Editor’s note for Thursday, May 7, 2020

Dear Access member,

Three things you you need to know today:

  • Shanghai Disneyland reopens next Monday. Read story one below or click through to our website for a more detailed version.
  • The U.S. Commerce Department has expanded restrictions on tech sales to China: we explain what it means in story 2 below. We also clarify what the new U.S. rules on U.S. tech companies and Huawei mean in story 3.
  • COVID-19 prevention and the economy remain Chinese state media’s major themes today. Xí Jìnpíng 习近平 is featured prominently in state media today, once again chairing a leadership meeting on “improving systems for regular epidemic control” (English, Chinese), while Premier Lǐ Kèqiáng 李克强 spoke about policies “to keep employment stable and ensure people’s livelihood” at another meeting (English, Chinese).

We Chat, They Watch: Citizen Lab, “an interdisciplinary laboratory” at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto, has a history of China-focused research projects. It has a new report, subtitled “How international users unwittingly build up WeChat’s Chinese censorship apparatus.”

Its major finding is that “documents and images transmitted entirely among non-China-registered accounts undergo content surveillance wherein these files are analyzed for content that is politically sensitive in China.” These findings are then used to “invisibly train and build up” WeChat’s domestic censorship system.

Our word of the day is tea egg (茶叶蛋 cháyè dàn), a common Chinese snack food. Learn how to make it in this week’s food column.

—Jeremy Goldkorn, Editor-in-Chief