The Sinocism China Newsletter 07.17.14

Today’s Links:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

Anti-graft chief vows to contain spread of corruption – Xinhua | English.news.cn China’s anti-graft chief vowed on Wednesday to maintain a “high-voltage” crack down on corruption and resolutely contain the spread of corruption. Wang Qishan, secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China, asked anti-graft inspectors to get ready for a new round of inspection. The official urged inspectors to watch closely over corruption in mining, natural resources, land transfer, real estate development, construction projects, public and special funds…Anti-corruption authorities will soon begin a second round inspection in 10 provincial-level regions. They include Guangxi, Shanghai, Qinghai, Tibet, Zhejiang, Hebei, Shaanxi, Heilongjiang, Sichuan and Jiangsu. They are also scheduled to inspect the General Administration of Sport, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the First Automotive Works Group Corporation.//interesting that Shanghai made the list, given the results of round one of inspections the relevant authorities in these regions, industries and organizations must be very nervous, and now it is nearly impossible for them to leave the country

Related: [视频]王岐山出席2014年中央第二轮巡视工作动员部署会并讲话_新闻频道_央视网(cctv.com) Wednesday CCTV Evening News on Wang Qishan’s comments

Related: China widens anti-corruption drive to officials with family abroad | Reuters Wang Qishan, secretary of its watchdog Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, told investigators to go after “naked officials”, state media said, referring to those who have children or spouses who live abroad. Wang “urged inspectors to watch closely over corruption in mining, natural resources, land transfers, real estate development, construction projects, public and special funds,” the official Xinhua news agency said. Xinhua said a second round of inquiries in 10 provinces and regions will include Sichuan, where the former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang, who is under virtual house arrest according to Reuters sources, once held the top party post.

Related: 王岐山:不折不扣落实中央要求 持续强化巡视震慑作用——新闻头条——中央纪委监察部网站 王岐山在2014年中央第二轮巡视工作动员部署会上强调 不折不扣落实中央要求 持续强化巡视震慑作用

Note to Cadres: Hands Off the Black Audi and Chauffeur – NYTimes.com On Wednesday, the Chinese Communist Party announced that, as part of its drive against official corruption and waste, it would snatch yet another bauble away from many officials: their dedicated cars, often with ask-no-questions chauffeurs and don’t-touch-my-ride special registration plates that enrage many citizens. President Xi Jinping won’t be losing his limousine, nor will many hundreds of officials with a rank equal to vice minister or higher. But the rules announced by Chinese news media could, if implemented, be a blow to many thousands of cadres below that rank who have become used to making public cars their own.// reforms to military plates in May 2013 have had more effect than most expected at the time…this cadre car reform is bigger, and harder

Related: 我国公车改革全面启动:取消副部级以下领导用车_新闻_腾讯网 16日,《中央和国家机关公务用车制度改革方案》和《关于全面推进公务用车制度改革的指导意见》正式发布,中国公车改革全面推开。 根据方案,2014年底前,中央和国家机关应力争基本完成公车改革;2015年年底前,基本完成地方党政机关公车改革;用2至3年时间,公车改革全面完成。 根据方案,原则上各级党政机关(包括党委、人大、政府、政协、审判、检察机关、各民主党派和工商联,参照公务员法管理的人民团体、群众团体、事业单位)全部参加改革。事业单位、国有企业和国有金融企业,具体办法另行制定。

中石油海外两名高管被带走 加拿大油砂交易蒙阴影_公司频道_财新网 more from Caixin on corruption in PetroChina’s overseas businesses, says the actual head of PTR Canada was recently recalled to Beijing and detained at the airport, that 贾晓霞 aka Margaret Jia, the sister of Zhou Bin’s stepmother 贾晓晔 (and Zhou Yongkang’s wife, a former CCTV anchor) is the titular head of PTR Canada, is a Canadian citizen and is still in Canada but keeping a low profile…report also says the corruption case may impact PTR deals in Canada  //  在5月中旬原中石油股份公司副总经理、中石油海外勘探开发公司(CNODC)总经理薄启亮被调查之后,针对中石油海外项目的调查持续深入。财新记者经多名消息人士确认,中石油海外勘探开发公司副总经理宋亦武、中石油在加拿大地区的实际负责人李智明,近日被带走调查。   消息人士指,宋亦武于上周被带走,李智明则是在6月底被召回国后在机场直接被带走。

