SEATTLE (Reuters) – China has levied about $140 million in back taxes from Microsoft Corp in the first major case concerning cross-border tax evasion in the country, as regulators ramp up pressure on U.S. corporations doing business there. According to an article published by China’s
According to Duowei News, the drone is ready for its maiden flight after completing its taxi tests in December last year. Designed jointly by the Hongdu Aviation Industry Group and Shenyang Aviation Corporation, the Lijian is quite similar to both the U.S. X-47B and the
Want China Times China has decided to replace 15% of the Windows operating systems on its government computers with domestic operating systems each year, hoping to have made a significant impact by 2020, reports Duowei News, a media outlet operated by overseas Chinese, citing the
CNBC A minor Chinese official rose to infamy after anticorruption detectives discovered more than $20 million worth of renminbi in cash, 37 kilograms of gold bars and 68 property ownership documents in his family home, according to The New York Times’ Sinosphere blog. Ma Chaoqun
Yahoo Last month Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov announced that Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil company, had requested 2 trillion roubles (then $49 billion) from the state’s National Wealth Fund (NWF) to help it meet its funding requirements. The request was refused but it left questions
(Reuters) – Qatar will become the Middle East’s first hub for clearing transactions in the Chinese yuan, in a step that could over the long run help Gulf oil exporting countries reduce their dependence on the U.S. dollar. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China’s Doha
South Korea unveils plans to grow as global yuan hub South Korea will launch direct trading between the yuan and the won in December and adopt a series of measures to make the country an international hub for growing yuan businesses, the government said on Friday.
Reuters Online threat to China’s UnionPay outweighs foreign card rivals Chinese bank card operator UnionPay, which may soon have to defend its near monopoly against Visa and MasterCard, faces a much bigger threat from online payment providers such as Alipay, and is upgrading its systems
Consumption rose to 48.5 percent of GDP in the first nine months of 2014, up from 45.9 percent a year earlier. Top leaders are praising Ali Baba for unleashing the inner-sprendthrift of Chinese consumers.
Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is displaying new prudence in its pivot to Asia. The Qatar Investment Authority has announced it will join forces with China’s CITIC Group to invest $10 billion in the country over five years. The tie-up reflects the challenges of putting large
BEIJING (Reuters) – The central banks of China and Canada have agreed to a currency swap worth 200 billion yuan ($32.67 billion) or C$30 billion, according to a Canadian government statement issued at a meeting of Asia Pacific nations on Saturday.
The stars are aligning for Chinese equities in 2015. First you have the H.K.-Shanghai Connect scheme which will allow foreigners to directly invest in A-Shares in the Chinese market but you also have global QE and in this case Japanese QE which will of course
If you think only the financial and governmental systems are the ones in the U.S that are rotting think again. Military contracting firms have been living high-off-the hog for way too long and have fallen behind. Want China Times The J-31, China’s second fifth-generation stealth
First a little background on Chinese tech-heads. First off, they are highly
under-rated. While you hear so much about I.T. people from India or Eastern
Europe, China has a much stronger and deeper pool of tech talent. Chinese
techies you don’t hear much about spend their entire adolescent lives in
internet labs,even sleeping there, as they generally have no hope of getting
a girlfriend in a generation with an excess capacity of males.
I myself attended Tsinghua University, the M.I.T. of China, in the late 1990′s.
Even back then, when computers in China where not as mainstream as now, the
technical talent at Tsinghua was stunning. I remember walking the internet labs
at school and thinking…”Look at the size of the craniums on these dudes. ”
Of course, they couldn’t hold a conversation but they could probably hack
the Defence department, even back then.
What you are about to read now, is an evolutionary result from that time to
now of a society that is highly academically focused and driven and is now
far above the technical capability that is found in the U.S., a society that
relies on importing tech talent.
Now to the story…
Want China Times
GeekPwn held a hack-a-thon in Beijing last week on the 24th and 25th of October
in Beijing. GeekPwn is a platform for tech geeks with “extraordinary ideas” to
demonstrate how they “pwn” — that is, to conquer or to gain ownership over — smart
devices such as smartphones, smartglasses, smart bracelets and smart vehicles.
It was the first ever worldwide security geek contest for smart devices
as reported by Chinese internet services portal Tencent. GeekPwn organiser
Wang Qi showed how to hack into a Tesla smart vehicle with a smartphone.
