China Readings for September 29th

  • Chaoda Chairman, Fidelity Manager Accused of Insider Trading – Businessweek – Chaoda Modern Agriculture Holdings Ltd.’s Chairman Kwok Ho, Chief Financial Officer Andy Chan and Fidelity Management’s George Stairs were accused by Hong Kong’s financial secretary of insider trading.

    The government alleges Kwok and Chan told Stairs about a June 2009 share placement three days before it was publicly announced, and the fund manager traded profitably as a result, according to a notice released by Hong Kong’s Market Misconduct Tribunal yesterday.

  • Asia Unbound » Adam Segal » Collision in Cyberspace is Unavoidable: The View from Chinese Analysts – People’s Tribune Magazine (人民论坛杂志) has a collection of twelve articles on cyberspace and cyber conflict by Chinese analysts at think tanks and academic institutes. All of the articles are worth glancing at, but four—”A Sovereign Country Must Have Strong Defense” by Min Dahong, director of the Network and Digital Media Research Office at the China Academy of Social Sciences; “America’s ‘Pandora’s Box’ Cyber Strategy Confuses the World” by Shen Yi from Fudan University’s Department of International Politics; “Cyber Power ‘Shuffles the Cards’: How China Can Overtake the Competition” by Tang Lan, assistant director of the Institute of Information and Social Development Studies at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations; and “How to Construct China’s Cyber Defenses” by Liu Zengliang, from the PLA National Defense University—do a particularly good job of illustrating what some Chinese analysts are saying about U.S.-China relations in cyberspace.  The picture is not pretty. All see cyberspace as an emerging, critical area of competition and are notably pessimistic about the future. Conflict seems almost inevitable.
  • Meet Wan Ling Martello – Nestlé’s Mandarin speaking CFO | beyondbrics | News and views on emerging markets from the Financial Times – FT.com – Need further proof that consumer-goods companies are serious about cracking emerging markets? Then look no further than Nestlé’s latest recruit.

    Wan Ling Martello – currently head of Walmart’s e-commerce business in emerging markets – is to succeed Jim Singh as chief financial officer when the latter retires next year, the Swiss-food group said late on Tuesday.

    The appointment of Martello, a US citizen of Chinese and Filipina origin, took analysts by surprise. But with Nestlé now deriving more than a third of its sales from EM countries, the company clearly sees Martello – who speaks Mandarin, Hokkien Chinese and Tagalog – as an asset to the team.

  • GOLDMAN: We Just Visited China, And This Is What We Saw
  • Morgan Stanley: can we spot the next Chaoda or Sino-Forest? | beyondbrics | News and views on emerging markets from the Financial Times – FT.com – “Disappointed by the alarmist and anecdotal nature of some recent reports on EM earnings quality, we adopt a more rigorous and data-driven approach,” say the authors with a somewhat self-important flourish.

    Looking at Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Africa, they conclude that there is “significantly lower earnings quality” in EMs than in developed markets. This makes the financial reports produced by EM companies  less useful in preparing forecasts than in the case of DM companies – so investors must watch out.

    The analysts, who compared 2,233 non-financial companies in the five BRICS states and in DMs, found that companies from Brazil, China and India scored significantly worse than DM companies.

  • Here Comes The "China Hard Landing" – Full Bank Of America Presentation Slides | ZeroHedge
  • 有板有眼:如何看待马云关于VIE的评论 – 对牛乱弹琴 | Playin’ with IT – 洪波的偏见 | keso.me – Keso on jack ma. jack ma now one of most hated people in chinese internet, blamed for briing VIEs back into the spotlight through his expropriation of Alipay
  • In Taiwan military, Chinese spy stirs unease – The Washington Post – seems irresponsible to sell any classified weapons to Taiwan until we know the extent of the penetration//

    Until his arrest in late January, Maj. Gen. Lo Hsien-che ran the army command’s communications and electronic information department. This put him at the heart of a command-and-control system built around sophisticated and highly secret American technology that China had been trying to get its hands on for years.

    Sentenced to life in prison in July by the Military High Court, Lo is the highest-ranking officer convicted of espionage in Taiwan in decades — and a reminder, according to the Ministry of National Defense, that, despite a recent warming of relations between Taipei and Beijing, “mainland China’s efforts to collect our military intelligence have not stopped but intensified.”

