• China's regulations versus celebrities

    In May 2021, fans of an idol threw away 270k cartons of milk because they were buying the QR code on the carton to 'cheer on their favorite trainee' for an idol group ("the milk incident"). The milk waste was taken seriously, partially in light of the CCP's Food Waste Prohibition Law. After this incident, China's National Cyber Info Office (CAC) said idol fandom would become regulated heavily for irrational behavior. "Irrational celebrity worship."

    Weibo has deleted countless posts and closed real and fake accounts for idol fan clubs online. They banned the BTS  fan page (maybe the biggest K boyband currently) for 60 days and then banned 21 other fan groups for a month).

    China used to post a lot of idol fan rankings, and Chinese spend a lot of money to support (sometimes smaller) celebrities. There are paid voting programs, but these have all been banned now.

    Tencent (largest music platform in China) banned accounts from buying the same album or single more than once.

    Chinese people paid $8m last year for K-pop (digital music only, or including merch?), the highest amount from China, reportedly. Total K-pop exports rose 3.6-fold yoy to $26m. This is considered by the CCP to be a trivial use of citizens' interest and money. China says this is a problem, a sick 'fan circle' that has become too prominent, with various fan bases abusing and slandering each other, engaging in 'malicious marketing,' and forcing fans, including young people, to raise funds to support the stars or would-be stars. A Chinese spokesperson put it that all this "seriously hinders the healthy development of the entertainment industry."

    Another related issue is big famous celebrities who China sees as having "excessive incomes" or "false political positions," as well as non-masculine men. Some celebrities (who have passports from other countries) have said they'll give up their foreign passports. (I'm not clear on exactly what the issue is and which passport they said they'd give up.)

    The K-pop style of attractiveness is considered to be imasculine, and China said they'll establish a correct beauty standard for Chinese as well, reportedly. Cosmetics will be among the things focused on. Many reality talent shows were banned for reasons in this vein of central planning. Effeminate boy bands are prohibited from being on idol talent shows.

    Should we expect a somewhat extreme manifestation of the androgenous sexy "forbidden boy" style type we saw in America between the 50's and maybe 80s?

    Another issue is celebrities who have caused controversy by committing immoral acts. Recently, Chinese stars have been in the news for sexual incidents, drugs, and tax fraud. One star published photos or something on his repeated visits to Japan's Yasukuni Shrine and was boycotted (by the Chinese public?).

    I also read passing mention of 'foreplay programs.' What is that?



     
  • China's cultural rules 2021

    Most recently TV talent shows have been banned and TV broadcasters aren't allowed to promote 'effeminate looking men' (K-pop issue). Actors accused of tax evasion and misbehavior have had their work taken off line.

    Minors are allowed to play video games even less than before.

    Tencent and NetEase Games have to remove content that promotes 'incorrect values' like money worship.

    Rideshare company Didi had to be removed from the domenstic app stores for illegally collecting and using personal info.

    The multi-billion dollar private tutoring industry has been banned from making profit or raising capital.

    Some celebrity fan clubs have been banned for promoting 'chaotic culture.'

    One commenter harkened to Xi's 2014 comments on Beijing Forum of Literature Arts where he spoke of 'the good, the true, the beautiful' as the essential values that China needs to cultivate. She said actors and other public figures have greater social obligations to set examples for the moral direction of the society. That celebrities are important not only because the produce excellent works and very entertaining shows but the government has expectations of them as a person.

     
  • Chinese govt erases rich actress from internet

    Zhao Wei fled to France.

    From News.au:

    On Friday, Beijing’s Cyberspace Administration agency issued a set of instructions to social media and internet operators aimed at “rectifying issues” with fan communities.

    The purpose was to ensure “political and ideological safety in the cyberspace as well as creating a clean internet”.

    Celebrities can no longer be ranked in order of popularity.

    Talent agencies must submit themselves to Communist Party oversight.

    Fan clubs must be licenced and officially authorised.

    Any disagreement between fans of different high-profile personalities must immediately be censored.

    The regulatory crackdown follows the publication of a policy guideline, Implementation Outline for the Establishment of a Rule of Law-Based Society, which mandates the establishment of “moral norms” as “legal norms”.

    China is reportedly banning stars who are considered immoral. Zhao has been in various scandals over the years. She has also been in conflict with the CCP for her friendly relations with Taiwan and Japan, it seems.

