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Frank Tang



Articles by Frank Tang

China GDP: economy set to confirm recovery from coronavirus, but new cases cloud outlook

5 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China is expected to confirm on Monday that it was the world’s first major economy to overcome the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic and post positive growth for 2020, although the world’s second largest economy still faces a bumpy road ahead.Last year’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to have grown by 2.1 per cent, according to a Bloomberg poll of economists, a sharp decline from a revised 6.0 per cent in 2019, and the lowest growth rate in 44 years.However, even weak growth…

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China’s credit tightening measures to put pressure on property, local government financing vehicles

6 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China may have started to rein in the pace of credit growth at the start of 2021 as December’s financial data fell below market expectations, and with policymakers signalling that they are leaning toward tapering off the expansionary monetary policy conducted last year.Weak financial data released by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) on Tuesday has reinforced the belief held by many analysts that the central bank has started to gradually tighten credit.However, to ensure financial stability and…

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China’s new rules on ‘unjustified’ foreign laws bolster ability to strike back at US long-arm jurisdiction

7 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]New rules strengthening China’s ability to strike back at “unjustified” foreign laws applied to citizens and businesses have been hailed as a necessary step to defend national interests, following a rash of sanctions from Washington on Chinese tech firms and politicians.However, analysts do not expect any cases in the immediate future as the order lacks details and is seen largely as a defensive mechanism.The rules on “counteracting unjustified extraterritorial application of foreign…

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China’s railway investment loses steam as government turns from debt-fuelled building boom

8 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s railway authority will prioritise restructuring its operations to enhance efficiency and revenue this year, rather than continuing to expand track mileage, in the latest example of Beijing moving away from debt-fuelled growth.Annual railway investment, which often reflects government enthusiasm for infrastructure investment, dropped to 781.9 billion yuan (US$120.7 billion) last year, falling below 800 billion yuan for the first time since 2013, according to data released at the annual…

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China’s forex reserves strategy to be ‘dynamically optimised’ amid uncertain external conditions

12 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Chinese authorities are adopting a “forward-looking” investment strategy for the country’s massive foreign-exchange reserves, with plans to “dynamically optimise” its portfolio even as the value of its reserves assets have climbed to a four-and-a-half-year high.The wording in Thursday’s statement by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), which manages the bulk of the country’s reserve assets, likely reflects Beijing’s rising concerns about international uncertainties – including…

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China’s fintech platforms face increased scrutiny amid broader regulatory efforts to rein in financial risks

12 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s central bank says it will prioritise financial stability this year, vowing to strengthen its regulatory muscle and to put all financial activities under government supervision, in an effort to eliminate risks.In particular, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said it will firmly implement the top leadership’s plans to strengthen antitrust enforcement and prevent the “disorderly expansion of capital”, which generally refers to the regulation of China’s big technology companies.“Measures…

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China moves to curb yuan rally pressure due to hot money and export concerns

14 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The rapid appreciation in the yuan’s exchange rate has resulted in capital inflows and given rise to concerns about its effect on exports and China’s manufacturing competitiveness, with policymakers making moves this week to curb its ascent.For now, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the nation’s central bank, has not intervened directly to halt or reverse the currency’s appreciation, but instead is relying on a series of measures that are meant to boost the ability of Chinese investors to buy…

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China’s state monopolies cast a big shadow over private enterprise, but will antitrust law and vows of reform help?

14 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Beijing’s latest measures to redistribute state capital in key sectors while enhancing the influence of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are arousing concern in China’s private sector while also fuelling foreign suspicion about the return of state capitalism.Chinese officials, namely President Xi Jinping, have commented on the need to build bigger, better and stronger state firms.But some analysts say that may run counter to pledges of market-oriented reform in the state sector. In particular,…

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China to relax rules on cross-border yuan use, as currency hits 30-month high against US dollar

14 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Beijing will make it easier for traders, multinational companies and outbound investors to use the yuan in international transactions, after the Chinese currency rallied to a 30-month high against the US dollar.The new rules, which take effect February 4, will cut red tape in yuan trade settlements, simplify paperwork and streamline the ability of Chinese citizens to move money out of the country, according to a circular jointly released by the People‘s Bank of China and five other government…

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China’s Xi Jinping vows new push to revitalise rural economy in post-coronavirus world of uncertainty

20 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China has vowed to provide more forceful support for the agricultural sector and revitalise rural areas, saying they are the “bedrock for a new era of development” in which Beijing aims to make the economy more self-reliant and insulate it from external uncertainty.At the conclusion of the two-day Central Rural Work Conference on Tuesday, President Xi Jinping said after eliminating absolute poverty this year, the government would undertake “a historic shift” to focus on “comprehensively…

