Posts tagged ‘Chinese’

18/09/2014

Chinese Well-Being Is Low, Global Survey Shows – Businessweek

Despite years of rapid economic growth and rising incomes, Chinese aren’t feeling so great about themselves. And Chinese from the countryside are feeling even worse. That’s revealed by a new survey focusing on global well-being, released yesterday for the first time by polling agency Gallup and Healthways (HWAY) in Franklin, Tenn.

The Global Well-Being Index is designed as an alternative to traditional objective measures, such as GDP, life expectancy, and population size, the report explains. Instead, the index, which canvassed 133,000 people in 135 countries and regions, serves as “a global barometer of individuals’ perceptions of their well-being.” It’s important because people with higher well-being are “healthier, more productive, and more resilient in the face of challenges such as unemployment,” the report notes.

To find out just how people feel, the survey looked at five categories of perceived well-being, including financial and physical well-being, but also social well-being (“having supportive relationships and love in your life”), community well-being (“liking where you live, feeling safe, and having pride in your community”), and purpose well-being (“liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals”).

So where did the Chinese reveal themselves as particularly glum? On purpose, or feeling motivated every day, 35 percent of Chinese characterized their well-being as low, and 56 percent said it was moderate, while just 9 percent rated it as high. That compared with 13 percent of respondents in Asia who said they had high well-being, and twice as many, or 18 percent, globally.

On social and community well-being, the Chinese also lagged the rest of Asia and the world. And among rural Chinese, far fewer people expressed high satisfaction with their communities than urban Chinese— just 14 percent for those in the countryside, compared to 23 percent in cities. “With better access to education, entertainment, and employment opportunities, it’s not surprising that urban Chinese are more likely to be satisfied with their communities,” the reports says.

That split within China shows up when it comes to financial security, as well. Overall, the Chinese scored highly (Chinese overall also scored well in physical well-being), with 25 percent expressing high financial well-being, the same as the regional and global average. Yet the rate of those with low financial well-being among rural Chinese was twice that of those in Chinese cities, “speaking to China’s ongoing struggle with income inequality that has resulted from rapid growth,” according to the report.

via Chinese Well-Being Is Low, Global Survey Shows – Businessweek.

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11/09/2014

Despite Sluggish Economy, China Has Yet Again More Millionaires – China Real Time Report – WSJ

Perhaps the Chinese economy is doing OK after all: The country’s ranks of the rich are growing slightly faster, according to a new report.

By slightly, we mean very: one percentage point.

Still, those who track the rich point to it as an optimistic signal. At the end of 2013, there were 1,090,000 people with a net worth of more than 10 million yuan ($1.6 million) and 67,000 with more than 100 million yuan, according to the Hurun Wealth Report 2014. That’s an increase of 4% for both categories. In the previous year, the growth rate was 3% and 2%, respectively, which represented the lowest increase over the six years Hurun has compiled the report.

Hurun, which also puts together an annual list of the richest people in China, said it came up with its headcount by two methods. First, it looked at the sales of high-end real estate and cars, as well as income tax returns and other data related to wealthy individuals. Then, it rounded out its headcount by taking into account macroeconomic data like gross domestic product growth and gross national product.

So who are the new rich? Mostly private business owners, said Hurun, who make up 55% of all millionaires (up from 50% last year). The report said the wealthy typically own a personal residence worth at least 2 million yuan, multiple cars worth more than 200,000 yuan as well as 1.7 million yuan in “investable assets.”

via Despite Sluggish Economy, China Has Yet Again More Millionaires – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

22/08/2014

India and China: Strangers by choice | The Economist

For those readers really interested in China AND India, this is a ‘must-read’ article.  I’ve only extracted the first part.  For full article go to – India and China: Strangers by choice | The Economist.

FEW subjects can matter more in the long term than how India and China, with nearly 40% of the world’s population between them, manage to get along. In the years before they fought a short border war, in 1962, relations had been rosy. Many in China, for example, were deeply impressed by the peaceful and successful campaign led by Mohandas Gandhi to persuade the British to quit India. A few elderly people in China yet talk of their admiration for Rabindranath Tagore, the Bengali writer who won the Nobel prize for literature in 1913. And though Nehru, India’s first prime minister, was resented as arrogant and patronising by some Chinese leaders, the early post-war years saw friendship persist and some popular respect for him too. In China, for example, books on India were then easily available—unlike today.

