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Huawei Placed Emergency Order with TSMC

Chinese technology news site Moore recently reported that the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) received a US$700 million emergency order from Huawei on May 18. However, sources from Japan said TSMC has refused that order. TSMC is the world’s largest chip-maker and manufactures most of Huawei’s critical high-end chips. On May 15, the U.S. Department of Commerce released new regulations on approval requirements for manufacturers using U.S. technologies. The new rules will effectively ban any suppliers from helping Huawei. TSMC just reached an agreement with the U.S. government and announced a plan to construct a new cutting-edge 5nm chip manufacturing facility in Arizona. The Chinese government has already threatened retaliation against U.S. high-tech companies.

Source: Moore, May 19, 2020
http://news.moore.ren/industry/223474.htm

HKET: Polls Showed Strong Canadian Public Opinion against China and Huawei

Hong Kong Economic Times (HKET), the leading financial daily in Hong Kong, recently reported that, based on the latest polls conducted by the Angus Reid Institute, the number of Canadians with positive views about China reached a record low. Among the 1,518 people surveyed, only 14 percent viewed China positively. The same number was 29 percent six months ago. Around 85 percent of the sample expressed the belief that the Chinese government was not honest on reporting the status of the coronavirus. The poll also showed that 78 percent of the people were against allowing Huawei into Canada’s 5G network. At the same time, 88 percent said China could not be trusted on human rights and the rule of law. Only 11 percent of the people now believe Canada should focus on trading with China. This poll was designed to find out the Canadian public’s view about twelve key countries that are important to Canada. Ever since the Chinese government arrested Canadian citizens Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, plus sentencing Robert Lloyd Schellenberg to death, the Canadian public’s view on China has rapidly turned negative.

Source: HKET, May 14, 2020
https://bit.ly/2Ty0dxb

Escaping Nasdaq – Chinese High-Tech Heavy-Weights Prepare Plan B

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that, with the recent success of Chinese high-tech leader Alibaba going public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKSE) for the second time, key Chinese high-tech companies are coming up with Plan B to face the high probability of being kicked out of the U.S. stock markets, mainly Nasdaq. Luckin Coffee’s latest scandal story about accounting fraud served as the last straw that pushed U.S. senators to propose regulations to delist Chinese companies traded on U.S. stock exchanges, due to their lack of transparency. The Chinese search engine leader Baidu (Nasdaq listed since 2005), though it denied it publicly, is actively preparing to withdraw from the U.S. market for the HKSE. Jing Dong (JD.com), NetEase and CTrip are all looking at IPOs or re-IPOs in Hong Kong. The planning even started in January. Nasdaq has been strengthening its restrictions on reporting requirements for foreign companies, especially audit requirements to align with international accounting standards. The U.S. Senate’s recent passage of the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act sent a very strong signal to drive Chinese companies out of all U.S. stock markets, though China’s name was not mentioned. Currently there are around 200 companies that this new act may impact if it also passes the House.

Source: Sina, May 22, 2020
https://finance.sina.com.cn/roll/2020-05-22/doc-iircuyvi4458096.shtml

Stability Control: CCP Monitors and Traces All Chinese People

A Chinese citizen shared a personal experience on social media that reveals how tightly the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is monitoring its people.

A local Disease Prevention and Control Center called him when he was on a long-distance bus. He didn’t answer the call as he was on another call. Then the center called the person sitting next to him and asked that person to inform him to answer its call.

However, the person in the next-seat didn’t buy a ticket at the bus station (where the authorities could have collected his contact information). He just got on the bus and bought the ticket. So how did the authorities find out about him in order to call him?

A netizen’s comment explained that the CCP has installed a camera on all trains and buses. They can first locate its target person and then zoom in to see the person next to him. Then, using facial recognition to identify the second person they can pull up his contact information. Another commentator said that, even ten years ago, the CCP had installed at least five cameras on each bus, so that they could monitor the bus. The CCP can also trace the mobile phone location to confirm whether a person is on a bus.

Another netizen shared a similar experience. Last month, he drove his friend’s car to Henan Province. The Disease Prevention and Control Center called him to ask him when he went there, but the center didn’t call his friend first. So somehow the authorities had the ability to tell that he was the actual driver of the car.

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Hiding Information: Beijing Asked Labs to Destroy Coronavirus Samples

The South China Morning Post reported on May 15 that, at an early stage in the outbreak, Beijing confirmed it had ordered unauthorized laboratories to destroy samples of the novel coronavirus.

Liu Dengfeng, an official with the National Health Commission’s science and education department, said this was done at unauthorized labs to “prevent the risk to laboratory biological safety and to prevent secondary disasters that unidentified pathogens might cause.”

The South China Morning Post also reported that, according to a provincial health commission notice issued in February, those handling virus samples were ordered not to provide them to any institutions or labs without approval. Unauthorized labs that obtained samples in the early stage of the outbreak had to destroy them or send them to a municipal center for disease control and prevention for storage.

The article mentioned that the Chinese magazine Caixin reported in February that some hospitals had sent samples to private gene sequencing companies to identify the mystery virus early in the outbreak. The report said that some of those results came back as early as December 27 and were identified as being from the same coronavirus family as SARS. According to the report, one company had been told to destroy all virus samples.

The National Health Commission started investigating the virus on December 31 and informed the World Health Organization of the outbreak the same day. On January 3, it ruled out that the virus was a known pathogen causing respiratory disease, and on January 9, it said the illness was caused by a novel coronavirus. It was later named Sars-CoV-2, and the disease it causes was named Covid-19.

