The Sinocism China Newsletter For 06.04.13

Today’s must read is China’s New Leadership Has Ties to Tiananmen Era (New York Times):

For four days, more than 400 of China’s brightest political minds gathered in smoke-clouded halls at a Beijing hotel, vigorously debating the nation’s future.

It was April 1989, and after a decade of economic transformation, China faced a clamor for political liberalization…

Today’s must watch is Cui Jian singing “一块红布” (A Piece of Red Cloth, lyrics in English here).

The weather is gloomy today, one of those early Beijing summer days when the sky wants to open up but can’t seem to figure out how.

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

U.S.-China Relations: The Obama-Xi California Summit | Brookings Institution–Ken Lieberthal– As indicated above, the 7-8 June California summit is not intended to produce specific deliverables.  It will be a very important conclave if it simply produces better personal understanding and chemistry and also points the way toward progress along lines discussed above.  Some of the directions from this summit may feed directly into the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue that will take place during the week of July 8 in Washington.  Other parts will be followed up in other venues.

Related: Obama and Xi at Sunnylands: Maritime Tensions | Brookings Institution-Richard Bush- It will be impossible in the short- or medium-term to resolve all aspects of theses maritime disputes (particularly territorial differences). The parties concerned should therefore start by addressing the aspect that is easiest to bring under control, and that is how maritime agencies operate in close proximity. There are concrete crisis-avoidance and risk-reduction measures that might be applied and adapted to the East and South China Seas through discussions between China and its neighbors. But Presidents Obama and Xi have an opportunity to recognize together the danger that these small disputes pose to the interests of their two countries and the entire East Asian region. They can set a tone and create a context for reducing the danger most immediately at hand, which will then permit a shift to more cooperative approaches.

PacNet #38 – China’s Missed Opportunity at the Shangri-La Dialogue | Center for Strategic and International Studies By Bonnie S. Glaser–This was a missed opportunity for China to explain its policies and reassure the region about Chinese intentions. Lt. Gen. Qi could have explained Chinese concerns about the US rebalancing strategy to the Asia-Pacific, and reaffirmed China’s commitment to shelve territorial disputes and pursue joint development of resources. He could have reiterated Beijing’s pledge to negotiate a Code of Conduct with ASEAN. And he could have discussed China’s hope for expanded multilateral security cooperation, including military exercises with regional militaries. None of these topics were mentioned…There is simply no excuse for the failure of Lt. Gen. Qi to confront tough issues at this timely juncture when tensions in the region and concerns about Chinese behavior are growing. Let’s hope that China seizes future opportunities to engage more seriously.

Related: Lt. Gen. Qi got a lot of heat online for his comment reiterating that China and Japan should shelve the Diaoyu dispute for later generations //  戚建国钓岛问题留给后人说遭炮轰_中国_多维新闻网 戚建国过后在回答提问时也强调,东海和南中国海是中国的领海,中国在那里活动是正当合法和无可非议的行为。不过中国海军严格遵守一套守则,避免任何擦枪走火。 戚建国在第12届亚洲安全会议的第四场对话会“亚太安全新趋势”上,三次提到搁置领土争议,把问题留给后人解决。此前他还明确表示,中日在冲绳没有主权争议:“学者能提出他们个人观点,但他们不代表中国政府。”

人民日报-构建新型大国关系 中国社会科学院中国特色社会主义理论体系研究中心–李 文 Scholar from CASS’ Socialism with Chinese Characteristics Theory System Research Center on building new great power relationship, in the theory section of today’s People’s Daily. how does this formulation track with the history of the PRC foreign policy? and is its ultimate goal to render obsolete the US/West led global order, including Bretton Woods? how do Xi’s foreign trips so far track to this idea? // 新兴大国群体性崛起,大国身份日趋多元化,传统大国的国际影响力相对下降。维护世界和平、应对和处理全球性问题,需要更多国家共同参与,尤其是大国携手合作和共同行动。各国在管控全球经济危机、塑造国际金融秩序、开发新能源、打击恐怖主义、维护地区与全球秩序和稳定等诸多领域拥有越来越多的共同利益和广阔的合作空间,这成为构建新型大国关系的内在动力。合作共赢成为大国之间在新的历史条件下处理彼此关系的最大公约数。

Beijing Caps Home Prices to Control Demand: Mortgages – Bloomberg and rents are soaring…distortion layered upon distortion // Newly available homes were equivalent to 55 percent of housing sales in the first four months of this year in Beijing, about half of the average level since 2010, according to data compiled by Centaline to gauge whether supply is ample. That compares to 130 percent in Shenzhen and 69 percent in Guangzhou for the four months ended April 30, according to the data. The city’s resident population expanded by 6.04 million in 10 years, more than twice the size of Chicago, to 19.6 million as of Nov. 1, 2010, according to data from China’s bureau of statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau. About 36 percent of Beijing’s residents moved in from other cities, while 86 percent live in the city’s urban areas, according to the data.

