Liu Xia freed to Germany; Don't expect Trump to "blink"; Merkel-Li lovefest; CSRC looks to be pressuring listed firms to help the stock market; Caijing on hidden local debt; New report on China's Internet
|Bill Bishop||Jul 10, 2018|| 6||5|
Liu Xiaobo's widow Liu Xia has been allowed to leave China for Germany, after many years of illegal house arrest, though her brother was kept behind in Beijing;
Angela Merkel and Li Keqiang had a nice summit in Germany, lots of deals and lots of comments clearly aimed at the US. I can't imagine that will help the Trump-Merkel relationship at the upcoming NATO summit;
China's stock market regulator is convening meetings with listed companies to discuss among other things stabilizing the stock market.
Thanks for reading.
The Essential Eight
1. US-China Trade
There is little sense, even among the free-traders inside the administration, that the White House will back down from the Chinese tariffs anytime soon. It’s a defining issue for Trump, according to people close to the White House.
Administration officials told people last week not to expect the White House to “blink” on its tariffs in the near term. Right now, the president views the tariffs as a winning political issue heading into the midterms, despite protests from The Wall Street Journal editorial board, business groups and so-called elites or donors.
These various constituencies that support free trade are now trying to take the long view on the tariffs — hoping they end once an event like a drop in the stock market, an increase in prices of consumer goods or the conclusion of the midterms makes the political argument less palatable.
For a president who frequently changes direction on policy, trade is one area where advisers argue Trump is carrying out his campaign promises and setting himself up to make trade a major talking point in the 2018 midterms and even 2020.
Comment: The US experts in the PRC bureaucracy took a long time to understand that Trump meant what he said about China, surprised there have been no ramifications yet inside the PRC system...
Beijing placed a 25 percent tariff on American soybeans last week in retaliation for the Trump administration’s levies on Chinese-made goods. Last year, soy growers in the United States sold nearly one-third of their harvest to China. In dollar terms, only airplanes are a more significant American export to China, the world’s second-largest economy.
Question: Will Brazil soon export more soybeans than the country produces, as US shipments to China get laundered through Brazil?
When formulating the list of U.S. products that would be subject to countermeasure tariffs, China took into full consideration the substitutability of the imported products and the overall impacts on trade and investment, the spokesperson said.
At the same time, China will take the following measures:
-- Continuously evaluate the impacts on different kinds of companies.
-- The new tax income from the countermeasures will be mainly used to relieve the impacts on companies and their employees.
-- Encourage companies to adjust import structure, and increase the imports of agricultural products such as soybeans and soybean meal, aquatic products, and automobiles from other countries and regions.
-- Step up the implementation of the guidelines released by the State Council on June 15 on making active and effective use of foreign investment and promoting high-quality economic development to reinforce the protection of corporate interests and create a better investment environment.
2. Germany and China make nice over trade
Not really a surprise from the two major surplus countries, though I believe German Chancellor Angela Merkel might have been tougher on China if there were a US-Germany united front...
“We have a lot of direct investment in the United States of America, we have a lot of direct investment in China,” Merkel said.
“It really is a multilateral interdependent system that at its best most likely is really a plurilateral win-win situation when we stick to the rules.”
She also applauded China for relaxing rules on foreign investment, saying that it was important to see “the market opening in China in this area is not only words, but is also being followed by deeds.”
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and German Chancellor Angela Merkel co-chaired the fifth round of intergovernmental consultations and made the announcement in Berlin.
Both sides agreed to deepen cooperation in finance and economy, make full use of high-level financial dialogue and other mechanisms, strengthen communication in macroeconomic policy and build financing platforms concerning bilateral and third-party markets.
While Germany appreciates China's further measures to open its financial market, China supports the construction of Frankfurt financial center and the offshore market of renminbi.
The two countries agreed to promote bilateral cooperation in economy, trade and investment, jointly safeguard free trade and an international market based on fair and recognized rules and relax market access.
