THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT *
1. New round of ‘special inspections’ targeting graft in government departments and companies | South China Morning Post The third round of investigations, focusing on state-owned enterprises and central government departments, is expected to get underway shortly. CCDI will also make surprise return visits to provinces covered in previous sweeps. “The special inspections are our new weapon in the battle against corruption,” Zhang Jun, deputy secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), told Communist Party mouthpiece the People’s Daily. // 王岐山部署第三轮巡视 将对13个单位专项巡视
Related: Anti-graft chief stresses inspection on specific targets – Xinhua The third round of inspection for 2014 will soon begin for 13 state organizations, including the Ministry of Culture, China State Shipbuilding Corporation, China Unicom and Sinopec, said Wang Qishan, secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Wang called on inspection groups to have clear goals and solve corruption problems by cooperating with all departments involved. “Inspection should be carried out for a long time. Some regions and departments that have already been inspected also need a second inspection,” said Wang.
Related: 中央第三轮巡视名单敲定 中石化联通在列-手机和讯网 据澎湃消息，
2. China Seeks Global Internet Influence at CEO Forum on Canal Bank – Bloomberg China’s concept of Internet development is one that’s built around control of the information flow and is devoid of any protection of Internet freedoms that are assumed in markets like the U.S., said David Bandurski, editor of the China Media Project at the University of Hong Kong. “It’s beginning to look like a separate block with a separate vision of the Internet,” Bandurski said. “Censorship, on a real-time basis, is the vision China is presenting. They are saying ‘It’s possible. We are big, we are worth a lot of money and we insist on control.’ You have two world views of the Internet.”
Related: China Stops Censoring the Web—for Three Days, in One City – Bloomberg Surely, officials must recognize that it would be absurd for something called the World Internet Conference to have online content restrictions imposed by one country. China wants to establish a “great power” relationship with the U.S. on Internet governance, and Beijing will be increasingly vocal in attempting to shape global development, says Duncan Clark, chairman of BDA China, a Beijing-based consultant to technology companies.
3. Exclusive: Iran uses China bank to transfer funds to Quds-linked companies – report | Reuters a Western intelligence report reviewed by Reuters says Shenzhen Lanhao is one of several companies in China that receives money from Iran through a Chinese bank. Such transfers help to finance international operations of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ elite Quds Force, the report said…The report said that the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) holds accounts with the Bank of Kunlun Co Ltd, a China National Petroleum Corp unit. Quds-controlled Iranian companies, including one called Bamdad Capital Development Co, initiate transfers from these accounts to either Chinese entities directly controlled by the Quds or to Chinese entities owed money by the Quds, such as Shenzhen Lanhao.
Related: China’s top domestic security chief visits Iran to push for anti-terror cooperation | Reuters Meng Jianzhu, who leads China’s anti-terror efforts, met with several senior officials while in Tehran, including Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri and Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazl on his Nov. 15-17 trip, the ministry said. “Both sides reached important consensus on expanding and deepening China-Iran bilateral ties, especially when exchanging views on pushing law-enforcement and security cooperation,” the ministry said in a statement.
4. Occupy condemns attack on Legco as pan-democrats claim protesters were ‘misled’ | South China Morning Post Occupy Central and pan-democratic lawmakers condemned the break-in at the Legislative Council in the early hours of Wednesday, saying protesters has been “misled” by rumours about a yet-to-be discussed bill on internet freedom. Lawmakers are also worried the incident would provide an excuse for pro-establishment lawmakers to push through a proposal to build a three-metre high metal fence outside the Legco complex.
Related: Hong Kong protesters smash into government HQ – CNN.com Pro-democracy legislator Fernando Cheung, who tried to physically stop the protesters, said it was a “major setback for the movement.”
Related: Apple Daily: Beijing wants tough action on protest blacklist The purported blacklist contains the names, photos, identity card numbers and other personal details of pro-democracy activists, according to Apple Daily which said it had obtained a copy. Ten “die-hards” from Occupy Central, the civil disobedience group which helped inspire the student protest, are also on the list, including lawyer Herman Tang, writer Chan Wai-yee and hedge fund manager Edward Chin and lecturer Shiu Ka Chun. People on the list contacted by the newspaper said the photos are copies of their home return cards, suggesting mainland authorities have been collecting such information for some time. China’s national security authorities want them dealt with by force if necessary, the report said.
