Today’s China Readings July 20, 2012

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

Just links today:

  • » Got A Pretty Penny? The China Daily Front Page Can Be Yours Beijing Cream
    when will the washington post sell its front page to the china daily?//
    In yesterday’s edition of China Daily, Louis Vuitton is the front page. Not a story about LV, or a quarter-page ad, or even an ad jacket. Just Louis Vuitton, its address (Plaza 66 Nanjing Xi Road, Shanghai), and the words “Opening July 21.”
  • The Jamestown Foundation: Polar Stakes: China’s Polar Activities as a Benchmark for Intentions
    perhaps china discovered the arctic as well?//
    It appears that in polar affairs at least, China achieves many gains out of the current international order, so to classify it as a “reluctant stakeholder” there would be a slight exaggeration. There are clearly areas where China would like to shape international governance to better suit its own national interests. China’s ever-growing economic power—at a time when Western governments are under massive financial pressure—is enabling it to strengthen its global influence, in the polar regions as elsewhere. Where new norms are being forged, as in the Arctic and possibly in time in the Antarctic; observers can expect Beijing to be assertive in demanding a right to have a say given its investment.
  • The Jamestown Foundation: The Soapbox and the Truncheon: Hu Jintao’s Amorphous Power
    To say that Hu has no power would be senseless. To say that he has had to exercise what power he has in a dynamic, changing context, with wholly different levers that his predecessors comes nearer the mark. Hu’s objectives have been to deliver growth through stability and reform through a consensus-led, unified leadership without the kind of party-wide strong arm politics of the past. He has had to do this often with the deployment of some unpleasant repressive measures to deal with internal party and national challenges.Hu may have been able to purge Chen Liangyu and Bo Xilai, but his ability to remove the former’s challenge did not allow him to place his people at the 17th Party Congress. How Bo’s purge affected the power dynamics in the next leadership selection remains to be seen. If anything, these leadership crises have shown Hu by himself is able to operate at the extremes, exhorting rhetorically across the system or picking off individual challengers—broad but ineffectual, narrow but powerful. More institutionalized policymaking may have offered Hu a way to guide policy without being a strong man, but this process also gave his opponents more opportunities to obstruct him. Only time will tell, however, whether the growing stagnancy in the Chinese political system happened because of or in spite of Hu Jintao.
  • Chinese Feel Burned by Olympic Uniform Controversy – Bloomberg
    harry reid makes yang rui sound reasonable. pathetic//
    Most commentators focused on what they perceive to be the narrow-minded hypocrisy of cynical American politicians. Take this inflammatory but representative tweet on Sina Weibo, China’s most popular microblog, from Yang Rui, a notoriously jingoistic host on the English-language channel of the state-owned China Central Television:
    I just finished the live London Olympic countdown broadcast. Regarding American senators wanting to burn those “made-in-China” uniforms in an election year, I just said one sentence in the prologue: It’s a joke, right? I asked: Would they like to burn those “made-in-China” iPhones? Most iPhones are made in China, so they also take away Americans’ jobs? How much does Apple earn in China? This publicity stunt in an election year is so disgusting.
  • 信用贷款金额成谜 债权银行“担忧”尚德困局|上市公司|股票|IPO_21世纪网
    Suntech Power another chinese solar firm with massive debt problems?
  • 北京:昔日林彪秘密基地 变身军事酒吧-财经网
    Lin Biao’s secret HQ in mentougou is now a military-themed bar. i want to go//
  • Bang & Olufsen enrolls partners for China growth | Reuters
    sparke roll a big deal, interesting move for B&O, could be very good. //
    Bang & Olufsen said on Thursday it will raise 177 million crowns ($29.2 million) in a share issue to two new partners, privately owned Sparkle Roll Holdings Limited and A CAPITAL, a private equity fund founded two years ago which invests in companies that need to grow in China.
  • China dissident Ai Weiwei sees no chance of winning tax appeal | Reuters
    China’s most famous dissident Ai Weiwei says he has “absolutely no hope” that a court on Friday will repeal his more than $2 million fine for tax evasion in a case that critics accuse the authorities of using to muzzle the outspoken artist.
