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ZODIAC

Found 399 results

  1. Construction of the 1,000-bed facility began as reports surfaced of bed shortages in hospitals designated to deal with the outbreak
  2. China put millions of people on lockdown in two cities at the epicenter of a coronavirus outbreak that has killed 17 people
  3. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and President Donald Trump display the trade agreement signed between the United States and China. Photo: AFPWASHINGTON: The United States and China signed a truce in their trade war on Wednesday after nearly two years of tensions, bringing relief to markets but largely leaving massive tariffs in place. The "phase one" deal is also a boon for Donald Trump as he faces an impeachment trial and a tough re-election fight this year, with the US president hailing the agreement as "momentous". However, with tariffs still in place on two-thirds of more than $500 billion in imports from China, US consumers and businesses will be left to foot the bill. Also read: China suspends planned tariffs on US goods The agreement includes pledges from China to beef up purchases of US agricultural goods and other exports for two years, provides some protections for US technology, and new enforcement mechanisms that allow Washington to quickly impose penalties that Beijing cannot respond to. "Today, we take a momentous step, one that has never been taken before with China", which will ensure "fair and reciprocal trade", Trump said at the White House signing ceremony. "Together, we are righting the wrongs of the past". Also read: US-China trade war: Beijing removes several products from tariffs list But as Trump ambled through a lengthy commentary on the deal, major networks switched away from the White House to Congress where articles of impeachment were to be presented to the Senate as the first step towards a trial. The easing of trade frictions has boosted stock markets worldwide in recent weeks, as it takes the threat of new tariffs off the table for now. On Wall Street, the Dow and S&P 500 ended at new record highs after the signing, while Asian markets were mostly up in the afternoon. Trump signed the deal with China´s Vice Premier Liu He, who has led Beijing´s negotiations with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Also read: China ready for premature activation of free trade agreement 'Incredible breakthrough'The US president thanked Chinese leader Xi Jinping and said he would visit Beijing in "the not-too-distant future." "Negotiations were tough on us," Trump said, but they led "to this really incredible breakthrough." But he said he will only remove the remaining tariffs "if we´re able to do phase two." In a letter to Trump read by Liu, the Chinese president said the deal is "good for China, for the US and for the whole world." Also read: Gwadar port starts handling Afghan transit trade: report "It also shows that our two countries have the ability to act on the basis of equality and mutual respect", Xi said in the letter to his US counterpart, adding that he would "stay in close touch with you personally". At a later news briefing with Chinese media in Washington, Liu said the pact "considerably addressed the concerns of both sides," according to the official Xinhua news agency. The agreement "bears both economic and political significance," he said. Also read: China starts lifting restrictions on foreign investment Chinese state-run newspapers hailed the signing of the "hard-fought agreement", but warned that it would "not take much to banjax the deal" and bring tensions to a head again. The American Chamber of Commerce in China said the signing of the deal represented "the start of a new chapter" but warned "significant work remains to address longstanding, structural issues in the commercial and economic relationship." The most difficult issues remain to be dealt with in "phase two" negotiations, including China´s massive subsidies for state industry. Also read: President Xi warns Trump against interfering in Taiwan, Hong Kong And elements of the deal the administration has touted as achievements effectively take the relationship between the two powers back to where it was before Trump took office. "A huge amount of this is a reset," said Chad Bown, a trade expert with the Peterson Institute for International Economics. "A lot of these elements are locking in things that were already there, or already in train before." Also read: Musk hands over made-in-China Teslas to early buyers in Shanghai Boost for farmersThe absence of any provision on China´s industrial subsidies leaves "a big, giant, gaping hole that has not been addressed," Bown told reporters. After announcing the deal on December 13, the United States canceled a damaging round of new tariffs that were due to kick in two days later and also promised to slash in half the 15 percent tariffs on $120 billion imposed September 1 on consumer goods like clothing. That reduction will take effect in 30 days, when the deal enters into force, a senior administration official told reporters. Also read: China Southern Airlines starts Guangzhou-Kunming-Islamabad flights But Bown noted that the average US tariff on China over the course of the trade war has surged from three percent at the beginning of 2018 to more than 19 percent, even after the new deal. The official said China has not made any specific commitments to cut tariffs it has imposed on US goods in retaliation. But Beijing agreed to import an additional $200 billion in US products over two years, above the levels purchased in 2017, before Trump launched his offensive, including an additional $32 billion in agricultural goods. Also read: Tesla delivers first batch of China-made cars Washington will be monitoring the purchases so China will have to make sure that "nothing with tariffs or non-tariff barriers prevent that from happening," the official said. Trump has repeatedly touted the trade pact as a win for American farmers, who were hit hard by the tariff war. Soybean exports to China plunged to just $3 billion from more than $12 billion in 2017 and the Trump administration paid out $28 billion in aid to farmers in the past two years.
