China Readings for September 8th

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

These are my recommended readings for September 8th

  • CLSA On China’s E-Commerce Market | DigiCha
  • Chinese Wine Stuns Wine World | China Bystander – He Lan Qing Xue was named the best Red Bordeaux Varietal over £10 at the Decanter World Wine Awards in London
  • Murdoch And The Vicious Circle | Business | Vanity Fair– As the phone-hacking scandal threatens Rupert Murdoch’s empire, people are opening up about the fear he instilled in British society. And while denial is still rife inside News Corp., the author hears how its supposedly hands-off chairman spawned a culture of coarseness and brutality.By Sarah Ellison
  • China bashing no cure for U.S. economic woes-Xinhua goes after romney – U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Tuesday launched an assault on China in a campaign speech, groundlessly accusing the global economic powerhouse of manipulating its currency and stealing U.S. intellectual property.
  • Big Sucking Sound in Burma (Myanmar) is China’s Resource Grab – Forbes
  • Review & Outlook: Beijing Plays Blame the Foreigners –– After a scandal is reported at home, the state-run media develops a sudden interest in stories showing that foreign companies are committing similar crimes in China. The problem is that in the rush to make the facts fit this narrative, companies aren’t getting a fair shake.A case in point is American oil company ConocoPhillips, which formed a joint venture with state oil company CNOOC to exploit the Penglai 19-3 offshore field in Bohai Bay in northeast China near Tianjin…

    As long as the Chinese economy continues to thrive, Beijing may not care much about the business environment for foreigners. But then the government shouldn’t be surprised if Chinese companies receive similarly unfair treatment as they compete in the global market.

  • Web user files suit against billionaire Lu Junqing – China Media Project – Zhou Xiaoyun (周筱赟), a well-known “Internet user” (知名网友) with a record as a professional journalist, issued a video statement yesterday through Chinese social media saying that he is in the process of filing a case against Lu Junqing (卢俊卿) and his lawyer, Zhang Yong (张勇), for allegedly damaging his reputation.
  • Paper faces off with billionaire club – China Media Project– Back on August 18 we ran our first review of the then developing scandal surrounding China-Africa Project Hope — a Chinese charity initiative that says it plans to build hundreds of schools in Africa — and its founding charity organization, the World Eminent Chinese Business Association (WECBA). We followed up with a media interview by Lu Xingyu (卢星宇), 24, executive chairman and secretary-general of China-Africa Project Hope and the daughter of Chinese billionaire and WECBA chairman Lu Junqing (卢俊卿).For a quick rundown of some of the initial (and ongoing) doubts and questions surrounding the WECBA and its charity work, you can see our August 22 translation of an August 20 piece in Guangzhou’s Southern Metropolis Daily called, “Eight Big Lies of Lu Junqing and the World Chinese Eminent Business Association.”

    The “Eight Big Lies” piece, in fact, is now front and center as the row between the WECBA and Southern Metropolis Daily intensifies this week, with the association alleging libel and threatening legal action and the newspaper digging in for a fight.

  • Fitch warns of downgrades for China, Japan | Reuters – Fitch Ratings warned on Thursday that it might downgrade China’s credit rating within two years as the country’s banks struggle with debt loads following a lending surge to help lift the economy during the 2008 financial crisis.
  • Drones Evolve Into Weapon in Age of Terror – – Intelligence Services Overcome Philosophical, Legal Misgivings Over Targeted Killings; Pilotless Attacks Doubled in 2010
  • Suing Banks Is Next Best to Letting Them Fail: Jonathan Weil – Bloomberg – The proper role of government in a free-enterprise system is to police market participants at arm’s length, not join their ranks and choose winners and losers. That’s a line we crossed a long time ago, though. The great outrage isn’t that a federal agency is suing some of these too-big-to-fail banks for damages. It’s that we ever bailed them out at all.
  • The Spy Who Tweeted Me: Intelligence Community Wants to Monitor Social Media | Danger Room |– article about US, but one reason something like sina weibo unlikely to ever be shut. it is a real time stream with huge value to security services//A research arm of the intelligence community wants to sweep up public data on everything from Twitter to public webcams in the hopes of predicting the future.

    The project is the brainchild of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, or Iarpa, a relatively new part of the spy community that’s supposed to help investigate breakthrough technologies…

    The science underlying the project is the notion that early indicators of major social upheavals might be hidden in plain, socially-networked sight. “Some of these changes may be indirectly observable from publicly available data, such as web search queries, blogs, micro-blogs, internet traffic, financial markets, traffic webcams, Wikipedia edits, and many others,” the announcement, published August 25, says. “Published research has found that some of these data sources are individually useful in the early detection of events such as disease outbreaks, political crises, and macroeconomic trends.”

  • Beijing’s latest army… of ‘civilisers’ | beyondbrics | News and views on emerging markets from the Financial Times –– Over the past week, many Beijing residents have noticed a new kind of uniform in the streets. Large numbers of mostly young men and women in white-and-blue tracksuits have appeared on street corners trying to discourage pedestrians and cyclists from running red lights and going in the wrong direction.A national civilisation competition is to blame.
  • High Peaks Pure Earth: “Who Are the Real “Orientalists”?” By Woeser
  • It’s Media, Chief, But Not As We Know It « Silicon Hutong– Imagine the reaction of these leaders in late July, in the wake of the train wreck, when they wake up and realize that there are a half billion Chinese citizens online; that a quarter billion spend more time watching TV online than watching state-owned, Party-controlled broadcasters; and that a quarter billion now get at least as much “news” from Weibo and QQ as they get from newspapers or TV. What must have been even more sobering was realizing that the demographic most affected by online services is the very demographic that has driven every popular rising in modern Chinese history.Suddenly, these aren’t “telecommunications value-added services,” or “online sites,” or “technology companies.” They are media, privately-owned media in a country where media must be state-owned; partly owned, influenced, and controlled by foreign interests in a sector where foreign ownership is explicitly forbidden; and influential media largely outside of the control of the Party. Such a situation calls for a change. But what?
  • Now This Is Happening: A Bank Funding Crisis in China? – MarketBeat – WSJ– As if we didn’t have enough to worry about, there are signs of a bank funding crisis in China.Bank of America Merrill Lynch rates and currency strategists raise the red flag (of warning, not of China) this morning, appending this fairly unnerving chart of the spread between Shibor and the PBoC bill rate, which is the equivalent of our Libor-OIS spread, measuring the anxiety banks feel about lending money to each other in the short term.
  • John Gapper Column-China’s migrant workers expect more – – “People don’t fear poverty,” Wang Yang, head of Guangdong’s Communist party and a member of the Politburo, said in April. “What they fear is not having the market conditions for fair competition so that they can achieve prosperity.” Yet the party has failed to live up to those words.
    China need not guarantee that migrants such as Ms Li achieve their dreams – the American dream was never state-guaranteed – but it must give them a fair shot. Until it does, it has a big problem on its hands.
  • Chinese Art Collectors Prove to Be a New Market Force –– reads like a bit of wet kiss pr piece for the big auction houses//As auction houses prepare for their fall sales, Chinese collectors are expected to be a major boost for the market, raising their paddles for big-ticket artworks despite a backdrop of global economic turmoil.

    Lawrence Chu, a collector in Hong Kong, with a painting by Mark Bradford, an example of the Western art he is acquiring.
    With China’s economy booming, art collectors there have become an increasingly powerful force in the market, demonstrating a growing interest in Western as well as Asian art.

  • China renews Google’s website licence –– good news, though be careful taking this as sign that is ok with VIEs and foreign internet investment. Perhaps Google China now so irrelevant that authorities don’t care too much about them?//The Chinese government has renewed the licence under which Google runs its local website, a decision that reassures investors over the legal basis for foreign internet companies’ business in the country.

    “We can confirm that the government has renewed our [internet content provider] licence,” a Google spokesperson said. The announcement comes less than a week after a set of new regulations took effect which appeared to put the legal structure of many foreign and overseas-listed Chinese internet companies at risk.

  • An Exorbitant Burden – By Michael Pettis | Foreign Policy – Why keeping the dollar as the world’s reserve currency is a massive drag on the struggling U.S. economy.
  • Jingdong CEO Waves Off IPO Rumor_English_Caixin – Jingdong Mall, also known by its domain name, is not planning an IPO launch according to its CEO Liu Qiangdong
    (Beijing) — Liu Qiangdong, CEO of Jingdong Mall, China’s largest online home appliance retailer, dismissed rumors that the company has plans to select an underwriter next week for a listing on U.S. exchanges through a microblog post September 8.
  • Singer Couple’s Teenage Son Shocked Public in Beating a Couple-Caijing– The 15-year-old son of a famous singer couple in China beat a couple without good reason and in an arrogant way in a residential quarter in north Beijing, causing hot discussions on the Internet.On the evening of September 6, a couple in a car in Haidian district were severely beaten by two young men who were driving a BMW without a license behind them.

    “We slowed down our car when we drove into the gate of the community, and they braked behind us. Then we were beaten,” said Yang, the wife, whose head was wrapped in gauze after the beating, according to China Daily.

    The other young man drove an Audi. After beating the couple, the two young men tried to leave but were stopped by nearby citizens. The arrogant teenagers shouted to the crowd: “who dares to call 110!”

    They were caught by police who arrived shortly after, but have been already released by police because teenagers under 16 should not be charged as criminals, the People’s Daily reported.

    Li Shuangjiang, one of the teenagers’ father, is a famous Chinese singer that is serving in the military system, and is famous for singing “red” songs. His wife is also a singer. Li reportedly delivered an apology when visiting the injured couple in hospital at noon on Thursday.

  • Top of Chinese wealthy’s wish list? To leave China – AP – seems like all of my friends with means are doing this now. bad sign//
    Chinese millionaire Su builds skyscrapers in Beijing and is one of the people powering China’s economy on its path to becoming the world’s biggest.
    He sits at the top of a country — economy booming, influence spreading, military swelling — widely expected to dominate the 21st century.
    Yet the property developer shares something surprising with many newly rich in China: he’s looking forward to the day he can leave.
    Su’s reasons: He wants to protect his assets, he has to watch what he says in China and wants a second child, something against the law for many Chinese.
    The millionaire spoke to The Associated Press on condition that only his surname was used because of fears of government reprisals that could damage his business.
    China’s richest are increasingly investing abroad to get a foreign passport, to make international business and travel easier but also to give them a way out of China.
  • How do corrupted officials take the first step?– A letter of apology, written by Xu Maiyong, former vice mayor of Hangzhou, who was executed for bribery and embezzlement in July, has been released.Xu mentioned his “mental imbalance” in the letter, saying that he thought himself smarter than the millionaires he frequented, but that he was much poorer. Such a problem is common nowadays. Although Xu has been executed, will China be serious about rooting out the conditions that cause these problems?

    Chinese society believes that being in an official power brings influence, status and wealth. As such, officials are thought  to stand to benefit from many deals, ignoring the fact that some officials actually are poorly paid and overloaded with work.

    This recognition is based on the outdated official culture throughout China’s long history.

    To become clean civil servants, officials must root out this old culture and modernize it, although this cannot be achieved through a few classes.

  • The Hindu : News / International : Jihadist group claims Xinjiang attacks– A Jihadist group has claimed responsibility for recent violence in China’s far-western Xinjiang region, saying in a video message that the attacks, which left up to 40 people dead in two cities, were “revenge” against the Chinese government.The Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP), an Islamist group that has carried out several attacks in Xinjiang and other parts of China and has called for the Muslim-majority Western region’s independence, said in a video message it had been behind knife-attacks and blasts in Hotan and Kashgar that left up to 40 people, including at least 20 attackers, dead.

    The 10-minute 44-second video message, which showed TIP leader Abdul Shakoor Damla, was the first claim of responsibility for the attacks, which Chinese authorities had blamed on terrorists trained in camps in Pakistan. The United States-based SITE Intelligence Group said the video was made by the TIP, the Associated Press reported.

  • China’s Jingdong Mall ( plans $4-$5 billion U.S. IPO: IFR | Reuters – Chinese online retailer Jingdong Mall is set to kick off an IPO process next week that could be the most daring bet yet on U.S. investors’ appetite for Chinese stocks.
    The company, also known by the name of, plans to raise $4 billion to $5 billion in an IPO tentatively scheduled for the first half of 2012, according to IFR, a Thomson Reuters publication.
  • Yuan Convertible By 2015: China to EU Chamber – Bloomberg
  • [priv] Dagong Grants AAA Ratings to Small Companies It Denies U.S.: China Credit – Bloomberg