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POLITICS & LAW

By Matthew Walsh / Sep 17, 2019 02:27 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Terry Gou, the billionaire founder of Taiwan-based electronics behemoth Foxconn, has unexpectedly dropped his bid to become the island’s next leader just days after his formal withdrawal from an opposition party sparked speculation that he planned to run as an independent.

In a statement released by his office late on Monday night, Gou said he originally ran for election in the hope of uniting Taiwan society around the economy. “But since launching my campaign, I’ve seen some politicians fan populism by appealing to class, hate, and confrontation, for the sake of their own private interests,” he said.

Gou questioned whether those issues would disappear if he ran for the presidency or abandoned his bid, adding that he hoped that Taiwan could return to a “rational” policy debate when it chooses its next leader in January.

Gou would continue to engage with Taiwan politics and promote his policies, the statement added.

On Thursday, Gou formally renounced his membership of the Kuomintang (KMT), the opposition party under whose name he launched his leadership bid. The move had fueled rumors that he might run as an independent.

The firebrand businessman-cum-politician has been a divisive figure in the run-up to Taiwan’s elections, for example when he claimed after defeat in the KMT primary that the selection was biased toward the eventual winner, Han Kuo-yu.

Contact reporter Matthew Walsh (matthewwalsh@caixin.com)

Related: Terry Gou-Backed LCD Panel Plant Seeks Cash Injection

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POLITICS & LAW

By Matthew Walsh / Sep 16, 2019 04:37 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

A senior Chinese government official has urged the country to press forward with the development of technology infrastructure in Xiongan New Area, in a bid to create a “smart brain” that will transform the future planned new high-tech industrial hub into an information, supercomputing, and big-data hub.

Wang Dongfeng, the Communist Party secretary of North China’s Hebei province, where Xiong an is located, made the comments at a series of meetings held Friday and Saturday in the area, local paper Hebei News reported. Wang name-checked a slew of technologies, including 5G telecommunications bases, satellite-information transmission, sensor systems, and broadband, that will “establish standard systems for a healthy smart city,” the report said.

Wang’s comments come several months after the government began acquiring land from local residents in May. Officials hope that Xiongan, which is situated in what is now a rural area some 100 kilometers (62 miles) southwest of Beijing, will take on some of the capital’s nonessential administrative roles, integrate the region into a vast urban area stretching from Beijing to the port city of Tianjin, and help Hebei transition away from the heavily polluting industries it now relies on, like steel.

But opponents claim the initiative, which officials announced in April 2017 and have called “the project of the millennium,” will destroy fragile wetlands and threaten the survival of local culture.

Contact reporter Matthew Walsh (matthewwalsh@caixin.com)

Related: Gallery: China’s Newest Special Economic Zone Moves Ahead

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By Guo Yingzhe / Sep 12, 2019 01:49 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

When U.S. President Donald Trump announced Wednesday he was delaying another planned tariff hike on Chinese imports, he framed it as a “gesture of goodwill.” But Chinese investors don’t seem to be warming to him.

The Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index opened a paltry 0.2% up on Thursday morning after Trump tweeted that a tariff increase from 25% to 30% on 250 billion of Chinese goods, originally slated to come into effect on Oct. 1, would be postponed to Oct. 15.

The delay is “at the request of the Vice Premier of China, Liu He, and due to the fact that the People’s Republic of China will be celebrating their 70th Anniversary,” he said in a separate tweet.

Also on Wednesday, China announced the exemption of 25% punitive tariffs on 16 categories of U.S. imports, which were levied last year in retaliation for similar tariffs imposed by Washington. The exemption helped boost American stock markets, nudging the Dow Jones up 0.85% or 227.6 points and the S&P 500 up 0.72% or 21.5 points at the close.

Read the full story on Caixin Global later today.

Contact reporter Guo Yingzhe (yingzheguo@caixin.com)

Related: Update: China, U.S. to Hold Trade Talks in Washington Next Month

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By Zhao Runhua / Sep 09, 2019 12:57 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: IC Photo

Photo: IC Photo

The Chinese government has rolled out the first formal policy document to regulate education-related apps, according to the Ministry of Education.

The document, drafted in August, was formally introduced last week. It mandates that education apps not force users to share personal information, and makes guardian permission compulsory when collecting minors’ data, the document said. If schools recommend students and parents use a certain app, the app cannot charge fees or embed ads or games, the document said, adding that using the apps must be optional and should not be considered references for student awards.

