Beijing kills the Qualcomm-NXP deal; Explosion outside US embassy in Beijing; New cyber czar; Liu He now leads SOE reform group; Facebook's disappearing China company

Happy Thursday from DC. Here are some of the top things I am looking at today:

  • Beijing has killed the Qualcomm-NXP deal;

  • President Trump’s “truce” with the EU over trade may increase Trump’s confidence that Xi Jinping will ultimately have to make significant concessions in the US-China trade dispute;

  • There was a small explosion outside the US embassy in Beijing that from Western media reports looks more like a form a protest against the government in a high-profile place than a targeted attack on US interests;

  • Liu He is now the head of the leading group for SOE reform, a move that should theoretically improve policy coordination and consistency though one wonders how many more near impossible jobs one person can take on.

Thanks for reading.

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The Essential Eight

1. US-China trade

No Contact to Restart Trade Talks With U.S., China Says - Bloomberg:

"As far as I know, the two sides don’t have contact to renew talks," Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said at a regular press conference on Thursday in Beijing. "We have said many times that the premise for negotiations is to be faithful and honor one’s own words."

The feeling of betrayal after thinking they had a deal with Trump only to be overturned via Twitter is real. And it is important to consider why any Chinese officials would at this point stick their necks out to push a deal with the US when they can have zero confidence that President Trump won’t change his mind? Liu He was humiliated by Trump.

What Does the Apparent Trump-EU Trade Truce Mean for China? - Bloomberg:

So far there are two very different answers.

One camp sees the deal between Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to suspend new tariffs while negotiating over trade as a deliberate attempt to mend fences with allies as the U.S. girds for a protracted dispute with China...

The other view: Trump’s apparent deal with Europe shows how bargains can be struck.

“The willingness of Trump to agree to a trade truce with the EU is a positive sign that a similar arrangement could be reached during a discussion with Xi Jinping,” said Andy Rothman, a former U.S. diplomat in Beijing who’s now an investment strategist at Matthews Asia, a money manager. “I also think that Xi is better placed to make more concessions than Juncker was able to offer, and thus obtain more concrete results from Trump.”

Comment: I lean towards the first camp.

Beijing Welcomes U.S.-EU Trade Deal - Caixin Global:

“It is certainly a good thing to not fight a trade war, not only for the U.S. and Europe, but also for the whole world,” Ministry of Commerce Spokesman Gao Feng said at a regular press conference. “We will keep an eye on whether the two sides’ joint statement can get implemented.”

Goldman Says China Tariff Pain Will Be Eliminated by Yuan Slump - Bloomberg:

A Bloomberg replica of the CFETS RMB Index, tracking the yuan against 24 currencies, has fallen more than 5 percent from this year’s peak in June. By helping China’s export competitiveness, the slump should boost the country’s gross domestic product by 40 to 50 basis points, which is enough to blunt the impact of U.S. levies on $250 billion of Chinese goods, Goldman economists led by MK Tang wrote in a note dated July 25.

The hawks of war: how moderates were shut out of Donald Trump’s inner US-China trade circle | South China Morning Post:

For many China hands who have studied the US-China relationship for years or even decades, and are generally viewed as China-friendly voices, such transformations – and the present atmosphere – are troubling.

David Lampton, director of China studies at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, is among them...

In an increasingly hostile environment, “it becomes more difficult for China scholars, and they become more cautious. Above all, they are concerned about domestic trends in China and some of the non-reciprocal treatment the United States and other western countries receive in China”, he said...

Lampton, of Johns Hopkins, issued a warning.

“What’s happening in the past six or seven years is the first time since 1972 that all three pillars” – security interests, economic ties and internal political developments – “are weakening in both countries at the same time. Indeed, they are under attack. That’s why I say we are at a time that is probably more serious than any time since 1972”.

He predicted that the nations’ ties would worsen before they got better, adding that “we are not near the end point”.

“My experience is that, in both countries, bad policy can last longer than you might hope and countries can stay on the wrong road for a long time,” he said.

