The Sinocism China Newsletter 02.25.14

Just links today, smog storm still going strong here, trying not to look out my window.

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THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

习近平主持召开政治局会议:向深化改革要动力-高层动态-新华网 中共中央政治局召开会议 讨论政府工作报告 // Politburo meeting ahead of the National People’s Congress meeting, discussed the upcoming work report

Related: CPC meeting underlines further reform – Xinhua | English.news.cn The meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee was convened to discuss the government work report to be submitted for deliberation at the annual plenary session of the National People’s Congress, the top legislature, in early March. China achieved better-than-expected results last year, despite experiencing more difficulties than expected, according to the meeting. Participants concluded that China will continue to implement a proactive fiscal policy and prudent monetary policy, stabilize and improve its macro-control policies, keep economic growth “within a rational zone” and elevate growth quality and efficiency in order to achieve this year’s goals.

【舒立观察】“两会”前的改革期盼_杂志频道_财新网 Hu Shuli on the hopes that the upcoming NPC meeting will provide much more clarity on reform details and timelines// 高层领导人数次重申改革的时间表、路线图,意味着每月每年的改革进展均应核查、评估。期待即将召开的全国“两会”催生又一轮改革浪潮

Related: 为有源头活水来——十八届三中全会以来我国经济体制改革述评-财经频道-新华网 Xinhua on the reform efforts underway since the Third Plenum. Hu Shuli above says not happening fast enough // 新华网北京2月24日电(记者 齐中熙)十八届三中全会以来,我国立足于长期处于社会主义初级阶段这个最大实际,坚持社会主义市场经济改革方向,经济体制改革措施频出,内容不断深化,好似源头活水,为经济社会发展注入强大动力与活

激辩楼市“咔嚓声”:裂痕暂现三四线城市_财经频道_一财网 that “snapping sound” you hear in Chinese real estate may just be in third and fourth tier cities, say analysts who still expect price gains in the major markets // 接受采访的多名业界人士表示,纵然楼市坚冰已现裂痕,但“咔嚓一声”并不意味着断崖出现,对主要大城市仍然看涨,风险主要存在于三四线城市。

Related: Industrial Bank Temporarily Tightens Developer Financing – Bloomberg Industrial Bank Co. (601166) temporarily tightened financing for real-estate developers until it prepares a new set of credit policies, according to a stock exchange statement. The bank requested all branches to take stock of existing assets and market conditions after the Lunar New Year, according to the statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange yesterday. It also suspended granting new credit to some developers and halted mezzanine financing until new rules are released, by the end of March, it said. The weeklong Lunar New Year break ran through Feb. 6, with financial markets reopening on Feb. 7.

Related: 房地产融资风险遭预警 新华社——经济参考网 一石激起千层浪。一则兴业银行全行暂停办理房地产夹层融资和房地产供应链金融业务消息引发市场对房地产金融风险的全面关注。据记者了解,除兴业银行暂缓办理部分房地产新增授信业务、停办房地产夹层融资业务外,其他银行并未有“一刀切”暂停的情况。   不过,业内人士表示,房地产行业的风险已经被监管层和金融机构所意识到,未来不够规范和透明的与房地产相关的表外融资将会被大大压缩,银行业将细化自身的房地产业务战略,谨慎进入三四线风险较大城市的房地产领域。

What’s up for Alibaba’s mobile app strategy? | Reuters downloaded Laiwang a few weeks ago…only three people in my address came up as contacts, and none of them use it much, nor have I ever heard anyone talk about using it. There is a reason Jack Ma and Alibaba sound increasingly desperate about mobile. For a recent overview I wrote about the Chinese Internet, see China’s Internet: Gilding the Cyber Cage. And Goldman Monday increased its price target for Tencent to 700 HKD, of which 390 they argue comes from WeChat/Weixin // Alibaba has been grappling with its mobile business in China, and its Laiwang mobile messaging app has yet to make a big impact – either as a chat app or a portal for mobile gaming. As of November, Laiwang had 10 million users, according to Alibaba. As of September, Tencent’s WeChat mobile messaging app had 272 million monthly active users, booking taxis, topping up phone credit and even investing in wealth management products. Some observers say that’s too big a catch-up for Alibaba.

