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Asia’s Mega Technology Event to Spur Innovation Trade between China and ASEAN

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Asia's Mega Technology Event to Spur Innovation Trade between China and ASEAN

The inaugural edition of ConnecTechAsia — the region’s mega technology event, and the only one Asia for the converging ecosystems of communications, broadcast media, and emerging technologies, will be held from 26-28 June 2018, in Singapore.

ConnecTechAsia combines the strengths of industry stalwarts, such as CommunicAsia, BroadcastAsia, and newly launched NXTAsia. With legacy events CommunicAsia and BroadcastAsia having served the telecommunications and broadcast media sectors respectively for nearly 40 years, the new NXTAsia builds upon this to bring new technologies that are shaping Asia’s increasingly innovation-driven economy. With the advent of the Industry 4.0, ConnecTechAsia will present a holistic ecosystem of infrastructure, technology, and services that businesses and governments in Asia need to thrive in this new era.

With more than 1700 companies representing 52 countries and regions, Chinese companies will form a dominating presence at the event, with a total of 352 companies making it one of the biggest international delegation. This includes 8 Group Pavilions representing Chinese technology hubs Zhongguancun, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian and Chengdu, bringing with them small innovative companies. Leading Chinese technology conglomerates such as Alibaba, Huawei, ZTT, Tatwah Smartech, FiberHome, Hisilicon Technologies, Ruijie, Alliance, Tongyu, China Satellite, Gospell Digital, will also be taking part.

Under the Belt and Road Initiative, China is dedicated to promoting openness and cooperation with ASEAN at a deeper level in recent years. Trade volume between China and ASEAN countries hit a record high in 2017, which totalled 514.8 billion U.S. dollars, up 13.8 percent year on year. This year, China and ASEAN have launched a joint scientific and technology laboratory programme to enhance innovation cooperation.

“As one of ASEAN’s leading trade partners, Chinese participation is key to the success of a mega event like ConnecTechAsia. The rise of Chinese technology companies, and their growing position in the telecoms, media and technology (TMT) ecosystem is critical to providing the innovations and solutions needed to drive successful digital strategies and smart cities in ASEAN. ConnecTechAsia will provide that platform to connect Chinese companies with ASEAN decision makers and buyers,” says Mr. Victor Wong, Project Director of UBM, organisers of ConnecTechAsia.

Aligned with the converging ecosystems of TMT, and fast-paced digital transformation happening ASEAN, Chinese companies exhibiting at ConnecTechAsia will showcase innovations and solutions in satellite communications, IoT, Cloud, enterprise networking and broadcasting solutions.

First-time exhibitor China Tatwah Group — a new global satellite, telecom and information service provider comments on their plans for the ASEAN market, “As the leading Telecom, IoT, Smart City, Internet TV + OTT company in China, Tatwah’s business operations span the globe, with a focus on ASEAN. In 2017, Tatwah acquired Malaysian, Sri Lankan Satellite & Telecom operators and established operations in Indonesia. A new HTS satellite based broadband service will be launched in China and Southeast Asia in 2018 & 2019. It will offer affordable telecommunication services to local fishermen and people living in the rural area for the very first time,” says Mr. Asen Chen, President & CEO, Tatwah Group.

“As a leading sharing platform for the TMT industry, ConnecTechAsia provides us a great opportunity to show our innovative telecommunication solutions and services to all potential customers,” he adds.

Similarly, Mr. Dirk Yin, Deputy General Manager, International Business Division, Ruijie Networks — a leading network solution supplier in China, says, “We’ll be displaying our flagship product, the industry-leading ‘zero-backplane’ data center switch series RG-N18000-X and the enterprise-class WLAN products with the 4th generation X-sense antenna as well as the Wireless Intelligent Service (WIS) for enterprise networks. Our innovative and scenario-based product portfolios have been widely applied into various industries like government, finance, telecommunications, transportation, education, hospitality, among others.”

“ConnecTechAsia, and NXTAsia, provides a precious opportunity to present the power of Chinese brands, new innovations and technologies. We are excited about it and will make every effort to make it a success,” he adds.

