Belgian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce (BCECC)

China Press Review – February 8, 2022

China housing market: no respite for Fantasia, Modern Land and Sunac as they lead sales declines in January
Shenzhen-based Fantasia sold 510 million yuan (US$80.2 million) worth of homes in January, a decline of 78 per cent compared with last year. Chinese developers face US$30.8 billion in outstanding offshore bond payments and US$30.2 billion in domestic bonds this year, according to Moody’s.

Alibaba’s sustainability bonds fund green power, Covid-19 relief projects in China
The largest portion of the proceeds were dedicated to energy-efficient data centres   The e-commerce giant pledged to cut 1.5 gigatons of carbon emissions by 2035

Climate change: Covestro plans to use green hydrogen to make mattresses, water barrels more sustainable
Covestro’s Shanghai plant is likely to be German firm’s first plant globally to use green hydrogen, putting it on track to reach its decarbonisation goal   Fortescue Future Industries will supply Covestro with green hydrogen, which will allow it to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 900,000 tonnes a ye

Hong Kong’s ‘zero-Covid’ policy faces critical test from Omicron surge
AsiaWorld-Expo, a convention centre near Hong Kong’s international airport, once described itself as an “Expotainment” facility. Now the vast space is a dreaded quarantine centre after being commandeered by the government under its “zero-Covid” policy.   Some of the centre’s patients, who sleep in beds divided by transparent screens and endure constant lighting and loudspeaker announcements, are becoming so desperate to get out they are gargling hand sanitiser in a vain bid to neutralise test results, according to one person stuck there.  “People are rinsing their noses in hand sanitiser, people are willing to do fucking anything to get out of here,” said the patient, a university student.   The patients’ desperation is matched only by that of the Hong Kong government as it seeks to maintain its policy of completely eliminating Covid-19 despite an aggressive Omicron outbreak that threatens to overwhelm the Asian financial centre’s defence

Tesla cut a steering component from some cars to deal with chip shortage, sources say
Tesla excluded one of two electronic control units in the steering racks of Shanghai-built Model 3 and Model Y cars to deal with chip shortages, CNBC has learned.  Sources say that tens of thousands of cars with the tweaked power steering system are already shipping to customers in China, Australia, and Europe.   Tesla employees debated whether to tell customers about the change, but decided it wasn’t necessary since the part is considered a redundant backup, not needed for level 2 driver-assistance feature

Why This Could Be a Critical Year for Electric Cars
Sales of cars powered solely by batteries surged in the United States, Europe and China last year, while deliveries of fossil fuel vehicles were stagnant. Demand for electric cars is so strong that manufacturers are requiring buyers to put down deposits months in advance. And some models are effectively sold out for the next two years. The Tesla Model 3 and Jaguar XF P250 sedans retail for around $46,000. But owning the Tesla for five years costs $16,000 less, according to calculations by Kelley Blue Book, a vehicle valuation company.  If Europe and China are any measure, sales of electric vehicles in the United States will continue to explode. In December, battery-powered cars outsold diesel cars in Europe for the first time. In 18 countries, including Britain, more than 20 percent of new cars were electric, according to Matthias Schmidt, an independent analyst in Berlin.  Chinese companies like SAIC, which owns the British MG brand, are using the technological shift to enter Europe and other markets. Young companies like Lucid, Rivian and Nio aim to follow Tesla’s playbook.

Climate change: Covestro plans to use green hydrogen to make mattresses, water barrels more sustainable
Covestro’s Shanghai plant is likely to be German firm’s first plant globally to use green hydrogen, putting it on track to reach its decarbonisation goal    Fortescue Future Industries will supply Covestro with green hydrogen, which will allow it to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 900,000 tonnes a year

