THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT
China regulates instant messaging services – Xinhua The regulation aims at promoting the healthy development of the fast-growing instant messaging sector and safeguarding national security and public interests, according to the State Internet Information Office (SIIO) which passed the new rule on Thursday. Targeting China’s 5.8 million public accounts on subscription-based mobile apps such as Tencent’s mobile text and voice messaging service WeChat, the new regulation will take immediate effect. Registrants of public accounts are obliged to register with real names and reviewed by service providers before being qualified to release information. “A few people are using the platforms to disseminate information related to terrorism, violence and pornography as well as slander and rumors,” said Jiang Jun, spokesman of the SIIO. “Such behaviors have raised bitter feelings among netizens.”..Similar regulations were passed for China’s microblogging service Sina Weibo in 2012. The Twitter-like service currently has more than 500 million registered users.// the new regulations: 授权发布：
Related: China Cracks Down on Messaging Apps – WSJ New public accounts must register using real names and sign an agreement that they will “abide by laws and regulations, the socialist system, national interests, the legitimate rights and interests of citizens, public order, social morality and ensure the authenticity of the information they provide.” The rules also said that only news organizations and authorized websites will be allowed to post or share political news. Accounts that violate the rules can be warned, restricted from posting content or removed.//No surprise, Wechat is where most of the action is now and, unlike with Weibo, the government has yet to seize its commanding heights. There is a lot of continuity between Internet management under Xi Jinping and the previous administration, although, as with many things, Xi is pushing harder and further than his predecessors did and has consolidated the regulatory powers under the Internet Security and Informatization Leading Group, with Lu Wei and SIIO taking point. This is something I wrote last September during the Weibo BigV crackdown, pointing out the consistency with the publicly released decision from the 6th plenum of the 17th party congress in October 2011. Beijing has been working for years on harnessing the Internet for its economic potential while mitigating the risks to the Party-State’s control. So far they have succeeded far more than most ever expected in building an Internet with Chinese Characteristics
Related: China tells South Korea it blocked KakaoTalk, Line to fight terrorism hinese authorities say they have blocked messaging apps KakaoTalk and Line as part of efforts to fight terrorism, South Korea said on Thursday, the first official explanation of service disruptions in China that began a month ago. South Korea’s Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning said China had confirmed it had blocked “some foreign messaging applications through which terrorism-related information” was circulating. It named the other blocked apps as Didi, Talk Box and Vower.
Multinationals fret as China’s antimonopoly probes intensify – FT.com could be motivated by anti-foreign sentiment, could be bureaucratic wrangling. no one seems to know…grim regardless of the reasons behind it // “As the current administrative reforms deepen, the NDRC fears it might lose the power to carry out anti-monopoly investigations so it is pushing these high-profile investigations of foreign companies,” says Liu Xu, a researcher at the intellectual property and competition law research centre of Tongji University in Shanghai. Mr Liu points out that the NDRC has also investigated quite a few domestic companies but does not publicise those cases, which are often resolved by negotiation between the NDRC and agencies or powerful party leaders with close ties to the targeted companies. In this context, foreign companies are easier and more effective scapegoats since they usually do not have Communist Party elders to protect them and punishing them can have a powerful deterrent effect on entire sectors.
Related: China’s anti-trust storm is set to intensify – beyondbrics – Blogs – FT.com “There’s a growing storm,” says Mark Jephcott, head of Asian competition practice at Herbert Smith Freehills. “Investigations are often ongoing, but they tend to hit the zeitgeist around the anniversary [of China’s anti-monopoly law].” As the size, coordination, and publicity of anti-trust probes mounts, there are increasing concerns about regulatory bodies’ selection of cases and their underlying motivations.
Related: China’s NDRC Said to Have Queried Toyota on Practices – Bloomberg China’s National Development and Reform Commission, which is conducting an antitrust probe into the auto industry, has asked Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) about its business practices, two people familiar with the matter said. It’s unclear whether the inquiries are part of an antitrust investigation by the regulator, the people said, asking not to be named because the information is private.
