People's Daily tries to explain regulatory moves; Australia guilty of “economic coercion”; Gaming regulation; Real estate
“Regulating development is to promote healthy development, and China's long-term economic policy remains unchanged”- People’s Daily commentary
Today’s Essential Eight items:
People’s Daily commentary tries to explain the regulatory moves
Trade data better than expected
Australia guilty of “economic coercion” against China
Evergrande’s days are numbered
Real estate crackdown real this time, property tax trial by year end?
Is the regulatory storm really over for gaming?
More reports on work at Wuhan labs
Universities need more Party control
Thanks for reading.
The Essential Eight
1. People’s Daily commentary tries to explain the regulatory moves
A commentary from People's Daily, online now and I believe to appear in the Wednesday edition, looks to be trying to explain the recent regulatory moves and buttress confidence that China is not going to deviate from the path of opening and economic reform, and that private and foreign businesses will be ok. It does not mention "Common Prosperity"
They really have made a mess of the messaging that they have to keep telling people not to worry, and contrary to various claims the problem is not simply that "foreigners don't/can't understand China" or that foreign media has been smearing China. The bigger problem is that the Party has been sending mixed, contradictory messages while destroying some industries and damaging others. The end goals may be laudable, but to expect that beneficiaries of the system from the last couple of decades are not going to get upset seems to have been a miscalculation at best?
"Adhere to standardizing regulation and promoting development with both hands, and both hands must be hard" - 人民日报评论员：坚持监管规范和促进发展两手并重、两手都要硬. I have translated the bits were bolded by some of the sites that have republished this piece:
For some time, relevant departments have successively introduced regulatory measures in various fields such as platform economy, education and training, and information security. This series of regulatory measures, starting from the strategic height of standardizing market order, building a new development pattern and promoting high-quality development, are pragmatic actions to promote the formation of a fair competitive market environment and better protect consumers' rights and interests, and are powerful measures to coordinate development with security, efficiency and fairness, vitality and order, domestic and international, and improve the socialist market economic system in a complex and changeable situation.
Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the CPC Central Committee has made a series of major decision-making arrangements around anti-monopoly and unfair competition, improved the fair competition system, reformed the market supervision system, strengthened anti-monopoly supervision, promoted the construction of a high-standard market system, and promoted the formation of a unified, open and competitive market system...
Accelerating the building of a new development pattern is a strategic measure for us to seize the initiative for future development. It is to enhance our viability, competitiveness, development and sustainability in the face of all kinds of foreseeable and unforeseeable storms...
The purpose of clarifying regulations, drawing bottom lines and setting up “traffic lights” is to guide and urge enterprises to obey the leadership of the Party, obey and serve the overall interests of economic and social development, and encourage and support enterprises to play a positive role in promoting scientific and technological progress, flourishing the market economy, making people's lives easier, and participating in international competition...
Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the CPC Central Committee has adhered to the principle of "two unwaverings" and introduced a series of reform measures to support the development of private economy, thus creating a favorable legal environment and business environment for the development of private enterprises, and further enhancing their vitality, confidence and vigor...
Under the new situation, we should adhere to the "two unwaverings", improve the legal environment supporting the development of private businesses and foreign-invested enterprises, improve the system supporting the development of small and medium-sized enterprises, and create a market environment in which all types of ownership entities have equal access to resources and factors in accordance with the law, participate in open, fair and impartial competition, and enjoy equal legal protection. The regulatory policies are non-discriminatory and target violations of laws and regulations, not specific industries or companies...
Facing the future, China will unswervingly promote high-level opening to the outside world, protect the legitimate rights and interests of foreign capital, promote fair competition between domestic and foreign-funded enterprises, protect property rights and intellectual property rights, enhance policy transparency and predictability, and form a new pattern of all-round, multi-level and wide-ranging opening.
Building a high-standard market system and improving the system of fair competition, based on the new stage of development, applying the new development philosophy and setting up a new development pattern, will help stimulate the development of market entities and fully generate all sources of strength conducive to the development of social productive forces. Regulating development is to promote healthy development, and China's long-term economic policy remains unchanged
2. Trade data better than expected
Both exports and imports logged double-digit growth in the January-August period, surging 23.2 percent and 24.4 percent from a year earlier, respectively.
Trade surplus increased 17.8 percent year on year during the same period to 2.34 trillion yuan.
Exports of mechanical and electrical products and labor-intensive products registered double-digit growth in the January-August period. Exports of mobile phones, clothing and accessories, and plastic products increased 9.2 percent, 17.9 percent and 24.6 percent, respectively.