China’s New “Green Policy” of Sustainable Mobility and Development
Launched in 2013, China’s Belt – One Road Initiative (hereinafter referred to as the BRI) is aimed to create a global transport and investment infrastructure. Basically, it combines two (possibly three, given the possible Polar Silk Road) projects – the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. This project of the creation of a single Eurasian trade and economic space and a transcontinental Transport Corridor includes many infrastructure projects that should eventually cover the entire planet. The initiative to create a global system of transport corridors connecting Australia and Indonesia, all Central and East Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Africa and through Latin America, in the future may bring China closer to the United States of America (through Latin America (possible transport connection via Dorian gap) or an underwater tunnel via the Bering Strait between American Alaska and the Russian Far East). The impact of the pandemic on the development of Chinese investment and economic policy has shown that now China has no alternative to the green trajectory of its further development. If China starts actively implementing this green strategy (both domestically and within the framework of the “One Belt, One Road” initiative), it will significantly reduce economic costs (and improve environmental standards) for the country itself and for Eurasia as a whole. As an example of a green economy, China, through green logistics and investment, can make this strategy more accessible to other industrialized countries located along the Silk Road. Thus, China’s “decarbonization strategy” will lead to a Eurasian (and possibly global) “decarbonization strategy”, even if it is partly related to the danger of increasing Chinese investment in coal energy under the initiative.Prior to the adoption of the new decarbonization trajectory, it could be seen that China’s support for fossil fuel projects had significant negative environmental and social consequences in the countries of the “One Belt, One Road” Initiative. Thus, changes to China’s draft Energy Law were a necessity. As a result, they have brought (or will bring) many BRI infrastructure projects in line with generally accepted international green development practices. As China’s economy emerges from the Covid – 19 pandemic, it can be expected to focus even more on this green growth strategy. Moreover, considering that in this aspect, China has the most important competitive advantages in terms of exports of industrial products and in the field of energy, as well as resource security and logistics.

Carbon-neutral policies in China
Asian policymakers have laid down frameworks to ensure public and private sector involvement in tackling the climate crisis    A solid foundation of the data accounting work of petrochemical, chemical, building materials, steel, nonferrous metals, paper making, aviation and other high-emission industries has been established. After the industry standards and technical specifications are improved, they should be included in the carbon market as soon as possible to expand the scale of participants. The market may gradually be opened to non-emission control enterprises, individuals, financial institutions and carbon service providers to promote diversified development and improve market vitality. The competent authorities are actively preparing for the restart of CCER, and the trading of derivative products such as futures, options and swaps other than spot goods can be explored.   Improve the liquidity. The price of emission rights in China’s carbon market is relatively low, and the cost of emission reduction is relatively high. For regional and national carbon trading in the first year, their activities are mainly concentrated in the performance period, and the trading volume in other periods is insufficient, leading to the low activity of enterprises. With the expansion of the national market and diversification of participants and products, activity is expected to increase.

China’s Communist Party urges ‘orderly’ capital development after year of regulatory crackdown
A People’s Daily commentary suggests that the management of capital will remain a central national goal this year   The government is urged to establish ‘traffic lights’ to prevent the ‘barbaric’ growth of capital

Chanel overtakes Apple, becoming the most favoured brand for wealthy Chinese
This year, Chanel toppled the chart and became the “Best Brand for Gifting” for both men and women, with Louis Vuitton ranking second and Dior third, according to the Hurun Best of the Best Awards 2022, based on the results of the Hurun Chinese Luxury Consumer Survey 2022(CLCS). This is the eighteenth consecutive year for Hurun to reveal the brand preferences, consumption habits, and lifestyle trends of China’s wealthiest individuals. China has logged a new height of luxury consumption, with more than 471 billion RMB ($74.2 billion) spent on luxury goods in 2021, a 36% rise from the year before and almost double compared to that of 2019. Even though the pandemic has brought huge changes to people’s purchasing habits, wealthy individuals are considering buying more luxury products, to make themselves feel rewarded and entertained.
According to China’s high-end consumer market has grown to 1.73 trillion RMB ($270 billion), including 750 billion RMB ($118 billion) for luxury cars, over 500,000 RMB ($79,000), and 520 billion RMB ($ 82 billion) for traditional luxury goods (clothing, shoes and hats, cosmetics, jewellery, handbags, and watches). This increase has naturally drawn many foreign luxury brands to the market, with this year-on-year increase motivating these companies to invest further into the Chinese market.

