Monday, June 24, 2024

Artificial Intelligence news

Synthesia’s hyperrealistic deepfakes will...

Startup Synthesia’s AI-generated avatars are getting an update to make them even...

How underwater drones could...

A potential future conflict between Taiwan and China would be shaped by...

How generative AI could...

First, a confession. I only got into playing video games a little...

I tested out a...

This story first appeared in China Report, MIT Technology Review’s newsletter about...
HomeTechnologyIsrael's name stripped...

Israel’s name stripped from Chinese maps as war rages

The country name “Israel” does not appear on online maps on the Chinese search engine Baidu or the Alibaba-backed maps app Amap, though surrounding countries’ names are clearly shown, according to reports.

Internet users in China drew attention to the phenomenon, according to The Wall Street Journal, including a Chinese language map on Baidu that appears to recognize Israel’s borders, including Palestinian territories, key cities, and surrounding countries like Cyprus, Jordan, and Iraq.

The same is true with maps generated by Amap, The Journal found, where even Kuwait, which is smaller than Israel, is clearly identified.

It wasn’t clear when exactly either company began omitting “Israel” from its maps, including whether it was before or after Oct. 7, when Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel that has since expanded into a bloody war.

Representatives for Baidu and Alibaba — which are as popular as Google or Apple Maps are in the US — did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.

In a statement to CNN, however, Baidu spokesman Jing Meng said that the omission of Israel was not deliberate, citing “limited space” on its maps, which prevents the platform from displaying the names and flags of all territories.

As the Israel-Gaza war enters its fourth week, Chinese internet users have noticed that Alibaba-backed maps app Amap, similar to Apple Maps, is not labeling Israel, though surrounding countries are clearly named.
Baidu (pictured), which can be likened to Google in the US, also didn’t label Israel, though surrounding countries are clearly named.

“Users can find corresponding countries or areas on Baidu Maps by simply using the map’s search function,” Meng told CNN.

Representatives in Beijing have also confirmed to the outlet that while Israel may not appear on these digital platforms, it is marked on official maps issued by Chinese authorities.

Meanwhile, Chinese leaders have been partial to the Palestinian territories, which it has done historically — though China has recently boosted its ties with Israel as it seeks a larger role in trade, technology, and diplomacy.

After Hamas terrorists paraglided into the Tribe of Nova music festival, a Chinese Foreign Ministry statement called on both sides to exercise restraint and immediately end the hostilities.

The memo made no mention of the unprecedented Hamas surprise attack that happened just one day earlier and left some 260 Israelis murdered and swaths of others held hostage.

In the ministry statement, China also said that establishing an independent state of Palestine is the fundamental way to resolve the issue.

“The recurrence of the conflict shows once again that the protracted standstill of the peace process cannot go on,” the statement said, adding that the international community needs to act with greater urgency and facilitate the resumption of peace talks.

And last week, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi claimed that “the crux of the matter is that justice has not been done to the Palestinian people.”

In multiple statements on the violence in Israel and Gaza, the Chinese foreign ministry has also repeatedly declined to use the words “Hamas” or “terrorism.”

Chinese leaders have been partial to Palestine, which it has done historically — though China has recently boosted its ties with Israel as it seeks a larger role in trade, technology, and diplomacy.
POOL/AFP via Getty Images

In recent years, China has stepped up its involvement in the Middle East, assisting in the restoration of ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran and welcoming Syrian President Bashar Assad on a visit to China.

Amid the recent conflict, Beijing has attempted to poise itself as a peacemaker, dispatching a special envoy across the Middle East aimed at promoting peace talks between Israel and Hamas, according to CNN.

So far, Chinese diplomat Zhai Jun has made stops in Qatar, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan.

It’s not clear if Jun will visit Israel during his tour, per CNN.

Article Source link and Credit

Continue reading

Bugatti unveils new sports car with 1,800 horsepower and a $4M price tag

High-performance automaker Bugatti has unveiled its next-generation hyper sports car, the Tourbillon, its successor to the Chiron. The French luxury car manufacturer said it named the new model after a watchmaking invention made by a Swiss-born “genius” living in France in 1801, describing...

Meta, Apple reportedly discuss partnership to add AI to iPhones

Facebook parent Meta Platforms has discussed integrating its generative AI model into Apple’s recently announced AI system for iPhones, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday. The move comes as Apple plans to add technology from other AI companies on its devices amid reports that it was...

X CEO Linda Yaccarino shakes up inner circle amid pressure from Elon Musk to boost sales, cut costs: report

Linda Yaccarino, the chief executive of social media platform X, has shaken up her inner circle in the face of pressure from owner Elon Musk to boost sales and cut costs, the Financial Times said on Sunday. This month Yaccarino fired her...