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Yi Gang dampens hopes for stimulus; People’s Leader Xi; China-Russia gas; PRC Diplomats taking their case to Twitter

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1. Yi Gang dampens hopes for stimulus

And do not expect any new policy moves before for the Central Economic Conference later in December, and even then expect more battening down the hatches and struggling and grinding through economic issues rather than a big set of stimulus measures

China will maintain currency stability, prudent monetary policy: PBC - Global Times

China won't use the yuan's exchange rate as an instrument, and it will refrain from a beggar-thy-neighbor policy and strengthen efforts to advance reform of a market-based mechanism of the yuan exchange rate, said Yi Gang, governor of the People's Bank of China (PBC) on Sunday.

Yi published an article in Qiushi Journal on Sunday, titled "Stick to the Goal of Currency Stability and Implement a Prudent Monetary Policy", saying the yuan's exchange rate is determined by market supply and demand, and China should refrain from quantitative easing even if the monetary policies of major economies are heading toward zero interest rates...

Yi also mentioned that monetary policy will serve the real economy and high-quality development of China's economic growth. China should respect the laws of the economy, and GDP is not the only indicator of economic growth, Yi wrote in the journal.

Yi Gang's article - 易纲:坚守币值稳定目标 实施稳健货币政

China Will Not Resort to Quantitative Easing-PBOC Governor - Reuters

"We should not let the money held by the Chinese people become worthless... Maintaining positive interest rates and upward-inclined yield curve is generally conducive to the economic entities, and in line with the Chinese people's saving culture, thus beneficial to the sustainable development of the economy," said Yi.

He reiterated the central bank will continue to implement prudent monetary policy, conduct counter-cyclical adjustments, improve monetary policy transmission and keep liquidity reasonably ample.

Manufacturing Activity Expands at Fastest Pace in Almost Three Years: Caixin Survey - Caixin Global

The rate at which China’s manufacturing activity is growing rose to its highest point in nearly three years in November, driven by rising stocks of purchased items and stronger job creation, a Caixin-sponsored survey showed Monday.

The Caixin China General Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which gives an independent snapshot of the manufacturing sector’s operating conditions, rose further to 51.8 in November from 51.7 in the previous month. Though the rate was only marginally higher, it marks the strongest expansion since December 2016.

China's factory activity surprises with fastest expansion in three years: Caixin PMI - Reuters

China’s official factory activity gauge on Saturday also surprised, returning to growth for the first time in seven months as domestic demand picked up in response to stimulus measures. But gains were slight and export orders sluggish.

The official survey focuses more on heavy industry than Caixin’s, which is believed to include firms that are more export oriented. The two surveys also cover different geographical areas.

促六稳加力 部委密集调研把脉经济 _ 经济参考网 _ 新华社《经济参考报》官方网站

Xinhua's Economic Information Daily reports that the NDRC has been meeting with local governments to gauge the economic situations and plan for next year's work, says policy focus for next year likely to still be improving the business environment, reducing burdens for the real economy. 近一个月来,中央及地方密集摸底经济形势。11月中旬,国务院层面多次召开经济形势座谈会。记者了解到,国家发展改革委以及地方政府部门也已开始密集调研摸底当前的经济形势,研判明年的经济环境。专家分析,在当前力促“六稳”信号不断增强的背景下,优化营商环境为实体经济减负、激发企业活力,仍是重要着力点和加力点,有望延续成为下一步乃至明年的经济政策重点。

Comment: Part of the preparations for the Central Economic Work Conference that should be held in the next 2-3 weeks and will set the policies for 2020


2. Politburo meeting and another Xi speech

The Politburo meeting last Friday deliberated CCP regulations on grassroots organization work in Party and State institutions and pilot CCP regulations on grassroots organization work in SOEs. Party Construction is of course the focus, with the goal of even tighter Party control

习近平主持召开中共中央政治局会议-中共中央网络安全和信息化委员会办公室

会议指出,研究制定《中国共产党国有企业基层组织工作条例(试行)》,是深入贯彻习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想、贯彻落实新时代党的建设总要求和新时代党的组织路线、坚持和加强党对国有企业的全面领导、提高国有企业党的建设质量的重要举措,对于完善中国特色现代企业制度,增强国有经济竞争力、创新力、控制力、影响力、抗风险能力,做强做优做大国有资本,具有十分重要的意义。

中共中央政治局召开会议 审议《中国共产党党和国家机关基层组织工作条例》和《中国共产党国有企业基层组织工作条例(试行)》 中共中央总书记习近平主持会议_CCTV

Friday CCTV Evening News report on the Politburo Meeting

"To improve the modern enterprise system with Chinese characteristics, enhance the competitiveness, innovation, control, influence, and anti-risk ability of the state-owned economy It is of great significance to optimize and enlarge state-owned capital."

"The meeting emphasized that state-owned enterprises are an important material and political foundation of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and an important pillar and relying force for the party to govern and rejuvenate the country. It is necessary to earnestly strengthen the party's overall leadership of state-owned enterprises, ensure the leading position of party organizations in state-owned enterprises from the perspective of organization, system, and mechanism, and give full play to the leading role of party committees (party groups) in managing the overall situation and ensuring implementation. We must adhere to the direction of reforming the modern enterprise system with Chinese characteristics, unify the strengthening of party leadership and improve corporate governance, integrate party leadership into all aspects of corporate governance, embed corporate party organizations into the corporate governance structure, and clarify and implement party organizations. The legal status in the corporate governance structure of a company ensures that the leading role of the party committee (party group) of a state-owned enterprise is organized, institutionalized, and concrete."

The article is from a speech Xi gave in September at Politburo study session - Xi's article on socialist state, legal systems with Chinese characteristics to be published | Xinhua

The entire Party should foster stronger confidence in the path, theory, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and continue forging ahead along the right path, the article read.

The article pointed out that the socialist state and legal systems with Chinese characteristics have been formed through long-term practices and explorations.

The new type of state system founded by the CPC has enabled China to create a miracle of rapid economic growth and long-term social stability, and offered a new option for developing countries to realize modernization, it read.

The article 坚持、完善和发展中国特色社会主义国家制度与法律制度
来源:《求是》


3. People’s Leader Xi

"The People's Leader - Strive to realize the Chinese dream". This was the top item on the CCTV app over the weekend. It feels like something is up. - 人民领袖丨奋斗共圆中国梦_央视新闻客户端_央视网(cctv.com)

This new “political news center” also seems noteworthy, and especially the statement that “we should strive to create high-quality reports on current affairs that are worthy of the lofty image of the people's leader”.- 中央广播电视总台时政新闻中心成立--广东频道--人民网

The central radio and television headquarters held the inaugural meeting of the political news center. Shen Haixiong, deputy minister of the publicity department of the CPC central committee [and whom I hear may soon be leaving his post for a promotion], secretary of the party leadership group of the central radio and television headquarters, attended the inaugural meeting and delivered a speech.

时政新闻中心整合原中央三台时政报道力量,是总台新闻报道的第一梯队,是总台融合传播的第一抓手,是确保习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想和领袖风采春风化雨、润物无声、“飞入寻常百姓家”的第一窗口,是坚持以领袖的高度就是宣传报道追求的高度为标准的第一阵地.

[Sorry this machine translation is very rough, but this line “坚持以领袖的高度就是宣传报道追求的高度为标准的第一阵地” is very interesting] The News Center integrates the former three central government's current affairs reporting power. It is the first echelon of the news report of the main station, and the first master of the integrated communication of the main station. The first window of silent, "flying into the home of ordinary people" is the first position that insists that the height of the leader is the height of the pursuit of propaganda reports ..

用专业能力讲政治,追求最高标准,建设“时政质量”。时政新闻中心要以传播效果为导向,用专业方式讲政治,用专业水准引领新闻舆论。要以努力创作出与人民领袖崇高形象相匹配、无愧于伟大时代和历史、无愧于祖国和人民的时政报道精品为目标,注重新闻性、艺术性、思想性,推进全平台、全样态、全手段、全媒体传播。要追求高质量发展,以精益求精、一丝不苟的专业精神,为时代立传,为国家留史。要充分尊重电视传播规律,用生动鲜活的电视语言讲好新时代中国领导人的故事,提升领袖报道的传播力、感染力

Professional ability to speak politics, the pursuit of the highest standards, the construction of "political quality". The current politics news center should take the dissemination effect as the orientation, speak politics with the professional way, lead the news public opinion with the professional level. We should strive to create high-quality reports on current affairs that are worthy of the lofty image of the people's leader, worthy of the great times and history, and worthy of the motherland and the people. We need to pursue high-quality development, build biographies for The Times and make history for the country with the professional spirit of keeping improving and meticulous. We should fully respect the law of television communication, tell the stories of Chinese leaders in the new era in vivid and vivid language, and enhance the power and appeal of leaders' reports


4. US-China

China urges rollback of US tariffs, Huawei exec’s release - AP

The Communist Party newspaper Global Times on Monday ran several articles and commentaries insisting there would be no agreement unless the U.S. commits to rolling back some tariffs the Trump administration has imposed on imports from China to pressure Beijing into altering its policies on trade and technology.

“Rolling back tariffs is a must. The China-U.S. trade war (was) instigated by the U.S. with tariffs, so the tariffs have to be cut first,” the newspaper quoted Wei Jianguo, a former Chinese commerce minister as saying.

China Protests U.S. Law Supporting Hong Kong but Signals Hope for Trade Deal - WSJ

Chinese officials involved in economic policy-making stressed that the trade negotiations are still on track and as long as the U.S. president doesn’t implement any of the law’s measures, Beijing still has strong incentives to move ahead with the trade deal, which could help alleviate pressure on the country’s fast-weakening economy.

The officials seized on a sentence in Mr. Trump’s signing statement that emphasized his “constitutional authorities with respect to foreign relations.” For Beijing, that is a clear signal the U.S. leader has given himself plenty of wiggle room to back off.

