1. EU shows its mettle

The EU joined China this week by taking the US to the World Trade Organisation over its tariffs on steel and aluminium imports. This is in spite of the bloc’s temporary exemption from tariffs that have threatened to trigger a global trade war.

Its objection, much like China’s, is to the "national security" justification made by the US. "Notwithstanding the US’s characterisation of these measures as security measures, they are in essence safeguard measures," the EU said.

China says it will retaliate by putting duties on up to US$3bn of US imports including fruit, nuts and wine. And Reuters reports that the EU is drawing up its own list of duties.

2. Another chip on China’s shoulder

The US government dealt a blow to Chinese telecoms firm ZTE Corp by banning it from buying tech from American suppliers for seven years. The US says ZTE violated the terms of a sanctions settlement. Last year it pleaded guilty to violating US laws restricting the sale of US tech to Iran, but has since allegedly lied about its practices to US authorities.

ZTE purchases chips and components from other US firms for use in its smartphones. Bloomberg says China’s commerce ministry responded rapidly to the ban, saying it would take measures to protect the interests of Chinese businesses.

3. Google goes faster in Africa

Tech giant Google has released an app called Google Go that will make it less data-heavy to browse online. Planned for launch in 26 African countries, the app — which is just 5MB in size — is customised to function on devices with low storage and will even load on slow and unstable connections including 2G networks.

Please sign in or register to comment.