The Sinocism China Newsletter For 03.26.13

China Dream, Apple Nightmare?, my column this week for Dealbook, looks at Xi’s first foreign trip, the “Chinese Dream” and Apple’s recent bad press in China:

Stable relations with the United States are also important to the realization of the Chinese Dream. Perhaps to underscore that although Mr. Xi’s first, heavily publicized overseas trip is to Russia and Africa, Monday night’s CCTV Evening News broadcast showed Henry Kissinger meeting with Premier Li Keqiang (CCTV video) and former Secretary of Defense William Cohen meeting with Mr. Zhang Gaoli (CCTV Video). Premier Li stressed the importance (Xinhua) of the U.S.-China relationship and reiterated China’s desire for a “new type of great power relationship” while the vice premier pledged fairness for foreign companies (Xinhua).

Apple may want to take Mr. Zhang up on his fairness pledge. On March 15 CCTV claimed that Apple’s support policies discriminate against Chinese consumers. Last week Xinhua bemoaned the mindless consumption of Apple products by Wuhan students in “Apple pursuit lures 20,000 students into high-interest loans.” And Monday morning The People’s Daily lambasted the company for both its support policies and its public relations response, even going so far as to mock the response with a cartoon.

As of last quarter China is Apple’s second biggest and fastest-growing market. It is not clear if these official media attacks are part of a broader attack on an American company whose size and success may make Beijing uncomfortable.

In the United States, you would never see a government official using a Huawei device, but a fair number of Chinese ones use Apple products. So far there have not been official media calls for government workers to stop using Apple devices, though the ongoing crackdown on corruption may have dented purchases of iPhones and iPads intended for gifts.

When Apple reports earnings April 23 we should learn if Apple’s Chinese dream is still on track.

Investors should not be surprised if competition and the crackdown on corruption have hurt Apple’s China sales this quarter. Attacks by official media are never good but Apple may have bigger challenges in this market.

Today’s Links:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

Exclusive: ‘Princeling’ firm holds secret stake in giant fund house Cinda | South China Morning Post With the giant state-owned fund house Cinda Asset Management planning to go public in Hong Kong this year, two behind-the-scenes investors in the company, including a private equity fund co-founded by the grandson of China’s former state head Jiang Zemin, have been pushed into the spotlight. Three well-placed financial industry sources have told the South China Morning Post that the Carlyle Group and Boyu Capital both made indirect investments to allow them to own minority stakes in Cinda, which was established in 1999 as one of the mainland’s Big Four state debt clearers and is based in Beijing.

FRBSF Economic Letter: On the Reliability of Chinese Output Figures (2013-08, 3/25/2013) this from San Francisco Fed is going to upset some people…// Some commentators have questioned whether China’s economy slowed more in 2012 than official gross domestic product figures indicate. However, the 2012 reported output and industrial production figures are consistent both with alternative Chinese indicators of the country’s economic activity, such as electricity production, and trade volume measures reported by non-Chinese sources. These alternative domestic and foreign sources provide no evidence that China’s economic growth was slower than official data indicate.

中国妈妈为2岁女儿买650万美元豪宅|中国|妈妈|2岁|女儿|豪宅_新浪视频 CCTV News video on a Chinese Mom buying her 2 year old daughter a 6.5M USD Manhattan apartment in One 57th, in preparation for her daughter eventually going to college in NYC…lots of english in the clip, interview w the broker// 去年年初,一位中国妈妈在美国纽约地价最高的曼哈顿地区,给自己2岁的女儿买下一套650万美元的豪宅,为将来上大学做准备。

