Posts tagged ‘Shanghai’

24/06/2016

Are fears of mass unemployment in China overblown? | Reuters

Despite its sputtering economy – or perhaps because of it – China’s labor market may be able to provide more jobs for laid off workers than many think.

The working age population is shrinking by several million each year and the number of workers willing to migrate beyond their home province is falling, leaving jobs available for those willing to travel.

This suggests concerns about mass unemployment as China cuts down its industrial capacity and the risk that this could lead to social unrest may be overdone.

Take Li Xi, 34, for instance.After losing his job of 15 years at Highsee Iron and Steel in the slow-growing northern province of Shanxi, Li was not out of work for long.

Encouraged by friends to join them at an electronics factory 1,000 km (620 miles) to the south, he made the journey to Suzhou near Shanghai. The rest was easy.”On the first day I did a health check, and on the second day I was working,” Li said.

China’s economic growth slowed to a 25-year-low in 2015 of less than 7 percent and Beijing has flagged layoffs as it reduces massive surplus industrial capacity and gears the economy more to services and consumption.

Sources said in March that China was expecting to lay off 5-6 million state workers in the next two to three years as it curbs production capacity and pollution in rust-belt provinces.

While there is scant official data to build an accurate picture of Chinese unemployment, Chang Chun Hua, China economist at Nomura, said the jobs market can handle the unemployment pressures for now.

The working age population has been shrinking since 2012. Last year, the number of people between the ages of 16 and 59 shrank by 4.87 million, government statistics show. In 2014, the age group contracted by 3.71 million.

At the same time, the government says a higher-than-expected 5.77 million jobs were created between January and May this year.

“In general, the current unemployment pressure is still manageable for the Chinese government,” Hua said.

Source: Are fears of mass unemployment in China overblown? | Reuters

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18/06/2016

India looks to China’s technology for making clouds rain|Government|chinadaily.com.cn

China is in talks with India on the transfer of cloud-seeding technology.In the first such engagement between the Asian giants, a team of scientists and officials from Beijing, Shanghai and East China’s Anhui province, were recently in Maharashtra to discuss weather conditions with the government of the western Indian state, parts of which have experienced severe droughts over the past two years.

line art drawing of cloud seeding.

line art drawing of cloud seeding. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Chinese team’s days-long tour concluded on June 2.If the discussions are successful, Chinese experts would provide training to officials of the Indian Meteorological Department on their latest cloud-seeding technology, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter.

One of the sources had earlier described it as an “exploratory visit by the Chinese side to discuss with relevant Indian authorities how to go about it”.

The training is expected to be given on procedures to seed clouds successfully, the source said.

The training is aimed at inducing rain over Maharashtra’s Marathwada region in the summer of 2017 if needed, the source said.

While summer rains have arrived this year in India, the region has been traditionally vulnerable to drought.

The sources spoke to China Daily on condition of anonymity.

An official in the China Meteorological Administration said that arrangements are still in progress.

The development follows a meeting between Han Zheng, Shanghai’s top official, and Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, in the Indian state’s capital of Mumbai in early May.

Han, who is also a Communist Party of China Politburo member, had asked Fadnavis if China could do anything for drought relief in Maharashtra, one of the sources said.

Monsoons and temperatures nearing 50 C have triggered many agrarian crises in India, with poor farmers being hit the hardest.

Indian media said in April that the Maharashtra government would begin cloud-seeding experiments in June and continue through August – the period of summer monsoons.

China started to use cloud-seeding technology in 1958, and today has one of the most advanced systems in the world.

Source: India looks to China’s technology for making clouds rain|Government|chinadaily.com.cn

02/11/2015

What Will the Two-Child Policy Mean for China’s Property Market? – China Real Time Report – WSJ

China’s latest move to scrap its one-child policy buoyed property developer stocks Friday on hopes it could provide a boost to housing demand.

All Chinese couples will be allowed to have two children, Chinese official media said Thursday, after a meeting of top officials. While a timetable hasn’t been established, there are prospects that an increase in the size of Chinese households could raise demand for larger homes.