China’s property woes have further to run – survey – beyondbrics – Blogs – FT.com China’s property market – seen by some as the biggest risk facing the global economy – appears to be weakening across the board as construction activity cools, land sales slow, apartment sales slide, unsold inventory rises, financing grows tighter and the sentiment of developers slumps markedly, according to a quarterly survey conducted by Standard Chartered Bank. “Our Developers Sentiment Index suggests that the worst times are still ahead for many developers,”
Related: More Chinese cities relax property rules in policy shift-Reuters More than half of China’s cities have relaxed property controls and analysts say more are expected to follow, suggesting the central government is easing its grip on the sector as the cooling housing market poses a growing threat to the economy. Foshan, a southern city in Guangdong Province, relaxed restrictions on Thursday that limited the number of homes that residents can buy, the government said on its Weibo microblog. With Foshan’s move, at least 28 regional governments in small- to mid-sized Chinese cities have openly or quietly relaxed home purchase restrictions this year, data from private property consultancies showed.
Related: 佛山、长沙放开限购 未松绑城市仅剩14个_公司频道_财新网 Foshan and Changsha relax housing purchase restrictions, Caixin says only 14 cities now fully implementing the HPRs // 昨晚，佛山市外宣办官方微信“佛山荟”
Related: 北京两区房管局：未收到放松限购通知 限购审批操作不变 _市场_地产频道首页_财经网 rumors that Beijing to end housing purchase restrictions on properties larger than 140m
地方版“微刺激”或超6万亿 资金来源是项目落实的最大挑战 Economic Information says there may be 6 Trillion RMB in mooted local government investment stimuli, but some projects having a challenge finding financing// 在经济下行压力仍大的现实面前，
China police investigate U.S. citizen in city on border with N.Korea – source A Korean-American who runs a Christian NGO in a Chinese city on the border with North Korea is being investigated by Chinese authorities and has had his bank accounts frozen, a source with direct knowledge of the case told Reuters on Thursday. Peter Hahn, a naturalised U.S. citizen, has been under interrogation by Chinese authorities for the last three weeks and is not permitted to leave the country, said the source, who requested anonymity, citing the sensitive nature of the case. The source did not know what had prompted the investigation. But several people working in the region or in contact with those that do said it appeared to be part of a wider sweep of Christian-run NGOs and businesses along the Chinese side of the border with North Korea.
Why Christ, Mao And The Buddha Are Making A Comeback In China The dominant political narrative in China today is one of resounding triumph: targets for economic growth achieved, rival countries overtaken, an Olympics successfully hosted. Yet in the telling of a philosophy professor at a prominent Shanghai university, many of these supposed victories have proven hollow for the Chinese people. “On the surface we’ve achieved the goals, but no one is happy,” the professor, who goes by the English name Luke, told The WorldPost. “There’s no love, no hope. For more than 100 years we Chinese have been trying to catch up with Western countries. We want science, technology and military power. But the most important thing is the soul of the culture. The mind is based on the soul, and we’ve lost our souls.”
Related: China will create own Christian belief system amid tensions with church, says official | South China Morning Post China will construct a “Chinese Christian theology” suitable for the country, state media reported on Thursday, as both the number of believers and tensions with the authorities are on the rise. China has between 23 million and 40 million Protestants, accounting for 1.7 to 2.9 per cent of the total population, the state-run China Daily said, citing figures given at a seminar in Shanghai.
Related: Dispatches From Xinjiang: The Rise Of Buddhism In The Far West | Beijing Cream The anthropologist Sara Davis argues that giant Buddhas built by Chinese businessmen in the borderlands between Yunnan and Myanmar serve as signals to investors, marking a space as safe and fertile for capitalist success. In Xinjiang, Buddhas do the same – they lay claims to territory and announce the priorities of the state. In a province where it is nearly impossible to build new mosques, giant Buddhas are being given pride of place in prominent public spaces.
Giant coal mine in violation of laws uncovered at the source of China’s mother river | Greenpeace East Asia The headquarters of the Muli opencast coal mine owned by the Kingho Group is located between the huge mounds of opencast mine and the Qilian Mountains. The picture was taken on 20th June, 2014. The sprawling mining operation, covering an area 14 times larger than the City of London at an altitude of over 4,000m, has been documented in detail for the first time in a series of striking pictures taken by undercover campaigners from Greenpeace’s Beijing office.
Related: 青海砍掉5%保护区让位采矿 国家生态功能区告急_网易新闻中心 木里所在的天峻县河网密布，
China finds shale gas challenging, halves 2020 output target | Reuters China has halved the quantum of shale gas it expects to produce by 2020 after early exploration efforts to unlock the unconventional fuel proved challenging, according to an industry website and a government source. China, believed to hold the world’s largest technically recoverable shale resources, is hoping to replicate the shale boom that has transformed the energy landscape of the United States. About four years of early evaluations and drilling have so far yielded one large find – Fuling field – in the most prospective gas province of southwest Sichuan, but experts say the Fuling success is hard to repeat due to complex geology and high cost of production.
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE
内地多个城市出现“弃房断供” 业主称无力还款-财经频道-新华网 no data yet but increasing anecdotes of homeowners in some cities giving up their properties, no longer paying their mortages
Apple May Not Have Applied to Be on Gov’t Buying List, Industry Source Says – Caixin Foreign media reports say U.S. tech giant was banned over security reasons, but source close to Ministry of Finance says company might not have provided paperwork
China to Form Two Rare Earth Metals Conglomerates – Caixin A subsidiary of Baogang Group and Xiamen Tungsten say they have permission to lead the formation of the groups
China probes death of customs official from scandal-hit port – FT.com A senior Chinese customs official at a port embroiled in a metals financing scandal has died of “unnatural” causes, state media have reported. Police are investigating the death of Qingdao Customs deputy commissioner Bian Peiquan, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday, citing Qingdao Customs.
POLITICS AND LAW
专家：习近平反腐最终目标—打垮太上皇架构 very interesting from Li Weidong on Xi and the corruption crackdown //
Three battles for Beijing following Zhou Yongkang’s fall｜WantChinaTimes.com Taking down retired political heavyweight Zhou Yongkang for corruption marks the first major victory for China’s new generation of leaders under Xi Jinping, but there are still three more battles to be fought over the next decade, according to a commentary in the Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily. // so far can only find it online, not in the paper 人民日报客户端文章：周永康后中国还有“三大战役”
Death Sentences in Chinese Gangland Case Upheld – China Real Time Report – WSJ A Chinese appeals court on Thursday upheld a death sentence for former mining tycoon Liu Han and a clutch of associates convicted earlier this year in a sensational gangland crime case. Mr. Liu, a onetime billionaire who controlled privately held conglomerate Sichuan Hanlong Group, was sentenced in May along with his brother and more than 30 other associates for running a mafia-style gang that used murder, extortion and bid-rigging to enrich themselves to pay for luxurious lifestyles. In Thursday’s decision, the Hubei Provincial Higher People’s Court said it upheld the lower court’s death sentences for some of the accused and lengthy jail terms for others.
Chinese President stresses better transport for Tibet – Xinhua Marking the 60th anniversary of the opening of the Sichuan-Tibet and Qinghai-Tibet highways, Xi called the projects a miracle in road history. “The two highways have played a vital role in Tibet’s social system, economic and social development, as well as consolidating the southwest frontiers and promoting national unity,” noted Xi in a written comment, which was made public on Wednesday. The two roads, stretching 4,360 kilometers in total, were build in extremely harsh conditions with many technical challenges, Xi said, calling for authorities to keep true to that same spirit and inject more vitality to the transport system in Tibet. In past decades, the government has spent relentlessly on highways in Tibet, investing 9.7 billion yuan (1.6 billion U.S. dollars). By the end of 2013, there were 48,678 kilometers of highway in Tibet. In a guideline released last month, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) said highways in the autonomous region would reach 110,000 kilometers by 2020.
A Weibo Spat Hints at the Battle Brewing Over Journalism’s Future in China · Global Voices The appointment in July of Lin Zhibo as dean of journalism school at Lanzhou University in northwest China, however, has touched off an unusual online squabble pitting the country’s leftist nationalists against liberals pressing for more media freedom. And for the first time, a social media buzz has been generated around the steersman of a journalism school, a role that was previously spared much scrutiny. Lin was trained as a historian and worked as an editor at an obscure magazine before joining the People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s mouthpiece newspaper. He was responsible for the scriptwriting of a number of TV series devoted to China’s civil war when the Communist Party was battling for power.
