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Thread: US Steel & Aluminum Tariffs

  1. #451
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    Much detail, little progress in US-China talks, say sources

    "The Chinese are stuck in the mindset that they want something in return. That's not going to fly in Washington anymore," another source briefed on the talks said.
    US negotiators brought up the case of Micron Technology, which was temporarily barred by a Chinese court in July from selling its main semiconductor products in China, citing violation of patents held by Taiwan's United Microelectronics Corp (UMC).
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  2. #452
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    Trump’s trade war is an unintentional attack on China’s economic model

    As the trade war between the world’s two largest economies further escalates, with US$16 billion in tariffs and counter-tariffs between the United States and China coming into effect, a deep-seated conflict is emerging. Behind the US’ attack on China’s forced technology transfer policy, intellectual property theft and Made in China 2025 strategic plan, and behind the tit-for-tat tariffs, there lies a fundamental fault line of the trade war: the clash between the Chinese state-dominated economic model and the US-led free-market economy system.

    Judging by his tariffs on allies and his embrace of a dictator, it appears that US President Donald Trump doesn’t typically care about ideological or political views as long as they align with his “America first” policy. However, the attack on Made in China 2025, a plan to develop China’s hi-tech industries, has seemingly, intentionally or not, turned into an assault on the core of China’s political and economic system. The Chinese model is characterised by its government-led and -supported industrial growth and innovation that includes elements such as state-owned enterprises in key sectors, government-guided industrial policy and cheap credit from banks.

    This challenge to Beijing’s economic model gained bipartisan support from elite groups within Washington’s China-policymaking community. It seems they are no longer under the illusion that China can be incorporated into the US’ free-market capitalism, and they think their China policy over the past two decades has failed.

    Since China’s entry into the World Trade Organisation in 2001, and despite its further market reforms and booming private sector, China has retained state capitalism and even reinforced its coercive regime in the era of globalisation, thus developing into the world’s second-largest economy. The nation’s strategic transition and the growing resentment in US China-policy circles underpin the consensus on Trump’s policy: that China is succeeding at America’s expense.

    The rationale for Trump’s challenge to the Chinese model and push for Chinese integration into the rule-based free-market economic system is similar to his predecessor Barack Obama’s. The difference is in the approach. Whereas Obama adopted the elaborately structured and face-saving approach of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Trump used a crude, downright old-fashioned weapon: tariffs.

    But Trump’s dogged attack has hit a nerve in China. Under the growing external pressure and the internal economic downturn exacerbated by the trade war, the Chinese leadership and elite are reviewing whether they have underestimated Trump’s determination to overhaul US policy on China. In a popular view in China, existing relationships are based on the belief that close trade and investment relations are the ballast of US-China ties, and until now, never has any US president, from Richard Nixon to Obama, challenged that.

    How can the trade war end? As the openness to discussion indicates, there is a sufficient overlap between Trump’s wants and China’s willingness to deepen its economic reform and further open its economy. Although the countries’ close economic ties have been overshadowed by the trade war, they still constitute the foundation of the US-China relationship. Given this reality, compromise is possible, even if conflict between the US-led free-market system and the Chinese model is inevitable.

    On China’s part, there are ways it can respond to America’s concerns over government subsidies to its industries, such as providing preferential loans instead of direct subsidies. Institutional arrangements, such as a new US-China intellectual property rights pact, could help better protect US intellectual property, as well as key technologies in China. They could also restart their stalled bilateral investment treaty talks and make room for these adjustments.

    The Chinese model could come across as less threatening to the US-led economic system if the Chinese could reverse their current approach. Beijing could tone down the bragging about its overstated economic and technological capability.

    Instead of focusing on state economic growth, China should shift its attention to improving income, welfare and education investment for its huge working-class and migrant labour population. It could also upgrade poor infrastructure – medical care, education, internet, heating, hygiene, water – in underdeveloped villages and towns.

    Redirecting the focus of the Chinese model would show the world that China is still a developing country.
    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

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  3. #453
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    Redcore CEO admits ‘100pc China-developed browser’ is built on Google’s Chrome, says writing code from scratch would ‘take many years’

    A Beijing-based start-up that claimed to have developed an original China web browser has admitted it had based its software on Google’s Chrome, following online accusations that it had ripped off the American internet company’s program.

    Redcore, which recently raised 250 million yuan (US$36 million) in funds, said on its website that its browser had “broken the American monopoly”. That claim was challenged after an online posting purporting to show the installer containing Chrome files went viral.

    On Thursday afternoon, Chen Benfeng, founder and chief executive of Redcore, said in an interview at the company’s offices in a technology cluster in northwest Beijing, that it was wrong to have made such a claim.

