The Sinocism China Newsletter 07.25.13

Lips have loosened about the Bo Xilai case. There were reports in Hong Kong media starting a few days ago predicting an imminent trial, and now Reuters, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal all have stories out in the last twenty-four hours reporting that sources have told them there will be a trial soon. The details differ on timing, charges and possible location, but it is very interesting that suddenly people who appear to have knowledge of the situation are talking.

I believe Reuters was the first Western media outlet to report this round of trial speculation in Former China politician Bo’s trial could start this week: source:

The trial is most likely to take place in the eastern city of Jinan, said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity to avoid repercussions for talking to a foreign reporter about elite politics. Bo has been charged with accepting bribes, corruption and abuse of power, the source added.

Reuters reported in January that Bo was about to go on trial in Guiyang, citing a Ta Kung Pao story and a source “who has ties to the leadership”. It did not happen, obviously, though the new report cites a “source with direct knowledge of the matter”.

The New York Times reports in Disgraced Chinese Official May Go on Trial Soon that:

An associate of the Bo family who has been informed about the case said the trial could start in early August. Mr. Bo, 64, is expected to be charged with taking bribes and favors worth up to millions of dollars. The resident of Chongqing said embezzlement was another potential charge. The family associate said Mr. Bo also would probably be charged with abuse of power related to a police investigation into the death of Neil Heywood, a British businessman and Bo family associate whose body was discovered in a Chongqing hotel room in November 2011.

The Wall Street Journal writes in Trial of Chinese Official Bo Xilai Said to be Imminent that:

An internal document issued by the party’s General Office said Mr. Bo would be tried on charges of taking 20 million yuan ($3.2 million) in bribes via his wife, embezzling five million yuan, and abusing power, said a party official who received the document on Wednesday. The trial would start shortly, the official said.

The trial will take place in the Intermediate People’s Court of the city of Jinan, capital of the eastern province of Shandong, and should begin in mid- or late August, a person directly involved in the case said on Wednesday. That person said it wasn’t possible to confirm the precise charges, as the official indictment hadn’t been published, but that they were likely to include bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power. “That’s not far off,” the person said.

Clearly something is happening, though what is not exactly clear.

China legal scholar Jerome Cohen wrote an oped for the South China Morning Post today asking Can Chinese leaders all agree on how to try Bo Xilai?:

Have party leaders already agreed? If not, when this summer they convene their traditional beach conclave at Beidaihe, can Xi Jinping forge a consensus? Does he need to put Bo’s trial behind him before this autumn’s direction-setting third plenary session of the party central committee? What will Bo’s case tell us about broader policies? One thing is certain – Xi has not forgotten Bo.

I have heard consistently that the trial would be after the Third Plenum, but I think that was based more on guesswork about this year’s political calendar.

The Sinocism DC dinner is next Tuesday, July 30 at 6:30 PM at the Van Ness location of  Chalin’s Restaurant. The reviews are OK, but the location is convenient and they have a room that can seat up to 25 people. If you would like to attend please fill out this form.

Today’s Links:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

Xi stresses greater courage, wisdom in reforms – Xinhua Xi made the remarks on Tuesday at a conference in central China’s Hubei province, attended by senior officials from Hubei, Shanxi, Heilongjiang, Zhejiang and Hunan provinces and Shanghai Municipality. “China must break the barriers from entrenched interest groups to further free up social productivity and invigorate creativity,” Xi urged, while hailing reform and opening up as the source of China’s progress in recent decades. “There is no way out if we stay still or head backward,” he said. Noting China’s reforms have entered a most difficult phase, Xi urged authorities to carry out comprehensive and in-depth research to explore solutions to the arduous tasks facing the country’s development…The areas Xi pointed to as needing more thorough research include the fostering of a more market-oriented mechanism, enhancing government efficiencies, boosting social harmony and innovation, safeguarding social justice, as well as improving the Communist Party’s governance.

Related: [视频]习近平在武汉召开部分省市负责人座谈会时强调 加强对改革重大问题调查研究 提高全面深化改革决策科学性_新闻频道_央视网 Xi’s reform comments the top news in state media of course. Does not sound like there is daylight between Xi and Li Keqiang. Liu He was with Xi, he Xi’s top economic advisor? // 央视网消息(新闻联播):中共中央总书记、国家主席、中央军委主席习近平7月23日在湖北省武汉市主持召开部分省市负责人座谈会,征求对全面深化改革的意见和建议。他强调,必须以更大的政治勇气和智慧,不失时机深化重要领域改革,攻克体制机制上的顽瘴痼疾,突破利益固化的藩篱,进一步解放和发展社会生产力,进一步激发和凝聚社会创造力

Xi calls for Maoist indoctrination for the younger generation | South China Morning Post “As this year will mark Chairman Mao’s 120th birthday, we must turn Chairman Mao’s old residence into a base for patriotism and revolutionary education, in particular to make it play a greater role in the education of the younger generation,” Xi said during a visit on Sunday to Mao Zedong’s residence at the East Lake in Wuhan , the provincial capital of Hubei . The visit came ahead of Mao’s 120th birthday on December 26 this year.

