Alibaba plans major expansion in Hong Kong
The Asia Times editorial picks of important economics, policy and market-moving stories from Chinese-language media
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor visited the headquarters of Alibaba Group in Hangzhou and expressed a need to see more support from the company to promote Hong Kong’s technological sector, the Paper reported. Jack Ma, the founder of the e-commerce giant, said that the Group will help Hong Kong build up commercial infrastructure in trade, payment, finance, logistics and the investment sector to attract more young workers.
Deleveraging a high priority in central SOEs
China will further reduce leverage at central state-owned enterprises (SOEs) by providing more channels to reduce corporate debts and improve business performance, Sina Finance reported. In a State council meeting, Premier Li Keqiang said bringing down debt levels will be a top priority in ongoing national supply-side reform to help cut outdated capacity and control debt risks. Total net profits of central SOEs increased 16.4% year on year in the first seven months this year, compared to a 3.7% slump in 2016.
Third batch of pilot SOE reform kicks off
The National Development and Reform Commission has selected the third batch of state-owned enterprises for pilot mixed ownership reform, said Zhou Lisha, a deputy researcher at the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, the Securities Daily reported. Chief economist at Founder Securities, Ren Zeping, thinks SOEs in the industry of oil and natural gas will be the focus of the new batch of SOE reform. SOEs in civil aviation, communication and military industry also have a great chance to be included.
Shanghai-Chengdu high-speed railway in works
Insiders from the railway sector said the Chinese government has launched new research on the viability of a Shanghai-Chengdu high-speed rail line, The Paper reported. The plan calls for the railway to be built along the Yangtze River and run at a speed of 350 km per hour. The trip from Chengdu to Shanghai is expected to be shortened by about 6 hours to 7 hours and 48 minutes.
China’s FDI in overseas real estate breaks US$15.8 billion
China’s outward investment in overseas real estate hit a record US$15.8 billion for the first half of the year, the second highest total ever, China News Service reported. As for investment destinations, Hong Kong ranked in first place with a total amount of US$5.4 billion, followed by the US and the UK, which have attracted US$4.2 billion and US$4 billion in Chinese capital respectively.
Anbang Life Insurance downgraded to AA+
The credit rating for Anbang Life Insurance Co Ltd has been downgraded by Dagong Global Credit Rating Co to AA+ from AAA, Sina finance reported. Dagong said in a statement that Anbang Life Insurance is facing growing debt repayment pressure and reduced wealth productivity as a result of liquidity strains and falling investment yields.
LeEco repaying debt by transferring venture shares
LeEco Mobile, the developer arm of LeEco’s mobile devices commissioned Lucky Clover Limited to transfer 6.1275% of its shares to one of of its suppliers, Xingke Electronic Technology, to help offset a 322.9-miilion-yuan debt. Dongfang Cheyun Information Technology Limited, which owns Yidao, LeEco’s ride-hailing app, will also transfer another 6.1275% of its shares to Xingke, offsetting 1.85 million yuan of the debt, Caixin reported.
Robotics industry gets a boost in Beijing
Beijing has set a goal to build a robot innovation center at a global level with a projected revenue of 60-billion-yuan by 2025, Caixin reported. The development plan released at the World Robot Conference said that the first stage will see 12 to 15 billion in revenue by cultivating dozens of leading companies and headquarters by 2020. China has already been one of the world’s largest robotics producers as the number of robots built for industrial use amounted to 720 thousand in 2016, one fourth of the global market.
Environment protection industry poised for rapid growth
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said that temporary management methods for the environmental protection equipment manufacturing industry have been published for public review, the Shanghai Securities Journal reported. The industry is expected to see ten leading companies grow to the ten-billion yuan level in market value, with a total output value projected to hit one trillion yuan (US$127.8 billion) by 2020, the report added.