes near $1BN investment in quantum tech firm, PsiQuantum, with sights on delivery of the country’s first quantum computer / read it here
  • China: ‘Xiaohong’ chip hits 504-qubit quantum computing milestone, the highest number of qubits in a superconducting quantum chip in the country / read it here
  • Australia: University of Sydney awarded $18.3M federal grant over 4 years to establish research and commercialisation group for the country’s quantum sector / read it here
  • China: Former CEO of Arm China reportedly launching firm which will directly compete with Arm, developing chips under the RISC-V architecture / read it here
  • Taiwan: Ministry of Digital Affairs partners Chunghwa Telecom to use UK-HQ’s Eutelsat OneWeb for low-Earth orbit satellites in communications around disaster response / read it here
  • China: Huawei and partner, SiCarrier, file patents for low-tech alternative way to make advanced semiconductors, potentially side-stepping the need for extreme ultraviolet lithography / read it here
  • European Union and Republic of Korea to collaborate on research and innovation in semiconductors, with projects set for selection in June for commencement by year-end / read it here
China's digital silk road in the Indo-Pacific

ORF: China’s digital silk road in the Indo-Pacific

  • India’s Polymatech Electronics inks MoU with Japan’s Orbray to expand semiconductor wafer production and expertise / read it here
  • An intro to UXL Foundation, consortium of tech firms including Intel, Google and Qualcomm challenging NVIDIA not in chips but in the software that drives them / read it here
  • Japan: Gov’t approves $3.9BN in new subsidies to home-grown chips firm, Rapidus, stepping up the country’s moves into semiconductor manufacturing / read it here
  • Taiwan Semiconductor’s US unit to gain with $6.6BN subsidy for advanced production in Arizona, and up to $5BN in low-cost US gov’t loans, targeting 2nm process in 2028 / read it here
  • Japan: Semiconductor materials maker, Shin-Etsu Chemical, to invest near $550M in new plant, targeting production in 2026 / read it here
  • South Korea’s Rebellions AI semiconductors firm partners Arteris on system-on-chip integration to boost chip energy and efficiency and performance / read it here
  • South Korea to invest near $7BN in AI by 2027 in bid to retain global position in global semiconductor industry / read it here
  • Vietnam: Viettel, part of Military Industry & Telecoms Group, set to play larger role in the country’s moves to develop a domestic semiconductor chip industry / read it here
ASEAN-EU Partnership 2024-2025

ASEAN-European Union Strategic Partnership 2024-2025 (pdf link)

  • China: Huawei now building huge Shanghai semiconductor R&D center, hiring globally-experienced personnel in bid to develop home-grown industry, de-fang tech restrictions, and gain global market advantage / read it here
  • Malaysia’s Sarawak Microelectronics Design Semiconductor recently inked MOUs with 2 UK firms, one in the chips space, the other in blockchain and web3 / read it here
  • China-owned Nexperia, semiconductor-related firm HQ’d in the Netherlands, acknowledges ransomware hack, with confidential documents uploaded to darknet extortion site / read it here
  • China: A little more on Huawei’s $1.66 billion R&D facility in Shanghai, which includes a remit to develop lithography technologies for home-grown semiconductors / read it here
  • India: Tesla inks deal with Tata Electronics to procure semiconductor chips for worldwide operations / read it here
  • Malaysia: Gov’t to build SE Asia’s largest circuit design park, offering tax breaks, subsidies and visa fee exemptions to draw firms and investors in bid to break into high-end tech manufacturing / read it here
  • SemiCon Southeast Asia 2024 event set for May 28-30 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, looking at all things semiconductor-related / read it here
  • Taiwan to establish its first overseas integrated circuit design training base in the Czech Republic, looking at September to commence operations / read it here
ASEAN Cybersecurity 2021-2025

ASEAN Cybersecurity Cooperation Strategy 2021-2025 (pdf link)

  • Australia: iLAuNCH Trailblazer initiative commissions Nikon multi-metal 3D printer to make space missions more affordable and efficient with lighter, faster and more robust aerospace components / read it here
  • “China continues to add new members to its International Lunar Research Station initiative, but many of these are subnational, suggesting issues attracting partners…” / read it here
  • Japan: Ispace and Takasago Thermal Engineering partner to produce H2 using solar panel energy during space mission later this year / read it here
  • Japan: Astroscale space junk removal firm potentially targeting Tokyo listing in June, with the domestic space sector projected to hit $53BN in value by early next decade / read it here
  • India: Agnikul Cosmos space firm postponed maiden launch of Agnibaan rocket for the second time, delaying Indian test of semi-cryonic engine / read it here
  • Australia: Space Machines Company reportedly struggling to establish and hold communications with Optimus spacecraft, following launch of on-orbit satellite inspection, servicing and protection vehicle / read it here
  • ‘South Korea has successfully launched its second military reconnaissance satellite, days after North Korea reiterated its intention to launch multiple spy satellites this year.’ / read it here
The Chainalysis 2024 Crypto Crime Report

