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Editors' picks from ETO Scout: volume 5 (12/22/23-1/11/24)

A computer chip viewed through a circular lens.

2024-01-12

Brain-computer interfaces, broken benchmarks, year-end roundups, farm drones, and AI desk lamps - plus, a CSET expert highlights recent news on chip equipment

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 https://scout.eto.tech. 🔭

  • Chinese tech company SenseTime released a new AI-powered desk lamp for schoolchildren featuring posture and attention monitoring and dynamic light adjustment. (36kr, 01/04/24) https://scout.eto.tech?id=2814
  • Chinese semiconductor manufacturers have been purchasing used manufacturing equipment at steep discounts, often from South Korea. (36kr, 01/03/24) https://scout.eto.tech?id=2815
  • Semiconductor equipment manufacturer ASML curtailed shipments of advanced lithography machines to China after the Dutch government revoked some of the company's export licenses. (Zhidx, 01/02/24) https://scout.eto.tech?id=2764
  • Besting thousands of entries from across the country, Tanji Technology's sales software won the first prize in China's publicly sponsored National Artificial Intelligence Application Scenario Innovation Challenge. (S&T Daily, 01/01/24) https://scout.eto.tech?id=2803
  • Despite initial hype and successful IPOs, many Chinese AI pharmaceutical companies are now experiencing losses and a tighter funding environment. (Leiphone, 12/29/23) https://scout.eto.tech?id=2804
  • A recent meeting of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress highlights the uneven state of China's seed breeding industry. (S&T Daily, 12/28/23) https://scout.eto.tech?id=2816
  • The Beijing Academy of Artificial Intelligence released Emu2, an open-source multimodal LLM that is claimed to set a new state of the art in tasks such as visual reasoning. (36kr, 12/27/23) https://scout.eto.tech?id=2795
CSET Expert View

Each week, a CSET expert offers insight into recent news from Scout. Today's viewpoint is from Data Research Analyst Jacob Feldgoise.

"As we track the impact of U.S. export controls on China's semiconductor industry, a key consideration is China's access to foreign semiconductor manufacturing equipment (SME) and the rise of domestic Chinese SME firms. A noteworthy recent article in Scout (“The world of used semiconductor equipment,” 1/3/24) provides rich qualitative and quantitative data on China’s used SME market. Industry data and Chinese news help us track the flow of new equipment to China; information on the flow of used equipment to and within China is much harder to come by. This piece helped inform my understanding of how used equipment dealers may impact the effectiveness of U.S. export controls - for example, if they helped transfer equipment from less advanced to more advanced fabs within China."

  • A netizen commentator author argues that although various Chinese LLMs claim to have surpassed GPT-4, the benchmarks they use are manipulable and may have little bearing on real-world performance. (36kr, 12/27/23) https://scout.eto.tech?id=2784
  • A China Academy of Information and Communications Technology report maps increasing use of brain-computer interface technology across countries and application domains, and highlights the field's potential for technological breakthroughs and commercialization in the coming decade. (CAICT Research, 12/26/23) https://scout.eto.tech?id=2834
  • China's national agricultural germplasm census is nearing completion, with hundreds of thousands of genetic samples collected. (S&T Daily, 12/24/23) https://scout.eto.tech?id=2770
  • A Chongqing court ruled on permissible royalties for Nokia's standard essential 5G patents, setting far lower licensing fees than Nokia sought. (S&T Daily, 12/24/23) https://scout.eto.tech?id=2771
  • Chinese UAV companies XAG and DJI are slashing prices and developing advanced new machines in a fierce competition for China's agricultural drone market. (36kr, 12/22/23) https://scout.eto.tech?id=2774
  • China's Future Internet Testbed Infrastructure (FITI) project, a nationwide test platform for advanced telecommunications, includes the world's first 1.2T Internet backbone. (S&T Daily, 12/21/23) https://scout.eto.tech?id=2750
  • A state media outlet reviews China's 2023 tech breakthroughs in fields such as commercial aerospace, carbon sequestration, and high-performance computing chips. (S&T Daily, 12/20/23) https://scout.eto.tech?id=2749
  • Tsinghua and UIUC researchers released Magicoder, a small but powerful code generation LLM trained on partially synthetic data. (36kr, 12/19/23) https://scout.eto.tech?id=2759
  • Chinese experts share commentary, anecdotes and data from the ongoing rollout of AI in China's hospitals and healthcare industry. (36kr, 12/19/23) https://scout.eto.tech?id=2746
  • A state media outlet compiles significant developments in Chinese science and technology policy in 2023 and asserts the country ranks 10th in the world in overall innovation capacity. (S&T Daily, 12/19/23) https://scout.eto.tech?id=2747