{"issues":[{"id":1757,"name":"Issue 602","date":"Sep 30, 2022","title":"Cleaning up the competition?","tagline":"How Onewo is promising next-generation property management, as Vanke unit launches Hong Kong IPO this week","pdf-link":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/602.pdf","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/602-large.jpg","articles":[{"id":53251,"title":"Vanke defies the gloom with property management IPO in Hong Kong","content":"As the world\u2019s most expensive property market, Hong Kong is poorly nourished soil for start-ups. But ironically enough, when the government made a play of seeding a new tech sector in the city in the late 1990s, it was the territory\u2019s leading property firms that spearheaded the effort.\r\n\r\nOne large plot of waterfront land was granted to Richard Li, younger son of Hong Kong\u2019s richest man Li Ka-shing, in a bid to seed a localised version of Silicon Valley. Investors embraced the idea initially, stoking a market frenzy that helped Li junior take control of Hong Kong Telecom (formerly controlled by Britain\u2019s Cable & Wireless). But the new zone \u2013 called Cyberport \u2013 had none of the creative dazzle of its Californian counterpart. Failing to nurture a single unicorn from the tech world, the district has ended up as home to yet another residential complex, plus a large shopping mall and office space.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nProperty blue-chip New World Development also promised to ignite the local tech scene with New World Cyberbase, another internet-focused business unit. But a decade later it would take a different path, converting the internet unit into a coal miner called Mongolian Energy at a time when the commodity sector…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/OneWo-City-w.jpg","category":"Property, Talking Point","page":"1"},{"id":53254,"title":"EV sales double in August on last year as local brands take charge","content":"August was another seismic month for retail sales of electric vehicles (EVs) in China, which jumped to 529,446 cars, up 112% year-on-year, as reported in the latest edition of HSBC\u2019s China EV Tracker.\r\n\r\nThe large majority of sales were of vehicles powered solely by an electric battery, with a lesser contribution from hybrid cars with electric motors but also a back-up petrol engine.\r\n\r\nHave we passed the inflection point in the wider market at which electric vehicles start to become a default choice for consumers? Many commentators think so, adding forecasts that more EVs will be sold to Chinese drivers this year than the rest of the world combined. Well over a quarter of the cars sold in China in August were classified as electric vehicles, reaching a new record of 28.3% of the market, adds Yuqian Ding, head of China autos research at HSBC Qianhai Securities.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nWhat\u2019s more, demand is set to deepen as we head into the October-to-December peak for purchases, with supply chains restocking in preparation for a bumper season.\r\n\r\nFor comparison: the US crossed a threshold in which EVs accounted for 5% of new car sales at the turn of this year \u2013 a milestone that China reached in 2018.\r\n\r\nWhat\u2019s…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/BYD-w.jpg","category":"Auto Industry","page":"7"},{"id":53258,"title":"Short video reaches saturation point in China, but profits can go higher","content":"Getting (and keeping) attention on Chinese social media is becoming more of a challenge. \u2018Short video\u2019 giants like Douyin and Kuaishou should get some of the blame for the splintering of concentration spans around the country. But they are also masters of their craft at bringing millions of people back to their platforms on daily basis.\r\n\r\nSome of the numbers on the short video marketplace are staggering, according to a study out last week from Charlene Liu, head of internet and gaming research, Asia Pacific, for HSBC.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nNearly a billion people now watch short videos on their phones in China. Unlike in the West, where most of the audience is younger people, viewers span the generations. And most of them are watching for about two hours every day, or a third of the time typically spent on the internet, which is more than any other app or online channel.\r\n\r\nDouyin (owner of the TikTok brand internationally) is the most-watched platform, with 600 million daily users (a figure reported from June 2021, HSBC notes). Kuaishou is second with 347 million average daily users this year, while Tencent, a relative newcomer to the discipline, has as many as 500 million viewers of Video Accounts, many…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/Douyin-w.jpg","category":"Internet & Tech","page":"9"},{"id":53261,"title":"Li Jiaqi, the Lipstick King, makes livestreaming comeback","content":"After disappearing abruptly from public view in June, China\u2019s biggest e-commerce livestreamer is back. Li Jiaqi\u2019s return was as unexpected as his exit. But on September 20, he resurfaced on Taobao Live, generating so much buzz that he became the top trending news item on social media. Over 60 million viewers tuned into Li\u2019s livestream, which received more than 160 million \u2018likes\u2019. Over two hours, he promoted 27 products, generating over Rmb120 million in gross merchandise value (GMV).\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\n\u201cI\u2019m so happy I\u2019m crying,\u201d one fan sobbed on seeing Li, often called the \u2018Lipstick King\u2019, back on screen.\r\n\r\nSo what\u2019s changed in the 109 days since he vanished? Li, 30, seemed fresh-faced and energetic after his unexplained hiatus. But his studio\u2019s backdrop was noticeably more subdued. Gone were the vivid red backgrounds touting bargain deals and sales slogans. Instead a wall was stamped with \u2018Li Jiaqi Live Show\u2019 along with the advice \u2013 or perhaps, the disclaimer \u2013 \u201cspend rationally, shop happily\u201d.\r\n\r\nCompared with previous performances when the influencer would plug more than 50 products in a single session, his first two livestreams were also shorter in duration and the selection of goods was much more limited. Also notable was that Li has dropped…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/Li-Jiaqi-w.jpg","category":"China Consumer","page":"10"},{"id":53263,"title":"Surprise as the \u2018Chinese Top Gun\u2019 fails to take off during peak movie period","content":"Top Gun: Maverick, by far the biggest of this year\u2019s blockbuster movies, brought a triumphant reprise for Tom Cruise as Pete Mitchell, nicknamed Maverick, more than 35 years after his debut in the 1986 original.\r\n\r\nBut Maverick mark two never made it to cinemas in China. Paramount Pictures, the studio behind the Top Gun sequel, hasn\u2019t explained why the film was never shown. One rumour is that regulators weren\u2019t happy with Maverick\u2019s iconic bomber jacket, which features the Taiwanese and Japanese flags. The patches were digitally altered in a trailer for the film released in 2019 (\u201cWhat does it say to the world when Maverick is scared of Chinese communists?\u201d tweeted Republican Senator Ted Cruz on their initial omission) but they survived intact for the final cut. There was gossip that the flags were saved once Tencent, originally slated as an investor in the film, backed out.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nEven without a contribution from the China market, Top Gun: Maverick has accumulated more than $1.3 billion in ticket sales worldwide to become the highest-grossing film of 2022 so far. After numerous cases in which American studios have tweaked their output in recognition of Chinese sensibilities, Maverick\u2019s success was a reminder that \u201cHollywood does not…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/Wang-Yibo-w.jpg","category":"Entertainment","page":"11"},{"id":53266,"title":"French brand Louboutin wins claim on iconic shoe design","content":"Christian Louboutin is a veteran of trademark battles, filing various lawsuits to protect its red-soled stilettos.\r\n\r\nThe French shoemaker locked horns with YSL in the United States, for example, making the case that it had exclusive rights to the red lacquer coatings on the bottoms of its high-end high-heels.\r\n\r\nIn 2018, the highest court in the European Union was also asked to rule on its argument that the design was distinctive enough to be protected.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nThe publicity generated by these cases, regardless of their outcomes, has enhanced the allure of the Louboutin brand, as well as its claim that the coating of its heels in red is an original design.\r\n\r\nFittingly, the French firm has just won a decisive battle in the Chinese market over its red sole trademark too.\r\n\r\nIn a decision announced last week, the Beijing Intellectual Property Court ruled that Guangdong Wanlima, a producer of leather products, had violated competition laws by offering footwear that mimicked Louboutin\u2019s design.\r\n\r\nThe brand\u2019s red-soled shoes and the red sole \u201cdecoration\u201d amounted to trademarks with \u201ca certain influence,\u201d the court said, responding to evidence from Louboutin that it had sold shoes worth more than Rmb900 million ($129.9 million) in China since 2011.\r\n\r\nThe court also ruled in favour…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/Loubotun-w.jpg","category":"And Finally","page":"13"}]},{"id":1460,"name":"China\u2019s Tycoons","date":"","title":"China\u2019s Tycoons","tagline":"Profiles of 150 top business leaders","pdf-link":"http:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2016\/09\/WiC150Tycoons-final.pdf","image":"http:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2011\/04\/tycoons-cover_2016.jpg", "articles":[ {"id":67777777, "title":"Profiles of China\u2019s most successful businesspeople and how they succeeded", "content":"One way to evaluate the economic circumstances of a country is to examine its most successful entrepreneurs. This is the third edition of China\u2019s Tycoons, a book which seeks to enlighten readers about the Chinese business elite. In this volume we profile 150 of the nation\u2019s top tycoons – that\u2019s up from the 125 featured in last edition.", "image":"\/images\/no_image.png", "category":"Introduction", "page":"6"}, {"id":70123000, "title":"Himin to Hanergy", "content":"Tycoons include Zhang Yue and Zhu Gongshan", "image":"http:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2011\/04\/tycoon-1_Zhang-Yue.jpg", "category":"Alternative Energy", "page":"13"}, {"id":70123001, "title":"Geely to BYD", "content":"Tycoons include Li Shufu and Cao Dewang", "image":"http:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2011\/04\/tycoon-2_Li-Shufu.jpg", "category":"Automotive", "page":"16"}, {"id":70123002, "title":"Tiens Group to Golden Meditech", "content":"Tycoons include Li Li and Sun Piaoyang", "image":"http:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2011\/04\/tycoon-3_Li-li.jpg", "category":"Biotech and Pharmaceutical", "page":"23"}, {"id":70123003, "title":"Li Ning to Bosideng", "content":"Tycoons include Li Ning and Zhou Chengjian", "image":"http:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2011\/04\/tycoon-4_Li-Ning.jpg", "category":"Clothing", "page":"31"}, {"id":70123004, "title":"Lenovo to Huawei", "content":"Tycoons include Liu Chuanzhi and Lei Jun", "image":"http:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2011\/04\/tycoon-5_Liu-Chuanzhi.jpg", "category":"Computing and Tech", "page":"39"}, {"id":70123005, "title":"Wahaha to WH Group", "content":"Tycoons include Zong Qinghou and Wan Long", "image":"http:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2011\/04\/tycoon-6_Zong-Qinghou.jpg", "category":"Food", "page":"51"}, {"id":70123006, "title":"Alibaba to Tencent", "content":"Tycoons include Jack Ma and Ma Huateng", "image":"http:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2011\/04\/tycoon-7_Jack-Ma.jpg", "category":"Internet", "page":"60"}, {"id":70123007, "title":"Fosun to Anbang", "content":"Tycoons include Guo Guangchang and Wu Xiaohui", "image":"http:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2011\/04\/tycoon-8_Guo-Guangchang.jpg", "category":"Investment", "page":"83"}, {"id":70123008, "title":"Amer to Shagang", "content":"Tycoons include Shen Wenrong and Huang Zelan", "image":"http:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2011\/04\/tycoon-9_Shen-Wenrong.jpg", "category":"Natural Resources", "page":"102"}, {"id":70123009, "title":"Wanda to SOHO", "content":"Tycoons include Wang Jianlin and Pan Shiyi", "image":"http:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2011\/04\/tycoon-10_Wang-Jianlin.jpg", "category":"Property", "page":"114"}, {"id":70123010, "title":"Suning to Sanpower", "content":"Tycoons include Zhang Jindong and Tang Yiu", "image":"http:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2011\/04\/tycoon-11_Zhang-Jindong.jpg", "category":"Retail", "page":"131"}, {"id":70123011, "title":"Gree to Midea", "content":"Tycoons include Dong Mingzhu and He Xiangjian", "image":"http:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2011\/04\/tycoon-12_Dong-Mingzhu.jpg", "category":"White Goods", "page":"141"}, {"id":70123012, "title":"Sany to Spring Airlines", "content":"Tycoons include Liang Wengen and Wang Wei", "image":"http:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2011\/04\/tycoon-13_Liang-Wengen.jpg", "category":"Other Industries", "page":"144"} ] },{"id":1756,"name":"Issue 601","date":"Sept 23, 2022","title":"Fighting back","tagline":"Guo Guangchang, chairman of Fosun International, has hit out at rumours that his company is in trouble","pdf-link":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/WiC601.pdf","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/601-large.jpg","articles":[{"id":53221,"title":"Fosun\u2019s founder angered by claims about his firm\u2019s financial health","content":"The Chinese have a range of sayings to warn against the dangers of rumour mongering. \u201cZhen Shen commits murder\u201d (\u66fe\u53c2\u6740\u4eba\u00ad\u00ad) references a story in which a trusting mother comes to believe that her son, a virtuous statesman, has murdered someone after three different people tell her the same lie, for example.\r\n\r\n\u201cThree men make a tiger\u201d (\u4e09\u4eba\u6210\u864e) is another proverb, warning against instances in which people accept unlikely information as truth if it is repeated many times over.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nIn the stock market, few tycoons are more experienced at responding to market-moving rumours than Fosun chairman Guo Guangchang. Shanghai\u2019s biggest private-sector conglomerate has needed to react to market speculation regularly in the past, usually through the issuing of stock exchange announcements in a bid to clarify a situation or stop a slide in the prices of its bonds or shares. Something similar has been happening to the investment giant again this month. What\u2019s going on?\r\n\r\nWhy is Fosun back in the headlines?\r\n\r\nInvestors responded nervously after the news agency Bloomberg reported on September 13 that regulators including the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) had instructed the country\u2019s biggest banks and state-owned enterprises to start a round of checks on their exposure to Fosun,…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/Fosun-w.jpg","category":"Economy, Talking Point","page":"1"},{"id":53224,"title":"Tencent Music opts for secondary listing in Hong Kong","content":"News of a deal last month in which American auditors will be visiting Hong Kong to review the books of Chinese firms listed in the US seemed to signal the clouds are lifting over a row that has dragged on for years. But has the breakthrough come too late in the day to convince some of the Chinese companies affected by the row, even as the first team of auditors arrives in the city this week?\r\n\r\nCertainly, the Chinese media expects more firms to follow in the footsteps of Tencent Music Entertainment (TME), which has pulled the trigger on its plan to go public in Hong Kong after being added to a \u201cprovisional list\u201d of Chinese firms with audit issues earlier this year.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nUncertainty around the outcome of the row has contributed to a fall of more than a third in the company\u2019s shares over the past year, with TME declining to a market capitalisation of about $7.8 billion this week.\r\n\r\nOn Wednesday, TME arrived at the Hong Kong bourse \u2018by way of introduction\u2019, meaning that no new shares had been issued and no new capital has been raised. TME is also insisting that New York keeps its role as its primary listing…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/Tencent-w.jpg","category":"Internet & Tech","page":"6"},{"id":53228,"title":"China agrees debt restructurings, although critics say more are needed","content":"\u201cSimply untenable\u201d was the rebuttal from China\u2019s foreign ministry last month to the latest round of warnings about Beijing\u2019s \u2018debt trap diplomacy\u2019 from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.\r\n\r\nAllegations like these infuriate the Chinese government, which says that private lenders in the West are responsible for the majority of poor-nation debt and that they charge higher interest rates.\r\n\r\nBut Chinese officials are also doing more to showcase how they are willing to respond to situations in which debtor countries are struggling, like Monday\u2019s announcement from the Ecuadorean government that it had reached a deal on $1.4 billion in debt service relief on loans from China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nThe savings come from a combination of extending the loans\u2019 maturity and cutting some of their interest rates, while state-owned energy company Petroecuador has reached a separate deal with PetroChina on oil deliveries that frees up more than $700 million more in funding.\r\n\r\nThe restructuring follows news in August that Beijing has forgiven 23 interest-free loans to 17 African countries. Although details are scant on the value of the loans retired or the nations that owed the money, academics at Boston University estimate that the plan probably amounted to between…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/RMB-w.jpg","category":"Banking & Finance","page":"7"},{"id":53231,"title":"Pinduoduo apes SheIn with cross-border push","content":"Chinese ultra-fast fashion clothing brand SheIn sold $16 billion worth of goods in the first half of the year, up more than half year-on-year. The privately-held company \u2013 which has struck a chord with Gen-Z consumers around the world with its low-priced apparel \u2013 is on track to meet its target of $30 billion in revenues for the year.\r\n\r\nIts success has attracted imitators, of course, with Pinduoduo the latest to try its luck in the fast fashion sector. The Chinese media is reporting that the domestic e-commerce giant quietly launched a SheIn-style app this month. Called Temu (which seems to stand for \u2018Team Up, Price Down\u2019), it apes SheIn as a cross-border platform targeting shoppers outside China.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nPerhaps in a bid to differentiate itself from SheIn, which mainly focuses on fast fashion, beauty, and lifestyle products, Temu is positioning itself more as a general marketplace for lower-priced household goods and other daily necessities. This is a market where its parent Pinduoduo has experience in China, where it chose to compete with Alibaba on the basis of lower-priced goods sourced directly from factories, cutting out a layer of wholesaler and middleman costs.\r\n\r\nWhile many shoppers gave Temu a 5-star rating, some complained that…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/Pinduoduo-w.jpg","category":"China and the World","page":"8"},{"id":53234,"title":"How the scions of some of Fujian\u2019s richest families are marrying","content":"The doorways of traditional courtyard houses in Beijing are typically adorned with a pair of stone bearings (mendang), as well as wooden pins (hudui) for hanging lanterns. These fixtures were designed to reflect the homeowner\u2019s status. Over time, mendang hudui has evolved into a saying for people that marry partners of similar wealth and social standing.\r\n\r\nIn economics, the rich marrying the rich is a well-researched topic. Tyler Cowen describes the phenomenon as \u2018assortative mating\u2019. Although it\u2019s often not a conscious decision \u2013 wealthier folk are simply more likely to wed the kind of people that they spend the most time with \u2013 these types of marriages are likely to propagate generational inequality.\r\n\r\nRich plus rich equals super rich, perhaps. And if that\u2019s the case for marriage prospects, investors should look out for something similar in the sprawling business interests of a few listed firms from Fujian province.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nLast year we reported how a number of the Fujianese tycoons behind some of China\u2019s best-known sportswear brands have cultivated even closer ties between their families.\r\n\r\nThis web of guanxi has just got even tighter on news that Zhou Liyuan, the second son of Septwolves chairman Zhou Shaoxiong, has got engaged to Ding Jiamin, the second…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/Xtep-w.jpg","category":"China Consumer","page":"9"},{"id":53237,"title":"Comedy series triggers share price spike, despite failing to spark with viewers","content":"Over the years, the reality competition Rock and Roast, which is exclusive to Tencent Video, has launched the careers of a few famous stand-ups, including Dongbei comedienne Li Xueqin, one of the breakout stars in the third season, which aired in 2020.\r\n\r\nYang Li, another female contestant on the show, also attracted a loyal following with routines that focused on poking fun at men.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nHow the show works is that the contestants \u2013 in the current season, the fifth in the franchise, there are 53 of them \u2013 each perform a 5-minute routine, which is ranked by the celebrity judges. Competitors with the most votes enter the final round to become the ultimate champion.\r\n\r\nThe latest season has lost a few of its fans, however, as the most poorly rated series to date. On Douban, the TV and film review site, Rock and Roast 5 scores just 5 out of 10. But much of the blame is being apportioned to the selection of judges, not the comedians themselves.\r\n\r\nThe show has tapped actress Zhou Xun and singer Na Ying to join the judging panel, for instance. The camera zooms in on their reactions and they are asked to tap their buzzers to show approval…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/261-w.jpg","category":"Entertainment","page":"10"}]},{"id":1755,"name":"Issue 600","date":"Sept 16, 2022","title":"600 and out","tagline":"After 600 issues, Week in China is closing down","pdf-link":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/WiC600.pdf","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/600-large.jpg","articles":[{"id":53177,"title":"Week in China will shut down at the end of the year","content":"Sadly this 600th issue is not a celebration. I regret to announce that after 14 years Week in China will publish its final issue in December.\r\n\r\nFor our loyal readers \u2013 many of whom have subscribed to the magazine for the bulk of that timeframe and often offered welcome feedback \u2013 this may come as both a surprise and a disappointment. I hope you have valued our neutral, non-polemical voice: our intent was always to fuel intelligent conversations about China and its changing role in the world for a readership of decisionmakers.\r\n\r\nI have always felt China is an infinitely complex place, so dynamic that at any one time any number of things can be true, even when they sound contradictory. Our mission was to try and make China better understood, although given the complexity I have described, that was always a tall order.\r\n\r\nAll I can say is we strove to be intellectually honest and to treat each weekly edition as a new chapter in a never-ending book: the story of China.\r\n\r\nWe exit the field, leaving other China-focused publications in an increasingly polarised market. Perhaps the space we sought to occupy \u2013 neither pro-Chinese nor anti-Chinese \u2013 is disappearing as the geopolitical…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/600w.png","category":"Others","page":"1"},{"id":53198,"title":"Xi meets Putin, but China\u2019s response to the war in Ukraine is subdued","content":"The impact of one of the more decisive interventions of the Second World War is still being felt today. But it wasn\u2019t a military battle. The frontline was actually in rural New Hampshire in the United States, where more than 700 delegates from 44 countries gathered in the summer of 1944 to redefine the post-war economic order.\r\n\r\nThe Bretton Woods conference \u2013 or the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference in its formal title \u2013 met for three weeks, laying the ground for the creation of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (later part of the World Bank) and the International Monetary Fund. In political terms the conference was also a signal of American primacy in the post-war world, heralding the decline of sterling as the world\u2019s reserve currency, and the US dollar taking its place.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nWith Russia\u2019s invasion of Ukraine creating chaos on the fringes of Europe, another major shake-up of the international order could be imminent. Trade flows, particularly in energy, are being dramatically reshaped, with talk of a wider struggle as countries come under pressure to pick sides between diverging political and economic blocs.\r\n\r\nChina is a key player in how the new order might take shape, of course,…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/Xi-Uzbek-w.jpg","category":"Talking Point","page":"2"},{"id":53195,"title":"US\u2008broadens curbs on chip exports to China","content":"\u201cThe future of the chip industry is going to be made in America,\u201d crowed Joe Biden, the US president, in a trip to Ohio last week to celebrate the groundbreaking at Intel\u2019s new $20 billion semiconductor plant. The facility is one of the first to take shape as a result of the CHIPS Act, which was signed into law last month.\r\n\r\nThe subtext to Biden\u2019s speech is a second prong in Washington\u2019s strategy for the semiconductor sector \u2013 steering its companies away from trade with China.\r\n\r\nThe CHIPS Act is being touted as a huge step towards bringing advanced semiconductor production back onto American soil. Critics have queried these ambitions, wondering how US foundries will compete with the cost structures and industrial excellence of rival hubs in Taiwan and South Korea.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nBut for Washington, the new legislation is just as much about preventing leakage of more semiconductor knowhow to China, something that stands out in the details of how $50 billion of subsidies will be distributed to firms that build facilities in the US.\r\n\r\nAny company that takes public money will be prevented from building \u2018advanced technology facilities\u2019 in China for a decade, Gina Raimondo, the US Commerce Secretary, highlighted again this month.\r\n\r\nA strategy…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/Biden-w.jpg","category":"Internet & Tech","page":"8"},{"id":53189,"title":"Property firms hang on grimly as cities start rescue efforts","content":"Back in August 2019 WiC reported predictions from Huang Qifan, a former mayor of Chongqing, that tens of thousands of property firms could be headed for bankruptcy. His forecast followed warnings from officials that \u201chouses are for living in, not for speculation,\u201d rehashing a phrase from Xi Jinping, the Chinese president.\r\n\r\nMuch of the concern about China\u2019s real estate industry has concentrated around the issue of moral hazard in which homebuyers and developers have chased profits on the belief that it\u2019s a one-way bet on prices. But that assumption has now collapsed, alongside the implosion of the sector\u2019s pre-sales model, which is putting unprecedented pressure on the industry\u2019s finances.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nPresumably there\u2019s a silver lining in the situation for a government that wanted to bring the sector into line, you might think.\r\n\r\nBut the challenge for Beijing\u2019s political leaders is how to underline the message on moral hazard in a way that doesn\u2019t torpedo the prospects for the wider economy, especially for a sector that contributes as much as 30% of the country\u2019s GDP by some calculations.\r\n\r\nAnd also to do it in a manner that protects the banking system from shouldering the weight of billions of yuan in loans that could go sour.\r\n\r\nThis is…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/Empty-w.jpg","category":"Property","page":"9"},{"id":53192,"title":"Why Yatsen\u2019s shares have struggled since New York IPO","content":"In April, when China was in the middle of one of its many Covid lockdowns, Huang Jinfeng, the chairman and chief executive of beauty retailer Yatsen, went to Japan. He told 36Kr that he had a burning question during his trip: \u201cIn times when Japan\u2019s economy went through a recession, what did they do to keep the business moving?\u201d\r\n\r\nBut speculation was rife that another motive for Huang\u2019s journey was that he was hoping to meet Masayoshi Son and that the Softbank boss might buy a stake in the C-beauty (\u2018China beauty\u2019) firm, boosting its embattled share price.\r\n\r\nYatsen\u2019s New\u2008York-listed shares have been on a tumultuous ride since an IPO in late 2020. After racing to a peak of $24.55 in February 2021, they had plunged to a low of $0.39 by the end of May this year, before staging a limited recovery to reach $1.13 this week.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nInstead the spotlight in the sector is being taken by rivals, including Bloomage. The producer of hyaluronic acid saw net profits increase from Rmb361 million to Rmb473 million in the first half, with a roster of clients including Estee Lauder, L'Oreal and Unilever.\r\n\r\nThe first half was more of a disappointment for Yatsen\u2019s local rival Shanghai…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/Yatsen-w.jpg","category":"China Consumer","page":"11"},{"id":53186,"title":"Shenzhen launches \u2018virtual\u2019 power plant in hunt for energy gains","content":"When electricity is in short supply, it\u2019s even more important to optimise the usage of what you have. That, in a nutshell, is what virtual power plants (VPPs) can do \u2013 tracking the electricity supply from various sources and matching it to spikes in demand.\r\n\r\n\u201cVirtual power plants are not really for generating electricity, but are systems for managing energy,\u201d Yang Kun, executive president of the China Electricity Council, explained to China Daily last month. \u201cWithout affecting normal operations, they help maintain the balance of electrical supply and demand through accurate power management.\u201d\r\n\r\nVPPs are also described as networks of distributed energy resources like rooftop solar, battery charging stations and smart appliances \u2013 each of which is aggregated through software into a consolidated energy market.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nThis month Shenzhen launched its first VPP, connecting the cloud-based aggregator to 14 supply sources, including the city\u2019s subway system with its huge numbers of solar panels.\r\n\r\nThe new VPP has capacity of roughly the same size as a large coal-fired power station.\r\n\r\nThe problem with the traditional approach of building more power plants to address periods of energy shortage is that the extra capacity can be idle for extended periods when electricity is in low demand. A VPP aims…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/Shenzhen-solar-w.jpg","category":"Environment","page":"12"},{"id":53184,"title":"Another Chinese star is disgraced by a sex scandal","content":"Li\u2008Yifeng and Kris Wu co-starred in the 2015 blockbuster Mr. Six. With a catchy title Lao Pao\u2019er, which translates as \u2018old cannon\u2019, the gangster movie propelled the duo towards superstardom. The film even won Li Best Supporting Actor at the state-run Hundred Flowers Awards.\r\n\r\nBoth men have since fallen from grace. In July last year Wu was accused by a 19 year-old of getting her drunk at a party and raping her. In her allegations, she said he had done something similar to at least seven other women he had met through casting calls or from fan groups.\r\n\r\nWu quickly denied the claim but he was later arrested on suspicion of rape. The Canadian was being tried in June at a junior court in Beijing although the outcome of the trial is unclear.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nLast week, it was Li\u2019s turn to claim his innocence prior to his arrest for soliciting prostitutes, which is a crime in the country.\r\n\r\nLi soon became the highest trending news story when rumours started circulating that the 35 year-old might be in trouble after his non-appearance at state broadcaster CCTV\u2019s annual Mid-Autumn Festival Gala on Saturday night.\r\n\r\nOnlookers pointed out that Li\u2019s name had suddenly been removed from the promotional materials…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/13-Li-Yifeng-w.jpg","category":"Entertainment","page":"13"},{"id":53181,"title":"Shanghai shoppers back Korean bakery after lockdown fine","content":"South Korean pop culture has enjoyed such sweeping success in China in the past that the term hanliu, which translates as \u2018Korean wave\u2019 but sounds the same as \u2018cool current\u2019 in Mandarin, was coined to celebrate it.