    She was accused of tax evasion Friday. If she pays the $A63m fine, she might be able to return to normal life in China.

    https://www.news.com.au/technology/online/internet/china-erases-billionaire-actress-zhao-wei-from-history/news-story/94100f6569377078cfeee411f5fc3538
     
  • China bans playing video games more than 3 hours per week

    For children, anyway. They can only play games online between 8 and 9pm Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and public holidays.

    This is down from the 2019 limit of an hour and a half per day and 3 hours on holidays..

    AP: "Regulators said in Monday’s notice that they would strengthen supervision and increase the frequency of inspections of online game companies to ensure that they follow the regulations closely."

    Notification from Xi through the National Press and Publication Administration
     
  • Luxury brand loss, China

    45% of luxury spending is by the Chinese consumer, ahead of the US.

    More purchases are within China than before and this trend is expected to continue (rather than go abroad to buy them cheaper).

    The government may be making it sort of culturally taboo to flaunt wealth with luxury purchases. China is cracking down on wealthy spenders.

    4 big luxury stocks, LVMH, Richemont, Kering and Hermes, have lost $85b together in last 2 weeks. Arnot was the world's richest man at the beginning of this month, but his $200b went down $22b and he's now 3rd.

     
  • New China data privacy law

    ... goes into effect Nov. 1.

    It targets digital companies. Collecting a lot of random info on users in order to 'provide a better service' seems it'll be not as available to businesses. The restrictions in the bill target businesses and don't really apply to the CCP.

    Under the law, companies are required to only collect the minimal amount of data for a service, and must obtain consent for collecting sensitive info (like biometrics), offer easy opt-out options, and if they want to transfer data overseas they have to get govt approval first.

    Does this put China ahead of the West in internet privacy?

     
  • China's sponge cities

    Instead of building barricades to water, they want to absorb and release the water when needed.

    How it's done usually is combining grey infrastructure like drainage and water treatment with green spaces.

    People also like to go to the green spaces to use them. Trees, elevated walkways, etc.

    They also use some bioswales, which are several KMs in length now. They're grooves water can seep into and go down into the earth rather than enter drainage systems.

    They also use permeable road surfaces. Polyurethane binders combined with gravel or stones let water through.

    These are all designed to deal with regular heavy rain, and aren't as useful for extreme weather events.

    The US and Russia have also done sponge city stuff, but not to the same level as China.

     
  • China repositions government philosophy

    Before, China was allowing some individuals to 'get rich first' with big companies, but now is shifting to 'proserity for all.'

    It's expected the CCP will have more say in companies and companies will have to fall in line.

    Xi recently said people should shun 'unreasonable' or 'excessive' income, and that the rich should 'give back to society more.'

    This means lower education costs, caps on the commission ride share companies can take (done through transport ministry) to keep transportation costs lower, and higher wages for workers.

    China is also going to do a 'consumer data' data privacy internet bill.

     
  • China '3 mountains'

    Education, health care, and property. These are burdens for the common Chinese person.

    China has announced some new areas for new regulations: Education tech, internet, property, and food delivery. Those four.

    Also e-cigs, growth hormones, liquor and online insurance.

    It's the first time any of these sectors have been regulated in China.

    Next year is an election year, and commenters say China sees the big companies that are profiting in these sectors as being in the way of the government reaching its goal of common prosperity and elimination of social unrest.

     
  • China economics, summer 2021

    We have got more info from the CCP on which sectors they really want to promote, as opposed to those whose recent growth has been seen to cause them problems (as usual for closed, authoritarian governments, this includes industries that control information).

    EV, clean energy, and industrial upgrading have policy tailwinds, according to JPM's Julia Wang.

     
  • Hong Kong man jailed 'under national security law'

    The man, during pro-democracy protests in HK against the Chinese government, purposefully rode his superbike at a line of police. He carried a flag which read 'Liberate Hong Kong.'

    Western media is headlining this as the first person to be charged under Hong Kong's new national security law, and highlighting the law's restrictions on protest slogans that are 'capable of inciting others,' on secessionist activity, and that without a guilty plea there should be no leniency.

    ... despite this man's actions being clearly not just protest oriented.

    This may logically make China appear unfairly presented, and give China a valid claim to such. American commenters on the story noted that the man would probably have been gunned down by US police if he tried that in NY. ... However, China may follow this trial of what many consider an aggressive act with trials of peaceful protesters, journalists (which reportedly it has lined up about 30 of them), etc.

    9 years. He will appeal.

    (following this video clip, the motorbike was on the ground with police surrounding him. It appears he slowed and turned to the side and did not hit any police once he charged up close to them.)

     
  • 'Lying flat' movement in China

    ... references to it removed from social media. It's romanized as 'tang ping.'

    It started with a social media post that read in part,

    'I have spent most of the [two years without a steady job] enjoying myself and I find nothing wrong with it. Expectations and stress typically came from the traditional ideas of elder family members. The constant feed of celebrity news about the latest romances and pregnancies to the masses was akin to imposing a way of thinking on them. Since this land never really existed to exalt the tide of human subjectivity that I can create my own to myself. Lying flat is my wise man's movement. Only lying flat can we be human measure anything [sic from not the best source because I couldn't find the original blog post].'

    Over time the term has become a buzzword on the Chinese internet and has become popular among the youth there.

    Chinese state media has published criticisms of the idea as irresponsible.

    Chinese youth reportedly not only have low wages as in all countries but also have to support four parents and however many children they have. Many work 9am to 9pm six days a week. 'So why would they want more children?' wrote someone on social media before their comment was deleted.

    Some say, though, that Chinese should have babies not for themselves but for their country in order to realize the Chinese dream. This is countered by others who raise the point that having a child is a basic human right.

    Analysts have said that it's not that Chinese want to lie flat because they are lazy, but rather because they have lost hope in the future. Especially the young generations.



  • China has 400m in what they call their middle class

    ... and 1b in poverty.

    China has to find a way to stop social unrest through government, it is thought, when the gap between haves and have-nots increases too much.

    The poor have to pay more for basic staples, energy, and middle class can't move up because asset prices are moving quickly.

     
  • Some say diplomacy in the US done less by (career) diplomats and more by people from political backgrounds

    Highlighted by the recent talks between China and the US in Anchorage, where the US government was represented by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in which the US reportedly brought a list of demands/complaints against China, and which didn't go over very well with the Chinese.

    Now Wendy Sherman will head a mission to China. China may send only lower level officials to talk to her.

    Wendy Sherman is a diplomat and politician since the Clinton presidency, and also active under Hillary.

    But the question being raised is 'How much does Sherman know about China or Chinese?' She might have some superficial armchair knowledge, but no real competency, it is thought.

    The Russians and Chinese do use career diplomats, real career professionals.

    This idea came to our attention by a vlog by Alexander Mercouris.

    US is criticized for trying to 'coerce' China into doing things the US wants. Treating China as an adversary or enemy, and only talking to China really when the US wants it to do something.

    China's diplomacy

    China has also been considered to alienate its global partners through it's foreign policy. China frequently makes criticisms of America that are a great stretch, such as equating China's current human rights abuses with those that took place in America 100 years ago.

    China's 'wolf warrior diplomacy,' where it acts forcefully abroad, may be popular within China, but it may be alienating other countries, including Asian countries (reported rise in anti-Chinese sentiment in the region). What place do wolves have in society?

    'I think (the non-issuance of Chinese visas to US students, due reportedly to China's non-infection policy during the pandemic, while China wants removed the US political sanction on Chinese students who want to study in the US) is a good thing actually. The US side should put forward such demands, such concerns, because this is engagement. The US side will say, "I want Beijing to do this and that," the Chinese side will say, "I want Washington to do this and that." In this way, we can cooperate and reduce their concerns," commented Qinduo Xu of Pangoal and CGTN.

      
  • Chinese government aiming at wealth

    The CCP has been cracking down on all fast-growing sectors. Any sector or company with large growth over the past years.

    They don't want too much wealth accumulation or wealth inequality, reportedly. They're seeking an equality in the society.

    It makes it more difficult for investors, because they don't know what to price in to their estimates.

    No one knows what other regulations will be coming from the party.

    The thing started with Ant group a few months ago. Recently, the whole tutoring sector. Some investors think the next sector might be health care. Large US investors are starting to pull out of investment in China, it has been reported.

    'The Chinese party has shown you who they are and what they care about,' said Kyle Bass of Hayman Capital, who thinks China is hoping people will stop investing in Chinese companies in the US and start investing in Chinese companies in Hong Kong, as China says HK will adjust it's listing requirements to make it easier for Chinese companies to list there.

     
  • China announces sanctions on seven Americans, including HRW's Sophie Richardson

    China's foreign ministry spokesperson also referred to American 'preaching' and 'arrogance.'

