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'Flirty secretary' smart assistant taken offline in China

One of China’s largest tech companies has taken its “flirtatious secretary” virtual assistant offline, following a suggestion that it objectified women. The avatar, called Vivi, was designed to be built-in on a new virtual reality headset sold by iQiyi, the video platform owned by search giant Baidu. The voice-controlled assistant could recommend films and video games, but could also be made to flirt and dance. Vivi has now been taken offline for “modification”, said iQiyi. ‘Beta-testing version’ The virtual reality headset was first announced in March, and Vivi was promoted…

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Google to open artificial intelligence centre in China

Google is deepening its push into artificial intelligence (AI) by opening a research centre in China, even though its search services remain blocked in the country. Google said the facility would be the first its kind in Asia and would aim to employ local talent. Silicon Valley is focusing heavily on the future applications for AI. China has also indicated strong support for AI development and for catching up with the US. Research into artificial intelligence has the potential to improve a range of technologies, from self-driving cars and automated…

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Nintendo Launches Wii and Gamecube Games on Nvidia Shield in China

This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of use. Nintendo has been famously reluctant to allow its classic games to run on anyone else’s platform, but it’s making an exception in China. Nvidia is teaming up with Nintendo to launch the Shield Android TV box in China with an assortment of games from the Wii and Gamecube. Don’t hold your breath for these games to launch in other markets, though. Nvidia has put together multiple partnerships to bring games like Borderlands and Doom 3…

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News: China Airlines takes delivery of A350 XWB powered with biofuel mix

China Airlines of Taiwan has become the second airline to join a programme to use a blend of traditional and sustainable biofuels to power aircraft for delivery flights from Airbus. The aircraft involved is the tenth A350-900 for China Airlines, which left the manufacturer’s delivery centre in Toulouse today for its new home in Taipei with a ten per cent blend of sustainable jet fuel in its tanks. The sustainable fuel option for delivery flights has been developed by Airbus in association with Air Total, the aviation subsidiary of the…

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Chengdu, China: A City Tasting Tour

China is astonishingly diverse in the richness and variety of its cuisines. While Cantonese cuisine has traditionally been the most well-known and visible around the world, in recent years the cooking of Sichuan Province has come to the fore thanks to its complexity, nuance and subtlety. Chengdu is one of China’s megacities with a population of 14 million and a history that spans more than 2,000 years. It’s famously home to the giant panda breeding centre and has a reputation as one of China’s most laid-back cities where people lack…

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China explosion: Ningbo port city rocked by major blast

At least two people have been killed and dozens more injured in an explosion in the eastern Chinese port city of Ningbo, local officials say. The blast is said to have occurred at a factory at about 09:00 (01:00 GMT) in the city’s Jiangbei District, causing some nearby buildings to collapse. State media reported that at least 30 people had been taken to local hospitals amid rescue operations. Footage showed rescuers carrying people away from an area surrounded by debris. Chinese media said at least two of the injured are…

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Skype removed from China Apple and Android app stores

Skype’s call and messaging service has been removed from app stores in China, including the Apple app store. Apple says it is one of several apps to have been removed after the government said it does not comply with local law. Skype owner Microsoft told the BBC the app had been “temporarily removed” and the company was “working to reinstate the app as soon as possible”. The app is also no longer available for download on Android app stores in China. Media reports suggest the disruption to Skype started in…

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