Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act; Huawei; TikTok's DC lobbying; Does Beijing want 2 terms for Trump?

The Chinese government is upset about the passage of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act in the US House of Representatives. The Act will likely pass the Senate as soon, with enough votes to overturn a very unlikely veto by President Trump.

Officials issued condemnations and threats of countermeasures, and the Wednesday CCTV Evening News had six reports condemning the passage.

So even as there may be a small truce in the trade war the US-China tensions are rising on just about every other front, as expected. It is not just a trade war…

Today’s newsletter is a bit thin, apologies but I am single-parenting this week and next and today it caught up with me. I will make it up to you.

Thanks for reading.


The Essential Eight

1. Hong Kong

China slams 'arrogant and dangerous' U.S. over Hong Kong democracy bill as Carrie Lam is heckled - The Washington Post

Absent from Lam’s speech was a commitment to constitutional reform that would grant Hong Kong universal suffrage — a promise enshrined in the framework under which China grants the territory autonomy, but one that Beijing has refused to implement in full.

She also did not announce an independent investigation into police use of force, a key demand of protesters. A poll from the Chinese University of Hong Kong released Wednesday showed that almost 90 percent of respondents want such an inquiry, while over 80 percent want universal suffrage.

Hong Kong Policy Address 2019: Democrats blast Lam's 'irrelevant' speech as pro-Beijing camp offer lukewarm welcome | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP

Tanya Chan, Civic Party lawmaker and convenor of the pro-democracy camp, called on Lam to resign as she had become the “common enemy of the Hong Kong people.”

“Lam’s approval rating is at a record low… it is the wish of most Hongkongers that she resign,” Chan said. “In the hearts and minds of Hongkongers, Carrie Lam exists in the past tense. Nobody even bothers to surround her [in protest] anymore.”

Democrats also criticised Lam’s decision to thank the police in her speech, saying that she was disconnected from the public’s grievances against law enforcement.

US House okays Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act as Beijing strongly condemns move | South China Morning Post

Beijing has accused American lawmakers of a “political plot” to thwart China’s development after the US House of Representatives approved legislation that could pave the way for diplomatic action and economic sanctions against the Hong Kong government.

The lower chamber of Congress on Tuesday backed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019, moving it a significant step closer to becoming law.

China warns of countermeasures to US bill on HK - Global Times

"Regarding the wrong decision of the US, China will surely take effective countermeasures to firmly safeguard its sovereignty, security, and development interests," the foreign ministry said.

"The US also has interests in Hong Kong. If the bill becomes law, it would not only hurt China's interests and China-US relations, but US interests as well," the ministry warned.

Principal official of liaison office of China's central gov't in HKSAR opposes, condemns U.S. act on Hong Kong - Xinhua

"The U.S. Congress and a handful of politicians are turning a blind eye to the severe and violent crimes that had happened in Hong Kong, disregarding facts and calling black white," the principal official of the liaison office said in a statement.

They are glorifying the reckless acts of arson, store vandalism and violently assaulting police officers as issues concerning human rights and democracy, maliciously defamed the China's central government and the HKSAR government, the official said.

【国际锐评】美方打“香港牌”害人害己_CCTV

Among the 6 items on the Wednesday Evening News condemning the passage of the Act, Kang Hui read an "International Sharp Commentary" which among other things things threatens that anyone who tries to split China will pay the price

Spotlight: Passage of Hong Kong-related acts by U.S. Congress undermines Hong Kong's prosperity, stability - Xinhua

The passage by the U.S. House of Representatives of the so-called Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 and other related bills undermines Hong Kong's prosperity and stability, people from all walks of life here said on Wednesday.

Commentary: Washington's phony concern brings real hate to Hong Kong streets - Xinhua

Hong Kong affairs are China's internal affairs. Playing Hong Kong as a card will get the United States nowhere. Should the act eventually become law, it will not only harm China's interests and China-U.S. ties, but also severely undermine the interests of the U.S. firms that depend on the city's social tranquility and economic vitality.

These self-serving U.S. politicians and treacherous attempts to roil Hong Kong will fail on all fronts. The U.S. should quit meddling in China's internal affairs to allow peace and prosperity to reign supreme once again in Hong Kong.