Advice for journalists in China: Hire a lawyer – Telegraph Isn’t one of the lessons the Party took from the collapse of the USSR that the CPSU lost control of the media and allowed too many competing voices? Much of what Xi has been doing may make sense when looked at from a list of “what the USSR and especially Gorbachev did wrong” Grim…  //  Last week the media regulator also restated rules against publishing “state secrets” or even “previously unpublished material”. In addition, the heads of several Journalism schools have recently been replaced by officials from the Propaganda department. “At least ten journalism schools, including Anhui, Lanzhou, Nanjing and the Chinese University of Political Science and Law have deans from the central Propaganda department,” said Zhan Jiang, a media professor at Beijing Foreign Studies university.

Guest post: China has the world’s best consumer story – beyondbrics – Blogs – FT.com a non-Pettisian view of China’s Economy, also a non-sell side view//  Andy Rothman, Matthews International Capital Management Statistics announced on Wednesday do much to challenge the view that sub-par Chinese consumer spending is to blame for the sluggish rebalancing of the world’s second largest economy away from an over-reliance on investment. For too long this opinion has obscured the crucial truth that China is actually host to the world’s best consumer story…or those waiting for a sustainable “rebalancing” process to begin, that day has arrived. China’s transition away from investment-led growth is already underway: after rising at a roughly 25 per cent pace for nine years through 2011, FAI growth has been slowing, and this year is likely to increase by about 16-18 per cent. This slower year on year FAI growth is inevitable, as so much as already been built and the base has become so large, meaning that GDP growth will also continue to decelerate, from 10.4 per cent in 2010 to 7.7 per cent in 2012 and 2013, to our forecast of 7-7.5 per cent this year and 5-6 per cent in 2020.

Helping China’s Doves – NYTimes.com Kishore Mahbubani  //  China is on the verge of destroying a geopolitical miracle. In 1980, its economy was less than one-tenth that of the United States. In 30 years, China rose to become No. 2 in the world, without disrupting the world order. Suddenly, with little warning, three decades of careful management of its external challenges have been replaced by three years of assertive and occasionally reckless actions. This new posture partly explains an emerging Western media consensus that China has become an expansionist military power, threatening its neighbors and the world. But before this consensus is set in stone, we should remind ourselves what a large, complex society China is: Neither the country nor its government is monolithic.

China and Europe in Talks on Space Exploration Program -$$- WSJ Senior Chinese and European space officials have been discussing potentially wide-ranging cooperation on manned exploration programs, a prospect that threatens to alarm Washington and further complicate the future of the international space station. Jean-Jacques Dordain, director-general of the European Space Agency, said in an interview that the two sides have talked about the issue of extensive in-orbit cooperation in some detail, without coming to any resolution. His comments, made during an international air show here, were the most detailed yet regarding European efforts to move closer to Beijing regarding manned space projects.

Internet TV, Set-Top Box Makers Slapped with More Content Restrictions – Caixin Officials from the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television recently met with representatives from the seven licensed content providers in two groups to issue the order. The licensed providers are China Network Television, Shanghai Media Group, Wasu Group, Southern Media Corp., Hunan Television; China Radio International and China National Radio. The seven licensed providers are the only entities approved to offer online content through Internet TVs. The new rules also require licensed providers submit electronic program guides and codes for each terminal device to the government. The licensed providers are also barred from entering into business deals with telecoms operators and companies placed under investigation by the media watchdog.//does this move effectively block distribution over set top boxes for Youku, Baidu’s iQiyi et al?

Related: GAPPRFT to Regulate Internet TV Platform License Holders | Marbridge Consulting – China Television News 1.Proscribed partnerships with online video websites: Online video websites can only act as content providers, and are not permitted to set up dedicated content zones or channels on Internet TV platforms. Additionally, licensed platform operators must remove any foreign content provided by online video websites that has not been specifically approved by GAPPRFT;// think the correct acronym is SAPPRFT

Related: 广电总局整顿盒子 阿里乐视受阻_公司频道_财新网 Internet TV crackdown seems to have thrown Alibaba’s Wasu plans into a bit of turmoil  //  阿里巴巴紧急暂停发布天猫魔盒2,乐视股价大跌。互联网电视盒子产业链经受严峻考验