Axios Sneak Peek - December 1, 2019 - Axios

A source close to Trump's negotiating team told me the China deal was now "stalled because of Hong Kong legislation" and that time is needed "to allow Xi's domestic politics to calm." The "Phase One" deal with China would probably happen "year-end at the earliest," and Trump is expected to hold off on his planned December tariffs to keep the deal alive.

US won't hold back on tariffs if Chinese drag their feet: Wilbur Ross | Fox Business

Ross said that raising tariffs on Dec 15. won't "interfere with this year’s Christmas" as retailers have already stocked up, adding that it’s a "really good time if we have to put more tariffs on.”

China sanctions US over HK - Global Times

Chinese experts said that some US diplomats at the US Consulate General in Hong Kong and Macao who have connections with the targeted NGOs could be expelled as these organizations' activities in Hong Kong could be deemed illegal in the future...

"NED is a notorious organization that plays a major role in funding color revolutions and training political activists worldwide to create trouble for many non-Western states," said Lü Xiang, a research fellow on US studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing.

"The NDI and IRI are two organizations that mainly receive funding from NED, and the NDI follows political line of Democrats, while the IRI follows Republicans. Sanctioning these two NGOs sends the message that the two major parties are being targeted for initiating and passing the Hong Kong act," Diao Daming, a US studies expert at Renmin University of China, told the Global Times on Monday.

China suspends Hong Kong visits by U.S. military ships, aircraft, sanctions U.S. NGOs - Xinhua

The NGOs include the National Endowment for Democracy, National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, International Republican Institute, Human Rights Watch and Freedom House.

A lot of facts and evidence have shown that the aforementioned NGOs supported anti-China rioters in Hong Kong in various ways, abetted their extreme and violent criminal behavior and incited separatist activities for "Hong Kong independence", Hua said, adding that these organizations bear major responsibilities for Hong Kong's chaotic situation and should be sanctioned and pay their price.

China Hits Back at U.S. Over Hong Kong Bill in a Mostly Symbolic Move - The New York Times

Beijing said it would suspend visits to Hong Kong by American warships and impose sanctions on several nongovernmental groups. The measures suggest China is wary of upsetting trade negotiations...

“It’s nothing new,” said Willy Lam, a political expert at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. “I think the major purpose of this is rhetorical: to try to convince the world that the U.S., whether it’s the C.I.A. or the N.G.O.s, is trying to foment a color revolution in Hong Kong.”

天使还是恶魔?中国为什么要制裁这些NGO?看看这个你就明白了 - YouTube

People's Daily English-language Video on the evil NGOs and why China is sanctioning them. It is pretty much straight our of "Silent Contest", the 2013 film by the PLA's National Defense University, The PLA General Staff Department, and CASS, that increasingly looks like the playbook for the Xi Era

Many firms have no contingency plans should U.S.-China trade war worsen: DHL survey - Reuters

达巍:历史关口再思中美关系

Da Wei - Rethinking Think China-US relations at a historical juncture

"Today, is it still necessary for China-US relations to get better? I can't say for sure anymore. In the domestic development strategies of China and the United States today, the need for a cooperative China-US relationship is not as strong as it was 30 years ago. As a result, China and the United States today seem to be growing more tolerant of a poor Sino-US relationship. What I am talking about here is not a matter of necessity, nor whether china-us relations should improve. What I am talking about is a matter of fact: today's time and space have changed, and china-us relations lack the support of domestic strategies, thus losing the truth that "it is better after all". After all, like any set of foreign relations, China-US relations, good or bad, are a means, not an end."

魏加宁:当前最要防止中美脱钩,否则我们的“和平红利”可能消失

Wei Jiazhu, researcher at the State Council Development Research Center says it is crucial to prevent US-China decoupling, otherwise China will lose the "peace dividend"

Instigating violence is doomed to fail - People's Daily

Some U.S. politicians claim that the U.S. "has human rights standards that apply to the world," and consider the Hong Kong-related bill to be "a commitment to democracy, human rights, and the rule of law." In fact, the U.S., which has serious human rights issues itself, is in no position to point fingers at other countries and tell them what to do.

U.S. moves backward on human rights - People's Daily Zhong Sheng

The international human rights cause is not a private property of the U.S., and the country, tarnished by frequent scandals related to human rights, has no right to stand on the high ground and interfere in the internal affairs of other countries under the guise of human rights.

Both the human rights crisis of immigrants along the U.S.-Mexico border and the obstruction of international inspection have suggested that the U.S. is moving backward on human rights. The country has become a major obstacle to the development of international human rights cause.

人民日报评论员:把香港当反华工具是痴心妄想——打“香港牌”不会得逞-新华网

"Using Hong Kong as an anti-china tool is wishful thinking -- playing the "Hong Kong card" will not succeed" - Commentary that will run in the Tuesday People's Daily

煽动暴乱必遭唾弃 ——践踏人权不会得逞-人民网

"Incitement to riot will be spurned-- human rights abuses will not succeed" Page 1 People's Daily commentary Monday on the US HK law

The propaganda vitriol since Trump signed the law has been quite jarring. The anti-American sentiment the relevant propaganda organs are stirring up is not something that can be changed quickly, so this seems yet another reason to be increasingly pessimistic about the trajectory of US-China relations.


5. Hong Kong

Hong Kong police defend use of tear gas during approved march, blaming violent radicals for deviating from approved route | South China Morning Post

In a post on its Facebook page, the police force said “hundreds of rioters gathered near the Empire Centre, and some of them hurled smoke bombs, stirring up public fear and causing chaos”.

But during a regular press briefing on Monday, Chief Superintendent Kenneth Kwok Ka-chuen of the police public relations branch was more guarded about the existence of the smoke bombs when asked about them at least four times.

China thinks ‘patriotic education’ built a loyal generation. But in Hong Kong? Not so fast. - The Washington Post

“I think the Chinese propaganda machine is doing quite well with what we call the ‘rioters’ in Hong Kong,” said a Chinese academic who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive situation. “People in Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, people are not sympathetic to Hong Kong.”

Hong Kong set to record first budget deficit in 15 years as trade war and protests take toll | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP

In the latest grim assessment for the city, financial secretary Paul Chan told lawmakers that the economy was set to contract 1.3 percent in 2019

Immigration officials deport Indonesian domestic worker who covered Hong Kong protests as a citizen journalist and was arrested for overstay | South China Morning Post

An Indonesian domestic worker who covered Hong Kong’s protests as a citizen journalist was deported on Monday following her arrest for overstaying her visa in September.

Supporters of Yuli Riswati, 39, accused the government of sending her home for reporting on the social unrest for the not-for-profit Indonesian online news outlet, Migran Pos, that she had launched in March.

DC Comics Under Fire for Deleting Batman Poster After Chinese Backlash – Variety

DC Comics has yanked a poster for a new Batman title from its social media accounts after the image drew criticism from Chinese commenters who said it appeared to support the ongoing pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong’s Retail Sales Suffer Worst Drop on Record, as Protests Persist - WSJ

The value of retail sales fell 24% in October from a year ago, the worst monthly decline on record, according to data released Monday by the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department. The period included “Golden Week,” a historically popular time for travel for mainland Chinese, who are a key source of tourism in Hong Kong.

Protests Have Turned Hong Kong Disneyland Into a ‘Ghost Town’ - WSJ $$

Weekday visitors to Hong Kong Disneyland have fallen by about 90% since protests began, according to rough estimates from a staff employee. He said tourists from mainland China now make up only an estimated 5% of the weekday crowd, versus at least half prior to the protests.


6. Huawei

Huawei Manages to Make Smartphones Without American Chips - WSJ

Huawei’s latest phone, which it unveiled in September—the Mate 30 with a curved display, telephone and wide-angle cameras that competes with Apple Inc.’s iPhone 11—contained no U.S. parts, according to an analysis by UBS and Fomalhaut Techno Solutions, a Japanese technology lab that took the device apart to inspect its insides...

“When Huawei came out with this high-end phone—and this is its flagship—with no U.S. content, that made a pretty big statement,” said Christopher Rolland, a semiconductor analyst at Susquehanna International Group. He said that in recent meetings, Huawei executives told him that the company was moving away from American parts, but it was still surprising how quickly it happened.

Comment: And one they de-Americanize their IT stack they will never go back. Huawei still has a Google Android problem, and is still very reliant on Taiwan’s TSMC.

U.S. weighs new regulations to further restrict Huawei suppliers - sources - Reuters

under current regulations, key foreign supply chains remain beyond the reach of U.S. authorities, prompting inter-agency discussions within the administration of President Donald Trump about possible changes to two key rules that could expand U.S. authority to block more foreign shipments to the company, giving more teeth to Huawei’s blacklisting, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Europe must put security first with 5G – Politico Europe OpEd by Sec. Pompeo

EU communications ministers will gather in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss how to safeguard emerging fifth-generation (5G) wireless networks. Their decisions could have lasting impacts on European countries’ ability to protect their people’s privacy, and ultimately, safeguard their freedoms.

Huawei under fire in China over employee detained for eight months | Technology | The Guardian

On the social network Weibo, users were posting the numbers “985, 996, 035, 251, 404” a riff on the “996” culture of Chinese technology companies of working 9am to 9pm, six days a week.

In the case of Li, the numbers refer to graduating from one of the country’s 985 top universities, being fired at the age of 35, detained for 251 days, and seeing all related reports censored. The code was trending on Weibo on Monday.

华为卷入前员工被拘251天风波

QQ News has a whole section on Huawei's 251 scandal...it may be a national champion in the fight with the US but that doesn't protect it from domestic anger when it behaves badly

Your warmth is a beacon that lights my way forward- Letter from Meng Wanzhou On the 1st anniversary of her arrest

Right now, time seems to pass slowly. It is so slow that I have enough time to read a book from cover to cover. I can take the time to discuss minutiae with my colleagues or to carefully complete an oil painting.

