No. 62 | 07.08.2021

Su Bingtian in semi-final 100-m race at the Olympic Games

[IC Photo via Caixin]

National Politics

Private tutoring overhaul causes over US $1 trillion in stock market losses in the sector that the government calls “hijacked by capital”

Billionaires saw personal wealth plunge – including TAL Education’s Zhang Bangxin (-90% to US $1.4 billion, since April) – as China tackles monopolies and cost of the “three big mountains” (education, health care, and housing)

China increases travel restrictions and airport safety to contain Covid-19 Delta variant outbreak in Nanjing

July 10 passenger flight from Russia infected cleaning staff, spreading to more than 500 people in 17 provinces since; airport’s chairman was suspended as country improves safety for receiving international flights (230/week, 2% of 2019 average)


Housing prices increase 250% (2009-21) in major Chinese cities, accounting for 5/10 of the world’s most expensive real estate markets

Comparing salaries and local prices, the number of years of household income it takes to buy a property in Shanghai (33 years) greatly surpasses London (14) and New York (12); in Shenzhen, government cooling measures saw up to 15% price drop (Jan-July 2021)

China’s digital economy ranks second largest in the world, reaching US $5.4 trillion and nearly 40% of GDP in 2020

US leads with US $13.6 trillion (60% of GDP), while China has fastest growth at 9.6% year-on-year (2020); from January to July, internet giants’ revenues (US $107 billion) grows 14.9%


China turns to Mao Zedong’s Protracted War (1938) as US intensifies its efforts against the country

Book on resistance against Japanese imperialism in World War II becomes CPC’s required reading while facing new challenges in US-China relations; foreign vice-minister Xie Feng’s reception of deputy secretary of state Wendy Sherman demonstrates Beijing’s new “fighting spirit” after years of “non-confrontational” approach

In two decades, China overtook US as Africa’s top trading partner and largest source of investment (US $106.7 billion, 2013-19)

US share of Africa’s foreign trade fell (15.5% to 5.6%), while China’s share jumped (4% to 25.6%) of the total in 20 years; Biden promises to resume investments on the continent without concrete plans

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Agriculture and Environment

Industrial pig producers build high-rise farms (up to 13 floors and 10,000 pigs) with strict biosecurity measures to control spread of disease

After 2018 swine fever outbreak, government aims to increase safety and prevent new epidemics using large-scale farms (>500 pigs/year), which grew from 1% to 57% of China’s pig production from pre-pandemic levels

World’s first ultra high-voltage line transmits 13.1 billion kWh of predominantly clean energy from Qinghai to Henan in first year

1,563km line is expected to operate at full capacity in 2023, supplying 41.2 billion kWh of solar and wind power to the highly industrialized Henan province, meeting ⅛ of its current demand

People’s Life and Culture

Guangzhou sprinter Su Bingtian broke Asian record in 100-m Tokyo Olympics dash, becoming first Asian man to enter the final since 1932

The 32-year-old finished a groundbreaking 9.83 seconds for the semi-final and placed sixth in the final; as associate professor at Jinan University, Su’s research paper on sprint training went viral online

“Flying fish” Wu Chuanyu was the People’s Republic of China’s first Olympic athlete in Helsinki (1952)

Born to Chinese parents in Indonesia, 100-m backstroke swimmer competed after Premier Zhou Enlai’s petitioned the International Olympic Committee for PRC’s inclusion; Wu died in a plane crash (1954) just before the PRC withdrew Olympic participation (1958-79) protesting recognition of Republic of China (Taiwan)

Wu Chuanyu won the gold medal at Fourth World Festival for Youth and Students in Bucharest, 1953 []