Related: 【独家】乐视深陷监管危机_公司频道_财新网 LeTV stops selling its Internet TV box after new rules issued…it’s cooperative structure with a license holder not allowed…stock craters  //  与牌照方合作被广电总局叫停,乐视盒子暂停销售。在广电总局的新一轮集中打击之下,乐视的商业模式受到挑战

 

BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE

China Plays a Big Role as U.S. Treasury Yields Fall – WSJ $$ Investors wrestling with the mysterious U.S. bond rally of 2014 got a clue about where to look: China. The Chinese government has increased its buying of U.S. Treasurys this year at the fastest pace since records began more than three decades ago, data released Wednesdayshow. The purchases help explain Treasurys’ unexpectedly strong rally this year. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note has fallen to 2.54%, from 3% at the end of 2013. Yields fall as prices rise.

China’s June Home Sales Rise 33% as Price Cuts Lure Buyers – Bloomberg Developers, including China Vanke Co. and Greentown China Holdings Ltd., have cut property prices since March to boost sales. The central bank in May called on the nation’s biggest lenders to accelerate the granting of mortgages and urged them to give priority to first-home buyers. The decline in home sales “bottomed out” in the second quarter due to easier policy that has quickened mortgage approvals, Hong Kong-based Nomura Holdings Inc. property analyst Jeffrey Gao said on a conference call yesterday.

WH Group Hits out Against ‘Defamatory’ Accusations – Caixin The firm named one video that purportedly was shot in factories for “a big American meat producer,” which shows workers using rats to make ham sausages, among other gross violations of food safety regulations. The video emerged online in June and was widely circulated in online forums and WeChat, a popular messaging app, Henan Shuanghui said. Other messages include one predicting a sharp fall in the company’s share price because of losses in the second quarter. The firm blames the messages cited by online media on July 10 for the drop in its share price the same day. Shares closed 1.4 percent lower to 31.64 yuan per share, the lowest level in the year to date. The messages also said Wan Long, chairman of Henan Shuanghui and its direct parent company Shuanghui Group, was ill.

Gov’t Selects Six SOEs for New Round of Pilot Reforms – Caixin Experts hail this as a promising move that could enable a board of directors to do what it is supposed to do: represent all investors including the small ones instead of rubber-stamping the decisions of government shareholders. “SOE boards of directors are fake and act more like an advising committee, but the reform could make them real,” said Zhang Wenkui, a research Fellow at the Development Research Centre under the State Council, the country’s cabinet. The SOEs chosen do not include the country’s biggest oil and gas producers, China National Petroleum Corp. and China Petrochemical Corp., which have often been criticized for having unfair advantages because the state owns them. They were left out of the pilot because reform needs to start with relatively open fields where competition has been strong and then move on to less competitive fields when the regulator gains experience, said Zhou Fangsheng, vice-director of the China Enterprise Reform & Development Society, a government think tank.

Foreign companies are easy prey in Xi’s China – FT.com China has also become more assertive on the international stage, which only adds to multinationals’ vulnerability in the anti-corruption campaign. Targeting them poses little risk but offers much in terms of potential domestic political gain. Taken together, all these changes combine to make foreign multinationals easy targets to single out. The writer is a professor of finance at the Yale School of Management

In China, Beijing Fights Losing Battle to Rein In Factory Production – WSJ Since 2000, Beijing has told Hebei to cut capacity several other times, but local officials each time rebuffed the plans. When China’s planning agency ordered smaller blast furnaces be closed in 2009, for instance, Hebei Tianzhu Iron & Steel Group in Tangshan dismantled four of them and won a $785,000 bonus for doing so from the central government. The steelmaker then turned around and built a much larger blast furnace. “We didn’t waste the money, but used it to expand our production capacity,” says a company official, who declined to be identified. Beijing leaders say this time will be different. Late last year, Communist Party chief Xi Jinping told local officials in Hebei that they must force through changes, even though “many will hurt the interests of someone,” according to Xinhua, China’s state-controlled news agency.

