Archive for ‘Guangdong’

05/07/2019

Thousands protest in central China over waste incineration plant

  • Riot police deployed after week of unrest over proposed plant next to residential areas – echoing recent years’ protests against incinerators elsewhere in the country
  • District government urges people to ignore rumours and says plant’s location has yet to be finalised
People in Yangluo protest against the proposed incineration plant on Thursday night. Photo: Handout
People in Yangluo protest against the proposed incineration plant on Thursday night. Photo: Handout
Thousands of people took to the streets in central China on Thursday night in a seventh day of protests against the construction of a waste incineration plant.
Protesters carried banners and chanted as they marched against a waste-to-energy plant that could be built next to residential areas in Yangluo, near Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province.
Residents were angered by plans to build the plant on a garbage landfill site that had been expected to be turned into a public park.
They shouted slogans such as “Return us the green mountain and clear waters” and “Garbage burning plant get lost from Yangluo”.
Riot police move in as protests continue in Yangluo on Thursday. Photo: Handout
Riot police move in as protests continue in Yangluo on Thursday. Photo: Handout

A letter to the public by the Xinzhou district government on Wednesday had urged people “not to listen to or spread rumours”, and said that a location had yet to be finalised for the plant.

“What is rumoured online to be the garbage burning project that has already started is in fact demolition work for a railway construction project,” the letter said.

Converting waste to energy by burning it has been adopted in China as an alternative to burying rubbish in landfill sites – which causes pollution and requires a lot of land – but it has been widely resisted because of fears that it is a health hazard. Large protests against incinerators have been held in recent years in Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Hubei, Beijing and Guangdong.

“We understand the need to dispose of garbage in an environmentally friendly way, but does it have to be that close to our homes? Two universities and more than 10 residential areas are within a 3km (1.86 miles) radius,” said the man, referring to the Wuhan University of Bioengineering and Wuhan Engineering Institute.

Yangluo, designated as an economic and technology development area, is 30km northeast of downtown Wuhan and has a population of 300,000. The incineration plant would handle 2,000 tonnes of waste per day, the Wuhan urban management committee said last month.

Residents asked about the progress of the project in early June and were told that the authorities were still choosing a site.

Protests broke out last Friday after rumours spread that the project had already started – forcing the district government to say on Saturday that it would “not start without approval from the public”.

Nonetheless, thousands of protesters – about 10,000, according to one source – marched on Saturday and Sunday, leading to some arrests, although those detained at the weekend had since been released, protesters said.

After minor protests on Monday and Tuesday, residents gathered in greater numbers in Yangluo on Wednesday and Thursday nights, met by a heavy police presence.

Videos seen by the South China Morning Post show hundreds of riot police marching through the streets, equipped with helmets, shields and batons

The crowd dispersed at about 10pm as police began to round up some protesters. They were taken aboard a coach and two men were handled roughly, the videos showed.

Chinese town residents clash with riot police over incinerator
An official from the Xinzhou district government’s publicity department stressed to the Post that the project would not begin without public approval and its location had not yet been chosen.
Source: SCMP
Advertisements
27/06/2019

Chinese port halts scrap metal imports as stockpiles mount

  • Customs authority at southern port of Sanshan brings forward deadline for scrap cargoes to arrive
  • Capacity has been ‘seriously exceeded’ and there are temporary controls on how many boats can dock
China is restricting imports of scrap metal as part of its efforts to reduce pollution. Photo: Reuters
China is restricting imports of scrap metal as part of its efforts to reduce pollution. Photo: Reuters
The port of Sanshan in southern China’s Guangdong province stopped accepting scrap metal shipments on Thursday after an excessive build-up of stockpiles caused by importers racing to bring in cargoes ahead of new rules starting next week.
China, the world’s biggest metals consumer, is restricting imports of eight types of scrap metal, including high-grade copper scrap, from July 1 in a 
crackdown on foreign solid waste

to reduce pollution in the country.