CommunicAsia, NXTAsia, and BroadcastAsia Highlights

At NXTAsia, industry professionals will catch the newest innovations and thought-leadership in areas such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR), Cyber Security, IoT, Robotics, Cloud and Data among others.

CommunicAsia, Asia’s most established international industry event for the telecommunications sector, will focus on Network Infrastructure/FTTx, satellite communications and telecom software and services – the latest technologies to help companies and governments in Asia prepare for the coming of 5G and maintain a competitive edge in the communications and digital world.

With on-demand and streaming services surging in popularity, BroadcastAsia will shine a spotlight on the future of broadcasting, exploring how we have consumed news and entertainment over the past decade, and the challenges and opportunities this creates for traditional broadcasters and OTT players. BroadcastAsia will highlight technologies that are reshaping the value chain, such as the latest innovations in UHD/HDR, IP Broadcasting, Live Production, Content Media Security, OTT and Alternative Content Platforms.

ConnecTechAsia Summit – Digital Business Transformation

The ConnecTechAsia Summit this year centres on Digital Business Transformation, covering the hottest trends across ICT, broadcasting industries and enterprises to enable a digitalised future. The three-day summit comprises three tracks — NetworkComms, BroadcastMedia and EmergingTech — that will drive business growth and sustainability.

5G, Network Virtualisation, Satellite Communications and Network Slicing will be the main topics in the NetworkComms track, while The Future of Television, Monetisation Strategies, Social Video, IP Broadcasting, 4K, AI and Immersive technologies for broadcasting will feature in the BroadcastMedia track. Topics of the EmergingTech track will include: Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, Blockchain Technology, Cybersecurity, IoT, Data Analytics, Seamless Commerce/Digital Payments, Connected Industries, IoT, Augmented, Virtual and Mixed Reality, and Smart Cities.

“Presenting a holistic ecosystem of digital convergence and a platform for the discovery and understanding of new frontiers of innovation to elevate the global standing of Asian business and governments sits at the heart of what ConnecTechAsia stands for,” adds Mr Wong. “Continuing the 40 year legacy of CommunicAsia and BroadcastAsia, the new ConnecTechAsia will continue to serve Asia as we embark on the journey of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

For more information on ConnecTechAsia, please visit www.connectechasia.com.

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Australia says no further Facebook, Google amendments as final vote nears

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Australia says no further Facebook, Google amendments as final vote nears 1

By Colin Packham

CANBERRA (Reuters) – Australia will not alter legislation that would make Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s Google pay news outlets for content, a senior lawmaker said on Monday, as Canberra neared a final vote on whether to pass the bill into law.

Australia and the tech giants have been in a stand-off over the legislation widely seen as setting a global precedent.

Other countries including Canada and Britain have already expressed interest in taking some sort of similar action.

Facebook has protested the laws. Last week it blocked all news content and several state government and emergency department accounts, in a jolt to the global news industry, which has already seen its business model upended by the titans of the technological revolution.

Talks between Australia and Facebook over the weekend yielded no breakthrough.

As Australia’s senate began debating the legislation, the country’s most senior lawmaker in the upper house said there would be no further amendments.

“The bill as it stands … meets the right balance,” Simon Birmingham, Australia’s Minister for Finance, told Australian Broadcasting Corp Radio.

The bill in its present form ensures “Australian-generated news content by Australian-generated news organisations can and should be paid for and done so in a fair and legitimate way”.

The laws would give the government the right to appoint an arbitrator to set content licencing fees if private negotiations fail.

While both Google and Facebook have campaigned against the laws, Google last week inked deals with top Australian outlets, including a global deal with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

“There’s no reason Facebook can’t do and achieve what Google already has,” Birmingham added.

A Facebook representative declined to comment on Monday on the legislation, which passed the lower house last week and has majority support in the Senate.

A final vote after the so-called third reading of the bill is expected on Tuesday.

Lobby group DIGI, which represents Facebook, Google and other online platforms like Twitter Inc, meanwhile said on Monday that its members had agreed to adopt an industry-wide code of practice to reduce the spread of misinformation online.

