Harvard President in China; Xi heading to Europe; Political correctness CCP-style

Happy Wednesday. First an apology for the relative thinness of the newsletter this week. I have been trying to balance a family vacation with keeping up the pace and I think I am lagging. No excuses, I will make it up to, and thanks for your patience and support. On to today’s update.

Harvard’s new President is in China and gave a strong speech at Peking University in which he quoted a famous Uyghur poet, novelist, and translator and Cai Yuanpei:

It is a special honor for me to visit you as you approach…the centennial of the May Fourth Movement, a proud moment in your history that demonstrated to the world a deep commitment on the part of young Chinese to the pursuit of truth—and a deep understanding of the power of truth to shape the future. Even now, President Cai Yuanpei speaks to us. “Universities are places for grand learning,” he said. “They are grand because they follow the general principle of free thought.” Under his visionary leadership, tremendous intellectual exploration and dramatic social change were unleashed..

The top US trade negotiators are, as expected, heading back to Beijing-High-Level U.S.-China Trade Talks to Resume in Final Push for Deal - WSJ

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin plan to fly to Beijing next week to meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, Trump administration officials said. The following week, a Chinese delegation led by Mr. Liu is expected to continue talks in Washington, the officials said... 

But the two sides still have important issues to resolve including how to enforce a deal and the pace at which the U.S. and China will roll back the tariffs imposed over the past year. The U.S. has levied tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods, covering about half the value of Chinese exports to the U.S. Beijing has retaliated with tariffs on $110 billion of U.S. goods, about 90% of U.S. exports to China

But is Beijing less “desperate” for a deal than some in the US think? U.S. Said to See China Trade Pushback as Trump Touts Talks - Bloomberg:

Chinese officials have shifted their stance because after agreeing to changes to their intellectual-property policies, they haven’t received assurances from the Trump administration that tariffs imposed on their exports would be lifted, two of the people said on condition of anonymity. 

Beijing has also stepped back from its initial promises over data protection of pharmaceuticals, didn’t offer details on plans to improve patent linkages, and refused to give ground on data-service issues, one person familiar with the U.S.’s views said. Beijing is trying to bring in wording that would ensure rules in the trade agreement have to comply with Chinese laws, the person added.

I have been hearing from Chinese sources that General Secretary Xi thinks the Chinese side has already conceded too much, though it is hard to tell how much those whispers are substantive or tactical messaging to advance negotiating positions.

The current tariff regime is not so onerous that businesses can not adjust, and with President Trump’s removal of the March 1 deadline for the expansion and increase of tariffs the PRC side can take more time to negotiate, and to work to leverage its network of US influencers to lobby Trump to accept a lesser deal. Whether that will work remains to be seen, and in the meantime we will get to enjoy lots of leaks and rumors.

Thanks for reading.

The Essential Eight

1. Harvard President Bacow goes to China

China is his first overseas trip since taking up the post.

Harvard President Bacow academic freedom China | Harvard Magazine:

Given current conditions in China, particularly during this year of politically charged anniversaries, many members of the Peking University community may recognize the principles Bacow elaborated more than they can now enjoy their own scope for local action, even on their country’s campuses. 

He closed with a call both for continued scholarly ties between Harvard and Beida (and by implication their countries), and a resonant invocation of the spirit of intellectual exploration in a verse by the late Abdurehim Ötkür: 

Along life’s road I have always sought truth, 
In the search for verity, thought was always my guide. 
My heart yearned without end for a chance of expression, 
And longed to find words of meaning and grace. 
Come, my friends, let our dialogue joyfully begin.

Ötkür, a renowned Uyghur poet, novelist, and translator, graduated from Xinjiang University. Again, Bacow’s audience likely took in both the content of the verse, and its context: the United States and other nations have been increasingly critical of China’s wide detentions of the Muslim Uyghurs in the far western Xinjiang region. 

The full speech The Pursuit of Truth and the Mission of the University 

Did Xi know what Becow was going to say?

