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March 2024: China

China’s tech news headlines in March 2024 covered a wide range of items and developments, including: developments in China’s space-tech industries, across launch, vehicles, fuel systems and satellites; a 17-city artificial intelligence voucher initiative aimed at boosting tech startup development; Microsoft and AliPay+ partnership on cross-border payments and remittances; Huawei’s semiconductor moves; and many more.

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Stablecoins and de-dollarization

Stablecoins – a potential counter to de-dollarization?

  • China: SANY Renewable Energy unveils world’s largest onshore wind turbine blade with full operational diameter over 262 meters / read it here
  • China: Beijing City to create ‘Rocket Street’ for commercial aerospace research and production, with 41 launch projects in progress supported by over $14M in funding, and over 157 enterprises / read it here

‘…China Satcom will promote the construction of satellites with larger, single-satellite capacity… by the end of the 14th Five-Year Plan the total capacity of high-throughput comm sats will exceed 500GBps…’ / read it here

  • Huawei rolls out initiatives including global ITU-Huawei Generation Connect Young Leadership Program, Huawei-UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning in Morocco, and Huawei Cloud startups program / read it here
  • China: Alibaba leads $600M round for MiniMax, AI firm behind Kimi AI chatbot, built on 100 billion-parameter Moonshot LLM / read it here
WEF Cybersecurity Futures 2030

WEF: Cybersecurity Futures 2030 – New Foundations

  • State-owned China Aerospace Science & Tech Corp to launch 4-meter and 5-meter-diameter reusable rockets in 2025 and 2026, with 4-meter capable of delivering up to 6500kg of payload to orbit / read it here
  • China: Gov’t unveils initiative in 17 cities providing AI startups with cloud computing vouchers to access tools without large initial investments, with vouchers reportedly between $140K and $280K / read it here

“Following its recent agreement to assist in construction of a 5G standalone network in the Middle East, Microsoft is stepping up its efforts to take on Huawei Technologies and other manufacturers of telecom equipment.” / read it here

  • China’s UBTech Robotics Corp stock price more than tripled in 2 days following the firm’s entry to the Hong Kong stock connect program, allowing mainland China investors to purchase its shares / read it here
  • ‘A Google engineer ran a secret startup in China while stealing AI technology, DOJ alleges’ / read it here
Semiconductors in 2024 - Deloitte

Deloitte: Global Semiconductor Industry Outlook in 2024 –

  • China reportedly planning lunar surveillance camera network based on the country’s domestic surveillance system, using AI systems to identify and respond to perceived issues / read it here
  • China & critical minerals: Which controls can China meaningfully deploy, in line with which specific interests, and with what domestic consequences? / read it here
  • China: Didi Chuxing ride-hail giant and Alibaba’s Ant Financial reportedly in talks with Ofo bike-share firm around joint buyout, valuing Ofo at near $2BN / read it here
  • China: A little more on the successful small-scale tests of CASIC’s T-Flight hyperloop train, using magnetic-levitation and a low-vacuum section of track to reach high speeds / read it here
  • China: “…electric vehicles with built-in fridges and even in-car karaoke systems are considered passé. Instead, carmakers are turning to increasingly novel add-ons from beds to cooktops to boost sluggish sales.” / read it here
MERICS: China - Aligning economic actors with Party goals

MERICS: Aligning economic actors with China’s strategic goals

  • China: Shandong Province launches digital yuan Ji Dan Entrepreneurial Loan program focused on boosting small business access to capital / read it here
  • ICYMI: Romania formally rejects Huawei request for equipment to be used in Romanian 5G network citing ‘national interest’ in decision / read it here
  • China: Status of two spacecraft left uncertain following issues with achieving lunar orbit, with neither launch nor purpose officially announced / read it here

‘The rise of Pinduoduo and Temu: profits and secrets ‘ from The Financial Times / on YouTube

  • Radio Access Network versus Open Radio Access Network, another aspect of the US-China technology competition / read it here
  • China: Ellipspace satellite firm targets completion of Starpool, a comprehensive satellite network, in 2027, set to comprise over 100 300kg satellites / read it here
Taiwan's response to disinformation

NBR: Taiwan’s response to disinformation – a model for coordination

  • China: ZhipuAI gains undisclosed state fund backing, led by $6.9BN Beijing city government funds established in January to invest in pharmaceutical, healthcare, robotics and IT sectors / read it here
  • China’s gov’t increases push for domestic-only tech: “…one foreign bidder failed to secure a contract despite offering a price they estimated was 30% lower than the eventual winner…” / read it here
  • China: Nio EV major to launch sub-brand under the name China Ledao / Onvo in May this year, with models to primarily compete with Tesla Model 3 and Model Y / read it here
  • China preps launch of Queqiao-2 satellite with goal of relaying data between Chinese landers, rovers and spacecraft with ground stations in future lunar missions / read it here
  • China: Xpeng electric vehicles maker to launch a cheaper EV brand as price competition heats up, compounded by falling sales / read it here
Cisco 2024 cybersecurity readiness

2024 Cisco Cybersecurity Readiness Index

  • China: Research advances in use of magnetic rail-gun technology to launch space vehicles at hypersonic speeds, tho viability remains uncertain / read it here
  • Mastercard partners China’s Alipay for near real-time cross-border payments, and for remittances to what is one of the largest recipient countries / read it here
  • China: Damo Academy, Alibaba’s research arm, announces delivery of server-grade RISC-V processor later this year / read it here
  • China-made surveillance cameras installed on Romanian NATO base raise concerns around cyber- and national security / read it here
  • China’s Alipay+ to test Web3 vouchers with its D-Store platform, looking at small F&B business adoption across Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Chinese tourists visiting these countries / read it here
  • China’s TikTok is now under a national security review in Canada, in addition to a February 2023 ban from government devices / read it here
Fragmenting Cyberspace - Future of internet in China