Because scrap stockpiles at the port have grown too large, customs decided to bring forward the deadline for scrap cargoes to arrive at Sanshan from June 29 to June 26, according to a notice from the Sanshan port authority sent to customers and reviewed by Reuters.
Shipments arriving from June 27 could not be accepted, said the notice, whose authenticity was confirmed by a port official who asked to remain unidentified.
Sanshan’s import capacity had “already been seriously exceeded” and there were temporary controls on the number of boats allowed to dock, the official added.
It was not immediately clear when shipments would be able to resume. Firms that have received quotas from China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment will still be allowed to import the soon-to-be-restricted metal after July 1, but no quotas have been issued so far for Guangdong and its key scrap hub of Foshan.

The Sanshan port official said cargoes declared to customs before July 1 would be able to pass.

The environment ministry last week released the first batch of quotas, which for copper scrap totalled around 240,000 tonnes, mostly for companies in Zhejiang, another of China’s metal recycling centres.

China to issue scrap metal import licences as restrictions tighten

The port of Sanshan, which is near Foshan and under the jurisdiction of Guangzhou customs, is one of only 18 seaports in China authorised to handle solid waste imports.

Guangzhou customs did not immediately respond to a faxed request for comment.

Source: SCMP

05/06/2019

National WeChat mini-program launched to promote e-government services

BEIJING, June 5 (Xinhua) — A national WeChat mini-program was launched Wednesday to enable users to enjoy over 200 e-government services via the cross-region and cross-department digital platform.

The mini-program, a small application embedded within China’s popular social media platform WeChat, connects users with services offered by six government agencies including the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Commerce, according to a statement from WeChat’s developer Tencent.

Individual users can search information about their education and traffic violation record, among others, while enterprises can apply for certain licenses and certificates online via the mini-program.

The mini-program is also connected with local government online service platforms in several provinces including Guangdong and Zhejiang, while more local e-government services will be connected in the future, the statement said.

E-government services via apps and mini-programs are increasingly popular in China amid national and local efforts to cut administrative red tape to benefit residents and businesses alike.

A total of 30 provincial-level regions have established integrated e-government platforms that incorporate the services of provincial, city and county governments, according to a report released in May.

In 2018, the number of real-name users on provincial e-government platforms reached 145 million, an increase of 38 million over the previous year, the report showed.

Source: Xinhua

28/05/2019

China embraced gay ‘marriage’ long before Taiwan’s law. The West perverted history

  • Asia has a rich but largely forgotten history of acceptance of queer relationships
  • It was not until the colonial era that sexual and gender diversity came to be seen as a sin
An LGBT pride parade in support of Taiwan’s same-sex marriage law. Photo: Reuters
An LGBT pride parade in support of Taiwan’s same-sex marriage law. Photo: Reuters
Anyone reading the headlines about

Taiwan’s

legalisation of same-sex marriage
would get the impression this was Asia’s first taste of marriage equality. They would be quite wrong.

While Taiwan may be the first jurisdiction in Asia to legalise the modern form of same-sex marriage, such unions have been recognised across the region in various guises for centuries.
It may be true that Asia does not have a great reputation among the 
LGBTQ

community, but it does have a rich history of acceptance of sexual and gender diversity – one that has largely been forgotten.

When Europeans first encountered Chinese society, they praised many aspects of it, from its efficient government to the sophisticated lifestyles of the upper-class. But they were shocked and repulsed about one aspect of Chinese society: the “abominable vice of sodomy”.
Opinion: Three lessons for Hong Kong from Taiwan’s LGBT journey
One Portuguese Dominican friar, Gaspar da Cruz, even wrote an apocalyptic tract which portrayed China as the new Sodom – beset by earthquakes, floods, and other natural disasters due to their acceptance of that “filthy abomination, which is that they are so given to the accursed sin of unnatural vice”, that is, sodomy.
Southern China, in particular, was known for a widespread acceptance of homosexual relationships. Shen Defu, a Chinese writer during the Ming dynasty, wrote that it was common for men of all social classes in Fujian province to take male lovers. While men generally took on these lovers while maintaining respectable marriages to women, there were some men who took their lover-relationships to a quasi-marriage level. The older man would be considered qixiong (adoptive older brother) and the younger qidi(adoptive younger brother).
South Korean men take part in Taiwan’s annual LGBT pride parade in Taipei. Photo: AFP
South Korean men take part in Taiwan’s annual LGBT pride parade in Taipei. Photo: AFP

Bret Hinsch, a professor of history in Taiwan, describes the ceremony based on the narration of a Chinese playwright, Li Yu (1610-1680): “Two men sacrifice a carp, a rooster, and a duck. They then exchange their exact times of birth, smear each other’s mothers with the blood of their sacrifices, and then swear eternal loyalty to one another.

