Category Archives: Emerging Tech

Chinese Billionaire Moving Manufacturing to the U.S. to Cut Costs

While it has been said for a long time that the U.S. is bleeding manufacturing jobs overseas, particularly to China, some businesses have been moving operations the other way round.

And now, the head of a leading Chinese glass maker making the same move has openly questioned if his country really is such a lucrative destination for offshore factories, reports Hong Kong newspaper the South China Morning Post.

Overall speaking, the tax burden for manufacturers in China is 35% higher than in the U.S., Cao Dewang told China Business Network. He added that a combination of cheap land, reasonable energy prices and other incentives means that, despite higher manufacturing costs, he can still make more money by making glass in the U.S. than by exporting Chinese-made panes to the U.S. market.

© Wang Zhou-Imaginechina
Cao Dewang, center, Chairman of Fuyao Group and Chairman of Fuyao Glass Industry Group Co., is interviewed as he arrives at the Great Hall of the People to attend the opening session for the Fourth Session of the 12th National Committee of the CPPCC (Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference) in Beijing, China, 3 March 2016.

His company, Fuyao Glass, has invested over $1 billion stateside, according to the Post, the most significant move of which is opening its U.S. factory in the Ohio town of Moraine, a suburb of Dayton, back in October. The glass maker is re-purposing the town’s former General Motors assembly that had been standing empty since late 2008, as the Dayton Daily News reports.

According to Ohio TV station WDTN, the plant now employs a workforce of almost 2,000, and Cao expects that the fully operational facility will employ up to 3,000 workers.

Wage and transportation costs are getting higher in China, Cao says. Compared with four years ago, labor wages [in China] today have tripled, he told China Business Network. Meanwhile, transportation in the U.S. costs the equivalent of less than one yuan ($) per kilometer, while road tolls [in China] are higher, he added, pointing out that some mid- and small-sized Chinese enterprises have already started moving to Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam and Cambodia for cheaper wages and materials.

Fuyao is not the first Chinese business making the move across the Pacific in recent years. According to the Wall Street Journal, Chinese companies invested over $20 billion in the U.S. last year -from a practically nonexistent total investment back in 2006.

And yet, it would probably be mistaken to write off the world’s second largest economy as a manufacturing powerhouse once and for all. As Fortune reported in early December, the latest data indicates that China’s manufacturing sector is in its strongest position in some years, buttressing the country’s economic growth along the way.

Written by Kevin Lui –  Fortune.com – December 22, 2016

Original Source: http://fortune.com/2016/12/22/us-china-manufacturing-costs-investment/

Frank Assists the Chinese Community Reach Their Development Goals

As Frank begins again to build a development team geared to the unique needs of the Chinese community, let’s look at an example of how he can make a big difference in meeting the goals of others.

Frank was greatly honored when hired as a consultant to assist in the property purchase, development and construction of a new U.S. headquarters for a Chinese organization coming to Seattle.

Through Frank’s experience in managing the work of government agencies, contractors, architects, and engineers, he saved the organization well over a million dollars and eliminated at least a year of development work and construction time to complete the project. The highlights of his project consulting work included:

  • Searching for and locating documents in the City of Seattle government microfilm archives that resulted in a very significant price reduction of hundreds of thousands of dollars in the purchase price, by discovering important misrepresentations of the property.
  • Working with the top Planning and Building officials at the City of Seattle to gain important regulatory concessions that provided additional development advantages, and again saved hundreds of thousands of dollars by reducing code requirements which eliminated construction elements and months of development time.
  • Directing the work of architects, engineers and contractors as well as on site government building inspectors to gain additional regulatory considerations in the field, again saving time and money during the construction process by avoiding costly design and plan reviews through streamlining approval processes.

Frank’s aggressively successful consulting management style was praised by the new owners, as he greatly exceeded their expectations and goals.

Once again it was Frank’s great joy to meet his personal goal of bringing in projects under budget, ahead of schedule, and with more features than originally expected.

It is now Frank’s continued honor to work with a new team of professional and ethical associates in building the next series of development concepts, within culturally sensitive community living environments.

Please contact Frank to find out how he can assist you in fulfilling your dreams and goals.

