THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT *
1. Chinese Stocks Plunge Most in Six Years on Lending Curbs – Bloomberg a much needed regulatory intervention and pullback, doubt though that this is end of the Xi bull market // The penalties have raised concern that policy makers are trying to curb a surge in stock purchases using borrowed money, after outstanding margin loans surged to 1.08 trillion yuan ($174 billion) as of Jan. 13 from about 400 billion yuan at the end of June. The Shanghai Composite index jumped 67 percent in the past 12 months through last week on record volumes as individual investors piled into the market. “Regulators are concerned that shares have run too hard, too fast,” said Hao Hong, a strategist at Bocom International Holdings Co. in Hong Kong. “They want a measured increase in the stock market. After all, margin financing is one of the reasons for people to be bullish on brokerage stocks, and these stocks have run particularly hard.”
Related: 网络安全审查办法即将审议–东方网 In midst of Monday stock market carnage network security shares rose on news of a new network security review procedure to be presented next month to the “Central Leading Group For Cyberspace Affairs” (the official translation per its office’s website) for approval. Probably lots more room to run for security and defense industrial complex-related shares. And only more bad news to come for foreign, and especially US, technology firms in China // 东方网1月19日消息：昨天，
2. New Snowden Docs Indicate Scope of NSA Preparations for Cyber Battle – SPIEGEL ONLINE The Snowden documents show that, thanks to fourth party collection, the NSA succeeded in detecting numerous incidents of data spying over the past 10 years, with many attacks originating from China and Russia. It also enabled the Tailored Access Operations (TAO) to track down the IP address of the control server used by China and, from there, to detect the people responsible inside the Peoples’ Liberation Army. It wasn’t easy, the NSA spies noted. The Chinese had apparently used changing IP addresses, making them “difficult to track; difficult to target.” In the end, though, the document states, they succeeded in exploiting a central router. The document suggests that things got more challenging when the NSA sought to turn the tables and go after the attacker. Only after extensive “wading through uninteresting data” did they finally succeed in infiltrating the computer of a high-ranking Chinese military official and accessing information regarding targets in the US government and in other governments around the world. They also were able to access sourcecode for Chinese malware.
Related: Spotlight: Snowden files unveil U.S. attempt to control Internet – Xinhua The world-shocking global surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) is just the beginning of the spook organization’s sprawling efforts to control the Internet, show new revelations attributed to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The NSA is “planning for wars of the future in which the Internet will play a critical role” and seeking the ability to destroy enemy infrastructure remotely, German magazine Der Spiegel revealed in a recent report, citing “top-secret documents” from Snowden’s archive it has seen exclusively.
Related: N.S.A. Tapped Into North Korean Networks Before Sony Attack, Officials Say – NYTimes Spurred by growing concern about North Korea’s maturing capabilities, the American spy agency drilled into the Chinese networks that connect North Korea to the outside world, picked through connections in Malaysia favored by North Korean hackers and penetrated directly into the North with the help of South Korea and other American allies, according to former United States and foreign officials, computer experts later briefed on the operations and a newly disclosed N.S.A. document.
Related: China ‘stole Aust fighter plane design’ | Business Spectator Top secret documents have reportedly revealed that Chinese spies stole key design information about Australia’s new Joint Strike Fighter. The documents, which were disclosed by former US National Security Agency intelligence contractor Edward Snowden to German magazine Der Spiegel, show that Chinese cyber spies stole “huge volumes” of sensitive military information relating to the plane. The stolen information includes details of the fighter’s radar systems, engine schematics, methods for cooling exhaust gas and “aft deck heating contour maps”, Fairfax Media reports.
