WiC Insight: Where banks were born
To commemorate Week in China’s 8th anniversary (our first issue was published in February 2009) we offer a history-focused special issue. This WiC Insight edition traces the development of Pingyao, China’s version of Wall Street for most of the nineteenth century.
We tell the story of how a small city in Shanxi pioneered Chinese banking; analyse the corporate governance lessons to be learned from how its banks recruited and rewarded their staff, and managed their risk; and how the bond with the Qing rulers that helped Pingyao to boom and become China’s de facto treasury and central bank – as well as a private banking centre bigger than Zurich or Geneva – eventually led these Silk Road financiers to go bust after 1912.
Focus 13: Belt and Road
Our review of China’s ‘Belt and Road’ policy, which is promising billions of dollars of infrastructure investment in some of the world’s least developed and most unpredictable regions.
We look at the origins of the Belt and Road plan, how it is being financed, and what China hopes to achieve with it; and we talk to industry insiders about how the new railways, ports and pipelines will boost the global economy.
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Focus 12: The Pearl River Delta
Our report on the $1 trillion economic powerhouse at the forefront of China’s economic transformation, including:
- Why the PRD is so important
- How it became the workshop of the world
- An overview of its key cities and companies
- And a review of how the region is reinventing itself once again
Focus 11: A Shared Vision
A backgrounder on China’s stock market, the world’s best-performing large bourse in 2014, including:
- A brief history of the ups and downs of A-shares
- How margin trading has been fuelling the recent boom
- What the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect means for investors
- Q&As with analysts and investors on the prospects for China’s main bourse
Focus 10: The Battle for China’s Internet
Why e-commerce king Alibaba is at war with social media star Tencent, including:
- Why the war matters
- How the two companies came to dominate their kingdoms
- How they make money, and how they innovate
- And why they are becoming deadly rivals
Focus 9: The China Trade: Britain’s top export priority?
Why Britain is looking for an export boom to China, including:
- Must do better: HSBC’s chief economist on UK’s sales to China
- Steely determination: two British manufacturers relive how they broke into the China market
- Message in a bottle: premium whisky The Macallan tells how it won over Chinese drinkers
- The Manchester model: WiC discusses trade-twin plan with Lord Wei, the British-born Chinese peer
Focus 8: Ready for the RMB?
The renminbi’s ongoing rise towards becoming a global currency, including:
- How the RMB is climbing the global rankings
- The views of HSBC experts on its progress as an international currency
- How financial centres like London and Singapore want to become RMB hubs offshore
- The signs to look out for as the RMB’s international journey goes on
Focus 7: A win-win vision? How China is shaping Australia’s future
Why Australia’s economic fortunes have a new Chinese twist, including:
- Such a Lucky Country? China’s role in a generation of Australian growth
- Dig for victory: mining grabs its once-in-a-lifetime moment
- A matter of degrees: why the Chinese flock to Australia’s universities
- Suits, not socks: Merino on the menu for the Middle Kingdom
- A fair go? Mood improves, but are Chinese investors welcome?
Focus 6: The Magnificent Seven
The story of seven foreign firms, and their lessons on how to crack the China consumer market, including:
- Speed helps: it’s good to be first, but not always crucial
- Scale: reaching out beyond the top cities to find new consumers
- Pick your partners: how local tie-ups can open doors and wallets
- Go local (where possible) for people, product and positioning
Focus 5: Rise of the RMB: China’s currency revolution
Why the renminbi is on its way to becoming a global currency, including:
- From mulberry money to ‘people’s currency’
- The three-step plan for renminbi roll out
- The first big push: the boom in trade settlement
- The next phase: cooking up dim sum and direct investment
- The final destination? Prospects for the yuan toppling the dollar
Focus 4: Punting on Macau: heady times for China’s casino economy
Why baccarat billions have made Macau the epicentre of global gaming, including:
- How the city became the ace in the pack
- High-roller heaven: why VIP business dominates
- Leaving Las Vegas? Macau’s plans for a mass-market future
- Casino casting: a Who’s Who on the casino brands and bosses
- Card culture: primers on baccarat and why the Chinese like a flutter
Focus 3: Forget the West: why China’s big trade growth is with the rest
How China’s economic rise is opening up new trade corridors with emerging markets, including:
- It’s not just about oil: expanding ties between China and the Middle East
- An interview with Ricardo Leiman, chief executive of Noble Group
- Commodity central: Latin America’s trade bargain with the Chinese. Winners and losers?
- Silk Road revisited: new realities see ancient route resurrected
- Trade, tears and trouble: a brief history of China’s love-hate relationship with foreign commerce
Focus 2: All You Need to Know about Shanghai’s $45 billion Expo
The Shanghai Expo is the subject of our second Focus Edition. Why, you may wonder, do the Chinese think it’s such a big deal?
In this Focus issue you’ll find out:
- Why Shanghai spent $45 billion on the event and predicts 70 million people will attend
- Why the US was almost a no-show at this year’s Expo and how GM hopes to use its own pavilion to sell 3 million cars
- How the event’s environmental theme could help China in its quest to become a leader in green energy
- Why the Dandelion pavilion has become one of the Expo’s most talked-about attractions. But can you guess which country built it?
- Why business leaders – some of whom will not have attended an Expo before – will make a point of attending this one…
Focus 1: From ‘Made in China’ to ‘Made for China’
The story of China’s journey to become the workshop of the world, and then on to create a new domestic market of millions of Chinese consumers, including:
- How Deng Xiaoping launched China’s real revolution
- An interview with Made in China pioneer Horst Pudwill at TTI Group
- ‘Costs and quality’ – two challenges for the Made in China label
- ‘Savers or spenders’ – a story no longer just about exports, as China shoppers begin to stir
- The Made for China rethink – how foreign firms now tailor to local tastes
- History revisited – can Chinese brands innovate and compete?