China Digest

Economics and policy from China’s newspapers

Tuesday January 17, 2017

China might put brakes on overseas direct investment

A Chinese Academy of Social Sciences report says China might slow down overseas direct investment (ODI) in 2017 possibly due to the Donald Trump administration, Caixin reported on Monday evening. Trump is to be inaugurated as the 45th US president on January 20. With the US as a main target of China’s ODI, the report said a Trump presidency might increase the chance of a trade war between them, which will raise risks on assets and deter investment. China’s ODI has increased an average of 40% year on year for the past 13 years, but growth slowed in the latter half of 2016, the report said.

Financial services miniapps banned over lax security

China’s Securities and Futures Commission told investment funds to stop all trading services on miniapps on January 15, the Beijing Morning Post reported on Monday. Miniapps is a new tool Tencent’s WeChat launched on January 9, creating an alternative to the mobile app distribution platform. Four of the seven funds that launched miniapps have taken them offline for security reasons.

State Council confirms major tasks for Go West policy

The State Council has announced 10 major tasks for the Go West policy under the 13th Five Year Plan, the National Development and Reform Commission said in a statement on its website on Monday. The tasks include increasing public services, infrastructure improvement and poverty alleviation.

Power use increases 5% in 2016

China saw a 5% increase in the overall average of electricity use in 2016 compared to a year earlier, the National Energy Administration said in a Caixin report on Monday evening. Significant year-on-year increases in electricity use were found, with a jump of 11.2% in the services industry, 4.4% in light industry and 2.6% in the heavy industries. The rise is because of a change in macroeconomic conditions and lower electricity usage in 2015, analysts said in the Caixin report.

Decline expected in property prices in 2017

Gross floor area sold in major cities in the first week of January has dropped by 22% compared to the same period last month, and by 5% compared to the same period last year, Shanghai Securities News reported on Monday, citing data from Wind, a data financial provider. Prices and the number of transactions will both drop as property curbs may affect second- or third-tier cities, the report said, citing analyst Le Jiadong at GF Securities.