Money likely to move from India markets to China: Marc Faber

Money likely to move from India markets to China: Marc Faber

Equity markets across the world have performed very well as most markets in Asia have given a return of 20 to 25 percent in dollar terms. India is up 30 percent in dollar terms.

“I am positive on emerging markets for about a year relative to the US,” Marc Faber, the editor and publisher of The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

“If I look back, after 2014, emerging markets grossly underperformed the S&P 500. If we look at major markets in Asia, India rose 30% in USD and Chin hasn’t gone up that much which bring me to conclude that some money will move from India to Chinese markets,” he said.

Why will the money move from Indian markets to China? “Sentiments around China were very negative in the past six months to a year but that is now turning positive,” added Faber.

Commenting on the dollar, Faber said that the U.S. dollar could “easily rebound” by 4 to 5 percent from current levels, but President Donald Trump and his administration stand in the way of the currency’s long-term strength.

The greenback has had a tough year, with the dollar index tumbling nearly 10 percent since the start of 2017. At the same time, gains among currencies such as euro and peso also added to the dollar’s pain, said a CNBC report.

Commenting on Gold, Faber said it is an under-appreciated asset. Data suggest that from December lows in 2015, the GDX, the Gold ETF is up more than 100% and this year the GDX is up more than 25 percent.

If we compare the performance of the S&P, it is a fabulous performance and some gold shares have even done very well, he said.

[“Source-moneycontrol”]

Cambridge University Press faces boycott over China censorship

Cambridge University Press was urged to refuse censorship requests for not only its China Quarterly journal but also any other topics or publications. Photograph: Nick Ansell/PA

Cambridge University Press must reject China’s “disturbing” censorship demands or face a potential boycott of its publications, academics have warned, as a Communist party newspaper attacked critics of Beijing’s information war as “arrogant and absurd”.

In a petition published on Monday, academics from around the world denounced China’s attempts to “export its censorship on topics that do not fit its preferred narrative”.

The appeal came after it emerged that Cambridge University Press (CUP), the world’s oldest publishing house, had complied with a Chinese instruction to block online access to more than 300 politically sensitive articles from its highly respected China Quarterly journal. The blacklisted articles covered topics including Chairman Mao’s Cultural Revolution, the Tiananmen massacre and the cult of personality some claim is emerging around China’s president, Xi Jinping.

The petition attacked CUP’s move and urged it “to refuse the censorship request not just for the China Quarterly but on any other topics, journals or publication that have been requested by the Chinese government”.

“If Cambridge University Press acquiesces to the demands of the Chinese government, we as academics and universities reserve the right to pursue other actions including boycotts of Cambridge University Press and related journals,” it added.

The author of the petition, Peking University economics professor Christopher Balding, said he hoped it would serve as an alert to how China had dramatically stepped up its efforts to stifle free thinking since Xi became its top leader in 2012and began a severe crackdown on academia and civil society. “I think this is an increasing problem that really needs to be addressed much more forcefully by the international academic community,” he said.

Balding complained that while it was fashionable for academics and publishers to attack US president Donald Trump, they were far more cautious about criticising Xi’s authoritarian regime for fear of reprisals. “Standing up to the Chinese government involves definite costs. It is not an easy thing to do. There will be potentially punitive measures taken against you. But if it is a principle that is right in the UK and if it is right in the US, then it should also be right in China. And there will be times when you have to accept costs associated with principles.”

Another signatory, Griffith University anthropologist David Schak, said he believed CUP had sullied its centuries-old reputation by bowing to China’s demands. “Cambridge seems to be the one who is now censoring rather than China, even though they are doing it at the request of China … They have soiled their copy book.”

Schak added: “It makes you wonder what they are in the business of doing … I thought university presses were there to publish good research.”

“They are acceding to China whereas [they should have said]: ‘What you do, we can’t stop you from doing that but we are not going to do that ourselves.’ You put the onus entirely back on the Chinese government rather than cooperating with them.”

Suzanne Pepper, a Hong Kong-based writer whose piece on politics in the former colony was among the blocked China Quarterly articles, said she expected censorship from China’s rulers but not from CUP. “It makes them complicit, accomplices in the fine art of censorship, which we are all supposed to deplore,” she said.

Chinese intellectuals also lamented the attempt to limit their access to foreign research. “This whole case makes me feel extremely disappointed,” Li Jingrui, a Chinese novelist, wrote on Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter. In an oblique reference to China’s one-party state, she added: “I’m left with the feeling that there is absolutely no escape since every single breath on Earth belongs to the king.”

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The Global Times, a Communist party-controlled tabloid, rejected criticism of China’s tight internet controls, claiming they were designed to protect the country’s security and were “within the scope of China’s sovereignty”.

“Western institutions have the freedom to choose. If they don’t like the Chinese way, they can stop engaging with us,” the nationalist newspaper argued in an English-language editorial. “If they think China’s internet market is so important that they can’t miss out, they need to respect Chinese law and adapt to the Chinese way.

“Westerners [who complain about China’s internet controls] are arrogant and absurd,” it added.

An article in the paper’s Chinese-language edition put the same argument in even starker terms, calling opponents of the CUP decision “ridiculous”.

“China is powerful now and is able to protect its own interests,” it said.

[“Source-theguardian”]

 

Questions Raised About Apple’s Motives for Pulling New York Times App From China

Questions Raised About Apple's Motives for Pulling New York Times App From China
Apple has removed the New York Times app from its digital store in China, acting on what it says were orders from the Chinese government.

But the fact that the move was made on the same day a New York Times reporter contacted Apple about a potentially embarrassing story for the California-based company – as well as the fact that other international news apps were unaffected – has raised doubts about the precise motives behind the action.

The New York Times, which offers content in both English and Chinese, is one of a growing number of foreign news organizations whose content is blocked in China, although some people here use special software to bypass the censorship system.

The Times said the app had been removed from Apple stores on December 23, apparently under regulations issued last June preventing mobile apps from engaging in activities that endanger national security or disrupt social order.

But that was the same day that New York Times reporter, David Barboza, first contacted Apple for comment on a story about billions of dollars in hidden perks and subsidies the Chinese government provides to the world’s largest iPhone factory, run by Apple’s partner Foxconn. That story went online on Dec. 29.

GreatFire.org, an anti-censorship group, worked with the New York Times to launch a version of its Chinese-language app in July that circumvented Chinese censorship in ways the government could not easily prevent.

It pointed out that its Chinese-language Android app continues to work unobstructed in China, while its own own FreeWeibo app had earlier also been removed from the Apple store. It tweeted that, its opinion, the censorship was related to the Times piece about subsidies for Foxconn.

Even if the timing was merely a coincidence, the news underlines how American information technology companies are being forced to play by China’s rules if they want to do business here – even at some cost to their reputation in the West.

It is also another example of how the noose is gradually tightening under the world’s largest system of censorship known as the Great Firewall of China.

But it also comes as China redoubles its own efforts to spread the Communist Party’s message far and wide across the world, including in the United States.

The latest move throws up another barrier for Chinese readers, especially new customers. The app is available in Apple stores in Hong Kong and Taiwan, for example, but users need a credit card billing address outside mainland China to download it, the Times reported.
“For some time now the New York Times app has not been permitted to display content to most users in China and we have been informed that the app is in violation of local regulations,” Apple spokesman Fred Sainz told the Times. “As a result, the app must be taken down off the China App Store. When this situation changes, the App Store will once again offer the New York Times app for download in China.”

The Washington Post’s website is not blocked in China, and its English-language app is available on the Apple store, but many other news organizations are blocked.

The Times said it had asked Apple to reconsider its decision. Criticism also rained down online.

As my colleagues Emily Rauhala and Elizabeth Dwoskin reported last month, California’s Internet companies may have once dreamed of liberating China through technology, but these days they seem more willing than ever to play the Communist Party’s game; case in point, news that Facebook is developing a censorship tool that many interpreted as an attempt to get its service unblocked here.

The news of the Times’ app being blocked was not reported by Chinese media, but filtered through to a few Netizens.

“We are closing our doors to the outside world,” lamented one user of Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter. “This is a restoration of the Cultural Revolution or another historical retrogression,” said another.

The news also comes as China Central Television (CCTV), a propaganda arm of the Communist Party and the country’s largest TV network, launched a new global platform on New Year’s Day to try to improve China’s image overseas.

In a congratulatory letter, President Xi Jinping urged the newly launched China Global Television Network to “tell China’s story well, spread China’s voice well, let the world know a three-dimensional, colorful China, and showcase China’s role as a builder of world peace.”

The Washington Post is one of many Western newspapers that carries a regular paid supplement by China Daily, another Communist Party mouthpiece.

© 2016 The Washington Post

For the latest coverage from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, visit our CES 2017 hub.
Tags: Apple, iTunes, New York Times, New York Times App, China, iTunes China, Apps

[“Source-Gadgets”]

 

Welcome To The Golden Age Of Gadgets, Thanks To China

Gadgets are entering a new golden age (Photo: Benjamin Joffe / HAX)

Gadgets are entering a new golden age (Photo: Benjamin Joffe / HAX)

Back in the pre-internet days, a friend of mine owned a key ring which beeped when he whistled. It was one of those small, affordable, quirky, fun or useful electronic devices that we call gadgets.

Fast forward to the present. Smartwatch pioneer Pebble was acquired by Fitbit earlier this month, whose stock is down 75% year-on-year, and had to dismiss most of its staff and discontinue its products. Many took it as a bad omen for gadgets.

Farhad Manjoo at The New York Times collected evidence: the drone startup 3D Robotics gave up making hardware, Makerbot fell short on its ‘3d print everything’ promise, many crowdfunded projects failed, like AR bike helmet Skully which went bankrupt.

The future sounded bleak. Gadgets makers would either be copied by some unscrupulous manufacturer in China or dominated by large companies. Some, like Mark Wilson at Fast Company, recommended not to buy smart gadgets for Christmas. But Ashley Carman at The Verge, which had announced the come-back of gadgets, wrote a response pronouncing gadgets very much alive, quoting Kickstarter-born VR headset Oculus (acquired by Facebook), sound systems maker Sonos, Snap’s Spectacles and a few more.

So what is it? Are gadgets both alive and dead at the same time?

As a partner at HAX, which invest in dozens of hardware startups for a living, ranging from consumer devices to robotics and health tech devices, I would say we’re entering a golden age for gadgets. Here’s why.

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The First Ice Age of Gadgets

First, there is no denying the situation The New York Times article pointed out. Companies need to keep innovating to survive. Apple would not be around if they had allowed the first iPhone to be the last. Where there was one category champion, like Fitbit, many competitors are cropping up, and Chinese companies are at the forefront.

Xiaomi single-handedly commoditized many product categories, from smartphones to $15 fitness bands, to action cameras for half the price of a GoPro. While those are mostly sold in China for now, the clock is ticking for Western incumbents; they will need to keep innovating to avoid extinction.

A Cambrian Explosion

The Economist called it in 2014 for software; it has now spread to hardware startups. Hundreds of them are getting started and funded worldwide. Why is this happening?

First, prototyping has become faster and cheaper, and crowdfunding can help promote, validate and finance early projects.

Second, manufacturing is now possible at a faster pace, lower cost and smaller scale, thanks to Shenzhen. This goes from getting same-day components, PCBs or 3D prints at the prototyping stage, to a super-efficient supply chain of enormous size. Every time we buy a smartphone we effectively invest in the local ecosystem, which trains factory workers and tooling experts, and finances better and better machines. Those advantages are a critical aspect to enable early stage startups and the “long tail” of niche products (pioneered by the Shanzhai movement) to get to market.

[“source-ndtv”]