\r\n\r\nThat\u2019s despite the tensions surrounding the installation of the THAAD missile system in South Korea, which angered the Chinese government and led to a series of unofficial boycotts by consumers that saw the fortunes of Korean firms take a hit.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nSome of the hanliu hype has faded since then, however, with Korean cosmetic brands no longer considered the height of fashion and some of the Korean TV dramas losing their magical appeal of the past.\r\n\r\nBucking the trend, a twist of fate has transformed a little-known Korean bakery chain into a respected brand in Shanghai.\r\n\r\nParis Baguette sounds French in its origins but it is owned by the Seoul-based SPC Group. It ran into regulatory trouble last month after the Shanghai Administration for Market Regulation slapped it with an Rmb580,000 fine for \u201cunlicenced production\u201d.\r\n\r\nLocal consumers initially assumed the bakery was caught up in another food quality scandal. But details spread that Paris Baguette was actually being punished for doing business when Shanghai was in a full Covid…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/Shanghai-Paris-Baguette-w.jpg","category":"And Finally","page":"15"}]},{"id":1753,"name":"Issue 599","date":"Sept 9, 2022","title":"Through the clouds","tagline":"What\u2019s next for Chinese airlines as China\u2019s leaders travel abroad again \u2013 is it a \u2018buy\u2019 signal for investors?","pdf-link":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/599.pdf","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/599-large.jpg","articles":[{"id":53131,"title":"After a dismal period for China\u2019s airlines could the worst be over?","content":"It doesn\u2019t happen very often: a major company announces a multibillion share sale only to report net losses a month later that exceed the fundraising in size.\r\n\r\nInvestors who took part in Air China\u2019s Rmb15 billion ($2.15 billion) placement last month will be dealing with their disappointment, after the airline reported a record Rmb19 billion loss for the first half of 2022. But the situation is also a sign of the tough conditions afflicting the Chinese airlines, with little sign yet of better times ahead.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nA dismal first half\u2026\r\n\r\nThe reporting season for the fiscal first-half has just concluded for China\u2019s listed firms. Aviation and tourism were the two industries with the ugliest results as the country continues to adhere to strict restrictions and quarantine controls to contain the spread of Covid-19.\r\n\r\nThe \u2018Big Three\u2019 carriers \u2013 aka Air China, China Eastern and China Southern \u2013 reported nearly Rmb50 billion in combined losses for the six months ending in June, which means the trio of state-owned firms have been running up losses at a rate of Rmb270 million a day.\r\n\r\nThat first half figure also exceeded the trio\u2019s full-year loss in 2021, when the Chinese aviation industry was already clocking up record deficits.\r\n\r\nInterim losses at…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/Air-China-w.jpg","category":"Aviation, Talking Point","page":"1"},{"id":53137,"title":"How the Chinese reacted to the death of Mikhail Gorbachev","content":"A great ruler in China was often likened to the monarchs Yao and Shun. The Chinese saw these two emperors as paragons of moral perfection. Legend had it they passed their thrones not to their sons but to successors with the most qualifying virtues.\r\n\r\nThousands of years later in 1912, Longyu, the last empress dowager of the Qing Dynasty, signed the letter of abdication that brought an end to her ailing empire. That decision would bring comparisons to Yao and Shun too. And it also helps to explain why some Chinese have been talking about Mikhail Gorbachev, who died last week, as the \u201cLongyu of the Soviet Union\u201d.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nWhen Gorbachev resigned in 1991 he brought an end to a communist regime, opening the path to a different style of government. That was not a decision that has endeared him to China\u2019s political leaders, of course, and much of the media response to his death took a similar line in focusing on the problems that followed.\r\n\r\n\u201cBlindly worshipping the Western system made the USSR lose independence, and the Russian people suffer from political instability and severe economic hardship,\u201d the Global Times noted, adding that this was a \u201clesson for China's own governance\u201d, in which…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/Gorbachev-w.jpg","category":"China and the World","page":"6"},{"id":53143,"title":"Is Tencent set to sell down its massive portfolio?","content":"After years as a shoo-in choice for investors, Tencent has been falling out of favour. Its share price has been declining for months and it just posted its first-ever quarterly decline in revenues, with net income falling sharply. Company bosses have been cutting costs but investors are hoping for something more dramatic: billions of dollars of sales involving Tencent\u2019s stakes in other companies.\r\n\r\nThe speculation is that Tencent could boost returns to shareholders by selling some of its holdings in these other businesses, including listed firms that were worth about $90 billion at the end of the previous quarter.\r\n\r\nDoing so might also please the Chinese government at a time when it wants to reduce the reach of so-called \u2018platform companies\u2019 across a range of sectors and industries.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nTencent hasn\u2019t sounded keen, however, denying a story in Reuters last month that it was planning to sell its stake in delivery giant Meituan.\r\n\r\nLast week it also refuted reports in the Financial Times that it hopes to divest at least Rmb100 billion ($14.5 billion) of its listed equity portfolio, saying that there were no \u201cexternal pressures\u201d to sell down its positions.\r\n\r\nSellers rarely gain from making it crystal clear they are \u2018in the market\u2019, of course.…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/Tencent-HQ-w.jpg","category":"Internet & Tech","page":"7"},{"id":53147,"title":"Alibaba unveils world\u2019s most powerful supercomputer","content":"Generally speaking, companies don\u2019t like to announce any \u2018flops\u2019 in their performance. That is, unless you are in the world of supercomputing, where FLOPS are a good thing indeed.\r\n\r\nFLOPS stands for \u201cfloating-point operations per second\u201d and the bigger your number, the better.\r\n\r\nIn fact, FLOPS can get so large they need a prefix so that people don\u2019t need to say things like \u201cthis machine has a capacity of five quintillion FLOPS\u201d.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nSo before we get to Alibaba Cloud\u2019s new supercomputer \u2013 launched last week \u2013 here is quick run-down of the lingo.\r\n\r\nFLOPS are often described as gigaFLOPS, teraFLOPS, petaFLOPS and exaFLOPS (Or GFLOPS, TFLOPS, PFLOPS and EFLOPS for short). In the future we will also welcome machines capable of zettaFLOPS and yottaFLOPS.\r\n\r\nAlibaba Cloud\u2019s new supercomputer cluster in Hebei has a maximum speed of 12 EFLOPS, which means it is capable of processing 12,000,000,000,000,000,000 floating point operations a second.\r\n\r\nPut simply this means that Alibaba\u2019s cluster in Zhangbei is the most powerful non-quantum computer in the world. It is faster than Google\u2019s Oklahoma-based cloud cluster (9 EFLOPS) and much faster than the world fastest institutional supercomputer, the Frontier at the US Department of Energy\u2019s Oak Ridge Laboratory (1.1 EFLOPS).\r\n\r\nWhich isn\u2019t to say that Alibaba\u2019s…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/Alibaba-Cloud-w.jpg","category":"Internet & Tech","page":"8"},{"id":53140,"title":"Warren Buffett starts selling shares in BYD","content":"When Warren Buffett buys shares in a company, it is terrific news for the other shareholders. The broader market immediately takes note, bidding up the price for the stock.\r\n\r\nThe reverse can be true when the Sage of Omaha decides to sell his holdings. Other investors then take fright, figuring that they should be heading for the exit with Buffett.\r\n\r\nThat\u2019s the dilemma facing some of the shareholders in BYD Auto this month, following confirmation that Berkshire Hathaway has begun to sell down its holdings in China\u2019s leading electric vehicle maker.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nInvestors have been watching closely since the end of June, when 225 million shares in BYD appeared in the clearing and system at Hong Kong\u2019s stock exchange \u2013 that\u2019s because that was the exact same amount Berkshire first bought in the EV firm in 2008. Selling started almost immediately on fears that Buffett was preparing to exit. The shares dropped sharply again last week, when there was confirmation of the first actual sales, and the price has continued to decline on news of further divestments from Berkshire.\r\n\r\nIn total, BYD\u2019s stock is now down about 30% on its peak in May.\r\n\r\nCompany executives have called for calm, with an unnamed insider telling the 21CN…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/Buffet-w.jpg","category":"Auto Industry","page":"9"},{"id":53134,"title":"Lenders\u2019 results reveal cracks in property market","content":"News that Country Garden \u2013 the longtime leader in contracted sales of new homes in China \u2013 suffered a 96% drop in first-half profits is confirmation of the firestorm ripping through the property sector.\r\n\r\nFortunately, the flames haven\u2019t engulfed China\u2019s leading lenders. All of the major state banks released their first-half results late last month and there was no sign (yet) of an existential threat to their sector.\r\n\r\nNot that the mood wasn\u2019t a little downbeat, with Wang Jingwu, vice president of ICBC, the world's largest commercial lender by assets, acknowledging the \u201ccomplex and grim\u201d operating environment. And admittedly, there was some damage as a result of bad loans to the property sector. China Construction Bank (CCB) and Bank of China (BoC) have reported a 68% and 20% increase in bad debt from real estate clients in the first half of this year, while ICBC posted a 15% increase in soured loans over the same period.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nYet despite the deterioration, bad loans to the sector are still at manageable levels. Except for Bank of China, the overall ratio of non-performing loans on the banks\u2019 books even fell over the period, because levels of bad debt in other industries were reduced or held steady.\r\n\r\nThat\u2019s…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/Mortgage-w.jpg","category":"Banking & Finance","page":"10"},{"id":53150,"title":"War of words between livestreamers over Bird\u2019s nest soup","content":"Back in 2020 short-video platform Kuaishou\u2019s biggest livestreaming host Xinba was found to have sold counterfeit bird\u2019s nest soup on his streaming sessions. At first, Xinba, whose real name is Xin Youzhi, denied the product was fake. The influencer used a skimmer to extract gelatinous gloop from the drink, which he offered as proof it was \u2018real\u2019 bird nests. He also shared quality inspection certificates for the soup with his followers.\r\n\r\nBut it was later revealed through laboratory analysis that the Mingzhi Bird\u2019s Nest sold on the livestream did not contain any of the proteins or amino acids that you would expect. Instead, the ingredients were carbohydrates and sugars, prompting viewers to mock that Xinba was really selling \u201csyrup\u201d.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nAfter the controversy Xinba offered to pay back three times the price of the sold items, eventually forking out Rmb62 million to compensate consumers. As punishment he was also banned from livestreaming for 60 days on Kuaishou, with his popularity also taking a big hit. He later parted ways with Kuaishou, moving to rival platform Douyin. But his reach has dwindled to about 10 million followers, compared with 70 million on Kuaishou in his heyday.\r\n\r\nXinba is still sore about the whole episode, it…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/Birds-Nest-Soup-w.jpg","category":"China Consumer","page":"11"},{"id":53153,"title":"Cross-breed of the lychee and the longan proves a hit","content":"Most fruits are already sweet but scientists have been tinkering with hybrids that are even sweeter and prettier than the originals. For instance, there\u2019s the mandarinquat, an offspring of the mandarin and kumquat. Plumcots, as the name implies, are a cross between the plum and the apricot. And then there\u2019s the purple-fleshed dragon fruit, which tastes like its white-fleshed cousin but is cultivated for its more vibrant hue.\r\n\r\nA more recent addition to the fruit bowl is a new hybrid called Cuimi (\u8106\u871c), which is a cross between two notoriously sweet tropical fruits: the longan and the lychee.\r\n\r\nLongans, which translate as \u2018dragon eyes\u2019, and lychees are, in fact, close cousins that are grouped with rambutans in the Sapindoideae subfamily of the soapberry family.\r\n\r\nTo create the new hybrid, scientists at the South China Agricultural University School of Horticulture spent 15 years cross-pollinating lychee and longan trees. The resulting cultivar has been called Cuimi SZ52, a name that roughly translates as \u2018crisp honey\u2019.\r\n\r\nLiu Chengming, who is in charge of the initiative, says that the Cuimi is still considered a variety of longan, although its flesh is more tender like a lychee (longans are chewier). In addition, the skin of Cuimi is crackled like…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/Cuimi-w.jpg","category":"China Consumer","page":"12"},{"id":53162,"title":"How HSBC is growing its wealth business in China","content":"HSBC\u2019s commitment to becoming the leading wealth manager in Asia by 2025 has seen Trista Sun, an 18-year veteran at the bank, return to her home country as Head of Wealth and Personal Banking in China.\r\n\r\nWiC talked to Sun about the wealth management opportunity in China, with a focus on Pinnacle, a new platform that she is pioneering in China but which could soon be extended into other markets in Asia-Pacific.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nHow does HSBC\u2019s Wealth and Personal Banking business fit together in China?\r\n\r\nHSBC is the largest and most-licenced international financial institution in China with multiple licences across different entities. We place customers at the heart of our operation, with a comprehensive model that combines the expertise of our people with innovative digital solutions. We also have an asset management company, an insurance company, a securities company, and a fintech unit. We are bringing together the synergies of these licences to offer the most suitable solutions to our customers, serving the wealth-and-health needs of clients across the whole continuum from mass affluent to high net-worth individuals and their families.\r\n\r\nWhat\u2019s the role of Pinnacle, HSBC\u2019s wealth management platform?\r\n\r\nLaunched in July 2020, Pinnacle is a relatively new venture offering a digitally-enabled financial planning and…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/Trista-Sun-2-w.jpg","category":"HSBC Partner Content","page":"13"},{"id":53156,"title":"Top film studio finally lists in\u2008China after an 1,870-day wait","content":"In addition to tallying up their box office receipts, China\u2019s film bosses have another habit of counting the days until their films make it onto the silver screen. Take Wang Zhonglei of Huayi Brothers\u2019. At the premiere of the epic The Eight Hundred in 2020, he told the media: \u201cI have waited for today for 463 days. For 463 days, not a day has gone by without The Eight Hundred being on my mind and in conversations.\u201d\r\n\r\nYu Dong, chief executive of Bona Film Group, China\u2019s top-grossing film producer and distributor, did similar maths for how long it took to get his company\u2019s stock onto the A-share market in China.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\n\u201cIn April 2016, Bona Films bid farewell to Nasdaq and was officially delisted. It took 1,870 days from submitting IPO materials to the meeting [during which Chinese regulators formally review the application for an IPO], and another 630 days from the meeting to receiving the approval. It had been a long and arduous road,\u201d he recounted at the Beijing International Film Festival in mid-August.\r\n\r\nBona first went public on Nasdaq back in 2010 but was taken private in a deal that valued the studio and distributor at $1 billion. At the time, investors…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/Zhang-Ziyi-w.jpg","category":"Entertainment","page":"16"},{"id":53159,"title":"Chinese player made tennis history","content":"Born in Hangzhou, Wu Yibing, 22, was introduced to tennis when he was a boy because his parents were worried he was overweight. They initially wanted him to try badminton but the net was too high and he could not hit the shuttlecock over it. So they settled on tennis, where the nets are lower.