Wang Yang Talks Reform And Opening; Zhao Leji Talks Party; Micro-lending, Big Risks?; Single's Day Home Run--Sinocism 11.13.17

Happy Monday...I have picked up a nasty cold and so today's issue is light on commentary. Consider yourselves lucky, it would probably be feverishly incoherent anyway..

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The Essential Eight

1. Wang Yang On Reform And Opening

Chinese vice premier pledges fair treatment of foreign firms as China opens up - Reuters

China should improve the business environment for foreign investors and further widen access to its services sector, Vice Premier Wang Yang wrote in the official People’s Daily, as the country seeks to raise its competitiveness in the global economy...

China must also protect intellectual property, not require technology transfer as a condition of gaining market access, and should treat domestic and foreign firms equally in government procurement and the country’s “China 2025” plan to upgrade its manufacturing sector, Wang wrote.

Comment: I don't see much to get excited about in Wang Yang’s Friday people’s daily piece on opening the economy. Nice talk, heard it before, clearly articulated as all in service of making China more powerful, competitive, richer. Perhaps the cynicism is unwarranted, but even if it is true no one should believe just promises anymore. Seek truth from facts, and actions.

Wang Yang's essay in the November 10 People's Daily - 汪洋:推动形成全面开放新格局--新闻报道-人民网 




China Says Foreign Firms Won't Be Forced to Turn Over Technology - Bloomberg:

While other Chinese officials have made similar pledges in the past about foreign technology, Wang’s statement stands out for the seniority of the person making it and its timing.

Comment: I am not sure I would take this to the bank even if the promise is coming from Wang Yang 

Xinhua's Economic Information reports that the Shanghai Free Trade Zone will be reducing many restrictions, more regions will experiment with free trade ports...Wang Yang's Friday People's Daily piece talked about the need or more free trade zones and free trade ports experimentation-上海自贸港贸易限制将大松绑 多地启动自贸港探索-新华网:


Wang Yang's People's Daily piece should be paired with this 11.11 People's Daily piece by Zhao Leji and Party Construction, Party Work, and the need for the Party to be everywhere. Foreign firms treated the same as Chinese firms means the Party will be everywhere in their businesses-赵乐际:全面理解和准确把握新时代党的建设总要求--新闻报道-人民网: 


2. Xi's Central Committee

Why Chinese Communist Party’s largest elite body now has a lot of new members but not many young ones | South China Morning Post:

Only two of the 376 members of the new body were born in the 1970s, making it the oldest Central Committee in three decades. That’s a stark contrast to the Central Committee formed a decade earlier, which was the youngest in half a century and included 25 people born in the 1960s...

“This term, the Central Committee is older overall,” said Beijing-based analyst Wu Qiang, a former Tsinghua University political scientist. “There is no sign of designating successors, and it has also broken the bureaucratic promotion system established in the past two decades, with Xi stacking the body with his own loyalists.”..

“This term, the Central Committee is older overall,” said Beijing-based analyst Wu Qiang, a former Tsinghua University political scientist. “There is no sign of designating successors, and it has also broken the bureaucratic promotion system established in the past two decades, with Xi stacking the body with his own loyalists.”..

The two youngest officials in the new Central Committee – both born in the 1970s – are 43-year-old Cai Songtao, the party chief of impoverished Lankao county in Henan province, and 47-year-old Zhou Qi, a stem cell biologist who heads the Institute of Zoology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Comment: Pay attention to Cai, Lankao, and Lankao's legendary official Jiao Yulu

3. Beijing is Worried About The Quad

Why joining Quad is not in Australia's national interest - Global Times:

For Australia to join the quad it could find itself holding the baby. The interests of others, all much bigger powers than Australia, could change in unexpected ways (remember Richard Nixon and Kissinger). It was a poorly thought through idea 12 years ago, and it remains so today. It is an intellectually bankrupt response to China's ascendancy, led by Japan which has contributed little if anything to regional leadership while it has pursued its narrow interests.-The author is chairman and CEO of Geoff Raby & Associates and a former ambassador to China

Quad redux: A new agenda for Asia's maritime democracies - The Lowy Interpreter:

The Quad’s origins can be traced back to the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, which decimated swathes of South and Southeast Asia. In a massive display of military capability and democratic soft power, Washington marshaled a flotilla of US, Japanese, Indian and Australian vessels to bring prompt humanitarian relief, in the process highlighting not only the UN’s (and China’s) limitations but the potential for maritime cooperation between the four oceangoing democratic powers.

