Category Archives: China Business & Economy

China Productivity Growth. What About Labor?

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China has more potential to boost productivity than Japan in the 1950s and South Korea in the 1960s. Whether that’s realized is a $15 trillion question. In industries such as financial services and telecommunications, where barriers to entry and preferential policies for state-owned enterprises deter competition, China remains far behind developed-world competitors. via China Potential…

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Hollywood’s China Pandering

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The makers of Mission: Impossible 5 will look to court the lucrative Chinese market by casting local star Zhang Jingchu in a leading role opposite Tom Cruise, reports Variety. Zhang, who has starred in Hollywood production Rush Hour 3 but is not well known in the west, will take an undisclosed role which is said…

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Environmental Regulation: Can China Afford Caution?

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[T]o forestall more serious, systemic environmental issues, Beijing will have to be preemptive rather than reactive with regulation. In everything from modernizing its recycling industry to improving regulations on rare earth mining, the costs of waiting and testing out new ideas are high. Especially in terms of human health, delays from experimenting with environmental reforms…

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Et Tu Western Banks?

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When Chinese property developer Agile Property Holdings Ltd. said this month that its chairman had been taken into custody by authorities, the disclosure was a shock to Western banks that had lent the company money. [ . . .] The spate of suspected fraud cases and growing fears that loans won’t be repaid has raised questions about…

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Wise Words on Apple Pay

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I think we all need to take a deep breath and think carefully before entrusting our financial information to any large company. That’s not luddism, that’s wisdom. The recent series of security breaches at major retailers alone should give us pause, and Apple is no exception: a company that has shown itself incapable of protecting Jennifer…

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US Declines to Name China Currency Manipulator. This is Still News?

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The US Treasury Department said on Wednesday that China cannot be ruled as a currency manipulator, but highlighted the need for sustained progress toward a market-driven exchange rate. via US Treasury declines to name China as currency manipulator – China Daily Brief comment: how is this still a thing? Can we all agree to move…

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Comparative Red Tape: China vs. U.S.

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I have also found that local Chinese politicians are much more interested in economic development than local politicians in the United States. I have many meetings and meals with mayors and vice mayors in China who want to attract our company’s business to their city. In America, by contrast, I had to call in a…

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Chinese Biz in U.S.: Turnabout is Fair Play

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It’s of crucial importance for senior management of Chinese companies operating in the United States to adjust their mindsets, remain open-minded to differences and get ready to work closely with local professionals in order to grow their American business. Otherwise, they will either go astray or perish. via When in the US, do as the…

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Robot Supermarkets in Qingdao and the Future of PRC Labor

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One of the more terrifying pics I’ve seen in recent years is this shot in China Daily of a customer at a supermarket in Qingdao with an automated checkout system. In and of itself, not a big deal, but put this together with all the stories this year about ‘bot-assisted production in companies like Foxconn,…

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Philips To Sell Auto Air Purifier in China

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Philips brought a new onboard air purifier to the Chinese market on Sept 11 in an effort to expand its business in the automotive industry. The latest product can eliminate 99 percent of PM 2.5 as well as chemical pollutants and other odors, according to the company. Philips breathes life into onboard air purification – China…

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Foreign firms ‘must follow Chinese law’ – Who Knew?

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The government’s recent intensive antitrust investigations were conducted following Chinese laws and never purposefully targeted any enterprises, Lu Wei, minister of the Office of the CPC Central Leading Group for Cyberspace Affairs, told a panel during the World Economic Forum in Tianjin. “China’s governance of the Internet follows the ‘bottom line’ approach, and all foreign…

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China Bank Woes. Been There, Agreed To That.

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Some things in China never change.  At the end of the 1990s, the People’s Bank of China, then the country’s bank regulator, claimed NPLs were only 1% of bank assets when the actual figure was at least 40% and perhaps closer to 60%.  Today, nobody knows what the real ratio is, but the biggest banks…

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Should Expats Get Pollution Hazard Pay?

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Pollution in China has been a hot topic for a couple of years now, following the Winter of Doom here in Beijing a while back and a similar bad run of polluted days in Shanghai later on. Scary stuff, and the PR has led some MNCs to address the issue within the context of retention…

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Why Did Ferrero Sponsor a School Diet & Fitness Survey in Shandong?

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In late May, 50-year-old Li Yiqin finally received a group of visitors he had long been expecting. They were education experts from the Chinese Center for Healthy Education, an institute under the National Health and Family Planning Commission. Li is the deputy principal at Rizhao Foreign Language School, in Rizhao, Shandong province, one of the…

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U.S. Companies Say China “Subjectively” Enforcing Laws

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China is targeting foreign companies with opaque laws and rules, according to a group representing U.S. businesses there, contributing to a deteriorating environment for investment in the nation. I’m rather enjoying some of the news coverage of the latest AmCham survey. Selective enforcement of the laws in China? My goodness, I’ve never heard of anything…

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China Eastern Airlines’ Profits Decline 98%

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That’s an impressive drop right there. I wonder how much of that was attributable to fewer government officials flying first class before reforms kicked in? When you build that sort of revenue into your business model, wacky shit ensues. China Eastern Airlines, one of the country’s leading carriers, has posted a net profit drop of…

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China Film Distribution Reality Check

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Nice point being made here in the Wall Street Journal. There is a huge gap in revenue sharing between what U.S. studios get from distributors at home compared to China. So $1 in U.S. box office receipts means a lot more for studios than $1 in China receipts. Remember this the next time you read…

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The Latest AmCham China Biz Survey: Perception and Reality

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It’s always difficult for me to find something interesting to say about the American Chamber of Commerce’s annual China business survey. The content itself is often of marginal value, with only a couple significant trends hiding away down in the data to be ignored by the mainstream press. Speaking of which, the domestic newsies like…

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China Dragged Away from XP Kicking and Screaming

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The Chinese are none too pleased that Microsoft will be retiring XP next month, and the bitching and moaning has been fairly loud. But while it is true that in a sense, Microsoft will be leaving a large percentage of its PRC user base in the lurch, I would argue that the complaints have been…

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Talk of a China Tobin Tax Is Good News, Isn’t It?

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Lots of chatter on the Interwebs about the possibility of a cross-border capital transaction tax in China (aka Tobin Tax – you remember this from first-year Macroecon) after some verbal musings on the topic from Yi Gang, head of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange and vice-gov of the PBOC. The Telegraph, bemoaning the effect…

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