Related:  习近平在湖北考察时参观毛泽东故居(组图)–上海频道–人民网 During his Hubei inspection tour Xi visited a residence at the East Lake Guest House that Mao Zedong stayed in 44 times..there is a new exhibit in preparation for the 120 anniverdsary of Mao’s birth this December // 把毛主席故居办成革命传统教育基地—21日18时45分,夜幕降临。在繁忙的行程中,习近平夜以继日,特地考察了东湖之滨的毛泽东故居。为纪念毛主席诞辰120周年,武汉东湖宾馆对毛泽东同志故居重新布展,在一楼陈列馆展出400余幅珍贵的毛主席历史照片。习近平走进陈列馆,首先与负责讲解的陈列馆馆长郑敏庭亲切握手。毛泽东曾44次下榻武汉东湖宾馆,短则十天半月,长则达半年之久。新中国成立后,除了中南海,这里是他居住时间最长的地方。

Related:  借毛邓包装新理论 习近平抛五大关系_中国_多维新闻网 Duowei trying to figure out what Xi is doing with all his Mao references/visits, does not think he is turning Maoist, in fact says he is upset people think that…//【多维新闻】习近平7月21日至23日在武汉考察期间,高调提出了全面深化改革的“五大关系”论,中国官方媒体将其定调为“应对当前发展面临的矛盾和挑战”的最高指示,而观察人士则认为,除针对当前中国发展和改革所遇到的具体问题外,习所提出的“五大关系”更为重要的意义在于——他已在通过一系列的政治涵义明显的动作表明,他在有步骤的构筑属于他自己的执政理念体系,而“五大关系”的提出正是其中具有关键作用的一步。此外,也有观点认为,习近平的五大关系是重归邓小平话语体系,是对之前其被认为已全面向左、效毛的回归。但显而易见,习近平意图全面构建自己的理论体系已摆在明面,已付诸于行动。但问题在于他如何突破中共僵化的理论话语体系,让他的理念更为现代化的让人接受。

More foreign pharmaceutical firms could be probed in China: Xinhua | Reuters Xinhua said multinational pharmaceutical companies should set a good example for local firms. “Big international firms should shoulder (their) due responsibilities to bid farewell to malpractice,” it said. Such commentaries, while not official statements, provide a window into the government’s thinking. English-language commentaries are also often intended for international consumption

Related: Glaxo CEO to Commission Independent Review on China Probe – Bloomberg what about GSK behavior in Russia and other emerging markets? Is China an anomaly? // Allegations this month by the Chinese government that Glaxo bribed hospitals, doctors and health officials prompted Witty to dispatch his head of emerging markets to China to oversee the London-based company’s response. Some senior executives appear to have acted outside of Glaxo’s processes and controls to both defraud the company and the Chinese health-care system, Witty said today.

Related: 1,100 medical staff held over drug kickbacks in Zhangzhou | South China Morning Post The investigation was the latest in series of crackdowns on medical corruption, including the punishment of 39 hospital executives and doctors in Gaozhou, Guangdong, yesterday who took 2.8 million yuan (HK$3.5 million) in kickbacks. In Zhangzhou, a six-month investigation by disciplinary watchdogs found that 73 hospitals, including 22 major health centres, had traded prescriptions for high-priced drugs for bribes and kickbacks.

Related: Asia Unbound » Knowing Autumn From a Falling Leaf: The GSK Probe and China’s Business Environment Yanzhong Huang // There is a Chinese saying, Yi Ye Zhi Qiu, which means “Knowing that autumn is coming by seeing a single leaf fall.” This expression is fully applicable to the current business environment for foreign pharmaceutical firms in China.  Indeed, the recent investigation of pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline’s involvement in commercial bribery in China should send a chilly signal to all multinational pharmaceuticals aspiring to make big money in the China market: the go-go years are over.

Related: Bribery serves as life-support for Chinese hospitals | Reuters The corruption stems largely from doctors’ low base salaries, which are set in line with a pay scale for government workers. Hospitals can pay bonuses but, given public hospitals are strapped for cash, compensation is usually low, say doctors and industry experts. A doctor fresh out of medical school in Beijing earns about 3,000 yuan ($490) a month including bonuses — roughly the same as a taxi driver. A doctor with 10 years experience makes around 10,000 yuan a month, according to Peter Chen, chief executive of privately run Oasis International Hospital in Beijing.

