Entries in China (57)


Beijing Apple Store Egged After iPhone 4S Launch Cancelled

Feng Li/Getty Images(BEIJING) -- It seems that a few bad eggs -- literally -- ruined it for all of those in Beijing who were hoping to get their hands on an iPhone 4S, which officially launched Friday in China.

Eggs were launched at the Apple’s flagship store in the Sanlitun area of Beijing after the American tech giant canceled the sale of iPhones over safety concerns.

More than 1,000 eager customers waited overnight in the freezing cold at Beijing’s Sanlitun Village outdoor shopping center anticipating the official launch of the popular iPhone 4S in China.

Among the crowd were reportedly gangs of scalpers who wanted to scoop up the first batch of the popular smartphones with the intent of reselling them immediately.  The gangs reportedly employed teams of migrant workers to stand in line overnight.  Movie extras were hired straight from outside the Beijing film studios and brought in by buses to get their hands on the phones, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Lines began to form Thursday afternoon outside the Apple’s Beijing flagship store.  The crowd reportedly swelled to as many as 2,000 overnight which apparently started to worry Apple employees. And they had every reason to.

Last May, during the launch of the previous model, iPhone 4, the same Sanlitun store was closed for several hours after a fight broke out between an employee and a customer.

When the stored failed to open Friday morning, the crowd erupted.  A person with a megaphone soon announced the sale was canceled, and some disappointed customers then began launching raw eggs at the store.  It remains unclear why some people in the crowd were prepared with shopping bags full of eggs.

Apple spokeswoman Carolyn Wu issued a statement saying, “We were unable to open our store at Sanlitun due to the large crowd, and to ensure the safety of our customers and employees, the iPhone will not be available in our retail stores in Beijing and Shanghai for the time being.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


General Motors Sells Record 2.5 Million Vehicles in China

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images(DETROIT) -- General Motors and its joint ventures sold a record 2,547,171 vehicles in China in 2011, up 8.3 percent from a year earlier, the automaker announced on Monday.

The company, which in 2001 regained its mantle as the world’s largest automaker, now sells more cars in China than in the United States.

“GM stayed ahead of the competition despite a slowdown in the growth of industry demand thanks to our broad portfolio of appealing vehicles,” Kevin Wale, president and managing director of the GM China Group said in a statement Monday. “GM and our joint ventures introduced 12 new models in 2011 while expanding our manufacturing and product development capability to meet rising demand.”

GM was the sales leader in China, the world’s largest car market, for the seventh consecutive year.

It’s part of a turnaround for the automaker which in 2008 accepted $4 billion in operating cash from the U.S. government, arranged by the Bush administration, and then a bailout of more than ten times that -- at least $50 billion -- from the Obama administration.

The company is not out of the woods yet, and U.S. taxpayers have yet to recoup the bailout money loaned to the company, however.  The stock, which trades at about $23, needs to get to $50 a share for the government to get all its money back. GM’s pension plan is still short about $22 billion, according to its regulatory filings. The company reported a $1.7 billion profit in the third quarter.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Sen. Coburn: US Borrowing Money from China -- for China

Hemera/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- More is coming out about Sen. Tom Coburn’s report on what he terms frivolous or unnecessary projects that cost taxpayers $6.5 billion last year.

One of the most outrageous examples of waste cited by the Oklahoma Republican is the $17.8 million the U.S. sent to China for economic development and social services. The kicker is that the funds the U.S. used is money that the government borrowed from China.

Coburn said that he only gave 100 egregious examples of waste, but that he could have listed a thousand.

Among them: millions of taxpayer dollars were spent on producing a version of Sesame Street for Pakistan, and about a hundred grand that went towards studying why chimps toss their feces.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Chinese Scientist Gets Prison Time for Economic Espionage

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(INDIANAPOLIS) -- A Chinese national is heading to a U.S. federal prison for economic espionage.  