3. How the Communist Party knocked down Macau’s house of cards in just six weeks | South China Morning Post It took just six weeks for graft-busting Beijing authorities to show the city’s gambling kingpins that there is no such thing as a sure thing
Related: Chinese officials to meet Macau regulators as mainland tightens screws on gambling hub | South China Morning Post The drive to clean up Macau’s multibillion-dollar casino industry will move up a gear this week when officials from the mainland’s Ministry of Public Security are expected to arrive in the city for a key meeting with financial regulators and senior bankers. Details of the top-level gathering are being kept strictly under wraps, but sources with a knowledge of the arrangements have told the Sunday Morning Post that ministry officials would spell out details of a “live monitoring system” giving them unprecedented access to all money transfers made in Macau through the state-backed China UnionPay bank payment card.
Related: Macau Junket Looks Abroad as Corruption War Deters VIPS – Bloomberg David Group is shutting three of its seven rooms that cater for high rollers at casinos in Macau, it said in a Jan. 17 statement. The company, which runs rooms at casinos, including those operated by Sands China Ltd. and Wynn Macau Ltd. (1128), is taking the action as part of a re-organization prompted by an industry downturn, Frank Ng, the company’s director of corporate communications, said in a phone interview. “We’re adjusting our business strategy; this is a general trend in the industry,” Ng said. “We’re hibernating. Once we wake up, we can restart.” The company can reopen the rooms when the market conditions improve, he said.
Related: Macau croupiers anxious about future amid Xi Jinping’s anti-graft campaign | South China Morning Post A baccarat dealer at Wynn Macau, the 29-year-old has seen friends and family lose their jobs overnight as the smaller junket companies catering to mainland high rollers have fallen victim to winds of change. Until now, Leong has not been directly affected, but senses the writing may be on the wall after not being asked to apply for overtime during the peak Lunar New Year season, something that has always been a given.
4. Interview: Chinese News Assistants React to Arrest of Colleague Zhang Miao | Asia Society Jonathan Landreth, managing editor for ChinaFile at Asia Society, worked as an accredited foreign correspondent for The Hollywood Reporter and Agence-France Presse between 2005 and 2011. “Most foreign bureaus would be nothing without their Chinese news assistants,” Landreth said. He added that while harassment of news assistants has always been common, prolonged detentions like Zhang’s have been extremely rare. To get inside perspectives, we reached out to five Chinese news assistants for reactions to the Zhang Miao situation.
5. 经济参考网 – 财收增速23年后跌回个位数 专家称增速下行将成常态，建议下调增速预期“还富于民” Eco
6. The Plight of China’s Rights Lawyers | ChinaFile As the year came to a close, at least seven prominent Chinese human rights lawyers rang in the New Year from a jail cell. Under President Xi Jinping, 2014 was one of the worst years in recent memory for China’s embattled civil society. Bookending the year were the cases of two prominent legal advocates: in January, Xu Zhiyong was sentenced to four years imprisonment for his moderate criticism of government policy and leading the “New Citizens’ Movement,” a group advocating for political reforms in China. Outspoken free speech lawyer Pu Zhiqiang, who turns 50 tomorrow, has spent the past six months in detention as authorities continue to build a case against him.
7. Top leadership stresses Party’s role in state organs – Xinhua The Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on Friday heard work reports from the “leading Party groups” in the five major organs — the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress; the top legislature; the State Council; the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee; the Supreme People’s Court (SPC); and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP). President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, presided over the conference, according to a statement issued after the meeting. The meeting said the central leadership must be strengthened to rejuvenate the nation, deepen reform and advance rule of law. While the CPC Central Committee supports the work of the five organs, leading Party groups at these organs play a vital role.
8. China in 2015: What to Expect | The Diplomat Chinese President Xi Jinping has a full plate this year: a continuing anti-corruption campaign, a stated commitment to developing the “rule of law,” and a need to move forward on difficult economic reforms. Christopher Johnson, the Freeman Chair in China Studies at CSIS, gives The Diplomat his take on what to expect (and what not to expect) from China domestically in 2015.
