THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT *
China Manufacturing Gauge Rises to 18-Month High on Stimulus – Bloomberg The preliminary Purchasing Managers’ Index from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics was at 52.0, topping the 51.0 median estimate of analysts in a Bloomberg News survey and June’s final 50.7 reading. Numbers above 50 indicate expansion. The yuan rose to a three-month high as the report suggested stimulus this year including expedited infrastructure spending is supporting growth. Analysts at banks including Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their 2014 expansion forecasts after China said last week that gross domestic product rose 7.5 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier.
People’s Daily Indicates Support for Loosened Housing Curbs – China Real Time Report – WSJ In a Wednesday article, the People’s Daily quoted a senior official from the housing ministry as saying that the time may have come to lift property purchase restrictions in some cities that were enacted nearly four years ago. The article was prominently featured on the second page of the People’s Daily’s overseas edition. Headlined “Three Future Trends for Property Industry,” the article noted the weakness in China’s real estate market in the first half of this year and quoted one high-level official as saying such weakness may continue.
Related: 成都开发商：限购政策已放开 办理业务无需审核 CCTV confirms that Chengdu has loosened its housing purchase restrictions //
Related: 经济参考网 – 楼市限购政策迎来退出窗口期 Economic Information on the increasing numbers of cities ending home purchase restrictions, says Haikou is the latest // 23日，《经济参考报》记者从海口市获悉，
Related: Suzhou loosens home purchase-limit policy – Xinhua The housing authorities of Suzhou has loosened its home purchase-limit policy recently, allowing buyers, no matter locally-registered or not, to buy more houses of over 90 square meters
Spotlight: Xi’s trip further brightens prospects of China-LatAm cooperation – Xinhua The nearly two-week tour has not only demonstrated that Latin America is an integral part of China’s overall foreign policy, but once again proved Beijing’s commitment to promoting South-South cooperation and cultivating a more equitable and reasonable world order that better accommodates the needs and interests of developing countries.
Related: Inks Cuba Accords as Xi Wraps Up Latin America Trip – Bloomberg Cuban and Chinese officials signed 29 accords ranging from financing for biopesticide plants and the port of Santiago to agreements over tobacco and nickel exports, oil exploration and golf course development, state news agency Granma reported on its website today. “China is leading the charge to begin deepening our comprehensive reforms, while Cuba is in the process of updating its economic model,” Xi said at an event with Castro, 83. “We are full of confidence over the future development of relations between our country and Cuba.”
How the Hammer Falls as China Nails Corruption – Caixin The party’s Central Committee has entrusted the CDIC, whose inspection team unit dates to 2003, to follow an anti-graft strategy spelled out in a December 2013 document. Inspectors dig up evidence of wrongdoing and report to superiors at the CDIC. Suspicious activity involving high-level officials may be reported to the party’s central leaders or even Xi, the party’s general secretary. The document called for stopping graft’s spread by “building a system for punishing and preventing corruption, and continuing to put pressure on efforts to punish” dirty officials. It also urged “preventing corruption by strengthening institutional innovations and guarantees; improving the party discipline system by improving the way incidents about leaders and cadres are reported; promoting programs through public institutions related to newly appointed leaders and cadres; establishing administrative procedures for officials whose spouses work abroad; and also reforming inspection agencies connected to local governments.” On June 30, the Politburo took another step by approving reforms to the CDIC system and leadership. Cai said the move is designed to strengthen the anti-graft campaign. “A mere internal purge is not enough” to control corruption, he said. What is really needed is a system for strengthening the CDIC’s authority and functions.
Related: PacNet #59 – A new model of (old) leadership in China | Center for Strategic and International Studies If Xi’s foreign policy is an extension of his domestic political agenda, outsiders may be unqualified to judge whether it is successful. Based on China’s external interests, however, Xi seems to have walked China into the trap that Deng Xiaoping warned about: alarming neighbors into security cooperation against China before the difficult task of Chinese economic development is completed.
