Citizen Quartz

24 Jul 19
Quartz
Di Ba, an online Chinese patriotic group, is venturing outside the country’s walled internet garden to aid China’s efforts to shape the narrative around Hong Kong’s unflagging protests. On Monday (July 22) night, hundreds of Chinese internet users flooded Facebook pages of two Hong Kong organizations— the Civil Human Rights Front, a major organizer of some of the city’s massive protests against an extradition bill that is now suspended, the Hong Kong National Front, a local political party—with thousands of comments. The organizer of the attack, Di Ba, announced (in Chinese) on social media platform Weibo that the aim of the campaign is to “support Hong Kong police and condemn some of the Hong Kong rioters for insulting the Chinese emblem.” “One China is our common wish, and ‘One Country, Two Systems’ is our clear goal. Innocent Hong Kongers, don’t be influenced by some Hong Kong trash,” wrote Facebook user Mu Rongxin, whose comment was liked over 1,000 times. “We hereby persuade some of the violent protestors to pull back before it’s too late, the strong Chinese government and its people will firmly support the passage of the extradition bill,” wrote another user named going by Ran Ran. Both users were commenting on the Facebook page of Civil Human Rights Front. In the past seven weeks, Hong Kong’s protesters have demonstrated against a hated extradition bill that would have allowed the city to surrender suspects to mainland China to face charges. The protests have helped to kill the bill, but the government has yet to completely withdraw it, a major request of the protesters. Meanwhile, the movement has also evolved to encompass broader demands for greater democracy in Hong Kong. A march on Sunday (July 21) saw some of the protesters hurl eggs at the walls of China’s Liaison Office, a representative of Beijing in the city, and deface the Chinese emblem hanging outside. The pages of the Civil Human Rights Front and the local party were bombarded with repetitive images and text, most of which showed tough-looking cops and protesters holding different objects such as bricks, though it’s unclear where exactly the images are from. The messages condemned the “violent behavior” of the protesters and urged Hong Kong citizens to “wake up” to the foreign influence behind the protests. A screenshot was posted by some members of Di Ba on its Weibo page, showed the following images, without clarifying on which Facebook page they had been posted. A screengrab posted by members of Di Ba on its Weibo page. Protesters also went to the Hong Kong police Facebook page to voice messages of support to a force that has faced accusations of using excessive violence against protesters—and not doing enough to protect people in the face of attacks on Sunday (July 21) by organized thugs. Part of the hatred toward the Hong Kong movement traces to the “alternative facts” some state-owned Chinese media have presented, labeling the protesters as advocating for Hong Kong independence in some cases. China’s foreign ministry, meanwhile, has repeatedly characterized the protests as foreign-instigated, a message that has been echoed in Hong Kong’s Beijing-friendly newspapers (link in Chinese) and propagated by nationalistic Chinese tabloid Global Times. Consisting mainly of Chinese people living overseas, as well as Chinese university students, Di Ba spun off from a fan page for a Chinese footballer on an internet forum called Tieba. It remains a secretive but highly organized group that  reportedly has 20 million users across social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Weibo. As it did ahead of past attacks, the group announced on Weibo when it would launch this week’s attacks, and distributed customized emojis and slogans for the participants to use. These emojis are usually “reaction images” with trolling text on them, such as the one below. A reaction image posted by Chinese online trolls on Facebook on July 22. The caption reads: “No matter how much chaos you guys make, China is still your dad.” The Di Ba watermark says: Di Ba Central Army Special Seal. In addition to giving guidance on the time and websites for its online crusades, the group also gave out tips on how to use virtual private networks, or VPNs, to bypass China’s Great Firewall that blocks most major foreign websites including Facebook, Twitter and Google. While the group denies having a relationship with the government, it has largely targeted people or organization not in line with Beijing’s official stance on political issues—jumping the firewall in April to troll pro-Uighur groups, fore example. It has been lauded by state media People’s Daily. “This is impressive, these youngsters, who were mostly born in the 1990s or even 2000s, have such good discipline and clear division of labor during their ‘online battles’,” said the newspaper in a 2016 editorial (in Chinese), referring to a campaign by the group at the time to flood the Facebook page of Taiwan’s newly elected president Tsai Ing-wen to convey the message that the self-ruled island is part of China.
23 Jul 19
Orbis Research

The research study on Global Outdoor Watch Market organizes the overall perspective of the Outdoor Watch industry. This incorporates upcoming flow of the Outdoor Watch market together with an extensive analysis of recent industry statistics. It describes the Outdoor Watch market size as well as factors controlling market growth. Likewise, the report explains various challenges which […]

23 Jul 19
Cha

{Written by Cameron White, this review is part of Issue 44 (June/July 2019) of Cha.} {Return to Cha Review of Books and Films.} “City Issue: Hong Kong”, edited by Tammy Lai-Ming Ho, World Literature Today, Volume 93 No. 2, University of Oklahoma Press, Spring 2019. With self-awareness comes constant wondering what other people think about you. […]

22 Jul 19
BGR

A bare wrist can, at times, make you feel naked. This goes double for women, who always seem to have some form of jewelry wrapped around their wrist. However, there’s arguably no better cure for a barren radiocarpal joint (yeah, we’re getting scientific over here) than a stylish timepiece. Watches have long been a staple […]

