China's AI industry is tanking

In Q2 2018, Chinese investors sank $2.87b into AI startups; in Q2 2019, it was $140.7m. Read the rest

After poacher crackdown, Tanzanian endangered rhino and elephant populations are staging inspiring recoveries

Four years ago, there were 15 known black rhinos left in Tanzania -- "ground zero of the poaching crisis" -- and today there 167 of them; elephant populations (which dropped 60% between 2009-2014) are rebounding too, up to over 60,000 from a low of 43,330. Read the rest

Hackers crack telecom networks across multiple continents to track a handful of targets

You might be popular, but are you Chinese hacker following your every move, no matter where you go popular?

No? It's cool. Not many people are. Read the rest

Hong Kong's beleaguered chief exec says the extradition bill is "dead" but won't make it official

When the Chinese politburo gave itself the right to veto nominees for Hong Kong elections in 2016, it ensured that any future legislature on the supposedly independent island would be a puppet regime, its electors literally beholden to Beijing for their office; and by 2019, the puppet regime of Carrie Lam began to deconstruct Hong Kong's independence by introducing the "extradition bill," which would allow Beijing to demand that political dissidents be rendered to the Chinese mainland for show-trials and arbitrary detention. Read the rest

Hong Kong protests continue to mount, and popular sentiment is with the protesters

In early June, protesters surged into Hong Kong's streets to protest a change to the country's extradition rules that would allow the Chinese state to demand the extradition of political dissidents to the mainland; as the protests grew, Hong Kong's puppet government had no choice but to withdraw its proposal -- but that wasn't enough, and millions of people poured into the streets, demanding the resignation of administrator Connie Lam and the release of imprisoned demonstrators. Read the rest

Chinese authorities are secretly installing their anti-Uyghur surveillance app on the phones of tourists to Xinjiang province

Back in 2017, Chinese authorities in Xinjiang began stopping members of the Uyghur ethnic minority and forcing them to install spyware on their phones: it marked an intensification of the country's crackdown on Uyghur's and other ethnic/religious minorities, which acquired a new technological fervor: next came the nonconsensual collection of the DNA of every person in Xinjiang, then the creation of torture camps designed to brainwash Uyghurs out of their Islamic faith, and then a full blown surveillance smart-city rollout that turned the cities of the region into open-air prisons. Read the rest

Hong Kong protesters repeatedly blockade police HQ, demanding release of people arrested at #612strike demonstrations

This month's #612strike uprising in Hong Kong achieved a provisional victory when the city's Beijing-friendly government shelved its plans to allow Hong Kongers to be extradited to the mainland to stand charges for political "crimes" -- but the protests, which are the largest in the island's history, are not over. Read the rest

Huawei employees worked with China's military on AI systems and internet surveillance

Projects included work for the Central Military Commission to extract and classify emotions in online video comments.

How China ingests and adapts western culture

Back in January, Amy Hawkins and Jeffrey Wasserstrom published a fascinating, nuanced look why Chinese state censors had banned the mention of Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four" on social media, but not the book itself. Read the rest

"Massive scale" intrusion into mobile carriers' networks exposed customers' location, call data for years

The security firm Cybereason says that it has identified a likely state-sponsored attack on ten global mobile phone networks that they have attributed to "the Chinese-affiliated threat actor APT10," which has been "underway for years." Read the rest

Futurewei would very much like you to forget it's part of Huawei

The U.S.research arm of China-based Huawei is earnestly building as separate of an identity as it can, reports Reuters. Read the rest

Apple considering moving hardware production out of China

The escalating tariff slap-fight between the United States of America and the People's Republic of China is messing with so many bottom lines that the only people playing the market and making bank are those with companies that make red ink in their portfolios. Even Apple, a company that pretty much prints its own damn money, isn't immune. In a week where Chinese telecom and computing giant Huawei declared that they'd be making billions less than forecasted, signs that the fruit flavored phone floggers may be looking to shift their operations away from mainland China have cropped up.

From the Nikkei Asian Review:

Apple has asked its major suppliers to evaluate the cost implications of shifting 15% to 30% of their production capacity from China to Southeast Asia as it prepares for a fundamental restructuring of its supply chain, the Nikkei Asian Review has learned.

The California-based tech giant's request was triggered by the protracted trade tensions between Washington and Beijing, but multiple sources say that even if the spat is resolved there will be no turning back. Apple has decided the risks of relying so heavily on manufacturing in China, as it has done for decades, are too great and even rising, several people told Nikkei.

The Nikkei Asian Review goes on to talk up the fact that a slowing birthrate, concerns over dependency on centralized production in one locale and rising labor costs are a part of driving Apple's wandering industrial eyes to look on over yonder. Read the rest

Independent tribunal concludes that Falun Gong prisoners in China are targeted for organ harvesting

The UK China Tribunal has concluded that China is indeed harvesting organs from prisoners, especially imprisoned members of the banned Falun Gong religion; Falun Gong members have long claimed this to be the case, though the Chinese state denied it and said that it had halted the transplantation of organs from executed prisoners in 2014. Read the rest

After Hong Kong's leaders delay plan to render dissidents to mainland China, 2,000,000 Hong Kongers march and demand resignations

The proposal by the tame, Beijing-dominated government of Hong Kong to extradite people to mainland China for a variety of crimes (including political crimes) sparked mass demonstrations that made savvy use of networks and tactics to mobilize a series of actions under the #612strike banner that shut down main arteries and key government buildings. Read the rest

Hong Kong's #612strike uprising is alive to surveillance threats, but its countermeasures are woefully inadequate

The millions of Hong Kong people participating in the #612strike uprising are justifiably worried about state retaliation, given the violent crackdowns on earlier uprisings like the Umbrella Revolution and Occupy Central; they're also justifiably worried that they will be punished after the fact. Read the rest

Hong Kong's #612strike protest movement: a million strong, leaderless, wireless and smart as hell

Hong Kong's previous mass-protest uprisings -- 2014's Occupy Central, 2016's Umbrella Revolution -- were ultimately smashed by the state through a combination of violent suppression and electronic surveillance, greatly aided by the hierarchical structure of the protest movements (which made it possible to decapitate them by arresting their leaders) and their internal divisions and infighting. Read the rest

Mary Meeker's 2019 Internet Trends: stalled growth, security dumpster-fires, more online education and fear of regulation

Every year, VC Mary Meeker (previously) publishes her must-read Internet Trends Report, which comes as a powerpoint deck with hundreds of slides (you can watch her power through them in 30 minutes flat at the Re-Code conference). Read the rest

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