Belgian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce (BCECC)

China Press Review – January 31, 2022

China economy starts the year with a wobble
Manufacturing and service sector surveys show retreat in January as latest Covid-19 outbreaks hit domestic demand. The Chinese economy started the year on an uncertain footing, as Covid-19 flare-ups disrupted factory activity and consumer spending, according to a trio of manufacturing and service sector surveys released Sunday. Two gauges of Chinese manufacturing activity—one official and one private—each retreated in January, while a third measure, of the country’s services sector, brought into relief the deep toll that the latest burst of coronavirus infections has inflicted on domestic demand. China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers index fell to 50.1 in January, the National Bureau of Statistics said, down from 50.3 in December and just above the 50 mark that separates activity expansion from contraction.

This chart shows how China will soar past the U.S. to become the world’s largest economy by 2030
Meanwhile, the total GDP of the global economy is predicted to double between 2022 and 2035. The world economy is poised to reach a remarkable milestone in 2022: Total annual GDP will soar past $100 trillion for the first time, two years earlier than previously forecast, according to the latest projections by London-based economic consulting firm CEBR. Perhaps even more notable is that total GDP is predicted to then double to $200 trillion by 2035. In part, the current surge reflects how effectively the world’s biggest economies have adjusted to the pandemic. But rising inflation, particularly in the U.S., is playing an even bigger role in driving up GDP right now than true organic growth, says Karl Thompson, an economist at CEBR. Looking ahead, China is expected to pass the U.S. as the world’s largest economy in 2030.

podcast : Breaking Down China’s Economy
Helen Qiao, chief Greater China economist at BofA Global Research, discusses China’s PMI data, the country’s growth forecast and her outlook for the economy. She speaks on “Bloomberg Markets: China Open.”

Disruptions in China can lead to ‘ripple-effects’ across global supply chain, says HSBC
China’s zero-Covid restrictions will impact global supply chain recovery as any small disruption in the country will likely lead to “ripple effects” across the world, according to the  head of shipping at HSBC.   The pandemic has revealed “how lean the supply chain has become. And there is little margin of error,” said Parash Jain, global head of shipping and ports equity research at HSBC.

What price zero Covid? We need to know the cost to Hong Kong
The government’s panic-driven effort to attain ‘zero Covid’ is straining our hospitals and driving businesses big and small to the point of collapse   Hong Kong needs a serious cost-benefit analysis of the arguments supporting the policy amid evidence of serious, long-term harm being done

The case against zero-Covid excesses: Chinese lawyers speak out
The strategy has taken a financial and psychological toll on people and they should be compensated, Peking University law professor says    In some cases, enforcement of preventive measures has reached ridiculous levels, lawyer says

China Will Struggle to Escape the Fallout of Zero-COVID
Zero-COVID was never only about the successful suppression of the virus; it was also meant to be living proof of a superior system of governance.   It is appropriate also to acknowledge the domestic politics of COVID-19. In countries like the U.S. and U.K., response measures became an immediate ideological fault line. Then-president Donald Trump in the United States offered up a veritable torrent of embarrassing gaffes and regretful moments, including insisting that the virus would disappear in a matter of months (in early 2020), suggesting that injecting bleach might cure it, and hawking other unproven and even dangerous treatments. To this day, resisting mandates to wear a mask or receiving a vaccine is seen by many on the political right as an ideological statement – even a declaration of personal freedom against an Orwellian government. The politicization of the virus and measures to contain it are by no means unique to any single country. At the global level, however, there seems to be China on one end of the COVID-19 response spectrum and most other countries moving towards the other end.  Finally, the challenge of China’s dilemma is further evident when reflecting on the concept of sunk cost. The sunk cost bias may lead officials to avoid “wasting” previous efforts by altering COVID-19 containment strategy; they are therefore more likely to persist with harsh measures to maintain zero infections than to squander their early success suppressing the virus. This bias can extend to individuals as well. Those who have personally sacrificed by avoiding travel for holidays or to see family, and in more severe instances by losing their jobs and businesses, may not enjoy seeing years of effort rendered meaningless if a living-with-COVID-19 posture is adopted. This domestic issue imposes a difficult extra layer on the aforementioned dilemma. How China handles this situation should provide important lessons for addressing future pandemics.

