China Digital Media Readings for February 16th

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  • on February 16th, 2012
  • In A WSJ Op-Ed Mitt Romney Confronts The China Fantasy, Ignores His Own Hypocrisy? | Sinocism – Bain and Youku $yoku//
    I use Youku, have friends who work there (or did before this post), and think they have one of the best management teams of all the Chinese Internet companies. The company is now a staunch defender of foreign and Chinese copyrights and a partner to many American video rights holders.However, in its early days Youky was a pirate’s den of copyright infringement (of both foreign and Chinese content) and had it not ignored intellectual property rights it is unlikely it would be as successful as it is today. Remember, in his WSJ op-ed Romney writes “we must directly counter abusive Chinese practices in the areas of trade, intellectual property, and currency valuation.”

    Youku, like all Chinese Internet companies, has to obey China’s laws and regulations, which include censoring content and limiting free speech. In the op-ed Romney also emphasizes “the character of the Chinese government—one that marries aspects of the free market with suppression of political and personal freedom.”

    So tell us Mr. Romney, did you profit from Bain Capital’s investment in Youku?

    I have investments in China and have no fundamental problems with investing money here. But I am also not running for president and bashing China to pander for political points.

    Mitt Romney should itemize all the China investments he currently holds or once held, directly or through any funds, Bain Capital or otherwise, and he should disclose how much he has made from them.

    I realize that calling a presidential candidate a hypocrite is about as insightful as saying dogs slobber, but we can always hope for better, right?

  • Baidu’s New Browser – how compare with chrome?//
    We’re happy to announce today the release of the Baidu Browser 2.0, preview edition. The new version represents a significant upgrade from our first release, which came out in July of last year. The Baidu Browser 2.0 now offers even more personalization, a more user-friendly interface, and beefed-up online security to the user.
  • Assignment: China – “The Week That Changed The World” – YouTube -
  • 广电组建新媒体监管平台:全国有线网互联互通_通讯与电讯_科技时代_新浪网 -
  • SARFT Establishing Platform For Regulating Internet TV | Tech in Asia- According to SARFT vice-chief Zhang Haitao, the administration will regulate IPTV streaming services, mobile video services, and traditional internet television services like Youku (NYSE:YOKU) and Tudou (NASDAQ:TUDO).The move is part of a larger push by SARFT to regulate the “three networks:” telecom networks, computer networks, and cable television networks. The regulatory bureau already has a tight grip on television, but until now, internet television and mobile video have been allowed to develop relatively free of SARFT’s interference er, regulation.
  • The China Labyrinth – NYTimes.com- would not bet against them in short to medium term//The upshot is that the authorities now find themselves trapped in a constant tug-of-war between their will to control, negotiated change, public resistance and unresolved confusion. They may pride themselves on building a regime which seems calculating, flexible and dynamic, willing to change its ways in order to remain the dominant guiding power. Yet they also know well the new Chinese proverb: Ruling used to be like hammering a nail into wood, now it is much more like balancing on a slippery egg.

    Whether the authorities can sustain their present balancing act, so proving Madison wrong, seems doubtful. Within the China labyrinth the spirit of monitory democracy is alive and well. Whether and how it will prevail against the crafty forces of surveillance is among the global political questions of our time.

  • LinkedIn reportedly in talks to enter China – ZDNet Asia News -
  • Panda Live Stream Hopes You’ll Fall in Love With the Planet- Wildlife enthusiasts, nature buffs and, most importantly, puppy cam lovers are in for a treat when they see the latest in furry live streams: the 24-hour-a-day panda stream.Philanthropic media organization Explore.org has launched the first HD video live stream of pandas, from the world’s largest panda reserve in Ya’an City, China. The stream, which went live in early February, tracks some of the young pandas living at the facility, which works on species preservation and reintegration into the wild. The stream broadcasts live during the daytime and runs highlights at night (local time).
  • Apple iPad plant conditions better than the norm: agency | Reuters – Working conditions at Chinese manufacturing plants where Apple Inc’s iPads and iPhones are made are far better than those at garment factories or other facilities elsewhere in the country, according to the head of a non-profit agency investigating the plants.
    The Fair Labor Association (FLA) is beginning a study of the working conditions of Apple’s top eight suppliers in China, following reports of worker suicides, a plant explosion and slave-like conditions at one of those suppliers, Foxconn Technology Group.
  • FLA chief calls Foxconn facilities ‘first class’ | Apple – CNET News – Head of organization inspecting Apple’s supplier plants tells Reuters that an uptick in worker suicides may be related to boredom.
  • Xiaomi’s Amazon Tack to IPhone Fight May Mean 3 Years of Losses – Businessweek- Xiaomi Corp., a Chinese smartphone vendor that counts Singapore’s Temasek Holdings Pte as an investor, is ready to post losses for years as it battles Apple Inc. to attract high-end users to its software.“We are not looking to make any money, or to make Xiaomi profitable, for the next two or three years,” President Bin Lin said in a Feb. 7 interview in Beijing. “We will be able to look at profitability from software and services after we have the user base.”
  • U.S. Insider Probe on Asia, Banks Said to Be Intensifying – Businessweek- he multiyear insider trading probe that has implicated U.S. hedge funds, technology company employees and consultants is intensifying its focus on banks and Taiwan as federal officials investigate a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. technology analyst, a person familiar with the matter said.The investigation of Henry King, the Goldman Sachs analyst covering Taiwan, shows federal authorities are expanding the insider-trading probe by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan and the FBI in New York, said the person, who didn’t want to be identified because the matter isn’t public.
  • Censorship in China | The Stream – Al Jazeera English- Users of Sina Weibo, China’s most popular micro-blogging website, will soon have to register under their real names. Critics of the law say this is further increasing the government’s control over online freedom. Yet despite pouring more and more resources into policing the web, the country’s netizens are finding ways to beat the system.In this episode of The Stream, we speak to Eva Galperin (@evacide), an activist with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Michael Anti (@mranti), a journalist and blogger.
  • Beyond Censorship in China’s Media and Cyberspace | Asia Pacific Memo – Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, media debates, often triggered by sensational media coverage of scandals, have played an instrumental role in shaping China’s reform path. With the explosion of the Internet and social media, the scope, ferocity, and stakes of these debates have intensified, creating intricate dynamics between elite, intellectual, and popular politics. Western media portrayals of Chinese media and Internet as plagued by “censorship” still ring true, and we will see more crackdowns. But one-dimensional portrayals miss much of what is going on inside China’s increasingly diverse, dynamic, and perhaps even decisive, media and cyberspace.
  • Cowen Group, Inc. Announces Investment Banking Hires in its Asia and Technology Groups | Business Wire- Cowen building up China team with folks from Rodman & Renshaw?//Mr. Lu joins Cowen from Rodman & Renshaw where he served as Managing Director and Head of China Investment Banking. Prior to this, Mr. Lu served as Managing Director and Chief Representative at Piper Jaffray’s Shanghai-based office, where he successfully built a strong investment banking coverage and execution team. Mr. Lu holds a M.B.A. and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Western Ontario.

    Ms. Mi joins Cowen from Rodman & Renshaw where she served as a Director in the company’s China Investment Banking group based in Beijing. Prior to this, Ms. Mi served as a Vice President in Piper Jaffray’s China Investment Banking team in Shanghai. Ms. Mi holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economic from Cornell University.

The information in this blog post represents my own opinions and does not contain a recommendation for any particular security or investment. I or my affiliates may hold positions or other interests in securities mentioned in the Blog, please see my Disclaimer page for my full disclaimer.

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