China is willing to discuss with the German side to jointly explore the third-party market, and Germany is willing to give full play to its advantages to work with China in Industry 4.0.
“This shows that China’s market opening in these areas isn’t just talk, but action,” Merkel said at a joint news conference. Combined with Chinese steps to open up to foreign financial companies, it’s a signal that multilateralism plays “a strengthening, bolstering role” for the world economy, Li said...
Merkel said Germany’s goal remains a level playing field in economic ties with China. At the same time, she said Germany reserves the right to block Chinese investments under existing laws that allow such restrictions for sensitive technology or on national security grounds. That doesn’t mean China is being singled out, she said.
The EU Chamber of Commerce in China wants more reform and opening in a nicely timed report—18 Months Since Davos: How China’s Vision Became a Reform Imperative:
The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China (European Chamber) today released a new major report analysing the progress and shortcomings of China’s reform agenda since President Xi Jinping spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos in early 2017. 18 Months Since Davos: How China’s Vision Became a Reform Imperative analyses a year and a half of reform across a wide variety of industries, and examines where tangible results have been seen by European companies in China. It also looks at what the raising of equity caps in selected industries actually means to operations on the ground, as well as which barriers remain or are now more pronounced.
Although the past 18 months has seen more tangible results relative to any other 18-month period since China’s accession to the WTO, in absolute terms the story is quite different. Serious issues like SOE domination, unfair technology transfers and a burdensome regulatory environment detract from the value of progress such as recent of market openings, improvements in the R&D environment and more stringent enforcement of environmental regulations.
The European Chamber is now calling for an absolute approach to implementation of the reform agenda.
Releasing a report on Tuesday on China’s opening up in the last 18 months since Chinese President Xi Jinping endorsed globalisation in a landmark speech, the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China also called on Beijing to create a more level investment field for foreign players.
Chamber president Mats Harborn said member companies were adjusting supply chains around the world to minimise the impact of US tariffs imposed on US$34 billion worth of Chinese goods since Friday.
Meanwhile, the reformist Unirule Institute of Economics said on Twitter today that it has been illegally evicted again from offices in Beijing
Once again, Unirule is evicted from its office place that it legally rented till 2020. The act of eviction should be considered contempt for rule of law and the spirit of contract. pic.twitter.com/bOQ8RWOFOaJuly 10, 2018
3. Liu Xia released to Germany
Germany has been working for months to get her released, it has been rumored more than once that it was imminent, makes propaganda sense for China to do this while Li Keqiang is in Germany and days before the NATO and EU-China summits, but does nothing to change the overall human rights situation. It is noteworthy that Germany now seems to be the preferred destination for PRC dissidents instead of the US.
The ailing widow of Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese democracy advocate and Nobel Peace Prize laureate who died of cancer last year under police guard, left China for Europe on Tuesday after a high-level diplomatic campaign by the German government...
Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany raised Ms. Liu’s case directly with China’s leader, Xi Jinping, during a visit to Beijing earlier this year, a gesture that underscored her opposition to China’s treatment of Ms. Liu and her husband, European diplomats said...
European diplomats had said over the last several months that China had left Ms. Liu in limbo as a show of resolve against Chinese human rights dissidents, despite aggressive efforts by Germany to press for her release.
After Ms. Merkel’s visit to Beijing in the spring, the Chinese authorities let the Europeans know that if Ms. Liu’s case was not publicized, her release would be possible, a European diplomat with knowledge of the case said.
China’s foreign ministry confirmed that she had left for health reasons.
Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily press briefing that the 57-year-old poet and artist had gone to Germany to “treat her illness according to her wishes”.
She said also that the issue was not “diplomatic in nature.”
Liu, who had been under house arrest since her late husband was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2010 while still in prison, flew out on Tuesday morning, the South China Morning Post learned.
While authorities allowed Liu Xia to leave China, her brother Liu Hui reportedly has remained in China. According to Liu Xia’s friends, Liu Xia had previously hoped she and Liu Hui could be allowed to leave China together. Liu Hui was prosecuted in 2013 on questionable fraud charges, though later released on bail.