The past half-century has produced mostly squabbles, resentment and periodic antagonism. India felt humiliated by its utter defeat at the hands of Mao’s army in the 1962 war. China’s long-running close ties to Pakistan look designed to antagonise India. In return India is developing ever warmer relations with the likes of Vietnam and Japan. An unsettled border in the Himalayas, periodic incursions by soldiers into territory claimed by the other side and China’s claim—for example—that India’s Arunachal Pradesh is really a part of Tibet, all suggest that happier relations will be slow in coming. Even a booming bilateral trade relationship is as much a bone of contention as a source of friendlier ties, given India’s annoyance at a yawning deficit.

One glimmer of hope, in theory, is that ordinary people of the two countries might start to understand each other better as levels of education, wealth and interest in the outside world all grow. As tourists, students and business types visit each other’s countries, perhaps they will find that they have more in common than they believed. In fact, judging by a sharp and well-crafted memoir by an Indian journalist who was posted in Beijing for four years, ignorance and bafflement are likelier to persist.

Reshma Patil was sent by the Hindustan Times, a large Indian newspaper, to Beijing in 2008, one of only four Indian print journalists in the country (by contrast Chinese media groups had 16 correspondents in India). Her account of time there, “Strangers across the border; Indian encounters in boomtown China”, is revealing for its detail and anecdote, but also for its broadly damning conclusion about the state of ties between the countries: “extreme ignorance and nationalism illustrate their mutual relations”, she says.

Most entertaining, from an Indian point of view at least, are her accounts of Chinese ignorance about India. She visits a centre in Beijing devoted to learning cricket in case it ever becomes an Olympic sport (it is called shenshi yundong, or “the noble game”), whose players have never heard of Indian stars, or of the cricket world cup, and who appear to prefer playing ping pong. During numerous forays to universities she finds students learning foreign languages who routinely dismiss India as dirty, poor and irrelevant. A wide misapprehension, she says, is a belief that India is Buddhist. Officials and journalists tell her that India suffers from an “inferiority complex”, that it is so backward (“naked…children piss on the streets”) that there can be “nothing to learn” from the country. She suggests that one Indian drink, the mango lassi, has become popular in China, but otherwise the Chinese she meets mostly have little interest in Indian products or culture. Indian traders are famously stingy. Its brands, such as those of big outsourcing firms, are poorly understood or assumed to be of low quality. Persistent racism towards dark-skinned Indians is broken in only one case, by the head of a Chinese modelling agency who says he is fond of Indians who can pull off a “Western look”.

India meanwhile makes pitifully little effort to correct Chinese misunderstandings. As well as few journalists, India had only 15 diplomats based in Beijing during Ms Patil’s time, most of them inactive. Only two had any economic expertise, and most only started learning Mandarin after their arrival in the country. A big Indian business lobby group had a single representative based in Shanghai. She estimates that only a few hundred Indian businesses, in any case, are active in China (with even fewer Chinese ones in India), and few of the Indian ventures are led by Mandarin-speakers or local hires. As an example of ignorance, she mentions a Chinese business reporter who has never heard of Infosys, a $33 billion Indian IT firm. India’s low profile in China, she argues, “prolongs the shelf-life of anti-India propaganda”. For if most Chinese are merely ignorant, many are troublingly nationalistic where their neighbour is concerned.Ms Patil dismisses annual exchanges of a few hundred students each as a hopeless affair.  Sometimes India ships a low-cost dance troupe to China. Most such exchanges of students, journalists and others end up in mutual frustration; a failure to communicate; and terrible hunger among vegetarian Indians horrified by Chinese cuisine.

via India and China: Strangers by choice | The Economist.

01/08/2014

PLA displays its softer side[1]- Chinadaily.com.cn

Armed police in Northwest China’s Jilin province joined the party by performing a “Little Apple” dance, featuring a hit song, and became an instant hit online.

 

The song, originally by China’s Chopstick Brothers, enjoyed great popularity around the nation for its melody and lyrics.

Previously, the Conscription Office in Xi’an, Northwest China’s Shaanxi province released its version of “Little Dance” to recruit young people.

It is the first time the People’s Liberation Army has used a popular song for promotion, showing a different side from the stern impression the military used to convey. Unlike previous conscription campaigns highlighting commitment and contribution, the innovation reflects the Chinese army’s attempt to create a more close-to-the-people image.

Many people have given credit to the army, saying the video is fascinating and humorous. “Those soldiers are so cute and I want to join the army after watching it”, one said online.

But for some, the video is not in accordance with Chinese soldiers’ serious image. “I’m really concerned about the Chinese army’s quality after seeing the video. It’s like a spoof. If those soldiers were on a battlefield, could they win the war?” one critic said.

via PLA displays its softer side[1]- Chinadaily.com.cn.

