China Digest

Economics and policy from China’s newspapers

Friday May 19, 2017

Country is first in world to mine gas hydrate in South China Sea

The country is the first in the world to successfully mine gas hydrate in a pilot scheme that began on March 28 in the South China Sea, with yields collected on May 10, Yicai said, citing the Ministry of Land and Resources. Profits are expected after 2030 because technical problems must be ironed out.

Cuts in steel capacity at 64% of target, says NDRC

The National Development and Reform Commission said capacity cuts in the steel industry stood at 63.4% of this year’s target of 50 million metric tons, well ahead of schedule, Caixin reported. Capacity cuts in coal stood at 46% of the 150 million metric ton target.

Salt regulators must split from producers by June

Provincial, city and county level salt regulators must divorce themselves from production by June 30 this year as part of liberalization that began in January of the state monopoly, Economic Information Daily said on Friday, citing the National Development and Reform Commission.

Air quality in 28 cities worse than a year ago

A Ministry of Environmental Protection investigation of 27 cities around Beijing and in four provinces found that air quality was worse than last year, the Paper reported. Mean concentration of PM2.5, a measure of particles that can get into the lungs, grew by 12% compared to last year.

PBOC urges mobile payment firms to expand beyond China

Mobile payment companies such as Ant Financial (Alipay) and Tencent (WeChat pay) should expand into emerging markets and push for cashless payments in other countries, said Fan Yifei, the deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China on Thursday in a Caixin report.

‘Long-term measures required to stabilize housing market’

An op-ed in the Xinhua-affiliated Economic Information Daily on Friday called for long-term measures to be introduced to stabilize the property market and capitalize on the reprieve in prices following recent curbs to cool the heated sector.

Homes on the market in Lanfang city down by 40%

The number of homes on the market in two counties of Langfang city near Beijing has declined by 40% in April since down payments on mortgages were raised to 50%. Developers also plan to release new homes and experts say market prices may remain high in the next six months.

Market forces will hinder industry insurance shakeup: experts

Maintaining liquidity and market forces are among key factors that will hinder the crackdown on the insurance industry, which may not see a decrease in firms operating capital funds, experts said in a Securities Daily report on Friday.

First homegrown attack helicopter debuts in maiden flight

The country’s first domestically made attack helicopter, the Z-19E, made its maiden flight on May 18 in Harbin, said the Huanqiu news website. The helicopter is armed with missiles and can fly at low altitudes.

Public consultation sought on anti-smuggling law

The government is seeking public opinion on a proposed anti-smuggling law that could fine companies and individuals 1 million yuan for storing goods, Xinhua said, citing to a consultation paper released on Thursday.