The Sinocism China Newsletter For 05.14.13

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

In this week’s Dealbook column I write that As China’s economy stumbles, the Government eyes reform:

The government continues to state that it is pushing forward with significant changes. An Australian journalist, John Garnaut, one of the top foreign reporters in China, wrote on Monday that “China is drawing up a blueprint for sweeping reforms aimed at averting an economic crisis” to be delivered to the Third Plenum of the 18th Party Congress, expected to meet in October. Third Plenums have a special place in Chinese history; the December 1978 Third Plenum of the 11th Party Congress kicked off the “reform and opening up” policy.

The next phase of reform will probably be much more complicated and painful than the program Deng Xiaoping set in motion, and assuming it moves forward we should expect it to be messy and fitful at times. Too much hope may be placed on the upcoming Third Plenum, but there is still reason for optimism about the prospects for much deeper economic changes.

The main reason I remain optimistic is that the leadership, and especially Xi Jinping, seem very clear that without more change there will be no fulfilling the “Chinese dream.”

On Monday Li Keqiang called for less political power in market economy (Xinhua):

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Monday called for less political power in the market economy in order to motivate creativity of market players and achieve transformation of the government.

On a nationwide tele-conference about the functional transformation of the institutions of the State Council, or the cabinet, Li urged officials to properly handle relations between the government and the market as well as society, delegating unnecessary powers and managing businesses that the government is responsible for.

The focus of government work should be shifted to creating a favorable environment for development, providing quality public services and maintaining social equity and justice, Li added.

Li said the transformation of government is important and urgently needed for maintaining the continuous and healthy development of the economy amid the present goal of stabilizing growth, controlling inflation and preventing risks. It is also an objective requirement of economic and social development.

Monday’s CCTV Evening News Report had a four minute report on Li’s comments, People’s Daily gave it page one coverage Tuesday and ran a commentary on it–人民日报-坚决打好政府职能转变攻坚战 本报评论员.

While economic reforms look set to deepen, political reform in any liberal, Western sense is not in the cards. Chris Buckley, reporting from Hong Kong for the New York Times, writes in Chinese leaders warn of ‘dangerous’ Western values that:

The Chinese Communist Party has warned officials to combat “dangerous” Western values and other perceived ideological threats, according to accounts on Monday of a directive that analysts said reflects the top leader Xi Jinping’s determination to preserve top-down political control even as he considers economic liberalization.

Will a playbook that appears to borrow heavily from Deng Xiaoping work when there is a middle class, an Internet population of hundreds of millions and expectations that are far higher than they were 35 years ago?

Today’s Links:


Park to snub Japan by visiting China first – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun Fresh off her visit to the United States, new South Korean President Park Geun-hye is making plans to visit China around the end of June, sources said, in an apparent snub to Japan and a break from tradition. A visit to Japan is nowhere to be found on Park’s calendar or in her upcoming plans, as the two countries continue to have chilly relations over territorial and historical issues.

Related: Suga rushes to smother LDP’s latest brush fire over war – The Japan Times Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga was again forced to go into damage control mode Monday after the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s own policy chief said on NHK the previous day that President Shinzo Abe disagreed with the findings of the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal…The tribunal found Tokyo guilty of waging wars of aggression upon China and other countries during its bid to colonize Asia.

Abe poses inside jet plane numbered 731 at ASDF base – World News – SINA English there are no coincidences with this kind of stuff. This looks to be Japanese-style dog whistling to Abe’s far right constituency. Not helpful. “At least it wasn’t a Zero” is what one wag wrote…// The number 731 reminds people of Unit 731, which was a covert biological and chemical warfare research and development unit of the Imperial Japanese Army that undertook lethal human experimentation during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II.

BBC News – Japan WWII ‘comfort women’ were ‘necessary’ – Hashimoto A prominent Japanese politician has described as “necessary” the system by which women were forced to become prostitutes for World War II troops.

