Guo Shuqing Talks Financial Regulatory Crackdown With People's Daily; Trump And Xi Have A Call, FBI Arrests Suspected PRC Mole; US Congress May Go After CCP Influence Operations

Happy Wednesday, still under the weather so apologies in advance for any incoherence and today's brevity

The Essential Eight

1. Banking Regulator Guo Shuqing Talks About The Financial Regulatory Crackdown With The People's Daily

The takeaway: The crackdown is only going to intensify.

People's Daily has an interview with CBRC head Guo Shuqing on the "battle" to prevent and reduce major financial system risks-打好防范化解重大金融风险攻坚战(权威访谈)--时政--人民网 

China must bring household debt under control, banking regulator says | South China Morning Post:

In an interview published in Monday’s People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party, Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, said it was necessary for China to “lower corporate debt ratio and to curb the leverage ratio of households”.

While tackling financial risk has been a hot topic for some time – and one of President Xi Jinping’s headline goals for his second term in office – Guo has never before raised the issue in public.

Efforts to rein in household borrowing would be part of a broader campaign to lower debt levels across the economy, he said.

China Official Says Crackdown on Murky Conglomerates Isn't Over - Bloomberg:

Such operations have become major obstacles to the nation’s efforts to deepen financial reform and safeguard banking stability, Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, said in an interview published by the official People’s Daily on Wednesday. Some shareholders used banks as their “ATM machines” and “recklessly conducted unfair connected transactions to line their own pockets,” he was quoted as saying.

What exactly have investigators learned from Xiao Jianhua and his many banking licenses and investments in financial institutions? Given that much of the financial conglomerate messes began when Wen Jiabao was premier, will Wen and his family end up taking a fall from this clear top-level assault on the regulatory issues in the financial system?--郭树清:少数不法分子违规构建庞大金融集团 - 金融 - 中国经营网:

郭树清称,深化银行业改革的重点是要完善公司治理结构。首先要加强股权管理和董事会建设。要厘清股权关系,开展股东履约和依法履职情况评估,加强对股东的穿透监管,大力整治隐形股东和股权代持现象。

The 1.17 People's Daily has a commentary calling on the financial regulators to avoid regulatory capture, and once again become the "nanny" for the industry--人民日报评论:锁紧银行业风险的笼子

China Insurance Regulatory Commission has issued notice on the "Issuance of the Overall Plan to Win the Resolute Battle of the Insurance Industry to Prevent and Resolve Major Risks"-中国保监会关于印发《打赢保险业防范化解重大风险攻坚战的总体方案》的通知 - 中国保险监督管理委员会

CBRC notice on measuring default risks among derivatives couterparties -—银监会发布《关于印发〈衍生工具交易对手违约风险资产计量规则〉的通知》充分捕捉衍生工具交易对手 信用风险波动和增长_监管动态_中国金融新闻网

China's Outbound Investment Slumped in 2017 as Deals Scrutinized - Bloomberg:

Non-financial overseas investments plunged 29.4 percent to $120 billion, the Commerce Ministry said in a statement Tuesday. The drop came as policy makers have stepped up scrutiny of the country’s most prolific dealmakers since late 2016, including conglomerates such as HNA Group Co., in an effort to slow offshore takeovers that contributed to a surge in fund outflows and rapid depreciation in the yuan.


2. FBI Arrests Suspected CIA Mole Who Blew Up CIA Spy Network Targeting The PRC

The unraveling of what by all accounts was a very effective spying operation came at an unfortunate time for the US, as the the government entered the Xi Era with far less visibility into the PRC leadership and its intentions. This whole case provides interesting context for the recent Counter-espionage law and the government-directed campaigns to be wary of foreign spies. Xi must have been shocked by the extent of the US penetration. 

Ex-C.I.A. Officer Suspected of Compromising Chinese Informants Is Arrested - The New York Times:

The arrest of the former agent, Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 53, capped an intense F.B.I. investigation that began around 2012 after the C.I.A. began losing its informants in China. Mr. Lee was at the center of a mole hunt in which some intelligence officials believed that he had betrayed the United States but others thought that the Chinese government had hacked the C.I.A.’s covert communications used to talk to foreign sources of information.