The breakdown shows a broad-based uptick across all types of goods. In particular, the rebound in Chinese-made consumer goods such as electronics, furniture and recreational products possibly reflected retailers in advanced economies replenishing their inventories ahead of the Christmas shopping season, said Sheana Yue, an economist at London-based economic analysis firm Capital Economics, in a note.
Shipments from the world's biggest exporter in August rose 25.6% year-on-year, picking up speed from a 19.3.% gain in July, customs data showed on Tuesday, pointing to some resilience in China's industrial sector.
Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast growth of 17.1%.
3. Australia guilty of “economic coercion” against China
Beijing Youth Daily: Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said on September 6 that China's combination of economic power and global connection poses "new and significant challenges for many countries", and Australia is facing this pressure more sharply than most other countries. He said Australian businesses should not overly rely on one country and should always be looking to diversify their markets, essentially, adopting a “China-plus” strategy.” Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: In the spirit of openness, inclusiveness and mutual benefit, China is committed to building an open world economy and sharing development opportunities with other countries. Australia has benefited immensely from its cooperation with China and is a beneficiary of China's development. China has never done anything detrimental to Australia's sovereignty. The label of so-called “economic coercion” can never be pinned onto China. Instead, it is Australia that stands guilty of the following. It has taken measures against market principles and even bullying acts and imposed restrictions on normal exchanges and cooperation between the two countries without cause, disrupting the good momentum of bilateral practical cooperation. Meanwhile it has played the victim to put the blame on China, ganged up to pressure China, and grossly interfered in China's internal affairs and harmed China's core interests in violation of international law and basic norms governing international relations.
The current difficulties in China-Australia relations are entirely of Australia's own making. It is imperative that Australia should face up to the crux of the setbacks in bilateral relations, abandon the Cold War mentality and ideological bias, respect basic facts, take an objective and rational look at China and its development, earnestly follow the principles of mutual respect and equality when handling bilateral relations. The Australian side should also stop playing up “coercive China” narrative for selfish political gain and do more to enhance mutual trust and promote practical cooperation between the two countries, rather than the opposite.
China imported iron ore worth a record $20 billion in August, according to government data released Tuesday, as prices surged from a year earlier. Total volumes were 97.5 million tons.
4. Evergrande’s days are numbered
At least two of China Evergrande Group’s largest non-bank creditors have demanded immediate repayment of some loans, according to people familiar with the matter, adding to liquidity strains at the world’s most indebted developer.
The two creditors are trust companies, which pool money from wealthy individual investors and are a major source of financing for Evergrande and other Chinese developers.
The company’s average selling price slid 11.5% in August from a month earlier to the lowest since July 2016, according to Bloomberg calculations based on a Friday filing. Contracted sales, including those to suppliers and contractors to offset payments, dropped to 38.1 billion yuan ($5.9 billion), 26% lower than a year ago.
Trading in China Evergrande bonds was suspended for the second time in days on Tuesday and rating agency Moody’s downgraded the property developer for a third time since June, sending jitters through the country’s real estate debt market.
The bonds were suspended temporarily after falling more than 20 per cent in Shenzhen, according to a statement from the city’s stock exchange that echoed a similar intervention on Friday.
A paint supplier of troubled property giant China Evergrande Group says the company has failed to pay back more than 100 million yuan ($16 million) in overdue commercial paper after repaying part of its debt with property, according to a company filing Tuesday...
As of Aug. 31, the real estate conglomerate owed Shanghai-listed Skshu Paint Co. Ltd. (603737.SH -2.77%) a total of 336 million yuan in overdue short term debt, according to the exchange filing (link in Chinese). Evergrande has repaid 235 million yuan of that debt, including 220 million yuan in real estate and 15 million yuan in cash.
The three properties Evergrande plans to transfer to the paint company are still under construction..
Since the end of 2020, the struggling property giant has refused to repay commercial checks in several instances, stacking up overdue payments throughout the second quarter, several creditors have told Caixin.
Note: I added [Fails to] the the headline above as I believe the original “Evergrande Pays Back Paint Supplier in Property as Overdue Debt Piles Up” conflicts with the actual story and is so likely in error.
5. Real estate crackdown real this time, property tax trial by year end?
Chinese officials have long sought to curb property speculation and break a deeply held mind-set that prices can only go up. They repeat “homes are for living in, not for speculating” like a mantra while imposing curbs meant to damp speculative behavior.
It has all been to little effect. Average new-home prices in the four megacities have risen more than 115% since 2010, according to Wall Street Journal calculations of data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics.
But the latest attempt is likely to prove more effective than its predecessors, says Gan Li, a professor of economics at Texas A&M University, in part because this clampdown on school-district housing is yoked to the larger political goal of addressing inequality.
