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Huya Announces Receipt of Preliminary Non-Binding Proposal from Tencent

GUANGZHOU, China, Aug. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- HUYA Inc. ("Huya" or the "Company") (NYSE: HUYA), a leading game live streaming platform in China, today announced that its Board of Directors (the "Board") has received a preliminary non-binding proposal letter, dated August 10, 2020, from Tencent Holdings Limited ("Tencent"), proposing that Huya and DouYu International Holdings Limited ("DouYu") enter into a stock-for-stock merger to be effected pursuant to applicable laws, as a result of which Huya or its subsidiary would acquire each outstanding ordinary share of DouYu, including ordinary shares represented by American depositary shares, in exchange for a to be agreed number of newly issued Class A ordinary shares of Huya, including ordinary shares represented by American depositary shares (the "Transaction"). According to the proposal letter, Tencent would support the Transaction as a shareholder of each of Huya and DouYu, and would be willing to participate in the Transaction in such manner and on such terms and conditions as to be further discussed and mutually agreed upon. As of the date of this letter, Tencent has entered into a share transfer agreement with JOYY Inc. and a separate share transfer agreement with Mr. Rongjie Dong, the chief executive officer of Huya, pursuant to which Tencent will purchase from JOYY Inc. 30,000,000 Class B ordinary shares of Huya and from Mr. Rongjie Dong 1,000,000 Class B ordinary shares of Huya. According to the proposal letter, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, the transfers under these agreements will be consummated on or before September 9, 2020. A copy of the proposal letter is attached as Annex A to this press release. The independent and disinterested members of the Board will review and evaluate the Transaction. The Board cautions the Company's shareholders and others considering trading in its securities that the Board just received the non-binding proposal letter from Tencent and no decisions have been made with respect to the Company's response to the Transaction. There can be no assurance that any definitive offer will be made, that any agreement will be executed or that this or any other transaction will be approved or consummated. The Company does not undertake any obligation to provide any updates with respect to this or any other transaction, except as required under applicable law. About HUYA Inc. HUYA Inc. is a leading game live streaming platform in China with a large and active game live streaming community. The Company cooperates with e-sports event organizers, as well as major game developers and publishers, and has developed e-sports live streaming as one of the most popular content genres on its platform. The Company has created an engaged, interactive and immersive community for game enthusiasts of China's young generation. Building on its success in game live streaming, Huya has also extended its content to other entertainment content genres. Huya's open platform also functions as a marketplace for broadcasters and talent agencies to congregate and closely collaborate with the Company. Safe Harbor Statement  This announcement contains forward-looking statements. These statements are made under the "safe harbor" provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as "will," "expects," "anticipates," "future," "intends," "plans," "believes," "estimates" and similar statements. Among other things, the business outlook and quotations from management in this announcement, as well as Huya's strategic and operational plans, contain forward-looking statements. Huya may also make written or oral forward-looking statements in its periodic reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), in its annual report to shareholders, in press releases and other written materials and in oral statements made by its officers, directors or employees to third parties. Statements that are not historical facts, including statements about Huya's beliefs and expectations, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement, including but not limited to the following: Huya's goals and strategies; Huya's future business development, results of operations and financial condition; the expected growth of the game live streaming market; the expectation regarding the rate at which to gain active users, especially paying users; Huya's ability to monetize the user base; fluctuations in general economic and business conditions in China; the impact of the COVID-19 to Huya's business operations and the economy in China and elsewhere generally; and assumptions underlying or related to any of the foregoing. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in Huya's filings with the SEC. All information provided in this press release and in the attachments is as of the date of this press release, and Huya does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, except as required under applicable law. For investor and media inquiries, please contact:  In China: HUYA Inc.Investor RelationsTel: +86-20-2290-7829E-mail: ir@huya.com The Piacente Group, Inc.Jenny CaiTel: +86-10-6508-0677E-mail: huya@tpg-ir.com In the United States: The Piacente Group, Inc. Brandi PiacenteTel: +1-212-481-2050E-mail: huya@tpg-ir.com Annex A Non-binding Proposal Letter from Tencent August 10, 2020 The Board of DirectorsHuya, Inc. Building A3, E-Park, 280 Hanxi RoadPanyu District, Guangzhou 511446The People's Republic of China The Board of Directors DouYu International Holdings Limited20/F, Building A, New Development International Center, No. 473 Guansha AvenueHongshan District, Wuhan, Hubei ProvinceThe People's Republic of China Dear Directors: Tencent Holdings Limited, through its affiliates (collectively, "Tencent" or "we"), owns approximately 36.9% of the total issued and outstanding share capital of Huya, Inc. ("Huya"), representing 50.9% of Huya's total voting power.[1]  We are also the largest shareholder of DouYu International Holdings Limited ("DouYu"), holding approximately 38.0% of the total issued and outstanding share capital and voting power of DouYu.[2] We are writing today to propose that you consider a strategic combination of Huya and DouYu, which we believe represents a compelling value creation opportunity for both companies.  We propose that Huya and DouYu enter into a stock-for-stock merger to be effected pursuant to applicable laws, as a result of which Huya (or a subsidiary of Huya) would acquire each outstanding ordinary share of DouYu (including ordinary shares represented by American depository shares, the "DouYu Shares") in exchange for a to be agreed number of newly issued Class A ordinary shares of Huya (such shares, the "Huya Class A Ordinary Shares," including Class A ordinary shares of Huya represented by American depository shares, and such transaction, the "Transaction").    As of the date of this letter, Tencent has entered into a share transfer agreement with JOYY Inc. ("JOYY") and a separate share transfer agreement with Mr. Rongjie Dong, the chief executive officer of Huya ("Mr. Dong"), pursuant to which Tencent will purchase from JOYY 30,000,000 Class B ordinary shares of Huya and from Mr. Dong 1,000,000 Class B ordinary shares of Huya.  Subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, the transfers under these agreements will be consummated on or before September 9, 2020, upon which Tencent's shareholding in Huya will be increased to 51.0% of Huya's total issued and outstanding share capital and voting power will be increased to 70.4% of Huya's total voting power.[3] [1], [2], [3] Share ownership and voting power information provided herein is calculated based on publicly available information. As a shareholder of each of Huya and DouYu, Tencent would support the Transaction and would be willing to participate in the Transaction in such manner and on such terms and conditions as to be further discussed and mutually agreed among Tencent, the independent members of the Board of Directors of Huya (the "Huya Board") and the independent members of the Board of Directors of DouYu (the "DouYu Board", and together with the Huya Board, the "Boards").  We set out below for your consideration the principal terms and conditions upon which Tencent is prepared to support and participate in the Transaction. Exchange Ratio. The exchange ratio at which all issued and outstanding DouYu Shares at the time of the Transaction (including those owned by Tencent) would be converted into Huya Class A Ordinary Shares would be mutually agreed among Tencent, the independent members of the Huya Board and the independent members of the DouYu Board.   Financing. Given the all-stock nature of the Transaction, the consummation of the Transaction would not be subject to any financing contingency.  Due Diligence. We are prepared to move expeditiously to complete the Transaction as soon as practicable. We have engaged Goldman Sachs (Asia) L.L.C. as our financial advisor.  We believe that, with the full cooperation of Huya and DouYu, the parties to the Transaction can complete customary commercial, legal, financial and accounting due diligence in a timely manner and in parallel with discussions on the definitive agreements.  We would like to ask the Boards to accommodate such due diligence process and approve the provision of confidential information relating to Huya and DouYu and their respective businesses subject to the execution of a customary confidentiality agreement. Definitive Documentation. We are prepared to promptly facilitate and participate in the negotiations and discussions of the definitive agreements providing for the Transaction (the "Definitive Agreements"). We expect that such Definitive Agreements will contain representations, warranties, covenants and conditions which are typical, customary and appropriate for transactions of this type. Process. We believe that the Transaction will provide superior value to Huya's and DouYu's shareholders. In considering this proposal, you should be aware that we are interested only in supporting and participating in the Transaction and we do not intend to sell our stakes in Huya and DouYu to any third party. Confidentiality. We trust you will agree with us that it is in our mutual interests to ensure that we proceed in a confidential manner, unless otherwise required by law, until we have executed Definitive Agreements or terminated our discussions. No Binding Commitment. This letter does not constitute a binding offer, agreement or an agreement to make a binding offer. This letter is our preliminary indication of interest and does not contain all matters upon which agreement must be reached in order to consummate the Transaction, nor does it create any binding rights or obligations in favor of any person. A binding commitment will result only from the execution of Definitive Agreements, and then will be on the terms and conditions provided in such documentation. Next Steps. We will be filing this letter publicly with the SEC as part of an amendment to our Beneficial Ownership Statement on Schedule 13D with respect to Huya that we are required to make under applicable United States federal securities laws and regulations. In closing, we would like to express our commitment to working together to bring the Transaction to a successful and timely conclusion. Should you have any questions regarding this proposal, please do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely, Tencent Holdings Limited By: /s/ Martin Lau Name: Martin Lau Title: President   Related Links :http://www.huya.com

