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Orange Wang



Articles by Orange Wang

China’s economic momentum weakens amid coronavirus controls and property curbs

9 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China is increasingly likely to loosen some liquidity conditions as weak economic data released on Wednesday cast a pall over the world’s second largest economy and fresh coronavirus outbreaks add to concern about a slowdown, economists said.Retail sales growth slumped in August to 2.5 per cent, far lower than the 7 per cent estimate in a Bloomberg survey of analysts and an 8.5 per cent increase in July, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.Industrial production was also…

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China’s retail sales growth plunged in August, impeding economic recovery

10 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Retail sales growth in China slumped heavily in August further, accentuating the slowdown in the Chinese economy, the latest economic data shows.Both industrial production and fixed-asset investments growth in August also fell short of expectations, pointing to more softening in the economy.Retail sales, a key measurement of consumer spending in the world’s most populous nation, grew by a mere 2.5 per cent in August compared with a year earlier, way down from the 8.5 per cent increase in July,…

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China eyes more coal imports from Mongolia as supply shortage bites

16 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Beijing has stepped up efforts to source more coal from neighbouring Mongolia amid an ongoing supply shortage, raising more questions about how long a ban on Australian coal can last.China is suffering from a spike in coal prices amid declining supplies, which has also prompted authorities to ban an influential local trading platform from updating coal prices and market news that could fuel speculation.Rising coal prices are another worry for China, which is already dealing with high raw…

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China’s August trade surprises as imports and exports defy analysts’ expectations

18 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Chinese exports have surprised by growing 25.6 per cent in August from a year earlier, totalling US$294.32 billion and beating expectations that they would post another slowdown in August after July’s subdued performance of 19.3 per cent growth.The latest figures also beat Bloomberg’s surveyed expectations among economists of a 17.3 per cent rise.In the same month last year, exports rose by 9.5 per cent as the impact of the coronavirus eased, meaning the latest figures started from a higher…

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China’s Xi Jinping, Liu He move to reassure private sector as Beijing’s Big Tech crackdown rattles entrepreneurs

18 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Beijing has stepped up efforts to reassure private businesses they have the unswerving backing of China’s top leadership, despite slugging the sector with a regulatory crackdown that has unnerved many entrepreneurs.On Monday, both Chinese President Xi Jinping and his top economic adviser, Vice-Premier Liu He, sent strong messages of support to the private sector, saying its role in the nation’s economic development had not been diminished.Liu said private firms must be offered “vigorous”…

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Wang Wentao: who is China’s ‘tall and loud’ commerce minister who once sold photocopiers?

19 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]When was Wang Wentao born, and where was he educated?Wang Wentao was born in the city of Nantong in the eastern coastal province of Jiangsu in May 1964.He graduated from Fudan University in Shanghai in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, before gaining a master of business administration degree from the Macau University of Science and Technology in 2003.How has Wang Wentao’s career progressed?After graduating from Fudan University, Wang joined the Shanghai Aerospace Staff University –…

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China’s Ministry of Commerce: what is Mofcom and what is it responsible for?

19 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]What is Mofcom?China’s Ministry of Commerce (Mofcom) was established in March 2003 as part of an all-around institutional reorganisation conducted by the State Council, the country’s top administrative body.Forming the ministry was a move to help meeting commitments China made when joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) in December 2001 to match similar government structures in the United States and Europe.Mofcom was largely based on the former Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Co…

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China risks ‘common poverty’ if Beijing excessively intervenes in market, economist warns

21 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Some of China’s most influential – and critical – economists are suggesting that President Xi Jinping’s renewed emphasis on “common prosperity” should advance via market-oriented reforms, adding that such efforts could backfire if the government takes a heavy-handed and invasive approach when implementing them.They also warn that mounting an all-out offensive against rich businesspeople, or even adopting a commandeering style of market crackdowns – in the pursuit of more balanced wealth…

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Why is China’s economic outlook raising alarms after August’s non-manufacturing PMI plunge?

24 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Temporary shocks caused by Delta variant outbreaks may have been to blame for depressing China’s economic sentiments in the past month, but economists warn that the latest falling purchasing managers’ indices signal further problems in the economy.And they are calling for more loosening of liquidity and increased fiscal spending.Meanwhile, there is an emerging consensus among analysts who believe that the peak of China’s post-coronavirus economic momentum is already behind it. Banks, too,…

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China’s Lou Jiwei decries ‘996’ culture of overwork and says ambitious green targets risk economic ‘dangers’

26 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s “996” work culture – shifts from 9am to 9pm, six days a week – has hurt employment and employees in China, former finance minister Lou Jiwei warned while calling for stronger regulation of the corporate sector.Lou’s criticism of 996 came just hours before China’s top court and the labour ministry issued a warning on Thursday about labour law violations, with the Supreme People’s Court ruling that common but controversial 996 schedules are illegal.The ruling was the outcome of…

