Consistency is the key to any successful endeavor and of late I have been failing you readers. I apologize. The flu-like affliction that took me down last Tuesday seems to have passed and so things should be getting back to normal. Thanks for your patience.
As always if you wonder what is going on with the newsletter check my Twitter feed.
THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT *
1. Nepal Earthquake: India and China Send Rescue Teams to Himalayan Nation – WSJ Two Asian giants respond quickly to help strategically important neighbor // have to believe China will deliver more aid, and deliver it more efficiently, and is much better positioned than India to help with the massive reconstruction needed
Related: At least 20 killed, 58 injured in Tibet following earthquake – Xinhua At least 20 were killed and 58 injured in southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, after a powerful earthquake struck neighboring Nepal on Saturday, the regional disaster relief headquarters said late Sunday.
Related: CCTV shows moment aftershocks hit Tibet after Nepal earthquake – video | World news | The Guardian Surveillance footage of several aftershocks in Tibet on the same day Nepal was hit by a devastating magnitude 7.9 earthquake. The footage, shot on Saturday, shows roads and buildings shaking violently in Gyirong county, which neighbours Nepal.
2. 经济参考网 – 重组潮涌 央企或缩至40家 目前112家央企旗下共有277家A股上市公司 Xinhua’s Economic Information says number of Central SOEs to be cut to 112 from 40 among reform and mergers/restructurings…lots of interesting opportunities for investors and service providers…report says those 112 central SOEs have 227 listed A-share subsidiaries // 《经济参考报》记者从权威人士处获悉，目前国资委确定了下一步的国企改革重点，央企将在分类基础上进行大规模兼并重组，央企数量有望进一步缩减至40家。“国资委已经就推进央企重组专门下发了文件。”上述人士告诉记者，目前国资委将国有资本分为公益类和商业类，而本轮大规模兼并重组，将在上述分类基础上，首先集中在商业类国企领域，特别是完全竞争性行业，资源要素将会进一步向大企业大公司集中，防止类似南北车那样在参与全球项目时出现同业恶性竞争等情况，目前很多央企已经开始有所动作。
Related: 快讯：传“两桶油”将合并 中石化涨停首页动态一财网 rumors that the two oil majors will be merged, shares of both near 10% limit up, big impact on overall index
3. Bill Bishop on Twitter: “Shanghai composite hit 4500” Very Briefly, Then Sold Off One of my predictions for 2015, though did not expect it this early in the year. This market has come too far fast. What is next? No idea, and neither does anyone else, no matter their fancy financial models or fancy titles, but I will guess there is a correction back into low 4000s before it eventually hits 5000 later this year…the animal (and propaganda) spirits still seem strong with this one
Related: 【舒立观察】“疯牛”有害无益财新周刊频道财新网 Hu Shuli users her column this week to rail against the risks of pushing a “mad bull” stock market to try to solve the fundamental issues in China’s economy // 倘若一味为当前股指涨势喝彩背书，使其变为一头“疯牛”，它不仅解不了实体经济之困，还可能激化既有深层次矛盾，自身沦为一个风险莫测的“风暴眼”.. 指望以股市提振经济，完全颠倒了虚拟经济与实体经济的关系。坚定不移的改革将使股市走势与中国经济趋势相吻合，而一个健康的股市才有望成为实体经济的助推器。
Related: China Inc. Finds Cure to Debt Hangover in $4 Trillion Stock Boom – Bloomberg Business The risk is that a jump in new share sales overwhelms investor demand after the Shanghai Composite’s valuation increased to the highest level in five years. Supply surges have triggered the collapse of four of seven Chinese stock-market booms since 1992, UBS analyst Lu Wenjie wrote in a March 27 research report. The Shanghai gauge dropped as much as 2.2 percent on Friday after regulators said they will speed up the pace of IPO approvals.
Related: A record 3.3 million people signed up to ride China’s dicey stock market last week – Quartz The surging stock markets in both mainland China and Hong Kong in recent weeks have drawn plenty of people to suggest that, when something rises so fast, it can only end badly. If the sheer volume of eager traders is anything to go by, Chinese stocks are unlikely to return to normality any time soon.
