#FredinChina is a weekly podcast to know and understand the world’s largest economy hosted by Fred Raillard. Fred fell in love with China, and lives in Shanghai since September 2012.
Thanks to Zhuomin Qin, Feng Huang, Jalila Levesque, Jules Chaffiotte, Radouane Guissi, Yi Zhang, Ying Zhang, Aliou Maro, Tina Liu, Louis Caudevilla, Dushan Karageorgevitch, Jing Qian, Jonathan Roy, Maxime Aubanel and Antoine Robin for their participation to this chronic. Find all #FredinChina podcasts on iTunes.
China’s One Belt, One Road connecting China to the world
The HotTopic this week is ‘One Belt One Road’, and the strategy around this initiative. The topic generated 840 million media impressions and 187 thousand discussions.
On May 14th, the ‘One Belt One Road’ Forum was held in Beijing which starts an international economic partnership. 1500 leaders were assembled from 130 countries and met in Beijing for a special summit. There were of course representatives from the USA, North Korea, South Korea, and most other countries in the world. Chinese President Xi Jinping opened the summit with a speech on this economic cooperation project spearheaded by China.
The project aims to bring China closer together with all her neighboring countries all the way to Europe, much like the Silk Road used to do. As well as this symbolic Silk Road, there is also a maritime route from China going to South East Asia, India and Europe. The idea is to develop economic ties between China and all these countries. Beijing announced that they would invest 150 billion per year on the various infrastructures needed to reinforce and consolidate this road, as well as bringing China closer to each of the cooperating countries.
This is great news, and goes hand in hand with Xi Jinping’s declarations in Davos about being a defender of free trade and creating strong links between China and other neighboring countries.
All in all, this is a very strong economic act, with political and symbolic ramifications that was very well received on Chinese social media, since it shows that China is opening itself up to the world. If you remember, Xi Jinping had also announced ‘Let’s go West’, and this goes in the same direction and strategy of developing closer ties with the world.
Massive cyberattack WannaCrypt causes havoc worldwide
The HotBrand this week is Microsoft with the huge hacking story and ransom demand that affected dozens of countries in the world. Many thought that with China’s great ‘firewall’, the country would have been spared. However, the attack was made because of a fault in the Microsoft XP software, and China was hit hard.
The subject generated 270 million media impressions and 89 thousand discussions. The Chinese were using this software to mass effect, either having bought it or copied it thereby affecting 40 thousand Chinese institutions, police stations and PetroChina.
This attack called ‘WannaCrypt’ featured a ransom that effectively blocked all the date and documents in your computer until a ransom was paid within a certain period of time. Failure to do so would destroy all the data.
A lot of people in China posted what was appearing on the screen of their hacked computer, and pictures of policemen discovering that their computers had been hacked in police stations. There were a lot of discussions about the possibility of this hack originating from a hack on the NSA. As you know in this world cyber war, there are digital weapons that can be used, and the NSA had found this fault in the software and kept it as a potential weapon for the future. This information could have been stolen directly from the NSA, and used by the hackers.
Other stories came out such as the NSA alerting Microsoft, and Microsoft trying to sell a anti-virus software back to them! They then apparently changed their minds to give it to them as a present because of the massive problems associated with the hacking.
It was interesting to see that this phenomenon hit China as much as it did in the West, and despite China’s great firewall, and the world’s digital bi-polarization between GAFA and BAT, this type of phenomenon can hit anyone in the world just as hard.
China remembers the Sichuan earthquake
The HotPost this week is a post about the 9th birthday of a big earthquake that took place in Sichuan on May 12th. The post generated 200 thousand reposts and 35 thousand comments. It was a simple post that recounted the anniversary of the earthquake that killed thousands of people.
It was quite incredible as there were a lot of very emotional comments, stories and pictures from people, including some of the survivors such as the young man who was saved by a policeman and then became a policeman himself! Another comment came from the man who met the love of his life that day. This touched the whole of China, and was all the more impressive as it was on China’s scale.
Originally published at www.huffingtonpost.com on May 23, 2017.