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Bilibili Announces Strategic Partnership with Houston Rockets

Vlad Poptamas

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The Houston Rockets sign a strategic cooperation agreement with Bilibili
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Bilibili, the leading online entertainment platform for young generations in China, today announced that it has signed a strategic partnership with the Houston Rockets NBA basketball organization to expand its presence in the eSports sector. Bilibili’s eSports team, Bilibili Gaming (BLG), and the Houston Rockets’ eSports team, Clutch Gaming (CG), had their first friendly game on October 9, 2018, followed by a similar friendly encounter between the Shanghai Bilibili Sharks and the Houston Rockets on October 10, 2018.

Houston Rockets chief executive Mr.Tad Brown said, “As a very important component of the Houston Rockets organization and its brand, the CG team is honored to form this partnership and engage in friendly games with Bilibili’s eSports team. The partnership is groundbreaking.”

Mr. Sebastian Park, vice president of Houston Rockets eSports, stated at the press conference held to commemorate the signing of the partnership that, under terms of the agreement, Bilibili will become the official partner of CG. In addition to annual friendly basketball competitions between the Shanghai Bilibili Sharks and the Houston Rockets, the two parties’ eSports teams, BLG and CG, will also compete in friendly games concurrently. In addition, the CG team will broadcast their games in real time on the Bilibili platform and interact with their fans.

Mr. Shengyan Zhang, senior director of Bilibili, said at the press conference, “The annual friendly games between the Shanghai Bilibili Sharks and the Houston Rockets have already become an established tradition over many years. Consequently, we are now extending the friendly relations to the eSports sector to promote our cooperation and integration of the two sports fields.”

The growing popularity of eSports worldwide is inevitable. According to a report on the sector issued by market research organization Newzoo, the global eSports market grew 103% from 2015 to 2017. Both emerging internet companies and leading players in traditional industries are seeking opportunities in the eSports market.

Bilibili has become an important player in the sector. Bilibili formally formed its own eSports club, BLG, in December 2017. The League of Legends team representing Bilibili participated in the League of Legends Pro League (LPL), placing 5th on the scoreboard in the spring competition. The team also garnered 2nd place at the Demacia Cup. Meanwhile, Bilibili secured live and on-demand broadcasting rights for the 2018 LPL, the Global Final and several intercontinental tournaments. On September 7, 2018, Blizzard Entertainment Inc., announced that Bilibili was granted a permanent seat at the Overwatch League (OWL), with the team settling in the city of Hangzhou as its home base.

Alongside Tencent, Bilibili is one of the two companies in China that is active in gaming, live broadcasts, eSports and basketball. Most notably, Bilibili earned its slot in the top competitions, such as LPL and OWL in less than a year.

In the traditional sports industry, it has become a trend for NBA teams to collaborate with eSports counterparts. As eSports competitions are gradually forming their own system that increasingly follows the structure of traditional sports competitions, basketball teams that are household names, including the Houston Rockets, are looking forward to integrating their operational experience with eSports clubs. The Rockets formally established their eSports division in December 2016, and it was officially licensed to participate in the League of Legends’ LCS North American competition with its CG team in October 2017.

On the heels of its cooperation in the eSports sector, Bilibili plans to further expand its eSports brand globally, while the Rockets plan to expand their eSports business further into China, a huge market with a massive number of players.

Commenting on the cooperation, Ms. Ni Li, vice chairman and COO of Bilibili, said, “The collaboration with internationally influential clubs, such as the Houston Rockets, will help Bilibili form a mature business model for sports club operations. We look forward to accelerating the integration between eSports and traditional sports through our well-established friendly relations and promoting communication and development between the sports industries in Shanghai and Houston.”

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Entertainment

ZEE5 and Dialog Announce a Strategic Partnership to Bring the Largest Bouquet of Premium Regional Content to Sri Lanka

Vlad Poptamas

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Photo source: SOURCE ZEE5
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

ZEE5s extensive bouquet of 1,00,000 hours of premium Indian content will now be available through the Dialog ViU app

ZEE5, the largest digital entertainment platform for language content, announced its very first international partnership in the SAARC region with Dialog Axiata PLC, Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider. The partnership will provide Dialog ViU app users with over 1,00,000 hours of premium regional content. Dialog ViU customers will be able to subscribe at a charge of LKR 350 per month to access one of the region’s best content libraries.

Dialog customers will be able to access ZEE5 Originals like Karenjit KaurZero Kms as well as recent crime thrillers Rangbaaz and Abhay, scintillating Bollywood hits like Veere Di Wedding and Toilet; an extensive Tamil content library including top shows like Sembaruthi, Poove Poochoodava and Yaaradi Nee Mohini, ZEE5 Tamil Originals including KallachirippuAmerica Mapillai and D7 as well as recent blockbusters like Mersal.

