Books

06.13.18

Censored

Margaret E. Roberts
Princeton University Press: As authoritarian governments around the world develop sophisticated technologies for controlling information, many observers have predicted that these controls would be ineffective because they are easily thwarted and evaded by savvy Internet users. In Censored, Margaret Roberts demonstrates that even censorship that is easy to circumvent can still be enormously effective. Taking advantage of digital data harvested from the Chinese Internet and leaks from China’s Propaganda Department, this book sheds light on how and when censorship influences the Chinese public.Roberts finds that much of censorship in China works not by making information impossible to access but by requiring those seeking information to spend extra time and money for access. By inconveniencing users, censorship diverts the attention of citizens and powerfully shapes the spread of information. When Internet users notice blatant censorship, they are willing to compensate for better access. But subtler censorship, such as burying search results or introducing distracting information on the web, is more effective because users are less aware of it. Roberts challenges the conventional wisdom that online censorship is undermined when it is incomplete and shows instead how censorship’s porous nature is used strategically to divide the public.Drawing parallels between censorship in China and the way information is manipulated in the United States and other democracies, Roberts reveals how Internet users are susceptible to control even in the most open societies. Demonstrating how censorship travels across countries and technologies, Censored gives an unprecedented view of how governments encroach on the media consumption of citizens.{chop}

A World in Transition

Paul Haenle & William J. Burns from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
As the world is in the midst of considerable uncertainty and transition, Ambassador William J. Burns points to the emergence of rising powers like China and India, challenges to regional order in the Middle East, and revolutions in new technologies...

In China’s Booming Tech Scene, Women Battle Sexism and Conservative Values

Cate Cadell, Adam Jourdan
Reuters
Ms Li has a day job in the marketing department of one of China’s biggest tech firms.

Here’s What We Know about China’s Future Space Station

Echo Huang
Quartz
China’s going to start sending parts of its future space station into space as soon as 2020, with the aim of having it up and running by 2022.

Chinese President Xi Jinping Calls Blockchain a ‘Breakthrough’ Technology

Evelyn Cheng
CNBC
Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a speech this week that blockchain — the technology underlying bitcoin — has “breakthrough” applications.

Trump Announces Tariffs on China, Tech Crackdown Ahead of Key Trade Meeting

David J. Lynch
Washington Post
Trump slaps $50B tariffs as Commerce Secretary is due to arrive in Beijing on Saturday for talks.

U.S.and China Clash over 'Technology Transfer' at WTO

Tom Miles
Reuters
Chinese and U.S. envoys sparred over Trump’s claims that China steals American ideas.

China's Ant Financial Raises $10 Billion at $150 Billion Valuation: Sources

Kane Wu
Reuters
The capital-raising comes ahead of a widely expected initial public offering.

China’s ‘Digital City’ Showcases Xi’s Grand Ambition

Yizhen Jia and Gabriel Wildau
Financial Times
Transformation of rural backwater into the new Shenzhen is still some way off.

Killing Spurs Didi, China’s Ride-Hailing Giant, to Revamp Its Service

Elsie Chen and Mengxue Ou
New York Times
Didi Chuxing, China’s wildly popular ride-sharing service, said on Wednesday that it would overhaul its app and its safety and security practices, after reports that a passenger had been raped and killed by her driver.

In Silicon Valley, Chinese ‘Accelerators’ Aim to Bring Startups Home

Koh Gui Qing, Salvador Rodriguez
Reuters
Beijing’s unslakeable thirst for the latest technology has spurred a proliferation of “accelerators” in Silicon Valley that aim to identify promising startups and bring them to China.

OneSpace Launches China’s First Private Rocket

Michelle Toh and Serenitie Wang
CNN
OneSpace, a startup based in Beijing, on Thursday became the country’s first private company to launch its own rocket.

Trump, China, ZTE and the Art of the Deal

Stephen Collinson
CNN
ZTE case offers insight into Trump’s way of doing business.

Take a Look around Huawei’s Headquarters in China

Uptin Saiidi
CNBC
It’s several minutes before noon on a Thursday afternoon at Huawei’s headquarters.

ZTE Is Now Center Stage in the US-China Trade Fight

Sherisse Pham
CNN
The smartphone and telecom equipment maker announced Wednesday that it has halted its main operations after the US government last month banned American companies from selling it vital components.

For Better or Worse, Africa’s Digital Future is Tied to China

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Chinese tech companies are now the most important players in Africa’s rapid emergence as one of the world’s fastest growing digital markets. People’s Republic of China companies, private and state-owned, are working with local telecom operators...

Chinese Missiles Are Transforming the Balance of Power in the Skies

Marc Champion
Bloomberg
For a quarter century, the U.S. and its allies owned the skies, fighting wars secure in the knowledge that no opponent could compete in the air. As tensions with Russia and China surge, that’s no longer the case.

China Plans $47 Billion Fund to Boost Its Semiconductor Industry

Yoko Kubota
Wall Street Journal
In a move that could further heighten tensions with the U.S., China is poised to announce a new fund of about 300 billion yuan—$47.4 billion—to spur development of its semiconductor industry as it seeks to close the technology gap with the U.S. and...