\r\n\r\nBy the time he entered primary school, Wu was already training part-time. And by the time he reached 16, he was competing internationally.\r\n\r\nWhen did he first make headlines?\r\n\r\nWu came to wider attention when he won the US Open junior tournament in 2017, in both singles and doubles. His performances earned him a spot at the IMG Academy in Florida, one of the world\u2019s most prestigious sports institutions. While he was there he worked on his game and learned English. But by 2019 his career path had slowed because of consistent injuries. That August, he underwent surgery on his right elbow.\r\n\r\nWhy is he in the news now?\r\n\r\nCurrently ranked 174, Wu made tennis history last Wednesday by becoming the first Chinese man to reach the third round of the US Open. Even though he lost the match to Daniil Medvedev of Russia, fans at home in China are…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/Wu-Yibing-w.jpg","category":"Red Star","page":"17"},{"id":53165,"title":"McDonald\u2019s proves hit employer as new pensioners\u2019 job site is launched","content":"Retirement age in China is 60 for men and 50 or 55 for women (earlier for blue-collar roles).\r\n\r\nBut with the country aging rapidly, there are concerns that a shrinking workforce will impose increased burdens on the state.\r\n\r\nOne potential solution is to encourage \u201csecond careers\u201d after official retirement. These jobs might be a bit less demanding but could be designed to fit older peoples\u2019 lifestyles.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nOf course, many elderly Chinese already do this: they work as low-paid volunteers in their community or they take on informal jobs as cleaners or caretakers.\r\n\r\nThe latest development is a government-sponsored recruitment agency specifically offering jobs to people past retirement age. Launched last month, the Senior Talent Information Centre works with companies to create elderly-appropriate roles and then advertise them on its website.\r\n\r\n\u201cIt\u2019s important to have a positive view of our aging society\u2026 and to establish a positive outlook on aging overall,\u201d Su Hui, deputy director of the centre, told the Xinmin Evening News. Since going live in August, it has offered jobs in accountancy, teaching, tourism, and as consultants on elderly care.\r\n\r\nHowever, the job posting that attracted the most attention was one from McDonald\u2019s offering positions in food packaging and customer care. The Beijing-based roles were…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/Old-Couple_w.jpg","category":"And Finally","page":"18"}]},{"id":1752,"name":"Issue 598","date":"Sept 2, 2022","title":"Drugs, coal and gold","tagline":"What do new entrants to the Hang Seng Index signal about the direction of the 53 year-old blue chip index?","pdf-link":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/WiC598.pdf","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/WiC598-cover-w.jpg","articles":[{"id":53116,"title":"New entrants to the HSI reinforce the view it\u2019s become a China index","content":"The Hang Seng Index (HSI) stands out as \u201cthe ultimate capitalist measure of Hong Kong,\u201d wrote Robert Nield, president of the Royal Asiatic Society\u2019s Hong Kong branch, in his foreword to The Dragon and the Crown, the memoir of the benchmark\u2019s creator Stanley Kwan.\r\n\r\nKwan served as a wartime interpreter for American troops in China before joining Hang Seng Bank as a researcher. In the late 1960s the Hong Kong lender\u2019s chairman Ho Sin Hang decided the bank needed to create a measure of the performance of the local stock market for investor reference. He instructed Kwan to devise \u201cthe Dow Jones Industrial Average of Hong Kong\u201d.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nOne of the major challenges, Kwan recalled, was that any stock selected for the HSI would immediately be considered as \u2018blue-chip\u2019 quality \u2013 meaning that all the executives of Hong Kong\u2019s larger listed firms lobbied hard to be included. This put Ho in a bind as the veteran banker did not want to upset any of his relationships with local business bosses. It also meant that the debate on the selection process went on for some time, with some city newspapers dismissing the HSI as \u201cthe Old Pal Index\u201d.\r\n\r\nWith less than 100 firms listed on…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/Hanson-Pharma-w.jpg","category":"Economy, Talking Point","page":"1"},{"id":53114,"title":"Breakthrough as new audit deal signed to avoid delistings of China stocks","content":"In response to Nancy Pelosi\u2019s visit to Taiwan last month, the House Speaker and her immediate family members went straight onto a Beijing blacklist that blocks business activity with Chinese companies.\r\n\r\nThe retaliation went beyond targeting Pelosi herself: Beijing announced eight further measures that curtail cooperation with Washington in a number of areas. One way of looking at the sanctions \u2013 which are supposed to bring \u201creal and lasting pain\u201d as China\u2019s state-run media put it \u2013 is that they will harm Washington\u2019s interests more than that of Beijing.\r\n\r\nSuspending dialogue on climate change, for example, will hamper Joe Biden\u2019s election pledge to lead the international effort at tackling global warming.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nBeijing\u2019s cancellation of cooperation on drug control policy was significant too: it was also high on Washington\u2019s priority list during recent trade talks as American officials urged China to crack down on opioids such as fentanyl produced in China and sold illicitly in the US causing crime and social harm.\r\n\r\nBy the same token, the areas of \u2018dialogue\u2019 that have been left unrestricted also speak to China\u2019s main areas of concern, or at least where it wants to make progress in discussion with the Americans. Negotiations between the two teams of trade representatives…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/NYSE-w.jpg","category":"Banking & Finance","page":"7"},{"id":53111,"title":"China\u2019s Jakarta bullet train line to open in July","content":"On August 18, 12 high-speed railway engines were loaded onto a Cosco Shipping container vessel in Qingdao for the ocean journey to Indonesia.\r\n\r\nSwaddled in green protective covering and emblazoned with red banners, the pointy-ended vehicles looked like huge crayons as they were hoisted onto the ship.\r\n\r\nThe simple silhouettes didn\u2019t do justice to the high-tech machinery inside. These Chinese-made EMUs \u2013 Electric Multiple Units \u2013 have top speeds of 350 kilometres an hour and they are destined to run on the forthcoming Jakarta-Bandung high-speed line.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nDue to open in July next year, the 140-kilometre railway will reduce travel time between the two cities to 40 minutes \u2013 down from about three hours currently. And while the project\u2019s completion date has been delayed by four years, it is further proof of stronger investment ties between Beijing and Jakarta, as well as the continuing significance of the Belt and Road Initiative.\r\n\r\n\u201cFacts have proven that a sound China-Indonesia relationship not only serves the shared long-term interests of the two countries, but also has positive, far-reaching impacts regionally and globally,\u201d claimed Chinese leader Xi Jinping in a statement in July after his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo had arrived on a formal visit.\r\n\r\nSuch visits are rarer these…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/Bullet-Train-2-w.jpg","category":"Belt and Road","page":"9"},{"id":53108,"title":"Powell speech heaps more pressure on yuan-dollar exchange rate","content":"It wasn\u2019t just Wall Street that was rattled by the warning from Jerome Powell last Friday that there could be pain ahead as the Fed tries to get inflation back under control.\r\n\r\nThe comments from the Federal Reserve boss were soon reverberating through the foreign exchange markets, where the yuan was already languishing at 20-month lows against the dollar.\r\n\r\nPrevious declines in its value against the dollar have stirred allegations that China was forcing its currency down deliberately in a bid to boost its exporters. But its latest slide isn\u2019t something that policymakers want to encourage, most commentators agree, because of the potential side effects.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nA weaker yuan brings the risk of a flood of capital outflows as investors sell yuan-denominated assets and move the proceeds offshore. It increases the dangers of importing inflation as well, as goods and services from overseas start to cost more in the depreciated currency.\r\n\r\nIndeed China\u2019s foreign exchange regulator was reported to be phoning around the leading banks to warn them against selling the yuan and buying the dollar, according to Reuters last week. The central bank has also been setting the daily reference rate around which the yuan is allowed to trade in the onshore market at…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/Jerome-Powell-w.jpg","category":"Rise of the RMB","page":"10"},{"id":53102,"title":"Meet China\u2019s richest woman \u2013 she\u2019s from the petrochemicals industry","content":"News flash: Yang Huiyan is no longer Asia\u2019s richest woman.\r\n\r\nYang has held the title for long periods since she inherited the controlling stake in Country Garden from her father 16 years ago. But with the property giant\u2019s share price going down by more than half so far this year as the sector struggles to get out of a debt crisis, the net worth of Yang, now 41, has also taken a hit. (By the way, Asia\u2019s richest woman is India\u2019s Savitri Jindal. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, she is worth $16.2 billion thanks to her metal-to-power conglomerate Jindal Group.)\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nIndeed, following a $360 million share sale last month that priced Country Garden\u2019s shares at their lowest value since 2016, Yang is not even the richest woman in China.\r\n\r\nThat title now goes to Fan Hongwei, the founder of chemical-fibre company Hengli Petrochemical. After reporting Rmb732 billion in revenues last year, Hengli has surpassed Huawei as the country\u2019s second-largest non-state-owned enterprise by sales, behind only e-commerce firm JD.com (Rmb952 billion), reports 36Kr. According to Bloomberg, Fan\u2019s personal wealth has reached $11.3 billion.\r\n\r\nThe \u2018crowning\u2019 of Fan is notable as in the past China\u2019s richest women have usually come from the property sector. Longfor…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/Hengli-w.jpg","category":"Chinese Character","page":"11"},{"id":53105,"title":"A clarification: Cao video was doctored","content":"Last week, we mentioned that business tycoon Cao Dewang, the founder of Fuyao Glass, appeared in a livestream during which he warned young people against buying homes. We wrote that the livestream was cut short, likely due to the growing sense of unease around the stuttering property sector.\r\n\r\nIt was brought to our attention that Cao did not appear on the livestream or give any opinions about the property sector. The unauthorised footage was in fact taken from a speech Cao gave in 2021 at a virtual conference hosted by Tsinghua University on social responsibilities and was doctored by a Douyin user to make it appear that the tycoon had showed up on the live broadcast in real-time, giving opinions on the property market. We would like to clarify that Cao never appeared on the livestream and the quote was taken out of context. He was not censored, even though our article quoted netizens declaring he had been.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nThat said, the main thrust of last week\u2019s article was the dire state of the housing market and that remains the case.\r\n\r\nMaking headlines this week was Country Garden, which reported the sharpest decline in its profits (down 96% in the first half to Rmb612…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/Cao-Dewang-w.jpg","category":"Property","page":"12"},{"id":53099,"title":"Are trucks autonomous driving\u2019s killer app?","content":"Could trucks overtake taxis in the race to bring driverless trips to everyday life? Much of the coverage of the revolution in autonomous driving in China has congregated around taxi services. But uptake of automated driving is showing signs of traction in the trucking sector, especially in environments away from the complications of contact with the general public, like mines and ports.\r\n\r\nThe port of Nansha in Guangdong was crowing about the launch of its first fully automated operation at the end of July, for instance, and it joins testing grounds for the new tech at container terminals in places like Yangshan in Shanghai and Zhoushan in Ningbo.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nThe ultimate goal for the driverless truck firms is to get onto public roads and highways. And although trials for these journeys are more advanced in the United States, companies in China are also jostling for position. Pony.ai, which is also ploughing ahead with robotaxi fleets, has just announced a tie-up with Sany Heavy Truck to deliver robotrucks from as early as later this year, for example. Sany\u2019s production platform for heavy-duty electric vehicles and Pony.ai\u2019s autonomous driving system will come together as a compelling combination of \u2018body\u2019 and \u2018brain\u2019 says Liang Linhe, Sany…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/Truck-w.jpg","category":"Auto Industry","page":"13"},{"id":53096,"title":"Why Thai schools have seen a big increase in students sent from\u2008China","content":"Less homework and rote learning for their kids and fewer stressful phone calls from teachers \u2013 these are just a few of the things that Chinese parents like about sending their children to international schools in Thailand.\r\n\r\nThey add to that list: classes in English, a more pleasant climate and lots of opportunity for the kids to play outside.\r\n\r\nWith Beijing tightening its oversight of schooling in China \u2013 including over international and private schools \u2013 some mainland parents are sending their children to study abroad at an earlier age than they might otherwise have done.\r\n\r\nInternational schools in Japan and Singapore are popular choices, as are private schools in the UK. But Thailand is also gaining in popularity among those with smaller budgets and who don\u2019t want to send their children too far away from China.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nFigures on how many families have chosen this route are sparse but the South China Morning Post estimates there were about 20,000 children from China making the trip before the pandemic.\r\n\r\nA recent article in ThePaper.cn also detailed how one mother relocated to Chiang Mai in northern Thailand in 2021 with her seven year-old in order for the child to attend one of the growing number of international…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/Student-w.jpg","category":"Education","page":"14"},{"id":53093,"title":"Qin Zewen, China\u2019s contender for Miss World, runs into trouble","content":"As Chinese netizens will point out, there has been no shortage of celebrities willing to massage their academic credentials. Taiwan singer Fan Wei-chi led people to believe that she had graduated from Harvard University, for instance. She was later revealed in 2019 to have attended Harvard Extension School instead (and she never graduated). In the same year, actor Zhai Tianli announced that he had been accepted by Peking University, one of China\u2019s most prestigious institutions, in a postdoctoral research programme at the Guanghua School of Management. After the news started to spread, netizens discovered that two of his essays had been plagiarised from an older article. The university subsequently expelled Zhai from the research programme.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nLast week there was another controversy to add to the mix, when China\u2019s Miss World contestant Qin Zewen was soon being challenged on her eligibility for the role, as well as some of her other qualifications.\r\n\r\nQin\u2019s road to stardom began in mid-August when she was announced as China\u2019s candidate for the London-based Miss World competition. At the time, most netizens seemed happy enough with the choice. Qin was portrayed as a combination of brains and beauty: she had a master\u2019s degree from Fudan University and had…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/Qin-Zewen-screenshot-w.jpg","category":"Entertainment","page":"15"},{"id":53090,"title":"Audiences annoyed as censors target cartoon","content":"In the first instalment of the Despicable Me franchise, released in 2010, the hero Felonious Gru is a longtime villain who devotes himself to a life of grand heists such as stealing the Moon.