Investigation finds royalty and licensing fees excluded from transaction values
India’s Ministry of Finance has ordered Xiaomi to pay ₹6.53bn ($88m) in import taxes after discovering the local arm of the Chinese electronics company was undervaluing its transactions.
The finding was the result of an investigation carried out by India’s Directorate of Revenue Intelligence. The investigators said they’d found documents indicating Xiaomi India was remitting royalty and licensing fees to Qualcomm and Beijing Xiaomi Mobile Software, but not including them in the transaction value of the imported goods.
“By not adding ‘royalty and licence fee’ into the transaction value, Xiaomi India was evading Customs duty being the beneficial owner of such imported mobile phones, the parts and components thereof,” said the Ministry of Finance in a canned statement.
- Indian government tells Starlink to refund pre-orders placed before licences approved
- India’s competition regulator launches probes into Apple over App Store fees and access
- Think small, score big: India details subsidies for chipmakers
- India takes Amazon’s biggest local e-tail alliance out of its shopping cart
Xiaomi had a great 2021 in India, growing 84 per cent year-on-year to take the largest smartphone market share on the subcontinent at the end of Q2, according to IDC. The boon was not a fluke as Xiaomi was responsible for about a quarter of the 150 million-plus smartphones shipped to India in 2020.
Many governments have sought to crack down on Chinese technology, including the US, which keeps an ever-evolving blacklist of companies. In March, Xiaomi received a preliminary injunction from a Trump-era blacklist that banned it from listing on US stock exchanges.
In September, Lithuania told its citizens to trash any Xiaomi-made mobile devices after it found the company could remotely enable censorship tools.
Further back to 2020, India banned 118 Chinese apps, claiming they were being used against India’s national interests as border disputes flared and geopolitical tensions rose. By January last year, the ban on 59 of those apps was made permanent. ®
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Less than PEACH-y: UK’s plant export IT system only works with Internet Explorer
You know, the browser used by 0.34% of netizens nowadays
A key British border IT system used by plant and seed exporters is so ancient that it will only work with Internet Explorer – which was deprecated by Microsoft last year and is used by relatively few people.
The snappily named Department for the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra) says horticultural companies moving produce from Britain to the European Union must use the PEACH IT system to register their goods in advance.
Just one snag: the system will only work properly with Internet Explorer – and even if you’re using the latest, on-life-support version 11 of IE, you have to run PEACH in backwards compatibility mode because the software dates from the 2000s.
IT labor rights group files complaint against HCL, claiming it’s clawing back bonuses
NGO claims staffers who resign are forced to return advance variable pay
Pune-based IT labor rights nonprofit Nascent Information Technology Employees Senate (NITES) has filed an official government complaint against HCL Technologies, India’s third largest IT company, alleging the business has instituted a policy to claw back bonuses from resigning employees.
The Register obtained a copy of NITES’ complaint, which claims:
Look, we did a survey that shows AIOps is ready for the primetime, says AIOps firm
Move fast and break things – with help from machine-learning algorithms
Adoption of AIOps in IT departments is set to go mainstream, or so says a survey of medium and large enterprises which found 93 per cent of respondents are either already using the tech, or plan to adopt it in the near future.
The survey was conducted by StarCIO on behalf of BigPanda, a company that develops an AIOps platform, so it is perhaps inevitable that it sees a bright future for the technology. Nevertheless, the report includes some telling details, such as that 25 per cent of organisations currently take more than six hours to resolve priority one (P1) issues, those likely to have a crippling effect on IT operations.
AIOps refers to the use of machine-learning algorithms to monitor infrastructure with the aim of being able to spot signs of an impending failure and either take remedial action, or alert a human operator, and thus reduce downtime for the applications and services running on that infrastructure.
New batch of AstroPis relieve Ed and Izzy of duty on board the International Space Station
If you can’t find a Pi on Earth, you could run your code on orbit instead
A new batch of AstroPi computers are up and running on board the International Space Station (ISS), set-up by ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer.
The units were shown off in September 2021 and launched aboard a SpaceX Dragon 2 freighter atop a Falcon 9 rocket in December. They are to replace the existing AstroPi units “Ed” and “Izzy” which have resided on the ISS for six years.
Maurer spent yesterday afternoon on the ISS setting up the new kit, which consists of Raspberry Pi 4 Model B hardware, a 12.3MP camera, and a range of sensors.
Snap continues to make a spectacle of itself as it tries to trademark the word spectacles
How about ‘idiot goggles’?
Snap has filed a complaint taking the US Patent Office (USPO) to task as it seeks to trademark the word “Spectacles.”
