Trump Administration Adds China’s Biggest Chip Maker To Trade Blacklist For Alleged Military Ties

Topline

The U.S. Department of Defense added China’s biggest chipmaker, SMIC and major oil firm CNOOC to a trade blacklist due to their alleged ties to the country’s military, continuing the outgoing Trump administration’s crackdown on Chinese firms.

Key Facts

Late on Thursday, the Department of Defense announced a total of four additions to its blacklist also including China Construction Technology Co Ltd and China International Engineering Consulting Corp.

SMIC, which is China’s biggest semiconductor maker, relies heavily on equipment and software from U.S. suppliers to design and manufacture its chips.

In a stock exchange filing on Friday the Chinese chipmaker said that it was aware of the action and was still evaluating the potential fallout.

Crucial Quote

In a Wall Street Journal

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Kotlin language maker JetBrains: Windows 10 and M1 macOS get Android Jetpack Compose

Czechia-based developer tools company JetBrains is making progress with its open-source UI framework, Jetpack Compose for Desktop. 

JetBrains is the designer behind Kotlin, the Google-endorsed programming language for Android app development that’s compatible with Java.

The company has been working on Jetpack Compose for Desktop, a UI framework for Kotlin apps helps developers build slick user interfaces (UI) for apps.

It launched the open-source project off the back of Google’s Jetpack Compose, a UI toolkit that builds on Android Jetpack, which itself is a set of software libraries for Android app development done in Kotlin.

As Google describes it, Jetpack Compose combines application programming interfaces (APIs), Kotlin, and a reactive programming model. 

Google released the alpha version of Jetpack Compose in August but first took the wraps off Jetpack at its 2018 I/O conference and has been working on improvements ever since via new libraries. Jetpack is used by more

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Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi raises $3.9 billion in equity deal – term sheet

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp has raised $3.91 billion as part of a deal that includes Hong Kong’s largest top-up placement, according to a term sheet seen by Reuters.

FILE PHOTO: People are silhouetted in front of Xiaomi’s logo at a venue in Beijing, May 10, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

Potential investors have been told the price should be HK$23.70 for the 1 billion shares that are being sold down in the deal, the term sheet showed.

The price is at the lower end of the range flagged by the company on Tuesday when it said the deal would be between HK$23.70 and HK$24.50.

At HK$23.70, the placement would raise $3.06 billion.

A convertible bond deal to raise $855 million was also finalised Wednesday, according to the term sheet, to take Xiaomi’s total raising to $3.91 billion.

Xiaomi’s deal is the largest top-up placement in Hong

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Salesforce to Buy Software Maker Slack for $27.7 Billion

(Bloomberg) — Salesforce.com Inc. agreed to buy Slack Technologies Inc. for $27.7 billion in cash and stock, giving the corporate software giant a popular workplace-communications platform in one of the biggest technology deals of the year.



an open laptop computer sitting on top of a table: Slack signage on a laptop computer in the Brooklyn Borough of New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020. Salesforce.com's expected purchase of Slack Technologies Inc. will likely be valued in the high $20 billions, according to the WSJ.


© Bloomberg
Slack signage on a laptop computer in the Brooklyn Borough of New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020. Salesforce.com’s expected purchase of Slack Technologies Inc. will likely be valued in the high $20 billions, according to the WSJ.

The transaction, Salesforce’s largest-ever acquisition, is expected to close by the end of July, the San Francisco-based company said Tuesday in a statement. Slack investors will receive $26.78 for each company share as well as 0.0776 share of Salesforce — representing a 55% premium to Slack’s price on Nov. 24, the day before reports about deal talks between the companies.

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Salesforce Chief Executive Officer Marc Benioff has orchestrated more than 60

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Tiger Global-Backed Hospital Software Maker Olive AI Reaches $1.5 Billion Value

(Bloomberg) — An Ohio startup that helps hospitals automate routine tasks is now valued at $1.5 billion after a funding round led by Tiger Global Management.



a man standing in front of a computer: A healthcare worker uses a desktop computer in the resuscitation department of the intensive care unit (ICU) at the Saint Joseph hospital in Marseille, France, on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. President Emmanuel Macron will present a strategy next week for the gradual ending of France's coronavirus lockdown, Le Figaro reported, citing sources it didn't identify.


© Bloomberg
A healthcare worker uses a desktop computer in the resuscitation department of the intensive care unit (ICU) at the Saint Joseph hospital in Marseille, France, on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. President Emmanuel Macron will present a strategy next week for the gradual ending of France’s coronavirus lockdown, Le Figaro reported, citing sources it didn’t identify.

Olive AI Inc. received an investment of $228.5 million in the round, which included new investors Alphabet Inc.’s GV, Sequoia Capital, Dragoneer Investment Group and Transformation Partners. Existing investors General Catalyst and Drive Capital also joined the round.

