US-China trade war; More on the Xinjiang "re-education" camps; Xi Thought study groups; Democracy can be bad for Belt & Road Initiative projects; "Dying to Survive" blockbuster

The first rounds of US-China tariffs go into effect at 12:01 AM EST on Friday, or just about 13 hours from now. 

You never know what President Trump may decide and announce on Twitter between now and then but so far there are still no public indications or even semi-credible rumors of any serious conversations underway between the two governments to forestall the tariffs.

I worry that Trump has underestimated Beijing's resolve, and that in fact believed that his "friendship" with Xi would keep China from retaliating, and that some of Trump's advisors have been telling him that the Chinese will have to cave quickly because otherwise their economy will collapse in the face of US tariffs. I would place those things into the category of "dangerous, wishful thinking". 

Secretary of State Pompeo is off to Pyongyang today. It would be surprising if Kim and Xi have not been talking about ways to leverage the US-DPRK talks to pressure Trump to modify his approach to US- China trade issues.

The US would have a lot more leverage and options in prosecuting the necessary campaign against PRC trade predations if it were not also launching trade wars against most of its allies...but you all know that already. Now all we can do is sit back and watch, and try to figure out where the offramp may be. Right now I do not see any obvious ones. If you do please let us all know in the comments.

Thanks for reading.

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The Essential Eight

1. US-China trade war

Trump’s trade war with China is finally here — and it won’t be pretty, analysts say - The Washington Post:

“Don’t expect the ‘war’ to be out in the open in some imaginary tit-for-tat tariff battlefield,” said James Zimmerman, a partner in the Beijing office of international law firm Perkins Coie LLP. “The real battle will be on the flanks”— in the form of unnecessary inspections, product quarantines and heightened regulatory scrutiny.

U.S. 'opening fire' on world with tariff threats, China says | Reuters:

Speaking at a weekly news conference, Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng warned the proposed U.S. tariffs would hit international supply chains, including foreign companies in the world’s second-largest economy.

“If the U.S. implements tariffs, they will actually be adding tariffs on companies from all countries, including Chinese and U.S. companies,” Gao said.

“U.S. measures are essentially attacking global supply and value chains. To put it simply, the U.S. is opening fire on the entire world, including itself,” he said.

“China will not bow down in the face of threats and blackmail and will not falter from its determination to defend free trade and the multilateral system.”

U.S. companies in China think the government is already messing with them​ - The Washington Post:

American business leaders fear these are the “qualitative measures” China warned it would unleash if President Trump imposed tariffs on its exports to the United States.

Just days before the first ­25 percent levy is slated to hit $34 billion in Chinese products, U.S. companies here say they’re already feeling the sting in the form of stalled product approvals, worker visas and licensing applications.

China tries to ease retaliation fears with pledges to help foreign businesses weather trade war | South China Morning Post:

Asked on Thursday whether China would target US-funded businesses in China to counter US restrictions on Chinese products, Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said it was not part of Beijing’s plan and, instead, China might compensate foreign businesses for losses from a trade war.

As for possible impacts on businesses from the trade war initiated by the United States, we will keep assessing the situation and make efforts to help [foreign] businesses to mitigate any possible impacts,” Gao said.

2. More on the Xinjiang "re-education" camps

‘It is about Xi as the leader of the world’: Former detainees recount abuse in Chinese re-education centres in Xinjiang - The Globe and Mail:

Authorities in China’s far western Xinjiang province have made loyalty to President Xi Jinping a central part of an extensive political re-education campaign that requires detainees to swear allegiance to the Communist Party while forswearing a Muslim faith that they are told to repeat is “stupid.”..

“Xi Jinping is great! The Communist Party is great! I deserve punishment for not understanding that only President Xi Jinping and the Communist Party can help me,” was one of the refrains that a Uyghur woman who was in a centre last fall, was forced to regularly repeat.

The woman, whose name is not being used by The Globe and Mail for her protection, was put through regular self-criticism sessions. Part of the content was cultural. “My soul is infected with serious diseases,” she would repeat. “There is no God. I don’t believe in God. I believe in the Communist Party.”

Other content was more explicitly political. Day after day she would say out loud that she was a traitor, a separatist and a terrorist.

