The Sinocism China Newsletter 09.04.14

We are back in Beijing after nearly three weeks in Tibet. We had great trip that culminated in a successful three day kora, or circuit, around sacred Mt. Kailash (Wikipedia has a decent introduction) in Western Tibet. I have so far uploaded one video (select the HD option if you have the bandwidth. Yes, those our 8 year old twins in the video) from the highest point of the Kora and should have a few more up within 3600 hours (thanks GFW…)

During the trip I posted several dozen short videos through Twitter’s vine app (username Bill Bishop). The mobile data coverage was surprisingly good and so far Vine is not blocked in China.

As foreigners we had to use a local Tibet travel firm to both obtain our permits (5 for this trip) and accompany us the entire time. We used Tibet Wind Horse Adventure and could not have been more satisfied. We paid full fare so this is a real endorsement. If you are thinking about going to Tibet drop them a line. They are terrific and cheaper than the more famous foreign-facing China travel firms who will likely end up charging you extra while subcontracting to a local firm in Tibet.

Today’s Links: 

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT *

Chinese leaders mark anti-Japanese war victory day – Xinhua Chinese leaders on Wednesday attended a ceremony to mark the 69th anniversary of the Victory Day in the Anti-Japanese War, the first time since the legislature ratified official observance of the day. The ceremony, which was held in the morning at the Museum of the War of the Chinese People’s Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, was attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, and other leaders including Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli. Ratified by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress in February, Victory Day of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression is officially observed on Sept. 3 in China.

Related: 历史无法重来未来可以开创 万众一心实现民族复兴伟业–时政–人民网 Top page 1 People’s daily Thursday on the September 3 symposium on the 69th anniversary of the victory in the Anti-Japanese War…And a Xinhua english synopsis: Xi urges anti-Japanese aggression spirit in future development 

Related: [视频]中共中央国务院中央军委举行座谈会 纪念中国人民抗日战争暨世界反法西斯战争胜利69周年 习近平发表重要讲话_新闻频道_央视网(cctv.com) 习近平强调,事实就是事实,公理就是公理。在事实和公理面前,一切信口雌黄、指鹿为马的言行都是徒劳的。黑的就是黑的,说一万遍也不可能变成白的;白的就是白的,说一万遍也不可能变成黑的。一切颠倒黑白的做法,最后都只能是自欺欺人。日本方面应该本着对历史、对人民、对未来负责的态度,从维护中日友好、维护亚洲地区稳定与发展的大局出发,以慎重态度严肃对待和妥善处理历史问题,认真记取历史教训,坚持走和平发展道路。

Related: PLA newspaper pledges stronger army on victory anniversary – Xinhua China’s top military newspaper, the PLA Daily, called for a stronger army in a strongly worded article commemorating the 69th Anniversary of China’s victory in the Anti-Japanese War. Sixty-nine years on, the trauma of the war has not faded with time, said the article published in the newspaper run by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on Sept. 3, which marks China’s Victory Day in the Anti-Japanese War. “Every Chinese person should remember the history and the heroes in the war, whatever diversified values the society is entertaining,” said the article written by Jiexinping. “The Chinese nation cherishes peace, but peace is not surrender to evil power or compromise in dignity.”

From Taiwan, Broad Support for Democracy in Hong Kong – NYTimes.com makes some of the DPP look prescient in their admonitions over the years to not believe promises from Beijing..the biggest damage from this decision in Hong Kong likely not in Hong Kong but in Taiwan, expect it to set back if not destroy any possibility for a peaceful, political negotiation of reunification…seems remarkably shortsighted of Beijing, but guessing they are approaching HK through prism of lessons of fall of USSR, see any weakness towards HK or allowance of democracy in HK as akin to Gorbachev weakness to Eastern Bloc, would lead to a trojan horse effect in China….we know they are paranoid about “color revolutions”, no doubt from Beijing that looks to be a possibility in Hong Kong…  // The breadth of the Taiwanese support for Hong Kong democracy indicates that Beijing’s steps on the issue have probably hurt its efforts to win support in Taiwan, said William Stanton, director of the Center for Asia Policy at National Tsing Hua University and a former director of the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto United States embassy. “It is very rare that you see both the K.M.T. and the D.P.P. kind of lining up,” he said, referring to the main political parties. “For Ma to come out, I guess he felt he had no choice. For all his faults, I think he really does believe in democracy as he defines it.”

