Sony’s Former Chief, Who Pushed Content but Missed iPod Wave, Dies at 84

Then Sony Corp. chief corporate adviser Nobuyuki Idei, is seen in Tokyo on Oct. 17, 2005. (AP)
Then Sony Corp. chief corporate adviser Nobuyuki Idei, is seen in Tokyo on Oct. 17, 2005. (AP)
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Sony’s Former Chief, Who Pushed Content but Missed iPod Wave, Dies at 84

Then Sony Corp. chief corporate adviser Nobuyuki Idei, is seen in Tokyo on Oct. 17, 2005. (AP)
Then Sony Corp. chief corporate adviser Nobuyuki Idei, is seen in Tokyo on Oct. 17, 2005. (AP)

Nobuyuki Idei, the urbane former chief executive of Sony Group Corp, who spearheaded the Japanese conglomerate's push into content but missed the shift to MP3s that led to the iPod, died on June 2, the company said on Tuesday.

Idei, who was 84, took the helm in 1995 to drive Sony into entertainment from hardware, but under his leadership the company behind the Walkman was slow to embrace MP3s and flat-panel TVs.

Known for his charisma and frank manner, Idei had been handpicked by predecessor Norio Ohga but his push into content opened a rift between Japan-based engineers and foreign movie and music executives.

"When I was in charge of Sony, I was criticized for saying we shouldn't make panels," Idei told Reuters in 2012.

"But when Toyota builds cars it buys the steel from Nippon Steel. The value is in the car, not the steel."

Under Idei, Sony ceded its lead in the portable music industry it had created to Apple, with the company also outmaneuvered by domestic rivals and Korean companies in televisions.

In 2000, Sony's valuation was seven times that of Apple and Ohga had considered a takeover of the California-based firm during the early 1990s, Reuters has reported.

Idei stepped down in 2005 to take responsibility for slumping earnings and was replaced by Britain-born Howard Stringer, who became the first foreigner to lead the company.

The drive away from fabrication accelerated after Idei's tenure as Sony sold off loss-making hardware operations to focus on entertainment, such as the PlayStation games business.

"The prescience and foresight with which (he) predicted the impact of the internet, and engaged proactively with digitization across Sony, amazes me to this day," Sony's chief executive, Kenichiro Yoshida, said in a statement.

Idei died of liver failure. After his departure from Sony, he had continued to play a role in corporate Japan as an adviser and director on company boards.



Software Giant Salesforce in Advanced Talks to Buy Informatica

FILE PHOTO: A banner celebrating the Informatica IPO on the front of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, US, October 27, 2021.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: A banner celebrating the Informatica IPO on the front of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, US, October 27, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo
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Software Giant Salesforce in Advanced Talks to Buy Informatica

FILE PHOTO: A banner celebrating the Informatica IPO on the front of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, US, October 27, 2021.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: A banner celebrating the Informatica IPO on the front of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, US, October 27, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

Customer relations software maker Salesforce is in advanced talks to acquire Informatica, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday, in the latest sign of increased deal-making in the technology sector.
A deal could be announced soon, said the source, who requested anonymity as the discussions are confidential.
The price being discussed is below Informatica's current share price of $38.48, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the talks between Salesforce and Informatica.
Salesforce and Informatica did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Private equity firm Permira, which along with the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) holds a controlling stake of over 75% in Informatica, declined to comment. CPPIB could not be reached for comment.
Founded in 1993, Informatica offers subscription-based data management services over the cloud and also helps to automate tasks for more than 5,000 active customers.
Based in Redwood City, California, its customers include Unilever and Deloitte, according to its website.
Informatica's shares have risen nearly 43% so far this year, valuing the company at about $11.35 billion.
The company was taken private in 2015 for about $5.3 billion by a consortium that included Permira and CPPIB.
Six years later, Permira and CPPIB took Informatica public again and its shares were listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
If the deal goes through, it would be the biggest for Salesforce since it acquired workplace messaging app Slack Technologies in 2020 for nearly $28 billion.
Salesforce's dealmaking strategy came under scrutiny in early 2023, when activist investors, including ValueAct Capital and Elliott Management, questioned the company's strategy and pushed the management for changes.
In response, Salesforce implemented cost-cutting and increased share buybacks. It also disbanded its M&A board committee.
Salesforce has been a prolific acquirer. In 2019, it bought data analytics platform Tableau Software in an all-stock deal valued at $15.7 billion.
As part of the current enthusiasm for artificial intelligence sweeping through the technology sector, several large deals have been signed.
In January, design software company Synopsys agreed to buy smaller rival Ansys for about $35 billion. Hewlett Packard Enterprise struck a deal in January to buy networking gear maker Juniper Networks for $14 billion.
Technology accounted for the largest share of merger and acquisitions during the first quarter, jumping more than 42% year-on-year to about $154 billion, according to Dealogic.