DouYu Announces Receipt of Preliminary Non-Binding Proposal from Tencent for Strategic Combination of DouYu and Huya

WUHAN, China, Aug. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- DouYu International Holdings Limited ("DouYu" or the "Company") (Nasdaq: DOYU), a leading game-centric live streaming platform in China and a pioneer in the eSports value chain, today announced that its Board of Directors (the "Board") has received a preliminary non-binding proposal letter, dated August 10, 2020, from Tencent Holdings Limited, proposing that DouYu and HUYA Inc. ("Huya") (NYSE: HUYA) enter into a stock-for-stock merger, as a result of which Huya or its subsidiary would acquire each outstanding ordinary share of DouYu (including ordinary shares represented by American depositary shares) (the "Proposed Transaction"). Pursuant to the Proposed Transaction, shareholders of DouYu will receive a to be agreed number of newly issued Class A ordinary shares of Huya for their respective DouYu shares. A copy of the proposal letter is attached hereto as Exhibit A. The Board plans to review and evaluate the Proposed Transaction. The Board cautions the Company's shareholders and others considering trading the Company's securities that the Board has just received the proposal letter and has not had an opportunity to carefully review and evaluate the Proposed Transaction or make any decision with respect to the Company's response to the Proposed Transaction. There can be no assurance that any definitive offer will be made, that any definitive agreement will be executed relating to the Proposed Transaction or that this or any other transaction will be approved or consummated. The Company does not undertake any obligation to provide any updates with respect to this or any other transaction, except as required under applicable law. About DouYu International Holdings Limited Headquartered in Wuhan, China, DouYu International Holdings Limited (Nasdaq: DOYU) is a leading game-centric live streaming platform in China and a pioneer in the eSports value chain. DouYu operates its platform on both PC and mobile apps, through which users can enjoy immersive and interactive games and entertainment live streaming. DouYu's platform brings together a deep pool of top live streamers. By providing a sustainable streamer development system built on advanced technology infrastructure and capabilities, DouYu helps ensure a consistent supply of quality content. Through collaborations with a variety of participants across the eSports value chain, the Company has gained coveted access to a wide variety of premium eSports content, which further attracts viewers and enhances user experience. For more information, please see http://ir.douyu.com/. Safe Harbor Statement This press release contains forward-looking statements. These statements are made under the "safe harbor" provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements that are not historical facts, including statements about the Company's beliefs and expectations, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties, and a number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement. In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by words or phrases such as "may," "will," "expect," "anticipate," "target," "aim," "estimate," "intend," "plan," "believe," "potential," "continue," "is/are likely to" or other similar expressions. Further information regarding these and other risks, uncertainties or factors is included in the Company's filings with the Securities Exchange Commission. All information provided in this press release is as of the date of this press release, and the Company does not undertake any duty to update such information, except as required under applicable law. Investor Relations Contact Mao MaoDouYu International Holdings LimitedEmail: ir@douyu.tv Phone: +1 (646) 224-6934 Xinran RaoICR, Inc.Email: DouYu.IR@icrinc.com Phone: +1 (646) 224-6934 Media Relations Contact Iris DingDouYu International Holdings LimitedEmail: pr_douyu@douyu.tv Phone: +1 (646) 308-1475 Edmond LococoICR, Inc.Email: DouYu.PR@icrinc.com Phone: +1 (646) 308-1475 Exhibit A August 10, 2020 The Board of Directors Huya, Inc.Building A3, E-Park, 280 Hanxi Road Panyu District, Guangzhou 511446 The People's Republic of China The Board of DirectorsDouYu International Holdings Limited20/F, Building A, New Development International Center, No. 473 Guansha Avenue Hongshan District, Wuhan, Hubei ProvinceThe People's Republic of China Dear Directors: Tencent Holdings Limited, through its affiliates (collectively, "Tencent" or "we"), owns approximately 36.9% of the total issued and outstanding share capital of Huya, Inc. ("Huya"), representing 50.9% of Huya's total voting power.[1] We are also the largest shareholder of DouYu International Holdings Limited ("DouYu"), holding approximately 38.0% of the total issued and outstanding share capital and voting power of DouYu.[2] We are writing today to propose that you consider a strategic combination of Huya and DouYu, which we believe represents a compelling value creation opportunity for both companies. We propose that Huya and DouYu enter into a stock-for-stock merger to be effected pursuant to applicable laws, as a result of which Huya (or a subsidiary of Huya) would acquire each outstanding ordinary share of DouYu (including ordinary shares represented by American depository shares, the "DouYu Shares") in exchange for a to be agreed number of newly issued Class A ordinary shares of Huya (such shares, the "Huya Class A Ordinary Shares," including Class A ordinary shares of Huya represented by American depository shares, and such transaction, the "Transaction"). As of the date of this letter, Tencent has entered into a share transfer agreement with JOYY Inc. ("JOYY") and a separate share transfer agreement with Mr. Rongjie Dong, the chief executive officer of Huya ("Mr. Dong"), pursuant to which Tencent will purchase from JOYY 30,000,000 Class B ordinary shares of Huya and from Mr. Dong 1,000,000 Class B ordinary shares of Huya. Subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, the transfers under these agreements will be consummated on or before September 9, 2020, upon which Tencent's shareholding in Huya will be increased to 51.0% of Huya's total issued and outstanding share capital and voting power will be increased to 70.4% of Huya's total voting power.[3] As a shareholder of each of Huya and DouYu, Tencent would support the Transaction and would be willing to participate in the Transaction in such manner and on such terms and conditions as to be further discussed and mutually agreed among Tencent, the independent members of the Board of Directors of Huya (the "Huya Board") and the independent members of the Board of Directors of DouYu (the "DouYu Board", and together with the Huya Board, the "Boards"). We set out below for your consideration the principal terms and conditions upon which Tencent is prepared to support and participate in the Transaction. 1.       Exchange Ratio. The exchange ratio at which all issued and outstanding DouYu Shares at the time of the Transaction (including those owned by Tencent) would be converted into Huya Class A Ordinary Shares would be mutually agreed among Tencent, the independent members of the Huya Board and the independent members of the DouYu Board. 2.       Financing. Given the all-stock nature of the Transaction, the consummation of the Transaction would not be subject to any financing contingency. 3.       Due Diligence. We are prepared to move expeditiously to complete the Transaction as soon as practicable. We have engaged Goldman Sachs (Asia) L.L.C. as our financial advisor. We believe that, with the full cooperation of Huya and DouYu, the parties to the Transaction can complete customary commercial, legal, financial and accounting due diligence in a timely manner and in parallel with discussions on the definitive agreements. We would like to ask the Boards to accommodate such due diligence process and approve the provision of confidential information relating to Huya and DouYu and their respective businesses subject to the execution of a customary confidentiality agreement. 4.       Definitive Documentation. We are prepared to promptly facilitate and participate in the negotiations and discussions of the definitive agreements providing for the Transaction (the "Definitive Agreements"). We expect that such Definitive Agreements will contain representations, warranties, covenants and conditions which are typical, customary and appropriate for transactions of this type. 5.       Process. We believe that the Transaction will provide superior value to Huya's and DouYu's shareholders. In considering this proposal, you should be aware that we are interested only in supporting and participating in the Transaction and we do not intend to sell our stakes in Huya and DouYu to any third party. 6.       Confidentiality. We trust you will agree with us that it is in our mutual interests to ensure that we proceed in a confidential manner, unless otherwise required by law, until we have executed Definitive Agreements or terminated our discussions. 7.       No Binding Commitment. This letter does not constitute a binding offer, agreement or an agreement to make a binding offer. This letter is our preliminary indication of interest and does not contain all matters upon which agreement must be reached in order to consummate the Transaction, nor does it create any binding rights or obligations in favor of any person. A binding commitment will result only from the execution of Definitive Agreements, and then will be on the terms and conditions provided in such documentation. 8.       Next Steps. We will be filing this letter publicly with the SEC as part of an amendment to our Beneficial Ownership Statement on Schedule 13D with respect to Huya that we are required to make under applicable United States federal securities laws and regulations. In closing, we would like to express our commitment to working together to bring the Transaction to a successful and timely conclusion. Should you have any questions regarding this proposal, please do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely, TENCENT HOLDINGS LIMITED By: /s/ Martin Lau Name:    Martin Lau Title:       President   [1], [2], [3] Share ownership and voting power information provided herein is calculated based on publicly available information.   Related Links :https://www.douyu.com/

Phoenix New Media Announces Further Update on Sale of Investment in Yidian

BEIJING, Aug. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Phoenix New Media Limited ("Phoenix New Media," "ifeng" or the "Company") (NYSE: FENG), a leading new media company in China, today announced that it has entered into a new share purchase agreement (the "New SPA") with Run Liang Tai Management Limited ("Run Liang Tai"), which replaced the Company's previous agreement (the "Previous Agreement") with Run Liang Tai for the sale of the Company's investment in Particle Inc. ("Particle" or "Yidian") to Run Liang Tai and its designated entities (the "Proposed Buyers"). As previously announced by the Company, the Company has completed delivery of the first batch of Particle shares to the Proposed Buyers and received consideration of US$200 million for such shares as well as a further deposit of US$50 million pursuant the Previous Agreement, and the Proposed Buyers was required to pay the remaining purchase price for the second batch of Particle shares to the Company on or before August 10, 2020 under the Previous Agreement. The rights and obligations of both the Proposed Buyers and the Company with respect to the second batch of shares under the Previous Agreement were terminated pursuant to the New SPA, and instead, the Company agreed to sell a total of 140,248,775 shares of Particle, representing all of the Particle shares the Company currently holds, to the Proposed Buyers at a total purchase price of US$150 million. The Proposed Buyers has paid approximately US$99.3 million (the "Remaining Payment") to the Company under the New SPA, which represents the difference between the total purchase price and the US$50 million deposit already paid by the Proposed Buyers under the Previous Agreement plus certain other accrued interests. The Company will be required to deliver the 140,248,775 shares of Particle to the Proposed Buyers after certain closing conditions are satisfied. As previously announced by the Company, the Company provided an interest-free loan of approximately US$9.7 million to the Proposed Buyers to enable them to pay for the first batch of shares that Long De Cheng Zhang (Tianjin) Investment Management Center and Long De Holdings (Hong Kong) Co., Limited (collectively, the "Long De Entities") sold to the Proposed Buyers pursuant to a co-sale agreement that the Company entered into with the Long De Entities and Run Liang Tai. Under the New SPA, the Proposed Buyers agreed to transfer 4,584,209 shares of Particle back to the Company in satisfaction of the Proposed Buyers' obligation to repay the US$9.7 million loan. The Proposed Buyers also agreed to purchase from any other shareholder of Particle such number of Particle shares that the shareholder may elect to sell pursuant to its co-sale right under the existing shareholders agreement of Particle (the "Additional Purchase Obligations"). Completion of the transaction contemplated in the New SPA (the "Proposed Transaction") is subject to certain closing conditions, including but not limited to approval by the shareholders of the Company's parent company, Phoenix Media Investment (Holdings) Limited ("Phoenix HK") (including any related necessary approval by The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited), as well as the Proposed Buyers' provision of written evidence satisfactory to the Company showing that they have fulfilled any Additional Purchase Obligation. The Company may be required to return US$150 million to the Proposed Buyers and pay damages of US$50 million if it fails to obtain approval by the shareholders of Phoenix HK due to reasons within the Company's reasonable control. The Company may be able to retain some of the US$150 million if the Proposed Transaction fails to close due to other reasons. There is no assurance that the Proposed Transaction will ever be closed. About Phoenix New Media Limited Phoenix New Media Limited (NYSE: FENG) is a leading new media company providing premium content on an integrated Internet platform, including PC and mobile, in China. Having originated from a leading global Chinese language TV network based in Hong Kong, Phoenix TV, the Company enables consumers to access professional news and other quality information and share user-generated content on the Internet through their PCs and mobile devices. Phoenix New Media's platform includes its PC channel, consisting of ifeng.com website, which comprises interest-based verticals and interactive services; its mobile channel, consisting of mobile news applications, mobile video application and mobile Internet website; and its operations with the telecom operators that provides mobile value-added services. Safe Harbor Statement This announcement contains forward−looking statements. These statements are made under the "safe harbor" provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward−looking statements can be identified by terminology such as "will," "expects," "anticipates," "future," "intends," "plans," "believes," "estimates" and similar statements. Among other things, the business outlook and quotations from management in this announcement, as well as Phoenix New Media's strategic and operational plans, contain forward−looking statements. Phoenix New Media may also make written or oral forward−looking statements in its periodic reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") on Forms 20-F and 6-K, in its annual report to shareholders, in press releases and other written materials and in oral statements made by its officers, directors or employees to third parties. Statements that are not historical facts, including statements about Phoenix New Media's beliefs and expectations, are forward−looking statements. Forward−looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward−looking statement, including but not limited to the following: the Company's goals and strategies; the Company's future business development, financial condition and results of operations; the expected growth of online and mobile advertising, online video and mobile paid services markets in China; the Company's reliance on online and mobile advertising and MVAS for a majority of its total revenues; the Company's expectations regarding demand for and market acceptance of its services; the Company's expectations regarding maintaining and strengthening its relationships with advertisers, partners and customers; the Company's investment plans and strategies, fluctuations in the Company's quarterly operating results; the Company's plans to enhance its user experience, infrastructure and services offerings; the Company's reliance on mobile operators in China to provide most of its MVAS; changes by mobile operators in China to their policies for MVAS; competition in its industry in China; relevant government policies and regulations relating to the Company; and the effects of the COVID-19 on the economy in China in general and on the Company's business in particular. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in the Company's filings with the SEC, including its registration statement on Form F-1, as amended, and its annual reports on Form 20-F. All information provided in this press release and in the attachments is as of the date of this press release, and Phoenix New Media does not undertake any obligation to update any forward−looking statement, except as required under applicable law. For investor and media inquiries please contact: Phoenix New Media LimitedQing LiuEmail: investorrelations@ifeng.com ICR, Inc.Jack WangTel: +1 (646) 405-4883Email: investorrelations@ifeng.com Related Links :http://www.vipads.com.cn

