12.15.15 Note: There was an incorrect link in the 12.15.15 email edition of the newsletter, if you got here by clicking that link you should go here to the web version of the 12.15.15 newsletter. Sorry about that.
THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT *
1. China prepares to gag free speech champion Pu Zhiqiang | World news | The Guardian After 19 months behind bars, one of China’s most admired civil rights lawyers set to go on trial accused of sending irreverent tweets // Guardian correspondent Tom Phillips is live-tweeting from the courthouse, sounds like a bit of mess, and diplomats not allowed in. Here is a video of US diplomat Dan Biers shoved in crowd while reading a statement This whole thing is beyond egregious, and it is time for US to do something beyond just spouting more empty words. Now that the climate deal is signed perhaps the US can be less worried about “upsetting” Beijing? And how many US Internet executives are making the pilgrimage to Wuzhen this week for the Second World Internet Conference? How many of those executives know who Pu Zhiqiang is, or realize that his treatment has bearing on the likelihood of success for their China ventures? Do they really think they can build their businesses in the kind of environment that treats someone like Pu Zhiqiang, and journalists and diplomats, so egregiously?
Related: Chinese Law on Trial – WSJ China is the world’s second-biggest economy, but the dangers and uncertainty revealed in recent days by disappearing business executives can’t be separated from Beijing’s broader disregard for the rule of law and its brutality toward lawyers who seek to promote it.
2. For China, climate deal is imperfect but huge step forward | Reuters Xie Zhenhua, Beijing’s senior climate change envoy, said he welcomed what he described as a flawed agreement, echoing a similar summation from U.S. President Barack Obama.
Related: China’s Emissions Pledges Are Undercut by Boom in Coal Projects Abroad – The New York Times Paul Bledsoe, an energy consultant and former adviser in the Clinton White House, said China often offered “bargain basement prices abroad that are going to be difficult for many developing countries to turn away from.” The United States, Japan and other industrialized nations have helped finance the construction of coal-fired power plants in the developing world for decades, including in joint projects with China. Like China, they have usually required that contracts go to their companies. But as concerns about climate change have grown, there has been a move away from funding coal projects.
3. Xi demands Party schools’ allegiance to CPC – Xinhua “To realize the goal of building a moderately prosperous society and the Chinese dream of great national rejuvenation, the key is to mould a troop of officials that are as strong as iron in belief, faith, discipline and sense of responsibility,” Xi, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, said at a meeting on Party schools. The Party schools’ work forms an important part of the CPC’s work and the schools are the main platform for training officials. The schools assume the tasks of “supplement calcium and strengthen the bones” for cadres and officials, said Xi. // CCTV Evening News on the comments 习近平在全国党校工作会议上强调 坚持党校姓党根本工作原则 切实做好新形势下党校工作
Related: Xinhua Insight: CPC releases document to intensify political education – Xinhua The Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on Sunday released a document on Party school work, urging efforts to intensify ideological and political education among its 88 million members. The Party schools’ work forms an important part of the CPC’s work and the schools play a vital role in improving the Party’s ruling capacity, said the document adopted at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on Nov. 23. // [视频]中共中央印发《关于加强和改进新形势下党校工作的意见》新闻频道央视网
Related: 习近平首次系统解读“党校姓党”_凤凰资讯 来源：学习小组
Related: 本报评论员：用好党校教育这个独特优势–中国共产党新闻-人民网 “芳林新叶催陈叶，流水前波让后波。”党的事业继往开来，需要源源不断造就德才兼备的执政骨干。用好党校教育这个独特优势，让领导干部在这里提高理论素养和战略思维能力、辩证思维能力、综合决策能力、驾驭全局能力，才能保证党的事业兴旺发达、党的队伍后继有人。 《 人民日报 》（ 2015年12月13日 01 版）
Related: 新华社评论员：发挥党校教育补钙壮骨、立根固本作用-新华网 办好中国的事情，关键在党，关键在人。改革攻坚克难，事业乘势而上，呼唤党性强、能担当、善作为的好干部。作为干部成长的摇篮，党校重任在肩、大有可为。进一步办好党校，让大批优秀干部脱颖而出，我们的事业必定充满生机活力，发展的前景必定更加光明。
4. Alibaba Buying South China Morning Post, Aiming to Influence Media – The New York Times Behind the scenes, Eric X. Li, the prominent Shanghai-based venture capitalist who was an early investor in Youku, helped advise Alibaba on its acquisition of SCMP Group’s media assets. Mr. Li has gained notoriety in recent years as a political commentator known for aggressively critiquing American-style democracy and extolling the virtues of the Communist Party, like China’s meritocratic leadership system. “China’s re-emergence is perhaps the most consequential development for the world in the 21st century,” Mr. Li said in an interview. “Media coverage of China in the West has been too ideological and biased.” // Eric X. Li’s role in the Alibaba-SCMP deal makes it even more unlikely this is a random attempt to make Beijing happy. It fits very well with stated CCP goals of expanding international discourse power 国际话语权
