China-owned semiconductor giant Tsinghua Unigroup, which already manufactures flash memory, is about to try its luck at making DRAM – a much more complicated endeavour.The Middle Kingdom wants a reliable domestic supply of DRAM, but its latest efforts were thwarted at the end of 2018 when the US indicted state-owned chipmaker Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Company (JHICC) on industrial espionage charges, and banned the company from importing semiconductor equipment and materials from the US.Etching DRAM wafers is a highly complex and expensive task: in recent years, memory suppliers have consolidated into an exclusive club, with Samsung, SK Hynix and Micron providing for around 95 per cent of the world's DRAM needs.Tsinghua once attempted to infiltrate this list by buying Micron for $23bn, but is about to enter the highly volatile market on its own, in what is seen as a response to the ongoing trade conflict with the US.Since 2018, Tsinghua Unigroup HAS BEEN majority-owned by the government of Shenzhen, China's industrial capital.It acquired Chinese startup RDA Microelectronics for $907m in 2014, and French chip designer Linxens for €2.2bn in 2018.
This is the 10th running of the Global Trajectory Optimisation Competition (GTOC X), which is organised by the Mission Design and Navigation section of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.GTOC X says these competitions are “a way to foster innovation in optimisation of interplanetary trajectories and cross-fertilisation of ideas between researchers in optimisation and in astrodynamics.”For the latest competition, contestants had to settle the Milky Way galaxy in the most efficient way possible given the constraints laid out by the rules of the contest.The winner of the competition was a team of four Chinese research organisations, including the College of Aerospace Science and Engineering and the National University of Defence Technology (their visualisation is available here), while second place went to a team from China’s Tsinghua University (video not yet available).At a recent two-day workshop on interstellar exploration, ACT showcased its entry, which was uploaded to YouTube:Each tiny white speck in the simulation represents a habitable star, while the brightly coloured lines represent the journeys taken by spacecraft between settled stars.
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Less than 4 percent of the maximum solar potential of the region could meet the BRI's electricity demand for 2030.The Chinese government launched the BRI in 2013, aiming to promote regional development and connectivity."Road" refers to the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road that connects China to South East Asia, South Asia, and North Africa.Constructing hard infrastructure, such as railways, buildings, and power plants, is a main focus of the initiative.As the region develops under the initiative, the need for power is projected to increase.The team selected 66 BRI countries that are connected geographically and built an integrative spatial model to calculate their solar power potential with high-resolution data.
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This year's Nano Research Award, which is sponsored by Tsinghua University Press (TUP) and Springer Nature, was presented to two celebrated researchers in Changsha, China on 23 June.Xinhe Bao is Professor at the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the University of Science and Technology of China, and Omar M. Yaghi is the James and Neeltje Tretter Chair Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley in the US.The award ceremony was held during the 14th Sino-US Forum on Nanoscale Science and Technology.Xinhe Bao was selected for the award for his significant contribution to the creation of new catalytic materials and the development of clean and efficient conversion processes for energy.He has achieved important research results in the basic theory of catalysis and the development and application of new catalysts.Omar M. Yaghi received the award for pioneering a new field of research known as reticular chemistry.
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In a longform profile, author He Jiayan details Wang Xing’s failures in first imitating Twitter, then Facebook, and then finally finding success adapting the Groupon model to China.It remains to be seen just how far his ambition can take him.He Jiayan, The House of Startups (Chuanye Jia), May 25, 2019Wang Xing’s family suffered greatly after the PRC took power.His grandfather was driven to suicide during the Cultural Revolution, and his father spent years forced to work in the countryside and unable to attend college on account of his family background.They expected Wang to ask about secret crushes, but instead he said, “What do you think is the meaning of life?”
