Enterprise

US: TikTok is a potential security threat

TikTok: No, we’re not

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For more than a year, the American government has tormented Huawei for allegedly colluding with the Chinese government. Months later, the Chinese smartphone maker is still broiling in hot water with authorities all over the world. After doing much damage to Huawei, the US is setting its sights on another potentially dangerous company.

In an official letter, two American senators have publicly denounced the popular short-form video social network, TikTok. Much like the government’s argument against Huawei, the platform can allegedly accede to a Chinese agenda, risking American cybersecurity.

TikTok is developed by the Beijing-based developer, ByteDance. In the past, the developer created Doujin, a similar platform but tailored for a Chinese audience. To cater for an international audience, ByteDance created TikTok, today’s video sensation.

Lately, TikTok implemented controversial rules against progressive content. These include censors against pro-LGBT and pro-democracy content. The latter rule censors any content mentioning Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tibet, and Tiananmen Square.

The recent letter references this latest controversy, among other things. Additionally, the letter ponders on the platform’s potential influence on future elections.

Currently, TikTok keeps its data on American soil. However, both senators argue that the company must still answer China’s calls. The Chinese government currently has provisions that require Chinese companies to serve the country when called.

In response, TikTok has issued a statement in defense against the allegations. According to a blog post, the company is still dedicated on user privacy. The post reiterates their stringent measures against counterintelligence: keeping their staff and servers in California and Singapore.

Regardless, if the US agrees to the senators’ letter, TikTok is in real trouble.

SEE ALSO: Mark Zuckerberg admits TikTok is bigger than Instagram

Enterprise

Intel: Global chip shortage will last until 2023 at least

Shares are down

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The tech industry is going through a significant crunch. Stemming from the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, a global chip shortage has created delays for new products in different sectors in the industry. For example, not everyone can get the new PlayStation 5, a console launched in the middle of last year, yet. Unfortunately, according to an expert in the industry, the global chip shortage will last until 2023, at the least.

Speaking to CNBC, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger predicts that it will take longer for the ongoing shortage to finally resolve itself. The CEO did have precedent to speak about the matter. Intel just released its earnings for the third quarter of the year. The company’s shares fell more than 8 percent for the quarter because of the shortage especially in the PC realm.

The shortage will likely cause more problems for the chip-making company. This year, Intel launched new chipsets and GPUs for the industry. A shortage might cause more delays down the line.

Unfortunately, amid everyone’s best efforts, the shortage will still affect everyone for quite a while, even those outside of the PC business. Other companies have tried their own strategies to hopefully alleviate their own problems during the shortage.

SEE ALSO: Intel announces new CPUs for laptops, can hit 5Ghz

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China fines Sony for controversial launch date

Fined for 1 million

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ZV-E10

Though most can look random in the grand scheme of things, companies usually set their events during strategic or meaningful dates. Some certainly schedule their events for logistical reasons. Some attach significant meanings to their launches such as the nth anniversary of the launch of an iconic product. However, while the company has their own reasons for launching products on certain days, others might see it differently. As an example of this dissonance, China is fining Sony for launching a camera on a certain date.

Back in July, Sony announced a new camera perfectly tailored for the vlogging community: the Sony Alpha ZV-E10. The launch happened on a completely innocuous date, July 27. However, it was originally scheduled for July 7. At the time, the company blamed the delay on component shortages. Apparently, the truth is a bit stranger.

As reported by Japan’s Kyodo News, the Chinese government has confirmed that it is fining Sony for RMB 1 million for “damaging the dignity of the Chinese state.” In Chinese history, July 7 corresponds to the day that Japanese forces invaded China to ignite the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937. The conflict would last until Japan’s surrender in World War II.

The fine might not be much of a financial issue for Sony, though. Though a million does sound serious, it’s only US$ 156,631 — a manageable sum for the globally recognized company.

SEE ALSO: The Sony ZV-E10 is exactly as advertised

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Google: Digitizing businesses key to P5 trillion value by 2030

Google to play big part in PH economy

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Image by Genevieve Catapangan

The digital transformation of businesses could create up to PhP5 trillion in annual economic value by 2030, a new Google Philippines-commissioned report finds.

Of this value, PhP3.5 trillion could come from technologies that help businesses mitigate the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and future similar events.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Businesses derive 363.4 billion pesos in annual benefits from Google tools and services, through increased revenues, millions of connections with customers and greater efficiencies, saving time and money;
  • App developers in the Philippines earn 384 million pesos in annual revenue through Google Play, reaching over one billion users globally;
  • Consumers receive 214.5 billion pesos in annual benefits by experiencing greater convenience, access to information, and enhanced productivity. Search saves users almost five days a year; and
  • By enabling businesses to unlock new revenue streams and expand their businesses through the use of Google Ads, AdSense, and YouTube, Google indirectly supports over 110,000 jobs in the Philippines

This could be a game-changer for the Philippine economy, as the country is still hard-struck by the global health situation and has lagged far behind other nations.

Prepared by economists at AlphaBeta, the report explores eight transformative technologies and the robust economic potential they bring to Philippine industries.

This includes Artificial Intelligence (AI) which can be used to drive data-based public health interventions, mobile internet to help digitize retail distribution channels, and the Internet of Things (IoT) for use in supply chain tracking.

Digitizing MSMEs

To fully realize and unlock the opportunities presented by digital transformation, the report has identified three main pillars of action the Philippines could take: enhancing digital skills training and education, accelerating digital adoption and innovation, and promoting digital trade opportunities.

There exists a huge potential for the Philippines, and a lot of positive work has already been done in this area within the last year.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through its secretary Ramon Lopez is wary of the important role digital transformation plays when it comes to the country’s economic recovery post-pandemic.

Which is why Google and the DTI have been digitizing small businesses through its Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Caravan campaign for the past two years, being able to train more than 46,000 MSME business owners and employees.

In fact, Google’s tools and services are already helping the Philippine digital economy, as local business, consumers and the wider society derive over 578 billion pesos in annual benefits through increased revenues and millions of connections online.

Increasing sales

One of the businesses that benefited from the digital training workshop is Germano’s Chilli which continues to thrive until today.

Germano’s Chilli started in 2008 to recreate the experience of eating chili garlic from restaurants to people’s homes. The concept was fairly new at that time and the business struggled with brand awareness.

Owner Gerome Panlilio then took a Google Philippines-hosted seminar in 2018 to get himself acquainted with features such as Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) on Google Search and Maps, as well as vital knowledge and tools.

This enabled his products to be searchable online, which led to more revenue. Before the pandemic, Germano’s Chilli’s online sales only peaked at 3 percent, but in the past year and a half, it increased to 15 percent.

Digitizing is the way to go

Google Philippines is aiming to aid more businesses like Germano’s Chilli, creating a world that supports digital freelancing and accelerates the shift towards digital payments to let go of disruptions to business operations.

Providing business such access to global markets and equipping them with the necessary digital capabilities to expand reach, business will be able to manage the long-term economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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