4. South Korean President To Travel To Beijing Next Month For Summit With Xi

South Korea Leader to Visit China as Japan's Abe Left Waiting - Bloomberg:

South Korean President Moon Jae-in will visit China for a summit in December, his office said, with tensions over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program high on the agenda.

China and South Korea: Examining the Resolution of the THAAD Impasse | The Diplomat:

From its side, South Korea gave China three assurances, or the “three no’s”. South Korea would not consider additional THAAD deployment, would not consider the use of other U.S. missile defense systems and would not consider joining an alliance with the U.S. and Japan. It is unclear if Seoul coordinated these “three no’s” with the United States, but based on U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster’s reaction to a question before Trump’s Asia trip on the matter, it appeared to have been a product of behind-the-scenes South Korea-China diplomacy.

South Korea celebrity appears in Chinese ad in subtle sign of thawing diplomatic tension - Reuters:

Jun Ji-hyun, who has played the lead roles in hit movies and dramas such as 2013’s “My Love from the Star,” featured prominently on Monday on the product page of health goods maker Mentholatum on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s

5. Micro-lending Seems Problematic

Microlending Risks Grow - Caixin Global

But the low-value, no-collateral, short-term loans that these businesses thrive on have encouraged something known in Chinese as “borrowing from many sources” — individuals taking out small loans from multiple lenders simultaneously, and frequently borrowing more to pay back old debts.

Lenders, many of whom conduct business through online platforms, have difficulty distinguishing these borrowers from the rest of their customers, because many who use microlending services have no previous credit history to investigate. And those who fall behind on their payments can take advantage of the poor communication between lenders to take out loans with another business.

Comment: The original Caixin Magazine cover story “不可能”的信联" 

China Fintech IPO Fever Wanes as Regulators Weigh Crackdown - Bloomberg:

PPDAI priced its offering a week after news that Chinese regulators are considering a crackdown on the country’s cash microlenders in response to claims that some have charged excessive interest rates. The initial public offering of Qudian helped trigger the regulator’s review of the sector, people with knowledge of the matter said earlier this month.

6. Hikvision As The Video Big Brother

The Wall Street Journal examines video surveillance giant Hikvision. The Daily Mail had an interesting report on them last year, including details from a visit inside their headquarters. I am working on a security system for my home, contractors love Hikvision but they are banned from our house. If any DC readers have recommendations for good security firms let me know...

Surveillance Cameras Made by China Are Hanging All Over the U.S. - WSJ:

All the devices were manufactured by a single company, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology . It is 42%-owned by the Chinese government.

Hikvision (pronounced “hike-vision”) was nurtured by Beijing to help keep watch on its 1.4 billion citizens, part of a vast expansion of its domestic-surveillance apparatus. In the process, the little-known company has become the world’s largest maker of surveillance cameras. It has sold equipment used to track French airports, an Irish port and sites in Brazil and Iran.

Inside China's Big Brother HQ: Its cameras monitor millions of Britons. | Daily Mail Online 2016:

Last week, undercover Mail on Sunday reporters posed as businessmen to infiltrate its headquarters in the 'surveillance city' of Hangzhou in eastern China, to investigate its activities...

The Mail on Sunday was shown surveillance systems capable of singling out 'targets' in crowds within seconds by studying their faces and gait. Officials candidly told us their cameras in cities across China are controlled by the government which used them to track wanted people on a vast database of 'bad guys'.

Backing Big Brother: Investors are pouring into Chinese facial recognition firms - Reuters:

Smaller rival Yitu Technology, which lists more than a dozen provincial or municipal police departments across China as major clients, raised $380 million from investors in May, including Sequoia China.

DeepGlint, another Sequoia-backed AI company that has developed an intelligent surveillance camera that can capture faces as far away as 50 metres, told Reuters it derives almost all of its revenue from government contracts.

Thorny Question: Are US Universities like Stanford and Harvard investors in Sequoia's China fund, and therefore stand to profit from the surveillance boom (or bust, depending on which side of the system you are on...) in China?

7. Australia Looks To Have A Growing Number of Anacondas In Its Chandeliers

The cowardice of publisher Allen & Unwin should be good for sales of Clive Hamilton's book Silent Invasion: How China Is Turning Australia into a Puppet State. On a related note, does anyone have a list of Western law firms that do more than just commercial transaction work on behalf of the PRC?

