The Sinocism China Newsletter 05.01.14

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

China is on holiday until Sunday, barring anything big there will not be another update until next week.

Today’s Links:


Three Killed, Dozens Injured in Blast in Capital of China’s Xinjiang Region – If authorities determine Wednesday’s explosion was a bomb, the timing and location would suggest an ability to strike for maximum impact: In addition to Mr. Xi’s visit, Wednesday marked the eve of a long May Day holiday weekend that in Urumqi was to include a ceremony to mark the opening of a new intra-province rail system. “If you can conduct attacks at symbolically important times you are choosing your own targets,” said Philip B.K. Potter, an expert on terrorism at the University of Michigan. “That shows capacity.” // grim, will get much grimmer. 

Related: Bombing in China shows new level of militant daring, organization | Reuters A bombing in western China, which killed three people and wounded 79 on Wednesday, has raised concerns about the apparent sophistication and daring of the attack, possibly timed to coincide with a visit to the heavily Muslim region by President Xi Jinping. Unidentified assailants used explosives and knives in their attack on a railway station in Urumqi, the first bomb attack on the capital of Xinjiang province in 17 years, at a time of likely heavy security and soon after the arrival of a train from a mainly Han Chinese province, state media said.

Related: In Xinjiang, Xi Pushes Vision of Uighur Integration – – Mr. Xi indicated that he saw greater integration of Uighurs as a solution to discontent, not as its cause. The Chinese government sees the growing ethnic violence in Xinjiang as emanating from fanaticism sponsored from abroad, not from its own policy failures. Mr. Xi visited a bilingual school, where Uighur children were being taught in Mandarin as well as their own language.

Related: The first 20 minutes of the CCTV Evening News highlighted Xi’s visit to Xinjiang-[视频]习近平在新疆考察时强调 紧紧依靠各族干部群众共同团结奋斗 建设和谐繁荣富裕文明进步安居乐业的社会主义新疆 and 习近平在乌鲁木齐接见劳动模范和先进工作者 先进人物代表 向全国广大劳动者致以“五一”节问候

Related: President Xi stresses Xinjiang’s stability vital to whole nation – Xinhua President Xi Jinping said that long-term stability in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is vital to the whole country’s stability and national security. Xi made the remarks during an inspection tour to Xinjiang which ended on Wednesday.

Related: China’s Xi says Xinjiang is front line on terrorism, hails police | Reuters “The Kashgar region is the front line in anti-terrorism and maintaining social stability,” the official Xinhua news agency citied Xi as telling paramilitary police in the Silk Road city of Kashgar in western Xinjiang that has been at the center of much of the unrest. “The situation is grim and complicated. The local level police stations are fists and daggers,” Xi said. // 习近平新疆考察:让群众有事干、有钱挣、有盼头 

Related: 习近平历数新疆美食 称“不辞长作新疆人”_网易新闻中心  Xi Jinping likes Xinjiang food, quotes Su Dongpo to say how he wished he had been assigned to Xinjiang during GPCR // 座谈会上,习近平愉快回忆起上世纪六七十年代知识青年投身兵团的美好故事。习近平微笑着说:“我当时插队在陕北,很向往这里。苏东坡诗曰‘日啖荔枝三百颗,不辞长作岭南人’。新疆有烤馕、抓饭、羊肉串、哈密瓜、葡萄等等,咱们有充足的理由说‘不辞长作新疆人’”。

Vanke Vice Chairman Mao Daqing’s private comments about the Chinese residential property market recorded, posted online | Sinocism Mao touched upon supply/demand (esp BJ market), impact of anti corruption on secondary market, DSI/inventory, house construction per thousand pop and very importantly, the impact of change in Chinese demographic on the economy in the near/medium term. 3 common phenomena in the Chinese real estate sector in 2014: (1) T2-3 cities: supply exceeds demand, by a lot (2) T1 cities: continue to see robust demand; however, land price has gone up more than project ASP. (3) Credit has tightened…Anti-corruption campaign in China has a greater impact on high-end property projects than most realized…90% demand in BJ’s transactions now is consumption driven.  Per request by government, Vanke has launched some property projects in BJ at lower prices ~22K rmb/sqm regardless of the potential financial losses. All units were sold out in 4 hours since the prices were set lower than market price to accommodate consumption driven home buyers.

