The Sinocism China Newsletter For 05.01.13

Happy Worker’s Day, back to normal publishing Thursday:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

1. SINA Forms Strategic Alliance with Alibaba to Enable Social Commerce – MarketWatch The two companies will cooperate in the areas of user account connectivity, data exchange, online payment and online marketing, among other things, and will explore new business models for social commerce based on the interactions of the hundreds of millions of users on Weibo and on Alibaba’s e-commerce platforms. The strategic alliance is expected to generate approximately $380 million in advertising and social commerce services revenues in aggregate for Weibo over the next three years. Separately, the Company announced that Alibaba, through a wholly owned subsidiary, has invested $586 million to purchase preferred and ordinary shares representing approximately 18% of Weibo on a fully-diluted basis. SINA has also granted an option to Alibaba to enable Alibaba to increase its ownership in Weibo to 30% on a fully-diluted basis at a mutually agreed valuation within a certain period of time in the future. // Huge deal, Alibaba corporate development exec said on his Weibo today that the companies met over 40 times to work it out. Strange, Market cap of all of Sina even after Monday’s deal pop not much more than Alibaba’s valuation of Weibo…Do Sina investors know how much of Weibo had been granted to CEO and other key employees before this deal announced?…Baidu looks to be the odd firm out when it comes to social and mobile now, will be pressured on ecommerece advertising over time because of this and other trends

Related: As Alibaba buys into Sina Weibo, Tencent should focus on Wechat + Local Commerce – Found in Translation interesting post from a tech ibanker turned VC in Beijing// Alibaba clearly knows that the future of e-commerce is going to be as much mobile as it is web, and I’ve seen its mobile application improve greatly over the last year…The issue here is Weibo is so heavily relied upon as a source of news (something that Twitter is far less about) that I can’t help but wonder if there will be some resistance against it becoming much more transparently commercial?

Alibaba Takes Aim at Google’s Android – WSJ.com Known primarily for its e-commerce heft in China, Alibaba is redesigning its business for the mobile Internet era by stepping up investment in its own smartphone operating system. Its $586 million investment in Sina Corp.’s Twitter-like Weibo microblog business on Monday followed a move earlier in April to promote its mobile platform.

2. Xinjiang clash suspects met to study Koran | South China Morning Post The perpetrators of deadly violence last week in China’s Xinjiang region held secret Koran study sessions and possessed extremist religious literature, authorities said on Tuesday, accusations likely to be used by Beijing as justification for its strict rules on Islam in the vast northwestern territory.

Related:  11 more terrorist suspects captured after Xinjiang deadly attack – Xinhua Eleven runaway suspected terrorists linked to a deadly attack on April 23 in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region have been captured, local police sources said on Monday. Police said that as of Sunday, they had nabbed all 19 suspects from the region’s Kashgar Prefecture, the Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture of Bayingolin and the regional capital of Urumqi.

15 deceased awarded after Xinjiang terrorist clash – Xinhua Fifteen community workers and police officers who died during a terrorist clash on April 23 in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region have been awarded for their bravery…Ten of the 15 were of the Uygur ethnic group. Three were of the Han ethnic group. The remaining two were of the Mongolian ethnic group.

依法严惩暴力恐怖活动绝不手软 130429—专辑:《喀什巴楚事件又一批恐怖分子被捕》—在线播放—优酷网,视频高清在线观看 around 45 second mark police official says they found East Turkestan Islamic Movement flag/banner (旗帜) at Kashgar clash site

监控记录巴楚暴袭案凶徒打砸警车追砍警察民兵-高清观看-腾讯视频 grainy surveillance video of part of the Kashgar attack

3. Foreign English teachers face scrutiny after sex scandals in Beijing, Nanjing | South China Morning Post The State Administration of Foreign Experts has issued an “urgent notice” on regulating the teachers’ “daily activities” after two foreigners, one with a criminal record for child pornography and the other on the run from child-sex charges, were able to get jobs as English teachers.

