News roundup: How are China’s copycats making entrepreneurs more creative? Plus Australians detained and record space journey

Business & Technology

Top China news for October 17, 2016. Get this daily digest delivered to your inbox by signing up at Dmitry Kalinovsky, GuoZhongHua and VitaminCo

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Chinese copycats disrupt entrepreneurs’ Kickstarter dreams by making knockoff versions of original product ideas

Large multinational firms are not the only ones confronting the challenges of piracy in China, where small factories can quickly knock out their own versions of innovative products amid limited enforcement of intellectual property rights. / Quartz

Evolution of IP:

  • Opinion: Chinese infringement of intellectual property is a phase that will give way to innovation and greater protection of rights / The Guardian
  • Sinica Podcast: A conversation about shanzhai, the changing art of the Chinese knockoff, with Fan Yang / Episode + Backgrounder


  • The D.C. lobbyist known as ‘Dr. Evil’ is on a mission against Chinese investment in Hollywood, principally targeting Wang Jianlin’s Wanda Group / Bloomberg
  • Opinion: China’s plan to have banks swap bad debt for equity stakes is unlikely to have much impact on reducing credit risk / Bloomberg
  • Homing in on big-data investment, the poor southwestern province of Guizhou could help China boost its nationwide GDP growth / Bloomberg
  •, a Chinese music video app taken up by some U.S. teens, seeks to become a social network akin to Facebook and WeChat / Bloomberg


Citing gambling crimes, Chinese officials detain 18 employees of an Australian casino company

Amid a crackdown on the promotion of gambling in China, authorities arrested 18 people working for the Melbourne-based Crown Resorts, including Jason O’Connor, the vice president of VIP international operations, whose job was getting wealthy Chinese gamblers to visit casinos in Australia. / The New York Times

Risky business:

  • Opinion: Companies engaged in business areas that are illegal in China, such as gambling, take a risk by having employees in the country / China Law Blog
  • Sinica Podcast: An American’s 7 months in a Chinese jail / SupChina


  • Rodrigo Duterte, heading to China with a group of 400 business leaders, will be the first Philippine president invited by Xi for one-on-one talks in Beijing / Bloomberg
  • After 27 years, China reportedly prepares to release the last of its 1,600 Tiananmen prisoners / Quartz
  • Trump started negotiations on a major hotel deal with China’s State Grid company while publicly bashing the nation, sources say / Agence France-Presse
  • Opinion: China challenges U.S. global dominance with trade, investment, military spending and ties to Russia / Salon


China launches 2 astronauts to the Tiangong-2 lab for a 30-day trip that will set a new space-visit record for the nation

China’s ambitious space program took another step forward with the launch of the Shenzhou-11 spacecraft for a trip to an orbiting lab. By 2020, the nation intends to send an unmanned rover to Mars, and by 2025, it wants to put an astronaut on the moon. / The New York Times

Star explorers:

  • Jing Haipeng, China’s oldest astronaut, begins his third mission to space that will include celebrating his 50th birthday while orbiting the Earth / SCMP
  • Q&A with Leroy Chiao, first Asian-American and ethnic Chinese spacewalker and mission commander / SupChina


  • ‘China’s Coal Capital’ replaces entire taxi fleet with electric cars as part of a plan that has already reduced air pollution by 18 percent / Bloomberg
  • As values change and the cost and complexity of raising one child grow, parents say no to two kids, despite policy change and official encouragement / Washington Post
  • Killing of a Chinese tailor in a Paris suburb culminates years of racial tensions in the city / The New York Times
  • The book ‘Finding Gobi’ will recount a marathoner’s search for the dog that became his running companion during a race across the Gobi Desert / What’s on Weibo