China’s ‘mini-stimulus’ efforts unlikely to lift steel prices -CISA | Reuters New housing construction helped drive an improvement in steel demand in June, and inventory levels declined 5.65 percent declined from the end of May, but prices still remained near 11-year lows, the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) said. “Steel production remains at a high level, which isn’t conducive to easing the oversupply problems in the steel market, and it will be difficult for steel product prices to see any large-scale recovery,” it said in its monthly market report. China’s steel sector has been plagued by overcapacity, and industry officials have expressed hope that weakening demand and higher environmental compliance costs will help winnow out smaller, inefficient producers.

China Faces Second Bond Default Amid World’s Biggest Debt – Bloomberg Huatong Road & Bridge Group Co., based in the northern province of Shanxi, said it may miss a 400 million yuan ($64.5 million) note payment due July 23, according to a statement to the Shanghai Clearing House yesterday. Chairman Wang Guorui is assisting authorities with an official investigation, it said, without elaborating. Wang was removed from the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Shanxi Committee on July 9 for suspected violations of the law, according to an official statement and media report last week.

China Rallying for All Wrong Reasons to Top-Rated Analyst – Bloomberg The more China does to boost economic growth, the more bearish David Cui gets on the nation’s stock market. The Bank of America Corp. (BAC) strategist, ranked No. 1 by Institutional Investor magazine, says the state spending and monetary stimulus that drove a 14 percent rally in the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index (HSCEI) from this year’s low in March are only making equities less appealing as leverage rises and free cash flow dwindles. He predicts the gauge will drop to 9,600 by year-end, or 8.4 percent below yesterday’s close.

GSK confirms it fired staff for corruption in China in 2001 | Reuters About 30 staff in GSK’s vaccines business were dismissed for bribing Chinese officials, the Financial Times reported on Thursday, after they were found to be involved in bribing Chinese officials and taking kickbacks. The emergence of the scandal could put the operations of Britain’s largest pharmaceutical firm in China under even more scrutiny.

China’s SOEs more profitable in 1H – Xinhua Combined profits of SOEs administered by both central and local authorities increased 8.9 percent year on year to 1.22 trillion yuan (198 billion U.S. dollars) in the year half, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) said on Thursday. The rate outpaced the 7-percent growth estimate in the first six months of last year. SOE revenues totaled 23.31 trillion yuan, up 5.9 percent, with operation costs of 22.47 trillion yuan, up 6 percent. The amount of taxes payable rose 6.3 percent to 1.89 trillion yuan.

河北出”救市”文件 购90平米以下房契税减半 Hebei’s turn to help the real estate market, cuts taxes on purchases of homes 90 sq m or less

Yukon Huang-Shadow banking in China is not as risky as the alarmists think it is – The A-List – Blogs – FT.com Overall, the exposure of the traditional banking system to risky shadow banking activities is much less than the alarmists have implied. The real concerns are more narrowly concentrated in the activities of trust companies and banks’ wealth management products, although even here the risks are often exaggerated. These two activities amount to 36 per cent of GDP or about 15 per cent of bank assets. This, however, is an overstatement of the size of these activities as there is double-counting of wealth management products’ investment in trust products, which could account for as much as 30 per cent of their assets. Further, over half of wealth management product investments are in safe interbank assets and government and financial bonds. Ultimately the much-hyped, high-risk components of the shadow banking system are unlikely to exceed 15 per cent of GDP or about 6 per cent of bank assets. It would take truly disastrous performance and lackadaisical crisis management by Beijing for these assets to pose a serious threat to the stability of China’s banking system.

 

POLITICS AND LAW

Star Anchor’s Real Sin May Have Been Hypocrisy – NYTimes.com Zhan Jiang, a journalism professor, said it was common for Chinese media executives or journalists to set up public relations firms and charge clients ‘‘open mouth fees’’ to get news organizations to praise a company or ‘‘shut mouth fees’’ to ensure that journalists do not criticize or investigate a company. In the end, the official accusations brought against Mr. Rui could end up being banal, the nature of his transgressions endemic within the system that he championed. Mr. Rui’s real crime, in the public eye, could be one of hypocrisy, or being ‘‘two-faced,’’ as Mr. Zhan put it.

China’s state TV targeted in anti-corruption drive – The Washington Post “Corruption is everywhere in China, and the media are part of it,” said Zhan Jiang, a journalism professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University. Chinese media are barred by regulators from using news reporting to promote commercial interests, “but implementation has not been ideal,” the Global Times said. “The corruption at CCTV financial news should be considered part of this problem.”

