Hong Kong – EDB to provide financial support for frontline cleansing and security workers of post-secondary education institutions, non-government schools and kindergartens

EDB to provide financial support for frontline cleansing and security workers of post-secondary education institutions, non-government schools and kindergartens


     The Education Bureau (EDB) issued letters/circular memorandum today (May 27) to inform schools and related organisations of the details about the provision of an allowance for cleansing and security workers engaged by post-secondary education institutions (PSEIs), non-government schools and kindergartens (and their service contractors) under the sixth round of the Anti-epidemic Fund (AEF 6.0). It is estimated that the above measure will benefit around 33 000 frontline cleansing and security workers. The total expenditure is about $334 million.


     A spokesman for the EDB said that the AEF 6.0, with further extension of the coverage of the subsidy, will provide a monthly allowance of $2,000 for five months (the eligible months for the allowance are the months of February to June 2022) to frontline cleansing and security workers of PSEIs, non-government schools and kindergartens, with a view to giving financial support for their anti-epidemic efforts and recognition of their committed services provided at this critical juncture.


     Under the AEF 6.0, the Cleansing and Security Service Provider Subsidy Scheme for Non-Government Schools and Kindergartens will cover aided schools (including special schools), schools under the Direct Subsidy Scheme, caput schools, schools under the English Schools Foundation, international schools, Private Independent Schools, kindergartens and private day schools offering full and formal curriculum. Cleansing and security workers directly employed by non-government schools and kindergartens as well as those deployed to perform duties at schools by the cleansing/security service contractors commissioned by schools are also eligible to apply for the allowance. The Cleansing and Security Service Provider Subsidy Scheme for Post-secondary Education Institutions will provide a special allowance to frontline cleansing and security workers engaged by 36 PSEIs (including the University Grants Committee-funded universities, the Vocational Training Council, and self-financing institutions offering locally accredited sub-degree and/or degree programmes) and their service contractors.


     In order to expedite the vetting process and provision of allowances, the applications should be submitted through PSEIs, schools or their service contractors. Frontline cleansing or security workers are not required to submit applications on their own. Upon receipt of disbursement of the allowances, PSEIs, schools and service contractors should disburse the allowances to eligible workers as soon as possible.


     The EDB has uploaded the letters/circular memorandum to the EDB website (www.edb.gov.hk/en/sch-admin/admin/about-sch/diseases-prevention/special_anti-epidemic_subsidy.html) or issued them to the relevant PSEIs, detailing the application and disbursement arrangements for the relevant allowances.

Pine Raises $1.5M to Provide Instant Liquidity to NFT Owners

 The round is led by Sino Global Capital, Amber Group and Spartan Group, with participation from Alameda Research, Gate Ventures, Impossible Finance and Shima Capital.

The Pine Platform, which is built on top of the Pine Protocol, enables permissionless instant lending and borrowing of cryptocurrencies using NFTs as collateral. The Pine Platform offers distinctive features to provide a better user experience: The “Pine Now, Pay Later” feature allows anyone to purchase NFTs on open NFT marketplaces with a mortgage, providing flexible financing terms. Currently, OpenSea and LooksRare are supported with more marketplaces to be added. Additionally, NFT owners will be able to keep the utilities of their NFTs, such as receiving airdrops and accessing gated channels, even when they are pledged as collateral.

Since its alpha launch in February and official product launch at the end of April 2022, the Pine Platform has facilitated over $2M in lending. NFT owners can currently get a crypto loan on 30 popular NFT collections including Bored Ape Yacht Club, Azuki, CloneX, Moonbird, Doodle and many more.

“A year ago, I wanted to buy a Meebit but did not have spare ETH in my wallet. I sold my Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) at 7 ETH to execute the trade. I wanted to buy back another BAYC but I never did and I still have my Meebit right now. In hindsight I wish I had access to a platform like Pine. I decided to build out Pine so that NFT owners like myself are able to unlock liquidity without having to sell their NFTs. They can also obtain financing for their dream NFT purchases,” says Alex “Azure” Ho, co-founder of Pine. “We are building Pine with a diverse team that comes from different professional backgrounds but most importantly, we are all NFT lovers, collectors, and believers,” adds Alex.

“We believe NFTs have a multi-decade growth runway and will unlock tremendous value for artists, builders, creators, curators and owners. But we are still early, and infrastructure needs to be built out. Pine’s mission to provide DeFi primitives for NFTs will be a critical piece of the puzzle. We are extremely excited to partner with the Pine team and look forward to working with them to accelerate the emergence of an open, inclusive, and flourishing creator economy,” says Wang Jian, Head of Principal Investment of Amber Group.

“Pine is a perfect example of how breakthrough innovation occurs at the intersection of different ideas. By building the infrastructure to facilitate the use of NFTs as collateral, Pine protocol brings needed capital efficiency to the NFT market and is a key step in the continued integration of the NFT and DeFi ecosystems. Sino Global Capital could not be more thrilled to support this amazing team of builders as they push our entire industry forward,” concludes Matthew Graham, CEO of Sino Global Capital.

The funds will be used to further develop the Pine Platform and the Pine Protocol and add multi-chain support for Solana, Binance Smart Chain, Avalanche and Fantom, among others.

Connect your wallet to the Pine Platform and get access to instant liquidity: https://pine.loans/

Sharon Wun

852 9258-9991



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Sky selects UEI to provide remote control for new Sky Box

Our knowledge in Android TV and voice control integration, combined with our outstanding industrial design skills and unique QuickSet technology, made this a perfect fit.”

Universal Electronics Inc. (UEI) (NASDAQ: UEIC), the global leader in wireless universal control solutions for home entertainment and smart home devices, has been selected by Sky New Zealand to provide an easy-to-use voice remote control.

Development of Sky’s new hybrid set top box is progressing at pace, with the selection of international partners to advance various components of the new Sky Box. The new Sky Box is expected to be in customers’ homes by the middle of 2022 and is part of Sky’s strategy to be the primary entertainment provider in New Zealand homes.

The hybrid box will combine both satellite and internet technology to bring the best in high quality video and audio to every connected home in New Zealand. It will combine the reliability of satellite TV with the flexibility of internet-delivered on-demand content and streaming apps and create a customized experience to suit customers’ future viewing needs. Having selected Google’s Android TV Operator Tier as the operating system for the new box, Sky has now selected Universal Electronics (UEI) to provide the remote control for the new Sky Box.

UEI is the world’s leading supplier of remote-control units and control technology for entertainment and smart home devices and has supplied more than 140 million voice remotes to pay-TV operators globally.

Sky worked with customers and UEI to design an evolved remote control that maintained key layout and navigation characteristics to make the change as seamless as possible for Sky customers. The remote will be Sky’s first that is voice capable, simplifying customers’ viewing experience through voice commands and increasing accessibility for users who are blind or low vision.

The new remote control is also both Infrared and Bluetooth Low Energy capable – no line of sight is required via Bluetooth, providing an improved customer experience.

Sky Chief Executive Sophie Moloney says: “We are excited to be evolving our Sky Box to give customers an even better viewing experience and using innovative technology to meet their future needs as well as attracting new customers.

“Feedback from our customers has been at the heart of the Sky Box development programme from day one, and this new partnership with UEI will allow us to deliver on what matters most to customers for the new box.”

Kuldip Johal, UEI VP Video Service Providers said: “UEI is excited to be selected by Sky as a trusted partner to provide a great user experience for control of their new Sky Box.

“Sky New Zealand understands an easy-to-use remote control is an integral part of an intuitive user experience. UEI is very glad to be partnering with Sky New Zealand on a voice remote that strikes the right balance between simplicity and sophistication, unlocks all functionality of Sky’s service, and complements the set-top box’s minimalist aesthetic.

About UEI

UEI has been at the forefront of developing entertainment and smart home control technologies for more than three decades. UEI was the first to introduce voice control and advanced features such as automated setup and universal control of connected devices through its QuickSet platform. Since 2015, UEI has shipped more than 100 million of its voice-enabled remote controls to customers around the world.

QuickSet® is a registered trademark of Universal Electronics Inc.

All trademarks appearing herein are the property of their respective owners.

Safe Harbor Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements that are made pursuant to the Safe-Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words and expressions reflecting something other than historical fact are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties, including the timely development, delivery and market acceptance of products and technologies identified in this release; the purchasing by Claro/America Movil of the products identified in this release in the quantities anticipated by management; the continued penetration and growth of UEI QuickSet, Android remote platforms, voice recognition technology and other products and consumer technologies identified in this release; and other factors described in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The actual results that the Company achieves may differ materially from any forward looking statement due to such risks and uncertainties. The Company undertakes no obligations to revise or update any forward-looking statements in order to reflect events or circumstances that may arise after the date of this release.

