Too much foreign content in textbooks and on TV; Internet needs more controls; Tech innovation and taxes; Coffin confiscations; Deepening reform meeting
|Bill Bishop||Sep 20, 2018||1|
Next Monday is the MId-Autumn Festival 中秋节. China will officially be on Holiday on the 24th but tomorrow should be a very slow day. The newsletter will publish as normal Monday.
In the waning years of the previous Era in China this holiday was an orgy of gift-giving, and the evenings right before the holiday often saw the worst rush hours of the year in Beijing as people scrambled around the city to drop off their gifts.
We used to get tons of mooncakes as friends would receive far too many boxes and so would share. One friend reminded me that officials should always check the mooncake box before re-gifting it, as sometimes they were stuffed not with sweets but with cash and other instruments of bribery. The good old days of go-go Beijing…
There is still no word if Beijing is sending anyone to DC for trade talks, and President Trump may decide to ruin the holiday for some officials with the next round of threatened tariffs.
Happy Mid-Autumn Festival, and don’t overdo it with the mooncakes.
Thanks for reading.
The Essential Eight
1. The Chinese Internet needs more control
Zhuang Rongwen, who last month was appointed as director of the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), this week put forward an all-encompassing blueprint on how to govern the Chinese internet, which now has 800 million users – more than double the entire population of the United States.
In the latest edition of Qiushi, or Seeking Truth, the ruling party’s flagship bi-monthly journal on political theory..
In the article, Zhuang vowed to unite efforts in both promoting “positive energy” – party speak for uplifting propaganda – and suppressing “negative elements”, which Zhuang categorised as “wrong ideological trends” that range from distorting the party, the state or the military’s account of history, negating the party’s leadership or the socialist system, attacking the party’s guidelines and policies to undermining the ideology or image of party leaders, as well as rumours and terrorism-related video or audio.
Zhuang pledged to hold internet tech companies strictly responsible for content management and to speed up the establishment of an overarching nationwide platform for all key internet companies, as well as platforms for the emergency management of public opinion on the internet.
He also called for all internet users to join party members and propagandists to fight a “people’s war” to rehabilitate the “cyber ecology”.
“The internet has become the main battlefield and forefront of propaganda and public opinion work. To take the helm of ideology work, we not only need the driving force of party members and mainstream media editors and reporters, but also need to fully make use of the broad masses of internet users,” he wrote.
The article - 科学认识网络传播规律 努力提高用网治网水平
Among the many choice passages:
This is no surprise, I discussed the 8.21-22 national conference on publicity and ideological work in the August 22 newsletter and wrote:
Xi's comment about improving the level of Internet management should be taken as a clear sign more Internet tightening is on the way - 我们必须科学认识网络传播规律，提高用网治网水平，使互联网这个最大变量变成事业发展的最大增量
Objections to Google’s possible re-entry into the Chinese search market are uniting Republicans, Democrats and some of Google's own employees in a rare alignment against the company...
Some Google controversies, like its role in Russian election interference in 2016, have upset lawmakers. Others, like a company contract with the Defense Department, have outraged employees. This one has done both.
Question: Will Google send its CEO to the The 5th World Internet Conference later this year?
2. Too much foreign content in textbooks
The sweep by China’s education ministry, running until Oct 15, will “correct and dispose of” illegal foreign or self-written courses used instead of state-approved materials in China’s nine-year compulsory education period, the official Xinhua news agency said.
“Recently, it has been discovered that some companies that write and publish textbooks have without permission altered the content of certain textbooks, and certain schools are using their own textbooks in the place of national textbooks,” the ministry’s teaching materials bureau told Xinhua.
3. More restrictions on foreign TV programs likely
The State Administration of Radio and Television is soliciting comments on a draft rule to ban foreign programs from broadcast during prime time slot from 7-10 PM, as well as limit the total amount of foreign content on each channel to no more than 30% of that day's broadcast total content.
The anti-foreign trend seems to be strengthening...
The bottom line: The shift in the U.S.–China relationship is a structural phenomenon, the result of economic, military and technological gains in China that constitute a threat to American dominance — and further reinforced by their radically different political, cultural and ideological systems. This cleavage goes far deeper that the current trade war. Policymakers in both Washington and Beijing will have to decide whether to let the relationship destabilize further or to agree on rules to govern, or at least guide, this new era of strategic competition. - Kevin Rudd
China is planning to cut the average tariff rates on imports from the majority of its trading partners as soon as next month, two people familiar with the matter said, in a move that will lower costs for consumers as a trade war with the U.S. deepens.
Knockoffs of famous brands — Coach, Kate Spade and others — are mostly made in China and arrive at U.S. shores through clandestine channels built to dodge authorities. The authentic purses and their components, also made in China, are shipped through official routes and would face Trump’s proposed new duties of 10 percent effective next Monday.
I remember going to the special room for top quality bags in 2004...the fact that the Chinese government still does nothing to stop this says so much...
“The promise was made on the premise of friendly U.S.-China partnership and rational trade relations,” Ma, the founder and chairman of Alibaba Group Holdings BABA, +3.82% , told Chinese news site Xinhua on Wednesday. “That premise no longer exists today, so our promise cannot be fulfilled.”
Did anyone actually think this promise was serious?
5. Profile of Robert Lighthizer
“He believes strongly that the endgame is China,” says Jim Lighthizer, adding that his brother isn’t counting on a quick victory. “He believes that it is going to be a long, long haul with China.”..
If Lighthizer is seen to be driving policy on China, it’s because both Ross and Mnuchin have failed to bring Trump a Beijing deal he can live with—and for that they’ve been publicly rebuked. Asked what he had learned about negotiating with the Trump administration after the U.S. and Mexico announced an agreement in principle on Nafta in late August, Mexico’s economy minister, Ildefonso Guajardo, says: “Any deal where Lighthizer is not responsible for the architecture doesn’t see the light of the day.”
The Chinese know this too, and is one the reasons Mnuchin has so little credibility in Beijing.
As a member of Trump’s cabinet, Lighthizer continues to frame the issue in those epochal terms. “I’m in it for one reason,” he told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in May, pointing to the trade deficit as a reflection of a “paradigm” in need of wholesale change. “A big part of that,” he added, “is getting the relationship between the United States and China right.”
6. Lack of coordination around tech innovation policies?
The latest scare came from two announcements that could hike taxes on China technology investors and high-skill employees recruited from abroad. The first suggested raising tax rates to as much as 35 percent of investment gains from 20 percent, while the second would require anyone who lives in China for 183 days a year to pay levies on their global income. Though one top official suggested the government could backtrack on the first proposal, investors are spooked and reconsidering their investments and residency in China.
"It’s caused a lot of potential limited partners to sit back and say ‘let’s wait to see what the potential policy is, I don’t want to rush into things," said James Ding, managing director at China’s GSR Ventures.
Foreigners who have a residence or reside on the Chinese mainland for more than 183 days a calendar year will be classified as resident taxpayers, subject to Chinese tax on their worldwide income, according to the revised Individual Income Tax Law (link in Chinese) that the top legislature passed Aug. 31.
Those residing on the Chinese mainland for less than 183 days a year will be considered nonresident taxpayers, liable for tax only on their onshore income, according to the revised personal income tax code that will take effect in 2019...
Under current law, foreigners who reside on the Chinese mainland for more than one year but less than five years should pay tax on their onshore income and only the offshore income that’s derived from onshore entities or individuals. In other words, they don’t have to pay tax on offshore income from offshore sources. Those who reside on the mainland for more than five years are required to pay taxes on both onshore and offshore income, no matter the source. This is also known as the “five-year rule.”
7. Another meeting of the central committee for deepening overall reform
China will strengthen the coordination of supervision over “systematically important” financial institutions, state television said on Thursday, citing a central government meeting at which President Xi Jinping presided.
The meeting, held by the central committee on deepening reforms, also decided China would reform and improve vaccine production and management, after recent vaccine scandals.
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, Thursday called for efforts to make reform focus on solving practical issues. Xi, also Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks while presiding over the fourth meeting of the central committee for deepening overall reform, which he heads.
CCTV Evening News on the meeting 习近平主持召开中央全面深化改革委员会第四次会议强调 加强领导科学统筹狠抓落实 把改革重点放到解决实际问题上来
"Study Small Group 学习小组" says the key word in Xi's comments today are "implementation 落实".... 中央深改委第四次会议，习近平反复强调了一个词
8. Don't publicize the coffin confiscation campaign
Trade publication editor Liu Zhixiang, who is currently hiding from police in the provincial capital Guangzhou, was contacted by local police and officials after posting the video to Sina Weibo on Sept. 14.
Liu, who works for the Guangdong Enterprise Brand Construction Promotion Association, said that while the video footage was deleted by government censors or filters within a minute of his reposting it, his text comment was published...
"Coffin-snatching" by local officials is a growing phenomenon in rural China, where families prefer traditional burials in the soil of their hometowns, and where officials are under increasing pressure by the ruling Chinese Communist Party to end such burials in favor of cremation.
A resident of Jiangxi's Xiangyang said that while many people are in favor of funeral reform, they are uncomfortable with being coerced into it by the government.
"It's too brutal, because these elderly people have already bought their coffin and have it in their homes," she said, referring to a traditional custom to start saving for a coffin and to take satisfaction in buying it long before it is needed.
Business, Economy, Finance And Trade
Executives of Leading Consultancy iResearch Aid Investigation - Caixin Global: The Beijing-based consultancy Wednesday said in a statement that several company executives were “assisting authorities with an investigation” and were “unable to be reached temporarily.” IResearch is a leading provider of data and analysis of China’s technology and internet-related sectors. Its reports on market share and business size are often widely quoted by media and market players. IResearch’s statement came amid speculation that its top executives including Chairman Yang Weiqing and Chief Technology Officer He Xincheng have disappeared from public view.
China Paves Way for Wealth Management Products to Buy Stocks - Bloomberg Commercial banks can now open accounts to invest their WMP assets straight into all “sanctioned” financial products, China Securities Depository and Clearing Corp. said in a statement on its website Wednesday. Previously the funds could only be directly invested in fixed income products. The CSDC clarified in a statement on Thursday that changes in investment scope would require approvals from regulators
Leverage Ratio of China's Real Economy Held Steady at 242.7% in Second Quarter: NIFD - China Banking News The “China Deleveraging Progress Second Quarter Report” (中国去杠杆进程二季度报告) released by the National Institution for Finance and Development (NIFD) (国家金融与发展实验室) on 18 September points to a modest rise in the leverage ratio of the real economy last quarter. According to the report as of the end of the second quarter the leverage ratio of China’s real economy – comprised of households, non-financial enterprises and the government, rose to 242.7% from 242.1% at the end of 2017, for an increase of 0.6 percentage points. The report said that this modest growth rate marks a sharp deceleration in leverage levels following a prior period of rapid growth.
India urges China to lift ban on rapeseed imports amid US trade war | Reuters The aim was to lobby China to resume purchases of rapeseed meal, a key ingredient in animal feed, and to drum up interest in the country’s other major agricultural products, the two said. China was the biggest buyer of Indian rapeseed meal until Beijing banned the purchases in late 2011 over quality concerns.