Comment: But if the squeeze too hard and prices actually start falling though you will have a whole new class of people angry at seeing their housing wealth shrink. The idea state for PRC regulators is housing prices to stay stable while they can build out massive amounts of public housing. That is not a new idea, is Xi now able to push through all the interests on the side of the real estate industry, without actually crashing the market?
Stabilizing China’s housing market under the mantra of “housing is for living, not for speculation” is one of the many campaigns being waged by Xi Jinping as he seeks to reduce the cost of raising a family and defuse risks in the financial system. Yet it’s also one of the toughest goals to achieve given the vital importance of the sector to the economy -- the industry accounts for more than 28% of gross domestic output...
Efforts to enforce discipline among over-leveraged property developers are also biting. Property firms defaulted on $6.2 billion worth of high-yield debt through mid-August, or about $1.3 billion more than the previous 12 years combined, according to Morgan Stanley...
There’s little sign so far that Beijing will pull back on its measures. According to Morgan Stanley, local governments may make adjustments depending on the conditions in their housing market, but they won’t be able to touch the “bottom lines” of home purchasing restrictions and caps on property prices.
It’s highly likely that China will start property tax pilot programs before the end of this year, Shi Zhengwen, director at the Central for Fiscal and Tax Law Research at the Chinese University of Political Science and Law, told News China. He predicted that the tax would not exceed 1% of the total home value, adding that policymakers must consider the scope and tax rate in order to prevent dumping of homes en masse.
Comment: 1% is high
6. Is the regulatory storm really over for gaming?
Interesting article that ran on the CCDI website. -"62.5% of underage netizens often play games. Experts: Capital intervention is an important factor" -62.5%未成年网民经常玩游戏 专家：资本的介入是重要因素|未成年人|角色扮演|网络游戏|网游_网易财经
In the opinion of Yuan Zhijie, a professor and vice dean of the Law School of Beijing Normal University, the involvement of capital is one of the important factors for young people's addiction to online games. With all the advertising, addictive mechanics, and massive online maneuverings, game design companies often try to lure players into the game world by creating emotional resonance and economic value.
Comment: If regulators were serious about curbing game usage they would force a reduction in gaming-related advertising.
On Monday evening, Chinese state television network CCTV reported that a grey industry chain has been formed in which web users can play online games without various restrictions by paying money to rent another game account. In response, Tencent Games called for the introduction of relevant laws and regulations as soon as possible to strictly control account renting and selling actions.
The gaming giant also asserted that account renting and selling seriously undermined the existing real-name registration system and the protection mechanism for minors. So far, Tencent has filed lawsuits or sent letters to more than 20 account trading platforms and several e-commerce platforms to stop related services
Comment: Of course this going on, if they really want to stop this they have to link face recognition to each account login, and will have to re-check the face several times during the gaming session
The CCTV report -游戏灰色产业链？央视记者花33元租号打2小时王者荣耀
Bytedance VP Li Liang forwarded the CCDI article to his Weibo followers with the allegation that Tencent in 2018 had abused "public power" by getting public security officers to open a criminal case against and interrogate a middle school teacher who had criticized a report Tencent had sponsored claiming that gaming had caused no harm, and that the company had also enlisted public security officers to detain people who had reported the teacher's article. It is an explosive allegation about abuse of power that if true could cause more headaches for Tencent and especially any public security officials who were involved. This allegation reminded me of this story from February of this year by the Wall Street Journal about the detention of a Tencent VP, supposedly for links to now fallen former Vice Minister of Public Security Sun Lijun. If big Internet companies like Tencent are corrupting parts of the security services you can kind of see why Xi might want to drop the hammer. - 字节跳动副总裁李亮再度炮轰腾讯：腾讯利用其影响力介入公权力_评论
Zhang Feng has been under investigation by China’s antigraft inspector since early last year for alleged unauthorized sharing of personal data collected by Tencent’s social-media app WeChat, the people said. They said Mr. Zhang was suspected of turning over WeChat data to former Vice Public Security Minister Sun Lijun, who is being investigated by Beijing for undisclosed violations of Communist Party rules.
"The new regulations almost kill young people's chances of becoming professional esports players," said Chen Jiang, associate professor at Peking University's School of Electronics Engineering and Computer Science.
In doing so, the rules also undermine the big business of esports in China, where tournaments are often played in billion-dollar stadiums and livestreamed to many more. Chinese esport fans are estimated to number more than 400 million, according to the state-run People's Daily, while the domestic esports market was worth some 147 billion yuan ($23 billion) last year, says Chinese consultancy iResearch.
Comment: Policymakers don’t seem to care.
