November 22, 2016 Leave a comment
November 22, 2016 Leave a comment
A serious, and potentially frightening, security vulnerability involving some Android smartphones came to light Tuesday.
Phones made by Blu, a U.S. company, were transmitting their owners’ personal data to a computer server in China owned by Shanghai Adups Technology Co., which supplies software to mobile device makers.
Initially, it was unclear how the data was being used, though security experts feared it could have been accessible by the Chinese government.
Now, however, Adups has issued an apology, saying that the data was collected in error and has been deleted.
September 19, 2013 Leave a comment
Meet the Chinese tilapia, a bland food product that grows fast and sells cheap. Environmentalists hate it, but Americans keep ordering more.
(Fixes reference to U.S. food-service market in the 27th paragraph.)
At the end of a wooden pier, a squat red machine the size of a dishwasher hums along with the din of nearby cicadas. The fish-feeder is tossing grain pellets into one of Chen Haiping’s nine fish ponds, each as long as a football field, in the town of Shuixi, in China’s Guangdong province. It’s breakfast time, and thousands of tilapia are thrashing their tails and sticking their mouths into the air to get some of the soy-and-corn mixture. Chen, a 32-year-old former duck farmer with a wispy mustache, has been running this farm for eight years.
Before the tilapia, these ponds were filled with shrimp, which the Chinese like. They aren’t big fans of tilapia, a foreign fish; the name in Chinese,luofeiyu, refers to tilapia’s origins in Africa. It doesn’t have much flavor, and it doesn’t grow big enough to put in the middle of the table at a family meal. Americans, however, can’t get enough of Chinese-raised tilapia, so tilapia it is. The fish, Chen notes, are hardier and don’t require as much work. “Shrimp can die much more easily,” says Chen, who wears a wide-brimmed straw hat to protect himself from the 95-degree heat.
Despite environmental warnings about Chinese-raised tilapia from watchdog groups such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, which publishes an influential best choices/avoid list of seafood and rates Chinese-raised tilapia as “avoid,” U.S. consumption keeps rising. In 2009 the U.S. imported 404 million pounds of tilapia, up from 298 million in 2005. Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) imports nearly 200 shipping containers, or 8.8 million pounds, every month, although they will not say how much comes from China. (The company declined to comment.) Domestic fish farmers can’t come close to meeting demand. Although there are tilapia farms in the U.S., the fish does better in tropical climates, so most of it comes from Asia or Latin America.
June 24, 2013 2 Comments
BEIJING (AP) — An American executive said Monday he has been held hostage for four days at his medical supply plant in Beijing by scores of workers demanding severance packages like those given to 30 co-workers in a phased-out department.
Chip Starnes, 42, a co-owner of Coral Springs, Florida-basedSpecialty Medical Supplies, said local officials had visited the 10-year-old plant on the capital’s outskirts and coerced him into signing agreements Saturday to meet the workers’ demands even though he sought to make clear that the remaining 100 workers weren’t being laid off.
The workers were expecting wire transfers by Tuesday, he said, adding that about 80 of them had been blocking every exit around the clock and depriving him of sleep by shining bright lights and banging on windows of his office. He declined to clarify the amount, saying he wanted to keep it confidential.
“I feel like a trapped animal,” Starnes told The Associated Press on Monday from his first-floor office window, while holding onto the window’s bars. “I think it’s inhumane what is going on right now. I have been in this area for 10 years and created a lot of jobs and I would never have thought in my wildest imagination something like this would happen.”
Workers inside the compound, a pair of two-story buildings behind gates and hedges in the Huairou district of the northeastern Beijing suburbs, repeatedly declined requests for comment, saying they did not want to talk to foreign media.
A local police spokesman said police were at the scene to maintain order. Four uniformed police and about a dozen other men who declined to identify themselves were standing across the road from the plant.
“As far as I know, there was a labor dispute between the workers and the company management and the dispute is being solved,” said spokesman Zhao Lu of the Huairou Public Security Bureau. ” I am not sure about the details of the solution, but I can guarantee the personal safety of the manager.”
Representatives from the U.S. Embassy stood outside the gate but said they had no comment.
The protest reflects growing uneasiness among workers about China’s slowing economic growth and the sense that growing labor costs make country a less attractive place for some foreign-owned factories. The account about local officials coercing Starnes to meet workers’ demands — if true — reflects how officials typically consider quashing unrest to be a paramount priority.
It is not rare in China for managers to be held by workers demanding back pay or other benefits, often from their Chinese owners, though occasionally also involving foreign bosses. It is unusual for such an incident to take place in Beijing because most such ventures have moved elsewhere in China because of high costs in the capital.
Starnes said the company had gradually been winding down its plastics division, planning to move it to Mumbai, India. He arrived in Beijing last Tuesday to lay off the last 30 people. Some had been working there for up to nine years, so their compensation packages were “pretty nice,” he said.
Some of the workers in the other divisions got wind of this, and, coupled with rumors that the whole plant was moving to India, started demanding similar severance packages on Friday.
To learn more about Made in USA Certification: http://www.USA-C.com
March 28, 2013 Leave a comment
The U.S. has taken its first real swipe at China following accusations that the Beijing government is behind a widespread and systemic hacking campaign targeting U.S. businesses.
Buried in a spending bill signed by President Barack Obama on Tuesday is a provision that effectively bars much of the federal government from buying information technology made by companies linked to the Chinese government.
It’s unclear what impact the legislation will have, or whether it will turn out to be a symbolic gesture. The provision only affects certain non-defense government agency budgets between now and Sept. 30, when the fiscal year ends. It also allows for exceptions if an agency head determines that buying the technology is “in the national interest of the United States.”
Still, the rule could upset U.S. allies whose businesses rely on Chinese manufacturers for parts and pave the way for broader, more permanent changes in how the U.S. government buys technology.
“This is a change of direction,” said Stuart Baker, a former senior official at the Homeland Security Department now with the legal firm Steptoe and Johnson in Washington. “My guess is we’re going to keep going in this direction for a while.”
In March, the U.S. computer security firm Mandiant released details on what it said was an aggressive hacking campaign on American businesses by a Chinese military unit. Since then, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has used high-level meetings with Beijing officials to press the matter. Beijing has denied the allegations.
Congressional leaders have promised to push comprehensive legislation that would make it easier for industry to share threat data with the government. But those efforts have been bogged down amid concerns that too much of U.S. citizens’ private information could end up in the hands of the federal government.
As Congress and privacy advocates debate a way ahead, lawmakers tucked “section 516” into the latest budget resolution, which enables the government to pay for day-to day operations for the rest of the fiscal year. The provision specifically prohibits the Commerce and Justice departments, NASA and the National Science Foundation from buying an information technology system that is “produced, manufactured or assembled” by any entity that is “owned, operated or subsidized” by the People’s Republic of China.
The agencies can only acquire the technology if, in consulting with the FBI, they determine that there is no risk of “cyberespionage or sabotage associated with the acquisition of the system,” according to the legislation.
The move might sound like a no-brainer. If U.S. industry and intelligence officials are right, and China is stealing America’s corporate secrets at a breathtaking pace, why reward Beijing with lucrative U.S. contracts? Furthermore, why install technical equipment that could potentially give China a secret backdoor into federal systems?
But a blanket prohibition on technology made by the Chinese government may be easier said than done. Information systems are often a complicated assembly of parts manufactured by different companies around the globe. And investigating where each part came from, and if that part is made by a company that could have ties to the Chinese government could be difficult.
Depending on how the Obama administration interprets the law, Baker said it could cause problems for the U.S. with the World Trade Organization, whose members include U.S. allies like Germany and Britain that might rely on Chinese technology to build computers or handsets.
But in the end, Baker says it could make the U.S. government safer and wiser.
