The US-China chip war is still escalating

This story first appeared in China Report, MIT Technology Review’s newsletter about technology developments in China. Sign up to receive it in your inbox every Tuesday. The temperature of the US-China tech conflict just keeps rising. Last week, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced a new export license system for gallium and germanium, two elements that are…
The US-China chip war is still escalating

4. Five people were arrested by the Hong Kong police for involvement in creating an online shopping app to map out local businesses that support the pro-democracy movement. (Hong Kong Free Press)

5. There’s now an official app for learning how to do journalism in China—with online courses taught about the Marxist view of journalism, why the party needs to control the press, and how to be an “influencer-style journalist.” (China Media Project)

6. During her visit, Yellen sat down for dinner with six female Chinese economists. Then they were called traitors online. (Bloomberg $)

7. A new study says a rapidly growing number of scientists of Chinese descent have left the US since 2018, the year the US Department of Justice launched its “China Initiative.” (Inside Higher Ed). An investigation of the initiative by MIT Technology Review published in late 2021 showed it had shifted its focus from economic espionage to “research integrity.” The initiative was officially shut down in 2022.

8. Threads, the new Twitter competitor released by Meta, hit the top five on Apple’s China app store even though Chinese users have to access the platform with a VPN. (TechCrunch)

Lost in translation

On July 5, the famous Hong Kong singer CoCo Lee died by suicide after having battled depression for several years. The tragic incident again highlighted the importance of depression treatment, which is often inaccessible in China. As the Chinese publication Xin Kuai Bao reported, fewer than 10% of patients diagnosed with depression in China have received any kind of medical treatment. 

But in recent years, as several patents for popular Western brand-name depression drugs have expired, Chinese pharmaceutical companies have ramped up their production of local generic alternatives. There’s also a fierce race to invent home-grown treatments. Last November, the first domestically designed depression drug was approved for sale in China, marking a new era for the industry. There are 17 more domestic treatments in trials right now.

One more thing

Every time high-profile US visitors come to China, Chinese social media always fixates on one thing: what they ate. Apparently, Janet Yellen is a fan of the wild mushrooms from China’s southwest border, which her group ordered four times in one dinner. The specific mushroom, called Jian Shou Qing in China, is also known for having psychedelic effects if not cooked properly. Now the restaurant is cashing in by offering Yellen’s dinner choices as a set, branded the “God of Money” menu, according to Quartz.