Chinese “son of the desert” dedicated to desert greening

World

Wang wenbiao, chairman of Chinese eco-company Elion resources group, was born and raised in China’s 7th biggest desert — Kubuqi, which is around 800km north of Beijing. He’s well-known in China as “the son of the desert”. The desert once made his life miserable, but now, it has made him and other locals rich.

Because of the constant expansion of the desert, people had to migrate as staying there only meant poverty and adversity. Wang wenbiao also wanted to leave the desert, however, for the past 30 years, not only did he stay in the desert, but also dedicated himself to the battle against desertification.

In 1988, Wang, then a government clerk, ventured into business and managed a near-bankrupt saltworks on the edge of the desert. Despite the high salt reserves in the lake beside the saltworks, Wang constantly worried about the company’s operations as the desert was swallowing the lake.

Wang set up a special fund, setting aside 5 yuan (0.75 U.S dollar) from each tonne of salt sold, for afforestation, and dispatched one-third of his staff to plant trees encircling the lake. His plan worked, output increased, and the saltworks managed to make a small profit with quick turnover.

As there was no road through the desert to the nearest train station, which was 67km away, all the salt had to be transported via a long route of 350km. High transport costs further squeezed the already thin profit margin. “The saltworks could not be sustained without a direct road out,” Wang said.

Thanks to the government’s efforts to tame the desert in 1999, a 115-km-long highway through the middle of the desert opened to traffic but was quickly swallowed by sand. Wang realized that to do any business in the desert, he first needed to deal with the sand.

He renamed his company to Elion, focused on curbing desertification, and developed a business model to generate both economic and ecological benefits in the Kubuqi desert.

The game changer of his business model was licorice farming as licorice grows well in deserts and is one of the most profitable medical herbs widely used in traditional Chinese medicines.

Moreover, the plant works well in curbing desertification. The nodule bacteria living around its roots has a nitrogen fixation effect, which increases soil fertility. One licorice plant can help reclaim 0.1 square meters of desert land. “We invented a planting method where one licorice plant is able to reclaim one square meters of desert, ten times more than before,” Wang said.

Elion encouraged local people to grow licorice, providing them with seedings, training and other support. When they harvested the roots, Wang’s company bought them at a fair price.

Through this business model he practiced in Kubuqi desert, the desert turned green, the local residents made money and Elion’s business empire now covers six sectors including healthcare, environmental protection, clean energy, farming and livestock, tourism, and feed processing.

With Wang’s input along with millions of individuals as well as enterprises, China’s fight against desertification has made significant process. As shown in the latest national survey in 2015, the areas of the country’s desertified lands shrank compared with a previous survey in 2010.

To curb desertification, an essential part of the country’s ongoing drive for environmentally-friendly development, the government banned grazing on degraded grasslands, increased financial input, and stepped up law enforcement in the sector.

“We could not have made it without the government’s supportive policies such as the grazing ban,” Wang said. “We have gained useful experiences in dealing with the sand, and we would like to share our experience with others,” he said. Elion now operates afforestation projects in arid areas such as Xinjiang, Gansu, and Tibet.

In December 2017, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) honored Wang and five other inspirational environmental leaders with the Champions of the Earth Award.

“The challenge lies in promoting technological innovation to reduce afforestation costs and boost efficiency,” Wang said.

Elion has developed technology to plant trees via drones, which takes less than a minute to deploy seeds with protective covers in a 666.7 square meter area. “We are now working with the UK-based BioCarbon Engineering to develop the third-generation of drones, which will improve the survival rate of seeds and performance of the drones,” he said.

“Not all deserts should be treated, and only desertification caused by human activities can be reversed. Greening the deserts is like a marathon, as long as there is a desert, my marathon will not come to an end,” he said.

Wang said his dream now is to lead Elion overseas, to countries along the Belt and Road in particular, where his Kubuqi business model will help those also in the fight against desertification.

Why Yangzhou fried rice was served at the Trump-Kim dining table?

Food

Every movement and fine detail of the recent first meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and the top leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un has been dissected online. For one, during their working lunch, one of the dishes they shared is a specialty that originated in China. That dish was Yangzhou fried rice.

Many countries around the world have different varieties of rice dishes, from Spain to Thailand to India, each with its own distinct features. And the Yangzhou fried rice dish from China carries its particularly exquisite quality of fine dining. It typically uses the highest quality long-grain rice, with fresh eggs as the main ingredient, complemented with no less than eight other ingredients, including soaked sea cucumbers, Chinese cured ham, batter-coated prawns, fresh bamboo shoots and green peas. The dish is presented in an array of subtle and vibrant colors, bringing together a pleasant blend of fresh and salty flavors on the palate. Different from other fried rice dishes, traditional Yangzhou fried rice dish usually does not include special sauces to enhance its color or flavor; master chefs create the dish with its own unique, mouth-watering aroma.

Being one of China’s most iconic specialties, Yangzhou fried rice is offered in most Chinese restaurants around the world, as well as within China. Many people have learned to appreciate Chinese cuisine through this “gateway” introduction of Yangzhou fried rice. It is also enjoyed by many world leaders.

In the year 2013, the United Nations appointed Yangzhou fried rice, along with other Chinese specialties, as the official cuisine on offer. They received special compliments from the U.N. Secretary General at the time, Ban Ki-moon. And in 2014, during a visit to China, the American first lady Michelle Obama specially requested Yangzhou fried rice as the main dish for an official banquet held in her honor. Yangzhou fried rice was also one of the favorite dishes of attending officials during the Beijing APEC summit in 2014.

Then, during the Trump-Kim meeting, Yangzhou fried rice was once again chosen to represent Chinese gourmet food culture, put on display before the top American and DPRK leaders, as well as the whole world. It was reported that a special “XO sauce” or top-shelf soy-based seasoning sauce was introduced into the cooking process on this occasion. This unique version of the dish represents the potential for creativity and cultural awareness within the traditional dish.

Yangzhou fried rice was named for the city of Yangzhou, which in past eras served as the transit point of merchant ships traveling between the north and south. As a result, Yangzhou cuisine has a unique character with its mixing together of flavors and ingredients. Yangzhou fried rice carries with it a rich, historically refined process of preparation techniques as well. It is a fine representation of the qualities of inclusiveness, harmony and creativity in Chinese gourmet cooking, which has made Chinese culture famous around the world.

China Mosaic

http://www.china.org.cn/video/node_7230027.htm

Why Yangzhou fried rice was served at the Trump-Kim dining table?

http://www.china.org.cn/video/2018-06/21/content_52884545.htm

Alibaba and Cainiao Make Strategic Investment in ZTO Express

Business

ZTO investment to tap New Retail opportunities and further digitalize China’slogistics industry

HANGZHOU, China, May 29, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE: BABA) (“Alibaba”) and its logistic arm Cainiao Network (“Cainiao”), and ZTO Express (Cayman) Inc. (NYSE: ZTO) (“ZTO”), a leading and fast-growing express delivery company in China, today announced a strategic agreement in which investors led by Alibaba and Cainiao will invest US$1.38 billion in ZTO in exchange for an approximately 10% equity stake in the company. The transaction is expected to close in early June, subject to customary closing conditions.

The investment will see Cainiao and ZTO deepen their collaboration in the transformation of China’s logistics industry amid the growth of New Retail, a concept developed by Alibaba that promotes seamless integration between online and offline commerce. The investment will further support both Cainiao and ZTO’s focus on building up first and last-mile pickup and delivery capabilities, warehouse management, cross-border logistics and technology-driven smart solutions.

Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba Group and Chairman of Cainiao Network, said:  “ZTO has been an important partner to Alibaba Group and Cainiao Network in the development of the new digital economy. The continuing expansion of New Retail is catalyzing new opportunities and demands in logistics. This strategic investment will strengthen synergies across our mutual businesses to create new value and improved experience for merchants and consumers.”

Lin Wan, President of Cainiao Network, said: “The logistics industry in China is highly competitive with its own unique features and presents plenty of new opportunities ahead. This investment will enable Cainiao and ZTO to supercharge joint innovation and development to accelerate digitalization of the industry. We will continue to work closely with industry leaders, including ZTO, to enhance our logistics infrastructure and broaden our service offerings to meet the growing demand from New Retail.”

Meisong Lai, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ZTO, said: “The growth of e-commerce and New Retail in China demands more efficient express delivery and expanded logistics services. To that effect, we are delighted to enhance our partnership with Alibaba and Cainiao through their strategic investments in ZTO. This partnership will enable us to expand our selection of high quality service offerings both in Chinaand internationally, and is fully aligned with our common interest in improving logistics efficiency and enhancing customer experience.”

Lai added: “Built as an open platform based on a shared-success philosophy, ZTO has become one of the leaders in the express delivery industry in China. Our continued collaboration with all industry constituents, and particularly with Alibaba and Cainiao through this strategic partnership, will amplify our competitive advantage and support our mission to become a world-class comprehensive logistics service provider.”

New Retail links online and offline commerce through deep consumer engagement based on insights drawn from advanced technology and data analytics. Moving forward, New Retail will require investment in smart supply chains, retail technologies, advanced logistics and mobile payments. These investments are all aimed at delivering a better experience for both consumers and merchants.

Cainiao has the world’s leading smart logistics network. Its technological innovation for the industry includes e-shipping labels and smart sorting. It has the capability to provide same-day and next-day delivery in nearly 1,500 districts and counties in China, and now operates Cainiao Post, a network of last-mile stations covering communities in top 100 cities and around 1,800 university campuses across the country.

ZTO is a leading and fast-growing express delivery company in China. It has high-quality service capabilities across the country such as line-haul, last-mile, express delivery, in-city delivery, fulfilment and warehousing. Propelled by the rapidly growing e-commerce industry and enabled by early strategic investments in its network infrastructure and technology and innovation, ZTO is expanding its capabilities and product offerings to make a transformative contribution to the express delivery industry. Recent initiatives in building its logistics eco-system in areas including LTL transportation services, international logistics and supply-chain management have shown meaningful progress and results.

J.D. Power Reaches Strategic Partnership with BitAuto on Digitization

Technology, Telecom & Internet

J.D. Power, the global leader in marketing data and analytics, today announced a strategic partnership with BitAuto, China’sleading consumer-facing automotive portal, to conduct joint research and develop big data and artificial intelligence.

The collaboration will help leverage J.D. Power research and analytics capabilities and BitAuto’s data and technology strengths across various business sectors. The partnership will strive to generate real-time data accuracy and new data analytics services, enabling Chinese automakers, dealerships and consumers to proactively and efficiently make effective decisions in an increasingly complex and dynamic market.