President Xi meets Harvard president - Xinhua:

Noting that this is Bacow first overseas visit after taking office, Xi said the tour showcases the importance attached by Bacow to Sino-U.S. education exchanges. 

Xi said education exchanges and cooperation are an important part of Sino-U.S. relations and help enhance the public opinion of the bilateral friendship. China advocates mutual learning, encourages Chinese students to study abroad and supports education exchanges and cooperation with other countries...

He said maintaining and deepening exchanges and cooperation between the two countries' education and cultural institutions is crucial to promoting U.S.-China relations in the long run. Hailing the popularity of the Chinese language at Harvard, Bacow boasted that Harvard has a large number of Chinese students.

Bacow said it is admirable that the Chinese government attaches great importance to higher education and makes huge efforts in this regard, noting that Harvard will continue to promote exchanges and cooperation with Chinese educational and scientific research institutions.

CCTV Evening News on the meeting 习近平会见美国哈佛大学校长 

Does Harvard have more leverage with the Party and the PRC than it has used?

2. Xinjiang

After Mass Detentions, China Razes Muslim Communities to Build a Loyal City - WSJ $$:

Two years after authorities began rounding up Urumqi’s mostly Muslim ethnic Uighur residents, many of the anchors of Uighur life and identity are being uprooted. Empty mosques remain, while the shantytown homes that surrounded them have been replaced by glass towers and retail strips like many found across China.... 

As Uighurs were forced out of the city, government money flowed in. Beijing wants Urumqi to serve as a hub for the Belt and Road Initiative, Mr. Xi’s plan to build infrastructure across Eurasia and elsewhere in an updating of Silk Road trade routes. Last year, the city approved a $6 billion airport expansion and broke ground on $4 billion in construction projects in the city’s suburbs, including a Belt and Road industrial park. 

Total investment in infrastructure, factories and other fixed assets topped 202 billion yuan ($30 billion) in 2017, up 25% over the previous year, and grew a further 9% in the first 10 months of 2018, according to official data. 

The Urumqi government also earmarked 70 billion yuan ($10 billion) last year to demolish and rebuild the city’s shantytowns, which housed large numbers of Uighur migrants from southern Xinjiang

China to invite European diplomats to Xinjiang in new diplomatic push | Reuters:

Several diplomatic sources said the invitation to visit by the end of March had been issued informally, specifically to ambassadors, with one source describing it as a “sounding out” of interest, and the government had not explicitly said who they would meet or where they would go

Uyghur Detainees from Xinjiang ‘Placed in Nearly Every Prison’ in Shandong Province - RFA:  

As global condemnation over the camp network has grown, including calls for international observers to be allowed into the XUAR to investigate the situation there, reports suggest that authorities may be transferring detainees to other parts of China as part of a bid to obfuscate the scale of detentions of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in the region. 

After receiving information from an RFA listener who said that Uyghurs were also being relocated from the XUAR to detention centers in Shandong province on China’s eastern coast, RFA contacted a provincial prison official who confirmed the claim

3. Could the PRC build its panopticon without US technology?

U.S. Firms Are Helping Build China’s Orwellian State – Foreign Policy:

When a Dutch cybersecurity researcher disclosed last month that Chinese security contractor SenseNets left a massive facial recognition database tracking the movements of over 2.5 million people in China’s Xinjiang province unsecured on the internet, it briefly shone a spotlight on the alarming scope of the Chinese surveillance state... 

Companies supply the software that watches Uighurs online and the cameras that surveil their physical movements. While based in China, many are deeply embedded in the international tech community, in ways that raise serious questions about the misuse of critical new technologies. Foreign firms, eager to access Chinese funding and data, have rushed into partnerships without heed to the ways the technologies they empower are being used in Xinjiang and elsewhere. 

In February 2018, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announced a wide-ranging research partnership with Chinese artificial-intelligence giant and global facial-recognition leader SenseTime. SenseTime then held a 49 percent stake in SenseNets, with robust cross-pollination of technical personnel. SenseNets’ parent company Netposa (also Chinese) has offices in Silicon Valley and Boston, received a strategic investment from Intel Capital in 2010, and has invested in U.S. robotics start-ups: Bito—led by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University—and Exyn, a drone software company competing in a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) artificial-intelligence challenge. This extensive enmeshing raises both moral and dual-use national-security questions

Axios Future - 1 big thing: Age of the techno-autocrat:

The big picture: Lisa-Maria Neudert, a researcher with Oxford University’s Computational Propaganda Project, says researchers are working on powerful AI technologies with enormous potential for good. But the technology also can have malicious uses — facial recognition employed for police purposes at a football stadium can also be used to repress the Uighur people of western China. 

"When these technologies become weaponized, they can be used for surveillance, manipulation and self-generating propaganda," Neudert tells Axios

4. Political correctness CCP-style

Disciplinary inspectors urged to fulfill duty of political supervision - Xinhua:

Zhao Leji, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and head of the central leading group on disciplinary inspection, made the remarks during a conference on national discipline inspection work.... 

Zhao stressed enforcing political discipline, addressing the practice of formalities for formalities' sake and bureaucratism, making political supervision a regular practice, and pushing for the implementation of major decisions and policies of the CPC Central Committee... 

Regarding the disciplinary inspections over state-owned enterprises, Zhao said, Party organizations at enterprises should be urged to improve political sense and sense of mission and fulfill duties entrusted to them by the Party and the State. 

赵乐际在全国巡视工作会议暨十九届中央第三轮巡视动员部署会上强调 认真履行新时代巡视工作政治监督责任 为决胜全面建成小康社会提供坚强保障 

China’s Communist Party introduces another loyalty test, but now cadres are asked to show some initiative too | South China Morning Post:

Beijing has issued a new set of rules for the promotion of cadres that places renewed stress on the political integrity and loyalty of candidates.

But while such loyalty tests have become commonplace, the new regulations also state that cadres must be given the all-clear by the anti-corruption watchdog before they are promoted and those who show initiative in making and acting on decisions will be favoured.

CRRC > About Us > Management Team:

Liu Hualong, male, born in 1962, Chinese, without the right of permanent abode in foreign countries, with a university degree, MBA, a Professor-level Senior Engineer, a member of CCP 19th central Commission for Discipline Inspection, is the Chairman, Executive Director and Party Secretary of the CRRC 

Comment: An astute reader noticed that all the leadership bios here say "without the right of permanent abode in foreign countries 中国国籍,无境外居留权”. Is this a new thing to state that so explicitly, to show your political correctness? i have been hearing about some sort of audit of all officials about foreign identities...wonder if this is a sign of that?

5. Dalai Lama on his succession

His comments are now new but a good reminder of the coming battle over his succession.

Dalai Lama contemplates Chinese gambit after his death | Reuters

The Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, said on Monday it was possible that once he dies his incarnation could be found in India, where he has lived in exile for 60 years, and warned that any other successor named by China would not be respected... 

“China considers Dalai Lama’s reincarnation as something very important. They have more concern about the next Dalai Lama than me,” said the Dalai Lama, swathed in his traditional red robes and yellow scarf. 

“In future, in case you see two Dalai Lamas come, one from here, in free country, one chosen by Chinese, then nobody will trust, nobody will respect (the one chosen by China). So that’s an additional problem for the Chinese! It’s possible, it can happen,” he added, laughing

Beijing: Reincarnation of Dalai Lama should follow Chinese law - CGTN:

The reincarnation system for the living Buddhas should follow Chinese laws and regulations, religious rituals and conventions, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said Tuesday in response to a question regarding the reincarnation of the 14th Dalai Lama. 

The living Buddha reincarnation system is unique to Tibetan Buddhism with integrated religious rituals and historical conventions, said Geng at the ministry's regular press conference. 

According to him, the reincarnation system for the living Buddhas has been in existence for several centuries. The succession of the 14th Dalai Lama was even conducted in accordance with the religious rituals and historical practices, and was approved by the then central government, Geng added.

Is This the Last Dalai Lama? | ChinaFile

As one possible way to avoid the interregnum problem, the Dalai Lama issued a statement in 2011 that offered an alternative to reincarnation as the mechanism to determine a successor. Briefly, this involves the concept that superior Bodhisattvas can manifest themselves into multiple bodies simultaneously, and can thus “manifest an emanation” while still alive. This would allow the Dalai Lama to “emanate” into another person before his death, thereby expressly choosing his successor. The statement also says that, “Alternatively it is possible for the Lama to appoint a successor who is either his disciple or someone young who is to be recognized as his emanation.” (Former Director of the Modern Tibetan Studies Program at Columbia University Robert Barnett’s analysis of this statement offers a deep dive into the details of the emanation mechanism.) Notably, the statement does not definitively rule out reincarnation, but rather offers the theological underpinning for continuing the Dalai Lama lineage even if selection is based on some other mechanism. Though the concept of emanation avoids the interregnum problem, it has its own shortcomings; it may prove a tough pill for devout Tibetan Buddhists to swallow, as this would be the first time that the Dalai Lama would have only emanation status and no reincarnation status (it is possible to have both).

6. Xi to Europe

Italian PM says BRI cooperation with Beijing in national interests - Xinhua:

"Our economic and trade focus (on the BRI) and on China is fully legitimate and justified in light of our national interests," Conte told lawmakers ahead of a European Union (EU) summit on March 21-22, whose agenda includes discussions on cooperation with China. 

"We will boost our exports toward an enormous market; our businesses will get the chance to participate directly in new and significant infrastructural investments," added the prime minister. 

In addition, "our peninsula, our ports and trade hubs, will not be bypassed ... but will enjoy the economic advantages" created by the BRI trade routes from China, he said

Full text of Xi's signed article on Italian newspaper - Xinhua

In a world that faces profound changes of a kind unseen in a century, the onus is on us to bring China-Italy relations to a higher level and to jointly safeguard world peace, stability, development and prosperity. Through my upcoming visit, I hope to work with Italian leaders to map out the future of our relationship and move it into a new era. 

China hopes to work with Italy to strengthen our comprehensive strategic partnership. Our two countries may plan more high-level exchanges and cooperation between our governments, parliaments, political parties and subnational entities, strengthen policy communication, enhance strategic trust and synergy, and continue to give understanding and support to each other on issues of core interests and major concerns, so as to consolidate the political foundation of our relations. 

China hopes to work with Italy to advance Belt and Road cooperation. Our two countries may harness our historical and cultural bonds forged through the ancient Silk Road as well as our geographical locations to align connectivity cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative with Italy's plan to develop its northern ports and the InvestItalia program, and jointly build the Belt and Road of the new era on sea, on land, in the air, in space and in the cultural domain

Italy to extend golden share powers to 5G technologies: League party | Reuters:

The Italian government plans to extend its special powers on strategic interests to 5G technologies in a bid to ease U.S. concerns over a planned accord on infrastructure Rome plans to sign with China this week, the ruling League party said on Wednesday. 

Under the new rules, Italy will require private and public companies to notify the government of any purchase of 5G technology from non-European providers, a League spokeswoman added.

EU leaders to coordinate positions on Thursday ahead of China summit | Reuters:

European Union leaders will coordinate their positions on Thursday evening on a number of issues they intend to raise with China at an April 9 summit, including tight cooperation on WTO reform and cyber-security concerns, a senior EU official said. 

While there will be no written conclusions of the discussion, the leaders of the 28-nation bloc will also discuss how Europe should position itself in the trade conflict between the United States and China, the official said. 

“We are ready to offer China very comprehensive cooperation in many areas,” the official, who is involved in the preparation of the EU leaders’ meeting, said. 

He said EU leaders were ready to conclude in 2020 an “ambitious” EU-China investment agreement and that leaders of EU institutions would directly engage in the talks, to speed up the process which has so far been slow

EU accelerates moves to block China’s market access | South China Morning Post:

Europe is moving unexpectedly quickly to restrict Chinese access to big public projects ranging from railways to telecoms. 

