The DailyBrief

Monday October 31, 2016

Restraining asset bubbles and preventing economic and financial risks are now top priorities for the People’s Bank of China, details from the latest Politburo meeting showed. The Politburo sets out a fiscal policy to guarantee adequate government expenditures while boosting support for struggling regions and provinces, effectively giving the green light to the Ministry of Finance and local governments to keep propping up infrastructure-related spending.

The number of foreign visitors to Japan so far this year topped 20 million, taking just 10 months to beat last year’s record of 19.74 million, according to Japan Tourism Agency figures released on Monday. Still, Japan looks on track to hit its target of attracting 40 million visitors in 2020, the year Tokyo hosts the Olympic and Paralympic Games. If only other industries showed the same robust outlook.

China is poised to become the world’s largest cruise market with almost 1 million Chinese passengers last year and an annual growth rate of 66% since 2012. Dream Cruises is a new premium line owned by a Hong Kong unit of Malaysia’s Genting, which also runs Crystal Cruises and Star Cruises. It is among the cruise operators hoping to tap into the world’s fastest-growing major source market for passengers, targeting the Chinese. The new line’s first ship, Genting Dream, is on its way from the wharf in Germany where it was built and will embark Hong Kong early November. However, a cruise ship designed to be a dream for the Chinese might be a nightmare for non-Chinese.

Despite a ban on members of the Communist Party of China playing golf and the construction of courses blocked since 2004, the game has continued to develop. Its rise has been fueled by the exploits of the likes of women’s Rio Olympic bronze medalist and world number 11 Feng Shanshan and by rising men’s star Li Haotong, the 21-year-old winner in May of the China Open in Beijing. This week sees the professional Ping An Bank China Tour make its first foray off the mainland with the staging of the Clearwater Bay Open in Hong Kong.

China becomes the first country to introduce national regulations covering the ride-hailing industry on November 1. The new measures, approved in August, require drivers to have at least three years of driving experience and no criminal convictions for dangerous or drunk driving, as well as for drug taking and violence. The drivers must also be licensed by a local taxi authority. The regulations set China apart from many other countries where ride-hailing operations such as Uber have been banned or are embroiled in lawsuits.