24/04/2014

Disillusioned office workers: China’s losers | The Economist

ZHU GUANG, a 25-year-old product tester, projects casual cool in his red Adidas jacket and canvas shoes. He sports the shadowy wisps of a moustache and goatee, as if he has the ambition to grow a beard but not the ability. On paper he is one of the millions of up-and-coming winners of the Chinese economy: a university graduate, the only child of factory workers in Shanghai, working for Lenovo, one of China’s leading computer-makers.

Man wearing suit on escalator

But Mr Zhu considers himself a loser, not a winner. He earns 4,000 yuan ($650) a month after tax and says he feels like a faceless drone at work. He eats at the office canteen and goes home at night to a rented, 20-square-metre (215-square-foot) room in a shared flat, where he plays online games. He does not have a girlfriend or any prospect of finding one. “Lack of confidence”, he explains when asked why not. Like millions of others, he mockingly calls himself, in evocative modern street slang, a diaosi, the term for a loser that literally translates as “male pubic hair”. Figuratively it is a declaration of powerlessness in an economy where it is getting harder for the regular guy to succeed. Calling himself by this derisive nickname is a way of crying out, “like Gandhi”, says Mr Zhu, only partly in jest. “It is a quiet form of protest.”

via Disillusioned office workers: China’s losers | The Economist.

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15/04/2014

China in numbers: beans means trouble as commodity markets highlight rising credit risks | The Times

500,000 . . . is the total tonnage of soya bean cargoes on which Chinese importers have defaulted recently, unsettling markets already nervous about the world’s second biggest economy.

Soya bean meal is unloaded at Fangchenggang

Those defaults look alarming. Commodity markets can provide livid symptoms of an economic malaise and the numbers seem to offer evidence of rising credit risk in China. The country’s first corporate bond default earlier in the year merely sharpened sensitiv-ity to any sign of contagion.

Shipping industry sources in Singapore and Tokyo believe that there are six soya bean cargoes at Chinese ports that cannot be unloaded and the same number still at sea. Their total value is somewhere around £180 million, which makes this China’s highest-stakes soya bean default since 2004. This in a country that imports nearly two thirds of all the soya beans traded worldwide.

Explanations are focused on China’s tightening credit markets and the inability of soya bean buyers to secure the necessary letters of credit from banks. It does not take much of a leap to wonder what that type of credit contraction is having on an economy that has been fuelled lately by an epic creation of new credit.

As with other vulnerable sectors in China, the companies that process soya beans have been making losses: suddenly the banks are unprepared to take risks on them and the cargoes have been stranded.

The defaults have highlighted other market distortions that go far beyond the inability of an oilseed processor to turn a profit from a hill of beans. Trading companies have routinely used soya bean cargoes, in common with shipments of copper and other commodities, as collateral to secure cheap financing for potentially more lucrative deals and businesses. Because the interest payable on letters of credit is low and the payment terms generous, some have sold the product itself at a loss simply to get their hands on the cash.

The reality of these defaults, though, is that they are probably a good thing — or at least part of a well-intentioned plan. Beijing has been uncharacteristically relaxed about these defaults for the same reason that it has been uncharacteristically relaxed about internet giants such as Alibaba infuriating the banks by introducing innovative financial products. Beijing knows it has to reform the financial sector, realises that it will face huge resistance and is looking for leverage. Creating a series of micro crises forces China’s banks to become better at what they are supposed to do. Defaults (on soya beans and bonds) have been noisily paraded in state media to show the banks that they are expected to start pricing risk accurately and coldly.

via China in numbers: beans means trouble as commodity markets highlight rising credit risks | The Times.

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11/04/2014

And the Award for Best Chinese Film Goes to… – China Real Time Report – WSJ

And the winner is…no one.

That was the message from the China Film Directors’ Guild, which declined to hand out its two top prizes—best picture and best director—for 2013, citing a lack of high-quality contenders.

“What China’s film industry needs now is not to be coddled, but to hold itself to a higher standard,” said director Feng Xiaogang, chairman of the guild’s nine-director awards jury.

China’s box office has been booming in recent years, growing from a mere 950 million yuan ($153 million) in 2002—when China first began allowing modern theater chains—to 21.6 billion yuan last year. But an increase in quality hasn’t followed the increase in revenue, directors and many industry experts say.

Decades ago, many film directors resolutely gave up their artistic ideals to save the Chinese film market from going bankrupt and devoted themselves to the flood of commercial films,” Mr. Feng said at the awards ceremony Wednesday night in Beijing, which was aired live on state television.

