Links for Thursday, July 9, 2020

Notable China news from around the web.

BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY:

Weibo, a Twitter-like microblogging platform, on Wednesday announced (in Chinese) that its link-shortening service t.cn will block all web sites except those included on a new whitelist. The company said it made the decision because the free service is heavily abused by scammers, as well as pornography and gambling sites…

Domains on the whitelist will include those owned by government bodies, licensed media, major web portals, and verified companies, according to the statement.

SCIENCE, HEALTH, AND THE ENVIRONMENT:

POLITICS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS:

The FBI is examining exiled Chinese businessman Guo Wengui and the money used to fund his media efforts in the U.S., including his work with Steve Bannon, a former senior adviser to President Trump, according to people familiar with the matter…

The purpose of the FBI’s interests couldn’t be determined.

Dozens of foreign nationals working as journalists in the U.S. for Voice of America, the federal government’s international broadcaster, will not have their visas extended once they expire, according to three people with knowledge of the decision.

Those people — each with current or past ties to the agency — said the new CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, Michael Pack, signaled he will not approve the visa extensions…

The foreign journalists affected by the visa decision are particularly valued for their language skills, which are crucial to VOA’s mission as an international broadcaster covering news in many countries that do not have a free or robust press. One VOA journalist, who asked not to be named because of a fear of retaliation, said it could lead to the departure of more than 100 staffers in the foreign language services.

Some have referred to the countries supporting the pro-China statement at the Human Rights Council as an “Axis of Shame.” But outside the HRC statement, the countries comprising this “axis” seem to have said nothing themselves, and their media seem to have reported nothing, about Hong Kong and the national security law. The only country that seems to have actively spoken out on its own in support of Hong Kong’s national security law, and against tying it to the issue of human rights, is Russia, which did not sign the June 30 statement from Cuba. As Russia’s TASS news agency reported, Gennady Gatilov, Russia’s permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva, called the HRC discussion “biased and politicized.” But this statement was made through Gatilov’s Twitter account.

Chongqing’s data had come under heavy criticism after a sudden spike in new births in June last year, when the municipality reported that 66,862 children had been born.

This figure was close to the total number of births from the previous five months combined, leading population experts to suspect that local officials were manipulating the data to satisfy an official target.

SOCIETY AND CULTURE: