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Xunlei Limited , a leading innovator in shared cloud computing and blockchain technology in China, a...
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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Low-cost carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle said Tuesday it has cancelled its 97 outstanding orders for planes from U.S. manufacturer Boeing. Norwegian said in a statement it had terminated the purchase agreements of five 787 Dreamliners and 92 737 MAX aircraft. The Oslo-based company also said it had filed a legal claim seeking the return of payments made for the aircraft. It is also seeking compensation for losses it claims it incurred from the global grounding of the 737 Max planes as well as engine issues on the 787. Talks with Boeing have “not led to an agreement with a reasonable compensation,” the carrier said in the statement. The 737 MAX has been grounded around the world since March 12, 2019 following deadly crashes involving the plane model. Norwegian Air meanwhile had technical issues with the Rolls Royce engines on the Dreamliner planes. The British company had discovered problems with its Trent 1000 engines, which power Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner aircraft. Norwegian said the problems "affected reliability and resulted in premature and unplanned maintenance, which has disrupted the company’s operations and caused further significant losses.” MANUFACTURING.NET
Tesla swept into the automotive industry on a wave of good excitement and disruptive promise. Now the company is discovering that large-scale automotive manufacturing is certainly hard to perfect. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has known that supply chain problems have led to production delays, missed quotas, and busted deadlines.Previous production problems have sent Tesla’s stock price falling. In order to reduce the damage, Tesla has decided to remove multiple color choices. This quick fix may possibly help to speed up performance, but it does practically nothing to solve the circulation concerns that put production in chaos in the first place.Successful automotive manufacturers have one thing in common: The quality and consistency of the product are directly associated to the strength of the supply chain. Tesla is finding out this the hard way, but Toyota has been preaching this standard for decades. The automaker excels in terms of quality, thanks mostly to the time it has invested in vetting suppliers and negotiating bulk deals. Toyota is successful because it has maintained to secure its supply chain. Tesla has taken the opposite track, rushing into production before building up a trusted distribution infrastructure. The company follows a “ build it and they will come ” philosophy based on the idea that tech can solve the historical challenges of manufacturing. Tesla is making a big bet and has experienced some high-profile stumbles. Still, the company's data-driven approach to supply chain management is the wave of the future.This article is originally posted on MANUFACTURING.NET.COM
Imagine purchasing some Windex from an online marketplace only to discover that what you were actually sold was a crude mixture of rubbing alcohol and blue dye. Would you buy from that marketplace once again? Most likely not. For online retailers, there are a handful of surer ways to lose your consumers’ trust and their business than by unwittingly trafficking in fakes. But regrettably, the problem of pirated and counterfeit goods is reaching a fever pitch in the U.S., and manufacturers face mounting pressure to evolve their methods of reducing counterfeits from their supply. This problem highlights the need for next-gen solutions, and points to the emerging role of smart sensors. Elevated Scrutiny for Manufacturers On April 3, President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum aimed at eliminating trafficking in fake and pirated goods. It defines the federal government’s plans to double down on its efforts curbing the spread of fake products. In addition, the memorandum commissions the composition of a Report on the State of Counterfeit and Pirated Goods Trafficking, to be prepared and issued within the next seven months. That report could be followed by more stringent enforcement actions, along with the implementation of regulatory and policy changes that could hold third-party intermediaries like Amazon and eBay, and the manufacturers on their supply chains, accountable for fraud. White House National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro called the memorandum a “warning shot across the bow” for e-commerce leaders like Amazon. But manufacturers should consider it the same way. Countering Counterfeits With Strategic Solutions Faced with higher government scrutiny and pressure from online marketplaces, today’s suppliers have to make sure the legitimacy of their entire output. While trailing every single item produced might not have been justifiable from a cost perspective even a few years ago, the situation is different now. With fraud running rampant (the market for brand counterfeiting is projected to reach $1.82 trillion globally by 2020) the onus is on manufacturers to make every product provably legitimate. The alternative is potentially massive product recalls alongside the looming threat of federal regulations and fines. With a 210-day interim before the federal report is released, it pays to be proactive. Here are the three steps I’d suggest manufacturers take during that time to get ahead of the problem: • Evaluate existing quality control processes: If ever there were a time for manufacturers to take a close look at how they’re curbing fraud in their supply, it’s now, before potential enforcement actions force the point. By convening an internal power team of decision makers to proactively track down weak points in existing processes, manufacturers can take a critical first step toward evolving their fraud prevention tactics. • Look into smart sensor technology: Fortunately for manufacturers, tech providers can provide increasingly sophisticated tools to fight the rise of counterfeiting. Especially, intelligence-driven sensors are emerging as the manufacturing industry’s best bet at eliminating fraud. These embedded sensors have the potential to confirm the legitimacy of every item of a manufacturers’ output. And because they’re being developed to be both tiny (smaller than a pencil tip) and cost-efficient, they are poised to be industry standard across manufacturers of all sizes. • Closely follow government actions and align with law enforcement: As President Trump’s memorandum makes clear, the federal government will build up a centralized role in checking for fraud, and potentially hold both marketplaces and manufacturers accountable as well. As a result, manufacturers should find opportunities to work proactively with government agencies to retain fraud at bay. While not every manufacturer will be able to launch large-scale fraud prevention initiatives like Alibaba, these types of efforts will serve manufacturers well. By approaching the problem of counterfeiting with a proactive eye, manufacturers can take an essential step toward protecting their output — and their brand identity — against an rapidly sophisticated and pervasive threat. This article is originally posted on manufacturing.net
AMONG Asian economies, Vietnam is the most vulnerable to China supply shocks while Singapore is the least, according to a Deutsche Bank research note on March 3."This suggests that unless Vietnam can reduce its dependence on China for its intermediate goods, it should not be seen as an alternative to China, although that may be the case for a few sectors like electronics," said the report.In contrast to the widespread view that Asia is dependent on China for intermediate goods in electronics, such vulnerability is actually low, the report shows. Instead, Asia's vulnerability to the electronics supply chain in China is in finished consumer goods.In its study, Deutsche Bank built a trade database of individual goods which have a dependence on production in China, such that a risk is posed to the importing economy. Ten Asian economies were assessed for their vulnerability to supply disruptions in China, including six in Asean: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.Imported items were deemed to be "China critical goods" (CCG) if an economy a net importer from China and two-thirds or more of its imports of that good come from China.Among the economies studied, Vietnam was the most vulnerable with China critical goods making up 15.1 per cent of total imports.At the product level for Vietnam, textile intermediate imports were the most vulnerable, with nearly half coming from China. But Vietnam's vulnerability to supply disruptions of electronics and parts was low, with a CCG share of 1 per cent, as most such components come from South Korea.Thailand was the second most vulnerable, with CCG imports making up 11 per cent of all imports. Similarly, however, the vulnerability of electronics was low at 1 per cent.While Indonesia had the third highest CCG share of total imports at 8 per cent, disruption to domestic manufacturing, "is likely to be significantly lower, given that finished products dominate much of its CCGs", said the report. Consumer-focused goods such as electronics and household goods account for over two-fifths of Indonesia's CCGs.The Philippines came in sixth, after India and Sri Lanka, with a CCG share of 7 per cent. Its manufacturing vulnerability was highest for textile intermediates. Steel was also significant, with disruptions in steel supply for China potentially having an impact on infrastructure projects in the Philippines.Malaysia and Singapore were least at risk, with CCG shares of 3.5 per cent and 2.6 per cent respectively. Regarding Singapore, the report noted: "Its vulnerability is largely due to its status as an entrepôt hub, not to disruptions to its own manufacturing."Nonetheless, the report did caution: "It takes just one missing component in the supply chain – however insignificant and low value-add it may appear to be – to stop the entire production line altogether, as has been the case in the auto sector."THE BUSINESS TIMES
(Reuters) - U.S. state attorneys general will meet Justice Department attorneys next week to share information on their investigations into Alphabet Inc’s Google, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Sunday. The probes revolve around monopolistic behavior that may harm consumers through Google’s control of online advertising markets and search traffic.The Wall Street Journal had first reported about the meeting and said it could eventually lead the Justice Department and state attorneys general to join forces.Talks will likely include Google’s dominance in online search, possible anticompetitive behavior in its Android mobile operating system, and the best division of labor as the probes move forward, the paper said, citing some of the people.U.S. federal and state authorities have not shared data about their concurrent investigations to date, the journal added, citing some of the people.Attorneys general from 48 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico formally launched an investigation into Google last year, in a sign of growing scrutiny of technology giants.At least seven attorneys general who are part of the investigation being led by the Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton have been invited to the meeting, the Journal reported.Google and the Justice Department did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.
WASHINGTON, May 28 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Thursday aimed at increasing the ability of the government to regulate social media platforms. The executive order targets companies granted liability protection through Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, according to a report by cnbc.com. Under the statute, large social media companies cannot be sued for much of the content posted by others using their sites. The order would push the Federal Communications Commission to set new rules on some websites' protections under Section 230. It would also encourage the Federal Trade Commission to take action against companies that engage in "deceptive" acts of communication, and it would form a working group of state attorneys general to review relevant state laws.The executive order came two days after Twitter, for the first time, added warning links to two of Trump's tweets, inviting readers to "get the facts." The tweets made a series of claims about state-led mail-in voting services, an issue Trump has railed against in recent weeks, cnbc.com reported. The labels, when clicked, led Twitter users to a page describing Trump's claims as "unsubstantiated." XINHUANET
U.S. manufacturers expect to reduce capital spending in 2020, a trend that could limit a rebound in the sector even as companies see profits improving.Factory executives forecast capital expenditures will decrease 2.1% in 2020, which if realized would be the first annual decline in 11 years, according to a semiannual survey from the Institute for Supply Management released Monday. That compares to a reported increase of 6.4% in 2019. Managers at non-manufacturing firms expect a 1.3% rise next year, slower than 2019’s increase of 2%.While the group’s monthly data show the manufacturing sector is currently contracting, the report indicates a turnaround may begin in the first half of 2020 and pick up later in the year. Factories remain in a fragile position after tumbling into recession earlier this year, though concerns have abated that the weakness will spread into the broader economy amid strong job gains.Even so, companies across the economy have held off on long-term investments amid uncertain trade policies, escalating tariffs and a moderating growth outlook. The pullback weighed on economic growth in both the second and third quarters. A plurality of companies, about 38%, cited domestic economic conditions as the main reason for adjusting capital-spending plans, while just 3% blamed tariffs. About 44% cited other unspecified factors.At the same time, about a third of factory respondents expect profit margins to improve between now and May, while 21% expect lower margins and 46% predict no change. Revenue is expected to increase 4.8%.The ISM declined to disclose the number of companies who responded to the survey beyond saying it’s the same panel for the monthly PMI reports. ISM asked respondents to report toward the end of November, research manager Kristina Cahill said.US MANUFACTURING
Washington has blacklisted even more than 20% of Huawei Technologies' global R&D and innovation centers in its latest crackdown on the Chinese tech giant, striking at the heart of the company's ability to innovate. At the least 11 of Huawei's key research facilities, including sites in the U.K. and Italy, were named on a new list of 46 affiliates with which U.S. companies cannot trade except if they have Washington's approval.The new blacklist was publicized Monday as the U.S. Commerce Department lengthened a 90-day grace period for the world's largest telecom equipment maker to continue buying various products and services from American companies. The decision to target research facilities accentuates the pressure on China's flagship technology company as it copes with the first blacklist imposed by Washington in May. More than 100 Huawei affiliates now are barred from trading with U.S. companies. Before only one research center in Belgium had been blacklisted."It shows that the U.S. government is expanding the scale of its clampdown on the company," said Chiu Shih-fang, a veteran tech analyst at the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research. The blacklisting could slowly Huawei's research and development capability if these facilities lose access to U.S. technologies, the analyst said. Being on the blacklist "limits [Huawei's] ability to acquire U.S. technology," said Dan Wang, technology analyst at Gavekal Dragonomics. "The deadline extension is not an indication that the U.S. government intends to relax its controls."The 11 recently listed research sites include Huawei's Milan institute and the Centre of Integrated Photonics in the U.K. The Milan center was Huawei's first global research facility, according to its website, and employs one of the company's most noted scientists, Renato Lombardi, to study microwave technology used in mobile and satellite communication. The U.K. facility specializes in developing photonics devices.The other blacklisted research centers are in China, including a Beijing institute that Huawei claims is the world's largest router testing facility, and the Chengdu Research Center, where it develops storage technology. Huawei on Tuesday slammed the Commerce Department's action as politically motivated. Washington's attempt "to suppress Huawei's business will not help the United States achieve technological leadership," the company said.Yet, the move represents a blow to the tech group, which had earmarked Italy and Britain for billions of dollars in new investment to expand its research facilities. Huawei's relentless focus on research and development has set it apart from many rivals, helping to drive the group's rapid expansion of its telecom and smartphone businesses. R&D is also crucial in the company's effort to be self-sufficient, reducing its reliance on U.S. technology.Roughly 90,000 employees are involved in research and development, around 45% of Huawei's total workforce. Its R&D spending of 101.5 billion yuan ($14.37 billion) equaled 14.1% of total revenue last year. The company has invested more than 480 billion yuan in R&D in the past 10 years, Huawei data shows. The group has 15 research centers and 28 centers of expertise worldwide, according to "Explorers: Huawei