3. Xi Thought study groups

New books about Xi Jinping thought and his early days spark creation of study groups - Global Times:

"I left my heart here." "Saying goodbye to Liangjiahe in tears." "Unforgettable Liangjiahe." These are the names of some of the chapters the contestants read. Among them is 82-year-old Shang Shouyan, who said the book should become essential reading for young people who want to serve the country and understand China...

The recitation competition was hosted by the government of Chang'an district, in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, in order to educate the public about the early life of Xi. The district has already organized over 150 recitation sessions among Party members.

According to Chen Xu, an employee at Chang'an district's Xinhua bookstore, the book was so popular among Party members that all copies sold out, according to Chang'an's public Wechat account.

A new wave of enthusiasm for the thought, teachings and life experiences of Xi, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Chinese president, has swept across China in recent months.

A series of books, either explaining Xi's thought in different areas or documenting his early years, have been published since May, and study sessions have been organized in universities, local governments, media organizations and among the general public to allow more people to learn about his ideas and life. 

4. Myanmar turning back to China

As Trump turns away, China gains in Myanmar | Asia Times - Bertil Lintner:

US policy towards Myanmar has never been only about promoting human rights and democracy. Even Obama’s engagement policy was meant to wean Myanmar away from China’s embrace. Those geopolitical concerns became even more urgent when it was discovered in November 2008 that Myanmar had signed a secret military agreement with North Korea.

Trump, on the other hand, appears to have deliberately disengaged with Myanmar. His inert diplomacy has reopened Myanmar to Chinese penetration after a brief dalliance with Western engagement. The so-called China-Myanmar Economic Corridor” is a vital part of President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which aims to better connect China with the wider region through massive infrastructure building.

Guo Shengkun meets with Myanmar's Minister of Home Affairs in Beijing - Xinhua:

Guo Shengkun (R), member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and head of the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the CPC Central Committee, meets with Myanmar's Minister of Home Affairs Kyaw Swe, who is here to attend the sixth China-Myanmar ministerial meeting on law enforcement and security cooperation, in Beijing

5. Democracy can be bad for Belt & Road Initiative projects

How big a role does bribery play in China's global influence/interference operations, and how important are bribery/kickbacks to the BRI?

Malaysia suspends fourth China-linked project | Financial Times $$ M:

Malaysia has suspended a fourth China-linked project in addition to the three infrastructure initiatives it halted on Wednesday, in the latest effort to cut government spending and to ramp up investigations into 1MDB, the scandal-hit state investment fund.

Lim Guan Eng, finance minister, on Thursday confirmed that Malaysia had suspended a RM3.3bn ($813m) gas and petroleum pipeline linking Malacca to a Petronas refinery and petrochemical integrated development project in Pengerang.

The move follows the suspension of three of its largest projects backed by Beijing — the East Cost Rail Link as well as two oil and gas pipelines — taking the total value of halted projects to $23bn.

Malaysia investigates China-backed project links with 1MDB: official | Reuters:

Malaysia is investigating whether part of a loan from a Chinese state-owned bank for projects worth $2.3 billion was used to help repay dues of a scandal-ridden state fund, a finance ministry official told Reuters.

The projects to build two pipelines were signed in 2016 by the administration of former Malaysian premier Najib Razak, who courted Chinese investment but was ousted in an election in May amid allegations of corruption at the fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

Chinese Firm Told to Suspend $20B Malaysia Rail Project - AP:

A Chinese company building a key rail link in Malaysia said Wednesday that it has been told to suspend work pending negotiations, and urged the new Malaysian government elected two months ago to honor the contract.

The suspension came just a day after Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng called for a sharp price reduction in the 688-kilometer (430-mile) East Coast Rail Link after discovering that the project's actual cost is 81 billion ringgit ($20 billion), nearly 50 percent higher than that estimated by the previous government.

Malaysia taps brakes along China's Belt and Road - BreakingViews:

this week's rail suspension may be more of a negotiating tactic. Total cancellation would result in penalties and waste at least some of the $5 billion already spent, largely on subcontracting work. Plus, Malaysia would benefit greatly from developing its poorer eastern coastline.

More likely, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, who has said dramatic cost reductions are necessary, and Mahathir are testing Beijing's flexibility with what is arguably one of the most strategic projects for the Belt and Road.

