Made in China but not made in China

Remember in May when Hong Kong Customs confiscated a Demosisto face-mask shipment for being labelled ‘Not made in China’? Now the Hong Kong government is freaking out about product labels saying the opposite. 

You can’t win. The Hong Kong authorities demand that we identify with the glorious motherland if pan-dem radicals don’t, but insist on being militantly localist if the US wants us to be ‘Chinese’.

Commerce Secretary Edward Yau’s comments suggest he felt a need (or was ordered) to make a big fuss about this, but couldn’t scrape together the logic. factual arguments or anger necessary to sound at all convincing. (All he needs to say is ‘consumers think Mainland products are toxic garbage, so our manufacturers need to differentiate themselves’. Simple enough, you would think.)

One thing I’d like to know: what (genuinely) locally grown/manufactured/hand-crafted goods does our 95% services economy export to the US these days? Vitasoy comes to mind. Feel sorry for them having to degrade their brand as Mainland-made.

Meanwhile, a pollster deletes survey questions on the NatSec Law in case they infringe… the NatSec Law. This sounds ridiculously squeamish. Even the paranoid Leninists who drafted the law probably weren’t thinking of opinion polls much. Who needs a Gestapo when YouGove will do its job without being asked? HKFP notes the company ‘has interests in China’, surprise surprise. Another degraded brand.

Some interesting reading material for days beginning with ‘S’…

Didi Kirsten Tatlow at Sinopsis produces a short but thorough history of how the CCP has taken over Hong Kong. Co-option and influence-building extended into the police and triads way back. The process also made heavy use of United Front activities and the CPPCC, as seen in the large number of new civil society organizations founded since 1997. Seems obvious now, but few paid attention at the time. Rest of the world, take note…

This process of infiltrating, shadowing, then replacing – in essence, repurposing – can be likened to a long, silent coup, with the state security law the final flourish. Into the old bottle of Hong Kong’s imperfect, developing political system, which dates from the late colonial years, the CPC has poured an even older wine – itself.

Or perhaps a better analogy would be the spores that invade insect larvae and slowly consume the innards until all that’s left is a caterpillar-shaped fungus.

HKFP join HKU Media Studies Centre to launch a database of Hong Kong’s 2019-2020 protests, including huge archives of photos and posters/artwork.

An interview with the venerable Anne Stevenson-Yang on shorting crappy Chinese companies. How will the migration of listings from New York to Hong Kong affect this shooting-fish-in-a-barrel business?

And the equally venerable Joe Studwell (Asia’s Godfathers) links to an extremely economics-heavy paper by World Bank Group, and summarizes it as saying ‘China isn’t going to take over the world, or indeed anything close’. It’s all about productivity (plus some demographics): the reforms China needs to boost real economic growth are mainly institutional and would reduce the CCP’s grip on power – so they won’t happen.

Hate the stuff, personally – but Sixth Tone explains how China learned to like milk

In Taiwan, people are designing a new passport – see ideas here and here.

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8 Responses to Made in China but not made in China

  1. Where's my jet plane says:

    How long will it be before The Snatch Squad invades the HKU Media Studies Centre on grounds of national insecurity?

  2. Donkeey says:

    I have it on good authority that many people at the JMSC were run out of the university by the United Front some years ago, latest as early as three or four years ago.

  3. Penny says:

    Made in China but not made in China – or trying to have your cake and eat it. Apparently, the Chinese equivalent is 魚與熊掌,不可兼得。You can’t have both the fish and the bear’s paw.

  4. Chinese Netizen says:

    Pretenses of any iota of remaining “soft power” by XiPooh happily tossed into the rubbish bin…

  5. Mary Melville says:

    Conservative male dominated society prevails. There will never be a crackdown on married ageing Lotharios cavorting with lasses young enough to be their granddaughters and whose sprogs are subsequently maintained in extraterritorial luxury on funds generated via opaque offshore funds.

  6. where's my jet plane says:

    Maria Tam said that while people should speak up when the government makes mistakes…
    She obviously hasn’t read and understood the NIL – criticising the adminstration is subversion.

  7. s@ H .com says:


    Correct, but what will our collective angst achieve in this heat in this town now? It has been ever thus and changing not. You are right and that’s obvious but let not get sidetracked from the more pertinent issues. We need to set someone against these fokkers who will go for the jugular, and there’s nobody here in China, and Biden isn’t the guy over there unfortunately.

    I could prolly last 2 pints with you and then if still taking then each for his/her own in Chungking Mansions etc.

  8. dimuendo says:

    Google has stopped forwarding data to the HK government and asks that in future the govt. uses diplomatic channels.

    What kind of “data” has the HK govt had in the past and why did it want such?

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