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Legal Daily: The Market for Ghostwriting Graduation Theses

A recent Legal Daily article gave some details about the business of ghostwriting graduation theses in China.

“Due to the large demand, producing graduation theses has become an industry and many services are provided. They include ghostwriting, plagiarism checking, and plagiarism prevention.”

In March 2018, Zhang Feng (a pseudonym), a state-owned enterprise employee, became involved in the ghostwriting business to earn some extra money.

Zhang told the reporter, “Somehow I was connected to a social media account, which is like an intermediary or agent. The account would receive an order for writing a thesis, and then broadcast it to look for people who would like to fill the order. Then the order taker directly contacted the buyer to negotiate a price.”

“The buyer’s needs are varied. For example, someone placed an order for everything to be done, from designing all the way to programming. Some buyers already have a draft design and only need to have the thesis written. Some have already finished writing the thesis, but need to check for plagiarism and make any adjustments needed to avoid plagiarism. There are also some people who want to modify the paper’s format and come up a power point presentation.”

“Most of the students who have such a need are junior college students and undergraduate students. As far as graduate students, according to Zhang, most of those hiring ghostwriters are part-time MS/MA students who also have a job.”

Source: Legal Daily, July 12, 2018

China to Speed up “Sharp Eyes Surveillance Project” in Rural Regions

RFA reported that, on June 21, the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission held a national video conference on the “Sharp Eyes Surveillance Project.” The Commission made it clear that the goal was to have the Sharp Eyes Surveillance Project completed in rural regions by 2020 in order to achieve “full coverage, network sharing, real time availability, and full control.” Similar to the Skynet Project, which is a surveillance system covering the urban region, the Sharp Eyes Surveillance Project is the version for the rural region. Developed by Guangdong AEBELL Technology Group, the Sharp Eyes Project has the capability of monitoring activities of individuals living in rural areas with its control centers stationed in nearby villages, towns and counties. It uses an application installed on television sets or mobile phones and can mobilize the general public to watch the surveillance recordings to ensure full security coverage. In February 2008, the Sharp Eyes Surveillance Project was first incorporated into the top document that the Central Committee of the Party issued. Since then, it has been highly valued at the top level. According to an article that Legal Daily published in February, in Pingyi County in Lin Yi city of Shandong Province where the Sharp Eyes project was first launched, by the end of February, 360,000 surveillance cameras had been installed. In Shandong Province, 2.93 million surveillance cameras and 2,491 surveillance centers have been set up across the entire province. In Sichuan Province, by the end of December 2017, the Sharp Eyes Surveillance Project was completed in 14,087 villages with 41,695 cameras installed.

Source: Radio Free Asia, June 22, 2018

Green Peace: Increase in China’s 2018 Carbon Emissions Expected to Be the Fastest in Six Years

China Carbon Trading Online recently published a report by Green Peace, which showed that China’s 2018 carbon emission volume will increase at a pace never seen in the past six years. Green Peace reached this conclusion based on China’s official data. This brings back the doubt as to whether the Paris Agreement can truly result in curbing carbon emissions. Green Peace’s calculation showed China’s carbon emissions increased four percent in the first quarter of this year. China is currently the largest carbon emissions country in the world; it creates a quarter of the world’s total emissions. Global emissions stabilized between 2014 and 2016. However, in 2017, the total emissions started growing again as a result of the increase in the volume that China produces, as well as the European Union and the rest of the Asian countries. Scientists expressed their belief that, according to the Chinese government’s economic development plan, China’s increase in emissions will continue. China estimated that its emissions level will top out “before 2030.”

Source: China Carbon Trading Online, May 30, 2018

China Ranked Number One on Wealthy Population Leaving the Country

Well-known Chinese news site Sohu recently published a report based on multiple studies done on wealthy Chinese leaving the country. According to research that Shanghai Hurun conducted in 2017, 46 percent of wealthy Chinese with income between RMB 10 million (around US$1.57 million) and 200 million (around US$31.3 million) have considered leaving the country. Another research report that New World Wealth published also showed, in 2017, that around 10,000 wealthy Chinese (net worth above US$1 million) moved overseas, making China the country that had the largest number of wealthy people leaving. The most popular destinations for these Chinese are the United States, Australia, and Canada. In the past three years, Australia has been the most popular destination. Among the key drivers for people to leave, a better education for their children and China’s high real estate cost sat at the top.

Source: Sohu, May 19, 2018

BBC Chinese: Hong Kong Reporters Were Beaten up in Mainland China

BBC Chinese recently reported that, not long ago, unknown attackers beat up reporters from Hong Kong media. One latest example was Hong Kong’s Now TV reporter Xu Junming. Five under-cover policemen beat him while he was reporting on a hearing that the Beijing Lawyers’ Association had organized. Their Discipline Committee was punishing human rights lawyer Xie Yanyi. Xie represented Falun Gong practitioners in court. Xu is fully licensed and authorized to report in Mainland China. Another example occurred four days earlier than that. Two unknown men attacked Hong Kong Cable TV reporter Chen Haohui in Sichuan Province while he was reporting on the 10-year anniversary of the 512 Wenchuan Earthquake. These incidents triggered a wave of criticism in Mainland social media. According to Reporters Without Borders, China was ranked number 176 in the Freedom of Press Index, only better than Syria, Turkmenistan, Eritrea and North Korea.

Source: BBC Chinese, May 17, 2018

Social Credit Rating System Restricted over Ten Million from Purchasing Airline or High Speed Train Tickets

RFA reported that since China launched its social credit system, over 10 million people have been restricted from purchasing airline or high speed train tickets due to their poor social credit rating. The social credit system collects data from an individual’s financial records, social behavior such as traffic violations, criminal records, or academic integrity records. The social credit system score is then used to control the individual’s whole life, such as whether he will be restricted from leaving the country, whether he will be accepted by a school, and whether he can become a civil servant. According to a commentary that the article quoted, the social credit score in other countries is used for rating financial credit. However, in China, financial institutions are not the only ones that use the information on an individual’s social credit score. It also contains information that government agencies can use. That information is not used just to manage society, but rather to control society.

Source: RFA, May 18, 2018

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