Canada – $19.8 million to provide high-speed Internet access to over 1600 households in Mauricie by September 2022

Québec City, Québec

Thanks to a $19.8-million joint investment made as part of Canada–Quebec Operation High Speed, more than 1600 households in the Mauricie region will have access to Cogeco high-speed Internet services by September 2022. The announcement was made today by the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry and Member of Parliament for Saint-Mauricie–Champlain; Jean Boulet, Quebec’s Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity, Minister Responsible for the Mauricie Region, and Member of the National Assembly for Trois-Rivières, Sonia LeBel, Minister Responsible for Government Administration, Chair of the Conseil du trésor, Member of the National Assembly for Champlain, Simon Allaire, Member of the National Assembly for Maskinongé, Marie-Louise Tardif, Member of the National Assembly for Laviolette–Saint-Maurice and Philippe Jetté, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cogeco. The investments announced will accelerate the deployment of reliable, high-performing infrastructure in the following municipalities:

Des Chenaux RCM:

Batiscan, Champlain, Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel, Sainte-Geneviève-de-Batiscan, Saint-Luc-de-Vincennes, Saint-Maurice, Saint-Narcisse, Saint-Prosper-de-Champlain, Saint-Stanislas.

Maskinongé RCM:

Saint-Boniface, Yamachiche

Mékinac RCM:

Grandes-Piles, Hérouxville, Lac-aux-Sables, Lac-Normand, Saint-Adelphe, Sainte-Thècle, Saint-Roch-de-Mékinac, Saint-Tite, Saint-Séverin, Trois-Rives

Shawinigan Territory:


Over the next few months, Cogeco will take an inventory of the targeted regions to ensure that no households will be left without service.

Today, high-speed Internet services are considered indispensable, and there is global consensus on this. The digital economy and access to high-performing, reliable and affordable Internet service are now at the core of our communities’ economic and social growth. The projects funded under Canada–Quebec Operation High Speed are a key part of the digital shift in Quebec and will promote access to telemedicine, distance learning, entertainment, online sales and telework.

“The people of Mauricie, as in other Quebec regions, absolutely need reliable connectivity. The COVID-19 crisis has shown the importance of having access to broadband digital services. By investing in these high-speed Internet projects in the region, we’re helping bridge the digital divide, stimulate economic growth and create jobs.”

– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry and Member of Parliament for Saint-Mauricie–Champlain

“As a regional minister, I can only be proud to see that hundreds of citizens will finally have access to high speed internet. The pandemic highlights this need which is now essential, as much for teleworking as for distance school. In recent months, I have often been questioned about this by the people of Mauricie. Today’s news confirms that citizens will soon be able to see this commitment come true.”

– Jean Boulet, Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity, Minister Responsible for the Mauricie Region, Member of the National Assembly for Trois-Rivières

“The RMCs de Mékinac and des Chenaux have long deserved to be given the same opportunity as the large centers to develop through high speed. Thanks to this massive investment, they will finally have access to adequate telecommunications tools that will not only allow them to efficiently computerize their businesses and organizations, but will also greatly improve the quality of life of the families who live there. resident, whether for telecommuting, distance school or online entertainment. I am very proud to be part of the government team that will have finally tackled this crucial issue for the development and vitality of the Mauricie region.”

– Sonia LeBel, Minister Responsible for Government Administration,Chair of the Conseil du trésor, Member of the National Assembly for Champlain

“I am extremely satisfied with this announcement from our government. It’s the result of a lot of representational work. It shows that we are listening to our citizens. Many people have challenged me on this subject, mainly in the past year, and whom I have accompanied. With the current crisis, it is essential to have a good internet connection for telecommuting and for schooling at home. I take the example of Pointe-du-Lac; this is an area that has always been forgotten, and I am delighted to announce today to these people that they will finally be connected like the others.”

– Simon Allaire, Member of the National Assembly for Maskinongé

“With the pandemic, high speed internet has become essential for our day-to-day operations. The investments announced are unprecedented and it shows to what extent the Government of Quebec is making this file a priority. Reliable and efficient services are a key element of the economic development and vitality of our region.”

– Marie-Louise Tardif, Member of the National Assembly for Laviolette–Saint-Maurice

“Our teams are already mobilized to deploy this major project for the Mauricie region. We are more determined than ever to accelerate the expansion of our network in this region where Cogeco was born, but above all, we are pleased to continue supporting our communities and their economic vitality.”

– Philippe Jetté, President of Cogeco Connexion

Marie-Pier Baril

Press Secretary

Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development



Maude Méthot-Faniel

Press Secretary

Office of the Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity, Minister Responsible for the Mauricie Region, Member for Trois-Rivières

Tél. : 438 526-8750

Florent Tanlet

Press Secretary

Office of the Minister Responsible for Government Administration,Chair of the Conseil du trésort, Member for Champlain

Tél. : 418 265-1982