Related: Hong Kong’s Democracy Dilemma – NYTimes.com If there is any virtue to Beijing’s uncompromising position, it is to make clear that the people of Hong Kong could make no worse choice than to accept it. The legislators from various pro-democracy parties who currently sit in Hong Kong’s Legislative Council make up over one-third of that body, which gives them the power to veto the election framework put forward by Beijing. They have pledged to vote against the proposal. And the Hong Kong people will see to it that they do: In a huge rally on Sunday, democratic groups already were declaring a new era of civil disobedience. Margaret Ng is a barrister and former legislator of Hong Kong.

中国网信办将负责互联网信息内容管理与监督执法-中新网 looks like the State Council Internet Information Office has gotten more responsibility/authority, now clearly the lead Internet regulatory body, and Lu Wei the top Internet regulator in China, with this and with is position as head of the office of the leading group on Internet security and informatization and as a vice minister of propaganda// 中新社北京8月28日电 (记者 刘育英)据中国政府网28日消息,中国国务院授权重新组建的国家互联网信息办公室负责互联网信息内容管理与监督执法。 国务院26日下发《授权国家互联网信息办公室负责互联网信息内容管理工作的通知》称,为促进互联网信息服务健康有序发展,保护公民、法人和其他组织的合法权益,维护国家安全和公共利益,授权重新组建的国家互联网信息办公室负责全国互联网信息内容管理工作,并负责监督管理执法。// the official state council document 

Related: 网信办任贤良:加强顶层设计构建互联网法律体系 – 新闻中心 – 赛迪网 SIIO Deputy Head Ren Xianliang (transferred from Shaanxi last year for those who pay attention to Cheng Li’s Shaanxi Gang hypothesis) discusses “strengthening top-level design to construct and Internet Legal System) in a speech August 26 at the China Internet Conference in Beijing

Related: 加强和改进社交网络管理–IT–人民网 Huaqiao U professor Li Zhenyue in Thursday People’s Daily on page 7 about “strengthening and improving Internet social media management”

Related: The me-media of mass manipulation – China Media Project The ultimate goal, says Li, is the “political mobilization [of the masses] in the internet era.” And he finds his corollary in the heady days of the revolution. “The organizational flattening (组织扁平化) of news and propaganda systems and mechanisms was in fact a fine tradition of our Party’s news and propaganda work during the revolutionary and reconstruction periods [of the CCP],” he writes. “For example, at important stages of the revolution, or important points in battle, Comrade Mao Zedong would personally write or edit the news articles of [the official] Xinhua News Agency. In the revolutionary period, the Chinese Communist Party was a flat structured organization, and so it was close to the people and could accomplish things especially for them.” Introducing a new term for the loyal subjects who are to embody this new “flattened” structure, Professor Li says the Party must “actively find and foster propaganda activists (宣传积极分子) at the Party’s grass roots.”

LinkedIn Reviewing China Censorship Policy – Bloomberg who advised Linkedin on its approach to censorship in China? That person/firm should be fired and named and shamed…they took a really dumb approach here. A post I made from the US in July was censored, and to make things even dumber the “offending content” was not something that I posted but something that LinkedIn’s system extracted from the page I linked to and then put in my post…Here is a screenshot of the note on the censorship I received from Linkedin’s Orwellian “Trust and Safety” Team // “We do want to get this right, and we are strongly considering changing our policy so that content from our Chinese members that is not allowed in China will still be viewed globally,” Hani Durzy, a spokesman for Mountain View, California-based LinkedIn, said yesterday.

Related: LinkedIn Considers Changes After China Censorship Revealed – Digits – WSJ The June email to Rob Schmitz, a reporter for Marketplace, a public-radio program distributed by American Public Media, showed how LinkedIn is deciding what to censor based on guidelines handed down by Chinese officials. The email revealed another little-known LinkedIn policy: Content prohibited in China that is posted from within China is censored everywhere in the world – not just in China. A LinkedIn spokesman said the policy was designed to protect people in China from retribution from government officials, who might notice the content outside China.

