1. No straitjacket for China
Two views of China’s behavior and role in the trade and tech war with the U.S., and its behavior as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO):
“China plans to propose reforms of the World Trade Organization, China’s ambassador to the WTO Zhang Xiangchen said” at a meeting in Paris last week, according to Reuters. But he warned against other countries (read: America) trying to restrict China’s growth or autonomy:
If someone wishes, in the name of reform, [to] put China in a tailor-made straitjacket of trade rules to constrain China’s development, I think they will be very much disappointed.
The highly respected Lóng Yǒngtú 龙永图, who led the talks that led to China’s entry to the World Trade Organization, “openly criticised Beijing’s trade war tactics on Sunday, singling out the decision to impose tariffs on soybeans as ill-thought out.” Per the SCMP:
In particular, Long said it was unwise to impose import duties on soybeans in retaliation for US President Donald Trump’s decision to slap additional levies on Chinese imports.
“Agricultural products are very sensitive [in trade], and soybeans are very sensitive as well … We should have avoided targeting agricultural products because targeting agricultural products should be the last resort,” Long said. “But we have targeted agricultural products, or soybeans, right from the start.”
2. ‘Eco-tourism’ kills endangered Chinese sturgeon
Since the start of this year, 36 mature Chinese sturgeons (aged over 20 years) and about 6,000 babies (aged up to two years) have died at the Hengsheng aquafarm in Jingzhou, Hubei Province.
“A panel appointed by the provincial fisheries bureau said the deaths were ‘directly linked to the shocks, noises and changes of water sources’ caused by the construction of the Jinan Eco-cultural Tourism Zone,” reports the South China Morning Post.
The Chinese sturgeon can grow up to 13 feet (four meters) long. The species is critically endangered, and almost extinct in its native Yangtze River.
Another piece of wild China in danger is the subject of this New York Times report: A rural patch of Hong Kong where rare birds sing and developers circle (porous paywall).
3. Trade war, day 137: Chaos at APEC
The weekend’s APEC summit in Papua New Guinea (PNG) resulted in a fiasco as U.S.-China sparring over trade spilled over to consume the event. “The entire world is worried” is how PNG’s prime minister summed up the result.
For the first time in APEC’s 29-year history, world leaders at the annual summit failed to issue a joint communique at its conclusion because the U.S. was insisting on language which Beijing pushed back against
Reports vary on what exactly it was the U.S. wanted to see in the statement. According to the WSJ (paywall), it boiled down to one phrase: “We agreed to fight protectionism including all unfair trade practices,” which Beijing took personally.
Xí Jìnpíng 习近平 and Mike Pence dueled in their speeches over the weekend, with the Chinese leader blasting American protectionism, while Pence took aim at China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
“We do not offer a constricting belt or a one-way road,” Pence scoffed, drawing Chinese rebukes.
Police were reportedly called when a group of Chinese officials attempted to force their way into PNG Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato’s office “in an eleventh-hour bid to influence a summit draft communique, but were denied entry,” the AFP reports. Both sides, however, have since attempted to downplay or deny the incident.
“Experts said the stalemate…would set up a high-stakes showdown at the Group of 20 conference in Argentina this month, which Mr. Xi and President Trump are expected to attend,” according to the New York Times (porous paywall).
One note of optimism came from Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who said that “there is a lot more progress being made here than is probably being acknowledged,” reports the Guardian.
Trade negotiators on both sides will head directly to Buenos Aires instead of meeting first in Washington, according to the SCMP. “The change, if confirmed, suggests that stakes will be raised for the leaders’ meeting, with more weighty matters likely to be on the agenda.”
This all comes after Trump raised hopes on Friday with his suggestion that he might not raise tariffs after all, despite earlier statements to the contrary from other members of his administration.
China’s regional ambitions
China’s regional trade vision took another hit with a tiny nation standing up for itself: “The Maldives’ new government will pull out of a free trade agreement (FTA) with China because it was a mistake for the tiny nation to strike such a pact with the world’s second biggest economy, the head of the largest party in the ruling alliance said.”
China hoped for a soft power win at APEC, instead Xi Jinping left dissatisfied / CNN
“Of more enduring consequence than diplomatic embarrassment, is the concerted and coordinated push back by the US and its allies — such as Japan and Australia — which was done in a very public way.”