7. More reports on work at Wuhan labs
NEWLY RELEASED DOCUMENTS provide details of U.S.-funded research on several types of coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. The Intercept has obtained more than 900 pages of documents detailing the work of EcoHealth Alliance, a U.S.-based health organization that used federal money to fund bat coronavirus research at the Chinese laboratory...
One of the grants, titled “Understanding the Risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence,” outlines an ambitious effort led by EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak to screen thousands of bat samples for novel coronaviruses. The research also involved screening people who work with live animals. The documents contain several critical details about the research in Wuhan, including the fact that key experimental work with humanized mice was conducted at a biosafety level 3 lab at Wuhan University Center for Animal Experiment — and not at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, as was previously assumed...
According to Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers University, the documents contain critical information about the research done in Wuhan, including about the creation of novel viruses. “The viruses they constructed were tested for their ability to infect mice that were engineered to display human type receptors on their cell,” Ebright wrote to The Intercept after reviewing the documents
“Scientific collaboration in virology — it’s gone,” said a foreign researcher who has worked for years with the WIV and who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the hostile political climate. “Now, the Chinese will not welcome foreigners because their view is you’re coming in to dig dirt.”
This account of the WIV’s 65-year history, its coronavirus research and its P4 lab is based on interviews with visiting scientists, lab audit reports, satellite images, archival records and other documentation. The WIV did not respond to requests for comment...
The new P4 lab was not being used for researching coronaviruses, however, which are classified at lower security levels.
8. Universities need more Party control
The orders were delivered in “feedback sessions” on Thursday following a wave of inspections of some of the country’s top schools by personnel sent by the party’s Central Committee.
The meetings included senior officials from the Ministry of Education and top managers from 31 universities directly under the committee’s supervision, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the party’s top anti-graft agency, said on Sunday...
“Strict enforcement of the party’s control is lagging ... and problems such as corruption in scientific research and infrastructure [investment] persist.”...
Wu Junfei, deputy director of Hong Kong’s Tianda Institute think tank, said the inspectors focused on ideology because party leaders wanted to ensure control over campuses especially in the lead-up to November’s party plenum.
“With the plenum, which is expected to endorse a resolution on the party’s achievements over the past 100 years, and the party congress next year, the party bosses have gone into overdrive to strive for political stability,” Wu said.
“There have been major results from the ideological clean-up in the mass media, television and movies in recent months. But universities remain a major concern as they have often played key roles in social and political movements in the past.”
The CCDI release - 十九届中央第七轮巡视完成反馈————头条——中央纪委国家监委网站
Business, Economy and Trade
China's central bank to inject cash into smaller businesses - Xinhua China's central bank will add 300 billion yuan (about 46.49 billion U.S. dollars) of reloan quota in the next four months to support small and micro firms and self-employed businesses, according to the People's Bank of China (PBOC) Tuesday. The PBOC will prop up policy support for key areas and weak links, Pan Gongsheng, deputy governor of the PBOC told a press conference, adding that the bank will make good use of the reloan quota to support smaller businesses.
教育部等三部门：培训机构在完成非营利性机构登记前暂停招生及收费行为_凤凰网 The Ministry of Education and other three departments: tutoring institutions must suspend enrollment and fee collection before completing the registration into non-profit organizations.
Charts of the Day: Beijing Stock Exchange Registers Names of Board Members The planned new Beijing bourse was registered on Friday, with financial veteran Xu Ming named as chairman, according to public business records. The would-be third national stock exchange on the Chinese mainland was registered as Beijing Stock Exchange Co. Ltd. (BSE), with registered capital of 1 billion yuan ($155 million). New chief Xu is currently chairman of National Equities Exchange and Quotations Co. Ltd. (NEEQ), an over-the-counter stock market that wholly owns BSE.
BlackRock’s China Blunder - WSJ - George Soros The profits to be earned from entering China’s hitherto closed financial markets may have influenced their decision. The BlackRock managers must be aware that there is an enormous crisis brewing in China’s real-estate market. They may believe that investment funds flowing into China will help Mr. Xi handle the situation, but the president’s problems go much deeper...The BlackRock initiative imperils the national security interests of the U.S. and other democracies because the money invested in China will help prop up President Xi’s regime, which is repressive at home and aggressive abroad. Congress should pass legislation empowering the Securities and Exchange Commission to limit the flow of funds to China. The effort ought to enjoy bipartisan support.
China’s M&A Kings Cash Out of Overseas Bets at Near-Record Pace - Bloomberg Companies in China announced divestment plans of their overseas assets worth $10.5 billion so far this year, the second-highest total since at least 1998, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. At the current pace, 2021 could surpass last year’s $15 billion sum.