Related: A softer touch on soft power – China Media Project Jan 2015 More on Beijing’s stated goal of increased China’s global “话语权 discourse power” in face of western media “dominance”, about which @cmphku has written a lot // Xi Jinping pointed out that the enhancement of national cultural soft power must work toward raising international discourse power (国际话语权). [We] must strengthen the building of international transmission capacity . . . utilising the capacity of newly-emerging media to raise the creative strength (创造力), charisma (感召力) and credibility (公信力) of our external discourse, telling Chinese stories well, transmitting China’s voice (中国声音) well, interpreting Chinese characteristics (中国特色) well. We must strengthen the intensity of positive propaganda on the excellent culture and glorious history of the Chinese people, enhancing patriotic education, collectivism and socialist education through education, theoretical research, historical research, films and works of literature — leading the people of our nation to establish and maintain correct historical views, ethnic views, national views and cultural views, increasing their integrity and confidence in being Chinese people.
Related: 李世默：从全球视野看中共形象新变化-搜狐新闻 worth remembering alibaba-scmp deal advisor Eric X Li 李世默 was with Liu Yunshan in europe 6.2014, gave speech at a forum Liu attended on global trends in research about china and changing perceptions about the CCP. Is Eric X. Li a US citizen or green cardholder, or was he ever? // 6月11日，中共中央政治局常委刘云山访问丹麦期间，参加了“欧洲学者眼中的中国共产党国际研讨会”并发言，主办方是丹麦哥本哈根商学院和中国当代世界研究中心。李世默在研讨会上做了题为“从全球视角看中国研究的新动向和中共形象的新变化”的发言。中共中央政治局常委在国外直接与海外中国学学者面对面交流，在历史上是罕见的，也许这标志着中共正自信而开放地走向世界。
Related: By Buying Paper, Alibaba Steps Up China’s Drive for More Positive Coverage – The New York Times In Beijing, those who worry about China’s reputation abroad were elated by Alibaba taking the helm of a storied newspaper fallen on hard times and pledging to use it as a vehicle for enhancing China’s reputation. “This is a good thing,” said Wang Wen, a researcher at Renmin University in Beijing and a former editor at Global Times, a popular Chinese tabloid that often criticizes the Western media. “This is an attempt by the country’s social power to alter the country’s image,” he added, referring to private corporations and others outside the direct control of the state.
Related: Alibaba buys the South China Morning Post: Full Q&A with executive vice chairman Joseph Tsai | South China Morning Post In a wide-ranging interview, Joseph Tsai, executive vice chairman of Alibaba Group, explains the thinking behind the e-commerce giant’s decision to buy the 112-year-old South China Morning Post newspaper, and all its other media assets. Removing the paper’s paywall and ensuring objective, balanced and fair reporting continues, as well as pouring more investment into the product were among the key principles he shared with executive editor, Chow Chung Yan.
5. Fosun Chairman Goes Missing since Noon, Dec 10-Caixin Guo, 48, has repeatedly refuted claims that he was subject to a graft investigation since late 2013. In August, however, a Shanghai court found Guo had inappropriate connections to Wang Zongnan, who was sentenced to 18 years in jail for misusing 195 million yuan in corporate funds when he led several state-backed enterprises. “Wang had taken advantage of the authority that came with his job to seek benefits for Fosun Group,” the court filing said. And in return, it said, Guo sold two villas, valued at 4.77 million yuan at the time, to Wang’s parents for 2.08 million yuan in 2003. // but he was allowed out to participate in company’s annual meeting Monday, see this picture from Twitter
Related: China probe concerns billionaire Fosun founder’s ‘personal affairs’ | Reuters “We trust Chairman Guo is a wise man and will actively cooperate and fulfill his duties to assist the investigation as soon as possible,” company president Wang Qunbin told a conference call. “It is mostly about his personal affairs,” said Wang, when asked whether the probe was related to the company or Guo personally. Wang said he could not provide more details as the investigation was “sensitive.” Chief executive Liang Xinjun said Guo was helping police in Shanghai and said that he was currently assisting with an investigation and not the subject of it. He did not give further details about the nature of the probe.