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U.S. Fed official says fiscal support package "incredibly important" as Congress fails to reach deal

A senior U.S. Federal Reserve official said on Sunday that another fiscal support package is "incredibly important" for the economy to recover from the pandemic as Congress failed to reach a deal on the new relief bill. "I would say that fiscal policy has been unbelievably important in supporting the economy during the downturn that we've been experiencing," Charles Evans, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, said in an interview with CBS's "Face the Nation." "That continues to be important because we've not got control over the virus spread. I think that public confidence is really important and another support package is really incredibly important," he said. Evans also said that there would be increases in job losses if Congress doesn't provide further fiscal support to state and local governments. "States have to balance their budgets. They are experiencing reduced tax revenues. And so there will be employment reductions," he said, noting state and local governments account for about 10 percent of employment in the United States. U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday signed a series of executive orders to extend certain COVID-19 economic relief, but they're unlikely to provide meaningful boost to the overall economy. "President Trump still does not comprehend the seriousness or the urgency of the health and economic crises facing working families," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Saturday in a joint statement. "The only solution to crush the virus and protect working families is to pass a comprehensive bill that is equal to the historic health and economic catastrophe facing our country," they said. Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, has recently warned that the U.S. economy is at serious risk of sliding back into recession unless Congress and the Trump administration come up with another fiscal rescue package before Congress goes on its August recess.(CGTN)

2020-08-10

States on hook for billions under Trump’s unemployment plan

Whether President Donald Trump has the constitutional authority to extend federal unemployment benefits by executive order remains unclear. Equally up in the air is whether states, which are necessary partners in Trump’s plan to bypass Congress, will sign on.Trump announced an executive order Saturday that extends additional unemployment payments of $400 a week to help cushion the economic fallout of the pandemic. Congress had approved payments of $600 a week at the outset of the coronavirus outbreak, but those benefits expired Aug. 1 and Congress has been unable to agree on an extension. Many Republicans have expressed concern that a $600 weekly benefit, on top of existing state benefits, gives people an incentive to stay unemployed.But under Trump’s plan, the $400 a week requires a state to commit to providing $100.Many states are already facing budget crunches caused by the pandemic. Asked at a news conference how many governors had signed on to participate, Trump answered: “If they don’t, they don’t. That’s up to them.”Aubrey Layne, secretary of finance for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, said in a phone interview Sunday he believes it would be feasible for Virginia to participate in such a program if states are allowed to use money that’s been allocated to them under the already passed CARES Act. He said his preliminary understanding is that states can do so, but he and others are waiting to see the rules published.The better solution, Layne said, would be for Congress to pass legislation.“It’s ludicrous to me that Congress can’t get together on this,” he said. “I think it would have been better for the president to use his influence in those negotiations, rather than standing on the sideline and then riding in like a shining knight.”Indeed, details about the program became confused on Sunday. On CNN’s “State of the Nation” White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said conflicting things about whether the federal money was contingent on an additional contribution from the states. Initially, Kudlow said that “for an extra $100, we will lever it up. We will pay three-quarters, and the states will pay 25 percent.” In the same interview, though, he later said that “at a minimum, we will put in 300 bucks ... but I think all they (the states) have to do is put up an extra dollar, and we will be able to throw in the extra $100.”A clarifying statement from the White House said the “funds will be available for those who qualify by, among other things, receiving $100/week of existing assistance and certify that they have lost their jobs due to COVID-19.”Several advocacy groups that follow the issue, though, said it’s clear the way the executive order is structured that the federal money will be contingent on states making a 25 percent contribution.New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, called the plan “an impossibility.”“I don’t know if the president is genuine in thinking the executive order is a resolution or if this is just a tactic in the negotiation,” Cuomo said. “But this is irreconcilable for the state. And I expect this is just a chapter in the book of Washington COVID mismanagement.”In Connecticut, Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that the plan would cost his state $500 million to provide that benefit for the rest of the year, and called Trump’s plan “not a good idea.”“I could take that money from testing — I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Lamont said.On CNN, Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine praised Trump for issuing the order.“He’s trying to do something. He’s trying to move the ball forward,” DeWine said.Still, he was noncommittal about whether Ohio would participate.“We’re looking at it right now to see whether we can do this,” he said.Christina Stephens, a spokeswoman for Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said: “Right now we are reviewing the President’s order to determine exactly what the impact to the state would be.”In Maryland, Michael Ricci, spokesman for Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, said in an email that “we will wait on new guidance from US Department of Labor before looking at any (unemployment insurance) changes.”In Minnesota, Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove said his agency is “awaiting further guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor.”And in Michigan, Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a press release that Trump “cut federal funding for unemployed workers and is requiring states that are facing severe holes in our budgets to provide 25% of the funding.”On ABC”s “This Week,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called it “an unworkable plan.“Most states will take months to implement it because it’s brand new. It’s sort of put together with spit and paste. And many states, because they have to chip in $100, and they don’t have money, won’t do it,” Schumer said.Many states struggled to adjust outdated computer systems to accommodate the $600 payment, which along with the massive influx of new claims resulted in long delays in providing benefits. Reprogramming the computers again to accommodate the new amount could result in similar glitches.On ABC, Kudlow said that many of those outdated systems have since been upgraded.“I don’t think there will be a huge delay. Labor Department has been working with the states. The states are the ones that process the federal benefits before. So, I don’t see any reason why it would be all that difficult,” he said.(AP)

2020-08-10

Insightsmore >>

Economic Watch: China mulls new growth pattern for high-quality development

China will accelerate the establishment of a "dual circulation" development pattern that takes the domestic market as the mainstay while domestic and foreign markets can boost each other. Since May this year, the top leadership of the country has reaffirmed the dual-circulation development pattern on various occasions, indicating the strategic priority of China's economic development is accelerating the shift from an export-led to a domestic demand-driven growth model. ACTIVE CHOICE It is not a hasty decision, but an active choice mulled for years. China has actively participated in the global value chain since its reform and opening-up in the late 1970s, achieving rapid economic development through its low costs and export-oriented strategy. However, deficiencies have gradually emerged, such as excessive dependence on foreign trade, risks in economic security, restrictions in key technologies and pressure on industrial upgrading. In fact, since the Asian financial crisis of 1998, China has shifted the foothold of its economic development to expanding domestic demand. In recent years, China has become increasingly reliant on the domestic market rather than exports. From the perspective of the domestic situation, China is pushing for high-quality development and accelerating the transformation of its economic growth model. In the current global landscape, the world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century. COVID-19 is wreaking havoc across the world, trade protectionism is on the rise in some countries and the global industrial and supply chains may experience remarkable changes. It is in this milieu that the new development pattern has been reaffirmed, based on China's long-term development strategy and changes in the global situation. The new development pattern mulled by the top leadership is an active strategic choice for China's economy to nurture new opportunities and secure new advantages in global competition, said Huang Qunhui, director of the Institute of Economics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. DEEPEN OPENING-UP While the potential of domestic circulation is being emphasized, it does not mean China will seek seclusion. Instead, it will utilize domestic and international resources more efficiently, ensuring robust and sustainable development. "Economic activities never existed in isolation. They are dynamic and cyclic. Since China has deeply integrated itself into globalization, it cannot expand domestic demand without the smooth operation of the global industrial and supply chains," said Wei Jianguo, vice chairman of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges. "The strategy to take domestic circulation as the mainstay and expand domestic demand as the strategic foundation does not mean closing doors to the outside world or active decoupling. On the contrary, it means further opening up to the outside world at a high level," said Guan Tao, an economist with BOC International. A review of its major reforms this year reveals clues to the country's endeavors in boosting opening-up. In late June, China shortened the negative list for foreign investment again, slashing the number of sectors that are off-limits for foreign investors. In early June, China released the master plan on building the southern island province of Hainan into a globally influential free trade port. Two guidelines were unveiled in April and May - one on the market-based allocation of resources, and the other on improving the socialist market economy. Both plans centered on protecting the market's role in the economy to nurture the growth of domestic and foreign-funded companies alike. China needs to continue its pivot toward domestic demand-driven growth. The country is improving its domestic demand system in an open environment, so dual circulation - domestic and international - should not be severed. China's development cannot be segregated from the world, while global development also needs China. In the future, China will only open its doors wider to share its development opportunities with the world.(CGTN)

2020-08-09

U.S.-China engagement contributes to peace, prosperity, says Jimmy Carter

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has said that the engagement between the United States and China contributed to global peace and prosperity, urging the two countries to cooperate against the COVID-19 pandemic. In a Wednesday letter to participants of a virtual dialogue on U.S.-China relations, Carter recalled his decision with China's former leader Deng Xiaoping in late 1978 to establish diplomatic ties between Washington and Beijing. "This engagement has enabled us, as well as the Asia Pacific region and the world, to enjoy unparalleled peace and prosperity," he said. The former president expected the virtual dialogue, held by the Carter Center and the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, to help ease the bilateral tensions. "While our nations have their differences, I trust you will use this discussion to determine which differences must be overcome to foster our bilateral relationship," he said. Carter also noted that Washington and Beijing could work together on many issues, such as climate change, preventing nuclear proliferation and counter-terrorism. "And most urgently, a collaboration to effectively address the COVID-19 pandemic and rebuild shattered economies and communities," he said. As the 39th U.S. president who served between 1977 and 1981, Carter oversaw the normalization of diplomatic ties between the United States and China 41 years ago.(CGTN) 

2020-08-07

World Newsmore >>

U.S. "sanctions" against Chinese officials nothing but hysterical outburst of hegemonism

A spokesperson for the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of China's State Council said some U.S. politicians have fully exposed their hegemonic traits over the so-called sanctions against heads of Chinese central government agencies responsible for Hong Kong affairs and officials of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government. The move is nothing but a hysterical outburst of hegemonism after these U.S. politicians failed in their attempts to manipulate Hong Kong affairs, the spokesperson said on Sunday. Since the turbulence over proposed ordinance amendments in Hong Kong last June, some anti-China and anti-communist forces in the United States thought they had found a new opportunity to instigate "color revolutions," the spokesperson said. However, after the law on safeguarding national security in Hong Kong was enacted by the National People's Congress Standing Committee this June, some U.S. politicians began blowing their top, the spokesperson added. The U.S. administration and some U.S. politicians acted out in such an anxious and reckless manner over Hong Kong-related issues to cover up their own botched response to COVID-19, economy and other domestic problems, the spokesperson noted. They have also realized their long-term calculation to use Hong Kong for infiltration and subversion activities against the Chinese mainland so as to contain the development of China will come to nothing, the spokesperson added. The brazen practice of these American politicians has fully showcased the U.S.-style hypocrisy and bullying, revealing the ugly face of modern hegemonists, said the spokesperson. In response to the so-called U.S. sanctions, HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam and other officials of the HKSAR government said they feared no intimidation and would do their best to serve the country and Hong Kong, said the spokesperson, applauding such firm responses.(CGTN)

2020-08-10

Russian fighter jet intercepts U.S. spy plane over Black Sea

A Russian Su-27 fighter jet was scrambled over the Black Sea on Sunday to intercept a U.S. Navy radio-technical reconnaissance aircraft, the Russian Defense Ministry said."On August 9, Russian airspace control systems detected an air target approaching the Russian state border over the neutral waters of the Black Sea," the ministry's Zvezda broadcasting service said.The crew of the Su-27 fighter jet identified the aerial object as a U.S. Navy EP-3E Aries radio reconnaissance aircraft, it added."After the U.S. reconnaissance plane turned away from the Russian state border, the Russian fighter safely returned to the airfield," Zvezda said, adding that no violation of the Russian state border was allowed.File photo of a RC-135 U.S. reconnaissance aircraft. /ReutersThe Russian aircraft proceeded in strict compliance with international airspace rules, it said.Russia's National Defense Control Center said the U.S. spy plane did not violate the Russian state border, according to the Tass News Agency.The interception took place four days after a Russian Su-27 fighter jet chased away two U.S. reconnaissance planes that approached the Russian border over the Black Sea. Last month, Russian fighter jets intercepted U.S. spy planes several times over the Black Sea.Since Russia incorporated Crimea and a conflict broke out in eastern Ukraine in 2014, the U.S. has intensified its surveillance over Russia, which Moscow deems provocative.(CGTN)

2020-08-10

Breaking Newsmore >>

14 killed in jihadist attack on Nigeria military base

Jihadists killed 14 security personnel and civilians in an attack on a military base in northeast Nigeria's Borno state on Wednesday, security sources told AFP.Suspected Boko Haram fighters in trucks fitted with machine guns launched a dawn raid on the army base in the town of Damboa, sparking intense fighting.Sources said six soldiers, four police officers and two members of a government-backed militia were killed along with two civilians."We lost six soldiers in the attack while six others were injured," a military officer told AFP on condition of anonymity.The officer claimed 13 insurgents were killed by a fighter jet as they fled the area.The leader of an anti-jihadist militia said the civilians who died were among more than 50 local residents hit by shrapnel after rocket-propelled grenades fired by the jihadists hit nearby homes.Nigeria's decade-long jihadist insurgency has killed 36 000 people and displaced two million others inside the country, and spilled into neighbouring Niger, Chad, and Cameroon.The United Nations has complained of a surge in violence in the conflict zone in recent weeks.Anger has been growing among local residents about the army's failure to stem the attacks despite repeated claims from officials that the insurgency has been defeated.(CGTN)

2020-03-06

One dead, multiple injured shot near skate park in California

A 23-year-old male was shot dead and five others were injured following a shooting at a party near a skate park in Tulare County, California, late Wednesday night, ABC News reported citing local police.The conditions of the other shooting victims are unclear, including a 7-year-old girl who is suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, police said at a press conference.Police said a "solo suspect shooter" walked up to the party and fired multiple rounds.(CGTN)

2020-03-05

Life Stylemore >>

Guitarist tunes home with album

As one of the world's finest classical guitarists, Yang Xuefei has released a number of recordings during her decadeslong career.These range from adapted pieces of classical music by composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach and Franz Schubert, to the music of contemporary Brazilian guitarists, including Antonio Carlos Jobim, Heitor Villa-Lobos and Joao Pernambuco.On Friday, Yang released her latest album, titled Sketches of China, which is her very first album of completely Chinese music.The album, consisting of two discs of 17 music pieces in total, includes classic and contemporary music. It covers solo pieces, chamber music with other Chinese instrumentalists, and pieces for guitar and orchestra."The album has been my longtime wish," Yang told China Daily in a phone interview before the new album was released."Along with my career, I've performed many music works adapted from Chinese music pieces. I always wanted to release an album, which fully displays Chinese music works from different times and with different styles."Yang, who was born in Beijing, graduated with a bachelor's degree in classical guitar from the Central Conservatory of Music in the city. She won a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music in London in 2002.As a soloist, she tours worldwide and has been living in London for 20 years. Her international success has led her to play in more than 50 countries at numerous prestigious venues such as the Royal Albert Hall in London and Carnegie Hall in New York.From the start of her professional career, Yang says that she began a journey to explore Chinese repertoire for guitar. The experience of traveling around the globe and performing music from many different countries has given her a more vivid perspective on her own cultural background.When she wrote down a song list for the new album, Yang found that the list went so long that she had to make the new album double discs. She also explored the versatility and great potential of guitar during the recording."The sound of guitar has a magical quality, which keeps surprising me," says Yang."While respecting the spirit of traditional Chinese music, it's important for the music to develop and live with the current times. I hope this album will open a new door to guitar repertoire and take Chinese music to a wider audience."In the album, she has adapted Silver Clouds Chasing the Moon, one of the best-known orchestral works by Ren Guang, a noted Chinese composer of the early 20th century.She also adapted White Snow in the Spring Sunlight, a classic piece of traditional Chinese music, which first appeared in a pipa (a four-stringed Chinese lute) score during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).(China Daily)