  4. WUHAN: A 61-year-old man has become the first person to die in China from a respiratory illness believed caused by a new virus from the same family as SARS, which claimed hundreds of lives more than a decade ago, authorities said.Forty-one people with pneumonia-like symptoms have so far been diagnosed with the new virus in Wuhan, with one of the victims dying on Thursday, the central Chinese city´s health commission said on its website on Saturday. Seven others remained in serious condition, two were discharged from treatment, and the rest were stable, it added. The episode has caused alarm due to the spectre of SARS, or Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome, which in 2002-2003 killed 349 people in mainland China and another 299 in Hong Kong, whose economy was hit hard by the epidemic´s devastating impact on tourism. The Wuhan health commission said the man who died had purchased goods from a seafood market in the city identified by authorities as the centre of the outbreak. It was closed on January 1. The man, who also had underlying health issues including chronic liver disease, died in hospital on Thursday of "respiratory failure and severe pneumonia", the commission added. No new cases have been detected since January 3 nor any "clear evidence of human-to-human transmission", it said. People in white hazmat suits were seen spraying liquid on the market floor late Saturday, while a number of guards sat outside the perimeter of the facility´s two sections without masks on. Chinese scientists investigating the outbreak said last week they believe the pathogen is a previously unknown type of coronavirus, a broad family ranging from the common cold to more serious illnesses like SARS. Scientists in Hong Kong´s Department of Health said Saturday that genetic sequencing of the virus found in one of the Wuhan patients and published online by a Chinese expert indicated it was 80 percent similar to SARS found in bats. Speaking at a news conference in Hong Kong, they said it was too early to conclude definitively that it was a SARS strain, adding that the city needed to stay vigilant. "We will remain alert as we believe the epidemic will continue to develop," said Wong Ka-hing, director of the department´s Health Protection Centre. Hong Kong authorities have taken a range of precautions including stepping up the disinfection of trains and planes, and checks of passengers. - Travel rush looms - On Saturday evening, there was little sign of alarm in Wuhan outside of the seafood market, which had been cordoned off. Few people at the city´s airport wore masks, and no extra monitoring measures were visible at the airport´s terminals. A restaurant on the outside of the building housing the seafood market was still open for business. One man, a dry goods seller at the market surnamed Dai, attempted to enter the market around midnight but was turned away by the guards. He told AFP he was not worried about getting infected. "I haven´t heard that this disease is contagious," Dai said, adding that he believed the illness was caused by a fire at the market in mid-November where items including plastic materials and chili peppers were burnt. The WHO said Thursday it was not recommending any specific measures for travellers or restrictions on trade with China, and expressed confidence in the ability of Chinese authorities to contain the virus. China has entered its annual Lunar New Year holiday travel rush, raising concerns about the mass movement of people serving as a vector for the pathogen. In the world´s largest annual human migration, hundreds of millions will pack into trains, buses and planes to travel for the festival in late January. China has not announced any travel restrictions. Hong Kong authorities said on Saturday that the number of people hospitalised with flu-like symptoms in recent days after travelling to Wuhan had grown to 60, including seven new cases since Friday. Forty-six of that total, however, have already been discharged. None have yet been diagnosed with the new coronavirus. City residents worried about the outbreak have rushed to buy face masks from local pharmacies, with many selling out earlier this week, while officials in Taiwan have urged the island´s health and welfare ministry to strengthen quarantine controls.