4. Asean Chief Says ‘Can’t Accept’ Beijing’s South China Sea Claims – WSJ The Association of Southeast Asian Nations “could not accept the dash line” because it isn’t compatible with international law, Le Luong Minh said in an interview as the group’s two-day leaders summit gets under way in Malaysia. He said both the territorial line, which appears on some Chinese maps and claims wide areas of the region where nations such as Vietnam and the Philippines have claims, and China’s recent reclamation efforts in the sea run counter to a 13-year-old agreement between China and Asean. Mr. Minh said Asean would also speed up talks to establish a code of conduct on how to resolve overlapping territorial claims in the potentially energy-rich region, which is also home to around half the world’s commercial shipping lanes. Beijing, however, appears reluctant to participate
Related: Chinese island-building in South China Sea ‘may undermine peace’, says Asean | World news | The Guardian The statement, yet to be publicly released, was prepared on behalf of leaders gathering for the annual meeting of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in Malaysia. “We share the serious concerns expressed by some leaders on the land reclamation being undertaken in the South China Sea, which has eroded trust and confidence and may undermine peace, security and stability,” it said. Monday’s summit in Kuala Lumpur opens under a cloud caused by fresh evidence in the form of recently released satellite photos showing the scale of Chinese land reclamation.
Related: South China Sea: China’s Unprecedented Spratlys Building Program | The Diplomat High-resolution satellite images from April 17, 2015 reveal that in the space of ten weeks China has built an island on top of Subi Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands group. The dimensions and shape of the land fill, which is still underway, are compatible with a potential airstrip 3,300 meters long, similar to the prospective length of the runway currently being paved on Fiery Cross, the site of another installation being built by China on a former reef in the Spratlys.
5. Michael D. Swaine | The U.S. Pacific Strategy Needs Balance, Not Confrontation | Foreign Affairs Ultimately, the choice facing decision-makers in the United States, China, and other Asian powers is whether to deal forthrightly and sensibly with the changing regional power distribution or avoid the hard decisions that China’s rise poses until the situation grows ever more polarized and dangerous. Indeed, delay will only make the process of change more difficult. There are no other workable alternatives.
Related: Why a Bipolar World Is More Likely Than a Unipolar or Multipolar One | Yan Xuetong Bipolarization doesn’t mean the world is seeing another Cold War. Last century’s Cold War was based on three necessary conditions: Mutual nuclear deterrence and ideological conflicts were the main contradictions, while proxy war was the main means of competition. Under the circumstance of continuous nuclear deterrence, the core contradictions in the Sino-U.S. bipolarization are those over international norms, instead of ideological ones, the means of competition are scientific and technological innovation as well as pursuit of friendly ties. The Sino-U.S. bipolarization will promote changes in international order. The center of gravity of the world will shift from Europe to East Asia. U.S. global dominance will gradually weaken and eurocentric standards in international norms will increasingly give way to pluralist standards. The decline of global organizations and the rise of regional ones will take place simultaneously. What a bipolar international configuration to build will become a practical issue in international politics.
6. Youwei | China’s Authoritarianism Is Reaching Its Limits | Foreign Affairs Youwei is a pseudonym for a scholar based in China….wonder if foreign or Chinese// The need for further reforms still exists, due to widespread corruption, rising inequality, slowing growth, and environmental problems. But the era of authoritarian adaptation is reaching its end, because there is not much potential for further evolution within China’s current authoritarian framework. A self-strengthening equilibrium of stagnation is being formed, which will be hard to break without some major economic, social, or international shock. // I think you could argue that the Xi administration is itself trying to bring the needed shock to the system
Related: May/June 2015 | Foreign Affairs this issue all about China, has several other interesting essays
7. Saudi Aramco’s Al-Falih on China Collaboration – Caixin An interview with the CEO of the Saudi kingdom’s oil giant points to closer ties between China and its largest crude supplier
8. Chinese paper on embryo engineering splits scientific community | Science/AAAS The announcement that a Chinese team had altered the genetics of a human embryo for the first time has ignited a firestorm of controversy around the world and renewed recent calls for a moratorium on any attempt to establish a pregnancy with such an engineered embryo. But it has also underscored that although scientists are united in their opposition to any clinical application of such embryo manipulation, they are split on the value of basic research that involves genetically modifying human embryos. In China itself, where the precedent-setting research is big news and some in the public have expressed concern on the Internet about the embryo experiments, “most scientists are more positive,” says Guo-Qiang Chen, a microbiologist at Tsinghua University in Beijing. “My personal opinion is that as long as they can control the consequences they should continue this work.”
