China Readings for February 1st

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

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  • Vietnam confronts the Chinese ‘charm offensive’ | East Asia Forum– Author: Le Hong Hiep, Vietnam National UniversityVietnam is arguably the most ‘sinicised’ country in Southeast Asia, a distinctive result of more than 2000 years of intense interaction between Vietnam and China.

    But the Vietnamese absorption of Chinese culture is neither a straightforward process nor an inescapable outcome of geographical proximity; it is much more nuanced. China’s cultural influence forms only one layer of Vietnam’s cultural identity. The most important and substantial element still rests with indigenous norms, customs and practices, while Vietnam’s cultural borrowings from Southeast Asia and the West form yet another layer…

    Author: Le Hong Hiep, Vietnam National University

    Vietnam is arguably the most ‘sinicised’ country in Southeast Asia, a distinctive result of more than 2000 years of intense interaction between Vietnam and China.

    But the Vietnamese absorption of Chinese culture is neither a straightforward process nor an inescapable outcome of geographical proximity; it is much more nuanced. China’s cultural influence forms only one layer of Vietnam’s cultural identity. The most important and substantial element still rests with indigenous norms, customs and practices, while Vietnam’s cultural borrowings from Southeast Asia and the West form yet another layer.

  • Telecom Companies Gain as IPhone Drives Data Demand Boom: China Overnight – Bloomberg
  • Hospitals fail to report suspected cases amid NW China polio outbreak – Xinhua |– Four hospitals failed to report suspected cases of polio in a far northwestern region of China that experienced an outbreak of the disease last August, the regional government said Tuesday.During the epidemic monitoring period, the hospitals, located in four cities in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, including the regional capital Urumqi and the border town Kashgar, failed to report 23 cases of Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP), a common indicator of polio, according to the regional government’s health bureau.
  • Official microblog of China’s public security ministry attracts 2 mln followers – Xinhua |
  • Cadmium pollution to affect 300-km section of river in S China: experts – Xinhua |
  • 韩寒方舟子激辩代笔门 韩寒称躺在地窖中枪_新闻_腾讯网
  • 王福华案起底:医保目录制度的寻租黑洞 – 宏观 – 21世纪网
  • Before SolarWorld Went To War With Chinese Solar, It Had A Lucrative Partnership In China
  • After finding Chinese malware, AlienVault gets $8M round | VentureBeat – found Chinese Malware infecting the Department of Defense
  • Culture Desk: “The Most Handsome Chinese Man I’ve Ever Seen” : The New Yorker– In 1987, a young man walked onto a vast, lantern-festooned stage and, in less than three minutes, won the hearts of a billion. The stage was the Spring Festival Gala, a nationally broadcast variety show that makes the Radio City Christmas Spectacular look homespun. But Fei Xiang, who soon became the Gala’s main attraction, was no mere Rockette. Fei stood a statuesque six foot three, and had chiseled features, a voluminous pompadour, and miraculous gray-blue eyes. “The most handsome Chinese man I’ve ever seen,” my thirty-six-year-old mother exclaimed at the time. Which wasn’t quite true.Kris Phillips, as he is known by his given English name, is only half Chinese, born in Taiwan to a Chinese mother and American father. The performance that anointed him as the King of Pop in China, which he later referred to as “the show (that) established everything overnight,” was delivered in a shiny red single-breasted tux. After pecking his maternal grandmother on the cheek, a gesture as familiar to Americans as it must have been alien to his live, primly seated Chinese audience, the Stanford-educated twenty-six-year-old, in accentless Mandarin, heartily embraced the communist mainland as his longed-for motherland.
  • Computerworld-Apple appeals iPad trademark decision in China– probably hard to win without an FCPA violation//Apple has appealed a Chinese court ruling last December that rejected its ownership of the iPad trademark in the country, and could expose the company to trademark infringement lawsuits from a local company.

    The maker of the iconic iPad filed the appeal on Jan. 5 with the Higher People’s Court of Guangdong Province, according to a statement from Proview International, a little known Chinese display monitor company that claims control over the iPad trademark in mainland China.

  • Hong Kong Homes Face 25% Drop as Loans Fall in Year of Dragon: Mortgages – Bloomberg – “We’re in for a very challenging first half,” said Wong Leung-sing, associate director of research at Centaline Property Agency Ltd., the city’s biggest closely held realtor. “The drop in secondary mortgages means buyers are having trouble borrowing from the banks the full amounts they need. The ones that are taking the biggest hits right now are the middle- to lower- priced housing segment.”
    Prices had surged 70 percent from 2009 to their 14-year high in June. Home deals in December fell for a sixth straight month to the lowest since November 2008, according to the Land Registry.
  • Fort Meade as Cyber Hub Turns Maryland Into a Startup Hot Spot – Bloomberg– surveillance state and cybersecurity pay well. and how many of these firms are on China’s radar screen?//Bill Anderson passed up Silicon Valley and opened his technology startup in central Maryland, even though it lacked the prestige and signature names such as Apple Inc. and Google (GOOD) Inc.
    One draw for the founder of Oculis Labs Inc. four years ago was the growing market for cybersecurity and intelligence work connected to Fort Meade, the Army base that is Maryland’s (BEESMD) biggest employer and home to the National Security Agency. The opportunities have multiplied with the additions of the U.S. Cyber Command in 2010 and the Defense Information Systems Agency last year.
  • China builds on Europe’s African ruins | The World | International affairs blog from the FT –– “The tragedy of Africa is that the African has never really entered history,” Mr Sarkozy said to open mouths in the audience and a barrage of outrage on web sites throughout French-speaking Africa. “The African peasant only knew the eternal renewal of time marked by the endless repetition of the same gestures and the same words. In this realm of fancy there is neither room for human endeavour nor the idea of progress.”Buried though they were in broader remarks, the French president’s comments were reminiscent of the Hegelian underpinnings of colonial thinking and the notion that African history only began when Europeans brought “progress”. It was an extreme example of the kind of outmoded thinking which still influences debate about Africa in the west.
  • Beijing’s smog is appmakers’ gain | beyondbrics | News and views on emerging markets from the Financial Times – – Microsoft’s Beijing office handed out a curious Chinese New Year’s gift to its staff a few weeks ago: a heavy-duty gas mask. Other global companies have also been distributing face masks to their Beijing staff, including electronics maker LG.
  • Han Han sues blogger over plagiarism accusations-Caijing – China’s most popular blogger, Han Han, is suing online commentator ‘Science Cop’ (Fang Zhouzi) for damage to reputation. The charges follow accusations from Fang, a biochemist known for his online campaigns to expose pseudoscience and fraud, that Han Han uses ghostwriters to finish his novels.
  • China detains seven over river pollution scandal – Telegraph – The discharges have contaminated a 60-mile stretch of the Longjiang River in the southern region of Guangxi, sparking panic buying of bottled water in nearby cities, the official China Daily reported.
    Jinhe Mining Co. has been blamed for dumping cadmium – a carcinogen which can seriously damage the kidneys, bones and respiratory system – into the river, in a spill that was discovered on January 15.
  • The Feds Mysteriously Acquired Five Years Of Kim Dotcom And Megaupload’s Chat Transcripts – But Skype, on which many of the conversations were conducted, doesn’t maintain records for more than 30 days and was never asked by the government to turn over transcripts, leading to the possibility that the Megaupload people were monitored through government-issued spyware.
  • Oct 2008-Skype – The Big Blog – Skype President Addresses Chinese Privacy Breach– It is common knowledge that censorship does exist in China and that the Chinese government has been monitoring communications in and out of the country for many years. This, in fact, is true for all forms of communication such as emails, fixed and mobile phone calls, and instant messaging between people within China and between China and other countries. TOM, like every other communications service provider operating in China, has an obligation to be compliant if they are to be able to operate in China at all.In April 2006, Skype publicly disclosed that TOM operated a text filter that blocked certain words in chat messages, and it also said that if the message is found unsuitable for displaying, it is simply discarded and not displayed or transmitted anywhere. It was our understanding that it was not TOM’s protocol to upload and store chat messages with certain keywords, and we are now inquiring with TOM to find out why the protocol changed.

    We also learned yesterday about the existence of a security breach that made it possible for people to gain access to those stored messages on TOM’s servers. We were very concerned to learn about both issues and after we urgently addressed this situation with TOM, they fixed the security breach. In addition, we are currently addressing the wider issue of the uploading and storage of certain messages with TOM.

  • Chinese activist on trial over Skype poem – Telegraph– says didn’t have to use the backdoor skype put in as part of china joint venture//There was no suggestion that Skype helped police to collect evidence, he told Reuters by telephone.
    “They took his computer away from his home and went through it,” he said of the Hangzhou police.
    “His internet contacts and password were saved on it, with automatic access, and when the police accessed it they could open the records of text messages saved on Skype. He had not erased the records.”
  • German satellite ‘minutes from crashing into Beijing’ – Telegraph – New calculations by the agency show that if the Rosat satellite had remained aloft for just seven more minutes after re-entering the earth’s atmosphere in October it would have plunged into the Chinese capital of 20 million people.
    “Our calculations showed that, if Rosat had crashed to the ground just seven to 10 minutes later, it would have hit Beijing,” Heiner Klinkrad, head of the agency’s space debris team, told German magazine Der Spiegel, adding that an impact on the city “was very much within the realm of possibility.” The satellite eventually landed, as hoped, in the Indian Ocean.
  • Cybersecurity Disaster Seen in U.S. Survey Detecting Insufficient Spending – Bloomberg – Companies including utilities, banks and phone carriers would have to spend almost nine times more on cybersecurity to prevent a digital Pearl Harbor from plunging millions into darkness, paralyzing the financial system or cutting communications, a Bloomberg Government study found.
  • China Meat Appetite Means Massive U.S. Exports, AgriTrends Says – Bloomberg
  • China blocks Vale’s large iron ore carriers –
  • Kaplan on Mearsheimer on China: From Our Current Issue – James Fallows – International – The Atlantic– explains why Mearsheimer believes a strategic/military confrontation between the US and China truly is inevitable — and why he, Kaplan, mainly shares this view. I mainly disagree with both of them, and the basis of our disagreement touches on another important theme of the article.In an article of my own in next month’s issue, and in my forthcoming book, I argue that China has too many things going on, and going wrong, within its own borders to have the time, energy, skill, or ambition for much of an “expansionist” world effort. From the outside, it looks like an unstoppable juggernaut. From inside, especially from the perspective of those trying to run it, it looks like a rambling wreck that narrowly avoids one disaster after another. The thrust of Mearsheimer’s argument is that such internal complications simply don’t matter: the sheer increase in China’s power will bring disruption with it. I am saying: if you knew more about China, you would be less worried, especially about military confrontations. He is saying: “knowing” about China is a distraction. What matters are the implacable forces.
  • African Union Conference Center, Chinese Netizen Reactions – chinaSMACK– how will the US get bugs in there? China no doubt has it wired in stereo//January 28th, the African Union (AU) Conference Center that was constructed with Chinese government assistance was inaugurated in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. The African Union Conference Center is one of China’s key construction aid projects for Africa, the undertaking costing 200 million USD, as well as the the Chinese government’s largest African construction aid project following the Tanzania-Zambia Railway.
  • Analysis & Opinion | Reuters– Facebook’s imminent stock sale risks putting public stock markets to shame. Investors will surely clamor for a piece of the social network. But unlike Google’s 2004 initial public offering, everyone who’s anyone has already made a killing off Mark Zuckerberg’s dorm-room project. At a $100 billion valuation, it’s hard to imagine much could remain.The list of who gained access to Facebook’s value-creation steamroller is extensive. It’s not just Silicon Valley elite, including Sean Parker, Peter Thiel and Zynga’s Mark Pincus. The roster extends to global billionaires and, naturally, Goldman Sachs. Even Microsoft is up big.
  • MIH Is A Good China Partner, Yahoo Is A Bad China Partner | DigiCha
  • Sina Weibo deleted posts archive | The Rice Cooker 電飯煲
  • Monopoly to Blame for Online Rail Ticketing Debacle -Caijing – The Spring Festival travel season, or “chunyun,” is the world’s largest annual migration movement. During the 40-day travel rush, there will be 3.158 billion passenger trips. Among them, 235 million passengers are expected to choose rail as their mode of transportation, indicating that the Ministry of Railways (MOR) will have to allocate at least 235 million tickets during this period.
    Since the start of the 2012 Spring Festival travel season, the MOR has implemented a three-pronged approach for passenger ticketing: Internet booking, telephone booking, and real-name ticket purchasing. The changes in 2012 have led to increases in the variety and effectiveness of access channels for buying tickets.
    Despite some notable improvements, the flaws of the new system were brought to light at the start of the travel season. In early January, China’s only official railway ticketing website was overwhelmed with the pressure of more than 1 billion daily visits. The frequent downtime and unresponsiveness of the site caused a flood of complaints from users. The MOR’s explanation was insufficient bandwidth and inadequate advance estimates.
    Caijing learned that was originally designed to handle an average daily traffic of only 300 to 400 million passengers for high-speed rail and bullet train online ticket sales. However, on the eve of the Spring Festival travel period, the MOR unexpectedly decided to include ordinary train ticket sales as well, resulting in far more visits to the site than originally anticipated. “It was like putting a big foot in a small pair of shoes,” said one insider. Traffic reached a peak of 1.4 billion hits in one day, making it “the world’s busiest website” and crippling the site’s server in the process. Nevertheless, some improvements have been made since the site launched in early January.
  • Student grades, giving blood linked– College students’ blood donation statistics will be linked to their academic performance and assessment at college, according to Beijing Municipal Health Bureau (BMHB) Monday.Ma Yanming, deputy director of publicity at the Beijing Municipal Health Bureau, told the Global Times that mobile blood donation vehicles have previously been sent to universities, but from now on they would like to collect blood at universities on a regular basis.
  • Eager buyers skirt license plate limits | Industries | – BEIJING – Residents of the capital city face the nation’s toughest restrictions on license plates for new vehicles, but some have found solutions with the help of dealers and car rental companies.
    The citywide policy adopted last year makes buyers join a plate lottery on the 26th of every month-but less than 3 percent are winners.
  • Can quirkiness sell in China? | beyondbrics | News and views on emerging markets from the Financial Times –– Ihamuotila said market research had found that in larger cities, the “self-esteem of female consumers” has been strengthening, as well as a piqued increase in what goes on behind a brand in terms of values, heritage and its environmental footprint.It would seem therefore, that not being understood aesthetically by a new culture of consumer is a risk that Marimekko, like others before and after it, will be prepared to take.
  • Thousands Line Up For Foxconn’s Jobs in Zhengzhou (video) » M.I.C. Gadget – On the 30th of January, thousands of hopefuls stood for hours outside a labour agency located in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou. The lines stretched more than 200 meters along the road, and the people who were waiting in line with their applications just hope to get a job at Foxconn as the electronics contracting giant ramps up hiring for its iPhone plant at Zhengzhou.
  • Burmese Civil War Turns Grimmer for Kachin Guerrilla –
  • China’s state TV making huge global expansion – Yahoo! News – The killing of a South Korean coast guard officer by a Chinese fisherman should have been tailor-made for China’s CCTV News as it embarks on an ambitious plan to become a global network with assertive international coverage.
    Instead, according to CCTV employees, the story languished for hours as editors awaited political guidance from above, while would-be competitors such as Qatar’s Al-Jazeera reported extensively on December’s attack.
  • 百度推迟发布2011年第四季度财报至2月底 _百度(BIDU) _i美股 – why did baidu $bidu delay its earnings release by several weeks?
  • China-Based Hackers Target Law Firms – Bloomberg – China-based hackers looking to derail the $40 billion acquisition of the world’s largest potash producer by an Australian mining giant zeroed in on offices on Toronto’s Bay Street, home of the Canadian law firms handling the deal.
    Over a few months beginning in September 2010, the hackers rifled one secure computer network after the next, eventually hitting seven different law firms as well as Canada’s Finance Ministry and the Treasury Board, according to Daniel Tobok, president of Toronto-based Digital Wyzdom. His cyber security company was hired by the law firms to assist in the probe.
    The investigation linked the intrusions to a Chinese effort to scuttle the takeover of Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. by BHP Billiton Ltd. as part of the global competition for natural resources, Tobok said. Such stolen data can be worth tens of millions of dollars and give the party who possesses it an unfair advantage in deal negotiations, he said.
  • Hong Kong’s Tiger Court Fight Tests Securities Regulator’s Offshore Reach – Bloomberg
  • China Repo Rate Decline by Most in 11 Months After Cash Injection by PBOC – Bloomberg – happens every year. bears make lots of noise about problems before CNY, then it goes back to normal after the holiday. and media reports it as new ever year
  • ANALYSIS: Chinese military on edge after death of Kim Jong Il – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun– China, fearful that North Korea could be plunged into turmoil following the death of Kim Jong Il, is casting a watchful eye over its longtime yet unpredictable ally in case its own national security is threatened.In late December, Chinese President Hu Jintao told senior military officials not to let their guard down for fear of unexpected armed conflict breaking out. He was apparently concerned about instability in North Korea following the Dec. 17 death of Kim Jong Il.
  • Trade Protest Is Planned on Eve of a Chinese Leader’s Visit – – On Tuesday, a coalition of big American labor unions, Democratic politicians and trade advocacy groups plans to start campaigning for the Obama administration to file a series of trade cases against China in the auto industry. They accuse Beijing of unfairly subsidizing Chinese auto parts makers and illegally restricting the exports of crucial raw materials that foreign parts makers need to stay competitive.
  • Controversial culture projects– All design projects from the controversial Boston International Design Group (BIDG) have been officially cancelled by the government.It follows complaints from cultural heritage experts, who accused the company of destroying Beijing’s historic structures and districts, including Nanluoguxiang and the Drum and Bell Tower area.

    Government-owned Beijing Oriental Culture Economic Development Group hired BIDG to develop projects, but they were all cancelled, after  the designs were roundly criticized by both heritage experts and the public, according to the Municipal Commission of Urban Planning Wednesday.

  • “嘴上腐败”应尽早入罪(编辑视线)–社会–人民网
  • Another subpoena to Twitter for Occupy related account | Privacy SOS – What does Twitter know about Mr. Harris that could be relevant to the Brooklyn Bridge incident that the police and prosecutors couldn’t find out by simply searching for his tweets using a public source like Likely nothing. It’s therefore possible that this subpoena is one step towards attempting to gain access to Mr. Harris’ private email account. Will another subpoena, to his email provider, come next?
  • Rein: Why Starbucks Succeeds in China – CNBC
  • Intellectual Microblog Exodus? | China Power – Sina Weibo microblog, China’s equivalent of Twitter, has seen its reputation take a hit with news that a number of leading academics and public intellectuals have declared that they no longer use the site because they believe new registration rules are too strict and that it is stifling freedom of expression. $sina