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Chinese Companies Dominate Top 2018 German Awards for Plagiarism

Radio Free Asia reported on Aktion Plagiarius, a German organization, that publishes the Plagiarius Award list each year to recognize those companies that produce counterfeit products that are “deceptively similar to the original product and that show absolutely no creative or constructive personal contribution.” It just published its 42nd Plagiarius Award list in which Chinese companies dominated the top three spots. A company from Zhejiang Province won the top prize for plagiarizing a kitchen cutting device “Nicer Dicer Plus,” that a German company had actually made. The other two companies also plagiarized products that a German company made. The second prize winner plagiarized an inflatable water Park “Wibit Sports Park XL” and the third prize winner plagiarized PUKY Racer.

Source: Radio Free Asia, February 12, 2018

200,000 Security Officers Patrol the Streets in Beijing after Man Used Knife to Kill People in Shopping Center

The Epoch Times reported that, at around 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon on February 11, a man used a knife to attack people in the “Joy City” shopping center in Xi Dan district of Beijing. He killed one woman and injured 12 other people. The suspect was arrested on the scene. He was identified as a 35 year old male from Henan Province and allegedly used the knife to attack people to vent his personal anger. Beijing raised the security alert to level 1. Starting at 9:00 p.m. on the same day, 200,000 police were seen patrolling the streets overnight, especially in populated areas such as at public transportation stops, stores open for 24 hours, and businesses open late at night. The next day, over 700,000 people wearing red armbands, a red hat and “Chaoyang resident (indicating a security force consisting of common people)” could be seen patrolling the streets throughout Beijing. People’s online comments following the official media report expressed concerns for public safety and questioned why 200,000 security forces needed to be mobilized to patrol the streets. Other than the official news report on the incident, the rest of the online postings, videos, or news were blocked.

Source: Epoch Times, February 11, 2018

Xinhua: Public Security Bureau Cracks Down on “Internet Water Army”

According to an article that Xinhua published, since May 2017, the Public Security Bureau has been cracking down on the “Internet Water Army” which is a group of Internet ghostwriters who are paid to post online comments with a particular content {to “flood” the Internet}. The article stated that the Public Security Bureau has successfully solved 40 criminal cases with hundreds of millions of yuan in operation, arrested over 200 people, confiscated 5,000 online accounts and over ten thousand online websites and hundreds of thousands of online postings. The article reported that the “Internet water army” operates like an “Internet mafia.” It uses stolen personal information to send spam text or emails, gambling messages, to spread rumors in social media or to make up fake news using contents that slander others illegally or to manage online postings to make money.

{Editor’s note: The vigor of the crackdown suggests that there may be a large practice of disseminating information on the Internet that the government wants to control. The government calls all of it “faking or manipulating public opinion on the Internet.” The government is cleaning up the privately-run practices, but the CCP itself still manages the largest group, which is infamously known as the “Fifty Cent Party.” The name originated in the early days when the government paid each participant fifty cents for each posting of an article or comment that followed scripts that the CCP officially provided.}

Source: Xinhua, February 4, 2018

China Strikes Back on the Trade Front against the U.S.

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that China started taking steps to strike back after several U.S. anti-China trade investigations took place. On February 4, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced its anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations against U.S. sorghum exports to China. China is the biggest buyer of U.S. sorghum and soybeans. About three thirds of the U.S. sorghum exports go to China, which is around 4.8 million tons of sorghum, worth of US$1 billion. This is a high-profit item in the portfolio of U.S. exports to China. The investigation is expected to hurt the business of some American farmers who are considered one of the “cornerstones” of the Trump voter base. The Chinese investigation may take around one year and some bad news may be right in time for the up-coming mid-term election in November. It is possible the Trump administration may react strongly against this Chinese move. However, the total dollar amount of the sorghum investigation is a very small percentage in the US-China trade volume. China is just taking this opportunity to remind the U.S. of the mutual dependency relationship in trade.

Source: Sina, February 6, 2018

South Korea Notified U.S. Only Hours before Its Negotiation with North Korea

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that the South Korean leadership team had a very hasty discussion right after Kim Jong-un, in his New Year’s Day speech, expressed the intent to participate in the Winter Olympics. The United States was not in the loop regarding the decision making to send a quick and friendly response. To the surprise of the U.S. officials, South Korea notified its U.S. ally only hours before they officially proposed to North Korea that they start a negotiation session. This caused tension between South Korea and the United States, although both emphasized their unity publicly thereafter. Anonymous sources said the officials from the U.S. Embassy in South Korea expressed their unhappiness. South Korea explained that they had an extremely tight window of time to accommodate the sudden change, which left them no time to go through formal communications. A South Korean government official also expressed the hope that, when U.S. Vice President Pence visits South Korea for the Winter Olympics, he could talk more about peace.

Source: Sina, February 6, 2018

Sinchew: American Oil Is Sweeping the Global Market

Major Singapore newspaper Sinchew recently reported that, ever since the U.S. lifted the ban on its oil exports, U.S. oil has been flooding the world from large countries like China and India to small nations like Togo in West Africa. With the U.S. “Shale Oil Revolution,” American oil nowadays has caused a decrease in the global oil price and weakened the influence of OPEC. The U.S. oil output is now equal to Saudi Arabia and is only behind Russia. A large portion of U.S. oil exports go to China. In fact, since November last year, China has been the biggest importer of U.S. oil. Starting in October of last year, U.S. oil also entered the Indian market, which is the third largest oil importer in the world. Starting last November, the U.S. quickly became the fifth largest oil supplier of France. Ports in Texas and around the Gulf of Mexico are undergoing heavy construction in order to expand.

Source: Sinchew, February 9, 2018

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