News roundup: Celebrating Journalists’ Day with a reminder from Xi about ‘the correct political direction’

Business & Technology

Top China news for November 8, 2016. Get this daily digest delivered to your inbox by signing up at

China celebrates Journalists’ Day with President Xi Jinping encouraging adherence to ‘the correct political direction’

As the world waits for Americans to finish voting, China’s Journalists’ Day is coming to an end. Described by state media as a “work-as-usual holiday for journalists,” the annual celebration was established in 2000 to commemorate the November 8, 1937, founding of the China Young Journalists Association by reporters in Shanghai headed by Fan Changjiang.

The holiday is not a festival of muckraking. Xinhua News Agency’s report says President Xi Jinping presided over a meeting with the All-China Journalists’ Association where he “stressed the importance of ‘a sound environment for public opinion’” and “urged the country’s journalists to follow ‘the correct political direction.’” Xi’s remarks set out the Communist Party’s view of the proper role of journalists, namely, to “conform to the CPC Central Committee, adhere to the Marxist view of journalism…[and] promote the Party’s theories and policies.”

The Communist Party’s flagship newspaper, the People’s Daily, featured Journalists’ Day as its top story on its Chinese website. Xinhua News Agency did not, instead using its banner headline to promote a package on the reform of China’s health care system (in Chinese).

More China stories to watch are linked below.


Chinese exports have fallen for the seventh month in a row, and its year-to-date trade surplus with the U.S. has fallen by nearly 5 percent. Experts emphasize that overall economic balances are more important than individual trading balances, and that nothing in the short term is likely to change the basic reality that “China is efficient at producing consumer goods and the U.S. is prosperous enough to buy them.”

After reaching into each other’s home markets and beginning to compete in India, the American and Chinese online shopping giants are now expanding into the diverse market of 600 million people in Southeast Asia.

Claiming the company’s more than 2,300 stores “have barely even scratched the surface” of the growing demand for coffee among the country’s middle class, Starbucks China head Belinda Wong has announced plans to open 500 stores a year until 2021.

On Singles’ Day last year, held on November 11 and “featuring awkward appearances from James Bond and Frank Underwood,” Alibaba sold $14.3 billion in merchandise. This year, the company wants to expand China’s official online shopping holiday even more, with appearances by Katy Perry, OneRepublic and Kobe Bryant.


“Hundreds of lawyers in Hong Kong are scheduled to hold a silent march after China’s most direct intervention in the Chinese territory’s legal and political system since the 1997 handover,” Al Jazeera reported midday on November 8 in Hong Kong.

“More than 1,000 Hong Kong lawyers dressed in black marched through the heart of the city in silence on Tuesday to condemn a move by China that effectively bars two elected pro-independence lawmakers from taking their seats in the legislature,” Reuters reported in the evening on November 8 in Hong Kong.

As the “Western-shaped system of the last two centuries transitions to something new,” which is neither a unipolar nor a Cold War-esque world, adapting governance successfully “will require clinical – indeed cold-blooded – analysis of change, which is hard because wishful thinking and self-deception are intrinsic aspects of human nature,” says the former head of Singapore’s Foreign Ministry.


“Another 27 suspects have been arrested for the vaccine scandal revealed last March in east China’s Shandong Province, adding the total number of the arrested to 324.” One hundred officials have been implicated in the largest case of its kind in China.

Pictures of “WeBikes” – bicycles rented through the mobile app WeChat – went viral last week. According to one bicycle supplier, the bike-sharing market is growing quickly, and it may indicate that some urbanites in China are becoming more sustainability minded.

The Kontinental Hockey League (K.H.L.), the Russia-based counterpart to the N.H.L., expanded into China this year as it welcomed the country’s first major pro hockey team into its 2016-17 season.