江西省委原常委赵智勇被开除党籍 降为科员_新闻_腾讯网 member of Jiangxi provincial standing committee kicked out of party, demoted 7 levels for discipline violations

Chinese protestors attempt mass suicide in bid for justice – Telegraph Twelve petitioners try to kill themselves in Beijing in a desperate attempt to publicise injustices they claim to have suffered at the hands of Communist Party officials

Debunking Misconceptions About Xi Jinping’s Anti-corruption Campaign | CHINA US Focus By Cheng Li & Ryan McElveen, from The Brookings Institution…one perspective // Although the staggering number of officials caught in this campaign has helped affirm Xi’s consolidated power within the leadership, some analysts have expressed concern that the campaign has been too excessive, has been primarily driven by factional politics, has dissuaded officials from making decisions, and has weakened China’s economy. These arguments are not only inaccurate and misleading, but they also distract from the critical positive changes that the anti-corruption campaign and associated reforms can bring to Chinese society.

Retired official Jia Qinglin spotted at summer retreat, defying rumours he was detained | South China Morning Post Jia Qinglin, the fourth-ranked Communist Party official when he retired last year, made another public appearance yesterday in his native Hebei province in what is widely seen as an attempt to dismiss a detention rumour that went viral on mainland social media last week. Jia, 74, visited Changshou Mountain in the city of Qinhuangdao on Wednesday morning, according to pictures that circulated online and a customer service employee of the mountain’s tourism site. Jia appeared on the site for about an hour, and many tourists saw him, said the employee, who refused to give her name.

Inside a Beijing Interrogation Room – NYTimes.com – Murong Xuecun I still live in fear. I visited many Chinese prisons for a novel I wrote about the legal world — I know they aren’t pleasant places. Could I cope with a life behind bars? How would I face my devastated family and friends if I were jailed? I still don’t know. But I have a bigger fear: living in a China where good people are jailed, where people are afraid to speak their minds, and where the law has little to do with justice.

Book Editor Says His Firing Was Linked to Tiananmen Gathering – NYTimes.com Mr. Li said he underwent several police interrogations, including one that lasted six hours. But he said in the interview that he was somewhat surprised by his dismissal, because a high-ranking police official in Beijing had assured him that he would be left unscathed if he declined interviews with foreign news outlets. He attributed his dismissal to security agents from Guangxi, the region in southern China where Lijiang Publishing House is based. “I held up my end of the bargain by refusing to talk to reporters, and this is what I get,” he said.

习近平专机内部照片曝光_网易新闻 slideshow of China’s Air Force One, says Xi does not have a dedicated plane but pulls from a pool of Air China 747s that are then kitted out for his journey…harder to bug that way may be an added benefit? and nice bottles of liquor on the table during his onboard meeting with the Kazakhstan President…

China Keeps Lid on Plane Bugs – Los Angeles Times 2002 BEIJING — China enforced a strict silence domestically about the reported bugging of its U.S.-made presidential plane Tuesday but indicated that it won’t let the allegations get in the way of an upcoming visit by President Bush. “I don’t see this affair having an impact on any other issues,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi said. He would neither confirm nor deny reports last week by the Washington Post and London-based Financial Times that Chinese authorities had found more than 20 eavesdropping devices in the upholstery of a Boeing 767 that had been luxuriously customized in the United States for President Jiang Zemin.

 

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

CNPC ends drilling off Xisha Islands – Xinhua China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC), one of China’s leading oil companies, announced on Tuesday the completion of drilling and exploration off the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea. Signs of oil and gas were found in the operation, known as the Zhongjiannan Project, and the company will assess the data collected and decide on the next step, a CNPC statement read.

[视频]刘云山会见日本民主党代表团_新闻频道_央视网(cctv.com) Wednesday CCTV Evening News–Liu Yunshan meets w Kaieda Banri and Japan Democratic Party delegation

Senior CPC leader meets Japanese opposition party leader – Xinhua |  Senior leader of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Liu Yunshan on Wednesday met with a delegation from Japan’s largest opposition group, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), urging Japan to take history lessons and seek a peaceful path. Liu, a Standing Committee member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, said strained bilateral ties do not work for the fundamental interests of the two nations. “We expect Japan to take history lessons, follow the tides of the time and seek peaceful development,” Liu told DPJ leader Banri Kaieda, who is leading a 10-person delegation to Beijing.