Free speech fears after book critical of China is pulled from publication - Sydney Morning Herald:

Australian publisher Allen & Unwin has ditched a book on Chinese Communist Party influence in Australian politics and academia, citing fear of legal action from the Chinese government or its proxies.

The publisher's chief executive, Robert Gorman, said last week that it would abandon publication of a completed manuscript by Clive Hamilton, a professor of public ethics at Charles Sturt University, called Silent Invasion: How China Is Turning Australia into a Puppet State.

Author vows book exposing Chinese influence will go ahead after publisher pulls out | The Guardian:

“The Chinese government’s campaign is far more extensive than ever previously understood. If you’re going to analyse how Beijing is influencing Australian society and politics you have to analyse that activity of individuals and name names, and that’s what I’ve done. It’s a factual book with 1,100 footnotes and it has been meticulously researched, but short of redacting 100 names from the book there’s always the possibility someone might launch a vexatious legal act against the publisher, in this case Allen & Unwin.”

If you do not get the reference to anacondas about the pressure to self-censor to please the Chinese Communist Party see this 2002 essay by Perry Link- China: The Anaconda in the Chandelier. Link's point was about Chinese inside China, but clearly the anaconda has grown and is spreading globally. 

8. Singles Day Breaks Records Again

Comment: Even if there is some padding in the numbers the scale is breathtaking

‘Double 11’ Sales Day Is a Smash Hit - Caixin Global

Sales of merchandise sold by Alibaba affiliated platforms hit $25.3 billion in 24 hours, a 40% surge from a year ago., Alibaba’s major rival and the country’s second-largest e-commerce firm, also reported an impressive $19.1 billion yuan daily sales in this year’s festival...

During the 24-hour period of Saturday, Alibaba recorded a total 1.48 billion transactions in both of its Taobao market place and Tmall brand store. It got a fast start with some $7 billion worth of goods sold in the first 30 minutes of the event.

Mobile users were engaged during this year’s festival, as some 90% of the total sales were made on mobile devices, Alibaba said. That was up from 82% in 2016 and 69% in 2015.

Alibaba and in Media Spat Over Who ‘Won’ Singles’ Day - Sixth Tone:

Alibaba, China’s largest e-commerce company and the creator of the commercial holiday, was apparently annoyed after industry rival announced that its sales from Nov. 1 to 11 reached 100 billion yuan ($15 billion) on Saturday morning — an hour before Alibaba’s sales for the 11th hit the same threshold.

Wang Shuai, the vice president of Alibaba’s communications and marketing department, was quick to point out that’s number was based on 11 days, while Alibaba had only counted a single day’s sales.

China's third-quarter revenue beat estimates - Reuters:, China's second largest e-commerce firm, saw its stock jump 7 percent in after hours trading on Monday after it reported better-than-expected income for the quarter ended in Sept. 30, due to strong sales.

For fun, check out 功守道电影预告片 - YouTube, the official trailer for Jack Ma's short film on martial arts, in which he stars. Itseems a bit cultish, not sure this is good politically

 Business, Economy, Finance And Trade

China’s Bank Loan Growth Tapers as Year-End Approaches - Caixin Global The growth of China’s broadest measure of new credit in October fell short of what analysts expected as some of the country’s largest commercial lenders have already used up their respective annual loan quotas. Total social financing — the broadest measure of credit, which includes bond and equity issuance, trust loans and entrusted loans — stood at 1.04 trillion yuan ($156.6 billion) in October, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said on Monday. It was down from 1.82 trillion yuan in September but was still higher than the 886.5 billion yuan reported in October 2016.

China's Credit Data Show Signs Deleveraging Is Starting to Bite - Bloomberg Aggregate financing stood at 1.04 trillion yuan ($156.6 billion) in October, the People’s Bank of China said Monday, versus an estimated 1.1 trillion yuan in a Bloomberg survey New yuan loans stood at 663.2 billion yuan, versus a projected 783 billion yuan The broad M2 money supply rose 8.8 percent, compared with a projected 9.2 percent 

China to Give Foreigners Greater Access to Its Financial Sector - WSJ However, Mr. Zhu indicated the securities-industry changes would be limited, at least initially. He said detailed regulations still have to be formulated and declined to provide details on specific firms that are expected to participate, saying the securities opening would be for “single or multiple foreign investors” and would take effect “very quickly.”

