• Hundreds of people.

    China said they were migrant workers, reportedly.

    Rising numbers of cases of Covid in China recently.

     
  • Anywhere but China (ABC) when looking for a factory nowadays. But 'Who lost America?' for China? They had the biggest lobby in America, the US business community. Advocating stronger, deeper ties with China.

    US and China are still intertwined though, and have 40 years of ties (sending kids to study in the other country, buying factories in the other country).

    It is thought that although they are competitors and peers, they do not share values. How true is this? Tom Friedman says this difference in values didn't matter while China was selling the US low tech goods, but when China started selling really important tech, that value difference became important.


     
  • High end semis: Taiwan, Korea, Japan, US. All are designed in US, Japan, etc.

    Mid-range (aerospace, automotive, thermostat control): Malaysia, Thailand.

    New restrictions mean China can't import these without a special dispensation. China can't anymore buy the tools to make the high-grade (so they never reach that level). Method: requiring export licenses to send semis to China. Biden is using the Foreign Direct Product Rule (first used under Trump versus Huawei. ... Chinese plans for technological self-sufficiency.

    Lower-range (watch, IOT, calculator): Chinese made.

    China might be melon-scooped out of the semi business, said Zeihan.

    Zeihan said "We're not at the end of Chinese technological rise." Counter-argument, please.

     
    UK has a new National Security and Investment Act, which it used against a company that sold to a Chinese company (which started selling all it's products to it's new owner), causing the UK to fear a tech transfer from UK to China. (Newport Wafer Fab sold to Wingtech.(
  • China has a lot of energy

    Runaway energy usage on crypto-miners. Some think China made a mistake, and there should be more freedom to do crypto-mining in China. But what is the production? Once mines are set up, they only need a few people to run them.

    Why out of China? Capital controls, it can be challenging to tax, can leave borders.

  • A couple destroyers in the Indian Ocean basin would be enough to end China's energy imports.

    (Because China's warships can only do 400 miles under combat situations.)

  • "China is probably the biggest loser in the Ukraine war after Ukraine itself." - Zeihan

    "Because they're the last country in the kick line, everyone else gets their stuff first." (Energy, Food from the Russian space)




  • $92b market for inexpensive ($150 usd) cell phones.

     

  • Another example of how things go along (although philosophically opposed by many) until there's an actual contention, and then true colors are displayed.

     

  • Kissinger, Nixon, anyone?

     

  • Protesting because of their savings.

    One sign read, 'No deposits. No human rights.' Interesting to contrast the impetuses that cause Westerners and Chinese to protest.

     
  • Chinese belt and road region


    #China #IR


  • Attention and brain waves.
  • China going for global currency status, reaching out to 5 countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, HK, Singapore and Chile

    They can build a yuan reserve and a yuan pool (15b yuan each country). A global financial system.



  • Any direct transactions will trigger Western sanctions. This is being called a 'hack' so India's biggest cement maker can buy from Russia. 157k tonnes worth $25m (172m yuan). The sale was arranged from Dubai, reportedly. The mechanism isn't known.

    Coal is the main fuel to manufacture cement.

    13% of Russian reserves are already in yuan. Indian companies must be trading USD for yuan in a Chinese bank in China or HK. There are no sanctions if you don't use USD.

    Yuan to Ruble trade has increased 1000% since the invasion of Ukraine.

     
  • Example: US has tariffs on China for steel and aluminum

    Chinese state actors were basically giving free electricity to aluminum smelters in China to undercut price in America, that took US's capicity utilization of US's aluminum smelters from high 80s to 70 in one year. And when you drop below 80% capacity utilization you end up losing money as an industry. China was acting in an uneconomic fashion to try to put the US's industry out of business so the US would have a further reliance on China's ability to produce aluminum (strategic values for military and industry).

    So Yellen saying "You could save 8 basis points of inflation if you took those tariffs off" is ignorant of national security. He mentioned that if wall street was making decisions we'd all be speaking Chinese immediately, because they make short term decisions for specific profits, and politicians are required to think long term and consider national security.

