Highlighted Links for Monday, May 16, 2022

Notable China news from around the world

Below are links to other noteworthy reports published in the last 24 hours from and about China. Click through to our China NewsBase to see all the other stories we collected today.


Will China change its tune on tech?
Once China’s darling, tech industry is burdened by COVID and crackdowns / Washington Post (paywall)
“Some in China’s tech industry fear that the best days of the sector may be behind it.”
China tech bosses to meet officials amid talk of crackdown easing / Nikkei Asia (paywall)
“Senior Chinese officials are due to meet with leading technology executives on Tuesday amid signs Beijing may be turning a page on its crackdown on the sector as economic growth slows, according to people briefed on the event.”
Ant completes China tech sector’s first ESG-linked loan deal / Bloomberg (paywall)

Scam calls: China Mobile will restrict international calls in Zhejiang
Chinese telecoms block incoming int’l calls, texts to fight scams / Sixth Tone
In an effort to fight international telecom fraud, China Mobile, one of China’s largest telephone service providers, will soon restrict users in the eastern Zhejiang province from receiving international phone unless they choose to opt out, “raising concerns that such a move is likely to further disconnect the country from the rest of the world.”

China tries to sweeten a very sour job market
China looks to spur job prospects for record number of new graduates / Reuters
“China will offer subsidies, tax breaks and easier loans to boost prospects for college graduates, the cabinet said on Friday, as a record number prepare to enter the workforce this year amid downside risks to economic growth stemming from COVID-19 curbs.”
Shanghai lockdown: China unemployment rate near pandemic peak / BBC

Honda eyes bargain hunting EV buyers in China
Cheaper than Tesla: Honda takes aim at China’s middle class / Nikkei Asia (paywall)
“Honda is putting the pedal to the metal in China, where the Japanese automaker has just launched the electric-only e:N line that shows its pricing strategy in the world’s largest electric-vehicle market.”


Nearly one-third of China’s population will be over 60 in the next 12 years
China’s race to provide for its aging population / Caixin (paywall)
Nearly 20% of China’s 1.4 billion people were older than 60 by the end of 2021 and the proportion expanded by 5.64 percentage points within a year. People older than 60 will account for 20% of the population by 2025 and 30% by 2035.

Alzherimer’s drug scrapped over cash problems and COVID
China’s Alzheimer’s drug derailed as global trial terminated / Bloomberg (paywall)
“A global clinical trial of a drug that has been approved in China for treating Alzheimer’s disease was terminated because of a lack of funding and COVID-19 disruptions,” the developer Green Valley Pharmaceutical said.

The first picture of the supermassive black hole in our galaxy
In global effort, Shanghai astronomers capture Milky Way’s black hole / Sixth Tone
“For the first time, astronomers have captured an image of the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, the galaxy of stars and planets that includes our own.”

Solar farms in Shandong’s seas
China’s Shandong to build massive solar farms out to sea / Bloomberg (paywall)
“Shandong province, the industrial hub south of Beijing, issued a tender on Thursday for the construction of 10 offshore solar plants in the seas surrounding China’s largest peninsula by 2025. The capacity planned is 11.25 gigawatts, more than peak consumption in New Zealand.”


Beijing denies shredding green cards
China denies suspending passports, invalidating foreign residency cards / Reuters
“China’s immigration authority is still providing services for necessary trips outside the country, it said on Friday, denying rumors that passport issuances were halted and that residency cards for living in foreign countries were being invalidated.”

No British school names allowed, even if the fees cost a fortune
Harrow Beijing school loses its hallowed British branding / FT (paywall)
“A Beijing school affiliated with the 450-year-old English public school Harrow has been forced to drop its famous brand name as part of a broad tightening of controls on education providers in China.”

United States and China vie for clout in Southeast Asia
With China in focus, Biden makes $150 million commitment to ASEAN leaders / Reuters
“U.S. President Joe Biden opened a gathering of Southeast Asian leaders with a promise to spend $150 million on their infrastructure, security, pandemic preparedness and other efforts aimed at countering the influence of rival China.”
Biden names envoy to SE Asia bloc, stressing U.S. attention / AP
China slams planned U.S. economic framework as Biden hosts SE Asian leaders / Radio Free Asia
China, ASEAN to hold South China Sea code of conduct talks this month / Radio Free Asia

Hong Kong steps up pressure on civil society groups after latest national security arrests
Hong Kong police file complaints to lawyer groups over national security case / Reuters
“Hong Kong police said on Thursday they had filed complaints to the city’s main professional legal bodies over a national security case involving a fund that had assisted pro-democracy protesters to pay for legal services.”
Arrest of ‘Stubborn About Justice’ Cardinal Zen Divides Hong Kong’s Catholics / WSJ (paywall)
UK government says arrest of Catholic cardinal in Hong Kong is unacceptable / Reuters
Cardinal Zen arrest sparks international outcry from governments, overseas activists / Radio Free Asia
Hong Kong churches no longer off-limits as Beijing tightens grip on dissent / Washington Post (paywall)


Virtual idols and overwork
Virtual idol group A-Soul prompts overwork debate after canceling a virtual member / TechNode
“A Chinese virtual idol group called A-Soul, backed by ByteDance, has found itself embroiled in a social debate after it canceled the livestream of a virtual member named Carol.”

Cyber protests and censorship
In China, fleeting “cyber protests” leave behind fragile memories / Rest of the World
Offline protests are rare in China, often highly discouraged or outright banned under the watchful eye of government authorities. Instead, citizens opt for online protests, at times “speaking in innuendo and making up codes and dates to keep their dissent alive,” write Viola Zhou and Meaghan Tobin in Rest of the World.

Musk mania
What China sees in the Musks / Sixth Tone
“China’s unceasing pursuit of technological advancement — and its glorification of the people who make that advancement possible — have helped make Elon Musk a figure of both adoration and envy.”

A Mao scroll and hundreds of millions in stolen art
Mao Zedong scroll thieves jailed in Hong Kong / BBC
“Three people have been jailed in Hong Kong for stealing art said to be worth millions, including a calligraphy scroll written by former Chinese communist leader Máo Zédōng 毛泽东..”