US-China showdown heads to Philippines after clash at APEC / Nikkei Asian Review
“Bloodied by diplomatic sparring with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence during APEC meetings in the Papua New Guinean capital over the weekend, Xi is set to flex China’s muscle in Manila, becoming the first Chinese leader to make a state visit there in 13 years.”
China: No developing country will fall into debt trap by cooperating with China / Reuters
“Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying made the comment in an online statement responding to remarks made by US Vice President Mike Pence.”
Upside for some
Here’s who wins and who loses in U.S.-China trade war: Vietnam / SCMP
“While outsourcing to Vietnam is nothing new — the country received US$35.88 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) last year, according to government statistics — Chinese firms are increasingly citing the trade war as a motivation to move south.”
Surprise fuel flows sparked by raging U.S.-China trade war / Bloomberg (porous paywall)
“Malaysia has emerged to displace the U.S. as the biggest supplier of ethanol to China in just two months.”
The trade war whisperer battling Trump – one factory at a time / Bloomberg (porous paywall)
“From a Hong Kong apartment, entrepreneur Ben Chu runs contract negotiation lessons online for Chinese factory owners and businesses to give them a leg up with American buyers.”
China alleges ‘massive’ evidence of chipmaker violations / FT (paywall)
“Officials in Beijing said a price-fixing investigation into South Korea’s Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix and US-based Micron Technology had made ‘important progress,’ without offering any specific examples of wrongdoing.”
Chinese surveillance group faces crippling US ban / FT (paywall)
“The supply chains illustrate just how heavily intertwined sourcing for the Chinese and US tech sectors are, creating potentially disastrous consequences for Chinese companies unable to immediately replace high-tech components as the trade war between the two countries simmers.”
China launches anti-dumping probe into Australian barley imports / Australian Financial Review
“Australia’s grain producers have scoffed at a move by China to launch an anti-dumping investigation into billions of dollars in barley imports from Australia saying they fear it is politically motivated after Canberra signed security and infrastructure deals to counter Beijing’s influence in the Pacific.”
4. State media on Brunei
The Global Times also prominently features an article (in Chinese) titled: “Chinese diplomats ‘charge the office of the foreign minister of Papua New Guinea’? [Foreign Ministry spokesperson] Gěng Shuǎng 耿爽: Does that sound even possible?”
—Jeremy Goldkorn, Editor-in-Chief
BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY:
China is underestimating its US$3 trillion dollar debt and this could trigger a financial crisis / SCMP
“Massive domestic debt has long been a headache for Beijing, but it is China’s growing external US dollar leverage that is being underestimated and it could possibly trigger a major financial crisis, according to Kevin Lai, chief economist for Asia excluding Japan at Japanese investment bank and securities brokerage Daiwa Capital Markets.”
Opinion: Why stimulus isn’t working in China / by Andrew Polk in Bloomberg (porous paywall)
“The government is trying to accomplish too many contradictory goals at the same time.”
China market rescue unleashes hot money seeking risky stocks / Bloomberg (porous paywall)
“Shares tagged with a high-risk warning from stock exchanges, such as companies with negative net assets or two straight years of losses, jumped an average of 31 percent over the past month through Friday.”
China’s chain of debt guarantees looms as systemic danger / Bloomberg (porous paywall)
“Moves by Chinese companies to guarantee each others’ debt have left the world’s third-largest bond market prone to contagion risks — making it all the tougher for officials to follow through on initiatives to sustain credit flows.”
Intellectual property in Europe
Exclusive: German prosecutors charge Chinese-born engineer in industrial espionage case / Reuters
“German prosecutors are pressing criminal charges against a former employee of chemicals maker Lanxess for allegedly stealing trade secrets to set up a Chinese copycat chemical reactor.”
Ecommerce: bumps for JD.com
China’s JD.com feels pressure as sales of big ticket items slow / Reuters
“China’s JD.com Inc reported third-quarter revenue on Monday that fell short of analysts’ estimates on sluggish sales in its core e-commerce business.”
JD.com narrowly misses expectations amid cooling Chinese consumer market / FT (paywall)
“Liu Qiangdong, the billionaire founder and chief executive of JD.com, has said he is shifting his focus away from the ecommerce giant’s core business, just two months after he was arrested in the US on suspicion of rape.”
Design reports released for proposed China supercollider / Cosmos Magazine
“The biggest particle collider in the world moves one step closer to reality.”
Toothbrush harder to build than Mars rover part is ‘breakthrough’ in dental care, Hong Kong inventor says / SCMP
“Ng Tze-chuen gained fame for his gripper tool on the Beagle 2 Mars lander, and has now co-designed a toothbrush targeting all dental surfaces.”
Cool heads must prevail on driverless cars says BYD intelligent auto exec / TechNode
“Michael Shu, general manager of the Auto Intelligent Ecology Institute at Chinese automotive manufacturer BYD, says the technology should be viewed with a level head.”
The smog control economy
China’s fight against smog makes palladium 2018’s best metal / Bloomberg (porous paywall)
“The metal, used in pollution-control devices, has jumped more than 9 percent in New York this year, the best performance among major metals.”
Infrastructure development in Xinjiang
China approves $8.3 billion airport expansion in Xinjiang, key hub in Belt and Road Initiative / Reuters
Uncertainty about market reform and private enterprise’s future
Beijing must show courage to fulfil its market promises, says China’s economic reform guru / SCMP
“Regarded as a mentor to Beijing’s reformist faction, Wu Jinglian said the foundations for reform had been laid at a key Communist Party meeting in 2013, a year after President Xi Jinping took power, but had yet to be fully acted on.”
Can the Communist Party’s unprecedented endorsement calm the frayed nerves in China’s private sector? / SCMP
“Confidence in the private sector was so fragile that Xi made a rare speech earlier this month, asking private business owners to take an ‘anxiety pill’ – ding xin wan – and know that Beijing will protect and support them…But many are sceptical that Xi’s prescription is enough to calm jitters in the business community.”
Xi’s sudden embrace of private firms can’t solve China’s economic problems / SCMP
“In the last few weeks, China’s leaders seem to have rediscovered their enthusiasm for private enterprise.”
Chinese investment in the Philippines
China Telecom’s Philippines plan under scrutiny / Nikkei Asian Review
“The plan is raising widespread political and security questions because the key investor in the Mislatel consortium leading the race to win the contract is state-run China Telecom.”
Chinese group to spend $2bn on ex-US Philippines outpost / FT (paywall)
China Gezhouba Group is expected to sign a memorandum of understanding to “invest $2bn to build an industrial park at Clark Air Base, the former US military outpost in the Philippines.”
Dueling joke apps
Tencent rolls out a clone of ByteDance’s joke app / TechNode
“Tencent Chinese tech giant has Tencent launched “哈皮” or Hapi (which means happy in English), a clone of ByteDance’s popular joke app Pipixia, in an attempt to win attention from the country’s grassroots users.”
WeChat claims 1.08 billion users in latest “one minute” data report / TechNode
Startup funding in Beijing
Zhongguancun, Beijing’s Silicon Valley, promises RMB 15 billion to early-stage startups / TechNode
China expands ban on waste imports / AFP
“China will expand its ban on imports of solid waste, local media reported on Monday (Nov 19), almost a year after its first curbs caused havoc in countries that sent their rubbish to the Asian giant.”
The triple jeopardy of Ke Xu, a Chinese hedge fund quant / Bloomberg (porous paywall)
“Before he was denounced as a thief and cast out of the hedge fund industry, before he was a Goldman Sachs banker or a math prodigy, Ke Xu was a little boy in Hubei province, China, who loved puzzles.”
BeiDou navigation system
China one step closer to satellite navigation system that could threaten dominance of GPS / SCMP
“Industry figures said the BeiDou-3 should be ready to start providing basic navigation services to some of China’s neighbours within a matter of weeks.”
Vaccine violator first to fall from new delisting rules / Caixin
“The Shenzhen Stock Exchange will begin delisting Changsheng Bio-Technology on Friday. The vaccine-maker engaged in ‘major illegal activities’ and violated ‘public health and safety’ when it fabricated data for a rabies vaccines that was given to infants, the exchange said.”
Economic development history
From windfalls to pitfalls: Qualcomm’s China conundrum / MacroPolo
Damien Ma on Twitter: “ how Qualcomm got the blessing to enter the China market. And now, the same market that counts for 65% of its revenue is also the market most likely to challenge its position.”
Qin Hui, “Dilemmas” / Reading the Chinese Dream
A translation by David Ownby of Qin Hui’s “Dilemmas of Twenty-First Century Globalization: Explanations and Solutions, with a Critique of Thomas Piketty’s Twenty-First Century Capitalism”
How China’s capitalist entrepreneurial spirit arose from the ashes of revolution / SCMP
“The world is getting used to a China that is an engine of innovation in digital payments, artificial intelligence, green energy and e-commerce…. It’s a vastly different China from the one envisioned by its founding father, Mao Zedong.”
