The DailyBrief

Friday December 30, 2016

Riding on a fintech boom, China is going cashless, writes Johan Nylander in a special report. The majority of internet users in China are using their smartphones to conduct financial transactions, primarily through Alibaba’s Alipay or WeChat’s payment service. In Shenzhen, Johan can find hardly anyone paying with hard currency.

The markets are on edge, write Steve Wang and Benny Kung. In 2017, China’s financial institutions look set to face multiple threats: higher money market rates, a further slide in the yuan-dollar exchange rate, and intermittent shocks from high-profile defaults in the nascent bond market.

Battered Toshiba is running out of options. Faced with the prospect of a multi-billion-dollar writedown that could wipe out its shareholders’ equity, the Japanese tech conglomerate is short on fixes: it is burning cash, cannot issue shares and has few easy assets left to sell.

Chinese Catholics must run their church “independently” from the Vatican and guide believers on a path of “Sinicisation”, a senior Communist Party official has stated. Yu Zhengsheng’s comments come against the backdrop of the Church’s efforts to heal a decades-old rift with China, where Catholics are divided between those loyal to the Vatican and members of a government-controlled official church.