2. Beijing kills the Qualcomm-NXP deal

Too bad the US didn't require approval of this deal before approving the deal for ZTE, it seems like there was some unused leverage in this case.

Qualcomm ends $44 billion NXP bid after failing to win China approval | Reuters:

“We obviously got caught up in something that was above us,” Qualcomm Chief Executive Steve Mollenkopf said in an interview after the announcement on Wednesday.

China’s suffocation of Qualcomm-NXP merger signals new era | Financial Times $$:

In late May, a team of Qualcomm lawyers arrived in Beijing to seal a deal with Chinese competition regulators, optimistic that they would soon clear the last hurdle in the US semiconductor company’s proposed $44bn acquisition of the Dutch-owned NXP...

“The regulators started to say things along the lines of ‘your president embarrassed Liu He’, ‘he offended the Chinese people’, and all that,” said the person briefed on Qualcomm’s interactions. ..

“We were completely blindsided,” said one investment manager that had a large position in NXP.

Comment: The impact of the humiliation of Liu He by Trump should not be underestimated. And this investment manager was not paying attention to the right sources on China. This deal termination should have been a surprise to no one at this point.

Qualcomm’s failed $44 billion deal with NXP should not be linked to China-US trade ties: MOFCOM - Global Times:

The termination of a deal between world-leading chipmaker Qualcomm and semiconductor manufacturer NXP is an issue of antitrust regulation and has nothing to do with China-US economic and trade relations, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said on Thursday at a regular press briefing...

The falling apart of the deal is good news for domestic industries making or using chips, as the situation could have prevented a scenario whereby the chips for PCs, mobile phones and Smart Internet-connected devices were all held in the hands of an American company," Xiang Ligang, chief executive of telecom industry news site, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Commentary: Develop core technology to break US high-tech monopoly - People's Daily Online:

How can China’s high-tech enterprises, especially those in the internet information sector gain a foothold when facing the overwhelming technological monopoly of the US?...

Currently, a majority of the internet information markets have been monopolized by foreign enterprises, so the exploitation of government procurement market is of vital importance for China.

China has not yet joined the WTO’s Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA), so its government procurement market remains closed. This sector, as a result, enjoys a great chance in developing China’s own core technologies.

Though it only accounts for a very small percentage of the country’s general market, it still has a size equivalent to that of a major European country thanks to China’s huge economic aggregate.--Ni Guangnan is a researcher at Institute of Computing Technology of Chinese Academy of Sciences and an academician at Chinese Academy of Engineering.

3. Explosion outside US embassy in Beijing

U.S. Embassy Street in Beijing Is Rocked by Blast - The New York Times:

A visa agent who said he was about 30 feet away when the blast occurred said the source appeared to be an explosive device, set off by a man who had been trying to call attention to a human rights issue.

Earlier in the day, a woman who had also been protesting was arrested after dousing herself in gasoline, the agent said. It was not clear whether the two incidents were related.

Lone suspect wounded in blast near U.S. embassy in China | Reuters:

A bomb exploded outside the U.S. embassy in Beijing on Thursday, wounding the lone assailant, the embassy said in a statement, but police described the weapon merely as a “firework device”.

The explosion happened on the street outside southeast corner of the embassy compound. Beijing police said the suspect, a 26-year-old man from China’s Inner Mongolia region, had injured his hand and been taken to hospital.

Police did not provide a motive...

The state-run Global Times reported separately, citing witnesses, that police took away a woman who sprayed herself with gasoline in a suspected self-immolation attempt outside the embassy at around 11 a.m. It was not clear whether this woman’s actions were related to the later explosion, the paper said.

A witness who did not want to be identified told Reuters that he saw a middle-aged woman with two buckets of gasoline. On her back were the Chinese characters for “sue them”.

