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ZTE is in panic mode after US imposes trade ban

MediaTek pledges help but is it enough?

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We’re in the endgame now. After suffering through the turmoil of the past few months, ZTE is now feeling the full force of government intervention.

Since last year, the Chinese-born company has found itself embroiled in a controversy involving US politics. The United States government accused the company of selling its merchandise to Iran, a no-no country for US imports.

Since the accusation, ZTE has pleaded guilty, initially agreeing to fire the erring employees. However, the company has failed to do so. Now, they face a US ban that threatens to eradicate their business for at least seven years, if not forever.

Following up on its warnings, the US has banned ZTE from doing business within the territory, from selling phones to buying parts for them. The company is now in the fallout, enlisting a crisis team to handle the massive issue.

The ban has ensured that ZTE can’t rely on Qualcomm, Dolby, and Google products anymore. They have yet to find adequate replacements. However, the Taiwan-based MediaTek has already secured a permit to supply the company with fresh parts to replace Qualcomm.

For a finnicky industry when it comes to specs, getting new parts isn’t as easy as a 1-2-switch. For example, ZTE’s premium handsets rely on Qualcomm’s more powerful chops. Further, a switch from Qualcomm to MediaTek heavily affects public perception.

Currently, ZTE is in negotiations with the US government to reverse the ban. They have also requested US telcos to retain stock space for them, should the ban be reversed.

However, the future remains bleak for the tech company. Without US sales or parts, the company has halted to a standstill. While they can still sell to other countries, the withdrawal of US parts has taken their toll on ZTE’s sales.

According to some reports, employees are left without things to do, despite still reporting to work. ZTE officials, however, are requesting their employees to maintain a state of calm amid affairs.

ZTE maintains that they have enough cash to remain in business in the meantime. However, if they don’t find resolution to this issue, ZTE might find itself on the chopping block of failed smartphone brands.

SEE ALSO: ZTE’s new concept phone has two notches

Enterprise

TikTok owner accuses Facebook of stealing and smearing

Could it be about Instagram Reels?

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Just when you thought you’ve heard enough about TikTok for the day, the company attacks an entirely separate issue happening in the States. Recently, TikTok’s owner, ByteDance issued a few inflammatory comments against a social media rival. In a post on one of its other properties, the TikTok owner accuses Facebook of stealing and smearing.

Reported by Reuters, ByteDance issued the comments on Jinri Toutiao, a Beijing-based news aggregator that it also owns.

“ByteDance has always been committed to becoming a global company. During this process, we have faced all kinds of complex and unimaginable difficulties, including the tense international political environment, collision and conflict of different cultures and plagiarism and smears from competitor Facebook,” the company said. [Emphasis ours.]

Though the company is currently deliberating on an acquisition deal with Microsoft, ByteDance’s recent comments are attacking another issue entirely. Last week, Facebook and a few other big tech companies entered a hearing against alleged antitrust practices in the industry. Among other things, Facebook apparently lied about copying rivals in a threat to acquire them.

ByteDance did not name any specific feature or property that Facebook owns. However, the company is likely talking about the upcoming Instagram Reels, a similar video-editing app to take on TikTok. Currently, Instagram is still testing the new app in preparation for a wider release.

The timing of the comments is, of course, interesting. Trump has currently issued a 45-day limit for TikTok to reach a deal with Microsoft’s acquisition plans.

SEE ALSO: US wants to buy TikTok from China

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Microsoft confirms TikTok acquisition plans

In four countries

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Last Friday, Trump announced a decisive TikTok ban coming within the next few days. At the same time, Microsoft proposed an acquisition, taking the popular platform away from China. However, as the weekend finally wound down, neither a ban nor a deal has surfaced. If anything, Microsoft has further committed to achieving a deal for TikTok. Through a few recent comments, Microsoft confirms TikTok acquisition plans, covering at least four countries.

In an official Microsoft blog, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella finally engaged in discussions with Trump for the buyout plan. Microsoft expects a conclusion “in a matter of weeks” with a closeout happening no later than September 15. In the meantime, Trump confirms the plans as well, giving TikTok only up to 45 days to accept.

Further, the deal is apparently larger than previously reported. Besides TikTok’s US operations, Microsoft plans to acquire the platform’s operations in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Perhaps as a response to the ongoing big tech antitrust scandal, the company is also considering letting other investors in on a minority stake for TikTok.

Naturally, a Microsoft acquisition will snag the platform’s Chinese servers and place them safe and sound in their respective markets. It addresses a major concern surrounding TikTok’s current state in the US — cybersecurity. Since TikTok’s owner ByteDance was a Chinese company, the US government feared for potential attacks against American data. Further, TikTok’s massive global popularity will bolster Microsoft’s presence in the social media industry. Potentially, the buyout is a win-win decision for both parties. All that’s left is to wait for TikTok’s reply to the whole situation.

SEE ALSO: US looking to ban Chinese apps like TikTok

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Google Doodle honors the first Fil-Am woman to win Olympic gold

On August 3, 1948, she won two gold medals for diving

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Google Doodle featuring the first Fil-Am woman to win Olympic gold
Image source: Google

Though subtle, Google’s regular Doodles are special ways to celebrate important figures in history. The Google Doodles often debut on important milestones in their lives. As of late, Google increased several Filipino-themed Doodles in quick succession starting with Dolphy on his 92nd birthday last July 25. Following the recent influx, today’s Google Doodle honors the first Fil-Am woman to win Olympic gold, Vicki Draves.

On August 2, 1948, Vicki Draves, a Filipino American diver, won two gold medals in the women’s 3-meter springboard event and the 10-meter platform event at the London Summer Olympics. Two days later, in the men’s competition, Sammy Lee, an Asian American diver of Korean descent, won a bronze and a gold medal. Draves and Lee became the first Asian Americans to capture gold at the Olympics.

Born in 1924, Draves faced a lot of antagonism from the US. At the time of her diving career, the Second World War still raged on. Because of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, Americans feared and oppressed Japanese Americans in a fit of unparalleled racism, going so far as setting up internment camps in the US itself. Despite her Filipino ethnicity, Draves fell under the same toxic category in the eyes of Americans. As such, she faced a hard time practicing for the Olympics before winning the gold regardless.

Besides the nod to Filipino pride, Draves’ Google Doodle is a powerful statement against the ongoing anti-Asian racism in the States as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

A few days earlier, Google also honored Pacita Abad, a Filipino artist who used her artwork to inspire activism around the world.

SEE ALSO: Google lists 2019’s most-searched women in the Philippines

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