Morning Clicks
by John Kennedy
Morning Clicks
by John Kennedy

NYT and Wall Street Journal go public on attacks by Chinese military hackers

According to the two newspapers, attackers were searching specifically for information on recent high-profile investigations into the massive fortunes of China's political elites.

The New York Times says criminal hackers have spent four months attacking its e-mail servers and staff computers trying to gain access to information related to the newspaper's investigation into the wealth of Wen Jiabao's family.

Attackers successfully installed spyware on 53 computers after gaining access to all Times employees passwords, but computer security experts "found no evidence" any reporting files were stolen.

China's Foreign Ministry yesterday challenged the evidence gathered by the New York Times, then today The Wall Street Journal came forward to say its computers have also been infiltrated by Chinese hackers, something the FBI has been investigating for more than a year.
With the Foreign Ministry's response and what specifically intruders were looking for, asks The New Yorker's Evan Osnos, what does this say about Xi Jinping's pledge to tackle corruption?

The renewed commitment to combating corruption isn’t looking as sincere. On the contrary, this case feels like déjà vu for the Times: in 2004, the Chinese government detained the Times researcher Zhao Yan, accusing him of leaking state secrets.

So far, the biggest loser amid these online intrusions appears to be Symantec, whose antivirus software reportedly only detected one out of 45 types of malware used by the Times' attackers.
A New York Times report on Chinese hackers from 2010 - by David Barboza, one of the main targets these past four months -  continues to be mocked by Chinese geeks today.

For more on the many other kinds of industrial cyber-espionage, check out the interview with Wired magazine senior writer Kim Zetter below.

China abroad

--  Defining the Chinese Dream A new phase of Sino-American relations is poised to begin now that Xi Jinping has been confirmed as China's next leader and Barack Obama re-elected U.S. president. Amid growing rivalry with the United States, Beijing's diplomats must clearly explain their country's values to ease the concerns of neighbors.
China Africa Project
--  Head of African Studies at China’s largest think tank gives wide-ranging interview to CAP, says French intervention in Mali “was necessary” Briefly speaking, I think the biggest misperceptions about China’s engagement with Africa include the so-called “neocolonialism” argument, the idea that China is plundering African resources and the accusation that China dispatches criminals to work in African construction sites — this is total nonsense.
Fast Company
-- Huawei's Mysterious Iranian Ties A new Reuters investigation reveals close ties between Chinese tech giant Huawei and a firm selling embargoed technology equipment to Iran.
Foreign Policy
--  The People's Republic of Hacking Bloomberg, which published a story on the wealth of the family of Xi Jinping, China's top leader, has also been reportedly attacked.
Le Monde diplomatique
--  China and Japan: the other side of the story A strong narrative has taken hold in the West and much of East Asia about China’s behaviour, which starts with the proposition that China is the provocateur.
--  A green peek into Charles Onunaiju’s book, China/Africa For me, the book, prefaced by Deng Boqing, the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, presents the first opportunity to critically appraise the dynamic of the Chinese mystique in contemporary Africa and to put it in perspective, while utilising the window of review or feedback, or both, to raise a green call to the players in this emerging socio-economic movement.
Washington Post
--  Investment from China rises amid concern High-tech batteries. Advanced wind turbines. Sensitive telecommunications gear. Last year saw a spike in concern over Chinese foreign investment in the United States, as election year politics, economic anxiety and a record level of dealmaking all aligned.
--  China security outsourcing getting attractive The Chinese Internet is unsafe with viruses, Trojan horses, and in worst cases, keylogging or espionage software can be downloaded without users knowledge, he explained.

China at home

China Internet Watch
--  China Internet Users Online Time Distribution Here comes China Internet users online time distribution in recent 3 months from Baidu Tongji.
Economic Observer
--  Beijing Eyes Introduction of Property Tax A controversial plan to expand a property tax that is already being levied in Shanghai and Chongqing to the capital has been submitted to the State Council for approval, according to what an anonymous source told the China Times (华夏时报).
--  China approaching the turning point Cheap Chinese labour makes the world go around. It supplies developed markets with cheap goods which, to some extent, make up for stagnating wages. It also keeps the Chinese economic model humming by providing the foundation for growth. But how long can it last? IMF economists Mitali Das and Papa N’Diaye, in a new working paper, reckon only about another decade.
International Journal of China Studies
-- The Wukan Uprising and Chinese State-Society Relations: Toward “Shadow Civil Society”? (PDF) Two questions are posed. First, was the Wukan incident in any way special? Second, does collective action and evolving state-society relations as witnessed in Wukan herald a more democratic future for China?
Voice of America
--  Despite Pollution Worries, China Experiments with Carbon Trading China wants to launch a national carbon trading program by 2016.  If it is successful, analysts say, the program would be one of the largest in the world and would help the country meet its target of cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 45 percent, within seven years.