5. Why China is investing in the Comoros – Videos – CBS News An experimental malaria drug isn’t the only thing the Chinese have given the tiny island nation off the African coast. Shannon Van Sant looks at Beijing’s strategic investment.
6. The Rich Kids of China Are Livin’ Large in America Vocativ found a subculture of Chinese students in California who drive Maseratis and Ferraris and flaunt their wealth at discreet private parties and in online groups, like “Super Cars in America” // quite the video
7. China Exclusive: China’s Hebei to move excess industrial capacity overseas – Xinhua Hebei Province in north China aims to move production of 5 million tonnes of steel, 5 million tonnes of cement and 3 million weight boxes (a weight box equals roughly 50 kg) of glass overseas by 2017. The goal is more ambitious for the period leading up to 2023. By 2023, Hebei will seek to shift production of 20 million tonnes of steel, 30 million tonnes of cement and 10 million weight boxes of glass capacity.
8. At Factory Waste Ponds, Fumes Choke Fantasies – Caixin President Xi Jinping signed a document in early October affirming environmental problems linked to factory-waste evaporation ponds nationwide. The document also ordered officials in areas with ponds to protect the environment and if necessary launch clean-up campaigns…A Caixin investigation added weight to Zhou’s assessment. Most of the more than 30 evaporation ponds in Inner Mongolia, Ningxia and Shaanxi visited by Caixin from September to November were found to be no more than sewage-holding ponds brimming with pollutants. At the time, Caixin found factories were discharging waste into about 100 evaporation ponds scattered across Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Shaanxi and Xinjiang.
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *
China Home Price Drops in All But One City as Slide Drags On – Bloomberg China’s new-home prices fell in all but one city monitored by the government last month as developers offered discounts to cut inventories.
Lopsided Link Shows Chinese Rejection of Hong Kong Stocks – Bloomberg One reason for the tepid response from Chinese investors is that share prices for industry leaders previously out of reach on the mainland had already run up in anticipation of the link, according to UBS AG. Tencent, operator of the WeChat messenger service, and Galaxy, which runs Macau casinos, both jumped more than 7 percent last week after the start date was announced. “Investors from China are clearly trying to pick value,” Yang Xia, the Shanghai-based head of China equities at UBS, said in a phone interview yesterday. “They are not just buying shares that are not available domestically.”
China’s New Trading Program Drove Short Bets – China Real Time Report – WSJ The price disparities gave hedge funds a big opportunity to profit from a popular trading strategy called pair trading–buying an underperforming stock and shorting another within the same sector. To take advantage of the trade, investors needed to have government permission to buy shares in Shanghai under the previous program that allowed foreign institutions to buy Chinese shares. It was one of “the most obvious” ways for hedge funds investing in China to make money in the last seven months, says Francois Perrin, head of greater China equities at asset manager BNP Paribas Investment Partners.
Iron Ore Bear Market Deepens as China Home Prices Spur Concern – Bloomberg Ore with 62 percent content delivered to Qingdao, China, retreated 4.4 percent to $71.80 a dry ton, the lowest level since June 2009, according to data from Metal Bulletin Ltd. yesterday. It’s 47 percent lower this year, heading for the biggest annual drop in data going back to 2009, and yesterday’s tumble was the biggest one-day drop since May
Chinese consumer sentiment hits 2014 high | Business Spectator Chinese consumer sentiment has hit its highest level this year following positive signals in the housing and stock markets and record e-commerce sales figures, according to a private survey. The ANZ-Roy Morgan China Consumer Confidence report increased 2 points to 157.1 in November, the highest level in 2014 so far. All five components that make up the survey rose in the month with attitudes towards the long-term economic outlook seeing the biggest increase.
Some Shanghai FTZ Reform Ideas Introduced to Rest of Country – Caixin The free trade zone in Shanghai that opened in late September last year has served as a testing ground for more than 20 reform measures that are also being introduced to other parts of the country. The measures range from looser restrictions on investment and trade to trailblazing pilots enhancing the use of yuan overseas, the Shanghai government says. As of November 1, their number is at least 22.
POLITICS AND LAW *
Dui Hua Human Rights Journal: Deciding Death: How Chinese Judges Review Capital Punishment Cases A recent feature article in Guangzhou’s Southern Weekly newspaper has shed new light on how the more than 300 court personnel who work in this building handle the thousands of capital punishment cases sent for final review each year. Below, we summarize the article’s descriptions of the process in order to enable even more people to understand the way that these life-and-death decisions are made.
