Dhaka, Jun 23 (UNB) - Apple has joined a growing chorus of firms urging the Trump administration to drop a plan for more US tariffs on Chinese goods, reports the BBC.
The US has said it may impose duties on $300bn (£236.1bn) worth of Chinese products if the two sides can't reach a trade deal.
In a letter, Apple "urged" the White House to drop the tariff plan.
The tech giant said the duties would "tilt the playing field" to its global rivals.
The company said the proposed tariffs would cover its major products including iPhone, iPads and Airpods, as well as parts used to repair devices in the US.
"We urge the US government not to impose tariffs on these products," Apple said in its filing to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who is considering submissions on the proposed duties.
The company said more tariffs would hurt its "global competitiveness".
Apple said its Chinese competitors - which include top smartphone maker Huawei - do not have a "significant presence" in the US market and would not be impacted by US duties.
"A US tariff would, therefore, tilt the playing field in favour of our global competitors," the company wrote.
It follows reports that the Silicon Valley giant has asked suppliers to explore shifting some production out of China in response to the ongoing trade battle between Washington and Beijing.
Apple joins a string of other companies pushing the Trump administration to abandon plans for more tariffs on Chinese goods citing risks to their business and consumers.
In a joint submission filed this week, tech firms Microsoft, Dell and HP and Intel said the proposed tariffs would increase prices for laptops and tablets by at least 19%.
The US reignited the trade war last month by raising tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods, prompting Beijing to retaliate.
The two countries have been in an escalating conflict over trade for the past year. The scope of the battle has expanded in recent months as Washington has tightened trade restrictions on Chinese telecoms giant Huawei.
What Huawei battle tells us about US and China
Hopes for an imminent deal were shattered in May after the Trump administration more than doubled tariffs on $200bn of Chinese imports and threatened additional duties.
Tariffs imposed by both countries over the past year have weighed on the global economy and hit financial markets.
Still, the prospect of a resolution was raised this week as US President Donald Trump said trade negotiations are set to resume shortly.
Hangzhou, June 23 (Xinhua/UNB) -- Traditional ways of sewing that rely on human hands or sewing machines may see a drastic change, as researchers in eastern China's Zhejiang Province have created a 3D sewing robotic arm.
The robotic arm, about the size of a human, can quickly scan pieces of cloth with a laser scanner, sew them together based on programmed patterns and cut threads. The whole process only takes a few minutes.
Jointly developed by Ningbo Cixing Co. Ltd. and a research institute of the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, the 3D robotic arms are currently applied to the sewing of automotive interiors.
According to Fu Lei, general manager of Cixing Robotics, automobile manufacturing is a highly automatic industry, but this is not the case in making automotive interiors, which relies on many human workers. The 3D robotic arm could increase production efficiency without lowering the quality of products.
The 3D sewing robotic arms, installed with different heads, will be used in many more fields including aerospace.
Taipei, Jun 23 (AP/UNB) — The chairman of Foxconn, the world's largest contract assembler of consumer electronics for companies such as Apple, is stepping down amid speculation he could be planning a presidential run in Taiwan next year.
Terry Gou, 68, made the announcement Friday at the company's annual shareholders meeting, where he was surrounded by an enthusiastic crowd while exiting the meeting room.
Foxconn board members elected Young Liu, the head of the Foxconn's semiconductor division, as Gou's successor.
Gou has yet to formally announce his candidacy and he did not mention it at the meeting.
His resignation, effective July 1, is the latest challenge for Foxconn, which has been caught up in the U.S.-China trade war and a U.S. ban on supplying technology components to Chinese tech giant Huawei over security concerns.
Gou told journalists he had urged Apple to move its assembly line from mainland China to high-tech Taiwan, after The Wall Street Journal and other media reported that Apple has discussed shifting some of its production from China with its largest suppliers, including Foxconn. Apple didn't respond to requests for comment about those reports.
"Taiwan holds a very important position in this current U.S.-China trade dispute, in this global economy reform," Gou said. "Taiwan is important for its technologies, geographical location, protection on intellectual property and application of new technologies."
But most analysts believe it would take Apple at least two years to pivot completely away from China because its supply chain for assembling iPhones, iPads and other devices is so complicated.
Investors have been worrying that the next round of China tariffs being threatened by U.S. President Donald Trump will hurt Apple's sales and profit margins. That's the main reason the company's stock price is hovering about 14 percent below its peak reached last October.
Apple is still hoping for a resolution between the U.S. and China that would avert a 25 percent tariff hitting the iPhone and all its other major products.
In a recent letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Apple warned the tariffs would hurt the U.S. economy and hinder its ability to compete against its rivals from China that don't sell their products in the U.S. Those rivals include Huawei and Xiaomi, which already have been gaining ground in the global smartphone market.
Gou recently has seemed to shift his focus toward a presidential bid, most likely for the opposition, China-friendly Nationalist Party. He would be bringing a pro-business and pro-China stance to what is expected to be a crowded field.
Gou ranks among Taiwan's richest people with a fortune estimated by Forbes at $7.8 billion. He says the Nationalists should hold debates to select their candidate.
His candidacy would be the first for a Taiwan business mogul and may appeal to Taiwanese dissatisfied with stagnating incomes who would like to see a different, more business-oriented style of leadership.
Incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen has been hampered by low public approval ratings and a diplomatic embargo imposed by China, which claims the island as its own territory.
However, Gou is likely to face criticism from China skeptics in Taiwan over Foxconn's 12 factories in nine Chinese cities and his close ties to the Chinese government.