China: Rise Of The Silver Shoppers
Chinese senior citizens are increasingly digital and represent the fastest-growing demographic.
 When the actor Wang DeShun went for a walk, it went viral. It wasn’t just any walk, it was a jaunt down the catwalk at China’s Fashion Week. And Wang is 80 years old. So the successful exposition of an octogenarian as a model turned China’s fashion world upside down. It looks like China is not just coming to terms with an aging population, it is embracing the fact.  Probably the fastest growing demographic in China is the “silver” generation, those 65 and older. Increases in longevity and over forty years of strong economic growth means this generation is the largest and the wealthiest it has ever been—a fact merchants and retailers should note.  On a slightly broader measure, China’s 2020 census puts the country’s population of 60+ at over 260 million, almost 19% of the population. This also represented a 5% jump from the 2010 census. So by 2030, the 60+ could be some 25% of the national population, and an even larger share of purchasing power.

China’s Fishy Business Is Threatening The Globe
Illegal fishermen are more dangerous than pirates. You may have heard it here first, but the U.S. Coast Guard said so in 2020: illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU Fishing, or IUUF) is the #1 global maritime security threat. Hungry nations are exploiting others’ fishing stocks as overfishing has drastically depleted the world’s fish supply. In the process, they undermine the global economy, threaten traditional livelihoods, deprive populations of their traditional protein source, and facilitate transnational crime. China is the largest culprit of illegal fishing—and uses fishing to mask other illegal activities. China uses its maritime militia and fishing fleets to engage in legal warfare, or lawfare. U.S. efforts to tackle IUU fishing must address this context of lawfare and great power competition with China. Policies that counter only the act of fishing itself will be insufficient to address the security risk.

Oaktree’s China deal is a positive sign for investors
The most striking financial news emanating from China in recent weeks has been the seizure by a US investor of a prized asset owned by Evergrande, the collapsing Chinese real estate giant. The asset seized was a sprawling residential development called “Venice” on the Yellow Sea coast near Shanghai. The US investor was distressed debt specialist Oaktree, a $161bn asset manager run by Howard Marks. Marks is known for not shying away from bare-knuckle fights with delinquent companies and rival creditors. But this deal has a wider significance. Marks’ progress in claiming ownership of the Venice development runs counter to a narrative that China is becoming increasingly uninvestable, especially to foreign investors.  The restructuring deal, under which Oaktree took ownership of the Venice development after Evergrande defaulted on a $400mn secured loan, is likely to have had approval from senior levels of China’s government. It shows that, in some market segments at least, Xi Jinping’s China is prepared to allow important roles for foreign capital.

Inflows to Hong Kong ETFs last year double from 2020
The 143 ETFs listed in Hong Kong recorded web inflows of HK$80bn ($10.3bn) final yr, double the HK$40bn recorded within the earlier yr. This helped complete belongings available in the market enhance 9.16 per cent to HK$429bn as the tip of 2021, up from HK$393bn 12 months earlier.

The U.S. and China Both Have a Talent Problem
America is losing it, China can’t find it. Bloomberg Opinion columnists discuss the great talent recession faced by the global superpowers.    What we do hear about is the “Lie Flat” movement, which was born in  China. The term emerged during Covid, but the attitude itself dates back to the pre-Covid era. The population in China is shrinking, the cost of living is rocketing and prospects for young people are very tenuous at best. If you’re a young college graduate in Shanghai, it’s going to cost you the equivalent of $1 million to buy a home so, unless you have parents to finance that, you’re just not going to be able to. The high cost of childcare plays into that — people are not able to start families. It’s extremely alarming. People are thinking: “We can’t get ahead in this economy, so we’re stepping away from it.”    But it won’t be easy. A lot of the time, we’re thinking of the major economic centers — Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. It’s somewhat easier to get policy moves made there, but as you move inland into second-tier cities, policy makers find it more and more difficult to get policies to stick. They tend to be more traditionally-minded when it comes to gender issues. But I think that’s the first place you’re really going to see action.