  5. People look at foldable Samsung smart phones at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Photo: AFPChinese tech producers were present in large numbers showcasing televisions, smartphones and much more at the premier of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, undeterred by their country's trade war with the US. "Companies are all capitalists, and I think everyone is just holding their breath," said analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights and Strategy. "I think nobody wants to burn any bridges right now, and almost everybody is acting like there are not any issues." Titans such as Huawei, TCL, Skyworth, Hisense and Lenovo once again had eye-catching booths on the show floor where throngs of CES goers checked out their latest innovations. The number of Chinese exhibitors, overall, was down slightly with some smaller companies skipping the show, according to Sarah Brown, communications director of the Consumer Technology Association that runs the annual gadget extravaganza. US on roadmap TCL showed off new 8K televisions, and teased a set of new smartphones, one of them synched to super-fast 5G telecom networks, aimed specifically at the US market. "We can see that the relations between China and US are getting better," TCL overseas business group general manager Harry Wu told AFP. "At the same time we have a supply chain worldwide, no matter Mexico, Vietnam, India or other countries, we have plans to support our sells in US." Wu held firm that TCL has not changed its focus or global business plans due to trade tensions between China and the US. TCL has gained ground fast in the US television market, and sees an opportunity to take advantage of growing brand recognition by broadening its line-up of devices, according to senior vice president Chris Larson. "TCL is huge in China but has factories in Mexico, so it ships goods from Mexico factories to get around tariffs," noted Techsponential analyst Avi Greengart. China-based Skyworth TV has chosen now to enter the US market with rich, big-screen televisions — one an 8K model priced at $5,999. Skyworth is a well established TV brand in its home country. "Our high-end products are more mature and more competitive than ever," said Skyworth chief brand officer Leo Tang. "We´re confident that with the strength of our brand and the quality of our products, Skyworth can start gaining more traction in the US regardless of external challenges." CES bigger than US Chinese companies were plentiful on the expansive show-floor at CES, which wraps up on Friday. Huawei, which has been disparaged by the US government, had its wares on display as it has done at CES for years. "The fact that we have Chinese companies here is encouraging," said Creative Strategies technology analyst Carolina Milanesi. "So they're not boycotting and they see the opportunity. At the end of the day, for all the brands, it's about reaching the biggest addressable market." Analysts noted that CES attracts a global crowd, and even though it takes place in the US alliances or deals made here could be aimed at cultivating business elsewhere. "CES is really a global show, so these companies are sometimes coming to CES but not with the US market in mind," said Brown of the Consumer Technology Association. Out of an anticipated 170,000 attendees, 60,000 were expected to be from outside the US, according to Brown. "For certain, if you don't show up for this event, and you are from China, your potential for getting future business from the US goes down," said analyst Moorhead.
  6. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said that the United States (US) remained the top export destination of Pakistani products during the first five months of the current financial year (2019-20), followed by the United Kingdom (UK) and China. The total exports to the US during July-November (2019-20) were recorded at $1744.415 million against exports of $1698.809 mn during July-November (2018-19), showing an increase of 2.68 percent during the period under review, according to the SBP. This was followed by UK, where Pakistan exported goods worth $728.120 mn against exports of $753.054 mn last year, showing decrease of 3.31 percent. China was the third top export destination, where Pakistan exported products worth $727.480 mn during the current financial year against exports of $741.643 mn during the last fiscal year, showing a nominal decrease of 1.90 percent, SBP data said. Among other countries, Pakistani exports to United Arab Emirates (UAE) stood at $663.883 mn against $538.786 mn during last year, showing increase of 23.21 percent, while the exports to Germany were recorded at $533.048 mn against $549.071 mn last year. During the first five months of the financial year, exports to Afghanistan were recorded at $432.465 mn against $460.461 mn the last financial year, whereas exports to Spain stood at $380.249 mn against $379.083 mn the previous year. Pakistan’s exports to Italy were recorded at $324.971 mn against $322.660 mn last year, whereas exports to Bangladesh stood at $297.676 mn against $314.108 mn from the last period. Similarly, exports to Belgium during the current financial year were recorded at $226.668 mn against $252.240 mn, while exports to France stood at $188.902 mn against $192.340 mn in the previous period. Pakistan's exports to Singapore were recorded at $109.006 mn during the current financial year compared to $119.586 mn last year, whereas exports to Japan stood at $84.113 mn against $91.932 mn, to Indonesia $32.412 mn against $138.031 mn, whereas exports to India stood at $15.518 mn during the financial year against $182.207 mn during last year.
