China Readings for February 17th

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

  • “注胶虾”横行市场 [鲜橙热闻]__鲜橙互动 南都网 南方都市报 新闻互动网站 南都数字报 – glue-injected shrimp next food problem?
  • Baidu Q4 Earnings, Revenue Beat Wall Street Estimate; Q1 Sales Outlook In Line BIDU –– Though Baidu’s revenue nearly doubled, observers still fear an ad slowdown in China. Evidence of that surfaced on Monday, when China Internet portal (SOHU) gave Q1 profit guidance that was only about half what analysts had expected.Of some 5,300 group-buying advertisers active in China as of mid-2011, about 2,000 have shut down, wrote Tian X. Hou, an analyst with T.H. Capital, in a report Monday. Hou rates Baidu a hold.

    “Ads are slowing for everyone, except Baidu — or a lot less for Baidu,” Bill Bishop, an independent analyst and blogger in China, said via email.

    Baidu’s advertising in Q4 climbed 7% from Q3 and 82% from the year-earlier quarter.

    In Q4 2010, Baidu’s advertising rose 94% year over year and 8.6% from the prior quarter.

    Many observers worry that ad growth will continue to be flat throughout 2012, says ThinkEquity analyst Henry Guo.

    “The No. 1 thing (will be) the commentary from management on the macroenvironment,” Guo said.

  • The virtual currency scam from China that’s costing iOS developers real cash– CocoaChina, which hosts the largest iOS developer community in China and raised $14 million from Sequoia China and other investors, discovered a scam that’s giving players deep discounts on virtual currency packs in games like Capcom’s Smurfs’ Village.Basically, sellers go onto the eBay of China, or Taobao, to sell virtual currency at half-price or more. They create an Apple iTunes account attached to a fraudulent credit card number and then give the buyer the log-in and a tutorial on how to recharge their game with currency. Developers will see a discrepancy between their daily revenues with actual payments from Apple at the end of the month, once all of the fraudulent payments are skimmed out of their revenues.

    These fake credit card numbers, sometimes called “black cards,” are often created for iTunes account outside of China. So developers won’t necessarily see a discrepancy in their Chinese revenues, but rather their European or North American revenues. The other key point is that this fraud works on legitimate iPhones, not just jailbroken ones.

  • 中药协回应“活熊取胆”质疑:熊看起来很舒服_新闻_腾讯网
  • Beijing car ownership exceeds 5 million|Society| – BEIJING – The number of cars registered in the Chinese capital passed 5 million in February, 11 months later than previously predicted, said the city’s traffic police Thursday.
  • Soccer referees put in jail for taking bribes|China| – DANDONG, Northeast China – A batch of former Chinese soccer referees including Lu Jun, Huang Junjie and Zhou Weixin were sentenced in prison for accepting bribes by a northeast Chinese court on Thursday.
  • Man finds spiritual life through hermits|People| – After reading Bill Porter’s Road to Heaven: Encounters with Chinese Hermits, he decided to look for hermits in Zhongnan Mountain in the Qingling Mountains.
    “Not all visitors are welcomed because some hermits dislike being disturbed,” Zhang said. “I gradually found that you need to speak their language when knocking on their doors.”
  • 争夺林书豪 – 宏观 – 21世纪网 – 体育运动品市场人士透露,目前国内所有知名运动品牌和国际品牌,均已盯上林书豪。
  • Building China’s Railways: That Was Quick | China Bystander – China Transport Topics, published by the World Bank are like buses. Nothing for a while, then two come along at once. This Bystander had barely digested No. 4, High-Speed Rail: The First Three Years, when No. 3 dropped in our in-box, Fast and Focused: Building China’s Railways by John Scales, Jitendra Sondhi and Paul Amos of the Bank’s Beijing office. This seeks to address a basic question about the world’s largest national railway build out for more than a century, how has China managed to build such an astonishing number of large and complex railway projects so much faster than any other country. A new rail line that might take 5-6 years from Beijing’s approval  to system commissioning would typically take 7-15 years in almost any other country.
  • 17,000 Fake Swiss Watches Were Just Seized From Chinese-Run Workshop In Dubai – Case in point: 17,000 fake Swiss watches were seized in a raid on an apartment in Dubai
  • Not So Fast, Google: China Wants A Look At Your Motorola Deal First | TechCrunch – Google has overcome two big regulatory hurdles in getting its $12.5-billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility approved by both U.S. and European regulators. China has until March 20 to decide whether or not it will wave through the deal, too.
  • Take a Look at Some of Apple’s Evidence in Proview iPad Dispute – John Paczkowski – News – AllThingsD – if Proview is bankrupt how many judges can they buy, and for how long?
  • Baidu to Set Up Brazil Office | Marbridge Consulting – The Chinese Ministry of Commerce has announced on its web site that internet company Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU) is opening an office in Sao Paulo, Brazil, for the purpose of understanding the Brazilian and Latin American markets and to establish the company’s development strategy in the region
  • Apple’s Mountain Lion Makes the Mac More Like the iPad – – • Lots more features for Chinese users, including a character-recognition system that updates the Mac’s Chinese dictionary as new words enter the popular lexicon. The Chinese equivalents of Google, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook are now integrated with Share buttons and other spots, just as they are on the American version.
  • Russian Oil Industry Set to Capitalize if Embargo Hits Iran –– Tehran raised the stakes Wednesday by threatening to cut off oil to six European nations.Now, whether Iran carries out that threat immediately or Europe proceeds with its previously planned embargo of Iranian oil this summer, the Russian industry could capitalize more directly. Its pipelines stand ready to serve customers willing to pay a premium price — with a grade of oil closely resembling Iran’s.

    “It’s pretty good for Russia right now,” Jesse Mercer, a senior oil analyst based in Houston with PFC Energy, said in a telephone interview.

    Russia is now the world’s largest oil producer, pumping about 10 million barrels of oil a day, slightly more than Saudi Arabia. Of this, Russia exports seven million barrels a day. Most of it goes to customers in Europe and Asia, although small amounts from Siberia make it as far as the West Coast of the United States.

  • Eric X. Li-Why China’s Political Model Is Superior –– The West’s current competition with China is therefore not a face-off between democracy and authoritarianism, but rather the clash of two fundamentally different political outlooks. The modern West sees democracy and human rights as the pinnacle of human development. It is a belief premised on an absolute faith.China is on a different path. Its leaders are prepared to allow greater popular participation in political decisions if and when it is conducive to economic development and favorable to the country’s national interests, as they have done in the past 10 years.

    However, China’s leaders would not hesitate to curtail those freedoms if the conditions and the needs of the nation changed. The 1980s were a time of expanding popular participation in the country’s politics that helped loosen the ideological shackles of the destructive Cultural Revolution. But it went too far and led to a vast rebellion at Tiananmen Square.

    That uprising was decisively put down on June 4, 1989. The Chinese nation paid a heavy price for that violent event, but the alternatives would have been far worse.

    The resulting stability ushered in a generation of growth and prosperity that propelled China’s economy to its position as the second largest in the world.

  • China Capital Inflows May Limit Room for Immediate Cut in Reserve Ratios – Bloomberg – Capital flows into China have rebounded this year, the central bank said, bolstering the case for officials refraining from any immediate cuts in banks’ reserve requirements.
    Expectations for a decline in the value of the yuan against the U.S. dollar have also reversed, with non-deliverable forward contracts now forecasting no change or some appreciation, the People’s Bank of China said in a quarterly monetary policy report posted on its website yesterday. It didn’t specify when the document was prepared.
  • Chinese Shift to Wealth Products Undermines Banks – Bloomberg – The trend may undermine the stability of the $1.8 trillion banking system, say analysts including Charlene Chu, a Beijing- based senior director at Fitch Ratings Ltd. That’s because money moved out of savings accounts into wealth-management products no longer counts as deposits, reducing the ability of banks to lend. Having to pay higher returns also could force banks to borrow, driving up the interbank rate.
    “Before the crisis, banks had this never-ending deposit base that was immobile and just constantly growing,” Chu said. Now, “for the first time, a large number of Chinese banks are beginning to face cash pressures, and fewer resources are available today than in the past.”
    Chinese banks often set the maturity date for wealth- management products at the end of the month so the cash can be re-categorized as savings to meet month-end, loan-to-deposit- ratio requirements, said Sheng Nan, a Hong Kong-based analyst at CCB International Securities Ltd., the investment-banking unit of the nation’s second-largest lender.
  • China May Set Lowest Growth Target Since 2004, Government Economist Says – Bloomberg – China may set its lowest annual growth target in eight years as authorities place less emphasis on the pace of expansion and the global economy remains weak, Fan Jianping, chief economist at the government-run State Information Center, said.
    Premier Wen Jiabao may announce a 7 percent or 7.5 percent target for economic growth this year at the annual National People’s Congress meetings that convene in March, Fan said in an interview today. The last time China set a growth target below 8 percent was in 2004, when the goal was 7 percent.
  • As Xi Charms Iowa, China Hedges Corn Ties With U.S. – China Real Time Report – WSJ– While Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping’s visit to Iowa this week pushed U.S. farms to the forefront of the bilateral agenda, a separate Chinese visit farther south could end up delivering a blow to the U.S. farmers who have been praising the jobs that China helped them create.In a ceremony in Buenos Aires on Wednesday, the same day that Xi was visiting Iowa (the U.S.’s largest corn producing state), China’s food safety chief signed a deal with Argentina’s agriculture minister that effectively opens the Chinese market to Argentina’s corn exports. China and Argentina have worked for more than a year on the agreement, which involved insuring that Argentine corn meets Chinese food safety standards.
  • 记者和纪录片导演的区别-谈《书记》和《差馆》 (差馆 影评)
  • 家乡的官员_杂志频道_财新网
  • Tranquility and Turbulence – Caixin Online– A new documentary examines a minor official’s trip to Beijing to stop petitioners from making his job more difficult..The vice-mayor from a rural area usually handles agricultural business, but he defines his position this way: “Using power to sell interests in exchange for greater power and selling more interests to gain more power. That’s all I do every day.”
    His reason for visiting Beijing was to stop petitioners who come to the capital to air their complaints at a special central government office. Before his visit, he called a former high school classmate, Zhang Zanbo, a filmmaker he had not seen for 12 years. Their reunion was fruitful, yielding the 2011 documentary “Solemn Tranquility.” (The film is also called “The Interceptor from My Hometown.”)..
    In one scene from “Solemn Tranquility,” a dozen petitioners sit in the office for the village the vice-mayor serves. In the 1970s, they worked on a secret nuclear project. Some are party members. After working on the project the military told them to return to their village to farm, which they did. However, as they grew old, they began to suffer from diseases they blame on their nuclear work. They went to Beijing to seek compensation, but train attendants noticed them as soon as they boarded. After a scuffle, they were detained in the dining car and the village’s Beijing office was notified. When the train arrived in Beijing, the intercepted petitioners were handed over to the village’s office. The train attendants were paid 400 yuan for each petitioner they handed over.
  • Alibaba’s Taobao at center of failed Yahoo deal: sources – Yahoo! Finance – several people involved in the proceedings said the rapid growth of Taobao caused Yahoo to have second thoughts about the valuation agreed in December when they signed a term sheet.
    The situation described by several people involved in the discussions appeared to downplay some analysts’ views that the halt in talks was a negotiating tactic employed by one of the parties involved in the complex transaction.
    “Taobao was definitely the main problem causing talks to break off,” said one of the people familiar with the matter…
    Several sources noted that some factions within Yahoo were always somewhat hesitant about the prospects of the tax-efficient deal because of its inherent complexity and the uncertainty of satisfying the Internal Revenue Service.
    The risk of political fall-out over the deal, which would effectively allow Yahoo to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes after spinning off its stakes in Alibaba and Softbank, could also have contributed to the deal losing some of its appeal, according to the first source familiar with the matter.
  • 刘源军队反腐受掣肘 谷俊山案险夭折_多维新闻网 – very interesting but unconfirmed rumors from duowei about gen liu yuan and the gen gu junshan case//
  • 传雅虎与阿里巴巴谈判因淘宝估值问题搁浅-搜狐IT – alibaba-yahoo deal fail over taobao valuation?says $yhoo decided dec 11 taobao value now 2 low
  • 微美食—发现、分享美食 – watch out dianping, $sina weibo has launched a food channel in partnership with yazuo
  • At Ease with NetEase Earnings | Wall Street Bean
  • In A WSJ Op-Ed Mitt Romney Confronts The China Fantasy, Ignores His Own Hypocrisy? | Sinocism – Bain and Youku $yoku//
    I use Youku, have friends who work there (or did before this post), and think they have one of the best management teams of all the Chinese Internet companies. The company is now a staunch defender of foreign and Chinese copyrights and a partner to many American video rights holders.However, in its early days Youky was a pirate’s den of copyright infringement (of both foreign and Chinese content) and had it not ignored intellectual property rights it is unlikely it would be as successful as it is today. Remember, in his WSJ op-ed Romney writes “we must directly counter abusive Chinese practices in the areas of trade, intellectual property, and currency valuation.”

    Youku, like all Chinese Internet companies, has to obey China’s laws and regulations, which include censoring content and limiting free speech. In the op-ed Romney also emphasizes “the character of the Chinese government—one that marries aspects of the free market with suppression of political and personal freedom.”

    So tell us Mr. Romney, did you profit from Bain Capital’s investment in Youku?

    I have investments in China and have no fundamental problems with investing money here. But I am also not running for president and bashing China to pander for political points.

    Mitt Romney should itemize all the China investments he currently holds or once held, directly or through any funds, Bain Capital or otherwise, and he should disclose how much he has made from them.

    I realize that calling a presidential candidate a hypocrite is about as insightful as saying dogs slobber, but we can always hope for better, right?

  • Breaking: Journalists attacked by thugs while investigating land grab protests in Panhe, Zhejiang: Shanghaiist – Journalists from French broadcaster France 24 and the Netherlands Press Association have reported being attacked in Panhe village in Zhejiang province yesterday and today while investigating land grab protests that took place earlier this month.
    France 24’s Baptiste Fallevoz and his Chinese fixer Jack Zhang tell Shanghaiist they were driving into the village when they found about four or five cars to be following them. One car in front of them pulled a u-turn hitting their car.
    About 20-30 plainclothes thugs then surrounded their car and pulled Zhang out, trying to grab his video camera from him. When they got the camera, they threw it on the ground and smashed it in front of him. They then continued to attempt to attack Zhang, hitting him on the head with the camera until he started bleeding.
  • Baidu’s New Browser – how compare with chrome?//
    We’re happy to announce today the release of the Baidu Browser 2.0, preview edition. The new version represents a significant upgrade from our first release, which came out in July of last year. The Baidu Browser 2.0 now offers even more personalization, a more user-friendly interface, and beefed-up online security to the user.
  • China’s Fu Baoshi, Dealt With Boozing, Despots: Lance Esplund – Businessweek– Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) — “Chinese Art in an Age of Revolution: Fu Baoshi (1904-1965),” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, is the first comprehensive survey held outside Asia of the landscape painter, art historian and translator Fu Baoshi, who is revered as the Van Gogh or Monet of his native China.Artistically uneven, politically charged, in turns academic and sublime, the show may have more historical than aesthetic importance.
  • Assignment: China – “The Week That Changed The World” – YouTube
  • Nixon and Mao are ready for their close-ups, forty years later. « Jottings from the Granite Studio– The film joins a growing list of useful and impressive research into the history of reporting in China.  With so much attention placed these days on the mindset, mentality, and motivations of foreign correspondents, it’s worth looking at how attitudes and techniques for covering China have evolved over time.  Notable contributions in this field include Paul French’s excellent Through the Looking Glass: Foreign Journalists from Opium Wars to Mao and the relatively recent volume edited by Susan Shirk Changing China, Changing Media.  For that matter, the hilariously ribald (if often fictional) memoirs of Edmund Backhouse, whose collection of Chinese whispers and Manchu pillow talk provided grist for the columns and dispatches of George Morrison and others, shows that unsubstantiated rumors, no matter how goatshit insane, had juice even in the pre-Weibo era.Assignment China: The Week that Changed the World is a good companion to these works, and would make a superb addition to a Modern Chinese History or US-China Relations course syllabus or possibly as a gift for the Barbara Walters fetishist/completionist in your life.
  • Obama’s Asia strategy gives Navy key role, fewer ships – The Washington Post– As the Obama administration reorients its military strategy toward Asia and the vital maritime trade routes in the Pacific, the bulk of the responsibility will fall on the Navy, which was largely sidelined during the land wars of the last decade.But the Navy will have to perform its mission in Asia with fewer ships in coming years than it had anticipated. Under President Obama’s proposed defense budget, the Navy will retire nine ships early and cut or delay the purchases of 16 others over the next five years.
  • In Heartland Institute Leak, a Plan to Discredit Climate Teaching –– Leaked documents suggest that an organization known for attacking climate science is planning a new push to undermine the teaching of global warming in public schools, the latest indication that climate change is becoming a part of the nation’s culture wars.The documents, from a nonprofit organization in Chicago called the Heartland Institute, outline plans to promote a curriculum that would cast doubt on the scientific finding that fossil fuel emissions endanger the long-term welfare of the planet. “Principals and teachers are heavily biased toward the alarmist perspective,” one document said.
  • Xi Jinping of China Makes a Return Trip to Iowa – – On Wednesday, Mr. Xi returned to Muscatine — triumphantly this time, with an entourage and a room of his own — as China’s vice president and heir apparent to the leadership of a rapidly rising world power. Seventeen people he met here in 1985, including the Dvorchaks, were invited to tea…
    The Muscatine-China connection is being bolstered, as it turns out, by one of the Star Trek-loving sons whose world Mr. Xi was exposed to in 1985, Mark Dvorchak. He is now 46, living near Los Angeles, and travels frequently to China and across Asia as an economic consultant, his parents said.
  • California Audit Finds Broad Irregularities in Foreclosures – – The report contradicted the contentions of many banks that foreclosure improprieties did little harm because the borrowers were behind on their mortgages and should have been evicted anyway. “We can deduce from the public evidence,” the report noted, “that there are indeed legitimate victims in the mortgage crisis. Whether these homeowners are systematically being deprived of legal safeguards and due process rights is an important question.”
  • Would-be China Defector, Once Bo Xilai’s Right Hand, Oversaw Organ Harvesting | All | Democracy & Human Rights | China | Epoch Times – In 2006, three years after becoming director of the public security bureau in Jinzhou City, Liaoning Province, Wang was given an award—but it wasn’t for fighting crime. Wang had done pioneering research on how best to transplant organs taken from prisoners—who were possibly still alive when their organs were removed—and honed his techniques over thousands of on site trials.
    Wang received the award in September 2006 from the Guanghua Science and Technology Foundation, a charitable organization meant to promote science and technology to youth. According to its website it is under the direct leadership of the Communist Youth League, one of the Chinese Communist Party’s mass organizations used for recruitment.
  • 广电组建新媒体监管平台:全国有线网互联互通_通讯与电讯_科技时代_新浪网
  • SARFT Establishing Platform For Regulating Internet TV | Tech in Asia– According to SARFT vice-chief Zhang Haitao, the administration will regulate IPTV streaming services, mobile video services, and traditional internet television services like Youku (NYSE:YOKU) and Tudou (NASDAQ:TUDO).The move is part of a larger push by SARFT to regulate the “three networks:” telecom networks, computer networks, and cable television networks. The regulatory bureau already has a tight grip on television, but until now, internet television and mobile video have been allowed to develop relatively free of SARFT’s interference er, regulation.
  • The China Labyrinth –– would not bet against them in short to medium term//The upshot is that the authorities now find themselves trapped in a constant tug-of-war between their will to control, negotiated change, public resistance and unresolved confusion. They may pride themselves on building a regime which seems calculating, flexible and dynamic, willing to change its ways in order to remain the dominant guiding power. Yet they also know well the new Chinese proverb: Ruling used to be like hammering a nail into wood, now it is much more like balancing on a slippery egg.

    Whether the authorities can sustain their present balancing act, so proving Madison wrong, seems doubtful. Within the China labyrinth the spirit of monitory democracy is alive and well. Whether and how it will prevail against the crafty forces of surveillance is among the global political questions of our time.

  • Mitt Romney: How I’ll Respond to China’s Rising Power – – The character of the Chinese government—one that marries aspects of the free market with suppression of freedom—shouldn’t become the norm.
  • 足坛反赌案开始宣判 “黑哨”黄俊杰一审获刑7年-中新网 – 7 years for dirty football referee
  • Eye spy|Life| – A new biometric camera and database network could make it hard for bad guys to hide. Cheng Anqi reports.
    Li Ziqing felt he needed to do his part when authorities started a nationwide campaign to nab fugitives and kidnappers. The Center for Biometrics and Security Research (CBSR) professor and his team spent the following months creating a database enabling netizens to collect and share photographs, information and tips online.
  • LinkedIn reportedly in talks to enter China – ZDNet Asia News
  • 央行:2012年M2初定14% – 金融 – 21世纪网 – PBOC sets 2012 M2 growth target at 14%
  • 存款回暖贷款萧索 前两周四大行贷款仅增三百亿 – 金融 – 21世纪网 – 2月15日,本报记者从权威渠道获得的信息显示,2月前两周,工、建、中、农四家大型银行新增人民币贷款仅300多亿。
  • Keep currents of peace in Pacific Ocean-Global Times–  The US demands that China clearly state its intentions. Unfortunately, it is obvious China does not have a diplomatic masterplan for the next 20 years. China is not as ambitious as people believe but its promises are not believed.Maintaining peace in the Pacific Ocean is not easy. That depends on both the China and the US. It is hard to clearly know the thoughts of the other side, but both should not assume the worst when the situation remains unclear.

    How the situation in the Pacific region develops depends on both China and the US. The US is the stronger of the two countries. It is thus key for it to be more open-minded.

  • Xi’s Iowa Dinner Serves Porkfest – Bloomberg – The “Taste of Iowa” menu for Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping’s dinner in Des Moines tonight isn’t going down well with nutritionists. They say bacon- lettuce-and-tomato bites and potatoes stuffed with white cheddar are dietary perils high in calories, sodium and saturated fat.
    “It’s a celebration of Iowa foods, but this menu is over the top in terms of calories and the amount of food,” Margo Wootan, nutrition policy director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy group, said in an interview. “There’s very little chance you’re going to walk out without eating all your day’s calories in one meal.”
  • Panda Live Stream Hopes You’ll Fall in Love With the Planet– Wildlife enthusiasts, nature buffs and, most importantly, puppy cam lovers are in for a treat when they see the latest in furry live streams: the 24-hour-a-day panda stream.Philanthropic media organization has launched the first HD video live stream of pandas, from the world’s largest panda reserve in Ya’an City, China. The stream, which went live in early February, tracks some of the young pandas living at the facility, which works on species preservation and reintegration into the wild. The stream broadcasts live during the daytime and runs highlights at night (local time).
  • Basketball-Crazy China Ponders Meaning of Jeremy Lin’s Race: Adam Minter – Bloomberg – On Feb. 14, American boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. posted a thought on Twitter about Jeremy Lin, the Taiwanese-American basketball sensation who has become the most compelling story for the National Basketball Association this season. He wrote: “Jeremy Lin is a good player but all the hype is because he’s Asian. Black players do what he does every night and don’t get the same praise.”
    Quickly, Mayweather became the subject of withering accusations of racism from sports fans and commentators -– in the U.S.
    In China, however, there was no such rebuke. That’s partly because few, if any, Chinese sports fans pay attention to American boxers like Floyd Mayweather. But the other reason is far more interesting. Chinese editorialists and microbloggers have rhapsodized about Lin’s extraordinary skills and cool in millions of microblog posts and they’re often just as fixated on Lin’s race. Many have claimed Lin for China, calling him the “Pride of Zhejiang,” in honor of his mother’s place of origin. Commentators have also discussed whether his success is in some way shared by ethnic Chinese everywhere, and why Chinese nationals can’t succeed like he does. It’s a frank conversation, conducted in terms that could make politically-correct Americans squirm.
  • Apple iPad plant conditions better than the norm: agency | Reuters – Working conditions at Chinese manufacturing plants where Apple Inc’s iPads and iPhones are made are far better than those at garment factories or other facilities elsewhere in the country, according to the head of a non-profit agency investigating the plants.
    The Fair Labor Association (FLA) is beginning a study of the working conditions of Apple’s top eight suppliers in China, following reports of worker suicides, a plant explosion and slave-like conditions at one of those suppliers, Foxconn Technology Group.
  • FLA chief calls Foxconn facilities ‘first class’ | Apple – CNET News – Head of organization inspecting Apple’s supplier plants tells Reuters that an uptick in worker suicides may be related to boredom.
  • Xiaomi’s Amazon Tack to IPhone Fight May Mean 3 Years of Losses – Businessweek– Xiaomi Corp., a Chinese smartphone vendor that counts Singapore’s Temasek Holdings Pte as an investor, is ready to post losses for years as it battles Apple Inc. to attract high-end users to its software.“We are not looking to make any money, or to make Xiaomi profitable, for the next two or three years,” President Bin Lin said in a Feb. 7 interview in Beijing. “We will be able to look at profitability from software and services after we have the user base.”
  • U.S. Insider Probe on Asia, Banks Said to Be Intensifying – Businessweek– he multiyear insider trading probe that has implicated U.S. hedge funds, technology company employees and consultants is intensifying its focus on banks and Taiwan as federal officials investigate a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. technology analyst, a person familiar with the matter said.The investigation of Henry King, the Goldman Sachs analyst covering Taiwan, shows federal authorities are expanding the insider-trading probe by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan and the FBI in New York, said the person, who didn’t want to be identified because the matter isn’t public.
  • Jeremy Lin’s Secret? It’s Not That He’s Asian – James Fallows – Entertainment – The Atlantic– Once again I am on the road and off the Internet, so let me be the last person on Earth to weigh in about Jeremy Lin. I’ll do so by disagreeing totally with my longtime friend and recent colleague Robert Wright.In his item about Jeremy Lin yesterday, Bob Wright made the argument that Lin’s “Asian heritage,” including its philosophical aspects, helps explain his current success on the court. Some social scientists have contended that “Asians” — a grouping that covers maybe two billion people — perceive reality in a more “group”-like than individually centered fashion. No wonder Lin has such great court sense and can dish off those assists! Wright asks:
    Is it crazy to think that the perceptual tendencies that [these social scientists] documented in East Asians could equip them for this sort of thing?
    To answer that question: Yes, it’s crazy. More precisely, it’s horseshit. I say so in the friendliest possible way, but again: horseshit.
  • Venture capitalists play key role in Obama’s Energy Department – The Washington Post– Sanjay Wagle was a venture capitalist and Barack Obama fundraiser in 2008, rallying support through a group he headed known as Clean Tech for Obama.Shortly after Obama’s election, he left his California firm to join the Energy Department, just as the administration embarked on a massive program to stimulate the economy with federal investments in clean-technology firms…

    During the next three years, the department provided $2.4 billion in public funding to clean-energy companies in which Wagle’s former firm, Vantage Point Venture Partners, had invested, a Washington Post analysis found. Overall, the Post found that $3.9 billion in federal grants and financing flowed to 21 companies backed by firms with connections to five Obama administration staffers and advisers.

  • Investigators suspect ‘serious criminality’ at News Corp – – Investigators looking into alleged corrupt practices at News Corp’s UK newspapers suspect that cash payments worth more than £100,000 were made to police officers and other public officials, one person familiar with the investigation said.
  • Harvard Mapping Of My DNA Turns Scary – Bloomberg
  • actress lisa chan apologizes for hoekstra ad | angry asian man – The 21-year-old actress just released the following statement on her Facebook page expressing regret and asking for forgiveness for her role in the ad:
    “I am deeply sorry for any pain that the character I portrayed brought to my communities. As a recent college grad who has spent time working to improve communities and empower those without a voice, this role is not in any way representative of who I am. It was absolutely a mistake on my part and one that, over time, I hope can be forgiven. I feel horrible about my participation and I am determined to resolve my actions.”
  • Censorship in China | The Stream – Al Jazeera English– Users of Sina Weibo, China’s most popular micro-blogging website, will soon have to register under their real names. Critics of the law say this is further increasing the government’s control over online freedom. Yet despite pouring more and more resources into policing the web, the country’s netizens are finding ways to beat the system.In this episode of The Stream, we speak to Eva Galperin (@evacide), an activist with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Michael Anti (@mranti), a journalist and blogger.
  • Beyond Censorship in China’s Media and Cyberspace | Asia Pacific Memo – Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, media debates, often triggered by sensational media coverage of scandals, have played an instrumental role in shaping China’s reform path. With the explosion of the Internet and social media, the scope, ferocity, and stakes of these debates have intensified, creating intricate dynamics between elite, intellectual, and popular politics. Western media portrayals of Chinese media and Internet as plagued by “censorship” still ring true, and we will see more crackdowns. But one-dimensional portrayals miss much of what is going on inside China’s increasingly diverse, dynamic, and perhaps even decisive, media and cyberspace.
  • All the single men– As couples across the country prepare to celebrate their love tomorrow for Valentine’s Day, many Chinese men are bracing for the day as a grim reminder of their dwindling chances to get a date and settle down with a wife. China’s gender imbalance, a direct consequence of the country’s one-child policy and favoritism of sons, has been deepening since the 1970s.Discussion of the topic intensified on microblogging website Weibo a couple of weeks ago, when thousands of bachelors re-posted the viral tagline that “a wife has become a luxury good.” It comes amid predictions the bachelor crisis will worsen this year, with estimations the number of single men in China will swell by 10 million. The long-term outlook appears equally pessimistic, with 24 million men likely to find themselves unable to find women to marry by 2020, according to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.