Conversation

01.18.18

Are China’s Blue Skies Here to Stay?

Li Shuo, Angel Hsu & more
In mid-January, the environmental group Greenpeace announced dramatic improvements in air quality across China. In 74 Chinese cities, measurements of PM2.5, the fine particles that have been a major contributor to the country’s choked skies,...

Baidu's Robin Li Is Helping China Win the 21st Century

Time
When Robin Li looks back at the question now, he can laugh. But things were different in 1992, when the Baidu CEO was a tongue-tied Chinese student applying for a computer-graphics graduate program in the U.S.

China Escalates Crackdown on Cryptocurrency Trading

Bloomberg
China is escalating its clampdown on cryptocurrency trading, targeting online platforms and mobile apps that offer exchange-like services, according to people familiar with the matter.

China Disrupts Global Companies’ Web Access as Censorship Bites

Yuan Yang and Lucy Hornby
Financial Times
Groups fear being forced to use expensive VPN software surveilled by Beijing.

China’s Shutdown of Bitcoin Miners Isn’t Just about Electricity

Sara Hsu
Forbes
The most critical aspect about cryptocurrency for China to address is criminal activity.

Google Says ‘No Changes’ to Mapping Platform in China after Report

Reuters
CNBC
Google denied a media report that claimed the tech giant was re-launching its mapping functions in China, where many of its services are blocked.

China Chides Tech Firms over Privacy Safeguards

CNBC
China reprimanded three top tech firms on Friday over poor privacy protections, as tech companies face an increasing backlash from consumers and authorities over excessive data collection practices.

China Is Building a $2 Billion Office Park in Beijing Just for AI

Quartz
Last year, China said it plans to be a world leader in AI by 2030. Now its capital is building a massive campus to house the AI firms that will power that rise, according to local media outlet Beijing News (link in Chinese).

Behind the Fall and Rise of China's Xiaomi

David Kline
Wired
The comeback has made Xiaomi a poster child for China’s entrepreneurial dynamism.

Founder of China's Embattled LeEco Placed on Debt Blacklist

Engen Tham, Adam Jourdan
Reuters
The high-profile founder of struggling Chinese tech conglomerate LeEco has been placed on an official blacklist of debt defaulters, a further blow to a firm that had spent heavily to compete in areas from smart cars to online entertainment.

Google to Open Beijing AI Center in Latest Expansion in China

Shelly Banjo and David Ramli
Bloomberg
Google is deepening its push into China as it seeks an edge in one of technology’s most competitive fields: artificial intelligence.

China Telecom Picked to Become the Philippines' Third Telecoms Player

Reuters
South China Morning Post
China Telecom Corp could become the Philippines’ third nationwide telecommunications operator, officials of the Southeast Asian country said on Sunday, as the government sought to stir up competition to boost notoriously poor fixed-line broadband...

Four U.S. Engineers Charged with Trying to Steal Chip Designs for a Chinese Startup

Fortune
Four former Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT, +2.37%) engineers have been charged with attempting to steal chip designs from the semiconductor equipment company to sell to a Chinese startup.

Conversation

12.06.17

Apple in China: WTF?

Samuel Wade, Shaun Rein & more
In November, the non-profit watchdog Freedom House called China “the worst abuser of Internet freedom” of the 65 countries it surveyed. And yet, on December 3, Apple CEO Tim Cook keynoted China’s annual World Internet Conference. “The theme of this...

Will Tech Firms Challenge China’s ‘Open’ Internet?

Robin Brant
BBC
China has been smart and ruthless in its control of the internet within its borders. It blocks some foreign sites altogether and it censors - heavily - what Chinese are allowed to see.

Are Alibaba and Tencent Fueling a Tech Bubble? Investors Weigh the Worrisome Question

Polina Marinova
Fortune
Alibaba has spent roughly $1.72 billion buying at least 50 startups and small businesses since 2013, while Tencent has doled out at least $780 million over the same period, according to Nikkei Asian Review.

China Fintech Lending Boom Fuels Risks of Data Theft Black Market in User Details Thrives as Apps Require Borrowers to Grant Access to Phones

Gabriel Wildau and Yizhen Jia
Financial Times
The rise of online consumer loans in China has spawned a thriving black market in stolen user data.

US Charges 3 Chinese Nationals with Hacking, Stealing Intellectual Property from Companies

Evan Perez
CNN
The charges being brought in Pittsburgh allege that the hackers stole intellectual property from several companies, including Trimble, a maker of navigation systems; Siemens, a German technology company with major operations in the US; and Moody’s...

For China’s High-Flying Tycoons, a Precarious Balance

Anthony Kuhn
NPR
Flush with credit, LeEco expanded aggressively overseas. But the company overextended itself, its credit began to dry up — and by May, it had to lay off most of its workers in the U.S.

Skype Vanishes from App Stores in China, Including Apple’s

Paul Mozur
New York Times
For almost a month, Skype, the internet phone call and messaging service, has been unavailable on a number of sites where apps are downloaded in China, including Apple’s app store in the country.