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *
China central bank scholar sees GDP growth up to 7.3 percent in 2015: Xinhua | Reuters China’s economic growth may be as high as 7.3 percent this year, partly due to falling commodity prices, the official Xinhua news agency quoted an academic advisor to the central bank’s monetary policy committee as saying on Saturday. Song Guoqing was also quoted telling a forum that China’s consumer price index may rise in 2015 by about 1.6 percent, saying the sharp decline in prices of commodities including crude oil, iron ore and copper presented “a large bonus” for the economy.
What to Look for Beyond the Headlines in China’s GDP Report – Bloomberg comes out Tuesday AM Beijing time // Beyond the headlines, here are a few things to look out for to see the structural shifts occurring amid the slowdown.
China home prices fall as trends diverge among cities – Xinhua Of 70 large and medium-sized cities surveyed, 66 saw new home prices drop in December from the previous month, according to data released on Sunday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Meanwhile, new home prices were flat in Zhengzhou, Wuhan, and Ganzhou last month, while Shenzhen saw prices rise 1.2 percent from November, the NBS data showed. For existing homes, prices in 60 cities fell in December from the previous month, while eight cities recorded gains, with the first-tier cities of Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou seeing prices gain 0.2 percent, 0.4 percent, and 0.2 percent, respectively. Nanjing and Urumqi were flat in price growth, the data showed.
China Dream Ends for Handan as Steel Slump Spurs Property Losses – Bloomberg As policy shifts China toward greater consumption and innovation-led growth, Handan’s reliance on the steel industry for expansion has left it among cities feeling the brunt of adjustment pain. “Steel towns have been decimated many times before, in Pittsburgh, in the U.K., in France, in Belgium,” said Junheng Li, founder of researcher JL Warren Capital LLC in New York. “Handan has a choice: cling to steel and suffer an inexorable decline or invest in the future, wherever it may be.”
3 reasons why Tesla isn’t plugged in to China car market – MarketWatch 1. Lack of a market for ‘green’ products; 2. Large numbers of unregistered units; 3. Chaotic management // and probably poor government relations strategy and gr hiring
Chinese funds aggressively shorting commodities linked to copper dive | Reuters Chinese funds such as Shanghai Chaos Investment Co and Zhejiang Dunhe Investment Co are said by traders to be behind at least three big drops in copper in a year, one in March last year when the metal fell more than 8 percent in three days. Neither of these two funds returned calls seeking comment on the latest market moves. Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange fell to 5-1/2 year lows near $5,350 a tonne this week and was facing its biggest weekly loss in more than three years at 6.4 percent. Other funds involved include Flowinvest China Commodities Trading, Yihui Investment and Shanghai Discovering Investment, market sources said.
Kaisa Stress Spreading to Loans as Nomura Sees Big Selling Push – Bloomberg “There’s selling pressure coming from people who want to trim their portfolios to better manage any outsized concentration in developers,” Andrew Tan, head of secondary trading for loans and special situations in Asia ex-Japan at Nomura Holdings Inc. in Singapore, said by phone on Jan. 15. “I haven’t seen such a big motivation to sell in Chinese property loans for some time.”
Dealmaker linked to Zhou Yongkang case had ties with ex-vice-president | South China Morning Post October 2013 Hong Kong-listed mainland developer Fantasia Holdings provides a key link between Wu [Bing] and Zeng [Qinghong]’s family. Fantasia Holdings’ largest shareholder and executive director is Baby Zeng Jie, better known as Zeng Baobao, who is a niece of Zeng Qinghong. The company holds a controlling 58.8 per cent interest in Fantasia Chengdu Development, Zhongxu holds 10 per cent, while a person named Qiu Qiongming controls the remaining 31.2 per cent, according to Fantasia’s prospectus for its 2009 listing. Qiu’s identity is unknown, although the person has the same family name as Wu’s wife, sources said. // how many of these developers have what now may be political liabilities, and how well do their underwriters and investors understand those?
China’s shipyards brace for leaner times as oil slump sours rig building spree | Reuters As crude prices slide, oil producers are slashing new project spending. With a near 40 percent slice of a global market worth tens of billions of dollars, Chinese rig builders that offered juicy financing terms and discounts to leapfrog Asian rivals in recent years are now the most exposed to a slowdown.
POLITICS AND LAW *
Authorities hold CCTV producer Luo Fanghua, a member of Ling Jihua’s extended family | South China Morning Post Luo Fanghua, a 46-year-old producer at state broadcaster CCTV, was detained late last month, ThePaper.cn cited several people at her workplace as saying. Luo is married to Gu Yuanxu, the brother of Gu Liping, who is Ling’s wife. //Thepaper broke this news-央视财经频道制片人罗芳华被带走，系谷丽萍弟媳
CCTV fire culprit gets extended jail term for corruption – Xinhhua 12.26.2011 what does he know? // Xu Wei, former head of the construction office of the China Central Television’s (CCTV) headquarters, was convicted of embezzling 3.2 million yuan (US$506,000) from two CCTV subsidiaries to buy an apartment and pay air tickets and tours for relatives between 2005 and 2007, according to a verdict handed down by the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court last Monday.
Newly-appointed tourism official under investigation – Xinhua Huo Ke, deputy director of the China National Tourism Administration, is being investigated for suspected “serious discipline and law violations,” the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (ccdi) announced Friday on its website. Huo, 54, was named tourism deputy head in December, according to the administration’s official website. The appointment was officially announced by the State Council — China’s cabinet — on Wednesday this week.// ties with Ling Jinhua, just promoted out of his previous job in what looks like an obvious “lure the enemy away from his base” move…see next item
赵本山乡亲：他以往上坟都是大车队 去年仅两车新闻腾讯网 Zhao Benshan was quite tight with the Liaoning official who was just detained, and who spent most of his career in Tieling…many signs pointing to increasing problems for one of china’s most famous comedians // 在跟车队伍中，村民还经常看到时任开原市委书记魏俊星的身影，
China’s Graft-busters Target State-owned Firms Ahead Of Reform – Reuters The SOE anti-graft efforts coincide with China’s imminent roll-out of ambitious new guidelines to overhaul the country’s inefficient state sector. The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), the ministry-level body that directly oversees 112 central government industrial and service conglomerates, is expected to publish the reform plans before the end of March. “Currently the anti-corruption fight at central SOEs remains severe and complicated,” SASAC Chairman Zhang Yi said at an internal meeting last year, according to a post on the CCDI’s website earlier this month.
十余省书协“主席”为官员 官员作品可卖上千元新闻腾讯网 日前，
For sale: seats on Guangdong’s advisory body | South China Morning Post What price for a seat on Guangdong’ s political advisory body? If court documents in the corruption trial of disgraced provincial United Front Work Department chief Zhou Zhenhong are any guide, the positions were bought and sold for anywhere between 150,000 yuan (HK$189,300) and 945,000 yuan in 2008. The documents came to light on the weekend as the provincial authorities announced that the delayed meeting of the Guangdong committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference would take place on Feb 7.
Case law Chinese style–where is it going? | Supreme People’s Court Monitor This blogpost will look at how the Court leadership understands Chinese “case law” and how it sees case law to be useful to the judiciary.
Authorities’ silence can also be a gesture – Global Times Twenty-five years have passed since 1989. Profound changes have taken place. Why has the official line on Zhao [Ziyang] not changed? It is possible that the authorities feel no necessity to change the previous judgment on him. It is also possible that any misreading of Zhao’s role may have some impact on the present. In the past 25 years, China has pursued a path that Zhao and his think tanks opposed at that time, becoming the world’s second largest economy. China is using its actions and achievements to answer questions over the sensitive issues. The positive changes will only take place if the country continues to pursue socialism. If the political system is changed as a few people have called for, China’s hard work in pursuing reform and opening-up will be demonized.