国五条细则开始登场 北京拟抬高二套房交易成本_房产频道_凤凰网 rumors that Beijing will issue detailed new housing rules this week. three main areas, per the rumors: 1. raising the downpayment and mortgage thresholds for purchasing a second home; 2. strictly applying the 20% capital gains tax for sales of homes that are not primary residences that have been owned (not clear if owned or lived in for 5 years, no mention yet of how cost basis will be calculated or if there will be deductions for upgrades/renovations…hard to enforce is there are, so easy to get fapiaos) for at least 5 years; 3. more restrictions on how can purchase, may no longer allow unmarried beijingers to buy a second home, make it even tougher for people without beijing hukous to buy// 权威人士透露,北京细则有三大动作。首先,购买二套房的信贷门槛进一步提高。其次,界定二手房交易环节个人所得税征收办法。出售五年以上唯一家庭住房,将免征个人所得税;五年内出售家庭唯一住房,按不同年限,分级制定税基。非唯一住房,将严格按照交易差额的20%征收个税。 第三,北京将进一步收紧户籍人口的购房资格。北京户籍单身人士很可能只能购买一套住房,而此前的政策是,无论单身还是已婚,北京户籍可以购买二套房,外地户籍则只能购买一套房。“此政策可有效防止北京户籍家庭离婚后再分别购买二套房的行为。”上述人士称。

China, Russia gas deal set, but clash over price–Interfax With the long-postponed China-Russia gas deal making headway during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first foreign trip since taking office, Keun-Wook Paik, author of Sino-Russian Oil and Gas Cooperation, and former adviser to China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC), spoke to Interfax about the developments and their implication

China to buy Russian fighters, submarines | South China Morning Post China has agreed to buy two dozen fighter jets and four submarines from Russia, state media reported on Monday, the country’s first large-scale weapons technology purchases from Moscow in a decade.The agreement to buy the 24 Su-35 fighters and four Lada-class submarines was signed just before President Xi Jinping’s weekend visit to Russia, said the People’s Daily, the Communist Party organ, citing state television.//Defense News reports Russians denying this deal is done

United States Wants to Attract Hackers to Public Sector – NYTimes.com It’s no coincidence that the idea of using competitions came, in part, from China, where the People’s Liberation Army runs challenges every spring to identify its next generation of digital warriors. Tan Dailin, a graduate student, won several of the events in 2005. Soon afterward he put his skills to work and was caught breaking into the Pentagon’s network and sending reams of documents back to servers in China. “We have no program like that in the United States — nothing,” Mr. Paller said. “No one is even teaching this in schools. If we don’t solve this problem, we’re in trouble.”

China Banking Regulator Warns of Risks in 9 Sectors Including Property, Steel, PV-Caijing Currently, risks in property and overcapacity sectors are still “controllable” as a whole, the fore-mentioned banking sources said. Mergers and restructuring that could emerge in the risky sectors will not weigh heavily on banks’ credit, the newspaper said. The CBRC also ordered a “purge” of risky wealth management products in banks, the report said. Major banks are required to look into their own WMP operations, and submit a report to the regulator before the end of June. Several cases of WMP defaults have stoked public concerns and triggered regulatory actions recently.

 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Li focuses on consumption |Politics |chinadaily.com.cn Premier Li Keqiang said on Monday that China is likely to import as much as $10 trillion worth of commodities and services in the next five years to boost domestic consumption. Li renewed the nation’s pledge to maintain its open policy, and promised a further opening up of services and industries related with energy-saving and environmental protection.

Yuan Advances Beyond 6.21 Per Dollar for First Time in 19 Years – Bloomberg The yuan strengthened beyond 6.21 per dollar for the first time in 19 years after the central bank raised the currency’s reference rate and as a bailout deal for Cyprus spurred demand for emerging-market assets.

China FX Data Shows Inflows Ease In Feb, But Still Strong | MNI The People’s Bank of China is expected to release its foreign exchange purchase position data in the coming days. The two data sets are an indicator of the movement of capital on and offshore. Chinese banks bought a record CNY683 billion in January, while a source with knowledge of PBOC data told MNI the February number was around CNY310 billion, down on the January record but still much higher than the monthly average of only CNY40 billion in 2012.

Zhou on High Alert Prompts Swaps PBOC Rise Signal – Bloomberg China’s swap market is signaling interest-rate increases for the first time since 2011 after inflation accelerated to a 10-month high and the housing market defied government cooling efforts. Two-year contracts that exchange the People’s Bank of China’s 3 percent savings benchmark for a fixed payment rose eight basis points this month to 3.03 percent, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The swap had been lower than the one-year PBOC deposit rate for 16 months.

Chinese officials earned 30 trillion yuan reselling land, says economist | South China Morning Post Wu Jinglian, an economist at the Development Research Centre of the State Council, China’s cabinet, said: “Some (government) agencies have earned around 30 trillion yuan, by conservative estimates, from land price spreads in the urbanisation campaign over the past decades.” Wu, a former adviser to Zhu Rongji, premier in 1998-2003, made the remarks at an economic forum at the weekend, the official Xinhua news agency said.

China Bars Suntech’s Shi From Leaving Country, Reports Say – Bloomberg Sinocism readers knew this last Friday// Shi Zhengrong, founder of Suntech Power Holdings (STP) Co. Ltd. and an Australian citizen, has been barred from leaving China along with the company’s chief executive officer, David King, while authorities investigate the state of the company’s finances. Immigration officials have been instructed to temporarily prevent Shi, who was once China’s richest man, from venturing outside China following Suntech’s bankruptcy, the Shanghai Securities News said March 22, citing people it didn’t identify.

Li Ning Has Wider-Than-Expected Loss as Sales Slump Second Year – Bloomberg Li Ning Co., the largest China- based sportswear company by revenue, posted its first annual deficit since listing in 2004, as slowing economic growth caused sales to fall a second year.//not sure I buy “slowing economic growth” as the cause..Li Ning has significant management, company-specific issues and does not appear to have figured out to compete with Internet retailers…

Overseas investors eye Chinese property[1]|chinadaily.com.cn “On one hand, a number of deals are in the pipeline after lots of negotiations were conducted last year. On the other hand, the top management of international real estate funds are also under pressure because few deals were concluded last year,” said Andy Zhang, managing director of Cushman & Wakefield China. Shanghai’s office and retail property sectors will see significant increases in large-scale deals this year, supported by investors’ strong interest in commercial real estate, according to a research report from international property consultant Knight Frank.

肖钢履新后首次公开露面 传递出哪些信息_股票频道_一财网 肖钢的这次露面,或将进一步促进内地与香港资本市场的深度合作,包括RQFII、跨境ETF和IPO等内地与香港资本市场之间的多项合作将加速推进。

广东首先响应“国五条”落地仍待续_财经频道_一财网 Guangdong detailed real estate rules giving market a little hope…// 3月最后一周的第一天,广东率先发布了响应“国五条”的地方细则。“粤五条”在明确贯彻楼市调控新政之余,依然留给市场一定的遐想余地。 比如,在转让二手房是否征收20%个税和房价控制目标上,“粤五条”都做了原则上的响应和要求,但具体执行程度几何却仍待深圳、广州等市一级的细则。 而对于其他各省份政府来说,这同样将是忙碌的一周,因为月底就是各地出台细则和房价控制目标的截止日。

楼市“末班车”效应转淡 多地二手房成交降温 新华社——经济参考网 “国五条”出台已经月余,由于地方细则迟迟未出,市场上“抢搭末班车”的现象也开始转变,买卖双方逐渐由此前的“突击成交”改为观望,部分城市二手房市场交易量也随之下降。北京住建委的网签数据显示,上周(2013年3月18至24日)北京全市二手住宅网签总量为9911套,尽管同比仍大涨,但是环比前一周的网签量则下降了24.5%。

地方财政隐形担保基建类信托 平台债变身政府负债?_财经频道_一财网 业内人士称,急于融资的地方政府和融资平台通过与信托公司合作,来规避监管。

第三套房起征?国土部副部长建议适时推广房产税 | 每经网核心提示: 国土资源部副部长胡存智表示,现在应将已经成功的限价、限购政策及时总结,转化为用经济手段来进行。

揭开银行资产质量评价的面纱 | 每经智库核心提示: 部分行业如钢铁贸易贷款、光伏行业贷款的风险已经暴露,政府融资平台贷款和房地产贷款风险依然较大,值得高度关注。

 

POLITICS AND LAW

In China, First Lady Peng Liyuan’s Fashion a Sensitive Topic – China Real Time Report – WSJ The triumphant unveiling on an international stage of Peng Liyuan, the wife of new Chinese president Xi Jinping, has sent the country’s Internet users into a frenzy of enthusiasm over her graceful manner and well-chosen outfits. It has also spurred the country’s censors into action.

