Standing Committee doubles down on "dynamic zero-Covid" and calls for struggle against doubters
The Standing Committee met today and made clear to anyone still not paying attention that it has decided to continue with the "dynamic zero-Covid" policy. “Persistence is victory 坚持就是胜利” the meeting declared.
The readout emphasizes that the current policy is correct:
Practice has proven that our prevention and control policy is determined by the nature and purpose of the Party, our prevention and control policies can stand the test of history, and our prevention and control measures are scientific and effective. We have won the battle to defend Wuhan, and we will certainly be able to win the battle to defend Shanghai.
It is striking that there is no mention of balancing Covid prevention and the economy. The readout makes it clear Xi believes that losing control of the epidemic would cause major economic damage:
China is a country with a large population, a large number of elderly people, unbalanced regional development and insufficient medical resources. Relaxing the prevention and control measures will inevitably lead to large-scale infections, a large number of serious illnesses and deaths, and will seriously affect economic and social development as well as people's lives and health.
That conclusion is hard to question, as there are still far too many unvaccinated people and letting outbreaks run would likely result in a collapse of the medical system and mass death. The leadership is stuck in a terrible dilemma and until they get the vaccinations into almost everyone who is vulnerable they can not loosen without undermining everything they have achieved over the last two years. But persisting with this policy risks undermining everything they have achieved over the last two years. I do not see how they get out of this without many more months of grinding through the problem.
This is also a political campaign, one that may be entering into an even more brutal phase, as anger against Xi and this policy and all the collateral damage it is causing is real. Does Xi see this as a budding “line struggle 路线之争” inside the Party? Xi, master of Party history and seemingly in control of all the sources of hard power inside the system, will likely prevail, no matter how much anger is rising from places like Shanghai, but the political ramifications could be significant.
The readout does call for the strengthening of vaccination work 推进加强免疫接种工作, but even if they forced everyone unvaccinated to get the first shot tomorrow it would be the end of 2022 at the earliest before they all completed the three shot course. It is not about whether or not they are using foreign mRNA vaccines; three shots of PRC vaccines work well enough to protect against severe illness and death.
In another sign of dissent about the policy, the meeting warned cadres against wavering in the struggle:
We should have a profound, complete and comprehensive understanding of the epidemic prevention and control policies set by the Party Central Committee, resolutely overcome the problems of inadequate understanding, inadequate preparation and inadequate work, resolutely overcome the ideas of contempt, indifference and self-righteousness, always keep a clear head, unswervingly adhere to the general policy of dynamic zero-Covid, and resolutely oppose all distortions, doubts and denials. We will resolutely struggle against all words and deeds that distort, doubt and deny our epidemic prevention policies.
Who are those voicing doubts so prominently that they have to be called out in a Politburo Standing committee meeting? This meeting and readout could be seen as forceful pushback against wavering amongst other senior officials. Being on the wrong side of this issue now could, to be euphemistic, have a career-limiting impact.
The Shanghai Party Committee held an expanded meeting Thursday evening to transmit the spirit of the Standing Committee meeting. Party Secretary Li Qiang must be desperate to save his job and his political future, and so will now push incredibly hard to show Xi he gets it and can fix things. But someone has to be held accountable for the Shanghai disaster, and it will not be Xi unless there are much bigger changes coming.
The CCTV Evening News readout of the meeting was interesting, it appears to have been a rushed announcement, with none of the usual graphics highlighting the readout.
It seems reasonable to expect:
A lot more frequent and regularized testing;
More quarantining and construction of quarantine facilities;
More production and supply chain delays
Fewer seats on fewer flights from overseas;
Longer delays in getting goods into China as they have to be inspected and disinfected even more rigorously;
Quicker moves to lockdown any areas that have cases;
Rising anger in places under long lockdowns, and increasing positive energy propaganda and the use of security services to ensure that anger does not manifest in any way that threatens “political security”.
It is hard to see things not getting much tenser over the next few months. I wonder if they might hold the 20th sooner than people expect? The official announcement of the date only said “second half of 2022”. The expectation is October/November given recent past precedent, but from July 1 on is the “second half”.
Today’s Essential Eight:
Standing Committee meeting - Full translation of the readout.
Economy cratering - There really is no other way to describe how precarious the economic situation looks, and today’s Standing Committee meeting seems unlikely to improve investor sentiment and economic confidence.
Outbreaks - Beijing is doing everything it can to avoid calling its growing lockdown a lockdown, Shanghai lockdowns may be over by the end of May, says the Global Times, and Zhengzhou promises it will win its battle by May 10.
EU businesses losing patience - A new survey from the the EU Chamber of Commerce shows mounting frustration among EU businesses in China.
US-China: more accusations and sanctions talks - Hikvision may get the Huawei treatment, and Blinken postpones the China policy speech due to Covid.
State media trying to inject positive economic energy - Talk is cheap as they say, confidence unlikely to return on just propaganda and promises alone.
Ukraine war, coal support, dual carbon goals - More support for coal as gas prices and energy security concerns spike.
The Global Security Initiative 全球安全倡议 - “Mr Xi’s speech is a code. Governments from Europe to Japan and Australia should take it seriously, for it is China’s latest bid to delegitimise the American-led defence alliances and treaties that have guaranteed their security for decades”- The Economist
This new meme may not count as positive energy but it is darkly humorous:
Thanks for reading, and I hope to see many of you in tomorrow’s weekly discussion thread.
The Essential Eight
1. Standing committee meeting
CCTV Evening News readout of the Standing Committee meeting, they have updated the online broadcast to include graphics with the readout. Here is a lightly edited machine translation of the full readout -中共中央政治局常务委员会召开会议 分析当前新冠肺炎疫情防控形势 研究部署抓紧抓实疫情防控重点工作 中共中央总书记习近平主持会议_CCTV
The Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee held a meeting on May 5 to analyze the current situation of COVID-19 prevention and control and make plans for implementing key work of epidemic prevention and control. Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, presided over the meeting and delivered an important speech.
The meeting pointed out that since the outbreak of COVID-19, we have been putting people's lives and lives first, preventing imports and rebound at home, and eliminating the epidemic in a dynamic way. We have adjusted prevention and control measures in response to the changing situation, and achieved major strategic results. Since March this year, thanks to the concerted efforts of the whole nation, we have withstood the most severe test of prevention and control since the battle of Wuhan, and achieved initial results. Practice has proved that our prevention and control policy is determined by the nature and purpose of the Party, our prevention and control policies can stand the test of history, and our prevention and control measures are scientific and effective. We have won the battle to defend Wuhan, and we will certainly be able to win the battle to defend Shanghai.
