Archive for ‘Chindia Alert’

31/01/2015

China’s Provinces Lower Their Sights After Most Miss Economic Targets – China Real Time Report – WSJ

Most Chinese provinces missed their economic growth targets for last year, according to figures published Friday, in what would only recently have been an unthinkable event but is another sign of the economy’s rapid deceleration.

Out of 31 provinces and province-like administrative regions, 27 missed their marks, while one met its target and three have yet to report their performance, according to the Beijing News, a state-run newspaper.

Growth targets have been seen for decades as ironbound objectives, by Chinese officialdom, from Beijing on down. Provinces have typically competed to outdo the national target—which has ranged around 7% to 8%–setting their own goals higher and then making sure they exceed them, and with good reason: Growth factors heavily in the performance assessments for mayors, governors and other officials seeking promotions to higher office.

via China’s Provinces Lower Their Sights After Most Miss Economic Targets – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

31/01/2015

5 Things to Know About Turkey and the Chinese Uighurs – WSJ

1 TURKISH NATIONALISTS CONSIDER UIGHURS KIN.

Many Turkish nationalists regard the Uighurs, who speak a Turkic language, as part of a broad family of ethnic Turks spread across Eurasia. They have lobbied successive Turkish governments to offer refuge to those fleeing Chinese rule and to allow Uighurs to campaign against Beijing’s policies from Turkish soil.

2 TURKEY HAS SHELTERED UIGHUR LEADERS SINCE AT LEAST THE 1950S.

Turkey offered shelter in the 1950s to Isa Yusuf Alptekin, a Uighur nationalist who was a leader of the East Turkestan Republic established in southern Xinjiang from 1933 to 1934. A small park named after him can be found in Istanbul, near the Blue Mosque in the city’s historic center.

3 TURKISH AUTHORITIES HELPED ESTABLISH UIGHUR COMMUNITIES IN TURKEY IN 1965.

In 1965, Turkey offered sanctuary to a group of some 200 Chinese Uighurs who had escaped on foot to Afghanistan. Turkish authorities airlifted them out of Kabul and settled them mostly in the central Turkish city of Kayseri, where many still live today.

4 UIGHURS FLEEING CHINA OFTEN HEAD FOR ISTANBUL.

The Turkish government doesn’t provide official statistics for the number of Uighurs in Turkey. Uighur groups say there are about 20,000, many of whom have never been to China. About 1,500 are in Kayseri, while most others live in Istanbul, especially in the Zeytinburnu neighborhood near old town. There are also hundreds of thousands of Uighurs living in former Soviet Central Asia

5 THE UIGHUR ISSUE MAKES TURKEY-CHINA RELATIONS A DELICATE BALANCE.

After inter-ethnic rioting in 2009 left at least 156 dead in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, Turkey’s then Prime Minister — now President — Recep Tayyip Erdogan described the violence as “genocide,” prompting an angry response from Beijing. In 2012, with relations improving, Mr. Erdogan made his first stop in Xinjiang during an official visit to China.

via 5 Things to Know About Turkey and the Chinese Uighurs – WSJ.

31/01/2015

Record Coal India share sale boosts privatisation drive | Reuters

India has raised about $3.6 billion by selling a 10 percent stake in state-run Coal India Ltd in the largest ever equity deal in the local market, giving a welcome boost to the government‘s faltering divestment drive.

Workers drill at an open cast coal field at Dhanbad district in Jharkhand September 18, 2012. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood/Files

The share sale will move the government closer to the still distant target of raising $10 billion by selling minority stakes in state-owned companies to trim the fiscal deficit to a seven-year low by the end of March.

Until now, the government had raised barely $300 million.

The strong investor response to the Coal India issue is expected to bolster New Delhi’s plans to offload shares in other state firms including Oil and Natural Gas Corp and Power Finance Corp Ltd.