Upon the first anniversary of the death of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo, a public memorial will be held in the Gethsemane Church (at Stargarder Str. 77, 10437) in Berlin, on July 13, 2018, at 6:00 p.m.
4. Caijing Magazine on hidden local government debts
The latest Caijing cover story is a disturbing look at hidden (aka implicit) local government debts that says the government is once again undertaking an effort to calculate the entirety of the debts (guess the 2014-15 efforts didn’t really get to the bottom of things…) and that the central government is working on another document on preventing risks from local government debts. Lots in this story, not sure if anyone will translate but here is a rough translation via Google Translate (it takes a while to load).
5. CSRC meets with listed companies about stabilizing stock market
Liu Shiyu and Yan Qingmin, head and deputy head of the CSRC respectively, convened meetings on July 8 ad 9 to talk about stock market stability, sounds like the message has been given that stock valuations are low though not every attendee is in agreement that it is time to start buying...yet. More meetings are planned. Expect more buybacks and fewer insider sales as part of an broader plan to prop up the market? Don’t fight the Fed, don’t buck Beijing…
Brief CSRC notice on the meetings-证监会召开上市公司座谈会:
“Restoring confidence may take time, but we’d argue that robust fundamentals will provide some support, especially given where valuations are,” said Kinger Lau, Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s chief China strategist in Hong Kong. “People will ultimately turn a little more constructive on China equities. The next catalyst will be evidence that corporates are still fine.”
6. Crackdown on Internet finance
Analysts say the Chinese central bank’s recent announcement that its crackdown on the internet finance sector will continue for the next one to two years signals an extension of the filing period.
“The next one to two years will be spent completing specialist rectification of online financial risk…while simultaneously establishing a regulatory system which is adapted to the unique features of online finance,” said People’s Bank of China vice-governor Pan Gongsheng (潘功胜) at a recent meeting of the Online Financial Risk Specialist Rectification Work Leadership Team (互联网金融风险专项整治工作领导小组).
The statement from PBOC arrived just as regulators stepped up their scrutiny of online lending, toppling nearly 70 online platforms in the past month.
China’s ongoing crackdown on P2P lenders has spread from Nanjing and Shanghai to the Zhejiang province capital of Hangzhou, with a slew of investigations launched within the space of a week.
A new report from 21st Century Business Herald says that as many as 10 P2P lending platforms situated in Hangzhou have been placed under investigation by local authorities as of 9 July, including Tourong Jia (投融家), Niuban Jin (牛板金), Yunduan Finance (云端金融), Renren Aijia (人人爱家), Xiaojiu Jinfu (小九金服), Debao Licai (得宝理财), Hangzhou Youyang Investment (杭州优杨投资), Hangzhou Zheyou Minjian Ziben (杭州浙优民间资本), Hangzhou Qitian Youdai (杭州祺天优贷) and Hangzhou Guanghui Ruanjian (杭州广惠软件).
Bytedance now getting into Internet loans through Jinri Toutiao?--传今日头条上线“现金贷” 最高借款额达20万|今日头条|现金贷|上线_新浪科技_新浪网
7. Whither the children of Uighurs undergoing "re-education"?
Beijing will hate the story but appreciate the headline.
As the Trump administration struggles to reunite migrants and their children forcibly separated at the US border, China has been separating families on a far larger scale as part of a rapidly intensifying security campaign. The campaign has put the region on lockdown, forbidding Uighurs from travelling and putting them under high-tech digital and physical surveillance.
Since 2016, China has been imprisoning Uighurs in extralegal detention centres in the name of combating terrorism. China denies that such centres exist, rejecting efforts by western countries to discuss Xinjiang, according to two diplomats...
The widening scale of the detentions means it is increasingly common for entire extended families to be separated from their children. The younger children are then sent to “child welfare guidance centres” while older children are sometimes sent to state-run vocational institutes, according to residents in Urumqi, Xinjiang’s capital, and Kashgar.
