Life in the Middle Kingdom.
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Meanwhile, China Quietly Takes Over Zimbabwe | Zero Hedge

Meanwhile, China Quietly Takes Over Zimbabwe | Zero Hedge | Life in the Middle Kingdom. | Scoop.it
While the developed world is focusing on the rapidly deteriorating developments in the Crimean, China, which has kept a very low profile on the Ukraine situation aside from the token diplomatic statement, is taking advantage of this latest distraction to do what it does best: quietly take over the global periphery while nobody is looking. We learn that China has just achieved what every ascendent superpower in preparation for "gunboat diplomacy" mode needs: a key strategic airforce base, located in one time economic zombie, Zimbabwe, which incidentally just adopted the Chinese Yuan as a legal currency, and whose president just happens to be on China's payroll.
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Interview With Jim Rickards: China Planning to Displace Dollar

Interview With Jim Rickards: China Planning to Displace Dollar | Life in the Middle Kingdom. | Scoop.it
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Big Web Crash in China: Experts Suspect Great Firewall

Big Web Crash in China: Experts Suspect Great Firewall | Life in the Middle Kingdom. | Scoop.it
Technology experts say China’s own Great Firewall — the country’s vast collection of censors and snooping technology used to control Internet traffic in and out of China — was most likely to blame for a huge Internet failure, mistakenly redirecting...
Jon Teets's insight:

Chi-anne!

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Stunning images taken by crane driver working on Shanghai's skyscrapers - Telegraph

Stunning images taken by crane driver working on Shanghai's skyscrapers - Telegraph | Life in the Middle Kingdom. | Scoop.it
Stunning images taken by crane driver of the high rise skyline of Shanghai
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Why Chinese People Buy So Many Homes in Palo Alto

Why Chinese People Buy So Many Homes in Palo Alto | Life in the Middle Kingdom. | Scoop.it
It's not just because it’s nice: Foreign home purchases by China's wealthy tell us a lot about the country’s economy.
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Rare Case of Gun Violence in China Leaves 6 Dead

In a rare case of gun violence in China, a man fatally shot five people and beat a sixth to death, including some of his factory colleagues and a soldier, police said Sunday.
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Fitch says China credit bubble unprecedented in modern world history - Telegraph

Fitch says China credit bubble unprecedented in modern world history  - Telegraph | Life in the Middle Kingdom. | Scoop.it
China's shadow banking system is out of control and under mounting stress as borrowers struggle to roll over short-term debts, Fitch Ratings has warned.
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What Paintbrush Makers Know About How to Beat China

What Paintbrush Makers Know About How to Beat China | Life in the Middle Kingdom. | Scoop.it
Change your business all the time. Or don’t ever change a thing.
Jon Teets's insight:

The better strategy for a growing business is constant change.  A very real concern of small to medium-sized businesses which source in China is seeing their designs on someone else's shelves.  There's no viable legal recourse, so businesses need to be in an industry where consumers  1) prefer constant change and shun last season's goods  2)  demand a higher level of quality  3) will pay a premium.    

The problem with such a strategy is that it's particularly vulnerable to economic downturns and it requires a business to get nearly every design right and estimate the volume properly.   
 

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Faking It in China by Ian Johnson | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books

Faking It in China by Ian Johnson | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books | Life in the Middle Kingdom. | Scoop.it
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WHY A NEW GPU CAN MEAN A GREENER CHINA

WHY A NEW GPU CAN MEAN A GREENER CHINA | Life in the Middle Kingdom. | Scoop.it
Switching China’s iCafes to run on NVIDIA GTX 650 GPUs could reduce carbon emissions comparable to removing 281,886 cars off the road. Read more.
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Apple 'one of the best' at monitoring factory staff, says Chinese activist (Wired UK)

Apple 'one of the best' at monitoring factory staff, says Chinese activist (Wired UK) | Life in the Middle Kingdom. | Scoop.it
The founder of a Chinese activist group called China Labor Watch has come out in defence of much-criticised technology giant Apple, saying it's "one of the best" at monitoring its factories
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Apple can’t call an iPad an iPad in China, says court

Apple can’t call an iPad an iPad in China, says court | Life in the Middle Kingdom. | Scoop.it
Apple suffered a setback in China as a court rejected a lawsuit filed by Apple against a local company.
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China’s credit tightening is serious

