Summary of “The Company Making Billions Off China’s Worried Parents”

Steven, a serious-looking 9-year-old public school student in Beijing, spent a recent Friday evening in a classroom at a tutoring center operated by TAL Education Group, cramming mathematics drills.
TAL’s initials stand for Tomorrow Advancing Life, a none-too-subtle nod to one of the biggest anxieties of middle-class families in the test-based world of Chinese education.
No one had profited from the stock’s rise more than Zhang Bangxin, TAL’s co-founder, a 37-year-old former math tutor who’s become one of China’s richest people: His TAL shares are worth about $7 billion.
TAL’s tutoring encourages students to practice the kinds of questions they’ll face on China’s exams.
The measures aimed to eliminate one of TAL’s profit centers: training for the Mathematical Olympiad, an intense competition for students up to age 20.
They were so central to TAL’s success that the company promoted them in its IPO prospectus.
At the time of the antitutoring edict, Nicky Ge, an analyst with China Renaissance Group, said the initiative could lower demand for TAL’s services, especially in math, which made up more than 60 percent of the company’s revenue last year.
Investors may be agreeing with Zhang, who says the government intervention could help TAL as tighter regulation drives smaller companies out of the market.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The $1.4 Trillion U.S. ‘Surplus’ That Trump’s Not Talking About”

The U.S. has a surplus of $20 billion with China and $1.4 trillion with the rest of the world.
That’s not a normal trade balance, of course, where the U.S. registered an annual deficit of more than $330 billion with China and about $550 billion with the world last year, but an “Aggregate sales surplus” which measures both direct trade and the sales of multinational companies, according to research by Deutsche Bank AG. The Surplus Trump Isn’t Talking About Aggregate sales balance includes trade plus in-country sales of subsidiaries.
While trade and corporate data aren’t usually combined, if you add up all trade data, sales by U.S. companies in foreign countries and foreign firms in the U.S., “U.S. companies have sold more to the rest of the world than other countries have sold to the U.S. in the past ten years,” writes chief China economist Zhang Zhiwei in the report.
China and the U.S. are meanwhile locked in negotiations to stave off a trade war, with Trump threatening to slap tariffs on at least $50 billion in Chinese imports after June 15.
For China, the image of a massive trade deficit with the U.S. “Is at odds with the fact that Chinese consumers own more iPhones and buy more General Motors cars than U.S. consumers,” wrote Zhang in the report.
What the sales data does show is that the interests of U.S. firms aren’t always the same as the interest of U.S. workers because American firms can profit from growth abroad without exporting from the U.S. and employing U.S. labor, he said.
“Gross sales tell us something about the global position of U.S.-owned firms, and China certainly will look to retaliate against U.S. firms on their operations in China if the trade war spirals out of control,” he said.
Deutsche Bank used data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis to estimate overseas sales of U.S. companies through 2015.

The orginal article.

Summary of “China Is Genetically Engineering Monkeys With Brain Disorders”

The breeding facility does not itself genetically engineer monkeys, but Feng realized that its huge number of monkeys made it an ideal proving ground for new genetic-engineering technologies.
How could things in the brain go so horribly awry? This basic question had animated his research into brain disorders for three decades, and he thought monkeys might finally unlock some of the answers.
The process of genetically engineering a macaque is not trivial, even with the advanced tools of CRISPR. Researchers begin by dosing female monkeys with the same hormones used in human in vitro fertilization.
In the past few years, China has seen a miniature explosion of genetic engineering in monkeys.
Such was their national importance that the two cloned monkeys were named Zhongzhong and Huahua after zhonghua, which translates to “Chinese nation” or “Chinese people.” Poo was giddy about the breakthrough: With cloning, he said, researchers could more quickly create a colony of identical genetically engineered monkeys instead of engineering one animal at a time.
The lives of monkeys in captivity suddenly seemed very sad. When I mentioned my reaction to both Feng and Desimone, separately, they gave me the same response: The monkeys in labs are well cared for, and what’s more, I shouldn’t idealize monkeys in the wild.
An ethics panel will take up some of the same questions Feng and other researchers are asking themselves: Which diseases are okay to engineer in monkeys? Should monkeys used in research projects be genetically altered to be more humanlike?
Poo, a key figure in the China Brain Project, told me, “There’s no ethical issues … I don’t think there’s any hesitation or problem using monkeys as disease models in preclinical trials.” As long as the monkeys are well cared for, he said it was no different from the current use of neurotoxins to induce Parkinson’s symptoms in monkeys and enable the testing of new treatments.

The orginal article.

