The Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee held a meeting chaired by Xi Jinping | Xinhua

“Xi Jinping pointed out that with the strong leadership of the Party’s Central Committee and the strong support of all parties, with the active participation and cooperation of the people of Hubei, especially the people of Wuhan, after arduous efforts, the defensive battles in Hubei and Wuhan have achieved decisive results and the national epidemic prevention and control blockade has achieved Major strategic achievements.

This all was not easily achieved. At present, the overseas epidemic outbreaks continue to grow, the pressure on China’s foreign defense imports continues to increase and the complexity of preventing domestic epidemic rebounds is also increasing. The string of epidemic prevention and control must be strict at all times, and must never be abandoned. All regions and departments should pay close attention to the prevention and control of normal epidemic situation, strengthen the import of external defense and the rebound of internal defense in a targeted manner, continuously consolidate the results of prevention and control, provide a strong guarantee for the comprehensive restoration of economic and social order and ensure the completion of the decisive battle and the goal of overcoming poverty, and build a well-off society in an all-round way.”

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Alibaba-backed AI startup SenseTime to help China handle digital Yuan | Cointelegraph

“As China is moving forward with blockchain projects amid the COVID-19 crisis, the government has tapped another tech partnership to continue the development of China’s digital yuan.

Domestic artificial intelligence (AI) startup SenseTime has partnered with the People’s Bank of China’s (PBoC) Digital Currency Research Institute to provide its AI expertise amid the reported trials of the central bank’s digital currency (CBDC).”

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Life-size test before producing pollution masks | 24heures

“In full development of masks against pollutants or pollens, two Vaud start-ups are taking on the coronavirus.

This is the story of two start-ups from Vaud, Breez and Helvitek Labs, who are developing a similar product: an anti-pollution protective mask. Having stayed in China several times, their founders understood how useful such an accessory could be to protect themselves from the dangers of exhaust gases, fine particles but also pollens. The two start-ups have been working there for almost two years and have won awards for the innovation of their product.”

Read the full article @ 24heures:

Coronavirus, Italy changes strategy: second in the world for testing people | Repubblica

“Only UAE is ahead of us regarding the relationship between test and population. In Italy, 1.75 million tests: daily tests have quadrupled in a month. Ricciardi and Brusaferro were against it, but the Veneto model proved to be more effective than the Lombard one.”

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Bank of China expands tests of New Fintech Regulation to six more cities | Cointelegraph

“Bank of China launched its first fintech innovation regulatory pilot project in Beijing last year. The bank announced plans to expand its regulatory pilot projects in six more cities and districts on April 27.

The bank plans to conduct pilot projects in Shanghai, Chongqing, Shenzhen, Hebei Xiong’an New District, Hangzhou and Suzhou. Ultimately, it aims to improve the financial services in general for the real economy.”

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Tanzania President cancels ‘killer Chinese loan’ worth $10 bln | Khabarhub

“Tanzania President John Magufuli has cancelled a Chinese loan worth $10 billion saying that the terms of the Chinese loan agreement could only be accepted by a drunken man.

The aforesaid loan had been signed by his predecessor Jakaya Kikwete to construct a port at Mbegani creek in Bagamoyo.

His predecessor, Jakaya Kikwete had signed the deal with Chinese investors to build the port on condition that they would get 30 years to guarantee on the loan and 99 years uninterrupted lease, according to local media reports.”

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Meet Red Date, the little-known tech firm behind China’s big blockchain vision | coindesk

““Initially I thought blockchain, especially distributed ledger technology [DLT], had no commercial value because it was too expensive,” said Yifan He, CEO of Beijing Red Date Technology. “Then I realized we can actually build a multi-framework platform to reduce the cost for everyone.”

That realization is a core idea of the Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN), a government-supported initiative scheduled to open for global commercial use Saturday. As the only one of the three original founding companies with a specialized software background, Red Date initiated the project and has been spearheading the network’s technical design.

“I think nobody has ever heard of it. But actually, in many ways, Red Date Technology plays a critical role in the development of BSN because they are the one who architected the BSN,“ said Michael Sung, a professor at Fudan University’s Fanhai International School of Finance. “They are the one who actually created the technology strategy which went up to the [National] Development and Reform Commission. They made that happen.””

Read the full article @ coindesk:

Ping An’s blockchain, AI-based consumer finance firm launches in China with $700m funding | Ledger Insights

“Yesterday, China’s Ping An Insurance announced it has set up Ping An Consumer Finance in Shanghai with a registered capital of RMB 5 billion ($700 million). The new company has been established under Ping An’s ‘finance+technology’ strategy and incorporates the Group’s expertise in AI, blockchain and cloud computing.

Ping An said its technology system would underpin the entire consumer finance business, including customer acquisition, product innovation, credit review, risk management, post-lending management and customer service. The goal is to create synergy between other group companies and form a closed-loop financial system.


Ping An has a significant presence in the blockchain space, with 68 blockchain patents. It also has 679 AI patents and 48 in cloud computing. OneConnect Financial, an AI and blockchain offshoot from the group, went public on the New York stock exchange last year.”

Read the full article @ Ledger Insights:

China’s national blockchain will change the world | coindesk

This week, China will officially launch a major new blockchain initiative called the Blockchain-based Services Network (BSN). The BSN is a critical part of China’s national blockchain strategy that was announced by President Xi in late November 2019, but went largely under the radar as the simultaneous announcement of China’s digital RMB currency, called the DCEP, swept the world by storm. Only recently has the Western media recognized the significance of the BSN, which sees its mainland commercial launch April 25. The portal’s global commercial launch is scheduled for June 25.

