|If you like Sinocism please recommend it friends and colleagues using this link, or just send them here to subscribe. Thanks.
THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT *
1. China’s Stocks Rally for Biggest Gain Since 2009 on Financials – Bloomberg only about 50 points below Friday’s close. A needed correction looks to have been a great buying opportunity for those who believe the Xi Jinping Bull Market is still intact. But don’t confuse China stock market performance with underlying economic fundamentals…this market has never traded on those // The Shanghai Composite Index (SHCOMP) jumped 4.9 percent to 3,328.64 at 2:48 p.m., adding to yesterday’s 1.8 percent advance. The gauge plunged 7.7 percent on Monday after the China Securities Regulatory Commission suspended three brokerages from loaning money to new equity-trading clients and said brokers shouldn’t lend to investors with assets below 500,000 yuan ($80,380). “We would suggest that the regulator is not trying to reverse the bull trend in the overall market,” Jonathan Garner and Laura Wang, strategists at Morgan Stanley, wrote in a report. “The A-share bull run is intact although it is likely to proceed at a slower pace from here on out.”
Related: Closer Look: Stock Market Wasn’t Burning Down, but CSRC Doused It Anyway – Caixin The logic behind the move to tighten rules is simple. Much of the growth in the stock market over the past several months was driven not by improvements in the economic fundamentals, but by a surge in leveraged investments. Retail investors were pouring capital into the market, many apparently unaware of the risks. It is the CSRC’s job to prevent risks from worsening. But the message could have been sent to investors in a way that disturbed the market less. For all the perils, the market was not facing immediate danger. It took more than three months for the outstanding value of all margin-trading accounts to reach 1.1 trillion yuan from only several hundred billion yuan. If the regulator wanted to curb margin trading, it could have done so slowly.
Related: Xi asks party organs to support independent judicial system – Xinhua President Xi Jinping ordered party departments on Tuesday to support judges and prosecutors to exercise their duties independently. Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, made the remarks in a written instruction on political and legal work. The central conference on political and legal work was convened in Beijing on Tuesday. Party committees at all levels should set an example of abiding by the law, he wrote. They should enable law enforcement agencies and judicial departments to work independently according to the Constitution and laws and “create a favorable environment” for them to do so, he wrote.
Related: China to abolish arrest, conviction rate targets: state media | Reuters The Political and Legal Committee, a secretive body overseeing the legal and security services, said on Tuesday that its units and law enforcement authorities “must resolutely cancel targets for criminal detention, arrests, prosecutions, convictions, settlements and other unreasonable targets for assessment”, state news agency Xinhua said on its microblog.// 中央政法委：取消有罪判决率、
3. China to instill national characteristics in think tanks – Xinhua There are no high-end think tanks with major influence and global prestige; research results are limited; resources are not appropriately allocated and there are few prominent leading figures, the guideline said. Strategic issues and public policies will be the main fields of endeavor, supporting the Party and government in making policy and decisions. Think tanks should be non-profitable. The guideline proposed 50 to 100 think tanks become high-end think tanks with specialties. The guideline also called for system reform by hiring foreign experts, building overseas branches of Chinese think tanks, and strengthening international cooperation.
Related: CCP General Office and State Council General Office Opinions concerning Strengthening the Construction of New Types of Think Tanks with Chinese Characteristics | China Copyright and Media In order to deeply implement the spirit of the 18th Party Congress and the 3rd and 4th Plenums of the 18th Party Congress, strengthen the construction of new types of think tanks with Chinese characteristics and establish and complete a policymaking consultancy system, the following Opinion is formulated.
4. Shanghai govt releases report on stampede tragedy- China Daily Eleven officials in Shanghai were punished over the New Year’s Eve stampede that left 36 people dead and 49 injured. Four top district officials, includingthe Huangpu district Party chief, district governor and police chief as well as deputy police chief, were sacked for insufficient preparation and response in the New Year’s Eve stampede, according the decision of Shanghai municipal authorities. Seven other officials in tourism, public security and urban management, received disciplinary punishments, said the decision announced Wednesday at a press conference.
Related: 上海公布外滩踩踏问责结果 黄浦区书记被撤_政经频道_财新网 定性为“
5. Provincial, Regional Gov’ts Prepare for a More Frugal Future – Caixin Six provincial and regional governments have reported that they missed their targets for revenue growth in 2014, as the country’s economy slowed down, prompting the cabinet to give its advice on how they can balance their budgets. Twenty governments of China’s regions, provinces and municipalities published information about their income for last year as of January 15. Sichuan, Hunan, Shandong and Jilin provinces and the regions of Guangxi and Ningxia all said they fell short of their goal. Eighteen had lower growth rates than in 2013; only Shanghai and Guangdong did better.