Musk, Argentine President See Eye-To-Eye on Boosting Free Markets, Lithium

Billionaire Elon Musk reacting- File Phot/Reuters
Billionaire Elon Musk reacting- File Phot/Reuters
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Musk, Argentine President See Eye-To-Eye on Boosting Free Markets, Lithium

Billionaire Elon Musk reacting- File Phot/Reuters
Billionaire Elon Musk reacting- File Phot/Reuters

Billionaire Elon Musk and Argentina's libertarian president promised to work together on Friday to promote free markets as well as potential lithium projects after the two likeminded men met in Texas, home to the tycoon's Tesla electric car company.

The chief spokesman to President Javier Milei said the pair visited Tesla's Austin headquarters and discussed a variety of topics, from the need to boost declining birthrates worldwide to pursuing technological development while defending "liberty."

Musk, one of the world's richest men, has previously showed his admiration for Milei's full-throated embrace of private enterprise and his distain for what he sees as socialist excesses.

In comments to local media, Argentina's incoming ambassador to the United States, Gerardo Werthein, noted that Musk and Milei also discussed lithium, the ultra-light metal seen as key for the rechargeable batteries needed for future fleets of electric vehicles.

"We talked about the investment opportunities in Argentina in lithium... We're very committed not only to exporting raw materials but also to adding value," said Werthein in comments published by newspaper La Nacion.

"(Musk) said he wants to help Argentina," added Werthein.

Milei also offered his support for the dispute over Musk's social media platform X, previously Twitter, playing out in Brazil, according to the statement from Milei's spokesman Manuel Adorni, which was posted on X.

Last Sunday, a Brazilian Supreme Court judge opened an investigation into Musk after the billionaire said he would reinstate X accounts that the judge had ordered blocked.


US Lawmakers Angry After Huawei Unveils Laptop With New Intel AI Chip

In this Oct. 14, 2020, file photo, a man wearing a face mask to protect against the coronavirus walks past a billboard advertising Chinese technology firm Huawei at the PT Expo in Beijing. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)
In this Oct. 14, 2020, file photo, a man wearing a face mask to protect against the coronavirus walks past a billboard advertising Chinese technology firm Huawei at the PT Expo in Beijing. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)
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US Lawmakers Angry After Huawei Unveils Laptop With New Intel AI Chip

In this Oct. 14, 2020, file photo, a man wearing a face mask to protect against the coronavirus walks past a billboard advertising Chinese technology firm Huawei at the PT Expo in Beijing. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)
In this Oct. 14, 2020, file photo, a man wearing a face mask to protect against the coronavirus walks past a billboard advertising Chinese technology firm Huawei at the PT Expo in Beijing. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)

Republican US lawmakers on Friday criticized the Biden administration after sanctioned Chinese telecoms equipment giant Huawei unveiled a laptop this week powered by an Intel AI chip.

The United States placed Huawei on a trade restriction list in 2019 for violating Iran sanctions, part of a broader effort to hobble Beijing's technological advances. Placement on the list means the company's suppliers have to seek a special, difficult-to-obtain license before shipping to it, Reuters reported.

One such license, issued by the Trump administration, has allowed Intel to ship central processors to Huawei for use in laptops since 2020. China hardliners had urged the Biden administration to revoke that license, but many grudgingly accepted that it would expire later this year and not be renewed.

Huawei's unveiling Thursday of its first AI-enabled laptop, the MateBook X Pro powered by Intel's new Core Ultra 9 processor, shocked and angered them, because it suggested to them that the Commerce Department had approved shipments of the new chip to Huawei.

“One of the greatest mysteries in Washington, DC is why the Department of Commerce continues to allow US technology to be shipped to Huawei" Republican Congressman Michael Gallagher, who chairs the House of Representatives select committee on China, said in a statement to Reuters.

A source familiar with the matter said the chips were shipped under a preexisting license. They are not covered by recent broad-cased restrictions on AI chip shipments to China, the source and another person said.

The Commerce Department and Intel declined to comment. Huawei did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The reaction is a sign of growing pressure on the Biden administration to do more to thwart Huawei's rise, nearly five years after it was added to a trade restriction list.