A Bumper Year for Chinese IPOs Feels Like Anything But - WSJ $$ Chinese companies have raised $27.5 billion through IPOs in Hong Kong, on track to smash the previous annual record set in 2007. The city’s latest blockbuster IPO is off to a decent start: Meituan Dianping, which runs an app similar to a mix of Grubhub, Yelp and Groupon, rose 5.3% on its debut Thursday after raising $4.2 billion—valuing it at $51 billion. Chinese firms have raised another $7.4 billion through listings on U.S. exchanges, already the most in a year except for 2014, when e-commerce giant Alibaba raised $25 billion.
Bad Bank's New Boss Begins by Erasing Fallen Predecessor’s Legacy - Caixin Global To rebuild Huarong’s reputation as a reliable state-owned financial conglomerate, the company’s new boss, Wang Zhanfeng, has stepped up efforts to both wipe out Lai’s lingering influence inside the company and walk Huarong back from its recent history of murky deal-making to focus on its core distressed-debt business, Wang told Caixin in an exclusive interview. In the interview, Wang, the former head of the Guangdong province branch of China’s banking regulator, made his first public comments about Huarong after taking over the bad bank on Tuesday.
Financial Boss’s Fall Hints at Deleveraging’s Political Side - Jamestown media reports made clear that Lai was removed from his post for more than just personal corruption; most went out of their way to make him a poster boy for the kind of reckless business practices the deleveraging campaign is meant to stamp out. Among his missteps were providing generous financing to some of China’s most famously overextended borrowers—so-called ‘grey rhinos’ like HNA, Anbang, Hanenergy, and CEFC (SCMP, August 26)—and plowing large sums into corrupt, ill-advised real-estate deals (Dai1 Media, June 6). In these portrayals, Lai was precisely the kind of greedy, irresponsible executive whom regulators pushing deleveraging might want to target, to encourage other businesses to be more prudent in their borrowing and lending // Comment: The deleveraging campaign of course has a massive political component, especially when it comes to the big SOES
Caixin Explains: Why Urbanites are Choosing Pickles and Instant Noodles Over Avocados and Starbucks - Caixin Global Li Nan now takes the subway instead of hopping into a taxi. Chen Yaojia makes her own coffee at work, and no longer goes to Starbucks. Wang Ting still goes on vacations — but to neighboring Thailand, not the Maldives. Welcome to the “consumption downgrade” (消费降级 xiāofèi jiàngjí), in which China’s burgeoning middle class is drinking beer instead of cocktails, cooking at home instead of dining out, and simply giving up on buying avocados, luxury bags and designer shoes...The idea has resonated with many anxious Chinese families, particularly in Beijing and Shanghai, who say they feel increasingly squeezed between rising property prices and sluggish income growth.
Cash-Strapped ZTE Sells Shenzhen Property - Caixin Global Embattled ZTE Corp. is selling land and property assets for at least 2.2 billion yuan ($321 million) to cope with its liquidity crisis, after being slapped with a $1.4 billion fine by the U.S.
Regulator Puts Bond Market On Notice Over Underwriting Kickbacks - Caixin Global Caixin exposed one of the dirty little secrets of China's bond market in July, blowing the lid open on the murky dealings of private-fund managers arranging debt sales for companies with low creditworthiness in exchange for under-the-table cash payments. Now, the country's securities watchdog has put the industry on notice that it will no longer tolerate such behavior, explicitly clarifying for the first time that such commissions are banned and vowing to punish anyone involved in the practice. These include the companies issuing the bonds, the underwriters, and individual executives in charge of the offering, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said in a statement ( 公司债券日常监管问答（七) ) on its website on Tuesday.
Haier suspends plan to sell US-made, GE-branded goods in China | Financial Times $$ Haier Group, the world’s largest white goods company, has suspended plans to sell products made in the US by its GE Appliances brand in China, citing the deepening trade war between Washington and Beijing, its chief executive said.
