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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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Archive for the ‘Businessman’ Category

About Chinese Businessman

Truth, justice and the Chinese government’s way of business

Posted by Author on March 27, 2010

Rowan Callick, Asia-Pacific editor, The Australian, March 27, 2010 –

SINCE Australian Rio Tinto executive Stern Hu and his three Chinese colleagues were arrested last July, a weight of expectation has hung on their having their day in court to explain what on earth this is all about.

Courts are usually the places to clear up mysteries and bring murky deeds into the light, but the three-day trial this week in the Shanghai No 1 Intermediate People’s Court only added to the speculation that has engulfed Hu, Ge Minqiang, Liu Caikui and Wang Yong.

There is now almost no way in which the accused can convincingly be viewed as either wholly innocent or wholly guilty. They will be sentenced on Monday, perhaps to serve five or so years each, and so will be in no position to give their side of the story until most of the world has lost interest.

Since the four were arrested, the more fervent backers of Beijing, especially in the business community, have been nudging and winking hard: “no smoke without fire”, and so on. These people will have felt vindicated by the guilty pleas.

Those pleas could be part of a deal to cut sentences, since 98 per cent of people charged in China are convicted. But they add to the questions to which we still have no convincing answers.

First, why, in a country where bribery and the stealing of commercial secrets are ubiquitous, were these four singled out? The tensions over Rio’s eventual rejection of the move for 19 per cent of the company by Chinese state-owned giant Chinalco framed the context, but that is all we know for sure.

Second, how is it that the four were the recipients rather than the givers of the bribes? What services did they provide? Who was the victim? If it was Rio Tinto, should the company not have been asked whether it wished them to be prosecuted?

And what about those who dispensed the bribes? The implication is that the four were offered money to give precedence to iron ore shipments in a tight supply situation. But we do not really know.

And what about the commercial secrets they were charged with stealing? One pleaded guilty, apparently, and three denied the charge. But since this part of the trial was in camera, again, no one really knows.

There is a supposition that it is about the tactics involved in the annual benchmark negotiations for the ore price, but outside China a company that learns about such negotiations by talking to people who work for its competitors or clients is perceived as smart rather than criminal. And that structure is giving way to more flexible price arrangements now anyway.

Though it appears that prominent Shanghai lawyer Duan “Charles” Qihua was appointed to defend Hu, despite not taking on many criminal cases, he did not appear in court.

Andrew Forrest, the billionaire chief executive of Fortescue, Australia’s third biggest ore producer, says he does not think Australia-China relations will be damaged by the trial. He is doubtless thinking of the damage in China. But in Australia the trial has educated people about how China’s highly political legal system works, shocking some. It also has served as a warning to Chinese-born managers – whatever their nationality – of foreign enterprises in China, that their ultimate loyalty is to the People’s Republic. The ruling Communist Party certainly needs the economic growth that Australian resources help to ensure. But the reality behind this is that key decisions are ultimately made for political reasons and that sometimes this requires that commercial commonsense is overridden.

It’s also unclear why the Rudd government has responded the way it has. We may know more about this after Monday’s verdicts when the government promises a “considered statement”.

Canberra’s position so far has been to respect China’s legal process, but what does this mean?

Trade Minister Simon Crean has said that key questions about the trial cannot be answered until we know “what the full evidence presented is and the basis of the findings”. The chances of this happening are slim indeed. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Australia, Business, Businessman, China, Commentary, Company, East China, Law, News, Opinion, People, Politics, shanghai, Social, World | Comments Off on Truth, justice and the Chinese government’s way of business

Trial of American puts spotlight on the business of ‘state secrets’ in China

Posted by Author on March 9, 2010

BEIJING — Officially, the trial of American geologist Xue Feng is about state secrets. He’s accused of exporting sensitive information abroad for helping his Colorado-based employer buy a database about China’s oil industry.

But Xue’s attorneys say Chinese authorities pursuing the case have another motivation: commercial competition.

When Xue bought the surveys and maps for use in his company’s research reports, the information was openly available. It was only after the fact that Chinese authorities classified it a “state secret.”

In the past, many foreign businesses said, they might have considered a case like Xue’s an isolated incident, perhaps brought forth by a single overzealous government official. But some, viewing it alongside a spate of new regulations and trade policies, believe it represents a fundamental shift in China’s attitude toward foreign businesses.

Company executives, trade groups and diplomats said Xue’s case, which is now in its seventh month, and two similar ones involving an American auto engineer and an Australian mining executive appear to be part of a broader effort by China over the past few years to use everything at its disposal — the courts, the regulatory system, trade law and even hacking — to promote its own “national champions.”

The boldness of the new policies, foreign companies said, speaks to a self-confidence that has emerged as a result of China’s strong and speedy recovery from a global economic crisis that developed countries are still struggling with.

“When the Chinese government’s economic growth objectives depended on money, jobs, best practices and technology transfers from foreign direct investment, they welcomed us,” said Robert Ness, a Beijing-based lobbyist representing U.S. technology firms.

But now that some of China’s domestic industries are mature, Ness said, “we are all waking up to the fact that in China the concept of ‘open markets’ is not a value like it is in the West. It is a means to an end.” …… (more details from The Washington Post)

Posted in Business, Businessman, China, Company, Economy, Law, News, People, Politics, Technology, Trade, USA, World | Comments Off on Trial of American puts spotlight on the business of ‘state secrets’ in China

China charges country’s richest man with financial crimes

Posted by Author on February 15, 2010

AFP, Feb. 15, 2010-

BEIJING — A Chinese court has charged the founder of home appliance giant GOME — once the country’s richest man — with bribery, insider trading and illegal business dealings, state media reported.

The indictment of Huang Guangyu brings China one step closer to what is expected to be the highest-profile trial yet in the country of a private entrepreneur, and one that will be watched closely in the business community.

Huang, who had been held by authorities for 14 months without charge, will be tried in a Beijing court, without specifying a start date, the Xinhua news agency said Sunday, citing local media.

He is suspected of manipulating trading in two mainland-listed companies, China’s Securities Regulatory Commission has previously said.

A court official declined to comment on the case when contacted by AFP on Monday.

Huang, 40, once known as the “Price Butcher” for the low prices at his chain of consumer electronics stores, was named China’s richest man with an estimated net worth of 6.3 billion dollars by the Hurun Report in October 2008.

He was detained and placed under investigation a month later, and resigned as GOME director and chairman in January 2009.

Two top police officials, including a former deputy minister of public security, were detained on suspicion of bribery in connection with the case.

Before his arrest, Huang was revered in the media as a model entrepreneur who rose from nothing by successfully capitalising on China’s decades of economic reforms……. (more details from AFP)

Posted in Business, Businessman, China, Company, corruption, Economy, Law, Life, News, People, Politics, Social, World | 1 Comment »

Chinese businesswoman’s PRIVATE records: Former australia minister received money to increase political and business influence

Posted by Author on February 3, 2010

RICHARD BAKER, PHILIP DORLING AND NICK MCKENZIE, The Age, Via Sydney Morning Herald, Australia, Feb. 3, 2010 –

PRIVATE records
of a Chinese-Australian businesswoman close to former defence minister Joel Fitzgibbon indicate he received substantial payments as part of a campaign to cultivate him as an agent of political and business influence.

The confidential papers of businesswoman Helen Liu contradict claims last year by Mr Fitzgibbon — and his father, former Labor MP Eric Fitzgibbon — that they had no financial or business relationship with Ms Liu.

Mr Fitzgibbon resigned from Cabinet last June after it was revealed his brother, NIB Health Funds chief Mark Fitzgibbon, had used his office to lobby for defence health contracts.