Overseas and local portfolio investor demand for Coal India shares exceeded supply, in a vote of confidence in recovery in Asia’s third-largest economy, and in its growing demand for energy as industrial production increases.

via Record Coal India share sale boosts privatisation drive | Reuters.

31/01/2015

India’s economic growth revised up by almost 50 percent | Reuters

India’s economy grew almost 50 percent faster in 2013/14 than earlier thought, the government said on Friday after changing a formula, a reminder of the challenges that unreliable statistics present to Indian policymakers.

Kashmiri farmers thrash paddy crop in Srinagar October 22, 2013. REUTERS/Danish Ismail/Files

In the year leading up to the elections that brought Prime Minister Narendra Modi to power last May, the economy grew 6.9 percent, not the 4.7 percent reported earlier, chief statistician T.C.A. Anant told reporters.

Modi’s campaign succeeded partly because of the widespread feeling that his predecessors from the Congress party had plunged the economy into the country’s longest deceleration in growth in a generation.

The revised formula, showing a faster recovery, includes under-represented and informal sectors as well as items such as smartphones and LED television sets in gross domestic product.

That could boost India’s growth figure in the year ending in March 2015, which the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has projected to be around 5.5 percent.

Some in government predict the change will

via Economic growth revised up by almost 50 percent | Reuters.

31/01/2015

China expels top police official from Communist Party | Reuters

Fast and furious, the anti-corruption campaign continues to run.

“A top police official under investigation for corruption has been expelled from China’s ruling Communist Party, the country’s top anti-graft body said on Friday.

State media said Cai Guangliao holds the rank of major general in the paramilitary armed police, which is under the powerful Central Military Commission (CMC). He was first placed under investigation last year on suspicion of violating party discipline, a euphemism for corruption.

A statement from the anti-corruption agency said Cai took advantage of his position to seek benefits for others and accepted bribes, illegally engaging in business activities and accepting gifts of money and valuables.

His case has been transferred to the judicial system, the statement said.”

via China expels top police official from Communist Party | Reuters.

31/01/2015

Panasonic withdraws from TV production in China: source | Reuters

As we said with the reduction of workforce at Foxconn, this could be the beginning of the end to off-shored manufacturing.  Time will tell if we’re right or not.

Panasonic Corp (6752.T) has stopped making TVs in China and plans to liquidate its joint venture in Shandong, a company source said on Saturday, the latest in a string of Japanese electronics companies exiting overseas TV markets amid strong pricing pressure.

Exhibitors prepare the Panasonic exhibit space ahead of the International Consumer Electronics show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada January 5, 2015. The show officially opens on January 6. REUTERS/Rick Wilking (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY)

The source, who did not want to be identified because the move had not yet been announced to the roughly 300 workers at the Shangdong plant, said Panasonic ended production there on Friday.

The Nikkei earlier reported that Panasonic would withdraw from TV production in China and Mexico. The report said the company was expected to sell the Mexican plant, which has produced about 500,000 units a year, most of which were shipped to the United States.

Reuters could not confirm the company’s plans to exit Mexico. It currently has two plants in that country, part of the company’s nine TV manufacturing plants, excluding Shangdong.

A fierce price war has made the global TV market unprofitable for many Japanese electronics makers. Panasonic said in late October it was transferring its unprofitable Sanyo television unit in the U.S., which supplies sets to Wal-Mart Stores, to Funai Electric (6839.T) in return for royalties.

Toshiba Corp (6502.T) said on Thursday that it would stop making and selling TVs in North America and was considering similar exits from other countries.

Sharp Corp (6753.T) has licensed its TV brand in Europe to Universal Media Corp Slovakia as part of an effort to trim costs and pull back from loss-making operations. Sony Corp (6758.T) has spun off its struggling TV business into a separate entity, although CEO Kazuo Hirai has said the company does not plan to sell or shut down the unit.”

via Panasonic withdraws from TV production in China: source | Reuters.

29/01/2015

China pledges to ‘regulate and revamp’ e-commerce sector amid Alibaba row | South China Morning Post

The Ministry of Commerce said it will boost regulation of China’s e-commerce sector amid the continuing row between Alibaba Group, over alleged sale of fake goods by its subsidiary Taobao.com, and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC).

Alibaba's corporate headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. Photo: Reuters

Shen Danyang, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce, said on Thursday that the move was aimed at revamping the entire sector.

Last year, the ministry investigated more than 11,000 violations in the fast-growing e-commerce industry, and closed 3,400 websites, Shen said. The ministry would continue its campaign to build a safe and reliable market for consumers.

Online media company Sina reported on Thursday that a SAIC spokesperson denied they had received a formal complaint from Taobao.com against director Liu Hongliang, despite Taobao’s claim yesterday that they would do so.

An open letter was published on Taobao’s official Weibo account on Tuesday accusing SAIC director Liu of commissioning an “unfair” quality survey of goods sold on the platform, which resembles eBay of the US, and making public the results without giving online shop owners a chance to appeal.

Alibaba Group is due to release its quarterly earnings tonight.

via China pledges to ‘regulate and revamp’ e-commerce sector amid Alibaba row | South China Morning Post.

29/01/2015

China eyes mass innovation, entrepreneurship as new engine – Xinhua | English.news.cn

China’s State Council pledged to take various steps to create an amicable environment for innovation and entrepreneurship in order to power growth and generate jobs.

China should embrace the trend of mass entrepreneurship and innovation in the Internet age, a statement released after an executive meeting of the State Council presided over by Premier Li Keqiang said.

The statement said China will foster a platform offering low-cost services in a variety of areas to micro businesses and individual start-ups that show innovation.

The government will also step up policy support, such as simplifying registration procedures and giving subsidies, to innovative businesses. They will improve financing systems to give special support to start-up companies, according to the statement.

Although China’s broader economy is slowing, China’s young entrepreneurs are driving a wave of startups that has become a bright spot for the economic landscape and an important engine for future growth.

The number of newly founded companies in China surged almost 46 percent year on year to 3.65 million in 2014, the latest data showed.

via China eyes mass innovation, entrepreneurship as new engine – Xinhua | English.news.cn.

29/01/2015

India’s Vodafone decision eases tax worries for Shell, others | Reuters

This action demonstrates the new pro-business attitude of Modi’s government.

“India’s decision to drop a tax dispute with Vodafone Group Plc(VOD.L) is likely to mean relief for Royal Dutch Shell PLC(RDSa.L) and others caught in similar, protracted battles, as the government tries to attract much-needed foreign investment.

A Shell logo is seen at a petrol station in London January 31, 2013. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor/Files

India’s image as an investment destination has been tarnished by a reputation for red tape, unpredictable rules and a tax office long seen as over zealous in its pursuit of foreign firms. Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s government, seeking to reboot a slowing economy, has sought to change that.

Late on Wednesday, the government said it would not appeal a Bombay High Court ruling in favour of Vodafone, the biggest foreign investor in India.

“It’s a departure from the past when all the high-value tax cases were always litigated,” said Himanshu Shekar Sinha, a partner at law firm Trilegal.

“With this, the government has sent a clear direction that appeals should not be filed routinely.”

Tax lawyers said they expected cases such as those involving IBM (IBM.N), Nokia Oyj (NOK1V.HE), Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) and others could now be resolved instead through negotiation.”

via India’s Vodafone decision eases tax worries for Shell, others | Reuters.

28/01/2015

BBC News – The village that just got its first fridge

Three-quarters of the world’s homes have a fridge – an appliance that can revolutionise a family’s life. A tailor in one Indian village has just become the first person in his community to own one – something he has dreamed of for 10 years.

Santosh choosing a fridge

Santosh Chowdhury is pacing up and down speaking into his mobile phone.

“How much longer? It’s left past the auto-rickshaw stand, yes that’s right,” he shouts, and then continues his nervous pacing.

It’s a big day for him and indeed for the village of Rameshwarpur, just outside Calcutta in north-east India.