  • Rickshaw ‘rapist’ at large in Sanlitun – The woman, who had injuries to her neck, told him a rickshaw driver had tried to rob and rape her. She managed to escape as the driver tried to force her trousers down.

    "I got a stick from my car and ran into the alley, but the driver was gone. So I took the woman to Sanlitun police station," said Aidemeng.

    The 44-year-old woman was visiting Beijing with her husband, who was on a business trip, and was returning from Sanlitun Nanlu to the Zhaolong Hotel.

    The driver took her into Dongdaqiao Xiejie, which was quiet and clear at that time, and began touching her body, the woman alleged.

    "The driver knocked her down when she jumped out, and tried to snatch her watch and rape her. She fought back and escaped, calling for help," Aidemeng said.

    The woman went to the police station with her husband, where police questioned her and took a statement. But the police did not file a case report, since she left for the US that morning and would be out of reach.

  • Insight – China’s e-payment booms, foreigners get the boot | Reuters
  • Richest man reportedly to join Party leadership-global times – Liang Wengen, China's richest man and chairman of the Hunan-based heavy machinery producer Sany Group, looks set to become the first private entrepreneur to enter the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), media reports said on Sunday.
  • Hong Kong Succession Takes Shape as Tang Resigns – Bloomberg
  • State Department Employee Faces Firing for Posting WikiLeaks Link – i feel safer//
  • China accuses U.S. of ‘meddling’ in Hong Kong – The Washington Post – In a raw display of Beijing’s mistrust of Washington, the Chinese Communist Party has seized on diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks as evidence of anti-China plotting by U.S. diplomats and a “Gang of Four” comprising prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy figures.

    Portraying the U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong as a nest of spies and subversive busybodies, articles in local media controlled by the party have adopted an unusually harsh tone at a time when both China and the United States pledge a desire for smoother relations — but keep getting stuck in polemics.

  • Chinese operating systems ‘no threat’ to Google – FT.com – these are not new OSs but rather customized versions of Android

    The success of Google’s Android operating system in China is not under threat from a host of mobile operating systems being unleashed on the mainland as they will be “niche” products, according to a senior industry executive.

  • China Private Loan Rates Surge As Developers Struggle: Press | mninews.deutsche-boerse.com – BEIJING (MNI) – China's private lenders are charging developers as much as 10% a month as they take advantage of the property market's demand for funding amid restricted credit conditions, state media said Wednesday.

    But this explosion in unregulated private lending is spreading across the country and already leading to a rash of failures that necessitate government intervention, reports said.

    Interest rates are already at 6% to 10% a month and are driving some smaller property developers into bankruptcy, the official China Securities Journal said, citing unidentified sources and without elaborating.

  • China’s Growing Middle Class Leads to Transition – Brookings Institution – In the following interview, Cheng Li describes the global implications of a strengthened Chinese middle class and the potential for change as it continues to grow and seek greater reform. The article is reprinted with permission from the strategy+business website, published by Booz & Company
  • Huawei Now A 2012 Presidential Campaign Issue? | Sinocism – Is the mistrust of Huawei in part rooted in the fact that the US government knows exactly how telecommunications and networking services can be compromised, and assumes that any country with the capability would want to do the same? And is that really an incorrect assumption? Why wouldn’t any country do this if it could, no matter who the shareholders are in the telecommunications and networking firms?

    Huawei has hired Burson-Marsteller to perform a corporate image makeover, including generating warm and fuzzy articles like Bloomberg Businessweek’s recent At Huawei, CTO Matt Bross Tries to Ease U.S. Security Fears. The firm has also ramped its DC lobbying efforts, all to no avail. CFIUS and the military/intelligence services are unlikely to be swayed by Huawei’s lobbying and public relations dollars.

  • 揭秘证监会VIE报告:四大政策建议 – 经济观察网 - 专业财经新闻网站
  • Ian Fletcher: Rick Perry, the Man from Huawei – Beijing uses corporations under its control (every major company in China, given its state-capitalist economy) to indirectly grant or withhold favors to American politicians. This can mean everything from jobs for their home states to lucrative personal investment opportunities to outright bribes.

    This problem first emerged in American politics in the Clinton years (remember Al Gore's Buddhist monks with shopping bags of cash?) and it has continued to worsen as China has become richer and more internationally aggressive.

    Some politicians who play this game are outright crooks who know what's up. (I must assume Clinton knew.) Others are merely seduced by the easy money, which often comes in forms which are at first not actually illegal. But it's a progressive game, and by the time they realize the game being played, it's too late. They have become too dependent, if not too outright legally compromised, to turn back.