Related: GlaxoSmithKline’s bribery scandal highlights China’s corrupt health care system | Marketplace.org Chinese police allege GlaxoSmithKline bribed doctors in China with money and trips, using a tax receipt scam to hide the wrongdoing. It may sound like a most nefarious plot, but those in the know say it’s par for the course in China. “It’s a systemic problem. It’s certainly not a GlaxoSmithKline problem,” says Shaun Rein, author of The End of Cheap China.

“大师”王林合影学揭秘_深度_新京报网 More on Wang Lin the Qigong master, who as of this writing is the top topic on Sina Weibo. Quite to takedown over the last few days// 王林在香港出版《中国人——王林大师写真》,收录了与众多高官、明星、商人的合影

Related: 央视评“气功大师”王林:凭三流江湖杂耍颠倒众生_资讯频道_凤凰网 CCTV attacks Qigong Master Wang Lin..video of the master at work starting at 0:50

Related: Qigong master to the stars ‘cursed’ journalist for exposing his tricks – CHINA – Globaltimes.cn A reporter from The Beijing News has been “cursed” by a self-proclaimed qigong master to the stars, after she published an exposé alleging that he is a charlatan.   “I am telling you, you will die miserably, and your family will follow,” the “master,” Wang Lin, threatened the reporter on the phone, condemning her for writing a story that he thought had ruined his name. Wang also claims that he has supernatural powers, that he is alleged to have learnt when he was young.

What Would a Hard Landing in China Mean for the World? | ChinaFile Barry Naughton–Krugman takes strong positions on the most important issues of our day: he is sometimes wrong, sometimes right, but always full of insights and worth reading.  In this case, Krugman is right, but for an uncharacteristic reason: his conclusion is one of breath-taking banality.  If China crashes, it will not be the direct and predictable effect on export demand that will be most important, it will be the indirect effects. Yes, indeed.  And if you needed Paul Krugman to tell you that, you haven’t been paying attention for the last, oh, seven years // Jim McGregor and Arthur have also joined in, good conversation

Inner Mongolia Property Mogul Bites the Dust – Caixin The scandal’s latest development came June 30, when the Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection announced that they were investigating Wang Suyi, former director of the party’s regional United Front Work Department and a former standing member of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Party Committee, on unspecified charges. Investigators earlier probed and convicted Bayan Nur’s former deputy mayor Li Shigui, and a former chief of the city’s Linhe District, Xue Weilin. The city’s former secretary-general Li Maolong is awaiting trial.

Obama nominee faces investigation involving company run by brother of Hillary Clinton – Investigations The emails obtained by Grassley’s office, which were shared with NBC News, show that, after winning approval to participate in the foreign visa program, at least one of the visas sought by Rodham’s firm was for a vice president of Huawei Technologies, a Chinese telecommunications firm that has been investigated by the House Intelligence Committee over claims that it is closely tied to the Chinese intelligence services. Huawei Technologies has denied such charges.//meanwhile, Huawei is hiring for a VP of government affairs, per this job description

‘Despicable Me 2’ Blocked from Chinese Theaters – The Hollywood Reporter or did el Macho’s manliness upset the censors? ridiculous. already seen this twice with my kids, excellent movie, even grandma liked it // Universal Pictures’ Despicable Me 2 has been denied  a release in mainland China, with commentators seeing the decision as part of the country’s attempts to dampen enthusiasm for imported animated features.

 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Li Keqiang Says China to Speed Up Railway Construction – Bloomberg Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said the nation will speed up railway construction with a focus on the central and western parts of the country, adding support for an economy that’s set to expand at the slowest pace in 23 years. China will set up a railway development fund with fiscal revenue and public investment, the State Council said in a statement yesterday after a meeting led by Li. The government also plans to grant ownership and operating rights on some city and regional railways to local government and private investors.

SMEs’ Chronic Credit Crunch – Economic Observer With China’s economic slowdown, small- and medium-sized enterprises are facing huge strains in finding the capital they need to stay afloat. Banks are aggressively calling in loans and refusing to issue new loans to these enterprises, leaving them with few places to turn.

