China Digest

Economics and policy from China’s newspapers

Thursday August 17, 2017

China Unicom brings in private investors

China’s top technology companies, including Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu, leading e-commerce group JD.com, ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing and others will invest 78 billion yuan (US$11.65 billion) in state-owned China Unicom, as Beijing seeks to bring in private capital to state-owned enterprises, Caixin reported. Ten private companies and four other state investors will buy 35.19% of the company’s shares, while China Unicom’s holdings will decrease to 36.67%, the report said.

Didi Chuxing in investment talks with Uber

Chinese ride-sharing company, Didi Chuxing, is said to be interested in a US$12 billion investment in Uber, Yicai reported. Other potential investors include US equity firms Dragoneer Investment Group and General Atlantic, as well as Japan’s SoftBank Group. Chinese internet giant Tencent has also shown interest in the deal, the report added.

Tencent exec wades into personal data dispute

WeChat, China’s leading messaging app, will not read, store or analyze personal chat records, Yicai reported, quoting Tencent vice president Ding Ke in an interview. The response follows a dispute with Huawei, the Chinese telecom equipment and smartphone maker, over the right to collect user data from Tencent’s popular app WeChat, which is installed on Huawei phones, the report added.

Smartphone games drive Tencent revenue

Hong Kong listed Tencent Holdings Ltd, China’s biggest gaming and social media firm, reached 106.17 billion yuan (US$156.7 billion) in mid-year revenue, a staggering 57% year-on-year jump, the Shanghai Securities Journal reported. Its net profit stood at 30.86 billion yuan (US$4.55 billion), a 43% yearly increase, mainly driven by higher income from smartphone games, payments and online advertising.

Court rules herbal tea brands share red can design

The Supreme Court issued a final judgment that two Chinese herbal tea brands, Wong Lo Kat tea and Jiaduobao, have contributed to the popular red aluminum can package, Sina Finance reported. State-owned Guangzhou Yangcheng Pharmaceutical, which owns the Wong Lo Kat trademark, and the Guangdong Jiaduobao Drink & Food company will now share the property rights of the packaging design, following a five-year legal dispute.

Shanghai housing loans hit new low in July

New personal housing loans in Shanghai dropped 2.1% year on year to 10.684 billion yuan in July, the Paper reported, citing data released by the People’s Bank of China. The amount has dropped for the eighth consecutive month and has hit a new low, as local governments tighten housing controls, the report added.

Office building supply surpasses demand in Beijing CBD

The vacancy rate of office buildings in the Beijing Central Business District (CBD) hit 6.8% in the past six quarters, mainly due to the China World Trade Center Tower III entering the market, Sina Finance reported. The vacancy rate is expected to peak between 2018 and 2019 since the CBD will embrace several new Grade A office buildings by then.

State Council promotes foreign investment

China’s State Council called for reducing restrictions on foreign capital access and encouraged foreign investors to expand their investment in China, the Paper reported. Practical measures include developing taxation support policies, facilitating the entry and exit of talent, optimizing the business environment and others, the report said.

Japan biggest market for China’s rare-earth metals

Rare-earth metal exports from the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region reached 5,029.9 tons in the first half of 2017, a 30% year-on-year increase, while around 50% of the total amount entered the Japanese market, Sina Finance reported. Meanwhile, the average export price per ton slipped to 26.000 yuan, a sharp 44.2% yearly decrease.

Clean energy to secure main share by 2030

Natural gas and non-fossil fuels are expected to be the main sources of energy by 2030, Sina Finance reported, citing the 2050 World and Chinese Energy Outlook report. Renewables, such as wind and solar energy, are expected to grow at a steady pace to eventually replace fossil fuels, the report added.