"Sinocism is the Presidential Daily Brief for China hands"- Evan Osnos, New Yorker Correspondent and National Book Award Winner
Thanks for reading. The best way to see this daily post is to subscribe by email, especially if you are in China, as Sinocism is blocked by the GFW. You can also follow me on Twitter @niubi or Sina Weibo @billbishop.
Short and sweet for Sunday. Commentary to return Monday
BUSINESS AND ECONOMY
In China, Silvercorp critic caught in campaign by police – The Globe and Mail – On the afternoon of Dec. 28, Huang Kun was about to board a flight to Hong Kong when his Canadian passport was flagged by officials at Beijing’s International Airport, and he was taken into custody by Chinese police.It was the beginning of a prolonged and often frightening ordeal for Mr. Huang that has landed the 35-year-old from British Columbia in a Chinese jail – sharing a one-bed cell with 20 other men. He is expected to soon face charges of criminally defaming a Vancouver-based mining company called Silvercorp Metals Inc.
Innovation Works: Now Incubating 50 Startups, Worth $600+ Million in Total –Kaifu Lee of course wants exits for these firms, and short sellers mess the market for him and his signatories, as they see it. . Actually, fraudulent firms, rules that prevent SEC investigations and VIE uncertainties depress the market for what Lee et al are selling, and while Lee’s anti-Citron campaign may win points in China it will backfire in US capital markets, especially if local Chinese governments start throwing researchers in jail in collusion with the target companies. Too bad, a lot of good Chinese firms are hurt, both by regulatory uncertainty and questionable research reports. But access to US capital markets is a privilege, not a right//
China, Canada Sign Investor Protection Accord Amid Nexen Review – Bloomberg – “This agreement with China — the world’s second largest economy — will provide stronger protection for Canadians investing in China, and create jobs and economic growth in Canada,” Harper said in an e-mailed statement.//doubt timing of the Globe and Mail Silvercorp bombshell was a coincidence
China vows better environment for foreign investment | Reuters – Ma Kai, a state councillor, also said China would improve the regulatory system governing mergers and acquisitions by foreign companies as well as the mechanism for anti-monopoly assessment of foreign investment. “We will try to further improve the government efficiency, continue to secure the legitimate rights of foreign investors and implement stricter regulation relating to intellectual property right protection,” Ma told a trade and investment forum in Xiamen city.
Hu Says China Growth Is Facing ‘Notable Downward Pressure’ – Bloomberg – “The route we’ve taken is to allow a portion of the population to grow wealth before everyone else,” China Construction Bank Corp. Chairman Wang Hongzhang said in a panel discussion at the APEC summit today. “By 2050 we hope to have a society where a large part of the population can share in that equitably.”
BBC ON THIS DAY | 9 | 1976: Chairman Mao Zedong dies only 36 years ago// It is not clear yet who will replace him. There is no designated heir to the leadership of China’s 800 million citizens. News of Chairman Mao’s death has spread quickly through the Chinese capital//no weibo then, hardly any phones even in Beijing
The Ten Grave Problems Facing China | The China Story – In recent days, an editor with the journal Study Times 学习时报 has published a lengthy article in which he outlines ‘The Ten Grave Problems Facing China’. ‘The Ten Grave Problems’ 十大文问题 forms the second section of a three-part feuilleton or ‘pamphlet’ (in its earlier rabble-rousing sense) by Deng Yuwen 邓聿文 titled ‘The Political Legacy of Hu-Wen’ 胡温的政治遗产. It appeared online in Caijing 财经 magazine in late August-early September. Although the author echoes the formal Party line and extols the peerless achievements of the Hu-Wen decade, Deng goes on to deliver an accusatory accounting of China’s underlying social, economic, regional, political and ideological problems. He frames them as monumentally important issues that have grown in scale and gravity as a result of a stability obsessed government that, under the cover of consensual politics, has allowed pressing concerns to fester. They are issues of critical importance not only for China’s ruling party, but by extension for the world as a whole. An indictment of political lassitude, ‘The Ten Grave Problems’ is also framed as an agenda that demands the immediate attention of the party-state’s incoming leaders.//邓聿文：胡温的政治遗产（全文）-中国政治发展 original essay