Essentially, the BSN will be the backbone infrastructure technology for massive interconnectivity throughout the mainland, from city governments, to companies and individuals alike. The network will also form the backbone to the Digital Silk Road to provide interconnectivity to all of China’s trade partners around the globe. The BSN will be a new internet protocol to allow a more efficient way to share data, value and digital assets in a completely transparent and trusted way between anyone who wants to be a node on the network.

The main BSN founding consortia partners are the State Information Center (China’s top-level government policy and strategy think tank affiliated with the National Development and Reform Commission), China Mobile (China’s largest national telecom with over 900 million subscribers), China Unionpay (the world’s top payment and settlement provider with eight billion issued credit cards), and Red Date Technologies (the main blockchain architect for the BSN).

Read the full article @ coindesk:

In depth: Pressure grows on China to step up help for economy | Caixin

“Despite signs that the economy is slowly getting back to normal, millions of small businesses and households are battling to survive, and unemployment, especially among migrant workers, has remained elevated. Over the past two months, the government has taken a series of measures to spur economic activity including lowering borrowing costs, releasing billions of yuan of liquidity to encourage bank lending, cutting or waiving taxes and fees and offering preferential policies to businesses worst hit by the coronavirus outbreak.”

Read the full article @ Caixin (Paywall):

A new sensor detects corona viruses in the air | Der Bund

“The new Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus is transmitted by droplets, possibly even tiny floating droplets, as some studies suggest that have been published on the subject in recent weeks. These so-called aerosols stay in the air longer than larger droplets that are released when coughing or sneezing and which therefore also quickly fall to the ground. The new corona virus may even be transmitted when you speak.

An announcement by the Swiss Federal Institute for Materials Science and Technology Empa hence is timely. A team of researchers led by nanotechnologist Jim Wang has developed an optical biosensor that can determine the concentration of the new corona virus in the air. In the future, such a sensor could be used where many people move, for example in large train stations or in hospitals.”

Read the full article @ Der Bund:

Swift Covid-19 vaccine within reach, say Swiss scientists | Swissinfo

“A team of researchers at the University of Bern is hoping to be the first to produce a vaccine against Covid-19 and inoculate the entire Swiss population in October.

“We have a realistic chance of being successful,” said Martin Bachmann, head of immunology at the Swiss university via a web conference with ACANU, the United Nations press association. “Switzerland has a history of being pragmatic and is more interested in finding a compromise to get the vaccine faster.”

Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak and its designation by the World Health Organization as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) at the end of January, most international health experts and authorities have said a vaccine should not be expected for about a year to 18 months – at the earliest.”

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Chinese envoy takes veiled swipe at Trump for politicizing coronavirus | Reuters

“China’s ambassador to the United States took a thinly veiled swipe at U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday by criticizing politicians bent on making “groundless accusations” that distract from scientific information on the deadly coronavirus.”

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Coronavirus attacks lining of blood vessels all over the body, Swiss study finds | SCMP

“Researcher says virus enters ‘defence line’ and causes circulation problems, which can lead to multiple organ failure. In addition to a vaccine, he suggests strengthening vascular health may be key to tackling Covid-19.”

Molecular Partners develops treatment for COVID-19 | GZA

“The biotechnology firm Molecular Partners has launched a therapy program to combat COVID-19. The company has developed artificial proteins aimed at neutralizing the SARS-CoV-2 virus.”

Read the full article @ Greater Zurich Area:

Alibaba to invest $28 billion in cloud services after coronavirus boosted demand | Reuters

“Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N) said it will invest 200 billion yuan ($28 billion) in its cloud infrastructure over three years – a plan that follows a boom in demand for business software as the coronavirus outbreak peaked in China.

The company said in a statement it will spend the funds on semiconductor and operating system development as well as building out its data centre infrastructure.”

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China rolls out pilot test of digital currency | WSJ

“Milestone for world’s biggest central banks in path toward launching electronic payment system. China’s central bank has introduced a homegrown digital currency across four cities as part of a pilot program, marking a milestone on the path toward the first electronic payment system by a major central bank.”

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‘It all feels a little off’: Caution as post-virus China reopens | Al Jazeera

“Even as new cases have plummeted, fears of a second wave of infections have prompted the imposition of restrictions that are even more strict than before including mandatory quarantines.

President Xi Jinping has identified the city as a top priority in virus prevention efforts.

“The security and stability of the capital city is directly related to the overall work of the party and country,” he said in a recent speech.

Daily life is now accompanied by new restrictions and small inconveniences, most of which have been welcomed as an indication that the crisis is being properly managed.

Masks are mandatory – those who attempt to leave their homes without one can expect to be reminded not only by local security guards, but by other residents.”

Read the full article @ Al Jazeera:

Blockchain now officially part of China’s technology strategy | coindesk

“The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) told reporters Monday blockchain will join other emerging technologies such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI) and the internet of things (IoT) in underpinning the systems China uses to manage the flow of information in the coming years.”

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Coronavirus: Stockholm could have ‘herd immunity’ by next month, Swedish health chief claims George Martin George Martin | Yahoo News

“The population of the Swedish capital Stockholm could achieve “herd immunity” from coronavirus within weeks, a health chief has claimed.

Dr Anders Tegnell, the man responsible for drawing up the country’s, controversial coronavirus strategy, said infection rates in the capital are slowing because people had developed a resistance.

“According to our modellers, we are starting to see so many immune people in the population in Stockholm that it is starting to have an effect on the spread of the infection,” he told local media.

“Our models point to some time in May.””

Read the full article @ Yahoo News: