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Science and Technology Archives - The TechDroid

Tesla says plans to open China design and research center

Tesla says plans to open China design and research center

FILE PHOTO: Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk attends an opening ceremony for Tesla China-made Model Y program in Shanghai, China, January 7, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – U.S. electric car maker Tesla plans to open a design and research center in China to make “Chinese-style” vehicles, the company said in a recruitment notice on its official WeChat account.

Wednesday’s notice sought to recruit designers and other staff to help fulfill the goal, and called for applications by Feb. 1, but did not identify the center’s location.

“In order to achieve a shift of ‘Made in China’ to ‘Designed in China’, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk has proposed a very cool thing – set up a design and research center in China,” it read.

It was not immediately clear when the center might begin operations, however.

Tesla’s first factory outside the United States is in the eastern city of Shanghai, and it started delivering China-made Model 3 vehicles this month.

Last week, Musk launched a Model Y electric sports utility vehicle program at the $2 billion factory, with an on-stage dance that raised an online storm.

That was also the week that Tesla’s stock market value hit nearly $89 billion, eclipsing the sum of General Motors’ and Ford’s values for the first time.

The stock move was fueled by a surprise third-quarter profit, progress at the new China factory and better-than-expected fourth quarter deliveries.

Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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Moonstruck: Japanese billionaire’s girlfriend entrants top 20,000

Moonstruck: Japanese billionaire's girlfriend entrants top 20,000


TOKYO (Reuters) – Applications to become Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa’s girlfriend have topped 20,000, streaming service AbemaTV said on Thursday, ahead of its documentary on his search for a “life partner” to take on his moon voyage.

FILE PHOTO: Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, who has been chosen as the first private passenger by SpaceX, poses for photos as he attends a news conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan in Tokyo, Japan, October 9, 2018. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

Maezawa, who will be the first private passenger on Elon Musk’s SpaceX, has already generated huge social media buzz with a $9 million giveaway to his followers that secured his position as Japan’s foremost Twitter celebrity.

The show’s application site now includes a “love diagnostic test” where potential entrants can test their compatibility with the entrepreneur, who sold his online fashion business Zozo Inc to SoftBank Group Corp last year.

Multiple-choice questions include “If you rode in a private jet where would you go?” and “If Maezawa farted in front of you what would you say?”, with users presented with a photo of the billionaire varying from happy to sad depending on their score.

AbemaTV, backed by online ad agency CyberAgent and broadcaster TV Asahi, is one of Japan’s foremost proponents of the reality dating show.

Securing Maezawa for “Full Moon Lovers” is a coup for the service, which aims to generate social media traffic and is targeting younger viewers who are turning off TV.

Current and upcoming AbemaTV shows include one in which Japanese-speaking female contestants are paired with foreign men who don’t speak their language and another in which women go on dates with “princes” several years their junior.

Japanese broadcasters have been slow to offer streaming even as ad spending shifts online, worried about upsetting their regional TV networks by offering nationwide streaming services.

Public broadcaster NHK, which had been legally constrained from offering such services, will begin streaming in April following rule changes last year.

The reality dating format got a boost in Japan with the success of hit show Terrace House, which was developed by broadcaster Fuji Holdings before being picked up by Netflix, building an international fan base through its relaxed tone and mild-mannered contestants.

Reporting by Sam Nussey; editing by Richard Pullin



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China’s ZTE plans $1.7 billion A-share sale to fund 5G R&D

China's ZTE plans $1.7 billion A-share sale to fund 5G R&D


HONG KONG (Reuters) – ZTE Corp said it was looking to raise 11.51 billion yuan ($1.7 billion) from a private placement of A shares, and that it plans to use the proceeds for research and development (R&D) of 5G networks as well as working capital.

FILE PHOTO: People walk past a ZTE logo outside its booth at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 25, 2019. REUTERS/Sergio Perez

The Chinese telecom equipment maker said on Thursday it planned to issue 381.098 million A shares, or 8.27% of the total issued share capital on completion of the deal, to independent third party investors at 30.21 yuan apiece.

That represents a discount of 18.2% to ZTE’s A-share closing price of 36.92 yuan in Shenzhen on Wednesday.

The A shares, which are subject to a lock-up period of 12 months from the date of listing, will be issued to 10 independent professional or institutional investors in China.

None of the subscribers will become a substantial shareholder upon completion of the share sale, the company said, without providing further details.

The company had not responded to an email request for comment on details and identity of the investors.

“We believe the successful fund raising will remove a key overhang for the stock, and would give investors more confidence in ZTE’s R&D efforts and thus potential share gain in 5G,” brokerage Jefferies said in a research note.

“Our fundamental view remains negative, but near-term stock price could have support,” Jefferies said, adding it worried about margin pressure and market share pressure on 5G.

ZTE’s Shenzhen-listed shares rose as much as 4% to 38.10 yuan in early trade. Hong Kong-listed stock briefly rose 3.7% to HK$28.05, the highest since March 2018.

“It is because of the lock up period which give investors confidence of a stable stock price during the period, and that support the shares from advancing despite the discount,” said Steven Leung, a sales director at UOB Kay Hian in Hong Kong.

“Its a vote of confidence to the prospect of 5G and related companies,” Leung added.

ZTE said the deal will enable it to maintain its high level of investment in R&D, ensure its technological competitive edge, develop its main products and businesses, as well as help increase its market share in the mainstream markets.

Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Shailesh Kuber



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SLS – NASA’s most powerful rocket finally unveiled

SLS (Space Launch System) rocket

NASA has finally completed the assembly of the entire core of its new, powerful SLS (Space Launch System) rocket for the Artemis program, with which it plans to send people to the Moon and later to Mars as well.

The rocket’s core is built at the Michaud Assembly Facility in New Orleans (Louisiana), will now be moved to the Pegasus at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. There, during each stage of flight one must undergo all possible tests to check the proper operation of the rocket.

SLS (Space Launch System) rocket
Source: NASA

As part of the tests, the main unit will be filled with fuel and all four main engines will be started, as would be the case during the actual start. Nevertheless, during testing, the rocket will be immobilized on the historic B-2 test stand, where Saturn V rockets were tested in the sixties and seventies. During the test, the engines will run for about eight minutes, which is exactly how much they should work in carrying out a real mission.

NASA's most powerful rocket SLS
Source: NASA

SLS – NASA’s most powerful rocket

The Space Launch System rocket, SLS for short, is a key element of NASA’s ambitious Artemis program, which plans to land the first woman and the next man to the lunar surface by the end of 2024. After completing the rocket, it will be the strongest rocket in the world, matching the power of Saturn V, which carried the first astronauts to the moon as part of the Apollo mission over 50 years ago.

However, the rocket would have to make its first flight before this could happen. SLS has been under construction for almost a decade, the deadline to complete its work is still postponed and costs are increasing drastically. Initially, it was assumed that SLS would be flying in 2017, but currently, experts believe that they cannot expect to start before the end of 2021.

NASA's most powerful rocket SLS
Source: NASA

Boeing, the main contractor of SLS, plans to conduct tests of the main component of the rocket this summer, and if everything goes according to plan, it will be transported to Cape Canaveral, Florida between July and October.

In the Space Center located there John F. Kennedy, the top section will be installed on top of the main rocket, and the Orion crew capsule will be applied to it. Of course, during the first SLS flight, there will be no crew in the capsule – it will be a flight checking the correct operation of the rocket and the capsule itself.

NASA's most powerful rocket SLS
Source: NASA

So far, no specific start date for the Artemis 1 mission has been planned. NASA assumes that after this flight, another SLS will start a year later and this time it will be a manned flight.