|Frontier's "Invest Mongolia Tokyo 2018"||Frontier Securities||Tokyo Japan|
|"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award||ICC WTO||London|
Following the ratification of the draft bill on 2019 State Budget last friday, the President may put a veto on the decision as he previously requested the Parliament to cut expenditure. Although some of his requests, such as allocation to child protection activities, were fulfilled, the Parliament approved MNT 47 billion allocation for Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) Development Fund, which drew public attention as several parliament members (MPs) allegedly tapped high-sum loans at low interest rate. Another key request addressed by the President during the budget discussion last month was to cut budget expenditure by around 15 percent; however, the Parliament adopted the bill without any significant change at MNT 1.9 trillion in deficit. As for revenue, several MPs and experts criticized that the budget has an optimistic assumption. For instance, coal export, one of the key export items was forecasted at 42 million tons in 2019. Parliament members, including the Minister of Mining and Heavy Industry Sumiyabazar Dolgorsuren explained that the amount is attainable with the completion of infrastructure projects currently being implemented in the main coal export route. “The full repayment of the bonds will begin in 2021.
This will coincide with a decline in the commodities cycle. On top of it, the global economy might face an unprecedented crisis. It is hard to imagine what will happen if all these risks coincide. The Cabinet must forget about elections. It is time to focus on overcoming the looming risks,” previously stressed President Battulga during the discussion on budget bill. He also mentioned that the balanced revenue of the 2019 budget was estimated to increase by MNT 2.4 trillion, of which MNT 1.3 trillion of it would come from mining sector, which constitutes 53.1 percent of the total expected revenue. “In other words, over half of the budget revenue is projected to be generated by the most unwarranted revenue source-it is a risk that could create a big hole in the budget,” Mr. President remarked. With the current scandal around the SME Development Fund and on-going demonstrations against sudden jumps in fuel price and foreign exchange rate, local media outlets are claiming that the President will put veto on 2019 budget. Additionally, the Democratic Party faction in the Parliament, which announced to not attend Parliament sessions until SME Development Fund scandal is resolved, called for the President to veto the bill, blaming the Parliament for approving the budget without the presence of DP members yesterday.
LONDON, Nov 5 – The cost of building a copper or gold mine is likely to be cheaper than buying an existing one, dampening the prospect of big merger activity in the mining sector, S&P Global Market Intelligence said, citing in-house research.
Data shared with Reuters support comments from major miners, including BHP and Rio Tinto , which say their strategy is to build or to "smart buy", if they can possibly find a suitable mine for sale at the right price or acquire part of a promising prospect.
Keval Dhokia, copper analyst at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said the research provider had analysed the expense of building new mines based on reserves found through exploration.
Research suggests that exploration and building is still the riskier but potentially more cost-effective alternative
S&P Global Market Intelligence compared the decade 2007-2016 with 1997-2006 for copper and found the cost of acquired reserves increased by $742.15 per metric tonne, while the average unit cost of exploration-derived reserves rose $54.93 per tonne.
For gold, comparing the periods 2008-2017 and 1999-2008, the average unit cost in acquired reserves rose by $121.93 per troy ounce, much more than the $41.74 per troy ounce increase in the average unit cost of gold in reserves derived from exploration.
At the same time, the share of gold reserves growth attributable to acquisitions dropped to 30.4 percent in the decade ending 2017 from 51.3 percent in the previous decade.
Growth in copper reserves from big buys fell to 33.8 percent between 2007-2016 from 43.8 percent between 1997-2006.
Copper, one of the most effective electrical conductors, is in focus as miners see good demand prospects from both traditional consumers and from increased use in electric vehicles and global improvements in grid infrastructure.
Although on paper building projects is the better option and for majors offers the chance of tailoring them to maximise returns, finding reserves is harder as the more obvious ore bodies in politically stable countries have been depleted.
The declines in copper prices and exploration budgets that marked 2013 to 2016 had little impact on copper discoveries, which had already sunk to record low levels, S&P Global Market Intelligence said.
One of the few stand-out development projects is SolGold's copper-gold project in Ecuador.
Major BHP in September and October bought shares in SolGold, amounting to an 11.2 percent stake in two stages.
It paid a 32 percent premium to the 20-day volume-weighted average London Stock Exchange price for the second stake and 20 percent for the first in a total spend of around $95 million.
That compared with a previous offer SolGold rejected of $30 million for a 10 percent stake in the company in October 2016.
Dhokia, like other analysts, expects a copper shortfall to deepen over time and boost prices. This year the copper market has fallen nearly 15 percent as trade tensions between the U.S. and China have raised the prospect of reduced Chinese demand.