China’s State Media Join Brokerages Saying Buy Equities – Bloomberg The official Xinhua News Agency published at least eight articles this week advocating equity investing after similar stories appeared in the People’s Daily newspaper and on state-run television last month, part of what Everbright Securities Co. says is an increased government push to bolster the market. Authorities have also cut trading fees, made it cheaper to open new accounts and organized investor presentations by the biggest listed banks in the past two weeks. // time to give people hope again about making money…hard to make money in anything right now, including real estate and the stock market…the Shanghai market peaked in October 2007…still well below half its heights…at least from perspective of the stock market China had a Japan moment 7 years ago, though of course the market was never more than a fraction of the valuation or importance that Japan’s Nikkei was…

Related: 证监会再评当前股市:运行向好为改革奠定好基础-股票频道-和讯网 one of the official positive messages about the stock market

Laying down the law at the Communist Party plenum | East Asia Forum A more important question is whether the party plenum will set out a new orthodoxy with regard to the concept of law. Sweeping policy frameworks announced at such meetings affect the direction of government work for years into the future. For example, the recent crackdown on microblogging services such as Weibo and Weixin is a direct outgrowth of the 2011 party plenum statement vowing to strengthen control over social media sites. If the 2014 plenum statement on law were to set out a new orthodoxy regarding law, what might it look like?

【独家】血煤上的“山西帮” Caijing on the “Shanxi Gang built on Bloody coal”

Related: 【山西调查】邸存喜牵涉超级掮客苏达仁_政经频道_财新网 more from caixin on the corruption investigations unfolding in Shanxi // 【财新网】(记者 于宁)吕梁是山西民营煤矿的聚集之地,官商勾结也殊为严重。最近的山西官场地震,其中一条主线就是出自吕梁的官员,先后落马的包括原吕梁市市长丁雪峰、副市长张中生,以及曾担任过吕梁市委书记的原山西省委常委、副省长杜善学和原山西省委常委、省委秘书长聂春玉等。有消息人士证实,8月底,前山西离柳焦煤集团有限公司董事长(下称离柳焦煤)邸存喜等多名吕梁煤老板亦被调查。

Related: 山西官场震后重建:已有3名省部级官员奉调入晋|山西官场地震|奉调入晋_新浪新闻 3 provincial-level officials have been transferred to Shanxi to take over management of the province in midst of this corruption crisis

媒体:一汽反腐漩涡或牵涉周永康家属及芮成钢 -搜狐财经 China Youth Daily on corruption investigation at First Automotive Works (FAW), sounds like much bigger than has been reported, focus reportedly on the FAW-Volkswagen Joint Venture (Audi?), this report suggests investigations mahave links to both Zhou Yongkang and Rui Chenggang investigations

BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *

Writing China: Nicholas Lardy, ‘Markets Over Mao’ – China Real Time Report – WSJ In his latest book, “Markets Over Mao” the 68-year old senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington D.C., takes on China’s state-owned enterprises. His surprising conclusion: They don’t have nearly the breadth and power that China’s many critics say they do. China Real Time recently talked with Mr. Lardy about the new book, its surprising conclusion and why he still thinks reform of state-owned firms is important.

State-owned enterprises: Fixing China Inc | The Economist most of the 155,000 enterprises still owned by the central and local governments are more akin to Jin Jiang: they are businesses that have little to do with the country’s economic or political priorities, and they have had a run of bad years, losing ground to private-sector rivals. That may be about to change. China is in the midst of the biggest attempt in more than a decade to fix the country’s brand of state capitalism, attempting to breathe new life into Jin Jiang and dozens, if not hundreds or even thousands, more like it.

China Targeting Foreign Companies, American Chamber Says – Bloomberg Sixty percent of respondents to a survey last month by the American Chamber of Commerce in China said they feel foreign business is less welcome in the country than before, the group said today in Beijing, up from 41 percent in a late-2013 survey. Forty-nine percent said foreign companies are being singled out in recent pricing or anti-corruption campaigns.

China won’t force foreign auto parts makers to form local JVs: EU trade body | Reuters Germany’s Stuttgarter Zeitung newspaper reported that China had urged three German car parts suppliers to form partnerships with local rivals, citing the head of German parts supplier ElringKlinger AG (ZILGn.DE). “The European Chamber is confident that these rumors are unfounded and that the Chinese government has no intention to require the formation of joint ventures in the sector,” the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China said in a statement on its website dated Aug. 29.

