U.S. Will Remove Chinese Phone Maker Xiaomi From Blacklist

The U.S. Defense Department removed Xiaomi from a blacklist preventing U.S. investment in the Chinese tech company, an action taken during the Trump administration that alleged the company had ties with the Chinese military. Two months ago, in a Washington D.C. court, a judge criticized the rationale behind the blacklisting and ordered a temporary halt against its enforcement. Xiaomi shares rose 6.1 percent in Hong Kong following the news. TikTok and WeChat also found redress against Trump-era actions against them. Continue reading U.S. Will Remove Chinese Phone Maker Xiaomi From Blacklist

Huawei Appeals FCC Edict Naming It a National Security Risk

Huawei Technologies, the Chinese telecommunications company, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit asking for a review of last year’s FCC ruling that found it a national security risk. As a result of the FCC’s ruling, U.S. telecommunications operators were blocked from buying Huawei’s 5G equipment. Huawei has previously challenged numerous actions taken against it in recent years. The Trump administration blocked Huawei from accessing U.S. technology and encouraged allies to do the same. Continue reading Huawei Appeals FCC Edict Naming It a National Security Risk

Alibaba Spinoff Ant Group Preps for a Record $34 Billion IPO

With the goal of disrupting the banking business in China and making it easier for small businesses to get loans, Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma created Ant Group. Now, the Alibaba spinoff is set to raise $34 billion by selling shares in Hong Kong and Shanghai in what is expected to be the largest initial public offering (IPO) on record. After the IPO, the company will be worth around $310 billion. At its size, Ant is a target for Chinese regulators at the same time that some government funds are Ant shareholders. Continue reading Alibaba Spinoff Ant Group Preps for a Record $34 Billion IPO

Gartner’s Mobile Data Shows a Mixed Bag for Phone Makers

Gartner just released figures on total global smartphone sales that show decreased sales in Q4 2019 despite small year-on-year increases for Apple and Xiaomi. In that quarter, consumers purchased 406.6 million new phones compared to 408.5 million in the same quarter the previous year. Samsung, the long-time leader in smartphone sales, retained the same 17.3 percent market share although it sold fewer units year-on-year. In comparison to Q4 2018, Apple sold 5 million more mobile devices in that quarter in 2019. Continue reading Gartner’s Mobile Data Shows a Mixed Bag for Phone Makers

Pentagon Nixes Commerce Dept. Efforts to Rein in Huawei

The Pentagon has overruled the U.S. Commerce Department’s efforts to make it more difficult for U.S. companies to sell to Huawei Technologies from their overseas facilities. According to sources, the Defense Department and the U.S. Treasury Department also objected to the Commerce Department’s move. The Pentagon’s main concern is that if U.S. companies lose a significant source of revenue, they will be unable to fund research and development sufficiently enough to “maintain a technological edge.” Continue reading Pentagon Nixes Commerce Dept. Efforts to Rein in Huawei

Advertisers Blacklist Hard News, Migrate to Lifestyle Pubs

To avoid having their ads appear next to offensive online material, companies now stipulate the type of web content — or even specific websites — they want to avoid. Blacklists have always existed but are getting longer and more specific for many advertisers. That’s a problem for numerous large and small news publishers, who find their outlets avoided by advertisers in favor of less controversial lifestyle publications. Colgate-Palmolive, Subway and McDonald’s are among many companies blocking digital ads in hard news. Continue reading Advertisers Blacklist Hard News, Migrate to Lifestyle Pubs

Panel: Film and TV Production Experts Discuss UHD Revolution

ETC’s Phil Lelyveld recently moderated a media panel on the “Ultra High Def Revolution.” Presented by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences at CBS Studios, panelists included Oscar- and Emmy-winning DP Dave Stump of the ASC, Sony Pictures Television’s Phil Squyres, and award-winning DPs and lighting experts Bradford Lipson and Greg Gardiner. Vendors demonstrating UHD solutions included Advantage Video Systems, AJA Video Systems, Blackmagic Design and Sony Pictures Entertainment. Continue reading Panel: Film and TV Production Experts Discuss UHD Revolution

New Sony Media Player to Access 4K Library and Stream Netflix

As a follow-up to its original $700 4K media player, Sony has announced a new model, the FMP-X10, that will provide access to Sony’s Video Unlimited 4K download library and be able to stream 4K Netflix content. The new player, available this summer, will be compatible with Sony Ultra HD sets and include 1 terabyte of storage. A price has yet to be announced. Sony’s Video Unlimited 4K library currently features more than 200 titles (45GB-60GB files), about 50 of which are available for free. Continue reading New Sony Media Player to Access 4K Library and Stream Netflix

Sony, FIFA to Shoot Three World Cup Matches and Film in 4K

Sony and FIFA revealed their 4K plans for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, scheduled for Brazil in June/July. Three matches are scheduled to be shot in 4K: one match from the round of 16, one match from the quarterfinals, and the July 13th final match in Rio de Janeiro. In addition to select broadcasters, the live 4K coverage will be made available to select cinemas internationally. Sony and FIFA also have plans to jointly produce the Official 2014 FIFA World Cup film in 4K. Continue reading Sony, FIFA to Shoot Three World Cup Matches and Film in 4K

Sony’s Squyres Talks 4K TV Production at HPA Tech Retreat

As 4K moves into the mainstream, TV and movie producers face daunting new workflows with trepidation. At an HPA Tech Retreat panel yesterday, Sony Pictures Television SVP of Technical Operations Phil Squyres — who has post–produced several 4K TV shows — has encouraging news. “It was actually simpler than we thought it would be,” he said. “Sony had made an effort beforehand to create working relationships with third party vendors, especially dailies vendors. When we went into production, there were a few glitches, but they were readily solved.” Continue reading Sony’s Squyres Talks 4K TV Production at HPA Tech Retreat