Related: Why China’s hunt for tigers and flies is bound to fail – FT.com $$ Yet if the aim really is to purge China of corruption, the campaign is bound to fail. The reasons are twofold. First is the manner by which the battle is being fought. With no independent judiciary, the exercise amounts to trial by the Communist party, not trial by law. Many of those whisked into detention may well be guilty. Since trials are often cursory – or even secret – and since judges answer to the party, we will never know for sure. Nor will the Chinese public. However successful, ultimately the exercise can only be seen as arbitrary and politically driven…The second problem is related. The campaign appears to have taken on the frightening characteristics of a Maoist purge, with ever more people, industries and government agencies sucked into its vortex. Yet one can almost be certain there are limits. Some people are immune. After all, allegations of unfathomable fortunes go right to the top. These point the finger of suspicion not only at the previous leadership, but also at the current one. So where does the whole thing stop? One presumes Mr Xi will at some stage have to call a halt. The unthinkable alternative would be that, as in 18th-century France, the revolution ends up devouring its own. // We’ll find out, and I commend David Pilling for his certitude
Food Safety in China Still Faces Big Hurdles – NYTimes.com “The way I keep explaining China to people is that it’s kind of like the U.S. in the time of Upton Sinclair and ‘The Jungle,’ ” said Don Schaffner, a professor of food microbiology at Rutgers University and president of the International Association for Food Protection, referring to the 1906 novel that described unsanitary conditions in the meatpacking industry and inspired reform. “There is tremendous desire by the Chinese to get it right, but they have a long way to go.” // but who is China’s Upton Sinclair?
Related: Even KFC’s Chicken Isn’t Safe From China – Bloomberg View Shanghai Husi’s U.S. owner, the OSI Group, issued a statement saying that it believes that this is an “isolated event.” (All OSI food-production activities in China are also under investigation.) Meanwhile, KFC, Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, Burger King, Starbucks and Papa John’s have all stopped using Husi-supplied meat. Even if OSI’s claim turns out to be true, the damage done to the reputations of KFC and other fast-food chains in China will probably be long-term. The chains have long enjoyed advantageous reputations as providers of comparatively safe food, even as they survived episodes such as the antibiotics incident.
Communist Party must win ‘eight new battles’ to hold onto power in China, scholar warns | South China Morning Post Professor Han Qingxiang, vice-dean of studies at the Central Party School, the training base for senior officials, also identified what he called “four challenges” and “four risks” the world’s largest ruling party is now facing. He listed the eight new types of battles as those involving resources, currency, market share, ideology, territorial integrity, anti-graft, internet, and separatism. The “four challenges” facing the ruling government will come from maintaining rulership in the long term, the implementation of a reform and openness policy, the introduction of a market economy, and protection from the external environment.
发改委：落实网络实名制 建立网络信用评价体系-手机和讯网 could be another push for real name registration on the Internet, if this NDRC official’s statements are a sign // 冯中圣：网上生活已经成为个人生活当中一个不可或缺的内容，
China regulator determines Qualcomm has monopoly: state-run newspaper | Reuters how do Qualcomm’s planned China royalty rates compare with those it charges in Japan and Korea? And is the possible fine assessed against China revenue or global revenue? I have heard it might be the latter, which could be significantly larger than what shareholders expect // During the launch of the China fund, Qualcomm CEO Mollenkopf defended the company’s licensing programme, saying the $30 billion spent in research and development over the company’s lifetime had allowed it to spread its technology in China. “It’s really why anybody that signs up on a license, actually does it voluntarily – because it is a way of leveraging all of that R and D,” Mollenkopf said. Under China’s six-year-old anti-monopoly law, the NDRC can impose fines of between 1 and 10 percent of a company’s revenues for the previous year. Qualcomm earned $12.3 billion in China for its fiscal year ended September 29, or nearly half of its global sales.
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *
UK fraud office liaising with China on GSK bribery case | Reuters Britain’s fraud office is working with authorities in China in a first for such Anglo-Chinese cooperation as it carries out its own investigation into alleged corruption at drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L). “Certainly, so far as I am aware it is the first time we have had cooperation with the Chinese on an SFO case,” David Green, the head of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), said in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday.