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *
定向调控更有效–时政–人民网 page 1 People’s Daily makes it clear we should expect more targeted policies to help the economy…as opposed to the 2009 mass puking of credit // 本报北京4月26日电 （记者许志峰、成慧）近日，中国人民银行宣布普降存款准备金率1个百分点。这是央行2008年11月以来力度最大的一次降准。从去年11月以来，两次降息、两次降准、财政赤字规模增加……政策面连连“出拳”。据此有观点认为，宏观调控已经转向。究竟应如何准确地看待这些政策的意图？
宏观调控转向了吗（特别报道·解疑中国经济②）–财经–人民网 the same message in a longer People’s Daily piece // 降息、降准、增加财政赤字……近一段时间以来，政策面连连“出拳” 保持定力不等于固定僵化、自缚手脚、无所作为。小幅调整利率、存款准备金率等不是强刺激、大放水，而是灵活有效的预调微调。新常态下，宏观调控要保持定力，也应增强活力，提高针对性、灵活性、有效性…宏观政策没转向…当前没必要搞强刺激，近期宏观政策变动仍属于预调微调的范围
China Swaps Drop to 33-Month Low as PBOC Seen Ensuring Liquidity – Bloomberg Business China’s interest-rate swaps declined to the lowest level since 2012 on speculation the central bank will keep borrowing costs low amid mounting debt pressure. Local governments reported 16 trillion yuan ($2.6 trillion) of outstanding liabilities in a review earlier this year, the China News said on its website, citing a Ministry of Finance official it didn’t name. That indicates a 47 percent jump from 10.9 trillion yuan in June 2013.
China banks balk at local debt-swap plan – FT.com Several Chinese provincial governments have been forced to postpone bond auctions as banks balk at the low yields on offer, state media reported on Friday, highlighting the challenges of carrying out a Rmb1tn ($161bn) plan to lower financing costs for cash-strapped localities…Economic Information Daily, an affiliate of the official Xinhua news agency, reported on Friday that east coast Jiangsu province and central Anhui province will both postpone bond auctions after underwriters failed to drum up enough demand for the paper at yields the provincial governments were prepared to offer.
The trouble with market-based financing… in China | FT Alphaville The domestic financial media in China is processing the news that what should have been a routine debt auction by the Jiangsu provincial government failed. This event and subsequent information flows about potential wider delays to the local government bond swap program could trip up China’s market rally. In our view this is raising the stakes for President Xi’s Politburo meeting this weekend, and heading into next week we expect clearer messaging about how Beijing is going to smooth over systemic refinancing needs without roiling markets.
China to Crack Down on Stock Manipulation as Market Soars – Bloomberg Business The China Securities Regulatory Commission will target trading by brokerage employees using non-public information, and market manipulation, including of futures prices, the CSRC said in a Friday statement on its website. The regulator also cited insider trading in over-the-counter markets and accounting fraud in mergers and acquisitions.// 证监会启动专项执法严打操纵市场
Video: Ghostly? China’s Property Market Reconsidered starts by taking on some of the poor commentary about the Zhengzhou New City..when I visited there last June it was packed, had tea with an official cum real estate developer and when I told him western “experts” said it was a “ghost city” he basically said “are foreigners really that stupid”? // While the media continues to predict China’s imminent collapse, Matthews Asia Investment Strategist Andy Rothman shares insights from a recent research trip to the region and helps investors reconsider China’s property market. As the world’s best consumption story, Andy explains why he believes China’s very soft property market is unlikely to result in a housing crisis.
Cuts to pay and perks trigger flight from China’s state banks | Reuters Bankers at China’s top state lenders are quitting in increasing numbers because of cuts to their pay and perks, and moving to a new breed of financial firms such as leasing companies, trusts and online platforms, bankers and headhunters say. As part of an austerity, anti-graft drive, Beijing last year dictated pay cuts of up to a half for senior-level state bankers. Some state-owned lenders have since quietly cut salaries across the board.
Bridgewater’s Ray Dalio Says He’s Bullish on China – Bloomberg Business Ray Dalio, founder of $169 billion investment firm Bridgewater Associates, said he was optimistic on the Chinese economy in the long term. “I am impressed with the leadership of the the country,” he said in an interview Sunday on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS.” “There’s a lot of potential. Capital has not flowed to all parts of the economy.”
China may join the unconventional monetary club | Gavyn Davies The story of the deflation of China’s credit mountain will be a book of many chapters. In the next chapter, we will learn whether the authorities have acted in time to correct the first genuine downturn in economic activity since 2008. The odds are in their favour, this time.
New leader at China’s Chamber-China Daily Xu Chen (fourth from left), president and CEO of the Bank of China USA, speaks after his election as chairman of the China General Chamber of Commerce-USA (CGCC) during the chamber’s 2015 meeting in Washington on Monday. On the head table with Xu are (from left) Yuan Ning, president of China Construction America and outgoing chairman of CGCC; Tian Deyou, minister counselor from the Chinese Embassy; Chen Yu, Sinochem Americas president; and Joe Han, China Telecom Americas president.
Cheaper Robots, Fewer Workers – NYTimes Faced with an acute and worsening shortage of blue-collar workers, China is rushing to develop and deploy a wide variety of robots for use in thousands of factories.
POLITICS AND LAW *
Many of China’s Most-Wanted Graft Suspects Have Taken Refuge in the U.S. – Bloomberg Business Repatriating financial fugitives is a key piece of Xi’s crackdown and China has pressed the governments of the U.S. and other perceived safe havens to cooperate on their return. The U.S. was seeking ways to deal with more than 100 fugitives sought by China even though the countries have no extradition agreement, a U.S. official said in December, asking not to be identified. Canada was the second most popular destination for former officials on China’s list, with 26, which was released by the Ministry of Public Security and the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the Communist Party’s graft-busting agency. New Zealand was third with as many as 20. // the full list, with mug shots, on the CCDI site-“天网”行动重拳出击全球通缉百名外逃人员” Recognize anyone? Could this be a bonanza for private detectives in the Chinese communities in these countries?
China nets wanted economic fugitive – China Daily According to a statement of the Communist Party of China Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), police and procuratorate agencies, under the command of the Ministry of Public Security, seized Dai Xuemin Saturday morning, the first being netted among the 100. Dai, the former manager of a trust and investment company, is suspected of embezzling funds of 11 million yuan ($1.77 million). He fled the country in August 2001, and returned recently with a fake ID and foreign passport.
人权学者徐显明任中央政法委副秘书长政经频道财新网 Human rights scholar Xu Xianming appointed vice secretary general of the central politics and law committee–Caixin // 曾担任中国政法大学、山东大学校长，力推人权入宪
Lawsuit Over Banned Memoir Asks China to Explain Censorship – NYTimes When Li Nanyang flew here from Hong Kong two years ago, she brought something eagerly anticipated by many Chinese historians and thinkers: several dozen copies of her father’s memoir. In it, Li Rui, a 98-year-old retired Communist Party official, offered an unvarnished, insider’s account of his experiences in the leadership. But as Ms. Li passed through customs at the airport, the authorities seized the books, an experience shared increasingly by Chinese travelers arriving home.
Translation: Internet Clean-up Awards – China Digital Times (CDT) The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) held a meeting on “Internet reporting work” in Beijing on April 14, as reported in the translated article below. Peng Bo, deputy to cyberspace czar Lu Wei, noted progress last year in “constructing a basic framework for the national Internet reporting system.” The basic framework for reporting “harmful” and “illegal” information posted online is surely already in place—Google has hits for “Internet reporting work” (网络举报工作) dating back to 2004, and the report states that representatives from hundreds of websites and from local Internet reporting offices were present. Awards were given at the conference for “advanced” teams and individuals, which are listed at the end.
China’s Anti-Corruption Drive: Don’t Stop Now – Caixin – Hu Shuli Editorial The general public and government officials must agree that there are good reasons to continue the drive. Some government officials think they’ll be safe in the face of the anti-corruption drive if they make only perfunctory efforts to perform their duties. But the central leadership must not be deterred. Only by continuing the anti-corruption drive, deepening reform efforts, building rule of law and encouraging capable officials to sharpen their pencils can there be any hope for our country. Officials who sit idly at their desks and neglect their duties in hopes the storm will pass are fooling themselves. What they’re doing is not new, although the phenomenon in recent years has gotten worse. The underlying cause is the system. Legally, there is no way to punish this behavior. As a result, the government has become less efficient and in some areas the governing process has been crippled. But now, as the economy slows and political reform becomes more urgent, something needs to be done. The nation’s problems cannot be addressed promptly unless idlers in government offices are dealt with properly.
Exiled Tiananmen Protester Blocked From Entering Hong Kong – NYTimes not very Confucian to deny a visit to a dying parent is it? // Hong Kong immigration officials barred an exiled dissident from entering the territory on Thursday after he publicly pleaded to be allowed to return to China to see his critically ill mother. “I’ve arrived at the border of the free world,” Xiong Yan, 50, now an American citizen and United States Army chaplain, wrote in a text message from the Hong Kong International Airport early Friday, after he was stopped by officials for questioning.
China rates its own citizens – including online behaviour | Buitenland | de Volkskrant The Chinese government is currently implementing a nationwide electronic system, called the Social Credit System, attributing to each of its 1,3 billion citizens a score for his or her behavior. The system will be based on various criteria, ranging from financial credibility and criminal record to social media behavior. From 2020 onwards each adult citizen should, besides his identity card, have such a credit code.
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *
The Battle Above – CBS News 60 Minutes interesting US Space Command decides to open up to 60 Minutes. Why now?// U.S. and China are locked in a high stakes contest over satellites that are critical to national security and everyday life
Three top Chinese military officers held in graft probes | South China Morning Post Three senior People’s Liberation Army officers, including one from retired military chief Guo Boxiong’s former power base, were detained by military prosecutors, the armed forces announced on Sunday. The detention of Zhan Guoqiao, the former head of logistics for the Lanzhou Military Area Command, and Dong Mingxiang, who held the same post in Beijing, underscores the graft problem in that military arm. Zhan Jun, a former deputy provincial commander in Hubei, had also been detained by military prosecutors // 解放军通报反腐进展 再有3名军级以上干部落马
United States seeks access to Philippine bases as part of Asia pivot | Reuters The United States has asked for access to Philippine military bases in eight locations to rotate troops, aircraft, and ships as Washington shifts its forces to Asia and as China expands its military presence in the South China Sea. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, in a speech in Arizona, has outlined Washington’s next phase in its Asia “pivot”, deploying its most sophisticated destroyers, bombers and fighters to the region.
Commentary: Abe’s U.S. trip: sense or sensibility? – Xinhua As Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will make a high-profile visit to the United States beginning Sunday, he should hold up rightist, nationalist and revisionist impulses, and roll out more prudent and thus wiser statements this time. On the Capital Hill [SIC] , under the global media spotlight, he should seize that opportunity to show remorse over Japan’s rightist swagger in recent years and make a long-awaited apology for his country’s wartime crimes, loud and clear.
Abe’s date with history in Washington | FT Mr Abe’s efforts to reinvigorate Japan has won him many admirers in the US but even his close friends in Washington regard his obsessions with history as a disastrous propaganda windfall for their mutual rival, China. The reaction of a congressional delegation visiting Tokyo in February summed up Washington’s irritation. They had wanted to talk about big bi-lateral issues, like mutual defence and trade, but found themselves focused on history instead. “It’s perplexing to us why these issues around World War II keep coming up,” Diana DeGette, a Colorado Democrat, told the Wall Street Journal. “[Mr Abe] can’t do anything else that will provoke these negative sentiments.”
Audio: Sheila A. Smith on Japanese-Chinese Relations – Council on Foreign Relations Sheila A. Smith, CFR’s senior fellow for Japan studies, discusses Japan’s primary policy concerns as it navigates its relationship with an advancing China, as part of CFR’s Academic Conference Call series.
