China Readings for April 3rd

"Sinocism is the Presidential Daily Brief for China hands"- Evan Osnos, New Yorker Correspondent and National Book Award Winner

  • China Fake IDs: Homeland Security TSA Screenings May Not Catch Counterfeit Identification– Whether you’re a teenager looking to score booze or a terrorist trying to board a domestic flight, Chinese fake IDs may be just the solution for you, according to an investigation by The Daily.A video released by The Daily on Monday shows the ease of ordering nearly flawless false identification through a Chinese company’s website; journalist Josh Bernstein orders two fake IDS from the state of Connecticut and two from British Columbia, Canada, all with the requisite holograms and distinctive marks.
  • Another Chinese heist? | China Accounting Blog | Paul Gillis– As audit season moves to New York, we have our first victim. ChinaCast Education (NASDAQ:CAST) filed a Form NT 10K on March 16 indicating it would not be filing its Form 10K for 2011 on time. On March 27 NASDAQ wrote the company telling the company to give them a plan to get back in compliance by April 10 or face delisting. ChinaCast has been having some problems. A proxy fight in January led to the board removing the Chairman, Ron Chan. At the same time the company was dealing with SEC inquiries that led to restatement of its financial statements for 2010. The auditor is Deloitte.Today. the company reports that it is unable to resume normal operations because Chan has taken the chops, business licenses, and accounting records of its Chinese subsidiaries. The company says Chan showed up at the office trying to assert control. We have seen this movie before – Gigamedia. ChinaCast also has a VIE, which is owned by three employees not including Chan. Will Chan be able to seize control of the VIE as well?  ChinaCast’s VIE had 24% of its revenue in 2010.
  • Addressing U.S. China Strategic MIstrust-Brookings – PDF
  • KMT denies ex-US official’s claims – Taipei Times – In response to charges that the Ma administration lacks a US policy, a KMT spokesperson said US-Taiwan ties were at their best in 60 years
  • Addressing U.S.-China Strategic Distrust – Brookings Institution – Kenneth G. Lieberthal, Director, John L. Thornton China Center
    Wang Jisi, Director, Center for International and Strategic Studies and Dean of the School of International Studies, Peking University
  • Chinese Insider Offers Rare Glimpse of U.S.-China Frictions – – BO’AO, China — The senior leadership of the Chinese government increasingly views the competition between the United States and China as a zero-sum game, with China the likely long-range winner if the American economy and domestic political system continue to stumble, according to an influential Chinese policy analyst.
    China views the United States as a declining power, but at the same time believes that Washington is trying to fight back to undermine, and even disrupt, the economic and military growth that point to China’s becoming the world’s most powerful country, according to the analyst, Wang Jisi, the co-author of “Addressing U.S.-China Strategic Distrust,” a monograph published this week by the Brookings Institution in Washington and the Institute for International and Strategic Studies at Peking University.。。
  • China’s Path Competitors Set to Arrive en Masse– Path founder Dave Morin recently revealed that the popular mobile social networking service is “internationalizing” following growing overseas demand, but its competition in China is already forming.Speaking at a recent Pando Daily event, Morin revealed that Asia is Path’s fastest growing region and China is a key part of that, with more than 500 million Internet users and growing smartphone adoption within its 1 billion mobile phone market. However, a number of leading Chinese Web firms are looking to get in early and challenge Path before it makes a concerted effort in the country.

    Tencent and Kaixin001 are two influential firms that are planning homespun alternatives to social network app, according to sources cited by Technode.

  • Slamming the door on the Big Four | China Accounting Blog | Paul Gillis– The third problem was joint venture accounting firms. China allowed the then Big Six to form joint venture accounting firms in 1992. Three second-tier firms were later allowed to form joint ventures, but all of those ventures failed because of conflicts between the partners. PwC formed a new joint venture in 1997 at the time of the merger of PW and C&L. Since then, no joint venture firms have been allowed. The existing joint ventures were allowed to continue because of a special provision in China’s WTO accession. Three of the JV’s expire this year, having used up their 20-year lives, with PwC getting an extra five years. This legislation slams the door on any hope the firms had of extending the joint ventures. They will be required to restructure into limited partnerships owned by Chinese CPAs – and fast. China has graciously said it will follow its WTO commitments, which expire as the joint ventures expire.The changes will bring China in line with international practice. I am not aware of any other jurisdiction that allows unlicensed persons to own a CPA firm. This will bring pain to many Big Four partners, who must obtain a Chinese CPA license or lose their right to ownership.
  • Eric X. Li: Bo Xilai and China’s Future– On the eve of Bo’s removal, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao spoke to reporters at the end of the National People’s Congress. With the mentioning of Cultural Revolution and political reform, his words stirred up sensational eruptions in international newspapers and online forums. But of course, such speculation is widely off the mark. Any sensible person could see that, under the current political structure and social conditions, it is nearly impossible for China to return to the Cultural Revolution. The Prime Minister’s reference to it actually reflects a widely shared fear of chaos resulting from a potential subversion of the current system. The Chinese term is zheteng — ideological struggles that risk overturning the ship. As to political reform, the Prime Minister said nothing of the sort. He pointedly said “political structural reform”. The word structural, in the lexicon of Chinese politics, means reforms that make the current system work better, not fundamentally changing it.In this highly political season, an unexpected political drama has intensified an ideological confrontation between two extreme ends of China’s political spectrum. Their voices are loud. Will their tempest be allowed to disrupt China’s path? If so, catastrophic consequences would ensue: another Cultural Revolution could indeed be possible with disastrous chaos worse than those that befell post-Soviet Russia. In such a scenario China, instead of being the growth engine of the world, will become its greatest burden. But this needs not be. In all likelihood, talks of a pending political implosion in Beijing are greatly exaggerated. The quiet and steady currents of China’s mainstream, along with the common sense of its leadership, will almost certainly continue to guide China on its path of pragmatism and moderation. The tide of history favors the large center. And the tide of history shall prevail.
  • China’s Navigation in Space: What New Approaches will China’s Space Tracking Take? | Andrew S. Erickson– The People’s Republic of China’s “Long View” space-tracking and telemetry system enhances space situational awareness and operations while offering military potential. Yet this sea-based approach suffers from inherent dependencies and liabilities. The program appears at a crossroads, with the development of additional overseas ground stations a tempting alternative. How Beijing proceeds will shape its capabilities critically; the United States should monitor related developments closely.China relies on space-event support ships far more than does any other power today—its fleet is rivaled only by that of the United States. But in contrast to the United States, Russia, and other modern global military powers, a regionally focused China has no overseas military bases and only limited space and domestic ground-based assets on which to rely. The country’s Yuanwang (Long View) ships fill this void by performing a variety of useful roles in peacetime, including monitoring and tracking space vehicles such as rockets, spacecraft, and missiles; as well as communicating and coordinating with ground assets.
  • Chinese billionaire linked to Bo Xilai detained – Telegraph – Xu Ming, 41, is thought to have paid for Mr Bo’s son, Bo Guagua, to study at Harrow, Oxford and now Harvard, according to a report in the Shin Min Daily News, a Chinese overseas newspaper based in Malaysia.
    It was not possible to verify the claim independently and Mr Bo said on March 9 that his son had won full scholarships to study overseas, without giving further details.
    Mr Xu was China’s eighth richest man in 2005, according to Forbes, and one of its youngest billionaires, with a fortune of approximately £1.3 billion. His company, the Dalian Shide group, is a conglomerate that manufactures building materials, cars, and plastics.
    It also sells insurance, makes wide-ranging investments, and owns a football club, Dalian Shide, which has won the Chinese league eight times.
    However, the Economy and Nation Weekly, a magazine affliated to Xinhua, the Chinese state news agency, reported that Mr Xu was put under arrest on March 15, for economic crimes.
  • Infiltration: Spelunker’s Three Expeditions into North Korea from Dandong « SINO-NK – DISCLAIMER: We here at do not recommend nor do we engage in illegal cross-border travel between China and North Korea. For readers interested in traveling to North Korea (including Rason), we suggest Koryo Tours, a legally authorized and extremely efficient travel agency.  However, because we believe the border region to be an important area of study, and because Spelunker, while anonymous, has been credible over the years in his online analysis of events and locations on the border, we have decided to publish Spelunker’s chronicle of his independent forays into the DPRK via Dandong, China.  – Adam Cathcart, Editor-in-Chief
  • Political Rumors Spur Online Crackdown in China | Global Spin |– As a result, it can take time before propaganda authorities and the Internet outlets they regulate clamp down on sensitive discussions. “One possibility is that because of this discord, in the top of the propaganda system a lot of people didn’t know what to do,” says Bill Bishop, a Beijing-based independent analyst who closely follows the Chinese Internet. “If you don’t know what to do, sometimes you do nothing. Maybe people were being careful.”The Weibo rumors flourished during a period when microblog companies were supposed to be implementing a system of real-name registration, which was seen as a tool for clamping down on online rumor-mongering and the discussion of sensitive political topics. But the registration, at least in its initial phase, was rather lax, with many users told that the phone numbers they used to originally register their accounts satisfied their identification requirement. Given the free-flowing discussion on Weibo last month, authorities will likely move to enforce more stringent real-name registration requirements, says Bishop. That’s a reflection of one truth that has clearly emerged amid the torrent of Weibo rumors: microblogs have become one of the most important outlets for communication in China. “There is a realization that Weibo is as powerful a medium as [state-run China Central Television] or daily print media,” says Bishop. “It is a polical tool and has been used as such over the past few weeks.”
  • McDonald’s Not So ‘Sunshine’ About Film From China Shoot | Global News – Advertising Age– McDonald’s and TBWA have disavowed any involvement in a short film chronicling a jaded adman’s experiences making commercials in China.”Sunshine” follows American freelance producer John Benet as he works for TBWA on a McDonald’s campaign in China. The film was directed by Doug Nichol of Partizan, who was also the director of the ad campaign. It has left the industry buzzing for its nuanced and insightful portrayal of the advertising profession. At one point, Mr. Benet voices frustrations common to the industry, wondering aloud whether he’s squandering his creative talents on crass commercialism. At another, he discusses the luxuries, travel and unique experiences afforded by the job.
  • “Sunshine” – A Short Film About An American Ad Man In China – Advertising @ chinaSMACK – A new short film by Doug Nichol titled ‘Sunshine‘ follows American advertising producer, John Benet, as he heads to the PRC to film a new TV Commercial for McDonald’s whilst simultaneously going on a personal journey where he learns about the Chinese way of doing things.
  • Insight: China wrestles Mao’s ghost after official’s divisive fall | Reuters– On the Chinese Internet, the Utopia group and other ardently Maoist websites have spread documents claiming to prove that Bo’s downfall was engineered by the United States. One widely spread account says the downfall was instigated by former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, seeking to cripple Bo’s chances of joining the top leadership.”The core message of this report was that if the Chongqing model spread across China, then it would threaten the United States’ strategic interests,” Fan said of that report, which he said was believable, if not conclusively proven.

    A spokesman for the U.S. embassy in Beijing, Richard Buangan, told Reuters such conspiracy ideas were “ridiculous”.

    Even if most Chinese would not accept the idea of a Western plot to remove Bo, many believe he was removed by political foes and that his reddish policies were now in jeopardy.

  • Personal liability for a failed China WFOE
  • Control, with apologies to “users and friends” – China Media Project– The Tencent announcement suggests this was a decision undertaken by the service itself, but this is undoubtedly an action taken by the central leadership through the agency of the State Internet Information Office (国家互联网信息办公室).The catalyzing incident seems to have been rumors on and after March 20 of a coup attempt in Beijing, but the campaign against “rumors”, which has intensified since August 2011, in fact signals a broader tightening of China’s stance on social media.

    We won’t repeat our past arguments here about the bogus nature of the anti-rumor campaign, and its feigned interest in truth and accuracy when in fact the underlying principal is the political control of information. Here are seven different CMP pieces dealing with “rumors”, press control policies and social media since August last year:

  • A Visit From Li Changchun | Magic Dumpling Entertainment– Li Changchun, Propaganda Chief of the Communist Party of China, paid a visit to Magic Dumpling President Kevin Geiger’s “Animation Creative Development Seminar” during a visit to the Beijing Film Academy on the afternoon of September 5th, 2011.Mr. Li, who is the 5th ranked member of China’s Politboro Standing Committee, commended Mr. Geiger on his receipt of the 2011 Beijing Great Wall Friendship Award and expressed his appreciation of Geiger’s collaborative efforts with Beijing Film Academy Animation School Dean Sun Lijun to combine Hollywood development principles & production  techniques with Chinese cultural content.
  • About | Magic Dumpling Entertainment
  • With ‘Tofu Boy,’ Chinese Animators Chase a Character of Their Own – Scene Asia – WSJ– no mention of sun lijun’s participation in jingoistic campaign against kungfu panda 2//“We’re creating Chinese-themed content with international resonance,” says Kevin Geiger, a Walt Disney Animation veteran who now heads a Beijing-based start-up studio, Magic Dumpling Entertainment. “Tofu Boy” is “inspired by but not based on” the Pinocchio story, he says. “A good little boy who’s a bit mischievous is something every parent in the world can relate to.”

    He and his partners, director Sun Lijun, scriptwriter Yan Yi and chief creative officer Feng Wen, began work on “Tofu Boy” in 2009 and now share digital sketches on their iPads with coffee-shop patrons, solicit plot feedback from neighborhood kids, and grill distributors who claim to know local moviegoers best.

    “We’re trying to give Chinese audiences a sense of ownership,” Mr. Geiger says. “They’re so tired of period pieces, but people are reluctant to do something modern because it sometimes bumps up against the censors. It’s safer to do something set in the past. But Pixar tells movies about now. ‘Toy Story’ is set today.‘Wall-E’ is set in the future. Why can’t Chinese animation be the same? If we can create content that Chinese feel they own, but that also has an international-quality story and design, then it can do well overseas.”

    First it must resonate with Chinese audiences. Mr. Sun, the head of the animation department at the Beijing Film Academy and director of the animated movie “Legend of a Rabbit,” helped play up Tofu Boy’s culturally Chinese aspects.

  • Executive reportedly held over links to Bo Xilai | – A top businessman from Dalian with close ties to Chongqing’s embattled former Communist Party boss Bo Xilai failed to show up for an important economic forum in Hainan, prompting speculation that he has been detained.
    Xu Ming, chairman of privately owned chemical firm Dalian Shide Group, had cancelled his planned trip to the island province to attend the annual Boao Forum for Asia, which opened yesterday, according to a Phoenix TV report.The Beijing-based Economy and Nation Weekly magazine, affiliated with Xinhua, on Saturday quoted two separate unnamed sources as saying Xu, 41, had been placed under control by an unspecified department since the night of March 15 for alleged involvement in “economic cases”, a common euphemism for corruption.

    One of the sources, from Dalian, told the magazine that graft-busters from the Central Commission for Disciplinary Inspection had been stationed in the port city for several days and that Xu had been detained, adding that the corruption watchdog had also detained another person.

    It remained unclear whether Xu’s reported disappearance had anything to do with the dismissal of Bo as Chongqing municipal party secretary on March 15, although Xu was said to be a close friend of Bo. Their friendship reportedly stretched to the early 1990s, when Bo was a rising political star prominent in the overseeing of Dalian.

    Malaysia-based Shin Min Daily News reported on March 17 that Xu had paid school fees for Bo’s son at Harrow, Oxford and Harvard. The report could not be independently verified and Bo denies the allegations, insisting that his son received full scholarships but declining to elaborate during a meeting with journalists on the sidelines of the National People’s Congress on March 9.

  • Exclusive: Google, Amazon, and Microsoft Swarm China for Network Gear | Wired Enterprise |– Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook buy more networking hardware than practically anyone else on earth. After all, these are the giants of the internet. But at the same time, they’re buying less and less gear from Cisco, HP, Juniper, and the rest of the world’s largest networking vendors. It’s an irony that could lead to a major shift in the worldwide hardware market.Over the past few years, the giants of the web have changed the way they purchase tens of thousands of the network switches inside the massive data centers driving their online services, quietly moving away from U.S.-based sellers to buy cheaper gear in bulk straight from China and Taiwan. According to J.R. Rivers — an ex-Google engineer — Google has built its own gear in tandem with varous Asian manufacturers for several years, and according to James Liao — who spent two years selling hardware for Taiwan-based manufacturer Quanta — Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft are purchasing at least some of their networking switches from Asian firms as well.
  • Self-immolations reflect rising Tibetan anger – The Washington Post– DHARMSALA, India — He walked three times around the rural monastery he had attended as a small child, cycled into town and had a simple vegetarian meal with a friend. Then 22-year-old Lobsang Jamyang excused himself to go to the bathroom.Inside, he doused himself with gasoline. When he emerged, he was already in flames.
  • Chinese politician a victim of ‘smear campaign’ – YouTube – Relatives of a former high ranking Chinese politician Bo Xilai say he is the victim of a smear campaign. Bo was fired from his post as Communist Party Secretary of the Chongqing municipality. And he has not been seen since. Melissa Chan reports.
  • Apple Labor Pact to Ripple Across China –– Manufacturers grappling with rising labor costs and increasing worker demands in China could face further pressure if a critical probe of a major Apple Inc. supplier sets a new standard for China’s factory workers.Apple and one of its top suppliers, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., agreed to a set of recommendations by the Fair Labor Association following an audit of Hon Hai’s Chinese factories to reduce work hours and change other employment policies.
  • Internet activity ‘to be monitored’ under new laws – Telegraph – Ministers are preparing a major expansion of the Government’s powers to monitor the email exchanges and website visits of every person in the UK, it was reported today.
    Under legislation expected in next month’s Queen’s Speech, internet companies will be instructed to install hardware enabling GCHQ – the Government’s electronic “listening” agency – to examine “on demand” any phone call made, text message and email sent, and website accessed in “real time”, The Sunday Times reported.
    A previous attempt to introduce a similar law was abandoned by the former Labour government in 2006 in the face of fierce opposition.
    However ministers believe it is essential that the police and security services have access to such communications data in order to tackle terrorism and protect the public.
  • VIDEO: Stephon Marbury Flies High After Winning Chinese Basketball Championship – From Our Editors –
  • Shark fin ban gathers steam in Maryland and beyond – The Washington Post – Not a single shipment of shark fins moved through the Port of Baltimore last year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. But Maryland still may ban the sale and trade of the Asian delicacy, much to the ire of some fishermen and restaurant owners.
  • The Dams of Chongqing | FP Passport– After construction began on Three Gorges Dam — which changed the river’s hydrology and drastically reduced the habitat of fish dependent on low-range rapids to lay and hatch eggs — China’s central government established a protected zone where dams could not be built: the “Upper Yangtze National Nature Reserve for Rare and Endangered Fish” was designated along a free-flowing stretch of the Yangtze between Tiger Leaping Gorge and Three Gorges Dam. It lay, notably, within the boundaries of sprawling Chongqing municipality.Yesterday, however, ground was broken in Chongqing for development of the Xiao Nan Hai power station. A massive cascade of at least 14 dams is now slated for construction between Tiger Leaping Gorge and Three Gorges Dam. How can this happen? The reason is that in late 2011, the boundaries of the national fish reserve were moved upstream, in spite of the protests of Chinese environmental groups and a series of critical articles in state-run media.
  • Create a Hidden Encrypted Volume on Your Computer to Hide Sensitive Data When You’re Forced to Decrypt Your Machine
  • In Rural China, Temples to Past Merchant Wealth Endure –– XIDI, China — In the spring, as rapeseed flowers bloom, this fertile swath of central China is transformed into a sea of yellow. In the summer, when rainstorms descend, the fields pulsate emerald green and canals brim with brown water.But through all the seasons here in the Huizhou region of Anhui Province
  • Internet Pressures Police to Treat Cases Equally – Caixin Online – Officers have been caught giving foreigners better treatment at the expense of ordinary people, and the public has noticed..
    On March 15, two horses raised by an American in Beijing’s largely rural Huairou District disappeared. A local police station received a report and duly began to investigate, the Beijing News reported. Officers interviewed nearby villagers and determined the direction the horses, owned by Laurence Brahm, had gone.
    The way was steep and tough-going, but two policemen and several villagers hiked more than four hours and 20 kilometers, eventually finding the animals and returning them to Brahm.
  • Animal Instinct and China’s African Odyssey – Caixin Online – China’s special envoy to Africa, Zhong Jianhua, sees huge business potential despite challenges on the continent

    Roughly 1 million Chinese nationals are working or doing business in Africa, from Egypt’s Mediterranean shore to the Cape of Good Hope.
    Theirs are the faces behind China’s soaring direct investment in Africa which, according to the Ministry of Commerce of the P.R.C., rose 87 percent to US$ 1.1 billion during the first three quarters last year compared to the same period 2010
    More than 2,000 mainland companies are running mines and factories, building roads, operating telecom networks and selling Chinese-made goods across the continent. Many of these companies have only recently started pouring manpower and money into African projects. Many more are expected in coming years.
    China’s Ministry of Commerce said the value of all China-Africa trade between January and September last year topped US$ 122 billion – a record amount that was equal to total two-way trade for all 2010.
    Central to China’s success and ambitions is South Africa

  • Shale Gas Targets on China’s Front Burner – Caixin Online – Commercial production is zero, and no one knows how much natural gas lies trapped but accessible deep underground in China’s shale rock formations.
    Nevertheless, the nation’s oil and mining companies are sharpening drills for what could be a wild scramble for shale gas now that the government has set a production target.
    The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR) and the Ministry of Finance issued jointly a first-of-its-kind plan March 16 with a goal to recover 6.5 billion cubic meters per year by 2015.
  • No-Budge Lock for Real Estate Market Controls – Caixin Online – The central government is refusing to relax the housing policies that developers are mum about and cities tried to get around
  • 人民日报-人民网 – 为了肩负起中国特色社会主义事业建设者捍卫者的职责

One thought on “China Readings for April 3rd

  1. Wow, a lot of good reading today. Thanks for the effort of compiling these links, I often find more than I have time to read.

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