The minister’s political standing had already been weakened by his failure to disclose that he had accepted two first-class flights to China bankrolled by Ms Liu, a wealthy entrepreneur with high-level political and military contacts in Beijing. He was also renting his Canberra residence from the Liu family.

The documents obtained by The Age show Ms Liu recorded her 1997-98 payment of 850,000 Chinese yuan — approximately $150,000 at the then current values — to Joel Fitzgibbon under the heading “money paid including expenses and gifts”.

The same document shows Ms Liu recorded the establishment of a joint venture with the Fitzgibbon family, including reference to “Eric (Fitzgibbon) as agent. Regular visits to China. $3 million for start up”.

In a letter to a senior Bank of China executive, Ms Liu wrote that Joel Fitzgibbon would become a cabinet minister when federal Labor won power, adding: “The money we pay him is worthwhile.”

The Age can also reveal that the office of Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard was told in April last year by lawyers for a former business associate of Ms Liu that Mr Fitzgibbon may have had more extensive dealings with the businesswoman than acknowledged.

In response to the latest disclosures, Mr Fitzgibbon said he had already declared all he was required to about his relationship with Ms Liu, who returned to China late last year where she remains. Last night she would not comment.

Mr Fitzgibbon said: “I totally reject the suggestion that I have received any money from Helen Liu beyond campaign donations which were appropriately declared as required.”

He would not comment on his father’s dealings with Ms Liu.

However, Eric Fitzgibbon — who last year denied any commercial ties to Ms Liu — has this week disclosed that he has worked for the businesswoman by helping sell apartments in her property development in Qingdao, in China’s Shandong province.

The former MP, who does not speak Chinese, said he was not paid in cash, but had his accommodation, travel and other expenses covered.

Eric Fitzgibbon told The Age this week: “They were building a hotel, a major development in a part of China. They asked me if I would like to give them a hand for the selling of the units. I appreciated the opportunity.”

The 135 pages of personal and business records obtained by The Age after a 10-month investigation include a list prepared by Ms Liu recording “money paid” for unstated purposes to 22 individuals, including Joel Fitzgibbon, variously connected with her property interests in Sydney and Qingdao.

The list, apparently written in late 1998 or early 1999, includes senior Bank of China executives and high-level Chinese Communist Party and government officials.

In another note Ms Liu refers to a planned private meeting with Joel Fitzgibbon to discuss “Family expenses support 20k.”

The note also mentions Ms Liu’s intention to call on then NSW premier Bob Carr, stating: “visit Premier Bob C’s home”. At that time, a NSW government department was a tenant in one of Ms Liu’s Sydney buildings.

The note then refers to a visit to the home of a senior Bank of China executive, saying, “Give 50k cash as a gift” followed by a proposal to engage the man’s wife as a consultant.

Mr Fitzgibbon was first embroiled in controversy in March last year when The Age revealed Defence Department officials had undertaken an unauthorised clandestine investigation of his 16-year relationship with Ms Liu.

Mr Fitzgibbon then called Ms Liu a “close personal friend”. Eric Fitzgibbon said at the time: “We might have had dinner a few times together, but there have been no big cheques in the mail or anything like that.”

The NSW Labor Party declared political donations by Ms Liu’s companies, including two donations totalling $40,000 to Joel Fitzgibbon’s 1996 and 1998 election campaigns.

The MP’s parliamentary declarations do not record any benefit from or financial relationship with Ms Liu other than his trips to China in 2002 and 2005, which were retrospectively added after the scandal erupted in March last year.

Ms Liu’s papers include a letter to a close business associate in which she says Mr Fitzgibbon had boosted her business and political standing and that she was “willing to give him money”.

In a letter to the general manager of the Bank of China in Sydney, Ms Liu also noted that Mr Fitzgibbon was “very concerned” with legal action between herself and her former business partner, Humphrey Xu, and that the MP had given her “great help”.

The Age has had Chinese language documents included among Ms Liu’s correspondence translated by a nationally accredited translating firm.

In April last year, former Labor leader Mark Latham, Mr Fitzgibbon’s former close friend, wrote in The Australian Financial Review that in regard to the relationship between Ms Liu and the Fitzgibbons he had “never encountered MPs so engaged, politically and financially, with a business benefactor” and “the full list of largesse received by the Fitzgibbon family is yet to be made public”.

Sydney Morning Herald

Posted in Australia, Business, Businessman, China, News, People, politician, Politics, Women, World | Comments Off on Chinese businesswoman’s PRIVATE records: Former australia minister received money to increase political and business influence

MI5: China sets up “honeytraps” bugging and burgling western business executives

Posted by Author on January 31, 2010

The Times, Jan 31, 2010-

THE security service MI5 has accused China of bugging and burgling UK business executives and setting up “honeytraps” in a bid to blackmail them into betraying sensitive commercial secrets.

A leaked MI5 document says that undercover intelligence officers from the People’s Liberation Army and the Ministry of Public Security have also approached UK businessmen at trade fairs and exhibitions with the offer of “gifts” and “lavish hospitality”.

The gifts — cameras and memory sticks — have been found to contain electronic Trojan bugs which provide the Chinese with remote access to users’ computers.

MI5 says the Chinese government “represents one of the most significant espionage threats to the UK” because of its use of these methods, as well as widespread electronic hacking.

Written by MI5’s Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure, the 14-page “restricted” report describes how China has attacked UK defence, energy, communications and manufacturing companies in a concerted hacking campaign.

It claims China has also gone much further, targeting the computer networks and email accounts of public relations companies and international law firms. “Any UK company might be at risk if it holds information which would benefit the Chinese,” the report says.

The explicit nature of the MI5 warning is likely to strain diplomatic ties between London and Beijing. Relations between the two countries were damaged last month after China’s decision to execute a mentally ill British man for alleged drug trafficking.

Earlier this month the United States demanded that China investigate a sophisticated hacking attack on Google and a further 30 American companies from Chinese soil.

China has occasionally attempted sexual entrapment to target senior British political figures. Two years ago an aide to Gordon Brown had his BlackBerry phone stolen after being picked up by a Chinese woman who had approached him in a Shanghai hotel disco.

The report says the practice has now extended to commercial espionage. It says Chinese agents are trying to cultivate “long-term relationships” with the employees of key British companies: “An undercover intelligence officer may try to develop a friendship or business relationship, often using lavish hospitality and flattery.

“Chinese intelligence services have also been known to exploit vulnerabilities such as sexual relationships and illegal activities to pressurise individuals to co-operate with them.”

The warning to British businessmen adds: “Hotel rooms in major Chinese cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai, which are frequented by foreigners, are likely to be bugged … hotel rooms have been searched while the occupants are out of the room.”

It warns that British executives are being targeted in China and in other countries. “During conferences or visits to Chinese companies you may be given gifts such as USB devices or cameras. There have been cases where these ‘gifts’ have contained Trojan devices and other types of malware.”

China has repeatedly denied spying on Britain and the West. Its London embassy did not comment.

In 2007 Jonathan Evans, the director-general of MI5, had written privately to 300 chief executives of banks and other businesses warning them that their IT systems were under attack from “Chinese state organisations”.

There have been unconfirmed reports that China has tried to hack into computers belonging to the Foreign Office, nine other Whitehall departments and parliament.

Last year a report by Whitehall’s joint intelligence committee said China may be capable of shutting down critical services such as power, food and water supplies. But the latest document is the most comprehensive and explicit warning to be issued by the UK authorities on the new threat. Entitled The Threat from Chinese Espionage, it was circulated to hundreds of City and business leaders last year.

The growing threat from China has led Evans to complain that his agency is being forced to divert manpower and resources away from the fight against Al-Qaeda. His lobbying helped to prompt the Cabinet Office to set up the Office of Cyber Security, which will be launched in March.

