CHINA TODAY: Property Curbs In Beijing And Apple's China Fiasco Continues

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Just links today. Keep in mind that Monday is April Fool's Day, be wary of what you read on the Internets, in English or Chinese:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

Li Huabo, Corrupt Chinese Bureaucrat or Fall Guy? - Businessweek very interesting story..he has to be guilty of something, no?

While the wealth and misbehavior of senior Communist Party officials and their families have received international attention, the more insidious forms of official corruption take place at the local level. Tales of corruption have become the stuff of popular roman à clef novels such as The Diary of Government Official Hou Weidong, written by a mid-level sanitation official, which describes a culture of endemic graft. Rarely, however, do outsiders hear directly from bureaucrats caught up in corruption cases.

Li told his story to Bloomberg Businessweek during a four-hour interview at his home in Singapore. He maintains he’s innocent of the charges against him—a fall guy, not a crook. His story provides a glimpse of the pervasiveness of influence peddling at all levels of China’s bureaucracy and shows how difficult it is to stop abuses that have become an accepted part of doing business.

[视频]“三包”服务缩水 “苹果”缘何霸气?_新闻频道_央视网 no respite for Apple in China on Good Friday. CCTV evening news has another segment criticizing Apple...nearly 5 minutes long...in a 30 minute broadcast // 专家评论苹果logo缺一角|苹果|苹果手机|央视_新浪视频  People's University law professor tell CCTV news that Apple's logo missing piece may be "responsibility & conscience 2 Chinese consumers"...roundly mocked on weibo

For Apple, business must stay business - OP-ED - Globaltimes.cn The drama began as a typical business incident, as CCTV did not only point its finger at Apple in its March 15 exposé. It is no good for either side that the issue is gradually turning political...Had Apple been more sincere in its response to the criticism, the result could have been different.

The statement Apple made right after the CCTV exposé was very different with that of other multinational companies who were also reported to have consumer rights issues. With the sheer weight of the company behind it, Apple's detached tone could easily be seen as proof of arrogance. Apple has won respect from Chinese consumers with its perseverance in developing leading technologies and styles. But the company is not impeccable...Apple should not follow the media speculation and consider itself the target of political persecution. ..If the issue developed into a head-on confrontation between Apple and the Chinese authorities, the US company will never be a winner, nor will China necessarily do well. Of course, Apple will suffer the most, as its products are already facing increasing competition in China.

//the original OpEd, translation not exact 社评:苹果应避免围绕它的风波扩大化_评论_环球网 interesting global times editorial "advises" apple 2 act 2 prevent china "crisis" from expanding // 苹果公司靠着科技和时尚创新闯天下,也赢得了中国大量消费者的尊敬。但苹果不是完美无缺的。不断改进技术、不断提升服务质量对它来说也永无止境。这应是我们认识苹果公司,以及认识苹果同消费者及媒体关系的基础。处在苹果这样的高位上,回应批评积极而富有弹性,应是一种基本态度。中美存在文化差异,彼此沟通,以及评估对方态度存在天然的障碍,苹果需要更加谨慎。苹果风波以普通纠纷开始,也应以非政治的方式结束。西方媒体猜测苹果是中美贸易纠纷的“替罪羊”,苹果应当躲避这样的对号入座。中国的“果粉”们如果真的爱护苹果,就不应炒作苹果“受迫害”的悲情,而应还事情以本来的简单。果真的将对抗激化,苹果显然赢不了,中国得到的也未必就是正分。但由于苹果产品的可替代性越来越大,苹果公司的丢分将是最多的。现在许多事情在中国时常被政治化,中国内部的价值观分化常把小事搞成大事,导致对立丛生。这是中国自己的问题。外国商业公司应离中国当下特殊的“政治热情”尽可能远一点,别往里搅和。

How Apple's return policy in China differs from the U.S. - Apple 2.0 -Fortune Tech UPDATE: Several readers have pointed out that European Union consumer laws require Apple to honor claims of defective hardware for 2 years from date of delivery (See the UK for an English language version). If what the Chinese government wants is that kind of service, perhaps it should pass its own consumer protection laws.//but isn't that one of the points state media is making, that Apple is not conforming to current laws? Have any independent experts confirmed that Apple is or is not conforming to current laws/regulations about after-sales support policies for computer/electronic devices?// Official China Daily Fires at Apple over Warranty Complaints -Caijing “Apple offers a global warranty period of 1 year - that's the same whichever country you are in.” wrote China Daily in an article. ”But Chinese law states that warranties on computer sales must be at least two years.” The paper also cited a Chinese lawyer as saying that foreign companies in China should obey Chinese laws and Apple’s warranty clauses apparently violate the nation’s law.

Apple changed some of its warranty clauses under amounting pressure but the move was called by Chinese lawyers as putting “old wine in new bottles”. One of the former repair terms “Apple is entitled to retain your product until full payment by you of all charges for the repair,” was replaced with “Apple is entitled to retain your product and provide repair services at relatively-low price.”

Chinese consumers demand Apple action over complaints - Xinhua The China Consumer's Association (CCA) has asked Apple Inc. to "sincerely apologize to Chinese consumers" and "thoroughly correct its problems," after the U.S. firm took little action to address waves of criticism. In a statement posted on the CCA's website, Apple Inc. was told to equalize the warranty periods in China compared with other countries. Buyers of iPads, after the company admitted the device is classifiable as a portable computer, are entitled to two-year after-sale service packages for its key components, said the statement.//人民日报-中国消费者协会公开劝谕苹果公司 尊重消费者合法权益改正存在问题 People's Daily page 4 Saturday on China Consumer Association saying what Apple needs to change

China resolutely opposes U.S. curbs on IT imports: state media | Reuters State media including Xinhua, the China Daily and the People's Daily, quoted a spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce as saying the U.S. bill "sends a very wrong signal". "This will directly impact partnerships of Chinese enterprises and American business as they conduct regular trade," said Shen Danyang, the commerce ministry spokesman.

北京国五条细则出台:禁止单身人士买二套房_资讯频道_凤凰网 千龙网北京3月30日讯 (记者 吕峥) 30日,北京市人民政府办公厅印发《北京市人民政府办公厅贯彻落实精神进一步做好本市房地产市场调控工作的通知》(以下简称《通知》)。includes a "Q&A" on the rules// Beijing announces detailed property curbs - Xinhua  The municipal governments of Chinese capital Beijing and business hub Shanghai on Saturday spelled out detailed rules aimed at cooling the property market following the central government's fresh regulatory plan earlier this month.

Single adults with a permanent Beijing residence registration, who have not made purchases in the city before, are allowed to buy only one apartment, according to the announcement. Shanghai said banks will be banned from giving loans to local residents who are buying a third apartment or more, according to a government announcement. Meanwhile, the two cities will raise down payments for second-home buyers. The two mega-cities both vow to strictly implement the 20-percent tax on capital gains from property sales. Beijing said the tax will be exempt if the property is the seller's only one and they have owned it for five years or more.

The Shanghai announcement did not mention similar policy.// Beijing Bans One-Person Households From Buying Second Homes - Bloomberg The city of Beijing banned single- person households from buying more than one residence and increased the minimum down-payment for all buyers of second homes as the government seeks to cool the property market. The new measures take effect tomorrow, according to the official Xinhua News Agency, which said the city will also enforce a 20 percent tax on capital gains from property. Current rules allow each household with a Beijing residence permit to buy a second home, opening the way for couples to divorce on paper to double their ability to invest.

Govt pledges unified real estate registry - Frontpage - CHINA - Globaltimes.cn The central government's vow to launch and implement a unified real estate registration system by the end of June 2014 is expected to bring down property prices and pave the way for the introduction of a property tax, said market insiders Friday. The target was laid out Thursday in a document of the State Council's tasks for institutional reform and transforming functions in the next five years, which also laid out deadlines for completing the tasks and the responsible departments. According to the document posted on the official website of the central government, 29 tasks are expected to be completed this year, 28 in 2014, 11 in 2015, and four in 2017. An opinion piece on the website of the Xinhua News Agency Friday said the deadlines revealed by the State Council highlighted the authorities' will to accelerate the pace of building a service-oriented government.

Xi Jinping goes to Russia--Sinica Podcast Xi Jinping's trip to Moscow earlier this week, his first journey abroad as China's new head of state, has raised interesting questions about China's ambitions in Asia, and coupled with Washington's "pivot to Asia" is resurrecting the specter of a strategic standoff between southern and northern Asia around the world's two leading superpowers. How realistic is this vision? In today's show, we try our best to find out



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