Hong Kong meeting in Shenzhen; New normal for RMB; Protests on foreign campuses

Happy Wednesday, not feeling particularly insightful today so no commentary up top.

Thanks for reading.

The Essential Eight

1. Hong Kong

Hong Kong's most urgent task is to stop violence, end chaos, restore order - Xinhua

"The most pressing and overriding task at present is to stop violence, end the chaos and restore order, so as to safeguard our homeland and prevent Hong Kong from sinking into an abyss," Zhang said.

More than 550 people attended the meeting, including HKSAR deputies to the National People's Congress, national and provincial political advisors from HKSAR, leaders of patriotic political and social organizations in Hong Kong, as well as those from relevant youth, education and professional organizations and mainland enterprises operating in Hong Kong.

At the symposium, Zhang briefed the attendees on the central authorities' policies on stabilizing Hong Kong's situation while Wang Zhimin, director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in HKSAR, proposed how to implement the policies...

Zhang said the central authorities firmly support Chief Executive Carrie Lam…

He also reiterated the central authorities' unswerving support for the Hong Kong police...

"The turnaround in the Hong Kong situation will not come from retreat or compromise with the opposition," Zhang said. "People can give up on the idea that the central authorities will make any concessions on issues concerning our principles."

Hong Kong facing worst crisis since handover: senior China official - Reuters

Speaking after the meeting, several attendees said Zhang cited speeches by former Chinese paramount leader Deng Xiaoping in 1984 and 1987 in which he said if “turmoil” occurs in Hong Kong, “the central government must intervene”.

No specific mention, however, was made of deploying the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), which has a garrison in Hong Kong, to quell the unrest, with Zhang cited as saying Beijing remained confident in the Hong Kong government and local police.


The wording in this CCTV report of the conference is quite tough. Zhang says the protests “have clear features of color revolution”, and the situation has reached to a point of “no room for retreat”. He said it is a battle about the life and death of the city, and “for now the most urgent task and top priority is to stop violence and restore order”. Zhang continued to warn that if the situation worsens, Beijing “will not sit by idly and do nothing”, and that “in accordance with the basic law, the central government has more than enough solutions and power to quell all kinds of possible riots”.


CCTV Evening News report on the meeting, the message clear to those convened, their fates are up to the Party

梁爱诗:香港若遇到动乱, 中央不会不管

Elsie Leung, former Hong Kong’s secretary of justice and now member of the executive council, said after attending the conference in Shenzhen that deploying the PLA to suppress protests is not against the one-country, two-system.


People’s Daily front page commentary continued to warn the Hong Kong protesters that they have already challenged Beijing’s “bottom line” on one-country, two-system, and it is intolerable.


黃之鋒羅冠聰等洋婦密斟, 美亂港「幕後黑手」疑曝光

The pro-Beijing Wenweipao posted a photo of that pro-democracy activists Joshua Wong, Nathan Law, meeting with an alleged US diplomat at the JW Marriott Hotel on Tuesday. It said the diplomat is Julie Eadeh, the political unit chief of US consulate in HK. The article said their “secret meeting” was to discuss the protests and this is evidence of “US black hand” behind the protests.


Global Times did an interview with its own reporter who just returned from HK. The reporter, without giving his name, went on and said everything including Western media is bias, HK protesters are brainwashed by western ideas, HK police are restraint, and Yuen Long attackers are not triads but just community-loving local residents provoked by the violent protesters. 

China troll army’s battle expeditions leap Great Firewall | South China Morning Post

The state media-endorsed Diba forum’s latest targets have included high-profile Hong Kong figures such as Canto-pop singer Denise Ho Wan-sze, a vocal attendee of the protests, and pan-democrat lawmaker Claudia Mo Man-ching.

Mo’s Facebook page was spammed with pictures of the Chinese flag on Monday, shortly after it was thrown into the harbour for the second time in three days by protesters. But they were eventually outnumbered by supporters of the protests, with many leaving comments remarking on the number of wumao – or “50 cent trolls” as they are known.

Chinese ambassadors around the world are writing op-eds about Hong Kong-Ministry of Foreign Affairs site (Chinese)

China’s envoys try to rally Europe to Beijing’s side on Hong Kong protests | South China Morning Post

In a series of statements, Chinese envoys to Britain, the Netherlands and Spain have added their voices to a global campaign to promote Beijing’s line on the demonstrations.

Thousands of Hong Kong lawyers stage rare protest urging end to political prosecutions during anti-gov't demos | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP

Thousands of legal sector professionals staged their second “black clothes” march in two months urging for an end to political prosecutions, for the Department of Justice to retain its independence and for the government to form an independent commission of inquiry to investigate events that occurred during two months of anti-extradition bill protests.

Activist Held in China's Chongqing Over Social Media Comment About Hong Kong - RFA

Chongqing resident Huang Yang was detained after commenting on social media, in a reference to Hong Kong: "Do you dare to join me on the streets in a show of support for the Pearl of the East?"

2. RMB

China's yuan weakens after signs of stability calm markets - AP

The yuan edged down to 7.0488 to the U.S. dollar, about 0.4% below its level late Tuesday. The currency strengthened slightly to 7.0443 to the dollar in the afternoon but still was below the previous day’s level...

On Tuesday, central bank officials told foreign companies “the yuan will not continue to depreciate sharply in the future,” the bank press office said in a statement. It gave no details but said “two-way fluctuation” of the currency “will become the norm in the future.”

China state banks seen supporting yuan to steady declines: sources - Reuters 

China’s major state-owned banks have been active in the yuan forwards markets this week, sources said, using swaps to curb greenback supply as authorities sought to slow the currency’s decline after its break past the key 7 to the dollar threshold.

The propaganda organs are especially enraged over the currency manipulator designation, with the messages that it is factually wrong and the US is bent on destroying the international system while China is the responsible actor and supporter of global rules.


Wang Chunying, spokesperson for China’s state administration of foreign exchange discussed the currency policy on CCTV evening news. She again said the US designation of China as currency manipulator is “totally groundless” and China will keep its currency policy “continuous and stable”.


CCTV evening news cited experts in saying the US designation of China as currency manipulator is an effort to smear China and escalate the trade war.


Xinhua commentary said the US designation “dangerous and irresponsible” and could set the world into a new recession.


CCTV broadcast Xinhua’s commentary again lambasting US being “selfish and reckless” in designating China as a currency manipulator.


Another commentary from People’s Daily’s Jinsheping saying China did not and will not manipulate currency, the US accusation ridiculous and laughable, and it will not succeed in pressuring China into a trade agreement.


People’s Daily said CCTV evening news spent a lot of time in refuting the US accusation of currency manipulation.


Prominent economist Yu Yongding of CASS took to the Global Times in arguing that the designation could be part of the US “financial war” against China. Yu said the recent fines against Chinese banks over anti-money laundering or sanctions violations are all part of the war. He said the worst thing could happen next is seizure of Chinese financial assets in the US, and China must be ready for that.


Former deputy director of China’s administration of foreign exchange Wei Benhua, former central bank vice governor Zhang Yanling and former counselor to the US He Weiwen all came out to denounce the US designation and said it is about trade war rather than currency manipulation. Wei said China should work with other countries to refute the US accusation within the IMF, and that the designation will not have much impact on China.

Ex-US Treasury head Summers says department's credibility 'damaged' by accusing China of manipulating yuan - China Daily

"It will be harder now in the next difficult financial moment for Treasury Department pronouncements to be credited by market participants. Having seen the United States label China a manipulator, the world will wonder whether and how the United States will get China to change its exchange- rate policies," Summers wrote. "If Chinese policies do not change, we will have only demonstrated our impotence to China and the world. Why is that desirable?''

China's July forex reserves fall to $3.104 trillion amid rising trade tensions - Reuters 

Economists polled by Reuters had expected the country’s reserves, the world’s largest, would fall by $18 billion to $3.101 trillion. The fall in July - which was only the second monthly drop this year - was due to changes in foreign exchange rates and prices of assets which China holds in its reserves, the foreign exchange regulator said in a statement after the data release.

Yicai Global - SWIFT Opens China Unit to Promote Cross-Border Yuan Settlement 

Huanqiu Rongxun Network Technology China was registered in Beijing's Xicheng district in June, according to the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Financial Work's website. The move will allow the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication to invoice in yuan as well as the US dollar and Euro.

In case people are hoping the PBoC will follow other central banks this week and cut rates - 降息消息不实!

PBoC put out a statement denying the rumors that it will cut interest rates on Aug. 10 and that it has already referred the matter to the police


3. US-China

Trump economic advisor Larry Kudlow says China's economy is crumbling - CNBC

Kudlow said China may hold out on a trade deal, but he insisted that the U.S. can withstand any slowdown to its economy better than the Chinese can.

“I think China is getting hurt significantly, much more than we are,” Kudlow said.

China rare earths group supports counter-measures against U.S. 'bullying' - Reuters

The Association of China Rare Earth Industry issued a statement after a special working meeting on Monday to discuss the “guidance” given by Chinese President Xi Jinping during a visit to a rare earth plant in Jiangxi in May.

Xi’s visit stoked fears China would use its dominance over production of rare earths, a group of 17 chemical elements prized for their use in consumer electronics and military equipment, in the escalating trade war, although no restrictions on supplies have so far been announced.

