China Readings for September 16th

  • As World Fawns Over China Planning, Beijing Economist Highlights its Flaws – China Real Time Report – WSJ – Prof. Zhang was undaunted by the fact that sitting on his panel was one of China’s top planning mandarins, NDRC vice chairman Zhang Xiaoqiang, a man who it’s safe to say is more used to dishing out criticism than taking it.

    Zhang Xiaoqiang offered a spirited defense of the most powerful economic agency in China, but the audience seemed to be with Prof. Zhang as he warmed to his theme. Since the NDRC was established, he said, the pace of reform “has seriously slowed down.”

    “I think the NDRC is too powerful,” he said, to a burst of loud applause from his mainly Chinese audience.

  • CBD核心区将建大型避难场所
  • FT.com – US concerned about Taiwan candidate – The Obama administration has warned that a victory by Tsai Ing-wen, the Taiwanese opposition leader, in the island’s January presidential election could raise tensions with China.

    A senior US official said Ms Tsai, the Democratic Progressive party leader who is visiting Washington, had sparked concerns about stability in the Taiwan Strait, which is “critically important” to the US.

  • China FDI. Whatever Happened To "Show Me?" : China Law Blog : China Law for Business – government fell into three classic traps. First, it appears that got overly excited about the possibility of getting Chinese money. It appears it fell prey to the classic "China is rich. We want money. Therefore this is a good deal" syndrome. Second, it appears nobody conducted adequate due diligence. Were the very valid suspicions of my e-mailer ever checked out? I doubt it. I have no idea if my e-mailer ever raised her/his suspicions with City Hall, but having dealt with governments, I can only imagine how they were treated. Can you say groupthink? Third, the deal was rushed. The Columbia paper noted how it all went through in "73 days, far less than the six months or more usually needed to conclude such a deal." Rushing a deal does not mean it will fail, but it certainly increases the chances.
  • HERE IT IS: Bill Ackman’s Presentation On His New Favorite Investment – Pershing Square Capital Management's Bill Ackman announced his long bet on the Hong Kong Dollar, predicting that Hong Kong's central bank will decide to relinquish the paper's peg to the USD in favor of the yuan.
  • A Former Premier of China Speaks – Damien Ma – International – The Atlantic – Translated excerpts from the just-released book of speeches by Zhu Rongji
  • Behind The Wall – Provocative Chinese journalist pokes US ambassador – CCTV business host Rui Chenggang stood up and asked him, “I hear you flew here coach. Is that a reminder that U.S. owes China money?”..

    Rui may have a point about the savvy communication skills of America’s politicians, but in this case his impertinent attitude toward a foreign dignitary may have backfired on him.

    Instead Rui may have inadvertently accentuated a slow-developing, but nevertheless aggressive position China has taken both politically and journalistically towards the United States in recent years.

  • 限购令出台推诿背后:土地财政资金链紧绷 – 宏观 – 21世纪网 – many municipalities' finances stretched to breaking point, so they are pushing off or not implementing the new rules to limit purchases
  • 工行私银首推普洱茶理财 最高年化收益率7% – 金融 – 21世纪网 – ICBC offering Pu-er tea investment product, up to 7% annual yield
  • Premier Wen calls for political reform, again – China Media Project – That’s right, he’s at it again. Using the opportunity afforded by a speech in a prominent international forum, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (温家宝) is once again visiting his favorite theme — the urgent need for political reform in China. And once again, his remarks are fodder alike for sanguine optimists, grumbling pessimists and cautious skeptics. Is he serious? Is his making a cynical bid the cement his legacy as a moderate? Is he simply too beleaguered and too powerless to effect his ideas? Or does this prefigure some sort real change?

    It is a debate that has been repeated on each occasion over the past 18 months where Wen has stepped out to toll the bells of political change. Most notably it was just one year ago, in the period from August 20 and September 30, 2010, that Wen gave no less than seven important utterances on political reform in seven different contexts. For a book-length review of that extended event, discussion of which was mostly suppressed in China’s media, we recommend readers turn to CMP Director Qian Gang’s The Great Game of Political Reform: Wen Jiabao’s Wave of Seven Speeches on Political Reform (Cosmos Books, December 2010).