 6. New three year pollution plan watered down by lobbying?

China Tamps Brakes on Coal-Hauling Truck Ban - Caixin Global:

China is scaling back an ambitious proposal to ban the shipment of coal, ores and other bulk commodities by truck, following push-back from industry players worried about logistical issues and higher costs.

The changes were revealed in a plan released this week by the State Council, China’s cabinet, marking a large scale-back following a public comment period for the previous plan first announced in May. The plan is part of Beijing’s broader program to clean up the nation’s polluted air, the product of China’s rapid industrialization, since diesel-powered trucks used to transport such commodities are considered a major pollutant compared with rail and water transport.

The biggest change in the latest draft of the three-year plan saw the dropping of wording that would have banned all truck transport for coal, iron ore, coking coal and other similar bulk commodities to and from many ports by the end of next year. Instead such materials “in principle should be transported primarily by rail and waterways,” according to the version released on Tuesday.

7. "Dying to Survive" blockbuster

The film is produced by Ning Hao, director of the 2006 hit "Crazy Stone 疯狂的石头". It ounds like kind of a Chinese version of the Dallas Buyer's Club. 

China’s next box office hit? A dark comedy about smuggling cancer drugs from India — Quartz 

“Over the years since I became ill, the drugs have cost me my home and bled my family dry. Sir, can you tell me which family doesn’t have a patient, and can you guarantee that you’ll have a lifetime free of illness?”

The words are spoken by an elderly Chinese leukemia patient to a policeman confiscating her smuggled cancer drugs in the movie Dying to Survive, which opens nationwide in mainland China today (July 5). It already looks set to be a major hit, having won acclaim when it debuted at the Shanghai Film Festival last month and racked up thousands of raves on Chinese film portal Douban after preview screenings. At a show in Beijing this week, the audience stood for a standing ovation as the credits rolled.

Based on the true story of a businessman who became a savior for hundreds of leukemia patients struggling to pay for expensive imported drugs, it’s a rare example of a domestic movie that dares to tackle the cruel realities of middle-class life in China—in this case, the extraordinary lengths families go to in order to obtain life-saving medicines.


Film Applauded for Frank Portrayal of Generic-Drug Smuggling Case - Caixin Global:

The case of this generic medicine, banned in China but proven effective, highlights a legal and moral dilemma between market compliance and saving lives. In the film, the developer of the original drug demands the police crackdown on smuggling, and in the end, Cheng is imprisoned, but with a reduced sentence.

The movie debuted Thursday and is expected by box office tracker Maoyan to bring in 2.8 billion yuan ($420 million), even more than “Avengers: Infinity War,” the highest grossing foreign movie in China this year. This projection is based on the film’s performance during its sneak-peek screening that started Saturday and helped the production team earn more than 100 million yuan already.

Opinion: China Must Wake Up to Injustice of High Drug Prices - Caixin Global:

I had previously written a very similar article about this topic, so when I first saw “Dying to Survive,” I wondered if the producers had plagiarized my work. After some research, I realized that the filmmakers and I had drawn our inspiration from the same true events, which happened a few years ago.

In 2014, a Shenzhen court sentenced a man to 13 years in prison and fined him 15 million yuan (about $2.4 million at the time) for “producing and selling counterfeit drugs.” Media reports said the man in question had smuggled drugs into the country that hadn’t been approved by the Chinese government, and then sold these drugs to cancer patients. The smuggled goods included the chemotherapy drug Melphalan, and Imatinib, which is used to treat leukemia.

As a doctor, I understood how the court’s idea of justice in this case could be hard for China’s disadvantaged citizens to swallow.

A 2014 story on the case - Chinese 'Dallas Buyers Club' founder charged with fraud - Telegraph

8. US-China tech struggle just getting started

The AI arms race: the tech fear behind Donald Trump’s trade war with China | Financial Times:

America’s anxiety about Chinese technological prowess is reflected in Washington where politicians are rethinking their attitudes to foreign investment...

Many US officials are now questioning one of the basic assumptions about how the American economy operates: its openness to foreign investment. Nathan Sheets, a former Treasury undersecretary for international affairs in the Obama administration, says that when he entered government, he was sceptical of any efforts to restrain foreign investment but left convinced of the need to fight back.