2020-08-08

Fine art and face masks: London's Victoria and Albert Museum reopens

Five thousand years of art and design history will be joined by some more modern items when London's Victoria and Albert (VA) museum reopens on Thursday – hand sanitizer dispensers and protective screens.Mask-wearing visitors will be allowed to tour exhibits on two of the museum's floors, strolling through 250 years of European Renaissance art, a dazzling Islamic Middle East gallery, and five centuries of fashion from around the world.According to the museum, tickets are free but visitors will be allowed in on a booking-only basis after months of coronavirus-enforced closure, marking another step in Britain's tentative economic and cultural reopening."We want people to enjoy themselves again after all these months of looking at screens – to go and see an artifact for yourself, to stand in front of an object, that's what's so important," said museum director Tristram Hunt."The VA has been closed for 138 days, the longest period of closure in its history."A museum technician is doing cleaning during preparations to reopen the museum in London Britain, August 4, 2020. /ReutersThe 160-year-old museum, named after Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert, has been modified to meet the demands of social distancing regulations designed to prevent the spread of a COVID-19 pandemic that has killed more than 46,000 people in Britain alone.Hand sanitizer dispensers have been dotted around the sprawling, mosaic-floored building. The gift shop and cafe have been equipped with protective screens.Further sections of the VA's seven miles of galleries will reopen in phases later in the month.V&A Museum gallery assistants are seen during preparations to reopen the museum in London Britain, August 4, 2020. /Reuters"What we've all discovered is that it's relatively easy to close, but it's a lot more difficult to reopen," Hunt said."We've got the pubs open, we've got the football playing, that's great. But museums, galleries, schools, places where people can nurture their souls is really important.”(With input from Reuters; Cover: VA Museum gallery assistants are seen during preparations to reopen the museum in London Britain, August 4, 2020. /Reuters)(CGTN)

2020-08-06

Sportsmore >>

Five years on: Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics preparations full speed ahead

On this day in 2015 IOC President Thomas Bach, at the 128th IOC session in Kuala Lumpur, opened an envelope with the results of a secret ballot held to determine whether it would be Beijing or Almaty (Kazakhstan) who would have the honor of hosting the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. The Chinese delegation, with a towering Yao Ming among them, erupted as the German held up the card emblazoned with Beijing's name; and history was made. In 2022, Beijing will become the first city ever to have hosted both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games. And now, five years to the day since that joyous moment, we can unequivocally see the fruits of the intense labor that has gone into the preparations for the games. But these fruits aren't the usual variety we'd expect to see from a city preparing to host one of the biggest sporting events on the planet. These Games are expected to be the most environmentally friendly and sustainable Games in Olympic history. Earlier this year the Beijing 2022 Organizing Committee released the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Sustainability Plan which sought to "create a new example for staging events and regional sustainability." The Plan is based around the three core principles of "positive environmental impact, new development for the region and a better life for the people." The fingerprints of these principles can be seen all over the preparations for the Games, from the construction of the venues all the way down to the impact they have had on people local to the areas around the venues. A perfect example of these principles in action is the conversion of the Shougang Steel Industrial Park into both the Beijing 2022 headquarters and the venue that will host the Big Air jumping event. This incredible transformation drew high praise from Bach in an interview with Xinhua when he said: "You will see, for instance, the transformation of Shougang, from a steel mill to a neighborhood from which many Chinese people can benefit, for leisure, for information, for sport, for housing - you name it." As the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics, Beijing has used this unique situation to their advantage and a further push towards sustainability. This is best illustrated by the repurposing of the famous Water Cube, the venue for swimming events in 2008, into the Ice Cube which will host the curling competition in 2022. The commitment to delivering a sustainable Games can be seen even on a micro-level. Beijing has introduced carbon dioxide refrigerants, the least toxic and most environmentally friendly natural refrigerant, in an effort to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the government has established a cross-regional electricity trading mechanism in order to run the Games' venues on 100 percent renewable energy. On a social level, the Games have brought about localized development around the competition zones with communities engaging in new employment structures that have immensely improved their standards of living. Participation in national fitness and winter sports activities continues on an upward trend, in line with Beijing 2022's vision of engaging 300 million people in winter sports in China. Prior to the awarding for the Olympics to Beijing, the Chongli District of Zhangjiakou city was heavily affected by poverty and unemployment. As of May 2019, the district had officially been lifted out of poverty with more than 30,000 jobs created by the development of the area for both the Games and far beyond. The development of Zhangjiakou into a world-class city for winter sports has led to projections that the industry in the city could grow to 30 billion yuan (about 4.29 billion U.S. dollars) by 2022. Besides the intense focus on delivering the 'greenest' Olympics in history, China is also committed to once again delivering a Games that will represent their values and culture in a positive manner to the world. The venues, mascot and logos of Beijing 2022 all convey this message and are the ultimate advertisement for the nation that used the same platform so brilliantly in 2008. The masterfully designed logo has several multi-layered meanings. It is modeled after the Chinese character for winter and features a blue ribbon that represents the mountains of China as well as flowing forms that mimic the motion of skiers and the beauty of skaters. At the logo unveiling ceremony, Bach lauded the logo in saying, "it stands for the vision of Beijing 2022, showcasing the best of China to the world, a unique blend of modern and ancient traditions." The mascots for the Winter Games and Paralympic Winter Games respectively, are the adorable Bing Dwen Dwen, and helmet-wearing panda, and Shuey Rhon Rhon, a personified traditional Chinese lantern. Both perfectly capture the spirit of the Olympics while showcasing Chinese culture on the biggest stage. Now, with just 552 days until the opening ceremony on February 4, 2022, Beijing 2022 is well on its way to delivering a Winter Olympic that is sure to leave an enormous mark on the world of sports while changing the way future Games are hosted.(CGTN)

2020-07-31

Guangdong star center Yi jianlian claims record fifth CBA MVP award

Guangdong Southern Tigers center Yi Jianlian has been named the 2019-2020 regular season Most Valuable Player, the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league announced on Thursday. It's the fifth CBA MVP award for the 32-year-old CBA legend, who averaged 20.1 points and 10.4 rebounds in 39 games. Yi also extended his personal record of CBA MVP awards. Yi led Guangdong to finish the regular season with a 44-2 win-loss record, marking the best winning percentage in the team's history. Guangdong's 29-game winning streak set a new CBA record. Representatives from media outlets nationwide were invited to vote. Players were awarded 5 points for each first-place vote, 3 points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote. Yi received a total of 259 points, edging Xinjiang Flying Tigers center Zhou Qi, who had 258 points, to bring home the honor. Wang Zhelin from Fujian Sturgeons was third with 147 points. Zhou, who finished the regular season with 22.2 points and 13.3 rebounds, was named the best defender. Guangdong coach Du Feng was voted the best coach.(CGTN)

