“Unwavering support” for private sector; Liquidation of Next Digital; Debating a "profound revolution"; Whitney Duan surfaces
Happy Labor Day to my US readers!
Today’s Essential Eight items:
Another pledge of “unwavering support” for the private sector
We still don’t understand the “Profound Revolution” article
Regulators’ comments on financial markets and opening may not as soothing as intended
The liquidation of Next Digital
More integration for Macao
Xi promotes 5 more officers to the rank of General
Whitney Duan calls Desmond Shum, author of “Red Roulette”
Thanks for reading.
The Essential Eight
1. Another pledge of “unwavering support” for the private sector
Vice Premier Liu He on Monday stressed advancing the digital economy for the high-quality economic and social development of China...
Liu...made the remarks in a video address to the China International Digital Economy Expo 2021..
The vice premier also called for efforts to vigorously support the development of the private economy, and encourage the private sector to play a greater role in stabilizing growth and employment and promoting structural adjustment and innovation.
The private sector contributes more than 50 percent of the tax revenue, more than 60 percent of the GDP, and over 70 percent of the technological innovations; it also provides more than 80 percent of the urban employment and accounts for more than 90 percent of market entities in China, Liu said.
He emphasized continuing reforms to develop a socialist market economy, unswervingly promoting high-level opening-up, and resolutely protecting property rights and intellectual property rights.
The principles and policies for supporting the development of the private economy have not changed and will not change in the future, Liu said
Question: Full, unwavering support for private businesses as long as the Party decides not to destroy an entire industry and the private businesses within it. In the last few months the off-campus tutoring and crypto-mining industries have been destroyed basically overnight. Are those the only industries that will be destroyed, not just rectified and better regulated?
Despite the warm words, prominent Chinese economists have called for policymakers to stop treating private enterprises differently from the public sector and state-owned enterprises.
Wei Jianing, a former research fellow at the Development Research Centre under the State Council – China’s cabinet – said policymakers need to “completely emancipate” their minds and provide fundamental legal protection for private entrepreneurs.
“[We need] to cure the panic disorder around private enterprises and let them be permanently assured,” he said at a symposium last Wednesday.
Rather than calling the regulatory efforts a "crackdown" as some foreign media had put it, Chinese experts said Liu's remarks reflect the true intention of the central government's unprecedented campaign: To benefit the long-term development of the industry, as well as the welfare of the general public...
It's understandable that some foreign media don't understand or even misinterpret China's current policy, Wei said, since China is embarking on an unprecedented road that foreign countries have never tried
Comment: No it is not simply a foreign media problem, given how many people inside China are confused and/or worried about recent developments.
Liu’s latest remarks are seen as a renewed attempt to reassure beleaguered stock market investors following months of tough regulations, with the government making moves to rein in market monopolies, as well as cybersecurity and business misconduct. The actions taken against tech giants, ride-hailing companies, and the after-school tutoring industry have made many in the markets anxious to see which sectors may come under scrutiny next.
This is not the first time that the vice premier has voiced the government’s support for private businesses. In a July forum about small and midsize enterprises, Liu said China’s direction for development — a socialist market economy — will remain unchanged, and that China will strongly encourage, support and guide the development of the non-public economy.
A Chinese venture capitalist, who asked not to be identified, agrees with Ren [Yi] that many of Xi’s policy objectives are admirable. “The way they’re doing it is very abrupt and abrasive — the optics aren’t great,” he says. “But these initiatives are not fundamentally wrong as long as they continue to protect private property and the market economy.”
His main concern, he adds, is the sense of unpredictability arising from Xi’s sudden offensives in the business and economic sphere over the past year. “These are the facts — at least as of today. Tomorrow we have no idea what’s going to happen.”
China is to adopt a government-guided pricing mechanism for off-campus curriculum-subject tutoring services for students at the stage of compulsory education, the country's top economic planner said Monday.
As institutions offering such services are categorized as non-profit organizations, the government will set the basic fee standards and floating range for both online and off-line classes, according to a circular released by the National Development and Reform Commission.
The commission urged local authorities to set reasonable pricing standards, taking into account the local economic development level and affordability for families.
The NDRC notice on the pricing regulations - 定了！义务教育阶段学科类校外培训实行政府指导价 _中国经济网——国家经济门户
2. We still don’t understand the “Profound Revolution” article
Comment: It should be amazing and worrisome to all of us that basically no one, including people inside the CCP system, actually know what it is going on at the top levels of the Party. One thing I am confident about (famous last words...) is that, as I have written repeatedly over the years, Xi has no interest in launching anything akin to the 1966 Cultural Revolution, and in fact everything he has done has been about controlling and channeling the masses, not unleashing them. Xi understands better than just about anyone that there can be not be the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation if there is another Cultural Revolution. But that does not mean he does not believe that multiple sectors of society and the economy need to be reined in and rectified to better adhere to his vision of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics. We may have a bit more clarity around the November 6th Plenum, emphasis on the word "may".
On August 29, 2021, a blog entitled “Everyone can feel a critical change is taking place” was republished across Chinese state-owned media outlets, including the People’s Daily, New China News Agency, the People’s Liberation Army Daily, Guangming Daily and CGTN. The author of the blog is Li Guangman, a retired newspaper editor and active online blogger who is largely unknown outside of ultra-leftist circles in China. Two days later, Hu Xijin, chief editor of the Global Times and a much better-known leftist, wrote a blog challenging Li Guangman’s central thesis...
In both its message and propagation by state media networks, Li Guangman’s blog can be compared to the first dazibao that was posted to a Peking University wall in the early summer of 1966. What we do not know is who is behind the effort to amplify Li’s voice? What is even more intriguing are the circumstances of Hu Xijin’s daring critique of Li Guangman. Hu is an insider with strong knowledge of how the Chinese government approaches propaganda. Either his own conscience has dictated his behavior, or he was encouraged by someone inside the government to challenge Li Guangman— perhaps someone wants him to speak up and test the limitations of acceptable discourse before they speak up themselves? Or, perhaps, insiders want to test the waters of public opinion before another government decision is made?
There is one thing for certain: this debate indicates there is raging debate inside the CCP on the merits of reform and opening up, on where China is today in terms of social and political stability, and about what kind of nation China wants to become.
Such diatribes aren’t uncommon on China’s internet, though they are typically confined to the margins. But on Sunday, the websites of major state media outlets, including the Xinhua News Agency and Mr. Hu’s Global Times, reposted the essay—a move that longtime Chinese journalists say could only have happened with the say-so from senior propaganda authorities.
Notably, state media outlets edited out one section of Mr. Li’s polemic, calling Ms. Zhao and another actress “toxic tumors” on society, while describing once-favored Chinese companies like Didi Global Inc. and Mr. Ma’s Ant Group as foreign agents standing in opposition to the people. That paragraph wasn’t included in the versions republished by state media.
Comment: Interesting that an editor took the time to delete what they considered to be excessively incendiary language.
According to a Beijing-based media source, verbal instructions from press regulators have been passed on to Chinese media operators about Li’s article, acknowledging that it had created greater impact than expected, asking them to balance it with “milder content”.
A media scholar familiar with state-messaging said it was significant that Li’s article did not make it to any printed form in state media.
“An article won’t land in printed form in [state] media unless it has a high degree of endorsement,” said the person, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic. “Now it might only be a test of public opinion.”
3. Regulators’ comments on financial markets and opening may not as soothing as intended
At Saturday’s China International Finance Annual Forum, Fang Xinghai, deputy chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), called for enhanced monitoring of cross-border money flows to maintain the stability of capital markets.
“It is normal for some foreign investors to relocate their assets considering the changes to international monetary policies. This won’t lead to big inflows or outflows,” he said in a video broadcast by state-owned China Central Television.
“However, we must prevent some foreign-funded institutions from facilitating market changes with their investment decisions. This is where we must pay particular attention.”..
“Malicious actions will be stopped in a timely manner once found,” he said, without elaborating on countermeasures.
The reference to malicious actions, which was not defined, was removed from the speech transcript posted online by the securities regulator on Sunday.
This report on Sina still has the "malicious" language in it. The definition of "malicious" is in the eye of the beholder, and in this case the beholder is the PRC regulatory system -方星海：重点防范个别外资机构恶意通过自己的投资行为进出带动整个市场的变化_新浪财经_新浪网
Official transcript of Fang's comments, positive for the Hong Stock Exchange and companies wanting to list there - 坚定不移推进资本市场对外开放 助力构建新发展格局——方星海副主席在中国国际金融年度论坛上的讲话
Second, we will further leverage Hong Kong's role in opening up China's capital market. The Hong Kong capital market is a part of China's capital market opening and development. Hong Kong's capital market has been playing a significant role in expanding the two-way opening-up of the mainland's capital market, supporting the financing development of Mainland enterprises and bringing in foreign institutional investors
The central bank will close loopholes in its financial technology regulation, and include all types of financial institutions, services and products into its prudential supervision framework, Chen Yulu, deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, said at the China International Finance Annual Forum in Beijing Saturday. Authorities will also boost foreign exchange market supervision at macro and micro levels, he said without elaborating...
The China Securities Regulatory Commission will improve its regulations for companies seeking overseas listings, and enhance channels for foreign investors to participate in China’s onshore securities futures market, Vice Chairman Fang Xinghai said at the same forum.
China will further open its capital markets to foreign investors, the country’s top securities regulator said on Monday, adding that it will pursue pragmatic cross-border cooperation to regulate overseas-listed Chinese companies...
“Opening-up and cooperation is the inevitable trend in the integrated development of global capital markets,” China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) Chairman Yi Huiman told a conference organised by the World Federation of Exchanges.
4. The liquidation of Next Digital
Next Digital, a Hong Kong media company that has published vehement criticism of the Chinese government for decades, said on Sunday that it would take steps to shut down after an official crackdown had left it with no way to operate.
In a statement, the company’s board of directors called for the liquidation of the company and said that they had resigned...
Next Digital said it would have remained solvent had its bank accounts not been frozen...
The Hong Kong Journalists Association has distributed cash vouchers to former journalists from Next Digital publications. But the journalists have been unable to receive government funds designated for laid-off employees of bankrupt companies because Next Digital still has money in the bank, even though it cannot access it.
Statement from the Board of Directors (PDF)
The Company has assets, but was prohibited from using them. No court order was required to freeze assets under the terms of the National Security Law. As a result, the Board determined that it must close down the Apple Daily operations in Hong Kong. On 24 June 2021, Apple Daily and its digital operations ceased publishing.
Following the arrests of the two directors of the Company and last year of founder Jimmy Lai, seven former Next Digital executives, editors and editorial writers have also been arrested under the National Security Law. The Hong Kong government has never indicated which articles published by Apple Daily allegedly violated the National Security Law. This uncertainty created a climate of fear, resulting in many resignations among the remaining staff at the Company in Hong Kong, including those responsible for the regulatory compliance duties of a publicly traded company.
We observe that the events affecting the Company and its people following the invocation of the National Security Law occurred despite there having been no trials and no convictions. Under this new law, a company can be forced into liquidation without the involvement of the courts.
The Security Bureau on Monday also accused Next Digital, parent of the defunct Apple Daily newspaper, of attempting to make law enforcement authorities a scapegoat after the company said a crackdown under the legislation made it impossible to continue operating.
5. Hong Kong
A notorious anti-China group in Hong Kong, named the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, put up a last-ditch resistance on Sunday.
