Tag Archives: Commerce

Will QR code on free water bottle empty your bank account?!

Will the QR code on a free water bottle really empty your bank account if you scan it?! Take a look at the viral claims, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : QR Code On Free Water Bottle Will Empty Your Bank Account!

People are sharing a video on WhatsApp and social media, claiming or suggesting that water bottles are being distributed by scammers, and scanning the QR code on those water bottles will empty your bank accounts!

Don’t scan any gift QR, it will Zero your bank account.

The scammer put a new thermos bottle on the iron door. Never scan the QR code on a thermos. Once scanned, the money from the bank account was stolen by the fraudsters. Please spread the word

Here is a translated transcript of what the man says in the video below:

After we came out of the house, we saw this tumbler. This is one of the ways they placed the tumbler on our gates. My house received one, my neighbour also received one. See.

So people have to be careful because the bottle says “Scan QR get RM200 cash coupon”. Go Shopping. You have to be careful. My neighbour also received one.

Recommended : Bank Letter QR Code Scam : What You Need To Know!

 

Truth : QR Code On Free Water Bottle Will Not Empty Your Bank Account!

This appears to be yet another example of fake news circulating online, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : Go Shopping Appears To Be Legitimate App

I traced the Go Shopping app to both the Google Play Store (archive), and the Apple App Store (archive), and it appears to be a genuine mobile app. In both stores, it describes itself as:

Go Shopping is an online shopping app primarily serving the Southeast Asian region. It has expanded to over 7 countries, amassing more than 200,000 users. Go Shopping garners support from major source manufacturers, differentiating it from other e-commerce platforms.

As a rapidly growing new e-commerce platform, Go Shopping offers Southeast Asian users high value-for-money shopping, a wide range of products, and various discount plans. Many popular products on the Go Shopping platform are available at substantial discounts of 40% to 60%. Consumers can learn more about products and join flash sale groups

In the Google Play Store, the developer was listed as NWS Hardware Trading, while in the Apple App Store, the developer was listed as Yap Chee Leong.

In the Google Play Store, the Go Shopping app has a 3.5 star rating, and it has a 3.3 star rating in the Apple App Store.

Fact #2 : NWS Hardware Trading Appears To Be Legitimate Company

I looked up NWS Hardware Trading, and it appears to be a genuine company that was incorporated on 10 May 2022 in Malaysia, with the SSM registration number of 003396291-V.

According to CTOS (archive), its official business type was listed as “trading in furniture hardware and aluminium glass door for kitchen and wardrobe“.

However, on two different job recruitment websites (here, here), NWS Hardware Trading uses the same Go Shopping logo, and says that it aims to create “a reliable business platform for shoppers to buy good products and save money“:

About NWS Hardware Trading

WORTH is aimed to present a reliable business platform for the Shoppers to buy the good products and save money. More than 3,000 manufacturers and suppliers have business cooperation with us to help factories clear their inventories.

This basically confirms that NWS Hardware Trading is a legitimate company registered in Malaysia, and it developed and owns the Go Shopping app that is available in both the Google Play Store, and the Apple App Store.

Recommended : Can Restaurant Menu QR Code Hack Your Phone?!

Fact #3 : QR Code Is Not Malicious In Nature

QR code (which is short for Quick Response code) is not nefarious or malicious in nature.

The QR code is merely a type of two dimensional barcode that was invented in 1994 by the Japanese company, Denso Wave, to track automotive parts. It has since been adopted for other purposes because it is more efficient and can support more than just numbers. For example, Version 40 QR code can contain up to 7,089 numbers or 4,296 characters.

Ultimately, a QR code is nothing more than a series of numbers or characters – data which can be used for a variety of purposes, including providing a link to an online restaurant menu.

Fact #4 : QR Code Cannot Empty Bank Accounts

While QR codes are not malicious by nature, scammers can and do create fake QR codes to trick people. In Texas, for example, fake QR codes were placed on parking meters to trick drivers into keying their credit card or bank login information in fake (phishing) websites that look like a genuine payment website.

I tried a number of ways to scan the QR code, but was unsuccessful. The resolution appears to be too poor in the video, or the QR code was too distorted to be scanned successfully. So I cannot confirm that the QR code leads to the Go Shopping app, or a phishing website.

