Article: Alibaba shares jump after record $2.8bn anti-monopoly fine

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Alibaba shares jump after record $2.8bn anti-monopoly fine

Mark Sweney, 12 April 2021

Shares in Alibaba surged on Monday after the e-commerce company said that a record $2.8bn (£2bn) fine handed down by Chinese regulators marked the end of an investigation into anti-competitive practices at the company.

Top executives at the company, founded by the billionaire Jack Ma, told investors that while Chinese regulators continued a wider investigation into the sprawling conglomerates in the country’s tech industry, they believed the multibillion dollar fine announced at the weekend marked the end of the focus on Alibaba. The company is listed in Hong Kong and its shares climbed as much as 9% on the management’s comments. Continue reading “Article: Alibaba shares jump after record $2.8bn anti-monopoly fine”

Article: Being ‘tough on China’ can’t mean harming our own interests

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Being ‘tough on China’ can’t mean harming our own interests

DANIEL L DAVIS, 11 April 2021

Being “tough on China” is politically popular in Washington these days, and Biden has come out of the gate swinging against Beijing. But “being tough” isn’t a policy and reflexively applying it to China doesn’t serve U.S. interests. A logical and realistic approach to Beijing, however, can.

Obama’s “pivot to Asia” in 2011 opened a new chapter in Sino-American relations and turned an always challenging relationship even more tense. From the beginning of his administration, Trump characterized China in starkly adversarial terms, calculating domestic political advantage in starting a trade war. In the early months of the Biden term, it appears the new president has chosen to accelerate this deterioration in relations. Continue reading “Article: Being ‘tough on China’ can’t mean harming our own interests”

Article: Hong Kong activist charged with foreign collusion under national security law

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Hong Kong activist charged with foreign collusion under national security law

Jessie Pang and James Pomfret,  24 March 2021

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Andy Li was charged on Wednesday with “conspiracy to commit collusion” with a foreign country to endanger national security, two days after he was released from a Chinese prison.

At the city’s West Kowloon Court, the prosecutor told the judge that Li, who had been detained by Chinese authorities after trying to flee Hong Kong for Taiwan by boat with 11 others last August, would also be charged with two other offences including possession of ammunition without a licence.

The ammunition in question included used tear gas canisters.

Under the city’s China-imposed national security law, defendants could face up to life in prison if convicted. Continue reading “Article: Hong Kong activist charged with foreign collusion under national security law”

Article: The Next ‘Gamestop’: How China or Russia Could Attack Our Financial System

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The Next ‘Gamestop’: How China or Russia Could Attack Our Financial System

Robert Carlson, Gray Gaertner, 16 March 2021

Last week, the dramatic rise and fall in the price of Gamestop demonstrated how vulnerable the stock market is to social media speculation. U.S. regulators should now turn their attention to a greater risk—that in the near future, China, Russia, or another adversary could coordinate an unwitting mob to harm the American financial system.

The potential for financial warfare follows from a playbook that China, and especially Russia, have drawn from repeatedly to meddle in U.S. domestic politics. First, foreign state agents have used social media to spread disinformation or stoke existing grievances. Second, they have counted on naive users to share the original posts, allowing the content to reach a larger audience. Finally, they fan the flames to provoke action.

In 2016 and 2020, Russian propaganda decreased U.S. voters’ trust in their candidates and the political system. During last year’s protests over race and policing, foreign bots amplified instances of both racial discrimination and violent protests, further polarizing American society. Following Joe Biden’s electoral victory in November, Russian agents embraced false allegations of fraud, providing the rationale for an armed mob to assault the Capitol Building. China spends at least $10 billion per year on its own influence operations through the United Front Work Department, which promotes pro-Beijing narratives overseas.

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Article: Why Mitt Romney’s call for economic boycott of China Olympics comes as no surprise

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Why Mitt Romney’s call for economic boycott of China Olympics comes as no surprise

Dennis Romboy, 15 March 2021

SALT LAKE CITY — Sen. Mitt Romney’s call for an economic and diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Olympics in Beijing isn’t surprising given his political stances on China.

In his first speech on the Senate floor after taking office in 2019, the Utah Republican shifted his focus from Russia to China as America’s greatest geopolitical adversary. While running for president in 2012, he argued that Russia presented the biggest threat to the United States.

Romney said China’s economic strength and large population enable a military power that “could eclipse our own.”

“It is possible that freedom itself would be in jeopardy,” he warned. “If we fail to act now, that possibility may become reality.”

In his first two years in the Senate, Romney filed legislation to combat China’s economic aggression, condemned the Chinese Communist Party and sought sanctions over abuses of ethnic minorities. He pushed for a National Security Council task force to counter the Chinese government’s “sinister propaganda” about the origins of the coronavirus

Just last week, Romney and seven GOP colleagues reintroduced the Strengthening Trade, Regional Alliances, Technology and Economic and Geopolitical Initiatives Concerning China Act to advance a comprehensive strategy for U.S. competition with China.

“We must take decisive action now to confront China’s growing aggression, which includes linking arms with our friends and allies to dissuade the Chinese Communist Party from its predatory policies and demand that China abide by the norms and rules which the rest of us follow,” he said.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, of which Romney is a member, will hold a hearing on the issue this week.

Romney has accused China of unfair trade practices, stealing American jobs, currency manipulation and intellectual property theft.

“I think we have to hold China’s feet to the fire,” he said in 2019.

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Article: Mercurity Fintech Holding Inc. Announces Results of 2021 Extraordinary General Meeting

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Mercurity Fintech Holding Inc. Announces Results of 2021 Extraordinary General Meeting

PRNewswire, 09 February 2021

Mercurity Fintech Holding Inc. (the “Company”) (Nasdaq: MFH) today announced the results of its 2021 Extraordinary General Meeting, held on February 5, 2021 in Beijing, where it adopted resolutions, effective immediately, to: (i) increase the authorized share capital of the Company from US$50,000 to US$250,000; and (ii) re-elect following nominees as members of the Company’s Board of Directors: Continue reading “Article: Mercurity Fintech Holding Inc. Announces Results of 2021 Extraordinary General Meeting”

Article: US Chides Vietnam Over Currency, But Makes No Tariff Threat

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US Chides Vietnam Over Currency, But Makes No Tariff Threat

Alex Lawson, 15 January 2021

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative found that Vietnam’s currency manipulation is unfairly hindering U.S. businesses but held off on teeing up new tariffs against Hanoi on Friday, leaving a final decision in the case up to the incoming Biden administration.

After a three-month investigation, the USTR found that Vietnam’s persistent undervaluation of its currency, paired with its more recent intervention in foreign exchange markets, artificially lowered the prices of Vietnamese exports to the U.S., leaving U.S. producers at a disadvantage. Continue reading “Article: US Chides Vietnam Over Currency, But Makes No Tariff Threat”