The Sinocism China Newsletter 10.19.15

Apologies, yesterday’s commentary had an embarrassing typo:

The 5th Plenum of the 19th Party Congress starts in a week. There are increasing numbers of “leaks” in official media about what may be in the 13th Five Year Plan that will be on the agenda at the meeting, and it could be an interesting week for any sectors/stocks that look to benefit.

Of course I meant to say the “5th Plenum of the 18th Party Congress”. I fixed the error immediately on Twitter @niubi but once the email is sent the damage is done.

It is worth considering that Xi has left the country for the UK the week before the Plenum, and that combined with his US trip he will have been out of China for more than ten days in the month before next week’s meeting. That does not look like the travel schedule of a leader who is struggling with infighting or dissension in the ranks.

Today’s Links:

AnchorTHE ESSENTIAL EIGHT *

1. China’s economy in 3Q: Everything you need to know | Bloomberg Intelligence Stabilization in growth came at a cost, as a reacceleration in credit growth added to concerns about financial stability. By our calculations, outstanding credit is now about 208 percent of GDP, creeping up from 207 percent of GDP at the end of the second quarter and 199 percent a year ago. The government is walking a narrow path between having enough credit stimulus to prevent a slump in growth and having too much that stability fears are raised.

Related: It’s Not All Bad News in Reports Out of China – WSJ Others, however, believe pessimism on China has caused money managers to overlook important data. Twenty percent more Chinese companies reported higher earnings for the most recent quarter than reported declines, in line with the historical median, said Jun Zhu, an emerging-market portfolio manager at Minneapolis-based Leuthold Group, which oversees $1.6 billion in assets. “China’s economy is not doing great but not tanking either,” she said.

Related: China growth shows progress on economic rebalancing – FT.com $$ “The consumption share of GDP is bigger and bigger because ordinary people’s share of national income is higher and higher,” Huang Yiping, professor at Peking University’s China Center for Economic Research, told local media on Monday. Mr Huang sees telecommunications, education, travel, elderly care and financial services as sectors likely to benefit most from increasing consumption. Yet for analysts sceptical of China’s official GDP data, the latest figures compound that suspicion Tweet this quote Yet for analysts sceptical of China’s official GDP data, the latest figures compound that suspicion.

2. 《中共中央关于繁荣发展社会主义文艺的意见》全文公布-新华网 Party Center releases opinion on developing socialist arts and literature // 新华网北京10月19日电 中共中央日前出台文件,指导社会主义文艺繁荣发展。今日全文播发《中共中央关于繁荣发展社会主义文艺的意见》。《意见》分为6部分25条,包括:做好文艺工作的重大意义和指导思想;坚持以人民为中心的创作导向;让中国精神成为社会主义文艺的灵魂;创作无愧于时代的优秀作品;建设德艺双馨的文艺队伍;加强和改进党对文艺工作的领导。 【授权发布:中共中央关于繁荣发展社会主义文艺的意见(全文) -Full Text

Related: 中央:绝不给错误文艺思潮和不良作品提供传播渠道|文艺|思潮|作品_新浪新闻 意见要求加强文艺阵地建设。进一步加强领导、加强规划、加大投入,充分发挥报纸、期刊、电台、电视台、网络媒体、图书音像电子出版物的积极作用,建好用好剧场、电影院、文化馆(站)、群艺馆、美术馆、工人文化宫、文化广场、基层综合性文化服务中心等各类文艺阵地。   因地制宜、因时制宜,采用群众喜闻乐见的方式,举办各种展映展播展演展览和品读鉴赏传唱活动,让优秀文艺作品走进基层群众特别是广大青少年。

