US Pumps $250B into Innovation, Huawei's HarmonyOS, Asia's Crypto Bandwagon | Trusted Bytes News

This week, we look at the US's next salvo in the global tech arms race, a closer look at what Huawei's doing with Harmony OS, and why everyone in Asia is getting on the cryptocurrency bandwagon.

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This week, the US pumps money into innovation, Huawei launches HarmonyOS, and the crypto bandwagon in Singapore!

Hey there everyone and welcome back to the Trusted Bytes podcast! Trusted Bytes is a weekly podcast where we bring the highlights from the week's news in business, along with insights, ideas, and emerging trends, and with a lens on Asia. I’m your host Adrian Koh. If you like your news distilled like this, subscribe to us on YouTube or on any of your favourite podcasting services.

Let’s get to the news!

The US government is set to respond to China’s moves in the global tech arms race with the US Senate is hoping to give innovation a $250 Billion shot in the arm. Of this, $52B will be put into semiconductors and much of the rest of the money into boosting research and enacting policy to boost the tech ecosystem in the US. We’ve talked a lot about the bifurcation of technology stacks between the east and west and it’s likely to be a while before this initiative bears value. All in all the move will drive a deeper wedge into east-west tech split.

Meanwhile in China, Huawei launched its Harmony OS for mobile phones officially the past week. With Harmony OS, Huawei has clear and grand ambitions not just for the mobile devices but a whole ecosystem of connected smart devices. Huawei’s been working on Harmony for about 5 years now, long before US sanctions hit the Chinese firm two years ago. What’s interesting is that there are about 500,000 developers already building applications for it, and Harmony OS is making it easy for other non-Harmony devices to connect to it. While Huawei’s said they’d rather go back to partnering with Google, they are definitely not waiting for geopolitical winds to change before taking action.

Next, but still in China, Didi just unveiled its IPO filing in the US as it prepares for listing. The nine-year old company that trounced Uber in the Chinese local market did not disclose its intended raise, but is said to be looking at targeting $10billion against a $100B valuation. Didi was still losing money posting a $1.6B net loss in 2020, but things are looking up 2021, as the company sheds it cash-burning grocery business.

On to crypto news! Tons of stuff happening in the world of crypto, so let’s do this quick fire style. El Salvador has made bitcoin legal tender, DBS bank in Singapore has launched its own exchange with partners and also its own token, a first in Asia. In Singapore, over 300 firms are applying for the cryptocurrency license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore to operate in the nation-state. We’re also seeing reports of governments around Asia like India, Thailand, and Indonesia looking at digital currencies and exchanges, as seismic shifts are happening every day in the world of money. Fiscal and monetary policies are needing to catch up. With all the talk from governments trying to wrap their heads around the future of money, it’s still quite unclear how long cryptocurrencies will remain decentralised. We’re likely going to be in for a bumpy ride.

So that's all the time we have for now. Check in with us again next week for more highlights from the news from Trusted Bytes. I’m Adrian Koh, and Trusted Bytes is a production of Trusted Services.

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