The Times

Posted in Business, Businessman, China, Economy, Europe, News, People, Politics, UK, World | Comments Off on MI5: China sets up “honeytraps” bugging and burgling western business executives

Overturning police cars, furniture makers protest in east China

Posted by Author on June 15, 2009

Reuters, Mon Jun 15, 2009 –

BEIJING, June 15 (Reuters) – Hundreds of Chinese furniture makers overturned police cars and blocked roads in the southeastern city of Nankang on Monday, to protest a government plan to raise taxes on an industry already suffering from a decline in demand from export markets.

The protest, which shut a main highway for several hours, subsided after the local government backed off.

China has poured money into its economic stimulus programmes, in part to offset unemployment and potential unrest during the downturn in the global economy.

But much of the support has gone to state-owned firms and infrastructure development, leaving export-dependent industries like furniture, which are dominated by small, private businesses, still very vulnerable.

A furniture entrepreneur told Reuters that there were over 10,000 protesters, some of whom were hurt in clashes with police.

“They smashed dozens of police cars,” said the furniture entrepreneur, surnamed Guo, who refused to give his full name.

The government told protesters the new policy would be temporarily suspended, Guo said.

Calls to local police went unanswered. Pictures and videos circulating on Internet showed police cars overturned while hundreds of people gathered on the road.


Posted in Business, Businessman, China, Economy, Law, Life, News, People, Politics, SE China, Social, World | Comments Off on Overturning police cars, furniture makers protest in east China

China Firm Indicted in Financing Military Sales to Iran

Posted by Author on April 10, 2009

By Colum Lynch, Washington Post Staff Writer, Wednesday, April 8, 2009-

NEW YORK, April 7
— A Manhattan grand jury on Tuesday indicted a Chinese executive and his company on charges of covertly using New York banks to finance the sale of tons of restricted materials to Iran, potentially supporting Tehran’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs in violation of U.N. sanctions.

The indictment, announced by Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau, accused Li Fang Wei and his company, LIMMT Economic and Trade Co., of selling high-strength metals with military applications to subsidiaries of an Iranian military agency. Many of the items are on international control lists designed to restrict the export to select countries of technologies that can be used for military programs.

The case exposed a major gap in China’s enforcement of a web of international export controls and U.N. resolutions designed to prevent Iran from acquiring raw materials for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, according to arms-control experts.

The indictment charged Li and his company with 118 criminal counts of falsifying business records, saying the company “engaged in deception and fraud” and used “alias names and shell companies to deceive U.S. financial institutions into processing its international payments.”

“Sanctions are effective only if they are enforced,” said Morgenthau, who noted that Li is at large in China. “We may not be able to shut down Li’s factories, but we can shine a light on his conduct and the conduct of foreign banks that permit these types of operations to flourish.”

The Treasury Department sanctioned LIMMT in June 2006 for its alleged role in selling prohibited weapons parts and banned it from carrying out transactions within the U.S. financial system. Li’s customers included a number of subsidiaries of the Iranian Defense Industries Organization. The indictment describes several Iranian transactions involving those firms, including a June 2008 deal to sell 27 tons of extremely high-strength “maraging” steel rods to Amin Industrial Group for about $1.8 million. Li secretly channeled payments to customers through several American banks, including Bank of America, Citibank and J.P. Morgan Chase, according to the indictment.

David Albright, a nuclear weapons expert who assisted in the prosecution, said that it is impossible to say how Iran used the raw materials it acquired. But he said the steel can be used to fortify missile bodies, and another acquisition, tungsten copper plates, can be used in the manufacture of engine nozzles that shield a missile body from the intense heat of flames.

– Washington Post: Chinese Firm Indicted in Sales to Iran

Posted in Asia, Business, Businessman, China, Company, Law, military, News, People, Politics, World | Comments Off on China Firm Indicted in Financing Military Sales to Iran

Australia Defence Minister Met China Generals With Businesswoman Liu on Trip

Posted by Author on April 1, 2009

Richard Baker, Philip Dorling and John Garnaut, The Age, Australia, March 31, 2009-

DEFENCE Minister Joel Fitzgibbon mixed with some of China’s most powerful military generals and Communist Party leaders on a 2002 trip to China paid for by wealthy businesswoman Helen Liu.

Cutting short Christmas celebrations with his wife and family, Mr Fitzgibbon attended a Chinese military art exhibition with Ms Liu in Beijing on Boxing Day 2002 with six three-star generals, 60 lower-ranking generals and 700 Chinese VIPs.

But late yesterday, a spokesman for Mr Fitzgibbon said he could not recall the reason for attending the Chinese military function, other than it was probably part of the “cultural experience” of the trip.

Mr Fitzgibbon’s spokesman said the function was “one of many” that the Labor MP was “wheeled into and wheeled out of” by Ms Liu. He said Mr Fitzgibbon could not recall Ms Liu’s connection with the event.

At the function, held to commemorate chairman Mao Zedong’s birthday, Mr Fitzgibbon circulated with Li Jing, commander of China’s naval air force, Zhou Kegu, deputy chief of the People’s Liberation Army political department, Li Jingsong, president of China’s military science academy, and Zhou Tienong, vice-chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. Ms Liu played a key role in the event and was photographed at the centre of four document-signing ceremonies, including one with the director of the Hunan province tourism bureau. Mr Fitzgibbon was presented as her guest of honour.

At the function Mr Fitzgibbon was presented with a large painting by artist Li Chengxiu, but the minister’s spokesman last night said he did not bring the artwork back to Australia with him. Mr Fitzgibbon did not declare the painting as a gift received in the Federal Parliament’s register of members of interests.

At the time, Mr Fitzgibbon was opposition resources and tourism spokesman. He became shadow defence minister in late 2006.

Despite Mr Fitzgibbon’s difficulty in recalling the details of the event, a translation of a report on the 2002 military art event on the website of the World Federation of Overseas Chinese Associations, refers to him being “so excited” by the occasion. Ms Liu is vice-chairwoman of the Hong Kong-based association that boasts 10,000 members.

“Joel Fitzgibbon, an Australian member of Parliament, who was in Beijing especially to attend the ceremony, was so excited at the scale and the hot atmosphere of the opening ceremony,” the report stated.

Last week, Mr Fitzgibbon was reprimanded by acting Prime Minister Julia Gillard after failing to declare trips to China in 2002 and 2005 paid for by Ms Liu. Asked if Ms Liu had paid for any travel, Mr Fitzgibbon initially said they had only ever exchanged small gifts……. (more details from The Age)

Posted in Australia, Business, Businessman, China, Law, military, News, People, politician, Politics, spy, World | Comments Off on Australia Defence Minister Met China Generals With Businesswoman Liu on Trip

China milk scandal firm bankrupt

Posted by Author on February 12, 2009

BBC News, 12 February 2009 –

A Chinese food group at the centre of a contaminated milk scandal which killed six babies has been declared bankrupt with debts of $160m (£113m).

Sanlu, which had been one of China’s most trusted brands, was the first of 22 firms found to have sold the milk.

More than 300,000 children were made ill by the milk, to which melamine had been added to boost protein readings.

The chairwoman of the Sanlu Group, Tian Wenhua, has already been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Other Sanlu executives received sentences of five to 15 years. Two other men were sentenced to death.

But anger among the Chinese population was not only directed at Sanlu. As the scale of the deadly scam became known, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao gave a rare public apology for failing to prevent the crisis.

Chinese product safety regulators have now announced they are investigating whether a unit of the French Danone group also used the toxic chemical.