The Trust Deficit – By He Yafei | Foreign Policy Obama’s “pivot” to — or “rebalancing” toward — Asia and the Pacific, in both words and deeds, has aroused a great deal of suspicion in China. These suspicions deepen when the United States gets itself entangled in China’s dispute with Japan over the Diaoyu Islands and in the debates over maritime issues in the South China Sea. Should this ill-thought-out policy of rebalancing continue and the security environment worsen, an arms race would be inevitable. China, despite its intention to pursue a strategy of peaceful development, might be forced to revisit some aspects of its policy for the region. That is something China abhors. We understand that a peaceful and prosperous world starts with your neighborhood — just as a stable and good Sino-U.S. relationship also starts in our two countries’ neighborhood, the Asia-Pacific region.

Related: Responding to He Yafei: Who’s to blame for the downturn in U.S.-Chinese relations? | FP Passport Orville Schell, Arthur Ross director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at the Asia Society, called He “one of China’s most experienced, smartest and most articulate diplomats” but said that Beijing “often has a difficult time realizing that China has, in effect, become a Great Power.” That newfound status, he explained, makes the country’s aggressive behavior more worrying than before.

Hedging: The Real U.S. Policy Towards China? | The diplomat Clearly the utilization of a hedging strategy demonstrates that U.S. policymakers are undecided on whether China constitutes a threat. Hedging is not simply defined by a state’s actions, but by its intentions. In May 1941, although Germany’s relationship with the USSR looked like hedging, it was not. While Germany was enacting two opposing policies of balancing and engagement with the Soviet Union, it had in fact already decided on war in November 1940. This illustrates a crucial difference between U.S.-China relations and German-Soviet relations: U.S. policymakers are genuinely uncertain which line to pursue.

Managing the hazards of online society – China Media Project In the recent Study Times interview, Fu Siming (傅思明), a professor at the Central Party School, talks about the need for more effective “online social management.” Just as China’s leadership needs to innovate its “social management” in the real world, says Fu, so does it need to update and enhance its “regulation” of the virtual world.

Related: 2013/09_求是理论网 interesting essays in recent Red Flag Journal on the Internet and how to deal with it

China launches new crackdown on internet celebrities – Telegraph see my dealbook column last week about this campaign and where it fits in a broader efforts // The campaign appears to have sent a firm message however. Yao Bo, a commentator and restaurateur with close to 900,000 followers said a number of his friends had seen their accounts shut down. “Some of the accounts are shut down for criticising government policy, others for reporting bits of information. I now feel I need to watch what I say before I post something,” he said.

央视搜索_《魅力纪录》 20130513 苦难辉煌(1) Part 1 of new 12 part historical documentary “苦难辉煌” (“Suffering and Glory”), aired Monday night on CCTV, online as well. Worth watching

Related: 央视搜索_读书《苦难辉煌》 CCTV interview with NDU professor Jin Yinan, author of book 苦难辉煌 that has now been turned into 12 part documentary on CCTV

[视频]历史文献纪录片《苦难辉煌》今晚播出_新闻频道_央视网 央视网消息(新闻联播):12集历史文献纪录片《苦难辉煌》今晚起在我台综合频道十点半档的《魅力纪录》栏目播出。该片多角度,全景式地再现了中国共产党团结和带领全国各族人民英勇奋斗的征程,重点刻画了从大革命失败到土地革命战争兴起,从第五次反“围剿”失败到抗日战争兴起,中国共产党的这两次历史性转变

Anatomy Of A Chinese Airport Rumble – Beijing Cream more China airport chaos, absurd video// As China Eastern’s lone combatant is dragged off to a back office, some female employees have managed to get around the counter and directly photograph the water bottle thrower’s face. Soon the argument re-centers around the bottle thrower, the Aunties and a gaggle of female employees.

Yuan appreciation nears limit: experts – People’s Daily Online The Chinese yuan has limited room to appreciate further and may be depreciated to foster the country’s struggling exports and the broader economy, according to experts and insiders Sunday. On Friday, the central parity rate of the yuan hit 6.2016 against the US dollar after advancing to a record high of 6.1925 in the previous day. So far, the yuan’s central parity has strengthened 881 basis points this year, while last year it gained 146 points. “The current rising yuan has put many export-oriented Chinese companies under escalating pressure,” Tan Yaling, head of the China Forex Investment Research Institute, told the Global Times Sunday, noting that as far as she is concerned, a 6.5 yuan rate against the US dollar is the upper limit for exporters’ survival.