In August, it shocked the world with a new phone powered by a sophisticated chip manufactured by sanctioned Chinese chipmaker SMIC, becoming a symbol of China's technological resurgence despite Washington's ongoing efforts to cripple its capacity to produce advanced semiconductors.

At a Senate subcommittee hearing this week, Kevin Kurland, an export enforcement official, said Washington's restrictions on Huawei have had a "significant impact" on it access to US technology. He also stressed that the goal was not necessarily to stop Huawei from growing but to keep it from misusing US technology for "malign activities."

But the remarks did little to stem frustration among Republican China hawks following the news about Huawei's new laptop.

"These approvals must stop," Republican congressman Michael McCaul said in a statement to Reuters. "Two years ago, I was told licenses to Huawei would stop. Today, it doesn’t seem as though the policy has changed."


Huawei Teases Launch of New Smartphone, High-End Model Anticipated

A logo for Huawei is seen during the KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe hosted by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) in Paris, France, March 20, 2024. (Reuters)
A logo for Huawei is seen during the KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe hosted by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) in Paris, France, March 20, 2024. (Reuters)
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Huawei Teases Launch of New Smartphone, High-End Model Anticipated

A logo for Huawei is seen during the KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe hosted by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) in Paris, France, March 20, 2024. (Reuters)
A logo for Huawei is seen during the KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe hosted by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) in Paris, France, March 20, 2024. (Reuters)

Chinese tech giant Huawei has started allowing customers to register their interest in an upcoming smartphone model it has yet to describe, stoking anticipation that the latest version of its high-end P series phones is on its way.

The company jumped back into the premium smartphone market last year with its Mate 60 series, a launch celebrated by state media as a triumph over US sanctions on the firm. The launch has also been blamed for a steep decline in Apple's iPhone sales in China.

Speculation has built up in recent months that Huawei will soon launch the P70, which is expected to, like the Mate 60, contain an advanced China-made chip.

Huawei's P series has advanced cameras and is known for its sleek design, while the Mate series, also high-end, emphasizes performance and business features.

A Thursday product launch for a smart car model and laptop did not mention phones, disappointing legions of fans who complained online. But on Friday, checks made by Reuters at three Huawei stores in Beijing found that interested buyers could register to receive information about a phone without making a deposit.

Registered customers will be notified about the phone's specs and colors in due course, sales staff said.

Huawei did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Mate 60, notably launched during a trip by US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to China, did not involve any prior advertising or disclosure of specifications, prompting some users and companies to tear down the phones as they sought to work out its capabilities.

"Huawei kills two birds with one stone," Will Wong, an analyst with research firm IDC, said of this tactic. He noted that the firm could maintain a lower profile amid US-Sino trade tensions while generating an air of mystery and excitement over the launches.

Archie Zhang, a smartphone analyst at Counterpoint Research, noted that the availability of stock has been a significant constraint for the Mate 60 and would likely be so for the P70 as well.

Huawei has had to slow production for Mate 60 phones due to production constraints and the need to prioritize manufacturing of artificial intelligence chips, sources have said.


Elon Musk Says Tesla Will Unveil Robotaxi in August

Elon Musk says Tesla will unveil its robotaxis on August 8, 2024. Patrick T. Fallon / AFP/File
Elon Musk says Tesla will unveil its robotaxis on August 8, 2024. Patrick T. Fallon / AFP/File
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Elon Musk Says Tesla Will Unveil Robotaxi in August

Elon Musk says Tesla will unveil its robotaxis on August 8, 2024. Patrick T. Fallon / AFP/File
Elon Musk says Tesla will unveil its robotaxis on August 8, 2024. Patrick T. Fallon / AFP/File

