At a glance.
- China's new export controls may stand in the way of TikTok's acquisition by US firms.
- North Korea says the US is the source of cyber threats to the global financial system, not the DPRK.
- Huawei seeks ways around the US ban on sale of semiconductors to the Chinese company.
China's new tech export controls may impede Bytedance's sale of TikTok.
China has enacted new export controls on artificial intelligence technology that the Nikkei Asian Review sees as likely to derail any acquisition of TikTok assets by US corporate suitors. The new restrictions, which the Wall Street Journal reports Beijing announced Friday, cover such technologies as “text analysis, content recommendation, speech modeling and voice-recognition.” Bytedance, TikTok’s corporate parent, quickly said that it was aware of, and fully intended to comply with, the new restrictions.
North Korea says online crime is an American problem (and not theirs).
On Saturday North Korea’s Foreign Ministry denounced the United States as a "mastermind of cybercrime," and said that Pyongyang wasn’t stealing, but that Washington was. In particular the DPRK Foreign Ministry says that the Americans are the ones who’ve been guilty of robbing banks and doing other stuff like that to the world financial system. Korea JoongAng Daily quotes Pyongyang’s "National Coordination Committee for Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism" as describing the country’s "consistent position" as one of opposing "every form and shape of criminal acts in cyberspace, and the integrated and [that] consolidated legal and institutional mechanisms are put in place in our country in order to prevent and eradicate cybercrime of all forms and manifestations."
Lawfare characterizes the US Commerce Department's restrictions on semiconductor sales to Huawei as amounting to a "blanket ban." The latest formulation of the rules closes two loopholes through which Huawei might have obtained otherwise interdicted semiconductors: buying chips with generic designs off-the-shelf, and buying chips "sold through third-party distributors when the original seller did not know of the chips’ intended end use." Neither of these dodges appear any longer to be possible.
How effective such a blanket ban is may soon be tested. Reuters, however, reports that Huawei believes it sees a way around the ban. Its cloud business may, the Shenzhen company thinks, afford a way of getting around the ban. Taiwan's Mediatek semiconductor manufacturer also believes it might be possible for it to sell chips to Huawei without running afoul of the US ban. It's not sure, Telecoms reports, but it's exploring the possibility.
An attempt to establish a domestic source of semiconductors appears to have hit obstacles. The South China Morning Post says that construction of a $20 billion "state-of-the-art semiconductor manufacturing plant in Wuhan has stalled due to a lack of funding."