In flagrant defiance of the rule of law, the organization refused to comply with police requests for relevant information and continued to attack Hong Kong's efforts to safeguard national security in an attempt to poison the public mind. However, its political tricks are doomed to fail and the collapse of anti-China groups in Hong Kong is inevitable...
Over the past 30 years, the group has been involved in anti-China activities in Hong Kong in the name of "democracy" and has never stopped inciting hatred against the country and the ruling party and challenging the bottom line of national security. It intensified efforts to hold illegal rallies and instigate violent confrontations in the last two years.
Even worse, it blatantly lobbied foreign organizations to interfere in Hong Kong affairs, urged the United States to impose sanctions on Hong Kong, and pushed for a "color revolution." Those activities have seriously damaged the fundamental interests of the nation and Hong Kong.
No one can escape justice.
The organisers of Hong Kong’s annual Tiananmen Massacre vigil said on Sunday that they will not comply with the city’s national security police’s request to hand in information.
The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China also denied a police accusation that they were backed by “foreign agents,” and said that – if the Alliance was any kind of agent – they were an agent of “Hong Kong citizens’ conscience.”
The withdrawal of Hong Kong’s wealthiest man, Li Ka-shing, from the race to join the revamped Election Committee reflects behind-the-scenes efforts by Beijing to reduce the political clout of the city’s tycoons, according to insiders.
The richest families behind the biggest property conglomerates were informed they would be restricted to having only two members each on the committee, several sources told the Post.
According to the plan, the reform and opening up of the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone will be comprehensively deepened.
The plan, issued by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council, was made public on Monday.
The general plan to establish the cooperation zone was approved by the State Council in 2010
The plan, which was shy on details, calls for the zone to further open up the financial sector and liberalize the service trade, including supporting more cross-border securities investment, experimenting with links to Hong Kong’s financial market, allowing cross-border use of the yuan, and offering more convenient foreign exchange management.
Lam attended the inauguration ceremony of the Shenzhen Hong Kong Pui Kiu College Longhua Xinyi School, a 12-year school jointly operated by Shenzhen and Hong Kong, to promote the exchange of talent in the GBA, as she led a delegation including Hong Kong government officials to attend the High-level Meeting & Hong Kong-Shenzhen Co-operation Meeting 2021 on Monday.
6. More integration for Macao
Hengqin is located in the southern part of Zhuhai city in Guangdong province, just across the Macao Special Administrative Region.
The total area of the cooperation zone will be about 106 square km, according to the plan...
According to the plan, the cooperation zone will develop new industries to help promote Macao's economic diversification.
Sci-tech research and development and high-end manufacturing will be developed.
Traditional Chinese medicine and other Macao's signature businesses, as well as industries including culture and tourism, conventions and exhibitions, and modern finance will be promoted.
Preferential policies concerning corporate income tax will be improved, the plan said, adding that measures will be rolled out to attract talent from home and abroad
The plan comes months after the National Development and Reform Commission decided to set up a special fund for projects in cooperation zones in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, including Hengqin’s in-depth cooperation zone, whose construction was first proposed (link in Chinese) by the CPC and the State Council in 2019.
Macao will play a leading role in the economic operation of the cooperation zone, while Guangdong will take on government responsibilities such as social management, said Mi Jian, a professor at the Zhuhai branch of Beijing Normal University.
According to the plan, a special committee consisting of officials from both Guangdong and Macao will be established to develop and manage the zone. The governor of Guangdong and the chief executive of Macao will serve as the committee’s two directors.
The plan, issued by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council and made public Sunday, is a major move by the central authorities to support Macao's development and will inject new impetus into the steady and sustained implementation of "one country, two systems" with Macao characteristics, said a spokesperson for the office.
Building the in-depth cooperation zone in Hengqin is of great significance to promoting Macao's appropriate economic diversification, enriching the practice of "one country, two systems," and pushing for the quality development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, the spokesperson said...
Stressing that the plan prioritizes the integration of policies and measures, the spokesperson said it demonstrates the central authorities' full recognition of the successful implementation of "one country, two systems" in Macao and their resolve to support Macao in integrating into the overall national development and to promote the long-term prosperity and stability of Macao.
7. Xi promotes 5 more officers to the rank of General
Xi promoted 5 more officers to the rank of General, after promoting 4 to that rank in July.
The promoted officers are Commander of the Western Theater Command of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Wang Haijiang, Commander of the PLA Central Theater Command Lin Xiangyang, Commander of the PLA Navy Dong Jun, Commander of the PLA Air Force Chang Dingqiu, and President of the PLA National Defence University Xu Xueqiang.
Xu Qiliang, CMC vice chairman, announced the orders of promotion at the ceremony, which was presided over by CMC vice chairman Zhang Youxia
Comment: Wang Haijiang is moving up quickly. He was moved from head of the Tibet Military District in March to become head of the Xinjiang Military District, and now he is Commander of the Western Theater Command
CCTV Evening News on the promotion ceremony
The promoted officers are Commander of the Southern Theater Command of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Wang Xiubin, Commander of the PLA's Western Theater Command Xu Qiling, Commander of the PLA Army Liu Zhenli, and Commander of the PLA Strategic Support Force Ju Qiansheng.
July announcement - 中央军委举行晋升上将军衔仪式--军事--人民网
8. Whitney Duan calls Desmond Shum, author of “Red Roulette”
The publication of the book has led to two phone calls to Shum from his ex-wife Whitney Duan, the first word from her in four years, Shum tells NPR. She told him to cancel to book publication, asked him to think how their son might be affected if something happened to his father, and asked Shum how he would be affected if something happened to their son - 'Red Roulette' Reveals The Inside Of China's Wealth-Making Machine : NPR
Tycoons like Jack Ma, the billionaire founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. , are “expendable” in the eyes of the party, Mr. Shum said. “They don’t own all the wealth they own. Part of their holdings are held on behalf of the red owners at the back.”..
