Links for Monday, July 6, 2020

Notable China news from around the web.

BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY:

Oversupply in China’s coal industry for the last eight years has prompted Beijing to launch a campaign to weed out many of the nation’s smaller, less efficient collieries. While those smaller companies have felt the brunt of the pain, the larger, state-owned Sichuan Coal Industry Group Ltd. Liability Co. joined their ranks last month when a provincial court in the capital city of Chengdu sided with the company’s creditors in forcing the miner into bankruptcy reorganization.

  • The collapsing trust industry
    Anxin Trust’s $7 billion investment black hole / Caixin (paywall)
    “The collapse of Anxin brought to light a dark corner of China’s 20 trillion yuan ($2.8 trillion) trust industry where billions of dollars of investments were misappropriated to benefit the biggest shareholders and their affiliates.”
  • China’s PPE stranglehold
    China dominates P.P.E. manufacturing / NYT (porous paywall)
    “Alarmed at China’s stranglehold over supplies of masks, gowns, test kits and other front-line weapons for battling the coronavirus, countries around the world have set up their own factories to cope with this pandemic and outbreaks of the future.”
  • JD.com’s fintech IPO
    JD.com fintech affiliate plans STAR market IPO / Caixin (paywall)
    “JD.com Inc.’s fintech affiliate is planning a listing on Shanghai’s STAR Market later this year that will value it at up to 200 billion yuan ($28.3 billion)…”

SCIENCE, HEALTH, AND THE ENVIRONMENT:

…indicates that it was the WHO office in China that notified its regional point of contact on December 31 of a case of “viral pneumonia” after finding a declaration for the media on a Wuhan health commission website. On the same day, the WHO’s epidemic information service picked up another news report – from US-based international epidemiological surveillance network ProMed – about the same group of cases from unknown causes in Wuhan.

Following these reports, the WHO asked Chinese authorities twice, on January 1 and 2, for information about these cases, which was provided on January 3.

Engineers have run out of the easiest locations to power massive sets of turbines and the falling cost of rival energy sources such as solar mean it isn’t worth moving on to more challenging locations.

“It’s so cheap developing renewables and coal-fired power, why bother injecting huge sums of money to develop hydro 2,000 kilometers deep in the Tibetan plateau,” said Frank Yu, an analyst with Wood Mackenzie Ltd. “The future of hydro is going to be pumped storage and is also going to be smaller and smaller.”

POLITICS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS:

SOCIETY AND CULTURE:

  • Reforming the cutthroat education environment
    Shenzhen schools scrap final exams, class rankings / Sixth Tone
    The move to prohibit releasing exam scores and student rankings is likely aimed at easing some of the pressure felt by students.
  • Rural “losers” in elite colleges
    Even at China’s elite colleges, rural kids feel like ‘losers’ / Sixth Tone
    “The phrase ‘exam experts from small towns’ was coined by a Douban user in a blog post describing his ‘mental journey’ from being a top student in high school to a ‘loser’ in university.”
  • Beijingers leave the city as soon as restrictions lift
    The mass exodus from Beijing is on / Bloomberg (porous paywall)
    “People in Beijing rushed to buy train and plane tickets out of the Chinese capital after the local government began easing travel restrictions for the first time since an outbreak that was discovered in mid-June.”
  • Silencing mainland international students
    The silencing of mainland Chinese international students / Lausan
    A mainland Chinese native in Toronto comments on the backlash towards his China-critical article.