Related: 万佑希: 万科毛大庆在建策沙龙上的发言(速记版,绝对原创) 感谢小张的录音和记录。上周参加了一个沙龙 full Chinese of the transcript of the purported comments by Mr. Mao… //  因此北京的市场是有的,着急买房子的人是大把在,但是这些人已经构不成对于高端楼盘的支撑。这是我想表达的观点,市场中90%以上还是刚性需求,他们的临界点特别敏感。前段时间万科在北京卖的房子(住总万科联合开发的万科橙项目,2.2万每平),在市场上引起轩然大波,这个项目是被建委要求价格合理一点,低一点,万科提出有股东、合作伙伴,是否可以不卖,但建委仍然要求卖,要求我们起带头作用。低价卖了以后,记者写了很多文章,要崩盘了,万科要带头降价了,以至于现任中央某常委的儿子从美国打电话给我,问我是不是北京的房子真的要跌了,我说政府让我干的,你还问我。情况就是4小时卖光。卖光的状态:房价几乎就和北京的自住商品房一样

Related: Yangtze River Delta Leads Softening of Housing Market – Caixin China Vanke Co. Ltd, the country’s largest property developer, reduced home prices in Hangzhou, eastern Zhejiang Province, in the face of a continued downturn in the housing market. Economists said the latest move could signal another round of price-cuts for residential property.

Growing Pains for a Megalopolis in Transition – Caixin Twenty years of on-and-off government discussions have yielded little progress toward the goal of coordinating urban and industrial development in a key Chinese megalopolis – the region encompassing the nation’s capital Beijing, neighboring Hebei Province and the port-manufacturing-financial services city of Tianjin. Now, central government authorities have intervened with clear orders to move forward. Details of a concerted push for regional development coordination were announced April 9 by the National Development and Reform Commission, the country’s top economic planner. // looks to be a huge push for Xi, gotten lots of media play over the last few weeks. Major challenges, mooted for 10 years, been impossible to align interests

Rhodium Group » New Realities in the US-China Investment Relationship For decades, foreign direct investment (FDI) flows between the US and China were a one-way street: American multinationals invested in labor-intensive manufacturing and consumer-oriented operations in China, but Chinese firms had neither motive nor capacity to invest in the US economy. In the past 5 years this situation has changed profoundly, as Chinese investment in the US took off, and, by most measures, now exceeds flows in the other direction. This sea change suggests opportunity, but also a pressing need for  policy leadership to ensure a success story does not turn into a new grievance.

China denies declaring war on Christians after mega-church is razed – Telegraph The Sanjiang church in Wenzhou, a wealthy coastal city in Zhejiang province with one of China’s largest Christian populations, was reduced to rubble on Monday nigh

Related: Local officials face discipline for allowing construction of Sanjiang Church in Wenzhou | South China Morning Post The congregation of the now-demolished church says it was targeted illegally after operating with permits, but the county government says the church violated building codes

Alibaba in Talks to Reclaim Stake in Alipay Payments Unit – One scenario being discussed with a major shareholder would have Alibaba taking a one-third stake in Alipay, said one of the people familiar with the talks. Changing the ownership structure is “still only a concept at this point, and there is no timeline,” another person familiar with the discussions said. // guess that PBoC rule banning foreign investment in online payments firms, the one that Jack Ma cited when he took back Alipay but which no one else appears to have seen, and which did not stop other online payments firms with foreign investors and a VIE structure from getting PBoC licenses, no longer applies? Or are there some issues with the Alibaba IPO and the bankers see this move as necessary to get the valuation up?

Bloomberg’s folly : Columbia Journalism Review In retrospect, people who worked on the new Bloomberg enterprise project say that the breakdown in the wall between news and business on the Xi Jinping story a year earlier looks very much like a dry run for the handling of their new work. Senior company officials again got involved with the story in its late stages of preparation, but this time to far more dramatic effect. According to a mid-October email exchange whose content was shared with me, this happened after an executive with a global investment bank with business in China remarked to a Bloomberg sales agent on the recent slowness of the company’s terminal data from China, mentioning that he had heard that Bloomberg was about to drop another investigative “bombshell” about the country. China’s censors often slow internet traffic when they are on guard for politically sensitive events. Other sources suggested that Bloomberg executives, and people in sales in particular, may have become concerned about the pending project even before this conversation.