Western Companies Appear to Push Back Against Chinese Crackdown – NYTimes.com On Wednesday, the U.S.-China Business Council, a group that lobbies on behalf of about 220 large American companies with operations in China, issued a report taking direct aim at China’s recent enthusiastic application of its six-year-old antimonopoly law and highlighting a litany of ways that it says enforcement could be improved.

China’s Property Market: The Risks for Banks | AllianceBernstein Blog By Hayden Briscoe (pictured) and Hua Cheng of AllianceBernstein (NYSE:AB) Despite worries about a collapse in China’s property market, we think the financial system will navigate the coming credit cycle if banks can buy time to resolve loan problems—and receive government support if needed. As we’ve noted, fundamentals in the property market remain strong. But what about the risks from the standpoint of banking and finance?

China fraud unit questions Morgan Stanley arm over ‘princeling’ – FT.com Officials from a regional prosecutors’ office in northeast China arrived at the offices of Morgan Stanley Huaxin Securities to verify the employment and salary details of Zhang Nan, the official’s son and an employee at the joint venture, according to several people familiar with the matter…In late August, China’s top prosecutor put Zhang Dongsheng, an official at China’s National Development and Reform Commission, under investigation for suspected corruption. According to Chinese media reports, the allegations relate to the issuance of corporate bonds between 2003 and 2006, which Mr Zhang was responsible for approving.

CRC Said to Seek Unified Bullet-Train Standards This Year – Caixin China Railway Corp. (CRC) will lead the research and development of new national standards for high-speed trains, a source at the state-owned operator of the country’s railroads says. Developing the unified technological standards is one of the main tasks for CRC this year, the CRC official said, and will be led by deputy general manager Lu Chunfang. The project is intended to establish standards for high-speed trains on the country’s network and build brands for overseas expansion, the source said.

中纪委最严月饼禁令:广东月饼大户广州酒家上市被否_10%公司_澎湃新闻-The Paper IPO of a Guangdong Mooncake manufacturer rejected…CCDI’s ban on mooncake gifting very bad for business

Xinjiang now the largest producer in aluminium production | Black China Blog In recent years, Chinese aluminum production capacity has transferred rapidly to the western region, especially to Xinjiang that has a large concentration of new production capacity. In the first seven months of this year, Xinjiang primary aluminum output was 2.275 million tons, an increase of 89.5%. Compare that with Henan province, the traditional home of aluminium production in China, where output was 1.978 million tons, an increase of 2.9%. Xinjiang province is now the largest producer of aluminium production, relegating Henan to second place. This is the first time this change of position has occurred in the past 10 years.

 

POLITICS AND LAW *

Xinhua Insight: CPC steams up Party construction to contain corruption – Xinhua The reforms are part of a bigger plan laid out at the third plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Committee in November last year, according to a statement issued by the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee on Monday. The statement said a total of 26 measures will be taken in this regard and relevant work will be done by 2017. By the end of 2020, a well-organized, scientific and effective system of Party building will be established. The statement said the plan requires the CPC to further improve the intra-Party democratic system, strictly enforce its discipline, uphold the CPC Central Committee’s authority and maintain the Party’s unity.

Q. and A.: Ren Jianming on the Fight Against Corruption in China, and His Own Solution – NYTimes.com A professor at the School of Public Policy and Management at Beihang University in Beijing, Mr. Ren also holds positions at Tsinghua University, the Ministry of Supervision’s China Institute of Supervision and TI-China, an organization affiliated with Transparency International. In an interview, he discussed the enormous scale of official corruption, the challenge of keeping government functioning if Mr. Xi truly pursues his campaign “to the end,” as he has vowed, and his own proposed solution.

