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Chinese Police Have Access to All Cyber User Data

The regulations that the Chinese Ministry of Public Security (MPS) issued not long ago on the supervision and monitoring of the Internet will take effect on November 1. According to this regulation, when there is a need, any network company should open its user data to the public security authorities. The new regulations have in fact added further clarity to the cybersecurity law that has caused widespread controversy in China.

The cybersecurity law came into effect last summer. It requires all Internet information disseminators, including foreign companies, to keep a copy of the data on users from mainland China. Because of this, for example, in order not to lose the Chinese market, Apple agreed to transfer the encryption key and the user data of Guizhou-Cloud Big Data Industry Development Co., Ltd. (GCBD). Since October last year, new regulations that prevent cyber anonymity have been in effect. Some of them require information disseminators, bloggers, and social network administrators to remove all contents that belong to anonymous users. In addition, these regulations prohibit the registration of new accounts if the users do not provide personal information.

The new MPS regulations that will take effect on November 1 explain how to ensure compliance with the law. According to this regulation, the law enforcement authorities can freely enter the office and check the equipment of the Internet service provider and the network units. For example, they can inspect the contents such as whether technological measures are in place to record and retain user registration information and online log information legally and whether it can adequately monitor the content in real time to prevent the spread of negative or illegal information. In addition, law enforcement has the right to monitor Internet service providers and networked users remotely if they are potential security risks and to conduct surprise inspections.

Source: Sputnik News, October 10, 2018

Epoch Times: Pingdu Police Used Violence to Suppress Veterans Appealing for Their Rights

Epoch Times published three reports with embedded videos on the violent suppression of veterans in Pingdu City of Shandong Province. The veterans were appealing for their rights so they would receive a fair retirement settlement from the government. On October 4, officials from Pingdu City ordered the police to stop the veterans from traveling to Beijing to appeal. On October 6, the incident escalated and the local police dispatched thousands of police officers, including fully armed riot police, to suppress the veterans group. The veterans used wooden sticks and fire extinguishers to fight against the police. Nine veterans were injured, and two of them were seriously injured. Meanwhile Veterans from around the country took trains or buses to Pingdu to lend their support. The police managed to intercept many of them and they closed the highways to Pingdu temporarily. On October 7, the police guarded the main intersections in Pingdu. The police drove anti-riot vehicles and armored vehicles to the scene and used pepper spray and batons to chase the veterans away violently. Between 500 and 600 veterans in Pingdu were arrested and detained at the nearby Primary School and Middle School. Some of them were sent home. According to Epoch Times, veterans from around the country decided to go to Beijing instead. It is expected that a large number of veterans will flood into Beijing in the next few days.

Source: Epoch Times, October 5-8, 2018


Phoenix News Media Scrutinized during Internal Shakeup

Phoenix Satellite TV is one of the most influential Chinese-language media based in Hong Kong and the mainland. On September 26, a notice that Phoenix News Media posted on its website revealed that the network must undergo an internal shakeup. The official internet security management department made the request because the media was accused of “spreading illegal information, distorting the original meaning of the news headlines, and illegally reprinting news information.” The notice stated the network’s information channel, technology channel, and financial channels will be suspended temporarily from September 26 to October 10 and there will be no updates during that period. A Radio Free Asia article stated that this is a harsh punishment for a news station and is a reflection of Beijing’s tightened control over the news media. This is also the third time this year that the Phoenix News has been ordered to have an internal shakeup. In February, six online news websites, including Phoenix News Media were criticized for providing “unauthorized Internet audiovisual program service.” In April, the Phoenix News App was disabled and couldn’t be downloaded for two weeks. Meanwhile Phoenix is not the only news station being scrutinized this time. In September, the financial section of was also ordered to shut down for two weeks from September 11-25.

RFA quoted a comment that said, “After so many years, has long been like the official (communist) media. It has pushed patriotic news all day long. No matter whether it is Phoenix Satellite TV or, they have already changed. There is nothing to look at.” Another comment stated that “(all media) should listen to the party’s words in the future. The next target will be the portal website and Weibo.”

1., September 26, 2018
2. Radio Free Asia, October 5, 2018

Using Precision Communication to Enhance the Effectiveness of International Communication

On October 8, People’s Daily Online carried an article about China’s propaganda practice in the world. The title was “Precision Communication is the inevitable choice for International Communication.” The authors are from the Hunan University School of the Communication and Arts of Film and Television.

“In recent years, China has been taking many measures in the international field of communication and has achieved remarkable results. However, the pattern of the international public opinion landscape, that the West is strong and we are weak, has not fundamentally changed. There is still a long way to go to do well in international communication. Implementing precise communication and adopting different strategies and methods for different audiences in different countries is an inevitable choice to enhance the effect of international communication.”

“Precision communication is conducive to enhancing the effectiveness of international communication. . . . There are so many countries, nations and cultures in the world and there are great differences between countries, nations, and cultures. Even within the same country, there are big differences between different audiences. This requires us to adopt different communication methods for different audiences in different countries in international communication and to implement precision communication. By “using one key for one lock,” we can continuously improve the effect of international communication.”

“Precision communication should become an important topic in the study of international communication theory. . . . We should take the following as important research topics: the audience for international communication, the landscape of international communication and strategies, the comparative study of international communication, the influence of Chinese and foreign media, and the improvements on the effect of China’s international communication. This will provide theoretical support for telling good stories about China.

“Precision communication should rely on cyber technology to promote innovation in communication methods. At present, the development of information technology, especially big data technology, provides favorable conditions for the implementation of accurate communication. Relying on big data technology, we can analyze the characteristics, hobbies, and information needs of different audiences in different countries and analyze the misunderstandings that different countries’ audiences have about China. Based on this, we can provide targeted content for different audiences in different countries. From a technical point of view, precision communication requires the use of profiling based on information processing such as knowledge graphing, user classification, and association rules. Relying on big data technology and artificial intelligence technology, we can accurately provide personalized content to different audiences in different countries.”

Source: People’s Daily Online, October 8, 2018

World Journal: University of Michigan Shut Down Its Chinese Data Center

The Well-known U.S. Chinese language newspaper, World Journal, recently reported that the University of Michigan suddenly closed its Chinese Data Center (CDC), citing cost issues. The CDC former chief said the Center has been financially sound and that neither the U.S. government nor the Chinese government funded the operation. The University spokesperson explained that the closure was the result of an internal management decision, with no political background, that the Center needs a major technical upgrade. However, the University found that this Center may not be the best place for new capital investments. The mission of the CDC was to allow the world to understand China better. However, the data that the Center offered were all sourced from China. Some staff of the CDC just opened a new online data service, hoping to continue the service the CDC used to provide. However, some customers, such as Christoph Steinhardt from University of Vienna, refused to trust the new online service because it lacked the support of a well-recognized academic organization like the University of Michigan.

Source: World Journal, October 6, 2018

U.S. Oil Exports to China Dropped to Zero in August

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the level of U.S. oil exports to China dropped to zero in August. Also in August, U.S. oil exports dropped significantly overall. China used to be the largest U.S. oil buyer. Starting this year, China’s position dropped to number two, after Canada. In August, Canada remained the top buyer, South Korea and Taiwan ranked numbers two and three respectively. According to Reuters, global oil ship tracking systems showed no oil ships heading from the U.S. to China. The oil refiners in China are holding on to their orders in the hope of seeing more clarity on the US-China trade war. The U.S. Census Bureau usually provides oil export data a few weeks earlier than the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). EIA typically releases its official data based on the Census Bureau numbers at the end of the month.

Source: Sina, October 6, 2018

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