  • 人民日报-坚决防止房价反弹(政策速递) 各地不得擅自调整放松要求,已放松的要立即纠正
    page 2 people’s daily on preventing a rebound in property prices
  • Sino-African cooperation, what’s the next step? – People’s Daily Online
    The Fifth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) is being held in Beijing from July 19 to 20. People’s Daily Online (PD Online) interviewed Ren Xiaoping (Ren), former Chinese Ambassador to Namibia, discussing the significance of Sino-African cooperation and FOCAC.
  • In China, Researching Companies Gets Harder –
    so how do investment banks and accounting firms due diligence? oh wait…//
    Muddy Waters founder Carson Block said that in the course of his investigation into New Oriental one of his employees had been visited by officials from the Ministry of State Security. The Ministry of State Security couldn’t be reached for comment.
    “The message that investigative firms are hearing [from state security] is that we do not want any more work done researching companies, especially public companies,” Mr. Block said.
  • Russia, China Veto Syria Resolution at U.N. –
    what fun revelations await the ransacking of syria’s military and intelligence files?//
    It was the third time Russia and China vetoed a resolution intended to pressure the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to leave power. The failure of the latest diplomacy points to a growing likelihood that Syria’s fate will be decided by bloody clashes in the streets of the capital and not in the halls of the U.N.
  • Ministries release detailed spending info |Politics |
    Ministerial-level authorities started on Thursday to release more information than they had before about how many cars they maintain and how many overseas business trips they sent officials on this past year.
  • Defense guideline targets private investment |Politics |
    Defense-related industries will open more to private investors in a “fair and safe manner”, according to an investment guideline unveiled on Thursday.
    Investors and State-owned defense technology enterprises will be treated equally across the board, including licensing and tax, said the guideline, jointly crafted by the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense and the General Armament Department of the People’s Liberation Army.
    The guideline, however, only applies to private investors on the mainland.
  • Chinese MBO boomlet may take necessary breather | Considered View | Breakingviews
    Chinese management buyouts may fizzle on Wall Street. A regulatory probe, short-seller allegations, and a profit warning sliced 60 percent off New Oriental Education in the past two days. Though depressed stocks may make it cheaper for U.S.-listed Chinese companies to take themselves private, a spike in financial – and perhaps legal – costs may halt the buyout trend.
  • 三成多企业销售负增长 北京商场经济遭遇挑战|三成多|企业|销售_21世纪网
    30% percent of Beijing retails shops showing declining sales, blame placed on internet retailing. secular trend everywhere, not sure why anyone anywhere would invest in bricks and mortar retail
  • Dependence on Middle Eastern Oil: Now It’s China’s Problem, Too – Damien Ma – The Atlantic
    One Chinese commentator, pointing out that U.S. oil imports from the Gulf have plummeted to 15 percent and that domestic gas production rose from 20.2 to 22.4 trillion cubic feet in just three years, argued that these developments give Washington more leverage to push around China through, for instance, Iran sanctions. Meanwhile, a researcher at CNOOC, one of China’s big three national oil companies, echoed similar sentiments about America’s diminishing role in the Arab world
  • 中央部门公开三公经费_腾讯新闻_腾讯网
  • BBC News – Rural Chinese get online as mobile overtakes desktop
    Mobile phone prices continued to drop,” the report said.
    “The emergence of smartphones under 1,000 yuan [$157, £100] sharply lowered the threshold for using the devices and encouraged average mobile phone users to become mobile web surfers.”
  • China’s Internet users go mobile – Xinhua |
    and soon most will have smartphones. network and censorship loads will grow exponentially//
    China is going mobile as mobile phones have overtaken desktop computers as the primary source of Internet access in the country, a report showed Thursday.
    Some 388 million Chinese were connected to the Internet through mobile phones as of the end of June, compared with 380 million people who connected through their desktops, according to a report released by the China Internet Networks Information Center (CNNIC).
  • Overseas blockbusters drive China’s box office surges in first half – Xinhua |
    why china now making hollywood movies open at same time, to dilute their box offices. china film group under political pressure over this//
    In the past nine years, domestic films have gained more in ticket sales than overseas films, but the weak performance in the first half is challenging the trend.
    “The condition is not optimistic for this year,” said Zhang, noting a new wave of overseas blockbusters in the next half year such as “Ice Age IV” and the fourth Spiderman sequence “The Amazing Spiderman.”
    Zhang said China’s openess to the fierce overseas blockbusters will make Chinese filmmakers sober up. “How can they produce quality films that cater to the audience and generate lakes of cash?”
