China S&T News Digest for July 19 - August 2, 2017
GENERAL SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, & INNOVATION
China to Further Strengthen Innovation-Driven Development
The State Council released a guideline to further strengthen the implementation of innovation-driven development strategy and reinforce the spirit of mass innovation and entrepreneurship. The guideline underlines the crucial role of pushing forward mass innovation and entrepreneurship in the process of deepening supply-side reform, fully carrying out innovation-driven development strategy and replacing old growth drivers with new ones. To further promote mass innovation and entrepreneurship, the guideline required related departments to speed up efforts in turning scientific achievements into products, expanding financing channels for enterprises, enhancing incentive mechanisms for the flow of talent while increasing administrative reform.

Made in China 2025: Who Cares? 
EE Times intends to explore the impact of "Made in China 2025" in a global context. This latest Chinese great leap forward isn't just about social, economic and technology changes. The rest of the world is involved. Designers, engineers, management executives and investors everywhere now see manufacturing - once considered a lowly sector left to cheap labor - as an arena for serious action. Asked if factories are back in style, Michelle Drew Rodriguez, manufacturing leader for Deloitte Services LP's Center for Industry Insights, told EE Times, "It isn't just back in vogue but it has become a hotbed of innovation."
 
Made in China 2025: Make or Break for Europe? 
China's ambitious plan to lead the world in advanced manufacturing will have global ramifications, whether or not the effort succeeds. Made in China 2025 (MIC 2025) is an aggressive, government-orchestrated strategy to pull the country's manufacturing sector out of the low-labor-cost race to the bottom. China intends to compete with the high-value-add manufacturing industries in Europe and North America by adopting the latest technology and by developing domestic innovation and R&D capabilities. How does MIC 2025 compare with European strategies for advanced manufacturing? And how will European companies be affected as China's strategy plays out?

486 Face Punishment for Links to China's Fake Research Paper Scandal 
More than 480 Chinese doctors and academics associated with published research papers that were later deemed to be fraudulent will be punished for damaging the country's "international reputation", the government said on Thursday. The announcement came after major US academic publishing house Springer in April retracted 107 papers by Chinese authors that had been published in the journal Tumor Biology. After publication, the company discovered that most of the peer reviews were fake, having been written either by publishing agents or by the authors themselves under assumed names.
INTERNET, IT, COMMUNICATIONS
Beijing Wants A.I. to Be Made in China by 2030
If Beijing has its way, the future of artificial intelligence will be made in China. The country laid out a development plan on Thursday to become the world leader in A.I. by 2030, aiming to surpass its rivals technologically and build a domestic industry worth almost $150 billion. Released by the State Council, the policy is a statement of intent from the top rungs of China's government: The world's second-largest economy will be investing heavily to ensure its companies, government and military leap to the front of the pack in a technology many think will one day form the basis of computing. The plan comes with China preparing a multibillion-dollar national investment initiative to support "moonshot" projects, start-ups and academic research in A.I., according to two professors who consulted with the government about the effort.

China Aims To Become World Leader in AI, Challenges U.S. Dominance 
China has outlined plans to become a world-leader in artificial intelligence by 2025, laying down a challenge to U.S. dominance in the sector amid heightened international tensions over military applications of the technology. China released a national AI development plan late on Thursday, aiming to grow the country's core AI industries to over 150 billion yuan ($22.15 billion) by 2020 and 400 billion yuan ($59.07 billion) by 2025, the State Council said. With this major push into AI, China is looking to rival U.S. market leaders such as Alphabet Inc's Google and Microsoft Corp, as it is keen not to be left behind in a technology that is increasingly key from smart cars to energy.

China's Artificial Intelligence Revolution
On July 20, China's State Council issued the "Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan" ( 新一代人工智能发展规划), which articulates an ambitious agenda for China to lead the world in AI. China intends to pursue a "first-mover advantage" to become the "premier global AI innovation center" by 2030.  Through this new strategic framework, China will advance a "three in one" agenda in AI: tackling key problems in research and development, pursuing a range of products and applications, and cultivating an AI industry. The Chinese leadership thus seeks to seize a "major strategic opportunity" to advance its development of AI, potentially surpassing the United States in the process. This new plan, which will be implemented by a new AI Plan Promotion Office within the Ministry of Science and Technology, outlines China's objectives for advances in AI in three stages.

