China Steps up Propaganda in Support of National Security Law For Hong Kong

The city's police ban an annual candlelight vigil to commemorate the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen massacre by the People's Liberation Army.

China Steps up Propaganda in Support of National Security Law For Hong Kong

The ruling Chinese Communist Party stepped up its international propaganda drive with a celebrity signature campaign in support of draconian sedition laws for Hong Kong, as the city's police banned the annual candlelight vigil for the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen massacre for the first time since the 1997 handover to Chinese rule.

Pro-Beijing groups in Hong Kong said they had collected three million signatures amid a city-wide campaign in support of the national security law, which will target "actions and activities" deemed subversive, seditious, instigated by foreign forces, or supportive of independence.

In a move widely condemned by foreign governments and rights groups as signaling the end of Hong Kong's autonomy and status as a separate legal jurisdiction, the law will be imposed on the city, bypassing its Legislative Council (LegCo).

The signatures were collected by pro-Beijing groups and employees of Chinese companies in Hong Kong, government broadcaster RTHK reported.

Some 2,400 singers, actors, and other members of Hong Kong's entertainment industry, which relies heavily on the mainland Chinese market, have also come out in support of the law.

Signatories included pro-China celebrities like Jackie Chan, Alan Tam, Wong Cho Lam, and Raymond Wong.

The prospect of China's feared state security police operating in the city to enforce the law has prompted a rush to apply for British National Overseas (BNO) passports offered to residents of Hong Kong by the U.K. ahead of the handover.

Foreign secretary Dominic Raab has said London will make it easier for holders of the controversial passport to settle in the U.K., extending a visa-free permission to live and work in the country from six months to a year, with a possible pathway to citizenship via further extensions.

More than 300,000 Hongkongers are currently eligible for the passport, which entitles them to consular assistance but no citizenship, in a move that London has always said was demanded by Beijing during handover negotiations.

A new front line


Hong Kong political commentator Lam Kei said the city is becoming the front line of a new Cold War between China and Western nations.

"In the battle for freedom and democracy against totalitarianism, Hong Kong is the new front line," Lam wrote. "The Chinese Communist Party's breach of its treaty obligations under the Sino-British Joint Declaration isn't just a problem for the people of Hong Kong."

"It also shows how unscrupulous Beijing can be when pursuing its goals, and how it will continue to do this in future," Lam said in a commentary broadcast by RFA's Cantonese Service.

He said the problems Hong Kong faces now will be played out in Taiwan, southeast Asia, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S. in future. "Exercise suspicion," he wrote.

In a sign that the new law will affect freedom of expression in the city, five university chiefs also publicly expressed their support for the legislation.

The presidents of Hong Kong University, Chinese University (CUHK), Lingnan University, Polytechnic University (Poly U), and Education University said they "understand the need to enact national security laws" in pursuit of social stability and good public order.

During last year's anti-government protests, Poly U and CUHK saw pitched battles between students and riot police, who fired thousands of rounds of tear gas as they besieged defiant students who erected barricades and flung Molotov cocktails to prevent them from entering the campus.

Rights groups and medics said the situation amounted to a humanitarian crisis, as police detained medical staff trying to help sick and injured protesters.

The presidents of the University of Science and Technology, Baptist University, and City University didn't sign the statement, however.

Candlelight vigil banned

China's international propaganda push came as police banned an annual candlelight vigil to remember the Tiananmen massacre that has taken place in Hong Kong ever since 1990.

The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, which organizes the vigil, has called on people to light candles wherever they happen to be, instead.

Police said such a gathering would be a "major threat to public health" amid the coronavirus pandemic.

You Weijie, spokeswoman for the Tiananmen Mothers victims' group, said she knows the victims will be remembered in Hong Kong, come what may.

"I know that Hong Kong people always support us. As for this June 4, I know the people of Hong Kong will make their own arrangement to commemorate," she said in comments reported by RTHK.

Reported by Lu Xi and Man Hoi-tsan for RFA's Mandarin and Cantonese Services. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.

Source : Radio Free Asia More   

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China mid-year 618 shopping festival: Tmall vs. JD

China is warming up for the largest shopping festival since the coronavirus outbreak, the mid-year 618 Shopping Festival. Taobao/Tmall 618 2020 On May 19, Tmall announced that during the period of 618, Tmall will, together with many local governments and brands, issue the largest scale of cash consumption coupons and subsidies this year, with an […]

China mid-year 618 shopping festival: Tmall vs. JD

China is warming up for the largest shopping festival since the coronavirus outbreak, the mid-year 618 Shopping Festival.

Taobao/Tmall 618 2020

On May 19, Tmall announced that during the period of 618, Tmall will, together with many local governments and brands, issue the largest scale of cash consumption coupons and subsidies this year, with an estimated amount of more than 10 billion yuan.

Chinese cities have been issuing billions worth of e-coupons to stimulate consumption.

According to Tmall, more than 100,000 brands have signed up for this year’s Tmall 618, double the number last year.

In addition, more than 10 million products will offer discounts in this year’s Tmall 618, which is in line with last year’s Tmall Double 11. All these figures have broken the historical record of Tmall 618.

In this year’s Tmall 618, Alibaba took “consumption voucher” as a new way of “festival making”, leading the national consumption recovery, promoting the release of China’s domestic demand potential, and bringing the biggest growth opportunity for the brand in the first half of this year.

Tmall said that the cash consumption coupons and subsidies issued by Tmall 618 will cover the broadest population ever. Besides, the conditions for using cash vouchers and subsidies will also be the most relaxed this year.

Tmall 618 presales will start from 0:00 on May 25, with official sales starting on June 1 until June 20, 2020.

The epidemic has affected all aspects of society, and businesses have also suffered from different degrees of damage. They are looking forward to “a key battle”, either to turn the tide or to ensure growth.

Tmall 618 is such an opportunity. According to the analysis of the insiders, the biggest wave of consumption subsidy will come in Tmall 618 after the epidemic enters the stage of normalization prevention and control.

More than 100,000 brands have signed up for this year’s Tmall 618, double that of last year’s 618. More than 10 million items have been discounted to participate, which is in line with last year’s Double 11.

Affected by the epidemic, since February of this year, a large number of offline stores have launched stores on Tmall, including IKEA, Tesla, and etc.

To many merchants in China, previously participating in the 618 promotion was a growth engine; but, now it’s more “life saving”.

Update (May 27, 2020): In the first hour of Tmall 618 pre-sale, the total transactions increased by 515% year on year. Within the first two hours of the pre-sale, the transactions of several brands including Lancome and L’Oreal exceeded 100 million yuan. Subscribe to get more timely insights.

Update (June 1, 2020): At the opening, an hour and 29 minutes of Tmall 618, the total transactions referred by Taobao Live reached 2 billion yuan (US$280 million), far more than that of the same period last year.

Since the launch of Tmall 618’s pre-sale on May 25, the number of live shows on Taobao has exceeded 1.4 million.

Jingdong (JD) 618 2020

This is the 17th year for JD.com to hold its 618 Grand Promotion. JD will provide RMB 10 billion yuan in subsidies, hundreds of billions of discounts, and 10 billion yuan consumption coupons during the JD 618 event this year, announced on 25 May.

This year’s 618 is the sales promotion with the largest amount of discounts ever with most new product launches. Among the many discounts and promotions offered, JD.com will provide over 200 million units at 50% discount and sell over 200 million units of new products.

JD.com will also help more than 150 brands to sell over RMB 100 million in products through innovative empowerment initiatives, subsidy support and other measures, and help more than 100,000 small and medium-sized brands and merchants to double their transactions.

JD will host over 300,000 key live streaming sessions during this year’s 618. It will also work with partners including Kuaishou, Douyin (TikTok), Wesee, Bilibili, Huya, Douyu, and others.

JD will invite top executives from brands such as Huawei, Honor, and Haier to interact with consumers directly, offering big discounts. JD’s executives and sales managers will also join JD Live.

JD Live will invite more than 100 civil servants, such as mayors, county heads, and directors of commerce to act as live streaming anchors to promote local agricultural products to help farmers and industries affected by COVID-19.

Home Appliance

Over 40 brands have created over 200 special production lines to produce over 1,000 exclusive products.

For example, Dyson will offer 70% of its Dyson Airwrap inventory to JD during 618. Some other promotions include a 60-inch 4K TV for less than RMB 2,000 yuan, a 55-inch 4K smart TV for RMB 1399 yuan, a Panasonic dishwasher for RMB 1899 yuan, and a new Midea air circulator for RMB 459 yuan – prices are significantly lower than usual.

JD has upgraded its service during 618 so that customers can enjoy a 30-day price protection policy for home appliances bought on JD’s first-party platform, and the option to replace a new home appliance with a quality problem within 180 days.

JD will also provide integrated delivery and installation service for TVs, and fast installation service for air conditioners.

JD will also offer RMB 300-600 yuan subsidies for people who trade in old air conditioners for new ones. It will provide a pre-sale video service to help guide consumers in the purchase of home appliances.

In addition, offline stores JD’s E-Space will participate in a 24-hour promotion on June 18th, providing customers with subsidies and discounts. JD’s over 12,000 home appliance experience stores will leverage livestreaming for marketing promotion, covering Hebei, Henan, Hunan and Guangdong provinces.

Update (June 1, 2020): JD 618 started at 0:00 on June 1. According to JD, in the first hour, the transactions of Apple products were three times of that of the same period last year; luxury goods achieved a 400% growth and completing full day sales last year.

Source : China Internet Watch More   

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