People's Daily On Term Limits, Xi Jinping Has Lost Cheng Li; Stormy DC Day Ahead For Liu He?; CEFC's Ye Jianming Under Investigation, Chen Xiaolu Dies; Influence Operations And External Propaganda

I hope you have a happier Thursday than I expect Liu He is going to have.

Thanks for reading.

The Essential Eight

1. More On Term Limits And Constitution Changes

China's top paper says reform does not mean life-long presidency - Reuters:

In a lengthy commentary, the People’s Daily said the idea was an “important move” to cement the party’s leadership in every aspect...

“This amendment does not mean changing the retirement system for party and national leaders, and does not mean a life-long term system for leading officials,” the paper wrote.

It pointed out that the party’s constitution, which is different from the national constitution, clearly states that leaders cannot keep their offices forever and that if their health does not hold up they should retire.

The rules for who heads the party, the military and the state - all positions Xi currently holds - are all the same, the paper added.

“It is a system designed to accord with the national condition and ensure long-term peace and stability for the party and the country,” it said.

The commentary by "Xuanli 轩理", pseudonym for the Central Propaganda Department I believe-保证党和国家长治久安的重大制度安排--时政--人民网





Xi Jinping thought in proposed constitutional amendment common aspiration of CPC, people: article - Global Times:

An article under the byline of Xuan Li stressed that the proposal to write Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era into China's Constitution is a common aspiration of the whole Party and Chinese people.

The Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee made public its proposal on amendments to China's Constitution Sunday.

The article, which was published in Tuesday's People's Daily, the CPC flagship newspaper, said the proposal also reflects that the Party's proposition is in accordance with the people's will.

Comment: This Global Times makes no mention of the discussion of term limits in the Xuan Li piece

Plan to End Presidential Term Limits Sparks Widespread Fear in China - RFA:

Baidu said queries relating to emigration and visas for other countries had risen tenfold in the wake of the announcement.

A Canada-based realtor surnamed Wang with ties to the southwestern city of Chengdu said business had suddenly boomed in the days since the announcement on terms in office last Sunday.

"Since the announcement was made, the amount of consultations have increased greatly compared with the same period in normal times," Wang told RFA. "The numbers have skyrocketed, all relating to emigration."

"For example, they increased from around 2,000 to 5,000, to more than 7,000," she said. "The whole of last year was pretty sluggish, and now we've had this huge boost in inquiries since the announcement."

China Set to Make Xi Era Permanent With Sweeping Legal Overhaul - Bloomberg

The Deng Xiaoping era is over,” Bao Tong, who worked alongside Deng as the top aide to Zhao, told Bloomberg Sunday. “It no longer exists.”

Bao said the main goal for lawmakers was to ensure that Xi “becomes an absolutely unrestricted leader.” He declined further comment Tuesday, saying “relevant departments” had visited his home and told him not to speak to the media or attend public gatherings until after the legislative session.

Amendments to the Constitution Underline Xi’s Consolidation of Power | RUSI - Charles Parton:

Why did Xi not wait until next year or nearer 2022 before making his intentions clear(er)? After all, the last two-large scale amendments to the constitution – in 1999 and 2004 – came not at the National People’s Congresses immediately after the five-yearly Party Congresses, but at the second NPC of the new term. And the necessary constitutional amendments were allowed to brew for sixteen months, not four.

The main answer to this question is that amending the constitution is not principally about removing a barrier to Xi serving a third term as president, although given the media’s concentration on that issue, you could be forgiven for thinking it was.

The changes are principally about incorporating Xi’s Thought – his emphasis on society, the environment, the Chinese Dream and rejuvenation – and especially about accommodating the National Supervision Commission, a new organ of power.

2. Trump Trade Announcement Coming While Liu He Is In DC?

White House planning major trade announcement Thursday on steel and aluminum imports - The Washington Post:

Several GOP congressional aides late Wednesday did not know the detail of the White House’s announcement but were bracing themselves for stiff trade restrictions that they have spent months trying to prevent. Chief executives from steel and aluminum companies have been invited to the White House announcement...

“Countries that refuse to give us reciprocal treatment or who engage in other unfair trading practices will find that we know how to defend our interests,” said the annual report to Congress on the president’s trade agenda.

The report, the first by U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer, comes as the president also is considering retaliating against China for forcing foreign companies to surrender their intellectual property and is seeking to renegotiate a pair of major trade deals.

“The tone is very different,” said economist Christine McDaniel of George Mason University’s Mercatus Center. “I don’t think we’ve ever seen this aggressive and protectionist a tone before in a trade agenda.”

Philip Levy, senior White House trade economist for President George W. Bush, said the Trump administration “comes off as belligerent” in the document.

China Envoy Seeks to Defuse Tensions With U.S. as a Trade War Brews - The New York Times:

On Thursday, Mr. Liu and a Chinese delegation will jointly meet with top administration officials including Gary D. Cohn, director of the National Economic Council; Robert E. Lighthizer, the United States trade representative; and Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, for a “frank exchange of views on the trade and economic relationship,” a White House official said. Mr. Liu will not meet with the president himself.

We'll see. Liu may get a drop-in with the President, as Yang Jiechi did. Trump not even allowing a drop-in would be a huge snub to Xi given Liu's relationship with Xi, and so far Trump has been focused on maintaining a good relationship with Xi even while pushing for tougher policies towards China. Snubbing Liu would be a noticeable break from that approach..

One of Mr. Liu’s tasks during his six-day trip is to revive that [Comprehensive Economic] dialogue, which the Chinese believe gives them an important channel with Washington. But some of Mr. Trump’s advisers believe the Chinese used these dialogues not for meaningful exchanges, but simply to stall American objectives as China’s economic power grows.

Trump Says U.S. to Use All Tools to Pressure China on Trade - Bloomberg:

China hasn’t lived up to the promises of economic reforms it made when it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, and actually appears to be moving further away from “market principles” in recent years, according to the president’s annual report to Congress (PDF) on his trade-policy agenda. China’s “statist” policies are causing a “dramatic misallocation” of global resources that is leaving all countries poorer than they should be, said the report.

It sounds like Liu He may get a view of DC dysfunction up close:

Jonathan Swan@jonathanvswan

Total breakdown of process. And there’s no real paperwork to sign but DJT is his own man & likes what he hears from Navarro & Ross. Loss of Rob Porter made a difference here.. whatever happens tomorrow it probably wouldn’t have happened under previous trade group process.

March 1, 2018
Ben White@morningmoneyben

White House could announce intention to apply stiff steel and aluminum tariffs on Thursday even as aides including Gary Cohn are arguing hard against it. Via @AndrewRestuccia and @ABehsudi

March 1, 2018

3. Xi Jinping Has Lost Cheng Li

China’s constitutional conundrum - Brookings- Cheng Li and Ryan McElveen:

At China’s 19th Party Congress last October, Xi refused to field any “sixth-generation” successors as part of the newly formed Politburo Standing Committee. This left him with two potential paths for succession. Some analysts—including us—naively hoped that Xi wanted more time to train, groom, and test a potential successor before identifying the candidate. Others insisted that he would flaunt established institutional norms and stay in power beyond his allotted two terms.

In a disappointing turn for those who have upheld more optimistic prognoses for Xi—and for China—he opted to revert the country back to the era of strongman politics and the personality cult. As a result, he squanders a precious opportunity to institutionalize the peaceful transfer of power in the PRC, undermining the example set by Jiang in 2002 and by Hu in 2012. Equally important, this latest action further alienates a number of critical constituencies whose power Xi may be underestimating.

Liberal intellectuals will be among the first to push back and shape the public discourse. They have been disillusioned by Xi’s leadership ever since 2013, when authorities began cracking down on open discussion of “seven subversive currents,” including constitutional democracy, human rights, civil society, and media freedom. Their perceptions of Xi as a Mao-like figure may now be crystallized...

