Skip to content

Annual Conference of Western Returned Scholars Association in Guangzhou

The Western Returned Scholars Association (WRSA) is a Chinese government-affiliated entity consisting of over 40,000 Chinese scholars and researchers who have studied abroad. Its 2019 annual conference was held in Guangzhou on November 29, 2018. Li Xi, secretary of the Guangdong Provincial Chinese Communist Party Committee, and You Quan, secretary of the CCP Central Committee Secretariat and Head of the CCP Central Committee’s United Front Work Department, attended the meeting and delivered speeches.

On behalf of the Guangdong Provincial CCP Committee and the Provincial Government, Li Xi expressed his congratulations on the convening of the conference and expressed his gratitude to the WRSA.

You Quan pointed out that the CCP Central Committee, with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, attaches great importance to the work of overseas students and provides favorable conditions for overseas students to innovate and start businesses. He hoped that the majority of overseas students will thoroughly study and implement Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and always fight side by side with the CCP. He also hoped that the overseas students inherit the glorious tradition of patriotism, strengthen the confidence of innovation and entrepreneurship, and tell a good story of China’s reform and opening up. He expected the students to make positive contributions for China to become a leader in innovation, to further the reform and opening up, and to realize the Chinese Dream of the great rejuvenation of the nation.

Chen Zhu, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress and WRSA president attended the meeting. WRSA and the Guangdong Provincial CCP Committee and the Provincial Government jointly hosted the summit.

Source: People’s Daily, November 30, 2018

Chinese IT Company to Launch 272 Satellites and Offer Free Internet Worldwide

On November 27, LinkSure Network, a Shanghai-based mobile Internet service provider, announced in Beijing that it launched the satellite Internet access plan, “LinkSure Swarm Constellation System.” The system, which LinkSure will develop independently, consists of 272 hybrid orbit satellites and will provide satellite communication services and solutions. The first satellite is expected to be launched into space in 2019. The goal will be to provide free satellite Internet service worldwide by 2026. The total investment in the system is estimated at 3 billion yuan (US$ .43 billion).

LinkSure’s satellite team was formally established in 2016. The company currently operates more than 50 satellites in orbit. According to the plan, the first satellite will be assembled and tested in Changzhou, Jiangsu in 2018 and launched by the Long March series of rockets at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Base Center in 2019. The first batch is expected to include 10 satellites. After the launch of the first satellite, the remaining nine will be launched according to the Long March series rocket launch arrangements. In 2020, the first 10 satellite launches of the constellation system will be completed.

China’s commercial satellite launch service market has been growing at an accelerated pace. In 2014, the State Council announced Document No. 60 to encourage private capital to enter the national civil space infrastructure. Goldman Sachs also expects that, over the next 20 years, the space commercial market will usher in a long-term and high-profit opportunity and its industry scale will grow to trillions of dollars.

Source: The Paper, November 27, 2018

The Paper: “Political Standards” Are in First Position in Selecting Finalists for Outstanding Contributions for the Reform and Opening up Award

On June 8, the General Office of the party and the General Office of the State Council issued a Notice about the “Selection of Candidates who made Outstanding Contributions to the Reform and Opening up.” According to The Paper, the Notice stated that the candidates should be “individuals who have made a significant impact over the past 40 years of reform and opening up, had significant social influence, and are a role model. They should also have excellent political qualities, have made outstanding contributions to promoting the reform and opening up, abide by constitutional laws, and have a high moral character.” The Notice also stressed that, “It is necessary to adhere to political standards and understand the correct guidelines when selecting candidates.  Anyone who is politically unqualified will not be recommended.” Political standards must be placed in the first position and the Party Central Committee led by Xi Jinping must be unanimously consistent in choosing the candidates.

On November 26, People’s Daily reported that it will publish the names of 100 finalists from November 26 through November 30. Jack Ma of the Alibaba Group and Li Shufu, Chairman of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and Volvo Cars are among the 100 finalists from Zhejiang Province.

Source: The Paper, November 27, 2018

Xinhua: Statistics Demonstrate Fast Growth of Confucius Institutes around the World

As part of the celebration of the 40 year anniversary of Reform and Opening Up, Xinhua published a series of significant achievements on its website. On November 26, it dedicated one page to the growth of Confucius Institutes. Affiliated with the Ministry of Education, Confucius Institutes were initially formed in Seoul in 2004. They were promoted as a cultural bridge to enable the world to understand China, to promote the Chinese language and teach internationally, and to facilitate cultural exchanges. Below are the statistics listed on Xinhua’s web page.

1. By 2018, there were 525 Confucius Institutes in 138 countries including 118 locations in 33 countries in Asia, 54 locations in 39 countries in Africa, 173 locations in 41 countries in Europe, and 19 locations in 4 countries in the Pacific region.
2. By the end of December 31, 2017, they had 46,200 teachers, 1.7 million classroom students, and 620,100 online students.
3. They had assigned 3,574 Chinese Language teachers to 146 countries and 6,306 volunteers to 127 countries.
4. They have set up 1,100 Chinese Language testing sites in 130 countries and 6.5 million students have taken different levels of tests.

According to the South China Morning Post, Senator Marco Rubio has been among the U.S. lawmakers warning that China has used the Confucius Institutes in an effort to expand its political influence abroad and to function as the political arm of the Chinese government. A number of universities in the U.S. have since closed the Confucius Institute Centers on their campuses.

1. Xinhua, November 26, 2018
2. South China Morning Post, August 15, 2018

A Tough Job Market for Chinese College Graduates

According to Chinese media, the coming winter is also a winter for the job market in mainland China. Second-tier cities and small and medium-sized enterprises are the places seeing the most cuts in new job opportunities.

Phoenix reported at the end of October that China’s Huawei issued internal documents indicating that the company would halt generic job hiring, except for talent in critical areas and special recruitment of professionals with excellent work experience. Subsequently, tech giants such as Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent, and were also rumored to have suspended or reduced recruitment of fresh graduates.

More than 8.2 million college students are graduating in China, a new historic record.

Both seasonal factors and economic factors are behind the tough job market. Sectors such as trade, furniture and home appliances, and construction engineering have fewer job openings than expected.

Small and medium-sized enterprises and private enterprises with less than 500 employees are the main entities responsible for the reduction in the number of job postings. Weaker demand, lower economic growth, and an increase in financing costs have aggravated the operational difficulties of these companies.

The profitability of large companies is also trending downward. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the annual growth rate of total profits of large enterprises in October was only 3.6 percent; it is the fourth consecutive month of decline.

Source: Central News Agency, November 27, 2018

Study Links Working Conditions and Employee Suicide in Electronics Sector in China

On November 14, Hong Kong based Economic Rights Institute and Dutch NGO Electronics Watch released a report titled “The Link Between Employment Conditions and Suicide: A Study of the Electronics Sector in China.”

Using original Internet suicide reports, on-site surveys and off-site interviews, the study adopted three methodologies to “show how the employment conditions of some electronics firms in China heighten the risk of employee suicide.”

The report lists the main reasons for suicide, including using the suicide as a form of protest, hostile work environment, pressure from their superiors, withheld income, denied permission to resign or time off, and the fear of losing their jobs. It also pointed to the roles of employers and Chinese government in censoring and minimizing public reports of suicides.

The report suggests the need to:

“End ‘soft’ forms of forced labour, including forced overtime and restrictions of workers’ right to resign from their jobs without forfeiting their wages.

Abolish punitive forms of discipline and intervene effectively to prevent hostility and violence in the workplace.

Empower workers to collectively influence enterprise decisions connected to conditions that heighten risk of employee suicide, including productivity requirements, overtime and the structure of incentives.”

(This briefing serves as a correction of an earlier Chinascope briefing “Survey Shows High Suicide Rate in China’s Electronics Industry” at The earlier briefing, sourced from Radio France International, did not support the statement that “the results showed that the suicide rate is extremely high among Chinese workers in the high-tech electronics industry.” The study also did not discuss a lack of unions or of independent unions as a cause of the suicides.)

Source: Electronics Watch, November 14, 2018