Archives for: May 2017

05/18/17

Permalink 04:49:58 pm, by dacare, 525 words, 393 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, 333 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, 180 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, 251 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, 211 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, 197 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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