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CHINA: BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY, Culture and Politics

Source: SupChina com

BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY:

Foreign companies targeted in cyber security crackdown 
Foreign companies in China face cyber security crackdown / FT (paywall)
“Beijing is set to implement a strengthened regime of cyber rules under its existing ‘multilevel protection scheme’ (MLPS) in December, according to documents seen by the Financial Times that are yet to be publicly announced…
But it has emerged that foreign companies are already being scrutinized for possible cyber security violations. Kent Kedl, partner at Control Risks, a global risk management firm, said at least two foreign companies that deal with consumer data in China had been under official investigation for several months.”An alternative to soybeans?
Can the tiger nut solve the soybean crisis? / Chinadialogue
“The tuber of Cyperus esculentus, known as the tiger nut, could ease China’s reliance on soy imports.”Huawei to grow cloud business
Huawei promotes cloud with new products as carrier segment stumbles/ TechNode
“Huawei moved to grow its enterprise business by launching new cloud database and storage products on Wednesday, after announcing last month that it would expand its presence in the global cloud arena.”Movie censorship
China’s censors confound biz / Variety

China’s notorious film censorship apparatus is as opaque as it is stringent, and has become even more difficult to fathom since last year, when the ruling Communist Party’s propaganda department took on oversight of the medium… Confusingly, its whims appear to be becoming simultaneously more lenient and stricter, with films on once-banned subjects hitting the theaters in droves even as others get yanked from high-profile festivals.


Surveillance companies
How 9/11 and China's plan for blanket surveillance helped Hikvision and Dahua dominate the global CCTV camera market / SCMP
An article on the Binjiang district in Hangzhou, where an amazing amount of China’s surveillance technology design capacity is centered. It is “headquarters to three of China’s biggest surveillance camera makers — Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology, Dahua Technology and Zhejiang Uniview Technologies. Between them, the three companies account for about 30 percent of global video surveillance revenue.”DJI goes after GoPro 
DJI Osmo Action camera poses threat to GoPro / BBC
“DJI has launched its first action camera posing a challenge to the market leader GoPro. The Chinese company already dominates the consumer market for drones.”Supercomputing
China’s seventh supercomputing center approved in race to tech dominance / TechNode
“The Ministry of Science and Technology recently approved the plan to build the country’s seventh supercomputing center in the central Chinese province of Henan, reported Science and Technology Daily [in Chinese].”

SCIENCE, HEALTH, AND THE ENVIRONMENT:

Plastic waste
Shanghai hotels told to stop providing free toothbrushes, combs as city looks to reduce waste / SCMP
“Hotels in Shanghai have been told they will be fined up to 5,000 yuan ($725) for providing guests with disposable items like toothbrushes and combs unless they are specifically requested.”

POLITICS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS:

Netherlands issues “China strategy”
China strategy ‘The Netherlands & China: a new balance’ / Government of the Netherlands
While noting, “Our preference is to act in concert with the EU,” and “The government sees the EU as the main channel for its relations with China,” the Dutch government’s short policy document also “calls for a rebalancing of our bilateral relationship” and describes its position toward China as “both constructive and critical.” The summary continues:

The Netherlands seeks to work with China on issues like climate change and energy, the SDGs [sustainable development goals], fighting epidemics, the circular economy and sustainability, eldercare, agri-food and logistics/transport. But we must also be mindful of security issues (including those concerning economic security), cyberespionage, undesirable influencing, and our own norms and values. In short, the government will take advantage of opportunities whenever possible and safeguard its interests whenever necessary.


“Dialogue of Asian Civilizations”
China’s Xi rallies Asia by appealing to shared culture — with subtle dig at U.S. / Washington Post

In speeches and a flurry of new cultural exchange programs in the last year, [Xí Jìnpíng 习近平] has increasingly called on Asian countries to stand together with self-confidence and promote their culture as the world becomes “multipolar.”

Xi repeated his rallying cry on Wednesday as he addressed dozens of leaders in Beijing, where he hosted an inaugural Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations. Xi did not name the United States, but the subtext was clear as he subtly criticized those who “insist on reshaping and replacing other civilizations.”


Italy wants to cut deals with China
Italian government's China expert urges EU to let member states deal with China individually / SCMP
Michele Geraci, head of Italy’s China task force, who is “credited as a driving force behind Italy’s recent decision to sign up for the Belt and Road Initiative,” is urging the EU not to interfere with his plans for closer business ties to China.Xinjiang internment camps 
‘At least one million people in the camps full time’: deputy assistant secretary Scott Busby / Radio Free Asia
Scott Busby, deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the U.S. Department of State:

Clearly, they are not vocational training centers, as China says they are. There are many, many highly educated people in these camps, highly accomplished people in these camps, and that belies China’s own description of the camps. I don’t really want to get into what we should call them, but I will say we know that over a million people are in these camps, they are held there against their will, some of them are subject to torture, some of them are subject to cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment or punishment. We know that some people have died in the camps. So, clearly, what’s happening in the camps is horrific.


Beijing influence in Nepal
Nepal probes journalists for Dalai Lama news amid fears of growing Chinese influence / AFP
“Three Nepali journalists are being probed for circulating a news item on the Dalai Lama, officials said Tuesday, in a sign of growing Chinese influence on its small Himalayan neighbor.”France grants asylum to family of disappeared Interpol chief 
Family of China's Detained Former Interpol President Gets Asylum in France / Radio Free Asia
“France has granted political asylum to the family of former Interpol chief Mèng Hóngwěi 孟宏伟after placing them under police protection, their lawyer has said.”
For context, see SupChina Access: A knife in the back for a veteran police official.Balochistan Liberation Army 
Baloch versus Beijing: how Chinese investment in Pakistan has energised a violent separatist movement / AFP via SCMP
AFP looks at the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) after its May 12 attack that killed five people at a luxury hotel in Gwadar, terminus of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and a major node on the Belt and Road:

For years, the Pakistani military maintained a crushing grip on the insurgency, while brushing off accusations of serious rights abuses.

However, analysts suggest Chinese investment appears to have infused the nationalist movement with new energy, inflaming the long-running grievance over resources and giving sometimes disparate groups a common focus.

At the same time, Pakistan’s determination to protect Chinese investment prompted the military to further intensify its stance, deepening resentment among the Baloch people.


In November last year, three BLA suicide bombers stormed the Chinese consulate in Karachi, but were killed before they could get into the building in a car packed with explosives.Inequality and social mobility
Suggests residency restrictions drive inequality / Caxin (paywall)

There are things money can’t buy — and in Shanghai, an apartment is often one of them.

Migrants from other cities without a Shanghai “hùkǒu” 户口 or household registration, have 90 percent lower odds of owning homes in the city compared with Shanghai natives, even though they’re more likely to be higher earners, according to a new study of city residents in their 30s published in the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. Migrants from the countryside fare similarly, with 92 percent lower odds of owning a home than locals.


Another conviction against Hong Kong demonstrators
Avery Ng and other pro-democracy activists convicted over 2016 clashes outside Beijing office / HKFP
“Avery Ng [吳文遠 Wú Wényuǎn] and several other pro-democracy activists received their verdicts on Wednesday over their involvement in a 2016 protest outside Beijing’s office in Hong Kong. Ng, who is also chairman of the League of Social Democrats, was found guilty of two charges of inciting others to take part in an unlawful assembly.”Islamophobia
Islamophobia in China / ChinaFile
Several short essays on China’s growing Islamophobia.FONOPS in South China Sea
US naval chief says ‘freedom of navigation’ exercises in South China Sea get more attention than they deserve / SCMP
U.S. navy chief does not want China tensions to 'boil over' / AFP

The U.S. navy chief said on Wednesday (May 15) he did not want maritime tensions with China to “boil over,” a week after Washington's latest challenge to Beijing's territorial claims in contested waters. Beijing said last week two American warships sailed near disputed islands in the South China Sea without permission, prompting the Chinese Navy to ask them to leave.


SOCIETY AND CULTURE:

Foreign-language films in Chinese theaters
Why arthouse films are struggling in America, but thriving in China / IndieWire
“A year after ‘Capernaum’ premiered at Cannes, the drama about an imprisoned 12-year-old boy who sues his parents for neglect grossed $12 million in China on its first weekend. It came in second behind ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ a result that’s unfathomable in the United States. However, these success stories are becoming more familiar in China, where many Cannes breakouts now stand the best shot at finding audiences beyond the insular festival circuit.”Living history in Guizhou 
The Chinese village that kept a courtesan’s secret for centuries / SCMP
Residents of Majia Zhai, a remote village in the northeast of China’s Guizhou Province, say they are the descendants of general Wú Sānguì 吳三桂, the man famous as a traitor to the Ming for letting the Qing army through a gate in the Great Wall, and his consort, the legendary beauty Chén Yuányuán 陳圓圓.Parenting in the age of live streaming 
Kids need money management training, say China’s teachers / Sixth Tone
“How can parents keep their children from spending small fortunes on virtual gifts for their favorite livestreamers? Educators suggest the answer lies at home.”

Photography
Poetry meets politics in photos of China / NYT (porous paywall)
“Between violent flash points in history, Liu Heung Shing [劉香成Liú Xiāngchéng] saw tenderness and subversive humor in societies saturated with propaganda.”

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