MERICS: Fragmenting Cyberspace – The future of the internet in China

  • China: Ecarx auto tech firm, backed by Geely exec, unveils 7-nanometer AD1000 system-on-a-chip, claiming over 256 trillion operations per second / read it here
  • Biden administration reportedly considering adding a number of Chinese semiconductor firms linked to Huawei to tech access and exports blacklist / read it here
  • ICYMI: China General Nuclear Power Group partnered Laos gov’t in 2023 for renewable energy base incorporating wind, solar, hydro and energy storage, feeding power generated in Laos to Yunnan province / read it here
  • Apple reportedly in preliminary talks with China’s Baidu around possible partnership to use Baidu’s generative artificial intelligence technology for Apple devices in China / read it here
  • China’s Starfive Technology chip design firm to open R&D center in Hong Kong, focusing on the company’s RISC-V chips and alongside partnership looking at data center-focused chips / read it here
China Strategy For RISC-V chips

Jamestown Foundation: Examining China’s Grand Strategy For RISC-V

  • China: Gov’t issues procurement mandate to phase out Intel and AMD microprocessors from gov’t computers and servers, alongside move to minimize use of Windows and foreign-made databases / 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
  • Shein, Temu and similar fast-fashion platforms hit by legislation in France over environmental impacts, potentially leading to 10-Euro fines per article of clothing sold by 2030 / 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

  • China: Xiaomi mobile phone maker unveils SU7 sedan, claiming better single-charge mileage than Tesla Model 3 / read it here
  • ‘While mainland China bans all forms of crypto trading, the gov’t leaves the option open in Hong Kong… as a sandbox for Beijing to toy with web3 without potentially incurring financial volatility for the rest of the country.’ / read it here
CSIS: China's progress towards space resilience and responsive launch

CSIS: China’s progress towards space resilience and responsive launch

  • China’s Kaixin Auto inks export order with Myanmar New Power Motor for part-assembled delivery of 1000 electric cars, seeing market opportunities in Myanmar’s population of over 50M / read it here
  • South Korea: China’s PonyAI driverless vehicles firm inks JV with Korea’s GemVaxLink to deploy a fleet of autonomous vehicles in Seoul, initially for ride-hailing services / read it here

“Managing the issue of disinformation on social media platforms is a collective endeavor. It is not merely a matter of regulatory enforcement but a challenge to culture and society more broadly.” / read it here

  • Thailand’s Bank for Agriculture & Agricultural Cooperatives in JV negotiations with unnamed Chinese tech giant for e-commerce platform for sale of agri products to China, with 49/51% ownership / read it here
  • South Korea’s Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix have ceased sales of used chip fabrication equipment to Chinese entities, in adherence to US export curbs / read it here
Digital Risks to 2024 Elections

Digital Risks to the 2024 Elections: Democracy in an Era of Disinformation

  • TikTok hit with $11M fine in Italy over failure to properly moderate content that may harm young or vulnerable users, referring to ‘French Scar’ self-injury challenge on the platform / read it here
  • Hong Kong: Hang Seng Bank launches $4.2BN SME Power Up Fund to boost small business development, including cross-border opportunities in China’s Greater Bay Area / read it here

“…like the US, Australia is concerned about the data that TikTok collects, about the potential for that data to be shared with a foreign adversary, and about the potential for content to be weaponised by that adversary…” / read it here

  • Hong Kong Science & Tech Parks Corp unveils 74 global startups for biggest iteration of Elevator Pitch Comp 2024, drawn from semi-finals in HK, Silicon Valley, Stuttgart and Singapore / read it here
  • EU Global Gateway Initiative: ‘…high-quality infrastructure and invest in environment, health, education and research, energy, and digital connectivity… [and] can offer SE Asia valuable alternatives to the BRI…’ / read it here

Google Whitepaper: ASEAN and Artificial Intelligence

  • India: An overview of the challenges India’s nascent chips industry faces, both in terms of domestic funding capability and from China’s chip industry export ambitions / read it here
  • Philippines: Binance, world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, faces a ban in the Philippines with financial regulator blocking access due to unlicensed activities / read it here

“In 2023, Malaysia shipped RM975 million worth of rare earths to China, making it the second-largest source of imported ore for the Asian giant behind Myanmar, according to trade statistics from Beijing.” / read it here

  • Singapore: ANEXT Bank secures $148M in new funding from parent Ant Group with focus on cross-border digital banking and transactions for SMEs / read it here
  • Monetary Authority of Singapore extends ban on remittances to China in light of lack of action by PRC authorities to freeze channels / read it here
  • Critical minerals supply chains: “Since last year, lithium is down by more than 80 percent, while nickel and cobalt have both tumbled over 40 percent…” / read it here
  • ‘Honda and Nissan have put aside the “traditional approach” of fierce rivalry to join forces and work together on electric vehicle technology as Japan’s carmakers try to catch up with Chinese competitors.’ / read it here
  • Video: ‘Indo-Pacific economic security – Issues and strategies’, a discussion of emerging issues and strategies for economic resilience and security across the region from The Atlantic Council / read it here
  • A brief overview of emerging rivalry between India and Pakistan in the space domain / read it here
Critical technology global news March 2024

Critical technologies, globally: News in March 2024

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