Turbotodd

Ruminations on IT, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for the ‘china’ Category

China Construction Bank (Asia) and IBM Developing Bancassurance Powered by Blockchain

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China Construction Bank (Asia) Corporation Limited and IBM today announced the development of the first blockchain-enabled bancassurance project in Hong Kong. Built on the IBM Blockchain Platform, the solution is designed to streamline CCB (Asia)’s bancassurance process and greatly enhance customer experience and the quality of services delivered through faster transaction processing time and increased transparency.

Bancassurance is an arrangement whereby a bank and an insurance company form a distribution partnership in which the sales associates of the bank can sell the insurance company’s products to the bank’s client base and through the bank’s channels. The arrangement can be hindered by delays in data transmission or incomplete information.

By working with IBM, CCB (Asia) and all parties on the blockchain now have a shared view of required policy data in real-time, reducing the need for time-consuming status checks which can delay processing time.

This is accomplished through a shared, immutable ledger used for recording transactions. It helps establish accountability and transparency among network participants, enabling CCB (Asia) and its partner insurers to deliver the services more efficiently.

The solution is now under testing with insurance providers and their clients and is expected to be available in the third quarter of this year.

The IBM Blockchain Platform which underpins the project is the first enterprise-ready blockchain service based on the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric version 1.0. Hyperledger is an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies.

Written by turbotodd

September 21, 2017 at 11:52 am

Posted in 2017, banking, blockchain, china, ibm

Tagged with , ,

A Bit of a Bitcoin

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Happy Thursday.

CNBC is reporting that Bitcoin has gone back into freefall, down 7 percent after one of the biggest Bitcoin exchanges in China indicated it would be shutting down its operation.

BTC China said it will close by September 30th, as Chinese authorities crack down on cryptocurrencies.

Earlier this month, China regulators banned companies from raising money through initial coin offerings, or “ICOs,” and since that time, Bitcoin has fallen some 20 percent.

In other news concerning China, Bloomberg is reporting that President Donal Trump has blocked a Chinese-backed investor from buying Lattice Semiconductor Corp., only the fourth time in a quarter century that a U.S. president has ordered a foreign takeover of an American firm stopped on national security concerns.

Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin had this to say:

“Consistent with the administration’s commitment to take all actions necessary to ensure the protection of U.S. national security, the president issued an order prohibiting the acquisition.”
– via Bloomberg.com

Lattice shares were down as much as 1.7 percent on the blocked sale.

According to Bloomberg’s report, Lattice makes programmable logic chips which have a vaiety of uses, including in communications, computing and industrial and military applications.

Written by turbotodd

September 14, 2017 at 9:01 am

No Yuan

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First China banned initial coin offerings.

Now Chinese authorities plan to shut down domestic bitcoin exchanges, writes The Wall Street Journal, which it claims will deliver “a final blow to a once-thriving industry of commercial trading for virtual currencies.”

Apparently regulators have been investigating bitcoin and other virtual currencies since the beginning of the year, but when it became evident that Chinese investors used bitcoin as a short against the promise of a falling yuan…well, you do the math.

Bloomberg reports separately that China is home to nearly a quarter of the the world’s bitcoin trades, but that this move by the Chinese authorities will “definitely slow the development of cryptocurrencies in China.”

The move can be viewed in the larger context of a broad clampdown on financial risk as we draw closer to next month’s 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

Bitcoin users will still be able to trade cryptocurrencies in China without exchanges after this move, but the process is likely to be slower and come with increased credit report, says Bloomberg.

Written by turbotodd

September 11, 2017 at 9:09 am

Posted in 2017, bitcoin, blockchain, china, crytocurrency

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IBM Partners With Baheal Group to Bring Watson for Oncology to China

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IBM today announced that Baheal Pharmaceutical Group is extending the reach of Watson for Oncology to clinicians across China through a new multi-year strategic alliance.

As the primary channel partner for Watson for Oncology in China, Baheal will serve a key role in not only accelerating cancer patients’ access to cognitive technology, but over time, may also partner to bring Watson for Genomics and other future Watson Health innovation to China.

Baheal has a proven track record delivering value to hospitals across China working with more than 12,000 hospitals today, and the company has already implemented Watson for Oncology at Qingdao University Affiliate Hospital and Qingdao City Hospital, impacting more than 350 patients to-date.

IBM Watson Health is actively partnering with organizations like Baheal within China’s healthcare and technology community to establish an ecosystem that will bring the benefits of machine learning into clinical practice to serve the needs of doctors and patients while maintaining compliance with local laws and regulations, including data privacy and security requirements.

