Editor’s Note for Monday, March 14, 2022

Foreign Affairs

A note for Access newsletter readers from Jeremy Goldkorn. Today: Chinese stocks in Hong Kong tank, and a closer look at what Chinese people really think about Putin's war in Ukraine.

editor's note from jeremy goldkorn, editor in chief of supchina

My thoughts today:

“Chinese stocks listed in Hong Kong had their worst day since the global financial crisis, as concerns over Beijing’s close relationship with Russia and renewed regulatory risks sparked panic selling,” reported Bloomberg, which mentioned separately that the largest China tech ETF in the U.S. has “wiped out nine years of gains.”

At the same time, Reuters notes that the “U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last week identified for the first time five Chinese companies, including KFC operator Yum China Holdings, that could face delisting” for not meeting auditing requirements.

Between the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Omicron surge in China, and the ongoing regulatory uncertainty — in the U.S. and China — over Chinese companies’ overseas listings, the markets are in for a rough season.

How do Chinese people really feel about the Russian invasion of Ukraine? Scholar Jennifer Pan and two colleagues have collected half a million Weibo posts about Ukraine, and they conclude:

It’s true that a large portion of Weibo posts attribute the cause of war to U.S./NATO/“Western” aggression or blame the Ukrainian government for conflict.

But not all hold this view — only ~50% of posts. About 10% see Russia as aggressor [or] blame Putin, 15-20% express other opinions (e.g., sympathy for Ukrainians, criticize Putin *and​* Zelensky), and 20-25% share info/facts unrelated to either view (e.g., number of deaths).

Some of those people belong to what scholar Geremie Barmé calls the “Other China” — a place of “humanity and decency, of quiet dignity and unflappable perseverance.” In a piece for ChinaFile, that is how Barmé describes the world of vlogger Wáng Jíxián 王吉贤, who has been recording his wartime experiences in Odesa, Ukraine (I mentioned him last week in this newsletter).

Our word of the day is online learning (线上教学 xiànshàng jiàoxué), which is currently how students in Shanghai are attending classes, thanks to the Omicron outbreak.

SupChina is hiring an event director for our conferences and other live and virtual gatherings. If you or anyone you know is interested, please apply.

Upcoming event on March 16: How to use your China skills to land a job at chambers of commerce and business councils.