“Alliances with businessmen were temporary as part of the Party’s goal of total societal control,” Mr. Shum writes in his book. “Once we were no longer needed—to build the economy, invest overseas, or help restrict freedoms in Hong Kong—we, too, would become the enemy.”
As I think back on the Ping An deal, I can’t really say it was corrupt. Although The New York Times would report in 2012 that the price we paid was lower than others, we actually paid the same price as two other shareholders who bought in at the same time. COSCO’s sale to us also wasn’t too dissimilar from deals like this overseas. Private sales of stock in unlisted firms are not done publicly. A large Chinese state-owned enterprise is not going to announce that it wants to sell one of its investments to dress up its balance sheet and then offer the shares in a public auction. Only people within a limited network are going to get wind of it — no matter whether the deal is done in Beijing, London, or New York.
excerpt of the first chapter
Business, Economy and Trade
市场监管总局：保护和促进公平竞争要明确规则、划出底线—新华社China will “rebuild” orders of market competition and set up “bottom lines” in its ongoing fight against monopoly and erosion of competition, Zhang Gong, head of the country’s market watchdog, told reporters at a conference this week. The agency will focus on a slew of misconduct including price gouging and dumping behaviors in group buying. Zhang added that the agency will “strengthen” the deterrence effects of major antitrust cases. 强化重大典型垄断案件警示震慑效应
Evergrande Contagion Risk Has China Junk Bond Yields Soaring - Bloomberg Yields on the notes, which are dominated by property firms, rose to 12.9% on Friday, a Bloomberg index shows. That’s the highest since March last year when concern over the coronavirus pandemic roiled markets. The broader selloff continued Monday with the bonds falling as much as 0.5 cent on the dollar, according to credit traders.
Evergrande bond trading halted on growing fears of cash crunch | Financial Times $$ Investors were briefly unable to buy and sell the company’s debt in Shenzhen in morning trading after prices fell more than a daily limit of 20 per cent, according to the southern Chinese city’s stock exchange. The yield on a renminbi-denominated bond maturing in 2023 was about 49 per cent prior to the trading suspension, data provider Wind showed. A separate bond on Shanghai’s stock exchange was halted because of “abnormal volatility”, according to a statement, before trading resumed.
多城楼市“限跌令”落地 部分房企因资金紧张降价_经济_宏观频道首页_财经网 - CAIJING.COM.CN A number of Chinese cities have sought to set the redline for how much property developers can reduce prices following a cash crunch facing developers and declining revenues. In Yueyang, which is believed to be the first city to implement such curbs, property developers are not allowed to sell homes below 85% of the official reference price.
多城楼市“限跌令”落地 部分房企因资金紧张降价—财经网A number of Chinese cities have sought to set the redline for how much property developers can reduce prices following a cash crunch facing developers and declining revenues. In Yueyang, which is believed to be the first city to implement such curbs, property developers are not allowed to sell homes below 85% of the official reference price.
Yicai - Shenzhen Second-Hand House Trading Hit 10-Year Low in August Second-hand house trading in Shenzhen has been sliding since the first-tier Chinese city, with a population of more than 20 million, launched official guide prices for second-hand housing in February. A total of 2,043 second-hand residential units were traded in August, plunging 81.96 percent year on year and hitting a new low for the same period in nearly a decade, China Securities Journal reported on Sept. 4.
Didi Denies Reports of Beijing Government-Led Takeover - Caixin Didi Global Inc. has denied reports that the Beijing municipal government is coordinating a proposal for state-backed companies to take a controlling stake in the ride-hailing firm as it faces regulatory scrutiny. Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg reported Friday that several Beijing-based companies, including Shouqi Group — which is part of the state-owned Beijing Tourism Group Co. Ltd. — would acquire such a stake in Didi.
JD.com Founder Hands Over Day-to-Day, but Retains Stranglehold on Overall Control - Caixin In a Monday filing to the Hong Kong bourse, the company said it had created a new president position responsible for such operations, and that it would be filled by Xu Lei. But unlike a string of founders of other major Chinese tech companies that have recently stepped back from daily operations — such as those of TikTok-operator ByteDance Ltd. and e-commerce player Pinduoduo Inc. — Liu has not given up his positions as CEO and chairman of the board.
Risks of Guinea coup to Chinese projects manageable - Global TimesGuinea is home to the Simandou project, the world's largest undeveloped iron ore deposit. The project has accumulated reserves of more than 10 billion tons of high-grade iron ore, and Chinese companies have invested heavily in the mining project. On June 10, 2020, the SMB-Winning Consortium jointly established by Singapore Willy International, Yantai Port Group, Shandong Weiqiao Venture and Guinea United Mining Supply Group officially signed an agreement with the Guinean government, acquiring the mining rights to two blocks in the north of Simandou worth $14 billion..."China is fully aware of the wavering political situation in the region and has experience in handling this kind of surprise change. It's hard to predict how much China will be impacted, because China's activities in the country have not been involved with local politics," He Wenping, director of the African Studies Section at the Institute of West Asian and African Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Monday.
Aluminium prices hit decade high on Guinea coup | Financial Times $$In the first seven months of this year, Guinea supplied China with 55 per cent of its bauxite supply, according to analysts at ING. China, in turn, is the world’s largest producer of aluminium.