Stalled Project Shows Why China’s Economy Is Wobbling – WSJ.com Of Shougang Group’s 74 billion yuan of overall corporate long-term debt, 28.9 billion yuan, or 40%, went to finance its Caofeidian venture. A Shougang representative said he wasn’t aware of the debt matter and didn’t respond to additional requests for comment. With the steel industry languishing, other Caofeidian projects have stalled. Japan’s Sojitz Corp.’s joint venture for pipes, Mr. Zhao’s plant, halted production about four months ago, according to employees. A Sojitz spokeswoman said the company has temporarily suspended production because new orders had dried up. //meanwhile, Shougang’s former location in western Beijing has been nicely reclaimed. included with a new park

COFCO Property ‘Sets Beijing Record in Land Auction’ – Caixin A source from a real estate company said COFCO Property’s deal would require it to sell “the completed project for least by 80,000 yuan per square meter to make a profit.” However, the average price of new apartments in a nearby area is 50,000 yuan per square meter. State-owned COFCO Property beat 11 other bidders for the plot and paid 2.36 billion yuan, which was the upper limit set by land officials in the capital. Bidding started at 1.58 billion yuan.

China’s End of Exuberance by Michael Spence – Project Syndicate Also a Nobel Laureate, but without Krugman’s platform // With significant elements of the global economy and external demand facing headwinds, China’s acceptance (so far) of a growth slowdown, while its new growth engines kick in, is a good sign, in my view. It suggests that policymakers are playing for longer-run sustainable growth and have become warier of policies that, if used persistently, amount to a defective, unsustainable growth model. Watching for progress on these key elements of structural change and reform seems to be the right stance. If markets are confused or pessimistic about China’s longer-term agenda, but if the direction of structural change and reform is positive, there may be investment opportunities that were absent in the more exuberant recent past.

China’s mother bank spoils her children rotten | East Asia Forum He Fan // Rather than behave like a teacher in a kindergarten full of greedy children, the Chinese government should learn from the legend of Great Yu. About five thousand years ago there was an enormous flood. Great Yu’s father, Gun, was ordered by the emperor to control the flood. Gun did nothing but build a lot of dams to stop water. Finally the dams were inundated, giving rise to a fiercer flood. Great Yu chose another approach. He dredged the rivers and channelled the flood into the sea. This is what the Chinese government should do. It must let all the money out by liberalising the service sector, including health care, finance, transportation and communication. It should open up the economy to both foreign investors and domestic private investors, which would help start-ups and small and mid-sized enterprises. Finally, it should spend more on public goods to make people feel more secure and willing to spend more. Then the flood in the financial market will disappear, flowing out into the ocean.-He Fan is Deputy Director at the Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He is also Deputy Director at the Research Center for International Finance, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Reviving China’s Growth: A Roadmap for Reform | Brookings Institution–Ran Tao and Fubing Su In our view, a reform package that centers on land and urbanization provides the best chance of unleashing huge domestic demand and relieving the overcapacity problem in many industries. We focus on land in this week policy proposal because land has played an essential role in the making of China’s growth model in the past 15 years old and it is also responsible for current woes in the economy.

Rolls-Royce China Sales Flatline Amid Xi Austerity Drive – Bloomberg Rolls-Royce, the ultra-luxury car brand owned by Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW), expects sales growth to slow in China this year as an austerity push by President Xi Jinping damps luxury demand. Sales volumes in the company’s second-largest market will be little changed from 2012, Paul Harris, Asia-Pacific regional director for the brand, said in Sydney yesterday. By comparison, Rolls-Royce sales rose 16 percent to 998 vehicles last year, according to estimates at research firm LMC Automotive.

Hidden Property Taxes Frustrate Developers – Economic Observer A multitude of taxes and fees tacked on to homes from construction to occupancy are inflating housing prices. These fees make up more than 16 percent of local fiscal revenue, but developers claim they’re often redundant and arbitrary.

China to Boost Information Consumption as a New Growth Engine: Officials-Caijing Authorities including the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and the national Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) are carrying out policy researches in a bid to promote technology infrastructure, and foster demands in the sector, Zhu Hongren, chief engineer with the MIIT told a news briefing today.

财政吃紧“过头税”来袭 国税总局将严查 | 每经网 National Business Daily on reports of localities collecting excessive taxes or forcing companies to prepay, not just because they are short on revenue but also because fiscal revenue can be more important for promotion than even gdp..says regulators “will crack down” // “在河北调研时,有企业反映一些地方特别是财政较困难的县,存在征收‘过头税’的情况。”这是国家税务总局局长王军近日在一个座谈会上说的。中国钢铁协会有关人士也证实,现在的钢企实缴税费比应交的税费都多,存在缴“过头税”的现象…一名地方税务官员在接受《每日经济新闻》记者采访说,由于地方财政收入比GDP更彰显政绩,地方政府增税的冲动难以抑制,这是出现征收“过头税”的原因之一。只要分配的税收任务没完成,下达的税收增长指标没达到,轻则升迁无望,重则乌纱不保,不征“过头税”,还要从制度设计上找根源。对此,国税总局明确表示,将组织专门力量调研查处征收 “过头税”的问题。

