Inside China’s iPhone factory: Fascinating footage shows Apple components being made in a fully automated plant manned by robots

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The manufacturer in southern China’s Shenzhen is entirely staffed by robots

The automated plant is dubbed ‘lights-out’ factory with AI-powered machines

It can save costs on labour and energy while improving product quality, it is said

Apple devices and iPhone components are now being produced in a Chinese out-source factory from dusk till dawn without any human workers.

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Chinese Tesla rival Xpeng steers clear of robotaxis, says self-driving trucks more likely to succeed

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Xpeng’s autopilot system Xpilot 3.0 is expected to be included in its P7 smart sedan in early 2021. Photo: HandoutXpeng’s autopilot system Xpilot 3.0 is expected to be included in its P7 smart sedan in early 2021.

It is difficult for self-driving systems to replace human drivers, especially in densely populated cities, Xpeng’s head of autonomous driving says

Self-driving long-haul trucks and robots handling last-mile deliveries are more likely to be successfully automated, according to Xinzhou Wu

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China’s Yuanfudao claims global edtech valuation crown

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Yuanfudao has ascended to become the most valuable private edtech company in the world.

 The Beijing-based company captured a $15.5 billion valuation after closing a $2.2 billion round—climbing past India’s online learning platform, Byju, to take its place as the world’s most valuable private edtech company, according to PitchBook data.

“Yuanfudao is poised for high growth as it offers products from preschool to secondary education, which in theory, can support a child’s educational journey from the very beginning all the way through adulthood,” said Ryan Vaswani, an emerging tech analyst at PitchBook.

The company’s online education platform has about 3.7 million students in China using its suite of products, which include live tutoring, online question banks and a math problem-checking app.

Tencent led the first add-on to the company’s Series G with participation from Hillhouse Capital, Boyu Capital and IDG Capital. DST Global, which has also backed Chinese ridesharing goliath Didi Chuxing, led the second portion of the round. In March, Yuanfudao reportedly raised $1 billion at a $7.8 billion valuation.

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China is building a floating spaceport for rocket launches

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In the near future, launch facilities located at sea are expected to be a lot more common. SpaceX announced that it is hoping to create offshore facilities in the near future for the sake of launching the Starship away from populated areas. And China, the latest member of the superpowers-in-space club, is currently building the “Eastern Aerospace Port” off the coast of Haiyang city in the eastern province of Shandong.

This mobile launch facility is being developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), the country’s largest aerospace and defense contractor. Once fully operational, it will be used to launch light vehicles, as well as for building and maintaining rockets, satellites, and related space applications. As China’s fifth launch facility, it will give the country’s space program a new degree of flexibility.

The addition of a sea platform will also help mitigate the risk to populated areas. At present, all of China’s other launch facilities are located inland at Jiuquan (northwest China), Taiyuan (north), Xichang (southwest), and the coastal site at Wenchang (south) on the island of Hainan. Launches from these locations often result in spent stages falling back to Earth, which requires extensive safety and cleanup operations.

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MIT is helping the Boston Fed build a CBDC that can be scaled for consumer use

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MIT is helping the Boston Fed build a CBDC that can be scaled for consumer use

Can MIT help the U.S. catch up to China in the CBDC race?

The MIT Digital Currency Initiative, or DCI, is helping the federal reserve bank of Boston build a digital currency with the goal of scaling for consumer use. The DCI’s director Neha Narula told Cointelegraph:

“We’re trying to build a high throughput, low latency transaction system that could be used by consumers and could handle the security and resilience required for a national currency.”

The multi-year collaboration between the two organizations is still in very early stages and not much information is being released to the public. Yet the focus is not on building a newer version of interbank digital ledger, but rather something that the consumers would be able to use. It is hard to estimate the required transactional throughput of such technology, but considering that the U.S. population is around 330 million and the fact that the dollar is the most widely used currency in the world (some nations have even officially adopted it), this number would have to be rather high.

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A plane-sized drone just completed China’s first autonomous cargo flight

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China’s largest delivery company completed its first autonomous cargo drone flight

SF Holdings wants plane-size cargo drones to deliver goods to rural areas in China.

Companies around the world are building unmanned civilian aircraft for the freight business

Using small drones to deliver packages straight to your door isn’t a new idea: businesses from Amazon to UPS are already experimenting with the technology. But now the company that owns China’s largest express delivery service is taking the concept further.

SF Holdings said it successfully completed a trial of the country’s first unmanned cargo flight in northwest China last Friday. Unlike some companies that are testing small delivery drones to drop off a single package at nearby locations, SF’s aircraft is said to be capable of flying longer with a payload of up to 1.5 tonnes.

