Also in this week’s issue

News roundup

  • Chinese gaming giants Tencent Holdings and NetEase were called in to meet with Chinese authorities on Wednesday to discuss how they will implement new restrictions on video gaming for minors. The government wants to avoid lax enforcement and workarounds by savvy teenage netizens. Regulators also told the companies they must break from “the solitary focus of pursuing profit” to prevent minors from becoming addicted to games, Xinhua reported.
  • ‘Opening up’ is China’s basic national policy and will never waver, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Wednesday. The remark echoed an unusual front-page op-ed published by the People’s Daily which looks like another effort to ease concerns about the recent crackdown in sectors ranging from education to entertainment. The principles and policies of encouraging and supporting the development of the “non-state sector” of the economic have not changed, the People’s Daily insisted, with “regulation” and “growth” both viewed as important.
  • Blackrock’s investment activities in China have contributed to the interconnectedness of the world’s two largest economies, which have a large and complex relationship, a Blackrock spokesperson told CNBC. The statement was a response to an article by George Soros in the Wall Street Journal, in which the outspoken investor criticised the firm’s expansion in China, saying it would “damage the national security interests of the US and other democracies”. Blackrock, the world’s biggest asset manager, has recently launched a set of mutual funds in China after becoming the first foreign fund house to operate a fully-owned unit in the country.
  • Tesla is the most heavily subsidised electric vehicle maker in China. The US firm received Rmb2.1 billion ($325 million) in Chinese government subsidies in 2020. About 101,000 Tesla vehicles, or 68% of its sales in China, were granted subsidies last year, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said.
  • Qianhai, a special zone in Shenzhen created to boost economic integration with Hong Kong, will grow eightfold in size to 120 square kilometres, according to the newest planning blueprint published by the State Council. In a separate document, the Chinese cabinet said a new governing model will be introduced in Hengqin, another new zone that pairs up the development of Zhuhai and Macau. A “dual-director” system will be put in place to steer Hengqin’s development by the governor of Guangdong province and the chief executive of Macau.
  • Li Xiaodong (or Forrest Li), the founder of Southeast Asian e-commerce firm Sea Group, is now the richest man in Singapore, news website 36Kr reported, citing data from Bloomberg. By the end of August the Tianjin native was worth $21.1 billion, thanks to a 77% surge in Sea’s share price this year. Li Xiting of healthcare firm Mindray and Zhang Yong of hotpot chain Haidilao are two more of the richest Singaporean nationals who were born in China, 36Kr said.
  • $8.9 billion Investments by SMIC in a new plant in Shanghai. It is expected to produce 100,000 wafers a month, focusing on the more mature technology of 28 nanometers, as the carmaking industry is struggling with a shortage of these chips. The project will be overseen by a joint venture between SMIC and the Shanghai government, with the former having a 51% stake.
  • $58.3 billion China’s trade surplus in August. Exports for the month jumped 26% in dollar terms from a year earlier to a record $294.3 billion, while imports surged 33% to $236 billion, the highest level ever. Analysts attributed the growth in exports to strong demand in the US and Europe, as retailers bring forward their Christmas orders.
  • $1 billion The amount raised by Blackstone for the first-ever mutual fund solely run by a foreign firm and distributed to Chinese retail clients. Blackstone received 111,000 orders from individual investors over a five-day marketing period.
  • 6.2 million square metres Warehouse space that will gain after buying for $513 million a controlling stake in Hong Kong-listed China Logistics Property which operates 65 logistics parks across China.

Missed a recent edition of WiC?