elrob + china   249

China is racing ahead in 5G. Here’s what that means. - MIT Technology Review
Why is China going all out for 5G?

National pride, for one thing. China sees 5G as its first chance to lead wireless technology development on a global scale. European countries adopted 2G before other regions, in the 1990s; Japan pioneered 3G in the early 2000s; and the US dominated the launch of 4G, in 2011. But this time China is leading in telecommunications rather than playing catch-up. In a TV interview, Jianzhou Wang, the former chairman of China Mobile, China’s largest mobile operator, described the development of China’s mobile communication industry from 1G to 5G as “a process of from nothing to something, from small to big, and from weak to strong.”
China  5g 
20 days ago by elrob
EXCLUSIVE: Chinese scientists are creating CRISPR babies - MIT Technology Review
Currently, using a genetically engineered embryo to establish a pregnancy would be illegal in much of Europe and prohibited in the United States. It is also prohibited in China under a 2003 ministerial guidance to IVF clinics. It is not clear if He got special permission or disregarded the guidance, which may not have the force of law.  

The attempt to create children protected from HIV also falls into an ethical gray zone between treatment and enhancement. That is because the procedure does not appear to cure any disease or disorder in the embryo, but instead attempts to create a health advantage, much as a vaccine protects against chicken pox.
china  crispr 
8 weeks ago by elrob
Opinion | China’s Intellectual Property Theft Must Stop - The New York Times
Chinese companies, with the encouragement of official Chinese policy and often the active participation of government personnel, have been pillaging the intellectual property of American companies. All together, intellectual-property theft costs America up to $600 billion a year, the greatest transfer of wealth in history. China accounts for most of that loss.
china  trade 
8 weeks ago by elrob
The Land That Failed to Fail - The New York Times
Party leaders called this go-slow, experimental approach “crossing the river by feeling the stones” — allowing farmers to grow and sell their own crops, for example, while retaining state ownership of the land; lifting investment restrictions in “special economic zones,” while leaving them in place in the rest of the country; or introducing privatization by selling only minority stakes in state firms at first. “There was resistance,” Mr. Xu said. “Satisfying the reformers and the opposition was... …

The private sector now produces more than 60 percent of the nation’s economic output, employs over 80 percent of workers in cities and towns, and generates 90 percent of new jobs, a senior official said in a speech last year. As often as not, the bureaucrats stay out of the way. …

He is the party’s most powerful leader since Deng and the son of a senior official who served Deng, but even as he wraps himself in Deng’s legacy, Mr. Xi has set himself apart in an important way: Deng encouraged the party to seek help and expertise overseas, but Mr. Xi preaches self-reliance and warns of the threats posed by “hostile foreign forces.”

Mr. Lin was part of a torrent of investment from ethnic Chinese enclaves in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and beyond that washed over China — and gave it a leg up on other developing countries. Without this diaspora, some economists argue, the mainland’s transformation might have stalled at the level of a country like Indonesia or Mexico.

“The basic problem is, who is growth for?” said Mr. Xu, the retired official who wrote the Moganshan report. “We haven’t solved this problem.”
8 weeks ago by elrob
globalinequality: Hayekian communism
I remember, as a precocious high-school student in Yugoslavia, how I scanned the newspapers for the indicators of industrial growth. Since Yugoslavia was then among the fastest growing economies in the world, I was deeply disappointed when the monthly growth rate (annualized) would fall below ten percent. I thought ten percent was the normal growth rate of communist economies: why would you care to become communist if you would not grow faster than under capitalism?
10 weeks ago by elrob
A machine-learning approach to venture capital | McKinsey
But most of the Chinese firms didn’t fully understand venture capital, and many of the great deals from 2005 to 2010 got gobbled up by US venture firms. Alibaba and Tencent, for instance, are US funded. Almost every early good deal went to a conglomerate of foreign venture capitalists.

In the venture-capital world, success has historically been driven by a relatively small group of individuals who have access to the best deals. However, we’re betting on a paradigm shift in venture capital where...
vc  china  ml 
august 2018 by elrob
Chinese Interests Take a Big Seat at the AI Governance Table
First, the government hopes that its role in standardization will generate more value out of AI technologies by facilitating data pooling and improving the interoperability of systems. The importance of standards in spurring economic development, particularly for ICTs, is pervasive in Chinese policy and industry circles. According to a popular saying, “First-tier companies make standards, second-tier companies make technology, and third-tier companies make products
china  ai-policy 
june 2018 by elrob
China Is Turning Ethiopia Into a Giant Fast-Fashion Factory - Bloomberg
The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) controls every seat in Parliament and claims to represent all of Ethiopia’s 70-plus ethnic groups, but its power is largely held by the Tigray, who constitute only 6 percent of the population. In the years of unrest, hundreds of Oromo have died, factories have been burned, and many dissidents have been imprisoned.

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church observes myriad saint’s days, and customs agents might take off a month of each year, all told, to celebrate. The result is that drivers can spend two or three days stuck at customs, sleeping in their trucks.
ethiopia  development  China 
may 2018 by elrob
China Proves Marx Right
If you think of Western liberalism as the relevant alternative, you might feel discomfort at the Chinese revival of Marx. But if you think a bit longer on Maoism, its role in Chinese history and its strong nativist roots, you too might join in the Marx celebrations.
china  marxism  best-of-2018 
may 2018 by elrob
Import AI: #89: Chinese facial recognition startup raises $600 million; why GPUs could alter AI progress; and using context to deal with language ambiguity | Import AI
China’s longstanding worldview with regards to its technology strategy is that technology is a source of national power and China needs to develop more of an indigenous Chinese capability.
Based on previous initiatives, it looks likely China will seek to attain frontier capabilities in AI then package those capabilities up as products and use that to fund further research. “Chinese government, industry, and scientific leaders will continue to push to move up the value-added chain. And in some of the sectors where they are doing so, such as ultra high-voltage power lines (UHV) and civil nuclear reactors, China is already a global leader, deploying these technologies to scale and unmatched in this by few other markets,” writes the author. “That means it should be able to couple its status as a leading technology consumer to a new and growing role as an exporter. China’s sheer market power could enable it to export some of its indigenous technology and engineering standards in an effort to become the default global standard setter for this or that technology and system.”
china  tech-policy  AI 
may 2018 by elrob
From imitation to innovation: How China became a tech superpower
In a country where personal cheques and credit cards never went mainstream, paying with your smartphone has become the norm: in 2016, China’s mobile payment market was 50 times the size of that in the US, according to research firm iResearch. Now the sidewalks of Beijing and other metropolises are crowded with millions of bright orange and yellow “smart” bicycles, activated by commuters who scan a QR code with their phone camera and pay using one of the country’s two dominant digital platforms, Alipay and WeChat Wallet.
VC  china 
april 2018 by elrob
SenseTime profile
“I see that in China, there is really a slight advantage in developing AI. Because we usually have a customer need,” says Xu.