混改升级思路渐明 央地国企透底上市计划—新华通讯社《经济参考报》官方网站 The plans for China’s mixed-ownership reforms are being “devised” and will focus on state capital operation and state firms’ “commercial” subsidiaries, the Economic Information Daily reported, without elaborating its sources. Increasingly, China is eying IPO and acquisitions in its push to deepen state sector reforms, part of its effort to “optimize” capital operation and improve competitiveness of state firms. 据《经济参考报》记者了解，关于深化国有企业混合所有制改革的实施意见正在制定中，将分层分类深化混合所有制改革，重点放在国有资本投资、运营公司出资企业和商业类子企业上。
China doubles reward for consumer fraud whistleblowers to up to $155,000 - Nikkei Asia The Chinese government will offer rewards of up to 1 million yuan ($155,000) for reports of safety problems or misconduct involving consumer products, double the current ceiling, to encourage employees and the public to blow the whistle on corporate wrongdoing. Set to begin in December, the bigger incentives respond to a steady rise in consumer complaints driven by the online shopping boom of recent years.
China to draw foreign investors into commodities futures trading | Reuters China will launch more futures contracts, including a shipping futures contract, and accelerate efforts to bring in more overseas investors to trade in its futures market, the State Council, or cabinet, said on Friday. China will also establish an international, yuan-denominated commodity futures market, it said in a statement on promoting trade and investment in its free-trade zones. // 国务院印发关于推进自由贸易试验区贸易投资便利化改革创新若干措施的通知（国发〔2021〕12号）_政府信息公开专栏
Four Things to Know About Beijing’s New Stock Exchange for Small Companies - Caixin The government has for years been pushing the financial sector to provide capital for SMEs and has launched several bourses to expand financing channels for them, most recently the STAR Market in Shanghai in 2019 that was also an initiative of President Xi. But policymakers have become increasingly concerned about SMEs’ continued lack of access to funding, especially innovative companies in emerging and high-tech industries. The BSE is part of a broader strategy to increase support for smaller businesses and help them tap investors directly for money rather than relying on banks.
Beijing unveils plan to build international consumption center city - CGTN In an implementation plan for this goal, issued by the Beijing Municipal Commerce Bureau, the city said it will carry out specific projects including those focusing on new consumption landmarks, new brands, digital consumption and the development of cultural, tourism, sports, education and medical consumption. Over 3,000 first, innovation and flagship stores of brands from both at home and abroad are expected to open by 2025 in Beijing. The capital will also build about 10 cluster areas featuring domestic time-honored brands and incubate more than 100 new consumption brands.
Bad Property Loans Rise as Rules Get Tougher - Caixin At least 10 of China’s large or midsize listed banks have reported a rise in their nonperforming loan (NPL) ratios for the real estate industry in the first half year, due in part to exposure to debt-ridden developers facing liquidity problems, according to Caixin calculations based on half-yearly earnings reports.
Taxation Can Be a Tool to Bolster Data Governance Goals, Tsinghua Professor Says - Caixin Data governance is too important to be left to market forces and companies’ self-discipline, Chong-En Bai, dean of the School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University, told a Beijing ecommerce convention in a speech on Friday. Instead, the government or industry associations should come up with a framework on data usage, he said. The uncertain impact of data on society means that there is an urgent need for proper governance, Bai said at the China International Fair for Trade in Services,
Yicai - Tougher Emission Standards Coming for China’s Coking Chemical Industry China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment is drawing up new emission standards for the coking chemical industry, which are likely to affect over 550 Chinese coking companies. The new standards aim to strengthen control and management of air pollutant emissions and promote improvement of technologies and sustainable development of the coking chemical industry, a member of the team at the ministry compiling the standards told Yicai Global.
No, China has not stopped investments into VIEs - by Fredrik Öqvist - China Tech Shorts The key early indicator that the moves from the Shanghai regulators aren’t stopping investments into VIEs is that they are stopping outbound investments into the Cayman’s. As we know from earlier the Cayman company is not the VIE, which is an entity incorporated in China. So if you’re stopping investments into the VIE, you’re actually stopping inbound investments or money-flows, not outbound. But more on this later.
Politics and Law
Nine Officials in Central China’s Zhengzhou Punished for Botching Covid Flare-Up - Caixin Vice Mayor Sun Xiaohong has been removed from her post, according to a statement released Saturday by the province’s commission for discipline inspection and its supervisory commission. The statement didn’t say when she was dismissed. Other officials who have been punished include Yuan Xueling, vice director of the city’s health commission, and Zhang Lan, director of the commission’s medical administration division.
十九届中央第七轮巡视完成反馈————头条——中央纪委国家监委网站 Failing grade for all the institutions of higher education inspected recently by the CCDI for their ideological and political construction work
China’s most popular app is developed by police and promoted by cyberspace security officer with huge social media followers | South China Morning Post An “anti-fraud” app developed by China’s public security ministry, which is able to filter spam calls and warn users of incoming phone calls from abroad, is now the most popular mobile app in the country, thanks to a state-sponsored promotion campaign.
China to strengthen historical, cultural heritage protection - Xinhua A new set of guidelines issued by the general offices of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council call for efforts to establish scientifically designed and effective heritage protection systems in urban and rural areas to provide strong support for developing a great socialist culture in China. The guidelines prioritize protection efforts, while demanding coordination between protection, utilization and the continuation of historical and cultural heritage.
91-year-old veteran of Chinese People's Volunteer Army produces short film about his experience with popular vlogger - Global Times A short film produced by a Chinese vlogger with more than 5 million followers on video-sharing platform Bilibili and a 91-year-old veteran who fought in the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea (1950-53) debuted at a warm reception on Thursday. Made to commemorate the Chinese People's Volunteer Army (CPV), the film is based on the veteran's experience during the war.
China regulates fan circles of SK idols, to further impact K-pop industry - Global Times Major Chinese social media platform Sina Weibo on Sunday night continued its rectification of Chinese fan groups following South Korean entertainers by blocking 21 fan accounts from posting for 30 days, 12 hours after it muted a fan account for a popular South Korean band BTS member for 60 days due to illegal fundraising.