Shanghai housewife Tracy Li said she and her husband will be looking for a larger home once their two sons, one aged four and one who is almost a year, get older. They currently live in a two-bedroom apartment in Shanghai’s Minhang district. Like many Chinese parents, she doesn’t think it’s necessary for each child to have their own room but want to be able to accommodate grandparents, who in China are frequently deeply involved in childcare.

“When the children are older, it’s not too good for them to share a bedroom with their grandparents when they come over,” said the 34-year-old Ms. Li, who asked to be referred to by her English, rather than her Chinese, name. Finding a home in a good school district will take some time, said Ms. Li, who wants to move before her oldest son reaches school age.

Source: What Will the Two-Child Policy Mean for China’s Property Market? – China Real Time Report – WSJ

08/09/2015

From ‘Made in China’ to ‘Innovate in China’ – International Finance Magazine

In the West, people often opine that Chinese are not innovators but just copiers who can make a product at a cheaper rate. If somebody mentions inventions, like gunpowder and printing press which were invented by the Chinese, the argument often ends up with ‘they have not really followed through with their innovations and have since then made little progress in this department’.

From ‘Made in China’ to ‘Innovate in China’But the Chinese are ready to transform themselves from the factory of the world to the generator of innovation. Companies like Alibaba Group and Xiaomi among others are making a mark in the world.

“I understand that the China market is characterised by some significant weaknesses when compared to a highly mature Silicon Valley, but the investment power and determination of the Chinese government, along with its appetite to transition away from ‘Made in China’ to ‘Innovated in China’ leaves no doubt in my mind that China will become a leader when it comes to building ecosystems for growth of startups and other innovative organisations,” says Lars Lin Villebaek, co-founder of GrowthEnabler.com, a platform for startups. He has 10 years of personal entrepreneurship experience in China.

Last year, China gave birth to a massive 1.9 million new businesses (across all sectors) and saw some record breaking IPOs in the global market.

And unlike the US, which has Silicon Valley and the area around Boston which are known for their startup ecosystems, China has several dozen ‘Silicon Valleys’. “Most of these are in the embryonic stage. Silicon Valley has a long history of success while the Chinese ones are new. The oldest — Zhongquancun in Beijing district — dates back to the ’80s,” says Zhang Chia Hou, China & India analyst and a board member of GrowthEnabler.com and author of http://www.chindia-alert.org.

According to Wan Gang, China’s minister of science and technology, the district last year birthed 49 startups daily. As of March 2015, 129 high-tech zones had been approved by the State Council. These are designated areas in different cities where entrepreneurs are supported by different policies and benefits, such as fast Internet connections, government assistance in funding, and access to talented and educated human resources from nearby universities.

“Zhongquancun is also home to several universities like the prestigious Tsinghua University which churns out PhDs and computer scientists by the thousands. So there is no shortage of people who understand technology and the investment tap is flowing quite readily,” says Erik Roth, an entrepreneur, lecturer, serial innovator and lead for McKinsey & Company’s Global Innovation & Growth Practice.

Apart from Zhongquancun, Shanghai and Chengdu are also home to several startups.

According to Villebaek, there are several other factors which will help China achieve the ‘startup capital of the world’ status. There is ample access to funding even for high-risk projects. As long as projects replicate proven business models and products, the financing is usually done very quickly.

Additionally, successful companies like Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu have taken upon themselves to nurture the startup system in the country.

Says Alibaba Group spokeswoman: “Our founders started Alibaba Group to champion small businesses, in the belief that the Internet would level the playing field by enabling smallenterprises to leverage innovation and technology to grow and compete more effectively in the domestic and global economies. Alibaba supports innovative entrepreneurs who are able to create products and services that benefit the end user and society as a whole.”

Also, some Chinese are going for international exposure. “Most of the emerging class of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, including Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma, studied at leading US universities, and worked for great corporations and investment firms. Most Chinese who can afford it (foreign education) decide to have an experience abroad,” says Christoph Tutsch, founder and CEO of ONPEX, a company which provides white-label cloud-based payment technology.

Tutsch adds that China is going in the right direction and people are educating themselves to achieve their goals. “They are trying to think out of the box for solutions that will help the local problems. Even now, they are many successful tech companies in China that no one has heard of because they are kept in the local market, which is good for self-improvement. In the next few years, we will start hearing of more Alibabas who venture West,” says Tutsch.