Related: 激发正能量 催生新气象–时政–人民网 记者在多地慰问演出现场看到,没有奢华的舞台、没有绚丽的灯光、没有冗长的致词,只有精彩的表演、开心的笑容和经久不息的掌声。为了不惊官、不扰民、不给基层添负担,演职人员因地制宜、因陋就简,在车上卸妆、更衣。盒饭拿来就吃、凉水拿来就喝、深秋穿着单薄上台就演,是很多艺术家基层演出时的真实写照。   一年来,参加主题实践活动的文艺工作者,既有名家名角,也有青年新秀;既有体制内的艺术家,也有民间文艺团体的自由职业者。2014年10月至今,中国文联开展主题实践活动2000多场次,吸引近7万名文艺工作者志愿参与,服务基层群众达300万人次。

3. U.S. Softens Criticism of Yuan Level Amid Currency Pressures – Bloomberg Business The U.S. Treasury dropped its view that China’s currency is “significantly undervalued” while saying that the forces driving appreciation in the longer term remain and China needs to allow such strengthening eventually. The yuan remains “below its appropriate medium-term valuation,” the department said Monday in its semiannual report on foreign-exchange policies. The “core factors” that have driven the appreciation of the yuan in recent years remain in place, such as a large and growing current-account surplus, and net inflows of foreign direct investment, the Treasury said.

Related: US Treasury: capital outflows from China top $500bn – fastFT: Market-moving news and views, 24 hours a day – FT.com Capital outflows from China topped $500bn in the first eight months of this year, according to new calculations by the US Treasury that highlight the shifting fortunes in the global economy. The outflows, which peaked at some $200bn during the turbulent month of August according to the new estimates released on Monday, have also contributed to a shift by Washington in its assessment of the valuation of China’s currency, the renminbi, Shawn Donnan, trade editor, reports in Washington.

Related: China Finds More Discreet Ways to Support the Yuan – Bloomberg Business The People’s Bank of China and local lenders increased their holdings in onshore forwards to $67.9 billion in August, positions that would boost China’s currency against the dollar. The amount is five times more than the average in the first seven months, PBOC data show. The positions are part of a three-stage process to support the currency without immediately draining reserves, according to China Merchants Bank Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

4. China and ‘the Osborne Doctrine’ – BBC News Nigel Inkster warns that vigilance is appropriate. “China is a country that deals in hard power and it’s a country that’s never been shy about pursuing its own self interest. If the UK demonstrates any vulnerabilities, these will likely be taken advantage of.” As China’s president arrives in the UK and the pageantry of a state visit unfolds, the architect of the “golden era”, George Osborne, may have his fingers crossed behind his back, praying that his Chinese gold rush hits the jackpot and doesn’t turn into a flash in the pan or something worse.

Related: Cameron Says China’s Xi Brings $46 Billion in Deals to U.K. – Bloomberg  The deals will create 3,900 jobs in the U.K., in sectors including the creative industries, retail, energy, health and technology, financial services, aerospace and education, Cameron’s office said in an e-mailed statement, without giving further details.

Related: UK Bow to Beijing Fails to Bring Property Deals | Mingtiandi Despite criticism from the US and other western countries for overlooking China’s island building campaign in the South China Sea, and a fierce crackdown on dissent, Cameron’s Chancellor of the Exchequer has said that the UK wants to “create a golden decade” for relations between the two countries. However, if this year’s real estate investment figures are any guide, Cameron’s all out push to curry favor with Beijing may fail to bring in the deals sought. Despite the bowing and scraping so far this year, large-scale Chinese investment in UK real estate has dropped nearly 50 percent compared to last year. Significantly, China’s sovereign wealth funds, which led the way into the UK market in 2012, have ignored UK projects in favor of deals in continental Europe, Australia, and even Japan in 2015.

Related: Before Palace Banquet for Xi Jinping, a Snub From Prince Charles – The New York Times The prince has not discussed his decision to skip the banquet on Tuesday night, but he is known to be close to the Dalai Lama and has snubbed other events before involving China. While Prince Charles will meet Mr. Xi and his wife privately on Tuesday morning on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II, and meet them again privately in the afternoon, his stance is a sharp and presumably intended contrast to the aggressively trade-oriented position that Prime Minister David Cameron and especially his chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, have taken toward China.

