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Huamei Qiu is now an intellectual property lawyer based in Germany. Three years ago she featured in a New York Times documentary about the pressures on Chinese women to marry. She comes across in the film as bright, smart and engaging. She’s pretty in a girl-next-door kind of way with a flattering pixie haircut and definitely someone’s potential partner in a marriage rather than merely a trophy wife.
She has followed the party’s advice to build a good future for herself. As woman in China, she should be a hot commodity relatively speaking in the dating pool. As we see Huamei Qiu face a match maker; you realise that something is very rotten in the Chinese dating market. What Ms Qiu is looking for isn’t that much. Someone who is respectful, educated and ambitious. What I thought would have been hygiene factors? Instead, Huamei Qiu is told, her time is running out and she needs to settle fast.
China has more men than women in the marriage market, which should mean they would have to compete harder if you think about it as an economic model. Instead Huamei Qiu existed in a Kaftaesque world. I know about the government policy about leftover women, but this just left me feeling angry and frustrated on her behalf.
The Class Politics of Instagram Face – Tablet Magazine – by approaching universality, Instagram Face actually secured its role as an instrument of class distinction—a mark of a certain kind of woman. The women who don’t mind looking like others, or the conspicuousness of the work they’ve had done. Those who think otherwise just haven’t spent enough time with them in real life. Instagram Face goes with implants, middle-aged dates and nails too long to pick up the check. Batting false eyelashes, there in the restaurant it orders for dinner all the food groups of nouveau riche Dubai: caviar, truffle, fillers, foie gras, Botox, bottle service, bodycon silhouettes. The look, in that restaurant and everywhere, has reached a definite status. It’s the girlfriend, not the wife
Girlguiding unveils redesign across Brownies, Rainbows, and more | Creative Review
Ford’s self-repossessing car patent is a nightmare of the connected-car future – The Verge – surprised that the current onboard vehicle systems aren’t letting repo people where they are
What party control means in China | The Economist – The workings of Chinese power are not easy for outsiders to follow. Visitors to some official buildings, for example, are greeted by two vertical signboards, one bearing black characters, the other red. The black-lettered sign denotes a government department. Red characters signal an organ of the Communist Party. In bureaucratic slang this is known as “party and government on one shoulder-pole”. Sometimes the two offices oversee the same policy area, and employ some of the same officials. They are not equally transparent. Especially when meeting foreigners, officials may present name cards bearing government titles but stay quiet about party positions which may or may not outrank their state jobs. Many party branches are not publicly marked at all. It is a good moment to remember this quirk of Chinese governance. The annual session of the National People’s Congress (npc), the country’s largely ceremonial legislature, is under way from March 5th to 13th. This year’s npc meeting comes after a big party congress last October. At that gathering China’s supreme leader, President Xi Jinping, secured a norm-trampling third term
FT Swamp Notes: Vladmir Putin’s Russia is much more broke than we think
Canary in coal mine type indicator for a recession – South Korea semiconductor inventory hits record high | DigiTimes
Cultural innovation: how brands remain agile and relevant
Hong Kong property: market remains stuck in doldrums as city’s border reopening is not quite the magic bullet hoped for, JLL report says | South China Morning Post – why would you buy in Hong Kong when it isn’t sufficiently differentiated from other Chinese cities. Also worth bearing in mind: Hong Kong’s New Normal Isn’t Fooling Anyone | Bloomberg – The [Hello HK] marketing push — which celebrates colonial-era historic attractions such as the Peak Tram and features Cantopop stars who were popular before the 1997 return to Chinese sovereignty — resembles what you might expect if you had engaged China’s state broadcaster to make a promotional video about Hong Kong as it was before the Communist Party decided to erase the city’s autonomy. That place no longer exists.
Hong Kong TV Company Deploys Stars as Salespeople on Taobao | Sixth Tone – TVB scrapes barrel to try and profit from nostalgia of when it was relevant to mainland Chinese culture
Robots are performing Hindu rituals — some devotees fear they’ll replace worshippers
FT Fashion Matters: Prada’s very good year
Pornhub made free porn accessible to everyone—but at what cost? | Document magazine – Pornhub’s meteoric rise and reputational downfall is just the latest entry in the clash between consent, cash, and censorship on the internet
Daring Fireball: Not From The Onion, I Swear: the WWE Is Trying to Legalize Betting on Pro Wrestling
Meet the Japanese Politician Who Won’t Show Up for Work – fantastical online scandal involving a Japanese politician on the lam
Google – Headless chicken pt. II – Radio Free Mobile – this reminds me of Yahoo! in the mid-2000s, when I worked there. Its size and prior success ensnares it. Projects are likely being started and closed rapidly. It is struggling to meaningfully redefine itself and regain its agility
Meta is building a decentralized, text-based social network | Platformer – going after Twitter & Mastadon
Sanctions further delay Russian missile early warning program in space | Defence News
WhatsApp: Rather be blocked in UK than weaken security – BBC News
‘Something Was Badly Wrong’: When Washington Realized Russia Was Actually Invading Ukraine – POLITICO
Studying Ukraine war, China’s military minds fret over US missiles, Starlink | Reuters – the Ukrainian conflict had provided impetus to long-standing efforts by China’s military scientists to develop cyber-warfare models and find ways of better protecting armour from modern Western weapons. “Starlink is really something new for them to worry about; the military application of advanced civilian technology that they can’t easily replicate,” Koh said. Beyond technology, Koh said he was not surprised that Ukrainian special forces operations inside Russia were being studied by China, which, like Russia, moves troops and weapons by rail, making them vulnerable to sabotage.
EXCLUSIVE: Erik Prince’s Love Letter to “Europe’s Last Dictator” | The Cole Report
ASML chief warns of IP theft risks amid chip sanctions | Financial Times
Germany reviews security risks posed by China’s 5G technology | Financial Times
Singapore offers substantial subsidies to entice TSMC to build 12-inch fab locally
Interesting ways to hack your way through the process on to getting a Starlink service; even when your location may not be accepting new applications.