AFP reporter Becky Davis tweeted her videos of a woman dragged off by authorities as she was trying to show her videos of the explosion:

Becky Davis@rebeccaludavis

Have a taste of Chinese rule of law at Beijing US embassy explosion site! Scene 1: A bystander (woman w flower print shirt @ far right) kindly decided to share images and video - apparently passed to her by a friend - w a scrum of journalists via WeChat

July 26, 2018
Becky Davis@rebeccaludavis

I turn my back for sec and next thing I know the poor woman has been dragged across the street away from the journos by plainclothes men o.O

July 26, 2018
Becky Davis@rebeccaludavis

Scene 2: I chase them.
“Take her into the hotel,” green shirt guy says.
“Why do you have to take this woman away?” I ask. No answer
“Get out of here quick. Dad’s waiting for you at home,” green shirt guy says, forcibly grabbing her

July 26, 2018

Explosion reported in Beijing's Chaoyang District - People's Daily Online:

A 26-year-old male from China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region was injured after detonating a "firecracker-like device" in Chaoyang District around 1:00 p.m. BJT, Beijing police said on Thursday.

4. US airlines have still not satisfied Beijing

The Civil Aviation Administration says the Taiwan-related changes are incomplete.

U.S. airlines' website changes to Taiwan references 'incomplete', says China - Reuters:

The four were American Airlines Group Inc (AAL.O), Delta Air Lines (DAL.N), United Airlines (UAL.N) and Hawaiian Airlines (HA.O), it added.

The aviation regulator did not say in what way the amendments by the four airlines were incomplete.

Checks on Wednesday showed all four of the U.S. airlines now list only Taipei’s airport code and city, but not the name Taiwan.

40 of 44 foreign airlines finish country listing rectifications - ECNS:

The four remaining foreign airlines -- United, American, Delta and Hawaiian airlines -- reported to the CAAC on Wednesday that they need two more weeks to complete the process.

CAAC said it has verified that the four airlines involved had started updating their official websites but the change was not yet complete by the deadline.

It will keep a close eye on the progress and decide whether to activate corresponding procedures according to specific situations, CAAC said.

中国民航局:4家美航司提交官网整改报告 恳请两周后审查--国际--人民网:



5. Xi at the BRICS Business Forum

Full text of Chinese president's speech at BRICS Business Forum in South Africa - Xinhua:

We are witnessing major changes unfolding in our world, something unseen in a century. This is a world of both opportunities and challenges for us emerging markets and developing countries. We should pursue BRICS cooperation in the historical process of global transformation, and we should promote the development of our own countries in the historical course of promoting the common development of both BRICS countries and other countries in the world, thus making new advances in the next Golden Decade...

The next decade will see a profound reshaping of the global governance system. The world is moving toward multi-polarity and greater economic globalization amid setbacks. Geopolitical hotspots keep emerging, and the dark shadow of terrorism and armed conflicts still haunts us. Unilateralism and protectionism are mounting, dealing a severe blow to multilateralism and the multilateral trading regime. The international community has reached a new crossroads; and we are facing a choice between cooperation and confrontation, between opening-up and a close-door policy, and between mutual benefit and a beggar-thy-neighbor approach. Thus, the evolution of global governance system will have a profound impact on the development of all countries, particularly emerging markets and developing countries, and indeed on the prosperity and stability of the whole world...

This year marks the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela. Let me quote one of his famous sayings, "After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb." Indeed, the history of BRICS cooperation is a journey of our five countries climbing great hills only to reach new heights. I am convinced that when our five countries forge ahead together, we will scale new peaks, reach new heights, and make even greater contribution to peace and development of mankind.

Beijing moots 'China-India Plus' cooperation as Xi, Modi attend BRICS Summit - CGTN:

Beijing on Tuesday mooted a “China-India Plus” model of cooperation in Africa and beyond as the leaders of both the Asian countries were poised to attend the 10th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg from July 25 to 27. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are also expected to hold bilateral talks on the sidelines of the summit.

More of Africa Finds Itself in China’s Debt - WSJ $$:

Chinese President Xi Jinping has signed a slate of investment deals during a weeklong tour of Africa, feeding into concerns in the West and on the continent over ballooning levels of indebtedness to Beijing and its expanding political footprint.

Already Africa’s biggest single-country trading partner, China has become its biggest creditor, too. It holds at least 14% of the continent’s sovereign debt, having lent more than $100 billion to governments and state enterprises since 2000, according to the Washington-based Brookings Institution.