“When I open up my textbook and read about the glories of foreign investment . . . one doesn’t have in mind a government amassing a war chest of several billion dollars and then going into a country to systematically buy up companies and technology,” he says. “As I left the Treasury I was quite concerned about where this was heading.”

Business, Economy, Finance And Trade

A $240 Billion Lending Binge Threatens to Burn China Brokers - Bloomberg Chinese brokerages are sitting on more than $240 billion of loans that grow riskier by the day as the country’s equity market tumbles. Extended to company founders and other major investors who pledged their shareholdings as collateral, the loans amount to 103 percent of Chinese brokerages’ net capital, up from 16 percent in 2013, according to Morgan Stanley. Losses on the debt could wipe out 11 percent of the industry’s net capital, analysts at the U.S. bank wrote in a report this month.

Shanghai Launches New Property Controls to Contain Speculation Using Shell Companies - China Banking News On 3 July Shanghai officially launched the “Provisional Regulations Concerning Standardisation of Enterprise Purchases of Commercial Residential Housing” (关于规范企业购买商品住房的暂行规定), which seeks to contain the use of shell companies for speculative investment in real estate. Shanghai’s new policy requires that enterprises purchasing commercial residential housing be established at least five years previously, have paid at least 1 million yuan in taxes within the municipality and possess at least ten staff.

Troubled HNA pledges luxury house on Hong Kong’s Victoria Peak for loan as it tries to repay debts | South China Morning Post House 6 at Twelve Peaks – one of the most expensive residences in Asia in square footage terms – has been on the market for sale but has so far failed to attract a buyer because of its high price tag, according to a source familiar with the deal. The asking price is not known, but a neighbouring property, House 8, this week changed hands for HK$130,000 per square foot, which would give House 6 a value of HK$550 million (US$70 million) at the same rate.

Stern Hu release: Here's why the former mining executive was convicted in China - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Mr Hu and three of his Chinese colleagues were arrested in 2009 during contentious iron-ore contract talks between top mining companies and the steel industry in China. The next year, they were convicted of accepting bribes totalling about $14 million and stealing trade secrets. Mr Hu was given a 10-year sentence, which was reduced for good behaviour.


Politics, Law And Ideology

China indicts former securities regulator's deputy chief, officials - Xinhua Chinese prosecutors have filed indictments against Yao Gang, former vice chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, as well as two other senior officials in three separate cases. According to the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) Thursday, Yao was accused of taking bribes and insider trading...According to the SPP, prosecutors in Fujian and Beijing also filed indictments against Chen Shulong, former vice governor of Anhui Province, and Zhang Huawei, a former vice-ministerial level discipline inspector, in two other cases respectively.

中共中央办公厅、国务院办公厅印发方案 明确全国扫黑除恶专项斗争督导工作6个重点————要闻——中央纪委国家监委网站 new circular on the 6 key areas of focus for the ongoing "sweep out the black, eliminate evil" struggle campaign targeted at local organized crime and its official supporters/protectors 《方案》指出,督导工作主要围绕以下6个重点开展:一是围绕政治站位,重点督导党委和政府贯彻落实习近平总书记有关重要指示和中央决策部署情况,贯彻落实扫黑除恶专项斗争的总体要求和实施步骤情况,专项斗争第一责任人、直接责任人切实履行扫黑除恶重大政治责任情况。二是围绕依法严惩,重点督导扫黑、除恶、治乱的成效,特别是发动群众情况,严守法律政策界限,严格依法办案,确保涉黑涉恶问题得到根本遏制情况。三是围绕综合治理,重点督导各部门齐抓共管,相关监管部门对重点行业、重点领域加强日常监管,形成强大合力、整治突出问题情况。四是围绕深挖彻查,重点督导把扫黑除恶与反腐败斗争和基层“拍蝇”结合起来,治理党员干部涉黑涉恶问题,深挖黑恶势力背后“保护伞”情况。五是围绕组织建设,重点督导整顿软弱涣散基层党组织,严防黑恶势力侵蚀基层政权,为铲除黑恶势力滋生土壤提供坚强组织保证情况。六是围绕组织领导,重点督导各级扫黑除恶专项斗争领导小组及其办公室充分发挥职能作用,加大统筹力度,层层压实责任,推动解决经费保障、技术装备、专业队伍建设等重要问题情况。