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China to develop ‘national team’ of state-owned giants, but efficiency concerns linger

21 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Chen Derong, the chairman of China Baowu Steel Group, broke into tears last week as he announced the company had produced a record 100 million tonnes of steel this year.It was a “dream come true,” Chen said, as the Shanghai-based mill surpassed ArcelorMittal, an Indian-Luxembourg multinational, to become the world’s largest producer and highest-earning steelmaker.While a government-led consolidation of five major Chinese mills over the past decade was instrumental in Baowu’s feat, the company’s…

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China’s P2P purge leaves millions of victims out in the cold, with losses in the billions, as concerns of social unrest swirl

22 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Karen Kong has not got a restful night’s sleep in the past half a year, after learning that her mother invested all of the family’s savings – more than 1 million yuan (US$153,000) – in a little known peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform.Worries soon turned into anger and despair as the Beijing-based Jieyue United made its way onto the Chinese government’s liquidation list, and the chance of getting their money back appears to be dwindling.“No one can give us a clear timetable for the settlement,…

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China to focus on domestic consumption in 2021 as US trade war fades from priorities

23 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s commerce ministry will focus on domestic consumption next year as the trade war with the United States falls down the list of priorities.A statement about its nationwide work meeting on Saturday, the first meeting chaired by the new minister Wang Wentao, stressed the importance of the domestic market, a key element of the new dual circulation strategy.The ministry said: “We will step up domestic demand, try to drive up consumption potential, build a modern circulation system, clear…

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China takes practical approach to development over next five years

26 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China should take a practical approach in its 2021-2025 development plan, setting eyes on a reasonable growth rate and keeping some leeway, Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday.While the five-year plan should consider the post-coronavirus economic recovery over the next two years and the country’s 2035 development vision, the No 2 figure of the Chinese leadership called on the use of reformist measures to tackle structural problems in the world’s second largest economy.“Development targets must…

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China extends loan help for coronavirus-hit small businesses in bid to maintain economic recovery

28 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China will extend two credit policy tools for its smallest businesses into next year, as it tries to consolidate its economic recovery and counter external changes.Small businesses will be allowed to further postpone their principal and interest repayments on inclusive loans past the previous deadline of the end of March, the State Council said in a statement summarising its executive meeting on Monday.Inclusive loans provide financial support for disadvantaged and low-income segments of…

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China must avoid ‘premature’ exit from economic support given ‘precarious’ global outlook: World Bank

28 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China should avoid a “premature” exit from its economic support policies given the “precarious” global outlook next year, according to the World Bank.“A premature policy exit and excessive tightening [following the coronavirus pandemic] could derail the recovery,” the Washington-based World Bank warned on Wednesday, urging the People’s Bank of China to “proceed cautiously” in tightening its monetary policy.“Despite an initial rebound, the global economy remains in recession, and its recovery…

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China central bank dismisses criticism of its financial regulation, urges ‘realistic’ appraisal of environment

29 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s central bank has called for “realistic” criticism of its performance amid a sharp rise in high-profile domestic bond defaults, following a surprisingly sharp attack from a former finance minister.The disagreement among Beijing’s inner circle of economic policymakers, which burst into view just two days after the nation’s top leaders vowed to provide policy support for the economy next year to counter the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and external uncertainties, comes amid…

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China’s top policy panel says government will continue ‘necessary support’ for economy

December 18, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s top policymakers have pledged to continue “necessary support” for the nation’s economic recovery and will make “no U-turn” when there are still many outlook uncertainties due to the coronavirus pandemic and the external environment, according to the Central Economic Work Conference that concluded on Friday.The world’s second-largest economy will put its focus on eight tasks for the coming year, including strengthening strategic technological innovation, ensuring the control of supply…

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China urged to ‘expand job market’, provide support for university graduates and migrant workers in 2021

December 17, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China must set its sights on expanding the job market next year, especially for university graduates and migrant workers, experts at a labour ministry conference have said, as the country’s top leaders gather in Beijing to set future economic policies.Hundreds of officials are in the capital for the annual Central Economic Work Conference this week, where job growth will be high on the agenda for 2021, the same year the Communist Party celebrates its 100th anniversary and the start of the next…

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China eyes demand-side reforms over stimulus measures to boost domestic consumption, economy

