China Readings for October 15th

  • 中共十七届六中全会今起召开 聚焦文化体制改革_新闻_腾讯网 – 6th plenum opens, focused on cultural system reforms
  • SARFT orders ban on sexy ads|Society|chinadaily.com.cn – Chinese audiences can expect fewer sexually suggestive commercials and more public information advertisements on their screens after China's top broadcasting regulator ordered a ban on sex-related advertisements on TV and radio.
    The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) ordered on Wednesday that sex-related advertisements be banned and demanded greater self-discipline from TV and radio stations.
    Shen Hong, a researcher on journalism and communication from Minzu University of China, said that a lack of proper supervision has encouraged the prevalence of sex-related advertisements.
    "Stricter punishments should be embodied in a new advertising law, and broadcasters and enterprises should enhance their self-discipline," she said.
  • China to help cash-strapped railways access funds | Economy | chinadaily.com.cn – hinese authorities have agreed to take steps to secure financial support for major cash-strapped railway projects in the country's latest move to help the crippled sector, China Securities Journal reported on Friday.
    The move follows a policy instituted earlier this month by the Ministry of Finance to halve the tax on the interest earnings of bonds issued by the Ministry of Railways (MOR) between the 2011-2013 period, in a bid to make the bonds more attractive.
  • Can Sina Weibo Make Money On Science, Culture And Morality? | DigiCha – Wang added that microblogs should be used for “popularizing sciences, advancing culture, and projecting social morality,” adding that this type of information and the platforms that provide it should be increased to meet people’s demands.

    Could this meeting on microblogs, coupled with the 6th Plenum of the 17th Chinese Communist Party Congress meeting this weekend, mark the start of an “Internet Rectification Campaign” I have heard rumors about? L

  • Who Manufactured The VIE Panic? | DigiCha – The cartoon accompanying the story goes a long way to explaining why so many Chinese investors and entrepreneurs do not like Alibaba’s Jack Ma.
  • 温州赌徒:“太太赌博团”与101亿大案 – 金融 – 21世纪网 – "NOT A WENZHOUNESE WHO DOESN'T GAMBLE". THE WENZHOUNESE ARE NOT PARTICULARLY SYMPATHETIC. THEY ARE AMONG CHINA'S WORST SPECULATORS, RESPONSIBLE FOR MANY BUBBLES, A CRASH MIGHT BE GOOD AT CLEANING OUT SOME OF THE WORST. BUT SOUNDS LIKE THEY WILL BE BAILED OUT, AND AT LEAST WESTERN MEDIA APPEARS TO BE GIVING THEM A FAR TOO SYMPATHETIC PORTRAYAL//

    “我老媪(老婆)在海南被抓了。”10月13日,在温州惠民路上陡门一所公寓里,做货运生意的当地人龙虾(化名)狠狠吸了一口烟。

    他说,9月29日海南警方破获一个赌博案,有105名都是温州人,其中有30多名女性,涉案2000多万。“这个赌场是温州人开的,能给我们报销机票、吃住开支。有的赢家请客,还打电话叫温州的夜店送10多个小姐飞过去,供赌友消遣……”

  • Wal-Mart’s pork scandal highlights struggles in China – Yahoo! News – THEY SOLD FAKE ORGANIC PORK. I HAVE BOUGHT THAT FROM WALMART IN BEIJING, THINKING WALMART MUST HAVE BETTER CONTROLS AND IS THEREFORE SAFER FOR MY CHILDREN. WALMART DESERVES ZERO SYMPATHY FOR THEIR NEGLIGENCE. THIS IS NOT A "CHINA BASHING FOREIGN FIRMS" ISSUE. THIS IS A COMPANY LYING ABOUT ITS PRODUCTS, MISMANAGING ITS SUPPLY CHAIN, AND USING PR TO TRY TO DEFLECT FROM THE REAL ISSUE OF ITS POSSIBLE CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE//

    Wal-Mart's latest troubles in China involving mislabeling of its pork products reflect the retail giant's struggles in a complex market where rapid expansion and a cumbersome takeover has marred profit and growth.

  • 温州高利贷危机:救与不救的挣扎_21世纪网-21cbh.com – 21ST CENTURY BUSINESS HERALD SPECIAL SECTION ON THE FINANCING CRISIS IN WENZHOU
  • 温州病,体制造 – 专栏 – 21世纪网 – "WENZHOU "SICKNESS" CREATED BY THE SYSTEM"-21ST CENTURY BUSINESS HERALD

    温州病的根源,根源在于我们的经济体制。如果经济体制不改变,救温州只能是权宜之计,类似的情况还会卷土重来,愈演愈烈。

  • The Shadowy World of iPhone Cases – Bloomberg – In the weeks leading up to Apple’s Oct. 4 announcement about the new iPhone 4S, Tim Hickman lived and breathed rumors about the device. His company, Hard Candy Cases, makes protective covers for mobile phones, and he was determined to get a jump on production. After three separate manufacturing partners in China sent him detailed 3D models of an iPhone with a widened, pill-shaped “home” button and a slightly tapered back, Hickman decided to roll the dice. He paid $50,000 to make steel moldings to mass-produce cases for the new design and, on the morning of Apple’s announcement, began taking orders on his website. The gamble backfired: Apple’s new iPhone 4S included no major changes to the exterior design. The home button remained circular. Hickman suddenly owned $50,000 worth of paperweights.
  • Japan Jet Scrambles Related to China Planes Tripled – Japan Real Time – WSJ – Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force has scrambled 83 times in the first half of the year to check out military aircraft from China buzzing Japan’s air space, according to the Defense Ministry’s Joint Staff Council on Thursday, more than triple the amount compared to the same six-month period in 2010.
  • Panda Mugging – By Michael A. Cohen | Foreign Policy – Can the 2012 candidates China-bash their way to victory?
  • Digital Dao: Huawei’s Chairwoman Worked For Chinese Intelligence Before Joining Huawei
  • China’s fear of the talent show | The World | International affairs blog from the FT – FT.com – THINK OBSERVERS OVERSTATING THE POLITICS, UNDERSTATING THE MONEY. HUNAN TOO SUCCESSFUL FOR ITS OWN GOOD, MADE MANY JEALOUS, WAS PREPARING AN IPO, PROBABLY DID NOT "SHARE" ENOUGH//

    One of the nice  things about the Financial Times is that you have really interesting conversations in the corridors. Yesterday I got chatting to James Kynge, our former Beijing bureau chief, who now edits the newsletter, “China Confidential“. James said that he thinks that political atmosphere inside China feels more unstable than for many years. He cited many little pieces of evidence. But the one the appealed to me most was the story of the “Happy Girls” talent show.

    This was a highly popular talent show of the sort familiar to western viewers: think “Britain´s Got Talent” or “The X Factor”. This being China, however, the audiences were huge – hundreds of millions of people were watching. But then, a few weeks ago, the authorities took fright and announced that the show would not be returning next year. All sorts of dubious explanations have been advanced for the cancellation of a popular programme. One was that the show was in the unforgivable habit of over-running. But the most plausible explanation seems to be that the spectacle of the audience voting for their favourite act was just too subversive.

  • Taobao Mall Fee Spat Prompts Jack Ma’s Lament – China Real Time Report – WSJ – Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s effort to raise fees at its Taobao Mall online store stirred opposition this week from some small vendors who pledged to disrupt its operations.

    The protests–which the company now says have been contained–prompted a pained response online from Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma, who cited his anguish over the issue and described the protesters as “people playing the Nazi anthem, hurting the innocent by shouting ‘Eliminate all, destroy all.’”

  • Top Chinese Propaganda Official Puts Pressure on Microblogs – China Real Time Report – WSJ – China’s top Internet watchdog has waded into the debate surrounding the country’s increasingly influential Twitter-like microblogging sites, praising them as a platform for communication but calling for them to be more tightly regulated to ensure a “healthy” environment online.

    Microblogging services should be made to “serve the works of the Party and the nation” and used to “popularize sciences, advance culture and project social morality,” Wang Chen, director general of China’s State Council Information Office, told attendees of a seminar on microblogging in Beijing on Thursday, according to state media.

  • 海水淡化进京 只差最后230公里 – 宏观 – 21世纪网 – desalination to help ease beijing's water crisis?

    谈了几年,北京在引海水淡化水进京问题上终于迈出了实质性的一步,而这一步棋子没有下在天津,而是河北曹妃甸。

    10月10日,曹妃甸北控阿科凌5万吨/日海水淡化项目竣工仪式上,北京常务副市长吉林、国家发改委副主任解振华等高层官员悉数到场。吉林表示,对于缺水的北京来说,寻找海水淡化水源作为补充水源意义重大。

    北控水务集团有限公司总裁胡晓勇表示,北控阿科凌曹妃甸项目是响应“建设北京市多元化水资源保障体系”的号召。

  • Rumors of vice rattle China’s Shaolin monastery and the home of kung fu – CSMonitor.com – The latest rumors spreading on China’s lively and not always reliable Internet accuse the abbot of maintaining a mistress and son in Germany, and of holding huge sums of money in foreign bank accounts.

    The monastery issued a statement Thursday denying the stories as “vicious lies woven from nothing but causing great damage to the abbot Shi Yongxin and the Buddhist temple itself.” It gave an email address and phone number for the 1,500 year old monastery, “inviting anyone who has any evidence” of his eminence’s alleged misdeeds “to report directly.”

  • Chinese Bashing Is All the Rage — But No Antidote – Real Time Economics – WSJ – Let’s all blame China.

    The latest episode of U.S. China-bashing is a Senate measure that would call on the White House to impose unilateral and broad-based tariffs against countries with “misaligned” currencies.

    The bill could take on more urgency now that the Commerce Department said Thursday that the August U.S.-China trade deficit jumped to a record high of $28.96 billion.

    Beijing is not pleased. The People’s Bank of China has been guiding the yuan lower versus the U.S. dollar since the U.S. Senate approved the bill.

    Yes, Beijing manipulates the yuan. U.S. politicians, however, are wrong to think a free-floating yuan will do much to dent the U.S. trade gap or boost economic growth.

  • Chinese-Russian security and energy relations are crumbling by Linda Jakobson – Lowy Institute for International Policy Publication – Linda Jakobson, East Asia Program Director at the Lowy Institute, has together with her former colleagues at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) published an extensive report on China’s security and energy relations with Russia. In the report, the authors conclude that China’s rising power is straining its strategic partnership with Russia
  • Loan Sharks Terrorize Chinese Businesses as Economy Cools – NYTimes.com – WISH STORY AT GOTTEN INTO WHO THE "LOAN SHARKS" REALLY ARE//

    The owner, Sun Fucai — or Boss Sun, as he’s known — was so insistent that his workers attend that he imposed a $30 fine on any employee who refused the getaway. Nearly everyone went.

    Except Boss Sun.

    When the employees returned from their holiday, they found that the factory had been stripped of its equipment and that Boss Sun had fled town. “It was entirely empty,” Li Heying, a former Aomi worker, said of the factory. “It was like what happens in wartime.”

    The boss, as it turned out, was millions of dollars in debt to loan sharks — underground lenders of the sort that many private businesses in China routinely use because the government-run banks typically lend only to big state-run corporations.

  • China calls for a "healthy" environment for microblogs – People’s Daily Online – BEIJING, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) — China's Internet watchdog on Thursday urged the building of a healthy, orderly environment for microblogging, stressing that there must be no avenue for spreading rumors or illegal information online.

    Wang Chen, director general of China's State Internet Information Office, urged the strengthening of regulation over microblogs in a bid to use them to "serve the works of the Party and the nation," as well as the people.

    Wang, also deputy head of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, made the remarks at a seminar themed "how microblogs can serve society."

  • China’s Communist Party Meets Tomorrow – Bloomberg – 6th plenum//
    China’s ruling Communist Party begins an annual conclave in Beijing tomorrow, with top officials seeking to shape the core leadership that will run what may become the world’s biggest economy in the next decade.
    The party’s leaders are jockeying to mold the membership of the nine-person Politburo Standing Committee that will rule collectively under the leadership of Vice President Xi Jinping, who is expected to be named party head late next year, said Huang Jing, a professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore.
  • 王晨:推动党政机关和领导干部积极运用微博_互联网_科技时代_新浪网 – State Council Internet Information Office Head Wang Chen's talk on Microblogs
  • 我国鼓励微博客积极服务社会|微博|交流会_新浪视频 – CCTV Evening News: Encourage Microblogs to positively Serve Society
  • VIEs: The Long Resolution « Silicon Hutong – But it is Bigger than All of This 

    If you think this is an issue of parochial interest to lawyers and China geeks only, think again. The reason the VIE issue is important goes beyond the effect the recent uncertainty has had on nearly 100 Chinese companies that have listed abroad (and their shareholders.) It is more important to anyone doing business in or with China because of the implications that the issue and its eventual resolution will have on foreign investors and business in the PRC in the coming decade.

    A recurring theme of this blog of late has been the apparent shift in attitudes in China toward foreign enterprises and capital. Since the beginning of reforming and opening, foreign participation and foreign investment in the Chinese economy has always been seen as an expedient means to hasten development. What has changed is not the attitude, but China’s perception of itself and the extent to which it still needs the necessary evils of foreign capital and expertise. China still needs both more than either the Party or the people are willing to admit publicly: alongside other considerations, what will slow movement toward a resolution of the VIE issue is disagreement within China’s leadership over how much the door to such structures needs to remain open, and how much local capital is actually available to local high-growth businesses.

    But the long-term goal should not be in doubt, and it is that desire for financial self-sufficiency, followed by global financial leadership, that guides the evolution of policy (and law) toward VIEs and all offshore listings.

  • Romney: China must respect the free-trade system – The Washington Post – Having embraced free enterprise to some degree, the Chinese government and Chinese companies have quickly divined the benefits of ignoring the rules followed by others. China seeks advantage through systematic exploitation of other economies. It misappropriates intellectual property by coercing “technology transfers” as a condition of market access; enables theft of intellectual property, including patents, designs and know-how; hacks into foreign commercial and government computers; favors and subsidizes domestic producers over foreign competitors; and manipulates its currency to artificially reduce the price of its goods and services abroad.

    The result is that China sells high-quality products to the United States at low prices. But too often the source of that high quality is American innovations stolen by Chinese companies. And the source of those low prices is too often subsidies from the Chinese government or manipulation of the Chinese currency.

  • China Targets GE With $15.5 Billion War Chest That Leverages Solar Triumph – Bloomberg – China has taken on General Electric Co. (GE) and Western peers that control the $70 billion wind-turbine market, striving to repeat its 2010 coup when the Asian nation sold more than half the world’s solar panels for the first time.
    Armed with at least $15.5 billion in state-backed credit, China’s biggest windmill makers Sinovel Wind Group Co. and Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co. won their first major foreign orders in the past year. Both plan to set up plants abroad, including China’s first in the U.S., easing entry into markets for delivering machines that can weigh 750 tons each.
    Sinovel and Goldwind may counter the quality concerns of customers and overtake Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems A/S as the biggest supplier by 2015, a Bloomberg New Energy Finance survey forecast. That can erode sales and margins for suppliers such as GE and Vestas that already face cutbacks in European subsidies and a 22 percent plunge in turbine prices from their 2008 peak.
  • China Plays IPO Hardball – WSJ.com – The four-day selloff that knocked Hong Kong's stock market down 10% early this month would have scared off most companies planning an initial public offering. China's biggest broker was undeterred.

    Citic Securities Co. went ahead with its IPO last week, with the comforting knowledge that the banks underwriting the deal would be on the hook to buy any unsold shares.

    Citic had gotten the banks to agree to "hard underwrite" the deal, meaning they would buy up the broker's shares if they couldn't be sold at the IPO price. Underwriters in two other big IPOs of Chinese companies were asked to agree to the same terms recently, despite the risk they would end up holding millions of dollars of risky securities.

    The banks that agreed to these terms, or were asked to, had one other thing in common: They all were Chinese.

  • 海水淡化进京 只差最后230公里 – 宏观 – 21世纪网 – desalination to help ease beijing's water crisis?

    谈了几年,北京在引海水淡化水进京问题上终于迈出了实质性的一步,而这一步棋子没有下在天津,而是河北曹妃甸。

    10月10日,曹妃甸北控阿科凌5万吨/日海水淡化项目竣工仪式上,北京常务副市长吉林、国家发改委副主任解振华等高层官员悉数到场。吉林表示,对于缺水的北京来说,寻找海水淡化水源作为补充水源意义重大。

    北控水务集团有限公司总裁胡晓勇表示,北控阿科凌曹妃甸项目是响应“建设北京市多元化水资源保障体系”的号召。

  • Rumors of vice rattle China’s Shaolin monastery and the home of kung fu – CSMonitor.com – The latest rumors spreading on China’s lively and not always reliable Internet accuse the abbot of maintaining a mistress and son in Germany, and of holding huge sums of money in foreign bank accounts.

    The monastery issued a statement Thursday denying the stories as “vicious lies woven from nothing but causing great damage to the abbot Shi Yongxin and the Buddhist temple itself.” It gave an email address and phone number for the 1,500 year old monastery, “inviting anyone who has any evidence” of his eminence’s alleged misdeeds “to report directly.”

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