Summary of “China’s Silicon Valley Faces Meltdown Fears”

Shenzhen has “Really come of age,” says Joe Ngai, managing partner of McKinsey’s Greater China, operation which opened offices in Shenzhen two years ago.
The evolution from sleepy fishing village to factory of the world to tech valley began in 1979 when Deng Xiaoping launched a new economic model with the words “To get rich is glorious.” He designated Shenzhen a special economic zone.
Rew “Bunnie” Huang, an independent consultant specializing in electronic manufacturing, has business in Shenzhen after growing up in the U.S. Now he thinks the area trumps its rival in California.
Grandparents are far away, and Shenzhen lacks a sizable pool of nannies to take care of offspring.
Huawei, one of Shenzhen’s biggest taxpayers, has begun a retreat further inland to Dongguan and plans to move even more staff there once a new campus is finished.
The government is pressing ahead with plans to make China’s equivalent of Silicon Valley bigger than the U.S. namesake.
The aim is to bolt Shenzhen together with Hong Kong, Macau and other cities to create a “Greater Bay Area,” where people and money can move freely.
For the skeptics who do not believe the U.S.’ Bay Area can be replicated, Shenzhen will keep its seat as the local tech capital – at least so long as companies can still afford to operate there.

The orginal article.

Summary of “China increasingly challenges American dominance of science”

The Spanish geneticist struggled to renew his visa and was even detained for two hours of questioning at a New York City airport after he returned from a trip abroad. In 2012, he made the surprising decision to leave his Ivy League research position and move to China.
The United States spends half a trillion dollars a year on scientific research – more than any other nation on Earth – but China has pulled into second place, with the European Union third and Japan a distant fourth.
China is on track to surpass the United States by the end of this year, according to the National Science Board.
Recent restrictions on H-1B visas sent a message to Chinese graduate students that “It’s time to go home when you finish your degree.” Since 1979, China and the United States have maintained a bilateral agreement, the Cooperation in Science and Technology, to jointly study fields like biomedicine and high-energy physics.
“At this rate, China may soon eclipse the U.S.,” Sen. Bill Nelson warned at a January congressional hearing on the state of American science, “And we will lose the competitive advantage that has made us the most powerful economy in the world.”
“When the program came out in 2008, it was almost perfect timing because of the global economic crisis,” said Cong Cao, who studies Chinese science policy at the University of Nottingham in Ningbo, China.
According to National Science Foundation statistics, China has almost caught up to the United States in its annual number of doctoral degrees in science and engineering, with 34,000 vs. the United States’ 40,000.
While China recently surpassed the United States in sheer volume of scientific papers published, U.S. papers were cited by other researchers more often.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The odd reality of life under China’s all-seeing credit score system”

In the UK, credit scores are mostly used to determine whether people can get a credit card or loan.
China’s social credit system was launched in 2014 and is supposed to be nationwide by 2020.
It was China’s first effective credit scoring system but was also much broader, functioning as a social credit scheme and loyalty programme as well.
Big data meets Big Brother as China moves to rate its citizens Jumping healthcare waiting listsChina’s hospitals, long notorious for stifling bureaucracy, are currently experimenting with social credit systems.
In a bid to reduce wait times by up to 60 per cent, Sesame Credit is giving users with a score above 650 a 1,000-yuan credit at one Shanghai university hospital, letting them see a doctor without lining up to pay.
Punishments in virtual worldsIn 2015, Sesame Credit executive Li Yingun said playing 10 hours of video games a day would get a lower credit score than a responsible parent buying loads of diapers.
Chinese citizens signing up for the wildly popular multiplayer shooter game Counter Strike Global Offensive must register using both their national ID and Sesame Credit score, according to state media outlet CGTN, and anyone caught using cheating software like ‘Aimbots’ which ensure perfect aim will have their Sesame Credit scores deducted, potentially affecting their real-life ability to get loans.
Banning social gatheringsIn a sign that the government is using the social credit system to deepen its control civil society, social credit is being harnessed to crack down on “Illegal social organisations.” The Ministry of Civil Affairs has announced it would take measures to blacklist people involved in such organisations, which were claimed to be largely fraudulent or copycat associations often using vague names in their titles like “International” to swindle people.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Wish.com and the Rise of Shipping From China”

Wish and sites like AliExpress, LightInTheBox, and even Amazon have enabled more Chinese sellers to penetrate the U.S. market, where they compete with U.S. manufacturers and U.S. retailers who themselves have been importing goods from China.
Though the products from these sites take longer to arrive because they’re coming from overseas, some analysts think sites like Wish represent the future of shopping.
Sites like Wish have created a whole new type of shopping for customers whose first priority is low prices.
Wish presents a significant challenge to the U.S. importers and manufacturers who have to compete with websites selling cheap stuff directly from China.
Most sellers from China are third-party sellers, which means that sites like Amazon and Wish do not have to collect sales tax on items sold in most states.
Customers who buy products from Wish or other direct-from-China sites may be so disappointed with their purchases that they’ll return to buying from brand-name merchants whose products they trust.
The 512 customer reviews of Wish on Hiya.com are mostly negative, with one-star reviews and customers calling the company a “Scam” and a “Rip-off.” They tell stories of the site sending rings that turn fingers green, products paid for and never received, and requests for returns and refunds ignored.
My own Wish shopping experience didn’t make me likely to go back to the site.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How China acquires ‘the crown jewels’ of U.S. technology”

