Four things you need to know about China’s AI talent pool 

  • Here’s an inside look into ASML’s factory and how it managed to dominate advanced chipmaking. (MIT Technology Review)

2. Hong Kong passed a tough national security law that makes it more dangerous to protest Beijing’s rule. (BBC)

3. A new bill in France suggests imposing hefty fines on Shein and similar ultrafast-fashion companies for their negative environmental impact—as much as $11 per item that they sell in France. (Nikkei Asia)

4. Huawei filed a patent to make more advanced chips with a low-tech workaround. (Bloomberg $)

  • Meanwhile, a US official accused the Chinese chip foundry SMIC of breaking US law by making a chip for Huawei. (South China Morning Post $)

5. Instead of the usual six and a half days a week, Tesla has instructed its Shanghai factory to reduce production to five days a week. The slowdown of EV sales in China could be the reason. (Bloomberg $)

6. TikTok is still having plenty of troubles. A new political TV ad (paid for by a mysterious new nonprofit), playing in three US swing states, attacks Zhang Fuping, a ByteDance vice president that very few people have heard of. (Punchbowl News)

  • As TikTok still hasn’t reached a licensing deal with Universal Music Group, users have had to get creative to find alternative soundtracks for their videos. (Billboard)

7. China launched a communications satellite that will help relay signals for missions to explore the dark side of the moon. (Reuters $)

Lost in translation

The most-hyped generative AI app in China these days is Kimi, according to the Chinese publication Sina Tech. Released by Moonshot AI, a Chinese “unicorn” startup, Kimi made headlines last week when it announced it had started supporting inputting text using over 2 million Chinese characters. (For comparison, OpenAI’s GPT-4 Turbo currently supports inputting 100,000 Chinese characters, while Claude3-200K supports about 160,000 characters.)

While some of the app’s virality can be credited to a marketing push that intensified recently. Chinese users are now busy feeding popular and classic books to the model and testing how well it can understand the context. Feeling threatened, other Chinese AI apps owned by tech giants like Baidu and Alibaba have followed suit, announcing that they will soon support 5 million or even 10 million Chinese characters. But processing large amounts of text, while impressive, is very costly in the generative AI age—and some observers worry this isn’t the commercial direction that companies ought to head in.

One more thing

Fluffy pajamas, sweatpants, outdated attire: young Chinese people are dressing themselves in “gross outfits” to work—an intentional provocation to their bosses and an expression of silent resistance to the trend that glorifies career hustle. “I just don’t think it’s worth spending money to dress up for work, since I’m just sitting there,” one of them told the New York Times.

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