Chinese Social Media Giant Is Worth More Than Facebook

Daniel Shane
CNN
Tencent shares closed more than 2% higher in Hong Kong on Tuesday, valuing the social media and gaming giant at around $522 billion, according to FactSet. Facebook is currently worth a little over $519 billion.

China's Revealing Spin on the ‘Sharing Economy’

Brook Larmer
New York Times
China is the first country to frame “sharing economy” as a “national priority.” It fits with the image that Beijing wants to project: warm, generous, egalitarian.

China on pace for Record Solar-Power Installations

Bloomberg News
Bloomberg
China, the world’s biggest carbon emitter, is poised to install a record amount of solar-power capacity this year, prompting researchers to boost forecasts as much as 80 percent.

China's Nuclear Spaceships Will Be 'Mining Asteroids and Flying Astronauts to the Moon' as It Aims to Overtake US in Space Race

Stephen Chen
South China Morning Post
China is on course to develop nuclear-powered space shuttles by 2040, and will have the ability to mine resources from asteroids and build solar power plants in space soon after, according to state media.

Amazon to Sell Part of Its Cloud Business in China

Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
Amazon.com Inc. said it would sell computing equipment used for its cloud services in China to its local partner, Beijing Sinnet Technology Co., in a move analysts said underscores the increasingly chilly atmosphere for foreign companies here.

China Suddenly Has Way More of the World's Most Powerful Computers Than the US

Echo Huang
Quartz
China has surpassed the US by a record margin—nearly 60—to become the nation with the most supercomputers, according to the latest Top 500 survey,

China Harnesses Big Data to Buttress the Power of the State

James Kynge
Financial Times
The sinologist Simon Leys has described consuming China’s communist literature as akin to “munching rhinoceros sausages”. But amid the leathery verbiage generated by the 19th Communist party congress there were also some extraordinarily piquant...

Tesla Strikes Deal with Shanghai to Build Factory in China

Tim Higgins, Trefor Moss, and Eva Dou
Wall Street Journal
Electric-car maker Tesla Inc. has reached an agreement to set up its own manufacturing facility in Shanghai, according to people briefed on the plan, a move that could help the company gain traction in China’s fast-growing EV market.

Tiangong-1: Chinese Space Station Will Crash to Earth within Months

Michael Slezak
Guardian
The Tiangong-1 or “Heavenly Palace” lab was launched in 2011 and described as a “potent political symbol” of China, part of an ambitious scientific push to turn China into a space superpower.

The Communist App Store: China's Endless Apps for Tracking, Organizing, and Motivating Party Members

Echo Huang
Quartz
China’s Communist Party is getting into app development big time, with dozens of apps to educate and promote social networking among party members hitting the country’s Apple and Android app stores.

China’s Huawei Could Overtake Apple This Year in Smartphones, Top Analyst Says

Arjun Kharpal
CNBC
In the second quarter of this year, Huawei held a 11.3 percent market share, shipping 38.5 million units, IDC data show. Apple meanwhile shipped 41 million iPhones and had a 12 percent market share in the same period.

In China, Trading Begins on WeChat

Lianting Tu and Carrie Hong
Bloomberg
Regulators elsewhere may be clamping down on the financial industry’s use of private messaging apps, but in the world’s second-largest economy the practice is flourishing.

China Seeks Dominance of Global AI Industry

Louise Lucas
Financial Times
While the National Science Foundation in the US has no increase in funding this year, China has promised to “vigorously use governmental and social capital” to dominate the industry.

China’s Tightening Grip on Tech Giants: DealBook Briefing

Amie Tsang and Michael J. de la Merced
New York Times
If the Chinese government goes through with a plan to gain board seats at some of its country’s top technology players, will that cause problems when those companies go hunting for deals overseas?

While U.S. Moves toward Coal, China Bets Big on Solar

Ben Tracy
CBS News
In southern China, the country flipped the switch on the world's largest floating solar installation - built on top of a lake created by an abandoned coal mine. Projects like these helped China double its solar capacity last year. It is now...

Accelerating Fintech in China

Joshua Bateman
TechCrunch
China’s expeditious adoption of fintech is generating profits not only for startups, but also the companies investing in them. Sitting in the headquarters of FinPlus, a fintech venture capital firm and accelerator, its CEO, Mosso Lau, said, “There...

Conversation

10.06.17

Is China the Future of Bitcoin, or Its Past?

Andrew Collier, Isaac Mao & more
China often dominates the market for Bitcoin, a virtual currency managed by a decentralized network of computers: at points over the last few years, China may have accounted for more than 75 percent of Bitcoin trading. Energy subsidies there make it...

It's Not Just Amazon: Chinese Tech Giants Are Selling Groceries Too

Sherisse Pham
CNN
Amazon (AMZN, Tech30)'s move to swallow Whole Foods for $13.7 billion grabbed attention in the U.S., and the internet giant has also been dabbling in cashier-less grocery stores. But experts say China is already ahead of the curve...

China Gives Carmakers More Time in Biggest Electric-Vehicle Plan

Bloomberg
China unveiled a comprehensive set of emission rules and delayed a credit-score program tied to the production of electric cars, giving automakers more time to prepare for the phasing out of fossil-fuel powered vehicles.

