Archives for: 2017

07/20/17

Permalink 05:04:14 pm, by dacare, 135 words, 96 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

New Beijing Hyundai plant completed in Chongqing

A new Beijing Hyundai plant was completed in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality Thursday, raising the company's annual capacity by 22 percent to 1.65 million units.

The plant, the fifth factory of the company, will start operation in August, with an annual production of 300,000 automobiles and 200,000 engines.

Construction of the plant started in June 2015 with a total investment of 7.75 billion yuan (1.15 billion U.S. dollars).

Beijing Hyundai is a joint venture between Beijing Automotive Industry Holding and the Republic of Korea car maker Hyundai Motor.

Chongqing's auto output continued to take the lead in China, with automakers churning out 3.16 million cars last year, 11 percent of the country's total.

The output values of the automobile and electronics manufacturing industries climbed 11.7 percent and 17.7 percent respectively in 2016, and the two industries contributed 55 percent to the city's gross industrial growth last year.

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07/10/17

Permalink 05:16:07 pm, by dacare, 228 words, 272 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Wanda to sell 13 tourism programs and 76 hotels to Sunac for $9.3 billion

Dalian Wanda Group agreed to sell 13 tourism programs as well as 76 hotels to Tianjin-based property company Sunac China Holding in a deal worth 63.17 billion yuan ($9.3 billion) on Monday, according to a statement Wanda sent to the Global Times the same day.

Sunac will acquire 91 percent of the 13 cultural and tourism programs, including those based in Xishuangbanna, Southwest China's Yunnan Province, Hefei, capital of East China's Anhui Province and Harbin, capital of Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, after paying 29.58 billion yuan to Wanda, the statement said. The Hong Kong-listed company will then undertake all the loans for developing those programs.

The company also agreed to buy out 76 hotels owned by Wanda, including Wanda Realm Beijing and Wanda Reign Wuhan for 33.6 billion yuan, the statement noted.

The two firms are expected to sign a detailed agreement by July 31 and complete the transfer of payment, assets and shares "as soon as possible", according to the statement.

After the deals are settled, the transferred cultural and tourism programs will still use the Wanda brand. Wanda is also still responsible for their construction, operation and management.

As of 11:20 a.m., the share price of Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties, the Hong Kong-listed arm of Wanda, has surged to HK$ 1.16 (14.85 cents), almost double the number listed from the opening earlier this morning. The Sunac's shares were suspended from trading on Monday ahead of the acquisition announcement.

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06/23/17

Permalink 03:55:15 pm, by dacare, 226 words, 450 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Catering sector takes a bite out of sharing economy

In the restaurant street outside Beijing's Ritan Park, the day starts slowly, but not for Guo Hongtao, manager of a take-out only restaurant. As online lunch orders begin to pour in, his 20-square-meter kitchen is gearing up for the day. The space is rented from Panda Selected, a start-up that offers co-cooking space to take-out kitchens.

Panda Selected also helps its tenants in a variety of ways, including designing logos, writing menus, planning online operations, connecting them with good suppliers, negotiating with food delivery platforms and applying for business licenses.

As some companies share kitchens with take-out only restaurants, some others share meals. Cengfanqu is one of the apps that bring foodies to household dining tables.

On the other side of the app, home chefs, most of them unemployed housewives living in the countryside, are more than happy to start their own business from home. By benefiting the local rural community, the app has also gained support from the local government.

China's food takeout market totaled 113.3 billion yuan in 2016, according to business think tank Analysys. The massive market means opportunities for kitchen and meal sharing companies.

At the same time, industry insiders say, kitchen and meal sharing remain a fledgling segment of the market. They note that innovation and regulation are the key factors that could help make it a stable part of the sharing economy.

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06/16/17

Permalink 04:19:07 pm, by dacare, 317 words, 233 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Multinational firms lose luster among Chinese students: survey

Multinational companies no longer enjoy recruitment advantages in China as domestic IT and Internet companies increasingly gain favor among Chinese students, according to data released Thursday by international consultancy Universum in Shanghai.

The Stockholm, Sweden-headquartered Universum received assessments of 233 employers from 79,346 students majoring in business, engineering, science, social sciences and humanities, law and medicine.

In the survey, 18 percent of Chinese students said they were willing to work for a multinational, a decrease from 25 percent in 2016 and 28 percent in 2015. The proportions were even lower among science and engineering majors鈥攐nly 16 percent of engineering students and 14 percent of science students wanted to join a multinational after graduation. The students said multinationals were less stable than their domestic counterparts.

This year, the top five most attractive employers for business majors were Alibaba, Huawei, Bank of China, Ernst & Young, and PricewaterhouseCoopers, while the top five most favored by engineering students were Huawei, Tencent, Alibaba, Baidu and Microsoft.

Alibaba and Huawei were also attractive to other majors. Alibaba was the second most attractive employer among science students and the top among students of social sciences and humanities. Huawei took the first spot among science students, and was the second most popular among business students and majors in social sciences and humanities. Tencent also ranked high among various majors.

Chinese Internet companies were well known for competitive compensations that came with highly stressful workloads. But the survey found Chinese students attributed these companies' attractiveness to their entrepreneurial spirit, creative working environment, team work and corporate social responsibility. The students valued "a sound support for future career development" when it came to choosing an employer.

Wu Gang, the vice-president of Universum's Asia-Pacific region, said that "In recent years, through our surveys and research, we've found an obvious change. That is, China's indigenous IT and Internet companies are becoming increasingly popular, while the competitive advantages multinationals used to enjoy are no longer that noticeable."

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06/13/17

Permalink 04:33:18 pm, by dacare, 443 words, 141 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Investors will be wary of putting money into independent media

Investors will be more cautious in putting money into "content producers" as the industry faces more risks after China's online regulator recently shut dozens of entertainment social media accounts, industry experts told the Global Times on Monday.

About 30 WeChat accounts mainly covering celebrity scandals have been closed, the Guangdong Province office of the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), the Internet and mobile app regulator, said in a notice on Saturday.

Some of the accounts won investors' attention because of their popularity, but the closure will definitely hurt their investors, Xiong Gang, chairman and founding partner of China ASB Ventures, an investment management company, told the Global Times on Monday.

The Beijing office of the CAC said in a notice on Wednesday that 60 popular celebrity gossip social media accounts were closed in line with the country's new cybersecurity law, which was effective on June 1.

The closed WeChat accounts include Dushe Movie, a movie criticism app that had more than 2 million followers.

Germany-based Bertelsmann Asia Investments led a series A funding round in Dushe, valuing it at 300 million yuan ($44.13 million), according to a report by financial news portal China Money Network in August 2016.

Xiong warned that investors need to weigh risks before choosing these projects, adding that it's very important for "content producers" to comply with the law in China.

Xiong said that his company will instead invest in sectors based on technology innovation, which offer relative stability.

There is still potential in the media industry, however.

In 2017, the independent media in China will be more regulated and sites producing high-quality content will more easily get investors' attention, said a white paper released in February by Beijing-based topklout.com, a research company focusing on independent media.

"We have invested in some projects in the entertainment industry such as video platforms," Yu Wenhui, founder of the Guangzhou-based investment company Thunderstorm VC, told the Global Times on Monday.

The projects his company invested in are mostly operated on several platforms, not like some accounts that are limited to WeChat, because having only one platform is risky, according to Yu.

Of the accounts that were closed on WeChat, some may seek new channels and opportunities.

"But it costs a lot to regain public attention and attract investors," Yu noted.

Some experts said that the closures' impact will be limited.

"Although some of the social media accounts are quite popular, it's still hard to monetize their estimated value" anyway, said Chang Zongfeng, co-founder of Shanghai-based crowdfunding company baichouhui.com.

Investors will be more cautious as they will need to know whether a site's content is in line with the country's cybersecurity law, Chang told the Global Times on Monday.

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06/08/17

Permalink 05:20:19 pm, by dacare, 251 words, 186 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Beijing's first private bank set to open


The Beijing office of China's banking regulator on Tuesday approved the opening of Zhongguancun Bank, the capital's first private financial institution. It will be the 13th such bank granted permission to operate in the country.

The registered capital of the bank is four billion yuan (590,000 U.S. dollars). The bank has 11 stakeholders, the majority of them being innovative tech enterprises located in the Zhonguancun area of Haidian district, a hub known for tech start-ups.

Private stakeholders

The biggest stakeholder is Yonyou Network Co., Ltd., an enterprise management software and cloud service provider with 100 offices around the world. Yonyou has been listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange since 2001. The company holds a 29.8% stake in the bank.

According to the Beijing office of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, the bank will serve the needs of SMEs in the technology sector, providing them with support in funding and other financial services, boosting the innovative development of companies in the Zhongguancun area and other Chinese SMEs using technologies such as Big Data and cloud computing.

China promotes private banks

In 2014, China approved a pilot scheme which set up five private banks to give private capital a bigger role in the country's financial system.

In June last year, the State Council released guidelines aimed at promoting the development of private banks by encouraging and guiding private capital to the banking sector.

The government aims to provide more individualized and convenient financial services to medium-and-small sized companies, rural areas, agriculture and farmers and mass entrepreneurship and innovation.

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06/07/17

Permalink 04:40:16 pm, by dacare, 572 words, 118 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Sand from Naiman Banner has turned the desert region into an exporting hub with high-tech industrial products


A worker at Naiman Banner Huaxin Silicate Products carries bricks inside the company's factory.

Sand from Naiman Banner has turned the desert region into an exporting hub with high-tech industrial products

You might have just walked on "magic bricks".

If you stroll outside Beijing's National Aquatics Center, also known as the Water Cube, on a rainy day, you will notice something very different.

The water instantly drains through the paving stones, or bricks, before traveling through the drainage system below.

"Our bricks have been used in more than 500 projects in 13 municipalities and provinces," said Ye Haoqian, general manager of the Inner Mongolia Renchuang Ecology Environmental Protection Industry Co Ltd, which makes the paving stones. "They effectively solve the problems of urban flooding and disperse rainwater."

Inner Mongolia Renchuang Sand is based in Naiman Banner of Tongliao city in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region.

The high-tech enterprise turns silica sand into a coated substance, widely used in sectors such as oil exploration, construction and casting as well as paving stones.

Naturally, the price increases from about 300 yuan ($44.1) per metric ton for untreated sand to up to 6,000 yuan per ton for the coated product that has liquid-permeability properties.

This allows water to pass through without destroying the bricks or turning them into mush.

"With patented technologies, we are now planning to export our products to the United States, with annual productivity of 600,000 tons of specially-treated industrial sands," Ren said.

Still, the company is just one of 38 businesses involved in the industry in Naiman Banner.

Around one million tons of sand a year come from the region.

But then, the area is famous for it with the industry employing 2,000 workers, while annually revenue tops 2 billion yuan, according to local government data.

There are numerous grades of products, including building material sand, mechanical precision casting sand and glass making sand.

Since Naiman Banner is located at the heart of the Kolqin "Sand Land" that is hardly surprising. Up to 62 percent of the region is desert and it used to be one of the poorest areas in China.

Every year, villages used to be buried in sand, whipped up by the constant wind forcing residents to move out.

But in the 1980s scientists made an exciting discovery?Naiman Banner was rich in the finest silica sands with reserves of 50 billion tons.

With the building blocks of an industrial-scale production line, the government decided to develop the sector by rolling out the Angnai Sand Mine in 1984.