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Columbus-based Olive has now raised $385 million in financing in the past nine months and $448 million since its inception in 2012.

The company’s software is used

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Facebook Buys Customer-Service Software Maker Kustomer

(Bloomberg) — Facebook Inc. has acquired Kustomer Inc., a New York-based software company that helps businesses manage customer conversations from multiple services on one dashboard.



a wooden cutting board: The logo for Facebook is displayed on a smartphone in an arranged photograph taken in Little Falls, New Jersey, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. Facebook Inc. is tightening its rules on content concerning the U.S. presidential election next month, including instituting a temporary ban on political ads when voting ends, as it braces for a contentious night that may not end with a definitive winner.


© Bloomberg
The logo for Facebook is displayed on a smartphone in an arranged photograph taken in Little Falls, New Jersey, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. Facebook Inc. is tightening its rules on content concerning the U.S. presidential election next month, including instituting a temporary ban on political ads when voting ends, as it braces for a contentious night that may not end with a definitive winner.

The deal was valued at more than $1 billion, said a person familiar with the deal who asked not to be identified because the terms were private.

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The social media giant made the deal to bolster efforts to monetize its messaging business, which is expanding to include customer-service products that help companies interact with people

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Industrial Computer Maker Confirms Ransomware, Data …

Advantech reports the stolen data was confidential but did not contain high-value documents.

Industrial computer manufacturer Advantech has confirmed a ransomware attack that led to the theft of confidential, though low-value, corporate documents, BleepingComputer reports. 

Advantech, a global leader of embedded and automation platforms for Internet of Things (IoT) system integrators, manufactures embedded PCs, industrial IoT (IIoT) devices, network devices, servers, intelligent systems, and intelligent healthcare tools among its many offerings.

The Conti ransomware group was reportedly behind this attack and demanded a $12.6 million ransom to both decrypt target systems and stop publishing the data they stole. They also claimed they would remove backdoors installed on Advantech’s network if the ransom was paid. Attackers began to leak stolen data on their ransomware data leak website on Nov. 26. 

Advantech reports the affected server has been recovered and all key operating systems are functioning as normal.

Read more details here.

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Enterprise AI software maker C3.ai sets terms for $504 million IPO

C3.ai, which provides a SaaS platform for deploying enterprise AI applications, announced terms for its IPO on Monday.

The Redwood City, CA-based company plans to raise $504 million by offering 15.5 million shares at a price range of $31 to $34. Insider BlackRock and new investor Capital Research Global Investors intend to purchase a combined 20% of shares in the offering. Koch Industries and Microsoft intend to purchase a combined $150 million in a concurrent private placement. At the midpoint of the proposed range, C3.ai would command a fully diluted market value of $4.3 billion.

The company provides SaaS applications that enable the rapid deployment of enterprise-scale AI applications on Azure, AWS, the IBM Cloud, Google Cloud Platform, or on-premise. Its two primary families of software solutions include the C3 AI Suite, which is a comprehensive application development and runtime environment that is designed to allow its customers to

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Vaccine Maker AstraZeneca’s Computer Systems Targeted by Hackers

As the race to develop the COVID-19 vaccine continues, it appears that suspected North Korean hackers attempted to access AstraZeneca’s systems in the last weeks.

Reuters reports that the hackers pretended to be job recruiters and used LinkedIn and WhatsApp to contact AstraZeneca employees with false job offers. Sources told the news outlet that the hackers then sent documents that they claimed were job descriptions but instead were written with harmful code to gain entry into the victims’ computers.

The hackers targeted a “broad set of people” like COVID-19 researchers, but it doesn’t appear that their break-in attempts were successful. AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Moderna have become the top three COVID-19 vaccine developers.

Sources told Reuters that the hackers’ tools and techniques seemed to be that of a current hacking campaign that has been assigned to North Korea. Cyberattacks targeting drugmakers, health bodies, and vaccine scientists have escalated since the outset

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China Display Maker Ditches U.S. to Seek $1.8 Billion Local IPO

(Bloomberg) — Chinese flexible display maker Royole Corp. is seeking to raise as much as 12 billion yuan ($1.8 billion) in an initial public offering on Shanghai’s Star Market board after its U.S. listing plan was shelved, according to people familiar with the matter.



a close up of a computer: A Royole Corp. Flexpai smartphone sits on display during the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. Dozens of companies will give presentations at the event, where attendance is expected to top 180,000, with the trade war between the U.S. and China as well as Apple's sales woes looming over the gathering.


© Bloomberg
A Royole Corp. Flexpai smartphone sits on display during the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. Dozens of companies will give presentations at the event, where attendance is expected to top 180,000, with the trade war between the U.S. and China as well as Apple’s sales woes looming over the gathering.

The company plans to file the application to China’s Nasdaq-style trading venue as soon as December, said the people who asked not to be identified as the matter is not public. Royole could see its valuation rise to over $8 billion, said the people,

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