Stories," a book published by the company in late 2017.The U.S. said the new blacklist had been required to ensure that earlier constraints it had imposed were effective. "The Department of Commerce added the [additional] affiliates to stop Huawei from trying to circumvent the sanctions," said Timothy Heath, senior international defense researcher at RAND Corp. "This action will further restrict Huawei's ability to access banned U.S. technologies and services."The U.S. also is apparently widening the scope of its campaign against the Chinese company's technology, for the first time urging "consumers to transition away from Huawei equipment" in the statement from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Monday. Until now, Washington had flagged Huawei's telecom equipment as a threat to national security but refrained from appearing to target its smartphones or other consumer electronics.President Donald Trump on Sunday called Huawei a national security threat and said the U.S. might not do any business with the company, a U-turn from his statement during the Group of 20 summit in June that he would allow American companies to ship products to Huawei. Ross Darrell Feingold, a lawyer and political risk consultant, said it was unavoidable that the American government would discourage consumers from buying Huawei handsets. The U.S. would not easily give up its restrictions on the massive Chinese tech company, one that symbolizes the Asian country's rapid technological development, he said."Even if the U.S. and China reach a trade deal in the near or medium term, Huawei's status in the view of the U.S. government is now a long-term matter," Feingold said. "The Trump administration's 'whole of government' approach toward China means there are numerous, numerous pressure points across trade, academia, military deployments ... Huawei is one among the [many] pressure points the U.S. applies on China."NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW
Tripwire, Inc., a leading global provider of security and compliance solutions for enterprises and industrial organizations has announced a technology partnership with power management company Eaton. With this partnership, Tripwire and Eaton are making it easier and faster for U.S. utilities to comply with evolving cybersecurity requirements, including North American Electric Reliability Corporation critical infrastructure protection (NERC CIP).“Eaton grid automation solutions yield powerful data for a smarter grid, while our enterprise-wide cybersecurity approach enables our customers to meet stringent specifications and expectations for secure power”“Tripwire’s partnership with Eaton allows utility companies to run their cybersecurity programs more efficiently and operate with confidence,” said Kristen Poulos, VP and general manager of industrial cybersecurity at Tripwire. “Integrating our complementary technologies enhances the security of critical substation environments by streamlining tools and processes, without risking interruptions to their operations.”The Eaton and Tripwire technology partnership eliminates the manual process of entering data across disparate risk and compliance tools. The technology integration will allow Tripwire Enterprise for Industrial Devices to automate data collection and analysis from Eaton’s IED Manager Software that monitors intelligent electronic devices (IEDs), such as relays, remote terminal units (RTUs), and connected input/output (I/O).“Eaton grid automation solutions yield powerful data for a smarter grid, while our enterprise-wide cybersecurity approach enables our customers to meet stringent specifications and expectations for secure power,” said Ken Polarek, global marketing director of Energy Automation Solutions at Eaton. “Eaton is creating strong industry partnerships, including with Tripwire, that help customers simplify and save time when assessing the NERC-CIP compliance of their substations.”Eaton’s structured database of IED configuration settings can consist of thousands of valuable attributes for understanding security posture and compliance status, such as password changes, firmware versions, and protection settings. The integration with Tripwire Enterprise provides consolidated reports against NERC CIP and custom policies in a single user interface.AiTHORITY
Japanese car giant Toyota said Thursday it is investing nearly $400 million in a company working on commercialising electric flying cars for "fast, quiet and affordable air transportation services". The investment in Joby Aviation comes as the automaker looks to expand into new sectors as the industry rapidly transforms, with president Akio Toyoda pledging to move the firm "from a car manufacturer to a mobility company"."Air transportation has been a long-term goal for Toyota, and while we continue our work in the automobile business, this agreement sets our sights to the sky," Toyoda said in a statement announcing the investment."Through this new and exciting endeavour, we hope to deliver freedom of movement and enjoyment to customers everywhere, on land, and now, in the sky."Founded in 2009, Joby Aviation is developing a four-passenger electric aircraft that takes off and lands vertically, like a helicopter, though it has multiple rotors. The firm envisions the aircraft as a mode of commercial transport, rather than for sale to individuals, with its pilots ferrying commuters around.Toyota said it would also offer its "expertise in manufacturing, quality and cost controls for the development and production" of Joby's aircraft. One of its executive vice presidents, Shigeki Tomoyama, will join Joby's board, playing an "active role in setting strategic direction", Toyota said. Joby already has a partnership with ride-sharing firm Uber to develop an "urban air taxi service".Toyota has ventured into the flying vehicle field elsewhere, investing in the Japanese SkyDrive project to develop what is intended to be the world's smallest flying car.It has also branched out into other sectors, announcing at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this month its plans for a "woven city" at the base of Mount Fuji that would be powered by hydrogen fuel cells and include roads for autonomous vehicles as well as smart homes.FLYING CAR COMPANY