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China, earth in the middle
The #MeToo movement continues to hold famous men responsible for sexual misconduct in China. This time, the target was Qian Feng, host of Hunan Satellite TV. Prior to several variety shows, he was known to make sexual jokes and sexist comments on television.
Feng became the center of a huge controversy after a woman identified on the internet as Xiao Yi reported on Weibo (a kind of Chinese Twitter) how she was sexually assaulted by the famous in 2019.
Xiao said that when she agreed to have dinner with the presenter in Shanghai, she was repeatedly encouraged to drink excessive amounts of alcohol until she passed out. The next day, she woke up naked in Qian’s apartment, not remembering what happened after dinner. According to her, the presenter admitted the abuse and said he resisted and used a condom with her.
Qian allegedly offered money to silence the victim. She refused and went to the police, who refused to act on the complaint because the presenter “asked for forgiveness” from the survivor. Xiao said he developed deep depression and attempted suicide several times after the incident.
The post on Weibo has already received over 3 million likes. The Changning District Public Security Bureau issued a statement denying that the case had not been investigated due to the apology.
According to the agency, there was no evidence at the time. Xiao questioned the position, claiming that the presenter himself confessed to the crime in testimony given to the police. Qian has been withdrawn and the investigations into the case will be reopened.
Why it matters: Feminist movements and the denunciation of stalkers are severely repressed by the Chinese government. Chinese social networks have even censored posts citing #MeToo. Users bypassed the veto by using “#MiTu” or “rice bunny” in Mandarin.
High-profile cases, such as that of Chinese-Canadian singer Kris Wu and that of an Alibaba director, show that anti-harassment actions have grown in importance in the country.
what also matters
China wants to create a robust system for collecting and responding to urban disasters and emergencies. This is after the tragedies caused by the flash floods in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan Province.
Tianjin Satcom Geohe Technologies Co., a Tianjin-based satellite company, announced that it has started construction of a constellation of 36 low orbit satellites.
According to the state-run Xinhua News Agency, the first satellite is expected to launch in June of next year. The project is expected to be completed by May 2023. When fully operational, the system will allow the identification of geological deformations, landslides and collapses with millimeter precision.
Beijing has unveiled a plan of laws to combat abusive real estate rental practices. The measures are part of the plan to promote “common prosperity” and improve access to basic services.
Currently, there are no national regulations for rental contracts, which leaves room for abusive practices such as requiring multiple payments in advance and barriers to recovering the deposit after termination of service. .
The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development has announced changes in the sector: owners will only be able to take a month’s rent in advance, the deposit cannot exceed the value of one month and the platforms rental will be monitored.
The bill is a response to the scandal surrounding the Danke Apartment app, which has rented out several properties and then sublet at lower prices to a variety of tenants. The sub-donors paid several months at a time to obtain discounts. During the pandemic, the company halted the transfer of monies received from users to owners, resulting in serial evictions.
Shanghai University students receive an official email asking them about their sexual orientation. According to the message, viral on Twitter, the management of the establishment claims to comply with “current regulations”.
The text says that “if there are LGBT students” they should respond to the message detailing aspects such as sexual or gender orientation (gay, bisexual, lesbian, trans), school background, physical and mental illnesses, the type of study or conduct of research, relevant interpersonal relationships, among others.
The text also asks for information on the “ideological condition” of these university students: political opinions, daily life, social ties and long-term life plans. The university did not explain the reason for the research. Recently, university collectives made up of LGBTQIA + have been persecuted in the country, with pages dedicated to the subject censored on Chinese networks.
keep an eye
The crisis in Afghanistan continues to cause a humanitarian catastrophe and to attract the attention of world leaders. Last Wednesday (25), it was Xi Jinping’s turn to discuss the issue with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Chinese leader insisted on helping “the Afghan factions to build an open and inclusive political structure, completely dissociating themselves from all terrorist groups” while Putin called for “concentrated efforts to prevent security risks”.
Why it matters: While the Russians and Chinese share fears that the rise to power of the Taliban could make Afghanistan an easy haven for terrorists, countries’ interests diverge. Putin appears interested in filling the power vacuum left by the US exit, and Xi remains concerned about the unrest that could lead to the radicalization of Islamic separatists in Xinjiang.
In a country with such a closely guarded system, there seems to be little room for the rebellion and transgression typical of rock music. The South China Morning Post details how censorship and the government’s strong response could kill China’s underground music scene (and how difficult it will be to rebuild it). (porous paywall, in English)
We have already talked here about the size of the mobile games market in China, but now the companies dedicated to console games are starting to expand. This week, players around the world were in awe of the gameplay of “Black Myth”, an adventure based on the legend of the Monkey King, slated for release in 2023. (Free, in Chinese with English subtitles)
The Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI) has opened registration for the course on Chinese economics. With the participation of professors from Tsinghua University, the best in China, CEBRI will address trends in innovation policies, perceptions of geopolitics, economic outlook, financial reforms and space of China in the context global asian. Classes start September 22 and will be online. (paid, in English)