PBC and BI Launch a Framework for Local Currency Settlement - PBoC The People's Bank of China (PBC) and Bank Indonesia (BI) announced the launching of the framework for cooperation to promote the use of local currencies for settlement of bilateral trade and direct investment between China and Indonesia starting from September 6, 2021, pursuant to the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by the two central banks on September 30, 2020. This move marks a key milestone in strengthening monetary and financial cooperation between the PBC and the BI. It is conducive to promoting the direct quotation between the Indonesian Rupiah and the Chinese Yuan, expanding the use of local currencies in bilateral trade as well as facilitating trade and investment of the two countries.
36氪独家 | 出海DTC独角兽「Cider」完成1.3亿美元B轮融资，估值超10亿美金_详细解读_最新资讯_热点事件_36氪 Cider, a competitor to Shein, raises 130M USD series B, is now a unicorn https://shop.shopcider.com/
Politics and Law
坚持原则 敢于斗争 - 求是网 This short piece from page 1 of the 9.5 People's Daily on Xi's speech last week at the Party School uses the word struggle/斗争 12 times.
China's Xi Pressures Tycoons With 'Common Prosperity' Talk - The New York Times The moves have unnerved some investors, who fear greater state intervention. “While China, like the U.S., finds itself having to confront the challenge of rising inequality, crushing the country’s entrepreneurs hardly seems the right approach,” said Fred Hu, the founder and chairman of Primavera Capital Group in Hong Kong. “It might unintentionally lead to a different kind of ‘equality’ — making China’s population equally poor.” // Comment: Not a good sign for PRC policymakers when Fred Hu is critical
China and Big Tech: Xi’s blueprint for a digital dictatorship | Financial Times $$ “The laws mean or will mean that all data generated in China must stay in China, unless you have explicit permission to send some of it overseas on a case-by-case basis,” says a senior executive at a large Chinese tech conglomerate. “China is becoming a data empire unto itself.” This leaves multinationals operating in China with little choice but to establish data centres to keep all their customer data. In practice, this means that if law enforcement agencies wish to check consumer data collected by a multinational in China, they will be able to do so at any time they choose, Chinese officials and executives told the FT.
That blueprint has been underway for a long time, predates Xi - 2018 China Under the Grid – China Media Project Earlier this month, in a piece called “A Rock Star’s Fengqiao Experience,” we looked at the recent arrest of celebrity Chen Yufan (陈羽凡) and how this affair, apparently unlinked to the politics of Xi Jinping’s so-called “New Era,” is in fact disturbingly reflective of it. We can link the Mao-era “mass line” notion of the “Fengqiao experience,” which Xi Jinping has revived over the past five years, to new and intrusive forms of social management. But these trends in social management also pre-date the Xi era. One of the key terms relevant to this “social management system,” or shehui guanli zhidu (社会管理制度), is the notion of a “gridded community management system,” or wanggehua guanli tixi (网格化管理体系). But where does this idea of “grid management,” wanggehua guanli (网格化管理), come from? In fact, “grid management” first appeared in Shanghai in 2004.
国家广电总局召开广播电视和网络视听文艺工作者座谈会_腾讯新闻 On September 7, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) held a symposium for radio, television and online audio-visual artists in Beijing. With the theme of "Love the Party and the country, Worship Morality and Art", the conference thoroughly implemented General Secretary Xi Jinping's important discussion on literature and art work, exchanged ideas and gathered strength, further strengthened the management of radio, television and online audiovisual art programs and personnel, and promoted the sustained and healthy development of radio, television and online audiovisual art. Nie Chenxi, vice minister of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, Director of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television and Party Secretary attended the meeting and made a speech. Yang Xiaowei, deputy director general of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television and member of the Party leadership Group, chaired the meeting. Zhu Yonglei and Meng Dong, deputy director of sarFT and members of the Party leadership group, attended the meeting. 9月7日，国家广电总局在北京召开广播电视和网络视听文艺工作者座谈会。会议以“爱党爱国、崇德尚艺”为主题，深入贯彻落实习近平总书记关于文艺工作的重要论述，交流思想、凝聚力量，进一步加强广播电视和网络视听文艺节目及人员管理，推动广播电视和网络视听文艺持续健康发展。中宣部副部长，国家广电总局局长、党组书记聂辰席出席会议并讲话。广电总局副局长、党组成员杨小伟主持会议。广电总局副局长、党组成员朱咏雷、孟冬出席会议。
Xinjiang: another official transfers to sensitive region ahead of Communist Party congress | South China Morning Post Zhang Zhu will head up the Organisation Department, which handles human resources and assigns roles to cadres, government source says He has a background in poverty alleviation work
胡锡进为什么这么害怕革命－乌有之乡 The neo-Maoists at Utopia attack Hu Xijin, say he is afraid of "revolution" because he is one who has benefited from "unjust enrichment".
