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This is a discussion on China Tech News within the Electronics forums, part of the Non-Related Discussion category; FACEBOOK and Xiaomi will release a virtual reality headset in the Chinese mainland market even though the US-based social giant’s ...

          
   
  1. #651
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    VR device for Xiaomi, Facebook

    FACEBOOK and Xiaomi will release a virtual reality headset in the Chinese mainland market even though the US-based social giant’s service is not accessible here.

    The VR device, Mi VR standalone, will be the first Facebook device officially sold in the mainland market which has the world’s biggest number of Internet users. The device will feature both Xiaomi and Facebook’s Oculus logos in China. It’s the Chinese version of Facebook’s Oculus Go, which costs US$199 in the US market.

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    Sony’s ‘aibo’ robot boasts AI, Internet

    AS Japan readies to celebrate the year of the dog, electronics giant Sony yesterday unleashed its new robot canine companion, packed with artificial intelligence and Internet connectivity.

    The sleek ivory-white puppy-sized “aibo” robot shook its head and wagged its tail as if waking from a nap when it was taken out of a cocoon-shaped case at a “birthday ceremony” held in Tokyo.
    Seven-year-old Naohiro Sugimoto from Tokyo was among the first to get his hands on the shiny new toy, which he described as “heavy but cute.”

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    China FTZs ease rules for foreign firms

    A Sino-British joint venture will soon begin outbound tourism business for Chinese tourists in the Shanghai free trade zone.

    Registered in the FTZ in 2015 by Thomas Cook Group and Shanghai’s Fosun International, Fosun Tourism and Culture Group is one of the beneficiaries of fine-tuning to some laws and regulations in China’s FTZs to further opening-up and reform.
    Eleven regulations including those on ship registration, urban rail transit and foreign investment are to be temporarily adjusted, according to a State Council decision.

    One regulation specifically deals with foreign investment in tourism. Joint ventures registered in the zones are now allowed directly into outbound tourism for Chinese residents. Previous regulations meant joint ventures had to work with local travel agencies on outbound tourism, but could apply for their own license after two years.

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    Germany adds yuan to reserves

    GERMANY’S central bank has said it will include the Chinese yuan in its reserves, giving another boost to China’s drive to internationalize the currency.

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    The Bundesbank said its board had decided in July to invest in the yuan to take account of its growing importance globally, though it did not say when it would begin to include it or how much it would purchase.

    “The decision to accept the yuan is part of a long-term diversification strategy and reflects the growing role of the Chinese currency in the world financial system,” Bundesbank board member Joachim Wuermeling said.
    The German central bank regularly reviews the composition of its currency reserves “by weighing risks and benefits,” Wuermeling said.

    “In addition to dollars and yen, (the bank) has invested in Australian dollars since 2013 and seeks to invest in other currencies.”

    The move comes after the European Central Bank in June converted 500 million euros’ worth of its US dollar reserves into yuan.

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    Shanghai shares hit 2-year high, HK at new record

    SHANGHAI shares rose to a two-year high yesterday when Hong Kong stocks climbed to a fresh record as investors tracked another milestone on Wall Street, but Asia-wide markets struggled to keep up the recent momentum.

    But while the afternoon saw a slight wobble across the region and some analysts warned of a possible correction, traders remain bullish on equities thanks to a healthy global economic outlook, optimism over the impact of Donald trump’s tax cuts and strong corporate earnings.

    The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.87 percent to 3,474.75 points, the highest close since the end of 2015.
    After the market closed, data showed the Chinese economy grew a forecast-beating 6.9 percent in 2017, the first annual improvement since 2010.

    The GDP reading follows strong trade data last week, which showed the humming global economy had propelled China’s export machine.
    “This momentum, especially the part fueled by external demand, may carry on well into 2018,” said Wei Yao, chief China economist at Societe Generale.

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    IMF revises up world economic growth outlook

    THE International Monetary Fund yesterday revised up its forecast for world economic growth in 2018 and 2019 saying that sweeping US tax cuts were expected to boost investment in the world's largest economy and help its main trading partners.

    In an update of its World Economic Outlook, the IMF however warned that US growth would likely start weakening after 2022 as temporary spending incentives brought about by the tax cuts start to expire.

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    The tax cuts would likely widen the US current account deficit, strengthen the US dollar and affect international investment flows, IMF chief economist Maurice Obstfeld said.

    The US economy has been showing steady but underwhelming annual growth since the last recession in 2007-2009.
    The IMF revised up its forecast for global growth to 3.9 percent for 2018 and 2019, a 0.2 percentage point change from its last update in October.

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    China’s fiscal revenue climbs 7.4 percent last year

    CHINA’S top banking regulator’s recent fine is “credit negative” for Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Co Ltd, Moody’s Investors Service said yesterday, adding that the move will harm the lender’s reputation.

    Last Friday, the China Banking Regulatory Commission imposed the Shanghai-based lender 462 million yuan (US$72 million) fine for its illegal cover-up of bad loans.

    The CBRC accused the bank’s Chengdu branch of “knowingly” providing 77.5 billion yuan in illegal new loans to 1,493 shell companies via false declarations. Around 200 people at the Chengdu branch were held accountable.

    In a credit outlook report yesterday, Moody’s said the scandal illustrated deficiencies in the bank’s risk management system and internal controls and and the problem was "significant” given the long period of the illicit activities, the amount of credit and the number of people involved.

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    Coincheck will refund about US$400 million to customers

    JAPAN-BASED virtual currency exchange Coincheck said yesterday it will refund about US$400 million to customers after hackers stole hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of digital assets.

    The company said it will use its own funds to reimburse about 46.3 billion yen to all 260,000 customers who lost their holdings of NEM, the 10th biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.

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    On Friday, the company detected an “unauthorised access” of the exchange, and later suspended trading for all cryptocurrencies apart from bitcoin.

    The resulting 58 billion yen (US$530 million) loss exceeded the value of bitcoins which disappeared from MtGox in 2014.
    The major Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange collapsed after admitting that 850,000 coins — worth around US$480 million at the time — had disappeared from its vaults.

    As many as 10,000 businesses in Japan are thought to accept bitcoin and bitFlyer, the country’s main bitcoin exchange, saw its user base pass the one-million mark in November.

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    Housing prices in Beijing drop in 2017

    Home prices in Beijing declined in 2017 as a result of tough control measures introduced mainly in March to cool the property sector.

    Prices of new homes, including public housing, fell 0.9 percent year on year to 37,800 yuan (US$5,981) per square meter in December, according to the Beijing Municipal Commission of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.
    Meanwhile, prices of pre-owned homes, dropped 1.2 percent year on year to 59,100 yuan per square meter last month, declining 13 percent from the high level in March.

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    Facebook - "the quality of the conversations and connections"

    FACEBOOK Inc offered reassurances to investors on Wednesday that its digital ad business would remain highly profitable, despite a dip in usage on the social media network and an overhaul of its flagship News Feed.

    The company said in an earnings report that quarterly revenue jumped 47 percent from a year earlier, and executives said on a conference call that they saw more chances to make money even if people spend less time on Facebook.

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    Analysts had wondered about the resilience of the world’s largest social media network, which is making changes to its products to deter foreign influence campaigns like ones that it says Russia has carried out and to stem the spread of sensationalism.

    Facebook added to jitters after the bell on Wednesday when, in its earnings report, it said that at the end of last year time spent by users had fallen by about 50 million hours a day.

    Shortly afterward, though, Facebook executives expressed optimism on the call with analysts, saying the changes they were making in response to criticism would be healthy for the business in the long term and might not even hurt much in the short term.

    “I want to be clear: The most important driver of our business has never been time spent by itself. It’s the quality of the conversations and connections,” Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on the call.

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