6. China Boots Up an Internet Banking Industry – Caixin translation of recent Caixin cover story // Tencent has developed face recognition technology that can be applied and used with any computer or mobile terminal. It reads facial characteristics and compares them with what appears in photos on personal identification cards and in police databases. A central bank official said questions still remain about the reliability of Tencent’s technology. Another issue is privacy protection. Wang Qiang, a vice president for overseas data at Wells Fargo, said face recognition technologies are rarely used in the U.S. financial sector. Sources said that after their January meeting with bankers in Beijing, central bank officials asked WeBank executives to come up with a bank-account opening plan based on face recognition technology and identity documentation using the Internet. Once the plan has been drafted, a central bank team is expected to conduct an evaluation and launch a pilot project to test the waters. If the physical presence hurdle can be overcome, said a source at a state-run bank, WeBank and ZBIC might be able to sign up millions of clients.
Related: 习近平考察腾讯公司 笑问马化腾微博粉丝多少-中新网 Very interesting description from 12.14.2012 of Xi Jinping’s visit to Tencent HQ during his first “southern tour”…and some of the uses of all the data Tencent collects // 总书记不断询问一些相关问题，
Related: 中央外宣办原副局长高剑云涉收钱删帖被查 w
8. Obama, Citing China as Rival, Warns Lawmakers Over Inaction on Trade Measure – NYTimes.com President Obama held up China as a formidable rival to the global influence of the United States in his annual State of the Union address on Tuesday, warning lawmakers that failure to take action on trade legislation could be tantamount to ceding America’s leadership role to Beijing.
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *
PLC – Draft Foreign Investment Law open for comment until February 17 useful summary // The Ministry of Commerce has opened for public comment the Draft Foreign Investment Law of the People’s Republic of China. When enacted, the new law will replace the current regime for foreign investment into China. The last day for comments is February 17, 2015.
What Happens When a Foreign Investor Holds Chinese Bonds That Default – Bloomberg Bondholders of Suntech, Ocean Grand Holdings Ltd., Celestial Nutrifoods Ltd. and China Milk Products Group Ltd. got 5 percent or less while investors in Asia Aluminum Holdings Ltd., which collapsed in March 2009 with $17.7 billion of debt, received about 7 percent. Sino-Forest debtholders were luckier at 17 percent, while those with their money in China Nickel Resources Holdings Co. got returns of about 75 percent of par. If Kaisa turns into an offshore versus onshore creditor fight, a back of the envelope guess “is that a liquidation could lead to a bondholder recovery of at most 40 cents, if the process is orderly,” Gramercy’s Rauch said. And if it’s not, “returns could quickly drop below 10 cents,” he said.
Alibaba seeking stake in insurer New China Life: state paper | Reuters Shanghai Securities News said on Wednesday, citing unnamed sources. The newspaper reported that Central Huijin Investment Ltd, the investment arm of the Chinese government and the largest shareholder in the insurer, plans to sell some of its stake to Alibaba. It did not give any details on the size of the deal. Central Huijin currently owns 31.34 percent of the insurer, according to the paper.
经济参考网 – 四川省将全面取消住房限购限价政策 Sichuan ending all housing purchase restrictions // 摘要：2015年，
China seeks balanced growth as net capital exporter – Xinhua China has become a net capital exporter for the first time, with outbound direct investment outnumbering capital inflows in 2014. Chinese investors channeled capital into 6,128 overseas firms in 156 countries in 2014, with outbound investment reaching 102.89 billion U.S. dollars, up 14.1 percent from a year earlier, according to a press conference by the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) on Wednesday. Growth was much faster than the 1.7 percent gain recorded in foreign direct investment, which was 119.6 billion dollars. This is the first time the two-way nominal capital flows have been near a balance
POLITICS AND LAW *
Macao casinos targeted in the fight against graft – China Daily China will strengthen supervision of assets that corrupt officials transfer abroad illegally through gambling houses in Macao, the Ministry of Public Security said on Tuesday. “Once a suspicious flow of capital being sent overseas through casinos is discovered, … the People’s Bank of China will inform us quickly and provide intelligence for us to conduct further investigations,” a senior official from the ministry told China Daily.
Line Drawn on Purported Corruption in Calligraphy – NYTimes.com “Some leading officials can’t even write regular script properly, and still they rush straight into cursive, and then dare mount it to give others,” Mr. Wang said in a speech in mid-January, according to a report issued by his agency on Friday. “They’ve forgotten the bond between the ruling party and ordinary folks.”
Accounts of gov’t agencies flourish on WeChat: report – Xinhua At least 17,217 government WeChat accounts are active, according to the report from xinhuanet.com. The figure is a remarkable increase from a July report by the Communication University of China (CUC), which said that at the end of 2013 there were 3,600 government WeChat accounts, and nearly 6,000 at the end of March. About 20 percent now belong to Communist Party of China (CPC) organizations, people’s congresses (legislatures) and the committees of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (political advisors).
人民网辟谣：未发表《比周永康更有分量老虎将现身》|人民日报| 老虎_凤凰资讯 昨晚有微博消息称：人民日报海外版曾发表文章《
给常委定规矩 习近平重构中共高层权力格局_观点-多维新闻网 值得注意的是，
李源潮出席共青团全会 党报刊文藏玄机_中国-多维新闻网 北京时间1月19日，
Gov’t to Give Employees 60 Pct Pay Hike as Part of Pension Reform – Caixin Salary increase means public workers won’t take pay cuts when changes to pension program come into effect, official says
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *
China: The Influence of History | The Diplomat–Michael D. Swaine Of course, some Chinese seek to manipulate this concept to serve more pragmatic, sometimes selfish ends. And at least some Chinese believe that all major powers, including China, have hegemonic inclinations. But overall, most Chinese apparently believe that China’s rightful place in the international order is as a major (not singularly dominant) power whose views must be respected but who exists in general harmony with other nations. This is a far cry from the notion of China as a resurgent leviathan bent on dominating Asia and the world beyond. // Can be dangerous to try to say what “most Chinese” think. Regardless, if the underlying belief is that it is your territory historically, say with the South China Sea nine-dashed line, then laying claim to territory that you see as rightfully yours is in no way “assertive” or “aggressive”. So when Xi says Chinese have no “gene for invasion” he is not saying anything contradictory to the facts on the ground as he sees them, since in the case of all the current territorial disputes Chinese believes it is the one that has been encroached upon.
INTERACTIVE: Slow boat to China — the long, troubled journey of the Varyag from the Black Sea to Dalian | South China Morning Post In this interactive, Joe Lo illustrates the path that the former Soviet aircraft carrier, the Varyag, took to get from Ukraine’s Black Sea Shipyard to Dalian in China’s Liaoning province. It is an odyssey that took more than 2 years to complete and would eventually see the unfinished giant hull reborn as China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning.
Beijing Investigating Detention of 100 Chinese in Myanmar – NYTimes.com The Chinese government is investigating the detention of more than 100 Chinese citizens by Myanmar on suspicion that they entered the country to engage in logging, a spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Myanmar said Tuesday.
Manila says China’s ‘massive’ reclamation work a serious concern | Reuters Evan Garcia, Manila’s deputy foreign minister, said the reclamation activities “are not a positive development to promote our common interests” and a clear violation of what had been agreed by China and Southeast Asian states in 2002. “Just look at the photographs, these are huge activities that are designed to change the status quo,” Garcia told reporters at the end of a two-day bilateral strategic dialogue with the United States in Manila.
HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN *
China ‘has the power’ to introduce tough security laws in Hong Kong | Reuters ormer Hong Kong leader Tung Chee-hwa said on Tuesday tough Chinese national security laws could be introduced in Hong Kong, stoking fears China may tighten control in its southern financial hub after last year’s pro-democracy street protests.
HK needs to educate its youth–China Daily Comment By Sonny Lo This is the first of a two-part series on youth problems in Hong Kong. Part one addresses the radicalization of youth. Part two will address the need to “de-colonize” our education system. // Lo is Professor and Head, Department of Social Sciences; Co-Director of Centre for Governance and Citizenship; Acting Associate Vice President at Hong Kong institute of Education
Hong Kong Tells Public to Avoid Going Outside as Pollution Soars – Bloomberg The pollution index reached 10+ at monitors in Central, Mong Kok and Causeway Bay, the city’s main business and entertainment districts, at 2:00 p.m. local time, according to the Environmental Protection Department. The index scales from 1 to 10+, which is marked as “serious.”
