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Infosys president leaves to join rival Tech Mahindra as CEO

PLUS: Singapore tests AWS quantum network; Honda bulks autonomous truck; India tightens crypto laws; and more

Asia In Brief The president of Indian tech services giant Infosys has left to join rival Tech Mahindra as CEO.

Tech Mahindra on Saturday announced the appointment, which will see Mohit Joshi as the MD & CEO designate of Tech Mahindra. Mohit will take over as managing director and CEO after the retirement of CP Gurnani in December 2023.

Infosys confirmed Joshi’s departure in a filing [PDF] that states Joshi has been sent on gardening leave until June 9th.

“The Board of Directors placed on record their deep sense of appreciation for the services rendered by Mohit Joshi and for his contributions to the company,” the Infosys announcement states.

Moshi joined Infosys in the year 2000 and had wide responsibilities across the company’s financial services and healthcare lines of business, and the software businesses in which Infosys behaves more like a vendor than a services company. He also led sales operations and transformation efforts, and drove Infosys’ internal CIO.

- Simon Sharwood

AWS uses Singapore to test quantum-secured network in metro area

The Amazon Web Services Center for Quantum Networking (CQN) last week completed a trial of quantum-secured communication to explore Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) across an optical fibre link in Singapore last week.

“Key distribution protocols allow cryptographic keys to be established between remote locations over an untrusted channel. What makes quantum key distribution special in comparison to conventional protocols is that its security is derived from the laws of physics rather than from assumptions about the computational power of an eavesdropper,” Joe Fitzsimons, CEO of Singapore-based Horizon Quantum told The Register.

Fitzsimons’ startup provides software development and deployment tools for quantum computing applications and worked with CQN, the National Quantum-Safe Network (NQSN) at the Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT), and Fortinet to complete the trial.

The trial involved connecting two QKD devices in buildings three kilometers apart. The partners also set up a VPN tunnel that used both QKD technology and AWS Edge Compute hardware to run the tests.

Fitzsimons said demonstrating quantum-secured access to its systems is a step toward enabling secured deployment of application on cloud-based quantum computers.

According to AWS “This point-to-point quantum network implementation was an important step towards exploring ways in which commercial-off-the-shelf quantum technology performs in a real-world setting, demonstrating to our customers how it can be used in combination with AWS services.”

Honda bulks up autonomous work vehicle

Honda last week unveiled its third generation all-electric Autonomous Work Vehicle (AWV), designed to tote up to 2,000 pounds around locales such as construction sites.

“We believe the Honda AWV can be a valuable solution to supporting construction teams while also enhancing worksite efficiencies and safety. Leveraging Honda’s decades of experience developing reliable, safe and clean mobility technology, we aim to address issues such as labour shortages and improved environmental performance,” said systems engineering manager Jason VanBuren.

According to Honda, this generation AWV is big enough to haul a pair of pallets, has enhanced obstacle detection, uses LiDAR sensors to help navigate where GNSS is unavailable or weak, is fully programmable and can handle rugged terrains. It can even stop along pre-defined spots on a route.

The vehicle can be operated autonomously or by remote control at speeds slower than your average golf cart (up to 10 mph), so no it’s not likely to replace human drivers in a hurry. Honda said it is exploring ways to make the vehicle more useful with by attaching robotic tools.

Singapore beefs up its robot workforce

Singapore is set to deploy 5G-enabled robots to clean its rivers, patrol streets and build Hyundai EVs. The new robot workforce is possible thanks to a $30 million fund launched in 2021 by the country’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) in attempt to drive and commercialize 5G.

According to The Straits Times the unmanned river cleaning EVs will mean humans don’t need to board boats and toil in the hot sun, avoiding considerable risks including falling into the less-than-pristine waterway. The boats will be run in partnership with Weston Robot.

The factory floor of the country’s Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Centre will receive at least 100 5G-enable robots that will allegedly improve quality control and enhance productivity as they build up to 30,000 vehicles per year by 2025.

Lastly, surveillance robots will help address a shortage of human security officers. Unlike security cameras, the patrol car robot combo will be mobile and can be controlled remotely.

Cryptocurrency now subject to money laundering act in India

India’s Ministry of Finance issued [PDF] an advisory stating that cryptocurrency and other virtual assets are now subjected to the country’s Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) provisions, 2002.

The notification also deems cryptocurrency exchanges as reporting entities, meaning they will not be required to maintain records that can be reviewed by the government upon request.

Japan names two new astronauts

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) named two new astronauts last week: Makoto Suwa and Ayu Yoneda. The duo will officially join JAXA on April 1st and will then begin training for skills required onboard the International Space Station (ISS).

In other news …

Our regional coverage from last week included news that 60 percent of Germany’s 5G network is comprised of Huawei equipment, according to the Chinese embassy. Reports have emerged that Germany intends to ban Chinese tech, including Huawei and ZTE from its 5G infrastructure.

Imports of semiconductors and ICs to China plunged in the first two months of 2023.

A white paper issued by Singaporean authorities that considered lessons learned from management of the COVID-19 pandemic acknowledged the government should have “been clearer” about using data gathered by COVID tracking apps in police investigations.

Chinese netizens using short video platforms surpassed the one billion mark in December 2022.

Chinese companies easily circumvent technology bans by renting hardware.

South Korean government warned the US that it has issue with the CHIPS act. South Korean minister Ahn Duk-geun told local media he sees "issues related to demanding too much information."

Indian tech minister, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, hinted the country’s IndiaAI program would “catalyse” the internet as the country plans to release one of the largest datasets in the world.

Three principals from an Australian scheme that offered free payroll services to tech contractors have been found guilty of tax fraud.

Japan and South Korea have moved closer to resolving a dispute involving reparations for forced labour during World War II. The dispute has hampered tech supply chains.

Japan's space exploration agency (JAXA) lost the first of its next-gen H3 boosters after its second stage failed to ignite.

According to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) managing director Ravi Menon, trade barriers between US and China have resulted in geoeconomic fragmentation and will likely result in slower global growth and higher inflation. ®

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