人民日报-堵住裸官的“贪腐漏斗”(人民时评) 弄清谁是“裸官”后,就能有针对性地进行监管、适当加以限制,有效防止“裸官”变“逃官”。深圳曾规定“裸官”不得任正职,东莞今年更进一步,“裸官”不得任班子成员,都是很有针对性的举措。说到底,断其利、增其险,既是对公信力的维护,也是对“裸官”本身的保护。加大反腐力度,是中央一以贯之的坚定决心。增强社会信任、筑牢民意资源,这是促成中国进一步前行的“反腐红利”。“裸官”只是一个反腐切口,更多更艰难的战役,还期待我们以踏石留印、抓铁有痕的精神,攻坚到底。

购物卡防腐关卡轻松可破 京东称可定制8888元面额卡_财经频道_一财网 on how easy it is to get around rules about stored-value shopping cards, one way people pay bribes…very easy to just slip someone a card with a lot of money on it, no name really attached to it// 购物卡实名制形同虚设,对购物卡的面额限制也被一些商家以特殊定制礼品卡名义而轻易“挣脱”,而非现金购卡制也可以灵活处理。

公款吃喝受遏制 长江刀鱼价暴跌-搜狐新闻 price of threatened Yangtze River saury plunges due to crackdown on officials’ meals【公款吃喝受遏制 长江刀鱼价暴跌:8千∕斤→4百∕斤】记者在上海最大水产品批发市场铜川路水产市场调查发现,刀鱼由2012年最高价位每斤8千元跌至目前4百元。多位经营者表示:公款吃喝受到遏制,致使刀鱼价格暴跌。刀鱼,长江三鲜之首,水产市场一向以“贵族”档次著称。 新华社记者 陈飞摄

上海史上最贵民告官案开庭在即 又牵出三名官员亲属|拆迁|民告官|官员_21世纪网 very interesting lawsuit by shanghai citizen against local government over demolition dispute, may have exposed some corruption among the local officials…// 核心提示:刘光嘉因一起拆迁纠纷,诉上海闵行区政府要求2.68亿赔偿一案。经起诉方对涉案的地产公司股东背景和关联交易的调查,可能会将现排位第一的闵行区副区长、该区原住房发展局副局长卷入对他们亲属商业利益的质疑中。

林春平案涉案价税14亿 300余“买发票”企业处置成谜_财经频道_一财网 温州市中级人民法院昨日发布信息称,该院目前已正式立案受理温州商人林春平等7人虚开增值税专用发票案。短短10个月里,林春平等人虚开增值税专用发票、伪造海关完税凭证共14.38亿元,涉案税额高达近2亿元。 这名曾在温州政商两界异常耀眼的“新星”,从2011年底忽悠“去美国买银行”,到当选为温州市十届政协委员,到收购美国银行谎言被戳穿,再到辞去温州市政协委员职务,最后沦为犯罪嫌疑人被抓捕归案,半年左右时间就被打回了原形。

六问“27岁副县长”事件_财经频道_一财网 近日,网上爆出“湖南湘潭提拔27岁副县长徐韬”的消息。据《央广新闻》报道,3月24日,湖南省委组织部等部门成立专门调查组,主要是从提拔程序等方面入手,对该事件进行全面调查。 调查结果被公布之前,各大媒体相继跟进,此事件被指向暗箱操作等选任程序问题。从当前官员选任的机制和制度安排、媒体披露的消息、湘潭市有关部门的回应以及徐韬本人的任职经历等方面进行分析,该事件被质疑的根源在于:在依法治国的大政方针下,官员委任和选任等程序存在很大程度的不公开性和不透明性。

郑州副局长被曝迷奸女大学生 官方称已停职调查_资讯频道_凤凰网 中原网讯(记者 于梦溪)副局长强奸女大学生后,向受害者写 “悔过书”,3月25日,一则网帖将郑州市畜牧局推到了风口浪尖。中原网记者从郑州市畜牧局了解到,此事已有新的进展,网帖中所指的副局长已被暂停工作,正在接受郑州市纪检委调查。相关调查结果随后将向社会公布。

