China Digest

Economics and policy from China’s newspapers

Monday August 21, 2017

NEEQ breaks US$749 billion in market value

The National Equities Exchange and Quotation (NEEQ), also known as the “New Third Board,” saw 135 new small and medium-sized enterprises debut in the past week, Xinhua news agency reported. Turnover on the board stood at 2.65 billion yuan (US$397.2 million) last week, a 17.24% decrease from the previous week. Newcomers brought the total number of companies on the board to 11,523, while the total market value amounted to 5 trillion yuan (US$749 billion).

State Council releases FDI ‘category’ guidance

The State Council has issued a guidance on foreign investment for Chinese enterprises, encouraging companies to park their money in areas of infrastructure, capacity and equipment, innovative high technology, energy resources, agriculture and the service industry, the Securities Daily reported. However, investing in real estate and the entertainment industry, as well as buying hotels, cinemas and sports clubs are listed as “limited” categories for overseas investment, which means it needs the approval of regulators beforehand.

PPP model could enhance elderly care

The Finance Ministry and two other administrations have released a guidance on developing the elderly care service industry via the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model, the Shanghai Securities Daily reported. The guidance encourages companies who own idle factories or other places that are difficult to rent to transform those commercial facilities into elderly care institutions through the PPP framework.

Beijing, Shanghai, Tibet and Qinghai top pensions

Pensions in Beijing, Shanghai, and west China’s Tibet Autonomous Region and Qinghai province exceed 3,000 yuan per month on average, the China News reported. Southwest China’s Sichuan province claimed the bottom of the list with an average pension below 2,000 yuan per month. The annual rate of increase for pensions stood at 10%, 6.5% and 5.5% from 2015 to 2017 respectively, reflecting the rate of economic growth.

China United opens door to private investors

China United Network Communications Limited, the A-share listed subordinate to China Unicom, disclosed details of a plan to introduce private investors to its mixed-ownership reform, the Paper reported. The company hopes to raise 61.73 billion yuan via strategic investors with around 9 billion shares, after which China Unicom will hold 36.67% of the company.

Wanda Group to invest in new tourism projects

Dalian Wanda, a Chinese multinational conglomerate corporation, has revealed it will invest in Lanzhou city, Gansu province, to create a large cultural tourist destination. It will also choose other cities in the province to set up ten new Wanda Plazas, a complex comprised of shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, entertainment and apartments, said Wang Jianlin, founder and CEO of the group, Caixin reported. Previously, the company sold 13 cultural and tourism projects to Sunac in July.

Alibaba plans new HQ in west China

Alibaba will set up its north-west headquarters in Xi’an city, Shaanxi province, in an effort to better support the One Belt One Road initiative and western regional development, said Jack Ma, the founder and chairman of the company, the Xinhua News agency reported. The company has landed considerable business interests in the city, including logistics, e-commerce and internet finance. Meanwhile, its cloud computing arm, Alibaba Cloud, will cooperate with Xi’an Jiaotong University to set up a new data college. Its fin-tech affiliate, Ant Financial, will also work with the municipal government to promote Xi’an as a “mobile smart city.”

ETC system hits 50-million user mark

The number of expressway Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) system users has broken through 50 million, while more than 98% of traffic lanes are equipped with the system, the Shanghai Securities Journal reported. People can use the expressway without having to stop at toll booths via the high-tech collection system and it is expected to gain a 50% usage rate by 2020.

Seven high-speed trains to become world’s fastest

Seven “Fuxing Hao” Beijing-Shanghai high-speed trains will operate at a speed of 350 kilometres per hour – the fastest in the world – starting September 21, Caixin reported. The journey between the two cities is expected to be shortened by half an hour to about four and a half hours. The Beijing-Shanghai high-speed rail link, which cost 220.9 billion yuan to build, is designed to run at a speed of 380 kilometres per hour.

Shanghai halts bike-sharing expansion

Shanghai has suspended any increase in bike-sharing, following similar decisions made in Hangzhou, Guangzhou and Nanjing, Xinhua Finance reported. The Shanghai Municipal Transportation Commission said that sharing bikes have rapidly increased in the city, to the point where they are having a negative impact on traffic and the city’s image. The number of sharing bikes in Shanghai now amounts to more than 1.5 million, the report said.