The Sinocism China Newsletter For 03.07.13

Bloomberg reports that Chinese Anger Over Pollution Becomes Main Cause of Social Unrest:

Pollution has replaced land disputes as the main cause of social unrest in China, a retired Communist Party official said, as delegates to the country’s legislature lamented environmental degradation.

China now sees 30,000 to 50,000 so-called mass incidents every year, Chen Jiping, a former leading member of the party’s Committee of Political and Legislative Affairs, said yesterday. Increased use of mobile phones and the Internet has allowed protesters to show their anger more effectively, he said.

Per Xinhua Smartphones cover 70 pct of mobile market:

Seventy-million smart phones were shipped in China in the last quarter of 2012, covering 73.2 percent of the country’s mobile market share, newly released statistics showed Wednesday.

The volume of smart phone shipments saw a 112.1 percent year-on-year increase, according to statistics by the International Data Corporation (IDC), a global market research, analysis and advisory company.

And the phones are just going to get cheaper and better featured, as Kai Lukoff explains in Year of the ChinaDroid:

The second transition into no-name devices is coming on even stronger. ‘Other’ now accounts for 39% of Chinese Android page views on Baidu properties, and growing. Analyst Benedict Evans writes: “‘Other’, the swarm of over a thousand small manufacturers making generic devices with (mainly) Mediatek chipsets, is squeezing all the branded OEMs and pushing prices down relentlessly.” These devices are not high-end, but most aren’t shanzhai either. They’re not knockoffs of the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy. They’re selling a generic, commoditized version of the Android smartphone. They’d like to sell their own brand, but they don’t have to: Android is the brand (although the Chinese consumer’s image of Android is very different from an American’s).

In China, new phone = Android. With entry-level Android smartphones priced at 500 RMB (80 USD) and dropping, smartphones will soon be the only phones sold in China. And Android now accounts for about 90% of smartphone sales in China, according to Analysys.

Beijing is worried about Android’s dominance, as Reuters reported this week in Google controls too much of China’s smartphone sector:

The white paper, authored by the research arm of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, also said China had the ability to create its own mobile operating system. (here)

“Our country’s mobile operating system research and development is too dependent on Android,” the paper, posted online on Friday but carried by local media on Tuesday, said. “While the Android system is open source, the core technology and technology roadmap is strictly controlled by Google.”

The Economic Observer wrote last May that the Chinese government is pushing for the development of an indigenous Mobile OS (互联网大佬集体做手机意在政府补贴?, English summary here.) So far Android still dominates.

Android in fact may be Google’s revenge as it powers hundreds of millions of affordable smart phones that are empowering Chinese at almost every level and dramatically increasing the operators’ and government’s censorship load. Smartphones and social media are changing China, as I discuss in China Politics 2.0 (Slideshare), a deck that serves as the outline for a talk I have given a few times.

Sinocism readers know that I have a strange business model. There are a few other people trying similar approaches, as Felix Salmon of Reuters explains in Content economics, part 2: payments. His conclusion struck home:

So if you’re a huge publicly-listed corporation, by all means create an elaborate paywall in the hopes that people will decide that they need your content and will just have to pay for it. Every so often, that can work, as it has at the FT and the NYT. But frankly I don’t think those examples are particularly replicable: they’re both sui generis in many ways. Instead, it seems to me, the most promising aspect of content payments is at the other end of the spectrum. Build up a relationship with your readers, in large part by giving your content away for free; ask for money with pride and shamelessness; and place no cap on how much you let your readers spend. Give them the opportunity, and you might be very surprised at what they’re willing to buy

So time for me to be shameless. Please support Sinocism, either through a tip or other means. This page tells you how. Thanks

Today’s Links:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

Investors pour record sums into China – FT.com Companies and individuals sold Rmb684bn worth of foreign exchange and bought an equivalent amount of Chinese currency in January, the most ever in any single month, according to data published by the central bank on Tuesday China recorded a capital account deficit in 2012 of $117bn last year, its first deficit since 1998. A small part of that reflected capital flight but the most important factor was the decision of Chinese companies to hold on to foreign currency rather than immediately trade it for renminbi, as they had done in the past. The State Administration of Foreign Exchange, an arm of the central bank, said in a report last week that capital outflows had slowed in the final quarter last year and that “quite large-scale inflows began to appear in December”.