网贴称广东徐闻副县长被情妇率众殴打(图)_资讯频道_凤凰网 netizen claims a deputy county head in Guangdong was beaten by 6 young women, led by his ex-mistress, while playing Majiang…his luck appears to have run out// 南方农村报讯(记者黄进实习生孔学劭)“副县长、麻将房、包养、情人、抛弃、报复”,在南农网络问政(网络问政县市行)平台上,一篇“包养惹祸,广东湛江市徐闻副县长杨杰遭六名女子殴打”的帖子,将这些看似毫无关联的词汇联系到了一起。

蒋洁敏任国资委主任 张毅任党委书记_资讯频道_凤凰网 新华视点:【蒋洁敏任国资委主任、张毅任党委书记】国务院国资委网站25日傍晚更新了国资委领导名录,蒋洁敏任国资委主任、党委副书记,张毅任国资委党委书记、副主任。此前二人分别任中石油集团公司董事长、党组书记兼中石油股份公司董事长和宁夏回族自治区党委书记、自治区人大常委会主任

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

Chinese citizen sentenced in military data-theft case – The Washington Post An advanced version was being developed secretly for the U.S. military by a small company and L-3 Communications, a major defense contractor.On Monday, Sixing Liu, a Chinese citizen who worked at L-3’s space and navigation division, was sentenced in federal court here to five years and 10 months for taking thousands of files about the device, called a disk resonator gyroscope, and other defense systems to China in violation of a U.S. arms embargo

U.S. and South Korea Sign Plan to Counter North – NYTimes.com The deal, struck on Friday, defines the role that United States forces would play in dealing with what South Korean military officials called local clashes and skirmishes, like the shelling of an island near the border in 2010 by the North, which killed four South Koreans.

Nuclear Disarmament’s Asian Pivot by Richard Weitz – Project Syndicate Perhaps the biggest obstacle to initiating a trilateral dialogue is Chinese resistance to formal nuclear arms-control agreements, which is rooted in the memory of Cold War-era nonproliferation initiatives aimed partly at preventing China from developing its own nuclear deterrent. Since then, Chinese officials have insisted that they do not belong in US-Russian strategic-arms talks, because the two countries’ nuclear arsenals dwarf theirs. But, as the US and Russia reduce their nuclear stockpiles, this excuse is becoming less valid, and China’s exclusion from negotiations is becoming an increasingly significant hindrance to disarmament.

US Congressional Research Service on PRC Naval Modernization and Implication for US Navy Capabilities–PDF

China and Cybersecurity (Part I): Heightening Tensions — [contextChina] / 太平洋中国通 Heightening tensions in the Sino-American cybersecurity dispute comprises a double-edged sword for U.S. businesses. On the one hand, the elevation of cybersecurity on the U.S.’s list of national security priorities means that much needed attention is being brought to bear on an issue that threatens many American firms. On the other hand, this attention could lead to U.S. government actions, particularly in terms of the creation of new regulatory requirements, that the private sector finds cumbersome. For businesses to handle this double-edged sword without getting cut, they have to understand the state of the current dispute, how it is likely to proceed, and how they can influence its development. A few weeks ago, we published a guide to understanding the significance of the hacking issue.

Xi in Africa: ‘A galloping African lion’, and other interesting phrases | The World In a blow to Xi’s stated aim of treating Africans as “equals”, Wainaina said the tone of the imagery offered “cheap sentiment” that “smacks of paternalism”. “China’s charm offensive seems to want to assume there are no serious cultural and intellectual exchanges and conversations to be had,” said Wainaina after reading excerpts of the speech. “I do not get a sense of what Africans are thinking and planning… what African thinkers mean to a growing China. If a Chinese leader cannot begin to articulate what Africa is to them with more substance, Africans should be worried.”

China Voice: Peace, opportunities: global implications of “Chinese dream” – Xinhua | English.news.cn  The latest reaffirmation came on March 23, when President Xi Jinping told his audience in a Moscow institute that Chinese people deeply appreciate the value of peace and also need a peaceful environment to build their nation. It was in the same speech that Xi said the Chinese dream, which he put forth when he became the country’s new helmsman last year, will benefit not only the Chinese people, but also people of all countries. The Chinese dream is not a call for revanchism and Chinese nationalism at the expense of its neighbors. It is the dream of China, which once suffered invasions and turmoil, to maintain lasting peace.

