Also in this week’s issue

News roundup

  • Tencent has been blocked from launching new apps or updating its existing ones, including WeChat, the state broadcaster CCTV said. As part of “temporary administrative guidance” from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the punishment comes after regulators found that several of Tencent’s apps contravened data protection rules. Tencent said in a statement that it was working with the authorities to resolve the situation.
  • The Chinese Table Tennis Association and its American counterpart will send two joint teams to compete in the mixed-doubles event of the World Table Tennis Championships in Houston, which starts this week. The surprise announcement was made at an event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the ‘ping pong diplomacy’ said to have set the course for Richard Nixon’s groundbreaking visit to Beijing in 1972. The news spurred speculation about the potential reopening of the Chinese consulate in Houston, which was forced to shut last year amid escalating China-US tensions.
  • China confirmed that it has released an undisclosed amount of oil from its state reserves – the second time in as many months – in a joint effort with Washington to keep crude prices at lower levels. The White House said it would release 50 million barrels from its own petroleum reserves, and that China, Japan, India and Britain would participate in the coordinated move. Joe Biden and Xi Jinping discussed a joint effort to dampen the oil price and curtail wider inflation during the virtual summit the US and Chinese leader held last week.
  • The US State Department said Taiwan is one of 110 invitees to the ‘Summit for Democracy’ to be hosted online by President Biden early next month. Rather than Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen, Taipei said that Digital Minister Audrey Tang would represent the island at the virtual summit.
  • David Thompson, the Pentagon’s deputy chief of space operations, told the Halifax International Security Forum that the United States is lagging behind China’s hypersonic weapons capability and has “catching up to do very quickly”. The Chinese military launched a long-range missile in August that circumnavigated the globe and ejected a separate glide vehicle that flew all the way back to China, before hitting a target. No other country is known to possess such technology, the Financial Times reported.
  • The Battle at Lake Changjin has taken top spot as the highest grossing film of all time in China, two months after it was first released. On Wednesday the blockbuster epic about China’s military role in the Korean War against US forces surpassed the Rmb5.69 billion ($891 million) box office haul achieved by Wolf Warrior 2 in 2017. The film could go through Rmb6 billion in ticket sales as its main distributor Huaxia announced that its release will be extended for another month until the end of December. Huaxia also said 20% of box office profits from Lake Changjin would be given to struggling domestic cinema operators.
  • 14 Number of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency mining companies that have left China since the government’s ban on the practice in May. They have moved more than two million cryptocurrency mining machines out of China, according to the Financial Times. Most have been moved to the US, Canada, Russia and Kazakhstan.
  • 8.52 per 1,000 people China’s birth rate in 2020, the lowest since 1978, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Other official data showed there were 5.88 million registered marriages in the first three quarters of this year, down 17.5% versus the same period in 2020.
  • 80% Percentage of the 4,168 companies listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen that were making profits according to their recently released third quarter reports.
  • 1 billion kilowatts China’s accumulated installed capacity of renewable energy power production. That is a doubling of the figure in 2015, according to the National Energy Administration.

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