Chen Guangcheng and his family are still in hospital in Beijing. The Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. Discusses With China Departure of Blind Activist while the Washington Post writes that Chen says U.S. diplomats, friends still barred from visiting him and that his family and friends face tempest of retribution. Let’s hope that Chen does get to leave for the US; any delays or problems now would be very messy, especially back in DC. As for retribution against Chen’s friends, his escape to Beijing exposed holes in China’s security network and may lead to a crackdown on the underground network, per some reports a Christian network. “Hostile foreign forces”, as Beijing likes to say, were involved in Chen’s flight and whether or not there is a happy ending for Chen and his immediate family there is not likely to be one for many others.
Switching to business, Jack Ma and his Alibaba Group are back in the news for corruption and a possible deal with Yahoo. Bloomberg reported a couple of days ago that Alibaba Says Some Taobao Staff Arrested, Online Stores Shut over bribery allegations. This crackdown follows a recent cover story in IT Times (淘宝腐败黑幕调查 - IT时代周刊) that details significant corruption at Alibaba’s Taobao unit. Alibaba foreign PR head John Spelich is fortunate that Alibaba does not get nearly the foreign media scrutiny it deserves given that is one of the 5 biggest Internet companies in the world. That will change if/when it lists any of its units on a US stock exchange.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Yahoo and Alibaba are again discussing a partial sale of Yahoo’s Alibaba stake, though this time Yahoo has given up on its blatant tax dodge structure and instead is working on a new, taxable deal. Yahoo is crazy to sell any of its Alibaba stake right now. Jack Ma would only be a buyer if he saw significant upside and Yahoo has no other investments or business lines that have nearly the growth and shareholder value creation potential that Alibaba does. The recent news that Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson lied on his resume may delay any deal talks, especially if he is fired.
Corruption issues notwithstanding, Taobao is probably the best private Internet company in China, and may be the last world-class one that has yet to list in the US.
some ugly news out of Ordos (Erdos) as the local property bubble unravels and the shadow banking system runs into problems. Red meat for the China bears, expect some hyperventilating soon
- Chen Guangcheng’s family and friends face tempest of retribution – The Washington Post
- Chen says U.S. diplomats, friends still barred from visiting him – The Washington Post
Chen Guangcheng, the self-taught lawyer who has become the center of a diplomatic crisis between the United States and China, said Sunday that he has not been able to have a face-to-face meeting with American diplomats since Friday and that his friends and supporters, as well as journalists, are being barred from the hospital where he is confined.
- U.S. Discusses With China Departure of Blind Activist – WSJ.com
BEIJING—U.S. officials spoke with their Chinese counterparts and with Chen Guangcheng, the blind lawyer and activist who sought refuge in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, to discuss arrangements for his departure from China to study in the U.S., according to a person familiar with the talks.Chinese and U.S. officials also indicated Sunday that both sides wanted a swift resolution of the crisis as they pressed ahead with a visit to the U.S. by Gen. Liang Guanglie, the Chinese defense minister, who arrived in San Francisco as scheduled Friday and is due to begin meetings in Washington Monday.
- China Gamblers Spurring Echo Deal for Sydney Monopoly: Real M&A – Bloomberg
Echo Entertainment Group Ltd. (EGP) is poised to become the target of the largest casino takeover in more than five years, thanks to its monopoly in Sydney and 16 million potential Chinese gamblers.
Haunting photo series on sick Chinese, many children
People’s Daily-nationalist education for Hong Kong secondary school students is not brainwashing
Page 2 People’s Daily on the Wenzhou private financing pilot
- Luxury brands tackle market slowdown | Industries | chinadaily.com.cn
end of 2009 stimuli, loan slowdown mean less to steal to spend on luxury goods?//
International luxury brands in China are meeting the challenge of a market slowdown with greater efforts to improve the quality of customer service and the overall customer experience.
- Defense minister in crucial tour of US|Politics|chinadaily.com.cn
A landmark visit to the United States by the defense minister will help defuse the tense situation in the South China Sea, analysts said, as the standoff between China and the Philippines continues in waters off Huangyan Island.Liang Guanglie, the first defense minister to visit the US in nine years, will meet his counterpart, Leon Panetta, in Washington on Monday.