As China’s graduates delay employment, experts warn of ‘far-reaching’ economic and demographic implications
China’s top economic planner vows more favourable employment policies and help for fresh university grads, reiterating urgent need to address worsening problem  Economists warn that the ripple effects pose a risk to property market and could further intensify the nation’s demographic crisis A record 10.76 million graduates are expected in China this year – 1.67 million more than last year’s record. This doesn’t include the large number of competitive candidates who graduated from overseas universities and are also seeking jobs back home amid the global pandemic. Competition for jobs has been further intensified by lay-offs resulting from China’s regulatory clampdowns on a number of sectors, including tech companies, private tutoring and real estate – all of which used to be highly sought-after industries for new graduates.  According to a survey published by employment service platform Zhaopin in May, only 56.9 per cent of the class of 2021 chose to take a full-time job after graduating from universities, compared with 75.8 per cent in 2020    The proportion of people choosing freelance work also rose from 7.7 per cent in 2020 to 15.8 per cent in 2021, Zhaopin said. And 12.8 per cent of graduates chose to postpone their employment last year, more than double the 6.2 per cent in 2020. Some opted to take a gap year, but many wanted to focus on preparing for the national civil service exam.Additionally, the data showed that 11.4 per cent of graduates were pursuing higher degrees either domestically or abroad last year, up from 7.5 per cent in 2020.   “College students are demanding increasingly high starting salaries, while companies’ offerings have remained largely unchanged,” said Li Qiang, executive vice-president of the recruitment service.
“This leads to a mismatch on both sides. Many students are waiting to land an ideal salary, while companies are having a difficult time hiring the right people.”

China-US trade faces new threats in 2022, with no new deal in sight
Trade ties between world’s two largest economies likely to remain on back burner as China focuses on Winter Olympics and prepares for upcoming ‘two sessions’ legislative meetings   Analysts say both sides are looking at ways to ratchet up the pressure on each other, and neither is seen backing down

US-China tech war: Beijing calls the America Competes Act a product of Cold War mentality
China’s foreign ministry spokesman called the competition bill from the House of Representatives a result of a ‘Cold War and zero-sum mentality’  The bill, which earmarks billions of dollars in funding for chip-making and scientific research, must now be reconciled with a similar one from the Senate

China central banker calls for crackdown on unlicensed online financial firms
A senior Chinese central banker called on Tuesday for a crackdown on brokerages and banks doing online business in mainland China without local licences.  Sun Tianqi, head of the Financial Stability Department of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), said in an article published on Tuesday that some online brokerages “are driving without a driver’s licence in China, and are suspected of engaging in illegal financial activities”. China must “mete out heavy penalties against illegal financial activities, and strictly pursue criminal and civil responsibility,” Sun wrote in China Finance, a PBOC publication.

China’s Digital Power: Impact on the EU
Our report focuses on the EU and does not systematically consider cooperation with the U.S. However, a few conclusions are obvious.  First, in digital tech both common interests but also significant divergences in perspective shape the transatlantic relations. Both sides should find it easy, for example, to agree on the role of human rights protection. However, when we think of big tech regulations, Europeans are primarily concerned with U.S. companies though their Chinese counterparts receive more and more attention.  Second, Europe’s footprint in digital technology is much weaker than that of the U.S. On the one hand, this requires Europe to seek cooperation, primarily with democracies. On the other hand, Europeans find it even more difficult to decouple from Chinese technology supply chains. The challenges both sides face are not the same.  Third and finally, China is very clear about what it aims to achieve with its digital tech stronghold. Digital technology is supposed to strengthen the party-state from generating prosperity and social stability to perfecting digital authoritarianism and projecting Chinese power. Europe and the United States lack such a clear vision. This should be a valuable starting point to collectively think about a broad strategic vision alongside more narrow policies targeting specific concerns and vulnerabilities.

Russia and China show solidarity, but their interests are not all the same
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping have common interests but “very different diplomatic styles and some different goals,” said Robert Daly of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States.  China and Russia are probably closer now than at any point over the past 70 years, Daly said  Beijing has pledged to stand with Russia against Ukraine joining NATO, but Daly said it’s not in Xi’s interest to be dragged into the tensions at the Ukrainian border

Why is unification so unpopular in Taiwan? It’s the PRC political system, not just culture
Political science research consistently shows two things for Taiwan’s electoral politics. First, how people identify — as Taiwanese, Chinese, or both — remains paramount for understanding voting behavior. And second, one’s preference for independence, unification with the People’s Republic of China (PRC), or the status quo is still the most important political question for voters. Surveys constantly ask Taiwan’s citizens about these two topics. Rarely do we need to speculate about how Taiwan people identify or how they feel about Taiwan’s future, because we have consistent polling data on both. For example, we know that Taiwan people overwhelmingly reject unification with the PRC, and the vast majority do not support immediate formal independence. At the same time, the number who identify as exclusively Taiwanese, not Chinese, continues to rise. However, these findings mask deeper questions that existing polls do not fully answer. Above all, what exactly does it mean to have a Taiwanese, not Chinese, identity

EU to hold talks with China ahead of WTO case over Lithuania dispute
China agreed to consultation after European Union filed the request with World Trade Organization last month   Talks are opening gambit of a dispute settlement case before the global trade group

For Europe, confronting China should begin at home
The EU must address allies obstructing a forward-leaning policy toward Beijing.
All eyes may currently be on Russia, but meanwhile, concerns regarding the European Union’s relationship with China continue to mount. From the diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics to confronting China’s economic punishment of Lithuania and tackling its authoritarian model within the multilateral system, the list grows longer by the day. However, it’s important to remember that, just like with Russia, simply achieving a unified EU position on China is not a fait accompli.  In October 2021, Hungary even negotiated a loan with the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank for improvements to its health system — the first such loan issued outside of Asia.  However, it is not only ideology and investment that bind these two countries. Last year, when the Chinese Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe visited Hungary — a NATO member — he spoke of China’s willingness to “push the military-to-military relations to a new level.” Budapest has also pledged to produce the Chinese-made Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine, despite the fact that it has not received approval by the European Medicines Agency — Orbán himself has been jabbed with Sinopharm.   Now, the slow wheels of Europe’s collective decision-making risk undermining its capacity to implement a more strategic approach. And while the Hungarian and Polish governments incur the wrath of the European Commission for undermining the EU’s founding principles, they’re hedging their bets through stronger links to China. When threatened with the suspension of EU recovery funds over attacks on the rule of law, lining up alternative sources for “no-strings-attached” loans and investment could be a viable plan B.   While European governments have thus far not been opting for outright confrontation with China, stepping up efforts to protect their own interests and sovereignty instead — the new “anti-coercion instrument” or the investment screening mechanism are the latest examples of this — if they are serious about containing China’s influence as a systemic competitor, the EU must first address its supposed allies who find this rival system attractive.

