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Economic gloom and doom
China’s gloomy companies are slashing profit forecasts / Bloomberg (porous paywall)
“Chinese executives are sounding warning bells over the world's second-largest economy.”
Alibaba revenue grows at weakest pace in three years as slowing China bites / Channel NewsAsia
Chinese exporters report sluggish start to year / FT (paywall)
Canon sees 5.2 percent dip in 2019 profit on China economic slowdown / Reuters via Channel NewsAsia
Ford’s China joint venture suffers 54% fall in sales / FT (paywall)Electric cars: NIO still raising money
China’s Tesla is burning through more cash than rubber / WSJ (paywall)
“NIO Inc., China’s answer to Tesla, doesn’t seem to have got a lot of mileage from its recent $1 billion initial public offering.”
Chinese EV carmaker NIO aims to raise US$650 million via convertible bond / Reuters
NIO “launched a $650 million five-year convertible bond on Wednesday, aiming to use the proceeds to fund expansion. The Shanghai-based carmaker's move to raise capital via an equity-linked bond, only four months after it listed in New York, mirrors that of China's Netflix-like video platform iQiyi, which sold a US$750 million convertible bond in November after going public last year, highlighting the growing appeal of convertibles for high-growth companies in need of cash.”Censorship of video streaming
Cover up! Chinese female live-stream performers banned from wearing skimpy clothes / SCMP
“A Chinese province has become the first to ban female hosts from wearing revealing clothes as part of new guidelines for live-streaming broadcasts. The provincial government in Hubei banned live-stream broadcasters from wearing sexy costumes, lingerie, see-through dresses, skin-color body tights or any clothes that are too revealing.”Fintech
Ant Financial raised almost as much money in 2018 as all fintechs in US and Europe / Quartz
“A key question is whether the growth of the world’s most valuable fintech firm is an anomaly or a sign of things to come from China.”Corruption at the world’s leading consumer drone company 
DJI pledges painful action to tackle corruption / BBCThe downside of high-speed trains
What’s not great about China’s high-speed rail? The debt / Caixin (paywall)
“Having the world’s largest high-speed rail network with a lot of idle capacity is indicative of significant financial risk… Large investments in high-speed rail have meant less construction of regular railways, which has led to a serious imbalance in China’s transportation infrastructure.”Satellite launches
China plans first seaborne rocket launch in mid-2019 / Xinhua
“The rocket can carry a payload of up to 350 kg [771 Lb] to a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 700 km [434 miles], and 700 kg [1543 Lb] to a low-Earth orbit at 200 km [124 miles].”


The Party’s man at the Foreign Ministry
Diplomatic novice picked for top Communist Party job at China’s foreign ministry amid deteriorating relations with US / SCMP
“The announcement on Tuesday night that Qí Yù 齐玉, 58, former deputy head of the party’s all-powerful Organization Department, would be the ministry’s party secretary took many Chinese diplomats and veteran China observers by surprise because of his lack of diplomatic experience.”India worries as Beijing smiles at Bhutan
China outreach to Bhutan poses fresh challenge to India / Times of India
The Chinese ambassador to India is visiting Bhutan, causing unease in Delhi. The Times says: “The new government in Thimphu is likely to look at Beijing more and more as a potential partner in efforts to diversify its economy…The incumbent party wants to reduce Bhutan’s excessive reliance on hydropower, which it exports to India…China has approached Bhutan to be a partner in its Belt and Road Initiative.”Jaime FlorCruz — four decades in China
The evolution of China from the eyes of a Filipino journalist in exile / ABS-CBN
Veteran correspondent Jaime FlorCruz is exhibiting a collection of mementos from four decades in China, at the Bahay Tsinoyin in Manila — which houses a museum devoted to the history of ethnic Chinese in the Philippines.Hong Kong: The government does want us to print your T-shirt
Mainland factory ‘received gov’t order’ not to print logo for Hong Kong pro-democracy group, activists claim / Hong Kong Free Press
“A factory in mainland China has allegedly received a government order banning them from printing merchandise with certain words and images, including the name and logo of Hong Kong pro-democracy group Demosisto.”Coal is killing hopes for China’s climate change leadership
China's greenhouse gas emissions rising, undermining Xi's climate push / CNN
“A study released in the journal Nature on Tuesday shows a steady growth in China's methane emissions, primarily from the country's massive coal mining sector, undermining Beijing's claims to be leading the world on climate change action.”A remote node on the Belt and Road wants to be “the next Dubai”
Can China turn the middle of nowhere into the center of the world economy?/ NYT (porous paywall)
The Eurasian Pole of Inaccessibility is in China just east of the border with Kazakhstan, from where you’d have to travel at least 1,550 miles in any direction to reach a port or coastline. This is where China hopes to establish a key node of the Belt and Road, “an international shipping hub and free-trade zone that its promoters say is poised to become the next Dubai.”Taiwan self-defense
US will boost security ties with Taiwan, says ‘ambassador’ as he warns mainland China to stop strong-arm tactics / SCMP
“The United States is expected to further increase security cooperation with Taiwan as part of its grand strategy to manage China’s military and economic expansion in the Indo-Pacific region. In an interview with the semi-official Central News Agency in Taiwan, the de facto US ambassador Brent Christensen said he expected to see great advances between Taiwan and the US in four major areas — including security — this year, which marks the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act.”
China’s might is forcing Taiwan to rethink its military strategy / Economist (porous paywall)South China Sea construction continues
China builds rescue center on artificial Spratly island in South China Sea / SCMP
“China has added a maritime rescue center to its facilities on an artificial island in the South China Sea, pressing on with plans to turn the outpost into the biggest logistics hub in the disputed waters. The Ministry of Transport said on Tuesday that the center had been built on Fiery Cross Reef to serve the Spratly Islands, also known as the Nanshas.”What the Cultural Revolution did to the men who rule China now
China turned upside down / Foreign Affairs (paywall)
Living through the “social disorder” of the Cultural Revolution “has left a profound mark on many Chinese elites. It has led them to a wide variety of conclusions about what kind of society China should be. But to understand their thinking and their competing visions, it helps to have a sense of what life was like in those dark, intense times. My own experience was fairly typical.”The uses and abuses of history
Xi’s China is steamrolling its own history / Foreign Policy (porous paywall)
“Chinese President Xí Jìnpíng 习近平 is directing a vast ideological war across multiple theaters — politics, culture, ethics, economy, strategy, and foreign relations. Among its most intense flashpoints is historiography, particularly of China’s last empire, the Qing, which ruled from 1636 to 1912.”Jailed lawyers and activists
Jailing of Chinese rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang sparks public outcry / Radio Free Asia
Mother of jailed Chinese activist Liu Feiyue says court 'broke promise' to family / Radio Free AsiaThis indecision’s killing me: Malaysia and the Chinese railway 
Malaysia in talks with Chinese government over East Coast Rail Link: Lim Guan Eng / Channel NewsAsia


Really, isn’t it time to just smash the patriarchy? 
For ‘leftover’ single women in China, the Lunar New Year brings dread of returning home alone / Washington Post
“Spare a thought for the single Chinese woman this Lunar New Year holiday. The remonstrations over their unwed status and the pressure on them to get married are so intense that some of these ‘leftover women’ — the name for women not married by their late 20s — are searching for ways to avoid this family badgering.”
Chinese reality show slammed for reinforcing gender stereotypes / Sixth Tone
“A reality television show has become the target of feminist fury after portraying several Chinese celebrities as spinsters and urging them to get married.”Sichuan cuisine and real estate
Vanke to build hot pot museum in Chengdu / Mingtiandi
“The capital of southwestern China’s Sichuan Province, which fancies itself the hometown of hot pot, this week awarded China Vanke a 43,896-square-meter commercial plot in the city’s Xindu district on the condition that the top-three developer agrees to build a 1,500-square-meter hot pot museum as part of the complex.”Heavy metal and punk
Chinese grindcore band with pig for a lead singer, Pig Cage squeals discontent with the government / SCMP
“Pig Cage, a grindcore band from Inner Mongolia, uses pig sounds instead of human vocals. The band’s creator, Maihem, says he didn’t like the sound of his own voice, so he decided to use a porcine substitute.”Demographic time bomb: Nanjing
Chinese city seeks young blood: How aging Nanjing lures new talent / Guardian
In Nanjing, “over-65s rose from 735,000 in 2010 to 953,000 in 2017, according to the city’s civil affairs bureau. At the same time, it is facing a shrinking working-age population… The percentage of people dependent on those of working age increased from 22.9 to 27.5 percent in the five years to 2016.”
Nanjing, Chengdu, Tianjin, and Xi’an have all launched incentive programs “offering a wide range of incentives to university-educated people under 40” to relocate and start new companies.Superstition and child abuse
Superstitious teacher suspended forbullying student / Sixth Tone
“A homeroom teacher at a primary school in southern China was suspended on Tuesday for bullying a student because her mother worked at a funeral home.” The teacher “had previously tried to persuade the girl’s mother to switch jobs because she feared that such a morbid profession would bring bad luck.”


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