Facebook Is Trying Everything to Re-Enter China—and It’s Not Working

Alyssa Abkowitz, Deepa Seetharaman,...
Wall Street Journal
Since regulators blocked the service in 2009, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has hired well-connected executives, developed censorship tools and taken a ‘smog jog’ in Beijing—but the company has made no visible headway.

With Pen Plan, China Etches Nationalist Economic Policy

Chuin-Wei Yap
Wall Street Journal
New ability to manufacture pen nibs gives China ability to produce whole pen—and a point of pride

Apple iPhone Toppled from No. 1 Spot in China for the First Time in 5 Years Making Firm ‘Vulnerable’: Research

Arjun Kharpal
CNBC
Apple’s iPhone has failed to clinch the title for the top selling smartphone in China for the first time since 2012, making the U.S. technology giant “vulnerable” in the world‘s second-largest economy

Conversation

01.27.17

TPP is Dead, Now What?

David Dollar, Charlene Barshefsky & more
On Monday, on his first full working day as president, Donald Trump officially withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a 12-nation trade pact that did not include China and did not have the votes to...

Chinese Send Fake Trump Tweets as Jokes, New Year Wishes

Associated Press
In China, Twitter is blocked but fake tweets by @realdonaldtrump look set to become the latest internet sensation.

Books

01.23.17

China as an Innovation Nation

Edited by Yu Zhou, William Lazonick, and Yifei Sun
This volume assesses China’s transition to innovation-nation status in terms of social conditions, industry characteristics, and economic impacts over the past three decades, also providing insights into future developments.Defining innovation as the process that generates a higher quality, lower cost product than was previously available, the introductory chapter conceptualizes the theory of an innovation nation and the lessons from Japan and the United States. It outlines the key governance, employment, and investment institutions that China must build for such transition to occur, and examines China’s challenges and strategies to innovate in the era of global production systems. Two succeeding chapters explain the evolving roles of the Chinese state in innovation, and the new landscape of venture capital finance. The remaining chapters provide studies of major industries, which contain analyses of the evolving roles of investment by government agencies and business interests in the process. Included in these studies are traditional industries such as mechanical engineering, railroads, and automobiles; rapidly evolving and internationally highly integrated industries such as information-and-communication-technology (ICT); and newly emerging sectors such as wind and solar energy.Written by leading academics in the field, studies in this volume reveal Chinese innovation as diverse across industries and enterprises and fluid over time. In each sector, we observe continued co-evolution of state policy, market demand, and technology development. The strategies and structures of individual companies and industrial ecosystems are changing rapidly. The sum total of the studies is a great step forward in our understanding of the industrial foundations of China’s attempt to become an innovation nation. —Oxford University Press{chop}

Forget Xi’s ‘Defense’ of Globalization. China Just Fortified the Great Firewall.

Emily Rauhala
Washington Post
Over the weekend, China announced a new, year-long crackdown on “unauthorized Internet connections.”

China’s Growing Obesity Problem

Benjamin Shobert
Forbes
A recent study published shows that China can now lay claim to having a greater percentage of obese men and women than in the United States.

China Swings back at Golf, Shutting down 111 Courses

Normaan Merchant
Associated Press
China has launched a renewed crackdown on golf, closing 111 courses in an effort to conserve water and land, and telling members of the ruling Communist Party to stay off the links.

China’s Economy Grows Strongly, Yet Central Bank Eases Policy

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
China’s economy firmly hit its growth target last year, but this is China, where figures are sometimes doubted and where economists look for signs of strain underneath the numbers.

Asian Shares Mixed as Investors Eye Trump’s Inauguration

Aza Wee Sile
CNBC
Asian markets were a mixed bag on Friday after China’s latest set of economic data suggest the economy is recovering, even as risk sentiment sours ahead of Donald Trump’s inauguration

China’s Latest Hollywood Move: Pumping $1B into Paramount Movies

Sherisse Pham
CNN
Paramount Pictures has announced a $1 billion financing deal with two Chinese firms, strengthening the U.S. studio's ties with a lucrative but difficult market...