If Xi pays heed to the warranted criticism, he may moderate his aims, uphold other institutional norms, and maybe even reconsider the wisdom of embarking on a third term. Otherwise, based on his continued consolidation of power and ambitions for the country—and, indeed, himself—Xi’s “new era” may resurrect an old problem.

4. More On The Third Plenum

19th CPC Central Committee 3rd plenum issues communique - Xinhua:

A primary task of deepening reform of the Party and state institutions is to improve the system for upholding overall Party leadership in a bid to strengthen the CPC's leadership in every sector, ensure its all-encompassing coverage and make it more forceful.

Efforts should be made to establish and improve the institutions and mechanisms by which the Party exercises leadership over major tasks, and elevate the status of Party organizations among organizations of the same level.

The reform should also give better play to the role of the Party's functionary department, set up Party and government institutions with integrated plans, and advance reform of the Party's disciplinary inspection and the country's supervisory systems.

The CPC Central Committee has stressed the need to transform government functions and the resolve to remove institutional barriers so that the market plays the decisive role in resource allocation and the government plays its role better...

The CPC Central Committee called for improved relations between central and local authorities.

A relationship with clearly defined responsibilities is key to governing a big country like ours, said the communique.

It said the setup of central and local institutions and the allocation of responsibilities should be improved to build a smooth, vigorous system in which orders are executed without fail.

While the central authorities will strengthen macro-management, the local authorities should carry out orders from the top to the detail and do their jobs well. More decision making power should be given to organs at and below the provincial level.

At local levels, the setup of institutions should be improved, each with clearly defined work responsibilities to strengthen local governance, the document said.

The CPC Central Committee envisions a lean and effective grassroots governance system.

5. CEFC Chairman Ye Jianming Under Investigation

Caixin broke the story, the original Chinese article has been deleted but the English one is still online. The South China Morning Post reports Xi ordered the investigation. Why would Xi get involved?

China’s president orders arrest of CEFC’s founder Ye Jianming, ending entrepreneur’s stellar rise | South China Morning Post:

Ye Jianming, the Fujian entrepreneur who took less than five years to rise from obscurity to become head of China’s fourth-largest oil conglomerate, has been detained for questioning on the mainland at the direct order of the Chinese president Xi Jinping, according to four sources familiar with the matter.

Ye, ranked two spots ahead of French president Emmanuel Macron in Fortune magazine’s ‘40 Under 40’ list of the world’s most influential young people in 2016, was detained just before the start of the Lunar New Year celebrations on February 16, a source told the South China Morning Post, declining to provide his name for disclosing a matter under investigation. Caixin magazine earlier reported that Ye had been taken away for questioning, but the story appeared to have been removed from its website.

Investigation Casts Shadow on Rosneft’s China Investor CEFC - Caixin Global:

Ye has mostly stayed out of the public eye. Even his most senior executives said they have little chance to meet him in person. Yet he boasts some extraordinary titles such as an economic policy advisor for Czech President Milos Zeman and “special honorary adviser” to the U.N. General Assembly.

But Ye has shown his political savvy. In a rare interview with Caixin in April, the Fujian businessman said that CEFC China “aims to serve the state’s strategy.” Though privately owned, CEFC China has layers of Communist Party committees, which are usually staples of state-owned enterprises. It has also hired many former military brass and party cadres, underscoring its ties to Chinese officials.

“CEFC China is good at aligning itself with the government strategy,” said Jiang Chunyu, CEFC China’s party secretary and a retired military official...

Now the investigation of Ye has cast more uncertainties on how CEFC China’s deals will move ahead. Sources close to the matter said the company has been seeking funding to proceed with the Rosneft deal, but financial institutions are hesitant.

6. An Overview of China's AI Plans

From Riding a Wave to Full Steam Ahead-As China’s Government Mobilizes for AI Leadership, Some Challenges Will Be Tougher Than Others - New America:

The Chinese government’s AIDP landed at a time when major Chinese companies were already staking significant parts of their future on AI-based applications both familiar and frontier. The plan and related discussions have identified real gaps in Chinese ability to domestically develop world-leading AI technology, and the government seems motivated to close those gaps where the private sector might not on its own. As the foregoing analysis has shown, the government’s mobilization appears great in scale but uncertain in result. Initial efforts and the rapidly developing private sector will provide analysts with numerous micro-level metrics of success in the wide array of technologies categorized as AI. Moving forward, Chinese companies and governments will deploy AI technologies in novel ways that will have significant consequences in a number of economic sectors and in governance. When it comes to global leadership, however, it will be crucial to maintain focus on the underlying technologies and the human resources. Though significant gaps remain, China’s development will not occur in isolation but in cooperation and competition with global counterparts. Whether or not the AIDP’s goal of Chinese leadership is realized, Chinese AI efforts merit close continued attention.--Special thanks to Kai-fu Lee of Sinovation for inspiration and helpful comments on the draft

7. Chen Yi's Son Chen Xiaolu Dies

I wonder if the stress from Anbang contributed to his heart attack. His funeral could be very interesting given the current environment.

This notice going around Wechat says he died of a heart attack【讣告】陈毅元帅次子陈小鲁突然辞世

An Anbang-Linked Revolutionary Heir Dies in China. Speculation Begins. - WSJ:

Chen Xiaolu, 71, was one of a generation of well-connected so-called “princelings”—children of Communist Party elders—who amassed large fortunes after China opened up its economy in the late 1970s.

Mr. Chen—the youngest son of legendary revolution-era Communist military commander Chen Yi—suffered a heart attack Wednesday on the southern island of Hainan, said a report published Thursday by the Legal Evening News, an offshoot of the official Beijing Youth Daily newspaper.

The Beijing Living Will Promotion Association, a nonprofit where he served as president, confirmed his death but offered few details beyond that he had been rushed to the hospital in Hainan’s provincial capital, Sanya. The hospital declined to comment.

Xi was supposedly not happy with Chen's Cultural Revolution apology-Cultural Revolution apology from marshal’s son - Global Times:

The son of Chen Yi, a late marshal who led China's revolution, has made a public apology to his high school teachers for attacking them during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76) amid a recent wave of reflections by perpetrators of the decade-long movement.

Chen Xiaolu, 67, a former Red Guard and a student leader, as well as some of his classmates, paid a visit to the Beijing No.8 High School on October 7, and apologized to their teachers for what they did during the Cultural Revolution, a political movement launched by the late Chairman Mao Zedong.

During the campaign, some teachers were labeled as "supporters of capitalism" and attacked both verbally and physically by their students. The movement at Chen's school led to the suicide of two teachers and the disability of another.

Chen Xiaolu, Princeling Who Apologized for Cultural Revolution, Dies At 71 - Caixin Global:

Since 2006, he has campaigned for a system of palliative care, which is recommended by the World Health Organization, but remains a rarity in China.

In 2013, together with several sons and daughters of other revolutionaries, he founded the Beijing Living Will Promotion Association, an NGO that advocates for palliative care under the slogan “Choice and Dignity.”

 8. More On Influence Operations

We can pretend the CCP is not doing these things, or we can find a sober and reasoned way to discuss them that does not inflame racial tensions and lead to Yellow Peril 2.0.

Beijing’s Influence Operations Target Chinese Diaspora - War on the Rocks - Timothy Heath:

For Beijing, much of what Westerners call “influence operations” is captured in the concept of “external propaganda,” which consists of media efforts aimed at cultivating popular support and weakening political foes as well as the activities of the “United Front,” a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) organization designed to build broad-based domestic and international political coalitions to achieve party objectives. Notably, China’s influence operations are explicitly intended to support a project of “rejuvenation”: restoring China’s status as a wealthy and powerful country ruled by the CCP. As the United Front Department’s Research Office put it in a 2017 article, its “new direction” consists of “the three tasks of serving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, safeguarding the state’s core interests, and maintaining the long term stability of Hong Kong and Macao and completing the unification of the motherland.”

This focus on China’s rejuvenation can help us better understand what exactly makes these activities pernicious. Russia’s interference aims to damage political institutions and foment instability in countries Moscow considers unfriendly. Beijing does not appear to be involved in such activities. However, what Beijing regards as necessary to support revitalization does include some measures that oppose the interests of the United States and other countries. Beijing’s efforts to cultivate support in and control diaspora communities, in particular, threaten to exacerbate inter-ethnic tensions, aggravate problems of political and social polarization, and harm the civil rights and freedoms of citizens in other countries. For these reasons, such activities merit much closer attention by democratic governments seeking to counter China’s influence operations...

Policymakers and commentators may be tempted to focus on those Chinese influence operations that are most visible to elite opinion makers, such as the activities of the Confucius Institutes and Chinese involvement in Western media. However, it is dangerous to neglect Beijing’s efforts to cultivate and dominate diaspora communities. Overseas Chinese populations who resist Beijing’s demands could experience more harassment, coercion, and fear, which could lead them to feel vulnerable and alienated from their governments and fellow citizens. On the other hand, diaspora communities who comply with Beijing’s demands could find themselves the target of harassment, racism, and coercion by members of their host countries, which could in turn drive them into the arms of the PRC 

Business, Economy, Finance And Trade

Caixin: China factory output sped up in February - MarketWatch The Caixin China manufacturing purchasing managers' index edged up to a six-month high of 51.6 in February from 51.5 in January, Caixin Media Co. and research firm Markit said Thursday. The 50 level separates an expansion in manufacturing activity from a contraction.

Citic Bank Suspends Mortgages in Beijing - Caixin Global A source close to the Beijing branch of the People’s Bank of China told Caixin that the central bank has not imposed any requirements regarding real estate loans, and commercial banks can make their own decisions on mortgage lending. He said that Citic Bank’s decision to suspend housing loans was a consequence of tighter regulation on off-balance-sheet financing, which may have affected its on-balance-sheet lending.

Banks Get New Tools for Raising Capital - Caixin Global According to a document seen by Caixin, regulators plan to allow commercial banks to issue several new instruments for raising capital, including capital securities with no fixed maturity, and convertible bonds that allow holders to convert debt into equity for fixed terms. The document was released jointly by China’s central bank, the three financial regulators that oversee the banking, securities and insurance industries, as well as the country’s foreign-exchange regulator. It was issued in January to large state-owned lenders, joint-stake lenders, China’s postal saving bank and foreign banks, Caixin has learned.

Shares in China’s Biggest Aluminum Firm Drop 10% for Third Day - Caixin Global hares in state-owned Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd. (Chalco) fell by the maximum 10% permitted by the Shanghai Stock Exchange for the third day in a row Wednesday. The company’s shares had resumed trading Monday after being suspended on Sept. 12 for restructuring through the issuing of new shares and asset acquisitions.


Politics, Law And Ideology

Interview: 'The Chinese Communist Party Wants to Stay in Power Forever' - RFA RFA: But Yan Jiaqi was later attacked by Deng as a tool of Mao Zedong's designated successor Hua Guofeng, wasn't he? Bao Tong: Everyone thought back then that Deng Xiaoping was terribly enlightened, but later, we found out that actually he was setting this thing up to use as a stick [to beat opponents with] and he used it to attack and depose Hua Guofeng. But when he himself came to power, he was reluctant to step down and yield power. He said several times, jokingly, that the whole idea was to make other leaders step down, not himself. And he did everything in his power to remain as head of the Central Military Commission.