Under the partnership, J.D. Power will publish its independently conducted Voice of Customers-based ratings across various BitAuto platforms. The state-of-the-art ratings system will provide Chinese customers with full access to J.D. Power’s model-level ratings and scores, hence helping consumers make more informed purchasing decisions.

Additionally, J.D. Power and BitAuto will work together to digitalize new research subjects and methods. In China’s fast-evolving market environment, such joint research initiatives will help automakers navigate and understand latest market trends and disruptions.

Looking at the future in China, J.D. Power and BitAuto intend to explore an automotive, strategic data collaboration focused on developing data collection, processing, analytics and artificial intelligence. The partnership will aim to build the most efficient automotive big data center and artificial intelligence platforms serving China’sautomotive industry.

“This partnership between J.D. Power and BitAuto is of strategic significance,” said Jacob George, Vice President and General Manager, J.D. Power Asia Pacific. “We look forward to teaming up with BitAuto to write the new chapter on digitization for automotive consumer insights and advisory services.”

“Our partnership is a win-win and impactful one,” said Zhu Lei, Chief Technology Officer of BitAuto. “J.D. Power is one of the most influential and respected market research institutions globally, known for its methodology, independence and integrity. BitAuto, after 18 years experiencing fast growth in China, possesses abundant data resources and technology capabilities. In teaming up, both parties will ensure effective and efficient data services and intelligent solutions development.”

“Established in 1968, J.D. Power has accumulated rich experience, sophisticated methodology and an international talent pool conducting market research, data analytics and consulting services within the automotive industry over the past 50 years,” said Joseph Pacini, Chief Executive Officer of XIO Group. “J.D. Power’s collaboration with leading players such as BitAuto will further enhance its digital capabilities and services. We look forward to driving the global automotive industry’s sustainable growth in China’s connected and digitalized market.”

For decades, J.D. Power has been focusing on providing in-depth consumer and industry insights though its cutting-edge research methodologies and data analytics, capturing opinions and perceptions of millions of consumers. PIN, also known as Power Information Network, is the most representative data product launched by J.D. Power in 1993, specialized in helping OEMs and dealerships better manage their businesses, increase revenues and profitability using analytics tools.

About J.D. Power
J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. Those capabilities enable J.D. Power to help its clients drive customer satisfaction, growth and profitability. Established in 1968, J.D. Power is headquartered in Costa Mesa, California, and has offices in ShanghaiBeijingTokyoSingaporeMalaysia and Bangkok serving the Asia Pacific region. J.D. Power is part of XIO Group, a global alternative investments firm headquartered in London, and led by its four founders: Athene LiJoseph Pacini, Murphy Qiao and Carsten Geyer. For more information, please visit china.jdpower.com or stay connected with us on J.D. Power WeChat and Weibo.

About BitAuto
BitAuto Holdings Limited (BITA) is a leading provider of internet contents & marketing services, and transaction services for China’s fast-growing automotive industry. BitAuto’s main business segments include: advertising and subscription, transaction services, and digital marketing solutions. For more information, please visit www.BitAuto.com.

 

6 European doctors came to West China Hospital, Sichuan University to learn world’s first single-direction VATS lobectomy technique

Health

Recently, 6 senior thoracic surgery physicians from UK, Germany, and Netherland visited West China Hospital to learn minimal invasive thoracic surgery techniques, especially the world’s first single-direction VATS lobectomy technique developed by Professor Liu Lunxu. This training session serves as the first surgical technique training program opened by West China Hospital to thoracic surgery physicians from advanced European countries.

During this one-week program, the minimal invasive VATS lecturer team, led by Professor Liu Lunxu from thoracic surgery department of West China Hospital, Sichuan University, designed an elaborative training scheme. Various teaching methods were adopted, including thematic courses given completely in English, case and therapeutic schedule discussion, practical surgery observation and communication, and teaching rounds, thus allowing the European physicians to master key technical points and standard clinical diagnosis and treatment paths.

Doctor Liu Lunxu, the lead lecturer, is the director of thoracic surgery department of West China Hospital, mainly dealing with studies on integrated clinical treatment solutions for lung cancer and their application basis, minimal invasive thoracic surgeries and application basis, and clinical lung transplantation. He acts as the head supervisor for one National Natural Science Fund, principal investigator for five National Natural Science Funds, and the leader of six provincial and international cooperation (CMB) programs. In 2011, through efforts for nearly ten years, Liu Lunxu invented a novel modern medicine technique: single-direction VATS lobectomy, which won the first prize by unanimous vote in the annual Provincial Scientific & Technical Advancement Award.

Great significance of single-direction VATS lobectomy

Lung cancer is the No. 1 lethal factor in China and a major threat to health of Chinese people. So far surgical treatment of lung cancer has been mainly achieved by means of lobectomy that can take the form of either thoracotomy or thoracoscope (VATS). The traditional thoracotomy surgery tends to lead to severe wound and a lot of complications. In contrast, minimal invasive VATS surgery features smaller wound, more rapid recovery, and fewer complications, which add up to a promising long-term efficacy. However, due to lack of mature VATS lobectomy and lymph node dissection techniques, it is difficult to handle haemorrhage during a VATS operation. Due to this reason, development of VATS has been slow for a long time.

In 2006, a team of West China Hospital, Sichuan University led by Professor Liu Lunxu invented the first single-direction VATS lobectomy across the globe. The critical point of the technique is described as follows: The dissection starts from the most superficial structures at the interface between lungs and the heart without touching the pulmonary parenchyma (the single-point concept). The lung hilum structures are treated in order from shallow to deep ones, and the resection is therefore completed progressively along one direction (the single-direction concept).

A “non-gripping monobloc mediastinal lymph node dissection technique” was developed for VATS as a critical innovation. It provides the advantages of fewer devices required for operation, clearer operative field view, and less lymph node disruption. The team also developed aspirator-guided electric hook sharp dissociation technique and endoscopic bleeding handling technique, thus forming a complete minimal invasive poeumosurgery system.

Comparison of operation results with international data in the same period: The operation time is shorter by 35%. The blood loss is lower by 66%. The transit thoracotomy rate is 2.6% versus 8.1%. The complication rate is 13.3% versus 20.2%. The five-year survival rate of Stage I lung cancer patients is 83.8% versus 73.5%.

Thanks to this innovation, lung cancer VATS that was previously known as a difficult and risky operation has now become more simple and easier to learn. It has therefore gained great popularity across the nation and used in 32 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities. This technique has been introduced by over 90% large general hospitals and became a mainstream operation method, leading to higher medical treatment efficiency, significant saving of medical resources, and great benefits to the patients.

China Construction America Sued in New York State Court for Engaging in Massive Fraud, Malicious Acts of Deceit and Interference, Breaches of Contract and Other Wrongdoings

Real Estate & Development

-Could Be Exposed to Billions of Dollars in Liability-

-Claims Relate to China Construction America’s Wrongdoings in the Baha Mar Resort Project in The Bahamas-

– China Construction America Has Expanded its Business Noticeably in the New York Metropolitan Area as well as Other Parts of the United States, including South Carolina, and Both the Americas and Caribbean over the Last Several Years-

PR Newswire

NEW YORKDec. 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — China Construction America, Inc. (“CCA”) and various related business entities have been sued in New York State court for, among other wrongdoings, engaging in massive fraud, malicious acts of deceit and interference, and breaches of contract as part of a multi-year self-enrichment scheme related to the Baha Mar Resort project (the “Project”) in The Bahamas. The lawsuit, filed by the project’s original owner, BML Properties Ltd., exposes CCA’s ongoing and intentional misconduct. As a result of the court action, CCA may face over $2.25 billion in liability for misleading and defrauding BML Properties and depriving it of its investment.

According to the lawsuit, it was CCA’s larger intent and financial interest to establish this Project as a beachhead in the Americas and the Caribbean, train its unqualified workers and staff in order to obtain and then construct other projects throughout the Americas and Caribbean, and submit sham billings for hundreds of millions of dollars as the contractor and construction manager of the Project. Combined with CCA’s fraudulent and deceptive understaffing, CCA’s malicious conduct doomed the Project to failure.

As shown in the lawsuit, in stark contrast to their documented failure at Baha Mar, CCA has claimed success in the U.S. market. CCA has been the prime contractor on massive building projects in New Yorkfunded by private entities and by the state government and municipalities in New York.  CCA touts “project highlights” in New York, including: New York’s City Hall, the Alexander Hamilton Bridge, the 11 Times Square Office Building, the Brookfield Place Winter Garden Glass Pavilion, and Buildings 92 & 77 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. CCA also has undertaken public works projects in South Carolina. CCA has offices in Albany, New York, a mere three blocks from the state capitol, in order to carry out CCA’s government relations and lobbying.  CCA’s “Strategic Capital” invests in New York real estate and recently announced that it is investing in a 170-unit residential tower (including 280,000 square feet of residential and retail development) planned for a lot spanning 110 Charlton St. and 537 Greenwich St, near the Manhattan entrance to the Holland Tunnel.

According to the lawsuit, “the scheme was based on CCA’s efforts to falsely create the appearance that it was working toward an on time and on budget opening in December 2014 while knowingly and fraudulently concealing its real intent not to construct the Project on time and on budget and in the process extort more money than it earned and was due. Starting in 2012, as significant ‘out of the ground’ construction began and the first floors above the foundations were being constructed, CCA knew that it would be unable to build the project on time, on budget and in accordance with the plans and specs because, among other things, it did not have and would not commit to the Project the qualified workforce or sufficiently senior managers needed to meet its representations and obligations. CCA carried out its scheme by a series of knowingly and intentionally false representations, acts of extortion, material failures to disclose, fraudulent acts of concealment, outright sabotage, and lies to the Government of the Bahamas and the Project lender.”

The court documents make clear, “CCA’s entirely undisclosed and fraudulent intent in 2012 and thereafter included a plan to delay ‘opening’ of the Project until it could negotiate its way out of the disputes it knew would arise and concerning which it believed it had material exposure…As the project moved into late 2014 and early 2015, CCA as well undertook to sabotage forward progress of the work, intentionally damage and disable life-safety, security and electrical supply systems to try to compel BML Properties and Baha Mar Ltd. to accede to its demands on sham payment applications and on fraudulent ‘commercial claims,’ stage labor walk-offs when it was already critically delayed in delivering the Project, intentionally slow-down work at the Project (a fact admitted by CCA’s executive at a meeting with the then Prime Minister of The Bahamas in April 2015), and divert equipment and executive and labor effort to its newly purchased competing project just a few miles from the front door of Baha Mar.  Indeed, just 11 days before Baha Mar Ltd. was forced to file for Bankruptcy protection due to CCA’s fraud and malicious conduct, CCA and the then Government of the Bahamas signed an agreement (undisclosed until early 2017), based on what later articles deemed collusion between CCA and the Government, that ratified CCA’s movement of heavy equipment and Chinese laborers from the Project and to CCA’s newly acquired competing Hilton project while CCA was still under contract to finish Baha Mar.”

