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China-Owned German Robotics Giant Kuka Let Go of Its CEO

Jiemian News, the online news site under the Shanghai United Media Group, recently reported that German robotics giant Kuka AG officially announced the leave of its Global CEO, Till Reuter, who has served the company for the past decade. His original term had been extended to 2022. Sources explained that Reuter did not intend to leave the company. However, he had a major disagreement with the company Supervisory Board Chairman, Gu Yanmin, and decided to move on. Gu is the Deputy President of China’s Midea Group that acquired Kuka in 2016. The Midea Group currently holds 94.55 percent of Kuka. Kuka announced its major investment plan in China this past March. The plan will establish a new manufacturing base in Guangdong China to deliver an annual Chinese operation capacity to make 100,000 industrial robots by the year 2024. Kuka’s latest announcement indicated that there is no change in terms of intellectual property protection agreements it had with China.

Source: Jiemian News, November 27, 2018

China Times: Primary iPhone Manufacturer Foxconn Setting Up Operations in Vietnam

Major Taiwanese newspaper China Times recently reported that, based on Vietnamese media reports, the primary Apple iPhone manufacturer Foxconn started a cooperative process with the City of Hanoi to establish its manufacturing operations in Vietnam. The move is reportedly in response to the on-going China-U.S. trade war. In fact, in October, the company’s subsidiary Foxconn Interconnect Technology had already completed a US$130 million acquisition of the Vietnamese company named New Wing Interconnect Technology, which is located in Bac Giang Province. Another possible reason for the Foxconn move could be the weakness of the new Apple iPhone sales trend, which has caused concern about reduced supply chain profits. Foxconn refused to validate this Vietnam move, citing its company policy of not commenting on matters directly related to its clients.

Source: China Times, December 4, 2018

Ballet Promoting Communist Party Ideology Performed at Madrid International Dance Festival

Xinhua reported that, on December 5, at the 33rd Madrid International Dance Festival and upon the invitation of the Ministry of Culture of Madrid, the China Central Ballet performed “Red Detachment of Women.” A total of three more performances are planned, from the 5th to the 7th. This is the first time since its establishment that the China Central Ballet has performed in Spain.

According to Wikipedia, “Red Detachment of Women” is a Chinese ballet which premiered in 1964 and was made one of the Eight Model Operas which dominated the national stage during the Cultural Revolution. It depicts the liberation of a peasant girl from Hainan Island and her rise in the Chinese Communist Party.

Chinascope reported that, in February 2017, prior to the “Red Detachment of Women” performance at the Melbourne Arts Festival, the Australian Values Alliance called for a boycott of the ballet, saying that the ballet promoted hatred and violence using the form of ballet and that Western countries should be alert to China’s use of cultural exchanges to infiltrate Western society.

According to Voice of America, “Red Detachment of Women” was performed in Pyongyang in April 2018. Kim Jong-un and his wife attended the performance.

1. Xinhua, December 7, 2018
2. Chinascope, February 6, 2017

Duowei: Australian Chinese to Boycott Chinese Ballet “Red Detachment of Women”

3. Voice of America, October 24, 2018

Millions of “Untrustworthy” Chinese Restricted from Air and High-speed Rail Travel

In 2018, China has continued to enhance its social credit score system. The authorities have released 32 Memorandums of Cooperation (MoCs) on disciplinary actions in fields that include social security, intellectual property, research, medical care, and marriage registrations.

Restrictions on plane and train travel appear in almost every MoC. For example, the Memorandum of Cooperation on Joint Disciplinary Actions against Seriously Untrustworthy Enterprises and Personnel in Social Security, jointly issued by 28 authorities, lists 32 types of penalties for nine cases of violations, including refusal to pay social security fees, failure to report social security income truthfully, and social security fraud. Among the disciplinary actions are restrictions on air travel, sleeping carriages with cushioned berths on trains, on second-class on ships, on all seats on the G-series multiple unit (MU) trains (high-speed rail), and on first-class seats on other MU’s.

Beginning in June 2018, on the first working day of each month, the “Credit China” website ( will announce a list of people who are restricted from trains and planes. As more MoC’s have been issued, the number of people restricted from travel by air or by train has been increasing every month. As of September 2018, the cumulative occurrence of restrictions on air ticket purchases has been 14.78 million; on high-speed rail tickets it has been 5.24 million.

Another punishment for being “untrustworthy” is the denial of the qualification for working as a civil servant. In some recently issued joint MoC’s, some new disciplinary measures have begun to appear, such as not being able to buy a house and a restriction on tourist travels. People who owe taxes of more than 100,000 yuan (US$ 14,500) are also blacklisted and subject to restrictions such as no bring allowed to leave the country.

Source: China News Service, December 8, 2018

Beijing Population Blue Book: Migrant and Registered Residents’ Population Declined

On December 9, the Beijing Population and Social Development Research Center under the Beijing Municipal Party School and the Social Science Literature Publishing House jointly released the Beijing Population Blue Book. According to the Blue Book, the latest data shows that the population of both migrants and registered residents in Beijing has declined.

In 2017, the resident population in Beijing was 21.707 million, a decrease of 22,000 from the end of the previous year. Among the residents, the migrant population was 7.943 million, a decrease of 132,000 compared to last year. The registered resident population was 13.592 million, a decrease of 37,000 from the end of the previous year, a drop of 3 percent.

Judging from the distribution of population at the district level, Chaoyang District has a resident population of 3.74 million, ranking first in all districts. Haidian District has a resident population of 3.48 million, ranking second. At the same time, these two districts also have a large number of migrants, totaling nearly 3 million, accounting for nearly 40 percent of the total migrant population. The populations of Miyun, Pinggu, Huairou, Yanqing, and Mentougou are relatively smaller, and the proportion of migrants is also lower.

In addition, since 2010, the education level of Beijing’s population has continued to improve and the proportion of middle school, high school education, and below has dropped from 43 percent in 2010 to 39 percent in 2017. The proportion of those with a high school education has not changed much. Those who hold a university associate degree or above has increased from 33 percent in 2010 to 37 percent in 2017. This means that nearly 40 percent of Beijing’s population has received a university education. Nearly one-fifth of them have received undergraduate education, and nearly 5 percent have received postgraduate education.

It is worth noting that population ageing is also deepening in Beijing. In 2010, the number of seniors who were 65 and above reached 1.709 million, accounting for 8.7 percent of the total population. In 2017, 2.376 million people were aged 65 and over, accounting for 10.5 percent of the total population. Corresponding to the increase in the proportion of seniors, the proportion of the working age population aged 15-64 has decreased year by year. The proportion dropped from 82.7 percent in 2010 to 78.6 percent.

Source: The Paper, December 9, 2018

China’s Lunar Rover Mission to the Dark Side of the Moon

According to Chinese official media, the successful landing of Chang’e 4 is the first touchdown of a spacecraft on the far side of the moon in human history, the first Earth-Moon Lagrange Point 2 relay and exploration, and the first moon based low-frequency radio astronomical observation. It is also the first time in China for the measurement of the nighttime lunar soil temperature.

The China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) conducted the mission. The lunar rover carried a list of equipment to the Von Kármán Crater on the moon, including a topographic camera, a landing camera, a low-frequency radio spectrum analyzer, a panoramic camera, an infrared imaging spectrometer, and moon-receiving radar.

Source: The Paper, December 9, 2018