That said, scanning the QR code itself won’t empty your bank account, as people are claiming on WhatsApp and social media. That’s the stuff of bad movie plots.

What can happen though is that scammers can create such water bottles using logos of legitimate companies, and insert QR codes that lead to fake (phishing) websites that masquerade as bank or payment platforms, to trick you into giving up your credit card or bank login details.

Then the scammers can use those details to make fraudulent charges on your credit card, or log into your bank account to transfer money.

Recommended : Malaysia Airlines 6 Months Free Flight Card Scam Alert!

Fact #5 : Go Shopping Is Pretty Obscure

Truth be told, scammers would more likely use more famous or familiar brands or apps like TNG eWallet, Grab, Maybank MAE, etc. to trick you into giving up your credit card or bank login details.

You are more likely to trust a QR code from a well-known brand, rather than an obscure brand like Go Shopping, whose app has only garnered some 10,000 downloads in the Google Play Store.

Although I cannot verify the QR code on the water bottle, this looks like a marketing promotion by NWS Hardware to promote its Go Shopping app.

Fact #6 : You Can Choose Not To Scan QR Code

If you receive such a water bottle, there is a simple solution – you can use it without scanning the QR code.

Please help us FIGHT FAKE NEWS by sharing this fact check article out, and please SUPPORT our work!

 

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He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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How NVIDIA A800 Bypasses US Chip Ban On China!

Find out how NVIDIA created the new A800 GPU to bypass the US ban on sale of advanced chips to China!

 

NVIDIA Offers A800 GPU To Bypass US Ban On China!

Two months after it was banned by the US government from selling high-performance AI chips to China, NVIDIA introduced a new A800 GPU designed to bypass those restrictions.

The new NVIDIA A800 is based on the same Ampere microarchitecture as the A100, which was used as the performance baseline by the US government.

Despite its numerically larger model number (the lucky number 8 was probably picked to appeal to the Chinese), this is a detuned part, with slightly reduced performance to meet export control limitations.

The NVIDIA A800 GPU, which went into production in Q3, is another alternative product to the NVIDIA A100 GPU for customers in China.

The A800 meets the U.S. government’s clear test for reduced export control and cannot be programmed to exceed it.

NVIDIA is probably hoping that the slightly slower NVIDIA A800 GPU will allow it to continue supplying China with A100-level chips that are used to power supercomputers and high-performance datacenters for artificial intelligence applications.

As I will show you in the next section, except in very high-end applications, there won’t be truly significant performance difference between the A800 and the A100. So NVIDIA customers who want or need the A100 will have no issue opting for the A800 instead.

However, this can only be a stopgap fix, as NVIDIA is stuck selling A100-level chips to China until and unless the US government changes its mind.

Read more : AMD, NVIDIA Banned From Selling AI Chips To China!

 

How Fast Is The NVIDIA A800 GPU?

The US government considers the NVIDIA A100 as the performance baseline for its export control restrictions on China.

Any chip equal or faster to that Ampere-based chip, which was launched on May 14, 2020, is forbidden to be sold or exported to China. But as they say, the devil is in the details.

The US government didn’t specify just how much slower chips must be, to qualify for export to China. So NVIDIA could technically get away by slightly detuning the A100, while offering almost the same performance level.

And that was what NVIDIA did with the A800 – it is basically the A100 with a 33% slower NVLink interconnect speed. NVIDIA also limited the maximum number of GPUs supported in a single server to 8.

That only slightly reduces the performance of A800 servers, compare to A100 servers, while offering the same amount of GPU compute performance. Most users will not notice the difference.

The only significant impediment is on the very high-end – Chinese companies are now restricted to a maximum of eight GPUs per server, instead of up to sixteen.