Related南京1名美国前外教拥性侵儿童前科 任职逾5年–教育–人民网 a convicted us sex offender taught in nanjing for 5 years., apparently left china a couple of months ago

Call for greater expat employee scrutiny|China Daily More efficient measures should be taken to ensure that foreigners with criminal records are banned from working in China, senior officials with the department that oversees attracting and managing international professionals said on Monday…A foreigner who is permitted to work as a teacher in China should acquire a foreign expert certificate granted by a local bureau of foreign experts affairs. A bachelor’s degree and a minimum of two years teaching experience is a must, reported China Central Television.//doubt this would be enforced…lots of unfilled positions if it is

4. New military plates part of anti-corruption drive – Xinhua | English.news.cn However, replacing plates is only a starting point for the military and government to curb corruption. Those who use military vehicles must follow the government’s call to improve their work style, reduce extravagance and cultivate a more frugal and hard-working image. The new policy is about more than just replacing license plates. It is intended to reduce abuses of power and the neglect of duty, as well as improve public trust in the military and maintain social harmony. The military must tackle corruption on wheels before it can improve its ability to safeguard the country.

Related: Xi follows in Mao’s footsteps on path to consolidate power | South China Morning Post The president’s push to clean up the party may employ old tactics, but there’s reason to hope he wants more than just another purge

人民日报-刹住“低调的奢华”(今日谈) 何 勇 page 1 People’s Daily May 1 on fighting “low-profile sumptuousness”, the trend of extravagant gluttony going underground-// 节假日是转作风的试金石。近日有媒体报道,有的地方公款吃喝,不再青睐扎眼的高档酒店,而是转移到私人会所、商务会馆,甚至是机关食堂,被群众称为“低调的奢华”…不把权力关牢关紧,就无法斩断公款吃喝暗流…中央“八项规定”、“六项禁令”出台已近五个月,禁令高悬,挥霍浪费之风正在扭转。“低调的奢华”新问题也说明,反浪费、行节约必须扎牢监督篱笆,锻造制度铁笼,用长效机制久久为功,才能将短期“不敢”变为根本“不能”。

5. China Past Due: One Child Policy | @pritheworld Shanghai Family Planning Deputy Director Sun Changmin recognizes this is a serious problem. The fertility rate in Shanghai is now .9 – even lower than the national average of 1.45, which in turn is well below the replacement rate of 2.1 “International experience shows that when the total fertility rate drops below 1.5, it becomes more difficult to increase it than to reduce it,” Sun says. The Shanghai government has for years let only children who get married have two kids. The problem is, only about half of them do.

6. Pentagon Paying China — Yes, China — To Carry Data | Danger Room | Wired.com U.S. troops operating on the African continent are now using the recently-launched Apstar-7 satellite to keep in touch and share information. And the $10 million, one-year deal lease — publicly unveiled late last week during an ordinarily-sleepy Capitol Hill subcommittee hearing — has put American politicians and policy-makers in bit of a bind…But the Pentagon says it has no other choice than to use the Chinese satellite. The need for bandwidth is that great, and no other satellite firm provides the continent-wide coverage that the military requires.

7. Safety Concerns in Sanlitun – Beijing – Beijing Blogs Blog | City Weekend Guide Beijing is often considered as a relatively safe city in comparison to other major urban areas. Upon my arrival two years ago, I immediately felt a new type of vibe. After living in New York, Milan and Stockholm I highly valued to carelessly stroll the streets disregarding the hour. Even in Sanlitun where men usually were (and still are) hanging around in groups, I never felt threatened or scared. Due to the escalation of violence in different forms during the past year, I have unfortunately been forced to step out of my comfort zone.

8. China Is Plundering the Planet’s Seas – Gwynn Guilford – The Atlantic China is dramatically under-reporting what it’s taking from the world’s seas. The average it told the UN Food and Agriculture Organization over the last decade was 368,000 tons each year. A recent European Parliament report puts that number at 4.6 million tons — some 12.5 times more than what China reported. Here’s a look at that, with the waters where it says it’s “landing” fish:

 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Month in Prison for Businesswoman Who Flourished in China – WSJ.com a joke, not even a slap on the pinky// Loretta Fredy Bush, once an American success story in China, was sentenced Monday to one month in prison for a U.S. tax violation after her lawyer cited health problems in pleading for lenience. Ms. Bush, a founder and former chief executive of Chinese financial-information conglomerate Xinhua Finance, had sought to avoid prison time and appeared visibly upset when leaving the courtroom.

