Links for Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Notable China news from around the web.

BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY:

  • Decoupling: easier said than done
    Companies prodded to rely less on China, but few respond / AP
    Damien Ma, founder of think tank MacroPolo, remarked on the world’s reliance on China via Twitter: “Notice how all these anecdotes rarely mention low cost as China advantage. It’s much more than that. Can you quit Amazon, the everything store? Then how do you quit China, the ‘make everything’ country?”
  • A formal U.S. ban on Huawei and ZTE
    U.S. FCC issues final orders declaring Huawei, ZTE national security threats / Reuters
    “The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday formally designated Chinese’s Huawei Technologies Co and ZTE Corp (000063.SZ) as posing threats to U.S. national security, a declaration that bars U.S. firms from tapping an $8.3 billion government fund to purchase equipment from the companies.”
  • Fake online traffic
    Almost one third of online ad traffic in China is fake or invalid / WARC
    “Nearly a third of all online ad traffic in China last year was fake or invalid and cost the marketing industry an estimated 28 billion yuan, [$3.96 billion] a study by advertising technology company Miaozhen Systems has found.”
  • Tearing down risk barriers in banking
    China prepares to tear down 25-year bank-brokerage divide / Caixin (paywall)
    “China’s regulators are planning a trial that could tear down the wall separating banks and securities companies, 25 years after the barrier was first put up to control the spread of risk between different parts of the financial system.”
  • Beyond Meat hits China’s grocery markets
    Alibaba’s Freshippo grocery chain to sell Beyond Meat / TechNode
    “The U.S. alternative protein company is keen to tap into China’s market, but is facing competition from local players like Starfield and Z-Rou.”
  • Arm China executive refuses to step down
    Inside the battle for Arm China / FT (paywall)
    “Invest in my personal fund and get a discount on Arm’s cutting edge chip technology: that was the offer allegedly made by China boss Allen Wu to some of his customers.”
  • Shanghai trade shows reopen
    Shanghai gets back to business with resumption of major trade shows / Caixin (paywall)
    “Shanghai has resumed staging exhibitions, trade shows and other major events, as disease prevention takes a back seat to business with the prolonged easing of the country’s Covid-19 epidemic.”
  • Ant group chief expands his reach
    Jack Ma chieftain Simon Hu lays out plan to fend off Tencent / Bloomberg (porous paywall)
    “Ant Group Chief Executive Simon Hú Xiǎomíng 胡晓明 is aggressively pitching digital payment and cloud offerings to the local arms of KFC Holding Co. and Marriott International Inc., expanding the firm’s focus from banks and fund managers on its ubiquitous app.”
  • Data leaks
    Unsecured Chinese companies leak users’ sensitive personal and business data / CyberNews
    “Our research uncovered two unsecured databases, with millions of records, belonging to companies that are based in China and provide different types of services. One database belongs to Xiaoxintong, which offers multiple apps and services aimed at elderly care. The other database we discovered seems to be connected to Shanghai Yanhua Smartech tools, which provides services related to intelligent buildings.”

SCIENCE, HEALTH, AND THE ENVIRONMENT:

POLITICS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS:

On June 22, the U.S. issued a new determination to designate four additional Chinese media agencies, namely, China Central Television, the People’s Daily, the Global Times and China News Service, as foreign missions. China demands in retaliation that the Associated Press, United Press International, Columbia Broadcasting System, and National Public Radio declare in written form information about their staff, finance, operation and real estate in China within seven days starting from today.

  • Critiquing Trump’s China strategy
    Five critiques of the Trump administration’s China strategy / War on the Rocks
    Zack Cooper summarized his piece in a tweet: “My new piece @WarOnTheRocks analyzes the White House’s China strategy. I’ve heard five critiques:1) Too confrontation for admin critics 2) Too restrained for CCP critics 3) Too transactional for allies 4) Too values-based for Trump 5) Too late to matter”
  • Ponzi scheme fugitive extradited to China
    Fugitive accused of helping raise billions illegally extradited from Greece to China / Caixin (paywall)
    “The case is just the latest development in one of the largest illegal fundraising cases in China’s fast-growing internet finance industry. Qbao.com’s website has been shut down, and police believe millions of investors across China may have fallen prey to its Ponzi-style scam.”
  • China grooming accusations anger U.K. elites
    48 Group Club sues over claims U.K. elite ‘groomed by China’ / Daily Mail
    “An influential London club packed with business and political heavyweights is taking legal action against a book which claims Beijing is grooming the British establishment.”
    The 48 Group Club also released a Statement:

It became clear that the book contained a number of inaccurate and potentially libellous statements relating to the role and function of the 48 Group Club and some of its members. On taking legal advice the Club wrote to the publishers of the book to request sight of the text and opportunity to correct and respond to the errors in the book. Errors have been acknowledged by the publishers and we are working to correct the others.

SOCIETY AND CULTURE:

  • Restoring China’s urban energy through prints
    Culture & Creativity in Asia / Neocha
    “For [Artist Nini Sum], a Nanjing native who’s lived in Shanghai since 2008, seeing the streets deserted during the city’s lockdown was deeply unsettling. ‘It was as if everything had evaporated,’ she recalls. ‘The city’s vibrant personality was suddenly gone, and it occurred to me. This personality was exactly what I sought to capture in Snapshot.’”
  • Cambodian culture survives through spirits
    Spirits of a Kindred / World of Chinese
    In Southern China, long-persecuted Cambodians preserve their heritage through a “parade of spirits” festival.