China Readings for January 26th

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  • Squat toilets prevalent in Asia better for your health?: Shanghaiist
  • Chinese Researchers Lead in Howard Hughes Awards – NYTimes.com – The Howard Hughes Medical Institute, one of the world’s most prestigious research foundations, announced Tuesday that it was honoring 28 biomedical researchers who studied in the United States and then returned to their home nations. Each will receive a five-year research grant of $650,000.

    Seven — more than any other nation — are from China.

  • Oscars Snub Asia as Taiwan’s ‘Seediq Bale’ Misses Out – Scene Asia – WSJ – East Asia’s cinephiles won’t have a local favorite to cheer during this year’s foreign-language Academy Awards race after the Taiwan epic “Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale” (賽德克‧巴萊) failed to be nominated for best foreign-language film on Tuesday. Last week, the 4-1/2-hour film — based on the true story of Taiwan’s indigenous Seediq tribes who launched an armed uprising against Japanese rule in 1930 — was among nine films short-listed for the foreign-language category.
  • Apple ‘Didn’t Bet High Enough’ on Chinese Demand for IPhone 4S, Cook Says – Bloomberg – Apple Inc. (AAPL) underestimated the “staggering” demand for the iPhone 4S when it started sales in China this month, Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said.
    “We thought we were betting bold,” Cook said about sales of the device in China on a conference call yesterday. “We didn’t bet high enough.”
  • Remembering Deng in our era of crony compitalism – FT.com-Minxin Pei – I remember when Pei gave a job talk at SAIS in 94 or 95 and he was very gloomy about China's prospects then//

    In most societies, dating the start of reform is easy, but pinning down its demise is not. Such appears to be the case with post-Mao China. Few would dispute that reform began in 1978 when Deng Xiaoping returned to power. Fewer still would disagree that reform was re-energised 20 years ago when Deng, alarmed by the prospect of economic stagnation and regime collapse, made his historic tour of southern China and forced the Chinese Communist party to liberalise the economy and embrace capitalism unabashedly.
    As China marks the 20th anniversary of Deng’s history-changing tour, the most ironic fact – and perhaps China’s worst-kept secret – is that pro-market economic reform in China has been dead for some time.

  • Apple CEO Cook: Company Has ‘A Ton More Energy’ in China – China Real Time Report – WSJ
  • Conoco says reaches China spill compensation deal – Yahoo! News – ConocoPhillips said Wednesday that it and China National Offshore Oil Corp. reached a $160 million agreement to settle compensation claims from oil spills off northeastern China.
  • Report: Half of All Retweets on Sina Weibo are Spam | Tech in Asia – We’ve long been concerned about just how many of the 250 million users of Sina Weibo are real, and not spam or zombie accounts. Now a report from the HP Labs ‘Social Computing Research Group’ claims to have found that an astonishing 49 percent of all retweets on the microblogging service come from fraudulent accounts. To make it worse, those automated fake users account for about 32 percent of the total tweets.
  • Wife of accused CIA leaker resigns from agency – The Washington Post – A senior CIA analyst resigned Tuesday amid accounts that she had been pressured to step down after her husband — a former agency employee — was charged with leaking classified information to the press.

    Heather Kiriakou had served as a top analyst on some of the most sensitive subjects that the agency tracks, including leadership developments in Iran. Her husband, John, faces a maximum of 30 years in prison after being accused of disclosing details about secret CIA operations as well as the identities of undercover officers.

  • Trashing the Script | Possible Futures – Given reports of protest activity over the past year, the exponential rise shows no sign of slowing. While one narrative speaks of a sullied legacy on the twenty-year anniversary of Deng’s southern tour, another tells of traditional organizational techniques empowering people in new ways that challenge the script of civil society and democratic development. And this latter story has a new model in Wukan, the village that revolted in the final months of 2011—and won.

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