Weekly News – July 27 – August 4, 2021




You have a choice: China’s top court empowers people to say ‘no’ to facial recognition use by private businesses

Guo Bing, a law professor in the Chinese city of Hangzhou, sued the Hangzhou Safari Park arguing that there was no legal basis for the zoo to collect visitors’ biometric data and that it had not taken precautions to protect the information. Now, China is putting its freewheeling facial recognition industry under its own surveillance. “The public is increasingly worried about the abuse of facial recognition technology,” Yang Wanming, vice president of the Supreme People’s Court, said in a news conference on Wednesday. “The calls for strengthening protection of facial information are increasing.”

This week China’s top court decided to empower individuals to reject unauthorized facial recognition data collection by commercial entities such as hotels, banks, and nightclubs. It makes it clear that any collection and analysis of facial data by commercial operations must receive the “independent” consent of the individual concerned.

Sources: The Washington Post, SCMP




王毅会见阿富汗塔利班政治委员会负责人巴拉达尔 – Wang Yi meets with Baradar, head of the Taliban Political Committee in Afghanistan

On July 28, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met in Tianjin with the visiting head of the Afghan Taliban Political Committee, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, and his party. Wang Yi said that China is Afghanistan’s largest neighbor and vowed to always respect Afghanistan’s sovereign independence. He pointed out that the Afghan Taliban is a pivotal military and political force in Afghanistan, and it is expected to play an important role in the process of peace.

The heads of the Afghan Taliban Religious Committee in Afghanistan believe that Afghanistan should develop friendly relations with neighboring countries and the international community. They hope also that China will participate more in the Afghan peace reconstruction process and play a greater role in Afghan reconstruction and economic development in the future.

Sources: 新华网 (Original in Chinese) 




“China will continue with efforts to expand access for foreign investors,” said China’s banking and insurance watchdog

The CBIRC, China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, said it would fully implement planned measures aimed at ensuring overseas investors are treated no less favorably than their Chinese counterparts. Those measures would also cut the number of sectors where foreign investment has been prohibited or restricted, considering that in the 2020 list released by the National Development and Reform Commission, that number of sectors was cut to 123 from 131 the previous year.

Source:  Reuters




Chinese Central Bank said that “China will maintain a prudent, flexible and targeted monetary policy in the second half of the year”

The Chinese Central Bank will continue its efforts, as it seeks to support growth while keeping the digital economy in check. China’s economy has had a strong rebound from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but recent data has suggested that gains are fading. Factory activity in July grew at the slowest pace in 17 months since February 2020 and new export orders contracted for three straight months.

The central bank reiterated that China will keep the yuan exchange rate stable within a reasonable and balanced range.

Source: Reuters




Tencent tumbles after China media calls online gaming “spiritual opium”

Tencent Holdings Ltd, China’s biggest social media and video game firm, saw its stock tumble more than 10% in morning trade, wiping almost $60 billion from its market capitalization after a Chinese state media outlet branded online video games “spiritual opium”. In online video games, authorities have sought to limit hours that teenagers can play, and companies including Tencent have implemented anti-addiction systems that they say cap young users’ game time.

Source: Reuters 




The Musical “The Voice of the Silk Road” staged at the Shaanxi Grand Theater  – 音乐剧《丝路之声》上演

The original musical “The Voice of the Silk Road” with the theme of the Silk Road was staged at the Shaanxi Grand Theater. It shows the story of the exchanges and integration of various ethnic groups along the Silk Road. After the performance, an expert seminar was held. The experts conducted in-depth discussions on topics such as how to carry forward the Silk Road spirit and create fine artworks in cultural tourism performing arts. “The Voice of the Silk Road” will improve Shaanxi’s foreign exchanges and cooperation in cultural tourism.

Source: 新华网 (Original in Chinese)