Apple CEO Tim Cook Takes a Victory Lap as China Revenue Rockets on Strength of iPhone X

Anita Balakrishnan and Sara Salinas
CNBC
Apple posted some of its strongest growth during the March quarter in one of its toughest geographic regions.

White House Considers Restricting Chinese Researchers over Espionage Fears

Ana Swanson and Keith Bradsher
New York Times
U.S. may bar Chinese from sensitive research at universities and research institutes.

The AI Arms Race: China and US Compete to Dominate Big Data

Louise Lucas and Richard Waters
Financial Times
Algorithms trained on mountains of Chinese data may soon be making decisions that deeply affect the lives of people in the US.

What Happened to China’s Only Bitcoin ATM after Its Crackdown on Crypto

Zheping Huang
Quartz
Four years ago, China got its first bitcoin ATM.

U.S. Considers Tightening Grip on China Ties to Corporate America

Koh Gui Qing
Reuters
Any broad effort to sever relationships between Chinese and American tech companies - even temporarily - could have dramatic effects across the industry.

China Lays out Its Ambitions to Colonize the Moon and Build a “Lunar Palace”

Echo Huang
Quartz
China’s dream of residing in a lunar palace will soon become a reality

China Is Tightening Its Grip On Cryptocurrency To Promote Rather Than Purge It

Ralph Jennings
Forbes
China also sees advantages in allowing crypto to develop in a manageable way...

China-Based Online Education Companies Just Launched an Aggressive Hiring Spree in Search of U.S. Teachers

Connie Loizos
TechCrunch
Teachers have long supplemented their incomes by tutoring. And there’s perhaps never been a better, or easier, time to do it than right now. The reason: China-based online education companies are in an apparent race with each other to hire U.S...

A Documentary Reveals the Dangerous Fickleness of Online Fame in China

Christina Larson
Slate
In The People’s Republic of Desire, Hao Wu films the lonely shadows where the lines between online and offline dissolve.

Police in Chinese City Seize 600 Computers Used to Mine Bitcoin

Reuters Staff
Reuters
Police in the north China city of Tianjin confiscated 600 computers used to mine bitcoin cryptocurrency after the local power grid operator reported abnormal electricity usage, Xinhua reported Wednesday.

Former Google China Head Targets AI Opportunities with New $900M Sinovation Fund

Jon Russell
TechCrunch
Sinovation Ventures, one of China’s prominent funds which is helmed by former Google China head Kaifu Lee, has announced a new investment fund that’s targeted at a total raise of $900 million.

Analyst: China’s Huawei To Exit U.S. Market

Jean Baptiste Su
Forbes
By the end of Huawei's annual analyst summit held this week in its hometown of Shenzhen, China, the world's largest telecommunications equipment maker left no doubt that the U.S. market is no longer part...

China’s Children Are Its Secret Weapon in the Global AI Arms Race

Alex Beard
Wired
China wants to be the world leader in artificial intelligence by 2030. To get there, it’s reinventing the way children are taught.

Exclusive: China Looks to Speed up Chip Plans as U.S. Trade Tensions Boil - Sources

Elias Glenn, Cate Cadell
Reuters
China is looking to accelerate plans to develop its domestic semiconductor market amid a fierce trade stand-off with the United States and a U.S. ban on sales to Chinese phone maker ZTE that has underscored the country’s reliance on imported chips.

Will China Beat the World to Nuclear Fusion and Clean Energy?

Stephen McDonell
BBC
In a world with an ever-increasing demand for electricity and a deteriorating environment, Chinese scientists are leading the charge to develop what some see as the holy grail of energy.

Tesla Isn’t Ready to Thrive in China's Embrace

Anjani Trivedi
Bloomberg
The structure of the electric-car market means that it needs a local partner.

Chinese Man Caught by Facial Recognition at Pop Concert

BBC
BBC
Chinese police have used facial recognition technology to locate and arrest a man who was among a crowd of 60,000 concert goers.

Conversation

04.11.18

China’s Communist Party Takes (Even More) Control of the Media

Stanley Rosen, Chris Fenton & more
China’s Communist Party made moves last month to solidify and formalize its (already substantial) control over the country’s media. China’s main state-run broadcasters are to be consolidated into a massive new “Voice of China” under the management...

China Now Has the Most Valuable AI Startup in the World

Bloomberg News
Bloomberg
Facial recognition company in China becomes richest-valued private AI startup.

Ex-Google Executive Opens a School for AI, with China's Help

Tom Simonite
Wired
Onetime head of Google's operations in China launches a new project to train Chinese AI talents...

Xiaomi Ceo Calls China’s Plan to Lure Tech Listings ‘Excellent’

Bloomberg News
Bloomberg
China’s trial program for encouraging technology giants like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. to list their shares at home is drawing positive early reviews, a sign their stocks may soon be available in the world’s most populous country.

Facial Recognition in China Is Big Business as Local Governments Boost Surveillance

Rob Schmitz
NPR
Dozens of cameras meet visitors to the Beijing headquarters of SenseTime, China’s largest artificial intelligence company. One of them determines whether the door will open for you; another tracks your movements.