Still other former intelligence officials have also argued that the spy network might have been crippled by a combination of both, as well as sloppy tradecraft by agency officers in China. The counterintelligence investigation into how the Chinese managed to hunt down American agents was a source of friction between the C.I.A. and F.B.I.

Christie’s Suspends Arrested Ex-CIA Officer - WSJ $$:

Christie’s has suspended a former CIA officer, who was arrested in New York Monday, from his job as head of security at the auction house’s Hong Kong office, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The auction house said in a statement that it had suspended an unnamed employee pending a criminal investigation

Read the Case Against Jerry Chun Shing Lee - The New York Times


3. Trump And Xi Talk North Korea And Trade

Comment: Trump keeps signaling he is about to get much "tougher" on trade with China, but it remains to be seen if Xi believes the threats or thinks Trump is a paper tiger. As I have written several times, Beijing does not want a trade war with the US but has a list of US firms it will target if one starts, and may very well use US actions to further inflame nationalism and anti-US sentiment, as any US actions may be portrayed as the US "trying to keep China down and prevent the Great Rejuvenation"... 

Readout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Xi Jinping of the People's Republic of China:

President Donald J. Trump spoke yesterday with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China to discuss recent developments on the Korean Peninsula.  President Trump and President Xi acknowledged the resumption of inter-Korean dialogue and expressed hope that it might prompt a change in North Korea’s destructive behavior.  President Trump committed to sustain the United States-led global campaign of maximum pressure to compel North Korea to commit to denuclearization.  The two leaders also discussed trade issues, and President Trump expressed disappointment that the United States’ trade deficit with China has continued to grow.  President Trump made clear that the situation is not sustainable.

Spotlight: Xi, Trump discuss trade, Korean Peninsula over phone - Xinhua

The two sides need to maintain high-level and various levels of interactions, bring the four high-level dialogue mechanisms between them into full play, and hold the second round of dialogues at a proper time, Xi said.

As economic and trade cooperation brings tangible benefits to both peoples, the two countries should adopt constructive measures to properly settle economic and trade issues of mutual concern by opening up the market to each other and "making the cake of cooperation bigger," Xi added...

In response to Trump's request for comments on the development of the situation on the Korean Peninsula, Xi told him that China was "ready to join the U.S. for proper settlement of the nuclear issue."

Xi said that there are some positive changes and related parties should work jointly to keep up the hard-won momentum for the easing of the situation on the Korean Peninsula and create conditions for the resumption of talks.


4. Beijing Not Happy With Canada Meeting On North Korea

Tillerson Warns Threat of North Korea War Growing Despite Talks - Bloomberg:

Tuesday’s discussions were conceived by the U.S. primarily as a show of unity as it seeks to drive North Korea further into isolation and get it to negotiate away its nuclear program. Yet divisions were apparent from the start, with the organizers declining to invite Russia and China, the two nations that maintain the strongest economic ties with the North.

One focus of the discussions was maritime interdiction -- stopping ship-to-ship oil transfers and keeping vessels from bringing goods to and from North Korea. Officials said that may include getting the United Nations to block port access for some ships known to be involved in that trade

US meets Korean War allies, wants more pressure on NKorea - The Washington Post:

The uncompromising message delivered to a gathering of 20 nations that were on America’s side during the Korean War came despite the recent diplomatic opening between the North and the U.S.-allied South after a year of escalating tension.

“We must increase the costs of the regime’s behavior to the point that North Korea must come to the table for credible negotiations,” Tillerson said in his opening remarks at the meeting on Canada’s western coast. The meeting convened days after a mistaken missile alert caused panic on Hawaii, a stark reminder of the fears of conflict with the North.

“We will not allow North Korea to drive a wedge through our resolve or solidarity,” Tillerson said.

China condemns Canada ‘cold war’ North Korea summit for keeping military strike option alive | South China Morning Post:

“The attendance of countries that were once participants in the Korean war gave out a very negative signal that the US might still insist on pushing North Korea to the extreme ... and that a military strike is still on the table.”