China to suspend VAT on small businesses – Xinhua  China will suspend the value-added tax (VAT) and turnover tax on small businesses with monthly sales of less than 20,000 yuan (3,226 U.S. dollars) from Aug. 1

神木集资案:101亿“黄金帝国”崩塌_深度_新京报网 long Beijing News story on the collapse of underground fundraising schemes in Shenmu, including one involving 10B RMB in loans to play gold and platinum futures..didn’t end well // 今年7月15日,陕西省神木县民众在广场的聚集事件,再次将神木民间借贷推向风口浪尖。截至今年7月11日,神木县法院今年共受理民间借贷纠纷案件2771件,已经超过去年的2015件,更是2011年的四倍多。近年来,神木呈现全民借贷集资之势,可见一斑。去年年底,神木亿万富豪张孝昌靠借贷打造的“黄金帝国”资金链断裂,张孝昌被批捕,民间借贷市场崩盘。

“稳增长”政策第一波出台 铁建、小微企业、外贸受惠_财经频道_一财网 进一步研究部署了改革铁路投融资体制,加快中西部和贫困地区铁路建设;决定进一步公平税负,暂免征收部分小微企业增值税和营业税。

李佐军:中国经济出路在于供给边“三大发动机”_证券时报网 李佐军在接受证券时报记者采访时则表示,“下限”不是指国内生产总值(GDP) 增速的具体百分点,“下限”的概念不是一个具体的数字。根据“十二五”规划经济年均增速目标为7%这个标准,来确定经济增长7%的底线不准确,年均增速 7%并不意味着每年的增速都必须在7%以上。数字不是关键,关键是怎样防止不发生系统性区域性金融风险,这是真正的底线。李佐军同时认为,中国经济现在正 处于去库存、去产能、去杠杆、调结构的关键时期,这个过程虽然痛苦,却是中国经济必然要经历的阶段。

 

POLITICS AND LAW

Xi names low-key outsider as personal secretary | South China Morning Post A rising political star known for his ability to keep a low profile while carrying out the will of his boss has been appointed President Xi Jinping’s personal secretary. Ding Xuexiang, who was seen accompanying Xi during his three-day trip to Hubei this week, has been formally appointed director of the General Secretary’s Office, as revealed by Hubei Daily yesterday.

官方证实丁薛祥任习办主任 以大秘身份陪习赴鄂_中国_多维新闻网 Duowei on Ding Xuexiang as head of “Xi’s Office”, notes that same Hubei Daily article that revealed Ding’s new job also reported that Liu He joined Xi on his Hubei inspection tour . For whatever reason, Ding and Liu’s presence not mentioned in central media reporting..perhaps for as banal a reason as space considerations?// 有意思的是,同一天的《人民日报》在刊发这篇由新华社发稿的文章时,将有关丁薛祥的文字删除,仅以“王沪宁、栗战书等陪同考察”文字见报。而《湖北日报》的文章则详细透露:“中共中央政治局委员、中央政策研究室主任王沪宁,中共中央政治局委员、中央书记处书记、中央办公厅主任栗战书,中央财经领导小组办公室主任、国家发展和改革委员会副主任刘鹤,财政部部长楼继伟,中央办公厅副主任、总书记办公室主任丁薛祥陪同考察。”

丁薛祥兼任习近平总书记办公室主任_财经频道_一财网 First Financial on the confirmation of Ding as head of Xi’s office, with a bit on his earlier work in Shanghai// 值得关注的是,在2012年5月18日的中共上海市第十次代表大会上,时任上海市委书记俞正声作了题为《创新驱动转型发展为建设社会主义现代化国际大都市而奋斗》的报告。为了写好该报告,上海市委从2011年8月5日就启动起草工作,是历次报告起草工作启动最早的一次。当时,俞正声亲自担任起草领导小组组长,时任上海市市长韩正、时任上海市委副书记殷一璀,以及丁薛祥等人担任副组长。 丁薛祥擢升中办副主任也是通过媒体报道得以披露。今年5月中旬,《天津日报》头版头条刊发了习近平总书记到天津市考察的新闻报道。陪同考察的丁薛祥的职务是中办副主任。

Man goes on rampage over one child policy-AP not Zhang Yimou // A man in China has killed two government employees who told him they couldn’t register his fourth child because he didn’t pay a penalty for breaking China’s family planning laws. Footage of police trying to subdue the man outside a family planning office in southern China’s Guangxi region while he still brandished a machete was widely available on Chinese news websites and shared on social media on Wednesday.

高校史罕见:成都中医大书记校长双双落马|成都中医大书记|巡视组|落马_21世纪网 President, Party Secretary, several mid-level cadres of Chengdu Traditional Chinese Medicine University under investigation // 成都中医药大学校长、党委书记,在同一时间段内,双双落马,为高校多年来非常罕见的事件。在此窝案爆发前,四川省委第二巡视组曾专门对该校进行巡视。

重庆长寿原区长韩树明被许可刑拘 涉不雅视频案_新闻_腾讯网 another Chongqing official caught up in racy videos case

四川省文联主席郭永祥落马前后_网易新闻中心 so the He Yan case is linked to the Guo Yongxiong case, which is linked to the Li Chuncheng case, which is linked to…? Interesting overview of the Guo case // 四川多名官员和国企负责人连续被查,很快波及商界。 郭永祥案发后,多位富商受到约谈。在四川国腾实业集团董事长何燕被调查后,四川省纪委相关人士证实,近日四川明星电缆股份有限公司董事长李广元被查。

China’s New Leaders Advance Internet Control | Freedom House July 24, 2013 – China’s internet controls, which were already among the most extensive in the world, have grown even more sophisticated and pervasive under the new Communist Party leadership, according to a Freedom House special report (PDF) released today. New regulations made it harder for activists to conceal their identity online. Some circumvention tools, which help users access uncensored websites overseas, were significantly disrupted. And private companies stepped up their capacity to delete banned content, sometimes within minutes. The report is based on Freedom House’s unique Freedom on the Net methodology.

Guangzhou tries to win support for garbage incinerator – Xinhua Authorities in China’s southern metropolis of Guangzhou said they will not approve the construction of a garbage incineration facility if the project fails to pass evaluations concerning environmental protection, social risk and land acquisition. In the week starting Wednesday, three departments in the city will consult residents living near the planned facility and ask if they are comfortable with the project.

How a public spat exposed China’s exclusive ‘Facebook’ for business elites | South China Morning Post A quarrel among China’s business elites has pulled back the curtain on an exclusive online social network site and exposed the traits of some of its members. Zhenghe Island, which is basically Facebook for China’s powerbrokers, has more than 2,000 business heavyweights as members, including Alibaba’s Jack Ma and China Vanke chairman Wang Shi.// 正和岛 – 中国商界第一高端人脉与价值分享平台 Strange, Zhenghe Island has an “Application Procedure” page in English as well as Chinese 

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

Japan scrambles jets after Chinese plane flies by southern islands – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun Japan’s Defense Ministry said a Chinese Y-8 airborne early warning plane flew through airspace between Okinawa prefecture’s main island and the smaller Miyako island in southern Japan out over the Pacific at around noon and later took the same route back over the East China Sea. “I believe this indicates China’s move toward further maritime expansion,” Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters, in comments carried on Japanese media.

4艘中国海警船首次驶入钓鱼岛海域_网易新闻

揭中国官方弃用“抗美援朝”内里玄机_中国_多维新闻网 Duowei making a big deal of fact that MoFA website used “Korean War” to describe 1950-53 conflict insted of “War to Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea”, says sign of change. Really?【多维新闻】中国外交部官方网站7月24日称中共中央政治局委员、国家副主席李源潮将于7月25日至28日访问朝鲜并出席朝鲜战争停战60周年纪念活动。分析人士认为,“朝鲜战争”首次取代“抗美援朝”出现在中国官方的措辞中,意味着中国迈出解除半岛冷战对峙第一步,宣示中朝并非血盟。

Inter-American Dialogue | China-Latin American Finance Database Since 2005, China has provided upwards of $87 billion in loan commitments to Latin American countries. China’s loan commitments of $37 billion in 2010 were more than those of the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and U.S. Export-Import Bank combined. This interactive database provides up-to-date information on Chinese lending in Latin America by country, lender, sector and year.

‘Landmark’ Space Policy Shift As China, Others Agree To Space Code of Conduct Talks « Breaking Defense The Chinese “have displayed more transparency than they have in the past,” a senior State Department official said, noting the change in approach. But, the US and other countries “are at the very early stages of this discussion with China.” The shift in Chinese policy began “about a year ago.”

China fails to build trust with Mekong neighbours | Darrin Magee – China Dialogue As China pushes ahead with a fresh cascade of dams on the Mekong River, politicians and dam builders have done little to build confidence downstream

AP names Edelsten to top China editorial position – KansasCity.com The Associated Press has named veteran Asia-based journalist and video producer Miles Edelsten to the new position of news director for Greater China.

