China Focus: Factory slowdown shows signs of stabilizing

China Focus: Factory slowdown shows signs of stabilizing

    BEIJING, June 23 (Xinhua) — China’s factories did better last month, a preliminary HSBC survey showed on Tuesday, though overall manufacturing activity still contracted slightly.

The HSBC flash manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) recovered to 49.6 in June from May’s final reading of 49.2, beating market forecast of 49.4.

The figure is a notch below the 50 point level that separates growth in activity from contraction indicating that manufacturers remain pessimistic, but those hoping for signs of stabilization in China’s flagging economy may find some relief in Tuesday’s report.

A breakdown of the survey results showed the sub-indices of output, new orders and quantity of purchases all improved in June. The index of new orders rose above the 50-point mark for the first time in four months.

The sub-index of employment, however, showed manufacturers continuing to cut their staff, with the latest reduction the sharpest in over six years, indicating relatively muted growth expectations as demand both at home and abroad remains subdued, Markit economist Annabel Fiddes said.

“The data adds to evidence that the sector has lost growth momentum in the second quarter as a whole, and suggests that the authorities may step up their efforts to stimulate growth and job creation in the second half of the year,” Fiddes said.

Tuesday’s reading is not the only one to suggest that authorities may open their tool box again; much recent data has missed market expectations.

Weighed by unsteady global demand, stuttering domestic investment and a weak property sector, China’s economic growth fell in the first quarter to 7 percent, its lowest level in six years.

The central bank has cut benchmark interest rates three times since November and lowered banks’ reserve requirement ratio (RRR) twice since February.

“Interest rate and RRR cuts to date could lift real fixed asset investment by around 2.4 percentage points, but this is not enough to stabilize growth at around 7 percent,” Qu Hongbin, chief China economist at HSBC said in a Tuesday report.

Qu expects a 50 basis point interest rate cut and a 250 basis point cut in the RRR in the rest of the year, with intensified fiscal support, more municipal bond issues and mobilization of fiscal funds. As the effects of these easing policy filter through, growth could pick up in coming months, he said.

China’s central bank economists are cautiously optimistic, expecting a modest recovery in sequential growth in the second half of the year. The economists lowered their growth forecast to 7 percent for 2015, from previous 7.1 percent, reflecting the headwinds faced by the economy. Endite

China Focus: New consumption mode, new growth engine

China Focus: New consumption mode, new growth engine

BEIJING, June 23 (Xinhua) — Against the headwinds towards China’s economy, new ways of consumption empowered by development of Internet Plus is likely to become the country’s new growth engine.

China’s economic growth slowed to a six-year low at 7 percent in the first quarter of 2015 while it has been seeking ways to shift its growth away from a dependence on investment and export to domestic consumption.

The latest data showed that China’s retail sales growth accelerated in May, indicating that its pro-consumption policies launched recently have begun to take effect.

The National Bureau of Statistics reported that retail sales in May grew 10.1 percent year on year to 2.42 trillion yuan, a tad up from the 10 percent growth recorded in April.

More importantly, online shopping took a larger share in total consumption. In the first five months, online sales rose 39.3 percent year on year to reach 1.34 trillion yuan.

Internet Plus is an idea that combines mobile Internet, cloud computing, big data, Internet of Things, modern manufacturing industries, e-commerce, industrial Internet and Internet finance.

Besides buying consumer goods and ordering food, Internet Plus has also penetrated in all aspects of life, such as transportation, traveling, medical care, entertainment and education, and the new consuming experience has stimulated the potential of consumer spending.

In a bid to further spur demand from middle and low-income earners, the State Council, China’s cabinet, said on June 10 that private capital, foreign and domestic banks and Internet companies will be allowed to set up “consumer credit” firms, which can offer small loans to the public.

Compared to traditional loans offered by banks, loans designed specifically to fund retail purchases are generally small and without the need of guarantees. Such loans are especially handy for people who are either denied of credit cards by banks or whose cards have low credit lines

The move is widely expected to effectively expand domestic consumption and help China’s economy shift to a consumption-driven economy as “borrow to consume” are now more acceptable to Chinese consumers and China’s credit information system is further completed.

China’s e-commerce giants such as Alibaba, and Suning have already launched similar services, which give consumers access to loans to buy goods on their online shopping sites and the money could be repaid in installments.

Moreover, China has slashed import duties on consumer goods by an average of 50 percent, starting from June 1, which is another move to encourage domestic spending. The duty on cosmetics was reduced to 2 percent from 5 percent.

