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Staying in touch

20 hours 9 min ago
Last week, there was a mini-panic among some foreign residents of China about internet access. They interpreted a communication in the middle of last year as indicating that all VPN access to the great wide world would be cut this month. Our view was always that that would not happen, and, touch wood, it hasn't. What has happened, it seems, is a curtailment of domestic VPN vendors and outlets, and the establishment of a requirement on companies to register their corporate VPN networks with the authorities.

China's birth rate is falling despite end of one-child policy

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 20:57
The total annual number of births in China fell in 2017, a sign that the government's relaxation of the one-child policy is not likely to lead to a significant increase in the country's birth rate, the Financial Times reports. There were 17.2 million births in China last year, down from 17.9 million in 2016, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics released Thursday.

China's use of credit is becoming more efficient

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 20:54
China succeeded in raising the amount of economic growth it was able to generate through injecting new credit in 2017, suggesting that the government is beginning to tackle its tendency toward wasteful investment, according to Bloomberg.

China's economic growth accelerates for first time since 2010

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 20:52
China's annual economic growth sped up in 2017, the first time it has done in seven years. According to Caixin, the economy's resilience is likely to embolden the government to push forward much-needed reforms to rein in debt, reduce pollution and make state-run enterprises more efficient.

Chinese officials to be held account for protecting farmland

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 20:50
China aims to safeguard its food security and curb pollution by making government officials directly accountable for protecting the farmland in their regions, Reuters reports. The country's rapid urbanization and high levels of pollution threaten to put a squeeze on its food security, as food demand rises and agricultural land is sold off or contaminated.

Wanda sells off overseas assets amid cash crunch fears

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 20:49
Chinese property giant Dalian Wanda is selling off the majority of its overseas hotel and development projects as its overseas debt worries pile up, according to Bloomberg. A quarter of the company's $2 billion overseas debt is due in March.

Trump says US will impose huge 'fine' over China IP theft

Wed, 01/17/2018 - 20:18
US President Donald Trump told Reuters reporters in an interview Wednesday that he was considering a big "fine" as part of the ongoing investigation into China's alleged intellectual property theft, in another sign that the US is looking to escalate tensions with China over trade.

Chinese city funds government projects by borrowing from its own civil servants

Wed, 01/17/2018 - 20:16
The northern Chinese city of Baotou has raised more than RMB 1.2 billion ($187 million) from its own residents since 2015 to fund government projects, the Financial Times reports. The heavily indebted industrial city also recently revised down its 2017 revenues by 49% after admitting to adding "fake" sources of income.

China's household debt levels are troubling, says banking regulator

Wed, 01/17/2018 - 20:14
China's banking regulator has admitted publicly that levels of household debt are becoming a cause for concern, the South China Morning Post reports. China must "lower corporate debt ratio and curb the leverage ratio of households," said Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, during an interview published in the People's Daily Monday.

China-Russia rocket engine talks raise alarm bells in US

Wed, 01/17/2018 - 20:13
Chinese space launch company Great Wall Industry is discussing a deal with Russia's top rocket maker to procure key engine technology, a sign of the growing aerospace ties between the two countries that is causing concern in the US, the Financial Times reports. NPO Energomash, Russia's leading rocket engine manufacturer, told the FT that talks were indeed taking place with Great Wall on Wednesday.

Chinese investors consider splashing $4 billion for J&J diabetes business

Wed, 01/17/2018 - 20:11
Several Chinese bidders are sizing up bids worth a potential $4 billion for the diabetes care business run by global healthcare firm Johnson & Johnson, sources told Reuters.

Trump tells Xi US trade deficit is 'not sustainable'

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 20:32
US President Donald Trump told Chinese President Xi Jinping that the US's growing trade deficit with China is not sustainable during a phone call between the two leaders Monday, Bloomberg reports. Trump also "expressed disappointment" with the state of trade relations between the two countries during the call, according to a White House statement released Tuesday.

Proposed land reforms will strengthen rights of rural residents, analysts say

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 20:30
Changes to China's rules regarding the use of land in rural areas recently proposed by the Chinese government could provide a boost to the country's property market and improve the rights of rural residents, analysts told Caixin.

China FDI rose slightly in 2017

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 20:29
Foreign direct investment (FDI) into China rose 7.9% to reach $135 billion in 2017, while China's outbound investment declined, according to data released by the Ministry of Commerce Tuesday cited by People’s Daily. The increase will be welcomed by Beijing, as news on foreign investment has been mixed in recent years. In 2016, European FDI declined by more than 20%.

Property rental startup Ziroom receives over $600m in funding

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 20:27
Chinese rental services company Ziroom has raised more than RMB 4 billion ($621 million) in its latest funding round, according to the startup's CEO Xiong Lin, Caixin reports.

Chinese agency downgrades US sovereign ratings to BBB+

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 20:25
One of China's leading ratings firms, Dagong Global Credit Rating Co, has cut the local and foreign currency sovereign ratings of the United States due to its increasing reliance on debt, Reuters reports.

Inland provinces feel the squeeze as China's debt crackdown bites

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 19:49
Major investment projects are being mothballed all over China as the government attempts to rein in the country's rising debt levels, with poorer inland provinces bearing the brunt of the crackdown, Bloomberg reports.

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to expand beyond China's backyard

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 19:47
The China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank plans to begin financing development projects in South America, Africa and the Middle East as it begins its third year of operations, the bank's president told the South China Morning Post.

Google plans to relaunch its maps service in China

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 19:46
Google Maps will soon once again be available in the Chinese mainland after an eight-year absence, according a Nikkei report cited by Reuters.

Xi'an builds hundred-meter-high air purifier to combat pollution

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 19:44
A northern Chinese city has built an experimental air purification tower over 100 meters high, which has succeeded in bringing a noticeable improvement in local air quality, the scientist leading the project told the South China Morning Post.