Huawei Holds New Product Launch Event Amid Strengthened U.S. Sanctions
On September 25th, Huawei held its new product launch event. The event featured a range of cutting-edge devices, including new tablets, smartwatches, and earphones, all powered by Huawei’s Kirin chips. Richard Yu, Huawei’s consumer chief, delivered a speech emphasizing in a high profile that the company is “working overtime” on production to meet the high demands for its Mate 60 series 5G phones. Since its surprise release in late August, Huawei’s smartphones have become a symbol of the U.S.-China tech war, as the company might have proven its capability to break the U.S. blockade.
Huawei’s event received an enthusiastic response from Chinese internet users. Netizens brought up an intriguing fact that the event was held only days after the U.S. announced its final rules for its CHIPS and Science Act. The rules seek to prohibit chip companies from collaborating on research with China. Many believe Richard Yu’s mention of “working overtime” indicates that Huawei has secured a stable semiconductor supply, safeguarding its massive production from the impact of U.S. sanctions.
China’s state media, including People’s Daily and Xinhua News Agency, livestreamed Huawei’s product launch event. This marked the first time for official media outlets to engage in a commercial event as such. Many interpret this as a signal from the Chinese government, that the nation is progressing toward chip self-sufficiency and will take a firm stance against further sanctions.
China and EU Holds Economic and Trade Dialogue
On September 25th, the 10th China-EU High-Level Economic and Trade Dialogue was held in Beijing. Chinese Vice-Premier He Lifeng co-chaired the meeting with European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis. The Dialogue marks the first face-to-face contact to address economic issues between China and the EU in three years. As the signal was released, the two parties agreed to resume the dialogue mechanism in multiple fields, including energy and food security.
The two sides are now facing a greater number of disputes in the field of economic cooperation than before. Earlier this month, the EU launched an investigation into the subsidies given to Chinese electric vehicle makers, as soaring imports of Chinese cars stoke fears for the future of European manufacturers. China’s Commerce Ministry protested the investigation as “blatantly protectionist”. Yet, the total volume of trade between the two parties still reached more than 800 billion euros, and China has remained the EU’s largest supplier of goods by the first half of 2023.
Netizens on Chinese social media argue that they look forward to seeing the resolution of the China-EU trade disputes and the positive development of the China-EU relationship, which will bring economic opportunities and employment to both sides.
China’s Judiciary Authority Vows to Combat Online Aggression
On September 25th, China’s top judiciary authority released a guiding opinion on combating online aggressive behaviors and criminal activities. According to the document, online aggression undermining public interest will be put to criminal charges by public prosecutors, in accordance with laws. The list includes insults, defamation, and unauthorized disclosures of personal information. It also requires police assistance in obtaining evidence for private prosecutions in certain circumstances. The guidance was jointly drafted by China’s Supreme Court, Supreme Procuratorate, and the Ministry of Public Security.
The rapid expansion of internet coverage led to a surge of online aggressive behaviors in recent years, with some causing severe negative impacts on society. Many were in the form of cyberbullying or sexual harassment. Earlier this year, a 24-year-old female committed suicide after enduring cyberbullying, including slut-shaming by anonymous netizens, only because she had dyed her hair pink. Yet, due to the difficulty in collecting evidence, no one has ever been convicted in this case.
The opinion has garnered support from China’s online community. Many have been looking for a more streamlined procedure for prosecution before the document was released. The 24-year-old female forementioned was collecting evidence for months by herself, before taking her own life. The police assistance in obtaining evidence is expected to lower the cost of civil rights protection and enhance the efficiency of dealing with online aggression cases.