The ceremony concludes with feasting on the sacrificial victims …. The younger qidi would move into the qixiong’s household. There he would be treated as a son-in-law by his husband’s parents. Throughout the marriage, many of which lasted for 20 years, the qixiong would be completely responsible for his younger husband’s upkeep.

The marriage would typically dissolve after a number of years so that the younger man could find a bride to marry to procreate and further the family lineage. The elder man was expected to pay the bride a price for the younger man.

These forms of gay “marriage” were prevalent enough in Fujian that there was even a patron deity of homosexuality, the rabbit. Many Han people from Fujian migrated to Taiwan starting in the 17th century; they now make up 80 per cent of the population.

Explained: gay rights, LGBTQ and same-sex marriage in Asia
Most literary accounts of homosexual relationships in China involve men, and there is a lively debate among scholars as to whether women enjoyed the same freedom.
Nevertheless, the most documented of female “quasi-marriages” are the “Golden Orchid Associations” in Guangdong. (Around 15 per cent of Taiwan’s population is Hakka, which historians trace specifically to Han migrants from Guangdong and surrounding areas.) The Golden Orchid Society was a movement based in Guangdong that lasted from the late Qing dynasty until the early 1900s. It provided a “sisterhood” alternative to women who did not want to get married for various reasons.
To announce her intentions, one woman would offer another gifts of peanut candy, dates and other goods. If the recipient accepted the gift, it was a signal she had accepted the proposal. They would swear an oath to one another, where sometimes one woman was designated “husband” and the other “wife”.
A couple kiss as they celebrate Taiwan’s legalisation of same-sex marriage. Photo: Reuters
A couple kiss as they celebrate Taiwan’s legalisation of same-sex marriage. Photo: Reuters

Hinsch describes the ceremony in this way: “After an exchange of ritual gifts, the foundation of the Chinese marriage ceremony, a feast attended by female companions served to witness the marriage. These married lesbian couples could even adopt female children, who in turn could inherit family property from the couple’s parents.”

While these “marriages” are not equivalent to the same-sex marriages of today, they nevertheless are historical precedents for what is now happening in Taiwan.

And China is far from being the only country in Asia with a queer history – Southeast Asia’s LGBTQ history is even richer.

Why some members of Singapore’s LGBT community prefer life in the shadows

In the early modern period, marriages between two people of the same assigned sex but who identified as different genders, were fairly normal in many parts of Southeast Asia. We know this primarily from the records Europeans kept when they landed on Asian shores.

For instance, here is a letter by a Portuguese missionary, Antonio de Paiva, to his Catholic bishop in 1544 about his observations of the Bugis people in what is now 

Indonesia

: “Your lordship will know that the priests of these kings are generally called bissus. They grow no hair on their beards, dress in a womanly fashion, and grow their hair long and braided; they imitate [women’s] speech because they adopt all of the female gestures and inclinations. They marry and are received, according to the custom of the land, with other common men, and they live indoors, uniting carnally in their secret places with the men whom they have for husbands …”

After this scandalised description, the author concludes with amazement that the Christian god, who had destroyed “three cities of Sodom for the same sin”, had not yet destroyed such “wanton people” who were “encircled by evil”.
Drag queens at a gay nightclub in Beijing. Despite its reputation, Asia has a long history of accepting diversity. Photo: EPA
Drag queens at a gay nightclub in Beijing. Despite its reputation, Asia has a long history of accepting diversity. Photo: EPA

Dating as far back as the 13th century, bissu have traditionally served as council to kings and guarded sacred manuscripts. They are considered a fifth gender within the Bugis’ gender-system: oroané (male men), makkunrai (female women), calabai (male women), calalai (female men), and bissu, who were neither male nor female (or both).

