The Canada-US border was closed at the start of the pandemic more than a year ago, but not for Quebecer Paul-Maurice Patenaude who has been operating a parcel handoff service from his house, which straddles the international boundary.
The Canada-US border was closed at the start of the pandemic more than a year ago, but not for Quebecer Paul-Maurice Patenaude who has been operating a parcel handoff service from his house, which straddles the international boundary.
A woman who gained notoriety for refusing to wear a face mask in public during the circuit breaker while claiming that she was a “sovereign” above the law in two viral videos last year was on Friday (7 May) jailed for two weeks and fined $2,000.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Friday (7 May) confirmed 25 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore, taking the country's total case count to 61,311.
Semiconductor imports by China in April declined slightly from an all-time high last month, according to the latest figures released by the country’s customs authorities, as supply constraints continue to disrupt major industries around the globe. China imported 54.7 billion semiconductor units in April, worth US$33.1 billion, according to data released by the General Administration of Customs on Friday. It was a 7 per cent fall from the previous month, when the country imported 58.9 billion semiconductor units worth US$35.9 billion. However, imports for the month were up 23 per cent year on year, from 44.4 billion units worth US$27 billion. China’s semiconductor imports are also up 30.8 per cent so far this year compared with the same period last year, with shipments reaching 210 billion units, worth US$126 billion, in the first four months.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. Why semiconductors are important in the US-China tech war Despite a global semiconductor shortage that has curbed output in the automotive, smartphone, computer, and home appliance industries, research firm IDC continues to see strong growth in sales because demand for cloud technologies and data services remains unchanged. Global semiconductor revenue grew 10.8 per cent in 2020 to US$464 billion, and growth is expected to accelerate this year despite market shortages as chip suppliers frantically try to keep up with demand, according to a note released on Thursday by IDC. The firm projects the semiconductor market will reach US$522 billion in 2021, up 12.5 per cent year over year. It also anticipates robust growth in semiconductors for consumer, computing, 5G and automotive applications. “Overall, the semiconductor industry remains on track to deliver another strong year of growth as the super cycle that began at the end of 2019 strengthens this year,” said Mario Morales, programme vice-president for semiconductors at IDC. “The markets remain narrowly focused on shortages across specific sectors of the supply chain, but what is more important to emphasise is how critical semiconductors are to every major system category and … that remains unabated.” However, supply constraints are expected to continue throughout the year. The industry’s first hint of trouble came in spring of last year, when it became clear Covid-19 was turning into a pandemic. Existing chip inventories kept new electronics flowing, but eventually semiconductor shortages started to hit the carmakers, which had cancelled orders in anticipation of a slowdown in demand. The impact is now being felt across the board. “Much like a traffic jam and the ripple effect, a disruption in the semiconductor supply chain operating close to capacity will impact across the supply chain,” IDC said. “The industry will continue to struggle to rebalance across different industry segments, while investment in capacity now will improve the industry’s resiliency in a few years.” Everything you need to know about the US-China tech war In March, Beijing decided to waive levies on imported semiconductor parts and materials until 2030, as the world’s second-largest economy doubled down on efforts to turbocharge integrated circuit (IC) development amid the US-China tech war. The country plans to use more chips designed and produced by domestic semiconductor companies by 2025 to mitigate supply chain risks from geopolitical tensions. The US has also been looking for ways to address the chip shortfall. In Washington last month, President Joe Biden met online with more than a dozen CEOs of major US companies, assuring them of bipartisan support for his proposed US$50 billion in funding for semiconductor manufacturing and research. It is also part of an effort to reorient the global semiconductor supply chain, which has become heavily reliant on production in Asia.More from South China Morning Post:China semiconductor imports surge to all-time high in March amid global chip shortageChina’s semiconductor imports surged year-on-year in January-February period amid global chip shortage Semiconductor giant SMIC rewards senior Taiwanese executive with hefty compensation as China builds up chip sector’s hi-tech talent poolHuawei plummets as Apple becomes world’s No 1 smartphone seller on China boostBeijing intervenes to ease chip shortage, prevent disruptions in domestic car productionThis article China semiconductor imports decline slightly in April, but global chip sales continue to boom first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
A coronavirus state of emergency in Tokyo and other parts of Japan was extended on Friday, less than three months before the Olympics, as India logged yet another record number of infections.
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The US military has no plans to shoot down an out -of-control Chinese rocket now hurtling towards Earth, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Thursday.
Calling himself a ‘commoner,’ Najib questioned whether the law treated high-ranking ministers the same way. This article, Fined for breaching COVID-19 rules, Najib Razak posts photo of maskless Muhyiddin, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.
As Singapore returns to Phase 2 with stricter measures on social gatherings, many are still hopeful that the Singapore-Hong Kong Air Travel...
China says it hopes to see its investment agreement with the European Union ratified soon amid intense speculation that the EU may abandon the deal. An EU spokeswoman on Tuesday denied reports it had suspended efforts to ratify the deal signed with China but warned the ratification process “cannot be separated from the evolving dynamics of the wider EU-China relationship”. After the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) was signed last year, relations between China and the EU have nosedived over human rights concerns in Xinjiang. In March, the EU joined the United States, Britain and Canada in imposing sanctions on Chinese officials for human rights abuses in Xinjiang. Beijing has retaliated with sanctions on European officials and academics, hitting the chances of the European Parliament ratifying the deal.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. China’s foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Thursday that Beijing wanted to keep up communications with the EU to ensure the deal was ratified as soon as possible. “The nature of the China-EU Comprehensive Agreement on Investment is mutually beneficial and serves the interest of China, the EU and the world,” Wang said at a regular press conference. “The Chinese side is willing to maintain communication with the EU side to push for the early ratification of the agreement, so as to benefit the people on both sides and to send a positive signal to the world about China and the EU upholding an open world economy.” What is the China-EU CAI and how is it different from a trade deal? Speculation emerged after the French news agency AFP quoted EU trade chief Valdis Dombrovskis as saying in an interview: “We have … for the moment suspended some efforts to raise political awareness on the part of the [European] Commission because it is clear that in the current situation, with the EU sanctions against China and the Chinese counter-sanctions, including against members of the European Parliament, the environment is not conducive to the ratification of the agreement.” In a written statement, the EU said: “The agreement needs to be now legally reviewed and translated before it can be presented for adoption and ratification. However, the ratification process of the [deal] cannot be separated from the evolving dynamics of the wider EU-China relationship.” It continued: “In this context, Chinese retaliatory sanctions targeting members of the European Parliament, and an entire parliamentary committee, are unacceptable and regrettable. The prospects for … ratification will depend on how the situation evolves.” The deal needs to be approved by the parliament but also the EU Council, which is made up of all 27 heads of government, before it can become law. China hits out as G7 slams Beijing over human rights, backs Taiwan Also on Thursday, Wang said the EU should not put up new trade barriers. It follows the EU’s proposed new rules – seen as targeting China – preventing subsidised firms devouring strategic European assets. “The EU … is also a beneficiary of free trade. We hope the EU side can continue to push for trade and investment liberalisation, reduce market barriers, especially avoid creating new barriers, and to provide an open, transparent, and non-discriminatory market environment for Chinese companies in Europe,” he said. The EU plan was announced on Wednesday alongside an updated industrial policy that was also partly aimed at countering China’s influence on the European economy. The draft proposals on subsidies, which require approval by the EU’s 27 member states, would make it more difficult for Chinese and other foreign firms to buy EU businesses or assets or bid for public contracts if they recipients of state subsidies.More from South China Morning Post:China hits out as G7 slams Beijing over human rights, backs TaiwanEU moves to curtail subsidised firms in veiled swipe at ChinaEU regulator starts review of China’s Sinovac vaccineWhat is going on in Xinjiang and who are the Uygur Muslims?EU aims to cut reliance on China for chips and pharmaceutical materialsThis article China hopeful EU investment deal can be ratified despite growing doubts over its future first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
