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Man in gas mask is showing an Ok gesture by his hand close up on gray background.

China: Massive Protests at Cell Phone Plant Continue

One accusation against Apple is that it has consistently failed to live up to its responsibilities as a global leader at the top of the supply chain.

At the Foxconn plant in Zhengzhou where thousands of employees walked out on October 29, protests broke out on November 23. They were led by new hires staying on a campus dormitory after they learned that they would have to work an additional two months at lower pay before they receive their promised bonuses for coming to Foxconn to cover for the October exodus. Additionally, workers complained of inadequate food and fear of Covid exposure. Workers were offered 25,000 yuan (US$3,500) for two months of work, a 50% increase on the posted maximum wage. When they learned of changes in their agreement, employees at the dorm responded by pulling down outdoor tents (for Covid testing) and destroying a surveillance camera. Read More ›

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The zero covid text on china flag 3d rendering

What Your Made-in-China iPhone Really Costs – Updated 2

Chaos has ensued as workers have fled Xi’s latest Zero COVID lockdown at the iPhone factory

Updated as of November 2, below the first vid: Fresh off an unusual third term as President, Xi Jinping found his brutal zero COVID policy facing an uncharacteristically harsh light of publicity. The BBC zeroed in on Apple phone workers fleeing a targeted site: Workers have broken out of Apple’s largest iPhone assembly factory in China after a Covid outbreak forced staff to lockdown at the workplace. Video shared online showed about 10 people jumping a fence outside the plant, owned by manufacturer Foxconn, in the central city of Zhengzhou. Sam Hancock, “Apple: Chinese workers flee Covid lockdown at iPhone factory” at BBC News (October 30, 2022) Taiwan-based Apple supplier Foxconn, has hundreds of thousands of workers in Zhengzhou, capital Read More ›

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Giant surveillance camera spies a man. No secrets, no privacy concept. 3D rendering

Protest in China: “Don’t Want” and “Old Hen” Take On New Meaning

When former President Hu Jintao was escorted out of the Party Congress a couple of days ago, all reference to the matter disappeared from the official web

Recently, we have been following the creative protest methods used in China, in the wake of the Chinese Communist party’s five-year meeting that confirmed Xi Jinping for an unusual third term, while the former president Hu Jintao was escorted out by security. A much harder line on many things, including foreign affairs, is expected to follow. Because China is a very high-tech surveillance state, it is difficult for citizens to use usual online communication methods to discuss, register dissatisfaction with, or express worry over government decisions. The unconventional methods adopted are worth noting. Free Asia Radio reports that two young women were walking down a street in Shanghai, holding a white banner that read “Don’t want, want — Don’t want, Read More ›

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pacifist Asian woman angry and outraged protesting on street demonstration against China abuse standing for freedom and human rights holding Stop Killing Us billboard

“Bridge Man” Crackdown in China Inspires New Types of Protest

Some use Apple Airdrop, some use flash graffiti in public washrooms, with the basic message that Xi JinPing should retire

“Bridge Man,” the lone Chinese guy (Peng Lifa) who hung a protest sign on the Sitong Bridge some days ago — days before the CCP’s scheduled fifth-year meeting — triggered intense efforts to ban all words from China’s internet and other media that referred to the incident. But political censorship is a tricky business, especially where human beings are concerned. Even the Proper Authorities can’t think of everything… we are informed at VICE that posters denouncing China’s top leader Xi JinPing have been distributed via Apple’s Airdrop A Shanghai resident was riding the metro on Tuesday when an AirDrop notification popped up on his iPhone: “‘Xi Jinping’s iPhone’ would like to share a photo.” Curious, the man accepted the request Read More ›

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CBD Building Complex in Beijing, China under Sunlight

Words Disappear From the Chinese Language — Online at Least

Beijing seeks to scrub all mention of any words that could be associated with a lone protester hanging a banner on a bridge

On October 13, days before the Chinese Communist Party Congress’s scheduled fifth-year meeting, Peng Lifa, (online, Peng Zaizhou) stood on an overpass in Beijing — dressed as a construction worker — and unfurled two banners demanding an end to zero-COVID policies and the removal of Xi Jinping as CCP leader. With security cameras everywhere, he was certain to be noticed. There was also an apparent tire fire on the bridge, which created a great deal of attention-riveting smoke. A banner against Xi Jinping is raised at Sitong Bridge, Haidian District, Beijing.Admire the courage of this man, but when the giant ship sank, the screams of the passengers were only the meaning of tragedy.#TheGreatTranslationMovement pic.twitter.com/tMt4spulZR — The Great Translation Movement (@TGTM_Official) Read More ›

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The zero covid text on china flag 3d rendering

