A gallimaufry of links


This is what I’ve been reading this morning, arranged in no particular order:

  • Alibaba pleasantly surprised its investors with its most recent report: despite the weakening economy, Alibaba “beat analyst expectation after clocking 61 percent annual revenue growth,” reports TechCrunch.
  • “An educated public is the best defense to Beijing’s growing influence operations in Asia” is the very sensible conclusion of Bilahari Kausikan, former permanent secretary at Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in this piece on Chinese influence operations on Nikkei Asian Review. He examines how China conducts influence operations, citing examples from Singapore.
  • Dodgy accounting at the Hong Kong Jockey Club: In Macao, Stanley Ho 何鸿燊 had a monopoly on gambling from 1962 until 2002. In Hong Kong, there’s still only one legal operator of gambling: the Hong Kong Jockey Club. A generous part of the fortune they make — nearly $4.3 billion in the year ending June 2017 — is supposed to be given to charitable causes, justifying the gambling license. But Hudson Lockett of the Financial Times reports (paywall) that “the club exaggerates its donations, paying out only a sliver of the charity funds that serve to justify its lucrative monopoly.”
  • The Africa-China Project and their collaborators at Wits University journalism school in South Africa have produced a journalist’s guide to the Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which takes place in Beijing this year September 3 to 4.
  • Massive pyramid, lost city, and ancient human sacrifices unearthed in China” is the title of this piece on Live Science about an excavation of a 4,300-year-old city in Shimao, Shaanxi Province.
  • “The CCP’s efforts to cultivate foreign political parties and generate an appreciative consensus around Xi Jinping’s policies have now reached Iceland,” according to Sinologists Jichang Lulu and Martin Hála.
  • If there really has been a concerted push back against Xi Jinping among the Party elite, “those moves look to have been squashed, and they likely gave Xi an even clearer idea of where enemies are,” says Bill Bishop on Sinocism (paywall). He adds: “If you come at the king and you miss, your life in the CCP will not be pleasant, and the message to any other cadres who might be wavering is very clear.”