A Factory Burns in China : The New Yorker In that sense, the Jilin fire was as much a symbol of China’s internal dynamism as the Dhaka tragedy was a symbol of Bangladesh’s fragile place in global supply chains. And therein lies one of China’s vulnerabilities: that a four-year-old factory in a fast-growing economy could be run in such a dangerous fashion is a story not of poverty but of legal disarray. In China these days, a fire is rarely accepted as just a fire. Even as the deaths were being counted, Chinese were openly discussing corruption, safety standards, and the government’s likely response. The reflexive reaction by Chinese citizens is to ask which of several common rackets may have played a role.

Related: Xinhua Insight: Deadly fire sparks work safety concerns – Xinhua  The fire is the third major work safety accident to occur in northeast China in the past week and one of the most deadly in recent years. On Sunday, an oil tank explosion in neighboring Liaoning Province left two people dead and another two missing. A tank containing diesel oil residue exploded around 2:20 p.m. at a PetroChina outlet in the port city of Dalian, causing a nearby tank to burst into flames… President Xi Jinping vowed last Friday to deepen a national safety campaign, adding that safety is a basic requirement for people’s happiness and health, as well as for national development.

China Detains at Least Nine in a $100Mln-Loss Grain Depot Fire in NE-Caijing is there a history of corrupt officials torching empty granaries in various dynasties?// Corruption is not rare within the Sinograin, a state-owned strategic grain company, which plays a key role in safeguarding the country’s grain security. Cases of corruption have emerged in Xuchang, Xiangcheng, Anyang, and Zhoukou since 2010, and in 2011, a senior official at the Zhoukou base fled abroad after being accused of embezzling a huge amount of public funds.

Related: Official cause of blaze at Sinograin plant in Heilongjiang under question | South China Morning Post “Dongbei Lightning?” // The fire occurred just four days after the Central Committee of the Communist Party sent an inspection team to Sinograin to look into allegations of administrative irregularities and graft. The inspection was in line with an anti-corruption mechanism that top graft-fighter Wang Qishan has been trying to revitalise in recent months.

China’s Prominent Weiberati Speak Out on Eve of Tiananmen Anniversary | Tea Leaf Nation It is worth noting that many of those tweeting about June 4 are prominent figures who have been verified by Sina, including film directors, business people, journalists, lawyers, and other professionals. Many attempted to light a virtual candle, an emoticon that will not be made available to Weibo users on June 4. “Seems like I can still light one on my phone,” tweeted Yuan Li, the editor in chief of the Wall Street Journal’s Chinese-language site. Several users wrote that they plan to stop using the Internet for 24 hours on June 4, spending the day in reflection and remembrance instead.

Related: The day that changed everything – June 4, 1989 | South China Morning Post Speedy economic development in the next two decades under one-party rule and lack of political reform led to crony capitalism, rampant corruption, social inequality and environmental degradation. “Nowadays, people have no ideals nor passion. Amid moral degeneration, they only want money,” said Chen. “The situation now is directly linked with the crackdown, of course.”

Related: Witnesses to Tiananmen Square struggle with what to tell their children – The Washington Post For many, the decision is colored by how their own views have changed over time. In interviews with more than a dozen survivors, a few wondered whether the democratic cause they fought for was misguided by youthful passion. Others have won asylum abroad, and when they talk of Tiananmen to their children, it is as history — just one part of their life’s larger story.

