Anti-monopoly rules; 2020 births decline; Cheng Lei arrested; Blinken-Yang call; Clubhouse blocked
The Lunar Year Holiday starts Thursday and things are already winding down in China for the biggest holiday of the year.
Among the things I am paying attention to:
The State Council released the final anti-monopoly guidelines and they do not look as bad as feared from the most recent public draft, though they will certainly have an impact on the operations of the big Internet platforms, and we should expect that the regulators will want to make an example case relatively soon;
A report from the Ministry of Public of Security on new births in 2020 says new births declined over 30% from 2019 to 2020;
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and the PRC’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi had a long phone call Saturday. The official readouts were quite different in tone, though the chat likely paves the way for a call between Biden and Xi;
The PRC reminded everyone of its longstanding policy of decoupling from the global Internet as it blocked access to the Clubhouse audio community, after a fervid week…