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Sony, China Strike PlayStation Deal

Japanese electronics giant Sony has inked a deal in China to manufacture and sell PlayStation consoles in the Middle Kingdom.

The partnership creates two joint ventures with Shanghai Oriental Pearl, which will enable Sony to operate out of Shanghai’s free trade zone. (China’s early-2014 approval of videogame consoles from foreign companies, which reversed a years-long ban, requires that said companies operate out of the free trade zone.)

Chinese officials long have decried the erosive effects of videogames. Such deep-seated skepticism surely prompted a Shanghai Oriental Pearl exec to declare that the partnership with Sony “will be based on the relevant state policies and will introduce quality and healthy video games that will adhere to China’s national conditions, as well as the tastes of Chinese gamers.”

Microsoft, which makes Xbox, already has partnered with BesTV New Media Co to launch consoles of its own in China.

[Source: BBC]

China Accuses US of ‘Unscrupulous’ Cyberspying

China is fighting grandstanding with grandstanding, formally accusing the U.S. of launching large-scale computer attacks against the Chinese government and domestic companies, part of what Beijing dubbed “unscrupulous” cybersurveillance.

U.S. spying efforts have, according to a report from the China Academy of Cyber Space, “gone far beyond the legal rationale of ‘antiterrorism’ and have exposed the ugly face” of American self-interest.

Last week, the U.S. Justice Department released indictments against five members of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, accusing them of large-scale cyberespionage (China immediately denounced the indictments.) Thus, as with all things U.S.-China-cyberaccusatory, this is part of an ongoing and increasingly testy international drama.

[Source: Reuters]

Talks Between Indie Labels, YouTube on Skids

Talks between YouTube and the Worldwide Independent Network, which represents indie music labels, have broken down over licensing terms for the site’s upcoming streaming music subscription service.

WIN claims that YouTube is approaching labels directly and trying to coax them into contracts — and tightening the screws by threatening to remove them from YouTube. WIN also claims that YouTube’s contract offers undervalue the music compared with other streaming services such as Spotify, Rdio and Deezer.

Derision of Google knows no national boundaries.

“For a company that has arranged its structure to pay minimal taxes in our market, to now see YouTube’s treatment of [indie labels] … is deeply concerning,” said David Vodicka of the Australian Independent Record label association. Meanwhile, in Denmark, an indie music rep dubbed Google “a global mastodon.”

[Source: The Guardian]

New EU Parliament Expected to Reach Privacy Agreement

The new European Parliament that was elected over the weekend is expected to reach an agreement on stricter, EU-wide online privacy rules.

A new set of privacy rules has been in the works since 2012, but the 28-nation, 500 million-person bloc has not yet been able to settle on something. However, the new parliament is positioned to finally seal the deal and establish rules on issues such as what information can be shipped overseas.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been among those urging that EU data should be kept within the EU. As the leader of Europe’s most powerful country and herself a target of National Security Agency snooping, Merkel possesses a unique place in Europe’s privacy debate.

[Source: The New York Times]

David Vranicar is a freelance journalist and author ofThe Lost Graduation: Stepping off campus and into a crisis. You can check out hisECT News archive here, and you can email him at david[dot]vranicar[at]newsroom[dot]ectnews[dot]com. You can also connect with him on Google+.

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