Global Lens on China
China cracks down on Great Wall brick thieves
THE Great Wall is disappearing, brick by brick, and Chinese authorities have had enough.
A new campaign has been launched to protect the ancient fortification that snakes for 13,000 miles (21,000 kilometers) across northern China from criminal damage.
Built in different stages from the third century B.C. to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the wall was built to defend an empire but parts of it are now crumbling.
Bricks have been stolen to build houses, for agriculture or to sell as souvenirs to tourists -- exacerbating the natural erosion wrought by wind, rain and sandstorms.
July 29, 2016, Friday
Apple’s China Problem Is That Local Phones are Good -- and Cheap
FOR Beijing resident Nie Miao, spending 5,000 yuan ($749) on a new iPhone 6S from Apple Inc. “just isn’t an option.”
That’s because the lion’s share of his 7,000 yuan monthly pay goes toward the mortgage on the downtown apartment he bought last year. And he’s perfectly happy with the 2,000 yuan handset he got from Huawei Technologies Co.
The 29-year-old embodies the challenges in China for Apple, which has lost ground to local competitors. It’s been almost two years since the Cupertino, California-based company revamped the iPhone for the sixth generation. In the meantime, rivals like Huawei and Xiaomi Corp. have developed their own cheaper products with similar specifications, while the relative success of the iPhone 6 has made it harder for Apple to sustain its growth rates.
July 24, 2016, Sunday
China's Wanda eyes stake in Paramount Pictures: report
CHINESE conglomerate Wanda is in talks to buy a stake in US film studio Paramount Pictures, according to a report, marking the Asian company's latest move to expand its entertainment empire.
Wanda, which in January bought production giant Legendary Entertainment for $3.5 billion, is seeking 49 percent of Paramount from parent company Viacom, the Wall Street Journal quoted "people familiar with the discussions" as saying. It did not say how much the deal would be worth.
The agreement would give Paramount -- which is behind the multi-billion-dollar Star Trek and Indiana Jones franchises -- a crucial foothold in the vast Chinese market, but the Wall Street Journal said hurdles remain before any deal.
The report comes as Viacom is embroiled in a bitter internal power struggle that pits controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone and his family against other executives.
July 14, 2016, Thursday
Virtual reality heats up in China
THE virtual reality (VR) market in China is expected to reach $860 million in 2016 and accelerate to $8.5 billion by 2020. In the last six months alone, the Chinese VR market has seen a flurry of investments, partnerships and new ventures involving both local and international players. With capabilities in low cost, mass scale manufacturing, a hot investment climate, and international support, China could become the epicenter of the global VR market’s growth.
Venture Beat |
July 3, 2016, Sunday
We Went To Shanghai Disney & All We Brought Back Was This AMAZING Stuff
WHEN Shanghai Disneyland opened a few weeks ago, crowds raved about the Chinese park. The futuristic Pirates of the Caribbean ride! That massive castle! The too-cute Toy Story-themed hotel! Naturally, we wanted to know more — but about the question no one was asking: What Disney merchandise was for sale here that we couldn’t buy anywhere else?
After taking a stroll through every single store at the park, well, we walked away seriously impressed. (Merch on high, people.) There weren’t just Minnie ears and Mickey hats, there were princess earrings that aren’t too dainty, keychains that aren’t too cliché, and even some unexpectedly chic home decor. It was hard not scooping it all up — if only we had a Mary Poppins bag! — but we did the very best we could.
Here’s a first look at the very, very impressive souvenirs for sale across Shanghai Disneyland Resort.
July 1, 2016, Friday
The Rise of China's Global Consumers
CHINESE companies are making international news like never before. By May 2016, Chinese outbound mergers and acquisitions tallied $111 billion, already surpassing the full year total of $108 billion for 2015.
Yet unprecedented media coverage of Chinese companies’ rapid overseas expansion overlooks the more human face of an increasingly globalized Middle Kingdom – China’s global consumers.
With record numbers of Chinese overseas travelers, students studying abroad, and diaspora communities around the world, Chinese consumers are a major global demographic that no company can ignore.
June 28, 2016, Tuesday
China’s ‘Land Kings’ Return as Housing Prices Rise
THE “land kings” are back.
That had been a nickname for Chinese developers paying sky-high prices for land parcels during China’s property boom earlier this decade, which left so-called ghost cities of unsold housing across China.
Now, with housing prices in China’s larger cities again rising rapidly, frothy bids for land parcels are back.
The Wall Street Journal |
June 19, 2016, Sunday
WWE ready to rumble in China
WORLD Wrestling Entertainment is ramping up its presence in China, making its most popular shows streamable in Mandarin and introducing its first Chinese star in the latest US entertainment push to tap the country’s rising middle class.
“Because of what’s happening in China today, in terms of being more open to western content?.?.?.?we’ve reached an inflection point,” said George Barrios, WWE chief strategy and financial officer.
Financial Times |
June 16, 2016, Thursday
Is ‘Warcraft’s Outsized China Box Office A Game-Changer For Hollywood?
A perfect storm of strategic partners working with a piece of culturally resonant IP and a key release date helped Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures’ Warcraft to an Orc-sized $156M opening this weekend in China. At the same time, the expensive film yielded an unimpressive $24.1M opening domestically. While this isn’t the first time that a Hollywood movie bows bigger in the Middle Kingdom, it is an exponentially larger example than those that have come before it. Is it a real game-changer — a sign that reliable China revenue will help studios cover downside risk for pricey global-minded tentpoles that currently lead to painful red ink and write downs when they flop?
June 15, 2016, Wednesday
China calls on men to donate sperm
CHINA has asked men between the age of 20 and 45 to show their patriotism in a rather untraditional way. "For the sake of your country, please donate sperm," the government said.
China hopes more young men will become donors to help fill sperm banks as they face shortages. Officials are also concerned that shortages will worsen since the government has allowed more Chinese couples to have a second child. China ended its decades-long one-child policy this year.
They are also using up to $1,000 in cash incentives as well as promises of a new iPhone, the New York Times reports.
USA Today |
June 14, 2016, Tuesday