京藏高速出京方向堵车55公里:四环堵到八达岭_网易新闻中心 55km traffic jam on one of highways heading out of Beijing on this May 1 holiday, why we either stay home on holidays like this or leave the country. pictures



China Test Shows Bad Loan Surge Would Hurt Banks’ Capital – Bloomberg China’s systemically important banks may see their capital adequacy ratio fall to 10.5 percent in the event bad loans surge fivefold, according to a stress test by the nation’s central bank. The average capital adequacy ratio of the 17 banks, which account for 61 percent of China’s banking assets, may fall to 10.5 percent from the end-2013 level of 11.98 percent should nonperforming loans increase 400 percent in the worst-case scenario, the People’s Bank of China said in its annual financial stability report yesterday.//any more rigorous than the US Fed’s 2009 stress tests?

CCB Deposits Getting Cut by Money Market Funds, Source Says – Caixin The China Construction Bank (CCB) may have lost up to 100 billion yuan worth of deposits to money market funds in the first three months of this year, an executive of the bank, who declined to be named, said in an internal conference on April 28…But there is no need to worry, the executive said. “In fact, the growth of money market funds has slowed significantly to almost none in April, so as long as the bank’s balance sheets are healthy, the siphoning effect of money market funds on bank deposits will taper off,” he said

China Steel Industry Facing Harshest Ever Operating Environment – Bloomberg “Some less-competitive mills will find it hard to continue,” He Wenbo, chairman of China’s biggest publicly-traded steelmaker, said today in a web cast. The environment is “harsher than any years in the past,” he said. The comments underscore the challenges facing China’s steel sector, producer of about half the world’s steel.

China’s Iron Ore Inventory Rises to Record on Output, Financing – Bloomberg Iron ore shipments into China, which accounts for more than 60 percent of the seaborne trade, were a record 820 million tons last year, according to China Iron & Steel Association estimate. Imports rose 19 percent to about 222 million tons in the first quarter, customs said on April 10.

WH Group Cancels $1.9 Billion Hong Kong Initial Public Offering – Bloomberg The Chinese owner of Smithfield Foods Inc. is canceling its IPO after Japanese hotel operator Seibu Holdings Inc. (9024) and Weibo Corp., which runs a Chinese microblogging service, pared their share sales this month. Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index has fallen 3.7 percent this year, the second-worst performance among developed markets, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. // these bankers seem to have forgotten that investors prefer lipstick with their pigs…though frankly thought this was a decent deal, but for the aggressive insider selling into the IPO

China’s warns against T+0 stock trading – Xinhua China’s central bank on Tuesday warned against T+0 trading in stock market. T+0 means buying and selling financial products on the same day. “T” stands for the first letter of the English word “trade”. Currently, T+1 is used by the Shanghai and Shenzhen bourses. T+1 means shares bought on one day can only be sold from the next trading day.

China’s Economy Surpassing U.S.? Well, Yes and No – Real Time Economics – WSJ  For sure, China’s economy is rising in global stature, a process which has been underway for years. China and other developing nations are bound to use PPP data to pressure the U.S. and Europe to cede more decision-making  at global financial bodies like the IMF. Like all data, though, there are reasons to treat PPP-based calculations with caution. For one, they are a statistical construction, based on complex surveys of baskets of goods in many countries. The IMF points out here the possible statistical errors. And the ICP notes in Wednesday’s release there’s a margin of error either way of 15% when using its data to compare economies of different sizes.

China April Manufacturing Data Add to Signs of Weakness: Economy – Bloomberg The Purchasing Managers’ Index (CPMINDX) was at 50.4, the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said today in Beijing, less than the 50.5 median estimate of 38 analysts in a Bloomberg News survey. March’s reading was 50.3, with numbers above 50 signaling expansion.

China Plans Measures to Boost Trade After Unexpected Drop – Bloomberg The government will accelerate the development of cross-border e-commerce, further streamline trade processes, reduce the types of merchandise that require inspection, improve trade financing and encourage trade in services to support growth, according to the statement.

3 Reasons Why a Chinese Economic Crisis Is Unlikely – China Real Time Report – WSJ China’s economic growth is slowing, property prices in some smaller cities are declining and  companies are starting to default. But Changyong Rhee, director of the International Monetary Fund’s Asia and Pacific Department, believes the odds of China suffering a full-blown financial crisis remain low.

