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Coronavirus vs. Social Distancing: A changing paradigm of social interaction

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ISLAMABAD : The large scale global outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic has brought about drastic changes in pattern of cultural and social interactions almost in every society as from greetings to meetings a deliberate attempt of ‘social distancing’ is made to halt the spread of virus.

The virus is primarily transmitted through direct contact with infectious person or with droplets of the infected person’s cough or sneeze, or touching the surface that has cough or sneeze droplets. And later on touching mouth or face with the infected hand as the COVID-19 virus can survive on surfaces for several hours.

Therefore, in order to curb the menace of deadly virus, the sudden social change is witnessed in the mode of interaction. The change is somehow a cultural sock in Pakistani society. People are slowly getting adapted with the changing scenario of new social norms of greetings. However, it wouldn’t be possible to break the chain of virus without embracing the fast changing paradigm of social interactions.

As a responsible member of the world community, Pakistan has taken bold and timely steps to impose restrictions on gatherings, social and political activities by locking down the routine works, educational institutions and public transport operations. Thus people have been restricted to their homes to follow precautionary measures to reduce the risk of coronavirus spread.

The disease caused by the novel coronavirus has been named as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) – ‘CO’ stands for corona, ‘VI’ for virus, and ‘D’ for disease. The COVID-19 has been declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) due to its cross-border spread.

The public is time and again sensitized to ensure at least six feet distance while interacting with each other. They are also asked to avoid handshake and hugging during meeting with one another. Only the responsible move of individual members in line with the government instructions can ensure safety of the collective wellbeing of the society.

The virus which emerged in Wuhan city has later gripped other parts of the country. The Chinese government has locked down the entire city and established various quarantines to accommodate around 12 million people. After getting the situation from bad to worse, the movement of around 60 million people turned stagnant while the city has shown a deserted look.

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According to Pakistan’s real-time updates data portal for COVID-19 till filing of the feature, the virus has so for infected 6, 49,024 people and caused deaths to 30,277 people worldwide. Likewise, in Pakistan, so for a total of 1, 495 cases and 12 deaths of coronavirus have been reported: Punjab 557, Sindh 469, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 188, Baluchistan 133, Gilgit-Baltistan 107, Islamabad 39 and AJK 02. The portal has also reported the recovery of 25 coronavirus patients in the country.

Talking to APP, General Surgeon, Nowshera Medical Complex, Dr. Fazal Ghani said, “Extraordinary situations always ask for extraordinary measures, especially when it comes to public health safety.” While urging people to frequently wash hands with soap and avoid contacting with sick people and animals, he said, in the existing social structure and combined family system; one has to be more careful about the precautionary measures.

Dr. Fazal Ghani said that people should avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands while knowledge, attitude and practice can safeguard the masses from infection of coronavirus. “Only strict precautions can help us protect from the spread of virus”, he added.

Sherafsar Khattak, a social worker who formed groups of volunteers in Sawal Dher, Mardan to sensitize public on protective measures against coronavirus said, “It is now a national obligation for each and every Pakistani to strictly adhere the government instructions against the virus.” He said that due to the prevailing situation of coronavirus cases in the country, people have been sensitized enough on social distancing.

Muhammad Uzair Khan, a college lecturer, said that in the wake of coronavirus, the indoor restricted people have got an opportunity to stay with parents, kids and relatives. He said that social distancing has not been maintained as such due to high level of socialization and social norms of the society.

Islamabad based philanthropist Saud Shah Roghani who distributed thousands of masks among the people has said that after the COVID-19 has become a global issue, the prevailing social custom of greetings had undergone a drastic change. He, however, urged the government to keep on sensitizing the masses on social distancing for breaking the chain of the virus.

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Economy

UBS: AI and Cross-Border E-Commerce Drive Growth for Chinese Internet Firms in 2024

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Introduction

Chinese internet firms are set to continue their growth trajectory in 2024, with artificial intelligence (AI) and cross-border e-commerce being key drivers of expansion, according to a report by Swiss bank UBS. Despite facing intense domestic competition, China’s e-commerce platforms are ramping up their overseas expansion efforts. This is in line with the bank’s analysis that cross-border e-commerce is a bright spot for Chinese internet firms, with the global e-commerce market expected to reach $6.4 trillion by 2024.

AI is also identified as a main theme for Chinese internet companies, with many firms investing heavily in the technology. However, monetization continues to be a challenge, with companies struggling to turn their AI capabilities into profitable ventures. Nevertheless, UBS believes that AI will remain a key growth driver for Chinese internet firms in the years to come.