Related: “围剿”余额宝们_财经_新京报网 Beijing News on what appears to be attempts to “encircle and annihilate” Alibaba’s Yu’E Bao // 过去的三天时间里,有专家号召取缔余额宝们,监管层也放出风声要加强监管,还有银行大佬们伺机反击,余额宝们的日子不再像以前那么好过了。

Related:  Fangs In: Yu E Bao Is Not to Blame – Caixin Internet finance inevitably comes with certain risks and challenges to regulators, but it is also a positive force that China’s financial system has not seen for years. The third plenum urged developing “inclusive finance,” that is to say a financial system without discrimination. The nature of Internet finance is exactly inclusive. Some financial reform goals have been partially achieved by Internet finance. Of course, in the near future Internet finance could be incorporated into the regulatory system, for example, through the issuing of licenses. As for the lofty position that large banks enjoy, to avoid the fate of Nokia and Kodak they should embrace the revolution

LinkedIn Launches a Chinese-Language Site — But Government Censorship Looms | Re/code earlier this year, LinkedIn announced the appointment of Derek Shen as president of LinkedIn China. He is currently recruiting for a large staff that LinkedIn expects to have in the country. Currently, the company’s largest international office is in Europe. The new deal there will be a joint venture with China Broadband Capital and Sequoia Capital China. As part of the deal, the two partners contributed $5 million in cash for a seven percent stake in preferred shares. There is a conditional option for them to pay $20 million more for another 21 percent of the JV. In an interview, CEO Jeff Weiner said the LinkedIn had applied for a license to operate within the country that had yet to be approved.

Related:  LinkedIn in China: Connecting the World’s Professionals | LinkedIn official post announcing linkedIn China // Expanding our presence in China presents a challenge that our company must address directly, clearly and in a manner consistent with our core values. As a condition for operating in the country, the government of China imposes censorship requirements on Internet platforms. LinkedIn strongly supports freedom of expression and fundamentally disagrees with government censorship. At the same time, we also believe that LinkedIn’s absence in China would deny Chinese professionals a means to connect with others on our global platform, thereby limiting the ability of individual Chinese citizens to pursue and realize the economic opportunities, dreams and rights most important to them.

Related: 你终于来了,Linkedin中国上线,官方取名领英网 | 动点科技 looks like LinkedIn launching in China without group discussions. can’t blame them for needing to conform to local laws and regulations, and group discussions have a lot of censorship overhead //终于发现,Linkedin中国(域名lingying.com)上线了(目前看到还有测试版的字样),官方给自己取了一个中文名字:领英网…对于产品,Linkedin中国目前上线的版本可以说中规中矩。本地社交分享用新浪微博和腾讯微博取代Twitter,去掉了群组讨论功能(这个涉及太多的运营负担,而且还得时刻惦记着用户讨论的内容是否会敏感)。// name is “领英网”, like it

衡阳竞选“黑金”-财经网 Caijing cover story on the cash for votes people’s congress scandal in Hengyang, Hunan. Apparently discussed the case at some length in the most recent CDIC Plenary meeting // 涉案金额达1.1亿元,涉及56名省人大代表、518名市人大代表、68名代表大会工作人员的衡阳破坏选举案,是1949年以来公开披露的涉案金额最大、涉及党政官员和人大代表最多的一起选举弊案。

中纪委第二轮巡视:6个巡视点中5个查出腐败_新闻_腾讯网 CDIC releases information on its second round of inspection tours, finds corruption at 5 of the 6 sites visited, finds problems at Xinhua News agency

Related: 山西一日公布三官员被查 中央巡视组要求加大反腐力度_财经频道_一财网 Three Shanxi officials taken down in on day. Unlucky three, can’t be the only ones…

Related: 知止 知耻 知恩 知足(声音)(图)_网易新闻中心 Shanxi Provincial Party secretary gives a tongue twister to help officials stay out of trouble //知止就是要遵纪守法、廉洁自律;知耻就是要心怀敬畏、有所畏惧;知恩就是要不忘宗旨、知恩图报;知足就是要淡泊豁达、脚踏实地