China's Next Target: U.S. Microchip Hegemony 
At a muddy construction site the size of 12 baseball stadiums, globalization is turning into nationalism. Truck after truck delivers steel rods to China's Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd., a state-owned firm that's spending $24 billion to build the country's first advanced memory-chip factories. It's part of the Chinese government's plan to become a major player in the global chip market and the move is setting off alarms in Washington.

China-Backed Fund Plays Big Role in Country's Chip Push
In China's push to become a semiconductor power, a discreet government-backed fund is playing an outsize role. The national chip fund has provided financing for deals seen as key in helping Chinese companies produce more powerful, cutting-edge semiconductors. U.S. chip makers Intel Corp. and Qualcomm Inc. each have participated in deals with Chinese companies backed by the fund, said its executive vice president Wei Jun. "We maintain frequent exchanges with the U.S. side," Mr. Wei told The Wall Street Journal in a rare interview. "It doesn't matter if it's international or domestic (companies). We will invest or participate in the best development projects in this field in China." Announced in 2014, the $20 billion government-controlled fund is the centerpiece of Beijing's plan to dominate the computer chip industry. Formally known as the China Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund Co., it is known locally as "the Big Fund."

Beijing-Backed Fund Makes a Play for Chip Pioneer Imagination 
The troubled British microchip ­designer Imagination Technologies has become a takeover target for a private equity fund backed by the Chinese government. Canyon Bridge Capital Partners, which is based in Silicon Valley but funded by authorities in Beijing, has held talks about a potential bid for Imagination or parts of its business, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.

Chinese Scientists Demonstrate Feasibility of Satellite-Based Quantum Communications in Daylight 
Less than a month after achieving quantum entanglement over a record distance of 1200 km, the team of Chinese scientists from the University of Science and Technology of China have made yet another breakthrough in quantum communication, demonstrating long-distance free-space quantum key distribution in daylight according to a report in state media outlet, Xinhua. This is another step towards laying the foundation for a satellite constellation based global quantum communications network, which would be unhackable.

ZTE, China Mobile, Qualcomm Demo Pre5G Gigabit Rate Service 
ZTE, China Mobile and Qualcomm have jointly demonstrated a Pre5G gigabit rate service in time division-long term evolution (TD-LTE) commercial network in Quanzhou, Fujian. The three companies report they have successfully tested the Quanzhou Mobile TD-LTE network with multi-carrier aggregation, 4x4 multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO), 256QAM and other technology combinations, showing that the peak rate of the network can reach 1Gbps.

Chinese Supercomputer Runs Record-Breaking Simulation of Universe
Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Science have run the largest simulation of the universe on TaihuLight, the world's fastest supercomputer. The record-breaking achievement was described last week in the South China Morning Post, which reported that the supercomputer was able to simulate the early expansion of the universe using 10 trillion virtual particles. Leading the effort was Gao Liang, chair scientist of the computational cosmology group in the National Astronomical Observatories at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, who said that TaihuLight used 10 million processor cores to accomplish the simulation. The 125-petaflop (peak) machine, which is housed at the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, is equipped with a total of 10,649,600 cores.
AVIATION & SPACE
China's Quest to Become a Space Science Superpower 
Time seems to move faster at the National Space Science Center on the outskirts of Beijing. Researchers are rushing around this brand-new compound of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in anticipation of the launch of the nation's first X-ray telescope. At mission control, a gigantic screen plays a looping video showcasing the country's major space milestones. Engineers focus intently on their computer screens while a state television crew orbits the room with cameras, collecting footage for a documentary about China's meteoric rise as a space power. The walls are festooned with motivational slogans. "Diligent and meticulous," says one. "No single failure in 10,000 trials," encourages another.
 
Data of China's First X-Ray Space Telescope to Be Open to Global Scientists 
China's first X-ray astronomical satellite, launched in mid June, is expected to start regular observation in November and its data will be open to scientists all over the world, say the main designers of the satellite's data system. The 2.5-tonne Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT), dubbed Insight, transmitted to a ground station its first data on its second day in orbit. The data proved to be of good quality, and the telescope detected a gamma-ray burst 10 days after its launch.