Migrant workers driving China’s consumer revolution | Business Spectator–James Kynge While the exact methodologies for hukou reform are yet to be announced by Beijing, signs are that many migrants are keen to embrace a settled urban future. Of the 220 million who live and work in cities but have no urban hukou, 131 million are keen to become permanent urban residents, the survey shows. If this number – roughly equivalent to the population of Japan – do settle permanently in cities, it will not be their sweat so much as their spending power that shapes China’s destiny.

Edward Niedermeyer: Welcome to General Tso’s Motors – WSJ.com As the result of the company’s new emphasis, GM China President Bob Socia says that Americans “could very well” soon find Chinese-made GM cars on showroom floors. “There is no reason why we can’t be exporting to the [United] States,” he told a reporter for the website Autoblog at the Shanghai Auto Show. But GM selling cars made in China at American dealerships probably isn’t what the federal government, in late 2008 under President Bush and then under President Obama, had in mind when it came to GM’s rescue.

China Manufacturers Survive by Moving to Asian Neighbors – WSJ.com As the din on the factory floor has dropped, so, too, has the payroll. Over the past two years, Lever Style’s employee count in China has declined by one-third to 5,000 workers. The company in April began moving apparel production for Japanese retail chain Uniqlo Co. to Vietnam, where wages can be half those in China

China Affair With Cheap Diamonds Heats Mass Market: Commodities – Bloomberg About 30 percent of Chinese sales last year were SI diamonds, the favored clarity of the American consumer, up from 5 percent about five years ago, according to producer De Beers. China is now an SI market which is increasingly similar to the U.S., said Aggarwal. “Five years ago, that would have been unthinkable. The whole landscape in how diamonds are sold to consumers in China has changed.”

China auto sales hit by anti-graft drive | beyondbrics China has been the bright spot in the luxury car universe for years, but in the first quarter of this year growth slowed to only 4 per cent. The FT’s Patti Waldmeir reports on how the Chinese government’s anti-corruption drive and a slowing economy are hitting luxury car sales.

Omega Joins Patek Philippe Seeking Growth to Offset Slower China – Bloomberg Stern said everyone laughed at him when he decided to limit sales in that market to 130 pieces a year as brands including Omega and Cartier opened shops across the mainland. Patek is now selling about 3 percent of the 53,000 watches it makes annually to shops there, reserving the bulk of its production for traditional U.S. and European markets and making Chinese customers who want its watches travel to buy them. Stern warned two years ago that market would slow down.

Building Out (of China): Property Tycoons Follow Wealthy Customers Overseas – Forbes As Beijing wrestles with stubborn house inflation, overseas projects offer a hedge for both developers and their wealthy customers, who typically own multiple properties at home and see offshore real estate as a track to a foreign residency. The government has sought to deter speculation in China by raising capital gains taxes, limiting second-home purchases and capping mortgages, but prices are still climbing in most cities.

 

POLITICS AND LAW

Gamblers not so anonymous: Beijing keeps closer eye on Macau | Reuters Li Gang, a veteran of handling contentious issues in Hong Kong, is slated to this year take control of China’s liaison office in the former Portuguese colony…Rather than signaling a crackdown on Macau’s lucrative gambling industry, casino executives say the target is those Chinese officials using public money or pledging state assets to gamble – money that could otherwise be invested in businesses…Li…sits on the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection

China Voice: Salute builders of the “Chinese dream” – Xinhua | English.news.cn China should lean on its people and their industrious, honest and creative work to realize the country’s collective dream of national rejuvenation. This was the call issued by the country’s top leader Xi Jinping on Sunday when talking with outstanding workers ahead of International Workers’ Day, which falls on May 1. // 人民日报-总书记同我们共话中国梦 ——习近平同全国劳动模范代表座谈侧记 // 人民日报-用劳动创造托起中国梦(社论)

Obama’s Comedy Is Anything but Routine for Chinese Audience – China Real Time Report – WSJ Interestingly, quite a few Chinese viewers focused their attention on the end of Mr. Obama’s speech, when he dispensed with the jokes to argue that public officials and the media “can do better” in living up to standards set by the first responders and others who helped in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing and other recent challenges. “In the end Obama also said ‘serve the people,’” one Sina Weibo user observed. “It sounded so natural coming from him.”