- U.S. App Maker Evernote Plans China Expansion – WSJ.com
BEIJING—U.S.-based Evernote Corp. plans to install Chinese servers for its app that allows users to create and access notes across devices—a move that would improve service in the country but could increase the vulnerability of user content to government surveillance.China is “the hardest” market to crack, Evernote Chief Executive Phil Libin said in an interview Sunday, referring to Silicon Valley’s unsuccessful efforts to tap the world’s largest base of Internet users. But he wants to “do the hardest one first, jump into the deepest end of the pool first—that’s how we tend to operate.”
- The Huangyan Island Standoff: A Review of the Claims and the Prospects for the Future | CHINA US Focus
China attaches great importance to maintaining friendly and good-neighborly ties with Southeast Asian countries. It upholds the stance of resolving the South China Sea issue through peaceful means directly between claimant parties. However, the lack of mutual trust has caused misinterpretation of China’s intentions and actions in the South China Sea. The dispute also serves as the stepping stone for powers outside the region to interfere.China has stepped up its patrol in the South China Sea to prevent dangerous actions that may infringe China’s sovereign rights and interests and threaten the peace and stability in the region. Other parties are urged to play more constructive roles in safeguarding the peace and stability in the South China Sea.Wu Shicun is President of National Institute for South China Sea Studies
- Annals of the Security State: China vs. America Department – James Fallows – National – The Atlantic
A Chinese-citizen engineer recently came to the United States on a month-long business assignment. He was excited, and so was his company. For the company, this was the first-ever foreign installation of new robotic equipment, in a Florida juice-packing operation. For the engineer, it was a chance to be in a very nice part of America, enjoying for a while a lifestyle simply unavailable in his normal environs.Just before the end of his stay, the engineer stopped to take this photo. Chinese readers may be able to guess why he took it. American readers may be able to guess what happened next.
- MIT Visualizing Cultures-The Garden Of Perfect Brightness-Yuanmingyuan
In 1747 the Qianlong emperor began an addition to the Eternal Spring Garden in the form of European-style buildings and gardens. The “20 Views”—engravings commissioned by Qianlong in 1783, reproduced in full here in Part 2—remain the only visual record of this ornate experiment in Western perspective. The European section of the imperial retreat is at the nexus of myth and reality between Orientalism and Occidentalism.
- Surveillance State democracy – Glenn Greenwald – Salon.com
the true value of requiring back-door access for all Internet communications is full-scale access to all communications: “If you want to sift through communications in bulk, it’s only going to be feasible with a systemic backdoor.” McCullagh notes that Joe Biden has been unsuccessfully attempting to ban encrypted communications, or at least require full-scale government access, since well before 9/11. As for why this proposed bill is far more intrusive and dangerous than current law requiring all telephone communications to be subject to government surveillance, see Sanchez’s analysis here. The ACLU makes similar points here about why this proposal is so dangerous, and describes the numerous ways it extends far beyond current authorities concerning government access to telephone communications.
- FBI: We need wiretap-ready Web sites – now | Security & Privacy – CNET News
CNET learns the FBI is quietly pushing its plan to force surveillance backdoors on social networks, VoIP, and Web e-mail providers, and that the bureau is asking Internet companies not to oppose a law making those backdoors mandatory.
- 孝感一中惊现“高三吊瓶班”__鲜橙互动 南都网 南方都市报 新闻互动网站 南都数字报
IV bags filled with “amino acids” hanging from a ceiling in a Hubei classroom, to help students stay energized to study
- Chris Hughes and Sean Eldridge Are the New Power Brokers – NYTimes.com
A plump middle-aged woman in a flower-print dress was standing in front of Chris Hughes at The Paris Review’s spring gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on April 3, mocking his youth. Mr. Hughes, a founder of Facebook who bought a majority stake in The New Republic the previous month and then appointed himself publisher and editor in chief, had earlier given a toast in which he joked about buying a copy of the Review in college because he thought it was about Paris.The evening was his debut in New York’s clubby literary society. Robert Silvers, the longtime editor of The New York Review of Books being honored that night, offered Mr. Hughes a warm hello. Ken Auletta, an author and New Yorker writer, nodded approvingly as he passed Mr. Hughes on the way out.
- Colombia Will Pitch Pacific Pipeline Project to China Investors – Bloomberg
- Soy Traders Most Bullish Since March as Drought Cut Crops – Bloomberg
“As the soybean supply in Brazil is running out, that is forcing the Chinese to return to the U.S.,” said Chris Gadd, an analyst at Macquarie Group Ltd. in London. “You’d expect to see continued strength in U.S. exports.
- Lions Gate Wins Approval for ‘The Hunger Games’ in China – Bloomberg
no details on what if anything will be censored
- Taiwan Might Delay F-16 Upgrade | Defense News | defensenews.com
TAIPEI — Angry at the cost of upgrading its existing 146 F-16A/B fighters and enticed by the possible U.S. release of new F-16C/D jets, Taiwan might delay signing a letter of acceptance (LoA) with the U.S. government to upgrade its existing F-16 fleet.
- One-man show just a distraction|Op-Ed Contributors|chinadaily.com.cn
Human rights are no small matter. And any verifiable allegations, including any of Chen’s, deserve proper redress.
But is it appropriate to let one person’s story dictate the course of the ties between two countries?
Neither country will benefit if decision-makers from the two countries let the dramatic one-man show distract and derail their efforts to anchor their volatile state-to-state relations.
- Neil Heywood murder: Bo’s wife, a French businessman and the £40 million property empire – Telegraph
reporting through Luxembourg secrecy may cause neuralgia globally//
Gu Kailai’s personal office in Beijing is the base for a highly profitable firm run by the mysterious French businessman, Patrick Henri Devillers, who is at the centre of her affairs.
The company, registered in Luxembourg, a secretive tax haven, has millions of Euros invested in a series of property companies mainly based in France.
- the weibo post w the economist cover that sina deems inappropriate to make public, 58 retweets & 19 comments later
- 微博社区公约 新浪微博-随时随地分享身边的新鲜事儿
Sina is asking for user feedback on a proposed “Weibo Community Convention”
- China’s banks: Storing up trouble | The Economist
BANKS in China appear to be in rude health. The seven biggest mainland banks have just posted a 16% year-on-year increase in pre-tax profits between them for the first quarter. The level of non-performing loans (NPLs) remains low, at just about 1%. But trouble is being stored up for the future.
- 李庄：龚刚模的确受到刑讯逼供 被吊8昼夜 在线观看 – 酷6视频
Li Zhaung Discusses Chongqing case, on Ku6.com
- 李庄的微博 新浪微博-随时随地分享身边的新鲜事儿
Li Zhuang video on Chongqing case, just posted to his weibo
- Apple Discovers a New Market in China: Rich Boyfriends – Nathan T. Washburn – Harvard Business Review
The 8 million iPhones that Apple sold in China last quarter are a lot like exotic pets: They’re cute and they make great gifts for rich young men to give to their girlfriends, but outside of their native ecosystem, their survival prospects don’t look very good.The unexpected sales boom in China (8 million is my rough estimate) went a long way toward offsetting the company’s less-than-robust performance in the U.S. market and helps explain Apple’s record-breaking profits. Analysts and investors are excited by Apple’s performance in China, but predictions of the company’s sustained growth there are premature.
- No intention to drag U.S. into Scarborough dispute — PHL – ZamboTimes
MANILA — The Philippines does not intend to drag the United States into Manila’s territorial dispute with China on what is internationally mapped as the South China Sea, notwithstanding Manila-Washington’s time-tested bilateral alliance.
This was stressed by Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario in Washington, where he addressed the conservative American think tank, The Heritage Foundation, on May 2.
- Chen Guangcheng case: Republican senators urge asylum despite deal – The Washington Post
An early draft of the resolution by Sens. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) included criticism of the Obama administration’s handling of of the diplomatic crisis, support for Chen’s work in China against forced abortions and language chastizing China.
Because Chen and his wife and two children have yet to obtain a passport and visa, much less leave China, human rights experts expressed worries on Saturday that the two senators’ non-binding resolution might unnecessarily inflame the situation and endanger the newly brokered deal.
“I’m not sure I understand what the purpose is,” said one human rights advocate, who requested anonymity because of ongoing human rights work with members of Congress.
- U.S. scholar comes to Chen’s aid – The Washington Post
The man who plotted Chen Guangcheng’s possible escape from China to study law at New York University is a veteran legal scholar who shares the activist’s passion for chiding Chinese officials when they fail to follow their own laws.When Chen weighed his options inside the U.S. Embassy in Beijing this week after fleeing house arrest, he told American officials that there was one adviser he could trust: Jerome Cohen, 81, an NYU law professor who is considered the godfather of Chinese legal studies in the United States.
- Mr. Chen, Welcome to America – NYTimes.com
By WANG DAN
- Don’t Believe China’s Promises – NYTimes.com
By WEI JINGSHENG
- Christians Call on Obama to Protect Blind Chinese Activist Chen Guangcheng
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