To show you what I mean, I dug into the A800 specifications, and compared them to the A100 below:

NVIDIA A100 vs A800 : 80GB PCIe Version

Specifications A100
80GB PCIe
A800
80GB PCIe
FP64 9.7 TFLOPS
FP64 Tensor Core 19.5 TFLOPS
FP32 19.5 TFLOPS
Tensor Float 32 156 TFLOPS
BFLOAT 16 Tensor Core 312 TFLOPS
FP16 Tensor Core 312 TFLOPS
INT8 Tensor Core 624 TOPS
GPU Memory 80 GB HBM2
GPU Memory Bandwifth 1,935 GB/s
TDP 300 W
Multi-Instance GPU Up to 7 MIGs @ 10 GB
Interconnect NVLink : 600 GB/s
PCIe Gen4 : 64 GB/s
NVLink : 400 GB/s
PCIe Gen4 : 64 GB/s
Server Options 1-8 GPUs

NVIDIA A100 vs A800 : 80GB SXM Version

Specifications A100
80GB SXM
A800
80GB SXM
FP64 9.7 TFLOPS
FP64 Tensor Core 19.5 TFLOPS
FP32 19.5 TFLOPS
Tensor Float 32 156 TFLOPS
BFLOAT 16 Tensor Core 312 TFLOPS
FP16 Tensor Core 312 TFLOPS
INT8 Tensor Core 624 TOPS
GPU Memory 80 GB HBM2
GPU Memory Bandwifth 2,039 GB/s
TDP 400 W
Multi-Instance GPU Up to 7 MIGs @ 10 GB
Interconnect NVLink : 600 GB/s
PCIe Gen4 : 64 GB/s
NVLink : 400 GB/s
PCIe Gen4 : 64 GB/s
Server Options 4/ 8 / 16 GPUs 4 / 8 GPUs

NVIDIA A100 vs A800 : 40GB PCIe Version

Specifications A100
40GB PCIe
A800
40GB PCIe
FP64 9.7 TFLOPS
FP64 Tensor Core 19.5 TFLOPS
FP32 19.5 TFLOPS
Tensor Float 32 156 TFLOPS
BFLOAT 16 Tensor Core 312 TFLOPS
FP16 Tensor Core 312 TFLOPS
INT8 Tensor Core 624 TOPS
GPU Memory 40 GB HBM2
GPU Memory Bandwifth 1,555 GB/s
TDP 250 W
Multi-Instance GPU Up to 7 MIGs @ 10 GB
Interconnect NVLink : 600 GB/s
PCIe Gen4 : 64 GB/s
NVLink : 400 GB/s
PCIe Gen4 : 64 GB/s
Server Options 1-8 GPUs

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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How Biren Got Its Own AI Chips Banned At TSMC!

TSMC stopped making artificial intelligence chips for China’s Biren Technology, and it was all Biren’s own fault!

 

TSMC Stops Making Biren AI Chips Over US Sanctions

TSMC – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company – has suspended production of advanced artificial intelligence (AI) chips for China’s Biren Technology.

TSMC was forced to make this decision after public domain information revealed that the Biren BR100 and BR104 chips outperformed the NVIDIA A100 chip, which was used as the baseline of US sanctions.

While TSMC has not reached a conclusion on whether the top-of-the-line Biren BR100 or the slower BR104 meet or exceed US government threshold on advanced AI chip technology restrictions, it decided to stop production and supply of the Biren chips for now.

For TSMC to continue producing BR100 or BR104 chips, Biren must now prove that their chips do not offer “peak performance and chip-to-chip I/O performance equal to or greater than thresholds that are roughly equivalent to the [NVIDIA] A100“, or get an export licence from the US Department of Commerce.

And believe it or not – it was Biren Technology that created this mess for itself!

 

How Biren Screwed Up Its Own BR100 AI Chips

Biren, which is one of China’s most promising semiconductor design firms, earlier claimed that its AI chips that were being produced by TSMC are not covered by the latest US export restrictions.

However, its own website touts that the BR100 family of chips offers “world-class performance“, and has “improved by more than 3X” compared to mainstream rivals.

On top of that, Biren actually released a press statement on September 9, 2022, declaring that the slower BR104 was proven by the MLPerf to beat the NVIDIA A100!

Releasing such a statement less than 2 weeks after the US government ordered both AMD and NVIDIA to stop exporting their MI250 and A100 and faster AI chips to China is either amazing chutzpah, or a combination of hubris and idiocy.

Either way, the US government took notice, and TSMC came under pressure to comply with American export restrictions. Awesome PR, but stupid move, Biren…

Take a look at the benchmark results that Biren itself released into public domain, showing that the slower BR104 chip was between 27% and 58% faster than the NVIDIA A100.

