Saturday , October 31 2020
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He Huifeng

Articles by He Huifeng

China’s rice prices rising ‘several times a day’, but a bountiful northern harvest may change that

4 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s grain traders and processing plants are suffering from a shortage of newly harvested rice as severe weather and the coronavirus pandemic have taken a hefty toll on south-central provinces, pushing up wholesale prices – a trend that is expected to last at least through the end of the year.However, the central government is guaranteeing that the rice harvest in northern provinces will be one of the best in history – large enough to prevent a sharp rise in rice prices at the consumer level…

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China’s P2P ‘financial refugees’ face never ending wait to recover lost US$120 billion

11 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]An exporting company owner in his 40s in the eastern province of Zhejiang, a public relations manager in her 20s in the southern city of Shenzhen and retired state-owned enterprise executive in eastern-central coastal province of Jiangsu would normally share little in common as they blend into China’s 1.4 billion population.

Like many, they did share a common and unsurprising goal of seeking a return on their investments. But unfortunately it is the fact that they have joined the ranks of…

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Chinese authorities step in to ‘correct’ Japanese-themed street in Guangdong popular with tourists

21 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]A popular Japanese-themed shopping street in China’s Guangdong province has been closed since the beginning of the “golden week” holiday, disappointing tourists and stoking speculation copyright complaints and patriotism could be behind the change.The 100m-long road in Foshan city called Ichiban Street quickly gained popularity among young Chinese who could not travel abroad due to coronavirus travel restrictions, but the street has now been sealed off with emergency tape and barricades to…

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Chinese families shun Western universities as coronavirus, strained ties are ‘scaring middle-class families’

28 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]After being inundated with news about the worsening coronavirus pandemic and rising tensions between China and the West for months, Beijinger Joe Gao was compelled to make a difficult decision regarding his six-year-old daughter’s future education.Rather than pay 300,000 yuan (US$44,000) in annual tuition for her, as he does for her nine-year-old brother who is studying at an international school in the capital, Gao has had to change his plans and is now looking to send his daughter to a public…

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Chinese, unable to travel abroad, are flocking to a mock Japanese street in Guangdong

October 1, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]A Japanese-themed street in China’s Guangdong province has become a hit with young people unable to travel abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic.The 100m-long road in Foshan city called Ichiban Street has been outfitted by a local property developer to resemble famous commercial streets in Japan, complete with a sakura tree, an icon of Japan.Ichibangai is a term used to describe large shopping streets in Japan, with one of the most famous located at the entrance to Kabukicho in Tokyo’s…

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Guangzhou begins airport expansion as city jostles with Shenzhen and Hong Kong for aviation dominance

September 28, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Guangzhou is speeding up plans to become the leading aviation hub in the Greater Bay Area, as the city’s Baiyun International Airport started a third phase of expansion on Sunday.The extension, which includes a fourth and fifth runway, a third terminal covering 422,000 square metres (4.5 million square feet) and 190 parking aprons, is expected to be finished in 2022.The project will also include a new transport centre spread across 242,000 square metres and an indoor car park, with a final…

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China’s industrial giants see profit growth for fourth straight month in August, but still down in 2020

September 27, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s industrial giants saw their monthly profits grow for a fourth consecutive month in August, while remaining negative over the first eight months of the year.In August, profits of large industrial firms increased 19.1 per cent compared with a year earlier, though this was slightly slower than the increase of 19.6 per cent in July, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).In the first eight months of the year, industrial profits at China’s biggest firms fell by 4.4…

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China’s two-speed economic recovery leaves migrant workers and small businesses lagging behind

September 26, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Every morning, Qiaonan New Street in Guangzhou, the capital city of Guangdong province, appears to be bustling with shoppers looking through its stalls of fabrics and textiles.But on closer inspection, the 500m-long street starts to resemble something akin to an open air job market, filled with thousands of migrant workers searching for employment at nearby garment workshops and factories that supply Zhongda market, China’s largest fabric market.“I work hard, but still do not earn enough to…

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China’s overseas graduates return in record numbers into already crowded domestic job market

September 21, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Over 800,000 Chinese students who recently graduated from overseas universities have returned home this year, more than ever before, adding to an already crowded domestic job market.The number of students increased by 70 per cent from 2019 due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and tightening immigration and employment rules overseas, a survey released last week by the online career development platform UniCareer showed.New graduates now face greater competition in China’s employment…

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China’s middle-class dream of a second home in Malaysia dashed by coronavirus and geopolitical tensions

September 20, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Patricia Li is dismayed and saddened by the exodus of Chinese people she is witnessing in Johor, the southernmost state in Malaysia.When she moved to the tropical Southeast Asian country from Yunnan province in 2017, the outlook was bright. Thousands of middle-class Chinese investors were flocking to Malaysia to buy property and secure a second home beyond China’s borders.A number of Chinese developers have also invested heavily in Johor, promoting its proximity to Singapore and developing real…

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China to revive international yuan drive along belt and road countries