Inside the Black Box:How the NSA is helping companies fight back against Chinese hackers – By Marc Ambinder | Foreign Policy halfway through Ambinder’s enjoyable new book Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry //An American official who has been read into the classified program — conducted by cyber-warfare technicians from the Air Force’s 315th Network Warfare Squadron and the CIA’s secret Technology Management Office — said that China has become the “Curtis LeMay” of the post-Cold War era: “It is not abiding by the rules of statecraft anymore, and that must change.”  “The Cold War enforced norms, and the Soviets and the U.S. didn’t go outside a set of boundaries. But China is going outside those boundaries now. Homeostasis is being upset,” the official said. In essence, the NSA will give American companies the ability to fight back. The idea is two-fold. One: Behavior modification by exposing Chinese tactics, which, in theory, would embarrass the Chinese. Two: This will force China will develop new hacking avenues, but this will take time, giving U.S. companies the chance to catch up.

Intelligence from the Chinese Media and Internet | Danwei congrats, Financial Times acquires Chinese research service Danwei. Danwei was founded as a media tracking website in 2003, and began offering research services in 2006. All Danwei’s deliverables are edited by a team with decades of experience in research, media and the Internet in China. See our press page for media mentions and citations. Danwei is a research service from the Financial Times (FT), and works closely with the FT’s China Confidential, an indispensable compass for investors and corporations navigating the Chinese investment landscape. All reports are entirely confidential; Danwei is an independent entity that does not share information with the Financial Times newspaper.

Tax fails to end Chinese love of property – FT.com Zhang Lin, an office worker, had come to see whether his two properties – one that he bought and a second that used to belong to his parents – would be affected. “This tax will be a big loss of income for ordinary people, and I don’t think this will actually stop prices from rising. It just means that more of our money will go to the government,” he said. Similar scenes of people swarming property registration offices have been reported around China this week. In Wuxi, an affluent eastern city, local media said housing sales had increased sevenfold from the daily average before the announcement.

China navy seeks to wear out Japanese ships in disputed waters | Reuters A daily stream of bulletins announce ship deployments into the East China Sea, naval combat exercises, the launch of new warships and commentaries calling for resolute defense of Chinese territory. “The operational goal in the East China Sea is to wear out the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force and the Japan Coast Guard,” said James Holmes, a maritime strategy expert at the Newport, Rhode Island U.S. Naval War College.

重庆市委书记孙政才:薄熙来案件正在侦查阶段_资讯频道_凤凰网 Chongqing Party Secretary Sun Zhengcai says Bo Xilai case still in investigation phase// 对于外媒提出的有关重庆前市委书记薄熙来案调查情况的询问,孙政才说:“你都知道,薄熙来的案件已经移送司法机关,目前案件的侦查工作正在依法进行当中”。面对媒体的继续追问,他补充说:“正在侦查阶段,我就知道这么多”。

Hawkish PLA leader Luo Yan out of CPPCC for his outspoken views | South China Morning Post does Luo get taken too seriously by foreign media and analysts?// Luo Yuan, a hawkish retired People’s Liberation Army major general, was not reselected as a member of the top advisory body because of his outgoing personality, sources close to the army said. “Luo was asked to quit the stage of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) because he was too outspoken,” a military source said, adding that the upper-level leadership had selected someone else from the PLA to replace him.

New challenge to VIEs | China Accounting Blog | Paul GillisI have learned from some investors that there has been a major challenge against the VIE structure of a U.S. listed Chinese company. The challenge relates to whether the VIE can be consolidated into the financial statements. The SEC has been aggressively examining VIE arrangements, but I have been unable to learn whether this challenge is a result of an SEC investigation, or who the company or auditor are. 。。If the SEC is making this position clear to the accounting firms, we could see some real surprises when companies file their Form 20F over the next few weeks.