Speaking about the association, Archana Anand, Chief Business Officer – ZEE5 Global said, We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Dialog Axiata for our launch in Sri Lanka. With over 1,00,000 hours of content across multiple genres and 12 languages, Dialogs subscribers now have access to the largest library of Indian content thats available in one single destination. Sri Lanka is rapidly developing into an exciting market for entertainment content, and we look forward to jointly exploring this opportunity with Dialog Axiata.

Commenting on the partnership, Mangala Hettiarachchi, Senior General Manager  Global and Content Services, Dialog Axiata PLC said, “We are extremely proud to have partnered with ZEE5 so soon into their international launch. This affiliation strengthens the content portfolio offered by Dialog ViU by opening one of the regions best content libraries to our customers. Dialog customers can now watch the best content on the best video network in Sri Lankaat any time, from anywhere, on any Internet-connected screen without commercials.

ZEE5 offers over 1,00,000 hours of Indian TV shows, movies, videos, etc. across 12 languages to South Asians across the globe. ZEE5 is available on Google Play Store, iOS App Storehttp://www.ZEE5.com and on Samsung Smart TVs, Apple TV, Android TVs and Amazon Fire TV.

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Contracts

The “Calligraphy, Tea Culture and Silk Road Photography” Sino-Singaporean cultural exchange event takes place in Singapore

Vlad Poptamas

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Photo source: SOURCE Reignwood Group
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

The Sino-Singaporean cultural exchange event, “Calligraphy, Tea Culture and Silk Road Photography”, was held at Reignwood Hamilton Scotts, one of central Singapore’s key Asian landmarks, on February 19, 2019, the same day as this year’s Chinese Lantern Festival. The event was co-hosted by the Chinese Culture Promotion Society, the Chinese Tourism Development Alliance and Reignwood Culture Foundation with the support of VOSS. Well-known Chinese and Singaporean luminaries in the fields of culture, finance and trade participated in the event in celebration of the traditional Chinese holiday.

Building a platform for cultural exchanges between China and Singapore

The Silk Road Cultural Exchange Center was established on the same day with the goal of building a platform for non-governmental cultural exchanges between China and SingaporeChina’s cultural counsellor in Singapore Que Xiaohua joined hands with Belt and Road General Chamber of Commerce (Hong Kong) co-president and Reignwood Group chairman Yan Bin to unveil the stone plaque in commemoration of the founding of the center.

Counsellor Que said, “Through showcasing traditional Chinese culture, such as the Chinese tea ceremony and traditional Chinese medicines, the event promotes cultural exchanges between China and countries targeted by the Belt and Road Initiative, of which Singapore is a key target, helping create a receptive environment for the implementation of the initiative.”

“We bring Chinese calligraphy and tea culture to Singapore, an attractive investment destination within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, as a means of promoting China as a country of beauty and one that takes its environmental responsibilities seriously. The establishment of the Silk Road Cultural Exchange Center is expected to strengthen the friendship and promote cultural exchanges between the Chinese and Singaporean peoples,” stated the chairman, Mr. Yan. “As a Chinese businessman, I would like to make greater contributions to the ongoing promotion of cultural exchanges between the Chinese and Singaporean peoples and to the common economic development of both countries as well as to the formation of the Marine Silk Road.”

Investment drives trade development

Over the recent years, focusing on the key mission of their joint participation in the Belt and Road Initiative, on a practical level, China and Singapore have engaged in collaborative efforts across various fields with the ultimate goal of achieving mutually beneficial prosperity. According to available data, China has been Singapore’s largest trade partner for six consecutive years, while Singapore has been China’s largest new source of foreign investment, also for six consecutive years. The initiative, a new model of international economic cooperation, provides additional impetus to Chinese companies contemplating investment in the targeted countries. Investment drives trade development, while promoting development in those countries has become a new and important trend.

During the event, organizer Reignwood inked a strategic cooperation agreement for its VOSS natural mineral water project with Octopus Group, a leader in the trade of consumer packaged goods across Southeast Asia. The two parties plan to increase their investments with the aim of jointly expanding the SE Asian market for the mineral water.

In 2015, Reignwood acquired VOSS, an international bottled water brand that originated in Norway, and in 2016, put in motion a project to establish a plant in Zhuxi County, Hubei province, with total investment exceeding 1 billion yuan(approx. USD 150 million) and an annual production capacity of 250,000 tons. Through a combination of environmental protection, good manufacturing practices and education, the group has been supporting poverty alleviation efforts. Reignwood has been awarded the Poverty Alleviation Award of the Year by the 13th People’s Corporate Social Responsibility Awards for VOSS water’s clear taste and the success of the “VOSS water for poverty alleviation” campaign.

