Fujitsu public cloud to be absorbed into main biz, then refreshed

PLUS: Hikvision accused of targeting minorities; Australia's 'cyber-shield'; Huawei's superchip source revealed?

Asia In Brief Fujitsu has decided to conduct an "absorption-type merger" of its public cloud operation.

The Japanese giant's cloud operates in its home nation, where it offers a modest array of IaaS and PaaS services, hosting services, email-as-a-service, and provides backend ops for mobile apps. The outfit is wholly owned by Fujitsu.

Fujitsu pitched the merger as enabling it to "promote the swift implementation of the latest technologies in cloud services and further increase transparency, security, and reliability in this domain" and to better integrate its cloud with its services offerings.

The re-org was announced on the same day as Fujitsu's results for the first half of 2023, with ¥1.712 trillion ($11.4 billion) revenue representing 0.4 percent growth year-over-year. Profit almost halved. But execs were pleased that service revenue grew 13 percent year on year, as that growth beat Fujitsu's own targets for growth of its Uvance services offerings and brand.

Hikvision in new minority report

Chinese CCTV outfit Hikvision was last week accused of adding the ability to detect people from certain minority ethic groups to its hardware and software.

CCTV-centric outlet IPVM reported it found a guide to Hikvision's APIs that listed an analytic feature titled "are they an ethnic minority" (是否少数民族). When IPVM asked Hikvision about the feature, the document the outlet saw disappeared.

Hikvision has previously denied it enables detection of people based on race or ethnicity.

India's Tata buys Wistron's iPhone factory

Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Wistron has sold its Indian operations to the giant conglomerate Tata.

A Wistron filing value the deal at $125 million.

Wistron made some iPhones in India, leading Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the nation's electronics and technology minister, to celebrate the fact that some Apple kit will be made by a local company, and suggest the transaction validates India's policy to encourage electronics manufacturing.

Source of Huawei superchip revealed

Bloomberg reports that the processor used in Huawei's unexpectedly capable Mate 60 Pro smartphone may have been built using chipmaking kit from Dutch firm ASML – but not the extreme ultraviolet lithography products it's forbidden to export to China.

The report points out that ASML's deep ultraviolet (DUV) lithography systems are already present in China and can be re-tooled to produce the kind of advanced chip found in the Mate 60 Pro – and perhaps even more sophisticated products too.

If Chinese chipmakers are able to use DUV to produce advanced products, it greatly reduces the impact of chip tech export bans.

Huawei, meanwhile, last Friday announced its results for the first three quarters of 2023, posting CNY456.6 billion of revenue – a year-on-year increase of 2.4 percent.

Profit margins reached 16 percent, and profit hit CNY73.05 billion – more than 170 percent above the figure posted for the same period of 2022.

Australia's "cyber shield"

Microsoft and signals intelligence agency the Australian Signals Directorate last week announced plans to create the "Microsoft-Australian Signals Directorate Cyber Shield (MACS)".

The initiative is "aimed at improving protection from cyber threats" and will "include the evolution of cyber threat information sharing capabilities, with a focus on detecting, analysing and defending against sophisticated nation-state cyber threats."

Technical detail on the shield was not revealed. The Register asked the Directorate for information and it referred us to comments made by Microsoft Australia Managing Director Steve Worrall who, at a press conference, referred to the 65 trillion signals the software giant collects across its networks every day. "That gives us a deep understanding of the nature of cyber security threats that we see emerging in Australia and around the world," Worrall said.

"And this partnership will enable the sharing of that information in an appropriate way to help bolster and complement what Australia is doing today already."

In other news …

Last week's Asia-Pacific coverage in The Register kicked off with word that India is spending big on an ambitious semiconductor strategy, aiming to place it in the rake of world leaders.

Hoping to inspire the youth of the subcontinent to help India achieve its goals, the co-founder of services Goliath Infosys called on young people to work 70-hour weeks without complaint – evidently unaware of the problem of overwork and burnout afflicting other growing economies in the region.

In less triumphant news for India, scammers apparently based in China have been found using the real-time payments system developed in India as part of its digital infrastructure package known as India Stack to siphon off money from unwitting victims.

And the ongoing trade war between the US and China rolls on, with Nvidia ordered to cease immediately all sales of its processors used in AI systems to China, even though the chipmaker thought it had a little longer to get the last orders out the door.

Meanwhile the UK is closing the door on imports of fiber optic cables from China, showing that these trade wars go both ways.

Australia and the US will gain a couple of extra submarine cable connections, with stops in the South Pacific nations of Fiji and French Polynesia, with help from Google.

Meanwhile Japan is launching an investigation into Google's business practices, having become suspicious that its anti-monopoly laws may have been violated.

And finally, Singapore came up with a novel approach to slowing down phishing scams, suggesting that perhaps fewer of the schemes would succeed if the telcos were held responsible for them, and had to compensate victims. ®

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