Film on Qing Dynasty rule of Tibet region shows 'firm resolve to guard sovereignty, territory' - Global Times A soon-to-be-released film about the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) successfully defending against invasions of the Tibet region by Gorkha (today's Nepal) has caught the attention of some media outside the Chinese mainland, which interpreted the film as a warning shot to the secessionist Dalai Lama clique. Viewers of the trailer told the Global Times on Tuesday that they were intrigued by the lesser-known history of how the Qing Dynasty safeguarded its territory and the central government's rule in Tibet.
Former senior Beijing political advisor stands trial - Xinhua Li Wei, the former vice chairperson of the Beijing Municipal Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), was charged with accepting money and valuables worth 32.96 million yuan (about 5.11 million U.S. dollars). Li allegedly took advantage of his position to help some organizations and individuals in real estate development and coal transactions between 2001 and 2019, when he successively held different posts.
Moving a Colossal Statue Is Costing Millions. Officials Are Angry. - SixthTone The statue of Chinese war god Guan Yu is being met with resistance from the authorities over the astronomical costs involved in its relocation. China’s anti-graft agency on Monday [今日锐评 | 巨型关公像教训深刻—中央纪委国家监委网站] urged regulators to exercise stricter oversight in the approval of large projects and increase supervision of illegal structures to combat corruption and safeguard public interests. The sharp words from the Central Commission of Discipline Inspection were in reference to the hundreds of millions of yuan involved in the construction and relocation costs of the massive statue in the central city of Jingzhou. “It’s a waste of more than 300 million yuan ($46 million) — first, it was constructed illegally, and then removed,” it said of the statue in Hubei province.
Condo Linked to Whitney Duan at 432 Park Avenue Sells for $19.1M - The Real Deal The Park Avenue apartment linked to Whitney Duan, the Chinese magnate who was detained by Beijing in 2017, sold for $19.1 million, property records showed. The company used to purchase the 432 Park Avenue unit, Jardin 432 LLC, veiled the identity of the buyer, who paid about the same as Duan’s associates paid in 2016, close to the last peak of New York’s luxury condo market.
'Red Roulette' Reveals The Inside Of China's Wealth-Making Machine : NPR SHUM: That's being one of them because she's - you know, she told us she is a temporary release and then they can take her back any time. And then she actually tell, you know, sort of - she asked me the question, what would happen to our son if something unfortunate happened to me? She asked the question (sighing), how would I feel if something happened to our son? And then she used sort of the code slogan - you know, in China they have this slogan, so the ones who opposes the state will see no good ending.
Prosecutors in China drop case against ex-Alibaba manager accused of sexually assaulting colleague but police order 15-day detention | South China Morning Post Prosecutors in China dropped the case against a former Alibaba manager accused of sexually assaulting a colleague after a business meeting. The police, whose formal arrest was not approved, handed down a 15-day detention. “According to laws and regulations, the prosecution found that the alleged forcible assault by the suspect Wang did not constitute a crime, and we will not make a formal arrest,” prosecutors from the eastern city of Jinan said in a statement.
Foreign and Defense Affairs
Xi says China, Italy should strengthen cooperation in winter sports, industries - Xinhua In a phone conversation with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Xi said the two sides should particularly firmly support each other in successfully hosting the Beijing Winter Olympics and the Milan-Cortina Winter Games in 2026...The two sides should promote cooperation in various fields to go deeper and more solid under the guidance of jointly building the Belt and Road, Xi said, voicing the hope that the Italian side can play an active role in promoting the healthy and steady development of China-Europe relations.
China ready to build up community of development, security with Tajikistan: Xi - Xinhua In a telephone conversation with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, Xi also called on the two sides to jointly safeguard the shared interests of both countries and promote regional peace and development, noting that next year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two sides...Tajikistan is willing to work together with China to deepen cooperation in such fields as economy and trade, security, people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and enrich the Tajikistan-China comprehensive strategic partnership, he said...The two sides also exchanged views on the situation in Afghanistan, and agree to continue deepening counter-terrorism and security cooperation and to jointly maintain regional security and stability
Wang Yi to Visit Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore and the ROK and Chair the 13th Meeting of China-Vietnam Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation At the invitation of Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh and Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son, Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn, Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, and ROK Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will pay official visits to Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore and the ROK and co-chair the 13th Meeting of the China-Vietnam Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation with Vietnamese DPM Pham Binh Minh from September 10 to 15.