The giant drone is designed to reach a maximum flight distance of 1,200km at a speed of 180km per hour. On Friday, it flew nearly an hour from the mountainous region of Ningxia to Inner Mongolia.

This puts autonomous delivery into a different category from what many other companies have been working on. Amazon revealed last year that its Prime Air drone can fly up to 24km and deliver a package that weighs a little more than 2kg.

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Sky Drone & China Mobile partner to create 5G drone network

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Sky Drone and China Mobile HK have partnered to explore the advantages 5G can have on drone networks by signing a memorandum of understanding earlier this week.

China Mobile HK (CMHK) has already set up up a 5G innovation center that is supporting industries transferring from 4G to 5G as smoothly as possible. The company’s regional laboratory is working with Sky Drones to help with the transfer within the world of drones.

Sky Drones produces 4G/LTE systems that allow drones to always have a connection while in the air. Keeping drones connected while flying long missions is important to ensure the drones stay safe and keep out of the way of other aircraft. The always-connected status of the drone also means data can constantly be sent to the cloud as it’s recorded, allowing for faster turnaround times and removing the chance of the drones going down with the data.

Sky Drones currently has three products, the FPV 3 which is a low latency HD video and control system that uses 4G/LTE networks to always remain connected to the ground station. The Link 3 is a 4K Ultra-HD video transmitter that can be used with any camera that has an HDMI connector with no range limits. Sky Drone also makes a 4G/LTE upgrade kit for the Yuneec H520 drone that turns it into an always-connected drone.

The two companies together have been promoting the use of 5G to government agencies and companies that are using drones autonomously in the following industries:, infrastructure monitoring, surveillance, cargo, and delivery. The Hong Kong government heavily subsidizes 5G developments creating a higher demand for the new tech to be produced and implemented as fast as possible.

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Tesla begins taking Cybertruck orders in China, Will drive one across America

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If reports about the number of reservations it has garnered are true, the Tesla Cybertruck may be the most eagerly anticipated new vehicle in history. Back in February, 532,000 people around the world were reportedly on the waiting list for one of Elon Musk’s segment-smashing vehicles. The no-obligation reservations are little more than a marketing tool for the company at this point. Tesla hasn’t even decided where to build the Cybertruck yet, let alone start constructing a factory. But that hasn’t stopped the company from taking orders for it on its Chinese website, according to Tesmanian.

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Chinese electric buses roll out across Latin America

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Cities across Latin America are cleaning their transport networks with Chinese electric buses – some quicker than others

If 2019 was a watershed year for Chinese electric buses in Latin America, in 2020 they became mainstream.

Latin American countries are moving towards cleaner public transport in their most populated cities. In the process, they have overcome existing entry barriers to the widespread rollout of the technology – driven globally by China – including scarcities of national financing models, charging points and trained personnel.

Manufacturers of Chinese electric buses stand out as the largest providers to the region. Adalberto Maluf, president of the Brazilian Association of Electric Vehicles and marketing director of Chinese maker BYD, said: “BYD sold 1045 buses last year in Latin America. This shows that the market is growing. It is not the size of the European market, or the US, but it’s already very close.”

In total, Latin America has 1229 electric buses in operation in 10 countries, including 563 ordinary buses, 624 trolleybuses and 41 midi e-buses, according to the new E-Bus Radar project led by the Sustainable Mobility Laboratory at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

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Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing launches pilot self-driving robotaxi service in Shanghai

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Didi has raised US$500 million from Japan’s SoftBank for its autonomous driving subsidiary.

 Didi’s launch of robotaxis in Shanghai comes just days after it announced plans to deploy more than one million self-driving vehicles through its platform by 2030

Globally, the market is projected to be worth US$65.3 billion by 2027, according to a report from Market Research Future

Commuters in Shanghai can now book self-driving taxis through Didi Chuxing after the Chinese ride-hailing giant launched its on-demand robotaxi service on the weekend.

Using the new app, passengers can take free rides in autonomous vehicles within designated open-traffic areas in Shanghai’s Jiading District as part of the pilot phase of the project.

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Tesla announces massive Supercharger expansion in China to support growth

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Tesla announced plans to install 4,000 Superchargers in China this year alone in order to support its growth in the market.

 Over the last five years, Tesla has deployed over 2,500 Supercharger stalls in over 150 cities in China.

At their Shanghai office last week, the automaker announced its plan to deploy 4,000 Superchargers in the country in 2020 alone.

This is a massive acceleration of Supercharger deployment for Tesla in China.

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