TECH AND MEDIA *
Meaning Of Mural At Apple’s New China Store – Business Insider Here’s the poem that’s on the outside of the store while it’s being built: The light of water sparkles on a sunny day, and misty mountains lend excitement to the rain. I like to compare the west lake to “Miss West”. Pretty in a gay dress, and pretty in simple again.–Su Shi’s West Lake
New Yorker Writer Denies Authorship of Op-Ed in Chinese State Paper – China Real Time Report – WSJ Earlier this week, an opinion article under the byline of China hand and New Yorker writer Peter Hessler appeared in Chinese state-run media. On Tuesday night, though, Mr. Hessler said in a statement on Facebook that he didn’t write the piece. Published in China Daily, China’s official English-language newspaper, appeared to praise various political aspects of China – where Mr. Hessler lived and worked for years, including at The Wall Street Journal –cited in contrast to Egypt, where he currently resides. The article appeared under Mr. Hessler’s name and called China’s political system “quite stable,” citing the conviction that when significant reforms do come, they are more likely to succeed, “because the Chinese have a significant political foundation, and they have the experience of living in a functional state.”
Failed MPAA / Xunlei Anti-Piracy Deal is Shocking | TorrentFreak After signing an anti-piracy deal with Xunlei last year the MPAA is already suing the Chinese file-sharing giant. What went wrong is unclear but documents obtained by TorrentFreak reveal the toughest and most shocking set of anti-piracy demands to be found anywhere on the planet.
China’s regulator blames “unhealthy images” for re-edited TV show – Xinhua I am up to episode 55…Tencent video app has what it says is the “uncensored” version // A senior official from China’s television regulator on Wednesday said “unhealthy images” are the reason a TV drama about the country’s only known empress, Wu Zetian, was edited. “We received many complaints from viewers after the TV series began airing, saying there were some unhealthy images for minors, among other problems,” said Tian Jin, deputy director of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television at a press conference.
Tencent’s long-awaited Android ROM enters beta-TechInAsia Details are sparse right now. Getting into the beta requires filling out a survey and waiting for Tencent to accept or deny the application. We’ve been expecting a Tencent ROM for some time now. Fellow web giants Alibaba and Baidu both released their respective spins on the Android OS years ago, so it was only a matter of time before Tencent followed suit. In December 2013, Tencent also contributed to a US$23 million series B investment into CyanogenMod, one of the more popular Android ROMs that comes pre-installed on some phones made by Oppo, Micromax, and Oneplus.
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY *
Ethnic minorities: Don’t make yourself at home | The Economist Uighurs and Tibetans feel left out of China’s economic boom; ethnic discrimination is not helping
大山 Dashan on Vimeo Dashan trying his hand at Chinese comedy. A very talented guy
China’s 2nd-Richest Grabs 20% Stake in Spanish Soccer Club Atletico Madrid- Bloomberg The group will pay 45 million euros ($52 million) for the stake, marking the first investment by a Chinese company in a top European soccer club, Wanda said in a statement announcing the deal Thursday in Beijing, where it’s based. Wang, China’s second-richest man, is Wanda’s chairman and founder.
China’s National Soccer Team Winning Games, and Fans – NYTimes.com For Chinese soccer fans, the new year is already an unusual one. After years of frustration, disappointment and cynicism with the national team, the 2015 Asian Cup is becoming a big success, with China winning all three games so far and finishing first in Group B.
赵本山的粉墨人生(2015-01-21 7:22:06)_网易新闻中心 多年来，
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH *
Environmental Staff in China Spray Air Quality Monitors with Water to Make Readings More Acceptable | TheNanfang Desperate times call for desperate measures. When Hanzhong, in Shaanxi Province, was confronted with off-the-chart PM 2.5 readings, officials at the City’s Environmental Protection Bureau did what any respectable scientist would do: they altered the readings by spraying the air quality monitors with water from a fire hose. One blogger happened to catch the Bureau in the act, snapping a photo of the scene, and posting it online. The photo immediately became quite a discussion piece on online forums. User 业精于勤 said, “This is covering one’s ear while stealing a bell?” alluding to a Chinese idiom that describes trying to conceal the truth while committing a devious act.
Dim Sums: Rural China Economics and Policy: Chinese Livestock Industry: 7 Challenges At a recent meeting of China’s livestock industry association, a Ministry of Agriculture official proclaimed that the industry faces seven challenges as it enters a critical period of upgrading.
Forget the taxi, Beijing tourists can now be zipped around the city in a helicopter | South China Morning Post The China World Summit Wing hotel – located within China World Tower, Beijing’s tallest skyscraper – has opened a helipad on the rooftop of the 330-metre-tall building. The hotel’s trial flight on a Bell 429 chopper flew three VIP guests to the Bird’s Nest stadium and the Water Cube – the 2008 Beijing Olympics venues – as well as the nearby Chaoyang Park before returning to the building.
Subscribe to the Free Sinocism China Newsletter! Enter Your Email In The Box Below And Start Getting Smarter About China.