China’s Covid lockdown rules are sending prices higher, says Chinese EV start-up
The electric car industry is growing quickly in China, but so are costs, as covid-related restrictions add to chip and battery shortages, said Freeman Shen, CEO of Chinese electric car start-up WM Motor.  He said the company would raise prices to cope with rising costs, as others are in the industry.   “We have to use this kind of technology (like virtual reality), because if not, the user experience is going to be terrible, and the efficiency is going to be very bad, and we sometimes cannot even get things done,” Shen said.

China’s backing for global debt transparency crucial to contain Covid-induced stress in emerging markets
A global consensus must be developed around disclosure requirements for all sovereign lending, says Bretton Woods Committee     China is the largest creditor to emerging-market countries, where debt has been accelerating rapidly in recent years

China’s “common prosperity” is a Catch-22
A phenomenal housing glut in the Chinese market is eroding the country’s productivity and economic future.   Even this modest proposal – which would be, in any case, insufficient to underwrite an enhanced public services and welfare roll-out – was scaled down and delayed. The huge proportion of household wealth (including that of Party members) parked in property was central to the resistance to this proposal. It is thus unsurprising that despite the distress sweeping the property industry, state intervention has ensured that housing prices have only fallen marginally. Though exorbitant housing costs are antithetical to the very notion of “common prosperity”, they nonetheless underlie much of the household wealth that Xi’s vision seeks to bolster. This dilemma is by no means wholly unique to China. However, unlike most OECD counterparts, Beijing must simultaneously deal with the added complicating variables of far poorer households and less developed safety nets.Absent innovative, creative and inevitably politically unpopular policy solutions, the danger is that China will have to choose between competing elements of the much vaunted “common prosperity” agenda.

China targets deepfakes in proposed regulation governing deep learning AI technologies
Providers of services that manipulate images and videos will be required to verify user identities and respect social morality    Beijing continues to strengthen efforts to rein in companies providing consumer technologies

China’s power market tests upper limit of price reform as electricity generators, users set own trading terms
Rising volumes and higher-than-benchmark tariffs have been observed in the annual market trading contracts signed between gencos and users for 2022: Fitch   Caution needed as higher tariffs pressure inefficient users at a time when the Chinese economy is still recovering from the Covid-19 disruption

Burgeoning EV market will create more opportunities for investors: Private banks
The fast-growing electric vehicle (EV) market will present more opportunities for investors as countries accelerate the move towards more sustainable economies, according to private banks.   They also noted that Asia, especially China, will continue to drive this shift in 2022 as it forges ahead in reducing carbon emissions and rolling out green technology. Mr Desmond Kuek, head of sustainable finance for Asia-Pacific at Swiss bank UBS, expects that 25 per cent of new cars will be electrified by 2025, with the share possibly hitting 60 per cent to 70 per cent by 2030.

Explainer | What is the China Certified Emission Reduction scheme and why is it important for Beijing’s carbon neutral goal?
CCER is expected to play a significant role in achieving emissions cost reductions and renewable energy goals The scheme’s relaunch will continue to boost the demand for offsets, Refinitiv analyst says

Energy transition saw record investment in 2021 – report
Cheung pointed out that Asia Pacific was both the largest region for investment at $368 billion or nearly half the global total, and the region with the highest growth at 38% in 2021. Europe, the Middle East and Africa grew by 16% in 2021, reaching $236 billion, while the Americas saw investments grow by 21% to $150 billion.     “China was again the largest single country for energy transition investment, committing $266 billion in 2021,” the dossier notes. “The United States was in second place with $114 billion, though EU member states as a bloc committed more at $154 billion. Germany, the UK and France rounded out the top five countries for energy transition investment in 2021. Asia-Pacific countries now hold four of the top 10 places in terms of energy transition investment levels, with India and South Korea joining China and Japan.”