China’s credit tightening is serious | Life in the Middle Kingdom. | Scoop.it
The Chinese reform campaign has moved to a new phase. Over the past week, the project has moved from controlling interbank rates to the currency as the People's Bank of China appears determined to both boost export sectors and rid its economy of the hot money flows that are underpinning shadow bank excess. The yuan fell 1.3% against the dollar last week, which is very steep in context. There are three theories about what's going on. The first is that the PBOC is preparing markets for a float and also does not want to see the yuan higher than it is because of concerns about competitiveness. The FT's Short View has a nice take on those theories: I agree that this is partly behind the move. But there's more. The second theory is that the PBOC has so surprised markets that it's lost control of the currency as hot money goes into full reverse. From Morgan Stanley: In our previous note, we estimated that US$350 billion of TRF [Redemption Forward contracts]have been [...]
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Is China Colonizing Africa? Jane Goodall Thinks So

Is China Colonizing Africa? Jane Goodall Thinks So | Life in the Middle Kingdom. | Scoop.it
Animal activist and researcher Jane Goodall compared Chinese investment in Africa to British colonialism.
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In Blue-Collar Toledo, Ohio, a Windfall of Chinese Investments

In Blue-Collar Toledo, Ohio, a Windfall of Chinese Investments | Life in the Middle Kingdom. | Scoop.it
Toledo is hardly the only United States city pursuing investors from China, but the Chinese have noticed its location, housing stock and space.
Jon Teets's insight:

Always go where the ball's going to be, not where it is.  

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The lifecycle of your liberalised yuan | FT Alphaville

In the category of "new rules"
The assumption for a long time has been that when a free floating yuan is finally born step 1 on its journey would be a joyous rush of capital inflows sweeping it upwards as foreigner investors finally got to jump into China with both feet.

Jon Teets's insight:

"The global financial crisis has changed the rules of the game. Over the past five years China has lost its competitiveness and the yuan is currently overvalued against the dollar and on a trade weighted basis. China’s export sector is reeling as not only the global trade pie is growing at a much slower rate, but China’s ability to carve out ever larger parts of it is gone.

China’s current account surplus has gone down to 2.2% of GDP in the third quarter of 2013 from 10.1% in 2007. The direction of causation between the current account and the yuan has been consistent since China joined the World Trade Organisation in 2001. Current account surpluses led to pressure on the yuan to appreciate. In July 2005 the PBoC moved to a managed peg, allowing a gradual appreciation of the currency. Capital inflows were enticed despite the closed capital account and the PBoC continued to intervene in the FX market and pile on huge foreign exchange reserves.

But during the five years since the financial crisis the story changed as real GDP suffered a sharp structural slowdown, which we’ve explained in numerous publications. As domestic investors lost faith in the economy, 2012 saw the largest capital outflows on record. The economy reached a major crossroads. The need for reform became acute if China is to avoid a major financial crisis within two-three years time."

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It’s OK if your kid isn’t fluent in Chinese yet—that’s the bottom line of new research from Larry Summers

It’s OK if your kid isn’t fluent in Chinese yet—that’s the bottom line of new research from Larry Summers | Life in the Middle Kingdom. | Scoop.it
A few years ago, my daughter’s school switched from Spanish once a week to Mandarin Chinese. Having studied both languages, I was very much opposed to the move, but the decision was made with little input.
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Loan Practices of China’s Banks Raising Concern

Loan Practices of China’s Banks Raising Concern | Life in the Middle Kingdom. | Scoop.it
Regulators say banks have been profiting by offering wealthy Chinese high returns on loans, with banks lending the cash to companies unqualified for loans otherwise.
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All About the Maos: Charting China’s Cash Crunch

All About the Maos: Charting China’s Cash Crunch | Life in the Middle Kingdom. | Scoop.it
Is China's current cash crunch the Lehman Brothers collapse with Chinese characteristics? The answer is no, but it does highlight increasing stress in China’s financial sector. China Real Time provides an illustrated guide.
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Echoes of Mao in China cash crunch - FT.com

Echoes of Mao in China cash crunch - FT.com | Life in the Middle Kingdom. | Scoop.it
As China’s credit crunch takes a turn for the worse, the question of why the central bank has permitted market conditions to deteriorate so suddenly and so sharply looms ever larger.
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Fitch says China credit bubble unprecedented in modern world history - Telegraph

China's shadow banking system is out of control and under mounting stress as borrowers struggle to roll over short-term debts, Fitch Ratings has warned.
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The rise of the robots|Business|chinadaily.com.cn

The rise of the robots|Business|chinadaily.com.cn | Life in the Middle Kingdom. | Scoop.it
Rising labor costs, innovation drive prompt companies to use more machines in manufacturing.
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A Foxconn Breakdown: Its Strengths, Strangeness, and Scrutiny

A Foxconn Breakdown: Its Strengths, Strangeness, and Scrutiny | Life in the Middle Kingdom. | Scoop.it
We trace Foxconn's roots, its quirks, and continued efforts to shed more light on its working conditions.
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