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How ‘Subtle Asian Traits’ Became a Global Hit

SYDNEY, Australia — The Facebook group was supposed to be a fun distraction from high school exams.Its creators, a crew of Melbourne students who had bonded over weekends in Chinese language school, had noticed a Facebook group called “Subtle Private School Traits.” They started joking about their own experiences: the struggles and joys of being a first-generation immigrant. “We were like, what if we made a ‘Subtle Asian Traits’ page,” said Anne Gu, 18.The concept was simple: Share jokes about the traits, subtle or otherwise, that characterized the Asian-Australian experience, from cultural clashes with parents and the sanctity of bubble milk tea, to the groan-worthy pickup lines…

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Arrest Shakes Huawei as Global Skepticism of Its Business Grows

It is one of China’s proudest corporate success stories, a colossus in cutting-edge technology that elbowed out Western rivals to become the biggest supplier of the hardware that connects our modern world.Now, all around the globe, the walls are going up for Huawei.The United States, which for years has considered the Chinese telecommunications giant a security threat, aimed a straight shot at the company’s leadership when it secured the arrest, in Canada, of Huawei’s chief financial officer.But lately, Huawei’s setbacks have come on multiple fronts, from New Zealand and Australia to Britain and Canada. China sees the company as a pivotal driver of its ambitions for global…

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Australian Government Passes Contentious Encryption Law

CANBERRA, Australia — The Australian Parliament passed a contentious encryption bill on Thursday to require technology companies to provide law enforcement and security agencies with access to encrypted communications.Privacy advocates, technology companies and other businesses had strongly opposed the bill, but Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government said it was needed to thwart criminals and terrorists who use encrypted messaging programs to communicate. “This ensures that our national security and law enforcement agencies have the modern tools they need, with appropriate authority and oversight, to access the encrypted conversations of those who seek to do us harm,” Attorney General Christian Porter said.Opponents of the bill argued that it…

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Amazon Lifts Ban on Australians Shipping From Its Main Site

SYDNEY, Australia — Amazon will grant Australians access to products from its main website, walking back a decision made earlier this year that angered its customers in the country.The online retailer had announced that it would redirect Australians to a local website to comply with changes to Australian tax law. That law requires online retailers to impose a 10 percent goods and services tax on items sold and shipped from overseas.But customers complained that the move would raise prices and bar them from millions of products, some difficult to find otherwise. And it appears those concerns were heard.“As a result of customer feedback, from 22 November Amazon…

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He Helped People Cheat at Grand Theft Auto. Then His Home Was Raided.

MELBOURNE, Australia — Imagine you are racing a car through a packed city center. You are in first place, only seconds from victory, when suddenly, a missile explodes and kills you. By the time you have come back to life — you’re playing a video game — you are far behind the fleet. But your attacker, despite being rammed and shot at, stands unharmed.For players of the popular video game Grand Theft Auto Online, scenarios like this are not uncommon when facing off against competitors using an unauthorized plug-in known as Infamous that lets them make themselves invincible, teleport or acquire unlimited weapons, vehicles and currency. But…

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Australia Bars China’s Huawei From Building 5G Wireless Network

BEIJING — The fog of cyberespionage concerns surrounding Huawei has for years kept the Chinese technology giant largely out of the United States. Now it has cost the company potentially lucrative business in another country: Australia.Huawei said on Thursday that the Australian government had barred it and another Chinese company, ZTE, from providing equipment to support the country’s new telecommunications networks. Mobile carriers around the world have been preparing to build infrastructure using fifth-generation, or 5G, wireless technology, which promises to enable the ultrafast communications necessary for technologies such as self-driving cars.On Twitter, Huawei called the decision an “extremely disappointing result for consumers.” A ZTE spokeswoman declined…

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Head of Chinese Giant JD.com Named as Host of Sydney Party in Sexual Assault Case

SYDNEY, Australia — A Chinese billionaire who had tried to distance himself from a sexual assault case that has gripped Australia for the past month was identified this week as Richard Liu, the chairman and chief executive of e-commerce giant JD.com.Mr. Liu isn’t accused of any wrongdoing, but the assault was alleged to have taken place after a party that he had hosted in Sydney in 2015. He had tried to get a court in the Australian city to prevent the release of his name by citing potential damage to his marriage and business, court documents show.That effort failed on Friday when a judge refused his request…

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How Rare Earths (What?) Could Be Crucial in a U.S.-China Trade War

KUANTAN, Malaysia — Amanda Lacaze grabbed her iPhone and rattled off the names of the special minerals needed to make it. The screen was polished with lanthanum and cerium. The inside has a magnet made with neodymium and praseodymium.Those minerals almost certainly came from China. Ms. Lacaze’s job is to give the world an alternative source, in case a global trade war spirals out of control and China cuts off supply.Right now, she can’t. Her company, Lynas Corporation, can provide only a fraction of the minerals — known as rare earths — that China produces. And even that source isn’t a sure thing: The work is so…

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Huawei’s New Front in the Global Technology Cold War: Australia

SYDNEY, Australia — Already essentially shut out of the United States, the Chinese technology giant Huawei is scrambling to salvage its reputation in another country where growing worries over spying and security could hurt its chances at a big chunk of business.In an unusual letter to politicians in Australia made public this week, Huawei defended its status as a longtime supplier of networking gear and other equipment to the country’s biggest telecommunications companies. The letter came after news reports that Australian politicians were likely to shut the firm out of a potentially lucrative contract to upgrade the nation’s mobile network over security concerns. It also follows growing…

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Adelaide Journal: Elon Musk Likes It Here. Will Other Tech Innovators Follow?

But this city of 1.3 million — with its aging population and unemployment rates that are often among the highest in the country — needs an even bigger jolt. Frustrations have been building for years as Adelaide’s factories shuttered, with Holden closing its plant last year, bringing an end to Australia’s auto industry.The response is what’s interesting: Quiet Adelaide, a former industrial center now seen as a laid-back community of churches and retirees, is banging the table for change.Photo Voxon Photonics, a creator of holographic technology, is one of the companies based in Tonsley. Credit Matthew Abbott for The New York Times Last month, voters kicked out…

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