Links for Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - SupChina
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Links for Tuesday, March 10, 2020

BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY:

“The government has not brought out the big stimulus guns, because they want to wait to see the extent to which activity can recover on its own,” said Andy Rothman, a former U.S. diplomat in Beijing who’s now an investment strategist at Matthews Asia.

The 54th and second-last of the constellation of the BeiDou navigation system was sent into a geostationary orbit by a Long March 3B carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in Sichuan province, southwest China, state news agency Xinhua reported on Tuesday…

The last of the 30 BeiDou satellites in the third-generation system is expected to be launched in May, three years after the first one went into orbit.

Just like many other businesses — including beauty shops, nightclubs, and reality TV shows — the country’s tourism sector has also moved online, adapting to a time when social distancing is the new normal. Helping tourism-focused businesses stay afloat are large e-commerce platforms like Alibaba, which added an “online field trip” feature to its commercial livestreaming platform, Taobao Live, that allows museums, zoos, and aquariums to attract virtual crowds.

On March 9, the Shanghai Disney Resort resumed operations of certain facilities and services including Disneytown, Wishing Star Park and the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel, although the main theme park still remains closed. As the first step of a gradual resumption, the Disney Resort reduces business hours and only allows a limited number of tourists at any given opening hour.

  • Bytedance eyes mobile game revenue
    Bytedance scores its first video game license / TechNode
    “TikTok owner Bytedance was on Friday granted its first mobile game license from Chinese regulators, according to records from an official database. The license…allows Bytedance to earn revenue from mobile games.”

SCIENCE, HEALTH, AND THE ENVIRONMENT:

While there’s been no published research yet explaining why, Chinese doctors working in Wuhan…have noticed that infected patients with that underlying illness are more likely to slip into severe distress and die.

Most people who catch COVID-19…start showing symptoms roughly five days after infection, disease analysts at Johns Hopkins University said on Monday, in the largest such study of known cases world-wide.

  • More ‘aggressive’ COVID-19 strain more prevalent in Wuhan: study / Caixin (paywall)
    “A new study by Chinese researchers suggests not only that two major strains of the deadly new coronavirus exist, but also that China’s intrusive lockdown measures at the center of the outbreak may have concentrated the more infectious strain in the disease-hit city of Wuhan.”

POLITICS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS:

Taiwan asked to evacuate its citizens soon after Wuhan was locked down on January 23, but the two sides fell out after the mainland dispatched a China Eastern Airline plane to carry 247 Taiwanese back, one of whom was found to have contracted the coronavirus that causes COVID-19… Some 470 Taiwanese stranded in the Chinese province of Hubei were due to return to the island on Tuesday night following a compromise between Beijing and Taipei.

Several years ago, Ilshat Hassan contemplated buying a gun. He was receiving threats over the phone and online from people who took issue with his advocacy for the Uyghur people, he says, and feared for the safety of his family…

Struggling with anxiety and depression, Hassan, 58, is just one of many members of the Uyghur diaspora who say their mental health is in crisis, triggered or exacerbated by the situation facing family and friends thousands of miles away.

The Peace Corps had three goals: to provide useful assistance to “interested countries,” to improve understanding of the United States, and to help Americans understand the rest of the world… The Peace Corps has sent more than thirteen hundred volunteers to China, and the agency, which is now active in sixty countries, has always been viewed as removed from political spats. The U.S. had never ended a Peace Corps program because of a diplomatic conflict, but the timing of the decision about China seemed suspicious…

“For too long, Beijing has fooled organizations such as the World Bank and the World Trade Organization,” Rubio wrote. Scott chimed in: “I’m glad the Peace Corps has finally come to its senses and sees Communist China for what it is: the second largest economy in the world and an adversary of the United States.”

Contributor Holly Snape explains how local and central policies at first hobbled domestic civil society organizations’ ability to respond to the coronavirus, limiting who could receive donations, and, critically, who could disburse them. Subsequent rule changes mean that groups are now freer to play a role in collecting and distributing funds and material goods — a hopeful sign for the management of this epidemic.

SOCIETY AND CULTURE:

For more than a month, truck driver Xiào Hóngbīng 肖红兵 has been stuck living at a roadside service area more than 500 miles from home, with little to occupy his time besides writing poetry and corresponding with hundreds of fans captivated by his harrowing journey.  

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