New law to allow Japan to supply U.S. military in South China Sea, say officials Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plans to expand Japan’s non-combat role in armed conflicts beyond “areas around Japan” could see Tokyo becoming dragged into action in the South China Sea in support of U.S. forces, government and ruling party sources say. Abe will send legislation to parliament next month – with the backing of his coalition partners virtually assuring its passage – allowing Japan to ship fuel and ammunition to American units anywhere, should Tokyo judge its national security to be at stake. Japan and the United States have no territorial claims in the energy-rich South China Sea, but tensions are rising between China and Philippines in the strategic waterway, where some $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year, much of it heading to and from Japanese ports.
A New Era for China and Pakistan? | ChinaFile A ChinaFile Conversation Andrew Small, Paul J. Smith, Daniel S. Markey, Christopher Tang // Xi’s visit also put more emphasis than ever before on counter-terrorism. With attacks in Xinjiang and in major Chinese cities escalating in recent years, the pressure on Pakistan has grown. Not only has Beijing pushed the Pakistani army to conduct operations against militant safe havens in North Waziristan, it has also stressed China’s interest in seeing Pakistan facilitate a stable outcome in Afghanistan rather than acting as spoiler. Xi’s speeches and articles were filled with praise for Pakistan’s counter-terror efforts, and offers of deeper cooperation, but the level of public emphasis also served as a warning. If the security situation in the region deteriorates after the drawdown of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and China sees Pakistan’s approach as inadequate or counterproductive, many of the grand-scale Chinese investments will not be forthcoming
Is China Planning To Build More Missile Submarines? – Federation Of American Scientists If China is indeed building significantly more Jin SSBNs, as the statement by PACOM implies, then it is a surprise that raises a number of questions. The first question is whether it is accurate. The PACOM projection is above and beyond the estimate of 4-6 SSBNs projected by the Office of Naval Intelligence in 2013. The Jin-class is a work in progress and the submarines are noisier than Soviet Delta III SSBNs developed in the 1970s. Presumably the Chinese navy is working hard to make the Jin SSBNs survivable, but up to eight would be an expensive experiment. And China appears to be designing a newer SSBN type anyway, the Type-096. Projections such as these often prove too much too soon, so only time will tell. But if China were to deploy up to eight Jin SSBNs with up to 96 missiles, it would be a significant shift in China’s nuclear posture, which up till recently was almost entirely focused on land-based nuclear weapons. And this is odd.
The European Union’s China Policy: Priorities and Strategies for the New Commission – ECIPE The European Union should prioritise its trade and investment ambitions with China. These are the areas where the European treaties endow the EU institutions with power. China has great stakes in its commercial relation to Europe and if the EU acts skillfully it can obtain improvements in its access to China’s market. However, Europe needs to formulate a policy that does not split its own ranks. It needs to be able to speak with one voice and not give China the opportunity to play the game of divide and rule with Europe. China can play that game skillfully and did that in several trade-defence disputes with Europe during the previous Commission. Beyond trade and investment, it needs to put the emphasis on areas of cooperation where the two sides share ambitions.
PLA navy micro blog goes full steam ahead – China Daily but on People’s Daily’s weibo platform // Senior Captain Shen Liqing, director of the publicity department at the navy’s Beijing headquarters, said the micro blog on people.com.cn, the flagship website of People’s Daily, aims to improve the navy’s communication and publicity capabilities, improve transparency, provide a platform for exchanges between the service and the public and respond to hot issues concerning the PLA navy. The blog will publicize important navy events and provide information, publish recruitment notices, and outline the history, achievements and etiquette of the service, Shen said.
A Bittersweet Reprieve for Chinese Woman Who Killed Abusive Husband – China Real Time Report – WSJ Insults and shoes were thrown and young women attacked as in-laws protested the decision of the Ziyang Intermediate People’s Court in Sichuan to grant a reprieve to Li Yan, a 44-year-old woman found guilty of murdering her abusive husband, by reducing her death sentence to the equivalent of life in prison. Both the turmoil and the verdict left lawyers and anti-discrimination activists doubtful of the Chinese legal system’s ability to protect women, even as the Communist Party trumpets plans to pass what is expected to be a landmark domestic violence law.