Finland’s China Shift
Once China’s model partner for engagement with the West, Finland is updating its China policies and seeking wider cooperation with the EU and like-minded partners.   First, a shift took place from the pre-2017 discourse of cooperation and opportunities to a more realist and vigilant stance on China. In effect, the veil of harmonious “win-win rhetoric” has been lifted in favor of a more cynical view of Beijing as a self-interested actor exploiting systemic vulnerabilities of liberal democracies and their open economies. Second, in addition to emphasizing China-related security issues, after 2017 Finnish official foreign policy statements have shifted to increasingly underline Finland’s status as a member of the European Union. Such statements highlighted that Finnish policy should develop in tandem with the Union´s “uniform and consistent China policy” and seek cooperation with other “like minded countries.” These developments should be seen within a larger, evolving trend, in which Finland is engaging with the geopolitical West. For Finland, the geopolitical situation took a sharper turn after the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014. At the time, Russia’s unpredictable behavior rapidly pushed Finland toward deeper security cooperation with both NATO and the United States – to such a degree that today Finland, though not a member, is often argued to be quite compatible with NATO and a member in all but name. Russia’s recent military buildup near Ukraine has further increased Finnish support for NATO membership.The more assertive stance of Beijing, although different in many ways, seems to be generating an analogous effect, and China’s recent alignment with Russia is not helping. This moves Finland closer to European and transatlantic security communities on handling China. China-Finland relations have, for long, been seen by Beijing as an exemplary model relationship, standing the test of time amid diplomatic turbulence. It remains to be seen whether it will also stand the test of Xi Jinping’s “new era” of assertive foreign policy.

China-funded Indonesian rail link may take 40 years to become profitable
Consortium expects it will take twice as long as initial estimates because of plan to move the country’s capital city, according to executive   He told a parliamentary hearing that the project – linking Jakarta to Bandung in West Java – also faces a cost overrun of about US$2 billion

Hong Kong’s Expats Empty Out
As repression grows, the exodus increases   An immediate prospect is perhaps a dearth of people with particularly mobile qualifications. Along with school principals, teachers, doctors and nurses there are also complaints of shortages of airline pilots and bankers.   A more important question, perhaps, is what are the prospects for those who go. Hong Kong’s pro-government media have run a nice line in horror stories about the climate, racism and economic decay of western countries.  Western media have been quite up-beat about the latest migration experience. The newly arrived Hongkonger tends to be an educated, work-experienced, family-oriented person with realistic expectations and the comfortable thought that whatever ails his new home at least it has freedom. Anyone who owned a flat in Hong Kong before he left also has – thanks to the territory’s astronomical property prices – a handy nest-egg.  Moving is perhaps more traumatic for the children, suddenly cut off from family members, friends and classmates. Parents can only do their best. As one father put it, explaining why he had paid through the nose to transport the family’s elderly guinea pig to their new home, “You don’t want them to start heart-broken.

podcast : China’s Economic Growth Is Key for Investors: BNP Paribas’s Chen
Zhikai Chen, head of Asian equities at BNP Paribas Asset Management, discusses the biggest drivers for Chinese stocks, regulatory uncertainty and his outlook for the property sector. He speaks on “Bloomberg Daybreak: Asia.” (Source: Bloomberg)

China’s Taking on a Risky Bubble Deflation Experiment
China has always been a policy-driven market, and credit creation is the policy indicator that trumps all others. Gavekal Research Ltd.’s Thomas Gatley says private-sector credit growth offers a simple and robust decision rule for Chinese asset allocation: When the measure is accelerating on a three-month moving average basis, buy equities; when it’s decelerating, buy government bonds. Following this rule using the MSCI China would have yielded an annualized return of 14.8% in the 10 years to October 2021, he wrote, compared with the index’s total return of 8.7%.  That’s the silver lining in the real estate shakeout. If China does continue to ease monetary policy through 2022, investors will have the weakness in property to thank. As cartoon watchers know, Wile E. Coyote always gets a second chance. Even after hitting the ground from a great height, he’s soon up and chasing Road Runner again

Asia-Pacific stocks struggle for direction as investors assess inflation and monetary policy outlook
Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Tuesday, with Chinese stocks being among the biggest losers regionally.  Shares of conglomerate SoftBank Group slipped 0.9%, with the firm announcing Tuesday plans to take Arm public after a planned sale of the subsidiary to Nvidia collapsed due to “significant regulatory challenges.”  Global markets have continued to see a wave of volatility as investors continue to assess the outlook for factors such as central bank policy normalization.