Related: 【动新闻】剧透第二季之习主席英国行-高层动态-新华网 Xinhua animated video about XI’s trip to the UK

5. A Tale of Two Documents: US and Chinese Summit Readouts | The Jamestown Foundation At the beginning of his September official state visit to the United States, Chinese President Xi Jinping told a group of U.S. political figures that “China and the United States should join hands to solve problems they both face to make the world turn better and grow faster” (China.org.cn, September 23). Xi’s optimistic outlook implies that there is substantial collaboration between the U.S. and China, and even a common perspective on key strategic issues. If that were true, one would expect the publication of a single joint statement by the two countries.

6. China still trying to hack U.S. firms despite Xi’s vow to refrain, analysts say – The Washington Post Chinese hackers have targeted at least seven U.S. companies since President Xi Jinping vowed last month in Washington that his country would not conduct cyber-economic espionage — the theft of trade secrets and intellectual property for the benefit of the nation’s industries, according to CrowdStrike, a firm that helps companies track and prevent intrusions.

7. Is There a China Model? | ChinaFile The most recent public event in our ChinaFile Presents series, which we held October 15 in New York, was a discussion of the philosopher Daniel A. Bell’s controversial book, The China Model: Political Meritocracy and the Limits of Democracy, co-hosted with The New York Review of Books. The panelists were Timothy Garton Ash, Mark Danner, Zhang Taisu, and Andrew Nathan, and Orville Schell moderated. The following conversation includes excerpts of that discussion as well as responses to our question from other ChinaFile contributors. We will publish a full transcript of the event next week // the debate did not go well for Daniel Bell.

8. The Anatomy of a Crackdown: China’s Assault on its Human Rights Lawyers | China Law & Policy When the Chinese government detained, harassed and disappeared over 280 human rights lawyers and legal activists in July 2015, the international community took notice. These simultaneous, country-wide, nighttime and early morning raids made front page news in the United States, often described as the Chinese government’s attempts to eradicate cause lawyering from its shores. But as the Leitner Center and the Committee To Support Chinese Lawyers‘ new and seminal report Plight and Prospects: The Landscape for Cause Lawyers in China reveals, in some ways, these arrests and detentions are the least of the human rights lawyers’ worries. Instead, Plight and Prospects makes clear that over the past five years, the Chinese government has quietly and methodically used a more effective means to limit the space for cause lawyers: the law.  //  predates Xi, another sign there is more continuity with previous administration than many appreciate. Xi has of course brought more intensity, vigor and, at least in some areas, efficacy…

AnchorBUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *

Why Some Chinese Cities Boom Amid Property Bust – China Real Time Report – WSJ Most of the rest of the world’s No. 2 economy is dealing with a slumping property market that is weighing on the country’s growth. But China’s most economically developed cities have the opposite problem – they have fewer homes available for sale and surging demand from home buyers. China’s richest cities – called first-tier cities – are generally regarded as Beijing and Shanghai as well as the southern manufacturing hubs of Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Experts say there are signs that Shanghai and Shenzhen in particular are overheating.

Alibaba Lobbies U.S. Government to Be Kept Off Piracy Blacklist – WSJ Alibaba has written to the U.S. Trade Representative’s office to highlight recent efforts to protect intellectual property, including a new mechanism the company introduced in April that is aimed at expediting requests from brands for fake merchandise to be taken off Alibaba’s platforms, according to letters posted this month to a U.S. government website for public viewing. The two letters were submitted to the USTR as part of the government agency’s annual review of a list of what it calls “notorious” online and physical marketplaces that reportedly sell pirated goods. The Alibaba marketplace Taobao had previously been on the agency’s list of problematic markets for pirated goods until 2012, when the USTR removed Taobao from the list, citing Alibaba’s efforts to address complaints by brand owners.  //  removed prematurely, but Alibaba has hired very good US lobbyists

The Great Ball of China Money Rolls into Bonds – Bloomberg Business After shifting away from stocks this summer, when the value of the Shanghai Composite Index almost halved in a dramatic market sell-off, it seems the Great Ball of China as found a new home: bonds sold by Chinese corporates. The strength of the switch into corporate credit is underscored in a new report from Zhi Ming Zhang, director of asset allocation research at HSBC, and financial analyst Helen Huang, who argue that the links between China’s credit market and other parts of its financial system have been strengthening.