6,952 Sina Weibo accounts suspended for publishing irrational contents about roughly dragging female in Xi'an Subway - Global Times A total of 6,952 Sina Weibo accounts have been suspended for publishing inappropriate comments concerning an incident in which a woman passenger was roughly dragged out of a subway car in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, by staff, including making territorial and gender attacks and even insulting the Chinese National Games.
“五位一体”谱华章（习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想学习问答（36））--党建-中国共产党新闻网 the 71st and 72nd entries in the Xi Thought Q&A series in the People's Daily are "为什么说文艺不能在市场经济大潮中迷失方向？Why is it that literature and art cannot lose their way in the tide of the market economy?" and "如何理解“过不了互联网这一关，就过不了长期执政这一关”？ How to understand 'if we can not pass the test of the Internet then we will not be up for staying in power for the long-term".
深化马克思主义中国化理论研究（构建中国特色哲学社会科学）--理论-中国共产党新闻网 Central Party School professor Xin Ming on page 10 of the Monday People's Daily - "Deepening the Theoretical Research on The Sinicization of Marxism (Constructing philosophy and Social Science with Chinese Characteristics)", concludes with:
By grasping the historical initiative and promoting the sinicization of Marxism, the Party can more actively adhere to the Marxist stand, viewpoint and method, unify the lofty ideal of communism with the common ideal of socialism with Chinese characteristics and with what we are doing, stimulate the vitality of productivity development by adjusting production relations, adapt to the requirements of economic basic development by improving the superstructure, and think and grasp the major issues of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation with a broader vision and a longer-term perspective. Actively adhere to Marxist thoughts on economic development and social construction, adhere to the principle that "production will aim at the prosperity of all people" and "all people will enjoy the benefits created by all people together", take the people's longing for a better life as the goal of struggle, continuously promote the all-round development of people, and make continuous progress towards the Common Prosperity of all people; We will more actively adhere to the Marxist thinking on the relationship between man and nature, uphold that man and nature are a community of life, promote ecological progress, and blaze a path of civilized development featuring increased production, an affluent life and a sound ecological environment. We will more actively uphold the Marxist character of struggle and revolutionary spirit, carry out great struggles with many new historical features, and carry out the great social revolution and the great self-revolution of the new era to the end.
Anti-pandemic, poverty relief role models awarded - China Daily A total of 182 people, teams, businesses and organizations received awards from the Ministry of Civil Affairs on Sunday for their involvement in the government-led drive to contain the COVID-19 outbreak and curb rural poverty. State Councilor Wang Yong addressed the China Charity Awards ceremony in Beijing on Sunday, which was also the International Day of Charity.
Vice premier stresses solid steps to consolidate poverty alleviation outcomes - Xinhua Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua has called for efforts to consolidate the achievements in poverty alleviation and ensure solid progress in rural vitalization..made the remarks during his inspection tour of northwest China's Qinghai Province between Friday and Sunday.
Foreign and Defense Affairs
Xi extends congratulations on founding of Int'l Research Center of Big Data for SDGs - Xinhua Chinese President Xi Jinping Monday sent a congratulatory letter to the founding conference of the International Research Center of Big Data for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In his letter, Xi noted that the founding of the center is an important move to implement his call at the 75th Session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly to support the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which sets clear goals for national development as well as global development and cooperation.
German ambassador to China, Jan Hecker, dies | DW Hecker had been ambassador only for a few days before he died. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said there was "no evidence" that the death was linked to Hecker's diplomatic role
Britain's Sharma arrives in China's Tianjin for climate talks | Reuters Britain's senior climate change official Alok Sharma arrived in Tianjin on Sunday to meet representatives from government and business ahead of the next round of global climate talks scheduled to take place in Glasgow in November.
West lacks clear plan to rival China’s ‘Belt and Road,’ Estonia says – POLITICO Europe, the U.S. and their allies need a better, single infrastructure investment project to rival China's Belt and Road Initiative, according to Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas. "We have many initiatives that actually tackle the same issue," Kallas told POLITICO in an interview, singling out the Blue Dot Network initiative by the U.S., Australia and Japan, and the Three Seas Initiative that covers Eastern Europe and has the support of the EU and U.S. "We need to connect them all ... This is what I feel is lacking," Kallas said.
Nato chief alarmed by construction of new Chinese nuclear missile silos | South China Morning Post Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has expressed concern about the construction of new missile silos by China that could significantly step up the country's nuclear capabilities. China was also rapidly expanding its nuclear arsenal with more warheads and a more sophisticated delivery system in an unrestricted manner, Stoltenberg said on Monday at a Nato conference on arms control issues organised in Copenhagen.
The US is our ally, China is not our enemy - opinion - The Jerusalem Post Oped by former PM Olmert I believe the demand that Israel restricts its civil relations with China and put a stop to the economic cooperation and strategic projects it has begun with Chinese companies is unjustified.
Israel opens China-operated Haifa port to boost regional trade links - The Jerusalem Post Israel has opened a new shipping port along its Mediterranean coast that will bring much-needed competition to a sector plagued by delays and boost the country's standing as a regional trade hub. The NIS 5.5 billion ($1.7 billion) Bay Port at Haifa, which will be operated by Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG), will enable larger classes of cargo ships, carrying 18,000 containers or more, to dock in Israel.
2021 Taihe Civilizations Forum launched online, casting eye on past, present and future - People's Daily Online Wu Hailong, President of the China Public Diplomacy Association, said that while this year's forum is being held amid a changing international landscape, a prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, a weak global economic recovery and dramatic climate changes, he hopes the forum participants will be able to share their insights into future trends, explore the relationships between major countries, address the existential threat to humanity posed by climate change, map out the strategies for vocational education revitalization, and guide young people in the right direction.