New chapter, old challenges – The Hindu Next month’s expected visit of Defence Minister A.K. Antony to China will provide a platform to mark the real start of engagement with Beijing’s new leadership, and will shed some light on how a new chapter in ties will begin to confront old challenges.

Panda pair board flight for Canada[1]|chinadaily.com.cn Da Mao, a 4-year-old male from the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Sichuan, and Er Shun, a 5-year-old female from Chongqing Zoo, will stay in Canada for 10 years under a conservation agreement between the two countries. “The duo will spend five years at Toronto Zoo followed immediately by another five years at Calgary Zoo,” said Zhang Zhihe, chief of the Chengdu panda base.

 

HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN

Hong Kong Maids Lose Final Appeal for Residence Rights – Bloomberg A victory for Philippine-born Evangeline Vallejos would have allowed 117,000, or a third of the foreign maids living in the former British colony, to apply to stay in the city of 7.2 million. The court also rejected a government request to seek China’s guidance on the city’s constitution regarding residence rights, which could have affected the status of Hong Kong-born children of mainland Chinese parents.

王光亚谈香港“限奶令”:孙儿的奶粉供应也出了问题_资讯频道_凤凰网 中新网3月25日电 据香港《星岛日报》报道,国务院港澳办主任王光亚24日与香港建制派议员午膳前与议员交流,自曝自己也是“限奶令”受害者,呼吁香港人与内地人要换位思考,互相体谅。 王光亚说,他四个月大的孙儿也是吃香港奶粉,要靠同事为他从香港带回内地,“限奶令”一出,他孙儿的奶粉供应也出了问题。

 

TECH AND MEDIA

Tencent’s mobile apps dominate Android in China with 4 of the top 10 apps: Report – The Next Web Usage data from Wandoujia’s app store shows that Tencent’s apps have a wide lead. The company’s QQ instant messaging app has the highest coverage rate among Android apps tracked by Wandoujia, reaching almost 60%. Mobile messaging app WeChat comes in second with a more than 50% coverage rate, while Tencent’s Qzone social networking app and Mobile Assistant tool rank 4th and 5th.

Telecom giants challenged by smartphone messaging apps – Xinhua | English.news.cn To improve the lackluster performance, the country’s three dominating telecom operators have launched their own mobile apps, but these are only taking a small market share compared with major software applications. Fetion, an IM service available for mobile devices promoted by China Mobile, once enjoyed great popularity, but faded out recently, when the company confirmed that its targeted customers are phone users who already have a China Mobile SIM card. Recently, Ma Huateng, chairman of Tencent, expressed his hope for cooperation, saying operators and IT firms should seek a relationship featuring multiple beneficiaries and win-win results.

With Market Share Shrinking, Bing’s China Dream is in Serious Danger-TechInAsia–Microsoft’s Bing search engine has never been a major player in China. The company itself conceded that last fall when it all but abandoned Chinese language search, opting instead to focus on what it then said was the 5 percent of searches in China that use English rather than Chinese. But six months later, it appears Bing’s strategy hasn’t worked. In an interview with Sina Tech, Microsoft VP Shen Xiangyang said that the company’s shrinking China market share — now barely above half of one percent, according to research firm CNZZ — put it in a seriously tough spot

360Buy Employees Abusing Power Over Merchants for Bribes, Free Gifts–TechInAsia  China’s e-commerce market may be gigantic and hugely profitable, but it’s also still a little bit like the wild west, as regulators are still trying to figure out the best way to oversee the industry without smothering its growth. That means that even at respectable sites, things sometimes go awry, and that’s exactly what happened at 360Buy recently according to the IT Times, which has the story of a 360Buy employee who extorted thousands of dollars and valuable goods out of merchants with the promise of helping them build traffic.

China’s Changing Tech Realm: An Insider’s Perspective — [contextChina] / 太平洋中国通 So when Kai Lukoff, international product manager at Wandoujia, an Android phone management software provider, told me he had been following the tech scene in China closely for four years, I had immediate respect for his insights. Lukoff, a Stanford graduate, has been living in China since 2008 and working for Chinese tech companies since 2009. In 2010, he founded TechRice, a website with the slogan “Tech in China, from start ups to Internet giants & angels to IPOs.” Since then, he and a small China-based team have been providing an insider’s perspective on what’s happening on the ground in the Chinese technology space. Though our conversation ranged broadly across the various facets of technology, Lukoff had the most to say about the Internet.