China plans 31 bln USD investment for border zone with Laos – Xinhua China has announced an investment of 200 billion yuan (31.4 billion U.S. dollars) in an pilot economic zone on the border with Laos. The investment will cover more than 240 projects in such fields as transportation, education and energy for the Mengla zone in Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan Province, according to the provincial development and reform commission and the Xishuangbanna government on Monday.

China sets timetable for nationwide “negative list” approach – Xinhua China will pilot a “negative list” approach, which identifies sectors and businesses that are off-limits or restricted for investment, in some regions from Dec. 1, 2015 to Dec. 31, 2017, authorities said on Monday. The aim is to explore a system that could be replicated nationwide for application in 2018 as part of efforts to streamline government administration and give more freedom to the market, according to a published guideline.

The Boom Is Back in Chinese Stocks, Depending on Where You Look – Bloomberg Business Investors traded 5 billion shares on the ChiNext Composite Index on Oct. 16, more than at any point during this year’s rally. The Shenzhen gauge, dominated by small technology companies, is up 33 percent from its Sept. 15 low. Traders have borrowed extra debt to buy the city’s stocks for seven days straight. The resurgence in appetite for China’s smallest, most volatile and most expensive equities contrasts with an almost-dead futures market and a more muted rebound in Shanghai, where volume remains less than half its peak.

China lays out ‘countermeasures’ to offset exclusion from TPP – FT.com Sheng Laiyun, NBS spokesman, waded into a growing debate in Beijing about the costs of being left out of the TPP, the US-led pact also referred to by some as the “anyone but China” deal. The debate began just days after the US reached a TPP agreement with 11 trading partners, when a People’s Bank of China economist estimated that lost trading opportunities could initially knock 0.5 percentage points off the country’s annual economic growth.

Premier urges more support for innovation, entrepreneurship – Xinhua As China’s economy enters the “new normal” trend, structural reform can inspire creativity, such as measures to support innovation and mass entrepreneurship, which will help steer the economy toward a more sustainable path, Li said at the opening ceremony of the first mass entrepreneurship and innovation week in its main venue, Zhongguancun, a major high-tech zone in Beijing. The week kicked off on Monday in cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Wuhan, Xi’an, Chengdu, Hefei and Shenyang, where competitions and forums for “makers”, those do-it-yourself inventors and craftsmen, as well as entrepreneurs and investors, will be held.

Victorian lawsuit claims $900,000 damages against Sheri Yan-Sydney Morning Herald The Chinese-Australian woman at the centre of international bribery allegations faces a separate $900,000 lawsuit in the Victorian Supreme Court over a failed investment company which had former Queensland premier Peter Beattie and ex-Prime Minister’s department head Terry Moran on the board. Melbourne lawyer Peter Richards lodged the claim against his former business partner Sheri Yan last month – two weeks before she was arrested in New York on charges of paying bribes to the president of the United Nations General Assembly. Mr Richards claims Ms Yan promised a “special personal relationship” in China, and would eventually help create and manage a $600 million fund, according to documents lodged in the court.

房地产税真相 – 经济 – 中国经营网_中国经营报 【中国经营网综合报道】在“十三五”规划完成的最后阶段,房地产税再次成为下一个五年的税改工作重点。不过,有知情人士透露,当前,关于房地产税具体征收的几方意见争论非常激烈。“此前,房地产税的推进工作迟迟没有公布进展,主要是由于几个参与部门对于征收的几个基本要素难以统一意见。” //  still no official consensus on a property tax

Survey Shows China Passes U.S. in Stuff Built – China Real Time Report – WSJ China has overtaken the U.S. as the world’s wealthiest nation in terms of built assets in 2014, and is likely to double that of the U.S. by 2025, according to the Arcadis Global Built Asset Wealth Index. The study compares 32 countries in terms of their buildings and infrastructure – homes, schools, roads, airports, power plants, malls, rail tracks  and other structures. In fact, China’s stock of built assets will exceed the next four economies combined in the next 10 years, according to the index.