外交部:美加以所谓“联合国军”名义办会是冷战思维-新华网:

陆慷说,众所周知,“联合国军”是冷战时期的产物,早已不合时宜。美国和加拿大作为会议发起国,以所谓“联合国军”参与国名义办会明显是冷战思维,只会在国际社会制造分裂,损害推动妥善解决朝鲜半岛核问题的共同努力。在没有半岛核问题重要参与方与会的情况下召开此类会议,无法推动问题的妥善解决。处理、解决半岛核问题主渠道仍应是六方会谈的框架和联合国安理会。正因如此,这个会议的合法性和代表性遭到国际社会广泛质疑。

McMaster's secret San Francisco meeting on North Korean threat - Axios:

H.R. McMaster was in San Francisco on Saturday and Sunday for secret meetings about North Korea. He met with Shotaro Yachi, the director of the Japanese national security council, along with the South Koreans.

Why this matters: The group agreed that resumed communications by the North Koreans are diversions and don’t have any effect on its determined pursuit of nuclear weapons. The group agreed they need to put more unified pressure on the north.


5. Focus On PRC Influence Operations Intensifying

I do not want to sound like a broken record but, as I have been predicting for a while, parts of the US government are starting to take a much more serious look at PRC/CCP influence operations in the US. 

The unwillingness of the Department of Justice to enforce the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) when it comes to PRC party-state media efforts in the US has long been a mystery to me, and I have never been able to get a good answer as to why they were not required to register and which government agency was arguing they should be exempt. 

Senators Press Justice Department on Chinese State Media Outlets Registering as Foreign Agents – Foreign Policy:

In a letter sent to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday, seven senators led by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) are asking whether the Justice Department has examined if Chinese state-controlled media outlets fall under the reporting requirements of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA.

The letter comes on the heels of a December article in Foreign Policy on Beijing’s foreign media operations, revealing that the American division of CCTV — China’s state broadcaster — has not registered as a foreign agent, even as the Justice Department has asked the Russian news outlets RT and Sputnik to file under the act.

The letter-Leahy, Rubio, Colleagues Urge DOJ To Require China-Controlled Media Operating in the U.S. To Register As Foreign Agents

The Chinese Communist Party is clear in viewing media as a political tool—functioning as a ‘‘mouthpiece’’ for its official positions and in shaping public opinion. In February 2016, Chinese President and Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping reiterated the primacy of the Party’s control of the media in visits to Xinhua, People’s Daily, and China Central Television (CCTV). President Xi also stated that the media ‘‘must be surnamed Party’’ and called for ‘‘absolute loyalty’’ to the Party from official media outlets and personnel.

And China-US tech deals are only going to come under more pressure-U.S. lawmakers urge AT&T to cut commercial ties with Huawei - Reuters:

The lawmakers are also advising U.S. firms that if they have ties to Huawei or China Mobile, it could hamper their ability to do business with the U.S. government, one aide said, requesting anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

One of the commercial ties senators and House members want AT&T to cut is its collaboration with Huawei over standards for the high-speed next generation 5G network, the aides said. Another is the use of Huawei handsets by AT&T’s discount subsidiary Cricket, the aides said.

Wang Yang, well-known to US officials, looks to soon have the United Front Work Department under him—China’s go-to man on US trade to take on the Communist Party’s top job on Taiwan and Tibet | South China Morning Post

The appearance of Wang Yang, 63, at a national party gathering on engaging non-party sections of society is the latest sign that the former Chinese representative in high-level economic talks with the United States will take up the outreach portfolio....

Just months after he was elevated to the seven-man party inner sanctum – the Politburo Standing Committee – Wang hosted a meeting of chiefs of the local branches of the United Front Work Department on Tuesday, state media reported.

The party’s united front system is responsible for engaging China’s non-party elites at home and abroad and is under the leadership of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the country’s top political advisory body.

How China Infiltrated U.S. Classrooms - POLITICO Magazine on Confucius Institutes.

Contrasting China’s and Russia’s Influence Operations - Peter Mattis:

In a series of presentations, conferences, and phone calls over the last year the discussion of Chinese intelligence and information operations invariably raises the question: “How do the Chinese compare to the Russians?” I have attempted to describe the differences with three distinctions between Russian and Chinese influence operations: set-piece operations vs. playing the man; service-led operations vs. service-facilitated operations; and agents of influence vs. influenced agents. These are not perfect distinctions, and both systems can and do draw on a wide variety of means. Beijing’s methods also appear to be evolving over the last year to incorporate Russian techniques, if its operations on Taiwan can be viewed as the leading edge.