With such results, the BR104 would certainly fall under the latest US tech export restrictions. No wonder TSMC quickly stopped making and supplying Biren BR100 series chips.

As powerful as the BR100 and BR104 GPGPU chips may be, they are now dead in the water as TSMC will not manufacture them anymore, and Biren Technology has no plausible alternatives for 7nm fabrication.

Read more : US Targets Chinese Military With New Chip Export Ban!

 

Biren BR100 AI Chips That TSMC Stopped Producing

The Biren BR100 and slower BR104 are General Purpose GPU (GPGPU) chips, which are targeted at artificial intelligence applications.

They are both fabricated on the TSMC 7nm process technology, and use chipset and 2.5D Chip-on-Wafer-on-Substrate (CoWoS) packaging technologies to achieve high yield, and high performance.

The Biren BR100 family of GPGPU chips supports up to eight independent virtual instances (SVI) – each physically isolated with their own hardware resources, for improved security.

Their chips are designed with a proprietary Blink high-speed GPU interconnect bus offering bandwidth of up to 448 GB/s, with the ability to connect up to 8 cards in a single node, using state-of-the-art PCI Express 5.0.

Biren Technology offers two BR100-based products – the Bili 100P OCP Accelerator Module (OAM), and the Bill 104P PCI Express accelerator card.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Apple Freezes Use Of China’s YMTC NAND Chips!

Apple just froze its original plan to use China’s YMTC NAND flash memory chips in their iPhones!

 

Apple Freezes Use Of China’s YMTC NAND Chips!

On Monday, October 17, 2022, Nikkei Asia (paywall) reported that Apple just froze its original plan to use NAND flash memory chips from Yangtze Memory Technologies Corporation (YMTC)!

Apple had originally planned to start using NAND flash memory chips manufactured by YMTC in iPhones manufactured for the Chinese market, eventually purchasing up to 40% of its chip requirements from the Chinese state-funded company.

Those plans had to be put on hold after the US government announced stricter technology export controls designed to block China’s access to advanced semiconductor technologies.

The United States added YMTC – China’s top memory chipmaker – and 30 other Chinese companies to its “Unverified List” of companies that its official are unable to inspect to ensure compliance with its export controls.

The United States also initiated a new 60-day deadline for entities under the “Unverified List” to allow for complete end-to-end inspections, or risk even tougher penalties if added to the infamous “Entity List“.

YMTC is also being investigated by the US Commerce Department over allegations it violated earlier United States export controls by selling chips to HUAWEI, which was blacklisted under the Trump Administration.

Read more : US Targets Chinese Military With New Chip Export Ban!

 

Apple Decision Stymies Earlier Preparations By YMTC

Apple’s decision to freeze its purchase of YMTC flash memory chips stymies earlier preparations by the Wuhan-based memory chipmaker to mitigate looming US export controls.

According to four employees who spoke to Financial Times, YMTC had been stockpiling foreign equipment for months after US lawmakers started urging the Biden Administration to punish it for helping the Chinese military and violating trade restrictions by supply HUAWEI with chips.

YMTC has also come under scrutiny over concerns that massive Chinese government subsidies allow it to sells its chips below market price, even at a loss, just to gain market share at the expense of other companies.

We’ve been doing everything possible beforehand to support existing production lines, such as stockpiling all kinds of equipment.
– Senior YMTC engineer

Read more : Did China Make 7nm Chips In Spite Of US Sanctions?!

All that preparation was for naught, because Apple’s decision to freeze its massive purchase of YMTC flash memory chips is only the tip of the iceberg.

Other companies will similarly be forced to freeze or cancel their purchase of YMTC chips unless YMTC acquiesces to comply with audit requirements by US officials – a step the Chinese chipmaker is (politically) incapable of taking.

YMTC is, after all, China’s largest memory chipmaker, and a national champion in the country’s drive to build a domestic chip industry. It received 220 billion yuan (over $30.5 billion) in funding from both the Hubei province, and a national fund.

After the Biden Administration announced new chip export restrictions, the top three US chip toolmakers – KLA Corporation, Lam Research and Applied Materials immediately stopped sales and services to YMTC.

