Alibaba Buys Stake In Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter

Michael J. De La Merced
Deal Book
Alibaba and Sina also agreed to cooperate in improving ways to marry social networking with e-commerce, as microblogging services like Sina’s continue to grow in popularity.

Mandiant: No Drop In Chinese Hacking Despite Talk

Paul Mozur and Josh Chin
WSJ: China Real Time Report
The only change, Mandiant’s Chief Security Officer said, has been a noticeable drop in cyber attacks from Unit 61398, a group within the People’s Liberation Army that Mandiant accused in February 2013.  

U.S. Eyes Pushback On China Hacking

Siobhan Gorman
Wall Street Journal
Current and former officials said the offensive shift turned on two developments: new intelligence showing the Chinese military directing cyberspying campaigns, and a sudden change in U.S. companies’ willingness to acknowledge Chinese...

China Reacts To The Boston Bombing, Draws Parallels To China

Lily Kuo
Quartz
While the traditional jabs at America are still present on Chinese social media, it’s notable that so many reflected on the peace and safety both countries are trying to achieve. 

Six Reasons Why Chinese People Will Drive The Next Bull Market In Bitcoin

Gwynn Guilford
Quartz
The virtual currency’s decentralized and speculative nature, combined with the country’s experience with online currencies and “gold-mining” in the past are all cited as possible factors contributing to Bitcoin’s future take off in China.

China Surpasses U.S. In Clean-Energy Investment

Keith Johnson
Wall Street Journal
Globally, clean-energy investment fell last year 11% to $269 billion. But China bucked the trend, attracting of $65.1 billion in clean-energy investment in 2012, a 20% uptick over 2011 and nearly one-third of the total investment in G-20 countries...

Books

04.19.13

The Power of the Internet in China

Guobin Yang
Since the mid-1990s, the Internet has revolutionized popular expression in China, enabling users to organize, protest, and influence public opinion in unprecedented ways. Guobin Yang’s pioneering study maps an innovative range of contentious forms and practices linked to Chinese cyberspace, delineating a nuanced and dynamic image of the Chinese Internet as an arena for creativity, community, conflict, and control. Like many other contemporary protest forms in China and the world, Yang argues, Chinese online activism derives its methods and vitality from multiple and intersecting forces, and state efforts to constrain it have only led to more creative acts of subversion. Transnationalism and the tradition of protest in China’s incipient civil society provide cultural and social resources to online activism. Even Internet businesses have encouraged contentious activities, generating an unusual synergy between commerce and activism. Yang’s book weaves these strands together to create a vivid story of immense social change, indicating a new era of informational politics.              —Columbia University Press

Space Plays A Growing Role In U.S.-China Security Talks

Andrea Shalal-Esa
Reuters
Washington is keeping a watchful eye on China’s activities in space after an intelligence report last year raised concerns about China’s expanding ability to disrupt the most sensitive U.S. military and intelligence satellites. 

Governor Brown Wants China Aboard California’s High-Speed Rail Project

Anthony York
Los Angeles Times
Chinese interest in California’s project is a welcome boost for Brown. Although state voters approved $10 billion in bonds for a high-speed railway in 2008, they have soured on it as cost estimates have ballooned. This is just one of many ways Brown...

China And California Sign Deal To Boost Investment

Associated Press
A new joint task force composed of officials from the California government and China's Commerce Ministry identified sectors for potential expanded investment and trade including infrastructure, environmental protection, agriculture...

Caixin Media

04.15.13

Tencent Lets WeChat’s Rapid Growth Do the Talking

Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s free messaging service, WeChat, has seen its popularity grow among both individual users and businesses, even amid a dispute with the Big Three telecom operators [China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom].Since launching...

WeChat War Escalates, Becomes Showdown Between Government And Internet Users

Rachel Lu
Most Internet users believe that China’s three state-owned telecom operators are pushing for the introdction of a fee scheme to popular messaging app WeChat because their core SMS and voice business are threatened by the app. 

China’s Internet: A Giant Cage

Economist
Not only has Chinese authoritarian rule survived the internet, but the state has shown great skill in bending the technology to its own purposes, enabling it to exercise better control of its own society and setting an example for other repressive...