(REUTERS: By Barbara Lewis and Zandi Shabalala; Editing by Jan Harvey)...
Oil and gas companies are exploring in disparate parts of the world to add more reserves to fulfill growing world energy demand. Egypt intensified oil and gas exploration efforts in the Mediterranean and Red Sea while Ecuador recently opened more onshore blocks to international investors.
Tharwa Petroleum Co. of Egypt partnered with Eni SPA of Italy to spud their first exploratory well at Noor offshore gas field along the North Sinai coast in late September. Eni is exploring in about 25 countries to find more reserves, Eni Chief Executive Officer Claudio Descalzi said.
Descalzi believes Eni can add oil and natural gas reserves through disciplined exploration spending at lower cost than it can through acquiring producing properties. He estimates 400-500 million bbl has been added to Eni’s reserves in 6 years at about $2/bbl.
Meanwhile, various Latin American governments have revised oil and gas investment incentives. Colombia used tax credits to attract more exploration while Mexico and Argentina sought to attract investment in onshore conventional plays, Wood Mackenzie Ltd. analysts report.
In September, Ecuador launched its 2018 Intracampos Round for eight onshore blocks in the oil-prone northwestern Oriente basin. Ecuador Presidential Decree No. 449, dated July 12, changed the structure of investments from service contracts to a new petroleum sharing contract.
International companies actively explored in Ecuador during in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but they had scaled back, saying earlier effects failed to meet expectations.
In Russia, Gazprom OAO has steadily replenished its annual production volumes and built up its reserves through exploration. The gas giant is accelerating exploration around the Yamal Peninsula and Russia’s Far East.
Mongolia begin issuing oil and gas licenses in 1992 but interest by exploration companies has been low. A UK company is actively exploring in Mongolia.
Companies other than Tharwa and Eni also are exploring in Egypt. IPR Energy Group Inc. (IPR) of Irving, Tex., in August discovered a field in the Alamein lease of Egypt’s Western Desert. IPR is executing a large drilling program and workovers covering the Western Desert, Nile Delta, and Gulf of Suez offshore Egypt.
In the Western Desert, the Southeast Alamein-1X (SEAL-1X) exploration well encountered 97 ft of pay from Razzak sand, Basal Middle and Upper Bahariya sands, and Abu Roash G dolomite (Fig 1). Testing and evaluation of various zones are under way.
IPR drilled two new production wells in Alamein field (A-42, AL44), bringing another 580 bbl of oil on stream.
Exploration well AL45X discovered Dahab sand, extending IPR’s knowledge of channel sands. Initial tests exceeded 850 b/d of naturally flowing 30° API gravity crude.
The independent’s horizontal well NEAL-19H targets the Upper A-R G Dolomite of the Northeast Alamein (NEAL) field in the Western Desert.
In the North Ras Qattara (NRQ) concession in the Western Desert, IPR’s exploration well NRQ-12X discovered oil, which tested 1,458 b/d from the Lower Bahariya formation. Two appraisal wells, NRQ 255-18 and NRQ-9-7, brought an additional 820 b/d.
Exploration well Ibn Yunis-1X found gas in the South Disouq concession of the Nile Delta. It flowed 26.9 MMcfd on test.
IPR said appraisal well, SD-4X flowed 28.7 MMcfd on test from the Abu El Maadi (AEM) formation. The SD-3X discovery showed hydrocarbons in both AEM and Kafr El Sheikh (KES) formations. Gas flowed 16 MMcfd on test from AEM.
The independent plans a seismic survey covering 170 sq km in the concession’s southern territory.
IPR has focused on Egypt since 1993. It also has gas production in Pakistan and some mineral rights ownership in the Permian basin of Texas. The company acquired offshore Egyptian holdings through its 2003 acquisition of Devon Energy International’s Gulf of Suez assets.
Separately in Egypt, Eni announced an August gas discovery on the Faramid South prospect in the East Obayed concession, 30 km northwest of the Melehia concession. Both concessions are in Egypt’s Western Desert where Eni is working to develop gas reserves.
The Faramid South well, which reached its 17,000 ft target, flowed 25 MMscfd, confirming the East Obayed.
Through its joint-venture operating company with Egyptian General Petroleum Corp. (Agiba), Eni currently produces 55,000 boed from the Western Desert. Agiba owns 100% of East Obayed concession.
The Ministry of Energy and Non-renewable Resources in Ecuador announced a licensing round for eight blocks onshore Ecuador (Fig. 2). Ecuador officials say they designed the round to attract international investors based on production sharing contracts (PSCs) and updated tax, fiscal, and legal terms.
Northwest Oriente basin reservoirs involve the Cretaceous Hollin and Napo formations, which comprise successions of sand-rich fluvial and deltaic deposits, WoodMac reports. The blocks are near existing pipelines and other infrastructure.
Ecuador officials talked with oil and gas executives in Houston on Sept. 25 during a road show on the licensing round. Carlos Perez, Ecuador’s Minister of Energy and Non-Renewable Natural Resources, told reporters he anticipates the round could attract $1 billion in investment.
A lingering issue for oil and gas investors is dispute resolution. Ecuador withdrew from the World Bank arbitration court in 2009. For the latest licensing round, Ecuador’s government agreed to arbitration by Colombian courts if any dispute resolution is needed.
Colombia has established petroleum laws and represents a Latin America perspective, said Noble Pendergrass, WoodMac principal petroleum economist for the Americas.
The PSCs have no cost provisions or royalty, but full production value is placed into a profit-sharing pool. The profit-sharing pool is split between the company and Ecuador’s government based on a percentage involving a production component and a biddable price component.
The production component is calculated using a tier-based system that increases with increased daily production. The biddable component increases as the oil price increases.
Pendergrass said a sovereignty adjustment can be applied to the profit share. Each year, the cumulative cash flows, including all taxes and costs, are calculated for the government and contractor. If the government share is less than 51%, the difference will be added into the government’s profit share the next year.
In addition, Ecuador cancelled its windfall tax. Two production taxes, called Ley 10 and Ley 40, will provide revenues for ecological redevelopment and provincial income. Two income taxes also apply. They are the labor participation tax and the corporate income tax, which together apply at a 36.25% rate to profits.
Rosneft announced plans to spend almost $2.5 billion in oil exploration in Russia’s Far East and offshore its eastern Arctic during 2017-22.
Gazprom recently outlined its exploration efforts in Russia’s Far East as well as the Nadym-Pur-Taz region, the Yamal Peninsula, the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), and the Irkutsk Region.
The company reported estimated gas reserves of 35.4 trillion cubic m as of Dec. 31, 2017. The company is reviewing its estimates following adoption of a new Russian Classification of Reserves and Forecast Resources of Oil and Flammable Gases.
Gazprom expects to complete its reserves estimate review by 2021. Meanwhile, it is working to add gas reserve through exploration.
Gazprom drilled two exploratory wells in Kovyktinskoye field in the Irkutsk Region in 2017 and plans to drill more wells in that area (Fig. 3). It acquired 3D seismic surveys covering 2,400 sq km. It also drilled an exploration well in Tas-Yuryakhskoye field last year.
Gazprom drills exploration wells in Irkutsk Region in ongoing efforts to increase its natural gas reserves (Fig. 3). Photo from Gazprom.
During 2018–21, Gazprom plans 20 exploratory wells and 3D seismic surveys covering 3,800 sq km. In Yakutia, efforts are under way to explore Chayandinskoye, Tas-Yuryakhskoye, Verkhnevilyuchanskoye, Sobolokh-Nedzhelinskoye and Srednetyungskoye fields.
Gazprom executives believe the Nadym-Pur-Taz production region has more resources. Petroleum engineers are studying deposits lying under and above the Cenomanian horizon.
Experts estimate resource potential of the above-Cenomanian deposits in Gazprom’s fields across the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area to be 4 trillion cu m. Gazprom continues to explore that area, both onshore and offshore the Yamal Peninsula shelf (Fig. 4).
The Nanhai VIII semisubmersible transited under tow earlier this year from the Port of Murmansk to drill a well at Gazprom’s Rusanovsky license area in the Kara Sea. (Fig. 4). Photo from Gazprom.
Gazprom is developing giant Kharasaveyskoye gas-and-condensate field on the Yamal Peninsula in arctic Russia. Kharasaveyskoye straddles the Kara Sea coast north of Bovanenskovskoye gas-and-condensate field, which will reach design capacity of 115 billion cu m/year of gas with the 2018 launch of a third 5.5-million tonne/year liquefaction train at the Yamal LNG plant.
Gazprom estimates Kharasaveyskoye holds explored and preliminary estimated (C1+C2) reserves of 2 trillion cu m of gas. Initial development will target Cenomanian-Aptian deposits, from which production is scheduled to start in 2023 at an estimated 32 billion cu m/year.
Petro Matad Ltd. plugged and abandoned the Snow Leopard-1 well in the Valley of the Lakes complex’s Taats basin of Block V in Mongolia. Snow Leopard 1 was the first exploration well drilled in the Valley of the Lakes complex, said Petro Matad, which holds 100% interest. It reached 2,930 m MD in granitic basement.
Snow Leopard 1 encountered no sands at the shallower of the two primary targets. No oil or gas shows were observed in the well’s deeper objectives. Snow Leopard-1 operations stopped in September.