Related: China’s Fear of Contagion: Tiananmen Square and the Power of the European Example – Harvard – Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs The Tiananmen Square massacre of June 1989 remains a taboo topic in the People’s Republic of China (PRC); the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) still detains participants and suppresses online, popular, and scholarly discussions of it. The twentieth anniversary of the end of the transatlantic Cold War, however, saw the release of new sources from high-level contacts between the CCP and foreign leaders. These new sources, combined with older ones, show the extent to which Chinese political leaders were obsessed with the democratic changes in Eastern Europe and were willing to take violent action to prevent similar events on their territory. This obsession has received mention from a few scholars, but until now it has played too small a role in the current understanding of Tiananmen. New evidence documents that one of the main motivations for the CCP in deploying the army in June 1989—on the same day as semi-free elections in Poland—was its desire to combat possible contagion from the events in Europe. These sources also show that the CCP knew it had little to fear from reprisals by the United States, which it predicted would take “no real countermeasures.”

Debt on Local Gov’ Financing Platforms Forces Regulator into Balancing Act – Caixin Local government financing platforms’ debts now total 9.3 trillion yuan, exceeding last year’s local government revenues by half, a China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) official recently said at an internal meeting. By the end of 2015, nearly 3.5 trillion yuan of those debts will come due, exerting heavy pressure on local governments’ fiscal conditions, he said… The challenge for the banking regulator is to strike a balance between maintaining the stability of the banking system and not starving local governments of credit, an executive at China Development Bank (CDB) said. Said a banker familiar with financing platforms: “Loosening banking regulations will hurt banks, while tightening up platform loans will hurt governments.” This year, only a few nationally important financing platforms have received new bank loans, several bankers familiar with platform loans said.

 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

周小川:人民币不会竞争性贬值_财经频道_一财网 Zhou Xiaochuan says China will not engage in competitive devaluations of the RMB// 据央视报道,昨日下午在上海举行的国际货币会议上,中国人民银行行长周小川首次明确表态称,中国政府正在监测“热钱”的流动情况,中国不会通过竞争性贬值提高自己国内的竞争力。

上海造外滩金融中心 投资约170亿元 |上海|造外滩金融中心|_21世纪网 17 Billion RMB to build a shanghai Bund Financial Center // 吴洋介绍,整个项目的拿地成本是95.7亿元,项目的建设费用预计在70亿左右。

发改委:城镇化意在改革而非投资_政经频道_财新网 发改委城市和小城镇改革发展中心主任李铁6月3日强调,推进新型城镇化不是为了吸引投资,而是要改革,主要进行户籍制度改革和土地制度改革,预计今年年底将出台改革政策。

China Crisis Is Good for the Global Economy – Bloomberg – William Pesek Fear could now be cathartic. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang expects growth to slow to 7 percent this decade. Even that may prove optimistic — and in any case, anything less than 8 percent growth could prove disastrous if handled poorly. That changes the calculus for China’s much-vaunted economic managers: It may be more dangerous to avoid painful economic reforms than to institute them.

China’s Bear Bile Farmer Suspends IPO amid Protests over Cruelty -Caijing China’s largest bear bile producer Guizhentang Pharmaceutical has dropped for now a plan to go public following years of protests from animal activists over its cruelty in treating bears. But the company who compares its bile-collecting to “turning on a tap” which is “painless”, added the company had not given up hopes to go public “when time is mature”.

Trade Schools Offer Hope for Rural Migrants in China – NYTimes.com Private enterprises like BN Vocational School can fill that gap, but only with the outside funding needed to be able to train poor students for free. Founded in 2005, it is supported by charities (the China Youth Development Foundation and Ford Foundation), corporations (Citigroup, Wal-Mart, Caterpillar and Bank of America) and both the Chinese and foreign governments. It also runs schools in seven other Chinese cities. While newly minted university graduates face a tight job market, skilled vocational school graduates are in high demand, with employment rates above 95 percent between 2007 and 2011, according to a 2013 report by the Chinese Society of Vocational and Technical Education.

BN Vocational School (BNVS) Established in 2005, BN Vocational School (BNVS) is China’s first tuition-free, non-profit charitable vocational school at the senior secondary level. It is also the targeted school subsidized by the Project Hope of the China Youth Development Foundation and the Project Hope’s Vocational Education Fund.

Smithfield Buy Could Help Shuanghui Owners Exit – MoneyBeat – WSJ If successful, the acquisition of the world’s largest pork producer and processor would boost Shuanghui’s assets to $11 billion, according to MoneyBeat calculations. It would also pave the way for Shuanghui’s investors to exit via a global listing, after a plan to tap China’s capital markets fell through three years ago.

