Links for Wednesday, April 1, 2020 - SupChina
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Links for Wednesday, April 1, 2020

BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY:

In accordance with IFRS, the Company’s turnover and other operating revenues reached 2.97 trillion yuan, up 2.6% year-on-year at a historic high; Operating profit increased 4.8% year-on-year; Profit attributable to equity shareholders of the Company was 57.5 billion yuan [approximately $8 billion].

China’s consumers are shopping online again. But their purchases signal they plan to stay indoors for the foreseeable future, dashing hopes for a spending recovery as the nation contemplates its post-virus world.

Lunch boxes saw 120 times more searches in the last 30 days as the virus pushes people to prepare their own food even after returning to the office, according to March 26 data from Index.1688 [in Chinese], which collects information from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s shopping sites…

Yoga mats and hula hoops for home exercise also climbed in demand, a bad sign for gyms waiting for the return of patrons.

Alibaba never lost sight of its goal to build an empire spanning all ecommerce sectors. The subsidy-fueled food delivery war between Meituan and Alibaba-backed Ele.me has only recently leveled off. Alibaba has reinvigorated its bet by expanding its offensive to the broader local lifestyle services market, with popular payment app Alipay at the center.

A Silicon Valley hiring spree among Chinese electric vehicle manufacturers appears to have come to an end, as a number of executives employed to lead the startups’ U.S. development are quitting.

Most Chinese electric car newcomers have adopted a development approach based on research in the U.S. and testing in China. But the ongoing talent exodus may signal the model’s failure.

Perfect Diary, a four-year-old online makeup retailer selling items like brightly hued lip gloss and eyeliner, has been thriving [despite COVID-19].

No wonder, then, that earlier this month, Tiger Global Management led Chinese private equity firms Hopu Management Investments and Boyu Capital in a $100 million investment in the startup.

  • COVID-19 sees IT professionals working around the clock
    For China’s overworked IT professionals, coronavirus lockdown means longer days / NBC News
    “China’s IT industry already had a notorious ‘996’ work culture, in which people work from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. six days a week. But some describe the current working-from-home mode as closer to ‘007’ — 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And the extra overtime is unpaid.”

SCIENCE, HEALTH, AND THE ENVIRONMENT:

Food neophiliac tourists, particularly the more adventurous ones with a penchant to try out unique and exotic food, have been a key driver in pushing the demand for wildlife consumption and trade in recent decades.

With the COVID-19 pandemic drawing global attention on this “dark side” of tourism, a new study by a group of researchers from Chinese and Australian universities reiterates that this novelty-seeking behavior may pose health risks as wild and exotic animals can carry deadly viruses that have been found to trigger global health epidemics such as SARS, H1N1, bird flu and COVID-19.

A research institute linked to China’s top scientific body has apologised for “copying and pasting” an environmental impact assessment in a report on a controversial dredging project in the country’s south.

The South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, affiliated with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, admitted on its website on Sunday that parts of another report had been “used as a model” for the Shenzhen Bay assessment, resulting in multiple references to Zhanjiang, a city about 500km (310 miles) from Shenzhen.

POLITICS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS:

  • Work on Xi’s new city resumes
    Xiongan New Area work back on fast track as epidemic subsides / Xinhua via Shanghai Daily
    A pet project of Xí Jìnpíng’s 习近平, Xiongan New Area is a new city being built about 100 kilometers southwest of Beijing, and intended to relieve some of the strain on Beijing’s resources.
  • A dispatch from Hong Kong
    Locked down / A Procrastination
    Antony Dapiran writes:

My fellow Hong Kongers on the flight were in “full gear” for the journey: face masks, eye goggles, plastic rain ponchos, some wearing shower caps in a fetching floral pattern. Combined with the fact that so many were young students, I had the uncanny sense that I was back at the front lines of last year’s protests.

The Namibian navy on Thursday intercepted six Chinese fishing vessels amid claims of illegal activity in Namibian waters.

The Chinese embassy in Namibia on Saturday issued a statement in which it claimed the vessels departed from Equatorial Guinea to China on 15 March but “due to strong offshore waves, the boats chose to sail along a route 17 nautical miles from the Namibian coastline.”

Spokesperson for the works ministry Julius Ngweda told this newspaper yesterday the vessels were not in contravention of any laws, neither was anything illegal discovered on the vessels. He said it is expected the vessels will be released soon.

The 10 million surgical face masks Taiwan pledged to donate to countries seriously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic will be given to the United States, 11 European countries and 15 diplomatic allies, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced Wednesday.

Two million will be sent to the U.S.; 1 million to 15 allies, while the remaining 7 million masks will be donated to Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Czech Republic, Poland, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland, according to a MOFA press release.

Beijing’s Taiwan affairs office said on Wednesday that the question of Taiwan’s membership in the World Health Organization (WHO) must be discussed under the one China policy, denying reports saying China is considering Taiwan’s observer status in the World Health Assembly.

SOCIETY AND CULTURE:

Until Hand in Hand, children’s music never truly broke through in China. An article in China Women’s Newspaper summarized the reason: “It’s much harder for a children’s song to cover its costs.”

“The music that we bring is not music that is simple or talks down to kids,” Kanthor says. “This is an entire genre of music that’s totally untapped here.” 

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