“If both parents are in jail, the child will be sent to a re-education centre for ‘special children’,” said a former teacher in one of the re-education centres. “The child is forbidden to go to school with the normal children because the parents have a political problem.”
Question: When did China excludes classes of children because their parents had "political problems"?
8. New report on China's Internet
Taking a page from Mary Meeker, interesting report
China has twice as many internet users as the total population of the United States -- and it’s growing fast. This unique collaboration between Abacus, 500 Startups, the South China Morning Post, will break down everything you need to know about China’s thriving tech industry, the big players in each field, and lay out the four overarching trends that have emerged.
The full report is available here
Business, Economy, Finance And Trade
China tells banks to 'significantly cut' lending rates for small businesses: sources | Reuters China’s financial regulator has told banks to “significantly cut” lending rates for small firms in the third quarter in comparison with the first quarter, two people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Monday... In a non-public notice issued by the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) in late June, the regulator also asked banks to increase real-time monitoring of lending rates, the two people with knowledge of it said.
Importers Told to Look to Belt and Road - Caixin Global: Late Monday, the State Council, the nation’s cabinet, issued guidelines that called for China to “improve its import structure to promote the upgrading of production and consumption” and reduce tariffs and unnecessary charges on some products... Companies should “look to Belt and Road countries as a new source of imports, strengthen strategic cooperation, and increase imports of high-quality products that meet the needs of upgraded domestic consumption in order to expand the scale of trade,” according to the State Council notice.
福建宁德发文精准调控楼市：新房价格每年涨幅最高6%_凤凰资讯 the market is definitely not playing a decisive role in determining real estate prices in Ningde, Fujian if local officials have their way. ThePaper reports they have issued a notice limited the annual increase in the price of new homes to 6%
China’s Belt and Road difficulties are proliferating across the world | Financial Times $$ A new study by RWR Advisory Group, a Washington-based consultancy, shows that some 14 per cent, or 234 out of 1,674, Chinese-invested infrastructure projects announced in 66 Belt and Road countries since 2013 have hit trouble so far. Most of the problems encountered — public opposition to projects, objections over labour policies, performance delays, concerns over national security — derive from poor administration. / Comment: So 85% have not had issues (yet)? How does that compare with World Bank or ADB projects?
Dairy Farmers Cheesed Off by Low Prices - Caixin Global This price is below Chinese dairy farmers’ average production cost of around 3.4 yuan per kilogram, said Zhu Danpeng, a food-and-beverage industry analyst with the China Brand Research Institute. In contrast, raw milk worldwide was sold by producers at 2.1 yuan per kilogram in December, according to data from the International Farm Comparison Network, as cited by the Dairy Association of China...In order to improve the dairy farming industry, the State Council, China’s cabinet, in June issued a guideline stipulating that raw milk from domestic supplies account for at least 70% of the milk processed by Chinese dairy companies by 2020.
China Factory Inflation Accelerates as Commodity Prices Edge Up - Bloomberg The producer price index rose 4.7 percent from a year earlier, compared with a projected 4.5 percent increase in a Bloomberg survey of economists and a 4.1 percent gain in May. The consumer price index climbed 1.9 percent in June, the statistics bureau said Tuesday, matching the forecast.
Foreign Funds Keep Pouring Into China Despite Yuan's Jitters - Bloomberg June saw the yuan’s biggest monthly drop against the dollar since 1994, yet overseas investors poured the most into China’s domestic bonds in almost two years. The contrast is a testament to foreign demand for exposure to the country’s $12 trillion bond market, the world’s third-largest. China has steadily opened to international investors in part to provide a balance against domestic pressures to ferret money out.