"Relying on the large reserves of silica sand, local government has developed the industry and turned what many saw as waste into wealth," said Zhu Zhenmin, deputy director of forestry bureau in Naiman Banner.

So far, there are six industrial parks and three of them are built on sand.

"We do not take over arable land when it comes to industrial development," Zhu said. "Sand has become a specific character in attracting investment."

Major Chinese companies, including Renchuang Sand, the largest in the sector, moved there from Beijing.

"By attracting well-known enterprises, we have introduced technologies and solved the problem of financing," Zhu said.

The central government has also helped to cultivate high-tech businesses by setting up research and development organizations.

Naiman Banner Huaxin Silicate Products Co Ltd has developed 21 new products and obtained 12 patents. It manufactures lime-sand bricks.

"Our annual sales revenue hit 30 million yuan last year with total asset exceeding 60 million yuan," said Pan Taiyan, general manager of the company.

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06/02/17

Permalink 02:59:14 pm, by dacare, 419 words, 190 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Lotte to sell loss-making stores


A Lotte Mart in Beijing, Feb 28, 2017.

Lotte Mart, the retail arm of South Korea's Lotte Group, is expected to sell some of its loss-making stores in China, a South Korean newspaper reported.

But it is finding it hard to sell the stores at a decent price or even find a proper buyer at a time when the hypermarket format is no longer attractive to local consumers.

The South Korean retailer is in negotiations with potential Chinese buyers to sell 20-30 of its loss-making stores. At present, 90 percent of its 74 hypermarkets are no longer in operation, according to Aju Business Daily.

Jason Yu, general manager of Kantar Worldpanel China, said Lotte is seeking buyers for its struggling stores but will keep its profit-making outlets.

"Lotte doesn't have many advantages. Its best option is to sell its business to local retailers in China, which are likely to be interested in Lotte's regional presence if they want to boost their dominance in specific regions."

"It is hard for Lotte to sell at a good price given that the hypermarket business model is struggling for survival and consumers favor smaller formats such as convenience stores and online shopping," said Yu.

"Lotte's main problem is it failed to keep pace with the profound changes in China's retail environment," said Yu.

According to the Korea Herald, South Korean retail group Shinsegae Group has decided to close its chain of discount supermarkets in China. Shinsegae Vice-Chairman Chung Yong-jin told reporters that the company's E-mart chain will be leaving the Chinese market after 20 years.

According to a Shinsegae spokesman, the E-mart stores will be closed at the earliest possible date, depending on local contract conditions for each store.

Despite aggressive investment, the chain failed to gain traction and underwent massive restructuring. At the end of 2010, the chain had 26 stores, but it now operates just six.

"Failure to adapt to the changing demands of Chinese consumers and retaining the same business model for years were held as the major reasons for the exit of E-mart in China," said Yu.

In the first quarter of this year, hypermarkets, supermarkets and convenience stores grew only 0.3 percent, according to Kantar's report.

Some traditional retailers have met the challenge of change in the nation's consumer market by improving their offerings in fields such as fresh and imported food, and tie-ups with e-commerce.

For example, Wal-mart Stores Inc moved onto the platform of JD.com Inc on May 25, to make the best use of JD's massive logistics system and Wal-mart's global merchandise supply.

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05/18/17

Permalink 04:49:58 pm, by dacare, 525 words, 399 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

China to increase momentum in smart manufacturing

China will focus on smart manufacturing by integrating the strategy of "Made in China 2025" with the Internet Plus Initiative as well as entrepreneurship and innovation to upgrade the country's traditional industries and help advance economic restructuring.

The decision was made at a State Council executive meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday when a report on the strategy's implementation was delivered to participants.

Since implementing the strategy in 2015, the country has seen a steady progress in industrial capabilities, smart manufacturing, innovation, and product quality and branding. A recent case in point was the passenger jet C919 that took its first test flight earlier this month.

The meeting decided to focus on smart manufacturing and further deploy new technologies such as the industrial internet to make manufacturing a smarter and greener sector that offers better services and products.

Average productivity was up by 38 percent for China's first 109 pilot projects of smart manufacturing, while operating costs dropped by 21 percent, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

The premier said "Made in China 2025", as a crucial part of the supply-side structural reform, is vital to moving the country's economy up the value chain. The key is to exploiting advantages of China's domestic market and human resources, as well as further promotion of basic research and innovations, he said.

"Implementation of the strategy has introduced strength to the real economy, especially the equipment manufacturing. However, we should also keep aware of our weak links as much of the industry is at the medium and lower end of global supply," Li said.

"Made in China 2025" was first unveiled in the Government Work Report in March 2015. Two months later, the State Council released a guideline, which focused on five key projects, including smart manufacturing, and 10 key fields such as new materials.

Key technologies will be on top of agenda, including independent research and development. Innovative development in fields such as new materials and robots will be accelerated.

As of Wednesday, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has approved pilot regions for the strategy, namely 12 cities such as Ningbo in Zhejiang province and three city clusters in provinces such as Jiangsu. Some of them will be designated as the country's demonstration areas, which will get favorable policies in investment, financing and other fields.

The premier urged to establish demonstration areas, where small and medium-sized enterprises can develop with large companies for collaborated growth and greater global competitiveness.

The meeting also decided to cultivate a new model of incorporating the manufacturing sector with the Internet Plus Initiative. The country will strengthen cooperation with other countries to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.

The country will introduce advanced management, raise quality standards and guide companies to put quality as their top priorities. More efforts will be made to attract and recruit talents from home and abroad. More items for governmental approvals will be streamlined with lower threshold for market access and improved oversights to nurture an excellent business environment. Greater financing supports will be given to the real economy to increase resources for industrial upgrading. Intellectual property rights will also be given greater emphasis to safeguard legitimate rights of market entities.

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05/09/17

Permalink 05:28:00 pm, by dacare, 543 words, 339 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

China toughens auditing of overseas investment by state-owned companies

Chinese authorities will introduce an improved, rigorous system of auditing overseas investment by state-owned companies as the pressure of cross-border capital flow remains.

The auditing system focuses on decision-making by state-owned companies on overseas investment and joint ventures, and their financial management and internal control, in addition to capital security, operating benefits and risk control of overseas state-owned assets.

Major methods of auditing include domestic inspection, auditing and analysis of documents and inquiries into relevant parties.

If necessary, regulators will go overseas for on-site verification and evidence collection in accordance with international practices and laws of the countries in which state-owned companies invest.

Outbound investment has grown rapidly in recent years and played an important role in deepening mutually beneficial cooperation between China and other countries as well as promoting domestic economic restructuring.

However, irrational speculation, illegal transfer of assets, and fake transactions all disrupt China's foreign exchange and financial markets, causing state-owned asset losses and hurting national interests.

A recent report released by China's foreign exchange regulator unveiled some cases in which companies had illegally transferred assets overseas under the guise of outbound investment.

Some newly established firms, which had produced nothing, were providing large sums of outbound investment. Some heavily indebted companies borrowed more to acquire companies overseas. These are just a few of the examples listed by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange.

Risks are inherent in any investment and cannot be avoided. Given growth in overseas state-owned assets, regulation of those assets has been a new challenge facing Chinese authorities.

In support of the country's "going out" strategy for investment, businesses of state-owned companies, especially centrally administered ones, have expanded to more than 150 countries and regions with over five trillion yuan (about 725 billion U.S. dollars) in overseas assets, earning global fame for high-speed train, nuclear power and ultra high voltage projects.

Compared to foreign multinational giants, Chinese state-owned companies lack experience in overseas operations and risk control.

With more companies "going out," China's overseas investment has been exposed to complicated problems in culture, human resources and corporate management. Some enterprises have paid high prices for those problems.

"The first step is to roll out measures to regulate overseas investment, the second is to stipulate company operations strictly, and the third is to develop a system of accountability," said Xiao Yaqing, head of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC).

Noting an irrational tendency in outbound investment, Chinese authorities have set stricter rules and advised companies to make their investment decisions more carefully.

Since the beginning of 2017, SASAC has introduced negative lists and designated investment redlines for both domestic and overseas investment by state-owned companies.

"There is no doubt that a more comprehensive and stringent auditing system will help standardize China's overseas investment and contribute to maintaining and increasing the value of state-owned assets," said Li Jin, chief researcher with the China Enterprise Research Institute.

China's outbound direct investment fell by 64 percent year on year to reach 20.9 billion U.S. dollars in the first quarter, thanks to increasingly rational market players and guidance by relevant government departments.

Last year, the country's outbound direct investment surged over 40 percent from a year earlier, the result of an increasingly globalized Chinese economy and also stemming from some irrational or illegal acts.

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05/08/17

Permalink 05:28:00 pm, by dacare, 245 words, 190 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

China's trade surplus widens in April

China's foreign trade surplus widened in April as import growth decline outpaced that of exports, customs data showed Monday.

Exports in yuan-denominated terms rose 14.3 percent year on year to 1.24 trillion yuan (179.8 billion U.S. dollars), down from the 22.3-percent increase in March.

Imports expanded 18.6 percent to 979.1 billion yuan, compared with a 26.3-percent increase a month ago.

That leaves a trade surplus of 262.3 billion yuan, up 0.6 percent year on year. The surplus widened from 164.3 billion yuan seen in March.

In the first four months, total trade volume added up to 8.42 trillion yuan, up 20.3 percent year on year.

While the April trade growth fell short of expectations, customs data reflected improved trade structure.

In the first four months, general trade expanded 21.6 percent year on year to 4.75 trillion yuan, accounting for 56.5 percent of the total trade volume.

Trade of private enterprises grew 21.7 percent to 3.17 trillion yuan in the first four months, accounting for 37.6 percent of the total, and 0.4 percentage points higher than the same period last year.

Despite rising protectionism and anti-globalization sentiment, China's imports and exports with major trade partners remained strong.

During the first four months, trade with the European Union gained 15.5 percent year on year to 1.24 trillion yuan, accounting for 14.8 percent of the total. Trade with the United States expanded 20.3 percent to 1.18 trillion yuan, making it China's second largest trade partner.

Customs data also showed that a leading indicator for China's exports rebounded from 40.2 to 40.7 month on month in April, signalling positive potential in exports.

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05/05/17

Permalink 02:00:38 pm, by dacare, 248 words, 256 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

WeChat to make payment service available in U.S.

WeChat is already one of China's most popular mobile payment methods. Now the social media app, owned by Internet giant Tencent, is teaming up with Silicon mobile payment startup Citcon to take its services to the U.S. market.

Through WeChat accounts, users will be able to pay for whatever they need in Chinese currency RMB without cash, just as they do in China.

For four consecutive years, China has been the world number one outbound tourism country, accounting for over 13 percent of the total tourism revenue globally. The United States has been one of the most popular destinations for Chinese travelers.

"Last year, over 100 million Chinese people traveled outside of China. Once they see this place can accept WeChat Pay, they can use their mobile phones. They certainly receive much warmer welcomes? from foreign countries," according to Chuck Huang, CEO of Citcon.

Mobile payment is the new frontier of commerce, and China is leading this trend. By providing an easy-to-use mobile payment and cross-border marketing solution, WeChat is empowering global merchants to connect with millions of Chinese consumers.

Currently, WeChat Pay is available in 15 countries and regions, for payments in 12 foreign currencies.

Tencent has now joined Apple and Google-parent Alphabet in the ranks of the world's biggest firms by market capitalization, with a value of more than 302 billion U.S. dollars. Shares in the tech company hit a record high on Tuesday.

It's the only firm outside the U.S. among the world's top 10 most valuable companies.?

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05/04/17

Permalink 03:34:26 pm, by dacare, 268 words, 216 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Alibaba's Yu'ebao becomes world's largest money market fund

Alibaba's Yu'ebao is now the world's top money market fund with 1.2 trillion yuan (170 billion U.S. dollars) of assets in the first quarter this year. However, growth in interest rates hasn't been expanding along with the size of the fund.

Data from Alibaba shows registered users of Yu'ebao reached 300 million as of the beginning of this year, and Yu'ebao's total assets now exceed the size of the money market fund run by JP Morgan.

The annual return Yu'ebao is now paying is only around 3.9 percent, however, notably less than it has paid historically.

Still, as the returns are both stable and better than those offered by commercial banks, many investors are sticking with it.

Other factors leading to the popularity of Yu'ebao are that it is easy for users to manage, and that it has a low investment threshold with only one yuan.

An increasingly important point, however, is that the annual interest Yu'ebao pays is nowhere near as high as when it was launched.

The current interest rate on a Yu'ebao investment is down by almost 40 percent from its 2014 peak. Some customers are becoming skeptical.

However, the lower interest rates don't necessarily mean that a Yu'ebao investment has no risks.

The main risks of money market funds come from interest rates and the liquidity risk. Once money market funds go into deficit, investors will want to cash out. Similar cases happened in 2008 financial crisis.

In fact, the overall size of China's money market funds is falling.

Total assets of money market funds in China was 3.9 trillion yuan in the first quarter this year, down by 7 percent quarter-on-quarter.

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05/03/17

Permalink 03:44:53 pm, by dacare, 503 words, 201 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Robots replace human labor beyond manufacturing bases


A robot arm writes calligraphy.

The smart technology leading to an explosive growth of robotic replacement for human labor has begun to flourish beyond the traditional manufacturing bases, but also in China's service industry.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, robots have replaced humans in manual work in 5,000 industrial programs over the past four years in Zhejiang Province, involving investment totaling 500 billion yuan (US$72.5 billion).

Ling Yun, deputy director of the Zhejiang Provincial Economic and Information Technology Commission, said that, by 2015, the usual manual labor pool has slimmed down by some two million workers.

Moreover, Anhui, Guangdong and Shandong provinces are pressing ahead with robotic substitutes in their cutting-edge industries where manual jobs for both men and women are being substantially reduced.

According to the Beijing Morning Post, jobs better suited to robots comprise the assembly of intelligent vehicles, firefighting and medical care, which all benefit from the employment of industrial data analysis, information technology and 3D auxiliary design.

The workshop of Shenzhen Rapoo Technology, facing a labor shortage of labor from 2005, purchased 75 robots in 2011, with immediate benefits in declining labor costs.

Nowadays, one of its computer keyboard assembly lines needs only five workers responsible for monitoring the automatic processing by the robots that have replaced an estimated 100 workers previously employed there.

The replacement has continued to prevail by moving from assembly lines to banking and logistics.

In 2015, China Construction Bank installed a number of robots to replace staff in its call center. Currently, STO Express, one of China's leading privately- owned logistic companies, has adopted 320 robots to categorize deliveries in Linyi City, Shandong Province.

The robots can deal with 18,000 parcels weighing a maximum of five kilograms each every single hour at a high rate (often 100 percent) of accuracy. As a result, the labor force in the Linyi branch was cut by 80 percent from 150 to 30.

Despite the expansion of robots into the job market, experts have assured human workers not to overact to the smart automatic fashion as the trend can free them from the shackles of mundane toil for more complicated techniques and meaningful endeavor.

Wang Yamin, an employee from Guangdong Changying Precision High-Tech Co Ltd, said, that when the work she was doing was temporarily taken over by robots, she attended a two-month training enabling her to get a promotion to be a technician with increased salary.

"Currently, the robots, whose sensors remain weak, can only run in a certain framework," said Ding Han, dean of the Mechanical Science and Engineering School of Huazhong University of Science and Technology.

"The special robots have to complete their missions with remote controls," he added.

According to NEKKEI's Chinese news web, more and more young people receiving high education in China are not interested in repetitious manual jobs, which, in addition to the rising labor costs, are challenging the manufacturing competence of the country.

The advent of robots, which can be used for at least 10 years, helps the country, an economic locomotive in the world, sustain the momentum of economic growth.

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04/25/17

Permalink 02:36:22 pm, by dacare, 299 words, 405 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Finance, real estate industries offer highest executive pay

Executives in the finance and real estate industries have the highest pay among 1,894 listed companies that announced their annual financial reports in 2016, said China Economic Weekly.

On average, executive pay packets hit 7.09 million yuan ($1.02 million) in 2016, up eight percent year-on-year, higher than the rate of China's GDP and per capita disposable incomes, which were 6.7 percent and 6.3 percent respectively. Yet disparities are clear among sectors and companies.

Among the 18 sectors categorized by the China Securities Regulatory Commission, financial executives ranked the highest with annual pay of 27.36 million yuan, followed by real estate executives at 11.18 million.

The average pay for executives in educational companies was the lowest, just over 2.8 million yuan and about one tenth that of their counterparts in the financial sector.

The quickest growth in executive pay on average came from the hotel and catering sectors, at 47.58 percent. But top managers at companies in the fields of scientific research and technology services saw their pay decrease by 4.2 percent.

Executives at leading Chinese insurer Ping An snatched the highest pay at 108 million yuan, about 158 times higher than executives working for Puyang Huicheng Electronic Material.

Twenty-four companies reported their executive pay as being lower than one million yuan, and 1,033 companies put the figure between one million and five million. Ten companies announced that their executives were paid more than 50 million yuan.

Seven executives received pay above the 10 million yuan threshold. Lin Yong, an executive assistant at Haitong Securities, scored the highest pay packet at 15.49 million yuan. Ping An's Chief Investment Officer Chen Dexian and Yin Ke, the former executive director at CITIC Securities, received pay packets of 12.86 million and 12.08 million respectively.

Wang Jie, the general manager of a Beijing-based investment company, said the higher pay for executives in the financial and real estate industries shows the imbalance in development in China.

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04/24/17

Permalink 05:06:20 pm, by dacare, 522 words, 182 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Buyers' interest spurs clean energy market innovation

As Chinese people are showing a growing interest in new energy vehicles, industry insiders are urging carmakers to make technological progress to remain competitive and calling for change in sales and after-sales policies to boost consumption.

Automakers are presenting 159 new energy cars at the ongoing Shanghai auto show, representing about 11 percent of all exhibits at the event.

According to a recent report from measurement company Nielsen, the popularity of clean energy vehicles is rising among Chinese consumers due to improvements in the cars' performance and mileage.

The report, based on a survey of 2,307 respondents from the country, said 27 percent of car-buyers are considering purchasing purely electric cars and 25 percent are interested in plug-in hybrids.

This is the first time that electric cars have attracted more fans than plug-in hybrids since the annual survey launched in 2012.

Nielsen said electric cars available in the country had an average mileage of 164 kilometers in 2016 and the number has grown to 252 km this year.

However, the survey revealed that people expect on average a range of 374 km from electric cars.

The company said such expectations would push traditional carmakers to improve their research and development.

"It is one of the best times as a new sector develops; it is also one of the worst times as competition is extremely fierce. Carmakers must do their best," said Olive Zhang, vice-president of Nielsen China.

Some traditional carmakers have released concrete plans.

German carmaker Volkswagen said electric models based on its current platform can achieve a range of 300 km and those on its MEB platform will double the figure. "Cars based on the MEB platform are scheduled to be localized in China by 2020," said Jochem Heizmann, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group China.

New players continue to join the race. Within a year the authorities have approved 13 new energy carmakers' plans to build their plants. Their combined investment stands at 26 billion yuan ($3.8 billion) and their combined annual capacity will reach 760,000 vehicles.

Electric car startup NextEV is showcasing 11 models at the Shanghai auto show in the hope of getting a slice of the growing market.

China has been the world's largest new energy car market since 2015. Last year, it sold 507,000 electric cars, plug-in hybrids and fuel cell models, 53 percent growth year-on-year.

The rise in their sales could prompt car dealers to change how they run their business, said Shen Jinjun, president of the China Automobile Dealers Association, at a new energy car meeting in Shanghai.

He said such cars differ from gasoline ones in that they need little daily maintenance, which is now a major source of revenue for gasoline car dealers. Shen suggested that the companies could consider shifting the focus of their business from car sales and maintenance to building experience centers.

Nielsen's report shows that 60 percent of potential buyers would undertake online research, while about a quarter go to brick and mortar stores to see new energy cars and test-drive them.

Shen's organization has been pushing for changes to the current car warranty policy, which was tailor-made for gasoline cars.

The warranty covers major components such as the engine and the gearbox, which electric cars do not have.

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04/21/17

Permalink 05:26:33 pm, by dacare, 367 words, 260 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Tencent sees huge advances for AI in manufacturing

China's manufacturing sector is set to climb the adoption curve of cloud computing and artificial intelligence this year, after the service industry reaped early gains from the internet, said Pony Ma, chairman of Tencent Holdings Ltd.

As new technologies cascade through markets, less productive business models will cede ground to more innovative ones which are streamlining business processes and optimizing supply and demand, he told a packed audience at a digital economy conference on Thursday.

"With initial strides being made in the service sector, manufacturing, which is the backbone of China's economy, has begun heavily investing in the building blocks of the internet economy. Traditional manufacturers, rather than internet firms, are leading this wave of disruptive innovation," Ma said.

Tencent, the gaming-to-cloud computing conglomerate, will play its part as "an infrastructure provider and a connector", he added, by sharing its big data analytics, location-based services, artificial intelligence and payment solutions with industrial players.

As part of that initiative, Tencent is providing its cloud computing might to build an industrial big-data platform for Sany Group Co Ltd, the nation's leading machinery equipment maker.

The virtual platform connects Sany's existing 300,000 devices globally and uses predictive analysis to head off problems before they happen, according to He Dongdong, Sany's senior vice-president. Through remote monitoring, malfunctions can be detected in real time and repaired within 24 hours, he said.

Ma told the conference that digitally-enabled innovation is likely to penetrate into the agricultural sector. Similar improvements are taking shape in the marketing and distribution of Tongwei Group, a feed and aquatic products maker.

Ma said it relied on Tencent's WeChat service to pair supply with demand. The increased digital engagement, including the adoption of location-based services, also expanded the company's reach and enriched customer interactions, he said.

Yang Yuanqing, chief executive officer of Lenovo Group Ltd, said Chinese manufacturers are exploring ways to employ big data on inventories and shipments to improve product planning, and were banking on artificial intelligence to provide predictive analysis and self-servicing capabilities.

"Companies will realize broad productivity gains in their operations by automating processes, streamlining product development and digitally reinforcing their supply chains," said Zhou Qiren, a professor of the National School of Development at Peking University.

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04/19/17

Permalink 04:54:06 pm, by dacare, 226 words, 234 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei pool $15b rail fund to boost integration

Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province have set up a 100 billion yuan ($14.54 billion) joint railway fund to boost regional integration, authorities announced on Tuesday.

About 54 billion yuan, or 90 percent of the initial installment, comes from social capital with a time period of 10 years, according to Tianjin Daily.

The fund plans to invest 70 percent on inter-city railway construction, and the rest on land development along the routes.

Regional projects, including Beijing-Tangshan rail, Shijiazhuang-Hengshui-Cangzhou rail, and a second one connecting Beijing and Tianjin, which stops at Binhai New Area, will start construction this year.

Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Railway Investment Co, the lead coordinator of the fund, signed agreement with 12 financial institutions, including the country's big five banks, Ping An Asset Management Co, and Capital Development Investment Fund Management Co in Beijing.

The fund is part of year-long effort by local authorities to renovate financing model in railway construction and attract social capital under market mechanism.

In all, Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei will see an addition of nine inter-city rail lines by 2020, with a total estimated investment of 247 billion yuan, according to a notice released by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). Commute time between major cities and their surrounding counties will be significantly reduced.

China rolled out the integration plan for Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei in 2015 to address urban problems such as traffic and air pollution and seek balanced development of the region.

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04/18/17

Permalink 02:16:30 pm, by dacare, 195 words, 217 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Skoda debuts first electric car in Shanghai


Skoda CEO Bernhard Maier showcases the company's electric car Vision E on April 17.

Czech carmaker Skoda Auto has unveiled its first ever electric concept car in Shanghai, declaring that electric cars will be a pillar of its development strategy.

The Vision E has a maximum output of 225 kilowatts and can run at a top speed of 180 km/h, with a mileage of 500 km.

The concept also features Level 3 autonomous driving, which means it can drive itself on express ways and park itself without human intervention.

The first of these electric cars will hit the market in 2020.

Skoda CEO Bernhard Maier said it will launch five entirely electric cars in various segments of the market before 2025.

In addition to the concept car, Skoda announced it will release an estate car, Octavia Combi, into the Chinese market later this year.

China has been Skoda's largest market worldwide.

It sold 317,000 cars to Chinese customers last year, and Skoda plans to double sales by 2020 with its growing portfolio.

Skoda entered the Chinese market in 2007 and has since localized its models with SAIC Volkswagen. Statistics show that it has sold more than 2 million cars in China in the past 10 years.

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04/17/17

Permalink 03:42:11 pm, by dacare, 197 words, 207 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Disposable income growth outpaces GDP growth in China

Chinese people's disposable income expanded at a faster pace than economic growth in the first quarter of this year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Monday.

Per capita nominal disposable income of Chinese nationwide rose 8.5 percent in the first three months from a year ago, and per capita real disposable income after taking into consideration the effects of inflation increased 7 percent, outpacing the gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 6.9 percent in the period, NBS figures showed.

Breakdown figures showed that urban residents' per capita real disposable income grew 6.3 percent year on year in the first quarter to 9,986 yuan (about 1,452 U.S. dollars), while per capita disposable income of rural residents rose at a faster pace of 7.2 percent in the period to 3,880 yuan.

Other indicators released by the NBS on Monday, including fixed-asset investment and industrial production, pointed to stabilization in the world's second-largest economy.

NBS spokesperson Mao Shengyong said the economy had achieved a rosy start this year and the income gap between rural and urban residents narrowed, laying a solid foundation to realizing its full-year economic target.

The government trimmed this year's growth goal to around 6.5 percent from a range of 6.5 to 7 percent for 2016.

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04/14/17

Permalink 02:38:56 pm, by dacare, 450 words, 200 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Integrity of workers, companies crucial in job-hopping era

The head of a human resources market research company in China has called for companies, based throughout the nation, to strengthen integrity management processes in China's job market, as well as encouraged government officials to improve relevant laws and regulations.

Tian Yongpo, from the Chinese Academy of Personnel Science, said "integrity at work is even more important in such an era with explosive information about jobs", and added for example the mobility of Chinese labor forces gradually increased from 2010 to 2014.

Tian said, at a forum held by people.com.cn in Beijing on Wednesday, China's floating population grew 12.65 percent, moving from 221 million to 253 million people, from 2010 to 2014.

"Huge information about jobs have accumulated during the process," he said.

"Among explosive information, a problem will certainly arise about information transfer and distortion.

"As a result, our credibility at work is greatly influenced."

His comments came shortly before a survey, published at the forum, which stated more than 80 percent of respondents said the credibility of Chinese workplaces were poor.

The survey collected information from more than 6000 people, as well as 3000 human resources managers, and was carried out by a website that helps companies investigate personal information, 17zhiliao.com, between March 10 and April 10, 2017.

More than half of the respondents to the survey believed dishonest behavior had resulted in a loss to companies and individuals.

Guo Wenlong, the deputy head for Labor Law Studies of Shanghai Law Society, said the "call for a law is natural since one could not get all the information he needs to (determine if a person in focus is credible or not)."

Guo went on to mention authority figures should improve laws and regulations on the non-competition agreement in the labor law, as the occasional employee has operated in a grey area to avoid company requirements and restrictions.

HR managers listed the worst behavior as missing job interviews, slacking off at work and even job-hopping.

Individuals overstating work performance and experience, as well as falsifying their educational background, were recorded as the most common dishonest behaviors to be seen.

To avoid hiring these types of candidates, 97 percent of HR mangers believed it was necessary to investigate the information job seekers' provided during the early stages of recruitment.

More than 90 percent of job seekers agreed to the necessity of a background check; however, most people believed companies should seek the candidate's approval before undertaking their enquiries.

Li Aijun, a law professor with the China University of Political Science and Law, urged companies to follow China's rules, regulations and laws while undertaking investigations into personal information.

She cautioned the act of obtaining sickness records, property information and particular criminal history records, as these acts could become illegal after a certain point.

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04/13/17

Permalink 04:59:51 pm, by dacare, 177 words, 171 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

China FDI growth slows in March

Foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Chinese mainland rose 6.7 percent year on year in March, slowing from February, official data showed Thursday.

FDI reached 87.8 billion yuan (12.8 billion U.S. dollars) in March, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said in a statement.

The growth rate was lower than the 9.2-percent increase recorded in February.

Total FDI in the first three months of the year edged up 1 percent year on year to 226.5 billion yuan, the MOC said.

During the same period, 6,383 new foreign-funded enterprises were established on the Chinese mainland, up 7.2 percent year on year.

Most investment went to the service sector, which saw FDI expand 7.1 percent year on year in the first quarter to account for 73 percent of the total FDI.

Investment in utility services soared 165.6 percent year on year, while high-tech services attracted 28.7 billion yuan of investment, up 12.4 percent year on year.

Investment from the European Union grew 11.2 percent in the first quarter, the MOC data showed.

Last year, China attracted 126 billion U.S. dollars of foreign direct investment, the largest recipient among developing countries, data showed.

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04/11/17

Permalink 01:19:43 pm, by dacare, 169 words, 197 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

German hardware giant establishes first retail store in China

German hardware giant Wurth Group opened its first retail store in northeast China's Liaoning Province on Monday.

The store, located in the China-Germany Equipment Manufacturing Industrial Park in the province's capital Shenyang, displays thousands of products, such as fasteners, tools, chemical products and personal protection equipment.

"The favorable location and preferential policies of Liaoning, one of China's northeastern rust belt provinces, offered many development opportunities for investors," said Larry Stevens, CEO of Wurth China.

"We hope Wurth can introduce more advanced products and technology into this park, have further cooperation with local companies, as well as offer new ideas for the industrial development," said Li Baojun, deputy director of the management committee of the industrial park.

Founded in 2015, the China-Germany Equipment Manufacturing Industrial Park covers 48 square kilometers, attracts intelligent manufacturing, high-end equipment, automobile, industrial service and strategic emerging industries.

Wurth Group, founded in 1945, is a world market leader in the assembly and fastening material trade. It entered the Chinese market in 1994 and has 1,200 employees in more than 100 Chinese cities.

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04/10/17

Permalink 03:35:48 pm, by dacare, 392 words, 143 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Logistics makes shopping seamless in the new era

Logistics will play a critical role in fulfilling a seamless shopping experience in the era of the "New Retail", experts said.

As merchants begin to lean more on omnichannel sales, retailers need to tailor how a product is purchased and delivered to meet customer demands.

A survey of the world's leading retailers last November showed the top reasons for embarking on the omnichannel journey are to preserve a slice of the market share and improve customer loyalty.

The survey was conducted by US-based ARC Advisory Group in conjunction with logistics consultancy DC Velocity.

Most retailers are looking for the simplest means possible to integrate the new platforms within their existing infrastructure.

The study found out that three-quarters of retailers fulfilled orders from multiple channels through a single facility, laying a clear foundation of omnichannel practice.

In the survey, 86 percent said they took orders online (including mobile) while 77 percent also said brick-and-mortar, and 42 percent said they took orders from call centers and catalogs.

In terms of handling "last mile" deliveries, most merchants stick to the traditional courier delivery services at 43 percent, followed by third-party logistics partners at 23 percent. But others are experimenting creative options, including deliveries made by store staff and drones.

In China, e-commerce companies are experimenting with omnichannel solutions by offering warehouse-to-home and stores-to-home deliveries through partnerships and investments in offline supermarkets.

For instance, through its Cainiao logistics affiliate, an alliance of top Chinese shipping and courier companies, e-commerce giant Alibaba last year expanded its same-day and next-day deliveries from 50 cities to 200 cities.

According to a study by Goldman Sachs in March, Cainiao had 'Fulfilment Centers' dedicated to Alibaba's Tmall online marketplace operating in 19 cities at the end of last year.

It runs three fresh food distribution centers in three major Chinese cities: Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. All of them support cold chain delivery of fresh food purchased on Taobao and Tmall to the doorsteps of Chinese consumers within 24 hours.

It recently upgraded the service by providing fresh, rather than frozen, imported Australian beef to the dining tables of residents in 12 cities in China. Cainiao said with its new technologies, meat can be preserved fresh between 0-4 degrees for up to 21 days.

Others are also making new moves on prompt deliveries. JD.com Inc has successfully used drones to deliver online purchases to rural shoppers, using unmanned aircraft for last-mile distribution.

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04/06/17

Permalink 02:58:39 pm, by dacare, 465 words, 242 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Overseas experts expect China's new economic zone to deepen all-round opening up


Aerial photo taken on March 31, 2017 shows Baiyangdian, north China's largest freshwater wetland, in Anxin County, north China's Hebei Province.

International media reports and observers say the establishment of China's new economic zone not only provides a new blueprint for the coordinated development of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH) region, but also indicates China's determination to deepen its opening up in an all-round way.

China announced Saturday it would establish the Xiongan New Area in north China's Hebei Province, which is located some 100 km southwest of downtown Beijing.

Well-known international media outlets have enthusiastically reported about the new economic zone, regarding it a major decision of the Chinese government to promote the coordinated development of the BTH region, and a signal of China's willingness to continue to embrace globalization and free trade.

The Associated Press said the economic area is part of a plan to integrate the capital with its surrounding areas, noting that prior to this, the Chinese government had already planned to jointly develop Beijing, the port city of Tianjin and Hebei Province to boost regional and economic development in the northern region.

The Strait Times of Singapore said the removal of non-capital functions from Beijing is part of a greater strategy to integrate the development of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei for a better economic structure, a cleaner environment and improved public services.

Bloomberg cited Bill Bowler, a sales trader at Forsyth Barr Asia Ltd. in Hong Kong, as saying that this would be one of the centerpieces of a high-level development plan for the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.

Moreover, overseas analysts believe that the establishment of the new economic area will broaden economic growth and improve the level of China's opening-up.

Jose Ignacio Martinez, an international relations researcher from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, said Xiongan New Area's intended focus on developing high-end, high-tech industries has positive meaning for the country's overall industrial upgrading, and will stimulate a new round of China's economic growth.