China’s State Council has also released a guideline on June 20 saying the customs administrator will streamline customs procedures for e-commerce exports and imports to make the processes simpler and quicker, while the quality supervision authorities will allow collective declaration, examination and release of goods.

The government will keep export taxes low while formulating import tax policies. It will also encourage domestic banks and institutions to launch cross-border electronic payment businesses and advance pilot overseas payments in foreign currencies.

However, experts note that some of the policies and regulations in China have fallen behind the development of the new consumption mode and they suggest the government should continue to improve consuming environment, upgrade consuming infrastructure, strengthen regulation and further open domestic market. Enditem



China Southern Airlines launches Guangzhou-Paris-Vienna cargo route

China Southern Airlines launches Guangzhou-Paris-Vienna cargo route

PARIS, June 23 (Xinhua) — China Southern Airlines Co., Ltd., one of China’s leading airlines based in south China city of Guangzhou, has launched Guangzhou-Paris-Vienna cargo route in a bid to further expand its cargo transport network in Asia-Europe region.

At present, two flights are arranged for the new route each week and the number of the flights will be raised to three each week starting from July 1, said Zhu Jinliang, general manager of the Pairs office of China Southern Airlines. Enditem


Alibaba to sell U.S.-based 11 Main for 37.6 pct stake in OpenSky: report

Alibaba to sell U.S.-based 11 Main for 37.6 pct stake in OpenSky: report

BEIJING, June 23 (Xinhua) — Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA.NYSE) planned to sell its US-based E-commerce business unit – 11 Main to exchange for a 37.6 percent stake in online marketplace – OpenSky, reported Xinhua-run Tuesday.

According to the Chinese E-commerce giant, 11 Main’s management staff will join OpenSky but the former will still keep its own website after the deal, whose financial terms are not disclosed yet.

Alibaba launched 11 Main in June 2014. However, the website failed to attract wide attention and attain sufficient support from Alibaba Group, said the report citing a source saying 11 Main might only be Alibaba’s one attempt to test the US market.

Alibaba finished its initial public offering (IPO) in the US in 2014. Currently, most of its revenue comes from domestic B2C E-commerce platforms – and

Previously, an executive of Alibaba said the company’s overseas strategies would focus on helping foreign merchants and brand operators to sell their goods to Chinese consumers.

Apart from 11 Main, Alibaba invested a lot in the United States. In March, it invested 200 million US dollars in US photo messaging application – Snapchat. Enditem



Moody’s: Global RMB penetration improves

Moody’s: Global RMB penetration improve

BEIJING, June 23 (Xinhua) — Offshore RMB-denominated bonds are likely to see the offering scale grow moderately in 2015, though offshore issues declined year on year in the first quarter due to the drop of onshore interest rates, a Moody’s report said on Tuesday.

China’s “Belt and Road” initiative and the establishment of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) further strengthened the role of RMB it played in cross-border transactions and investment, said Ivan Chung, a Moody’s senior vice president.

“Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund’s impending decision on whether to include RMB in the special drawing rights (SDR) basket will be a milestone to the internationalization of RMB and will help increase investors’ allocations of RMB-denominated assets,” added Chung.

In terms of China’s onshore bond market, Moody’s pointed out in its report that the first public bond default in March 2014 and the three default cases in May and June of 2015 showed the Chinese regulators had increased their tolerance on default and would make market play a decisive role in debt restructuring in the future. Enditem



hina’s electric car production grows three-fold in May

China’s electric car production grows three-fold in May

    BEIJING, June 24 (Xinhua) — Chinese manufacturers produced three times more new energy vehicles this May than they did last year, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said on Wednesday.

Production of pure electric passenger cars rose 300 percent to 9,922, with hybrids rising nearly 400 percent to 4,923. Production of pure electric and hybrid commercial vehicles rose by 700 percent and 36 percent, respectively. A total of 19,100 such vehicles rolled of the production line May.

In the first five months, Chinese automakers produced 53,600 new energy vehicles; again nearly a threefold increase over 2014.

The government has been working hard to put more new energy vehicles on road, saving energy and reducing pollution. In March, the Ministry of Transport set a target of 300,000 new energy commercial vehicles on China’s roads by 2020: 200,000 new energy buses and 100,000 new energy taxis and delivery vehicles.

