Iris Deng

Iris Deng

Reporter, Technology

Iris is a contributor to Inkstone. She is a technology reporter for the South China Morning Post.

Location
Hong Kong
Language spoken
English, Mandarin, Cantonese
Areas of Expertise
China tech
How Chinese grannies are becoming internet sensations
Dressed in a black, figure-hugging dress with silver chains and combat boots, 65-year-old Lin Wei does not fit the stereotype of a typical grandmother.  The retiree, who accessorizes her look with red lipstick and black sunglasses, is part of a fast-growing phenomenon in China, dubbed ‘glamorous grannies.’  Aged over 60, older women are turning stereotypes on their head by dressing stylishly in traditional Chinese outfits such as cheongsams – and they are gaining millions of followers on social media in the process.  “We found the coolest grandmas on TikTok,” Oprah Magazine commented under a music video posted on Instagram of Lin with a group of her elderly friends in Beijing. “Now they jus
Artificial intelligence proves faster and smarter than human lawyers
In the first competition of its kind in China, 16 lawyers and law students battled against an artificial intelligence (AI) program to analyze a series of legal contracts, one of the most common and often tiresome tasks at law firms. The AI program completed the task in 60 seconds and identified more risks in the contracts than lawyers, according to a report in China Daily.  The AI also scored an accuracy rate of 96% - higher than the lawyers’ score, although the test administrators did not reveal their results. But while lawyers might be embarrassed by losing to a robot, they should feel buoyed that the best results in evaluating the five legal contracts came when AI and humans worked toge
Fake viewers, fake transactions, big business
In 2018, when China’s live-streaming industry was growing at lightning speed, Huang Xiaobing thought her one-year career as an online live broadcaster had hit a bottleneck. So she decided to start an agency in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin focused on entertainment live-streaming. The company managed online broadcasters who sang, danced or chatted with audiences in return for virtual gifts that could be converted to money. The agency took a cut. In her new role, she helped the aspiring live-streamers gain popularity in the crowded online space.  One of the common ways to achieve this was to buy virtual gifts for live-streamers under the guise of real viewers to boost their apparent po
Trump targets TikTok and WeChat in latest salvo against China
US President Donald Trump has ordered fresh restrictions on Chinese-owned apps TikTok and WeChat as tech companies become a focal point of the increasingly bitter stand-off between Beijing and Washington. The Trump administration announced executive orders on Thursday evening banning “to the extent permitted under applicable law, any transaction” with TikTok owner ByteDance, or concerning WeChat via its parent company Tencent, taking effect in 45 days. The executive orders said that the spread of Chinese-owned mobile apps threatened “the national security, foreign policy and economy of the United States,” and that data collection by WeChat and TikTok threatened to “allow the Chinese Communis
The coronavirus has forever altered how China studies and works
With the coronavirus outbreak crippling normal life in China, technology has rushed to the fore on many fronts as a literal lifesaver. Robots in hospitals, health code apps, online education and remote working all played crucial roles in keeping the country operational with most of the population trapped in self-isolation. But as the devastating outbreak starts to ease within China, and life gradually returns to normal, many are asking whether the pandemic will leave a permanent mark on the way people work and live. The pandemic may even accelerate long-term trends such as the digitalization of education, work and even people.  Xu Yuting, an 18-year-old high school student in eastern China’s
Huawei says it’s coping with coronavirus and US sanctions just fine
While the coronavirus pandemic may have forced many companies in China and around the world to hit the pause button on business operations, engineers at Huawei Technologies have been working round the clock to combat the crisis. The world’s largest telecommunications equipment supplier and China’s biggest smartphone maker has been motivated by a sense of mission, said Ren Zhengfei, founder and chief executive of Huawei, as he sat down for an interview with the South China Morning Post this week. “Over 20,000 scientists, experts and engineers worked overtime during the Lunar New Year holiday, because we’re racing to develop new [technologies],” Ren said, referring to the work in progress as “
China has blocked one of the world’s biggest fanfiction sites
Archive of Our Own (AO3), one of the world’s biggest fanfiction sites, appeared to be blocked in China on Saturday as regulators further tightened internet controls. Some users furiously blamed fans of a popular actor for the government’s action. “Unfortunately, the Archive of Our Own is currently inaccessible in China,” the Organization for Transformative Works (OTW), a US non-profit group that operates AO3, said on its Twitter account. It added that it could not resolve the problem since the disconnection is not caused by AO3’s servers. OTW did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Monday. Calls to the country’s internet watchdog, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) a
Chinese internet behemoth challenges TikTok owner at home
As TikTok faces mounting pressure from US lawmakers concerned over national security issues and alleged censorship, its parent company, Bytedance, is encountering a different sort of challenge.  Tencent, China’s largest gaming and social media company, is set to invest $2 billion into Kuaishou, a rival short-video platform that competes with ByteDance-owned Douyin (the Chinese version of TikTok) in China, according to a report by The Information. Tencent and Kuaishou did not immediately respond to requests for comment. ByteDance declined to comment. Tencent is betting that Kuaishou can outcompete Douyin, which is increasingly challenging Tencent’s social media platforms in terms of user atte
This ‘cockroach robot’ could be the future of search and rescue
Anyone dealing with a cockroach infestation knows that the bug is virtually indestructible. It can also carry loads of up to 900 times its body weight, shrink to a quarter of its height to fit into small crevices and live for a week without its head. Inspired by the qualities of this insect, a group of researchers from China and the US have created a prototype of a fast-moving and nearly-indestructible mini robot, which could potentially replace sniffer dogs in detecting people trapped in rubble after natural disasters. Researchers from China’s Tsinghua University and the University of California, Berkeley, published their study on so-called soft robots in the academic journal Science Robot
Business book ‘The American Trap’ is selling like hot cakes in China
As photos of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei showing journalists around his office began to circulate this week, a book on his desk caught the eye of the public – The American Trap. It was a Chinese translation of Le Piège Américain, written by Frenchman Frederic Pierucci, a former executive with French rail transport company Alstom, about his five-year tussle with the US Department of Justice. It was co-authored by journalist Matthieu Aron. The American Trap, first released in France in January, was published in China in April, just as China and the US struggled to reach an agreement to end their trade war. Its Chinese tagline reads: “how to dismantle other countries’ business giants through no