China Digest

Economics and policy from China’s newspapers

Friday August 11, 2017

LeEco employees get delayed salary

Employees of the unlisted branches of the technology conglomerate LeEco finally received June and July’s salary on Thursday after its founder and former CEO Jia Yueting successfully raised funds in Hong Kong, the Paper reported. Jia confirmed his determination on paying back the salary owed via Sina Weibo, saying he would be responsible to employees and partners even if he had to sell all of his assets to do so.

Judiciary gets tough on Internet financial crime

The Supreme Court released 30 measures to battle crime in the area of Internet finance, Caixin reported. Illegally absorbing public deposits or fraudulent fund-raising in the name of financial innovation will be prosecuted for criminal responsibility, the report added.

Local governments see debt blowout in July

Local government debt issuance reached 845.3 billion yuan in July, a rise of 65% from a year earlier, marking the highest month ever since June 2016, Securities Daily reported. For the second half of the year, new government debt is expected to reach 2.5 trillion yuan, according to a forecast by the Zhongzhaizixin Assessment Company.

First-tier cities boost residential land supply

At least 138 parcels of land have been supplied for residential use in first-tier cities this year, totaling a projected 16.36 million square meters of floor area, a 112% year-on-year jump, Sina Finance reported. Beijing provided 47 parcels of residential land, which amounted to 5.95 million square meters, leading the growth rate at a 170% increase compared to 2016. Shanghai and Guangzhou provided 68 and 23 parcels respectively.

Tianjin to see 2,000 5G base stations by 2020

Tianjin will experience a 2,000 base station increase of 5G mobile internet services for commercial use and a 4G network covering the entire city by 2020, the Economic Information Daily reported. Public Wi-Fi, called “i-Tianjin,” will be built in every common service area with a density of 2.39 5G base stations per square meter.

China Mobile hits US$9.43 billion net profit

China Mobile, one of three state-owned telecommunications giants, said its net profit reached 62.7 billion yuan in the first half of 2017, a 3.5% year-on-year increase, indicating a 346-million-yuan income per day, the Paper reported. Its revenue stood at 388.9 billion yuan in the same period, a 5% year-on-year jump, while the communication services sector contributed more than 50% of that amount. The number of 4G mobile internet service users hit 594 million, taking one third of the global market.

Ping An Bank records 1.27% slump in operating revenue

Operating revenue at Ping An Bank saw the first slump ever as that figure decreased 1.27% year on year in the first half of 2017, standing at 54.07 billion yuan (US$8.14 billion), Caixin reported. Insiders say the lower than expected net profit is due to the decrease in non-interest income, as Ping An’s interbank business and investment was regulated for the first time in the first half of this year.

Liquor maker plans financial services arm

Kweichow Moutai, the public/state-owned Maotai liquor producer and seller, announced on Thursday that it is creating a financial holding affiliate, Caixin reported. Yuan Renguo, chairman of the company, said the financial venture is expected to bring in over 20 billion yuan in revenue by 2020. With the sales of its liquor, which is expected to reach over 70 billion yuan by 2020, the company will achieve its 100-billion-yuan target, Yuan added.

PBOC denies interference in ‘cashless society’ ads

The People’s Bank of China told The Beijing News on Thursday that it has never sent out written notices to its branches about banning digital payment companies from using the words “cashless society” in their promotions, contrary to media reports. The bank said it will not intervene in those companies’ marketing efforts, but vendors should never refuse to accept cash payments. The newspaper, however, confirms that the Wuhan branch of the bank did interview Financial Ant and ask the company to delete the word “cashless” in their campaign.

Mainland tourists to Taiwan fell by half

The number of mainland Chinese tourists visiting Taiwan has seen a dramatic 48% year-on-year reduction to 874,700 over the first half of 2017, jiemian.com reported, citing data from Taiwanese officials. Hostel operators said in a meeting held by the Taiwan Sightseeing Association that there are 600 small or large hostels awaiting sale due to financial and cash-flow problems caused by the decreasing number of mainland tourists.