Despite its earlier stockpiling efforts, one YMTC employee revealed that the company only had enough wafers and parts for equipment repairs to last a year, but that’s assuming it won’t need technical support from foreign companies.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

[/su_note]

 

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US Targets Chinese Military With New Chip Export Ban!

The US government just imposed sweeping chip and chipmaking export restrictions that target Chinese military capabilities!

 

US Targets Chinese Military With New Chip Export Ban!

On Friday, October 7, 2022, the US government announced new regulations on computer chips and chipmaking technologies designed to target Chinese military capabilities.

The stated goal of these new export restrictions is to “block the People’s Liberation Army and China’s domestic surveillance apparatus from gaining access to advanced computing capabilities that require the use of advanced semiconductors.

According to US officials, these rules target not only the sale and export of chips, but also the tools and software that might help the Chinese military in any way, including aiding the development of weapons of mass destruction.

Unlike earlier rules that target specific Chinese companies (like HUAWEI), the new rules have far greater reach, covering everything from chips made by AMD and NVIDIA, to complex and expensive hardware and software used to design and manufacture semiconductor chips.

These rules, some of which go into effect immediately, build on existing restrictions that were earlier applied to top chip toolmaking companies in the US, like KLA Corporation, Lam Research Corporation, and Applied Material Incorporated.

It’s not just advanced chips used for AI computing and national security or military applications that are being targeted.

The new rules are more generic, and forbid US companies from selling technologies to indigenous Chinese companies that will enable the production of:

  • DRAM chips at 18 nm or below,
  • NAND flash chips at 128 layers or above, and
  • logic chips at 14 nm or below.

Even foreign companies operating China are somewhat affected. US companies will need to obtain a license to export more advanced equipment to them.

But in a concession to South Korea, the US government will spare SK Hynix and Samsung from these measures. US companies will be able to continue supplying their production facilities in China.

Many of the rules aim to block foreign companies from selling advanced chips or chipmaking technologies and tools to China. However, the US government will need to “lean” on those countries to introduce similar measures.

Most advanced chips are manufactured in South Korea and Taiwan. If they continue to export to China, they will allow China to bypass US restrictions.

Read more : Biden To Hit China With More Chip Restrictions!

 

Chinese Government Criticised US Chip Export Ban

On Saturday, the Chinese government criticised the new US chip export ban, calling it a violation of International economic and trade rules that will “isolate and backfire” on the US.

Out of the need to maintain its sci-tech hegemony, the U.S. abuses export control measures to maliciously block and suppress Chinese companies.

It will not only damage the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies, but also affect American companies’ interest.

– Mao Ning, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson

Despite Mao’s assertions that US actions will not stop China’s progress, the new wide-ranging chip and chipmaking export ban will undoubtedly be detrimental to the Chinese semiconductor industry, and set back its attempts at indigenous production by many years.

On the other hand, this export ban will spur China to redouble its efforts to develop its own chipmaking capabilities, and possibly “strike back” by restricting exports of rare earths to US companies.

Read more : Did China Make 7nm Chips In Spite Of US Sanctions?!

 

US Chip Export Rules Affecting Chinese Companies Summarised

Here is a summary of the new restrictions that take effect on Friday (October 7, 2022):

  • Tools that are capable of producing logic chips made using fin field-effect transistors (FinFET) are blocked from sale to China.
  • Tools capable of fabricating NAND flash storage chips with 128-layer technology or greater, and DRAM based on 18-nanometer half-pitch or less technology are blocked from sale to China.
  • Servicing and maintenance of restricted tools are also banned, which would prevent keeping advanced equipment in good enough shape to keep producing quality chips at high volume.
  • US citizens currently servicing or supporting tools on the restricted list must halt their activities by Wednesday, October 12.
  • Export of items that China can use to make its own chip manufacturing tools, such as a photolithography light source and other specialised components are also blocked from sale to China.

The US Commerce Department also enacted these additional measures on Friday:

  • 31 Chinese entities were added to the Unverified List, which consists of companies that the US government believes could divert technology that they purchase to restricted entities.
  • The Commerce Department expanded the scope of controls for the 28 Chinese firms already on the US Entity List, including presumptively denying any licenses because of the risk they will divert technology to the Chinese military.