Huawei ban: Nick Xenophon goes after Chinese tech giant's critics - Sydney Morning Herald

Huawei Australia's new external lawyer, former independent senator Nick Xenophon, has launched an aggressive defence of the company, saying the telecommunications giant was being "destroyed" by "false and totally unsubstantiated claims".

Yicai Global - [Exclusive] Huawei's EU Cyber Security Hub Aims to Assure on No Product Backdoors

"Huawei has been one step ahead of its rivals in enabling external access to its source code," the official said. "If necessary, we will do everything we can to build trust, as long as the rules also apply to our competitors."

Huawei providing surveillance tech to China’s Xinjiang authorities, report finds - The Globe and Mail

In June, Huawei’s global cybersecurity and privacy officer, John Suffolk, said the company does not directly do business with security services in Xinjiang, saying it works only with third-party contractors. “We stay in the commercial space,” he said.

But considerable evidence suggests otherwise, underscoring Huawei’s role as a provider of technology for a powerful state monitoring apparatus that authorities say is designed to stamp out radicalization.


7. Gas pipeline further warms China-Russia ties

China and Russia Are Partners—and Now Have a $55 Billion Pipeline to Prove It - WSJ $$

An 1,800-mile pipeline is set to begin delivering Russian natural gas to China on Monday. The $55 billion channel is a feat of energy infrastructure—and political engineering...

New access to Russian natural gas also gives Beijing leverage in the trade war with the U.S. by making China less reliant on America’s generally pricier liquefied natural gas. Shipments of American liquefied natural gas were growing rapidly until China introduced a 10% import tariff last year. After Beijing raised the tariff to 25% in May, natural gas deliveries from the U.S. halted.

Xi, Putin witness launching ceremony of China-Russia east-route natural gas pipeline - Xinhua

Chinese President Xi Jinping had a video call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin Monday.

The CCTV Evening News report 习近平同俄罗斯总统视频连线 共同见证中俄东线天然气管道投产通气仪式

Xi stresses strong strategic support between China, Russia - Xinhua

Chinese President Xi Jinping said Monday that China and Russia should stand closer, always be sincere and reliable strategic partners, and give each other firm and strong strategic support amid the complex and volatile international situation.

Xi made the remarks when meeting with Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing...

This year the United States and some other Western countries have increased their interference in the internal affairs of China and Russia, threatened the sovereign security of the two countries, and impeded their economic and social development, Xi noted.

The Chinese side fully agrees with Russian President Vladimir Putin's comment that this approach is utterly wrong and hurts other countries without benefiting themselves, Xi said...

Patrushev said that Russia and China are comprehensive strategic partners of coordination with strategic significance, and the two countries' cooperation in various fields has reached an unprecedented level.

A series of policies adopted by the United States have not only undermined the interests of Russia and China but also exerted a negative impact on the whole international system and order, he said.

Xinhua Chinese on the meeting 习近平会见俄罗斯联邦安全会议秘书帕特鲁舍夫

Russia and China finish first road bridge connecting two countries - Reuters

The bridge across the River Amur will connect the cities of Blagoveshchensk in Russia's far-east region and Heihe in north-eastern China...

The Chinese side of the bridge was completed in October 2018, but the Russian side took longer to build and cost more — about 13.6 billion roubles ($312 million), compared to 5.2 billion roubles for the Chinese section.

How the geopolitical partnership between China and Russia threatens the West | Australian Strategic Policy Institute | ASPI

This paper examines Russian and Chinese concepts of great-power war in the 21st century, their views of the West and its military capabilities, and what risks they might both take to regain lost territories.


8. PRC Diplomats taking their case to Twitter

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) opened a Twitter account today - @MFA_China. It has tweeted three times today so far, including:

The account only follows on other account, that of Zhao Lijian, deputy Director General of the Information Department of MoFA. Zhao, tweeting @zlj517, is quite aggressive Tweeter, though over the weekend he deleted a tweet in which he said “China’s win is unstoppable”.

Hua Chunying, Director of the MoFa Information Department, telegraphed a more aggressive global social media strategy in a Study Times article around the time of her promotion into that position. The promotion not long after of Zhao, from his post as DCM at the embassy in Pakistan, was another sign that Twitter was seen as a key battle front in the global information war China is waging.

I am not sure how effective the campaign will be. So far it feels like Beijing sent its external propaganda workers and diplomatic Twitter warriors to North Korea for training.


Business, Economy and Trade

Yangtze River New Focus for Chinese Development and Environment - Bloomberg The plan lays out targets to increase the density of roads, railways, airports and ports in the delta, an area already equipped with comparatively sophisticated infrastructure. Other big-ticket projects on the list include water conservancy facilities, power grids, and renewable energy plants. The plan didn’t specify a target value for the investment.

China outlines integrated development of Yangtze River Delta - Xinhua The Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council on Dec 1 jointly issued an outline of the integrated regional development of the Yangtze River Delta..The document detailed development goals to be achieved by 2025 and offered visions into 2035. 中共中央 国务院印发《长江三角洲区域一体化发展规划纲要》

Want Your Ofo Deposit Back? It’s Going to Cost You - SixthTone users have to start spending. Each purchase they make on Tiantian Fan Qian from a major e-commerce platform like Taobao or JD.com gives them a small portion of their deposit refund. // Ofo trying to use the affiliate fees your shopping generates to pay you back

Regulators Unveil New Rules to Clean Up Credit Ratings - Caixin The measures (link in Chinese), which will take effect on Dec. 26, stipulate the responsibilities of credit ratings firms, what types of activities are banned — such as soliciting bribes or providing consulting services to bond issuers — and give details of punishments and fines that could amount to 50% of income received for a particular project or rating that is found to violate regulations.

Ex-Tycoon Jia Yueting’s Creditors Demand He Remain Responsible for Debt Embattled Chinese entrepreneur Jia Yueting, who filed for bankruptcy in October, continues to struggle to make a deal with his creditors, after they rejected his proposal that he and his wife be absolved from their personal responsibility for the debts. No final agreement on a bankruptcy settlement was reached at a meeting on Nov. 25 in the U.S., a creditor who attended the meeting told Caixin on condition of anonymity. All of the creditors at the meeting objected to Jia’s proposal that he and his wife — who are in the middle of a divorce — no longer be personally responsible for the debts, the source said.

Repeated Defaults by China Industrial Firm Spark Contagion Fears - Bloomberg The latest bond default by a Chinese industrial group at the epicenter of a regional debt storm is escalating concerns about a cluster of private firms entangled in risky financing. Shandong-based Xiwang Group Co., which failed to make good on a delayed repayment on a local bond, is scrambling to refinance and avoid deeper trouble after triggering cross-default clauses on other bonds.

Between the lines: new reports offer a peek into Chinese policy banks – Panda Paw Dragon Claw Research teams at Chinese and international institutions collectively shed light on the practices and thinking of CDB and Exim Bank.

Politics and Law

Chinese city halts crematorium plan but stand-off between police and protesters goes on | South China Morning Post Huazhou government says it will consult the public on ‘different views’ to proposed development in town of Wenlou Dozens hurt and up to 100 detained following two days of protests, locals say

Former governor of China’s Xinjiang sentenced in bribery - AP The former governor of China’s tense northwestern region of Xinjiang was sentenced Monday to life in prison on charges of taking bribes, becoming one of the highest-profile ethnic minority politicians to fall in an ongoing anti-corruption campaign. Nur Bekri had been among China’s most politically successful members of the Turkic Muslim Uighur (WEE-gur) ethnic minority

中国特色社会主义制度和国家治理体系形成的历程和成就(深入学习贯彻党的十九届四中全会精神)- 何毅亭 Long piece on page 9 of the Monday People's Daily by He Yiting, EVP of the Central Party School, another in the series of top officials making their statements about the 4th Plenum decision - "The history and achievements of the formation of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics and the national governance system"

以社会治理现代化夯实国家治理现代化的基石(权威访谈) People's daily interview with Central Politics and Law Commission Secretary General Chen Yixin - "We will strengthen the foundation of national governance modernization with social governance modernization"...Party everywhere, Xi thought, no real surprises...

中央统战部、中央网信办在京召开网络人士统战工作会尤权出席并讲话-中共中央网络安全和信息化委员会办公室 United Front Work Department and the Cyberspace Administration held the united front work work of cyber personage meeting in Beijing

Xi: Upgrade emergency management - China Daily Xi made the remark on Friday while presiding over a group study session of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee as it examined the country's emergency management systems and capabilities. China has suffered some of the world's most serious natural disasters and faces an increasing number of factors that endanger public safety, Xi said, pointing to an urgent need to strengthen emergency management for the long run.

China's Shanxi has new Party chief - Xinhua Lou Yangsheng 楼阳生 has been appointed secretary of the Shanxi Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), replacing Luo Huining, according to a decision by the CPC Central Committee. // From the Wikipedia entry on Lou: Lou spent most of his political career in Zhejiang...In November 1999, he left the CYL system to become mayor of Jinhua, then party chief the city of Lishui. During his terms in Jinhua and Lishui, Lou worked under the direction of then-Zhejiang party chief Xi Jinping. As such Lou has been named by political observers as a member of the "New Zhijiang Army", politicians who once worked under Xi and share his governing philosophies.

Deputy Jiangsu Governor to Be Named Bank of China President - Caixin Wang Jiang has been a deputy governor of the wealthy eastern province since July 2017. Before taking on that role he was an executive vice president of Bank of Communications Co. Ltd., another one of the country’s big five lenders, for about two years.

China due to introduce face scans for mobile users - BBC News People in China are now required to have their faces scanned when registering new mobile phone services, as the authorities seek to verify the identities of the country's hundreds of millions of internet users. The regulation, announced in September, was due to come into effect on Sunday.