China unveils new rules to better regulate overseas lending
Chinese financial regulators published new rules on overseas lending by domestic banks to facilitate the use of renminbi in such business and fend off risks in cross-border capital use on Saturday.   A unified policy framework that covers overseas loans in both renminbi and foreign currencies will be established, according to the document jointly released by the People”s Bank of China and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange.    From March 1, the new rules will expand the scope of business of renminbi loans, include cross-border fund flows of overseas lending in the macro-prudential policy framework, and clarify requirements of the utilization of overseas loans

Explainer  China mega projects: 6 controversial infrastructure plans for the world’s No 2 economy
From underwater railway tunnels to diverting water from rivers, China has a host of mega infrastructure projects in planning or under construction
Beijing has traditionally used infrastructure spending to prop up the economy, but critics say credit-fuelled investment could lead to unsustainable debt

China Evergrande seeks legal recourse after creditor Oaktree seized indebted developer’s Versailles-like project in Yuen Long
Evergrande said the asset was charged as a security for a US$520 million loan it entered into in January last year   The indebted mainland developer said it is seeking legal advice to protect its rights over the project, which covers a 2.2 million square feet plot in Yuen Long  The embattled mainland developer has already invested a total of nearly HK$8.9 billion (US$1.1 billion) on the project, according to a Sing Tao Daily report in August last year. The firm bought the farmland, located near the Mai Po Wetlands, from Henderson Land for HK$4.7 billion in 2019 and paid almost HK$4.2 billion last year to convert it to residential use.   It planned to build a 240,000 sq ft villa “like the Palace of Versailles” on the land. The project will have a total of 268 villas, each built up two or three storeys, according to documents submitted to Hong Kong’s Town Planning Board.

China to Strengthen Anti-Monopoly Efforts in Pharma Industry
China will toughen law enforcement to curb monopoly practices and unfair competition in the pharmaceutical industry as the government seeks to foster a good business environment, the industry ministry said on Sunday.  The action follows November’s regulatory guidelines to stamp out monopolies in active pharmaceutical ingredients (API). China leads the world in making and exporting these products. In a statement, the ministry of industry and information technology said it would “strengthen law enforcement against unfair competition, and resolutely investigate unfair competitive acts, such as commercial bribery”.   It will also stiffen enforcement of anti-monopoly laws in the areas of drug shortages and APIs, prepare and adopt antitrust guidelines in the API market and investigate monopolistic pacts, it added.

Asian economic growth to outstrip Americas and Europe
 Over the next two years, gross domestic product will rise faster in Asia than in the Americas and Europe, strengthening its position as the largest and fastest-growing economic bloc. Asia’s GDP is expected to expand in nominal terms from $33tn in 2021 to $39tn in 2023, exceeding the $34tn for the Americas and $26tn for Europe. The $5.4tn increase for Asia compares with $4.8tn for the Americas and $2.9tn for Europe. This dynamic is the interplay of growth in exports, capital expenditure and productivity. In contrast to other economies that have relied heavily on stimulus, Asia’s recovery from the Covid-19 shock has been fuelled by a sharp upturn in exports. Investors may be tempted to write this off as a reflection of a revival of global growth, but what happens next is arguably much more interesting. As the world’s largest producer gets back to work, unused capacity will be absorbed and corporate confidence will rise, boosting demand for capital equipment. Rising capital expenditures should pull more workers into the labour force, laying the groundwork for a self-sustaining cycle. In fact, Asia’s productivity — or incremental GDP generated by new debt— is poised to turn in the best performance since the 2003-07 cycle. Post-2008, global trade volumes grew at an average of just 1.2 per cent compared with 6 per cent in the 2000s.