    Kyle Bass' take

  • "It's really difficult to engage with [global] partners" - Kyle Bass (a monitorist at heart)

    ... "like China, like Russia, like Iran, like North Korea. China mostly. It doesn't share the same value system. They don't share the same legal system. We have a rule of law, they rule by law. And when it comes into times when there's global conflict or friction you see that globalization can lead you down a path that puts you in a very difficult position from a national security perspective."

    "It was probably a real bad idea to let 95% of the pharmaceutical ingredients for our antibiotics to be made in China. And have the global chip shortage around the world that really emanated from Taiwan, which makes 40% of the chips we need for just about everything."

    Various things being outsourced has to be thought of in terms of risk assessment, he said. 3-5 years away still from being self-sufficient on the chip side. Antibiotics and supply chains aren't rocket science, they just need to be reshored. While we watch the friction increase almost daily between the US and China. Xi, the most leverage China has is now, and every day that goes by they have less leverage, so things might happen sooner than later. China's media is really pushing the Taiwan issue.

    With Ukraine. For a long time things boiled, and one day war happened. Russia's control over Europe also could be said to be decreasing with time, as their supplier of energy.

    Because the White House changes every 4 or 8 years, the US needs a team that transcends administrations and needs a better grand strategy, he said.

     
  • Will Russia continue to be a reliable supplier of arms to India, as Russia becomes involved with China?

    "A weakened Russia, with a degraded military industrial structure, is not going to be the major reliable, efficient partner we were counting on before the war." Indian congressman

    India is considering closer alliance with the US but is not impressed with the US's history of alliances (it hasn't always fared very well for the US's alliance partners, some say).

    Some say India is coming to resemble China and Russia more than it resembles Western democracies.

    2 months before the Ukraine invasion Putin visited India on a rare trip abroad.

    In 1971 both India and the Soviets were concerned about China and made a strong pact. Russia became India's #1 arms supplier (against China, India's longstanding adversary).

    Recently, the US threatened to sanction India for an arms purchase of high-tech Russia weapons.

    However, India buying arms from Russia seems to have been declining anyway over the past 10 years. India buys more now from US, Israel, France and other countries.

    Russia has historically voted against and even vetoed UN movements in support of India, particularly in India's sensitive issues like Kashmir.

     
  • Shein, growing fashion brand

    Shein launches 3,000 to 4,000 new (fast fashion) female apparel products every day, reportedly. $2 to $30 per item.

    Their product line is updated much faster than any other fashion brand (Zara, ASOS, H&M).

    Shien is valued at $100b, more than H&M and Zara combined. However, H&M did $24b and Zara $19b last year, and Shein did $10.

    They're private and don't give interviews. The CEO has only been seen a couple times.

    They say they were founded in 2012, but others say in 2008 with Dianwei (knock offs and stuff, reportedly). So they developed along with mass adoption of smart phones (helps with product discovery). Also collected user info, algos, and the continuing development of Chinese manufacturing and distribution, as well as China-friendly global community.
    Shein within China doesn't have the advantage it has over other world brands in the global market, because China is a more saturated market. It can't compete for speed and price like it does against the US.

    Shein also made timely payments to suppliers (a rarity in China, reportedly) made it able to get smaller production orders. Small order, quick response. 100 to 500 items as the first batch (3 to 5 days), versus Zara's 100k items. No middle man or import tariffs because they're shipped straight from China to customers (not to retail chains).

    Shein pays quite a bit for marketing. It pays influencers and celebs. They do a thing called a 'haul,' in which a tik-toker or instagramer buys/receives a big box, like $500 or $2000 worth, and they try it all on and stuff. This goes viral and creates its own marketing campaign. It's an algo that works through influencers and young women.

    Shein was the #1 downloaded shopping app in 2021.

    Shein's growth has recently slowed with the China city lockdowns.

    Several independent fashion designers have gone on social media alleging Shein has knocked off their design to the tee. Exactly the same, and they sell the things for way less. Doc Marten's and Levi Strauss have sued them. I think to do this you have to be registered in China.