Wang, formerly the first principal security researcher of Microsoft Asia Pacific
and founder of the China Microsoft Security Response Center, showed attendees how
to hack into a smartphone in under two minutes. He said his team has found similar
security vulnerabilities in as many as 70 mainstream handsets, including Google’s
Nexus 5 and Samsung’s Galaxy S5.
One of the highlights of GeekPwn was when Wang used a smartphone to hack into the
system of a smart vehicle made by US electric car company Tesla. After gaining
control of the car, Wang could use the phone to open or close the doors and trunk,
and could even switch off the engine while the vehicle is still moving. Wang said
it took him and his team of 10 staff only four months to discover this security
flaw and work out how to exploit it.
Tsinghua University professor Duan Haixin revealed how he could take advantage of
a security loophole to effectively turn an electronic banking account into his
personal ATM, without the need of a Trojan or traditional phishing techniques.
Other hacking demonstrations at the event involved the Mi Wi-Fi rounter developed
by Chinese low cost smartphone maker Xiaomi and the 360 Child Guard tracking
bracelet from web security company Qihoo 360.
Wang said awareness over internet security has been on the rise after CIA contractor
Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the wide-scale spying by America’s National
Security Agency last year. The controversial dispute over anti-competitive practices
between 360 and Tencent which erupted in 2010 has also made companies more willing
to spend money and resources on security, he added.
Monetary prizes drawn from an initial prize pool of 3 million yuan (US$490,000) were
handed out to those deemed “winners” from a panel of security experts, organizers said.
Australia, Indonesia and South Korea skipped the launch of a China-backed
Asian infrastructure bank on Friday as the United States said it had
concerns about the new rival to Western-dominated multilateral lenders.
China’s $50 billion Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is seen as a
challenge to the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, both of which count
Washington and its allies as their biggest financial backers.
The AIIB, launched in Beijing at a ceremony attended by Chinese finance minister
Lou Jiwei and delegates from 21 countries including India, Thailand and Malaysia,
aims to give project loans to developing nations. China is set to be its largest
shareholder with a stake of up to 50 percent.
Korea and Australia, whose largest trading partners are both China were both
heavily pressured by Washington D.C. to stay out of the C.I.B.
Professor Song Guoyou deputy director of the Center for American Studies at
Fudan University was quoted as saying ” the United States is very concerned about
maintaining their financial dominance and does not want any military allies to
join the bank. Faced with U.S. obstruction , Professor Song was quoted as saying
“we should hold our ground, push forward the development of the Asian Investment
Bank to provide a higher standard for the Asia-Pacific region. The Asian Infrastructure
Bank vows to prove that their are other options to the IMF and World Bank.
Participating countries in the A.I.B. include Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan,
Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and Indonesia, in
addition to all ASEAN member countries.
“Gold going to $7,000″, an article today in the Chinese media is
going viral and one of the most viewed articles in the financial
press. The article references American Jim Rickards and his concept
of comparing inflation-adjusted gold prices. Most Chinese economists
think that the price of gold should be approximately $ 2,400 / ounce,
instead of the current $ 1,235.
The article references estimates by Jim Rickard’s that if Central banks
had to to use gold to support its currency, then the price of gold will
go to $ 7,000/ oz. That only includes the printing that has been done
already, not the continuous printing of fiat currency that continues
unabated by Central banks all over the world.
Todays volatile financial markets are a warning that todays assets have
no actual real underpinning. There is no insurance. Gold stands as the
Although the U.S. Dollar is the reserve currency of the world today,
gold is the key to the new millennium of global trade balances.
The Dollar is losing its reserve status, holdings by Central Banks have
been going down for decades. Meanwhile, Chinese RMB holdings are
skyrocketing across the globe. The U.S. has been running trade deficits
for 30 years, when the Dollars start to go back onshore their will be a
global puke of the financial system and inflation levels the U.S. has not
seen in its entire history.
Are you ready?
Former CEO at An Zhong
(AZ) Investment Management Shanghai
When China printed third quarter GDP growth of 7.3% the collective media
somehow characterized it as a beat and a miss simultaneously. Fortunately
we’ve all learned to look past the headlines and try to find something
meaningful from the data. With the Hong Kong, Shanghai mutual market
access (“MMA”) “imminent”, their words, not mine, I wanted to provide
some context on the investment opportunity in general.
Hong Kong Stock Exchange provides plenty details on the MMA program which
was first discussed more than 2 years ago. The program looks to allow HK
domiciled investors to access approximately 570 Shanghai listed equities,
so called northbound investment. In Shanghai, MMA allows mainland investors
to access approximately 270 securities in HK also known as southbound
investment. Of course some of these, 75 or so, are already dual listed in
HK and Shanghai and over the past few months any premium/discount has
evaporated. So what? Market watchers have noted that this is only about
half of the listed companies in Shanghai and the program completely ignores
the 1600 listed companies in Shenzhen. There are also daily quotas
(13 billion RMB north and 10.5 billion south) and overall quotas (300 billion
RMB north and 250 billion south) to contend with. As a point of context,
the Shanghai Exchange has a market cap of 17 trillion RMB.
The roll-out is a classic pilot program framework and a well-worn path for
the regulators (ETF’s, QDII, QFII, Open end funds, futures etc). If successful,
it is easy to see how MMA replaces the QFII and RQFII programs altogether.
Matched with the internationalization of RMB and we can almost see the
destination of an open capital account. This is obviously the bull case for
My biggest objection to this neat plan is that China must regain the confidence
of the domestic investor, both individual and institutional. Anbang Insurance
doesn’t go on a buying spree at the Waldorf Astoria because they suddenly want
to be landlords. They have no USD liabilities and shouldn’t be in the business
of currency risk, but Anbang is not alone in their desire to invest in real
assets outside of China. And here is the irony, when I first worked in the asset
management business in China, you couldn’t sell overseas assets because the home
country bias was so strong. Why buy US equities when the China market just went
up 100% or why buy overseas real estate when punters were flipping Shanghai
apartments in pre-construction? Well times have changed and with the A-Share
struggling the past 5 years and the cash market offering 5%, it is difficult
to find risk takers. Of course a bull market makes everyone a genius and perhaps
MMA will lead to another leg up.
Since the summer, A shares have seen a strong bid and “China” stocks and ETF’s
have seen strong inflows. I suspect MMA will draw some additional value
investors; after all, the Shanghai composite is trading at an 11 PE. However,
as regulators continue to open China’s financial markets they must balance their
enthusiasm with the understanding that foreign money alone cannot substitute
for committed investors on the ground.
A final note on performance, the Shanghai Composite is up 14.43% and the
Shanghai 180 Index is up 8.44% year to date with most of these gains coming
since the summer as the chatter of MMA was increasing.
CMR Staff Reporter
Hong Kong’s chief executive CY Leung said on Tuesday that he
would consider disclosing evidence of external interference
in the Occupy Central movement at an appropriate time, adding
that he was not merely speculating.
American intelligence has been trying to foment revolutionary
activity in China for several years now. The recent protests
in Hong Kong should be considered a huge success compared to
previous failed attempts such as the “Jasmine revolution” in
Shanghai. Despite weeks of CNN media coverage on the impending
Jasmine revolution only 12 protesters showed up at a Mcdonalds
in Shanghai and one Jasmine flower was laid on the ground.
To make matters worse, the American Ambassador to China,
John Huntsman, exposed himself as a CIA asset by showing up at
the protest in sunglasses and of all things a leather bomber jacket
with an American flag on it. His giant ego could not stop him from
attending the protest in order to gain glory.
Huntsman of course would go on to run for President continuing a
long line of a suspected CIA agents embedding themselves in the
White House including Bush 41, 44, Clinton, and Obama.
See embarrassing video of Huntsman getting caught in Shanghai here.
China Money Report
Minsheng Bank and Tesla today signed a cooperation agreement to build
jointly 400 Power stations in 20 different cities across China. The
two companies are also expected to discuss further cooperation in
the field of financial services.
In August, Tesla and China Unicom reached a strategic cooperation
agreement to jointly build 400 destination charge stations in 120
cities while building super charging stations in 20 cities.
Tesla and China Merchants Bank (10.36, -0.06, -0.58%) also co-
staging services for domestic buyers to purchase Tesla electric
vehicles using credit from the Merchants Bank.
As 90% of vehicles in China are already purchased cash-up-front
I wouldn’t expect to much financing deals in place on that front
,however, the people in China we talk to cannot wait to get their
hands on a Tesla.
China has plenty of room for policy action. The economy is growing
at 7% with a “Fed funds rate” at 5%. The U.S. Fed Funds rate is of
China’s one-year interest-rate swaps dropped toward a 17-month low
on speculation the central bank will ease monetary policy to
support economic growth.