December 16, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Beijing has initiated a new push to unleash the economy’s domestic consumption potential, pledging to institute a series of reforms to overhaul long-standing structural problems in the economy.The new focus on “demand-side reforms” would mean greater efforts on addressing difficult structural issues, such as unequal income distribution, improving the social safety net, and reforming land-use and ownership policies as an alternative to large-scale government-provided consumer subsidies and…

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China-Australia relations: Beijing steel group demands answers from BHP over soaring iron ore prices

December 11, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s steel industry body has demanded an explanation from Anglo-Australian miner BHP about the surging cost of iron ore, in a fresh sign of Beijing’s growing frustration about runaway prices for the steelmaking ingredient.The China Iron & Steel Association (CISA) held a video conference on Thursday with BHP executives in which there was a “candid exchange of views” on the miner’s production, sales and pricing, according to a statement from the industry group.Luo Tiejun, a CISA vice-president…

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China’s economic vulnerabilities to be focus of 2021 work conference amid strong GDP forecast, analysts say

December 11, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s leaders are expected to prioritise fixing social and economic weak links in 2021 – the year the ruling Communist Party celebrates its 100th anniversary – when they gather to take stock of the country’s economic performance in coming days, analysts said.President Xi Jinping and hundreds of party officials are set to convene for the annual Central Economic Work Conference in Beijing to settle policies and targets for next year.While authorities do not release the conference schedule…

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US-China decoupling: has China cast aside US threat with booming exports in 2020?

December 8, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s significance in global trade has received a clear boost in 2020, with exports surging in defiance of speculation early in the year that it could be marginalised in a post-pandemic world, according to analysts.Beijing’s concern in spring, when an estimated 200 million workers were out of jobs, that China’s status as the factory of the world could be undermined has proven unfounded as the year enters its final month.China was the first major economy to bounce back from the impact of the…

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China estimates shadow banking worth US$12.9 trillion as it moves to clean up high-risk sector

December 7, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s banking regulator has for the first time clearly defined shadow banking activities and estimated their value to be about 84.8 trillion yuan (US$12.9 trillion) in 2019, a step that may lead to further cleaning up of the opaque sector that authorities say endangers financial stability.The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) said in a report last Friday that, broadly defined, shadow banking – including wealth management fund products, entrusted loans, small credit and…

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China’s president turns on charm with global business leaders, vowing ‘opportunities’ as nation opens its doors wider

December 4, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Chinese President Xi Jinping has undertaken a new charm offensive aimed at global business leaders, in a push to instil confidence and cultivate a sense of greater certainty amid a fast-changing international environment.In his address to Tsinghua University’s School of Economics and Management advisory board headed by Apple CEO Tim Cook, the Chinese leader explained the country’s self-reliance strategy of dual circulation, vowed to open the door wider to the world, and also welcomed feedback…

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China economy: has the service sector improved enough to start scaling back stimulus?

December 3, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Better-than-expected Chinese service sector sentiment data for November has strengthened market confidence in the outlook for the country’s economic recovery and, in turn, fuelled discussions over how soon policymakers should start to scale back their stimulus policies, analysts said.The country’s tens of millions of small service providers, particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus lockdowns implemented to fight the pandemic and rebounding more slowly than large and state-owned firms, had…

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China’s central bank governor tells local governments, lenders: don’t count on a bail out

December 3, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s central bank chief has said his institution will not bankroll government spending or bail out troubled companies backed by local governments, trumpeting independence when political pressures are mounting on the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) to resolve fiscal and financial risk.Yi Gang, who has led the bank since 2018, said a “firewall” must be set up between the treasury and the central bank, rejecting a notion that China could “monetise” fiscal deficits by printing money to directly…

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China’s ageing population: how the gravity of greying will affect nation’s plans to boost economy

December 2, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s elderly population is on pace to surpass the total population of the United States in 15 years as Chinese baby boomers are set to retire, threatening President Xi Jinping’s pursuit of common prosperity and his goal to catch up with other nations in terms of economic well-being.The nation’s senior citizens, defined as those aged 60 and above – the threshold for male workers to claim pensions – will rise to 300 million in five years, up from 254 million last year, according to an estimate…

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Is China ripe for a subprime crisis? Regulator sees bank property loans as ‘biggest grey rhino risk’ for financial system

December 1, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Chinese banks’ excessive exposure to property is now the “biggest grey rhino risk” facing the stability of the financial system, a top financial regulator has warned.Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission and Communist Party chief of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), wrote recently steps must be taken to avoid “bubbles” in the real estate sector because “among the 130 financial crises since the start of 20th century, more than 100 of them are related to…

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