Cyber Norms in U.S.-China Relations

Paul Haenle & Tim Maurer from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
The United States and China agreed in 2015 that neither government would support or conduct cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property and committed to working with international partners to identify appropriate norms in cyberspace. Both countries...

Europe Is Designing a New Particle Collider to Take on China

Jeremy Kahn and Thomas Mulier
Bloomberg
CERN, the European nuclear physics research organization, is contemplating the development of a particle accelerator three times larger than the Large Hadron Collider that confirmed the existence of the Higgs boson, a move intended to match growing...

The Timing May Be Right for Facebook to Enter China next Year, Analyst Predicts

Evelyn Cheng
CNBC
A Mizuho report pointed out that Beijing tends to lessen its media scrutiny during an administration's second term, and Facebook may have “an opening” after Xi Jinping begins his second five-year term in November...

China Rushes to Surpass U.S. In Decoding Citizens' Genes

Preetika Rana
Wall Street Journal
In this western Chinese city famed for panda conservation, scientists are advancing the world’s most ambitious effort to save a far less-endangered species: humans.

Viewpoint

09.15.17

The Unprecedented Reach of China’s Surveillance State

Stanley Lubman
The Chinese Party-state is building a social credit system for collecting information about all of its citizens by police, courts, and other institutions. This enables the government to reach into society to a degree unprecedented in history...

China's WeChat Crackdown Drives Bitcoin Devotees to Telegram

Lulu Yilun Chen
Bloomberg
With administrators personally liable for what is said on groups they run, users of bitcoin exchanges OKCoin, Huobi and BTCChina are migrating to services beyond the Chinese government’s reach.

China Is Stumbling Hard at Acquiring the High-Tech Chip Companies It Wants So Badly

Josh Horwitz
Quartz
US president Donald Trump on Wednesday vetoed a Chinese private-equity firm’s proposed $1.3 billion purchase of Lattice Semiconductor, an Oregon-based chip manufacturer.

VW, China Partners to Recall 4.86 Million Vehicles over Takata Airbags

Reuters Staff
Reuters
Official Chinese estimates show over 20 million cars in China had air bags made by Takata, which have been linked to at least 16 deaths and 180 injuries globally. The air bags have the potential to explode with too much force and spray shrapnel.

China's Two Largest Tech Companies Sign a Deal over the West's Biggest Music

Andrew Flanagan
NPR
Among the deals being signed that shape the way the world experiences culture, a new partnership will exert a great influence on the flow of content from the world's three remaining major record labels to an enormous and growing marketplace —...

Sinica Podcast

09.11.17

China’s Tightening Grip on Cyberspace

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Adam Segal returns to Sinica to comment on China’s recent cybersecurity law—where it came from, how it changed as it was being drafted, and how it may shape the flow of information in China in the future. Other issues discussed include the...

China to Shut Bitcoin Exchanges

Chao Deng
Wall Street Journal
Chinese authorities are ordering domestic bitcoin exchanges to shut down, delivering a heavy blow to once-thriving trading hubs that helped popularize the virtual currency pushing it to recent record highs.

China Steps up Curbs on Virtual Currency Trading

Peng Qinqin, Wu Yujian and Han Wei
Chinese regulators ordered a halt to all virtual currency trading platforms in the country, acting to further rein in risks related to cryptocurrencies, Caixin learned from a source close to regulators.

The Chinese Female Gamers Putting Male Players in the Shade

Danny Vinceny
BBC
In the world’s newest superpower, professional video gaming is a booming industry set to be worth billions. Female players struggle to earn as much as their male competitors – but that's not stopping one talented team of young women...

Blocked in China, Facebook Is Said to Seek a Shanghai Office

Paul Mozur
New York Times
The social media giant in recent months has quietly scouted for office space in Shanghai, according to two people with knowledge of its efforts there. Those offices would house employees working on Facebook’s effort to make hardware but could also...

Trump May Have Pushed Mexico into the Arms of China's Alibaba

Sophia Yan
CNBC
Mexico's Ministry of Economy and Alibaba will partner to get more Mexican products onto the tech firm's popular e-commerce platforms...

China Brings Mars a Little Closer with Replica on Tibet Plateau

Tom Philips
Guardian
The “simulated Mars station” – a 95,000 square-kilometre tribute to the solar system’s second-smallest planet – will be built in Qinghai province’s Haixi Mongolian and Tibetan autonomous prefecture, not far from the westernmost tip of the Great Wall.

China’s Top Bike-Sharing Groups Battle for London

Yuan Yang, Yingzhi Yang
Financial Times
China’s top bike-sharing companies are taking their rivalry to London after local supplier Ofo revealed plans to roll out a smart bike service this week in the UK to compete with rival Mobike.

Google Continues to Hire in China Even as Search Remains Blocked

David Ramli
Bloomberg
Google’s search service may be banned in China but parent Alphabet Inc. is hunting for workers in a further sign it has ambitions in the world’s biggest internet market.

What’s Yours Is Mine in China but Is Sharing at a Peak?

John Sudworth
BBC
Ok, so car sharing makes perfect sense. And we get bike sharing, too. But ball sharing?