Martinez also noted that Xiongan New Area's policy on opening up will further promote foreign direct investment and improve the level of China's opening up, citing the the successful examples of Shenzhen Special Economic Zone and the Shanghai Pudong New Area.

Paola De Simone, an expert on international law and economic analyst from Argentina, said China's determination to build the area is an important component of the effort to promote economic globalization, and the setting up of Xiongan New Area will continue to boost the openness and inclusiveness of China's foreign communication and cooperation.

Simone added that Xiongan New Area, along with the seven new free trade zones, demonstrates China's open and friendly attitude toward the world.

She said China's step-by-step promotion of opening up is conducive to improving its production efficiency, driving its consumption, boosting foreign direct investment and enhancing innovative ability.

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04/05/17

Permalink 02:57:26 pm, by dacare, 617 words, 175 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Managing economic development as well as risks


A worker at a plant in Xingtai, Hebei province, Jan 25, 2017.

Despite China's slower but more sustainable growth path, economic growth remains high by global standards as the country's population ages and the economy re-balances from investment to consumption and from manufacturing to services.

Still, as China's economic reforms continue, risks need to be addressed, as President Xi Jinping said recently, to cope with corporate over-leveraging, as well as to reduce overcapacity in the real estate and heavy industry sectors.

In the last few decades, the government has always been careful to pay attention to economic signals, including those against potential risks and problems, and carefully planned the structural reforms. The recently concluded annual sessions of the country's top legislature and top political advisory body also took note of the financial risks and adopted measures to tackle them.

Why is this important? Because the debt of non-financial enterprises in China has reached almost 170 percent of GDP by the end of last year, the highest level among leading economies, with State-owned enterprises accounting for more than 70 percent of the total corporate debt. In this context, the government's measures to tackle financial risks should include the gradual removal of implicit guarantees to SOEs and restricting leveraged investment in the assets markets.

China has already made progress on this front. Namely, the guidelines to deepen reforms of SOEs, issued in September 2015, describe six priority areas including aspects like mixed ownership and transitioning to a modern enterprise system. And 68 percent of the central government-controlled SOEs under the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council had introduced non-State managers by the end of 2015, and more than 80 percent of all the SOEs under SASAC have set up or are in the process of setting up a board.

In addition to allowing companies with high debts (especially those in overcapacity industries) to exit the market, the government should also help them restructure, and ensure that the process takes place gradually in order to prevent the waste of valuable resources (which could be better used more efficiently or to make growth more inclusive).

Therefore, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development suggests that insolvency procedures of the so-called zombie enterprises could be accelerated to reduce uncertainty and compensate laid-off workers.

Another aspect emphasized by the OECD regards the sharing of the benefits of growth, since China's tax and transfer system remains less efficient than those in other leading economies. For example, many low-income households pay a higher share of their incomes as social security premiums than the richer ones. And workers who are outside the formal labor market are not required to participate in the pension and medical insurance schemes, potentially increasing their financial vulnerability.

Hence, the OECD believes that the authorities should base the calculation of social security contributions of low-income households on their actual incomes, instead of the current system that prescribes a minimum contribution calculated on an imputed value of their earnings equivalent to 60 percent of the previous year's local average wage. The subsequent loss of revenue can be partly offset by the money that can be realized by reforming the individual income tax system, say, by abolishing the tax exemptions that favor high-income households. For instance, the interest received on government bonds or savings in banks, which now is non-taxable income, should be taxed.

All in all, it is important to highlight that the Chinese economy will remain the major driver of global growth, which is good news to the world economy. And once enterprises improve their performance through innovation and entrepreneurship, and the SOE reforms gain pace through exposure to market mechanisms, more jobs will be created and the benefits of economic growth can be shared by all.

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03/31/17

Permalink 02:29:00 pm, by dacare, 179 words, 245 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

China's central bank continues to drain liquidity from market

China's central bank on Friday skipped the open market operations of reverse repos, draining liquidity from the market.

This was the sixth consecutive business day that the People's Bank of China (PBOC) has halted the open market operations of reverse repos, a process where it purchases securities from banks with an agreement to sell them back in the future.

This meant that there was no injection of short-term funds into the banking system, which led to a net cash withdrawal, as previous reverse repos matured Friday and siphoned 30 billion yuan (4.3 billion U.S. dollars) from the market.

The PBOC said in a statement that liquidity in the banking system was "at a relatively high level" as the government sped up fiscal spending near the end of the month.

Fiscal expenditures mean fiscal deposits flow into commercial banks from the central bank, thus, improving market liquidity.

China has pledged to pursue a prudent and neutral monetary policy in 2017, with the M2, a broad measure of the money supply, to grow by around 12 percent, one percentage point lower than the 2016 target.

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03/21/17

Permalink 01:11:07 pm, by dacare, 132 words, 400 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

China sees robust air passenger growth in January

China's civil aviation sector posted strong passenger growth despite a decline in cargo transportation in January this year, official data showed Monday.

Air passenger trips in January increased 17.6 percent year on year to 43.9 million, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

The pace was faster than the 11.8-percent growth registered for the whole year of 2016.

Passenger trips made on domestic routes rose 17.4 percent year on year to 38.96 million in January, while those made on international routes surged 19.1 percent to 4.97 million.

In January, air cargo and mail freight topped 565,000 tonnes in January, decreasing 3.8 percent year on year, affected by waning domestic cargo and mail business.

Domestic air cargo and mail freight declined 5.6 percent in January year on year to 409,000 tonnes, while international cargo and mail freight increased 0.9 percent in January to 156,000 tonnes.

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03/20/17

Permalink 03:46:48 pm, by dacare, 174 words, 214 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Unilever prepares sale of food brands: newspapers

Unilever is preparing a 6 billion pound ($7.44 billion) sale of some of its food brands, British newspapers reported on Saturday.

The Anglo-Dutch company is planning to sell Flora margarine and Stork butter brands, the Sunday Times said.

The Sunday Telegraph, which also cited a figure of 6 billion pounds, quoted sources as saying private equity firms Bain Capital, CVC and Clayton Dubilier and Rice have started working on offers for these businesses. Unilever did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The maker of Knorr soups, Dove soap and Ben & Jerry's ice cream rebuffed a surprise $143 billion takeover offer from Kraft Heinz last month, stating that the group "sees no merit, either financial or strategic, for Unilever's shareholders."

The company has launched a business review to consider returning cash to shareholders, making medium-sized acquisitions and more aggressive cost cuts, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday. In a report released in January, Unilever stated that its food business sector sustained its return to growth, driven by the packs with easy-out technology and organic variants.

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03/16/17

Permalink 03:19:09 pm, by dacare, 408 words, 306 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Shared bikes revitalize cycle industry


Ofo bikes around Chaoyang Park in Beijing.

Until fairly recently, bicycle production had been considered a sunset industry, but a nationwide resurgence caused by the popularity of shared bikes has given it a second lease of life.

Li Dewu, the manager of a bike production company based in Shenzhen says he never expected such a spike in demand.

Last year the downturn in demand had Li worried about his business, but an order for thousands of shared bikes just before the Chinese New Year turned things around. Li described the major deal as a second madness in his twenty year career that made him both excited and yet also a little nervous.

Hu Zefeng, who runs a cycle production company in Shenzhen, also had a busy few months with deals for over 1.5 million bikes received in total. "We have employed about 500 new workers and added 7 more assembly lines from Shenzhen to Tianjin." Hu said.

The demand for bike parts and accessories has also seen a boost. Du Kaishan, manager of a bike saddle provider said: "my factory is over loaded now, with hundreds of thousands saddles having to be made in a single deal every month."

The ubiquitous shared bikes are causing a stir in China. Companies such as Ofo and Mobike have over 10 million registered users and distribute cycles to every corner of cities including Beijing and Shanghai.

According to statistics from the China Cycle Association, over 2 million shared bikes have been placed in more than 30 cities in China since 2016.

Pricier cycles

The expansion in the shared bike market has, however, been accompanied by a rise in the price of cycles. Producers have raised their prices by 5 percent on average, according to The Paper.

A manager at a cycle assembly factory in Suzhou said the high demand for shared bikes had resulted in a shortage of cycle supplies, which influences the cost of the end product.

An industry insider said another element triggering pricier bikes is the rising price of steel and rubber, the raw materials used to make cycle frames and tires. Some types of steel have seen a 35 percent increase in prices over the last year, rubber nearly 70 percent.

Most of the cycle producers though said that they would continue with the original price of each bike or perhaps raise it a little for regular clients. Ofo, Mobike and new business entrant Bluegogo have all denied that the cost of their cycles has gone up.

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03/15/17

Permalink 05:52:20 pm, by dacare, 409 words, 222 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

China enhances crackdown on capital market fraud

World Consumer Rights Day has arrived, and China plans to enhance its crackdown on capital market fraud.

The country's top securities regulator, the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), announced last Friday that it would impose the maximum penalty on office service provider China Nine Top and AnShan Heavy Duty Mining Machinery for severe violations of information disclosure rules.

China Nine Top is reported to have inflated its revenue and bank deposits while covering up an assets gap in order to restructure with the listed company AnShan Heavy Duty Mining Machinery.

Besides exposing companies faking assets to get listed, securities watchdogs have punished other capital market counterfeit practices such as inflating financial performance to avoid delisting, and fraudulent initial public offerings using fake documents.

In order to stay on the stock market, a property developer close to being delisted due to poor financial performance turned a profit from a loss in 2016 by selling part of its equity at an over-valued price in the fourth quarter, according to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

There will be enhanced supervision over year-end asset selling, and restructuring to crack down upon profit manipulation, according to the stock exchange.

In February, the CSRC announced 20 representative illegal stock market cases of 2016, including the high-profile case of Dandong Xintai Electric, the first company to be forced to delist from the Chinese stock market due to IPO disclosure cheating.

"We will continue to expose some influential fraud cases in areas like restructuring and acquisition," said Liu Shiyu, head of the CSRC, late February. "For wrongdoings on the capital markets, we will follow and treat them in a timely and tough manner."

The CSRC imposed 139 administrative punishment decisions last year, 13 as cases of financial fraud.

"Listed companies are profit-seeking, and it seems that they can get more than what they might have to pay for, by cheating, so they make reckless moves to try their luck," said Tian Lihui, a financial professor with Nankai University. "So there should be harsher punishment, and most importantly, improvement of the legal framework of the capital market, such as stricter requirements for information disclosure."

Meanwhile, regulators are also working on improving the delisting mechanism to improve the overall quality of the stock market and regulate backdoor listing.

"The CSRC will require stricter information disclosure to deter financial cheating, urge intermediaries like accounting agencies and stock exchanges to fulfill due responsibility and modify delisting standards," said Jiang Yang, deputy head of the CSRC, last week.

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03/14/17

Permalink 02:33:55 pm, by dacare, 183 words, 249 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China, Manufacturing & Industry

Lincoln to make SUV in China with Chang'an Auto Group

Lincoln, the luxury unit of Ford Motor Co, said on Monday that it plans to build a luxury sport utility vehicle in China in partnership with the Chang'an Automobile Group.

The as-yet unnamed vehicle will be built at a plant in the city of Chongqing. It is scheduled to go on sale in late 2019 only in China, the world's largest auto market, according to Lincoln spokesman Said Deep.

Building in China will help Lincoln meet growing customer demand and enable the company to become more responsive to changing customer preferences, Deep wrote in an email. "As Lincoln grows in China it makes sense to produce this new SUV in China," he added.

