News Briefing for Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Notable China news from around the world

Here’s what else you need to know about China today:

Beijing tested nearly 3.8 million people for COVID-19 in an initial round in Chaoyang District on Monday, with all the results negative except for one. The Chinese capital is mass-testing much more quickly than in Shanghai, where officials started testing on a similar scale only after infections had been recorded for weeks and more than 1,000 cases had emerged.

  • “It’s cheaper to act earlier than to act later,” said Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding, the chief of the COVID-19 task force at the World Health Network.
  • In Shanghai, many people are considering exiting the city. On April 15 alone, WeChat users looked up the word immigration 70 million times on the platform, while Shanghai’s big bankers are planning to move away out of frustration over the city’s COVID curbs.
  • Baotou, which is home to about 2.7 million people and one of China’s major mines of rare earths, will lock down for a week after two cases were reported.

The head of the Tibetan government will make a rare visit to Washington this week to rally support in pressuring China. Sikyong Penpa Tsering, who is currently in exile, wants Beijing to lift a 12-year freeze on official dialogue with his administration and to address grievances of Tibetans living under Chinese rule.

TikTok’s owner, ByteDance, has recruited a high-powered lawyer from global firm Skadden. The hiring of Julie Gao (Gāo Zhǔn 高准) “is likely to revive speculation about ByteDance’s potential IPO,” says Bloomberg.

​​BlackRock’s majority-owned joint venture has launched a pension product as the world’s largest asset manager salivates over “business opportunities among the country’s growing aging population.”

China’s COVID censors are setting “a playbook for information repression” where authoritarian governments in 80 nations have now placed new curbs on free speech and political expression that were “falsely described as public-health measures,” the New Yorker reports.

Breakthrough for domestic automotive microchip production? The A1000 microchip for self-driving cars developed by Black Sesame Technologies has completed all certification processes and will be mass produced this year. Black Sesame will be the first domestic company to achieve mass production of large computing microchips for the automotive industry.

Proportion of younger mobile internet users declining: As of the end of March, there were 1.18 billion mobile internet users in China. The proportions of users aged 41–50 and over 50 increased marginally, but use among younger categories all declined, meaning that middle-aged and elderly groups have become the main source of user growth.

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