Tariff Fears Caused a U.S. Import Surge. Now Warehouses Are Full - Bloomberg

Imports have been piling up there over the past year or so -- offering a kind of safety valve for the more than 200,000 U.S. businesses, from Home Depot to Walmart, that use the California ports.

They could rush goods through customs anytime Trump threatened new charges on imports, saving millions of dollars in some cases. Then they could keep the stuff in the Empire until delivery time, sometimes for weeks or months longer than normal.

Now, Seroka says that spare room is down to an unprecedentedly low level of about 1%-2%.

Trump Tech Tariffs Would Add $1 Billion Monthly to Import Costs - Bloomberg

The Consumer Technology Association said the industry paid $1.7 billion in tariffs in June. The additional levies set to take effect on Sept. 1 would impact about $13 billion in technology imports from China that month, including mobile phones, laptops, televisions and smartwatches, the group said.

U.S. Collects $63 Billion in Chinese Tariffs Through June - WSJ $$

There is one caveat, however. For every dollar brought in by the new tariffs, a dollar has been authorized to fund rescue programs for farmers who have been harmed by retaliation from China and other countries.


More from Zhongsheng’s series on People’s Daily attacking the Trump administration for not keeping its promises and doing whatever it sees fit to its interests.

China Digs In to Outlast U.S. in Trade Dispute - WSJ $$

“Trump’s actions have seriously agitated the Chinese leadership, who now realize that there’s no chance of reaching a fair deal with the U.S.” for the foreseeable future, said Shi Yinhong, an international-relations professor at Beijing’s Renmin University. “China is not just preparing for a protracted trade war, but also an escalating conflict.”

Friction with China isn’t going away. The U.S. needs a better strategy. - The Washington Post - David Ignatius

Does the United States have a strategy in this cascading competition? Do America’s military and diplomatic tools match the scope and subtlety of the challenges ahead? Is America’s growing anxiety about Beijing creating a policy panic that overstates the Chinese threat and understates U.S. strength?

This “Battle for Primacy” with China was the topic of this week’s annual meeting of the Aspen Strategy Group, a group of former secretaries of state, national security advisers and other senior former and current officials, supplemented by some journalists and think-tank analysts, that has been gathering here since 1984.

Larry Diamond talks Russia, China, “Ill Winds” on Kara Swisher podcast - Vox

So let me speculate on two places where I think it’s heading. One is internal and the other is external. The external is a kind of moment of truth in terms of China’s bad behavior internationally. It’s rising use of bullying, sharp power that is distinguished from the soft power that democracies had been exercising by the fact that it is — to quote the former Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull — covert, coercive, or corrupting. The People’s Republic of China has been for some years now penetrating deeply into universities, think tanks, the entertainment industry, corporations, local government, and other sectors of advanced industrial democratic societies, with Australia and New Zealand — because of their proximity — being, I think, the canaries in the coal mine.

4. Cyber espionage with some cash on the side

Double Dragon: APT41, a Dual Espionage and Cyber Crime Operation - FireEye 

Today, FireEye Intelligence is releasing a comprehensive report detailing APT41, a prolific Chinese cyber threat group that carries out state-sponsored espionage activity in parallel with financially motivated operations. APT41 is unique among tracked China-based actors in that it leverages non-public malware typically reserved for espionage campaigns in what appears to be activity for personal gain. Explicit financially-motivated targeting is unusual among Chinese state-sponsored threat groups, and evidence suggests APT41 has conducted simultaneous cyber crime and cyber espionage operations from 2014 onward...

Like other Chinese espionage operators, APT41 espionage targeting has generally aligned with China's Five-Year economic development plans. The group has established and maintained strategic access to organizations in the healthcare, high-tech, and telecommunications sectors. APT41 operations against higher education, travel services, and news/media firms provide some indication that the group also tracks individuals and conducts surveillance. For example, the group has repeatedly targeted call record information at telecom companies. In another instance, APT41 targeted a hotel’s reservation systems ahead of Chinese officials staying there, suggesting the group was tasked to reconnoiter the facility for security reasons.

The group’s financially motivated activity has primarily focused on the video game industry, where APT41 has manipulated virtual currencies and even attempted to deploy ransomware

Comment: Always wondered if some of these groups don’t also hack into the law firms and accounting firms for information about publicly listed firms that allows them to front-run stock moves.

5. IOUs growing

Circulating in China’s Financial System: More Than $200 Billion in I.O.U.s - The New York Times

China’s trade war with the United States has escalated in recent days, posing a growing threat to an already slowing economy. Beijing needs private businesses like Mr. Zhang’s and his clients to help rekindle growth and provide paychecks to Chinese workers.

But many of those private businesses are short of cash. Instead, more than $200 billion in i.o.u.s — known in the dry world of finance as commercial acceptance bills — are floating around the Chinese financial system, according to government data...