“Data and samples gathered during the drilling of the well are now under evaluation to determine the implications of the well results for the surrounding prospectivity,” Petro Matad said in a news release.
“The presence of thick shales and oil and gas shows in the well highlight the potential prospectivity of the Taats basin in which a number of other prospects and leads have been mapped.”
The UK independent moved the rig from Snow Leopard-1 to Wild Horse 1 well where drilling was expected to start by Nov. 1.
The company expected Wild Horse drilling to take 30-45 days to reach a target depth of 2,200 m. The target is the Baatsagaan basin in Petro Matad’s Block IV.
Paula Dittrick Senior Staff Writer
Paula Dittrick has covered oil and gas from Houston for more than 20 years. Starting in May 2007, she developed a health, safety, and environment beat for Oil & Gas Journal. Dittrick is familiar with the industry’s financial aspects. She also monitors issues associated with carbon sequestration and renewable energy.
Dittrick joined OGJ in February 2001. Previously, she worked for Dow Jones and United Press International. She began writing about oil and gas as UPI’s West Texas bureau chief during the 1980s. She earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska in 1974....
ULAN BATOR, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) -- Mongolia can now fully secure its domestic demand for wheat and potatoes, the country's Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry said Monday.
Mongolia harvested a total 409,600 tons of wheat and 160,900 tons of potato this autumn, respectively up 172,600 tons and 44,500 tons compared with the previous year, the ministry said in a statement.
In addition, the country reaped 93,600 tons of vegetables, 117,800 tons of fodder plants and 19,300 tons of oil plants, respectively up 14,500 tons, 57,300 tons and 7,200 tons compared to the previous year, it said.
Mongolia is the most sparsely populated country in the world, with a population of around 3 million, and a significant portion of the country's population live from breeding livestock.
Although dairy pastoralism once made Mongolian steppe herders successful enough to conquer most of Asia and Europe, the origins of this way of life on the East Asian steppe are still unclear. Now an international team of researchers led by the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History has uncovered evidence that dairying arrived in Mongolia as early as 1300 BC through a process of cultural transmission rather than population replacement or migration.
Two thousand years before the armies of Ghengis Khan, populations in Mongolia were already living a pastoralist, dairying lifestyle -- similar to that which would enable future populations to conquer most of Asia and Europe. Although pastoralism has long been the primary means of subsistence on the East Asian steppe, the origins of this tradition have been unclear. Now, an international team of researchers has uncovered the earliest direct evidence to date of dairying in Mongolia -- around 1300 BC -- by tracking milk proteins preserved in tooth tartar. The livestock that were milked -- cattle, sheep and goats -- are not native to the region and were likely introduced by Western Steppe herders. However, ancient DNA evidence from Bronze Age Mongolians indicates minimal genetic contributions from Western Steppe herders, suggesting that the livestock and dairying technologies were transferred by cultural processes rather than a major population migration, in contrast to the pattern seen in Europe. The findings are published in PNAS.
Cultural and technological transfer without population replacement
Researchers analyzed human remains from six sites in northern Mongolia associated with the Deer Stone-Khirigsuur Complex (DSKC). "The DSKC is well-known for their monumental architecture, including upright stones with deer and other motifs, and large stone mounds, often associated with one or more human burials," explains co-first author Shevan Wilkin of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. "In some locations, these structures are highly conspicuous and visible from great distances." The DSKC is the earliest culture associated archaeologically with pastoralism in Mongolia, with sites containing bones of sheep, goat, cattle and horse as early as the 13th century BC. However, to date no direct observations of dairy consumption had been made in this area.
The researchers conducted genome-wide analyses on 22 Bronze Age individuals, whose remains were radiocarbon dated to the late Bronze Age, ca. 1300-900 BC. Whole genome sequencing was further performed on two of these individuals. The results of these analyses showed that these Bronze Age Mongolians were genetically distinct from Western steppe herders of the same time period, indicating that the appearance of dairying in Mongolia was not the result of population migration and replacement.
"These findings suggest that neighboring Western steppe herders directly or indirectly introduced dairy pastoralism to local indigenous populations primarily through a process of cultural exchange," explains Choongwon Jeong, co-first and co-senior author, of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. "We don't see evidence for the kind of large-scale population replacement by Western Steppe herders that has been observed in Bronze Age Europe or in the nearby Altai-Sayan region."