Elon Musk revealed Friday that Tesla will pull back the curtain on a robotaxi this summer, news that comes as adoption of self-driving vehicles hits speed bumps over safety concerns.
The billionaire boss of the electric car maker did not provide details, saying only in his post on X that the "Tesla Robotaxi unveil" will come on August 8.
Tesla shares rose more than three percent in after-market trades following the post, after finishing the day down, AFP said.
Musk has long boasted of work Tesla is doing on its systems for electric cars to drive themselves.
Tesla models with FSD (Full Self-Driving) "will be superhuman to such a degree that it will seem strange in the future that humans drove cars, even while exhausted and drunk!" he said in a post on X in March.
Musk has also said that owners of Tesla vehicles with FSD will be able to have their cars serve as robotaxis, rather than remain idly parked.
Despite its potential, rollout of self-driving vehicles in the United States has been tentative and rocky so far as both regulators and the public voice safety concerns.
San Francisco has been a testing ground for the technology.
Robotaxis from Google's Waymo in the city have been targeted by vandals opposed to autonomous vehicles, while GM-owned Cruise indefinitely suspended its robotaxi service at the end of October after several accidents sparked a crackdown by California regulators.
Tesla's "autopilot" feature has also come under scrutiny, facing accusations the marketing of the feature oversold its actual capabilities.
Tesla's robotaxi reveal came on the heels of a Reuters report that the company had abandoned Musk's long-touted plan to manufacture an electric car model selling close to $25,000 to drive adoption in the mass market.
Musk fired off a post denying the report.
Tesla this week reported sharply lower first-quarter auto sales amid an underwhelming demand outlook for electric vehicles, while legacy players including Toyota rode improved US inventories to higher sales.
Musk's auto giant reported global deliveries fell 8.5 percent in the quarter, reflecting in part a weak sales market in China, where it faces heavy competition from local electric vehicle makers.
Wedbush analyst Dan Ives called the quarterly results "an unmitigated disaster."


Bumpy Ride for Electric Cars in Europe

Sales of plug-in 'zero emission' vehicles have stalled in Europe. Patrick T. Fallon / AFP/File
Sales of plug-in 'zero emission' vehicles have stalled in Europe. Patrick T. Fallon / AFP/File
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Bumpy Ride for Electric Cars in Europe

Sales of plug-in 'zero emission' vehicles have stalled in Europe. Patrick T. Fallon / AFP/File
Sales of plug-in 'zero emission' vehicles have stalled in Europe. Patrick T. Fallon / AFP/File

Electric cars are a key part of Europe's green transition plans but the road ahead remains littered with obstacles with 10 years to go before a crucial milestone.
Despite the fact that the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned in the European Union as of 2035, sales of plug-in "zero emission" vehicles have stalled in the region in recent months, AFP said.
The market share for electric cars has shrunk from 14.16 percent last year to 12 percent or less since the start of this year, a drop attributed mainly to Germany's decision to abruptly halt subsidies for electric car purchases on Europe's biggest market at the end of 2023.
Sigrid de Vries, director general of the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA), expressed "concern".
Fewer than 30 percent of Europeans say they plan to buy an electric vehicle (EV), according to the ACEA, and more than half refuse to pay more than 35,000 euros ($37,750) for a car, a price level offering few EVs.
The "2035 deadline... is really just around the corner, especially when you talk production cycles," de Vries told an EV conference last week in Lillestrom, Norway.
"We need to go from 15 percent (zero-emission cars) to 100 percent in about just around 10 years," she said.
At the end of 2023, EVs passed the "tipping point" of five percent -- considered the point of mass adoption -- in 31 countries around the world, according to the Bloomberg news agency.
But only two-thirds of the EU's 27 member states have surpassed this level.
Cars are Europeans' primary mode of transport, and account for 15 percent of Europe's CO2 emissions.
Making vehicles emissions-free is therefore essential if the EU wants to meet its climate commitments.
Norway, a non-EU member -- and also a major oil and gas producer -- is a leader in EV adoption.
Led by Tesla, electric vehicles accounted for 90 percent of new car registrations in Norway in the first quarter thanks to generous tax incentives.
The country aims to reach the 100 percent mark by 2025.
Carmakers like Volkswagen and Volvo have already ended sales of their combustion models in Norway.
See-sawing sales
Elsewhere, the industry's electrification is largely sluggish.
Britain has pushed back by five years its ban on the sale of new combustion cars, now expected in 2035, and many see this target as unrealistic to reach in Europe.
But Nissan, one of the first traditional carmakers to roll out a plug-in with its Leaf model, says sales that yo-yo are not a concern.
"It see-saws and it will always be like that," Guillaume Pelletreau, Nissan's vice president of electrification and connected services, told AFP.
"There was a really strong start to the wave of electrification in the past two years and now we are starting to normalize the process a bit," he said.
"We see nonetheless a clear upwards trend."
Volkswagen, Stellantis and Renault plan to introduce new, less expensive electric models in coming months, but they are also relying on their hybrid models to boost sales.
One of the main hurdles cited by industry experts is the difficulty to roll out the necessary EV infrastructure quickly and broadly.
More than half of the EU's charging stations are found in just two countries: Germany and the Netherlands, according to the ACEA.
In Spain for example, where people replace their cars only every 14 years on average, 65 percent of owners park them in the street, making charging a challenge, said Isabel Gorgoso, head of "new mobility" at energy group Cepsa.
"If you think about Norway 10 years ago, then you have Spain now," she said.
Other obstacles cited are the heaps of EU regulations for carmakers -- up to nine new ones per year -- and ever-changing national policies, which could be exacerbated further by rising support for Europe's populist movements, which are generally climate-skeptic.
"With high-stake European elections around the corner, what happens in the next few months could really determine the fate of Europe's vehicle industry," de Vries said.


