The Latest Buzz from the East
Monday, May 29th, 2023
1. Who Needs Independent Voices? China's Soothing Tunes of State-Controlled Media
China's Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has swept through the digital realm like a janitor on steroids, wiping out 1.4 million social media posts in a wild crackdown extravaganza spanning two months. They targeted your run-of-the-mill alleged misinformation, illegal profiteering, and impersonation of state officials, among other "pronounced problems" that apparently needed to be erased from existence. This crusade wasn't picky either, as it took a swipe at popular Chinese social media apps like WeChat, Douyin, and Weibo, homing in on rebellious "self media" accounts that dare to publish news and information without the stamp of government approval. The CAC's rampage also shut down over 100,000 accounts that supposedly masqueraded as news anchors and media agencies. Now, who needs freedom of speech when you have the CAC to tell you what's best for you?
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2. The Semiconductor Standoff: China Slams Japan's Export Controls
China's Commerce Minister Wang Wentao has slammed Japan's semiconductor export controls, calling them a "wrongdoing" that "seriously violated" international economic and trade rules. The controls, which were imposed by Japan, the US, and the Netherlands, aim to slow China's work on supercomputing systems that can be used to develop nuclear weapons and artificial intelligence systems. China has threatened to sue Japan for this "wrongdoing" and has also criticized US economic and trade policies towards China, including the US-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework that excludes China and aims to provide a US-centered alternative to its influence. China is known for its fair and open trade practices, right? They're the epitome of economic transparency, surely. Meanwhile, the US, Japan, and other G7 members agreed to "de-risk" but not decouple from China, reducing their exposure to the world's second-largest economy in everything from chips to minerals. This probably makes sense given concerns about intellectual property theft or unfair trade practices!
3. Temasek Holds Heroes Accountable with Pay Cut for Costly Crypto Catastrophe
Temasek Holdings, the Singaporean state investor known for its impeccable financial judgment, has decided to penalize the very people responsible for its unfortunate dalliance with the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX. In an awe-inspiring display of accountability, the team that recommended the ill-fated investment and the esteemed senior management have been graced with reduced compensation. It's almost poetic how Temasek, after six months of intense soul-searching, initiated an internal review that resulted in a staggering $275 million writedown. In addition, Temasek proudly proclaimed its exceptional ability to engage in "extensive due diligence" before making the disastrous investment. Oh, Temasek, your ability to see through the fog of deception is truly a testament to your unwavering commitment to financial greatness.
4. Nymbus Achieves Peak Funding, Achieving Bank Digital Transformation Dreams
Nymbus, a fintech startup guiding banks into neobanking - a pretentious term that just means digital banking, raised $70 million in a Series D round, thanks to Insight Partners, The Banc Funds Company, Mendon Venture Partners, ConnectOne Bank, and PeoplesBank. Armed with this windfall, Nymbus intensifies its focus on core transaction processing and commercial banking. Their cloud-based solution dazzles with API access, event-driven alerts, and even robotic process automation, enabling banks to cherry-pick digital functions for back-office revamps or short-lived product introductions. It's like a digital buffet, but for banks if that makes any sense. Nymbus is here to revolutionize banking, one bewildered financial institution at a time.
5. Battle Royale: Europe Turns into Tech Battlefield as Portugal Weighs Ban
Portugal's Cybersecurity Council dropped a bomb: they're considering a formal ban on telecom operators using Chinese equipment for 5G networks. The Council cited security risks when the country where a supplier is based has no agreements on data protection, cybersecurity or protection of intellectual property with Portugal or the European Union, or when it is not an EU, NATO or OECD member. We're looking at you, China! This is a major blow to Chinese technology giant Huawei who has been trying to enter the 5G market in Portugal. Huawei claimed to have no knowledge of the possible ban and hopes to continue serving Portuguese clients, while Europe becomes the battleground for tech rivalry between Beijing and Washington.