China to Select Third Group of Astronauts This Year 
China will select its third group of astronauts this year, Yang Liwei, deputy director of China Manned Space Engineering Office said Wednesday. The first and second astronaut groups were all previously airforce pilots. However, the selection of the third group will also include engineers who will be responsible for maintenance, assembly and other tasks, Yang, China's first astronaut, said at the opening ceremony of the country's inaugural astronaut photography exhibition.
 
Airbus to Set up Innovation Center in China 
France-based European planemaker Airbus on Monday said it would set up an innovation and research center in China in order to "support (its) future products and services". "The new Airbus innovation center, which is tasked with defining the future of flight by identifying the next big change to transform the aerospace sector, will serve to strengthen Airbus' extended innovation eco-system," Airbus said in a press release. "China's fast-paced start-up culture makes it an ideal place for Airbus to create a new innovation center. Growth has come to China from manufacturing, technology and finance nowadays," it added.

China to Fly Space-Based, Solar-Powered Telecom Drones
China plans to build a space-based, solar-powered drone (UAV) telecommunications network capable of providing week-long emergency assistance on the ground. A research institute affiliated with China Aerospace Science & Industry Corp (CASIC) is developing the space-based telecommunications project called "Feiyun," which means "flying cloud," Science and Technology Daily reported Tuesday, saying that the network will be based in near space. The network can provide week-long emergency communications access and is expected to go on trial later this year. The technology is crucial for rescue work during natural calamities, Cao Limin, an expert at the Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
ENVIRONMENT & GREEN TECHNOLOGY
China's Clean Energy Powers Up
Clean energy is responsible for a bit more of China's electricity generation this year, amid ongoing government efforts to reduce excess capacity in the coal sector. Clean energy sources including nuclear, wind, solar and hydropower accounted for 27.2% of China's total electricity-production mix in the first six months of the year, said Yan Pengcheng, spokesman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country's top economic-planning body. That was up 1.8 percentage points from the same period a year ago. The rise was partly due to government efforts to expand trading of clean energy across provinces at a time when coal was in short supply, he said.

Bullet Trains Set to Get Speedier 
China plans to raise the top cruising speed of its bullet trains to 350 kph (217 mph) from 300 kph, Caixin has learned, six years after it slowed down the newly developed trains over safety concerns.
MEGA-PROJECTS
China Tests Underwater Robot in South China Sea
Xinhua News
The Chinese-developed underwater robot "Tansuo" conducted its maiden test dive in the South China Sea Monday. The robot is 3.5 meters long and 1.5 meters wide and can dive to a depth of 4,500 meters. It will conduct 20 hours of collaborative operations with the unmanned submersible "Faxian" in the South China Sea. Chinese research vessel "Kexue" left the port of Xiamen in eastern China's Fujian Province Sunday to continue its scientific expedition in the South China Sea. During the second stage of its mission, the unmanned submersible will carry a domestically-developed device, a raman spectrometer, to measure marine physical and chemical parameters and take camera images of benthos organisms.

Why Beijing Is Speeding Up Underwater Drone Tests in the South China Sea
China is testing large-scale deployment of underwater drones in the South China Sea with real-time data transmission technology, a breakthrough that could help reveal and track the location of foreign submarines. A government research vessel dropped a dozen underwater gliders at an unspecified location in the South China Sea earlier this month, Xinhua reported on Saturday. It was the biggest joint operation conducted by Chinese unmanned gliders, according to the state news agency, and comes as the US vows to step up patrols in the disputed waters.
BIOTECH
Biotechnology: The US-China Dispute over Genetic Data
Traditionally, the FBI's weapons of mass destruction directorate has concentrated on preventing toxins such as Ebola or anthrax from falling into the wrong hands - and contributing to the spread of new germ weapons. Now, the bureau fears that digital data sets may prove just as lethal. The concerns about large volumes of US genetic data being scooped up help explain why a law enforcement agency is tracking the potential loss of US competitive advantage. "The economic impact is the principal near-term threat - the monetisation of large data sets," says Mr You. Some observers believe the US government is right to ask questions about the implications of Chinese investment in genomics. "I've never seen an agency, the FBI, come out of the woodwork like this," said Michael Wessel, a member of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a congressionally-chartered advisory body. "This is a critical area that needs a lot more attention. It's a real threat." Others worry that it would be damaging for the US to put up excessive barriers to Chinese biomedical investment.
Produced by the IGCC Project on the
Study of Innovation & Technology in China

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