AnchorPOLITICS AND LAW *

China’s Antigraft Drive Hits Communist Party Media – China Real Time Report – WSJ Despite the public raps, People’s Daily and Qiushi were praised by the CCDI for their efforts in marshalling public debate and opinion, as well as promoting discipline and ethics across the Communist Party. In any case, as key party organs, both publications are unlikely to face the kind of legal consequences other Chinese news media received for alleged corruption.

China graft watchdog probes three officials at state economic planner | Reuters The ruling Chinese Communist Party’s graft watchdog is investigating three officials at the powerful economic planner, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), for suspected corruption, officials said on Monday. The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection identified the three as Wang Wei, head of the commission’s social development unit, his deputy Ren Wei, and Zhou Heyu, a researcher at the “life quality” division.

China’s public security ministry steps in to handle investigation into detained journalist | South China Morning Post In a news briefing on Sunday night, Xinhua said the ministry would take over the investigation into Liu, although it made no mention of Liu’s detention being related to state secrets. The handover was believed to be aimed at avoiding a conflict of interest for Jiangxi police as a local police officer was reportedly linked to the case. The ministry would also take charge of the investigation into Wang’s wife and that policeman, whom she allegedly bribed to obtain documents, Xinhua said. The Jiangxi police bureau said it would cooperate with the ministry on its decision.

Bogus Chinese graft-busters created fake interrogation room in abandoned mall to con victims out of money | South China Morning Post Four men in China’s Heilongjiang province set themselves up as bogus graft-busters – and even created a fake interrogation room – to con money out of frightened officials. The province’s local newspaper Shenghuo Bao reported on Monday that police in the city of Suihua had arrested three of the four suspects for allegedly racketeering on September 28. One remains at large.

Movie Firm’s Party Boss ‘Fired for Hosting Expensive Dinner’-Caixin The Communist Party boss of a state-owned film group has been fired because he hosted a lavish banquet and gave out thousands of yuan in public funds as gifts, the government of the southern province of Guangdong said on October 15. Huang Xiaodong, 52, the party secretary and chairman of Zhujiang Film Group, a state-owned film production company, has been dismissed from his post, Guangdong’s human resources department said on its website.

Chinese Nationalist ‘Hawks’ Form Online Volunteer Army Against ‘Enemy Forces’ · Global Voices a new force, the “Chinese online volunteer army” staffed by members of a nationalist right-wing network group, is now springing up. The volunteer army, organized in the manner of a military division, was initiated by the followers of Dai Xu, a Chinese army senior colonel who has advocated for a self-organized liberation army to beat down foreign enemy forces online. Each division of the group has its own social media account marked with scarlet national flags and propaganda slogans on its profile pages. It even has its own anthem.

China’s Ethnic Policy Under Xi Jinping | The Jamestown Foundation Xi Jinping’s mediation did little to end the debate. In fact, under his leadership, the divisions within the ethnic policy community have sharpened, becoming more public and personal. Both sides have declared victory in the media, highlighting those parts of Xi’s undisclosed speech that support their viewpoint. Ma Rong, for example, wrote a long essay arguing the meeting signaled “an important readjustment” in thinking, shattering the “dual structure” that divides Chinese society into two unequal halves: the Han majority and the ethnic minorities. [2] In reply, his academic rival Hao Shiyuan countered with his own article, asserting that Xi’s speech reaffirmed the centrality of ethnic autonomy and current policies, and must put an end to the confused and erroneous viewpoints that have reigned in recent years.