Beijing Opposes U.S. Rule On Technology Imports

Reuters
The new provision following recent cyberattacks requires NASA, as well as the U.S. Justice and Commerce Departments, to seek approval from national law enforcement officials before buying information technology systems from China. 

Video

04.05.13

Censored: A Chinese Journalist’s Inside View

Jonah Kessel from Committee to Protect Journalists
Journalist Liu Jianfeng worked at the China Economic Times newspaper in Beijing for fifteen years. Eventually, frustration with the nation’s state-controlled media system and pressure from his colleagues prompted him to quit. He then did brief...

China Takes Aim At Apple. Why?

Peter Ford
Christian Science Monitor
The sustained vitriolic tone of the state-run campaign against Apple is prompting observers here to wonder what could possibly be behind it, with some speculating it is retribution for America’s treatment of Chinese flagship telecoms...

Conversation

04.02.13

Why Did Apple Apologize to Chinese Consumers and What Does It Mean?

Jeremy Goldkorn, Isabel Hilton & more
Jeremy Goldkorn:On March 22, before the foreign media or Apple themselves seemed to have grasped the seriousness of the CCTV attacks on the Californian behemoth, I wrote a post on Danwei.com that concluded:“The signs are clear that regulators and...

China Bars Suntech’s Shi From Leaving Country

Jason Scott and Shen Feifei
Bloomberg
The company, based in Wuxi, outside Shanghai, had more than $2 billion in credit lines and defaulted on $541 million in bonds due on March 15, prompting eight Chinese banks to ask a local court to push Suntech’s main unit into insolvency. 

South Korea Says China Hack Link A ‘Mistake’

BBC
Hackers can route their attacks through addresses in other countries and intelligence experts believe that North Korea routinely uses Chinese computer addresses to hide its cyber-attacks. 

As Hacking Continues, Concerns Grow That Chinese-Americans May Suffer

Didi Kristen Tatlow
International Herald Tribune
An interview with prominent Chinese-American legal scholar about the recent hacking issue and Chinese-Americans role in offsetting potential negative misconceptions about the community.

Media

03.21.13

The Men Are Louder: A Gender Analysis of Weibo

Does Sina Weibo provide an equal platform for expression for both men and women in China? According to a recent study conducted by Sun Huan, a graduate student in Comparative Media Studies and a research assistant at the Center for Civic Media at...

China Seen Cutting Subsidy For Largest Solar Projects

Bloomberg
Vice Chariman of the China Renewable Energy Society says a new policy may abolish one-time subsidies, while at the same time, a separate subsidy based on power production would be extended to low-voltage plants that don’t typically supply utilities...

China Hacker’s Angst Opens A Window Onto Cyber-Espionage

Tommy Yang
Los Angeles Times
A P.L.A. hacker’s blog is discovered, providing a rare peek into the secretive hacking establishment of the Chinese military, in what is believed to be by far the world’s largest institutionalized hacking operation. 

‘Iron Man 3’ Blasts Away at China Co-Production Myth

Laurie Burkitt
WSJ: China Real Time Report
China film consultant Robert Cain said the three companies behind “Iron Man 3”  have likely opted out of trying to gain China’s co-production stamp in favor of winning global appeal. 

Skype’s Been Hijacked in China, And Microsoft Is O.K. With It

Vernon Silver
Bloomberg
A computer science student at the University of New Mexico deciphered an everchanging list of sensitive keywords for which Skype in China surveils and now wants Microsoft to answer for the privacy breach.

Could Electric Cars Reduce China’s Smog?

John Sudworth
BBC
Looking at BYD Auto Company, China's central planners, and Warren Buffet's investment in the future of electric cars in China...

Seized Chinese Weapons Raise Concerns On Iran

Robert F. Worth and C.J. Chivers
New York Times
The Chinese missiles were part of a larger shipment interdicted by American and Yemeni forces in January 2013, allegedly intended for Houthi rebels in northwestern Yemen.   

Chinese Family Memories, Recycled

Kerri MacDonald
New York Times
Thomas Sauvin's photo project, composed of discarded negatives, "starts with birth, [and] ends with death... It talks a bit about love. People go to the beach. People travel." In short, it's about life. ...