Last-minute bailout saves firm from default – Xinhua A construction firm in northwest China’s Shanxi Province narrowly avoided what could have been the first default in China’s interbank bond market, after local authorities and the company repaid principal and interest due on Wednesday. Sources close to the bond’s underwriters said enough funds were available to cover the principal and interest of the one-year commercial paper, totaling 429.2 million yuan (69.15 million U.S. dollars).
China vows to ease financing costs for real economy – Xinhua Although China’s overall money and credit supply is not low, enterprises still have either difficulties accessing funds or face high financing costs that will bring risks to the broader economy, the premier said at an executive meeting of the State Council. To ease financing costs, the meeting outlined ten specific measures that put the focus on optimizing credit structure in the backdrop of a prudent monetary policy and reasonable credit growth. More support will be extended to small- and micro-sized enterprises, agriculture sector, services and energy-saving industries, according to a statement released after the meeting. It also vowed to curb the irrational growth of fund-raising costs of financial institutions, cut redundant procedures, clean up unnecessary charges and improve credit management and efficiencies at commercial banks.
李克强痛批银行只做大生意_21世纪网 Li Keqiang criticizes the banks for only working with big firms, ignoring the needs of SMEs // 核心提示：李克强强调，处理好政府和市场的关系，
China plans to extend Tibet railway line to India, Nepal borders by 2020 | Reuters The Global Times, published by the Communist Party’s official organ, the People’s Daily, said that an extension to Shigatse, the traditional seat of Tibetan Buddhism’s second-highest figure, the Panchen Lama, would formally open next month. That link is scheduled for its own extension during the 2016-2020 period to two separate points, one on the border of Nepal and the other on the border with India and Bhutan, the newspaper cited Yang Yulin, deputy head of Tibet’s railways, as saying, without providing details.
Skyscraper Mania Grips China as Ambitions Trump Economy – Bloomberg Suzhou may find comfort in a 2011 study by three American university professors, “Skyscraper Height and the Business Cycle,” which found no support for the so-called “Skyscraper Index” — the theory that the most intense competition for the tallest towers occurs just before a business downturn. There is no sign yet that ambitions have been crimped by a weaker property market or projections of slower economic growth.
经济参考网 -多省突击收钱完成“年中大考” 非税收入增幅远超税收，地方财政困局下半年或将持续
Investors Said to Make Offers for Stakes in Sinopec’s Sales Unit – Caixin Private companies, including Fosun Group, are showing interest, source with knowledge of the matter says
Wall Street financier slapped with $75M sexual harassment suit | New York Post A Wall Street financier who specializes in Chinese corporate mergers was slapped with a $75 million sex-harassment lawsuit by a 24-year-old former underling who claims he “trapped” her into merging as well. Swedish-born beauty Hanna Bouveng says in the suit that her “virulent sexual harasser and stalker” boss, Benjamin Wey, forced her to wear tight clothes around the office and then fired her in April after she refused his repeated come-ons.
Crashing the Communist Party With China-A Share ETFs – Bloomberg The first China A-share ETF to physically hold the shares came out last November. There are now four, and 15 in registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to ETF.com. The products have been slow to attract money, as investors don’t know much about this new area, and because China A-shares are down 7 percent so far this year. Here’s a look at the available options:
POLITICS AND LAW *
Shanxi’s No. 2 Graft Fighter Is Subject of Inquiry, CDIC Says – Caixin Sources in the Shanxi government say Yang was close to Jin Daoming, the former vice chairman of the provincial legislature’s standing committee. Jin was the general secretary of the Shanxi discipline commission from August 2006 to March 2011, and has been the province’s vice party head since 2010. He was placed under investigation in February. Jin’s downfall triggered an earthquake in Shanxi’s halls of power. Among those who have lost their jobs are Shen Weichen, party chief of the provincial capital of Taiyuan; vice provincial governor Du Xueshan; and the vice chairman of Shanxi’s top political advisory body, Ling Zhengce. Investigators have uncovered wrongdoing in a range of sectors in the province, including in the coal, transportation and water sectors and in the judiciary. The investigation into Yang is likely linked to his involvement in the coal industry’s restructuring and an anti-graft campaign in the industry, sources in Shanxi said.
