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Who needs the US? Alibaba will make its own computer chips

Alibaba is setting up its own company to make computer chips as China seeks to cut its dependence on foreign...

Posted: Sep 19, 2018 12:11 PM
Updated: Sep 19, 2018 12:11 PM

Alibaba is setting up its own company to make computer chips as China seeks to cut its dependence on foreign technology.

China's biggest tech firm announced Wednesday that the new business will develop artificial intelligence chips for cloud computing, internet-connected devices and other sectors.

Alibaba's chief technology officer, Jeff Zhang, said the e-commerce company's advantages in algorithms and data put it in "a unique position to lead real technology breakthroughs in disruptive areas, such as quantum and chip technology."

Alibaba has previously made several investments in chipmakers. Earlier this year, it bought C-Sky, a Chinese chip design firm.

Alibaba Executive Chairman Jack Ma has been vocal about addressing China's heavy reliance on foreign-made chips.

"The market for chips is controlled by America ... and suddenly if they stop selling, what that means, you understand," Ma told university students in Tokyo in April. "That's why China, Japan and any country — you need core technologies."

Ma's remarks came shortly after the US Commerce Department blocked American companies from selling parts to ZTE, a Chinese tech company that relied on US suppliers, including chipmakers, to manufacture smartphones and telecommunications equipment.

The ban — since lifted with strict conditions — brought ZTE to its knees and highlighted the risks of China's dependence on foreign-made technology.

"The ZTE incident was a wake-up call" for Chinese leaders, Minxin Pei, professor of government at Claremont McKenna College in California, said at a conference in Hong Kong this month.

But China's homegrown chipmakers, which benefit from government support, are struggling to catch up with more established foreign rivals.

Alibaba provided few details on its new chip business and didn't respond to requests for more information.

The company's name, Pingtouge Semiconductor Company, references a Chinese nickname for the honey badger.

Zhang said at a conference Wednesday that he hoped the new company would be inspired by the animal's spirited nature.

"It's afraid of nothing. It dares to do everything," he said.

The honey badger became internet famous after a video with cheeky narration showed it persevering in the face of extreme adversity.

-- Serenitie Wang contributed to this report.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 941120

Reported Deaths: 15315
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1282511983
Lake633041097
Allen53609758
Hamilton43827447
St. Joseph41906590
Elkhart33545490
Vanderburgh30383448
Tippecanoe26820249
Johnson23609417
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Madison17366384
Vigo16108281
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Howard13865272
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Warrick10674177
Bartholomew10542168
Floyd10430205
Wayne9959226
Grant9130204
Morgan8865160
Boone8389111
Dubois7710123
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Henry7608130
Noble7413101
Marshall7362128
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Harrison603786
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 1365800

Reported Deaths: 21596
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1522221560
Cuyahoga1344852327
Hamilton976051320
Montgomery670271141
Summit562091047
Lucas50900863
Butler47417655
Stark41580976
Lorain31567532
Warren30001331
Mahoning26963639
Clermont25628292
Lake24585417
Delaware22313145
Licking20487241
Fairfield20420221
Greene20309272
Trumbull19866509
Medina19796287
Clark17879328
Richland16314234
Portage16130229
Wood15681208
Allen14115256
Miami13786253
Muskingum12641152
Wayne11946238
Columbiana11708241
Tuscarawas10953269
Marion10725148
Pickaway10465129
Scioto10324127
Erie9747171
Ross9436176
Lawrence8755125
Hancock8458141
Ashtabula8317185
Geauga8173156
Belmont8140187
Jefferson7527172
Huron7423128
Union731851
Washington7183120
Athens697165
Sandusky6848134
Darke6756136
Knox6671122
Seneca6358137
Ashland5948113
Auglaize587188
Shelby5727101
Brown564171
Mercer557890
Defiance5483101
Madison543371
Crawford5425114
Highland541581
Fulton530683
Clinton525580
Logan512182
Preble4994110
Putnam4833106
Guernsey470364
Williams459282
Perry449852
Champaign445964
Ottawa436884
Jackson425362
Pike388843
Morrow383851
Fayette375853
Coshocton374766
Adams360675
Hardin359069
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Holmes3259108
Henry324668
Van Wert314670
Hocking301769
Wyandot280658
Carroll262652
Paulding242243
Meigs213942
Monroe189749
Noble169340
Morgan165829
Harrison157940
Vinton138118
Unassigned05
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