  • Baidu Quietly Launches Services Aimed at Egypt, Thailand – China Real Time Report – WSJ
  • China to ‘liquidate’ US Treasuries, not dollars – Telegraph Blogs – "The incremental parts of our of our foreign reserve holdings should be invested in physical assets," said Li Daokui at the World Economic Forum in the very rainy city of Dalian – former Port Arthur from Russian colonial days.
    "We would like to buy stakes in Boeing, Intel, and Apple, and maybe we should invest in these types of companies in a proactive way."
    "Once the US Treasury market stabilizes we can liquidate more of our holdings of Treasuries," he said.
  • Senior China Officials Meet With Baidu Chief – WSJ.com – In a statement Thursday, Baidu said Li Changchun, China's propaganda chief, and Liu Qi, secretary of the Beijing Municipal Party Committee, visited a Baidu exhibition in Beijing on Sept. 5 to learn more about the company's business and to give "important instructions." Both are members of the Communist Party's powerful Politburo, which is made up of the Party's top 25 leaders.

    Robin Li was also at the exhibition, the company said. In the statement, he said he hopes Baidu will "become a universally recognized brand in over half of the world's countries," while Li Changchun encouraged Baidu to "continue growing and become stronger, winning honor for Chinese companies."

  • Did The SEC Grant Immunity To The Longtop CFO And Audit Committee Chair? | DigiCha – I have heard through the grapevine that Derek Palaschuk, former Longtop CFO, and Thomas Gurnee, former chairman of Longtop’s Audit Committee (and current CFO of NYSE-listed Xinyuan $XIN and director of NASDAQ-listed eLong $LONG), have both been granted immunity by the SEC and recently testified to the Commission about the Longtop disaster. I emailed Mr. Gurnee for a comment and he did not reply. I reiterate that this is an unconfirmed rumor, but the source is reliable.
  • Taiwan: raise your (Scotch) glasses | beyondbrics | News and views on emerging markets from the Financial Times – FT.com – Sales of Scotch to Taiwan in the first six months of this year were worth £70m – nearly double the amount in the first half of 2010. That puts the island of 23m people behind only the US, France, Singapore and Spain, according to the Scotch Whisky Association.
  • Luxury Marketing On The Chinese Internet | DigiCha – Interesting new report on social media marketing in China by L2 Thinktank:

    L2 China Digital IQ Study

  • Inside Ushi, One Of China’s LinkedIn Clones | DigiCha
  • BREAKING: Crazy Audi driver in Xuhui refuses to pay parking fee, kills meter maid – Shanghaiist
  • PBSC Member, Propaganda Head Li Changchun Visits Baidu – lots of love for Baidu from Li Changchun, Baidu must be ecstatic. Note comments about supporting Baidu's overseas expansion (CFIUS paying attention yet?). Interesting in context of earlier CCTV attacks, seems like part of CCTV went rogue

    李长春同志视察百度中关村展区并作出重要指示
    2011-09-15

    9月5日上午,中共中央政治局常委李长春同志在北京市市委书记刘淇、国家互联网信息办公室主任王晨等一行的陪同下,视察了中关村展示中心的百度展区,深入了解百度发展历程,亲切询问了百度在技术创新方面的规划,并作出了重要指示。

    百度公司董事长兼CEO李彦宏先生,首先向长春同志汇报了百度公司的成长历程。长春同志指出:“百度在竞争激烈的互联网行业,能够用十年左右时间获得国内80%以上的市场,这在中国改革开放历史上是个奇迹!”随后,长春同志又认真听取了百度个人中心即百度新主页,以及百度亦庄云计算数据中心的汇报。他不断就感兴趣的问题提问,并要求百度在云计算数据中心的基础上,将“分散的服务器更好地集中起来,做更大规模的事。”

    在听取了百度公司未来的发展计划、特别是国际化战略后,长春同志鼓励百度要进一步加大发展。当李彦宏汇报到百度未来十年的目标,是要“成为全世界一半以上国家家喻户晓的品牌,代表中国企业在全球经济中发挥影响力”时,李长春对此予以充分肯定。他进一步鼓励百度要继续做大做强,为民族企业争光。他强调,“无论是在国内环境,还是在国际环境,我们都会坚定不移地支持百度的发展。”