    It is in this vein that we should look with concern at Gov. Perry's relationship with the giant Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei (pronounced "Hwah-way") Communications. To be fair, I have no way to know which of the above categories Gov. Perry falls into. But even if he is merely naïve and careless about expediency, this does not bode well for a Perry presidency.

    Some of the payoffs from Huawei to Perry are no secret. For example, the firm decided in 2010 to put its U.S. headquarters in Plano, Texas. Good for him: a few more jobs came to Texas, albeit partly at the expense of American telecom firms. Here's a video of him praising the company at the opening of its new HQ; he apparently spent considerable effort cultivating a personal relationship with the firm's management.

    Here the soup starts to thicken.

  • Amazon.com: China’s Thought Management (Routledge Studies on China in Transition) (9780415616737): Anne-Marie Brady: Books – $115. Academic publishing needs a revolution//

    China's Thought Management argues that by re-emphasizing and modernizing propaganda and thought work since 1989, the CCP has managed to overcome a succession of local and national level crises – the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, the impact of the collapse Socialism in the Eastern bloc, SARS, ethnic clashes in Tibet and Xinjiang, to name but a few – emerging re-strengthened and as dominant in Chinese society as ever. The contributors to this book address such crucial issues as the new emphasis on economic propaganda, the continued importance of the PLA propaganda system in China’s overall propaganda work and political stability, how the CCP uses "Confu-talk" in its foreign and domestic propaganda, and new approaches to mass persuasion such as "campaigns of mass distraction". Each chapter is a case study of the multiple ways in which the CCP has modified and adjusted its propaganda to reflect China’s changed economic and political environment.

  • London Bankers, Meet your new Chinese bosses-Financial News – In chapter four of the ancient Chinese military treatise The Art of War, strategist Sun Tzu sets out his tactical approach: put yourself beyond the possibility of defeat by making no mistakes, and then wait for the enemy to provide the opportunity for your victory.

    It appears Chinese banks believe that their moment to descend on London is fast approaching. Over the past two years, several have quietly built up their portfolios of prime office real estate, often close to the Bank of England building in the City of London.

    To date, these offices have only housed a small number of executives who have been relocated from China to London to gather information on the market and their competitors.

    However, there are now signs that this “information gathering” stage may be coming to an end. The phoney war is over. This month, one senior investment banker told Financial News that a Chinese firm had enlisted headhunters to look into the practicality of hiring several hundred investment bankers. The bank’s domestic peers are understood to be close to following suit.

  • Canada Presses Claims Over a Chunk of Arctic – WSJ.com – China will need to get more aggressive. Where is US in this? Are we paying enough attention to Canada?//

    RESOLUTE, Nunavut—As global interest in Arctic exploration explodes, Canada is pushing to assert rights over a larger chunk of the polar region and lure companies to exploit the territory's promising natural resources.

    The government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has long engaged in saber-rattling with Russia—Canada's biggest Arctic rival—over territorial claims in the region. Both sides have recently sent troops to the Arctic to back up their claims, with Canada winding down its largest, and northernmost, military exercise this month.

    During a trip late last month to Canada's Far North, Mr. Harper criticized Russia in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, portraying its strategy in the region as aggressive and "a disappointment." But he said Russia's actions—including alleged incursions into Canada's Arctic airspace, which Moscow denies—strengthen Ottawa's commitment to the region.

  • The Humble Origins of Marxism’s Founding Document: Mary Gabriel – Bloomberg
  • Pesek: China as J.P. Morgan Might Have to Save World – Bloomberg – unlikely, but if happens then geopolitical ramifications could be summed up as "the western world is truly fu$$ed"//

    As Europe crashes, China and Asia may be called upon to back a rescue in the manner of Morgan a century ago. Of course, it’s not nearly as simple as that. Nor is it in the best interests of the global financial system in the long run. There’s something obscene about poor and thrifty countries bailing out richer, profligate ones. And that’s something we can all agree on.

  • Renren ‘Cautious’ About Deals Amid High China Internet-Company Prices – Bloomberg – Renren Inc., the Chinese Internet company that completed a $855 million initial share sale this year, said prices of local Web assets have defied a slump in global stocks, making acquisitions too expensive.
    “Price is on the high side, we remain very cautious,” Renren Chief Executive Officer Joseph Chen said in a phone interview today.

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