Business Latest News

China bans US travel firm Tripadvisor’s app, 104 others

Beijing: China has removed leading US travel platform Tripadvisor’s app along with 104 other mobile apps from various online stores in the country as part of cleaning up the internet.

Most of the apps that were banned belonged to local Chinese companies but it was not clear why the country blocked Tripadvisor.

“As of Tuesday afternoon, Tripadvisor’s website was still accessible in China,” reports CNN.

The Cyberspace Administration of China said in a statement that it had removed 105 apps it considered to be “illegal,” including the US travel giant.

Chinese regulators were quoted as saying that the removed apps were the first of many that would be taken down in a wide-ranging “clean-up” of online content related to illegal activity, including obscenity, pornography, prostitution, violence, fraud or gambling.

However, some media reports linked the action on TripAdvisor to the US and its ongoing exercise to ban TikTok which is owned by China-based Bytedance.

A judge in the US has granted a preliminary injunction barring the US Commerce Department from putting restrictions that it had planned to impose on short video-sharing platform TikTok.

The order came in response to a challenge to the Donald Trump administration’s executive order on August 6 that would have barred US companies from doing transactions with the Chinese parent company of TikTok, ByteDance, The Verge reported.

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Bollywood Latest News

Justin Bieber curious about Covid scenario in India

Pop star Justin Bieber is curious about the Covid situation in India, and whether people are wearing masks.

Recently, Bieber held a live session on Instagram, and was joined by Indian Tik Tok star Riyaz Aly. Among other things, they discussed India’s situation during the pandemic.

Bieber, who joined in from home in the US, asked Riyaz: “What’s Covid looking like over there?”

While the video is not clear and is not audible properly due to connection issues, Riyaz replied: “Covid is still going on. Like, a crazy thing is going on.”

To this, Bieber admitted: “Yes, it is pretty crazy.”

He asked if people are wearing masks, to which Riyaz said: “yes”.

“Damn!” Bieber exclaimed.

Bieber recently released his song “Monster” with Shawn Mendes.

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Business Latest News

China threatens to end ‘dirty’ TikTok deal: Report

By The SATimes News Service

Beijing: China has no reason to approve the “dirty and unfair” deal based on “bullying and extortion” that Oracle and Walmart said they struck with ByteDance, the state-backed English-language China Daily newspaper said on Wednesday.

“What the United States has done to TikTok is almost the same as a gangster forcing an unreasonable and unfair business deal on a legitimate company,” it said in an editorial.

The three firms have issued conflicting statements over the terms of an agreement they hope will allow ByteDance’s video app TikTok to continue to operate in the United States, where the government plans to ban the app on security grounds.

ByteDance has said it will establish a U.S. subsidiary called TikTok Global of which it will own 80%.

Oracle and WalMart, however, have said majority ownership of TikTok Global would be in American hands, complying with an Aug. 14 executive order by U.S. President Donald Trump that ByteDance relinquish ownership of TikTok within 90 days.

“National security has become the weapon of choice for … Washington when it wants to curb the rise of any companies from foreign countries that are out-performing their U.S. peers,” the editorial said.

“Bytedance … stands to lose not only control of the company, but also its core technology that it has created and owns,” the commentary said. “China has no reason to give the green light to such a deal.”

The China Daily piece follows an editorial in the Global Times published late on Monday, which said China is unlikely to approve the deal. The Global Times is published by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily.

Another Global Times editorial published late on Tuesday characterized the deal as “extortion.”

“China as a big country will not accept blackmail from the U.S. Nor will it hand over control of an outstanding high-tech Chinese company to extortionists,” it said.

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Business Latest News

Oracle confirms TikTok deal as ‘trusted tech provider’

By The SATimes News Service

San Francisco: Cloud major Oracle has confirmed a deal with ByteDance, the Chinese owner of short video-sharing platform TikTok which has been under pressure to divest its US operations for more than a month now.

The confirmation by Oracle comes a day after Microsoft, which was among the frontrunners to seal a deal for TikTok’s US operations, revealed that its bid was rejected by ByteDance.

“Oracle confirms Secretary (Steven) Mnuchin’s statement that it is part of the proposal submitted by ByteDance to the Treasury Department over the weekend in which Oracle will serve as the trusted technology provider,” Oracle said in a statement.

“Oracle has a 40-year track record providing secure, highly performant technology solutions,” it added.

US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said that the US government received a proposal from Oracle related to the TikTok deal over the weekend and that the government planned to review the deal this week.

The Donald Trump administration had earlier raised concerns that the Chinese state could have access to TikTok user data.

Both China and TikTok denied the allegations. That, however, did not stop the Trump administration to put pressure on the short video-sharing platform to divest its US operations.

TikTok was banned in India in June, along with 58 other Chinese apps over national security concerns.

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e-paper-stories India Latest News

India captures critical high point with China

New Delhi: India triggered the latest clash with China on their Himalayan border by executing a stealth night-time operation to claim strategic outposts offering a clear view of troop movements in disputed territory, according to Indian officials, Bloomberg has reported.

