Enterprise

Google begins blacklisting Huawei from its services

Biggest blow yet to the Chinese company

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By now, it should be clear that Huawei hasn’t been doing well on North American soil. Whether it was because of accusations stemming from the US government or threats of banning the Chinese company’s 5G technologies in certain countries, there was always something for Huawei to worry about. In the latest development, we may be seeing their biggest hurdle yet.

Initially reported by Reuters, Google has already cut ties with Huawei, effectively banning them from the “transfer of hardware, software, and technical services except those publicly available via open source licensing.”

If this action holds, Huawei smartphones might soon lose access to Android updates, the Google Play store, and all Google-made apps and services — all of which are “not covered by the open source license and require a commercial agreement with Google.”

“Huawei will only be able to use the public version of Android and will not be able to get access to proprietary apps and services from Google,” says Reuters‘ source.

This move comes after US President Donald Trump added Huawei to the country’s trade blacklist last week. Additionally, Huawei settled a three-year-long patent dispute with Samsung a couple of days ago — probably in anticipation of this larger threat.

Aside from this early information, it’s still unsure how and when this blacklisting will take effect. According to the same source, both Huawei and Google are currently discussing internally how all this will affect their Android partnership.

However, Huawei phones in China may be unaffected, since they don’t rely on Google apps and services in the first place, choosing to use their own homegrown software. Furthermore, existing Huawei smartphone users could be safe from the loss of app access, but there’s no official confirmation on that as of now.

Earlier this year, it was already confirmed by a Huawei executive that the company is building a non-Android operating system for their smartphones. With the way things are going, its development may speed up.

Enterprise

Apple: Coronavirus might cause iPhone shortage

Won’t meet expected revenue by March

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If, during a tense situation, someone say that they are doing okay, there is a slight chance that things are going the opposite way. Today’s coronavirus epidemic, for example, has affected the tech industry more than it has proclaimed. For the most part, China-dependent companies — like Apple — have waved off any adverse effect caused by the rampant virus, despite taking precautions.

Unfortunately for them, deception can only last so long. Recently, Apple has released its quarterly guidance report for investors. Compared to the general populace, investors require utmost transparency. As such, Apple revealed the potential setbacks heading into the second month of the coronavirus situation in China.

Mainly, Apple doesn’t “expect to meet the revenue guidance” expected by March. Both supply and demand are falling especially in China.

On the supply side, Apple’s Chinese manufacturers are reeling from the forced closures enacted both by the Chinese New Year holiday and the coronavirus safety protocols. For now, the factories are remaining open (or have since re-opened). Regardless, Apple is working together with the factories to ensure worker safety. Because of the shifted focus, iPhone supplies will temporarily decrease and will likewise “temporarily affect revenues worldwide.”

On the demand side, Apple is mulling over the closures of their retail stores in affected Chinese regions. Naturally, without a retail store, maintaining adequate supply is useless. To Apple’s fortune, these closures are affecting only Chinese customers. Regardless, China is an important market for the iPhone maker.

As consumers outside China, we won’t likely feel Apple’s pains on the demand side. However, a shift in supply — even a tiny one — will ripple across the globe either through launch delays or delivery shortages. If you’re an Apple fan, you might want to hang on to your old iPhone a bit longer.

SEE ALSO: Apple starts the year with a bang in their latest revenue report

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Enterprise

China: US is a hypocrite for attacking Huawei

Says US hacked Germany before

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We’re midway through the second month of 2020. By now, you’d expect yesteryear’s issues to finally resolve themselves. Unfortunately, we’re still stuck in the same issues. Particularly, Huawei and the US are still at each other’s throats.

Today, both parties fired shots at each other on Twitter of all places. In this exchange, the US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell tweeted that “any nation who chooses to use an untrustworthy 5G vendor will jeopardize [America’s] ability to share Intelligence and information at the highest level.”

For the past few years, the US government has persistently smeared Huawei’s reputation in international territories, urging other countries to stop considering the company as a 5G partner. The strategy has met only moderate success across the globe. Some countries have already allowed Huawei to build infrastructure on their land.

Naturally, Huawei isn’t taking it lightly. In response to Grenell, Hua Chunying, China’s spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, tweeted a scathing rebuke against Grenell’s accusations.

“Who he is [sic] threatening? Who’s the real threat? Remember, Snowden said US spied on Chancellor Merkel’s phone,” the tweet went.

The ambassador is referring to Edward Snowden, an infamous American whistleblower who revealed an entire library’s worth of state secrets. Regardless of its truth, Hua Chunying’s tweet is scalding, especially in the tense situation between both countries.

SEE ALSO: China is giving away cash incentives for new Huawei users

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Enterprise

ViSenze, iPrice’s partner for easier online shopping in Southeast Asia

Search is now powered by visual recognition technology

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Online shopping is a booming trend made possible by various e-commerce sites. Most online shoppers use search keywords to find what they’re looking for. However, using search keywords can sometimes turn up the wrong results, and can be time-consuming for some.

Thankfully, iPrice and ViSenze’s new partnership aims to make shopping an easier experience for shoppers in Southeast Asia. iPrice will soon leverage ViSenze’s visual recognition technology — making the search as simple as pointing a camera to the desired item.

Leveraging visual recognition

Visual recognition technology is not new. Google already had this feature  back 2017 in the form of Google Lens. ViSenze — a commerce solution platform — uses the same technology for visual recognition. It already powers some big names in e-commerce — making search easier for users.

With iPrice leveraging ViSenze’s technology, users can use their camera instead to search for items. For example, pointing the camera at a dress brings up a list of relevant results from iPrice. This lets users shop for things that they cannot properly describe. It also simplifies the whole search experience, so users don’t have to type anymore.

iPrice will also bring up useful coupons and vouchers whenever these users search for an item. To start leveraging this feature, users need to do these three easy steps:

  1. Activate their camera app and use the AI-powered shopping lens to point at the desired product, or simply upload a photo of it from the phone’s gallery
  2. Browse through the suggested list of relevant products that appear (based on visually similar attributes)
  3. Tap on one of the search results to be redirected to the merchant page to purchase the product

The shopping lens, however, will work only on Samsung, Huawei, LG, and Vivo through their respective assistant apps. So, users must have Bixby (Samsung), HiVision (Huawei), Q-Lens (LG) and Jovi (Vivo) installed.

With online shopping booming in Southeast Asia, iPrice ensures that visual recognition will bring greater convenience to shoppers. Being able to use the smartphone’s camera to search for things online is godsent especially when it’s too bothersome to bring up the keyboard and type.

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