US and Japan Announce Joint Partnership to Accelerate Nuclear Fusion

US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida listen to translation during their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, US, April 10, 2024. (Reuters)
US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida listen to translation during their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, US, April 10, 2024. (Reuters)
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US and Japan Announce Joint Partnership to Accelerate Nuclear Fusion

US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida listen to translation during their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, US, April 10, 2024. (Reuters)
US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida listen to translation during their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, US, April 10, 2024. (Reuters)

The United States and Japan announced a joint partnership to accelerate development and commercialization of nuclear fusion, the US Department of Energy said on Wednesday.

The partnership was announced as Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was in Washington for a summit with President Joe Biden.

US Deputy Secretary of Energy David Turk and the Japan Minister of Education, Sports, Science and Technology Masahito Moriyama, met in Washington on Tuesday to discuss fusion.

The partnership is intended to focus on addressing scientific and technical challenges of delivering commercially viable fusion.

Scientists, governments, and companies have been trying for decades to harness fusion, the nuclear reaction that powers the sun, to provide carbon-free electricity. It can be replicated on Earth with heat and pressure using lasers or magnets to fuse two light atoms into a denser one, releasing large amounts of energy.

Unlike plants that run on fission, or splitting atoms, commercial fusion plants, if ever built, would produce little long-lasting radioactive waste.

The two countries will also agree to support sustainable aviation fuel in a statement from the summit, two sources with knowledge of the talks between the countries said.


Top Games Including ‘World of Warcraft’ to Return to China

This photo taken on January 26, 2024 shows people playing computer games at an internet cafe in Beijing. (AFP)
This photo taken on January 26, 2024 shows people playing computer games at an internet cafe in Beijing. (AFP)
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Top Games Including ‘World of Warcraft’ to Return to China

This photo taken on January 26, 2024 shows people playing computer games at an internet cafe in Beijing. (AFP)
This photo taken on January 26, 2024 shows people playing computer games at an internet cafe in Beijing. (AFP)

"World of Warcraft" is returning to China this summer, its developer and local partner said Wednesday, more than a year after dismayed fans saw the hugely popular video game and other titles pulled from the market in a contract dispute.

US-based game-maker Blizzard and China's NetEase said a new deal would see "World of Warcraft" (WoW) return alongside first-person shooter "Overwatch" and spin-offs such as WoW card game "Hearthstone".

"Beloved video game titles from Blizzard Entertainment that captivated millions of players in China will return to the market sequentially, beginning this summer, under a renewed publishing deal," the companies said in a statement.

WoW's Chinese servers went offline in January 2023, prompting a wave of mourning and anger from fans who poured years of their lives into building up their in-game points.

Chinese social media users on Wednesday cheered the return of Blizzard's titles to the market, with "Blizzard announces return" and "NetEase and Blizzard remarry" the top trending searches on the Weibo platform.

"Today, our long-lost old friend returns, our most beloved game returns," gaming blogger "Scarlet Bunny" wrote in a Weibo post.

"Come back to life, my beloved!" another fan wrote.

'Thrilled to align'

Massively popular worldwide, particularly in the 2000s, WoW is an online multiplayer role-playing game set in a fantasy Medieval world where good battles evil.

It is known for its immersive and addictive gameplay, and players can rack up hundreds of hours of game time.

Blizzard's games launched in China in 2008, through collaboration with internet giant NetEase -- under local law, foreign developers are required to partner with Chinese firms to enter the market.

But after 14 years and acquiring millions of players in China, the two firms announced in November 2022 that talks over renewing their operating contract had failed to lead to an agreement.

"After continuing discussions over the past year, both Blizzard Entertainment and NetEase are thrilled to align on a path forward to once again support players in mainland China and are proud to reaffirm their commitment to delivering exceptional gaming experiences," the companies said in their statement.

Some long-time WoW players remained bitter about the title's extended absence from China.

"The Chinese market is not Blizzard's living room where you come and leave as you want. Players are not playthings in Blizzard's hands that you take or abandon at will," one gamer wrote on Weibo, calling for a boycott.

