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In August, China Suffered its Biggest Monthly Decline in Chip Production

According to data released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on September 16, 2022, China’s integrated circuits (ICs) production in August 2022 was down by 24.7 percent year on year to 24.7 billion units. It is the largest monthly decrease since 1997 when NBS started collecting data. For the first eight months of 2022, China’s total semiconductor output fell by10 percent year on year to 218.1 billion units.

According to statistics from the business database platform Qichacha, a record 3,470 companies in the semiconductor business went out of business in the first eight months of the year. Analysts attributed it to China’s zero-COVID-19 policy and sluggish consumer demand. Chinese semiconductor companies cannot hold on and have eventually withdrawn from the semiconductor business one after another.

According to the NBS, in August,the  production of microcomputers dropped by18.6 percent to 317.5 billion units, marking the largest drop since December 2015,  The microcomputer category includes personal computers, smartphones, video game consoles, and other handheld electronic devices.


China’s National Bureau of Statistics, September 16, 2022, September 14, 2022

China Builds More Nuclear Power Plants

The standing Committee of China’s State Council recently approved the Zhangzhou (Fujian Province) Nuclear Power Plant Phase Two project and the Lianjiang (Guangdong Province) Nuclear Power Plant Phase One project. Guangdong province will have ten nuclear plants which will range 30 to 250 miles away from Hong Kong.

So far this year, China has approved the new construction for 10 nuclear power generation units. This is the highest in quantity since the year 2008. In that year China approved 14 units.

As of June of this year, China had 54 nuclear power generation units in operation, ranking third in the world. It also has 23 units under construction or in the pipeline, which would give it the top ranking in the world.

Source: Radio Free Asia, September 15, 2022

626 Million Surveillance Cameras Are All over China: 432.2 surveillance cameras per 1,000 people

According to a 2019 projection by IHS Markit, a leading information analysis firm, 54 percent, or 540 million, of the more than 1 billion surveillance cameras deployed around the world by the end of 2021 are or will be deployed in China. In fact, this is a low estimate. The latest statistics and estimates put the number of public surveillance cameras across China at 626 million.

A study published by the information research firm Comparitech on July 11, 2022 analyzed that if one takes the lower estimate, which is 540 million surveillance cameras deployed in China, there is an average of 372.8 surveillance cameras per 1,000 people; if adopting the higher estimate, 626 million surveillance cameras, that translates into an average of 432.2 surveillance cameras per 1,000 people. By either figure, the ratio exceeds that of the other most populous cities in the world by hundreds of times.

For example, in the world’s largest city, Tokyo, the capital of Japan, there is an average of only 1.06 surveillance cameras per 1,000 people; the fifth largest city, Mexico City, Mexico, has an average of only 3.62 surveillance cameras per 1,000 people. New York, the largest city in the United States has an average of 6.87 surveillance cameras per 1,000 people. The second largest city, Los Angeles, has an average of 8.77 surveillance cameras per 1,000 people.

Among the hundreds of millions of surveillance cameras installed in China, more than 200 million surveillance cameras are controlled by the Chinese police force’s ‘Skynet’ surveillance system. It spreads across commercial and residential areas and highways. The ratio is almost one surveillance camera for every two Chinese people.

Source: Voice of America, August 26, 2022

China Has Collected Millions of DNA Samples in Tibet

According to a Citizen Lab, which is affiliated with the University of Toronto, China’s police have conducted a mass DNA collection program in Tibet. It is estimate that between June 2016 and July 2022, police have collected DNA samples from between 1/4 to 1/3 of Tibet’s total population, targeting men, women and children and even including Buddhist monks.

In early September, a report released by Human Rights Watch disclosed that Chinese police had collected DNA from people in Tibet in at least 14 locations. Procurement documents on the Chinese government’s official website show that the Tibetan police authorities conducted a public tender for “DNA database construction” back in July 2019, with a budget of RMB 10 million ($1.43 million).

Chinese authorities have justified mass DNA collection as a tool to fight crime, find missing people, and ensure social stability. There have been media reports on a mass DNA collection campaign in the Xinjiang area and a police-led national program of male DNA collection. Since the Y chromosome in males is rarely mutated during genetic transmission, having the Y chromosome DNA data of a male is equivalent to having the data of multiple generations of paternal members of his family. While in other countries this collection is primarily used to assist in criminal investigations, China has been collecting samples of male DNA on a large scale.

Source: Central News Agency (Taiwan), September 15, 2022

Lhasa, Tibet Suffered a Severe COVID Outbreak

Recently, Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet, suffered a severe COVID outbreak. The Epoch Times interviewed residents there. One interviewee said that people were telling each other that a quarter of the total 800,000 residents have already been infected. When a city reported COVID cases, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) imposed a strict “Zero-COVID” policy and took drastic measures to quarantine people including even many who were not infected. On the other hand, the authorities reported low infection counts to make things look good and to hide the real situation.

The numbers released by the authorities are at a low one hundred or even lower. There were 86 cases on September 14, 95 cases on September 13, 137 cases on September 12, and 122 cases on September 11.

The interviewee said that authorities conducted PCR tests every three or four days and each time an additional person in the community would be reported as positive. Then the authorities sent loads of buses at night to take all the people in the same building to quarantine them in a centralized location.

Another interviewee mentioned that Lhasa has three big modular hospitals, each of which can hold 10,000 people and a dozen smaller ones, each with a capacity of one or two thousand. All of them have been filled. The authorities are building new modular centers in suburban areas, but that’s not fast enough. So they started to take buildings from schools and construction sites, most of which were not completely finished yet, as quarantine sites.

Source: Epoch Times, September 18, 2022


CNA: Estimates Say Twitter Accepts “Hundreds of Millions of Dollars a Year” from China for Ads

Primary Taiwanese news agency Central News Agency (CNA) recently reported that, although China bans 1.4 billion citizens from Twitter, its government spent a great deal of money on global advertising on the Twitter social platform. China has become Twitter’s fastest-growing overseas advertising market and one of its largest revenue generators outside the United States. A review of open government information shows budget documents and propaganda tweets from 2020 to 2022 found that Chinese local governments and the Communist Party propaganda offices in cities, provinces and even in districts across China have been buying a large number of Twitter ads in the U.S. These campaigns are often outsourced by the government to state media, spreading the word about its economic achievements to international audiences, and, with exemptions, circumventing Twitter’s ban on state media advertising. For the first time, it shows how important China has become to Twitter. Twitter is in a tough spot right now, as the company’s U.S. business has stagnated and it still faces investor pressure on growth goals. However, China’s business has become a source of internal conflict at Twitter. One group is inclined to expand its business opportunities as much as possible. The other is concerned about the wisdom of dealing with state-run institutions amid growing tensions between the United States and China. According to sources familiar with this matter, Chinese gaming, e-commerce and technology companies are also major Twitter customers. The overseas advertising that Twitter sells to Chinese customers is estimated to be “hundreds of millions of dollars a year.” Twitter declined to comment on internal discussions and its sales in China.

Source: CNA, September 14, 2022

TikTok Refused to Commit to U.S. Demand to Block User Data Flowing to China

Taiwanese news site NewTalk recently reported that, at the Homeland Security Committee Senate hearing a few days ago, when confronted by US senators, TikTok Chief Operating Officer Vanessa Pappas refused to promise to prevent the flow of U.S. user data to China. Pappas only said the company will work with the U.S. government on an agreement that will “address all national security concerns.” When asked if the company would completely block access to all U.S. data by “Chinese TikTok employees, employees of parent company ByteDance, or any other Chinese person with the ability to access information about U.S. users,” Pappas was reluctant to commit. TikTok is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance and its founder is Chinese. Under China’s National Security Law and its Intelligence Law, the Beijing government can compel companies to provide intelligence agencies with customer information. In June of this year, online news BuzzFeed pointed out, based on leaked meeting recordings, that ByteDance’s Chinese employees had repeatedly accessed TikTok’s US user data. TikTok later admitted that ByteDance employees could, under certain circumstances, have access to the data of U.S. users.

Source: NewTalk, September 16, 2022

China’s Mobile Phone Market Saw a Significant Decline in July

Well-known Chinese news site NetEase (NASDAQ: NTES) recently reported that, according to official data released by the China Institute of Communication, in July, mobile phone shipments in the domestic market were 19.908 million units, a year-over-year decrease of 30.6 percent. Among these, 5G mobile phones were 14.672 million units, a year-over-year decrease of 35.7 percent. From January to July 2022, the domestic shipments of mobile phones totaled 156 million units, a year-over-year decrease of 23.0 percent. Among these. 5G mobile phone shipments were 124 million units, a year-over-year decrease of 17.7 percent. In July, domestic brand mobile phone shipments were 18.281 million units, down 29.4 percent year-over-year, accounting for 91.8 percent of mobile phone shipments in the same period. A total of 18 new models were launched in July, down 25.0 percent year-over-year. The latest data from market agency CINNO Research shows that in July, affected by the continued downturn in consumer spending in the Chinese domestic smartphone market, except for Apple mobile phones, mainstream domestic Android brands all showed a negative year-over-year decline. Among them, Vivo and OPPO fell significantly. They were down 34.7 percent and 33.3 percent year-over-year respectively. Honor and Xiaomi fell by 12.1 percent and 17.5 percent year-over-year respectively. Thanks to the continued strong market performance of the iPhone 13 series, Apple saw a positive year-over-year sales growth in July. In the face of the continuous decline in domestic market demand,  there has been no breakthrough in chip design, or in appearance or function. Major domestic mobile phone brands are still facing serious challenges.

Source: NetEase, September 15, 2022