6. The Communist Party Continues To Seize The Commanding Heights Of The Internet

VPNs may be the latest hill to be taken, if the rules are enforced. 

China disrupts global companies’ web access as censorship bites - FT $$

Five international companies and organisations told the Financial Times that access to the global internet from their Chinese offices has been disrupted in recent months. Some of the companies blamed Chinese telecoms providers, saying the groups blocked crucial software used to bypass censorship.

China’s VPN Crackdown May Aid Government Surveillance - WSJ $$:

Companies, institutions and individuals use virtual private networks, or VPNs, to send secure emails, transmit data and access websites blocked in China. The country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology served notice last year that access to non-licensed VPNs will be blocked on March 31.

That will force companies and others to choose from a limited number of approved VPN providers, including ones run by China’s state-owned telecom companies—making it easier for the government to target and monitor VPN communications, according to the analysts.

The Party Commands the Net | Party Watch Initiative - Elsa Kania:

The CAC’s emergence and prominence has reflected the high-level importance that CCP leaders attach to cyber, and particularly information, security, best articulated in Xi Jinping’s oft-quoted statement, “without cyber security there is no national security.” Inherent in such statements is a focus on control over content and the recognition that information is a weapon that the CCP seeks to wield, lest it be turned against the Party. Indeed, the CAC’s “Internet management” is undertaken in order to counter the “public opinion infiltration” and adverse influence of “hostile foreign forces” and to reinforce “political security.” As the CAC Theoretical Studies Center Group gravely declared in a Qiushi article last fall, “If our Party cannot traverse the hurdle represented by the Internet, it cannot traverse the hurdle of remaining in power for the long term” (我们党过不了互联网这一关,就过不了长期执政这一关).

An article in the latest Red Flag Manuscript from a professor at Beijing University of science and Technology on 2017 trends in "Internet Thought"-2017年度网络思想状况分析 


7. PLA Discipline Inspection Team Go Full-time 

China's armed forces to set up full-time inspection teams - Xinhua:

Senior Party members at the rank of military corps and above will be overseen by full-time inspection teams, said a military regulation made public Tuesday.

Regular inspection teams will supervise Party committees of the Central Military Commission, the army, navy, air force, rocket force, and strategic support troops of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) as well as the armed police, according to the regulation, which took effect Monday.

中央军委印发《中央军委巡视工作条例》 

Chinese military to be subject to stricter discipline: senior official - Xinhua:

Zhang Youxia, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), said at a meeting of the CMC's discipline inspection commission that the armed forces under the Communist Party of China (CPC)'s absolute leadership will unwaveringly follow the Party's call to strengthen governance.

Zhang said the military will enhance Party building and keep "fighting tigers and swapping flies" -- a reference to investigating both senior and low-level corrupt officials.

"We should concentrate our resources on cracking big [corruption] cases while building a sound supervision system," Zhang said. "The cases our servicemen complain most about should also be looked into."


8. Did Guo Wengui Coverage Lead To The Arrest Of PRC Spouse Of A Chinese-American Reporter?

China holding wife of Chinese American journalist, Chen Xiaoping says - AP:

Chen Xiaoping, a New York-based editor at Chinese-language Mirror Media Group, told The Associated Press that a new video that surfaced this week of his wife denouncing his work was filmed under duress and proves that she is being held by the government in an effort to pressure him.

Over the past year, Chen has been at the centre of a political firestorm surrounding Guo Wengui, a fugitive real estate billionaire who repeatedly appeared on his live-streamed broadcast to air sensational allegations of corruption within the upper echelons of China's ruling Communist Party...

In September, shortly before one of Chen's broadcasts, his wife Li Huaiping, who remained in China, sent him a terse message saying she was "in trouble," Chen said.


Business, Economy, Finance And Trade

China's local gov'ts debt balance within targeted ceiling in 2017 - Xinhua The balance of local government debt stood at 16.5 trillion yuan (2.6 trillion U.S. dollars) by the end of 2017, below the government ceiling of 18.8 trillion yuan, official data showed Wednesday. China's local governments raised 4.4 trillion yuan through debt issues in 2017, with general bonds and special bonds reaching 2.36 trillion yuan and 2 trillion yuan respectively, according to the Ministry of Finance (MOF) showed.

China's centrally administered state firms report double-digit profit growth in 2017 - Xinhua The SOEs supervised by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) made a total of 1.4 trillion yuan (about 216.8 billion U.S. dollars) in profit, up 15.2 percent. Total revenue of the centrally administered SOEs was up 13.3 percent to 26.4 trillion yuan in 2017. China currently has 98 centrally administered SOEs, down from 117 five years ago as the central government has been restructuring central SOEs to improve their efficiency and competitiveness.

China’s Hot Housing Market Begins to Cool - WSJ $$: While China has seen brief property downturns before, the high debt levels that fueled the boom makes this slump a particular risk for China’s economy and the policy makers trying to manage it. Home prices fell 0.3% in November from a year earlier In Beijing and Shanghai, the most recent official data show. It was a small drop but a striking reversal from double-digit price surges that lasted more than a year.

Unzipping China’s Lingerie Capital - Sixth Tone By then, Lei had already made a name for himself. He had pioneered lingerie production and e-commerce sales in Guanyun [Jiangsu] — a lucrative business that grew from practically nothing about a decade ago to 1 billion yuan ($150 million) in sales for the whole county in 2016. Guanyun has become China’s largest lingerie production base, according to local government figures that claim 60 percent market share. Lei himself owns the county’s largest business, employing some 200 people — many of them from farming families — in around 20 workshops that churn out sexy tops and bottoms around the clock.

关于我国经济高质量发展的几点认识(深入学习贯彻习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想)--时政--人民网 高质量发展既然是一个阶段,就不是短时间内可以完成的,它是渐进的、积小变为大变、从量变到质变的过程。虽然是长期任务,但应把阶段性目标分解为年度任务,从当前抓起,稳步推进。推动我国经济高质量发展,最根本的是要用习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想武装头脑、指导实践、推动工作,全面贯彻落实党的十九大精神,以新时代的高昂精神状态奋力推进各项工作。   (作者为国家发改委宏观经济研究院研究员)   《 人民日报 》( 2018年01月17日 07 版)// NDRC researcher in People's Daily on high quality economic development

Another Chinese city admits releasing ‘fake’ economic data | South China Morning Post Baotou in China’s Inner Mongolia autonomous region revised its estimated fiscal revenue in 2017 lower by nearly 50 per cent in an annual work report, a copy of which was published on the Baotou government’s website on January 13.

Bitcoin (BTC) price tumbles as China plans to widen crackdown on cryptocurrency trading — Quartz Chinese authorities plan to widen their crackdown on domestic crypto-trades, by targeting methods including over-the-counter trading, offshore sites used for centralized trading, and peer-to-peer trading of large transactions, according to a report from the state-run Securities Times (link in Chinese) published yesterday (Jan. 16). The report cited an anonymous person close to the Leading Group of Internet Financial Risks Remediation, the country’s top internet-finance regulator. It didn’t specify how authorities will define these platforms or carry out such crackdowns.

China’s Alibaba Launches Crypto Mining Platform | Cointelegraph Really? // CnLedger, a Twitter-based local crypto news information provider, relayed the report from Chinese Internet service qq.com, stating Alibaba’s ‘P2P Nodes’ platform had “launched” after a registration in October 2017. According to the available material from cnLedger, Alibaba “may incorporate” P2P Nodes in its e-commerce platform “in future”:

China Smites Smog With an Iron Fist - WSJ $$ “Government inspection teams visit us daily, sometimes several times a day,” said a worker at state-owned Handan Iron and Steel Group Co. With the factory cutting back production, he and co-workers have been given new tasks, including repainting factory signs. “By the time we are done with the whole factory, the part we first painted is already dirty, so we start over again,” said the worker.

China luxury sales rebound as millennials snap up cosmetics, handbags - Reuters Sales of luxury goods in China hit 142 billion yuan ($22.07 billion) last year, up around 20 percent from the year before, Bain & Co said in a report on Wednesday. That’s the sharpest growth since 2011, when luxury sales started to be hit by slower economic growth and a fierce crackdown on corruption.

