China Readings for October 27th

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

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  • 百胜收购小肥羊遇挫:审查延期“不代表否决” – 产经 – 21世纪网 – China may not allow Yum Brands to buy a hotpot chain
  • The Dangerous Politics of Internet Humor in China –– No government in the world pours more resources into patrolling the Web than China’s, tracking down unwanted content and supposed miscreants among the online population of 500 million with an army of more than 50,000 censors and vast networks of advanced filtering software. Yet despite these restrictions — or precisely because of them — the Internet is flourishing as the wittiest space in China. “Censorship warps us in many ways, but it is also the mother of creativity,” says Hu Yong, an Internet expert and associate professor at Peking University. “It forces people to invent indirect ways to get their meaning across, and humor works as a natural form of encryption.”To slip past censors, Chinese bloggers have become masters of comic subterfuge, cloaking their messages in protective layers of irony and satire. This is not a new concept, but it has erupted so powerfully that it now defines the ethos of the Internet in China.
  • China diplomat: nothing concrete on investing in EFSF vehicle | Reuters – China has backed efforts to tackle the euro zone’s debt crisis but there is currently nothing concrete concerning support for a special purpose investment vehicle (SPIV) of the euro zone’s bailout fund, a Chinese diplomat said on Wednesday.
  • Exclusive: National Security Agency helps banks battle hackers | Reuters – The National Security Agency, a secretive arm of the U.S. military, has begun providing Wall Street banks with intelligence on foreign hackers, a sign of growing U.S. fears of financial sabotage.
  • China Wants Bases an Endless War in Pakistan | Danger Room |– Washington just got a golden opportunity to end its decade-long excursion into central Asia and deplete the power of its Pacific rival/banker, all in one fell swoop. The Chinese are seeking bases in the tribal regions of Pakistan, precisely where the U.S. fights its drone war.The plugged-in Asia Times Online reports that China wants to set up military hubs in Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa, formerly known as the Northwest Frontier Province. China’s reasoning will sound familiar to American ears: That’s where anti-Chinese terrorists operate. Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa abuts the restive, non-Han Chinese province of Xinjiang, home to ethnic Uighur separatists. With the People’s Liberation Army getting a foothold in tribal Pakistan, the Chinese reason, it can crush separatism, and make sure that terrorist factions can’t hide out across the border.
  • 李小磊:文化企业上市融资将加快_金融频道_财新网 – 文化部文化产业司副司长李小磊称,文化部将联合有关部门制定税收方面,有普惠意义的支持文化产业发展的政策
  • 1Q84: Haruki Murakami
  • Just How Powerful Are China’s State-Owned Firms? – China Real Time Report – WSJ – China’s super-competitive exporters give the country a capitalist flair and obscure fact that the country’s state-owned companies still play a huge role in the economy. How big? According to a new report for the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a congressional review group, state-owned entities of one kind or another, account for about 50% of China’s rapidly expanding gross domestic product.
  • China tightens grip on social media with detentions – – The Chinese government has started a systematic crackdown on unruly internet users with an announcement by the regulator that two people had been detained for spreading false information online and that three more cases were being investigated.
    While Chinese citizens have been prosecuted before for information they had posted online, the move by the regulator – the State Internet Information Office – marks the first high-profile announcement of several such cases by the central government.
  • Armed forces: Belligerent language masks limited capability – – Defence experts say that, despite its progress in hardware modernisation, the PLA still lacks many capabilities necessary for waging a war.
    The Pentagon report said: “Following this period of ambitious acquisition, the decade from 2011 through 2020 will prove critical to the PLA as it attempts to integrate many new and complex platforms, and to adopt modern operational concepts, including joint operations and network-centric warfare.”
    Some foreign military officers who have taken part in exchanges with the PLA are more straightforward.
    “They have been talking about integrating more IT in their operations and strengthening joint operations, but they are many years from realising that,” says a European naval officer who visited a Chinese warship.
  • Debt: Argument over burden divides experts – – Few issues divide China bulls from bears as sharply as government indebtedness.
    To hear it from the doomsayers, the country is riddled with hidden debts that put it on par with Greece and could pave the way to a full-blown crisis.
    China boosters retort that the official debt load is small and that hidden liabilities are more imaginary than real.
    The truth lies somewhere between the two extremes.
  • High stakes in backroom battle – – About this time next year, virtually all of China’s top leaders, including President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, will step down from their party posts after a decade as the unelected rulers of the world’s most populous nation.
    In a tightly choreographed ceremony, their successors will walk out on to the stage in the Great Hall of the People just off Beijing’s Tiananmen Square and assume responsibility for 1.3bn people and an economy that is the world’s second-largest.
    The procedure by which this new generation of leaders will be chosen is a mystery to all but a tiny handful of power brokers in the party.
    But the public appearance of the ailing Mr Jiang was a sign of the vicious jockeying going on behind closed doors, as past and present leaders attempt to place allies and acolytes in positions of influence. He was there to encourage the remnant members of his faction and show his opponents he still wields some power from behind the scenes.
  • In Deft Move, Chinese Property Tycoon Issues Own Currency – China Real Time Report – WSJ – But on Wednesday, Mr. Pan offered his own version of Panbi on his Weibo feed. His one-Pan bill looks suspiciously like China’s 100-yuan note, except with Mr. Pan on the front instead of Mao Zedong. The back features a quote from the Baha’I faith, which Mr. Pan prominently practices and preaches on Weibo from time to time. In his post, Mr. Pan says he hopes China’s central bank, which oversees the yuan, won’t mind the new currency.
  • China Takes Loss to Get Ahead in Desalination Industry –– TIANJIN, China — Towering over the Bohai Sea shoreline on this city’s outskirts, the Beijiang Power and Desalination Plant is a 26-billion-renminbi technical marvel: an ultrahigh-temperature, coal-fired generator with state-of-the-art pollution controls, mated to advanced Israeli equipment that uses its leftover heat to distill seawater into fresh water.There is but one wrinkle in the $4 billion plant: The desalted water costs twice as much to produce as it sells for. Nevertheless, the owner of the complex, a government-run conglomerate called S.D.I.C., is moving to quadruple the plant’s desalinating capacity, making it China’s largest.
  • 6th Plenum Report Suggests China Will Strengthen Internet Management | DigiCha– The official report (中共中央关于深化文化体制改革推动社会主义文化大发展大繁荣若干重大问题的决定) from the 6th Plenum of the 17th Communist Party Congress is now public. The “Central Committee Decision Concerning the Major Issue of Deepening Cultural System Reforms, Promoting the Great Development and Prosperity of Socialist Culture” is a long, complicated and important document. Currently it is only available in Chinese.Readers of this blog will be most interested in the section on the Internet, summarized here in the Bloomberg story China Communists Vow to Strengthen Management of Internet.
  • China’s Shadow Banking System: The Next Subprime? – MarketBeat – WSJ– We all know by now the standard-issue worry about China — too much debt-fueled building too fast, raising the risk of a hard landing. There’s an additional wrinkle to the story, too, one that might be more worrying, as it has a bit of the feel of the subprime mortgage debacle that took down the global economy just a few years ago.We’re talking about a large, off-balance-sheet world of debt, China’s “shadow banking” system, which has grown to make up about 22% of all new financing in China, Barclays Capital reports.
  • Sina Weibo Hits 250 Million Registered Users, Plans Spin-Off [Exclusive] | TechRice
  • All in favor of culture, say “Aye” – China Media Project– After a full week of feverish coverage in official Chinese media about “cultural system reforms,” and the need to bring about the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese people” through a flowering of the creative industries, Party leaders have finally released the full text of the document everyone has been yammering about.The document in question — “Central Committee Decision Concerning the Major Issue of Deepening Cultural System Reforms, Promoting the Great Development and Prosperity of Socialist Culture” — has been billed in state media as the culminating achievement of the Sixth Plenary Meeting of the 17th CCP Central Committee, the annual full meeting of China’s topmost Party leaders. But as we have pointed out, cultural development as a means of strengthening the nation and advancing China’s soft power internationally, has been a top CCP agenda since 2007.
  • Paulson: China Should Move Faster on Yuan – Real Time Economics – WSJ– China should embrace a faster appreciation of its currency but U.S. policy makers should be wary of taking punitive actions to force the issue, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Tuesday.Paulson, speaking during an appearance in Washington, said the U.S. and China could both benefit from Beijing taking on much-needed structural changes to its financial markets. (Read the full speech)
  • China Fund Squeeze Has Chan Seeing Bankrupt Developers as Hang Lung Spends – Bloomberg – Hang Lung Properties Ltd. Chairman Ronnie Chan said some big developers in China are struggling to get funds and smaller ones may go out of business, spurring opportunities for financially stronger companies.
  • U.S. Targets State Firms, Eyeing China –– The Obama administration is using negotiations this week over a multilateral trade deal to try to craft limits on the ability of state-owned companies to use government preferential treatment and subsidies to outcompete privately owned firms.While the immediate target of the effort is Vietnam—one of the parties in the trade talks, whose state-owned industries such as its loss-ridden shipbuilders have sucked in state credit, but don’t pose much of a competitive threat for the U.S.—people involved in the negotiations say the longer-range target is China’s state-owned giants, which have become among the biggest and most profitable firms in the world, and which are looking to expand in the U.S.
  • China Vows to ‘Strengthen Management’ of Internet – Bloomberg – Vowing to promote the development of what it called a healthy Internet culture, the party’s Central Committee said it will supervise the world’s biggest online community more closely, promote “cultural treasures” and “constructive” websites, and punish the spread of “harmful information,” according to a communique from the committee’s Oct. 15-18 meeting released overnight by the official Xinhua News Agency.
    China’s leaders are grappling with the best way to manage Twitter-like social-media sites such as Sina Corp.’s Weibo service that are hard for government censors to control. Codifying language on Internet control in an official party document is significant because it means tens of millions of party members across the country will focus on the issue, said Bill Bishop, a Beijing-based independent Internet analyst.
    “People would be making a mistake to be rolling their eyes and dismissing this as empty talk,” Bishop said in a phone interview. “Clearly the regulatory risk for Chinese Internet stocks is increasing and has been increasing for the last couple of months.”
  • 多起网络谣言事件被查明 相关责任人和网站受处理_时政频道_新华网
  • Business China-Chinese property developers are slowly getting more comfortable with the prospect of reducing prices– Chinese property developers are slowly getting more comfortable with the prospect of reducing prices at residential projects as transactions fall and prices stall, with larger market players including China Overseas Land & Investment Ltd. (0688.HK) and Longfor Properties Co. Ltd. (0960.HK) taking the plunge.Often wary of lowering prices in case they trigger a race-to-the-bottom price war, more and more property developers appear willing to reduce prices this year as they look to withdraw as much cash as possible from a cooling market and lower housing inventories that are reaching record levels in some cities.
  • 中共中央关于深化文化体制改革推动社会主义文化大发展大繁荣若干重大问题的决定-《财经网》– more internet regulations should be expected as a result of the 6th plenum decisions on cultural reform. a key section from the official report:五)发展健康向上的网络文化。加强网上思想文化阵地建设,是社会主义文化建设的迫切任务。要认真贯彻积极利用、科学发展、依法管理、确保安全的方针,加强和改进网络文化建设和管理,加强网上舆论引导,唱响网上思想文化主旋律。实施网络内容建设工程,推动优秀传统文化瑰宝和当代文化精品网络传播,制作适合互联网和手机等新兴媒体传播的精品佳作,鼓励网民创作格调健康的网络文化作品。支持重点新闻网站加快发展,打造一批在国内外有较强影响力的综合性网站和特色网站,发挥主要商业网站建设性作用,培育一批网络内容生产和服务骨干企业。发展网络新技术新业态,占领网络信息传播制高点。广泛开展文明网站创建,推动文明办网、文明上网,督促网络运营服务企业履行法律义务和社会责任,不为有害信息提供传播渠道。加强网络法制建设,加快形成法律规范、行政监管、行业自律、技术保障、公众监督、社会教育相结合的互联网管理体系。加强对社交网络和即时通信工具等的引导和管理,规范网上信息传播秩序,培育文明理性的网络环境。依法惩处传播有害信息行为,深入推进整治网络淫秽色情和低俗信息专项行动,严厉打击网络违法犯罪。加大网上个人信息保护力度,建立网络安全评估机制,维护公共利益和国家信息安全。
  • Stephen Colbert cuts Jon Huntsman China gaffe – Tim Mak –– A less-than-tasteful joke was edited out of Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman’s appearance on “The Colbert Report.”When the show played a stereotypical Chinese musical jingle, Huntsman joked, “When’s the delivery food coming?” After a few moments of awkward silence, host Stephen Colbert asked the former U.S. ambassador to China, “Did that go over well in Beijing?”

    That portion of the interview caused the crowd to groan and was later cut from the Monday night broadcast because of time reasons

  • Consumers: How to find favour down at the shops – – Chinese consumers tend to know exactly what they want to buy – and it is not always what multinational companies want to sell them
  • 通州核心区房价再探底 一项目以13200元/平起价入市_中国经济网――国家经济门户– new home prices dropping fast in the Tongzou suburb of Beijing// 敏感的通州房价底线又一次被打破。记者昨天获悉,位于通州新城运河核心区的一处项目已拟定以13200元/平方米的起价入市,且赠送10%-15%的面积,相当于在单价13200元/平方米的基础上再打8.5—9折,再次挑战通州核心区的房价底线。
  • Foreign Ownership in China: Still VIEable? | – GPlus call 11.1 was supposed to participate but have conflict. good group
  • Innovation: Autocratic directives fail to spark creativity – – Late last year, a Chinese military institute unveiled the world’s fastest supercomputer, accompanied by great fanfare from state media, which hailed it as a triumph of homegrown innovation.
    But some top Chinese scientists were quick to dismiss the invention as little more than a propaganda stunt and it soon emerged that almost all the chips used to build the machine, the Tianhe-1, were made by Intel and Nvidia, a US computer animation company.
    “I am not saying it is utterly useless,” said one outspoken professor from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in a scathing interview with a Hong Kong newspaper. “It can play video games.”