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The finger of blame is being pointed firmly at the Chinese government for a global hacking campaign dubbed “Cloud Hopper” against big name firms in the IT services sector.The hackers reportedly worked for China’s Ministry of State Security and sought to obtain commercial secrets from the customers of the IT service giants.Reports that China supports its own hacking teams, or alternatively supports third party hackers, have been ongoing for a number of years now.Last year the scale of Chinese cyber offensive capabilities were exposed after an American security firm (Recorded Future) said the hackers had used computers at China’s Tsinghua University to target US energy and communications companies.And now a Reuters investigation has revealed that the Cloud Hopper campaign was extensive, and has been taking place over a number of years.According to Reuters, A US indictment in December outlined an elaborate operation to steal Western intellectual property in order to advance China’s economic interests but stopped short of naming victim companies.
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Three years ago, when an 18-year-old Chinese schoolgirl died as a result of a telephone scam, it sparked a heated discussion about personal information protection on the internet.Xu’s case coincided with a whirl of other telephone scams that happened in the same month.Another incident, in which a lecturer at Beijing’s prestigious Tsinghua University was swindled out of more than RMB 17 million by fraudsters, led to a nationwide outcry over the country’s lack of personal information protection.In a statement, Andrus Ansip, vice-president of the European Commission’s Digital Single Market strategy, and Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality of the European Commission, said the game-changing rules had not only made Europe fit for the digital age, but also become a global reference point.“The development of systems and technologies that support and uphold democratic values and respect of basic human rights have proven to be most resilient and valuable.”“The principles of the GDPR are also radiating beyond Europe,” said Ansip and Jourová in the European Commission statement.
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Autonomous vehicle (AV) technology is widely considered one of the next driving forces of global economic growth, and China doesn’t want to miss out.The country aims to catch up to its rivals in the global race for intelligence supremacy, releasing the nation’s first guidelines for information security of intelligent connected vehicles (ICV) in Shanghai this week.The specifications aim to minimize safety risks, including those posed by hackers and viruses that affect both data centers and vehicle software.The draft specifications were co-authored by artificial intelligence and search giant Baidu, state-owned automaker FAW, Ford China, and Tsinghua University.In addition to the draft standards, AVs are now being tested on designated roads across 16 cities in China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, and China’s southwestern municipality of Chongqing.But several challenges hinder efforts to increase ICV adoption, including slowly adapting traffic laws, and a lack of communication between government departments working independently to meet AV goals.
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He held out there for more than four years before quitting to put his hands on something more practical: a startup.During his 17-month stint, Cao built the company’s research division from zero staff into a 100-people strong team.The founder said he doesn’t care about the result as much as the chance to “do something.” That tendency was already evident during his time at the prestigious Tsinghua University, where he was a member of the outdoors club.Our driver picked a route from the high-definition map that Momenta had built, and as soon as we approached the highway, the autonomous mode switched on by itself.The sensors then started feeding real-time data about the surroundings into the map, with which the computer could make decisions on the road.The company declined to share who its clients are but said they include top carmakers and Tier 1 suppliers in China and overseas.
On May 28, the Beijing Academy of Artificial Intelligence (BAAI) released the “Beijing AI Principles,” an outline to guide the research and development, implementation, and governance of AI.Endorsed by Peking University; Tsinghua University; the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Automation and Institute of Computing Technology; and companies such as Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent, the principles are the latest global entry in a long list of statements about what AI is and should be.On the surface, a bland and unsurprising take on AI ethics, the document actually pushes forward the global discussion on what AI should look like.Instead of fluffy, feel-good utterances we can all agree on, the global AI community needs to go beyond just words and give us concrete examples of how AI can represent our highest values.October 3, 2017: DeepMind, developers of AlphaGo and AlphaZero, releases “Ethics & Society Principles.”April 9, 2018: OpenAI, a non-profit founded by Elon Musk and Sam Altman, publishes its Charter, in English and Chinese
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Researchers from the Institute of Process Engineering (IPE) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Tsinghua University (THU) proved a sandwiched superstructure for graphene oxide (GO) that transport inside cell membranes for the first time.The discovery, published in Science Advances, opens up a membrane-specific drug delivery mode, which could significantly improve cytotoxicity effects over traditional drug carriers.The transport of nanoparticles at bio-nano interfaces is essential for cellular responses and biomedical applications.How two-dimensional nanomaterials interact or diffuse inside the cell membrane is unknown, thus hindering their applications in the biomedical area.We are excited to provide substantial experimental evidence and open an avenue for novel membrane-specific drug delivery," said WEI Wei, a professor from the State Key Laboratory of Biochemical Engineering of IPE.The formation process of sandwiched GO was visualized in a fully hydrated/native state, and the significant influence on cell roughness, cell fluidity and membrane rigidity was also revealed.