The meeting stressed that at present, the global epidemic is still at a high level, the virus is still mutating, and there is still great uncertainty about the ultimate direction of the epidemic. China is a country with a large population, a large number of elderly people, unbalanced regional development and insufficient medical resources. Relaxing the prevention and control measures will inevitably lead to large-scale infections, a large number of serious illnesses and deaths, and will seriously affect economic and social development as well as people's lives and health. We should have a profound, complete and comprehensive understanding of the epidemic prevention and control policies set by the Party Central Committee, resolutely overcome the problems of inadequate understanding, inadequate preparation and inadequate work, resolutely overcome the ideas of contempt, indifference and self-righteousness, always keep a clear head, unswervingly adhere to the general policy of dynamic zero-Covid, and resolutely oppose all distortions, doubts and denials. We will resolutely struggle against all words and deeds that distort, doubt and deny our epidemic prevention policies.
The meeting pointed out that persistence is victory. At present, the epidemic prevention and control work is in the critical and strenuous stage of "going against the current, not advancing or retreating". Party committees and governments at all levels must strengthen their confidence, deeply understand the complexity and arduousness of the fight against the epidemic, and resolutely implement the decisions of the Party Central Committee, fully carry forward the struggle spirit, resolutely build a barrier for epidemic prevention and control, resolutely consolidate the hard-won results of epidemic prevention and control, and take responsibility and do your duty.
The meeting stressed that efforts should be made to speed up the handling of local clusters of cases, including thorough detection, isolation, collection and treatment, and coordinated nucleic acid testing, quarantine, transport and community control to ensure that infected persons and at-risk groups are identified and brought under control in a timely manner. It is necessary to strengthen capacity building for epidemic prevention and control, strengthen regional cooperation and provincial coordination, and make adequate manpower and materials for epidemic prevention and control to be well prepared. We should improve prevention and control measures in a timely manner, step up research on and prevention of the mutation of the virus, avoid simplification and one-size-fits-all, and ensure people's basic livelihood and supplies, so as to meet their needs for medical care. Regular epidemic prevention and control measures should be strictly implemented, human, physical and environmental requirements should be fully implemented to prevent imported cases, and the responsibilities of industries and units should be consolidated. We should rely closely on the people to fight the people's war, step up information release, actively respond to social concerns, guide the general public to enhance their sense of responsibility and self-protection, consciously assume responsibility and obligation for prevention and control, implement daily protection measures for individuals and families, strengthen vaccination, and build a solid defense line of mass prevention and control.
Party committees, governments and all sectors of society at all levels should align their thinking and actions with the decisions and plans of the CPC Central Committee, consciously maintain a high degree of ideological, political and action unity with the CPC Central Committee, overcome paralysis, warweariness, fluke mentality and slack mentality, and mobilize and make comprehensive plans, the meeting said. With a spirit of wasting no time and action against every minute, we will focus on all aspects of epidemic prevention and control. Party organizations at all levels and party members and officials should continue to be at the forefront, work hard and play their role as fortresses and vanguard models. It is important to publicize and report advanced examples and stories in the fight against the epidemic, so as to encourage officials and the public to strengthen their confidence, work together in times of difficulty, and do a good job of fighting the epidemic as one.
The meeting also examined other matters.
Abridged translation of the Standing Committee readout, usually they update with the full official translation a few hours later
Friday May 6 Update: Here is the official English translation of the meeting readout - Striving for rigorous and targeted epidemic prevention and control-Xinhua
Shanghai Party Committee holds an expanded meeting Thursday evening to transmit the spirit of the Standing Committee meeting, pledges that "Under the strong leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core with the strong support of the people of the whole country, the whole city will grit its teeth...and be able to win the battle to defend Shanghai 在以习近平同志为核心的党中央坚强领导下，有全国人民大力支援，全市上下咬紧牙关、咬定目标，一鼓作气、乘势而上，一定能够打赢大上海保卫战
Party Secretary Li Qiang must be desperate to save his job and his political future, now likely to push incredibly hard to show Xi he gets it and can fix things.
China's attempts to eliminate COVID, at odds with the rest of the world which is opening up and trying to live with the disease, have prompted rare public criticism at home.
"Shanghai has fallen," Hu Xijin, former editor-in-chief of the state-backed nationalist tabloid Global Times, said on the Twitter-like Weibo on Thursday.
Beijing has to either find less costly ways of tackling its outbreak or "to tell the whole Chinese society the truth" that disruptive consequences cannot be avoided, he said.
"The former requires wisdom, the latter courage."
The post was swiftly removed.
Comment: Hu, even after his removal as editor of the Global Times, usually has good political antennae. For him to post this just hours before the Standing Committee meeting means either he is totally out of the loop or that he was hearing from influential people within the system that there was still a debate.
Here is his post, not unreasonable:
Shanghai-based academic Zhang Weiwei says China’s much lower death rate shows the superiority of the Chinese governance model Zhang also said the city was ‘days away from success’ in containing the outbreak – but critics accused him of touting one-sided propaganda
Comment: A writeup of Zhang’s “Say no to spiritually American people 对“精神美国人”说NO” diatribe I discussed in the May 3rd newsletter. Zhang appears to have correctly assessed the political weather, unsurprisingly.
“Covid is not the only illness threatening the lives of the public,” Liang Jianzhang, the co-founder of Trip.com Group, a big Chinese travel corporation, wrote in a recent article in the Chinese Enterprise News. “Sacrificing everything in the pursuit of extreme ‘shock’ measures is not the comprehensive victory that we truly need.”
As the Party has doubled-down on zero-covid, one familiar phrase from the CCP’s revolutionary past has dominated the headlines: “Persistence is victory” (坚持就是胜利).
This phrase first emerged in the decade from 1927 to 1937, as the forces of the Chinese Communist Party battled against Kuomintang forces during the Chinese Civil War. “Persistence is victory” was a battle cry used to mobilize fighters in revolutionary base areas. An article in the People’s Daily in 1951 traced the phrase back to 1933, delivered as policy direction to a local communist commander whose forces were surrounded by the enemy...
Use of the phrase rose dramatically during the Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976, when it rallied the masses around Mao Zedong’s notion of continuous revolution. In his memoir, published in 2005, Chen Pixian (陈丕显), the revolutionary and former CCP chief in Shanghai who was purged during the Cultural Revolution and later rehabilitated, recalled how he had sought the assistance of top Party leaders in Beijing as the revolutionary fervor spiraled out of control in Shanghai toward the close of 1966. In January 1967, Chen spoke by phone with Tao Zhu (陶铸), then number-four in the central leadership. Tao words were: “Summed up in one line, persistence is victory!”