Analysis of dental calculus shows clear evidence of dairy consumption
The researchers also analyzed the dental calculus of nine individuals using proteomics. Milk proteins were found in the calculus of seven individuals, confirming that dairy products were consumed as early as 1300 BC. Both whey and curd proteins were recovered, and could be identified as coming from sheep, goats and cattle. Interestingly, none of the individuals was lactase persistent -- genetically capable of digesting the milk sugar lactose. Most Mongolians today are also not lactase persistent, despite consuming a large proportion of their diet as dairy products.
"The 3,000-year legacy of dairy pastoralism in Mongolia poses challenging questions to grand narratives of human adaptation and natural selection," explains Christina Warinner, senior author, of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. "As a non-lactase persistent dairying society with a rich prehistory, Mongolia can serve as a model for understanding how other adaptations, such as cultural practices or microbiome alterations, may be involved in enabling and maintaining dairy-based cuisines around the world."
Materials provided by Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. Note: Content may be edited for style and length....
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/. The first consultative meeting between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia and Pakistan was held in Islamabad on November 5. State Secretary of the Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs D.Davaasuren and State Secretary (Asia Pacific) of the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs I.Ahmad chaired the meeting.
The two sides noted the great possibility of developing partnership in many sectors despite the geographic distance between Mongolia and Pakistan, and highlighted the importance of the consultative meeting between the Foreign Ministries in defining the future of partnership. The parties agreed to have partnership in sectors, such as politics, economy, trades, culture, education, tourism and agriculture.
Furthermore, they exchanged views on enhancing the relations between parliaments, conducting official visits from both sides, organizing exchange programs for businessmen as well as partnering at regional and international levels. The Pakistani representatives introduced the current progress of projects that are being implemented for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in the frameworks of the Belt and Road Initiative.
State Secretary D.Davaasuren also held individual meetings with the Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Ms. A. Abbas, National Coordinator for SCO of the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Pakistan Z.Ahmad and Honorary Consul of Mongolia to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan N.Khalid.
Ulaanbaatar is the capital and the largest city of Mongolia, with a population over 1.3 million, which is almost half of the country's total population. Over the past decade, the number of vehicles in Ulaanbaatar has risen by more than 300,000. As the political and cultural center of Mongolia, the increasing number of inhabitants and vehicles within the city has caused a series of social, environmental, and transportation problems. Dahua’s sophisticated ITS (Intelligent Transportation System) solution has integrated advanced software and hardware including sensors, information and data processing and physical electronics and communication technologies to assist the transportation department of Ulaanbaatar, in enhancing the safety and efficiency of its transportation system.
In recent years, the government of Ulaanbaatar has prioritized the improvement of traffic management and has identified the need of a cost-effective solution towards speeding, traffic light violations and other road safety related issues, to create a more secure environment for citizens. Due to the high-latitude geography of the city, this project is particularly demanding on the monitoring equipment withstanding harsh environments.
Based on advanced intelligent algorithms, Dahua has provided the city with its cutting-edge ITS solution consisting of the ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) system for 28 main roads, the E-police system for 8 junctions, 2 mobile speed measurement systems as well as 15 high spot PTZ surveillance units. The project took only three months from the initial analysis of the client’s demands and solution design to, the final delivery, overcoming various tough issues along the way.
As there are no current systems for license plate recognition in Mongolia, the Dahua team worked in collaboration with a partner to customize a Mongolian license plate recognition algorithm. This was then integrated into the Dahua traffic cameras, achieving a reliable recognition rate, much to the satisfaction of the client. The Dahua traffic cameras installed at the significant main roads of the city, are able to function between a temperature of - 40 ℃ ~ + 80 ℃ and a 10%~90% humidity environment. The cameras will actively monitor and inspect each suspicious vehicle, and automatically capture their license plates in real time, sending out an automatic alert when blacklisted vehicles pass by.
The monitoring equipment set up at the eight junctions, is able to help the Ulaanbaatar transportation authorities in making quick responses to traffic accidents that are caused by running red lights. When a violation occurs, the Dahua all-in-one capture camera takes a series of images of the vehicle’s license plate number, along with the status of the traffic signal and an aerial image of the scene as evidence. Afterwards, the DSS management and storage platform collects the data from each camera, and distributes it to operators for further processing.
Mobile Speed Measuring System
The mobile speed measuring system detects vehicles that surpass the speed limit in all weather conditions. The system features an all-in-one design, making it easy to use and install at different locations at a moment’s notice. This portability allows traffic police to move the system to different places whenever necessary. It consists of an 8MP CCD camera with amulti-target tracking radar, allowing for an accurate instant speed measurement of each passing vehicle and crystal-clear imaging. The IR flash lamp also ensures excellent imaging capabilities even during the dark of night.
To better serve the client, the Dahua team has provided the operators of the local transportation department, with relevant technical training and demonstrated to them, the installation and deployment of devices. Additionally, all three systems are unified on a single platform within the control center, further enabling the end user to a more efficient monitoring and management of road safety.