新的历史条件下如何做好高校意识形态工作 编者按:当前,国际上思想文化不断交流交融交锋,国内社会意识更加多元多样多变,网上舆论格局日趋复杂,对高校师生思想行为产生重要影响。如何在新的历史条件下抓好高校意识形态工作?本刊特邀三所高校从不同角度探讨这一问题。

Agricultural Bank’s Chairman Said to Take Party Post in Jilin – Caixin Jiang Chaoliang also nominated to become governor, taking over for Bayanqolu, who becomes province’s party boss

Xinjiang Unsettled | ChinaFile photos from Xinjiang since 1995

“官员生活状态调查”:异地为官易引发家庭危机_深度_新京报网 The Beijing News on a Study Times article discussing a surveying of officials and their lives… //  9月1日,中央党校主办的《学习时报》,刊登乔翠霞和魏联合的署名文章《关注领导干部生活状态》。乔翠霞和魏联合曾在山东省委党校对450多名官员做过有关工作状态和生活状态的问卷调查。在他们看来,调查结果显示,非常态的工作节奏和方式,以及异地任职的经历,易使干部逐渐脱离正常家庭生活轨道,走上腐败之路。

不动产统一登记面临执行难:系统没有央产房等数据-新闻频道-和讯网 still a lot of challenges ahead for the planned fixed asset registration system

官员被曝开房200多次卧轨自杀 泄露信息警察被拘_网易新闻中心 an official in Zhejiang kills himself by lying in front of a train after it is revealed he visited hotels 200+ times (with girlfriend(s) no doubt); police officer who looked the info detained

“鼠标直通中纪委”是如何炼成的?_特别报道_新京报网 The Beijing News on the success of the CCDI website…by far the nicest official PRC web site I have used //  无论是第一时间通报案件信息600余条,还是点名道姓通报曝光了1500余起违反中央八项规定精神案件,抑或是不时推出的专题和在线访谈,总之,中纪委官网正式开通以来,这个网站就受到广泛关注。那么,这个网站是如何运转的呢?

人民日报:中国人要有自信–观点–人民网 Peopole’s Daily Deputy Chief Editor Ma Li on page 7 of Thursday’s People’s Daily: “Chinese People Must Have Confidence”  //  再拿政治发展来说,这是西方有些人最喜欢指手画脚、说三道四的。现在,国内有些人受西方影响,对我们自己的政治发展道路缺乏自信,甚至觉得只有实行西方多党轮流执政、三权分立、两院制等,才算民主了。事实果真如此吗?改革开放以来,我们不断推进政治体制改革,成功开辟和拓展了中国特色社会主义政治发展道路。这一政治发展道路具有深厚历史底蕴,是长期发展、循序渐进、改革创新、内生演化的结果,符合中国国情,具有旺盛生命力。现在,许多外国专家学者纷纷肯定我国的政治发展道路。《中国大趋势》的作者美国人约翰·奈斯比特认为,中国没有以民主的名义使自己陷入政党争斗的局面,在未来几十年中,中国不仅将改变全球经济,而且也将以其自身模式来挑战西方民主政治。与此同时,对西方民主的反思越来越多。今年3月,在西方颇具影响力的《经济学人》杂志刊发长文《民主出了什么问题?》,坦承“(西方)民主在全球的发展停滞了,甚至可能开始了逆转”。外国人尚且对我们的政治发展道路如此看好,我们自己又有什么理由怀疑这一经过实践检验的政治发展道路呢?又有什么理由不坚定“三个自信”?

上海侦破新闻敲诈案:21世纪网主编等8人被抓捕_新闻_腾讯网 Editor in Chief of 21st Century Business Herald, 7 others including employees of 2 PR firms arrested for extortion in exchange for influencing coverage…before assuming this is a crackdown on press freedom, remember that corruption in the media here is rampant and media extortion been going on for years…

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *

The Three-Headed Monster Challenging Obama’s Foreign Policy – NYTimes.com In China, the president faces the opposite challenge: a rising power with growing resources and a sense that this is China’s moment to reassert influence in Asia in a way it has not in hundreds of years. Here, the surprise to Mr. Obama has been the aggressiveness shown by Xi Jinping, China’s president, in embracing efforts to press territorial claims against Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and the Philippines, rather than focusing on the domestic economy. “We didn’t see this coming,” one former member of Mr. Obama’s national security team said this summer, “and there’s a lot of debate about how to counter it.”

