THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT *
1. China to Force Authors to Provide Real Names When Publishing Online – NYTimes real real-name registration on the Internet is clearly coming. The real-time ID authentication systems are in place and with the new leadership there now appears to be the will to make it happen, without the current loopholes for which the big Internet firms have successfully lobbied. // In new guidelines on online literature made public this month by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, the government called for a system that would require all authors to register their real names with publishing platforms on the Internet. Under the guidelines, creators of online content will still be allowed to publish under pen names. But unlike before, when some writers registered accounts under fake names, websites will know exactly who is publishing what.
2. 多地政府回购存量商品房 疏解6亿平米库存救市房地产中证网 more and more local governments are buying unsold housing inventory–up to 600 million square meters–to be repurposed as social/subsidized housing. This may alleviate some of the oversupply, but then anyone betting on more real estate investment for subsidized housing may want to recalibrate their models, as it looks like that some of that future demand will be pulled from existing construction // 福州市近日下发《关于福州市统购商品房和安置房、
3. A softer touch on soft power – China Media Project this does not mean that China’s centralised soft power push has not paid dividends. Some observers argue that it certainly has, particularly in Africa. But wouldn’t China benefit by a softer, less rigid, less government managed, approach to soft power? That is exactly the argument made last week in the Party’s official People’s Daily by Zhou Hong (周虹), the director of the Cultural Division of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council. Zhou is someone who has been closely involved with China’s public diplomacy efforts over the years — for example, here, here and here — and it is refreshing to hear a bit of soul searching (in the Party’s flagship newspaper, no less) about the limitations of soft power as a micro-managed state project.
4. U.S. and India Share Sense of Unease Over China – NYTimes Mr. Obama and his aides discovered to their surprise that Mr. Modi’s assessment of China’s rise and its impact on the greater strategic situation in East Asia was closely aligned with their own. Just as they did, Mr. Modi seemed increasingly uneasy about China’s efforts to extend its influence around the region and interested in a united approach to counter them. He agreed to sign a joint statement with Mr. Obama chiding Beijing for provoking conflict with neighbors over control of the South China Sea. He suggested reviving a loose security network involving the United States, India, Japan and Australia. And he expressed interest in playing a greater role in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, where India could help balance China’s influence.
5. Chinese sports authorities map out measures in fight against corruption and match-fixing – Xinhua The Communist Party of China’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) Monday published a feedback the State General Administration of Sports (GASC) made to a discipline inspection in 2014. In the feedback, the GAS detailed measures it will take to correct problems identified during the inspection. “Athlete recruitment and referee appointments will be conducted under open and transparent supervision”, in order to prevent corruption and match-fixing, said the statement. Chinese sports officials had more influence than their counterparts overseas through the top-down management system, which allowed them to screen and train medalists for competitions. A number of malpractice cases and violations were discovered during the CCDI inspection.
Related: Sports authority vows to eradicate “Gold medal supremacy” – Xinhua “Gold medal supremacy” was among the problems. The GAS said a few officials had developed incorrect goals, as gold medals won in the sports they administer can boost their political credentials and bring them economic returns. However, the misguided policies of these officials could motivate athletes and coaches to pursue good results at the expense of the athletic spirit and morals, and some might even break the law, according to the statement. The administration vowed to root out the practice of chasing gold medals, and will assess the performance of the sports administration on multiple criteria, including public participation in sports and cost efficiency of public sports investments.