YY Growth Fueled by Virtual Teddy Bears Lures Tiger Funds: Tech – Bloomberg YY sees another opportunity for its revenue sharing model in online education where it’s attracted 20,000 teachers to use its platform to teach everything from foreign languages to government civil employee examination courses. Li Shi’an, 44, a deputy principal in a middle school in the eastern province of Liaoning began teaching English on YY in May 2010, using its free voice software YY Client. He now has about 100 students and earns about 10,000 yuan a month from his online classes. Still, the company’s reputation for being an online gaming and music platform means that a “big portion” of its future education users would need to come from other sources, said YY’s He.//nice story about an interesting company. good pr by yy, wonder who does it

BBC News – China to create home-grown operating system Canonical is also working with the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on a version of Kylin that will run on servers so websites, online shops and hosting firms can adopt the software. The move is widely seen as an attempt by China to wean its IT sector off Western software in favour of more home-grown alternatives.//hard to see this getting significant traction

全国有线电视网将具备上网功能 新华社——经济参考网 cable system nationwide will offer Internet access in next couple of years, adding much needed competition?// 《经济参考报》记者3月25日从权威人士处独家获悉,国家新闻出版广电总局正在加紧制定2013年至2015年三网融合规划(以下简称“三年规划”),其核心目标已经确定:计划到2015年底,全国县级和县级以上城市有线电视网络将全部实现数字化,并具备互联网接入服务,以及各项网络服务功能。这意味着,到2015年底,用户接入互联网及使用互联网服务将多了一种全新的选择,可以通过各地的有线电视网络进行上网。对此,业内普遍认为,这一目标一旦顺利实现,不但有望彻底解决目前令消费者不胜其烦的“假宽带”问题,还将直接挑战目前电信企业的市场主导地位,并逐渐改变市场格局。

互联网巨头加速布局金融业 新华社——经济参考网 向来被视作垄断堡垒的中国金融业正在迎来新的游戏参与者:互联网巨头。进入2013年,包括阿里巴巴、腾讯在内的互联网巨头纷纷以一种低调而又迅猛的姿态快速的通过网络信贷、信用支付等手段不断渗透到中国的金融业中。在一些人看来,这昭示着互联网金融时代的来临,也将使中国的金融业格局发生重大变革。

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

‘Tall white foreigner from Wales singing songs about communism’ is hit in China – Telegraph Iain Inglis, 30, shot to fame after singing traditional communist revolutionary songs while dressed in a Red Army uniform. The university lecturer made it to the semi-finals of the show and now performs for up to £5,000 a night.//a highlight reel on Youku,  he has less than 1500 sina weibo followers and not a lot of search hits on 伊恩 , how hot can he really be? 

Mend it like Beckham: Can the superstar save Chinese soccer? | Marketplace.org The state of Chinese soccer couldn’t be worse. Enter David Beckham. “I’m not a politician, so anything that has happened in the past has nothing to do with me,” Beckham told reporters late last week, “but what is going on in the future will have something to do with me.” The new global ambassador for Chinese soccer followed through with his promise this weekend. He offered to take a free kick in front of the Chinese media wearing a designer suit. He slipped and fell on his butt

河南周口要求制止借用清明节之机重新拢坟_网易新闻中心 tomb battles in henan possible during tomb sweeping festival? // 中新网3月25日电 据河南省周口市政府网站消息,周口市今天发布公告,倡导清明节期间文明祭扫。公告称,对已平掉又重新拢起的坟头,要做好群众工作,逐步恢复耕作,制止借用清明节之机进行重新拢坟。公告指出,临近清明节,为确保今年清明节期间全市群众祭扫活动安全、文明、有序,市政府日前下发通知,决定在全市开展文明祭扫活动。

Warhol’s Mao Works Censored in China – Scene Asia – WSJ Although the scion of Pop Art passed away in 1987, Warhol is still generating controversy. A vast traveling retrospective of his work, “Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal,” has already made stops in Singapore and Hong Kong as part of a two-year Asia tour, but when it moves to mainland China next month, the artist’s Mao paintings won’t be coming along.