    长春同志坚定而亲切的话语,令全体百度人深受鼓舞。今后,百度将坚决贯彻落实长春同志的指示要求,加强技术创新,加快国际化步伐,全力将百度打造成全球卓越的高科技公司;继续发挥好产业影响力,带动我国互联网行业的健康发展,促进我国文化大发展大繁荣。我们也将在有关政府部门的指导下,履行好企业责任,服务好网民、回馈好社会,为我国社会主义和谐社会建设贡献力量。

  • China 2.0: Transforming Media and Commerce – SPRIE – Stanford conference on China Internet, put on by BDA's Duncan Clarke. 9.30.2011
  • 狂人兰世立_财新网 – 一封实名举报信,将狱中的东星航空原掌门人兰世立再次引入公众视野。
  • Official memoirs lift curtain on halls of power-Global Times – Books by former senior government officials are increasingly becoming bestsellers in China. The Collected Speeches of Zhu Rongji, the former premier, released earlier this month, is a recent example of this trend.

    Compared with their counterparts in foreign countries where publishing memoirs is almost routine for retired officials, similar books are still rare in China. Former US vice president Dick Cheney and former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice published their memoirs at close to the same time.

    Compared to personal accounts by foreign officials, books by Chinese officials are often more "formal." The Collected Speeches of Zhu Rongji included 348 of his speeches, articles, letters and written comments made during his terms as vice premier and premier.

    It is Changing however. Ten Episodes in China's Diplomacy, by former foreign minister Qian Qichen, was also a hit in 2003.

  • What happened at The Beijing News? – China Media Project – The biggest media story in China so far this September is the takeover of The Beijing News and the Beijing Times, two of the country’s leading commercial newspapers, by Beijing’s municipal propaganda department. The story, which deals with the highly sensitive issue of press control, cannot be openly addressed in domestic Chinese media. English-language coverage of the story, meanwhile, has been a knot of confusion.

    Everyone knows, or senses, that the move is fundamentally about press control, and not, as the Beijing city leadership has said, about addressing things like resource scattering (资源分散) and homogenized competition (同质化竞争) in the Beijing newspaper market — whatever those are. But beyond this intuition there are few specifics to put the story into context.

  • DreamWorks in China – WSJ.com – And looking for a President of China//

    DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. is exploring an expansion into the Chinese film market with a Shanghai-based development and production venture, according to a person familiar with the matter.

  • Thai Clamp-Down on Internet Traffic Worries Companies – WSJ.com – Global companies are growing increasingly worried that Thailand's recent clamp-down on Internet traffic might drag down the country's economic potential and make it more difficult to expand there.

    Internet monitoring laws, introduced four years ago, were designed to root out online fraud and boost e-commerce in this tropical Buddhist kingdom. Instead, critics say, the legislation is being used to police the Web for political content, which in turn is starting to alarm investors, including a key industry group comprising global names such as Google Inc., Yahoo Inc. and eBay Inc., many of which now operate here.

  • Walking Out on China – NYTimes.com – liao yiwu on his departure from china, from yunnan through vietnam to germany
  • Amazon.com: Military Orientalism: Eastern War Through Western Eyes (Columbia/Hurst) (9780231154147): Patrick Porter: Books – just bought. looks relevant to how US views China's military rise
  • Indonesia, Vietnam agree joint maritime patrols – Channel NewsAsia
  • 温家宝:改变以党代政和权力过分集中现象-《财经网》 – 温家宝说,一个执政党最重要的任务就是要依照宪法和法律办事,并且严格在宪法和法律范围内活动。
      【《财经》综合报道】坚持依法治国,改变以党代政,把权力绝对化和权力过分集中的现象。中国国务院总理温家宝9月14日下午在大连召开的达沃斯论坛上做上述表示。
      温家宝说,一个执政党最重要的任务就是要依照宪法和法律办事,并且严格在宪法和法律范围内活动。

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