China's vice premier Liu He advocates technology and government cooperation

After years of crackdowns, Beijing changing its tune on the industry


The vice premier of China and Xi Jinping's economic right hand man, Liu He, has offered a rare show of support to China's tech industry – both domestic and abroad.

According to state-sponsored media, Liu told around 100 members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Congress (CPPCC) it is important to have a good relationship between the government and tech, and to research and support specific measures that grow the platform economy.

"It is necessary to wage a successful battle for the strategic ground of critical core technologies," Liu said, according to Xinhua news agency.

The economic advisor referred to entrepreneurs as "the most important agents of innovation" and advocated for a digital economy that supports an opening to "the outside world" using "openness to spur competition and competition to spur innovation."

Beijing has been on a continual campaign to crackdown on the tech industry – regulating everything from gaming to listing offshore to how platforms store their data and anticompetitive behavior.

Some platforms have left willingly, like LinkedIn and Yahoo!, while others have been kicked out, like Chinese ride-hailing app DiDi Chuxing, which was removed from local app stores.

But the effects of US sanctions and strict COVID lockdowns, like the ongoing one in Shanghai, have taken their toll.

This week e-commerce company JD.com detailed its troubles on its Q1 2022 earnings call, blaming its slowest-ever growth on the lockdowns, which have not only shut down factories but also caused havoc in transportation and logistics.

It's not just domestic companies feeling the effects. Apple CEO Tim Cook said in the company's Q2 earnings call that freight from China was posing a "huge challenge" for getting components and products out.

Amid this environment, Beijing seems to be changing its tune. In April, it approved its first new video game licenses in nine months. A month earlier, the government declared it was entering a new era of digitization.

And as for Liu's speech, many see it as a sign that the authorities are looking to further loosen Beijing's reins on the industry. ®


Other stories you might like

  • ZTE intros 'cloud laptop' that draws just five watts of power
    The catch: It hooks up to desktop-as-a-service and runs Android – so while it looks like a laptop ...

    Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE has announced what it claims is the first "cloud laptop" – an Android-powered device that the consumes just five watts and links to its cloud desktop-as-a-service.

    Announced this week at the partially state-owned company's 2022 Cloud Network Ecosystem Summit, the machine – model W600D – measures 325mm × 215mm × 14 mm, weighs 1.1kg and includes a 14-inch HD display, full-size keyboard, HD camera, and Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. An unspecified eight-core processors drives it, and a 40.42 watt-hour battery is claimed to last for eight hours.

    It seems the primary purpose of this thing is to access a cloud-hosted remote desktop in which you do all or most of your work. ZTE claimed its home-grown RAP protocol ensures these remote desktops will be usable even on connections of a mere 128Kbit/sec, or with latency of 300ms and packet loss of six percent. That's quite a brag.

    Continue reading
  • Governments opt for XaaS, dump datacenters in droves
    Outsource all the things! To whom? The lowest bidder of course, says Gartner

    The world's governments are eager to let someone else handle their IT headaches, according to a recent Gartner report, which found a healthy appetite for "anything-as-a-service" (XaaS) platforms to cut the costs of bureaucracy.

    These trends will push government IT spending to $565 billion in 2022, up 5 percent from last year, the analyst house claims. Gartner believes the majority of new government IT investments will be on service platforms by 2026.

    "The pandemic sped up public-sector adoption of cloud solutions and the XaaS model for accelerated legacy modernization and new service implementations," Gartner analyst Daniel Snyder said in a release. "Fifty-four percent of government CIOs responding to the 2022 Gartner CIO survey indicated that they expect to allocate additional funding to cloud platforms in 2022, while 35 percent will decrease investments in legacy infrastructure and datacenter technologies."

    Continue reading
  • Spain, Austria not convinced location data is personal information
    Privacy group NOYB sues to get telcos to respect GDPR data access rights

    Some authorities in Europe insist that location data is not personal data as defined by the EU's General Data Protection Regulation.

    EU privacy group NOYB (None of your business), set up by privacy warrior Max "Angry Austrian" Schrems, said on Tuesday it appealed a decision of the Spanish Data Protection Authority (AEPD) to support Virgin Telco's refusal to provide the location data it has stored about a customer.

    In Spain, according to NOYB, the government still requires telcos to record the metadata of phone calls, text messages, and cell tower connections, despite Court of Justice (CJEU) decisions that prohibit data retention.

    Continue reading
  • Former chip research professor jailed for not disclosing Chinese patents
    This is how Beijing illegally accesses US tech, say Feds

    The former director of the University of Arkansas’ High Density Electronics Center, a research facility that specialises in electronic packaging and multichip technology, has been jailed for a year for failing to disclose Chinese patents for his inventions.

    Professor Simon Saw-Teong Ang was in 2020 indicted for wire fraud and passport fraud, with the charges arising from what the US Department of Justice described as a failure to disclose “ties to companies and institutions in China” to the University of Arkansas or to the US government agencies for which the High Density Electronics Center conducted research under contract.

    At the time of the indictment, then assistant attorney general for national security John C. Demers described Ang’s actions as “a hallmark of the China’s targeting of research and academic collaborations within the United States in order to obtain U.S. technology illegally.” The DoJ statement about the indictment said Ang’s actions had negatively impacted NASA and the US Air Force.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022