The Sinocism China Newsletter 10.20.15

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

Today’s Links:


1. US takes stern line on UK’s shift to China – Evan Medeiros, head of the Asia practice at Eurasia Group and a former top Asia adviser to Mr Obama, says Britain is misguided in its China approach. “If there is one truism in managing relations with a rising China, it is that if you give in to Chinese pressure, it will inevitably lead to more Chinese pressure,” he says…“The Chinese very effectively played hardball against the British,” says one former senior US official. “There was a major rethink at the highest levels of the UK government that we were going to fall over ourselves to send a signal that we want a good relationship with China. It’s a pretty un-British thing to do.”

Related: Cameron Says China’s Xi Brings $46 Billion in Deals to U.K. – Bloomberg Business The deals will create 3,900 jobs in the U.K., in sectors including the creative industries, retail, energy, health and technology, financial services, aerospace and education, Cameron’s office said in an e-mailed statement, without giving further details.

Related: Britain: ‘China’s Best Partner in the West’? | ChinaFile A ChinaFile Conversation with Isabel Hilton, Sebastian Heilmann, Jonathan Fenby

Related: Since When Does Xi Rule Britannica? | Foreign Policy Britain’s fawning reception of China’s president is embarrassing — and a horrible message about the importance of human rights. BY Sophie Richardson  //  the message to Beijing for years now from most major western countries has been that human rights don’t really matter and China can act with impunity.

2. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s call for ‘socialist arts’ sparks fears over creative freedom | South China Morning Post The Communist Party has issued new policy directives to “strengthen and improve the Communist Party’s leadership of artistic practices” – raising fears about restrictions on creativity and doubts about Beijing’s effectiveness in getting across its ideological message to the public. Monday’s move came a year after a landmark speech by President Xi Jinping in which he told authors, actors and artists, including Nobel laureate for literature Mo Yan, that their work should present socialist values and not carry the “stench of money”. The new rules were issued days after the release of the full text of Xi’s speech in which he urged them to create works that were both artistically outstanding and politically inspiring.

Related: [视频]刘云山出席繁荣发展社会主义文艺推进会新闻频道央视网( Liu Yunshan chairs meeting on the arts and literature directive

3. 中央预算绩效目标管理改革启动 _ 经济参考网 _ 新华社《经济参考报》官方网站 《经济参考报》记者从权威渠道获悉,2016年财政预算目前已经开始编制,预算编制方式将有重大改革。中央各部门的全部项目支出必须明确绩效目标、通过评审,才能编入2016年支出预算。对于花钱随意、未达到绩效目标的项目下一年或被叫停或扣除财政支出。 专家称,这标志着经过地方试点的财政资金的预算绩效管理改革已经在中央层面全面启动,每年数万亿的中央财政支出未来将被“套上缰绳”,花钱问效、无效问责。 //  Xinhua’s Economic Information Daily has learned from “authoritative channels” learned that work on the 2016 central budget has begun and there are “significant reforms” to the process.

4. 城镇化率不再是拉动GDP硬指标 _ 经济参考网 _ 新华社《经济参考报》官方网站 《经济参考报》记者获悉,城镇化仍是“十三五”发展的重点,但在新经济常态下,新型城镇化发展将不再一味追求速度的发展,不再简单地将城镇化看作经济发展手段,城镇化率不再是拉动GDP的硬指标,而是真正从造房建城转向以人为核心。这意味着,“十三五”期间城镇化将从速度型向质量型转变。 //  more from Economic Information Daily, says in 13th Five year plan the “urbanization rate” will no longer be a hard target to juice GDP

5. 中央网信办官员谈经济新闻网络传播 – 网信传真 – 传媒大观察   针对这个现象,今年中央大力推动的媒体融合非常重要。总书记多次说过,互联网已经成为思想舆论的一个主战场和主阵地。在这个过程中,结合媒体融合做好财经新闻的传播,应该注意以下三个结合。   一是要做到权威发布和贴近民众之间的结合…二是要做好长期展望和短期解释之间的结合…三是要做到主动发声和聚合发声之间的结合。…要实现上述目标,需要政府部门、主流媒体和研究机构加强协作,共同努力。我们也希望通过本次会议的交流探讨推动我国经济新闻,特别是网络经济新闻的不断改善,为中国乃至全球的经济的良性发展做出我们的贡献 // Jiang Jun, head of the “Internet News and Information Broadcast Bureau” of the Cyberspace Administration of China, discusses how to better manage and disseminate economic news in a speech at a recent Qinghua forum

6. China, Inside and Out: A Collection of Essays on Foreign and Domestic Policy in the Xi Jinping Era | RAND A Collection of Essays on Foreign and Domestic Policy in the Xi Jinping Era by Michael S. Chase, Cortez A. Cooper, Keith Crane, Liisa Ecola, Scott Warren Harold, Timothy R. Heath, Bonny Lin, Lyle J. Morris, Andrew Scobell  //  free eBook