Goldman Lays Groundwork for China Future Without Ownership Curbs - Bloomberg Goldman Sachs’s partner in China, Fang Fenglei, and his associates are open to selling a controlling stake in their local JV to the U.S. firm and the parties are negotiating a structure, according to people with knowledge of the talks. A key hurdle to the plan was removed on Friday after China said it would lift a 49 percent ownership cap on such ventures.

China’s Appetite for Deals May Be About to Swell - Bloomberg Deal-making activity will pick up now that the country’s 19th Party Congress is over, ending a wait-and-see period leading up to the event, said Carl Chien, JPMorgan Chase & Co. Asia Pacific vice chairman. Look for increased activity in the tourism and airline sectors, he said. 

Shenzhen’s Attempt to Cool Home Prices Pushes Developers Into Rental Market - Caixin Global Shenzhen is also considering allowing real estate developers to sell or lease their properties in bulk. The city government hinted at this policy in a draft guideline for accelerating development of the rental market. The draft was released for public comment in August.

National legislature orders annulment of illegal local trademark-related ordinances - Xinhua A working body of China's top legislature has ordered the annulment of a number of local trademark-related ordinances that contradict the country's trademark law.

China Steps Up Scrutiny of Public-Private Partnerships - Caixin Global Jiangsu province is stepping up regulation of public-private partnerships (PPPs) to stop them from becoming another financing platform for local governments to secretly rack up more debt. The province, the first to heed a recent Ministry of Finance (MOF) warning of a buildup of “hidden risks” in such deals, issued sweeping new rules in an effort to stamp out abuses of the system.

China bars billionaire actress Zhao Wei from stock trading for five years - Reuters Zhao and her husband Huang Youlong, through a company they controlled - Tibet Longwei Culture Media Co - made a failed attempt to buy 29.1 percent of Zhejiang Wanjia Co in late 2016. Zhejiang Wanjia was later taken over by another investor and renamed Zhejiang Sunriver Culture Co.

LeEco founder Jia Yueting ‘cannot keep’ promise of financial support to embattled subsidiary | South China Morning Post The former high-flying tycoon suffers a further blow to his prestige after earlier stepping down from top positions in the Chinese group whose rapid expansion had plunged it into debt


Politics, Law And Ideology

China starts extending supervisory system reform to nationwide - Xinhua ew supervision commissions will be subject to the centralized and unified leadership of the Party and supervise all exercising public power, said Zhao Leji, China's anti-graft chief, on Saturday. Zhao, head of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) and member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, made the remarks at a meeting in Taiyuan, capital of north China's Shanxi Province, preparing for extending a pilot reform of the supervision system to nationwide. 赵乐际去山西透露的重大信号

Party School teachers learning lessons in life - China Daily "Party School students are all officials at different levels in different regions and industries. If they share their insights based on their practical experience, it helps us teachers to understand the country better," he said.

China’s all-powerful leader should heed the lessons from history, former official says - The Washington Post Comment: Interview with Bao Tong //  Bao blames Deng for ending the dream of political change in China, and for instigating an era of corruption and growing economic inequality that “broke” Chinese society. But he has no faith in Xi’s anti-corruption campaign, which the government says has led to some form of punishment for more than a million officials.

China Vows to Root Out Public Sector Nepotism - Sixth Tone In the run-up to the annual hiring season for civil servants, China’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security has warned public institutions that they must ensure fair and transparent recruitment practices or face punishment.

In China's 'democracy village', no one wants to talk any more - Reuters The southern Chinese village of Wukan was once a symbol of grassroots democracy in China. Now, a year after the authorities quelled protests over land grabs and the jailing of a local leader, Wukan is locked in a stifling security squeeze. A rare visit to Wukan by a Reuters team and interviews with half a dozen villagers and sources familiar with the situation revealed that the village and surrounding area remain tightly policed as the government tries to maintain security at all costs.

China faces historic corruption battle, new graft buster says | Reuters Zhao Leji, appointed to the new seven-member politburo standing committee last month and tasked to lead president Xi Jinping’s signature war on corruption, wrote in the state-run People’s Daily that failure would lead to the party’s downfall.

Ex-head of Chinese news agency expelled from Communist Party for corruption | South China Morning Post Liu Beixian, editor-in-chief of the China News Service until retiring in February 2015, accepted bribes and expensive gifts while abusing his power to obtain financial gain for private enterprises, the watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, said in a statement.


Foreign and Military Affairs

Full text of President Xi's address at APEC CEO Summit - SCIO: Seizing the Opportunity of a Global Economy in Transition And Accelerating Development of the Asia-Pacific Keynote Address by H.E. Xi Jinping

Trans-Pacific Trade Partners Are Moving On, Without the U.S. - The New York Times Pointedly, the potential members of what is now called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership came to an early agreement on the broad outline of a deal while many of their leaders were meeting with Mr. Trump in Vietnam — itself

Spotlight: China, Vietnam agree to deepen partnership under new circumstances - Xinhua Moreover, the two sides agreed to properly handle maritime issues, promote maritime cooperation in various forms, including joint development, and strive to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea, on the basis of the consensus the leaders of the two parties and countries have reached. The two sides also agreed to cement coordination within international and regional frameworks such as the United Nations, APEC, the Asia-Europe Meeting and the China-ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and Lancang-Mekong cooperation mechanisms.

‘Better left untouched’: Philippines and Vietnam wary of Trump offer to mediate South China Sea disputes | South China Morning Post Trump’s offer in Hanoi on Sunday came just hours before Xi started his second state visit in three years to the former communist ally, which has emerged in the past year as the most vocal opponent of China’s expansive claims and militarisation of artificial islands in the contested waters.

Duterte Warms to Trump, but Keeps His Focus on China - The New York Times Harry Roque, a spokesman for Mr. Duterte, described his policy as a deliberate turn toward closer relationships with countries in Asia, and with China in particular. Mr. Duterte hopes his strategy will bring billions of dollars in Chinese investment, though the money has been slow in coming, said Richard Javad Heydarian, an assistant professor of political science at De La Salle University in Manila.

Philippines Dismantles Spratly Islands Huts After China Protest - Bloomberg The temporary accommodation for fishermen was being constructed near Thitu Island, about 816 kilometers (507 miles) southwest of Manila.

Full text of Chinese President Xi's signed article on Lao media - Xinhua Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday published a signed article titled "China and Laos: Working Together for a Community of Shared Future with Strategic Significance" on mainstream Lao media the Pasaxon (the People), the Pathet Lao, and the Vientiane Times ahead of his state visit to Laos.

China Enlists Western Media to Spread Its Message - WSJ Discovery said the “Time of Xi” project was conceived by its team and received help with research and access from China Intercontinental Communication Center, a company belonging to the Communist Party Propaganda Department. CICC, which bought the distribution rights for China and other Asia-Pacific regions outside Discovery’s footprint, didn’t respond to a request for comment on its foreign production partnerships.

Federal indictment alleges Saipan birth tourism scheme | Sen Sun, also known as Sam Sun, a Chinese national who overstayed as a tourist under the visa-waiver program, is accused of operating an unlicensed business that offered tour packages for pregnant Chinese women seeking to give birth on U.S. soil. U.S. citizenship is automatically gained by children born on Saipan and in the rest of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Tokyo, Beijing to hold summit with Seoul 'at earliest possible' - Nikkei Asian Review Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and China's President Xi Jinping held a bilateral meeting after the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings that ended on Saturday, and agreed to hold a trilateral summit with South Korea "at the earliest possible time." The meeting will be held by Abe, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang

Air Force to put whole country under its wing - China Military The Chinese Air Force aims to expand its effective combat zone to cover the entire country, signaling that it has become an all-around, modern, combat-ready force, a spokesman said on Friday. China's most advanced stealth fighter jet, the J-20, and the newest military transport aircraft, the Y-20, have recently entered formation training, Senior Colonel Shen Jinke said at a ceremony ahead of Saturday's 68th anniversary of the People's Liberation Army Air Force.

China eyes more talented civilian personnel in military - Xinhua With 11 sections and 62 articles, the regulation states the duties, status, assignments and treatments of relevant personnel. According to the revision, civilian personnel in the military refers to those who work in management or professional technical posts and are not in active service.  解放军文职人员条例修改后施行 时隔12年曝猛料


Hong Kong, Macao

Top mainland Chinese think tank sets up shop in Hong Kong, with Belt and Road mission | South China Morning Post The Centre for China and Globalisation (CCG) is co-chaired by Ronnie Chan Chi-chung, chairman of Hong Kong’s Hang Lung Group, He Yafei, a former vice-minister of China’s foreign ministry, and Long Yongtu, a former vice-minister at the Chinese ministry of commerce, who was also chief negotiator during China’s accession into the World Trade Organisation.  //  Comment: Has Ronnie Chan given up his US citizenship?



Taiwan's military says a missing pilot didn't defect to China, but speculation blooms anyway - LA Times Military search-and-rescue crews, as well as Taiwan’s coast guard, have turned up no sign of the French-made Mirage 2000 combat fighter or its pilot, the only person on board, defense ministry spokesman Chen Chung-chi said.


Tech And Media

LinkedIn Faces Setback in China as It Runs Afoul of New Rules - The New York Times This week the jobs-and-professional-networking service blocked individuals from advertising jobs on its site in China, after it ran afoul of new government regulations requiring it to verify their real identities, according to a person familiar with the situation. LinkedIn said in a statement that companies can still post job listings, but it did not know when it would again allow individuals to do the same.


Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History

Chinese cities look to host World Cup - Global Times The plans are an indication that the regions have the desire to support China as a host of the World Cup and could start making long-term preparations for this, Wang Dazhao, a Beijing soccer commentator, told the Global Times on Sunday. "For local governments, hosting a great sporting events such as the World Cup would mean an opportunity to improve their urban design and infrastructure," Wang noted.


Energy, Environment, Science And Health

What’s next for US-China climate cooperation? | China Dialogue expect working-level US-China climate and clean energy cooperation to continue but “energy” will receive the most attention compared to “climate”.

19 Academics Resign From Journal Over Alleged Plagiarism - Sixth Tone Nineteen members of the editorial board at Scientific Reports, an academic journal published by Nature, resigned in protest on Tuesday after the journal declined to retract an article accused of plagiarism, blog Retraction Watch reported. The article in question was written by three Chinese researchers at the Harbin Institute of Technology’s Shenzhen Graduate School. One of the authors, Liu Bin, is also on the journal’s editorial board.

China to get a third telescope for Antarctic observations - Global Times The AST3-3 telescope is expected to be installed on China's next round of Antarctic scientific investigation at the Kunlun Station, Wu Xuefeng, a research fellow with the Chinese Academy of Sciences Purple Mountain Observatory, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Blue Planet II so big in China it slows their internet | Daily Mail Online Sir David Attenborough could be the most viewed creature on Earth after BBC figures revealed 80 million viewers watched the new Blue Planet series in China alone.

Is China Ground Zero for a Future Pandemic? | Science | Smithsonian Long’s case is part of an ominous outbreak that began in China and could, according to experts in Asia and the United States, evolve into a pandemic. H7N9 first spread from birds to humans in 2013. Since then, there have been five waves of the virus. The fifth wave began in October 2016. By September 2017, it had infected 764 people—far more than any of the four preceding waves. Health officials recently confirmed that there have been 1,589 total cases of H7N9, with 616 of them fatal. “Anytime you have a virus with a 40 percent mortality rate,” says Tim Uyeki, the chief medical officer for the influenza division at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “that’s very, very serious.”

Environmentalists Criticize Alibaba’s ‘Green’ Packaging - Sixth Tone  But experts say Cainiao’s promotion of such “green” materials is misleading to consumers. “[These materials] will only biodegrade under specific conditions,” said Liu Hua, a toxics campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia in Beijing. “The process requires constant temperature above 50 degrees Celsius, between 50 and 60 percent relative humidity, and enough time for microorganisms to get to work.”


Agriculture And Rural Issues

Films of everyday farm scenes in China may not be Blue Planet but they are taking screens by storm | South China Morning Post Ducks waddle, corn dries, eels give catchers the slip: live-streams of such scenes are a big deal for online broadcasting in China. And for the villagers filming them, it’s not just about fun, but money, too



Chinese Grads Return Home With Degrees and Disillusionment - Sixth Tone this September, state news agency Xinhua coined a new term for students who have spent only a short period of time abroad and are unsure of their career paths: “bathing crabs,” a reference to hairy crabs dunked for a few hours in eastern China’s famous Yangcheng Lake and then sold alongside the genuine lake-raised crabs, which attract the highest prices.

There are a couple of housekeeping notes. First, please remember that your newsletter subscription is intended for a single recipient. Occasional forwarding is fine but If you would like to order multiple subscriptions please contact me directly. There is a discount for groups of five of more.

Second, the price of the newsletter is increasing on Saturday, November 18 to $15/mo or $168/year. Everyone who has subscribed before then will not see a price increase at least through 2018, including on your annual renewals next year. If you know people who are on the fence, or are considering a group subscription, now is the time to sign up before the charter rates end.