2020-07-30

Science&Militarymore >>

Kubermatic launches open source service hub to enable complex service management

As Kubernetes and cloud-native technologies proliferate, developers and IT have found a growing set of technical challenges they need to address, and new concepts and projects have popped up to deal with them. For instance, operators provide a way to package, deploy and manage your cloud-native application in an automated way. Kubermatic wants to take that concept a step further, and today the German startup announced KubeCarrier, a new open-source, cloud-native service management hub.Kubermatic co-founder Sebastian Scheele says three or four years ago, the cloud-native community needed to solve a bunch of technical problems around deploying Kubernetes clusters such as overlay networking, service meshes and authentication. He sees a similar set of problems arising today where developers need more tools to manage the growing complexity of running Kubernetes clusters at scale.Kubermatic has developed KubeCarrier to help solve one aspect of this. “What we’re currently focusing on is how to provision and manage workloads across multiple clusters, and how IT organizations can have a service hub where they can provide those services to their organizations in a centralized way,” Scheele explained.Scheele says that KubeCarrier provides a way to manage and implement all of this, giving organizations much greater flexibility beyond purely managing Kubernetes. While he sees organizations with lots of Kubernetes operators, he says that as he sees it, it doesn’t stop there. “We have lots of Kubernetes operators now, but how do we manage them, especially when there are multiple operators, [along with] the services they are provisioning,” he asked.This could involve provisioning something like Database as a Service inside the organization or for external customers, while combining or provisioning multiple services, which are working on multiple levels and a need a way to communicate with each other.“That is where Kubecarrier comes in. Now, we can help our customers to build this kind of automation around provisioning, and service capability so that different teams can provide different services inside the organization or to external customers,” he said.As the company explains it, “KubeCarrier addresses these complexities by harnessing the Kubernetes API and Operators into a central framework allowing enterprises and service providers to deliver cloud-native service management from one multi-cloud, multi-cluster hub.”KubeCarrier is available on GitHub, and Scheele says the company is hoping to get feedback from the community about how to improve it. In parallel, the company is looking for ways to incorporate this technology into its commercial offerings and that should be available in the next 3-6 months, he said.(CGTN)

2020-08-05

Spotlight: SpaceX Crew Dragon returns NASA astronauts to Earth after historic mission

The SpaceX Crew Dragon "Endeavour" spacecraft carrying two NASA astronauts parachuted to a splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida on Sunday, completing a two-month mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The spacecraft splashed down off the coast of Pensacola, Florida at 2:48 p.m. EDT (1848 GMT) Sunday. The weather conditions appeared "great" for the parachute splashdown, tweeted NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. The SpaceX recovery vessel GO Navigator was waiting at the landing zone. The recovery teams reached the SpaceX Dragon capsule and gathered the parachutes in the water. SpaceX engineers did a purge of vapor fumes around the Dragon Endeavour to ensure the safety of the crew when they opened the hatch. The spacecraft hatch was later opened. NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley were safely brought out of the capsule. The return began at 7:35 p.m. EDT Saturday, when the Crew Dragon spacecraft autonomously undocked from the ISS Harmony module. After an approximately 19-hour return journey, the spacecraft began deorbit burn at 1:56 p.m. EDT Sunday, and deployed four main parachutes. The return of the test flight with the two astronauts from the ISS marked the first splashdown of an American crew spacecraft in 45 years, said NASA. It also wrapped up the test flight for the first commercially owned and operated crewed spacecraft under NASA's Commercial Crew Program. "It was an honor to witness history as @NASA and @SpaceX launched American astronauts on an American rocket from American soil to the @Space_Station in May. Today, we welcome home @AstroBehnken @Astro_Doug! On behalf of a grateful Nation, thank you!" U.S. Vice President Mike Pence tweeted. "We are entering a new era of human spaceflight, where NASA is no longer the purchaser, owner and operator of all the hardware. We are going to be a customer," Bridenstine said at a post-splashdown teleconference. He said the mission is the beginning of commercial transportation to and from the ISS. "We also want to have numerous providers that are competing against each other on cost, innovation and safety, driving down cost and increasing access to space in a way that's never been seen before," Bridenstine said. Astronauts Behnken and Hurley took off from U.S. soil on May 30, riding aboard Crew Dragon spacecraft in a historic test flight to the ISS. They arrived at the ISS in the Crew Dragon on May 31, where they performed tests on Crew Dragon in addition to conducting research and other tasks with the space station crew. The mission, dubbed Demo-2, is the first crewed launch to orbit from U.S. soil since NASA's shuttle program ended in 2011, and also the first-ever manned space launch by a private company, ushering in a new era of U.S. space exploration. This is SpaceX's final test flight for NASA's Commercial Crew Program and will provide critical data on the performance of the Falcon 9 rocket, Crew Dragon spacecraft, and ground systems, as well as in-orbit, docking and landing operations, according to NASA. Once the Demo-2 mission is complete, and the SpaceX and NASA teams have reviewed all the data for certification, the Crew Dragon spacecraft will fly astronauts to the ISS on the first operational mission targeted for late September, SpaceX said earlier.(CGTN)

2020-08-03

Businessmore >>

Russian foreign ministry: U.S. TikTok move unfair economic competition

U.S. efforts to clamp down on popular short video-sharing app TikTok are an "egregious" example of unfair economic competition for U.S. dominance in the international information space, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said Saturday."The actions of the U.S. authorities run counter to the basic principles of a free market economy and violate rules of the World Trade Organization," Zakharova said in a commentary posted on the foreign ministry's website.U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday issued an executive order banning any U.S. transactions with Chinese tech firm ByteDance, owner of TikTok, starting 45 days from then.Washington has also threatened to ban TikTok's business in the United States if it is not sold to a U.S. company before September 15.These restrictions have violated a wide range of Washington's international obligations to ensure the free and wide distribution of information, the free choice of its sources, and to encourage cooperation in this area, Zakharova said.She said that Moscow is calling on Washington to reconsider its methods to preserve the monopoly of U.S. IT giants in international social networks and ensure they meet generally accepted values and international legal norms."We hope that specialized international structures and human rights organizations will react appropriately and give an impartial assessment of these actions," she added.China's Foreign Ministry on Friday said that the country firmly opposes executive orders announced by U.S. President Donald Trump banning U.S. transactions with video-sharing app TikTok, calling the U.S. move "blatant hegemonic acts."ByteDance said on Friday that it will take legal action if the U.S. government does not treat the company fairly.ByteDance CEO Zhang Yiming said on Monday in an internal company letter that the company has adhered to protecting users' data and maintaining the platform's neutrality and transparency, so no final decisions have been made.On Tuesday, Zhang also said in another internal letter that the goal of the United States was not to force a sale of TikTok's U.S. operations but rather a "complete ban." He encouraged employees to look at the immediate challenges and pressures from long-term development.(CGTN)