Santosh has bought a new fridge – not just his first but also the first in the entire community of 200 people. “Owning a fridge is quite rare in a village like ours,” he says.

The lack of fridges in Rameshwarpur reflects the situation across the whole of India. Only one in four of the country’s homes has one. That compares to an average of 99% of households in developed countries.

But change can be rapid when linked to an emerging middle class. In 2004, 24% of households in China owned a fridge. Ten years later this had shot up to 88%.

“Ours is the first generation to own a fridge in my family,” says Santosh. “No one in my father’s and grandfather’s time had ever seen one.”

Rameshwarpur has a distinctly rural feel. People bathe in a pond in the middle of the village, children fly kites in the dusty lanes. The homes are little more than simple huts, made of mud and brick. But the village has electricity and many houses have televisions.

Santosh works as a tailor. He lives in a modest, two-room hut which doubles as his home and workplace. “I don’t have a regular job as such,” he says. “Sometimes I also work part-time in a factory. I make about three to four dollars a day.”

Life is quite hard, especially for his wife Sushoma.

She cooks lunch, stirring a pot of rice on a wood fire outside their hut. It’s something she does every day because they have no way of storing leftovers. So Santosh has to go the market early each morning to shop for groceries.

He’s always wanted to make life easier for his wife and has been dreaming of buying a fridge for 10 years. “Owning one will be so convenient,” he says. “You don’t have to buy vegetables every day, you can store food – especially in the summer.”

So he’s been saving hard, putting away a bit of money every month for a purchase that costs more than a month’s salary. “I don’t make that much money, that’s why it’s taken me so long. But now I have enough,” he says, smiling.

At one of Calcutta’s high street stores, about 15km from his home, Santosh had several models to choose from. Peering inside, he ran his fingers along the side of a bright red model.

“It was quite confusing. It was my first time you know. I couldn’t figure out which one to get,” he says shyly. “My wife wanted a red one. I wanted one that will consume the least power. We need to keep our bills down.”

Finally, the deal was struck. Santosh got a discount because it was the final week of the winter sales. The price was 11,000 rupees (£120) – but more importantly, he was able to pay in instalments, having paid just under half the money up front.

“No one pays cash any more like they used to,” says store manager Pintoo Mazumdar. “Everyone can get a loan from the bank or the store – all you need is a bank statement and ID. That’s why so many lower income people can afford to buy a fridge these days.”

 

FRIDGEONOMICS

Fridge ownership around the world

76% Global average

65% Asia Pacific

99% Europe and North America

87% Latin America

63% Middle East and Africa

Source: Euromonitor

 

Santosh’s fridge finally arrives on the back of a cycle rickshaw. He walks along next to it with a broad smile. Many of the villagers come out on to the lane as well, craning their necks to get a better look.

“Careful, careful,” he cries out as a couple of them help carry the fridge into his house.

Then it’s time for a religious ceremony.

His wife applies a dab of vermillion to the fridge, to keep away evil spirits, and then blows on a conch shell to seek divine blessings and welcome the fridge into their home. The fridge has pride of place – next to Santosh’s sewing machine and their tiny television set.

They simply cannot stop smiling.

“We’ve dreamt of this moment for so long,” says his wife Sushoma. “Some of our neighbours have already asked us if they, too, can store some food in our fridge. “And I can’t wait to drink cold water in the summer.”

As Santosh shows off his fridge everyone crowds around, excited. “Imagine, they won’t have to shop for fresh vegetables every day,” says one woman. “I’m thinking of getting one too,” another man says.

It’s a special moment for the Chowdhurys. This acquisition could potentially transform their lives. “I can focus on finding more work and not worry about buying food for the family,” Santosh says. “My wife will get more free time and perhaps she can give me a hand as well.”

With those words, he opens his fridge and places the first contents inside – tomatoes, an aubergine, eggs and some milk.

via BBC News – The village that just got its first fridge.

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