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Chinese Innovative firms eye stronger sales abroad

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Falling sea freight rates will also benefit Chinese exporters in 2023

Standing in a workshop in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, Tian Chunlong, president of the commercial vehicle unit of BYD Auto Co Ltd, a Shenzhen, Guangdong province-based new-energy vehicle manufacturer, and his colleagues explained the details and “wow points” of electric buses to their Spanish clients in Alcorcon during an online product inspection link earlier this month. These 15 buses will be shipped to the European country in the first half of 2023.

Driven by much of the world’s growing demand for new energy transportation products, Tian said the company’s annual export growth rate of electric buses has stayed at around 50 percent on a yearly basis in recent years. It exported nearly 3,000 electric buses between January and October, including to the European Union, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Japan, India and Latin America.

About 1,250 kilometers from Hangzhou, Yang Jun, president of the international sales center at Unilumin Group Co Ltd, a Shenzhen-based high-definition screen manufacturer, said the company, after installing two 70-square-meter light-emitting diodes screens at Lusail Stadium, north of Doha for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, is preparing to supply new LED screens for the 2023 AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Asian Cup, which will be held in Qatar later next year.

Even though China’s export growth rate slowed in November due to a variety of factors such as softening overseas demand and geopolitical tensions, market watchers have expressed optimism over prospects for the country’s trade sector in 2023, believing that its industrial upgrading and moves to optimize COVID-19 prevention measures will further facilitate domestic manufacturers to expand their market channels abroad, as well as help boost global economic recovery.

As the value of China’s renminbi is likely to get stronger amid expectations of an economic rebound following the easing of epidemic control measures and many low-end manufacturing businesses will continue to move to Southeast Asian countries next year, China’s foreign trade might still face some difficulties in the first half of 2023, said Bai Ming, deputy director of international market research at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation in Beijing.

“But established structural elements will sustain the growth of China’s exports next year, as overseas demand for daily necessities, electronics and electric vehicles has notably soared in recent months,” he said, adding that the one-year-old implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership pact will bring increments in foreign trade between China and other signatory countries, in particular ASEAN member states.

Moreover, falling sea freight rates will benefit Chinese exporters next year. This can be a practical driver to stimulate demand in the global market, said Chen Shuai, vice-president of Shanghai-based COSCO Shipping Holdings Co Ltd, a subsidiary of State-owned China COSCO Shipping Corp Ltd.

After decades of growth, the operation modes of a large number of Chinese companies have upgraded from original equipment manufacturers to businesses with strong innovation strength and modern management systems, said Wei Jianguo, vice-chairman of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges in Beijing.

Wei noted that some domestic companies have already taken a leading position in product innovation, design and production in industries such as electric vehicles and solar power generation, as well as offshore engineering equipment and telecommunications, reflecting China’s comparative advantages are changing in the global market.

For instance, the export volume of China’s new energy vehicles registered 100 percent growth year-on-year to 593,000 units during the January-November period of 2022, said the Beijing-based China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Since high energy costs in Europe have curbed the production capacity of energy-intensive industries such as chemicals and steel manufacturing, Chinese companies in these fields are expected to form export substitutions and grab more market share in global markets in the next stage, said Ding Rijia, a professor specializing in the energy economy at the China University of Mining and Technology in Beijing.

Source(s): China Daily

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Small unknown asteroid accidentally detected by Webb telescope

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European astronomers using the James Webb Space Telescope have detected a previously unknown asteroid about the size of Rome’s Colosseum in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

The asteroid measuring between 100 and 200 meters in length is suspected to be the smallest object observed to date using the telescope, the U.S. space agency NASA said Monday.

The European astronomers “serendipitously detected” the asteroid, NASA said in a statement, adding that more observations would be needed to better characterize its nature and properties.

“We – completely unexpectedly – detected a small asteroid,” said Thomas Muller, an astronomer at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Germany.

It was detected during calibration of the telescope’s Mid-InfraRed Instrument (MIRI), which operates in mid-infrared wavelengths.

“Webb’s incredible sensitivity made it possible to see this roughly 100-meter object at a distance of more than 100 million kilometers,” Muller said.

Webb, which has been operational since July, is mainly built to study the life cycle of stars. Another main research focus is on exoplanets, planets outside Earth’s solar system.

Webb was not designed to look for small objects such as the newly discovered asteroid, but Muller said its discovery “suggests that many new objects will be detected with this instrument.”

Source(s): AFP & CGTN

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U.S. and EU to launch first-of-its-kind AI agreement

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The U.S. and European Union on Friday announced an agreement to speed up and enhance the use of artificial intelligence to improve agriculture, healthcare, emergency response, climate forecasting and the electric grid.

A senior U.S. administration official, discussing the initiative shortly before the official announcement, called it the first sweeping AI agreement between the U.S. and Europe. Previously, agreements on the issue had been limited to specific areas such as enhancing privacy, the official said.

AI modeling, which refers to machine-learning algorithms that use data to make logical decisions, could be used to improve the speed and efficiency of government operations and services.

“The magic here is in building joint models (while) leaving data where it is,” the senior administration official said. “The U.S. data stays in the U.S. and European data stays there, but we can build a model that talks to the European and the U.S. data because the more data and the more diverse data, the better the model.”

The initiative will give governments greater access to more detailed and data-rich AI models, leading to more efficient emergency responses and electric grid management, and other benefits, the administration official said.

Pointing to the electric grid, the official said the U.S. collects data on how electricity is being used, where it is generated, and how to balance the grid’s load so that weather changes do not knock it offline.

Many European countries have similar data points they gather relating to their own grids, the official said. Under the new partnership all of that data would be harnessed into a common AI model that would produce better results for emergency managers, grid operators and others relying on AI to improve systems.

The partnership is currently between just the White House and the European Commission, the executive arm of the 27-member European Union. The senior administration official said other countries will be invited to join in the coming months.

Source(s): CGTN

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China’s Deep Space Exploration Lab eyes top global talents

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China’s Deep Space Exploration Lab (DSEL) said Monday that it is inviting top global talents to apply for the 2023 Overseas Outstanding Young Talents Program, to promote the development of deep-space exploration.

According to the DSEL, the program, funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, aims to attract outstanding young scholars from overseas, who have made achievements in the natural sciences, engineering and technology, to come and work in China.

Applicants are invited to take part in research on aerospace science and technology, space science and technology, planetary science, physics, astronomy, nuclear science and technology, biology, chemistry and materials science, electronic information and technology, mechanical engineering, artificial intelligence and other fields related to deep-space exploration, said the DSEL.

Co-established by the China National Space Administration, Anhui Province, and the University of Science and Technology of China, the DSEL is headquartered in Hefei, the capital city of Anhui, and has a branch in Beijing. Since its establishment, the laboratory has conducted science and technology research focusing on major national projects in deep-space exploration.

The DSEL aims to promote the long-term development of deep-space exploration regarding the moon, planets, asteroids and the edge of the solar system.

Source(s): Xinhua & CGTN

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