DPJ leader Kaieda gets the cold shoulder in Beijing – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun “China appears to be still holding a grudge against Japan for making the Senkaku Islands state property under the DPJ government,” said a member of the DPJ delegation that met with Liu. Kaieda also met with Wang Jiarui, head of the International Department of the Central Committee, but again the DPJ president was met with a wall of indifference.

Xi proposes trilateral work group on transcontinental S. American railway – Xinhua  Chinese President Xi Jinping suggested here Wednesday that Peru and Brazil join his country in forming a work group to promote their cooperation on a planned railway across the South American continent. During a meeting with Peruvian President Ollanta Humala, Xi noted that the three countries will issue a joint statement later in the day on the railway project, which will run all the way from the Peruvian Pacific coast to the Brazilian Atlantic coast.

China’s Shaky Latin American Liabilities-Carnegie-Tsinghua Center Pundits inside and outside of China will either trumpet or decry the trip as a grand tour of China’s Latin American socialist and statist friends and a slap in the face to the United States. However, no matter how much socialist solidarity and “South-South” diplomatic back-slapping is offered up for public consumption, President Xi’s trip will actually be less about deepening already healthy ties with strong regional allies than seeking to mitigate deep anxieties about its commercial and diplomatic relations with dysfunctional friends.

Undermining China, One Knockout at a Time – NYTimes.com “America has long used the Internet to poison Chinese civilization and manipulate public opinion to influence politics. Hackers are only the lowest level of this cyberwar,” reads the essay posted on the website of Guangming Daily, a Communist Party-backed paper aimed at intellectuals.

Toronto school board seeks end to China deal – The Globe and Mail Trustees at Canada’s largest school board are looking for a way out of a controversial agreement with the Chinese government that they were never given an opportunity to vet or approve. Toronto District School Board trustees have asked staff whether the Confucius Institute agreement has an exit clause, what the penalties are for dissolving it, and whether the school district would be open to charges of negotiating in bad faith if it pulled the plug, according to notes from a dinner meeting for trustees obtained by The Globe and Mail.

解放军近期调整大批高级将领 数十人职务履新|解放军|中国|集团军_新浪军事 summary of the recent PLA promotions and personnel changes

习近平巴西演讲 提出建多边民主互联网治理体系_网易新闻中心 In speech in Brazil Xi reiterates call for multilateral Internet governance system…Lu Wei, SIIO head and director of the Internet leading group office, also been saying this for a while…”de-Americanization” of many aspects of the global system high on Beijing’s agenda, and on this trip

China, US agree to boost cooperation on fighting terrorism|Politics|chinadaily.com.cn China and the United States have agreed to increase cooperation on fighting terrorism, according to Vice-Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping. Cheng told reporters after a five-hour meeting on Tuesday with his US counterpart, Tina Kaidanow, ambassador-at-large and coordinator for counterterrorism at the State Department, that the two countries share common interest and concerns in counterterrorism. He described the first round vice-ministerial level dialogue as an important sign for strengthening cooperation and building trust in the political arena. “Terrorism poses a direct threat to the United States, and China has also made fighting terrorist activities as a top priority for maintaining social stability,” said Cheng, who became vice-foreign minister in 2011.

 

HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN

Sands China Profit Misses Views as High Rollers Pull Back – Bloomberg China’s President Xi Jinping’s clampdown on corruption and lavish spending has hit the big spenders who contributed more than 60 percent to Macau casino gambling revenue. Tighter liquidity, increased scrutiny and a softer property market in China means the industry’s VIP revenue could continue to be “at risk,” Praveen Choudhary, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Morgan Stanley wrote in a note this week.

Hong Kong Rising: An Interview with Albert Ho by Perry Link | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books More than five hundred participants in the sit-in were arrested on suspicion of organizing illegal public gatherings and incitement. Among them was Albert Ho, a member of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council and chair of the Hong Kong Democratic Party from 2006 to 2012, who was detained along with two other members of the Legislative Council and eight student leaders and held for nine hours at a police training school. Following is an edited version of interview with Ho about the protests and the future of Hong Kong, conducted over the Internet in the days after his release from detention on July 2.

 

TECH AND MEDIA

Manager at China Mobile Hebei Detained – Caixin Caixin learned from various sources close to the matter that Liu Xin, deputy general manager of China Mobile’s Hebei branch (Hebei Mobile), was detained by prosecutors on July 11. “Liu was abruptly taken away by procuratorate officials from his office that day,” one source said. The detention of Liu follows investigations of three other managers at the Hebei Mobile office launched by the Central Discipline Inspection Commission (CDIC), the Communist Party’s anti-graft fighter, in March.

Wall propaganda 2.0: The new face of Chinese villages | Offbeat China Slogans exhorting the one-child policy have stuck on the walls of Chinese villages for decades before gradually fading away. In its place, China’s tech companies have painted a new future for rural China, but it’s going to be tough. The majority of China’s over 600 million Internet users are urban. In a country with 1.3 billion people, there’s a lot more to cover.  “Accumulating wealth depends on hard work. Preserving wealth depends on shopping at JD.com“

Red flags: Alibaba’s Ma and Ma’s private equity firm more noise ahead of the IPO…just don’t see how this is a big deal  //  He named several high-profile investors that came on board after getting assurances Ma played no direct role in Yunfeng’s investment decisions. However, four other institutional players told Reuters they opted out because they said they were worried Ma’s role as one of China’s most active private investors could conflict with his responsibility to Alibaba shareholders. They declined to be identified because their talks with Yunfeng were private. “You can look at Yunfeng and you can say there are clearly a lot of synergies with Alibaba and Jack Ma, but you can also say it’s a clear conflict of interest. It’s a double-edged sword,” said one person whose firm turned down an opportunity to invest.

Alibaba Has Big Hopes for New Big Data Processing Service – Caixin Internet giant unveils Open Data Processing Service, a tool it hopes can help with range of needs, from helping with potential biohazard crises to predicting severe weather

A Westerner’s Inside View of Alibaba Successes and Failures – NYTimes.com No, unfortunately, I’m not an Ali-zillionaire. But I reached the point that I can travel and pursue creative projects without having to worry about putting a roof over my head, which is all I ever wanted. I still fly economy. Some years ago, I sold the bulk of my shares in the company, though not all of them. But if I’d stayed at the company and held onto all of my shares I’d be able to fly business class. Sometimes it stings a bit to think of what might have been, especially on long-haul flights! But there’s a great sense of satisfaction in stepping back from a company you helped build and see that it continues to grow.

Uber进京新模式挑战本土_新浪科技_新浪网 Sina Tech on the challenges for Uber in China //  7月14日,Uber宣布进军北京,这是继上海、深圳、广州和香港之后,Uber在中国布局的第五个城市,也是Uber在全球进入的第100个城市。Uber的模式,早已有人借用到了国内。其中,易到用车已经在该领域深耕了3年多仍然未能实现盈利

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

Chinese Property Power Couple Launches $100 Million Education Fund, Starting With Harvard – China Real Time Report – WSJ The rags-to-riches couple who founded Chinese real estate company SOHO China are setting up a $100 million endowment to send underprivileged Chinese children to elite universities around the world. Soho’s Chief Executive Zhang Xin and her husband, Pan Shiyi, launched the initiative Tuesday by signing a $15 million gift agreement with Harvard University.  //  nice move, and probably has the added benefit of guaranteeing admission for their two kids

The Cham: Descendants of Ancient Rulers of South China Sea Watch Maritime Dispute From Sidelines The ancestors of Vietnam’s Cham people built one of the great empires of Southeast Asia.

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH

China’s CNPC Said to Seek Creation of Natural Gas Champion – Bloomberg China National Petroleum Corp., the nation’s largest energy producer, is seeking to combine units to create a single gas company to compete with private rivals, ahead of an inflow of Russian fuel at the end of the decade, according to two company officials familiar with the project.

China Tells Oil Companies to Choose Sides in Territorial Dispute – WSJ The size of China’s energy market and the growing global clout of its oil companies give it some unique strength in dealings with international oil firms. For Vietnam, meanwhile, teaming up with international companies is crucial to tapping new reserves of harder-to-reach oil and gas. “We want to tell the international community: Don’t expect China to stop drilling after Vietnam’s shouting,” said Wu Shicun, president of China’s National Institute for South China Sea Studies, referring to a recent flare-up over Cnooc’s drilling rig in waters claimed by Vietnam. The company says it has every right to operate in the disputed waters.

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