6. Bobby Jindal and China’s Louisiana Methanol Plant | Al Jazeera America A prominent Chinese tycoon and politician — whose natural gas company’s environmental and labor rights record recently started coming under fire in the Chinese press — is parking assets in a multibillion dollar methanol plant in a Louisiana town. And he appears to be doing it with help from the administration of likely GOP 2016 presidential ticket contender Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. Not many locals in a predominantly black neighborhood of St. James Parish — halfway between New Orleans and Baton Rouge — know that Wang Jinshu, the Communist Party Secretary for the northeastern Chinese village of Yuhuang and a former delegate to the National People’s Congress, is the man at the helm of a $1.85 billion methanol plant to be built in their town over the next two years with a $9.5 million incentive package from the state. The details of the project are unclear, residents say, largely because they were not told about the project until local officials, amid discussions with state officials and Chinese diplomats, decided to move forward with the project in July 2014. // but for the language it sounds like Chinese officials would feel right at home in Louisiana
7. In silencing his critics, President Xi cites his Marx | South China Morning Post “The high-profile study session comes amid heated debate about China’s future path, with the two extremes of the political spectrum focusing on either Western political thinking or Chinese traditional culture and values,” said Gu Xiao , a professor of political philosophy at Nanjing University. Gu said there were diverging views in the Politburo over what steps the country should take next but “Xi used the platform to silence all political opponents, from the left and the right, of his policy”. But some observers said Xi’s declaration was simply routine. “It’s a political declaration that party leaders have to do from time to time,” Renmin University political scientist Zhang Ming said.
Related: 新西山派重出江湖 “大行动”前风暴不断_中国-多维新闻网 “
Related: 叙岚的微博_微博 【致所有的侮辱与恐吓】我会挺住，
Related: 逄先知：关于意识形态问题的一些看法–党史频道-人民网 Pe
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *
Foreign high-tech vendors may face stricter controls in China-China Daily According to a report published in the Shanghai-based newspaper China Business News, the China Banking Regulatory Commission, the nation’s banking regulator, is conducting a full-scale research across Chinese banks and large financial institutions to gauge the information security conditions. The research involves IT hardware, software and services, it said. The government has indicated that it or other suitable organizations should have control over the technology used in financial organizations. According to a document released by the CBRC last year, China plans to have at least 75 percent of the IT products used in the financial sector under its control. A source close to the commission said the regulator would also check the actual use of domestic software by lenders while assessing the safety of banks’ information network
China Property Agony Deepens as Trust-Loan Lifelines Cut – Bloomberg Issuance of property-related products, which channel money from wealthy individual investors, tumbled 62 percent from a year earlier to 38.5 billion yuan ($6.2 billion) in the fourth quarter, data compiled by research firm Use Trust show. Builders must repay 241 billion yuan of trusts in 2015, up from 178 billion yuan last year. Kaisa, which missed a bond coupon payment this month, failed to repay a 2.5 billion yuan trust last week, people familiar with the matter said.
Yuan Posts Biggest Two-Day Loss Since 2008, Nears Band Limit – Bloomberg The yuan slid 0.41 percent to close at 6.2542 a dollar in Shanghai, after dropping 0.31 percent on Friday, according to prices from China Foreign Exchange Trade System. Against the euro, the yuan rose as much as 1.4 percent to a 13-year high of 6.9685 after a weekend election in Greece boosted the possibility of the country leaving the 19-nation currency.
Gov’t Had Reservations about Selling Stake in Citic Ltd. to Foreigners – Caixin Finance ministry had concerns about letting Japanese-Thai joint venture take 20 percent of state-owned enterprise
China Yuanbang Declines After Chairman Held in Custody Quits – Bloomberg China Yuanbang Property Holdings Ltd. (CYBP) fell by the most in more than two weeks in Singapore trading after saying its chairman is being investigated by Chinese authorities and has resigned. The shares fell 12 percent, the most since Jan. 7, to S$0.06 at the noon break, extending this year’s decline to 24 percent.
解密安邦式跃进：有钱又任性_凤凰财经 Caijing takes a long, interesting look at Anbang Insurance // 安邦通过“资产驱动负债”的发展模式迅速扩张，
Xinhua Insight: Story unveiled of the “highspeed railway kingdom” – Xinhua In just a decade, China has established the world’s largest HSR network, over half of the world’s HSR tracks are in China. The domestic network crosses 28 of the country’s 31 provincial regions, and it is showing no signs of slowing.
Wanda Buys Sydney Site From Blackstone for $1B Project | Mingtiandi Dalian Wanda confirmed today that the Chinese property developer has acquired a pair of properties near Sydney harbour, as part of a plan to build a $1 billion mixed-use complex in the Australian city.
Chinese tycoon sues local govts for late payment-EJ Insight Yan Jiehe, founder of China Pacific Construction Group (CPCG), said the lawsuits are the first such action against local governments, the Financial Times reported Tuesday. “We will appeal all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary,” Yan said. “We will surely win this case. The records and evidence are clear.”
Gary Shilling-Housing Weak Even With Government Programs and Big Bank Interest – Bloomberg View U.S. housing activity remains weak despite six years of federal government aid, strong interest from overseas buyers, rock-bottom interest rates and massive purchases of mortgage bonds by the Federal Reserve. Does this mean housing may never spring back to its pre-recession levels? Many signs point to yes. Don’t blame the Chinese, who are showing an abundance of interest. Their share of foreign purchases leaped to 16 percent in the year ending March 2014, from 5 percent in 2007. They paid a median price of $523,148, higher than any other nationality and more than double the $199,575 median price of all houses sol
10m new jobs on way, Li vows – Business – China Daily Premier Li Keqiang pledged on Monday to create at least 10 million jobs this year by maintaining economic growth at medium-to-high speed through stable macroeconomic policies. He said job creation remains the most important index in drafting the country’s target for economic growth, which many experts believe will slow further this year to about 7 percent from 7.4 percent. Li made the jobs pledge at a meeting with economic experts and corporate leaders from burgeoning industries such as Internet and information technology, as well as industries with overcapacity. // 13 million in 2014 no?
钢铁电商受追捧 找钢网称获IDG等1亿美元投资 Zhaogang, an online service for steel trading/financing/services. gets 100m USD investment from IDG and other top Chinese investors // 找钢网宣称从上游钢厂原材采购端即与煤炭企业、钢厂形成“
China’s subway manufacturer inks landmark U.S. deal_China Daily China CNR will sell 284 subway trains worth 4.118 billion yuan (670 million U.S. dollars) to the transportation regulator in Massachusetts, to equip Boston’s Red and Orange subway lines, according to the announcement. The subway trains are designed to run 102 kilometers per hour and up to 129,000 kilometers a year on regular maintenance for at least 30 years.
POLITICS AND LAW *
Officials Accused of Dining on Endangered Salamander – NYTimes.com A group of officials accused of assaulting a reporter investigating their luxury banquet had been dining on endangered giant salamander, a Chinese newspaper reported on Monday. The Guangzhou-based Southern Metropolis Daily said its reporters had visited a restaurant in Shenzhen after hearing that a group of officials had gathered for a luxury banquet. After the reporter, Chen Lewei, identified himself to the guests, he said he was punched and slapped in the face and his camera and phone were stolen. // 深圳退休干部酒楼吃娃娃鱼 记者暗访遭殴打
深圳记者暗访警察“吃娃娃鱼”被打 14警员被停职国内新京报网 14 Shenzhen police officers suspended, one put under investigation, in wake of the giant salamander feast // 1月21日晚，
Communist Party official ‘attempts to throw himself to death to avoid downfall’ – Telegraph Yang Weize, the disgraced party chief of Nanjing, China’s former capital, tried to hurl himself from his office window on January 4, according to a report in the Changjiang Times. The apparent suicide attempt came after Mr Yang was tipped off by telephone that he was the target of an anti-corruption investigation.