推动干部教育培训事业发展的根本遵循–时政–人民网 organization department official explains the new cadre education training work guidelines

人民日报评论员:培养造就好干部的重要保证–评论-人民网 People’s Daily commentary on the importance of the new cadre education training work guidelines

邓纯东:科学建构中国特色强国理论–理论-人民网 “scientifically construct theory of great power with chinese characteristics-president of marxism research institute of cass  //  围绕推进党的建设新的伟大工程,建构新时期执政党建设理论。解决中国的问题,关键在党。发展21世纪中国马克思主义、建设社会主义现代化强国的伟大事业,与推进党的建设新的伟大工程息息相关、相辅相成。应坚持伟大事业与伟大工程有机统一,积极探索协同推进的科学规律。围绕协调推进“四个全面”战略布局,建构新时期执政党建设的科学理论,不断提高我们党执政兴国的本领,不断增强我们党应对各种风险考验的能力,使我们党始终成为中国特色社会主义事业的坚强领导核心。 (作者为中国社会科学院马克思主义研究院院长)

AnchorFOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *

Four workers at Chinese defence firm accused of spying, posing threat to national security | South China Morning Post Four workers at a military equipment manufacturer in southwestern China have been accused of spying, selling state secrets and posing a threat to national security, state media reported. The four acted independently of each other at an unnamed defence company in Sichuan province, state television reported. The four had allegedly been involved in spying from 2013 to last year, according to the report.

China criticizes Abe’s offering to controversial shrine – Xinhua Justice Minister Mitsuhide Iwaki and Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Sanae Takaichi visited the shrine on Sunday, and Abe sent a “masakaki” tree offering to the shrine on Saturday. “Yasukuni Shrine honors Class-A convicted war criminals who were responsible for World War II. We have always opposed Japanese officials’ wrong deeds related to the shrine,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said.

Abe becomes first sitting Japanese leader to board U.S. aircraft carrier | The Japan Times Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday became the first sitting Japanese leader to set foot on a U.S. aircraft carrier when he boarded the USS Ronald Reagan, which arrived at its new home port at Yokosuka Naval Base in Kanagawa Prefecture earlier this month. The move — coming almost a month to the day since the Diet enacted highly divisive security laws — is apparently aimed at showing off the bilateral military alliance. The laws will for the first time since World War II allow the Self-Defense Forces to come to the aid of allies under armed attack, giving Japan a freer hand in the defense arena.

Cry ‘Havoc’ and Let Slip the Constitution of War | Foreign Policy Abe’s constitutional coup has grave implications for Japanese-American relations. As a new generation struggles with the enduring meaning of its post-war legacy, Obama should have stayed on the sidelines and allowed the Japanese to determine their future alone. Instead, the U.S. president intervened decisively in support of Abe’s constitutional end-run. Until several months ago, the United States maintained a military pact with Tokyo that respected the severe limits imposed on Japan’s Self-Defense Forces by the Peace Article. But in April, Obama signed a new cooperation agreement enabling joint operations far more ambitious than those required for domestic defense — even though Abe had not yet gained parliamentary authorization for such adventures.

Japan jet scrambles against China planes hit record this summer | Reuters Japan jets scrambled 117 times, up from 103 in the same period of last year, although it was lower than the all-time high of 164 times recorded in the final quarter of 2014.

Spies to monitor Chinese nuclear tech – Business Insider The Cheltenham-based spooks will scrutinise the technology going into Britain’s nuclear facilities amid concerns that Beijing could use a raft of new commercial deals due to be announced this week to threaten the UK’s national security.

Interview with Gary Roughead: US-China military ties crucial despite frictions – CCTV News – CCTV.com English CCTV reporter Han Bin interviewed former US Chief of Naval Operations, Gary Roughead, who is also participating in the Xiangshan forum. They talked about US-China military cooperation and the possibilities for a win-win situation.

