Shanghai may launch an international trading board for gold in the China (Shanghai) pilot Free Trade Zone this quarter.
The new trading board in the FTZ is expected to attract foreign participants as China hopes to have a bigger influence on global gold prices.
The FTZ is expected to attract a gold inventory of 1,000 tons.
Gold sales rose to 323 tons in the first quarter, up 0.8 percent from a year earlier, local media reports said citing the Shanghai Gold Exchange.
Xu Luode, secretary-general of the bourse, said earlier that the international board would adopt Shanghai Gold -- a spot gold trading mechanism similar to the Loco London Gold.
Swiss specialty chemicals company Clariant said on Wednesday that it plans to establish a research and development center in Shanghai.
The R&D Center, expected to be operational by 2015, is intended to cater to the burgeoning Chinese specialty chemicals industry, which Clariant has been serving since 2011, by providing enhanced technical service and developing catalytic solutions tailored to China's requirements. The company's previous ventures in China have focused on coal-to-methanol catalysts.
The center will focus on coal-to-chemicals and specialty applications while developing new catalysts for hydrogenation applications and supporting Clariant's pre-existing Chinese production sites.
Chinese tech company Huawei received Monday the NRW.INVEST Award in the western German city of Duesseldorf for its outstanding investments in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW).
For the 10th time, NRW Economics Ministry and NRW.INVEST, the state's economic development agency that deals with support for foreign investors, have presented the NRW.INVEST Award.
With this award, NRW honors exemplary investments at the business location. This year, three companies received awards, including Huawei, the American package delivery company UPS and the French company Air Liquide.
North Rhine-Westphalia is a leading location in Germany for foreign investments. According to NRW Economics Minister Garrelt Duin, about a quarter of investment projects in Germany flew to the state in 2013.
"Engine of the development is Asia," NRW.INVEST CEO Petra Wassner said at Monday's presentation ceremony.
According to NRW.INVEST, the number of foreign investment projects in NRW jumped to 236 in 2013, a 12 percent increase compared to the previous year. Again, China led the country ranking with 63 investment projects.
Huawei, a Chinese multinational networking and telecommunications equipment and services company, has been making large investments in NRW's capital city of Duesseldorf. Currently, 650 employees are working in the company's headquarters for Western Europe and Germany which is located in Duesseldorf.
Changan Ford stepped into a new phase in capitalizing on China's automobile market when the company announced Thursday the opening of 88 new dealers to join its massive dealer points around China.
A grand opening ceremony held in Shanghai featuring traditional Chinese performances like drums and lion dancing mirrored the automobile giant's Chinese ambition - keep striding confidently forward in the world's largest automobile market.
Changan Ford has successfully introduced a number of new models including the Ford New Focus and Ford Kuga.
In 2013, Changan Ford sold an accumulative total of 678,951 units, a year-on-year growth of 62 percent over 2012.
In the first five months of 2014, the Changan Ford lineup had sales of 330,771 units, with an accumulative year-on-year increase of 43 percent.
Consumer demand, resulting in the sales increase, created Changan Ford's need for the expansion of its dealer points.
With the newly launched 88 dealers, the total number of Changan Ford's dealer points in China rises to 750, and the figure is still growing.
"The newly-opened 88 dealers allow us to better serve our growing Chinese customer base and improve their ownership experience. With the growth momentum, we expect to exceed 800 dealer points in China by the end of 2014," said Marin Burela, president and CEO of Changan Ford Automobile Co.
As vehicles in first-tier cities started to be oversupplied, Changan Ford mapped out one-third of its dealer points deep into the less developed central and western regions in China.
About 75 percent of dealer points are based in small cities, which the company said represents the growing customer demand in these areas.
What drives the expanding of dealer points is an ever growing manufacturing capacity.
"We will launch our third plant in Chongqing in the future and you also know that our Hangzhou plant will also go into production in 2015, and both of these investments are being made strategically to ensure that we meet demand with supply in the area where we see the market is growing, " Burela told reporters during the interview.
Economic rebalancing is likely to usher in a "new era" of German investment in China, said Lothar Herrmann, chairman of the German Chamber, after the German Business Confidence Survey 2014 launch on Wednesday.
German companies operating in China reported robust performance and relative optimism for 2014 despite the economic slowdown.
"We do believe at the German Chamber that there is optimism because our technology can contribute to the next level of development in China," said Herrmann.
German investment going forward is expected to be driven by its technologies in automation, digitalization and renewable energy, which are seem as possible solutions to the challenges facing China during its economic rebalancing.