China's Xi jinping Africa visit is the latest of many — Quartz:

China’s top leadership (the president, premier and foreign minister) has made a total of 79 visits to 43 different African countries over the past 10 years, according to international consulting firm Development Reimagined. 

6. New cyber czar?

An interesting set of moves, sure to spur lots of rumors, looks like Xi is not happy with Li Keqiang’s management of the State Council Information Office.

Xi Jinping to shake up propaganda, censorship chiefs as China’s image abroad suffers | South China Morning Post:

As part of the shake-up, Chinese President Xi Jinping is installing allies in key posts...

Xu Lin, who worked for Xi in Shanghai, is likely to take over as the party’s international propaganda chief.

Xu, 56, the head of the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) since June 2016, was expected to take charge of the State Council Information Office and the party’s external propaganda arm, the sources said, replacing Jiang Jianguo...

Zhuang Rongwen, also a Xi ally, is expected to take over from Xu at the CAC, also known as the Office of the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission.

Zhuang, 57, who previously worked for Xi in Fujian, has risen quickly in the official hierarchy, gaining promotion in April to head of the State Administration of Press and Publication.

State Council appoints, removes officials - Xinhua:

Jiang Jianguo will no longer hold the post of head of the State Council Information Office.

7. So much for Facebook's new China company

China Said to Quickly Withdraw Approval for New Facebook Venture - The New York Times:

Now the approval has been withdrawn, according to a person familiar with the matter who declined to be named because the person was not authorized to speak on the record...

While the about-face does not definitively end Facebook’s chances of establishing the company, it makes success very unlikely, the person said. The decision to take down the approval, the person added, came after a disagreement between officials in Zhejiang and the national internet regulator, the Cyberspace Administration of China, which was angry that it had not been consulted more closely.

Comment: Remarkable that after all the money, time and reputation Facebook spent on trying to "figure out" China it thought this could go forward without ensuring Beijing was OK with this. Small firms can sometimes get away with these kinds of provincial "backdoor" deals, but there was no way that would fly for a firm with Facebook's stature. Given Facebook’s slowing user growth globally I imagine the China team is under immense pressure to deliver something.

8. Buy bad loans on Taobao

Returning to Its Roots: The Role of Taobao Auctions in Resolving Delinquent Loans - MacroPolo - Dinny McMahon:

Alibaba, through its Taobao platform, has assumed a uniquely broad role in helping China’s financial sector extract value from bad loans. It has become a major platform through which banks and asset management companies (AMCs) auction off nonperforming loans (NPLs), while at the same time playing a key role in the auctioning of collateral that backs delinquent loans.

Taobao has the potential to become the single most important platform for NPL auctions. According to data from MacroPolo, in 4Q 2017 NPLs with a face value of 33 billion yuan were auctioned on Taobao, exceeding the 28 billion yuan that were auctioned on the Tianjin Financial Assets Exchange—the most active of the NPL exchanges.

Meanwhile, Taobao has become the judicial system’s platform of choice, with some 3,500 courts throughout China currently using it for judicial auctions. Assets posted as collateral against delinquent loans can only be claimed by the lender with the approval of a court. When the court gives its approval, it then initiates the assets’ sale by ordering a judicial auction.

Business, Economy, Finance And Trade

Leading group for SOE reform revamped - The circular said Vice-premier Liu He will head the leading group, assisted by State Councilor Wang Yong acting as the deputy head. Other members of the group include senior officials from ministries, commissions and agencies such as the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) and the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee. The office of the leading group will be at the SASAC, headed by the SASAC director Xiao Yaqing.

China Said to Ease Bank Capital Rule to Free Up More Lending - Bloomberg The People’s Bank of China told some banks on Wednesday that a specific capital requirement will be eased to support lending, according to people familiar with the matter. The change is being made to support local financial institutions in meeting credit demand effectively, said the people, who asked not to be named because the instructions haven’t been made public. Easing capital requirements is another move by policy makers in Beijing to shore up growth amid the escalating trade war with the U.S. While China is trying to cut leverage across its system and rein in risk, the threat posed by America’s actions has seen it scale back some of its previous efforts to slow the expansion of credit. The central bank specified that the capital-buffer reduction is a counter-cyclical adjustment in reaction to rising uncertainty over trade, the people said.

