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Government Asks Telcos to Take Measures While Setting Up 5G Towers Near Airports

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Telecos have been advised to establish safety and buffer zones in the vicinity of airports.
By Press Trust of India | Updated: 28 March 2023

Telecom service providers have been advised to take various measures, including establishing safety and buffer zones, while placing 5G towers in the vicinity of airports to minimise interference of 5G services in aircraft operations, the government said on Monday.

Minister of State for Civil Aviation V K Singh told the Rajya Sabha that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has not conducted any study on the potential effect of 5G signals on safe civil aircraft operations.

“However, DGCA has, reviewed the studies/action undertaken by various countries during the launch of 5G on the potential interference of 5G C-band signals on radio altimeters installed on the aircraft and risk involved in air travel.

“The review has shown that there may be a likelihood of interference in the functioning of Radio Altimeter installed on aircraft due to C-band 5G signals which may affect vital aircraft systems and can lead to unsafe aircraft operations,” he said in a written reply.

Based on the technical inputs received from the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), he said that while there is a guard band available in the frequency band allocated to 5G transmissions for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) in India, there may be a possibility of interference with aircraft radio altimeters which may affect safe aircraft operations.

In order to minimise the interference, the Telecom Service Providers (TSP) have been advised to take various measures while placing 5G towers in the vicinity of airports.

They have been advised to establish safety and buffer zones in the vicinity of airports, restricting power levels of C-Band 5G transmissions around the airports, and ensure the tilt of 5G base stations to an extent such that the 5G emissions do not interfere with radio altimeters.

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Recent disruptions at Apple facilities in India

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By Reuters | Updated: 25 September 2023

NEW DELHI, Sept 25 (Reuters) – Apple (AAPL.O) supplier Pegatron on Monday temporarily halted iPhone assembly at its Chennai facility in India’s Tamil Nadu state after a fire at the factory.

Apple has been eyeing a large manufacturing base in India since it began iPhone assembly in the country in 2017.

Apple products in India are currently manufactured through contracts with firms including Foxconn (2317.TW), Wistron Corp (3231.TW) and Pegatron Corp (4938.TW). It has a total of 14 suppliers with facilities in India.

Here’s a look at other incidents when operations were disrupted at Apple facilities in India:

February 2023: Foxlink, which manufactures iPhone chargers, suspended production at its assembly facility in Chittoor in the state of Andhra Pradesh after a fire caused part of the building to collapse.

December 2021: Operations at a plant belonging Foxconn in Tamil Nadu’s Chennai city were halted for more than three weeks after 250 workers fell sick, sparking protests. Apple later found facilities did not meet required standards.

December 2020: Workers at a Wistron plant in Karnataka state’s Narsapura destroyed property during protests over non-payment of wages, causing millions of dollars in losses and forcing the Taiwanese contract manufacturer to shut the plant for three months.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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German transport minister rejects punitive tariffs in EU’s China EV probe

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German transport minister rejects punitive tariffs in EU's China EV probe
By Reuters | Updated: 25 September 2023

BERLIN, Sept 25 (Reuters) – German Transport Minister Volker Wissing has rejected possible punitive tariffs as a result of the European Commission’s investigation into Chinese electric vehicle (EV) subsidies.

“In principle, I don’t think much of erecting market barriers,” Wissing told the Monday edition of the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper.

Such isolationist politics could spark a chain reaction that would massively damage the German economy, said Wissing.

“Today cars are sealed off, tomorrow chemical products, and each individual step in itself makes the world poorer,” said Wissing, from the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP).

“We have to make sure that we produce our electric vehicles competitively – for Germany and for the world markets,” he added.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen this month announced a probe into whether to impose punitive tariffs to protect EU automakers against China’s EV imports, which the commissions says are benefiting from excessive state subsidies.

China blasted the probe as protectionist and warned that it would damage economic relations, a concern shared by Germany’s car industry.

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck, by contrast, has welcomed the step, saying action must be taken if massive breaches of competition rules are found by the EU probe.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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Indonesia may issue regulations on social media e-commerce this week

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Indonesia may issue regulations on social media e-commerce this week
By Reuters | Updated: 25 September 2023

JAKARTA, Sept 25 (Reuters) – Indonesia may issue on Tuesday a regulation on the use of social media to sell goods in the country, President Joko Widodo said, a move intended to quell threats to offline markets in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy.

Ministers have repeatedly said that e-commerce sellers using predatory pricing on social media platforms are threatening offline markets in Indonesia, with some officials specifically citing the video platform TikTok as an example.

“We just…decided on the use of social media for e-commerce. Tomorrow it will perhaps come out,” Widodo, who is commonly known as Jokowi, said in a streamed video address on Monday.

“What the people are expecting is that the advancement of technology can create new economic potential, not kill existing economies.”

Jokowi did not mention any specific companies or offer further details on the regulation, which is being formulated by the trade ministry.

Current trade regulations do not specifically cover direct transactions on social media.

Deputy Trade Minister Jerry Sambuaga said earlier this month that “social media and social commerce cannot be combined,” vowing to ban the mix of the two and citing TikTok’s “live” features which allow people to sell goods.

A TikTok Indonesia spokesperson declined to comment. TikTok is owned by Chinese tech company ByteDance.

The company said that its app had 325 million Southeast Asian users that were active every month, of whom 125 million were in Indonesia. The company has said that there were 2 million small businesses on TikTok Shop in Indonesia.

