China Readings for March 24th

  • 在野党“16问”狙击:三峡集团尼泊尔水电项目波折 – 宏观 – 21世纪网 – more on the problems for a large chinese-backed hydropower project in nepal. anything in western press yet?
  • 雅培被曝不达标:洋奶粉或集体陷质量危机 – 产经 – 21世纪网
  • 洋奢侈醉卧水井坊 白酒业绩翻番引发资本逐鹿 – 行业情报 – 21世纪网 – 3月21日,水井坊(600779)公告表示第一大股东四川成都全兴集团有限公司之外方股东帝亚吉欧(Diageo Highlands Holding B.V.)对水井坊的要约收购获得证监会批准。

    这场历时两年的战役终于落下帷幕,而白酒行业的分食大战却刚刚开始。

  • China tightens issuance of drivers’ licenses|Society|chinadaily.com.cn – China is tightening the issuance of drivers' licenses by increasing the difficulty of the test and building a backtracking supervision system — a bid to curb the increase in road accident-related fatalities, the country's traffic authorities said Friday.
    Li Jiangping, deputy director of the Traffic Management Bureau under the Ministry of Public Security, said license applicants will take the simulation driving test on roads with sharp turns, in rainy and snowy weather and on wet roads.
  • Wealthy dad spends $11m on daughter’s wedding|China|chinadaily.com.cn – Three decorated Ferrari sports cars are parked outside a hotel during a wedding in Sanya city, South China's Hainan province, March 18, 2012. The wedding was held by Xing Libin – the Board Chairman of Liansheng Group, an energy company in Liulin county of North China's Shanxi province – for his daughter. Xing, who was reported to be the wealthiest man in Shanxi, spent a total of 70 million yuan ($11 million) on this wedding, including a grand gala staged by famous performers and singers, hiring several five-star hotels and three chartered planes to transport the guests to Sanyan from elsewhere
  • New toothed flying reptile unearthed in China – Xinhua | English.news.cn – A rare pterosaur skull fossil has been discovered in northeast China, according to a Friday press release from the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS).

    A photo of the fossil specimen attached to the release shows that the creature had an upward-pointing frontal crest and large rostral teeth, indicating that it is closely related to Ludodactylus, another rare lizard hailing from the Araripe Basin in northeast Brazil, according to Dr. Wang Xiaolin, a scientist leading a joint Chinese-Brazilian research team that discovered the fossil.

  • Strong winds hit Beijing – Xinhua | English.news.cn – some damage, scary for a bit friday afternoon
  • 马英九办公室回应“一国两区” 强调两岸政策不变_台湾频道_凤凰网
  • China Economic Watch | The Challenges of Renminbi Internationalization – There is little or no doubt that a growing internationalization of the renminbi will produce positive effects for China in the long term. A more intense use of renminbi as a denomination currency for China’s assets and trade will help reduce the potential implications of the dollar-renminbi fluctuations for domestic stability. Caution is needed, however, if these benefits are not to be exceeded by the costs and the potential risk of a premature transition to that new status.
  • BoFa Analyst: 4 Reasons Why Poor Steel Output Does Not Equal A Hard Landing – Ting Lu, China economist for Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, said he disagreed with sell-side analysts that were drawing on weak steel and auto-data in the past two months to claim that China is in a hard landing. 
  • Memo Show Corzine Ordered Raiding MF Global Customer Account of $200 Million « naked capitalism – We know America is a hopeless kleptocracy, but if Corzine does not go to jail, given the revelation that he approved the raiding of a customer account of $200 million, it means that no one in the officialdom is interested in keeping up the pretense that we have a functioning regulatory and judicial system.
  • China’s Not-So-Super Computer Program – WSJ.com – a closer look at China's supercomputers reveals a program that is far less of a threat to U.S. technological dominance than commonly believed. Chinese researchers say decisions about how supercomputers are used are often made by local politicians more interested in local development projects than breakthrough technology.
  • 北京某大学校长私助薄熙来、王立军监控政敌 – 消息可靠人士透露:已被双规的薄熙来亲信交代,被称为国家防火墙之父的北京某大学校长,多次接受薄熙来巨款,私助薄熙来,利用网络监听其政治对手亲友及下属的网络通信,为薄熙来窃取了大量的非常重要的敏感信息,其中包括网络电话、来往邮件、电子邮箱密码等等!
        
