Posts tagged ‘Goat (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.

16/02/2015

Li gives residents keys to ‘new life’|Politics|chinadaily.com.cn

The set of keys that Xiao Wenmei received from Premier Li Keqiang opens up not only her new apartment but her future.

Li gives residents keys to 'new life'

Li visited the newly finished Yu’an community in Guiyang, Guizhou province, and helped distribute keys to the new apartments on Saturday.

“Have you seen your new apartment?” Li asked as he handed keys to Xiao. “It is not only the key to your home but also to your new life.”

He then posted a fu character, a traditional Chinese paper cutting for Spring Festival, at the community’s main office.

“A new community is not only about building new houses but also about people’s new lives, so they can live in a comfortable and safe environment,” he said.

Xiao, 32, was still excited as she recalled the moment she received the keys from the premier. She said her family is busy preparing to move into the new apartment before Chinese New Year’s Eve “as a good start of the year”.

She has lived with her husband and kids in a nearby village, where houses leaked and roads became muddy during rainstorms. The local government invested 3 billion yuan ($481 million) in 2009 to build 8,500 apartments for 5,000 households in Xiao’s community.

Xiao’s family was allotted two apartments, about 300 square meters, as were some other families.

“We’ll move into one apartment and rent the other out,” she said. “A new house is like a big dream for my family.”

The Chinese government has counted heavily on the rebuilding of urban shantytowns to drive domestic demand and improve people’s living conditions.

via Li gives residents keys to ‘new life’|Politics|chinadaily.com.cn.

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