Symposium on study outline for Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy held - Xinhua Speaking at the symposium, Wang said Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, as an important component of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, is the fundamental guideline for China's work on external affairs in the new era. Wang shared his views on the essence and profound connotation of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, and urged foreign-service personnel to take the lead in learning the thought and turn it into real results in work. The symposium was jointly held by the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
深入学习贯彻习近平外交思想 奋进新时代中国外交壮阔征程 — 中华人民共和国外交部 Here is the much longer original of Wang Yi's speech at the symposium. Don't see much new in here, expect we will be seeing a lot more propaganda globally about Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy globally, Sinicized Marxism and a lot more "struggling"
China, Vietnam agree to enhance inter-party exchanges, boost ties - Xinhua China's top anti-graft official Zhao Leji met with Tran Cam Tu, a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee, and head of the Committee's Inspection Commission, in Beijing via video link Tuesday.
人事观察｜时隔两个月再晋上将 战区军兵种军校齐换帅_政经频道_财新网 background from Caixin on the 5 PLA officers newly appointed to rank of General
Chinese military gets shot of youth with appointment of more generals | South China Morning Post A Chinese military insider said the decision to appoint Wang to take over from Xu Qiling, 58, as the commander of the Western Theatre Command, was significant. The source said it could indicate that “Beijing has bigger plans for Xu” as Xu Qiling had only been in the position for about a year. “There will be some vacancies in the CMC as a few senior members are expected to retire next year when the Communist Party holds its national congress,” the source said. “Xu handled the situations with India with a steady hand when he was put in charge of the ground forces of the Western Theatre Command.”
China denies it is taking over Afghan military site that was US base | South China Morning Post Beijing was not in talks with the Taliban to transfer the right to use Bagram Airfield for operational needs, contrary to media reports, foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday.
“五位一体”谱华章（习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想学习问答（37））--党建-中国共产党新闻网 #73 in Xi Jinping Thought Q&A Series in the Peoples Daily is "How can we tell the Chinese story well and solve the problem of "remain silent and being scolded"?", on the need to improve the PRC's international discourse power and better tell China's story. It leads with Edgar Snow, Xi and the CCP's ideal foreign journalist.
Exclusive: Sichuan Uni foreign teacher ordered to leave after making racist remarks, defying COVID-19 prevention measures: police - Global Times Recently, a foreign teacher named Emily Jane O'Dell has drawn attention for not cooperating with China's COVID-19 prevention measures during her stay in China and making racist remarks on overseas social media.,,"I guess now maybe America should round up all the Chinese in America, kick them out of all hotels, and not let them leave their homes - since COVID originated in Wuhan, after all," O'Dell tweeted the racist remarks on August 4. She also turned to the US Embassy in China for help, claiming that she was "abducted" against her will and posted pictures of local officers. The officers were smiling in the photos, a sharp contrast with what O'Dell described.
UK orders national security review of graphene firm’s takeover by Chinese scientist | Competition and Markets Authority | The Guardian Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has ordered a national security review of a takeover by a Chinese academic of a small Welsh manufacturer of graphene – the thinnest and lightest “supermaterial” known. In a rare move, Kwarteng instructed the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to review the planned takeover of Perpetuus Group by Taurus International or any companies associated with Dr Zhongfu Zhou.
The City must hug China close in order to thrive, lobbyists say - The Telegraph The Square Mile must embrace Communist China to thrive after Brexit, City lobbyists have said in a manifesto which risks drawing the wrath of Tory backbenchers. Ministers should help firms deepen their ties with the authoritarian country and could offer to help Beijing develop its capital markets according to TheCityUK, which represents financial and professional service companies across London.
大连日本风情街死于襁褓 日本舆论哗然民众愤怒 Dalian had opened a "Kyodo Street", netizens and then official media angrily criticize, shopping street closes after just a few days of operation
Hong Kong and Macao
Beijing’s push for closer mainland economic ties with Macau and Hong Kong: why is only one city being asked to extend ‘one country, two systems’? | South China Morning Post “Macau’s plan focuses more on institutional breakthroughs, while Qianhai’s development plan, which benefits Hong Kong businesses, stresses economic and technical growth, and takes a more conservative approach on breakthroughs in systems and rules,” Tian Feilong, director of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macau Studies, said.
China-to-Hong Kong travelers will no longer need quarantine - AP Starting Wednesday, people who haven’t been to medium- or high-risk areas on the mainland or Macao can enter the city, capped at 2,000 travelers a day, chief executive Carrie Lam said in a news conference. Travelers will still need a negative COVID-19 test prior to arrival and must take several tests while in Hong Kong to ensure they’re not infected.
'HK youths obsessed with western values like freedom' - RTHK A Beijing official in Hong Kong has accused local young people of being obsessed with western values like democracy and freedom – when they know nothing about their own country. In a speech at an awards ceremony for teachers on Sunday, Xu Kai, a deputy education and technology director of Beijing's Liaison Office in the SAR, said many Hong Kong youngsters are ignorant of China, both in terms of its current situation and its history.