Chinese ‘serial killer’ caught after spending 20 years on the run | South China Morning Post Police said last Friday that Lao had been arrested in a shopping centre where she worked selling watches in Xiamen, a city in the southeastern province of Fujian. She was arrested as part of Operation Cloud Sword, a national operation targeting fraudsters and fugitives, but police did not say how they had managed to track her down.

Chinese judge behind US$270 million business empire sacked, facing prosecution | South China Morning Post Vice-president of Hainan Provincial Higher People’s Court Zhang Jiahui described as a ‘hypocrite who has low morals and full of selfish greed’ Investigation launched in May after Zhang was seen in a video gambling at mahjong

Foreign and Defense Affairs

Spooked by China, Australia Creates Task Force to Thwart Foreign Interference - WSJ Australia is creating a new intelligence task force to tackle the threat of foreign interference, as authorities grow more concerned that Beijing is meddling in domestic affairs. The task force, to be led by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, or ASIO, will pool classified information from the country’s intelligence agencies including those involved in defense, cyber and financial crimes as well as the FBI-style Australian Federal Police.

China Is Aiming to ‘Break’ Detained Australian Writer, Lawyers Say - The New York Times Yang Hengjun has been shackled, cut off from all contact with his family and interrogated daily to make him confess to being a spy, his representatives said.

Suddenly, the Chinese Threat to Australia Seems Very Real - The New York Times Polls showed a hardening of Australian attitudes about China even before the past week. Now Mr. Hastie, the China hawk and Liberal Party lawmaker who chairs Parliament’s joint intelligence committee, says his office has been overwhelmed by people across the country who have emailed, called and even sent handwritten letters expressing outrage and anxiety about China’s actions in Australia.

Chinese elite police join Serbian units in first European drills as Beijing's influence spreads to Balkans | Reuters Chinese special police took part in their first joint training drills in Europe on Thursday, joining Serbia’s elite anti-terrorist unit and local police in an exercise at a Chinese-owned steel mill outside Belgrade.

Chinese foreign minister to visit S. Korea for first time in over 5 years : The Hankyoreh His visit is being taken as a sign of improvement in South Korea-China relations and as heralding a visit to South Korea by Chinese President Xi Jinping sometime before March of next year. South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced on Nov. 28 that Wang will be visiting South Korea on Dec. 4-5.

Prague will sign a sister city agreement with Taipei after Beijing breakup - Prague, Czech Republic The City of Prague will sign a sister agreement pact with Taiwan’s capital Taipei, concerning economic, business and cultural cooperation, according to a document that Prague City Hall approved today.

In Shanghai, Canadian business leaders say they’re eager to move on after a year of friction - The Globe and Mail “Citizens from both countries have been detained. Canadians strongly wish to see their citizens come home safely and be reunited with their families. The Chinese people also wish to see the same,” said Olivier Desmarais, senior vice-president at Power Corp. and chair of the Canada China Business Council, which held an annual gathering in Shanghai Monday. The meeting’s corporate sponsors included Bank of Montreal, Huawei, Bombardier and Manulife – each with an interest in smoother relations between the two countries. // Question: Is Bo Xilai's son Bo Guagua working for one of the Desmarais' entities?

B.C. politician breaks silence: China detained me, is interfering ‘in our democracy’ | Globalnews.ca Richard Lee, the B.C. Liberal MLA for Burnaby from 2001 to 2017, provided Global News with a letter outlining his allegations, sent on Jan. 1, 2019, to then-foreign affairs minister Chrystia Freeland and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Tory slap: Chinese journalist sentenced for delegate assault - BBC News Kong [Linlin] was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay costs, a victim surcharge and £100 compensation, which totalled £2,115. Her barrister, Timothy Raggatt QC, told the judge she would appeal both the conviction and sentence.

China has ‘a lot of spies’ in Ireland, activists claim - Irish Times The Irish Times has been speaking with people from the Tibetan and Hong Kong communities about living in Ireland while being careful not to come to the attention of the Beijing authorities. No one from the small Irish community of Uighur Turkic Muslims, from the northwestern province of Xinjiang, would agree to be interviewed.

China makes great efforts promoting Tibetan medicine as India continues hyping its claim - Global Times "India set the Tibetan medicine institute in Ladakh on purpose, so that India could assimilate the region in order to merge Ladakh into India," Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the institute of international relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Tuesday. "India has been hyping its work on Tibetan medicine," Hu said, adding that India wants to transfer its people's attention away from economic decline by worsening China-India relations.

Sri Lanka wants to undo deal to lease port to China for 99 years - Bloomberg Sri Lanka’s new government led by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa wants to undo the previous regime’s move to lease the southern port of Hambantota to a Chinese venture, citing national interest.

Hong Kong and Macao

New gov't team shows spirit of reform, innovation: Macau's fifth-term chief executive - Xinhua The new government team demonstrates a spirit of reform and innovation, and is dedicated to injecting new vitality with concerted efforts, the fifth-term chief executive of the China's Macau Special Administrative Region Ho Iat Seng said on Monday.

Macau Visa Controls Could be the Latest Factor Crimping VIP Revenue - Casino.org Ahead of the December celebration commemorating the twentieth anniversary of Macau’s handover from Portugal to China, authorities on the mainland are restricting visas, thereby limiting visits to the gambling hub. That potentially throws another wrench in operators’ efforts to bolster sagging revenue among VIP gamblers.

Taiwan

In face of China threat, Taiwan to invite U.S. experts to bolster defenses - Reuters The ministry “hopes to use the U.S. military’s practical experience to provide a reference for the national armed forces’ construction and war preparations”.

Tech and Media

China Uyghur Analytic Projects Require Intel And NVIDIA, Intel Condemns, NVIDIA Silent At least 8 PRC China police projects require NVIDIA and Intel chips to power their Uyghur-detecting analytics, according to procurement documents found by IPVM

Chinese tech groups shaping UN facial recognition standards | Financial Times $$ Chinese technology companies are shaping new facial recognition and surveillance standards at the UN, according to leaked documents obtained by the Financial Times, as they try to open up new markets in the developing world for their cutting-edge technologies. Companies such as ZTE, Dahua and China Telecom are among those proposing new international standards — specifications aimed at creating universally consistent technology — in the UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for facial recognition, video monitoring, city and vehicle surveillance.

China issues regulation for online audio, video services, crackdowns on "deep fakes" - Xinhua Online service providers or users producing, releasing or disseminating digitally-altered audio or video content based on new technologies like deep learning or virtual reality shall place conspicuous marks, according to the regulation. No one shall generate, release or disseminate fake news or information by using such technologies, the document said.

An update on recent content and account questions - Newsroom | TikTok November 27, 2019 @ 7:06am ET – Due to a human moderation error, the viral video from November 23 was removed. It's important to clarify that nothing in our Community Guidelines precludes content such as this video, and it should not have been removed.//Comment: TikTok should be pressed on why a human moderator was even looking at this account

Bloomsbury sets up China joint venture | Financial Times $$ The British company, which derives roughly two-thirds of its sales from overseas, told investors on Monday that it planned to invest roughly £250,000 in the partnership with China Youth Publishing Group and its subsidiary, Roaring Lion Media.

Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History

Sports industry investment fund eyed - China Daily China will soon launch a sports industry investment fund to stimulate sports-related business and brands, the General Administration of Sport of China said on Friday. The sports governing body and the Ministry of Finance are now jointly studying the feasibility of the fund, said Liu Fumin, director of the sports economy department of the administration. He did not announce when the fund would be formally launched

Energy, Environment, Science and Health

In China, coal creeps back in as slowing economy overshadows climate change ambitions - Reuters Beijing promised this year to show the “highest possible ambition” when revising its emissions pledges next year, although it did not commit to more stringent binding targets. But it has built 42.9 gigawatts of new coal-fired power capacity since the start of last year, with another 121 GW under construction. That compares with 35 GW of coal-fired power added in 2017 and 38 GW in 2016.

China to use drug bulk-buy program to close price gap - CNA Many branded versions of drugs are currently more expensive in China than in other major markets. They could now be subjected to a centralized procurement program where manufacturers will have to go through a bidding process to get the right to supply drugs to public hospitals, the National Health Commission said in a document published on late Friday (Nov 29).

涉案几十亿以上的医学骗局曝光!原北大院长饶毅举报原同济校长、武大院长、中科院所长学术造假 This article looks at the history of fraudulent claims of the entrepreneur behind the company making the Alzheimer's drug

首都医科大学校长饶毅实名举报3人学术论文造假_手机新浪网 Rao Yi accuses researchers and company behind the supposed new Alzheimer’s drug GV-971 of research fraud

China extends water diversion project to pump more water to Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei - Xinhua An extension of the south-to-north water diversion project broke ground in the city of Linqing in east China's Shangdong Province on Thursday to reinforce water supply to the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. The extension is expected to channel 490 million more cubic meters of water northbound to the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region annually

Rural and Agricultural Issues

China Must Recover Pig Production, Stabilise Pork Supply-Vice Premier - Reuters Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua said the country must resolutely work to achieve the target of recovering pig production numbers, and stabilise pork supply for the upcoming holidays, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. // Comment: A lot of pressure on Hu

China says US agrees to remove some tariffs; Fentanyl case; TikTok a sideshow compared to WeChat

Gao Feng, spokesman for the PRC Ministry of Commerce, seemed to confirm that the US has agreed to proportionally remove existing tariffs as part of a phase one trade deal, as we discussed in the newsletter earlier this week. The markets got very excited about this statement, but so far I have not see any official confirmation from the US side. Perhaps it will come in a presidential tweet at some point.

We may also see presidential Twitter praise for the PRC’s public trial and sentencing of several fentanyl traffickers. Cracking down on fentanyl has been a core US demand, and this move by the Chinese government will be seen as a sign of good faith towards satisfying something President Trump has wanted very badly.

So overall the optimism for a phase one trade deal does not look unreasonable, but talk of that deal somehow putting a floor under the declining trajectory of the US-China relationship does.

Bytedance’s TikTok app has had a rough week in the US media and US legislature. As a parent of teenagers I dislike the app for the content cesspool it is, but the regulatory ire is about the safety of Americans’ data stored by a PRC firm, and the risk of that firm censoring or using its massive reach for CCP influence or interference operations.

I am not saying those are not risks, but when it comes influence and interference in the political processes of foreign governments I think TikTok is a sideshow compared to WeChat. WeChat’s overall user base in foreign countries may be small, but it is massive among the overseas Chinese diaspora, many of whom use WeChat as a key if not the primary information channel. Australia and Canada have already seen issues around elections from disinformation via WeChat.

Isabelle Niu has a good report on Quartz about this challenge from WeChat, with a focus on Australia-Is China’s messaging app WeChat a problem for democracies?:

In this latest episode of Because China, we go to Australia to understand how China’s “super app” could affect elections and democratic processes of another country. We break down how misinformation travels within the WeChat’s unique information ecosystem and why the app is a channel for Beijing to extend its censorship beyond China’s borders. 

We also talk to people who are pushing back against the norm, urging lawmakers in Australia and beyond to include WeChat in the ongoing conversation about how to regulate global tech companies, prevent the spread of misinformation, and protect citizens’ privacy online. 

The US government may be able to curb or kill TikTok in the US through the CFIU process. Ben Thompson explained how the US government might review the Bytedance acquisition of Musical.ly that drove the evolution of the TikTok product and its success in the US:

Those violations were actually committed by Musical.ly, the app TikTok acquired in November 2017; it is that acquisition that I suggested the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) review. Several folks wondered if that was even possible, given that Musical.ly was actually a Cayman Islands corporation with its principle place of business in Shanghai. In fact, though, CFIUS can block the acquisition of U.S. subsidiaries, or simply not allow acquired companies to operate in the U.S. (for example, late last year CFIUS blocked the Chinese acquisition of an Italian company from its Japanese owner; the Italian company derived a third of its revenue from the U.S.). In this case the Musical.ly app was operated by Musical.ly, Inc., a wholly-owned California corporation based in Santa Monica, and did a large portion of its business in the United States

What legal authorities could the US or other Western governments use to curb or block WeChat?

Thanks for reading, and remember you can always view this newsletter in a browser by clicking on the headline above.


The Essential Eight

1. US-China

U.S., China to Remove Tariffs Bit by Bit if Partial Deal Clinched, Says Beijing - WSJ $$

“If the phase-one deal is signed, China and the U.S. should remove the same proportion of tariffs simultaneously based on the content of the deal,” spokesman Gao Feng said at a regular press briefing Thursday. “This is what [the two sides] agreed on following careful and constructive negotiations over the past two weeks,” he said.

Beijing has typically declined to characterize the amount of progress on trade talks, but the officials on Thursday depicted a phasing out of tariffs as a hard-won result. What’s unclear is whether what the Chinese officials described can be considered a compliance mechanism, as the White House has said it demands.

As of Thursday evening Beijing time, the White House and U.S. Trade Representative had yet to respond to the Chinese side’s announcement.

Transcript of Gao Feng’s comments 商务部召开例行新闻发布会(2019年11月7日)

【高峰】:关于你的第一个问题,目前我没有信息可以透露。如果有进一步信息,我们会及时发布。

关于你的第二个问题,如果双方达成第一阶段协议,应当根据协议的内容同步、等比率取消已加征关税。这是达成协议的重要条件。谢谢...

【高峰】:过去两周,双方牵头人就妥善解决各自核心关切进行了认真、建设性的讨论,同意随协议进展分阶段取消加征关税。这么做有利于稳定市场预期,有利于中美两国经济和世界经济,有利于生产者,也有利于消费者。谢谢。...

【高峰】:中方对于关税问题的立场是一贯的、明确的。贸易战由加征关税而起,也应由取消加征关税而止。至于第一阶段取消多少,可以根据第一阶段协议的内容来商定。谢谢。

China sentences fentanyl smuggler to death in joint effort with US police - Global Times

Xingtai intermediate court in North China's Hebei Province sentenced one man to death for producing and selling fentanyl, and his two accomplices were given life sentences, which show China's "zero-tolerance" policy toward drug-related crimes.

The group manufactured fentanyl in China and then smuggled the drugs to the US to meet the demands of US buyers.

Chinese and US law enforcement agencies exchanged information frequently, and China successfully traced down the group thanks to the US tip-offs. After three months' hard work and tens of thousands miles of travel, China finally arrested more than 20 suspects and confiscated 11.9 kilograms of fentanyl, 19.1 kilograms of alprazolam and other drugs.

The US notified China when they got the information, which propelled China to take swift action, and China also provided information of suspicious parcels to the US so they checked those parcels at the customs.

中美两国联合成功破获首起芬太尼走私案件 全链条摧毁一犯罪团伙、缴获芬太尼11.9公斤--法治--人民网

Xinhua - China and the United States have successfully cracked the first smuggling case involving fentanyl, destroying a criminal gang and seizing 11.9 kilograms of fentanyl

]刘勇等九被告人贩卖 制造芬太尼等毒品案一审宣判_CCTV

Thursday CCTV Evening News has a 51 second report on the Fentanyl sentencing, says it is the first Fentanyl smuggling case cracked with US-China cooperation

Cramer: Trump sees China fentanyl sentencing as good for trade talks - CNBC

The collaboration of the U.S. and China on a fentanyl crackdown is a key step in trade negotiations between the world’s two largest economies, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Thursday.

“This is what President Trump was waiting for,” Cramer said of China’s decision to send nine people to prison, one of whom received a suspended death sentence, for smuggling fentanyl into the United States.

China considers removing restrictions on U.S. poultry imports - CGTN

China is currently considering removing restrictions on poultry imports from United States, said the General Administration of Customs of China and Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs on Thursday.

China’s Currency Rallies on Trade Deal Optimism - Caixin

The onshore yuan appreciated to 6.9732 yuan to the U.S. dollar Thursday afternoon, according to Bloomberg data. The yuan has strengthened 2.9% against the greenback since hitting a recent weak point of 7.1789 per dollar on Sept. 3.


2. Hong Kong

China still counting on Hong Kong to enact its own national security law ‘or the city will face unbearable cost’, says Beijing adviser | South China Morning Post

Beijing is still counting on Hong Kong to enact a national security law by itself, a heavyweight adviser on Beijing policy for the city has said, amid fears that the central government could take more direct action on the controversial issue.

“For more than 20 years, Hong Kong still has not completed legislation and law enforcement on national security,” Wang Zhenmin, director of Tsinghua University’s Centre for Hong Kong and Macau Research, said on the sidelines of an event for business leaders hosted by Beijing think tank Centre for China and Globalisation.

“This is the constitutional responsibility of the special administrative region for all stakeholders.”

Beijing gives Greater Bay Area fresh push as Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam reveals 16 new measures including easing of restrictions on buying homes and school enrolment | South China Morning Post

Beijing has promised to make it easier for Hongkongers to buy a home and send their children to local schools in the nine Guangdong cities under the Greater Bay Area integration plan, as Hong Kong’s embattled leader announced a raft of measures on Wednesday to push forward the scheme.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, speaking in Beijing, also made it clear that Hong Kong’s role under the ambitious national development project had not lessened, even though the city has been plagued by almost five months of social unrest

Chen Zimou, mainland Chinese student, sentenced to six weeks prison for Hong Kong protest - The Washington Post

A 24-year-old mainland Chinese music student living in Hong Kong became on Thursday among the first to be convicted on a charge related to the months-long protests in the city, receiving six weeks in prison for carrying an expandable baton.

The student, Chen Zimou, is also the first mainland Chinese person to be charged with a protest-related offense — a reality that has put him and his family under intense pressure from Chinese authorities and Chinese nationalists online who have attacked him as a traitor.

【央视快评】凝聚起止暴制乱的强大力量_CCTV

Thursday CCTV Evening News weighs in on the Junius Ho stabbing with a commentary, calls on everyone who loves Hong Kong and the nation to unite to stop the violence and end the chaos

Concerns grow over election safety, fairness amid escalated violence in Hong Kong - Xinhua

An increasing number of candidates have suffered varying degrees of threats, doxxing and online bullying ahead of the polling day, highlighting the urgency of ensuring a safe, clean and peaceful election.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) said last week that by the end of October, it has received 77 complaints in relation to the district council election, of which 28 cases involved use of force or duress against candidates.

Starry Lee, chairwoman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), said the fairness of the elections was seriously jeopardized as many candidates from the political group suffered from various degrees of harassment from besieging to setting fires.

'Heaven slays the Communist Party': Hong Kong university students protest at graduation ceremonies | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP

A group of Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) students have marched on the campus ahead of a graduation ceremony to support arrested students. Although the ceremony itself went ahead uninterrupted, the event was suddenly cut short after degrees were conferred.

Students also protested at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST)’s graduation ceremony on Thursday.

Hong Kong gov't bans dry goods, including satirical items, at Lunar New Year fairs | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP

In recent years, dry good stalls at Lunar New Year fairs have become known for selling items related to current affairs, such as decorations and t-shirts. Political parties and groups usually attend to fundraise through the sale of goods.

In Divided Hong Kong, Apps Help to Avoid Eating With the Enemy - WSJ $$

With apps and social-media groups, shoppers and diners can search color-coded maps to see if users think an establishment is yellow (supports the protests) or blue (is pro-government). A neutral stance, in some, is green.

Hong Kong protesters rack up 'enormous' vandalism repair bill incl. HK$10.5m in property maintenance costs, gov't says | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP

Responding to a question from pro-Beijing lawmaker Kenneth Lau, the Secretary for Security John Lee said on Wednesday that, up until October 29, 85 of 93 MTR stations and 60 of 68 Light Rail stops have been damaged to some degree. Meanwhile, the Highways Department had incurred a cost of over HK$10 million in maintenance and replacement work, while the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) spent HK$0.56 million to reinstall 670 damaged litter containers, typically used by protesters to form makeshift roadblocks.

Can Hong Kong’s Film Sector Stand Up to China? | Hollywood Reporter

"Studios don’t care about Hong Kong society," one veteran producer told THR when asked if Hong Kong studios and established filmmakers might consider making films for the local market. "They care about making money at the box office. Experienced writers are mostly in their 60s. If you tell them to make films for Hong Kong, they’d ask, 'Why not make movies for China instead?' Most Hong Kong filmmakers started their careers in commercial films; their values can’t be easily changed."


3. 20 measures to spur and safeguard foreign investment

China to further utilize foreign investment - Gov.cn

The State Council released the opinions on further improving the utilization of foreign investment on Nov 7, with the aim of promoting high-quality development and unlocking market vitality.

The document puts forward 20 opinions in four aspects to safeguard a more “fair, transparent and predictable” business environment for foreign-invested enterprises.

Among the highlights:

China will move faster to further open up the financial industry, eliminate all restrictions on the scope of business for foreign banks, securities companies and fund management companies, and remove requirements on total assets for the establishment of foreign-funded banks.

Quantitative entry conditions will be reduced for foreign investors in banking and insurance industries. The requirements for total assets and operation time will be removed for foreign insurance brokerage companies, enabling business expansion in China...

This does not mean the market is opening for foreign Internet and entertainment firms:

To build a fair business environment, more efforts will be taken to eliminate institutional obstacles. The business scope for domestic and foreign enterprises should be unified, and the regulations for foreign investors in offering internet and entertainment services should be perfected.

They really want/need foreign investment:

China will move faster to further open up the financial industry, eliminate all restrictions on the scope of business for foreign banks, securities companies and fund management companies, and remove requirements on total assets for the establishment of foreign-funded banks.

Quantitative entry conditions will be reduced for foreign investors in banking and insurance industries. The requirements for total assets and operation time will be removed for foreign insurance brokerage companies, enabling business expansion in China.

This should also help meet some of the US demands:

China will fully implement the foreign investment law, and establish and improve institutions for accepting complaints.

The country will also strengthen the standardization of the implementation of regulatory policies and make the formulation of regulatory documents more transparent. Forced transfer of technology will be strictly banned.

China will fully uphold the role of judicial protection of intellectual property rights (IPR), improve the IPR protection mechanism and establish a comprehensive and diversified resolution mechanism for intellectual property disputes.

The opinion - 国务院关于进一步做好利用外资工作的意见(国发〔2019〕23号)_政府信息公开专栏


4. Blockchain with Chinese characteristics

From Pigs to Party Fealty, China Harnesses Blockchain Power - Bloomberg

Call it blockchain with Chinese characteristics. Many of the applications have little reason to be decentralized -- a key merit, if not requisite for a blockchain to be tamper-proof. A flurry of gimmicks could just be the first-rush response to Xi’s call to no longer play second fiddle to the U.S., as Beijing stakes a claim on the technology -- but doing so in a way that’s a far cry from the vision of the technology’s creator Satoshi Nakamoto.

“I can’t see them doing much decentralization at this point, without the blockchain players being under the watchful eye of the government,” said Martin Chorzempa, research fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “If we have blockchain with these Chinese characteristics, we eschew the central ethos of cryptocurrency and blockchain and the technology that underlines it.”

Success for Shanghai's 'single window' blockchain application - SHINE News

At a press conference held on the third day of the second China International Import Expo, Shanghai promoted several achievements of the "blockchain plus" application at the city's "single window" service platform for international trade...

Experts from the World Bank spoke highly of Shanghai's single window platform, saying that it ranks among the best in the world in terms of diversity of functions and amount of business processing. They added that such platforms can be promoted to other countries.

Chinese Agency Scraps Plan to Eliminate Bitcoin Mining Industry - CoinDesk

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), a top-level economic planning agency under China’s State Council, published a finalized new Catalog for Guiding Industry Restructuring on Wednesday that will take effect from Jan 1, 2020.

In the final version, which will replace the current one published in 2011, the agency has removed bitcoin mining or other virtual currency mining activities from the initially proposed category of industries that should be eliminated from China. Description related to virtual currency or bitcoin mining can’t be found in the finalized catalog.

Chinese cryptomining giant Bitmain’s civil war breaks into open | Financial Times

“As Bitmain’s founder and largest shareholder, it’s embarrassing that I never knew a government registered legal representative of a firm could suddenly be changed when he was away on a business trip and without him knowing anything,” Mr Zhan wrote. 

Last week his co-founder Wu Jihan returned to the company after an absence and replaced Mr Zhan’s name on the company’s registration documents with his own. Mr Wu also threatened employees with punishment if they continued to meet or communicate with Mr Zhan or carry out any of his instructions. 

Mr Zhan told Bitmain staff and shareholders in his letter he would take all legal measures to come back to the company as soon as possible...

“Everyone is on Wu Jihan’s side except for Zhan’s assistant. People in the bitcoin circle believe in blockchain and cryptocurrency, not AI, and they blame last year’s mass lay-off on Zhan Ketuan,” said Liu Feng, editor-in-chief of Chinese crypto news outlet ChainNews. 


5. Another firm outed for censoring in China

Shutterstock Employees Fight Company’s New Chinese Search Blacklist-The Intercept

The publicly traded company built a $639 million-per-year business on the strength of its vast — sometimes comically vast — catalog of images depicting virtually anything a blogger or advertiser could imagine. The company now does business in more than 150 countries. But in China, there is now a very small, very significant gap in Shutterstock’s offerings. In early September, Shutterstock engineers were given a new goal: The creation of a search blacklist that would wipe from query results images associated with keywords forbidden by the Chinese government. Under the new system, which The Intercept is told went into effect last month, anyone with a mainland Chinese IP address searching Shutterstock for “President Xi,” “Chairman Mao,” “Taiwan flag,” “dictator,” “yellow umbrella,” or “Chinese flag” will receive no results at all. Variations of these terms, including “umbrella movement” — the precursor to the mass pro-democracy protests currently gripping Hong Kong — are also banned...

The photo company’s relationship with China dates back to at least 2014, when it struck a distribution deal with ZCool, a Chinese social network and portfolio site for visual artists. Last year Shutterstock announced a $15 million investment in ZCool, noting that owing to the partnership, “Shutterstock’s content now powers large technology platforms in China such as Tencent Social Ads,”..

Shutterstock’s founder and CEO Jon Oringer replied to the petition several days later...“Do we make the majority of our content available to China’s 1.3 billion citizens or do we take away their ability to access it entirely? We ultimately believe, consistent with our brand promise, it is more valuable for storytellers to have access to our collection to creatively and impactfully tell their stories.” Shutterstock with a bespoke censorship feature was “more empowering” and “will better serve the people of China than the alternative,” Oringer continued.

Comment: If you choose to launch your services in China then you have to do this. The only way to avoid making these compromises is to forgo the PRC market. Maybe I am too jaded but a Shutterstock tool that limits this censorship to PRC IP addresses sounds like a reasonable solution for a firm whose leadership has decided to move forward with the China compromise.

Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Other Apple Services Blocked in China - Bloomberg

Apple services such as the App Store, digital books, news, video, podcasts and music, put the company in the more precarious position of information provider (or at least overseer), exposing it to a growing online crackdown by China’s authoritarian government.


6. Today in the US-China tech struggle

Exclusive: ASML chip tool delivery to China delayed amid US ire - Nikkei Asian Review

As the world's sole supplier of the so-called extreme ultraviolet lithography chip tool, or EUV, the delayed shipment is a blow to Beijing's aspirations to achieve self-sufficient, technological supremacy. However, ASML's use of the word "delay" suggests that eventual shipment has not been ruled out.

"ASML has decided for now to hold back delivery of the EUV equipment as it does not want to make the U.S. government upset that it ships the most advanced chip tool to China" right now, said one of the sources with knowledge of ASML's thinking.

"But at the same time it [ASML] does not want to make China and its Chinese customers feel bad [about the delay] as that is its fastest-growing [tech] market," the source added...

ASML also made clear that its near-unique EUV machine is subject to the so-called Wassenaar Arrangement -- a multinational export control protocol designed to stop the spread of advanced technologies that can be used for military ends -- but that it had an exemption from the Dutch and European authorities to sell the machine to Chinese customers. The permit appears to have now expired.

Securing Our 5G Future | Center for a New American Security - Elsa B. Kania

5G has emerged as a key front in U.S.-China rivalry. Although the advent of 5G could greatly benefit the global economy and produce positive-sum outcomes, and its realization will require international cooperation and coordination to sustain global interoperability, it is undeniable the stakes are high. The outcome of this competition could shift the global center of gravity for growth and innovation. As a rising power, China has prioritized efforts to challenge American leadership in innovation. If successful in realizing its 5G ambitions, China could be poised to reshape the international technological ecosystem and capture major strategic dividends that will enhance its global power and influence. To compete, the U.S. government can and must contribute to catalyzing American innovation.

US–China Strategic Competition: The Quest for Global Technological Leadership | Chatham House

The current dispute between the US and China goes far beyond trade tariffs and tit-for-tat reprisals: the underlying driver is a race for global technological supremacy. This paper examines the risks of greater strategic competition as well as potential solutions for mitigating the impacts of the US–China economic confrontation.