Frank@FrankKliewer.com

Anytime cell: (206) 794-9900

Respecting the Vital Work of Others

Del

This painting titled “Light Keeper” (oil and acrylic on canvas 24″ x 18″) is a portrait of a modern-day docent, Del, at the Point Sur Lighthouse in California. Apart from the cap he was wearing and his portrait, the rest is Frank’s researched imagination.

The drill for the Light Keeper over 100 years ago was to have the big light on a half hour before sunset, and keep it going until a half hour after sunrise. This painting depicts him running to make his appointed time with the setting sun.

It took a dedicated person to keep a lighthouse flame going so it would project its lifesaving light 20 miles out to sea. Light Keepers were highly respected by most for their critical, yet lonely work. Often isolated far away from busy towns, they would sometimes work through the night to keep the light burning and the emerging technology of gears and pulleys functioning to turn the massive lens shining its distinctive light code, revealing a specific place.

Keeping the light burning and the hundreds of lens prisms polished, was a very disciplined and courageous practice. It may seem romantic, being at the seashore and all, but the reality is that some of the Light Keepers went over the edge, either figuratively or literally, while fulfilling their lonely duties. Some landlubbers on the shore just took the Light Keeper’s work for granted, even scoffing at their value or disrespecting their lifestyle.

The captains and crews of the vessels plying the coastal waters had great respect for the unseen Light Keepers. These traders and builders of commerce showed their support for those protecting them from unseen dangers. It would have been unheard of to demean their vital work or cast aspersions on their lives.

Today, we all should show proper respect and consideration to those who labor to make our lives better. We need to give appropriate consideration to those who serve us with their skills, seeking to protect and serve those in danger, lest shame fall on us for being thoughtless and inconsiderate.

Best of 2014 — More Substance Than We Could Imagine

Empty Space

Since 1995, astronomers have pointed our Hubble Space Telescope toward regions of space we previously thought to be “empty” of matter, mapping new views with time exposures lasting days. Now in combination with the Chandra X-ray Laboratory, the November 2014 composite above shows that “empty” space is actually home to uncounted galaxies and worlds beyond our human vision and understanding.

 

World Wide Web Inventor: “It’s time to recognize the Internet as a basic human right.”

Manish Sain

New Delhi, December 11, 2014

Tim Berners-Lee
Tim Berners-Lee

With internet censorship and government surveillance on the rise, WWW inventor Tim Berners-Lee has said that it is time to recognize access to the web as a basic human right.

While releasing the Web Index annual report in London, Berners-Lee said, “It’s time to recognize the Internet as a basic human right. That means guaranteeing affordable access for all, ensuring internet packets are delivered without commercial or political discrimination, and protecting the privacy and freedom of Web users regardless of where they live.”

The Web Index, which measures the state of World Wide Web in 86 countries, is prepared by the World Wide Web Foundation, an organization founded by Berners-Lee in 2009.

The data revealed in the report suggests more countries are trying to control the internet and putting in place measures to monitor web users. According to the report moderate or extensive web censorship has been seen in 38 percent of countries this year, which marks an increase considering in 2013 this figure was 32 percent.

Internet Cafe
Internet Cafe

The Index ranks countries on the basis of how they are using the Internet. The countries that top the list are gaining most social and economic benefit from the web while the countries with poorer ranks are either misusing or not gaining by the use of it.

The list is topped by Scandinavian countries. Denmark with 100 points is at the top. Ethiopia, on the other hand, with zero points is at the bottom of the list.

India, is somewhere in the middle, although it scores lower than the global average of 46.30.

According to the report, India scores 44.06 points for universal access to the web, 57.42 for freedom and openness of internet and 40.41 for social and economic empowerment. With a total of 44.60 points, India is ranked 48 in the Web Index.

The neighboring countries Pakistan and Bangladesh lag behind with a global ranking of 76 and 63, respectively.

The Foundation calls for more uniformity in how people across the world use the web. “The richer and better educated people are, the more benefit they are gaining from the digital revolution. This trend can and must be reversed,” said Anne Jellema, CEO of the World Wide Web Foundation, and the lead author of the report. “Extreme disparities between rich and poor have been rightly identified as the defining challenge of our age, and we need to use technology to fight inequality, not increase it.”

The report also highlights the lack of legal protection that the majority of people across the world have against web surveillance. “Laws preventing bulk mass surveillance are weak or non-existent in over 84 per cent of countries, up from 63 per cent in 2013,” notes the report.

Berners-Lee says that he believes the web can be a force for good. “In an increasingly unequal world, the web can be a great leveler – but only if we hardwire the rights to privacy, freedom of expression, affordable access and net neutrality into the rules of the game,” he concluded.

 

Original Source: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/technology/story/internet-should-be-a-human-right-says-web-inventor-tim-berners-lee/1/406426.html

The Dark-side of Social Networks

It is clear we have a long way to go in the development and use of social networks. Our sense is that our desire to be happy will lead to new social networking venues, more personalized to our individual needs.  As Douglas Adams put it in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, “…And so the problem remained; lots of the people were mean, and most of them were miserable, even the ones with digital watches.”

MIT Technology Review          August 29, 2014

Evidence Grows That Online Social Networks Have Insidious Negative Effects.

A study of 50,000 people in Italy concludes that online social networks have a significant negative impact on individual welfare.

Italy online

Online social networks have permeated our lives with far-reaching consequences. Many people have used them to connect with friends and family in distant parts of the world, to make connections that have advanced their careers in leaps and bounds and to explore and visualize not only their own network of friends but the networks of their friends, family, and colleagues.

But there is growing evidence that the impact of online social networks is not all good or even benign. A number of studies have begun to find evidence that online networks can have significant detrimental effects. This question is hotly debated, often with conflicting results and usually using limited varieties of subjects, such as undergraduate students.

Today, Fabio Sabatini at Sapienza University of Rome in Italy and Francesco Sarracino at STATEC in Luxembourg attempt to tease apart the factors involved in this thorny issue by number crunching the data from a survey of around 50,000 people in Italy gathered during 2010 and 2011. The survey specifically measures subjective well-being and also gathers detailed information about the way each person uses the Internet.

The question Sabatini and Sarracino set out to answer is whether the use of online networks reduces subjective well-being and if so, how.

Sabatini and Sarracino’s database is called the “Multipurpose Survey on Households,” a survey of around 24,000 Italian households corresponding to 50,000 individuals carried out by the Italian National Institute of Statistics every year. These guys use the data drawn from 2010 and 2011. What’s important about the survey as that it is large and nationally representative (as opposed to a self-selecting group of undergraduates).

The survey specifically asks the question “How satisfied are you with your life as a whole nowadays?” requiring an answer from extremely dissatisfied (0) to extremely satisfied (10). This provides a well-established measure of subjective well-being.

The survey also asks other detailed questions such as how often people meet friends and whether they think people can be trusted. It also asked about people’s use of online social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

This allowed Sabatini and Sarracino to study the correlation between subjective well-being and other factors in their life, particularly their use of social networks. As statisticians they were particularly careful to rule out spurious correlations that can be explained by factors such as endogeneity bias where a seemingly independent parameter is actually correlated with an unobserved factor relegated to the error.

They found for example that face-to-face interactions and the trust people place in one another are strongly correlated with well-being in a positive way. In other words, if you tend to trust people and have lots of face-to-face interactions, you will probably assess your well-being more highly.

But of course interactions on online social networks are not face-to-face and this may impact the trust you have in people online. It is this loss of trust that can then affect subjective well-being rather than the online interaction itself.

Sabatini and Sarracino tease this apart statistically. “We find that online networking plays a positive role in subjective well-being through its impact on physical interactions, whereas [the use of] social network sites is associated with lower social trust,” they say. “The overall effect of networking on individual welfare is significantly negative,” they conclude.

That’s an important result because it is the first time that the role of online networks has been addressed in such a large and nationally representative sample.

Sabatini and Sarracino particularly highlight the role of discrimination and hate speech on social media which they say play a significant role in trust and well-being. Better moderation could significantly improve the well-being of the people who use social networks, they conclude.

Facebook, Twitter, and others take note.

Original Source Here: http://www.technologyreview.com/view/530401/evidence-grows-that-online-social-networks-have-insidious-negative-effects/