    Shein contracts a lot of work to small factories and there are workers who are not in the social welfare system there, whatever the relevance of that is. This is the key to cheap, fast products like this. It's simply finding ways to pay workers less than other places.

    An issue lots of people talk about with these fast fashion mass sales brands is waste. 100m tonnes of clothing are dumped in landfills every year now. These products are made to be used once or several times, and they are not good for a second-hand market (for example, a lot of first world used clothing is sent to Africa, and it still is, but they say the fast fashion stuff is not useable, it's basically garbage shipped to them).

    Producing textiles is energy intensive, and is often done where there are less regulations which consider the environment. It's been interesting as an example of how the young generation, which has been perceived as more environmentally conscious and critical of past generations waste, doesn't really care because they seem to prefer the less expensive product regardless, because it's what they can more easily afford.

     
  • Taiwan 2022 Q2

    US and Chinese defense ministers have held their first face to face talks in Singapore.

    China's MoD spokesperson was quoted 'If anyone dares to split Taiwan from China [ie independence?], the Chinese army will definitely not hesitate to start a war. No matter the cost.'

    India recently entered the South China Sea theater by supplying the non-China side with weapons. France recently sent a diplomatic mission to Taiwan. Taiwan is one of the main issues between the US and China. Recently Biden stated he would defend Taiwan militarily if it was attacked by China.

    On the street and among commenters, people speculate China may invade during the current Ukraine invasion or perhaps after it concludes.

  • UK bought order of drones from Chinese company DJI, first public purchase since US blacklisted the company for sales in the US in 2020 (US said the company posed a potential national security threat)

    15k distance range. 55min use. Temperatures -20 to plus 50.

     

  • The Chinese likened the tax cuts to 'fertilizer' applied directly to the 'roots of the economy.'

    The numbers are added to tax cuts already implemented this year.

    #China
     
  • China and decoupling from 'factory China'

    Said that China is indispensable to global supply.

    China makes way more stem graduates (now needed by others). So many production facilities (Japan also has quite a lot). Apple's supply chain. China wants foreign firms there (like Apple). Provinces compete for this business.

    Per capita disposable income is way up steadily in the last 10 or 15 years.

    "China plus one" strategy. Vietnam, India, Mexico, Indonesia, Malaysia. But no country can do what China does.




  • Recently the US, which has never recognized Taiwan's independence (for the sake of its relationship with the CCP) deleted a sentence on the State Dept website that said the US "does not support Taiwan independence." It changed wording that had referenced Taiwan as being part of China.

    Is the US going to spend some more money on arms for Taiwan?


  • This video gives an idea of how China is managing its cities during the pandemic April 2022 (2 years after the start, but after the latest Omicron strain, when China locked down Shanghai again). Lots of images.

    Lower immunity from natural infection - uniquely vulnerable. It was a source of national pride for Chinese that their case numbers had been so low, and they had so 'successfully' weathered the pandemic relative to other countries, although their strict lockdowns of cities caused economic and other problems (such as other health problems due to lack of diagnosis and treatment, access to medicine, etc, psychological problems from isolation, social issues from lack of socialization - it has been said (by Mill in the following terms) that the necessity of the mental wellbeing of people (on which all their other wellbeings depend) lies in freedoms) as well as extreme tracking and monitoring through electronic devices and registration. Some say the Chinese see the issue politically, as the Chinese system versus the West, so it may be less likely China would now permit opening the cities and having more infections, because of the images that would be shown to the world.
     
  • China makes security pact with Solomon Islands

    Reportedly just before a US diplomat was supposed to go to keep this very thing from happening.

  • Shanghai residents forced from their apartments so State can use them as temporary quarantine facilities

    Videos of this are viral. (A few dozen it looks like) citizens clashing with police (police in white non-contamination suits). Wrestling as the police take away people protesting (I don't think you can even call this 'protesters').

    In another video a few dozen people assembled on a street in a protest against the closure of a school to be used as a quarantine facility. Police broke them up and forced them off the streets.

    Frustration and anger, leading to violence.

