SMIC Joins the Big Bath of China Security Threats

The rules don’t appear as strict as those placed on Huawei Technologies Co. earlier this year, according to Bloomberg News. That move ended up forcing suppliers like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. to stop making chips to the Chinese company’s design.

Yet the timing should raise eyebrows. The U.S. Commerce Department is implementing the ban because products sold to the chipmaker pose an “unacceptable risk of diversion to a military end use,” according to a letter from the department’s Bureau of Industry and Security, the report said.

That sounds terrifying. In reality, anything sold to any company could end up having a military use: from an operating system developed by a software maker (armies use computers), to rubber and chemicals made by industrial giants (military trucks have tires).

Despite the increased rhetoric from the Trump administration, the U.S. doesn’t apply arbitrary rules to its definition of military end use. In fact, the bureau has a set of guidelines on the topic. In April, it broadened its definition while adding China to a small cohort of nations — Russia and Venezuela being the others — for which a specific set of Export Administration Regulations apply. It outlined the likely result:

This expansion will require increased diligence with respect to the evaluation of end users in China, particularly in view of China’s widespread civil-military integration.

A month later, the department added 24 groups to its entities list because of a risk that they would support “procurement of items for military end-use in China.” SMIC wasn’t among them. 

It’s possible that something happened over the past four months to make the Commerce Department suddenly worried about the threat from SMIC. Maybe that extra $7 billion it raised in a Shanghai listing two months ago raised red flags, or it could be that the chip

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How to Toe the Line When Hiring Independent Contractors and Reap Big Dividends

All you’re required to do is inform the IRS if you paid this worker more than $600 in one year.

The phrase Toe the Line is an Americanism first recorded in the early nineteenth century. The main meaning of this phrase is ‘to conform strictly to a rule, command, etc… For example, “Anyone who doesn’t toe the line can expect to meet the mayor in court, where, as it turns out, he has never lost a suit.” (U.S. News & World Report, 1996).


An Independent Contractor is a person hired to work for others without having the legal status of an employee.

Hiring someone who qualifies as an Independent Contractor can provide an employer with some very BIG dividends…

Dividend #1: You don’t have to pay the employers share of the workers Social Security and Medicare taxes.

Dividend #2: You don’t have to withhold income taxes (federal or state) on his/her earnings.

Dividend #3: Not only do you reduce your bookkeeping and financial obligations, you’re not bound by many of the federal and state laws that normally govern the employer – employee relationship.

Dividend #4: You don’t have to provide office or other work space for the worker.

Dividend #5: You don’t have to provide fringe benefits (vacation, personal or sick time).

Dividend #6: You don’t have to provide health insurance or retirement benefits.

Dividend #7: If you become unhappy with the person’s work, you can fire him/her without going through the trauma often associated with firing an employee. Plus you don’t get stuck paying unemployment benefits.

All you’re required to do is inform the IRS if you paid this worker more than $600 in one year.

You’re responsible for filing a Form 1099-MISC at the end of the year …

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Mom and Pop Home Improvement Verses Big Box Stores

Ever since the first English settlements in Jamestown in 1607, entrepreneurs were using their home improvement skills to help build a better life. These specialized skills will always be needed, no matter how they are utilized and/or distributed. From plumbing to window installation, these trade services are practiced within all areas of civilized life.

Up until the end of the late 19th century, most home improvement services were worked by individuals or smaller mom and pop type businesses. Not until stores like Lowe’s started popping up in the early 20th century did we start seeing larger entities become highly competitive against the smaller mom and pop type home improvement businesses. The fact of the matter is, these large businesses could provide services for cheaper, but not necessarily better.

So, why do big box chains like Home Depot and Lowe’s provide home improvement services? Why don’t they just sell improvement goods? Isn’t the whole idea behind these large hardware stores to provide goods to do-it-yourselfers? Well, the problem is… more and more consumer do-it-yourselfers are buying their goods online. It saves time and allows the consumer to be more flexible when it comes to getting their job done. These big hardware stores are trying to send a message to these consumers. They want these people to not only buy their products, but also allow them to install it for them at minimal costs. By doing this, it could draw in consumers that need a job done, but can’t necessarily afford a mom and pop business. Not realizing, that these stores often do a poor job, because they use, in most cases, inexperienced staff.

The fact of the matter is… mom and pop home improvement businesses are usually family owned and operated. They pass down their many years of experience in their …

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