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South Korea’s handset industry

South Korea’s handset industry is leading indicator of supply chain shiftSamsung has chosen to place two thirds of its global production capacity at 360 million phones near Hanoi, Vietnam and one third in Noida, India. At the same time, a group of American brands led by Apple have asked their Taiwan-based OEMs to set up production facilities in India. Taiwan’s three largest manufacturers Wistron, Pegatron and Foxconn all have production lines up and running in India. Before this, Taiwan-based notebook computer manufacturers had already moved their production to major ASEAN countries. It is a definite trend that manufacturers are relocating part of their production out of China into ASEAN countries and South Asia – Apple can learn a lot from South Korea’s handset industry. Apple’s approach to its supply chain compared to the handset industry looks risky. It is betting on Chinese behaviour that seems to run counter to Xi Jingping-era China. More on handset industry related content here.

China

Ketamine and the Return of the Party-State | Palladium Magazineas China gets richer and its factional lines get drawn across social battles instead of economic ones, we can expect rhetoric about moral regeneration to become more potent. The party’s turn towards encouraging family and child-rearing might well be the first sign of things to come. When all your political capital has been invested in the narrative of national rejuvenation, there’s no easy way out when the low-hanging fruits of the market start to run low

Former Chinese Party Insider Calls U.S. Hopes of Engagement ‘Naive’ – WSJ“Wishful thinking about ‘engagement’ must be replaced by hardheaded defensive measures to protect the United States from the CCP’s aggression—while bringing offensive pressures to bear on it, as the Chinese Communist Party is much more fragile than Americans assume,” Ms. Cai wrote. Her 28-page paper is slated for publication this week by the Hoover Institution, a conservative-leaning think tank at Stanford University. A growing roster of Western politicians and analysts has concluded that U.S. diplomacy with China hasn’t paid dividends. But such views are rarely expressed publicly by sources as highly placed as Ms. Cai was just a short time ago. – Pretty reasonable assessment with plenty of empirical evidence to support it

Fawning and complacent, the West has eased China’s path to power | The Sunday Times – while the statement is true, it also shows how much the tone has changed towards China

Finance

Brazil and China in talks to strengthen science and technology ties | ZDNet – China calls for financing to bring plans to reality…..

France

France probes fashion retailers for concealing ‘crimes against humanity’ in Xinjiang | Reuterssource told Reuters Uniqlo France, a unit of Japan’s Fast Retailing, Zara owner Inditex, France’s SMCP and Skechers were the subject of the investigation

Hong Kong

How Beijing humbled Britain’s mighty HSBC | ReutersThe decision by Baowu to blackball HSBC is part of a clampdown on the global London-based bank by many of China’s gargantuan state-owned enterprises – a campaign described to Reuters in interviews with HSBC bankers, and employees at state companies who have first-hand knowledge of their operations. Controlled by China’s ruling Communist Party, these companies manage the nation’s largest industrial projects and are responsible for $9.8 trillion of revenue annually. The reason for the pullback by state firms isn’t HSBC’s financial soundness, which isn’t in question, but rather Chinese politics. People inside the state enterprises and HSBC say Beijing has grown disenchanted with the bank over sensitive domestic and international legal and political issues, from China’s crackdown in Hong Kong to the U.S. indictment of an executive at Chinese national tech champion Huawei Technologies – this makes HSBC’s pivot to China look foolish

‘Unstoppable storm’: rights take back seat under Hong Kong security law | Yahoo! News – from the journalist’s Twitter thread when she shared the article and additional material that didn’t make the cut: “Judges hope to be given more trust and discretion. Prosecution wants more power. What can defense do? …I’m not as naive to believe they won’t come after lawyers. Losing license is the minimum charge.”

Luxury

Streetwear Has a Homophobia Problem | Highsnobiety – where to start with this? I think that some of the homophobia is down to in-out group dynamics. Gays have been in the streetwear industry for a long time. Bomber jackets as a streetwear item came from creatives like Judy Blame and the Buffalo Collective

Media

America’s New Post-Literate Epistemology | Palladium MagazineMcLuhan believed that the West was due for a period of “re-tribalization,” but by “tribal” he meant much more than the commonly understood definition. Yes, there would be polarization: people would by and large become less civil, less rational, touchier, and more defensive about the smallest things. This much, we already know and see every day. But McLuhan went even further in his use of the term, arguing that electronic media—more so than any political ideology—shifts the sensorial basis of Western society away from the visual, the literate, and the abstract and toward the oral, the tactile, and the tribal. In other words, he saw re-tribalization as a process that will eventually return modern man to the mental and epistemic world of his pre-literate tribal ancestors: the “global village.” Over the long run, this can be quite benign, even sublime: in 1969, McLuhan imagined its endpoint as a society of “mythic integration” where “magic will live again.” Speaking in lofty millenarian terms, he predicted technology would merge humanity “into an inclusive consciousness…a new interpretation of the mystical body of Christ…the ultimate extension of man.”

‘Crypto Keepers’ NFT-Backed Drama Series Hatched by AMM Global – Variety – the production company spun out of Hong Kong’s Asia Television – a former free to air TV station

Facebook, Twitter, Google Threaten to Quit Hong Kong Over Proposed Data Laws – WSJ – the problem is that the online platforms don’t put teeth behind it. Like taking unilateral action against Chinese advertisers and Chinese media. Lets assume that Facebook, Twitter and Google would have to leave Chinese territories. They can then squeeze China two ways:

  1. China’s small factories rely increasingly on direct to consumer sales through Facebook and Instagram advertising. As does product aggregators like Wish.com and Shein. Squeezing them out of advertising would send 10,000s of Chinese employees out of work
  2. Shutting out China’s SOEs (Air China etc) and Chinese media accounts would severely cripple China’s external united work front efforts to influence the global market

Vietnam

Vietnam to phase out 2G, 3G serivces starting 2022 – Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) has decided to start phasing out 2G and 3G technologies within the country in 2022 in a bid to encourage people to use smartphones and promote digital society.