Foxconn announced in 2017, to much fanfare, that it planned to invest $10 billion in the U.S. state of Wisconsin and hire 13,000 people to build an LCD factory that could make screens for televisions and a variety of other devices. After waffling earlier this year on the company's intentions, Gou recommitted to the project in February after a meeting with President Donald Trump.
Washington, Jun 22 (AP/UNB) — The United States is blacklisting five Chinese organizations involved in supercomputing with military-related applications, citing national security as justification for denying its Asian geopolitical rival access to critical U.S. technology.
The move Friday by the U.S. Commerce Department could complicate talks next week between President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, aimed at de-escalating a trade dispute between the world's two biggest economies.
The five blacklisted organizations placed on the so-called Entity List includes supercomputer maker Sugon, which is heavily dependent on U.S. suppliers including chipmakers Intel, Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices.
The other four are the Wuxi Jiangnan Institute of Computing Technology and three Sugon affiliates. The Commerce Department called their activities "contrary to the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States."
Sugon and the Wuxi Jiangnan Institute, which the U.S. said is owned by a Chinese army research institute, are involved in China's push to develop next-generation "exascale" high performance computing to assist with military modernization. The technology involved supports such military-related tasks as running nuclear simulations, calculating missile trajectories and hypersonic algorithms, said Paul Triolo, technology analyst with the global risk-assessing Eurasia Group.
"This is all about the race to exascale computing, which China has designated as a major priority," he said, adding that companies such as Sugon have received major government backing.
Of particular concern to China hawks in the Trump administration, Triolo added, is Sugon's move to develop a next-generation processor of its own. It licensed one generation of AMD technology as part of a 2016 joint venture in which a Sugon subsidiary has an ownership stake.
An AMD spokesperson said the company was reviewing the order "to determine next steps related to our joint ventures."
In recent years, U.S. and Chinese companies have been alternating as leading producers of the world's fastest supercomputers. Sugon had 63 of the top 500 in the most recent rankings .
The blacklist effectively bars U.S. firms from selling technology to the Chinese organizations without government approval. Last month, Commerce last month added telecommunications giant Huawei to it, heightening tensions with Beijing .
This is not the first time the U.S. has placed on the Entity List a Chinese organization involved in supercomputer development with military uses. In 2015 it added China's National University of Defense Technology to the Entity List.
"The U.S. is gradually squeezing off access to US technology for major elements of China's next generation supercomputing," said Triolo. The long-running campaign isn't directly related to Trump's current trade war with China.
Trump has imposed 25% tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports and is preparing to target another $300 billion, extending the import taxes to virtually everything China ships to the United States. China has retaliated with tariffs on U.S. products.
Talks to resolve the dispute broke off last month. But Trump and Xi are scheduled to meet next week at the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan, to get the negotiations back on track.
"Adding more Chinese companies to the U.S. bad guys list may be seen as a way to ramp up the pressure on China," said Amanda DeBusk, a partner at Dechert LLP and the former Commerce Department assistant secretary for export enforcement. "However, the Chinese may see this as ill-timed bullying. They cannot be seen as making concessions to the United States, so this may have the effect of hurting any chances for trade agreement."
The administration appeared to be sending mixed signals ahead of the summit.
In what looked like a goodwill gesture to Beijing, Vice President Mike Pence postponed a speech planned for Monday at a Washington think tank at which he was expected to criticize China's communist regime.
Asia specialist Tami Overby, senior director at the McLarty Associates consultancy, said that "it seems odd" that the Trump administration would delay Pence's speech and then turn around and expand its tech blacklist.
Chicago, June 22 (Xinhua/UNB) -- An international team of astronomers has captured the first-ever polarized radio waves from a distant cosmic explosion, known as gamma-ray burst GRB 190114C.
Astronomers have hypothesized that cosmic magnetic fields might flow through the jets, helping them form and providing structural support.
To obtain the measurements of these magnetic fields, the international team employed a novel trick. They observed the jets in linearly polarized light, which is sensitive to the size of magnetic field patches. Larger magnetic field patches, for example, produce more polarized light.
On January 14, 2019, a flash of gamma rays triggered NASA's Swift satellite, which alerted astronomers of the burst's location in the direction of the constellation Fornax. The astronomers then used the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope in Chile to search for radio waves from the explosion, which occurred more than 4.5 billion years ago in a galaxy 7 billion light-years away.
The team detected a subtle, but revealing, polarization signal of 0.8 percent, implying magnetic field patches about the size of our solar system.
Next, the researchers will combine this new information with data from X-ray and visible light telescopes.
"The lower frequency data from the Very Large Array (VLA) in New Mexico helped confirm that we were seeing the light from the jet itself rather than from the interaction of the jet with its environment," said Kate Alexander, a NASA Einstein Fellow who led the VLA observations.
"Magnetic fields are ubiquitous but notoriously difficult to constrain in our universe," said Wen-fai Fong, an assistant professor of astrophysics at NU Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. "The fact that we have been able to detect their presence, let alone in the fastest jets we know of, is an incredible and storied feat of observation."
Gamma ray bursts produce powerful jets that travel close to the speed of light and shine with the incredible luminosity of more than a billion suns combined. Because these jets are extremely bright at radio wavelengths, the discovery of polarized radio signals may offer new clues to help solve this mystery. Polarization is a property of light that indicates how a magnetic field is organized and structured in a jet.
The research, posted on NU's website on Wednesday, was published last week in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.