Then two weeks later, these restrictions will take effect on Friday, October 21, 2022:

  • Using a new foreign direct product rule, the U.S. will block any chips that used in advanced computing and artificial intelligence applications.
  • The foreign direct product rule can block chips made by non-US companies — including Chinese chip designers — if they use American technology or software.
  • TSMC may be forced by this new rule to halt production on advanced AI or supercomputer chips designed by Chinese firms that are fabricated in Taiwan, unless it gets an exemption.
  • A new foreign direct product rule will apply to components and chips destined for supercomputers in China.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Parent Company Of Shopee Slashes Costs + Salaries!

Sea Limited – the parent company of Shopee – appears to be in dire straits, pulling out of markets, slashing costs and salaries!

 

Parent Company Of Shopee Slashes Costs + Salaries!

Singapore-based Sea Limited – Shopee’s parent company – appears to be in dire straits, pulling out of markets, slashing costs and salaries!

In March 2022, Shopee shut down its France operations less than 6 months after kicking off its “European conquest” in October 2021.

Then in early September 2022, Shopee exited Argentina, and shut down its local operations in Chile, Colombia and Mexico. Sea Limited’s Garena gaming unit also laid off hundreds of employees in Shanghai.

Today (September 15, 2022), Bloomberg reported that Sea Limited’s top management staff will forgo their salaries, and the company will tighten its expenses.

In a 1,000-word internal memo to Sea Limited staff, CEO Forrest Li said that the leadership team will not take any cash compensation “until the company reaches self-sufficiency”, as well as these additional measures :

  • business travel is restricted to economy class flights,
  • travel meal expenses are limited to US$30 a day,
  • hotel stays for business trips are limited to US$150 a night
  • reimbursements for meals and entertainment bills will be removed

 

Sea Limited + Shopee Have Been Struggling In 2022

Li noted that Sea Limited has been struggling against rising interest rates, accelerating inflation, and a volatile market – conditions that he foresees will likely persist into the medium term.

He stressed that the company’s primary objective for the next 12-18 months will be to achieve positive cashflow as soon as possible.

With investors fleeing for ‘safe haven’ investments, we do not anticipate being able to raise funds in the market.

The only way for us to free ourselves from relying on external capital is to become self-sufficient, generating enough cash for all our own needs and projects.

Li’s comments mirrors the “tough times” concerns recently expressed by HUAWEI CEO Ren Zhengfe.

Read more : HUAWEI CEO Ren Zhengfei Warns Of Tough Times!

Sea Limited saw its market value soar to more than US$200 billion in October 2021, but its share prices tumbled 85%, reducing its market value to just US$27 billion.

Last month, Sea announced that its net loss in the second quarter of 2022 widened to US$931.20 million from US$433.7 million last year. Its total adjusted loss before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation for that quarter also jumped to US$506.3 minion from US$24.1 million.

This was despite a 29% increase in total revenue to US$2.9 billion, from US$2.3 billion in the second quarter of last year.

 

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Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Biden To Hit China With More Chip Restrictions!

The Biden Administration is planning to hit China with more restrictions on chip supplies, as well as chipmaking technology!

 

Biden To Hit China With More Chip Restrictions!

Sources familiar with the matter just revealed to Channel News Asia that the Biden Administration plans to hit China with more more restrictions on chip supplies, as well as chipmaking technology.

In September 2022, the US Commerce Department intends to publish new regulations for the semiconductor industry, based on :

  • restrictions that earlier applied only to KLA Corporation, Lam Research Corporation, and Applied Material Incorporated.
  • restrictions that were recently enforced on AMD and NVIDIA

The first three US companies received letters from the US Commerce Department, explicitly forbidding them from exporting chipmaking equipment to Chinese factories that produce sub-14 nanometer semiconductors without special export licences.

AMD and NVIDIA, on the other hand, received letters informing them that they were now banned from selling high-performance AI chips to China (as well as Russia) without special export licences.

On top of those restrictions, the US Commerce Department will likely impose additional chip restrictions on China.

The US Chamber of Commerce claims last week that the Commerce Department plans to add more Chinese supercomputing entities to a trade blacklist.

Read more : AMD, NVIDIA Banned From Selling AI Chips To China!

 

Why Biden Is Introducing More Chip Restrictions On China

The US Commerce Department issued those 5 companies the so-called “is informed” letters to quickly impose restrictions without going through the lengthy rule-writing process, but they would only apply to companies that receive them.

That leaves open the possibility for other companies to bypass those restrictions, or offer comparable chips or technologies to the Chinese as an alternative.

For example, NVIDIA is banned from selling their A100 artificial intelligence chips to Chinese companies. However, China can still purchase servers containing NVIDIA A100 chips from Dell Technologies, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Super Micro Computer.

Hence, the new regulations serve to codify those restrictions and apply them across the board, preventing those chips and technologies from “leaking” to China.

As a general rule, we look to codify any restrictions that are in is-informed letters with a regulatory change.
– Senior US Commerce Department official

The Biden Administration has also reached out to US allies to lobby them into enacting similar restrictions, to prevent China from obtaining critical chips and technologies through other sources.

This move comes after the US Congress voted to pass the historic CHIPS and Science Act, which not only provides semiconductor companies with billions of dollars of funding, but also blocks them from building advanced chip fabs in China.

Read more : Did China Make 7nm Chips In Spite Of US Sanctions?!

The Biden Administration appears to be more cognisant than the Trump Administration of the risks of permitting China continued access to advanced semiconductors and chipmaking technologies.

The Chinese government has become very belligerent and aggressive in the South China Sea, and cutting access to advanced chips will reduce its ability to build more advanced missiles like the Dong-Feng 21 (DF-21) and the YJ-12.

China is also a source of chips that Russia desperately needs to build its own advanced missiles, so these rules would also prevent that possibility.

By blocking China’s access to advanced chips, the hope is that it will preclude hostilities from breaking out in Asia, and force an earlier and better conclusion of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

 

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New Taxes On Small Online Purchases + Delivery In Malaysia!

There will soon be new taxes on small online purchases and delivery in Malaysia! Here is what you need to know…

 

New Taxes On Small Online Purchases + Delivery In Malaysia!

There will be soon new taxes on low-value purchases from overseas, and delivery services in Malaysia!

These taxes were announced in Budget 2022, but you may not be aware of it.

6% Service Tax On Delivery Services

From 1 July 2022 onwards, delivery services are subject to 6% service tax, for delivering goods other than food and beverages, and logistics delivery services.

This 6% service tax applies to e-commerce platforms as well, so expect the cost to be passed to you – the customer.

10% Sales Tax On Low Value Imports

Currently, goods imported from overseas that are delivered via courier services through specific international airports in Malaysia are not subject to the 10% sales. tax, if the value of each consignment (parcel) does not exceed RM 500.

Budget 2022 removed that exemption, which means all imported goods will be taxed, regardless of value.

From 1 January 2023 onwards, online sellers of low value imported goods delivered by air courier worth less than RM 500 per consignment must charge their customers a 10% sales tax. Otherwise, the purchaser will be subject to an import tax.

This sales tax applies to both local and foreign merchants. But the government has yet to reveal the mechanism by which foreign merchants will register, process and forward the collected sales tax.

 

Why New Taxes On Small Online Purchases + Delivery?!

Taxing low cost value goods purchased overseas is a way to level the playing field between local and foreign manufacturers.

Malaysian products are already subject to a 5% or 10% sales tax, which places them at a disadvantage when competing with low value imports that are currently tax-free.

That’s why many countries like Australia and New Zealand implement similar taxes, to align with local sales tax.

Even Singapore will be implementing a 7% GST on low value goods (LVG) from 1 January 2023 onwards, increasing it to 9% by 2025.

This sales tax on imported LVG will no doubt raise revenue for the government, but it is inline with what other countries are implementing to level the playing field, and encourage purchases of local products.

The 10% sales tax may seem high, but it does not apply to low value goods imported via sea or land.

This sales tax will not affect the RM1,000 exemption for travellers bringing in goods purchased overseas through the seven designated international airports in Malaysia.

The 6% service tax on delivery services is a new revenue stream for the government, although they have exempted food and beverage deliveries, as well as logistics deliveries.

Whatever the reasons are – expect to pay more for your online purchases!

 

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Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Lazada RedMart Data Breach : What You Need To Know!

Lazada just admitted that a data breach involving their RedMart customer database that could affect some 1.1 million customers!

Find out what happened, and what it could mean for Lazada and RedMart customers!

 

Lazada RedMart : What Is It?

RedMart is an online grocery platform in Singapore that was founded in August 2011.

Lazada acquired RedMart in November 2016, and started to integrate it into their platform in March 2019.

This March 2019 date is important, because that was when the RedMart database was last updated.

 

Lazada RedMart Data Breach : What Happened?

The Lazada RedMart database was spotted for same in an online forum, amongst many other databases stolen from other e-commerce websites.

In this screenshot, you can see that it claims to have details on 1.1 million Lazada RedMart customers :

  • Email address
  • Password
  • Mailing address
  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Partial credit card information

Picture Credit : CNA

In a statement posted on 30 October 2020, Lazada confirmed the data breach involving their RedMart database.

They assert that only the old RedMart database that was “18 months out of date” when it was last updated in March 2019.

Singapore, 30 October 2020 – Lazada places great importance on protecting your personal information, and we value the trust you have placed with us. On 29 October 2020, as part of our proactive monitoring, our cybersecurity team discovered a data security incident in Singapore, involving a RedMart-only database hosted on a third-party service provider. The customer data hosted on this database is more than 18 months out of date as it was last updated in March 2019.

The customer information that was illegally accessed include the names, phone numbers, emails, addresses, encrypted passwords and partial credit card numbers of RedMart customers. We have taken immediate action to block unauthorised access to the database. This data was used on the previous RedMart app and website, which are no longer in use. Lazada customer data in Southeast Asia is not affected by this incident.

Protecting the data and privacy of our users is of utmost importance to us. Apart from reviewing and fortifying our security infrastructure, we are working very closely with the relevant authorities on this incident and remain committed to providing all necessary support to our users.

We want to be transparent about this incident with all of our customers and reassure you that we are taking it seriously.

They also set their platform to log out all Lazada users, and require them to register a new password.

They are also warning their users to be on the alert for spam mails requesting personal information.

 

Lazada RedMart Data Breach : What’s The Implication?

A Data Breach Is A Data Breach Is A Data Breach

Lazada may claim that the data and privacy of their users are of the utmost importance, but the data breach says otherwise.

They left a database they no longer used since March 2019 on a third-party service provider, and accessible online all this time.

Any half-decent cybersecurity specialist would have told them to take the database offline, unless it was essential to the operation of the website.

Closing The Barn Door After The Horses Have Bolted

Lazada immediately blocked unauthorised access to their RedMart database, but that’s like closing the barn door after the horses have bolted.

Once the data was stolen, all it does is prevent other attackers from stealing the data for themselves.

Lazada Migrated RedMart Users In March 2016

It seems a little disingenuous for Lazada to announce that the data was used in “the previous RedMart app and website, which are no longer in use“.

They appear to have migrated RedMart users to Lazada on 15 March 2016 using the same data that was just stolen.

Unless RedMart users changed their passwords, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses or credit card details AFTER they were migrated to the Lazada platform, they remain exposed by the data breach.

The Data Isn’t Necessarily Outdated

Most of us don’t change our logins and passwords that often. And we often reuse the same login and password combination for different websites.

So it is scant assurance that their RedMart database was last updated in March 2019, even if we take their word that it was more than 18 months out of date.

This data breach exposes all affected RedMart users to the possibility of their other accounts being breached as well.

Only Ex-RedMart Users Affected

The only saving grace we can see here is that it looks like only former RedMart users are affected by this data breach.

That means Lazada users who never registered or used the RedMart app or website are not affected.

 

Lazada RedMart Data Breach : What Can You Do?

If you ever registered for, or used, RedMart before their migration to the Lazada platform in March 2016, we highly recommend that you :

  • change your Lazada password
  • change the password of accounts that use the same password as your Lazada / RedMart account
  • do NOT click on links in emails warning you about this data breach and asking you to change your password
  • do NOT respond to calls or messages warning you about this data breach
  • do NOT respond to requests for personal information

 

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