The Rise and Fall of Tiangong-1, China’s First Space Station

Jonathan Corum
New York Times
China’s first space station burned up over the South Pacific on April 1.

It’s Not Just Facebook: China’s Biggest Tech Company Is Getting Crushed

Daniel Shane
CNN
Tencent (TCEHY) -- the company often referred to as China's Facebook -- has lost more than $70 billion in market value over the past week...

T-Minus One Week until China’s Space Lab Crashes to Earth. Here’s What It Will Look Like.

Cleve R. Wootson Jr. and Amy B Wang
Washington Post
The out-of-control space lab is expected to plummet to earth in a week.

China Needs More Water. So It's Building a Rain-Making Network Three Times the Size of Spain

Stephen Chen
South China Morning Post
China tests weather modification system to bring more rain to Tibet.

Alibaba Opens Car Vending Machine in China That Gives Free Test Drives for People with Good Social Credit

Thuy Ong
Verge
Alibaba and Ford signed a deal to form a partnership last year that would see both companies working together on new technological opportunities.

The Battle for Digital Supremacy

The Economist
Economist
“DESIGNED by Apple in California. Assembled in China”. For the past decade the words embossed on the back of iPhones have served as shorthand for the technological bargain between the world’s two biggest economies: America supplies the brains and...

China Tech Titan Alibaba Plans Stock-Market Homecoming

Julie Steinberg and Liza Lin
Wall Street Journal
Technology giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is working on a plan to list on a stock exchange in its home market, China, according to people familiar with the matter, more than three years after its blockbuster initial public offering in New York.

Facebook, Amazon Handicapped as They Follow China Playbook

Louise Lucas
Financial Times
Amazon and Facebook grabbed headlines with groundbreaking moves last week: segueing into bank accounts and music, respectively. Groundbreaking, that is, for the west—such moves are business as normal in China.

Trump Takes the Bait from Musk, Attacks China Auto Import Duties

Dana Hull and Justin Sink
Bloomberg
President Donald Trump may not follow Elon Musk on Twitter, but the Tesla Inc. chief’s posts decrying China’s automotive trade practices managed to catch his attention.

China Protectionism Creates Tech Billionaires Who Protect Xi

Shelly Banjo
Bloomberg
China’s tech giants will add star power to the country’s political festivities this week, paying homage to President Xi Jinping and endorsing constitutional changes for him to remain president indefinitely.

China Could Be the World’s First All Electric Vehicle Ecosystem

Salvatore Babones
Forbes
China’s big cities are famously polluted. Air pollution is responsible for as many as one million excess deaths per year in China, according to estimates from the World Health Organization.

China Tests Giant Air Cleaner to Combat Smog

David Cyranoski
Nature
A 60-metre-high chimney stands among a sea of high-rise buildings in one of China’s most polluted cities.

Blockchain Is a Surprisingly Hot Topic at China’s Annual Political Gathering

Josh Horwitz
Quartz
Thousands of China’s elites are currently gathered in Beijing for the “two sessions,” the annual meetings for members the National People’s Congress (or NPC, China’s rubber-stamp legislative branch) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative...

Why Chinese State Media Love Elon Musk’s Latest Tweets

Jethro Mullen
CNN
The Tesla CEO tweeted out a link to a video about a Chinese rail station that was built in less than 9 hours.

China Spends $279 bln on R&D in 2017: Science Minister

Reuters Staff
Reuters
China’s total spending on research and development is estimated to have hit 1.76 trillion yuan ($279 billion) last year, China’s science minister said on Monday, a year-on-year increase of 14 percent.

Chinese Capital Dangles Carrots to Lure Foreign Talent to Its Silicon Valley

Reuters Staff
Reuters
Beijing, a major hub for artificial intelligence (AI) and semiconductors in China, is touting a new list of incentives to try and bait foreign talent for its equivalent of Silicon Valley in the Chinese capital.

China: Big Data Fuels Crackdown in Minority Region

Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Chinese authorities are building and deploying a predictive policing program based on big data analysis in Xinjiang, Human Rights Watch said today. The program aggregates data about people – often without their knowledge – and flags those it deems...

Viewpoint

02.15.18

A Clash of Cyber Civilizations

Geoffrey Hoffman
There has been little need for the term “cyber sovereignty” among democratic states: the Internet, by its nature, operates under an aegis of freedom and cooperation. However, as the international system slips away from American unipolarity, a...

China’s All-Seeing Social Control Network Brings an End to Fugitives’ Festive Fun

Nectar Gan
South China Morning Post
With most of China getting into the swing of the Lunar New Year holiday, two crime suspects in the southern city of Guangzhou could have been forgiven for thinking the local police force was taking a break too.

China Wants to Make a Mark in Space—but It’ll Need a Little Help

Sarah Scoles
Wired
In a China Global Television Network video from 2003, taikonaut Yang Liwei leans back in his orbital capsule, the overstuffed stripes of his spacesuit legs filling the frame. His helmet shield is up, so the viewer can gaze into his eyes as he speaks...