Also in this week’s issue

News roundup

  • Qin Gang, China’s new ambassador to the United States, has been trying to talk more positively about ties between the two nations, saying that “the door of China-US relations, which is already open, cannot be closed”. The former vice foreign minister departed for Washington on Tuesday, just a day after US deputy secretary of state Wendy Sherman concluded a two-day visit to Tianjin. American leader Joe Biden has yet to name a US ambassador to China. The post has been vacant since November.
  • The Chinese economy is performing steadily and the recent regulatory policies targeting internet and education firms will foster the country’s long-term development, Xinhua claimed in an editorial published on Wednesday night. Shortly beforehand Bloomberg had reported that Chinese financial regulators talked to major investment banks in a virtual meeting in a bid to diffuse market fears about the clampdown on off-campus tutoring (see this week's "Talking Point").
  • Panzhihua has become the first city to give out a cash subsidy to couples that give birth to more than one child. Situated in Sichuan province, the city of 1.23 million people will offer a monthly stipend of Rmb500 ($77) per baby for families that have a second or third child. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday called for further efforts to ease the financial burdens of maternity care and school education to support the implementation of the Three-Child Policy.
  • The share price of China Evergrande dipped another 13% on Wednesday after the indebted developer scrapped a plan to declare a special dividend only two weeks after announcing it. Evergrande said it made the U-turn in reaction to current market sentiment and after considering the “rights of the shareholders and creditors”.
  • Nanjing has confirmed more than 100 locally transmitted Covid-19 cases since a small group of airport workers tested positive last week. The strain of virus behind the latest outbreak in the capital of Jiangsu province has been identified as the Delta variant, local authorities said.
  • Sun Dawu, a billionaire pig farmer, has been sentenced to 18 years in prison after a court convicted the 67 year-old of crimes including “provoking trouble”, obstructing public servants, illegal mining, encroachment on state farmland and illegal fundraising. The outspoken private sector tycoon was arrested in November alongside a number of his family members.
  • Yang Qian has won nationwide approval after winning the first of China’s gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics in the women’s 10-metre air rifle. The 21 year-old also won the mixed team event in the same discipline. Yang is a student at the prestigious Tsinghua University and local media has been lauding her as “the new face” of Chinese sport.
  • $4 billion Reduction in the market value of Didi Global shares in SoftBank’s Vision Fund, following China’s cybersecurity probe into the ride-hailing company. The 20.1% stake is now worth $7.8 billion.
  • HK$1.2 billion ($154.5 million) Potential costs for New World Development in fixing problems at its Hong Kong residential project The Pavilia Farm, reports the South China Morning Post. Two of the seven towers need to be torn down and rebuilt, with compensation for the affected purchasers. The amount represents 15% of the conglomerate’s expected profit in the coming year.
  • 66.9% Year-on-year increase in the profits of Chinese industrial firms in the first half, reaching a total of Rmb4.2 trillion ($650 billion), according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Upstream mining and raw material manufacturing companies led the pack as their profits more than doubled.
  • $500 million Fundraising target of Ubox Technology & Trade, a Beijing-based intelligent vending machine maker, in a potential IPO in Hong Kong, Bloomberg reports. Backed by Ant Group, the company makes machines that sell drinks, food and jewellery. It has over 100,000 kiosks across 300 cities and is valued at about $1 billion.

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