SenseTime claims to have a training database of over 2 billion images—many publicly available training databases top out at 10 million images. According to Xu, at least some of this data comes from various government agencies, which provide it to SenseTime to help the company train its algorithms.

But abroad, SenseTime will be operating without the state support it has enjoyed domestically, and with a lot more public scrutiny about privacy and surveillance. In China, SenseTime can count on governments buying its software and giving it access to data; elsewhere, new markets might require new tactics.
AI  china 
april 2018 by elrob
Those new service sector jobs, China tech edition - Marginal REVOLUTION
Ms. Zhang, the human resources executive who was part of the panel that hired Ms. Shen, stressed that it is important for a programmer motivator to look good. She said the applicants needed to have “five facial features that must definitely be in their proper order” and speak in a gentle way.
april 2018 by elrob
Beyond a Zero-Sum Game: Tech Innovation and China - YouTube
Direct entry, acquisition, investment,

** Cross-border learning

In China: Western design, pets, white dresses, hip hop
In US: QR codes
china  tech  connie-chan 
april 2018 by elrob
China is Nationalising its Tech Sector
Communist Party committees have been installed at many tech firms, reviewing everything from operations to compliance with national goals. Regulators have been discussing taking a 1 percent stake in some giants, including Alibaba and Tencent, along with a board seat. Tech companies have been widely encouraged to invest in state-owned firms, in the hopes of making them more productive. The common denominator of all these efforts is that the government wants more control.
capitalism  china 
april 2018 by elrob
Healthcare: Cancer breakthrough leads China’s biotech boom
Wealthy Chinese people often travel to the US for healthcare, but it is rare to hear of someone going the other way. Indeed, Mr Chase was the first American to be treated at the Jiangsu hospital, where he underwent an experimental procedure known as chimeric antigen receptor cell therapy or Car-T.
china  cancer  best-of-2018  innovation 
april 2018 by elrob
China estimate of the day - Marginal REVOLUTION
Louis Kuijs, head of Asia economics research at Oxford Economics, told Reuters if trade deficits were measured to account for the complex nature of global supply chains like the ones used by sophisticated consumer products like smartphones, the US-China trade deficit would be about 36% lower, or $239 billion.
trade  china 
april 2018 by elrob
Tech companies should stop pretending AI won’t destroy jobs - MIT Technology Review
And fourth, government policies are accelerating AI in China. The Chinese government’s stated plan is to catch up with the US on AI technology and applications by 2020 and to become a global AI innovation hub by 2030. In a speech in October, President Xi Jinping encouraged further integration of the internet, big data, and artificial intelligence with the real-world economy. And in case you’re wondering, these things tend not to be all talk in China—as demonstrated with its past policies promoti...
china  ai-policy 
march 2018 by elrob
China bans weird and long company names - BBC News
English names can seem pretty strange in Chinese too, and there's a cottage industry among branding agencies to help western companies come up with names for the Chinese market.

Western company names often follow the name of their founder (think Boeing, Ford or Gucci), which might have no direct translation.

Or they might be a concocted portmanteau (think Verizon, which is the Latin word "veritas" meaning truth, with horizon bolted on to the end) or maybe even just tech nonsense (E...
china  language  business 
february 2018 by elrob
China wants to make the chips that will add AI to any gadget - MIT Technology Review
However, Chinese chip startups find themselves in an environment that’s vastly different from the one that gave birth to Intel or Nvidia. Businesses have taken to cloud computing in droves, meaning there may be less of a market for off-the-shelf hardware, says Dongrui Fan, president of SmarCo, a Beijing-based startup that designs an AI chip for data centers that process video footage.

But China’s AI companies are increasingly also developing their own hardware.
china  ai 
january 2018 by elrob
South Korea kimchi deficit fact of the day
According to South Korea’s World Institute of Kimchi, 89.9 percent of the kimchi purchased by South Korean restaurants in 2016 was imported from China.
korea  food  china 
january 2018 by elrob
Chinese Workers Abandon Silicon Valley for Riches Back Home - Bloomberg
Chinese have worked or studied abroad and then returned home long enough that there’s a term for them – “sea turtles.” But while a job at a U.S. tech giant once conferred near-unparalleled status, homegrown companies -- from giants like Tencent Holdings Ltd. to up-and-comers like news giant Toutiao -- are now often just as prestigious. Baidu Inc. -- a search giant little-known outside of China -- convinced ex-Microsoft standout Qi Lu to helm its efforts in AI, making him one of the highest-profile returnees of recent years.

Tech has supplanted finance as the biggest draw for overseas Chinese returnees, accounting for 15.5 percent of all who go home, according to a 2017 survey of 1,821 people conducted by think-tank Center for China & Globalization and jobs site Zhaopin.com. That’s up 10 percent from their last poll, in 2015.

While Chinese engineers are well represented in the Valley, the perception is that comparatively fewer advance to the top rungs, a phenomenon labeled the “Bamboo Ceiling.”
china  immigration  innovation  tech 
january 2018 by elrob
The Western Elite from a Chinese Perspective - American Affairs Journal
Someone once said that it is necessary to know English in order to learn about China. Important perspectives on China are only available in English and are generally not accessible on the mainland.
culture  China 
december 2017 by elrob
The Underclass That Threatens Xi’s ‘China Dream’ - WSJ
"Scott Rozelle, a professor at Stanford University, has conducted large-scale surveys on education and health care in what he calls “the other China”—rural hinterlands that are home to 500 million people and produce the migrants. Among his findings: Most kids are sick or malnourished and up to two-thirds struggle with combinations of anemia, worms and uncorrected myopia that set them back at school. More than half the toddlers are so cognitively delayed their IQs will never exceed 90.

Because of rural backwardness, only 24% of China’s labor force has a high-school education. China ranks dead last among middle-income countries in terms of human capital, says Mr. Rozelle."
china  inequality 
december 2017 by elrob
Big data meets Big Brother as China moves to rate its citizens | WIRED UK
"he new system reflects a cunning paradigm shift. As we've noted, instead of trying to enforce stability or conformity with a big stick and a good dose of top-down fear, the government is attempting to make obedience feel like gaming. It is a method of social control dressed up in some points-reward system. It's gamified obedience."
china  privacy  best-of-2017 
december 2017 by elrob
Tencent Dominates in China. The Next Challenge Is Rest of the World - Bloomberg
According to venture capitalist Mary Meeker, Chinese users collectively spend 1.7 billion hours a day on Tencent apps, more than they spend on all other apps combined.

In early 2014, Tencent was interested in buying the messaging service WhatsApp. An acquisition would have shocked the world and given Tencent immediate global reach. But as they neared the final stages of an agreement, Ma, who took an interest in the deal, had to undergo back surgery, which delayed a visit to Silicon Valley to negotiate with founder Jan Koum. Mark Zuckerberg then swooped in and acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion, more than twice what Tencent had considered paying.

Civil rights researchers at the University of Toronto recently reported that Tencent scans user submissions for certain keywords and removes content and images related to controversial political and cultural topics—as all Chinese internet companies must. Tencent also censors the accounts of China-registered WeChat users who travel internationally, even if they switch cell phone numbers.
wechat  china  best-of-2017 
december 2017 by elrob
Life in the People’s Republic of WeChat - Bloomberg
"I message a Chinese friend who’s in the U.S. on a fellowship and ask for a loan. Within minutes, he’s sent me two hong bao, or red envelopes—a play on the red envelopes traditionally used to give gifts of money. They arrive as chat messages that say, “Good fortune and good luck! You’ve received a red envelope.” Once I click on them, I have 200 yuan in my WeChat wallet.
Typically, you hand out red envelopes of cash to younger relatives and friends during the Lunar New Year—to couples getting married, for children’s birthdays. Now hong bao are used … I don’t want to say willy-nilly, but sometimes just for fun.
It’s hard to tell what’s great strategy and what’s luck in WeChat’s success, but this hong bao system is genius. The company wasn’t first with electronic hong bao; that would be Alipay, the payment platform from Alibaba. But when WeChat introduced its own system just before the Chinese New Year in 2014, it added a gaming element. When you send money to a group of people, one lucky winner within the group may get a bigger windfall than the rest, while a few might get nothing at all. People love the element of chance, apparently, because more than 8 million people used the new function in just over a week. For Chinese New Year 2016, 516 million people delivered 32 billion red envelopes."
china  wechat  best-of-2017 
december 2017 by elrob
China’s audacious and inventive new generation of entrepreneurs - The next wave
"“Innovation moves faster here,” insists Kai-Fu Lee, a former head of Google’s Chinese operations who now runs Sinovation Ventures, a VC fund and accelerator in Beijing. Gone are the “C2C” (copy to China) and “JGE” (just good enough) strategies of their parochial predecessors. China’s nimble new innovators are using world-class technologies from supercomputing to gene editing. Having established themselves in the cut-throat mainland market, many are heading abroad."
china  innovation 
november 2017 by elrob
Is China Outsmarting America in A.I.? - The New York Times
"For all the government support, advances in the field could ultimately backfire, Mr. Shirky said. Artificial intelligence may help China better censor the internet, a task that often blocks Chinese researchers from finding vital information. At the same time, better A.I. could make it easier for Chinese readers to translate articles and other information.

“The fact is,” Mr. Shirky said, “unlike automobile engineering, artificial intelligence will lead to surprises. That will make the world considerably less predictable, and that’s never been Beijing’s favorite characteristic.”"
china  AI 
november 2017 by elrob
China’s AI Awakening中国 人工智能 的崛起 - MIT Technology Review
Baidu anticipated the potential of artificial intelligence and sought to leverage it to reinvent its whole business. In 2014, the company created a lab dedicated to applying deep learning across its business, and in recent years, its researchers have made some significant advances. When Microsoft developed a system capable of better-than-human performance in speech recognition last year, for instance, few Western reporters realized that Baidu had done that a year earlier.

Tencent owns several very popular games, including the strategy title League of Legends, which is played by more than 100 million people every month. Like Go, it requires instinctive actions, and like poker, it involves playing without a clear picture of your opponents’ standing. But it also requires planning far ahead, so it would be a worthy game for AI researchers to tackle next. “Right now, we have a bunch of small projects—some are more adventurous,” is all Zhang will say.
china  AI  NLP  vision  games 
november 2017 by elrob
The President of Search Giant Baidu Has Global Plans - MIT Technology Review
"In China the roads and traffic are more complex than in the U.S. But the first batch of applications will be in restricted areas, and it could be easier in China because regulators are more flexible and open-minded. Mayors of many different places want us to try on their roads and are willing to build out special areas for us. A couple of major ports in China want to use our technology on trucks.

Are there areas where you are ahead of U.S. competitors?

I think we deploy new algorithms into our products much faster. The Chinese market is hypercompetitive, and to avoid being beaten by competitors, the cycle of [translating new technology into products] is much shorter than in places like the U.S. Startups in China are even faster than us at making new AI algorithms into products, and that’s something to look out for."
china  AI  competition  ML 
june 2017 by elrob
How China Built ‘iPhone City’ With Billions in Perks for Apple’s Partner - NYTimes.com
"But Apple initially had to take the “Hong Kong U-turn” to get its products into the hands of Chinese consumers.

Since China began opening its economy to the outside world in the 1980s, the government’s policies have encouraged manufacturing and exports with the creation of special economic zones. But those same policies have discouraged domestic consumption of overseas brands.

Most products made in China by big multinationals had to be physically shipped out of the country and then brought back so that they could be taxed as imports — hence, the U-turn employed by many companies.

In 2005, Apple’s best-selling portable music device, the iPod, was manufactured in southern China. To comply with the country’s stringent rules, iPods were loaded onto a cargo ship and sent to Hong Kong. Often, when the ship arrived, it was simply turned around and sent back to China."
apple  china  industrial  policy  trade 
january 2017 by elrob
China, Not Silicon Valley, Is Cutting Edge in Mobile Tech - The New York Times
Industry leaders point to a number of areas where China jumped first. Before the online dating app Tinder, people in China used an app called Momo to flirt with nearby singles. Before the Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos discussed using drones to deliver products, Chinese media reported that a local delivery company, S.F. Express, was experimenting with the idea. WeChat offered speedier in-app news articles long before Facebook, developed a walkie-talkie function before WhatsApp, and made major use of QR codes well before Snapchat.

Before Venmo became the app for millennials to transfer money in the United States, both young and old in China were investing, reimbursing each other, paying bills,and buying products from stores with smartphone-based digital wallets.

“Quite frankly, the trope that China copies the U.S. hasn’t been true for years, and in mobile it’s the opposite: The U.S. often copies China,” said Ben Thompson, the founder of the tech research firm Stratechery. “For the Facebook Messenger app, for example, the best way to understand their road map is to look at WeChat.”
innovation  America  competition  china  tech  stratechery 
september 2016 by elrob
The culture that is China - Marginal REVOLUTION
A Chinese man was recently in the news for not only winning millions of yuan in a lottery, but also for the bizarre costume he wore while collecting his prize. The man, believed to be about 40 years old, was so worried about revealing his identity that he actually turned up dressed as the popular Disney character Baymax!
china  funny 
july 2016 by elrob
China’s Troubling Robot Revolution - The New York Times
"Midea, a leading manufacturer of home appliances in the heavily industrialized province of Guangdong, plans to replace 6,000 workers in its residential air-conditioning division, about a fifth of the work force, with automation by the end of the year. Foxconn, which makes consumer electronics for Apple and other companies, plans to automate about 70 percent of factory work within three years, and already has a fully robotic factory in Chengdu.

The reality, however, is that China has struggled to create enough white-collar jobs for its soaring population of college graduates. In mid-2013, the Chinese government revealed that only about half of the country’s current crop of college graduates had been able to find jobs, while more than 20 percent of the previous year’s graduates remained unemployed."
china  robotics  manufacturing  future 
february 2016 by elrob
UWI, China's GIST create science and technology institute | News | Jamaica Gleaner
"The University of the West Indies (UWI) and the Global Institute of Software Technology (GIST) have partnered to set up a UWI/China Institute of Science and Technology this year.

The science and technology institute, to be jointly established, owned and operated by the UWI and GIST, will have its first cohort begin studies towards a BSc in Science and Technology at the UWI, Mona in September 2016.

Speaking at a press conference at the UWI regional headquarters, Mona, yesterday, UWI Vice Chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles explained that the institute will utilise a 2+2 model in which students will experience the first two years of instruction at the UWI and the final two years at the GIST in China.

Sir Hilary said "this great project is the first major step of UWI into the global space. We have had relationships with hundreds of universities all over the world over several decades, but this is the first occasion that UWI is partnering with another university to establish a new university ".

"One of the largest nations of the world has now partnered with one of the smallest nations- this is truly significant!" Sir  Hilary declared.

The executive chairman of GIST,  Dr Wang Bin Tai, said the partnership in creating the UWI/China institute to be based in Suzhou "will develop a platform for change between the young people in China and the Caribbean".

He noted, too, that "Caribbean students who complete their degrees in China, will enjoy all the privileges that Chinese students do, including bursaries, scholarships and internships."

Wang expressed hope that the institute would serve to mutually increase knowledge about and appreciation for the history and culture among the people of the Caribbean and China.

Ronald Thwaites, minister of education, said that the government was "in full support of the UWI China Institute of Science and Technology".

Referencing former Prime Minister Michael Manley, Thwaites said "he would be happy today at the way  the relationship between  China and Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean is developing".

The education minister emphasised that "Jamaica's development depends on it becoming a location noted for excellence and innovation in science and technology and this institute is an important step in equipping the Caribbean as centres of study and overall excellence in all fields, and in particular in Science, Technology,  Engineering and Math"."
uwi  jamaica  china  education  science  policy  progress 
february 2016 by elrob
When will self-driving cars be a real thing? - Marginal REVOLUTION
"1. Singapore will have driverless or near driverless neighborhoods in less than five years.  But it will look more like mass transit than many aficionados are expecting.

2. The American courts and regulators will not pin too much liability on the car companies or software architects.  That said, the regulators will move slowly, and for some time will require a human driver stay at the wheel, even though this seems to be more dangerous.

3. Mapping the territory, reliably, will remain the key problem.  Until that is solved, driverless cars will be a form of mass transit — except without the mass — along predesignated routes.

4. A Chinese city will do it before America does, but Singapore first of all.

5. In less than two or three years, you will see some American car dealership advertising “driverless cars,” but in a gimmicky way.  You’ll still have to sit at the wheel and…drive them.  But they’ll park themselves and have super-duper cruise control and the like.

6. The big gains come from everyone having driverless cars and that is more than twenty years away, but well under fifty years away."
driverless  cars  future  singapore  america  China 
february 2016 by elrob
Is there actually good news on carbon emissions?
would call that speculative, most of all because we don’t know how much of China’s current economic and thus coal-burning slowdown is cyclical rather than structural. Still, it might be true.

How much news has this received, relative to the Paris meetings? Less than a hundredth, I suspect. Typical readers and viewers are far more interested in the deliberate actions of high-status political leaders than they are interested in underlying structural developments, even when the latter are probably of more import. We need dramatic stories with prestigious protagonists, leading the way. Even if some hate those individuals and their status, at least they then have someone to rail against, as indeed you will find in the comments section of this blog, among many other places.
China  progress  climate  change 
december 2015 by elrob
China’s workforce could rise rather than fall
With more women working, China in 2040 might have a labor force as large as it has today. If the retirement issue and the gender issue are both solved, China’s labor force in 2040 likely will be 10 percent higher than it is today.

So the common meme of “the Chinese labor force is about to start shrinking” doesn’t really have to be true. The Chinese economy has many problems, but I think this one is overrated. And we haven’t even talked yet about possible productivity increases.
China  labour 
december 2015 by elrob
Chilean copper and Chinese SOEs
One reason the Chilean reforms went well was that the state had nationalized the copper mines. That provided a steady flow of money, thus minimizing the need for revenue-raising distorting policies elsewhere. More generally the revenues helped build a stable state backed by a secure coalition, which in turn liberalized much of the rest of the economy. For all the talk about laissez-faire and the Chicago boys, the Chilean privatizers never gave up their hold on those mines. And the mines proved easy enough to run and convert into revenue…and they are still a lucrative source of foreign exchange.

One reason the Chinese reforms went well was that the state had nationalized the SOEs. That provided a steady flow of money, thus minimizing the need for revenue-raising distorting policies elsewhere. More generally that ownership helped build a stable state backed by a secure coalition, which in turn liberalized much of the rest of the economy. For all the talk about dismantling communism, the Chinese reformers never gave up their hold on those SOEs. And the companies proved easy enough to run and convert into revenue, at least until the low-hanging fruit was plucked…and they are still…?
commodities  capitalism  China  chile 
november 2015 by elrob
Noahpinion: How China got rich
"Now of course, in the Solow model, that red line should flatten out and turn into an S-curve eventually, as the K/L ratio reaches the steady state. That day of flattening will be delayed by productivity improvements - i.e., by the other kind of catch-up growth (plus any original innovation China does along the way).

But a lot of Chinese catch-up growth - about two-thirds, according to a standard decomposition - looks just like the classic save-money-and-build-capital thing. China has many more roads, many more railroads, many more cars, many more trucks, many more buildings, many more machine tools, and many more computers per person than it did in 1980 or 2000.

We don't need Tiger moms, culture-specific nets, or increasing returns to scale to explain that.

In fact, though China's growth looks more productivity-driven than some other Asian economies, It is probably less productivity-driven than Japan's catch-up was. If you want to look for Asian countries with cultural secret sauces, I'd start with Japan instead of China. Remember, when we talk about China, we're talking about a country whose per capita GDP is still only about a quarter of the countries at the frontier. And it's not yet clear how rich China will get before its growth slows dramatically.

The question of how technology diffusion happens is, of course, one of the great unsolved and under-studied mysteries of economics."
china  growth  theory  economics 
october 2015 by elrob
The Great Fall of China | The Economist
"this week has underlined how little room Western policymakers have to stimulate their economies. The Federal Reserve would be wrong to raise rates in September, as it has unwisely led markets to expect. Other central banks have responsibilities, too. Money sloshing out of emerging markets may try to find its way to American consumers, leading to rising household borrowing and dangerous—and familiar—distortions in the economy. So Europe and Japan should loosen further to stimulate demand.

Monetary policy is just the start. The harder task, in the West and beyond, is to raise productivity. Plentiful credit and relentless Chinese expansion kept the world ticking over for years. Now growth depends on governments taking hard decisions on everything from financial reforms to infrastructure spending. That is the harsh lesson from China’s panic."
china  america  europe  japan  monetary  policy 
september 2015 by elrob
Bungling Beijing’s Stock Markets - The New York Times
"The response of the Chinese authorities was remarkable: They pulled out all the stops to support the market — suspending trading in many stocks, banning short-selling, pushing large investors to buy, and instructing graduating economics students to chant “Revive A-shares, benefit the people.”

All of this has stabilized the market for the time being. But it is at the cost of tying China’s credibility to its ability to keep stock prices from ever falling. And the Chinese economy still needs more support.

So this week China decided to let the value of its currency decline, which made some sense: While the renminbi was clearly undervalued five years ago, it’s significantly overvalued now. But Chinese authorities seem to have imagined that they could control the renminbi’s descent, taking it a couple of percent at a time."
china  crisis  2015  markets 
august 2015 by elrob
Economics still is not a science (could Mao improve today’s Chinese economy?)
"Assuming a continuation of current policies, the paper predicts the Chinese economy will expand by 7-8 per cent for the next 10 years or so, with growth slowing to 5.2 per cent on average between 2024 and 2036 and then a rate of just 3.6 per cent between 2036 and 2050.

That is actually slower than the growth rate of 3.9 per cent it predicts between 2036 and 2050 if China were to return to Maoist policies introduced in the aftermath of the disastrous Great Leap Forward, in which between 30m and 40m died in a famine that was largely the result of economic mismanagement.

The authors of the paper were focused only on economic factors and did not consider the impact of individual policies or the enormous social costs of Mao’s “brutal” political movements and purges, which left many millions dead, ostracised or imprisoned in gulags.

Putting Mao aside, the 7-8% prediction already is clearly wrong and this is a July 2015 working paper. By the way, the four economists who wrote the paper
china  journalism  macro  growth  prediction  scary 
august 2015 by elrob
Obama wants to build an exascale supercomputer by 2025 | The Verge
"It sounds ambitious, but supercomputer experts had already predicted the US could break the so-called exaflop barrier as early as 2023. The difference now is that the government is committed to making it happen, and likely to throw some money behind that promise. The most powerful supercomputers currently in development in the US are the twin Summit and Sierra supercomputers, built by IBM for the Department of Energy and expected to handle 100 petaflops each when completed in 2017."
america  science  policy  supercomputing  china  competition 
july 2015 by elrob
Taylor Swift, Straussian?
"The singer is launching her own Taylor Swift-branded clothing line next month, on the platforms of local e-commerce giants JD.com and the Alibaba group, with t-shirts, dresses and sweatshirts featuring the politically charged date 1989.
The date – as well as being Swift’s year of birth – refers to her album and live tour of the same name, which she will perform in Shanghai in November.

But the date – and the initials TS – are particularly sensitive in China, as they signify the Tiananmen Square massace in 1989, when hundreds of students were killed in pro-democracy protests."
taylor  swift  china 
july 2015 by elrob
China's authoritarianism is dooming its economy - Vox
"In 2011, the Eurasia Group issued a lengthy report on China's current five-year plan, warning that this opposition could be enough to stop China from making the necessary changes to its economy.

The group's prediction was severe: "China's leadership will fail to introduce the bold reforms necessary to meaningfully redistribute wealth from corporations and government to households. For instance, big state-owned firms will fiercely resist contributing large chunks of their dividends to government social security funds."

But the same tendency to intervene in the economy, particularly in China's financial system, could well set up a battle over capital allocation and investment decisions, in which powerful stakeholders will resist any attempt to transfer wealth to new constituencies. And China's leaders are unlikely to deal with these powerful "losing" interest groups holistically. Nor is a strongman or tightly knit group of leaders likely to be able to overcome them. Ultimately, then, China's political environment will defeat many elements of the FYP [five-year plan]. Without significant changes to governance structures--and to the role the state plays in capital allocation--China's economic landscape will not change as fundamentally as the FYP's designers (and many foreigners) hope."
china  scary  politics  macro  inequality 
july 2015 by elrob
China and the high cost of hiring labor
"It is not a very well-known fact that China has some of the toughest labor regulations in the world, and some of the highest required contribution rates to social insurance programs. As a result, the “labor wedge”–the percentage of the total cost of an employee that comes from things other than wages–in China is around 45%, as high as in a number of European countries (this is according to an estimate by John Giles in a World Bank paper;…

This fact does not square with the widespread perception of China as a nation of sweatshops employing hordes of migrant workers, and indeed is a relatively recent development stemming from the 2008 Labor Contract Law. But China’s problem with these generous worker protections is ultimately the same one that many other developing countries have encountered: strong legal protections and generous insurance programs are so expensive that in practice they only become available to part of the workforce. Effectively China has two labor markets: one for urban white-collar jobs with all the legal protections, and one for blue-collar jobs held by rural migrant workers that generally lack the full set of benefits."
china  labour 
july 2015 by elrob
How to eat well in Beijing, part II
"Yes, it is a good idea to patronize the small restaurants on the outskirts of the hutong, but here is another tip. Go to the very fanciest restaurant possible, in a fancy five-star hotel. Then order the cheapest items on the menu. That likely will involve some vegetables (pumpkin in egg, anyone?), tofu, and fried rice. It will be an amazing meal, quite possibly better, at least to a Western palate, than if you had ordered the most expensive delicacies of that restaurant. Many of these courses will not exceed $10 per shot, which is still about at American prices or even slightly below, and that’s not adjusting for massive differences in quality. If you feel you can afford more than that, fine, but the low budget constraint actually directs your attention to some pretty fine items, and to items which are never truly good in American Chinese restaurants."
china  food 
june 2015 by elrob
James Joyce's Notoriously Dense Finnegans Wake Is a Smash Hit ... In China? :: Books :: News :: Paste
"“the first, iconic sentence (‘riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs’) takes up three lines in Chinese but requires 17 lines of footnotes.”"
china  books  funny  translation 
june 2015 by elrob
Why you should visit China more
How many provinces does China actually have?  I don’t wish to litigate that dispute, but most of them have restaurants devoted to their regional dishes in Beijing.  These are state-owned restaurants, and most of them are excellent.  Furthermore they are scattered around town, so if you visit them all you will see many parts of Beijing.
china  travel  advice 
june 2015 by elrob
Research and Markets: Global Animation Industry Report 2014: Strategies, Trends & Opportunities for the $US 222 Billion Industry | Reuters
"The size of the global animation industry was about USD 222 billion in 2013. The major animation markets include the United States, Canada, Japan, China, France, Britain, Korea and Germany. Most of the segments in the animation industry are growing at the rate of 7% YoY. The outsourced computer animation production market is increasingly being tapped by North American and European film and television program producers.

The rapid advancement of technology has made computer animation available to the masses and the animation industry is one of the fastest growing industries. The demand for animated entertainment has expanded with the increase in broadcasting hours by cable and satellite TV along with the growing popularity of the Internet. In the past, animation series were aimed at children aged nine and below. In recent years however, TV stations have been producing animation series for teenagers, adults and the whole family. Animation series like The Simpsons and King of the Hill have been successfully aired on primetime TV.

The major animation markets include the United States, Canada, Japan, China, France, Britain and Germany. The current animation industry is influenced by large multinational studios as well as TV broadcast companies and cable channel companies. They are engaged in activities from pre-production to distribution, as well as new sources of revenue such as DVD sales and intellectual property licensing."
animation  business  india  china  japan  america  canada  europe  innovation-mapping 
march 2015 by elrob
U.S., China reach tech trade breakthrough - Adam Behsudi - POLITICO
The trade development emerged as one of the few tangible outcomes from a meeting of leaders gathered here for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit on Tuesday.

“It was APEC’s work that led to the Information Technology Agreement, which we are now negotiating to expand,” President Barack Obama said in remarks at the APEC meeting. “So it is fitting that we are here with our APEC colleagues to share the news that the United States and China have reached an understanding that we hope will contribute to a rapid conclusion of the broader negotiations in Geneva.”

(Also on POLITICO: From China, White House signals on Ukraine)

The announcement was good news for U.S. businesses hoping to see the elimination of 25 percent tariffs on semiconductors and 8 percent duties on certain medical equipment, such as computerized tomography scanners and magnetic resonance imaging machines. China was reluctant to include those products in the proposed expansion of the pact in an attempt to boost the development of its own industries.
america  china  trade  ict  big  news 
november 2014 by elrob
Some of the most important sentences in economics
nearly every country that experienced a large democratic transition after a period of above-average growth…experienced a sharp deceleration in growth in the 10 years following the democratizing transition.

As Arnold Kling would say, have a nice day.
china  growth  predictions 
november 2014 by elrob
Trans-Pacific Partnership, the trade deal Obama and the GOP both love, explained - Vox
That matters because Congress can give the president something called Trade Promotion Authority, which is often simply called fast-tracking. To help a president to more easily negotiate trade deals, Congress has to periodically grant this authority, which last expired in 2007.

The idea of fast track is that a president needs to be able to negotiate a treaty without the fear that Congress will amend it after he and a whole bunch of other countries come to agreement on a deal. When the president has TPA, he consults with Congress, but once a deal is reached, Congress can only vote it up or down — no amendments. Without that authority, it's not really feasible to reach a credible deal with foreign leaders.

The fact that Republicans seem favorable toward trade deals like the TPP creates something of a dilemma for them, as Public Citizen's Lori Wallach told Al Jazeera. "What would be required is for Republicans in Congress, who have attacked Obama as power-hungry, must vote to voluntarily give him large swaths of power," she said. "This is an interesting problem for them and their own political base."
tpp  obama  trade  japan  america  china  canada  politics  trade  policy 
november 2014 by elrob
Who Will Pay for China's Bust? - Bloomberg View
Knowing more about who stands to take the biggest losses would be crucial to managing the global repercussions of a Chinese credit bust. Unfortunately, six years after the financial crisis of 2008, the world's regulators are still very far from possessing an early-warning system that would allow them to identify -- in anything close to real time -- concentrations of risk. This weekend's Group of 20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, would be a good place to try to make some progress in building that system.
china  finance  future  recession  uk  australia 
november 2014 by elrob
Can Brazil break away from the American web? | The Verge
Of course, there's no point building a new pipeline if your data's still headed to Gmail and Facebook, so first you have to build new services. Brazil's government has already switched its email from Microsoft to a state-owned platform called Expresso. It's a small start, but it's something. Even before Snowden, the country was encouraging a local tech industry with steep electronics tariffs. (In Sao Paolo, an off-contract iPhone 5s will cost you just under $1200.) But US services are hard to dislodge. Which other Facebook would you join, exactly? How else would you search for things? After you've crossed all the PRISM companies off the list, who's left?US SERVICES LIKE FACEBOOK AND GMAIL ARE HARD TO DISLODGEAnd then there's the hardware itself. Brazil is making heroic efforts to keep US-made components out of the new undersea cable, since the NSA has a history of tampering with electronics in transit, but it's hard to make the same promise with other parts of web infrastructure Suppose a Quebecois coder develops a brilliant new Gmail replacement, and he'd like to host it within Brazilian borders. Who should he call? (Remember, he can't use Amazon Web Services.) Someone else wants to set up a server farm outside Rio, but where will he buy the servers? His cousin could start up an electronics factory, but where will he get the parts? It's still a global economy, and American power is never more than a few hops away.But that’s not to say it’s impossible to build a local internet. In fact, China has already tackled every one of the challenges facing Brazil. It starts with the Great Firewall, the largest and most sophisticated censorship tool in human history, but behind that wall, China has built a remarkably self-sufficient local web. The country also has the largest and most sophisticated manufacturing sector in human history, so everything is locally made, from the phones to the servers. The government's surveillance demands have also driven Google and Twitter out of the country entirely, so now's there's Baidu and Sina Weibo, each feeding data directly to the country's censors.AMERICAN POWER IS NEVER MORE THAN A FEW HOPS AWAYFor a long time, experts would tell you this was wrong-headed, unsustainable — but now they're not so sure. In September, Alibaba (previously known as the Chinese Amazon) raised $25 billion with the biggest IPO in history. When Sony shipped phones that used Baidu in place of Google, it was barely a scandal. Getting data across the Great Firewall is still unreliable, so companies are increasingly willing to host services inside the country, playing off a growing web services industry. The local Chinese web is a permanent fixture now, and seen through the right eyes, it looks an awful lot like the future.Of course, none of this will do anti-surveillance advocates much good. You can escape NSA surveillance by moving over to the Chinese web, but you’d be jumping into an even more powerful and invasive surveillance state. Still, if you want to see what the internet looks like without trust, this is it. From cables to servers, every link leads back to the same central authority. Every service is accountable to the same power. Keeping the NSA off Brazil's local net will take force, and that may be incompatible with the loose networks and casual anonymity we associate with today's web.
brazil  america  china  security  privacy  internet  governance 
november 2014 by elrob
Tesla and the geography of innovation | Andrew McAfee
But the majority of the world’s technology giants, and particularly the most innovative ones, are still based in the US. This is a hard claim to verify objectively — patent counts and the like only get you so far — but think of the biggest digital breakthroughs of the past twenty years, and then look at their country of origin. My list contains the web, leading search engines, social media like Facebook and Twitter, smartphones and tablets, autonomous vehicles, and commercial artificial intelligence systems like Watson. Of those, only the web had a non-US origin (it was developed by Englishman Sir Tim Berners-Lee while working at CERN), and most of the companies that have shaped it are American.Why is this? Nobody knows for sure, but my favourite explanation comes from Marc Andreessen (who knows quite a bit about technology and innovation). He believes that four things are essential for large-scale digital innovation to flourish: great research universities, the rule of law and respect for contracts and property, large pools of innovation-seeking capital, and a cultural acceptance of risk and failure. He wrote in 2011 that America’s combination of these is “unprecedented and unparalleled in the world.” I agree, and note that one other country I can think of with all four of these in ample supply is Israel, which has a large (especially for its size) and thriving tech sector.So I don’t think that red-hot electric car company Tesla is a blip. Instead, I think it’s a bellwether. America’s fundamentals and its recent track record both look solid to me, and I expect that the big changes that are coming, however they’re labelled, will be largely born in the US.Do you disagree? If so, I’d love to hear why.
tesla  innovation  urban  europe  america  germany  china 
november 2014 by elrob
China’s future growth: Even dragons tire | The Economist
China bulls may ask what it is that will hobble China’s growth, but the authors reckon the question should be reversed: the onus is on the bulls to explain why China should continue to defy history. Slowdowns often occur despite seemingly sound prospects: both Brazil in 1980 and Japan in 1991 looked like juggernauts, yet they managed scarcely any growth at all in real GDP per person over the following 20 years. A slowdown is not a sign of failure, they say; rather, persistent rapid growth suggests unusually good fortune or policy.
china  history  GDP  growth  industrial  policy 
october 2014 by elrob
Chinese debt: The great hole of China | The Economist
China has been on a borrowing binge. Its total debt—the sum of government, corporate and household borrowings—has soared by 100% of GDP since 2008, and is now 250% of GDP; a little less than wealthy nations, but far higher than any other emerging market
china  debt  macro  scary 
october 2014 by elrob
China's people love capitalism, but hate inequality. That's bad news for the government. - Vox
There's truth to that. "The rapid rise in income inequality in China can be partly attributed to long-standing government development policies that effectively favor urban residents over rural residents and favor coastal, more developed regions over inland, less developed regions," David Zhou, a PhD student at the University of Michigan and coauthor of a study on rising Chinese inequality, said.This is a real problem for China. The past view years have seen a spate of low-level social unrest — protests, riots, strikes, and the like. While in part this surely has to do with the rise of social media and other outlets for organizing, as well as the sense of civic participation that often comes with urbanization and a growing middle class, these protests are arguably tied to the growth in inequality as well. In 1993, there were about 8,700 "disturbances" — the official name for protests, riots, and the like — in China. By 2010, the figure was 180,000. Nargiza Salidjanova, an analyst at the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, links this to growing inequality.
china  democracy  inequality 
october 2014 by elrob
Caribbean Export sponsors reps at China summit | The Trinidad Guardian Newspaper
"“Caribbean Export will sponsor a representative from five Cariforum BSOs to participate in this event. “The aim of this initiative is to build the capacity of five Cariforum BSOs to strategically target and penetrate new markets, like China, for exports, investments and to find partners in China in areas such as suppliers of raw materials,” the e-mail said. The theme of the summit is: “From Quantity to Quality, Greater Cooperative Potential, Greater Interest Convergence.” 

The focus for investments and exports include: priority niche goods exports, including coffee (both regular and luxury branded); packaged fruits and vegetables; flowers (ornamental and exotic); spices; luxury branded rum; renewable energy (such as solar and wind power); financial services (in particular offshore financial services); tourism; maritime construction (including ports); and communications."
caribbean  business  trade  china  T&T 
august 2014 by elrob
U.S. Investment Outflow Hits Record as China Cuts Holdings - Bloomberg
"The U.S. posted a record cross-border investment outflow in June as China and Japan reduced their holdings of Treasuries and private investors abroad sold bonds and notes.

The total net outflow of long-term U.S. securities and short-term funds such as bank transfers was $153.5 billion, after an inflow of $33.1 billion the previous month, the Treasury Department said in a report today. The June figure, and $40.8 billion in net selling of Treasury bonds and notes by private investors in June, were the largest on record, the Treasury said.

“Right at the beginning of June, you had a very strong sell-off of Treasuries and that’s what frightened a lot of private investors,” Gennadiy Goldberg, U.S. strategist at TD Securities USA LLC in New York, said by phone. “As yields stayed lower in subsequent months, some of the investors probably resumed their buying.”"
america  asia  china  japan  debt  investment 
august 2014 by elrob
A dramatic decline in suicides: Back from the edge | The Economist
"The most dramatic shift has been in the figures for rural women under 35. Their suicide rate appears to have dropped by as much as 90%. The Lancet study in 2002 estimated 37.8 per 100,000 of this age group committed suicide annually in 1995-99. The new study says this declined to just over three per 100,000 in 2011. Another study of suicides, covering 20 years in one province, Shandong, found a decline of 95% among rural women under 35, to 2.6 suicides per 100,000 in 2010—and a 68% drop in suicides among all rural women.

Scholars suspect that the number of suicides is underreported in official figures (the official suicide rate nationally was 6.9 per 100,000 in 2012) and they make adjustments for that in their calculations. But in several studies, as well as in official data, the long-term decline in suicides has been marked across the spectrum, in rural and urban areas and among men and women from almost all age groups. The only notable exception is the suicide rate among the elderly, which declined overall but has crept back up in recent years, a worrying trend in a rapidly ageing society."
china  good  news  progress  suicide  growth  urban 
august 2014 by elrob
China and the 2014 Japan-CARICOM meeting · Antillean
"It is because of the vote for the UNSC that Japan is particularly interested in meeting the 14 independent CARICOM nations in Trinidad and Tobago on July 28. If they all vote for Japan, Prime Minister Abe would be delighted.

And that is where the challenge and the opportunity arise for the 14 independent CARICOM states. For the five that do not have diplomatic relations with China (they are tied to Taiwan), supporting Japan poses no challenge at all, but the others do have to be mindful of the consequences of supporting Japan for the UNSC. Dealing with this issue will call for skilful diplomacy.

The opportunity for the 14 independent CARICOM nations is the face-to-face meeting with Prime Minister Abe. It presents an opportunity to bargain in the region’s interest just as the Japanese leader will be seeking benefits for Japan."
japan  caricom  IR  geopolitics  china  security  UN 
july 2014 by elrob
China Eases Internal Passport System in Latest Urbanization Push - Bloomberg
"China will stop classifying its people as urban or rural residents as it relaxes an internal-passport system that limits migrant workers’ access to cheap social services when they move to the city.

Under the changes to the household registration system, or “hukou,” China’s 1.4 billion people will be classified simply as residents, the State Council said in a statement today.

The shift reflects Premier Li Keqiang’s broader push to raise China’s urban population, which stood at 54 percent in 2013, as the government seeks to spur domestic demand and wean the economy’s dependence on infrastructure investment. The hukou system has denied rural residents inexpensive access to services such as health care and schooling in cities.

“Getting rid of the administrative difference is the first step to prepare for the changes in the fiscal and social-security systems,” said Yao Wei, China economist at Societe Generale SA in Paris. “This is not an ending. It is a beginning.”

Migrant workers are seen as driving property demand in cities as China faces a real-estate slump that threatens economic growth. The economy is projected to grow this year at the slowest pace in 24 years."
china  hukou  reform  urban  progress 
july 2014 by elrob
Noahpinion: The real most important chart of 2013?
Of course, either of those conclusions might be a disastrous miscalculation. A U.S.-China war - or even a brief China-Japan shooting match - would at minimum be a huge shock to global commerce, and at worst would mean World War 3. The typical American's response to this possibility seems to be to ignore it, laugh it off, or just resolve not to think about it. But that doesn't make it any less real.
japan  china  war  2013  scary 
july 2014 by elrob
The BRICS and the Caribbean | Caribbean Intelligence
"In this context China took the unusual step before President Xi arrived in Brazil of releasing a document setting out its global development policy. 
This China State Council policy paper makes clear that China’s approach will be South-South in nature and that China will not impose any political conditions or interfere in the internal affairs of the recipient countries, respecting, it says, ‘their right to independently choose their own path and model of development’.
Unusually, the policy paper includes specific language on the Caribbean that makes clear that it has been actively implementing the assistance measures agreed at the 2011 Third China-Caribbean Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum.
By the end of 2012, the document notes, China within this framework provided the Caribbean with concessional loans totalling 3 billion Yuan (approximately US$1.5bn) mainly for the construction of infrastructure projects."
china  caricom  trade  T&T 
july 2014 by elrob
Envoy: NAPA an example of China’s abilities | The Trinidad Guardian Newspaper
"“China is a vast country. How big is China? The size of T&T multiplied by 2,000 times. In terms of the population, multiply T&T’s population 1,000 times to get China’s population. We are also far apart in distance. But I must add that Chinese are as diligent as T&T nationals,” he said. He made reference to the Trinidadian saying that “God is a Trini.” “I know that this god will provide for the welfare of the people of T&T,” Xingyuan said.
Arthur Lok Jack, chairman of Associated Brands Industries who also spoke at the forum, said China today continues to contribute to T&T’s economic growth and diversification. “In T&T alone, China has made contributions in terms of technology, business innovation, flexible financing, construction, healthcare and a variety of ongoing projects, and many of these are with state organisations, and now the private sector,” he said.
Lok Jack said China was now the world’s second largest economy and gives smaller nation states like T&T an opportunity to develop along non-traditional lines with non-traditional partners."
china  trade  T&T 
july 2014 by elrob
Abe's wife speaks up for international exchanges | The Japan Times
"Akie Abe came under fire for attending a cultural exchange event between Japan and South Korea in Tokyo last month as the countries remain at loggerheads over territorial and historical issues.

But she rejects such criticism.

“It is better to get along well with a neighboring country than to be on bad terms,” said Abe, who is a fan of Korean TV dramas. “My husband has been saying that the door is always open for dialogue, so I also wish to actively communicate with people in South Korea.”

She also desires to build friendly relations with people in China, regardless of politics. China and Japan are also locked in a dispute over territorial issues.

Akie Abe left Tokyo Sunday afternoon to go to Bali with the prime minister to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit and the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks, which will be held on the sidelines.

Abe said she was surprised to learn on one overseas trip that many people knew about “Abenomics,” the deflation-busting economic plan named after her husband."
japan  IR  korea  china 
july 2014 by elrob
Secret path revealed for Chinese billions overseas | The Trinidad Guardian Newspaper
"For years, wealthy Chinese have been transferring billions worth of their money overseas, snapping up pricey real estate in markets including New York, Sydney and Vancouver despite their country’s currency restrictions. Now, one way they could be doing it is clearer. Last week, when China Central Television levelled money-laundering allegations against Bank of China Ltd saying the bank helped customers transfer unlimited amounts of yuan abroad through a product called Youhuitong, which means “superior foreign-exchange channel.” 
The state-run broadcaster’s report prompted the revelation of a previously unannounced government programme that enables individuals to transfer their yuan and convert it into dollars or other currencies overseas. "
china  finance  money_laundering 
july 2014 by elrob
PM to consider removing visas for Chinese | Trinidad Express Newspaper | News
Persad-Bissessar said following concerns raised by the Chinese government about the difficulty its nationals have had to acquire a Trinidad and Tobago visa, the option to allow Chinese travellers who have already qualified for United States visas or other
china  immigration  progress  T&T 
june 2014 by elrob
Barbados and China sign visa waiver agreement : Caribbean360
These agreements include the signing of an economic and technical agreement and three banking agreements on accounting procedures to the tune of BDS $16 million (One BDS dollar=US$0.50 cents). The Foreign Minister said the Freundel Stuart government had m
barbados  progress  trade  travel  tourism  china  fdi 
may 2014 by elrob
UWI economist Dr Roger Hosein: T&T needs to leverage China’s presence in region | The Trinidad Guardian Newspaper
“There is a clear need to invigorate the e-TecK parks in T&T. The level output per worker in the manufacturing sector supersedes that in agriculture and the services sector. There are clear areas in the economy where the unemployment rate is by far higher
trade  china  fdi  urban  inequality  T&T 
may 2014 by elrob
Caribbean News Now!: Guyana in the grip of China's cyber army
According to Rabin Seth, a retired Israeli intelligence officer whose government has been busy uncovering a map of China’s cyber warfare hubs, the primary objective of Hub 79 (in Guyana) is to dig into the computers of Guyanese government officials, the C
CARICOM  espionage  ICT  security  guyana  china 
may 2014 by elrob
Economies of scope in Shanghai massage parlors
The same outlets appear to offer both “foot massage” and “the other kind of massage.”  Rather than doing field work, I confirmed my intuition by asking a native of Shanghai, who estimated that in eighty percent of the storefronts both of the two services
funny  china  prostitution 
may 2014 by elrob
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