America’s War on Chinese Technology by Jeffrey D. Sachs - Project Syndicate - Jeffrey Sachs

The decision to invade Iraq followed the illogic of then-US Vice President Richard Cheney, who declared that even if the risk of WMDs falling into terrorist hands was tiny – say, 1% – we should act as if that scenario would certainly occur.

Such reasoning is guaranteed to lead to wrong decisions more often than not. Yet the US and some of its allies are now using the Cheney Doctrine to attack Chinese technology. The US government argues that because we can’t know with certainty that Chinese technologies are safe, we should act as if they are certainly dangerous and bar them...

That is what US leaders are doing again: creating a panic over Chinese technology companies by raising, and exaggerating, tiny risks. The most pertinent case (but not the only one) is the US government attack on the wireless broadband company Huawei.

Turmoil at China’s silicon chip champion rocks self-reliance plans | Financial Times $$

Tsinghua Unigroup, long thought to have ironclad backing from the government, went out of its way on Thursday to trumpet that support after market turmoil. Unigroup said it had not defaulted on any bonds and had ample cash “in and outside” the country in a statement issued by a listed subsidiary.

The share price of one of its Shenzhen-listed subsidiaries plunged by the 10 per cent limit on Wednesday while the price of its dollar-denominated bond due in 2021 fell sharply. The statement appeared to reassure investors and shares of its listed units nudged upwards while its dollar debt was also largely steady on Thursday.


7. National Livelihood Satisfaction Survey 

Chinese Journal Review: National Livelihood Satisfaction Survey Released, Rural Professional Associations and Farmer Incomes

In October, the State Council’s Development Research Center published the results of its 2018 annual Livelihood Satisfaction survey in Management World journal. Researchers surveyed 51,606 people, including 64.5 percent in urban areas and 35.5 percent in rural areas.

Some highlights:

Overall satisfaction declining. 49.6 percent of residents in urban and rural areas sampled said they were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with their overall quality of life, down from 52.8 percent in 2017. Residents who said they were “relatively dissatisfied” or “very dissatisfied” with their quality of life increased to 13.4 percent, up from 12 percent in 2017.

Confidence in the future declining. 68.9 percent of respondents said they were “confident” or “very confident” in the future, which the authors reported was down from 2017, and 10.2 percent of respondents said they had “little” or “no” confidence in the future, an increase over 2017 levels. (Note: The authors did not report 2017 levels for this indicator).

75 percent of respondents saw no increase or a decrease in income...

Expenditures increasing...

High levels of satisfaction with government services

The Party pays a lot of attention to these surveys

This free newsletter, Chinese Journal Review, is very interesting.


8. Hong Kong booksellers

Swedish publisher detained in China to publish poems smuggled out of jail - Reuters

Chinese-born Gui Minhai, a Swedish citizen based in Hong Kong who has published books critical of China’s leaders, was abducted in Thailand in 2015 and later appeared in custody in mainland China.

The book, called “I draw a door on the wall with my finger”, will be released in May next year on Gui’s 56th birthday.

“We were contacted by his daughter Angela and she wondered if we wanted to publish the poems, which we very much wanted,” said Martin Kaunitz of Kaunitz & Olsson. “He had them smuggled out to Angela and he wrote the poems during his first stay in prison.”

Hong Kong bookseller Lam Wing-kee who fled to Taiwan says he’s ready to reopen in Taipei | South China Morning Post

Lam Wing-kee, the Hong Kong bookseller who moved to Taiwan in April – three years after claiming he had been kidnapped by Chinese agents for selling books banned across the border – says he plans to reopen his store, Causeway Bay Books, in Taipei early next year.

The shop would sell books about Taiwan, Hong Kong and mainland China, and cater to “free souls” so they could understand the increasingly complex situation facing the three territories, he said.


Business, Economy and Trade

China’s Foreign Reserves Post Small Increase on Weaker Dollar - Bloomberg The small rise in the holdings suggests capital outflows remain muted, even with some signs of hidden outbound cash. Fluctuations in the stockpile this year have been mainly driven by valuation effects caused by changes in the dollar index and Treasury yields.

China Reboots Plan to Attract Tech IPOs - WSJ $$ China is making a fresh attempt to attract technology listings, after previous plans to connect overseas-traded behemoths including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. with mainland investors fizzled...Under the new system, foreign companies and Chinese businesses that are incorporated abroad will be able to list in mainland China, the people added. Many Chinese companies are incorporated in offshore locations such as the Cayman Islands. That allows them, for example, to obtain venture-capital funding from international investors, which would otherwise be restricted under Chinese laws on foreign ownership.

China Is Said to Mull Wave of Bank Mergers to Bolster Stability - Bloomberg Problematic banks with less than 100 billion yuan ($14 billion) of assets would be urged to merge or restructure under a plan being discussed by financial regulators, people familiar with the matter said. Local governments would be held responsible for dealing with troubled lenders, with the central bank providing liquidity support if necessary, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing private information.

China’s Gold Buying Spree Comes to a Halt After 10 Months - Bloomberg The People’s Bank of China kept holdings level 62.64 million ounces in October, unchanged from a month earlier, according to data on its website on Thursday. That holding pattern follows 10 straight months of accumulation that have boosted the nation’s stockpile by more than 100 tons

Foreign holdings of China equities at record - Reuters By end-Sept, Chinese equities held by foreigners were at a record of 1.77 trillion yuan ($253.14 billion) after having risen for four straight months, up nearly 40% in a year, the latest data from the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) shows.

Alibaba cuts fundraising target for delayed Hong Kong listing | Financial Times $$ Alibaba has slashed its fundraising target for a secondary listing in Hong Kong to as little as $10bn — half its original goal — as it tries to push through a deal by the end of the year.

China set to make new offer to EU as agriculture chief Phil Hogan admits there has been ‘limited progress’ on investment deal | South China Morning Post Phil Hogan, currently the EU Agriculture Commissioner, said on Thursday that both sides needed to redouble their efforts to reach a deal next year. “I got a sense during my visit that China wants to work with Europe closely and I will bring the message back to Brussels”, he told reporters at a press conference in Beijing.

刘强东因个人原因请辞全国政协委员 据《新闻联播》报道,11月7日, 政协第十三届全国委员会常务委员会第九次会议在京闭幕,会议接受刘强东因个人原因请辞第十三届全国政协委员 JD founder Liu Qiangdong (Richard Li) resigns as a CPPCC delegate, for "personal reasons"

Yicai Global - China's Trip.Com Forms JV With TripAdvisor, May Name Person to US Firm's Board Shanghai-based Trip will own 60 percent of TripAdvisor China, with its US partner holding the rest. The deal will give both access to each other's inventory, help Trip with its globalization plans and strengthen TripAdvisor's status as a global travel leader, they said in a joint statement yesterday.

Money-Losing Letting Agency Raises Only Half of What It Wanted in U.S. IPO - Caixin Money-losing letting agency Q&K International Group Ltd. has raised $45.9 million in its initial public offering (IPO) on the Nasdaq, less than half of its original fundraising target.

Industrial Giant Gets Stay of Execution on Debt Repayment - Caixin A private placement bond manager familiar with Xiwang Group told Caixin the company “is being proactive and investors have no better option than to agree with the extension as the commercial paper is already in default.”..The company, which is controlled by businessman Wang Yong, is based in the Shandong city of Zouping and speculation had grown that the local government would get involved in a bailout.

Tmall Global Wants to Build an Ecosystem of Global Influencers | Alizila.com Kim Kardashian West, the reality TV star, social media icon and businesswoman, sold out of her stock of 15,000 bottles of her name-brand KKW perfume in just a few minutes during a livestream with China’s top key opinion leader, Viya Huang, on Wednesday, drawing 13 million viewers to mark her entry into the China market via cross-border e-commerce site Tmall Global. To Tmall Global, Kardashian and Huang are wangzi, “mega-popular influencers” in Chinese.

Presale figures of “Double 11” reveal improved consumption power of Chinese - People's Daily Online According to statistics released by Tmall, an online shopping platform under e-commerce giant Alibaba, 64 brands had made it into the 100-million-yuan ($14.3 million) club for their presale performance by Oct. 31, double the number last year. For instance, Estee Lauder’s presale volume hit nearly 500 million yuan in the first 25 minutes, exceeding the 24-hour figure last year. In addition, the first half-hour presale figures of phone makers, including Huawei, OPPO, VIVO and Xiaomi also surpassed those made in a day in 2018.

Politics and Law

应知应会!十九届四中全会超全学习资料包--独家稿件-人民网 People's Daily page with links to all the resources a good cadre needs to study the Fourth Plenum

Senior CPC official urges publicizing spirit of key Party plenum - Xinhua Wang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and a member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks at a meeting to rally morale for the lecturers to publicize the spirit of the plenary session, which was convened from Oct. 28 to 31 in Beijing. He asked the lecturers to develop an in-depth understanding of the plenary session spirit to better serve the publicity works. //CCTV Evening News report on the meeting 学习贯彻党的十九届四中全会精神中央宣讲团动员会在京召开 王沪宁出席并讲话

National religious groups vow to implement spirit of key CPC session - Xinhua China's national religious groups on Thursday gathered to study the spirit of the fourth plenary session of the 19th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee. Calling the session a groundbreaking and milestone event, attendees of the meeting said the session showed the new requirements for the development of the country's causes in the new era and the new expectations of the people.

Foreign and Defense Affairs

Xi to visit Greece, attend BRICS summit in Brazil - Xinhua At the invitation of Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro, Chinese President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to Greece and attend the 11th BRICS summit in Brasilia, the capital city of Brazil, from Nov. 10 to 15, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying announced in Beijing on Thursday.

Europeans look to China as global partner, shun Trump's US - AP Macron portrayed himself as an envoy for the whole European Union, conveying the message that the bloc has largely given up on Trump, who doesn’t hide his disdain for multilateralism. Just as the Trump administration formally launched the process of pulling out of the 2015 Paris climate agreement , France and China issued a “Beijing call” on Wednesday for increased global cooperation in fighting climate change and better protecting biodiversity. Both countries have deplored the U.S. withdrawal.