\r\n\r\nSo Chinese filmgoers were surprised to learn this month that Gru had, in fact, given up his criminal career after a brief period of juvenile delinquency in his early teens.\r\n\r\nWhat had happened was that Chinese censors had slapped a new ending on Minions: The Rise of Gru \u2013 a cartoon created to chart Gru\u2019s rise from naughty teenager to one of the greatest supervillains of all time.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nAs readers of Week in China will know, transformations of film endings aren\u2019t unusual in China, especially in situations in which the censors feel the need to make a moral point.\r\n\r\nThe Rise of Gru should conclude with an eleven year-old Gru riding off into the sunset with his hero Wild Knuckles, having proved beyond doubt that he has what it takes to train as a supervillain. But a message on Chinese cinema screens tells us that Wild Knuckles was quickly apprehended by the police and sentenced to 20 years in jail. Gru, we are also informed, \u201creturned to his family\u201d and…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/09\/Gru-w.jpg","category":"And Finally","page":"17"}]},{"id":1751,"name":"Issue 597","date":"Aug 26, 2022","title":"Heatwave hits China","tagline":"A dried-up section of Poyang Lake in Jiangxi \u2013 a heatwave and drought across China has led to industrial shutdowns and other economic disruptions","pdf-link":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/08\/WiC597.pdf","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/08\/597-large.jpg","articles":[{"id":53042,"title":"What can we learn from the jailing of Tomorrow tycoon Xiao Jianhua?","content":"Xiao Jianhua once ranked himself as the leading contender among a group of tycoons aspiring to be known as the Warren Buffett of China. It was only after studying the Berkshire Hathaway chairman\u2019s approach that he started to edge away from the world of politics and focus more on investment, according to a statement sent by Xiao to the New York Times in 2014 .\r\n\r\nCertainly, Xiao seems to have paid close attention to Buffett\u2019s strategy of leveraging capital through his stakes in insurance businesses (Buffett calls it the \u2018float\u2019). The Chinese financier is said to have been heavily involved in two of the most high-profile deals in the Chinese insurance sector. First in 2009 Taiwanese newspapers reported that Xiao was the key investor behind China Strategic, an obscure firm that emerged as the unlikely winning bidder for Nanshan, the Taiwanese unit of American insurance giant AIG. The deal eventually collapsed. But three years later, when Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand bought a 15.6% stake in Ping An Insurance, Caixin magazine reported that Xiao had again helped to fund the $9.5 billion purchase.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nPublicly Xiao denied involvement in the deals but the rebuttals didn\u2019t stop speculation about the Chinese-Canadian businessman. One of the…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/08\/Xiao-Jianhua-w.jpg","category":"Economy, Talking Point","page":"1"},{"id":53058,"title":"Heatwave and loss of hydropower cause big disruptions across China","content":"As part of a press conference this month to showcase Sichuan\u2019s contribution to the economy, the province\u2019s senior officials proudly proclaimed Sichuan as the largest base for clean energy in China. That was helped by the fact that the Baihetan Hydropower Station, the world\u2019s second largest hydropower project with 16 million kilowatts of installed capacity, had just commenced operations. Indeed, infrastructure like this has reinforced Sichuan\u2019s status in the sector, where it now accounts for 28% of the country\u2019s hydropower generation.\r\n\r\nWhile the press conference was taking place, the temperature in some parts of the province, as well across the neighbouring municipality of Chongqing (which is under the direct administration of the central government) touched nearly 45 degrees Celsius. That was the highest on record, even for Chongqing, which is known colloquially as one of the \u201cbig four furnaces\u201d (joining the cities of Wuhan, Nanjing and Changsha) for its unbearably hot summers.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nIn late June the national observatory had already issued yellow alerts for high temperatures as heatwaves swept across vast regions of the country, especially in the southwest. The warning was subsequently raised to red at one point this month in areas such as Chongqing.\r\n\r\nThe sustained hot weather and low rainfall…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/08\/Beach-w.jpg","category":"Economy","page":"6"},{"id":53052,"title":"Glass mogul\u2019s views on real estate in focus","content":"Cao Dawang, the billionaire founder of Fuyao Glass, was an unlikely star in the 2019 Netflix documentary American Factory. Back in China he is also known for his outspoken views on the real estate sector even though he isn\u2019t personally involved in property development.\r\n\r\nIn July at a car conference (Fuyao is one of the world\u2019s largest producers of glass for windscreens), Cao offered his latest opinion on the state of China\u2019s real estate market. \u201cProperty development should only be done by people who know what they are doing. Those who don\u2019t know what they are doing are only going to hurt themselves and other people,\u201d he warned.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nStraightforward stuff, and earlier this year he had also advised investors: \u201cSelling your property before it\u2019s too late is the smart move. You think property is going to keep its value? Don\u2019t be silly.\u201d\r\n\r\nLast week Cao joined a livestream session to share his life experiences with younger netizens. Once again, the tycoon struck a negative tone about homebuying: \u201cYoung people should not buy a house,\u201d he commented. \u201cThey have saved all that money and ended up becoming a house slave. If they don\u2019t buy, they can go west today and east tomorrow. What's wrong…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/08\/Cao-Dewang-w.jpg","category":"Property","page":"8"},{"id":53069,"title":"Latest Tencent revenue drop was rare but has investors asking questions","content":"Early last year Tencent was on the verge of a major milestone \u2013 a market capitalisation of $1 trillion, putting it in the rarefied company of heavyweights like Apple, Alphabet, Amazon and Microsoft.\r\n\r\nBut the threshold was never reached and instead Tencent\u2019s shares have reversed in spectacular fashion: the social media and gaming giant is now worth less than $400 billion, a dramatic decline from its peak.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nFor most of the reasons why, look no further than the Chinese government\u2019s souring relationship with the country\u2019s leading internet firms, triggered by the confrontation with Ant Group in late 2020. Months of regulatory review and official censure have steamrollered through the sector, depressing the share prices of the main players.\r\n\r\nBeijing\u2019s crackdown on big tech companies has slammed the brakes on years of blistering growth across the industry, but especially for so-called \u2018platform\u2019 companies with hundreds of millions of daily users. It\u2019s not just Tencent that\u2019s feeling the impact: sales were flat at Alibaba in its most recent results, released at the start of August, and JD.com just posted its slowest year-on-year revenue growth on record this week.\r\n\r\nThere\u2019s been talk that the authorities might be softening their stance as part of efforts to get the…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/08\/Tencent-w.jpg","category":"Internet & Tech","page":"9"},{"id":53072,"title":"Why Kingsoft Cloud is seeking a dual listing in Hong Kong","content":"Can Lei Jun be counted on to win his wagers? On the surface, the Xiaomi founder does not have a great track record.\r\n\r\nIn 2013, he famously bet Gree chairwoman Dong Mingzhu Rmb1 billion ($150 million) that his consumer electronics and smart manufacturing company would be generating bigger revenues than hers within five years despite recording four times less sales at the outset. She just pipped him to the post, prompting the two entrepreneurs to extend the bet for an indeterminate period.\r\n\r\nHowever, it did not take Lei long to win the follow-up bet. Xiaomi overtook Gree the very next year and at the end of 2021, it was recording $47.94 billion in revenues to Gree\u2019s $24.56 billion. It has yet to become more profitable, however, with Gree recording $3.2 billion in 2021 net profits to Xiaomi\u2019s $2.97 billion.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nAnd now the Chinese press are pulling apart another Lei gamble, this time one he made as chairman of Kingsoft. The same year that he placed a bet against Gree, he also said that Kingsoft\u2019s \u201cgroup-level bet for the next 10 years will be on Kingsoft Cloud\u201d. Kingsoft CEO Wang Yulin also predicted that the cloud company would be profitable in three years.\r\n\r\nFor a…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/08\/Lei-Jun-w.jpg","category":"Internet & Tech","page":"10"},{"id":53061,"title":"CATL unveils electric battery factory in Debrecen","content":"At first glance Debrecen in eastern Hungary is a quiet town with a pretty central square, seemingly untroubled by geopolitical vicissitudes. Yet through the centuries this once-Catholic, once-Protestant city has seen it all \u2013 from the fall of the Holy Roman Empire to invasions by the Ottomans, the Nazis and the Soviets. Today war rages in Ukraine, whose border is only a hundred kilometres away. Hungary also treads a potentially provocative line as a European Union member with a government that seems to want closer ties with China, and, until recently, Russia as well.\r\n\r\nSome of these political undercurrents have delivered something positive for Debrecen, however, in the shape of a huge investment by Chinese battery maker CATL.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nThe plan for a \u20ac7.3 billion lithium-ion plant comes as Hungary woos wider investment from China, under the leadership of Prime Minster Victor Orb\u00e1n, who is serving his fourth consecutive term in office. \u201cAs a nation, we historically link ourselves to Asia, often describing ourselves as the most Western Eastern nation and the most Eastern Western nation,\u201d the Hungarian ambassador to China told the Global Times last December.\r\n\r\nThe new plant will become CATL\u2019s second in Europe, following an initial factory in Thuringia, Germany. The…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/08\/Budapest-w.jpg","category":"China and the World","page":"12"},{"id":53055,"title":"How does 300,000 tonnes of copper disappear?","content":"Copper\u2019s status as the \u2018metal of electrification\u2019 means that prices for the commodity are going to soar as we head into the carbon-zero era, its backers claim, because there won\u2019t be enough supply to meet demand. But shortages of the red metal were a more pressing concern in the port of Qinhuangdao in northern Hebei this month, where the copper deficit has taken much more immediate effect.\r\n\r\nPrevious stories in WiC about shortfalls of copper at Chinese ports have focused more on situations in which traders have borrowed money against stockpiles that didn\u2019t actually exist.\r\n\r\nBut in this instance the commodity does actually seem to have arrived in Hebei, before being collected without its owners\u2019 consent.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nLocal newspapers are reporting a growing scandal in which more than Rmb6 billion (nearly $900 million) of copper concentrate \u2013 a raw material used in smelting \u2013 has gone missing from warehousing at the port. At least 13 traders say they are short of as much as 300,000 tonnes of concentrate, most of which seems to have disappeared over the last few months.\r\n\r\nStung by the risks of losses of billions of yuan from the missing stockpiles, the trading companies sent a team to Qinhuangdao in the middle…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/08\/Copper-Wires-w.jpg","category":"Energy & Resources","page":"13"},{"id":53065,"title":"United Imaging is STAR\u2019s biggest\u2008IPO of 2022","content":"On Monday United Imaging Healthcare went public on Shanghai\u2019s STAR market. The stock surged as much as 60%, reaching a market capitalisation of Rmb150 billion at one point, after an IPO that was the second-largest A-share offering in China this year and the biggest on the STAR market. The diagnostic imaging device manufacturer raised nearly Rmb11 billion, ($1.62 billion), much of which will be used to fund research and development, production and marketing, it said in the IPO prospectus.\r\n\r\nThe strong start shouldn\u2019t come as a surprise as the IPO was oversubscribed more than 3,500 times among retail investors. Most analysts have been positive about United Imaging\u2019s prospects, reckoning that the homegrown leader in diagnostic imaging is benefiting from favourable policies and can be considered a relatively safe investment.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nUnited Imaging\u2019s prospectus revealed the enormous support it has received from the state. The company, which has Shanghai\u2019s Sasac as its second-largest shareholder with a 18.6% stake, received Rmb1.1 billion in subsidies between 2019 and 2021, equivalent to 48% of the net profit made over the same period.\r\n\r\n\u201cUnited Imaging\u2019s focus on its own research and development is completely correct as it has resolved a chokehold on China in that area,\u201d one industry insider…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/08\/Tesla-MRI-w.jpg","category":"Healthcare","page":"14"},{"id":53049,"title":"Summer box office is up but \u2018idol\u2019 Wang Junkai\u2019s film struggles","content":"When films perform poorly at the box office in China, it isn\u2019t uncommon for producers and directors to go on media tours explaining how the project was a labour of love or how they struggled to get it financed. Some even claim to have mortgaged their homes to keep the project afloat. The idea: win some interest and sympathy from the public.\r\n\r\nLast week, it was Hong Kong actor Louis Koo\u2019s turn to plead his case for his own passion project, Warriors of Future.\r\n\r\nThe sci-fi action-adventure, which was released in early August after almost three years of delays, stars Koo in the lead role, heading up an elite combat team that fights off an alien plant named Pandora.\r\n\r\nKoo, a sci-fi fan, was also the executive producer.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nNot helping the film\u2019s prospects was that it arrived on screens at the same time as Moon Man, another sci-fi-themed flick starring comedian Shen Teng. While the latter went on to make Rmb2.6 billion ($379 million) at the box office, Warriors of Future has taken a far more modest Rmb370 million.\r\n\r\nAppearing on a livestream to drum up interest in the movie, the 52 year-old Koo looked exhausted (he had visited 10 theatres in a single day…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/08\/Wang-Junkai-w.jpg","category":"Entertainment","page":"15"},{"id":53045,"title":"If you want a Birkin, get on the luxury firm\u2019s bike","content":"You want to buy a Herm\u00e8s handbag? Fine, but you\u2019ll need to buy a Herm\u00e8s bicycle first.\r\n\r\nAs crazy as that sounds, it\u2019s one of the best ways to get access to much-coveted bags like the Birkin or the Kelly. Walking into a showroom and asking what they have in stock simply isn\u2019t an option. Instead, you must show some devotion to the brand by buying other items from their collection \u2013 which this year includes a bicycle priced at Rmb165,000 ($24,500) in China.\r\n\r\nThe bike \u2013 which costs as much as a bottom-of-the-range car \u2013 has now sold out, suggesting that consumer demand for the brand is strong despite the faltering economy.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nThe sales campaign has cast fresh light on the practice of \u201cbundling\u201d or peihuo as it is known in Chinese, with some customers saying that the brand loyalty test has become harder to pass in China in recent months.\r\n\r\nIn July, one shopper in Beijing was so annoyed by his inability to buy a bag \u2013 despite spending Rmb100,000 on other goods \u2013 that he staged a protest outside the Herm\u00e8s shop. \u201cRubbish Herm\u00e8s. Peihuo but no bag,\u201d his protest placard complained.\r\n\r\nAdvice on how to win at peihuo \u2013 or better…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/08\/Hermes-Bicycle-w.jpg","category":"And Finally","page":"17"}]},{"id":1750,"name":"Issue 596","date":"Aug 19, 2022","title":"Back on China\u2019s radar","tagline":"How did local media and netizens react to the bombshell news of the FBI\u2019s raid on Trump\u2019s Florida home?","pdf-link":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/08\/WiC596.pdf","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/08\/596-large.jpg","articles":[{"id":52999,"title":"How did Chinese react to the dramatic raid on Trump\u2019s home?","content":"One of the most feared punishments in imperial China was called chaojia, a term for ransacking a house and confiscating all of the possessions within. Action like this was sometimes taken against senior officials that had fallen from grace. It was not uncommon to see the punished mandarins subsequently exiled or even executed.\r\n\r\nEasily the best-known example of chaojia in Chinese history related to Heshen, reputed to be the richest man in the world during the eighteenth century. A trusted aide of Emperor Qianlong, Heshen also went down in history as probably the most corrupt official in the Qing empire. Just a week after Qianlong\u2019s death, the new emperor gave a silk cord to Heshen to hang himself. His belongings \u2013 as reported by royal investigators \u2013 were said to be worth 15 years of the Qing empire\u2019s annual income (see An A-Z of Chinese History).\r\n\r\nOver the past fortnight chaojia has resurfaced as a buzzword across Chinese social media in a wide ranging discussion about a man who was arguably the world\u2019s most powerful politician just a couple of years ago. Chinese bloggers have been using the term as a metaphor for the predicament of Donald Trump, whose home was raid…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/08\/Trump-w.jpg","category":"China and the World, Talking Point","page":"1"},{"id":53002,"title":"Relations with America continue to be fraught after Pelosi\u2019s trip to Taipei","content":"After the People\u2019s Liberation Army took control of China\u2019s northeast in 1948, the two million residents of Beijing spent months waiting nervously for their city to be captured. Encircled by the PLA and with no chance of relief, a deadly fight was in prospect if Fu Zuoyi, commander of the KMT troops garrisoned in the ancient city, opted to make a final stand.\r\n\r\nLobbied by his own daughter, who turned out to be a Communist spy, Fu surrendered. As a result he was deemed a traitor by the KMT but his decision saved countless lives from being lost in street fighting. For most Beijing civilians, both he and his daughter Fu Dongju were heroes.\r\n\r\nAlmost forgotten in recent decades, Fu Dongju\u2019s name has been brought up again in recent weeks by analysts looking back at the lessons of the Chinese Civil War. Fu\u2019s name was recalled after Andrew Hsia, vice chairman of the KMT, led a delegation to visit Xiamen city in the mainland this month.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nA trip that began last week is expected to take 17 days (including 10 days of quarantine in a hotel in Xiamen). Senior KMT officials have described it as a \u2018fact-finding\u2019 mission to boost cross-Strait communications. Yet…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/08\/Nancy-Pelosi-w.jpg","category":"Cross Strait","page":"6"},{"id":53005,"title":"China cuts interest rates on bad economic news","content":"In January we speculated that the Chinese were going to follow a different path on interest rates to other major economies over the remainder of the year. Sure enough, China\u2019s central bank hasn\u2019t followed the crowd as other countries raised borrowing rates at the fastest pace in decades (and continue to do so).\r\n\r\nAll the same, the divergence took on a more dramatic effect this week when the People\u2019s Bank of China (PBoC) actually cut 10 basis points off a key lending rate for one-year loans.\r\n\r\nThe move was almost completely unanticipated. In its quarterly report last week the PBoC had highlighted how it was focusing on inflationary pressures and the state media dutifully took note, explaining that the possibility of cutting policy interest rates had declined. Hence the surprise at Monday\u2019s news, as well as the suggestion that the economic data for July must have been worse than policymakers had expected.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nThe figures showed a \u201cbroad-based slowdown\u201d, says Liu Jing, chief economist for Greater China at HSBC, with activity coming in below consensus forecasts in every area of measurement. Clusters of Covid outbreaks continue to weigh on the economy and a nasty deterioration in the real estate sector has also been damaging,…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/08\/Li-Keqiang-w.jpg","category":"Economy","page":"7"},{"id":53009,"title":"US legislation aims to hamstring China\u2019s progress in semiconductors","content":"In the late nineteenth century a 15 year-old girl called Annie Oakley won a $100 bet with a much older man over which of them was the better sharpshooter. The competition was celebrated in the Irving Berlin song Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better).\r\n\r\nFast forward to today and Joe Biden\u2019s administration has just made its own big wager over which country will call the shots in the global semiconductor sector. Washington is raising the stakes in its game of one-upmanship with China after signing the $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act into law at the beginning of August.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nFor the past decade, the Chinese government has been the more closely associated of the two with state-directed industrial policy. Despite intense competition over semiconductors, it has taken Washington eight years to respond to China\u2019s National Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund (also known as the \u2018Big Fund\u2019) with one of its own. But will America\u2019s newfound industrial policy prove any more successful than the Chinese version?\r\n\r\nThe US government certainly won\u2019t want to replicate the wastage and corruption that seems to have attached itself to the Rmb342.7 billion ($50.59 billion) Big Fund\u2019s assets. Over the past month, Caixin has reported on the…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/08\/Samsung-w.jpg","category":"Internet & Tech","page":"8"},{"id":53013,"title":"Chinese stock goes up over 300 times in IPO in US","content":"News last week that some of China\u2019s largest firms are saying farewell to Wall Street has highlighted how a longstanding row about giving local auditors access to their books is far from over.\r\n\r\nChina Life Insurance, Chalco PetroChina, Sinopec and its key unit Shanghai Petrochemical are valued at more than $300 billion between them. But they have all announced that they are going to delist from the New York Stock Exchange rather than submit to demands that they comply with rules on audit access.\r\n\r\nUS senators Marco Rubio and John Kennedy have been spearheading the campaign for fuller scrutiny of Chinese financial information in the name of protecting local investors from accounting fraud and other financial misbehaviour, with firms from Hong Kong also the targets of the auditing overhaul. With that mission in mind, it\u2019s a little counterintuitive that companies from Hong Kong continue to arrive in New York to sell shares, some of which have been soaring to unsustainable levels.\r\n\r\nThe debutant getting most attention this month is AMTD Digital, a subsidiary of a financial services group based in Hong Kong that offers loans and other services to fintech startups. After listing on the NYSE on 15 July at $7.80 a share,…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/08\/Calvin-Choi-w.jpg","category":"Banking & Finance","page":"11"},{"id":53016,"title":"Investors ponder their losses as grocery start-up\u2019s strategy unravels","content":"When the content creator IC Laboratory found out that Missfresh, a Chinese grocery delivery start-up, might be going out of business, he admitted to a tinge of sadness. \u201cAfter all, when Shanghai was in lockdown, Missfresh\u2019s delivery saved me multiple times: when I was almost out of eggs, and when I was running out of fresh vegetables in my fridge. But on the other hand, the outcome was almost pre-destined. Everyone knows that the grocery business is: \u2018avoid if you can, otherwise you die a quick death,\u2019\u201d he said in a video.\r\n\r\nThe company, which attracted well-known backers like Tiger Global, Tencent and Goldman Sachs, to name just a few, announced in late July that it would temporarily shut down its on-demand \u201cdistributed mini warehouse\u201d (DMW) service, a network of smaller-sized distribution centres located in close proximity to residential neighbourhoods so that groceries can be delivered rapidly (the claim was that orders would be fulfilled within 30 minutes).\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nAt the moment the Missfresh shopping app is still active, but placing an order is almost impossible. Its employees have been told not to turn up to work, with many still owed salaries. Head office in Beijing is said to be deserted.\r\n\r\nThe dramatic reversal…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/08\/Miss-Fresh-w.jpg","category":"China Consumer","page":"12"},{"id":53019,"title":"Coke\u2019s latest challenger is...","content":"Richard Branson tried to topple Coke with his launch of Virgin Cola in 1994. \u201cBut Coca-Cola had a lot more firepower than us,\u201d the British businessman later admitted. \u201cThey poured all of their huge resources into squashing us, and soon Virgin Cola was gone from the shelves.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cIf you are taking on a business far larger than yours, you have to be so much better than them.\u201d\r\n\r\nSo can China produce a domestic cola to challenge the international giants? That\u2019s the question many are asking after the wildly-popular beverage maker Genki Forest announced that it was planning to launch a cola-flavoured soda to rival the likes of Coke Zero and Diet Pepsi.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nLittle is known about the imminent release other than that the cola will be low-sugar and zero-fat, like Genki\u2019s other beverages (which range from sparkling fruit-flavoured waters to instant teas).\r\n\r\nThe new concoction will also use erythritol as a sweetener instead of aspartame \u2013 the cheaper sugar alternative favoured by Coca-Cola in its diet drinks.\r\n\r\nThe move into colas is a bold one given Coke and Pepsi\u2019s hold over the market. Genki \u2013 also known as Yuanqi Forest \u2013 was founded in 2016 and quickly picked up a huge following with its slickly-branded,…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/08\/Cola-w.jpg","category":"China Consumer","page":"13"},{"id":53022,"title":"Setback for US fast food chain","content":"Seeing the success of Kentucky Fried Chicken, American chicken burger chain Popeyes started out in 1972 as \u2018Chicken on the Run\u2019, serving traditional Southern fried chicken with a crunchy coating, in suburban Louisiana.\r\n\r\nBut sales were miserable so the owner changed tack, switching the name to Popeyes after Gene Hackman\u2019s character from the 1971 movie The French Connection.\r\n\r\nIn 2017, Popeyes was acquired for $1.8 billion by Restaurant Brands International. RBI, which is controlled by 3G Capital and Warren Buffett\u2019s Berkshire Hathaway, wanted to double down on the Popeyes brand to expand into emerging markets where fried chicken has continued to gain in popularity. The chain opened its first store in Shanghai in 2020. Even though it was the middle of a pandemic, opening day caused a stir, with some fans reportedly waiting for eight hours for a taste of the signature chicken sandwich. The menu has also been slightly adapted to local tastes, meaning that the fried chicken is made with darker meat instead of white.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\n\u201cChina is one of the largest chicken-eating markets in the world and we are committed to establishing and growing the Popeyes brand over the long term,\u201d Sami Siddiqui, the company\u2019s Asia-Pacific boss, promised on debut day.\r\n\r\nLast…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/08\/Popeyes-Shanghai-w.jpg","category":"China Consumer","page":"14"},{"id":53025,"title":"A\u2008new Chinese drama accused of being a copy of US series The Good Wife","content":"Hailed as one of the best legal dramas on television, The Good Wife was broadcast on the US network CBS between 2009 and 2016. It followed the career of Alicia Florrick, the wife of a newly disgraced state attorney jailed for paying for prostitutes with government funds. Florrick re-enters the legal profession as a junior associate at a firm whose partners include an old flame from college. The show follows her progress as she gets back on her feet and develops a new sense of self.\r\n\r\nIn China, a new drama that viewers say is heavily \u2018influenced\u2019 by The Good Wife is now a ratings hit. Rose War, which stars actress Yuan Quan in the lead role, shadows some of the plotlines of the US drama to a tee.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nThe series, which airs on state broadcaster CCTV and is streaming on iQiyi and Tencent Video, follows Gu Nian (played by Yuan) as she finds her life in tatters after her husband, also a lawyer, is snared in a bribery and sex scandal. Just like Florrick, Gu has to ask an old friend Feng Sheng (played by Huang Xiaoming) for a job at his law firm. There, she competes with younger and slicker…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/08\/Yuan\u2008Quan-w.jpg","category":"Entertainment","page":"15"},{"id":53028,"title":"SenseTime releases an AI chess robot in a new push to reach consumers","content":"WiC\u2019s rich history of reporting on robots kicked off more than a decade ago with the spectacular creations of amateur inventor Wu Yulu, who made machines that could light his cigarettes and pull his rickshaw to the shops.\r\n\r\nThere was a strong focus on family in his product line. \u201cEvery robot is like my child,\u201d Wu explained at the time, \u201cand they all have my surname.\u201d\r\n\r\nIn a similar vein, we bring you important news this week about the launch of \u201cSenseRobot\u201d, a robotic arm that likes to play Xiangqi (Chinese chess) against human challengers.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nPromoting the new machine as a \u2018chess buddy\u2019, its manufacturer SenseTime says that it caters to different playing styles and skill levels. It can also teach Chinese chess to new players with an introductory mode that has been certified by the Chinese Xiangqi Association, which promotes the game.\r\n\r\nFootage of the robot shows a sleek-looking contraption not much bigger than a box of cereal, boasting a single robotic arm that moves counters around the board.\r\n\r\nBut the product launch is also being cleverly promoted around the theme of family life, with a marketing campaign that shows kids rushing home from school to play against the robot as their parents and…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/08\/Robot-w.jpg","category":"And Finally","page":"17"}]},{"id":1748,"name":"Issue 595","date":"Jul 29, 2022","title":"CMRG\u2019s new domain","tagline":"Imported iron ore at Rizhao Port in Shandong \u2013 a new state-backed firm has been set up to better control what China pays Australia for the commodity","pdf-link":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/07\/WiC595.pdf","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/07\/595-large.jpg","articles":[{"id":52950,"title":"Why did Beijing set up a new SOE to deal with its Aussie iron ore imports?","content":"Iron ore ranks just behind just semiconductor chips and oil as China\u2019s third biggest import annually. No surprise then that Chinese mills have been digging in their heels over a commodity that is essential for steelmaking. Many of the boldest moves in the past have been backed by Beijing but often they ended up digging a deeper hole for Chinese steelmakers instead.\r\n\r\nIn 2006 just ahead of then Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao\u2019s visit to Australia, Citic Pacific splashed around $2.5 billion on a magnetite mine in Pilbara. The project saw some of the worst cost overruns and delays in mining history. A hefty foreign exchange loss in 2008 resulted in the Hong Kong-listed conglomerate\u2019s controlling stake being nationalised by its state-owned parent Citic Group.\r\n\r\nThat dismal experience did not prevent Chinalco from offering to invest $20 billion in 2009 in the heavily leveraged Rio Tinto. The deal would have seen the SOE\u2019s stake in the Australian miner double to 18%, plus offer it separate joint venture ownership of some of the world\u2019s best mines. To the ire of the Chinese, Rio first wooed Chinalco only to jilt the Chinese aluminium and steel producer and turn instead to BHP.