Brunei’s LGBT residents face up to new death by stoning law against gay sex
Today, their ranks have thinned – in one area, the population has dwindled to just six people – but the tradition remains, and they still perform important blessings. Contemporary bissu are typically male-bodied individuals who adopt feminine and masculine elements in their appearance. Although in the past bissu were married men, today they are required to be celibate.
In pre-Islamic Bugis culture, bissu were accorded priestly honours and tasked with mediating between the gods and people precisely because of, not in spite of, their gender. According to professor Halilintar Lathier, an Indonesian anthropologist, Bugis culture “perceived the upper world as male and this world as female, and therefore only a meta-gender would be able to become an intermediary”.
This pattern of a “gender-expansive” priest able to marry others of the same sex recurs throughout Southeast Asia.
A transgender beauty contest in Pattaya, Thailand. Despite its reputation, Asia has a long history of accepting diversity. Photo: Handout
A transgender beauty contest in Pattaya, Thailand. Despite its reputation, Asia has a long history of accepting diversity. Photo: Handout
To the west of South Sulawesi is Borneo, a large island that contains all of Brunei and parts of Indonesia and

Malaysia

. Borneo is home to many indigenous communities, including the Iban. The Iban historically respected manang bali, who were typically male-bodied shamans who adopted feminine dress and demeanour, and who took men as their husbands. Manang bali were mediators and held roles of great ritual importance; they were typically wealthy village chiefs known for their healing arts.

West of Borneo is the Malay Peninsula, where there are records from the Malay Annals and Misa Melayu dating as far back as the 15th century about priests, called sida-sida, who served in the palaces of the Malay sultans. They were responsible for safeguarding women in the palace as well as the food and clothing of royalty, and overseeing ritual protocol. The sida-sida undertook “androgynous behaviour” such as wearing women’s clothing and doing women’s tasks. A Malay anthropologist in the 1950s, Shamsul A.B., recalls seeing male-bodied sida-sida in the royal palace in his childhood, who were believed by the population to either be celibate and asexual, or attracted to men. Michael Peletz, an anthropologist and author of Gender Pluralism in Southeast Asia, notes that based on the evidence, it is “highly likely” that sida-sida involved both male- and female-bodied people who were involved in transgender practices, and who engaged in sexual relationships with people of the same and opposite sex.
How a gay student’s suicide is helping Japan’s LGBT community speak up
Northeast of Malaysia is the

Philippines

, where pre-colonial communities were religiously led by babylan: women healers and shamans who were responsible for mediating between the gods and people. Male-bodied people (asog, bayog), sometimes considered a third sex, could also hold these roles so long as they comported themselves like women. A 16th century Spanish Catholic manuscript records asog in the following manner:

“Ordinarily they dress as women, act like prudes and are so effeminate that one who does not know them would believe they are women … they marry other males and sleep with them as man and wife and have carnal knowledge.”
Dancers perform at the ShanghaiPRIDE opening party. Despite its reputation, Asia has a long history of accepting diversity. Photo: AFP
Dancers perform at the Shanghai PRIDE opening party. Despite its reputation, Asia has a long history of accepting diversity. Photo: AFP

The Spanish priests saw these asog as “devil-possessed”, particularly because they habitually practised “sodomy” among one another. Due to the Chinese reputation for homosexuality and various Sinophobic attitudes, some even attributed the prevalence of sodomy to the Chinese, whom they said had “infected the natives” and introduced the curse to the “Indians”, although there is no evidence of this.

COLONIAL CURVEBALL

Although these examples relate to the religious arena, anthropologists believe the respect accorded to these ritual specialists were an indicator of a wider societal acceptance of gender and sexual diversity in Southeast Asia – an acceptance that began to be eroded through the introduction of world religions (particularly Christianity), modernity, and colonialism. For example, in Malaysia, Brunei, 

Singapore

, Myanmar and throughout the commonwealth, the British enforced a penal code that legislated against sodomy. More than half of the countries that currently legally prohibit sodomy do so based on laws created by the British.