Disney Increases Shanghai Park Investment to $5.5 Billion – Bloomberg  Iger said China’s decision last year to let some families have two kids instead of one could create more customers for his parks. He said he’s seen estimates of as many 4 million more births annually. “Thumbs up to that from Disney,” Iger said. Shanghai Disney Resort, which will include two hotels and an outdoor recreational area, will be almost 1,000 acres in size when it opens, Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo said Dec. 10. This puts it third behind Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and Disneyland Paris among the company’s resorts, he said then.

Gansu Trust Chief under Investigation – Caixin The 17 employees were arrested over allegations of corruption and taking bribes, the procuratorate said without giving further detail. “It has been common to see trust project managers abuse the access of their jobs to make personal money, and Gansu Trust has seen a higher incidence of these cases” because the majority of the company’s trust products dealt with investors privately, an executive of a trust company said.

李克强会见美国前财长盖特纳_图片频道_新华网 Tim Geithner in Beijing, meets with Li Keqiang. pic



网友揭公款吃喝新招:大额消费化整为零 延期结账_网易新闻中心-网易新闻客户端 CCDI discusses seven ways officials get around the anti-corruption and anti-extravagance rules. There is tons of creativity in China, just often misdirected // 在八项规定公布之后,各种腐败新招改头换面地出现,从智力和手段上抛出新的挑战。 公款招待被“拆单”、婚礼宴请变为倒发红包、办公用房上“弄虚作假”、伪造出境旅游邀请函等等,网友揭发的这些新花样充斥着4月的中纪委网站,让人读来忍俊不禁。

Xining Official Sacked as Mining Probe Widens – Caixin Several sources close to the situation told Caixin Mao’s probe is related to Jiang Biao, who was placed under a corruption inquiry in early March. Jiang was former vice chairman of Xining-based West Mining Group. Mao was the former chairman of West Mining and its listing subsidiary between 2000 and 2009, when he was appointed vice party chief of Xining. The investigations over Jiang and Mao have fanned speculation on violations related to West Mining, a company which secured several eye-catching funding deals in recent years.

庭审起底华润并购真相:三个矿如何“做”出65亿天价?_21世纪网 21st Century Business Herald digs into the dirty Shanxi mine deals that may have led to downfall of China Resources Chairman Song Lin

徐才厚被双规 证据确凿高层拍板定案_中国_多维新闻网 Duowei again says that retired Gen Xu Caihou has been placed under party dentention, at the 301 Hospital where he is being treated for terminal cancer. The article goes on to discuss ways to discern the official view towards Xu by how his death and funeral are covered in official media//【多维新闻】多维新闻从多个消息渠道证实,中共军委原副主席徐才厚在4月中旬已被正式双规,双规地点是军方直属的北京301医院。徐才厚从被双规开始,就已宣告其政治生命终结。但他目前身患重疾病入膏肓,癌症病情应是进入晚期。

王兆国之子已被拘押 中央警告“别仗靠山”_中国_多维新闻网 Duowei says Wang Zhaoguo’s son has been arrested //【多维新闻】近日有关中共前政治局委员、全国人大前副委员长王兆国之子王新亮卷入多个重大案件的消息在各方流传。据可靠消息源向多维新闻透露,王新亮已经被有关部门正式拘押调查。而4月22日王兆国的公开亮相正是欲“展示存在”,表明他本人“暂时安全”。知情人士表示,官方试图通过此事向外界传达一个明确的信号,那就是下一步对于官员尤其是高官的整顿和查处,将重点放在其家属及身边工作人员如秘书等身上。

河南驻马店书记涉强拆被查 曾入股“皇家一号”_网易新闻中心 去年4月,刘国庆被擢升为河南省驻马店市委书记,发表就职感言称“我深爱着这块土地和这里的人民,将坚持夙夜在公、勤奋工作”。 今年4月25日,上任整一年,刘国庆在办公室被带走。同日,中纪委网站发布消息,刘国庆涉嫌严重违纪违法,正在接受组织调查。

Chinese Journalist Missing Ahead of Tiananmen Commemoration – Gao Yu, a prominent Chinese journalist who was imprisoned following the 1989 suppression of the student protests in Tiananmen Square, is missing, with friends saying she may have been detained ahead of the 25th anniversary of the armed crackdown.

