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Biden’s Executive Order to restrict tech investments in China



President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Wednesday that will narrowly limit specific U.S. investments in sensitive technology sectors in China.

The order also mandates the requirement of government notification for funding in other technology domains.

The long-awaited order empowers the U.S. Treasury secretary to restrict or prohibit certain American investments in Chinese entities within three sectors: semiconductors and microelectronics, quantum information technologies, and specific artificial intelligence systems.

In a letter addressed to Congress, Biden stated that he was declaring a national emergency to address the threat of advancements by countries like China “in sensitive technologies and products critical to the military, intelligence, surveillance, or cyber-enabled capabilities.”

Although the order could escalate tensions between the world’s largest economies, U.S. officials emphasized that the restrictions were aimed at mitigating “the most acute” national security risks, without intending to sever the intertwined economies of both nations.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer lauded Biden’s directive, asserting that “for too long, American money has helped fuel the Chinese military’s rise. Today the United States is taking a strategic first step to ensure American investment does not go to fund Chinese military advancement.” He urged Congress to solidify these restrictions through legislation and further refinement.

China’s military

This order primarily intends to prevent U.S. capital and expertise from contributing to the development of technologies that could bolster China’s military modernization efforts and undermine U.S. national security. It primarily focuses on private equity, venture capital, joint ventures, and greenfield investments.

Most investments covered by the order will necessitate government notification, and certain transactions will be outright prohibited. The Treasury Department indicated that it might exempt “certain transactions, including potentially those in publicly-traded instruments and intracompany transfers from U.S. parents to subsidiaries.”

The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not provide an immediate response to requests for comments. However, the embassy had previously stated that the U.S. “habitually politicizes technology and trade issues and uses them as a tool and weapon in the name of national security.”

These regulations will apply only to future investments and will not impact existing ones.

The Biden administration stated that it had engaged with U.S. allies and partners during the development of these restrictions and plans to continue close coordination with them. The executive order reflects discussions held with the Group of Seven countries.

The implementation of the order is anticipated for next year, as informed by an individual familiar with the matter. It will undergo multiple rounds of public comments, including an initial 45-day comment period.

Regulators intend to issue an advance notice of proposed rulemaking to further define the program’s scope and initiate a comment period to gather public feedback before formulating a formal proposal.

Sources previously revealed that the restrictions on semiconductor investments are expected to align with export control rules for China established by the U.S. Department of Commerce in October.

Emily Benson from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a bipartisan policy research organization, speculated that investments in artificial intelligence will likely be prohibited for military purposes, while other investments in the sector will require government notification.

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Why are we desperate for modern tech?



Unraveling the crucial role in modern tech infrastructure

In the dynamic landscape of digital advancements, data centres stand as the unsung heroes, anchoring the core of modern technology infrastructure. Exploring this integral aspect, we delve into the significance of data centres in today’s interconnected world.

As the pace of digitalisation quickens, data centres take the forefront, becoming indispensable for the seamless functioning of our increasingly interconnected global ecosystem. The growing complexities, sizes, and scales of these centres, raising pertinent questions about their impact on sustainability. The expanding footprint of data centres contributes positively or negatively to the quest for a more environmentally conscious world.

Against the backdrop of omnipresent digital infrastructure, the focus shifts to the resilience of data centres. Key factors ensuring the robustness of these centres are explored, underscoring their critical role in maintaining uninterrupted digital services. However, the rising pressure on power grids introduces concerns about potential blackouts and their unforeseen consequences for Australian businesses.

Joe Craparotta, Vice President for the IT business at Schneider Electric, sheds light on the pivotal role data centres play in our interconnected world.

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Taylor Swift named Time magazine’s Person of the Year



Taylor Swift has emerged victorious in a prestigious competition for Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, surpassing stiff contenders such as Barbie, King Charles III, and Sam Altman.

In a surprising turn of events, the globally renowned pop sensation, known for her chart-topping hits and captivating stage presence, has captured the hearts and minds of millions worldwide, cementing her status as a cultural icon.

Swift’s impact extends far beyond the realm of music.

Her relentless advocacy for social causes, from gender equality to LGBTQ+ rights, has resonated deeply with a diverse audience, transcending boundaries and generations. Time Magazine acknowledges her remarkable influence on society, celebrating her not only as an artist but as a force for positive change.

The news of Swift’s triumph has ignited discussions across the globe, sparking debates on the significance of pop culture in shaping the world’s social and political landscape.

Her journey from country sensation to global superstar and activist exemplifies the power of artistry and advocacy to make a profound impact.

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Andrew Forrest demands fossil fuel executives’ accountability at UN COP28



Mining magnate and philanthropist Andrew Forrest made an impassioned call for accountability during a sideline interview at the UN COP28 climate conference.

In an extraordinary outburst, Forrest demanded that fossil fuel industry leaders be held responsible for their contributions to climate change.

Speaking to reporters, Forrest stated, “It’s time for the heads of fossil fuel executives to be on spikes – not literally, of course, but figuratively. We cannot continue to ignore the devastating impact these industries have on our planet. The time for action is now.”

Forrest’s comments come as world leaders gather to address the climate crisis and set ambitious targets for reducing carbon emissions. He emphasized the urgent need for a transition to cleaner energy sources and a shift away from fossil fuels.

The mining billionaire’s outspoken stance has sparked a debate among conference attendees, with some applauding his fervor for climate action and others cautioning against such extreme rhetoric.

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