Kerry ups ante in struggle to crack South China Sea rules | Reuters ASEAN officials told Reuters that a working group of officials from China and the 10-member association would resume negotiations in Singapore on March 18 after agreeing to accelerate talks last year that have made little headway so far. The code of conduct is intended to bind China and ASEAN to detailed rules of behavior at sea – all geared to managing tensions long-term while broader territorial disputes are resolved. It stems from a landmark 2002 declaration between ASEAN and China, then hailed as the first significant agreement between the grouping and an outside power.

 

BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE

适时将境外融资纳入社会融资规模统计-财经频道-新华网 China Securities Journal says that offshore financing should be included in the total social financing (TSF) figures. One analyst estimated that could be as much as 20% of the current amount//自2011年中国人民银行公布社会融资规模数据以来,该指标数据由于比贷款更能反映实体经济获得的资金支持力度,而受到了越来越多的关注。根据社会融资规模统计的居民原则,即社会融资规模的持有部门和发行部门均为居民部门,社会融资规模不包括实体经济从境外获得的融资资金。然而,鉴于我国连续多年成为吸引外商直接投资最多的发展中国家,证券投资领域不断对外开放,人民币升值背景下外债较快增长,应考虑适时将社会融资规模统计中的发行部门扩展至非居民部门,即将境内实体经济的境外融资纳入社会融资规模统计。此外,近些年外汇占款一直是我国货币投放的主要渠道,将境外融资纳入社会融资规模统计还可监测境外融资对货币供给的影响。

Chinese Arts Company Goes Public in Bid to Grow – NYTimes.com Poly Culture Group Corporation — is planning an initial public stock offering that could raise up to $330 million and bolster the prospects of the company in the world’s biggest and fastest-growing art and auction market.

 

POLITICS AND LAW

人民日报:激浊扬清增强价值判断力|社会主义|道德|价值观_新浪新闻 page 1 People’s Daily today, hard to see the morality campaign really sticking // 知易行难,价值判断力和道德责任感并不完全等于价值行为。明确了是非、善恶、美丑,还要引导人们择善而行,使价值评价标准成为行动的自觉准则。在这个意义上,增强价值判断力,就要把正面教育与舆论监督结合起来,把热点问题引导与群众道德评议结合起来,旗帜鲜明地弘扬真善美、贬斥假恶丑,树立正确导向、澄清模糊认识、匡正失范行为,形成激浊扬清、抑恶扬善的思想道德舆论场,引导人们自觉做良好道德风尚的建设者、社会文明进步的推动者。

观察站:贪腐涉黑集团 周永康案性质生变_中国_多维新闻网 Interesting Duowei speculation on the Zhou Yongkang investigation // 在多维新闻曾经的分析中,就曾透露中共高层正在斟酌,是否将周永康及其党羽定性为“最大贪腐集团”。虽然高层仍在拿捏是否要在案情公布时使用“以周永康为首、建国以来最大的贪腐集团”这个定性,毕竟“集团”这个词在中共的语境中有着极为特殊的含义,很容易让人想起阶级斗争年代的那些“反革命集团”,相比“窝案”,“集团”背后的政治意味更为浓厚,但是周案的严重程度是毋庸置疑的。 据悉,通过对案件的顺藤摸瓜,逐步排查,调查部门发现周案所涉及官员级别之高,数量之大,覆盖系统之多以及涉案金额之大令人瞠目,也使得对于整个案件的侦破时间不断延长。虽然目前尚不知晓周永康贪腐的具体涉案金额,但是从已经落马的李春城、郭永祥、李崇禧、蒋洁敏、李东生等人来看,这些曾经身居高位的官员几乎已经可以认定都是周永康的党羽,而他们与周永康之前的权钱交易、买官卖官、“黑金”往来也被消息人士称为“难以置信的天文数字”。