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OpenAI CEO says possible to get regulation wrong, but should not fear it

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OpenAI CEO says possible to get regulation wrong, but should not fear it.
By Reuters | Updated: 25 September 2023

TAIPEI, Sept 25 (Reuters) – The CEO of ChatGPT maker OpenAI said on Monday that it was possible to get regulation wrong but it is important and should not be feared, amid global concerns about rapid advances in artificial intelligence, or AI.

Many countries are planning AI regulation, and Britain is hosting a global AI safety summit in November, focusing on understanding the risks posed by the frontier technology and how national and international frameworks could be supported.

Sam Altman, CEO and the public face of the startup OpenAI, backed by Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), said during a visit to Taipei that although he was not that worried about government over-regulation, it could happen.

“I also worry about under-regulation. People in our industry bash regulation a lot. We’ve been calling for regulation, but only of the most powerful systems,” he said.

“Models that are like 10,000 times the power of GPT4, models that are like as smart as human civilization, whatever, those probably deserve some regulation,” added Altman, speaking at an AI event hosted by the charitable foundation of Terry Gou, the founder of major Apple (AAPL.O) supplier Foxconn (2317.TW).

Altman said that in the tech industry there is a “reflexive anti-regulation thing”.

“Regulation has been not a pure good, but it’s been good in a lot of ways. I don’t want to have to make an opinion about every time I step on an airplane how safe it’s going to be, but I trust that they’re pretty safe and I think regulation has been a positive good there,” he said.

“It is possible to get regulation wrong, but I don’t think we sit around and fear it. In fact we think some version of it is important.”

Gou, currently running as an independent candidate to be Taiwan’s next president, sat in the audience, but did not speak at the forum.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro Max Sales Expected to Increase Apple’s Smartphone Share in India: Report

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Apple has been touting India as its next big growth driver amid declining sales of its flagship device.
By Reuters | Updated: 22 September 2023

Apple is expected to gain a larger share of India’s smartphone sales, with the high-end iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max models accounting for more of its shipments. The company is projected to account for 7 percent of all smartphone sales in the country from July to December, up from 5 percent in the first half of 2023, according to data from market researcher Counterpoint shared exclusively with Reuters.

The tech giant has been touting India as its next big growth driver amid declining sales of its flagship device. Its suppliers have also been ramping up manufacturing operations in the region amid weakening demand and regulatory pressure in China.

Wait times in India for Apple’s latest 15 Pro and Pro Max models, which go on sale Friday, are stretching up to late October, mirroring trends seen in China and the US. Counterpoint estimated the models will account for 25 percent of overall iPhone 15 shipments in India in the fourth quarter, a 4 percent increase from what the previous generation top-range models accounted for a year earlier.

“The premium smartphone market in India has climbed tremendously from 0.8 percent of the total market in 2019 to 6.1 percent in the first half of 2023 and this is largely attributed to Apple’s success,” Nabila Popal, a research director at market intelligence firm IDC, said.

Apple is the largest player in the segment for smartphones priced over $800 (roughly Rs. 66,300) in India, with a 67 percent share in the first half, according to IDC data. Samsung accounted for 31 percent of the segment. Apple opened two flagship stores in the country earlier this year and CEO Tim Cook said in August that the company hit “record” revenue in India in the June quarter.

Still, Apple has a long way to go before the country could bring in sales seen in the company’s major markets. Morgan Stanley, in a note earlier this month, estimated that Apple’s revenue from India is about half that of China.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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Meesho Eyes Threefold Growth in Festive Season Orders, Will Use Meesho Mall to Attract Consumers

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The company launched in-app brand store Meesho Mall last year to enable brands to sell directly to consumers.

By Press Trust of India | Updated: 21 September 2023

SoftBank-backed Meesho aims for three-fold growth in orders in the upcoming festive season as it will leverage Meesho Mall for the first time to attract consumers to buy directly from brands and authorised channel partners. The company launched an in-app brand store Meesho Mall last year to enable brands to sell directly to consumers.

Since its launch last year, Meesho Mall has been growing by about 30 percent month-on-month and has processed approximately 1 crore orders in the past six months, Meesho Chief Financial Officer Dhiresh Bansal said.

“We believe that Malls will be a significant lever for monetisation in the future. We are also expecting 3x order growth during the festive season. Staying true to its vision, Meesho Mall aims to double down on accessibility, affordability, selection, and experience for its diverse stakeholders,” Bansal said in a statement.

The company had recorded a 68 percent jump in sales on a year-on-year basis during its five-day festive season sale last year with around 3.34 crore orders.

Currently, Meesho Mall has partnered with over 400 national and regional brands, including renowned names such as Bajaj, Biotique, boAt, Decathlon, Bewakoof, Himalaya, Mamaearth, Milton, Paragon, Philips, Plum, Sirona and WOW Skin Science, among others.

The company said that the mall is witnessing over 25 lakh unique transacting users every month.

“Meesho Mall will be an enabler for several emerging and established brands looking to tap a larger audience across the country,” the statement said.

According to market research firm Redseer Strategy Consultants, Meesho was the second largest contributor in terms of order volume during last year’s festive season sales.

A recent report by the firm projects online sales during the upcoming festive season to grow by 18-20 percent and touch Rs 90,000 crore this year.

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