Cultural exchanges facilitate the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative

The Silk Road Tour – Belt and Road Photography Exhibition, Tea Culture Exhibition and Calligraphy by Masters Exhibition were staged during the three-day event held from February 19 to February 21. Chinese artist Jiang Kun and Shaanxi Provincial Calligraphers Association secretary general Wang Gaimin, among other famous Chinese calligraphers, participated in a contest during which they demonstrated their calligraphy skills and capabilities in choosing the most meaningful characters to place on the New Year couplets that they had to create impromptu. New Year couplets are a collection of black or gold-colored Chinese characters written on strips of red paper that are then affixed to both sides of the front door of a home. The characters express happy and hopeful thoughts for the coming year. During the Tea Culture Exhibition, the 18-step tea art performance sponsored by VOSS water products, and an interactive activity, where participants drank water from a winding canal that had one wine cup floating on it as a supplication to reduce the likelihood of future misfortune. The performance helped showcase the unique mineral and floral flavors characteristic of Chinese tea, as well as the spiritual and aesthetic qualities that are associated with water in Chinese culture. Guests were given an opportunity to take part in a professionally curated display of Chinese culture with a focus on art appreciation, calligraphy and a healthy competitive spirit. In addition, leading luminaries in the world of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) from China and Singapore were invited to participate in a TCM-based health regimen-themed seminar designed to raise awareness of the importance of personal health and wellbeing.

Exhibits displayed at the photography event included Belt and Road-themed works by world-renowned photographer Michael Yamashita, as well as the micro replica of the East Indiaman Gotheborg, a sunken ship that once carried goods along the ancient Maritime Silk Road. The Silk Road Tour – Belt and Road Photography Exhibition is now in its 18thedition. During the past two years, Reignwood Culture Foundation has twice held the exhibition in Singapore. The foundation had also made it part of Singapore Regional Business Forum 2016 hosted by the Singapore Business Federation, yielding the event much praise.

Good mountains and good water give birth to good tea, while the whole is about nature. Staying true to one’s authenticity and integrity is a fundamental part of one’s contribution to the Belt and Road Initiative. The Calligraphy, Tea Culture and Silk Road Photography event strengthened the friendship and promoted cultural exchanges between China and Singapore. Designed to stimulate trade development through investment, the event also helped build a framework for joint discussions, sharing of ideas as well as the development and implementation of mutually beneficial projects. The two countries look forward to many future opportunities for collaboration in line with the objectives of Belt and Road.

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Computer Electronics

University of New Haven Researchers Discover Critical Vulnerabilities in Popular Virtual Reality Application

Vlad Poptamas

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Photo source: cappex.com
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

A team of researchers at the University of New Haven discovered that Bigscreen, a well-known and popular virtual reality (VR) application, and Unity, the game development platform BigScreen is built on, are vulnerable to hackers. Bigscreen, which describes itself as a “virtual living room,” enables users to watch movies, collaborate on projects together and more.

Without users’ knowledge and consent – and without tricking users into downloading software or granting access to the computer – University of New Haven researchers were able to:

  • Turn on user microphones and listen to private conversations
  • Join any VR room including private rooms
  • Create a replicating worm that infects users as soon as they enter a room with other VR users
  • View user computer screens in real time
  • Send messages on a user’s behalf
  • Download and run programs – including malware – onto user computers
  • Join users in VR while remaining invisible. This novel attack was termed as a Man-In-The-Room (MITR) attack.
  • Phish users into downloading fake VR drivers

Click here to view a YouTube proof of concept video summarizing and demonstrating the findings.

“Our research shows hackers are able to monitor people day in and day out – listen to what they are saying and see how they are interacting in virtual reality,” said Ibrahim Baggili, founder and co-director of the University of New Haven Cyber Forensics Research and Education Group (https://www.unhcfreg.com). “They can’t see you, they can’t hear you, but the hacker can hear and see them, like an invisible Peeping Tom. A different layer of privacy has been invaded.”

Baggili and his team presented the research findings to Bigscreen and Unity. Bigscreen CEO and Founder Darshan Shankar said Feb. 14 the company has patched the issues. Unity recently added language to its website warning users the platform can be “used to of.”

Baggili and his team have not performed tests to determine if vulnerabilities still exist.

The researchers – Baggili, Elder Family Endowed Chair of Computer Science and Cybersecurity and an internationally recognized expert in cybersecurity and digital forensics; master’s student Peter Casey; and Martin Vondráček, visiting master’s student from Brno University of Technology, recently uncovered the technology vulnerabilities while testing the security of VR systems through a National Science Foundation-funded project. Martin Vondráček then wrapped up the research into a command and control tool to show the severity of the findings. For disclosure details, go to the University of New Haven Forensic Sciences Research & Education Group website: https://www.unhcfreg.com/.

According to Bigscreen, users log up to 20-30 hours a week using the system, with some logging over 1000 hours. TechCrunch reported in 2017 the company had 150,000 users.

Baggili and Casey have uncovered susceptibilities in other popular virtual reality systems – including HTC Vive and Oculus Rift – revealing that hackers could alter the experience of users. Several years ago, Baggili and his team uncovered liabilities in the messaging apps WhatsApp, Viber and others that affected more than 1.5 billion users, garnering significant international media coverage.

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