Hope you’re seeing the first blooms of spring wherever you are! We’re seeing some fairer weather here at the Six.
This week we have the latest updates on China tech regulation; Ford’s 3D manufacturing renaissance; and Instagram’s NFT marketplace.
Xinhua, a state news agency, published a report from a meeting of the central government chaired by Liu He, China’s top economic adviser. The agency declared that the “rectification” of large Chinese technology companies would soon come to a close. New regulations should be transparent, Mr. Liu was supposed to have urged, and policymakers must be cautious when implementing rules that might hurt the market.
Liu He and Donald Trump during a 2020 trade deal argument
Mr.Liu’s comments were on the heels of a critical review against Tencent and a $2 trillion hit on Chinese tech stocks. The announcement provided a rocketing relief, with some Chinese tech companies seeing their value recover between 20-40% on average.
While visibility on peak pain is welcome for large Chinese tech firms, it remains to be seen what regulatory actions await them. On the other hand, global macro issues brought about by the pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, as well as the surge of Omicron in China are proving to be bigger priorities than regulating tech companies even more.
Ford’s Talking 3DMachines
Ford’s Advanced Manufacturing Center has developed an interface that allows machines from different suppliers to speak to each other in the same language and operate parts of the production line autonomously.
Ford has achieved great accuracy with the robot, using its feedback to reduce margins of error significantly. In addition to 3D printers, the method can be applied to a vast array of robots already working at the company to increase efficiency and reduce cost.
Instagram’s NFT Marketplace
In a conversation at SXSW, Mark Zuckerberg announced that his company plans to introduce NFTs into Instagram in the “near term.” While the founder didn’t offer a ton of detail, he characterized the integration of non-fungible tokens into the company’s photo and video sharing app as something on the way once the Instagram team works out some of the technical challenges. This follows the unit head’s similar thoughts last December.
Instagram’s interest in NFTs dovetails with parent company Meta’s broader vision of a lucrative interconnected virtual world filled with digital goods.
Meanwhile, Twitter enabled NFT profile pictures for premium users earlier this year.
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