BBC News

Posted in Businessman, China, Company, corruption, Economy, Food, Health, Law, News, products, Social, World | 1 Comment »

China Toy Manufacturer’s Gifts List to Officials Exposed

Posted by Author on December 31, 2008

Epoch Times Staff  Dec 31, 2008 –

Chinese New Year is the gift season for businesses in China. A Nanjing toy manufacturer’s list of gifts to governmental officials was accidentally revealed to the public on December 27, 2008. T

he list showed that Jiashide Toys Products paid 144,800 Yuan (approximately US$ 21,198) as “gifts” to Chinese officials in 2007.

According to the manufacturer’s records, Jiashide Toys manufactured and exported soft toys. The company shut down October 2008 for unknown reasons.

Many suppliers visited the factory recently to collect on outstanding accounts/debts amounting to over 400,000 Yuan (approximately US$58,552). The owner was nowhere to be found.

The debt collectors decided to ransack the factory to collect debt evidence and came across a list of 2007 New year’s “gifts” that were paid to regime officials.

The roster specifies more than 40 “gift” transactions, actually bribes, and detailed the names and the amount paid each individual. According to the recipient’s importance, the “gift amount” is staggered, from a high of 10,000 Yuan cash to supermarket vouchers worth 200 Yuan.

The list also detailed 94,000 Yuan of expenditures for gift cards, 24,000 Yuan cash, 17,800 Yuan in vouchers, and 9,000 Yuan worth of brand-name clothing—144,800 Yuan in all.

This disclosure once again showcases the common practice of merchants and others offering bribes in the form of “gifts” to Chinese officials during holiday time, hoping for a favour from the regime. There is no other way to do business in China at present—Chinese officials are the barriers to either smooth or rocky business transactions of any kind in China. These bribes are guarantees for business owners and could be looked on as “public relations between the regime and the citizens.”

The Epochtimes

Posted in Business, Businessman, China, Company, corruption, Jiangsu, Law, Nanjing, News, Official, People, Politics, SE China, Social, World | 2 Comments »

Why Foreign Businesses Flee China

Posted by Author on December 23, 2008

The Chosun Ilbo, S. Korea, Dec.23,2008 –

The Chinese government recently announced its intention to sue foreign businesses for leaving the country without permission. Chinese officials said they plan to seek legal assistance in the countries of foreign businesses to receive back-pay and debt owed in China — and even seek the extradition of law-breakers.

Some Chinese media have reported that such “abnormal” exits from China mostly involve small- and mid-sized Korean businesses. But this problem does not involve only Korean businesses. Recently, Guangdong Province formed a special taskforce to supervise companies that owe money to workers and dispatched the team to Dongguan city. Hong Kong and Taiwanese businesses are based there. During September and October of this year, 117 businesses fled from Dongguan, according to Hong Kong media.

It is true that many small- and mid-sized Korean businesses secretly shutter their plants and escape China. In Qingdao, where Korean businesses are clustered, around 200 out of 8,000 companies are said to have fled China without permission. We cannot back these companies. It appears that China has come out with these hard-line measures to deal with such businesses, since it is faced with an increasing number of discontented workers as its economic slowdown intensifies and more factories close.

But it is difficult to criticize businesses that flee. When attracting foreign businesses, China offers a “one-stop” service, whereby one government department handles procedures. But when a foreign company tries to leave China, company officials must visit individual government branches handling labor, tax, customs, foreign exchange, social security, real estate and other measures and undergo procedures at each of those offices. Chinese authorities do not have much experience handling corporate liquidation, meaning a lack of consistency in interpreting regulations. As a result, it may take anywhere from eight months to two years to complete a liquidation process.

Moreover, when word spreads that a foreign business is trying to close down operations in China, workers and suppliers storm into the main offices and threaten staff. Business people say some are lucky to get out alive. Proper liquidation procedures will not be undertaken while the rule of law is not observed in China.

The Chosun Ilbo

Posted in Asia, Business, Businessman, China, Company, East China, Economy, News, People, Politics, Shandong, Social, South Korea, World | 1 Comment »

China judicial process ‘flawed’ over death penalty on businessman

Posted by Author on November 26, 2008

By Michael Bristow, BBC News, Beijing, Wednesday, 26 November 2008 –

The family of a Chinese man condemned to death for espionage has criticised China’s judicial system, saying he did not receive a fair trial.

They claim that the scientist, Wo Weihan, was tortured into admitting that he spied for Taiwan.

Mr Wo was sentenced to death last year. His family say China’s Supreme People’s Court has now approved the verdict.

The sentence is expected to be carried out within days, although the court could not immediately confirm this.

The 59-year-old, who ran his own medical research company in Beijing, was arrested in early 2005 and charged with espionage.

Among other things, he was convicted of passing Chinese military secrets to Taiwan, a self-governed island that Beijing claims is part of China.

Mr Wo’s family say the whole judicial process, from arrest to conviction, was flawed.

They say he was denied access to a lawyer for nearly a year after his arrest, and claim he was forced to confess.

His daughter, Ran Chen, said: “There’s no information. Until today, I don’t know what has happened with my father in the last four years.

“The trials are closed from the public. We don’t get access. The lawyers cannot talk to us about it. Is that enough to sentence a man to death?”

Ms Chen, who feels free to speak out because she is now an Austrian citizen, also claimed her father was tortured, although she has no proof.


The family, unable to visit Mr Wo since his arrest, have now been granted access.

They say they have been told that China’s Supreme People’s Court has approved the verdict, which leads them to believe Mr Wo is about to be executed……. (more details from BBC News)

Posted in Businessman, China, Law, News, People, Politics, Social, Torture, World | Comments Off on China judicial process ‘flawed’ over death penalty on businessman

China’s second-richest person detained: state media

Posted by Author on November 24, 2008

AFP, Nov. 23, 2008-

BEIJING (AFP) — China’s second-richest person, who made his fortune building up the nation’s largest home appliance chain, has been detained on suspicion of market manipulation, state media reported on Monday.

Hong Kong-listed shares in Huang Guangyu’s company, Gome Electrical Appliances Holdings, were also suspended on Monday, according to a statement from the firm to the city’s stock exchange.

The shares were suspended “pending the release of an announcement in relation to price sensitive information”, the statement said.

This followed a report on the website of Chinese state-run finance magazine Caijing saying Huang had been detained and was under investigation on suspicion of market manipulation.

The magazine, which did not reveal its sources, said the detention took place Wednesday last week, and other Chinese media outlets carried the story.

With assets of 18.4 billion yuan (2.7 billion dollars), Huang was ranked as number two on a list of China’s richest people issued by US magazine Forbes in October.

An executive at Gome’s investor relations department contacted by AFP Monday morning said she was not aware of the reported case.


Posted in Business, Businessman, China, corruption, Economy, Hong kong, Law, News, People, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on China’s second-richest person detained: state media

Police to question Japanese broker of human organs from China

Posted by Author on November 13, 2008

The Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan, Nov. 12, 2008-

Police plan by the end of this week to question a Japanese man who brokered more than 100 organ transplants in China for Japanese recipients, according to sources.

Hiroyuki Nagase, 52, headed the China International Organ Transplant Center in Shenyang in China’s Liaoning Province, the activities of which police strongly suspect violated the Organ Transplant Law, which prohibits brokering of organs for profit.

The National Police Agency also is planning to ask China’s public security authorities for their cooperation in investigating the case, which might lead to criminal charges being pursued against an organ brokerage business involving Japan and China.

In 2004, the center started offering on its Web site kidney transplant opportunities to Japanese. The center found Chinese donors for those applying for an organ transplant operation. The operations were carried out by Chinese doctors at hospitals in Shanghai, Shenyang and other Chinese cities. According to the Web site, kidney transplants cost at least \7.8 million, and liver transplants cost at least \13 million, both including operation expenses.

In September last year, Nagase was arrested by Shenyang’s Public Security Bureau on suspicion that the center’s activities had exceeded the business activities for which he had registered his company and that they violated Chinese Health Ministry provisions banning the selling and buying of organs. However, when Nagase was subsequently indicted, charges against him were changed to false advertisement of his organ transplant business.