Beijing citizens turn out to salute reformer Zhao Ziyang 10 years after death – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun More than a hundred people gathered at Zhao’s former residence where the sacked secretary-general of the Communist Party spent his final years under house arrest until his death on Jan. 17, 2005. Some Communist Party heavyweights, including Li Rui, a former aide to Mao Zedong and Tian Jiyun, a former deputy secretary-general of the State Council, also attended the memorial ceremony. “I believe many people have carried out the wishes of my father,” said Wang Yannan, a daughter of Zhao, during the ceremony.
广西凭祥警方击毙2名新疆偷渡者 1人在逃(图)新闻腾讯网 2 Uighurs shot dead in Guangxi, report says were trying cross border illegally // 中新网南宁1月19日电 (记者 王刚)1月18日晚，
Turkey’s Dangerous Game with China | Middle East Briefing A major question emerging from the Chinese announcement is whether the Erdogan government in Turkey is supporting and facilitating the smuggling of Uighurs into Turkey. Some among these illegals are believed to be extremists affiliated with the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) and the Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP), bound for Syria and Iraq, where they planned to join the Islamic State terrorist insurgency. In the past two years, as the Erdogan government in Turkey became more involved in the support for rebels fighting to overthrow the Assad government in Syria, Turkey began shifting its stance on East Turkestan (the historic name preferred by the Uighur group) and the recent upsurge in terrorist attacks in Xinjiang Province in northwest China, the home of the Uighurs.
Potemkin Review-Chinese Harmonism: a Critique As a political mantra, the Chinese term for harmony, 和谐, is mainly associated with Hu Jintao, general secretary of the CCP from 2002 to 2012 and so-called “core of the fourth generation” of the central leadership. Hu turned the slogan of “harmonious socialist society” 社会主义和谐社会 into a keynote of state propaganda during his tenure in power. Chinese harmonism qua type of discourse, however, encompasses much more than the word itself. This short piece will attempt to dissect and critique Chinese harmonism in the early twenty-first century. It will be argued that there are structural reasons prodding the regime into resorting to harmonistic discourse, whether or not the term “harmony” makes an appearance.
A new audience for US Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts’ 2014 Year-end Report | Supreme People’s Court Monitor Chief Justice John Roberts of the US Supreme Court may be surprised to learn that (an edited and translated version of ) his year-end report (linked here), is being read by tens of thousands of Chinese judges and lawyers. The reason is a translation by the Institute for Applied Legal Studies, affiliated with the Supreme People’s Court (Court), was published on the Supreme People’s Court website and distributed through its social media channels (Wechat and Weibo), as well by the social media feeds of local Chinese courts. What relevance does Justice Robert’s report have for the Chinese judiciary? It reflects how the Court considers foreign legal models as it seeks to reform the Chinese courts.
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *
PLA will not shy away from investigating China’s top military leaders, says anti-corruption official | South China Morning Post The People’s Liberation Army will no longer shy away from investigating high-level leaders to “maintain a positive image”, a PLA anti-graft official told China’s Global Times in an exclusive interview. Major General Yu Bencheng said the long-standing practice had done great harm to the military. In the past it had become so difficult to gain promotion in the army that people had put extra emphasis on establishing close links with those of senior rank, he said.
Chinese army to look into corruption in staff housing projects – Xinhua The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will start a two-year operation against malpractice and corruption in staff housing projects. Due to loose supervision, there are a number of problems in staff housing projects, said Friday’s PLA Daily quoting a notice from the PLA General Political Department, the PLA General Logistics Department and the PLA discipline inspection department. Chinese armed forces have built affordable housing projects for officers and servicemen since 1999. They are supposed to be moderate in size and equipment and should not be sold to civilians. However, the notice admitted that some housing projects were built out of budgets and aimed for luxury use. Some were sold to staff at unusually cheap prices and others were sold to civilians.
