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

Collapse in filial piety, poor social net produces cohort of elderly Korean prostitutes

In this Sept. 17, 2015 photo, an elderly woman stands at a small, bustling plaza in front of the Piccadilly theater in Seoul, South Korea. It's a place where elderly prostitutes openly solicit customers for sex in nearby motels. They are dubbed "Bacchus ladies" after the popular energy drink that they have traditionally sold.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

South Korea has a Confucionist tradition of children supporting their elderly parents in South Korea whose existence meant that the country never had to develop an advanced social safety net for caring for the aged. Read the rest

This is how blue the skies were when Beijing banned 2.5 million cars for two weeks


In Beijing, China banned 2.5 million cars from driving for 2 weeks to get this beautiful blue sky for a World War II commemorative parade. As soon as the parade was over, the ban was lifted, and the blue vanished within 24 hours. Read the rest

China state TV airs footage of detained reporter saying he regrets writing stock market story

Photo: Reuters
China's state broadcast network today aired footage of Wang Xiaolu appearing to announce to the world that he solemnly regrets writing his influential story.

China: police detain financial reporter for “spreading false information” about stock market

Photo: Reuters
A respected journalist in China who reported an important story about that nation's stock market fluctuations was held by police, who say he was “spreading false information.”

Refusing to bow to airport liquids ban, woman drinks bottle of cognac


Even in freedom's cradle, China, airport security hates a good time. They don't tell us how large the bottle was, but the story is good.

Via The Nan Fang:

Zhao was transferring to a Wenzhou flight at Beijing Airport at noon on August 21 when she was stopped at airport security. A worker told the woman in her forties that she was not able to bring the imported cognac through the security checkpoint in her carry-on. As it was too late to transfer the cognac to her checked-in luggage, Zhao did what any responsible person that hates wasting food would do: she sat down in a corner and drank the entire bottle of cognac herself.

That created a new security problem though, and it had to do with the bottle of cognac that was now inside her.

Read the rest

China loves the lingo of games

In honor of games' growing influence on contemporary Chinese vernacular, here are 5 translated phrases to Second Kill your English vocab.

"I hope the Chinese aren't collating the Ashley Madison data with their handy federal list of every American with a security clearance." -Bruce Sterling

-Bruce Sterling Read the rest

Gallery of deserted Chinese amusement parks

China's exuberant, weird, terrible and brilliant amusement parks sprang up like mushrooms after the Deng reforms, and now many of them have fallen on hard times -- even as Disney makes ready to open Disneyland Shanghai. Read the rest

Chinese theme-park queue-jumping techniques

Mostly they come down to "pretend you don't know it's a queue"; have the old people in your group pitch a tantrum; have the kids in your group go to the front, then "catch up" and board -- from a 2010 issue of In Park magazine: Read the rest

"Unmanned factory" replaces 600 humans with robots


Official Chinese Communist Party newspaper People's Daily claims that the Changying Precision Technology Company in the city of Dongguan replaced 600 people on its assembly lines with 60 robots, making it the "first unmanned factory in Dongguan" as part of the company's "Robot Replace Human" program. Read the rest

Chinese mega-manufacturers set up factories in India

Foxconn is opening a $5B facility in Maharashtra; Huawei just got a green-light for a networking gear factory; Xiaomi already runs a phone assembly plant in Andhra Pradesh that will announcing new products today. Read the rest

Hong Kong protesters take to the street in bras: "breasts aren't weapons"

The latest anti-corruption mass-uprising symbol in Hong Kong is a bra: it protests the jailing of a female protester who was convicted of "assaulting a police officer" with her boob. Read the rest

UK restricts dissident artist Ai Weiwei's stay over his “criminal record” in China

Ai Weiwei posted this picture on Instagram on Wednesday after the Chinese authorities returned his passport.
The artist is scheduled to be in the UK in September for a big exhibition at London's Royal Academy of Arts.

Erenhot's enormous kissing dinosaur arch


Erenhot is a dinosaur fossil hot-spot on the border between China and Mongolia. In an outpouring of civic pride, they erected this fabulous arch made of kissing dinosaurs. Read the rest

China lifts game console ban


Plans to ban puns may still be afoot, but China has at last lifted its prohibition on owning game consoles. Though widely unenforced, the official imprimatur of approval is expected to give the domestic game business a huge boost. Read the rest

China gives outlaw artist Ai Weiwei his passport back. Finally. For now.

Ai Weiwei posted this picture on Instagram on Wednesday after the Chinese authorities returned his passport.
Chinese art-provocateur whose work so very consistently pisses off the Chinese government, says he was given back his passport this week after being barred from traveling abroad since he was detained in 2011 in Beijing.

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