In what they called India’s first offensive move since the conflict began in May, thousands of Indian soldiers climbed up mountain peaks for about six hours to claim the vantage points along the south bank of Pangong Tso — a glacial lake roughly the size of Singapore. The action was taken to counter what India saw an intrusion by Chinese forces, the officials said.

The decision to capture high ground that was previously unoccupied along the 3,488 km Line of Actual Control was a new chapter in the conflict since mid-June when a skirmish culminated in the death of 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese soldiers in an ugly battle.

China on Wednesday accused India of breaching agreements between the two sides and unilaterally changing the status quo.

Meanwhile, in yet another surgical strike on malicious Chinese apps, the Indian government on Wednesday banned 118 apps over national security concerns, including the popular PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), Baidu and couple of virtual private networks (VPNs) that allowed access to TikTok that was earlier banned.

“This move will safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users. This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety, security and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace,” the IT Ministry said in a statement.

Meanwhile, in another development, China, which now has the largest Navy in the world, is reportedly looking to set up logistical bases in the Indo-Pacific region to enhance its strategic reach, while also working assiduously towards at least doubling the number of its nuclear warheads over the next decade.

This is the latest assessment of China’s expanding military might, ranging from long-range missiles and nuclear submarines to integrated air defense, space and electronic warfare capabilities, by the Pentagon in its detailed report presented to the US Congress on Tuesday.

Pentagon said China is actively looking at setting up military logistics facilities in Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, UAE, etc.

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India Latest News

India bans PUBG game, 117 more Chinese apps

New Delhi: In yet another surgical strike on malicious Chinese apps, the Indian government on Wednesday banned 118 apps over national security concerns, including the immensely popular PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) Mobile, Baidu and couple of virtual private networks (VPNs) that allowed access to TikTok that was earlier banned.

The action came after the fresh Chinese incursion attempts in Indian territory at Pangong Tso in eastern Ladakh.

“This move will safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users. This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety, security and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace,” the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) said in a statement.

The PUBG game, which has more than 600 million downloads and 50 million active players globally, has millions of users, especially young, in India.

PUBG was not banned in India earlier as it is not entirely Chinese. The game has been created and managed by Bluehole which is a South Korean organization.

The ministry said that it has decided to block 118 mobile apps in view of information available that “they are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of state and public order”.

The ministry received many complaints from various sources including several reports about misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorised manner to servers which have locations outside India.

In July, the government barred 47 Chinese apps from operating in the country, which were largely clones of the previously 59 apps banned in June.

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Business Latest News

Trump signals banning other Chinese firms like Alibaba

New York: After issuing an executive order last week that gives China-based ByteDance an option to divest its TikTok business in the US within 90 days, US President Donald Trump hinted that other Chinese companies, including Alibaba, are also under the scanner.

When asked at a news conference if he was considering putting a ban on other China-based companies, the President said that his administration was indeed looking at “other things”.

In an executive order on August 14, Trump said, “There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that ByteDance Ltd… might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States.”

This came as a bit of a reprieve for ByteDance as in an executive order earlier this month, Trump prohibited the China-based company from doing business with the US firms after 45 days.

Trump cited India’s decision in June to ban several Chinese apps, including TikTok, in that order.

The order came after Microsoft revealed its intentions to buy TikTok business in the US.

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Business Latest News

US should get large share of TikTok sale proceeds: Trump

New York: US President Donald Trump has said that the country should get a large percentage of the proceeds if part of the short video-sharing platform TikTok’s business is bought by an American firm.

Trump said that he made the demand that a “substantial portion” of that price should come into the US Treasury during a conversation with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella over the weekend.

Microsoft has confirmed that it wanted to proceed with talks to purchase the US business of TikTok.

The discussion between the Microsoft CEO and the US President led to setting a date for closure of the deal around September 15.

If such a deal does not materialize, TikTok will be out of business in the US by that time, Trump said.

“I said a very substantial portion of that price is going to have to come into the Treasury of the United States because we’re making it possible for this deal to happen,” Trump said in a meeting with US tech workers.

He even explained the rationale behind his demand.

“It’s a little bit like the landlord/tenant: Without a lease, the tenant has nothing. So they pay what’s called ‘key money,’ or they pay something,” Trump said.

“But the United States should be reimbursed or should be paid a substantial amount of money, because without the United States, they don’t have anything — at least having to do with the 30 per cent,” he said.

Trump said he does not mind if Microsoft, or any other “secure” American company, buys TikTok’s business in the US and he also shared the observation with the Microsoft CEO that that it is “probably easier to buy the whole thing than to buy 30 per cent of it.”

TikTok, owned by Chinese unicorn ByteDance, is facing scrutiny over its data sharing practices.

The Trump administration has raised allegations that TikTok provided users data to Chinese government.

Both Beijing and TikTok have denied the allegations.

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