Only a week after Brussels branded Beijing as a “systemic rival”, EU leaders attending a summit on Thursday are expected to yield to pressure from Berlin and Paris and “endorse” a law that will restrict the access of Chinese companies to the EU’s €2.4 trillion-per-year public procurement market. 

Many industrial EU countries are increasingly frustrated that their leading businesses were excluded from Chinese projects such as the country’s 10,000 kilometre high-speed rail network and the Olympic facilities in 2008, while the EU opened domestic markets to Chinese bidders in tenders

Italy’s Embrace of China’s ‘Belt and Road’ Is a Snub to Washington - Bloomberg

A new master plan for the port has a wish list of €1 billion ($1.13 billion) in improvements that would speed the movement of goods into the Continent. One of them, dubbed Trihub, envisions linking the port with a newly opened freight train line to points north in Germany, as well as upgrading local rail connections that lead to Eastern Europe. The €200 million Trihub project is among more than a dozen the European Union put on the table in talks with China last year on the EU-China Connectivity Platform, a Brussels-led initiative that seeks to embed European policy priorities such as carbon reduction and market rules into any transport deals struck

7. Hong Kong business leaders worried about PRC law

Pressure mounts on Hong Kong to remove economic crimes from new China extradition law | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP:

The business sector has voiced concern about the government’s proposal, which would allow the city to accept extradition requests from the mainland and Taiwan, including for offences relating to financial crime. The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce had said that any update to the law should be handled with extreme caution and not rushed. 

The 46 crimes listed in the plan include offences relating to fiscal matters, taxes or duties, offences relating to securities and futures trading, as well as crimes relating to false or misleading trade descriptions, among others... 

[Lam] said that the 46 crimes listed in Fugitive Offenders Ordinance were included in extradition agreements with other countries and territories, and the government did not create them out of nowhere. “But as it has caused concern in society, we will – of course – be very willing to look into this once again,” she said. 

Comment: Suddenly Hong Kong business leaders are worried about PRC law...guess they realize someone powerful in China could order their extradition and shake them down?

As Beijing sends a propaganda official to the SAR—People’s Daily Head Leaves for High-Level Position at Beijing’s Liaison Office in Hong Kong - Caixin Global:

The former deputy editor-in-chief at state-run People’s Daily, Lu Xinning, has been appointed deputy director at the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region — the communication channel between Beijing and Hong Kong, according to a Tuesday announcement. 

The Office is widely seen as Beijing’s formal representation in Hong Kong. 

Lu, 52, graduated from the country's prestigious Peking University with a degree in Chinese Language and Literature, then worked for People’s Daily for almost 28 years until the new appointment. 

In 2009, Lu became the first woman to head the People’s Daily’s commentaries department. She was promoted to deputy editor-in-chief in 2014

8. Science spending priorities

In Depth: The Opportunity Cost of Building China’s ‘Large Scientific Installations’ - Caixin:

As China signs on to the global competition to build next generation high-speed particle colliders, many are questioning whether the astronomical costs are justified — and if the funding they churn through would be better spent on basic scientific research.... 

The particle collider is not the only controversial large scientific installation. Chinese astronomers have been calling for a large-aperture optical infrared telescope, which China currently lacks. In 2016, the National Development and Reform Commission announced that the Large Optical-infrared Telescope (LOT) was on the list of major science facilities to be built during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020). Plans for the 12-meter LOT have called for a budget of 1.9 billion yuan. 

However, twin design schemes for the telescope have divided the scientific community. One plan calls for a three-mirror system; the other calls for a four-mirror system. Critics of the four-mirror system say that several of the 10-meter telescopes currently in operation around the world use the three-mirror system and that the four-mirror system would not meet the National Development and Reform Commission’s requirements for the project... 

CAS held an internal meeting to assess the LOT plans with 21 experts who voted on the plan. The majority voted for the four-mirror plan. However, some of the attendees disputed the vote, saying that the presentation on the three-mirror plan was inadequate and that the experts had no way of comprehensively understanding its advantages. 

Some of the scholars who attended the assessment meeting told Caixin that the three-mirror plan was introduced by a supporter of the four-mirror plan. People familiar with the situation said that the team who developed the three-mirror plan failed to attend the symposium because they were not even invited. Indeed, Dr. Ma Donglin of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, who spearheaded the three-mirror plan, confirmed to Caixin that he had not received an invitation to attend

Business, Economy, Finance And Trade

It’s Banks’ Turn for the Hot Seat of Supply-Side Reform - Caixin  Three years after China started a supercharged regulatory storm to dismantle a labyrinthine web of shadow banking activities and lower the country’s debt ratio, the winds are abating as policymakers shift their focus to supporting the economy…Signs are increasing that the deleveraging campaign has yielded ground to a more pressing structural problem — how to change the financial system so that more credit is channeled to activities that produce real goods and services and to underserved sectors of the economy such as small and private companies...Policymakers are seeking to use financial supply-side structural reform to provide aid to small and private firms in a more regular and sustainable way by opening up the financial markets to smaller players and reduce the dominance of large state-owned banks and insurance companies... 

China banks face huge capital hole as stimulus spurs lending | Financial Times $$ Listed Chinese banks will need to raise about $260bn in fresh capital over the next three years as regulations force shadow-bank loans back on to balance sheets and global rules on systemically important groups impose extra requirements on the largest lenders.

Quality Issues Plague China's Electric-Car Industry - Bloomberg For several days last week, the often distressingly poor quality of China’s electric cars was a leading topic across Chinese media. According to one survey ricocheting across the web, nearly 70 percent of respondents said they regretted buying a new-energy vehicle (NEV). Many expected the industry to be targeted in China’s wildly popular “Consumer Rights Day” gala television special, which shames corporate giants for service and quality lapses. While privacy-invading tech companies were harangued instead, the frustration of car owners continues to spill over on both social and traditional Chinese media

NBA Seeks Government Point Guard in China Amid U.S. Tensions - Bloomberg The newly created position, based either in Beijing or Shanghai, will report directly to NBA China Chief Executive Officer Derek Chang and be in charge of “shaping the public narrative” of the league in the world’s second largest economy, said the job posting, which Bloomberg has seen

Politics, Law And Ideology

Wang Chen elected China Law Society director - Xinhua  Wang Chen, vice chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, on Wednesday was elected director of the China Law Society (CLS) at the closing meeting of its eighth congress

Foreign and Military Affairs

Expert: US Navy stops publishing promotion list, reflecting decline in confidence - China Military The US Navy has stopped publicizing its flag officer assignments since October, 2018 under pretext of preventing them from becoming targets of cyber-attacks launched by hackers from China and other countries. However, as report on March 17 reveals, experts believe that this minor change reflects the decline in confidence of the US Navy, with their open and transparent policies also beginning to shrink

Philippine official praises China's ruling Communist Party |AP The Philippine foreign secretary has heaped praise on China's ruling Communist Party during a visit to Beijing, underscoring the growing distance between the Philippines and the United States. Teodoro Locsin said Wednesday that China's authoritarian one-party system has provided opportunities for developing economies to grow and given momentum for improvement that Western democracies lack.

US mulls partial ban on Chinese trains and buses, citing cybersecurity and ‘Made in China 2025’ | South China Morning Post: Trains and buses could be the next battleground in the US-China trade war, after United States senators took the first steps to ban rolling stock manufactured by Chinese companies with state ties. A bipartisan bill was introduced on Friday that claims “China poses a clear and present danger to our national security and has already infiltrated our rail and bus manufacturing industries”

Tech And Media

AI race between China, US shifts to talent in battle for dominance - Global Times News that a top Chinese scientist specializing in artificial intelligence (AI) has left US technology giant Facebook Inc to join Alibaba Group grabbed much attention in China's technology circles, with some suggesting that the competition between China and the US for AI talent might be escalating as both countries rush for dominance in the area. Though the US still leads in many areas related to AI from innovation to talent, China has been steadily closing the gap in recent years and is stepping up its efforts in both research and development and talent acquisition, insiders said on Tuesday. Jia Yangqing, a research scientist and director of Facebook's AI Infrastructure, has officially joined Alibaba's Damo Academy, the AI research arm of the Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba said on Tuesday, confirming earlier media reports. 