U.S. Commerce Nominee Ross Calls China ‘Most Protectionist’ Country

David Lawder
Reuters
Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for commerce secretary, voiced sharp criticism of China’s trade practices on Wednesday

China Is America’s “Vendor,” and Needs to Treat Its Biggest Customer Better, Trump’s Commerce Pick Says

Heather Timmons
Quartz
China loomed large in the US senate’s confirmation hearing today of Wilbur Ross for commerce secretary.

Viewpoint

01.19.17

Do We Want to Live in China’s World?

Robert Daly
Each weekday morning, I cross D.C.’s National Mall and pass a sign on Constitution Avenue bearing an epigram by the U.S. architect Daniel Burnham: Make No Little Plans. And every morning, these words make me think not of Burnham’s 20th century...

Conversation

01.18.17

U.S.-China Flashpoints in the Age of Trump

Zha Daojiong, Isaac Stone Fish & more
Over the past year, Donald Trump has vowed to “utterly destroy” ISIS, considered lifting sanctions on Russia, promised to cancel the Paris climate agreement and “dismantle” the Iran nuclear deal. But many of his most inflammatory statements are...

China’s Top Economic Official Braces for Possible Trade War

Chris Buckley and Keith Bradsher
New York Times
Liu He has struggled to overcome resistance to a program of measured economic liberalization and more open markets that he argues is critical to China’s long-term economic health

First Freight Train from China to Britain Arrives in London

Ritvik Carvalho
Reuters
The first China-to-Britain freight train arrived in London on Wednesday after a 7,500-mile journey, marking a milestone in China’s push to build commercial links across Europe and Asia.

The Chinese Government Finally Admitted That Its Economic Data Was Made Up

Zheping Huang
Quartz
For many who have long believed that China’s economic growth figures seemed too good—and tidy—to be true, they now have official confirmation of that skepticism.

China’s Oil Collapse Is Unintentionally Helping OPEC

Bloomberg
OPEC’s campaign to prop up oil prices is getting unlikely support from its biggest customer.

Google Play and iOS Apps Demand Surges in India and China

Leo Kelion
BBC
The two leading app stores both experienced a tilt towards Asia in 2016, according to an annual study.

Rich Chinese, Inspired by ‘Downton,’ Fuel Demand for Butlers

Chris Buckley and Karoline Kan
New York Times
Inspired in part by the Downton Abbey television drama, the country’s once raw and raucous tycoons are fueling demand for the services of homegrown butlers trained in the ways of a British manor.

China Overseas Investment Spree Set to Run Out of Steam

Lingling Wei
Wall Street Journal
A government think tank predicts China’s direct investment overseas, after years of robust gains, is likely to decline in 2017

Books

01.11.17

Taiwan’s China Dilemma

Syaru Shirley Lin
China and Taiwan share one of the world’s most complex international relationships. Although similar cultures and economic interests have promoted an explosion of economic ties between them since the late 1980s, these ties have not led to an improved political relationship, let alone progress toward the unification that both governments once claimed to seek. In addition, Taiwan’s recent Sunflower Movement succeeded in obstructing deeper economic ties with China. Why has Taiwan’s policy toward China been so inconsistent?Taiwan’s China Dilemma explains the divergence between the development of economic and political relations across the Taiwan Strait through the interplay of national identity and economic interests. Using primary sources, opinion surveys, and interviews with Taiwanese opinion leaders, Syaru Shirley Lin paints a vivid picture of one of the most unsettled and dangerous relationships in the contemporary world, and illustrates the growing backlash against economic liberalization and regional economic integration around the world. —Stanford University Press{chop}

The Humble Ballpoint Pen Has Become a New Symbol of China’s Innovation Economy

Josh Horwitz
Quartz
China has grown by leaps and bounds during its quest for greater domestic innovation, but one of its most recent accomplishments is in an area that’s considerably more basic: ballpoint pens.

2016 China-Africa Year in Review

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
After years of relatively trouble-free development, 2016 marked a turning point in the China-Africa relationship, amid turbulent changes in the global economic and political order. China increased its deployment of combat troops to the continent,...