Xi congratulates CPC flagship magazine on its 60th anniversary - Xinhua n his letter, Xi, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, said Qiushi, which means "Seeking Truth," is an important ideological and theoretical front for the CPC Central Committee to direct the work of the Party and the country. Xi also hailed the magazine's painstaking exploration and unremitting efforts in research and publicity of the Party's theories. He called on the staff "to maintain the right political direction and right tone in public communication" and to better serve the overall work of the Party and the country. Founded in July 1988, Qiushi Journal has an annual circulation of more than 1.8 million. Its predecessor was Hongqi (Red Flag), which started publishing in 1958.

Top Chinese Rights Lawyer Resigns From Ruling Party in Protest - RFA Three years after the ruling Chinese Communist Party launched a nationwide operation targeting human rights lawyers, a top former rights lawyer has handed in his resignation as a party member in protest. Wen Donghai announced his withdrawal from the ruling party on Tuesday after being told that the party branch embedded in the state-backed Hunan Lawyers' Association was about to begin disciplinary procedures against him, and expected him to "cooperate."

Video: Concerns over whereabouts of Shanghai woman who splashed ink on Xi Jinping poster, as Twitter account disappears | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP Activists have expressed concerns over the whereabouts of a woman who posted a video of herself splashing ink on a billboard image of president Xi Jinping in Shanghai on Wednesday morning. She live-streamed the protest on the Twitter account @feefeefly, claiming in the video that she was suppressed by the central government’s “brain control.” She expressed opposition towards the Chinese president before splashing ink onto his photo in a “Chinese dream” advert near the HNA Building in Shanghai. “I oppose Xi Jinping’s tyranny,” she proclaimed, adding that she requested that international organisations intervene and investigate the Communist Party’s suppression towards her.

动画图解带你看懂2017年中国共产党党内统计公报--党建-人民网 People's Daily infographic on 2017 Communist Party Member Statistical Report

Chinese cartoonist Rebel Pepper finds artistic freedom in US - PRI For China’s most prominent political cartoonist, Rebel Pepper, a dissident with a gentle smile and a wicked brush, it’s the difference between life as a wild pig and a domesticated one. Kept pigs “think they live a carefree life because people feed them. But one day, they will be slaughtered,” Rebel, whose real name is Wang Liming, said in a May interview in Washington, DC, where he now lives.

China Perspectives 2018/1-2 - New Approaches to the Political Regime Under Xi Jinping Interesting issue, the intro and New Approaches to the Political Regime Under Xi Jinping are outside the paywall


Foreign and Military Affairs

China confirms inviting Japanese PM for visit - Xinhua China has invited Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for a visit at a time convenient for both sides, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said Thursday. "Diplomatic authorities of the two countries are maintaining communication on this issue," Lu told a daily press briefing, calling on the two sides to "meet each other halfway" to facilitate a favorable environment for the visit.

Chinese naval vessel spotted near disputed islands, Japan airs concern - Kyodo News A Chinese naval hospital ship was spotted just outside Japan's territorial waters around the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, the Defense Ministry said Friday. The incident, which took place early Friday, prompted Japan to relay to China through diplomatic channels that it was an act that could unilaterally raise tensions.

Xi to address CASCF meeting to promote ties with Arab States - Xinhua The announcement was made by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang. The meeting is scheduled to be held in Beijing on July 10.

Iranian Army Commander, Chinese Military Delegation Meet in Tehran - Tasnim News Agency In his remarks, the Iranian commander praised the bilateral relations between Iran and China as age-old and said the two countries are major and influential powers in the region and the world. He further emphasized that Tehran and Beijing face common threats at the regional and international levels, including the US government’s hegemonic system which is “the biggest threat to humanity”.

Facebook removes Paracel, Spratly Islands from China's map at Vietnam's request - VnExpress International Social network giant Facebook has complied with a request by the Vietnamese government regarding a wrongful depiction of its sovereignty. As of Monday afternoon, a map used for Facebook's advertising tool was found to have completely removed Paracel (Hoang Sa) and Spratly (Truong Sa) Islands in the South China Sea, which Vietnam calls the East Sea.