Exclusive: Cinema Regulator Resumes Licensing as Consolidation Looms - Caixin At least two theater operators have received new cinema licenses following a years-long hiatus, hinting at possible consolidation ahead for the overcrowded industry. Bona Film and Zhong Ying Xing Da both received licenses in December, company representatives confirmed to Caixin, shortly after the film regulator issued a new opinion on how to speed up the sector’s prosperous development

Tencent Is Said to Target 10% of Managers for Cuts, Demotion - Bloomberg President Martin Lau told an internal meeting late last year that its lowest-performing general managers will need to leave the company or be demoted, mainly because not much staff-pruning has occurred in the past, the people said, asking not to be identified talking about a private matter. Tencent may then promote star performers, one of the people said. Jane Yip, a spokeswoman for the company, declined to comment

Chinese Video Game Highlights Complex Reality of War With Japan - Sixth Tone Whether to shoot a comrade is among the many gut-churning decisions that players face in “The Invisible Guardian,” a video game from Chinese indie developer New One Studio. Since its first half was released on Jan. 23, the game — or “interactive drama,” as it’s often described — has received rave reviews for its unique format, slick script, compelling voice-overs, and heart-stirring patriotic themes. Last month, the game briefly topped regional sales charts on online gaming platform Steam, and when the second half featuring four possible endings was released on March 5, the number of concurrent players peaked at 82,000.

Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History

Chinese Girl Died in the Ethiopian Plane Crash — What Has She Done to Deserve Online Malice? - Pandaily 24 hours after the plane crash, the topic of her death climbed to the top list of Weibo, attracting hundreds of millions of clicks. A Weibo user who graduated from Beijing Institute of Technology said, “Wonder why so many people are being vile in the Weibo post of a deceased college girl? Well, you will get the answer if you go take a look. She gets to enjoy hotels worthy of hundreds of dollars, beautiful dresses and luxurious meals. She wants to see a giraffe and she buys a ticket to Kenya! I won’t laugh at her tragedies, but I won’t sympathize with her either.”

Stepping Into the Uncanny, Unsettling World of Shen Yun | The New Yorker The Shen Yun Performing Arts organization was founded in 2006, in New York’s Hudson Valley, and put on its first touring show in 2007. By 2009, there were three touring Shen Yun companies. Today, there are six companies, each consisting of forty or so dancers, all of them trained at the Fei Tian Academy, which is situated on a four-hundred-and-twenty-seven-acre campus established for Falun Dafa practitioners in upstate New York...Shen Yun is a nonprofit. In 2016, it reported more than seventy-five million dollars in assets and more than twenty-two million dollars in revenue. Given the amount of money the organization seems to spend on advertising, it is hard to believe that it could be in the black, but the Guardian has reported that each city’s Shen Yun advertising campaign is sponsored by the local Falun Dafa association

Energy, Environment, Science And Health

Harm of E-cigarettes Exposed on Consumer Rights Day TV Show - Pandaily In the annual 315 evening gala, a tv show that celebrates consumer rights day, companies that range from the food industry to the tech sector are all facing collective examination. Those that are revealed as harmful to consumers will be exposed to the public and go through a thorough investigation. One product that received a considerable amount of attention for reaching the top of the list was e-cigarettes. The product is designed to overcome a tobacco addiction and is becoming a trend among Chinese young consumers.

China court plans to set up national environmental fund: media | Reuters The Supreme People’s Court has made it a priority to establish a fund using money collected in fines from polluting firms, the paper said, citing Wang Xuguang, the head of the environmental division of China’s Supreme People’s Court