The dispute has rumbled on for a while. In 20 September 2016, Snap filed a federal trademark application for SPECTACLES, following up the application with amendments alleging actual use.
The USPO issued its first refusal months later on 27 December. Snap appealed, and so the legal game of ping-pong continued until the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) finally affirmed the refusal to register the applications. This was “on the ground that the SPECTACLES mark is generic, and, alternatively, that it is highly descriptive and has not acquired distinctiveness,” according to the complaint [PDF].
Robotic arm on China’s space station does a demo, swings out 20 degrees and back while holding cargo ship
Plan is to use the arm to finish putting the outpost together
The China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSEO) says it has completed load-bearing tests on its space station’s 10m robotic arm.
The test involved lifting and moving the Tianzhou-2 cargo ship in a 47-minute operation that assessed the arm’s ability to assemble sections of the station while in orbit, which is exactly what space boffins want to do during upcoming construction tasks on the unfinished outpost.
“After the Tianzhou-2 cargo spacecraft was unlocked and separated from the core cabin of Tianhe, it was dragged by the robotic arm to perform the plane indexing centered at the core cabin node; then, the reverse operation [took place], until the cargo spacecraft and the core compartment are berthed and locked,” explained CSMEO in Chinese.
Technology can sometimes go from east to west: Ubuntu DDE 21.10 remix ships in 22.01
Deepin shows that good things come out of Wuhan, too
The newest and quite possibly shiniest Ubuntu remix has kicked a new version out the door. Yes, yet another new desktop, but it’s a sign of bigger things to come.
Ubuntu DDE stands for Ubuntu Deepin Desktop Edition – in other words, a remix of Ubuntu but with the desktop environment of the Chinese Deepin distro. Deepin, formerly known as the no-less-silly-sounding Hiweed, is the free international edition of a Chinese government-backed enterprise distro called UOS. Deepin is based on Debian, and switched desktops quite a few times in its early versions until UnionTech developed its own desktop environment.
A fifth of England’s NHS trusts are mostly paper-based as they grapple with COVID backlog, warn MPs
Recent report on IT-led change must be acted on by NHS leaders to address pandemic fallout
A group of MPs in the UK Parliament have called on NHS leadership to end an approach to health service IT that allows a fifth of NHS trust to remain largely paper-based.
Reporting on efforts to clear the backlog in care caused by the pandemic, the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee said NHS England, the organisation that manages the health service on behalf of the government with a budget of around £130bn, needs to produce a “roadmap” for its plans to ensure technology helps improve productivity in an organisation severely short of staff.
The select committee urged NHS England to respond to the Wade-Gery report on putting data, digital and tech at the heart of transforming the NHS with its plans “at the earliest opportunity so that we and others are able to scrutinise it ahead of implementation.”
Not looking forward to a greyscale 2022? Then look back to the past in 64 colours
Any colour you like as long as it’s black. Or white
Something for the Weekend, Sir? Isn’t 2022 great? What do you mean, “no”? Jeez, you lot are hard to please. If you’re reading this, it means you’re still alive. What did you want instead?
Hey, you may even still have a job. Given the way things have been going over last 20 months or so, that puts the two of us on top. You may have been hauled back into the office at some point – those printers won’t unplug and plug themselves back in on their own, you know – which means you may have even enjoyed the opportunity to sample a few ideas from the Simple Sabotage Field Manual that I expounded exactly one year ago.
If you number yourself among one of the potential Great Resigners and haven’t yet consulted this official Cold War gem of (literally) destructive office politics, now’s your chance. I’ll remind you again this time next year because you’ll still be in the same job, I bet.
Nothing’s working, and I’ve checked everything, so it must be YOUR fault
Yes, but are you sure? Really sure?
On Call The customer is always right. Except when they’re not. Here we have a story from the On Call archives concerning connectors, telephones, and a user blessed with a little too much confidence.
Today’s tale takes us back to the 1990s and comes from a former employee of a now-defunct telecom equipment vendor. We’ll call him Felix, for that is not his name.
“I got to do a lot of on-site troubleshooting for the specific subsystem of the telecom kit that I had expertise in,” Felix explained. One of the UK’s telephone operators of the era was going through a period of modernisation and replacing decade-old kit with something decidedly more modern.
Two sides of the digital coin: Ill-gotten gains in cryptocurrencies double, outpaced by legit use – report
Will these figures wash?
The year 2021 proved to be a tough one for anyone affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, though it was awesome for crime involving cryptocurrencies.
Last year, illicit blockchain addresses received a whopping $14bn in ill-gotten gains, almost twice the $7.8bn unlawfully obtained in 2020.
That’s according to Chainalysis, a blockchain data firm.