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2003's Top Asia Media Story

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Clay Dube
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2003's Top Asia Media Story

Here's your opportunity to weigh in on what you think Asia's top media story was in 2003? Developments on the net? Satellite services? The explosion of Western magazines in China? Continued cell phone mania?

Was there a big media trend that was underappreciated? Were there media news items that were overdone? Who were the big media winners and losers in 2003?

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Message from jshults

The top story has to be pirated films and music....this trend is costing the US economy (and others) billions annually. What are the implications for international trade? What are the implications for Asian economies? This has huge ramifications re: international law, diplomacy, etc. What should countries like the US do to combat this hit to domestic economies? How far do they want to tred into international law venues?

Clay Dube
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Message from Clay Dube

Jane's definitely right about the importance of piracy to the entertainment and media businesses. While not a new story, it's become even more important because of internet file-sharing. The film Cell Phone (a terrific Chinese movie directed by Feng Xiaogang and featuring Ge You) was released on Dec. 18, 2003. At least by 12/25 an AVI version of the film was available for download.

Clay Dube
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Message from Clay Dube

Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency, released its list of the top China stories of 2003. Some had important media twists:

1. new leaders: President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao (March)

2. SARS epidemic

3. Study Jiang Zemin's "Three Represents"

4. Oct. Communist Party Central Committee plenary session -- approved continuing economic reform

5. Oct. Shenzhou 5's spaceflight, China became third nation to send a person into space (YANG Liwei)

6. June/Oct. Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement with HK and Macao

7. Taiwan's Chen Shui-bian called for referndum on Taiwan independence

8. December 19-20, human resources development conference sponsored by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council

9. gas field blowout in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, the worst
accident of its kind in China, at least 198 deaths

10. China's economic growth, expected to reach 8.5% in 2003.



First -- the list itself is kind of a media story. The CCP is deciding what the top stories are. Somehow HK voters opposing Beijing's security proposal and its candidates didn't turn up on the list. The fact that Chen's position in Taiwan polls improved with his promotion of the independence referendum was also neglected. The ongoing AIDS crisis is absent as well and while SARS is mentioned, the bungling of it for months isn't.

Anonymous (not verified)
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Message from bnakama

The biggest media story coming out of Asia in 2003 has got to be SARS. Countries around the world were affected. Asia's economy had to take a hit from the loss of tourism dollars.

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Message from lkrant

The top story has to be about trade, particularly exports. They are encouraging foreign companies to locate their manufacturing including technology in China through tax breaks to build up their economy. The efforts appear to be successful and I would think they may want to brag about it.

Larry

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Message from mferl

I suppose that in terms of large issues such as poverty, the Chinese government has an enormous task ahead. They're dealing with millions of people and millions of officials. For me, it brings back the memory of Russian communist block. It's almost impossible to move such a big machine.

Yahoo News-Kyodo
Wednesday May 26, 8:15 PM
China's poverty relief work raises questions at conference

China defines absolute poverty as living on less than $0.70 per day, less than international norms that use a universal figure of a dollar a day.
China's calculation puts 29 million Chinese people under the poverty line, while the international definition suggests that 200 million people lack sufficient means. China says 250 million people were poor in 1978, before economic reforms took effect.
This difference has raised questions among the estimated 600 world leaders attending a poverty relief conference this week in Shanghai, where the Chinese government on the whole has impressed guests with overviews of its poverty relief work since 1978.
Embezzlement of money earmarked for the poor remains an issue in China and other Asian countries, said Geert van der Linden, vice president of the Asian Development Bank.

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Message from lkrant

I agree SARS is a big story! In 2003, China became the third nation to successfully send a man into space and return.

Larry

Clay Dube
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Message from Clay Dube

John Lui, writing for CNET Asia in Dec. 2003, argued that one of the biggest stories in 2003 was that China and India displayed considerable tech strength and used it.

His essay lists the critical tech stories month by month:
http://asia.cnet.com/newstech/specialreports/0,39001151,39161784,00.htm

Among the stories that Lui notes is Fortune's identification of Asia's most powerful woman: Mary Ma, CFO of Legend, Chinese computer maker.

Anonymous (not verified)
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Message from jmaddox

Iraq is the top story if you consider it a part od Asia.
SARS is next with the Korean nuclear threat story held back only by he Bush admin's
miscalculations on the difficulties we would have in that country.

Anonymous (not verified)
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Message from egalicia

yeah i 'd agree that the top asia media story is SARS. i think it's affect was greatest all around. so many dollars were lost because of the decline in tourism and the international credibility/reputation of china in dealing with crisis was scrutinized worldwide. funny how it's always got to do with economics huh?
evangeline from whitman

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Message from rmansdorf

Apparently it's not just SARS, but AIDS as well that is being under-reported from the mainland Chinese perspective. In the situation of a Communist government bent on keeping its privacy, there is little incentive for the government to give realistic or even general information about what the problems may be.

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Message from hpenrod

I agree that SARS is very important. And yes, it did drastically turn Asia's economy intp a decline. There was one interesting story in the LA Times a while back about kimchee in Korea. Kimchee sales were driven up because there were no reported incidences of SARS in Korea, and the Koreans attributed that to Kimchee. Kimchee export sales rose dramatically, as kimchee exports to Asian countries increased because of SARS.

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Message from rliu

Okay, so this subject was originally discussed in 2003. But, I think piracy is still a big issue in China and even Hong Kong. Several years ago, when I went to Hong Kong, I encountered many pirated CDs and DVDs. Sometimes, I even saw pirated movies and cds at what seemed to be legitimate stores. While it is easy to attribute the illegal copying of music and movies to other countries, we have to remember that even in America, there is and has been much illegal filesharing over the internet.