    He suggested theaters not lavish too much love on the profitable Hollywood blockbusters and arrange more screens for home-made small-budget films
  • China will not relax property control policies – Xinhua |
    China will continue to maintain a firm grip of its real estate market and consolidate previous achievements in bringing down home prices so as to prevent them from rebounding, according to an urgent government notice released Thursday.
    “Local authorities must strictly implement the nation’s property control policies. They should not relax the control and relevant requirements unauthorized,” according to the notice.
  • China reprimands Russia for alleged attack on Chinese fishing boats – Xinhua |
    US should not get overly concerned about appearances of Sino-Russian alliances. They hate and mistrust each other//
    Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping on Thursday expressed strong dissatisfaction with Russia over an alleged attack on a Chinese fishing vessel, which has left a fisherman missing.
  • 蓝剑突击队_百度百科
  • 男子北京地铁内劫持女安检员被特警击毙(图)_新闻_腾讯网
    man takes security officer hostage in beijing line 10 hujia lou station, Beijing SWAT shoots him dead, frees her
  • The South China Sea: From Bad to Worse | Battleland |
    US have enough carrier groups to send to S China Sea if things go south, while Syria/Iran/Persian Gulf and Afghanistan all need attention?//
    Territorial disputes in the South China Sea are about to get a whole lot worse — and at the worst possible time.
    Whether the U.S. can avoid being dragged into a shooting match will depend on how far Beijing and its unruly mix of military, maritime and natural resources agencies choose to push their claims. And whether China’s increasingly frustrated neighbors decide to push back.
  • All Things Nuclear • China in Focus #6: China is Not the Soviet Union
    Knowledge of the events that shaped the lives and beliefs of the incoming generation of Chinese leaders is more likely to produce an effective approach to U.S. China policy than imagining their country as “a modern day Soviet Union.” It is difficult to predict or influence the behavior of people you don’t understand. The Chinese Communist Party does not volunteer a lot of information about itself to outsiders — even to the people it governs — but that is no excuse for the administration’s apparent lack of awareness of China’s recent past.
  • SinoNK Dukes of Hazzard Edition: Chasing the General Ri « SINO-NK
    While our team of analysts at SinoNK has – as yet— been unable to capture any exclusive interviews about the departure of General Ri Yong-ho from Pyongyang’s strewn stages, we have surely been reading the Chinese press for clues and new analytical threads. Was there great rejoicing in Zhongnanahai when Ri’s fall was announced?  Will the General now be blamed for the various impasses with China as regards both missile tests and the abduction of Chinese fishermen by the KPA Navy, or,if the desires of Chinese analysts be met retroactively, perhaps shot as the person responsible?  Perhaps, perhaps not.  As always, only time and the archives will tell.
  • Nokia in China: it’s all relative | beyondbrics
    back to China. It’s a hugely important market for all phonemakers and a hard one to crack. Even Apple has admitted to getting it a bit wrong there. So what happened to Nokia?
    According to the company, net sales in the country were down 41 per cent, from €913m in Q2 2011 to €542m in Q2 this year. Device volumes fell from 11.3m to 7.9m – a drop of 30 per cent.
  • Customs Fraud — China takes this very seriously
    Overall, in the last six months we have seen an absolutely unprecedented increase in China’s tightening down on its laws as they apply to foreigners. (It is possible that China is cracking down on its laws with respect to everyone, but because my law firm just represents foreigners in China or doing business with China, as opposed to Chinese citizens in China, we do not know if that too is the case.) China is shutting down improperly formed WFOEs like never before. Beijing is left and right shutting down WFOEs that do not have the proper facilities or are operating outside their scope of business. And we hardly need to tell you about the recent crackdown on foreigners in China without proper visas. There is an easy explanation for all of this and we have seen it before (though never to such an extent). It’s the economy, stupid….Bottom Line:  I hate to sound so trite, but the key here really is simple: follow the law no matter what.