TECH AND MEDIA *
Huawei CEO says Chinese cybersecurity rules could backfire | Reuters China can only ensure its information security in the long run if it keeps its market open to the best technology products, be they foreign or domestic, Huawei’s rotating chief executive Eric Xu told Reuters on Tuesday. Xu’s remarks are a rare example of a top Chinese CEO openly questioning the direction of Beijing’s information security policy, already a source of concern for countries who fear it will limit opportunities for their technology firms.
Graft Probe Uncovers Dark Screen at Anhui TV – Caixin One of China’s leading provincial TV stations has been rocked by a corruption investigation targeting key executives
Xiaomi Boosts Its Business In India With Strategic Investment From Tata Sons Head | TechCrunch Xiaomi is making a push to be a local player in India. Days after unveiling its first phone customized to the South Asia country (the impressive $205 Mi 4i), Xiaomi announced that it has taken investment from leading Indian businessman Ratan Tata. Tata (pictured above with Xiaomi VP of global Hugo Barra and head of India Manu Jain) is chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons — a conglomerate with shares in over 100 businesses, including Tata Motors and Indian Hotels. 77-year-old Tata has taken an active interest in India’s technology startups of late,and his portfolio also includes an investment in Paytm, the payments firm that took money from Alibaba at a billion dollar valuation.
China’s Young Leave State Ranks to Chase Riches at Tech Startups – Bloomberg Business Hou Yu, a 26-year-old former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker, returned to the mainland from Hong Kong last year to set up her own online finance firm. She’s focused on working with small and medium enterprises. “China’s current technology boom is intertwined with reform in finance and politics and energy, environment and health care,” said Hou, who graduated from New York University with a master’s degree in math. “This is a very powerful process and it’s all very exciting.”
Why Buy the Hardware When China Is Getting the IP for Free? | Foreign Policy Ever since the beginning of modern China’s opening to the outside world in the late 1970s, Beijing has insisted that foreign firms in many industries transfer technology to local Chinese enterprises as a prerequisite to market access. In the IT industry, initial concerns about creating rivals died quickly; the handful of Chinese companies that existed were not ready to exploit the technology. Local customers preferred foreign market leaders over local competitors, and Chinese enterprises were unable to deliver the mix of quality, features, and after-sales service necessary to beat the global giants. While domestic companies lived on the low-margin business that the global players could not afford to service, foreign IT firms flourished in China. Today, though, that gamble is increasingly looking like a sucker’s bet loaded in China’s favor. The market dynamics of the 1980s and 1990s, when a company could transfer technology to relatively primitive Chinese enterprises and still remain dominant in the country and beyond, have evaporated. The local players left standing after a Darwinian consolidation process are focused, hungry, and ready to use foreign technology to vault them into global leadership.
Qualcomm Launches Unit to Help Chinese Smartphone Makers Sell Overseas – WSJ Qualcomm established a globalization office in Shenzhen last quarter to help Chinese smartphone makers connect with overseas markets, said Jeff Lorbeck, senior vice president of Qualcomm China, in an interview. “One of the things we are doing that is new is a significant refocusing of our efforts on supporting our Chinese customers to export out of China,” he said. The company also is trying to be more public about its partnerships and investments in China after the antitrust case, Mr. Lorbeck said. He said the company has long invested in China but didn’t do a good job at educating stakeholders about its contributions. One of Qualcomm’s executives wrote a blog post on the company’s website this month detailing how she danced with Sesame Street muppets in Beijing to teach children about mobile road safety.
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY *
A First Look at the Dresses in the Met’s “China: Through the Looking Glass” – Vogue Western eyes have drawn inspiration from “exotic” Asian images since the seventeenth century. With the opening of “China: Through the Looking Glass” at the Met, fashion historians—and filmmaker Wong Kar Wai, the exhibition’s artistic director—turn the mirror around.
