Danwei Noon Report

Net activism against hunting endangered animals and Dell

SOD Milk, not what you think
August 14, 2006 - Danwei Noon Report, a daily roundup of new and old media coverage about China, from Chinese and English sources.

• From the Non-violent Resistance blog:

Internet Opinion Shapes Alternative "Political Correctness" in China

The Forestry Ministry has been forced to suspend its proposed auction of "hunting rights" for some of the country's most protected and endangered animals. This is probably the hottest domestic debate now; ever since the news came out two days ago, criticism against the ministry has never stopped.

This is yet another perfect example of an unbelievably stupid government policy getting ripped into pieces by the Internet masses and on popular media, with the mandarins backing down shame-faced in the end. The difference is, this time around the skepticism and criticism is almost unanimous: At this very moment, CCTV is running an interactive news commentary program, "discussing" but mostly condemning it. Indeed, it's almost a textbook case of bureaucratic incompetence with factors offensive to every actively outspoken group on the Internet (link)

• The Washington Post: "Dell is offering refunds to customers in China who sued the company saying their laptops had different microprocessors than advertised." (Link) See Sam Flemming's blog for the complete story about this Internet-generated PR crisis.

• The Associated Press reports:

Beginning Sept. 1, regulators have barred foreign cartoons from TV from 5 to 8 p.m. in an effort to protect China's struggling animation studios, news reports said Sunday. The move allows the Monkey King and his Chinese pals to get the top TV viewing hours to themselves...

...The ban hasn't been formally announced, but newspapers already were criticizing it Sunday as the wrong way to improve programming... (Link, Chinese language report from Beijing Youth Daily; thanks to Polish blogger Sinadrom.)

The AP article ends off with a misleading statement:

In April, the government disclosed it was no longer granting publishing licenses for foreign magazines in an effort to protect its domestic industry. That came after a joint venture that published a Chinese edition of "Rolling Stone" was forced to dissolve after a single issue.

China has never granted publishing licences for foreign magazines. All foreign magazines published in China do so using licencing agreements and other contracts with Chinese publishers, exisiting in a legal grey area.

Back to the cartoon ban was first mooted last year. August always seems to be a month when China's media regulators make grumbling noises about foreign content: See this post on Danwei from August 10, 2005.

• ESWN has been discovering the strange content that ends in dark corners of the People's Daily online forums: links to porn, and strange political rants. Also on ESWN today: The Yanshi Incident, brutal attacks on villagers defending their land.

The Age has a roundup of the story about the 1:500 scale model of a sensitive Sino-Indian border area found in Ningxia by people using Google Earth (link). The blogger who originally noticed the oddity is here

• The New York Times has published a profile of Ben Wood, the American architect behind Shanghai's Xintiandi development (link).

• Forbes reports that Johnson & Johnson is to acquire Chinese low-end cosmetics brand Dabao, famous for its SOD Milk product (pictured, image from here). The same story was reported in the China Daily more than a week ago (link). One of the interesting things about Dabao is that many of their employees are disabled. Apparently Johnson & Johnson has undertaken not to fire any of these people as part of the takeover agreement.

• China Law Blog notes the growth of the business of surveillance equipment (CCTV cameras etc.)in China with the recent "laws mandating surveillance in various venues" (link)

• From The Standard of Hong Kong:

TV stations accused of piracy

Mainland moviemakers are accusing television stations of joining in the thriving film piracy industry.

The Chinese Movie Copyright Association says TV stations air up to 1,500 pirated Chinese movies a year, costing studios up to 75 million yuan (HK$73.23 million) in lost revenues, Xinhua News Agency reported Sunday.

"The number of movies illegally aired is startling - more than 100 in the first six months of the year, and most of them are very recent," Meng Yu, the association's legal director, was quoted as saying... (link)

• A website called China Knowledge has earnings figure from Tom: Tom Online reports 15% profit increase

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