Caterpillar's heavy vehicles are killswitched subprime computers on wheels


In an earnings call in which Caterpillar execs explained their dismal takings to investors, Cat execs explained their plan to grow by leasing tractors to Chinese companies with crummy track-records for payment. Read the rest

China routinely tortures human rights lawyers


Amnesty International's No End in Sight: Torture and Forced Confessions in China interviews 37 Chinese lawyers and analyzes 590 court decisions in the process of documenting the routine torture of human rights lawyers in China. Read the rest

A peek inside Iraq's most notorious weapons market


The fun-loving Chinese journalists in this segment manage to out-VICE VICE. 侣行 On the Road is billed as “a homemade outdoor reality show” featuring an "extreme couple" who love adventure. The pair and their team got some great footage of an open-air weapons market in Sadr City.

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Shanghai Disneyland: "Ignite the magical dream within your heart"

Shanghai Disneyland Map

The Walt Disney company has been trying to extend its reach into China for years. After the years of sputtering trying to get Hong Kong Disneyland on its feet, they built three more lands in the last few years and visitors are starting to come. But that’s nothing compared to the Disneyland they’re building in Shanghai, which is an enormous park with many attractions that are unique to it and have piqued the interest of Disney theme park fans all around the world.

Now, thanks to my friend Alain Littaye over at his swell Disney and More Blogspot I can tell you a lot about Shanghai Disneyland, whose animated map has just gone live on line here. While the site is not yet fully functional, it will whet your appetite!

Divided into seven “lands,” Shanghai Disneyland will open with a full day of attractions (unlike most Disney parks build in the last 25 years). Rumor has it that the Chinese government has closed over 100 factories in the immediate Shanghai area to eliminate the hideous gray throat-burning haze one encounters in Beijing, for example.

Guests will first encounter Mickey Avenue, which takes the place of the usual “Main Street U.S.A.” Filled with shops and character meet-and-greets, this is a new style of entrance for a Disney park.

A nod to the Chinese host country takes place in the new land Gardens of Imagination, which boasts seven “whimsical gardens,” as well as a carousel themed to the film Fantasia, a Dumbo spinning ride, as well as serving as the “hub” (a term Disney folks call that round spot in front of the castle from which paths to the other lands emanate). Read the rest

Amazing photos along China's Silk Road


My friend Kevin Kelly wandered down the Silk Road (the one in China) and took many stupendous photos. He wrote, "Technically this region is called Xinjiang (New Province), also once known as East Turkestan. This area has more in common with the culture of Turkey than with Beijing. It's kebab with chopsticks. But this is really China. In fact it is the largest province of China. I took a bunch of photos and the usual caveat applies: this is a very selective view, and it does not represent the typical scene in the province at all. Like most of China it is rapidly urbanizing. But I think these images capture the spirit of this part of Asia, which once connected east and west."

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China plans to ban ivory trade “within a year or so.” US official: Yes it's a “huge” deal.


During his visit to Washington last month, China's President Xi Jinping vowed to stop the commercial trade in ivory in his nation, but didn't say much about when or how.

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McDonald's China debuts a cement-gray bun


The barely-edible cattle-slurry battles are heating up in Asia!

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Largest martial arts display record set by Chinese city where 50,000 did Tai Chi


A Chinese national flag flies as students practice Tai Chi on a high school playground during a Guinness World Record attempt of the largest martial arts display ever.

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Drone flyover of Shanghai Disneyland construction site


It's a third-party clip, not sanctioned by Disney, so it's pretty remote/long-lens, but there's still some tantalyzing stuff in this video. From what I know about the Shanghai park, it's going to be pretty bad-ass. Don't miss the brown/yellow smog on the horizon! Read the rest

New Clay Shirky book on how China challenges western Internet firms and vice-versa

CGR_LittleRice_081115 copysmall

Clay Shirky writes, "I wrote about the mobile phone manufacturing powerhouse and tech innovator, Xiaomi, for Columbia Global Reports, looking at both what makes Xiaomi so successful (they were founded when it was possible to take ecommerce and social media for granted, basically), and at the challenge internet services firms face operating in China." Read the rest

An odd new headwear trend is sprouting in China

A woman wearing a sprout in Beijing, Sep. 25, 2015.  Reuters.

In China, teens and twentysomethings are wearing little plastic accessories on their heads in the shape of tiny little sprouts, fruit, or flowers. Nobody's exactly sure where or how the trend started, but it's... growing.

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The worst traffic jam you will hopefully never experience

Beijing, China. If this fascinates you, so long as you are not sitting in it, I highly recommend Tom Vanderbilt's fantastic book "Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)."

Below, Tom's presentation at our Boing Boing: Ingenuity 2013 conference.

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This video proves China has the most insane traffic jams on Earth


“This is what happens when people come back from vacation in China and try to get into Beijing. And you thought your puny traffic jams were crazy.” Read the rest

Reputation Economy Dystopia: China's new "Citizen Scores" will rate every person in the country


The Chinese government has announced a new universal reputation score, tied to every person in the country's nation ID number and based on such factors as political compliance, hobbies, shopping, and whether you play videogames. Read the rest

Fuerdai: Paris Hilton with Chinese characteristics


China's hereditary oligarchy is in its second generation, and the fuerdai -- rich kids born to rich kids -- are a national symbol for corruption and excess, splashing social media with evidence of their debauchery. Read the rest

After OPM hack, CIA pulls agents from Beijing for their safety


22 million Americans' most compromising data (from fingerprints to criminal records to identities of family and lovers) was breached in the Office of Personnel Management hack, presumably by hackers working for the Chinese government. Read the rest

Obama and China's Xi Jinping make a deal on commercial cyber espionage

The Financial Times reports that U.S. President Barack Obama has negotiated a commitment from Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping that China will not conduct commercial cyber espionage. In what were reportedly tense, prolonged talks, Obama communicated to the Chinese leader that the United States was ready to impose sanctions on Chinese companies accused of profiting from stolen industrial secrets. Read the rest

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