Alibaba Launches NFTs to Capture Olympic Games Highlights
Alibaba Group has launched limited non-fungible tokens (NFT) for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, preserving competition highlights as ink-painted digital badges.  The NFTs cover four winter sports, short-track speed skating, figure skating, freestyle skiing and snowboard slopestyle, and incorporate traditional cultural elements ranging from Yin-yang to seal carving.  Each collection is limited to 8,888 pieces and is available to members of Alibaba’s paid customer-loyalty program, 88VIP.

“Together for a Shared Future” heralds a new era of global cooperation
According to the lunar calendar, February 4th is the herald of Spring and also ushers in the 2022 Winter Olympic Games as the world has eyed on the opening ceremony in Beijing, China. It is significant that many political leaders of the world expressed their good wishes or sincere interest in this global sports gathering. For example, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the solemn commitment made to the world that “China is ready to present a simple, safe and splendid Olympic Games” at the 139th session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).  Now with the 2022 Winter Olympic Games officially unfolding in Beijing, the world aspires to cooperate with each other in their efforts to use sport as a tool to promote peace, dialogue and reconciliation in areas of conflict during and beyond the period of the Olympic. To attain these ends, China is confident that, with the support of all countries and the guidance of the Olympic spirit, it will be able to present a successful event to the whole world. China will continue champion the faith that all countries, regardless the ideological and institutional differences, should harbor mutual respect, tranquility, tolerance, foresightedness and co-prosperity for our global village.   History tells us that the only way to address the various risks and challenges effectively is “together for a shared future”. Echoing this spirit, U.N. Secretary-General Guterres stressed “the world now needs a successful Winter Olympics to send a clear message to the world that people of any country, ethnicity and religion can rise above differences to achieve solidarity and cooperation.”

Chinese New Year’s Hottest Shopping Trends: Tiger Trinkets to Olympic Games Mascots
Shoppers kicked off the Year of the Tiger with a roar, inspired by the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing and readily available meals that reminded consumers of mom’s cooking. The world’s largest e-commerce market caught fire as netizens scoured sites for trending items such as big cat hats for babies, traditionally worn to scare off evil spirits.

Chinese video platform Bilibili denies death of 25-year-old employee was the result of overwork
The employee, who worked in the content monitoring department, died last Friday from a cerebral haemorrhage, Bilibili said in an internal letter     The death has renewed debate about the unhealthy work culture in China’s tech sector, known for its high pressure and long working hours

How the Beijing Winter Olympics Help Boost the Chinese Communist Party’s Legitimacy
Far from being non-political, the Games are a potent political symbol of the Chinese state’s ambitions and authority    This need is evident in the language Xi uses in public statements. Xi uses a great deal of imagery to exhort the Chinese people to march together with the party on the same difficult path toward this shared vision of the future.  As China continues to build its economy and burnish its great power status with high-profile events such as these Winter Olympics, it is also attempting to show the world that its model of governance is supreme. These Games are a giant advertisement for the Communist Party, exemplifying the kind of sharp efficiency that high-tech, authoritarian governments can bring to events of this magnitude. It can also demonstrate how successful the government has been in containing COVID-19, though this has involved blockading people in their own homes and the discriminatory treatment of Africans living in China. So, when global audiences cheer for their winter heroes, they will also be cheering for the CCP – whether they like that or not

‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ could have hit $2 billion at the global box office if it were released in China
The Chinese box office has been increasingly important for Hollywood films in recent decades, especially those released under the Marvel Cinematic Universe banner.  However, policy changes within the Chinese government, coupled with accelerated growth of its own domestic box office, has led China to be more selective about which Western films are shown within the country. “Spider-Man: No Way Home” has not received a release date in China, losing out on potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in ticket sales.

China’s Footballing Heroines Spark Debate on Equal Pay
China’s women’s football team recorded a historic win in the 2022 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Asian Cup final on Sunday, February 6. The 3-2 victory over South Korea in India has led fans to call for the country’s women’s team to receive equal pay.
One Weibo user called for the women’s team bonus to be paid out at the same rate as the men’s team and demanded equal pay for equal work. As of press time, the post received 170,000 likes, was shared over 40,000 times and had over 4,000 comments.

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