Data, Info and News of Life and Economy

Daily Archives: September 6, 2022

Charts: China Forex Exchange Reserve

Source : Trading Economics

Chart: China Household Loans Falling Sharply

Source : Bloomberg


World AI Conference Technological Innovation Highlights

Artificial intelligence is transitioning into a new era of technological developments as both industries and consumers embrace new innovations, industry leaders said during the World Artificial Intelligence Conference 2022 in Shanghai.

The three-day conference that concluded Saturday brought together key industrial experts and academics, while showcasing the latest products from more than 200 exhibitors across sectors including finance, health, transportation, and culture.

Sixth Tone lists three technological innovations that are reinventing people’s lives and the future.

Fall detection camera

Chinese tech giant Tencent has developed a smart camera that can spot a fall by detecting abrupt changes in a person’s body movements. Dubbed the “Invisible Guardian,” the system will immediately alert a designated contact via a text message and phone call once a fall is confirmed.

Zhang Jiapei, a representative of the company, told Sixth Tone that the product aims to protect seniors, especially those living alone. In addition to visual detections at all times, Zhang said an updated version of the product would also trigger rescue alerts when users call for help using certain words.

Falls are the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths globally, with people over the age of 60 accounting for half of such fatalities, according to the World Health Organization. The camera’s fall detection accuracy has reached over 90%, the company said, adding that it would first promote the device in public elderly care homes in Shenzhen, before following it up in other cities.

“We want seniors, especially those living alone, to be noticed immediately and sent for treatment when they fall,” Zheng said. “As the country has an increasingly aging population, we hope the device can help safeguard their lives.”

Anti-fraud system for digital transactions

Alibaba’s fintech spin-off Ant Group revealed its intelligent risk control system for quickly detecting and intervening in fraudulent digital transactions. One of the key features in the multi-layered mechanism is a 90-second alert call by the platform’s AI assistant.

Zhao Ke, a representative of Ant Group, told Sixth Tone that the system could provide tailored evaluations by analyzing real-time feedback from users during the call, and terminate the process when necessary.

“With this 90-second pause, we want to make our users understand what’s going on by getting them away from the fraudulent transaction where they’re being urged to quickly complete the transaction,” Zhao said, adding that communication could provide more information and improve the accuracy of the system.

Other anti-fraud innovations include a 15-minute “cooldown period” and a 24-hour transfer delay. The company said the AI-powered system has encompassed all kinds of fraud released by police officials in its database and sent more than 500,000 alerts every day across all its applicable platforms, including the popular digital payment app Alipay.

Robot COVID-19 tester

Flexiv, a Shanghai-based robotics enterprise, has developed a robot that can complete an automated COVID-19 test, from picking up a cotton swab to placing the sample in a tube.

Equipped with visual recognition technologies and highly flexible force sensors, the mechanical arm can identify the right point to swab people of different heights, while ensuring it is done in a safe and comfortable way. The swab takes around 28 seconds to finish and the robot can test 240 people in two hours, a member of staff from the company told Sixth Tone.

As frequent COVID-19 testing has become a pivotal tool in containing outbreaks, China is seeking to free medical workers from mass testing and reduce their exposure to the virus. In August, the country published its first industrial standard on sampling machines, which helped review the existing products and regulate the sector.

Source : Sixth Tone

Infographic: The People’s Republic of China: 70 Years of Economic History (1949 -2019)

Infographic: The People’s Republic of China: 70 Years of Economic History (1949 -2019)

See large image . . . . . .

Source : Visual Capitalist

Huawei’s Latest Smartphone Supports Short Message Function Enabled by BeiDou

Chinese tech giant Huawei unveiled a new flagship smartphone on Tuesday, which could be hooked to China’s BeiDou satellite navigation system, allowing users to send short messages even when there is no communication signal on the ground.

“The short message communication is a major feature that distinguishes BeiDou from other satellite navigation systems in the world. Combination with mobile phones can greatly increase the scope of application of this function and reduces application costs,” aerospace expert Pang Zhihao told the Global Times on Tuesday.

The short message communication service of the BeiDou-3 system covers China and neighboring countries and regions. Successful application on smartphones may bring changes and create new business opportunities to the industry chain, analysts said.

Linking with BeiDou navigation system is one of the most eye-catching features of Huawei’s new handset series, which the company described as a technology that “pierces the sky upwards”.

The service empowers Mate 50 to allow users to send short messages and map out routes using the BeiDou navigation satellite system, the Chinese version of the Global Positioning System (GPS).

The Mate 50 series is the first smartphone in the industry to support the BeiDou satellite short message function, and it allows users to send messages and location information to the outside world when they are in an environment without ground network signal coverage.