刘迎霞撤职政协委员背后:中石油曾认购其主导基金10亿_21世纪网 Liu Yingxia looks to in deep in the petro purge // 备受外界关注的中石油腐败窝案仍未结束,来自多名接近中石油的消息人士向21世纪经济报道记者证实,这一案件的调查范围还在扩大。

中石油窝案意外“击中”薄熙成_中国_多维新闻网 Duowei says Bo Xilai’s brother Bo Xicheng connected 2 one of those taken down in petro purge //【多维新闻】中石油国际事业有限公司党委书记沈定成“失联”意味着中石油腐败窝案远未止步,去年落马的原中石油副总经理李华林并未出现在稍早前中纪委官方公布的结案和立案调查名单中就是一个证明。2月24日,大陆媒体在挖掘李华林简历时又揭露其与浙江金帝集团关系不浅。报道称,李华林牵涉落马的中石油总会计师温青山,又与金帝的实际控制人卢斯侃关系匪浅,金帝的4亿(1元人民币约合0.16美元)多资金即来源于中石油注资重组的宁波金港信托有限责任公司(温青山为董事长)。更为惹人关注的是,该公司董事名单中竟赫然出现重庆市委原书记薄熙来弟弟薄熙成的名字。

More Communist Party officials expected to flee abroad | South China Morning Post The number of Communist Party cadres escaping abroad may also rise because a lack of extradition pacts with some countries means fugitives may find bolt holes overseas, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) said. The academy’s annual Blue Book of the Rule of Law said the anti-corruption watchdog should pay greater attention to officials moving their families or assets abroad and closely monitor people joining government service to nip graft in the bud.

China’s Premier Li Keqiang Calls for More Open Government to Fight Corruption – China Real Time Report – WSJ In newly published remarks, Premier Li said the government’s broad regulatory powers over markets and business are key drivers of rampant graft.  He named bidding for construction projects, government procurement and the awarding of land-use and mining rights as areas particularly prone to corruption. Such processes need to be better standardized this year, and “leading cadres should not meddle,” Mr. Li said at a meeting of the State Council, China’s cabinet, on Feb. 11.

Why the Supreme People’s Court is lobbying National People’s Congress Delegates? | Supreme People’s Court Monitor It appears that the rationale Zhou Qiang (and colleagues) have for these meetings is two-fold.  First, it is to diffuse criticism of the Court (and the work of the lower courts) at the upcoming NPC session and incorporate frequently issues into either the final version of the Court Work Report or the 2014 Court agenda.   The large number of votes against the 2013 Court Work Report was seen as a loss of face and it is likely that Court leadership wants to avoid that. The second reason Zhou Qiang has for closely liaising with NPC delegates is to lay the groundwork for implementing  court reforms

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

China, Vietnam vow more substantial progress in joint maritime cooperation – Xinhua China and Vietnam on Monday vowed to jointly promote their cooperation in areas including maritime, onshore and finance, and achieve more substantial progress. The pledge came out of a meeting between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and visiting President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan.

California Man Gave DuPont Secrets to China, U.S. Says – Bloomberg Liew and his Oakland, California-based consulting company were paid $28 million from 2006 to 2011 for contracts to design a titanium dioxide plant for Pangang, prosecutors said at trial. He used process-flow diagrams and parts of a DuPont internal report about plant equipment, both trade secrets, in his work, Axelrod said, citing documents on Liew’s computers seized by federal agents in 2011 that referenced “stolen prints.”

Military Brick-Breaking Demonstrations Face the Chop – NYTimes.com If combat were simply a matter of showmanship, then the PLA would be near invincible. But military officials are acknowledging that such displays have few practical applications, and are reconsidering the amount of time that troops spend on such training. The shift is a small but symbolically important part of China’s broader effort to modernize its military.

Philippines says China fired water cannon at disputed shoal – Channel NewsAsia General Emmanuel Bautista said Chinese vessels fired cannon on January 27 near Scarborough Shoal — the subject of a bitter territorial row in the strategically important South China Sea

China denounces appointment of U.S. special coordinator on Tibet | Reuters Washington urged the Chinese government on Friday to resume dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives without pre-conditions as a means to reduce tensions. To encourage those talks, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday he had named one of his officials, Sarah Sewall, as a special coordinator for Tibetan Issues. “The Chinese government resolutely opposes any foreign country using the so-called Tibet problem to interfere in China’s internal affairs,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a daily news briefing.