PAG raises new $6bn fund to invest in Asia / FT (paywall)
“PAG, the Hong Kong-based private equity group, has raised $6bn for a new fund in the latest sign that investors continue to look to Asia despite the rumbling US-China trade war.”
Management change at Bytedance
Briefing: Bytedance appoints new CEO to Jinri Toutiao / TechNode
“Zhang Yiming, founder of ByteDance, has stepped down as CEO of the company’s flagship content distribution platform Jinri Toutiao, but will remain CEO of ByteDance. Chen Lin, former head of product at Jinri Toutiao and a Peking University computer science alumni, has taken over Zhang’s role.”
AI-powered medical care
Briefing: Ping An Good Doctor to roll out hundreds of thousands of AI-powered mini clinics in China / TechNode
“Ping An Good Doctor, a leading online health care service provider in China, plans to build hundreds of thousands of unstaffed clinics across the country over the next three years.”
The fall of Faraday Future
Faraday Future: How a “Tesla-killer” became a zombie company / TechNode
POLITICS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS:
Xinjiang internment camps and crackdown on Uyghurs ?
Opinion: ‘Purify’ or perish: the vulnerable lives of China’s Uyghur scholars / by Henryk Szadziewski in Hong Kong Free Press
Wall Street Journal report Josh Chin tweeted a screenshot of “a provisional list of Uyghur intellectuals who have been arrested or disappeared in Xinjiang”
‘We can reach you wherever you are’: Uighurs abroad feel China’s reach / The Independent
US Congress introduces bill to sanction China for excesses against Uyghurs / Reuters
“A proposed legislation has for the first time urged the United States government to slap sanctions on China for alleged brutal crackdown on its Muslim minority in the Xinjiang region bordering Pakistan and Central Asia.”
Chinese city urges those ‘poisoned by extremism’, who follow conservative Islam to confess crimes / Reuters
Camps for Uyghurs, “schools” or jails? / Bitter Winter
Detained and in danger: The tortured Australian families who fear for their missing loved ones / Sydney Morning Herald
Chinese writer sentenced to 10 years in prison for homoerotic book / CNN
“The book was described by police in East China’s Anhui Province as depicting ‘obscene sexual behavior between males’ set to themes of ‘violence, abuse and humiliation.’
Outcry as Chinese erotic writer jailed for more than 10 years over gay sex scenes in novel / SCMP
Stealth crackdown: Chinese censorship extends to Twitter as activists’ accounts disappear / AFP
“Despite being blocked in China, Twitter and other overseas social media sites have long been used freely by activists and government critics to address subjects that are censored on domestic forums — until now.”
Tougher days loom for “self-media” / China Media Project
A roundup of the last week’s news in the world of Chinese media focused on censorship of social media or “self-media” (自媒体 zì méitǐ).
Taiwan’s quest for recognition
Film director at centre of Taiwan political storm stands by Golden Horse remarks / SCMP
“Fu Yue ignited controversy when she declared her hope for Taiwan to be regarded as ‘independent’ as she accepted the best documentary award at the ceremony on Saturday.”
How the Golden Horse Awards turned dark after Taiwan independence speech / What’s on Weibo
Taiwan’s foreign affairs minister arrives in Marshall Islands / Focus Taiwan
“Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) arrived in the Marshall Islands on Monday for a three-day visit that will celebrate 20 years of diplomatic relations between the two nations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said in a statement.”
IOC warns Taiwan against name-change that would rile Beijing ahead of Tokyo 2020 Games / The Japan Times
“The International Olympic Committee has warned Taiwan that it could lose its right to compete if it tries to change its name for the 2020 Games in Tokyo, ahead of a referendum that will incense Beijing.”
From rugby to painting, China using global stage to diminish Taiwan / Reuters
Thailand tourist boat disaster
China hopes for quick action on Phoenix after boat resurfaced / Bangkok Post
“China hopes the reason for the capsize of the Phoenix boat will be established quickly, with wrongdoers punished for the incident that killed 47 Chinese tourists, a Chinese diplomat said on Sunday.”
Norway seeking Chinese investment
When a town in Arctic Norway transforms into ‘the world’s northernmost Chinatown’ / Eye on the Arctic
A report on a campaign to generate enthusiasm for Chinese investment in “the hilly city of Kirkenes, Norway… located at a literal crossroads between east and west. Russia is only 20 minutes away by car, while Finland lies 40 minutes south.”
