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breaking news Sudden wave of event cancellations in China appear unrelated to COVID

Media reports of an unusual series of cancellations or sudden closures over the past week. The canceled events relate to arts, business and equality:

  • a convention for female tech entrepreneurs in Shanghai
  • a concert by a Japanese group in Guangzhou
  • an outdoor concert “Folkstival”
  • The Beijing LGBT Center has announced its closure.

Add Bloomberg:

  • The organizers of the canceled events have issued an apology that lacks detail, citing a variant of “unforeseen circumstances”, when written in English, or “force majeure”, a legal term for waiving liability in the event of circumstances beyond the control of the will of a supplier. In the Chinese context, it is considered a euphemism for higher powers – the police or other government agencies that enforce rules or apply pressure to stop activities deemed harmful to the state or society.


  • One explanation is a scandal in which authorities fined production company Xiaoguo about $2 million and suspended its performances in two major cities “indefinitely” after comedian Li Haoshi joked about a military slogan of Xi Jinping last weekend.

Given the Chinese Communist Party’s iron fist, I think the last point is about money.

For the markets, at least, it doesn’t appear to be a resurgence of the infection.


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