  7. Photo: AFPA Chinese court on Monday sentenced the doctor who claimed to be behind the world's first gene-edited babies to three years in prison for illegal medical practice, state media reported. He Jiankui, who shocked the scientific community last year by announcing the birth of twins whose genes had allegedly been altered to confer immunity to HIV, was also fined three million yuan ($430,000), Xinhua news agency said. He was sentenced by a court in Shenzhen for "illegally carrying out the human embryo gene-editing intended for reproduction", Xinhua said. Two of his fellow researchers were also sentenced. Zhang Renli was handed a two-year jail term and fined one million yuan while Qin Jinzhou was given 18 months, suspended for two years, and fined 500,000 yuan. The trio had not obtained qualifications to work as doctors and had knowingly violated China's regulations and ethical principles, according to the court verdict, Xinhua said. They had acted "in the pursuit of personal fame and gain" and seriously "disrupted medical order", it said. Xinhua said a third gene-edited baby was born as a result of He's experiments, which had not previously been confirmed. He announced in November last year that the world's first gene-edited babies — twin girls — had been born that same month after he altered their DNA to prevent them from contracting HIV by deleting a certain gene under a technique known as CRISPR. The claim shocked scientists worldwide, raising questions about bioethics and putting a spotlight on China's lax oversight of scientific research. Amid the outcry, He was placed under police investigation, the government ordered a halt to his research work, and he was fired by his Chinese university. Gene-editing for reproductive purposes is illegal in most countries. China's health ministry issued regulations in 2003 prohibiting gene-editing of human embryos, though the procedure is allowed for "non-reproductive purposes". He's gene-editing meant to immunise the twins against HIV may have failed in its purpose and created unintended mutations, scientists said earlier this month after the original research was published for the first time. He claimed a medical breakthrough that could "control the HIV epidemic" but it was not clear whether he had even been successful in immunising the babies against the virus because the team did not reproduce the gene mutation that confers this resistance, scientists told the MIT Technology Review. While the team targeted the right gene, they did not replicate the "Delta 32" variation required, instead creating novel edits whose effects are not clear. Moreover, CRISPR remains an imperfect tool because it can lead to unwanted or "off-target" edits, making its use in humans hugely controversial.
  8. Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil is known for addressing issues related to racism, discrimination over religion and some other socio-political issues in the past, which has often landed him into some sort of trouble, somehow. Being deleted from a video game, however, is a first even for the fearless footballer. The Chinese version of the popular football mobile video game, Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) has confirmed that they have indeed removed the player for his "extreme comment about China." The German athlete is from Turkish origin and has been shaming China for allegedly forcing the Muslim minorities of Uighurs to abandon Islam and take up the Han Culture and support the ruling Communist Party. #HayırlıCumalarDoÄuTürkistan ðð¼ pic.twitter.com/dJgeK4KSIk — Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) December 13, 2019 Ozil had tweeted in Turkish: "Korans are being burnt... Mosques are being shut down... Muslim schools are being banned... Religious scholars are being killed one by one... Brothers are forcefully being sent to camps." "The Muslims are silent. Their voice is not heard," he wrote. Soon after the tweet, US-listed Chinese internet company NetEase said that they have removed the footballer from the game as he "hurt the feelings of Chinese fans and violated the sport's spirit of love and peace". Netease, the Chinese distributor of football game Pro Evolution Soccer (developed by @Konami) sent this urgent announcement to its players that Ozil had been removed from the game because of his #Uyghur Tweet. #ozil #china @Arsenal pic.twitter.com/dwLdWZgDwn — Gao Yuan (@GaoYuan86) December 14, 2019 "We do not understand, accept or forgive this comment." News of Chinese camps present in the western region of Xinjiang was first denied by the government but was later acknowledged by them as 'vocational training centres'. Ozil's Premier League club, has detached itself from their star's take due to their principle of not taking part in any sort of political movements or struggles but are being criticised extensively for doing so. Arsenal distances itself from Mesut Ozil comments on China's policies towards its Muslim Uighur minority https://t.co/VaouMyUEza pic.twitter.com/PcN53YLd5m — Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) December 14, 2019 While Turkey, which shares a close relationship with the Uighurs, has been loudly showing concerns about the whole issue, other Muslim countries haven't raised their voice yet. Ozil also condemned such countries and urged them to unite and support the Uighurs' struggle. View the full article