“Oncologists in China have very little time to spend with each of their patients, and by deploying Watson for Oncology across our network, we aim to give our doctors more time to focus on the best decisions they can make for their patients,” said Gang Fu, Chairman, Baheal Pharmaceutical Group. “Watson for Oncology will complement the robust digital health program that Baheal has already implemented in an effort to improve efficiency and quality across China’s healthcare system.” 

Watson for Oncology is a cognitive computing platform that was trained by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York to provide evidence-based treatment options to oncologists. It identifies individualized treatment options, scales access to oncology expertise, and analyzes massive volumes of medical literature drawing from more than 300 medical journals, 200 textbooks and nearly 15 million pages of text.  

Watson also ranks evidence-based treatment options, linking to peer reviewed studies and clinical guidelines. Its machine-learning capability means it continuously learns, gaining in value and knowledge over time. Watson for Oncology is currently trained to assist clinicians in developing treatment plans for breast, lung, colorectal, cervical, ovarian, gastric and prostate cancers.

You can learn more about IBM Watson Health here.

Written by turbotodd

June 5, 2017 at 9:03 am

Year Of The Fire Rooster

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Happy New Year!

It’s hard to believe it’s already 2017. Then again, if you’re like so many others I know, it was seriously goodbye and good riddance to 2016.

May the new year bring you much prosperity and happiness. And if you follow the Chinese zodiac, you should know it’s the “Year of the Rooster.”

Specifically, 2017 is a “Fire Rooster” year, one that comes along every 60-year cycle.

The Rooster ranks tenth among the Chinese zodiac animals, and represents fidelity and punctuality (remembering the rooster wakes people up on time). People who are born in the year of the Rooster are generally kind-hearted, hard-working, humorous, and honest.

Speaking of China, there’s been a few related news tidbits worthy of passing along.

One is that Kathy Chen, the managing director in Greater China, is moving along to greener pastures.

Chen explained in a Tweetstorm what the story behind the story, which in a nutshell seems to be that everything is good with Twitter’s business in China (despite Twitter continuing to be blocked by the Great Firewall), but that they’re moving their Greater China business back to Hong Kong.

Apparently it’s not the year of the Twitter Rooster.

Maybe the NFL will pick up some traction. It just announced it’s hoping to expand its presence with a new deal that gives Sina Weibo (China’s version of Twitter) the rights to live stream select games on its network, including the Super Bowl.

The deal marks the first time a sports league will live stream games on the service.

And just in case you were sleeping through the holidays, there was David Barboza’s piece in The New York Times entitled “How China Built ‘iPhone City’ With Billions in Perks for Apple’s Partner.”

Call that one the “Golden Rooster.”

Written by turbotodd

January 3, 2017 at 1:59 pm

Posted in 2016, apple, china, twitter

Big Commerce In China

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China's Taobao is just one of thousands of Chinese-based e-commerce properties helping propel China into the world's single largest digital marketplace. So far in 2012, Alibaba (Taobao's parent company) has generated over $157 billion U.S. in gross merchandise volume, making it the largest e-commerce property in the world.

China’s Taobao is just one of thousands of Chinese-based e-commerce properties helping propel China into the world’s single largest digital marketplace. So far in 2012, Alibaba (Taobao’s parent company) has generated over $157 billion U.S. in gross merchandise volume, making it the largest e-commerce property in the world.

You read in my last post about last Monday’s “Cyber Monday” tidings according to the IBM Digital Benchmark.

Well, TechCrunch is reporting from comScore data that the holiday shopping juggernaut continues well beyond Cyber Monday.

comScore’s data found that e-commerce spending for the first 30 days of this November-December 2012 holiday season has amounted to a respectable $20.4 billion, a 15 percent increase over the same time period last year.

During the past week alone, comScore reported three individual days surpassing $1 billion in spending, according to the TechCrunch post by Leena Rao, with the peak, of course, coming on Cyber Monday at $1.46 billion.

Of course, all that might seem like chump change when you hold it up against some e-commerce numbers coming out of China, via a post on VentureBeat.

China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba alone has sold an estimated $157 billion U.S. in gross merchandise volume this year, which VentureBeat observes surpasses Amazon and eBay combined.

In fact, Alibaba is believed to have garnered a $3 billion single sales day earlier this year.

But the real story here may be Jack Ma’s “Alipay,” Alibaba’s payments processing unit, which now has over 700 million registered users.

According to a recent report from the folks at eMarketer, China’s antiquated banking system and low usage by consumers of credit cards is benefiting the e-commerce industry there.

Alipay, now China’s largest third-party online payment solution, essentially provides escrow payment services that not only facilitate e-commerce transactions in China, but also reduces risk to consumers, because with Alipay, they have the ability to verify whether or not they are satisfied with their purchases before releasing funds to the seller.

And Alipay isn’t just limited to the Chinese marketplace. It now handles transactions in 12 foreign currencies, including in U.S. dollars, Japanese yen, and the euro.

According to the eMarketer report, Alibaba is also upgrading its COD payment infrastructure, investing some $79 million U.S. in a portable device that Alibaba says will consolidate logistics records with credit/debit card payment information in a single terminal.

It’s Alipay’s intent to install thousands such devices across China’s first- and second-tier cities (think Beijing, Shanghai, etc.) by the end of this year, which will help with China’s broader goals of fomenting increased internal consumer consumption.

Of course, if you’re News Corporation, and you’re in the iPad publishing business, no amount of Chinese e-commerce facilitatin’ payment devices are going to help a fledgling business model.

Earlier today, News Corp. finally bifurcated its publishing and entertainment businesses, and seemingly as a minor sidebar, also conceded defeat of its The Daily iPad app effective December 15.

The Daily had been News Corp’s digital pride and joy, a valiant attempt at delivering a daily news publication via the iPad only 100,000 people wanted.

At 99 cents a week, that apparently was not revenue enough even close to maintaining a viable business, so The Daily will now be put to bed.

Ever-reliable media critic website Poynter noted The Daily had two key lessons of failure from which we could all learn.  One, they had no clarity on its intended audience (I thought that was supposed to be iPad users!), and two, one platform, the iPad, just wasn’t enough in a multi-device world.

Perhaps they should have instigated a Chinese edition? Surely they could have drummed up a few more hundred thousand from a population of 1.3 billion!

Written by turbotodd

December 3, 2012 at 11:34 pm

Using Mobile Phones and Social Networks to Fight Non-Communicable Diseases

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Here’s some shocking statistics: According to the World Health Organization, nearly two-thirds of all deaths occur due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which contribute to more than 60 percent of deaths worldwide.

Over the coming decade, some 388 million worldwide will die of one or more chronic illnesses and the cumulative losses in global economic output due to NCDs will total $47 trillion by 2030.

But before you go jump off a tall building, some new solutions developed by university teams could soon be harnessed to help manage the glowing global problem of such NCDs like asthma, diabetes, stroke, and cancer.

As part of the NCD Challenge, sponsored by IBM and pharmaceutical maker Novartis, a global competition was held to bring together industry and academia to create innovative, easy-to-use solutions that help fight the human and social burden of NCDs.

Like a social-media enabled support system for pregnant women with gestational diabetes and an advanced smart-phone service, both of which could have tremendous impact in managing diabetes and other diseases.

Developing World Solution: 2Vidas

Winners of the competition were the Hass School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, and ESADE Business School-Universidad Ramon Llull in Barcelona, Spain.

The developing world solution, from Berkeley, involved “2Vidas,” a pharmacy-based membership program for low- to middle-income pregnant women to address the growing problem of diabetes in Mexico.

The project’s aim is to make a lasting health impact on two lives during a finite period in which women have increased motivation to take better case of themselves for the health of their babies.

The program works by providing pregnant women access to monitoring tools at local pharmacies, support through peer-led sessions, and encouragement via positive SMS messaging that rewards self-management and offers health tips.

The potential economic impact is the ability to save women 58-98% of out-of-pocket monitoring costs, depending on frequency of use, and the health system an average of $110 per enrolled women per year through improved diabetes control — lowering the risk profile of the mother’s pregnancy and the baby’s propensity for NCDs.

2Vidas membership program will deliver an estimated $10.4 million in systemic cost savings and $475,00 in added value creation over five years.

Developed World Solution: Dr. Diabetes

Developed by the ESACE Business School-Universidad Ramon Llull, the Barcelona-based team’s effort, “Dr. Diabetes,” utilizes a handheld device with an application and two cloud servers.

It is a total solution designed to provide diabetes awareness, monitoring, and management to patients with chronic illness, initially for China.

It also provides early awareness to the public and streamlines diabetes management for patients. The solution provides medical data via cloud computing to physicians for accurate diagnosis, and to pharmaceutical companies and hospitals for efficient research and development.

The solution is designed to be scalable to support other NCDs. It is designed to lower the risk of complications, decrease treatment costs to patients by up to 73%, and decrease their hospital visits by 65%.

Winning teams were recognized this week during the NCD Awards Ceremony at IBM headquarters in Armonk, NY, and Novartis headquarters in East Hanover, New Jersey.

People interested in learning more and in joining the conversation on the topic of fighting non-communicable diseases can do so in the People for a Smarter Planet on Facebook, and via Twitter at #NCD.

They can also join in the “Smarter Healthcare” group on LinkedIn.

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