February 2019

Foldable smartphones might not be the future: experts

On Sunday, China’s tech giant Huawei officially unveiled Huawei Mate X, its first foldable smar

tphone. That came just five days after Galaxy Fold, the first foldable smartphone of Samsung. But fol

dables might not be the future of smartphones, comment two experts with China Daily’s Zhang Zhouxiang:

Yuan Xuanhua, a renowned industrial designer with 20 years’ experience in smartphone engineering

Some media outlets have described foldable smartphones with so many sweet w

ords as if they were a technological breakthrough. Unfortunately, they are not. The te

chnology of foldable displays were invented as early as 20 years ago in a quite easy way — By replacing the glass th

at supports the display with foldable organic materials. Such displays can not only fold, but also curve.

Concerning the foldable screens of Huawei and Samsung, they have better displays with higher density rate and cl

earer, more stable display performance, but in essence they are still using the same technology. Therefore, f

oldable smartphones are more like a consumption-led innovation rather than a technology

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Samsung Fold looks not so perfect from the outside beca

ause the camera must not be covered during the folding, while the battery is also thicker. Huawei Mate X looks better, but its display is not protected as well as that of Samsung Fold and faces higher risk of breaking should the phone be dropped.

The two share one thing in common, namely a high price — Both are rather expensive. The Samsu

ng Fold is priced at $1,980 while the Huawei Mate X is priced at 2,299 euros ($2,606). The high price will

quite seriously limit the marketing of the two products and make them the luxuries of rich people only.

According to our analysis and market forecasts, in 2019, the number of f

oldable smartphones and tablets sold globally might reach 900,000, which might do

uble in 2020. As a comparison, people globally bought 1.4 billion smartphones in 2018. In a word, unless its cost fall sh

arply, the market for foldable smartphones will be limited for the foreseeable future.

Yet both Huawei and Samsung have invested huge resources in the research, publicity, and mark

eting of foldable smartphones. There are two main causes for that. First, smartphones are already so

developed that there is hardly any new space for innovation. The iPhone 4 miracle of Steven Jobs can hardly be re

peated in the near future, so both companies need to show the world that they are innovating.

Second, foldable displays need special materials that are quite scarce i

n the market, so neither of the two companies can afford to wait for the other to rise. B

oth need to keep the market in a balance so as to ensure its own share of products.

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Vietnam’s path from a mortal enemy to a friendly partn

  United States is particularly appealing to North Korea, who believes a good relationship with the United States can h

elp create the right environment and necessary conditions for achieving North Korea’s new strategic drive toward ec

onomic development,” said Tong Zhao, a fellow at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy in Beijing.

  The concept isn’t new, of course. During his time as an Asia expert at the State Department in the Clinton administration, Evans Revere said negoti

ators working with North Korea were even then trying to point them to Vietnam, which was beginning to reap t

he benefits of market reforms and becoming a member of good international standing.

  ”We thought, somewhat naively back then, that this would appeal to the North Koreans gre

atly and that our commitments to work with them on bringing about a modernized economy w

ould be so attractive … that they would stand down from their nuclear weapons program. We were wrong,” Revere said.

  ”If all of these incentives or this incentive-based approach to coaxing North Korea do

wn a new path did not work when they didn’t have nuclear weapons, and it didn’t work to prevent th

em from developing nuclear weapons, why will it work now that they are in effect a nuclear weapons state?”

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It’s all about Huawei. World’s biggest mobile tech show g

  Over the next four days, about 100,000 people in Barcelona are expected to traipse through the halls of Mobile Worl

d Congress, one of the tech industry’s biggest events. All the biggest players in the world use it to showcase new products.

  One company really stands out this year: China’s Huawei. Walking

out of the Barcelona airport, there’s a Huawei hospitality stand. The company’s bran

ding dots the city. The lanyards conference attendees wear around their necks are decorated with the Huawei name.

  There’s a good reason everyone is focused on Huawei, one of the world’s largest makers of telecom equipment.

  Huawei is a crucial part of China’s efforts to advance superfast 5G wir

eless networks and today is caught in a life or death battle with the US government.

  The United States claims that Huawei poses a potential national security threat. Last month, US prosecutors revealed cri

minal charges against the company, alleging that Huawei stole trade secrets and worked to skirt US sanctions on Iran.

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national zoo holds housewarming event at giant panda house

  WASHINGTON – The Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington DC held a housewarming

event inside the giant panda house on Saturday to celebrate the completion of a new visitor exhibit.

  The celebration featured frozen treats for giant pandas and red pandas, as well as interactive games and activities for visitors.

  The new exhibit, according to the zoo, teaches visitors about the ecology, history, reproduction, conservation and c

are of giant pandas and enables them to learn about these unique bears and their natural habitat.

  It also chronicles “the advances that panda scientists in China and at the Smithsonian have made during the past four decades.”

  ”So much has changed for giant pandas, for the better, in the past decade,” Steven Monfort, the John and Adri

enne Mars Director of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, said in a statement.

  ”This updated exhibit is really inspiring because it shows how much of a difference we can

make with science and cooperation,” he said, noting that “Smithsonian and Chinese scientists have bee

n collaborating for decades, and visitors can see the results of our work as they walk through the panda house.”

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He called on the country to go along with the general

  development trend of relying more on innovation, creation and creativity to foster a change in the structure and quality of financial services.