On Oct. 30, the Shenyang Intermediate People’s Court, a district court, sentenced Nagase to 14 months in prison followed by deportation, and fined him 100,000 yuan (about \1.45 million).

The prison term, which included time he spent detained, ended Monday, and Nagase arrived at Narita Airport on Tuesday evening. Immediately after his arrival, Nagase told The Yomiuri Shimbun that he had brokered 108 organ transplants.

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Posted in Asia, Business, Businessman, China, Health, Japan, Law, Life, News, Organ transplant, People, World | 1 Comment »

Retracing the Path Toxic Powder Took To Food in China

Posted by Author on November 11, 2008

By Maureen Fan and Ariana Eunjung Cha, Washington Post Foreign Service, USA, Saturday, November 8, 2008-

SHIJIAZHUANG, China — Xue Jianzhong never posted a sign on his ground-floor shop, but somehow everyone knew what he was selling. Customers from all over this dairy farming region in the northeastern province of Hebei flocked to Xue’s dusty street to buy special concoctions that he said would make milk more nutritious — and more marketable.

Advertised as a “protein powder,” the substance was sold in 44-pound bags and was tasteless, odorless and white, like talc. It wasn’t cheap, about $1 a pound, but it could be mixed into inferior milk or even with specially treated water and the result would be a milklike liquid that would pass government quality tests.

It wasn’t until September, when Xue was arrested in connection with the investigation into the poisoning of tens of thousands of babies across China, that it became clear his secret ingredient was a toxic industrial chemical called melamine.

Melamine can mimic protein in nutrition tests for milk and in products such as wheat gluten and chicken feed. But when ingested in large amounts, it can cause kidney stones or death in children and animals.

The problem is not just a domestic one. Melamine has surfaced in foods sold across Asia and, earlier, in pet food that poisoned animals in the United States, tainting China’s reputation as the world’s factory.

How the same substance that had killed pets and was officially banned in China as an additive in food just last year wound up in baby formula and so many other food products is a story of desperate farmers, complicit chemical companies, and government officials who looked the other way. All were part of a system that allowed the network of melamine dealers to thrive.

Farmers and companies involved in food and feed production said that the doctoring of their products was an open secret in the countryside but that the salesmen had told them it was harmless.

“Actually, every milk collection center bought a lot of melamine,” said Wang, a 60-year-old farmer in the village of Yudi, in the Shijiazhuang area, who would not give her full name because she feared retribution. “Everybody did this.”

China’s melamine trade is run by a criminal syndicate that has relied on chemical companies and underground laboratories for its supply. The trade has been supported by a customer base so eager for the substance that for years it turned a blind eye to its potentially deadly effects. Traditionally used in the manufacture of plastics and leather, melamine has made its way into the food supply in a way that was never supposed to happen.

Initially covered up by officials afraid of losing their jobs and besmirching the Beijing Olympic Games, the melamine contamination scandal began with infant milk formula that killed at least four infants and sickened 54,000 babies. It soon spread to candy, instant coffee, yogurt, biscuits and other products made with Chinese milk, prompting bans or recalls in 16 countries.

In recent weeks the toxin has been discovered in eggs and in animal feed, sparking fears that tainted foods go well beyond dairy products and may include fish, shrimp, beef and poultry.

“Almost all the animal feed companies I know added protein powder to their product until this September. So did our factory,” said a sales manager surnamed Li, in a branch factory of the Liuhe Group, a large animal feed company in Shandong province. “Of course, no one dares to add it now.” …… (more details from washingtonpost)

Posted in Business, Businessman, China, Company, Economy, Food, Health, Hebei, Law, Life, Made in China, medicine, News, North China, People, products, Shijiazhuang, Social, Tainted Products, World | Comments Off on Retracing the Path Toxic Powder Took To Food in China

UK company accuses China customer of kidnapping for $350,000 ransom

Posted by Author on November 8, 2008

By Mure Dickie in Beijing, The Financial Times, October 31 2008-

A British scrap-metals company has accused Chinese customers of kidnapping its chief trader for a $350,000 (£212,000) ransom in a case highlighting the challenges of doing business in China.

Goldarrow Metalssays that Anil Srivastav was seized from a Shanghai airport this month and held for days at a small hotel in the eastern port city of Ningbo.

The company says it was forced to send shipping documents worth $350,000 to Ningbo Yibao Import and Export to secure Mr Srivastav’s freedom after local police and British consular officials refused to intervene.

The spat comes as slumping commodity prices are said to have left thousands of tonnes of imported copper and aluminium scrap sitting in Chinese ports after companies defaulted on deals.

Goldarrow says Mr Srivastav went to Ningbo this month to seek $1.2m it was due from Ningbo Yibao and associate companies. It alleges that James Xu, a Ningbo Yibao trader, told him instead that he could not leave until Goldarrow paid compensation for quality problems with a previousshipment.

Mr Srivastav said that when he tried to leave he was dragged away from Shanghai airport by a group of men and bundled into a car. “I was shouting, ‘Help! Help! Help!’ ” he said. “I was totally terrified . . . One guy pointed his finger like a gun and put it to my temple.”

Mr Xu denied any involvement in holding Mr Srivastav against his will and said his only role had been as a friend of the boss of another company, Ningbo Guanghe Metal Recycling, known as Guanghe. Ningbo Yibao said it had no knowledge of the transaction.

However, contacted by telephone, Mr Xu acknowledged that Ningbo Yibao had received the $350,000 in shipping documents sent by Goldarrow ahead of Mr Srivastav’s return to the UK. The documents had been subsequently transferred to Guanghe, said Mr Xu.

The head of Guanghe, who gave his name only as Meng, said company staff found Mr Srivastav at a Shanghai airport on October 17 and asked him to return to Ningbo.

Mr Meng said Mr Srivastav was then taken to a police station because Guanghe believed that he was guilty of fraud. He denied holding Mr Srivastav against his will and said that after the business dispute was resolved, he was sent off with gifts on October 21.

A spokesman for the UK embassy in Beijing said it had decided not to get involved after concluding that it was a business dispute.

Ningbo city police confirmed that they had been involved in a case involving Guanghe and a foreigner, but declined to give details.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008

Posted in Business, Businessman, China, Company, East China, Economy, Europe, Law, News, People, Social, Trade, World, Zhejiang | Comments Off on UK company accuses China customer of kidnapping for $350,000 ransom

European satellite operator shut down independent TV signal to satisfy China

Posted by Author on July 11, 2008

Reporters Without Borders, 10 July 2008-

Reporters Without Borders calls on Giuliano Berretta, the CEO of the European satellite company Eutelsat, to quickly reverse its decision to suspend independent Chinese-language broadcaster NTDTV’s use of Eutelsat’s W5 satellite to broadcast to Asia.

Eutelsat claims it was forced to suspend NTDTV (New Tang Dynasty Television) on 16 June because of a technical problem but a recorded conversation with an employee of Eutelsat show it was a premeditated, politically-motivated decision violating the free flow of information and the convention under which Eutelsat operates.

“The real reason for the decision to suppress NTDTV exposes how Eutelsat operates in China,” the press freedom organisation said. “The company’s credibility is at stake and we urge its shareholders to intervene as quickly as possible so that NTDTV can resume broadcasting on this satellite. If that is not done, none of the TV companies that are Eutelsat clients will ever be sure they could not also be arbitrarily disconnected one day because of their content.”

Reporters Without Borders added: “NTDTV’s broadcasts irked the Chinese government because, thanks to this satellite, they could be freely received in tens of millions of Chinese homes. Their suspension just a few weeks ahead of the Olympic Games looks like a favour provided by Eutelsat with the aim of obtaining new deals. Eutelsat tried to drop NTDTV once before, in 2005, but an international campaign forced it to sign a new long term contract.”