  • Transplanting mainland Chinese filter list to Hong Kong? – Global Voices Advocacy
  • Good Job, CIA: Your Pakistan Vaccine Plot Helped Bring Polio Back From the Brink of Eradication – Atlantic Mobile
    cases in xinjiang now
  • A final salute from MarketWatch’s editor – David Callaway – MarketWatch
    a great read, a great guy, a great hire for usa today. wish usat had an intl business
  • 21st CBH: Exclusive interview with New Oriental CEO after fraud accusations – China Stocks – Morning Whistle – Latest chinese economic, financial, business, political and society news
  • China’s Tencent marches to the West in search of kick-ass games (interviews) | VentureBeat
    good interview with wallerstein
  • 政令不畅 中共欲解政法委十年沉疴_多维新闻网
    duowei seems to be owning the story about politics and law committee reforms//
  • 《卫报》记者:中国碳排放中的西方责任_视听频道_财新网
    @jonathanwatts on caixin video. english
  • 视听-财新网_CAIXIN.COM
    caixin building out a pretty aggressive multimedia strategy. tencent may help
  • Platform Companies Make a Comeback – Caixin Online
    Dozens of local government financing vehicles resume issuing enterprise bonds in the first half of the year
  • Vineyards Pop Corks on Chinese Wine Investors – Caixin Online
    Investors attracted to the status and fast-money potential of wine buying are stumbling over unexpected challenges
  • Beijing’s High-end Property Market Shows Strong Demand – Caixin Online
    Second quarter sees nearly 500,000 square meters of residential housing sold, JLL says, a big rise from the first quarter
  • China’s Growth Still Real but Turning Profitless-Caijing
    While the resilience of wage growth is a positive trend, the lack of reduction in the fiscal burden and the limited space for private corporates to grow is pushing China into a status of profitless growth.
  • 财新传媒的微博 新浪微博-随时随地分享身边的新鲜事儿
    caixin says on weibo that tencent will have no role in daily operations or editorial//
  • China Auto Financing Tripling by 2017 Spurs Vehicle Sales: Cars – Bloomberg
    Mia Zhao says her parents, part of the generation that came of age in the 1970s, before China introduced free-market reforms, would never spend beyond their savings. Zhao, by contrast, has no problem with debt if it helps her get the things she wants — like an $88,000 BMW 530Li.
    “Life would be unimaginable without credit,” said the 27-year-old dance instructor in Beijing, who bought the car in January. “I don’t see why I can’t spend future money if I can make the monthly payments.”
  • Tencent grabs stake in Caixin Media — Shanghai Daily |
    TENCENT, China’s largest Internet company by market value, has bought an undisclosed stake in one of the nation’s leading business news providers Caixin Media.
    Caixin Media recently completed a new financing round and introduced Tencent as one of its shareholders, while its other major shareholder Zhejiang Daily Press Group will keep its 40 percent stake, the financial news publisher said on its official microblog toda
  • China Mouthpiece Xinhua Reports 5.6 Billion Yuan Revenue in 2011 – Bloomberg
    Xinhua News Agency, China’s official news wire, reported revenue of 5.6 billion yuan ($884 million) in 2011, a 72 percent gain from 2010, as the country pushes to expand its influence around the world.
    The government’s doubling of its allocation to Xinhua, to 1.9 billion yuan, accounted for most of the increase, according to the report, which was posted on Expenses were a matching 5.6 billion yuan.
  • California Shark Fin Sales Ban Challenged in Group’s Suit – Bloomberg
    California was sued by San Francisco’s Chinatown Neighborhood Association over claims the state’s ban on shark fin sales discriminates against people of Chinese origin for whom the fins are a cultural tradition.
  • China Developers Face ‘Significant’ Liquidity Woes, KPMG Says – Bloomberg
    Chinese developers face “significant liquidity issues” and rising funding costs after regulators curbed borrowing through trust companies and property sales fell, according to KPMG LLP.
    Although there are “indications” that restrictions on real estate trusts may ease soon, the impact is unclear with investor sentiment changing, according to a KPMG report entitled Mainland China Trust Survey 2012. The report, emailed yesterday, didn’t elaborate on what the indications are.
  • China’s Security Chief Still on the Job? – China Real Time Report – WSJ
    were certain western media used by zhou’s rivals to smear him?//
    From appearances at least, China’s security chief Zhou Yongkang seems to be firmly in the saddle.
    Despite reports that he has been forced to hand over day-to-day security affairs because of his support for ousted leader Bo Xilai, he seemed to be earning his pay earlier this week.
    While he has been seen on numerous occasions in the recent past — meeting visiting foreign delegations, inspecting social service centers or chatting with villagers – his appearance on Tuesday seemed to be an example of the real thing. He was addressing a conference on social stability in the run up to the 18th Communist Party congress later this year – and the leadership transition that will guide China over the next decade.

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