Dahua’s ITS solution facilitates road safety and keeps the traffic flowing smoothly, raising the safety awareness of drivers, resulting in a more pleasant journey for drivers. Advanced technologies such as LPR and fuzzy search, actively reduces manpower demands on the police force, while increasing the efficiency of current enforcement. Furthermore, Dahua’s solution has assisted the government of Ulaanbaatar to finance a sustainable, growing, and well-maintained system of security and safety.
about Dahua Technology
Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co., Ltd. is a leading solution provider in the global video surveillance industry. In 2017, Dahua was ranked 3rd in “Security 50” by a&s international. Dahua is committed to providing the highest quality solutions and products with the latest technologies to enable our end users to perform their business successfully. The company has more than 6,000 R&D engineers and technical staff working on cutting-edge technologies in camera lens, image sensor, video encoding & transmission, embedded processor, graphic processing, video analytics, software reliability, network security and other technologies....
New York (CNN Business)Micron, a company in Idaho that makes memory chips, has been locked in bitter trade secrets dispute with a state-backed Chinese rival called Fujian Jinhua. Now it has the US government in its corner.
Last week, the Trump administration targeted Fujian Jinhua in a major escalation of its push against alleged economic espionage. On Thursday, the Justice Department charged Fujian Jinhua, along with a Taiwanese company and three Taiwanese individuals, with conspiracy to steal trade secrets from Micron. The charges move the government's attack on Chinese intellectual property theft beyond tariffs and tough talk.
The charges, along with a ban on American companies from doing business with Fujian Jinhua, gives Micron the "upper hand" in its tangle with the Chinese company, said Mehdi Hosseini, a semiconductor analyst at Susquehanna International Group. "They now have more ammunition to make sure the memory industry in China is marginalized," he said.
Micron (MU), which was founded in 1978, is the largest memory chip maker in the United States and directly competes with the biggest players in the global market, according to Hosseini.
In recent years, the company has had to contend with a growing threat from China, which has made building successful homegrown semiconductor companies a pillar of its plans to become a global tech powerhouse. Fujian Jinhua has been building a $5.7 billion plant in southeastern China to get in the game, and it's far from the only player.
Micron sued Fujian Jinhua and Taiwanese semiconductor company UMC in California federal court in December 2017. Micron claimed that as early as 2015, UMC and Jinhua devised a plan to get former employees of Micron's Taiwanese affiliate to steal Micron's trade secrets and deliver them to UMC, which would then pass them to Jinhua.
According to Micron's complaint, UMC would get $700 million in research and development equipment and fees in return, as well as co-ownership in the resulting technology.
Former employees of the Micron affiliate in 2015 and 2016 successfully pilfered tech secrets from the company by uploading confidential data to their laptops, removable drives and Google drives before they left the firm, Micron said.
The case is still working its way through the court system. And Micron has since had to battle a countersuit in Chinese court from Jinhua and UMC, which filed a patent infringement suit against Micron in January. The court in July temporarily barred Micron from selling 26 products in the country including memory chips, memory sticks and hard drives.
Micron said it only learned about the Trump administration's export ban after it was announced on Tuesday. "Micron strongly supports global fair trade and the protection of intellectual property," a spokesperson said in a statement.
On Thursday, after the Justice Department announced the charges against Fujian Jinhua and UMC, Micron's general counsel commended the agency's decision to "prosecute the criminal theft of our intellectual property."
UMC said in a statement Friday that it "takes seriously any allegation that it may have violated any laws," and "fully intends to respond to [the Justice Department] allegations accordingly."
It's no surprise that Micron said it appreciated the government's legal action.
"This lawsuit corners new entrants out of China," Hosseini said. As China pumps billions into technology such as semiconductors, it's a vital edge.
Trade war impact
Micron's claims of economic espionage are given heft by the US government's lawsuit. But filing charges against the Chinese firm also serves a political purpose for the Trump administration.
Negotiations with Beijing could be back on after President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke on the phone Thursday and said they were willing to meet at the upcoming G20 summit in Argentina. A Bloomberg report early Friday said that Trump has asked officials to draft a trade deal with China ahead of the meeting.
The buzz could be a ploy to boost markets ahead of next week's midterm elections, according to Michael Every, head of Asia financial markets research at investment bank Rabobank. But should talks resume, the United States could find itself in a stronger position.
Fujian Jinhua probably can't operate without access to US software and technology, according to analysts.
"These actions are meant both to increase leverage in the current negotiations and as a deterrent to others," said Scott Kennedy, an expert on the Chinese economy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "The US isn't going follow the standard playbook any longer because it has only emboldened China."