Closer Look: PLA Transparency Exposes Depth of Its Graft Problem – Caixin Although speculation that the officers has bubbled for a while, this is the first time the investigations have been officially confirmed. For this reason the PLA’s announcement improves its transparency on matters related to corruption. The sacked officials were involved in a range of departments and military regions and colleges. All were either military commanders or political heads, and most served as deputies.
China-savvy tea partyer takes helm of US House panel on Asia – AP Rep. Matt Salmon of Arizona is part of the tea party movement that advocates small government, a tough line on immigration and opposes President Barack Obama at every turn. But Salmon also brings a unique perspective on Asia. He spent two years as a Mormon missionary in Taiwan, where he learned Chinese. He says he has visited mainland China more than 40 times, and during an earlier three-term stint in Congress that ended in 2000, he met with China’s then-leader to help secure the release of a U.S. college researcher accused of stealing state secrets.
Loosening Beijing embrace, Sri Lanka reviews China projects – The Straits Times Sri Lanka’s new government will review Chinese infrastructure projects awarded under the previous administration, a junior minister said, a move bound to please Indian and Western powers concerned about Beijing’s access in the island state.
How Xu Zengping became the middleman in China’s deal to buy the Liaoning | South China Morning Post In the mid-1990s, the former PLA basketball star was contacted by officers within the PLA Navy with a secretive mission: go to Ukraine and buy the Soviet-built carrier
China’s security hardware firms seek to boost Mideast business – Xinhua Chinese security equipment firms tried to promote their business in the growing Middle East market at one of the world’s largest annual security congress Intersec opened here on Sunday. According to the organizers, this year’s Intersec attracted 1,237 exhibitors from 54 countries, while a total of 204 Chinese companies have brought their products to the exhibition. “We realized that keeping places under control is very important in the Middle East,” said Andy Wu, overseas sales manager at camera producer Unique Vision from Shenzhen, China’s Guangdong Province.
Japan seeks closer maritime defence ties with India | Daily Mail Online Japan’s foreign minister used a visit to India Saturday to push for tighter maritime security ties between the two nations, as Tokyo seeks to shore up its relationships in Asia to counter an increasingly powerful China. Fumio Kishida, who met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, is on his first overseas visit since Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe secured a landmark victory in national elections last month.// 日外相称中国藏南地区属印度 on visit to India Japan’s foreign minister says Arunachal Pradesh belongs to India
China-Korea Culture Wars and National Myths: TV Dramas as Battleground-The Asia-Pacific Journal This article offers a comparative analysis of the discourse on state building and national identity formation in historical television serials in China and South Korea. I assess The Great Han Emperor Wu (Han Wu Da Di 汉武大帝) (2005) and Jumong (2007) in light of contemporary nationalistic sensibilities.
Hundreds of Chinese nationals trapped in north Myanmar: report | Reuters Hundreds of Chinese citizens, including miners and jade traders, are among 2,000 civilians trapped by fighting between government troops and insurgents in northern Myanmar, China’s state-backed Global Times reported on Monday. The Chinese nationals and Myanmar civilians are trapped in the northern state of Kachin, which borders southern China, where the Myanmar military has been battling the rebel Kachin Independence Army (KIA) for years, the newspaper said.
Hacked news companies tweet Chinese fired on U.S. warship – Jan. 16, 2015 The Twitter accounts of the New York Post and United Press International were hacked Friday. Both companies tweeted that a war had broken out between the United States and China. At 1 p.m. ET, the Twitter (TWTR, Tech30) accounts of both companies reported that the Chinese military had fired a missile on a U.S. warship, sparking a full-blown battle. They also claimed the U.S. Federal Reserve was to make an emergency announcement about interest rates.
HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN *
Xi Jinping congratulates newly-elected KMT chairman – Xinhua Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) Central Committee, has congratulated Eric Chu for being elected as chairman of Taiwan’s ruling Kuomintang (KMT) party on Saturday. Xi said in a message that he hoped the two parties, for the cardinal interest of the Chinese nation, can continue working together to maintain the common political commitments of upholding the 1992 Consensus and opposing “Taiwan independence.”