7. 方星海将任证监会副主席金融频道财新网 接棒现任副主席刘新华分管国际业务。方星海拥有多年海外学习和工作经历,并曾在金融各领域任职,被认为是金融界拥有国际视野的全方位监管经验人士  //  Fang Xinghai moves over to CSRC as a Deputy Chairman, to manage international work. Smart move, he is among his many talents apparently a very good barbarian handler, should give some measure confidence to international investors

Related: Shanghai booster Fang Xinghai lands Beijing financial advisory role | South China Morning Post June 2013 // Fang Xinghai, former head of the Shanghai Financial Services Office, who once famously downplayed Hong Kong’s importance as a financial hub, has been named a senior official at the Office of the Central Leading Group for Financial and Economic Affairs, sources close to the leadership said.

8. Ridicule Turns to Affection as Chinese Social Media Embraces Jiang Zemin – The New York Times As with many online jokes in China, look for the wordplay. Post a joke online and instead of writing haha (哈哈) to express laughter, a hasi may respond with different characters with the same sound: haha (蛤蛤), for “toad.” Like most political memes in China, “toad worship culture” is rich with irony. “ ‘Toad worship culture’ is not just a kind of worship, it’s also satire,” said Magasa, a Chinese film critic and a self-described hasi. “But the feelings behind it are complex. It’s half-real and half-fake. It’s sarcasm, but it’s also a reflection of people’s nostalgia for the past and dissatisfaction with the current situation.”


Minitrue: Levin Zhu’s Economic Warning – China Digital Times (CDT) At a conference in Singapore on October 16, Zhu Yunlai, who also goes by Levin Zhu, warned that the Chinese government should steer away from efforts to stabilize the economy and focus instead on economic restructuring. Zhu, who resigned his 17-year chairmanship at the China International Capital Corporation last year, is the son of former premier Zhu Rongji. The article ordered to be deleted was published in Securities Times (证券时报) on the 16th

Yum Brands to separate China unit amid activist pressure | Reuters The split will create two independent, publicly-traded companies: a higher-risk and potentially higher rewarding Yum China and a more stable, high-cash flow Yum Brands.  //  will the new ticker be YUCK?

Hanergy Chairman Appears With China’s Premier After Stock Plunge – Bloomberg Business Hanergy Holding Group Ltd. Chairman Li Hejun appeared on national television with China’s Premier Li Keqiang, a sign the solar equipment maker may retain influence even after its shares plunged and were suspended from trading.

Are Chinese Internet Stocks Worth the Risk? – Barron’s Next month, Morgan Stanley’s strategists point out, the index-making boffins at MSCI will add the American Depositary Receipts of Chinese companies to their widely followed MSCI China index. That will, in one fell swoop, add a slew of stocks that embody China’s new economy but that had the good sense to list in the United States rather than in the casino that is China’s stock markets. Among the likely additions are China’s Twitter, Sina Corp. (ticker: SINA ); China’s YouTube, Youku Tudou ( YOKU ); and China’s Google, Baidu ( BIDU ). Oh, and China’s giant version of eBay, Alibaba ( BABA ).

Rumor: Baidu Freezes Non-campus Hiring | Marbridge According to an internal memo sent today to employees of Chinese internet company Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU) by Baidu Vice President of Human Resources Liu Hui, starting today the company will implement a temporary freeze on large-scale, non-campus hiring. The only exceptions to the new policy will be hiring for a handful of specialized positions, and only after securing approval from Baidu CEO Robin Li and VP of HR Liu Hui.

For Mongolia, China’s Slowdown Is Provoking Emergency Response – Bloomberg Business While China’s slowing economy has singed stock markets around the world, no nation is more affected than neighboring Mongolia. Things have gotten so bad that the government in this mineral-rich nation is planning job and salary cuts for bureaucrats, and the sale of of shares in state-owned companies including the postal service.

多地制定细化方案 地方国企改革进入全面加速期 _ 经济参考网 _ 新华社《经济参考报》官方网站 备受关注的国企改革出现更为积极的信号。《经济参考报》记者日前从多省市了解到,国家制定的国企改革顶层设计方案目前已经进入政策落地期,包括上海、广东、山东、江西等多省市都纷纷制定相关细化方案,并加速国企改革步伐。其中,在分类监管基础上,继续深化混合所有制改革、优化国资监管体系将成为改革重点,薪酬改革和员工持股等试点也将扩大。可以预计,下一步以市场化为主导的地方国企改革将进入全面加速期。

Rhodium Group » Logan Wright Joins Rhodium Group as Director of China Markets Research great hire for RHG  //  Rhodium Group (RHG) has appointed Logan Wright as Director of China Markets Research, effective immediately.  Previously he served at Medley Global Advisors from 2009-2015, where he led the firm’s research and client consultations on China’s monetary, exchange rate, and financial market conditions, after working as a China analyst for Stone & McCarthy Research Associates from 2006-2009.