The Chainalysis 2024 Crypto Crime Report

  • 2024 International SpaceTech Startup Supporting Program from Taiwan Accelerator Plus applications close May 10, seeking firms focused on Asia-Pacific markets / read it here
  • South Korea: Korea AeroSpace Administration, the country’s NASA equivalent, preps for formal May launch with recruiting drive to secure the strongest talent pool / read it here
  • India: Space-tech firms set to meet with Elon Musk on sidelines of the billionaire’s upcoming visit for discussions around Teslan and StarLink services / read it here
  • India: An intro to Digantara’s Space Domain Awareness Command & Control Centre, aiming for multi-domain activities from satellite assembly to space object monitoring / read it here
  • China to leverage fast-evolving commercial space sector to speed mega-constellation ambitions, allowing state-owned firms to focus on civil and military programs / read it here
  • China: May 3rd launch approaches for Chang’e-6 launch to collect first set of lunar far-side samples, building on technical, engineering, scientific and communications tech of past missions / read it here
  • Japan’s Astroscale publishes close-up image of space debris, 11 meters long, 4 meters diameter and weight of 3 tons, illustrating necessity of removal / read it here
Microsoft: East Asia cybersecurity

Microsoft: East Asia cybersecurity – Same targets, new playbooks

  • China: Crew of three astronauts arrive at Tiangong space station following launch from Gobi desert Jiuquan spaceport, marking the 7th crewed mission to Tiangong / read it here
  • India: Dhruva Space raised $9.6M Series A2 funding with plans for mass production facility for satellite-focused equipment / read it here
  • Australia: An overview of the recently-announced Solar SunShot, a Au$1 billion government initiative to bring solar manufacturing back to Australia / read it here
  • Japan: Tokyo Uni of Science and DENSO Corp researchers make breakthrough in solid-state Li-ion batteries with non-flammable units capable of high- and low-temperature operation / read it here
  • Bank for International Settlements and 7 central banks, including Japan and Korea, partner for Project Agorá, exploring tokenization of bank deposits via ‘unified ledger’ / read it here
  • Australia-India Cyber & Critical Technology Partnership Grant Round 4 applications are open – deadline is May 24th / read it here
  • China: A little more on Huawei’s $1.66 billion R&D facility in Shanghai, which includes a remit to develop lithography technologies for home-grown semiconductors / read it here
  • A little more on the recent collaboration MOU between the Korean Positioning System and Japan’s Quasi-Zenith Satellite system, aiming for autonomous positioning services / read it here
Transnational Crime In Southeast Asia

USIP: Transnational Crime In Southeast Asia – A Growing Threat

  • “Taiwan is also interested in stepping into the Indian semiconductor industry because the Indian government has already announced it would cover 50% of the costs of setting up semiconductor fabs.” / read it here
  • South Korea faces challenge in balancing US and China relations in supply of semiconductor-related technologies and equipment / read it here
  • The factors underpinning Taiwan chip-maker moves into Japan, creating production bases in a strategy that dovetails with Japan’s bid for a semicon industry revival / read it here
  • ICYMI: SiMa raises $70M with inference-focused chips for everyday consumer devices, using AI models on devices to identify objects rather than ‘learn’ / read it here
  • India’s Tata Group conglomerate heading to Taiwan in high-level tech talent hunt, looking initially at growthe in the consumer electronics semiconductor sector / read it here
  • China: ByteDance Singapore affiliate, Picoheart, invests in InnoStar Semiconductor’s licensable IP for system-on-chip tech, with use cases including in AI datacenters / read it here
  • China: ByteDance Singapore affiliate, Picoheart, invests in InnoStar Semiconductor’s licensable IP for system-on-chip tech, with use cases including in AI datacenters / read it here
  • China-South Korea researchers publish on potential semiconductor breakthrough, with tellurium-based approach to materials / read it here
Orbiting Now satellite data

Orbiting Now / Satellite orbit data

  • Samsung Texas arm to gain $6.4Bn Chips Act funding to create full ecosystem for development and production of US-based chips / read it here
  • South Korea and Japan to collaborate on development and operation of satellite navigation systems in East Asia, looking to better enable the two systems to coexist and interoperate / read it here
  • South Korea and Japan to collaborate on development and operation of satellite navigation systems in East Asia, looking to better enable the two systems to coexist and interoperate / read it here
  • Thailand joins China-led International Lunar Research Station project, joining Venezuela, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Belarus, South Africa and Egypt / read it here
  • Hong Kong: EnerVenue looks to space for energy storage for use on Earth with nickel-hydrogen batteries, fireproof and capable of far wider temperature operation than Lithium-Ion / read it here
  • India: More on the €100M partnership between Indian Institute of Technology Madras and France’s Starburst Accelerator, aiming to boost India’s aviation, space and defense ecosystem / read it here
  • Asia tech, weekly: Indo-Pacific Climate Tech, Korea-Japan sat-nav, Thailand joins China’s moon bid, Australia & quantum, India-Japan semicon wafers, Indonesia’s $200M AI centre, North Korea adds 4G… / read it here
  • Japan and NASA partner for lunar exploration with Japan to develop rover vehicle for crewed and uncrewed use, and NASA providing launch and delivery / read it here
  • Japan’s Kaga Electronics’ proposed Mexico factory project selected by JP gov’t for its Indo-Pacific & Central-South America Regional Supply Chain Involvement Support Project / read it here
  • Japan and European Union reportedly to enter talks on cooperation in advanced materials for next-gen chips and batteries in moves to reduce reliance on China on supply and materials / read it here
AUKUS Pillar 2 pathways

ASPI: AUKUS Pillar 2 Critical Pathways – A road map for int’l collaboration

Tech news: Asia & Indo-Pacific

Critical technologies in May 2024

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