At a hearing in January, Heath Tarbert, the Treasury Department assistant secretary overseeing CFIUS, testified that allowing foreign countries to invest in U.S. technology without making sufficient background checks “Will have a real cost in American lives in any conflict.”
After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Congress renewed its interest in CFIUS, passing legislation that instructed the committee to consider a deal’s effect on “Homeland security” and “Critical industries,” a notable change, according to Rosenzweig, the DHS official who worked with CFIUS during the George W. Bush administration.
The committee’s staffing and resources have not kept pace with the growing workload, multiple people who work with CFIUS told POLITICO. While the Treasury Department has been hiring staffers and contractors to help handle the record workload, the committee’s overall resources are subject to the whims of the individual agencies involved in the process, said Stephen Heifetz, who oversaw the CFIUS work at DHS during the second Bush administration.
The most common foreign investor that hits the CFIUS radar is now China.
In March, Trump blocked the purchase of the chipmaker Qualcomm by Singapore-based Broadcom Ltd. CFIUS said such a move could weaken Qualcomm, and thereby the United States, as it vies with foreign rivals such as China’s Huawei Technologies to develop the next generation of wireless technology known as 5G. To national security leaders CFIUS is still only scratching the surface of China’s ambitions to acquire U.S. technology, noting that traditional sale-and-purchase agreements to obtain a U.S. company aren’t the only ways to gain access to cutting-edge technology.
Traditionally, courts have defined control of a company as “The ability to direct management to make certain decisions.” But a former Treasury Department official said CFIUS needs to focus on “Beneficial ownership,” defined as having the ability to obtain technology from the firm, rather than overall decision-making power.
A sharper focus on bankruptcy cases, particularly in making sure CFIUS scrutinizes investors to ties to foreign governments, is desperately needed, said a former Pentagon official who is still involved in CFIUS cases.
Lengthening the CFIUS review time – currently 30 days, but set to extend to 45 days under the new bill – could damage the “Brittle process” of early-stage fundraising, said Nicholson, who encouraged lawmakers to focus on expanding CFIUS powers in other areas, such as bankruptcy courts.

The orginal article.

Summary of “China Proves Marx Right”

What would Karl Marx think of contemporary China? China certainly seems to think highly of Marx, holding celebratory events this month for the 200th anniversary of his birth.
China is proudly parading Marx and his thought as an alternative to Western liberalism.
Now fast forward to Mao Zedong, who established the People’s Republic of China in 1949 and ruled as chairman of the Chinese Communist Party for decades after.
Mao put forward an alternative doctrine, emphasizing the contributions of the rural peasantry to communist revolution, and arguing that China could bypass the traditional urbanized capitalist forms of European history.
Fast forward to 1979, when Deng Xiaoping starts to institute more private property rights and more private enterprise in China.
Right before Deng’s reforms, per capita income in China was only a few hundred dollars a year and the starvation of millions was a recent memory.
So who then is right about the China of today? The hard-core intellectual Maoists might argue that the capitalists have taken back the country, and that a new communist revolution is necessary and indeed will come.
How about the Western liberals? They used to say that as China liberalized its economy, and became wealthy, it would shed the communist party and become much more democratic.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Can’t China Make Semiconductors?”

Jack Ma says he’s ready for China to make semiconductors at home.
Semiconductors are the building blocks of electronics, found in everything from flip phones to the servers that make up a supercomputer.
Although China long ago mastered the art of making products with semiconductors produced elsewhere, it wants to move beyond being a mere assembler.
China is currently the world’s biggest chip market, but it manufactures only 16 percent of the semiconductors it uses domestically.
When the country reopened for business in the 1970s, officials quickly realized that semiconductors would be a key part of any future market-based economy.
Expensive efforts to build a domestic industry from scratch in the 1990s faltered due to bureaucracy, delays and a lack of customers for the kind of chips China was making.
By one accounting, China has made $34 billion in bids for U.S. semiconductor companies alone since 2015, yet completed only $4.4 billion in deals globally in that span.
Companies such as Shanghai-based Spreadtrum Communications Inc. are designing semiconductors for mobile phones and other technologies, then outsourcing production to foreign plants.

The orginal article.