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Source: South China Morning Post, May 15, 2020
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/3084635/china-confirms-unauthorised-labs-were-told-destroy-early

Public Opinion: A Tsinghua Professor Criticized the CCP’s Handling of the Coronavirus and Called for Political Reform

From May 21 to May 27 and May 22 to May 28, respectively, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is holding its “Lianghui,” or the “Two Conferences,” which stands for the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the National Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (NCPPCC). The “Lianghui” is a rubber stamp process to show there is “democracy” in China: the representatives of the people in the country can review, approve, and comment on the work of the central government and can make decisions about the personnel in the committees of the NPC and the NCPPCC.

Around the same time, Xu Zhangrun, a Tsinghua Professor, wrote a lengthy article, listing the CCP’s errors in handling the coronavirus, running the country, and holding a prejudiced ideology. He called for political reform and true democracy in China. His article was widely spread on the Internet though the CCP continues to delete it.

Professor Xu’s article makes the following main points:

  1. (The Regime’s) Politics is (to rule by) Fear, to (Survive) Disasters, and to (have Being be the) Savior
  2. There is an Interdependence between the Savage State and Totalitarian Politics
  3. (Although it is a Big Country, China Is Only) a Small Country in Human Civilization
  4. (The Concept that the CCP Promotes) a “Community of a Shared Future for Mankind” No Longer Exists
  5. Ideological Prejudice is opposed to a Rational State of Good Governance
  6. A Political Foundation (should be) Based on Truth and Responsibility

On the last point, Xu further listed eight points for the government to start implementing, to “avoid the disaster from happening again”:

  1. Reveal the true history, completely investigate the cause and the origin of the novel coronavirus, and provide the actual infection data to the public.
  2. Thoroughly go after the accountability including the highest political responsibility (of the officials) and order (them) to apologize to the people for their crimes and hand them over to justice.
  3. Release all innocent citizens including citizen “reporters” (people who reported the true pandemic outbreak situation on their own since the news reporters of the government-controlled media were not allowed to do so), human rights attorneys, religious leaders, and people who were against the authorities’ violence; stop persecuting university professors who tell the truth.
  4. Select a site in Wuhan to build a “2020 Crying Wall,” engraving the names, gender, and birth and death dates of all victims of this pandemic.
  5. Select a site in Wuhan to build a “Righteous People Statue” for the eight whistleblowers (they told others about the Coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan but the authorities punished them) and for the one person “who handed out the whistle” (referring to Aifen who provided the infection information to the whistleblowers) to promote citizen’s integrity and public justice.
  6. Require the government to set up a special fund for the orphans whose parents died of coronavirus or died for treating the virus; however, this fund should not cover the orphans of the Internet police who died from overwork from deleting people’s posting on the Internet.
  7. Establish “Dr. Li Wenliang’s Day,” or China’s “Freedom of Speech Day,” to let all citizens remember the Constitution’s declaration of citizens’ rights to freedom of speech.
  8. Stop the Internet policing policy; remove the Internet Information Office’s power to violate citizen’s privacy and freedom of speech and power to admonish teachers, doctors, and writers for their thoughts; establish a law to expose officials’ assets; abolish all CCP organizations and their affiliated organizations in academic and education institutes; immediately stop the nationwide practice of forced-abolition of people’s homes and return the ownership of land back to the citizens (the CCP claims that the land belongs to the government). Further, stop the ban on establishing private media and non-CCP parties and establish a one-person-one-vote system. In all, start political reform and publish a political reform timetable.

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Infection Count: Jilin Citizens Are Prohibited from Entering Beijing

The coronavirus outbreak continued to develop in Jilin City, Jilin Province. However, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has blocked the actual infection information just as they had previously done in Wuhan.

The Jilin Health Committee recently published a decision that the Leading Group of the Jilin Municipal Epidemic Prevention and Control Work made. In order to ensure Beijing’s safety before the epidemic risk in Jilin is removed, Jilin citizens are prohibited from going to Beijing via flight, train, bus, or their own cars. The police will control the check points and “handle” those violators “according to the law and regulations.”

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World Outbreak: In U.S., Coronavirus Impacts Three Times More in Democratic Regions than in Republican Regions

Reuters reported, that in the U.S., the death rates in Democratic areas are triple those in Republican ones.

According to an analysis of demographic and public health data, as of May 20, 2020, U.S. counties that voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election reported 39 coronavirus deaths per 100,000 residents, The death rate was 13 out of every 100,000 people in counties that voted for Republican Donald Trump.

Take Michigan as the example; counties that backed Clinton in 2016 collectively reported 79 deaths for every 100,000 people. Counties that backed Trump reported 25 deaths per 100,000.

Reuters said the reason could be that areas the Democrats control tend to have a denser population than the areas Republicans control.

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Source: Reuters, May 21, 2020
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-divided/divided-by-covid-19-democratic-u-s-areas-hit-three-times-as-hard-as-republican-ones-idUSKBN22X14I

China Pumps US$22.5 billion into its Chipmaker SMIC

Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), headquartered in Shanghai and incorporated in the Cayman Islands, is a Chinese semiconductor foundry company. On May 15, the Hong Kong-listed chip maker announced that two China state-backed funds injected a total of US$22.5 billion into its wafer factory that will help SMIC produce advanced chips.

As the Trump administration has moved to block global chip supplies to blacklisted telecoms equipment giant Huawei Technologies, which is gradually shifting its own wafer design and production from Taiwan based TSMC to SMIC in response to the possibility of more restrictive measures, China is betting the local chip foundry can help reduce the country’s reliance on US technology.

The plant has the capacity to produce 6,000 14-nanometre wafers a month and plans to boost that to 35,000. After the capital infusion, the SMIC plant’s registered capital jumped from US$3.5 billion to US$6.5 billion. The chip maker’s stake in the facility will drop from 50.1 per cent to 38.5 per cent, according to the company.

Source: Central News Agency, May 17, 2020
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/acn/202005170185.aspx