2. Economy cratering
There really is no other way to describe how precarious the economic situation looks, and today’s standing committee meeting seems unlikely to improve investor sentiment and economic confidence.
The Caixin China General Services Business Activity Index, which gives an independent snapshot of operating conditions in the sector, fell for the fourth consecutive month to 36.2 in April from 42 the previous month, a Caixin-sponsored survey report showed Thursday...
The reading accompanied a steep contraction in manufacturing activity, as seen in the Caixin China manufacturing PMI released on Saturday, which fell to 46 in April from 48.1 in March. The Caixin China General Composite PMI, which includes both manufacturing and services activity, fell to 37.2 last month from 43.9 in March, marking the second consecutive month of decline and the lowest reading since February 2020, according to the Thursday report.
Positive energy headline - Chinese economy to recover by end of May, said analysts - Global Times
During the five-day holidays (from April 30 to May 4), a total of 160 million people traveled domestically, down 30.2 percent year-on-year, data from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism showed on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the domestic travel sector generated revenue of 64.68 billion yuan ($9.8 billion) over the holidays, down 42.9 percent year-on-year.
Data from China Railway showed that some 32 million passengers are estimated to have traveled by rail from April 28 to Thursday, with overall passenger numbers at low levels. Meanwhile, data from the Civil Aviation Administrative of China showed that the number of air passengers transported during the holidays dropped 77 percent year-on-year to 2 million.
Meanwhile, the country's total box-office revenue stood at 140 million yuan ($21.18 million) in the first two days of the holidays, down nearly 83 percent year-on-year, according to data from ticketing platform Maoyan.
While acknowledging firms are facing more difficulties, the government will follow through on its planned tax cuts and ensure VAT credit rebates will be returned to qualified companies by the end of June, according to a State Council meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.
More financial help would also be provided, as policymakers urge financial institutions to extend loan repayment and exempt default interest rates for small firms, the meeting said...
While acknowledging firms are facing more difficulties, the government will follow through on its planned tax cuts and ensure VAT credit rebates will be returned to qualified companies by the end of June, according to a State Council meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.
More financial help would also be provided, as policymakers urge financial institutions to extend loan repayment and exempt default interest rates for small firms, the meeting said
Sales at China’s top 100 developers plummeted 58.6 percent in April from the same period the year before and 16.2 percent from the previous month, according to data from real estate research institute Cric China. In the year’s first four months, sales crumbled 50.2 percent from a year earlier.
The latest outbreaks of Covid-19 hammered sales in April, a staff member at a real estate firm told Yicai Global. Not only did some sales offices have to temporarily shut, but it greatly reduced consumer appetite for new property. Before the latest wave, the firm had been showing signs of recovery amid an already cooling market, he added.
Ninety-two out of the country’s 100 largest real estate firms saw a drop in sales in April from the year before, according to figures from think tank EH Consulting
A phone survey on business confidence of 2,603 managers of SMEs in Shanghai found that only 1% said thet plan to increase investment this year, 9% more said they will stick it out and stay in business. The response rate was 38%.
As more and more Chinese cities implement regular coronavirus testing, there are indications that a nationwide roll-out of mass testing in all first- and second-tier cities could cost China 1.5 per cent of its entire 2021 gross domestic product this year...
The practice of regular mass testing is likely to be vastly extended across the country after the five-day Labour Day holiday that ends on Wednesday, in an effort to better coordinate virus-control efforts, per Beijing’s instructions, according to Tao Chuan, chief macro analyst at Soochow Securities.
If all of China’s first- and second-tier cities, with roughly 505 million residents, implement a year’s worth of mass testing, the cost could top 1.7 trillion yuan (US$257 billion), which would be about 1.5 per cent of China’s 2021 GDP, or about 8.7 per cent of last year’s public fiscal revenue, Tao said.
Comment: Stimulus for the economy and nasal nerves
Beijing is doing everything it can to avoid calling its growing lockdown a lockdown, as school stays virtual and millions told to work from home. Shanghai lockdowns may be over by the end of May, says the Global Times.
The city reported 34 new infections at the community level on Wednesday - the lowest since May 1 - and its daily new case tally continued declining below 5,000, data showed on Thursday. With thousands of key enterprises resuming production, experts forecast that the city will gradually lift the lockdowns by the end of May...
A model developed by Yao Maosheng, a professor at the College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at Peking University, showed that by the end of May, the current infection wave in Shanghai is likely to be contained, and the city will gradually lift the lockdowns by then.
Beijing reported 52 new local confirmed cases between 3 pm on Tuesday and 3 pm on Wednesday, bringing the total number of infections to 505 since April 22, according to the Beijing Center for Disease Prevention and Control on Wednesday.
"Beijing has done several rounds of mass nucleic acid testing at the community level in most districts," said Xu Hejian, spokesman for the municipal government, on Wednesday. "The city has been reporting around 50 daily cases successively for several days."
The transmission chains have not yet been completely cut off in Beijing, as new cases were continuously detected during the mass testing at the community level, Pang Xinghuo, deputy director of the Beijing CDC, told the news conference.
In some cases, infected people who displayed symptoms still tested negative, she added.
Among the 52 new infections, 45 were reported in controlled zones, six were found during community testing and one went to a hospital because of sore throat.
Two hospitals also suspended their outpatient, emergency departments and admissions.
The restriction came after more than 400 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Beijing. A toilet infection chain notably drew public attention where one person infected nearly 40 other people after using three different toilets on Tuesday. Beijing thus strengthened toilet disinfection citywide, requiring toilets in lockdown areas to be disinfected every time after the usage and banning two people from using facilities at the same time.
Residents in Chaoyang district, which has reported most of the cases, have to work from home from Thursday, and those who have to go to their offices need to travel by themselves and ensure they only commute from their homes to their offices, Xu said.
Online ride-hailing platforms have to reduce dispatching vehicles to areas under closed management, the Beijing government said.
Xu said that close contacts of COVID-19 cases will have to undergo 10 days of centralized quarantine and seven days of home quarantine, instead of the previous 21-day centralized quarantine.
Zhengzhou promises to contain the epidemic within three days and to reach no cases in community transmission by May 10.
Zhengzhou, which recorded on Wednesday four new Covid-19 cases and 10 new asymptomatic carriers, is under lockdown from Wednesday till next Tuesday. During this period, employees of government organisations and companies in the city’s main districts will work from home, school lessons will move online, and people will only be allowed to leave and enter Zhengzhou under “necessary” circumstances.
Nearly 9,000 nucleic acid testing sites had been set up in Shanghai as of Wednesday evening, officials told a press conference on Thursday.
Over 4,500 of these sites have opened for service and the rest will open in accordance with the epidemic situation and work resumption requirements, said Chen Shiyan, deputy director of Shanghai Municipal Development and Reform Commission
The construction sites of 24 projects — both in the public and private sectors — are the first to be slated for reopening, according to a “white list” published Tuesday by the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Housing and Urban-Rural Development. The projects include data centers owned by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd., as well as the production lines of chipmakers Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. and GalaxyCore Inc
Shanghai has established a medical team with more than 500 experts specializing in severe and critical COVID-19 patients' treatment via traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) combined with Western medicine to reduce mortality rates, as the city has registered over 600 severe patients, according to the Shanghai health commission on Thursday.
As of Wednesday, there are 512 severe COVID-19 patients and 99 critically ill patients being treated in hospitals in Shanghai, and most of them are seniors with preexisting health conditions, according to the commission.
Last week, an audio recording of a telephone call between a local cadre and a Shanghai man complaining about the lockdown was widely shared and later censored on Chinese social media. Many were impressed by the man’s frank criticism of the uncaring attitude of some CCP cadres, as well as his references to political and economic parallels from Chinese history.
CDT editors have archived and transcribed the 16-minute-long call, which is translated in full
Weibo commenters say they do not know “whether to laugh or to cry” about some state media news items that are desperately trying to turn news about Shanghai’s Covid situation into something ‘uplifting.’
4. EU businesses losing patience
A new survey from the the EU Chamber of Commerce shows mounting frustration among EU business in China. Expect things to get worse as the government doubles down on the dynamic zero-Covid policy, and as much of the expat infrastructure, including international schools, that was build over the last several decades starts to unravel.
More than a quarter of European businesses report headcount decreases because of China’s COVID-19 policy, with this happening most in the education (80%), legal (46%), retail (43%) and cosmetics (40%) industries. Other key findings include the following:
60% of respondents have decreased their 2022 revenue forecasts.
91% of respondents believe China should focus on vaccinating the entire population, including those over 60;
82% believe that positive cases with no or mild symptoms should be permitted to quarantine at home to alleviate pressure on the health system;
and 82% believe that the best mix of vaccinations and boosters should by permitted, including making foreign mRNA vaccines available to all residents in China.
78% of respondents feel that China is a less attractive investment destination as a result of its more stringent COVID-19 restrictions.
The war in Ukraine has also made China a less attractive investment destination for a third of respondents. The war is exacerbating challenges faced by businesses as supply chains disintegrate. Nearly two thirds of respondents have faced disruptions transporting goods to and from Europe.
In addition, rising material and energy costs are having a negative impact on 63% and 58% of respondents respectively.
“Our members are willing to weather the current storm, but if the current situation continues, they will of course increasingly evaluate alternatives to China,” said Jörg Wuttke, president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce.
“A predictable, functioning market is better than one that, despite having high growth potential, is volatile and suffers from supply chain paralysis.”
Around 23 per cent of the 372 European companies that responded to the survey said they were considering a move out of China, the highest level in a decade, said the chamber’s president Jörg Wuttke. Around 78 per cent said China was now less attractive for investment because of its Covid-19 policies.
“Zero tolerance doesn’t work because the world has learned to live with Covid and China has to change strategy,” said Wuttke. “We are trying to tell the Chinese government that if you don’t change, we will vote with our feet.”
5. US-China: more accusations and sanctions talks
“Fundamentally, this is a national security issue. This is one of the reasons why the Chinese Communist Party is lobbying folks to oppose this bill,” Biden said Tuesday in Troy, Alabama....
The Chinese Embassy in Washington has been seeking meetings with administration officials, congressional offices, think tanks and companies to gather information about the status of the bill and what provisions were likely to make it to the president’s desk, people familiar with the meeting requests said. Administration officials have all declined the requests, as have many of the congressional offices, according to the people.
Comment: So the PRC Embassy is doing what any embassy in DC does as part of its normal course of business? Which think tanks met with them?
The Biden administration is laying the groundwork to place human rights-related sanctions on Hikvision, according to four people familiar with the internal discussions. While a final decision has not been taken, the White House wants to target the company in what would amount to the first time the US has imposed such sanctions on a big Chinese technology group...
Two people familiar with the situation said the administration had started briefing allies on its intentions because any measures would have ramifications for the more than 180 countries that use the company’s cameras...
Congress passed the Global Magnitsky Act in 2016, giving the government more power to impose sanctions on entities involved in human rights abuses. The Treasury is responsible for putting companies that run afoul of the law on the Specially Designated Nationals And Blocked Persons list.
Comment: Interesting that the administration is briefing allies. I was at a lunch with the Ambassador of a US ally the day the Huawei sanctions were announced, and they were not happy as Huawei was a key provider to some of its infrastructure and they had not been consulted.
Jon Batemen, a fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and author of the recent report "U.S.-China Technological “Decoupling”: A Strategy and Policy Framework " posted an interesting Twitter thread explaining why he thinks such a move against Hikvision is a bad idea. Some highlights:
It probably can’t. To be blunt, the U.S. government has frequently failed in the past to offer clear, principled explanations for its China-tech restrictions that persuade key audiences. This is not just theater criticism—it’s a genuine problem.
Hikvision’s stock fell as low as 38.24 yuan a share in Shenzhen after the holiday break, dropping by its daily limit.
Bloomberg: The US is considering imposing new sanctions on Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co. for violations of human rights. This would be potentially the harshest measures so far against a major Chinese company. The sanctions are related to alleged human-rights violations by China against Muslim minorities in Xinjiang. Does the foreign ministry have any comment?
Zhao Lijian: We express grave concern over relevant reports and are closely monitoring relevant developments. Hikvision has already made a response.
It needs to be stressed that China firmly opposes the US using human rights and other excuses and abusing national power and domestic law to wantonly suppress Chinese companies. On the US allegation that China violates the human rights of Muslims in Xinjiang, as the Chinese side has repeatedly stated, it is the lie of the century concocted to smear and malign China.
The US should take China’s concern seriously and stop the bullying practice of using all sorts of pretexts to sanction and suppress Chinese companies and harm Chinese interests. The Chinese government will resolutely defend the legitimate and lawful rights and interests of Chinese companies.
Lloyd Austin told the US Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday that "we are now facing two global powers, China and Russia, each with significant military capabilities, both who intend to fundamentally change the current rules-based order." The senior official also talked about "countering aggression and bullying from China" as a "pacing challenge."
Recently, US senior officials have made frequent remarks on the threat from China and accused China of attempting to change the rule-based order, but what they really fear is that US' hegemony will be affected and the US self-made international laws, which they have used to suppress others, will be opposed or challenged, Zhao said.
According to a person with direct knowledge of the matter, an extensive exercise began around late February and early March when western allies imposed unprecedented sanctions against Moscow. Several key Chinese government agencies – from banking regulation to international trade – have been asked to come up with responses if the west imposed the same embargos on to China.
“Those involved in this exercise use how Russia was treated as a baseline for China’s own policy response should it be treated in a same fashion by the west,” the person added. “This stress test involves a range of methodology, including modelling.”
New legislation in the House that would sanction China for threatening Taiwan follows a similar initiative in the Senate as lawmakers seek to discourage any moves similar to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The House bill introduced Wednesday promises to force Chinese banks out of international financial systems if China poses any threat to Taiwan’s security or its “social or economic system,” although the legislation doesn’t define a social threat.
In broadening its definition of potential Chinese threats to Taiwan, the bill introduced by Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) goes further than similar legislation put forward last month in the Senate, which would sanction China only in the event of a military invasion, economic blockade or coup attempt.
Comment: This draft bill may be confirming the need for stress tests
6. State media trying to inject positive economic energy
Talk is cheap as they say, confidence unlikely to return on just propaganda and promises alone
China is working on a slew of policies to support the country’s Big Tech platforms with innovation and globalisation, a shift in Beijing’s hardline regulatory stance on internet companies, according to a front-page editorial in the Economic Daily, a state-run Communist Party newspaper.
The period of extraordinary regulation over China’s technology giants, which started in late 2020, will come to an end, giving way to market-based and rule-of-law supervision to create a good environment for the growth of the country’s internet platforms, according to the editorial, published on Thursday.
The piece is by Economic Daily pseudonymous commentator "金观平 Jin Guanping 'Economic Commentator'" - 推动平台经济健康可持续发展
The recent meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee proposed to promote the healthy development of the platform economy, complete the special rectification of the platform economy, implement the normalized supervision, and introduce specific measures to support the standardized and healthy development of the platform economy. The meaning of this expression is extraordinary. ...
Objectively speaking, despite the pain of maladjustment, after two years of centralized rectification, the platform economy has taken on a new look, and its innovation, openness and support for the macro economy have been improved. The global market is always there, and the technology and energy accumulated by the development of platform economy for more than ten years are also there, ready to go. It is expected that the policy and the market will work together to make platform enterprises give full play to the advantages of promoting innovation and sharing and matching resources accurately, which will become an important support for building new kinetic energy of economic growth and new advantages of national competition, and also push China's platform economy to a new level of development.
Comment: The positive energy messaging from the recent meeting is strong, it is not clear how much of a reprieve there may actually be for the platform companies. Even if there is, do not expect them to return to their glory days of explosive growth a fat margins any time soon, if ever.
Shen, a founder and managing partner at venture capital firm Sequoia Capital China, sold a total of 42.96 million shares in Meituan over April 27 and 29, via funds held by his firm. Shen sold 42.46 million shares on April 27 at an average price of HK$144.78, and sold 500,000 shares on April 29 at HK$159.5.
Comment: May be normal sales for fund management, but is not confidence-inspiring.
The comments mirrored those from a statement by the Communist Party’s Politburo, the top decision-making body, which also met on April 29
The PBoC statement - 央行：要对平台企业金融活动实施常态化金融监管，促进平台经济规范健康发展 _ 证券时报网
7. Ukraine war, coal support, dual carbon goals
Experts at the April conference estimated that China — the world’s largest importer of oil — may pay nearly $100 billion more for the crude oil imports this year. Those costs would ripple through its economy.
Ironically, some say this could slow progress on the country’s “dual carbon” goals — peaking emissions by 2030 and achieving net neutrality by 2060. Beijing has been promoting the use of natural gas — which burns more cleanly than coal — as part of its transition away from fossil fuels. Volatility in the global gas market may push many Chinese industrial users to rely on coal...
Price hikes may cause China’s growth in natural gas use to slow to 6% from last year’s 12.7% expansion, says Yang Jianhong, chief researcher at Beijing BSC Energy Consulting.
And this is an “optimistic” prediction, Yang added, as major industrial consumers like those in engineering, power generation, and transportation companies are particularly sensitive to price changes...
“Currently, energy prices are way above electricity prices, and power generators are definitely losing money,” a source at a state-owned natural gas power plant in Guangdong province told Caixin.
As of the end of 2021, Guangdong had 159 million kilowatt-hours of installed natural gas power generation capacity, accounting for nearly 20% of the country’s total, the most of any province.
China’s central bank will provide 100 billion yuan ($15 billion) of credit lines to support coal development and storage as the country seeks to secure its energy supply, the People’s Bank of China said Wednesday.
The credit lines will be issued through relending facilities to enhance safe coal production and reserves, including modern coal mine construction, green and efficient technology application, intelligent mine construction and secured supply to coal-fired power plants, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said.
The funding support is to address the “greater uncertainty and challenges" facing China's energy security and stable economic operation amid a complex global situation and highly volatile international energy prices, an official at the central bank said.
What measures is the Chinese Communist Party taking to reduce dependence on oil and gas imports that threaten national security? How can China balance an increase in energy demand to support economic growth with pressures to reduce environmental impacts from emissions of greenhouse gases? How is Beijing’s quest for energy security impacting global energy markets and geopolitics?
Wednesday, 11 May 2022
10:30 am 11:30 am
8. The Global Security Initiative 全球安全倡议
Xi announced the GSI on April 21 at the Boao Asia Forum. As I wrote in the April 21 newsletter:
In his video speech to the annual Boao Asia Forum Xi Jinping laid down another marker in the PRC’s quest to remake the international system with a much diminished role for the United States. Xi proposed a “Global Security Initiative 全球安全倡议”
This is an important piece from David Rennie at The Economist on the GSI - China unveils its vision of a global security order | The Economist
More disruptively for the world at large, China is growing more willing to adopt Russian arguments about how to organise a global security order. On April 21st Mr Xi presented a new “Global Security Initiative” to the Boao Forum for Asia, a Chinese gathering of bigwigs. Mr Xi’s initiative is dense, brow-furrowing stuff. He calls for a security order that is “common, comprehensive, co-operative and sustainable” and declares humanity “an indivisible security community”. This slab of party-speak is sprinkled with bromides about respecting sovereignty and territorial integrity that sound rich coming from a friend of Mr Putin’s.