杨森林与令政策是大学同学 曾任金道铭副手4年半|入党|党校_凤凰资讯 Detained Shanxi CCDI official was college classmate of Ling Zhengce (Ling Jihua’s brother) and assistant for four years to Jin Daoming
Senior CPC leader stresses “mass-line” campaign standards – Xinhua Liu Yunshan, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks during seminars held recently in Xining, capital city of northwest China’s Qinghai Province, and Shanghai. He told CPC officials to shun formality and superficiality in carrying out the campaign, and be committed to solve problems to win the people’s trust. Liu ordered the clamping down on improper practices including construction of extravagant government buildings, officials’ visits to high-end private clubs, extravagant training sessions, as well as the problem of “naked officials”, a term used to describe those whose spouse and children have emigrated overseas.
China speeds up drafting of property regulation – Xinhua China is accelerating the drafting of a property registration regulation originally scheduled to be issued by June, the Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR) said on Wednesday. An anonymous MLR source told Xinhua that the ministry has conducted research and solicited opinions from experts and other central government departments, and that work is going smoothly. The source said formulation of the regulation needed a lot of efforts but did not reveal when it would be completed.
王岐山老搭档赵凤桐获慰留 仕途寿命延长3年_中国_多维新闻网 Zhao Fengtong moves from Beijing Municipal Standing Committee to head of CCDI group in the Ministry of Land and Resources…Duowei says a longtime ally of Wang Qishan, Zhao already 60, apparently would have to retire this year if stayed in current job, but can stay until 63 in a CCDI-related position // 国土资源部7月22日晚宣布，
“电老虎”陆续被查 李小琳吁懂大势不出事_中国_多维新闻网 Li Peng’s daughter Li Xiaolin getting nervous about the corruption investigations in the power and energy sectors? // 中国电力投资集团官网7月22日公布消息，号称中国“电力一姐”
上海纪委系统人事变动释信号_中国_多维新闻网 Duowei looks at the shuffling of local CCDI officials in Shanghai…and Shanghai included in the next round of CCDI inspections, things could get very interesting… // 【多维新闻】
Golden toad offends former Chinese president – Telegraph One of Beijing’s prime summer tourist attractions has become a grotesque embarrassment after someone noticed its resemblance to Jiang Zemin
Cities and Stability: Urbanization, Redistribution, and Regime Survival in China: Jeremy Wallace: 9780199378982: Amazon.com: Books China’s management of urbanization is an under-appreciated factor in the regime’s longevity. The Chinese Communist Party fears “Latin Americanization” — the emergence of highly unequal megacities with their attendant slums and social unrest. Such cities threaten the survival of nondemocratic regimes. To combat the threat, many regimes, including China’s, favor cities in policymaking. Cities and Stability shows this “urban bias” to be a Faustian Bargain: cities may be stabilized for a time, but the massive in-migration from the countryside that results can generate the conditions for political upheaval. Through its hukou system of internal migration restrictions, China has avoided this dilemma, simultaneously aiding urbanites and keeping farmers in the countryside.
Centralization and Mega-Beijing | Science of Politics As I explore in my new book, Cities and Stability: Urbanization, Redistribution, and Regime Survival in China, China’s urbanization is relatively spread out across dozens and hundreds of cities rather than dominated by a few clusters. I argue that this aided the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), particularly in the reform era. Countries with high levels of urban concentration tend to have governments collapse at much higher rates and survive for much shorter durations than do countries with lower levels of urban concentration.
习近平版第五个现代化 构建中共执政双行线_中国_多维新闻网 Duowei on what some are calling Xi’s idea of the “Fifth Modernization”…not Wei Jingsheng’s fight modernization of Democracy but modernized governance system and capabilities…so more adaptable and accountable authoritarianism? //
China’s security chief stresses Tibet stability – Xinhua Senior Chinese security official Meng Jianzhu urged efforts to maintain social stability in Tibet, saying it is vital to national security. Meng, head of the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, made the remarks during a five-day visit to Tibet which ended on Tuesday. Local officials should have a profound understanding of the long lasting nature of the anti-secession efforts, and always take them as the primary political task, he said, vowing a harsh crackdown on separatist activities or terror attacks. During the inspection, Meng called on Buddhist monks to make contributions to ethnic unity while visiting Jokhang Temple and other well-known religious sites.