Nuttiness in China’s corporate bond market? | FT Alphaville Corporate bonds have become another important credit channel, maintaining above 20% yoy growth. Bond yields have fallen sharply and credit spreads compressed notably. The exodus of investment funds from the equity market has certainly helped, but leverage has also expanded quickly in bond investment. In Q3, the volume of bond repos soared 13% qoq and 81.0% yoy to RMB 155.8trn, the highest quarterly volume ever. This is a new area of financial system risk to keep an eye on.

Leshi Says Subsidiary Has Invested in Car-Hire App Company-Caixin Zhou Hang, the CEO and founder of Yidao Yongche, said in an email to employees on October 19 that the company had introduced Leshi as a strategic investor during its fourth round of financing. In the email, which Caixin has obtained, Zhou said that when the deal was completed the company’s shareholders would be Leshi, the online travel agency Ctrip and Yidao Yongche’s leadership. //  decent exit for existing shareholders who had been in for a long time

Didi Kuaidi Asks Chinese Regulators to Yield on Ride-hailing Rules – China Real Time Report – WSJ Didi Kuaidi took to Chinese social media platform Weibo to argue that some of the draft rules would hurt the public interest and discourage a healthy market. The draft rules are open for public comment now. Didi Kuaidi made several recommendations to Chinese regulators, while praising the Ministry of Transportation’s “encouragement of reform and innovation.”

Sinology by Andy Rothman – An Important Rebalancing Milestone The modest rise in credit growth, along with the healthy consumer story, should result in continued modest macro deceleration in the coming quarters—far from the hard landing some have anticipated. Andy Rothman  //  he is an incurable optimist, hope he is at least somewhat right

Report: “Mismanagement” stalling building projects across China – East by Southeast Hundreds of highway and railroad projects are facing delays or otherwise running far behind originally envisioned construction timetables. This, according to a report issued by China’s National Audit Office, is a result of local governments improperly managing infrastructure funds — actions thought to have a direct effect on the country’s stalling economy.

陈雨露拟任央行副行长 曾是最年轻全国重点大学校长-财经频道-手机搜狐 Renmin University President Chen Yulu moves over to the PBoC as a Deputy Governor

北京现单价7.5万元地王 未来房价或达15万/平财经腾讯网 a new land king in Beijing


The China Quarterly – Defending the Authoritarian Regime Online: China’s “Voluntary Fifty-cent Army” Recent studies on internet politics in China have gone beyond the once dominant control–liberalization perspective and directed intellectual attention to the varieties of online activism. Based on extensive in-depth online ethnographic work, this project explores the pluralization of online expression in Chinese cyberspace. Following a constituency of internet users who identify themselves as the “voluntary fifty-cent army,” the paper explores how these users acquire and consolidate their identity and combat criticism that targets the authoritarian regime. Analysis of the confrontational exchanges between the “voluntary fifty-cent army” and their opponents suggests that a perspective that goes beyond state censorship and regime-challenging activism is required in order to gain a better understanding of online expression in China. Close examination of why and how internet users may voluntarily defend the authoritarian regime also reveals how the dynamics in online discourse competition may work to the authoritarian regime’s advantage.  //  looks interesting, don’t have a copy

财政部:官员差旅住宿标准调整 京沪部级1100元_凤凰资讯 Ministry of Finance raises acceptable hotel rates standards for officials, after some draconian reductions

Home of Chinese actress Zhao Wei’s husband ‘sold off by their driver’ | South China Morning Post The driver allegedly posed as Huang, a businessman in the finance and catering industry, and duped a public notary’s facial recognition system into registering him as the man. As a result, Huang now faces a court case brought by the buyer of the property, after the couple refused to vacate the premises, the People’s Court Daily reported yesterday.

五中全会前的七常委:王岐山“隐身”24天新闻腾讯网 a look at the 7 standing committee members’ activities in lead up to the 5th Plenum currently scheduled for next week, notes that Wang Qishan has not appeared in public reports in 24 days, not the first time, often reappears around the time he he mounts another tiger head on the CCDI walls


U.S. adds charges against Macau billionaire in U.N. bribe case – Yahoo News Ng now faces two additional counts including money laundering, as well as his assistant, Jeff Yin, and Francis Lorenzo, a now-suspended deputy U.N. ambassador from the Dominican Republic. Both men were accused of facilitating the bribes.

黄树贤会见中美联合反腐败工作组美方代表 反腐力度不断加大_网易新闻中心 法制晚报快讯(记者 王选辉)据中纪委网站今晚消息,中央纪委副书记、监察部部长黄树贤今日在京会见参加中美执法合作联合联络小组(JLG)反腐败工作组第十次会议的美方代表团。 //  CCDI’s Huang Shuxian meets with American visitors from the China-US Joint Liaison Group anti-corruption work group

美海军舰艇长登上辽宁舰 未受巡航南海传闻影响|辽宁舰|美国|南海_新浪军事 27 US Navy officers get a tour of the Liaoning aircraft carrier


Hong Kong Bookstores Display Beijing’s Clout – The New York Times The market for books on Chinese politics, which have long been a fixture in Hong Kong bookstores that cater to mainland visitors, has fallen on hard times. Interviews with booksellers and publishers say that market forces — rising rents and the advent of e-books — play a part. But so does Mr. Xi’s government, which is increasingly intolerant of any dissent and has warned Chinese tourists that they risk being punished if they return from Hong Kong or Taiwan with banned political books.

Mainland tourist beaten at jewelry shop dies  The mainland tourist who was beaten unconscious after trying to mediate in a fight at a jewelry shop in Hung Hom died Tuesday at 10:45 a.m., public broadcaster RTHK reported. Four people have been arrested. They include a 32-year-old mainland female tour guide, surnamed Deng, and a 53-year-old female tourist, surnamed Zhang.


Facebook Messenger: inside Mark Zuckerberg’s app for everything (Wired UK) Their ambitions do sound heavily influenced by the reach of WeChat, whose automatic authentication and breadth of functionality have allowed it to be users’ default way to play games, top up, access city services, book tickets, hail cabs and, crucially, spend money. Could this be a rare example of a western company brazenly copying Chinese tech? “What’s happening in Asia is an inspiration – and not only WeChat,” says Chudnovsky, “but that’s more about proof of what’s possible.

师姐揭秘国家网信办:油水一点没有,中秋发的月饼是食堂做的|加班|大院|工会_新浪新闻 南都讯 记者程姝雯发自北京 昨天(10月18日),《网络传播》杂志微信公号发布题为《网信办工作日常曝光,国考季写给师弟师妹的的一封信》的文章,以“你们的师姐”口吻揭秘国家网信办称,国家网信办是一个平均年龄只有37.8岁的新部门,比团中央还要低。文中称,网信办与中纪委是北京东西城两个著名的“加班大本营”,工作节奏是“加班加到high”,大家加班后直接睡办公室,早上洗把脸继续上班,压根不用打车回家。// an insider discusses life working inside the Cyberspace Administration of China

国家版权局要求网盘运营商主动遏制侵权公司频道财新网 National Copyright Administration tells cloud storage providers to take the initiative in fighting IPR violations


Exorcism with Chinese characteristics now being used to ‘cure’ homosexuality: Shanghaiist The Beijing News report follows a man named Chen Wei who says that he has been bothered by his attraction to fellow men for a long time. He searched online and finally decided to visit a Beijing clinic to have his homosexuality “cured.”


Paulson Institute and Chinese Partners Publish Blueprint of Coastal Wetland Conservation and Management in China | Paulson Institute Beijing, China—In partnership with China’s State Forestry Administration and the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Paulson Institute today released reports of the Coastal Wetland Conservation Blueprint project, highlighting continuing degradation of the endangered coastal wetlands and recommending policies to enhance conservation and restoration of these critical ecosystems. The project was completed with the support of the Lao Niu Foundation. Blueprint Report Findings and Recommendations PDF


2015年9月SSAT成绩疑被取消 引发诚信热议|SSAT|成绩取消|诚信新浪教育新浪网 We regret to inform you that we are canceling all Upper Level SSAT scores from the September 19, 2015 administration in China。 The test was administered on that date in Shanghai and Beijing to a total of 357 students //  too many high scores, cheating suspected, this test for high school


New intercity railway service opens in Xinjiang – Xinhua Six trains will run between Urumqi, the regional capital, and Korla City in southern Xinjiang, every day, at a speed of 160 kilometers per hour, according to the Urumqi Railway Bureau.


传统墓穴到期不续租 将生态改造特别报道新京报网 昨日,北京市民政局等单位召开绿色生态殡葬建设推进会,印发的意见提出,到2020年实现50%生态殡葬的目标。对于租用合同到期的传统墓穴,应以适当方式进行节地生态化改造,原则上不再以传统墓穴的形式续租。


China’s Economic Rebalance – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Michael Pettis will analyze the challenges and risks Beijing faces as it continues to implement necessary reforms. Douglas H. Paal will moderate.-October 27, 2015 Washington, DC 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM EST

If you like Sinocism please spread the word using this link.

Follow me on Twitter @niubi for updates between newsletters

Send comments/tips/complaints to

And if you really like Sinocism, feel free to donate some money, with Bitcoin or a credit card. Thanks.