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Global Times: Huawei Bought Fake Review Posts on Best Buy

Global Times recently reported that top Chinese smart phone manufacturer Huawei admitted to the U.S. media Android Authority that an earlier report on Huawei buying fake user reviews was true. The incident started with the U.S., when some media sites found a large number of buyers’ reviews on the Best Buy website praising the latest Huawei smart phone model, which, at the time, had not even been released. It turned out that Huawei went through a promotion campaign using a Facebook group offering “trial opportunities” under the condition that participants post five-star reviews on the Best Buy site. Huawei explained this was a “misunderstanding” that the promotion intent was to ask fans to post positive comments on Facebook. However, the Huawei social media manager “incorrectly” asked for reviews on Best Buy’s site. A total of 108 5-star Best Buy reviews were posted even before the product release time and only a few people had actually tested the phone. Since then, Best Buy has deleted 105 reviews.

Source: Global Times, February 14, 2018

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

Apple Hands over Its iCloud Accounts to Chinese Servicer

Apple announced that, starting on February 28, it will hand over its iCloud service for Chinese customers to a Chinese company. The company taking over the service is one that the Guizhou Provincial government owns called Guizhou Cloud Big Data (GCBD). GCBD will be responsible for the iCloud operations serving customers in China and also responsible for legal and financial relations with those customers.

This has triggered many concerns over data privacy. Chinese companies are known to share customer data with the government, either voluntarily or involuntarily.

Apple has given China-based users the option of deleting their data, but no option to store their data any other place.

The company TechCrunch found that, when the iCloud setting is set to China, the accounts to be handed over will also include “iCloud accounts that were opened in the U.S., are paid for using U.S. dollars and/or are connected to U.S.-based App Store accounts.”

“One user did find an apparent way to opt-out. It requires such users to switch their iCloud account back to China, then sign out of all devices. They then switch their phone and iCloud settings to the U.S. Then, upon signing back into iCloud, their account will (supposedly) not be part of the migration.”


1. People’s Daily, January 10, 2018
2., January 11, 2018
Apple’s China iCloud data migration sweeps up international user accounts

UDN: Mainland Government Tightened WeChat Conversation Monitoring

United Daily News (UDN), one of the primary Taiwanese news groups, recently reported that Mainland China has been tightening up its control of conversations made on the popular mobile chatting app WeChat. One recent example occurred after construction worker Chen posted a message regarding exiled businessman Guo Wengui’s comments on corrupt government officials. Four days later, the police detained him for five days. Another example was former sales person Wang, who used negative names when discussing current Chinese President Xi Jinping and former Chinese leader Chairman Mao on WeChat. Wang ended up being sentenced to 22 months in jail. The Chinese government has been improving its use of technology rapidly. The police have established advanced monitoring of communication channels such as WeChat, using not only sensitive word detection, but sensitive picture detection as well. A massive nationwide setup of video surveillance and facial recognition is also under way.

Source: United Daily News, December 11, 2017

China Conducted the First Head Transplant on Dead Bodies

Italian Neurosurgery specialist Sergio Canavero said that his team has performed the first head transplant in China by taking off the head from a dead body and connecting it to another dead body. The surgery took 18 hours and was successful.

Ren Xiaoping, a Chinese Professor at the Harbin Medical University, performed the surgery.

Canavero said earlier this year that he plans to conduct a head transplant in two years. He said this will lead to “living forever,” where people transplant their heads to younger bodies which were cloned from their original bodies.

Arthur Kaplan, a professor at New York University, who is strongly against organ harvesting, vehemently opposes this transplant practice. “The head transplant talk is like (the talks) from Mengele.” “It will be very brutal and definitely will bring disaster.”

Josef Mengele was a German Schutzstaffel officer and physician at the Auschwitz Concentration Camp during World War II. He used live humans to perform experiments to “improve the human race.”

“Canavero’s team said that the first transplant might be done using the body of a Chinese organ donor, because there is a higher chance of getting a Chinese organ donor.”

However, there have been accusations that the Chinese government conducts live organ harvesting using Falun Gong practitioners and political dissidents.

Ethan Gutmann, a human rights defender and former adjunct fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, believes that there are 500,000 to 1 million Falun Gong practitioners imprisoned in China and from 2000 to 2008, about 65,000 of them were already killed when the Chinese regime harvested their organs.

Source: BBC, November 23, 2017

Microsoft Skype Removed from China’s App Stores

Well-known Chinese news site Sohu recently reported that both the Apple iOS version and the Google Android version of Microsoft’s Skype app have been removed from China’s app stores. Apple’s spokesperson explained that Skype does not meet China’s local VoIP (Voice-over-IP) laws, so Apple removed the app per the Chinese government’s requirement. The Google Play Android app store does not operate in China. However, multiple Chinese run Android app stores removed Skype as well. A Microsoft spokesperson commented that the removal is temporary and Microsoft is trying to restore the app and its service as soon as possible. At this point there is no known schedule for when Skype will be made available again in China.

Source: Sohu, November 22, 2017

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