China dissident’s brother says home attacked nightly with dead poultry, bottles | Reuters Security personnel in eastern China are carrying out a nightly harassment campaign against the brother of blind rights activist Chen Guangcheng, the two said on Tuesday, throwing rocks, bottles and dead poultry at his house for 12 nights in a row

中纪委研究全国抽查干部个人事项申报 无时间表_新闻_腾讯网记者彭美 发自北京 今年1月,中纪委全会要求对领导干部报告的重大事项进行抽查,随后广东、上海开始试点抽查干部申报财产情况。南都记者近日从纪委系统获悉,中央纪委正在研究全国层面的抽查方案,但出台时间尚未确定。

Puffer-fish protests and Xi’s China dream – FT.com As it turns out, the reason so many people were hanging around the offices of the state-owned Taizhou Binjiang industrial park, in the eastern city of Taizhou, was because they had a bone to pick with Mr Zhang quite apart from the aforementioned fish bones. Local newspapers report (and calls to local residents confirm) that the banquet protest was almost accidental: the protesters went to the park offices to complain about a land dispute. The local government is forcibly expropriating their land, in the name of economic development – and there’s nothing new about that in China.

还原历史的真实图景 – 经济观察网 - 专业财经新闻网站 2013年4月23日,在北京大学斯坦福研究中心举办的活动中,学者秦晖与《邓小平时代》一书的作者、著名社会学家傅高义现场对话,探讨1949年建国迄今,遮蔽在当代中国主流叙事方法后的真实的历史 演讲者: 秦  晖:清华大学历史系教授 傅高义:社会学家,哈佛大学费正清东亚中心前主任、《邓小平时代》一书作者

‘Corruption probe’ general helps pen defence book | South China Morning Post A retired senior People’s Liberation Army general who was rumoured to have been under investigation amid allegations of corruption, has penned a preface for a military book, according to the official website of the ministry of national defence yesterday. General Xu Caihou, a former vice-chairman of the Communist Party’s Central Military Commission – the top body that commands the country’s armed forces – wrote a preface for a book authored by Wang Xibin, the president of the National Defence University, a top university for military education in China.

Is the China Red Cross still credible? – China Media Project Chinese on social media have been merciless in their attacks on the RCSC. One of the most frequent criticisms is that the charity uses its official status to force rather than solicit donations [Here, and in comments Here]. But an article on the front page of the Party’s official People’s Daily today emphasizes that “online public opinion” is not real public opinion. What is the evidence for that statement? The fact that despite recent online criticisms, the RCSC still managed to draw in 53 percent of the 10 billion yuan donated for the recent earthquake relief effort.

红会承认汶川地震8千万善款未按指定项目使用_网易新闻中心 Red Cross admits some of money donated for wenchaun earthquake diverted to another project // 核心提示:汶川地震,百余艺术家义拍筹款8472万元捐给红会,要求定向捐给青城山市,但该笔善款被红会用于建设博爱家园。事发2年后,红会公布善款去向,称虽未按指定项目使用,但与捐赠人意愿总体一致。

万里、汪洋任《岁月留迹–任仲夷》画传特别顾问_网易新闻中心 Pictorial history of respected reformer Ren Zhongyi released, with Wan Li and Wang Yang as special advisors to the project // 南都讯 在改革开放的闯将任仲夷逝世八年后,这本历时六年收集整理的画传终于面世。昨天上午,《岁月留迹———任仲夷》大型画传首发暨捐赠仪式在广东省立中山图书馆举行。任仲夷的亲人、生前同事、好友等社会各界人士云集,缅怀与纪念这位智者和勇者。

Remembrance of dissident Lin Zhao obstructed on 45th execution anniversary | South China Morning Post The grave is of Lin Zhao, a dissident intellectual executed on April 29, 1968. Her final resting place on the southern slope of Mount Lingyan – at the outskirts of Jiangsu’s provincial capital Suzhou – has become a gathering place for dozens of people seeking justice for those persecuted during the Cultural Revolution and freedom of expression in today’s China. Even though state security has previously tolerated quiet gatherings at her grave, remembrance gatherings to mark the 45th anniversary of her execution were obstructed on Monday.

The poisoning of Zhu Ling: A 19-year-old cold case is under national spotlight again in China | Offbeat China weibo gone nuts over this // Sun, who is now rumored to live in the US, comes from a well-connected and powerful family. That’s party why the case received so much attention nationally both 19 years ago and now. Netizens suspected that Sun’s family played a key role in blocking investigation and prosecution of the case. Sun’s uncle Sun Fuling was deputy mayor of Beijing from 1983 to 1993 and Vice Chairperson of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, China’s major political advisory body. Sun’s grandfather Sun Yueqi, was a senior leader of the Revolutionary Committee of the China Kuomintang that now rules Taiwan, and also am important member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. Most  importantly, rumor has it that Sun Yueqi was a good friend of Jiang Zemin, then China’s president, and has asked his old friend a little “favor.” Even at the end of his Baidu Wiki page, there highlighted that his family has used their influence to block police probe into Zhu’s case.

河南农民冤案追踪:干警曝光公检法配合潜规则_网易新闻中心 more on another wrongful conviction, police officer exposes the unwritten rules between police, prosecutors and courts // 核心提示:因涉嫌奸杀幼女,河南村民李怀亮先后历经15年、死刑、死缓3次判决,最终因证据不足获无罪。干警称法院的无罪判决打破了潜规则,既然公安抓了人,检察机关又认可,到审判环节,对那些证据存在欠缺案件,往往“不敢不判”,只好作“疑罪从轻”等办法。

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

Contempt for China leads to insults, conspiracy theories against Okinawans – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun Many of the posters said the Okinawans were deliberately trying to weaken Japan’s defenses and give China the upper hand in the territorial dispute over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. Typical comments were “left-wingers in Okinawa are Chinese spies” and the protesters are “receiving funding from China.”

Japan, U.S. reaffirm Senkaku status quo – The Japan News WASHINGTON (Jiji Press)- “The United States opposes any unilateral or coercive action that seeks to undermine Japan’s administrative control [of the islands],” U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said at a joint press conference with Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera.

The Chosun Ilbo – Beijing Orders Strict Implementation of N.Korea Sanctions Back on April 17, the Chinese Transport Ministry sent a memorandum to subsidiary agencies instructing them to strictly implement UN Security Council Resolution 2094, the official Economic Daily reported Monday. A similar document was sent to the People’s Bank of China, public security agencies, customs offices, and border patrol units.

China steps up customs checks, but North Korea trade robust | Reuters “Look at all the trucks out there and you tell me if trade has slowed,” said trader Liu Mingjin, pointing to a long line of Chinese and North Korean trucks queuing at Dandong’s run-down border post. “Customs may be taking a closer interest, but there’s no impact on trade whatsoever,” added Liu, who imports ginseng and exports pretty much anything North Korea wants, including building materials.

What’s Really at the Core of China’s Core Interests? | ChinaFile Good ChinaFile Conversation

Pilots lose as China flies closer to sun-John Garnaut While Chinese military enthusiasts saw the Shandong crash as an embarrassing setback, professionals saw it as a sign the PLA Air Force might be starting to take the risks required to develop human ”software” that can match its expensive hardware to compete with the force’s American, Taiwanese or Japanese counterparts. “They’ve got to take risks,” says Robert Rubel, a graduate of the US Navy’s Top Gun Academy and now dean of the centre for naval warfare studies at the US Naval War College. “I’ve lost control of every airplane I’ve ever tried to fly.”// 《歼十出击》正片—大陆—电影—优酷网,视频高清在线观看—又名:《Sky Fighters》the movie to which Garnaut refers in the story, free to watch on Youku

Lieutenant-General Wang Hongguang blasts PLA pundits’ “interference” in decisions and deployments | southseaconversations 讨论南海 Lt-Gen Wang, who now serves as Vice President of the PLA’s Academy of Military Science, made it quite clear that by “military affairs experts” he was referring to fellow PLA academics, particularly Zhang Zhaozhong, Luo Yuan, and of course Dai Xu.

Chinese Signaling for Conflict: A Predictive Pattern | Defense News | defensenews.com A new report released in April by the Center for the Study of Chinese Military Affairs at the National Defense University looks at the history of Chinese threat and retaliation signaling. It offers up a future signaling scenario involving the South China Sea that should be required reading for the US Pacific Command and the US National Security Council. Written by Paul H.B. Godwin and Alice L. Miller, “China’s Forbearance Has Limits: Chinese Threat and Retaliation Signaling and Its Implications for a Sino-American Military Confrontation,” looks not only at signaling but also at China’s crisis decision-making process and management.