 

TECH AND MEDIA

Sina Profit Beats Estimates as Weibo Ad Sales Increase – Bloomberg The company forecast first-quarter non-GAAP revenue of $162 million to $167 million, including advertising revenue $133 million to $136 million. Shares of Sina fell 6 percent in extended trading after the results. The stock advanced 4.3 percent to close at $76.08 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading yesterday.

I.P.O. Planned for Chinese Microblogging Service – NYTimes.com The offering, which has not been formally announced, could raise up to $500 million later this year. Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse have been selected to underwrite the offering, according to the people close to the matter.

Qihoo 360’s unfair competition appeal rejected – Xinhua | English.news.cn China’s Supreme People’s Court (SPC) on Monday rejected the appeal of Qihoo 360, a major Chinese antivirus software developer, and upheld the original sentence that it had competed unfairly against China’s leading Internet company Tencent. In a statement, the SPC said Qihoo 360, driven by commercial purposes, lured and provided tools for users to change the operation mode of Tencent’s QQ software.

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

Survey finds Chinese see US as the “ideal country” | beyondbrics A hint as to why many Chinese may not regard China as ideal is contained in a hierarchy of worries that respondents confessed to. Not surprisingly, 85 per cent of Chinese said they were worried about the environment – by far the biggest single concern named among the Chinese, US and UK respondents (see chart).

Sochi Winter Olympics: How Did China Do? – China Real Time Report – WSJ In terms of overall medals, China finished 11th with nine medals, while on the gold medal count it was 12th after winning three golds. Russia won on both counts, with 33 medals in total and 13 golds.

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH

南水北调水质忧虑_杂志频道_财新网 This week’s Caixin cover story is about worries over water quality in the South-North Water transfer project

Hospital Hand-Wringing over Serving the Rich – Caixin Peking Union was one of the first in the country to build facilities that cater to the well-off. What’s now called the hospital’s international department would be labeled a special-needs wing at another medical facility. Patients who can afford health care in the international department enjoy quieter, cleaner and better-equipped facilities than their less fortunate counterparts on the other side of the hospital. Receptionists are friendly and the tea is free for patients seated comfortably in brightly lit waiting rooms. Moreover, outpatients need not stand in long lines like the common folk waiting in other parts of the hospital. //where our kids were born eight years ago next week, probably couldn’t get in now

石家庄市民因空气污染状告环保局 为全国首例_新闻_腾讯网 Shijiazhuang, Hebei man sues local environmental bureau over air pollution in first case of its kind

One more H7N9 death, four new human cases in China – Xinhua | English.news.cn China’s southern province of Guangdong reported one more death and four new human cases of H7N9 infection on Monday.

 

BEIJING

邓文迪四合院毗邻故宫价值1亿_网易新闻中心-网易新闻客户端 a reporter finds Wendi Deng’s courtyard house on Bei Chizi street, says worth 100m RMB. Probabaly Rupert Murdoch’s best investment in China // 邓文迪的四合院约莫位于北池子大街中段,前后的宅院大部分属于国家单位所有,时常可见公家用车在此出入。距离北池子小学十分近,步行不到五分钟的距离,如果邓文迪未来有意让两女儿回国读书,此住所是相当不错的选择。

 

JOBS AND EVENTS

JIM LAURIE– Focus Asia Productions Ltd Currently, we are providing consulting services to China Central Television in Washington DC.   In 2014, CCTV America will  increase its daily programming produced from the DC broadcast center to five hours a day.   An ever larger portion of Chinese program production for the global English market is being produced outside China – in Nairobi, Washington, and soon Los Angeles and London. CCTV America in Washington is HIRING in anticipation of an expansion in programming in April.  While most key positions have been filled effective February 17, 2014, if you are interested in any of the Washington DC positions listed below please contact[email protected]

 

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