Saturday Night in Taipei, and the Cool Kids Are at the Bookstore – NYTimes At a time when many bookstores in the United States are struggling in the face of an onslaught from the online retailer Amazon, Eslite is thriving. It has 43 stores in Taiwan and one in Hong Kong. The company has plans to open two branches in mainland China this year, in Shanghai and Suzhou. Sales rose more than 15 percent in 2013 in its listed arm, and profits are rising as well.
Is the PLA trying to invade Hong Kong schools?-EJ Insight They fear a new uniformed youth group, called Hong Kong Army Cadets, is intended to promote Beijing-style patriotism in schools. Interestingly, the Army Cadets are backed by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), raising concern about the Communist Party’s push to raise a generation of Chinese patriots in the former British colony. Some could argue that the PLA’s role in the youth cadet program is harmless but parents are wary about the Chinese army being involved in the raising of their children.
TECH AND MEDIA *
One billion harmful, erotic posts deleted in year-long Internet cleanup – Xinhua Chinese websites self-inspected and deleted more than 1 billion pornographic and harmful posts in 2014 in an Internet “cleanup operation”, said the country’s cyberspace watchdog Saturday. Authorities also closed down about 2,200 websites and 20 million online forums, blogs and social media accounts that had spread erotic and illegal content, said Ren Xianliang, deputy head of the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC). During the operation, domestic gateway websites have well cooperated, Ren said. Among the 1 billion deleted posts, 220 million were on four leading gateway websites, namely Sina, Sohu, Tencent and Netease. Two major search engines Baidu and Qihoo 360 deleted 130 million posts.
Alibaba-Backed Website Meituan Raises $700 Million in Financing – Bloomberg Meituan.com, the Chinese group-discount website backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA), raised $700 million from unidentified investors, with Chief Executive Officer Wang Xing saying it’s now worth $7 billion. Transaction volumes are expected to increase to 100 billion yuan ($16.1 billion) this year, and rise to 1 trillion yuan in 2020, Wang said Sunday at a media conference in Beijing. At the end of last year, the figure was 46 billion yuan, he said.
Chinese Dot-com IPOs Fading in 2015 After Record Year – Bloomberg About a half-dozen of the companies may hold initial public offerings in New York this year, according to analysts at 86Research Ltd., Rosenblatt Securities Inc., and JG Capital Corp. Among the most likely candidates are Dianping.com, a consumer review website akin to Yelp Inc. in the U.S., and Meituan.com, which runs a discount site similar to Groupon Inc., they said. After about 60 Chinese Internet stock sales in the U.S. since 2000, including 12 IPOs last year, the biggest names in e-commerce, search, travel and social networking have already listed, leaving fewer nascent firms ready to go public. Startups looking for capital are finding a crowd of deep-pocketed companies such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA) and Baidu Inc. eager to invest in smaller rivals.
Tumblr, still not blocked in China, to offer Chinese version-TechInAsia Free blogging and social networking site Tumblr is working on a Chinese version of its platform, according to iFanr. Some Tumblr users in China received invites to join the closed beta test of the translated site. While blogging platforms like WordPress and Blogger are blocked by China’s Great Firewall on the mainland, Tumblr is not (I used it to blog before starting this job for that reason). That’s probably due to the site not having a Chinese version and most of the content being more fun and shareable rather than serious and informative.
