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    • Japan demands China release Astellas Pharma employee accused of spying
      on March 27, 2023 at 9:56 am

      Beijing has detained more than a dozen Japanese nationals on suspicion of spying in the past decade. […]

    • Alibaba founder Jack Ma returns to China, ending year-long sojourn abroad: SCMP
      on March 27, 2023 at 7:43 am

      BEIJING - Alibaba founder Jack Ma has returned to China, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported on Monday (March 27), ending a more than year-long sojourn overseas that was viewed by industry as reflecting the sober mood of China's private businesses. Ma, one of China's best known entrepreneurs, left mainland China in late 2021 and has been seen in photographs in Japan, Australia and Thailand in the months since. Once one of the country's most outspoken businessmen, he retreated from the public limelight in late 2020 after criticising China's regulatory system that was later blamed for triggering a wide-ranging regulatory crackdown by Beijing. While Chinese authorities said in recent months they had ended the crackdown and would look for ways to support the private sector, Chinese entrepreneurs said they saw Ma's decision to stay overseas as a factor hindering confidence. Alibaba shares in Hong Kong rose more than four per cent after the SCMP report was published. […]

    • Hong Kong police keep tight tabs on first authorised protest in years
      on March 27, 2023 at 1:19 am

      HONG KONG - Hong Kong police on Sunday (March 26) permitted a small protest march under tight restrictions in one of the first demonstrations to be approved since the enactment of a sweeping national security law in 2020. Several dozen demonstrators were required to wear numbered lanyards and were barred from wearing masks, as police monitored their march against a proposed land reclamation and rubbish processing project. Participants chanted slogans against the reclamation project as they marched in the rain with banners in the eastern district of Tseung Kwan O, where the project is slated to be built. Some also criticised the restrictions on their protest, which included a maximum of 100 participants, according to a seven-page letter from police to organisers, seen by Reuters. "We need to have a more free-spirited protest culture," said James Ockenden, 49, who was marching with his three children. "But this is all pre-arranged and numbered and it just destroys the culture and will put people off from coming for sure." […]

    • Online trolls are taking a toll in China
      on March 26, 2023 at 9:01 pm

      A collectivist culture and the lack of pressure on social media companies have made online abuse rampant. […]

    • Police monitor first Hong Kong protest since 2020
      on March 26, 2023 at 10:10 am

      Participants were given number tags and their banners were vetted by police ahead of the march. […]

    • Technology has become the double-edged sword of Asia's protests
      on March 26, 2023 at 12:16 am

      The same tools that are empowering dissent are also hobbling protests. […]

    • Guo Wengui: How a Chinese tycoon built a pro-Trump money machine
      on March 25, 2023 at 12:57 am

      Guo Wengui is accused of masterminding a billion-dollar fraud. His followers tell the BBC their stories. […]

    • Mintz Group: 5 staff detained in Beijing after raid
      on March 24, 2023 at 10:30 am

      The incident comes ahead of a high-profile investor forum, to be held in Beijing this weekend. […]

    • Chinese couple pressures mum with dementia to get hand tattooed with phone numbers, gets flak for being cruel
      by Melissa Teo on March 24, 2023 at 6:22 am

      Being the caretaker of someone with dementia can be stressful, especially when there's a chance they'll get lost while out.  So, despite the pain, one elderly woman's hand was tattooed with her children's phone numbers in case of an emergency, reported Malaysia's media platform Rojak Lah. The 80-year-old woman, who hails from Zhejiang, China, is currently being cared for by her son and daughter.  A while back, she got lost while out on her own and her children had to search for her for a long time before they found her.  Understandably, the incident scarred them and left them feeling extremely anxious.  So, in order to prevent this from happening again, the children brought the elderly woman to a tattoo shop and had their phone numbers inked onto the back of her frail right hand. "Please contact if lost," were the words tattooed in Chinese above the numbers of the woman's daughter, son and grandson. […]

    • Number of Chinese kindergartens drops in 2022 for first time in 15 years
      on March 24, 2023 at 3:05 am

      HONG KONG - The number of kindergartens in China has dropped for the first time in 15 years, falling by more than 5,000 on the previous year, financial news outlet Yicai reported, citing data from the country's Education Ministry. Concerns about China's shrinking population have prompted more than 20 recommendation by members of the country's top political advisory body to boost birth rates, with experts saying some measures could help slow its population decline. There were a total of 289,200 kindergartens nationwide in 2022, the Education Ministry said on Thursday. "The fall compared to previous years was due to fewer students enrolled in the kindergartens", Yicai said. "The number of rural kindergartens is decreasing along with urbanisation as residents move to more urban cities", Yicai said. Much of China's demographic downturn is the result of its one-child policy imposed between 1980 and 2015. Authorities raised the limit to three in 2021, but parents cite high childcare and education costs, low incomes, a feeble social safety net and gender inequalities, as discouraging factors. […]

    • TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew's Congress showdown: Five takeaways
      on March 24, 2023 at 2:11 am