Chinese top legislator meets Czech parliament speaker - Xinhua Chinese top legislator Li Zhanshu met with Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Radek Vondracek in Beijing on Thursday...Vondracek said the Czech Republic is willing to seize the important opportunity provided by China's development and further opening-up, enhance high-level exchanges, promote practical cooperation and explore the Chinese market. The Czech Republic will continue to uphold the one-China principle, he said.

SecDef: China Is Exporting Killer Robots to the Mideast - Defense One China is exporting drones that it advertises as having lethal autonomy to the Middle East, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Tuesday. It’s the first time that a senior Defense official has acknowledged that China is selling drones capable of taking life with little or no human oversight.

President Xi calls to use Military World Games experience for national rejuvenation - Ministry of National Defense The success of the 7th Military World Games has not only shown the image of China in the new era to the world, but also demonstrated the country's stance of peaceful development, Xi noted. Xi urged all relevant parties to draw on the experiences from the successful hosting of the Military World Games and contribute to realizing the "Chinese Dream" of rejuvenating the nation. The 7th Military World Games, the biggest ever "Olympics for the military," was held from October 18 to 27 in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. China collected 239 medals including 133 golds, the first time in the history of the event that a country has won over 100 gold medals.

Chinese defense minister meets Bangladesh chief of army staff - China Military Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe on Wednesday met with Chief of Bangladesh Army Staff Aziz Ahmed in Beijing

Illustrations showing ballistic missile on H-6N bomber not real: insider - Global Times Recent images in the Chinese magazine Modern Ships that show an H-6N bomber carrying an air-launched ballistic missile (ALBM) are not official confirmation of the H-6N's ALBM capability, a magazine insider said. The images are computer generated, merely conceptual and have no official background, the insider told the Global Times.

China starts UN tsunami warning center - Global Times A tsunami alert center established by China in the South China Sea area has begun operating, reflecting the nation's contributions to regional peace and the region's recognition of China's technologies.  The South China Sea Tsunami Advisory Center (SCSTAC),the latest addition to the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), is hosted and funded by China's National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center in Beijing.

China and France to jointly repair Notre Dame de Paris - China Daily With President Xi Jinping and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron's presence during the latter's state visit to China on Wednesday, the declaration was signed by Liu Yuzhu, director of the National Cultural Heritage Administration and Franck Riester, the French minister of culture, in the Great Hall of the People. "A loss of cultural heritage means the disappearance of a period of history and culture," Liu says in a written statement. "It also teaches us a lesson about ensuring the safety of cultural heritage, and prompted us to set red lines for the future that must not be crossed." // Did France offer to send experts to help repair churches and mosques damaged in China's crackdown on religion?

China space agency shares satellite data - ECNS China will share data from its Gaofen (GF) satellites free to the public on the website www.cnsageo.com, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced at a meeting of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) in Canberra, Australia. The China High-resolution Earth Observation System aims to build up an observation system based on satellites, aircraft and ground systems. Several satellites including the GF-1 and GF-6 have been launched under the system’s framework. // CNSA GEO Home 

There may be a message behind the new Chinese ambassador's clothing choices | CBC News When former Chinese ambassador Lu Shaye presented his credentials to Governor-General David Johnson in March 2017, the dapper diplomat opted for a dark grey western business suit with a pink tie. On Friday, his replacement Cong Peiwu met Governor-General Julie Payette wearing an austere black Mao suit. It's an outfit similar to the one worn by China's supreme leader Xi Jinping recently to mark the 70th anniversary of Communist Party rule in China.

Taiwan

Taiwan warns of possible attack if China's slowdown 'becomes serious' - Reuters In an interview with Reuters, Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu drew attention to China’s slowing economy amid its bitter trade war with the United States. “If the internal stability is a very serious issue, or economic slowdown has become a very serious issue for the top leaders to deal with, that is the occasion that we need to be very careful,” Wu said on Wednesday. “We need to prepare ourselves for the worst situation to come...military conflict.”

Tech and Media

China’s State Administration of Press and Publication releases new notice on preventing addiction among minors in online games. – Niko Whilst spending limits for minors has been an option in past games via parental control apps for game publishers like Tencent and NetEase, we note that this is the first time there is an official policy on the subject. As per the notice, game publishers are required to block all payment options for players under the age of 8. For players between 8 and 16 years old, game publishers are required to implement a limit of RMB 50 on single transactions and RMB 200 each month. Players between 16 and 18 years old will have a limit of RMB 100 on single transactions and a limit of RMB 400 each month.

China officially launches 6G research and development - People's Daily Online While addressing a gathering on Sunday, vice-minister of science and technology Wang Xi said worldwide knowledge about the technology is still in an exploratory stage, without consensus over its definitions and applications. He said the ministry will work with relevant departments to roll out a plan for 6G development, and work towards breakthroughs regarding its basic theories, key technologies and standards.

The wonderful world of Chinese hi-fi - The Verge Online, the phenomenon is known as “Chi-fi” — a mashup of “Chinese” and “high-fidelity.” It’s usually used to refer to portable audio gear — they’re almost always earbuds, which sit outside the ear canal like AirPods, or in-ear monitors (IEMs), which have squishy tips and actually go inside the ear canal — that come from essentially anonymous Chinese companies.

China’s ‘Enter the Forbidden City’ to Get U.S. Release – Variety Directed by female filmmaker Hu Mei and written by Zou Jingzhi (Zhang Yimou’s “Coming Home,” Wong Kar Wai’s “The Grandmaster”), the historical epic won the Chinese American Film Festival’s top prizes for best director and best feature film Tuesday night at an awards ceremony in Los Angeles. Hu is one of China’s so-called Fifth Generation directors.

专访《我和我的祖国》总出品人傅若清:打造不一样的主旋律电影_周刊精选_经济网_国家一类新闻网站 China Economic Weekly interviews Fu Ruoqing, head producer of the film "Me and my Motherland", on why it was successful, and a different kind of propaganda film

Energy, Environment, Science and Health

Questions Swirl Around China’s New Alzheimer’s Drug - Caixin News that China’s medical regulator conditionally approved a novel, locally made drug to treat some symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease raised the hopes of many and prompted plenty of patriotic chest-thumping. But while the drug’s mechanism sounds promising and reflects current research trends, questions persist over the scant evidence provided for its effectiveness and safety, drawing skepticism from industry insiders and researchers alike.

China has 10 mln e-cigarette smokers: expert - Xinhua About 10 million Chinese aged 15 or above are using electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), according to Xiao Lin, a researcher at the Tobacco Control Office at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The vaping rate among young people was higher than other age groups, with those aged 15 to 24 the highest, said Xiao at an online discussion panel on the website of China's National Health Commission (NHC).

E-commerce marketplaces struggle to comply with e-cigarette sales ban · TechNode Nearly a week after the ban, related government authorities on Tuesday summoned executives from major e-commerce platforms, search engines, and social platforms to accelerate implementation of the ban.

Countdown starts for China’s big mutant crop space mission in race for food security | South China Morning Post China plans to launch a recoverable satellite that will carry half a tonne of life forms into space to see if better crops can be produced there, according to scientists involved. The “passengers” on the satellite, which could be launched early next year, will include more than 240kg (530lbs) of seeds and plants, as well as other forms of life such as bacteria.

The satellite images that help explain why Delhi’s air remains toxic and Beijing’s is getting better - The Washington Post In a study published last year, a team of researchers found that the number of burning spots during fall had plummeted across China between 2015 and 2017. Overall, crop burning remained a pollution factor, however, as some farmers appear to have resorted to burning cropland during other seasons. In comparison, India’s democratic government has struggled to confront the problem with the same efficiency as China’s authoritarian state. Farmers account for a significant share of Indian voters in some states, which has slowed the country’s response.

Study reveals how Tibetan people adapt to high altitude - Xinhua They also found that a gene named MKL1 shows large divergence between highland Tibetans and lowland Han Chinese. The difference is associated with lower systolic pulmonary arterial pressure, one of the key adaptive physiological traits in Tibetans.  Compared to other East Asian genomes, the researchers found that the Tibetan genome has more shared gene sequences with archaic humans like Neanderthal and Denisovan, noting that the unique genomic composition is associated with better lung function in Tibetans.

Food and Travel

北京城管查处胡同“自产”糖葫芦 黑枣发霉!山楂不洗!-中国长安网 inspections of tang hulu sellers in Beijing find dirty fruit, mold...i miss these, as do my kids ad spouse. Haw fruit brings back many happy memories

Rural and Agricultural Issues

Why Some Rural Families Have Stopped Trying for Sons - SixthTone Between 2004 and 2012, I spent a total of 17 months living in rural northeastern Liaoning province, conducting research into locals’ lives, childrearing practices, intergenerational relations, marital transactions, and traditions of ancestor worship in an effort to understand the socioeconomic and cultural forces driving this change in reproductive preferences. I found that significant transformations were taking place within Chinese families which, combined, were engendering a willingness to have only one daughter. To start, young couples in the village had adopted a new ideal of happiness, one defined by material consumption and leisure. A few young villagers used the phrase “life is to be enjoyed” to describe the new mindset. Thanks to a burgeoning market economy, villagers had access to a wide variety of consumer goods. To afford them, many took jobs in factories, restaurants, and construction sites outside their home villages, while devoting their limited free time to playing mahjong or visiting friends after work.—Shi Lihong is an associate professor in the department of anthropology at Case Western Reserve University.

China's soybean yield sets new record - Global Times Chinese researchers have set a new record in soybean yield, according to the Jiamusi Branch of the Heilongjiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences. The new record was set in test fields in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, which achieved a yield of 447.47 kg of soybean per mu (about 0.07 hectares).

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