Conversation

01.10.17

Can Beijing’s Ivory Ban Save the Elephants?

Eric Olander, Peter J. Li & more
On New Year’s Eve, Beijing announced it will ban the ivory trade in China, potentially shutting down the world’s biggest ivory market. Why did Beijing decide to curb the ivory trade? Will it put enough muscle behind it to enforce the decision? What...

China Probes Bitcoin Exchanges amid Capital Flight Fears

Gabriel Wildau
Financial Times
Investors in the cryptocurrency say they doubt it is being used to transfer large amounts of cash out of China.

How Chinese Super App WeChat Plans To Lock Out Foreign App Stores In China

Yue Wang
Forbes
Since its launch on January 21 2011, WeChat has established a solid track record in pushing forward big game changing innovations within China’s mobile ecosystem.

Alibaba Looks to Bricks and Mortar With Bid for Mall Operator in China

Amie Tsang and Paul Mozur
New York Times
Alibaba is pushing further into the very sector that it helped to disrupt with a $2.6 billion bid for Intime Retail, a department store and mall operator in China.

McDonald’s China Operations to Be Sold to Locally Led Consortium

Amie Tsang and Sui-Lee Wee
New York Times
McDonald’s said on Monday that it would sell its businesses in mainland China and Hong Kong for $2.08 billion to Citic, a state-owned conglomerate, and the Carlyle Group, a private equity firm.

China Is Mad About Hollywood Remakes

Lillian Lin
Wall Street Journal
Aiming to crack new frontiers in China, Hollywood studios are turning to something familiar: established American films and TV series that can be remade for Chinese audiences.

How a China Crackdown Caused Bitcoin’s Price to Plunge

Geoffrey Smith
Fortune
The value of the cryptocurrency bitcoin is melting down Thursday, having dropped 20% against the dollar by midday Eastern Time in only two hours of frantic trading.

Apple Removes New York Times App in China

Benjamin Haas
Guardian
Company says it will not offer news site in app store because it has been told by Beijing it is in ‘violation of local regulations’

How Chinese Entrepreneurs Can Help Trump ‘Make America Great Again’

Edward Tse
South China Morning Post
Edward Tse says Chinese investment and job creation are just what the US economy needs to sharpen its edge, not isolationism and trade wars

China’s Electric Vehicle Strategy Paved With Potholes

Anjani Trivedi
Wall Street Journal
By the numbers, China looks like it’s on the way to dominating the global electric car industry. But

China Vows to Curb Record Spending on Football Transfers

Tom Hancock
Financial Times
China’s top sports administrator has vowed to cap spending by football clubs, accusing them of burning money and paying excessive wages to foreign players.

China Inc.’s Large Dollar Debts Fuel Beijing’s Efforts to Curb Yuan Plunge

Ling Ling Wei
Wall Street Journal
The large pile of foreign debt owed by Chinese companies, from state-owned banks to airlines, is giving added impetus to Beijing’s efforts to keep the yuan from falling too steeply against the rallying dollar.

Obama Got Tough on China. It Cost U.S. Jobs and Raised Prices

Patrick Gillespie
CNN
Protect American jobs by getting tough on China. That's the underlying idea behind President-elect Donald Trump's threat of a 45% tariff against China as a ploy to bring jobs back to America. Before pursuing that strategy, however, Trump...

Chinese Access to U.S. Semiconductor Industry May Be Curbed

Ian Talley
Wall Street Journal
The Obama administration is finalizing a study that could lead to restrictions on Chinese investment in the U.S. semiconductor sector.

China Should Set More Flexible GDP Growth Target in 2017: Central Bank Adviser

Reuters
China should set a more flexible economic growth target this year to create more room for reforms, a central bank adviser told the official Xinhua news agency, suggesting a range of 6.0 to 7.0 percent versus 6.5 to 7.0 percent in 2016. China has...

Reports

01.01.17

Record Flows and Growing Imbalances

Thilo Hanemann and Mikko Huotari
Mercator Institute for China Studies
Foreign direct investment (FDI) has become an increasingly important part of the E.U.-China economic relationship. European companies have invested hundreds of billions of euros into the Chinese economy since the 1980s, and have made big bets on...

Conversation

12.30.16

Rex Tillerson at State: What Will He Mean for U.S.-China Relations?

Barbara A. Finamore, Shen Dingli & more
On December 13, President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team announced the selection of ExxonMobil Chief Executive Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. We asked ChinaFile contributors to respond to the choice with a specific focus on how Tillerson...

China’s Film Fever Cools

Wayne Ma and Erich Schwartzel
Wall Street Journal
China’s highflying box office got a reality check in 2016, as cutbacks in discounted tickets led to a sharp decline in cinema-revenue growth

While the Rest of the World Retreats, China Expands Investments in Arab World

Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden
Huffington Post
As chaos consumes large portions of the region, Beijing is sending in cash

How China Built ‘iPhone City’ With Billions in Perks for Apple’s Partner

David Barboza
New York Times
A hidden bounty of benefits for Foxconn’s plant in Zhengzhou, the world’s biggest iPhone factory, is central to the production of Apple’s most profitable product

U.S. Charges Three Chinese Traders With Hacking Law Firms

Sara Randazzo and Dave Michaels
Wall Street Journal
Indictment says the traders bought shares of at least five publicly traded companies before announcements that the firms would be acquired

China’s Markets are Tamed— but Not Tempting

Anjie Zheng
Wall Street Journal
The roller-coaster ride may be over, but global investors say that still hasn’t made China attractive for 2017

Bike-Sharing Revolution Aims to Put China Back on Two Wheels

Top Phillips
Guardian
From Shanghai to Sichuan, schemes are being rolled out to slash congestion, cut air pollution – and spin a profit

The 10 Largest Investments in China This Year

Eva Xiao
Tech in Asia
In the first half of 2016 alone, investors poured US $37 billion into Chinese startups: Didi Chuxing, Ant Financial, and Meituan-Dianping top the list

As China Pivots, Trump Risks Fighting an Old War

Andrew Browne
Wall Street Journal
Incoming U.S. administration highlights trade retaliation as Beijing shifts to a form of high-tech protectionism

China Resumes Ties with São Tomé, Which Turned Away from Taiwan

Associated Press
New York Times
Beijing suspended its relationship with São Tomé in 1997 after the African island nation established diplomatic ties with Taiwan

The New Scramble for Africa: How China Became the Partner of Choice

Richard Poplak
Guardian
In 2014 alone China invested £56 billion in African infrastructure. But is this colonialism in another guise?

Taiwan’s President to Visit U.S. Despite Objections from China

Guardian
Planned trip causes speculation in Washington and Taiwan that Tsai Ing-wen may meet Donald Trump in person

China Weighs Response to New U.S. Trade Foe

Mark Magnier
Wall Street Journal
Beijing considers retaliatory steps after Trump appoints China trade skeptic Peter Navarro

The Trouble With Trumps Dangerous Instincts on China

Jiayang Fan
New Yorker
The President-elect has shown that his instinct is to turn the world’s significant bilateral relationships into frighteningly spectacular reality TV

“Brutal, Amoral, Ruthless, Cheating”: How Trump’s New Trade Tsar Sees China

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Peter Navarro has been picked to lead US trade and industrial policy – a move that may upset Beijing

China’s Millennial Consumers: What Victoria’s Secret Got Wrong, and Nike Got Right

Helen Wang
Forbes
Chinese millennials are conflicted between their national pride and their love for western brands

Bring Back Jobs from China? In Shenzhen, They Aren’t That Worried

John Lyons
Wall Street Journal
As Trump presses companies on U.S. manufacturing, the city that became the globalization poster child has learned to adapt to economic shifts

Could Jane Zhang Become China’s First Global Pop Star?

Grace Tsoi
BBC
Zhang's latest single breaks the mould of China's pop industry and could help her become its first global superstar...