人民要论:中国有能力跨越“中等收入陷阱”--理论-人民网 Chongyang Institute's Wang Wen writes on p 7 of the 7.26 People's Daily that China has the ability to avoid the "middle income trap"

China's Shanxi rolls out regional environmental checks, mills cut output | Reuters China’s major coal-producing province of Shanxi is carrying out regional environmental checks ahead of intensified central inspections next month, according to a statement from a local government in the province and industrial sources.

Chinese Cities Launch Record Number of Property Control Policies in 2018 - China Banking News Data from state-owned media indicates that a total of 192 property control policies were launched around China by 73 municipal governments during the period from January to June, for an increase of 65% compared to the 116 policies unveiled in the same period last year.

After Executive Vanishes, Investors Turn to Custodian Bank - Caixin Global The investors, all of whom bought wealth management products (WMPs) linked to a company whose chairman disappeared a month ago, have been gathering outside a local branch of Bank of Shanghai to demand the return of their cash. The dispute spotlights the responsibilities that custodian banks like Bank of Shanghai have in cases like that of Fuxing Group (FX Group), the Shanghai-based conglomerate behind the private equity (PE) firms that issued the WMPs bought by the aggrieved investors. Those three firms had issued more than 150 WMPs. It remains unclear how much investors have sunk into those products. But coupled with the company’s bank debt, FX Group’s total outstanding liabilities amount to an estimated 30 billion yuan ($4.43 billion).

Revenues from Local Government Land Sales Surge 43% in First Half of 2018 - China Banking News Revenues reaped by China’s local governments from land sales saw surging growth in the first half of 2018. Data from the Ministry of Finance indicates that Chinese local governments garnered revenues of 2.6941 trillion yuan in the first half of the year from sales of land, for year-on-year growth of 43%.


Politics, Law And Ideology

中央第五巡视组向新华社党组反馈巡视情况————要闻——中央纪委国家监委网站 CCDI has just published the results of the latest round of inspections. This is one for Xinhua, says there are still political and ideological issues, personnel selection problems and violations of the "8 regulations" as well as incomplete implementation of the recommendations from previous round of inspections//桑竹梅指出,党的十八大以来,新华社党组不断增强“四个意识”“四个自信”,注重坚持党的领导,不断加强党的建设,管党治党意识进一步增强,政治生态、党风政风有所好转,干部职工精神面貌发生较大变化,为党的新闻事业作出了积极贡献。巡视中,巡视组发现和干部群众反映了一些问题,主要是:学习贯彻习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想和党的十九大精神实效性不够强,落实“党媒姓党”“政治家办社”要求、提高政治站位、强化责任担当存在差距;聚焦主责主业不够,履行国家通讯社职责存在短板,国际传播能力有待加强,落实意识形态工作责任制不够到位;党建工作层层递减,基层党组织虚化弱化,执行选人用人规定不严,存在“带病重用”“近亲繁殖”等问题;履行“两个责任”不到位,执行纪律规矩不严,违反中央八项规定精神和“四风”问题仍有发生;一些重点领域和关键岗位存在廉洁风险,经营“靠山吃山”问题依然存在;上次巡视整改不到位。同时,巡视组还收到反映一些领导干部的问题线索,已按规定转中央纪委、中央组织部等有关方面处理。// Here is the full list of the all the reports from this round of inspections on the CCDI site.

Thursday CCTV Evening News summary of the CCDI inspection results--十九届中央第一轮巡视完成反馈:巡视整改要见真章 动真格 求实效_CCTV节目官网-CCTV-1_央视网(

Vaccine scandal: the Chinese officials who defy disgrace to rise from the ashes of public crises | South China Morning Post A deadly health crisis would end careers for government officials in many countries, but China’s latest vaccine scandal has occurred on the watch of a regulatory official who was held responsible for the melamine milk contamination case a decade ago...Among the dozen-plus officials held responsible for that failure was Sun Xianze, who oversaw food safety regulation in the food and drug regulator. Sun was issued a demerit, the lightest of the penalties given to the disgraced group of cadres.“So the guy who oversaw Sanlu was taking charge of the vaccines, how wonderful!” one internet user wrote on Wednesday.Six years after the scandal, Sun was assigned to oversee drug safety in the same government agency until his due retirement in March. // Meritocracy...

Chinese drug regulators step up nationwide inspections after latest vaccine scandal | South China Morning Post The announcement by the State Drug Administration (SDA) late Wednesday came as the central government dispatched a team of investigators to investigate the country’s second largest rabies vaccine producer Changchun Changsheng, which is at the centre of China’s worst vaccine scandal in years. The previous day the government also promised to establish a long-term mechanism to ensure vaccine safety.

The Deleted WeChat Post That Fueled China's Vaccine Scandal - The Atlantic The story began back in November, when a large vaccine manufacturer called Changsheng Biotechnology Co. was forced to recall 252,600 ineffective doses of vaccines for DPT (diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus). Then earlier this July, a government investigation caught Changsheng falsifying data about its rabies vaccine, and a local food and drug administration fined the company 3.44 million yuan, or approximately $500,000, over the faulty DPT vaccines... Over the weekend, an anonymous post recounting all this and more went viral on the Chinese social network WeChat. In addition to the recent developments, it alleged a complex web of corruption that went back decades, involving other vaccines for hepatitis B and chicken pox. The post was deleted the next day.

Premier Li visits rural family in Tibet | Premier Li Keqiang visited a village in Linzhi on July 25, the first stop of his inspection tour to southwest China's Tibet autonomous region. As part of the local government's anti-poverty efforts, residents were relocated here from poverty-stricken areas.

Chinese court cited activist's book on democracy in handing down 13-year 'subversion' sentence | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP A Chinese court cited a book published in Hong Kong in sentencing veteran political campaigner Qin Yongmin to 13 years in prison earlier this month. Qin was found guilty of “subversion of state power” and sentenced on July 11 by a court in central China. The 64-year-old had been held since March 2015, and is set to serve his sentence until March 20, 2028. The sentence is believed to be the longest sentence for a subversion charge handed out in China in the past 15 years. A judgement by the Wuhan Intermediate People’s Court, released on Tuesday, said the court used as evidence a collection of Qin’s writings on democracy published in Hong Kong.

CNPC plans 150-bln-yuan investment in Xinjiang - Xinhua China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) will invest 150 billion yuan (about 22.3 billion U.S. dollars) in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region by 2020 to boost oil and gas industry and help with poverty relief.


Foreign and Military Affairs

Visa Restrictions for Chinese Students Alarm Academia - The New York Times Details about the visa restrictions remain murky. At a June 6 Senate hearing, Edward J. Ramotowski, the deputy assistant secretary for visa services at the State Department, confirmed that new screening instructions were given to American embassies and consulates “to deal with certain individuals from China.”He did not disclose which areas of study would be subject to additional scrutiny, but The Associated Press has reported that the restrictions focus on robotics, aviation and high-tech manufacturing — areas where China has pushed to bolster its presence in the global market. The Bureau of Consular Affairs declined to comment on the specifics of the changes.

China lodges representations with U.S. over defense bill - Xinhua "We urge the U.S. side to discard the outdated cold-war and zero-sum mentality, immediately delete the relevant negative content and uphold rather than disrupt the steady development of the relations between the two countries," Geng said.

Despite tension, Chinese, U.S. militaries to host health meet | Reuters Defence ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang told a monthly briefing the two nation’s militaries would jointly hold the Asia Pacific Military Health Exchange in China’s city of Xian from Sept. 17 to 21.

India China border news: China quietly resumes its activities in Doklam area: US official "I would assess that India is vigorously defending its northern borders and this is a subject of concern to India," Alice G Wells, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia told lawmakers during a Congressional hearing while responding to a question on China's increased road-building activities along the border..."Although both countries back down, China has quietly resume ..