China’s Internet Underground Fights for Its Life - Bloomberg Beijing has officially decried the use of VPNs to evade its Great Firewall for about as long as such networks have existed, but its March 31 deadline represents a new phase in its sweeping commitment to en masse crackdowns like the taste Yokubaitis got three years ago. By the end of the month, the government says, people in China must stop using unauthorized workarounds and stick with government-licensed channels. It’s a key plank of China’s biggest push against freedom of speech in the internet era, a campaign that over the past year has aggressively censored TV programming, violent video games, and even celebrity gossip.

CPC holds symposium to commemorate late Premier Zhou Enlai - Xinhua Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, called on Party members to learn from Zhou and strive to realize the great ideal of Communism while delivering a speech at the symposium.// 中共中央举行纪念周恩来诞辰120周年座谈会_新改革时代 习近平发表重要讲话 李克强主持 栗战书汪洋王沪宁赵乐际韩正出席

独家|徐翔案财产执行起波澜 家属请求返还合法财产_政经频道_财新网 Another deleted Caixin story, this one on the efforts the wife of jailed hedge fund tycoon Xu Xiang to get some confiscated assets returned  //  徐翔妻子要求法院甄别徐翔及家人合法财产并予以返还;代理律师及刑法学者认为,徐翔共同犯罪案件中违法所得不应连带追缴,罚金执行与没收违法所得均应只针对徐翔的个人财产,不能株连配偶及其他家庭成员

A Summer Vacation in China’s Muslim Gulag – Foreign Policy On the 17th day of his incarceration, Iman was called over by a guard. “Grab your things,” he shouted as he handed Iman the clothes he wore when he arrived. “You are being released.” A neighborhood watch group, or jumin weiyuan hui, from his hometown arrived at the detention center to escort Iman to his house but not before they delivered him again to the local police chief. The man looked at Iman and warned: “I’m sure you may have had some ideological changes because of your unpleasant experience but remember: Whatever you say or do in North America, your family is still here and so are we.”


Foreign and Military Affairs

U.S. and North Korea Shouldn't Let Their Olympic Truce End - Bloomberg - Fu Ying To make progress, both sides need to try harder. The U.S. is the relatively stronger and more capable party in this dispute. As such, the responsibility falls on America to show greater foresight -- and empathy -- toward its smaller rival. Weak nations, too, deserve their dignity and won't long abide being denied it. Ignoring this reality will only return the situation to the vicious cycle of provocation and retaliation which has dominated the nuclear standoff for so long.//Comment: Why didn't the Bloomberg editors ask Fu to elaborate on this point about treating weak nations with dignity, especially the ones neighboring China?

Is China using ‘divide and rule’ tactics to gain influence in Europe? | South China Morning Post Diplomatic observers said the European Union was wary of China’s growing investment in the Balkans, central and eastern European countries and poorer EU members – which Beijing sees as gateways into the more developed European market – as it threatened unity and solidarity. In her second warning in a fortnight against China’s interference in Europe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday that EU member states involved in Chinese infrastructure projects should maintain the bloc’s foreign policy stand on China.

Spotlight: Chinese diplomat calls for fair, impartial global human rights governance system - Xinhua Speaking during the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council, the Chinese diplomat also stressed that development is the key to solving all problems related to human rights. In his speech, Yu Jianhua, head of the Chinese Mission to the UN at Geneva, said that the international society should enhance its efforts to promote human rights through better development. "We should persist in putting the right of development in the first place, fully implement the UN's 2030 agenda for sustainable development, eliminate extreme poverty and let no one fall behind," he noted.

“太行”发动机给力了:多名歼-11B飞行员斩获“金头盔”_军事频道_央视网( 歼-11B战斗机的性能在其服役初期广受争议,一个重要的原因就是其实用的“太行”发动机可靠性较差。此次歼-11B勇夺“金头盔”与“天鹰杯”,从侧面证明了“太行”发动机已经解决了这些问题,进入成熟期。当发动机不再成为战机性能的桎梏时,歼-11B夺取“金头盔”也就顺理成章。

PLA Air Force releases video and commemorative envelopes of J-16 warplane - China Military The Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) released the video and commemorative envelopes of the J-16 fighter bomber, the J-20 stealth fighter jet and the J-10C fighter jet on Wednesday, demonstrating the new image of the PLAAF in accelerating its strategic transformation and advancing combat preparations.



