Censorship pays: Chinese Communist Party newspaper expands lucrative online scrubbing business

The Japan Times

BEIJING - People.cn, the online unit of China's influential People's Daily, is boosting its numbers of human internet censors backed by artificial intelligence to help firms vet content on apps and adverts, capitalizing on its unmatched Communist Party lineage. Demand for online censoring services provided by the Shanghai-listed People.cn has soared since last year after China tightened its already strict online censorship rules. As a unit of the People's Daily -- the ruling Communist Party's mouthpiece -- it is seen by clients as the go-to online censor. Investors concur, lifting shares in People.cn "The biggest advantage of People.cn is its precise grasp of policy trends," said An Fushuang, an independent analyst based in Shenzhen.


China police smash $30 million fake Lego ring

The Japan Times

BEIJING - Chinese police have dismantled a ring accused of manufacturing some $30 million worth of counterfeit Lego sold across the country, authorities said. Police earlier this week raided the premises of Lepin -- a Chinese toymaker manufacturing Lego knockoffs in the southern city of Shenzhen -- arresting four people, Shanghai police said on Friday. "In October 2018, the Shanghai police found that Lepin building blocks available on the market were extremely similar to that of Lego," the statement said. The toys were copied from Lego blueprints and sent to a factory in Shenzhen to be manufactured before they were sold all over China. "Across more than 10 assembly lines, over 90 molds had been produced … (police seized) some 630,000 completed pieces worth more than 200 million yuan ($30 million)," the statement said.


Don't like our rules? Then leave, China newspaper says after criticism over U.K. journal's censorship

The Japan Times

SHANGHAI/BEIJING – The censorship in China of hundreds of academic papers from a prominent journal will have little impact because readership is so small, but if Western institutions don't like the way things are done in China they can leave, the state-run Global Times newspaper said in an editorial Monday. The editorial appeared after news that Cambridge University Press (CUP) had blocked access on its site in China to a list of some 300 papers and book reviews from the China Quarterly that the Chinese government had asked to be removed. CUP said it complied so that the larger body of its academic and educational materials could remain available in China. But critics argue that the publisher had undermined the principles of academic freedom and independence and lent its name to China's censorship efforts. The articles and book reviews touched on subjects deemed sensitive by the Chinese government, including the 1989 pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square, the 1965-75 Cultural Revolution, Taiwan, Xinjiang and Tibet.


Dried mango has become an unlikely symbol of Chinese nationalism

PBS NewsHour

People watch a TV news broadcast about the South China Sea outside a shopping mall in Beijing, July 16, 2016. An international court ruled on Tuesday that China has no legal basis in claiming rights within what it calls the "nine-dash line," a demarcation line used by China for its claim to the South China Sea. China has said it rejects the ruling, with its foreign ministry claiming it is "out of bad faith." Following the decision, angry comments flooded China's social media dismissing the tribunal's decision, with many people using memes to express nationalist sentiment or call for boycotts. Protesters from a local pro-China party chant slogans against the United States supporting an international court ruling that denied China's claims to the South China Sea, outside U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong, China, on July 14, 2016.


With Pop Star as Bait, China Nabs Suspects Using Facial Recognition

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

The arrests spurred a splash of publicity from state media, who are crowning Mr. Cheung--one of the Hong Kong megastars known as the "Four Heavenly Kings"--with a new title: "The Nemesis of Fugitives." China's police departments have been openly touting their use of technology to nab lawbreakers--a campaign that rights activists say is aimed at winning public support for growing state surveillance. Concert organizers in China have also increasingly deployed facial-recognition systems to curb scalping by verifying the identities of ticket-holders. Surveillance companies and local security agencies have experimented with deploying the technology at events around the country in recent years. The tests date back to 2015, when one company, Shenzhen-based Firs Technology Co. Ltd. said its facial-recognition system helped police identify drug-users, fugitives and ex-convicts at a jewelry exhibition in the city of Chenzhou, in central China's Hunan province.