油品升级“雾霾”-财经网 cover story of latest Caijing on the challenges of improving quality of gasoline to help reduce smog..subscriber content// 由于成品油价格管制,中国大炼化企业普遍用化工业务补贴炼油业务。政府促其加大炼油投资、升级油品质量的同时,却频频叫停化工项目,显然不是解决雾霾问题的长久之道



China’s Investment Slows as Production Trails Estimates: Economy – Bloomberg The data may test the new leadership’s tolerance for slower economic expansion as President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang implement policy changes to improve the quality and efficiency of growth. The central bank warned last week that while the foundation for stable growth isn’t yet solid, stimulus policies could trigger inflation. 

China Luxury Car Market Q1 Growth Slows to 8.34% on Govnt Spending Control -Caijing The premium-car market in China slowed to 8.34% in the first three months, a whopping decline of as much as 80% from the same period in the previous year.

Investment Company Asks: Can We Legally Short Sell? – Caixin Is it legal in China to short a company’s shares and then publicly question its financials with prepared research reports? This is the question a domestic investment company formally asked China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) in a letter in March. The matter drew attention because of the significant weight it carries in the country’s nascent short-selling industry.

China April Home Sales Fall 13% as Property Curbs Take Toll – Bloomberg “The decline largely had to do with the high March sales because developers supplied a lot of homes ahead of the government’s curbs,” said Jeffrey Gao, a Shanghai-based property analyst at Macquarie Capital Securities. “But the government may issue more harsh policies if home prices continue to climb.”

北京楼市“限价令”升级 房价审批需副市长签字_网易新闻中心 Beijing officials under so much political pressure to rein in housing prices that any project pre-sales approvals will have to be signed off by the vice mayor with responsibility for housing// 经本报记者多方采访了解,作为商品房预售审批单位,就算是楼盘预售审批过了建委的“关”,该项目也不一定能拿到预售证。

李稻葵:决策层年底前将对房地产调控政策进行调整_财经频道_一财网 Li Daokui says government may adjust real estate repression policies later this year, to make sure prices do not drop too fast, bubble doesn’t burst// 在调整经济预期方面,李稻葵表示,决策层可能在今年年底对房地产调控政策作出调整。他表示,决策层称将采取更合理、更谨慎的调控政策,以防止房地产价格迅速下滑,泡沫破灭。

Heavy Industry’s Reverberating Slump – Economic Observer Both heavy and light industries have been hurting over the past several months, and few say there’s any relief in sight. Slumps in heavy industries like steel are reverberating throughout the economy. Results from a recent survey of small and medium-sized enterprises are also very discouraging.

Chinese shadow banking: three different ones | FT Alphaville That’s a big (click to enlarge) chart from Moody’s on how they define “shadow banking” in China, via a Q&A comment on the growth of the sector.

China’s recovery is “painfully slow” | beyondbrics  On retail sales, the rise was almost entirely driven by one thing: the sharp sell-off in gold last month. Many Chinese consumers took the drop in prices to snap up jewellery, which led to a gold supply shortage in jewellery chains, retail banks, and even the Hong Kong gold exchange. As shown here, courtesy of ANZ, jewellery, medicine and cars were the only areas to show growth momentum in April vs March

Issue 619 13-05-2013 – Economic Observer  It would cost the Chinese government at least 1.8 trillion yuan if they tried to in one go settle the 160 million rural migrant workers that travel outside their home province in search of work in cities, according to a new report from researchers at the Chinese Academy of Governance

Chinese vice premier meets with Warren Buffett – Xinhua | Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang (R) meets with Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., in Beijing, capital of China, May 13, 2013

CITIC, Temasek group to buy Chinese software firm Asiainfo | Reuters The price is 2.8 percent higher than Asiainfo’s closing price of $11.68 on Friday and the same as CITIC Capital’s initial bid in January 2012. Asiainfo’s buyout is another example of private equity firms teaming up with founders of U.S.-listed Chinese companies to take them private after a series of accounting scandals dented investors’ faith in such companies.