The complaint asserts, among other wrongdoings, that CCA planned to use the Project as an undisclosed, de facto “training facility” for its ambitious plans to expand throughout the Caribbean and Central and Latin America. Further, the complaint asserts that CCA’s executives and appointees to the board of Baha Mar Ltd. covered up the truth about the Project’s delays, defects, and shortcomings – with the result that the Project missed the December 2014 opening and therefore missed the Winter 2014 through Summer 2015 travel season.

The complaint also asserts that CCA and its affiliated sub-contractors used work-stoppages and slow-downs to improperly pressure BML Properties, and lied about its intent to rapidly increase the number of workers in order to finish the resort even for the delayed March 27, 2015, opening. In actuality, CCA admitted in a January 20, 2015, letter to its superiors that, despite its false claims to have adequate resources, it lacked the manpower to finish the job. The complaint asserts that CCA’s undisclosed intent throughout was to squeeze every dime out of the construction loan, regardless of its ultimate responsibilities to the Project.

The court documents go on to show that:

“CCA’s fraudulent and malicious conduct misled BML Properties into actions BML Properties thought were needed to move toward real progress on the Project, and misled BML Properties into inaction as well, later forcing BML Properties to attempt to mitigate its damage after it was, at that juncture, too late to seek other remedies such as stop work orders, ‘replacement’ of CCA (with the consent of the Project’s lender), [The Export-Import Bank of China – China Eximbank], or other extreme remedies that would have at that point delayed opening well past December 2014 and March 2015, causing the resort to miss the entire 2014-2015 travel season and incur enormous losses.  BML Properties relied on CCA to be truthful regarding its last hope to open in the 2014-2105 season, namely an agreement reached in November 2014 to accelerate CCA’s work in return for an additional $54 million, which unbeknownst to BML Properties CCA never intended to perform and knew when it signed that it could not and would not perform.

“Moreover, there is evidence that a $54 million advance paid in November 2014 to CCA Bahamas was actually diverted by CCA to its own coffers to fund the purchase of the neighboring Hilton Hotel in Nassau, Bahamas. The chronology is telling: (i) CCA’s intended purchase of the Hilton was announced in October 2014; (ii) CCA Bahamas forced Baha Mar Ltd. to pay an advance of $54 million for disputed change orders (believed to be worth significantly less and to be used, CCA said, to pay for subcontractors and labor that allegedly had not been paid) by way of a special payment request submitted in November 2014to China Eximbank, which payment CCA fraudulently extorted because CCA knew that the amounts being paid to it were unearned and undeserved and which completion date was fraudulent since CCA knew the date was unachievable because it did not have the resources to complete by that date; (iii) CCA closed on the Hilton acquisition for the reported sum of $60 million; (iv) also proving that CCA never intended to pay the $54 million to ‘subcontractors and labor that had not been paid’ and thus committing yet another act of fraud, in March 2015 CCA’s Chief Executive admitted that CCA had not used the $54 million advance to pay back-owed subcontractors and labor but rather – he said — had paid it out for ‘overtime.’ However, that in turn was a false (and concealing) statement because CCA did not employ ‘overtime’ on the Project after the advance was paid and missed the March 27, 2015, promised (but late) delivery of the Project (that such ‘overtime’ would have helped achieve).

“Manifesting its complete disregard for the rule of law and its requirements under its contracts, CCA also bought gifts, the reimbursement for which it hid from BML Properties and Baha Mar Ltd. in CCA’s expenses as part of its ‘payment applications’ sent to the Bank on the Project.  CCA even resorted to stealing documents from the Project to accomplish its illicit goals and cover-up its previous reprehensible conduct.”

The complaint against CCA points out: “After China Construction America caused BML Properties’ profound loss, the Project is now operated by Chow Tai Fook Enterprises (CTFE), a Chinese company acquiring (via a secretive and suspect process) the Project from the Chinese lender, China Eximbank.  China Eximbank requested that all files regarding this ‘merger’ transaction be sealed from public access by the Court with jurisdiction over the transaction. As a part of this transaction, BML Properties is informed and believes that CCA received an enormous $145 million bailout characterized as a ‘remobilization fee’ from China Eximbank even though the bulk of CCA’s equipment, materials, and workers remained in the Bahamas after 2015 for use on other projects.  On December 7, 2017, CTFE publicly issued a press release in The Bahamas (apparently still in redline draft), which stated in a section intended to be deletedfrom the release that ‘all construction [by CCA] at Baha Mar has been performed above and beyond satisfactory levels,’ revealing that CTFE is obviously uncomfortable with CCA’s level of performance.  Suffice it to say, the only ‘winner’ regarding the development of Baha Mar has been CCA, and CCA inflicted horrendous losses on BML Properties in its fraudulent scheme to become that winner.”

BML Properties Ltd. is represented by Peter Sheridan of Glaser Weil Fink Howard Avchen & Shapiro LLP and Morrison Cohen LLP.

Pursuant to New York law, complaints are public documents. The link to the filed complaint can be accessed here.

China Taking Lead in Electric Vehicle Fuelled Lithium Race

Technology

USA News Group News Commentary

 

USA News Group – In the rush to advance the electric vehicle revolution, it appears China is taking an early lead in both adoption of EVs and securing the resources of lithium to power them.

Lithium producers and near term producers looking to immediately increase global lithium supplies include A.I.S. Resources Limited (TSX-V: AIS) (OTC: AISSF), Galaxy Resources (OTC: GALXF), Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (NYSE: SQM), and Lithium X Energy Corp. (TSX-V: LIX) (OTC: LIXXF).

Several major Chinese auto manufacturers are planning to increase their electric vehicle (EV) quotas dramatically in the next two years based on early success by EV makers there and the Chinese Government’s demands to abandon petrol fuel engines.

Combined with greater use of lithium in power grid storage, the demand is creating kind of “arms” race style competition for global lithium. So far China is ahead.

A new lithium junior player that could benefit directly from the Chinese appetite for lithium is A.I.S. Resources Limited (TSX-V: AIS) (OTCQB: AISSF), which could answer the call to add new supplies from its South American lithium brine Guayatayoc project as early as 2019.

Other lithium companies that are poised to take-up the shortfall being fed by China’s consumption include Galaxy Resources (OTC: GALXF), Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (NYSE: SQM), and Lithium X Energy Corp. (TSX-V: LIX.V) (OTCQX: LIXXF), all of which are in the process of expanding of their respective lithium resources to accommodate the major demand increase.

CHINA STEPPING ON THE PEDAL

China is already a leader in the adoption of electric vehicles, with more than 500,000 units being sold in the country in 2016.

Indeed, Chinese battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd is planning a US$1.97 billionIPO to drive its expansion and meet soaring demand for electric car batteries.

And BYD, the Chinese electric car and bus company part-owned by Warrant Buffett, has talked extensively with South American lithium producers to secure supplies of the key battery material.

China, the world’s most active polluter has suffered for long due to toxic effluents and greenhouse emissions, hence is one of the countries at the forefront of adopting the Paris Agreement. But this process is lithium-intensive due to the millions of batteries required to power various processes particularly electric transportation.

China does not have substantial lithium mines within its own boundaries. Lithium resources tend to be located far away from the centers of industrial muscle in North AmericaEurope and Asia that utilize it in large quantities.

The main sources are brine pools in ChileArgentina and Bolivia, as well as rocks in Australia.

Chinese companies have been rushing to acquire concessions in these countries, aided by the diplomatic power and financial muscle of the Chinese government.

Companies such as Ganfeng Lithium and Tianqi Lithium have seen massive growth, with their turnovers more than doubling in 2016.

Ganfeng Lithium strengthened their position by purchasing 2 million equity shares from International Lithium, increasing its shareholding in the company to 18%.

MORE AND MORE LITHIUM NEEDED

Although there are enough verified lithium resources to sustain a fully EV dependent world for hundreds of years, slow establishment of mining operations has meant that actual supply has lagged behind demand.

And now that the Tesla-led EV revolution has hit full gear, pressure on existing resources has grown by a considerable factor.

Entities that control these resources have gold (even that maybe an understatement) on their hands as the price of lithium keeps surging. China has been moving to do exactly that through government-sanctioned acquisition of supplies across the world.

If, as lithium consultant Sam Jaffe of Cairn ERA predicts, lithium-ion battery demand rises from 80 GWh this year to 750 GWh in 2026, it’s likely that the world is going to need every bit of lithium production that can be brought online.

In total, the projected increase would account for a massive 10-fold leap in demand within 10 years.

JUNIORS SEIZE THE OPPORTUNITY

Not to be left out of the competition, junior resource companies have grasped the seriousness of the demand for lithium and are moving to bring on supplies.

A.I.S. Resources Limited is one of these early movers with excellent prospects in South America’sproductive regions.

Argentina is a major global lithium producer with significant additional potential, and a respected mining-industry history. The country has become well known for its many mineralized salars or salt fields, which include the Hombre Muerto and Salar Olaroz properties each producing significant lithium.

This is where A.I.S. Resources has staked its three main lithium projects, all of which are strategically located in the Argentina’s Puna Region.

In all, A.I.S. Resources has about 7,725 hectares and its flagship Guayatayoc property is well advanced with a mining permit in hand and drilling permits imminent.

Guayatayoc was sampled and returned Li ranging from 270-900 ppm in ponds that had aquifer flow, as well as 100-190ppm for brines sitting in the top layers. That’s considered very high grade and suitable for li-ion battery production.

The Guayatayoc is on its way to becoming a near term producer. The project will be fast-tracked, as chemistry and process work is already complete. The company expects that it can be in production as early as 2019.

And that comes from a highly skilled team of lithium mining veterans who have completed other recent lithium projects into production.

THE GAUNTLET IS THROWN DOWN

The race for lithium resources could leave EV companies such as Tesla short of the commodity if Chinamanages to monopolize available sources, in a similar way as they have achieved with cobalt.

Already, Chinese companies control nearly all of Lithium Hydroxide reserves, which Panasonic uses to make lithium batteries for Tesla.

In what could be spell a gloomy outlook for Tesla, there are undertones about Chinese companies looking to build multiple super factories to rival Tesla’s recently opened Nevada gigafactory.

And while Tesla’s gigafactory is expected to produce 35 gigawatt hours of battery power annually, global production should rise from a little over 100 million gigawatt-hours to more than 273 gigawatt-hours by 2021. As much as 65% of this growth could be produced in China.

However, Tesla is not resting on its laurels either, with plans to build up to 4 factories reportedly in the pipeline.