Control of the South China Sea and the western Pacific
Chinese tourists hold flag-raising ceremony on disputed island in South China Sea / SCMP
“The gathering took place over the weekend on Yagong Island, located between Vietnam’s northeast coast and Hainan Island, China’s southernmost province.”
China and Brunei to step up oil and gas development in disputed South China Sea / SCMP
United States ‘won’t give in to China’ on Taiwan or South China Sea / SCMP
U.S. to expand Pacific Base in bid to stop China’s growing influence / Military.com
The United States has said it will join Australia in the development of a naval base on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island to ‘protect the freedom of the seas,’ in a move apparently aimed at curbing China’s presence in the Pacific.
Joint US-Australian naval base on Manus Island a ‘significant pushback’ against China’s Pacific ambitions / ABC
“Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the US involvement in the redevelopment of a naval base at Manus Island has been at Papua New Guinea’s request.”
Maldives turning against China?
New Maldives president signals end to pro-China stance as he embraces India’s Narendra Modi at swearing-in ceremony / SCMP
“Ibrahim Mohamed Solih took office as the new Maldives president Saturday and immediately warned of a “dire” economic crisis as he turned to India for help, signalling an end to the pro-China stance of his predecessor.”
Maldives’ new president warns treasury ‘looted’ during China-led boom / Guardian
“The island nation is the latest in a number of small countries where China has invested millions of dollars building highways and housing as part of its “belt and road” initiative.”
Crushing of organized labor
Jasic Detainee #2: Li Zhan: Standing with Workers through Thick and Thin / Labor Notes
A profile of one of four workers charged for “disturbing social order” in the course of the Jasic protests and currently held in detention. The workers’ student counterparts are not faring much better.
Making Christians conform
Christian churches facing ultimatum in China’s Sichuan: Join Communist network or be shut down / Reuters
Detention of bishop in China’s Zhejiang casts doubts on Vatican Deal / Radio Free Asia
Another nail in the coffin of rights lawyers
China abolishes top Beijing law firm known for human rights cases / Radio Free Asia
On July 9, 2015, the Chinese government began a nationwide campaign targeting on human rights lawyers and activists, that became known as the 709 Crackdown. The campaign never really ended.
Last week RFA reported that Beijing Fengrui Law Firm, whose offices were raided on July 9 2015, has now “ceased to exist” after its license to practice law was revoked.
Migrant workers — the ‘low-end population’ of Beijing
A year after deadly Daxing fire, no let-up in campaign to marginalise migrant workers / SCMP
This thread on Twitter from the China Labor Bulletin has links to more information and con text about the fire and the treatment of migrant workers in Beijing.
For more on ‘low-end population: see on SupChina: The week of low-end population; What is low-end population video explainer.
Nothing to see here, Interpol moves swiftly along
Interpol meets to select new president after leader’s arrest in China / NYT (porous paywall)
‘It’s not justice’: wife of detained Interpol chief faces down China / Guardian
SOCIETY AND CULTURE:
Child abuse and the law
Chinese authorities seek tougher sentences to make examples of child molesters / SCMP
“Child sex offenders can expect tougher punishment – even if they do not physically touch their victims – after two precedent-setting decisions in appeals lodged by China’s highest prosecutorial agency.”
Science fiction author Liú Cíxīn 刘慈欣
Sci-fi phenom Liu Cixin on fame, morality and the future / China Film Insider
“At the events, some journalists asked Liu, ‘What changes have taken place in your life since the worldwide success of The Three-Body Problem?’
‘It’s different from what you think,’ he answered. ‘I live in a fifth-tier city in China, where people are not interested in science fiction. I haven’t been disturbed much.’
Perhaps the people in the city of Yangquan, 400 kilometers from Beijing, don’t bother him. But as we traveled all over Germany, Liu’s phone often received calls from home, messages on WeChat and emails. He basically ignored them.”
The treatment of pets, and their owners
Rush for rabies shots and dog licences as China cracks down on strays / SCMP
“Earlier this month, Hangzhou, the capital of eastern Zhejiang province, became the first of several Chinese cities to revise and enforce strict pet regulations.”
See also on SupChina:
A ‘Good Samaritan law’ in Hong Kong?
Hongkongers’ reluctance to provide first aid in emergencies prompts call for ‘Good Samaritan law’ to protect those who help / SCMP
“Medical professionals on Monday called for a ‘Good Samaritan law’ in Hong Kong to protect those who step up to perform emergency treatment on those in need, saying city residents are much less willing to give first aid than people in neighbouring regions.”