China’s Rise Presents Challenges in the South China Sea | Brookings Institution In a Brookings Foreign Policy Brief Jeffrey Bader, Kenneth Lieberthal and Michael McDevitt discuss the significance of the South China Sea disputes and make recommendations for U.S. principles and practice. They argue that the U.S. must clearly define what are its interests in the area, namely protecting civilian and military freedom of navigation, preventing coercive resolution of disputes, preserving the international rules established by the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) determining claims to maritime rights and maintaining good relations with all of the six claimants to South China Sea land features. They also contend that the U.S. needs to understand what is not in its interest, namely taking a position on who has superior rights to any particular land feature, choosing sides rather than defending principles, treating the South China Sea as a venue for strategic rivalry with China or staking U.S. credibility on matters where the U.S. has no intention of, or interest in, acting decisively.

Chinese ‘Islamic State fighter’ captured in Iraq, military claims | South China Morning Post Iraq says it has captured an Islamic State militant from China, which would, if proven, make the man the first confirmed Chinese national to be found fighting for the extremist Sunni militant group. The Iraqi Ministry of Defence published two photos of an apparently captured solider on its official Facebook account. In a short message along with the posting it described the man as “Chinese daash” – daash being an acronym for “The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria”, or ISIS.

Canada, China quietly hold top-level meeting on strained ties | Reuters Senior officials from Canada and China met quietly in Ottawa last week to discuss relations that have deteriorated so badly that they could threaten Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s planned visit to China in November.

Formerly a Brother, Many in Myanmar Now See China as a Big Bother – Caixin The military regime in the country that used to be called Burma is easing its grip, and its people are showing little love for a neighbor that used to be seen as a sibling

Japan PM Abe appoints China-friendly lawmakers to key posts | Reuters Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe picked two veteran lawmakers with friendly ties to China for top party posts on Wednesday in an apparent signal of hope for a thaw in chilly ties with Beijing and a summit with Chinese leader Xi Jinping. The change in executives in Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) was twinned with a cabinet reshuffle in which Abe gave the health and welfare portfolio to a reform-minded lawmaker, kept core ministers and boosted the number of women in an effort to polish his image.

Russia, China aim to close military technology gap with U.S.: Hagel | Reuters any reader recommendations on best stocks to buy for Cold War 2.0?  //  Hagel said the Pentagon was renewing a push to revamp how it works with the defense industry. The goal, he said, was to promote greater innovation needed to preserve America’s technological edge, even at a time of tighter budgets. “While the United States currently has a decisive military and technological edge over any potential adversary, our future superiority is not a given,” Hagel told a defense industry forum in Rhode Island. U.S. defense officials have watched as Moscow and Beijing have tested a string of sophisticated weapons, from radar-evading aircraft and anti-ship missiles that fly many times the speed of sound, to integrated air defenses.

China’s War on Maritime Law | The Diplomat – James Holmes Never surrender to China in the battle of language, Washington. Ceding control of the words we use can be fatal to diplomacy. If you let someone define the words used in an argument how he pleases, or if you let him use terms so imprecisely that they lose all meaning, you let him establish the assumptions from which the argument proceeds. And once he sets the assumptions, he can prove whatever he wants. You will lose every time. Call it rhetorical battlespace preparation, or call it “three warfares.” Whatever the name, it’s a never-ending campaign for Beijing. Blunting it demands similar persistence.

 

TECH AND MEDIA *

How China’s Mobile Ecosystem Is Different from the West China’s app ecosystem is somewhat of a maze for people who aren’t familiar with the way it works. In terms of iOS, the presence of Apple’s App Store in the country makes it pretty straightforward to track, but for Android, it is way more complicated. In the vacuum left behind by Google Play after it exited China in 2010, hundreds of third-party Android app stores sprouted up. Now, however, it has been narrowed down to about six major stores: 360 Market, Baidu-owned 91 Wireless, UCWeb, Tencent’s MyApp, Xiaomi’s Mi Market, and Wandoujia.

Big Three Telecoms Companies Will Sell Latest iPhone, Sources Say – Caixin China Unicom cooperated with Apple to sell iPhones starting in 2009, and China Telecom began in 2012. China Mobile started only in December. China Mobile has a booking option on its website for an unspecified new phone that would appear to be the iPhone 6. It did something similar for the iPhone 5S. China Unicom told its branches to create an atmosphere for iPhone 6 sales on social media sites like Sina Weibo, the country’s version of Twitter.