Episode 6 – China’s Ghost Towns | VICE on HBO | Fridays at 11PM Fifteen years ago, China changed its policy so people could buy their own homes. Real-estate investments boomed, and new cities began popping up each year, many inspired by western design and mimicking iconic locales like Paris and lower Manhattan. The problem is: people don’t live here. One ghost city in Inner Mongolia, built to house one million people, is now an empty shell of unoccupied skyscrapers and abandoned construction sites. VICE checks out this and other urban failures to figure out how China’s preoccupation with growing its GNP turned “supply and demand” into “build now, sell later.” // Red Bull for China Bears, though not sure how much more we will actually learn from this



刘铁男被举报后3个月突击审批50多个项目_网易新闻中心 Liu Tienan approved 50 projects in the 3 months after he was accused of corruption..sounds like there may be a lot of nervous officials and executives who had dirty dealings with Liu // 核心提示:媒体称,刘铁男在被举报后,能源项目审批的步伐和节奏明显加快,卸任局长前3个月,新审批的能源项目在50个以上。内部人士称,刘铁男在任时重大事项决策一人说了算。在电网规划问题上,刘铁男表面上表示尊重各方面专家意见,但在批项目时仍然我行我素。

刘铁男被查精神几近崩溃 在办公室打吊瓶支撑|刘铁男|能源|项目_新浪财经_新浪网 more detail on the Liu Tienan case. His wife and son detained before he was // 据能源局的人说,刘铁男在被举报之后,虽然经常在国家能源局网站上刊登活动情况,但实际在工作和生活中明显不愿见人,由他主持的全国能源工作会议人数缩减到最小范围。今年上半年,刘铁男的儿子先于刘铁男被限制自由调查,妻子郭某也在接受调查。刘铁男的精神几近崩溃,曾在办公室中打吊瓶勉强支撑。

今日舆情解读:还有多少位“刘铁男”在“潜伏”–舆情频道–人民网 interesting people’s daily public opinion monitoring center report on reactions to the Liu Tienan case. can foreigners subscribe to the premium service? the free content seems very useful// 另一方面,消息甫出,舆论的矛头首先指向当初义正言辞为其辟谣的能源局。媒体和网民纷纷要求能源局为此事作出解释与表态,能源局一时间陷入被网民倒逼的尴尬境地。此案一方面显示了实名举报、微博反腐这一渠道的日渐规范,以及中央此番反腐决心的坚定;但在另一方面,也将政府部门发言人制度在实行中的一些弊端暴露无遗。在这个网络舆情汹涌澎湃的微博时代,唯有事实才是最具有说服力的东西,时依然遵循着陈旧的宣传逻辑,一时为领导代言的护主心态,以掩饰事实、逃避质疑为本能反应在冰冷的事实面前也只能无奈地承认自身的无能,公众呼吁国家能源局出面道歉也就成为一件顺理成章的事情。

官方承认黑龙江犯人殴打犯人网络视频属实_网易新闻中心 disturbing video of prisoners beating prisoners in Heilongjiang…officials confirm real

Chinese SOEs and “invisible benefits” | beyondbrics Chinese people are used to hearing about the extraordinary benefits enjoyed by employees of big state-owned enterprises. But the size and scope of such benefits still delivered a shock when the National Audit Office released its annual reports on 10 SOEs and further exposed the extent of the problem…“Many [invisible benefits] are even better than in the iron rice bowl days,” wrote Bill Bishop, publisher of Sinocism, a daily newsletter on China. “No wonder people want to work at these firms, and people who don’t work there tend to not like them.”