Where they need to improve

Historically, the Chinese do not have a culture of risk taking. “In a long time, I have not noticed any disruptive business model from China,” remarks Roth. The educational system in the country will have to focus on research and offer education in entrepreneurship to address the needs of entrepreneurs.

“The young in general are following the old path of secure jobs in government or established industry. But with 1.3 billion people, there are enough youngsters interested in innovation and entrepreneurship for them to be a real force,” says Zhang.

Source: From ‘Made in China’ to ‘Innovate in China’-International Finance Magazine

27/07/2015

China Stocks Make Sharpest Daily Fall Since 2007 – China Real Time Report – WSJ

China stocks made their sharpest daily percentage decline since 2007, as worries mount that authorities are pulling back on its measures to prop up the market. As WSJ’s Chao Deng reports:

The Shanghai Composite Index ended down 8.5% at 3725.56, its second-straight day of losses and worst daily percentage fall since February 27, 2007. China’s main index is up 6% from its recent low on July 8, but still off 28% from its high in June.

The smaller Shenzhen Composite fell 7% to 2160.09 and the small-cap ChiNext Closed 7.4% Lower at 2683.45

Analysts say the selling came as investors fear the government is curbing its buying of blue-chip stocks—and could even be testing whether the market can support itself.

“The previous support from the government funds is apparently unsustainable,” said Jacky Zhang, an analyst at BOC International. “They may withdraw support today to test whether the market has recovered its resilience. The government wants to use state funds to stabilize the market, not to prop it back to 5,000 point overnight.”

via China Stocks Make Sharpest Daily Fall Since 2007 – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

18/02/2015

China orders compensation to acquitted death row prisoner | Reuters

A court in China’s southern city of Fuzhou ordered compensation of 1.14 million yuan ($182,000) to a former death row prisoner who was acquitted on charges of poisoning two children, state media said on Tuesday.

The rare acquittal of Nian Bin, a former food stall owner who was freed in August after a court in Fujian province found there was insufficient evidence, prompted renewed calls for the abolition of the death penalty in China.

Nian, 39, was accused of poisoning his neighbors with rat poison, leading to the death of two children and injuries to four others in July 2006.

But he said he was tortured into confessing during police interrogations and had pursued his appeals for years, an effort closely watched by human rights lawyers in China and global rights groups.

He was convicted several times and spent 8 years in prison before being acquitted.

The intermediate court made the ruling on Sunday, and on Tuesday announced that Nian “should be paid 589,000 yuan for loss of personal freedom and another 550,000 yuan for mental suffering,” the official Xinhua news agency reported.

China’s ruling Communist Party has said it aims to prevent “extorting confessions by torture” and halt miscarriages of justice with a “timely correction mechanism”, after a series of corruption investigations involving torture outraged the public.

via China orders compensation to acquitted death row prisoner | Reuters.

06/02/2015

Record spending spurs race by governments for Chinese tourist dollars | Reuters

Embassies are re-writing visa rules and governments are hammering out aviation pacts as record spending by Chinese travelers sets off a race around the world for a share of the Chinese tourist dollar.

Chinese spending on international travel in 2014 rose to $165 billion from $129 billion in 2013, the biggest percentage increase in two years, according to data released by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange last week.

Chinese disposable incomes have been steadily rising and would-be travelers got an additional boost in the past year from favorable foreign exchange rates, with the yuan appreciating more than 10 percent against the yen and the Australian dollar. The gains versus the euro have been even greater, at more than 14 percent, and the yuan set a record against the single currency last month.

Governments near and far are keen to get their countries onto Chinese itineraries. In November, the United States signed a landmark deal with China extending one-year visas issued to Chinese travelers to up to a decade. This year Malaysia and Indonesia are planning visa exemptions, while Thailand is considering exempting visa fees, which were briefly suspended last year. Australia in January signed an agreement with China allowing more passenger flights from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou with immediate effect.