Aging, and being a Chinese official
Is age just a number? Chinese official’s picture sparks national guessing game / SCMP
“According to his biography he is yet to reach his 40th birthday, but the official photo of a Chinese official from a remote part of the southwest has generated intense online discussion due to the apparent discrepancy between his appearance and his official age.”
Bruce Lee Chinese studies center
Bruce Lee’s Hong Kong mansion to become Chinese studies center / SCMP
“The former Hong Kong mansion of kung fu legend Bruce Lee will become a center for Chinese studies next year to offer courses on Mandarin and music.” The building is owned by a charitable trust which will renovate the building and run the cultural programs.
Extracurricular education trends — hip-hop for toddlers
China’s street dance scene thrives despite TV censorship of ‘immoral’ hip hop / SCMP
“In China, where children are often saddled with a packed schedule of extracurricular activities before they even enter primary school, some parents are making room for a surprising pursuit: hip-hop dance classes.”
One parent explained why: “I want my son to be more extroverted. Kids these days lack spunk.”
Hong Kong hiking
Road less travelled: three Hong Kong walking trails to take on for hiking season / SCMP
“Three less travelled walking trails in Hong Kong have emerged as top picks this hiking season for those seeking fresh air and greenery away from the city’s concrete jungles.”
VIDEO ON SUPCHINA
Viral on Weibo: China launches two navigation satellites
China successfully launched a pair of navigation satellites on Monday at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province. The launch was an expansion to the country’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, which was designed by the Chinese government to reduce reliance on the American-owned GPS system and form its own global satellite navigation coverage.
FEATURED ON SUPCHINA
‘Very complicated and very tough’ — China’s African swine fever challenge
In its second breakout from its indigenous environment in the sub-Sahara, African swine fever (ASF) has finally achieved what many veterinary scientists and virologists have long predicted was terrifyingly inevitable. It is on the move throughout China, home to more than half the world’s pigs.
Chinese marathon runner loses gold medal after volunteers thrust national flag
Imagine that you are in first place at the end of a marathon, sprinting toward the finish line, when suddenly a patriotic volunteer barges into you to hand you a national flag… This is what happened to Hé Yǐnlì 何引丽 at the Suzhou Taihu Marathon in Jiangsu on November 18. A supporter rushed onto the track and thrust a Chinese flag at He. She continued running without taking the flag, but then a second bystander appeared and pushed the flag on He. She took it, and then dropped it.
Kuora: When does a foreigner ‘really’ understand an adopted country?
What is native-level understanding of a country? From Kaiser Kuo’s viewpoint, short of fluency in at least one major language, he would expect someone who claims to understand an Asian country to be reasonably familiar with its geography, history, ethnography, culture, intellectual landscape, and psychology.
SINICA PODCAST NETWORK
Sinica Early Access: Myth-busting China’s social credit system
This week on Sinica, Kaiser traveled across the Atlantic to host a live podcast at the Asia Society of Switzerland in Zurich. The topic of discussion is the social credit system (SCS) in China, a fiercely debated and highly controversial subject in the West, often construed as a monolithic and Orwellian initiative. Our guests are Manya Koetse, editor and founder of What’s on Weibo — a wonderful resource that aggregates and examines trending information from social media platform Sina Weibo — and Rogier Creemers, a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Leiden, who has done extensive research on China’s governance and digital policy and has translated extensive primary source materials from Chinese government sources and publications on SCS.
Sinica Early Access is an ad-free, full-length preview of this week’s Sinica Podcast, exclusively for SupChina Access members. Listen by plugging this RSS feed directly into your podcast app.
The Caixin-Sinica Business Brief, episode 70
This week on the Caixin-Sinica Business Brief: the controversy surrounding China’s drive to get ahead in 5G technology, the recent outbreak of African swine fever across the country, the gaming industry in China, and more.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Inside a “Party building” meeting room at iFlytek, a Chinese information technology company, in Hong Kong. One side of the wall is painted in red with a robot-like character wearing the National Emblem of China, a Chinese Communist Party propaganda slogan that can be translated as “Amazing [Communist] Party” (厉害了，我的党 lìhai le, wǒde dǎng), and the yellow hammer and sickle that symbolizes workers and peasants. Photo from Joy Qiuyi Dong, Hong Kong reporter for Sing Tao Daily.