\r\n\r\nChina has learned lessons aplenty…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/07\/Mining-w.jpg","category":"Energy & Resources, Talking Point","page":"1"},{"id":52985,"title":"Does hefty fine Didi clear the road ahead?","content":"Are there any circumstances in which a fine of more than a billion dollars might be regarded as a good day at the office?\r\n\r\nTop that up with a dramatic dressing-down from regulators and you might think that last week brought one of the worst days on record for bosses at Didi Global.\r\n\r\nThe ride-hailing firm was fined more than Rmb8 billion ($1.2 billion) last Thursday following a year-long investigation by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) into violations of data security and the protection of personal information.\r\n\r\nRegulators also slapped Didi\u2019s chairman Cheng Wei and its president Jean Liu with personal fines of Rmb1 million each.\r\n\r\n\u201cThe evidence is conclusive, the circumstances are serious, the nature is immoral, and the punishment should be severe,\u201d the CAC fumed in an accompanying statement.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nInvestigators said they had discovered 16 types of violation, including storing driver identification numbers without encryption, collecting images and personal information improperly from customer phones, and analysing travel records without providing the required notifications.\r\n\r\nDidi had illegally processed 64.7 billion pieces of personal information since its first violation in 2015, the CAC said, and made the situation worse when it \u201cavoided fulfilling the explicit requirements from the regulatory authorities and maliciously evaded supervision\u201d.\r\n\r\nPerhaps as…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/07\/Didi-w.jpg","category":"Auto Industry","page":"7"},{"id":52982,"title":"Unigroup\u2019s former chairman reportedly detained","content":"Back in 2015 every industry insider suspected the most influential \u2018investment fund\u2019 in the semiconductor sector was Tsinghua Unigroup. Starting life as a state-owned enterprise under Tsinghua University, alma mater of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Unigroup was supposed to be the leading light in China\u2019s push into the advanced echelons of chipmaking.\r\n\r\nLed by Zhao Weiguo, Unigroup gobbled up one chipmaking firm after another, including French smart chip maker Linxens in 2018 for $2.6 billion, while also investing heavily to expand its portfolio firms\u2019 production lines in China. Its total assets ballooned from Rmb6.6 billion in 2012 to nearly Rmb300 billion ($45 billion) in 2020.\r\n\r\nDuring a visit to Taiwan in 2015, a gung-ho Zhao even told reporters he had plans to invest in TSMC. The remarks prompted rebuttals on the self-ruling island, with Foxconn\u2019s Terry Gou dismissing Unigroup\u2019s tech strength and derisively calling Zhao a \u201cstock market speculator\u201d.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\n\u201cYou can\u2019t go to Morris Chang [TSMC\u2019s founder] and ask a godfather of the semiconductor industry how much would he sell his company for,\u201d Gou said. (According to 21CN Business Herald, TSMC was the second most valuable listed Chinese firm last year, behind only Tencent and just ahead of distiller Kweichow Moutai.)\r\n\r\nRegular WiC readers…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/07\/Zhao-Weiguo-w.jpg","category":"Internet & Tech","page":"8"},{"id":52979,"title":"Chinese AI firms in spotlight as AISpeech looks to IPO","content":"It has been nearly four years since the launch of Lee Kai-fu\u2019s widely read book on superpower rivalry in artificial intelligence. As a theme, it has rarely been out of the headlines since then.\r\n\r\nA former executive at Google, Microsoft and Apple, Lee had returned to China to invest in the sector. His prediction was that the Chinese were going to be the pacesetters in deploying AI, even if the Americans were ahead in the raw science. But it\u2019s another celebrated returnee \u2013 Yao Chi-Chih, a Harvard-trained scientist who came back to China in 2004 after nearly 40 years in the United States \u2013 that has been getting mention this month.\r\n\r\nYao is another of the most influential figures in artificial intelligence, Bloomberg reckons. Students from his much-revered classes at Tsinghua University have already created start-ups worth more than $12 billion (at their loftiest valuations), including the founders of the facial-recognition giant Megvii and Pony.ai, a leader in autonomous driving technology.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nChina\u2019s advantages in AI are increasingly well understood, especially the world\u2019s largest pool of internet users and the unprecedented amounts of data they create. But Yao has also talked about the sector in terms of national mission.\r\n\r\n\u201cChina missed the microelectronics revolution 70…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/07\/Sensetime-w-1.jpg","category":"Internet & Tech","page":"9"},{"id":52976,"title":"Why Kentucky and sodium-ion are on\u2008CATL\u2019s radar","content":"Picture the scenario: you have just started an exciting new job in a cutting-edge industry and want to promote the fact on LinkedIn. It\u2019s a feeling that many of us can relate to.\r\n\r\nCharles Huang clearly felt the same when, in April 2021, he announced his departure as the CFO of a porcelain tile manufacturing business to join the world\u2019s largest electric battery manufacturer, Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL). Huang went on to explain that he had been hired to establish a corporate structure and strategy for the Chinese battery giant in North America from his new base in Kentucky.\r\n\r\nThat is according to Bloomberg, whose journalists came across his post. Last week, they cited it as evidence that CATL is not only at an advanced stage of establishing its first battery plant on US soil, but has also plumped for Kentucky. In signalling his job description, Huang unwittingly stepped right into the thick of Sino-American geopolitics. His LinkedIn profile has now disappeared.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nAs for CATL, while it had purchased an old printing plant in Glasgow, Kentucky back in 2020, there have been no announcements since then as it weighed up the pros and cons of a key business decision fraught with risk.\r\n\r\nIts desire…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/07\/CATL-w.jpg","category":"Energy & Resources","page":"11"},{"id":52970,"title":"China\u2019s most persistent entrepreneur thinks he\u2019s finally found success","content":"Six months after Qudian went public in New York in 2017, the company founder and chairman Luo Min declared that until the consumer lending platform reached $100 billion in market value, he would relinquish his salary and bonus.\r\n\r\nSince then, it appears that Luo hasn\u2019t had a paycheck. Qudian\u2019s share price has only continued its downward spiral, going from $5.5 billion in market value in 2018 to $293 million this week. Last May, the company received a delisting warning from the New York Stock Exchange for the second time after its share price dipped below the NYSE\u2019s listing standard of $1 a share (it is now hovering at around $1.28).\r\n\r\nBut Luo is no stranger to adversity. Prior to founding Qudian in 2014, Luo and his friends started OkBuy.com, an apparel and shoe e-commerce site (\u201cChina\u2019s Zappos\u201d is how the media described it). He was also the founder of the now defunct Jiyiri.com, an online birthday-related service provider. Over the years, Luo has dabbled in everything from social media to group buying and online delivery.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nSmall wonder then, the 40 year-old tycoon has been called China\u2019s most unfortunate serial entrepreneur. By 36Kr\u2019s calculation, he has founded 14 start-ups and failed all 14 times.\r\n\r\nTo…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/07\/Luo-Mi-w.jpg","category":"China Consumer","page":"13"},{"id":52973,"title":"Dior\u2019s mamian skirt debacle causes a stir online","content":"Last week, luxury brand Dior was embroiled in a controversy in China over the design of a skirt, which some accused of being a direct rip off of the design of a traditional Chinese garment from centuries ago.\r\n\r\nThe item in question is a $3,800 black pleated skirt from Dior\u2019s Fall 2022 collection that the fashion house claims was a \u201cnew design\u201d and has a \u201challmark Dior silhouette\u201d. However, Chinese netizens alleged that the Dior skirt copies a traditional design in China called the Mamian or \u2018Horse Face Skirt\u2019 that was popular during the Ming Dynasty (1368 to 1644) \u2013 though a big difference is the Dior skirt is knee-length while the Chinese version is floor-length.\r\n\r\nThe Mamian skirt first originated around the earlier Song Dynasty. The skirt has pleated fabric on either side and four slits down the sides, and was used for horseback riding centuries ago. According to the website NewHanfu, the skirt is named this way because of its resemblance to an ancient fortress, which has stairs on either side (i.e. the pleats), while the slits in the front and back are like doors on the sides of the fortress known as mamian (\u99ac\u9762), through which horses would pass.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nMeanwhile,…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/07\/Dior-w.jpg","category":"China Consumer","page":"14"},{"id":52967,"title":"Citic and Haitong analysts are dismantling EVs","content":"In early 2020, Muddy Waters published a research report accusing Luckin Coffee of inflating its 2019 revenue and user numbers. The short-seller claimed that it had hired over 90 full-time and more than 1,400 part-time investigators as they pored over 25,000 Luckin coffee receipts, going through a total of 11,260 hours of video footage at more than 620 Luckin outlets, before coming to that conclusion.\r\n\r\nThe rest, as the saying goes, is history. After the report came out, Luckin Coffee shares plunged. Months later, the US-listed coffee chain confessed to falsely inflating its sales by over $300 million.\r\n\r\nFast forward to today and in a further effort to add value to their research, two different teams of auto analysts in China have resorted to equally radical methods.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nIn late June, a team of analysts from Haitong International became the centre of attention after they released an 87-page in-depth research report in which they discussed how they took apart a second-hand BYD Yuan, an electric SUV that came out in 2018.\r\n\r\nIn the research report the Haitong analysts photographed and detailed all the different components, which took up over 50 pages (some netizens joked that the report was more thorough than BYD\u2019s driver manual). One…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/07\/Tesla-w.jpg","category":"Banking & Finance","page":"15"},{"id":52963,"title":"Furore in Nanjing over Japanese war criminals","content":"Buddhist temples across China are doing an emergency inventory of who is listed on their memorial halls or spirit tablets after a shrine in Nanjing was found to contain tablets bearing the names of five Japanese war criminals.\r\n\r\nThe gold plaques bearing the names of Japanese army officers were discovered in the Xuanzang Temple in Nanjing in February after a keen-eyed visitor noticed them.\r\n\r\nHowever, it was only this month that an investigation was launched after photos of the plaques appeared on social media leading to public outrage.\r\n\r\nThe explanation thus far appears to be this: a 32 year-old woman by the name of Wu Aping paid a monk to enshrine the tablets in 2018 claiming the names were those of her friends.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nWu moved to Nanjing as a child and had been horrified by the stories of the notorious Japanese massacre in the city in 1937 (official Chinese estimates put the number of civilians slaughtered by Tokyo\u2019s soldiers at 300,000).\r\n\r\nThose images apparently haunted her through several bouts of poor mental health as she grew up, and when she discovered Buddhism, she decided to apply a concept known as \u201cresolving grievances\u201d to rid herself of her suffering.\r\n\r\nAccording to her interpretation this meant she should…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/07\/Temple-w-scaled.jpg","category":"China and the World","page":"16"},{"id":52961,"title":"Erstwhile WiC columnist Olivia Halsall on her China-focused education firm","content":"Regular readers of Week in China may recall some of Olivia Halsall\u2019s articles over the past few years. Many of them focused on China\u2019s private tutoring industry and her own experiences of working in that once high-growth industry in Shanghai.\r\n\r\nOf course, much changed last year when the sector was hit by a regulatory review that destroyed the valuations of the listed edtech firms. By then Olivia had already decided to try her own thing, still principally targeting Chinese students but from a new base in the UK.\r\n\r\nIn this diary she recounts some of the ups and downs of growing her new company OLEA over the past 12 months. She addresses the impact of the regulatory crackdown in China (and how she feels it aligns with OLEA\u2019s approach to education rather than conflicting with it); talks about the impact of the Covid lockdown in Shanghai; and explains why some of the most positive feedback she got from customers related to figuring out how to incorporate Alipay and WeChat Pay into her company\u2019s payment system.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nSummer, 2021\r\n\r\nI\u2019ve been itching to launch my own business since I was a teenager, but it took me a decade to settle on something. After years of tutoring…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/07\/Olivia_5-w.jpg","category":"Education","page":"17"},{"id":52958,"title":"A directors\u2019 \u2018hot\u2019 track record can no longer guarantee box office success","content":"Hollywood filmmaker Michael Bay has long been known for action blockbusters like The Rock, Armageddon and most famously the Transformers franchise. His reputation for blowing things up and for overwhelming action sequences even resulted in the term \u201cBayhem,\u201d which sums up the chaotic and visually-loaded filmmaking style he has become known for.\r\n\r\nEven though most of Bay\u2019s films were big box office winners, film critics were less impressed. The late Roger Ebert called the 2009 release of Transformers sequel Revenge of the Fallen \u201ca horrible experience of unbearable length, briefly punctuated by three or four amusing moments\u201d.\r\n\r\nIn China, actor-director Chen Sicheng has also developed a reputation for churning out blockbuster hits that were commercially successful but critically dismissed. The 44 year-old got his start as an actor, appearing in popular TV dramas like Soldiers Sortie (released in 2006) and Love is a Blessed Bullet, which came out a year later.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nHe later forayed behind the camera, directing the TV series Beijing Love Story, which starred his now-ex-wife actress Tong Liya (the two divorced last year). In 2015, he released Detective Chinatown, a suspense comedy that was set in Thailand. The film became a surprise box office hit, collecting Rmb800 million ($118 million),…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/07\/Chen-Sicheng-w.jpg","category":"Entertainment","page":"20"},{"id":52955,"title":"How a broken cleaver caused a PR disaster","content":"Chinese cooking relies on good knife skills. Remarkably, almost all of the cutting \u2013 be it fine slicing or heavy duty chopping \u2013 can be done with one knife: a large blade cleaver.\r\n\r\nSo it was shocking to many Chinese when one of the mainland\u2019s most prestigious knife companies said its multi-use cleaver should not be used for smashing garlic \u2013 an action normally performed by turning the blade on its side and bringing a fist down on it to crush the garlic underneath.\r\n\r\nZhang Xiaoquan was founded in 1628 in Hangzhou and has, over the course of four centuries, built a reputation for high quality blades.\r\n\r\nThe saga erupted in mid-July when a Ms Wang contacted Zhang Xiaoquan customer service to complain that her three-month-old cleaver had broken in two as she tried to smash or pai her garlic.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nZhang Xiaoquan said the knife shouldn\u2019t be used that way, causing many netizens to protest that a \u201cChinese knife that can\u2019t smash garlic is no Chinese knife\u201d.\r\n\r\nMaking matters worse they dug up an old video of Zhang Xiaoquan\u2019s general manager Xia Qianliang saying that Chinese people have been \u201ccutting vegetables wrong for decades\u201d and that Chinese cooks needed to be \u201ceducated\u201d.