Taiwan’s economy outperforms amid COVID-19 crisis
Taiwan’s economy has outshined most others in the last two years. While the COVID-19 recession was hard most everywhere else, Taiwan’s economy enjoyed a moderate expansion of 3.1 per cent in 2020 and likely expanded by 6.1 per cent in 2021 — the highest growth recorded since the global financial crisis rebound 12 years ago. Taiwan’s economic expansion is an outlier amid the pandemic.  Vigorous exports explain Taiwan’s outstanding economic performance. Pandemic travel restrictions triggered greater global demand for information and communications technology products. With the gradual return to normal in 2021, Taiwan’s exports of other manufactured products such as metals, plastics, chemicals and textiles all grew significantly. China remained Taiwan’s largest export destination last year, but the growth of exports to the United States (30 per cent), Europe (37 per cent) and Southeast Asian countries (32 per cent) outpaced export growth to China (23 per cent).

China’s Domestic Politics Are Driving the Belt and Road Initiative
The geopolitical effects of the BRI are incidental; its driving force is found in domestic political imperatives.   Understanding the BRI as a form of state-building, driven by domestic Chinese politics, provides three important insights. The first is that with each iteration of state-building projects, the CCP became increasingly aware that the development of its interior provinces was predicated on the development of its neighbors. The assumption was that this would provide stability as well as the necessary economic foundations to sustain durable supply chains and markets for Chinese goods.    Second, while debt exposure in places like Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Laos merit concern, evidence suggests that China has not pursued “debt-trap diplomacy” predicated on asset seizures; rather, it has frequently resorted to deferrals, refinancing, or writing off loans. This tendency is driven by the logic of the first point.   The third point is that policy formulation and implementation guiding the BRI is negotiated by various local and central officials. As a result, its geopolitical effects are incidental rather than its driving force. Even if, over time, central officials sought to pursue geopolitical ends through the BRI, the fragmented nature of policy implementation in China, even in foreign policy, makes this more difficult than most analysts assume.

Huawei Sues Sweden for Excluding It from 5G Rollout
Sweden after UK is the second country to explicitly ban network operators from using Huawei equipment for infrastructure needed to run its 5G network.

When Disruption Collides: Gen Z and the Metaverse
The fundamental “extreme” values of luxury never change. Therefore, as the generational shift from millennials to Gen Z happens or as the world moves towards the metaverse, the fundamental mechanics of luxury are never different. That is critical to remember because when disruptive forces emerge, brands often over-react and make strategic mistakes that weaken their stories and, thus, their ability to create extreme value.    Always remember: The fundamental “extreme” values of luxury never change. But what does change are preferences, expressions, and access points to brands.

China’s Local Governments Are at Risk of a Puerto Rico Moment
A slumping real estate market and slowing economy are crimping revenue, while expenditures rise.   Spotting China’s potential Puerto Rico is not as simple as pointing at the most impoverished region: Tibet. It’s equally possible that the country’s municipal debt crisis could explode in one of the richest provinces, such as Jiangsu or Zhejiang. In these two wealthy regions, land sales can account for as much as half of government revenue, in part because their stronger economies push up land prices. And their economic strength makes it easier for them to borrow. Chinese local government financing vehicles have about 11.5 trillion yuan in bonds outstanding, 35% of which came from these two provinces, according to HSBC Holdings Plc.   A freeze in the credit market could prevent local governments from rolling over their debt—the same problem faced by real estate developers last year. Jiangsu, in particular, has debt maturing equal to 41% of its 2020 revenue. So Beijing must be vigilant. China’s municipal debt crisis might spring out of nowhere, and anywhere.

As China’s Lunar New Year bonuses feel the pandemic effect, is time the best gift of all?
China’s internet is abuzz over a year-end bonus offering a 365-day paid holiday, as workers tire of the ‘996’ lifestyle    But with rising unemployment also a concern, the lucky winner must first shake off concerns about his job still being there when he returns

Investors are shunning China’s once-hot consumer tech start-ups
Unpaid suppliers are picketing, founders are fleeing and thousands of white-collar tech workers are being laid off as investors grow wary of China’s unprofitable consumer internet start-ups. On a cloudy January afternoon, a honking procession of suppliers working for grocery company Nice Tuan staged a drive-in protest at an Alibaba warehouse in the central Chinese city of Changsha to demand the ecommerce giant bail out the company.   “We can’t get our money, no one at Nice Tuan is dealing with us. We’re out of options, so we’re chasing Alibaba,” said sunflower seed supplier Yang Xianli.

China selects pilot zones, application areas for blockchain project
China has selected 15 pilot zones and identified several areas of application to “carry out the innovative application of blockchain” technology, according to a joint government statement on Sunday.  The pilot zones include areas in China’s major cities of Beijing and Shanghai, as well as Guangzhou and Chengdu in the southern Guangdong and Sichuan provinces respectively, according to statement on the Cyberspace Administration’s official Wechat social media account.

Design Systems in China and the European Union
The design of a product can be protected by an intellectual property right through a registration before an intellectual property office. In this article, it will be compared the design systems of China and European Union.  In general terms, the scope of protection of a design encompasses the appearance of the whole or a part of a product resulting from the features of, in particular, the lines, contours, colors, shape, pattern, texture and/or materials of the product itself and/or its ornamentation.   The advantage of having a registered design is the exclusive right to exploit the design. This exclusive right includes, namely, the making, offering, putting on the market, importing, exporting, or using of a product in which the design is incorporated or to which it is applied, or stocking such a product for those purposes.

Lunar New Year special | 10 stories that shook China tech in 2021 – and will shape 2022
For many Chinese tech watchers, the year 2021 can be divided into two distinct periods: before and after Didi’s cybersecurity review. Prior to news of the investigation into the ride-hailing giant, observers followed a broad range of topics: Luckin’s unlikely comeback, ByteDance’s moves to address US concerns, and a looming crackdown on crypto mining among them. After the Didi announcement, regulatory changes became the dominant thing to watch. As authorities unleashed an avalanche of new rules and regulations, companies were frightened into inaction on a range of important activities: pursuing overseas IPOs, raising funds for edtech companies, or buying up peers to maintain competitiveness in the market. Chinese tech companies will feel the impact of these events for years to come. As China goes on holiday for the Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival, for the week of Jan. 31 to Feb. 6, TechNode looks back at an eventful year and brings you a round-up of the stories that you read the most.

U.S. urged to respect China’s core interests
In his analysis of the underlying cause of the difficulties in Sino-US relations, Cui said that some US politicians, think tanks and media are not ready to confront the fast-growing China because of a “worldview” that is very different from the Chinese people. The diplomat said many Americans have the mindset that the United States should always be the world’s world leader, and believe that “winner takes all” and everything is a zero-sum game. “But it’s very different for us in China. We believe in the outcome of winning. So sometimes you shouldn’t have winners versus losers. You should try to make everyone a winner.” He urged US political leaders to focus on responding to domestic challenges such as the inequality between rich and poor and gun violence, which, he said, are the things that keep them awake at night, rather than being obsessed with an imaginary threat from China. Cui said China and the United States, although different systems and cultures, can work together to solve the problems the world faces.