  9. Move follows Trump's cancellation of new tariffs on Chinese products as part of 'phase one' trade deal. Photo: AFPSHANGHAI: China has suspended additional tariffs on some US goods that were meant to be implemented on December 15, the State Council’s customs tariff commission said on Sunday, after the world’s two largest economies agreed a “phase one” trade deal on Friday.The deal, rumors and leaks over which have gyrated world markets for months, reduces some US tariffs in exchange for what US officials said would be a big jump in Chinese purchases of American farm products and other goods.China’s retaliatory tariffs, which were due to take effect on December 15, were meant to target goods ranging from corn and wheat to US made vehicles and auto parts.Other Chinese tariffs that had already been implemented on US goods would be left in place, the commission said in a statement issued on the websites of government departments including China’s finance ministry.Read also: US axes tariffs on Chinese goods in trade war thaw“China hopes, on the basis of equality and mutual respect, to work with the United States, to properly resolve each other’s core concerns and promote the stable development of US-China economic and trade relations,” it added.Beijing has agreed to import at least $200 billion in additional US goods and services over the next two years on top of the amount it purchased in 2017, the top US trade negotiator said Friday.A statement issued by the United States Trade Representative also on Friday said the United States would leave in place 25 per cent tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods.
  10. The National Basketball Association (NBA) have a norm of starting out every game with the national anthem of the United States of America (the Canadian national anthem is also sung when a game takes place in Toronto). As a member of an American basketball franchise, every teammate must stand in the line as the anthem plays in the background, even if you are not an American. You aren't forced to sing the anthem along, you aren't forced to stand still, you aren't forced to not look anywhere you want. This makes sense. What doesn't make sense is the way the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) is trying to shove Chinese patriotism down the throats of those who do not even belong to that country. Recently, a former NBA player and one of the top French athletes to make it to the top of the game, Guerschon Yabusele, was fined by the CBA for not looking at the Chinese flag during the national anthem ahead of the game. View this post on Instagram Crazy game last night #BuzzerBeater #2020 ð A post shared by Yabusele 𧸠(@guerschony) on Dec 7, 2019 at 5:52am PST The Nanjing Tongxi Monkey King Power Forward has been given a “serious warning” and fined 10,000-yuan (Rs. 1 Lakh approx) for what they felt was a disrespect to their national pride. It wasn't even as if Yabusele was challenging the Chinese sovereignty or protesting the norm. Television footage shows that the athlete was standing in line with the rest of his teammates and it was just that he had kept his head down, which by the way, all NBA players (American or not) do all the time. A game is about to start, players have tons of things going on inside their brain. Even if they knew that they weren't supposed to hang their head, it is okay to forget about it sometimes. This act of enforcing patriotism by making foreigners “respect” your nationality is simply shameful. And while Yabusele has made no comments about the whole situation, it is rather disappointing to see the French government not stepping up and dealing with the injustice that they saw happening to one of their own. View the full article
  11. Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang. Photo: File Beijing responded to criticism made by US Acting Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells on Monday, saying that certain individuals in US were...
  12. China and the United States are in negotiations to finalise a 'phase one' trade deal. Photo: AFPBEIJING: Top trade negotiators from China and the United States held a phone call on Tuesday morning, China?s Commerce Ministry said, as the two sides...
  13. ISLAMABAD: China has approved the premature activation of the free trade agreement with Pakistan. This will be implemented from December 1.Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood made the statement while addressing a press...
  14. [embed_video1 url=http://stream.jeem.tv/vod/a95a1ff5cb204d04942438cd162be6db.mp4/playlist.m3u8?wmsAuthSign=c2VydmVyX3RpbWU9MTEvNy8yMDE5IDY6NDQ6MDUgQU0maGFzaF92YWx1ZT1sa3JKYTZIY0dVa01kY09id2IzWTBBPT0mdmFsaWRtaW51dGVzPTYwJmlkPTE=...
