Also in this week’s issue

News roundup

  • China’s economic fundamentals don’t support a sustained rise in inflation, the National Bureau of Statistics believes, despite the producer price index jumping 9% in May because of surging commodity prices. The National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration said it will release reserves of copper, aluminium and zinc into the market to stabilise prices. The price of pork futures, meanwhile, have fallen to their lowest levels since trading commenced in January this year on the Dalian Commodity Exchange.
  • The State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) is investigating whether Didi Chuxing used uncompetitive practices to squeeze out smaller rivals, Reuters reported on Thursday. The probe came as the Chinese ride hailing firm filed for an initial public offering in New York that hopes to raise up to $10 billion on a $100 billion valuation.
  • The spacecraft Shenzhou-12 was launched on Thursday, sending three astronauts on a three-month mission to to China’s space station core module Tianhe. After five launches this year, China plans to have six more missions in 2022 to complete the construction of the space station, which is committed to scientific research in areas including aerospace medicine, microgravity physics and other emerging technologies.
  • Framatome, a unit of French energy giant EDF, has warned of an “imminent radiological threat” at a nuclear plant it partly owns in Guangdong. In a letter sent to the US Department of Energy, Framatome accused Chinese nuclear safety bosses of raising the acceptable limits for radiation detection at the plant in order to avoid shutting it down. It is unusual for a foreign firm to reach out to Washington for help, although CNN noted that the situation at the plant doesn’t pose a direct threat to the general public.
  • Taiwanese authorities confirmed that 28 PLA aircraft had flown into the island’s airspace on Tuesday. This is the largest single-day sortie ever by People’s Liberation Army planes over Taiwan. Beijing described the flights as routine but the Taipei Times said the exercise could have been in response to the G7 summit, which angered China by calling for peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
  • The Chinese national football team stayed alive in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers by beating Syria 3-1 in Dubai, where China is staging some of its ‘home’ matches because of Covid-19 quarantine concerns. As runner-up in the group, China now goes into a qualifying round of two groups of six teams. The first two teams in each group will make it to the Finals in Qatar.
  • Walt Disney is increasing its investment in China. Celebrating the fifth anniversary of Shanghai Disneyland this week, the brand said it would expand the range of attractions at the park. Changes to former investment rules that required a local partner could encourage other US firms to operate theme parks in China.
  • HK$55 billion ($7.1 billion) Upper-end of the price range for a plot of land auctioned in Hong Kong’s Central district, its main business precinct. The sale price is expected to break real estate records in the city when bids close today.
  • 81% Share of livestreaming income in the three months to March for Nasdaq-listed BlueCity, which operates China’s largest LGBTQ dating app Blued. Total sales surged 31% on the year to Rmb271 million ($41 million), although the net loss widened to Rmb52.1 million, despite 48% growth in paying users to 640,000.
  • 300% Year-on-year increase in sales of zongzi, a glutinous rice dumpling wrapped in bamboo leaves eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival, according to online grocery platform Dingdong Maicai. The three-day holiday also saw a 94% jump in domestic tourist trips to 89 million, lifting tourism revenue to Rmb29.43 billion, or 140% more than last year.
  • 54 million Number of workers in China’s construction sector at the end of 2020, data from the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development reported. The industry produced goods and services worth Rmb26.4 trillion ($4.1 trillion) last year.

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