Related: China’s Would-Be Warren Buffet Is Missing | Foreign Policy Guo Guangchang, a 48-year-old Shanghai-based billionaire and founder and chairman of Fosun, China’s most valuable private conglomerate, has gone missing. A low-resolution, undated image currently circulating on Chinese social network Weibo shows a man who looks like Guo being led away by men in plain clothes. According to a report by Caixin, a respected economic and finance news outlet, Guo fell out of contact around noon on Dec. 10, China time
6. China clears way for further renminbi weakening – FT.com China has paved the way for a further weakening of its currency by announcing changes in how it measures the renminbi’s value. The move, announced on Friday, has raised investors’ alarm at the prospect of a new currency war — just as the US prepares to raise interest rates.
Related: 正确看待人民币汇率波动评论中国金融新闻网 总的来说，人民币不存在持续大幅贬值的基础，随着汇率市场化改革的深入，未来双向浮动将成为常态，人民币汇率能在合理均衡水平上保持基本稳定。央行副行长、国家外汇管理局局长易纲此前在答记者问时表示：“我们最终的目标是要稳步实现人民币汇率的清洁浮动。这有一个过渡的过程，这个过程应该是渐进和稳健的，也就是说，我们完全有能力保持人民币汇率在合理均衡水平上的基本稳定。”
7. China Anticorruption Cases Have Quadrupled Since 2013, Study Says – China Real Time Report – WSJ In Chinese business and political circles, conversations frequently return to a familiar question: When will President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign end? A new analysis from the Washington-based Eurasia Group political consultancy suggests no time soon. Authors including Eurasia Group analysts Erica Downs and Evan Medeiros, a former top China adviser to President Obama, say the number of Chinese institutions investigated this year is more than four times what it was back in 2013 when the campaign began. // have not seen the original report, sounds interesting
8. A Wordless Elegy for China’s War Dead – The New York Times When the composer Wang Xilin’s haunting requiem for the souls of China’s millions of World War II dead rings out in Beijing on Sunday, half a century will have passed since he first conceived of it. Yet the work, Symphony No. 9: “Requiem for the War of Chinese People’s Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World’s Anti-Fascist War,” will take to the stage just once. Performed by the China National Symphony Orchestra and its choir, and the choir of Capital Normal University, at the National Center for the Performing Arts, soloists will include the baritone Sun Yu and the German soprano Brigitte Wohlfarth.
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *
The Great China Supply-Side Revolution? Communists Change Tack – Bloomberg Business Finance Minister Lou Jiwei, a veteran policy maker and a close ally of Xi, and People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan suggested changes to terms used for explaining the economy’s conditions, according to the person familiar with proceedings of the party’s Fifth Plenum from Oct. 26-29. Criticism over wording is rare and could indicate a lack of consensus among the top ranks of policy makers. Among the phrases used by Li that were singled out by Lou was “gaige niu,” which translates as reform bull and was used to justify the stock market’s rally as the bubble inflated before the mid-year collapse, according to the person. Zhou took issue with the term “discretionary adjustment,” used by Li to describe China’s shift by mid-2015 toward supporting growth and away from a focus on deleveraging. Zhou said the phrase “counter-cyclical adjustment” would be better understood internationally
Temporary Railroad Workers Stage Sit-in Over Equal Pay-Caixin Around 40 temporary workers of China Railway Corp. (CRC) demonstrated in front of the corporation’s headquarters in Beijing on December 9, demanding equal pay. Workers traveled from the Xi’an Railway Bureau, a CRC branch in northwest China’s Shannxi province, where they have been working as temporary employees for more than two decades, for the protest. It is a common practice in state-owned enterprises to recruit temporary workers through subcontracting agents. Their workload is similar to that of regular employees, but for a lesser pay.
Uber says China disruptive | China Daily Show BEIJING (China Daily Show) – Taxi-hailing app Uber is alarmed about aggressive tactics from competitors in China. Drivers have been poached, fundraising efforts sabotaged and its services maliciously abused by rivals, claimed China CEO Hans von Wenger. “It is totally unfair,” said von Wenger. “They are ripping us off.” The company argues that China’s “mafia-style tactics” are a violation of Uber’s intellectual property. “When we do this kind of thing, it’s edgy, cool, disruptive. It’s about creating a normative new dynamic,” explained von Wenger. “When they do it, it’s backward, analogue, authoritarian.” At press time, von Wenger had called his parents to complain about the bullies. // a joke site just in case you didn’t know that
Uber exploiting interns and conducting illegally in China: Report | ZDNet American car-hailing mobile application developer Uber was accused of exploiting a huge number of underpaid interns while breaking Chinese laws by keeping the intern after graduation and dismissing them unfairly, as reported by Sina on Wednesday. // remarkably stupid of Uber if this is true
东北多地GDP造假惊动巡视组 县域经济规模超香港新闻腾讯网 多年来，地方GDP“增速高于全国、总量大于全国”的统计乱象引发公众质疑。近期，东北多地官员坦承，各地纷纷在给统计数字“挤水分”，并反思统计数据造假之弊。
China’s Headhunters Are Desperately Seeking Credit Analysts – Bloomberg Business “We haven’t seen so much demand for credit analysts before,” said Monica Song, associate director for China financial services at human resources company Hudson Global Inc. in Shanghai. “Brokerages’ asset management departments, mutual funds and insurance companies are the biggest recruiters.”
China CITIC Bank Offers Kaisa 30 Billion Yuan Loan for Debt Restructuring-Caixin State-backed China Citic Bank Co. has agreed to lend 30 billion yuan worth of loans to help property developer Kaisa Group Holdings Ltd to restructure its debt, sources with knowledge of the matter said. After restructuring, the bank will be Kaisa’s biggest creditor.
China crackdown nets ex-Ping An Securities chief | South China Morning Post Chinese police have caught Xue Rongnian, a renowned investment banker, for inside trading and market manipulation, the latest scandal exposed after the central government stepped up the crackdown on market irregularities that it blamed for a boom-to-bust cycle earlier this year. Xue, a former chief executive of Ping An Securities, was apprehended by police in Bengbu, Anhui province, on November 20 as he was alleged to have conducted inside trading involving Anhui Chaodong Cement and Anhui Conch Cement, according to Caixin.
宋鸿兵太原演讲被围攻 回应称不了解泛亚模式金融频道财新网 据现场视频，宋鸿兵是应邀做题为“货币战争时代全新金融理念与投资策略”的演讲时，遭遇到大批自称是泛亚投资者的人士的围攻和谩骂。事发地在太原万达文华酒店。这些投资者显然有备而来，有些举着标语，称“金融惯犯单九良（泛亚董事长单九良）诈骗人民400亿”。现场极为混乱，宋鸿兵西装后背被扯裂，并被迫手写道歉书：“1、对于参加泛亚商业活动，我表示深深的歉意。我事先并没有清楚地了解泛亚的模式，误导了大家。2、对于泛亚投资人的损失，我将尽最大努力帮助大家申明情况，并尽可能补救损失。”
中财办副主任：中国需要再建10个类似北京这样的中心城市自贸区连线澎湃新闻-The Paper Yang Weimin says China needs 10 corecities like Beijing // “十三五”期间，中国将加速发展一批中心城市，承担全国性的功能，带动区域协调发展，形成经济发展新的增长节点。
Citic Short-Selling Offer to Hedge Funds Led Police to Its Door – Bloomberg Business The initial police probe of Citic Securities focused on whether the firm was giving foreigners a way to short stocks on the so-called A-shares market in China at the same time that it was engaged in government-sponsored plans to prop up the market, according to a person familiar with the events of the past few months who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the investigation.
The China metal exchange at center of investment scandal | Reuters As the Fanya scandal unfolded, a group of investors tracked down the chairman of the exchange, Shan Jiuliang, and hustled him off to a police station. Other groups of investors have descended on government bodies in Beijing and Shanghai to stage protests. Security guards blocked Reuters from entering the Fanya exchange building. But in an interview outside, a Fanya manager who identified himself only by his surname Liao said the current investigations were expected to conclude within two months.
宋鸿兵太原演讲被围攻 微博回应称已报案 | 每经网 “Currency War” author Sun Hongbing physically harrased by protesting Fanya investors
Who’s investigating fake Chinese goods? Fake investigators The woman called herself Flaming Lee, an English name she picked when she was 10 years old, long before she got into the dirty business of counterfeit goods. Her job as a private investigator sometimes took her to client meetings at Dubai’s seven-star Burj Al Arab hotel. Otherwise, she lived in apparent simplicity. There were few signs of the deception that shaped her life. Officially, Flaming Lee hunted counterfeiters for Swiss power technology giant ABB Asea Brown Boveri Ltd. Unofficially, she herself sold counterfeit ABB circuit breakers for export — the very things ABB was paying her to track down.
POLITICS AND LAW *
令计划究竟偷盗了哪些国家最高机密？_中国-多维新闻网 中共中央前办公厅主任，前统战部长令计划偷盗国家机密内容进一步曝光。据海外媒体披露，中共政法委书记孟建柱日前在一个内部会议谈及令计划案时透露，令计划在大权在握时偷盗大量党和国家机密，失势后还将这些机密弄到美国。 香港媒体消息称，10月底中共十八届五中全会结束后，孟建柱到江南某市检查政法工作关于深化改革的落实情况，在一次干部会议的内部讲话中透露令计划案内幕以及调查进展。// did Meng Jiangzhu give an unpublished speech in which he admitted that Ling Jihua had stolen large amounts of State and Party secrets and sent them to the US? So says HK media
China says senior Uighur official killed during raid in unruly Xinjiang A senior ethnic Uighur security official was killed in a police raid on a “nest of terrorists”, Chinese state media reported, giving details on a previously unannounced operation in the violence-prone far western region of Xinjiang.
新疆武警歼灭暴恐团伙新画面曝光 连续作战56天新闻腾讯网 video from a campaign to “exterminate” what authorities say was a terror cell in Xinjiang
揭秘贪官监视居住点 软包墙面防轻生新闻腾讯网 pics from inside a residential surveillance facility for officials under investigation. lots of padding
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *
总装备部通用装备保障部原部长李明泉被调查_凤凰资讯 李明泉少将（1955年—）河北省武安市人，曾任总装通用装备保障部车船局局长、总装通用装备保障部副部长等职。 2009年授予少将军衔。 军方上次公布“打虎”消息是在11月13日，军委纪委对第二炮兵工程大学原副政委吴瑞忠涉嫌严重违纪问题进行立案调查，武警部队纪委对武警交通指挥部原副司令员瞿木田涉嫌严重违纪问题进行立案调查。 // another PLA general under investigation, article includes a nice infographic of the PLA “tigers” taken to date
军报:剪不断既得利益”脐带” 军队就不能改革中新生-中新网 深化国防和军队改革展开实施之际论实战化训练
Our best frenemy-Politico CSIS’s James Lewis, who’s among the most optimistic analysts regarding the agreement, describes it as “the beginning of the story on how the Chinese and we work together to manages this problem,” rather than the end. Though he’s optimistic the agreement will be fruitful, Lewis speculated the U.S. will ultimately sanction some Chinese targets and that there will be many more tense meetings before Chinese hacking falls to a level U.S. officials decide they can tolerate.
AsiaEye – Official Blog of the Project 2049 Institute: Chinese media leverages “false dilemma” fallacy against U.S. allies Propagating a zero-sum fallacy, also referred to as a “false dilemma fallacy” is a choice Chinese media warfare tactic. Chinese media, referencing guidelines from the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China (CCPPD), regularly constructs current international events as scenarios with two choices, rather than a range of policy options. This institutionalized persuasion method is aimed at driving a wedge between the U.S. and its key allies by using zero-sum rhetoric, creating the illusion that allies must choose between the U.S. and China. Domestically and internationally, Chinese state-run media achieves this goal by using “foreign experts,” some of whom are influenced by or have significant interests in the Party, and some of whom are unaware they are being quoted or whose quotes are taken out of context. Unsurprisingly, the Chinese publicity apparatus also overemphasizes points of view that support the Party narrative.
China navy carries out more drills in disputed South China Sea | Reuters Pictures on social media accounts of Chinese state media have in recent days shown pictures of Chinese navy ships engaged in live-fire exercises in the South China Sea, without saying where exactly they took place.
PDF-Thailands Post-Coup Relations with China and America: More Beijing, Less Washington | Ian Storey Since the Thai military seized power in May 2014, Thailand’s relations with the United States have significantly deteriorated, while the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) has quickly emerged as the Kingdoms closest Great Power partner. U.S.-Thai defence cooperation has been the main casualty of the coup, and represents a setback for the Obama administrations pivot or rebalance towards Asia, the success of which depends in large part on strengthening bilateral alliances and increasing Americas presence in Asia. Even before the coup, the U.S.-Thai alliance was facing difficulties. Since Washington announced the pivot in 2011, neither civilian nor military leaders in Thailand have evinced genuine support for the strategy. Many Thais consider the pivot to be aimed at containing China, and that Thailands association with the strategy would be detrimental to the countrys positive relations with the PRC. Thailand does not perceive the PRC as a source of strategic instability; to the contrary, Thais overwhelmingly view China as a valuable economic and security partner
Geng Tan: Canada’s 1st MP from Chinese mainland| China Daily With 51.4 percent of the vote, Liberal Party member Geng Tan defeated Conservative MP Joe Daniel to win a seat in parliament to represent Don Valley North in Toronto on Oct 19. Hailed by Chinese Mandarin community members as their “true voice”, the political newcomer’s win was not only a victory for Liberals, but was also seen as a milestone in the Chinese-Canadian community’s efforts to better participate in government and politics.
HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN *
Be Careful What You Wish For: The Risks of Taiwan Shifting Its South China Sea Policy Against China – Lawfare The South China Sea presents an opportunity for a new Taiwan government to separate a little more from China and warm relations with other claimants in the region, as well as win some U.S. goodwill. But simultaneously, it could become a flashpoint for conflict with China. If elected, Tsai must strike a delicate balance if she is to satisfy domestic constituents, mainland Chinese pressures, and often contradictory U.S. expectations. And the U.S. should think hard about whether to push for a new Taiwan approach to the South China Sea. It might be prudent to leave Taiwan alone and avoid mixing the South China Sea dispute with the potentially far more dangerous question of an independent Taiwan.
TECH AND MEDIA *
Hugo Barra of Xiaomi on the Company’s International Plans – The New York Times India has been a terrific journey for Xiaomi and one that I’ve had the opportunity to be part of and help drive from the very beginning. In fact, I’ve spent at least 50 percent of my own time over the last 18 months on that market alone, and it’s been a worthwhile investment. From a standing start in July 2014, we sold three million devices in about one year, and in Q3 we sold more than one million devices, the first time we’ve done that in one single quarter in India — in 2015 so far, we’ve averaged 45 percent growth quarter over quarter. We have also been investing significantly in India: We launched our own e-commerce website in Q2, and in Q3 we started our local manufacturing operation and opened a large office in Bangalore.
China’s behemoth UnionPay lets smartphone users ring up purchases in two seconds flat | South China Morning Post On Saturday, together with more than 20 banks, smartphone makers and internet companies, China UnionPay formally released Quick Pass to strengthen its presence in the competitive third-party, mobile payment market. According to the company, users don’t need to open an app in order to pay nor is internet availability an issue. The system also gave them better security of their personal information, UnionPay said. Set-up takes 30 seconds and payment is quick – two seconds.
Techno-Nationalism | The Cipher Brief The increased tempo of commercial partnerships between American and Chinese technology companies has begun to raise eyebrows in Washington. National security circles worry that such partnerships are degrading the American military’s technological superiority, because American technologies are being transferred to Chinese partners tied to the military
Alibaba Film Chief Grants First Interview: What China Can Do for Hollywood – Hollywood Reporter In her first sit-down since becoming Jack Ma’s top global film exec, Zhang Wei reveals what China’s web giant can offer Tinseltown (and it’s not just Superman sheets).
China’s Mtime Launches App for Box-Office Tracking, Movie Merchandising (Exclusive) – Hollywood Reporter China’s leading movie website, Mtime, is launching an industry-targeted app to offer studios accurate and detailed Chinese box office data as well as facilitate direct merchandising deals with Chinese cinema chains.
Jack Ma Teams With Arch-Foe Tencent on China, Hollywood Films – Bloomberg Business Tencent, Huayi and Ma’s Yunfeng Capital have made a HK$547 million ($70.6 million) offer to buy a controlling stake in a shell company called China Jiuhao Health Industry Corp., the companies announced Thursday. If successful, they intend to use the shares of what has been a retirement-home developer to create a media and “cultural” business and produce original content. First up is a slate of 10 live-action films and three animated features to be created in conjunction with unidentified U.S. production houses, they said. // anyone make a fortune frontrunning the deal?
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY *
China’s new residence permits promise better public services – Xinhua From next year, an interim regulation on China’s residence permit system will ensure access to basic public services while encouraging local governments to provide better services. “Basic” public services include items such as education, basic employment services, passports, automobile registration, etc.
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH *
China nearly doubles oil reserve capacity – Xinhua China has doubled its number of state oil reserve silos to eight and almost doubled their capacity in less than a year as it bids to offset oil supply risks. The country had built eight such silos as of mid-2015, with a total storage capacity of 28.6 million cubic meters, according to a press release issued by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Friday.
Math Quartet Joins Forces on Unified Theory | Quanta Magazine Zhang, who is now a professor at Columbia, and Yuan, now an assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley, are members of an unofficial quartet of Chinese mathematicians who have been friends since their undergraduate days at Peking University in the early 2000s and now hold positions in some of the best mathematics departments in the world.
U.S. returns ancient cultural artifacts, dinosaur fossil to China – Xinhua The United States returned 22 Chinese artifacts and a dinosaur fossil to China on Thursday, highlighting the two world powers’ cooperation to counter illicit trafficking of archeological objects. “Their return to China will facilitate our fight against illicit trade in archeological objects, and help us better preserve cultural heritage for our future generations,” Cui Tiankai, Chinese Ambassador to the U.S., said during a repatriation ceremony here.
AGRICULTURE AND RURAL ISSUES *
Land transfers thrive in rural China – Xinhua As of June 2014, more than 250,000 square km of arable land had been transferred, almost 30 percent of the national total, according to Chen Xiwen, deputy head of the central agricultural work leading team.
15个改革试点农用地相继入市 _ 经济参考网 _ 新华社《经济参考报》官方网站 近日，北京市国土资源局大兴分局发布集体经营性建设用地使用权出让公告，大兴西红门镇绿隔产业用地集体经营性建设用地使用权挂牌出让。值得注意的是，这是北京首宗农村集体建设用地入市。据悉，本次挂牌出让地块位于大兴区西红门镇，建设面积26700平方米，出让年限40年，起拍价4.5亿元。该宗地以临时“三通一平”（“一平”指除最终可保留及涉及二级开发单位继续使用的地上物外，无其它施工障碍物的场地自然平整。“三通”指通临路、具备临水、临电的接入条件）形式供地
FOOD AND TRAVEL *
RIP The Den | Beijing bar legend closes on Sunday | Beijing Boyce reason given is that building owner is a People’s Armed Police unit and they are no longer allowed to lease property for commercial gain
Beijing to Shake-up Rigid Household Registration Rules-Caixin Beijing plans to introduce a points system to allow the city’s 8.2 million migrants to get permanent residency status, which would give them access to long denied public services, city officials said. Two out of five residents in the Chinese capital do not a local household registration, data from the Beijing Statistics Bureau show, and are denied access to schools and public healthcare facilities. The scoring system, similar to the merit-based point scheme for immigrants in the United States, will allow migrants to get a permanent residency permit, known as a hukou, if they meet criteria outlined in a draft plan released on December 10 by municipal authorities.
Subway Update: Line 14 Expands to Beijing South Railway, Off-Peak Fares on Tap | the Beijinger Ground will be broken on a total of nine new subway lines spanning a total of over 193km by the end of 2015, three more than the Ministry of Transport planned at the beginning of the year – someone’s been busy! The new lines include an expansion of the Airport Express west to Beixinqiao, Line 12 in its entirety (running west from Sijiqing to Guanzhuanglu Xikou in the east) and Line 17 in its entirety (running north from Beijing Future Science North Park to Yizhuang South Station in, you guessed it, the south). Where the hell are these places?! Think of the staycation potential now that we have access to the Beijing Future Science North Park … in Hebei, a mere hour’s ride away. Expansions of the subway to Beijing’s Daxing International Airport, set to open in late 2018, have also begun
After nearly nine centuries, Beijing’s mayoral office to move outside the heart of the capital in bid to cut pollution | South China Morning Post The Beijing municipal government, the city’s Communist Party committee, and its parliamentary and political advisory bodies, would all be moved 30km east of Tiananmen Square by 2017, the city’s vice-mayor Li Shixiang said on Thursday.
JOBS AND EVENTS *
Points (tipping), Lines (9-dash), Planes (military), and Spheres (of influence) – The Geometry of a Changing Relationship | Wilson Center Wed. Dec. 16 2015 3:00pm — 4:30pm 6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center Directions to the Wilson Center. I am one of the panelists
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