Hu Xijin - What drives China-US game: Washington believes being poor is Chinese people’s fate - Global Times As I often say, all Chinese are on the same boat in this struggle. We are not only responding to challenges for the future of our country, we are also fighting for the future for ourselves and our children. We must unite and use the powerful reality that will continue to form a force for the US to abandon its ambitions to crush China. This will force them to believe: Accepting the possibility that China, which has a population four times the US population, will exceed it in terms of total economic prowess. They must accept that coexisting with China peacefully will be their best choice.
US and its puppets' reaction to China's Maritime Traffic Safety Law reflects their supremacy mind-set - Global Times China's new maritime regulations don't hinder freedom of navigation. Instead, they have special and important significance in building a rules-based global maritime order. They also seek to guide the maritime security in the Asia-Pacific region to healthy development and maintain the security of sea lanes in this region.
09/06/2021 China MFA Press Conference China Review News: According to reports, Jeffrey Sachs, who heads the Lancet COVID-19 Commission, said on September 5 that "the global response to the pandemic has been wholly inadequate and one of the main geopolitical problems might have been the failure of the United States to work with China for global solutions". He also said that "China has done an excellent job of suppressing the pandemic, and the world could and should have learned a lot more from China's response". "The United States should learn some good manners to work cooperatively with China, rather than trying to impose its will on that nation", added Sachs. Do you have any comment? Wang Wenbin: I noted relevant reports. Christian Althaus, a Swiss epidemiologist, also said recently that China bought the rest of the world one to two months to prepare for the epidemic with its correct response.
Cyber slavery: inside Cambodia’s online scam gangs | Financial Times Li is part of a volunteer network of Chinese businessmen living in Cambodia. While authorities do target the criminal groups, the work of helping the victims to escape has fallen largely on this network, which raises funds from the Chinese expatriate community and arranges transport, safe hotels, food and, in many cases, medical treatment. They also liaise with authorities in Cambodia and China to organise victims’ paperwork and travel documents. Photos on Li’s phone show swollen faces and bruised bodies, serious injuries inflicted by fists, feet and weapons like knives, sticks and Tasers, he says.
FBI Warns PRC Targeting US-based Uyghurs US-based Uyghurs face threats and harassment from PRC authorities, according to a recently unclassified August 2021 FBI counterterrorism bulletin that IPVM obtained. The FBI warned such targeting violates US laws, yet continues “even as the US government (USG) has sanctioned Chinese officials."
Hong Kong star Nicholas Tse is giving up Canadian citizenship amid Chinese crackdown on entertainment industry | South China Morning Post Hong Kong actor and singer Nicholas Tse is applying to give up his Canadian citizenship amid rising concerns that holding dual citizenship may be viewed as unpatriotic by mainland Chinese audience. Over the weekend, Tse, who was in the wildly successful Chinese action movie Raging Fire , told the CCTV programme Perception Room that he is in the process of renouncing his Canadian citizenship.
19 Chinese military planes enter Taiwan's ADIZ - Focus Taiwan A total of 19 Chinese military aircraft, including fighter jets, flew into Taiwan's southwestern air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Sunday, the fourth time this has taken place in September, according to the Ministry of National Defense.
Chinese star calls time on Swiss watch brand after CEO says Taiwan is a ‘country’ | South China Morning Post Audemars Piguet CEO referred to Taiwan as ‘a very tech-oriented country’ in a video conversation months ago Actor-singer Lu Han and team had wanted the watchmaker to apologise on global platforms in Chinese and English
Venice Sparks Political Controversy With Taiwan Films Name Change – The Hollywood Reporter Heading into the Venice International Film Festival’s 78th edition, organizers created a rift with Taiwan by listing two films hailing from the island territory as being from “Chinese Taipei,” rather than simply “Taiwan” as they always have been in the past. Taipei’s foreign ministry insists that the two films — acclaimed filmmaker Tsai Ming-liang’s documentary The Night, which is premiering out of competition; and Chung Mong-hong’s family drama The Falls, showing in the Oritzzonti section — both were submitted to Venice under the name Taiwan.
Jessica Drun on Getting the Taiwan Narrative Right - The Wire China $$ That was what raised alarm bells for me. So many people in fairly prominent media channels were saying, “If you look at the language of our communiques, it says the U.S. recognizes Taiwan as part of China.” But the key point is, we don’t recognize Taiwan as a part of China, we acknowledge the Chinese position, and there’s layers there that need to be dissected. In diplomatic terms, “acknowledged” means simply to take note of the Chinese view that Taiwan is a part of China — not that we agree to it — while “recognized” means acceptance. Further, in the official language of the communiques, it doesn’t say whether the Chinese position is that of the Republic of China or the People’s Republic of China. We don’t even get close to language that touches on sovereignty or says the PRC owns Taiwan.
Tech and Media
Caixin Cover Story: Rescuing China’s Would-Be Chipmaking Champion Strategic investors chosen to lead Unigroup’s reorganization will need to tackle the massive debt pile. But a more challenging task will be reviving the company’s flash memory chip production unit, Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. Ltd. The Wuhan-based project is among China’s most ambitious attempts to build advanced semiconductor capabilities. In 2019, it started producing China’s first homemade 64-layer 3D NAND flash memory chips. In April 2020, it developed a 128-layer 3D NAND chip, which started production this year. But proceeding with the project will require massive future investment. Gu Wenjun, chief analyst at semiconductor industry analysis firm ICwise, said Yangtze Memory Technologies needs more than 500 billion yuan of investment over the next 10 years, while the company is unlikely to turn profitable for three years. Several market sources told Caixin that the Yangtze Memory Technologies’ massive capital needs are the most concerning challenge for potential investors in the Unigroup restructuring.