On gay sex, India has assumed an ancient position. Read the kama sutra
Similarly, after the Chinese were defeated by Western and Japanese imperialists, many Chinese progressives in the early 20th century sought to modernise China, which meant adopting “modern” Western ideas of dress, relationships, science and sexuality.
Concubinage was outlawed, prostitution was frowned upon, and women’s feet were unbound. It also meant importing European scientific understandings of homosexuality as an inverted or perverted pathology. These “scientific ideas” were debunked in the 1960s in the West, but lived on in China, frozen in time, and have only recently begun to thaw with the rise of LGBTQ activists in Asia.
A recent headline on the news from Taiwan read: “First in Asia: marriage equality comes to Taiwan”, as if the recent bill was an unprecedented “first” for Asia and that marriage equality – which, presumably, the headline writer associates with the West – has finally reached Asian shores.
But when we zoom out historically, it is evident that what happened in Taiwan is not so much a novel “breakthrough” for Asia. It is more a reconnection to its queer Chinese and Asian heritage, as well as a rejection of outdated Western ideas that it once adopted.
There is still much more work to be done to advance LGBT rights in Taiwan and the rest of Asia, but perhaps looking backwards in time can help us move forward.
Source: SCMP
24/05/2019

Chinese police arrest 20 over pornographic live-streaming app that attracted 1 million users

  • Streaming platform Huahua earned US$2.3 million in profit in five months, according to media report
  • Final two suspects arrested in Philippines, police say
Chinese police with the last two principal suspects in the Philippines on April 26. Photo: Weibo
Chinese police with the last two principal suspects in the Philippines on April 26. Photo: Weibo
Chinese police have arrested 20 people from a cross-border group accused of operating illegal live streaming platforms to broadcast pornographic content, according to mainland online news outlet The Paper.
After an investigation lasting over a year, police in Macheng in central China’s Hubei province said they arrested the last two main suspects, a man surnamed Hong and a woman surnamed Li, in the Philippines on April 26.
Their 
live-streaming

platform, which was initially called Huahua, had more than 900,000 registered users, earning the group 16 million yuan (US$2.3 million) in profit in five months from November 2017, according to the report.

The Chinese government announced in February 2018 it was 
launching a campaign

against pornographic and illegal publications to foster a healthy online environment.The next month, Macheng police received a tip-off that people were distributing QR codes to download Huahua in chat groups on the popular Chinese messaging app QQ.

On the Huahua platform, live streamers gave erotic performances, with the most popular streamers drawing more than 2,000 viewers at a time and users able to make requests by paying up to almost 2,000 yuan (US$290).

The group had a structure and rules designed to avoid the police’s attention, the report said. Members did not know each other’s identities and each had only one point of contact.

Some recruited streamers, others promoted the app on social platforms to attract traffic, and members in Mongolia laundered money with foreign bank accounts, while the app’s appearance and servers were changed several times, the report said.

After 18 people were arrested by April 2018 across the country, including in Shanghai and Guangdong, the No 1 suspect, the Mongolia-based Hong, fled to South Korea then to the Philippines, where he met Li and they built a similar app, according to the report.

The report said Hong had owned a company in Shanghai focusing on developing video games before turning to pornographic live streaming to make money quickly when the gaming business struggled.

Source: SCMP

21/05/2019

Guangdong to fully open elderly care market

GUANGZHOU, May 20 (Xinhua) — South China’s Guangdong Province abolished an old regulation on the market access of elderly care institutions to boost the development of the industry, local civil affairs authorities said Monday.

A registration and filing system will be put into practice to replace the previous license system, which has been implemented since December 20, 2014, to lower the threshold for setting up elderly care institutions. Social sectors are encouraged to participate in the industry.

The provincial department of civil affairs will issue relevant policy documents on the registration and supervision of elderly care institutions, to further promote services for the aged in Guangdong.

China saw improved elderly care system, with 163,800 elderly care institutions and facilities offering 7.46 million beds for senior citizens as of the end of 2018.

A raft of measures are being taken to accelerate the development of the elderly care service industry, including fully opening the elderly care market by 2020.