Conditions are becoming ripe for a cut in borrowing costs, and the
People’s Bank of China could do more targeted easing, Fan Jianping,
chief economist at the State Information Center, said in an interview
with the Economic Information Daily published today. The central bank
provided 100 billion yuan ($16 billion) to each of the nation’s five
biggest lenders in September, following reductions in reserve
requirements for some banks in the second quarter.
The cost of one-year swaps, the fixed payment to receive the floating
seven-day repurchase rate, fell one basis point to 3.25 percent as of
4:30 p.m. in Shanghai, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The rate
touched 3.24 percent earlier, near the 3.20 percent level reached on
Sept. 29 that was the lowest since May 2013.
“The market expectation is that the economy in the fourth quarter won’t
be worse than the third quarter at least, as the central bank still has
policy options to support growth,” said Yan Yan, a Shanghai-based analyst
at China Guangfa Bank Co. “Money rates will probably remain stable at
the current level in the next couple of weeks.”
China Money Report
Steel prices continue their downward spiral in China. Steel production
has always been an obsession with state planned economies as it was
steel output that separated the developing from the developed economies.
Nowadays, steel production separates the real economies from the
paper-economies. For example, China , S.Korea, Japan and Germany still
produce steel, the U.S. and U.K. produce less steel than they did in
the 1920′s. The problem now is that China produces too much steel. What
started out as an economic growth story has turned ugly, China now
makes more steel in 6 weeks, than the U.S. does all year. China’s steel
production has reached over 50.1% of the global total. One city in
China alone, Tangshan, produces more steel than all of Europe combined.
Now with most of the large Chinese infrastructure projects in place
demand for steel is basically flat, but each provincial region of China
and even cities have targeted the funding and construction of steel plants
to help bring up their local GDP. Steel supply still increased 2.7% so
far in 2014. Now what we have is far to many steel mills with massive debt
overhang, over-capacity, and a serious supply-demand problem.Unwinding
the Chinese steel sector will be ugly.
In the first half of 2014, steel prices in China settled at 3,212 yuan
per ton, ($518/ton) equivalent to 1.6 yuan per kilogram. This price is
almost the same charged for cabbage at a grocery store.
Currently , the entire industry as a whole has only a 0.54% profit on sales.
To offset this supply/demand problem Chinese enterprises continue to
look abroad with exports up 37% in 2014.
The current weak profitability levels are in spite of steel factories
seeing lower coal and oil prices which are huge inputs into there
Going forward the government is now setting strict standards on new
construction and will no doubt try and reorganize the industry around
a few national steel titans such as Shouguang, Anyang, and Bao steel.
Plants will close, workers will have to find their way into the
service sector but until then, we can expect under-priced steel coming
out of China for at least another decade.
Want China Times
Former US president Jimmy Carter was mistreated during his visit to
China in September despite his contribution to the establishment of
formal ties between Washington and Beijing 35 years ago, according
to a scholar who was traveling with him.
Orville Schell, director of the Center on US-China Relations at the
Asia Society in New York, wrote in The New York Review of Books that
what Carter received was “chiru”–which means humiliation in Chinese.
The former president, seeking to raise funds for his Carter Center,
was given a fee to present and speak in various locations in China.
On his first stop at Renmin University of China in Beijing, Carter
was put on the panel at a global finance forum to talk about business
topics instead of speaking about the US-China relationship, as Schell
Carter, who was given a short time to present, spoke after an address
from the university president and talks from trading specialists.
Only one single question was addressed directly to him.
“Watching this former US president treated so offhandedly highlighted
how the power relationship between the two countries is shifting: it
is now not only the West that has wealth,” Schell wrote.
The Chinese side blocked a visiting scholar from delivering a speech
at the Great Hall of the People without warning and Carter’s itinerary
for Shanghai and Qingdao was changed without his approval.
Carter and China’s president, Xi Jinping, have met four times in the
past, but neither Xi nor Premier Li Keqiang showed up to greet the
90-year-old former US president. At a dinner hosted by Vice President
Li Yuanchao at the Great Hall of the People, Carter, his wife Rosalynn
and other American visitors sat at half-empty tables. They were told
that President Xi had met with Zimbabwean president and international
pariah Robert Mugabe just days earlier and was in the Great Hall of
the People toasting Malaysia’s head of state Abdul Halim Mu’adzam
Shah the very moment of the dinner.