Today, one of the biggest issuers of i.o.u.s is China’s largest and best known property company, Evergrande. By the end of last year it had issued nearly $20 billion worth of i.o.u.s to its suppliers.

6. PRC student protests on foreign campuses

Chinese students fight against media bias and anti-China forces in Australia - Global Times

Like separatists in Hong Kong, anti-China forces in Australia have used the campus as an ideological battleground, pushing students to the front lines to draw attention and sympathy. Some experts were concerned that Western universities are becoming a breeding ground for secessionist forces...

"This is the first time I've seen these foreign separatist groups colluding together to disrupt peace and stability in China and driving a wedge between the mainland and Hong Kong. I always thought it was hyperbole in media before I came here, but the moment I saw it, I was furious," Wang Jia(pseudonym), a graduate from South China's Guangdong Province who witnessed the whole process, told the Global Times.

"The video shows that many of the protesters are white people. It's ridiculous that a bunch of white people are protesting the domestic affairs of a country that they've never been to and barely know about," said a 27-year-old graduate of UQ surnamed Gao.

Hong Kong, mainland Chinese tensions flare again at New Zealand university | South China Morning Post

Edric Liu, one of the mainland students involved in the confrontation with Lee, who is from Hong Kong, accused the rally organisers of using the event to promote separatism in a bid to divide the country. In a written interview with the Post he said attendees had been photographed holding a flag commonly known as the “free Tibet flag”.

“This event is using the guise of a rally to promote separatism, deliberately tarnish the Chinese and Hong Kong governments, as well as Hong Kong police, and make excuses for the rioters’ mob behaviour,” he said.

Liu said he and his two friends were cooperating with an investigation by the university into last week’s incident. The Chinese consulate in Auckland issued a statement supporting their actions

A student attended a protest at an Australian uni. Days later Chinese officials visited his family - Sydney Morning Herald

Chinese authorities approached the family of an international student who participated in high-profile protests at an Australian university and warned his parents of the potential consequences of political dissent.

The apparent intimidation tactics suggest the Chinese government was monitoring the demonstration at the University of Queensland to record who attended, in a development one influential Liberal MP said was alarming...

His mother told him the authorities had issued a warning about engaging in "anti-China rhetoric" in Brisbane and warned him not to "join any events where people are gathered together".

Comment: I am standing by what I wrote on July 30, even though some people complained that it was too harsh:

Universities need to have a zero tolerance policy towards students assaulting others on campus who are exercising their rights to peaceful free speech. Anyone who violates that policy should be expelled, and if the expellee is a foreign student they will lose their visa and have to go home. 

In the case of PRC students such a policy could be quite beneficial, as there are pressures from within the PRC student community, and its CCP minders, to be aggressive in the face of any perceived slights, and if you are not then you run the risk of being seen as insufficiently loyal and patriotic. Not every overseas PRC student is a jingoist crusader, in fact I think most are not, and so raising the costs for these political performances to possible expulsion and deportation would help those in the PRC student community who also find these outbursts distasteful and counterproductive. It would in effect give them cover to resist the pressures to make these extreme performances. And for those who are the true believers who have no respect for the laws and rules of the countries in which they are visitors, good riddance. 

Masked men destroy Hong Kong Lennon wall at Australia's University of Queensland | The Guardian

Two weeks ago pro-Beijing government protesters clashed violently with Hong Kong international students on the university’s Brisbane campus, punching and shoving...

At the University of Tasmania, a staff member had to intervene on Tuesday to stop a student tearing down pro-Hong Kong posters, according to the ABC. A similar incident took place last week.

Watch: Tensions flare during Hong Kong demonstration at Auckland University | Newshub

About 100 people turned out for the protest on Tuesday, many wearing black face masks to hide their identity...

Today's event was free of physical conflict, however there was a confrontation when a pro-Beijing man appeared holding a sign saying "Hong Kong independence mob".

As multiple people attempted to film his face on their phones, he was shouted down by a protester and left.

Govt raises interference concerns with China - Newsroom.Nz

On Monday, Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials met with Chinese Government representatives in New Zealand to reiterate that freedom of expression would be upheld and maintained, which included on university campuses.

This is a significant move for a Government that has largely spoken generally about foreign interference and about democratic principles, while avoiding specifically mentioning China’s behaviour in recent years under an emboldened president.

Along with New Zealand adding its name to a public letter regarding the treatment of Uighurs in Xinjiang, this public reproach seems to signal a change in Jacinda Ardern’s approach to China.

Facing up to China’s undiplomatic diplomacy - Noted OpEd - Anne-Marie Brady

New Zealand got a small taste of the radical turn in Chinese domestic and foreign policy, when the PRC Auckland Consulate intervened in a controversy over competing protests between New Zealand and Chinese students at Auckland University. A scuffle broke out, and Chinese students four times tried to destroy a campus Lennon Wall of pro-Hong Kong materials. On July 31, the Auckland PRC Consulate issued a statement praising “the Chinese foreign students’ spontaneous words and deeds of love of China and love of Hong Kong, and the students’ opposition to actions to split [China].”..

The usual question that people in New Zealand raise on whether we should challenge China about its behaviour is this: if we speak up, how will it affect our economic relationship? But a more pertinent question to ask right now is: what price do we put on our democracy, and what price do we put on human rights more broadly?

7. Western academics helping to build Xinjiang panopticon

Western Academia Helps Build China’s Automated Racism - Coda Story

…academic papers that refine facial recognition techniques to identify Uyghurs are being published in U.S. and European academic journals and presented at international computer science conferences. China’s largest biometrics research conference, last held in Xinjiang in 2018, included prominent U.S. artificial intelligence (AI) researchers as keynote speakers, including one from Microsoft. One paper at the conference, co-authored by local police, discussed ways to find “terrorism” and “extreme religion” content in Uyghur script...

All this didn’t stop Springer Nature, a London and Berlin-based academic publishing giant, from being listed as a “technical sponsor” of CCBR 2018 or from publishing all the conference’s papers on its website. It also didn’t stop three prominent U.S. facial recognition researchers from flying to Xinjiang’s capital of Urumqi to give keynote speeches at the conference. 

Anil Jain, a professor in charge of Michigan State University’s Biometrics Research Group who is often quoted on U.S. facial recognition issues in places like Wired and Slate, was on the CCBR’s advisory board and was pictured receiving an honorary certificate. 

Top Microsoft researcher Gang Hua, who has since left the company, and Qiang Ji, a professor at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, both gave speeches. All were listed as “special guests” on the conference’s website. None of the researchers responded to Coda Story’s requests for comment about their trip, and none mention their participation in the conference on their websites

‘Once Their Mental State Is Healthy, They Will Be Able to Live Happily in Society’ | ChinaFile

the Party has applied the language of pathology—and to great utility—to theorize state violence towards non-Han cultures. The application of this language in official discourse taps into a long history of what anthropologist Stevan Harrell called China’s “civilizing project,” treating people on China’s geographic and cultural periphery as inferior and therefore deserving of the colonial predation visited upon them. The pathology metaphor dwells outside the spotlights that beam down on colorful exhibits of ethnic minority cultures. “Sick” minorities cannot lure tourists or sell souvenir trinkets, so this imagery rarely appears in popular media. Yet, the C.C.P. has routinely portrayed religious and ethnic minorities as sickly patients and desperate addicts in need of the state’s salvation.

8. No Mainland participation in Taiwan’s film festival

Beijing Orders Mainland Chinese Stars to Boycott Taiwan's Golden Horse Awards | Hollywood Reporter

Taiwan's Golden Horse Awards, the Chinese-language film industry’s closest equivalent to the Oscars, was plunged into crisis Wednesday after Beijing film authorities ordered mainland Chinese film directors and stars to boycott the event in November.

Beijing's move to kneecap the Taiwanese awards show is being interpreted as retaliation for the event's 2018 ceremony, where a local filmmaker made a politically charged acceptance speech in support of Taiwanese independence...

This year's Golden Horse Awards are being held the same day — Nov. 23 — as mainland China's Golden Rooster Awards, an event with less international prestige but the full support of China's ruling Communist Party. Mainland stars thus will be expected to tow the party line and walk the red carpet in China's coastal city of Xiamen, where the Golden Rooster awards are to be held. 

Question: Will anyone from Hollywood attend the Taiwan awards, or with that risk the wrath of the mainland film regulators?

Mainland China to boycott Golden Horse awards in latest attempt to squeeze Taiwan | South China Morning Post

This will be the first time that Beijing has banned its films and filmmakers from attending the Golden Horse Awards since Taiwan officially allowed the mainland to take part in 1996.


When asked about the ban, the deputy head of the Taiwan affairs office at State Council Long Mingbiao said it is not a total cut off of cultural exchanges with Taiwan, but just a suspension. He wouldn’t specify the reason for the ban but only said it is related to the DPP administration, and that “Taiwan’s current political situation and political environment will lead to many problems.”

Regulator's statement - 国家电影局:暂停大陆影片和人员参加台北金马影展_网易新闻

Business, Economy and Trade

China coal mine approvals surge despite climate pledges - Reuters China’s energy regulator gave the go-ahead to build 141 million tonnes of new annual coal production capacity from January to June, compared to 25 million tonnes over the whole of last year, Reuters analysis of approval documents showed. The projects included new mines in the regions of Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Shanxi and Shaanxi that are part of a national strategy to consolidate output at dedicated coal production “bases”, as well as expansions of existing collieries, the National Energy Administration (NEA) documents showed.

After Delay, Japanese Carriers Say They’ll Sell New Huawei Model - Caixin Global Both KDDI and SoftBank originally planned to start selling the P30 Lite in May, but postponed the launches after the United States added Huawei to its so-called Entity List, restricting its ability to do business with American suppliers. // Meanwhile, in Germany:

When Insider Trading Doesn’t Pay - Caixin An investor who used the stock accounts of acquaintances to buy shares in a listed company planning a major acquisition has been ordered to hand over his illegal profit of 197 million yuan ($28 million) and pay a fine of 197 million yuan for insider trading. The total penalty, amounting to 394 million yuan, is one of the largest ever imposed on an individual by the securities regulator.

Huawei denies Flex claim that it owes due payment to the firm - Global Times Huawei has rejected Flex's accusation that the Chinese technology giant defaulted on payments of 100 million yuan ($14.19 million) to the US-based company, a Huawei media affairs officer told the Global Times on Wednesday. The reply came after an executive of US original equipment manufacturer Flex Ltd, once Huawei's major smartphone assembler, alleged on Wednesday that their decision to seize Huawei materials and goods worth 700 million yuan ($102 million) was based on the default.

Let Down by China, Mauritius Turns to Saudi Arabia for Growth - Bloomberg While surging numbers of Chinese visitors to the Indian Ocean island’s resorts helped underpin an 11% annual growth rate in tourists in 2015, that slowed to 4.3% last year, partially as a result of the scrapping of direct flights by China Southern Airlines Co

Does the Next Starbucks Make Cheese Tea? - ChinaEconTalk What follows are abridged translations of a report on HeyTea from a WeChat-based commentator and an interview with the founder Neo Nie from a Chinese financial news outlet, exploring why HeyTea stands out from its competition.

Cisco Rumored To Layoff Workers In Shanghai - Pandaily “The screenshot on the Internet is not true! As a tech company, adjustment of Cisco’s global business is normal, which will affect some employees. The Cisco Shanghai R&D Office hasn’t been affected. Yesterday, several new directors and technical leaders were announced to be promoted,” Cisco China team disclosed to 36 Kr, a Chinese tech media.

Serial Defaulter Kangde Xin Barred From Debt Financing - Caixin A person close to the regulator said it is very likely Kangde Xin and Kangde Group will be barred from selling bonds on the interbank bond market indefinitely.

U.S. Slaps Duty on $4.4 Billion of China Cabinets Amid Trade War - Bloomberg The Commerce Department said Tuesday it will ask the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect cash deposits from importers of the wooden cabinets and vanities from China based on subsidy rates of as much as 229%. Commerce issued a preliminary determination in response to a petition filed earlier this year by the American Kitchen Cabinet Alliance, alleging at least $2 billion in harm from the Chinese shipments.

Foxconn’s Terry Gou Plans to Sell $8.5 Billion LCD Production Line - Caixin Investors behind the 60 billion yuan ($8.52 billion) project are considering selling it, multiple sources familiar with the matter told Caixin Tuesday, with the governments of the southern city of Guangzhou and its Zengcheng district involved in the deal.

BMW's joint venture for Mini in China in question - electrive.com The joint venture Spotlight Automotive between BMW and Great Wall for the production of Mini electric vehicles in China may be in danger of failing. The strategic and cultural boundaries may prove too great, German media reports.

U.S. Teachers and Firefighters Are Funding Rise of China Tech Firms “We have some worries about raising money from U.S. endowments and pension funds amidst the current trade tensions,” said Zhou Wei, who runs the two-year-old China Creation Ventures fund. More than a decade ago, Zhou helped Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers set up in China, when U.S. endowments and pension funds were looking to profit from China’s rapid internet growth. ”It’s now politically incorrect in the U.S. to be pro-China,” he said.

Politics and Law

学习小组:“家庭暖男”习近平 On the occasion of Chinese valentine’s day the state-run Study Xi Group wechat account put out an article about the family man, good husband Xi Jinping.

长安街知事:秦光荣之子秦岭涉嫌受贿、贪污被起诉 Beiijng Daily reported that the son of Qin Guangrong, the former Yunnan party boss who turned himself in for corruption in May, has been charged of taking bribes and graft. The son worked at the state-run China Huarong Asset Management, whose former chairman Lai Xiaomin has also been taken down for corruption.

华融投资原董事会主席秦岭被公诉,罪涉受贿贪污所为何案 Caixin reported that Qin Ling, the son of Qin Guangrong mentioned above, received up to 200-300 million RMB in bribes, and so far at least seven senior executives at China Huarong have been put under investigation. 

江苏省人民政府原副省长缪瑞林受贿案一审开庭 Miao Ruilin, former vice governor of Jiangsu province, stood trial in Shandong for taking $1 mln bribes. Miao is believed to be close to Li Yuanchao, the former Vice President Li Yuanchao. He is one of many Li’s allies who have been taken down on charges of corruption. 

党中央、国务院邀请优秀专家人才代表北戴河休假侧记 Xinhua report on the 58 top scientists and experts invited by CCP to spend summer in Beidaihe.

中国五矿集团有限公司原总经济师何仁春接受监察调查 Former chief economist of China Minmetals He Yuanren is put under investigation for corruption.

Beijing to draft 'uncivilized behavior' law - Global Times After local parks released a blacklist of uncivilized behavior in late July, the Beijing government now solicits public opinions for a draft law on these behaviors, including loud square dancing and wearing a "Beijing bikini." The solicitation is being conducted by the municipal civilization promotion office and will run from Monday to August 25...Beijing residents can access a questionnaire website and vote for the behavior they think should be included in the law. They can also comment on the upcoming law.

Senior official of northwest China's Ningxia under investigation - Xinhua Chen Dongqiao, director of the department of justice of northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region

China strips rights lawyer Li Jinxing of licence over ‘improper’ social media comments | South China Morning Post Prominent Chinese lawyer Li Jinxing, who gained national attention for defending clients in a number of high-profile cases, lost his licence for allegedly making “improper comments” on social media, a provincial regulatory body ruled on Tuesday.

从《为人民服务》到不忘初心、牢记使命——中央纪委国家监委网站 2017年10月18日,党的十九大召开,大会确定的主题正是——不忘初心,牢记使命,高举中国特色社会主义伟大旗帜,决胜全面建成小康社会,夺取新时代中国特色社会主义伟大胜利,为实现中华民族伟大复兴的中国梦不懈奋斗。“不忘初心,方得始终。中国共产党人的初心和使命,就是为中国人民谋幸福,为中华民族谋复兴。这个初心和使命是激励中国共产党人不断前进的根本动力。”“初心”一词来源于《华严经》。“使命”一词最早出现在春秋战国时期。《论语》:“使于四方,不辱君命”,《战国策》:“唐雎不辱使命”。家国同构、修齐治平。“不忘初心,方得始终”既是修身做人的道理,也是为政的哲学。2019年5月31日,“不忘初心、牢记使命”主题教育工作会议在北京召开。今年是中华人民共和国成立70年,也是中国共产党在全国执政70年,在全党开展主题教育正当其时。//CCDI piece linking to the “staying true to our founding mission” slogan from the 19th Party Congress that is now a campaign back to Mao and “th serve the people”

Chinese tycoon Li Jianhua fights daughter over Canada real estate fortune in lawsuits depicting knife violence, fraud and corporate turmoil | South China Morning Post Tycoon Li Jianhua once planned to live next door to his daughter in Vancouver after he retired from a career that has brought him political prestige and great wealth in China. Two multimillion-dollar mansions were built on a steep and wooded hillside overlooking Vancouver and the Salish Sea, side by side in the exclusive British Properties neighbourhood. It was a fitting location for the former deputy in the National People’s Congress, China’s parliament

Taming Those Migrant Bandits | China Media Project on the Shenzhen police exercise f we take a closer look at the videos and photographs being shared from official accounts, and listen a bit more conscientiously to the shouted slogans and declared victories, the “Shenzhen Showing the Sword” event reveals a great deal more about the shaky underside of mainland security than it does about the situation in Hong Kong...

Authorities Dismiss Petitioning Mother’s Police Brutality Claims - SixthTone Authorities in eastern China have dismissed a woman’s allegations of police brutality after an open letter she posted over the weekend went viral. In a statement Monday, a county government in the city of Xuzhou, Jiangsu province, said that Li Xiujuan had not been mistreated by police during her ongoing efforts to seek compensation for an injury her daughter suffered at school over a year ago.

Foreign and Defense Affairs

Silk Road sweeteners: China woos Myanmar's NLD with junkets - Reuters The friendship has blossomed in high-level exchanges between Suu Kyi and Chinese leaders, but also in interactions between party members on visits that mix tours of container terminals or education projects with boozy dinners and shopping trips.The trips are part of a push to make Myanmar a vital stop on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s flagship Belt and Road Initiative, offering to build deep-sea ports, hydropower dams and economic zones in a country desperate for investment...The invites have flowed since Myanmar’s relations with Western countries soured following their sharp criticism of a 2017 army crackdown in its northwestern Rakhine state from which 700,000 Rohingya Muslims fled to Bangladesh.

Why Unsustainable Chinese Infrastructure Deals Are a Two-Way Street - Carnegie-Tsinghua Center - Matt Ferchen, Anarkalee Perera It is important to acknowledge how host countries have made poor, politicized, or simply corrupt decisions when selecting projects and striking deals with China. Yet, since similar concerns have cropped up in a host of places, it is also necessary to more fully account for the ways Beijing has fostered sometimes unsustainable debt deals with developing countries along the BRI routes. In all the examples mentioned above, each with as complex a backstory as Hambantota, China shares responsibility for facilitating or abetting poor project selection and implementation.

China solidifies relations between military, government, people - Xinhua China has made efforts to further consolidate and develop solidarity between the military, the government and the people by revising two guidelines concerning relevant work in this field. The revised guidelines about "double support," meaning the government and the people support the military, and the military supports the government and the people, have been issued by the leading group of national double support work.

Xi voices China's support to Egypt's efforts in maintaining security, combating terrorism - Egypt Today This came in a cable of condolences that the Chinese president sent Wednesday to his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah El Sisi over Sunday's terrorist attack that occurred outside Egypt's National Cancer Institute (NCI).

China: NATO is monitoring Beijing's increased presence in the Arctic circle - CNBC NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told CNBC Wednesday that the defense alliance is carefully monitoring China’s increased presence in the Arctic, amid growing divisions in the polar region.

China urges Kyrgyzstan to punish villagers who attacked gold mine over environmental concerns | South China Morning Post The rare diplomatic rebuke from Beijing followed a skirmish between mine employees and villagers living close to the Solton Sary gold deposit which is licensed to China’s Zhong Ji Mining.

Papua New Guinea asks China to refinance its national debt as Beijing influence grows | The Guardian The request marks a “significant shift” in regional politics and PNG’s allegiances, according to Pacific experts. Australia has traditionally been the largest aid donor and most important ally of PNG, but in recent years ties between China and PNG have strengthened.

America's Pacific Island Allies: The Freely Associated States and Chinese Influence | RAND The Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau, which make up the Freely Associated States — as well as the broader region of Oceania — have been the subject of increasing Chinese influence and expressions of both hard and soft power. The authors of this report examine the implications of these activities for the United States, particularly in terms of its defense and foreign policy interests. They also look at the actions of other regional and international powers in the Freely Associated States, and examine how those actions complement U.S. leadership.

US carrier sails into disputed South China Sea waters amid new flare-ups - Military Times The U.S. Navy flew a small group of Philippine generals, officials and journalists to the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, where they watched fighter jets landing and taking off by catapult with thunderous blasts. The nuclear-powered carrier, carrying about 70 supersonic F/A-18 jets, spy planes and helicopters, was en route to Manila for a port visit.

Duterte Plans to Raise South Sea China Ruling in Meeting With Xi - AP Duterte will also discuss with Xi an oil exploration plan in the disputed sea, where the Philippines is seeking a 60-40 revenue sharing. The president also supports the move to tighten visa rules on Chinese nationals arriving in the Southeast Asian nation, Panelo said.

赵克志与老挝公安部部长威莱举行会谈 China’s minister of public security met with his Laos counterpart in Beijing, and they discussed “security cooperation in major Belt and Road projects”, and joint efforts to combat internet scam and internet gambling based in Laos but target Chinese.

The Human Rights Council Advisory Committee: A new tool in China's anti-human rights strategy - Sinopsis 


Taiwan bubble tea chains face backlash in mainland China after Hong Kong franchises ‘express support for protesters’ | South China Morning Post Angry social media users call for boycott of Yifang Fruit Tea and CoCo after franchises urged Hongkongers to ‘add oil’ amid wave of protests

Tech and Media

Twitter’s Greater China Team Triples in Size - Pandaily At the 2019 Global Mobile Internet Conference (GMIC), Alan Lan, Greater China Regional Director at Twitter mentioned in an interview to Sinatech that the Greater China has been Twitter’s fastest growing business direction worldwide. Over the past year, the cross-departmental team of Twitter that provides support for the Chinese market has tripled.

Kuaishou to get tough on shady e-commerce operators · TechNode Content-driven e-commerce is a growing trend in China as more and more sellers use short video apps like Kuaishou and Douyin as effective ways to promote products. Some merchants encourage shoppers to pay privately via WeChat or Alipay to avoid extra fees and also to reduce their responsibility for after-sales service

The biggest risks to TikTok | The Interface as TikTok enters its second year — and becomes a key talking point in Facebook’s this-market-is-competitive-we-swear global tour, how durable should we expect it to be?..The Chinese version of TikTok is already a propaganda outlet for the government. What happens if TikTok becomes a propaganda outlet for China here in the United States? Think Russia’s RT network, but with 1 billion monthly users and an algorithmic feed that it can manipulate however it wants. That seems like something the US government might take an interest in, too.

Energy, Environment, Science and Health

Deadly Heat Waves Could Be China’s ‘New Normal,’ Scientist Warns - Caixin