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Yin Qi started Megvii eight years ago in Beijing’s Zhongguancun tech hub, along with two of his classmates from Tsinghua University, with the goal of making the world a better place.China has drawn international condemnation for its treatment of Muslim minorities in the far western region, and Megvii said it has no association with the app.An office tour showed rows of adjustable standing desks and programmers staring at lines of code on their computer screens.Yin made the comments about a week before media reports that the US government was considering cutting off the supply of crucial American technology to Chinese video surveillance firms, including Megvii, due to concerns over human rights violations.The US blacklisted Huawei Technology, the world’s biggest telecommunications network equipment maker and leader in ultra-fast 5G network gear, from buying American technology without special permission, citing national security concerns.Born to a middle-class family in Wuhu, a city on the banks of the Yangtze River in Anhui province, Yin was allowed by his father, a teacher, and mother, a civil servant, to do what he wanted as long as he was among the top 10 in academic results in his class, which he was.
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Scientists of Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) and Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (FEB RAS) have developed an effective technology for the synthesis of protein from amaranth grains and mushroom mycelium to enrich a stock-raising feed.Amaranth is one of the oldest grain crops, which is closest to the ideal protein theoretically calculated.Scientists decided to combine these valuable functional properties.They inserted a plasmid (a type of DNA molecules) includes the amaranth gene into the strain of mycelial fungus and turned the mushroom culture into a kind of "incubator" for the targeted production of feed protein."The applying of recombinant strain-producer of mushroom mycelium during biosynthesis allows obtaining a large amount of functional analog of A1 protein, biologically equivalent to the storage protein A1 isolated from amaranth.The strain is not pathogenic and non-toxic to warm-blooded animals, and recombinant protein A1 of amaranth seeds fully complies with the natural protein", said Oksana Son, project manager, Associate Professor at the Basic Department of Bioeconomy and Food Security of the FEFU School of Economics and Management (SEM).
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What happened: A team from Beijing’s Tsinghua University has won a driverless car race in eastern China, outperforming state-owned auto manufacturers FAW and Beijing Electric Vehicle Co.The event, which took place in Tianjin, consisted of an off-road challenge, an urban race, and a highway contest.The race included obstacles like fake cows and artificial fog on a circuit covering the area of 10 soccer fields.Why it’s important: The competition is meant to act as a driving force to spur China’s efforts in autonomous driving development.Chinese companies, including WeRide, Pony.ai, and Baidu, are looking to take on international rivals like Waymo, and are testing vehicles at home and abroad.California’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in February released data on autonomous vehicle tests that had taken place in the state, reporting the total number of “disengagements,” the frequency human drivers were required to take over.
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If you want to invest in new technology, Chinese universities are a gold mine—even the ones you haven’t heard of.Consider Bi Yusui at Shandong University of Technology, who invented an breakthrough ozone-friendly foaming agent that was sold for RMB 500 million (about $74 million) back in 2017.That RMB 500 million payday landed Bi’s university at the very top of university technology transfer amounts in China in 2017, beating out prestigious universities such as Tsinghua, Zhejiang University and Shanghai Jiaotong.On top of the normal issues, university-generated intellectual property is considered a state-owned asset—exposing anyone accused of undervaluing it to criminal penalties under rules on “preventing the loss of state-owned assets.”When most state-owned assets are privatized, the law requires a formal valuation.But valuations are not appropriate for untested technology: there’s no good way to know what they’re worth, so third party companies tend to guess—or take the word of the parties for whose deal they’re supposed to be providing authoritative values.
What happened: Bytedance has officially launched its K-12 online education platform Dali Ketang, media outlet 36Kr reported.The platform is currently offering primary school mathematics courses and junior high Chinese classes for the upcoming summer vacation.The company says it only hires Peking University and Tsinghua University—the top two universities in China—graduates as teachers.Bytedance reportedly acquired another online education platform named Qingbei Wangxiao to facilitate the development of Dali Ketang.Why it’s important: The relatively late market entry puts Dali Ketang at a severe disadvantage in the online education market, where there are several heavyweights such as Xueersi and Yuan Fudao.Following English tutoring platform Gogokid and foreign teacher live-streaming platform aiKID, Dali Ketang is Bytedance’s third major push into the online education market.
One of China’s most ambitious artificial intelligence startups, Megvii, more commonly known for its facial recognition brand Face++, announced Wednesday that it has raised $750 million in a Series D funding round.Founded by three graduates from the prestigious Tsinghua University in China, the eight-year-old company specializes in applying its computer vision solutions to a range of use cases such as public security and mobile payment.It competes with its fast-growing Chinese peers, including the world’s most valuable AI startup, SenseTime — also funded by Alibaba — and Sequoia-backed Yitu.Bloomberg reported in January that Megvii was mulling to raise up to $1 billion through an initial public offering in Hong Kong.Buoyed by a handful of mega-rounds, Chinese AI startups accounted for 48 percent of all AI fundings in 2017, surpassing those in the U.S. for the first time, shows data collected by CB Insights.A critical caveat to China’s flourishing AI landscape is, as The New York Times and other publications have pointed out, the government’s use of the technology.
In a paper published in Science Advances, the team shows that Leidenfrost droplets that start off small eventually rocket off the hot surface and disappear, while larger drops explode violently with an audible "crack."Whether the droplet finally explodes or escapes depends on its initial size and the amount of solid contaminants -- ambient dust or dirt particles -- the droplet contains.In addition to explaining the cracking sound that Johann Gottlob Leidenfrost reported hearing in 1756 when he documented the phenomenon, the findings could prove useful in future devices -- cooling systems or particle transport and deposition devices -- that may make use of the Leidenfrost effect."This answers the 250-year-old question of what produces this cracking sound," said Varghese Mathai, a postdoctoral researcher at Brown University and the study's co-lead author."We couldn't find any prior attempts in the literature to explain the source of the crack sound, so it's a fundamental question answered."The research, published in Science Advances, was a collaboration between Mathai at Brown, co-lead author Sijia Lyu from Tsinghua University and other researchers from Belgium, China and the Netherlands.
Using robotic and animal models, researchers have shown that some dinosaurs were already flapping their rudimentary wings as a side effect of running, prior to evolving the ability to fly.The finding offers a unique perspective on the origins of flight, but experts say more evidence is needed.New research published today in PLOS Computational Biology is pointing to a previously under-appreciated factor that may have led to the origin of flight in avian dinosaurs.This flapping motion was passive—a side effect of running on the ground.The origin of avian flight has flummoxed evolutionary biologists since the discovery of Archaeopteryx, a winged Jurassic dinosaur.It’s an intriguing possibility, but owing to the complex, multi-faceted nature of flight, it’s likely an insufficient answer to this longstanding question.
Structure-based drug design revealed that a compound previously investigated for the treatment of head-and-neck cancer could function as a lead compound for the development of drugs to treat hepatitis A virus infection, according to a study publishing April 30 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by Dan Su of Sichuan University, Zihe Rao of Tsinghua University, Xiangxi Wang of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and colleagues.Hepatitis A caused by is a picornavirus that infects approximately 1.5 million people annually and continues to cause substantial mortality.Although there are effective vaccines, antivirals against hepatitis A infection are still required during outbreaks, and to date there are no licensed therapeutic drugs.The authors hypothesized that better knowledge of how neutralizing antibodies naturally defend cells from hepatitis A infection might facilitate the development of hepatitis A-targeting antiviral drugs.In the new study, the authors report four potent hepatitis A virus-specific neutralizing antibodies, together with their previously reported one, that efficiently inhibit hepatitis A virus infection by blocking the virus's ability to attach to the host cell.The authors used high-resolution cryogenic electron microscopy to visualize structures of hepatitis A virus bound to the antibodies.
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