China just established a national data administration to mine data for economic growth

3. Hundreds of Baidu employees are working around the clock and borrowing computer chips from other departments to prepare for the launch of Ernie Bot, Baidu’s answer to ChatGPT, next Thursday. (Wall Street Journal $)

4. Zhou Ziqiu, TikTok’s CEO, has sought closed-door meetings with at least half a dozen lawmakers in Washington. He is scheduled to appear before a congressional hearing later this month regarding TikTok’s privacy and national security concerns. (Forbes $)

5. China could control 32% of the world’s lithium mining capacity by 2025, estimates investment bank UBS AG. (Bloomberg $)

6. China reappointed Yi Gang as central bank chief, signaling a continuation of its monetary policy. (AP)

7. The “996” overtime culture in China, adopted by tech companies a few years ago, isn’t going away easily. Recently, the CEO of a Chinese automobile company asked his legal department to figure out “how to avoid legal risks” by asking employees to work on Saturdays. (Sixth Feast)

Lost in translation

A young entrepreneur in central China is reimagining nursing homes by teaching elderly residents how to play e-sports. According to Chinese gaming publication ChuApp, 25-year-old Fan Jinlin took over his family’s nursing home business after college in Henan province. He started creating video content about residents’ lives and quickly gained millions of followers on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok.

In February 2022, he began building an eSports room in his fifth nursing home and recruiting seniors interested in video games. One of them is Zhang Fengqing, a 68-year-old retired bank employee. He saw the news about Douyin and applied. He soon went from someone who didn’t even know how to use a mouse to a skilled player of Teamfight Tactics, a popular game that doesn’t require quick reflexes as much as strategic thinking. Ultimately, Fan wants to form a professional team to play in tournaments, but to achieve that, he needs at least seven participants like Zhang. Now he only has three.

One more thing

The number 2952 has disappeared from the Chinese social media platform Weibo. Why? As President Xi Jinping extended his rule for another five years last week, China’s National People’s Congress received 2,952 votes in favor of the extension, with zero against and zero abstentions. Even though everyone knew that Xi would get a third term, the fact that there was no opposition voice still made people talk about how pointless the procedure was. Just a few days later, Weibo blocked search results for the number.

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