    “We don’t deny building on Chrome’s browser engine,” said Chen, who wore a Nike T-shirt with the “Just Do It” slogan. “The web browser is a very old technology, writing the code from scratch will take many years. It’s like Android was built on the foundation of Linux, but nobody doubts Android or Google’s innovation. Google and Apple also did not write the first line of code, doing so would be reinventing the wheel.”

    The public climbdown by Redcore is sure to add to the growing debate about China’s overblown technological strength, and draws comparisons to false claims of breakthroughs in the past, including the case of Hanxin, in which a professor sanded down Motorola chips to pass off as his own innovation.

    This week, the editor of a Chinese state newspaper said the country’s lack of a scientific spirit was often the underlying reason for problems from weaknesses in research to widespread counterfeiting and fraud.

    Liu Yadong, chief editor of Science and Technology Daily, who cited China’s lack of scientific spirit despite a century of trying, had sparked national soul-searching two months ago after criticising the media of hyping up China’s strength in technological innovation.

    The reflection had coincided with Beijing’s apparent dialling down of rhetoric on its ambitions for global leadership in advanced technologies amid a trade war with the United States.

    In 2003, Chen Jin, then a professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, hogged the headlines with his breakthrough in microchip design, unveiling a digital signal processing chip he dubbed the Hanxin, or Chinese chip, which rhymes with “Chinese soul”.

    It did not take long for Hanxin to be exposed as a fraud, when a whistle-blower revealed that Chen had merely sanded down Motorola chips he imported from his former employer to pass off as his own innovation.

    Redcore’s Chen, however, said his company’s situation was not comparable with the Hanxin case.

    “We help our corporate customers use cloud [computing] in a secure way, adapt smoothly from PC to mobile and store data in an encrypted environment,” he said. “All these are real demand and help improve productivity.”

    Chen is a member of China's recruitment programme of global experts known as the “Thousand Talents Plan”.

    Redcore specialises in corporate end technology services such as web browser for office environment, anti-hacking protection, auto adaptation for mobile end and encrypted data storage.

    It has attracted investors including Morningside Capital, IDG Capital and Fortune Venture Capital.

    Shanghai-listed iFlytek, China’s national champion in voice recognition technology, clarified that it was an affiliate of the company that took part in Redcore’s angel round of funding in 2013, an iFlytek spokesman said in a WeChat message in response to an inquiry from the South China Morning Post.

    Current users of the Redcore web browser include a number of government bodies and state owned enterprises such as the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council and China National Chemical Corp, according to a customer list displayed at the entrance of Redcore’s Beijing headquarters.

    A day before the social media revelation, Redcore announced that it had raised 250 million yuan in funding from investors including “large listed companies and government customers”.

    On Thursday afternoon, the download site for Redcore’s browser was unreachable. Chen said the site was down because of the volume of download requests, not because it was deliberately taken down by the company.

    “We know that this is a life-or-death situation for the company. If we don’t clarify properly, there may be no tomorrow,” Chen said. “We will never promote [ourselves like that] again.

    “No more ideological or US monopoly stuff. We will be more down-to-earth and focused solely on technology.”
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  4. #454
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    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

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  5. #455
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    The public climbdown by Redcore is sure to add to the growing debate about China’s overblown technological strength, and draws comparisons to false claims of breakthroughs in the past, including the case of Hanxin, in which a professor sanded down Motorola chips to pass off as his own innovation.
    That one made me chuckle. I spent 7 years battling shipments of sanded down chips coming out of China.
    Always amusing to the see the shit they would try to pass off as genuine, and their excuses and counter-accusations when they were confronted with proof of their fraud.

    Whenever I hear about Chinese "technological innovation", I immediately think of the Colonel's maxim that the Chinese military's biggest supplier is Photoshop.
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

  6. #456
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    That one made me chuckle. I spent 7 years battling shipments of sanded down chips coming out of China.
    Always amusing to the see the shit they would try to pass off as genuine, and their excuses and counter-accusations when they were confronted with proof of their fraud.

    Whenever I hear about Chinese "technological innovation", I immediately think of the Colonel's maxim that the Chinese military's biggest supplier is Photoshop.
    Do they rub the chips with sand paper?

  7. #457
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    Movie madness: Why Chinese cinemas are empty but full

    For a country which will soon assume the mantle of the world's largest cinema audience, China comes out with a surprising number of big budget B-grade flops.

    Some blame this on censorship, others on a lack of creativity but there are also those who see a more sinister force at work, which has nothing to do with film-making.

    It also has nothing to do with selling tickets: at least not real ones.

