A total of 36 IC-related companies received funding, up

percent from the first half of 2018, and three of them each obtained more than $100 million in investment. Cloud computi

ng, artificial intelligence, robotics, and virtual reality also were hot spots that lured investment during the period,” Ni said.

Ni added although the technology industry is rapidly expanding under favorable polic

es, internet and mobile internet are still the attractive sectors in the TMT industry. Internet finance, ian

ternet-based education, fragmented entertainment and content sharing were hotly pursued by investors.

“The setup of the science and technology innovation board will improv

e the inclusiveness of the domestic capital market towards emerging enterprises, and o

pen a new financing and exit channel. The board offers a new platform for high-tech emerging enterprises, and tech

nology companies are expected to kick off a new wave of IPOs,” Janson Yang, PwC China assurance partner, said.

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Bank of Beijing planning venture with Dutch lender NV at a bra

Bank of Beijing Co Ltd said on Friday that it has got the necessary board approvals for the estab

lishment of a joint venture with Netherlands-based ING Bank NV, in which the latter will be the majority partner.

With a total investment of 3 billion yuan ($448 million), the forthcoming joint-venture bank, which is still waiting for regulat

ory approval, may become China’s first commercial lender in which a foreign shareholder has a controlling int

erest. According to the plan, ING Bank will hold a 51 percent stake, and Bank of Beijing 49 percent.

Drawing on the experience of ING Bank in the successful development of direct banking services, the joint venture will build

a brand in the area of digital banking with the help of financial technologies and try to become a benc

hmark in terms of the implementation of China’s push to further open up its financial sector to for

eign investors, said the mid-tier commercial lender BOB in an announcement.

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China, Italy agree to expand legislative exchanges

ROME, March 22 — Visiting President Xi Jinping met with Italian Senate Speaker Maria Elisabetta Alberti

Casellati here Friday on expanding exchanges and cooperation between the two countries’ legislative institutions.

China and Italy have enjoyed a traditional friendship, with the ancient Silk Road closely linking the two peoples, Xi said.

Since they established diplomatic relations nearly 50 years ago, the China-Italy ties have seen healthy and stable devel

opment, and the two countries have become important partners who trust each other and work together, Xi said.

The visit is meant to consolidate the stability and strategic nature of the China-Ita

ly relations in the long term, and comprehensively elevate the level of their mutually beneficial cooperation, Xi said.

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The Italian side looks forward to enhancing cooperati

tion with China on jointly building the Belt and Road, She said.

Noting that the history of Italy-China exchanges for the past 50 years has been a history of dia

logue and friendship, the speaker said the Italian Senate is willing to facilitate exchanges between the two cou

ntries’ legislative institutions, and continue to make contributions to deepening Italy-China friendly cooperation.

Xi arrived in Rome Thursday for a state visit to Italy, the first stop of his three-nation Europe tour, which will also take him to Monaco and France.

hinese authorities have unveiled detailed measures to implement valu

e-added tax reform, a key step to boost market vitality and stabilize economic growth.

Starting April 1 this year, the 16 percent VAT rate that applies to manufa

cturing and other sectors will be lowered to 13 percent, while the rate for construction, tran

sport and other sectors will be reduced from 10 percent to 9 percent, said a joint statement released on Th

ursday by the Ministry of Finance, State Taxation Administration and the General Administration of Customs.

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North Korea has yet to issue any direct public statement on

  the decision to withdraw. Chad O’Carroll, an analyst and chief executive of the K

orea Risk Group, said the move was to be expected following the failure of the Hanoi summit.

  ”North Korea’s pull-out Friday from the Kaesong Lias

on Office has been on cards since Hanoi, given recent no-shows there,” he said on Twitter.

  He added that the move was designed to send a message that from

Pyongyang’s perspective “Seoul has insufficient influence” over the US-North Korea rela

tionship and that intra-Korean talks are increasingly pointless, “when sanctions prevent practical cooperation.”

  Following the Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi, the US and South Korea canceled major war ga

mes that have long been a source of tensions on the Korean Peninsula in order to “support diplomatic efforts” with Pyongyang.

  Speaking on Thursday, Joseph Dunford, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he was “absolutely confide

nt” that smaller exercises held in place of the traditional war games enabled the US and South Korean forces to “maintain readiness.”

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I would have done it much differently. I actually told

  Theresa May how to do it, but she didn’t listen to me,” Trump told the tabloid. “The deal she is striking is a much different deal than the one people voted on.”

  Trump apologized in private to May, one of the rare times he‘s admitted wrong. And tho

ugh he’s expressed a desire to remain diplomatically impartial — “I think we will stay right in our lane,” he sa

id last week when questioned about Brexit — he has nevertheless bemoaned May’s handling of the issue over and over.

  ”I’m surprised at how badly it’s all gone from the standpoint of a negotiation,” he said in the Oval Office last week, mome

nts after suggesting he wouldn’t offer an opinion on the issue. “I gave the prime minister my ideas on how to n

egotiate it. And I think you would’ve been successful. She didn’t listen to that, and that’s fine.”

  A few weeks before, Trump spoke briefly with one of the UK’s most visible pro-Brexit campaig

ners, Nigel Farage, on the sidelines of a conservative conference outside Washington. And he’s ma

intained close ties to the hardline conservatives who have bemoaned May’s handling of the matter.

  Trump wasn’t alone in his criticism. Two of his top confidants — son Donald Trump Jr. and national security adviser John

Bolton — both offered critical views this week of May and her plan to try and delay Britain’s exit from Europe.

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The visit was not only for Harvard but also on behalf of

  all of US higher education in order to promote bilateral educational exchanges, he said.

  ”I am here precisely because, like you, I believe these ties are extremely import

ant for our academic institutions, but even more importantly, for our nations,” he said.

  He noted that there are a large number of overseas students from China at Har

vard, and the Chinese language is among the most popular foreign languages at the institution.

  He also expressed his admiration for the great emphasis the Ch

inese government has placed on education and its efforts to enhance higher education, addi

ng that Harvard University is ready to move forward with exchanges with Chinese education and research inst

itutions.He calls for tapping partnership potential in such sectors as shipping, telecommunications

  China stands ready to work with Italy on the Belt and Road Initiative by strengthening its alignment with the Eur

opean country’s development strategies to bring bilateral ties to a new level, President Xi Jinping said.

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EU ready to grant Brexit delay if UK parliament backs dealpe

LONDON – The European Union could grant Britain’s request for a short Brexit delay if parliament vote

s next week in favour of a stalled departure deal, European Council President Donald Tusk said on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Theresa May asked the European Union to allow Britain to delay its de

parture date by three months to June 30, and EU leaders are expected to discuss the matter at a summit on Thursday.

Tusk said it would be possible to grant Britain a short postponement if parlia

ment next week backs May’s divorce agreement, which it has already voted down twice.

Should that happen, Tusk said no extraordinary EU leaders’ summit would be need

ed next week before the current Brexit date of March 29. Otherwise, he might call another summit.

“I believe that a short extension will be possible, but it will be conditional on a positive v

ote on the Withdrawal Agreement in the House of Commons,” Tusk told journalists.

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ameras found by police hidden inside a hotel wall outletand hair

The site had more than 4,000 members, 97 of whom paid a $44.95 monthly fee to access extra features, such as the ability to replay certa

in live streams. Between November 2018 and this month, police said, the service brought in upwards of $6,000.

“There was a similar case in the past where illegal cameras were (secretly installed) and were consistently and secretly

watched, but this is the first time the police caught where videos were broadcast live on the internet,” police said.

South Korea has a serious problem with spy cameras and illicit filming. In 2017, more than

6,400 cases of illegal filming were reported to police compared to around 2,400 in 2012.

Last year, tens of thousands of women took to the streets of Seoul and other cities to p

rotest against the practice and demand action, under the slogan “My Life is Not Your Porn.”

Play VideoIllicit spy cam cases skyrocket in South Korea 02:24

In response, Seoul launched a special squad of women inspectors, w

ho have been conducting regular inspections of the city’s 20,000 or so public toilets to searc

h for spy cameras, though some critics have denounced the move as a superficial response to a societal issue.

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UN court increases Karadzic’s genocide sentence to

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic’s sentence for genocide has been increas

ed by appeal judges at a UN court in the Hague, Netherlands, from 40 years to life imprisonment.

In 2016 the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia sentenced Kar

adzic to 40 years in prison for genocide over the 1995 Srebrenica massacre — in which more than 7,000 Bos

nian Muslim men and boys were executed by Bosnian Serb forces under his command — as well as other crimes such as persecu

tion, extermination, murder, deportation, inhumane acts, terror, unlawful attacks on civilians, and hostage-taking.

On Wednesday Judge Vagn Joensen said the original 40-year sentence did not reflect the “gravity” of Kar

adzic’s crimes, and “his responsibility for the largest and gravest set of crimes ever attributed to a single person at the ICTY.”

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