Google is fighting over its ban on Hong Kong protest app The Revolution of Our Times - Vox

Google employees have set off a fiery company-wide debate in recent days by posting messages of solidarity with Hong Kong protesters in mailing lists and message boards visible to Google’s roughly 100,000 employees. Many are frustrated with the company’s decision to remove a pro-Hong Kong protester mobile game, The Revolution of Our Times, from the Google Play store and feel the company should have handled the situation differently.

Hong Kong protest leader Jimmy Sham attacked by men wielding hammers, Civil Front says | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP

The convenor of Hong Kong’s Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) has been attacked by unidentified men with hammers in Kowloon...

The incident comes just weeks after Sham was assaulted by masked men wielding a baseball bat and knife in Jordan.

Legislator Tanya Chan, who was outside Kwong Wah Hospital on Tuesday, said that Sham’s previous assailants have still not been arrested


2. US-China trade

Trump says likely won't sign China trade deal until he meets with Xi - Reuters

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he likely would not sign any trade deal with China until he meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the upcoming APEC Forum in Chile.

US-China trade talks to resume next week, eyeing to clinch ‘phase one’ deal during November forum | South China Morning Post

Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer plan to have a phone call with Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He next week, following deputy-level calls this week and then further face-to-face meetings on that level.

The meetings are meant to prepare for US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to sign an agreement at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Chile next month.

Doubts Persist Over China’s Commitment to U.S. Farm Purchases - WSJ

To drastically increase U.S. beef and pork purchases, China would also have to get rid of biotechnology restrictions on those products. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the U.S. had addressed hindrances on its end, calling those issues “at least as important as the purchases.”..

Beijing knows that agricultural purchases are one of its most powerful levers in negotiations with Mr. Trump, who wants to please U.S. farmers, his key supporters, who have seen sales to China plummet.

Chinese negotiators led by Vice Premier Liu He argue that the U.S., by asking Chinese firms to buy more than they need, is forcing Beijing to direct state-owned enterprises, such as Cofco Corp., to buy. Such a demand essentially amounts to asking Beijing to engage in managed trade, Chinese officials say, a practice many in Washington have assailed as part of China’s state-led economic model.


3. Chinese SOE leases an entire island in the Solomon Islands

U.S. Marines Fought and Died for an Island. China Just Leased It. - The New York Times

The island of Tulagi served as a South Pacific headquarters for Britain then Japan, and during World War II, its natural deepwater harbor across from Guadalcanal made it a military gem soldiers fought and died for.

Now China is moving in with plans to effectively take control.

Under a secretive deal signed last month with a provincial government in the South Pacific nation [Solomon Islands], a Beijing-based company with close ties to the Chinese Communist Party has secured exclusive development rights for the entire island and its surroundings...

Some American officials believe China’s efforts in the region echo the period before and during World War II, when Japan wrested control of island assets, which were won back in turn by American and Australian troops in bloody battles.

But it is also a matter of feasibility: China goes where there’s value and interest. With the United States pulling back in much of the world under President Trump’s America First policy, Beijing is often knocking on doors left open.

U.S. edges China out of race to fund Bougainville independence vote - Reuters

The United States and its Pacific allies have plugged a funding gap that endangered next month’s independence referendum in the Papua New Guinea (PNG) region of Bougainville, a strategic move that also sidelined China, two sources told Reuters.


4. Does the PRC leadership want Trump to win in 2020?

China Wants Trump 2020 - Foreign Policy - Paul Haenle and Sam Bresnick

During numerous off the record discussions with Chinese government officials and scholars, we are finding that an increasing number are hoping for Trump’s reelection next year. At a time when China’s political influence and military capabilities are growing, they argue that in spite of his anti-China bluster, Trump has afforded Beijing the space to expand its influence across Asia and, more importantly, comprehensively weakened Washington’s global leadership. From a zero-sum standpoint, many Chinese have concluded that Trump’s policies are strategically very good for China in the long run.

These thinkers believe that Trump, by polarizing U.S. domestic politics, damaging Washington’s international credibility and traditional global stewardship, and undermining long-standing alliance arrangements, has presented Beijing with its “greatest strategic opportunity since the end of the Cold War,” as Yan Xuetong, one of China’s foremost strategic thinkers, put it...

To be clear, not every Chinese scholar or official with whom we talked wanted to see another four years of Trump. Some, such as the University of International Relations professor Da Wei, have argued that Trump’s damaging of both Chinese and U.S. interests could result in a deeply compromised international order and complicate Beijing’s continued rise.

But those who hope for a second term see an unprecedented strategic opportunity for China in Trump’s destruction of what they view as the key U.S. pillars of strength.

Comment: Yes I know one of the authors signed the never Trump letter, but getting past the claim some will undoubtedly make that this is a political hit job I think the point of this article is very important, and one with which I broadly agree. This newsletter has written several times recently about the official view of "major changes unseen in a century 当今世界正处于百年未有之大变局”.

Here is what I wrote on September 11:

In spite of the problems China and the Party face, and all the risks and struggles Xi is exhorting the Party to battle, there is a reason Xi, officials, official documents and authoritative propaganda pieces keep repeating the phrase "当今世界正处于百年未有之大变局 the world today is undergoing major changes unseen in a century".

Xi and his theoreticians see massive global opportunities for Xi, many created by the US response to the 9/11 attacks, the decision to invade Iraq, the 2008 financial crisis and now the US foreign policy under President Trump. You see it in all sorts of utterances, most recently in the Qiushi essay by Yang Jiechi, and while the risks Xi keeps highlighting are real, and potentially existential, there may be too much focus on why the Party is destined to fail and not enough on how it may survive, and with that survival how it will reshape the world to fit its expanding interests.


5. PRC influence in US Education

Academic Freedom and China | American Association of University Professors - by Jennifer Ruth and Yu Xiao

It is a tricky time for faculty in the United States who work on China. The American president initiated a trade war with the People’s Republic of China that, whatever its merits, creates a fertile climate for China-bashing. Many of us hesitate to appear to contribute to this climate or to seem to side with a president hostile to values most faculty hold paramount, such as the rule of law or the importance of independent science. The enemy of my enemy is only occasionally my friend, though. We cannot lose sight of those trends, unrelated to trade, that point to the increasingly repressive impact of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on both its institutions of higher education and our own. This article sketches some of the major issues involving China and academic freedom...

Anastaya Lloyd-Damnjanovic’s 2018 article “A Preliminary Study of PRC Political Influence and Interference Activities in American Higher Education” reports various attempts by China to interfere with activities on US campuses, suggesting that “the covert, coercive, and corrupt nature of PRC influence and interference activities arguably stems from fundamental political differences between authoritarian and democratic societies.” She adds that “if the infringements associated with PRC actors become widespread, faculty, students, administrators, and staff in the United States may find themselves acclimatizing to the [censorship standards] of [the] PRC.” It is the drip-drip of accommodation that threatens what makes American institutions most valuable—the pursuit and transmission of knowledge independent of state and market forces.

Comment: People outraged about the NBA’s compromises to do business in China may want to ask more questions of any foreign educational institution with a partnership with a PRC institution.

Still no further news on the NBA’s prospects in China, but the self-censoring around the incident by certain news organizations is getting attention - ESPN’s politics policy tested by NBA-China controversy - The Washington Post

ESPN’s handling of the story of Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey’s tweet supporting Hong Kong demonstrators, and the controversy that followed, has been more confusing than authoritative. The company’s website relied on news services instead of well-known ESPN writers. Several producers of ESPN opinion shows were warned to avoid the topic of Chinese politics, as Deadspin first reported. And a well-known ESPN NBA reporter was told to scuttle a planned podcast interview with an expert on China.


6. Huawei

Sources: Fearing spies, Huawei redeploys US-linked executives - Nikkei Asian Review

Huawei Technologies is redeploying senior executives and scientists who have U.S. links due to growing concern inside China's biggest tech company that they could be co-opted by American agents and leak confidential data, multiple sources have told the Nikkei Asian Review.

The world's biggest telecom equipment builder and second-largest smartphone maker, which Washington insists is involved in covert surveillance by Beijing, has also reinforced electronic security systems between its overseas offices and Chinese headquarters to minimize security leaks, the Nikkei Asian Review has learned.

Germany to allow Huawei into 5G networks, defying pressure from the US - CNBC

Huawei has already worked on 5G trials with Deutsche Telekom and has previously supplied existing equipment to all of Germany’s telecoms operators.

Germany’s decision to allow Huawei access to its network could also have repercussions for the rest of Europe. Other EU member states, including France and the U.K., are yet to make a firm decision on employing Huawei.

Huawei Extends Hot Streak in the Face of U.S. Blacklisting - WSJ $$

Huawei Technologies Co., the world’s largest maker of telecommunication equipment, said its revenue rose 24.4% during the first nine months of the year despite a U.S. export blacklisting.

The Chinese technology giant also said it shipped 185 million smartphones during the nine-month period, an increase of 26% from a year earlier. Huawei is the No. 2 maker of smartphones world-wide, behind only Samsung Electronics Co.

Huawei says its business is steady, defying U.S.-led pressure campaign - The Washington Post

The Shenzhen-based company has steadily ramped up the smartphone side of its business, an area that is much harder for the Trump administration to hobble, but it has also apparently managed to double the number of contracts it has won for 5G technology.

“They are on track to do far better than in 2017 or 2018,” Mark Natkin, managing director of Marbridge Consulting in Beijing, said after reviewing Huawei’s latest financial report.

Huawei unveils new 5G antennae ahead of China ramp - Reuters

They will also weigh less and use less power than their predecessors, Huawei’s wireless business chief Edward Deng said in a keynote presentation.”It will eliminate the barriers to global deployment across all scenarios, and become a new standard to drive large-scale 5G deployment,” said Deng. The antennae pack 7 nanometre chips - putting them at the leading edge of semiconductor technology.


7. TikTok lobbies up in DC

TikTok may be concerned about the general tech backlash in DC, but the real threat to its US business is the risk of a CFIUS review.

China's TikTok tries to stay ahead of D.C.'s tech backlash - POLITICO

Chinese-owned social media firm TikTok is enlisting former U.S. lawmakers amid a preemptive bid to sidestep the Silicon Valley backlash in Washington that's paralyzing so many larger U.S. tech giants like Facebook, Google and Twitter...

ByteDance registered to lobby in the U.S. starting in June, listing "general issues affecting internet companies" among its priorities. U.S. firm Covington & Burling also registered to lobby on behalf of ByteDance in July to "provide advice on technology policy issues."

Two-year-old TikTok, a rapidly burgeoning social network that lets users share short videos, on Tuesday announced that former Reps. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) and Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.) will be part of a team from law firm K&L Gates advising the company on developing a comprehensive approach to vetting objectionable videos and otherwise moderating the content its users post. The former lawmakers will help TikTok build out a committee of outside experts who will advise on moderation policies to deal with issues like children’s safety, hate speech, misinformation and bullying, according to the company.

Ben Thompson explained how the US government might review the Bytedance acquisition of Musical.ly that drove the evolution of the TikTok product and its success in the US:

Those violations were actually committed by Musical.ly, the app TikTok acquired in November 2017; it is that acquisition that I suggested the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) review. Several folks wondered if that was even possible, given that Musical.ly was actually a Cayman Islands corporation with its principle place of business in Shanghai. In fact, though, CFIUS can block the acquisition of U.S. subsidiaries, or simply not allow acquired companies to operate in the U.S. (for example, late last year CFIUS blocked the Chinese acquisition of an Italian company from its Japanese owner; the Italian company derived a third of its revenue from the U.S.). In this case the Musical.ly app was operated by Musical.ly, Inc., a wholly-owned California corporation based in Santa Monica, and did a large portion of its business in the United States


8. Tracking fentanyl from China

The China Connection: How One D.E.A. Agent Cracked a Global Fentanyl Ring - The New York Times Magazine

Eventually, Buemi caught a glimpse of the network’s final and most important component: Zaron Bio-tech, a company based in Shanghai and registered in Hong Kong. Zaron billed itself as a food-additive manufacturer, but it was in fact responsible for a majority of the fentanyl that Berry and Vivas Ceron were moving into the United States. The two inmates were merely deputies of a global operation — whoever was behind Zaron was the real mastermind.

Buemi had seen what happened when United States agents tried to build a case in China. Before Berry’s arrest in April 2013, Buemi says, investigators in Colorado had been corresponding with Zaron, sending payment for drug shipments that Berry was then assembling and distributing. When the investigators tried to make headway with Chinese officials, however, they got nowhere. ..

Though he used the moniker Hong Kong Zaron, the man behind Zaron was actually from Qingdao, a city in eastern China. His real name was Zhang Jian. Buemi learned he was not a fentanyl manufacturer; he did not personally operate any factories. Instead, Zhang was a logistician and a trader. He took orders from customers, coordinated with manufacturers and sent off the product — a glorified salesman


Business, Economy and Trade

China to further alleviate burdens on companies - Xinhua The policies of cutting tax and fees should be implemented carefully, and efforts should be made to solve difficulties for enterprises, to ensure that tax on manufacturing industry and other major industries will drop significantly, according to a statement released after a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.

Central Bank Downplays Concerns of Spiraling Inflation - Caixin “There is no basis for continuous inflation or deflation in China currently,” Sun Guofeng, director of the PBOC’s monetary policy department, said at a press briefing on Tuesday. In September the consumer price index (CPI) rose 3%, up 0.2 percentage points from the month before and the highest reading since October 2013.

Regulator Flags Risks of Concentration in Private Equity - Caixin The Asset Management Association of China (AMAC), a self-regulatory association of fund management companies, warned at a recent internal meeting that some companies have set up expansive webs of private fund management operations to handle complex investment and fundraising, posing systemic risks.

China Unexpectedly Injects $28 Billion of Cash as Growth Slows - Bloomberg “It’s not expected by the market,” said Becky Liu, head of China macro strategy at Standard Chartered Plc., referring to the cash injection. “They probably want to inject more long-term liquidity” to ensure ample supply during the tax payment season in mid-October and to support the economy, which is still facing growth pressure, she said.

Politics and Law

FSI - Xi's Dilemma and China's Challenges at 70: Q&A with Andrew Walder Andrew Walder, the Denise O'Leary and Kent Thiry Professor and senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, reflects on some of the changes in Chinese society and domestic policy, discusses his new book that offers a new interpretation of the Cultural Revolution, and shares details about his current research project.

[Long read] The apps of China's social credit system - Trivium UB - Usability, sociology and market research

Rights Activist Stands Trial Alongside Family Members in China's Guangdong - RFA Authorities in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong on Tuesday tried a veteran democracy activist and two of her family members for theft and obstructing officials in the course of their duties. Li Biyun, her sister Li Caiyun and brother Li Tianqiang stood trial at the Shunde People's Court in Guangdong's Foshan city on Tuesday, Li's niece Liang Qiao'er told RFA.

NPCSC Session Watch: Encryption, Civil Code, Biosecurity, Child Protection & State Supervision Commission Rulemaking – NPC Observer The Council of Chairpersons decided on Monday (October 14) to convene the 14th session of the 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) from October 21 to 26. The NPCSC will consider eight legislative bills plus three draft decisions on important legal issues during the upcoming six-day session.

这个十九届四中全会的重要议题,习近平这样说 the "study Xi small group" wechat account looks at what Xi has said about modernizing governance, one of the key themes of the upcoming 4th Plenum

中国的民营企业为什么要加强党的建设?--时政--人民网 People's Daily Online piece Tuesday explaining the benefits of private enterprises strengthening Party Construction within their organizations

Foreign and Defense Affairs

Xi Jinping to open Military World Games in China as PLA goes on charm offensive | South China Morning Post China is hosting the 10-day sporting event in Wuhan, Hubei province, and soldiers from 140 countries are expected to take part. It will coincide with the three-day Xiangshan Forum – China’s equivalent of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore – to be held on the outskirts of Beijing from Sunday.

U.S. 'deeply concerned' about untrackable China ships carrying Iran oil: officials - Reuters “We’ve been messaging very heavily to the shipping companies, you don’t want to do this, it’s not worth it,” said one official, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity. “It’s incredibly dangerous and irresponsible behavior.”

Xi: China welcomes France to attend second CIIE - China Daily China will continue to firmly pursue the strategy of opening-up based on mutual benefit, President Xi Jinping said when he held a telephone conversation with his French counterpart Emannuel Macron on Tuesday night.  Xi told Macron the nation welcomes France as the guest country of honor to attend the second China International Import Expo to be held in Shanghai in November.

Xi sends congratulatory letter to world sci-tech development forum - Xinhua Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the 1st World Science and Technology Development Forum that opened Wednesday in Beijing. Xi said in the letter that the new round of sci-tech revolution and industrial transformation has a profound impact on the evolution of human civilization and the development of the global governance system.

Yicai Global - China to Use Own 'Power Bank' at South Pole for First Time The unmanned system, called Southeast University Antarctic Energy, can supply uninterrupted power in Antarctic conditions for a year and monitor the station's operation via satellite, Wei Haikun, executive dean at the university's School of Automation, told Xinhua News Agency.

Philippines' top diplomat calls for cut to 'Abominable' over China map - Reuters The foreign minister of the Philippines called on Wednesday for a cut to a scene in DreamWorks’ animated film “Abominable” that shows China’s unilaterally declared “nine-dash line” in the South China Sea.

China calls for peaceful dialogue after Vietnam’s leader accuses it of violating its sovereignty | South China Morning Post “We hope Vietnam will continue to manage maritime differences through dialogue and negotiation, to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea through practical actions,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a press briefing on Wednesday.

PM Modi offered Xi Indo-Pacific connect in response to BRI offer - The Economic Times It is understood that India and China could be exploring maritime connectivity between Chennai and China on the lines of the Chennai-Vladivostok shipping connect (this link which was snapped after the breakup of the Soviet Union is being revived and will be a key element in the Indo-Russia partnership in the Indo-Pacific region).

Seeking Clues in the Case of the Yuemaobinyu 42212 | Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative In the middle of the night on June 9, Chinese fishing vessel Yuemaobinyu 42212 collided with Philippine fishing boat F/B Gem-Ver, which was riding at anchor near Reed Bank in the South China Sea. The Chinese ship fled the scene, leaving 22 Filipino fishers aboard a sinking Gem-Ver in peril until they were rescued by a passing Vietnamese boat. The Yuemaobinyu 42212’s actions during and after the incident, combined with sparse details about the vessel itself, raise questions about whether it may belong to China’s maritime militia operating throughout the South China Sea. There is not enough publicly available information about the vessel for a definitive answer. But data gathered by AMTI and the Center for Advanced Defense Studies (C4ADS) strongly suggests that the 42212 is more than just a normal fishing boat.

Nepal shelves extradition, border road plans with China - The Economic Times Even as China calls President Xi Jinping's weekend visit to Kathmandu a 'grand success', the Nepal government has shelved several proposals at the last minute, including those on an extradition treaty, defence and border road construction. The Himalayan nation is said to have dropped those plans following apprehensions they could infringe on its sovereignty.

Taiwan

Taiwan 2020: Who's Ahead in the Presidential Polls - The News Lens International Edition A real-time estimate of who is likely to win Taiwan’s 2020 presidential election, based on an unweighted average of opinion polls conducted by various media outlets and political parties.

Tech and Media

ByteDance Deepens Education Push With Study Buddy Machine - Caixin Beijing ByteDance Technology Co. Ltd. — the Chinese operator of short-video platform TikTok — said Tuesday that it plans to step further into both the country’s highly competitive education sector and hardware manufacturing. Early next year it will launch a “machine that accompanies kids while studying” that will be “powered by artificial intelligence,” it said, without offering further details other than saying its design is still “being polished.”

