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A Chinese detention facility in Kunshan Industrial Park in Artux, Xinjiang region. Photo: Ng Han Guan/AP

The Xinjiang regional government in China's far west is deleting data, destroying documents and tightening controls on information, AP scoops.

Why it matters: That's in response to leaks of classified papers on mass detention camps for Uighurs and other predominantly Muslim minorities.

Crisis meetings began after the N.Y. Times last month published "The Xinjiang Papers," a cache of internal speeches by top leaders, including Xi Jinping.

  • They continued after the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists published secret guidelines for operating detention centers, and instructions on how to use technology to target people.
  • "The China Cables" was written by Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, now Axios' China reporter.

Xinjiang had mandated stricter controls on information before the news reports, then pressure rose, according to Uighurs outside Xinjiang.

  • State offices were told to throw away computers, and put camp information in databases disconnected from the internet, in restricted-access rooms.
  • Some university teachers were ordered to clean out sensitive data on their computers, phones and cloud storage, and delete work-related social media groups.

In some cases, the state appears to be confiscating evidence of detentions.

  • One Uighur, who had been detained in Xinjiang years before, said his ex-wife called him two weeks ago and begged him to send his release papers to her.
  • She said eight officers had come to her home to search for the papers, and threatened she'd be jailed for life if she couldn't produce them.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Biden taps Brian Deese to lead National Economic Council

Brian Deese (L) in 2015 with special envoy for climate change Todd Stern (C) and Secretary of State John Kerry (R). Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden announced Thursday that he has selected Brian Deese, a former Obama climate aide and head of sustainable investing at BlackRock, to serve as director of the National Economic Council.

Why it matters: The influential position does not require Senate confirmation, but Deese's time working for BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager and an investor in fossil fuels, has made him a target of criticism from progressives.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
32 mins ago - Economy & Business

The places regulation does not reach

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Financial regulation is not exactly simple anywhere in the world. But one country stands out for the sheer amount of complexity and confusion in its regulatory regime — the U.S.

Why it matters: Important companies fall through the cracks, largely unregulated, while others contend with a vast array of regulatory bodies, none of which are remotely predictable.

1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Boeing gets huge 737 Max order from Ryanair, boosting hope for quick rebound

Ryanair low cost airline Boeing 737-800 aircraft as seen over the runway. Photo by Nik Oiko/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Dublin-based Ryanair said it would add 75 more planes to an existing order for Boeing's 737 Max airplanes, a giant vote of confidence as Boeing seeks to revive sales of its best-selling plane after a 20-month safety ban following two fatal crashes.

The big picture: Ryanair's big order, on the heels of breakthrough vaccine news, is also a promising sign that the devastated airline industry might recover from the global pandemic sooner than expected.

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