"Sinocism is the Presidential Daily Brief for China hands"- Evan Osnos, New Yorker Correspondent and National Book Award Winner
Apologies for technical difficulties yesterday. If you do not receive the daily email first check your spam folder. If it is still not there please email me. When there are problems I also post on Twitter @niubi, and you can always visit the site directly.
Premier Wen Jiabao visited Zhejiang and declared that China is capable of fulfilling this year’s growth target. His appearance could be a sign that whatever leadership meetings may or may have been held in Beidaihe are now over, or on break.
Tensions are very high today between Japan and China. Japan arrested 14 Chinese activists over Diaoyu Islands issue, Beijing will lodge representations to Japan over nationals’ detention, two Japanese ministers visited the Yasukini shrine and Zhong Sheng criticized Japan’s incorrect historical view in People’s Daily–日本不端正历史观就难以自律. Reuters has a good roundup of all this in China demands Japan release activists over island protest. There is a heavy police presence around the Japanese embassy in Beijing and the situation could get much uglier.
Sina just reported earnings and those who are interested in the costs of “content management” for Weibo may find this disclosure interesting:
Operating expenses for the second quarter of 2012 totaled $69.8 million, compared to $59.7 million for the same period last year. Non-GAAP operating expenses for the second quarter of 2012 were $66.8 million, compared to $56.4 million for the same period last year. The increase in non-GAAP operating expenses was primarily due to increased personnel-related expenses and infrastructure-related spending, partially offset by a decrease in marketing expenditures. These changes were mostly related to Weibo.com.
Managing Weibo requires a lot of people, especially in 2012’s very sensitive environment.
Thanks for reading. The best way to see this daily post is to subscribe by email, especially if you are in China, as Sinocism is still blocked here. You can also follow me on @niubi or Sina Weibo @billbishop.
People’s Daily’s Zhong Shong on Japan’s incorrect view of history
- Chinese asset-backed issuance challenges lenders — Shanghai Daily
three Chinese local government infrastructure firms this month became the first batch to issue asset-backed notes (ABNs) in China following the National Association of Financial Market Institutional Investors releasing new guidance on August 3 that allows non-financial institutions to issue ABNs.
- Pollution causing glacier to melt even faster — Shanghai Daily
POLLUTION caused by humans is the second leading cause in the melting of a glacier in Xinjiang, experts say.
The No. 1 glacier in the Tianshan Mountains in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, has been retreating by more than four meters every year and its thickness has shrunk by more than 15 meters from 1958 to 2010, said Li Zhongqin, head of the Tianshan Mountains Glacier Observation Station under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
- Jing Daily: Separating Hype From Reality In China’s Auction Market
about the forbes blog post a couple of days ago about fraud in china’s art market. do people understand that Forbes allows just about anyone to publish on their platform now? Forbes may get a lot more traffic but they have really damaged their credibility with the abandonment of any pretense of editorial standards for the blogging platform//
- Postcard from Burma: An Orwellian Flashback : The New Yorker
- China’s Microbloggers Take On Re-Education Camps – Bloomberg
- SINA Reports Second Quarter 2012 Financial Results – Yahoo! Finance
- Sina, Tencent Q2 Earns Beat Analysts’ Expectations; NetEase Disappoints – Emerging Markets Daily – Barrons.com
wen jiabao visits netease
- Pfizer facing possible fines over bribery claim |Society |chinadaily.com.cn
medical industry so dirty in china, another tip of another dirty iceberg//
A lawyer in Beijing has called for the country’s top prosecution authority to investigate allegations of bribery involving pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, which has been found to have made improper payments to medical workers and regulators in eight countries, including China.
- Lawyers calling for reform of laojiao system |Politics |chinadaily.com.cn
Prominent lawyers are joining those now calling on China to reform its controversial laojiao system, or re-education through labor system, which allows suspects to be sentenced to forced labor without first undergoing a trial.
The system, which has been in operation for more than 50 years, again became the center of a fierce debate after it had been used to detain a mother who was appealing for justice in her daughter’s rape case.
Ten legal professionals sent an open letter to the government on Tuesday warning that the punishment can lead to abuses of power
- Heywood’s Friends Question Chinese Account of Murder – WSJ.com
Friends of Neil Heywood, the British businessman whose death in China triggered a political firestorm, have questioned Chinese prosecutors’ account of how and why he was killed—especially the claim that he threatened the safety of the son of ousted Communist Party official Bo Xilai.
- Tencent Profit Rises 32% on China Online Advertising, Games – Bloomberg
Net income climbed to 3.1 billion yuan ($487 million) from 2.35 billion yuan a year earlier, Tencent said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange yesterday. That compares with the 3.08 billion-yuan average of nine analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales rose 56 percent to 10.5 billion yuan.
- Rusal Beating Metal as Reserves Are Elusive: Commodities – Bloomberg
Aluminum company shares are poised to return more than the metal they make as financial contracts mask a glut by limiting supplies and raising costs for buyers.
- Love Limbo in Shanghai as Curbs Freeze Singles From Home Market – Bloomberg
lots of repressed, real demand for homes in China//
Tank Zhao is being forced to ditch tradition by taking a bride before buying a home as Shanghai bans unmarried non-locals like him from purchasing property…
“Real demand is very hard to restrain; you can try administrative measures, but demand from people is there,” said Albert Lau, Shanghai-based China head and managing director at London property broker Savills Plc. (SVS) “Pent-up demand will be released as soon as they see any positive signals, because people need to live under a roof and get married.”
- Japanese Ministers Visit to War Shrine Amid Tension With Asian Neighbors – NYTimes.com
TOKYO — Two Japanese cabinet members paid their respects at a Tokyo war shrine linked to Japan’s militaristic past on Wednesday. Their visits, the first by high-ranking officials in three years, coincided with a recent flare-up in tensions between Japan and its Asian neighbors over history and territory.
- Joseph Sternberg: China, the World’s Greater Fool? – WSJ.com
China’s admirers say the country is playing a long game. Car batteries are commercially useless today but will be critical one day. Nexen engineers will get that company’s projects to work and China will be there to learn from their solutions, and to exploit that know-how when conventional supplies become less reliable.
Maybe. But a very fine line separates such notions and the rationalization of the greater fool who, even if he knows something is worth less than he’s paying for it today, believes events beyond his control will eventually lead someone else to pay more for it tomorrow. China’s buying spree could be the making of an economic juggernaut. It could also be stocking the world’s greatest technological junkyard.
- Equipment Makers’ Bets on China Sour – WSJ.com
Construction equipment makers that pinned much of their hopes for sales growth on a Chinese rebound this year have been left high and dry.
- Could Diego Maradona Work as a Coach in China? – China Real Time Report – WSJ
With the new influx of aging foreign stars into China’s professional soccer league, the sport is sure to get more exciting on the field. And, as Chinese soccer fans learned Monday, it may soon get more of the off-the-field drama every modern soccer league needs.
- Breakingviews: Share price mystery clouds Focus Media buyout | Reuters
Going private may give Focus Media (FMCN.O) a break from accusations by a U.S. short-seller over the quality of its accounting. But the 8 percent jump of the Chinese group’s stock ahead of the $3.5 billion management buyout offer raises new questions. It comes uncomfortably soon after insider trading accusations around oil major CNOOC’s $15 billion bid for Canada’s Nexen, and may fuel concern that insider culture is too strong in China.
Shares in the New York-listed Focus rose by the most in the past six months on August 10, the last trading day before the offer was announced. Yet no obvious media leaks explain the surging interest in the company.
- China demands Japan release activists over island protest | Reuters
China demanded Japan immediately and unconditionally free 14 Chinese activists held over a protest landing on disputed islands on Wednesday, as tensions between Tokyo and its neighbors flared on the anniversary of the end of World War Two.
- China seeking to coax compromise in Syria: state paper | Reuters
- Chinese National Revival 62% Complete, Says State Scholar – China Digital Times (CDT)
A scholar has assured the wary public that his quantitative measurement of “Chinese national revival” is a mere “hobby,” not at all supported by government funds.
- Chinese basketball star confronts Africa’s poaching crisis – big picture | Environment | guardian.co.uk
Yao Ming inspects the corpse of an elephant in Namunyak, northern Kenya, as part of his conservation mission to document the poaching crisis in Africa
- It’s War: China’s Ecommerce Giants Draw Swords on Weibo | PandoDaily
Stop for a moment to consider the enormity of this instant Weibo war. These are three retail giants duking it out, with apparently spontaneous decisions on business matters that will materially affect their longterm health, or even existence. Could this ever happen on Twitter in the US? Can you imagine a scenario in which, say, Amazon tweets that it will undercut any price offered by Best Buy by 10 percent, and then, five minutes later, Best Buy turns around to say, actually, we’ll go 5 percent lower than whatever Amazon puts up?
- Chinese bad loans: reading the tea leaves | beyondbrics
A modest example on Wednesday of how hard it is to read the current condition of the Chinese economy, not least its banks.
“China Soured Loans Rise for Third Quarter as Economy Slows,” says Bloomberg in the headline on its report on the latest bad loans data from the China Banking Regulatory Commission. “China banks’ Q2 bad loans steady, capital adequacy up,” says Reuters in its headline on exactly the same numbers.
So, who’s right? Beyondbrics sides with Reuters on this occasion
- China needs to spend £5 trillion in 20 years as 200 million flock to cities – Telegraph
The ‘Blue Book of Cities in China’, released on Tuesday by the Chinese Academy of Social Science’s Institute for Urban and Environmental Studies, outlined the huge challenges facing the world’s most populous nation as mass migration continues at breakneck speed.
Combined with the estimated 200-300 million migrant workers who have already taken up partial residence in the cities, authorities needed to devise ways of successfully “urbanising” up to 500 million people, the report said.
- China Premier Wen Warns On Econ But Says Measures Working: TV | MNI
Premier Wen Jiabao warned that the difficulties facing the Chinese economy are set to last, though government measures to boost growth are having an impact.
Wen’s comments, which were broadcast by state television, follow the release of a disappointing set of July data last week which triggered calls for Beijing to ease policy further.
- Online retailers declare cut-throat price war – Xinhua | English.news.cn
Chinese retail giants on Wednesday started offering massive tit-for-tat discounts to jostle for a bigger share in the e-commerce market, in the sector’s latest cut-throat battle for buyers and survival.
- Anniversary of Japan’s WWII surrender marked – Xinhua | English.news.cn
- Japan urged to keep commitments after Yasukuni Shrine visits – Xinhua | English.news.cn
- China to lodge representations to Japan over nationals’ detention – Xinhua | English.news.cn
- Japan arrests all 14 Chinese activists over Diaoyu Islands issue – Xinhua | English.news.cn
- China capable of fulfilling year’s growth target: Premier – Xinhua | English.news.cn
Premier Wen Jiabao has said China is capable of meeting its economic and social development goals for the year despite domestic and external challenges.
During an inspection tour of eastern China’s Zhejiang province on Tuesday and Wednesday, Wen pointed to positive changes emerging in some sectors, and favorable conditions to maintain steady and relatively fast growth.
- Heading for the Exits in China – NYTimes.com
Tales from weary, wheezing expatriates might be written off by many Chinese as so much spoiled-Westerner whining. And the rants of a famously cranky artist might well be easily dismissed. But anecdotal evidence is evidence, too. (For some less subjective evidence on air quality, however, one need only consult the hourly readings from the monitoring station at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. The latest one is below.)
- China’s Paranoid Patriotism – The Dish | By Andrew Sullivan – The Daily Beast
think the “expats leaving China” meme that seems to sprouting in the media like bamboo shoots after a spring rain is overdone//
Kitto’s account of China’s insularity and paranoia resonates with the much-discussed This American Life episode in which New Yorker China correspondent Evan Osnos spoke with American expatriate rocker-journalist Kaiser Kuo, one of the founders of the most popular rock band in China in the 1990s, Tang Dynasty. In May 1999, after the US bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, Tang Dynasty was asked to perform in a “peace concert.” From the transcript of the broadcast, Kuo recalls:
- Why I’m leaving China | China Daily Show
So you’ve finally decided to break up with China. You’ll probably want to write a blog post or newspaper article about it, then.
Too busy packing? Here’s our handy delete-as-necessary CDS guide to posing that crucial ‘Dear Zhang’ piece!» So Long, And Thanks For All The Bullshit: Baron Christopher Devonshire-Ellis Exits China Beijing CreamSmooth-talking, charming Walter Mitty-type chancer needed to helm fictional company in China. English-speaking ability a must. No other qualifications necessary. Salary $$!
Chris Devonshire-Ellis is looking for a carbon copy of himself. How hard can that be in China? We wouldn’t worry too much for him, though, even if the perfect candidate fails to surface. After all, there’s always Digby Ross. We’re sure he needs a job.
- The Bogu Kailai Case：Underwritten by Privilege – Caixin Online
The conclusion of the trial of Bogu Kailai and Zhang Xiaojun exposed the true stronghold of Chongqing’s organized crime..
All this happened in Chongqing, where a campaign against the local mafia was touted as a major achievement in governance. It also happened in China, a country in which the constitution upholds the rule of law. What Bogu and her associates have proved is that they were the strongest criminal gang.
- 京剧夏令营欢乐闭营 中外小戏迷齐聚京剧院_社会_新民网
real estate developer yu jinyong detained for fraud
- Russian attack submarine sailed in Gulf of Mexico undetected for weeks, U.S. officials say | Washington Free Beacon
A Russian nuclear-powered attack submarine armed with long-range cruise missiles operated undetected in the Gulf of Mexico for several weeks and its travel in strategic U.S. waters was only confirmed after it left the region, the Washington Free Beacon has learned.
- Carlyle Buys Stake in Chinese Private Medical Company – Bloomberg
Carlyle Group LP (CG), the world’s second-largest private-equity firm, purchased a 13.5 percent stake in Meinian Onehealth (Group) Co., the biggest private medical check-up services company in China.
- 18th National Congress could be moved to September: Ming Pao｜Politics｜News｜WantChinaTimes.com
yes this rumor has been going around//
The Chinese Communist Party’s pivotal 18th National Congress could be moved forward to September and be concluded before the October 1 National Day holiday to demonstrate party unity and deflect suggestions of a delay on account of the Bo Xilai scandal, reports Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao.
Sources from Beijing told Ming Pao that the upcoming national congress — where China will herald in a new generation of leaders — could commence between September 20 and 25. The party has provided no indication furthern than that the congress is to be held in the second half of the year, although the current consensus of political commentators is that it is likely to start in October.
- China blames West for UN discord on Syrian civil war, repeats call for political solution – The Washington Post
The Communist Party’s People’s Daily repeated China’s position that the only solution to the Syrian crisis is a political one and criticized some Western countries’ open discussion of a no-fly zone as undermining a multilateral approach led by outgoing U.N. peace envoy Kofi Annan.
“This destroys the internal unity of the Security Council, causing the international community to be unable to reach consensus and for Annan’s mediation efforts to be unable to play a role,” the paper said in a commentary.
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