Mr Xi’s speech is a code. Governments from Europe to Japan and Australia should take it seriously, for it is China’s latest bid to delegitimise the American-led defence alliances and treaties that have guaranteed their security for decades. Much of Mr Xi’s new initiative builds on “Asia for the Asians” arguments that China has promoted in its home region for years. In a commentary on his boss’s Global Security Initiative, China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, traced the lineage of common, comprehensive, co-operative and sustainable security back to a “New Asian Security Concept” offered by Mr Xi in 2014 to the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (cica), a multinational forum...
There is an obvious objection to a world order that grants veto rights to America, Britain, China, France and Russia, the five permanent Security Council members. Because the five agree about little, an international community that needs un permission to act will often struggle to intervene. That would not break China’s heart, or Russia’s: both loathe Western powers acting as global policemen. China suspects that many developing countries agree, and will applaud its Global Security Initiative. America and its allies call their united actions over Ukraine proof that the West is not finished just yet. China sees a chance to prove them wrong.
Business, Economy and Trade
State-Owned Chinese Developers Continue to Dominate Sector’s Onshore Issuance State-owned Chinese property developers accounted for almost 90% of the sector’s onshore bond issuance in 1Q22 by amount, similar to the proportion a quarter earlier and highlighting a continued credit polarisation, says Fitch Ratings.
广州今年首轮土拍成交341亿，广州地铁贡献近一半|界面新闻 · 地产 During the first land auction in Guangzhou, Guangzhou Metro bought two parcels of land worth 16.5 billion rmb, nearly half of the value of land being auctioned in the city. Compared to the first round of land auction last year, interest in buying land in the city dipped during this round. Participating developers are mostly state firms
10余城密集出台楼市新政，“五一”假期武汉、苏州、温州等新房成交降幅超5成|沈阳市_新浪财经_新浪网 Between April 29 and May 4, at least 12 Chinese cities unveiled new home buying rules from lowering down payment to housing subsidies, according to a tally by the 21st Business Herald, Despite the raft of rules aimed at propping up sales, home sales among the cities being tracked by a data provider plunged by 52.3% between April 23 and May 5 compared to the same period last year.
How is the Omicron Outbreak and War in Ukraine Impacting China’s Economy and Policy Outlook? Long Chen, co-founder and partner at Plenum, weighs in on the “dynamic zero Covid” debate and shares his views on how the Omicron outbreak and global spillovers from the war in Ukraine are impacting China’s economy and policy outlook.
银保监会：灵活调整受疫情影响人群个人房贷还款计划-中新网 China’s banking watchdog has urged lenders to consider the pandemic’s impacts on mortgage payment terms, saying they should adjust such terms in a flexible manner.
深交所推出支持实体经济举措 维护资本市场健康稳定发展_新浪财经_新浪网 The Shenzhen Stock Exchange, in a May 4 notice, said “reasonable financing needs” of property developers should be supported, saying it would allow “good-quality” firms to further expand how raised funds can be used. As well, the exchange said it would encourage “good-quality” companies to purchase risky real estate projects through bond issuance or acquisitions.
Survey: China’s Covid Outbreaks Clobber NEV Production and Sales - Caixin More than one-third of the respondents said they suffered drops in production and sales, according to the survey on the pandemic’s impact to the new-energy vehicle (NEV) industry conducted by EV Observer, an industry information portal. The survey involved 133 enterprises in the NEV industrial chain, including automakers, manufacturers of auto parts (e.g. power batteries), logistics operators and traders. Among the areas of direct impact, logistics disruptions were the most prominent, with nearly 60% of the respondents claiming they had been negatively affected by it. Some 40% of the respondents were affected by auto parts shortage, which was largely due to logistics woes.
Regional Bank Under Corruption Probe Faces More Trouble After Online Savings Accounts Frozen The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and China’s top banking regulator are probing why several lenders stopped offering online services in April, leaving customers across the country unable to transfer funds out of their accounts, according to a statement from the central bank and a report by state-owned broadcaster CCTV. Sources with knowledge of the matter also told Caixin that the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) is conducting a broader inspection of the cross-regional business of rural banks as a result of the problems in Henan. The incidents were linked to Henan-based Xuchang Rural Commercial Bank Co. Ltd. (XRCB), the biggest shareholder in five of the six lenders involved...On March 5, the Xuchang Public Security Bureau put up a reward for information about the whereabouts of Sun Zhenfu, 58, a vice president of XRCB, who, it said, is suspected of “serious economic crimes” and has absconded.
Caixin - Five Things to Know About China’s Draft Rules on Local Financial Institutions China’s central bank has issued a set of draft regulations to tighten up supervision of local financial institutions, but some proposed rules have raised concerns among industry insiders. The draft Regulations on Local Financial Supervision and Administration (link in Chinese) target 11 types of local financial institutions, and aim to clarify the responsibilities of the central and local governments and set up a unified regulatory framework. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) released the draft rules on the last day of 2021 for public comment, the window for which has closed, but no date has been announced for when the rules will be finalized.
中國航空業大蕭條中，失去自由的飛行從業者｜東航空難｜大陸｜深度｜端傳媒 Initium Media Initium on all the problems Covid is causing the PRC's airline industry
Xinjiang cotton found in Adidas, Puma and Hugo Boss tops, researchers say | Xinjiang | The Guardian Traces in shirts and T-shirts appear to contradict German firms’ promises to revise supply chains
Jack Ma wasn’t arrested but China’s tech sector panicked at the possibility - The Washington Post “I’ve never experienced this degree of pessimism,” said Duncan Clark, founder of Beijing-based consultancy BDA, who has been in the country since 1994. “I think it’s particularly grim because the fundamentals that have driven the sector are being undermined.”
China’s Covid Lockdowns Leave Millions Out of Work - The New York Times Two groups have been especially hard-hit: migrant workers — the roughly 280 million laborers who travel from rural areas to cities to work in sectors such as manufacturing and construction — and recent college graduates. Nearly 11 million college students, a record, are expected to graduate this year.
Tesla’s second assembly line near Shanghai Gigafactory to add 450,000 units of annual capacity | South China Morning Post The carmaker said the new assembly line will have an annual capacity of 450,000 units and will make Model 3 and Model Y vehicles when the first phase of construction is completed. The assembly line will be a part of Gigafactory 3, also known as Giga Shanghai, which started producing Model 3s at the end of 2019, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter.
