Odds and Ends 

Why Would Russia, Chinaand IranPlan Joint Naval Exercises?

KARACHI, PakistanThe waters around the Arabian Peninsula have calmed for the moment, but preparations for combat continue, with joint exercises and security conferences showing just how profoundly the regions strategic balances are shifting. As confidence declines in U.S. President Donald J. Trumps ability to navigate the difficult moral and military choices in the region, new players are entering the picture in and around the Persian Gulf. An Israeli delegation attended a U.S.-backed maritime-security conference that began Sunday in Manama with delegations from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain as a vast international…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

Immigrants from China and India can accelerate the green card process

Sophie Alcorn Limits written into existing immigration laws on both the number of green cards issued each year, as well as the number of green cards available based on country of origin, leave some waiting half a century or more for a green card, with people from India and China facing the longest wait times for employment-based green cards. Although these U.S. laws pose an extra challenge for people born in countries with the highest demand for green cards, if you were born in India or China, there are some…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

TikTok explains its ban on political advertising

Already under fire for advancing Chinese foreign policy by censoring topics like Hong Kong’s protests and pro-LGBT content, the Beijing-based video app TikTok is now further distancing itself from U.S. social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, with a ban on political ads on its app. The company today says it will not allow political ads on TikTok, noting they don’t fit in with the experience the short-form video app aims to offer. “Any paid ads that come into the community need to fit the standards for our platform,…

Read More
Headlines 

Mao inspired me in 1949, but my dreams were soon shattered

He Yanling, who was a journalist at the Peoples Daily, recalls how his hopes for the future were wrecked He Yanling was full of hope for a new China in 1949. On the eve of the ceremony marking establishment of the Peoples Republic on 1 October that year, the then 27-year-old page editor at the Peoples Daily worked through the night to ensure the paper would come out without a glitch. The next day he joined the celebrations with his colleagues, while his wife stayed at home with their baby.…

Read More
Headlines 

Hong Kong: violence follows calls for Trump to ‘liberate’ territory

Protesters clash with police in shopping districts after rally to petition US to resist Beijing Hong Kong police have fired teargas to disperse protesters in the upmarket Causeway Bay shopping district, after demonstrators rallied at the US consulate calling on Donald Trump to liberate the territory. Police had clashed with protesters in the Centraldistrict as the demonstrations in Hong Kong entered their 14th week. Protesters dispersed to nearby Admiralty, the bar district of Wan Chai and on to Causeway Bay. Riot police fire teargas to disperse protesters around the Causeway…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

Inside Beijings Toolbox to Crush Hong Kong

SHENZHEN/HONG KONGFor more than two weeks, rows of armored vehicles have been parked outside and within the walls of a stadium in Shenzhen. A contingent of the Peoples Armed Police, a paramilitary force that specializes in riot control and security matters, has been stationed within the sporting ground. The Global Times, one of the Chinese governments state-run media outlets, says that remind Hong Kongers of the 1989 military crackdown at Tiananmen Square, its natural to wonder: is Beijing about to send in its own forces, maybe even the PLAthe Peoples…

Read More
Headlines 

Chinas first cyber-dissident jailed for 12 years

Huang Qi, who ran a website reporting on sensitive topics, is accused of leaking state secrets Chinas first cyber-dissident, whose website reported on sensitive topics including human rights, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for leaking state secrets. Huang Qi ran a website called 64 Tianwang named after the bloody 1989 crackdown on Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protesters. His sentence is one of the harshest meted out to a dissident since President Xi Jinping came to power in 2012, according to court records. Huang was guilty of leaking national…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

Alibaba to help Salesforce localize and sell in China

Salesforce, the 20-year-old leader in customer relationship management (CRM) tools, is making a foray into Asia by working with one of the country’s largest tech firms, Alibaba. Alibaba will be the exclusive provider of Salesforce to enterprise customers in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, and Salesforce will become the exclusive enterprise CRM software suite sold by Alibaba, the companies announced on Thursday. The Chinese internet has for years been dominated by consumer-facing services such as Tencent’s WeChat messenger and Alibaba’s Taobao marketplace, but enterprise software is starting to garner…