Inside the CIA Mission to Haul Plutonium Up the Himalayas | Danger Room | Wired.com The CIA eventually did get a SNAP unit and signal device installed the Himalayas, Coburn notes. In 1967, a group of climbers planted one below the summit of Nanda Kot, a 22,510-foot mountain nearby. It was buried in snow three months later and stopped working, although having gleaned enough data from Chinese tests to indicate — at the time — that Beijing didn’t yet have a long-range nuclear warhead. “Ultimately, this wild operation was successful in gaining at least that much information,” Coburn says. Although the technique was obsolete by the time spy satellites emerged. Still, it was close, and somewhere down the mountain, a piece of Cold War plutonium might still be there.

Steve Coll: Our Drone Delusion : The New Yorker America’s drone campaign is also creating an ominous global precedent. Ten years or less from now, China will likely be able to field armed drones. How might its Politburo apply Obama’s doctrines to Tibetan activists holding meetings in Nepal?// why assume it will take 10 years?

Chinese UAV Development Slowly Outpacing West | Defense News | defensenews.com The Pentagon’s Defense Science Board (DSB) issued a “wakeup call” over Chinese UAV development. The report, “The Role of Autonomy in DoD Systems,” issued in October, said the military significance of China’s move into unmanned systems is “alarming” and China has a “great deal of technology, seemingly unlimited resources and clearly is leveraging all available information on Western unmanned systems development.”

Is the Specter of a ‘Cyber Cold War’ Real? – James McGregor – The Atlantic Why the best and brightest in China and the United States have the most to lose from a cyber-related conflict between the two countries.

China’s Middle East footprint – latimes.com OpEd Despite concerns about stability, oil and Islamism, Beijing will continue to let Washington underwrite security in the gulf region.–David Schenker is a fellow and director of the Program on Arab Politics at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

China commits billions in aid to Africa as part of charm offensive – interactive | Global development | The Guardian Database reveals government has backed 1,700 projects on continent since 2000 in apparent attempt to win favour. The country’s financial commitments are significantly larger than previous estimates // some questions about accuracy of data if drawn from announced deals  without confirming capital/resources deployed

China ‘sends armed helicopters to Myanmar separatists’–Jane’s Defence why would china do this? // Myanmar’s insurgent United Wa State Army (UWSA) has for the first time acquired an armed rotary-wing aviation capability with assistance from China: the latest move in a programme of rapid rearmament. China delivered several Mil Mi-17 ‘Hip’ medium-transport helicopters armed with TY-90 air-to-air missiles to the Wa in late February and early March, according to both Myanmar ethnic minority and Myanmar government sources.

Vietnam latest news – Thanh Nien Daily | US diplomat visits Hoang Sa Islands administration office The US Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City has visited the office of the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Archipelago administration and held discussions with local government officials. Analysts said the move could irk China as both Washington and Beijing compete for “the strategic heart and mind of Southeast Asia.”

Phl Navy chief slams Chinese maneuvers in disputed sea | Headlines, News, The Philippine Star | philstar.com Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Jose Luis Alano said Chinese naval maneuvers in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) and use of non-military maritime vessels way beyond its coastlines to advance sovereignty claims to most of the sea were both “aggressive and excessive.”

Chinese defense minister meets senior Philippine military officer – Xinhua | English.news.cn what a picture// Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister, Chang Wanquan, met with Philippine Defense Undersecretary Honorio Azcueta on Sunday.

Have An Island Dispute With China? Lawyer Up | China Power The Philippines still claims sovereignty over the Spratlys and Scarborough Shoal but it is unlikely to find a way of vindicating this: the tribunal is barred from arbitrating claims about land.  The International Court of Justice could hear these claims – going to the ICJ is voluntary, while China has signed UNCLOS, which includes a mandatory arbitration provision.  At this point, there seem to be two major obstacles before the Philippines: legally, it might lose the case, most likely on the question of jurisdiction.  As far as I can tell as a non-lawyer, experts in the U.S. feel that this is the only part of the case where China has a strong claim – and under the arbitration system it could win this point without ever appearing to make the argument.