China’s independent refiners start buying Russian oil at steep discounts | Financial Times $$ An official at a Shandong-based independent refinery said it had not publicly reported deals with Russian oil suppliers since the Ukraine war started in order to avoid attracting scrutiny and being hit by US sanctions. The official added that the refinery had taken over some of the purchase quota for Russian crude from state-owned commodity trading firms, which are seen to represent Beijing and have mostly declined to sign new supply contracts.
What a Buzzword Reveals About Chinese Tech’s Urban Bias - SixthTone There are few things that venture capitalists love more than a good buzzword. They talk about identifying influencer-like “key opinion” leaders and customers; instead of holding meetings, they bring everyone into “alignment.” And, among VCs in China, conversations frequently drift to the massive opportunities presented by the “xiachen market.” Although there’s no agreed-upon definition for what qualifies as a xiachen, or “submerged” market, the term generally refers to consumers in small cities, counties, and rural areas.
投资移民终止了？说说广受关注的《个人境外投资相关公证的通知》 - 知乎 Ministry of Justice announced it will no longer notarize PRC ID documents for overseas investments. Zhihu post makes it sound like not complete disaster 4 overseas immigration schemes, unclear if just wishful thinking, does seem 2b another sign of closing
Politics and Law
China clamps down on dissident writer who criticized cult of personality around Xi — Radio Free Asia Retired writer and member of the Independent Chinese PEN Association Tian Qizhuang is apparently incommunicado after he submitted an "opinion" opposing the Xi personality cult, saying it was in breach of the CCP charter. In an open letter to CCP disciplinary chief Zhao Leji, Tian accused Guangxi regional party secretary Liu Ning of "serious violations" of the party charter in a speech he made in a recent communique.
Chinese ex-journalist jailed for insulting Korean war ‘martyrs’ | South China Morning Post Former investigative journalist Luo Changping has been sentenced to seven months in prison and ordered to make a public apology for insulting Chinese soldiers portrayed in a blockbuster movie about the Korean war. The Sanya Suburb People’s Court in southern Hainan province announced the sentence on Luo on Thursday for “infringing the reputation and honour of national martyrs”, state broadcaster CCTV reported.
The Return of The Technocrats in Chinese Politics - MacroPolo Marshalling a 30-year dataset of provincial party secretaries and governors (as of April 30, 2022), in this analysis we show that 1) technocrats have started to recover in provincial leadership after bottoming out under Hu; 2) technocrats under Xi by and large have domain expertise that align with China’s technological priorities in the coming decade; and 3) Xi’s technocrats have gained more political clout in practice by using the case of Hunan.
Foreign and Defense Affairs
Five Doubts on "Bucha Incident" 关于“布恰事件”的五点疑问 - The authors are with the National University of Defense Technology of Chinese PLA The Ukrainian side on April 3 accused Russian soldiers of killing hundreds of civilians in the small town of Bucha, northwest of Kiev. According to videos and photos released by Ukrainian media, a large number of civilians were killed in the town. Major media outlets in western countries immediately followed suit, lining up in support of the Ukrainian accusation. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the accusations against Russia over the situation in Bucha “a well-staged tragic show”. "It's a well-established show. Nothing else, it is a tragic show," Peskov said，"This is a fraud committed in an attempt to tarnish the Russian army." 乌克兰方面4月3日指责俄军在乌首都基辅西北部布恰小镇杀害了数百名平民。根据乌克兰媒体公布出来的视频和照片，小镇上有大量平民被杀。西方国家舆论宣传马上跟进，一边倒地支持乌克兰政府。俄总统新闻秘书佩斯科夫5日说，这是一场“精心策划的悲剧表演”，旨在诽谤俄罗斯。俄方不接受对俄军人的任何指责，支持对该事件进行公正调查。
The Prime Minister's furious denunciation of the West — which was delivered to the parliament of Solomon Islands on Tuesday — has consolidated fears in Canberra about the trajectory of Mr Sogavare’s government, with one official telling the ABC the leader is becoming increasingly autocratic and hostile to Australia after signing a security pact with China...
Some Solomon Islands MPs and civil society groups have criticised the Chinese government's intensifying and repeated crackdowns on Christians under President Xi Jinping.
But Mr Sogavare said the faith was "thriving" in China because believers followed the rules set by government
"I don't know where these people are coming from, but talking about Christian values … there are more than 120 million real practising Christians in China. Our own churches? 500,000. Half a million," he said.
Comment: So we know just from this he is detached from reality
Manasseh Sogavare ‘to install China force’ in Solomons - The Australian The Solomon Islands opposition says Chinese security personnel could soon outnumber Australian peacekeepers in the country, warning that Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare is likely to install a “strongarm” force to cement his hold on power. Prominent Solomon Islands opposition MP Peter Kenilorea Jnr said Mr Sogavare’s “insane, unhinged” claim this week that Australia had threatened to invade the country had set the scene for the rapid deployment of Chinese “boots on the ground”.
Peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait is critical - Japanese PM | Reuters Peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait is critical not only for Japan but also for international stability, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Thursday
China slams U.S.-UK axis jeopardizing peace over Taiwan Straits - CGTN For some time now, the U.S. has worked with some countries to hype up Taiwan-related issues, and such acts undermine the peace and stability in the region, Zhao said, adding that the Taiwan question is purely China's internal affair, which allows no interference from external forces. He said the U.S. and relevant countries should stop interfering in China's internal affairs, abide by the one-China principle and prudently handle Taiwan-related issues.
EU plan to curb foreign state-backed buyers picks up pace | Reuters EU countries and lawmakers will on Thursday kick off discussions on a European Commission plan targeting foreign state-backed buyers of European companies amid fears of a Chinese buying spree.
Special Representative of the Chinese Government on Korean Peninsula Affairs Liu Xiaoming Holds Talks with ROK Counterpart Noh Kyu-duk Liu Xiaoming expounded on China’s position on the Korean Peninsula issue. He said that China does not want to see escalation of tension on the Peninsula and disapproves of actions by any party that could aggravate the situation. China and the ROK share similar positions and broad common interests on the Peninsula issue. China supports the ROK and the DPRK in improving their relations and highly commends the active efforts made by the Moon Jae-in administration and outcomes it achieved. China is prepared to strengthen communication and coordination with the new ROK administration to jointly push forward the process of political settlement of the Peninsula issue.
Sinostan — how China moved into Russia’s backyard | Financial Times $$ Work began on this engaging geopolitical travelogue through China’s growing presence in Central Asia more than 10 years ago. It was slow to complete because Alexandros Petersen, one of the two authors, died in a terrorist attack in Kabul in 2014. Raffaello Pantucci, known for his work on security and on China, is his surviving co-author and friend; for him, finishing the book became both a moral obligation and a posthumous tribute. It began, he writes, as an adventure, an excuse to travel to remote places in a region they both loved. It grew into a compelling report on China’s expansion into Russia’s backyard.
China’s military: new PLA rule seen to cement troop loyalty to President Xi Jinping | South China Morning Post Lower-ranked officers in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will soon have more scope to supervise senior brass, under new rules that experts say are aimed at better securing the Chinese military’s loyalty to President Xi Jinping. An amended regulation for servicemen committees was approved by the Central Military Commission (CMC) – the top military body – and will take effect from May 1, the official PLA Daily reported. The amendment aims to bring the rules in line with “Xi Jinping Thought”, the report said, citing the CMC general office, but gave no details.
Prosecution reaches plea deal with Hong Kong radio host 'Giggs' after year-long detention - Hong Kong Free Press HKFP Prosecutors told a Hong Kong court they have reached a plea agreement with Edmund Wan Yiu-sing, an internet radio host better known as “Giggs,” who has been detained for over a year on money-laundering and sedition charges after seeking donations for protesters who fled to Taiwan.
'Absolutely' give second chance to young protesters arrested in 2019, Hong Kong leadership hopeful says - Hong Kong Free Press HKFP “For those who have offended, and have already served their time and completed their legal responsibility, [we] should absolutely give them the opportunity to re-enter society and contribute to society,” Lee told reporters on Wednesday evening. He was addressing the media after a meeting with around 80 youth representatives, which included students, athletes, and members of the All-China Youth Federation.
Hong Kong actor's death sparks calls to ditch quarantine rules - Nikkei Asia Concerns about the mental and physical toll of quarantines was highlighted last week when Hong Kong actor Kenneth Tsang, known internationally for his role in the 2002 James Bond film "Die Another Day," was found dead in his quarantine hotel room. The 86-year-old actor, who was returning from Singapore, had tested negative for the virus when he checked in and had no underlying medical conditions, local media reported.
Taiwan says it cannot afford new U.S. anti-submarine helicopters | Reuters Taiwan had earlier said it was planning to buy 12 MH-60R anti-submarine helicopters, made by Lockheed Martin Corp unit Sikorsky, but domestic media said the United States had rejected the sale as not being in line with the island’s needs. Asked in parliament about recent changes to Taiwan’s purchases of new U.S. weapons, Defence Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng mentioned the helicopter case first. “The price is too high, beyond the scope of our country’s ability,” he said.
PLA's Y-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft resumes patrols around Taiwan island - Global Times The alleged accident has not been confirmed, but in any case, the Y-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft is now well prepared to carry out missions, at a time when external forces have been provocatively sending warships and submarines to the Taiwan Straits and the South China Sea, analysts said on Wednesday.
Taiwanese Morrison Lee Remains Detained in China, Even After Finishing His Jail Term – The Diplomat Morrison Lee Meng-chu, was in fact released from detention last year but has not been allowed to return to Taiwan. Morrison Lee, a businessman, was sentenced to one year and 10 months in jail on spying charges, as well as two years of having his rights to political participation deprived.
Tech and Media
Mystery Kills – China Media Project As mainstream news media focused on reports about the alleged national security crimes of “Ma Mou,” attention turned on social media, including in WeChat groups, to the timeline of state media reporting and the problems it exposed. In a comment shared by a number of media professionals, including Lu Xuning (卢旭宁), a former news editor at the news portal Sina.com, former journalist Shi Feike (石扉客) went through the timeline of reporting through various state media and their affiliated social media accounts – along the lines of the above CMP summary.
SoftBank wins key corporate battle in China by ousting defiant CEO from Arm joint venture | South China Morning Post SoftBank Group Corp is on track to win a key corporate battle by ousting a defiant chief executive from a Chinese joint venture of British chip designer Arm, in a two-year drama that has ended with the apparent help of the Chinese government. Arm China has registered Liu Renchen – a member of Shenzhen’s political advisory committee and a deputy dean at the Research Institute of Tsinghua University in the southern city – as its new legal representative, replacing incumbent CEO Allen Wu, according to a company statement published on Thursday on Chinese social media platform Weibo.
Didi, Lenovo founders go private on China social media, join retreat from spotlight | Reuters Didi's Jean Liu and her father, Liu Chuanzhi, both switched on a function on China's Weibo platform to hide all old posts, at some time during the just-ended Labour Day holiday. Neither had posted in the past six months.
Chinese Smartphone-Makers Must Spend Big to Challenge Apple, Oppo’s China Chief Says - Caixin Chinese smartphone-makers will only be able to challenge Apple Inc.’s dominance in the country’s high-end handset market if they continue to plow cash into technology, including foldable phones, a top executive at one of the country’s aspiring iPhone challengers says.
Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History
Covid-19 in China: Chengdu FISU World University Games to be postponed for second time, sources say | South China Morning Post The World University Games, which were due to start in Chengdu in late June, will be delayed until next year, a source who is in contact with the organising committee has told the South China Morning Post.
Building collapse in China's Changsha kills 26 | Reuters Twenty six people died when a housing block collapsed in the Chinese city of Changsha last week, state broadcaster CCTV reported on Thursday after several days of rescue efforts. Rescuers have pulled ten people from the rubble of the eight-storey "self-built" house in Hunan province which collapsed on April 29, according to CCTV. // Comment” How many other “self-built” structures with fake inspection certificates are there in Changsha and throughout the PRC?
A Disabled Chinese Poet’s Wedding Plan Invites Cheers and Jeers - SixthTone Yu Xiuhua’s views on sex and relatationships have often been slammed as “vulgar.” Critics disparaged her writings centering around love and lust. Many said she would never find love again after a divorce. But the acclaimed poet, who has cerebral palsy, proved her detractors wrong. On April 29, the 46-year-old announced her wedding plans with Yang Zhuce on short video platform Douyin, inviting a chorus of jubilation from fans and jeers from critics. Dressed in a white wedding dress, Yu was seen leaning against Yang, donning a suit, as they posed for photos in a rose garden.
Energy, Environment, Science and Health
China sets up world's highest automatic weather station at over 8,800m altitude on Mount Qomolangma - Global Times Thirteen members of the Chinese Earth Summit Mission 2022 scientific expedition team successfully established an automatic meteorological monitoring station at an altitude of over 8,800 meters, the world's highest of its kind, on Mount Qomolangma on the China-Nepal border, achieving the milestone task of the country's second comprehensive survey to the roof of the world.