Posts tagged ‘Chinese zodiac’

03/03/2015

Marks & Spencer to close five Shanghai stores, Asia head quits | Reuters

British retailer Marks & Spencer (MKS.L) has decided to close five stores in the greater Shanghai region following a review of its plans for China that will nevertheless see it stick to a commitment to expand into the country’s other large cities.

Clothes are displayed on hangers in an M&S shop in northwest London July 8, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

M&S also said on Monday that Bruce Findlay, its regional director for Asia, was quitting the firm after less than two years in the role to take up a position with another retailer.

The company entered China in 2008 with a store in Shanghai, and it now has 15 in the greater Shanghai region. But it has struggled to make a major impact in a country that it said on Monday remains one of its priority international markets along with India, Russia and the Middle East.

For the long term the group is in the process of evaluating potential local partners to expand in China, a path taken by other British retailers such as supermarkets group Tesco (TSCO.L) and home improvements firm Kingfisher (KGF.L).

Updating on its plans for the country following a review announced last April, M&S said it would continue to invest in its existing flagship store portfolio with the complete modernisation of its West Nanjing Road store in Shanghai in the autumn.

However, five of its supporting stores in the greater Shanghai region will close by August. Some 60 jobs will be effected. M&S also plans to reduce the size of its Shanghai head office.

M&S said it has a firm intent to enter other cities such as Beijing and Guangzhou over the next year, while further expansion online would enhance its brand across China.

via Marks & Spencer to close five Shanghai stores, Asia head quits | Reuters.

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20/02/2015

Top China cotton producer resists reforms in restive Xinjiang | Reuters

China’s top cotton producer, a quasi-military body formed 60 years ago to settle the far west Xinjiang area, is resisting a government policy that could force it to cut output in an industry employing hundreds of thousands in the restive region.

Farmers stack cotton at a cotton purchase station in Hami, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in this November 3, 2010 file picture. REUTERS/Stringer/Files

Beijing has pledged to end a costly stockpiling program that has artificially inflated cotton prices and in Xinjiang helped underpin an influx of Han Chinese workers, creating friction in an area home to the Muslim Uighur people.

Reluctant to accept the current weak market price, the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC) has asked the government to buy part of its crop and store it in state reserves, said two trade sources with knowledge of the issue.

XPCC, also known as the army corps, or ‘bingtuan’, has become a sort of state within a state and gained a dominant role in industries such as cotton, where it employs about 200,000 mainly Han Chinese on some of Xinjiang’s best land.

“Cotton is intimately associated with land usage, ownership, employment and Han in-migration. It’s all tied up,” said Tom Cliff, a scholar at the Australian National University.

Beijing has promised subsidies to help cushion the impact of ending stockpiling, but the total amount is unclear and with the local cotton price plunging any threat to the industry could be a fresh source of competition for jobs.

via Top China cotton producer resists reforms in restive Xinjiang | Reuters.

31/01/2014

Feng Shui Masters at Odds Over Prospects for Year of the Horse – China Real Time Report – WSJ

The Year of the Horse, which begins Friday, is a dangerous one for investing, according to Master Koon, a Hong Kong-based feng shui master.

The Chinese zodiac runs on a 60-year cycle, as the 12 animals occur in combination with each of the five elements of traditional Chinese cosmology: wood, water, fire, metal, and earth. The “wood horse,” which is up this year, represents “instability and disruption,” Master Koon said. A previous wood horse year, 1894, saw war break out between China and Japan – hardly an auspicious sign.

“Property, the stock market, the economy, politics—they’re all unstable,” said Master Koon. “So investments need to be conservative.”

Master Koon’s analysis flatly contradicts that of brokerage CLSA, which argued in a recent report that the Year of the Horse would be a good one for stocks. Based on its own survey of five feng shui diviners, CLSA calculates the Hong Kong stock market’s benchmark Hang Seng index will likely rise 28% over the next year.

It seems the masters of feng shui are no more in agreement than professional economists, whose prognostications for China’s growth vary from an export-driven resurgence to financial meltdown. It isn’t clear which profession has a better record of forecasting.

via Feng Shui Masters at Odds Over Prospects for Year of the Horse – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

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01/03/2013

* Hurun rich list stirs Chinese zodiac discussion

English: The carvings with Chinese Zodiac on t...

English: The carvings with Chinese Zodiac on the ceiling of the gate to Kushida Shrine in Fukuoka ) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SCMP: “The publication of the Hurun Global Rich List 2013, which revealed the top 10 wealthiest Chinese billionaires, on Thursday has triggered discussion among Chinese netizens about the Chinese zodiac signs of the rich.

 

The dragon is the most common zodiac sign among the billionaires, followed by the horse, said a post by China’s Global Times.

Commenting on the list of billionaires, one netizen wrote, “Chinese officials must be laughing at this so-called ‘rich list’.”

Others chimed in with comments on Chinese zodiac signs. “Dragons are born with a kind of self-confidence. They are destined to play a strong role,” one said.

Another claimed, “I will give birth to a ‘dragon baby’ and a ‘horse baby’!”

A third wrote, “Global Times, mind your own business.”

The report, compiled by the Shanghai-based Hurun Research Institute, showed that Hong Kong entrepreneurs make up the majority of the list, followed by those from Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.

The top industry sector favoured by the Chinese billionaires on the list is real estate, followed by manufacturing, finance and investment, and information technology.”

via Hurun rich list stirs Chinese zodiac discussion | South China Morning Post.

10/02/2013

* Zhejiang ‘Snake Village’ seeks New Year (of the Snake) boom

SCMP: “For Zisiqiao in eastern China, the arrival of the Year of the Snake on Sunday carries a special meaning, as the scaly reptile has given the tiny village its main industry and prosperity.

In the 1980s, villagers began raising snakes for food and traditional Chinese medicine, transforming the Zhejiang village economically.

Scores of households now raise serpents, earning the settlement of more than 800 people the nickname “Snake Village” in Chinese media.

A visitor holds a snake at the Snake Culture Museum in Zisiqiao village, Zhejiang Province. Photo: AP

They include Gao Shuihua, 50, who began breeding snakes three decades ago instead of the traditional farming and raising fish.

“We were poor before. We didn’t have anything else to do so we started raising snakes,” he said.

The snake is not considered to be among the most adorable of Chinese zodiac animals – which are based on the lunar year and not the calendar month – but Gao said they provide food and medicine as well as his livelihood.

“Some people don’t like to eat snake because they think it’s weird. But every kind of snake has its own method of preparation,” he said, adding he preferred his in soup, which makes the meat more tender.

“Business ought to be better this year because of the Year of the Snake,” he added, as he pulled out glasses for visitors to sample his homemade snake penis wine – the males have two such appendages – made from the venomous Chinese krait.

His nephew praised the drink’s benefits. “This is a tonic for building up health. It’s especially good for men.”

But Gao warned: “If this snake bites you, you will be dead in four hours.”

Upstairs in one of the bedrooms, the family keeps nine buckets of sharp-nosed vipers preserved in alcohol awaiting sale to traditional medicine factories, which pay 3 yuan (HK$3.70) apiece.

Snakes were worshipped by the earliest Chinese as a totem, with millennia-old stone carvings depicting Fuxi and Nuwa, the mythological ancestors of all Chinese, as half-human, half-snake.

And some historians also believe the dragon, regarded as China’s national symbol and typically depicted with a long serpentine body, was based on images of snakes.”

via Zhejiang ‘Snake Village’ seeks New Year boom | South China Morning Post.

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