     
  • Chinese city residents are organizing in group chats (on their phones) to negotiate and buy food bulk from vendors they know

  • Economists revising expectations for Chinese growth rate

    Was at 5%. But now (strict lockdowns) aggregate demand will be lower from less economic activity. Expectations now about 4%.

    Questions about supply chain issues stemming from Chinese manufacture, and the effect on global inflation rates, which is already affecting interest rates in US.

    It's already brought oil prices lower.

  • Chinese government facing criticism inside country for:

    - efficacy of Chinese-made vaccines
    - refusal to use mRNA vaccines provided to them by US

    200m people (20% of population) are locked down in China right now. 13 of their largest cities and some other cities.

  • Shanghai has been under (strict) lockdown for a couple weeks now, as part of a zero Covid plan

    There's no food on the grocery store shelves now, reportedly. The government is deploying food packets. Reports that wealthy people had hoarded the food from stores.

    Truck driver restrictions/refusals to enter Shanghai disrupting supply chain.

  • "Globalization, which historically was viewed as a barrier to conflict due to the interdependent nature of global trade, has now become a new battleground." - Patrick Boyle

    China recently stated that the US's use of weaponization of global finance (sanctions on Russia [after doing it to Iran's central bank a few years ago]) would be the downfall of it's status as world reserve currency. Ie integrity.

    China has a version of Swift, and India is considering (so far just considering) doing a Ruble-Rupee exchange or working in barter.

    Most of the West is on side, sanctioning Russia, and that makes up the bulk of currency action, but there are still 100 countries or something that are not sanctioning Russia. Brazil is another country that might help Russia work around the sanctions. Boyle said the use of sanctions in the way the US is doing will have many countries wondering if they can still trust the US.



     


  • Parents and children had been separated by force (no choice), if one was found to have Covid. They are now allowed to be together again.

    Only supermarkets and pharmacies are open. Images of China's biggest city look the same as the 2020 beginning of the pandemic.

    State-owened banks are loaning businesses, which have no revenue now, money, in some cases.

    In other cases, people are working, traveling in a closed loop between home and their factory. Factories set up tents during the pandemic, which allows them to do this now.

    China uses drones to go around telling people not to go out or doors.

    The hope is to reduce new infections to 0 in two weeks.

    This lockdown is expected to cost Shanghai 3.5% in economic growth.

     
  • LME halted trading in nickel, but also cancels all the days trades

    The London Metal Exchange said it was what was best for the market, the exchange didn't keep to its neutral position, but "picked winners and losers." Cancelling orders (after the event - the held a meeting and decided to let trading continue, but then after the day they decided to cancel all that had happened) is basically unheard of. 500 nickel trades had been executed that day, worth almost $4b.

    Nickel was up like 240%, a huge short squeeze.

    When LME cancelled the trades that had already taken place, it wiped out an estimated $1.3b in profits and losses.

    It has been said that the entity who would have benefited most from the trades being cancelled is Tsingshan Holding Group, the world's largest stainless steel producer, who was estimated to have lost $8b on their short position. Tsingshan's biggest lender and broker is China Construction Bank.

    It was pointed out (most vigorously perhaps by those who lost on the cancelled trades) that the LME is owned by the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing.

    The LME CEO said the owner of the LME had nothing to do with it.

    This story is much more complicated, with the various companies involved, as well as the China being state controlled having some effects, and the Russian 'blood diamond' nickel issue: Cancelled Nickel Trades on the LME - YouTube

     
  • SA holding the cards

    XI is reportedly going to make his first overseas visit in 2 years to SA. Recently Biden asked SA to increase oil production and they said no.

    US is energy independent (biggest oil producer) and China is the biggest energy consumer (currently buys 1/4 of SA's oil exports). SA is the biggest crude oil exporter.

    US published documents on Yemen or something and linked SA royal house to Kashogi killing. China has it's think in Xinjiang.

    SA and US have an old relationship. China has leverage over Iran, something US may never have.

    How much weapons will China provide for SA?

    Reportedly China is talking about using Yuan instead of USD to buy oil. SA made a deal with Nixon to trade oil only for USD in return for security guarantees.

     
  • "It's not in China's interest to have Russia collapse. So I think a coupling of Russia to the Chinese system feels like the default outcome right now." - Samo Burja

    Resulting in high energy prices in Europe, slow de-industrialization and impoverishment of Europe.

    China is the only winner of a conflict between Europe and Russia, Burja said, although he said the US could benefit long term from the goings on (because the US can be energy independent and produce oil, in addition to other reasons).

     
  • "Among the 248 armed conflicts that occurred in 153 regions in the world from 1945 to 2001, 201 were initiated by the US, accounting for 81% of the total number" - Chinese embassy in Russia

    They posted a list on their website.

    Victor Gao of Soochow U said China believes Ukraine has been used by the US and Western countries. He said what the US and Europe were doing with sanctions were destabilizing for the region.

    He said US benefits because they want to sell L&G to Europe without competition from Russia, whose LNG is cheaper and more sustainable.

     
  • Some people say China is winning over US in LatAm

    The countries are simply taking the best deal offered them, even if it's something like Huawei, which the US tried to get Brazil not to deal with because of Huawei's alleged spying. China is reacting to the local need, some say

    China's BioTech vaccine was the first vaccine available to Brazil. Some say LatAm countries are not happy with the way Washington handled the pandemic.


    #China #Brazil #LatAm #InternationalRelations #Diplomacy
  • 'When a member of [US] Congress goes to Taiwan and declares that she is now in the Republic of Taiwan, that's terribly provocative"

    ... and who ends up getting hurt in that situation? It's the people of Taiwan. If there is ever a military conflict there, even if it's turned back, thousands of people in Taiwan will die. And members of Congress ought to be aware of that simple truth. - Joseph Fewsmith


  • US won't send officials (diplomats) to Beijing Olympics

    ... because, it says, of China's genocide (Uighurs not Tibetans), crimes against humanity, and other human rights abuses.

    Support came from both sides of the Congressional isle.

    US Athletes are still going.

    In 1980, US officials AND athletes weren't allowed to go to the Moscow Summer Games, due to, the US said, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Russia refused to come to the Summer Games in the US in 1984.

     
  • $207m loan default makes Uganda lose only international airport to China, possibly

    Chinese debt trap success if true, but Ugandan and Chinese authorities have denied reports.

    The loan, signed in 2015 between the Ugandan govt and China's Exim (export-import) bank, had a 20 year maturity period and 7 year grace period.

    Uganda's largest commercial and military airport. Entebbe airport.

     
  • Xi extended his rule 5 more years

    Was due to end his term.

  • Mysterious blasts in China?

    WION reported that there have been 10 high-intensity blasts in 7 days across China. No real info from China on the blasts.


    Why is China not talking about the mysterious blasts?
  • China looks to mega-company chiefs

    Another Chinese property market giant is losing value massively (I think 75% for the year currently). Kaisa.

    China would like if the head of that company would offload some of his assets and make a dent in the companies financial issues. He owns $3b in stock, $200m in planes, $50m yacht, and $200m in houses. Most of his holdings are through a BVI company, so it's not exactly clear.

    Will Chinese billionaires behind these companies decide to give up their fortunes and continue being respected business people, and a part of what happens next in China? or will they say no, keep their wealth, and possibly move?

  • China making more moves toward unification with Taiwan

    Last week China flew a bunch of war jets over Taiwan.

    Xi made new comments China would unify with Taiwan, the day before Taiwan's national day. In the past, Xi has threatened he might take Taiwan by force, but the recent statements were considered to be much softer than that.

    One way to view Taiwan is as another province like those that have already been returned to China (Hong Kong and Macao in the 90s). A breakaway province.

     
  • China's risk in thinking about conquering Taiwan

    Fairly risk averse gov. Potential of losing is quite deterrent.

    Not much war experience, even to take on the Taiwanese.

    US and Japan are close. India and US are closer than before, increasingly seen as an ally. Aukus and Quad alliances. China increasingly isolated. What diplomatic options?

    Xi's foreign policy is not considered a success over the past 10 years.

     
  • At some point, Chinese crackdown on companies will be more or less finished, and from that point there will be a more stable operating environment for a lot of companies.

    The next catalyst for Chinese stocks.

    CCP wants to see 'no further monopolistic behavior.'

     
  • Fantasia, a second big Chinese real estate firm, missed a big key payment
  • China power crunch

    As China came out of the pandemic, the economy recovered fast, which led to energy demand, which led to really rapid production of coal, which led to some mining examples. As a result, the gov put some safetly regulations on, which constrained coal mining production this year. Prices went up.

    Over the summer, local officials were really conscious of these issues and tried to coordinate with power companies to make sure power supply and demand would be balanced. But in September, demand was higher than expected.

    Also, wind and hydro were lower than expected in some areas.

    In some areas also, local officals were not meeting their energy intensity targets.

    This led to the CCP unilaterally deciding to cut power supply to certain sectors of the economy.

    At the heart of it is really 'local officials' decisions,' it was said.

    (Coal has been the best performing commodity this year price wise.)

     
  • China banned crypto, nomatter where trading takes place

    US regulators are also looking at doing something. Notably DeFi (Gensler).

    China is experiencing energy shortages (Goldman downgraded China's growth forecast for this), and it might last months.

    Still, any Chinese with a wallet could trade on permissionless decentralized exchanges where there is no KYC.

    There are also VPNs and many Chinese live and work overseas where it could be impossible to prevent their trading crypto.

     
  • Jack Ma's companies lost like $800b in a year, reportedly


     
  • Hostage diplomacy worked for China

    ... The Huawei exec who's been under house arrest in Vancouver for a couple years on request by America (they said she bypassed their embargo on Iran, I think, and wanted her deported to the US. She's been arguing against deportation from Canada since then).

    Shortly after the exec's detention, China detained two Canadians, saying they were spying. (It sounds like they were never charged, just detained until now).

    Shortly after the exec recently made a deal with the US and was released by Canada to return to China, China released the two Canadian men.

    "Because it was so blatently a form of hostage diplomacy I think people are going to start thinking about how they deal with China. ... a major emerging power that doesn't really follow international law, so there's a lot of implications that need to be addressed." - Clifford Coonan

     
  • China told local governments to prepare for fallout from Evergrande

    They're tasked with things like preparing to take over and continue building projects, monitoring civilian protests, and paying migrant worker salaries who are working on Evergrande projects.
  • Evergrande crisis causes global markets to drop a bit

    China's second largest property developer (and world's most indebted one, with $300b in liabilities after years of borrowing for funding of rapid growth amid recent real estate frenzy). Seems the company is insolvent. But some analysits say it might be 'too big to fail' because a failure would undermine the CCP's stability.

    Evergrande's been trying to sell properties for 25% off to deleverage. So much property on the market to sell off quickly is maybe not great for the Chinese property market. There are other companies in the same position as Evergrande as well.

    CCP signaling there won't be a bailout, but as mentioned above this might not be possible because the company accounts for something like 2-3% of China's GDP. Because the majority of financial institutions involved are state-owned, China might use these to do a bailout without appearing to do so directly. However, the CCP seems to want to change the problem they have in their housing market: for years, people have bought homes as investments, and just left them empty, not even renting them out, to keep their quality for some future resell at at a profit, because values have gone up so much in recent years and were expected to continue. This means that the economy gets no real value from the production of these homes. So the CCP wants to move away from unproductive growth to real growth. You might see here why the CCP might be willing to let Evergrande fail so that the traditional moral hazard in the market is reduced. However, real growth alone wouldn't be enough to generate the economic activity for China to hit its GDP growth targets. The way China hits its targets is malinvestment by the real estate sector and local governments building unnecessary infrastructure. The government does more malinvestment when the economy slows down and reduces it at other times. It fills the gap.

    (Malinvestment refers to ... from the 90s until mid-2000s, Chinese debt funded necessary and productive investment, which means the return on these investments grew faster than the debt did. The investments boosted the economy more than the cost of the debt. After the mid-2000s, debt began to rise faster than GDP, ie the cost of the debt was greater than the returns on investing it.)

    People referring to the Lehman collapse (filed for bankruptcy Sept 2008), but China has the advantage of having seen America go through that and how the AIG bailout was unfair to the taxpayer.

    Evergrande also is different in that it has wealth management unit, so depositors are earning interest, but now Evergrande is trying to offer them property (not good property, but things like parking spaces in ghost cities, since all the good stuff they had which could be sold has been sold or pledged against specific debts) if they want.

    In China, some protests on the streets. Some are by employees who haven't been paid.

    Investing experts have said that although this is just now a big global story moving markets, it's been known for a long time. Commodities were ahead, with iron ore halving since July, for example. China's share of commodities consumption globally is somewhere between 40 and 70% of global supply (20% of global supply just to Chinese real estate).

    $310b in obligations globally owed by Evergrande. They have a crucial payment on their offshore bonds in a few days, and people think they might miss it. This debt is held in large amounts by Ashmore Group, BlackRock, UBS, and HSBC, among others, lots in bonds held in vehicles that focus on riskier EM or Asian credits.

    A risk is that if all these property owners cut their prices, it will affect also mortgages, and could cause a chain reaction. Late payments of this size could trigger cross-defaults.

    Evergrande also has a business model where it relies on customers paying for properties before construction (which this finances). Hundreds of thousands of Chinese have put down downpayments for things that possibly might not now be built.

    Real estate is responsible for 30% of China's economic output.

    Real estate investment is a large part of investment for Chinese people, due to the expectation values will continue to rise as dramatically as they have done in the past decades. It's been reported that houses costs about 45x average annual income, which is very high globally. Part of the interest in investing in property is due to lack of options in that country, where there tend to be significant levels of scams, and Chinese businesses haven't panned out as great places to invest either. There's also a social pressure to own a house in China. Chinese men reportedly can't get find a wife without having a house.

    If Evergrande isn't bailed out and Chinese are caused by their government to rethink property values, it would change the values of loans on the books currently, since they were all (last 30 years of loans) based on assumptions about how the government support them rather than on the borrowers ability to pay back.

    Most of Evergrande's debt is held in China which people think can absorb the loss, and the overseas debt is trading currently at about 30c on the dollar (US denominated debt at around 80c). Some think the CCP might cause Evergrande to pay back Chinese lenders first (there will just be more political will to pay the small wealth management investors in China than foreign lenders, regardless of seniority and capital structure), but that would cause an interesting situation where Chinese companies seeking outside investors going forward might not have as easy a time.

    S&P was down like 1.5% the day the news hit.

    Another issue is that while the Chinese have allowed the CCP to rule authoritarianly, they may be less likely to support the CCP if the country is no longer growing and making people all more wealthy. Combined with slowing population growth. Also, while Chinese exports continue to increase, this is due not to genuine productive potential, but rather to the price growth of commodities, it has been said.

     
  • China, famous 'MeToo' case thrown out

    3 years ago, a TV station employee alleged a prominent TV host groped her and used force to kiss her when she was an intern under him. She sued him for damages, and he countersued for damage of his reputation.

    The trial she initiated ended today with the finding that she had not shown enough evidence to prove her boss had done so. The accused was not 'even' required to come to court to testify. Some feminists and others considered the trial something of a Chinese MeToo thing.

    The woman, Zhou Xiaoxuan, said it was worth it either way, and she knew the outcome could have gone either way. "I am very honored to have gone through this together with everyone.'

    She will appeal, she said.

     
  • 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.

    Some say that the CCP does not think of these popular apps that just do things like ride hailing or sharing social media posts as real technology, so they're not important to China in terms of being part of the 'tech sector.' Instead, China considers tech to be things like semiconductors, chips, 5G (hard tech).

     
  • 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.

    But what might be most important is that Chinese men can't afford houses, and it's been reported no one will marry them without one.

    Chinese women currently have 1.3 children each. You need 2.1 to sustain population levels.

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

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