The Sinocism China Newsletter For 09.15.12

"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.

Xi Jinping is back. He appeared Saturday morning at Beijing’s Agricultural University–习近平参加全国科普日活动 and China’s Xi attends activities for science popularization day – Xinhua. There are only photos for now, no doubt any video that appears will get lots of scrutiny for signs of a limp, illness, body double or alien modification.

In just the last 48 hours The New York Times has reported Xi has had a heart attack or a stroke, Reuters has told us he has a bad back, Fairfax Media has said he is “fine” and The Telegraph has written he has both suffered a heart attack and/or is in trouble with Party elders. These stories were all written by some of the best foreign correspondents in China. They can not all be right, can they?

Personally I am still surprised no one has reported on the strange lights hovering over Zhongnanhai ten days ago. My sources tell me there was an alien plot involving extraterrestrial abalone doubles as the vanguard force.

Seriously, do not believe anyone who tells you they know what has been going on. The only things we know with any certainty are that Xi missed some meetings and Beijing’s political rumor mill is primed for speculation.

China and the world do not need this kind of uncertainly right now. Let’s hope for an October 18th Party Congress. Then again, hope is never a strategy, and where there is smoke there is usually fire…

On to today’s links:


China’s power consumption slows further |Industries | – China’s power consumption growth slowed further in August as factory activity and industrial output posted weaker growth amid the economic downturn. The National Energy Administration said Friday that the China’s total electricity consumption grew only 3.6 percent from a year earlier to 449.5 billion kilowatt hour. The August data brought electricity consumption in the first eight months to 3.28 trillion kWh, up 5.1 percent year-on-year, easing further from the 5.4 percent seen in the first seven months of 2012, according to NEA data.

Chinese Real Estate Debt Draws Investor Attention – Deal Journal – WSJ – Heavy investor interest in bonds issued recently by China’s recovering real estate sector suggests that the worst could be over for developers.

FT Alphaville » Chinese corporate risk looks pretty significant – Standard & Poor’s has been getting very interested in China’s companies’ risk profiles recently, amid rapid growth for the country’s immature corporate bond market in the past year.The ratings agency has already published a whole set of reviews into Chinese banks. On Friday, it released a study of 107 large Chinese companies evaluated for business risk and financial risk.

China: Home Depot packs its bags | beyondbrics – When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in China, don’t import your business model from Atlanta and expect it to work. Late on Thursday, Home Depot admitted defeat in its battle to win over Chinese home decorators, announcing the closure of all its ‘everything under one roof’ stores, and 850 job cuts.

Death and Property Taxes: Chongqing Mayor’s Annus Horribilis – China Real Time Report – WSJ – While attending the “Summer Davos” in Tianjin, Mr. Huang made the mistake of confirming what every stock market punter already knows: While the government is hot and heavy about moving ahead with a property tax, it has extremely cold feet when it comes to doing anything. Always seen as a straightshooter, Mr. Huang told reporters in Tianjin said that the property tax will not be too heavy and that it will not be aimed at the average household. Then he added: “You will see over the next 20 years that the property tax – or some other form of that tax – will be written into law.” Translation: Don’t hold your breath.

Well-known short seller looking to go beyond China | Video | – he has picked the low hanging fruit, and much riskier now to do this research in China// Sep 14 – Muddy Waters founder, Carson Block, is looking at potential shorts in the U.S., Japan and India. The man who helped bring down Sino-Forest says one sector he’s focusing on is tech.

Convicted Entrepreneur Accused Former CSRC Vice Chairman of Graft After Prison-Caijing – Gu Chujun, former Chairman of Kelon Electrical Holdings Co., accused former vice chairman with the China Securities Regulation Commission Fan Fuchuan, and three others, of graft and sending him to prison on trumped-up charges. The former billionaire, convicted in July 2005 for economic crimes, made the complaint at a press conference on Friday afternoon, just eight days after he was out of jail.



» Dude, Where’s my…Emperor? 正名 – Just in case the more lurid rumors about Xi Jinping’s absence turn out to be true, it’s worth noting that according to legend, officials in the Qin Dynasty tried to cover up the death of the Emperor Qin Shihuangdi by carting his body around, even changing the clothes on his corpse. When the smell got too strong to hide, they began carrying a few buckets of fish as well to explain away the distinctive odor of decay.

Cracks in the armour as voices refuse to quieten-Garnaut – Long Meiyi was 19 when she met the mining magnate who allegedly raped her at one of Beijing’s most gaudy and exclusive nightclubs, the Softly Shaking Bar.

Bo Xilai’s Former Police Chief Wang Lijun Goes on Trial Sept. 18 – Bloomberg – Wang Lijun will go on trial Sept. 18, an official at the Intermediate People’s Court in Chengdu who would only give his surname, He, said today. Chengdu is the location of the U.S. diplomatic outpost where Wang brought evidence implicating the family of his former boss, ousted Chongqing party secretary Bo Xilai, in the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood.

Foreign journalists in China targeted by malware attacks | Reuters – Foreign journalists in Beijing have been targeted by two very similar malware attacks in just over two weeks in the lead-up to China’s once-in-a-decade leadership transition.



Super typhoon Sanba moves closer to China’s Diaoyu Islands – Xinhua | – another Typhoon intervention for Japan

央视新闻等三个频道将停播日本企业广告_财经频道_一财网  3 CCTV channels have stopped broadcasting advertisements by Japanese firms

Locke urges bilateral talks to resolve issues |Americas | – Territorial disputes in both the East China Sea and South China Sea should be resolved by China and involve countries on a bilateral basis, and the United States will still stay neutral in the process, US Ambassador to China Gary Locke said on Thursday in Washington. “We are very sincere about our statement saying we are neutral,” he said, after delivering a speech at an event hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the US-China Business Council.

Panetta Seeks to Reassure Allies and Defuse China Tension – Bloomberg – Panetta will visit China next week after stopping in Japan, a longtime U.S. ally in the Pacific. China, with the world’s second-biggest economy, is preparing for a leadership succession clouded by uncertainty over the whereabouts of Vice President Xi Jinping, who’s been in line to become the next president.

Information Dissemination: Armed Maritime Lawfare with Chinese Characteristics– The use of civilian maritime security agency vessels has consistently been a successful tactic by China in staking claims to maritime territories, and no one appears to have a credible idea how to standing up to China’s provocations. This is the new normal, and apparently a very successful way China continues to discredit the US Pivot to Asia policy rhetoric as it relates to disputed territories.Everyone needs new ideas towards managing China’s aggressive presence with government maritime agency vessels, because all indications are China has stumped the diplomats with this tactic. Secretary Panetta will be in China and Japan this weekend. He should have plenty to discuss.

Romney’s China-bashing talks useless to U.S. economy – Xinhua | – Yet it is rather ironic that a considerable portion of this China-battering politician’s wealth was actually obtained by doing business with Chinese companies before he entered politics. Such blaming-China-on-everything remarks are as false as they are foolish, for it has never been a myth that pushing up the value of China’s currency would be of little use to boost the chronically slack job market of the world’s sole superpower, not to mention to magically turn the poor U.S. economic performance around.

China commentary slams Romney’s foolish China-bashing | Reuters – U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s attacks on China and promise to name the country a currency manipulator if elected are foolish and hypocritical, China’s official Xinhua news agency said on Friday

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists–Making China’s nuclear war plan–John W. Lewis Xue Litai – For the last decade of Mao Zedong’s rule in China, his revolutionary thinking dominated all strategic planning and operations and directly shaped the policies of the strategic rocket forces, the Second Artillery. Only in the mid-1980s did Mao’s legacy give way to concepts governing nuclear forces throughout the world and permit the development of China’s first nuclear strategy and acceptance of the principles of nuclear deterrence. Step by step, the ever-more complex command-and-control mechanisms of the People’s Liberation Army adopted and refined new roles for its nuclear and conventional missiles to support peacetime diplomacy, to manage military crises, and to pursue combat readiness. The authors examine the evolution of China’s overall defense strategy, with a focus on central elements of today’s nuclear war plan and how they are operationalized. They seek to answer this question: How did conventional missiles change nuclear strategy, the organization of the combined conventional-nuclear missile forces for both deterrence and combat, and the relationship of the Second Artillery to the other military commands?