底特律衰败凸显政治弊端–钟 声 -人民日报 Zhong Sheng says the bankruptcy of Detroit shows the defects of American politics // 底特律背上巨额债务负担,与美国党派政治有着千丝万缕的关联。在“钱主政治”主导的选举制度下,为赢得选票,政客们一方面以金钱开路“买票”,另一方面许诺并实行诸多无法持续的福利政策,以讨好选民。既然“忠诚”是购买而来,那就意味着福利政策一旦实行就难以停止,只能增,不能减。年复一年累积叠加,福利开支对地方财政造成沉重负担。

是什么延缓了美国复苏(国际论坛)–人民日报 John Taylor and Lee Ohanian write in today’s People’s Daily about what is holding back America’s recovery. At least they do not criticize the President by name // 要使美国经济回归正轨,必须让税法重归透明、简洁,其中包括降低企业所得税率和边际所得税率,在有些地区,最高边际所得税率已经超过50%。此外,通过调整劳动、能源及环境政策,降低雇佣工人和能源独立的成本,将会有效促进增长。相反,若继续安于现状,美国经济将如过去4年一样,持续低迷。

 

TECH AND MEDIA

Baidu Announces Second Quarter 2013 Results stock up big after hours // Baidu currently expects to generate total revenues in an amount ranging from RMB8.730 billion ($1.422 billion) to RMB8.960 billion ($1.460 billion) for the third quarter of 2013, representing a 39.7% to 43.3% year-over-year increase. This forecast reflects Baidu’s current and preliminary view, which is subject to change.

Baidu Net Beats Estimates as Smartphone Usage Draws Ad Buyers – Bloomberg Net income dropped 4.5 percent to 2.64 billion yuan ($431 million) from 2.77 billion yuan a year earlier, the Beijing-based company said in a PR Newswire statement today. That matched the 2.6 billion yuan average of eight analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Revenue advanced 39 percent to 7.56 billion yuan, compared with the 7.4 billion yuan average of 15 analysts’ estimates.

Baidu’s $1.9 Billion Acquisition and The Future of Mobile in China — China App Index message from Wandoujia CEO // Each day we have more than 500,000 new users of our Android app alone. It’s no exaggeration to say that close to half of all new phones users in China will use Wandoujia. And from its inception until today, the vast majority of Wandoujia’s new users come to us by choice–as organic traffic–which is definitely not the industry norm. From our SEO, we can see that “Wandoujia” and all of its misspellings, are our top search keywords. This shows that Wandoujia’s “simple and delightful” culture has built a brand and won the support of its users. To speak candidly, to see a company with a business that’s very similar to ours at present be acquired for $1.9 billion, is exciting–even though this kind of valuation is clearly unsustainable.

Qihoo’s Zhou Claims Role in $1.9 Billion Baidu is Paying for App Store Operator – China Real Time Report – WSJ On Tuesday Qihoo 360 Technology Co. QIHU -0.31% confirmed that Chief Executive and founder Zhou Hongyi made the remarks at Stanford University as part of an informal lecture on July 16th. During the lecture, Mr. Zhou said prior to 91 Wireless receiving any bids, he told the management not to sell the company, which runs one of the country’s largest app stores.  Once bidding began, he said, he continued to tell them not to buy, unless they received a price they could not refuse.

Apple Sees Slowdown in China – Digits – WSJ The Cupertino, Calif., company said on Tuesday that its revenue from China fell 14% from a year earlier to $4.6 billion in the quarter ended June 29. The figure, which represents a 43% decline from the previous quarter, marked the first time revenue fell for the region, which includes Hong Kong, China and Taiwan, since the company began breaking out numbers for Greater China in the quarter ended Dec. 29, 2012.

People’s Daily questions Apple’s earthquake donations | South China Morning Post Tech giant Apple is refusing to reveal how much of a promised 50 million yuan (HK$63.2 million) donation it has made to aid victims of the earthquake in Sichuan province, according to a Chinese newspaper. In what is the latest public dig at the iPhone maker from a mainland mouthpiece, the People’s Daily accused Apple of being unwilling to confirm how much of the donation had been made.

谁的阿里巴巴? 阿里巴巴集团股权变更史|阿里巴巴|股权|国家队_21世纪网 21CBH looks at Alibaba’s ownership structure // 根据阿里巴巴的新闻稿披露,本次参与普通股认购的机构,包括中国投资有限公司(下称“中投”)和两家中国领先的私募股权投资公司博裕资本与中信资本,以及国家开发银行旗下负责股权投资的国开金融有限责任公司。已有股东——银湖、DST Global及淡马锡则认购了部分优先股。但对于这些机构的持股比例,参与各方都未披露。 一名不愿公开姓名的基金经理告诉记者,上述中投组成的财团趁低收购了阿里巴巴集团约5%的股权,其中,中投认购了最多的普通股,博裕资本和中信资本则分别斥资过亿美元入股。“阿里巴巴需要现金来赶走雅虎,中投则看好阿里的金融业务和渠道优势,两者一拍即合,不排除中投在未来IPO时继续增持。”

A Foxconn Survey to improve its marketing and business development strategies in the US

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

Huawei using sports to combat bad PR | The Li-Ning Tower that’s exactly what the company seems to be banking on in Australia, where news of the spying claims – made by a former head of both the NSA and the CIA – first broke last week. Huawei has just extended its sponsorship deal with Australian rugby league (NRL) side Canberra Raiders in a deal thought to be worth close to $1 million. But that’s not all: Shenzhen-based Huawei has 65,000 employees in China and now says it wants to bring the Raiders to Shenzhen next year to play a regular season NRL game. Never mind that rugby – and especially rugby league – barely registers on the radar in China, if Huawei can co-opt about half of its Chinese employees into filling the 35,000-seater Shenzhen Stadium, it should make for quite a spectacle.