“We do have to worry about buying equipment from companies that may not have our best interests at heart,” he said.
Follow Anne Flaherty on Twitter at https://twitter.com/AnneKFlaherty.
March 13, 2013 Leave a comment
Reposted from The New York Times
Mark Landler and David Sanger | March 11, 2013 | The New York Times
WASHINGTON — The White House demanded Monday that the Chinese government stop the widespread theft of data from American computer networks and agree to “acceptable norms of behavior in cyberspace.”
The demand, made in a speech by President Obama’s national security adviser, Tom Donilon, was the first public confrontation with China over cyberespionage and came two days after its foreign minister, Yang Jiechi, rejected a growing body of evidence that his country’s military was involved in cyberattacks on American corporations and some government agencies.
The White House, Mr. Donilon said, is seeking three things from Beijing: public recognition of the urgency of the problem; a commitment to crack down on hackers in China; and an agreement to take part in a dialogue to establish global standards.
“Increasingly, U.S. businesses are speaking out about their serious concerns about sophisticated, targeted theft of confidential business information and proprietary technologies through cyberintrusions emanating from China on an unprecedented scale,” Mr. Donilon said in a wide-ranging address to the Asia Society in New York.
“The international community,” he added, “cannot tolerate such activity from any country.”
In Beijing, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Hua Chunying, did not directly say whether the government is willing to negotiate over the proposals spelled out by Mr. Donilon. But at a daily news briefing Tuesday she repeated the government’s position that it opposes Internet attacks and wants “constructive dialogue” with the United States and other countries about cybersecurity issues.
Until now, the White House has steered clear of mentioning China by name when discussing cybercrime, though Mr. Obama and other officials have raised it privately with Chinese counterparts. In his State of the Union address, he said, “We know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets.”
February 28, 2013 Leave a comment
Washington still doesn’t get it. We’ve known for years that China hacks government networks, industry computers, and advocacy groups like ours.
A study released last week by a Virginia-based cyber-security company confirms this: The Chinese military is responsible for a series of sophisticated computer hacking attacks on more than 140 American companies.
These hackers have stolen everything from product design blueprints to business strategies, and have also made a persistent effort to gain access to the controls of our infrastructure, including oil and gas pipelines and our electrical grid.
The Obama administration has known about China’s cyber hacking for some time. But the White House has sat on its hands because it believes calling Beijing out for cheating could undermine our overall relationship. In fact, the Administration still sometimes refrains from specifically identifying China as the hacking extraordinaire it’s proving itself to be.
News flash: When China uses its military to steal from American companies, it undermines our relationship. And when it starts groping for a hand on our power switch, we need to rethink what we’re getting in return.
Our official strategy — twisting like a pretzel to avoid offending the Chinese government (even when we catch them stealing from us) — is clearly not working. So why not try something else?
We run an enormous trade deficit with China every year, including a record $315 billion in 2012. China uses that money to spy on us. So here’s an idea: Why not use our trade relationship to force Beijing to play by the rules?
Contrary to what some Washington insiders suggest, getting tough on China’s cheating won’t start a trade war. Just like anyone else, China responds to pressure. In fact, when Washington has actually moved to address China’scurrency manipulation, Beijing has responded by budging the value of its currency incrementally (see the chart, above).
Yes, we have a large, complex relationship with China. But it’s really not rocket science: Calling out Beijing for flouting the rules gets results, a point I made this morning in an editorial for CNBC.
Together, we can keep it Made in America!
Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM)
February 28, 2013 1 Comment
SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s cabinet may soon approve an aircraft engine development program that will require investment of at least 100 billion yuan ($16 billion), state-run Xinhua news agency quoted unidentified industry sources as saying.
China is determined to reduce its dependency on foreign companies like Boeing Co (BA), EADS-owned Airbus (EAD.PA), General Electric Co (GE) and Rolls Royce Plc (RR.TO) for the country’s soaring demand for planes and engines.