Xiangshan Forum debates S.China Sea – Global Times “It is widely recognized that China holds historical rights in the South China Sea as it is the first nation to work on the islands, and China has not resorted to force by taking back islands occupied by some neighboring countries,” Wu Jianmin, moderator of Sunday’s session, who is also a member of the Foreign Policy Advisory Group of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, told the forum.  “We reclaimed land on our own territory – what others have been doing for a long time,” Wu said.

Sources confirm Vatican-China meeting in Beijing ucanews.com The meeting was held amid a crackdown on religion in China, with the central government promoting a policy of “sinicization” of religion in China, which seeks to limit, if not entirely eliminate, foreign influence. Reports emerged from Sichuan province that government religious officials demanded priests there submit a written explanation of their understanding of sinicization and of how it relates to the church. It was against this backdrop that the Vatican delegates were greeted upon their Oct. 11 arrival to Beijing. According to several sources, the meetings have concluded and the Vatican delegation has departed China.

习近平的“四一”强军法–时政–人民网 习近平同志总能用最通俗、最简短的语言,将十分的重要理论、观点和道理表达清楚,让人迅速理解并快速记牢。他的“四一”强军法就简单得出彩、通俗得出奇,效果也自然惊人。

AnchorTECH AND MEDIA *

Smartphone Upcycling Gains Momentum In China As Users Trade Phones Every 18 Months – TechNode Researches show that Chinese smartphone users change their smartphones once every 29-months in 2011, but the period has been shorted to 18 months now. Over 20% of Chinese users will update for a newer phone within one year, while only 8.4% would do so within two years.

Feeling the Heat, Internet Companies Resort to Mergers to Stay Competitive-Caixin After the merger, the new Meituan-Dianping company controls around four-fifths of the group-buying and wedding services market, the Internet data provider EnfoDesk said. But Meituan-Dianping will still face competition from other group-buying websites, including the Baidu Inc.-backed Nuomi.com, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.-invested restaurant-review site Koubei.com and the eatery-booking site Ele.me. Alibaba has spent billions of yuan to develop Koubei, and in June, Baidu CEO Robin Li promised to invest 20 billion yuan into Nuomi over the next three years. Shortly after the announcement of the Meituan-Dianping tie-up, Nuomi promised 1 billion yuan to subsidize its users.

China Eases Controls on Western Digital as State Firm Plans to Invest – WSJ China has loosened some restrictions on Western Digital Corp.’s acquisition of rival Hitachi Global Storage Technologies Ltd., weeks after the disk-drive maker agreed to sell a stake to an influential Chinese state-run company. China’s commerce ministry said Monday that it would now allow U.S.-based Western Digital and Hitachi Global Storage to combine their manufacturing and research operations, although they must maintain separate sales and branding for at least two years. Western Digital may reapply for combined sales and branding in two years, it said.

Here’s the Xiaomi Phone-Controlled Scooter You’ve Been Waiting For – China Real Time Report – WSJ Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi and its scooter-making startup Ninebot unveiled a bargain Segway-like scooter Monday. The Ninebot Mini can be controlled by the smartphone and costs only 1,999 yuan ($316), a fraction of the price of a Segway.

36氪完成D轮融资,天使投资人王啸回忆36氪成长历程|九合新闻 近日消息,36氪完成由蚂蚁金服领投,华泰瑞麟(华泰证券旗下TMT基金)、经纬中国跟投的D轮融资。

AnchorSOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY *

Ai Weiwei’s art ‘not my taste’, says Chinese ambassador – BBC News China’s ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming has told BBC’s Andrew Marr that Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s work is “not my taste”. He said there were many better than this “so-called artist” and that he was only famous because of his criticism of the government.