  • China targets education companies to reduce stress in children and cut parenting costs

    'All private tutoring firms now must register as NGOs, they're banned from raising funds from the stock markets and foreign investment ... Those who have violated the regulations shall be cleaned up and rectified,' says the document circulating on state TV.

    EdTech firms have been funded by Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent and Didi.

    Tutoring classes are banned on weekends, public holidays, school vacations, and after 9pm.

    Publicly traded companies in the sector were down between 25 and 60%.

    Clashing policies: China wants international champions, but also wants to crack down on those who'd like to do that. Chinese people don't know what to think about these conflicting policies and it's difficult to get them to talk about it in public or even in private, reportedly.

    The reason has something to do with China wanting more babies, and the barrier to this caused by costs to parents for educating children.

    Reportedly, the Chinese public is happy with this, as they are relieved from an expectation that comes with a large cost.

     
  • Floods: Germany had massive floods causing over 100 deaths, and China's Henan had 8 months worth of rain in a day

    China reported 33 deaths. Roughly $200m in damage, expected that estimate will be increased.

    Media censorship in China again highlighted. Government-controlled media, no critical media to investigate and ask critical questions. Social media accounts that ask about role of authorities get deleted and censored.

    One question is whether local authorities warned citizens soon enough. A counterargument is that they had no reason to expect that much rain (once in a lifetime situation).

    Chinese people's political double-standards in a strictly-controlled information environment also at issue: state media covered German floods, Siberian forest fires, Canada heat wave, and drew climate change conclusions. But when something similar happens in China they focus on it as being just an exceptional event.
    #Censorship
     
  • Historical 'revisionism' in China, CCP anniversary

    China's Communist Party marked it's 100th anniversary, and Xi made a big speech, using quite marshal language and stating China wouldn't be pushed around by foreign powers.

    China is practicing 'historical nihilism,' according to China Centre (Oxford U) Director Rana Mitter, revisionism in which the communist political movement started with a handful of guys in the 1920's, and then some stuff happened which was necessary or inevitable, and then they are where they are now.

    The take is that before Communism, China was being buffeted by various foreign factors like Western imperialism and the 'Century of Humiliation,' Opium Wars, Japanese invasion in the 1920s; and the CCP is the final vehicle of destiny that allowed China to stand up for itself.

    He said that in China you can't mention the Great Leap Forward of the 1950s (where 10's of millions died), and that the Cultural Revolution, although more complex, can be talked about in China but you have to be careful which parts you talk about.

  • China sent a crew to its new space station

    China isn't a participant in the ISS, largely because of the US's objections to China's secrecy and military focus in space. They built their own space module, called Tianhe III (their first two space stations were more short term), or Heavenly Harmony, which launched last April.

    China used a Shenzhou-12 spaceship launched by a Long March-2F Y12 rocket from the Gobi Desert to transport a three-man crew of science-minded military pilots (2 vets, one new pilot) to Tianhe.

     
  • China industrial profits slowing, reportedly

    Their numbers are still growing, but according to analysts the growth is slowing, comparing the same month in different years. China's economy is still projected to grow 8% in 2021: strong growth.

    Also, small company profits are growing less than those of bigger companies.

    Rising commodity prices are squeezing profits for downstream companies, accounting for some of the slowdown in profits.

     
  • China's population to decline, introduces 3-child policy

    For the first time since Mao's Cultural Revolution 50 years ago, China's 1.4b people may decline, according to some calculations. China denies that it has reached its peak but says it might come in the coming few years. [FT]

    The 'One Child Policy' was in effect for 35 years until it was ended in 2015. After lifting the limit to two, China saw a small baby boom in the same year but then it started to decline again. Commentators noted that China is finding it is easier to cause citizens to have less babies than more, particularly since in the competitive labor market families often prefer to put all their resources behind making one child succeed rather than splitting resources up.

    China has now lifted the limit to three, but since lifting it to two didn't do much, people don't expect the 3-child policy will cause a dramatic boom. Some think the government will now incentivize or pressure citizens to have more children.

    The issue China faces is that they are now going to be facing an aging population, but without having reached their desired development level so that wages will be as high as Western countries and better able to support that type of population.

    There is also talk of a shortage of child-bearing age women there.

    India is a close second for the largest population, with 1.38b, but their population is expected to continue increasing.
     

Comments