Caixin | Until recently, Chinese officials could rest assured that their path on the bureaucratic ladder went only upward, unless they were punished for some reason, usually corruption. No more. A policy passed in June 2015 by the Communist Party’s second-highest decision-making body, the 25-member Politburo, stipulated that officials should be demoted for failing to meet the requirements of their post.
In the Asia Times there is an article about the tricks China has begun to use to conceal the truth about its foreign currency position. Up until December, China released the two figures corresponding to foreign currency reserves, that of the Central Bank and that of the banking sector (which let’s not forget is state-owned).
Guntram B. Wolff via Caixin | G-20 ministers in Shanghai appeared to be aware of the importance of structural work. In particular, there was agreement in our panel discussions that the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project of the OECD was an essential element to deal with tax avoidance and ensure that profits are taxed where economic activity generating it takes place.
UBS | Following our recent launch report on European luxury we have undertaken an analysis of US and Chinese millennial (18-34 years) spending together with UBS Evidence Lab based on our survey of 2,109 consumers. We conclude that millennials will not mark the end to luxury consumption that some fear.
Caixin | Lijia Zhang burst onto the international literary scene in 2008 with a memoir about her rebellious journey from disillusioned factory worker who spearheaded a walkout in support of the Tiananmen Square demonstrators in 1989 to becoming a writer and journalist. Her first book, Socialism is Great! A Worker’s Memoir of the New China, published by Atlas & Co., describes how she dreamed of escaping the stultifying routine of factory life, while reading Jane Eyre hidden within the folds of The People’s Daily. The book has since been translated into seven languages.
Iris Mir | China aims to recover the ancient Silk Road to create an unprecedented trade link between Asia and Europe. Least developed Chinese provinces would also benefit largely from the ‘one belt, one road’ project as Beijing will need to invest greatly in infrastructure and high-speed railways. Local governments see the project as a golden opportunity to revive stagnating growth.
ZURICH | UBS analysts | We expect reforms to accelerate in 2015. As the government moves toward systematic “rule by law” and the property downturn persists, more space will open up and pressure increase for economic reforms to accelerate. We see three themes for China’s reforms this year: growth support, risk containment and rebalancing. In other words, reforms that can unlock new sources of growth and bolster domestic demand, reduce economic and financial risks, or diminish/remove structural imbalances should advance most.
SHANGHAI | By Qi Bing via Caixin | The smooth opening of the Hu-Gang Tong, the Shanghai-Hong Kong bourse linkage, marked the entrance of the Chinese capital market to a new era and was a major global event. It follows on progress China has made in opening up its markets after joining the World Trade Organization, and will hopefully greatly boost the country’s economic and social reforms in the years to come.
Iris Mir | China’s real state market is cooling down. Rampant investment in the past few years has caused lingering oversupply and a drop in investment prices. Property developers suffer a very risky lack of liquidity and limited access to credit that prevents them from being able to repay previous loans. China’s real state sector represents a 15% of the national GDP; and it plays a crucial role in other sectors. The government is very keen on lending all the necessary support to maintain the speculative frenzy. But analysts believe that recent measures will not solve the structural problems of the housing market.
BEIJING | By Li Xuena via Caixin | Zhong Shidan started climbing the Wal-Mart career ladder 18 years ago after she joined the U.S. retail giant’s Shenzhen outlet as a shop assistant. Today, Zhong holds a high-level operations department position and oversees the company’s more than 80,000 employees in China. She goes by the English name Grace and works hard to reflect well on Wal-Mart as an executive who is persistent, smart and focused.