\r\n\r\n\u201cMichelin chefs don\u2019t cut…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/07\/Cleaver-w.jpg","category":"And Finally","page":"22"}]},{"id":1747,"name":"Issue 594","date":"Jul 22, 2022","title":"Dream home or nightmare?","tagline":"The \u2018Stop Mortgage Payment\u2019 campaign goes nationwide as developers fail to deliver homes \u2013 worries grow over its impact on the Chinese banking sector","pdf-link":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/07\/WiC594.pdf","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/07\/594-large.jpg","articles":[{"id":52934,"title":"The \u2018Stop Mortgage Payment\u2019 campaign spreads nationwide from Henan","content":"Many consumers in China shop on Taobao. Part of the reason is that they know they can request refunds if the goods turn out to be defective. Trust is at stake. Sellers on the platform risk their reputations being trashed by unhappy buyers on review sites.\r\n\r\nAre buyer rights\u2019 properly protected if the purchase is a property, however, probably the most important investment for many people? This has been a hotly-debated question over the past week as thousands of frustrated homebuyers join a growing revolt by refusing to pay their mortgages on unfinished residential projects.\r\n\r\nMany of them said they wouldn\u2019t be making any further payments until developers fulfilled their contractual obligations to deliver finished apartments. The protest may tarnish their social credit scores and even put their downpayments at risk. But the protesting group seems unbowed. And their defiance is starting to prompt larger questions about the robustness of the Chinese banking system, not to the mention the prospects of the beleaguered real estate sector.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nWhat has happened?\r\n\r\nJiangxi was the \u2018revolutionary base\u2019 from which Mao Zedong first gained control of the Communist Party of China. It is also the province from which the first shots in the \u201cStop Mortgage Payment\u201d campaign were…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/07\/Property-crane1-w.jpg","category":"Property, Talking Point","page":"1"},{"id":52929,"title":"China\u2019s \u2018zero-Covid\u2019 policies take toll on its 2022 growth target","content":"\u2018Zero-Covid\u2019 means zero growth. That was one way of responding to China\u2019s latest economic data at the end of last week, which showed that GDP growth slowed to 0.4% in the second quarter compared to a year ago.\r\nIt was the second worst performance in 30 years and trailed only the first quarter of 2020, when the Chinese economy shrank 6.8% during the initial outbreak of Covid-19.\r\nGDP actually fell by 2.6% in the three months to the end of June measured against the previous quarter. Performance was better in June than in the previous two months, allowing a little optimism that the worst may have passed. But the economy only expanded 2.5% in the first six months of the year, well below the levels needed to meet the full-year growth target of \u201caround 5.5%\u201d set by the State Council for 2022.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nThe state media tried to sound supportive with commentaries about an anticipated rebound over the final months of the year. But the likelihood is that China is going to miss its GDP target in an unprecedented way. Senior figures know it as well, which is why they have been making an effort to reframe the debate.\r\nAt a press conference last Friday…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/07\/Hazmat-w.jpg","category":"Economy","page":"7"},{"id":52921,"title":"Companies are refusing to hire Covid recoverees","content":"\u201cThose with a Covid positive history need not apply,\u201d a recent online advertisement for security guards read. Many other employment ads have taken a similar line, demanding a \u201cclean health history\u201d or featuring a \u2018sun\u2019 emoji (which means \u2018positive\u2019) followed by the words \u201cdon\u2019t want\u201d.\r\n\r\nIt doesn\u2019t seem to matter that applicants may have recovered from Covid months ago. Policy-fuelled paranoia around the pandemic means that these kinds of job-seekers are treated as pariahs.\r\n\r\nSome 5.3 million mainland Chinese have contracted Covid 19 in the last two and half years, many of whom are younger, working-age people. One such person is Zhang Sheng, a young women profiled by the Southern Metropolis Daily this month.\r\n\r\nThe article \u2013 titled \u201cDriven Out, Discriminated Against, Discarded\u201d \u2013 detailed how Zhang was infected with the coronavirus after she took a job as a carer in a home for the elderly in Shanghai.\r\n\r\nIt was early March and Covid numbers were on the rise at the care home. Attracted by the money the seniors facility was paying, Zhang, a migrant worker, took the job. Two days later she fell sick and was sent to a government treatment centre.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nThat was more than three months ago and despite regularly testing negative…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/07\/Chinese-w.jpg","category":"Healthcare","page":"9"},{"id":52924,"title":"Hopes raised over Brii Bioscience\u2019s Covid treatment","content":"Amubarvimab\/Romlusevimab is a mouthful in any language. But this domestically-produced antibody treatment could be another important step in China\u2019s long path back to normality after the pandemic.\r\n\r\nInvented by Hong Kong-listed Brii Biosciences, this new therapy can reduce the incidence of hospitalisation and death from Covid-19 infection by up to 80%, the company says.\r\n\r\nSuch claims seem bold, given the huge progress already made fighting the effects of the disease around the world. But China\u2019s huge population hasn\u2019t reached meaningful group immunity to Covid-19, so any wave of mass infection could still result in larger numbers of hospitalisations and fatalities.\r\n\r\n\u201cDespite the progress being made with vaccines, the pandemic continues to affect the health of communities in China, and we believe that the new combination treatment has the potential to bring significant clinical benefits to patients in need,\u201d said Zhu Qing, head of Biopharmaceutical Research at Brii Bio, in a company press release.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nAround 90% of the Chinese population has been vaccinated with locally developed vaccines, but most have only had one or two doses of locally-made Sinovac (the medical consensus is that a minimum of three jabs are required for Sinovac to be as effective as MRNA vaccines made by the likes of…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/07\/Drug-w.jpg","category":"Healthcare","page":"10"},{"id":52927,"title":"Dialysis leader set to IPO","content":"As China ages, so the need for dialysis will increase. Chronic kidney disease is much more common in old age, often accompanied by, or caused by, diabetes and high blood pressure.\r\n\r\nThe treatment for advanced kidney disease (when the organs have lost approximately 80% of their function) is either dialysis or a kidney transplant \u2013 an operation that is rare in China.\r\n\r\nCurrently three million people in\u2008China require regular dialysis sessions that help to remove life-threatening toxins from the blood \u2013 although the cost of such treatment means that only about half a million patients actually receive the care they need.\r\n\r\nMore people are expected to suffer kidney disease as the population ages and diagnoses will also increase as traditionally underserved rural communities are brought into the national healthcare system.\r\n\r\nAll of this means that the Chinese have a burgeoning need for dialysis equipment \u2013 ideally domestically-made but manufactured to international standards so that the public doesn\u2019t feel compelled to demand foreign-branded technology.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nOne firm making this kind of equipment is Shandong Weigao Blood Purification Products, which wants to raise about $500 million on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (making it potentially one of the bourse\u2019s larger IPOs of the year).\r\n\r\nWeigao, which is also known…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/07\/Wego-w.jpg","category":"Healthcare","page":"11"},{"id":52915,"title":"The \u2018Chinese Oracle\u2019 looks to list in\u2008Shanghai","content":"In early July Shanghai\u2019s STAR Market approved the IPO of China\u2019s first homegrown database firm, Wuhan Dameng. The listing represents another milestone in China\u2019s journey for tech independence.\r\n\r\nDatabases are the back offices that help to run much of our lives. But the market has been dominated for years by various iterations of Oracle, Microsoft, IBM, AWS and SAP. That said, Chinese companies like Dameng, Renmin University\u2019s KingBase and Tianjin Shenzhou\u2019s Shentong are now starting to catch up \u2013 in China at least.\r\n\r\nDameng\u2019s Rmb2.35 billion ($373 million) flotation also marks another new chapter in the career of 78 year-old Feng Yucai, who set the company up in 2000. Feng ranks alongside other older entrepreneurs such as Huawei\u2019s Ren Zhengfei, who stay active in the workplace long after retirement age. The longevity of his career is impressive. Back when he started out in computing at Huazhong University in the mid-1970s, Feng and 12 other students shared a single machine with memory capacity of 256K RAM. That\u2019s the equivalent of 5,000 words of text.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nThe man he would later seek to emulate was grappling with rather different problems of his own: how to create an efficient database. When British computer scientist Edgar Codd came…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/07\/Feng-Yucai-w.jpg","category":"Internet & Tech","page":"12"},{"id":52918,"title":"BYD stock plummets over rumour Warren Buffett planned to sell stake","content":"What\u2019s that old proverb about being measured by the company that you keep?\r\n\r\nIn the case of BYD Auto, the saying has seemed like something of a mixed blessing this month after China\u2019s biggest manufacturer of electric vehicles (EV) made headlines in two stories that featured Tesla and Berkshire Hathaway.\r\n\r\nIn the first case at the start of July, there was fanfare in the media when BYD powered past Tesla into pole position in global EV sales, selling more than 640,000 vehicles in the first six months of this year compared to Tesla\u2019s nearly 570,000.\r\n\r\nAt first glance, it seemed like a landmark moment. Sales growth of more than 300% year-on-year was definitely worth celebrating as well. But BYD can\u2019t really be said to have seized Tesla\u2019s electric crown quite yet. Although all of its cars are classed as \u201czero emission\u201d vehicles under Chinese rules, just under half of this year\u2019s sales have actually been plug-in hybrids, so they are not fully electric in the same way as Tesla\u2019s fleet. For now, at least, Elon Musk\u2019s firm still rules the EV roost.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nOf course, the fact that BYD is even being talked about as a serious challenger to Tesla is good news for the…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/07\/BYD-w.jpg","category":"Auto Industry","page":"13"},{"id":52912,"title":"IPOs signal investors favour tea chain suppliers","content":"Even though its share price had more than halved in the year since its initial public offering in Hong Kong, upmarket tea drink brand Nayuki still wanted to celebrate the anniversary of its market debut.\r\n\r\nIn late June it announced that it was launching a new rewards programme for its customers, granting a \u2018Nayuki coin\u2019 for every yuan spent on its drinks. These coins could then be redeemed for gifts, vouchers and even virtual shares in the company, it explained. To make things more exciting, coin holders could leverage up to 10 times in Nayuki\u2019s virtual shares, which could also be redeemed back into coins to be spent at stores.\r\n\r\nConsumers complained that the scheme was overly complicated and that the share trading component was bordering on gambling. \u201cAs a tea brand, Nayuki should do its job well and concentrate on developing products instead of focusing on these fancy marketing activities,\u201d one chastised.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nNayuki dropped the virtual stock game after two weeks. It was another setback for tea drink firm, which is no closer to turning a consistent profit since its IPO. Its 2021 revenue was Rmb4.3 billion ($637 million), up over 40% from the year before. But it reported an adjusted net…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/07\/Nayuki-w.jpg","category":"China Consumer","page":"15"},{"id":52905,"title":"Jay Chou\u2019s album launch proves lucrative after huge social media blitz","content":"After six years Mando-pop icon Jay Chou finally released a new album last Friday. Greatest Work of Art has 12 tracks, including a piano intro, six new releases and five previously digitally published songs that come with new arrangements.\r\n\r\nCue the celebratory tweets. \u201cI haven\u2019t been this excited in a long time,\u201d one fan proclaimed.\r\n\r\n\u201cPlease don\u2019t stop making music. We want to grow old with you,\u201d another urged.\r\n\r\nThe week before the 43 year-old teed up his new album by releasing the first single, also titled Greatest Work of Art, on Chinese social media. The music video quickly became the most trending topic. On short video site Kuaishou, the video surpassed 150 million views in eight hours. There were also more than a billion views across multiple topics related to the album on Sina Weibo.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nStill, despite Chou\u2019s lasting popularity, not all fans were fully on board with his new album. Even though it has now become common practice in the music industry, the inclusion of previously released songs annoyed some fans, with many saying that maybe he has run out of ideas.\r\n\r\n\u201cHalf the album are old songs. My verdict is, Chou\u2019s talent has reached its limits,\u201d one declared.\r\n\r\n\u201cI probably expected too much.…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/07\/Jay-Chou-w.jpg","category":"Entertainment","page":"16"},{"id":52909,"title":"Dezhou Five-Fragrant Boneless Braised Chicken","content":"When you open a package of Dezhou braised chicken, you open a time capsule of Chinese history. Dezhoupaji or Dezhou Five-Fragrant Boneless Braised Chicken dates back to 1692 in Shandong\u2019s Dezhou and was recognised as early as the Qianlong period of the Qing Dynasty as a local speciality often sent as a tribute to the emperor.\r\n\r\nA chicken of roughly one kilogramme in weight is first deep-fried until slightly burned and then marinated for a couple of hours in a broth that features mushrooms, fennel, clove, cardamom (as well as wurbainia villosa and Chinese angelica) plus malt sugar and premium soy sauce. According to the China Daily the stewed chicken has \u201cred glossy skin, tender texture, aromatic smell and juicy taste\u201d.\r\n\r\nDezhou later became an important station on the Beijing-Shanghai rail line, and travellers passing through would stop to buy Dezhoupaji from vendors on the city\u2019s station platform. The chicken hence carries a nostalgic flavour from the period between the 1950s and the 1990s when the iconic \u201cgreen-skinned train\u201d was once the backbone of the rail system connecting China\u2019s major cities.\r\n\r\n\u201cIn the 1980s, every time I passed the Dezhou station, the platform was loud with shouts,\u201d recalls one weibo user. \u201cThe most…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/07\/Dezhou-w.jpg","category":"Fast Food","page":"17"},{"id":52902,"title":"Why a historic variety of lychee from Guangdong has set record prices","content":"In Japan the Ruby Roman is a red grape the size of a ping-pong ball. It is also one of the world\u2019s most expensive fruits: a single bunch was sold for $12,000 at an auction two years ago, which averages out at about $400 per grape.\r\n\r\nThe reason Ruby Romans are so expensive is because only 24,000 bunches are harvested each year. These sweet and low-acid varietals are grown only in Ishikawa prefecture, where farmers control each step of the growing process meticulously to ensure that each grape looks identical.\r\n\r\nIn China a type of lychee has been making headlines for setting new price records as well. According to ThePaper.cn, the lychee were priced as high as Rmb1,049 ($155.50) for each catty, or around Rmb60 for each piece of fruit. The most expensive of the crop went for Rmb100 each \u2013 admittedly a lot less than the Ruby Roman but very pricey by lychee standards.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nNetizens were shocked: \u201cAfter eating these will I gain some kind of super power?\u201d one asked.\r\n\r\nThese special types of lychee are only grown in Zengcheng, a small city in Guangdong province. Called Gualu lychee, they come in immaculately wrapped boxes, signifying their luxury status. And despite the exorbitant…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2022\/07\/Lychee-w.jpg","category":"And Finally","page":"18"}]}]}