China sets October 18 as date for Party leadership reshuffle – China’s latest top news

Jeremy Goldkorn’s selection of the top stories from China on August 31, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina newsletter, a convenient package of China’s business, political, and cultural news delivered to your inbox for free. Subscribe here.

19th Party Congress date set

Xinhua News Agency has announced (in Chinese and English) that “the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) is expected to convene on October 18 in Beijing,” or as Bloomberg puts it, China has announced the start date of its “twice-a-decade Party reshuffle.”

  • Why “expected to convene”? Bloomberg explains that the date was proposed by the Politburo, the seven-member top leadership group, and “while the schedule is technically a recommendation and requires approval from the broader Central Committee, that’s usually a formality.”
  • The South China Morning Post says that “the announcement of the meeting date suggests the Party has largely reached consensus over changes to key positions in China’s leadership lineup for the next five years.”
  • Observers will be watching news about the 19th Party Congress closely for signs that Xi Jinping may extend his control of the Party-state beyond his second term of leadership that will begin with the 19th Party Congress.
  • In Chinese, the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China is 中国共产党第十九次全国代表大会 (zhōngguó gòngchǎndǎng dì shíjiǔ cì quánguó dàibiǎo dàhuì), but it’s usually just shortened to 十九大 (shíjiǔ dà), literally, “the 19th Big.”

Tencent investing ‘tens of millions’ in U.S. health tech startups

CNBC reports that Tencent — the internet behemoth behind social and messaging service WeChat, which has around a billion users — is “starting to invest more heavily into digital health and biotech” companies in the U.S.

Why? CNBC says that “part of the allure is to bring novel technologies home to address China’s biggest healthcare challenges.” Tencent’s investments so far include:

  • Grail, a cancer-screening service;
  • Scanadu, a medical device developer;
  • Karius, which says it will “diagnose infectious diseases by detecting the DNA of over 1,250 pathogens from a standard blood draw”;
  • Clear Labs, a food-testing company;
  • HomeHero, a senior care service;
  • CliniCloud, which makes mobile health-testing devices; and
  • Circle Medical, a primary care provider that uses apps to facilitate healthcare appointments and doctor house calls.