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China targets jobs, wages and training in new 5-year economic blueprint

26 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China has released a five-year blueprint to boost employment, shifting focus to wage growth and expansion of the vocational education system to help drive domestic demand and upgrade industry.Under the plan issued on Friday by the State Council, 55 million urban jobs are expected to be created by 2025 and the official urban unemployment rate capped at 5.5 per cent, compared with over 50 million positions and a 5 per cent jobless rate under the 2016-2020 plan.In a first, the new plan also aims…

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China to address ‘plague’ of soaring shipping rates, insufficient capacity weighing on SMEs

29 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]With record high shipping rates and insufficient transport capacity set to “plague” companies in China into next year, Beijing is set to study targeted measures to help exporters.Surging prices and gridlocks are wreaking havoc on global supply chains, the cost of sending a container from Asia to the east coast of the United States this week rising by 442 per cent from a year earlier to US$20,057 per 40-foot equivalent unit, according to US-based freight-tracking firm Freightos on Wednesday.“The…

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China’s economic recovery ‘unstable, uneven’ as retail sales, industrial production growth slows

August 16, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s economic slowdown continued in July, data released on Monday showed, with both industrial production and retail sales falling short of expectations.Industrial production, a gauge of activity in the manufacturing, mining and utilities sectors, grew by 6.4 per cent in July from a year earlier after a 8.3 per cent rise in June. July’s figure was below the median forecast of the Bloomberg survey for a rise of 7.9 per cent.Retail sales, a key measurement of consumer spending in the world’s…

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South China Sea, Xinjiang muddy water of fishing subsidies debate as WTO faces ‘crucial test’

August 15, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Targeted import bans by the United States on seafood caught by Chinese owned vessels over forced labour claims, while reflecting Washington’s increasing pressure on Beijing over the hot button issue, show that US-China tensions have spread into an area that is crucial for the World Trade Organization (WTO) to restore its prestige.Under growing scepticism and setbacks, the global trade body was hoping to strike a multilateral pact over fishing subsidies by the end of 2021 to bring at end to a…

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China debt: Evergrande’s fate shows ‘too big to fail’ may no longer apply as crackdown gathers steam

August 11, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]This is the sixth part in a series of stories looking at China’s economic outlook in the second half of 2021 as it continues its recovery from a coronavirus-hit 2020.On July 1, under cloudy skies in China’s capital, Hui Ka Yan, the 63-year-old billionaire chairman of the nation’s second-largest property developer, walked through Tiananmen Square as part of Beijing’s celebration of the Communist Party’s centenary.The head of China Evergrande flashed his trademark smile as he posed for photos at…

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Coronavirus: Chinese health experts call for change in zero-tolerance strategy

August 8, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Beijing should look at adjusting its zero-tolerance approach to Covid-19, despite the spread of the more transmissible Delta variant, as other countries start to open up, Chinese health experts said.They also called on authorities to learn from the experience of other nations on reopening borders, particularly in the lead-up to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.Liu Guoen, director of the Peking University China Centre for Health Economic Research, said it would be difficult for the country to…

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China export growth slows sharply in July as favourable base effect from year earlier fades

August 7, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Chinese export growth slowed as expected in July, as the favourable comparison base effect from a year earlier started fading, according to data released on Saturday.Robust export growth had been a key factor boosting the Chinese economy since late last year so the slowdown in export growth will be seen as a further sign of an overall easing in expansion as the year progresses.Exports grew by 19.3 per cent last month from a year earlier to US$282.66 billion – down from the 32.2 per cent growth…

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China should offer economic incentives to woo US allies caught in political crossfire, ex-commerce minister says

July 30, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Beijing should strive to develop closer relationships with American allies and win them over with mutually beneficial economic arrangements amid efforts by Washington to contain China, according to one of its former commerce ministers.And for those allies of the United States who are also key trading partners with China, but find themselves caught in the political crossfire, Chen Deming said Beijing should “learn to tell them the China story” while putting ideological matters aside in lieu of…

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China’s leaders target risks over growth in countdown to Winter Olympics

July 30, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s leaders have called on the country to start looking ahead to economic challenges in 2022, aiming to keep the world’s second-biggest economy growing at a “reasonable range” for the rest of the year as it prepares to host the Winter Olympics and hold two major political gatherings.In a statement after a meeting on Friday, the Communist Party’s 25-member Politburo, chaired by President Xi Jinping, said it had reaffirmed its plans to maintain the “continuity, stability and sustainability of…

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China population: plunging regional births drive home ‘severity’ of demographic crisis

July 27, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The number of newborn babies in China fell sharply in the first half of the year, according to select local government data, amid growing warnings the world’s most populous nation is hurtling towards a demographic crisis.China does not release national population data on a quarterly or half-yearly basis, but recent disclosures from some provinces, cities and counties offer fresh insights into the country’s shrinking population. This problem, experts say, could weigh on productivity, the pension…

