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Tech Thursday: Episode 20

The first automated subway car, China leads in supercomputers, China’s plane catapult

11·16·2017

Tech Thursday: Episode 20

The first automated subway car, China leads in supercomputers, China’s plane catapult

11·16·2017

Each Thursday, The World of Chinese takes the most ground-breaking, impressive, or just plain weird technological advancements related to the Middle Kingdom and serves them in bite-sized chunks to keep you up-to-date on the latest news in the world of Chinese technology.

Supercomputer China

China has more supercomputers than any other country. For the past 25 years, the Top500, as the name would suggest, has been ranking the world’s top 500 supercomputers. China now has 202 on that list, with the US at 143.

Six months ago, the US was in the lead, with 169 to China’s 160. But as with most growth areas in China, change has come fast, and dramatically.

Test run for driverless subway

Beijing is putting a new driverless subway car through its test runs. The 16.6 kilometer Yanfang line, to be added to the Beijing network, is China’s first automated subway line. The trains are designed to go at speeds of up to 80 kilometers per hour, and will service the southwestern area of the capital.

Chinese microlender lists on US exchange

Lexin, a Chinese microlender, has filed for an IPO in the US to raise $500 million. Microlenders in China have exploded in number in recent years, filling a void left by the fact that the large banks rarely handle small loans, often require large deposits, and tend to only lend to large, established clients. Private industry has stepped in, but with so few avenues for reliably checking up on the credit status of individuals, it’s still a very risky industry. Lexin is backed by e-commerce giant JD.com.

China develops plane catapult

The “electromagnetic catapult” is a piece of technology previously only utilized by the US, but has now been built by China as well. Used on an aircraft carrier, it essentially launches planes with a cable, helping them to take off in a cramped runway environment.

PLA Navy expert Yin Zhuo recently told media that Chinese airplanes have already made “thousands” of takeoffs using their own technology.

Bluegogo goes

Bike-sharing startup Bluegogo has gone bust. The CEO is AWOL, and the Vice President says he has been away from the company for months. The company is reportedly 400,000 RMB in debt, partly because it shipped a massive number of bikes to San Francisco only to find that they were suddenly illegal there due to new regulations. Employee salaries have not been paid and suppliers are owed money.

Check out last week’s Tech Thursday.

Cover image from China Daily