When the United States went after Chinese phone and telecom equipment company ZTE earlier in the year, it said it was the result of specific, sanctions-related violations. Implementing export controls with a sweeping national security rationale is different, according to Dan Wang, technology analyst at Gavekal Research.
"Unlike the ban on ZTE, the US action against Fujian Jinhua is no one-off penalty for a specific infringement, but part of a much broader policy drive," he said in a note this week, citing the US government's language.
The Commerce Department said Fujian Jinhua threatened the supply chain for essential military components.
CNN's Jethro Mullen, Daniel Shane, Sherisse Pham and Yong Xiong contributed to this report.
Opinion: by Tsenddoo
THE FIRST WAR AGAINST THE WEST
Rumors about foreign investors dismantling Mongolia’s economy are nothing new. There is even a history of one of our mighty neighbors conducting such an operation before they established total political and economic control over our country. In the beginning of the 20th century, Mongolia proclaimed their newly regained independence and announced that Chinggis Khaan’s steppes woke up from their slumber. The world became interested in Mongolians, who were quietly sleeping under the Manchu or Qin rule for several centuries. In general, that was an interesting period when the world was set in motion and the kindling of two great wars that will change the political map of our planet several times started smoking. Christian priests headed by Frans August Larson, who later received a title of Duke from Bogd Khaan, came to Mongolia. Danish farmers, such as Henning Haslund-Christensen, and others moved to Khuvsgul aimag to start a modern livestock breeding and trade firms. Many other countries began operation in Mongolia; for instance, a foreign-invested company called “Mongolor” mined gold and the famous Roy Andrews’ expedition astonished the world with dinosaur eggs found in the Gobi dessert. Along with state flags of the Great White Tsar of Russia and the Chinese Republic, flags of many countries such as the USA, Sweden and Denmark could be seen around the capital of our country.
Since half of Mongolians were herding livestock and the other half were monks, no one was providing the nation with necessary goods. Nobody forbid Mongolian to engage in such works, but Mongolians themselves were not much interested in businesses. Trade and commerce were regarded as an inferior job, and Mongolians disdainfully regarded that “traders are one step away from becoming a thief” and “a spirited thief is better than a soulless merchant”. The “spirited thieves”, who stole livestock, were respected as noble outlaws and the real men. That is why only foreign traders provided Mongolia with three import goods they needed, namely, tea, tobacco and textiles. The traders also bought wool, fur and hides, which were plentiful, from Mongolia so a mutually beneficial business was flourishing. Out of 103,019 puu (1 puu16.3kg) of camel wool, 783,00 puu of cashmere, 979,512 puu of sheep wool transported from Mongolia to Tianjin in 1912 and 122,123 puu of camel wool, 43,231 puu of cashmere, 1,036,629 puu of sheep wool imported in 1913, the majority of camel wool was shipped to England and all of sheep wool went to the USA. Russia bought both wool and cashmere, as well as livestock. For instance, a total of 98,000 cattle were exported to Russian Empire in 1913, 67,700 in 1914 and 80,000 in 1915. “Non- Russian” phrases, such as Machinery Manual and “miles per hour”, shows that a part of Mongolian language remained as witnesses to the fact that technology was first introduced to these steppes from a different place.
Century-old doctrine of condemning foreign investors for potential exploitation is reviving
As such, Mongolia forged relations with the rest of the world, becoming a part of the changing world. In present terms, it was, to a certain degree, a globalization and with each passing days, Mongolia was shaping into a typical independent state with diplomacy of that time. However, the Soviets, who set up their total control upon the Mongolian government by mid-twenties, started a war against foreign capitals in Mongolia. That was the beginning of the first war against foreign investment. Let us see from the history how Soviets wrote about it in their “made up” story for Mongolians. In the history of revolution, it is mentioned that ”…in addition to the oppression over Mongolians, Western Europe and American capitalists conspired with greedy China to rob the country”. Is it not a familiar slogan? It reminds me of slogans against present Oyu Tolgoi, Tavan Tolgoi and Boroo Gold. Both state and civil movements against foreign investors have spread out.
At first, they forbid investors from hanging up their national flags, then froze their bank accounts and lastly, expelled the owners from the country. The last foreign investor left the country in 1928. Just like the phrase “there is no other God than Allah”, only the Soviet economy dominated Mongolia after that. A day later, private properties of Mongolians themselves were confiscated and nationalized under the excuse of “confiscating assets of feudal lords”. If Larson’s property had been confiscated, it might have led to a dispute between Russia and Sweden or Russia and America, which would have delay the exertion of robbing resources off of Mongolia. If the herds of Danish farmers had been given to collective farms, it might have led to a quarrel between Russia and Scandinavian countries and would ultimately make it difficult to take livestock from Mongolia. However, such problems were avoided by conducting a campaign on “chasing away foreign investors” by the hands of Mongolians. That was the beginning of a Red terror against the Mongolian economy and the Mongolian people. As a result, Mongolia lost all of their private properties, a strict limitation was imposed on small amount of properties one could own and one in every five adult males was killed.