2020-08-09

Slowing job growth, rising COVID-19 raise doubts on U.S. recovery

Hundreds of people line up outside a Kentucky Career Center hoping to find assistance with their unemployment claim in Frankfort, Kentucky, U.S., June 18, 2020. /ReutersU.S. employment growth slowed considerably in July, underscoring an urgent need for additional government aid as a resurgence of COVID-19 infections threatens to snuff out the nascent economic recovery.The Labor Department's closely watched employment report on Friday came as Democratic leaders in Congress and top aides to President Donald Trump struggled to negotiate a fiscal package. Trump, who lags former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic Party nominee, in polls ahead of the November 3 election, threatened to bypass Congress with an executive order."The jobs recovery is on very shaky ground and without seat belts for the unemployed provided by additional fiscal stimulus the economy could be in for a very bumpy ride," said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York. "There cannot be sustainable economic growth if the country has to carry on with the crushing weight of massive unemployment."Nonfarm payrolls increased by 1.763 million jobs last month after a record rise of 4.791 million in June. Excluding government employment which was artificially boosted by a seasonal quirk related to local and state government education, and temporary hiring for the 2020 Census, payrolls rose 1.462 million, stepping down from 4.737 million in June.Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 1.6 million jobs were added in July. While the number exceeded expectations, the economy has regained only 9.3 million of 22 million jobs lost between February and April.Blacks continued to experience high unemployment. Racial inequality is a dominant theme in November's election.Economists believe July was probably the last month of employment gains related to the rehiring of workers after the reopening of businesses. A 600 U.S. dollars weekly unemployment benefit supplement, which made up 20 percent of personal income, expired last Friday. Thousands of businesses have exhausted loans offered by the government to help with wages, which economists estimate saved around 1.3 million jobs at the program's peak.Bankruptcies are accelerating, especially in the retail sector. Coronavirus infections have soared across the country, forcing authorities in some of the worst-affected areas in the West and South to either shut down businesses again or pause reopenings, sending workers back home. The West and South account for more than a third of the nation's employment. Demand for services has been hardest hit by the respiratory illness."The initial bounce from widespread re-openings is now behind us," said Sarah House, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities in Charlotte, North Carolina. "Further improvement will occur in fits and starts and depends on the course of the virus."Slowing employment growth challenges the U.S. stock market's expectation of a V-shaped recovery. The SP 500 index is up nearly 50 percent from its March trough. Economists see a U or W-shaped recovery.Stocks on Wall Street were trading lower. The dollar rose against a basket of currencies. U.S. Treasury prices fell.Board slowdownThe economy, which entered recession in February, suffered its biggest blow since the Great Depression in the second quarter, with gross domestic product dropping at its steepest pace in at least 73 years.Job growth slowed across all sectors last month. The leisure and hospitality industry hired 592,000 workers, accounting for about a third of nonfarm payrolls. The bulk of the jobs were at restaurants and bars. Retail employment rose by 258,000 jobs, with almost half of the gain in clothing and accessories stores.Professional and business services added 170,000 jobs, concentrated in temporary help services.Government employment increased by 301,000. The model that the government uses to strip out seasonal fluctuations from the data normally anticipates education workers to drop off payrolls in July. This, however, happened earlier because of the pandemic, leading to a big gain in July.The unemployment rate fell to 10.2 percent from 11.1 percent in June. It was again biased downward by people misclassifying themselves as being "employed but absent from work." Without this error, the jobless rate would have been about 11.2 percent. About 62,000 people dropped out of the labor force last month, contributing to the drop in the reported unemployment rate.Joblessness fell across all demographic groups, but remained high for Blacks, with the unemployment rate dipping to 14.6 percent from 15.4 percent in June. The unemployment rate for Hispanics dropped to 12.9 percent from 14.5 percent. The jobless rate for whites declined by 9.2 percent from 10.1 percent.Women, who have borne the brunt of the job losses because of child care issues, saw their unemployment rate fall to 10.5 percent from 11.2 percent mostly as they withdrew from the labor force."The U.S. economy was marked by intergenerational, racial, and gender inequality before the pandemic, and today's report does nothing to alter that reality," said Nicole Goldin, a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.There were more part-time workers. The number of people on temporary layoffs fell, but permanent job losers were little changed at 2.9 million. Average hourly earnings increased by 0.2 percent in July after a drop of 1.3 percent in June. The workweek shortened to an average of 34.5 hours from 34.6 hours.(CGTN)

2020-08-08

chinamore >>

China's Kunming donates anti-pandemic supplies to Laos

A batch of anti-pandemic medical supplies departed from the city of Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province, on Friday morning, heading for Laos. The supplies, including two monitoring ambulances, four ventilators and 200 infrared frontal thermometers, were donated by Kunming to the Laotian capital Vientiane and the province of Luang Prabang, with a view to assisting in the battle against COVID-19. Hu Baoguo, deputy mayor of Kunming, said that the city of Vientiane and various sectors of society had donated 261,000 yuan (about 37,500 U.S. dollars) worth of medical supplies to Kunming since the epidemic was first reported in the province. "We will always remember and cherish this friendship of shared adversity, and hope the medical supplies can effectively help Laos' pandemic prevention and control work," Hu added. The supplies are due to arrive in Laos by the end of August. In March, Yunnan Province dispatched a medical team to aid the pandemic prevention and control efforts in Laos, and donated 4.17 million yuan worth of anti-pandemic materials.(CGTN) 

2020-08-07

Chinese defense minister holds phone talk with U.S. counterpart

Chinese State Councilor and Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe on Thursday took a phone call from U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper upon invitation. The two sides exchanged views on the bilateral ties and military relations, as well as the bilateral military exchanges in the next phase. Wei stated China's principled position on questions including the South China Sea, Taiwan and the U.S. stigmatization of China, and urged the U.S. side to stop erroneous words and deeds, improve the management and control of maritime risks, avoid taking dangerous moves that may escalate the situation, and safeguard regional peace and stability. Esper said that amid tensions between the two countries, the two militaries should maintain dialogue and consultation to manage crises, avoid misjudgment and reduce risks.(CGTN) 

2020-08-07

The Belt and Roadmore >>

Belt and Road Initiative paves way for win-win cooperation between China and Czech

By APD Writer He WeiIn July last year, the first China-EU freight train departed from Prague, captial of Czech,to Yiwu, a city in east China’s Zhejang Province. The new cargo train service marked the official launch of “the Belt and Road Initiative” in Czech. Thanks to joint efforts of both sides, the economic and trade ties between China and Czech Republic is heading for a bright future.During the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in May 2017, two months before the opening, China signed the Memorandum of Understanding to Jointly Coordinate and Promote Cooperation and Project Implementation with Czech. According to the memorandum, more efforts will be made to set up a China-Czech Cooperation Center under the Belt and Road initiative, a key project bank and a cooperation platform, integrate domestic and foreign resources, as well as adjoin and implement projects On the sidelines of the The Working Conference of China-Czech Jointly Coordinating and Monitoring Cooperation Plan and Projects under the Framework of the “Belt and Road Initiative”, Liu Jielei, vice chairman of the Czech-China Friendship Association, told the Asia Pacific Daily (APD) that besides geographic advantage, Czech enjoys a sound investment environment because of its stable domestic policies, friendly policy toward China, lower business taxes and labor cost than that of in other European countries.The "Yixin’ou (Yiwu-Xinjiang-Europe) cargo train, which began in Yiwu, was hailed as an important bridge linking Asian and European continents and a signficiant achievement in the early stage of the initative by Chinese President Xi Jinping. Xu Jie, general manager of Rongsheng Travelling (Czech) Investment Co., Ltd., said because of its important location, they have launched two projects including the Czech-Chinese Technology Business District (CCTBD) project and the South Moravia Chinese Herbal Spa Project in Prague during the past two years, stressing that initial success has been achieved thanks to the initiative.Transalated by Hu Yahui(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)

2018-06-12

Work conference held in Yiwu for China, Czech to coordinate their efforts in promoting Belt and Road Initiative cooperation

By APD Writer He Wei The conference, which jointly organized by the western development department of the National Development and Reform Commission and the second foreign policy department of the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade kicked off on June 6, 2018. It is of great significance in implementing the plan for China-Czech cooperation and promoting bilateral communication and cooperation. Both sides took a review on the development of the plan and held a talk over the cooperation prospects on trade, finance, think tank and projects. The priority work of the China and Czech cooperation in the next phase was discussed during the conference.Both sides reached an agreement on enhancing the cooperation on the field of policy coordination, facility connectivity, economic and trade, investment, finance and culture aiming at boosting the economy of both countries and benefiting the people. Almost 100 people from government officials, financial institutions, think tanks  and enterprises of both countries attended the conference.(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)

2018-06-06