Comment: Given the worsening relations with the PRC, will Trump revert to his Presidential transition views towards Taiwan? Would that be good for Taiwan?// US Senate passes Taiwan travel bill slammed by China | Reuters The Senate passed the Taiwan Travel Act by unanimous consent. It passed the House of Representatives in January, also without opposition. The legislation only needs President Donald Trump’s signature to become law. The legislation says it should be US policy to allow officials at all levels to travel to Taiwan to meet their Taiwanese counterparts, permit high-level Taiwanese officials to enter the United States “under respectful conditions” and meet with US officials and encourage Taiwanese economic and cultural representatives to conduct business in the United States.

China angered with U.S.-Taiwan travel bill, adding to tensions - Reuters Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said though the bill was not legally binding and seriously violates the “one China” principle. “China is strongly dissatisfied with this and resolutely opposes it, and has already lodged stern representations with the U.S. side,” she told a daily news briefing.// Comment: And Hua's appearance dispels the rumor going around that she is in trouble

Taiwanese given ‘equal status’ on China’s mainland, but is Beijing just trying to buy their support? | South China Morning Post The package, drawn up by dozens of central government agencies and announced by the Taiwan Affairs Office, comprises 31 items, of which 12 relate to business matters and 19 to social and employment issues. While office spokesman An Fengshan said the move was intended to put Taiwanese companies and residents on an equal footing with their mainland-based counterparts, the Taipei-based Mainland Affairs Council said it was little more than an effort by Beijing to buy political support.


Tech And Media

Baidu, Sohu Quizzes Go Back Online After Crackdown - Caixin Global Some of the trivia apps didn’t have the official certificate required to host online livestreaming shows, and some asked “vulgar” and “sleazy” trivia questions to drive traffic, according to the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.

Chinese tech firm joins MIT initiative to advance AI research - Xinhua | SenseTime, a leading Chinese artificial intelligence (AI) company, said Wednesday it has joined an initiative launched by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to advance research on human and machine intelligence.

China Box Office: Hollywood Sidelined By 39% Surge In Jan And Feb – Variety Box office in China climbed by 39% in the first two months of the year to hit $2.37 billion (RMB15.1 billion). The boom was largely driven by local films, with Hollywood was kept on the sidelines. The two month total compares with $1.70 billion (RMB10.8 billion) in January and February last year. Single month comparisons can be difficult in the first quarter, as the all-important Chinese New Year holiday is a movable feast. Depending in the year, it can fall in either January or February.

China Is Raising Up to $31.5 Billion to Fuel Chip Vision - Bloomberg The state-backed China Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund Co. is in talks with government agencies and corporations to raise at least 150 billion yuan for its second fund vehicle but is angling for up to 200 billion yuan, the people said, asking not to be identified talking about a plan that hasn’t been publicized. It intends to begin deploying capital in the second half of the year, they added.

Time To Get Smart About Chinese Smartphone Maker Xiaomi - WSJ $$ Xiaomi’s finances won’t be fully clear until IPO prospectus time, but the company earned just $2 for each phone it sold in the third quarter last year, Counterpoint said. That’s below the $13-15 made by its local rivals—and way under the $151 per unit profit Apple generated. Counterpoint’s estimates and 2017’s shipment figures suggest Xiaomi may have earned roughly $200 million in profit last year from its smartphone business. On those figures, a $100 billion price tag looks beyond heroic—even if the company’s sales were to grow as much this year.


Energy, Environment, Science And Health

China beats 2017 coal-fired power capacity reduction target - Reuters China eliminated or suspended 65 gigawatts (GW) of coal-fired power capacity in 2017, exceeding the national target of 50 GW, the state-owned Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday, citing the State Council.