An arms race can scarcely suffice to describe the competition between China and outsiders like Tesla.

Regardless if China moves ahead, lithium prices don’t appear to be abating any time soon so new lithium resources like A.I.S. Resources’ Guayatayoc project in South America are likely to bring tremendous value and aid in the move to electrify the auto market.

POTENTIAL COMPARABLES

Galaxy Resources (OTC: GALXF)

Galaxy Resources Limited is a lithium-focused resources company, with assets spanning AustraliaCanada and Argentina. Galaxy is currently advancing plans to develop the Sal de Vida Lithium and Potash Brine Project (“Sal de Vida“) in Argentina, which is situated in the Lithium Triangle, a region where ChileArgentina and Bolivia meet. Sal de Vida is a proven high quality resource has excellent promise as a future low cost production facility. Galaxy also owns the Mt Cattlin Spodumene Mine near Ravensthorpe in Western Australia and the James Bay Lithium Pegmatite Project in Quebec, Canada.

Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (NYSE: SQM)

Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile S.A., is a producer of potassium nitrate and iodine. The Company produces specialty plant nutrients, iodine derivatives, lithium and its derivatives, potassium chloride, potassium sulfate and certain industrial chemicals. Its segments include specialty plant nutrients, industrial chemicals, iodine and derivatives, lithium and derivatives, potassium, and other products and services Lithium and its derivatives are used in batteries, greases and frits for production of ceramics. Potassium chloride is a commodity fertilizer that is produced and sold by the Company across the world.

Lithium X Energy Corp. (TSX-V: LIX.V) (OTCQX: LIXXF)

Lithium X Energy Corp. is a lithium exploration and development company with a goal of becoming a low-cost supplier for the burgeoning lithium battery industry. On July 11th, the company announced that further to its news release of June 29th, 2017, the Company has closed the definitive agreement with Aberdeen International Inc. for the purchase of Aberdeen’s remaining 50% interest in Potasio y Litio de Argentina S.A., which controls 100% of the Sal de los Angeles Project. The project consists of 8,154 hectares covering 95% of Salar de Diablillos, and has an NI 43-101 mineral resource estimate of 1.037 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent in the indicated category and 1.007 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent in the inferred category.

Digital Domain Teams Up with Talent Television and Film and Cenic Media to Create New TV and Film Production Ecosystem in China

Movies

The three parties intend to bring advanced technologies from Hollywood and enter into a strategic partnership, with first production TV Drama “Ten Years Late”

 

Digital Domain Holdings Limited (the “Company” or “Digital Domain,” stock code: 547), one of the world’s largest and innovative providers of visual effects and immersive experiences, today announced that it will team up with Talent Television and Film and Cenic Media to explore all advanced technologies and resources from Hollywood and other regions in order to build an all-new ecosystem for IP development, content creation and distribution. The first initiative from this new strategic partnership includes the production of new IP-protected TV Drama “Ten Years Late,” which tells an inspiring workplace story in multiple cities. Digital Domain will provide visual effects and virtual reality (VR) solutions for the drama, so that viewers can enjoy a high-quality immersive experience.

Mr. Daniel Seah, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Digital Domain, said: “It’s a great honor for us to join forces with Talent Television and Film and Cenic Media for strategic collaboration. The quality of Talent and Cenic productions combined with Digital Domain’s proven innovations in visual effects and VR experiences will continue to advance our own IP, content as well as our distribution platforms.”

“This collaboration not only represents the extension of Digital Domain’s existing business as well as the successful establishment of a refined business model, but more importantly, represents a breakthrough and innovation for the entire TV program production industry,” Mr. Seah continued. “For more than 24 years, Digital Domain has perfected great visual effects technology, and has continued to innovate in the VR industry. With our history and the recently announced powerful chain of VR theaters combined with the traditional and new media distribution networks of Talent and Cenic, we will definitely be able to lay a solid foundation for the strong development of the ecosystem.”

Mr. Hongliang Wu, Chairman and General Manager of Talent Television and Film, said: “China’s IP-protected TV dramas are going international, and Digital Domain’s unparalleled expertise and technologies as well as its international vision and production standard can help us with the production of great TV dramas in terms of content creation and visual effects, and can also help China’s local TV IPs connect with international standards in a more unique way.”

Mr. Hanson He, Founder and President of Cenic Media, commented: “Cenic Media already had connections with Digital Domain long ago. This time we collaborate with each other in producing Ten Years Late aiming to expand the scope of IPs for TV programs and also expand the ecosystem for the production of TV programs. We are very much looking forward to the upcoming cooperation with Digital Domain, and will work together with Digital Domain to build the industry’s exclusive ecosystem for the standard production of TV programs.”

Starring Shawn Dou, Gulnazar, Jeremy JonesCecilia Boey and Rain Wang, Ten Years Late tells an inspiring story in the tourism industry and encourages people to pursue their dream and innovate in their business endeavors, aiming to resonate with the general public. This drama now has entered the early shooting stage, and is expected to air in 2018.

About Digital Domain Holdings Limited

Digital Domain creates transportive experiences that entertain, inform and inspire. The company is a pioneer in many fields, including visual effects, livestreaming landmark events in 360° virtual reality, building situational awareness applications, creating “virtual humans” for use in films and live events, and developing interactive content.

A creative force in visual effects and media applications, Digital Domain and its predecessor entities have brought artistry and technology to hundreds of motion pictures, commercials, video games, music videos and virtual reality experiences. Its groundbreaking visual effects appear in films such as “Titanic,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and blockbusters “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and “Beauty and the Beast.” Staff artists have won more than 100 major awards, including Academy Awards, Clios, BAFTA awards and Cannes Lions.

Digital Domain has offices in Los AngelesNew YorkVancouverPortlandBeijingShanghaiHong KongTaipei and Hyderabad. Digital Domain Holdings Limited is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (stock code: 547).

Digital Domain Holdings Limited: www.ddhl.com

Digital Domain: www.digitaldomain.com

About Talent Television and Film

Founded in 2006,Talent is an entertainment company of the national level A TV series production qualification, owning TV series investment, TV program production and distribution, and other post-film products developing as its core business. Talent had completed the shareholding reform in 2011, and successfully accomplished its IPO, as the only entertainment company that enter enterprise market of that year.

Holding the idea “being steady, doing the best”, Talent has already become one of the best leading enterprises in program producing industries and has brought plenty of films and television word of high qualities to audience. During the development of diversified cooperation models, Talent has embraced a large number of entertainment industrial resources, keeping a deep cooperation and solid friendship with top-ranking TV stations, video websites, home and abroad.

After 10 year’s development, Talent has become a true versatile contestant in the film and television industry in China. Covering each chain of this industry, Talent’s business is like a large plate, containing film and TV program investment and production, artist management, advertising production, post production, film distribution, TV entertainment investment and production, theater line investment and management.

About Cenic Media

Founded in Shanghai, China in 2014, Cenic Media is a first-class media group with a focus on IP in China. The company focuses on investing in, producing and distributing high-quality programs based on a three-step standard process—big data, a large group of screenwriters, and the evaluation and optimization of screenplays. It intends to become a partner for both the producers and the broadcasters of TV dramas across the world. The production and distribution of TV dramas, the production and distribution of movies, the production and distribution of variety shows, and the development of IP derivatives are the company’s four pillar businesses. Among them, the production and distribution of TV dramas is the business focus for Cenic Media.

Over the past three years since it was formed, Cenic Media has been improving its ability to create IPs and develop IPs based on brand building, brand operation, and brand accumulation under a big-data and scientific evaluation system and by taking a user-centric approach. Cenic Media adopts an open cooperation model, and is able to make decisions quickly and keep improving, innovating and upgrading. It now has become a leading new media content provider in China. The company has established ongoing and sound partnerships with Internet platforms such as youku.comiqiyi.com, and v.qq.com, and has also maintained close collaboration with BBC, Digital Domain, top 6 American film studios, as well as renowned media companies in Japan and Taiwan. Apart from TV dramas, movies, variety shows, and the development of derivatives, the company also deals with the management of artists, entertainment marketing, and product placement etc.

Leveraging its dual new media and big data DNAs, since it was formed in 2014, Cenic Media has produced a number of great Internet dramas such as Mr. Bodyguard, The Visioner, and My Fox Immortal Wife. All these dramas caused heated discussions on the Internet, and also received remarkable clicks on new media.

The company is now collaborating with Digital Domain, a top special effects company in Hollywood, to shoot The Legends of Monkey King, Cenic Media’s major IP drama for the year 2017. Ten Years Later, another major drama telling a workplace love story in cities, is being produced.

China launches a “toilet revolution”  

Press Releases, Technology

Can you imagine that in the vast Gobi Desert in northwest China, you can connect to Wi-Fi networks in public toilets? This is one of the achievements of China’s burgeoning “toilet revolution.” Since 2015, local governments have invested nearly 20 billion yuan on building new public toilets and renovating old ones. Improvement has been made not only in terms of quantity, but also in quality, with the toilets’ exterior and interior facilities all upgraded.

Today, nursing lounges, barrier-free facilities and children’s toilet seats are becoming more common in China. A small but growing number of public toilets even have Wi-Fi networks, electric vehicle charging piles, ATMs and first-aid kits, among other facilities that may go beyond your expectations.

What’s more, China’s public toilets are beginning to show consideration for people with special needs. Besides rooms for men and women, China now has some unisex toilets, which enable people with disabilities to receive help from a family member of another gender without causing embarrassment.

New technologies are also being utilized. In the Laoshan Mountain Scenic Area in QingdaoShandong Province, public toilets are equipped with smart devices that can monitor the waiting queue and adjust the allocation of rooms for men and women in a timely manner. A recently-released app, “National Public Toilet Cloud,” collects information about public toilets across the country and helps users find the nearest one with the assistance of navigation apps.

The countryside is another battlefield of the “toilet revolution.” Presently, sanitary toilets are available in nearly 85 percent of rural areas. A renovation project aimed at expanding the number of these facilities is mostly funded by local governments. For instance, in Shandong Province, subsidies have been offered to millions of rural households, so it cost farmers very little to have their makeshift toilets turned into sanitary ones.

Toilets may seem to be a trivial issue, but they have a direct bearing on common people’s happiness. They’re also the first impression a tourist gets of a new place. Every year, approximately 4.5 billion Chinese and foreign tourists travel around the country. Suppose each of them goes to the toilet eight times during their journey on average, and they will use the toilet 36 billion times altogether. Despite this huge figure, China is trying its best to ensure that its basic amenities are satisfactory, and hopes that all tourists can return home with a good memory.

China Mosaic
http://www.china.org.cn/video/node_7230027.htm
China launches a “toilet revolution”
http://www.china.org.cn/video/2017-11/30/content_50078324.htm

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