[view:title]

A Long March 3B rocket carrying the Beidou-3GEO3 satellite lifts off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Xichang in China's southwestern Sichuan province, 23 June 2020. (STR/AFP)

From earth to space: India and China's space programmes gear up for intense competition ahead

China launched the final satellite for the Beidou system on 23 June. Consisting of 35 satellites, Beidou is an impressive operational satellite navigation system significant for China in a number of ways. Most importantly, it removes China's reliance on the US GPS system. China's space programme started in the late 1950s with rocket technology transfer from the Soviet Union, while India's space journey began in the 1960s with support from the US and France. Both countries have come a long way and are now ratcheting up their efforts to secure a foothold in this frontier as the world’s geopolitical battles get launched into space.
The US flag and a smartphone with the Huawei and 5G network logo are seen on a PC motherboard in this illustration taken on 29 January 2020. (Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo/Reuters)

Cut-throat competition for world-class chips: The end of Huawei?

Greater restrictions have been imposed by the US in recent months to choke off US-related chip-making supplies to Huawei. As the noose tightens around its neck, it has to think fast about how it can produce its own chips domestically to minimise the impact.
Guilin deputy mayor Xie Lingzhong with a live-streamer on Taobao Live to introduce Guilin food products, April 16, 2020. (CNS)

Beware the e-commerce bright spot in Chinese economy

Technology specialist Yin Ruizhi points out that helped along by work-from-home orders and enterprises rushing to take their businesses online, e-commerce is growing faster than ever before, but this is leading to an unequal distribution of earnings and job opportunities, which governments have to look out for.
Not all innovations are created equal; how can the right kind of innovation be encouraged and incentivised? (iStock)

An innovative China has overtaken the US in patent numbers?

Associate professor Kenneth Huang from the NUS Business School observes that by 2012, China had overtaken the US in terms of the number of patents filed domestically. But this does not mean that all the innovations filed were truly novel or valuable. His recent study on Chinese state-owned enterprises shows that self-serving human factors are at play.
In a digital age, panic-inducing information can spread even faster than viruses. In the photograph, a man wearing a facemask as a preventive measure against Covid-19 checks his mobile phone at Yu Garden in Shanghai on 23 March 2020. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

Unexpected digital age hazards amid the Covid-19 pandemic

Yin Ruizhi says citizen journalism gone awry and the further erosion of privacy by governments in the name of tackling the Covid-19 pandemic are some of the risks brought about by the digital age.
Can VR and AR finally be popularised in the fast-approaching 5G era? (iStock)

If 4G = short-form videos, 5G = a different reality

In a product launch on 9 March, Huawei forecast that global 5G users will reach 250 million this year. Tech entrepreneur Yin Ruizhi takes a closer look at 5G. He says, while the most representative application of the 4G era is the short-form video, the next representative content creation application of the fast-approaching 5G era will be virtual reality and augmented reality.
China and the US are deep in competition in the 5G technology arena. (iStock)

Who is winning the 5G technology race?

Yesterday, British Conservative MPs‘ attempt to block "high-risk vendors’" such as Huawei from UK telecommunications networks failed. Amid the battle against coronavirus, China and the US continue their race in 5G technology. China is widely acknowledged to be a leader in 5G, but is the US really falling behind? Professor Zhu Ying weighs up opinions on both sides of the debate.
Once the 5G network eliminates the bottleneck of direct connectivity of devices in a unit space however, dreams about the IoT could become a reality. (iStock)

A whole new world with the Internet of Things

While the potential of the Internet of Things (IoT) has been bandied about in the last two decades, it is only now at the dawn of the 5G era that the concept looks set to take off. Sports, education, eldercare...exciting times are ahead for IoT applications that are now within our grasp.
GPS-enabled trackers ensure delivery trucks take optimal routes for their deliveries (iStock)

Industry 4.0: The Chinese "student" has surpassed the Singapore "teacher"

Kwek So Cheer warns that Singapore faces the risk of being irrelevant in a new world going through a fourth industrial revolution. In that respect, it has much to learn from China, who plays a leading role when it comes to advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, 3D printing and the Internet of Things.