京津冀密集披露重大建设项目计划 雄安年内投资规模达3000亿_腾讯网 Plans rolling out for infrastructure investment in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area, including 300B RMB for Xiong'an, according to Xinhua's Economic Reference News // 近期，京津冀协同发展方面密集披露一批重大项目计划。包括北京新一轮城南行动计划、京雄城际铁路、北京新机场高速公路等均已列入时间表。此外，大湾区港航工程、多条高速公路等项目，以及西部地区和农村地区补短板重大工程也在密集启动。业内测算，仅雄安新区年内投资规模就将达3000亿元，我国多个重点区域增长极正撬开新一轮投资空间，补区域短板将迎来建设高峰。
With copper options, China steps up challenge to London, New York rivals | Reuters The Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) will launch copper options trading on Friday, aiming to take a slice of a $270 billion global market in one of its biggest challenges yet to London and New York rivals.
Meituan IPO Fact-Checks Mobike’s Fanciful Numbers - The Washington Post In October, Bloomberg cited Mobike’s statement that it was “the clear leader in the global bikesharing industry, supporting 30 million rides in 180 cities around the world every single day” (emphasis added). Just a month earlier it was telling the world it “supports over 20 million rides every day” (emphasis added). With 119 days during the period cited in Meituan’s prospectus, Mobike was actually averaging 8.4 million trips daily — 70 percent fewer than it had been claiming.
China unveils measures to boost consumption - Xinhua China aims to upgrade consumption to balance supply and demand, increase the residential consumption rate, build a safe consumption environment and strengthen market supervision, according to a guideline issued by the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council. The guideline outlines specific measures to boost consumption, including fostering new consumption growth impetus, promoting the quality of service consumption and upgrading rural consumption.国务院关于完善促进消费体制机制 进一步激发居民消费潜力的若干意见
Another Day, Another Wild Trading Debut for a China Tech Firm - Caixin Global An investor frenzy met Chinese peer-to-peer (P2P) lender X Financial on its first day of trading in New York on Wednesday, with its American depositary shares jumping by 26% to close at $11.97. In a raucous first day of trading, during which its stock price nearly doubled at one point, the Shenzhen-based X Financial became the latest Chinese tech company to have a wild debut on the U.S. market.
海航科技75亿收购当当网交易终止_公司频道_财新网 HNA Technology – a subsidiary of HNA Group – has terminated the acquisition of Dangdang.com due to cash shortfall
Politics, Law And Ideology
Central officials arrive in Ningxia for 60th anniversary celebrations - Xinhua A central delegation led by China's top political advisor Wang Yang on Wednesday arrived in Yinchuan, capital of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, to attend festivities marking the 60th anniversary of the region's founding. The central delegation presented the region with souvenirs, including a plaque with an inscription by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee. It reads "building beautiful and new Ningxia, jointly realizing the great Chinese Dream."
That is quite a plaque, with Wang Yang and the Ningxia Party Secretary on either side:
人民网舆情数据中心-一篇高质量的舆情通报，需要注意哪些？ People's Daily Public Opinion Data Sentiment Center has published a useful primer on how to write a "high quality public sentiment notice" // 随着各地政务公开工作的不断深化，情况通报已经成为舆情回应和引导的重要方式，其具体内容往往决定着舆情走势。在实践过程中，多数通报推动热度消退，但也存在一些内容上的“雷区”，引发次生舆情。如何规避，可着重从四个方面展开
Foreign and Military Affairs
NZSIS sweep for bugs in case of burgled professor - NZ Herald News of the sweep, confirmed by several university staff, comes as academic colleagues of Anne-Marie Brady came out in support of the China specialist who has suffered a string of break-ins she claims are in direct response to her work exposing China's influence campaign in New Zealand. The Herald understands a similar search for bugs by the Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) has also been conducted at Brady's Christchurch home, the site of another suspicious burglary being investigated by authorities.
Security urged for building corridor - China Daily The Chinese and Pakistani armies should resolutely crack down on terrorist forces to ensure security in building the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday. While meeting in Beijing with Pakistani Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Xi said that the two armies should deepen exchanges at all levels and cooperation in various areas, and provide reliable security guarantees for common interests and development of both countries.