China’s Covid Theater: It’s Not Really About the Disease

Not exactly. As the Twentieth National Congress looms, the Chinese Communist Party does not want any COVID in Beijing

The Chinese Communist Party’s zero-Covid policy, heralded by Xi Jinping, is killing China’s economy and sinking citizens’ morale. Zero-Covid is viewed as a litmus test for support for the Communist Party, and Xi Jinping in particular. The goal is not saving lives but ensuring that the virus does not spread to Beijing ahead of the twentieth National Congress on October 16. Some hope that restrictions will ease after the National Congress. Others are less optimistic. The CCP under Xi Jinping declared “war on the virus” two years ago but the casualties in the Party’s pathogenic war have been the Chinese people. In the lead-up to the Twentieth National Congress in which Xi Jinping will announce his third term as General Read More ›

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An advanced CPU printed with a flag of USA on a neon glowing electronic circuit board. Illustration of the concept of United States made high-end micro chips.

What Difference Has the CHIPS Act Made to the U.S. and Taiwan?

We need to first look at the broader picture of what the CHIPS Act is intended to do

In a previous article, I discussed the semiconductor industry and Taiwan’s supremacy in manufacturing microchips, the foundry portion of the semiconductor supply chain. Now let’s look at the U.S. perspective on the semiconductor industry and its relationship to Taiwan. In order to do that, we have to talk about the CHIPS+ Act Congress passed a bipartisan bill, the CHIPS and Science Act in July, after a year of negotiations in committee. President Biden signed the act into law on August 9 and the CHIPS Act Implementation Strategy was launched on September 6 through an executive order. CHIPS, or “Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors,” is a $250B initiative that incentivizes businesses to bring semiconductor manufacturing, research and innovation back to Read More ›

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Concept image of China-Africa economic relations, Bilateral trade,

Journalist: West Is Letting Africa Slide Into China’s Tech Orbit

Mathew Otieno points out that China slid easily into the space left by the former Soviet Union. — liked just for not being Western

Kenyan tech reporter Mathew Otieno warns that, as Africa goes high-tech, it is mainly on totalitarian China’s terms. He doesn’t spare feelings: “A combination of arrogance and indifference is proving fatal to Western interests” Most of Africa’s signature modern infrastructure projects, from railways and roads to dams and ports, have been, or are being, built or upgraded by Chinese firms, many of them state-owned, with funding from Chinese loans and grants. Even the building currently housing the headquarters of the African Union was a wholesale Chinese gift, from foundations to rafters. Mathew Otieno, “The West is letting Africa slide into China’s orbit. It doesn’t have to” at MercatorNet (August 31, 2022) Many warn of a debt trap for the emerging Read More ›

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China Taiwan and USA flag print screen to microchip on electronic board for symbol of military conflict war and economic business partnership concept.

Taiwan Has Bet Its Uncertain Future on Advanced Microchips

An increasingly belligerent China has long claimed to own Taiwan, which manufactures 90% of the world’s *advanced* microchips

Taiwan is the world’s largest manufacturer of microchips*, and not just by a small margin. Taiwan manufactures 65% of the microchips used in everything from smartphones to missiles. This compares to the U.S. at 10% and China at 5%. South Korea and Japan produce the rest. More important, Taiwan manufactures 90% of the world’s advanced microchips. In other words, without Taiwan, the world’s supply of microchips would come to a standstill, something that has been keenly felt since 2021 when chip shortages affected the auto industry. So far, the world’s dependence on Taiwan’s chips has protected the self-governing island nation from a potential invasion or ruinous trade sanctions from China. Earlier, we looked at U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit Read More ›

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technician with wafer

Pelosi’s Visit to Taiwan Matters to China. And to Your Computer

China staged an impressive display of military firepower at U.S, lawmaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit Taiwan — prominent in the globally crucial semiconductor “chips” industry

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan at the beginning of August included a meeting with Mark Liu, head of the Taiwan Manufacturing Semiconductor Corporation (TMSC), which is the world’s largest producer of computer microchips — and makes most of the world’s advanced ones. Plans for Pelosi’s visit were first reported in Financial Times, after the trip was rescheduled due to COVID. China responded to the announcement with a global propaganda to present the visit as an act of defiance against the U.S. One China Policy. The U.S. One-China Policy recognizes the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal government of China but it does not necessarily agree with the PRC on Taiwan being a part of China. Read More ›

Computer algorithm productivity efficiency, cyber security concepts

How China’s Pre-Crime Algorithms Work — and Their Fatal Flaw

The algorithms target, for example, those who complain about or draw attention to social injustices and abuses