In some schools, teachers require students to use selected apps to do homework or revisions, state-run Xinhua reported. Xinhua reported that one Beijing parent, Zhang Ying, said her child’s school uses an app that requires students to watch a 30-second mobile-gaming ad before providing course revision materials, which would violate the new requirements.

Under the new rules, apps must also back up content they provide in case of government inspection. Currently, to attract users, some apps contain pornographic or gambling materials, and refuse to log their operating details, said Chen Feiyan, an official at an internet security unit under China’s public security department.

In 2019, some 80 million primary and middle school students will use online education services, propaganda department official Yang Mengdong said. As of 2018, there were hundreds of thousands of education apps in the country.

Related: Insurance Giant Ping An Enters Online Education

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By Zhao Runhua / Sep 04, 2019 02:13 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: IC Photo

Photo: IC Photo

Chinese telecom giant Huawei on Tuesday denied allegations by a Portuguese inventor that it had stolen his intellectual property (IP).

The denial was in response to a Wall Street Journal report last Friday that said the U.S. government was investigating Huawei for alleged theft of smartphone camera patents. Patent owner Rui Pedro Oliveira said that after a 2014 meeting with Huawei to discuss his camera designs, the company did not agree to use his IP, but later started to sell products that infringed upon it.

In a statement Huawei issued Tuesday, the company admitted its representatives did meet with Oliveira, but asserted the smartphone cameras involved were developed by staff “having no access to Oliveira’s information,” state-run China Daily reported. Huawei said its products, with nonexpandable lenses and lenses on both sides designed for panoramic photos, are different from the inventor’s single-lens designs, China Daily said.

Huawei also said Oliveira is “taking advantage of the current geopolitical situation” as well as “pushing a false narrative through the media in an attempt to capitalize on a dispute,” according to China Daily.

Huawei has yet to respond to Caixin’s requests for further comments.

The company has denied several IP infringement accusations, and is gradually shifting towards 5G and semiconductors in China as overseas business is impeded by foreign security concerns and U.S. sanctions. Huawei’s own computing ecosystem Kunpeng has bases in China’s five emerging high-tech areas: Shenzhen, Chongqing, Xiamen, Shanghai and Chengdu.

Related: U.K. Trade Minister Says Policy on Huawei Not Changed

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By Zhu Liangtao and Guo Yingzhe / Sep 02, 2019 04:26 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: IC Photo

Photo: IC Photo

A Shanghai tycoon has turned himself in to police and confessed to fraud relating to his peer-to-peer (P2P) lending business, the latest case in the scandal-plagued industry that has been rapidly shrinking amid intensifying government scrutiny.

Shanghai police have taken “coercive measures” against Dai Zhikang, founder and chairman of Shanghai Zendai Creative and Cultural Development, also known as Zendai Group, for his role in “illegally taking deposits from the public,” also known as illegal fundraising, the police said in a statement on Sunday.

Forty other people involved in the case have faced similar punishment, which can include residential surveillance, detention, or arrest, according to the statement. The police have also frozen assets involved in the case.

Dai told police on Thursday that he had embezzled investors’ funds and was not able to repay them, the statement said.

Dai’s surrender comes less than one month after Laocaibao, a P2P lending platform he controls, stopped providing new loans, and a Zendai subsidiary that directed clients to the platform fired employees.

Read the full story on Caixin Global later today.

Contact reporter Guo Yingzhe (yingzheguo@caixin.com)

Related: Another Peer-to-Peer Lending Platform Stumbles

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By Huang Meilun, Ding Ning, and Ren Qiuyu / Aug 21, 2019 03:42 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

China plunged into a “toilet revolution” in 2015, but it has hit blockages in rural areas, Caixin has found.

While cities and municipalities have made strides in improving the sanitation of toilets, rural areas present a larger challenge due to poor or nonexistent sewage networks and lack of funding.

One former government worker in a village in central China’s Hunan province told Caixin that many rural households must shoulder the initial cost of around 2,000 yuan ($284) to upgrade their home WC to a flushing toilet and wait until the end of the year before claiming about 1,000 yuan in subsidies.

In other areas, many so-called dry toilets, which consist of two wooden boards placed over a pit, have been demolished, but nothing has been constructed in their place, Caixin learned.

Last month, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs and six other government departments jointly issued a notice requiring localities to upgrade, build, or integrate sewage networks and treatment systems in order to improve the management of fecal matter. However, it is yet to be seen if the target to transform China’s toilets by 2020 can be met.

Read the full report on Caixin Global later today.

Contact reporter Ren Qiuyu (qiuyuren@caixin.com)

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By Matthew Walsh / Aug 20, 2019 05:37 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Large numbers of Chinese mobile apps continue to threaten users’ security by illegally using their personal information, reading files on their devices, and probing other downloaded apps, according to a report published Tuesday by one of the country’s most influential nongovernmental cybersecurity bodies.

The report, which was released by the National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team/Coordination Center of China (CNCERT/CC), reviews China’s online security landscape over the first half of 2019. Published amid an ongoing public outcry over the misuse of personal information, it illustrates the vast scale of the country’s data privacy problem.

Many apps harvest personal information either by forcing users to provide access to their data in order to use the app, or by nudging users toward giving access to data unrelated to the apps’ core operations, according to the report. An example of the latter strategy would be when a food delivery app asks by default for access to your photos and videos while seeking permission to use your location.

CNCERT/CC analysis of more than 1,000 of the country’s most-downloaded apps found that each one requests an average of 25 permissions and that more than 30% demand access to call logs despite that data being unrelated to their operations. On average, the apps collected an average of 20 data items relating to individuals or their devices, including chat logs, geographic locations, and audiovisual content, the report said.

Additionally, the widespread adoption of mobile internet and inclusive finance in China over the last several years has led to the emergence of online fraud techniques that use mobile clients to access individuals’ personal information and bank accounts, the report said.

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) is currently rolling out a yearlong crackdown that aims to root out illegal and nonconsensual data collection. Earlier this month, a CAC-affiliated body published a draft regulation that would standardize digital data collection and require app-makers to allow access to their products as long as users provide the minimum possible amount of personal data and permissions for the apps to function.

Contact reporter Matthew Walsh (matthewwalsh@caixin.com)

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By Matthew Walsh / Aug 16, 2019 03:48 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: IC Photo

Photo: IC Photo

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has established a dispute panel to resolve a row over U.S. safeguard duties on imports of Chinese solar cells, Reuters reported Thursday.

China claims that the United States is violating WTO rules by imposing a tariff-rate quota on imports of Chinese solar cells and increased duties on imported solar modules. The panel was set up automatically after China requested it for a second time at a meeting of the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body, according to Reuters.

The decision came as the world’s two largest economies seek to ease long-running trade tensions that continue to cast a shadow over the solar industry. In January last year, the Trump administration imposed 30% “safeguard tariffs” on solar panels produced outside the United States, ostensibly to push a domestic solar industry heavily reliant on cheap imports toward buying more U.S.-made panels.

Washington then specifically targeted China in August last year, charging additional duties of 25% on Chinese solar cells and panels. The move was widely seen as an expression of broader U.S. complaints that China unfairly uses subsidies and bulk manufacturing to outcompete American companies in a number of industries, an accusation that China denies.

At the time, China’s commerce ministry said the U.S.’s extra measures harmed Beijing’s interests and distorted the global renewables market. China later filed an initial complaint with the WTO. 

So far, the effectiveness of U.S. solar tariffs remains unclear. Some experts have claimed that they contributed to thousands of job losses in the American solar industry last year, while others say they have had little effect on Chinese solar companies that shifted production overseas to avoid previous U.S.-China trade disputes.

Contact reporter Matthew Walsh (matthewwalsh@caixin.com)

Related: Solar Power Now Cheaper Than Grid Electricity Across China, Study Finds

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By Zhao Runhua / Aug 14, 2019 02:41 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: IC Photo

Photo: IC Photo

The Shanghai government is losing patience in regulating ride-hailing services, and warned operators that their apps could be taken down if they fail further inspections.

Ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing and lifestyle platform Meituan Dianping were fined 5.5 million yuan ($783,353) and 1.47 million yuan, respectively, for operating vehicles failing to meet regulations in a July inspection. However, in later inspections, they were still arranging rides for unqualified vehicles and drivers, the Shanghai Municipal Transportation Commission said on its official WeChat account Tuesday.

Each day between Saturday and Monday around 82% of 15,000 unqualified ride-hailing vehicles were operated by Didi, and over 15% by Meituan, according to the Commission. The two companies have to yet to comment on the issue.

The Commission said if the platforms refuse to suspend related services or fail to meet requirements, it would work with other agencies to implement harsher punishments, including removing their ride-hailing apps and taking their services offline for six months.

The Commission said it will strengthen its inspection into the industry and expand collaboration with public security units in the future.

Related: Didi Chuxing Removes 306,000 Drivers From System for Safety Vetting

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By Tianyu M. Fang / Aug 13, 2019 12:27 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: IC Photo

Photo: IC Photo

China on Thursday published a draft of a document that would provide national standards for digital data collection, opening the door to greater protection for the country’s internet users.

The draft by the government-administered National Information Security Standardization Technical Committee would require app-makers to authorize access to their products once users hand over the minimum possible amount of personal data and permissions for the products to function. Users can also grant additional permissions but would not be required to do so.

The draft includes lists of the minimum information requirements of 21 kinds of internet services, including map navigation, ride-hailing, instant messaging, blogs and forums, online payment, news media, and online shopping. The lists include both personal information that is legally required, such as phone numbers and transaction records, and additional personal information needed for the services themselves.

The document would help to ensure that app developers don’t gain access to personal information unrelated to the nature of their services. For instance, it would allow a food delivery app to ask for your location, but not to have access to your photos.

Additionally, the draft would prevent apps from transferring or sharing personal data with external services without the owner’s permission. Apps would also not be allowed to collect device identifiers, such as IMEI codes or MAC addresses, for anything other than security purposes, according to the draft.

Related: Regulator Cites Privacy Breaches by 17 Financial Apps

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By Matthew Walsh / Aug 12, 2019 04:43 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: IC Photo

Photo: IC Photo

State-owned telecoms provider China Mobile got an earful from the country’s communications regulator for failing to clamp down on unsolicited phone calls.

Officials from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) met with China Mobile on Friday to discuss rising numbers of complaints from network users in Beijing and northern China’s Hebei province who have received “harassment calls,” a catch-all term referring to unwanted calls from both legal telemarketers and illegal fraudsters, according to the ministry’s website.

Representatives from China Mobile and its municipal and provincial subsidiaries signed a “Letter of Commitment to Rectification and Reform” pledging to stringently carry out demands to investigate, identify, and root out harassment calls, the ministry said.

MIIT officials also required that China Mobile strengthen oversight of special-purpose phone lines and numbers to deliver “clear results” in the short term, the ministry said, adding that officials also reminded the network provider to “uphold a people-centric development ideology, not forget the original intention, and keep its mission firmly in mind.”

Harassment calls have proliferated in China in recent months thanks partly to the absence of strict enforcement and the emergence of AI-driven automated voice bots that can recognize, interpret, and respond to certain speech patterns with near-human accuracy, meaning they can market products to large numbers of consumers without immediately being identified as machines. In December, MIIT received around 86,000 public complaints about harassment calls, three times the number received during the same period in 2017.

The MIIT will also mobilize industry watchdogs to take action against other companies and organizations that use personal phone numbers to make harassment calls, the ministry said.

Contact reporter Matthew Walsh (matthewwalsh@caixin.com)

Related: China Mobile Talks 5G Tie-Up With National Cable TV Operator

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By Tang Ziyi / Aug 07, 2019 12:57 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

China’s film regulator has suspended all mainland-made movies and their associated personnel from participating in a prestigious Taiwan-based film festival amid deteriorating cross-Strait relations.

No mainland filmmakers or actors will attend the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards later this year, state-run media outlet China Film News, which is backed by the China Film Administration, said Wednesday in a statement posted to its official Weibo page. No official reason for the decision was given.

The Golden Horse Awards are one of the most prominent events in the Chinese-language film industry. The prizes were first awarded in 1962 and mainland Chinese moviemakers have been eligible to take part since 1996.

The ceremony courted controversy last year when Taiwan director Fu Yue said during an acceptance speech that she hoped for Taiwanese independence, sparking heated debate among filmmakers, politicians, and netizens. Beijing regards Taiwan as an indivisible part of China and aims to reunite with the island in the future.

Wednesday’s announcement marks the latest escalation of cross-Strait tensions. Last week, the Chinese government announced that it would stop issuing permits allowing tourists in 47 mainland cities to travel to Taiwan on an individual basis.

Contact reporter Tang Ziyi (ziyitang@caixin.com)

Related: Beijing Tightens Restrictions on Mainland Tourists Visiting Taiwan

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By Lin Yunshi and Ren Qiuyu / Aug 01, 2019 12:46 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Ten officers of the People’s Liberation Army were promoted to the rank of general at a ceremony on Wednesday, the second such ceremony since the 19th Party Congress in October 2017.

General is the highest rank for active service officers in China. Usually, selection to be promoted to the general rank requires serving as lieutenant general or at an equivalent level for four years, or two years in a theater command posting depending on length of time spent in the military and experience.

However, six of the newly-promoted generals — Li Shangfu, Wu Shezhou, Zhu Shengling, Shen Jinlong, Zheng He, and An Zhaoqing — had only been elevated to lieutenant general or equivalent in 2016. It appears they have been fast-tracked.

All 10 of the new generals are members of the Central Committee of the 19th Party Congress. Stay tuned for a closer look at their backgrounds.

Read the full story on Caixin Global tomorrow.

Correction: A previous version of this article mistranslated the term "theater command."

Contact reporter Ren Qiuyu (qiuyuren@caixin.com)

Related: Singapore and China Revise Defense Pact

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By Cheng Siwei and Guo Yingzhe / Jul 31, 2019 03:45 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: IC Photo

Photo: IC Photo

Debt at the local level continues to bother Chinese experts.

Several provincial audit watchdogs have warned of the risks of hidden debts when releasing reports on local governments’ fiscal conditions for 2018.

The audit offices of Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shandong and Henan provinces raised concerns over poor management at lower levels of hidden debts, including slow debt repayment, insufficient repayment capability, and miscalculation of debts.

In recent years, Beijing has been urging local governments to clean up the mountain of off-balance-sheet debt taken on by themselves and their financing vehicles since the global financial crisis a decade ago. In general, local authorities should convert the hidden debt into explicit liabilities that sit on their books.

Economists with investment bank Nomura International estimated that Chinese local governments’ outstanding hidden debt amounted to around 40 trillion yuan ($5.8 trillion) at the end of last year, approximately double their explicit liabilities, which totaled 20.5 trillion yuan at the end of June.

Read the full story later today on Caixin Global.

Contact reporter Guo Yingzhe (yingzheguo@caixin.com)

Related: China Clarifies Rules on Addressing Local Governments’ Hidden Debt

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By Matthew Walsh / Jul 29, 2019 06:21 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

China’s central internet regulator is mulling a potentially years-long blacklist for people who spread internet rumors or violate other online rules as the government seeks to further curb what it considers bad behavior online.

A draft regulation released for public comment on July 22 by the Cyberspace Administration of China proposes restricting the internet access of users and providers of online information services that “fabricate, publish, or spread information that violates public morality, business ethics, or good faith” or deliberately provide technological assistance to those who do so. Those whose online misdemeanors result in the closure of their websites or the revocation of their business licenses may also be added to the list, the draft regulation adds.

Blacklisted individuals would generally be restricted from using the web, accessing online information services, or reentering the internet industry for three years, the draft regulation says. However, depending on whether the individual rectifies their behavior and prevents their disinformation from spreading further, this period could be either shortened or extended by up to three more years, the proposal adds.

Chinese authorities have been known to clamp down on people who spread information online deemed false, malicious or threatening. On Thursday, Caixin reported that Li Jinxing, a rights lawyer, is appealing a decision by authorities in East China’s Shandong province to revoke his legal license due to “improper remarks on the internet” regarding the country’s judicial system. Li denies that his posts are illegal.

The draft regulation is the latest in a series of Chinese government initiatives designed to better police the internet. In August, an AI-driven platform, Piyao — meaning “refute rumors” — was launched, allowing the public to report and debunk unwelcome tittle-tattle.

According to Chinese law, online rumormongers whose posts are viewed by more than 5,000 internet users or reposted more than 500 times can land themselves in jail. Additionally, people who circulate false information about disasters can face prison sentences of between three and seven years.

Contact reporter Matthew Walsh (matthewwalsh@caixin.com)

Related: Rights Lawyer Fights Decision to Revoke License

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By Chen Xuewan, Zhou Meilin and Zhao Runhua / Jul 26, 2019 07:11 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Nur Bekri, the former head of China’s National Energy Administration (NEA), pleaded guilty to accepting millions of dollars’ worth of bribes during a Thursday court trial that may make him the latest high-profile former official to fall foul of an ongoing government crackdown on corruption.

Bekri, who is Uyghur, stands accused of abusing a number of government positions he occupied between 1998 and 2018 to receive bribes totaling 79.1 million yuan ($11.5 million). At the trial, which is taking place at an intermediate people’s court in the northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang, he said he regretted his misconduct while in office.

Bekri previously served as the head of the NEA, but stepped down in September amid an investigation by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) — China’s anti-corruption watchdog — which accuses him of concealing the truth about the alleged bribes. The CCDI has also accused Bekri of nepotism and exchanging power for sex.

Prior to his stint at the NEA, Bekri was the chief of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region from 2008 to 2014.

The court has yet to announce its final ruling.

Contact reporter Zhao Runhua (runhuazhao@caixin.com)

Related: PetroChina President Becomes Head of Energy Administration

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By Isabelle Li and Zhang Qi / Jul 26, 2019 05:38 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Eleven months after JD.com founder and Chairman Richard Liu was accused of rape by a Chinese student at the University of Minnesota, the state’s police force publicly released Wednesday materials collected during its investigation into the events of the controversial night in August that embroiled the e-commerce billionaire in a scandal.

The cache of written, audio, and video materials includes testimonies from Richard Liu, his accuser — 22-year-old Jingyao Liu — and several witnesses. It also contains surveillance video footage from the apartment building where Jingyao Liu alleges the rape took place, as well as text messages asking for help sent by Jingyao Liu to her friend.

John Elder, a spokesperson for the Minneapolis Police Department, told Caixin that police waited until now to release the materials because of the need to redact and legally review all of the related documents and video content before granting access to the public.

Prosecutors decided in December not to press felony charges against Richard Liu, whose name in Chinese is Liu Qiangdong. However, in April, Jingyao Liu filed a civil lawsuit in Minnesota seeking compensatory and punitive damages from the tech entrepreneur and his company.

Richard Liu’s attorney, Jill Brisbois, said in a statement to the media that the released materials proved Liu’s innocence.

Jingyao Liu told Caixin Thursday she intends to pursue the civil suit and hopes to win justice via legal channels. Her attorney, Wil Florin, told Caixin that they look forward to the court hearing and hope the judge and jury will examine “all the evidence, including what the police have not publicly released.”

In an exclusive interview with Caixin in April, Liu Jingyao said that she had “never consented” to having sex with the tycoon.

The hearing will take place in a Minnesota court on Sept. 11.

Read this story in full on Caixin Global later today.

Contact reporter Isabelle Li (liyi@caixin.com)

Related: Exclusive: Richard Liu’s Rape Accuser Says She Never Consented to Sex With JD.com Founder

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By Shan Yuxiao and Ren Qiuyu / Jul 25, 2019 02:10 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: IC Photo

Photo: IC Photo

Chinese rights lawyer Li Jinxing, who made his name fighting against wrongful convictions, is now contesting an official decision to revoke his license for “improper remarks on the internet.”

Li filed an appeal on Wednesday against the decision by Shandong province authorities to take away Li’s license to practice law over his online criticism of China’s judiciary system.

The Shandong Provincial Justice Bureau told Li on Monday that his Weibo posts dating back to April 2017 had included slanderous remarks about China’s judiciary system, which violated China’s Lawyer’s Law. Li disputed this, telling Caixin his posts do not constitute an illegal act.

Li is best known for defending activist Yang Maodong and for founding the Innocence Project of China, which has fought to overturn wrongful convictions.

“All six of my Weibo posts are constructive statements. They are entirely within a lawyer’s rights granted by the Constitution," Li, whose license had previously been suspended for one year in 2016, told Caixin. “Lawyers handle cases according to law and publicly express their opinions in accordance with the law, and this safeguards the rights of the parties and the implementation of the law,” he said.

Contact reporter Ren Qiuyu (qiuyuren@caixin.com)

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By Zhao Runhua / Jul 24, 2019 03:37 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

China’s government will require certain cloud service providers to undergo safety inspections in a bid to better regulate the country’s rapidly digitizing administrative and commercial sectors.

Starting from September, companies that provide cloud services for Communist Party organizations, government departments, and “operators of key information infrastructure” — an as-yet-unspecified group — will have to go through assessments performed by government-appointed technology groups, according to a notice jointly published Monday by four high-level government departments. The notice did not specify whether the rules would extend to overseas cloud-service providers.

In addition to examining service providers’ hardware and data security, the assessments will also evaluate the personal backgrounds of staff members who can access potentially sensitive information, the notice said.

The government will reserve the right to perform random inspections to ensure the “continuous supervision” of platforms that pass the assessment, according to the notice.

According to a recent report from research firm IDC, China’s so-called infrastructure as a service (IaaS) public cloud market grew 86.1% year-on-year to $4.65 billion, making it the second-largest such market in the world, just behind the United States. Many of China’s local governments, as well as several high-level state departments, have adopted third-party cloud solutions.

Contact reporter Zhao Runhua (runhuazhao@caixin.com)

Related: Authorities’ Attitude Key to Success of Digital Governance: Pony Ma

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