Source: Xinhua

07/03/2019

China ‘exaggerated’ GDP data by 2 percentage points for at least nine years, new study says

  • Mainland has overestimated its nominal and real growth rates by about 2 full percentage points on average between 2008 to 2016
  • Calculations suggest that the current nominal size of the economy is about 18 per cent lower than the official level of US$13.4 trillion at the end of 2018

13 Feb 2019

The paper, “A Forensic Examination of China’s National Account”, was submitted to the “Brookings Papers on Economic Activity”, a journal published by the US-based Brookings Institute. Photo: EPA
The paper, “A Forensic Examination of China’s National Account”, was submitted to the “Brookings Papers on Economic Activity”, a journal published by the US-based Brookings Institute. Photo: EPA
China has overestimated its nominal and real growth rates by about 2 full percentage points on average between 2008 to 2016, with the miscalculation increasing each year, according to a new study published on Thursday.
The results indicate that the actual size of China’s economy at the end of 2018 was well below the government’s official estimate.
It also raises questions not only about the quality of economic data from the world’s second largest economy, but also the willingness of the government to take the steps necessary to accurately report information.
Using the study’s findings and applying them to government figures starting with the level of nominal gross domestic product (GDP) at the end of 2007 and the growth rate for 2008, calculations by the South China Morning Post show that the current nominal size of the Chinese economy is about 18 per cent lower than the official level of 90 trillion yuan (US$13.4 trillion) at the end of 2018.
The calculation assumes that the government’s official 2017 and 2018 nominal growth rates are overestimated by 2 percentage points, as suggested by the study.

Overestimates of growth in 2007 and previous years would further reduce the current size of the Chinese economy.

SCMP calculations show the adjusted nominal GDP level in China is about US$11.5 trillion using current exchange rates, still more than twice the size of Japan’s economy at US$5.16 trillion, but well below the economy of the United States at US$20 trillion.

The paper, “A Forensic Examination of China’s National Account”, was submitted to the “Brookings Papers on Economic Activity”, a journal published by the US-based think tank Brookings Institute twice a year on macroeconomic issues that are influencing the public policy debate. It will be formally presented in Washington on Thursday.
“Our estimates suggest that the extent by which local governments exaggerate local GDP accelerated after 2008, but the magnitude of the adjustment by the NBS did not change in tandem,” the authors said.

The study focuses primarily on nominal, non-inflation adjusted growth.

The paper comes at a sensitive time for Chinese policymakers, who are battling a slowing economy due to their campaign to reduce debt and risky lending as well as the effect of the trade war with the United States. The inflation-adjusted growth rate of 6.6 per cent last year was the slowest since 1990.

On Tuesday, the government announced that it had lowered its growth target for 2019 to a range of 6 to 6.5 per cent, down from “about 6.5 per cent” last year due to the multiple headwinds the economy is facing. The government also announced new tax cuts and additional government spending to help stabilise growth.
The paper’s four authors – Chen Wei, Chen Xilu and Michael Song from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Chang-Tai Hsieh from the University of Chicago – used a mix of economic indicators that are less likely to have been manipulated by authorities to prove that the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) have not done enough to correct the errors in the data collected from provincial governments over the past decade.

Our estimates suggest that the extent by which local governments exaggerate local GDP accelerated after 2008, but the magnitude of the adjustment by the NBS did not change in tandem.Report authors

It has long been believed that local Chinese officials inflate figures reflecting their economic performance, which is closely tied to their opportunity for promotion. Since 2003, the NBS has produced a national gross domestic product (GDP) figure that is lower than aggregate provincial data after examining other data such as the census and land sales.

Local statistics bureaus generally overstate industrial output as a portion of overall production as well as the size of investment within overall expenditures, the two different approaches to calculating GDP, according to the paper. The methods of data collection are often the cause, for example, calculations of investment spending have been based purely on government reports on specific projects rather than on the financial statements of the investing firms involved.

One method that the authors used to probe the accuracy of the NBS’s adjustments was comparing the growth of official GDP with the growth of revenue from value-added tax (VAT), which taxes the value added to a product at each stage of production.

Local governments have fewer incentives to manipulate VAT revenue, since a large portion of it is eventually transferred to the central government, therefore overstating VAT would only increase fiscal revenue losses.

Premier Li Keqiang confirmed China had lowered its growth target for 2019 to a range of 6 to 6.5 per cent at the National People’s Congress on Tuesday. Photo:
Premier Li Keqiang confirmed China had lowered its growth target for 2019 to a range of 6 to 6.5 per cent at the National People’s Congress on Tuesday. Photo:

Although the NBS adjusts downwards local statistics, it does not report the adjusted local statistics, perhaps out of a desire to not confront powerful local leaders.Report authors

“Although the NBS adjusts downwards local statistics, it does not report the adjusted local statistics, perhaps out of a desire to not confront powerful local leaders,” the authors said.

Since September, the NBS has named and shamed local governments on its website for manipulating data, but it remains to be seen if local governments fall in line.

In a post in January, the NBS said it had passed 14 cases of data falsification on to local governments before February 2018 but that it had not been updated even though local officials are required by law to punish those responsible for manipulating data within six months after receiving a notice of a violation.

The NBS’s ability to fix China’s GDP data problem is bound by its limited political power, the authors indicated.

“There are three problems with China’s GDP. One is that it doesn’t necessarily measure the right thing. Two is statistical bias in the way data is collected. Three is really a macro policy problem by the government which should write down all the bad debt,” said Michael Pettis, professor of finance at Peking University.

“The NBS is only trying to fix the second problem.”

Source: SCMP

06/03/2019

China to make forced technology transfer illegal as Beijing tries to woo back foreign investors

  • Issue a key demand made by US President Donald Trump as part of the ongoing US-China trade war
  • China expected to pass new foreign investment law next week during National People’s Congress

26 Feb 2019

Foreign direct investment in China amounted to US$135 billion in 2018, an increase of 3 per cent from a year earlier, according to Chinese government data. Photo: EPA

Foreign direct investment in China amounted to US$135 billion in 2018, an increase of 3 per cent from a year earlier, according to Chinese government data. Photo: EPA
Beijing will make it illegal to force foreign investors to transfer their technology to Chinese partners while also lowering market barriers for foreign firms to enter the domestic market, a senior economic planning official said on Wednesday, highlighting an effort to lure overseas investment inflows.
China is expected to pass a new law next week intended to protect the interests of foreign investors, both as a response to demands from the United States that have formed part of the ongoing trade war negotiations, and to help shore up economic growth, which slowed last year to its lowest rate in 28 years.
Foreign investors will be allowed to set up ventures in which they have full ownership, instead of being forced into joint ventures with local partners, in more industries, said Ning Jizhe, a vice-chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, in Beijing on Wednesday during the National People’s Congress.

But foreign investment into the world’s second biggest economy have slowed over last decade, which could deprive China of access to advanced technologies and marginalise the country in the development of future global supply chains.

Beijing is trying to lure more foreign capital and technology to support its plan to upgrade its manufacturing industries and boost the development of new, hi-tech sectors.

“China will roll out more opening-up measures in the agriculture, mining, manufacturing and service sectors, allowing wholly foreign-owned enterprises in more fields,” Ning said.

China law to protect intellectual property, ban forced tech transfer
Since December, China has been rushing to draft legislation for a new foreign investment law, a key clause of which prohibits local government’s from forcing transfer of technology in return for being allowed to conduct business in their jurisdictions.
The National People’s Congress is expected to endorse the new 

“After passing the law, the government will take serious measures to obey and implement it,” Ning added.

He said that China will remove market entry restrictions for foreign investors to ensure that domestic and foreign firms “are treated as equals.”

Ning Jizhe, a vice-chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission. Photo: EPA
Ning Jizhe, a vice-chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission. Photo: EPA

However, the jury is still out whether Beijing’s promises of fair treatment, market access and protection for intellectual property rights will be enough to generate a steady inflow of hi-tech investment.

The US has long complained that China has been unwilling to implement previous commitments under the World Trade Organisation to open up its market – allegation Beijing denies.

Shen Jianguang, chief economist at JD Digits, an arm of Chinese e-commerce firm JD.com, said restrictions on foreign investment will exist in China despite the government’s promises.

China’s domestic market remains large and attractive for some foreign investors, he said.

“Foreign investors are still very interested in the Chinese market, if the openness of the economy is sufficient,” Shen added.

Source: SCMP

22/02/2019

China’s social credit system report shows that richest provinces are home to the most dodgy firms

  • Firms in Jiangsu and Guangdong provinces top the list of new additions to blacklist in 2018
  • Bogus advertising, illegal activities in property industry, substandard health care products and P2P lending fraud are typical cases

Social credit system: China’s richest regions are also home to the most blacklisted firms

22 Feb 2019

A real property agent checks a property advertising board in Beijing. According to a report by the Chinese government, property brokerages are among the country’s least scrupulous group of firms. Photo: Agence France-Presse

A real p