China Policy Institute Blog » Being a good cadre There are plenty of people inside and outside China who maintain a very consistent and deep cynicism about the motives behind political figures and their actions across the country, particularly at the elite level. In an odd way, though, I think this cynicism lets a lot of important realities about the position China and its ruling party are now in evade attention. It doesn’t capture the more complex reality of what is actually going on. If we were to see the anti-corruption campaign as being waged around this single proposition above – the subordination of personal interests to those of the Party – then that at least gives an internal explanation for it. The accusation being made against a number of prominent figures currently is that they were not able to observe this subordination. This was their heresy. They inverted the private and the public in their obligation hierarchy. It is not just about accruing vast sums of money and acting with greed – it is related to what people believe, and how they view the Party they belong to. There is an expectation towards their moral behaviour in being Party members, no matter how eroded and devalued this has become since the time of Liu. It might also explain why some figures associated with huge amounts of assets have not been touched. They didn’t violate the obligation code, at least in terms of their beliefs.
Local official stands trial for electoral fraud – Xinhua The Beijing Second Intermediate People’s Court heard in public the case of Tong Mingqian, former vice chairman of the Hunan Provincial Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. Tong was implicated in fraud involving more than 500 lawmakers in Hengyang City, Hunan between Dec. 28, 2012 and Jan. 3, 2013. Then Party chief of Hengyang, Tong was in charge of the local congressional election. During the election, he received complaints that some candidates had offered bribes to buy votes but took no effective measures to stop the illegal practice, according to the prosecutors. They also accused him of failing to organize an investigation into other alleged violators, as he was required to do by law after the election.
China Voice: Don’t let rumors ruin Internet’s anti-corruption role – Xinhua Beijing police said Sunday that two people were arrested for fabricating news on twitter-like Weibo that a Beijing to Shanghai airline had been put under military control to seize an official. Police also confirmed that 37 other people have already been punished for fabricating or spreading similar false news. Corrupt officials are exposed almost every week by disciplinary authorities. The public want to know who is next and tend to believe corruption-related topics online. Some people have used this to make sensational statements to cheat the public, causing problems and making many feel uneasy. Their acts also affect the work of anti-corruption authorities, who have to spend time clarifying the truth.
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *
铭记历史 走向复兴_网易新闻中心 Academy Military Sciences essay on p 7 of Thurs People’s Daily on 120th anniversary of Sino Japanese War // 所有这些，都是120年历史沉淀出的真理，
人民日报钟声：让悲剧不再重演–观点–人民网 Zhong Sheng in Thursday’s People’s Daily seems to walking back from full embrace of the Russian line on MH17 // 当前重点是把安理会第2166号决议落到实处，
China’s Mega Warship Plans Become Clearer With New Photos | Popular Science Five months after the first pictures surfaced in February 2014, the Type 055 cruiser testing rig at Wuhan has taken significant steps towards completion. The advantages of a land based test rig allow Chinese naval engineers to make cheaper adjustments and modifications to the electronics, compared to rebuilding an expensive cruiser on sea trials. Once launched, the Type 055 cruiser will be among the world’s most powerful surface combatant warships, giving the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) a multipurpose warship useful for both blue water expeditionary warfare and anti-access/area denial missions.
Kyaukpyu-Kunming railway cancelled due to public opposition – Eleven Myanmar | Eleven Myanmar China has not renewed the Kyaukpyu-Kunming railway project and let the memorandum of understanding on the project implementation expire, said the Ministry of Rail Transportation. Myint Wai, the ministry’s director, said on Friday that the cancellation of the project could be attributed to domestic opposition from the public as well as civic organisations. Under the MoU signed in April, 2011, the railway construction was expected to complete within three years. But China had not even started the construction work as of this year.