“But Xi didn’t stop by the Carter dinner to say a word,” Schell wrote
in the article.
Schell picked up six newspapers and found that none of them had mentioned
Carter’s visit. Only the English-language China Daily carried a brief article
titled “Turkey Feast Honors China-US Relations” and it was published with
a photo not of Carter but of some student performers at the banquet.
“At one point I heard from sources close to him that Carter was upset
enough to consider just packing up and going home,” Schell wrote.
“What made the dinner in the Great Hall all the more unsettling was the feeling
that a whiff of “humiliation”–chiru–hovered over it.”
“The [Communist] Party has for many years emphasized China’s history of being
humiliated and exploited by foreign powers. To feel a gust of Chinese reaction
now coming back the other way left me wanting to leave early that night,”
Carter was president when the United States transferred diplomatic recognition
from Taipei to Beijing in 1979, a decisive moment in the history of Sino-US
relations. In this light, the former president’s reception in China appears to
be a remarkable slight.
China Money Reporter
A Stars & Strips Article brought to our attention via the site Full-Spectrum-
Dominance.com has once again highlighted to the American tax payer the utter
incompetence of where American tax dollars go to die. Basic scrap steel sells
for $100/pound in the U.S.or up to $400 a pound in China as China actually
needs it to build steel in their functioning industrial economy. Now, keep
in mind, a C-27 would have some of the best steel, aluminum, and titanium
and copper wiring you could possibly find. Yet, the Pentagon just scrapped
a fleet of C-27′s for 6 cents a pound.
We have written before that the massive government military expenditures will
not keep the country safe. The entire American society has fallen into cultural
rot where very little actually gets done outside of pushing paper. An example
would be the U.S. submarine fleet has fallen from 41 to only 14 since the end
of the Cold War yet costs to run the fleet is up 10 times.
From Stars & Stripes
WASHINGTON — Most of the C-27 transport aircraft given to the Afghanistan
military as part of a failed $486 million Defense Department program were
locally scrapped for just $32,000, federal auditors said Thursday.
The U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or
SIGAR, sent letters to the Pentagon requesting all documents related to
the scrapping, reasons why it did not pursue resale, and why it did not
seek a refund from the manufacturer of the Italian-made C-27s, also known
as G222s, which were grounded last year following chronic maintenance issues.
“It has come to my attention that the 16 G222s at Kabul were recently towed
to the far side of the airport and scrapped by the Defense Logistics Agency,”
SIGAR head John Sopko wrote in the Oct. 3 letters. “I was also informed that
an Afghan construction company paid approximately 6 cents a pound for the
scrapped planes, which came to a total of $32,000.” The DOD ended the C-27
program in March 2013 after the Afghans could not maintain the aircraft or
find spare parts. SIGAR launched an investigation in December.
Sopko said he had personally seen the 16 aircraft on the tarmac at Kabul
International Airport and was told that the remaining four were taken to
Ramstein Air Base in Germany during the investigation. Since then, the DOD
appears to have destroyed the Kabul-based C-27s. The Pentagon should explain
why alternatives to scrapping the aircraft were not pursued, such as flying
the planes out of Afghanistan and reselling them abroad, Sopko said. “What
efforts were made to return the aircraft to the manufacturer or to obtain a
refund?” he wrote.
The watchdog also wants to know whether any of the parts remain intact and
maybe be recoverable. “I am concerned that the officials responsible for planning
and executing the scrapping of the planes may not have considered other possible
alternatives in order to salvage taxpayer dollars,” he wrote. The DOD and Air Force
have until Oct. 17 to respond to SIGAR, according to the letters.
SIGAR was created to oversee about $104 billion the U.S. has funneled into rebuilding
Afghanistan in the 13-year war with the Taliban and al-Qaida and has pointed to
hundreds of millions in other wasteful spending in the past. In July, the auditor
questioned DOD plans to begin sending C-130s, a similar type of transport aircraft,
to the Afghan Air Force saying there was little evidence the aircraft are needed and
last year urged the department to stop supplying the Afghans Russian-made helicopters.
Dr. Udo Ulfkotte , respected journalist, has confessed the following:
- I was educated to lie and hide the truth from the public
- I was employed to write propaganda against Russia
- I was supported by the Central Intelligence Agency
- I was bribed by billionaires
For most of recorded history, China has been the worlds largest economy.
The country stagnated and finally crumbled under the Ming dynasty and was
soon carved up by Western powers only to be followed by an invasion and attempted
colonisation by Japan. The last time China was on top was roughly 1617 before
the start of the Manchu invasions into Southern China which would eventually
cost 25 million lives and shrink the population and economy.
Today, the Chinese press is celebrating being back on top. The World Bank
has released data showing that China is now the world’s largest economy in PPP
(purchasing power parity) terms.
Anyone who has actually lived in both countries would tell you China passed
the United States long ago. China produces more steel in 6 weeks than the U.S.
does all year. They build twice as many cars and have a far more advanced
The entire U.S. economy, on the other hand, is but a ponzu scheme bleeding
massive trade deficits, government debt, and funding it through printed money.
History will note 2014 as a milestone but it is not the thing to really worry about.
What Americans need to really worry about is 2025 when the Chinese economy is twice
will be twice as large as the United States.
Spanish newspaper Marca is reporting that La Liga champions Atletico
Madrid have worked out a deal with China’s richest man Wang Jianlin,
head of the Wanda Group, that will see him invest in the club and
get involved in the team’s management.
Nothing has been officially announced by either side yet but Marca
appears certain a deal has been done. Members of Atletico’s board
visited Wang in Beijing earlier this summer and they are one of the
sides that are part of his young stars program, where Wanda bankrolls
young Chinese football talent to travel to Spain and receive training
at top clubs.
Wang’s Dalian Wanda was China’s top side during the 1990s, but he
pulled his sponsorship of the team in 1999 due to the corruption in
Chinese football. In 2011, he got back involved in the game, providing
massive funding to the Chinese Football Association to build up the
national team, including the hiring of Jose Antonio Camacho and
promoting youth football programs.
This wouldn’t be the first time Wang was (incorrectly) rumored to be
purchasing a European football side, but his involvement with the
Spanish club makes this appear more realistic than the previous talk.
Wanda has also shown interest in local side Beijing Baxy, but instead
it appears Wang will stick with his own club, registered in Beijing.
The Madrid side already has a few connections to China, one of their main
sponsors is China’s global giant, Huawei. Also, young central midfielder
Xu Xin is part of the club’s reserve side.
Want China Times
BAT-man: Internet giants move into China’s movie business
Staff Reporter 2014-10-08 11:42 (GMT+8)
Web portal Tencent’s Sept. 17 announcement of the establishment
of its new unit Tencent Movies+, which will produce seven films,
including an adaptation of a novel by Nobel literature laureate
Mo Yan, marks the entry of the three leading Chinese internet
companies into the movie business, reports the Beijing-based
Tencent’s announcement came 20 days after search engine Baidu
launched a crowd funding joint venture with Citic Trust and the
China Film Group to raise money for film productions, the
Since e-commerce firm Alibaba has also moved into the film industry
by launching crowd funding operations for movie productions, Baidu,
Alibaba and Tencent, China’s three internet bigwigs known collectively
as BAT, have all joined the bandwagon of investing in the risky, yet
alluring movie business that is already attracting venture capital.
On the internet companies’ expansion into the film business, Yu Dong,
chairman and CEO of Beijing-based Bona Film Group, said it is possible
that all movie companies will work under BAT. “In the future, Chinese
movie companies may end up as the three movie groups of BAT,” Yu said.
In addition to crowd funding, internet and technology have already been
widely adopted in movie making, the newspaper said, with the use of big
data and online ticket sales being most notable. For instance, daily deal
site Nuomi, which became fully owned by Baidu in January, is now the
search engine’s main channel for selling movie tickets, according to
Huayi Brothers Media Group president Wang Zhonglei described the closer
relations between the movie industry and the internet as a renaissance for
the film business, since the center of film production has shifted from
filmmakers to the people and more emphasis is now placed on incorporating
the response of the audience into the moviemaking process.
The rapid growth of China’s movie industry, where ticket sales surged 27.51% to
21.77 billion yuan (US$3.55 billion) in 2013, and the forecast of China replacing
the United States as the world’s largest movie market in three to five years,
presents perfect reasons for any company to move into the sector, said Huayi Brothers
Media vice president Hu Ming.
Despite the high profit margin a successful movie can bring, only 8.2% of Chinese
films in 2013 were actually profitable, the newspaper pointed out.
