China

Regional News • Americas • Brazil
Bolsonaro announces that Brazil won't buy Covid-19 vaccine from China
Bolsonaro announces that Brazil won't buy Covid-19 vaccine from China
Credit: Courtesy of Twitter

"We won't buy the vaccine from China," says Bolsonaro on his Facebook page on Tuesday after the Ministry of Health had announced the purchase of 46 million doses of CoronaVac, a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Sinovac.

The same day, earlier, the Ministry of Health had announced the purchase of 46 million doses of CoronaVac, a vaccine developed by Chinese pharmacist Sinovac. The company has an agreement with the government of São Paulo to supply the ready vaccine and also to transfer the production technology to the Butantan Institute (see details below).

"Everything will be clarified even today. We will not buy the vaccine from China", said the president.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Trump maintains a bank account in China
Trump maintains a bank account in China
Credit: Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

According to the New York Times, US President Donald Trump has a Chinese bank account and spent years pursuing business projects in the country. The account, controlled by Trump International Hotels Management, paid $188,561 in local taxes between 2013 and 2015.

President Trump has been critical of US firms doing business in China and sparked a trade war between the two countries.

The newspaper's previous reports show Trump paid $750 in US federal taxes in 2016 and 2017 when he became president.

Regional News • Americas • Brazil
US government offers Brazilian telecoms financing to buy 5G equipment from Huawei rivals
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and US National Security adviser Robert O’Brien
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and US National Security adviser Robert O’Brien Credit: Marcos Corrêa/PR (Public Domain)

The US government, via the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the U.S. EXIM bank and the National Security Council, offered financing to Brazilian telecoms to keep them from buying Huawei Technologies 5G equipment.

The Chinese Embassy in Brazil on Twitter accused the American government of seeking a networking "monopoly." Still, it said it believed most countries would remain independent and make their own decisions regarding 5G.

Regional News • Europe
Sweden to ban China's Huawei and ZTE from upcoming 5G networks
Sweden to ban China's Huawei and ZTE from upcoming 5G networks
Credit: Kārlis Dambrāns (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) announced Tuesday a ban to telecom equipment from Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE in Sweden's 5G network. According to PTS, the ban is over a security assessment made by the Swedish Armed forces.

Sweden is the home of Ericsson, one of Europe's leading telecom equipment suppliers.

Health
Chinese city Qingdao to test all its 9m citizens
Chinese city Qingdao to test all its 9m citizens
Credit: Painjet / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Chinese city of Qingdao will be testing all of its 9 million citizens following the discovery of 12 cases linked to a hospital, including six asymptomatic infections. All of the city's citizens will be tested within 5 days, so the National Health Commission.

Regional News • Asia • China
Report: New detention camps for Uighur in China detected - number 40% higher than estimated

According to a report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute China has 380 facilities in the Xinjiang region that are suspected to serve as detention centers for the Uighur minority in China.

The number is around 40% higher than previously estimated and contradicts claims by China that the system that they claim is for "re-education" is being scaled back.

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Tesla sues US government over tariffs on goods from China
Tesla sues US government over tariffs on goods from China
Credit: unsplash.com / Afif Kusuma

The electric car manufacturer Tesla has sued the United States government and wants to legally enforce an exemption from US punitive tariffs on imports from China.

With Tesla being one of several hundreds of companies starting such proceedings on the import tariffs, the company is seeking to avert existing import tariffs as well as compensation for tariffs that have already been paid.

Regional News • Americas • United States
TikTok sues Trump administration to block U.S. ban
TikTok logo
TikTok logo Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler – Logo via TikTok (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance, have filed a complaint in Washington federal court on Friday night, asking a judge to block the Trump administration's executive order that would block Chinese social-media networks, especially TikTok and WeChat, to do business with U.S. companies.

TikTok, which has over 100 million users in the United States, said the ban would "irreversibly destroy the TikTok business in the U.S."

Business • Consumer & Service
H&M terminates cooperation with a supplier in China because of crimes against the Muslim Uyghur people
H&M Store
H&M Store Credit: Mister No

The Swedish clothing company H&M announced that it is ending its cooperation with the Chinese supplier Huafu. The textile supplier, based in the Chinese province of Anhui, is said to have benefited from the forced labour system in the province, which is mainly inhabited by Muslim Uyghur people.

According to H&M, the company had an "indirect business relationship" with the supplier, even though there hadn't been any indications of forced labour, H&M decided to terminate the cooperation regardless.

Technology • Internet & Web
Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, reaches 600m daily active users
Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, reaches 600m daily active users
Credit: Douyin

The Chinese version of TikTok called Douyin has reached 600 million daily active users in August, so its parent-comapny ByteDance which also owns TikTok. While both apps are rather similar, Douyin also features e-commerce options, livestreams and uploads of full-length movies. During the Douyin Creator Conference in Shanghai, ByteDance China CEO Kelly Zhang stated that Douyin has over 22 million creators that made over 41.7 billion yuan (or $6.15b USD).

Regional News • World
EU demands concessions from China before concluding investment agreements
EU demands concessions from China before concluding investment agreements
Credit: unsplash.com / Janine Meuche

The EU is demanding concessions from China before negotiations on the planned investment agreement are concluded. If an agreement is to be reached at the end of the year as planned, China still has a lot to do in the areas of market access and sustainable development, said EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Monday evening after talks with China's President Xi Jinping.

