Entrance of Alibaba in Xixi Park, Hangzhou [Sina]
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In this week’s News on China with Daniel Dumbrill, we talk about Alibaba Group, which received a record fine for monopolistic practices, China-Middle East relations after Wang Yi’s trip and China’s vaccine internationalism. Please watch and share here.
—Dongsheng editorial collective
China’s trade surplus with US jumps to US $72.6 billion in first quarter (US $40.7 billion, 2020 1Q) despite trade war
Chinese imports (US $46.5 billion) grew 69.2% year-on-year (highest since 1993), while exports to the US rose 74.7%, due to pandemic-driven demand for Chinese goods
US sanctions seven Chinese supercomputer companies for allegedly helping develop “weapons of mass destruction”
Blacklisted companies are key to China’s goal of self-sufficiency in chips (70% by 2025) and are barred from accessing US technology without authorization; China has 214 of the top 500 supercomputing companies, the US has 113
Science and Technology
As demand for online services surges, Tencent opens two data centers in Indonesia and plans expansion in Asia and the Middle East
With 20 data centers outside China and 2% of the global cloud market, Tencent aims to increase infrastructure by up to 50% in 2021; global investment in Asia-Pacific (US $2.2 billion) has quadrupled since 2019
Tech giants Xiaomi, Huawei, Alibaba and Baidu bet on China’s booming electric car market
Xiaomi announces more than US $10 billion investment over next decade as tech competitors partner with traditional manufacturers to develop electric smart cars; new technologies simplify production and increase competition, with sales expected to jump 5-25% (2020-25)
Government fines Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group a record US $2.8 billion fine for monopolistic practices
Company was fined 12.2% of the 2020 profits for prohibiting merchants from using competing platforms, violating data privacy and allowing sale of counterfeit products; tech giants (JD.com, Tencent, etc.) have one month to correct practices
China’s first quarter GDP hits three-decade high, growing 18.3% year-on-year to US $3.82 trillion
Key economic indicators expanded by over 20%, such as retail sales (33.9%), fixed-asset investment (25.6%) and industrial production (24.5%); consumption expected to increase in Q2
Agriculture and Environment
Shenzhen establishes country’s first “gross ecosystem product”, the GDP alternative that measures the environment’s contributions to the economy
Towards the “ecological civilization” national plan, city developed GEP system based on 19 indicators from agriculture products, forestry and fishery, climate regulation to recreation and tourism (first figures will be published in July 2022)
With domestic pork consumption expected to rise, China needs to innovate breeding industry to reduce dependence on imports
China consumes 49% of global total (2019), slaughters 600 million pigs annually and imported 27,000 breeding pigs last year; experts recommend protection of local breeds and hybridization techniques to produce leaner meats
People’s Life and Culture
“Ping pong diplomacy” matches that helped reestablish US-China ties mark their 50th anniversary
After over two decades without diplomatic or economic relations, China invited US table tennis delegation to Beijing (1971) in historic games, a year before President Nixon’s rapprochement visit; China’s US ambassador calls for revival of this spirit amid rising tensions
Government announces national “red film” screenings in cinemas, schools and countryside in lead up to centenary of CPC’s founding
China Film Administration released first 12 of 100 films (1952-2020) in 2021 program, with themes of revolutionary events, founding history and national heroes to strengthen Party building and share country’s history with youth
Film posters of “Red Detachment of Women” (1961), “Landmine Warfare” (1963) “The Red Sun” (1963) [Shanghai Cathay Pacific]