Media

03.04.13

‘Zombies’ and ‘Reincarnation’

Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, announced on February 20 that it had surpassed half a billion users—more people than live in South America, and approximately the population of North America. Thickly-settled Europe edges out Weibo by...

Cyber Menace: Digital Spying Burdens German-Chinese Relations

Ralph Neukirch, Jörg Schmitt, Gregor...
Spiegel Online
European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company’s (EADS) firewalls have been exposed to attacks by hackers for years, but now company officials say there was “a more conspicuous” attack a few months ago.  

Communist Party Mouthpiece Rebukes Feckless Children Of Officials

Tom Phillips
Telegraph
The People’s Daily editorial was published following reports that the son of General Li Shuangjiang - a revered PLA crooner - had been detained in connection with a serious sexual assault in a Beijing hotel. 

BBC World Service Shortwave Radio Blocked In China

BBC
BBC director of global news Peter Horrocks said the jamming in China was being timed to cause maximum disruption to BBC World Service English broadcasts there. 

What China’s Hackers Get Wrong About Washington

Ezra Klein
Washington Post
Chinese hackers believe the most pervasive of of all Washington legends: that everything that happens in D.C. fits into somebody’s plan. Because in China, it would be like that. Not in our nation’s capital. 

In Cyberspace, New Cold War

David E. Sanger
New York Times
The early 2013 cyberattacks and the U.S. government’s response illustrate how different the cyber-cold war between the U.S. and China is from the more familiar superpower conflicts of past decades.  

Caixin Media

02.24.13

Dirty Business for China’s Internet Scrubbers

Flames of a public relations disaster were licking at the heels of a private equity firm when China’s most notorious Internet-scrubbing company rode to the rescue.Saving the Shenzhen-based firm’s image was not cheap, and it took more than two months...

Caixin Media

02.23.13

China’s 3D Printing: Not a Revolution—Yet

Engineers, inventors, and industrial futurists in China are setting sights on a new technological frontier as three-dimensional printing slowly revolutionizes manufacturing.A Beijing University research team, for example, has been working on what...

Chinese Hackers Are Getting Dangerously Good At English

Melissa Chan
Foreign Policy
 Chinese hackers are getting dangerously good at tricking users into clicking on what are known as “phishing emails” -- messages with links or attachments that seem innocuous, but actually dump spyware on recipients'...

Hack-attack

The Economist
Economist
A timeline of cyberattacks from China from the Mandiant report.

China, Its Hackers, And The American Media

Matt Schiavenza
Atlantic
While the story presented fresh evidence of Chinese hacking, the aftermath presents more questions than answers about U.S.-China relations, as well as the connection between U.S. media and Chinese government.

Does China Have An Army Of Hackers?

Evan Osnos
New Yorker
The accumulated evidence should retire the old notion that China’s most sophisticated hackers are just patriots freelancing from their parents’ basements.

China Says Army Is Not Behind Attacks In Report

David Barboza
New York Times
Geng Yansheng, a spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense, says “The claim by the Mandiant company that the Chinese military engages in Internet espionage has no foundation in fact.”

What Do We Make Of The Chinese Hacking?

James Fallows
Atlantic
Is this recent hacking really something new? Or merely our "threat inflation,"* cued both to the impending sequestration menace and February 2013 SOTU mentions of new efforts in cyber-security?...

Authorities Reject Cyber Crime Accusation

Xu Tianran and Duan Wuning
Global Times
The report does not reflect the facts and is not professional, and the PLA has never supported any cyber espionage activities, China's defense ministry said on its official website in response to the accusation...

U.S.: Hacking Attacks Are Constant Topic Of Talks With China

Anita Kumar and Tom Lasseter
McClatchy
Obama administration officials acknowledged that China’s involvement in cyber-attacks is a near-constant subject of conversation between the nations’ officials but that there have been few signs that China is willing to stop the attacks.

Malware Attack On Apple Said To Come From Eastern Europe

Michael Riley and Adam Satariano
Bloomberg
At least 40 companies including Apple Inc., Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. were targeted in malware attacks linked to an Eastern European gang of hackers that is trying steal company secrets.