In a previous article, we looked at the way George Orwell ’s dystopian 1984 is looking less and less like fiction as the Chinese Communist Party exploits the capabilities of AI and Big Data to surveil its entire population. But beyond surveilling citizens’ movements in real time, the CCP also hopes to predict crimes and protests before they happen. In a follow-up story in the New York Times, Paul Mozur, Muyi Xiao, and John Lui look at how the CCP is also bringing the dystopian world of Philip K. Dick ’s Minority Report (2002) to real life, with one difference: Rather than human “precogs” who can predict the future, the CCP relies on algorithms that can interrogate large swaths of Read More ›

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Cyborg hologram watching a subway interior 3D rendering

Big Brother Is Watching You (And Trying to Read Your Mind)

Chinese researchers now claim to have developed technology that can read our minds

One of the most popular story lines in the widely acclaimed television show The Good Wife (2009–2016) is when National Security Agency (NSA) techies entertain themselves by eavesdropping on the heroine’s personal life. It clearly resonated with viewers and reinforced the fears of many that the NSA might be listening to their conversations. Indeed, they might be. In 2013 James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, was asked by U.S. Senator Ron Wyden about whether NSA collects “any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.” Clapper answered, under oath, “No sir, not wittingly.” Clapper had been informed the day before that he would be asked this question and he was offered an opportunity the day Read More ›

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Surveillance cameras at Tiananmen square in Beijing, China

China Is Quite Serious About Total Surveillance of Every Citizen

Local governments are buying enough surveillance equipment to constantly watch 1.6 billion people, documents show

The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously… There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment… It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live — did live, from habit that became instinct — in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinised. – George Orwell, 1984 The New York Times in partnership with ChinaFile has come out with a new report on the extent of China’s surveillance state. It is nothing short of an attempt to achieve total surveillance of its 1.4 billion people: Read More ›

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A moody science fiction concept, of a figure standing in a field with UFO lights glowing in the sky. On a foggy spooky night. With a vintage, grunge edit

NASA Cuts Out the Yuk Yuks, Gets Serious About UFO Research

This fall the space agency is hiring top scientists to tackle “some of the most perplexing mysteries”

A leading science news release site tells us that NASA is officially joining the hunt for UFOs. The nine-month project, which will see leading scientists examine the most puzzling images, is expected to begin in the fall and last nine months: “Over the decades, NASA has answered the call to tackle some of the most perplexing mysteries we know of, and this is no different,” Daniel Evans, the NASA scientist responsible for coordinating the study, told reporters on a call. News, “NASA gets serious about UFOs” at Phys.Org (June 9, 2022) Phys.org comments, “The announcement comes as the field of UFO study, once a poorly-regarded research backwater, is gaining more mainstream traction,” adding “Another overarching goal of NASA is to Read More ›

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Chinese flags on barbed wire wall in Kashgar (Kashi), Xinjiang, China.

Digital Data Leaks Reveal Extent of Uyghur Oppression in China

Only in the last decade or so has true technological oppression of an entire people group was even possible. But at least it is a two-edged sword

Hawagul Tewekkul’s tear-filled eyes are the first thing you see at the BBC’s interactive article, “The Faces from China’s Uyghur Detention Camps.” Her photo is one of 5,000 photos of Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities found in one of the largest data leaks on the Chinese Communist Party’s widespread oppression, internment, and cultural annihilation of the minorities living in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China. Hawagul Tewekkul was fifty years old in October 2017 when she was “detained for re-education.” Her offense was not stated. Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities have been sent to prison, often on unreasonable charges, or t “vocational re-education centers” as a part of Xi Jinping’s anti-terrorism campaign. Sometimes the training centers have been converted to Read More ›

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Abstract virtual microscheme illustration on flag of China and blurry cityscape background. Big data and database concept. Multiexposure

Is China’s Crackdown on Big Tech Easing Up?

Depends on who you talk to. It could be wishful thinking on the part of investors

. As a China news site SupChina told the story mid-last year, Beijing practically nuked the Chinese Big Tech industries: Since the suspension of Ant Group’s IPO in November, Beijing has embarked on an unprecedented clampdown of its technology sector. The casualties include some of China’s leading tech companies, such as Tencent (internet conglomerate), Meituan (food delivery), Pinduoduo (ecommerce), Didi (ride-hailing app), Full Truck Alliance (freight logistics app), Kanzhun (recruitment), online private tutoring companies like New Oriental Education and TAL Education, and a crackdown on cryptocurrencies. Chang Che and Jeremy Goldkorn, “China’s ‘Big Tech crackdown’: A guide” at SupChina (August 2, 2021) SupChina offered a variety of explanations for the sudden lunge at Big Tech, which started in November 2020, from ideological purification through internal Party warfare. Summing up: What the tech crackdown tells us Read More ›