No. 153 | 01.07.2023

For your listening while reading, today we share with you the song “Painting” (畫) by folk artist Zhao Lei (趙雷).


For the first time, the Olympic Games will be streamed via the cloud in Paris 2024 and Alibaba Cloud will be the company in charge of doing it

In 2017, the Chinese company outbid Amazon of the US to win the International Olympic Committee’s bid and France’s own National Agency for the Security of Information Systems sought to have the deal reversed; it will be an unprecedented technological breakthrough as it will be the first time that the transmission will not be via satellite

South China Morning Post, 25.06.2023

Pentagon admitted that the alleged Chinese “spy balloon” did not collect or transmit intelligence information

The announcement comes just a week after Biden called the Chinese president a “dictator” and said that “the reason Xi Jinping was very angry when I shot down that balloon with two wagons full of spy material is that he didn’t know it was there”; despite the Pentagon’s statements, the incident promoted by Western media further damaged relations between the two nations

Global Times, 30.06.2023

Reuters, 22.06.2023

National Politics

Taiwan’s leader Tsai Ing-Wen’s disapproval rating rose from 37 to 48.2% in just one month, the highest in four years

The decline is due to a series of sexual harassment scandals by Democratic Progressive Party leaders, including Tsai’s advisor Yen Chih-fa; the appointment of four judges close to the ruling party was also seen as a way to use Taiwan’s constitutional court as just another DPP organization

South China Morning Post, 25.06.2023

Drug-related crime in China reached ten-year low in 2022

Arrests and drug-related cases fell by 24.3% and 28.6% year-on-year respectively, while new users fell by 41.7%; following the end of “zero-COVID” policies, there has been an increase in these crimes this year with the Internet emerging as a “safe haven” for drug trafficking

Caixin Global, 23.06.2023


ATRenew platform recorded a 60% year-on-year increase in recycled electronics exchanges

The increase was recorded during the 618 shopping festival, created by the JD platform, which doubled the exchanges of such products; ATRenew wants to use its 1,935 stores and 2,015 self-service recycling facilities in 269 cities in China to take advantage of the growing circular economy, promoted by the government in line with its carbon target

South China Morning Post, 23.06.2023

Syngenta’s IPO will be the fourth largest in China’s history, worth 65 billion yuan (US$9.1 billion)

The Swiss-based petrochemical company was acquired in 2017 by state-owned ChemChina, which was listed as a “Chinese military company” by the US Department of Defense last year; this creates uncertainty for Western banks and investment funds looking to participate in the IPO, in a year in which foreign banks participated in only 1.2% (US$297 million) of China’s total new listings

Financial Times, 26.06.2023

Category Icons

Agriculture and Environment

The world’s largest solar-hydro hybrid power plant went online in Sichuan province

Kela plant is located on the Yalong River on the Tibetan plateau and is capable of producing two billion KWh per year, which can supply power to more than 700,000 homes; the advantage of this scheme is that it allows balancing or compensating the fluctuations that occur in the solar power plant during the night and cloudy days, and in the hydroelectric power plant in times of drought, such as the one China is experiencing now

South China Morning Post, 26.06.2023

A new bill will seek to protect arable land to ensure the country’s food security

It will strengthen the red line of arable land, which since 2012 has remained stable at 1.8 billion mu (about 120 million hectares); the draft also calls for more efforts to create a national agricultural germplasm bank (applying fines to those who infringe on the national grain structure) and improve the national livestock breeding system

China Daily, 26.06.2023

People’s Life and Culture

The middle class is eating a higher-fat, less healthy diet, leading to increased heart disease and childhood obesity

With incomes increasing by more than 130 times for both rural and urban households since 1970, the overall nutritional intake of the population also increased, with meat consumption tripling between 1990 and 2021; China has an 8.3% rate of childhood obesity and an average salt intake of 11g/day, both among the highest in the world

Nature, 22.06.2023

Rural revitalization: village basketball and soccer championships are attracting growing audiences and popularity on social networks

On June 11, the finals of the first basketball tournament played in rural areas in Guizhou province took place, with a total of 2,624 teams playing more than 5,000 games; the Village Super League is also growing in attendance, with an average attendance of 10,000 people, the same as the country’s professional league

Shine, 14.06.2023

Beijing Review, 25.06.2023

About 30,000 people attend a rural basketball game in Taipan village, Guizhou province, 27.03.2023 [VCG]

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