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China tech spending to hit $273B amidst US trade war, slowing economy



Chinese businesses will focus their technology budget on transforming operations and improving efficiencies as they brace themselves for an uncertain geopolitical climate and slowing local economy. This year, they are expected to spend 1.73 trillion yuan (US$256.61 billion) on technology purchases this year, up 4 percent in terms of the US dollar year-on-year, and another 1.843 trillion yuan (US$272.84 billion) in 2020, according to Forrester. 

The research firm noted that the ongoing trade war with the US and a slowing local economy will drive China’s technology decision makers across the different verticals to accelerate their digital transformation in “pragmatic ways”. The tense geopolitical environment also will lead the Chinese government to reconsider some investments, as well as pushing technology vendors to revisit their research investments and go-to-market strategies, said Charlie Dai, Forrester’s principal analyst for enterprise architecture.

Alibaba takes more cloud products global, eyes APAC growth

Chinese internet giant talks up new product releases such as Anti-Bot Service and its datacentre footprint in Asia-Pacific as key differentiators against cloud rivals, Amazon Web Services and Google. Its machine learning specialist also urges need for governments looking to build smart cities, such as Singapore, to ensure its citizens benefit from such initiatives.

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“The trade clash with the US is pushing China to strategically prioritise domestic R&D innovation and accelerate developments in key areas, such as core chips and software, that provide the foundation for China’s national economic and social development plan,” Dai explained, adding that these initiatives would likely take years to materialise and drive government tech investment in the short to medium term.

Forrester said hardware investments would slow but remain dominant, fuelled by rapid adoption of digital services that has led to an almost doubling of mobile internet data traffic to 26.6 exabytes. This growing consumption will encourage Chinese telcos to continue investing in network infrastructure. China Mobile, for instance, has deployed 7,100 5G base stations in five cities, with plans to add another 12 cities by the end of 2018 and connect 300 million IoT (internet of Things) devices. All three local carriers have also revealed plans to launch commercial 5G networks by 2020. 

In addition, the adoption of cloud services and hardware refresh cycles has been fuelling investments in data centre equipment and computers. The number of racks in large data centres grew 68 percent in 2017 and 463 new facilities had been planned or were under construction. These will drive spending on computer and communications equipment to US$65 billion and US$51 billion, respectively, this year.

Forrester also expects tech outsourcing and consulting services to see continued strong growth, as Chinese organisations lack the skillset to support plans to embrace emerging technologies, including integration and customisation services. 

They also will look to expand their public cloud deployment to their entire tech stack, said the research firm. It noted that all five leading cloud players grew by more than 100 percent last year, with Alibaba Cloud and launching or expanding their private cloud offerings. 

These activities will drive outsourcing services growth by 12 percent this year, while tech consulting services will climb 8 percent, Forrester said. 

In terms of software, robust spending here will be fuelled by demand for cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), IoT, and e-commerce. These four key areas helped the software sector grow 14 percent last year, according to the research firm. 

“AI development is a national strategy in China, and both the government and digital firms are driving the rapid adoption of AI technologies from machine learning to computer vision,” Dai said. “China [also] is rapidly embracing IoT in industries like telecommunications, manufacturing, and retail. We forecast a compound annual growth rate for of IoT in Asia-Pacific of 24.4 percent over the next five years.”

The analyst added that e-commerce continues to grow exponentially in the country, with China seeing record sales of US$30.8 billion on Alibaba’s Singles Day last year, up another 27 percent year-on-year. 

Dai further noted: “To establish digital ecosystems for customer engagement throughout the lifecycle and accelerate value co-creation, [Chinese] firms will seek partnerships in vertical AI, cloud-native, hybrid cloud management, insight platforms, and security.” 

Forrester said 58 percent of local companies have expressed plans to invest in AI and cognitive technologies this year, while 52 percent said they will look to improve their use of data and analytics, and 50 percent will increase their cloud adoption.  


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LG’s Rollable Phone Is Dead, But Samsung Will Give You A Slidable Screen Instead



Choi didn’t go into detail about the screen resolution figures and whether the slideable concept was an OLED panel or an IPS LCD screen. In May 2022, Samsung Display showcased a few screen innovation prototypes, and one among them was a slideable OLED panel. However, it was geared toward phones with an Android UI running on them instead of PCs. We also don’t know if Samsung only plans to sell slideable panels for PCs, or whether it will be the first brand to actually make one such PC. Unlike its foldable smartphones that come in clamshell and tablet hybrid form factors, Samsung has been playing it relatively safe with its lineup of Galaxy Book laptops.

But that’s not where the tale of uncertainty for innovative PC form factors ends. Microsoft hasn’t really been keen on optimizing Windows for crazy form factors like foldables, and now, slideable PCs. In fact, the company abandoned its own ambitious dual-screen foldable PC, the Surface Neo, after announcing it at the 2019 hardware launch event. In fact, Microsoft even dumped the Windows 10X project, which was set to power foldable touchscreen-first PCs like the Surface Neo. With such as shaky history, any OEM on the planet would think twice before burning millions of dollars to make a slideable PC with a poorly optimized operating system to boot.

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2023 Bentley Bentayga EWB First Drive: Living Like The Super-Rich



Beyond the longer rear doors, what you don’t see are the mechanical changes. This is, Bentley is at pains to point out, no simple stretch of the regular SUV. There’s an entirely new underbody, unique to this Bentayga, and 2,500 or so new parts compared to the existing short wheelbase car. Enough that th automaker is insisting that this is effectively a new, standalone line, rather than just a derivative.

The 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 is carried across, here tuned for 542 horsepower and 568 pound-foot of torque, along with all-wheel drive and an eight speed, dual-clutch transmission. 0-60 mph arrives in 4.5 seconds, Bentley says, just a tenth of a second slower than the standard wheelbase SUV with the same engine. Surging out of tunnels like a silicone-lubed lobster down a length of cast iron pipe, the Bentayga’s healthy torque feels like a happy precursor to the automaker’s all-electric evolution.

Right now there’s no sign of a hybrid Bentayga EWB, or one using Bentley’s mighty W12 engine. The latter propels the Bentayga Speed from 0-60 in a mere 3.8 seconds, and bests the EWB’s 180 miles per hour top speed by another 10 mph, but it’s a heavy powertrain. With the Bentayga EWB V8 already 13 pounds heftier than the Bentayga Speed W12, and a couple hundred pounds more than the regular Bentayga V8, it’s clear that pairing the longer SUV with the twelve-cylinder engine would result in a something even beefier.

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How To Use Active Noise Cancellation On Your Apple AirPods Pro 2



Now that you know how to activate ANC, here are a few ways you can tell if whether active noise cancellation is enabled. The most obvious way to check is to put both AirPods Pro earbuds in your ears; if you can hardly hear anything around you, it’s enabled. This isn’t always a given though, because ANC and Transparency modes sound very similar when you’re in a quiet room. If you suspect ANC isn’t working on your AirPods Pro, you may want to make sure earwax or debris isn’t building up on the earbuds’ mesh (via Apple). If you need to clean the AirPods, we have a guide on how to safely do so.

Another way to check whether ANC is enabled is directly on your iPhone. With the AirPods paired to it, do the following:

  1. Activate Control Center by swiping down from the top right corner (if you have an iPhone with Face ID) or by swiping up from the bottom (if your iPhone has Touch ID).
  2. Press and hold the volume widget.
  3. Tap Noise Control.

From there, your iPhone will tell you if you’re in Noise Cancellation, Off, or Transparency mode. Of course, you can toggle yourself into the ANC mode in this menu if it’s not already enabled. If you don’t want to mess with software, another thing you can do is tap and hold the stem. The AirPods Pro makes two distinct chimes when switching between Transparency and ANC modes. When going from ANC to Transparency mode, you’ll hear two high-pitched tones in succession. While going from Transparency to ANC mode, you’ll hear one deeper chime.

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