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China policy for everyone! Subscribe to read daily insights on what the Chinese government is getting up to – and why it matters for you. Neopol covers only the most critical developments in Chinese policy, regulation, politics, econ, tech, climate, and the business environment.

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What readers are saying

“At a time of China information overload, Trivium’s China Neopol routinely picks up on important policy debates and developments that other services miss. For me it is an essential daily brief.”

Tom Mitchell
Beijing Bureau Chief
Financial Times

Politics - Oct 19, 2021

It’s official – the Xi Era is here

Mark your calendars. It’s epoch-making time.

On Monday, the Politburo met and decided that the Central Committee’s sixth plenum will take place from Nov 8-11.

Some context: The Central Committee’s annual plenums are the most important political gatherings of the year. At each plenum the Central Committee adopts a “resolution” on an important political issue. These resolutions then shape policy in that area for years to come.

The upcoming plenum will adopt a resolution on history titled “Resolution of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee on the Party’s Major Achievements and Historical Experience of the Past 100 Years.”

Why that’s a huge deal:

  • In its 100-year history, the Party has only adopted resolutions on history twice – in 1945 and 1981.
  • Those resolutions helped to cement, respectively, Mao’s and Deng’s authority over the Party.

The upcoming resolution will similarly cement Xi’s authority.

The upshot: This resolution signals the official end of Deng’s Reform Era, and the beginning of Xi’s New Era.

What that means:

  • The growth-at-all-costs approach to the economy is out. Instead, the objective is more inclusive, “higher-quality” growth.
  • Politically, there will be no more toying around with liberal reforms. The Party is doubling down on its Leninist roots.
  • On the global stage, China is no longer “hiding and biding.” Instead, expect Beijing to be more assertive in pushing its prerogatives and shaping global norms and rules.

sources
Gov.cn: 中共中央政治局召开会议 讨论拟提请十九届六中全会审议的文件 中共中央总书记习近平主持会议

Tech - Oct 18, 2021

Tencent doubles down on data privacy

On Friday, Tencent announced it will establish an “external supervision committee for personal information protection.”

The independent body will be tasked with:

  • Reviewing privacy protection work at Tencent, including personal information safeguards on its products, with an eye toward compliance
  • Offering suggestions for improving the company’s privacy protection efforts

The company also issued an open call for applications to join the body, which will tentatively consist of 15 members in the first round of recruitment.

Tencent is specifically seeking legal and technical experts, industry association representatives, and members of the media, as well as members of the public.

Get smart: The creation of the committee is in keeping with the Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL), which comes into force November 1 and requires “important internet platform services” to create external oversight bodies.

  • PIPL does not outline what specifically these bodies should look like, except to stipulate that they should be made up “primarily of external members.”

What to watch: If regulators are satisfied with the formulation that Tencent has come up with, other tech companies may soon follow suit.

sources
Tencent: 腾讯隐私保护监督员,等你加入

Econ - Sept 23, 2021

Not your Yeye’s infrastructure

Roads and bridges are soooo Han dynasty.

On Wednesday, Premier Li Keqiang did his thing, presiding over the State Council’s weekly executive meeting.

This week, there was something pretty exciting on the docket:

  • Namely, adopting the 14th Five-Year Plan for New Infrastructure Development.

The plan served up a veritable word salad of futuristic buzzwords, calling for:

  • Improving gigabit fiber optic networks
  • Increasing the commercial adoption of next-gen mobile communication networks
  • Developing space-based infrastructure to improve communications, navigation, and remote sensing
  • Developing a “ubiquitous and collaborative” Internet of Things
  • Building a multi-tiered industrial internet platform

To get all that done, Li wants to leverage China’s best eggheads by (Gov.cn 2):

  • “[Facilitating] in-depth integration among universities, research institutes and high-tech enterprises…to strengthen capabilities of high-level, interdisciplinary and frontier research.”

It’s gonna cost, which is why Li wants to:

  • “[Better utilize] government investment, such as central budgetary investment and local government special-purpose bonds…to mobilize investment from the private sector.”

Get smart: As birth rates fall, Chinese leaders see new infrastructure and industrial upgrades as their best hope to increase economic efficiency and vault the middle-income trap.

Get smarter: Beijing is getting hands-on marshaling the country’s resources to achieve game-changing R&D breakthroughs.

sources
Gov.cn: 李克强主持召开国务院常务会议 要求做好跨周期调节 稳定合理预期保持经济平稳运行等
Gov.cn: China formulates plan for new infrastructure to spur domestic demand, economic transformation, growth sustainability

About Trivium Neopol

What is Neopol?

These days, everyone needs to know what’s really happening on the ground in China. The news doesn’t go deep enough, the academic research is written by experts for experts, and political agendas abound. Neopol brings China’s policy, political, and economic landscapes into focus in a clear, neutral, and approachable way.

How we work

Every weekday, Trivium analysts parse hundreds of Chinese policy documents, media articles, political meeting readouts, and other primary-source documents released by Chinese government agencies and state media. We attend industry conferences and events, and we conduct ongoing, deep-dive research on emerging topics of interest. We condense the insights we gain into simple, bite-sized analytical updates on a daily basis, and publish them for our subscribers.

Who writes Neopol?

Neopol is where Trivium’s specialist research teams publish updates on only the most critical policy developments from within their own coverage areas. As Trivium’s econ, tech, finance, politics, energy, climate, and agriculture teams do their daily research, big-deal happenings are flagged, analysed, and published for Neopol subscribers.

Topics we cover

Policy

The major, high-level policies affecting local citizens and businesses, as well as foreign entities – from companies, to investors, to governments. If something moves the needle in China from a policymaking perspective, you’ll read about it in Neopol.

Politics

Movers and shakers in China’s political landscape, evolving political ideologies, geopolitical kerfuffles, and who said what at major political meetings. We also know parsing Party-speak can be pretty tedious, so we try to do it all with a dash of wit, to boot.

Econ

The key macroeconomic developments that are preoccupying China’s policymakers. Our maco pulls from our ongoing daily work for professional investors, highlighting the most critical developments for folks who need to be in the know, but not in the weeds.

The business environment

Doing business in China is an exercise in uncertainty. We examine the changing outlook for foreign companies with operations in China, as well as how new rules and requirements are impacting domestic companies.

Big-deal laws and regulations

While rarely followed in detail, China’s legislature is more important than most people think. We keep tabs on the major legislative developments that are shaping China’s policy and business landscapes, and make sure Neopol readers have the skinny on what matters.

Ag / Commodities

From Agriculture to Zirconium, nowhere is policy more impactful than on the raw materials sectors that underpin the rest of China’s economy. We follow the evolving regulatory context for farming, mining, and processing, as well as trade in the world’s most important commodities, and bring you the market-moving updates you won’t find in the headlines.

Tech

Critical updates on big tech regulation, digital finance, and data regulation. Want deeper China tech policy coverage? Try our premium Tech Blips Daily.

Climate / Energy

Key policies supporting China’s efforts to reach carbon neutrality before 2060. Want deeper climate policy coverage? Subscribe to our free Net Zero Weekly.

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