As China’s internet firms continue to expand their reach both domestically and internationally, the country’s tech sector is set to play an increasingly important role in the global economy. With AI and cross-border e-commerce at the forefront of their growth strategies, Chinese internet firms are poised to capitalize on these bright spots in the industry.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese internet firms are set to continue their growth trajectory in 2024, with AI and cross-border e-commerce being key drivers of expansion.
  • China’s e-commerce platforms are ramping up their overseas expansion efforts, in line with the bank’s analysis that cross-border e-commerce is a bright spot for Chinese internet firms.
  • AI is identified as a main theme for Chinese internet companies, with many firms investing heavily in the technology.

AI as a Growth Driver for Chinese Internet Firms

The rapid development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a key driver for the growth of Chinese internet firms. According to a report by UBS, AI remains a main theme for Chinese internet companies, as it provides new opportunities for innovation and growth.

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Monetisation Challenges in AI

Despite the potential benefits, monetisation of AI continues to be a challenge for Chinese internet firms. UBS notes that while AI is being used in a variety of applications, including facial recognition, natural language processing, and autonomous driving, there is still a lack of effective business models to monetise these technologies. This is particularly true for companies that are still in the early stages of developing their AI capabilities.

AI Innovations and Advancements

Despite the challenges, Chinese internet firms are continuing to make significant advancements in the field of AI. For example, Alibaba has developed a new AI-powered virtual assistant that can help customers find products more easily. The company is also using AI to improve its logistics and supply chain operations, which has helped to reduce costs and improve efficiency.

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Similarly, Tencent is using AI to enhance its social media platforms, including WeChat and QQ. The company has developed a new AI-powered chatbot that can help users find information more quickly and easily. Tencent is also using AI to improve its advertising capabilities, which has helped to increase revenues and improve profitability.

In conclusion, AI is becoming an increasingly important growth driver for Chinese internet firms. While there are still challenges to be overcome, companies are continuing to make significant advancements in the field of AI, which is helping to drive innovation and growth across the industry.

Cross-Border E-Commerce Expansion

In 2024, Chinese internet firms are leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) to expand their cross-border e-commerce operations, which have become one of the bright spots in the industry. As per a report by UBS, China’s e-commerce platforms are facing intense competition domestically, which is driving them to expand their operations overseas.

Strategies for Overseas Markets

To expand their cross-border e-commerce operations, Chinese internet firms are adopting various strategies. One of the most popular strategies is to partner with local firms in the target market. This helps them to leverage the local knowledge and expertise of the partner firm and gain a foothold in the market quickly. For example, JoyTelecom is providing cross-border e-commerce services to the Chinese population, while Insilico Medicine is leveraging AI to discover new drugs. Cloopen, on the other hand, is expanding its global business by providing cloud-based communication services to overseas clients.

Domestic Competition and Global Aspirations

Chinese e-commerce platforms are facing intense competition domestically, which is driving them to expand their operations overseas. The domestic market is crowded, and the competition is intense, which makes it difficult for these firms to grow. However, by expanding overseas, these firms can tap into new markets and gain access to new customers.

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Moreover, Chinese internet firms have global aspirations, and they want to become leading players in the global e-commerce market. To achieve this goal, they are leveraging AI to improve their operations and gain a competitive edge. However, monetization remains a challenge for these firms, and they need to find new ways to generate revenue from their operations.

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In conclusion, Chinese internet firms are leveraging AI and expanding their cross-border e-commerce operations to tap into new markets and gain access to new customers. By partnering with local firms and adopting innovative strategies, these firms are well-positioned to become leading players in the global e-commerce market.

UBS Analysis on Internet Firms in 2024

Market Trends and Predictions

According to UBS, AI and cross-border e-commerce are the two bright spots for Chinese internet firms in 2024. Chinese e-commerce platforms are facing intense domestic competition, and as a result, they are ramping up their overseas expansion. The Swiss bank predicts that this trend will continue in the coming years, as these companies seek to expand their customer base beyond China.

UBS also notes that AI remains a main theme for Chinese internet companies, with many firms investing heavily in this area. However, monetization continues to be a challenge, and companies are still trying to figure out how to generate revenue from their AI initiatives.

Financial Outlook for Chinese E-Commerce

Despite the challenges facing Chinese e-commerce platforms, UBS is optimistic about their financial outlook. The bank predicts that the industry will continue to grow at a rapid pace in the coming years, driven by factors such as rising disposable incomes, increasing internet penetration, and the growing popularity of online shopping.

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UBS notes that while the industry is likely to face challenges such as intense competition and regulatory hurdles, the long-term outlook for Chinese e-commerce remains positive. The bank predicts that the industry will continue to be a major driver of growth in the Chinese economy and that it will play an increasingly important role in the global e-commerce market.

Overall, UBS’s analysis suggests that Chinese internet firms are well-positioned to capitalize on the opportunities presented by AI and cross-border e-commerce. While there are certainly challenges to be faced, the bank is confident that these firms will continue to grow and thrive in the coming years.

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How are Chinese internet firms leveraging AI for global market expansion?

Chinese internet firms are leveraging AI in various ways to expand their global market presence. One way is through the use of AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants to enhance customer service and support. These tools can help Chinese firms provide 24/7 customer service in multiple languages, improving the customer experience and building brand loyalty.

Another way Chinese internet firms are leveraging AI for global market expansion is through the use of AI-powered supply chain management systems. These systems can help Chinese firms optimize their logistics and inventory management, reducing costs and improving efficiency. This can give Chinese firms a competitive advantage in cross-border trade.

What strategies are Chinese e-commerce companies adopting for cross-border trade?

Chinese e-commerce companies are adopting various strategies for cross-border trade. One strategy is to partner with local logistics and distribution companies in target markets, allowing them to more easily reach customers and fulfill orders. Another strategy is to use cross-border e-commerce platforms, such as Alibaba’s Tmall Global, to sell directly to consumers in other countries.

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What challenges do Chinese firms face in monetizing AI technologies?

One of the main challenges Chinese firms face in monetizing AI technologies is the lack of clear business models for AI-powered products and services. While AI has the potential to drive significant value for businesses, it can be difficult to monetize without a clear understanding of how to price and sell AI-powered products and services.

Another challenge Chinese firms face in monetizing AI technologies is the high cost of developing and deploying AI systems. AI requires significant investments in data infrastructure, talent, and computing resources, which can be a barrier to entry for many firms.

Which AI technologies are Chinese companies focusing on for competitive advantage?

Chinese companies are focusing on various AI technologies for competitive advantage, including natural language processing, computer vision, and machine learning. These technologies can be used to improve customer service, optimize supply chain management, and enhance product development and marketing.

How is China’s AI governance initiative influencing international AI development?

China’s AI governance initiative is having a significant impact on international AI development. The initiative includes policies and regulations aimed at promoting the responsible development and use of AI, as well as investments in AI research and development. This is helping to position China as a leader in AI development and is driving increased collaboration and competition in the global AI industry.

What advancements in AI chip technology are emerging from China?

China is making significant advancements in AI chip technology, with companies such as Huawei, Alibaba, and Baidu investing heavily in chip development. These chips are designed specifically for AI workloads, offering improved performance and energy efficiency compared to traditional CPUs and GPUs. This is helping to drive innovation in AI applications and is positioning China as a leader in AI chip development.

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EVs

Seres’ Reduced Losses and Launch of M7 and M9 EVs Signal Bright Future for the Company

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Seres, the Chinese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer and Huawei’s most important EV partner, has announced that it expects its losses for last year to fall between US$295 million and US$380 million, narrowing from US$535 million in 2022. This is a significant development for the company, which has been struggling to turn a profit in recent years. The carmaker is a collaborator on the Aito brand, which just launched its latest M7 SUV. In this article, we will explore the implications of this announcement and what it means for the future of Seres.

Introduction

Seres has been facing significant losses in recent years, but the announcement that its losses for last year are expected to fall between US$295 million and US$380 million is a positive development. The carmaker is the most important EV partner of Huawei, and the two companies have been collaborating on the Aito brand of vehicles since December 2021. The launch of the latest M7 SUV is expected to be a significant revenue driver for the company.

The Implications of the Announcement

The announcement that Seres expects its losses for last year to fall between US$295 million and US$380 million is a significant development for the company. The carmaker has been struggling to turn a profit in recent years, and this announcement is a positive sign that the company is moving in the right direction. The launch of the latest M7 SUV is expected to be a significant revenue driver for the company, and the carmaker is optimistic that it will be able to turn a profit in the near future.

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The Impact on the EV Industry

The announcement that Seres expects its losses for last year to fall between US$295 million and US$380 million is a positive development for the EV industry. The carmaker is a significant player in the Chinese EV market, and the launch of the latest M7 SUV is expected to be a significant revenue driver for the company. The EV industry is growing rapidly, and the success of companies like Seres is critical to the continued growth of the industry.

The Future of Seres

The future of Seres looks bright, and the company is optimistic that it will be able to turn a profit in the near future. The launch of the latest M7 SUV is expected to be a significant revenue driver for the company, and the carmaker is also collaborating with Huawei on the development of new EV models. The company is committed to innovation and is investing heavily in research and development to stay ahead of the competition.

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Conclusion

The announcement that Seres expects its losses for last year to fall between US$295 million and US$380 million is a positive development for the company and the EV industry as a whole. The launch of the latest M7 SUV is expected to be a significant revenue driver for the company, and the carmaker is optimistic that it will be able to turn a profit in the near future. The future of Seres looks bright, and the company is committed to innovation and investing in research and development to stay ahead of the competition.

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Business

China’s Metaverse Working Group: A Step Towards Global Technology Leadership

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Introduction

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has established a working group consisting of 60 experts, including those from the private sector as well as government officials and academic researchers. The group is tasked with building, maintaining, and promoting metaverse industry standards. The metaverse is a virtual three-dimensional world accessible to users through the internet. It is a place where people can interact with each other in a virtual environment, and it is expected to be the next big thing in the tech industry.

China’s Bid to Become a Global Technology Leader

China’s move to convene Huawei, Tencent, Baidu, and other tech giants to draft metaverse standards is a clear indication of the country’s ambition to become a global technology leader. The newly formed working group is expected to streamline growth and eliminate redundancy in the industry.

The Role of the Working Group

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The working group consists of 60 experts, including representatives from telecoms equipment giant Huawei Technologies, video gaming titans Tencent Holdings and NetEase, web search and artificial intelligence champion Baidu, financial technology firm Ant Group, and computer maker Lenovo Group. Other members include MIIT officials and researchers from Peking University, Fudan University, and other renowned institutions in the country. The group is tasked with building, maintaining, and promoting metaverse industry standards, and it is expected to streamline growth and eliminate redundancy in the industry. The group will also focus on domestic standards and encourage local companies and institutions to deeply engage in international standard-setting activities.

Implications of the Working Group

The establishment of the working group is a significant move by China to shape the future of the metaverse industry. The working group’s efforts to build, maintain, and promote metaverse industry standards will streamline growth and eliminate redundancy in the industry, which will benefit both consumers and businesses. The metaverse is expected to be the next big thing in the tech industry, and China’s move to shape the future of the industry is a significant step towards achieving its goal.

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In-Depth Analysis

The metaverse is a virtual world that is accessible to users through the internet. It is a place where people can interact with each other in a virtual environment, and it is expected to be the next big thing in the tech industry. The metaverse is a loosely defined term that refers to a virtual world that is accessible to users through the internet. It is a place where people can interact with each other in a virtual environment, and it is expected to be the next big thing in the tech industry.

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China’s move to convene Huawei, Tencent, Baidu, and other tech giants to draft metaverse standards is a clear indication of the country’s ambition to become a global technology leader. The newly formed working group is expected to streamline growth and eliminate redundancy in the industry. The metaverse is expected to be the next big thing in the tech industry, and China’s move to shape the future of the industry is a significant step towards achieving its goal.

The working group consists of 60 experts, including representatives from telecoms equipment giant Huawei Technologies, video gaming titans Tencent Holdings and NetEase, web search and artificial intelligence champion Baidu, financial technology firm Ant Group, and computer maker Lenovo Group. Other members include MIIT officials and researchers from Peking University, Fudan University, and other renowned institutions in the country. The group is tasked with building, maintaining, and promoting metaverse industry standards, and it is expected to streamline growth and eliminate redundancy in the industry. The group will also focus on domestic standards and encourage local companies and institutions to deeply engage in international standard-setting activities.

ALSO READ:   Knee-deep in Covid-19, our hospitals need steady supplies of PPEs, sanitisers and adequate staff

The establishment of the working group is a significant move by China to shape the future of the metaverse industry. The working group’s efforts to build, maintain, and promote metaverse industry standards will streamline growth and eliminate redundancy in the industry, which will benefit both consumers and businesses. The metaverse is expected to be the next big thing in the tech industry, and China’s move to shape the future of the industry is a significant step towards achieving its goal.

Conclusion

China’s move to convene Huawei, Tencent, Baidu, and other tech giants to draft metaverse standards is a clear indication of the country’s ambition to become a global technology leader. The newly formed working group is expected to streamline growth and eliminate redundancy in the industry. The metaverse is expected to be the next big thing in the tech industry, and China’s move to shape the future of the industry is a significant step towards achieving its goal.

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