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Tech Roundup: Why There Are So Few Sora Copycats in China, Ramped-Up U.S. Tariffs on Some Chinese Imports Proposed to Start Aug. 1

The Daily Tech Roundup provides an overview of significant technology news in China and Asia. This briefing covers developments in AI chips, US tariffs, EV partnerships, and funding in the EV sector.

**AI Chips and Generative Video Technology**: Three months after OpenAI introduced “Sora,” a program that converts text prompts into computer-generated videos, Chinese firms feel pressure but are challenged by high costs, significant computing requirements, and limited advanced hardware. Generally, there is a lack of enthusiasm from Chinese investors towards generative video technology compared to the excitement surrounding OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Two Beijing-based startups, Shengshu Technology and AIsphere, have received significant venture capital but experts are skeptical about their potential to match Sora’s capabilities soon [para. 2][para. 3][para. 4].

**U.S. Tariff Rises on Chinese Imports**: The U.S. Trade Representative’s Office (USTR) proposed increasing tariffs on $18 billion worth of Chinese imports, effective August 1. The affected items include electric vehicles and their batteries, semiconductors, and medical products. Additionally, the USTR plans to grant 19 temporary exclusions for certain solar manufacturing equipment until May 31, 2025. They seek public feedback on these exclusions and proposals for a 25% duty on facemasks, medical gloves, syringes, and needles by June 28 [para. 5][para. 6][para. 7].

**Nio and FAW Partnership**: Nio Inc., a Chinese electric vehicle (EV) maker, has entered into a strategic partnership with state-owned automaker FAW Group. This collaboration aims to enhance battery swapping infrastructure. They plan to establish battery standards, conduct vehicle research and development, and expand the charging and battery swap network. FAW is the latest to join Nio’s initiative to make battery swapping compatible across different brands’ models [para. 9][para. 10][para. 11].

**NewLink Group Seeks Private Loan**: NewLink Group, backed by Bain Capital and parent to U.S.-listed NaaS Technology Inc., has requested up to $100 million in private debt. This funding is intended for renting parking spaces for EV charging stations in mainland China and Hong Kong. Despite challenges such as a real estate crisis and fluctuating demand for electric cars, China’s EV market continues to grow, propelled by intense price wars and a resilient industry outlook [para. 12][para. 13][para. 14].

In summary, China faces significant hurdles in matching generative video advancements due to high costs and hardware shortages [para. 2][para. 3][para. 4]. The U.S. plans to increase tariffs on key Chinese products while seeking public input on certain tariff exclusions [para. 5][para. 6][para. 7]. Nio’s partnership with FAW signifies a strategic move to standardize and expand EV battery swapping infrastructure in China [para. 9][para. 10][para. 11]. Lastly, NewLink Group’s pursuit of substantial private funding underscores ongoing investment and growth in China’s EV sector, despite broader economic challenges [para. 12][para. 13][para. 14].

AI generated, for reference only

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