US-China trade war: Anyone against cooperation is crazy, VC says - Business Insider While Israeli tech has long relied on American investors, it has increasingly turned to China in recent years. China's total investment in Israel tripled to $16 billion last year. "We believe that China will be the largest investor in the Israeli market in the technology sector. It will surpass the US," Edouard Cukierman, the French-Israeli chairman of Cukierman Investments House and managing partner at Catalyst-CEL, told The Jerusalem Post in December. "For many years, the Israeli hi-tech industry has been supported and led by American investors. Companies aimed for NASDAQ or the US market for exits, for IPOs."
Sinovel to Pay More Than $50 Million in Trade-Secrets Case - Caixin Global The U. S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin ordered Sinovel Wind Group Co. Ltd. to pay a $1.5 million penalty — the maximum amount for such a case. Sinovel must also pay $57.5 million in restitution to the wind-technology firm from which it allegedly stole — U.S.-based AMSC, formerly known as American Superconductor Corp...According to prosecutors, Sinovel stole the source code to avoid handing over the $800 million it had previously agreed to pay AMSC for wind-turbine technology. // Comment: So a great deal for Sinovel...
Chinese businesses to face new naming restrictions: state media | Reuters The new draft rules issued by the State Administration for Market Regulation said the use of certain words in company names was “detrimental to the interests of state and society” and needed to be banned. The new rules would also ban non-state firms from describing themselves as “Central”, “Nationwide”, “State” or “International”. The new restrictions would allow, for example, a company to name itself “Acme China Jewellery” but not “China Acme” unless it gains the explicit approval of the State Council, China’s cabinet.
PBoC Will 'Crush' Foreign ICOs Targeting Chinese Investors: Official - CoinDesk A vice governor of the People's Bank of China (PBoC) has again issued strong statements against initial coin offerings (ICOs), singling out those that have moved overseas, but are still marketing to investors in China. Speaking at an internal meeting of the Internet Finance Rectification Working Group on Monday, Pan Gongsheng reiterated that ICOs, "disguised" ICOs and crypto asset trading are illegal in the country, and represent illicit forms of fundraising and securities issuance.
A Tech Guru Captivated Canada. Then He Fled to China. - The New York Times Sun Yian was living the Canadian dream. The Chinese immigrant found fortune harnessing Canadian talent to develop cutting-edge technology, everything from semiconductors to facial recognition, to take back to China. His company grew to more than 1,500 employees across China and North America, and was lauded by Canadian officials as a model for unlocking the Chinese market to create homegrown prosperity. Then Mr. Sun stopped paying his Canadian workers and fled to China. Left behind are lawsuits from angry investors and Canadian employees who are wondering whether their work could be used to help China’s growing domestic surveillance state.
Politics, Law And Ideology
Radical lawyers sabotage nation’s progress - Global Times A few radical lawyers have seriously disturbed such a proposition by China and pushed society to be more vigilant. They were not promoting China's progress, rather sabotaging it. China's social development must help consolidate unity under the leadership of the Communist Party of China and allow it to formulate an enabling mechanism. This has to be done within the constitutional framework. The whole society must be clearly aware of it.
消失4年的石油帮贪官，原来正在牢里串珠子-腾讯网 on the sentencing and life in jail of Li Dongsheng, former head PetroChina's Sichuan subsidiary and a cony of Jiang Jiemin // 2013年9月，周永康“石油帮”的核心人物——蒋洁敏突然落马，成为十八大后首个被查的中央委员。他的心腹、中石油四川石化总经理栗东生不久后被带走、接受调查。 近日公开的一份法律文书，曝光了栗东生的下落。长安街知事（微信ID：Capitalnews）发现，早在2014年底，他因犯受贿罪获刑13年，没收财产800万元，追缴赃款9400英镑、人民币52万余元。 狱方的文书披露了这名昔日能源高管的监牢生活：内务卫生经常评优，努力学习电子加工技术，先后从事袖套打包、串珠工种，有时能超额完成任务……
Ex-Top Prosecutor Awaits Bribery Verdict - Caixin Global The trial of one of Shanghai’s top former prosecutors, accused of bribery involving more than $11 million, has ended but it is not clear when a verdict will be handed down. Chen Xu was charged with taking more than 74 million yuan ($11 million) himself or through his family from 2000 to 2017 in return for helping associates with promotions, job applications and bidding in government-funded projects.