China Could Actually Improve US Pork. Here’s How. | Mother Jones In banning ractopamine, China joins the European Union, Russia, and Taiwan, among other countries. The Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR)—whose agriculture negotiations are led by former agrichemical industry lobbyist Isi Siddiqui—has pushed back hard against this resistance, trying to force other countries to accept pork from ractopamine-laced hogs. The Smithfield deal may signal an end to that fight. Regardless of the USTR’s machinations, the US meat industry’s zeal to access the vast and fast-growing China market has tamped down its appetite for ractopamine.

Blues for Gray Hair –Caixin–Confucius might have nodded approvingly had he attended a recent land auction in Beijing where a city agency became the first in China to sell a parcel specifically designated for a senior citizens housing complex. But companies bidding for the nearly 520,000-square-meter plot were less inclined toward respecting the elderly, as the ancient sage prescribed, than profiting from a central government push for a new service industry aimed at satisfying the needs of graying retirees. Moreover, Confucius might have blinked when, after awarding the plot to a developer jointly held by China Construction Bank’s investment arm, GreenLand Group and the U.S. private equity firm Blackstone Group, the Beijing government without explanation froze plans for additional senior development auctions. Beijing’s freeze, nationwide senior health care staffing woes and the fact that the senior services sector has been growing at a snail-like pace are factors that have sown confusion among businesses and investors alike in recent months. Many heeded a 2010 central government call for more health products, nursing services and housing for the nation’s burgeoning population of retirees. But what’s next for the industry is unclear.

 

POLITICS AND LAW

央企高管中的红色后代:保利高管系邓小平女婿_新闻_腾讯网 然而,在我国,因为中央企业的特殊性和重要性,在党管干部的原则下,央企高管,尤其是“一把手”的任命存在着明显的行政化倾向。被委任者除了源于基层由下至上层层提拔外,更有一部分人是从政府直接向央企输送,也即跨界高管。那么,他们究竟要经过怎样的力练,才能步步登顶?行政化任命到底有何弊端?是什么样的原因造成这一现象?所谓的“公开招聘”为何进展缓慢?本专题将逐一为您解答。

历史担当还是击鼓传花 六四逼问中共新掌门_中国_多维新闻网 事实上,对于中共来说,他们对“六四”并非遗忘,只是后来的掌权者们如江泽民、胡锦涛等人不愿意触碰那段麻烦的往事。因为无论谁,要在六四问题上做出任何动作或表态,都意味着要对整个“六四”事件以及当时中共的处理方式,乃至邓小平本人做出一个历史评判,评判当时对立双方的是非对错。而这偏偏是难以进行评价的,一方是推动中国改革开放、领导中国结束文革,进入现代政治的总设计师;一方是一群抱有美好理想、为了中国民主未来的年轻人。正是基于这个原因,所以掌权者们干脆选择了不管,只等雨打风吹去,当对错也淹没在历史的洪流之后,麻烦也就不再是麻烦了…而对于习在中共党内的地位来说,如果“六四”问题解决的好,将成为习凝聚了体制内力量的重要之举,由此引发的可能会分裂党的担忧也不复存在。因为经过几十年的社会管理经验,中共官员自上而下已经开始认识到“疏导”而不是“封堵”民意的执政经验,当舆论可以公开就“六四”的得与失进行分析时,会看到保持社会稳定对经济发展的重要性,到那时候体制内外会形成一个共识,在维护现有改革开放成果的同时,政治体制改革也是需要循序渐进的。

China’s inspection teams overseeing local officials – Xinhua Ten inspection teams dispatched by China’s central authorities to oversee local officials have all arrived at relevant regions and organizations and started work, authorities announced on Monday. Visits by inspection teams will last around two months and teams’ contact information has been publicized to seek public tip-offs, the office of the leading group for China’s inspection work said in a statement.

中央巡视组掌握地方实情方式揭秘:听街谈巷议_网易新闻中心 Why was Renmin University chosen as a target for one of the 10 CDIC inspection teams? // 截至昨日,包括中央第一巡视组在内的10个中央巡视组,已分赴内蒙古、江西、湖北、重庆、贵州等5地,水利部、中国储备粮管理总公司、中国进出口银行、中国出版集团、中国人民大学等5单位。

安徽原副省长倪发科涉严重违纪正接受调查|安徽|原副省长|倪发科_新浪新闻 former Anhui deputy Governor Ni Fake is under investigation

Attack on Western values sparks fears over prospects for political reform | South China Morning PostA commentary in Qiushi (Seeking Truth) yesterday said the party and the nation would lose vitality if they rigidly stuck to old thoughts. But it also warned that adopting Western ideas would push the nation into a dead end and dash hopes for realising the “Chinese dream”, a phrase often used by party chief Xi Jinping . “The party and the nation will embark on the devil’s road with Western thoughts,” the commentary said, adding that only socialism with Chinese characteristics could unite the Chinese people. // the anti-Western rhetoric getting a bit worrisome. essay actually published June 1…qiushi comes out on the first and fifteenth of each month. Sunday’s Sinocism had the essay in the essential eight– 凝聚中国力量 实现伟大梦想_2013/11_求是理论网 

Web regulation in public’s best interest – OP-ED – Globaltimes.cn Most Chinese are looking forward to free speech on the Internet, while at the same time are expecting an orderly social environment. People already understand that free speech can not go against social order. Internet regulation is not only an embodiment of the government’s will, but is also laid on the foundation of the public interest. Through the Internet, Chinese people are becoming more knowledgeable about democracy and freedom. Although this virtual community has bred some political and moral traps, Internet regulation has to be carried out until those spreading adverse remarks fear the strength of the public interest.

Luxury restaurants adapt to hard times |Food |chinadaily.com.cn Six out of 10 new dishes developed in the first quarter are priced below 45 yuan ($7.30), and nine out of 10 are under 84 yuan, in a bid to attract more individual customers, said Yan Dajian, with the technology and research department of Quanjude Group. Even the 136-year-old restaurant chain had to adapt to survive the hardest time for high-end catering companies in the country after the government launched a nationwide crackdown on graft and wasteful spending in December. Greatly affected by the campaign, China’s catering industry is seeing its slowest growth rate in the last two decades, the China Cuisine Association said on Friday. In the first four months of the year, the sales revenue of the country’s catering industry was 771.2 billion yuan, up 8.3 percent year-on-year, but 5 percentage points down from the same period last year, according to the association.

Innocent man detained for 12 years files compensation claim – Xinhua | English.news.cn Li Huailiang was the prime suspect in the rape and murder of a 13-year-old girl that occurred in Yexian County in the city of Pingdingshan in August 2001. From 2001 to 2006, Li stood trial seven times and was given three different verdicts. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison, death and death with reprieve, respectively. But all three verdicts were ultimately overturned due to a lack of evidence. The case started receiving more attention in June 2012, when China Comment magazine reported that the Pingdingshan Intermediate People’s Court signed a “death penalty guarantee” with the girl’s parents in 2004, promising to sentence Li to death so that the girl’s mother would not appeal to higher authorities, even if the verdict was ultimately overturned by the Henan Higher People’s Court.

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

China’s Xi Offers Caribbean Nations $3 Billion in Loans – Bloomberg China’s President Xi Jinping promised more than $3 billion in loans to 10 Caribbean nations and Costa Rica, Trinidad & Tobago’s prime minister said, ahead of a summit in California with U.S. President Barack Obama. Xi pledged about $296 million in loans to help Costa Rica expand a key highway as part of 13 accords signed with President Laura Chinchilla yesterday. After meeting with leaders from 10 Caribbean nations in Trinidad on June 2, he promised about $3 billion in loans, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said. Further details weren’t disclosed, government spokesman Dennis McComie said in an interview. There was no immediate confirmation of the plans from the Chinese government.

Xi visits four nations–People’s Daily Micro-site on this trip

Wife of Chinese President visits National Children’s Hospital of Costa Rica – Xinhua | English.news.cn Peng Liyuan (2nd L, front), wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping, communicates with a child during her visit to the National Children’s Hospital of Costa Rica, accompanied by Emilce Miranda, mother of Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla, in San Jose, Costa Rica, June 3, 2013.

Senior CPC official urges Japan to create conditions for improving ties – Xinhua | English.news.cn Liu Yunshan, a senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC), on Monday urged Japan to make joint efforts with China to create conditions for improving bilateral ties. Liu, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks while meeting with a delegation of senior Japanese politicians headed by Hiromu Nonaka, former secretary-general of the Liberal Democratic Party. Liu praised Nonaka’s long-term efforts to develop bilateral relations. He said the CPC and the Chinese government attach great importance to bilateral ties and are willing to advance relations on the basis of four political documents signed between China and Japan.

China Nuclear Stockpile Grows as India Matches Pakistan Rise – Bloomberg China, which has the world’s second-largest military budget behind the U.S., expanded its nuclear-weapons arsenal last year, with India and Pakistan also bolstering their stockpiles, a research institute said. The three added an estimated 10 warheads each to their inventories, with China’s arsenal now reaching 250 devices, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said today in releasing a new yearbook. Pakistan holds 100 to 120 units and India 90 to 110, while North Korea may have as many as eight warheads with an uncertain operational status, it said.

Warhead stockpile ‘defensive’ |Politics |chinadaily.com.cn Beijing hopes the outside world will not make wild guesses about China’s limited nuclear capacity, and believes that countries with the largest nuclear arsenals should bear the primary responsibility for nuclear disarmament, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters at a daily news briefing on Monday. He was speaking in response to a newly released report from a Sweden-based think tank, which stated that China has added 10 nuclear warheads to its stockpile, bringing its total to 250.

Hearing: China and the Middle East | U.S.-CHINA ECONOMIC and SECURITY REVIEW COMMISSION June 6, interesting lineup

Shenzhou-10 spacecraft to be launched in mid-June – Xinhua | English.news.cn The Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft is scheduled to be launched in the middle of June. The spacecraft will carry three astronauts and dock with the Tiangong-1. During the mission, astronauts will also teach a lesson to a group of students via a video feed.

国家重大科技专项将扩容至20项 新华社——经济参考网《经济参考报》记者从权威渠道了解到,国家重大科技专项办公室近期启动重点新材料新增专项论证,加上此前启动的航空发动机与燃气轮机、页岩气项目新增论证,国家重大科技专项有望增至20项,带动相关投资或达千亿元。航空发动机研制难度大、投资多、周期长、风险高,国外研究一型先进航空发动机直接投入的研制费用在20亿美元左右。我国航空产业正处于黄金期,三代机、直升机、舰载机、运输机和四代机都将逐步列装,大致测算,到2020年我国航空发动机产业规模将达1000亿元。 有消息称,航空发动机与燃气轮机重大专项未来投资力度或在3000亿元以上。航空发动机一旦列入国家重大科技专项,对航空发动机板块上市公司如航空动力、钢研高纳、中航动控等是重大利好。

人民日报-首个中央部委试水政务微信 借新媒体讲述“中国外交故事”(关注政务微信·网络问政新平台)China’s Foreign Ministry now has a WeChat account

 

HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN

Ex-President of Taiwan Attempts Suicide in Prison-NYTimes Mr. Chen, 62, tried to commit suicide with a towel in a shower in Taichung Prison, but he was treated quickly and did not appear to have any “significant condition,” the statement said. //same person who tried to “assassinate” him on the campaign trail behind this?

Why wealthy Chinese buy their insurance in Hong Kong | beyondbrics Why would mainlanders put insurance policies on their shopping lists? One reason is their desire to transfer capital overseas. Others are diversifying their asset allocation, avoiding a proposed estate tax and the fact that usually premiums are lower but returns higher in Hong Kong compared with mainland China. And, of course, Hong Kong’s health service is generally better.

 

TECH AND MEDIA

A Big Market – China’s Smartphone OEMs – DIGITS to DOLLARS We believe that the days of high margin hardware businesses are behind us. So we have been watching carefully as the China OEMs experiment with mobile services of one sort or another. Something may come of this. Or more likely, the China OEMs could serve as a vehicle for China’s Internet companies to become major global brands in their own right. Take Shenzhen-based Tencent as an example. Ranked by market cap, it is one of the five largest Internet companies in the world, but it is operates almost entirely within China only. Their QQ messaging service is ubiquitous in China, and serves as a major engagement engine for driving traffic to their games, ads and other revenue-generating properties. [Note: we own 100 shares of Tencent in our personal account.] We are probably not that far from the day when Tencent will start paying the China OEMs to bundle their messaging app for export. At heart, this is the same strategy Google is pursuing with Android, so why not Tencent, Baidu and Alibaba?

Wikipedia drops the ball on China – not too late to make amends | GreatFire.org What Wikipedia can do now is to resolve to a different IP address that is not interrupted by GFW (for example, 208.80.154.225) and more importantly switch HTTPS to default or enforce HTTPS. Such changes will only take minutes to implement and take effect. If those changes were made, Wikipedia would take the chance that the site would be fully blocked, however, based on the existing evidence, it’s more likely that GFW would leave Wikipedia alone. Wikipedia is now collecting user feedback on this block. But the situation is clear enough with our analysis and the feedback collected so far. They should act immediately rather than do nothing but observe the situation.

China’s Online Literature Behemoth – Economic Observer  Qidian (起点), China’s largest online literature site, is in the midst of a scandal after it was reported that its founder, Luo Li (罗立), was arrested for selling copyrighted material belonging to Qidian’s parent company Shanda Literature.  While Luo’s case could be yet another example of disrespect for intellectual property in China, Qidian has actually shown a viable online model that sells books at prices low enough to discourage piracy, while at the same time providing a respectable income opportunity for authors.

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

The China Beat · Thoughts on River Elegy, June 1988-June 2011

19省放开二胎生育年龄限制_政经频道_财新网 山东省近日取消了二十多年来对二胎生育年龄的限制,此前,上海、吉林、海南、新疆、湖南、浙江、湖北、山西、内蒙古、陕西、江西、贵州、甘肃、广东、安徽、广西、福建、江苏等18省(区、市)已不对生育间隔做出要求

京剧_央视网 The site for the 8 part CCTV documentary on Peking Opera, first episode online

[视频]纪录片《京剧》央视综合频道今首播_新闻频道_央视网 CCTV Evening News on the new 8 part documentary on peking opera// 这是中央电视台在2013年推出的第一部台重点立项的大型原创纪录片,八集纪录片《京剧》既反映出京剧200年的流变传承,又在其发展中折射出个人命运、家国兴衰和时代变迁。每集以京剧经典剧目命名并以此为主题,今晚播出的第一集《定军山-溯源》将讲述京剧从乡野唱到皇家殿堂的故事。该片还采用了大量的场景复原和戏剧化再现的电视手段,以及247人次的采访,使京剧200年的历史鲜活还原在观众眼前。

The Poseidon Project Film | The Film first screening last night in New york // In 1931, Britain’s most advanced submarine collided with a cargo ship off the coast of China and sank. Three hours later, six sailors surfaced, barely conscious. They were the first men ever to escape from a sunken submarine using a proto-scuba device. Their story hit headlines and went on to inspire a feature film. The miraculous escape changed marine safety forever. But their names, and their submarine, gradually sank into obscurity. Beijing-based scuba instructor Steven Schwankert was looking for nearby wrecks to dive when he found HMS Poseidon on a list of unexplored sites. His six-year search for the submarine started as a private obsession, but went on to challenge official accounts of the escape, and bring together the lost pieces of a story that touches on the history of Britain and China in the 1930s, the 1970s and the present day.

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH

Closer Look: Why Have Hunan Officials Not Explained ‘Cadmium Rice’ Problem? – Caixin It has been months since the issue came to light, but Hunan officials have stayed silent. Xinhua says it has been asking for an interview with provincial authorities since February, but their requests have been denied. This silence has, to some extent, exacerbated the panic. It is practically impossible for all of Hunan’s rice to be contaminated. Some researchers say 65 percent of the rice they tested had unacceptable levels of cadmium. Other researchers say their findings are in the 20 to 40 percent range.

Tougher penalties for environmental pollution: ministry – Xinhua A circular issued by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the National Development and Reform Commission and other concerned central departments, announced that a special campaign running from May to November will mainly deal with irregularities causing air pollution and ground water contamination, areas that have been the top subjects of public complaints. Surveillance will be enhanced on the coal-burning equipment of electric power plants and steel and cement factories, the circular said, adding that inspections will be stepped up on sewage discharge.

七部委联手查处企业违法向地下水排污_网易新闻中心 中新社北京6月3日电 中国环保部3日发布消息称,环保部、国家发改委、工信部、司法部等七部委,将于今年5月至11月间在中国全国范围内开展整治企业违法排污的环保专项行动,重点查处企业违法向地下水、大气排污,以及重有色金属、医药行业的污染。

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

Chinese travelers remain biggest overseas spenders |Society |chinadaily.com.cn Chinese are still spending more on shopping overseas than people from any other nation, with an average of $1,139 per trip despite the country’s super-rich travel less often, according to a report. The average spending per trip by Chinese travelers is 70 percent higher than the global average, according to the Hurun Report’s Chinese Luxury Traveler White Paper 2013.

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