         据已被双规的薄熙来亲信交代,北京某大学的校长主动提出建议,与王立军合作建立一个全国性电子邮件用户信息跟踪体系,将每个国内每个网民上网及使用电子邮件的全部情况(包括密码、来往邮件及聊天等),全部记录下来。薄非常高兴,在其提出的经费要求报告上批复:“再加一倍”。 (博讯 box
  • 太美集团 – 太美集团(以下简称太美)秉承“相聚+分享”的价值观,涵盖旅行、传媒、天天太美、私人航空、健康、黑卡会、趣皮士会等板块,致力创造中国最具影响力的品致生活管理平台。太美由十九位创始人共同投资创建,他们分别来自旅行、投资、传媒和文化等领域。太美总部设于中国北京,在上海、广州、深圳和南京分别设有分公司。
    太美以提供“365天+360度的品致生活服务”为基本理念,面向追求品致生活人群,提供主题性、个性化与标准化相结合的产品,其中包括旅行产品与活动产品。自成立以来,太美已经成功组织过1500次主题旅行,100多个关于理念、经济、艺术、文化进行讨论的主题沙龙,为超过30000人提供过优质服务。
  • Relais & Châteaux – Jingmai Brilliant Resort and Spa – 1000 usd/night wont get a room//

    Emerging from the mists of the Jingmai Mountain, this hotel offers a unique experience in one of China’s most majestic landscapes. Jingmai Brilliant Resort and Spa is situated in China’s Yunnan province Pu’er city, called “East Provence” overlooking the area’s lush brooding mountains famed for its production of delicious wide leaf Pu’er tea. The Brilliant Fazenda’s highlights are |the largest ancient Tea tree garden of the world and its modern and traditional tea manufactory workshop|. Simply enjoy the hotel’s hospitality, which includes gourmet locally sourced Chinese cuisine and tailored tea well-being treatments, or go further afield to the secret Pu’er green triangle zone for the amazing Highland view, in a dedicated guest car. Jingmai Brilliant Resort and Spa is built carefully into the steep hillside in a sleek minimalist “Dai” style, in harmony with its natural surroundings. Everything has been designed to celebrate the outstanding setting with panoramic windows overlooking the grand Jingmai Mountains, and private tea garden terraces.
    Activities:
    Outdoor pool, Fitness, mountain biking, hiking, fishing

  • 普洱景迈柏联精品酒店-普洱酒店预订-携程旅行网酒店预订 – 酒店预订 – 国内国际酒店预订服务 – 携程旅行网
  • Dartmouth President Is Obama’s Pick for World Bank – NYTimes.com – President Obama is nominating Jim Yong Kim, a physician who has been president of Dartmouth College for three years, to head the World Bank, the White House said Friday.
  • 常熟第一美女老板失踪续:多数债权人选择沉默 – 市场 – 21世纪网 – 核心提示:在当地商人眼中,顾像游走于人群间的“交际花”,很多当地商人称她为常熟的“传奇”。
  • 《新闻联播》官网 – 7 of the 9 politburo standing committee members appeared on CCTV on march 23.only Li keqiang and Li Changchun did not
  • [视频]周永康会见印尼外长_新闻台_中国网络电视台 – Zhou Yongkang on CCTV, meeting with Indonesia FM
  • Video – The Dalai Lama discusses his views on money and happiness with WSJ’s Barbara Chai – WSJ.com – The Dalai Lama sat for an interview with WSJ's Barbara Chai to discuss his specific thoughts on a range of topics. In this video, we look at the Dalai Lama's views on money, economics and happiness.
  • Hong Kong as Dirtiest Financial Center Is Tsang’s Legacy – Bloomberg – Harboring an unlicensed duck in Hong Kong can land a fine of HK$50,000 ($6,440) after the world’s first human deaths from bird flu were recorded in the city 15 years ago. That’s 50 times the penalty for driving a vehicle belching smoky fumes.
    Failure to force aging buses and trucks off Hong Kong’s streets is a key cause of air pollution that results in more than 3,000 premature deaths a year, according to Civic Exchange, a think tank. In contrast, the H5N1 virus has killed 350 people worldwide since 1997, World Health Organization data show.
  • Asia Unbound » China’s Twitter War – Over the last week, supporters of Tibet, and the merely curious, have seen information warfare up close. On Twitter, several hundred bots (automated programs that generate content) flooded discussions using the hashtags #Tibet and #Freetibet with meaningless tweets and spam. If you were someone trying to learn more about Tibet, you kept bumping up against these threads, and eventually you may have given up and moved on to some other subject. This is cyber as a weapon of mass distraction. Twitter eventually began to filter out the bots, and the spam was cut off to a trickle.