用文学的光芒照亮中华民族的精神世界 来源:《求是》2015/20  作者:刘奇葆

电击驱魂注射 同性恋“治疗”闹剧深度新京报网 The Beijing News finds some hospitals still consider homosexuality an “illness”, reports on the various methods some people still offer to “cure” homosexuality, from electric shock to surgery to an incantation-chanting “master”.// “同性恋”早已从精神障碍诊断标准中去除,但记者近日调查发现,如今在北京还能找到各种奇葩的同性恋矫正法,有正规医院称注射胶原蛋白可治疗同性恋,有诊所称用电击可治疗同性恋,甚至有江湖术士认为,同性恋就是中邪,用作法念咒可以治疗。

AnchorENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH *

Rapid Economic Growth in China Is Chipping Away at Coastal Wetlands – The New York Times Coastal wetlands in China have vanished at an alarming rate because of the country’s economic development, and current economic plans could diminish them to below the minimum needed for “ecological security,” including fresh water, fishery products and flood control, according to a report released on Monday by Chinese scientists and an American research center.

Hostile shores | Science/AAAS | paywalled  //  Ecologists are tracking with dismay how migratory bird populations in Asia are now crashing. The iconic spoon-billed sandpiper is on the brink of extinction, and its precarious hold on existence is a harbinger of the fate facing the 50 million birds of nearly 500 species traveling the East Asian-Australasian Flyway that links breeding sites in the Arctic with wintering grounds in Southeast Asia and the Southern Hemisphere. Scientists believe habitat loss along the route is one of the primary drivers of population decline. Hopes for reversing the trend center on the Yellow Sea, a central way station for the migrants that has lost between 50% and 80% of its wetlands to coastal development in 5 decades. But saving the birds hinges on preserving the few remaining healthy mudflats along the Chinese coast.

China to stem illegal sodium hyaluronic injections – Xinhua Illegal sodium hyaluronate injections occur in plastic surgery institutions and beauty salons, and customers have been deceived into injecting sodium hyaluronic which is not certified.

AnchorFOOD AND TRAVEL *

How chef Peter Chang stopped running and started empire-building – The Washington Post ate at his Rockville, MD restaurant last night, first reasonably decent Chinese food we have found in DC  //  For years after he left the Chinese Embassy, Peter Chang seemed more ghost than chef, hiding in Fairfax and Alexandria kitchens under assumed names, often quick to flee when his cooking generated too much attention. He’d rarely, if ever, leave a forwarding address. The pursuit of Chang soon became an all-consuming story among exotic-food hunters: a tale of obsession, devotion and love for one chef’s authentic Chinese fare. The chase narrative transformed a Hubei province farm boy with minimal English language skills into an American cult figure, an image that, years later, still clings to the chef despite his restaurant chain that keeps expanding year after year.

AnchorJOBS AND EVENTS *

Schieffer Series: Assessing U.S.-China Relations after the Obama-Xi Summit | Center for Strategic and International Studies The Honorable Kurt M. Campbell Chairman and CEO, The Asia Group Fmr. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, US Department of State Demetri Sevastopulo Washington Bureau Chief, Financial Times Christopher K. Johnson Senior Adviser and Freeman Chair in China Studies, CSIS Tuesday, October 20, 2015 Event: 4:00 – 5:00 PM

Will Africa Feed China? Tickets, Washington | Eventbrite Deborah Brautigam, one of the world’s leading experts on China and Africa, probes the myths and realities behind the media headlines. WHEN Thursday, October 29, 2015 from 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM (EDT) – WHERE Kenney Auditorium – 1740 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, D.C. 20036

Research Assistant and Publications Coordinator | Brookings Institution The Research Assistant and Publications Coordinator provides the John L. Thornton China Center (JLTCC) with research support in relevant subject areas and coordinates the editing of all JLTCC publications including the China Thinkers Series. The Coordinator drafts English-language Center materials and commentaries; coordinates JLTCC web content; and coordinates translation requests for JLTCC and the Brookings-Tsinghua Center (BTC).

 

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One thought on “The Sinocism China Newsletter 10.19.15

  1. “Xi has left the country for the UK the week before the Plenum, and that combined with his US trip he will have been out of China for more than ten days in the month before next week’s meeting. That does not look like the travel schedule of a leader who is struggling with infighting or dissension in the ranks.”
    Thanks for that injection of commonsense!
    It also doesn’t look like a micro-, or omni-manager.

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