  When it comes to the support of financially-strained private enterprises, he said that

market laws shall be respected more and that targeted financial services are needed.

  Private firms who are temporarily in difficulties but engage in businesses that match well with the national industrial development plans or focus on the real eco

nomy, possess leading technologies and enjoy an advantage in the market shall be prioritized, he said.

  ”The healthy development of the real economy is the foundation to prevent and defu

se risks,” he said, adding that risk prevention must be based on steady economic growth.

  He said that the counter-cyclical adjustment roles of fiscal and monetary polic

ies must be strengthened so as to ensure the Chinese economy could run at a reasonable growth range.

  ”Risk prevention must be done in a way that can push ahead high-quality economic development,” he said.

zhoujianhe.cn

DPRK leader leaves Pyongyang for Hanoi for second DPRK

PYONGYANG — Kim Jong-un, top leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), left here Saturday afternoon by train f

or Vietnamese capital Hanoi for the second DPRK-US summit, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Sunday.

Kim will meet with US President Donald Trump there on Feb 27-28. Their first meetin

g was held in June 2018 in Singapore, which resulted in improved bilateral relations.

Kim will pay an official visit to Vietnam at the invitation of Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong before his meeting with Trump.

Kim was accompanied by Kim Yong-chol, Ri Su-yong, Kim Phyong-hae and O Su-yong, members of th

e Political Bureau and vice-chairmen of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of K

orea (WPK), Ri Yong-ho, member of the Political Bureau of the WPK Central Com

mittee and foreign minister, No Kwang-chol, alternate member of the Po

litical Bureau of the WPK Central Committee and minister of the People’s Armed Forces, among others, said the KCNA.

Kim was seen off at Pyongyang Railway Station by Kim Yong-nam, Choe Ryong-hae and Pak Pong-ju, members of the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the Cen

tral Committee of the WPK, and other senior officials of the party, government and armed forces, said the KCNA.

headun.cn

Flight inspections at new Beijing airport complete ddays early

  Beijing’s new international airport finished its flight inspections on Sunday, 19 days ahead of schedule, according to the civil aviation authority.

  At 10:20 am, an aircraft taking off from Beijing Capital Internation

al Airport in the northeastern part of the city landed smoothly on the northern run

way at Beijing Daxing International Airport. The Civil Aviation Administration’s North China Regional Bu

reau called the event a “successful completion” in a news release, referring to its series of flight inspections.

  The inspections, which lasted for 34 days, started on Jan 22 and were suppo

sed last until March 15 to cover the airport’s four runways, six landing systems, lighting facilities and other services.

  Flight inspections, which all airports must undergo before opening, are designed to ensure the airport’s flight pro

cedures and aviation navigational aids will be ready for operation, according to the news release.

  Daxing airport is scheduled to be completed by June 30 and enter commercial operation before Sept 30.

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Desperate and alone, Saudi sisters risk everything

  It was September 6, 2018. The two Saudi sisters were on a family vacation in Colombo, Sri Lanka. For weeks, they had helped their mother organize the trip, feigning

excitement at the possibility of two weeks away from Riyadh, but knowing that if all went to plan, they’d never go back.

  Failure was not an option. Every step of their escape from Saudi Arabia carried the threat of severe punishment or death.

  ”We knew the first time, if it’s not perfect, it will be the last time,” Reem says.

  CNN has changed the sisters’ names and is not showing their faces, at their request for their safety.

  The sisters say years of strict Islamic teaching and physical abuse at home had convinced them that they had no future in a socie

ty that places women under the enforced guardianship of men, and limits their aspirations.

  ”It’s slavery, because whatever the woman will do it’s the business of the male,” Rawan says.

  That’s why they say they renounced Islam.

  And that’s why aged 18 and 20, they stole back their own passports, hid their abayas under the b

edcovers, snuck out of their holiday home and boarded a flight from Colombo to Melbourne, via Hong Kong.

  The Hong Kong stopover was supposed to take less than two hours.

  Two hours has turned into five months.

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On the last night of the trip, the sisters launched into action

  Reem pre-booked the taxi. It was Rawan’s job to retrieve their passports from a bag stored in their parents’ bedroom. Around 2 a.m

., she tip-toed past them as they slept, took the bag with their passports, then snuck back in again to return the bag so as not to raise suspicion.

  ”It’s a really great memory, exciting,” Rawan tells CNN, smiling. Of the two sisters, she‘s the more talkative, taking the lead and occasi

onally looking to her sister for advice on the right word in English. Reem is more reserved. She’s careful about what she says and who to tr

ust. They both have dark, short, curly hair and being small in stature seem much younger than their years.

  When the cab driver arrived at 5 a.m., the sisters say they did something they’d never do

ne before. They pulled on jeans they’d bought in secret and walked out of the house without their abayas.

  It was only after they arrived at Colombo Airport that the sisters booked the flight they’d

meticulously researched online: SriLankan Airlines flight UL892 departing Colombo at 9 a.m., arriving Hong Kong a

t 5:10 p.m. local time. From there, they’d take Cathay Pacific flight CX135 departing at 7:10 p.m. for Melbourne, Australia.

  They had no trouble boarding the plane for the roughly six-hour flight to Hong Kong.

  It was after they arrived in at Hong Kong International Airport that things started to go wrong.

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