China: inequality in death, as well as life | beyondbrics However, such denials are not likely to convince the public or parts of the media. The Xi’an Evening News questioned: “Although the city’s Civil Affair Bureau denied the report [by China Insight], it didn’t offer any strong evidences to refute it, such as the proportion of the public graveyard [at the Fushan cemetery]. Therefore, it cannot shake off people’s doubts.” On Sina Weibo, microbloggers fired back with sarcastic comments. “I would like to pay more tax if it’s built to bury them [officials] alive,” wrote one.

中共再提意识形态斗争 七不讲真伪难辨_中国_多维新闻网【多维新闻】北京时间5月13日,有某亲中共的港媒报道称中共中央办公厅日前印发《关于当前意识形态领域情况的通报》的通知。该媒体援引重庆市某部门党组学习此通报的报道称,“中央对当前意识形态领域值得注意的七个方面的突出问题分析深刻、态度坚定,对意识形态领域斗争的尖锐性、复杂性有更加清醒的认识。”有舆论分析称,这份通报极有可能就是此前大陆网络盛传的“七不讲”传言的官方版本。多维新闻此前也多次在求证“七不讲”内容的真实性,但并未得到印证。

Secret Central Committee Document Calls for Loyalty, Warns for Western Influence | China Copyright and Media importantly for foreign observers, this Circular seems to renew the focus on foreign hostile powers who are supposed to have an obsession with Westernizing and dividing China. In fact, some of the terms used in reporting about the Circular seem to be derived from an article published in the Party magazine Dangjian (党建) in July of last year. As a relatively high-profile official Party publication, under the direct control of the Central Propaganda Department, it can be assumed that Dangjian content accurately reflects the positions of the CPD – which seems to have become increasingly powerful over the last few years.

Xu Zhiyong: On the New Citizens’ Movement – China Digital Times (CDT) In an April 12 blog post, Xu describes how the police pulled him from a flight to Hong Kong and questioned him about the New Citizens’ Movement and public dinners he has helped organize to discuss issues of civil rights and democracy. Both this blog post and his April 23 essay on the New Citizens’ Movement are translated below

李慎明:正确评价改革开放前后两个历史时期–理论–人民网 old school. but old school does not mean not very relevant to today// 笔者认为,习近平同志的讲话与党的十八大报告一样,都科学、正确、准确地评价了以毛泽东同志为核心的党的第一代中央领导集体的伟大功绩,这深得党心、军心和民心,具有重大意义。 在一些人的印象中,毛泽东根本不会搞经济建设,只会搞阶级斗争。这是一种误解。毛泽东在经济建设上也确实有失误,我们应认真记取。但说毛泽东不懂经济,不会搞经济建设,不是事实。

Hainan province teacher, city official arrested over sex assault of six girls | South China Morning Post Year-six classmates found groggy at hotels in Hainan’s Wanning and Haikou cities after being abducted before school and held for two days// a top topic on Weibo

Reform can end loose talk of a Chinese revolution – Without constitutional rule, the country will struggle to avoid turbulence, says Deng Yuwen… So while revolution is unlikely, the Communist party needs to plan ahead, introducing policies and plans that guard against plausible revolutionary scenarios. This means more freedom of speech and political freedom, improving governance, raising living standards and reducing inequality. The more political and social reform that takes place, the less likely it is that China will have another revolution….The writer is an independent current affairs commentator

Asia Unbound » The Dalai Lama’s Self-Immolation Dilemma If the self-immolations have failed to galvanize international support, why hasn’t Dalai Lama used his moral authority to issue a public statement asking for Tibetans to stop the practice? It is widely believed that self-immolation cases would drop significantly if he makes such a move.  But Dalai Lama is facing a major dilemma over this issue.


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Special Report: Chinese Premier on first foreign trip to demonstrate diplomacy of new leadership – Xinhua | Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is to pay official visits to India, Pakistan, Switzerland and Germany next week, his first foreign trip as China’s new head of government…

China’s pragmatic Middle Eastern surprise | Business Spectator Chinese President Xi Jinping had the rare opportunity to receive both Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu within days of each other last week. In a move that astounded international diplomats, President Xi issued a ‘four point peace plan’ to Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, while the Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry issued a press release days later offering to host an Israeli-Palestinian peace summit in the future.

Drones and the Rivalry Between the U.S. and China – The arms race between the world’s largest navies undermines the likelihood of attaining a new balance of power, and raise the possibility of unintended collisions as the United States deploys hundreds, even thousands of drones and China scrambles for ways to counter the new challenge. And drones, because they are cheap and don’t need a human pilot, lower the bar for aggressive behavior on the part of America’s military leaders — as they will for China’s navy, as soon as it makes its own inevitable foray into drone capabilities (indeed, there were reports last week that China was preparing its own stealth drone for flight tests).

Beijing’s ‘Bitskrieg’ – By John Arquilla | Foreign Policy “bitskrieg”? please…like US doesn’t do this, far more effectively than China?// What’s coming from Beijing is, in a word, “bitskrieg.” The Pentagon report describes this as a three-phase process. First, there is a “focus on exfiltrating data” so as to gain vital information needed about military command and control systems as well as the points in our critical infrastructure that are vulnerable to disruption by means of cyberattack.

Top U.S. admiral puts cyber security on the Navy’s radar | Reuters As a contingency in case satellites are jammed, contaminated with a computer virus or hit by a missile or a directed-energy weapon, he said the Navy was going “back to the future” by looking at high-frequency relays used during the Cold War. “That part of the electromagnetic spectrum is still out there. It’s not as well traveled as it used to be so it’s actually cleaner,” he said. “We’re actively working on that.”

Washington’s Pacific Pivot Seen in Aussie’s Appointment to US Army | Defense News | Two-star Australian Army Gen. Richard Burr was appointed to the senior ranks of the US Army Pacific contingent in January, where he has been deputy commander for operations, commanding Gen. Francis Wiercinski said.

Beijing’s Blue Berets: UN Peacekeeping and the Evolution of Chinese Diplomacy – Anna Richardson – The Atlantic With little fanfare, in the space of 20 years, China has steadily increased its commitment to UN peacekeeping missions. Today, the country contributes more peacekeeping troops than any other permanent member of the UN Security Council, with 1,860 “blue beret” peacekeepers deployed across nine different UN missions. By contrast, the United Kingdom has 298 peacekeepers in the field, the United States a mere 118.

Chinese Automakers Quietly Build a Detroit Presence – Chinese-owned companies are investing in American businesses and new vehicle technology, selling everything from seat belts to shock absorbers in retail stores, and hiring experienced engineers and designers in an effort to soak up the talent and expertise of domestic automakers and their suppliers. While starting with batteries and auto parts, the spread of Chinese business is expected to result eventually in the sale of Chinese cars in the United States.

赵启正撰文答“信仰之问”:我们的信仰是文化信仰_资讯频道_凤凰网 文化是民族的血脉,是人民的精神家园,中华民族生生不息、延绵至今,一个重要原因就在于我们有文化信仰。在新的时代条件下,我们应当坚持信仰的自觉,更加珍视我们祖先传下的信仰,同时亦应展现更加进步、更加包容、更加自信的胸怀。当我们于“中国制造”之外与世界共同分享“中国精神”之时,我想一些外国友人对我们的“信仰之问”也会随之冰释。 (作者为中国人民大学新闻学院院长、全国政协外事委员会前主任)

解放军报–深刻理解把握党在新形势下的强军目标 ——习主席在十二届全国人大一次会议解放军代表团全体会议上的重要讲话新思想新观点新论断学习释义 编者按: 根据军委、总政领导指示,总政宣传部组织有关专家,围绕习主席在十二届全国人大一次会议解放军代表团全体会议上讲话的新思想、新观点、新论断,作了学习阐释,现摘录部分内容刊发,供部队官兵深入学习理解。

East China Sea Fleet conducts covert raid training in western Pacific – Xinhua | Pictures

人民日报-南海舰队常态化战备巡逻南沙 同渔政、海监有效联动

US, Chinese athletes share friendship|Society| Former swimmer and coach Du Du (left) and Jim Guaghran, a coach during a visit to China in 1973 by US swimmers and divers, meet on Saturday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida



Taiwan Tries to Regain Its Lead in Consumer Electronics – Fostering innovation has become a mantra among corporate leaders and government officials alike in Taiwan this year because the island’s huge consumer electronics industry has run into serious trouble. Worldwide sales of PCs, for which Taiwanese companies control over 90 percent of the final design and manufacturing, are declining steadily. Sales of smartphones, for which Taiwanese companies control less than a fifth of the market, are rising briskly. Tablets based on the Android operating system, which most Taiwanese companies, with the exception of Asus, have been slow to embrace, are also on the same upward trajectory.



