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Editors' picks from ETO Scout: volume 10 (3/14/24-4/11/24)

A computer chip viewed through a circular lens.


AI debt collectors, Chinese mRNA drugs, superalignment and ion implanters - plus, a CSET expert take on how China's tech commentators look outward

Scout is ETO's discovery tool for Chinese-language news and commentary on technology issues. See the latest editors’ picks, browse the feed by topic, or sign up for customized e-mail alerts at 🔭

  • AI-generated videos of beautiful women selling cheap products are attracting middle-aged male customers on Chinese streaming platforms. (36kr, 4/01/24)
  • A commentator predicts that high-bandwidth memory will become central to global competition around computing power and chip manufacturing and warns about Chinese weaknesses in the technology. (36kr, 3/29/24)
  • In China, AI is making waves in debt collection, as commercial banks, online loan platforms, and debt collection companies start employing the latest generative AI techniques. (36kr, 3/26/24)
  • Chinese biotech companies are turning to the Middle East in search of growth. (36kr, 3/23/24)
  • China's electric vehicle push is accelerating even as foreign countries and companies remain tied to traditional engines, prompting worries that China may be moving too fast - worries this article seeks to rebut. (36kr, 3/22/24)
CSET Expert View

Each week, a CSET expert offers insight into recent news from Scout. Today's viewpoint is from ETO Analytic Lead Zach Arnold.

“Much of the tech policy discussion in D.C. revolves around China's growing strengths in science and tech - and what China's doing to build further advantage in these domains. It's worth keeping in mind that similar anxieties are widespread on the Chinese side, as demonstrated by a steady stream of articles in Scout. Over the past few weeks, for example, one scholarly commentary ("Research on the development of international scientific and technological organizations in China," 3/14/24) worried that China has fallen far behind Europe and the United States in attracting international science institutions, while another ("Is electrification a trap set by the West? Academician Ouyang Minggao responds to various questions about new energy vehicles,” 3/22/2024) addressed fears that foreign countries' slower transition to electric vehicles could indicate a "trap" being laid for faster-electrifying China. These examples (and many similar ones flowing through Scout) illustrate how despite recent advances, Chinese commentators are mindful of their country's shortcomings in science and tech - and are closely following relevant developments abroad.”

  • Scientists from Chinese universities, research institutes, and Alibaba's Damo Academy jointly developed a powerful new breeding platform for agricultural crops. (S&T Daily, 3/21/24)
  • A detailed, investment-focused review of the 2024 SEMICON China conference in Shanghai, which attracted a high turnout of manufacturers and especially investors. (36kr, 3/21/24)
  • AI experts from Tencent, Tsinghua, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and other leading institutions discuss and debate "superalignment" and "effective accelerationism." (Tencent Research Institute, 3/21/24)
  • A profile of Beihang University and its role in China's technology indigenization efforts, with highlights including the university's domestic ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) system and innovative Aero Engine Research Institute. (S&T Daily, 3/20/24)
  • In 2023, Chinese scientists made critical advances in ion implantation technology for chip manufacturing, achieving full domestic capability at the 28-nanometer process node. (S&T Daily, 3/19/24)
  • Alibaba, Synopsys, China Telecom and other organizations launched a new initiative to promote RISC-V open-source chip architecture. (S&T Daily, 3/14/24)
  • A detailed account of how well-known Chinese music producer Bao Xiaobo used AI technology to recreate his deceased daughter's voice and image. (36kr, 3/14/24)
  • Chinese researchers and startups are hard at work on nucleic acid (RNA) drugs, including mRNA vaccines to treat a wide variety of ailments. (S&T Daily, 3/14/24)
  • Chinese researchers argue that the country lags the United States and Europe in fostering international science and technology organizations within its borders and recommend measures to catch up. (Bulletin of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, 3/14/24)
  • China's Open-Sora project, recently launched by Peking University and Tuzhan Intelligence, is attracting contributions from around the world as it seeks to reproduce OpenAI's Sora video generation model. (S&T Daily, 3/13/24)
  • Huawei is enjoying high sales in China, achieving a 64% increase between 2022-2023, and is filing dramatically more patents since its 2019 blacklisting in the United States. (Zhidx, 3/13/24)
  • An interview with venture capitalist Zhu Xiaohu about his investment philosophy of focusing on AI application-focused companies instead of startups developing their own LLMs. (36kr, 3/06/24)
  • A Chinese government directive pushes state-owned enterprises to build capacity for in-house innovation, but does not appear to require them to phase out foreign IT software (as reported in Western media). (CSET curation, 4/27/23)
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