So far the domestic aerospace industry has failed to build a reliable, high-performance jet engine to end its dependence on Russian and Western makers for equipping its military and commercial aircraft.
Xinhua on Thursday quoted an unidentified professor at the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (BUAA) with knowledge of the project as saying the investment would be used mainly for research on technology, designs and materials related to aircraft engine manufacturing.
The project was going through approval procedures in the State Council and may be approved shortly, the professor was quoted as saying.
Participants in the project include Shenyang Liming Aero-Engine Group Corp, AVIC Xi’an Aero-Engine (Group) Ltd <600893.SS> and research institutes including the BUAA, Xinhua reported.
Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), the country’s dominant military and commercial aviation contractor, had lobbied the government to back a multi-billion dollar plan to build a high-performance jet engine.
China’s military and aerospace industries have suffered from bans on the sale of military equipment imposed by Western governments after the Tiananmen Square crackdown and foreign engine-makers are reluctant to transfer costly technology.
Some Chinese aviation industry specialists forecast Beijing will eventually spend up to 300 billion yuan ($49 billion) on jet-engine development over the next two decades.
($1 = 6.2273 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by John Ruwitch; Editing by Matt Driskill)
February 21, 2013 Leave a comment
Republican senators complained Wednesday that U.S. taxpayer dollars could end up boosting the Chinese economy, following reports that a Chinese firm is leading the pack of companies bidding for a majority stake in government-backed Fisker Automotive.
The troubled California-based electric car maker, which was backed by U.S. taxpayers to the tune of nearly $530 million, for months has been looking for a financial partner. Reuters reported earlier this week that China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group is favored to take over, though Fisker is also reportedly weighing a bid from another Chinese auto maker.
The development comes after Fisker’s main battery supplier — U.S. government-backed A123 Systems — was recently purchased by a separate Chinese firm.
Sens. John Thune, R-S.D., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, voiced concern Wednesday that Chinese companies are benefiting from U.S. taxpayers’ investment.
“Obama’s green energy investments appear to be nothing more than venture capital for eventual Chinese acquisitions,” Thune said in a statement. “After stimulus-funded A123 was just acquired by a Chinese-based company, it’s troubling to see that yet another struggling taxpayer-backed company might be purchased under duress by a Chinese company.”
Grassley added: “Like A123, this looks like another example of taxpayer dollars going to a failed experiment. Technology developed with American taxpayer subsidies should not be sold off to China.”
Despite the Reuters report, Fisker stressed that the bidding process is still very much open.
“The company has received detailed proposals from multiple parties in different continents which are now being evaluated by the company and its advisors,” Fisker spokesman Roger Ormisher said in a statement.
The Obama administration also defended the Energy Department’s overall loan program, which originally extended the nearly $530 million loan to Fisker in 2010.
February 20, 2013 Leave a comment
By Don Clark
A chip company called Achronix on Wednesday is announcing that the first fruits of Intel’s new build-to-order service are emerging from the factory. That’s a milestone for both companies, and a surprising sidelight could play into the story–worries about dependence on non-U.S. manufacturers.
The Silicon Valley startup in 2010 turned to Intel, which opted to break from long-standing practice and use its sophisticated factories and manufacturing processes to serve customers beyond Intel’s own chip-design groups. Achronix became one of two publicly announced users of the new Intel foundry business, as such services are called.
Intel believes it can make smaller and more sophisticated transistors than other foundries. Achronix, which makes a variety of programmable chips that use lots of transistors, says its bet on Intel has paid off as advertised.
The chips, which include models with a whopping six billion transistors, consume half the power of competing chips and cost about half as much, Achronix says. It is shipping sample quantities to customers now and, when extended testing is completed, will be shipping them in volume in the third quarter, says Robert Blake, the company’s president and chief executive officer.
Most foundry factories are in Taiwan or other parts of Asia. Achronix is quick to point out that the entire process of making its chips is handled in the United States.