Odd stirrings online amid official silence as authorities plan Southern Weekly's future

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 January, 2013, 12:19pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 January, 2013, 2:32pm

China abroad | China at home

Plenty of coverage to read today of yesterday's peacefully rally in support of Southern Media Group, arising from outrage after one propaganda official tossed out the highly regarded Southern Weekly's 2013 new year address and snuck in his own (factually inaccurate) version in its place.

-- Muzzling the media 
-- Southern Weekly censorship causes nationwide condemnation 
-- Chinese Journalists Demand Resignation of Provincial Propaganda Chief 
-- Online and Off, Social Media Users Go to War for Freedom of Press in China 
-- Media Outlets Protest State Editorial on Southern Weekly 
-- Chinese protest over news censorship 
-- Southern Weekly Editorial Staff Goes On Strike (Updated) 
-- Calls for Press Freedom in China’s South

In addition to photos collected here yesterday, New York-based online activist Wen Yunchao has aggregated well over a hundred photos uploaded by netizens at the protest. Find a few videos of yesterday's rally below.

Monday evening, word began to spread online that propaganda officials from across the country decided to stick with their version of the story, which takes the responsibility for the censored new year address off Tuo Zhen.

They also were said to have decided that unspecified meddling by unnamed "foreign powers" has been fueling the backlash within Southern Media Group and what we saw on the street in Guangzhou yesterday.

Communist Party of China mouthpiece People's Daily's soft power project, Global Times, went with a similar message yesterday in an editorial which drew widespread ridicule for naming New York-based activist Chen Guangcheng as one of many online instigators behind the protests.

This was likely in reference to comments Chen made in an interview with Deutsche Welle's Chinese service last week in which he asks, rhetorically, what propaganda officials in Guangzhou were thinking.

The other rumour floating around last night was that newspapers across China would republish the Global Times editorial, having been ordered to do so by their respective local propaganda handlers. Today, only a handful of newspapers ran the piece, including two based in Guangzhou but neither belonging to Southern Media Group.

Also, Beijing-based real estate magnate Ren Zhiqiang was 'taken to tea' by domestic security police late Monday evening just two hours after a microblog post which refers indirectly to Southern Weekly and mentions press and speech freedoms and constitutional and human rights.



China abroad

China Daily
-- Chinese investment in Africa is in need of an overhaul Chinese investment in Africa represents just a small piece of Chinese outward foreign direct investment worldwide, 3 to 4 percent in 2011, but it is growing. Africa is the third-largest recipient of Chinese outward direct investment behind Asia and Europe.
-- Outbound investment strategy needs to be revamped From January to November last year Chinese domestic investors pumped direct investment worth $62.53 billion (48 billion euros) into 3,596 foreign companies in 130 countries and regions.

New York Times
-- In Asia, Ill Will Runs Deep Japan is afraid of China’s rise, because the Chinese economy is so much more dynamic than Japan’s. And China is troubled by Japan, because the island nation seems to act as an unsinkable American aircraft carrier just off its coast.


China at home

Beijing Cream
-- Hot Chick In Guangzhou Neutralizes Blade-Wielding Madwoman With One Swift, Awesome Kick “She walks the street with a pair of exposed snow-white legs, and they pack some serious kung-fu,” says the news anchor by way of introduction. “With just one move, she rescued a woman trying to commit suicide on the street.”

Boing Boing
-- HOWTO get stuff made in China On his blog, Bunnie Huang -- legendary hardware hacker turned entrepreneur -- has begun a four-part series explaining how to have electronics manufactured in south China.

China Daily
-- Big data storage business to expand exponentially China is expected to become the world's top big data market in the coming years with the turnover of the sector hitting 5 billion yuan ($803 million) by 2016, according to An Hui, director of CCID Group, a think tank under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

China Law Blog
-- China’s Music Industry I think there is also the lack of a completely secure, transparent and trustworthy ticketing service. We could definitely benefit from the development of a secure e-ticketing platform.

-- Chinese MBA Programs Becoming More Competitive and Attractive As China’s economy surges, it has led to a severe shortage of well-trained managers. With demand for management talent running well ahead of supply, a number of elite Chinese schools have rushed to fill the gap.

China Tech News
-- China's Mobile Payments Will Reach Over CNY700 Billion By 2015 Banks and financial organizations start joining the development and cultivation of the Chinese mobile payment market, and innovative mobile payment methods like mobile phone payment and two-dimensional code payment begin to emerge.

-- Legal Daily report on mass incidents in China in 2012 The summary does not give an absolute number of mass incidents in 2012, and the numbers in the geographical distribution section which seem to indicate, for example, that Guangdong only had eight mass incidents, do not make sense when compared to previous reports by Chinese government organs that talked about 80 to 100,000 mass incidents a year nationwide.

Jamestown Foundation
-- What Direction for Legal Reform under Xi Jinping Many view the party political-legal apparatus as politically vulnerable now, following the fall of Bo Xilai, central discontent with Zhou Yongkang’s role in the affair and subsequent central moves to downgrade the bureaucratic rank of political-legal committees.

Jewish Daily Forward
-- The Bat Mitzvah Tutor of Beijing Beijing is a unique outpost. There, the liberal Kehillat Beijing community has been around since 1979, more than two decades before Chabad arrived.

Jing Daily
-- 2013 Outlook: Premium Brands In China Can’t Ignore WeChat WeChat’s Membership function helps build a bridge between Online and Offline activities and convert “followers” into “members.” This function creates a membership card for users, which can be thought of as a “Loyalty Program 2.0.”

Nicholas Kristof

-- Looking for a Jump-Start in China Here is my prediction about China: The new paramount leader, Xi Jinping, will spearhead a resurgence of economic reform, and probably some political easing as well.

Speaking of China
-- In January, The Holidays Still Thrill Me, Thanks To My Chinese Husband There’s also a Chinese New Year’s Eve banquet for us to prepare. I imagine stir-fried bok choy, pickled daikon radishes, homestyle tofu, and the roast duck and ribs that will make John salivate, along with an auspicious dessert of eight treasures glutinous rice.