China Readings for October 3rd

  • Competing Confucius Award Bares Discord in China – NYTimes.com – When the Nobel Prize committee announced last year that it was giving its coveted Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, an imprisoned Chinese dissident writer, a group of patriotic Chinese came up with a rejoinder: they would offer up their own international award, called the Confucius Peace Prize.

    Now, discord within China may have put the future of that prize in jeopardy

  • “Rumors are a Cancer that Threatens the Internet and Society” | China Digital Times (CDT) – fairly nasty rhetoric, expect detentions over weibo posts as part of apparent october internet rectification campaign//

    In order to restrict rumors online, we must promote a civilized Internet atmosphere and form an atmosphere where everyone is self-disciplined. First, as netizens, it’s of the utmost importance to respect Internet law and policy, to use the Internet in a civilized way, to not post or transmit rumors, and to be responsible for oneself. Secondly, to preserve a reasonable Internet attitude, netizens must distinguish that news with unclear origins and that specious or sensational news and not give it the merit of good faith nor help rumor-mongers spread it. Netizens must be responsible for others. Additionally, Internet enterprises should make even greater efforts to strictly master information dissemination management and cherish the development of their own credibility and professional integrity. They should not allow themselves to be used by rumor-mongers

    The Internet is an important carrier of society’s civilization and progress. But rumors are a cancer that threatens the Internet and society. Working together for a healthy Internet requires netizens, Internet enterprise and all of society’s broad participation. And eradicating the fertile soil where rumors take root and multiply will require strengthened web management efforts and a stronger crackdown. According to laws and regulations and led by the public security bureau department, those who use the Internet as a place to spread lies and threaten society should be investigated and prosecuted. According to the facts about their rumor-mongering, the harm caused to society and their criminal motives, as well as other objective elements, they must pay the deserved price for their crimes.

  • 跑路“眼镜大王”回国谈重组 – 宏观 – 21世纪网 – zhejiang "eyeglasses king" hu fulin who ran away when his firm (xintai group) ran into trouble has returned to China to work out a restructuring. are the stories of sme troubles and underground banking woes in zhejiang a bit overhyped?
  • China Manufacturing Counters ‘Hard Landing’ – Bloomberg – Signs of stability in China’s manufacturing industry in September may ease concern the world’s second-largest economy will suffer a slump in economic expansion that escalates the risk of another global recession.
  • Wen wants vegetables sold directly to public — Shanghai Daily | 上海日报 — English Window to China New – Premier Wen Jiabao checks the price of a cabbage early yesterday morning at a vegetable market in northern Beijing's Beihang community. The market opens on weekends to sell vegetables directly to customers. After talking with farmers, Wen said the best way to lower vegetable prices is to take out the intermediaries and allow producers to sell directly to the public.
  • Five Myths About China’s Space Program – Analysis by The Heritage Foundation
  • STEPHEN ROACH: China Is Heading For A Soft Landing, And All Those Ghost Cities Will Become Teeming Urban Centers – think roach too bullish. i am still in the "china will muddle through and it will be messy camp"
  • China runs Confucius video in New York’s Times Square — Shanghai Daily | 上海日报 — English Window to China New – A video presentation featuring the ancient Chinese sage Confucius and his home province of Shandong began showing in New York's Times Square today (Beijing Time), according to the Information Office of the provincial government.

    In the 30-second video, Confucius greets the audience with a traditional Chinese courtesy by bowing with his hands folded in front.

  • Chinese dissident establishes web school – Yahoo! News – TAIPEI, Taiwan – A prominent Chinese dissident has established a school on the Internet to educate young Chinese on democracy, hoping they may one day help institute political changes in China.

    At an opening ceremony in Taipei on Saturday, Wang Dan said the "New School for Democracy" will invite leading political scientists to give lectures and engage in "preparatory work for China's democracy."

  • Singapore’s changing attitude to China | The World | International affairs blog from the FT – FT.com – Singapore’s attitude to the rise of China seems to have changed subtly. The country has moved from being a cheerleader for China into an attitude that seems more cautious and equivocal.Back in the mid-90s, official Singapore – and Lee Kuan Yew in particular – were the primary exponents of what became known as “Asian” values. This held that an Asian (or sometimes “Confucian”) emphasis on hard work, discipline, order and family values were propelling the rise of Asia. By contrast, the West was decadent.
  • The Cash Reserves of China’s Internet Companies – very rich and debt-free. some hunting for overseas deals//

    The shares of Chinese internet companies tanked in September amid acute regulatory uncertainty. In the US, the Justice Department is probing for potential criminal charges against the series of Chinese accounting scandals and frauds in March-May. In China, the government is considering reforms to the VIE corporate structure that could constrain the ability of Chinese firms to raise finance and operate off-shore.

    In the face of such bleak outlook, cash-on-hand is key to maintaining normal operations. This is especially true of firms that are not yet cash-flow positive. For the bigger players with available cash, this is a ripe environment for acquisitions–Baidu and Tencent both have huge funds for this purpose, with a special focus on e-commerce.

  • Shift in Sentiment Toward China’s Internet Darlings – WSJ.com – shorts have been working reporters hard//

    Investors dumped the stocks of some of China's biggest Internet companies, as scandals with some smaller Chinese firms has shaken Wall Street's confidence in the country's businesses.

  • Digital Dao: Questions about Yuri Milner, the KGB, and the Influence of Foreign Governments – CFIUS now paying attention to Internet deals? I thought the various rumors/consipracy theories about Yuri Milner had been debunked long ago. he has partners who do better due diligence than some governments//

    As discussed at the recent Suits and Spooks conference, social networks are contributing to revolutionary changes taking place worldwide and as a result they've become an indispensable platform for offensive operations as well as intelligence collection. One of the world's most sophisticated investors in social meda is Yuri Milner. As co-founder and CEO of DST Global (formerly known as Digital Sky Technologies), he leads a multi-national social media investment powerhouse staffed by many ex-Goldman Sachs employees and fueled with investment by Tencent (China) and Naspers (South Africa). Combined, these three companies have significant ownership interest in some of the largest online properties in the world including Facebook, Twitter, GroupOn, Zynga, Riot Games, Astrum Online Entertainment, Mail.ru, QQ, ICQ, Ibibo, Alibaba, and many more.

  • As U.S.-Listed China Internet Stocks Dive, Renren CEO Smacks Alibaba – Kara Swisher – News – AllThingsD – Silverlake has been trying for a while to get a deal with Alibaba. //

    “It’s quite unfortunate,” Chen said to Bloomberg about disagreement, which has since been settled. “It caused a lot of uncertainty about Chinese Internet companies.”

    Them’s fightin’ words, and a source close to Alibaba reacted with, well, reaction.

    “Yeah, it shook confidence so badly that Silver Lake and DST [Global] just decided to put in billions to back Jack Ma,” referring to a recent funding deal by the large investors. “People shouldn’t try to blame their own lack of performance on others.”

  • Congress addresses Chinese currency manipulation – Yahoo! News – focus should be on breaking down trade barriers//

    After years of trying, Congress is taking another stab at retaliating against what many see as Chinese manipulation of its currency to make its exports to the United States cheaper and U.S. goods more expensive in China.

    The Senate is expected to take up legislation Monday that would impose higher U.S. duties on Chinese products to offset the perceived advantage that critics say China gets by undervaluing its currency.

  • China becomes an urban nation at breakneck speed | World news | The Guardian – nice piece by tania branigan//

    With the government seeking to increase domestic demand, places like Guiyang are at the heart of its urbanisation strategy

  • US media blackout of protest is shameful|Chen Weihua|chinadaily.com.cn – irony and cognitive dissonance key china skills, esp when reading china daily//

    One of the best-kept secrets in the United States over the past two weeks seems to be the protest on and near Wall Street in New York.

    More than 1,000 people protested on the first day, September 17, marching and chanting slogans. Yet the demonstration, known as Occupy Wall Street, did not appear on the major networks' evening news or in major newspapers the next day.

  • China’s Next Step in Space: Critical Docking Demo in November – Yahoo! News – The successful launch of China's first space laboratory module this week sets the stage for the future of the country's ambitious space program. But now that the spacecraft is in orbit, a major docking test looms ahead for China.

    The unmanned Tiangong 1 prototype module launched Thursday (Sept. 29) from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China. Shortly after liftoff, officials at the Beijing Aerospace Flight Control Center, the Mission Control for China's human spaceflight program, confirmed that the cylindrical module had effectively unfurled its solar arrays.

  • Regulatory Uncertainty Threatens Chinese Stocks; iChinaStock 30 Fell 33% in September | iChinaStock – VIE fears totally overblown, shorts pushing the story hard w western reporters, making bank.

    DOJ investigation fears also overblown for the China Internet stocks. Targets are the reserve merger firms and the ecosystem that brews them.

    But an October Internet crackdown appears to be coming, so investors should still be concerned about regulatory risk

  • Koch Brothers Flout Law Getting Richer With Secret Iran Sales – Bloomberg – bloomberg one of the last bastions of hard-hitting, enterprise journalism?
  • Property website offers UK homes to China’s rich – Telegraph – AIM-listed Chinese lottery company Betex Group has taken a gamble and unveiled LuckyWu.com, aimed at Chinese investors looking to take a slice of the UK property market.