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Global Lens on China


Jack Ma explains why China’s education system fails to produce innovators

Jack Ma explains why China’s education system fails to produce innovators


CHINA’S tech industry is far better-known, far more creative, and far more successful than it was ten years ago. But China is still often criticized as lacking innovation. Alibaba founder Jack Ma addressed China’s innovation gap head on in a speech on Monday and a convention in Shanghai, and put the blame on China’s education system, or at least one part of it.

A brief Chinese lesson is necessary to understand one of Ma’s points here, though. The Chinese term for education is jiaoyu, a compound word made up of two characters. The first, jiao, means teach and refers to teaching, pedagogy, and what happens in the classroom. The second, yu, means foster or nourish and here refers to the broader process of raising a child both in and out of the classroom.

From Jack Ma’s speech:

“I want to talk with everyone about innovation. We often say that America and Europe are more innovative than us, that China’s innovation is not good and that the education [jiaoyu] system is to blame. Actually, I think China’s jiao is fine. The problem is with the yu. In terms of jiao, China’s students test better than anyone in the world, but yu is about fostering culture and emotional IQ.

Full Story

Tec In Asia | December 9, 2014, Tuesday

China urged to drop one-child policy. But will young couples opt for two?

China urged to drop one-child policy. But will young couples opt for two?


THE Chinese government’s top think tank on social policy has urged Beijing to drop its controversial one child policy, saying it has outlived its usefulness and now threatens dire consequences.

After more than 30 years of strict birth control, China is coming dangerously close to a “low fertility trap” in which birthrates would go into an uncontrollable downward spiral, according to a report Monday by the Chinese Academy for Social Sciences (CASS).

The danger of China’s low birthrate is twofold, says Qiao Xiaochun, a demographer at Peking University. “Chinese society is aging rapidly, and there is a lack of social support for the elderly,” he points out.

By 2050, China will have 480 million people over the age of 60 – a quarter of the world’s elderly population – according to a report earlier this year by the China National Commission on Aging.

Full Story

The Christian Science Monitor | December 17, 2014, Wednesday

China drives growth in patent applications

China drives growth in patent applications


CHINA made one third of the world's patent applications last year, once again driving strong global growth despite stalling innovation in Europe and Japan, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) said Tuesday.

New figures confirm that "strategically, the country... is on a journey from 'made in China' to 'created in China', away from manufacturing to more knowledge intensive industries", said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry.

Some 2.57 million patents were filed last year, an increase of nine percent on 2012 figures. China led the way followed by the US and Japan.

Applications from China grew by 26.4 percent, increasing its global share from almost 28 percent to 32.1 percent in a year, while US applications grew by 5.3 percent.

Full Story

中国刺激全球专利数量增长 | December 17, 2014, Wednesday

China looking for new markets in eastern Europe

China looking for new markets in eastern Europe


IN an attempt to secure business ties and increase political influence, China has launched a charm offensive in eastern Europe — where the European Union and Russia are also vying for sway.

Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, accompanied by 200 corporate executives, met the leaders of 16 central and eastern European countries Tuesday for a two-day summit being billed in China as an opportunity to deepen ties to the region and boost relations with the EU.

The Asian economic power is interested in energy, infrastructure and other big projects to fuel its economy at a time when labor costs are rising at home, risking crimping its exports, its traditional economic strength. Chinese investors hope to boost their presence in the region where Western companies may be reluctant to take financial risks.

Full Story

timesunion.com | December 16, 2014, Tuesday

China is building a new Silk Road to Europe, and it's leaving America behind

China is building a new Silk Road to Europe, and it's leaving America behind


IT'S a day that should live forever in history. On that day, in the city of Yiwu in China's Zhejiang province, 300 kilometers south of Shanghai, the first train carrying 82 containers of export goods weighing more than 1,000 tons left a massive warehouse complex heading for Madrid. It arrived on December 9th.

Welcome to the new trans-Eurasia choo-choo train. At over 13,000 kilometers, it will regularly traverse the longest freight train route in the world, 40% farther than the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway. Its cargo will cross China from East to West, then Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, France, and finally Spain.

You may not have the faintest idea where Yiwu is, but businessmen plying their trades across Eurasia, especially from the Arab world, are already hooked on the city "where amazing happens!" We're talking about the largest wholesale center for small-sized consumer goods—from clothes to toys—possibly anywhere on Earth.