In a recorded conversation on 23 June with an interlocutor the employee thought was a Chinese Propaganda Department official, a Eutelsat representative in Beijing said:

“It was our company’s CEO in France who decided to stop NTDTV’s signal. (…)We could have turned off any of the transponders. (…) It was because we got repeated complaints and reminder from the Chinese government. (…) Two years ago, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television kept saying the same thing over and over: ‘Stop that TV station before we begin to talk.’

Reporters Without Borders is posting a transcript of this conversation on its website ( and it has an audio recording that is available to the media.

A New York-based TV station with links to the Falun Gong spiritual movement, NTDTV began broadcasting in Chinese four years ago. Its programmes are very different from the content on China’s state TV stations. There is a great deal of coverage of human rights issues, including the repression in Tibet and of religious groups such as Falungong and the underground Christian churches.

The day after it stopped transmitting NTDTV, Eutelsat issued a statement saying the W5 satellite has suffered serious technical problems that had forced the company to reduce the number of transponders and stop broadcasting several TV stations.

Eutelsat and Thales, the French company that made the satellite, are doing more and more business in China. It was Thales that manufactured Zhongxing-9, the satellite that was put in orbit last month to guarantee good coverage of the Olympic Games. Eutelsat has signed a contract with China to use its Long March rocket to launch Eutelsat satellites. The Wall Street Journal wrote in April: “Eutelsat for years has been trying to find a way to penetrate the Chinese market, and launch contracts are widely seen as one way to help reach that goal.”

As a company headquartered in France, Eutelsat is nonetheless obliged to respect the principles of equality of access, pluralism and non-discrimination enshrined in article 3 of a convention governing the operations of satellite companies.

Ever since NTDTV was launched in February 2002, the Chinese government has been trying to get its broadcasts suppressed by pressuring satellite operators and governments.

(Note: Transcript of this conversation can be downloaded from: )

– Original: European satellite operator Eutelsat suppresses independent Chinese-language TV station NTDTV to satisfy Beijing, Previously unpublished conversation by Eutelsat employee confirms move was politically motivated

Posted in Businessman, China, Europe, Human Rights, Media, News, NTDTV, Politics, Press freedom, Social, Speech, Trade, TV / film, World | Comments Off on European satellite operator shut down independent TV signal to satisfy China

Nearly 5,000 Africans Forced to Leave China on New Visa Rules for Olympics

Posted by Author on May 12, 2008

By Aaron Pan,, May 11, 2008-

May 11 (Bloomberg) — Africans living in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou are being forced to leave the country because of new visa policies, the South China Morning Post reported, citing an unidentified spokesman for the community.

Nearly half of the 10,000 Africans in the city have already been forced to leave because their visa-renewal applications have been denied and at least 100 people are stranded in Macau without enough money to return home, the newspaper reported.

African nationals in the city have been running small businesses on flexible, six-month “F” visas and are now being given only tourist visas of up to 15 days, the Morning Post said.

The General Committee of African People in Guangzhou has sent a letter to 10 African embassies in Beijing asking them to press the Chinese government on the issue, the newspaper added.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing said May 7 that visa checks have been tightened ahead of the Olympic Games to ensure “greater security.”

– Original report from Bloomberg: Africans Forced to Leave China on New Visa Rules, Post Reports

Posted in Africa, Beijing Olympics, Businessman, China, Guangdong, Guangzhou, News, People, Politics, SE China, Social, Sports, World | Comments Off on Nearly 5,000 Africans Forced to Leave China on New Visa Rules for Olympics

China: Olympic Flame Turns Up Heat on 12 Top Corporate Sponsors

Posted by Author on April 22, 2008

Human Rights Watch, Apr.17, 2008-

(New York, April 17, 2008 )  With fewer than four months remaining until the start of the Beijing Games, corporate sponsors of the Olympics risk lasting damage to their brands if they do not live up to their professed standards of corporate social responsibility by speaking out about the deteriorating human rights situation in China, Human Rights Watch said today.

“Shareholders and consumers who care about human rights should not let Olympic corporate sponsors off the hook,” said Arvind Ganesan, director of Human Rights Watch’s Business and Human Rights Program. “Their silence on abuses in the run-up to the Beijing Games makes their claims to support human rights especially disingenuous.”

The 12 highest-level corporate benefactors of the Beijing Games, known as the TOP sponsors (“The Olympic Partner”), are: Atos Origin, Coca-Cola, General Electric (GE), Manulife (parent company of John Hancock), Johnson & Johnson, Kodak, Lenovo, McDonald’s, Omega (Swatch Group), Panasonic (Matsushita), Samsung, and Visa.

GE is in an especially prominent position as a TOP Sponsor and the parent company of NBC, which is the US broadcaster of the Games. According to the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC’s) most recent quadrennial review, corporate sponsorships and broadcast fees accounted for 87 percent of IOC revenue from 2001-2004, and the TOP sponsors have paid at least $866 million total for the 2005-2008 period.

In advance of the Beijing Olympics, Human Rights Watch has documented an increase in human rights abuses directly related to preparations for the Games. Those include ongoing violations of media freedom and an intensifying persecution of Chinese human rights defenders who speak out publicly about the Games, as well as the ongoing crackdown in Tibetan areas.

The TOP sponsors have remained largely silent about these developments, despite their widely publicized commitments to the principles of corporate social responsibility and human rights. The Coca-Cola Company and General Electric, for example, are members of the Business Leaders Initiative on Human Rights (BLIHR), a group of companies that pledge to apply human rights principles in their businesses and urge other companies to do the same. General Electric’s own human rights policy states, “GE seeks to advance human rights by leading by example – through our interactions with customers and suppliers, the products we offer and our relationships with communities and governments.”

Since September 2007, Human Rights Watch has repeatedly corresponded with all of the TOP Sponsors and other sponsors (sample letters below), and has met with Coca-Cola, General Electric, and Lenovo, as well as Microsoft, which is an Olympics supplier. A meeting is scheduled with Visa.

“World leaders and even the IOC have belatedly started to speak out against rights abuses in China around the Games, but the companies are notably silent,” said Ganesan. “The Olympics are a key test for putting pledges of corporate social responsibility into action. To date, even companies with strong policies have failed that test.”

Despite their varying policies on corporate social responsibility, the sponsors are uniform in their eagerness to excuse themselves from saying anything about the deteriorating human rights situation in China. Several Olympic sponsors claim erroneously that human rights concerns are “political,” when in fact human rights provide the foundation on which legitimate political activity can take place.

“Human rights should be fundamental to any lawful society and serve as the bedrock principles of Olympism,” said Ganesan. “Particularly when abuses are a direct result of the Olympics, companies should never stay silent or try to dismiss the abuses as peripheral. The payment of tens of millions of dollars to sponsor the Olympic should increase the duty to speak out, rather than provide an excuse for cowardly silence.”

Human Rights Watch wrote to TOP sponsors in the fall of 2007 and again in March and April 2008 to ask companies to define their corporate policies and any action taken to address the deteriorating human rights climate in China. Human Rights Watch has urged the corporate sponsors to take six specific steps in line with their commitment to corporate social responsibility:

* Make a public statement of support for the human rights dimensions of the Olympic Charter, which seeks to promote the “respect for universal fundamental ethical principles” (first Fundamental Principle) and cites the “preservation of human dignity” as a major goal of Olympism (second Fundamental Principle);
* Publicly certify that their operations in China do not entail labor abuses or other rights violations;
* Urge the Chinese authorities to fulfill their human rights commitments made when the Games were awarded, in particular with regard to media freedom;
* Urge the immediate release of courageous advocates who have been harassed, detained, and jailed due to Olympic-related criticisms;
* Press the International Olympic Committee to establish a standing committee or mechanism to address human rights abuses in host countries; and,
* Urge the Chinese government to allow an independent investigation of the recent crackdown in Tibet. The Olympic Torch should not pass through Tibetan areas in May and June 2008 unless there is such an investigation and foreign and Chinese journalists are permitted free access to these areas, in line with Beijing’s media freedom pledges. This recommendation was directed in particular toward the three sponsors of the Torch Relay, Coca-Cola, Lenovo and Samsung.

None of the Olympic sponsors has acted on any of these recommendations, to the knowledge of Human Rights Watch.

“Companies are quite literally paying for these Games, so they can’t argue that they don’t have any responsibility to address abuses that taint the Olympics,” said Ganesan. “If companies aren’t going to act on their own human rights policies in the face of gross abuses, why have those policies at all?”

To view excerpts from TOP Sponsors’ corporate social responsibility policies, and their recent statements on human rights and the Olympics, please see:

* “Olympic Corporate Sponsors: Rhetoric and Reality

To read samples of the letters from Human Rights Watch received by all TOP Sponsors, please see:

* General Electric
* McDonald’s

Original report from Human Rights Watch: China: Olympic Flame Turns Up Heat on Sponsors

Posted in all Hot Topic, Beijing, Beijing Olympics, Business, Businessman, China, Company, Human Rights, News, Politics, Social, Sports, Trade, World | Comments Off on China: Olympic Flame Turns Up Heat on 12 Top Corporate Sponsors

‘I would give 10 to every category’ of the Chinese Splendor, Says Company Vice President

Posted by Author on February 10, 2008

By Dalia Or and Joshua Philipp, Epoch Times Staff, Feb 09, 2008-

NEW YORK— “I am very impressed with the elegance and the movement of the dancers, and it is absolutely so gorgeous. The choreography is phenomenal, the singing, the voices are absolutely spectacular. The musicians are incredible, everything is absolutely breathtaking. I would give 10 to every category,” said Dennis Hemmerich, vice president of American Mech Tech in New Jersey.

Hemmerich attended the February 8 showing of the Chinese New Year Splendor at Radio City Music Hall with his mother-in-law, Mrs. Mariana. “It’s fantastic. It’s very engaging and beautiful. I have never seen anything like that before. I have seen shows, but nothing like that. It is very, very entertaining, very wonderful from the physical, mental aspect, and from the culture, and the choreography too,” said Mrs. Mariana.

Mrs. Mariana continued by saying, “The background is beyond words. Everything is stirring. Everything in the show is beyond words for me. The girls are beautiful, the boys are talented, the singers were excellent. Whatever, it’s breathtaking. The first time I have ever seen anything like that.”

One segment of the show, “The Risen Lotus Flower,” tells of a story of three women imprisoned for practicing Falun Gong in China. “Falun Dafa Hao,” said Hemmerich, meaning “Falun Dafa is good” in Chinese (Falun Dafa is another way of referring to Falun Gong). He said that Divine Performing Arts is “making a very good message. It appears to me that in China, there are very good people, but they are misled. The message of the show to the younger generation like compassion and love and faith and peace is very good.”

“I really enjoyed it, and I’m so impressed that I’m coming tomorrow with my wife and my mother-in-law. We are very impressed,” said Hemmerich. “We are impressed with everything here. Everything, everything. The dancing, the action, the choreography, the music, and the culture.”

The Chinese New Year Splendor continues in New York through Saturday, Feb. 9. For other shows in the Divine Performing Arts world tour, please visit: .

The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of the Chinese New Year Splendor.

Posted in all Hot Topic, Businessman, celebration, China, Chinese Culture, Culture, Dance, Entertainment, Event, Life, Music, News, People, shows, Social, Spiritual, the Chinese Spectacular, USA, World | Comments Off on ‘I would give 10 to every category’ of the Chinese Splendor, Says Company Vice President

300 Million China Mobile Phone Users’ Data Would Handed Over To Government When Demanded: CEO Revealed

Posted by Author on February 1, 2008

AFP, 26 Jan 2008-

DAVOS, Switzerland (AFP) — Serious concerns were raised in Davos last week about the ability of the Chinese government to spy on the country’s 500 million mobile phone users.

The head of China’s biggest mobile phone company, which has more than 300 million subscribers, stunned delegates by revealing that the company had unlimited access to the personal data of its customers and handed it over to Chinese security officials when demanded.

The admission, described as “bone-chilling” by US Congressman Ed Markey, sent shivers through an audience of telecom experts at the World Economic Forum who immediately saw the potential for misuse and surveillance.

“We know who you are, but also where you are,” said the CEO of China Mobile Communications Corporation, Wang Jianzhou, whose company adds six million new customers to its network each month and is already the biggest mobile group in the world by users.

He was explaining how the company could use the personal data of its customers to sell advertising and services to them based on knowledge of where they were and what they were doing.

When pressed about the privacy and security implications of this, he added: “We can access the information and see where someone is, but we never give this information away … only if the security authorities ask for it.”

The movement of mobile phone users can be tracked because they connect to local base stations, giving a trail that can only be accessed in most democratic countries by security officials under strict conditions.

Mobile phones can also be easily tapped.

Markey, who is chairman of the US House of Representatives subcommittee on telecommunications, contrasted the situation with the checks and controls in place in the United States, where a court order is required for the government to check phone records.

“I have my eyebrows arched so high they’re hitting the ceiling,” he told AFP after listening to Wang.

“I have many, many more questions about what the relationship is with the government and moreover how the company can use that information.”

US Internet company Yahoo was widely pilloried and faced a congressional hearing after the group divulged information to Beijing police that landed a Chinese journalist in jail.

Shi Tao was convicted in 2005 of divulging state secrets after he posted a Chinese government order forbidding media organisations from marking the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square uprising on the Internet.

He was identified with information provided by Yahoo and was sentenced to 10 years in jail.

Jonathan Zittrain, a professor of Internet governance and regulation at Oxford University in Britain, stressed how the mobile phone had become a serious threat to privacy in all countries.

“It’s amazing to see how such a comprehensive surveillance network has been set up through the market force of consumer demand,” he told AFP.

“With CCTV (closed circuit television), the government sets it up and you have nothing to say about it. With this (mobile phones), you’re paying for your own monitoring device.”

He said governments in democratic countries were “just waking up to the need for regulation.”

The remarks by Wang came in the context of a discussion about how mobile phone operators could generate additional revenues by increasing targeted advertising and other services.

The idea of location-based advertising, in which advertisers use the location of mobile phone user to send targeted advertising, also won support from Google chairman Eric Schmidt.

He used the example of how an advertiser of fast-food could target a user with advertising when he or she was near a restaurant.

Wang said his company was able to estimate the number of people at last year’s Shanghai Formula One grand prix by counting subscribers in the area.

When enough people had phones in China, the data could be used to estimate the number of people on roads at a particular time as a proxy for the level of congestion, he said.

The number of mobile phone users in China was 523.3 million at the end of September, up 13.5 percent from the end of 2006, according to official data.

The discussion took place in a session titled: “The Future of Mobile Technology.”

– Original report from AFP : China’s mobile network: a big brother surveillance tool?

Posted in Business, Businessman, censorship, China, Communication, Company, Economy, Human Rights, Law, Life, Mobile Phone, News, People, Politics, Social, Technology, World | Comments Off on 300 Million China Mobile Phone Users’ Data Would Handed Over To Government When Demanded: CEO Revealed

Chrysler Executive: The Chinese Spectacular Helps US ‘understand the diversity of China’

Posted by Author on January 26, 2008

By Seth Holehouse, Epoch Times Detroit Staff, Jan 23, 2008-

DETROIT—Coming from a triumphant tour in Canada, The Chinese New Year Spectacular played to a nearly full house at the beautiful Detroit Opera House last night, and businessmen like Chrysler Public Relations/Communications Spokesperson Max Gates learned a lot from the experience.

“Our Chrysler foundation,” Gates explained, “has done a lot of work with the communities, supporting the arts and culture. Many of our employees are very involved in the oriental group, and it is very interesting for me to see some of [the Chinese] culture.”

In fact, “We have been looking forward to the show for a long time,” Gates shared.

And the involvement with China is growing. “At Chrysler,” Gates continued, “we are developing a lot of relations with China. I think that our involvement with China is going to grow very rapidly over the next few years.”

The Spectacular fits a unique need for the American businessman. “The show has helped me understand the diversity of China,” Gates continued. “I am struck by the tremendous range of geography and culture in China, especially the language and artistic expression. The show displays the cultures of Tibet, Mongolia, and other parts of mainland China.”

The contrast with American culture is stark. “We live in a country that is barely 250 years old, and in China we are talking about centuries of culture. It is a very different perspective….It is amazing to see how their history and culture has maintained, “Gates said, “and how important it is to the Chinese people.

Of course, Gates found the show entertaining as well. “I really like[d] the costumes in the bowl dance, the colors are so rich and beautiful. I thought that the bowl dance itself was very beautiful.”

Any chance that this experience will change the corporate community? “I think we should get a drum group going at Chrysler,” Gates exclaimed, “that would really inspire the workers!”

There are still plenty of opportunities to experience the magic of the Chinese New Year Spectacular. Following this Detroit performance, Diving Performing Arts will play one show in Minneapolis on January 24, and three more in Chicago on January 25 and 26. The Spectacular is also playing January 23-26 in San Francisco. See for details. The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of the Chinese New Year Spectacular.

Original report from the Epochtimes

Posted in Business, Businessman, Chinese Culture, Culture, Dance, Entertainment, Event, Heritage, Life, Music, News, People, shows, Social, tradition, USA, World | Comments Off on Chrysler Executive: The Chinese Spectacular Helps US ‘understand the diversity of China’

China: Spiritual Awakening and Religion Commercialization

Posted by Author on January 14, 2008

by Dexter Roberts, the Business Week, January 10, 2008- On the first day of every lunar month, Buddhists crowd the Yonghe Temple to burn incense

In early December, Beijing’s in-crowd converged on the central business district for the opening of the Kunlun gallery. Sipping Veuve Clicquot and Mumm champagne, the real estate tycoons, stock market warriors, and Prada-clad celebrities gawked at Ming Dynasty Buddhist statuary and 15th century scroll paintings.

(photo above: On the first day of every lunar month, Buddhists crowd the Yonghe Temple to burn incense/ from Business Week)

Four Tibetan art works eventually fetched $3.4 million and, at a follow-up auction eight days later, 87 pieces of Buddhist art netted $10.4 million. For the gallery’s proprietor, a half-Tibetan, half-Chinese entrepreneur named Yi Xi Ping Cuo, 35, the brisk business was another testament to the popularity of Buddhism in China. “Every year there are millions more Buddhists,” says Yi. “Of course they want to put a Buddhist statue in their homes to make their hearts peaceful.”

Buddhism is booming—quite a paradox given the Communist Party’s official atheism and its troubled relationship with the Dalai Lama. The faith’s growing popularity reflects a yearning for meaning among China’s yuppies, who increasingly are attracted to Buddhism’s rejection of materialism and emphasis on the transitory nature of life. “They have a BMW and a house in the countryside,” says Lawrence Brahm, an American who runs three boutique hotels, including one in Tibet. “And they’re bored. They’re realizing there’s more to life than collecting toys.” Buddhism’s trendiness has spawned a surge in faith-related business: Flights to the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, are booked solid, monasteries are building guesthouses, and Web sites offering free downloadable mantras are proliferating.

Buddhism arrived in China from India in the first century A.D. and flourished right up to the modern era. After the Communists seized power in 1949, they discouraged religion. But like Christianity, Buddhism never entirely disappeared. Some believers continued quietly to practice at altars set up in their homes. And not long after China embraced market forces in the late 1970s and ’80s, the faith reemerged in the countryside, with peasants visiting refurbished temples, where they burned incense and prayed.

Despite opening up, China remains wary of religious groups. Its relations with Rome, while improved in recent years, are hardly friendly. And some seven years ago the authorities crushed the Falun Gong, which the government deemed an unacceptable threat after 10,000 sect members showed up in Beijing to protest their official ostracism. But the government is comfortable with Buddhism. “Buddhists seldom mess with politics,” says Chan Koon Chung, a writer and Buddhist in Beijing. “So it’s more palatable to the government.” In a recent speech President Hu Jintao even suggested that religion, including Buddhism, could help to ease tensions between the haves and the have-nots.

In the past few years, the faith has been resonating with the white-collar class. As China clocks its fifth year of double-digit growth, working 12 hours a day and on weekends is de rigueur. Li Xinglu once typified the breed: hard-working, successful, unfulfilled. She ran an events-promotion firm and brought the likes of Ricky Martin, Boyz II Men, and the Dance Theater of Harlem to Beijing and Shanghai. She mixed with pop stars, diplomats, and entrepreneurs. But something was missing. “I was smoking, drinking, and spending all night in the clubs,” says Li, who is 39 and married to an American fund manager. “I spent a lot of time chasing happiness.”

A recurring dream about her grandmother’s death and conversations with a spiritually inclined colleague got her thinking. Before long, Li was on a plane bound for the northwestern city of Xining. After a 21-hour Jeep ride across the Tibetan plateau, she arrived at the Tse-Reh monastery. There Li met her teacher, a 19-year-old monk who set her on a new path. Today, Li has put her career on hold and focuses instead on charitable acts, including raising money for an orphanage for Tibetan children. She credits her conversion for halting a downward spiral. “I didn’t understand there was such a thing as a soul or spirit,” says Li.

Not long ago, young upwardly mobile Chinese flew to places such as Thailand for the sun, sea, and sand. Now, like Li, many are heading to Buddhist retreats at home. Temples are being refurbished for the tourist hordes. Jade Buddha Temple in Shanghai is now one of China’s top Buddhist destinations. The 126-year-old monastery runs its own 44-room hotel (double occupancy: $134) and sells lucky amulets, DVDs of monks reciting mantras, and other spiritual paraphernalia. (Monks hoping to maximize profits are even attending MBA programs that offer temple-management classes.)


In November, the chamber of commerce in coastal Xiamen sponsored the second annual Buddhist Items & Crafts fair. More than 40,000 entrepreneurs descended on the vast Xiamen International Conference & Exhibition Center and loaded up on statuary, prayer beads, incense burners, and other goods. “This is a huge commercial opportunity,” says Xuan Fang, who teaches religious studies at the People’s University in Beijing. “A string of prayer beads that may be worth no more than one yuan could sell for dozens of yuan in a temple.”

Some traditionalists fret that Buddhism is becoming too trendy. Exhibit A: pop diva Faye Wong, a convert whose videos sometimes feature Buddhist images. And some monasteries focus as much on attracting tourists as practicing the faith. “Commercialization,” says professor Xuan, “is one of the most dangerous trends of Chinese Buddhism.” Still, for stressed-out yuppies, Buddhism is a respite from the rat race. “Society brings so many headaches,” says Nikki Xi, a convert who works for a Web ad agency. “I’m more relaxed. [Buddhism] makes the whole work process smoother.”

Roberts is BusinessWeek’s Asia News Editor and China bureau chief.

– Original report from BusinessWeek: China’s Spiritual Awakening

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