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He Huifeng

Articles by He Huifeng

Most China, South Korean executives see Biden improving Washington-Beijing ties, survey shows

8 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Chinese and South Korean business leaders are much more optimistic than their Japanese counterparts about the prospect for better US-China relations under the incoming administration of Joe Biden, according to a recent survey by leading newspapers in the three East Asian countries.More than 57 per cent of executives from China and 51 per cent from South Korea said the bilateral relationship would improve or greatly improve after Biden takes office next Wednesday. However, only 25 per cent of…

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China’s factories must be ‘armed with automation’, as pandemic gives boost to machines in manufacturing

11 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The US-China trade war weakened demand for automation on Chinese assembly lines from 2018-19, but a shortage of manpower during the pandemic reversed that trend last year, and analysts expect manufacturers to further embrace robots in 2021.“The impact of the pandemic on the global industrial supply chain has been a major stimulus, forcing a huge number of orders to return to China,” said Peng Biao, an analyst with, which monitors the fashion industry. “Last year was like a…

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China’s rich face million dollar question: stay and risk losing assets, or face the coronavirus abroad?

21 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]While some affluent Chinese would like to emigrate to escape a perceived harsher environment for private entrepreneurs at home, they are increasingly reluctant to do so – at least in the next few years – because of concern about the coronavirus pandemic in popular destinations abroad, consultants and businesspeople say.Many are conflicted and feel under pressure given changing rules in China and around the world: move now and risk infection, or delay and risk assets being seized by the…

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Almost half of China’s 1.4 billion people spend less than US$150 a year on leisure activities, survey finds

24 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]With virtually all their leisure time spent sitting under trees, chatting and playing cards, it is no surprise that over 44 per cent of China’s population spends less than 1,000 yuan (US$153) a year on entertainment activities, with some even left struggling to remember when they spent money for personal enjoyment.China’s average annual leisure spending was 5,647 yuan (US$863) this year, according to a recent survey, reinforcing the large spending gap between China’s rich and poor.“The last…

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More Chinese cities ease residency rules to boost local economies

26 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Some of China’s biggest cities are loosening their residency rules in an effort to increase their populations.Cities that have recently relaxed their regulations in the hope of boosting their local labour and property markets include a number of major export and manufacturing hubs such as Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, Suzhou in Jiangsu and Fuzhou in Fujian.Suzhou’s new rules came into force on December 18 and allow all rental tenants to apply for a permanent residence permit, or…

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China’s wealthy and middle-class investors are shying away from risky plays and looking inward after tumultuous 2020

December 22, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]On the surface, there should be little reason for China’s wealthy and middle-class investors to be anxious about their money next year: China will be the only major economy to report positive growth this year, and the recovery is expected to accelerate in 2021.But discussions with dozens of members in this social group, which comprises the biggest winners from China’s economic boom and its integration into the global economy, reveal that many feel just the opposite. While they are generally…

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China’s small exporters see bank accounts frozen amid ‘massive crackdown’ by police across the country

December 18, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Individual traders in some of China’s export hubs are having their bank accounts frozen in what industry insiders say is collateral damage from the nation’s crackdown on internet crimes and illegal foreign exchange transactions.Traders in the cities of Guangzhou, Yiwu, Shenzhen and Quanzhou are among those whose bank accounts have been targeted.They include the family of small manufacturer Betty Chen, who has been running garment factories and wholesale shops for decades in Guangzhou, focusing…

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Chinese-Venezuelans desperate to extend China stay as authorities tighten rules on visa extensions

December 16, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Time is running out for Liang Lintao and tens of thousands of other naturalised Venezuelans who returned to China in recent years but could be forced to return to the troubled South American country when their visas expire, under new Chinese restrictions.In early 2017, after living in Venezuela for 24 years, Liang returned to his Chinese hometown of Enping, a county-level city in Guangdong province across the mainland border from Hong Kong. He is now among roughly 30,000 Chinese-Venezuelans…

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Chinese tenants, landlords left dismayed by Danke debacle after US-listed firm fails to pay up, leading to evictions

December 15, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]For Henry Wang and thousands of other young tenants across China, the business model pitched by one of China’s largest rental specialists seemed to be exactly what they were looking for – a win-win arrangement in which they were offered a decent place to live at an affordable price in a major city, while increasing the rental profits of property owners.It seemed too good to be true – right up until the moment his landlord showed up and told him to get out.“The landlord came [on December 6] with…

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Shenzhen’s population size, key to gauging economic development, remains a matter of debate

November 26, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Beijing has showcased the rapid development of Shenzhen, a hi-tech hub neighbouring Hong Kong, as a model for economic growth in China, but getting a precise handle on its demographic make up remains elusive.The city, which China plans to turn into a “core engine” of reform that will power growth and innovation in the Greater Bay Area, was praised by President Xi Jinping as a “trailblazer” in October and is home to some of the country’s most valuable tech companies.But analysts have long…

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How China’s factories are pivoting from an export-oriented business model to rely more on domestic sales

November 16, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]If you build it, will they buy? That’s the big question facing China’s manufacturers as they are being told by the highest levels of government to embrace an inward-facing model of domestic consumption.In the world’s second-largest economy, built in good part on the back of exports and investment, it is a sea change that is being driven by propaganda and a growing sense of national pride among the public that China has done the best job of dealing with the coronavirus outbreak, particularly as…

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China’s band of daigou shoppers turn to domestic sales after coronavirus halts overseas trips for luxury goods

November 14, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]An increasing number of young women from across China are joining a movement seeking to take advantage of a growing domestic consumption drive, a key element of the government’s new dual circulation strategy.The women, known as daigou, are small-time buying agents who would traditionally travel abroad on shopping trips for their customers. The job took off in the last few years in China amid strong demand for foreign goods among wealthy and upper middle-class families.The women, though, feared…

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China manufacturing: Stanley Black & Decker shuts Shenzhen factory as costs soar

November 3, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The Shenzhen factory of Stanley Black & Decker, a major US tool and household hardware maker, has closed up shop and laid off all of its 1,000 workers after 25 years of operations – reflecting the changing business environment in the world’s second-biggest economy.Last week’s closure of the American company’s wholly-owned China unit, Stanley Black & Decker Precision Manufacturing (Shenzhen), marked the latest retreat by a manufacturing business from Shenzhen amid rising labour and land costs in…

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Guangzhou’s latest urban development plan sparks debate about preserving cultural roots

November 1, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]In the heart of Guangzhou, vague plans are in place to raze part of a traditional community featuring historical buildings that can be traced back to the 1920s – decades before the Chinese Communist Party came to power.A new subway station and related property projects appear to be at the centre of the plans. And in anticipation of the large-scale project, local residents and visitors are flowing into the neighbourhood, cameras in hand, hoping to secure a few pictures and revisit memories…

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China’s manufacturers embrace ‘smart shops’ to address rapidly changing, and increasingly pickier, consumer tastes

October 31, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Digital garment printers are helping China’s clothing manufacturers meet the demands of fickle young consumers who want it all in the era of internet shopping: unique designs, fast delivery and low prices.Cntop, a subsidiary of the Hanglory Group in Shenzhen, is one such company making these printers. The devices are becoming increasingly indispensable in today’s garment value chain, as rapid printing helps clothing manufacturers respond to sudden changes in demand, with a garment’s design and…

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

October 26, 2020

[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

October 20, 2020

[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

October 10, 2020

[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’

October 3, 2020

[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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