China Press Review – January 12, 2018

Press review

The Chinese are now buying as much stuff as Americans, a game-changer for the world economy
The mighty force of consumerism has taken hold in China. In 2018, retail sales in China are expected to equal or surpass sales in the United States for the first time, another definitive marker in China’s rise to economic superpower status. The growth of China’s domestic retail market is luring everyone from automakers to make up companies that want to cash in on the country’s growing middle class, but it also serves as another complication in President Trump’s quest to transform U.S.-China trade.
www.washingtonpost.com

China’s trade surplus with US hits record high in 2017 amid rising tensions

Beijing will find it hard to maintain double-digit foreign trade growth this year, customs agency spokesman says
www.scmp.com

China’s 2017 exports rose 7.9% in dollar terms — imports jumped 15.9%
China’s dollar-denominated trade data for 2017: A 7.9 percent jump in exports and a 15.9 percent rise in imports China’s overall trade surplus for 2017 was $422.5 billion
www.cnbc.com

China’s economic evolution in the year of the dog
As we approach the Chinese New Year, China’s economic focus has shifted – but what is that likely to mean in terms of policy in 2018?
pursuit.unimelb.edu

Will 2018 be the year Shenzhen and Guangzhou finally overtake Hong Kong?
The Guangdong cities are nipping at Hong Kong’s heels – thanks, in part, to greater investment in hi-tech industries
www.scmp.com

Marks and Spencer ends mainland online operations in retreat from China
British retailer, known affectionately as ‘M&S’ in the UK, announced it will close its online shop on Tmall, ending a retail presence in mainland China that dates back to 2008
www.scmp.com

Chinese Cashier-Free Store Bianlifeng Acquires Rival Lingwa As Industry Consolidates
Beijing-based cashier-free store Bianlifeng announced today that it has acquired a controlling stake in its peer Lingwa, in the latest sign of industry consolidation. Financial terms of the deal between the private companies were not disclosed.

Chinese Cashier-Free Store Bianlifeng Acquires Rival Lingwa As Industry Consolidates

Fashion Retailers in China Go Cashier-free Using Facial Recognition
One doesn’t need a wallet or even a mobile phone to shop at the new stores. After completing the facial recognition registration process in-store, shoppers immediately become members of the “AI Club”, powered by WeChat Pay. At the exit, instead of groping for his wallet or phone, the customer uses his or her face to complete payment via WeChat Pay.

Fashion Retailers in China Go Cashier-free Using Facial Recognition

Baidu, Ant Financial And Toutiao Summoned By Chinese Government Over User Privacy Issues
Chinese tech giant Baidu Inc., Alibaba’s financial affiliate Ant Financial and Beijing Bytedance Telecommunications Co., Ltd., the operator of Chinese personalized news app Toutiao, have been summoned to answer question by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology as they have failed to fully disclose the collection of personal data from users of their mobile apps, according to the government’s website.

Baidu, Ant Financial And Toutiao Summoned By Chinese Government Over User Privacy Issues

US bonds tumble as Beijing shows Donald Trump CHINA is world economy’s super power
THE US got a sharp reminder its spell as the world’s only economic superpower is over after China sparked a rabid sell-off in the American bond market.
www.express.co.uk/finance/city/903278/US-bonds-fall-China-Donald-Trump-world-economy

Beijing to halt construction as smog closes in just weeks after clearest skies in five years
Children and the elderly advised to stay indoors as pollution set to hit dangerous levels in coming days After reporting its best winter air quality for five years in December, Beijing said on Friday it is gearing up for its first major smog of the year.
www.scmp.com

China’s new loans halve in Dec, but hit record in 2017
China’s bank lending halved in December as the government kept up its campaign to curb financial system risks, but banks still managed to dole out a record amount for the year amid the tighter scrutiny.
www.reuters.com

China Is Heaping Debt on Its Least Productive Companies
When Chinese President Xi Jinping failed to mention the word “deleveraging” in his long-awaited new economic blueprint in December it was clear that the political tug of war between the advocates of “reform” and “growth” had been won by the latter.
www.cfr.org

Liberty vs optimism: an East-West tussle over China’s future
At the SCMP’s annual China Conference, American journalist Keith Richburg makes the case for more openness while Chinese venture capitalist Eric Li says the outlook is better than fine
www.scmp.com

Be Prepared for Many Chinese Factory Closures This Coming CNY
It is coming again. Chinese New Year (CNY for short). All Chinese manufacturers will close sometime in early February and re-open slowly toward the end of the month. The more they rely on migrant labor, the longer the break (on average).
qualityinspection.org

Inflation Correlations And China’s Brief, Disappointing Porcine Nightmare
Two years ago, China was gripped by what was described as an epic pig problem. For most Chinese people, pork is a main staple so rapidly rising pig prices could have presented a serious challenge to an economy already at that time besieged by massive negative forces. It was another headache officials in that country really didn’t need.
seekingalpha.com

What’s Next for Commercial Diplomacy with China?
As the chief commercial advocate for U.S. businesses in policymaking, the Department of Commerce plays a crucial role in the U.S.-China trade and economic relationship. In the 99th episode of the China in the World Podcast, Paul Haenle spoke with Penny Pritzker, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce under the Obama administration and founder and Chairman of PSP Capital, to discuss how the Department of Commerce impacts U.S. foreign policy.
www.chinafile.com

China in crackdown on bitcoin mining
The short-lived bitcoin mining industry is already on the cusp of being shut down by Chinese authorities following concerns at the heavy demand the sector is placing on the electricity grid.

China in crackdown on bitcoin mining

China’s blockchain fever gets hotter even as regulator queries price surge
China’s blockchain-related companies extended their bullish run on Friday, as punters brushed aside concerns raised by regulators about the rationality of stock price surges this week.
www.reuters.com

Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show: China neck and neck with Silicon Valley in showcasing auto tech
Of the 4,500 exhibitors at the annual event of Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, more than a third are from China
www.livemint.com

China’s imports from North Korea plummet to lowest level in four years
Figures for December lowest since January 2014 amid sanctions aimed at halting Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme
www.scmp.com

How China’s market economy has fuelled a prostitution boom
In 2013, the United Nations estimated there were four to six million, citing police sources. The consensus is that there are between four and 10 million sex workers in China. Many vulnerable women bear the brunt of cold-hearted capitalism without seeing any of the benefits of socialism
www.scmp.com

Donations pour in after ‘Ice Boy’ frozen trek to school moves China
Primary school in rural Yunnan province gifted US$15,000 after child’s chilly commute touches hearts across the country
www.scmp.com

Understanding China by Becoming China
For an Indian in the 21st-century, understanding China is a highly required task to survive and flourish in the global order. Remember, India fought a costly, surprising and stunning war with its neighbour in 1962, and tension at the borders is still simmering. Not only India, the rest of the world, too, is trying to understand China and its hunger and anger. In this context you will find Jeanne-Marie Gescher’s Becoming China: The Story Behind The State (Published by Bloomsbury Caravel, Pages 740, Price Rs 799) a highly relevant and illuminating read.

Understanding China by Becoming China

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Alain Gillard
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