Read More
Headlines 

Hong Kong protests: government vows to push ahead with extradition bill

Leader Carrie Lam refuses to withdraw law, which critics fear could be abused by Beijing The leader of Hong Kongs government has said she remains determined to pass a proposed extradition law despite China. Opponents of the law say it is being pushed by the Chinese government, and fear that Beijing will use it to extradite activists, dissidents and other political opponents who will end up in Chinas opaque and politicised courts. Striking a defiant tone on Monday, Hong Kongs chief executive, Carrie Lam, said: This bill is not initiated…

Read More
Headlines 

US accuses China of using ‘concentration camps’ against Muslim minority

In a highly charged attack, the Pentagon says up to 3m people could be imprisoned in detention centres The United States has accused China on Friday of imprisoning more than a million Muslims in concentration camps in some of Washingtons strongest condemnation of Beijings treatment of minorities. The comments by Randall Schriver, who leads Asia policy at the US defense department, are likely to increase tension with Beijing, which is sensitive to international criticism and describes the sites as vocational education training centres aimed at stemming the threat of Islamic…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

Africa Roundup: Kenyas BRCK acquires EveryLayer, Nigerias TeamApt eyes global expansion

Kenyan communications hardware company BRCK acquired the assets of Nairobi-based internet provider Surf and its U.S. parent EveryLayer in a purchase deal of an undisclosed amount in February. Based in Nairobi, Surf is a hotspot service provider aimed at offering affordable internet to lower-income segments. BRCK is a five-year-old venture that pairs its rugged Wi-Fi routers to internet service packages designed to bring people online in frontier and emerging markets. With the acquisition, BRCK gains the assets of San Francisco-based EveryLayer and its Surf subsidiary, including 1,200 hotspots and 200,000 active customers…

Read More
Headlines 

Huawei’s Problem Isn’t Chinese Backdoors. It’s Buggy Software

A report on Thursday from a British government oversight group found that Chinese telecom-equipment maker Huawei has basic but deeply problematic flaws in its product code that create security risks. The shortcomings, many of which Huawei had previously promised to improve, stem from issues with its software development processes, according to the report. The findings come amid a concerted Trump administration effort to ban Huawei products around the world (particularly in 5G wireless networks), because of concerns that Huawei devices are controlled by the Chinese government or that Huawei would…

Read More
Headlines 

The Huawei Case Signals the New USChina Cold War Over Tech

The deepening saga of the US government’s campaign against Chinese tech company Huawei intensified this week, with Huawei filing a lawsuit in Texas alleging that the government’s ban of Huawei equipment is “illegal” and based on propaganda, not facts. The case may not have much of a chance legally, but it underscores how this contest has become a microcosm of the larger competition between the US and China over who will define—and control—the technology of the 21st century. The main thrust of the US push versus Huawei is that the…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

Transportation Weekly: Didi woes, how Nuro met Softbank, Amazons appetite

Welcome back to Transportation Weekly; I’m your host Kirsten Korosec, senior transportation reporter at TechCrunch. This is the second edition and seriously people, what happened this week? Too much. Too much! Never heard of TechCrunch’s Transportation Weekly? Catch up here. As I’ve written before, consider this a soft launch. Follow me on Twitter @kirstenkorosec to ensure you see it each week. (An email subscription is coming). Off we go … vroom. ONM … There are OEMs in the automotive world. And here, (wait for it) there are ONMs — original news manufacturers. (Cymbal…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

LinkedIn now requires phone number verification for all users in China

LinkedIn’s China site looks and functions just like LinkedIn everywhere else, except now it asks users in the country to verify their identities through phone numbers. The American company is requiring both new and existing users with a Chinese IP address to link mobile phone numbers to their accounts, TechCrunch noticed this week. LinkedIn had for months told its China-based users to provide mobile number details before sending them to the main page, but it had mercifully kept a little “Skip” button that let users avoid the fuss — until at least…

Read More