Online Survey: Most Chinese Have No Intention to Buy the New iPhone 5 » M.I.C. Gadget – To an online survey hosted by Sina, a China’s major web portal, about 49.4 percent said they would “not buy the iPhone 5.” Around a quarter, 23.9 percent of all respondents would “wait and see”, while 26.6 percent of all respondents said they would “buy it.” Over at SINA weibo, the nation most influential social network, there are 37943 votes said they are not intended to buy the new iPhone 5, only 7515 votes said the will certainly buying it. This figures were seen at the time of writing this post.

Bing’s China Strategy: Target English Search–TechinAsia – hopeless even with all that distribution. Perhaps Microsoft should do a larger deal with Baidu// Yesterday, Microsoft senior VP Shen Xiangyang announced Bing’s new short-term strategy for China’s search market: differentiate itself by going after the 5 percent of searches that happen in English rather than trying to compete with Baidu in Chinese. The Chinese language search also just launched a few new features, including a developers’ page, but apparently Bing is looking to English, not Chinese, to crack the China search market.

Role of new media underlined for state-run newspaper – Xinhua | – Li Changchun (2nd R, front), a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, and Liu Yunshan (3rd R, front), a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and head of the Party’s publicity department, visit an office of People’s Daily Online in Beijing, Sept. 14, 2012. Li Changchun on Friday made an inspection tour to People’s Daily, the flagship newspaper of CPC. Liu Yunshan also joined in the inspection tour

李长春调研人民日报社:把微博领域主流声音做大做强-财经网 – Li Changchun visits People’s Daily Online, tells them to make the “mainstream voice” bigger and stronger on weibo

Hollywood comes to China-Sinica Podcast – Jeremy Goldkorn hosts a special look at the state of the Chinese film industry this week in an episode of Sinica that features two veterans of the Chinese media scene: Will Moss from Imagethief and Jonathan Landreth, a Beijing-based freelance media and entertainment reporter who has written for major American publications ranging from the New York Times to the Hollywood Reporter. In a long and wide-ranging discussion, all three talk about China’s on-again-off-again relationship with Hollywood, discuss China’s new concessions and what they mean for the cinema industry, and ask how the rise of the Internet and digital distribution is affecting box office sales and the prospects of Chinese entertainment companies both at home and in foreign markets like the United States.

There Are A Couple Hundred Million Reasons For Facebook To Learn From Weixin Right Now | PandoDaily – Well, Tencent founder Pony Ma has just told an Internet conference in China that by the end of this month Weixin will hit 200 million users. That’s a fifth of Facebook’s total, except it’s just one market. More impressive: Weixin has been around for just 19 months. It took Facebook five years to get to 200 million users.



Brothel targeting elderly busted in SW China – Xinhua | – so much loneliness in china// Police in southwest China have busted a brothel that catered to elderly men, most of whom have been left to live alone by their migrant worker children, local officials said Friday. The brothel, disguised as a senior citizen recreation center in Bishan county in the city of Chongqing, had been operated by a local retired couple since May last year, police said.

Foreigners in China Must Learn the Rules of the Road – Businessweek-Shaun Rein – It is true that foreigners are never really viewed as Chinese. The sooner foreigners accept that, and learn what limitations that means, the faster they can focus on building profitable businesses. Few foreigners have lived in China for decades (even five years is considered a long time by many), so most are viewed as vagabonds or long-term tourists ready to be sent home when their expat packages end. What strikes me, though, is the lack of introspection in Kitto’s farewell note. A closer look at his decision-making shows many of Kitto’s challenges could easily have been avoided if he understood better what not to do in China.

» Don’t Stop the Carnival: Advice for Staying in China 正名 –

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.

One thought on “The Sinocism China Newsletter For 09.15.12

  1. “Don’t Stop the Carnival” is uplifting advice for those contemplating coming to China or for those of us who have have been here for years, or even decades and consider remaining in this fascinating land.

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