China launches nationwide blockchain service network - Xinhua China launched a nationwide blockchain-based service network (BSN) on Tuesday, with aims to improve the layout of the blockchain sector and serve the development of smart cities and the digital economy. As a trans-regional public infrastructure network, the BSN was jointly launched by the State Information Center (SIC), China Mobile, China UnionPay and other institutions.

Chinese Semiconductor Industrial Policy: Prospects for Future Success by John VerWey :: SSRN This paper, the second in a two-part series analyzing the Chinese semiconductor industry, attempts to answer two questions: First, why — in spite of 70 years of industrial planning efforts — can’t China make advanced semiconductors on par with the worldwide industry leaders? Second, what are China’s prospects for success with its current semiconductor industrial plans? This paper reviews the development of the semiconductor industries in Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea in the context of literature on latecomer strategies and compares their development with China’s efforts. The paper also considers China’s prospects for success. China’s current plans are well defined, with national champions focusing their efforts on targeted subsectors of the industry, but these efforts will not achieve their desired success due to a lack of human capital and intense international competition.

Chinese Semiconductor Industrial Policy: Past and Present by John VerWey :: SSRN This is the first of two papers that analyze China’s semiconductor industrial policies and factors that will dictate their success or failure. China’s attempts since 2014 to support and grow its domestic semiconductor industry have drawn considerable international attention. The purpose of this series is to place into context the various attempts by the Chinese government to support its domestic semiconductor industry, dating back to the 1950s. Part one presents a history of China’s past efforts at semiconductor industrial planning, describes the current plans, and discusses their execution to date. Part two explains why previous plans have failed, how lessons learned from past failures have been incorporated into current plans, and examines their prospects for success, finding that China’s current strategy will likely not achieve its aims.

Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History

Experts Call BS on Training Center’s ‘Quantum Speed-Reading’ Class - SixthTone An education training center in Beijing has denied accusations that its “quantum speed-reading” course — which claims to teach children to read 100,000 characters in five minutes — is misleading, local outlet Beijing Time reported Wednesday.

人民舆情:这种坑娃培训,不少家长交了智商税--舆情频道--人民网 it is called "量子波动速读"...People's Daily weighs in, says many parents paid an "IQ tax" for paying to put their kid in this kind of scam training

Chinese university investigates claim many relics at new museum are fakes | South China Morning Post Just a week after it opened, the Museum of Chongqing University was closed to the public on Tuesday after an article widely shared on social media accused it of spending more than 6 million yuan (US$847,500) to build a museum only to fill it with counterfeits, news website Thepaper.cn reported.

Chinese billionaire partners with L.A. Kings to bring hockey to China's youth - NBC News Zhou Yunjie, who’s the chairman of ORG Packaging. Zhou, more than even the National Hockey League itself, has driven the growth of hockey in China. Fans may recognize ORG Packaging from the Chinese advertisements on the boards at a number of NHL arenas. Improbably, Zhou fell in love with the sport as a teenager in Beijing in the 1970s.

America Obsessed Over Janet Jackson. But the NFL Secretly Enraged China. - WSJ The game was never rescheduled. But the league stayed out of trouble with China, and NFL games are widely available in China today. Some are even shown on screens in Shanghai’s subway stations. The league’s strategy in China now includes online streaming of games—it claims 140 million watch the Super Bowl—plus events built around personal appearances of star players. The league still dreams of a bigger foothold in China, which NFL commissioner Roger Goodell recently said was a “priority market.”

Energy, Environment, Science and Health

China orders northern cities to cut winter PM2.5 levels by 4% in anti-smog drive - Reuters The target for average concentration of PM2.5 - lung-damaging particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns - applies to a group of 26 smog-prone cities in the north and the two municipalities of Beijing and Tianjin. But the mandated reduction is lower than the 5.5% cut proposed in an earlier draft of the plan circulated on industry websites last month.

China sets air quality target for Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei - Xinhua Due to the El Nino effect, weather conditions this year require stronger measures to offset the negative impacts, as 2020 is a crucial year for China to win the battle for blue skies, the plan stressed. Among the mandatory targets listed for local regions, Hebei Province is required to cut 14 million tonnes of steel capacity, 3 million tonnes of coke capacity and 1 million tonnes of cement capacity.