Prominent Rights Lawyer Is Freed From Chinese Prison, His Brother Says – NYTimes.com One of China’s most famous dissident lawyers, Gao Zhisheng, was released from prison on Thursday, his brother said. But it remained unclear how much freedom Mr. Gao would enjoy and whether he would be able to reunite with his exiled wife and children eight years after he disappeared into a shroud of repeated detention and, he has said, torture.
錢鋼語象報告：「敵對勢力」從哪裡來？-風傳媒 Qian Gang on the history of the use of the term “hostile forces” in People’s Daily
“每月e题”:严防公款送月饼节礼等”四风”反弹 请您来当监督员——新闻头条——中央纪委监察部网站 CCDI website issue call for citizens to help prevent mooncake gifting and the four bad styles from rebounding at upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival..CCDI website quite a good one, far better than your average government site // 纠风之难，难在防止反弹。去年中秋，
湖北孝感人大两副主任被查 主任上月已跳楼身亡_新闻_腾讯网 2 NPC deputies in Xiaogan, Hubei detained. Their boss jumped to his death last month
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS
China-Thailand High-Speed Rail Project Back On Track | Asia Business News According to Geoff Wade of the College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University, a new high-speed rail network could have profound effects on the economy of S.E. Asia. He writes “when the people of the mainland countries soon find, through the convenience of HSR [high-speed railways], that Kunming is their ‘closest neighbor’ but a few hours away, the Yunnan capital will gradually emerge as the hub of the Greater Mekong Region and will eventually become, in effect, the capital of mainland Southeast Asia.
China General visited disputed region – The Hindu: Mobile Edition General Xu Qiliang, who is one of two Vice-Chairmen of the Central Military Commission (CMC) headed by President Xi Jinping — the highest-ranking position in the Chinese Army — made the visit last month to inspect frontier troops in Xinjiang and Tibet, including in the Aksai Chin region claimed by India. Significantly, General Xu also visited a frontier defence company which, sources said, may have been linked with the three week-long stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops in Depsang, in eastern Ladakh, in April last year.
China’s propaganda war over a bowl of muddy water noodles | Offbeat China As death toll in earthquake-hit Yunnan province rises over 500, pictures of rescue teams from the People’s Liberation Army eating instant noodles cooked with muddy water during break went viral. But did or did not China’s soldiers have instant noodles cooked with muddy water? The question, absurd as it may seem, has been the focus of much disaster reporting in the past two days, and has ignited a war between China’s state media.
China says Japan fighter jets shadowed its planes over disputed waters | Reuters China took “necessary measures” when numerous Japanese planes entered its East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone during China’s routine air patrols on Wednesday to safeguard “order and security”, the Ministry said on its website. “Japanese F-15 fighter jets twice attempted to shadow Chinese patrol planes. China’s air force took reasonable, fair and restrained measures to respond to the threat,” the Ministry said, citing air force spokesman Colonel Shen Jinke.
China Lighthouse Plan Likely to Raise Tensions in Disputed Sea – NYTimes.com China is planning to build lighthouses on five islands in the South China Sea, the official China News Agency reported on Thursday, in what would be Beijing’s latest rebuttal of criticisms of its construction projects in the disputed waters. The article quoted an official from the Maritime Safety Administration, Yang Qing, as saying that possible construction sites on five of the Paracel Islands had already been selected and that surveying had begun on July 27.
Lighthouses of the Spratly Islands The Vietnamese now occupy more than 20 islands, and they have built substantial lighthouses on at least nine of them. Taiwan, Malaysia, and the Philippines also operate one or more lights in the islands. These lights do have navigational value, but they are also intended as assertions of sovereignty, even though international tribunals have ruled several times that building a lighthouse does not establish ownership of an island. The Lighthouse Directory does not support any side in the disputes over this area. The only purpose of this page is to describe the lighthouses of the islands; they are grouped by the countries that operate them.
Hospital to be built on Spratly Archipelago — Vietnam Breaking News On July 21st, the People’s Committee of the central province of Khanh Hoa said that it had adopted an investment plan to build the Spratly Hospital in the Spratly Islands district during the 2014-2015 period. This is part of a project by the province to develop the islands medical systems by 2020.//so they all seem to be building stuff
HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN
Wynn Leads Casino Decline on Slowing Mass Market Growth – Bloomberg Macau’s July monthly casino revenue breakdown, released late yesterday, showed the mass market growing 17 percent from a year ago, “the lowest result since we started tracking the data in 2010,” Cameron McKnight, a U.S.-based analyst at Wells Fargo & Co., wrote in a note today. The sector had risen by 27 percent in June, according to Barclays Plc analyst Phoebe Tse.
TECH AND MEDIA
Summertime Silicon Valley Is Party Town for Chinese Investors | Re/code Usually, the annual HYSTA (Hua Yuan Science and Technology Association, the largest professional group for Chinese in Silicon Valley) dinners are small affairs held in the fall, when investors are in the Bay Area for work. But as the flood of Chinese investment in the Valley has grown, the community here has gotten large enough to need its own summer fête. “Silicon Valley in the summer is a party town for China-U.S. frequent flyers,” HYSTA organizer Maggie Xiao wrote me. “Our first Summer Summit is the result of such a trend.”
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY
Li Na’s withdrawal shows switch in priorities | China Sports Insider While announcing on her Facebook page that she will miss the tournaments in Montreal and Cincinnati, as well as the Grand Slam event in New York, Li also wrote that she is looking forward to getting back on the court in Wuhan and Beijing. Wuhan, of course, is the brand-new WTA Premier event in her hometown in late September, and, as the face of this new tournament, Li knows she has to do whatever it takes to play there. That, it seems, has become more important to her than winning another Grand Slam or earning the No.1 ranking
21 Guilty in Mine Shaft Murders Echoing Chinese Film – NYTimes.com Twenty-one people have been convicted by a court in Hebei Province in connection with the murder of four miners in a scam to collect compensation money. The killings followed the plot of the 2003 Chinese film “Blind Shaft,” in which con men kill workers and then claim to be family members to extort mine owners. In the decade since the film came out, there have been a handful of similar incidents in China, and the brutal schemes have come to be known as “Blind Shaft cases.”
Meet China’s Boomerang Kids: One-Third of Graduates Still Rely on Parents, Survey Says – China Real Time Report – WSJ According to a new survey conducted by Peking University, more than one-third of recent Chinese graduates continue to live off their parents. A still-greater number are failing to save any money, the survey found, with 40% reporting that they live paycheck to paycheck. The survey, which covered some 350,000 respondents, found that students graduating nationwide this year had an average monthly salary of 2,443 yuan ($396) — approximately enough to buy half of an iPhone in China, as the Beijing Youth Daily put it. The figure marked an increase of 324 yuan from the previous year. In big cities such as Beijing, figures were slightly higher, with recent graduates commanding an average starting salary of 3,019 yuan.
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH
China Add Australia-Sized Solar Capacity in Energy Push – Bloomberg China added 3.3 gigawatts of solar capacity in the six months ended June 30, double last year’s additions, the National Energy Administration said today in a statement. China now has 23 gigawatts of solar power supply, almost seven times as much as Australia, which is described by its own government as the world’s highest recipient of radiation per square meter.
COLUMN-China’s pollution control yields wrong question on coal cuts: Russell | Reuters The problem for the global coal industry is that the country on which it is counting for much of the growth in demand is now actively looking to curb use of the fuel. Questions are asked as to whether this time the Chinese authorities are serious about limiting coal consumption, as past efforts have stumbled on the altar of economic growth. Given the weight of social pressure on the ruling Communist Party to do something about pollution, it seems that the answer is most likely, yes, this time they are serious. But for the international coal industry, concerned about the future of exports to China, the correct question is not by how much China will limit coal consumption, but how much of the fuel it will allow to be mined domestically.