[CEG Translation] “The Political Legacy of Hu and Wen” | China Elections and Governance – In 2013, China’s current leaders Hu and Wen will hand over the reins to the next leaders. The decade-long administration has witnessed more problems than achievements. Recently, Deng Yuwen, vice editor of the party’s weekly Study Times, provided a thoughtful analysis of China’s current political situation by listing ten ‘serious ’problems. They include issues with China’s economic structure, income distribution, household registration system, population control, education, pollution, energy exploitation, social morality, foreign policy, and democratization. The three-part article is titled The Political Legacy of Hu and Wen
Does China’s Sina Weibo threaten or help to entrench Communist rule? – The Globe and Mail –
The Interview: Dr. Lobsang Sangay | Author Spotlight – Dr. Lobsang Sangay, the Kalon Tripa (prime minister) of the Tibetan government in exile, talks exclusively with Saransh Sehgal about the recent self-immolations of Tibetans inside China, his experience serving in a political position once held by the Dalai Lama, and his thoughts on Beijing’s upcoming leadership transition.
Sleuths Trace New Zero-Day Attacks to Hackers Who Hit Google | Threat Level | Wired.com – The researchers, who describe their findings in a report published Friday, say the gang — which they have dubbed the “Elderwood gang” based on the name of a parameter used in the attack codes — appears to have breached more than 1,000 computers in companies spread throughout several sectors – including defense, shipping, oil and gas, financial, technology and ISPs. The group has also targeted non-governmental organizations, particularly ones connected to human rights activities related to Tibet and China.
TECH AND MEDIA
Alibaba Slams Online Shopping Rival 360Buy: “Our Competition is Over” – yahoo selling too early//But the slam on 360Buy was aimed more widely – at the whole B2C sector in China. In the talk at Alibaba HQ in Hangzhou, eastern China, this morning, Zeng stressed that Alibaba likes to be a platform, not a buyer of goods – and the same extends to the online shopping site Tmall. While 360Buy acquires all its goods and keeps them in its own warehouses – and is even now moving into delivering them via its own logistics company – Tmall does none of that. If you buy, say, a Nike T-shirt on Tmall, then Nike or its local partner sends that to you. In that respect, Tmall is B2B2C. The implication is that it’s cheaper, more sustainable.
China’s Alibaba to pass Amazon, eBay in transaction value: executive | Reuters – China’s largest e-commerce firm, Alibaba Group, expects to sell merchandise this year worth more than that sold by Amazon Inc and eBay combined, Alibaba’s chief strategy officer said on Saturday. The company is aiming for 3 trillion yuan ($473 billion) in annual transaction value from its Taobao e-commerce units in the next 5 to 7 years, Zeng Ming told reporters.
HONG KONG AND TAIWAN
Hong Kong Heads to Poll as Leader Leung Scraps Class on Protest – Bloomberg – Leung yesterday canceled a three-year deadline to implement the national education classes after protesters staged a 10-day demonstration. Schools will decide how and when they want to introduce the subject.
SOCIETY AND CULTURE
Elephant Slaughter – NYTimes.com – Nothing will change until China faces up to its role in the devastation of elephants and other wild species. China is the major investor in much of Africa, and it could put enormous pressure on the poaching rings if it wanted.The delicate question, as always, is how to put pressure on China. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is trying to do so. But the State Department has been slow to acknowledge the possible implications of American military aid in Africa, especially in Uganda, Congo and South Sudan. By paying for fuel so Ugandan troops can continue the hunt for Joseph Kony, head of the Lord’s Resistance Army, the United States may well be paying to fuel elephant poaching.