 

HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN

Taiwan’s Economy Expanded Slower Than Estimated Last Quarter – Bloomberg Gross domestic product rose 1.54 percent in the three months through March from a year earlier, after increasing 3.72 percent in the fourth quarter, the statistics bureau said in a preliminary report in Taipei today. The gain was less than all estimates in a Bloomberg News survey of 17 economists, where the median was 3.1 percent.

New Bird Flu Strain Spreads Outside of China – NYTimes.com Correction: April 29, 2013 –An article on Thursday about a new strain of avian influenza referred imprecisely, in some editions, to Taiwan, where it was reported to have spread. While Taiwan, an island off mainland China, was referred to as another country, its status is in dispute.

 

TECH AND MEDIA

Baidu Valuation Sinks as Ad Sales Slow: China Overnight – Bloomberg “Baidu is spending a lot of money to maintain its market position and search for new growth engines,” Echo He, an analyst at Maxim Group LLC in New York who rates the stock sell, said in a phone interview April 26. “The investment doesn’t necessarily translate into revenue growth. The profit margin will continue to be under pressure.”

China to Rival Silicon Valley, Yuri Milner Says – Bloomberg  He predicted that several global technology companies valued at more than $50 billion will emerge in China during the next decade, along with 25 more valued at about $10 billion. Even as growth in China’s economy slows, technology companies there are thriving, Milner said. While DST expects India, Brazil and Europe to grow as technology hubs, Milner said he’s planning to make investments in “predominantly the U.S. and China.”

‘Iron Man’ shows Hollywood’s bent to take on China censors’ steely grip | Reuters When superhero film “Iron Man 3” makes its Chinese debut, it will include top Chinese actress Fan Bingbing and some footage shot inside China – additions aimed at tapping into the country’s lucrative and booming cinema market.//rumor is SARFT delayed iron man 3 release until last day of may holiday to provide box office boost for Zhao Wei’s film 致我们终将逝去的青春 (So Young), which dominated the holiday box office through 4.30

China’s Theaters Rev Up For Holiday Bonanza; ‘Iron Man 3′ Blasts Off | chinafilmbiz 中国电影业务 Youth romance So Young led the week with its exceptional 3-day opening weekend total of $22 million. Including its Monday and Tuesday grosses So Young has reached $43 million in just its first 5 days, which points to a likely $100+ million run. Lost in Thailand grossed $47 million in its first 5 days and went on to a $201 million total, though So Young faces a more competitive market so I don’t expect it will hit that lofty mark.

Kaifu Lee Discloses On Weibo That He Renounced His US Citizenship In 2011–Screesnshot now he holds a Taiwan passport only, gives reason as feeling more Chinese as he gets older, makes no mention of tax implications

Apple’s China Problems Stem from Lack of Localization, Not News Bashing It might be comforting for Apple to think it’s taking a beating in China thanks to a sustained crusade by the state media, a problem somewhat outside of its own control. But the truth is that it’s losing the aspiration battle in China as consumers are increasingly less willing to buy a phone designed for US consumers when all around them, brands are catering to Chinese needs. Apple’s China problems may be exacerbated by China’s media, but its core problems are largely of its own making.

Web China: Draft amendment sparks debate over online shoppers’ rights – Xinhua | English.news.cn A draft amendment to the consumer rights law has ignited debate regarding its fairness, as it calls for a seven-day “cooling-off” period that would allow shoppers to return merchandise for a full refund. The draft ensures e-shoppers’ right of choice and grants them the right to unilaterally terminate contracts. // this would be very problematic for ecommerce firms, and Taobao sellers

China’s E-Commerce Market: Growing in Size, Importance, and Dynamism — [contextChina] / 太平洋中国通 Last month, the McKinsey Global Institute released “China’s E-tail Revolution.” Last week, the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), a Chinese government body responsible for Internet information and operations, released its 2012 e-commerce market research report. The combination of these reports provides a new look at the rapid development of e-retailing in China. Here are the major takeaways:

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

Farewell to an Enigmatic Chinese Bishop – NYTimes.com Hundreds of people gathered Monday at St. Ignatius Cathedral in Shanghai for the funeral of Bishop Aloysius Jin Luxian, a towering figure of Chinese Catholicism who died Saturday at 96.

Chinese Dream: To Become the Father of an American, by Jia Jia | Seeing Red in China Nowadays, a typical Chinese dream is to go to college, take the civil service test, make money, and immigrate. Or, go to college, become a white-collar worker, make money, and immigrate. Or go to college, become an engineer, make money, and immigrate. For Beijingers, it is much simpler: sell the apartment and immigrate. Being the capital, there are always people from Shanxi or Zhejiang to fill the space up right away. In the past, I always thought that those who sought residence overseas were people made of special materials who took pains persuading the rest of us to love China and love socialism. Now, thanks to skyrocketing housing price, Beijingers have the opportunity to enjoy clean air and dependable education of their young—in the US.

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH

Why Has Water-rich Yunnan Become A Drought Hotspot? | ChinaFile Central and northwestern Yunnan, where water and soil loss due to damaged forests is most common, has been hardest hit. In the prefecture of Chuxiong, forest cover has dropped from 12.8 percent sixty years ago to 5.2 percent today. These areas tend to be arid valleys, already lacking precipitation, and deforestation makes droughts and landslides more likely. In these ecosystems, loss of vegetation is hard to remedy and a cycle of droughts may start. What’s more, recent years have seen secondary forest—the bulk of Yunnan’s forests, important for retaining water—converted into commercial forest plantations.

Poor Rural Residents in China Seen as Easy Target for Environmental Lawsuits | ChinaFile China today boasts a collection of ninety-five environmental courts, all of which were set up over the past six years. It is a trend that promises to re-shape Chinese environmental law. But simply trumpeting this initiative is no guarantee the environmental courts will live up to their name by making pro-environment decisions. Indeed, initial evidence from Guiyang city in southwest China suggests that ordinary people are pursued by the courts far more often than major polluters are held to task.

MoboSens, a Square-like tool for eco warriors, lets you crowdsource water pollutants — Tech News and Analysis would be interesting for China// Clear water doesn’t always equal clean water. Toxins such as nitrates and arsenic can reside in water that looks perfectly potable, but thanks to a research project at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the power of sensors, smartphones and supercomputers will create a water quality monitoring project that can tell you if your water is safe to drink as well as track a community’s water over time.

Lu Guang’s The Polluted Landscape: the camera never lies, even in China – audio slideshow | Environment | guardian.co.uk Chinese photojournalist Lu Guang goes deep into China’s ravaged heartlands and documents the environmental crisis that has been triggered by the nation’s dizzyingly rapid economic growth and development.

大山深处的爷们儿_草民的世界_胡镇彬_博联社 Think you have a tough job? Check out these pictures of Chinese loggers

China’s mental health law to take effect – Xinhua | English.news.cn A mental health law that requires consent from mentally ill patients before they receive inpatient treatment will take effect in China on Wednesday.

 

BEIJING

北京14号线5月初先开7站 “大肚列车”可并肩站5人_网易新闻中心 first 7 stations of beijing subway line 14 open sunday may 5

5月5日起北京10号线将“成环”_网易新闻中心 Beijing subway line 10 will be finally connected in a continuous around the city starting sunday may 5// 昨天(4月29日),北京地铁公司表示,10号线预计在5月5日,也就是本周日打通“断点” 丰台站和泥洼站,实现贯通运营。去年底暂缓开通的角门东站也将同期开通。10号线从“C”形运营变成“O”形运营,将成为继2号线之后的北京又一条地铁“环线”。这条环线全长57公里,跑一圈用时104分钟,也成为全世界最长的全地下站点线路。

 

BOOKS AND LITERATURE

Chinese Text Project Welcome to the Chinese Text Project homepage. The Chinese Text Project is a web-based e-text system designed to present ancient Chinese texts, particularly those relating to Chinese philosophy, in a well-structured and properly cross-referenced manner, making the most of the electronic medium to aid in the study and understanding of these texts.

 

JOBS AND EVENTS

Positions Vacant | China Policy The core of our organisation is a dynamic team of analysts. Together we are building ChinaContext, an innovative new platform for tracking and understanding policy issues in China. We look for the best policy analysis and opinion in Chinese-language sources from which we map policy trends. We identify and profile leading people and organisations that are key to understanding the policy environment. We work in teams covering energy, resources and climate; economy; social policy; external impact and governance and law.

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