Difficult years

The news will be a welcome boost for NetEase, which like many of the country's tech giants has had a rough few years after a government crackdown on the industry.

Since 2021, children under 18 years old have only been allowed to play online between 8:00 pm and 9:00 pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during the school term.

Gamers are required to use their ID cards when registering to play online to ensure minors do not lie about their age.

Companies are also prohibited from offering gaming services to young people outside government-mandated hours.

An end to a freeze in gaming licenses had raised hopes that the focus on the industry had subsided.

But then in December a set of draft guidelines aimed at limiting in-game purchases and preventing obsessive gaming behavior sent shares in NetEase and its rivals tumbling.

Authorities backtracked a day later, announcing that the rules would be further revised, though it did not give details.

The draft rules were later removed from the regulator's website.


Report: Apple's India iPhone Output Hits $14 Bln

FILE PHOTO: Employee buses enter the Pegatron facility near Chennai, India, March 7, 2023. REUTERS/Praveen Paramasivam/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Employee buses enter the Pegatron facility near Chennai, India, March 7, 2023. REUTERS/Praveen Paramasivam/File Photo
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Report: Apple's India iPhone Output Hits $14 Bln

FILE PHOTO: Employee buses enter the Pegatron facility near Chennai, India, March 7, 2023. REUTERS/Praveen Paramasivam/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Employee buses enter the Pegatron facility near Chennai, India, March 7, 2023. REUTERS/Praveen Paramasivam/File Photo

Apple Inc has assembled $14 billion worth of iPhones in India in fiscal 2024, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday.
Apple now makes as much as 14% or about 1 in 7 of its marquee devices from India, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.
Foxconn assembled nearly 67% while Pegatron Corp made about 17% of the India-made iPhones, the Bloomberg report added. Wistron Corp's plant in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, which the Tata Group took over last year, made the remaining.
Apple did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
Apple is increasingly looking to diversify its supply chain beyond China amid geopolitical tensions between Beijing and Washington, even as China remains the largest iPhone-making hub in the world.
Reuters reported on Monday that Pegatron is in advanced talks to hand over control of its only iPhone manufacturing facility, located near Chennai in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, to the Tata Group.
The Indian consumer goods conglomerate is also building another plant in Hosur in Tamil Nadu, with Pegatron likely to emerge as its joint venture partner.


Intel Reveals Details of New AI Chip to Fight Nvidia Dominance

The Intel logo is displayed on computer screens at SIGGRAPH 2017 in Los Angeles, California, US July 31, 2017. (Reuters)
The Intel logo is displayed on computer screens at SIGGRAPH 2017 in Los Angeles, California, US July 31, 2017. (Reuters)
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Intel Reveals Details of New AI Chip to Fight Nvidia Dominance

The Intel logo is displayed on computer screens at SIGGRAPH 2017 in Los Angeles, California, US July 31, 2017. (Reuters)
The Intel logo is displayed on computer screens at SIGGRAPH 2017 in Los Angeles, California, US July 31, 2017. (Reuters)

Intel detailed a new version of its artificial intelligence chip at its Vision event on Tuesday that takes aim at Nvidia's dominance in semiconductors that power AI.

Tech companies are hunting for an alternative source of the scarce chips that are needed for AI. Intel said that its new Gaudi 3 chip was capable of training a specific large language models 50% more quickly than Nvidia's prior generation H100 processor. It is also capable of computing generative AI responses, a process called inference, more quickly than the H100 chips for some of the models Intel tested.

"Our customers, first and foremost, are asking for choice in the industry," said Intel vice president, strategy and product management Jeni Barovian. "They are coming to us and they are expecting that Intel, as a computing leader, will follow the wave of (generative AI) and deliver solutions that meet their needs. And they are looking for an open approach."

Intel and Advanced Micro Devices have struggled to produce a compelling bundle of chips and the software necessary to build AI applications that can become a viable alternative to Nvidia. Nvidia controlled roughly 83% of the data center chip market in 2023, with a majority of the remaining 17% share held by Google's custom tensor processing units (TPUs) that it does not sell directly.

Intel used Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co's 5nm process to build the chips. Gaudi 3 includes two main processor chips fused together, and is more than twice as fast as its predecessor. The chip is designed to be strung together with thousands of others and when done so can generate an enormous amount of computer power.

The Gaudi 3 chip will be available to server builders such as Supermicro and Hewlett Packard Enterprise in the second quarter of this year.

The next generation of Gaudi chips will be code named Falcon Shores.