CPC paper urges officials to obey Party rules, decisions – Xinhua The People’s Daily, the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party of China (CPC), on Monday urged Party members to follow Party rules. One of the major differences between a Party member and the general public is whether he or she knows the rules (of the Party) and follows them, said an editorial. The paper said strict discipline was necessary in the current situation and listed officials’ bad behavior in ignoring Party rules and “bargaining” with the Party, such as asking for promotion or better treatment, complaining or showing reluctance in their duties, or disregarding Party decisions in their departments. The paper said that having reservations about some issues in order to pursue the truth is in accordance with the Party’s principles, however, seeking personal interests or so-called freedom cannot be justified.
Chinese Activist Seeks Political Asylum After Escape to Cambodia-RFA Liu Linna, better known by her nickname Liu Shasha, was discovered by Vietnamese police at her hotel after crossing the border from the southwestern Chinese region of Guangxi last November to spend time in Vietnam with her Hong Kong-based husband, who is unable to travel to China. // Cambodia unlikely to do anything to upset Beijing
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *
POLITICO Influence -FARA roundup – Nigeria, China hire up — The Rogich Communications Group has been hired to advise the People’s Republic of China’s Ambassador Cui Tiankai “on matters related to strengthening the bilateral relationship between the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China. These efforts include counseling the Government of the People’s Republic of China on how to effectively present its views to the Executive and Legislative branches of the United States Government and to business interests within the United States of America.”
Davos Diary: When it Comes to Human Rights in China, It’s Don’t Ask, Won’t Tell | Foreign Policy The quickest way to end a conversation in Davos is to bring up human rights in China. I tried it roughly half a dozen times, and it always spoiled otherwise congenial encounters.
China urges India to take steps to satisfy standards of nuclear group | Reuters China called on India on Monday to take more steps to satisfy the standards of a global organization that controls atomic exports after U.S. President Barack Obama said the United States was in favor of India joining the group.
俄计划向公民赠送远东土地 中国移民或将大增_凤凰资讯 Russia to grant “free land” in its Far East, Chinese immigrants to soar?
HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN *
TECH AND MEDIA *
China names online blackmailers as operation unfurls – Xinhua As a major government operation kicked off last week, the cyberspace watchdog on Monday named its ten top Internet extortion cases. The case involving the 21st Century Media Ltd. topped the list of the China Cyberspace Administration (CCA). X Newspapers, magazines and the website affiliated to the group allegedly extorted more than 100 companies planning initial public offerings (IPO), threatening them with negative coverage unless they paid the group money. Last September, police arrested several of the media group’s executives.// 国家网信办公布“
Angela Ahrendts recruiting U.S. employees for China as new stores & initiatives revealed | 9to5Mac Apple Senior Vice President of Retail Angela Ahrendts is continuing to go all in on growth in China. In video messages to employees in recent days and weeks, Ahrendts has been recruiting employees from United States-based Apple Retail stores to relocate to China to help build up Apple’s retail efforts in the region. In a note to employees late last week, sources say that Ahrendts reported that approximately 200 Apple retail workers from the U.S. have already offered to make the move.
furbo.org · Fear China Ever wonder what happens when DNS in China is poisoned and pointed at your server?
Alipay Is Starting to Look Like the Future of Chinese Banking | MIT Technology Review With these new mobile payment technologies, China has leapfrogged both checkbooks and desktop banking. Jane Yang, for example, went straight from paying rent in cash to paying via Alipay. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, 79 percent of Chinese consumers surveyed said they were happy to receive coupons via their mobile devices, versus just 53 percent globally. And 55 percent of Chinese consumers said they expected their phone to be the main way they made purchases in the future, versus 29 percent globally.
How You Can Fight Internet Censorship With Streisand Secure Server In addition to ensuring the ability to connect, the use of these different methods ensures that Streisand will be able to create a server that will get around the censorship efforts of almost any country. Shadowsocks, for example, was developed almost entirely by Chinese developers to get around the Great Firewall of China. In addition to Shadowsocks, three other connection methods are known to work in China and Iran. // I want one, will pay for the hosting, just need someone to help me set it up
Why Apps for Messaging Are Trending – NYTimes.com Many entrepreneurs see WeChat, the hugely popular Chinese service run by the Internet giant Tencent, as the ideal model for building a business in messaging. Released four years ago, the app now claims nearly 500 million monthly active users — who not only send image-laden messages, but play games and book car rides and plane tickets.