Officials in China's Anhui Target Xi Jinping Critic For 'Psychiatric Treatment' - RFA Authorities in the eastern Chinese province of Anhui have visited an outspoken rights activist who criticized President Xi Jinping on social media, threatening to send him for psychiatric treatment for his "mental illness," RFA has learned. Lu Qianrong was visited in his home in Linshui township, Huoqiu county by a group of officials from the local government, as well as higher-ranking officials from nearby Changzhou city, he told RFA on Monday.
我国首届统战学硕士研究生毕业，8名硕士就业情况良好_中国政库_澎湃新闻-The Paper The Central Socialism Academy and Shandong University have teamed up to offer a Masters degree in United Front Work. The first class of 8 graduated on July 4
Foreign and Military Affairs
Highlights of Xi's speech at China-Arab forum - People's Daily Online:Xi said that China-Arab cooperation declaration will be signed for the Belt and Road Initiative....Xi pledged that China will provide $20 billion in loans to help Arab states in economic reconstruction...China plans to import goods worth over $8 trillion from Arab states in five years and this would bring huge opportunities to Arab states, Xi said. China will press ahead with FTA talks with Arab states and invite hundreds of Arab elites to China over the next three years, Xi said.// Xinhua on Xi's speech - 习近平出席中阿合作论坛第八届部长级会议开幕式并发表重要讲话
China plans Pacific Island summit as New Zealand warns Beijing is trying to fill power vacuum | AFP China is planning a summit of Pacific Island leaders in November, according to Papua New Guinea, as New Zealand said on Tuesday Beijing was attempting to fill a “vacuum” in the long-neglected region. President Xi Jinping wants to hold the meeting ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) forum in Port Moresby from November 12-18. “(I) invite you to attend a Pacific Island leaders’ meeting with the President of China, His Excellency Xi Jinping, during his state visit to Papua New Guinea in the days before the Apec Leaders’ Meeting,” PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said in an address to the Fiji parliament in Suva on Monday.
With eye on China, New Zealand buys US anti-submarine jets - CNN The purchase of the four Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft "strengthens the coalition Government's Pacific Reset by providing a maritime patrol capability with the significant range and endurance needed to assist our partners in the region," a statement from New Zealand Defense Minister Ron Mark said.
China Fails in its Gambit to Use the UN NGO Committee to Silence the Society for Threatened Peoples and Uyghur Activist Dolkun Isa « China Change Having achieved only limited success in preventing Mr. Isa’s participation in the 2018 Permanent Forum –– although China caused a substantial delay, Mr. Isa eventually did gain access to the UN–– China adopted a new tactic, which, had it been successful, would have had long-term consequences for both STP and Mr. Isa. Late in the day on Friday, May 17–– the last working day before the opening meeting of the 2018 second (“resumed”) session of the NGO Committee, the Chinese Permanent Mission circulated a note verbale (i.e., an unsigned diplomatic correspondence) to the Members of the Committee, setting forth its reasons for seeking the withdrawal of STP’s consultative status. Besides a groundless procedural point regarding the accreditation of Mr. Isa, China’s objections to STP’s consultative status can be summed up by this sweeping unsubstantiated accusation in its letter: “Dolkun Isa has been participating, inciting and funding separatism and terrorism for years.”
