ZGBriefs | November 8, 2018

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Featured Article

China's middle class: We're being picked like leeks by the government  (November 4, 2018, CNN)
Wang is one of millions of Chinese middle-class men and women who grew up in a roaring economy. Now, amid soaring rents and a plunging stock market, they are finding daily life increasingly difficult. The past year has been especially tough.

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Government / Politics / Foreign Affairs

Statistics on ONGO Registrations and Temporary Activities by September 2018  (October 18, 2018, China Development Brief)
This article was originally published by the Office of Overseas NGOs of the Ministry of Public Security, and translated into English by CDB. Some parts have been cut out from our translation.

China's Internet Censorship Is Influencing Digital Repression Around the World, Report Warns  (November 1, 2018, TIME)
The group’s 2018 Freedom on the Net report found that overall internet freedoms declined for the eighth consecutive year as governments ramped up collection of user data and wielded repressive “fake news” laws to silence dissent. Freedom House found 26 of the 65 countries covered in the annual report demonstrated diminishing web freedoms, including the U.S.

In Chinese Spy Ops, Something Old, Something New  (November 5, 2018, Foreign Policy)
Indictments reveal how Beijing mixes traditional spycraft with cyberespionage to steal U.S. technology.


Hope for Today, and Tomorrow!  (November 2, 2018, ChinaSource Blog)
But, in the midst of this never-ending flow of bad news, there are other narratives and very real stories of people and organizations unselfishly reaching out, genuinely trying to love their neighbors as themselves, and committed to bringing hope to seemingly forgotten lives and hopeless situations.

Interview With a Pastor In Shenzhen – The Gospel of Old  (November 2, 2018, China Partnership Blog)
I call our church a transition hub for domestic missionaries, for the reason that brothers and sisters have come to Shenzhen to earn a living, yet they become saved here by the gospel. They start equipping themselves, and then they bear with them the gospel mission, whether they are moving to another city in the future or returning to their hometown, or staying in Shenzhen to spread the gospel here. 

How My International Fellowship Trained Me: An International Student’s Maturing in China  (November 5, 2018, ChinaSource Blog)
Your passion to share the gospel with your fellow international students is inspiring, and you’ve explained why Chinese is an essential language for this. Can you describe your involvement with the local international fellowship? How has that grown or encouraged you?

Reflections from a Reformed Perspective on the Challenges Faced by the Church in China  (November 6, 2018, Chinese Christian Voices)
The churches in China are facing many challenges, however in this article I will mention just three that can apply to both house churches and congregations under the umbrella of TSPM. The reason I list only three is that all the other challenges I thought of are strongly connected to these three.

Search and Research  (November 7, 2018, ChinaSource Blog)
No one likes doing research. Research is hard work. And yet it is a necessary evil if one ever wants to publish anything. Many cross-cultural workers serving in China are finding the need to pursue a higher degree; which requires a good grasp of research techniques and understanding of available resources and data.

Society / Life

In Chengdu, China’s Peculiar Ear-cleaning Custom (October 30, 2018, BBC)
In this unique local tradition, roving ear cleaners wield myriad tools to flick, pick and twirl their customers’ ear canals clean.

Crazy rich Chinese and where to find them  (October 31, 2018, Inkstone News)
According to the Forbes-esque Hurun China Rich List, released earlier this month, more of China’s rich live in the capital of Beijing than in Shanghai, and the Southern tech powerhouse of Shenzhen is close behind.

China's Number of Births Just Keeps Dropping  (November 1, 2018, The Diplomat)
The birth rate did see a bump in 2016, the first year the new policy was in effect. The number of newborns that year jumped 1.31 million year-on-year, ending up just shy of 18 million. Still, that fell far short of government hopes that the number of annual births could top 20 million.

Why desperate Chinese mother offered her triplets for adoption on social media site  (November 5, 2018, South China Morning Post)
A mother of triplets in eastern China offered her sons for adoption on a live-streaming social media platform after her gambling debt-laden husband abandoned her when the children were barely four weeks old.

China Explained: How Singles’ Day Became the World’s Biggest Shopping Event  (November 7, 2018, Radii China)
Singles’ Day, taking place on 11.11, has grown into a shopping event that dwarfs its American counterparts Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Leading up to this year’s commercial bonanza, here’s some background on the development of the “holiday” over the years.

Economics / Trade / Business

German firms urged to cut dependence on China  (October 31, 2018, Reuters)
A new strategy paper from Germany’s influential BDI industry federation calls on firms to reduce their dependence on the Chinese market, according to a draft seen by Reuters, in a sign of rising concern over Beijing’s state-driven economic model.

The Come to China to Sign the Contract Scam: A Classic for Good Reasons  (November 4, 2018, November 4, 2018, China Law Blog)
Here are some basic rules to follow when negotiating any sort of deal with a Chinese company, especially one where the Chinese company is claiming it will be paying you money.

China and Singapore wrap up talks to upgrade free-trade agreement  (Monday, November 5, 2018, South China Morning Post)
The agreement includes broader economic cooperation between the two Asian economies on legal and financial services, as well as e-commerce and the environment.

China Employer Rules and Regulations FAQs  (November 5, 2018, China Law Blog)
The below are the questions that we field most often when doing our China employer audits.

China Ranks 46th in Ease of Doing Business Rankings: World Bank Report  (November 5, 2018, China Briefing)
Ease of doing business in China received some validation as the World Bank’s newly released rankings showed the country rise by 32 spots. According to the report, which was released on October 31, China leaped from 78th to 46th place, showing that it had made dramatic improvements to its business environment over the past year.

Xi Jinping promises to open Chinese markets in trade war joust with Trump  (November 5, 2018, The Guardian)
Xi Jinping has promised to lower import tariffs and improve access to the Chinese market in remarks meant to portray his country as a champion of globalisation as it remains locked in a trade war with the US.

Expo Promotes China's Desire To Attract Foreign Imports  (November 5, 2018, NPR)
China's president kicked off an enormous trade conference Monday in Shanghai aimed at finding alternative trading routes for China — now that the U.S.-China trade war has settled in.

How China’s ambitious plan to tax global income faces opposition in US, Hong Kong and even Beijing  (November 5, 2018, South China Morning Post)
China is facing great pressure to tone down its ambitious plan to tax the worldwide income of those who stay in the mainland for over 183 days, following opposition from a government department in charge of attracting overseas talent to Hong Kong, as well as hurdles to obtain information about its residents’ assets in the United States.


Cornell University suspended two exchange programs with China’s Renmin University. Here’s why.  (November 1, 2018, The Washington Post)
On Oct. 20, Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR) suspended two exchange programs with China’s Renmin University, citing principles of academic freedom. At issue were reports from Renmin students that the university had cracked down on student groups advocating worker rights.

In China’s Public Schools, Kids With Asperger’s Are Cut Adrift  (November 5, 2018, Sixth Tone)
A 2016 study by The Lancet concluded that China was home to the second-highest number of children under 5 who live with ASD, after India. The same study found that China had the highest number of children under 5 living with ADHD. 

Health / Environment

How Artificial Intelligence Will Help China’s Diabetics  (November 6, 2018, Sixth Tone)
Foreign med-tech companies hope awareness campaigns and technological breakthroughs will change the way China treats diabetes.

Urban mountains: Shenzhen's green rooftop project – in pictures  (November 7, 2018, The Guardian)
The Chinese megacity of 12 million people is crowded, polluted, and vulnerable to flooding. A rooftop garden is using plants to make stormwater work for the city, and to improve the livelihoods of residents.

Science / Technology

First private Chinese attempt to send rocket into space fails  (October 30, 2018, The Guardian)
The three-stage rocket, Zhuque-1, was developed by Beijing-based Landspace. The company said in a microblog post after nominal first and second stages that the spacecraft failed to reach orbit as a result of an issue with the third stage.

Beware: China may be reading your email  (October 31, 2018, Asia Times)
A recent academic report claims that China has been routinely and systematically hijacking internet traffic from the United States, Canada, Europe and other countries through security flaws in the deep structure of the internet.

Crazy Work Hours and Lots of Cameras: Silicon Valley Goes to China (November 5, 2018, The New York Times)
Work habits weren’t the only sharp difference between the Valley and China. By the end of the week, a group of American executives and investors found an alternate tech universe. It resembles Silicon Valley superficially. Look closer, and it becomes a futuristic yet closed-off world that can be equally impressive, alienating and dystopian.

Why China's tech giants are cozying up to the Communist Party  (November 5, 2018, CNN)
China's biggest ride-hailing company has a new plan to beef up customer service: hire 1,000 members of the ruling Communist Party. The move by Didi Chuxing, a $56 billion startup, shows how leading Chinese tech firms, once hesitant to advertise political connections, are now increasingly promoting their ties to the party — especially after running into trouble with authorities.

In China, Bill Gates Encourages the World to Build a Better Toilet  (November 6, 2018, The New York Times)
It’s no laughing matter. About 4.5 billion people — more than half the world’s population — live without access to safe sanitation. Globally, Mr. Gates told attendees, unsafe sanitation costs an estimated $223 billion a year in the form of higher health costs and lost productivity and wages.

Travel / Food

China will be the world’s most visited country by 2030  (November 6, 2018, The Guardian)
New research predicts that China will be the most popular holiday spot in the world, with the largest number of both inbound and outbound travelers.

Arts / Entertainment / Media

Over 6000 Songs To Be Taken Down from China’s Karaoke Systems  (November 5, 2018, What’s on Weibo)
A recent announcement that over 6000 music videos need to be taken down from Chinese KTV systems has become top trending on Weibo, where many karaoke lovers fear that KTV nights won’t be as fun anymore.

Language / Language Learning

“We’re not compatible” in Chinese (Jurassic Park style)  (November 6, 2018, China Hope Live)
We noticed a curious translation in the Jurassic World 2 Chinese subtitles the other night, when the macho man dinosaur wrangler meets the nervous, airplane-phobic tech whiz.

How to improve your Chinese handwriting  (November 6, 2018, Hacking Chinese)
For people who are learning Chinese, there are a lot of things to say about handwriting. In this article, I will cover most of them, albeit briefly in some cases.

Image credit: Joybot via Flickr.
Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman is senior vice president of ChinaSource and editor of ZGBriefs. Prior to joining ChinaSource, Joann spent 28 years working in China, as an English teacher, language student, program director, and cross-cultural trainer for organizations and businesses engaged in China. She has also taught Chinese at the University of Northwestern-St. Paul …View Full Bio