Prominent Chinese director Jia Zhangke’s “A Touch of Sin,” which won best screenplay at last year’s Cannes film festival and has been critically celebrated, wasn’t eligible for consideration for the awards because Mr. Jia’s company couldn’t provide the guild a legal copy of the film on DVD or online. This film didn’t make it to China’s big screens because it hasn’t been approved by censors.

via And the Award for Best Chinese Film Goes to… – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

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26/01/2014

Football: Keepy uppy | The Economist

ALTHOUGH they excel at gymnastics and table tennis, the sport many Chinese really want to win at is football. And yet, mired in match-fixing scandals and with little infrastructure to encourage schoolchildren, football has struggled. In November, though, Guangzhou Evergrande beat FC Seoul to become the first Chinese team to win the Asian Champions League. Could its success have a broader impact?

The team, previously known as Guangzhou Pharmaceutical, had been relegated to the second division because of match-fixing before it was acquired in 2010 by the Evergrande Real Estate Group. Since then, it has won the Super League, China’s equivalent of England’s Premier League, three times. On December 7th it narrowly failed to clinch the “treble”, beaten in the final of the Chinese FA Cup. A revolutionary slogan (“only socialism can save China”) has been reworked on the internet to celebrate the team’s success: “only real estate can save China”.

The team’s route to the top would be familiar to English fans. Evergrande, headed by Xu Jiayin, a billionaire member of the Communist Party, paid $15m for the club. In 2012, it hired Marcello Lippi, a World Cup-winning Italian coach, for $16m a year. The club also procured three South American stars and many Chinese national-team members. Rowan Simons, chairman of China ClubFootball, which promotes the game, says this is just the start of such big spending.

Evergrande’s model may not boost the sport at lower levels, however. Relatively few young people play organised football because of lack of facilities and encouragement. Parents prefer academic success to wasting time on sport.

The recent visit of Britain’s prime minister, David Cameron, brought some assistance. The English Premier League agreed to support a coaching programme that aims to reach more than 1.2m Chinese students by 2016. The initiatives are a good start, says Mr Simons, but a stricter line on match-fixing and more grassroots support will be needed before Chinese football can become world class.

via Football: Keepy uppy | The Economist.

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17/01/2014

* China’s Tech Firms Now Challenging the Likes of Samsung, Apple – China Real Time Report – WSJ

Chinese tech firms, once mostly known for their manufacturing prowess, are now challenging market leaders and setting trends in telecoms, mobile devices and online services. As Juro Osawa and Paul Mozur report:

Keeping better-known global competitors at bay in their massive home market, Chinese tech companies are hiring Silicon Valley executives and expanding overseas with aggressive marketing campaigns featuring international sports stars and celebrities.

They still face a perception problem among consumers in many parts of the world that their products aren’t as high-quality or reliable as others. Some foreign competitors have alleged that Beijing gives unfair advantages through subsidies, cheap financing and control over the currency market.

But, many executives at Chinese and Western companies contend, China’s technology sector is reaching a critical mass of expertise, talent and financial firepower that could realign the power structure of the global technology industry in the years ahead.

via China’s Tech Firms Now Challenging the Likes of Samsung, Apple – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

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11/01/2014

China parents count cost of sending children to overseas universities – FT.com

Jack Ma, one of China’s best-known entrepreneurs, thinks business success in China has nothing to do with prestigious foreign degrees: “When you want to judge whether a person . . . is excellent or not don’t look at whether they went to Harvard or Stanford,” he is famous for saying.

More and more Chinese parents apparently disagree with the co-founder of internet company Alibaba: they are increasingly spending three or four years’ annual family income to send their only child for foreign study. Some are now asking whether it is worth the investment.

The number of Chinese studying overseas has more than tripled in the past decade and continues to shoot up. The rise has been particularly dramatic among lower-middle-class families: according to a report from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, up to the end of 2009 students from such families made up only 2 per cent of all those who studied overseas, but by the end of 2010 the proportion had risen to 34 per cent.

For many Chinese families with children overseas, money is no object. But many lower middle-class and working-class families are counting on their only child to support them in their old age.

Foreign universities also increasingly rely on fees from Chinese students to ​boost their income. But is it worth spending Rmb1m-2m ($165,000-$330,00) on preparing for and completing an overseas degree, only to return to a job market where seven million graduates cannot find jobs?

According to Chinese recruitment agencies and human resources professionals, people who have studied overseas – known as “haigui”, or sea turtles, because they have one foot on land and one in the sea – command little if any salary premium when they start entry-level jobs back in China.

via China parents count cost of sending children to overseas universities – FT.com.

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