 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

China PBOC to Take Steps to Tighten Money Supply – WSJ.com “The central bank will use a combination of methods including repos and issuing central bank bonds, which it has done before, to mop up excess liquidity. That is the only way to guarantee price stability,” PBOC Vice Governor Yi Gang said Wednesday on the sidelines of the National People’s Congress. Meanwhile, Chen Yulu, an academic economist who sits on the PBOC’s advisory board, said he sees “large inflation pressure in the second half of the year.” The official target for inflation of 3.5% or less this year “can be met if we start to control money supply now,” he said, also on the sidelines of the legislative session in Beijing.

China Buick PR Disaster as Dealer Uses Abducted Baby in Ad By noon Wednesday, “Liaoning Tianhe Buick” had become the top term on Weibo. Outraged users raged against the dealer–at times calling the Buick brand into question. Some demanded a better apology or for Tianhe employees to appear at a vigil for Haobo. Meanwhile, others engaged China notorious “human flesh search engine” to personally out boss of the dealership and, subsequently, flog him publicly.

温州民企借贷危机仍发酵 市长料年末风险将见顶 新华社——经济参考网 温州民营企业民间借贷危机至今仍在发酵。3月6日,全国人大代表、浙江省温州市市委副书记、市长陈金彪在接受《经济参考报》记者采访时坦言:“现在借贷危机主要转向了企业的互联、互保。具体而言,一些小微企业出现了资金链问题,由于之前它们是靠龙头企业担保,一旦暴露风险,银行就要追溯到龙头企业。这些企业其实本身经营情况都比较好,但是一旦银行把资金抽走,它们就将受到影响。”

阿里布局“大金融” 下月上线信用支付业务_财经频道_一财网 信用支付”的使用场景仅限手机、平板等移动终端,暂不对PC端开展此信用业务。经统计,预计今年信用支付的发放规模在4亿~5亿元之间。

原工信部部长曝光2008年4万亿投资决策内幕_网易新闻中心 核心提示:3月5日下午,原工信部部长李毅中在全国政协经济界别小组讨论会发言时,回顾了2008年中央政府应对全球金融危机时的政策出台过程。李毅中表示现在形势变了,原来的刺激政策需要退出,但不能说当时的决策是错误的。

住建部专家:5年以上唯一住房应继续免个税-财经网 official says if you sell your only, primary residence after owning it for 5 years+ you are still exempt from the tax. good for upgraders// 对出售自有住房,并计划卖房后1年内重新购房的,其出售所缴纳的个税,先以纳税保证金形式缴纳。再视其重新购房的金额与原住房销售额的关系,全部或部分退还纳税保证金。同时,对个人转让自用5年以上,并且是家庭唯一用房,免征个税

任志强3月房价暴涨预言成真 北京最高涨30%_财经_腾讯网去年9月底,华远地产董事长任志强(微博)多次预言“明年(2013年)房价可能暴涨”。他的预言或将在北京变成现实。 本报记者实地调查发现,北京有不少楼盘的开盘价相比去年都将大幅提升,少则10%,多则30%。

 

POLITICS AND LAW

China eyes residence permits to replace divisive hukou system | Reuters China’s new leaders are planning a system of national residence permits to replace the household registration or ‘hukou’ regime, a government source said, a vital reform that will boost its urbanization campaign and drive consumption-led growth.

公安部副部长:流动人口有望落户长期工作地_资讯频道_凤凰网 public security official says hope for migrant workers to get household registration in cities where they work for long time// 正义网北京3月6日电(记者 戴佳)记者今天下午从全国政协十二届一次会议召开的首次提案办理协商会上获悉,公安部将建立实施居住证制度,使长期在城市并连续居住、参加社会保险的流动人口公平公正有序落户。今年政府工作报告中提出,要加快推进户籍制度改革,有序推进农业转移人口市民化,逐步实现城镇基本公共服务覆盖常住人口,“为人们自由迁徙、安居乐业创造公平的制度环境”。

China’s Richer-Than-Romney Lawmakers Show Xi’s Reform Challenge – Bloomberg Ninety members of the National People’s Congress are on a list of China’s 1,000 richest people published by the Shanghai- based Hurun Report, up from 75 last year, according to a review of the data by Bloomberg News. Everyone on the Hurun list had a fortune of at least 1.8 billion yuan ($289.4 million), more than former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The growing presence of wealthy people in the legislature coincides with efforts by Xi to stem corruption and the public display of luxury by officials as he seeks to address concern the Communist Party no longer represents interests of ordinary Chinese. Xi’s task may become more difficult as the rich move to cement their gains through legislation, said Yang Fengchun, an associate professor of government and management at Peking University.

杭州市长在北京去世 被发现时已倒地不醒_新闻_腾讯网 hangzhou mayor dies of heart attack at NPC// 十二届全国人大代表、杭州市委副书记、市长邵占维同志在出席全国两会期间,于3月6日上午9时许突发心脏病,经全力抢救无效,于当日15时26分在北京不幸病逝,因公殉职,终年58岁。医学专家诊断:邵占维去世原因为恶性心率失常。

长春上亿元监控系统因杀婴案被批睁眼瞎|长春|婴儿|盗车_新浪新闻 baby murder in Changchun leads netizens to question quality of and spending on the city’s video surveillance system// 吉林省失踪婴儿案3月5日晚间告破,盗车地点距婴儿被埋地点不到40公里,也就一个多小时的路程,却历经近40个小时的“全民搜索”。最终的结果却是嫌犯主动到公安机关自首,婴儿被不幸掐死抛尸雪中。网友质疑,长春市斥上亿元建设的“火眼金睛”——天网工程,在此次破案过程中成了“睁眼瞎”,莫非又是一宗“豆腐渣”工程?

Risk of loss of freedom for serving as legal representative of a company in China : Chinese Lawyers in Shanghai More seriously, China has enacted a new law in 2011 criminalizing of nonpayment by companies of salaries and wages owed to employees and if a company is found guilty,  their responsible persons (always including the legal representative) will also subject to criminal liabilities and sanctions. For expats that are apointed to be the legal representatives of Chinese companies, the risk of being banned from going back to your home countries shall be fully considered and  mitigated upon acceptance of the appointment. The following measures shall be considered for mitigating the risk:

How To Sneak Into A Chinese Village When Police Don’t Want You There : The Two-Way : NPROn occasion my job requires me to sneak into a Chinese village as I did earlier this week to report a story on a rural uprising. This does not come naturally. I’m 6-foot-2 with gray hair and blue eyes and don’t look remotely like a Chinese farmer. The village in question is called Shangpu. It’s in south China, and farmers there have barricaded their community and are demanding free elections. They say their own village chief ordered thugs to attack them after they opposed a scheme to sell off their land for a factory.

Comrade-in-Arms Dies While Commemorating Lei Feng, China’s Model Communist – China Real Time Report – WSJ A retired soldier celebrated by Chinese state media as a witness to the good deeds done by model Communist figure Lei Feng died on Tuesday while marking the country’s 50th annual “Learn From Lei Feng Day.” Zhang Jun, a photographer credited with producing more than 200 images of Lei Feng, suffered a sudden heart attack after speaking at a military conference on the study of Lei Feng in Shenyang, capital of the northeastern China province of Liaoning, according to China’s state broadcaster. He was 82 years old.

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

BBC Radio 4 – The World Tonight, 06/03/2013 with Paul Haenle and Ian Bremmer// A special debate on China’s foreign policy challenges – from rows with Japan and Vietnam over the ownership of small islands, to its economic and geopolitical rivalry with the United States. What approach will China’s new leaders take to the country’s growing role in the world? Presented from Beijing by Ritula Shah.

China well on way to being largest oil importer|Economy|chinadaily.com.cn China could overtake the United States as the world’s largest oil importer earlier than expected, while US net oil imports continue to drop due to its booming domestic supply — a remarkable shift between the world’s two largest energy consumers. Some Chinese experts predict that China will become the biggest oil importer in 2015, but that may come even earlier, given the rapid transformation, said Niu Li, a senior economist with the State Information Center, a government think tank. In 2012, China’s net oil imports were still lower than the US’ by about 1 million barrels a day, but in some months, China was closer or even surpassed the US in oil imports, he said.

New anti-smuggling center uncovers internal surprises | Reuters FBI counter-espionage agents had spent years investigating an American suspected of smuggling aerospace components to China, when they got word late last year that other law enforcement agents were about to arrest the man. The heads-up came from a nascent and somewhat secretive government anti-smuggling program marking its first anniversary this week. It is called E2C2, shorthand for Export Enforcement Coordination Center, and 18 law enforcement and intelligence agencies use it to find links between their targets and other investigations.

China’s New Vision of Relations with the US | CHINA US Focus China wants to enhance relations with “major countries”, while the US uses the term to build “deeper and more effective partnerships with other key centers of influence”. Nevertheless, it is important to keep in mind that the new power relationship formula does not mean both sides must see eye to eye on every issue. In Syria, Iran, North Korea and other international issues, differences and discords will continue, but both sides can now explore better solutions and compromise under the spirit of a new type of power relationship. Sun Ru is a Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of Institute of World Political Studies, China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.

Why John Kerry Must Listen to China’s Social Web – Anka Lee and David Wertime – The AtlanticThe Chinese web provides a candid window into what the country’s citizens want from their government — and from the United States.

The Posture of the U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Strategic Command | United States Pacific Command | USPACOM Opening Statement delivered by Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, Commander U.S. Pacific Command--House Armed Services Committee, 05 March 2013。。。Over the past year, the rebalance has helped focus our planning and resourcing decisions as we work closer with our allies and partners to ensure a security environment favorable to U.S. interests. However, the impacts of sequestration and the realities of a continuing resolution have created significant budget uncertainties, limited our flexibility to manage risk, and have the potential to undermine our strategic rebalance momentum as our ability to operate and maintain our force is at increased risk.

Are Proposed Sanctions on North Korea a Hopeful Sign for U.S.-China Relations? | ChinaFile It’s too soon to tell whether China’s support of the sanctions resolution means that it has made strategic decision to radically change its policy toward North Korea. Some influential figures in the Chinese elite have soured on the D.P.R.K. and are speaking out publicly to urge a tougher approach or even abandoning China’s troublesome ally. Yesterday Mao Zedong’s grandson, a major general, criticized North Korea’s nuclear program yesterday. But remember that China did support three previous rounds of UN sanctions on Korea. The actual impact of the sanctions depends on how China enforces them

Kumamoto issues Japan’s first alert over China’s toxic smog | The Japan Times Kumamoto Prefecture advised residents to stay indoors or wear masks if they go outside Tuesday in the nation’s first official health warning over heavy smog drifting in from China. Kumamoto officials said the quality of air was likely to be substantially below national standards, amid warnings of health risks for the young and the sick. Of specific concern is the concentration of PM2.5, or particulate matter 2.5 microns or less in diameter, which has been as high as 50 micrograms per cubic meter in several parts of Kyushu.

China Weighs Risks to $50 Billion Investment After Chavez Death – Bloomberg “If you do get an opposition candidate that wins there could be more information out there about previous deals that will be very uncomfortable,” said Matt Ferchen, a scholar at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy in Beijing. “That could be politically unnerving but also reason for leverage to rework some of the deals.”

 

HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN

Beautician Challenges Billionaire Over New Hong Kong Privacy Law – Bloomberg Now, Hong Kong’s government wants to restrict public access to records of corporate directors. The move may make it harder for workers like Man to track down runaway bosses — and erode the city’s reputation by making it easier to launder money and cheat on taxes, according to lawyers, corporate transparency advocates and the former head of the Companies Registry.  “The less transparent a corporate entity is, then the greater the scope for criminal malpractice,” said Gordon Jones, Hong Kong’s registrar of companies from 1993 to 2007. “The free flow of information is Hong Kong’s big competitive advantage.”

世新大學公共事務處 / 王在希訪世新 讚翠谷有如桃花源 大陸海協會副會長王在希於本月一日參訪世新大學,他大讚一走進世新翠谷,彷彿置身陶淵明描述的桃花源,讓人流連忘返。王在希和世新董事長成嘉玲會面時表示:「世新向來以新聞傳播教育聞名,希望透過新聞交流,加深兩岸對彼此文化的了解與資訊流通。據了解,王在希這次帶領大陸媒體主管來訪,包括經濟日報社、中國國際廣播電台、中國青年報、法制日報、上海廣播電視台、江蘇廣電集團、錢江晚報、安徽廣播電視台、深圳廣電集團、以及海協會、國台辦新聞局等主管,來台參訪行程滿檔,除了拜會台灣媒體主管,也安排和國民黨榮譽主席連戰會面,分享來台心得 由於世新辦學成果斐然,本學期吸引超過四百名陸生就學,董事長成嘉玲說:「許多陸生在校成績表現優異,刺激了台灣學生更用功念書。」王在希則認為,開放陸生來台有助於提升兩岸學子素質。

 

TECH AND MEDIA

For App Makers, China Is Untapped and Untamed – WSJ.com App distribution in China isn’t the two-horse race it is in the U.S. Apple launched a localized Chinese app store that abides by government rules in 2010; CEO Tim Cook has been bullish on the market for Apple overall, saying on a recent earnings call “it’s clear there is a lot of potential there.” Google hasn’t launched its Play app store in China, though consumers in China can access a version based in Hong Kong. Rather, most of the activity happens through app stores operated by wireless carriers, Internet companies and startups jockeying to stand out by offering unique promotions. Many target Android apps or iPhones that have been modified to download apps without going through the app store.

Computer Scientists Measure the Speed of Censorship On China’s Twitter | MIT Technology Review Sina does not disclose the numer of people working on weibo content management but 4000 seems high, unless it includes “volunteers/govt folks”// Censorship on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, is near real-time and relies on a workforce of over 4,000 censors who stop work during the evening news, according the first detailed analysis of censorship patterns. The full paper on the velocity of censorship on Weibo (PDF)

Chinese Cinemas Cancel Propaganda Film Screenings – The Hollywood Reporter Screenings of Young Lei Feng, a biopic about a revolutionary long immortalized in Chinese official discourse for his reportedly selfless contributions to the Communist Party, were called off at cinemas in the cities of Nanjing and Xi’an because no tickets were sold. Ironically, the cancelation came on the very day the government designated as “Lei Feng Day.

Twitter: SARFT issues circular to ensure theaters show the three Lei Feng movies in release. Doubt Wanda USA will screen

Sohu Sinks on Go-Private Denial as Ambow Jumps: China Overnight – Bloomberg fishy// Sohu soared 12 percent March 5 in New York as the South China Morning Post reported the company was talking to investment banks and private equity funds about a potential buyout. The Beijing-based company fell yesterday after saying it’s currently not considering privatization. Sohu, which services range from online news, games to web search and video, is down 8.2 percent this year, after slumping a combined 25 percent in 2011 and 2012.

A Revolution in China’s Search Market? Sogou Integrates Search into its Input Method–TechInAsia Yesterday, Sogou announced an update to the “smart” version of its PC input method software that seems to signal the company is placing increased importance on search. Users of the latest version of the smart input method (which you can get here) will find that when they type certain terms, relevant search results pop up directly below the character selection bar. Sogou says this will save users massive amounts of time, as where previously they needed to open a browser and search for certain kinds of content, now they can get direct links from anywhere on their computer by simply by typing their search terms. Here’s how it works:

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

For Migrants, City Life Comes at a High Price – NYTimes.com have some crazy ayi stories from over the years, though no murders..big scandal in my compound a few months ago when a wife came home to her european husband in flagrante with the maid…news hit the ayi/driver networks fast..turns out less rare than i had naively imagined// “No one has any time for him,” Shi Ayi said, looking troubled. “My brother and his wife run a shoe shop and work all the time. He has basically been left alone for years.” I felt truly sorry for her. Yet as any working mother knows, a caregiver dealing with such intense financial pressures, with an apparently unstable family behind her, must be considered a risk. Reluctantly, I had to let Shi Ayi go, with a double-month wage.

A Chinese baseball classic | The Li-Ning Tower You know the script: down in the game heading into the final stages, in a stadium that holds 40,000, a stunning rally to complete the victory, grown men weeping tears of joy at the end. You’ve seen it in movies dozens of times, probably dreamed it hundreds more, but it’s not often you see a Chinese baseball team as the main protagonists. That, though, is exactly what happened this week at the World Baseball Classic in Fukuoka, Japan. But there was one small difference. That stadium that holds 40,000? Empty.

China: Portrait of a People – In Focus – The Atlantic I’d like to introduce photographer Tom Carter. Nine years ago, Carter traveled from San Francisco to China, responding to a job posting that turned out to be a scam. He managed to find another job as a teacher, and saved enough money to embark on a 56,000 km trip through all of China’s 33 provinces that lasted two years. Carrying a camera — just a a 4-megapixel point-and-shoot — Carter captured some amazing images of the widely varying landscape, people, and architecture across the nation. He then collected 900 of these photos into a book titled CHINA: Portrait of a People. Carter writes that his photos help to show that “China is not just one place, one people, but 33 distinct regions populated by 56 different ethnicities, each with their own languages, customs and lifestyles.” Carter was kind enough to share some of his portraits here, on the day that The Atlantic launches its new China Channel

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH

习近平谈雾霾:问题面前急不得 用生活的淡定去面对_资讯频道_凤凰网 Xi’s comments about Beijing air pollution to an NPC group// 在谈及到关于雾霾天气的时候,习近平说,在问题面前也急不得,用生活的淡定去面对这些问题。他回忆到说,小时候在北京,那个时候其实沙尘也很大,戴着口罩骑车去上学。到学校之后,口罩上都是厚厚的黄沙子。到了冬天,加上煤烟气,情况就更糟了,那个时候没有PM2.5,但是有PM250。习近平风趣的一番话使得全场都大笑起来。他接着讲到说,老的问题解决了,我们还在面对新的问题,其实老的问题和新的问题,在中国社会里面同时存在的

十面“霾”伏敲响中国环境治理警钟_杂志频道_财新网 政府必须反思,在一个环境决定经济的新时代中,如何采取科学的政策措施,多管齐下,加强空气污染治理

氮污染预警中国_杂志频道_财新网 full Caixin story on Nitrogen’s possible role in air pollution worsening// 氮,化学符号为N,原子序数为7。自地球在宇宙诞生后不久,氮一直以适当的形式与地球的生态系统相伴而生。自然界中绝大部分的氮是以单质分子氮气的形式存在于大气中,氮气占空气体积的78%。大气中的含氮物质会通过降雨、降尘等途径降落到地表,这是大自然系统中每天周而复始进行的一环。近年来,这一过程却急剧增加,而中国正是全球氮沉降变化最为明显的区域之一。

China’s Water Pollution Crisis–The Diplomat–Elizabeth Economy As frightening as the country’s smog-filled skies might be, the country’s water pollution is easily as alarming.  According to one 2012 report, “up to 40 percent of China’s rivers were seriously polluted” and “20 percent were so polluted their water quality was rated too toxic even to come into contact with.” Part of the explanation may rest in the “estimated 10,000 petrochemical plants along the Yangtze and 4000 along the Yellow Rivers.” (And the Yellow and Yangtze are not even the most polluted of China’s seven major rivers.) On top of whatever polluted wastewater might be leaching or simply dumped into China’s rivers from these factories, the Ministry of Supervision reports that there are almost 1,700 water pollution accidents annually. The total cost in terms of human life: 60,000 premature deaths annually

Suntech’s Ousted Founder Says Board Has No Plan for Debt – Bloomberg Shi Zhengrong, who was ousted as chairman of Suntech Power Holdings Co. (STP) this week, said the solar manufacturer’s board has no plans for refinancing the $541 million convertible bonds due on March 15. The founder of what was the world’s biggest solar panel maker said he was “shocked” by the board’s “misconceived and unlawful” decision to remove him and that he’s been excluded from meetings for the past month.

Day of reckoning comes for China’s solar industry—and it could take the US and Europe solar renaissance with it – Quartz The boardroom brawl may cheer US and European competitors that successfully brought trade cases against Chinese companies that resulted in the imposition of tariffs. But the bankruptcy of Suntech or other major Chinese module makers could prove disastrous to solar installers in the US and Europe that have seen their business boom as solar panel prices have fallen 75% in recent years. Look up at a rooftop array in California and it’s likely the solar panels came from China. Between 2007 and 2010, for instance, China’s share of the California market jumped from 2% to 46%. If Suntech and other Chinese companies go bankrupt, warranties on their solar panels will likely become worthless, leaving solar installers like SolarCity liable for any future product failures.

CREATE Lab want// AirBot is a low-cost, wearable particulate monitor (PM) currently under development as a tool for citizen science and personal exposure tracking.

Renewable energy: Cleaning up | The Economist China must hold a massively large trade surplus in clean energy with America, right? Quite the opposite, finds a striking report titled “Advantage America” released on March 6th. The two countries traded about $6.5 billion in solar, wind and smart-grid technology and services in 2011—and America sold $1.63 billion more of such kit to China than it imported from there. The analysis was done by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), an industry publisher, and funded the Pew Charitable Trusts, a charity.

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

China’s busiest travel season breaks record – Xinhua | English.news.cn China’s 40-day travel period covering the Spring Festival ended Wednesday with a record high 3.42 billion trips being made using public transport, according to authorities.

GWoC Talk: A new China wine newsletter by Grape Wall | Grape Wall of ChinaGWoC Talk, short for Grape Wall of China Talk. It is free, will be sent every two to four weeks, and will include stories on winery visits, local and imported wines, consumer events and industry leaders plus useful info on wine fairs, job openings, distributors, and more

Chinese Digital Tourism Facts | Figures | Business Cases [Slideshare] | China Internet Guru Facts, figures and business cases about digital marketing for Chinese tourists worldwide by l’atelier BNP Paribas.

 

BEIJING

Beijing to control urban expansion: mayor – Xinhua | English.news.cn Beijing’s population has reached 20.6 million and is growing by about 600,000 people annually. The capital now has 5.2 million motor vehicles and the number is expected to reach 6.5 million in five years, the mayor said. These have resulted in many “city diseases” such as traffic congestion and air pollution. “The city can not expand in an uncontrolled way,” Wang said.

 

JOBS AND EVENTS

Talking baijiu in Chengdu | 300 Shots at Greatness China Drinks! 19:30, Saturday, 9 March 2013 oin reformed baijiu skeptic Derek Sandhaus as he discusses his journey of discovery into the heart of Chinese drinking culture, and whether the world is ready to clink glasses with the Middle Kingdom. In the name of research, baijiu may be sampled.–Covering China 19:30, Sunday, 10 March 2013 Covering China, a panel discussion with Jen Lin-Liu, Tom Miller and Derek Sandhaus, three China-based writers whose work and experience covers everything from blogging, journalism and memoir to history and social change, discuss the highs and lows of their writing life and what the future holds for writing on China.

International Academy of Journalism 2013/2014 Fellowship program ‘Journalism in the Digital World ‘The application process for the 2013/2014 Fellowship program ‘Journalism in the Digital World’ has started. We have posted some general information about the application procedure below. Please read these explanatory notes carefully. The link to the online application form can be found at the bottom of the page. The deadline for all applications is May 3, 2013 (12 noon CEST).

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