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Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his country would maintain its policy towards Taiwan following appeals by the island’s foreign minister for support against Beijing’s “expansion of authoritarianism”. Asked about Australian support for Taiwan on Thursday, Morrison said his government had “always honoured all of our arrangements in the Indo-Pacific” – but appeared to mistakenly conflate Canberra’s position on the one-China policy regarding Taiwan with the “one country, two systems” model of semi-autonomy in Hong Kong. The Australian government maintains strategic ambiguity on Taiwan, acknowledging Beijing’s claims to the self-governed island while supporting a greater Taiwanese presence in the international arena, including in the World Health Organization.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. “We have always understood the one system, two countries arrangement, and we will continue to follow our policies there … one country, two systems, I should say,” Morrison told the local radio station 3AW. “I’m not one to speak at length on these things, because I don’t wish to add to any uncertainty. But that’s why we have the security arrangements we have in place.” He added: “We always have stood for freedom in our part of the world.” Morrison’s remarks came after Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told The Australian Financial Review that Beijing seemed to be “preparing for a final assault against Taiwan”, and called for Australia to step up its relations with the island and continue its support amid threats from Beijing. Relations between Beijing and Canberra have been increasingly strained, with Beijing enacting a series of punitive trade restrictions on Australian goods after Canberra’s calls last year for an independent investigation into the origins of Covid-19. Beijing has in recent months ramped up “grey zone” warfare tactics against Taiwan, which it has vowed to bring under its rule by force if necessary. A People’s Liberation Army Y-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft entered Taiwan’s southwest air defence identification zone (ADIZ) on Thursday afternoon, according to Taiwan’s defence ministry. This was the third time Chinese aircraft entered Taiwan’s ADIZ in May, and there have been nearly 90 instances since January. There have been growing concerns that Taiwan may become a flashpoint for military conflict between China and the United States, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warning last month that it would be a “serious mistake” if Beijing sought to “try to change the existing status quo by force”. What happened over the first year of the China-Australia trade dispute? Last week, Peter Dutton, Australia’s new defence minister, said that he did not think a conflict over Taiwan “should be discounted”, and that Australia would continue to “work with our partners and with our allies” to prevent such a conflict. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said after Dutton’s remarks that Australia should recognise that the Taiwan issue was “highly sensitive” and “be prudent in its words and deeds to avoid sending any wrong signals to the Taiwanese independence separatist forces”.More from South China Morning Post:China-Australia relations: Beijing ‘indefinitely suspends’ high-level economic dialogue with CanberraLeak of Australian commander’s China comments fuels further talk of warChinese military tests Taiwan’s radar system with surface-level incursion into air defence zoneThis article Australia will maintain its Taiwan policy, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
HiSilicon, Huawei Technologies Co’s integrated circuit (IC) design unit, is expected to be the biggest loser in the 5G smartphone chipset market in 2021 as US company Qualcomm and Taiwan’s MediaTek expand their presence, according to a new research note published by Counterpoint. The Chinese chip firm had 23 per cent of the 5G phone chipset market in 2020, but it is expected to see that share shrink to less than 5 per cent this year. Its share of overall global smartphone chipsets, which includes 4G, is expected to shrink from 10 per cent in 2020 to about 3 per cent this year, dropping out from the top five players, according to Counterpoint. The decline of HiSilicon’s business is a direct result of the US government’s tightened sanctions last summer, barring semiconductor companies from supplying Shenzhen-based Huawei with chips made using US technology without prior approval, effectively severing the Chinese telecom giant’s access to advanced semiconductors.