China blames rise in violence on drug smuggling from Southeast Asia | Reuters In the first nine months of the year, police recorded more than 100 incidents of violent crime blamed on methamphetamine, more than the total number seen in the previous five years, Liu said. “China is facing a grim task in curbing synthetic drugs, including ‘ice’, which more and more of China’s drug addicts tend to use,” the official China Daily quoted Liu Yuejin, head of the public security ministry’s Narcotics Control Bureau as saying, referring to the street name for methamphetamine.
北京市通知严禁建高尔夫球场 another notice banning new golf course construction in Beijing
Chinese journalist Gao Yu maintains innocence on eve of trial for leaking state secrets | South China Morning Post Gao Yu, one of China’s most respected and outspoken journalists, will stand trial in a Beijing court on Friday accused of revealing state secrets – a charge of which she maintains she is innocent, her lawyer said yesterday. The veteran journalist, 70, told judges and prosecutors at a pre-trial meeting on Monday that her “confession” to police earlier this year was to protect her son, lawyer Mo Shaoping said.
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *
Internet freedom faces new attack as China seeks to shape global web rules | Amnesty International The Chinese government’s increasing efforts to influence global cyberspace rules is a further sign that internet freedom is under a sustained attack, said Amnesty International, ahead of China’s first World Internet Conference. The event, which takes place in the eastern Zhejiang province, between 19 -21 November, brings together senior Chinese officials and global web leaders to discuss the future of the internet. It is seen by many internet experts as part of China’s attempt to have a greater say in the rules that govern the web.
Tony Abbott lauds Xi Jinping’s ‘commitment to fully democratic China’ | World news | The Guardian China’s president mentioned democracy in speech to Australian parliament, but experts suggest Abbott misunderstood
Japan says road project with India not in China-India disputed border area – Xinhua Japan has clarified that its road project cooperation with India will not be in the disputed China-India border area. Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei made the remarks at a press briefing when asked about a recent report that said Japan International Corp. Agency (JICA) had a contract to build roads on the China-India border.
Thailand Is Searching for Scores of Uighurs Who Fled China – NYTimes.com The Thai authorities said Tuesday that they were searching for about 120 ethnic Uighurs who fled China and were detained in southern Thailand by the police earlier this year but escaped this month from a shelter there. The escapees, almost all women and children, left the shelter in several separate groups this month
Google’s secret NSA alliance: The terrifying deals between Silicon Valley and the security state – Salon.com In what Google would later describe as “a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China,” the thieves were able to get access to the password system that allowed Google’s users to sign in to many Google applications at once. This was some of the company’s most important intellectual property, considered among the “crown jewels” of its source code by its engineers.–Excerpted from @WAR: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex” by Shane Harris. // halfway through this book, lots about China, so far not much that has not already been reported already
Trans-Asia rail key to boost Saudi economic ties with China – Xinhua China has set a comprehensive economic strategy for linking the country to major economic countries in Asian, including Saudi Arabia through a railway, according to Al Eqtisadiya newspaper Wednesday. Saudi Arabia is among top candidates by China because of the strong economic ties between the two countries, a Chinese government source told the newspaper, adding the determination of China to implement the project in the coming phase as the railway won’t be limited to trades and transfer of goods.
HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN *
Beijing and Two Other Cities Outpace Hong Kong in English Proficiency | the Beijinger Their comprehensive study is in its fourth year and has shown that Beijing is on the upswing in terms of English ability, while Hong Kong has been in decline. Shanghai and Tianjin also narrowly outpaced Hong Kong when examining city data, although the rest of China as a whole ranked lower than both Hong Kong and Taiwan.
PLA suspected to have surveillance facility at Tai Mo Shan Canada-based Kanwa Information Center, which publishes a monthly magazine on Asian defense issues, said its intelligence experts had studied a facility located at the top of Tai Mo Shan, Hong Kong’s highest mountain, and concluded that it is not radar meant to scout Hong Kong skies but rather an installation used by PLA to tap communications, Apple Daily reported Tuesday.
TECH AND MEDIA *
‘Hunger Games’ China release date canceled, likely due to ‘revolutionary’ political content The cast of the third installment of The Hunger Games franchise canceled their press tour in Asia last month, including scheduled stops at Beijing and Seoul. The film’s sudden withdrawal may be due to the film’s apparently incendiary content, depicting a fictitious revolution aimed at toppling a dystopian future government. It’s feared that movie-goers might draw parallels to Taiwan’s Sunflower Student Movement and the pro-democracy Occupy protests in Hong Kong.
