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Articles by Luna Sun

China’s tourism industry braces for Ching Ming Festival with lockdowns and travel restrictions

March 31, 2022

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s debilitated domestic tourism industry could be further clobbered by weak consumption during the coming holiday as the masses refrain from travelling far and spending while record numbers of coronavirus cases continue to spur lockdowns across the country. The three-day Ching Ming Festival, or tomb-sweeping festival, takes place from Sunday to Tuesday, and reports by tourism agencies point to a continued preference for short-distance trips – a trend that has gathered steam as people avoid…

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China’s private firms see Russia as land of opportunity, up for grabs amid West’s exodus

March 28, 2022

[unable to retrieve full-text content]From car parts to food and household cleaners, smaller private firms in China are seeking ways to capitalise on the “void” left by a mass exodus of high-profile Western brands from the Russian market. But the outlook for state-owned companies and banks is a little foggier. Western sanctions over the war in Ukraine have sent the likes of Ford, Coca-Cola and other iconic brands heading for the exit in Russia. This has created opportunities for Chinese firms, despite warnings from the United…

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China’s biggest cities losing appeal as rising costs and job uncertainties give second-tier locales a boost

March 28, 2022

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s first-tier cities are losing their lustre as mass lay-offs and rising costs are increasingly driving people to seek a life in secondary cities such as Chengdu and Hangzhou amid the economic headwinds facing the country. Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou used to be the most glamorous cities in China, heavily coveted by young people and college graduates. Yet, the latest data shows that the populations of these cities have either declined or stagnated. In 2021, the number of residents in…

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Private industrial enterprises in China see profits fall in first two months of the year

March 27, 2022

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Private enterprises in China’s industrial sector reported a 1.7 per cent drop in profits in the first two months of the year, according to official figures that highlight the challenges they face from the latest Covid-19 outbreak. Over the same period, state-owned enterprises in the sector saw profits rise by 16.7 per cent, according to figures from the National Bureau of Statistics released on Sunday. The Covid-19 outbreaks that have been reported nationwide since late February are…

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South Korea’s new president Yoon Suk-yeol has talked tough on China. Now, he has to face the economic reality

March 18, 2022

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China will remain an important economic partner for South Korea despite the election of a new “pro-American” president that has been critical of Beijing, experts said.In particular, South Korean companies could profit from the economic priorities China revealed during its agenda setting parliamentary meetings earlier this month, including infrastructure investment, information technology and clean energy, according to a report published by the Korean International Trade Association (KITA) on…

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How will China’s Belt and Road Initiative fare when partners Russia, Ukraine are at war?

March 12, 2022

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Like the rest of the world, China is watching closely as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine unfolds, while also bracing for the impact of escalating Western sanctions against Russia.As the largest trading partner of both Russia and Ukraine, China has a lot at stake, especially as the warring nations are both participants in the Belt and Road Initiative – China’s ambitious plan to grow global trade with billions of dollars worth of investment and infrastructure projects.Physical dangers; communication…

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China population: 3 million foreign nannies could boost births by 200,000, save families US$30 billion

February 23, 2022

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Relaxing rules to allow foreign nannies could boost China’s ailing birth rate by as many as 200,000 a year, and save families as much 200 billion yuan (US$31.6 billion), according to a report published on Wednesday.With the minimum salary for a domestic helper in Hong Kong set at HK$4,630 (US$593.40) per month, hiring a foreign nanny could cut expenses for a Chinese family by 60 per cent. The average salary for a nanny in big Chinese cities 10,000 yuan (US$1,578.48) per month.The money saved…

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China to delay retirement ages ‘gradually’ by 2025, after holding firm for seven decades

February 22, 2022

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China has confirmed that it will gradually start pushing back its long-mandated retirement ages in the coming years, in line with Beijing’s plans to better accommodate the needs of the elderly and adjust to new realities stemming from the nation’s rapidly ageing population.The possible raising of its legal retirement ages has become an increasingly debated topic in recent years. And further impetus was given to the idea as recent data sounded alarms over how rapidly China’s workforce is…

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China population: marriages fall in latest blow to Beijing’s push for couples to have more children

February 17, 2022

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Fewer Chinese people chose to get married last year, while on average those that did postponed the age at which they tied the knot, further adding to the population crisis stemming from a plunging birth rate.The number of marriage registrations has been declining since 2013, while data recently released by a number of local authorities confirmed a continuation of the downward trend.It is the latest blow to China’s plans to encourage couples to have more children after the number of births…

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China’s population crisis could give women greater reproductive rights, but hurdles remain

February 14, 2022

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Grappling with a population crisis and plunging birth rate, China is embracing a pronatalist policy that could see it lift highly restrictive and controversial policies on women donating and freezing their eggs.Public support has also been growing online in recent weeks, after the National Health Commission (NHC), China’s top health authority, said in December that it had “started revising rules and standards relevant to assisted reproductive technology, based on wide consultations with experts…

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China jobs: Beijing offers support as record 10.76 million graduates ramps up employment pressure

February 14, 2022

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China is rolling out support for a record 10.76 million college students poised to graduate this year, amid heightened competition for jobs and slowing economic growth.The government will offer special help to young entrepreneurs as “starting a new business has a multiplier effect in driving up employment”, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China’s top economic planning agency, said on Friday.“In recent years, more college graduates have taken part in entrepreneurship, but…

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China population: Beijing pledges support for empty nesters as ageing crisis gathers speed

February 11, 2022

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China has vowed to provide special care for elderly empty nesters, as concern grows over the nation’s fast-ageing population.“We can’t allow urban senior citizens to become isolated without their needs being met in the internet age, nor can we allow the elderly in rural areas to have to collect firewood to prepare a meal by themselves,” said Ou Xiaoli, head of the social development division with the National Development and Reform Commission.Speaking at a press conference this week, Ou said…

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As China’s graduates delay employment, experts warn of ‘far-reaching’ economic and demographic implications

February 8, 2022

[unable to retrieve full-text content]With an increasing number of China’s college graduates delaying their entry into the job market, economists are warning of dire implications and ripple effects if the trend persists or intensifies.Authorities have also repeatedly stressed the importance of creating and finding jobs for the nation’s ever-growing army of fresh graduates, and the situation was again addressed by China’s top economic planner this week.“Various employment policies will favour college graduates, and assistance will…

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China’s weak consumption over Lunar New Year may signal ‘worsening economy’, analysts say

February 7, 2022

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Consumption over the week-long Lunar New Year holiday in China failed to get anywhere near pre-pandemic levels, and some analysts warn that the downtrend could signal a worsening economy.During the holiday period that ended on Sunday, Chinese tourists took 251 million trips and contributed 289.2 billion yuan (US$45.4 billion) in tourism revenue – 26.1 per cent and 43.7 per cent less than the respective totals during the holiday in 2019, and 2 per cent and 3.9 per cent below the holiday last…

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