The EU could already celebrate as a success that on Monday China signed an agreement on the mutual protection of geographical indications for food. Champagne, Feta cheese or also Parma ham will thus in future be among 100 European products that are protected in China against unauthorized imitation. Conversely, the geographical indications of 100 Chinese products such as Pu'er tea, Moutai schnapps or Panjin rice will also be protected in the EU.

Technology • Internet & Web
ByteDance to partner with Oracle on TikTok's U.S. operations
ByteDance to partner with Oracle on TikTok's U.S. operations
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler – Logo via TikTok, Oracle (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

ByteDance has decided to partner with Oracle on TikTok's U.S. operations instead of selling the U.S. arm. According to Reuters, the partnership is supposed to help navigate "geopolitical tensions between Beijing and Washington, people familiar with the matter said."

Technology • Internet & Web
Chinese state media reports TikTok won't be sold to Oracle denying reports
Chinese state media reports TikTok won't be sold to Oracle denying reports
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler – Logo via TikTok, Microsoft, Oracle

With Microsoft announcing that the U.S. operations of TikTok won't be sold to the technology company, rumours have broken out that Oracle will be the winner of the bid for the TikTok U.S. operations.

The Chinese state broadcaster CGTN has now reported that the TikTok owner ByteDance will sell its U.S. operations to neither Microsoft nor Oracle. ByteDance themselves refused to comment.

Climate & Environment
Doctors warn that air pollution caused by wildfires could worsen Covid-19 risk
Smoke from Oregon wildfires
Smoke from Oregon wildfires Credit: Oregon Department of Transportation

Studies conducted in the US, China and Italy have shown that smoke and air pollution could increase susceptibility to viral infections as the smoke irritates lungs, can cause inflammation and affect the immune system.

Now, with wildfires ravaging the Pacific Northwest, doctors warn that the smoke caused by the fires could make people more susceptible to Covid-19.

"Multiple studies have shown a correlation between higher levels of pollution in the air and greater spread and severity of Covid-19 cases," so Dr. Brad Spellberg, chief medical officer of the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.

Regional News • Asia
China and India pledge to de-escalate Himalayan border standoff
India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and China's State Councillor Wang Yi
India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and China's State Councillor Wang Yi Credit: Russian Foreign Ministry (Public Domain)

The foreign ministers of China and India announced an agreement to ease tensions after recent clashes on their contested Himalayan border.

Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi and Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar met in Moscow on Thursday and issued a five-point statement aimed at ending a simmering confrontation.

Wang Yi said, "it is normal for China and India to have some differences as two neighbouring powers, but to put the differences in the proper place in bilateral relations."

S. Jaishankar stated "India does not want to see an escalation of tension in the border areas between India and China. India’s China policy has not changed, and I believe China has not changed either."

Regional News • Americas • United States
Microsoft finds Russian, Chinese and Iranian hackers targeting US elections
Microsoft finds Russian, Chinese and Iranian hackers targeting US elections
Credit: Element5 Digital

Hackers from China, Russia and Iran are targeting the 2020 presidential elections, Microsoft found. In a blog post, Microsoft stated that the three hacker groups Strontium (Russia), Zirconium (China) and Phosphorus (Iran) have launched attacks aimed at both the Democratic and Republican party. The groups have attacked "more than 200 organizations including political campaigns, advocacy groups, parties and political consultants", "high-profile individuals associated with the election" including associates of Biden's campaign and "personal accounts of people associated" with the Trump campaign.

"The majority of these attacks were detected and stopped by security tools built into our products. We have directly notified those who were targeted or compromised so they can take action to protect themselves," so Microsoft

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Huawei to reduce smartphone production by 74 per cent
Huawei to reduce smartphone production by 74 per cent
Credit: Huawei

The Korean electronics industry media magazine The Elec has reported based on insider information that Huawei will reduce the production of smartphones by 74% following sanctions from the United States that lead to a decline in sales.

Also, Samsung and SK Hynix have stopped delivering microchips to the Chinese company.

Regional News • Asia • China
Australian journalist held in China on national security grounds

Australian journalist Cheng Lei has been detained since August 14th and is suspected of "criminal activity endangering China's national security". Lei is a news anchor for China Global Television Network (CGTN) and was arrested in Beijing and was taken into secretive detention. The reason for her detention is still unclear.

Regional News • Middle East
Iran enriched uranium stockpile '10 times limit' set in the nuclear deal
The ministers of foreign affairs and other officials from the P5+1 countries, the European Union and Iran while announcing the framework of a Comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear programme
The ministers of foreign affairs and other officials from the P5+1 countries, the European Union and Iran while announcing the framework of a Comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear programme Credit: United States Department of State (Public Domain)

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has said Tehran continues to violate the limitations set in the 2015 nuclear deal with the US, Germany, France, the UK, China and Russia. The limit was set at 300kg of enriched uranium, while the country now has 2,105kg.

The watchdog noted, however, that Iran's stockpile remains far below the many tons of enriched uranium Iran had amassed before the 2015 deal and that its stockpile of heavy water had decreased and is now back within the JCPOA limits.

Technology • Games
India bans PUBG, Baidu and more than 100 apps linked to China
India bans PUBG, Baidu and more than 100 apps linked to China
Credit: Tencent

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India announced  118 Chinese mobile apps have been banned, as tensions between the two countries continue to rise.

Those on the list include several of Tencent's products including the hit video game PUBG Mobile and WeChat Work.

Previously the government had banned 59 of the most popular apps including TikTok over national security concerns.