“The case of seven Weibo posts”: Pu Zhiqiang’s trial held in Beijing

Pu Zhiqiang trial: “The case of seven Weibo posts”

China Digital Times: 何兵:“七条微博案”的法律分析” (He Being: “Legal analysis of the case of seven Weipo posts.”
  • Weibo blogger He Bing offers his take on each of the seven Weibo posts used as evidence against Pu Zhiqiang, the human rights lawyer facing up to eight years in jail for posting Weibo material that allegedly “incite ethnic hatred” and “cause a social disturbance.” Other charges, including “inciting separatism,” were dropped before trial. This original blogpost was deleted from Weibo shortly after being created, and is now only available through the China Digital Times.

Quartz: Chinese human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang asks for a “verdict that stands the test of history.”

One of China’s most prominent human rights lawyers was tried today (Dec. 14) for the crimes of “inciting ethnic hatred” and “creating a disturbance,” after criticizing the Communist Party’s members and policies on social media. The charges against Pu Zhiqiang are based on seven of his 20,000 messages on the microblogging site Weibo.
Pu’s essentially closed trail was held before Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court, and lasted for just three hours and 15 minutes. Pu’s lawyer, Mo Shaoping, told Quartz that Pu admitted posting all seven messages, and is willing to apologize for his rude words in the posts. But Pu insisted he had no intention of sparking ethnic hatred or creating a disturbance, Mo said, and pleaded innocent. Pu’s trial lasted just a little over three hours. A decision is forthcoming.

Weiquan Net: 浦志强案庭审纪实综述 (Pu Zhiqiang trial court proceedings summary.)
  • Human rights organization “维权网” offered a summary of the court proceedings against Pu Zhiqiang, citing the notes of an unnamed observer. According to this information, the trial against Pu consisted of an analysis of seven Weibo posts. Pu and his lawyer were allowed to provide an uninterrupted defense, and unusually for Chinese criminal cases, put forward a plea of “not guilty” on all accounts. Supporters congregated around the courthouse where Pu’s trial was held, shouting slogans and holding placards. Some of these protesters were allegedly detained by plainclothes police officers. A number of foreign journalists were harassed by police, as were representatives of the US and European embassies who came to deliver statements in support of Pu.

The disappeared businessmen

South China Morning Post: Dead, detained or missing: China’s businessmen and officials are disappearing.
  • “China’s Warren Buffet,” Guo Guangchang, disappeared for nearly a full day last week, leading many to speculate he had been detained like so many other businessmen as the government cracks down on China’s financial industry. Eventually it was confirmed that Guo was indeed taken by authorities, though he is said to be assisting investigations and has yet to be charged with any crime. Detentions of this type have proven exceedingly common since the stock market crash this summer.
Fosun Group says chairman Guo assisting legal investigation.
  • Putting an end to rife speculation, the Fosun Group confirmed reports that its chairman Guo Guangchang is in fact assisting authorities in their investigations into the finance industry.

The age of “Internet +”

China Daily: President Xi Jinping’s views on the Internet.
  • A list of Xi Jinping’s comments on the internet and its development in China, taken from the Seattle Summit as well as other press events.
China Daily: Snapshot of Xi on making Internet an interconnected world.
  • President Xi Jinping is slated to address the world at next week’s World Internet Conference in Zhejiang Province. With over 600 million users, China represents the world’s largest internet market, and increasingly online commerce in its various guises is seen as a key driving force of the Chinese economy. Over USD $15.51 billion was spent by online shoppers in November 2015 alone, largely due to the online shopping event known as “Single’s Day” on November 11. At the state level, the internet also remains a key topic of concern with the rise of cybercrime and the ongoing threat of online surveillance.

Paving the way for Chinese media abroad

The Hollywood Reporter: Alibaba Film Chief Grants First Interview: What China Can Do for Hollywood.
  • Alibaba’s top global film executive, hand-picked for her position by Jack Ma, offers her thoughts on how the Alibaba media empire will change the face of Chinese – and US – entertainment.

China’s economic shift: Maintaining “moderate prosperity”
Bloomberg News: The Great China Supply-Side Revolution? Communists Change Tack.

“Productivity enhancement, and the supply-side reforms required to achieve it, is China’s only option to avoid the dreaded middle-income trap that has proved so problematic for most developing countries over the long sweep of history,” said Stephen Roach, a senior fellow at Yale University and former non-executive chairman for Morgan Stanley in Asia.