Apple has been working on satellite connectivity for iPhone 14, which is scheduled to be launched on Wednesday, but whether it will support satellite communications depends on “whether Apple and operators can settle on the business model,” according to some media reports.

“Realizing the satellite function prior to Apple is a breakthrough for Huawei, making it a pioneer in the industry and indicating a gradual upgrading of its smartphone business despite the US ban,” Ma Jihua, a close follower of Huawei and a veteran industry analyst, told the Global Times in an interview on Tuesday.

“But the application scenario for the function is quite limited at the moment, so it’s just a very first step,” Ma said.

Source : Global Times

Lots of Ultra-Processed Foods Could Raise a Man’s Odds for Colon Cancer

Denise Mann wrote . . . . . . . . .

Many guys love a breakfast plate piled high with sausages and maybe a sugar-glazed danish on the side. Now, research shows that wolfing down too many ultra-processed foods like these could be bad news for a man’s colon.

Specifically, men who consumed the highest amount of ultra-processed food had a 29% greater risk for developing colon cancer, when compared to men who consumed smaller amounts. Surprisingly, there was not an increased risk for women who consumed higher amounts of ultra-processed foods.

“The study provides evidence of the potential link between ultra-processed foods and colorectal cancer, and supports the public health importance of limiting certain types of ultra-processed foods for promoting better health outcomes in the population,” said study author Lu Wang. She is a postdoctoral fellow at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Boston.

Ultra-processed foods are high in added sugar, oils/fats and refined starch, all of which contribute to weight gain and obesity, and obesity is a well-known risk factor for colorectal cancer, Wang explained.

“They are also low in beneficial nutrients and bioactive compounds, such as minerals and vitamins,” Wang added.

Exactly why only men appear to be at higher risk isn’t known. “One possible explanation is the composition of the ultra-processed foods consumed by women could be different than that from men,” she said, noting that ultra-processed dairy foods like yogurt may counteract the harmful impacts of other types of ultra-processed foods in women. “Further research will need to determine whether there is a true sex difference,” Wang added.

The study included more than 200,000 U.S. men and women (nearly 160,000 women and about 46,000 men) from three large studies of health care professionals. Participants completed food frequency questionnaires every four years that asked how often they ate about 130 foods. Intake of ultra-processed foods was classified into quintiles, ranging from the lowest amount to the highest.

During more than 25 years of follow-up, there were 1,294 cases of colon cancer in the men and 1,922 cases among the women, the investigators found.

Men who ate the most ultra-processed foods were at the greatest risk for developing colon cancer. This was driven largely by ultra-processed meat, poultry or fish-based, ready-to-eat products and sugar-sweetened beverages. The increased risk was particularly clear for tumors in the distal (last part) of the colon.

While the study didn’t find an overall increased risk for women who ate higher amounts of ultra-processed foods, those who consumed more ready-to-eat/heat-mixed dishes were at an increased risk of colon cancer.

The findings held even after the researchers controlled for other factors known to increase risk for colon cancer including race, family history of cancer, physical activity, smoking status and alcohol intake.

The study was published online in the BMJ.

The new findings add to a growing body of research linking diets high in ultra-processed foods to cancer, specifically colon cancer, said Dr. Robin Mendelsohn, co-director of the Center for Young Onset Colorectal and Gastrointestinal Cancers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, in New York City.

Certain chemicals used in processed meats such as nitrates and nitrites, which keep meat fresh, or heterocyclic amines, which are produced when meat is cooked at a high temperature, are known to cause cancer, Mendelsohn noted.

Her best advice?

“Eat a plant-based diet,” Mendelsohn said. “About two-thirds of your plate should be fruits, vegetables and whole grains, with the rest being lean meats, fish, poultry and legumes. Limit red meat and try to avoid processed meats.”

Ultra-processed foods contain chemicals that may alter the healthy bacteria in the gut, which can worsen inflammation and lead to an increased risk of colon cancer, explained Dr. Amitpal Johal, division chief of gastroenterology at Geisinger in Danville, Pa.

“More studies need to be done to better understand what characteristics of ultra-processed foods lead to the higher rates of colon cancer,” said Johal.

Reducing the amount of ultra-processed foods in your diet and including things like fruits, vegetables, calcium, vitamin D and foods that are high in fiber can help lower risk for colon cancer, he explained.

“Exercise, proper sleep hygiene, and controlling an individual’s weight can also help,” Johal added.

Men and women should also schedule regular screening colonoscopies once they’ve reach 45, he advised.

Source: HealthDay