Detention figures, state-building and decline in smartphone shipments

Where Did the One Million Figure for Detentions in Xinjiang’s Camps Come From?:

The first estimate, from Adrian Zenz, a social scientist at the European School of Culture & Theology, is based on an accounting of the detention camp populations totalling some 892,000 individuals in 68 Xinjiang counties as of the Spring of 2018.


The second estimate comes from the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD). Between mid-2017 and mid-2018, CHRD interviewed eight ethnic Uighurs located in eight different villages in southern Xinjiang. Each person gave their own estimate of the number of people detained in their village, which CHRD used to surmise a detention rate for each village. These village detention rates ranged from 8 to 20 percent, averaging out to 12.8 percent across all eight villages. Just as Zenz did, CHRD “conservatively” rounded down to reach a 10 percent estimated detention rate.

When State-Building Hinders Growth: The Legacy of China's Confucian Bureaucracy:

Do countries with a long history of state-building fare better in the long run? Recent work has shown that earlier state-building may lead to higher levels of present-day growth. By contrast, I use a natural experiment to show that the regions of China with over a thousand years of sustained exposure to state-building are significantly poorer today. The mechanism of persistence, I argue, was the introduction of a civil service exam based on knowledge of Confucian classics, which strengthened the social prestige of the civil service and weakened the prestige of commerce. A thousand years later, the regions of China where the Confucian bureaucracy was first introduced have a more educated population and more Confucian temples, but lower levels of wealth. The paper contributes to an important debate on the Great Divergence, highlighting how political institutions interact with culture to cause long-run patterns of growth.

This is a neat article with some interesting data points. I love to believe in the conclusion but I think the author has the cause and effect sequence wrong.

I think the poorer parts of China tend to be flatter, share common langauge, thus easier to rule through a central state. But because of their location, they are too far away from the coast to benefit from international trades. The wealthier parts tend to have poor transportation system, more cut-off from the central state and, without a better choice, had to rely more on trade, thus enjoying the fruits from doing so.

China smartphone shipments seen down 12-15.5 percent last year: market data:

shipments dropped 15.5 percent to roughly 390 million units for the year, with a 17 percent slump in December.

The Chinese smartphone market, the world’s largest, could shrink another 3 percent this year, Canalys said, in what would be a third straight year of declines. Smartphone shipments in the country had fallen 4 percent in 2017.