Full Story

Mother Jones | December 16, 2014, Tuesday

The number of US jobs lost to the China trade is around and about zero

The number of US jobs lost to the China trade is around and about zero


WE’VE a new report out from the EPI telling us that allowing China into the WTO has cost millions of US jobs. This really is not quite so I’m afraid. In fact it’s an appeal to the general economic illiteracy of the citizenry (there’s nothing at all wrong with not knowing everything about every different subject: but to play upon people’s misconceptions could be regarded as not desirable). For the number of jobs in the US is not determined by the trade policies of the country. The number of jobs is determined by the Federal Reserve and the Government itself, in the mix of monetary and fiscal policies they produce in combination. The EPI does in general subscribe to some form of Keynesian economics and this is one of the central points of that type of economics. That it is the level of aggregate demand that determines employment levels, not trade.

But out comes this report and out come the predictable responses. The union leader who says it’s all a crying shame:

Under billions of tons of imports, the American dream is suffocating.

Full Story

Forbes | December 15, 2014, Monday

Gay culture gains increasing acceptance in China

Gay culture gains increasing acceptance in China


CHINA is increasingly opening up to gays and lesbians with a new survey showing 59 per cent of Chinese people saying the society should accept homosexuals.

Fifty-nine per cent of 2,400 city residents interviewed in a survey said that society should accept homosexuals while 21 per cent said they know gay people, state-run Global Times reported today.

On same-sex marriage, 40 per cent of respondents supported the idea and 19 per cent opposed.

The survey, on the social acceptance towards LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) people, was done by the Shanghai LGBT Professionals and Work For LGBT and Parents, Families, Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).

City residents aged 18 years and above were surveyed in November online and through mobile.

Full Story

Business Standard | December 9, 2014, Tuesday

Small investors add fuel to China's big stock boom

Small investors add fuel to China's big stock boom


GONG Bin, a marketing employee in Shanghai, watched Chinese stock prices gallop upward for months before he finally gave in and put the equivalent of 2½ months' salary into the surging market.

In two months, Gong made a 10 percent return on his 20,000 yuan ($3,300) investment.

"My colleagues were always talking about the money they made from the market, so I thought, why not?" said Gong, 27. "It turned out to be the right decision."

Even as a downturn in the world's second-largest economy deepens, Gong and a growing army of other small investors are riding a boom in China's volatile stock markets.

Buoyed by hopes for an economic rebound combined with outright cheerleading by the state press, the market benchmark has soared 49 percent since June, including 8 percent last week alone.

Full Story

ABC News | December 8, 2014, Monday

China to Chennai: A Tamil radio that bridges two cultures


25-YEAR-OLD Chinese broadcast journalist Liao Liang speaks Tamil with such a fluency that will make a native speaker of the language feel envious.

Liao, who works in the Tamil Department of the state-run China Radio International (CRI) introduces herself on the show as ‘Poongothai’, a name that has become an integral part of her multi-lingual identity and to her listeners in India and around the world.

At the over 70-year-old China Radio, she is part of a 20-odd member Tamil language broadcast team, which includes mostly Tamil-speaking Chinese employees along with a few native speakers hailing from India.

Meet Liao and she would greet you with a ‘vanakkam’ and her hands folded in the Indian gesture. She says, “knowing Tamil lets her understand and connect with people of India.”

Full Story

The Hindu Business Line | December 7, 2014, Sunday

What to do in Shanghai: an insider's guide

What to do in Shanghai: an insider's guide


YILEI is from a fashion marketing and journalism background, originally coming to the store from a design angle. Meeting Jillian Xin, who has a background in finance, they found that there was so much they could do together to develop the business and inspire one another. Yilei credits the diversity and creativity of the city with the growing industry of entrepreneurs and creative industries.

Part of what makes Xinlelu unique is it’s vast and eclectic collection of indie designers from all over the world. In charge of buying, Yilei sources labels from international trade shows as well as designers through word-of-mouth and industry support. She feels, as big as the city is, the creative circle remains close.

Whether local designers, or those based far away, almost all designers represented in the store come from an international background, which is important because they are knowledgable both about different cultures and western retail systems as well as Chinese culture and customs.

Full Story

Conde Nast Traveller | December 5, 2014, Friday

As China continues to grab increasing media attention worldwide, our partner runs a regular column to reveal what overseas media are saying about China and how they view the country's fast economic, social and cultural development.


Check it out at http://www.guancha.cn/WaiMeiKanZhongGuo/


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