日媒：日本男子因间谍罪在华被判有期徒刑12年|间谍罪|有期徒刑|在华_新浪新闻 Japanese media says a 54 year old man arrested in Hainan for espionage under the cover of running a hot springs development company has been sentenced to 12 years in prison
China launches new Beidou navigation satellite - Xinhua China sent a new Beidou navigation satellite into orbit on a Long March-3A rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, in the southwestern Sichuan Province, at 4:58 a.m. Tuesday. The satellite is the 32nd of the Beidou navigation system, and one of the Beidou-2 family, which is the second generation of the system. The launch was the 280th mission of the Long March rocket series
To Keep An Eye On India, 2 Pak Spy Satellites Launched By China - NDTV The launch of the satellites marks yet another space cooperation between China and Pakistan since the launch of PAKSAT-1R, a communication satellite, in August 2011
Better Capital ditches aerospace sale to Chinese after Government intervenes on national security grounds Private equity firm Better Capital has pulled the plug on a £44m deal to sell Northern Aerospace to a Chinese miner after the Government delayed the sale on national security grounds. County Durham-based Northern Aerospace makes components for airliners, including Airbus.
Chinese Aviation Firm Seeking Investment in U.S. Aircraft Makers - Washington Free Beacon According to Trump administration officials, the Aviation Industry Corp of China, known as AVIC, is seeking to gain access to advanced technology through attempts to buy minority stakes in major aircraft companies. The attempts were detected by U.S. intelligence agencies several months ago and reported internally within the U.S. government. One unit that has been tracking the activity is a special Air Force group known as the Office of Competitive Economic Analysis.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un heads back to China border on economy-first mission | South China Morning Post Kim inspected agricultural and construction sites in the northern county of Samjiyon on the border with China, North Korea’s KCNA news agency and Rodong Sinmun newspaper reported on Tuesday.Agriculture and tourism are two key areas of Sino-North Korean cooperation and the trip highlighted
N.K. leader's jet in Vladivostok triggers speculation on his planned Russia trip - Yonhap It has not been confirmed whether Kim was on board. Speculation still lingers that the plane could have been used for North Korean officials to visit Vladivostok and make preparations for their leader's possible trip to the city in time for a major economic forum there. "There is no guarantee that Chairman Kim was on board just because the Chammae-1 moved," a source said. "It appears that North Korean officials have traveled there to make preparations for Kim's possible participation in the Eastern Economic Forum to be held in Vladivostok this September."
Tech And Media
The Three-Book Problem: Why Chinese Sci-Fi Still Struggles - Sixth Tone In the front row of the China Science and Technology Museum’s chanting crowd stands Yao Haijun, a tall and slender 52-year-old who can’t stop smiling. It’s a joyful time for Yao: Around a decade ago, he helped lay the foundations for the immense “Three-Body” universe, which went on to become the best-known Chinese sci-fi series, and the first to win an international award. For others though, the anniversary shows how far Chinese sci-fi still has to go: Despite the success of “Three-Body,” a China-made sci-fi movie has yet to hit the silver screen.
Quick Take: Ofo Won’t Follow Mobike in Ending Deposits - Caixin Global Bike sharing startup Ofo won’t follow its archrival in abandoning the industrywide practice of taking deposits from users, the company told Caixin. “Ofo currently doesn’t plan to do away with the 199 yuan ($30) deposit. In fact, we have ended a program that had allowed users to ride deposit-free in 20 Chinese cities,” a company representative said Monday. // Comment: Because they can't?
广电总局：偶像养成类、才艺竞秀类节目要严格评估后方可播出_中国政库_澎湃新闻-The Paper 暑期将至，为丰富广大青少年的暑期文化生活，让青少年在天朗气清的网络空间欢度暑假，发挥优秀视听节目对青少年思想引领、情操陶冶、兴趣引导和知识教育的作用，推动视听网站积极履行社会责任，共同呵护青少年健康成长环境，现就做好相关网络视听节目播出工作通知如下
Social fitness app Keep raises $126 million in series D funding · TechNode Chinese fitness app Keep closed a $126 million series D funding on June 10, led by Goldman Sachs and followed by Tencent, GGV Capital, Morningside Venture Capital, and Bertelsmann Asia Investments (BAI), all of whom had funded Keep before, according to GGV Capital. Founded in 2014, Keep is a mobile fitness community that provides online fitness training programs. The app also enables users to share pictures and videos. The company reached 100 million registered users in August last year and claims it’s the first Chinese fitness app to achieve this milestone.