Samsung Loses Connection with Chinese Consumers in 2014 – Caixin Samsung’s market share fell by almost one-third in China last year. The country is the South Korean giant’s second-largest market after the United States, largely contributing to expectations it will see its first decline in profits since 2011. Data from CCID Consulting Co. Ltd. showed that Samsung’s market share in China fell from 20 percent in January, to 13.7 percent in October. It remained No. 1 in China market share, but snapping at its heels are Lenovo Group (10.7 percent), Apple (9.4 percent), Huawei Technologies Co. (8.5 percent) and Coolpad Group Ltd. (7.7 percent). Samsung’s sales decline continued in November, one of its dealers said. “Dealers sold 1.6 million Samsung phones in October, but in November the number was only 1.2 million,” he said
Top 10 advertising campaigns on Wechat – Marketing China During the last months, many fashion and luxury brands have opened a Wechat account, as reported by Fashionbi’s marketing research. The reason of its growing importance is that Wechat enables brands to have a one-to-one communication with their followers. Due its efficacy, an increasing number of global brands are integrating WeChat into their marketing strategies. With this APP, brands are looking for interact with its potential consumers through creative ways in order to capture their attention and get their involvement.
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY *
Mao’s Winding Road to Socialism – Caixin Mao also said Hunan should be an independent state. In an article published in September, 1920, he declared his opposition to establish a “Republic of Great China” and said that they should instead pursue a “Republic of Hunan.” This approach was necessary because “there were so few people in the country who actually understand what a republic means even though the country claims in name to be one.” He blamed the humiliation and suffering many provinces had experienced on the reformists’ fruitless mission of transforming a huge country while trying to keep all the pieces together. “Because there is utterly no hope in seeing the whole country built evenly, the best way to proceed now is to reject comprehensive construction and instead pursue the development of provinces individually and allow for the practice of provincial autonomy,” wrote Mao. He also argued, “it is best that (China) be broken up into 27 countries.”
Chinese tabloid journalists took pictures of dead body of pop star Yao Beina – Telegraph Three Shenzhen Evening News reporters were apparently let into Shenzhen’s Peking University Hospital by a doctor to take pictures of Yao Beina, who died of cancer on Friday aged 33. Yao’s agent, Bo Ning, said her family stepped in to prevent the photographs being published. “Do you have any bottom line as a human being!” Bo wrote on Weibo, China’s Twitter. The newspaper has since apologised.
China Focus » Heaven in the Heart: The Increasing Influence of Christianity among China’s Younger Generation These articles only provide us with a glimpse of the social, political, and organizational situation of young Chinese Christians, and from an external angle…Young parents often bring their infants with them to church. “Hopefully they will grow up happier than me,” I murmur to myself every time I see the parents walk out of the door, their baby in the stroller.
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH *
2 die from human H7N9 in E China – Xinhua two patients infected with the H7N9-strain of avian flu have died in east China’s Fujian Province, the local health and family planning commission said on Friday. In total, 15 cases have been confirmed in the province since the beginning of the year, according to the commission. Another human infection was reported in neighboring Jiangxi Province on Friday. Besides Fujian and Jiangxi, Shanghai Municipality and Zhejiang Province have reported human cases of H7N9 this winter.
Shanghai reports another human H7N9 infection case – Xinhua Shanghai on Sunday reported a new case of human infection of the H7N9 avian flu. The patient, surnamed Zhang, is a 69-year-old Shanghai citizen, the city’s health and family planning commission said. He was confirmed to be infected with the virus on Saturday and is being treated at a local hospital. So far, Shanghai has reported two human H7N9 cases this winter.
Scientists raise alarm on China’s fishy aqua farms | Reuters Fish farmers in China have been increasingly harvesting wild stocks in order to feed their caged varieties, putting new strains on the world’s oceans, said new research from scientists at Stanford University. China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of fish, contributing about one third of the global supply.
New HIV/AIDS Infections Surged 15% in China in 2014 – China Real Time Report – WSJ Global health officials have been urging China to step up its fight to prevent the spread of the disease. The World Health Organization’s China representative Bernhard Schwartlaender, said last year that “there is much more China needs to do” to prevent HIV infection. Stigma is a key problem in prevention, experts say. In a December opinion piece in the state-run China Daily, Dr. Schwartlaender wrote, “Perhaps most importantly, we must eliminate stigma and discrimination towards people living with HIV, and at-risk populations such as men who have sex with men, sex workers and injecting drug users.”
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