李宝善接任人民日报总编辑 杨振武任社长(图)_网易新闻中心 leadership changes at People’s Daily

In Xinjiang, a Call to Report Extremism – and Long Beards – –  Some of the activities that residents in Shayar, a county of about 200,000 people in Aksu Prefecture, are encouraged to report appeared to raise questions as to whether locals were turning their backs on the Communist Party-run state and its systems: “refusing to use the renminbi,” “refusing to use or destroying documents issued by the state” and “refusing to enter into legal marriage” as well as arson, homicide, kidnapping and “splittism” — calling for the independence for Xinjiang, which some Uighurs call East Turkestan.

Beijing cracks down on kebabs amid push against alleged Uighur attacks | Al Jazeera America does this run on Arabic Al Jazeera as well? What does the “Arab Street” think/know about Xinjiang?// amid what Uighur rights advocates call a wave of social, political and religious repression against their minority communities across China — Beijing authorities are cracking down on outdoor barbeques, with state-run Xinhua News Agency reporting Wednesday that the move is aimed at fighting the city’s crippling air pollution.

How Chinese Think About Terrorism | The Diplomat To conclude, we explored Chinese opinions and attitudes towards the Kunming attack, and their ideas for solving ethnic conflicts in China. We found that with the violence spreading from Xinjiang to other Chinese regions, Chinese people have begun to fear for their safety, something that could affect social stability. On the other hand, after the incident, Han prejudice towards Uyghur has not grown, and thus Uyghur should not be further marginalized or isolated because of this attack. In terms of ethnic policies, respondents tend to overestimate the impact of economic development as a solution to ethnic conflict while placing less emphasis on religious, linguistic, and cultural policy combined with properly allocating resources between the Han majority and the Uyghur minority.



U.S. In for a Long Balancing Act in Asia – Washington’s language has indeed hardened in recent months, suggesting that it now sees greater risk in China misreading the strength of U.S. resolve than in offending China. Paul Haenle, a former director for China, Taiwan, and Mongolian Affairs on the U.S. National Security Council, said that ahead of Mr. Obama’s visit “the Chinese have noticed the much clearer and stronger statements of concern.” // not much of a reaction so far to Obama’s Asia tour, but doubt that means there will not be one

Will China Purchase A Piece Of The Arctic?-iO9- Beijing is rumored to be interested in a piece of private property on a Norwegian Arctic archipelago that’s been put up for sale. The property, Austre Adventfjord— a vast 217-square kilometer swathe of Norway’s Svalbard Islands—has been placed on the international real estate market by industrialist Henning Horn and his two sisters.

China says paying attention to Norwegian change of heart on Dalai Lama | Reuters “China is paying attention to Norway’s making known of its position,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a daily news briefing. “If you say that the Norwegian government previously viewed the Dalai Lama as a good friend, then I can tell you that this policy was wrong. We have noted the Norwegian government’s recent new position.”

U.S. offers $5 million for Chinese businessman accused of Iran dealings | Reuters In a signal Washington will keep pressure on Iran over its nuclear program, the U.S. Treasury Department said it was sanctioning eight of Chinese businessman Li Fangwei’s Chinese companies for allegedly procuring missile parts for Iran. The U.S. State Department said it was offering a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of Li, who is also known as Karl Lee.USDOJ: “Karl Lee” Charged in Manhattan Federal Court with Using a Web of Front Companies to Evade U.S. Sanctions // USDOJ: “Karl Lee” Charged in Manhattan Federal Court with Using a Web of Front Companies to Evade U.S. Sanctions



China Policy Institute Blog » The ‘United Front’ Unveiled: Through The Looking Glass on Cross-Strait Relations  In a ground-breaking paper in the Journal Of Current Chinese Affairs entitled The KMT–CCP Forum: Securing Consent for Cross-Strait Rapprochement, André Beckershoff examines the close relationship between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The relationship between the two political parties has previously been the subject of debate within Taiwan, and labelled a ‘United Front’ by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and pro-Taiwan academics. Beckershoff’s paper is arguably the first substantial analysis conducted outside Taiwan of how the KMT and CCP have cooperated to shape and constrain cross-Strait relations between Taiwan and China, to the benefit of both parties’ political agendas.

Hong Kong Poll Shows Increasing Dissatisfaction With Beijing – – Some 52 percent of people with permanent residency in Hong Kong surveyed by the Hong Kong Transition Project said they were dissatisfied with the way the central government managed its relationship with the territory, the highest level since 2004, according to the poll released Tuesday.

MGM China 1Q Profit Gains 33% on Mass-Market Gamblers – Bloomberg MGM China increased mass-market revenue by raising bet limits and dedicating more gaming tables for low-stakes gamblers, who provide higher margins than high rollers, Praveen Choudhary, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Morgan Stanley, wrote in a note this month. MGM has one casino in Macau and is building a second in the Cotai area that’s set to open in 2016.

Ex-Air Force colonel sentenced to 20 years for leaking Taiwan secrets|WantChinaTimes  The court found that former colonel Hao Chih-hsiung, who served in the 439 Combined Wing at Pingtung Air Base, worked with karaoke parlor owner Wan Tsung-lin to sell information regarding E-2K, an all-weather airborne warning and control system, to China’s intelligence agencies through Wan’s business contacts in China.



BesTV and Microsoft to bring Xbox One to China in September On behalf of the entire Xbox team, we are incredibly excited to bring Xbox One and the next generation of games, entertainment, online education and fitness to China. Launching Xbox One in China is a significant milestone for us and for the industry, and it’s a step forward in our vision to deliver the best games and entertainment experiences to more fans around the world. Enwei Xie will lead Xbox China as general manager, bringing years of Microsoft experience both in China and abroad.

Guanxi 2.0: WeChat’s role in China’s tech and startup sceneTechInAsia– Practical applications go beyond chatting, making connections, and sharing information in a chatroom environment. Ma told us she recently participated in her first ever “WeChat lecture.” Essentially, one expert is invited to simply communicate through a string of uninterrupted voice messages, which play back-to-back on Wechat unless the user interrupts it. The 500 Startups team sometimes schedules a time where everyone gets on WeChat for a live conference call using the voice message feature. Ma says some groups even occasionally house Reddit-style ask-me-anything (AMA) sessions.

Fans Paint U.S. Shows as Friendly to the Party – – “‘The Good Wife’ tells the story of how a housewife with a cheating husband in a capitalist society decides to turn her anger into the strength of independence, and finally become a successful lawyer. It is a show meant to inspire women. What’s more, the show also reveals the darkness, corruption and flaws of so-called ‘capitalist democracy and the rule of law,’ which makes it perfect for CCTV’s legal channel.”

业内人士:4部遭下架美剧央视均有意引进_网易新闻中心 Beijing Evening News-online video insider claims CCTV wants to run all four of the pulled US TV shows

阿里巴巴大举购买专利:或为IPO做准备|阿里巴巴|IPO_互联网_新浪科技_新浪网 Alibaba buying patents, 102 US ones so far according Envision IP //根据市场研究公司Envision IP的数据,阿里巴巴迄今为止已经购买了102项美国专利,包括去年从IBM(购得的20项专利。美国专利和商标局的数据库显示,阿里巴巴还在美国申请了300多项其他技术专利,包括支付流程、产品推荐、图片搜索等。   “这是明智之举,”Envision IP总经理茅林·沙阿(Maulin Shah)说,“当一家公司宣布IPO计划时,便会立刻成为竞争对手的目标,这些对手要么希望阻碍IPO进程,要么将此视作打击该公司的绝佳时机。”

Alibaba to Lead $1.22 Billion Stake in Youku Tudou – Bloomberg “With a strategic stake in Youku, Ali largely completes its eco-system for Internet TV,” Jiong Shao, an analyst at Macquarie Group Ltd., said by e-mail today. “With this investment, Youku Tudou would more than double its ‘war chest’ to acquire content and make infrastructure investments.”// priced at 30.50 per share, stock dropped on news of deal, below 23. 

Shopping in China: Are Any of These Real? – After some research on the Internet I understood what was wrong. We had been fooled. The phone was a knockoff. We charged back to Zhongguancun, found the seller, and got a refund. On our way out, we came across a more reputable looking store with a sign advertising Xiaomi phones and decided to try again.

百度展开史上最严厉P2P专项整治 时间节点将定“五一” _财经频道_一财网  Baidu launches campaign to clean out links 2/ads from P2P loan sites//站 在我的地盘上,却不好好干活,面对P2P网贷平台乱象,百度终于怒了。 4月28日,百度宣布对不良P2P网贷平台展开全面清理,对在百度进行归推广的P2P网贷平台“短期内全部下线”,百度相关人士于今日上午对《第一财经日报》记者称,全部清理的时间节点尽量定为五一节,由于技术等原因目前百度尚存部分P2P网贷官网。

Tencent Leads Internet Retreat on Concern Shares are Overvalued – Bloomberg Tencent, Asia’s largest listed Internet firm, has lost about $36 billion of market value since closing at a record high in Hong Kong trading on March 6. The company posted fourth-quarter net income that trailed analysts’ estimates last month on higher costs for its WeChat messaging service.

Neiman Marcus Sells Stake in Chinese Website Glamour Sales – A Neiman Marcus spokeswoman declined to disclose financial details. It paid $28 million two years ago for the stake in the Hong Kong-based e-commerce site. The problem was that Chinese shoppers didn’t want to pay full price, said Olivier Chouvet, co-founder and chief executive of Glamour Sales, which is buying the stake back at a price it won’t disclose. “Chinese consumers are going online to get a good deal. If there’s no motivation on price, you can’t convert them,” said Mr. Chouvet,



Ai Weiwei in film fundraising dispute-Foreign Policy  “Ai Weiwei considers that you have not only misled him in this regard, but are also potentially deceiving providers of funds to your project as to the extent of Ai Weiwei’s involvement in the project, potentially implicating Ai Weiwei in your deception without his knowledge or consent,” said the letter, sent on Ai’s behalf on April 23. The letter called on Wishnow to direct Kickstarter to cancel and remove the advertised project, a demand he apparently agreed to. The website currently carries a notice saying the film was the subject of an intellectual property dispute and presently unavailable.

No Compensation for Parents Who Have Lost Their Only Child – –  Last week more than 240 parents, drawn from about one million Chinese families whose only child has died, gathered in Beijing from around the country to ask the National Health and Family Planning Commission to compensate them for their loss. The issue is sensitive, because the large number of single-child families in China is the result of the state’s more than three-decade-old family planning policy, which limited most urban families to one child.

The Problem of Using Ai Weiwei to Sell Crap | The Measure | The L Magazine 

There Was No Committee – Lingua Franca – Blogs – The Chronicle of Higher Education Some people talk as if Mandarin Chinese was gaining on English. It is not, and it never will. A Tamil-speaking computer scientist explaining an algorithm to a Hungarian scientist at a Japanese-organized scientific meeting in Thailand calls on English, not Chinese. Nowhere in the world do we find significant numbers of non-Chinese speakers choosing Mandarin as the medium for bridging language gaps. There are no signs of that changing.

Getting Into the Ivies – For American teenagers, it really is harder to get into Harvard — or Yale, Stanford, Brown, Boston College or many other elite colleges — than it was when today’s 40-year-olds or 50-year-olds were applying. The number of spots filled by American students at Harvard, after adjusting for the size of the teenage population nationwide, has dropped 27 percent since 1994. At Yale and Dartmouth, the decline has been 24 percent.



Welcome to the Haiyatt. In China, It’s Not the Hotel It Sounds Like. –  Haiyatt versus Hyatt may confuse Westerners more than Chinese speakers. “English speakers may confuse Haiyatt and Hyatt because they sound alike, but the hotel names look and sound different when they are spelled in Chinese characters,” said Wenjun Chen, a real estate broker who lives in Seattle and travels to China.



调查称在京青年仅两成自有住房 7成买房靠啃老_新闻_腾讯网 interesting study on youth/young adults in Beijing, nearly 80% can’t afford their own homes// 新京报讯 (记者许路阳 (微博))近八成在京青年没有自有住房,即便在两成多拥有自有住房的青年中,购房时需要父母支持的也占到了7成。昨日,对外经济贸易大学和社科文献出版社共同发布《青年蓝皮书:中国青年发展报告(2014)No.2——流动时代下的安居》,公布了上述数据。a


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3 thoughts on “The Sinocism China Newsletter 05.01.14

  1. Re: Housng Purchases. Are these outright purchases or are they more akin to 20-30 year leases? Who “owns” the properties at the end of the contracted purchase?

      • That’s one thing I’ve always been mystified about in terms of buying property in China. Why would someone pay all of that money and not even own it outright. I mean, what is meant to happen after the lease is up? Does it just revert to the state and then they sell it again? Why would anyone want to buy property there?

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