The western media are only interested in western stories, whilst some of the most important stories are coming out of China. We share with you the most interesting ones that have not been widely reported.
Chinese Moon Program
China’s lunar exploration programme started in 2007 with Chang’e 1, a simple lunar orbiter. In 2010, Chang’e 2 also went into lunar orbit before setting off for a trek across the solar system that culminated in a flyby of asteroid Toutatis in 2012.
In 2013 Chang’e 3, deploying the Jade Rabbit rover, had the first soft landing on the moon since the 1970’s. It operated for about 2 weeks before recovering from problems and lasting for a further 31 months until August 2016. Jade Rabbit joins 60 American and Russian space vehicles, three Apollo buggies and two golf balls - hit by astronaut Alan Shepard - left behind on the Moon.
Chang’e 4, is a landing on the dark side of the moon. The communications satellite has been launched to allow the lander to communicate but details are sketchy. The lander is due later this year, we understand, maybe.
Chang'e 5, expected to launch in 2019 aboard a Long March 5 rocket with a lander capable of collecting up to 2 kilograms (4.4 lb) of lunar samples and returning them to the Earth.
The latest date for a manned moon landing is 2037 – but the Chinese are aiming to improve that very considerably.
Chinese Island Building
China has a new island-building machine to help it reclaim more land in the disputed South China Sea.
The enormous ship, called Tiankun, can dredge 6,000 cubic meters (211,000 cubic feet) of mud every hour - roughly the size of 2.5 Olympic Swimming Pools. China's state media People's Daily Online reported that the self-propelled cutter-suction dredging ship was launched at the port of Nantong, east China's Jiangsu Province. Tiankun can smash underwater rocks as well as move sand, mud and water to construct islands. It's 460 feet long and 91 feet wide and is the most powerful dredging vessel China has built. The ship can dig as deep as 35 metres (115 feet) into the sea. It can squirt liquid and debris to as far as 15 kilometres (9.3 miles) - the farthest for any dredging ships in the world, claimed People's Daily.
It joins Tianjing, China's old flagship for construction on the South China Sea. Tianjing reportedly built seven artificial islands within a year in the contested region that's also claimed by Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, among other countries. Tiankun has been built so that Beijing can accelerate its 'military defence project' on the South China Sea.
Beijing's man-made islands in the South China Sea are now bristling with military hardware as the country seeks to build more bases overseas, a US report said in June.
The base on the hotly-contested Spratly Islands has been outfitted with 24 fighter-sized hangars, runways, water and fuel storage, a large port, communications equipment, fixed-weapon positions and a barracks.
Three squadrons of warplanes will eventually be stationed at the bases, analysts with the Department of Defence believe, allowing Chinese warplanes to operate over the entire region.
Petro China Was First Trillion Dollar Company
Ten years after PetroChina peaked on its first day of trading in Shanghai in 2007, the state-owned energy producer lost about $800 billion of market value in October 2017-- a sum large enough to buy every listed company in Italy or circle the Earth 31 times with $100 bills.
The value of the company is now hovering around $16O billion. That makes it smaller than Shell but somewhat larger than BP and some distance behind Exxon
In current dollar terms, it’s the world’s biggest-ever wipeout of shareholder wealth. The Chinese managed to steal Facebook’s top spot for the biggest stock market loss in a day and Apple’s entry as the largest value company in the world.
Huawei Beats Apple To Be World 2nd Largest
Huawei overtook Apple to become the world’s second-largest smartphone seller behind Samsung in the second quarter, the first time in seven years that any contender has managed to split the top two.
Multiple market analysts said that Huawei’s rise came as the slowdown in China, the world’s largest market for smartphones, eased, with growing market share in Europe. Huawei failed in its recent bid to launch in the US after government action against companies deemed a security threat.
Despite Apple being historically weak in the second quarter, analysts described the rise of Huawei as significant.
“The importance of Huawei overtaking Apple this quarter cannot be overstated,” said Canalys analyst Ben Stanton. “It is the first time in seven years that Samsung and Apple have not held the top two positions.”
Approximately 351m smartphones were sold globally in the second quarter, down 2% year-on-year due to market saturation, increasing prices, longer replacement rates, reduced mobile phone network subsidies and lack of feature and design innovation, according to data aggregated by the Guardian.
DJI, a Shenzhen-based startup that virtually created the category of consumer drones, including the popular Phantom and Mavic series. The private company has the same valuation as Dropbox ($10 billion) and controls nearly three-quarters of the consumer drone market, with about 80 per cent of its sales coming from outside China. More than 400 Apple stores globally carry the Phantom 4 drone, and the firm is now tweaking its drone models for a variety of industrial uses – including cinematography, agriculture and search-and-rescue operations.