September 13, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China aims to use the yuan “as much as possible” in its Belt and Road Initiative to try to expand its use as a reserve currency, a senior Chinese government adviser said on the weekend.Former Chongqing mayor Huang Qifan told a financial forum in Xian in northwestern China on Saturday that the yuan’s share of global payments was limited and the country must redouble efforts to increase the currency’s use in countries that signed up for the massive infrastructure plan.The yuan accounted for about…

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China tech firms embrace inward economic pivot, but some wary of ‘technological isolation’

September 10, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s pivot to domestic production of hi-tech products is gathering pace as the country looks to shake off dependence on foreign technology in light of decoupling threats from the United States.President Xi Jinping announced in May a new “dual circulation” strategy, which will focus on making the domestic economy more resilient in an increasingly hostile external environment.Relations between China and the US have in recent months plummeted to the lowest point in decades, as the two powers…

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China’s inward-facing ‘dual circulation’ strategy leaves many wondering where domestic demand will come from

September 7, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Jack Wang, a former overseas manager for Huawei, decided to quit his job in 2019 after years of being separated from his family in Henan province. He had big plans to build an online business there, selling local farm products such as honey and sesame to urban consumers willing to pay a bit more for better-quality goods.One year later, having burned through 300,000 yuan (US$44,000), Wang says he made a mistake in gauging the demand and spending power of Chinese consumers.“I overestimated…

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US sanctions on China’s Huawei spell trouble for Shenzhen economy

August 30, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]When Ren Zhengfei, a former officer in the People’s Liberation Army, established Huawei in the Shenzhen special economic zone in 1987, the boomtown was still struggling to gain a meaningful spot in China’s economic landscape. It was dwarfed not only by neighbouring Hong Kong, but by other mainland Chinese cities.Few could have imagined then that four decades later the one-time fishing village would emerge as the poster child for Chinese economic development. Fewer still would have predicted…

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China’s migrant workers facing end of an era as the world’s factory winds down amid coronavirus, US-China trade war

August 6, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]After spending more than half her life working in factories in Guangdong, Rao Dequn’s 25 years as a migrant worker could be coming to an end within a month, with the coronavirus and US-China trade war leading to another factory closure in Dongguan’s withering export-oriented manufacturing industry.Mother-of-two Rao, 43, and around 900 colleagues were informed by letter at the end of July that Dongguan Dingyi Shoes Company would be closing in five weeks as their “employment at the company, on…

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Chinese factory owner embraces cutthroat ‘street vendor economy’ to survive

July 20, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]With tens of thousands of unsold dresses in his factory inventory, Huang Weijie knew he had to get creative if he hoped to survive the global economic downturn. So, he hit the streets to sell them one at a time – out of the back of his car.And it turns out other small manufacturers in China have had the same idea.For years, roadside stalls and mobile vendors have been frowned upon as a blight on China’s urban landscapes, representing disorder and backwardness in the eyes of Chinese authorities…

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China creates Hainan special health care zone to tap growing medical tourism market

July 14, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]This is the final story in a three-part series examining China’s plan to transform Hainan into an internationally influential ‘free-trade port’, as Beijing faces what it perceives to be an increasingly hostile international environment. You can read the first and second stories in the series here.From beautiful legs to beating hearts, China plans to tap its vast market for health tourism by transforming tropical Hainan into a destination for cutting-edge medical treatment.As part of its…

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5G focus for China’s Guangdong as manufacturing hub pledges to build 20 hi-tech industrial estates by 2022

July 14, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s manufacturing heartland of Guangdong province has pledged to build 20 industrial estates by 2022 for firms that develop new industrial and business applications using 5G technology.The move by the provincial government is part of China’s programme outlined by President Xi Jinping to build “new infrastructure” to boost its economic recovery from the effects of the coronavirus outbreak.According to the action plan released last week by the provincial industry and information department,…

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China’s Hainan free-trade port plan off to fast start as duty-free shopping soars in first week

July 13, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Duty-free sales on China’s island province of Hainan surged in the first week of July after Beijing raised the annual tax-free shopping limit for tourists as part of its new free-trade port plan.Tourists, the vast majority who were Chinese, spent 450 million yuan (US$64 million) on imported goods at Hainan’s four duty-free malls in the first week of July, according to the Hainan Customs Administration, after taking advantage of the new 100,000 yuan (US$14,300) annual per person tax-free limit…

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China bets on Hainan duty-free shopping mecca to boost spending at home

July 13, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]This is the second story in a three-part series examining China’s plan to transform Hainan into an internationally influential ‘free-trade port’, as Beijing faces what it perceives to be an increasingly hostile international environment. You can read the first story in the series here.Steve Li browses through racks of clothing at a comfortably air-conditioned shopping centre in tropical Hainan, stopping occasionally to check price tags for luxury brands ranging from Prada to Giorgio Armani…

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In China’s manufacturing hub of Dongguan, a sock maker struggles to keep his factory from folding

July 13, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]After nearly three decades, Lin Danru, 54, fears that his sock factory’s days are numbered. Export orders have dried up amid the coronavirus pandemic. Domestic sales have plunged. And frankly, none of his five daughters want anything to do with the antiquated manufacturing business model.The warehouse of his factory, Staryee Knitting, in the manufacturing hub of Dongguan in southern China’s Pearl River Delta, is full of boxes upon boxes of unsold socks. Lin estimates 4 million unsold pairs are…

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China’s Hainan free-trade port plan draws approval, and scepticism, as questions linger over implementation

July 12, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]This is the first story in a three-part series examining China’s plan to transform Hainan into an internationally influential ‘free-trade port’, as Beijing faces what it perceives to be an increasingly hostile international environment.Political banners hanging from walls and fences across China’s Hainan province are a reminder that President Xi Jinping is going all out to turn the tropical island into the world’s largest free-trade port.Barely a month after Beijing unveiled sweeping plans to…

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China’s Greater Bay Area factories struggling as coronavirus takes bite out of 2020 orders

July 2, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Factory owners in China’s Greater Bay Area expect annual orders, sales, hiring and investment to all decline this year largely because of the Covid-19 pandemic, a new survey shows.The pandemic’s impact on demand was the biggest concern among manufacturers, with 58 per cent of more than 190 respondents reporting orders were down by at least a third between March and May, and no near-term improvement on the horizon, according to Standard Chartered Bank’s annual manufacturing survey released late…

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Coronavirus: profits at China’s industrial firms increase for first time in May

June 28, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Profits at China’s big industrial firms increased in May for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak as China’s economy shows signs of recovery.In May, the profits of industrial firms saw a year-on-year increase of 6 per cent, from a decrease of 4.3 per cent year on year in April, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released on Sunday showed.Total profits in May reached 582.34 billion yuan (US$82 billion).The NBS attributed the improvement in May to a significant drop in the…

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Coronavirus: China’s virtual Canton Fair of ‘little interest’ to foreign buyers, as impact of pandemic lingers

June 12, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Thousands of Chinese exporters will turn out to promote their products in a “virtual hall” at China’s biggest trade fair on Monday, after concerns about the spread of the coronavirus saw the iconic event shifted online.Instead of manning a booth at a full-scale physical event, nearly 26,000 Chinese businesses will offer more than 1.8 million products in virtual exhibitions from their showrooms and factories at the spring session of the Canton Fair.The government-backed organisers, with the help…

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Hong Kong security law: wealthy Chinese fret about city’s status as safe haven for investment

June 9, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Wealthy investors from mainland China are watching developments in Hong Kong with growing concern, as tensions between Beijing and Washington over a new national security law raise questions about the future of the city.While anti-government protests have hurt Hong Kong’s reputation in recent years, well-off mainlanders are still attracted to the city’s unique privileges within China, including unrestricted capital flows, an uncensored internet and rule of law upheld by an independent judiciary…

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Coronavirus: wealthy Chinese families say pandemic has eroded appetite for overseas schooling and investing

May 23, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The coronavirus pandemic could permanently change wealthy Chinese families’ plans to send their children to study abroad or to use investment vehicles to emigrate overseas, according to a series of interviews with families in the mainland.A mix of pandemic-based problems for China’s urban rich, including the sudden uncertainty over future incomes, the health risks of living abroad, and China’s deteriorating image in Western countries, have forced many to reconsider, if not totally give up,…

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Coronavirus: China’s ‘cherry freedom’ vanishes as consumers cut discretionary spending

May 18, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]So-called cherry freedom was once a buzzword among China’s middle class, but as consumers cut unnecessary expenses while under pressure from the coronavirus pandemic, the ability to purchase pricey imported products without a second thought is now a thing of the past.Few products tell the consumer spending story in China better than fruits such as cherries, as before the pandemic, demand for Chilean cherries and Peruvian avocados from China’s middle-class seemed insatiable.The coronavirus,…

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Coronavirus: Chinese workers in Vietnam cry foul after being fired by Taiwanese firm making shoes for Nike, Adidas

May 8, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]A group of 150 Chinese workers believe the world’s largest maker of trainers used the coronavirus as an excuse to fire them, having helped Taiwanese firm Pou Chen successfully expand its production into Vietnam for more than a decade.Pou Chen, which makes footwear for the likes of Nike and Adidas, informed the group in late April that they would no longer be needed as they were unable to return to Vietnam from their hometowns in China due to the coronavirus lockdowns.“We believe we contributed…

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Coronavirus: China’s hi-tech hub Shenzhen suffered record economic contraction in first quarter of 2020

April 29, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Shenzhen’s economy shrank by 6.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2020, marking the worst performance in the city’s 40-year history, as China’s Silicon Valley was unable to avoid the impact of the coronavirus.The local government data showed Shenzhen did little better than the rest of the economy, with the national average dropping 6.8 per cent in the first quarter.Shenzhen, which officially has a larger economy than Hong Kong, is facing a testing year as production and services contracted…

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