Why Controversy Plays Starring Role in China’s TV, Film Censorship – Caixin Rules for TV show productions and marketing that the administration released in 2004 and 2010 say producers must have a TV script reviewed by censors before they can go ahead with filming, and the finished show must be sent to censors for clearance before it can air. The administration introduced a four-tier censorship mechanism for TV shows in 2007 that requires networks to seek clearance for their productions not only from censors at the regional and central levels of government, but also approval from Communist Party publicity officials at those levels. Many critics say they are particularly frustrated by the suspension of a show that had already been cleared. However, censors indeed acted in accordance with regulations when they had Empress of China taken off the air for a new review because the 2010 rules allow them to order a show suspended or re-edited for the sake of public interests.
China’s Other E-Commerce Giant Follows Its Own Path – NYTimes With money running low in 2006, Mr. Liu sought $2 million from a Hong Kong venture capital firm. The firm, Capital Today, put up $10 million instead, for a large minority stake. The stake is now worth close to $2.4 billion, even after the firm sold some of its shares. // surprised this article makes no mention of the founder’s love life, which has been plastered all over the Internet for months because of his relationship with “milk tea sister” of Internet fame. They supposedly broke up in an explosion of competing PR a few weeks ago up but were just spotted together in Thailand. 没分！奶茶妹妹刘强东现身泰国亲密同游. I buy a lot from JD through WeChat but investors should be wondering if the founder is distracted
An Open Letter to Lu Wei and the Cyberspace Administration of China | GreatFire.org On January 22, 2015, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), which is under your direct control, wrote a response to a story we published about an MITM attack on Microsoft. In the post, your colleague, Jiang Jun, labelled our accusations as “groundless” and “unsupported speculation, a pure slanderous act by overseas anti-China forces”. We at GreatFire.org take great offense to these comments and we will refute them in this letter.
Jay Chou’s Fairy Tale Wedding – What’s on Weibo The Taiwanese actor, director and musician Jay Chou (周杰伦) became a trending topic on Sina Weibo this week as he got married to Taiwanese-Australian model Hannah Quinlivan in the UK on January 17th, just one day before his 36th birthday.
Actress Zhao Wei, Husband Purchase Stake in Alibaba Film Unit – Bloomberg Gold Ocean Media Inc., a company controlled by Zhao’s husband Huang Youlong, purchased a 9.2 percent stake in the filmmaker last month, according to a Hong Kong stock exchange filing dated Jan. 23. The company bought 1.93 billion shares of Alibaba Pictures at an average of HK$1.60 each, for a total of HK$3.09 billion ($398 million). Zhao, whose acting credits include “Shaolin Soccer” and John Woo’s “Red Cliff” series, is also a pop singer and film director.
Lenovo’s Motorola looks to take market share from China rivals | Reuters “The (Chinese) market itself is so big here and Motorola has no share today, so we believe that what we’re really going to succeed in doing is hopefully take some share from other people in the market,” Rick Osterloh, President of Motorola Mobility told Reuters. Motorola will compete in China with Apple and Samsung in the premium smartphone market and with the world’s third biggest smartphone maker Xiaomi Inc [XTC.UL] in mid- and mid-high level phones. Lenovo is already the number two smartphone maker in China.
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY *
Sinica: Inside the Property Revolution This week on Sinica, Jeremy is delighted to host Luigi Tomba, expert on municipal government in China, fellow at the Australian Centre on China and the World, and author of the book The Government Next Door: neighborhood politics in urban China.