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US-China tech war: Beijing calls on Chinese firms to ‘seize overseas opportunities’ in race for self-reliance

July 26, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China has urged domestic businesses to boost overseas investment in emerging sectors like artificial intelligence and 5G, while slashing restrictions on imported technology as it seeks to gain an advantage in its tech war with the United States.Beijing said last Friday tech firms should “seize overseas market opportunities in digital infrastructure” by investing in assets such as land-sea optical cables, broadband networks, satellite communications, big-data centres and cloud computing around…

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China’s economic slowdown prompts Beijing to reaffirm commitment to opening up financial markets

July 22, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China will step up its plans to further open up the financial industry to foreign investments as a means of shoring up its post-coronavirus economic recovery and to also help tackle the prospect of a slow down later in the year.The country must push on with its commitments to open up the banking and insurance sectors, while leveraging both the international and domestic markets, to establish itself as “a popular destination for foreign investment”, the State Council, China’s cabinet, said in an…

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US revives WTO grain import quota case as China lags behind in commitments to buy American farm goods

July 19, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]A long-running dispute between the United States and China over Beijing’s import controls on rice, wheat and corn has been reignited at the World Trade Organization (WTO), adding to trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies.

The US delegation to the WTO in a brief note on Friday criticised China’s continued use of a tariff-rate quota (TRQ) system for the three crops, saying it failed to comply with a WTO ruling in Washington’s favour two years ago.

If unaddressed, the US warned…

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China-North Korea first-half trade at record low amid pandemic and food shortages

July 18, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Trade between China and North Korea hit a record low in the first half of the year as the coronavirus pandemic and food shortages took their toll.China’s exports to North Korea fell by 85.2 per cent year on year to US$56.77 million in the first six months of 2021, according to Chinese customs data released on Sunday.It was the lowest figure since China started releasing the data in 2001.China imported US$8.96 million of goods from its neighbour over the same period, down 67.3 per cent from a…

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China’s economic policy diverging from US while ‘putting own needs first’, central bank says

July 13, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China has shrugged off the monetary policy shift by the US Federal Reserve and says maintaining stability in its own domestic financial markets is the main priority at this stage in its post-pandemic economic recovery, which is further along than that of the United States.The position was relayed on Tuesday by the head of the central bank’s monetary policy department, Sun Guofeng. He acknowledged that the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has taken notice of recent market discussions over a…

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China flags import diversification, greater scrutiny of foreign investment in latest five-year commerce plan

July 9, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China will further diversify agricultural and energy imports, boost trade with Russia and step up scrutiny of foreign investment over the next five years, the commerce ministry said in a new five-year plan.The document sets out the ministry’s priorities for the period between 2021-25, and includes goals to push developed countries to relax export controls against China, reduce the size of its negative investment list and build pilot zones to facilitate trade amid external uncertainty.The 42…

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China-Europe rail trade undamaged by Beijing-Brussels tensions, posts record traffic via Xinjiang

July 7, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The China Railway Express has withstood rising tensions between the European Union and China to post record cargo traffic through Xinjiang in the first half of the year amid sky-high sea freight rates caused by the coronavirus pandemic.The railway network between Europe and China is a key component of President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative, which seeks to link Asia, Europe and Africa with a network of ports, motorways and railways.Some 6,090 trains passed through China’s two major…

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China food security: Syngenta buyout shows Beijing’s haste to plug technology gap with foreign expertise

July 1, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Liu Ligang, a farmer from Weixian county in the northern Chinese province of Hebei, was prepared to give up growing crops in 2018, just three years after he began leasing 160 mu (10.7 hectares) of land at an annual cost of about 128,000 yuan (US$19,800).“I kept losing money, the output failed to increase. I was already thinking about returning the land and didn’t want to plant any more,” Liu said as he sat in a conference room owned by ag-tech giant Syngenta Group China in Weixian.However, his…

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China’s economy facing increasing pressure as semiconductor, coal, power shortages weigh heavy

June 30, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Increased downwards pressure is expected to descend on China’s economy in the second half of the year, economists said, after leading indicators pointed towards an overall softening of business activity.China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) eased for the third straight month to 50.9 in June from 51.0 in May, while the non-manufacturing reading dropped to 53.5 from 55.2, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Wednesday.Both readings hit four-month lows,…

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US-China relations: American efforts to reshore supply chains blasted as ‘empty talk’ by former minister

June 28, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Washington’s effort to bring manufacturing from China to the US – so called reshoring – is nothing but “empty talk” and the US will become increasingly dependent on the world’s second largest economy for the foreseeable future, according to a top former Chinese economic official.The declining presence of the US manufacturing sector in the American economy would be hard to reverse, despite efforts from both the Biden and Trump administrations to rebuild US supply chains, said Wei Jianguo, a…

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