WeChat: Content x Commerce WeChat is the key to unlocking Content x Commerce in China. We look into WeChat to better understand the; (1)The Overall Ecosystem, (2)Audience paths for brands …AND (3)How Content (social media) and Commerce come together. Includes some examples by industry of branded accounts – specifically for travel/tourism, retail and health.
赵本山新剧因题材问题被停播 或再次缺席春晚_网易新闻中心 Zhao Benshan’s new TV show not allowed to broadcast // 坐拥50亿资产、
Many of China’s TV shows, films are rubbish, minister says | Reuters Cai Fuchao, who heads the State Administration for Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television and is also a deputy propaganda minister, said China produces about 600 movies, 15,000 television shows and 250,000 publications annually. “Quality, powerful works are still lacking, and there are only a tiny number of classic works which can reflect the times and leave an impression on history,” Cai wrote in the influential fortnightly Communist Party magazine Qiushi, which means “seeking truth”. // 把创作生产优秀作品作为文艺工作的中心环
China’s top broadcaster faces changes in viewership, advertising | Business Spectator China Central Television—long the country’s top television broadcaster—has lost viewers and talent to new digital media and competitive local broadcasters. Companies like BMW AG and McDonald’s Corp. are broadening their advertising spending beyond traditional TV. Market-research firm iResearch projects spending on online advertising in China this year will total 148.3 billion yuan (US$24.2 billion) and for the first time surpass TV, which it expects will total 119 billion yuan.
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY *
腾讯公益 Tencent’s Charity site…tightly integrated with WeChat and TenPay, makes it very easy to give to a cause you want to support…236M RMB given so far
Wrecked Ship Carrying Bodies of Chinese Miners Found, 112 Years After It Disappeared – WSJ The wreckage of a Hong Kong-bound ship carrying the bodies of 499 Chinese miners has been found off New Zealand’s coast, 112 years after it sank. // and announcement nicely timed w Xi’s visit
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH *
Leading sexologist blasts China’s poor sex education after attack during speech | South China Morning Post A leading sexologist has criticised the lack of an official mainland policy supporting sex education, which he said has led to 99 per cent of Chinese adults being ill-informed on the subject. Peng Xiaohui, a professor in the school of Life Sciences at the Central China Normal University, made the comments to the Beijing News after he had been slapped in the face by a woman, who also threw what was suspected to be faeces at him
John Holdren on China and Climate | Climate Denial Crock of the Week John Holdren, the president’s top adviser on science and technology, and activist Josh Fox discuss last week’s game-changing climate deal.
In China, creating a pollution data app is a risky business – TechInAsia Zhang’s startup is Fresh Ideas, which is mostly based around the popular China Air Quality Index app. The app, available for iOS and Android, has so far seen over five million downloads and has about 300,000 daily active users. Roughly 40 percent of those users are in Beijing, which is the most high profile victim of recurring smog; 20 percent of the app’s user base is in Shanghai. Realizing that this kind of data is a sensitive topic, Zhang and the team keep a low profile, preferring not to appear in photos in this article. He and co-founder Wang Jun left jobs at Baidu, China’s top search engine, to build up the startup. The team hasn’t taken funding, despite interest from investors, and has instead “decided to be independent.”
China pledges to protect lakes before pollution – Xinhua An executive meeting of the State Council, China’s Cabinet, in December last year approved a plan on protection of lakes whose water quality is relatively sound. The document, published Tuesday, mapped out measures to be taken between 2013 and 2020 to protect 365 such lakes in China. The plan, jointly released by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Finance, vowed to avoid the previous “treatment after pollution” approach.
FOOD AND TRAVEL *
Beijing Cocktail Icon Q Bar Closes | the Beijinger Former Beijinger Reader Bar and Club Awards Bar of the Year winner Q Bar, instrumental in developing Beijing’s cocktail-making culture, quietly closed for good earlier this month after eight years.
BOOKS AND LITERATURE *
Book review: The End of Copycat China | beyondbrics Rein’s is an intriguing book, with many interesting anecdotes, mini-case studies, and interviews. If you discount the author’s obvious self-interest in writing it (he is, after all, the founder of a consulting group helping Chinese and foreign companies succeed in the Chinese market), you will be pleasantly surprised by the author’s fluency, and the “teachable moments” that arise from his writings.