 

Politics, Law And Ideology

Book of Xi's new year speeches published - Xinhua A book of new year speeches made by Chinese President Xi Jinping from 2014 to 2018 has been published by the People's Publishing House 《习近平主席新年贺词(2014-2018)》出版 

Publicity department holds seminar on 'new era' - SCIO The Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee held a seminar on "new era" in Yan'an, northwest China's Shaanxi Province, on Jan. 15 to review a series of themed media interviews and reporting and plan for future publicity work. Revolving on the theme of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, journalists from central and regional media outlets have visited major revolutionary historical sites, including Shikumen in Shanghai and Yangjialing in Yan'an, and reported on the daily lives of the local grassroots communities. Over 4,500 articles were published in print and online media based on these visits and interviews.

江西省副省长李贻煌涉嫌严重违纪接受组织审查——中央纪委监察部网站 Jiangxi vice governor Li Yihuang is under investigation

Supreme Court Clarifies Debt-After-Divorce Rulings - Sixth Tone In the document, the Supreme People’s Court says that in cases where a loan was taken out under the name of one individual to cover costs beyond the family’s daily expenses, then courts should not hold their spouse — or former spouse — responsible for repaying the money. “The new interpretation released today means a fresh page for all of us,” said a divorcée surnamed Chen who has become an advocate for spouses in such situations. She declined to give Sixth Tone her full name, citing privacy concerns.

新华社论习近平在十九届中央纪委二次全会重要讲话 All the Xinhua editorials on Xi's recent CCDI speech

【系列网评之一】用改革打开机遇的窗口--观点--人民网 ——紧紧抓住大有可为的历史机遇期① 李达仁 // the first the three (so far) People's Daily "Internet commentaries" on the recent "xuan yan" article about "grasping the historical opportunity. The second 【系列网评之二】开创我们这一辈的黄金时代 ——紧紧抓住大有可为的历史机遇期② 于石 and the third 【系列网评之三】警惕机遇背后的“黑天鹅”“灰犀牛” ——紧紧抓住大有可为的历史机遇期③ 何西 

中共中央党校 - 学习时报网_中央党校习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想研究中心成立 The Central Party School sets up a Xi Jinping Thought For The New Era research center

论正确处理政府和市场关系 来源: 求是 作者: 秋 石 "Qiushi" essay in the latest Seeking Truth on correctly handling the relationship between the government and the market

China bans Muslim children from Quran classes | News | Al Jazeera Chinese government authorities have banned Muslim children from attending religious events during winter break, in a county in western China that is mostly populated by Muslims.  The notification for the ban has been posted online by the education bureau, as authorities step up their suppression of religious freedoms.

 

Foreign and Military Affairs

China opposes Taiwan Travel Act passed by U.S. - Xinhua China resolutely opposes an act passed by the United States House of Representatives that severely violates the one-China principle, Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, said Wednesday. Ma made the comments when asked about the Taiwan Travel Act, which aims to encourage mutual visits between U.S. and Taiwan officials at all levels.

奋力建设社会主义文化强国 Party Committee of the Ministry of Culture in the latest Seeking Truth on a sparing no effort to build a Socialist Cultural Superpower

New trouble for India as China fully occupies Doklam - ThePrint Almost five months after India and China agreed to end their tense military face-off in the Himalayan region of Doklam, Beijing has almost completely taken control of the northern side of the disputed plateau, latest satellite images accessed by ThePrint show.

 

Hong Kong, Macao

Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong jailed for second time over 2014 protest | The Guardian Wong, 21, who had pleaded guilty to the contempt charge, was already on bail pending an appeal over a six-month sentence for another offence related to the Umbrella Movement.

Hong Kong’s Cantopop scene withers as China’s music scene blooms - Channel NewsAsia With China luring away some of Hong Kong’s best new talent, the city’s music industry has suffered with many of its singers choosing to sing mostly in Mandarin instead of Cantonese.

 

Taiwan

Amid tension, China carrier group sails through Taiwan Strait - Reuters Taiwan’s Defence Ministry said a group of Chinese ships led by the Liaoning aircraft carrier entered the southwestern part of the Taiwan Strait in the early hours of Tuesday, though it stayed on the Chinese side of the waterway.

Beijing doesn’t need Taipei’s permission to open Taiwan Strait air routes, official says | South China Morning Post New route cleared by International Civil Aviation Organisation, island should not make a fuss, Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman says

 

Tech And Media

China Speech Valley eyes leadership in AI - SCIO A computer mouse with speech recognition and transcription capability, a smart watch with step tracker and sleep monitor, and a portable Chinese-English translation machine are some of the exhibits at the exhibition hall of China Speech Valley, the country's first nation-level industrial base setting its eye on speech and artificial intelligence (AI).

Google moves into Shenzhen in latest China expansion | TechCrunch The U.S. tech giant has opened an office in the Chinese city, which borders Hong Kong and known for being a global hardware hub, according to an internal email obtained by TechCrunch. This isn’t a fully-blown Google campus, instead the company has taken up space within a serviced office starting this week.

Coolpad plans Silicon Valley expansion with AI focus - FT $$ Fuelled by the injection of cash, Shenzhen-based Coolpad plans to expand in Silicon Valley as it attempts to build up its capabilities in artificial intelligence.  Chinese property mogul Chen Hua, founder and head of Kingkey Group, is leading the new investment through Power Sun Ventures, a family trust. 

In China, millions tune into online game shows - TechInAsia Combining quiz show entertainment and cash prizes, HQ Trivia was the surprise app sensation of 2017. And now a Chinese tech giant is jumping on the bandwagon. Toutiao, a US$20 billion news app with 120 million readers each day, this week updated its mobile app to incorporate Millionaire Heroes, a live and interactive online trivia show which runs several times per day.

Introducing SupChina Access - SupChina $8.88 a month

Assessing Innovation in China’s Digital Economy | Center for Strategic and International Studies How are Chinese companies thinking about the next breakthrough and what are their prospects for global expansion? What is the role of venture capital? What is Beijng’s vision for China to “build a national power in cyberspace”? How will the country’s cybersecurity law impact the development of the digital economy and innovation? What is the role of Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, and JD.com (BATJ) in building out China’s digital economy and what is their relationship with emerging companies? Does the term “internet company” accurately describe BATJ given their expansion into many more types of sectors?

 

Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History

After years of big spending, Chinese soccer goes quiet - AP “The relative lack of spending in the Chinese transfer window reflects the ongoing moderation of the market for players by China’s state authorities,” Simon Chadwick, professor of Sports Business at Salford University in the United Kingdom, told The Associated Press. “Following several high-value deals over the past two years, several regulatory interventions were made.”

Graffiti Beijing – China Channel “There are maybe 30 graffiti writers in Beijing, and only 15 are active,” said GIANT, a member of YDS (顿顺), a graffiti crew whose name means “always stealing.” The graffiti documentary Style Wars influenced the nineteen-year-old’s decision to pick up a can of spray paint. “I needed a tag name so I found a book titled Giant and chose that as my name,” he explained. “My favorite graffiti writers here are WRECK, SBAM, and ZATO,” he said, naming three established graffiti writers in Beijing.

 

Energy, Environment, Science And Health

Global warming affects fish growth in plateau area: study - Xinhua The growing season of juvenile naked carp, a species endemic to the plateau, increased by about 17 days, from the 1970s to the year 2000, as a result of global warming, according to the study released by the Institute of Hydrobiology of Chinese Academy of Sciences.

China launches new scientific research ship - Xinhua The Ocean University of China said its new deep ocean scientific research ship Dongfanghong No. 3 was launched Tuesday in Shanghai. The 103-meter-long and 18-meter-wide research ship with a tonnage of 5,800 tonnes has a maximum speed of 15 knots.

向海要地冲动强烈 我国出台最严围填海管控措施-新华网 17日,国家海洋局举行围填海情况新闻发布会,国家海洋局副局长林山青宣布,结合围填海督察整改工作,国家海洋局将采取“史上最严围填海管控措施”,以期保护优先、集约利用的用海理念牢固确立,使海域开发利用得到可持续发展。

China to dispatch robot subs to probe leaking oil tanker wreck | South China Morning Post China’s Ministry of Transport said on Wednesday that the marine patrol ship Haixun 166 had arrived at the site and the crew had started assessing the wreck to find ways to plug the leaks and contain the environmental fallout.

 

Books And Literature

Hollywood buys film rights to debut novel by Scottish teacher | The Guardian Claire McFall is little known in Britain but is hugely popular in China where her children’s book Ferryman is a bestseller