The economics underpinning the growing Russian-Chinese influence
As Russia pivots to Asia economically and strategically, its cooperation with China could counter US alliances from West to East    Under Western sanctions, Russia has tightened fiscal policies, boosted trade with China and become stronger. The US might end up with two formidable foes

China-Russia ties: as the West forces them together, Xi and Putin show up for each other
The relationship may be the closest the two nations have been since 1950s honeymoon that followed China’s fight against US and allied forces in the Korean war    As the second-largest economy, China could provide Russia with some immunity against possible US sanctions over Ukraine

Why China does not share the US preoccupation with war in Ukraine, or elsewhere
China has a radically different world view that the US, critically, fails to recognise. Its prioritisation of trade and its economy belies any offensive military intent – and its non-interference policy is painfully informed by its history of being invaded

Will China Invade Taiwan If Russia Attacks Ukraine?
Taiwan is not Ukraine. It holds special significance for Washington. When diplomatic relations shifted to Communist-ruled Beijing in 1979, Congress passed the Taiwan Relations Act. This has resulted in the continued flow of funds and military supplies to support the fledgling democracy ever since. Today Taiwan is also home to the world’s most advanced chip manufacturing plant, which is still important to US military and civilian technology. It is also important for Chinese industries. Tokyo recently indicated that it would defend the island if China attacked it. And a host of other countries continue to defy China’s claim to the South China Sea. The US, Canadian, British, French and Australian navies have already crossed this major global trade route without regard to China’s insistence on notifying the mainland. Were Beijing to impose its authority militarily, the major naval powers would certainly intervene. The era of regional hegemony is over. The world moves sporadically and begins towards a globalized and interconnected entity, and countries will gain more through cooperation than through conflict. Russia’s brinkmanship over Ukraine offers little example for China, except to illustrate the futility of gaining broad influence through war and aggression.

China eyes ‘armed unification’ with Taiwan by 2027: key academic
Mainland can bring the island under its control in a week, Jin Canrong says  Chinese President Xi Jinping will employ force to unify Taiwan with China by 2027, an influential Chinese academic who advises Beijing on foreign policy told Nikkei.  Jin Canrong, a professor in Renmin University’s School of International Studies, notes that the People’s Liberation Army already has a posture superior to that of the U.S. to deal with a contingency involving Taiwan.  He is known as one of China’s most vocal hawks, and his online comments are followed by many.     Xi has set Taiwan unification as a goal but has not indicated a timeline. Jin said: “Once the National Congress of the Communist Party of China is over in the fall of 2022, the scenario of armed unification will move toward becoming a reality. It is very likely that the leadership will move toward armed unification by 2027, the 100th anniversary of the PLA’s founding.”

Facing Chinese pressure, Taiwan president pledges to ‘stride’ into the world
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen thanked democratic nations for their support of the island in her Lunar New Year message on Sunday and pledged to “stride out” into the world, sounding a defiant note in the face of unrelenting Chinese pressure. China, which claims the democratically-ruled island as its own territory, has increased military activity around Taiwan over the past two years and stepped up efforts to limit its international role, lambasting those who have sought to support Taipei or strengthen ties with it.   In a short pre-recorded video message a day before the eve of Lunar New Year on Monday, the formal start of the most important holiday in the Chinese-speaking world, Tsai expressed appreciation for growing international support for Taiwan.

Philippine elections expose the politics of China policy
This is almost a trick question — not only the diversity of Southeast Asian political systems, but the multiplicity of interests that bear upon foreign policy within individual states makes mockery of the idea of ‘domestic politics’ as a single, coherent force.    A more manageable question might be: to what extent does public opinion set the terms on which Southeast Asian governments work with China?

Chinese Documentary Prompts Rare Criticism Of Xi’s Anti-Corruption Campaign
A state-sponsored documentary series designed to bolster support for China’s decade-long corruption crackdown has instead sparked a rare outburst of public criticism towards one of President Xi Jinping’s most important policies. Xi, China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, launched a sweeping anti-graft campaign in 2013 in response to rampant and systematic corruption that was undermining the Communist party’s grip on power. The effort has led to the detention of tens of thousands of officials, including senior national leaders such as Zhou Yongkang, China’s former security chief, and Ling Jihua, a top aide to former president Hu Jintao. The crackdown has also been interpreted as part of Xi’s plans to root out his political rivals.