Silicon Valley Mapping Startup Tries to Navigate Its Way Into China — The Information $$ DeepMap, founded by former Google mapping whizzes and backed by big-name Silicon Valley investors, is in talks to strengthen its ties to China with up to $60 million in fresh cash from Alibaba, Didi Chuxing and automaker BAIC Group, according to two people with direct knowledge of the fundraising.
Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History
Thousands of kids register with ‘eye bank’ - Global Times Over 93,000 Chinese children have registered for the country's iris information repository, which was designed to help police identify lost children with iris recognition technology. More than 400 workstations that use the repository has been set up in Chinese cities since April 2017, with over 93,000 iris patterns of Chinese children registered as for now, Zhang Jing, a spokesperson at Zhaobao Technology (Shanghai) Co Ltd, told the Global Times on Monday.
Energy, Environment, Science And Health
Residents evacuated, boats moored as Typhoon Maria approaches - Xinhua Residents were evacuated and boats moored in east China Tuesday, as Typhoon Maria, the eighth typhoon this year, approaches the Chinese coast. Meteorological authorities in Fujian Province said that Maria may bypass northern Taiwan before making landfall in Fujian Wednesday morning. It will whip up gales, high waves, and heavy rain.
Xinhua Headlines: Enhanced law enforcement to make skies blue again - Xinhua A report on the implementation of the Air Pollution Control Law, which uncovered problems and put forward targeted measures, was submitted for review at the session. When delivering the report, Li Zhanshu, chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, said since the 18th Communist Party of China (CPC) National Congress in 2012, central authorities have waged a war on air pollution with unprecedented strength and pragmatic measures. Environmental protection awareness has risen markedly among society due to strengthened legal support. But pollution caused by structural layout and slack law enforcement and supervision remains prominent, Li said.// Xinhua transcript of the meeting - 十三届全国人大常委会第四次会议举行联组会议，就大气污染防治法执法检查报告进行专题询问。新华网进行现场直播
Oversight will bolster enforcement of laws - China Daily The legislature's inspections in eight provincial regions, including Henan, Shandong and Jiangsu provinces, found many local governments failed to implement measures as required by the law to control air pollutants from bulk coal consumption, straw burning, construction sites, mines and motor vehicles, top legislator Li Zhanshu told a session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on Monday.
Drug Regulator to Renegotiate Prices Amid Hit Film’s Success - Caixin Global China’s new medical insurance authority said it will negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to lower prices of life-saving drugs, amid growing public scrutiny of the country’s drug pricing sparked by a box-office hit. The surprise blockbuster — a black comedy called “Dying to Survive” — is based on the real-life story of a cancer patient who smuggled generic drugs from India into China because he and his fellow patients could not afford the brand-name versions approved for sale in the country.
Pessimism grows over expected start date for China carbon trading | Financial Times $$ Nineteen per cent of those surveyed expected China’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) to be fully functional by 2020 or earlier, down from 47 per cent in 2017’s survey results, according to an annual report by the China Carbon Forum, a non-governmental organisation that tracks carbon trading.
Student flows with Chinese characteristics | FT Alphaville Chinese students pay much higher fees than UK or EU students. Total overseas non-EU fee revenue for England’s higher education sector was £3.9bn in 2016-17. Chinese students make up 31 per cent of overseas students, which implies an estimated £1.2bn of income, without adjusting for national variation in fees. This loose estimate is greater than the entire surplus (revenues minus expenditures) generated by the English sector, which was £1.1bn in the 16/17 academic year down from £1.5bn the year previously. Total income for the sector was £29.9bn.
Food And Travel
Lost in translation: black market in Chinese guides and tickets has cost Paris Louvre ‘millions’ | South China Morning Post The museum’s lack of support for Mandarin means Chinese tourists have been forced to rent audio guides from scammers on the street, who also trade in used tickets