News roundup: A new cybersecurity report may impact tech companies, plus China remembers George Michael
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China publishes cybersecurity report outlining control strategies
The Cyberspace Administration of China, a government organization responsible for the management of the country’s internet and related technology, published today a “national cybersecurity strategy.” The document outlines review processes for information products and technologies and other controls on internet services. There are no surprises in the document, but it clarifies earlier media reports and Chinese government statements on cybersecurity. The New York Times explains that the strategy reinforces “a cybersecurity law passed last month that raised concerns among human rights groups and foreign companies.” Bloomberg notes that the report says that China will “firmly defend the cyber sovereignty of China using all means, including economic, administrative, scientific, legal, diplomatic and military ways.” The concept of internet sovereignty has been a key feature of government communications on digital matters since Xi Jinping became president. The full text of the report in Chinese is available on the People’s Daily website.
China says space program must help protect national security
Reuters writes that a new white paper emphasized the “peaceful purpose” of the country’s space program while highlighting the involvement of the military and a history of weapons testing.
George Michael’s death inspires wave of ’80s nostalgia
The news of the pop star’s death was widely circulated on Chinese social media over the weekend. Michael is well known in China because in 1985, his duo, Wham!, became the first Western pop group to hold a concert in the country. Caixin reports here on Chinese reactions to the singer’s demise. A documentary film about the group’s China tour with extensive footage shot in Beijing and Guangzhou is on YouTube. In addition, there is a posting on WeChat with photographs of the concert posters and an audio file of the Chinese cover version of the band’s hit song “Careless Whisper.”
On SupChina: A running club for Chinese people in New York City
Today on SupChina, we publish an article about the NewBee Running Club, a group organized on WeChat that connects Chinese people who like to run in New York. Running is increasingly popular among Chinese immigrants and within China, where the number of marathons yearly has grown from 13 to 134 in just the last five years.
Today, we begin a new daily section where we’ll explain one or two subjects that are being discussed widely on Weibo and Weixin (WeChat), China’s most popular social media services.
- Ride the Winds, Break the Waves is the second feature film directed by Han Han, a Chinese writer and race car driver. The film is slated to be released on January 28, 2017.
- Death of Benxi: Benxi, a 22-year-old Chinese singer, died on Saturday of unknown causes according to her management agency.
More China news worth following is summarized below, with the more important stories at the top of each section.
BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY:
- Trump Hotels has had its eye on China — but the door hasn’t opened / Washington Post
The president-elect’s hotel chain has been seeking a way into the China market for at least eight years, and it predicted earlier this year that it would open 20 to 30 high-end establishments in the country.
- China’s decades-long acquisition spree in the U.S. could soon come to an end / Quartz
China’s “growing fears about capital outflow,” along with a protectionist Trump administration, could spell doom for major deals, Echo Huang writes. Meanwhile, Reuters cited a senior commerce ministry official, who said, “In the property sector, overseas investment has shown unreasonable tendencies.” This indicates that the number two sector of Chinese investment in the U.S. may soon see stricter regulation.
- U.S. companies want to play China’s game. They just can’t win it / LA Times
“For some high-flying U.S. internet businesses, the China dream is fading; for others, it looks radically different from what they had hoped.”
- China invites investors, including foreigners, into space effort / Bloomberg
“After six decades of development, government investment alone is not enough to let China’s aerospace program advance technological progress and benefit the economy and society,” said Wu Yanhua, vice minister of the China National Space Administration.
- China’s IPO-hungry companies go where the money isn’t / WSJ
Some Chinese companies are moving their official headquarters to take advantage of a rule that allows fast-track IPO approvals for firms based in impoverished regions.
- China’s cabinet names Harvard graduate as central bank vice governor / Reuters
Yin Yong, who has been an assistant governor since August 2015, received a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University and holds a Ph.D. in engineering from Tsinghua University.
- China’s ‘godfather of real estate’ pitches reverse mortgages to skeptical elders / NYT
Meng Xiaosu is trying to persuade older Chinese to cash out on their home equity despite the deeply held cultural opposition to such practices.
- A bruised investor seeks justice for China’s market turmoil / NYT
Shareholder advocate Xu Caiyuan is trying to sue the China Securities Regulatory Commission for its role in the market crashes of mid-2015 and January 2016.
POLITICS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS:
- China’s aircraft carrier prowling Pacific, sending a message / CNN
“China’s lone aircraft carrier is prowling the Pacific as the country seeks to assert its military might and build up its naval warfare capabilities.”
- Opinion: As China pivots, Trump risks fighting an old war / WSJ
“Instead of trying to turn back the tide of Chinese exports, the Trump team would be better off moving to reverse [China’s] latest iteration of techno-nationalism, which is already squeezing Western information technology companies out of China,” writes Andrew Browne.
- Xi’s power play foreshadows historic transformation of how China is ruled / WSJ
One official says that Xi “wants to keep going” beyond the customary 10-year term for Chinese leaders, exploring a structure for governing that is “just like the Putin model.”
- A Chinese dissident cartoonist’s guide to Xi Jinping’s ‘winning’ year in 2016 / Quartz
“There’s no other image that can better reflect the Chinese government’s arbitrary governance than those that show Xi Jinping wielding great power,” says Badiucao.
- China jails nine over protests in 'democracy' village / Reuters
Jail terms of 2 to 10 years were handed down to residents of the southern Chinese village for illegal protests and other charges.
- Chinese middle-class anger reignites over death of 29-year-old researcher Lei Yang in police custody / WSJ
“The barrage of criticism amounts to a rare sustained burst of public anger by China’s burgeoning middle class,” Chun Han Wong reports.
SOCIETY AND CULTURE:
- ‘Suplex’ in Chinese? Professional wrestling tries a big new market / NYT
“While it has its fans, American-style wrestling-as-scripted-entertainment is largely unheard-of among mainland Chinese,” Neil Gough writes.
- Beijing buyers club? China’s cancer patients gamble on gray market / Reuters
Two-thirds of the 30 cancer patients interviewed by Reuters turned to online sources and other unregulated channels to obtain medication.
- Tibetans in anguish as Chinese mines pollute their sacred grasslands / Washington Post
“Old people, we see the mines and we cry,” said one elderly yak herder. “What are the future generations going to do? How are they going to survive?”
- China plans ‘toilet revolution’ to boost tourism / Reuters
China will invest $290 billion in tourism between 2016 and 2020, for more than 14 percent annual growth in direct investment in the industry, including the construction or renovation of up to 100,000 public toilets.
- Planned Hong Kong museum will showcase China’s imperial relics / NYT
“What is being called the Hong Kong Palace Museum will be built as part of the West Kowloon Cultural District, a colossal government-backed cultural infrastructure project,” Amy Qin writes.
- Baidu and KFC’s new smart restaurant suggests what to order based on your face / TechCrunch
A collaboration between Baidu and KFC in Beijing “employs facial recognition to make recommendations about what customers might order, based on factors like their age, gender and facial expression.”