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RFA: Internal Document Lists Baby Names That Are Banned for Uyghurs

According to an article from Radio Free Asia (RFA), a list of baby names has been circulating on the internet which are claimed to have a “separatist” or “religious” flavor and which the officials from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region have therefore banned. According to the article, the violators could risk not being able to register their new born babies. RFA called a local police station in Urumqi and confirmed that there is an internal regulation on what to name new born babies. The police agency told RFA that the trained personnel at the residence registration office have the authority to approve or disapprove a name. The rights group for the Uyghurs in Munich Germany expressed concern over the escalation of the persecution of the Uyghurs in China.

Source: Radio Free Asia, April 20, 2017

Epoch Times: China Increases Spying Activities Overseas

Epoch Times, an overseas Chinese media, published an article that summarized the spying activities of overseas Chinese as reported in the media of Japan, Germany, and the U.S. It quoted an article published on April 17 in Shukan Taishu magazine in Japan which claimed that there could be as many as 50,000 Chinese spies in Japan. The article stated that China has built a giant spy network in Japan using Chinese students, scholars, professional workers, waiters or waitresses, and massage therapists. According to the report, some female spies would marry members of the Japan Self-Defense Forces in order to collect information.

On April 17, Les Échos, (a newspaper that the article identifies as German) published an article stating that the Department of the Interior of Hessen Germany recently issued a warning that Chinese spies are active on Linked In and Facebook where they pretend to be scientists, government officials, consultants, or human resource representatives. They target German municipalities, army officials, diplomats, scientists, and college students. The warning also requested that any suspicious activities should be reported to the security agency in Germany immediately. It is reported that there are close to 600 Chinese companies and over 10,000 Chinese citizens working in Hessen.

Meanwhile Newsweek in the U.S. recently reported that the China’s security agency has constantly been recruiting American Chinese who work in defense, security agencies or highly sensitives industries to conduct spying activities. The recent trend shows that the recruitment has expanded to Americans. Typical examples include Glenn Duffie Shriver who tried to apply for a position with the CIA and Candace Claiborne who works for the Department of State. The Epoch Times article also mentioned that in a separate publication, it covers reports on how foreign security agencies monitor activities of Chinese student associations or overseas Chinese associations that have close ties with China, while arresting or deporting those who spy for China.

Source: Epoch Times, April 17, 2017

Duowei News: China Uses Social Media to Monitor Activities of its Own Citizens

An article that Duowei published shared the information on how WeChat spies on the activities of residents in China. The article said that the totalitarian government is always there to monitor activities of its citizens and the large sum of information collected on social media has made it easier for the government to exercise control. It also stated that Chinese authorities not only monitor public postings but also screen sensitive words on private messages and in chat rooms. In addition to WeChat and Weibo, the Chinese authorities are also capable of collecting chat conversations, using Chinese Skype versions called “Tom Skype,” as well as other types of applications. Meanwhile China is constructing a social credit system to monitor and analyze the activities and behaviors of Chinese citizen from economic, political, social, and living situations. The system is expected to be completed by 2020.  The article pointed out, “The difference between how the information collected from social media is used in Western democratic countries versus China is that there are legal regulations to protect the citizens’ private information in the West while Chinese authorities can access citizens’ private information based on the national security law and the new Internet security regulations.”

Source: Duowei, April 1, 2017你好老大哥中国是如何通过app监控民众的/a-38249393?&zhongwen=simp

Publicly Traded Real Estate Companies to Face a Debt Payback Peak in 2018 and 2019

Guangming Daily carried an article on the increased debt among publicly traded real estate developers. The article disclosed that as of April 13, 86 publicly traded real estate companies had filed their 2016 annual report and that their total debt exceeded 2.750 trillion yuan (US$0.4 trillion), up 25.5 percent compared to last year, while their total capital was 3.75 trillion (US$0.54 trillion), up 24.1 percent from last year. Out of 86 real estate companies, 15 to 17 percent of the companies exceeded an 80 percent debt to asset ratio. Thirty-nine to 45 percent of the companies had a total debt exceeding 10 billion yuan (US$1.45 billion), while 17.4 percent of the companies had a debt to asset ratio greater than 80 percent. Based on the available financial data for 63 companies, even though their short term debt dropped by 6.5 billion (US$0.94 billion) their debt was still 108.7 billion yuan (US$15.8 billion). According to the article, most of the companies will face a debt payback peak in 2018 and 2019.

Source: Guangming Daily, April 14, 2017

Xinhua: Eight “Red Line” Boundaries that Party Officials Are Forbidden to Cross on WeChat

Xinhua published an article which listed eight boundaries that Party officials shouldn’t cross on WeChat, a popular social media in China. The requirements include:
1) Providing irresponsible commentaries on the Party’s policies and causing damage to the Party’s unity
2) Spreading pornographic pictures and videos
3) Spreading Internet rumors
4) Accepting bribes through a WeChat “red envelope” account (a means of transferring money through WeChat)
5) Using a WeChat “red envelope” account to buy election votes
6) Leaking confidential national and company information
7) Conducting online WeChat business
8) Posting improper online commentaries

Source: Xinhua, April 16, 2017

China Faces Shortage of Tens of Millions of High Tech Workers

According to an article in Xinhua, China faces a labor shortage of tens of millions of high tech workers while its college graduates are struggling to find a job. The article stated that in Sichuan Province there are only 6.8 million technical workers and only 1 million of them are high tech workers. In the Hangzhou labor market, 71.4 percent of the companies lack high tech workers. In Tianjin, the ratio of the demand for high tech workers to the supply is 10:1. The statistics also indicate that, due to workers’ low skill level, Chinese labor productivity is only at 40 percent of the world’s average or 7.4 percent of the rate in the U.S. The article pointed out that this is one of the main reasons that China is a giant but not strong.

Source: Xinhua, April 17, 2017

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