U.S. District Judge William T. Lawrence on Wednesday sentenced ex-Dow AgroSciences researcher Kexue Huang to seven years in prison.  Huang had been living in Indiana when he provided trade secrets from agricultural giants Dow and Cargill to the Chinese government.  

The 46-year-old scientists pleaded guilty to one count of economic espionage. In a plea agreement he admitted that while working on organic pesticides at the companies he provided secrets to two people working for the Chinese government.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Report: Chinese Hackers Breached US Chamber of Commerce's Servers

Brendan Hoffman/Bloomberg via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- It would appear that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has more to worry about than the current state of the economy and its constant battles with the Obama administration.

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday morning that Chinese hackers managed to finagle their way into the Chamber’s computer servers and compromised the sensitive information of three million of its members, virtually gaining access to everything stored on the systems.

The hackers took about six week’s worth of emails from four employees working on Asian policy, according to the Journal, before the operation was shut down in May 2010.

Two people familiar with the top business-lobbying group’s internal probe say the Chinese hackers might have had free reign of the Chamber’s computer servers for up to a year before the FBI informed officials about the breach.

One of the suspected culprits is believed to be linked to the Chinese government, the Journal said.

Meanwhile, Geng Shuang, spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, denied that China was behind the hacking scheme, saying that its accusers “lack proof and evidence.”  Shuang claimed that cyber attackers are outlawed in his country and that China has also been a victim.

Since the breach, the Chamber of Commerce has bolstered its detection equipment and forbids employees from taking portable devices to certain countries, including China.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Saab Automobile Files for Liquidation in Sweden

Medioimages/Photodisc/Thinkstock(PARIS) -- Saab Automobile filed for liquidation on Monday, according to The New York Times.

The Swedish automobile manufacturer decided to file following the collapse of a proposed investment. General Motors, which used to own Saab, opposed a life-saving injection of cash from Chinese investors.

G.M. claimed the deal might damage its relationship with China, the Times reports.

With Monday's proceedings, Saab's parent company, Swedish Automobile, has effectively ended its control of the company. Viktor Muller, who bought the Saab from G.M. last year, will reportedly give a press conference after the Swedish court processes the liquidation.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


US Takes Hard Line on Chinese Economic Cyberspying

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. intelligence community has taken a hard line against economic espionage by alerting U.S. business and industry to vast cyber-espionage operations emanating from China.

U.S. intelligence officials estimate that U.S. companies suffered losses of about $50 billion in 2009 from their research and development efforts. This loss represents trade secrets and intellectual property that have been seized through cyber-attacks, piracy and company insider thefts.

American businesses and their intellectual property are aggressively being targeted by Chinese and Russian intelligence entities, resulting in the loss of billions of dollars, according to a report released Thursday entitled, “Foreign Spies Stealing US Economic Secrets in Cyberspace.”

The outreach campaign by the DNI’s National Counterintelligence Executive and the report to Congress on the issue are designed to raise awareness and protect American ingenuity and businesses in tough economic times from foreign economic and industrial espionage.

The report also cites Russia as a sophisticated adversary trying to move away from an economy dependent on natural resources: “Moscow’s highly capable intelligence services are using HUMINT [human intelligence], cyber and other operations to collect economic information and technology to support Russia’s economic development and security.”

The report references a finding by McAfee where a computer intrusion labeled “Night Dragon” traced to China indicated that individuals were attempting to obtain sensitive data from oil and gas companies.

Although the senior intelligence official declined to discuss specific cases, other U.S. officials have confirmed that China has been involved in a vast array of computer attacks.

Officials are trying to generate awareness among U.S. firms  to tackle the growing problem. “Lots of companies are the victims and they don’t even know it,” a senior intelligence official said.

“There is not a silver bullet here. We need to get this issue under control.”

While the report singles out China and Russia, it also notes that some U.S. allies target and acquire economic and high-tech information for their countries’ benefit.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


New Trend Shows Manufacturing Jobs Moving Back to US

ABC News(MCMINNVILLE, Tenn.) -- China's loss is turning into America's gain. More manufacturing jobs are coming back to the U.S., as profit margins narrow, for overseas work.

