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Companies in Hot Water with China over Taiwan and Tibet

 2 min read / 

Delta Air Lines is facing strong public backlash for listing Taiwan and Tibet as “countries” on its website, areas the Chinese government considers as part of its territory.

China’s civil aviation regulator reached out to the US airline, instructing them to issue an apology and rectify the situation with immediate effect. Delta said it recognised the seriousness of the issue, stating: “It was an inadvertent error with no business or political intention.”

Shanghai’s internet authority also chastised clothing retailer Zara for listing Taiwan as a “country,” demanding Zara’s representatives to rectify the issue. Zara likewise complied with the request and immediately apologised on its Chinese websites.

Delta and Zara, however, are not the only companies to be publicly scolded by China this week. The Marriott hotel chain had its website and app blocked yesterday for a similar political misstep. It listed Hong Kong, Tibet, Taiwan and Macau as separate “countries” in its emails and mobile app, suffering the consequences with a week-long ban.

China’s tourism ministry ordered an investigation after authorities claimed Marriott’s choice of wording violated cybersecurity and advertising laws. It called for others in the industry to heed to the warning, suggesting information on corporate websites and apps are reviewed and that they abide by Chinese laws and regulations.

Marriott also issued an apology to the Asian nation, saying it respects and supports China’s view on the sovereignty of these areas. It also promised to work with the Chinese authorities on their investigation, taking disciplinary action where needed.

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China

China’s 2017 GDP Beat Estimates as Xi Announces Change

 1 min read / 

china gdp 2017

China’s economy grew by 6.9% in 2017, the fastest rate in two years.

For the fourth quarter, GDP grew by 6.8%, exceeding government expectations which had estimated a growth rate of 6.5%.

The announcement on Thursday comes at a time of great economic change for China. Following his re-election to a second term, Chinese Premier Xi Jinping announced plans to refocus future economic development in the PRC, with emphasis on industrial upgrading and environmental protection.

China’s rapid rise to the world’s second-biggest economy has been attributed to quantitative-focused government targets, like long-term GDP targets, which have led to higher industrial output year-on-year. However, officials are worried that continuing stimulus policies of this kind will become too aggressive, with projects that are unlikely to see any meaningful return.

Nevertheless, China is still expected to announce a high growth target at the 2018 annual session to be held in March.

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China

Tencent Targets Game Cheats

Tencent Cheats

Ahead of releasing PlayerUnknown in China, Tencent is cracking down on cheat software.  

Editor’s Remarks: The world’s largest video game company, Tencent, is collaborating with Chinese police to unearth criminal rings that make and sell programs that allow players to cheat. So far, there have been 30 such cases with over 120 people arrested and many doing jail time. PlayerUnknown has around 27 million users worldwide, and shattered video game records in 2017; around half of these users are in China despite the game not yet being officially released there. It is suspected that there are around 5m cheats on the game’s network – the majority of whom, it is believed, are also Chinese.

Read more on Technology:

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Americas

Bitmain Considers Canada Move

Bitmain Canada

The Chinese bitcoin miner is looking to expand abroad and is eyeing up Canada.

Editor’s Remarks: Although Bitmain has not confirmed that it is seeking an overseas relocation because of China’s recent announcement that it will clamp down on cryptocurrency trading, it is unlikely to be a coincidence. Just a few days ago, the company said it had also opened a new branch in Switzerland, which would play an essential role in its further global expansion. Now, it has publicly said that it is considering an expansion to Canada’s Quebec region, which will give Bitmain access to cheap hydropower to power its mining operations, leading a number of crypto miners to move there.

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