US Lifting Ban on Xiaomi; Redfin Forecast-Record Home Sales; Samsung & AMD System on Chip; Chinese Suppliers Gone from Amazon

The US will lift the blacklisting one Xiaomi that was put on by the Trump administration last year. Xiaomi had filed a lawsuit earlier this year over the matter. According to engadget.com, the firm had been added to a US military list of alleged Chinese military companies in January, which blocked any American investment in the company. A joint proposal between them and the US government should be out by May 20th. China asserted that the two company founders held 75% voting ownership, and that there were no military links to the ownership. 

In what would be the largest gain since 2013, Redfin has forecast a record $2.53 trillion in US home sales this year. Geekwire.com says that the market is being fueled by low mortgage rates, high demand, and a wave of migration made possible by remote work. According to Redfin, the national median home sale price hit a record $353,000 in March, up 17% from 2020. They project that even more buyers will enter the market in the 2nd half of this year and during 2022. 

Apple is migrating all the Macs to its new M1 system on a chip (which by Fall will be superseded by the M2), and now Samsung is jumping in to the SoC game, planning to reveal a new Exynos chip for laptops and smartphones in the 2nd half of the year. Arstechnica.com reports the SoC GPU is being developed jointly with Advanced Micro Devices. Samsung is positioning the new Exynos SoC as equal to the Qualcomm chips they have traditionally touted as the superior chip. It’s unclear if they will ditch the Qualcomm silicon (which seems unlikely), or if Samsung will also move to an ARM laptop CPU. 

Meanwhile, Qualcomm is working to get into the SoC game…having bought Nuvia in January. Nuvia hans’t made anything yet, but was tarted by renegades who left Apple’s CPU division, including their chief CPU architect. Qualcomm says they may be shipping internally designed CPUs by the 2nd half of 2022. 

With the sheltering on place and working from home during the pandemic, millions of things have passed through the Amazon store. In January, analysts calculated that 75% of Amazon’s new sellers were in China…up from 47% in 2020. According to TechCrunch.com, Chinese sellers are also filling the ranks of sellers on eBay, and other platforms. Now, comes an interesting wrinkle…at least 11 accounts that originated in China have disappeared from Amazon over the last few days. 

Those accounts had been contributing over a billion dollars in gross merchandise value (GMV) to Amazon. Amazon had no comment, other than a statement that it has “long-standing policies to protect the integrity of our store, including product authenticity, genuine reviews, and products meeting the expectations of our customers.”

“We take swift action against those that violate them, including suspending or removing selling privileges.”  It is an ongoing game of ‘whack-a-mole,’ though…as bad actor selling firms seem to pop up again all the time with new names, and information.



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