Moreover, the internet and the use of big data might change the process of movie making,
but a good script is still crucial for the success of a film, the newspaper said.
The fashion industry is linked to the environmental devastation in
the Central Asian inland sea – once the world’s fourth largest lake,
the Aral sea ‘completely dried’ in August.
When will the Ivory Tower academics in the U.S. start to re-examine the
hypothesis of so-called “free-trade”? Don’t expect anytime soon.
A dying rust-belt in the U.S. with empty steel mill towns and bankrupt
municipalities would not get the government to defend their citizens
then nothing will. Hell, they can’t even stop flights from Ebola hot
zones or the daily incursions of drugs and illegals from the South let
alone the implications of the rest of the world using the global trade
system against them. How does this factor into Cotton? Simple, the American
South can no longer compete in Cotton against slave labor, high taxes,
and the amount of environmental degradation allowed in foreign countries
like Uzbekistan. Instead of hitting them with tarriffs we put American
cotton farmers on subsidies.
So now back to the Aral Sea which has been consumed by a global lust of
cheap Uzbek cotton.
From the Guardian…
What do the catwalks of Paris have to do with 25,000 miles of exposed
sea bed thousands of miles to the east? While all eyes have been fixed
on designer collections and members of the front row, the true cost of the
fashion industry has been revealed in a shock announcement by NASA that
the Aral Sea in Central Asia has now completely dried up.
The Aral Sea was once the world’s fourth largest lake, home to 24 species of
fish and surrounded by fishing communities, lush forests and wetlands. While
the lake was salt water, the rivers that fed it were fresh water. In the 1950’s
the Soviet Union began using the rivers to irrigate the surrounding agricultural
area, a process that has been continued to this day by Uzbekistan’s brutal
dictator Islam Karimov.
The exposure of the bottom of the lake has released salts and pesticides into
the atmosphere poisoning both farm land and people alike. Carcinogenic dust
is blown into villages causing throat cancers and respiratory diseases.
The fashion industry is linked to this horror of dictatorships and environmental
devastation by the fact that the crop being grown with the river water is
cotton – 1.47m hectares of cotton. A hugely water intensive crop, one shirt
can use up to 2,700 litres.
The harvest of Uzbek cotton is taking place right now – it started on the 5 September
and is expected to last until the end of October. The harvest itself is also a
horror story, on top of the environmental devastation, this is cotton picked using
forced labour. Every year hundreds of thousands of people are systematically sent
to work in the fields by the government.
Campaigners have also managed to get 153 fashion brands to sign a pledge to never
knowingly use Uzbek cotton. Anti-Slavery International have worked on this fashion
campaign but acknowledge that despite successes there is still a long way to go.
“Not knowingly using Uzbek cotton and actually ensuring that you don’t use Uzbek
cotton are two completely different things,” explains Jakub Sobik, press officer
at Anti-Slavery International.
One major problem that Sobik points out is that much of the Uzbek cotton crop now
ends up in Bangladesh and China – key suppliers for European brands. “Whilst it
is very hard to trace the cotton back to where it comes from because the supply
chain is so subcontracted and deregulated, brands have a responsibility to ensure
that slave picked cotton is not polluting their own supply chain.”
There was nothing accidental about what is happening in Central Asia, a catastrophe
that has provided irrefutable evidence of the damage being done to our planet by the
fashion industry. We can either focus on Paris Fashion Week or we can act now to
save our world. But to ignore the industry’s role in the loss of the Aral Sea is to
ignore the destruction of our planet.
VietJet Air criticised for lingerie model photo shoot Photographs showing
lingerie models posing for a Vietnamese airline in nothing but air hostess-
style caps and bikinis have been criticised for being sexist.
Personally…I don’t see a problem with it…no problem at all.
HAPPY HUNTING! GET THAT BITCH LEATHERFACE…GET THAT BITCH.
The North Korean capital has been placed under lockdown, according to sources
with Pyongyang, raising new questions about the stability of Kim Jong-un’s regime.
“This sort of action suggests there has either been an attempted coup or that the
authorities there have uncovered some sort of plot against the leadership,”
Toshimitsu Shigemura, a professor at Tokyo’s Waseda University and an authority
on North Korean affairs, told The Telegraph.
“If it is a military-backed coup, then the situation in Pyongyang will be very
dangerous and I have heard reports that Kim has been moved out of the capital,”