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH *
Why the Supreme People’s Court is harnessing the NGO “genie” | Supreme People’s Court Monitor Many China observers were surprised to learn that in early January, 2015, the Supreme People’s Court (Court) issued an interpretation on enabling civil society organizations to sue polluters on behalf of the public, when most commentators take the view that those organizations are controlled more tightly than before. The Court issued it after years of work, analysis, and low numbers of environmental lawsuits (highlighted in my earlier blogpost), particularly public interest ones.
How China’s Top Court is Encouraging More Lawsuits Against Polluters | Barbara Finamore’s Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC Despite all the advances in the SPC rules, Chinese NGOs still face a host of challenges in bringing environmental public interest litigation, including serious limits on their capacity, personnel and funding. To help address this problem, NRDC has run a successful fellowship program since 2009 that places mid-career Chinese lawyers in local environmental NGOs for a year, to both offer litigation support and legal advice and to increase environmental knowledge for themselves. Through participating in this program, many of our fellows have become the pioneering practitioners of environmental litigation in China. We look forward to continuing our partnership with local NGOs in order to help them take full advantage of China’s new environmental public interest litigation system.
China hospital staff demand better security after deadly brawl | Reuters The deaths came on Saturday when a drunk man seeking treatment for an injury started a fight with a doctor and they both then plummeted down an elevator shaft, the official Xinhua news agency reported. The incident in the province of Henan, is the latest in a spate of violence in health facilities that has led to an increase in security at hospitals.
China’s Public Hospital Governance Reforms are Setting the Stage for Corporatization | China SignPost™ The bottom line: China’s public hospital reform experiments thus far have laid a foundation for corporatization that is stronger than many observers believe. Public hospitals now are where the SOEs were in the 2-3 years before the 1994 Company Law was promulgated. Chinese leaders need to act soon to lay down additional, corporatization-specific ground rules for public hospital reforms moving forward. Without national guidelines on corporatization of hospitals, Beijing risks either (a) having public hospitals being privatized and perpetuating the skewed incentives that have helped spark social unrest and prompted the 2009 reforms in the first place or (b) having such a lack of legal clarity that investors balk at providing the full volume of capital that China badly needs in order to avoid having the public hospital system become a substantial drag on the national balance sheet.
High abortion rate triggers fears for young women – China Daily About 13 million abortions are carried out in the country annually, according to the technology research center under the National Health and Family Planning Commission. Sixty-two percent of these abortions are performed on women aged between 20 and 29, most of whom are single. Nearly 20 percent have had more than one abortion. Qi Rongyi, chief physician of the gynecology and obstetrics department at a hospital in Tianjin, said, “The number of abortions performed is believed to be higher.
Chief of prestigious Chinese university ‘to be appointed country’s environment minister’ | South China Morning Post The head of one of the mainland’s most prestigious universities is tipped to take over the country’s top environmental job with Minister of Environmental Protection Zhou Shengxian, reaching retirement age. Tsinghua University president Chen Jining was expected to replace Zhou, initially in an acting capacity, two sources close to the university and ministry said. An official announcement could come this week. If so, Chen, 51, would also take over as the ministry’s party chief.
居家养老北京首立法 纳入政府考核政经频道财新网 如获通过，“五一”有望实施。
AGRICULTURE AND RURAL ISSUES *
FOOD AND TRAVEL *
Women-only carriages advised in Beijing subway – Xinhua The proposal was put forth by two members of the Beijing Municipal Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) at the annual session of the political advisory body, which concluded on Monday. “By setting up special carriages, women will be better respected and protected,” said Xiao Mingzheng, a member with the CPPCC Beijing Municipal Committee.
Beijingers lead China’s pack in longest daily commute | South China Morning Post The average time that Beijing residents spent travelling to work was 52 minutes – longer than people in some of the world’s most congested cities, such as New York, where the average commuting time, according to a 2013 survey, was 48 minutes. The data on Chinese travellers was collected after probably the biggest survey on mainland citizens’ commuting habits ever carried out. // 全国50城市上班族通勤调查：
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