Alibaba, Tencent rally troops amid $10 billion retail battle

China’s tech giants Alibaba Group Holding and Tencent Holdings, worth a combined $1 trillion, are on a retail investment binge, forcing merchants to choose sides amid a battle for shoppers’ digital wallets.
Since the start of last year, the two companies have between them spent more than $10 billion on retail-focused deals, boosting their reach online and in bricks-and-mortar stores.
The aggressive drive, supported by large cash piles and soaring share prices, is part of a battle to…
Source: SCMP – China

Xinjiang ‘separatists’ and Tibet’s ‘Dalai cliques’ – targets in China’s latest organised crime crackdown

“Dalai surrogates” in Tibet and Xinjiang “separatists” are among the groups of people targeted by regional governments in China’s latest national crackdown on “organised crime”.
The authorities in the autonomous regions issued notices identifying the targets after a closed-door meeting of the Communist Party’s anti-graft watchdog in Beijing last month.
The meeting marked the start of the national campaign and featured a warning from President Xi…
Source: SCMP – China

The Vatican knows China is good for business

Organised religion is in the spiritual business. And like any business, it’s ultimately about numbers.
Now, if you are the chief executive officer, or rather the Pope in Rome, surveying the state of your global Catholic business in terms of customer base, what do you see?
Well, growth trends have been negative across Europe for decades and are likely to be irreversible. How sad, you tell yourself, when not too long ago, the West was still referred to as Christendom.
You see growth in…
Source: SCMP – China

Rodrigo Duterte says Chinese military island bases are there to oppose US, not Philippines

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte tried to allay fears over China’s construction of military bases on man-made islands in the South China Sea, saying they are a defence against the US, not made to attack Asian states.
“It’s not intended for us,” he said in a speech to Chinese-Filipino businessmen on Monday. “The contending ideological powers of the world or the geopolitics has greatly changed. 
“It’s really intended against those who the Chinese…
Source: SCMP – China

China’s rising challenge to US raises risk of South China Sea conflict, Philippines warns

The risk of “miscalculation” and armed conflict in the South China Sea is rising as China starts to challenge US dominance in the disputed waters, according to the Philippines’ envoy to Beijing.
The assessment comes as Beijing appears to have expanded its communications links and other facilities on artificial islands in the area.
At a forum in Manila on Monday, ambassador Chito Sta. Romana said the balance of power in the region was shifting as the two global powers vied for…
Source: SCMP – China

China’s economic ties with EU take hit as investment falls and distrust rises

After years of growth, China’s trade ties with its biggest partner, the European Union, seem to be foundering, with frictions growing over a range of issues from steel overcapacity to market access, human rights and the South China Sea.
The tensions were apparent at the end of last year when Brussels and Beijing were due to hold the annual China-EU High-Level Economic Dialogue but the meeting never took place, sources told the South China Morning Post. 
There was also no joint…
Source: SCMP – China

China’s Somali pirate-catching commando gets a hero’s welcome back home

A Chinese navy officer who led a mission last year to rescue a merchant ship in the Gulf of Aden, which also resulted in the capture of three pirates, has been honoured as a hero in his home city, according to local media reports.
Gong Kaifeng was visited by the vice-mayor of Fuzhou, in eastern China’s Jiangxi province, on Wednesday, and praised for his achievements on the high seas, news website reported.
In April, Gong and 15 of his colleagues from Dragon Commando –…
Source: SCMP – China

China rolls out three-year plan to tackle poverty in Xinjiang

China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang is planning a poverty relief scheme targeting its 22 poorest counties, state-run Xinhua reported on Sunday.
Xinjiang, a huge region bordering Central Asia, has long been a security focus for Beijing, which has led a massive security clampdown there after deadly bouts of ethnic violence it blames on local Uygur extremists.
The three-year poverty relief plan would target counties in the Xinjiang prefectures of Kashgar, Hotan, Kizilsu and Aksu, and…
Source: SCMP – China

Chinese officials given a rocket over ‘Wanted’ posters for firework bandits

A team of officials tasked with enforcing a firework ban in a central Chinese county have been admonished for putting up “Wanted” posters for two alleged offenders, according to a Shanghai-based news website.
Several notices printed with photographs of the suspects and offering a 10,000 yuan (US$1,600) reward for information leading to their arrest were put up in a residential estate in Shuangfeng county in Hunan province on Friday, the first day of the Lunar New Year,…
Source: SCMP – China

The guardians who keep watch over Beijing’s Forbidden City

In an age of facial recognition technology and wall-to-wall surveillance cameras, one of Beijing’s biggest tourist attractions still relies on people to keep it secure.
Li Quanhe is one of a squad of security officers who quite literally make sure the doors of the Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, stay open day after day for the millions of tourists who visit it each year.

Li’s day starts at about 7.30am as it has done for the last 38 years, when he and his team push…
Source: SCMP – China

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