- Puer Tea: China’s Next Hot Commodity? [Time] “There is Champagne, France; Tequila, Mexico; and Parma, Italy — all places turned trade names known for their unique, high-quality foods. Now, if China has its way, there could be another: Puer. This lush corner of Yunnan province in China’s south is home to one of the world’s hottest teas. Puer tea may not look like much — it is typically sold in heaps resembling cow patties — but one mug of these aged leaves can fetch up to $1,000.”
- China’s Hu visits Xinjiang, no riot trials this week [Reuters] “Chinese President Hu Jintao visited the restive region of Xinjiang this week for the first time since the July 5 riots, urging officials to maintain stability, state television said on Tuesday. The report about Hu’s Aug. 22-25 visit to the frontier region came as a press official in Xinjiang denied a state media report that trials of people suspected to be involved in the riots would begin this week.”
- Qifang.cn founder Calvin Chin interview [CN Reviews] “I got a chance to speak with Calvin Chin, co-founder of Qifang.cn, during his recent trip to the San Francisco Bay Area. Qifang is a for-profit venture in China that can be considered a “microfinance” startup focused on sourcing educational loans for Chinese students. It is focused on delivering the social outcome of more affordable education in China for students, and if it were in the US or Europe would probably be set up as a non-profit or Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). But in China, NGO status is more difficult to get and can be problematic.”
- Chinese ‘Tomato Garden’ Software Pirates Get Jail Terms [PC World] “A Chinese court has sentenced four people to jail for pirating Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system, China’s state-owned media reported on Friday. The four people were convicted of copyright infringement on Thursday for selling a modified version of Windows XP, called Tomato Garden, which was downloaded by 10 million people…”
- Former Wizards to return to China 30 years later [Associated Press] “Thirty years after the Washington Wizards became the first NBA team to visit China, veterans of the team plan a return trip to the basketball-crazed country next month… The trip will include a series of basketball clinics, including one with last season’s China Basketball Association championship team, Guangdong Hongyuan. The visitors will travel to Beijing and the commercial center of Shanghai, along with parts of the southwestern province of Sichuan that were devastated by last year’s massive earthquake.”
- Zhang Yuan releases first film since drug scandal [SF Gate] “Independent Chinese director Zhang Yuan said Wednesday he is releasing his first movie in the communist nation since he was detained in a drugs bust more than a year ago. Zhang, known for taking on sensitive social issues including homosexuality and mental illness, was detained for allegedly using illegal drugs after police officers raided his home in Beijing in January 2008. The scandal grew when footage of the police raid — showing an irritated Zhang talking back to police officers — circulated on the Internet. It was unclear how long he was held.
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