"Dwarfing even the $2 trillion borrowed for the Railway Ministry’s high-speed networks since 2008, and the thousands of kilometres of 4–6 lane toll roads with barely a vehicle on them, China’s building binge is the most striking example of what Prime Minister Wen Jiabao famously, but impotently, denounced in 2007 as the country’s “unbalanced, unstable, uncoordinated and unsustainable” model of economic development. Now, with house prices and sales sagging in response to government restrictions aimed at deflating history’s biggest ever property bubble, and with local governments as deep in bad debt as the developers, I asked the businessman what was to prevent the bubble actually bursting
, in a spectacular financial explosion? "
posted by vidur
on Jun 21, 2012 -
You may have seen Replacements, Ltd.'s
print ads in the back of PARADE magazine (of Howard Huge
fame). Replacements, both a seller and a resource
for china and glassware owners, was one of the few North Carolina businesses to publicly take a stand
[NYT] against the state's vote to ban gay marriage.
As an employer, Replacements is one of only nine companies in the country to receive a perfect score
for ten years straight in the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index. But the company is also known for another surprisingly liberal policy: encouraging its 450 employees to bring their pets to work amidst millions of pieces of china and glassware. How many? A whole lot. [more inside]
posted by Madamina
on May 29, 2012 -
Revolutionary hardware backdoor discovered in China-made military-grade FPGA chips.
Claims were made by the intelligence agencies around the world, from MI5, NSA and IARPA, that silicon chips could be infected. We developed breakthrough silicon chip scanning technology to investigate these claims. We chose an American military chip that is highly secure with sophisticated encryption standard, manufactured in China. Our aim was to perform advanced code breaking and to see if there were any unexpected features on the chip. We scanned the silicon chip in an affordable time and found a previously unknown backdoor inserted by the manufacturer. This backdoor has a key, which we were able to extract. If you use this key you can disable the chip or reprogram it at will, even if locked by the user with their own key. This particular chip is prevalent in many systems from weapons, nuclear power plants to public transport. In other words, this backdoor access could be turned into an advanced Stuxnet weapon to attack potentially millions of systems. The scale and range of possible attacks has huge implications for National Security and public infrastructure.
posted by scalefree
on May 27, 2012 -
In March, a young, male driver crashed a Ferrari in snowy conditions, killing himself and wounding the two female passengers. The Beijing Evening News posted a short story, complete with a picture of the wrecked car, but deleted it a short time later
. A new story was put up a short time later, apparently without the picture of the wrecked car, but terms related to the crash were blocked from the micro-blogging site Sina Weibo
(blocking on Weibo, previously
). The news of the crash, and the subsequent (partial) cover-up were further marks against the Rich2G, the second generation of China’s moneyed class
. More recently, Ferrari held an event to celebrate twenty years of the luxury car maker in China, spending $12,670 to rent a section (and drive a special edition "Marco Polo Red" 458 Italia)
on top of the City Wall of Nanjing
. The driver was caught on film driving tight circles on the ancient wall
, leaving tire marks and further souring the public against Ferrari in specific, and the wealthy at large
. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on May 10, 2012 -
On Tiger Moms
: "What the controversy surrounding Chua demonstrates, however inadvertently, is that parenting techniques are always grounded in basic assumptions about the way things are and what matters to us. And they are always guided by some answer to the most fundamental of ethical questions—how to live?" [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on May 7, 2012 -
Australian billionaire Clive Palmer has commissioned a Chinese shipyard to build Titanic II
, a modernized replica of the unsinkable Titanic
posted by swift
on Apr 30, 2012 -
The Previous And Current Lives Of A World-Class Joke
"At first, it was limited only to the Chinese-language Internet. More recently, it has appeared among foreign media. I just watched a clip of director James Cameron being interviewed on a talk show during which he said: "They were afraid that the Chinese men will reach out to touch the screen." When Cameron emphasized that "This is true," I knew that this is one of the most successful fake stories in recent years." [more inside]
posted by Kirth Gerson
on Apr 21, 2012 -
Gu Kailai, the wife of senior Chinese party leader Bo Xilai
, has been arrested for the murder of an English businessman
. Bo, until his sudden fall from power this year
, one of the most popular politicians in China, the leading figure of the Chinese New Left
and Party Committee Secretary of the megacity of Chongqing, has completed his downfall by being expelled from the politburo and stripped of all party positions. The collapse started in February, when his top lieutenant, Wang Lijun, was suddenly demoted and then fled to the US consulate for a day
- supposedly, either attempting to defect or to give incriminating evidence on Bo and Gu to the Americans for safekeeping. [more inside]
posted by strangely stunted trees
on Apr 10, 2012 -
The files of the God of Gamblers case can be read as a string of accidents, good and bad: Siu’s run at the baccarat table; Wong’s luck to be assigned an assassin with a conscience; Adelson’s misfortune that reporters noticed an obscure murder plot involving his casino. But the tale, viewed another way, depends as little on luck as a casino does. It is, rather, about the fierce collision of self-interests. If Las Vegas is a burlesque of America—the “ethos of our time run amok,” as Hal Rothman, the historian, put it—then Macau is a caricature of China’s boom, its opportunities and rackets, its erratic sorting of winners and losers.
Evan Osnos on a real-life "God of Gamblers" and the rise of Macau
, The New Yorker
posted by jng
on Apr 6, 2012 -
" Thus in today’s China one confronts the paradox of a communist regime that is at ideological loggerheads with left-leaning intellectuals, but which finds pro-Western, liberal intellectuals on the whole quite congenial." Richard Wolin is Dreaming In Chinese...
posted by artof.mulata
on Mar 26, 2012 -
, former Party Secretary of Chongqing and current Politburo member, was recently sacked
by Chinese leadership. He is well known for his economic success at growing Chongqing, and his flamboyant leadership style which included the revival of “Red Culture”[previously
]. [more inside]
posted by HabeasCorpus
on Mar 26, 2012 -
It’s a very specialized set of sports that the Chinese focus on but they simply kick absolute ass at them. ... If you look at the 2008 Olympic weightlifting results in Beijing... the women didn’t just squeak by to win a medal; most were simply so far ahead of their competition that it was a joke. In most cases, the Chinese women took their first attempt after everyone else had already finished lifting for the day. And they came out and just dispatched their weights in perfect form, setting new world records and winning medals with abandon. [more inside]
posted by Trurl
on Mar 4, 2012 -
He leaves his cellphone and laptop at home and instead brings "loaner" devices, which he erases before he leaves the US and wipes clean the minute he returns . In China, he disables Bluetooth and Wi-Fi , never lets his phone out of his sight and, in meetings, not only turns off his phone but also removes the battery , for fear his microphone could be turned on remotely. He connects to the Internet only through an encrypted, password-protected channel, and copies and pastes his password from a USB thumb drive. He never types in a password directly, because, he said, "Chinese are very good at installing key-logging software on your laptop."
- Travel precautions in the age of digital espionage.
posted by Artw
on Feb 13, 2012 -
“You need a thousand rubber gaskets? That’s the factory next door. You need a million screws? That factory is a block away. You need that screw made a little bit different? It will take three hours.
” Charles Duhigg and Keith Bradsher of the NY Times give an in-depth report on Apple's migration of electronics manufacturing to Asia and its impact on middle class Americans.
posted by Blazecock Pileon
on Jan 21, 2012 -