The Ministry of Commerce also announced earlier this year that China will continue to build charging facilities in cities and allow tax exemptions and subsidies on vehicle purchases. Enditem



Cabinet stresses “Internet Plus” strategy

Cabinet stresses “Internet Plus” strategy

BEIJING, June 24 (Xinhua) — China will put more momentum behind its “Internet Plus” drive, which aims to integrate the Internet and industry while encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation, the cabinet vowed on Wednesday.

The campaign is very important in creating a new engine for economic growth, said a statement released after an executive meeting of the State Council, presided over by Premier Li Keqiang, who proposed Internet Plus in March.

An Internet Plus guideline was approved at the meeting. It maps development targets and supportive measures for sectors which the government hopes can establish new industrial modes, including agriculture, energy, finance, public services, logistics, e-commerce, traffic, biology and artificial intelligence.

Unreasonable regulations and policies which hinder Internet Plus will be cleared and market accesses will be lowered for integrated products and services, according to the guideline.

China will launch hardware projects to support Internet Plus, build more next-generation infrastructure, develop more core chips and high-end servers, and better apply cloud computing and big data, it said.

Based on Internet Plus, open and shared platforms will be built to improve public services and share public data, it added. Enditem


China mulls cyber security law

China mulls cyber security law

BEIJING, June 24 (Xinhua) — China’s top legislature is considering a cyber security law, according to a statement released Wednesday.

The draft law was submitted to lawmakers for its first reading at the bimonthly session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee which runs from Wednesday to July 1.

The law aims at “safeguarding cyberspace sovereignty and national security,” according to the draft.

Cyber security has become an important issue concerning national security and development as well as public interests, said Lang Sheng, deputy head of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPC Standing Committee, at the session.

The 68-article draft law suggests mechanisms to guarantee the safety of Internet products and services, operation, network data, as well as information.

The draft also highlights “development,” prescribing national strategies for cyber security and supportive measures to promote cyber security, Lang said.

Key information-related infrastructure will be put under protection, according to the draft.

The draft also stresses protecting citizens’ personal information from being stolen, leaked or used illegally.

State Council departments related with cyber security will establish systems for cyber security monitoring, warning and reporting. An emergency response mechanism will also be set up, according to the draft. Enditem


China’s top legislature reviews BRICS bank agreement

China’s top legislature reviews BRICS bank agreement

BEIJING, June 24 (Xinhua) — China’s top legislature started reviewing an agreement on the founding of the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB), intended to fund infrastructure in the BRICS bloc and other developing economies, on Wednesday.

The agreement was signed by five of the bloc’s members — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — on July 15 last year during the sixth BRICS summit.

It will enter force only when all BRICS countries have deposited instruments of acceptance, ratification or approval.

The agreement over the Shanghai-based bank had been ratified in India and Russia by April 27, said Vice Finance Minister Shi Yaobin while elaborating on the deal at the bimonthly session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee.

The NDB will have initial authorized capital of 100 billion U.S. dollars, and its initial subscribed capital of 50 billion U.S. dollars will be equally shared among founding members, under the agreement.

It will stipulate a three-tier governance structure — a board of governors, a board of directors and management led by the president.

As agreed by the five countries, the first chair of the Board of Governors will be nominated by Russia, the first chair of the Board of Directors by Brazil, and the first president of the bank by India, Shi said.

They also agreed to set up an African regional center of the NDB in South Africa.

The establishment of the bank will be a milestone in financial cooperation among BRICS members, according to Shi.

Aside from its main funding function, it will help enhance the bloc’s role in the international arena and promote reform of global economic governance, he said.

The agreement will initially not be applied in the Hong

Kong Special Administrative Region after the foreign ministry consulted with the regional government.

Once the agreement is approve by the NPC Standing Committee, the Chinese government will subscribe 10 billion U.S. dollars on time as prescribed, Shi said.

He also noted that the NDB, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Silk Road Fund would operate independently although all three were financed by the government. Enditem

Chinese billionaire ambitious in world’s sports industry

Chinese billionaire ambitious in world’s sports industry

BEIJING, June 24 (Xinhua) — Bold plans unveiled by the Chinese government to develop the sports industry have fueled hunger and ambitions among Chinese investors.

Besides manufacturing sport wear and gear, Chinese investors have started to buy stakes in European soccer clubs and sports-related international companies.

Billionaire Wang Jianlin said one of his goals is to turn his Wanda Group into a leader in the world’s sports industry.

“We are going to merge at least three sports-related enterprises by the end of the year, a move expected to give Wanda a leading position in the world’s sports industry,” Wang told Xinhua on Tuesday.

The Chinese real estate and entertainment giant bought Swiss sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media three weeks after it purchased stakes of 2014 Spanish La Liga champions Atletico Madrid in January. The two deals cost Wang about 1.25 billion U.S. dollars.

Wang admitted that his group, well known for real estate projects, cinemas and plazas, is a “green hand” in the sports industry but ample budget ensured his group’s rapid rise in the sector.

“What we are doing is merging, which paved our way to the industry,” he said.

Wang took Infront as an example.

“Infront is a company with many resources, controlling sports events’ broadcast rights and marketing rights,” he said. “With Infront, we now stand at the upstream of the industry.”

China has unveiled plans to raise sports sector into a 5-trillion-yuan (817 billion U.S. dollars) industry by 2025.

Under a sweeping reform plan, private investment will be encouraged, new sports facilities will be built and the government will support the sector by increasingly buying its services.

Encouraged by the plans and later a reform agenda to revive Chinese soccer, many enterprises including Wanda have started to invest heavily in sports, especially soccer. Enditem




China creates leading group for enhancing manufacturing prowess

China creates leading group for enhancing manufacturing prowess

BEIJING, June 24 (Xinhua) — The State Council, China’s cabinet, will set up a leading group for its ambitious plan to enhance manufacturing prowess and change the reputation of “Made in China” goods.

The group, led by vice premier Ma Kai, will coordinate, deliberate and implement plans for becoming a world manufacturing power, according to a statement published on the government website.

The group will be headquartered in the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the statement said.

The decision came a month after the release of the “Made in China 2025” plan, which aims to transform China from a manufacturing giant into a world manufacturing power.

The plan lays out strategies for upgrading from low-end manufacturing to more value-added and tech-intensive production, and encourages domestic manufacturers to achieve technological breakthroughs across a number of emerging industries from numerical control tools and robotics to aerospace equipment and new energy vehicles.

Nine tasks have been identified as priorities: improving manufacturing innovation, integrating technology and industry, strengthening the industrial base, fostering Chinese brands, enforcing green manufacturing, promoting breakthroughs in 10 key sectors, advancing restructuring of the manufacturing sector, promoting service-oriented manufacturing and manufacturing-related service industries, and internationalizing manufacturing. Enditem



央行降准 股市维稳








Artifical neuron mimicks function of human cells

Artifical neuron mimicks function of human cells

Stockholm, June 25(Greenpost)–Scientists at Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet have managed to build a fully functional neuron by using organic bioelectronics. This artificial neuron contain no ‘living’ parts, but is capable of mimicking the function of a human nerve cell and communicate in the same way as our own neurons do.

Neurons are isolated from each other and communicate with the help of chemical signals, commonly called neurotransmitters or signal substances. Inside a neuron, these chemical signals are converted to an electrical action potential, which travels along the axon of  the neuron until it reaches the end. Here at the synapse, the electrical signal is converted to the release of chemical signals, which via diffusion can relay the signal to the next nerve cell.

To date, the primary technique for neuronal stimulation in human cells is based on electrical stimulation. However, scientists at theSwedish Medical Nanoscience Centre (SMNC) at Karolinska Institutet in collaboration with collegues at Linköping University, have now created an organic bioelectronic device that is capable of receiving chemical signals, which it can then relay to human cells.

“Our artificial neuron is made of conductive polymers and it functions like a human neuron”, says lead investigator Agneta Richter-Dahlfors, professor of cellular microbiology.  “The sensing component of the artificial neuron senses a change in chemical signals in one dish, and translates this into an electrical signal. This electrical signal is next translated into the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in a second dish, whose effect on living human cells can be monitored.“

The research team hope that their innovation, presented in the journal Biosensors & Bioelectronics, will improve treatments for neurologial disorders which currently rely on traditional electrical stimulation. The new technique makes it possible to stimulate neurons based on specific chemical signals received from different parts of the body. In the future, this may help physicians to bypass damaged nerve cells and restore neural function.

“Next, we would like to miniaturize this device to enable implantation into the human body”, says Agneta Richer-Dahlfors. “We foresee that in the future, by adding the concept of wireless communication, the biosensor could be placed in one part of the body, and trigger release of neurotransmitters at distant locations. Using such auto-regulated sensing and delivery, or possibly a remote control, new and exciting opportunities for future research and treatment of neurological disorders can be envisaged.”

This study was made possible by funding from Carl Bennet AB, VINNOVA, Karolinska Institutet, the Swedish Research Council, Swedish Brain Power, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and Önnesjö Foundation.