News roundup: Will China decide global norms for using AI? Plus Clinton’s leaked comments and property market problems

Business & Technology

Top China news for October 14, 2016. Get this daily digest delivered to your inbox by signing up at


Analysis: Despite problems in China’s housing market, ‘bubble’ wrongly describes fast-rising property prices

Investors and analysts have been predicting a “Chinese real-estate Armageddon” for years, yet a nationwide collapse has not come, and one expert reveals the deeper problem to be tied to an imbalance in land supply to small and big cities, the author writes. / The Economist

Managing mortgages:

  • Analysis: China’s safe-sounding, official mortgage loan-to-value ratio of 55 percent doesn’t account for fast-rising levels of debt for new home purchases / WSJ
  • China’s central bank orders 17 major lenders to rein in property loans that are fueling a nationwide credit surge / Caixin
  • Opinion: China’s frenzied housing market feeds inequality, anxiety and dark humor / Chublic Opinion


  • GE, Honeywell and Siemens are among the global firms looking to benefit from China’s new ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative by expanding sales along the trade route / WSJ
  • China’s loans to developing countries face default risks as falling oil prices hinder the poorer nations’ ability to repay their debts / Financial Times
  • China reportedly plans to merge the state-run Sinochem and ChemChina to create a giant oil-to-chemicals firm with more than $100 billion in assets / Bloomberg
  • Economists see relief for Beijing’s policy makers in the slight rise of industrial prices after four years of deflation / WSJ


Leaked emails: Clinton said she would ‘ring China with missile defense’ if Beijing can’t control North Korea’s nukes

“So China, come on,” Hillary Clinton said in a private 2013 speech that was disclosed by WikiLeaks. “You either control them or we’re going to have to defend against them.” / Washington Post


  • Sinica Podcast: A conversation with Ma Tianjie about fractures in Chinese public opinion / Episode + Q&A + Backgrounder
  • Opinion: The true goal of the live streaming of Chinese trials on a government website is to increase Beijing’s control of courts by case standardization / Foreign Policy
  • In the first visit to Bangladesh by a Chinese head of state in 30 years, Xi will grant more than $23 billion in loans to boost the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative / Bloomberg
  • Opinion: Censorship has become ‘intolerable’ for many writers, and the bookstore that tore out pages on Taiwan is just one of many recent examples / Language Log
  • China backs the Philippine president’s violent and deadly campaign against drugs in which nearly 2,300 people have died since June 30 / Reuters
  • Following a veterans’ protest in Beijing, China’s military warns against ‘hostile forces’ spreading rumors online to undermine Xi Jinping’s reforms / Reuters


China has pulled ahead of the U.S. in the key area of artificial intelligence research known as deep learning

Chinese scientists are publishing more papers annually on the subject of deep learning, which is critical to the development of smart applications such as digital assistants, and the incidence of peers citing their work at least once is rapidly rising. / Washington Post

Deeper into AI:

  • Sinica Podcast: Andrew Ng compares artificial intelligence research and startup culture in the U.S. and China / Episode + Backgrounder


  • China’s police officers are burdened by stress amid heavy caseloads, low pay and the drudgery of having to respond to every request for assistance / The Economist
  • Opinion: Chinese women still face major hurdles of social expectations, property law and gender discrimination / The New York Times
  • China’s now-abolished one-child policy may leave the lingering effect of a heavily lopsided age distribution for at least 20 years, a study finds / CNN
  • The new opera house in the northeastern city of Harbin draws its architectural inspiration from the surrounding wetlands and snowy landscapes / CNN
  • Opinion: With bicycle-sharing programs taking off in China as cars choke the roads, the nation may inspire others to take a similar ride / Bloomberg View