诗人汪国真去世，享年59岁 最新诗选出版仅一个月娱乐新京报网 Poet Wang Guozhen dead at 59 // 八十年代风靡校园的诗人汪国真今天(4月26日)凌晨去世，年仅59岁。此时，距他最新一本诗选《青春在路上》出版，仅仅一个月的时间。汪国真自1985年开始进行诗歌的创作。写出过著名诗句“没有比脚更长的路，没有比人更高的山”。曾经在1990年代掀起一股“汪国真热”。
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH *
Cities in China’s North Resist Tapping Water Piped From South – WSJ After spending billions of dollars on a mammoth project to transfer water from China’s wet south to the parched north, the central government is facing a problem: Many cities aren’t using the water. A number are balking at the high cost of the transferred water, and they are struggling with figuring out how much to charge users. Other cities are deterred by the expense of building the pumping stations, processing plants and other infrastructure needed to tap the South-North Water Transfer Project.
Mayo Clinic-Invested Company to Open General Hospital in Beijing – Caixin Amcare Women’s and Children’s Hospital has become the first foreign-invested medical services institution in China to set up a general hospital, amid growing opportunities in the private hospital business. Amcare Corporation, which is backed by U.S. investment giant Warburg Pincus LLC, entered a partnership with a joint venture company owned by American medical services group Mayo Clinic to set up a hospital in Beijing. The facilities will cater primarily to the emerging middle class, according to Amcare Corporation founder Hu Lan.
China’s Great Green Wall Helps Pull CO2 Out of Atmosphere – Scientific American According to a study published recently in the journal Nature Climate Change, the total amount of carbon stored in all living biomass above the soil has increased globally by almost 4 billion tons since 2003, with China contributing in a notable way to the increase. “The increase in vegetation primarily came from a lucky combination of environmental and economic factors and massive tree-planting projects in China,” said Liu Yi, the study’s lead author, in a press release. Liu is a remote sensing scientist from the Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science at the University of New South Wales in Australia.
China’s National Coal Cap Policy Could Save Nearly 50,000 Lives and $6.2 Billion Every Year by 2020 | Barbara A. Finamore China’s proposed national policies to curb coal use will provide enormous air quality and health benefits to the public and coal industry workers, saving 49,000 lives and $6.2 billion in 2020, according to a new study (Chinese version here) released by the China Coal Cap Project, a joint initiative of academic, governmental and non-profit researchers, with the support of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and World Wildlife Foundation (WWF).
河北首开按日计罚罚单 6企被罚两千万政经频道财新网 Hebei’s Environmental Protection Office trying to show it has teeth by imposing larger fines // 河北省环境保护厅网站消息，日前河北省开出新《环保法》实施以来的首批“按日计罚”罚单：涉及6家企业，罚款总额为2047.57万元。
Waste disposal: Keep the fires burning | The Economist For now, incinerating more trash is the best solution. Doug Woodring of the Ocean Recovery Alliance, a charity, says waste should still be sifted for recyclable materials before being burned. But China needs more incinerators, he says (as long as they are “very clean” ones). Building them will require the government to do more to earn the trust of a public that is rightly suspicious of official pledges to protect the environment. Some older incinerators have not burned as cleanly as promised, belching foul-smelling smoke from their furnaces. The latest generation of incinerators in China may help to overcome public scepticism.
FOOD AND TRAVEL *
The People’s Republic Of Cruiseland | Bloomberg Business As with most of the 2,635 passengers on the ship—98 percent of whom were from China—it was Li’s first time taking a cruise. A self-declared workaholic, he spent his career at a successful architecture firm in Shaanxi province. Wanting a treat, he’d signed up himself and his grandniece Lin Ruijuan, a medical student, for one of the cruise’s most expensive packages, a $4,000 suite with a balcony and a never-ending supply of fruit plates. So far, he wasn’t impressed. The service was “cold,” he said, and there wasn’t enough Chinese food. His main complaint: The special treatment he was receiving wasn’t special enough. “Money speaks for itself,” Li told me. “I have money.”
北京提出年内实现核心区无煤化政经频道财新网 Beijing says it will remove all coal burning from city center by end of 2015, reducing burning of coal by 4 million tons to withing 15 million tons // 今年要压减燃煤400万吨，煤炭消费总量削减到1500万吨以内。城市核心区基本实现无煤化、城六区基本取消燃煤锅炉
JOBS AND EVENTS *
National Bureau of Research Internship Opportunities some interesting opportunities in Seattle and DC
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