Tech and Media
Chinese big tech’s community group-buying scheme is falling apart- PingWest PingWest's Chinese site has exclusively learned that Chengxin Youxuan, the community group-buying e-commerce platform formerly controlled by ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing, is laying off employees heavily in anticipation of a future sale of the entire business, while other of Didi's community group-buying efforts are also laying off people and shutting down. Business news outlet LatePost first reported back in early August that Didi is scaling back Chengxin Youxuan's operation, while Caijing, another outlet, reported last week that Didi is planning to shut down its community group-buying business and had laid off half of its research and development teams...Many grocery shop owners, supermarket managers, suppliers across the country have been organizing against the entry of big techs due to their inability to compete with or participate in the price reductions by the internet community group-buying companies.
郑爽个人及工作室微博被永久关闭 Zheng Shuang's production studio and personal Weibos permanently closed
人民日报评论：拒绝“伞兵”梗 更该警惕网络失语症|人民日报评论_新浪新闻 The authorities are very upset that "Sanbing 伞兵", which means paratrooper, is being used online in place of "shabi dtupid %^$#" since that term is blocked.
Shanghai court accepts Xiaoi Robot’s injunction application against Apple's iPhones for Siri patent infringement - Global Times Shanghai High People's Court accepted on Monday the injunction application from Shanghai-based artificial intelligent (AI) start-up Xiaoi Robot Technology Corp for action preservation on the production, sale, promise to sell, import, and use of Apple's iPhones involving personal assistant Siri, which Xiaoi claims infringes on its patent. The trial of the case is still ongoing.
Tencent draws a line between WeChat and Weixin, telling users to choose as China’s strict new data laws come into effect | South China Morning Post WeChat, the ubiquitous messaging super app operated by Tencent Holdings, is asking users to choose between mainland China and overseas accounts, a move analysts say the social media giant is taking to comply with the country’s increasingly stringent laws and regulations concerning data sovereignty and content censorship. Some users of Weixin, the Chinese name for WeChat used to refer to domestic accounts, who had foreign phone numbers attached to their accounts have received notifications asking them to change to international accounts, according to Chinese tech media IThome.
Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History
The TV Show Highlighting Chinese Culture’s Feminine Side - SixthTone Last June, Henan TV produced and aired a special 45-minute program in honor of the Dragon Boat Festival. The show featured traditional arts associated with Luoyang and Kaifeng — both ancient capitals located in what is now Henan province — including pipa music and classical dance, puppet shows, and dragon-boat races. But it was a non-traditional performance that stole the show: “Prayer,” a dance routine filmed entirely in water, has since amassed a jaw-dropping 8 billion plays on Chinese social media.
Queer Memories in Beijing | Ting Lin and Xuandi Wang Neither Ah Ping nor Xiaopei could recall when Half and Half closed; it expired slowly, quietly. Though the bar had largely evaded governmental pressure—owner Tan Han remarked in a 2004 interview with scholar Loretta Ho that the “[authorities’] general attitude seems to be to leave us alone”—the fabled bar eventually closed. In a 2006 article, Eric Abrahamsen mourned the loss: “Drag-on, Half and Half, where are you now?” With time, Half and Half faded into the background of queer history in China, where it remains largely forgotten.
Energy, Environment, Science and Health
Over 969 million people in China fully vaccinated: NHC - Global Times As of Monday, China had administered more than 2.11 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines, of which more than 969.7 million people finished their all-course inoculation, Mi Feng, spokesperson of the NHC, said Tuesday.
Non-Innovative Medtech Companies Are Winning Too Much Venture Capital, Official Says - Caixin A Chinese government official has warned medical device companies that their appetite for venture capital is leading to far too much money going to companies that do not have much capacity to innovate. The situation undermines both the development of the medical device industry and government efforts to spur innovation in a field that has grown into an investor darling, said Sun Lei, director of the Center for Medical Device Evaluation at the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA), during an industry forum in Beijing on Monday.
China proposes global code of conduct on biosecurity, amid coronavirus ‘lab leak’ row with US | South China Morning Post The Tianjin Biosecurity Guidelines for Codes of Conduct for Scientists was introduced by a senior Chinese diplomat at a symposium under the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) in Geneva last Thursday. Named after north China’s Tianjin municipality, the initiative is the product of a multilateral effort led by China and Pakistan.
China’s foreign students beg Beijing to allow them to return to the country to resume university study | South China Morning Post For the last 20 months China has refused to allow foreign students to return to resume university study. Only students from South Korea have been granted visas after the two countries made a reciprocal deal in July last year