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AssessmentsFeb 7, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
An employee sits in the showroom of an Apple store in Beijing after it closed for the day on Feb. 1, 2020.
The Coronavirus Spreads Fears of a Shutdown in China's Tech Sector
Without question, the new coronavirus has taken a toll on China and many other places in the world, infecting at least 30,600 people and killing 633 as of Feb. 7. But only now, as the Lunar New Year holiday draws to a close, is Beijing preparing to assess just how much economic damage the coronavirus outbreak has wrought, especially as China is central to the global electronics and information technology sector. Ultimately, the breadth of the impact depends on how far the virus spreads beyond its current location. Hubei province and its capital, Wuhan, are not critical nodes for the vast majority of China's electronics sector. But neighboring provinces, including Shaanxi, Henan and Jiangxi, are home to cities that are prominent in the global technology sector, while the provinces with the second and third most confirmed cases so far, Zhejiang and Guangdong, are arguably China's two most critical areas for tech.
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AssessmentsJul 14, 2017 | 12:52 GMT
A lone house sits on the scarred landscape, inside the exclusion zone, close to the devastated Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in Japan. More than six years after the disaster, Japan is apparently on its way to restoring nuclear energy as one of the major sources of electric power.
Six Years After Fukushima, Japan Tries to Quell Its Energy Angst
More than six years after the disaster at Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, Japan is apparently on its way to restoring nuclear energy as one of its major sources of electric power. Five nuclear reactors in the country have been restarted and a June court ruling cleared the way for two more to open as well. But 43 of Japan's 54 original reactors still remain shut. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, for his part, has promoted a policy of restarts, but he's politically weaker now than at any time since his 2012 return to power. Thus, it's worthwhile to assess how far the Japanese nuclear revival could go, and how it and other factors, such as the rise of renewable energy, may affect Japan’s longtime desire for energy independence.
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AssessmentsMay 25, 2017 | 09:15 GMT
Hydrogen: Tapping the Tiniest Element's Outsize Power
Let's start at the beginning. In this case, that means hydrogen. Danish physicist Niels Bohr first proposed its structure in 1913, an achievement for which he would later receive the Nobel Prize. And as the century wore on, the smallest element proved its outsize power. Hydrogen redefined warfare, and the menace it posed loomed over the world throughout the Cold War. Today, it remains a vital input. Though the hydrogen economy that some leaders and scientists heralded a decade or two ago may not come to fruition anytime soon, hydrogen still has the power to change the world.
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AssessmentsApr 10, 2017 | 15:37 GMT
Westinghouse Nuclear Bankruptcy
A Bankruptcy of Nuclear Proportions
In any given year, a handful of companies file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States. Rarely, however, does one of these filings reverberate beyond the boardroom and into the realm of geopolitics. Those that do -- Lehman Brothers in 2008, or the "Big Three" U.S. automakers in 2008-10 -- usually involve hundreds of billions of dollars. But the next big geopolitically relevant bankruptcy may be on the horizon, and the amount of money involved is tiny next to the collapses of the past decade.
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On SecurityMar 22, 2017 | 13:33 GMT
The details of the Homeland Security device ban suggests some specific terrorist threat.
What Prompted the Electronic Devices Ban
On the afternoon of March 20, Royal Jordanian Airlines announced on Twitter that effective March 21, it would ban all electronic items from passenger cabins of its aircraft traveling directly to and from the United States with the exception of cellphones and medical devices. The announcement, which was later deleted from the airline’s Twitter account, noted that the security measures were being instituted at the request of “concerned U.S. Departments.” The U.S. government soon confirmed the ban and added that, in addition to Royal Jordanian, it applied to flights from eight other airlines originating from 10 airports in eight Middle Eastern countries.
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SITUATION REPORTFeb 14, 2017 | 12:09 GMT
Japan: Toshiba Chairman Resigns Amid Bankruptcy Speculation
Shigenori Shiga, the chairman of Japanese electronics and energy giant Toshiba Corp., will resign on Feb. 15 to take responsibility for losses of around $6.3 billion related to the firm’s nuclear business, Nikkei Asian Review and AP reported Feb. 14.
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AssessmentsJul 12, 2016 | 09:03 GMT
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe rose to power on the promise of Abenomics, but global economic developments, particularly in China and post-Brexit Europe, have called into question his strategies for achieving reforms.
Japan's Economy Is Back to Where It Started
Having emerged from parliamentary elections on July 10 with a solid majority in the upper house, Japan's ruling party can turn its attention back to the country's ailing economy. Liberal Democratic Party officials left monetary policy off their campaign agenda and delayed an unpopular tax hike to secure voters' support. Now that they have it, Japan's leaders will forge ahead with a similarly disliked stimulus program intended to increase inflation and weaken the yen. But the stimulus program, like the rest of the Japanese prime minister's much-maligned "Abenomics" strategy for stimulating growth, will likely be undermined by tremors in the global economy. Perhaps the most destabilizing of them all will be the United Kingdom's recent decision to leave the European Union, which stands to undo what little progress Japan has made in getting its economy back on track.
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ReflectionsMar 9, 2016 | 01:16 GMT
U.S. Tech Restrictions Will Strengthen Beijing's Resolve
The U.S. Commerce Department on March 8 officially put into place export restrictions on the sale of equipment by U.S. companies to Chinese telecom manufacturer ZTE Corp., the world's seventh-largest producer of smartphones. The restrictions will reinforce Beijing's overall strategic drive to move away from foreign reliance on components for its technology manufacturing industry and develop the capability to design and manufacture its own.
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AssessmentsFeb 9, 2016 | 09:30 GMT
Russia's increasing involvement in India's nuclear power program includes Rosatom's building of two reactors at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant.
Gauging India's Nuclear Power Potential
India needs energy, including nuclear power, to support its growing population and economy. Unfortunately for India, its legal and policy framework make it less attractive for many foreign firms to cooperate with the country to build up its nuclear power sector. India needs those firms if it wants to meet its ambitious targets in nuclear development. So New Delhi will look to expand existing partnerships, such as with Russia, while the contributions of the nuclear sector to India's energy needs remain minimal.
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On SecurityNov 12, 2015 | 08:52 GMT
A bomb appears to have downed Metrojet Flight 9268 and many fear the Islamic State may have been behind it
Why the Attack on a Russian Airliner Changes Nothing
While the mystery of the Metrojet Flight 9268 crash has yet to be solved, a mounting pile of evidence points to the conclusion that it was taken down by a bomb. As the idea becomes more widely accepted, some are beginning to label the attack a "game changer;" others are starting to sow panic that the Islamic State may try to attack another airliner bearing tourists. But panic is the last thing the world needs right now, and it serves little purpose other than to contribute to terrible policy decisions. Instead, what we really need is a calm demeanor and a little perspective.
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AssessmentsMar 2, 2011 | 13:13 GMT
Poland's New Nuclear Ambitions
In a quest for cleaner energy and greater energy independence from Russia, Poland is looking for a foreign partner to help it construct nuclear power plants. (With STRATFOR map)
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AssessmentsMar 20, 2009 | 22:08 GMT
Intelligence Guidance: Week of March 22, 2009
The following is an internal STRATFOR document produced to provide high-level guidance to our analysts. This document is not a forecast, but rather a series of guidelines for understanding and evaluating events, as well as suggestions on areas for focus.
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