Microsoft said Microsoft and Chinese company ByteDance have provided notice of their intent to explore a deal resulting in Microsoft owning and operating the TikTok service in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
In a statement on Sunday, Microsoft has said that it is in talks with Chinese company ByteDance to acquire the U.S. arm of its popular video app TikTok.
It also has discussed with President Donald Trump his concerns about security and censorship surrounding such an acquisition, reports AP.
The company said it expects those talks to conclude by Sept. 15.
On Friday, Trump said that he would soon ban TikTok in the United States.
Trump and CEO Satya Nadella have spoken, the company said, and Microsoft was prepared to continue exploring the purchase of TikTok's U.S. operations after their conversation.
“Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President’s concerns. It is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury,” the Microsoft statement said.
The White House did not immediately comment on the Microsoft statement.
Previously, there were reports that Microsoft was in advanced talks to buy the U.S. operations of TikTok, which has been a source of national security and censorship concerns for the Trump administration. Earlier Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo again raised the administration's warnings about social media platform.
“These Chinese software companies doing business in the United States, whether it’s TikTok or WeChat — there are countless more ... are feeding data directly to the Chinese Communist Party, their national security apparatus,” Pompeo said on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures.”
“Could be their facial recognition patterns. It could be information about their residence, their phone numbers, their friends, who they’re connected to. Those — those are the issues that President Trump has made clear we’re going to take care of," Pompeo said.
In its statement, Microsoft said it may invite other American investors to participate on a minority basis in the purchase of TikTok. Financial terms were undisclosed.
TikTok’s U.S. user data is stored in the U.S., with strict controls on employee access, and its biggest investors come from the U.S., the company said earlier Sunday. “We are committed to protecting our users’ privacy and safety as we continue working to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform,” a TikTok spokesperson said.
A federal committee has been reviewing whether Trump could ban TikTok in the U.S. Its members agree that TikTok cannot remain in the U.S. in its current form because it "risks sending back information on 100 million Americans,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.
“We all agree there has to be a change ... everybody agrees it can’t exist as it does," Mnuchin said Sunday on ABC's “This Week.”
As speculation grew over a ban or sale of the social media platform's U.S. business, TikTok posted a video on Saturday saying, “We’re not planning on going anywhere.”
TikTok's catchy videos and ease of use has made it popular, and it says it has tens of millions of users in the U.S. and hundreds of millions globally. Its parent company, Bytedance Ltd., launched TikTok in 2017. It bought Musical.ly, a video service popular with teens in the U.S. and Europe, and combined the two. It has a similar service, Douyin, for users in China.
But TikTok's Chinese ownership has raised concern about the potential for sharing user data with Chinese officials as well as censorship of videos critical of the Chinese government. TikTok says it does not censor videos and it would not give the Chinese government access to U.S. user data.
The debate over TikTok parallels a broader U.S. security crackdown on Chinese companies, including telecom providers Huawei and ZTE. The Trump administration has ordered that the U.S. stop buying equipment from those providers to be used in U.S. networks. Trump has also tried to steer allies away from Huawei over concerns that the Chinese government has access to its data, which Huawei denies.
Robi has become the first mobile operator to have on-aired more than 11,000 4.5G sites in the country.
Robi has achieved this coveted milestone by expanding its 4.5G network to each and every upazilas of the country covering 80 pc population, said a press release.
Using the dynamic spectrum technology, Robi has proved itself to be the most efficient operator in utilizing spectrum to ensure the best video experience on its 4.5G network.
Being the only operator to use U900/L900 spectrum technology, makes Robi the undisputed champion in the indoor coverage arena. Moreover, Robi is the first operator to launch VoLTE (Voice over LTE) service in the country, providing customers HD quality voice calling experince using the widest 4.5G network.
Robi aims to provide the best video experience to its consumers. With HD video calling to stay connected with friends and family, Buffer free streaming of videos, learning new things every day with tutorials, going live, video gaming with friends or just enjoying social media – the widest 4.5G video strong network is there to deliver new experiences every day.
More than 1.5 million 5G base stations will be deployed by the end of this year projected Guo Ping, Rotating Chairman of Huawei.
As per recent data, 81 telecom carriers have rolled out commercial 5G network by now covering 90 million 5G users with 700,000 5G base stations, he said in the ‘Better World Summit 2020’, organised by Huawei, said a press release.
Guo Ping added, “As an ICT company, it’s our responsibility to use the technology, together with our partners and customers, including carriers and enterprises, to effect a positive impact on our communities.”