Three China Mobile Investments Lose 3.2 Bln Yuan, State Auditor Finds – Caixin China Mobile has not released financial details for the deals, but industry analysts say the investment in Paktel has resulted in losses. Investments in Phoenix Satellite Television and PDB are believed to have provided sound returns. The auditor also said it found financial and operational problems at China Mobile, including misconduct in bidding, contract management and customer information protection.

SoftBank leans on banks in effort to disrupt Dish’s Sprint bid – The Japanese telecoms group, which owns one third of Alibaba, is telling banks that their chances of being involved in the Chinese e-commerce group’s mammoth share listing could be under threat if they help Dish raise the $9bn it needs to fund its competing bid, according to two people familiar with the situation…While SoftBank is a major shareholder in Alibaba, it is unlikely to be able to dictate to the Chinese group’s management. However, it could make life very difficult for an individual bank to be involved if it set itself against one.

Alibaba’s Extravaganza – Digits – WSJ When Mr. Ma announced in January that he would step down as CEO, he said that he was “no longer young for the Internet business.” During his speech Friday, he said to many employees in the audience: “I won’t be returning…I will be no use anyway because you will do a better job.” The three-hour-long event ended with many young Alibaba employees on stage singing and dancing to a song called “Alibaba” by Taiwanese singer Frankie Gao. The chorus part of the song went: “Alibaba is a happy youngster.”

Jack Ma’s Last Speech as Alibaba CEO–TechInAsia– Building a company to this size, I feel humbled and proud. But what we have contributed to society is only just a start for Alibaba. What we achieved today, has greatly surpassed the efforts we have put in. This society, at this time, for Alibaba to continue to prosper, we have to solve problems in society. There are so many problems in society and these are opportunities for everyone. If there isn’t any problem, then there’s no need for all of you. All people of Alibaba, please continue to serve small businesses. Because small businesses are where most of the Chinese dreams live. 14 years ago, we set a mission that there will be no business too hard to do, helping small enterprises to grow. Today, this mission lies in your hands. People say e-commerce and the internet created an unfair advantage. But my understanding is that the internet created a truly fair platform.

Alibaba’s Jack Ma and actor Jet Li open tai chi school in China | South China Morning Post looks nice, want to go. At the age where I should take up Tai Chi 

人民日报-手机恶意软件读取用户隐私,窃取银行账号 手机安装软件 当心引狼入室(热点解读) 本报记者 余建斌 people’s daily on dangers of malware apps….when is app store regulation coming?

移动支付国家标准将出 15股重大机遇 – [中国证券网] China to soon issue national standard for mobile payments// 日前中国移动表示,移动支付手机销量将倍增,相关国家标准即将出台,这意味着相关概念股潜力无限。

10 HAXLR8R startups return from China to unveil ready-for-market hardware | VentureBeat SAN FRANCISCO- Hardware is in the midst of a Renaissance. Today at HAXLR8R’s demo day, ten hot hardware startups presented their products after completing a 15-week accelerator program in Shenzhen China. The program is designed to help entrepreneurs with innovative hardware concepts and prototypes and help turn them into commercial realities.

Qihoo Tumbles as Production Sinks Chalco: China Overnight – Bloomberg Qihoo 360 Technology Co., a software developer based in Beijing, slumped after short seller Carson Block said the company is a “fraud.” // Block needs to provide evidence for this kind of allegation. Muddy Waters has performed valuable services for investors but this is incendiary stuff, especially given the media’s amplification of whatever he says. Remember Citron’s claims Qihoo was a fraud? how did that short trade work out for them? Still waiting for Block’s follow up report on New Oriental after his initial one last summer. He promised a followup, seems strange taken so long to issue it…I have no interests in either Qihoo or New Oriental

Rui Ma: Rui Ma Discusses 500 Startups’ Plans for China – newsle 500 Startups has invested in Chinese companies before, but, by bringing Rui Ma on board as its first Venture Partner in Beijing, McClure made a stronger commitment to China before “things really start moving” there. That’s according to Ma herself, who caught up with The Next Web at the GMIC event in Beijing last week.



Expensive Kindergarten Link Classes Hard to Justify–Education News china One class for RMB 200, a year’s worth of 48 classes for RMB 9600. These are not for students preparing to go abroad for high school, but instead cram courses training organizations are promoting to final-year kindergarten students to prepare them for interviews with top elementary schools. These classes, commonly referred to as kindergarten link classes, are a type of prep class that link kindergarten and elementary school education.

Five Years After A Quake, Chinese Cite Shoddy Reconstruction : Parallels : NPR sadly we will probably know at some point given the geology of the area// Five years after the massive Wenchuan quake in China’s Sichuan province left about 90,000 dead and missing, allegations are surfacing that corruption and official wrongdoing have plagued the five-year-long quake reconstruction effort.

Fei Chang Dao: Sina Weibo Censors “Our Lhasa is on the Verge of Destruction” On May 13, 2013, the official Communist Party mouthpiece the People’s Daily published an article on page four of its hard copy edition entitled “Lhasa’s Old Town ‘Big Demolition Big Construction’ False (For Confirmation – See the Truth Behind the Uproar

Researchers find trickery in ancient Chinese divination – Xinhua | social management via turtle shells…// “We have learned from our experiments that the appearance of certain crack patterns is basically controllable,” said Hou Yanfeng, a researcher at an archaeology laboratory under the Henan Provincial Administration of Cultural Heritage. “During the Shang Dynasty, the emperor was the leader of the diviners. Thus, it is possible that he controlled public opinion via oracle bone divination,” he said.



Officials vow to stop rally over Kunming chemical plant | South China Morning Post The authorities in Yunnan’s provincial capital, Kunming, have attempted to thwart a big rally planned for Thursday to protest against a petrochemical refinery and a related paraxylene (PX) plant in nearby Anning , warning such a gathering would be illegal. Deputy mayor Zhao Ligong , who is also Kunming’s police chief, told some concerned residents and a local green organisation at a meeting on Sunday that “any public gathering on May 16 would be illegal, and no approval [for the protest] would be granted even if an application was made”, people who attended the meeting said.



China nabs high-end liquor forgery gangs – Xinhua | The counterfeit high-end liquor included Feitian Moutai, an expensive brand of Kweichow Moutai. The profit from one bottle was more than 1,500 yuan (244 U.S.dollars), according to the ministry.



Beijing cracking down on illegal barbecues|Society| Operators of illegal barbeques face fines of up to 5,000 yuan ($813) and may have their facilities confiscated, authorities said. The city administration office steps up inspections on illegal roadside barbecues every May, and residents can file noise and pollution complaints by dialing 96310. The city’s environmental protection bureau began regulating illegal outdoor barbeques in 2000, but controlling the problem has been difficult.

北京:烂尾多年终被拆除 亚洲最大游乐园夭折–图片频道–人民网 pictures of teardown of never competed Wonderland amusement park in Changping, Beijing// 2013年05月12日,北京昌平荒废10多年的亚洲最大游乐园沃德兰游乐园最近被拆除。

北京拟禁止中介代收房租 由租赁双方直接划转_网易新闻中心 Beijing to crack down on real estate agents…good// 《北京市房地产经纪管理办法》征求意见稿中,明确规定拟禁止房屋托管,即中介代收房租赚取差价。对于 些与购房者、租房者切身利益相关的问题,也作出规定,例如,拟规定中介费在房屋过户后缴纳,以及续租时不得收取中介费。公众可在本月24日前,将书面意见和建议反馈至市住建委。