Of the 417 members that participated in the survey, 23 percent expect to exceed their business targets for this year compared to only 17 percent expecting to not to achieve or only partly achieve their targets, up 9 percent and down 4 percent respectively from 2013.
Forty-nine percent of the companies expect economic conditions to improve, with 75 percent of the automotive sector maintaining a positive outlook.
The majority also welcomed reforms with 70 percent of companies viewing the central government's reform agenda as having potentially positive effects on their businesses.
However, this positive sentiment is yet to translate into investment as 48.6 percent of companies stated that initiated policies will have no influence on their investment decisions.
Human resources issues still remain the biggest challenge to German businesses operating in China. However, human resource issues are on the decline as German companies appear to have gained experience in how to deal with the challenges of doing business in China.
Tmall launches major discounts to rival JD sale
China's leading online retailer tmall.com launched Wednesday a sales promotion for consumer electronics and home appliances, a move analysts said heats up the battle with its major rival JD.com Inc (JD) which regards the day as a special shopping festival due to it being the anniversary of the company's founding date.
Tmall.com, backed by the country's e-commerce giant Alibaba, offered discounts between 60 and 70 percent for home appliances and lowered smartphones' prices by 100 yuan ($16) to 1,000 yuan.
Meanwhile, JD, which has been building up a shopping spree atmosphere since June 1, rolled out its strongest sales promotion to date for Tuesday to Friday, cutting prices of consumer electronics by up to 2,000 yuan and providing 90 percent discounts for some home appliances.
The four-day event is a part of JD's 20-day promotion for its 11th anniversary this year on Wednesday, involving consumer electronics, cosmetics, food and books. The promotion has triggered the price war between the e-commerce players.
Tmall.com also launched a four-day sales promotion from Monday, which analysts said mainly focus on consumer electronics and home appliances in response to JD's strongest discounted sales. JD's smaller rival yhd.com (YHD) even claimed on its official website that all consumer electronics it sold would be 50 yuan cheaper than those on JD from Monday to Wednesday. Gome.com and suning.com, the home appliance online shopping platforms of major local retail chains, also joined the price competition almost during the same period.
"JD is under siege," said Lu Zhenwang, founder of Shanghai Wanqing Commerce Consulting.
He explained to the Global Times Wednesday that all e-commerce platforms intend to tap the profitable consumer electronic retailing sector where JD has further consolidated its leadership after combining with yixun.com, a consumer electronics online shopping platform developed by Tencent early this year.
Despite the ambitious efforts of YHD and Gome, Lu said that they can hardly pose big threats to JD.
Tmall is JD's strongest rival and is likely to win the battle this time due to its large user base, said Li Yi, secretary-general of the China Mobile Internet Industry Alliance.
A report issued in May by Analysys International shows that Tmall is the most preferred online shopping platform with its active users reaching 112.06 million in the first quarter of 2014. The active users on JD hit 44.2 million, ranking in second place.
Tmall's strong cooperation with the three State-owned telecom carriers and domestic home appliance makers also give it more competitive advantages over JD, said Lu.
During this sales promotion, Li Xiao, a Beijing-based white-collar worker, went to Tmall and bought a trendy smartphone Wednesday.
"The reason to choose Tmall instead of JD is simple. The three telecom carriers all opened online flagship shops on Tmall and offer discounted phones on the platform that cannot be found on JD or other platforms," she told the Global Times Wednesday.
A total of 500,000 handsets have been sold in the first 10 hours, accounting for half of the average daily sales of smartphone in China, according to a press release e-mailed to the Global Times Wednesday by Tmall.
A PR representative from JD told the Global Times Wednesday that the average sales of handsets and related accessories reached more than five per second on Wednesday morning.
Both Lu and Li Yi believe that the price war is still the major promotion method in China where many consumers are sensitive to price, but they said e-commerce platforms this time are also trying other ways of marketing to attract people.
Between May 30 and June 14, JD sent cash gifts - which can be applied to online purchases - worth 1 billion yuan to users of its mobile application to draw attention to its sales promotion.
Tmall is also giving away cash gifts worth 50 million yuan to shoppers during its current promotion.
Although consumers can benefit from the heated competition and price war [during this period], Li Yi suggested that they consume reasonably and buy things that are really needed.
"Some goods may be even more expensive than before. People need to carefully compare the price tags of goods before placing an order," he noted, calling for more supervision from the authorities during the sales.
Lu noted that these retailers are all focusing on consumer electronics and home appliances, which is a wise decision given that June usually sees many purchases of such goods.
Big sales will challenge e-commerce platforms' logistics and post-sales services, which need to be further improved, he remarked.
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