Chinese reconnaissance and strike drone completes maiden flight - Xinhua China's self-developed Yaoying-2, a new reconnaissance and strike drone, has successfully completed its maiden flight, according to developer Aviation Industry Corporation of China Thursday. Aimed at the international market, Yaoying-2 is a medium-altitude, low-speed, long-endurance Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) with both reconnaissance and strike capabilities.

Xi: Cherish China-Russia ties - China Daily China and Russia should cherish their strategic partnership and support each other as they always do to safeguard their core interests, President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday. Xi made the remark while meeting with Valentina Matviyenko, chairwoman of the Federation Council of Russia, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. At the meeting, Xi mentioned conferring on Russian President Vladimir Putin the first Friendship Medal, China’s highest honor to foreigners, last month. It reflected the special and important characters of China-Russia relations, Xi said.

Inside the Ring: China electronic spying threat - Washington Times Your Inside the Ring columnist took the risky step of renting a Chinese laptop — a model built by China’s Lenovo — through a hotel concierge. Lenovo computers are banned within the Pentagon over security concerns that the Chinese could use hardware contained in the laptops to send information back to China. The first problem using the rented computer was deciphering the Chinese language. A hotel assistant helped by loading an English-language Yahoo webpage on the computer browser. From the Yahoo site, a temporary email was created for the visit and used to file stories.

Investors feel more ‘assured, confident’ by presence of China’s base in Djibouti - Global Times Chinese investments in Djibouti have increased after the Chinese navy launched its first overseas logistics supply base there last year, a local business person said. After the Chinese navy established the base in Djibouti last summer, more Chinese companies have come to the country to do business, Ahmed Mohamed Arab, an investment and marketing officer at the East Africa Bank, told the Global Times. "When investing in a foreign country, security is always a big concern. China's first overseas logistic base in Djibouti gives Chinese businessmen more confidence in investing long-term," Arab said.

China is working on a new fighter jet for aircraft carriers to replace its J-15s | South China Morning Post China is developing a new fighter jet for aircraft carriers to replace its J-15s after a series of mechanical failures and crashes, as it tries to build up a blue-water navy that can operate globally, military experts and sources said.


Hong Kong, Macao

British same-sex couple granted spouse visas in landmark Hong Kong legal battle | The Guardian Hong Kong’s highest court on Wednesday ordered immigration officials to grant spousal visas to a same-sex expatriate couple, ending a closely watched years-long legal battle. Since 2014 a British national, known in court as QT, has been trying to apply for a spousal visa to accompany her partner, also a British national, who works in Hong Kong. The couple, who entered a civil partnership in the UK in 2004, have been repeatedly denied a spousal visa for QT on the basis that Hong Kong does not recognise same-sex unions as marriages.



Air India kowtows to Beijing, lists Taiwan as ‘Chinese Taipei’ | Taiwan News Air India has kowtowed to Beijing and listed Taiwan as "Chinese Taipei" after China demanded Air India, along with 33 other airlines describe Taiwan as part of China, or face punitive action two months ago. "Taipei, Taoyuan International Airport, TPE, Chinese Taipei" is now how Air India lists Taoyuan airport. // Comment: July 25 is the current deadline for US carriers to comply


Tech And Media

Huawei says roadblocks to US market are being constructed by its rivals · TechNode As the trade tensions between the US and China heat up, Huawei is striking back against a proposal by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that would prevent the companies that use Huawei equipment from accessing US federal funds aimed at developing telecommunications...The 69-page-long comments published on July 2nd is Huawei’s second filing on this to the FCC. However, what is new about the document is that it claims that those who support FCC’s proposed ban on funds are mostly Huawei’s competitors.

Xiaomi IPO Draws Bids at 9.4% Discount in Grey Market - Bloomberg Xiaomi Corp.’s debut is off to a bad start even before its shares officially start trading in Hong Kong on Monday. Some institutional investors saw bids as low as HK$15.40 on Thursday with no offers in grey-market trading, according to three people familiar with the matter. That’s 9.4 percent below the issue price. Others said the level was at HK$16.15 -- a drop of 5 percent -- though there were no firm offers either, according to Andrew Jackson, head of Japanese equities at Soochow CSSD Capital Markets in Singapore.

Mobike unveils first initiatives since acquisition by Meituan, including no longer requiring deposits in China | TechCrunch Mobike also upped the ante for competitors by announcing that it will stop requiring users in China to pay 299 RMB (about $45) deposits and will refund all deposits already paid. Mobike says it is getting rid of deposits to “establish a no-threshold, zero-burden and zero-condition deposit-free standard for the entire bikesharing industry.”

Bitmain - the Most Valuable Crypto Company in the World? This week, TechBuzz China’s very own Ying-Ying Lu and Rui Ma, along with guest co-host Joyce Yang, talk all about cryptocurrency – more specifically, the biggest crypto company in the world, Bitmain. With profits of 3 to 4 billion dollars last year, how did Bitmain manage to hold 70-80% of the market share of bitcoin mining hardware? What are their future challenges and how will the Chinese government play a role?

Chinese video app banned in Indonesia for inappropriate content - People's Daily Online Indonesia's Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, the organization that issued the ban, has said that Tik Tok contained substantial inappropriate content that might have had an unfavorable influence on children. The head of the ministry noted that the government would lift the ban after Tik Tok removes all illegal content and promises to regulate and maintain clean content.

Tencent Slaps Kids With USD75 Gaming Limit, Calls Folks to Curb Online Shooting | Yicai Global Chinese tech behemoth Tencent Holdings will reset its cap on gaming spending by minors at CNY500 (USD75) within the most recent 30 days to reduce minors’ irrational spending on online gaming products via an alarm mechanism, it announced today.


Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History

Divorce Boom After Gaokao: When Exams Are Over, Chinese Parents Finally File for Divorce | What's on Weibo Now that the gaokao, China’s national exams, are over, Chinese divorce rates are spiking. Soaring divorce rates after China’s national exams (‘gaokao’) are so common that separating couples are called “the gaokao divorce tribe” (高考离婚族).


Energy, Environment, Science And Health

China streamlines evaluation of scientific research - XInhua The country aims to reduce the number of assessments and improve the methods and efficiency of Chinese research by 2020 so that resources will be better allocated and researchers will be more motivated with enhanced innovation ability, according to the guideline issued jointly by the General Offices of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council.

China Bails Out Petrobras's $14 Billion Refinery Misadventure - Bloomberg China National Petroleum Corp plans to help complete a refinery in Rio de Janeiro that already cost Brazil’s state-controlled oil company Petrobras $14 billion before it was halted amid a widespread graft investigation. CNPC, as the Chinese producer is known, signed a letter of intent adding the Comperj refinery to a partnership the two companies signed last year. The agreement also includes evaluating investments in some of Brazil’s largest legacy fields at the offshore Marlim cluster.

China launches new space science program - China Daily China Wednesday launched a new space science program focusing on the origin and evolution of the universe, black holes, gravitational waves and relationship between the solar system and human. The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) announced to develop a group of four satellites in the program.

Bohai legacy highlights weakness in China’s marine law | China Dialogue A long and hard-fought lawsuit brought by a group of Chinese tourist operators against United States oil giant ConocoPhillips has quietly ended with an out-of-court settlement behind closed doors. Despite the absence of media attention on the ruling, to ignore it would be a mistake. The drawn-out litigation, which has lasted six years, holds important lessons for the development of China’s maritime law, particularly how to legislate the thorny of issue of accountability.

China's plastic recyclers go abroad as import ban bites | Reuters But while the factory, operated by Taicang Jinhui Recycling Co, remains a hive of activity, the company has been moving much of its capacity to Malaysia following Chinese restrictions on recycled plastic imports that came into effect this year. The curbs on imported trash have deprived recyclers of about half of what they need to produce the plastic pellets they sell to manufacturers of products ranging from office furniture to sheathes for fiber-optic cables. And with domestic supply hard to come by, many have had little choice but to move abroad to stay alive.



Beijing eyes adding Central Axis, including Tiananmen Square, to UNESCO heritage list - Global Times Beijing is preparing 14 heritage sites along the city's Central Axis, including Tiananmen Square and Chairman Mao Memorial Hall, in a bid to apply for UNESCO World Cultural Heritage by 2035. The goal is to have the Central Axis match the application criteria of the UNESCO World Heritage by 2030, and make it to the World Heritage List by 2035, said Beijing Municipal Administration of Cultural Heritage director Shu Xiaofeng, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Wednesday.