PPTV Carve-Up Continues As Crackdown Bites | Young’s China Business Blog Worrisome signs of a crackdown are growing in the online video sector, where a field of young private firms rolling out a new generation of TV-like products are facing strong resistance from traditional television stations. The latest signs of turmoil are coming from PPTV, a former industry leader that is slowly getting carved up among investors as it is forced to scrap some of its most promising new products. The former high-flyer is showing up in 2 separate headlines today, including one that has seen it shelve its TV set-top box product. The other headline has the company selling 10 percent of itself to Phoenix Publishing & Media (Shanghai: 601928), marking its third major stake sale in the last year as it slowly gets carved up among a group of diverse investors.

MIT professor looks into Baidu’s big data strategy – Xinhua Little known outside the realm of crowd science, MIT Media Lab Professor Alex Pentland, dubbed the “father of wearables” and one of the world’s seven most powerful data scientists, has outlined his vision for big data and his take on Baidu’s big data strategy, China’s largest search engine, in a wide-raging interview with China.org.cn. “The world is bigger than China, so Baidu has come to grips with that at some point,” he said. “If you look at where its innovation comes from, it comes from all over the world.”

Chinese Search Giant Baidu Thinks AI Pioneer Andrew Ng Can Help It Challenge Google and Become a Global Power | MIT Technology Review Baidu is a fixture of online life in China, but it wants to become a global power. Can one of the world’s leading artificial intelligence researchers help it challenge Silicon Valley’s biggest companies?  //  worrisome if it becomes a global power given the censorship issues, but given track record in overseas expansion so far (Japan, Thailand, Brazil etc), no signs of global power traction yet, though with the CEO Robin Li now traveling regularly around the world with Xi Jinping this is something to watch for

任贤良:推动传统媒体与新兴媒体的融合发展|任贤良|互联网大会_互联网_新浪科技_新浪网 国家互联网信息办公室专职副主任任贤良在大会上表示,推动传统媒体与新兴媒体的融合发展,成为互联网信息传播上亟待解决的问题。

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY *

Religious sects: No-cult zone | The Economist The Church of the Almighty God (outlawed, unlike Falun Gong, since its earliest days) does not disguise its contempt for the party, which it calls the “Great Red Dragon”. State media describe the sect as aggressive in its efforts at conversion. The McDonald’s case is cited as an example (a guilty verdict is all but assured). But the movement almost certainly lacks the numbers to present any real threat to the party itself (state media say it has claimed 3m followers). Officials even see it as useful to their propaganda, says Stephen Platt, a historian. The violence at the McDonald’s has helped reinforce the message they want to convey: that unauthorised sects are a threat to everyone.

To Temper Unrest in Western China, Officials Offer Money for Intermarriage – NYTimes.com Officials in Xinjiang, in western China, are offering cash and other incentives to encourage marriages between minorities and Han, the country’s dominant ethnic group, in an apparent effort to soothe growing ethnic violence in the region. The incentives are part of a new policy in Cherchen County, in southern Xinjiang, where violence between ethnic Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking mostly Muslim people, and Han has flared in recent years.

I Ghostwrite Chinese Students’ Ivy League Admissions Essays | VICE United States Hey China, you’re welcome. When you think about your future multi-million dollar shipping moguls, innovative tech giants, and up-and-coming diplomats, please remember a small handful of them probably received their Ivy League degrees thanks to me. I’m a black market college admissions essay writer, and over the last three years I’ve written over 350 fraudulent essays for wealthy Chinese exchange students. Although my clients have varied from earnest do-gooders to factory tycoon’s daughters who communicate primarily through emojis, they all have one thing in common: They’re unable to write meaningful sentences.