      Tech executives don't get an easy ride before Congress, but Shou Zi Chew's hearing was exceptionally bruising. […]

    • Tawang: The town living in the shadow of India-China war
      on March 23, 2023 at 10:02 pm

      Memories of a painful past are still fresh in Tawang, but its people hope for a better future. […]

    • Canada MP Han Dong steps down over Chinese interference claims
      on March 23, 2023 at 8:36 pm

      Han Dong denies claims he lobbied to delay the release of the "Two Michaels" detained in China. […]

    • US Navy says China statement on US destroyer expelled from South China Sea is 'false'
      on March 23, 2023 at 7:47 am

      BEIJING — China's military said on Thursday (March 23) it monitored and drove away a US destroyer that had illegally entered waters around the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. In a statement, the military said that without the approval of the government, the guided-missile destroyer Milius illegally intruded into China's territorial waters, undermining peace and stability in the busy waterway. "The theatre forces will maintain a high state of alert at all times and take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and security and peace and stability in the South China Sea," said Mr Tian Junli, a spokesman for China's Southern Theatre Command. The United States Navy on Thursday said the Chinese military statement saying it drove away a US destroyer from the South China Sea was false. "The USS Milius is conducting routine operations in the South China Sea and was not expelled. The United States will continue to fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows," a statement from the US Navy 7th Fleet said. Tension between the US and China has been growing in the area. […]

    • China approves its first mRNA vaccine against Covid-19
      on March 23, 2023 at 6:10 am

      BEIJING - China has approved its first domestically developed mRNA vaccine against Covid-19, CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd said on Wednesday (March 22), a major achievement in a country that has declined to use Western Covid-19 shots to support domestic research. China, whose home-grown vaccines are seen as less effective than the Moderna (MRNA.O) and Pfizer (PFE.N) - BioNTech mRNA shots, has been racing to develop vaccines using messenger RNA (mRNA) technology since early 2020. The long-awaited approval comes as infections have fallen sharply across China since it suddenly dropped its strict "zero-Covid" curbs in December, making the sales outlook for the newly approved vaccine moderate. But it would give China an additional option to tackle future outbreaks and a base for development against newly emerging variants, scientists said. The news of China's first successful mRNA vaccine did not generate much buzz in domestic social media on Wednesday, as the country has returned to normal and its borders have re-opened. Its top leaders declared a "decisive victory" over Covid-19 last month. […]

    • Beijing experiences first population decline since 2003
      on March 23, 2023 at 2:03 am

      BEIJING – The death rate in Beijing surpassed the birth rate in 2022, official data showed on Tuesday, pushing the Chinese capital’s natural population growth into negative territory for the first time since 2003. The death rate in the city of 21.84 million, one of the country’s most populous urban centres, rose to 5.72 deaths per 1,000 people, while the birth rate fell to 5.67 births per 1,000 people, official statistics released by the Beijing government showed. Beijing’s population decline was in line with national trends, with China’s population falling in 2022 for the first time in six decades, weighed down by rising living costs – especially in big, sprawling cities like Beijing – weak economic growth, and changing attitudes towards raising a family. "These figures are expected, especially for Beijing," said Dr Peng Xiujian, senior research fellow at the Centre of Policy Studies at Victoria University in Australia. The birth rates in Beijing and other cities and the provinces are calculated based on the permanent residents, not including the migrant population, she said. […]

    • Hong Kong heiress sues gallery owner Pearl Lam over Banksy painting
      on March 23, 2023 at 1:54 am

      HONG KONG - An heiress of the Hong Kong beverage giant Vitasoy International is suing prominent gallery owner Pearl Lam, saying she has paid 500,000 pounds (S$816,000) for a Banksy painting that was never delivered, according to a court writ filed this week. Karen Lo, whose grandfather founded Vitasoy which specialises in soy milk and juice drinks, said Lam falsely represented that she had bought Banksy's "Show Me The Monet" painting on Lo's behalf, according to the writ. Lam's office did not immediately respond to requests by phone and email for comment. The 2005 painting by the British artist is a "remix" of a masterpiece by Impressionist painter Claude Monet. It was sold at a Sotheby's auction in Oct 2020 for more than 7.5 million pounds, far above an estimated sale price of three million pounds to five million pounds. Lam is one of more than 170 gallery owners participating in Art Basel Hong Kong this week. […]

    • US firms 'more negative' about doing business in China
      on March 23, 2023 at 12:07 am

      Five years since the trade war started, American firms seem less inclined to invest in China. […]

    • Shou Zi Chew: Who is the TikTok CEO?
      on March 22, 2023 at 10:30 pm

      The 40-year-old is facing questioning from US lawmakers amid growing suspicion of the Chinese app. […]

    • China approves first home-grown mRNA Covid vaccine
      on March 22, 2023 at 12:52 pm

      China's labs have spent years trying to create an mRNA vaccine - its own shots were less effective. […]

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