“We expect to see more than 1.5 million 5G base stations to be deployed by the end of this year. As global 5G deployment begins to wrap up, we need to strengthen our focus on industry applications. This will help us unleash the full potential of 5G.” Guo Ping continued.
“We have a broad set of capabilities spanning 5G, computing, cloud, AI, and industrial applications. By leveraging these strengths, we can provide scenario-based solutions that unlock the full potential of 5G and help both our customers and partners achieve greater business success.” Guo Ping stated.
Fair Technology Ltd, the automotive vertical of Fair Group, has entered into a strategic partnership with Hyundai Motor Corporations of South Korea as its authorized distributor for passenger vehicles.
Fair Group is also successfully manufacturing Samsung smartphones & consumer electronics, said a press release.
Mutassim Daiaan, Director of Fair Technology Ltd. announced partnership between Fair Technology & Hyundai in Bangladesh and inaugurated sales programme through webinar in Dhaka.
Fair Group Advisor Hamid R Chowdhury, rcds, psc (Rtd.), CMO Mesbah Uddin, HOM JM Taslim Kabir, Fair Technology head of sales Abu Naser Mahmud, Head of Service Abul Hashem, Product Manager Farid Al Shohan & other high officials were also present there among others.
Fair Technology, in collaboration with Hyundai aspires to build lifetime relationship with its customers providing “modern premium” experience both in-vehicle and out-of-vehicle in Bangladesh.
All new models are available for booking through call center (Hotline: +880 9613 505080) and Facebook - fb.com/HyundaiBangladesh.
More information about Hyundai Bangladesh and its products will be available at: http://www.hyundai-bd.com/
The Obayashi Corporation, one of the five largest construction companies in Japan, is building a dam almost entirely with robots, addressing the industry's labor shortage and aging workforce, according to a report on the Nikkei Asian Review website.
The dam project is located in the Mie Prefecture, in the south-east corner of Japan’s main island.
The 84-meter-high structure is slated for completion in March 2023.
Obayashi will be testing a variety of robotic and automation technologies in its construction.
Obayashi has developed automated equipment to stack concrete layers to form a dam.
To further streamline the process, a plant has been built near the site to mix sand and gravel with cement to make concrete.
Building a dam requires knowledge and skill developed through years of experience. Obayashi's automated system is expected to be a game-changer in dam construction, as well as in other applications.
"By transferring expert techniques to machines, we're able to analyze what was once implicit knowledge," said Akira Naito, head of Obayashi's dam technology unit.
Every process for constructing the 334-meter-wide dam will involve some form of automation. That includes the initial work of establishing the foundation, and pouring concrete to form the body.
The dam's body is built in layers by pouring concrete into 15-meter square partitions. Tower cranes that pour the concrete are controlled remotely by office computers, which also monitor the positioning of the partitions and the progress of construction.
Humans will man the cranes for safety reasons, but the machines are self-operating.
Building a dam is an intricate endeavor that requires all crevices to be sealed to prevent breaches. Concrete surfaces need to be processed so they are tightly stacked on one another.
Layers that are uneven are usually brushed down by human professionals until they are flat. Obayashi has developed machines that handle the brushing. The frequency of the cyclical brushing and the pressure on the surface are automatically controlled.
As poured concrete builds up, the forms used to give it structure need to be raised to keep unset concrete from leaking out. Normally, multiple skilled workers in heavy machinery operate in tandem to gradually lift the forms, calling out to each other to coordinate their movements.
Obayashi has developed a robot to handle this task, allowing for humans to be cut out of the picture entirely.
Surprisingly, Obayashi says all of its futuristic solutions have only increased productivity by about 10%, since it still needs to have people on-site ready to jump in should things go wrong. The company plans to acquire more know-how so it can eventually reduce the amount of manpower it needs.
"Eventually, we may be able to cut building time by 30%," said Naito.
Other Japanese contractors are also working on automation. Kajima has developed self-driving bulldozers and dump trucks so construction can continue 24 hours a day. It has automated the lifting of concrete forms, which it used at a dam construction site in Hokkaido for the first time.
Dam construction is especially conducive to automation, since it involves a lot of repetition and tends to happen on sprawling sites far from population centers, meaning there is less risk of automated equipment hitting bystanders or other machinery.
Japan's construction industry is aging quickly, with 35% of all workers now 55 or older, according to the Japan Federation of Construction Contractors. Companies are scrambling to build robots based on workers' expertise before they retire. The companies also hope that new technology could dispel negative stereotypes of the industry among younger generations, encouraging more people to work in construction.