More and more U.S. manufacturers, who outsourced work overseas, during the past decade, are bringing jobs back, from Asia. China's overheated economy is losing its competitive edge, as workers there demand and receive higher wages.

Just four years ago, Pro Charging Systems had components for its battery chargers made in China. Now the company is using a small plastics manufacturer in Tennessee to make covers for its charges. The move turns out to be cheaper in making and assembling the chargers.

The CEO of Pine Hill Plastics, in McMinnville, Tennessee, says it's a trend he can live with.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Global Stocks Tumble Amid Latest Chinese GDP Report

Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Ahead of Tuesday's opening bell, a new cause for concern has popped up for global investors: China's economic growth has slowed down.

The country reported on Tuesday that its third quarter gross domestic product increased 9.1 percent from last year, but still fell short of its 9.5 percent rise in the previous quarter.

The news sent U.S. stock futures down Tuesday, a day after Wall Street experienced its biggest drop in two weeks.

On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 247 points, the Nasdaq fell 53 and the S&P 500 lost 24.

Overseas, European markets are trading lower on Tuesday and Asian ones closed with big losses.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng took the biggest hit, plunging 4.23 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite dropped 2.33 percent.  Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 2.07 percent, Japan’s Nikkei index lost 1.55 percent, and South Korea’s Kospi shed 1.41 percent.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Bringing America Back: Are Infrastructure Jobs Being Shipped to China?

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Rebuilding America's crumbling infrastructure is a growing priority, with President Obama highlighting construction jobs as part of his $447 billion jobs plan.

The president visited the "functionally obsolete" Brent Spence Bridge in Ohio Thursday and called on lawmakers to do their part in fixing America's infrastructure.

"Mr. Boehner, Mr. McConnell, help us rebuild this bridge," he said in a speech. "Help us rebuild America. Help us put this country back to work."

In New York there is a $400 million renovation project on the Alexander Hamilton Bridge.

In California, there is a $7.2 billion project to rebuild the Bay Bridge connecting San Francisco and Oakland.

In Alaska, there is a proposal for a $190 million bridge project.

These projects sound like steps in the right direction, but much of the work is going to Chinese government-owned firms.

"When we subsidize jobs in China, we're not creating any wealth in the United States," said Scott Paul, executive director for the Alliance for American Manufacturing.

The renovation of the Alexander Hamilton Bridge in New York is being overseen by China Construction America, a subsidiary of the China State Construction Engineering Corporation. The company uses mostly U.S. labor, but many coveted skill jobs such as engineering and design work are Chinese. The profits will also go overseas.

In Alaska, they are set to spend millions on foreign materials for the Tanana River Bridge Crossing and would largely fabricate the bridge overseas. Iron union workers took to the airwaves to express their outrage in seeing jobs go abroad.

"This is not the time to send more jobs to China," said the Alaska Iron Workers in a radio advertisement. "Our tax dollars will provide hundreds of jobs there, not at home."

U.S. law does require major infrastructure projects to give American companies preferential treatment under Buy America, but companies can opt out and choose a foreign company if there is a significant cost differential. In the Alaska case, officials contend that even with laws that favor domestic companies, the difference in cost was still too high.

The state of California rejected federal funding for a major portion of the Bay Bridge in order to go with a Chinese company that offered the lowest bid. The move cost Americans almost 3,000 jobs -- jobs that cost the struggling California economy millions of dollars in wages, taxes and potential consumer spending.

An official from the California Department of Transportation defended the decision to go with a Chinese company, saying that most of the bridge is being made in America, and that U.S. companies could not have done the work that was contracted abroad on time.

U.S. firms said that, had they been given enough time, they could have put together a successful bid. They added that Chinese firms have the advantage of being state-subsidized. And they warned that hiring abroad today, for any reason, will hurt the country tomorrow.

"Even though we may be saving a couple of pennies now," said Paul, of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, "the cost to our country down the road is going to outweigh that, and we're short changing the future."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio