Journals

Latest news and scientific research from China and Asia. 
  1. An ale that rewards drinkers with a healthy gut may sound like an idea devised during a night of heavy boozing. Combine that beer with durian – the spiky, smelly, sometimes polarising fruit popular throughout Southeast Asia – and it’s a concept bordering on the absurd.This sheer novelty value – and a love of beer – inspired Kriza Calumba, a food and science technology instructor from Davao in the Philippines, to create her unusual but healthy concoction.“We already know how good probiotics are…
  2. Amid worsening US-China relations and the added pressures wrought by Covid-19, more international companies are looking to reshore manufacturing out of China, redefining global supply chains – especially in the tech sector.The trend began several years ago as China began to climb the economic value chain, lifting its cost of labour in the process, and has been accelerated amid US President Donald Trump’s war on globalism and vow to bring more manufacturing jobs back to America.But is it a…
  3. Discrimination in the real world is an ugly reality we have yet to change despite many years of effort. And recent events have made it clear that we have a long, long way to go. Some companies and governments have turned to automation and algorithms in a bid to remove the human bias that leads to discrimination. However, while machine learning (ML) systems and algorithms are theoretically more objective than humans, the ability to apply the same decision structure unwaveringly does not…
  4. Hello from the SCMP technology desk in Hong Kong. Here is a wrap up of our leading stories from the past week.Midyear sales boomChinese e-commerce giants JD.com and Alibaba saw a boom in sales during the first big shopping festival since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country, indicating that online shopping is alive and kicking despite a wider slowdown in the economy.JD.com, the country’s second-largest e-commerce platform, said transaction volume rose 33.6 per cent from last year to 269…
  5. At this year’s Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), which kicked off on Tuesday, the two papers that clinched the top awards at the event shared one thing in common – both were led by Chinese artificial intelligence researchers.The Best Paper award, picked by a committee to recognise the best work appearing at the conference, went to a study led by Shangzhe Wu, a Chinese PhD student at the Oxford University. The paper, co-authored with Wu’s Oxford peers Christian…
  6. Academics from top universities in the US and China have called for more collaboration in artificial intelligence research as US-China tech tensions continue to escalate and the increased use of AI during the Covid-19 pandemic raises data privacy concerns.“We need to cooperate with one another instead of fighting … no country can achieve peace and security as long as one single country is not safe,” Xue Lan, dean of Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University, said during an online panel hosted…
  7. Physicists have extended the capabilities of secure quantum communication tenfold, marking a step forward in efforts to establish hack-proof network communications, according to a study published by scientific journal Nature on Monday.The latest research used China's Micius satellite, the world's first quantum communication satellite, launched in 2016, to conduct so-called entanglement-based distribution of quantum secret keys – a secure communications method that implements a cryptographic…
  8. Chinese electric car maker Nio has expanded its new shares offering to 72 million American depositary receipts (ADRs), from 60 million, raising US$428.4 million in what might signal a turnaround in investors’ sentiment towards the loss-making start-up.The final price was set at US$5.95 per ADR, about 5.6 per cent lower than Wednesday’s closing price at US$6.3 on the New York Stock Exchange. Still, Nio succeeded in raising more net proceeds than the US$344.2 million estimate it had stated in its…
  9. Cash-strapped Chinese electric car maker Nio said it expects to raise up to US$344.2 million from a new share sale of 60 million American depositary receipts (ADRs).This would be its first offering of shares since it listed in New York in September 2018.Nio said in a prospectus that the estimate was based on its last closing price on June 8, at US$5.97.The loss-making company, founded in 2014, said it would use the proceeds to fund research and development, expand its manufacturing base, and…
  10. Research from genetic testing giant 23andMe found differences in a gene that influences a person’s blood type can affect a person’s susceptibility to Covid-19.Scientists have been looking at genetic factors to try to determine why some people who contract the new coronavirus experience no symptoms, while others become gravely ill. In April, 23andMe launched a study that sought to use the millions of profiles in its DNA database to shed light on the role genetics play in the disease.Preliminary…