The Hong Kong government will drop plans to introduce a ‘fake news’ law. This could be because the authorities are easing off on the NatSec struggle – except of course it couldn’t. So you might think it’s because the press has been tamed so much that further regulation is unnecessary. But that can’t be it, because a law against what officials deem false information will presumably apply to housewives and everyone else as well as reporters.
As the HKFP article says, the decision-makers believe other measures – the upcoming local Article 23 NatSec Law – will address the ‘problem’. At least one journalist I know is wondering whether they will be safe once vaguely worded legislation on this subject is passed. The Foreign Correspondents Club will no doubt at some stage ask the government for approval to issue a statement of concern.
Meanwhile, the government hits out at ‘groundless conclusions or make untrue, unfair and irresponsible remarks’ after commentators express shock at Leighton Contractors’ HK$40,000 fine.
Some (non-paywalled) weekend reading from Foreign Affairs rethinking assumptions on what makes a ‘great power’…
Russia looked like a heavily armed nuclear and conventional power that was able and willing to impose its will not just on its neighborhood but on countries around the globe. But beneath this menacing picture of the Kremlin was a much shabbier portrait of the underlying social, political, economic, and technological elements of power, all of which suggested that Russia was anything but great.
From the Diplomat, a look at Beijing’s use of overseas PR companies.
On a lighter note, Sixth Tone looks at the origins of Florida Water (created in New York) and its Hong Kong version Two Girls…
Kwong Sang Hong faced numerous challenges as it attempted to market Two Girls’ flower dew water to Chinese women. For one, contemporary moral norms prevented the company from hiring women to pitch the brand, meaning the eponymous “two girls” were in fact male models who had been picked for their delicate features.
And coming soon – a book on China’s ‘underground historians’.