Under the voluntary code, they commit to identifying and stopping unidentified accounts, or “bots”, disseminating content; informing users of the origins of content; and publishing an annual transparency report, among other measures.

(Reporting by Byron Kaye and Colin Packham; Editing by Sam Holmes and Hugh Lawson)

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GSK and Sanofi start with new COVID-19 vaccine study after setback

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GSK and Sanofi start with new COVID-19 vaccine study after setback 2

By Pushkala Aripaka and Matthias Blamont

(Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi on Monday said they had started a new clinical trial of their protein-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate, reviving their efforts against the pandemic after a setback in December delayed the shot’s launch.

The British and French drugmakers aim to reach final testing in the second quarter, and if the results are conclusive, hope to see the vaccine approved by the fourth quarter after having initially targeted the first half of this year.

In December, the two groups stunned investors when they said their vaccine would be delayed towards the end of 2021 after clinical trials showed an insufficient immune response in older people.

Disappointing results were probably caused by an inadequate concentration of the antigen used in the vaccine, Sanofi and GSK said, adding that Sanofi has also started work against new coronavirus variants to help plan their next steps.

Global coronavirus infections have exceeded 110 million as highly transmissible variants of the virus are prompting vaccine developers and governments to tweak their testing and immunisation strategies.

GSK and Sanofi’s vaccine candidate uses the same recombinant protein-based technology as one of Sanofi’s seasonal influenza vaccines. It will be coupled with an adjuvant, a substance that acts as a booster to the shot, made by GSK.

“Over the past few weeks, our teams have worked to refine the antigen formulation of our recombinant-protein vaccine,” Thomas Triomphe, executive vice president and head of Sanofi Pasteur, said in a statement.

The new mid-stage trial will evaluate the safety, tolerability and immune response of the vaccine in 720 healthy adults across the United States, Honduras and Panama and test two injections given 21 days apart.

Sanofi and GSK have secured deals to supply their vaccine to the European Union, Britain, Canada and the United States. It also plans to provide shots to the World Health Organization’s COVAX programme.

To appease critics after the delay, Sanofi said earlier this year it had agreed to fill and pack millions of doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine from July.

Sanofi is also working with Translate Bio on another COVID-19 vaccine candidate based on mRNA technology.

(Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru and Matthias Blamont in Paris; editing by Jason Neely and Barbara Lewis)

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Don’t ignore “lockdown fatigue”, UK watchdog tells finance bosses

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Don't ignore "lockdown fatigue", UK watchdog tells finance bosses 3

By Huw Jones

LONDON (Reuters) – Staff at financial firms in Britain are suffering from “lockdown fatigue” and their bosses are not always making sure all employees can speak up freely about their problems, the Financial Conduct Authority said on Monday.

Many staff at financial companies have been working from home since Britain went into its first lockdown in March last year to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

One year on, the challenges have evolved from adapting to working remotely to dealing with mental health issues, said David Blunt, the FCA’s head of conduct specialists.

“During this third lockdown, there has been a greater impact on mental well-being, with many people struggling with job security, caring responsibilities, home schooling, bereavements and lockdown fatigue.”

Bosses should continually revisit how they lead remote teams, he said.

“The impact of COVID-19 is creating a huge workload for those considered to be high performers, while the remote environment potentially makes it much more challenging for those who were previously considered low performers to change that perception,” Blunt told a City & Financial online event.

Companies should consider “psychological safety” or ensuring that all employees feel confident about speaking out and challenging opinions.

“We’ve heard varying reports of how successful this has been,” Blunt said.

Pressures in the financial sector were highlighted this month when accountants KPMG said its UK chairman Bill Michael had stepped aside during a probe into comments he made to staff.

The Financial Times said Michael, who later apologised for his comments, had told staff to “stop moaning” about the impact of the pandemic on their work lives.

Blunt was speaking as the FCA next month completes the full rollout of rules that force senior managers at financial firms to be personally accountable for their decisions to improve conduct standards.

There have only been a “modest” number of breaches reported to regulators so far as firms worry about being “tainted” but more cases will become public as sanctions are revealed, Blunt said.

“Regulators won’t be impressed by lowballing the figures.”

(Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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