    Some investors are apparently financially backing movies with the sole goal of boosting their stock price that can shift on the perception of a movie's performance, irrespective of its true popularity.

    Chinese film critic and industry observer Raymond Zhou has been digging into the darker side of film financing in his country.

    "When you have a hit film, your stock price will go up several times in terms of market valuation compared with the grosses from the box office so some 'financial genius', came up with this idea: Why don't I have fake box office numbers so that I can make much more money from the stock market?" he said.

    I asked if it could really be true that producers were seeking to make money in ways that had nothing to do with putting bums on seats in theatres; nothing to do with making beautiful films?

    "The natural way is to make a good movie and then your stock price will go up right?" he responded.

    "But some people have reversed this equation. They have seen the rise of the stock price as the ultimate goal and have just used the making of the movie as an excuse."

    Phantom tickets
    So what is actually happening?


    According to Chinese government investigators, certain production and investment companies have developed ways of faking box office results.

    Then, if these publicly available figures appear to show that a film is doing well, people will buy shares in the companies which paid for the movie.

    So a film might be on in the cinema and one of the companies which paid for it might buy out entire late night screenings. These will register as full houses when they are, in reality, entirely empty theatres.

    Regulators have been catching onto this so producers have allegedly started just buying all the bad seats across many hours of screenings.

    Yet the authorities have now worked out that if a showing is somewhat empty in the middle and for some reason all the seats around the walls have been purchased something must be amiss.

    You might wonder, if box office manipulation has been a broad problem within the Chinese film industry, if it's still worthwhile financially.

    How many hundreds of thousands of seats would a company need to buy to boost the figures enough to make a difference to its own stock price?

    Well what if the cinema chain is also an investor? It can just sell itself the phantom tickets for free.

    Cinema journalist John Papish is an expert in the Chinese box office and says considerable conflicts of interests in this country would be illegal in, say, the United States.

    "An owner of an exhibitor can also distribute their own movies and use their cinemas as a launching pad," he said.

    "They can manipulate the number of screenings in their own cinemas. Often times the third party ticketing apps also have their hands in the promotion of the films so they can push a film that they have an interest in; that they have invested in themselves."

    So, in effect, a company - or connected companies - can distribute the film, have ownership of the theatres and then maybe also involve those selling the tickets. Even those apps rating the film could potentially have a financial stake.

    'Cook the books'

    Some films are also suspected of being used as a method of getting around China's laws designed to restrict capital flight.

    This country has an annual international transfer limit per person of $50,000 (38,921) without official clearance.

    But you can "cook the books", according to Mr Zhou, if your movie is hiring international actors or even set and costume designers.

    For example, in your budget, you might say you are paying a Hollywood star $10m but you're really only paying them $2m.

    The other $8m you can transfer offshore without questions. And most importantly without the need to collect official Chinese receipts.

    "Inside China we have this very strict invoice system," says Mr Zhou.

    "Receipts can be checked and double checked using the super computers of the tax bureau. But once a lot of overseas talent or overseas service providers are involved then the system doesn't work and money can legally be moved off shore."

    He thinks the authorities must be onto this and are likely to be looking at ways of closing the loophole.

    This is not to say that China no longer has honest, committed filmmakers producing quality work.

    The low budget drama "Dying to Survive", about a group of hapless criminals trying to smuggle cheap cancer drugs, has been described as showing what's best about this country's cinema, as well as being hugely popular.

    Yet the Chinese government knows there is something rotten going on which needs to be cleaned up.

    The National People's Congress has introduced fines for misreported box office figures ranging from $7000 to $74,000 and the authorities are allowing the Motion Picture Association of America to use an accounting firm to audit box office data here.

    Communist Party anti-corruption investigators say they are now chasing a high-profile producer, who they've accused of fraud, claiming that he is currently on the run in the United States.

    However there still seems to be no move to break up the vested interests in Chinese movie making, which many analysts believe will continue to pump out poor quality fare as long as there is money to be made - irrespective of how many actually people go to see the film.
    OMG! What is not fake in China? If there's a special category of 'fakery' awards at the Oscars, China would win it hands down. Joe, let me know if you plan to buy some shares. :D
    Last edited by Oracle; 03 Sep 18, at 04:32.
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  8. #458
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    Movie madness: Why Chinese cinemas are empty but full



    OMG! What is not fake in China? If there's a special category of 'fakery' awards at the Oscars, China would win it hands down. Joe, let me know if you plan to buy some shares. :D
    Lol hit films. What hit films. Chinese movies make me cringe. They spend most of their budget on hyped up actors/actresses who can't act and whose only jobs is to look good. Youtube creators make better movies than them.

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    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

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    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

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  11. #461
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