22 Jul 19
The CCG Blog

The National Investigation Agency Act was amended by Parliament this week, expanding its investigation powers to include cyber-terrorism; FaceApp’s user data privacy issues; and the leaked bill to ban cryptocurrencies— presenting this week’s most important developments in law and tech. Aadhaar [July 15] Govt plans Aadhaar based identification of patients to maintain health records, Live […]

22 Jul 19
Quartz
A day after a rampaging mob of armed thugs beat protesters and civilians indiscriminately at a train station, Hong Kong’s top official Carrie Lam scrambled to explain why the assailants seemed to have been able to perpetrate the violence with impunity. Again and again, her and her principle officials’ answers seemed to be: blame the disorder and unrest wrought by anti-extradition protesters. While Lam condemned all violent acts, including the “shocking” attack at the Yuen Long train station, she trained her focus on protesters’ acts of vandalism against the Chinese central government office in the city. She condemned protesters for having laid siege to and defaced the building, including spray-painting over the Chinese insignia. Their actions challenged China’s sovereignty and “hurt the feelings” of the Chinese people, Lam said. When asked why police had taken so long to respond to the attacks at Yuen Long, a suburb close to the border with mainland China, both secretary for security John Lee and police commissioner Stephen Lo pointed to the overstretched manpower of the 30,000-strong police force as a result of the wave of protests since early June. Yet another pic from tonight's thuggish attack in Yuen Long. Anybody wearing black (the usual colour for #antiELAB protestors) was a prime target. #HongKongProtest #HongKong pic.twitter.com/oztOfxFAuz — Wilson Leung 梁允信 (@WilsonLeungWS) July 21, 2019 For seven weeks now, Hong Kong’s protesters have demonstrated against a hated extradition bill that would have allowed the city to surrender suspects to mainland China to face charges. An unprecedented upsurge of popular anger managed to kill the bill, though the government has refused to completely withdraw it, as protesters demand. Meanwhile, the protest movement has also evolved to encompass broader demands for greater democracy in Hong Kong. Late yesterday (July 21) evening, groups of masked, white-clad men wielding wooden sticks converged on Yuen Long, beating people in the concourse of the train station as well as in train carriages. Anti-extradition protesters dressed in black were targeted, as were journalists and other commuters, including a pregnant woman who was seen in video footage to have collapsed to the ground. Police did not appear on scene for some 45 minutes. According to the latest information, six men have been arrested in connection with the mob attacks and charged with illegal assembly. At least 45 people were hospitalized as a result of the attack, with one man in critical condition, according to local broadcaster RTHK. However, in a press conference held today (July 22), some 15 hours after the first reports of violence at Yuen Long station, Lam began her statement not by addressing the mob attack, but by referencing the “string of violence” that had occurred in the downtown district of Sheung Wan on Hong Kong island yesterday night, where protesters had gathered following another major demonstration. Earlier that evening, a group of protesters had surrounded the Chinese liaison office in Hong Kong, pelting the building’s exterior with eggs and spray-painting the country’s insignia. [20:04 HKT] After making a declaration outside the Liason Office, protesters threw paint bombs at the Chinese National Emblem. Soon after, protesters shouted "Go back to Central", and started dispersing. pic.twitter.com/T5GzSiSdPa — antiELAB (@anti_elab) July 21, 2019 Lam’s claim that the protesters’ actions had hurt the feelings of the Chinese nation echoed those of state tabloid Global Times’, which labeled egg-throwing as a “serious crime” and an affront to the country’s sovereignty, and condemned the protesters for undermining “one country, two systems.” In statements released shortly after midnight, both the local government and the police appeared to put vandalism and mob violence on par with each other when they referred to “violent acts in Sheung Wan and Yuen Long” in a single sentence. When asked by a reporter whether she would designate the Yuen Long melee as a riot, Lam claimed that the designation is unimportant as it would not affect subsequent legal procedures. This is factually inaccurate, as under a much criticized colonial-era law, an unlawful assembly deemed a riot carries much heavier sentences. Lam was also asked whether she believes defacing the Chinese insignia is more important than attacks by thugs against Hong Kong citizens, to which she responded that the insignia is “the symbol of our country” and represents the importance of  the “one country” part of “one country, two systems.” A reporter from a local broadcaster repeatedly asked Lam why the government was so quick to deem a protest on June 12—when protesters and police clashed outside the local government offices‚ a riot, while choosing not to do so for the Yuen Long attacks. The reporter also questioned why the government was able to hold a 4am press conference just hours after protesters stormed the Legislative Council building in the evening of July 1, but delayed addressing the public until this afternoon regarding the attacks in Yuen Long. In response, Lam claimed that the government did not yet have “all the available facts.” Asked why the police did not respond to numerous emergency calls for help in response to the Yuen Long attacks, Lo, the police commissioner, said the force was busy “taking care of what was happening on Hong Kong island.” When a reporter raised allegations of police dispatchers hanging up on emergency callers and telling people to stay home if they were scared, Lo said he would look into the matter. While some protesters have indeed engaged in acts of violence, including throwing bricks at riot police and beating a plain-clothes officer, the protest movement has been a largely peaceful one. At times, they have allegedly been met with excessive police force, as documented and condemned by human rights groups like Amnesty International. The government and the police force pledged to fully investigate the attacks in Yuen Long and bring the perpetrators to justice. This story has been updated with a clarification on reports of a pregnant woman allegedly being beaten, and the latest arrest figures.
21 Jul 19
Wristwatch Review UK

The Bulova Accutron is a high-frequency quartz with a smooth sweeping second hand. But for a short time, they also made self-winding mechanical watches with the Accutron name.