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Beijing Prevents People from Knowing about Hong Kong Demonstrations

The Sunday when there was a two million people parade in Hong Kong opposing the extradition law has drawn widespread attention from the world’s media, but not from those in China. Although almost all major media such as the Associated Press, Reuters, AFP, and The Wall Street Journal gave significant coverage to the news, in mainland China the story is strictly prohibited. A netizen told Radio Free Asia that someone sent a parade video to his circle of friends in Beijing and another netizen immediately stopped it. In order to avoid the censorship, some netizens sent the Hong Kong parade pictures upside down.

In Yuncheng city of Shaanxi province, the local police summoned one netizen because he forwarded the parade pictures. The interviewee said, “The media in China is not allowed to report this. The person who forwarded the video was summoned (to the police station). I have a friend who was summoned for forwarding the videos. His phone was also confiscated.”

A civil rights activist in Changde city of Hunan province told RFA that the Hong Kong’s Sunday parade exceeded the 1.5 million people in 1989. The scene was touching. However, the mainland people can only see it when they use technology whose purpose is circumvention such as VPN.

Source: Radio Free Asia, June 17, 2019

Xinhua: CAC Proposed New Regulations to Restrict Personal Information from Leaving China

Xinhua recently reported that the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), which is a branch of the Chinese State Council, just published a proposal seeking public comments. The proposed new regulation will restrict domestic personal information from flowing out of China. The new regulation will require a government security assessment before individuals can provide personal information to service providers outside of China. The CAC justified the new requirement in the proposal on the basis of national security. Among the personal information included are an individual’s name, birth date, national ID number, address, and phone numbers. The required government assessment is established at the province level. The scope of the new regulation also covers the information used in contracts involving foreign parties. Domestic Internet-based service providers that facilitate the process of moving domestic personal information outside should keep a good no-breach record and should establish a full history of activities that result in personal information being sent out for at least five years.

Source: Xinhua, June 13, 2019

China Times: U.S. Blockage of Huawei Did Not Impact iPhone Negatively in China

Major Taiwanese newspaper China Times recently reported that, according to research that the Bank of America Merrill Lynch just conducted, potential Chinese mobile phone buyers surveyed preferred Apple iPhone over Huawei. It was widely discussed and anticipated in the media both domestically in China and internationally that the U.S. sanctions on Huawei would trigger Chinese mobile phone buyers’ patriotic sentiments and they would thus switch to Huawei while waving goodbye to the iPhone. The newly released study report, however, showed just the opposite. Around 29 percent of Chinese shoppers surveyed in May picked the iPhone which represents a 3 percent increase from April. The same report showed the intent to buy Huawei dropped from 28 percent in April to 25 percent in May. Both JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs indicated earlier that iPhone Chinese sales would see a free fall of around 30 percent. However, the latest research does not really validate that expectation.

Source: China Times, May 31, 2019

Another Major Apple Supplier Is Moving Out of China

Well-known Chinese news site Sohu recently reported that, in June, major Apple supplier Pegatron will start Apple production assembly lines in Indonesia. The initial products include the MacBook and the iPad. Pegatron is the second largest Apple manufacturer after Foxconn, which already announced that, later this year, its mass production of iPhones will be in India. It was first reported in January that Pegatron had a tentative plan to move out of Mainland China. Potential locations included India, Indonesia, and Vietnam. According to Indonesian local reports, Pegatron selected Indonesia instead of Vietnam based on a better supply of labor. Given the Trump administration’s earlier tariff increase, as well as the Huawei case, it is reasonable that Pegatron would prefer to move its manufacturing facilities out of China. Pegatron did not officially confirm which customers the Indonesian factories will serve. However, all products will ship to the United States.

Source: Sohu, May 24, 2019

UDN: South Korean Industries Push New Laws to Prevent Core Technologies from Leaking to China

United Daily News (UDN), one of the primary Taiwanese news groups, recently reported that South Korean industrial associations are pushing new laws to impose heavy punishment for leaking the nation’s core technologies. In the past years, major South Korean industries like semiconductors, displays, and automobiles have been seeing a severe outflow of core technologies and key talent to China. The proposed new laws include a redefinition of core national technologies and information protection, as well as punishment for leaking the core technologies. The damage from losing technologies and talent to China is having a more and more significant impact. The proposal also asked for establishing limitations on the movements of core people and for a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) to be a required document for talent working on core technologies to sign.

Source: UDN, May 18, 2019

Baidu Reported Massive Loss in Q1

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that the Chinese search engine giant Baidu reported a massive loss in its just-released first quarter financial report. The report indicated that Baidu suffered a net loss of RMB 327 million (around US$49 million) in the first quarter. Last year, in same time period, Baidu reported a net profit of RMB 6.694 billion (around US$967 million). This is the first time since Baidu went public in 2005 that it has reported a loss. Immediately after the report was released, its stock price dropped by 16 percent and reached a three and a half year low. Instantly, the market value shrank by US$8.7 billion. Baidu’s Sr. Vice President who is Chief of the Search Engine Business Group Xiang Hailong resigned at the same time that the report was released. Baidu’s search engine represents the company’s core business and enjoys a near monopoly position in China’s search market, with government backing as well as a Google ban. Market experts expressed their belief that, by examining reports from other similar companies, Baidu’s report indeed reflected the adjustments in the economy.

Source: Sina, May 19, 2019