A Look At Mandiant, Allegations On China Hacking

The Associated Press
Associated Press
An introduction to Mandiant, the details of its recent report on alleged government-affiliated Chinese hacking, why the report is significant, and potential backlash from the report.

Chinese Army Unit Is Seen as Tied to Hacking Against U.S.

David E. Sanger, David Barboza and...
New York Times
An unusually detailed 60-page study tracks for the first time individual members of the most sophisticated Chinese hacking group to the doorstep of the military unit’s headquarters. 

Media

02.20.13

On China’s Twitter, Discussion of Hacking Attacks Proceeds Unblocked

As The New York Times reported yesterday evening, U.S.-based cybersecurity firm Mandiant has just released a deeply troubling report called “Exposing One of China’s Cyber Espionage Units.” The report alleges wide-spread hacking sponsored by the...

China Considered Drone Strike On Foreign Soil In Hunt For Drug Lord

Ernest Kao
South China Morning Post
Liu Yuejin said one of the plans to end the manhunt for drug lord Naw Kham was to strafe a hideout in Myanmar using an unmanned aircraft.

Conversation

02.20.13

Cyber Attacks—What’s the Best Response?

James Fallows, Xiao Qiang & more
With regular ChinaFile Conversation contributor Elizabeth Economy on the road, we turned to her colleague Adam Segal, Maurice R. Greenberg Senior Fellow for China Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Segal said that “the time for...

China Won’t Cut Its Cyberspying

Greg Austin
New York Times
Some Obama advisers have recommended harsh action to send a clear signal to China to change its ways. But even if the Americans retaliate, China is unlikely to respond as they might hope. 

Morgan Stanley's Latest Alibaba Estimates Suggest It's Worth $66 Billion-$168 Billion

Eric Jackson
Forbes
The most relevant comparison is to Tencent which is still the biggest Chinese Internet company still experiencing rapid growth – albeit at a slightly slower pace than Alibaba.  (Tencent did $1.88 billion in the last year and is currently...

Infographics

02.14.13

Who Supplies Apple? (It’s Not Just China)

Last month, Apple Inc. released its updated list of suppliers. This report says it includes “the major manufacturing locations of suppliers who provide raw materials and components or perform final assembly on Apple.” ChinaFile used this data to...

A Chinese Hacker’s Identity Unmasked

Dune Lawrence and Michael Riley
Businessweek
Joe Stewart’s day starts at 6:30 a.m. in Myrtle Beach, S.C., with a peanut butter sandwich, a sugar-free Red Bull, and 50,000 or so pieces of malware waiting in his e-mail in-box.

Chinese Netizens Liked Seeing Partisanship at State of the Union

Liz Flora
Asia Blog
The partisan dissonance exhibited at President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address was a sight for sore eyes for some users on Sina Weibo, China’s microblogging platform.

U.S. Cybersecurity Plan Aimed at Keeping China out of America’s Networks

Associated Press
President Barack Obama signed an executive order aimed at helping protect the computer networks of crucial American industries from cyberattacks and prodded Congress to enact legislation that would go even further. 

Environment

02.13.13

Nuclear Fusion: An Answer to China’s Energy Problems?

from chinadialogue
The global nuclear sector has been through something of an apocalyptic patch since the disaster at Fukushima—from power station shutdowns in Japan and Germany to waste-plan chaos in the U.K. to doubts about China’s ability to showcase new reactor...

Blogging the Slow-motion Revolution: An Interview with Huang Qi

Ian Johnson
New York Review of Books
Huang Qi is best known in China as the creator of the country’s first human rights website, Liusi Tianwang, or “June 4 Heavenly Web.” A collection of reports and photos, as well as the occasional first-person account of abuse, the site is updated...

Hewlett Directs Its Suppliers in China to Limit Student Labor

Keith Bradsher and David Barboza
New York Times
Hewlett-Packard, one of the world’s largest makers of computers and other electronics, is imposing new limits on the employment of students and temporary agency workers at factories across China. 

Is China’s Mystery Blogger Xi Jinping Himself?

Calum McLeod
USA Today
A mystery blogger who appears to have close access to the daily activities of China's new leader may be the leader himself, say China watchers...