    More malevolently, Tibetan activists have been threatened on Twitter. The poet and blogger Woeser was repeatedly reminded that Ai Weiwei was arrested by one Twitter user, suggesting that she should meet the same fate. In addition, the Central Tibet Administration, International Campaign for Tibet, and others were targeted by malicious emails. Visitors to Tibetan websites could also be infected by malware.

  • Nick Lardy: Don’t Underestimate Danger of China Property Crash – China Real Time Report – WSJ – “A lot of people are in denial here about whether there could be a significant property correction,” said Mr. Lardy, who was visiting Beijing as part of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. “The downside risk is a period of declining growth, not for a few quarters but for a few years.” Mr. Lardy didn’t estimate the rate of economic growth under such an occurrence.
  • Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis: Atlantic Magazine Cover Proclaims Ben Bernanke "THE HERO" – If you are looking for the most nauseating cover possible on Ben Bernanke, please consider the April 2012 issue of the Atlantic.
  • Should China be bracing itself for a hard landing? | World news | The Guardian – The China bears grow ever gloomier, while the bulls maintain their confidence. So will the world's second largest economy see a hard landing in 2012 or can its leaders steer a steady course? Patrick Chovanec of Tsinghua University and Andrew Batson of Beijing-based consultancy Gavekal-Dragonomics debate.
  • 何挺当选重庆市副市长兼公安局长 王立军被免职_新闻中心_中国网
  • Insight: China’s Bo exits stage left in succession drama | Reuters – The central leader who played a key role in marshalling accusations against Bo and Wang was He Guoqiang, said the ex-official and several other sources.

    From 1999 to 2002, He was party chief of Chongqing, watching as his acolytes in government there were sidelined under Bo's campaigns. As head of the party's Central Discipline Inspection Commission, he backed corruption investigations that could damage Bo, said the sources. By last year, He had seen enough, and began driving the initial wedge between Wang and Bo.

    "He Guoqiang supported investigating Wang Lijun to go after Bo Xilai," said a Chongqing official.

    He's gambit, according to this account, worked to perfection. Distrust between the once close allies broke down "and so then Wang Lijun began to turn to blackmail to protect himself", the Chongqing official said

  • China: rising costs push products online | beyondbrics | News and views on emerging markets from the Financial Times – FT.com – The problem for retailers looking to get into China may be two-fold. Listing costs are high – but brand recognition may not travel online. The Neiman Marcus news was greeted with scepticism by local retail analysts. Shaun Rein of China Market Research in Shanghai said: “nobody knows who Neiman Marcus is in China.”

    Rumours have been swirling for years about Neiman trying to get retail space on the Shanghai Bund for a large new store. Most analysts see it as essential for foreign brands – especially luxury brands – to have bricks and mortar shops to bolster their credibility in a country where seeing is still believing.

    “Customers really need to be able to see and touch the product and feel the brand heritage in a physical environment,” said Rein. “Luxury sales are booming online but people still tend to equate e-commerce with cheap,” he said, adding “I don’t think it’s possible for a foreign brand to come in and sell at high prices just online”.

  • China: a decade of change – interactive timeline | World news | guardian.co.uk – As the communist party prepares for a changing of the guard, we look at the key events in the last 10 years that have shaped the world's most populous country. A next generation of politicians will be facing entirely new challenges across all sectors, from the economy to civil unrest. Scroll through the timeline to explore the defining moments of the first decade of the 21st centu
  • Hong Kong’s ‘Embarrassing’ Racial Attitudes – China Real Time Report – WSJ – he survey was conducted over the past five years among mostly police officers in training and secondary school students, finding they hold less than favorable views of those with darker skin. Among the 1,860 surveyed, less than half would feel comfortable having Africans, Nepalese, Filipinos, Indians and Pakistani in their personal lives, for example as friends or spouses.

    “It’s embarrassing,” says Fermi Wong, director of Unison and a formal social worker. “You hope things get better, but this is very sad,” she says.

  • Chongqing says ‘business as usual’ | beyondbrics | News and views on emerging markets from the Financial Times – FT.com – The purging of Bo Xilai has been the talk of the town in Beijing for the past week, but back in Chongqing, where Bo was the party secretary, it is business as usual.

    Or at least, that was the message that Huang Qifan, Chongqing mayor, and Zhang Dejiang, the man who replaced Bo as party secretary in Chongqing, were keen to send to the western Chinese city’s big investors.