THE SECOND WAR AGAINST THE WEST
A decade before the end of the 20th century, the socialist system collapsed on its own. Mongolia had an opportunity to regain their economic and political independence. In my personal view, main achievements of democracy in our country were that, first, the Government of Mongolia no longer had to ask another country to make a decision and, secondly, Mongolia’s economy was free from the control of a single country. In almost three decades into democracy, many foreign investors came to our country, which is making an effort to become a part of the globalized world and striving to reach the standards of modern independent state. Besides, numerous mineral deposits with rich resources were discovered throughout the country. Mongolians’ tradition of inviting skilled people to do the job that we are unable trails back to the ancient times. Households without a man to slaughter a sheep, used to ask their neighbors to do the job and cooked them a breast-bone or gave them the sheep’s leg as a reward afterwards. Aside from collecting dung and ruthlessly cutting wood, Mongolia had limited experience in energy production sphere; thus, the mining industry was established on the back of the Soviet investment in the 20th century.
• Soviets avoided potential disputes with Western countries through a campaign on "chasing away foreign investors" by the hands of Mongolians.
• Aside from collecting dung and ruthlessly cutting wood, Mongolia had limited experience in energy production sphere; thus, the mining industry was established on the back of the Soviet investment in the 20th century.
• The fact that the “hatred towards foreign capitals” excluded our two powerful neighbors seems suspicious.
However, in modern mining, it is inevitable that we cooperate with modern companies and give them the “breast-bone or leg”. Unfortunately, in recent years, the century-old doctrine of condemning foreign investors for potential exploitations is reviving and spreading further. There were rumors about books that detailed the methods of exploiting Mongolia’s economy. Some even cited from the book. Well, there are lots of different books. If these people read the Koran, they would probably say “it is written in the book that there are no other Gods than Allah” and destroy the Gandan temple and break the Megzedjanraiseg statue. An open window lets in fresh air, as well as flies. Since no one would want to suffocate in order to keep off flies, one would open the window and be ready with a fly-swatter. Since anybody can walk in through the open door of Mongolia, one needs to be vigilant and that is what the state is working for. Is the fact that the main objective of the war against foreign investors in Mongolia is directed at Western countries, specifically American and Canadian investors, a sign of history repeating itself? It feels like the fact that the “hatred towards foreign capitals” excluded our two powerful neighbors seems to be proving this point.
I am not saying it is wrong, I am just saying that this exclusion seems suspicious. Chinese companies account for the majority of foreign investments with Government approval set by a certain law on foreign investment. But how many companies with Chinese investment can you name? While there are a lot of general rhetorics about Chinese invasion and a danger of assimilation, do you know of any civil movement against 100 percent Chinese-invested companies or joint ventures? Do you at least know the names of Chinese companies that are using strategic deposits of iron ore, zinc or oil in our country? Have you ever heard about one person, let alone a movement, who protested against a Russian company called the Altan Dornod Mongolia, which dug out all the gold from the Zaamar mountain and then demanded USD 500 million from the state? Have you considered the reason why people are protecting Mongolia’s economy from Western investors and not holding a grudge against Chinese or Russian investors? Do you know the history of foreign investors in Mongolia getting expelled from the country as “exploiters”, so that only one foreign country could possess our country? Like it or not, but such questions are raised every time I think about topics such as “economic hit man” or “foreign exploitation” that are replacing the search for the assassin of Zorig Sanjaasuren....
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Harvesting has completed nationwide, cropping 409.6 thousand tons of wheat, 160.9 thousand tons of potato, 93.6 thousand tons of vegetables, 117.8 thousand tons of fodder plants and 19.3 thousand tons of oil plants.
Compared with the previous year, increases were shown in wheat by 172.6 thousand tons, potato by 44.5 thousand tons, vegetables by 14.5 thousand tons, fodder plants by 57.3 thousand tons and oil plants by 7.2 thousand tons respectively.
This year’s yield has made it able to entirely provide domestic needs of wheat and potato.
Last spring, Government resolved to establish farming areas which cover territories of 113 baghs /the smallest administrative unit/ of 60 soums of seven aimags and is now adhering to a policy of seed improvement and technical modernization and to enlarging irrigated fields.