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. Taiwan’s foundry king says mainland China is not yet a competitor Huawei did not immediately reply to a request for comment. HiSilicon was responsible for designing the Kirin processors for Huawei‘s smartphones. However, as the company has no chip manufacturing capacity of its own, it outsourced wafer fabrication to foundries like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC). But under the tighter US sanctions, HiSilicon can no longer do business with TSMC or other foundries because they all rely to some extent on core US technology to make wafers. Huawei’s rotating chairman Eric Xu Zhijun said last month that the company will keep its HiSilicon chip unit for as long as it can, despite the fact that it cannot find a foundry to make its chips. HiSilicon’s loss has been MediaTek’s gain, with the fortunes of the Taiwan-based chip designer rising amid US-China tech tensions. This year, MediaTek retained its top spot in the so-called fabless chip maker rankings over US-based Qualcomm, Counterpoint research shows. MediaTek, which designs processors for mobile applications, is the major supplier to Chinese smartphone vendors like Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo, which have collectively soaked up market share from Huawei after its handset business was crippled by US sanctions. MediaTek is expected to account for 37 per cent of the global mobile chipset market this year, ahead of Qualcomm with 31 per cent, Counterpoint said. Last year, MediaTek overtook Qualcomm to become the largest supplier in this market, with a share of 32 per cent versus 28 per cent for the US company. Explainer: How Xiaomi rose to become China’s No 1 smartphone maker “MediaTek is likely to continue its momentum [from] the fourth quarter last year into 2021,” Counterpoint research director Dale Gai said in the research note. “The potential annual uptick in demand is a function of a competitive 5G portfolio powering sub-US$150 5G smartphone [chips] manufactured at TSMC without any supply constraint, and growing share in the 4G segment.” He added that in the first half, MediaTek would benefit from Qualcomm’s current supply constraints caused by disruptions at Samsung Electronics’ Austin, Texas, wafer fab, where a deep freeze in February caused widespread power outages in the state. However, Qualcomm still leads in 5G chipsets with its market share expected to reach 30 per cent in 2021, followed by Apple and MediaTek with 29 per cent and 28 per cent, respectively.More from South China Morning Post:US strikes at a Huawei prize: chip design company HiSiliconHuawei’s HiSilicon becomes first mainland Chinese chip company to enter top 10 in global sales, says IC InsightsThis article US-China tech war: Huawei’s chip unit HiSilicon to see massive decline in 5G chip market this year first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
Hongkongers visiting Shenzhen will have to quarantine there for 21 days rather than 14 as previously imposed, after the emergence locally of mutated coronavirus strains, dashing hopes of the border with mainland China reopening soon. The Health Commission of Guangdong Province ruled on Thursday with immediate effect that Hong Kong residents would be required on entry to quarantine in a hotel for two weeks, before spending a further seven days confined for observation in their homes or other accommodation. During the observation period, arrivals must take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on the first and the last day of their confinement to ensure mutated strains of the coronavirus do not enter the mainland community from Hong Kong.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. Hong Kong to shorten Covid-19 quarantine for fully vaccinated travellers: source Hong Kong businesses were disappointed at the tightening of the quarantine arrangements, saying they were resigned to further delays to the lifting of border restrictions. “It is unimaginable when the border will be restored,” said Danny Lau Tat-pong, honorary chairman of the Hong Kong Small and Medium Enterprises, a 1,700-member chamber. “Business owners and operators including myself have waited for more than a year and are still waiting.” Hong Kong has closed all but three border checkpoints since February last year to contain the coronavirus. The resulting toll on the economy has been heavy, with tourism wiped out and business travel minimal. Lau said cross-border businesses had been significantly disrupted, forcing Hong Kong operators to manage their factories in Dongguan remotely and restricting meetings with clients over the border or overseas to online communication. He has not been able to visit his own facility in Dalang, which produces aluminium curtain walls, since January last year. Lau said he believed the recent discovery of more infectious variants of the coronavirus in the Hong Kong community was behind mainland authorities tightening infection controls. Fears of variants from Brazil and South Africa – N501Y and E484K – spreading through the city have taken hold since the first two cases of such infections were discovered locally. A 29-year-old engineer from Dubai and his 31-year-old female friend were confirmed as infected on April 17 and 18 respectively. More than 1,000 people deemed as close contacts of those linked to the initial infections have been ordered to serve three weeks of quarantine. But the government will soon ease confinement rules for close contacts who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and tested negative. Inbound visitors to Hong Kong from next week will be allowed to serve shorter quarantine periods if they adhere to certain conditions. On the same token, Chinese Manufacturers’ Association honorary president Dennis Ng Wang-pun urged mainland authorities to relax the 21-day quarantine requirement for Hongkongers who had been inoculated. “Businesses cannot operate remotely forever, we still have to meet clients and visit factories in person,” he said. “The border reopening will be crucial to Hong Kong’s economic recovery, and will directly throw a lifeline to tourism, retail and food and beverage sectors.” As of Thursday, Hong Kong has confirmed 11,798 coronavirus infections, with 210 related deaths.More from South China Morning Post:Coronavirus: dozens of Hongkongers fighting quarantine order allowed to stay in their flats overnight after 4,900 sign petitions for home isolationWhy Singapore moved to 21-day hotel quarantine – and a look at the countries with the longest, shortest and ‘most relaxing’ self-isolation requirementsThis article Coronavirus: quarantine extended to 21 days for Hongkongers visiting Shenzhen, following emergence of mutated strains first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
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The largest real-world study yet of the Pfizer/BioNTec vaccine on Thursday confirmed that the jab provided more than 95 percent protection against Covid-19, but found that the level dropped significantly when people received just one of the two prescribed doses.
China criticised New Zealand Thursday over "groundless" allegations about the ill treatment of Uyghurs, underlining Wellington's struggle to find a middle ground between its largest trading partner and its traditional Western allies.
Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing’s private investment firm Horizons Ventures Ltd. will make Southeast Asia a priority.
President Joe Biden warned Thursday that Congress needs to adopt his multi-trillion dollar spending plans to renew the US economy because China is "eating our lunch."
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Hong Kong national security police on Thursday searched a newly opened shop in Tsuen Wan where a graffiti-style display emblazoned over the entrance appeared to evoke a banned protest slogan. The shop was an outlet of the children’s clothing chain Chickeeduck, which has previously found itself tangled in political controversy – as well as disputes with its landlords – over its display of statues honouring anti-government protesters at other locations. The brand’s founder, Herbert Chow Siu-lung, said he was at the shop when officers went there to serve a search warrant at about 4pm, while members of the Police Tactical Unit stood guard outside.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. Officers left soon after 6pm without making any seizures or arrests. Chow characterised the operation as an effort to spread “white terror”, adding he was “not scared”. K11 Musea becomes latest mall to sue Chickeeduck over ‘Lady Liberty’ display A police spokesman confirmed officers carried out the search after receiving a report about an alleged violation of the national security law, adding no arrests had been made. Another police source said the raid was focused on the jumbled, graffiti-style writing over the outlet’s front door, in which the slogan “Liberate Hong Kong; revolution of our times” could be made out. The slogan, a common refrain during 2019’s anti-government protests, has since been declared by authorities to be a violation of the Beijing-imposed security law, which bans acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. Even though no arrests were made and nothing was seized, the source said the raid served as a “warning”. The police action came on the heels of reports about the shop in pro-Beijing media. The Tsuen Wan store also displayed a larger-than-life statue of a protester wearing a helmet, goggles and a respirator, and holding aloft a plush duckling. A previous version of the statue displayed at other Chickeeduck outlets depicted a similarly attired protester holding an umbrella in one hand and a black flag in the other, also bearing the slogan: “Liberate Hong Kong; revolution of our times”. Controversy over the earlier statue forced a Chickeeduck outlet to move last year after the management of the D-Park shopping centre in Tsuen Wan demanded the store remove it, later asking the business to vacate the premises entirely. The display reappeared at the tmtplaza mall in Tuen Mun, where it again drew the ire of the landlord. It was subsequently moved to New Town Plaza in Sha Tin, which also asked the shop there to take it down. Last September, shopping mall K11 Musea in Tsim Sha Tsui became the latest to take legal action against Chickeeduck, accusing it of a breach of its tenancy agreement over the display.This article Hong Kong national security police search new Chickeeduck outlet over display evoking banned protest slogan first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.