  • Larry Summers, the revolving door, and the World Bank | Felix Salmon – It’s almost inconceivable to me that Barack Obama, the proud African-American who wrote Dreams from My Father, could ever with a straight face claim that Larry would be a better choice to run the World Bank than Ngozi. Larry has made it abundantly clear that the only thing he values more than money is power. His decision to rejoin DE Shaw is what economists would call a “revealed preference”. And what it has revealed, as if there was any doubt, is that Summers is not the right person for the World Bank job. He wants to work for DE Shaw? Fine. Let him stay there.
  • The Adventures of the Three Travel Weary Loafers: Wei Dong, Lv Peng and Liang Changsheng at Today Art Museum | RedBox Review
  • PBOC May Assess Local Debt Burdens Before Direct Bond Sales – Bloomberg – China’s central bank may grade local governments’ creditworthiness in an internal trial program as officials prepare for debt sales by provincial and city authorities, a state researcher said.
    Staffers from the People’s Bank of China and Chinese Academy of Social Sciences are planning to carry out the tests this year, said Liu Yuhui, director of a financial research office at CASS. Researchers in his office will probably assign credit ratings for the central bank’s reference to assess how much a province or city should be able to borrow, Liu said in an interview in Beijing March 21.
  • China Unicom 2011 Profit Misses Estimates on 3G User Cost – Bloomberg
  • U.S. Intelligence Says Water Shortages Threaten Stability – Bloomberg
  • Renren Facebook Boost to Be Shortlived on Ads, Maxim Says – Bloomberg – Chinese social-network operators Renren Inc. (RENN) and Sina Corp. (SINA) can’t rely on Facebook Inc. (FB)’s initial public offering to boost their shares as both face challenges attracting advertisers, according to Maxim Group LLC.
  • Hong Kong Middle Class Bitter as Tycoons Choose Leaders – Bloomberg
  • China Pledges to Stop Harvesting Organs From Death-Row Inmates-Caijing – China has pledged to stop its reliance on death-row inmates for organs in three to five years, as a nation-wide donation system is being developed.
  • Heavy hand of China’s censors fuels online frenzy – CNN.com – "It's the first time in China that a political power struggle has played out in the era of Weibo (micro-blogging)," said Bishop. "It's as important to get information out on Weibo as it is to publish it on CCTV or the People's Daily."
    But cyberspace censorship, Bishop argues, is not good for China's global image — nor for the rest of the world.
    Bishop recalled 1989, the last time a political crisis of this level happened in China. That year the communist party chief, Zhao Ziyang, was sacked amid the political turmoil that followed the Tiananmen crackdown.
    "China then was not particularly important in the world economy," he said. "It was a relatively poor economy with no ability to impact global financial markets, the sovereign wealth fund, the commodities and stock markets. Not anymore."
  • Gangster Banks Keep Winning Public Business. Why? | Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone – A friend of mine sent this article from Bloomberg, along with the simple comment: "Perfect." What's perfect? That the banks that have been caught repeatedly ripping off communities and munipalities — banks that have paid hefty settlements for rigging bids, bribery and other sordid misdeeds — keep winning the most public business. Apparently, our public officials aren't concerned about whom they hire to serve as the people's investment bankers.

    From the piece, entitled "JPMorgan Claims No. 1 for Government Debt After Jefferson County":

  • 人民日报-人民网 – 周永康致信全国政法宣传工作会议强调
    不断增强政法宣传工作覆盖面和传播力
    为政法机关履行法定职责创造良好舆论环境
    王乐泉出席会议并讲话
  • 卫生部承诺5年内解决“移植器官多靠死囚”问题_新闻_腾讯网
  • 社评:重庆调整后的中国社会理性_评论_环球网 – 摘要:看上去传言纷纷,实际上全社会都在等待党中央的进一步权威声音。中国社会的人心是稳定的,大家对十八大开好开成功的期待,对中国未来一些年的期待都没有改变。
  • AFP: Vietnam, China in new spat over fishermen detentions – China said Thursday the detention of two Vietnamese fishing boats and 21 crew near the disputed Paracel Islands was lawful, after Hanoi demanded their "immediate and unconditional" release.
    Hanoi has said the March 3 arrests "seriously violated Vietnam's sovereignty" and that China must stop its "hindrance of Vietnamese fishermen".
    Beijing maintained that it held "indisputable sovereignty" over the islands in the South China Sea.
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