The most popular women-centric Chinese TV series all seem to revolve around romance, workplace drama, or power grabs during imperial times. So it is that Rock It, Mom (摇滚狂花) is a refreshing surprise.
Released by Chinese video streaming site iQiyi earlier this month, the 12-episode series follows a washed-up female rock singer who tries to mend her fractious relationship with her daughter while exploring new opportunities in her career. It has become an unlikely hit, eliciting widespread positive reviews, especially from female audiences.
Yet Hong’an has one particularity: it is home to more than 400 Vietnamese women, the highest number in Hubei, according to 2018 data from the provincial civil affairs department. I was born and raised in Hong’an, and had heard of the presence of Vietnamese brides in my hometown. So I went to take a look for myself.
On October 25, the Chinese Academy of Sciences released a ranking of China’s 2022 top 50 robot companies. At the top of the list was Tinavi Medical Technologies 北京天智航医疗科技, and number three was MicroPort MedBot 上海微创医疗机器人, both medical robot companies producing surgical robots. (Rounding out the top five was industrial robot companies Estun Automation 南京埃斯顿自动化 and Boshiac Automation 哈尔滨博实自动化, and household robot company Ecovacs Robotics 科沃斯機器人.)
According to one estimate, China’s medical robot industry in 2022 is worth about 10 billion yuan ($1.37 billion). There are currently four main types of medical robots: Surgical robots are the most common, accounting for about 40% of all medical robots, followed by rehabilitation robots (for example used for stroke patients, and disabled and elderly people) at about 35%.
Hefei has pioneered a shift in Chinese capitalism over recent years in which local governments are increasingly taking minority stakes in private companies. Since the 1950s, Hefei has been a hub of scientific research, but today its shrewd investments have transformed it from a relative backwater to a bustling metropolis of about 5 million people. In terms of economic growth, what Chinese media call the “Hefei model” appears to work. In the decade to 2020, Hefei was China’s fastest-growing city in terms of gross domestic product.
Yao openly admits that 2022 has been a difficult year for China’s economy, with consumption having been dragged down, particularly by the real estate crisis, as well as by the ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic, which means that most firms in China are producing at only roughly 80% of capacity. Yao seems to suggest that state efforts to cool down an overheated real estate market last year by tightening up lending practices went too far, meaning that both banks and consumers have lost confidence. Central and local governments need to work together to make sure that housing gets to the market and that the market performs. His tone, however, is not apocalyptic (as Western commentaries on China’s real estate crisis often are), and he pointedly notes that “if the Chinese economy was going to collapse, it would have done so in the 1990s” when China privatized or closed some 80% of state owned enterprises, producing large-scale disruption and unemployment.
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This compilation is put together by DeLisle Worrell, President of the ABCF. Previous compilations may be found at the ABCF website, where you may also find issues of the association’s magazine Exchanges, and other items of interest.