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CHINA: POLITICS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS , Business

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BUSINESS AND TECH:

Artificial intelligence and autonomous machines
Smart bots: China's sex doll makers jump on AI drive / Reuters
“Amid Beijing’s push to turn the country into an artificial intelligence (AI) powerhouse and embed the technology in all facets of life, some Chinese entrepreneurs are taking the expertise to a new frontier: sex dolls.”
Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler deepens partnership with Baidu / TechNode
“Baidu and Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, have signed a MoU to deepen their partnership in automated driving and vehicle connectivity services.”
Meituan Dianping launches autonomous food delivery system / TechNode
“Meituan Dianping has launched the Meituan Autonomous Delivery (MAD) Platform featuring driverless delivery vehicles that shuttle meals from restaurants to consumers.”The business of surveillance
Hikvision remains China’s surveillance star despite losses / TechNode
“The world’s largest manufacturer of surveillance equipment Hikvision has lost $11 billion of market value since the start of China-US trade tensions in March. To fight the slowdown, Hikvision is investing in AI technology.”Regulating on-demand transport
Mobike’s users in Beijing restricted to parking within operational areas / TechNode
Didi tests in-car video and audio recording for passengers’ ride safety / TechNodeWeChat and the elderly
New study on older WeChat users show how important the superapp is in the lives of the elderly / TechNodePharma
Merck’s new cancer drug wins speedy approval in China / Caixin (paywall)
Pharmaceutical giant Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) has won approval to launch a cutting-edge cancer drug in China, a month after rival Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) obtained the go-ahead for its own such drug. Read more about cancer drugs in China on SupChina.Auto industry and tariffs
Ford cuts 2018 profit forecast; tariffs, China sales hurt second quarter / ReutersConsumer internet costs
Mobile data prices fall 46% according to government numbers / TechNode
The cost of mobile data in China has dropped by more than 46% in the first half of the year compared to the same time last year, according to the government.

POLITICS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS:

Vaccine scandal
Chinese drug regulators step up nationwide inspections after latest vaccine scandal / SCMP
“China’s drug regulator has expanded its nationwide investigation of vaccine producers in the wake of the latest scandal, state media reported on Thursday.”Electric batteries and the environment
Pilot plan to charge up electric vehicle battery recycling / Caixin
“China has chosen 17 cities and regions to kick off a pilot program to recycle used electric-vehicle batteries, as the government moves to tackle the potential environmental hazard from the country’s status as the world’s largest market for new-energy vehicles (NEVs). The program will include large cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Xiamen, as well as Jiangsu, Anhui and Guangdong provinces.”U.S.-China military relations
Chinese and US armed forces to team up for Asia-Pacific health meeting despite trade and security turmoil / Reuters via SCMPWater pollution
China needs US$147 billion to clean its urban rivers, environment ministry says / Reuters via SCMP
China will need more than 1 trillion yuan (US$147.4 billion) to build a massive network of waste water pipelines to reduce heavy pollution in urban rivers, the environment ministry said on Thursday.India
In latest rapprochement, China defense minister to visit India / Reuters
“Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe has accepted an invitation to visit India and plans to do so by the end of this year.”Suppression in Hong Kong
Pro-Beijing newspapers attack independence advocate and democrat after gov’t moves to ban party / Hong Kong Free PressPhilippines
China's $24 billion promise to Duterte still hasn't materialized / Bloomberg (paywall)
“Almost two years after China pledged $24 billion in investment to the Philippines, barely any projects have materialized, prompting deepening concerns that President Rodrigo Duterte has undermined the country’s sovereignty with little to show in return.”Taiwan, and how Beijing uses economic threats to get its way
How Beijing enlists global companies to pressure Taiwan / Nikkei Asian Review (porous paywall)
"A broader concern is that the Chinese won't just use this on Taiwan if it proves to be effective, they will use it to pressure U.S. companies to do other things that further China's interests, whatever they might be… If you don't deal with it now, all you're really telegraphing is 'Hey, this is an effective way of getting what you want.”
Taiwan denounces Beijing’s drive to leave it isolated on world stage / SCMP
US airlines Delta, United, American and Hawaiian yet to complete Taiwan changes, China regulator says / Reuters via SCMP
“Forty of 44 international airlines have amended their website references to Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, China’s civil aviation regulator said on Thursday, adding that measures taken by some US airlines were still incomplete.”Africa
Xi Jinping, Senegal, and China’s West Africa drive / Lowy Institute
“Xi Jinping’s choice of Senegal for a state visit on 20–21 July, his first visit to West Africa, en route to the BRICS summit in South Africa, suggests that China seeks to deepen cooperation in a region that has seen comparatively less Chinese engagements than elsewhere in Africa.”
More of Africa finds itself in China's debt / WSJ (paywall)
“Already Africa’s biggest single-country trading partner, China has become its biggest creditor, too.”Chinese foreign aid
China deploys rescue team as floods from Laos dam collapse force evacuations in Cambodia / SCMP

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