Tech And Media

Tencent-Backed PDD Is Said to Price $1.6 Billion U.S. IPO at Top - Bloomberg The Shanghai-based shopping platform backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd. has priced 85.6 million American depositary shares at $19 each, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the details are private. The shares were marketed at $16 to $19 each, according to a regulatory filing.

Tech startups ByteDance, Kuaishou getting big serving China's poor — Quartz “People living in the five rings of Beijing wouldn’t understand our purpose,” Pinduoduo co-founder Colin Huang, a former Google engineer, told Chinese media outlet Caijing (link in Chinese). “The new consumer economy isn’t about giving Shanghainese the life of Parisians. It’s about providing paper towels and good fruit to people in Anhui province.”

Chinese chipmaker Tsinghua Unigroup to buy France's Linxens for $2.6 billion: sources | Reuters China’s top state chip manufacturer Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd has signed a deal to acquire French smart chip components maker Linxens for about 2.2 billion euros ($2.6 billion), five people with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Former Israeli Chief Scientist to Raise $100 Million Fund in China - Caixin Global Avi Hasson, the former chief scientist at the Israeli Ministry of Economy, is raising a $100 million fund backed by Chinese investors, in partnership with former colleague and founder of Emerge Fund Dovi Ollech. The two announced the new fund, called Emerge II, in a press conference in Beijing on Friday, alongside several of the fund's largest Chinese investors.

Chinese WeChat's emojis express emotions Western apps cannot — Quartz a useful guide


Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History

People told to speak out over sexual assault - China Daily  An anonymous letter circulated online on Wednesday accusing Zhang Wen, who worked for several high-profile Chinese magazines, of rape. Zhang denied the accusation, issuing a statement through his lawyer that said a person should call police instead of posting information on social media after a sexual assault. He said he would defend his reputation through legal channels if necessary, Beijing News reported. The allegations came after two charity founders confessed this week to sexually abusing women-also following accusations posted online. "It's good to see women stand up against sexual assault," said Zhao Li, a Beijing criminal lawyer. "They need more encouragement. The louder they speak out, the more of a threat they pose to offenders."

Chinese dog owner must pay US$6,660 compensation to Lamborghini driver who hit her golden retriever | South China Morning Post A dog owner in eastern China has agreed to pay a Lamborghini owner 45,000 yuan (US$6,600) in compensation after her dog ran out in front of the car and caused minor damage to the vehicle, a local broadcaster reported on Tuesday.


Energy, Environment, Science And Health

China needs nearly $150 bln to treat severe river pollution - official | Reuters Zhang Bo, director of the water department at the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, said local authorities needed to build another 400,000 kilometres (248,548 miles) of waste water pipelines to help treat the problem. But with each kilometre costing 3 million yuan, governments needed to raise water treatment prices to cover it. Speaking at a regular monthly news conference, Zhang told reporters that "it was hard to be optimistic" when it came to meeting targets. Financing problems and compliance failures at a local level have held back the clean-up programme, he said.

China to complete standardizing urban, rural medical insurance by 2019 - Xinhua A unified national medical insurance service, from which both urban and rural residents enjoy equal benefits, will be in place by 2019, said the state medical insurance administration Wednesday. In a notice jointly issued by the ministries of Finance, Human Resources and Social Security, the National Health Commission and the administration, local governments that have not started such service were urged to seize the moment and prepare themselves to put it into operation as soon as possible.

Many Chinese cities reduce price of imported anticancer drugs - People's Daily Online Xian-Janssen has reduced the price of its important anticancer drug Decitabine for Injection from 10,237.68 yuan ($1,509) to 4,996 yuan ($738), down 52 percent, making the price similar or even cheaper than domestic generic drugs. Pfizer also offered to reduce prices of some of its drugs in several provinces of China. In central China’s Hubei province, the company decided to reduce the prices of 15 drugs by 10.2 percent at most, with nearly half of them being anticancer drugs.

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