  15. Gaming, especially online gaming, is on the rise and so is the fear of increasing gaming addiction. Although gaming addiction concerns are not limited to just China, it's believed to be home to a constantly exploding number of gamers, thanks to the proliferation of massively popular MMOs and shooter titles. China is the birthplace of some of the biggest gaming corporations like Tencent, Blizzard/ Activision, and the country is projected to have more PC players than the citizens of the United States within the next few years. So, some new rules are being put in place to prevent gaming addiction. © Reuters According to the new rules that have been put forth by the Chinese government, kids under the age of 18 will not be able to play online video games after 10 PM at night. Yes, there's a curfew on gaming now and kids are now banned from playing online video games from 10 PM to 8 AM in the morning. Additionally, they'll also be restricted to 90 minutes of gaming on weekdays and up to three hours on weekends and holidays. The government has also imposed spending limits for minors on gaming. Gamers from 8 to 16 years can only spend up to 200 yuan which is roughly Rs 2,000 per month. And gamers from 16 to 18 years can spend up to 400 yuan which is roughly Rs 4,000. That's like restricting them from buying one video game a month. © Reuters The new guidelines will apply universally to all online gaming platforms operating in China. According to BBC, the administration will work with law enforcement to create a unified identification system that these platforms can use to ID and verify the gamers. It sounds like an obvious thing to do, but we wonder if steps like this are really necessary. Yes, gaming addiction is indeed a real thing now, at least according to WHO, but it can also be controlled very effectively without having to take extreme steps like this. In fact, gaming addiction has been a topic of discussion in countries like India as well due to the arrival of games like PUBG Mobile, but we doubt if it's necessary to ban people from playing at any given time and make it a punishable offense. Source: BBC View the full article
  16. BEIJING: Chinese experts will participate in the restoration of France's Notre-Dame cathedral, state media reported on Wednesday, following a meeting between the two countries' heads of state in Beijing.The 850-year-old cathedral ? which was...
  17. The purpose of China?s satellite remote sensing project - the Gaofen series - is to help build an all-weather, 24-hour, global Earth remote sensing system by 2020. Photo. Reuters/file BEIJING: China launched a new high-resolution remote...
  18. Police points a spot light on a Halloween reveller wearing a Guy Fawkes mask in Central district during Halloween, in Hong Kong on October 31, 2019.Photo: AFPBEIJING: China warned on Friday it would not tolerate any challenge to Hong Kong's...
  19. A Huawei company logo is pictured at the Shenzhen International Airport in July 22, 2019.Photo. REUTERSSHENZHEN: Huawei Technologies captured a record 42% of China?s smartphone market in the third quarter as local consumers rallied behind it...
  20. WASHINGTON: The United States has welcomed China's proposal to host a fresh meeting bringing together Afghan officials and the Taliban, after President Donald Trump abruptly ended talks with the insurgents.The Taliban last week said that China...