Podcast-Not Just Confucius: Chinese Philosophy 101-Economic Observer Online – For today’s podcast in the Popup Chinese studios, we’ve asked Sam Crane — the mind behind the Chinese philosophy blog The Useless Tree and author of the upcoming book Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Dao: Ancient Chinese Thought in Modern American Life — to give us a whirlwind tour of the foundational thinkers whose ideas still suffuse China today. To cap things off, we take a look at how Confucian and Daoist thought might apply to current issues in both China and the U.S.

Oplerno Interesting new education site, has a China angle // Oplerno is a global educational institution dedicated to transforming higher education. For students, our mission is to maximize the information available about their courses of study, the skills they will develop, and their faculty’s expertise and teaching styles. For faculty, we offer complete control over the creation, content, and ownership of their courses. Oplerno’s goals are to lower the cost of education for students, increase the quality and diversity of available programs, and further educational opportunities worldwide for everyone

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH

Video: Dramatic footage: huge landslide ravages China village – Telegraph Footage on Chinese state television showed a huge swathe of mountainside tumbling into a valley in Sichuan province. The disaster destroyed scores of houses and around six hectares of farmland, and forced the evacuation of around 14,000 people.

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

High-speed rail set for Beijing to Dalian route |Society |chinadaily.com.cn It will only take five hours to travel from Beijing to Dalian in Liaoning province after a high-speed rail line between the two cities is completed this year, the Beijing News reported on Wednesday.

 

BEIJING

男子因争执当街摔死2岁女童后驾车离去_网易新闻中心 Beijing driver beats women pushing a baby carriage in a parking dispute, takes child out of carriage, drop her hard on pavement, child dies. Driver caught the next day, a convicted felon who had just been released from prison this year. No hell hot enough… //前晚8点50分左右,大兴区庑殿路西侧一公交站旁,两名驾车男子与一手推载有两岁女童的童车的女子发生争执,一男子动手殴打该女子,随后,男子又将女童从推车中抱出,重摔在地,并随后驾车逃离现场。事发后,女童在送医路上被确认死亡。

北京将重罚违规露天烧烤 路边烧烤或就此退场_网易新闻中心 outdoor BBQ in Beijing may now merit a 20,000 RMB fine, if a new draft rule passes // 露天烧烤屡禁不绝的一个主要原因就是其利润丰厚,以前即便被罚了,经营者也不会“伤筋动骨”。昨日北京市人大常委会审议《北京市大气污染防治条例(草案)》要求禁区内露天烧烤最高罚2万,此罚则是北京现有规定5000元的4倍。烟雾缭城的路边烧烤是否能就此退场?

Fire breaks out at Carrefour supermarket in Beijing – Xinhua  Photo taken by mobile phone on July 24, 2013 shows the smoke from a Carrefour outlet building in Chaoyang District of Beijing, capital of China. Fire broke out at the supermarket around 3:10 p.m. on Wednesday.

Gas blast rips through cake shop in Beijing – Xinhua worrisome, expect new inspections of all bakeries and perhaps restaurants now // A vehicle’s windshield is broken in an explosion at a cake shop on Guangming Road in Beijing, capital of China, July 24, 2013. A gas blast ripped through the cake shop Wednesday morning, leaving a number of people injured and vehicles damaged. // 光明楼蛋糕房爆燃事件最小伤者转入整形医院 (图)_北京_新京报网 pictures of aftermath of explosion

JOBS AND EVENTS

Digital Producer, Beijing at Studio Output in Beijing City, China – Job | LinkedIn At Studio Output Beijing, we’re seeking a digital producer to work on a series of exciting digital campaigns, working with several of our biggest clients. The role of our ideal digital producer is to ensure that multiple projects are run and delivered on a day to day basis and managing the process of each job from briefing to delivery of final product. This is a client facing role and has strong organisational and commercial aspects.

Job Opening at European Council on Foreign Relations (PDF) Senior Policy Fellow (potentially Head of Programme) of the China & Asia Programme here at ECFR, based in Paris or London

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