China Official Says Intelligent Vehicles Can Pose Security Risks - Bloomberg “If regulatory measures cannot keep up in time, network security issues such as network attacks and network intrusions may post major security risks,” Xin Guobin, a vice minister with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said at a forum in the city of Tianjin on Saturday.
Underage Gaming Limit Likely Led to ‘Honor of Kings’ Weekend Lag - SixthTone Many “Honor of Kings” players reported lag and issues joining competitions, mostly between 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday — when minors flocked online to redeem their permitted game time.
冲上热搜！豆瓣暂停回复功能 Replies stopped on Douban until September 13 for "technical reasons"
Chipmaker SMIC Inks Deal With Shanghai for $8.8 Billion Factory - Caixin The plant will focus on the production of 28-nanometer and above integrated circuits and technical services, the filing said, without specifying when the facility will begin operations
Yicai - Tencent Soars on Plan to Launch Personal WeChat Cloud Storage Payment Service WeChat may charge users on a yearly basis for this service. The price is likely to be around CNY180 (USD27.88) per year for iOS system users and CNY130 for Android system users, China Daily reported on Sept. 4. But the exact amount of data that can be stored for this price is yet to be determined.
China crisis for chip maker Arm - The Telegraph Despite Wu’s overtures, Chinese politicians have stayed out of the matter, at least in public. But Beijing may now spy an opportunity. China is among the jurisdictions where Nvidia needs approval from competition regulators to buy Arm, alongside the US, UK and EU. While Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority has expressed concerns about the deal’s effect on the wider technology industry, China may believe it can use the situation to strengthen its own microchip industry. // Comment: Shocked that UK and US regulators have not put Arm and Softbank through a very spiky ringer over this mess
Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History
Serious overloading, speeding found to be main causes of traffic accident that killed 15 - Global Times An initial investigation into the traffic accident that killed 15 people in Qitaihe City, Northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province has found one vehicle suspected of serious overloading and speeding and another in which the driver did not have a license. In the early morning of Saturday at around 4 am, a truck drove into a tractor from behind in Qitaihe City, leaving 15 people dead and one injured, state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) reported.
Survival of the fittest: sport the new arena for China’s children in tutoring crackdown aftermath | South China Morning Post A government shift towards making physical strength and ability a higher priority is putting pressure on children, parents and newly swamped coaches Beijing forecasts the sports sector to be worth 5 trillion yuan by 2025, a 70 per cent increase from 2019 levels
Energy, Environment, Science and Health
Yicai - China Is Said to Be Probing Bursting Heart Disease Balloons After Domestic Supplier Shift The National Medical Products Administration and the National Healthcare Security Administration are conducting multi-party verification to increase quality assurance, insiders told Yicai Global recently. This year, coronary stents and balloons were added to the centralized procurement scheme in many places in China. Prices of the products dropped by about 90 percent on average due to the program that has changed the supply chain to mainly involve domestic producers..."I recently performed an operation on a patient in which four balloons ruptured in a row and caused a perforated blood vessel. This has never happened before," a cardiologist who wished to remain anonymous said at a conference recently.
BGI prenatal gene test under scrutiny for Chinese military links | Reuters Health regulators in five countries are examining a prenatal test that collects the DNA of women and fetuses for research, while some doctors that promoted it and clinics that sell it say they were unaware the company that produces it also conducts research with the Chinese military.
Chile Approves Sinovac Vaccine for Children as Young as Six - Bloomberg A panel of experts at Chile’s Institute of Public Health approved the measure with five experts in favor of the use for kids over six, according to its website. Two experts voted to only give approval for children 12 and older while a final expert voted against any approval, saying that there still wasn’t enough available data.
China develops prototype Mars helicopter. Here's our exclusive interview with its developers - Global Times The newly developed and recently unveiled prototype miniature helicopter drone, a possible means to support China's Mars missions, is designed to become a navigator for the Mars rover. It will greatly boost the latter's ability to explore valuable targets on the surface of the Red Planet, the project leader said on Monday.
China Focus: Beijing sees dwindling local sources of PM2.5 pollution - Xinhua According to official data, the average concentration of PM2.5 in Beijing was 38 micrograms per cubic meter in 2020, the lowest since data was first collected in 2013. The city also saw 276 days with good air quality last year, an increase of 100 days from 2013. There were only 10 days of heavy air pollution, compared to 58 in 2013.
Xi sends congratulatory letter to 32nd congress of ICAS - Xinhua Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the 32nd Congress of the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences (ICAS), which opened in Shanghai on Monday..."The world today is undergoing a profound scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation, and aeronautical science and technology is facing unprecedented development opportunities," he said, adding that it is necessary and promising to carry out global cooperation in aeronautical science and technology.
School Blasted for Admissions Based on Students’ Apartment Size - SixthTone Parents claimed that the No.1 Experimental Primary School in the city of Heze rejected their children’s admissions, stating that it was because their apartments were smaller than 60 square meters, according to domestic media reports. They blamed the school for favoring wealthy families.
UK private schools face curbs on China links in Beijing’s education crackdown | Financial Times $$ The director at a leading bilingual school in Shanghai said he and other leaders would not be able to resist the clampdown. “Private bilingual schools are a part of the national education system and must be subject to regulation,” the director said. “If the government wants us to play down English language education, we will have no choice but to follow the order.”
2013 - Keystone Academy Beijing Pioneering a New Model of Education in China In Fall 2014, Keystone Academy Beijing opens its doors, officially setting into motion the molding of a new paradigm in Chinese education. The Academy, founded by Chinese and American educators and thoughtful parents, aims to cultivate global confidence, capability and ease through a groundbreaking academic program that combines the best of Chinese and Western pedagogies, and to prepare generations of young people to lead in bold new ways. // Question: Is Keystone Academy, founded with the help of Wen Jiabao's son, now subject to the same rules? From page 239 of Shum’s book: