Links for Wednesday, July 6, 2021

Notable China news from around the world

Positive post-handover polls in Hong Kong?
China’s policies on Hong Kong receive record high ‘positive appraisal’ in Handover survey / HKFP
“More people in Hong Kong are reacting positively to China’s post-Handover policies regarding the city and feel a ‘sense of pride’ as Chinese citizens, according the latest poll results published by the Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute (PORI) on Tuesday.”

Thailand promises to complete overdue high-speed rail link to China
Thailand pledges to finish high-speed rail link to China by 2028 / Bloomberg (paywall)
“Thailand said it will complete its part of a much-delayed high-speed rail system linking the country to China through Laos by 2028, with bilateral trade and economic development key benefits.”

China State Railway debt approaches $900 billion under push for expansion

China Railway’s debt nears $900 billion under expansion push / Nikkei Asia (paywall)

“China State Railway Group is doubling down on its expansion of what is already the world’s largest high-speed rail network, as the government ramps up efforts to bring the Chinese economy back on track.”
Earlier on The China Project: High-speed train accident kills one, injures eight in Guizhou Province.

COVID outbreak forces Macau to lock down casino
Macao locks down landmark Lisboa hotel over COVID cases / Nikkei Asia (paywall)
Macau’s casino lockdown catches 500 people as COVID flares / Bloomberg (paywall)
Macau locks down landmark Lisboa hotel after COVID cases found / Reuters
“Macau has locked down one of the city’s most famous hotels, the Grand Lisboa, after more than a dozen COVID-19 cases were found there on Tuesday, with infections spreading rapidly in the world’s biggest gambling hub.”

Japanese COVID treatment awaits Chinese endorsement
Japan’s Shionogi seeks China approval for Covid treatment / Caixin (paywall)
“Japanese drugmaker Shionogi & Co. Ltd. applied for Chinese approval to sell its antiviral treatment for COVID-19, racing to become the second oral therapy to land in the country after Pfizer Inc.’s Paxlovid.”

Volkswagen to scoop up Chinese coders in effort to rival local manufacturers
Volkswagen CEO eyes ‘big moves’ in China to gain thousands of coders / Bloomberg (paywall)
“Volkswagen AG is planning major investments in China to employ “several thousand” software engineers and catch up with local rivals when it comes to equipping cars with the latest digital technology, Chief Executive Officer Herbert Diess said.”

China Investment Corp. faces another resignation
China’s $1.2 trillion wealth fund loses another two directors / Bloomberg (paywall)
“China Investment Corp., the nation’s $1.2 trillion sovereign wealth fund, has lost two more directors, adding to a string of senior departures in recent years. Sun Bo, who was head of the dynamic asset allocation team, resigned last month, people with knowledge of the matter said.”

China lowers its fuel export quotas
China allows refiners to export 40% less fuel than a year ago / Bloomberg (paywall)
“China issued its latest batch of fuel export quota for the year, but total allowances are still around 40% less than the same point in 2021.”

SenseTime’s price plunge
SenseTime plunge raises stakes for slew of China lockup lifts / Bloomberg (paywall)
“SenseTime Group Inc.’s share price collapse after a lock-up period expired has heaped pressure on other Chinese companies that face similar situations this month.”

WeChat pilot tests two accounts per phone number
China’s all-purpose WeChat app lets users register two accounts with one phone number in pilot test / SCMP (paywall)
“WeChat, the all-purpose social media app operated by Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings, is pilot testing a function that allows users to register for an extra account under the same mobile number, a move that could help people manage use of the app in their personal and work lives.”

Trial of Hong Kong “seditious” kids books delayed
Five stand trial for sedition in Hong Kong over children’s books about sheep / The Guardian
Trial of five Hong Kong speech therapists adjourned as prosecutors play animation of ‘seditious’ kids’ books in court / HKFP
“Prosecutors in Hong Kong have played an animation and audio recording based on two children’s story books on the second day of a trial involving five speech therapists. The suspects allegedly conspired to promote separatism and incite hatred against the government by publishing a series of kids’ publications about sheep.”

Henan banks leaders ousted after fund-freezing scandal
Henan village banks in fund freezing scandal replace leadership / Caixin (paywall)
“Four village banks in central China’s Henan Province that are under investigation for freezing billions of yuan of customer savings named new top leadership in a reshuffle orchestrated by the provincial government, Caixin learned from people familiar with the matter.”

Hong Kong embraces mainland COVID strategies
Hong Kong must not ‘lie flat’ on COVID, leader John Lee says / Bloomberg (paywall)
“Hong Kong must not ‘lie flat’ in its battle with COVID-19, the city’s new leader John Lee said, echoing mainland China’s rejection of the ‘living with the virus’ pandemic philosophy.”

China willing to work more closely with Russia, Vice Foreign Minister says
China willing to deepen cooperation with Russia within multilateral frameworks / Reuters
“China is willing to deepen cooperation with Russia within multilateral frameworks including the G20…and to strengthen strategic coordination with Russia and expand practical cooperation in various fields,” Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Mǎ Zhāoxù 马朝旭 told the Russian ambassador to China.

China nods to stronger ties with the Philippines
China foreign minister seeks ‘new golden era’ of ties with Philippines / Reuters
“China’s foreign minister said on Wednesday Beijing was ready to work with new Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr to help usher in what he called a ‘new golden era’ in the countries’ relationship.”

The big data hack
Alleged Chinese police database hack leaks data of 1 billion / AP
Shanghai data breach exposes dangers of China’s trove / Bloomberg (paywall)

Mandatory vaccination drive in Beijing
Beijing makes vaccination mandatory for crowded venues / Caixin (paywall)
Beijing brings in vaccine mandate as city reports cases of new Omicron subvariant / SCMP (paywall)
Shenzhen codifies living wills, giving terminally ill patients more rights / Caixin (paywall)

Public outcry and officials suspended: A 1990s child-abduction case resurfaces
China suspends officials for ‘ignoring’ alleged baby abduction / BBC
“China has suspended two health officials in a southern county for ‘ignoring’ the case of a baby boy who was allegedly abducted from his parents by local officials in the 1990s…a local health bureau refused to look into the case, saying he’d been taken away due to ‘social reallocation’ under China’s former one-child policy. The case has sparked outrage…on social media.”
Uproar over a baby taken during the one-child policy days / Caixin (paywall)
China probes 1990s case of baby taken from parents that sparked outrage online / Reuters
Chinese health officials suspended after refusing to investigate forced removal of couple’s baby / SCMP (paywall)