China dredging channels in disputed Paracels, Xinhua reports | South China Morning Post Xinhua reported yesterday that up to 1.7km of channels had been dredged around Drummond Island, known as Jinqing in Chinese. The island, which is about 21 sq km, is one of the disputed Paracel Islands, which China calls the Xisha Islands, which are also claimed by Vietnam, which calls them the Hoang Sa Islands. Piers for tourist boats and berths for rubbish collection ships and supply vessels would be built in the area in the future, the report said.
Japan Welcomes China at U.S.-Led Naval Drills, From a Distance – Bloomberg Rear Admiral Yasuki Nakahata, the Japanese commander, welcomed China’s presence for the first time in the biennial U.S.-led drills. Their involvement will create a “better international security environment” at sea, he said in an interview on Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. China has sent four ships, the second-largest fleet, to the five-week-long Rim of the Pacific Exercise, or Rimpac, while Japan dispatched two destroyers. Yet the two sides have had no planned meetings or joint drills, Nakahata said. The closest they came was when he exchanged a verbal greeting with the commander of a Chinese ship, he said.
China Says Third Missile-Defense Test in Four Years Successful – Bloomberg “The anti-satellite and missile defense technologies have steadily improved and can now manage to intercept missiles in flight,” according to Yue Gang, a retired colonel in the People’s Liberation Army’s from General Staff Department. “But there haven’t been operational military deployment yet.” China said it held its first anti-missile test in January 2010, followed by a second successful firing in January 2013. The fact that the army has held three successful tests indicates the China’s missile program is entering “a new stage,” Yue said.
Old Scores and New Grudges: Evolving Sino-Japanese Tensions – International Crisis Group new Crisis Group report
Foreign-funded NGOs probed amid Trojan Horse worries – Global Times The scrutiny over NGOs comes amid a campaign focused on ideology. The Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee issued a circular last week, demanding that officials enhance “character education” and reaffirm their faith in socialism and communism, as well as seek independent thinking and avoid to becoming “yes-men” for Western moral values. Chinese must be cautious but sober. And we will recognize the “angels” that help with the country’s public welfare undertakings and spare no tolerance for those “demons’ with destructive intentions which threaten security and stability, Wang noted.
Zim govt squabbles over China | Africa | Africa | Mail & Guardian “Chinamasa and his delegation will be returning from China [on Friday], most likely with more promises and nothing concrete, but there is serious debate and even arguments about who should be involved and what approach Harare should be using to engage Beijing,” the official said. “What exactly are we looking for from China? Do we want budget support, a loan or investment? That is the main question.
HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN *
Dozens Die in Plane Crash in Taiwan Storm – NYTimes.com The TransAsia Airways twin turboprop was flying from the southern Taiwan city of Kaohsiung, on the main island, to Magong on the Penghu Islands in rain and heavy winds as Typhoon Matmo passed through the region. Gusts approaching 40 miles per hour were reported. The Transportation Ministry said late Wednesday that 47 people had been killed and 11 injured when Flight 222, an ATR 72, crashed into residential buildings in a village near Magong and caught fire.
Prying eyes – Global Times There is no specific law against espionage in Hong Kong. As a result, if a permanent Hong Kong resident with UK citizenship is found engaging in spy activities and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) government attempts to deport them, there will be a time-consuming lawsuit. Chow Kam-pui, director of Law and Technology Centre at The University of Hong Kong, told the Weekly that the Hong Kong government, even if it detects abnormal flow of data, has no way to deal with the presences of foreign intelligence.
Taiwan Structured Products Easing to Pique China Share Interest – Bloomberg The island’s financial regulator last week eased rules that will permit professional investors to purchase offshore-issued structured notes linked to a range of assets including Chinese stocks, bonds and equity indexes. Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission also said securities sold overseas by Taiwanese companies can now be used to create derivative investments.
TECH AND MEDIA *
In China, Apple’s focus pays off while Samsung feels squeeze | Reuters That could suggest that Samsung’s strategy of offering everything to counter every price point may actually have left it stranded between being a price competitive brand and a premium gadget seller. By contrast, Apple has studiously cultivated its high-end aura, and its iPhones and iPads continue to command a higher price tag on average than its rivals.