河北邯郸举办精品藏獒展 多只藏獒要价千万(图)_资讯频道_凤凰网 Handan has a Tibetan Mastiff exhibition; several of the dogs worth more than 10m rmb

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH

“猪三角”调查二:一个养猪市的自我救赎|嘉兴|死猪|猪三角_21世纪网 21 CBH looks at Jiaxing and the floating dead pigs, calls the area the “pig river delta” in nice play on “pearl river delta”// 核心提示:嘉兴养猪产业用了30年时间站上行业之巅,而毁掉它也许只需要一夜的时间。不考虑环境承受能力和供求关系,嘉兴之痛也是全国之痛。现有的产业模式走到了尽头。

Illegal Jiaxing pork already in food chain | South China Morning Post Just when the scandal surrounding the dumping of dead pigs into a primary drinking water source seemed to be drawing to a close, state-run television station has revealed that illegally processed pigs have been making their way to dining tables for years. Illegal dealers in Zhejiang’s Jiaxing city had purchased dead pigs from breeders and resold them to markets for years, Chinese Central Television’s News Investigation programme reported on Saturday.

兰州再次遭遇大风扬沙侵袭 市民艰难出行-中新网 pictures of a particularly nasty sandstorm in Lanzhou

Crackdown begins on illegal reproductive clinics |Society |chinadaily.com.cn In China, hospitals are not allowed to offer assisted reproductive services unless qualified by provincial health authorities. There are 16 hospitals, including two private hospitals, in Beijing allowed to offer such services. Each of the hospitals is strictly restricted to certain fields. For example, some can only do artificial insemination, while others are allowed to conduct external insemination and embryo transfers. What’s more, these hospitals are not allowed to offer surrogacy services, according to the Regulations on Human Assisted Reproductive Technology Management issued by the former ministry of health in 2001.

Chinese scientists unlock key genetic code of wheat – Xinhua | English.news.cn Scientists from China and the United States have mapped a key genetic code for bread wheat, a discovery that will help improve the crop’s productivity and ability to withstand extreme conditions. The sequencing and drafting of the A genome, one of the three basic genomes of wheat, was published on the website of the journal Nature on Monday. Researchers present the generation, assembly and analysis of a whole-genome shotgun draft sequence of the genome of wheat T. urartu, the donor of the A genome.

The “Fracking” Revolution Comes to China | The Diplomat Under the Shale Gas Development Plan for 2011-2015, shale gas has been labeled by the Ministry of Land and Resources as a separate mineral from conventional hydrocarbons. This move frees shale resources from the clutches of “the big three;” Chinese state-owned majors – China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) – allowing Beijing to redistribute exploration contracts. Importantly, the move encourages competition among state-owned majors, local enterprises and foreign companies.

 

BOOKS AND LITERATURE

Chinese online literature: Voices in the wilderness | The Economist Internet writing has been nothing short of a revolution for Chinese literature. It has allowed myriad voices to be heard. The digital landscape and technology have changed since the first wave of authors began to write; readers in China now access novels through smartphones and tablets rather than desktops. Yet the internet remains the “single root” in China today to kick-start a career as a wordsmith, says Jo Lusby, managing director of Penguin China, a publishing house. “There are no authors under the age of 35 who were not discovered on the internet,” she adds.

 

JOBS AND EVENTS

March 27 – Speaker Series with John Thomson (北京) | ATLAS-China Beijing CBD, 730 PM Wednesday March 27–ATLAS professionals and friends in Beijing this Wednesday evening are welcome to join the new IUP Beijing Alumni Club for its inaugural speaker event featuring program runner and career diplomat John Thomson speaking on his experience in China.  Please read on for John’s distinguished professional biography:

Translation Masterclass – Chinese with Julia Lovell – World Literature Series 2012-13 – Events – London Review Bookshop The art of literary translation is at the heart of World Literature series at the London Review Bookshop. Over the year, we are running a programme of masterclasses led by a team of Britain’s most distinguished literary translators.

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