洪晃:女人越来越乐意把自己“外包”出去__中国甘肃网 Hong Huang causes a stir with a column about “outsourcing family work”, says she is retiring at the end of this year to spend more time with her young daughter, will keep writing

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH *

It’s good to talk: China opens up to psychotherapy | World news | The Guardian Nearly 60 years after psychology was banned under Mao, interest in the western ‘talking cure’ is gaining ground

What People’s Daily Got Wrong in Latest Population Policy Argument – Caixin The party mouthpiece repeated well-worn worries that China’s number of people will explode without strict controls, but didn’t name its experts or cite specific research–Liang Jianzhang is a co-founder and chairman of Ctrip.com International Ltd. He holds a PhD degree in economics from Stanford University, specializing in labor market. Huang Wenzheng is a biostatistics expert at Johns Hopkins University

Chinese Authorities Search for Whereabouts of Toxic Capsules – NYTimes.com An investigation is underway to track the whereabouts of 90 million drug capsules contaminated with the heavy metal chromium that were released to the market in China earlier this year, according to officials in the eastern province of Zhejiang.

Is Your Food Safe? Baidu’s New ‘Smart Chopsticks’ Can Tell – China Real Time Report – WSJ  “In the future, via Baidu Kuaisou, you’ll be able to know the origin of oil and water and other foods–whether they’ve gone bad and what sort of nutrition they contain,” Mr. Li said in a speech Wednesday. A video posted by the company shows how to use the product, which is linked with a smartphone app. In one experiment, the chopsticks were shown being swirled in olive oil, with the smartphone subsequently displaying a “good” reading. In another, the chopsticks registered a “bad” reading after being submerged into recycled cooking oil.

Closer Look: Letting Foreign Investors Open Wholly Owned Hospitals Hardly a Cure-All – Caixin The government has finally made some progress permitting foreign investors to establish wholly owned hospitals in China, but the recent achievement may not be as impressive as it appears upon closer examination. Three municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai) and four provinces (Jiangsu, Fujian, Guangdong and Hainan) have been chosen as pilot areas where foreign investors can hold all shares in a hospital, as opposed to the limit of 70 percent elsewhere in the country, the Ministry of Commerce and the National Health and Family Planning Commission said on August 27.

The Lancet devotes an issue to China The Lancet this week has China has its theme, and includes many interesting articles on a wide range of topics around medicine and health in China.

China calls for closer climate change cooperation among developing countries – Xinhua Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli on Wednesday called for stronger cooperation and coordination among developing countries in countering climate change. Zhang made the remarks while meeting with participants for the meeting of Like Minded Developing Countries (LMDC) group on climate change.

China and Indian Leaders Said to Skip UN Climate Summit – Bloomberg President Xi Jinping of China and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have told UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon they won’t be at the day-long meeting of world leaders on Sept. 23, according to two UN diplomats, requesting not to be identified discussing the leaders’ plans. Their absence undercuts the summit, although it may not be fatal for negotiations set to wrap up by the end of 2015.

China pulls plug on genetically modified rice and corn | Science/AAAS | News China’s Ministry of Agriculture has decided not to renew biosafety certificates that allowed research groups to grow genetically modified (GM) rice and corn. The permits, to grow two varieties of GM rice and one transgenic corn strain, expired on 17 August. The reasoning behind the move is not clear, and it has raised questions about the future of related research in China.

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL *

Amazon.com: To a Mountain in Tibet eBook: Colin Thubron The mountain path is the road of the dead, writes Thubron (Shadow of the Silk Road) in this engrossing and affecting travel memoir that transcends the mere physical journey. In the wake of his mother™s death, Thubron sets off to Mount Kailas in Tibet, a peak sacred to one-fifth of the world™s population and the source of four of India™s great rivers. Kailas has never been climbed: the slopes are important to Tibetan Buddhists who say the mountain™s guardian is Demchog (a tantric variant of Shiva)  //  an enjoyable book I just read after having done the Kailash Kora

 

BEIJING *

开学了,北京的“外地孩子”在哪上学_政经频道_财新网 another school year in Beijing, continuing problems for kids without beijing hukous to find a school  //  已经开学了,北京仍有很多非京籍适龄儿童因为严格的入学审核,面临无学可上的困境;学者认为,规划和教育部门“缺乏预见”导致了教育资源紧张;教育经费投入缺乏统筹

 

JOBS AND EVENTS *

ChinaFile Presents: Dan Washburn and Jeremy Schaap on ‘The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream’ | New York | Asia Society 4 September 2014 6:30pm – 8:00pm 725 Park Avenue (at East 70th Street) New York, NY

 

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