Lincoln exports its vehicles from North America to China, and reported sales of 32,558 in 2016, three times more than it sold in 2015.

Ford and its joint venture partners sold a record 1.27 million vehicles in China last year. Lincoln isn't the only US luxury brand taking aim at China. General Motors said its Cadillac volume in China rose 46 percent in 2016 to 116,406 , the first time it passed 100,000 vehicles in China in a single year.

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03/13/17

Permalink 03:32:06 pm, by dacare, 226 words, 231 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Boeing's first overseas factory to be built in China's Zhoushan

Boeing and Chinese aviation manufacturer Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd.(COMAC) will start to build a Boeing 737 completion center in eastern China's Zhoushan city at the end of March, scheduled to make its first delivery in 2018.

This is Boeing's first overseas facility as part of its 737 production system, and designed to deliver 100 Boeing 737 planes a year.

In the joint-venture completion center, Boeing's 737 aircraft will be installed with flight entertainment systems and seats. The plant in Zhoushan, 287 km southeast of Shanghai, also provides services such as coating, repair and maintenance of Boeing aircraft.

Boeing and COMAC signed an agreement in October 2016 to set up the Zhoushan plant, which will consist of two parts: the 737 completion center, a joint venture of Boeing and COMAC, and the 737 delivery center owned by Boeing.

Construction of the delivery center will also start at the end of March.

To accommodate aircraft manufacturing in Zhoushan, Putuoshan Airport in the city is undergoing a 750 million yuan (108 million U.S. dollars) expansion to become an international airport.

In addition to supporting Boeing, the aviation base in Zhoushan will also develop an entire industrial chain for aircraft manufacturing, with the capacity of assembling, delivering and modifying 600 aircraft a year by 2025.

Zhoushan is an archipelago and island city in Zhejiang Province, which has the largest fishery in China and boasts strong shipbuilding, tourism and service industries.

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03/08/17

Permalink 01:33:45 pm, by dacare, 207 words, 263 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

5% listed Chinese companies led by females


A female user of Red (Xiao Hongshu) poses with the company's staff at its anniversary celebration in Shanghai.

About one in every 20 A-share companies is led by female, according to a report by Securities Times released on International Women's Day on Wednesday.

The number of chairwomen in Chinese mainland-listed firms totals 151, accounting for 5 percent of all top posts. Equipment manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, chemical engineering, real estate, and automobile are the top five industries with most female business leaders.

About 70 percent of the chairwomen were born in the 60s or 70s, according to the report. Corporate head Hu Jiajia of Shanghai Metersbonwe Fashion & Accessories Co and Liu Xiaoqing of Dalian Yi Qiao Sea Cucumber Co, both 30, are the youngest.

Of the 153 A-share firms run by women, 56 are listed on Shanghai Stock Exchange, 45 on Shenzhen small-and-medium enterprise board, and 31 on NASDAQ-styled ChiNext board.

Among the 145 chairwomen who have disclosed their education background, four have doctorate degree and 10 have studied abroad, noted the report.

According to a survey by professional networking site LinkedIn, 44 percent of all senior management roles in companies were held by women last year.

The need to balance family obligations and pressure from society are still believed to be major obstacles for women in the business world.

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03/07/17

Permalink 03:09:24 pm, by dacare, 419 words, 168 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Beijing crowned 'Billionaire Capital of the World' for second year: Hurun

Beijing beat New York City to become the "Billionaire Capital of the World" for the second year running, according to Hurun Global Rich List released on Tuesday.

The new list ranked 2,257 billionaires, up 69 from last year and a growth of 55 percent or 804 over the last five years.

Total wealth among billionaires increased by 16 percent to $8.0 trillion, equivalent to 10.7 percent of global GDP, and up from 7 percent of global GDP five years ago.

Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher of Hurun Report, said global wealth is being concentrated in the hands of the billionaires at a rate far exceeding global growth.

New York has the highest concentration of billionaires, with 86, followed by San Francisco and Los Angeles on 29 and 23 respectively. The USA is the world's capital for immigrant billionaires. Two-thirds self-made, with one-third inherited. Average age among USA billionaires increased to 66, two higher than the list average.

Bill Gates, 61, is still the richest man in the world, despite only growing 1 percent to $81bn. Warren Buffett, 86, held onto second place, increasing his wealth to $78 billion, up $10 billion after a surge in the Berkshire Hathaway share price.

Jeff Bezos, 53, of Amazon, has broken into the Top 3 for the first time. Mark Zuckerberg, 32, the youngest of the Top 10, shot up to fifth, his highest ranking yet.

Chinese billionaires led the USA for the second year running, with 609 compared with 552, up 41 and 17 respectively. Hoogewerf said "China and the USA have half the billionaires in the world."

The combined net worth of Chinese billionaires is $1.6 trillion, 2.1 percent of the global GDP. Real Estate has generated most billionaires (120), followed by Manufacturing and TMT with 115 and 78 respectively, according to the report.

China is number 1 in the world in terms of generating self-made billionaires akin to "rags to riches" and is home to two-thirds of the world's self-made female billionaires.

Led by Beijing, 5 Chinese cities made the top 10 cities and 7 the Top 20. Average age is 58, six years younger than the list average.

Shenzhen surprised many by adding 16 billionaires to propel it into fourth place, just behind Hong Kong.

A February IPO propelled Wang Wei, 46, of SF Express to third spot, with a five-fold growth in his wealth to $27 billion, just behind Wang Jianlin and Jack Ma. Corporate raider Yao Zhenhua of Baoneng saw the fastest growth on the list, rising almost eight-fold to $15 billion.

Investments overtook tech to become the main source of wealth for American billionaires, with 121 and 112 billionaires respectively, followed by retail with 57. The combined wealth of U.S. billionaires was $2.6 trillion, 3.4 percent of global GDP.

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03/06/17

Permalink 02:33:21 pm, by dacare, 226 words, 172 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Telecom carriers to end domestic long-distance, roaming charges from Oct


A mobile phone user walks past a logo of China Mobile's 4G service in Qingdao, Shandong province.

The country's three telecom carriers, China Mobile Communications, China United Network Communications Group and China Telecommunications Corp, announced steps to scrap domestic long-distance and roaming charges from October 1, 2017, a move to drive forward industrial transformation and boast the upgrading and adjustment of real economy.

Li Yue, president of China Mobile, the country's largest telecom operator said the domestic roaming charges account for 8 to 10 percent of its total revenue, removal of such fees will have an influence on the company, adding this will encourage China Mobile to improve operation and management efficiency.

China Unicom said it will increase the coverage of broadband access, develop innovative applications, and upgrade products and services in response to the initiative of "increasing broadband access speed and reducing tariff" by the authority.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) will push forward the initiative with more effective measures.

"We will strive to remove completely the domestic long-distance and roaming tariffs for mobile users, greatly reduce the tariff for international long-distance call and dedicated internet access price for small- and medium-sized enterprises," said Chen Zhaoxiong, vice-minister of industry and information technology.

The ministry will make efforts to regulate the tariff-setting behaviors of enterprises, promote healthy market competition and continue to improve market environment of telecommunications.

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02/14/17

Permalink 01:15:50 pm, by dacare, 219 words, 645 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

China's factory-gate inflation picks up in January

China's producer price index (PPI), which measures costs of goods at the factory gate, quickened growth pace year on year in January, fresh evidence of strengthening demand in the world's second-largest economy, official data showed Tuesday.

The PPI rose 6.9 percent year on year in January, an increase on the 5.5 percent registered in December 2016, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

This represented the fifth straight month expansion of the PPI on a year-on-year basis and the highest reading since August 2011.

On a month-on-month basis, the PPI edged up 0.8 percent, with the growth pace narrowing down from the 1.6 percent recorded in December 2016.

NBS senior statistician Sheng Guoqing attributed the monthly PPI gain to factors including the carry-over effect of last year's price changes, spiking prices of metal, fuels, chemicals and other raw materials.

Factors including rebounding domestic demand and reducing outdated capacity helped push up the PPI and the index is likely to remain high in the coming months, according to Wen Bin, a senior researcher at China Minsheng Bank.

The January PPI figure outstripped market expectations, and Chinese policymakers should be alert to inflationary pressure caused by rapid PPI growth, according to Wen.

The PPI figures came alongside the release of the consumer price index, which rose 2.5 percent in January year on year, partially due to holiday effects.

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02/13/17

Permalink 12:50:12 pm, by dacare, 476 words, 288 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Used car sales on upward trend as provinces remove trade barriers

China's used car sales hit a record high in 2016, posting 10.3 percent growth year-on-year, as local authorities have been removing barriers on cross-provincial-border vehicle sales.

Statistics from the China Automobile Dealers Association show that 10.39 million used cars were sold last year. Industry insiders expect yet more to be sold this year.

Although the sector's growth did not keep up with surging new car sales, which saw a 13.7 percent growth rate in 2016, it was the first double-digit growth in used car sales for the past several years, said Luo Lei, the association's deputy secretary-general.

"The hard-won achievement was mainly a result of local governments gradually opening their markets to used cars from other regions," said Luo.

The State Council, China's cabinet released an eight-article guideline in March 2016, instructing local governments to lift any limitations on the flow of used vehicles between provinces by the end of May. China has 172 million cars, but local bans have curbed the free flow of used cars, resulting in insufficient supply. However, the policy has not worked out, according to Luo. He said the association's monitoring shows that while seven provinces, including Sichuan and Heilongjiang, have fully removed the barriers, many others have failed to do so.

Luo said those seven provinces saw double-digit growth in their used car sectors, which was significantly higher than that recorded in the provinces that did not remove the limitations.

Industry insiders say local authorities have failed to lift the ban because used cars usually have higher emissions and contribute less to the local economy than new cars. Luo said more regions will catch up now that the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Environmental Protection have issued orders to implement the State Council's guideline. He expects sales this year to hit a new high as a result.

"Used car transactions accounted for 5.8 percent of China's total car sales last year. As local authorities remove their bans, it may return to the normal level of 7.3 percent, which will be 12.5 million vehicles," Luo said.

Xiao Zhengsan, secretary-general of CADA, calls for more attention to be given to the sector's development, saying used cars will contribute to China's automotive market's growth.

"China has become the world's largest auto market, but if its growth is driven by stimulus policies, it is not healthy," said Xiao.

According to Xiao, used cars and car finance will prove to be two critical and healthy market forces. "I will say, if we fail to do a good job in used cars, then it is impossible for us to do a job in terms of new cars sales. In one or two years you will see if I am correct," he said.

In developed markets such as the United States, used car sales are usually more than double those of new cars, while in China, they represent less than 40 percent of new car sales.

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02/10/17

Permalink 02:46:01 pm, by dacare, 115 words, 328 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

China to reduce retailers' commercial logistics cost

China will improve its logistics network to reduce costs for wholesalers and retailers.

The government will reduce the ratio of the retail and wholesale sectors' overall logistics costs on total GDP to 7 percent by 2020, according to a plan released by the Ministry of Commerce and other ministries.

High logistics costs hold back enterprises' growth. The ratio of China's total logistics spending on total GDP stood at 14.5 percent in the first three quarters of 2016, much higher than the average 8-to-9 percent level in developed economies.

China will expand its commercial logistics network and improve efficiency through IT application.

The government will also establish several national and regional commercial logistics hubs and invest more in infrastructure development.