Pakistan asks China to soften restrictions on Muslims - The Nation Pakistan has demanded China to soften restrictions on Chinese Muslims living in Xinjiang province. Federal Minister Pir Noorul Haq Qadri while meeting Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing said that strict regulations and laws fuel extremism and in order to curb intolerance and promote religious harmony China should deal with patience.
Foreign warships in South China Sea ‘causing trouble’, Beijing’s ambassador to Britain says | South China Morning Post Speaking in London on Wednesday at the annual Induction Programme for Commonwealth Diplomats organised by the Commonwealth Secretariat, Liu Xiaoming said that the progress made by China and Asean (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) in formulating a code of conduct in the South China Sea showed that countries in the region had the confidence and capability to resolve dispute
China launches twin BeiDou-3 satellites - Xinhua The twin satellites are the 37th and 38th editions of the BeiDou navigation system. After a series of tests and evaluations, they will work together with 12 BeiDou-3 satellites already in orbit. The twin satellites will provide danger alerts and navigation services for global users. A basic system with 18 orbiting BeiDou-3 satellites will be in place by the end of the year, which will serve countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative.
China Said to Censor Term `Thousand Talents' as Spy Fears Grow - Bloomberg China’s government has forbidden state media from referencing its flagship talent recruitment program after a participant was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation last month, according to people familiar with the situation. The program, known as “Thousand Talents,” began in 2008 as a way for the government to attract the brightest Chinese people abroad to contribute to innovative sectors in China’s economy...
EU has a plan for Asian infrastructure but will it compete with China’s belt and road? | South China Morning Post The plan will build off the billions of dollars the EU has previously committed to Asia. The EU external action budget will be increased to 123 billion euro (US$144 billion) for 2021-27, an increase of 30 per cent on the previous period. The EU has already mobilised 4.2 billion euro between 2010 and mid-2018 for its Asia Investment Facility and the Investment Facility for Central Asia.
Serbia To Acquire Combat Drones, Military Tech From China - China Military “Serbia will acquire combat drones, which will have the ability to scout, discover targets during the day and at night, as well as to shoot with laser-guided bombs and missiles,” Nenad Miloradovic, Deputy defense minister was quoted as saying in Beijing by B92 web portal Tuesday.
Leading Asian cardinal calls for Vatican foreign minister to resign over China dealings | Reuters Cardinal Joseph Zen, the most senior Catholic cleric on Chinese soil, said he believed the two sides were making a “secret deal”, although he acknowledged he had no connection with the Vatican and was “completely in the dark”. “They’re giving the flock into the mouths of the wolves. It’s an incredible betrayal,” he said.
Chinese willing to hand over control of UK nuclear plant | Financial Times $$ CGN, China’s leading nuclear energy company, has admitted that political sensitivities could prompt it to give up the chance to operate a new atomic power plant in the UK, as the group also outlined ambitious plans for an industrial partnership with Britain.
PRC residency card prioritized - Taipei Times The council is to propose draft amendments to the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例) that would require holders of Chinese residency cards to report to authorities, said high-ranking officials who declined to be named, adding that the council has yet to decide whether to bar cardholders from holding public office or national security-related positions.
Ties not part of China-Vatican deal - Taipei Times Diplomatic relations would not be addressed in an agreement between China and the Holy See that is reportedly ready to be signed before the end of the month to settle a long-standing dispute over the nomination of bishops, a US Jesuit magazine reported on Tuesday.
Chinese Cyber Spies Target Taiwan's Leader Before Elections - Bloomberg China, along with Russia and North Korea, may be increasingly testing out cyber hacking techniques in Taiwan before using them against the U.S. and other foreign powers, according to the Taiwanese government. The tests involve new malware tools mostly used to target government agencies including Taiwan’s foreign and economy ministries, said Howard Jyan, director general of its cyber security department.
Tech And Media
Prosecutors in Minneapolis to review Liu sexual assault case - AP Minneapolis police have finished their investigation into a sexual assault allegation against Chinese billionaire Richard Liu and have turned the case over to prosecutors. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman says prosecutors will review the evidence and make a charging decision. There is no deadline.
商汤成为第五大国家人工智能开放创新平台 | 雷锋网 雷锋网获悉，刚刚，科技部正式宣布，依托商汤集团建设智能视觉国家新一代人工智能开放创新平台。商汤成为继阿里云公司、百度公司、腾讯公司、科大讯飞公司之后的第五大国家人工智能开放创新平台。 // Alibaba Cloud, Tencent, iFlytek and Baidu were tasked by the Ministry of Technology to lead AI development respectively in smart city, medical imaging, voice reorganization and auto pilot vehicles last year. Now SenseTime – one of China’s biggest facial recognition unicorns – has joined the state-approved ranks to lead 智能视觉 "intelligent vision"
I've finished a translation of a deeply troubling article on: China's securitization of Xinjiang, Leon Technology (立昂技术) as a key actor (scant coverage of them), and deeply troubling details on why face recognition/AI tech plays a key role...(thread) https://t.co/mV21LLLSaASeptember 19, 2018
Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History
ThatsShanghai - ¥400,000 Shanghai Restaurant Bill Goes Viral According to a receipt issued by Maggie's Restaurant, otherwise known as 'Maggie's 5' or '西郊5号', in Hongqiao district on September 19, a group of eight diners indulged in an extravagant 20-dish dinner that totaled to a whopping RMB418,245 bill (or RMB52,281 per person). // Turns out it was not Prince from Dubai as first claimed, appears to be Fuer Dai. 41.8万元账单背后：疑似埋单人拥豪车2亿，老爸公司成仙股
Energy, Environment, Science And Health
Decoding Pandas’ Come-Hither Calls - The New York Times The bleat not only alerts other pandas to the presence of an available mate, it contains important information about the vocalist’s size and identity. Given the dense bamboo thicket that limits visual contact in most panda habitats and the brevity of panda mating season — females ovulate just once a year and can conceive for only a few days — the pandas’ ability to perceive the bleat is critical to reproduction among this once-endangered species.
China Set to Fire Up World’s First AP1000 Nuclear Reactor - Bloomberg The No. 1 reactor at the Sanmen power plant, designed by Westinghouse Electric Co., is expected to be ready for commercial operations Friday after completing a 168-hour test run, Shanghai-listed China National Nuclear Power Co. said in a statement to the exchange Thursday. It didn’t say when the unit, in the eastern Zhejiang province, will officially enter commercial power production.
Chinese probe to reach Mars in 2021 - People's Daily Online China is currently planning deep space exploration programs, said Li Guoping, Director General of the Department of System Engineering of China National Space Administration (CNSA) at the sub-forum on Space Exploration and the Future of Mankind. The probe will launch in July 2020, and is expected to land on Mars in 2021. China plans to conduct its second Mars exploration mission in 2028, with the intention of bringing back Martian soil for scientific investigation, Li noted.
Abalone demand by Chinese gangs depletes South Africa’s supply, costs the country US$60 million annually, report says | South China Morning Post Chinese criminal syndicates use crystal meth as a reward for gangs in the Western Cape, a region that includes Cape Town, to dive for the coveted delicacy; the abalone is fished illegally and outside of quota systems, according to a wildlife trade monitoring network
Beijing launches new crackdown on housing market irregularities - ECNS A task force comprised of 11 governmental departments will focus on malpractices related to housing rents, speculation, illegal agencies or developers, and fake advertising before the end of the year. Led by the Beijing Municipal Commission of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, the campaign also includes public security, the tax bureau, and the Beijing Banking Regulatory Commission.