Air traffic data for China’s big airlines confirms a rising preference for overseas travel in the world’s most populous nation. Air China’s international routes recorded 14.6 percent growth in 2014 in revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs), a gauge of traffic, versus 6.1 percent for domestic routes, Reuters calculations show. China Southern Airlines‘ international RPK growth was 20.2 percent versus 10.0 percent domestically. China Eastern Airlines posted international RPK growth of 4.4 percent.

via Record spending spurs race by governments for Chinese tourist dollars | Reuters.

03/02/2015

Shanghai’s economy: GDP apostasy | The Economist

IN AN officially atheist country, one form of worship actively encouraged by the Chinese government has been devotion to GDP. From village chiefs to national leaders, presiding over fast economic growth has been the surest path to career success. Targets for GDP have formed the centrepiece of annual budgets, with officials convinced that failure to achieve them would lead to soaring unemployment and even chaos. Officials fiddle the numbers—massaging them up when growth is too slow and down when it is too fast—but basic faith in GDP as the most powerful expression of their aims and accomplishments has been unwavering.

So the break with tradition was something akin to Vatican II, when on January 25th the Shanghai government announced its policy plans for 2015 and chose to omit a GDP target. While Yang Xiong, the mayor, pledged that the city would “maintain steady growth”, he gave no indication of what that might mean in numbers. In recent years China’s 31 provinces and mega-cities have steadily lowered their GDP targets as the economy has slowed. At least two-thirds missed their goals last year, a sign that such targets have become less important than in the past. But Shanghai is the first to dispense with a target altogether. The city’s Communist Party chief, Han Zheng, is a member of the ruling Politburo, so the omission was a powerful signal.

China’s leaders are still very keen on GDP. When growth slowed sharply early last year officials ramped up spending on infrastructure, a spending boost that helped the central government to come in just one-tenth of a percentage-point shy of its growth target of 7.5% last year. But leaders have been calling for more attention to economic quality rather than just quantity. They want to end an investment-heavy approach that has damaged the environment and led to a dangerous build-up of debt. Ending a fixation on GDP targets will be a great help.

With no such target to cling to, or to blush at when missed, Shanghai officials now have more scope to work on other things. Transforming the city’s free-trade zone, much hyped but little used, into a real testing ground for financial reforms, as was initially intended, is a priority. “Officials will feel less pressure to meet short-term investment objectives,” says Zhu Ning of the Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance. Mr Yang, the mayor, says Shanghai wants to create 500,000 new jobs this year. That will only be possible if the economy remains strong. But quite what level of GDP is needed to foster such job creation is uncertain, especially as labour-intensive services come to dominate the city’s economy. So it is sensible to follow the example of other countries and focus more on employment levels than GDP.

For China as a whole, it is too soon to expect an end to GDP targeting. It will remain an important policy tool for guiding and evaluating officials, especially in poorer parts of the country where faster growth is needed to narrow the gap with coastal cities. Tibet is shooting for 12% growth this year, the same target as it set, and achieved, in 2014. But Shanghai’s example proves that, even in the grand temple of China, the cult of GDP is losing adherents.

via Shanghai’s economy: GDP apostasy | The Economist.

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.

28/01/2015

Car ownership tops 154 million in China in 2014 – Xinhua | English.news.cn

China added a record 17 million new cars on the road in 2014 as car ownership reaches 154 million, said the Ministry of Public Security on Tuesday.

Strong demand for cars has helped the automobile replace the motorcycle as the main method of transportation. Cars made up 58.6 percent of total motor vehicles, a sharp rise from 43.9 percent five years ago.

The number of people obtaining driving licenses also ballooned from 219 million in 2013 to 247 million as of the end of 2014, said the ministry, adding 29.7 million drivers have fewer than one year’s driving experience.

Of the 35 cities which have more than one million cars each, ten have more than two million cars, including Beijing, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing.

The ministry said the number of passenger cars has reached 117 million, 90 percent of which are private cars. Beijing has the highest private car penetration, with 63 private cars for every 100 households, while the average is 25 private cars for every 100 households.

Carmakers have enjoyed strong sales over the years, with more middle-class customers placing orders for their first cars. But with frequent traffic jams, it is yet to be seen whether cars can still ride the booming tide in the years to come. More local governments have begun to limit car use, among them eight cities have quotas for new car plates.

via Car ownership tops 154 million in China in 2014 – Xinhua | English.news.cn.

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