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02/08/17

Permalink 01:14:47 pm, by dacare, 1119 words, 357 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China, Banking & Financial Services

Alipay, WeChat, UnionPay have big plans to gain larger share of growing market

Titans clash over mobile payments

The competition in China's mobile payment market is growing tougher with the standardization of China UnionPay's quick-response code technology in December. The head-to-head digital hongbao wars between the two dominant players WeChat and Alipay during the Spring Festival holidays provides one piece of evidence. Behind the cutthroat turf war, both of the platforms have broader ambitions, including creating tailored financial products based on their collections of big data. In the near future, the industry will also be subject to tighter regulations.

It was not so long ago that the red envelopes, or hongbao, that people handed out during the Spring Festival holidays were actual red envelopes.

But over the last few years, many of the red envelopes stuffed with cash have existed only virtually on online payment platforms.

During this year's Spring Festival, a record of 46 billion electronic hongbao were sent and received via Chinese mobile social platform WeChat, which is operated by Tencent Technology Co, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Saturday. The figure was up 43 percent year-on-year.

Internet giants such as Tencent have promoted the use of virtual hongbao to expand their stakes in China's fast-growing mobile payment market, as local shoppers are now using their smartphones to pay for everything from taxi fares to medical expenses.

In 2016, China's third-party payment market is estimated to reach 20.3 trillion yuan ($2.96 trillion), up 45 percent from 2015, according to research firm Enfodesk. It projected that the market will grow by more than 20 percent annually to 33 trillion yuan by 2018.

The huge market base has lured a number of companies, making the turf war for China's mobile payment market more cutthroat.

Early market entrants including WeChat and Alipay, which are run by Tencent and Alibaba respectively, have developed swipe-and-go payment systems based on quick-response (QR) codes. The two companies, which together control more than 70 percent of the market, have strived to secure their predominant position by spending heavily on discounts.

As a result, the use of credit cards has declined, rattling the country's bank card association.

On December 12, 2016, China UnionPay announced its own standards for QR code payments. The move was followed by promotional campaigns involving more than 20,000 stores from December to February, a peak time for shopping.

Latecomer

It is not the first time that China UnionPay stepped up efforts to tap the mobile payment market. In December 2015, the bank card association rolled out its near-field communication (NFC)-based Quick Pass mobile payment tool, which enables consumers to make payments by tapping their smartphones against payment terminals.

But the NFC-based technology was not as popular as QR codes.

"That's probably why UnionPay developed its own QR code last year," said Li Yi, a research fellow at the Internet Research Center under the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.

Li was not optimistic that commercial banks would be able to break in. "WeChat and Alipay have a lock on the huge market thanks to an early entrance," he told the Global Times on Monday.

But UnionPay still stands a chance in the mobile payment market because its technology is safer and more trustworthy, Li noted.

An employee from a commercial bank, who preferred not to be identified, agreed. "UnionPay also has an advantage in large payment transactions because WeChat and Alipay are more frequently used in payment of small amount," the bank employee told the Global Times on Monday.

For example, the two digital wallets account for around 80 percent of the mobile payment market which are under 5,000 yuan, according to the employee.

However, Liu Dingding, an independent Internet industry analyst, pointed out that the cooperation between UnionPay and commercial banks is crucial to the bank card association's goal of getting to the top.

Currently, UnionPay and the commercial banks have a "strange bedfellows" relationship, Liu said.

"UnionPay is looking to promote QR code with banks, but the logistics behind major banks' moves are different - they seek to expand the user base of their own mobile applications so that they can engage with clients directly, which means banks may also cooperate with WeChat and Alipay if UnionPay's promotion has not achieved their desired result," Liu told the Global Times on Sunday.

Broader ambitions

To date, the battles in the mobile payment market between the two tech giants, Alibaba and Tencent, have also intensified.

Head-to-head against WeChat's hongbao-grabbing activities during the Spring Festival, Alipay continued last year's collection of five good fortune games with the introduction of augmented reality technology. Participants can split a 200 million yuan prize by scanning the street-side "fu" signs, or the Chinese character of fortune, that are ubiquitous during the holidays.

To attract users, the two digital wallets are also locked in a competition for offline payment points for businesses such as restaurants, supermarkets and department stores. Therefore, both platforms turned to third-party services providers who specialize in "offline promotion" and merchants services for potential offline business growth.

For example, WeChat announced in April a plan to attract third-party services providers with more than 300 million yuan in investments. Alipay also plans to provide 1 billion yuan in rewards to third-party services providers over the next three years.

But behind the tit-for-tat competition, both Alipay and WeChat have broader ambitions.

One is the collection of big data related to transactions, which enable those platforms to invent and tailor financial services such as marketing strategies, investment and loans to their clients, Liu said.

Tencent has been struggling with how to generate revenues based on its huge consumer bases. In an interview with Caixin magazine in January, Huang Li, director of WeChat Payment, refused to elaborate on the business blueprint for the platform, only noting that the company is considering a strategy "as a whole."

Regulatory controls

In the near future, the country's third-party payment market will face greater regulatory control.

In January, the People's Bank of China (PBC) announced a new regulation that requires third-party payment companies to deposit clients reserve funds in bank accounts that do not generate interest. The new rules are intended to ensure institutions do not put the money into "risky" financial services. It is expected to takes effect in April.

An Alibaba spokesperson refused to comment on the policy's effect on its business. He said that the company "welcomes the policy and will actively impose it."

According to a report published by research firm TrendForce, following the policy implementation, major domestic payment providers, including Alibaba and Tencent, will suffer a blow, as the policy prevents them from using the funds to generate interest income or grow their business.

But Li disagreed. "Large-scale firms do not rely on interest from client funds. So the new measures will only hurt small third-payment firms."

Yet the policy is likely to tip the scales in UnionPay's favor, Li noted.

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01/25/17

Permalink 03:23:24 pm, by dacare, 191 words, 640 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Shanghai sees firmer annual trade rise

Shanghai's trade volume hit a record in December, which helped the city post better growth in annual trade than the national figure, Shanghai Customs data showed.

Imports through Shanghai were a record 186.81 billion yuan ($27.3 billion) in December, lifting the monthly trade value over 300 billion yuan for the first time to 306.03 billion yuan, customs said.

For 2016, the city's imports and exports totaled 2.87 trillion yuan, up 2.7 percent from a year ago. The rise reversed a 2.1 percent decline in 2015.

The city's imports rose 5.2 percent to 1.66 trillion yuan last year, faster than the national gain of 0.6 percent.

Exports dipped 0.5 percent to 1.21 trillion yuan, but the drop was smaller than the national decline of 1.5 percent.

Trade with the US, Europe and Japan rose 2.3 percent to 1.4 trillion yuan last year, accounting for 47.7 percent of the city's total foreign trade.

The city's trade with the 22 markets having free trade agreements with China rose 5.4 percent to 1.1 trillion yuan.

Shanghai's exports of integrated circuits rose 8.5 percent, medical devices gained 3.8 percent, and solar battery grew 1.5 percent, customs said.

Foreign trade through the free trade zone rose 5.9 percent to 783.68 billion yuan last year, accounting for 27.3 percent of the city's total trade volume.

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01/24/17

Permalink 02:54:13 pm, by dacare, 109 words, 390 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Taiwan's jobless rate rises in 2016

Taiwan's average unemployment rate in 2016 stood at 3.92 percent, up 0.14 percentage points from 2015, the island's statistics authority revealed Monday.

On average, 460,000 people were out of work in 2016, increasing 20,000 from the previous year, with about 70,000 unemployed for a long period of time, the authority said. The total workforce in Taiwan reached 11.72 million last year.

The highest unemployment rate was observed among those who had a junior college education or higher at 4.23 percent in 2016. In terms of age, the unemployment rate among young people ages 15 to 24 reached as high as 12.12 percent, it said.

In December, the unemployment rate was 3.79 percent, both down 0.08 percentage points compared with November and the same period in 2015.

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01/23/17

Permalink 01:08:50 pm, by dacare, 73 words, 283 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

China's urban unemployment rate at 4.02 percent

The registered unemployment rate in Chinese cities stood at 4.02 percent at the end of 2016, down from 4.04 percent three months earlier.

China created 13.14 million new jobs for urban residents last year, exceeding the official target, Lu Aihong, an official with the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, told a press conference on Monday.

The government has pledged to keep the whole-year registered unemployment rate below 4.5 percent and create at least 10 million jobs in 2016.

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01/18/17

Permalink 01:44:54 pm, by dacare, 129 words, 394 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Baidu picks exec to tap new tech

Baidu has hired former Microsoft executive and artificial intelligence expert Lu Qi as president and chief operating officer to help the Chinese search engine tap emerging technologies.

The heads of Baidu's technology, financial services and search units will all report to Lu as Baidu aims for a strong management team to drive the next phase of growth, the company said yesterday.

"To achieve our goals, especially in artificial intelligence, which is a key strategic focus for the next decade, we will need to continue attracting the best global talent," Baidu Chairman and founder Robin Li said in a statement.

Lu's appointment, with immediate effect, came a day after Baidu opened an augmented reality lab and followed an announcement in September of a US$200 million venture fund for emerging technologies.

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01/17/17

Permalink 04:15:18 pm, by dacare, 129 words, 303 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China, Manufacturing & Industry

Volkswagen to provide 400,000 new energy cars for Chinese market by 2020

German automaker Volkswagen plans to provide more than 400,000 new energy cars for the Chinese market by 2020, according to Professor Jochem Heizmann, CEO of Volkswagen Group China, Monday.

According to the plan, the number will increase to 1.5 million by 2025.

The company announced earlier that it would introduce 15 models of new energy vehicles in China in the next three or four years, to address the environmental protection needs of the Chinese market, as well as 10 models worldwide in the next decade.

New energy vehicles sales of the company are expected to reach 2 million to 3 million in 2025, 20 to 25 percent of its total sales.

China is Volkswagen's largest market. Volkswagen Group China and its two joint ventures delivered 3.98 million automobiles to the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong in 2016, up 12.2 percent year on year.

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01/16/17

Permalink 02:58:15 pm, by dacare, 237 words, 292 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Exodus of deliverymen to hit courier companies during Spring Festival

With this year's "Chunyun," the name given for the travel rush around Spring Festival, starting from Jan 13, some parcel deliverymen have returned to their hometowns to celebrate China's most important family holiday.

Courier companies, including SF Express, YTO Express and TTK Express, though have claimed that delivery and pickup will be normal during the Spring Festival holiday in response to the "No rest for the whole year" policy of the State Post Bureau.

However, due to the shortage of employees, some service stations will stop parcel pickup.

A deliveryman of YTO Express Beijing said that from Jan 15 parcels sent to other provinces will not be picked up, while Jan 20 is the deadline for parcels dispatched to be collected in the same city.

An employee of TTK Express said that parcel pickup will stop one week before the Spring Festival, china.org.cn reported.

Spring Festival, which falls on Jan 28 this year, is China's most important family holiday, with hundreds of millions heading for their hometowns to reunite with relatives and friends. It is expected to leave online shopping sites short-handed due to the exodus of workers.

Domestic express delivery services are getting a business boost from the explosive growth of e-commerce.

China's burgeoning courier service sector is predicted to generate 500 billion yuan ($72 billion) in business revenue this year, said Ma Junsheng, head of State Post Bureau. More than 40 billion express parcels will be sent in 2017, he added.

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01/13/17

Permalink 02:53:43 pm, by dacare, 258 words, 245 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Baofeng establishes new company to expand culture business

Baofeng Group Co Ltd, a Beijing-based internet entertainment and video company, announced on Thursday that it has established Baofeng New Culture Co Ltd to expand its business in culture, tourism and virtual reality, or VR.

Baofeng New culture will focus on intellectual property, or IP, investment, project incubation and operations in the fields of culture and tourism.

Working with Chongqing municipal government, the company will launch a 200-million-yuan ($29 million) fund, which will be invested in digital industry, VR content and innovation, VR experience centers and related projects.

Feng Xin, chief executive officer of Baofeng Group, said he took a rosy view of future integration between VR and the culture industry.

"In the wave of high-tech, the cultural upgrading will create richer forms of cultural tourism. And VR will play a key role in the development of cultural tourism," Feng said.

The new company will integrate artificial intelligence, the internet of things, big data, cloud computing and other technologies to develop local cultural and historical IP.

Connecting tourists, brand owners and local tourist sites, the company aims to build a cultural geographic digital system. And the online platforms' experiences will boost offline consumption.

In 2016, the VR industry is moving forward rapidly; tech giants, including Google, Facebook, HTC, Samsung, Huawei and Xiaomi all cultivated VR hardware.

According to industry consultancy iResearch Consulting Group, China's VR market revenues are expected to top 5.6 billion yuan last year, and will reach 55 billion yuan by 2020.

In 2016, Baofeng Group's revenue in the VR sector reached around 20 million yuan, Feng said at the end of December.

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01/12/17

Permalink 12:36:12 pm, by dacare, 389 words, 224 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Hon Hai takes hit from slowing iPhone sales

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, the manufacturer of Apple Inc's iPhones, posted its first annual revenue decline since 1991, as it wrestled with a saturating global smartphone market.

The Taiwan-based firm said on Tuesday it recorded NT$4.36 trillion ($137 billion) in revenue in 2016, down 2.81 percent from a year earlier, after its biggest client Apple saw slowing iPhones sales.

Founded in 1974 by business tycoon Terry Gou, Hon Hai, also known as Foxconn Technology Group, is the world's largest contract manufacturer of consumer electronics. Apple accounts for half of its business.

James Yan, research director at Counterpoint Technology Market Research, said smartphone vendors and their supply chain partners are under big pressure as the global smartphone market slows down.

"Hon Hai's heavy reliance on Apple makes it extremely vulnerable to a single client's sales performance," Yan said.


Terry Gou, founder and chairman of Foxconn Technology Group.

In 2016, the global smartphone market was expected to grow by 0.6 percent year-on-year, far lower than the 10.4 percent growth rate in 2015, research firm International Data Corp estimated.

Hon Hai's decline came after Apple reported in October its first annual revenue dip since 2001. The US tech giant finds it increasingly hard to resonate with consumers in China, the world's largest smartphone arena where local players Huawei Technologies Co and Oppo Electronics Corp are gaining ground.

Nicole Peng, research director at Shanghai-based consultancy Canalys, said although Chinese brands such as Huawei and Oppo have also turned to Hon Hai to assemble smartphones, they only account for a small slice of the latter's business.

"There is an urgent need for Hon Hai to diversify its revenue sources. We expect shipments of iPhones to decline by 13 percent in 2016," Peng said.

Although Apple will see a stronger sales momentum this year, with a shipment of 211.7 million units of iPhones, it will still be far less than the 231.5 million units in 2015, Canalys forecast.

But Xiang Ligang, a smartphone expert and CEO of the telecoms industry website cctime.com, noticed a bright spot in Hon Hai's financial report.

"In the quarter ended in December, sales were up 9.76 percent year-on-year, signaling big demand for the iPhone 7 Plus," Xiang said.

"It is too early to predict how Hon Hai and Apple will perform in 2017, because this year marks the 10th anniversary of the iPhone and Apple may unveil a cutting-edge product to revive its sales," he added.

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01/11/17

Permalink 01:23:37 pm, by dacare, 347 words, 239 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

China creates over 13 million new jobs in 2016: official

China created over 13 million new jobs in urban areas in 2016 as part of an effort to stabilize the slowing economy. The country has seen over 1.2 million jobs created for three consecutive years, from 2014 to 2016, according to Economic Information Daily.

Despite the economic slowdown, the Chinese government has managed to keep a low urban registered unemployment rate, partially through employment services and support for college graduates, as well as for workers laid off from industries with excess capacity.

About 5.11 million workers in urban areas were re-employed from January to November 2016, or 102.2 percent of the goal set for the year. What's more, 1.54 million people categorized as difficult to employ found jobs, accounting for 128.3 percent of the annual target, according to reports.

Employment will remain a top priority in the next year due to lingering pressures. Experts believe 130 million new jobs will be created in 2017, as the industrial structure will be optimized and the economy stabilized. Reports indicate that approximately 25 million new jobs will be created during each year of the 13th Five-Year Plan period, among which 10 million are set aside for registered workers who have been laid off, 1.5 million are for college graduates and 3 million are for surplus agricultural laborers.

Employment will be the top priority of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS), according to Yin Weimin, MOHRSS minister. A total of 7.95 million college students are expected to graduate in 2017, according to China's Ministry of Education.

Chen Baosheng, the minister of Education, said the numbers of college students who secured employment or started their own businesses after graduation has increased in the last three years. A report by Renmin University showed that 89.8 percent of college students have considered starting their own businesses, and 18.2 percent indicate firm plans to do so. The Ministry of Education called for improved policies that encourage college students to become entrepreneurs.

About 1.8 million jobs in the steel, coal and mining industries may have been lost by cutting overcapacity, which is the biggest employment pressure in five years, according to MOHRSS. The ministry has reportedly issued policies redistributing laborers in more than 20 provinces.

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01/10/17

Permalink 02:27:02 pm, by dacare, 226 words, 182 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Online car sales companies merge

Two of China's online second-hand car trading platforms have announced plans to merge.

Companies clcw.com.cn and kx.cn agreed to work together to promote a customer-to-business model, known as C2B, to tackle the difficulty of individuals selling cars.

Clcw.com.cn has established nine branches across the country and accumulated more than 10,000 car dealers on its platform. Meanwhile, kx.cn has a strong brand influence and regional operation management.

Clcw.com has witnessed rapid growth since it was established in 2015. With 16,000 vehicles sold via its website and app last year, founder Xie Lei said its annual transactions have reached a value of 640 million yuan ($92.4 million).

Kaixin is the first online platform to adopt a C2B model to facilitate the selling of used cars from individuals to used-car dealers. With nine years of development, Kaixin became an industry giant and claims 8.8 percent of the used car dealing market in Shanghai.

"C2B can help customers sell cars at a reasonable price. It is the only model that suits China's actual conditions and caters to Chinese car-buyers' need," Xie said.

Xie said the newly-merged company will establish four operation centers nationwide, and more than 300 offline stores that provide related services in finance, insurance and ancillary products selling.

The company aims to reach a turnover of 12 billion yuan with 200,000 cars sold on its platform in 2017.

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01/06/17

Permalink 10:21:50 am, by dacare, 304 words, 279 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Services sector expands fastest in 17 months


China's services sector expanded at the quickest pace in 17 months in December as new orders increased rapidly in a further sign that the economy was stabilizing, a private survey showed yesterday.

The Caixin General Services Purchasing Managers' Index edged up to 53.4 last month from 53.1 in November, according to the survey conducted by financial information service provider Markit and sponsored by Caixin Media.

It was the highest reading since July 2015 as demand in the sector picked up.

A sub index showed growth in new work at services companies quickened to a 17-month record, according to the survey.

The fast growth in the services sector echoed an increase in manufacturing activities as the Caixin General Manufacturing PMI, released on Wednesday, rose to a four-year high of 51.9 points.

"Manufacturing and services both expanded in December, showing that recovery in the economy continued," said Zhong Zhengsheng, director of macroeconomic analysis at CEBM Group. "The Chinese economy performed better in the fourth quarter than in the previous three quarters" adding that he was certain the government's full year growth target of between 6.5 and 7 percent will be reached.

In the first three quarters, China's GDP grew 6.7 percent, within the official target of 6.5 to 7 percent. But it was 0.2 percentage points lower than the annual growth in 2015.

Services made up 58.5 percent of GDP growth, up 3.4 percentage points from a year earlier.

The Caixin PMIs, slanted toward private and export-oriented companies, indicated the private sector expanded in December and outperformed China's official PMI.

China's official PMI, released on Sunday by the National Bureau of Statistics and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing and focusing on state-owned manufacturers, dipped to 51.4 in December from November's 51.7. But PMI stayed in the expansion zone for the fifth straight month with the reading above 50.

In the services sector, the official non-manufacturing PMI dipped to 54.5 from November's 54.7 points.

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01/05/17

Permalink 03:14:16 pm, by dacare, 370 words, 215 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Chinese couriers to collect 500 bln yuan in 2017

China's burgeoning courier service sector is predicted to generate 500 billion yuan (72 billion U.S. dollars) in business revenue this year, a postal official said Thursday.

Over 40 billion express parcels will be sent in 2017, said Ma Junsheng, head of State Post Bureau (SPB).

In 2016, 31.3 billion parcels were sent, and the service created over 200,000 jobs, data from SPB showed.

The sector collected 400 billion yuan of business revenue last year, compared to just shy of 30 billion yuan in 2006, Ma said, calling the sector a "dark horse" of the economy.

China's courier market has grown from a handful of small businesses into a vibrant market contested by industry heavyweights, expanding 50 percent annually over the past six years, he said.

Leading delivery service provider ZTO Express became an NYSE-listed company in October 2016, the biggest U.S. IPO by a Chinese company after e-commerce giant Alibaba.

The debut came after the domestic listing of Yto Express, while competitors including SF Express, STO Express and Yunda Express expect to follow suit this year in a rush to buy more land, facilities, equipment and trucks.

The couriers' success is replicable and adaptable for the global market, Ma said.

Last year, the country's couriers helped deliver products bought online worth over 4 trillion yuan, or 12.5 percent of total retail sales of consumer goods, he said.

Still, China wants couriers to better serve its manufacturing industry and, to this end, it has launched 322 pilot coordination projects to accommodate an annual industrial output of over 120 billion yuan.

On the agriculture front, courier services have helped expand sales channels for farm products, and facilitated the sale of products worth over 100 billion yuan in 2016 and facilitated an on-going poverty-relief campaign.

The sector is well-positioned for the task, as courier services now cover 80 percent of towns and villages, and the country plans to extend this network by 2020, according to the SPB.

The increasing heft of the sector reflects China's solid progress in re-balancing its economic structure from manufacturing and investment to services and consumption.

Delivery and postal services are leading the growth in the service sector in China, home to the world's fastest growing postal market, Ma said earlier.

The country aims to deliver 50 billion express parcels annually, generating 800 billion yuan in business revenue, by 2020.

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01/03/17

Permalink 01:23:12 pm, by dacare, 117 words, 233 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

December manufacturing activities expand to four-year high: private survey

China's manufacturing sector continued to expand with the purchasing managers' index hitting a 47-month high in December, a private survey showed Tuesday.

Caixin General China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), a private gauge of China's manufacturing activity, came in at 51.9 in December, up from 50.9 in November, according to a survey conducted by financial information service provider Markit and sponsored by Caixin Media Co. Ltd.

This was the index's biggest rise since January 2013, and production grew at the fastest pace in nearly six years thanks to an increase in total new work.

Official manufacturing PMI released on Sunday stood at 51.4 in December, lower than 51.7 in November and staying above the 50-point boom-bust line for the fifth straight month.

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