Xiaomi’s Hugo Barra Defends Apple Cloning Claims–TheNextWeb High-
百度研发无人驾驶汽车 输入目的地即可自动前往_TechWeb Techweb says Baidu is developing driverless cars…have heard this for a while.
Yves Béhar sells his design agency to Chinese PR firm BlueFocus | VentureBeat | Business | by Kia Kokalitcheva Industrial design guru Yves Béhar is selling 75 percent of his design firm, Fuseproject, to Chinese conglomerate BlueFocus Communications Group, reports say. Béhar, who’s worked at Frog design and Lunar Design on projects for Apple and Hewlett-Packard among others, founded Fuseproject in 1999. The agency has designed or contributed to the looks of a variety of well-known tech products, including several Jawbone products, the Ouya gaming console, the Vessyl smart cup, the Edyn garden sensor, the August smart lock, Jimmyjane vibrators, and PayPal’s new logo, just to name a few.
The New Website That Has China Buzzing-Foreign Policy Financial Times columnist and new-media entrepreneur Xu Danei wrote on July 23 on microblogging platform Weibo that the appearance of The Paper marked the biggest Chinese media splash since uber-influential muckraking journalist Hu Shuli kicked off Caixin, her second big financial news magazine, back in January 2010. Xu said The Paper’s initial investment from state-run Shanghai United Media Group had first been reported in the ballpark of $16 million; that estimate doubled to $32 million in a February news report by Beijing-based financial magazine Caijing reporter Luo Changping. Currently swirling estimates now stand at $64 million, Xu wrote without citing sources.
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY *
Christians in Wenzhou Fight to Keep Church’s Cross – NYTimes.com The standoff at Salvation Church is just the latest incident in the eastern city sometimes dubbed “China’s Jerusalem” for its many churches, as the local authorities have pressed forward with a campaign of “regulating religious sites and activities.”
Chinese tycoon’s big Harvard donation sparks criticism – MarketWatch Last week, Beijing’s largest property developer Soho China issued a statement on Weibo that its chairman Pan Shiyi and his well-known wife Zhang Xin had signed an agreement with Harvard University’s President Drew Faust to donate $15 million for a “Soho China Scholarship.” Some of the unhappiness on Chinese social media and elsewhere stemmed from the couple’s failure to make similar donations to China’s own universities. // will be interesting to see where their kids go to college
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH *
Greenpeace Says China’s Energy Plans Exacerbate Climate Change – A report by Xinhua, the state news agency, said the energy administration had come up with the limits “after new technology sparked an investment spree regardless of environmental and economic realities.” The guidelines were aimed at the local authorities. So far, specific coal-to-gas projects have generally been proposed by provincial officials and provincial state-owned enterprises. Ma Wen, a Greenpeace researcher on coal-to-gas projects, said in a written statement that “the new N.E.A. directive shows that China’s energy authority is clearly concerned that its big plan for coal-to-gas plants in western China, seen as a solution for eastern China’s air pollution problem, could go wrong.”
Tibet plans night-sky conservation zone – Xinhua The Beijing Observatory has donated six powerful astronomical telescopes and other observation devices to the planned Ngari Night-Sky Conservation Zone, which has also received 5 million yuan (800,000 U.S. dollars) of government funding for construction. Scientists with the International Astronomical Union selected Ngari last year as a site for building a world-class observatory. Once completed, the observatory, perched at an altitude of 5,100 meters above sea level, will be open to cooperative projects among Asian astronomers.
Plague quarantine lifted in NW China – Xinhua Yumen City in northwest China’s Gansu Province on Thursday lifted a nine-day quarantine on an area in which plague caused one death. A total of 151 people who had close contact with the infected man had been put in quarantine and under medical observation. None of them has reported symptoms of the disease, according to a report submitted by the local authorities and approved by the provincial government. Plague is categorized as a Class A infectious disease, the most serious under China’s Law on the Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Diseases
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