CCP’s Use Of Overseas Chinese To Influence Western Democracies – Analysis
Since Xi came to power, he has also launched a drive to weed out corrupt officials and CCP cadres. In order to get hold of those who fled abroad, a campaign called ‘Fox Hunt’ has been launched with overseas Chinese playing an instrumental role in this. An instance of this come to light in the US in which Chinese nationals living there were trying to coerce a former Chinese city government official to return back. Eight individuals, some of whom had been resident in the US, were charged by the Department of Justice for acting as illegal agents of the People’s Republic in October 2020. However, official Chinese narrative depicts Fox Hunt as an effort in which the law-enforcement machinery actively liaisons with local authorities to bring fugitives who have harmed the nation to book. This can be evidenced from a TV series coincidentally titled ‘Fox Hunting’ produced by China’s Ministry of Public Security. While Xi talks about the need to project a good picture of the nation, China’s use of its overseas nationals seems to be causing more harm than good. Startled by the case of Christine Lee, the UK government plans to table anti-foreign interference legislation, on which public consultation had commenced in 2021, in parliament this year. It endeavours to create a register of ‘declared activities that are undertaken for, or on behalf of, a foreign state’. Australia cleared its foreign interference law in 2018, much to the chagrin of China. In 2021, the ambit of the same has expanded to campuses. New rules on foreign interference stipulate training of students to recognise and report meddling by foreign powers. Raising the stakes in its confrontation with China, the chair of Australia’s intelligence committee, categorically singled out the Chinese threat as the raison d’etre for the nation’s anti-interference laws in a speech to the European Parliament. Now, the European Commission has said it is also developing foreign interference rules for European universities. Thus, the overuse of its nationals and students to execute the CCP’s agenda is harming the nation’s soft power, and may harm the interests of ethnic Chinese settled abroad in the long run.

Ex-graftbuster’s Verdict May Spell Trouble for Chinese Anti-corruption Czar
The January 28 “suspended death sentence” of Dong Hong, a former righthand man to Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan, a former head of China’s anti-graft campaign, raises questions on the future of one of the leading figures in Chinese affairs along with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang. Wang was named in 2013 with great fanfare to carry out Xi’s anti-corruption campaign to take down “tigers” (senior officials) and “flies” (junior officials).

China: Media freedom declining at ‘breakneck speed’ – report
Media freedom in China is declining at “breakneck speed”, according to a report by a group representing foreign journalists in the country.

Many Chinese Are Missing Another Spring Festival Reunion
Sporadic coronavirus outbreaks and strict travel guidelines have thwarted holiday plans for the third year.

Year of the Tiger: gold jewellers and retailers eye year of roaring business ahead
Gold items linked to the tiger are the second-most popular gold products among the 12 zodiac animals, next only to the dragon, says president of the local gold exchange     Lukfook Group has prepared more tiger gold products, as it believes the outlook for Hong Kong’s economy has improved after the introduction of Covid-19 vaccines

Chinese consumers turn to ‘prefabricated’ food for Lunar New Year, pushing annual sales towards US$80 billion mark
From traditional Cantonese cuisine poon choi to Peking roast duck, consumer demand for ‘prefabricated’ dishes has risen amid Covid-19 pandemic     Some 68,000 companies have entered the fray in the mainland China market, including more than half in the past five years

Give Me Anything But Dumplings this Lunar New Year
What other foods do Chinese eat during the Lunar New Year?

Building 21st century companies in Asia
Gautam Kumra, Chairman of McKinsey’s offices in Asia, discusses the rapid changes in Asia’s corporate landscape, and how the role and priorities of CEOs may need to evolve in a post-pandemic world.

Beijing housing compounds in lockdown as more Covid-19 cases surface
Residents in two more districts restricted to their homes and will be tested daily    More infections also reported inside the Winter Olympics bubble

How China has put the squeeze on international schools
Reforms in China have hit international schools hard – but there are still opportunities for those willing to adapt, explains David Mansfield

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