  21. We were invited by Realme to check out how their smartphones are made in the OPPO facility in Shenzhen, China. Realme, a sub-brand of OPPO, is manufactured with utmost scrutiny and standards just like their own branded smartphones. In fact, OPPO is amongst the top five manufacturers in the world and runs world-class facilities where they manufacture and test smartphones before it hits the market for customers. We got to see everything in the production line and how smartphones are made from the ground up. Right from how PCBs (Printed Circuit Board) are made to the final device that gets drop tested for durability. So here's how Realme smartphones are made in OPPO's facility in Shenzhen: Realme Manufacturing © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla Be it any smartphone, you first build a PCB which is later built into the motherboard of a smartphone. The PCB is probably the most important component of a smartphone which houses all the essential components such as processor, storage modules, RAM and everything else you can think. Once the PCB is manufactured, it is inspected and surveyed up to OPPO and Realme's standards. This entire process is called SMT manufacturing or surface-mount technology. The entire production line is automated with robots but it is closely monitored by humans. Each line is capable of churning out 10,000 of PCBs in a single day. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla There are around 71 lines and takes about 1 hour for the entire process to be completed. The process involves various steps such as having the operating system installed on the ROM to having each and every single component attached to the PCB before it moves on for the testing and quality control phase. Testing and Quality Assurance © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla Once the assembly of the smartphone is done, devices need to be tested to make sure it is ready to hit the streets. Much like every other manufacturer, smartphones are selected at random for testing and quality assurance. Roughly 10 percent of the total output (each batch) is tested to make sure the smartphone does not have any problems. If the smartphone has issues in the PCB or a physical defect, the company then inspects the entire batch to look for similar issues and find the root of the problem. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla Once the smartphone is cleared from this phase, it then has to go through rigorous physical tests such as drop tests, tests in different environments and other durability tests. One such test was the test of the smartphone being rubbed off against a swatch of denim. The smartphone is rubbed off to simulate daily usage patterns of users when they slide a smartphone in their pockets. This test basically tries to determine the scratch resistance of the smartphone. Similarly, many sample devices are repeatedly dropped from different heights and at different angles. For example, we witnessed the Realme 3 Pro was being tested for durability when dropped on the edges, back and front of the smartphone. Even the buttons are tested at a force of 1KG. Others tests included the durability of the USB port where it was suspended on a pendulum type device and was subjected to repeated twists and turns. These tests are carried out for one simple reason, to simulate real-life usage of customers and see the after effects. Every single piece of data and results are stored that are later analysed to improve the device. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla When it comes to near real-life drop tests, the smartphone is dropped from waist height and it isn't one drop either. The smartphone is dropped approximately 2800 times and each drop is inspected by a worker. These drops are again subjected to utmost scrutiny as these drops are to simulate daily customer usage. A tumbler machine is also used where each test device is tumbled for about 150 times to see the after effects for scuffs and physical damage. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla Since Realme phones are sold in different regions, the smartphone has to be tested for environmental resilience. OPPO has numerous temperature controlled cabinets that simulate different conditions such as humidity levels and temperature levels. Each smartphone is tested in environments of 55 degree Celsius to -15 degrees Celsius. It is important to test devices in different environments as the temperate of your environment changes, so does the temperature of your smartphone. Realme and OPPO have to make sure that their devices don't get too warm as it can lead to dangerous situations. One Final Check © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla Once the entire inspection and testing procedures are completed, each phone is checked by workers before it can be shipped to stores These tests include checking the phone for various components such as display functionality and quality, software checks, camera tests and other basic tests. This is the final crucial phase of testing and quality assurance that makes sure that the end user does not get a faulty device. Final Thoughts Manufacturing smartphones is not an easy task and it is hard to imagine the amount of work that goes into making a phone. It was quite exciting to see the complicated process of manufacturing and the testing phase. It was an up close and personal experience where we got to know what goes into making a smartphone before they are shipped to your home, or even to a store.
  22. Death penalty -- that is what a government-sanctioned killing of a person is known as. And the grievous process of taking a person's life is known as execution. This isn't a topic most of us would want to read about on any given day. We're sure you have much better things to do than dwell on this, much like the rest of us. © Getty Images Yet, here we are writing about it, and if you're still here, hang on for a little longer because things are about to get interesting now. Recently, we came across a report on world's top executioners and the data literally forced us to pen this piece. For the longest time Saudi Arabia has been the most infamous for its executions that doesn't spare any human life guilty in the eyes of the law in the state. Turns out we were mistaken big time. Not only does Saudi Arabia doesn't conduct most number of executions, but it also doesn't stand at number 2 one the list. © Getty Images According to an Amnesty International report, revealed that China is after all the world's top executioner by far! Over thousands of people were put to death last year in the country even when the accurate figures are still not known and remain a state secret. Saudi Arabia on the other hand holds the third spot on the list after Iran, which is second in line with its number of execution lying at over 253 executions in 2018. Saudi Arabia on the other hand conducted 149 executions last year. © Statista Who would have thought one of Asia's fastest growing economies is also a leading country in carrying out the most number of executions! FYI, executions in China are mostly enforced for murder and drug trafficking, and are carried out by lethal injection or gun shot. *Jitters*
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