{"issues":[{"id":1654,"name":"Issue 503","date":"","title":"Early retirement?","tagline":"The 40 year-old founder of e-commerce giant Pinduoduo is stepping down as CEO","pdf-link":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/07\/503.pdf","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/07\/503-large.jpeg","articles":[{"id":46516,"title":"The founders of Ping An and Pinduoduo are both stepping down","content":"Many of the rags-to-riches stories of China\u2019s tycoons make for inspirational reading. Often just as interesting are the accounts of how some of the most astute entrepreneurs failed to stay at the top or even opted to step away from the summit.\r\n\r\nOn July 1, two CEOs resigned on the same day from positions at nationally-prominent firms. What do their exits tell us about the succession planning at some of China\u2019s fastest-growing companies?\r\n\r\nCase one: \u201cthe highest paid CEO\u201d\r\n\r\nThe first resignation came at Ping An, when the Chinese insurer announced last Wednesday that its board of directors had agreed to co-founder Ma Mingzhe\u2019s \u201cpersonal request\u201d to resign as company CEO.\r\n\r\nThe 65 year-old will stay on as chairman, focusing on strategy, staff talent and corporate culture, Ping An said. Ma will also head a newly formed \u201ccore management team\u201d that comprises Ping An\u2019s three co-CEOs.\r\n\r\nAnalysts had been expecting Ma to step down from the chief executive role since Ping An appointed the three additional CEOs in December 2018. The model looks similar to that of Huawei, another Shenzhen-based giant, which has a rotating chairmanship.\r\n\r\nMa is relinquishing a role that he has held for more than three decades. His longevity and influence often sees…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/07\/Red-Shirts-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Economy, Talking Point","page":"1"},{"id":46518,"title":"China\u2019s biggest ever gold scam rocks the already shaky trust sector","content":"A group of Chinese trust companies have just had the shock of their lives at the hands of Nasdaq-listed Kingold Jewelry. Some 83 tonnes of gold bars that they had accepted as collateral against Rmb20 billion ($2.8 billion) in loans to Kingold have turned out to be no more than copper bars coated in gold leaf (the case remains under investigation with no one as yet charged).\r\n\r\nTo put this revelation into perspective, the largest recorded theft of gold from a financial institution was for seven times less (a heist in Beirut in 1976). The case instantly propels the Kingold collateral to the number four spot in the all-time rankings of gold robberies, behind the likes of Nazi Germany\u2019s looting of Europe\u2019s reserves during the Second World War (when an estimated 1,038 tonnes was stolen).\r\n\r\nThe ruse also represents 4.3% of China\u2019s current gold reserves (by tonnage), with many left wondering how it could have happened.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nFor Caixin, which broke the story, the case is another example of the outsized fraud that festers in corporate China\u2019s murkier depths. But an unnamed official from Mingsheng Trust, the largest affected creditor, told the magazine that he was completely bewildered about how it was pulled off.…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/07\/Gold-Bars-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Banking & Finance","page":"7"},{"id":46520,"title":"Tencent lampoons itself after a bogus ad deal","content":"Tencent is a tremendous success story in social media, digital payment, online games and entertainment \u2013 to name just a few of its strengths.\r\n\r\nBut even the best companies can make mistakes, as a recent scam in southwestern China has demonstrated.\r\n\r\nOn July 1 the police in Guiyang, the capital city of Guizhou province, said that Tencent had been duped by fraudsters masquerading as representatives of China\u2019s best-known chilli sauce maker Laoganma.\r\n\r\nThe fraud only emerged after the internet behemoth accused Laoganma of breach of contract on a marketing deal. Tencent believed that it had signed terms with Laoganma last March to promote an e-sports tournament for its smartphone game QQ Flying Car. Once the marketing initiative began, the popular hot sauce (see WiC143) featured frequently in a publicity blitz linked to the game. But Tencent didn\u2019t receive any advertising fees from Laoganma for the arrangement, despite issuing a number of invoices.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nThe tech giant took steps in April this year to secure payment, including a request to freeze assets of Laoganma\u2019s worth about Rmb16 million, according to a statement by a local court in Shenzhen, that ruled in Tencent\u2019s favour.\r\n\r\nIn response, Laoganma said it hadn\u2019t signed an agreement with Tencent nor appointed anyone…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/07\/Laoganma-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Internet & Tech","page":"8"},{"id":46522,"title":"Chinese oncology companies rush for IPOs","content":"Gracell, a Shanghai-based biotechnology start-up, prides itself on offering chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy at a far more affordable price than its European and US rivals.\r\n\r\nLast December the three year-old firm told Bloomberg that it was planning to market its experimental treatment for cancer at around $71,000 per course. Switzerland\u2019s Novartis and California-based Gilead Sciences, the two drug makers that have been promoting CAR-T treatments globally since 2017, charge $475,000 and $373,000 respectively.\r\n\r\nWhat is revolutionary about Gracell\u2019s technology is its ability to speed up cell production through genetic engineering, such that a key component of CAR-T treatment (which produces cancer-killing immune cells) can be manufactured in 24 hours, compared to the more typical two to three weeks.\r\n\r\nIn China there are dozens of companies like Gracell that are ploughing resources and energy into developing CAR-T treatment, a type of immunotherapy.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nMany of them are raising funds in the private market to run clinical trials for their candidate drugs. However, a pioneering player raced ahead of the pack in early June to become one of the largest biotech initial public offering on Nasdaq this year: Legend Biotech.\r\n\r\nPricing its new shares above the marketed range at $23 apiece, the cell therapy unit of…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/07\/Genscript-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Healthcare","page":"9"},{"id":46525,"title":"\u2018Little dragon\u2019 Byton on the brink of collapse?","content":"In Chinese culture, dragons symbolise wisdom, power and luck. But Byton, one of the four \u2018little dragons\u2019 trying to fire up China\u2019s electric vehicle sector (EV), seems to have run out of all three after suspending operations at the beginning of July.\r\n\r\nThe local media has awarded the baby dragon moniker to a group that includes NIO, WM Motor and XPENG. Problems at one of the firms stimulates questions about the financial health of the others, but they all face the challenges of tougher competition from traditional car manufacturers releasing their own EVs, plus a less favourable sales situation after a pull-back in government subsidies.\r\n\r\nThen there\u2019s Covid-19, which is accelerating a shakeout of weaker players from the 500 registered start-ups in the EV sector last year.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nByton had been struggling for a while. At the beginning of 2019, it lost one of its two founders, Carsten Breitfeld, who had made his name overseeing BMW\u2019s \u2018i programme\u2019. He didn\u2019t like the direction that Byton was taking after state-owned FAW Group purchased a strategic stake. His departure prompted a round of litigation and Byton struggled to close a $500 million fundraising it launched in early 2019. It furloughed its staff at its Californian design…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/07\/Byton-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Auto Industry","page":"11"},{"id":46528,"title":"Cities jostle to become \u2018livestreaming capital\u2019","content":"Zhao Yuanyuan was best known as the man behind the launch of Taobao Live. So when he abruptly left his position as the head of Alibaba\u2019s e-commerce livestreaming platform in March, the industry was shocked, especially as his departure came when livestreaming e-commerce sales were starting to surge during the pandemic.\r\n\r\nLast week, 21CN Business Herald reported that Zhao was fired for corruption. Based on documents leaked to the press, the allegation is that he exploited his position for personal benefit, accepting gifts and entertainment.\r\n\r\nZhao\u2019s departure came at roughly the same time that Jiang Fan, who had previously been tipped as a potential successor to Zhang Yong as CEO of the Alibaba Group, was demoted for \u201cimproper behaviour\u201d. Jiang is alleged to have had an affair with Zhang Dayi, one of the best known livestreamers on Taobao Live (see WiC493). He was subsequently demoted and removed from the internet giant\u2019s core partnership of 37 people, which is Alibaba\u2019s decisionmaking body.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nThe bigger picture is that e-commerce livestreaming shows little sign of slowing and contributed more than a third of China\u2019s e-commerce sales in March. That spike in sales came courtesy of the lockdown in many cities, but there is still significant room…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/07\/Viya-w.jpg","category":"China Consumer","page":"12"},{"id":46539,"title":"Covid-19 chaos puts the brakes on BRI projects","content":"Lending for infrastructure projects in China\u2019s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is so opaque that there is no real consensus on the total loans outstanding. Best guesses start at $200 billion and often head sharply upwards.\r\n\r\nWhat\u2019s clearer is that the Covid-19 crisis is putting the brakes on the plan, with Wang Xiaolong, a senior official in the foreign ministry, acknowledging last month that at least a fifth of the projects under the BRI umbrella have been seriously set back by the pandemic.\r\n\r\nIn particular, supply chains have seized up, making it difficult for Chinese companies to ship equipment and labour to Belt and Road projects. In one example, construction of the $6 billion high-speed rail line between Jakarta and Bandung in Indonesia is said to have fallen further behind schedule after delays in shipments of materials.\r\n\r\nThen there are the new strains on financing the plan as Beijing refocuses on China\u2019s domestic economy in the wake of the pandemic. Zhou Xiaochuan, former governor of the central bank, tried to put a gloss on the situation last month by telling Caixin that Covid-19 has ushered in even lower interest rates, which should be beneficial to Belt and Road dealmakers. But the economic crisis…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/07\/Kenya-Railways-w.jpg","category":"Belt and Road","page":"13"},{"id":46542,"title":"Wuhan and other areas suffer disastrous floods","content":"The people of Hubei province must be wondering what they did to deserve 2020.\r\n\r\nNot only was it first to be afflicted by the coronavirus, it has also been badly flooded after seasonal rains fell with much greater force than expected.\r\n\r\nAccording to government data, 121 people have been killed or are missing in the floods and 17,000 homes have been destroyed.\r\n\r\nFor high school students sitting their college entrance exams this week, the rising waters have been an additional source of stress. The children missed much of their final year at school due to the virus lockdown, and prepared for their all-important gaokao cooped up at home and fearing they\u2019d fall sick.\r\n\r\nThe key exam was pushed back by a month to give students more time to prepare but that also meant it has coincided with summer rains which often hit southern and central China hard.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nTeenagers in Huangmei \u2013 a city on the banks of the Yangtze River \u2013 had to be collected from their homes in an assortment of bulldozers and rubber dinghies.\r\n\r\nOne photo in the Global Times shows a bulldozer ploughing through muddy water with a huddle of anxious families in its upturned scoop.\r\n\r\nOne boarding school in the town was so…","image":"\/images\/no_image.png","category":"Economy","page":"14"},{"id":46544,"title":"After toilet paper and masks, there\u2019s another Covid-19 export boom: bicycles","content":"When he launched his bike hire scheme in 2010, London mayor Boris Johnson noted that a fifth of all journeys in the city had been made by bicycle almost a century earlier. The Conservative politician wanted to see that kind of figure again. \u201cIf you can\u2019t turn the clock back to 1904, ladies and gentlemen, what\u2019s the point of being a Conservative,\u201d he joked.\r\n\r\nBoris Bikes, as they were subsequently nicknamed, turned out to be quite popular with visitors but less so with commuters, accounting for just 2.5% of journeys.\r\n\r\nBut bicycling is now much more in vogue in urban life, in part because the pandemic has been putting people off public transport.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nStuck-at-home residents have also been looking for safer ways to let off a little steam as well.\r\n\r\n\u201cYou are at home with your children, what better activity can you do than riding a bicycle where you can have fun and still keep proper social distancing,\u201d a bike importer from the United States told the South China Morning Post last week.\r\n\r\nEven before the onset of Covid-19, cities around Europe were launching bike subsidy schemes and mapping out miles of new routes in a bid to reduce air pollution and improve public health.…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/07\/Boris-Johnson-w.jpg","category":"China and the World","page":"15"},{"id":46550,"title":"Kids\u2019 street dance show earns near perfect rating from audience","content":"From its origins in 1970s New York, breakdancing is now set to become an Olympic sport. Last June, the International Olympic Committee announced that the acrobatic style of street dance will be included at the Paris Olympics in 2024. The move aims to make the Games \u201cmore urban\u201d and \u201cmore artistic\u201d, the BBC reported.\r\n\r\nStreet dance started to get more popular in China thanks to a host of reality competitions like Rap of China (see WiC378) and Street Dance of China (see WiC401), which brought the hip-hop genre a little closer to the mainstream. Street Dance of China is scheduled to start its third season this month on Youku, which has also released a spin-off of the show to generate extra buzz.\r\n\r\nLet\u2019s Dance, Youku\u2019s latest reality competition, follows a group of 15 children between the ages of five and 12, as they train to be professional street dancers.\r\n\r\nSome of the contestants are far from novices: Li Ziqi, 10, who is better known as \u2018Lil Mushroom\u2019, has already appeared on the American chat show circuit. To assist the kids\u2019 progress, three hip-hop celebrities are drafted in as coaches, including Han Yu and Franklin Yu, who starred in the first two seasons of…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/07\/Dance-Kids-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Entertainment","page":"16"},{"id":46554,"title":"The diva in the headlines","content":"When singer-actress-writer Annie Yi was announced as one of the contestants in reality show Sisters Who Make Waves, in which 30 mid-career female celebrities try to win a place in a new pop group, her odds of winning looked good (see WiC500). After all, the 52 year-old artist is a household name with 23 albums under her belt.\r\n\r\nSinger in need of some interview prep\r\n\r\nBut her popularity took a nosedive last week when she appeared on a talk show called Meaning. During the interview, Yi talked about juggling her career and family life (she has two children), but added a far less welcome sprinkling of trash-talk about other stars.\r\n\r\nFirst, Yi said that two of her teammates on Sisters Who Make Waves \u2013 Wang Likun and Wang Zhi \u2013 were tone deaf (\u201cI can\u2019t say they were not into it. In fact, they were very into it. Maybe they just don\u2019t have the ability,\u201d she dismissively told the interviewer of their vocal skills). She also claimed that she had lost her voice because she spent so much time coaching the other two.\r\n\r\nMaking news for the wrong reasons\r\n\r\nHowever, it was the way that she compared herself to the late Hong Kong singer Anita…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/07\/Annie-Yi-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Red Star","page":"17"},{"id":46557,"title":"Netizens fume as Russia celebrates the \u2018founding\u2019 of Vladivostok on weibo","content":"A hundred and sixty years is nothing but a blip in the longer run of Chinese history.\r\n\r\nThis was the view of many netizens last week when the Russian embassy in Beijing posted a video on its Sina Weibo account celebrating the founding, and annexation, of the far eastern city of Vladivostok.\r\n\r\nWhile the Chinese government makes no claims on the city \u2013 all border disputes with Russia were formally settled in 2008 \u2013 netizens responded that it is only a matter of time until their country regained what is rightfully their\u2019s. \u201cButcher! Robber! Get out of China!\u201d one incensed nationalist responded on weibo.\r\n\r\n\u201cVladivostok, Blagoveshchensk, Sakhalin, Khabarovsk are all Chinese territory,\u201d wrote another, listing several cities and islands in Russia\u2019s far east.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nThe weibo message celebrating Vladivostok\u2019s founding explained that the city\u2019s name means \u201cRuler of the East\u201d in Russian. \u201cThe history of Vladivostok began in 1860,\u201d it said in Chinese.\r\n\r\nLike Hong Kong, Vladivostok was signed away to foreign powers in the mid-1800s by China\u2019s Qing rulers (although Hong Kong reverted to Chinese sovereignty in 1997). Up to that point it was a relatively small settlement under Qing control, called Haishenwai or the Bay of Sea Slugs.\r\n\r\nThe Russian celebration of the anniversary was…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/07\/Vladivostok-w-scaled.jpg","category":"And Finally","page":"18"}]},{"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":1653,"name":"Issue 502","date":"","title":"Who needs cash?","tagline":"China\u2019s digital currency could bring a cashless economy even closer","pdf-link":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/07\/502.pdf","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/07\/502-large.jpeg","articles":[{"id":46448,"title":"Is the PBoC\u2019s new digital currency a threat to Alipay and WeChat Pay?","content":"Despite all the talk of China\u2019s achievements in next-generation technology, there is still a startling digital divide in parts of its domestic economy.\r\n\r\nThere was another reminder of that last month when a man from Anhui was stopped from boarding a long distance bus to visit his relatives in Zhejiang. The problem was that he didn\u2019t own a smartphone so he couldn\u2019t show any of the health codes that serve as passports for travel on public transport during the pandemic.\r\n\r\nUndeterred, he ended up walking nearly 600 miles before being picked up by a lorry driver, who told the story on social media. The case was a classic example of how there are millions of people who still don\u2019t own smartphones, locking themselves out of many of the changes sweeping society at large.\r\n\r\nThat gulf could be set to widen as China readies for the launch of its digital currency. Some analysts warn that this will make life even harder for people without smartphones or the know-how to feel comfortable in a world where many retailers and counterparties are already refusing to transact in cash.\r\n\r\nOthers regard it as an opportunity to double down on the huge advances in digital payments in China, as…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/07\/App-1-scaled.jpg","category":"Banking & Finance, Talking Point","page":"1"},{"id":46451,"title":"Bolton\u2019s book reveals Trump called Xi the \u201cgreatest Chinese leader in 300 years\u201d","content":"One surprising thing about John Bolton\u2019s new \u2018tell-all\u2019 book about the Trump administration (from which he resigned last September) is that the first nine chapters of The Room Where It Happened barely mention China at all.\r\n\r\nIn these initial 284 pages the country only crops up in reference to other foreign policy conversations.\r\n\r\nFor instance, when Bolton is asked by President Trump about the chances of war with North Korea in late 2017, the author responds, \u201cI said I thought it all depended on China, but probably fifty-fifty.\u201d\r\n\r\nAfter he becomes National Security Advisor Bolton also takes a guess at what Chinese leader Xi Jinping is advising his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-un too. He imagines Xi telling Kim: \u201cIf you proceed down this road of negotiations with the Americans, you\u2019re going to be hanging from a tree in Pyongyang before too long. I guarantee it. Stick with me. All you have to do is keep hiding your nuclear weapons, missiles and production facilities.\u201d\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nXi also makes a tangential appearance in relation to a momentous 2018 US policymaking decision on Iran. Bolton describes a phone call between the two leaders: \u201cTrump said he would be making a statement on Iran shortly and asked, in…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/07\/John-Bolton-w.jpg","category":"China and the World","page":"7"},{"id":46454,"title":"Can Gome\u2019s Huang make up for his lost decade?","content":"In the year 2008 Singles\u2019 Day was merely an anti-Valentine\u2019s Day celebration, commemorated by a cult following of college students and young professionals.\r\n\r\nBack then Alibaba was better known as a business-to-business (B2B) marketplace, with less than Rmb3 billion ($424.25 million) in revenue, and Jack Ma\u2019s name was nowhere to be seen on the various \u2018rich lists\u2019 ranking Chinese billionaires.\r\n\r\nAt that time Gome was China\u2019s biggest retailer with more than 500 outlets. With a reputation as \u201cthe price butcher\u201d, it demanded massive discounts from its suppliers, raking in almost Rmb50 billion in sales a year (or 16 times Alibaba\u2019s revenues in 2008). Its founder Huang Guangyu was China\u2019s richest man, based on Hurun\u2019s annual ranking.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nRegular WiC readers will be familiar with how things panned out for Gome\u2019s founder, who was sentenced to a 12-year prison term for bribery and insider trading (see WiC36). He then became embroiled in a bitter boardroom battle (see WiC99) and although Huang and his wife kept a controlling shareholding in Gome, that seems to be one of the few things that hasn\u2019t changed for the retailer since its highpoint in 2008.\r\n\r\nA year later Alibaba launched the first of its Singles\u2019 Day sales events \u2013 which have…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/07\/Huang-Guangyu-w.jpg","category":"China Consumer","page":"10"},{"id":46457,"title":"Chinese chipmakers still struggling, despite stockmarket fanfare","content":"A lot has changed since China\u2019s chip manufacturing giant, SMIC (Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp) completed its dual listing on the Hong Kong and New York stock exchanges in March 2004. For starters, the sophistication of the technology used to manufacture semiconductor chips has accelerated exponentially over the past 16 years, as it always does in the tech sector.\r\n\r\nBack then the industry\u2019s cutting edge technology was 130 nanometres (nm), with global industry leader TSMC starting to transition to 90nm. The most advanced chip using that type of technology had about 112 million transistors on it. Examples included Intel\u2019s Pentium 4 computer processor.\r\n\r\nToday, 7nm is the leading edge technology, with 5nm on the horizon. This advancement enabled TSMC to cram eight billion transistors onto Huawei\u2019s self-designed Kirin 990 chip, which powered the Mate 30 Pro smartphone launched last December.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nBack in 2004, few people thought that China would be capable of fostering a leading chip design house like Huawei\u2019s HiSilicon unit anytime soon. But many did think that a company like SMIC, which manufactures chips to others\u2019 designs (known in industry parlance as foundries or fabs), might be able to catch up with TSMC. They are still waiting.\r\n\r\nAnalysts estimate that SMIC is still…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/07\/SMIC-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Internet & Tech","page":"11"},{"id":46459,"title":"Shanghai tweaks its benchmark to boost its sluggish performance","content":"Whether a stockmarket index is considered a \u2018benchmark\u2019 or not often comes down to how often it gets mentioned in the media. But the Shanghai Composite Index (SHCOMP) in China is classed as one simply because it has been around the longest.\r\n\r\nThe index was set up in December 1990. At the time Shanghai had the only stock market in China (opening up before Shenzhen, see WiC236) and the SHCOMP was the only equity tracker available. For analyts watching the performance of China\u2019s stock market from incep-tion, the SHCOMP offers the only uninterrupted stream of market data over the past 30 years. Even today it remains the most discussed index in the A-share market.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nA longstanding problem, as we noted as far back as 2012 (see WiC166), is that the SHCOMP is not a \u2018blue chip index\u2019 by nature. It tracks the performance of all the companies \u2013 more than 1,600 stocks as of this week \u2013 listed on the Shanghai bourse.\r\n\r\nTheir weightings are decided by their market capitalisation, which includes the large amounts of illiquid shares still held by the state. That means the SHCOMP has always been overly dominated by banking and energy heavyweights. But as growth at these state-controlled…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/07\/Shanghai-Stock-w.jpg","category":"Banking & Finance","page":"13"},{"id":46487,"title":"Evergrande reacts quickly to Moody\u2019s downgrade","content":"Alarge house in central Beijing\u2019s Chaoyang district went up for sale in late May on Alibaba\u2019s auction platform Paimai. The house, which measured 305 square metres (or around 3,300 square feet), had a bank valuation of Rmb14.2 million ($2.2 million).\r\n\r\nBidding for the foreclosed property started at Rmb12.8 million and climbed in increments of Rmb10,000. As things heated up one bidder intended to put in an offer at Rmb16.5 million but accidentally added an extra zero, which brought the price to Rmb165 million. But instead of deterring other buyers, this error saw others continue to jump in and the price quickly rose. The house was eventually sold for Rmb170 million.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nThe \u2018fat finger\u2019 bidder realised that he had made a mistake and he retreated midway through the bidding process. But the winner, once he found out about the blunder, refused to honour the purchase. That didn\u2019t stop the auction platform from slapping a penalty of Rmb2 million on the buyer for failing to pay up.\r\n\r\nThe fiasco has raised questions over the reliability of online property auction platforms. However, it is the enormous debt load of some of the country\u2019s biggest real estate developers that analysts say looks more concerning. Chinese property players…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/07\/Evergrande-w.jpg","category":"Property","page":"14"},{"id":46461,"title":"Local governments at loggerheads over criminal status of games distributor","content":"In 2017 BBC correspondent John Sudworth carried out an experiment with the local police in Guiyang and found that they took just seven minutes to identify him, locate him and then pick him up as he strolled the city\u2019s streets.\r\n\r\nSupported by 200 million CCTV cameras powered by facial recognition technology, China\u2019s surveillance system is vast. But an online games distributor, who has been accused of copyright infringement, succeeded in eluding it while under police detention in May.\r\n\r\nLi Weiwei managed to escape from a guarded hotel room in Yichun in Jiangxi province on May 23. In the dead of night, the 31 year-old pretended to have to answer the call of nature. Once he stepped out of his room, he overcame police officers and took off through the fire escape. Breaking free of more security in the hotel lobby, he left the building and found a taxi to drop him off in the neighbouring city of Pingxiang. From there he took another taxi to Changsha in Hunan province, and then another one to Yueyang where his employees escorted him back to Jingmen in Hubei that morning.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nThe escape route covered a distance of over 600 kilometres.\r\n\r\nLi felt safe in Hubei, his home…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/07\/Map-w.jpg","category":"Economy","page":"15"},{"id":46464,"title":"China\u2019s rival to GPS becomes an investment star","content":"Two incidents in the 1990s are said to have convinced the Chinese government of the necessity of developing their own satellite positioning system.\r\n\r\nIn 1996 when the People\u2019s Liberation Army was staging a military exercise during a period of tense cross-Straits relations, two missiles missed their targets by some distance, apparently because of faulty signals from GPS, the global positioning system developed by the United States.\r\n\r\nThree years earlier Washington was also said to have disrupted similar GPS signalling to the Yinhe (or Milky Way), a Chinese container ship suspected of carrying chemical weapons to Iran. The ship was stranded in the Indian Ocean for three weeks as the American navy demanded to board it for an inspection.\r\n\r\nWithout access to GPS, one of the few navigation devices left to the crew: looking up at the Big Dipper star constellation, which is known as \u2018Beidou\u2019 in Chinese. But it will no longer be necessary for Chinese sailors to resort to such ancient techniques, its media proudly proclaimed late last month, after the launch of the final satellite of the domestically-developed Beidou Navigation Satellite, or BDS, as a rival to GPS.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nAccording to Xinhua, this is the 55th Beidou launch and the 30th of the…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/07\/Beidou-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Space Programme","page":"17"},{"id":46468,"title":"India bans Chinese apps including TikTok","content":"The Chinese video sharing app TikTok almost seems made for India \u2013 a country where Bollywood films still capture the public imagination and literacy rates are often low.\r\n\r\nThe app says 120 million Indians use it every month \u2013 including some who have managed to become huge celebrities as a result of their captivating uploads. Examples include a shepherd singing along to a Bollywood love song while herding his flock, (the app has a special lip-synch function), as well as minute-long English lessons and tips on how to tie a sari.\r\n\r\nBut on Monday Delhi banned the use of 59 Chinese apps including TikTok and WeChat in response to the killing of 20 Indian soldiers on a hotly disputed part of the Sino-Indian border last month.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nThe two sides have been facing off in the Galwan Valley in the western Himalayas since early May. Beijing accuses Indian troops of pushing several kilometres into Chinese territory, while Delhi alleges that China is making new claims on land traditionally controlled by India.\r\n\r\nTalks on disengagement continue even as India launched an unofficial boycott of Chinese goods and barred Chinese companies from taking part in Indian highway-building projects.\r\n\r\n\u201cThose who eyed Indian territory in Ladakh have received a…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/07\/Tiktok-India-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Media","page":"18"},{"id":46471,"title":"Disney shutters its tutoring business in China","content":"Between 2012 to 2016, the market for English tutoring in China doubled to Rmb85 billion ($12 billion), says Frost & Sullivan, a market research firm. It is set to swell to Rmb240 billion in 2021. However, interest in studying in traditional classrooms has been hard hit by Covid-19, while the closing of China\u2019s borders has led to shortages of native English teachers, which teaching centres often employ to justify higher fees.\r\n\r\nA number of the tutoring businesses simply weren\u2019t able to sustain their businesses.\r\n\r\nOne such company was Disney English, a subsidiary of the US giant. After arriving in the Chinese market in 2008, it filled an early niche in China\u2019s private education sector, with lessons that were classroom-based, focusing on communication through singing, roleplay and interactive games. We last mentioned it during a dispute over intellectual property (IP) last March involving local education giant VIPKID (see WiC446).\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nBut although Disney English emerged from that battle in reasonable shape, it has taken a fatal bodyblow from the coronavirus. On June 22, the company announced its closure, explaining that it was responding to changes in consumer preferences in which more students are moving towards learning online, \u201ca trend which the global epidemic has exacerbated,\u201d…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/07\/Disney-Shanghai-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Education","page":"19"},{"id":46474,"title":"Why has a new 12-episode drama from iQiyi won acclaim?","content":"Less has turned out to be more for audiences of the biggest breakout drama on online video-streaming platform iQiyi this year.\r\n\r\nThe Bad Kids, which was adapted from a popular novel, follows the story of three children (Xiao Bai, Xiao Hei and Pu Pu) after they accidentally film a man (played by actor Qin Hao) pushing his parents-in-law off a cliff to their deaths.\r\n\r\nTheir lives become more complicated when they try to extort money out of the murderer (to help pay the medical bills of Pu Pu\u2019s sick brother). As the story unfolds, the children reveal that they are not so innocent after all\u2026\r\n\r\nOn Douban, the TV series and film review site, the show received a stellar rating of 8.9 out of 10, rendering it the most highly rated show on television this year.\r\n\r\nActress Zhang Ziyi is also a fan. \u201cAfter watching so many American and British dramas for so many years, I finally found a Chinese drama that can compete against them. The Bad Kids, as a whole, is very well-produced. From the young actors to the trained ones, they all delivered\u2026 At 12 episodes in length, it\u2019s just right, worth a watch,\u201d she gushed on her personal weibo.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nIt is…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/07\/kids-w.jpg","category":"Entertainment","page":"20"},{"id":46477,"title":"Controversy in Shandong over village clearances","content":"Place names often convey a sense of history. In the case of three villages in Shandong \u2013 Yuanjia, Linjia and Sunjia \u2013 the names also convey a sense of ownership. \u2018Jia\u2019 means home in Mandarin Chinese and the three prefixes are all surnames. So these were literally the homes of the Yuan, the Lin and the Sun clans.\r\n\r\nBut that is not the case any more.\r\n\r\nOver the past six months all three villages have been demolished as part of a \u201cvillage merger\u201d scheme, which aims to boost urbanisation rates in the eastern province.\r\n\r\nThe demolitions went ahead despite the fact that most villagers opposed the idea of moving from their ancestral homes. When the bulldozers rolled in, new homes hadn\u2019t been built for the village residents, forcing them to rent accommodation elsewhere or stay with relatives. In many cases the farmers simply returned to their former homes and built makeshift shelters near their fields so they could tend to their crops.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nAccording to government data 61% of people in Shandong live in \u201curban\u201d areas \u2013 classified as settlements of over 100,000 people. But in a document released in May the Shandong authorities said urbanisation levels were eight percentage points lower than neighboring Jiangsu…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/07\/Bulldozer-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Society","page":"21"},{"id":46479,"title":"Last week we published a video recital of one of China’s greatest modern poems by one of the best-known Western personalities in the country. The general feedback to the video Farewell Again, Cambridge \u518d\u522b\u5eb7\u6865, recited by Mark Rowswell, a Canadian who speaks flawless Mandarin Chinese (with a hint of a Beijing accent), has been overwhelmingly […]","content":"Last week we published a video recital of one of China's greatest modern poems by one of the best-known Western personalities in the country. The general feedback to the video Farewell Again, Cambridge \u518d\u522b\u5eb7\u6865, recited by Mark Rowswell, a Canadian who speaks flawless Mandarin Chinese (with a hint of a Beijing accent), has been overwhelmingly positive. As an instigator of the project and one of the translators of the poem (the other is my 16 year-old daughter), I feel inspired to find more opportunities like this to promote cultural appreciation between China and the Western world. This is also a passion shared by Rowswell, a friend of mine for 30 years.\r\n\r\nI first came across his video on social media early last month. It was intended as a present to his daughter who had graduated from university amid the pandemic. His reading was so evocative that I shared it with my husband and my daughter. We thought \u201cwhy not introduce it to Week in China\u2019s readers so that they can appreciate the beauty of Chinese poetry and perhaps even be inspired to pick up or improve their Chinese?\u201d\r\n\r\nI first met Rowswell, aka Dashan \u5927\u5c71 as he\u2019s widely known in China, in…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/07\/Mark-Rowswell-w.jpg","category":"Ask Mei","page":"22"},{"id":46484,"title":"China Eastern lures thousands of fliers with unlimited flight passes","content":"If you want to gauge how badly Covid-19 has dented the airline industry, take a look at the bailouts across the sector. After Cathay Pacific\u2019s $5 billion rescue in early June (see WiC499), private equity group Bain Capital has taken over Virgin Australia. Its biggest competitor Qantas has just slashed 6,000 jobs and announced a $1.9 billion capital raising too.\r\n\r\nThe three largest carriers in China are also struggling. For the quarter ended in March, they booked Rmb14 billion ($1.98 billion) in losses, a record. Now they need to drum up sales as flight schedules start to fill out again, so eye-catching promotions have become the order of the day.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nDuring this year\u2019s \u2018618\u2019 shopping bonanza (see WiC501), state-owned China Eastern was offering an unlimited flight pass known as \u201cFly as You Wish\u201d.\r\n\r\nAt just Rmb3,322 the pass allows holders to travel an unlimited number of times between major Chinese cities until the end of 2020. Flights can be booked on China Eastern and its subsidiary Shanghai Airlines. Mind you, there are some provisos to the \u2018unlimited\u2019 in this special offer: for instance, travel is only available at weekends and in economy class.\r\n\r\nEven with these restrictions netizens were soon speculating that passengers with…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/07\/China-Eastern-w-scaled.jpg","category":"And Finally","page":"23"}]},{"id":1652,"name":"Issue 501","date":"","title":"Little to smile about now...","tagline":"Dark times for Wang Zhongjun and his film studio Huayi Brothers as coronavirus decimates China\u2019s movie industry and cinema chains","pdf-link":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/501.pdf","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/501-large.jpeg","articles":[{"id":46393,"title":"The pandemic has devastated the Chinese film industry","content":"Since re-establishing diplomatic ties with the United States in 1978, Chinese film studios hadn\u2019t produced a single film about going to war with America\u2019s armed forces. Maybe that was a reflection of decades of relatively benign relations between the two nations. If so, the signs are that the mood is now turning more hostile. As the trade and tech rows between the two worsened last year, state broadcaster CCTV started to schedule movies and documentaries about the Korean War in its prime-time slots. On top of that Bona Film Group received state subsidies for a remake of The Battle of Changjin Reservoir, which is based on a brutal battle between American troops and Chinese \u2018volunteers\u2019 south of the Yalu River in the winter of 1950.\r\n\r\nBona budgeted Rmb600 million ($85 million) for the film and shooting started in early January in the northeastern city of Dandong, before being halted by the Covid-19 outbreak. The studio was then forced to disband the 3,000-person crew \u2013 many of whom were stranded in the bitter cold near the North Korean border for weeks because of travel restrictions.\r\n\r\nWith no hope of releasing the film in 2021 as planned, Bona has already announced Rmb150 million in…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/Wang-Zhongjun-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Entertainment, Talking Point","page":"1"},{"id":46397,"title":"A nasty row at the China unit of Arm Holdings after boss refuses to leave","content":"When he declared himself the first emperor of China in 221 BC, Qin Shi Huang knew that he needed to legitimise his claim so he ordered a jade seal carved with the words \u201cReceived the Mandate of Heaven\u201d as an indicator of his \u2018divine\u2019 approval.\r\n\r\nThe Heirloom Seal of the Realm, as it became known, was passed from emperor to emperor until it was lost nearly a thousand years later, according to legend. Whoever controlled the seal, also wielded power. And so it is today in China, where seals or \u2018chops\u2019 still confer authority.\r\n\r\nOne person who knows that better than anyone is Allen Wu. He\u2019s currently executive chairman and CEO of Arm Technology (China). Or he\u2019s not, depending on how events unfold at the Chinese unit of the British-based chip designer.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nWu is at the centre of a tussle between shareholders and management after the board sacked him on June 4. He claims the board meeting was invalid because it wasn\u2019t convened on proper procedures. He says he wasn\u2019t invited and so couldn\u2019t vote alongside the eight other directors, the majority of whom voted against him. But he is also the company\u2019s legal representative, which means that he still retains its chop…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/Arm-Holdings-HQ-w.jpg","category":"Internet & Tech","page":"7"},{"id":46400,"title":"Tencent launches credit scoring scheme","content":"Tycoons like to come out on top. That\u2019s what makes them tycoons in the first place. But Tencent\u2019s Pony Ma just had to settle for less-than-top-spot after failing to secure the highest rating on his company\u2019s new credit scoring system.\r\n\r\nTencent launched WeChat Pay Score at the beginning of June and its founder posted his personal score of 835 soon afterwards. Scores range from 300 to 850, so Ma\u2019s was a high one. But the local media was tickled that he wasn\u2019t in the highest category, especially when one of his colleagues at Tencent posted a few minutes later that he had scored 848 points.\r\n\r\nMuch of this sounds like a marketing stunt, WiC suspects, as WeChat Pay Score is following in the footsteps of Alibaba\u2019s Sesame Credit scheme, which has been in operation since 2015. As Sina Finance points out, Tencent has lagged Alibaba in financial services in general, although the two dominate the third-party payments business with market shares of 39% and 54% respectively, according to iResearch.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nThe payments war is now spilling over into a conflict over credit ratings, Sina says. Tencent is late to the credit rating game, but that\u2019s partly down to the government. The Shenzhen-based giant backed…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/WeChat-w.jpg","category":"Internet & Tech","page":"8"},{"id":46405,"title":"Tetra Pak opens 10 billion unit plant in\u2008Hohhot","content":"Which is the most successful foreign brand operating in China today? Elon Musk\u2019s Tesla captures many of the headlines, of course, but it is the Rausing family\u2019s humble milk carton which probably wins the day in terms of market presence.\r\n\r\nThe Swedish clan owns Tetra Pak, which has established a dominant grip of its segment of the Chinese market since opening its first manufacturing plant in Beijing back in 1987 (the company first exhibited at the Peking Trade Fair in 1972).\r\n\r\nTetra Pak gets some competition from Hong Kong-listed Greatview. But the reality is that it has retained a hold over about three-quarters of the market for its goods in China for many years. And while some international companies are rethinking their presence in the country, Tetra Pak continues to expand, including with a groundbreaking ceremony this month for its first capping plant in Hohhot, the capital of Inner Mongolia.\r\n\r\nThe new facility will be next door to Tetra Pak\u2019s existing packaging plant and close to three of its biggest customers, the Chinese dairy producers Mengniu, Yili and Bright Dairy.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nSina Finance describes Tetra Pak as the hidden giant behind these dairy firms. But as a company it chooses to fly below the radar,…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/Tetra-Pak-w.jpg","category":"Economy","page":"10"},{"id":46416,"title":"The key takeaways from China\u2019s mid-year shopping festival","content":"On the night of June 18, Li Jiaqi, looking visibly exhausted, announced in a raspy voice on his Taobao Live channel that he would take a week off after the 618 shopping bonanza (named after the date June 18). The king of lipstick sales (see WiC491), who has been struggling with rhinitis and bronchitis, told his legions of fans that he needed to undergo a \u201csmall surgery\u201d and his \u201coffice also needed an upgrade\u201d.\r\n\r\nIt should hardly come as a surprise that Li, like many e-commerce livestreamers in China, needed a break after working overtime in the run-up to the 618 festival. This year\u2019s event was bigger than ever. The Chinese government saw it as an occasion to reboot domestic consumption following the Covid-19 outbreak. Consumer brands that were struggling during the pandemic with \u2018locked down\u2019 shoppers also pinned their hopes on 618 to boost second quarter sales.\r\n\r\nA lot of companies tapped livestreamers to sell their products. \u201cThe battle of this year\u2019s 618 was longer than ever before, lasting almost a whole month. A lot of merchants started promoting as early as May 20. We only started on the night of the 24th. But we started the whole planning process back…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/618-shopping-w-scaled.jpg","category":"China Consumer","page":"11"},{"id":46419,"title":"Pepsi eyes a $17 billion market","content":"Back in 2012, when Rob Rhinehart invented Soylent, a milky drink packing 35 nutrients needed for human survival, his mission was to save time and money without compromising health. After a month of relying just on the beige elixir, Rhinehart reported his food costs were 89% lower and his physique had noticeably improved. \u201cMy skin is clearer, my teeth whiter, my hair thicker and my dandruff gone,\u201d noted the then 23 year-old engineer in his blog How I Stopped Eating Food.\r\n\r\nThanks to a crowdfunding campaign and venture capital backing, the drink soon became a hit with Silicon Valley techies, and is now widely sold across 7-Eleven and Walmart stores in the US.\r\n\r\nToday, similar products are taking root in China, as suggested by a slew of new releases.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nPepsiCo, for instance, launched a ready-to-drink milkshake known as Smart Calories, or Dikakong, early this month under its cereal brand Quaker. Containing grains, freeze-dried fruits and whey protein, the drink comes with four flavours such as apple-cum-pomegranate, and oat and quinoa. Each bottle caps its energy supply at 200 kilocalories, but promises to keep dieters full for up to four hours.\r\n\r\n\u201cThe market potential for meal replacement [in China] is gigantic,\u201d an executive from Pepsi…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/Smart-Calories-bottle-w.jpg","category":"China Consumer","page":"12"},{"id":46408,"title":"Which two IPOs locked up $19 billion of funds in Hong Kong?","content":"The peg of the Hong Kong dollar to the greenback has been around since 1983. Bears have loudly predicted it will come under strain in the next 18 months, citing the decoupling of the world\u2019s two largest economies, the US and China. But despite bearish bets made by short sellers, the city\u2019s currency has only been strengthening lately. Last week it twice hit the strong end of its narrow trading band of HK$7.75-7.85. One of the reasons: a string of jumbo share sales that are sucking in cash and causing liquidity in the banking system to tighten.\r\n\r\nOne of the hottest deals was the listing of Kangji Medical, China\u2019s largest homegrown provider of minimally invasive surgical instruments and accessories. Planning to raise about HK$3.1 billion ($400 million), the Hangzhou-based company saw its retail tranche oversubscribed 332 times, attracting orders worth HK$102 billion through margin financing.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nIn comparison, the secondary listings of internet majors JD.com and NetEase lured HK$77 billion and HK$81 billion to their retail book respectively.\r\n\r\nCompared to a lot of the recent healthcare listings in Hong Kong, Kangji Medical stands out as a profitable entity. Selling its equipment to 3,400 hospitals across China through domestic distributors, the company reported Rmb504 million…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/Kangji-Medical-w.jpg","category":"Healthcare","page":"13"},{"id":46436,"title":"China looks set to launch first Reits","content":"When Continental Mortgage Investors became the world\u2019s first real estate investment trust (Reit) to debut on the stock market in 1965, the plan was that the new asset class would capture a wider group of property investors, bringing a new funding source for developers. It didn\u2019t quite turn out that way (initially at least).\r\n\r\nWithin a few years, commercial banks had begun packaging Reits that were invested in short-dated mortgages and leveraged to the hilt. By the mid-1970s, many collapsed as inflation rose and the property market buckled. Continental Mortgages itself went bust in 1976 in a familiar tale of how the financial sector\u2019s search for fee income can sometimes end in disaster.\r\n\r\nChina is well known for using pilot programmes to test the efficacy of new financial products. But even by its cautious standards, it has taken an extraordinarily long time for Chinese Reits to get going.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nThe regulators have been looking at the asset class for almost two decades and, after a few stops and starts with quasi-Reit like instruments, finally released draft guidelines in late April, followed by a one-month consultation period. The first deals are now imminent.\r\n\r\nChina has some way to go before surpassing Singapore\u2019s $100 billion Reit market…","image":"\/images\/no_image.png","category":"Property","page":"14"},{"id":46413,"title":"Tencent set to swoop for iQiyi in bid to stem video streaming losses","content":"Content is king in the streaming sector. But it\u2019s expensive too: just look at Netflix\u2019s spending on content, which has grown from $9 billion in 2017 to $14.6 billion this year. Part of the increase has been covered by higher subscriber fees. But the real battle is to boost subscriber numbers, bringing in the cash to cover the expense of all the new series and dramas.\r\n\r\nNetflix\u2019s China counterparts are under similar pressures, which is why Tencent Video is said to be looking at a takeover of iQiyi, which is listed on Nasdaq and majority-owned by search engine giant Baidu.\r\n\r\nTencent Video and iQiyi are the two largest video streaming platforms in China. Tencent Video reported 112 million paying subscribers at the end of March, while iQiyi claims 119 million monthly subscribers. Youku, which is backed by Alibaba, does not disclose its audience figures in similar detail but is thought to have 90 to 100 million subscribers. For comparison, Netflix reported 182 million subscribers worldwide at the end of March.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nBaidu, iQiyi and Tencent have declined to comment about the potential acquisition, although several people close to the companies told Caijing, a business magazine, that the two have been in discussions for a…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/Qin-Lan-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Entertainment","page":"15"},{"id":46423,"title":"Two exam controversies become the talk of China\u2019s internet","content":"Another week and another round of headlines about China\u2019s hugely competitive school and university system.\r\n\r\nTwo stories, both about examination results, have captured the public mood as parents fret about the impact of the coronavirus on their children\u2019s education.\r\n\r\nThe first involves Chen Chunxiu, a 36 year-old mother from Shandong province, who was deprived of a place at university 16 years ago because someone stole her identity.\r\n\r\nChen, who comes from a poor background, only discovered the identity theft in May when she applied for a course at an adult education centre. For the first time she was given access to all of her previous academic records.\r\n\r\nTo her shock she discovered she had done quite well in her high school exams and even been offered a place at Shandong University of Technology.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nBut another girl, whose father worked with the local government, then conspired to steal her academic records, going so far as to change her name so that it matched Chen\u2019s.\r\n\r\nThe story stuck a nerve with people online who also claimed to have friends or relatives who had suffered from a similar experience.\r\n\r\nAn investigation by Shandong\u2019s educational authorities \u2013 carried out in response to Chen\u2019s complaint \u2013 revealed that a further 242 students…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/Entrance-Exam-w-scaled.jpg","category":"And Finally","page":"17"}]},{"id":1651,"name":"Issue 500","date":"Jun 19, 2020","title":"Our latest milestone...","tagline":"First published in 2009 Week in China today reaches its 500th issue","pdf-link":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/500.pdf","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/500-large.jpeg","articles":[{"id":46304,"title":"Editor Steven Irvine on Week in\u2008China\u2019s history and who we reported on","content":"The original idea for Week in China came about in 2007, germinating over many discussions with my wife (our Ask Mei columnist). She would mention business stories from the mainland Chinese press and I was struck by how few of them seemed to make it into the English language media, despite how interesting the news items often were.\r\n\r\nI sensed there was a gap to be filled by a publication that curated these stories in a readable, digestible way. I even saw a few similarities with the original mission of TIME magazine, co-founded in the early 1920s by Briton Hadden and Henry Luce. The duo saw a middle America that was starved of lively insights into the major stories of the day. So each week they collated the key news from the leading newspapers (in the US and beyond) and delivered it in a style that was easy to read.\r\n\r\nThe TIME magazine of that era also happened to chronicle the rise of America as a superpower (for those interested, a good book on the magazine\u2019s early days is Isaiah Wilner\u2019s The Man Time Forgot).\r\n\r\nI had been a journalist and editor in Hong Kong since 1997 and had made many trips to…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/TP-main.jpg","category":"Talking Point","page":"1"},{"id":46314,"title":"Beijing in \u2018soft lockdown\u2019 after new outbreak","content":"Back in February Chinese President Xi Jinping gave strict orders that Beijing be protected from the coronavirus. \u201cThe security and stability of the capital city have a direct bearing on the overall work of the Party and the country,\u201d hesaid in a nationwide video conference call with Party cadres.\r\n\r\nFour months later the \u201cfortress\u201d he advocated has cracked \u2013 nearly 200 people in the city have tested positive for the virus in the past week. Prior to the new outbreak, which was detected on June 11, China\u2019s capital had gone 56 days without a locally transmitted case. In the first wave of infection only 420 people tested positive for the virus, resulting in only nine Covid-19 deaths.\r\n\r\nThe sudden outbreak comes as China has tried to argue that its style of government is better placed than others to deal with disasters of this kind. This week Xi helped cement that narrative by hosting an e-summit with African leaders in which he pledged that they would be among the first to benefit once China had developed a vaccine.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nThe Beijing city government has moved quickly to contain transmission, limiting inbound and outbound travel. Recently reopened schools were closed once again. Other measures include reducing…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/Xinfadi-market-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Healthcare","page":"8"},{"id":46310,"title":"CSPC Pharmaceutical to become largest stock on STAR Market","content":"When CSPC Innovation Pharmaceutical \u2013 which supplies caffeine to Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Red Bull \u2013 went public on Shenzhen\u2019s ChiNext board last March, market observers were excited that it might signal the return of its bigger Hong Kong-listed parent to a mainland bourse too.\r\n\r\nIt did not take long for that hope to become a reality. On May 27 CSPC Pharmaceutical announced plans to float its shares on Shanghai\u2019s STAR Market (see WiC461).\r\n\r\nDepending on its offer price \u2013 A-share investors are generally willing to give higher valuations to bio-tech and pharmaceutical firms \u2013 the secondary listing would potentially boost the drugmaker\u2019s market capitalisation to Rmb200 billion ($28 billion), making it the most valuable firm on the STAR Market, said newspaper CBN. The one year-old bourse\u2019s top dog for the time being is Kingsoft Office. The software provider is worth Rmb120 billion, which is three times as much as its Hong\u2008Kong-listed parent.\r\n\r\nFor comparison, CSPC\u2019s Hong Kong-listed shares were worth HK$97 billion ($12.5 billion) as of Wednesday.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nThe planned listing was prompted by a new effort to lure \u2018red chips\u2019 (Chinese firms incorporated overseas and mostly listed in Hong Kong) back to the A-share market. Previously only companies worth Rmb200 billion or more were…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/CSPC-Pharma-w.jpg","category":"Healthcare","page":"9"},{"id":46360,"title":"Guangdong billionaire held hostage in his home","content":"In a shocking attack last year, Hong Kong actor Simon Yam was stabbed during a promotional event held by a property development firm. A popular rumour had it that the assailant ran a small firm that was going under because of late payment by the company concerned (see WiC462).\r\n\r\nA few years earlier Wahaha\u2019s Zong Qinghou, one of China\u2019s richest men before the internet tycoons took over in the wealth rankings, was stabbed outside his home. Again the speculation was that the attacker was a small business owner in a financial dispute with the beverage heavyweight (see WiC210).\r\n\r\nSo when news broke this week that Midea Group\u2019s billionaire founder He Xiangjian had been held hostage in his own home, the Chinese internet was soon buzzing about the reasons for the raid.\r\n\r\nAccording to CBN, a local newspaper, police in Shunde received a report on Sunday evening that a small group of intruders had broken into He\u2019s villa in a luxury residential project developed by Midea.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nThe Midea boss seems to have been held hostage overnight, before confirmation came later that five suspects had been arrested at 5am on Monday.\r\n\r\n\u201cThe victim, surnamed He, is safe,\u201d the local police bureau said in a very brief statement,…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/He-Xiangjian-w.jpg","category":"Economy","page":"10"},{"id":46317,"title":"Hainan\u2019s free trade plan starts to take more shape","content":"When the plan for a free trade zone in Hainan was first announced two years ago (see WiC405) the island joined a crowded field, with 11 other zones claiming similar status in China.\r\n\r\nZones like these are typically launched with great fanfare, triggering a surge in property speculation (see WiC220) and the setting up of representative offices by trading companies and professional services firms.\r\n\r\nOften the story then goes rather quiet for a while. Shanghai\u2019s free trade zone, probably the best known, took a similar path in 2013, although it has doubled in land area since then, welcoming Tesla as a high-profile tenant last year. Advances in other areas have been slower, including a commitment to freer convertibility of the renminbi for the companies working there. There have been pilot trials of reforms for the currency and cross-border investment but progress has been delayed by other imperatives, such as controlling capital flight.\r\n\r\nA key question for Hainan is how its free trade zone is going to be different to others. Its backers say that the island already stands out because of its designation as a \u2018free trade port\u2019, the first of its kind in mainland China. What that means is open to interpretation,…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/Hainan-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Economy","page":"11"},{"id":46321,"title":"Why Johnson Electric\u2019s departure from Shenzhen is symbolic","content":"The Wang family behind Johnson Electric have a long history of riding the ups and downs of southern China\u2019s manufacturing sector, dating back decades to the time when the People\u2019s Republic of China was founded in 1949, and the family first arrived in Hong Kong.\r\n\r\nThey are still doing so today as their electronics company moves from its long-cherished home in Shenzhen\u2019s Bao\u2019an district to Jiangmen, a smaller city further along the coast in Guangdong.\r\n\r\nJohnson Electric\u2019s founder Wang Seng Liang came to Hong Kong after Mao Zedong\u2019s rise to power in mainland China. His textile business in Shanghai got seized by the new regime, so he set himself up as a tailor in the British colony instead.\r\n\r\nIn 1959 Wang and his wife then established Johnson Electric to make motors for cheap plastic toys. His son Patrick, the company\u2019s current CEO and chairman, has said that his father\u2019s motivation was to find a business with greater predictability, where product ranges lasted for longer periods. \u201cToy trends change often. Less so for motors,\u201d he explained.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nThe Wangs were key contributors to the \u2018Made in Hong Kong\u2019 label that symbolised the cheaper goods that were made in the city, especially its toy industry. But as…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/Johnson-Electric-Facade-w.jpg","category":"Economy","page":"13"},{"id":46325,"title":"Huawei bids for business in driverless technology, as 5G future beckons","content":"Huawei has said time and again that it will never make cars. But that hasn\u2019t stopped it pitching for business in the trillion-dollar market for next-generation vehicles. As the telecom giant\u2019s rotating chairman Eric Xu Zhijun put it: \u201c70% of a car\u2019s worth in the future will not come from its outer shell and chassis, but the computing and connection technologies that pilot it\u201d. As a result, Huawei started a business unit focusing on \u2018smart auto\u2019 solutions last May and the first fruits are apparent in BYD\u2019s all-new flagship sedan in its \u2018Dynasty\u2019 series.\r\n\r\nSet to go on sale in China this month, BYD\u2019s Han model comes in electric and plug-in hybrid versions, and is intended to compete with Tesla\u2019s sporty Model 3. Aside from relying on BYD\u2019s pioneering Blade Battery (see WiC499), the Han will also be supported by a Huawei-developed \u20185G module\u2019 called MH5000, as well as offering its smartphone interface, known as HiCar (which connects a user\u2019s preferred apps \u2013 such as WeChat \u2013 to the car\u2019s dashboard).\r\n\r\nMH5000 is helpful because it improves cellular-based \u2018vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) communications\u2019, meaning the exchange of information between cars, pedestrians and roadside infrastructure like traffic signs and cameras. All of this will be…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/BYD-Han-w.jpg","category":"Auto Industry","page":"14"},{"id":46328,"title":"Which A-share firms have the highest proportion of foreign shareholders?","content":"In the 1950s, retail investors accounted for more than 90% of ownership of the US share market, according to Citic Securities. That percentage has dropped to less than 10% as institutional investors have taken over.\r\n\r\nChina\u2019s A-share market has been showing signs of becoming a more mature marketplace as well.\r\n\r\nData from the same brokerage shows that individual investors held as much as 72% of the free float in 2014 but that the proportion has since dropped to less than 30%.\r\n\r\nInstitutional holdings are increasing, in part because it is getting more straightforward for foreign investors to own A-shares. Overall holdings are still low at about 3% of tradable shares. But that is still a significant increase on 10 years ago and regulators are continuing to make it easier for global asset managers to buy into the market.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nFor instance, the investment quotas and foreign exchange limits under the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors (QFII) and Renminbi QFII schemes were both formally scrapped this month and Stock Connect schemes now offer an easier way for offshore capital to invest in A-shares via the Hong Kong bourse.\r\n\r\nAccording to Securities Times, foreign investors have invested in 2,148 A-shares via the Stock Connect schemes (local media outlets generally…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/Shenzhen-Stock-Exchange-w.jpg","category":"Banking & Finance","page":"15"},{"id":46330,"title":"360 Finance invests in Tianjin lender, ahead of Hong Kong listing","content":"One of Wen Jiabao\u2019s parting shots as Chinese prime minister was aimed at the country\u2019s largest state-owned firms. He claimed in 2012 that the SOEs \u201cmake profits far too easily\u201d and called for the breaking up of their monopolies. A year later the government gave the green light to private sector investors to set up their own banks (see WiC206) and the first batch of 10 banking licences was given out in 2014 (see WiC230).\r\n\r\nBut after five years of operations have any of these newcomers been able to challenge the dominance of their state-owned peers?\r\n\r\nAccording to International Finance News, a newspaper run by the People\u2019s Daily, there were 18 private sector banks in operation by the end of last year (with one more still to start) but their combined assets totalled just Rmb881 billion ($12.5 billion), or less than 1% of total banking assets. Tencent-backed WeBank, based in the Qianhai special economic zone in Shenzhen, and MYbank, a Zhejiang-based lender with Alibaba\u2019s Ant Financial as a major shareholder, accounted for nearly half of the group\u2019s total assets.\r\n\r\nMany of the newcomers focus on \u201cinclusive finance\u201d by offering banking services to lower-income customers and SMEs locked out of the conventional banking system.…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/Qihoo-360-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Banking & Finance","page":"16"},{"id":46334,"title":"Wanda calls it a day on its e-commerce ambition","content":"In 2012, Wang Jianlin and Jack Ma appeared together on a TV show. Ma told the founder of China\u2019s largest developer of commercial property that shops and malls were a thing of the past. Wang did not take this prediction well and he made the now-famous wager that if, in 10 years time, online sales become more than half of total retail sales, he would give Ma Rmb100 million (and vice versa if it had not happened).\r\n\r\nWang later claimed that the bet was for fun and shouldn\u2019t be taken seriously. But he had clearly grasped the threat that online sales were posing to his property business and in 2014 Wanda announced that it had joined forces with internet giants Baidu and Tencent to extend its reach into e-commerce too.\r\n\r\nEnter Feifan, the conglomerate's online-to-offline (O2O) retail platform (Feifan means \u2018extraordinary\u2019 in\u2008Chinese). Wang claimed that Wanda was going to invest up to Rmb20 billion ($2.81 billion) to build up a web platform that combined the developer\u2019s shopping centres with Baidu\u2019s maps and Tencent\u2019s WeChat social network.\r\n\r\nSix years on, Jiemian has reported that Wanda is quietly shutting down the online platform and concluding the last chapter in the company\u2019s foray into e-commerce.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nIndustry observers…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/Wanda-w-1-scaled.jpg","category":"Internet & Tech","page":"17"},{"id":46338,"title":"The first episode got 420 million views \u2013 what makes this show different?","content":"One of the certainties about girl bands is that they aren\u2019t destined to last forever. Many of the best-known bands in Asia try to delay the inevitable, changing their line-ups as their singers start to age. However, once passionate younger fans also change too, becoming less devoted as they grow up.\r\n\r\nA reality show in China wants to reverse the aging process, proving that women over 30 can still deliver the girl band goods.\r\n\r\nSisters Who Make Waves \u2013 which is shown on Hunan Satellite TV\u2019s streaming platform \u2013 has become the most talked-about topic on social media since its debut last Friday. The first episode has already accumulated more than 420 million views on its streaming platform Mango TV. On Sina Weibo, conversations related to the series have already generated two billion views.\r\n\r\nLike previous idol survival shows, Sisters Who Make Waves features a large group of celebrities who compete to be part of a five-member girl group. But the rub is that all of the contestants are more than 30 years-old. Some of them are household names, like the scandal-prone actress Zhang Yuqi, 33; Ning Jing, 48, a singer-actress of Nakhi descent; and singer-actress Annie Yi, 52. Jin\u2008Chen is the youngest…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/Zhang-Yuqi-w.jpg","category":"Entertainment","page":"18"},{"id":46342,"title":"China\u2019s Haidou-01 submersible reaches a depth of 10,907 metres","content":"With its cartoon eyes and distinctive red and yellow body, the Haidou-01 looks much like the baby clown fish from the Pixar animation Finding Nemo.\r\n\r\nAnd like Nemo, the unmanned submersible has been on a great adventure \u2013 in its case, a trip to the bottom of the world\u2019s deepest undersea trench.\r\n\r\nFootage of the brightly coloured explorer at work showed its mechanical arms carrying out tests of the seabed at the bottom of the Mariana Trench.\r\n\r\nAt one point it even waves a little plaque \u2013 bearing the name of its creators \u2013 directly at the camera.\r\n\r\nThe submersible\u2019s non-threatening appearance belies the seriousness of some of its real-world deployment \u2013 which includes hunting for deep sea minerals and anchoring tracking technology on the seabed that helps to detect submarine activity.\r\n\r\n\u201cThis marks a new stage in the development of China\u2019s unmanned underwater vehicle technology and its ability to explore and operate in the deep sea,\u201d Xinhua enthused.\r\n\r\nIn recent years China has made major advances in deep-sea exploration, joining the United States, Russia, Japan and France in 2011 in an exclusive club of nations that have sent \u201coceanauts\u201d deeper than 4,500 metres.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nThe following year it sent the same submersible down to a depth of…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/Submarine-w.jpg","category":"And Finally","page":"20"}]},{"id":1650,"name":"Issue 499","date":"Jun 12, 2020","title":"Stalled economy","tagline":"What does Premier Li Keqiang\u2019s proposal to encourage street stalls say about the state of the Chinese economy?","pdf-link":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/499.pdf","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/499-large.jpeg","articles":[{"id":46236,"title":"Premier Li Keqiang pins hopes of a rebound on more street stalls","content":"Many cities around the world now offer tours of their street-food scene. Knowing that street food had turned into a tourism attraction, the Hong Kong government toyed with the idea of introducing food trucks a few years ago. The policy was reportedly inspired by the Hollywood movie Chef. The idea failed partly because the vehicles were only allowed to operate in a few designated spots (such as outside Hong Kong Disneyland). The pilot scheme floundered and most of the food truck pioneers went under.\r\n\r\nAcross the border in mainland China, Premier Li Keqiang last week offered his own backing to street vendors as part of a new policy initiative. The news soon stirred debate over the merits of the so-called \u201cstall economy\u201d and how it might generate more economic activity in general. Yet the craze withered away even more quickly than Hong Kong\u2019s brief experiment. The media buzz about the plan only lasted a few days, with state newspapers suddenly going silent on the topic. What happened?\r\n\r\nHow did the debate start?\r\n\r\nChinese planners are working overtime on ways to reboot the world\u2019s second biggest economy and help it recover from the Covid-19 outbreak. To that end Li announced last month during the…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/Market-Eiffel-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Economy, Talking Point","page":"1"},{"id":46239,"title":"NetEase successfully lists in Hong Kong","content":"Ding Lei, founder of Guangzhou-based internet company NetEase, has seen some extraordinary changes at his company. For a start, it has become a $58 billion behemoth whose services have expanded from email into online entertainment and e-commerce. The number of his staff has jumped from 221 to 20,000, and its customer base has expanded to one billon. And as of yesterday its shares are no longer traded solely on Nasdaq, but also in Hong Kong, thanks to a secondary listing that raised HK$20.9 billion ($2.7 billion).\r\n\r\nAccording to the Hong Kong Economic Journal, NetEase\u2019s offering received interest from more than 370,000 retail investors. Over HK$200 billion ($25.8 billion) was pledged to the deal, translating to an oversubscription rate of 360 times. For comparison, Alibaba\u2019s $11.2 billion return to Hong Kong last November was 42 times oversubscribed (see WiC476) and handset maker Xiaomi\u2019s $4.7 billion fundraising 9.5 times (see WiC408).\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nThe enthusiasm is understandable. Since going public on Nasdaq at $15.5 per share in 2000, NetEase\u2019s stock has been one of the market\u2019s best performers. Adjusted for a 4-for-1 stock split back in 2006, the shares have grown nearly 102 times in value. Also tantalizing this month: its newly offered stock in Hong…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/Ding-Lei-w.jpg","category":"Internet & Tech","page":"7"},{"id":46242,"title":"Hamstrung Cathay Pacific bailed out by the Hong Kong government","content":"Hong Kong\u2019s $5 billion government-led rescue of its local carrier Cathay Pacific is the deal that nobody wanted, but no one could refuse.\r\n\r\nOn Tuesday the government said it would be stumping up most of the cash in an emergency bailout of the airline, which first flew from the city in 1946.\r\n\r\nIt is putting in the funds through a combination of preferred shares, warrants and loans, in what local media is reporting as the first instance in recent memory in which the government has injected money directly into a private company.\r\n\r\nAt first glance it doesn\u2019t seem like much of a deal for taxpayers, who are committing more in capital than Cathay\u2019s market value on the day before the deal, but getting just 6% of its shares. While the government will get two seats on the Cathay board, its representatives will attend as observers, without any voting rights.\r\n\r\nThat arrangement underlines the sense of how the government really doesn\u2019t want to be involved at the airline. The deal on how the rescue package is to be paid back says something similar, with the financing costs increasing each year. That should motivate the airline\u2019s management to reimburse the bailout as quickly as it can,…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/Cathay-Planes-w.jpg","category":"Aviation","page":"8"},{"id":46245,"title":"All eyes are on June 18 e-commerce event for signals on consumer spending","content":"China\u2019s second-largest e-commerce firm JD.com is embarking on a secondary listing in Hong Kong. The e-commerce giant \u2013 which is already listed on Nasdaq \u2013 could raise as much as $4.3 billion from the sale, which is likely to be one of the largest public offerings in the city this year.\r\n\r\nJD.com says it expects to debut the shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on June 18, the company\u2019s anniversary and the same day as its annual shopping bonanza. Though lesser known than Singles\u2019 Day, \u2018618\u2019 is China\u2019s biggest mid-year shopping festival.\r\n\r\nThis year the sales extravaganza is going to be even more important for the Chinese economy. As countries across the world grapple with the aftermath of the pandemic, the results will be a telling barometer of consumer confidence in China. It also offers an important opportunity for e-commerce firms to spot the latest trends and identify areas for growth in the months ahead.\r\n\r\n\u201cThis year\u2019s 618 battle is going to be fiercer than ever\u2026 Since the first quarter\u2019s sales were affected by the pandemic, all the e-commerce platforms are hoping that the recovery of consumer confidence will lift their performance in the second quarter,\u201d commented Entertainment Unicorn. \u201cAll the e-commerce…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/JDcom-w-scaled.jpg","category":"China Consumer","page":"9"},{"id":46248,"title":"Hisense unveils more mixed-ownership reform","content":"Hisense has been a local champion in the city of Qingdao since the late 1960s, when it started to make radios under the brand name Red Lantern.\r\n\r\nLater it branched out into televisions and household appliances, doing well enough to grow into a multi international corporation with listed units in Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hong Kong.\r\n\r\nThrough all that time Hisense had the Qingdao local government as the biggest shareholder of its holding group. But not for much longer. Late last month, the company announced that the Qingdao unit of Sasac, the agency that manages China\u2019s state-owned assets, will sell just over 17% of the existing shares to \u201cappropriately qualified investors\u201d.\r\n\r\nThe sale will reduce the state ownership in two of Hisense\u2019s key listed units: Hisense Visual Technology (a TV maker) and Hisense Home Appliances (which produces fridges and air-conditioners).\r\n\r\nLocal media has been keen to drum up the deal as another example of the so-called \u2018mixed-ownership reform\u201d in which state shareholdings are being sold down to private-sector investors. These newcomers are supposed to bring something different to the table, not just capital but a more disciplined focus on market realities, as well as better corporate governance.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nMaybe that\u2019s why investors were pleased by the news,…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/Hisense-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Economy","page":"11"},{"id":46251,"title":" The Chinese-born tycoon behind Zoom","content":"No one could hear what Eric Yuan was saying at the start of an earnings call from his video conferencing app last week. Then someone in his investor relations team reminded him to turn on the mic. As a mishap it wasn\u2019t a major one for the founder of the smash-hit Zoom. But more challenges await Yuan as he tries to find a path through a difficult period in Sino-US relations.\r\n\r\nWho is Eric Yuan?\r\n\r\nHe was born in 1970 in the city of Tai'an in Shandong province. Company legend has it that he started to dabble in video telephony in the late 1980s as a university student, when he wanted to stay in touch with his girlfriend without making the 10-hour train trip to visit her.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nHow was Zoom created?\r\n\r\nAfter university Yuan did travel further afield, first working in Japan before moving to Silicon Valley in 1997. He says it took nine tries before he was granted a work visa but he then got his start in California with a videoconferencing firm that was later acquired by Cisco. Later he hawked his idea of a smartphone-friendly video conferencing system to his bosses. They said no and he left to start his own…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/Eric-Yuan-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Who\u2019s Hu","page":"12"},{"id":46254,"title":"Electric vehicle battery makers BYD and CATL battle for supremacy","content":"The rivalry between Airbus and Boeing is one of the most determined in corporate history. Over the years, they have swapped places as the market leader and traded jabs over the role of military contracts or government subsidies in each other\u2019s success.\r\n\r\nIn the world of batteries, BYD from Shenzhen and Ningde-based Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) are engaged in similar skirmishes as they fight for supremacy in the technology that powers next-generation electric vehicles (EVs).\r\n\r\nThe latest chapter in their rivalry opened in March, when BYD unveiled its latest technology known as the Blade Battery. It is a type of cell that uses lithium iron phosphate (LFP) as its cathode material but in a much longer and thinner design than its predecessors. This enables more cells to be fitted into a battery pack, which the company claims translates into higher volumetric energy density and a longer cruising range for the cars. The technology is also said to be a more reliable performer because the cells, which are long enough to touch the frame of a battery pack, also work as support \u2018beams\u2019 that strengthen the pack, as well as having enhanced cooling ability.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nThe Warren Buffett-backed firm proved its claims by putting a…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/Wang-Chuanfu-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Auto Industry","page":"13"},{"id":46265,"title":"The rise and fall of one of Taiwan\u2019s most colourful politicians","content":"Han Kuo-yu was first elected to Taiwan\u2019s legislative body in 1992. His political career started with a literal bang when he slapped Chen Shui-bian, another lawmaker, in a debate about war veterans.\r\n\r\nIn 1994 Han was one of four KMT lawmakers to face recall votes but he survived the no-confidence ballot. But by the time Chen became the island\u2019s president in 2000, Han had already lost his seat in a general election and was taking a long exile from politics (he became a farmer).\r\n\r\nHan then made an incredible comeback in 2018, becoming the first Kuomintang candidate in 20 years to win the mayorship in Kaohsiung, a city that had long been a stronghold of the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party (see WiC434).\r\n\r\nHis sudden re-emergence onto Taiwan\u2019s political scene (see WiC436) was coined \u2018the Han Wave\u2019. At one point he was seen as the KMT\u2019s best bet for retaking office from the DPP and he outgunned Foxconn\u2019s Terry Gou, the island\u2019s richest man, to become the KMT\u2019s presidential candidate last year (see WiC449).\r\n\r\nHowever, Han\u2019s fall has come even quicker than his return to the spotlight. He lost the presidential election in a landslide to the DPP\u2019s Tsai Eng-wen in January (see WiC479). And…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/Han-Kuo-yu-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Cross Strait","page":"16"},{"id":46263,"title":"Carmaker reliant on Mercedes sales diversifies into car hire business","content":"As it headed towards its filing for chapter 11-bankruptcy in May, Hertz must have rued the fact that there was no white knight to save it from its Covid-19 induced collapse. A Chinese counterpart of the American car rental firm has, so far, been luckier in finding a rescuer.\r\n\r\nAt the end of the same month, state-owned BAIC Motor swooped in with an offer to purchase just over a fifth of CAR Inc from its parent UCAR. BAIC becomes its second biggest shareholder, behind Legend Holdings.\r\n\r\nLike Hertz, CAR Inc is lossmaking. The sale also comes at a time when other businesses linked to UCAR\u2019s founder Charles Lu Zhengyao have run into serious problems, following a fraud investigation at his best-known creation, Luckin Coffee.\r\n\r\nHertz and CAR Inc were once more closely linked. In 2013, Hertz purchased a 16.1% pre-IPO stake in CAR Inc, hoping to tap into a new era of car rental in China. It never quite worked out as planned and Hertz sold most of its stake without much of a profit in 2016, after CARInc was listed in Hong Kong.\r\n\r\nMany now wonder if BAIC is making a similar mistake in investing in CAR Inc.\r\n\r\nThe deal \u201cmay end up being…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/Ucar-w-scaled.jpg","category":"M&A","page":"17"},{"id":46257,"title":"New costume drama about a matriarchal society earns plaudits","content":"In Yunnan province, women from the Mosuo tribal community sit at the head of the table; sons and daughters live with their mothers, along with the children of the daughters, following the maternal bloodline. Women are the family members who own and inherit property and run the households.\r\n\r\nThe men have little to no say in the childrens\u2019 upbringing. They are mainly in charge of building and repairing homes and slaughtering animals. All the decisionmaking lies with the women.\r\n\r\nFor the rest of China, the Mosuo tribe is an unusual minority. Women have traditionally occupied an inferior position in Han Chinese culture. The idiom, \u2018men in charge of the outside, women in charge of the inside\u2019 underlines the stereotype that a woman\u2019s place is in the home.\r\n\r\nIn May, a low-budget TV series that tries to overturn traditional gender norms became a surprise success. The Romance of Tiger and Rose, which was released on Tencent Video, follows Chen Xiaoqian (played by newcomer Zhao Lusi), a struggling screenwriter waiting for her big break, as she finds herself transported into a real-life version of a period drama that she herself has written.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nThe story takes place in ancient times in a fictional city called Huayan. There,…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/Chen-Lusi-w.jpg","category":"Society","page":"18"},{"id":46260,"title":" Poetic licence","content":"\u201cEngland is Black; China is Red\u201d is the title of my master\u2019s thesis. June will be dedicated to writing up 20,000 words on how, through the construction of poetry, Chinese teens can express their \u201clinguistic identity\u201d.\r\n\r\nIdentity is considered by some as an overused term that is losing its meaning via the sheer number of academic enquiries across disciplines. To me, though, we haven\u2019t even begun to scratch the surface of identity. My own identity, I\u2019ve come to realise, is strongly defined by the languages I speak \u2013 just as with the participants in my research.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nBack in December 2019, I spent a few weeks outlining a research project to spend March and April in the heart of Beijing. I was interested in the linguistic variation of English year-abroad students in both Peking and Tsinghua universities. My own experience was of acquiring a thick Beijing accent that I haven\u2019t been able to shrug off. I was intrigued as to whether and why other English students might pick up a Beijing accent too.\r\n\r\nAlas, Covid-19 meant that none of my cohort could undertake research in China, and later, anywhere else in the world. In February, when it was clear I would not be returning…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/Cambridge-w.jpg","category":"Education","page":"19"},{"id":46272,"title":"Families come first in new car licence lottery","content":"The harmonious, multi-generational family is the Chinese ideal. You see the theme replicated in feel-good ads for everything from cooking oil to banking. The converse \u2013 inter-generational bickering \u2013 is the stuff of juicy soaps and neighbourhood gossip.\r\n\r\nTypically, the family is supposed to come first, ahead of the rights or needs of individuals. But newly proposed rules for car licence plates in the city of Beijing are putting a new twist on the familial dynamic.\r\n\r\nThe new regulations \u2013 posted for public comment on June 1 \u2013 propose that members of the same family can pool their applications for a much-coveted licence plate. As a result, they will stand a higher chance of winning a licence in the monthly Beijing lottery. The more generations sharing the car, the higher the family\u2019s chances of winning.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nNeedless to say, China\u2019s young and unmarried are unhappy about the idea, because it reduces their chances of getting a licence. That may even limit their chances of getting married: owning a car can still help to snag a good partner in some parts of the mainland marriage market.\r\n\r\nThe proposed rules say a family will qualify for extra points if none of its members has a car already.…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/Car-Plate-w.jpg","category":"And Finally","page":"20"}]},{"id":1649,"name":"Issue 498","date":"Jun 5, 2020","title":"From BAT to ATM","tagline":"With Meituan Dianping\u2019s market value surging well past the $100 billion mark, the new internet acronym is ATM (Alibaba, Tencent, Meituan) rather than BAT","pdf-link":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/498.pdf","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/498-large.jpeg","articles":[{"id":46184,"title":"Meituan takes over from Baidu in China\u2019s internet triumvirate","content":"Wang Xing, the co-founder and chief executive of Meituan Dianping, was dubbed the \u201cmad man\u201d of China\u2019s internet sector at the outset of his entrepreneurial career. That was owing to a series of bold attempts (and failures) to create local copycats of proven US\u2008internet successes (see WiC117). So when he told his senior executives in mid-2015 that Meituan had the potential to grow into an online heavyweight worth more than $100 billion, most of them agreed that their boss was indeed insane.\r\n\r\nFounded in 2010 and then known as Meituan.com, the company had been created as China\u2019s answer to Groupon, and it was still well off Wang\u2019s valuation target when it merged with major rival Dianping in 2015 (a fundraising round at the time valued it at $7 billion).\r\n\r\nIt was also burning cash at an alarming rate, thanks to diversifications into areas including food delivery and bike-sharing.\r\n\r\nBut last week Wang\u2019s predictions turned out to be rather accurate, as Meituan\u2019s market capitalisation indeed surpassed $100 billion. It becomes only the third Chinese internet firm to reach that valuation milestone, with analysts now wondering how his firm will shape the ongoing battle between China\u2019s biggest internet titans, Alibaba and Tencent.\r\n\r\nFrom BAT to ATM\r\n\r\nFor…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/Meituan-Dianping-1-scaled.jpg","category":"Internet & Tech, Talking Point","page":"1"},{"id":46188,"title":"Why Tencent is spending Rmb500 billion on a \u2018new infrastructure\u2019 push","content":"In its early days Tencent\u2019s reputation was more that of a fast-follower than a pioneer. While Alibaba was introducing e-commerce and taking its first steps towards fintech with the payment tool Alipay, Tencent adopted a more cautious approach, growing its customer base through instant messaging platform QQ and monetising it with sales of video games.\r\n\r\nPony Ma, Tencent\u2019s founder, even questioned whether first-movers got much of an advantage in his home market. \u201cIn America, when you bring an idea to market you usually have several months before the competition pops up. But in China, you can have hundreds of competitors within the first hours of it going live,\u201d he told a tech conference. The mantra was that \u201cexecution\u201d mattered just as much as \u201cideas\u201d, if not more so.\r\n\r\nBut the market view on Tencent as \u2018steady\u2019 rather than \u2018spectacular\u2019 started to look outdated after the launch of WeChat in 2011. As China\u2019s dominant social media network it was soon an indispensable part of the daily lives of hundreds of millions of people. Its success also supercharged Tencent into a leading investor in the tech world, with more than 800 companies in its portfolio at the beginning of this year. More than 70…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/Pony-Ma-w.jpg","category":"Internet & Tech","page":"7"},{"id":46195,"title":"China\u2019s media mauls Trump over human rights","content":"The US is a hypocrite. That is the message coming out of China\u2019s propaganda machine this week, after the Trump administration vowed to bring nationwide protests over the killing of an unarmed black man to an end \u2013 by sending in the military, if necessary.\r\n\r\nUnusually for international news in China, the protests have made it to the front pages of newspapers and taken up prominent slots on state television\u2019s primetime newscast.\r\n\r\nThe messaging has been brutal: one cartoon from the People\u2019s Daily showed the Statue of Liberty shattering as a policeman emerges Hulk-style from within.\r\n\r\nThe main argument in the Chinese editorials is that the US readily calls out what it perceives to be human rights abuses around the world \u2013 and especially so in China \u2013 but is a lot less reflective when such abuses happen at home.\r\n\r\nA frontpage article in the China Daily was representative of the mood in calling for the US to eliminate racial discrimination and safeguard the lawful rights of its ethnic minorities. There was coverage of comments from Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian too. \u201cBlack lives matter and their human rights should be guaranteed,\u201d he insisted.\r\n\r\nWashington lawmakers came under heavy attack as well, especially those that…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/I-cant-breathe-w.jpg","category":"China and the World","page":"9"},{"id":46192,"title":"Growing tensions on China\u2019s border with India","content":"High-altitude skirmishes on disputed sections of the Sino-Indian border can look a little low-tech. A bilateral code discourages the use of firearms. But that doesn\u2019t stop soldiers from using sticks, stones and sometimes their fists when they encounter the other side.\r\n\r\nAnd in recent weeks they have engaged each other with greater frequency than normal \u2013 leading some to ask if Beijing is using the Covid-19 crisis to further long-held political and territorial ambitions.\r\n\r\nIn the past couple of months Chinese boats have rammed and sunk a Vietnamese fishing vessel in the South China Sea. Beijing has also declared two disputed archipelagos as Chinese administrative districts and reiterated its position that it is willing to take Taiwan by force, and set out to implement a new national security law in Hong Kong.\r\n\r\n\u201cIt took into account the risks of international umbrage and reached the reasonable assumption that there would not be a significant geopolitical price to pay,\u201d the New York Times said in an article about the action in Hong Kong and other recent moves.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nCertainly governments in Europe and the US have been distracted by the virus and domestic issues (such as the continued protests in American cities). But that didn\u2019t stop Donald…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/Chinese-Border-w.jpg","category":"China and the World","page":"10"},{"id":46198,"title":"Henan city turfs out its property brokers","content":"Property agents have a long history in China. Back in the Zhou Dynasty almost 3,000 years ago brokers called zhi ren were responsible for executing the deeds in home sales.\r\n\r\nBy the time of the Song Dynasty (960\u20131279), the government had mandated that all housing transactions be completed through an intermediary.\r\n\r\nIn today\u2019s China property brokerages are one of the country\u2019s more under-regulated industries, however. That has led to countless complaints about fake listings, artificially-inflated prices and the hoarding of unsold units to limit supply.\r\n\r\nLast year 221 real estate agencies in the capital city of Beijing were fined for various transgressions.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nTo that end, the city of Yongcheng in Henan province decided to take matters rather boldly into its own hands \u2013 it has become the first place in China to eliminate property agents.\r\n\r\nThe city, with a population of 1.6 million, announced in early May that it has created an online service that connects homesellers looking to find buyers. The platform, called Yongcheng Real Estate Information Centre, is owned and operated by the local government. Interested parties can contact each other directly to arrange viewings and negotiate prices, bypassing agents altogether.\r\n\r\nNetizens were intrigued, although most were soon saying that the government has other…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/Yongcheng-w.jpg","category":"Property","page":"11"},{"id":46201,"title":"Brandy Melville woos young Chinese consumers","content":"The Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was known for his unchanging dress style: black mock turtleneck, blue jeans and New Balance sneakers. For celebrity models like Bella Hadid and Hailey Bieber it is also about the basics: crop-top and high-waisted jeans, a style that is often termed the Brandy Melville-look.\r\n\r\nFounded in Italy in the early eighties, Brandy Melville opened its first store in the US in 2009. With a product research team that is made up entirely of teenage girls \u2013 who are in charge of picking their favourite merchandise (\u201cshort, tight, skin\u201d is how a fashion blogger in China describes its clothing), it was an immediate hit among young Americans. It also helps that its prices are very affordable (no product costs more than $40).\r\n\r\nUnderstanding that social media is where the younger generation looks for their information, the brand doesn\u2019t advertise or use professional models. Instead, its social media account is flooded with pictures of its customers wearing its apparel, most of whom are long-legged, skinny and white (again, think Hadid and Bieber).\r\n\r\nThe company is also notorious for carrying only one size throughout its entire clothing range \u2013 and that size is \u2018small\u2019 \u2013 requiring taut abdominals.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nThe limited sizing range…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/Brandy-Melville-w.jpg","category":"China Consumer","page":"12"},{"id":46204,"title":"China Mobile and CBNC partner on 5G drive","content":"Governments around the world are working out how to get children back to school safely and stop Covid-19 from spreading again. In China these efforts have included the rollout of infrared temperature measuring devices to schools in Hubei province, run on a 5G network by China Mobile. During the lockdown other 5G networks helped online education providers broadcast millions of classes. Both cases are examples of how 5G could reshape everyday life as the next-generation standard is more widely deployed.\r\n\r\nThe country\u2019s big three telecom carriers are already under intense pressure to accelerate the rollout, in part to help the economy recover faster from the pandemic but also to keep China at the forefront of the 5G race. The technology is a core component of the government\u2019s latest round of infrastructure initiatives, through which it hopes to transform the economy. The target is 600,000 5G base stations by the end of his year, rising to as many as 5.5 million by 2025.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nIn late May China Mobile took an important step in its own 5G rollout when it announced a partnership with the country\u2019s fourth 5G operator, China Broadcasting Network Corp (CBNC). The national television and radio network operator was awarded a…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/ChinaMobile-5G-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Telecoms","page":"13"},{"id":46207,"title":"Tourism deals point to post-pandemic recovery","content":"The coronavirus pandemic has upended daily life in much of the world for so long that the idea of travelling again feels almost far-fetched. Lay-offs in the sector are mounting at the alarming rate of one million jobs a day, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council, an industry group based in London. The council reckoned that the industry could lose as much as $2.1 trillion in business by the end of the year.\r\n\r\nAgainst this backdrop, local media reported that the owner of Banyan Tree Sanya, a five-star hotel, has quietly offloaded the entire property to Hainan\u2019s provincial government for Rmb1.6 billion ($225 million). The hotel is still under management contract with Banyan Tree, which signed on to operate it until 2023. As a result, even after the sale the name will be maintained and the hotel run by the luxury Singaporean hotel manager.\r\n\r\nAn industry insider told Sina Finance that the hotel was owned by Beijing Tourism Group (BTG), which is controlled by the Beijing city government. Both sides have been in negotiations since last year. The transaction value of the property also includes Rmb1.4 billion worth of debt.\r\n\r\nBanyan Tree Sanya is the first all-private pool villa resort in…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/Ctrip-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Tourism","page":"14"},{"id":46210,"title":"A wave of tycoon wealth is about to pass to the next generation","content":"With the death of Macau casino mogul Stanley Ho last week, the subject of inheritance and estate planning once again became a topic of conversation in Hong Kong. With four wives and 17 known children, the 98 year-old\u2019s death was likely one of the more complicated exercises in wealth transfer in recent memory. And with some of Hong Kong\u2019s other tycoons in their nineties, there is a sense that a substantial amount of family wealth will soon pass to the next generation.\r\n\r\nThis is also a common theme among aging business founders in mainland China, who have also started to think about estate planning. To understand more about some of these issues WiC spoke to Cynthia Sze Wing Lee, HSBC\u2019s head of Private Wealth Solutions in Asia. As an expert in the field with over 26 years of experience, she says the number of enquiries about estate planning has surged in recent months \u2013 in part driven by concerns over Covid-19.\r\n\r\nHow much wealth do you estimate will be transferred by Asian families in the next 10 years or so?\r\n\r\nIn the next 10 years, our research shows that Asian families will pass on wealth of around $1.9 trillion to the next generation.\r\n\r\nIs…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/Cynthia-Lee-w.jpg","category":"Corporate Q&A","page":"15"},{"id":46214,"title":"iQiyi, China\u2019s Netflix, is looking for new ways of cashing in on content","content":"E very yuan counts. That was the message in a lawsuit that iQiyi lost in a Beijing court this week, brought by one of its subscribers. He was furious that the streaming platform had charged him an extra three yuan an episode for advance showings of a popular period drama, arguing that it breached the terms of his subscription deal.\r\n\r\niQiyi, which is majority-owned by the search giant Baidu, says it is considering an appeal against the court\u2019s decision, which comes at an awkward time for the company \u2013 which has rebutted allegations from short-sellers that it has been overstating its revenues.\r\n\r\nDisputes like these also throw more light on why iQiyi has been making every effort to generate revenue from other channels, including the unlikely news last month that it had set up a catering unit to focus on sales of food and beverage lines, as well as restaurant management.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nCommentators said that the creation of the new company is another signal of how iQiyi is trying to monetise its intellectual property. It also follows in the footsteps of other ventures that took it beyond streaming. We reported in February that the Nasdaq-listed firm had opened a flagship store for its streetwear…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/Gong-Yu-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Media","page":"18"},{"id":46217,"title":"Widely discussed new TV show deals in real life family tensions","content":"Of all the relationships in family life, the one between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law is often the most difficult.\r\n\r\nAccording to Cambridge University research, six out of 10 women find the relationship with their mother-in-law a strain.\r\n\r\nThat\u2019s the territory that My Dearest Ladies \u00ad\u2013 broadcast on Beijing Satellite TV and Mango TV (the streaming platform owned by Hunan Satellite TV) \u2013 has chosen to explore in another reality series. And as ever, the method is to monitor a few celebrities in action \u2013 in this case four wives as they take vacations with husbands and their mothers.\r\n\r\nFeedback on the series has been busiest on Taiwanese singer Jimmy Lin, 45, and his wife Chen Ruo-yi, 36, also from Taiwan. Chen has to find common ground with her mother-in-law, who in her own words is \u201cstrict\u201d and \u201cconservative\u201d. She admits at one point that she was worried about appearing on the show and audiences don\u2019t take long to discover why.\r\n\r\nAs soon as Chen arrives at the parental house \u2013 in Yilan, a city outside Taipei \u2013 her mother-in-law is finding fault with her choice of clothes (denim shorts, with a skin-exposing slit on one thigh).\r\n\r\nWhen Chen explains that this is part of the design,…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/Annie-Yi-w.jpg","category":"Entertainment","page":"19"},{"id":46220,"title":"New cooling-off clauses introduced as divorce rate increases","content":"How much of reality TV is genuinely real and how much is staged? WiC\u2019s guess is that much of it is manufactured, especially when celebrities are involved. The former husband of Gillian Chung \u2013 an actress from Hong Kong \u2013 confirmed as much recently. The two had starred in reality series in the last two years before divorcing in March. The ex-husband then told the media that the couple had actually wanted to part shortly after they were married but the contracts they had signed to appear in the reality shows had forced them to stay together and put on the pretence of married bliss.\r\n\r\nThe couple might have had more time to rethink their eventual separation in mainland China than in Hong Kong. Last week Chinese legislators passed what is being classed as the country\u2019s first \u201ccivil code\u201d, which comes into effect at the start of next year. It replaces existing laws on marriage, adoption and property rights. But the most-discussed item is the introduction of a mandatory 30-day cooling-off period for couples seeking divorces.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nThe move comes at a time when the divorce rate has been on the rise. Social views on marriage are changing, not least as more women…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/06\/Gillian-w.jpg","category":"And Finally","page":"21"}]},{"id":1648,"name":"Issue 497","date":"May 29, 2020","title":"The delisting threat","tagline":"The New York Stock Exchange: its trading floor reopened on Tuesday but will it now be a less welcoming place for Chinese firms?","pdf-link":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/497.pdf","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/497-large.jpeg","articles":[{"id":46132,"title":"Could tense Sino-US relations be a blessing in disguise for the HKEx?","content":"\u201cYou will only begin to earn their respect after you strike the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange.\u201d This is one of the quotes from American Dreams in China, a film based loosely on the story of New Oriental, an education firm founded to coach Chinese students trying to get into American universities. Business began in the early 1990s, feeding from the growing number of Chinese sitting the SAT and TOEFL exams. New Oriental prospered, going public in New York in 2006 (see WiC83).\r\n\r\nIn the 2013 movie, three deadbeat students aspire to make it big in America. After various setbacks they find success when they set up a school to help others pursue the same dream of an American education \u2013 a common aspiration for Chinese of that generation. In the plot an American examination agency sues the school for plagiarising its materials. The movie doesn\u2019t dwell on the outcome (in reality, New Oriental was sued for copyright infringement in 2004) but the three partners plough ahead towards an IPO in New York (see WiC167).\r\n\r\nThe film classes the ringing of the NYSE\u2019s opening bell as a defining moment for China\u2019s entrepreneurs. That\u2019s less the case today, however. Indeed,…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/Alibaba-Listing-w.jpg","category":"Banking & Finance, Talking Point","page":"1"},{"id":46135,"title":"The economic plan for 2020: no GDP target, and a bigger fiscal deficit","content":"The coronavirus is shaking up decades of certainties in the Chinese economy. GDP shrank for the first time in decades in the first three months of this year and now the government is dropping its growth targets completely for 2020, because of the pandemic.\r\n\r\nThe decision was anticipated by analysts ahead of the rearranged meeting of the National People\u2019s Congress, where Li Keqiang, China\u2019s premier, delivered his annual address on the economy at the end of last week.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe have not set a specific target for economic growth this year,\u201d he told delegates in the Great Hall of the People. \u201cThis is because our country will face some factors that are difficult to predict in its development due to the great uncertainty regarding the Covid-19 pandemic and the world economic and trade environment.\u201d\r\n\r\nSetting a target was not realistic in the circumstances, Xi Jinping, China\u2019s leader, reportedly told delegates in a closed session. \u201cOur focus cannot be on GDP growth.\u201d\r\n\r\nCritics of the targets have long argued that they prioritise \u2018quantity over quality\u2019 in the economy and that government officials chase them blindly, to the detriment of their other responsibilities. All the same, dropping them completely is a significant moment \u2013 the first time…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/NPC-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Economy","page":"7"},{"id":46138,"title":"Washington review confirms \u2018great power\u2019 clash","content":"Donald Trump is so active on Twitter that it sometimes seems he is setting American policy on the fly, including the outlines of the crucially important relationship (or non-relationship) with China.\r\n\r\nWhile it is true that his tweets reveal his tactics of the moment, it is also fair to say that grander strategy has been devised offline. His administration made a clear break with its predecessors on China in the winter of 2017, when it overhauled the US National Security Strategy (NSS), followed by a revamp of the national defence strategy the following year. Both were guided by a departure from the notion that engagement with China would see it emerge as a partner in prosperity and stability. Instead Beijing was recognised as a potential adversary, often intent on undermining American interests and values.\r\n\r\nThere was another reminder of the change of mood on May 20, when the Trump administration delivered a NSS update to Congress on its \u201cwhole of government approach towards relations with Beijing\u201d. These reviews don\u2019t provide detailed blueprints of the government\u2019s approach but they are important in underlining the tone and direction. And in this case, it highlighted how the newly \u201ccompetitive approach\u201d to China relations requires \u201ca…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/Trump-w.jpg","category":"China and the World","page":"9"},{"id":46142,"title":"Two tech investments counter decoupling story","content":"At the beginning of the 1980s, a group of British teenagers was asked whether they expected a third world war. Half said they were anticipating nuclear armageddon. A few years later American nuclear missiles were shipped to an airforce base in Berkshire. It was a contentious move but at one of the early meetings to discuss the move, residents appeared more concerned about the potential for disruption to the nearby racecourse than the prospect of being targeted by a Soviet atomic bomb.\r\n\r\nOften more prosaic and immediate concerns trump less tangible dangers, especially those shrouded in unpredictable futures. And until Covid-19, similar thinking appeared to be at play when it came to the risks of trading with China. Of course, there was newspaper commentary about the wisdom of outsourcing so much production to the Chinese, but it was mainly concerned with job losses in developed nations. For most consumers there was still a net positive: doing business with China meant cheaper goods.\r\n\r\nThe virus turned that upside down, hammering home the message that what happens in China can affect the lives of ordinary people across the globe in profound ways.\r\n\r\nIn more academic terms, this is really a debate about globalisation and its…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/Honeywell-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Internet & Tech","page":"10"},{"id":46145,"title":"TikTok poaches Disney\u2019s streaming boss","content":"Content posted on TikTok, the smash-hit short-video platform from China, doesn\u2019t last more than 15 seconds. Kevin Mayer, who is taking over as its new boss next week, will be hoping for a longer stay. The rewards could be tremendous for the seasoned executive, who surprised many by joining from Disney. But there are risks in swapping the Magic Kingdom for the Middle Kingdom too.\r\n\r\nFormerly boss of Disney\u2019s streaming division, Mayer arrives at his new employer after missing out on the top job at the storied entertainment firm. Now he has a chance to share in TikTok\u2019s stellar rise, fuelled by its edge in algorithms that predict the kind of user-generated video content that viewers will enjoy most.\r\n\r\nHe also takes on the role of chief operating officer at Bytedance, TikTok\u2019s parent firm, which also runs its China-focused sibling Douyin and the news aggregator Toutiao. But Mayer\u2019s primary focus will be TikTok and its international presence, which produced just 1% of Bytedance\u2019s Rmb130 billion ($18 billion) in revenues last year, according to local news site LatePost.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nThat\u2019s a disconnect when TikTok has more than 700 million active users outside China. More than four in 10 are said to spend nearly an hour…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/Kevin-Mayer-w.jpg","category":"Media","page":"11"},{"id":46150,"title":"Debt-laden Tianqi to sell Aussie lithium mine?","content":"Lithium was once better known as a mood stabiliser, particularly for people suffering from bipolar disorder. It\u2019s only in the last decade that it has established more of a reputation as a key material for the batteries that power electric vehicles (EVs).\r\n\r\nJiang Weiping, the founder of Tianqi Lithium, may be in need of some of its medicinal properties, after the highs and lows of his firm\u2019s expansion strategy. After starting out strongly, his growth plan was punctured by a supply glut that pushed lithium prices down 70%. Now they\u2019re suppressed by the impact of Covid-19 too.\r\n\r\nThe long-term prospects for lithium producers are better. But that\u2019s little comfort to the Shenzhen-listed company, which is struggling to repay its debt after acquiring a quarter of Chilean producer, Sociedad Quimica y Minera (SQM), for $4.1 billion at the height of the most recent bull market for the commodity in mid-2017.\r\n\r\nThat purchase was largely financed by a $3.15 billion loan, which fell due last November. Tianqi had hoped to repay some of the borrowing in 2018 by raising $1 billion through a Hong Kong listing, but was pipped to the post by rival producer Ganfeng Lithium. This was the beginning of its misfortunes. Ganfeng…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/Tianqi-Lithium-Australia-w.jpg","category":"Energy & Resources","page":"12"},{"id":46153,"title":"New scooter safety rules see helmet prices surge","content":"Riding round the streets of Beijing, you could, until recently, see why the price of crash helmets was so low. The demand was not there: the vast majority of people on two-wheelers simply didn\u2019t wear them.\r\n\r\nThat all changed late last month when the Ministry of Public Security announced new rules requiring riders of China\u2019s ubiquitous electric scooters to wear protective head gear.\r\n\r\nFurthermore, people riding pillion on e-scooters \u2013 typically children \u2013 will also need to wear helmets.\r\n\r\nWhile the new regulations weren\u2019t set to take effect till June 1, the price of helmets has already increased dramatically, with many retailers saying they have run out of stock. China has some 250 million electric scooter riders and 87 million motorcyclists. Head injuries account for 80% of deaths when two wheeler-riders are involved in traffic accidents, Xinhua has reported.\r\n\r\nSurveillance camera footage of deadly collisions involving the vehicles is regularly shown on local news channels so as to encourage people to wear protective headgear and exercise more caution on the roads.\r\n\r\nPreviously only motorcyclists were required to wear helmets. (That rule was often observed in big cities but flouted in the countryside.)\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nThe new road safety rule comes after a renaissance in two-wheeler use \u2013 thanks…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/Scooter-w.jpg","category":"China Consumer","page":"13"},{"id":46156,"title":"Drugmaker Hengrui\u2019s hospital kickbacks in the spotlight","content":"In the romcom Love & Other Drugs, Jake Gyllenhaal, who plays a roguish sales rep, goes to great lengths to hawk a treatment for depression called Zoloft. Tactics include charming receptionists so he can wrangle openings to pitch to doctors, paying one doctor $1,000 for a chance to shadow him and dumping rival products stolen from a clinic\u2019s medicine room.\r\n\r\nAccording to the film\u2019s director Edward Zwick, who adapted it from the memoir Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman, the story was set in the 1990s when America\u2019s FDA rules were eased on product promotion. \u201cSuddenly the amount of money spent on drug advertising, and the amount made in sales, skyrocketed,\u201d Zwick told the Wall Street Journal. Peddling products for off-label usage, as discussed in the movie, ended up in real life seeing Pfizer settle a $2.3 billion fraud case in 2009.\r\n\r\nThe potentially conflicted relationship between doctors and pharma firms worldwide is well documented. But it has received renewed attention in China lately, in the wake of a bribery lawsuit involving local pharma giant Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine.\r\n\r\n<ad>>\r\n\r\nLei Lipei, a former director of the Anaesthesiology Department at Lishui Central Hospital in Zhejiang province, was found to have taken over Rmb6.7…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/Sun-Piaoyang-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Healthcare","page":"14"},{"id":46161,"title":"Arthouse films bypass shuttered cinemas and distribute online","content":"Mother-daughter ties are often complicated. As Kira Birditt from the University of Michigan puts it, they can be \u201cthe closest and most irritating\u201d of relationships.\r\nLast week, an arthouse movie about a particularly toxic mother-daughter combination premiered on online video site iQiyi. Spring Tide tells the story of three generations of women from the city of Changchun in Jilin. Ji Minglan (played by Taiwanese actress Elaine Jin) seems outgoing when she is with her friends but at home she is a difficult widow, estranged from her adult daughter Guo Jianbo (Hao Lei), a hardworking journalist. Guo also has a young daughter (conceived from a one-night stand). With her meagre income, the two are forced to live with Ji. Stuck in the conflict between her mother and grandmother, the young girl tries to mend their fragile relationship.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\nAs the story unfolds, the film begins to explain Ji\u2019s behaviour. Her husband cheated on her and after he died, she pinned her hopes on her daughter. These were disappointed when Guo became a single mother.\r\nGuo, in turn, wreaks damage on her own child. One day, after a nasty fight with her mother, Guo takes refuge by bringing her young daughter to her office. But once…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/Hao-Lei-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Entertainment","page":"16"},{"id":46164,"title":"Celebrity\u2019s personal information leaked","content":"Wang Yuechi, known by his stage name Chi Zi, first came to fame through Roast Convention, China\u2019s closest equivalent to the US programme Comedy Central Roasts. By virtue of his quick wit and well-polished jokes, the 25 year-old was a fixture on the show for three years until his sudden departure in January 2019, which disappointed many.\r\n\r\nAfter dropping off the showbiz scene for months, he was back in the limelight early in May, after a highly publicised row with the producer of Roast Convention, which led to the exposure of some questionable practices at state-owned Citic Bank.\r\n\r\nOn May 6 Wang took to weibo to explain why he had been out of the public eye for almost eighteen months. Last year he accused Fun Factory Culture Media of breaching his contract by not paying him his agreed remuneration. Following his complaint, Fun Factory suspended him from working on its shows. Wang then took legal action, which saw Fun Factory retaliate, demanding Rmb30 million ($4.2 million) in damages.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\n\u201cYes, some Rmb30 million. I suspect they are not delegating the issue to a lawyer but becoming a P2P lender [i.e. behaving a like a loan shark]. I\u2019ve come to the realisation that I\u2019m the…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/Citic-w.jpg","category":"Entertainment","page":"17"},{"id":46166,"title":"Xinjiang horse race gets the livestreaming treatment","content":"In 1975 the Hong Kong Jockey Club was appointed by the government as operator of the then British colony\u2019s first lottery. Winning the \u20186 out of 14\u2019 lottery game (by picking the right numbers in the right order) brought a windfall that was enough to purchase two apartments in the city at the time.\r\n\r\nKnown today as the \u201cMark Six\u201d, the massive takings from the lottery are recycled back into charitable causes, meaning that taking a punt has benefits for society at large too.\r\n\r\nCan a similar formula be applied in Xinjiang? For more than a decade people from the region have been allowed to take part in various sports lotteries. And in more recent years, the local government has been keen to promote horse racing too.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nThe Uighurs \u2013 the main ethnic group in Xinjiang \u2013 are no strangers to horsemanship \u2013 but as part of their nomadic heritage, rather than of the gambling type.\r\n\r\nYet as the sport makes steady steps into Chinese cities such as Wuhan (see WiC353) and the island of Hainan (see WiC405), horse breeding cooperatives have thrived in Xinjiang.\r\n\r\nLast year, the local government rolled out plans to support a \u201cstrong equine industry\u201d. Earlier this month there were more…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/Horse-Racing-w.jpg","category":"Society","page":"18"},{"id":46170,"title":"Jilted girlfriend gets revenge with onion dump","content":"The world of Chinese e-commerce is truly impressive. Regardless of where you are, or what you want to buy, you can normally find a way to put in an order for the item that you want.\r\n\r\nYour correspondent has seen fish tanks, shipments of sand, and even a tree pass by on top of the tiny vehicles that provide the \u2018last mile\u2019 of delivery to people\u2019s homes.\r\n\r\nBut the sheer flexibility of the courier system is open to abuse, as one man from Shandong discovered this month.\r\n\r\nSurnamed Si, the man had broken up with his girlfriend and was apparently so pleased to be single that his former lover felt that she should punish him by sending him a tonne of onions.\r\n\r\n\u201cI cried for three days and now it\u2019s your turn to cry,\u201d the message on the shipment said.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nPhotos from the drop-off show dozens of sacks of red onions ariving at the man\u2019s apartment. The instructions on the order were explicit: leave them right by his front door.\r\n\r\nZhao, the former girlfriend who placed the order, said the stunt was cheap at the price. \u201cA relationship involves two people, I can\u2019t be the only one crying,\u201d she was quoted by Xinhua as saying.\r\n\r\nNetizens were…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/Red-Onions-w-scaled.jpg","category":"And Finally","page":"19"}]},{"id":1647,"name":"Issue 496","date":"May 22, 2020","title":"What now?","tagline":"Huawei\u2019s rotating chairman Guo Ping has had an awful week \u2013 Washington unveiled a new policy designed to derail his firm using Taiwan\u2019s TSMC","pdf-link":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/496.pdf","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/496-large.jpeg","articles":[{"id":46075,"title":"A last stand for Huawei amid an escalating Sino-US tech war?","content":"After a drawn-out trade war, the rise of a tech firm from the world\u2019s second largest economy posed a new threat to American leadership in core technologies.\r\n\r\nThe challenger had emerged as a pacesetter in the consumer electronics market and it was threatening American primacy in the semiconductor sector as well.\r\n\r\nIt\u2019s a story that the Chinese media has been retelling in recent months, noting how Washington resorted to unprecedented sanctions against the foreign firm, including hefty fines, import tariffs and restrictions on sales of some components. The plot sounds familiar but the company in question was Japan\u2019s Toshiba. The year was 1987.\r\n\r\nAt the height of the row, Toshiba Machinery, a unit of the Japanese electronics giant, was accused of selling technology to the Soviet Union that would help Russian submarines to sail as silently as American ones. Two executives ended up resigning and Toshiba printed a full-page apology in 91 newspapers in the United States. More importantly, it agreed to share more of its R&D with American partners.\r\n\r\nThe saga is said to have marked the beginning of Toshiba\u2019s decline in the global electronics market and the subtext of the story in the Chinese media is crystal clear: that Huawei is now…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/Huawei-w.jpg","category":"Internet & Tech, Talking Point","page":"1"},{"id":46079,"title":"Taiwan\u2019s firms turn back from mainland China","content":"How do you out-muscle two 700-pound gorillas? That\u2019s the question that Morris Chang, the founder of TSMC, posed in 2012. At the time, he was referring to his semiconductor foundry\u2019s two main rivals, Samsung Electronics and Intel. As we discuss in this week\u2019s Talking Point, more of the chest-thumping in the semiconductor world today is coming from two geopolitical rivals: China and the US.\r\n\r\nTSMC seems to have acknowledged that the Americans are still the alpha male. But it\u2019s also the most high-profile example of a Taiwanese company following its own government\u2019s policy on pulling back from mainland China.\r\n\r\nWhen she was inaugurated as president for a second term this Wednesday, Tsai Ing-wen highlighted this pivot as the crowning achievement of her first term. In 2016, she had launched the Go South campaign to encourage Taiwanese firms to relocate their mainland Chinese supply chains to Southeast Asia, South Asia and Australasia. Early last year, the government launched an incentive programme to encourage Taiwanese companies to come home as well. Since then 400 firms have pledged to move their operations back from mainland China and invest NT$1 trillion ($33.55 billion) into Taiwan, equivalent to 5.7% of its 2019 GDP (government ministers say NT$500…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/Tsai-Ing-wen-w.jpg","category":"Cross Strait","page":"7"},{"id":46082,"title":"Tencent tops up Canadian coffee firm in China","content":"The Milky Way is home to as many as 400 billion stars. And yet it is still growing, with new stars emerging faster than the speed of sound. Tencent\u2019s universe of investments is smaller, with stakes in more than 800 companies. But its galaxy is also growing at a rapid pace and 160 of the biggest stars are supernovas, said to be worth $1 billion or more.\r\n\r\n\u201cIn the past, our investment sectors were mostly focused on video games and content, as well as the [new] frontiers of science and technology,\u201d Martin Lau, president of the Shenzhen-based titan, told a gathering of 500 investees in Beijing in January. \u201cHowever, in the future, we will pay more attention to smart retail and payment platforms with the development of Tencent\u2019s WeChat mini-app ecosystem.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe strategy \u2013 which aims to support a pivot to the \u201cindustrial internet\u201d, or providing services to other businesses \u2013 doesn\u2019t seem to have been damaged by the coronavirus outbreak. Just last week an investment in the coffee house chain Tim Hortons was added to its Rmb231 billion ($32.5 billion) portfolio.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nAccording to Lu Yongchen, CEO of the Canadian brand\u2019s China operations, the fresh funds from Tencent \u2013 in the hundreds of…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/Tim-Hortons-w.jpg","category":"M&A","page":"8"},{"id":46086,"title":"Beijing slaps tariffs on Australia barley, after row over Covid-19 inquiry","content":"Was it really a coincidence? That was the question about the timing of China\u2019s Monday announcement that it was slapping tariffs on Australian barley exports, which were worth about $600 million last year. Only a few hours later a meeting of the World Health Organisation (WHO) would adopt a call for an inquiry into the global response to the coronavirus outbreak, something which the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been proposing for almost a month. That effort has enraged the Chinese, who suspected an effort to blame them for the coronavirus and warned the Australians against \u201cideological bias and political games\u201d.\r\n\r\nA few days earlier there was news of a Chinese ban on meat exports from four abattoirs that process about a third of the beef that Australia\u2019s farmers were expecting to sell to China this year. But the irony is that both governments have been keen to claim that the situations are unconnected. China\u2019s foreign ministry argues that the beef and barley cases are regulatory matters, which predate the row over the pandemic inquiry, and the Australian agriculture minister took a similar position when the tariffs came into effect on Tuesday. \u201cThe reality is they are separate,\u201d he said…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/Sydney-Chinese-w-scaled.jpg","category":"China and the World","page":"9"},{"id":46090,"title":"China\u2019s carmakers hope the worst is over after an awful quarter","content":"In the US they are known as \u2018cowboy Cadillacs\u2019. In China they\u2019re called pikas. Owning a pickup is just about as American as apple pie, but in China pika has been a more derogatory term for someone who carts around supplies or basic equipment for a living.\r\n\r\nBut attitudes are changing. Last year the Chinese became the world\u2019s second largest buyers of pickup trucks, surpassing the Canadians (Europeans have never really taken to them in the same way). Sales jumped 10% over the course of the year to 452,000 vehicles, equating to 3% of global demand. This is still some way behind the US, where the figure is 16%, or sales of three million units.\r\n\r\nResearch firm Automotive Foresights reckons that sales in China could jump to as many as two million vehicles over the next couple of years, thanks to two trends. Firstly, the government is relaxing restrictions on pickup trucks in cities. And secondly, some consumers in China are starting to look at pickups in the same way that Americans do.\r\n\r\nOne such enthusiast is Grey Liu. As Reuters reports, the Beijing-based businessman is now the proud owner of a pickup that he uses to transport his motorbike to grasslands outside…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/auto-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Auto Industry","page":"11"},{"id":46093,"title":"SF Express takes on Meituan and Ele.me","content":"The delivery business isn\u2019t always very dependable. In New York, 90,000 packages are stolen or disappear without explanation every day, the New York Times reported last year.\r\n\r\nIn China, city residents are finding ways to reduce the failure rate by sending their packages through Hive Box. The five year-old firm, backed by logistics giant SF Express, operates a network of locker stations in residential compounds around the country. The lockers give couriers a convenient place to drop off packages in the event that the recipients are not home. They also give residents a place to pick up their parcels if they miss delivery.\r\n\r\nHive Box now operates 180,000 lockers in more than 100 cities. Earlier this month, it started charging customers Rmb0.50 ($7 cents) for every 12 hours of storage time, up to a Rmb3 maximum \u2013 beforehand customers could wait up to 24 hours to pick up a package before they were charged a small fee. This caused outrage: users weren\u2019t given advanced notice only finding out about the new charge when they went to collect their packages.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nHive Box explained that its lockers were at capacity in many locations and that it needed to increase the turnover rate to free up…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/SF-Express-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Internet & Tech, Logistics","page":"13"},{"id":46097,"title":"Why real estate giant Vanke is having a go at pig farming","content":"Pork is central to the Chinese diet. But despite consuming half the world\u2019s pig meat, Chinese domestic supply is haphazard, much of it coming from small-scale farmers with backyard hoggeries. This kind of fragmented market has contributed to fluctuating pork prices. But it has also created opportunities for new players to come into the business, often rather unexpectedly. Cue property heavyweight Vanke, which is the latest to try its luck with pork.\r\n\r\nThe plan became public early this month when the property giant put out recruitment ads for roles at a pig farm in Shenzhen. The staff openings are at Vanke\u2019s food business unit, which was established in March and is led by one of its general partners, Tan Huajie.\r\n\r\nThe recruitment drive coincides with a period of sizzlingly high prices for pork. The wholesale price in China was about Rmb45 per kilogramme in April, down from the record of Rmb54 ($7.59) last October, but still 121% above the levels of a year earlier. Although increases in imports have helped to move prices a little lower, domestic supply is still struggling to meet demand. At least 40% of China\u2019s hog herd was lost to African swine flu last year and pork output…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/Pig-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Agriculture, Property","page":"14"},{"id":46100,"title":"Korea\u2019s Innisfree scales down China operation","content":"Six years ago when eagle-eyed fans in China spotted that actress Jun Ji-hyun\u2019s character in the popular Korean drama My Love Who Came From The Star was wearing a hot pink lipstick made by the Korean cosmetics brand IOPE, the item quickly sold out online (IOPE did not have any physical stores in the country when the show aired in 2014).\r\n\u201cI waited for more than a week for it to come,\u201d one diehard fan who bought the lipstick told the Global Times. \u201cI paid Rmb150 ($24.3) for it. Now it is much more expensive on Taobao, since so many people are going after it.\u201d\r\nFor Korean beauty giant AmorePacific, owner of IOPE, there\u2019s a need for a lot more product placements to boost its business in China. Thanks to the regular introduction of new products and increased investment in online marketing, some of its brands like Sulwhasoo and Laneige have achieved strong growth. However, its biggest brand in China \u2013 Innisfree \u2013 has struggled to compete.\r\nAmorePacific first started selling in China in 1993 but it only launched Innisfree in 2012. At the time hallyu, or \u2018the Korea wave\u2019, was riding high thanks to popular TV shows from\u2008Seoul. With its affordable price-point,…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/Song-Hye-kyo-w.jpg","category":"China Consumer","page":"15"},{"id":46107,"title":"Restraints on China\u2019s medical equipment boom","content":"Shenzhen-based Aibaoda Technology used to sell earphones, microphones and loudspeakers. Tus Data Asset developed blockchain technology and electronic devices. But they both changed direction this year to supply medical equipment \u2013 that is, until mid-April when they were named and shamed for the poor quality of their products.\r\n\r\nThe Covid-19 crisis has seen a number of other firms join the gold rush to sell medical goods \u2013 partly because of the surge in international demand, but also because of the subsidies, loans and tax breaks on offer to bump up manufacturing capacity.\r\n\r\nBut in a sign that the stampede into medical goods had gone too far, China\u2019s Ministry of Commerce announced on May 12 that detection reagents, surgical masks, hazmat suits, ventilators, infrared thermometers and non-medical masks could no longer be exported through the so-called \u201cmarket procurement trade\u201d.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nThe term refers to deals struck in designated zones with fast-track customs clearance. Supporting transactions worth less than $150,000, the idea is to reduce red tape for specialist goods shipped in smaller amounts. Apart from speedier export approvals, the scheme also exempts vendors from customs duties and supports less-than-container load (LCL) shipments.\r\n\r\nFirst introduced in Yiwu (see WiC9) in the province of Zhejiang in 2014, similar…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/Mask-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Healthcare","page":"17"},{"id":46103,"title":"China\u2019s dairy industry hit by another scandal","content":"In 2008, just ahead of the Beijing Olympics, news began to break of Chinese babies becoming sick because of adulterated milk formula.\r\n\r\nThe infant formula made by Sanlu, then the top-selling milk powder brand, was revealed to be contaminated with melamine. This caused kidney damage in more than 50,000 babies. The source of the contamination came from cattle farmers and wholesalers, who were using chemical additives to skirt protein-level tests on water-diluted milk. Nevertheless, Sanlu and other local brands were held responsible for the appalling safety standards.\r\n\r\nMore than a decade on, the scandal is still infamous and its impact long-lasting. Many parents still prefer to buy imported baby formula made from milk they feel they can trust.\r\n\r\nAnother bleak reality is the low-end market, previously dominated by Sanlu\u2019s cheaper products, has almost ceased to exist. Millions of mothers in less affluent rural areas can no longer afford milk powder.\r\n\r\nChina has worked hard to clean up its dairy industry. About four years ago Beijing began promoting domestic formula makers again, insisting they were well-regulated and now safe. Last year the National Development and Reform Commission said its goal was to help domestic suppliers grow their market share to 60%, or up from 40%…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/Baby-w-scaled.jpg","category":"China Consumer","page":"16"},{"id":46110,"title":"Product placement taken to new heights in reality TV show\u2019s latest season","content":"Chinese reality TV often seems to lead to traumatic moments \u2013 last year, a 35 year-old actor, for instance, died from a heart attack during filming of a show that demanded the celebrities undertake extreme physical challenges.\r\n\r\nReality series Back to Field is light years away from that kind of adrenaline-packed action. On Hunan Satellite TV, it follows actor Huang Lei, 47, and television host He Jiong, 44, who are friends in real life, as they head off to a quiet home in the mountains, where they invite different celebrities to visit each week. Like a number of similar formats in the past, Back to Field also likes to play up nature\u2019s bounty: the guests are sent out to search for food in the fields and forests around them. To bring a splash of youth, actor Peng Yucheng, 25, and actress Zhang Zifeng, 18, star too and help out with the physical labour.\r\n\r\nDespite not much happening each episode, the fourth season of the series has done well in its primetime slot on Friday nights, outperforming Zhejiang Satellite TV\u2019s far more energetic Keep Running (see WiC409). Audiences say the leisurely pace is what makes it compelling television after a long week at…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/Huang-Lei-w.jpg","category":"Entertainment","page":"18"},{"id":46113,"title":"Live-stream celebrity stirs debate on feminism","content":"American singer Barry Manilow (born Barry Alan Pincus) took his mother\u2019s maiden name when he was 13. Actress Whoopi Goldberg (born Caryn Elaine Johnson) chose her mother\u2019s surname when she got her start in Hollywood. Of course, most people in the US and Europe take their father\u2019s family name. And while it is not unknown for people to use their mother\u2019s surname in China \u2013 in some two-child families the older kid might share the father\u2019s surname and the second-born take their mother\u2019s \u2013 the norm is to use the father\u2019s name.\r\n\r\nSo there was a surprising reaction online when social media sensation Papi Jiang said that she had chosen to give her newborn daughter her husband\u2019s last name too.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nIn mid-May, the comedienne posted online that she had given birth to a baby girl and wanted to pay tribute to all the women who had gone through the excruciating pain of labour. \u201cI recently came to realise that being a mother is the most tiring thing in this world,\u201d she added. However, netizens were quick to notice that her daughter had taken her husband\u2019s last name, Hu.\r\n\r\nWhat\u2019s the big deal? Many pointed out that Papi Jiang, whose real name is Jiang…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/Papi-jiang-w.jpg","category":"World of Weibo","page":"20"},{"id":46119,"title":"How the pandemic is making life difficult for pandas overseas","content":"When two giant pandas from China flew into Toronto airport in 2013, their arrival was deemed important enough to merit a personal welcome from then Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.\r\n\r\nLoans of bears like these are part of Beijing\u2019s diplomatic outreach. But there\u2019s always the risk that the Chinese might repatriate their pandas should relations with their host country deteriorate.\r\n\r\nThe Sino-Canadian mood has darkened since the detention of Huawai\u2019s chief financial officer (and daughter of its founder) Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver last year (see WiC458). An last week Calgary Zoo said that it would be sending the two pandas back to China \u2013 is there a connection between the two stories?\r\n\r\nProbably not. In this case the Covid-19 pandemic seems to be the reason why Canada has cut short the 10-year loan. Zookeepers say they have struggled to source enough bamboo from China to feed the duo because flights have been so disrupted by the virus.\r\n\r\nAlmost all of the panda diet is made up of fresh bamboo and each adult consumes about 40kg daily. The bears can be picky too, refusing to eat bamboo from new sources or shoots that have aged too much in transit.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nIn other locations where pandas are exhibited,…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/Panda-w.jpg","category":"And Finally","page":"21"}]},{"id":1646,"name":"Issue 495","date":"May 15, 2020","title":"So is it a new \u2018Cold War\u2019?","tagline":"Black lab theory: US Secretary of State Pompeo has said the coronavirus came from a laboratory in Wuhan, earning rebuke from China and stoking tensions","pdf-link":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/495.pdf","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/495-large.jpeg","articles":[{"id":46022,"title":"Is Covid-19 pushing China and the US into a new Cold War?","content":"The term \u2018Cold War\u2019 was actually coined by a Wall Street financier. Bernard Baruch \u2013 then an advisor to President Harry Truman \u2013 came up with it in April 1947 to describe the increasingly chilly relations between the US and the Soviet Union.\r\n\r\nIn a speech to the South Carolina House of Representatives he said: \u201cLet us not be deceived, we are today in a Cold War. Our enemies are to be found abroad and at home. Let us not forget this: our unrest is the heart of their success.\u201d\r\n\r\nIn recent weeks talk of a new era of Cold War confrontation has been getting more press coverage with references to the superpower rivalries of the past. For some of this talk we can blame the coronavirus pandemic, although the roots of the crisis actually extend much further back.\r\n\r\nThe politics of the pandemic\r\n\r\nThe pandemic might have been a moment for the Chinese and US governments to work together in a reprise of how Russian and American scientists collaborated on efforts to develop vaccines for polio and eradicate smallpox in the 1950s and 1960s. Instead it has driven a deeper wedge between the present-day superpowers, creating what The Economist magazine has been describing…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/Trump-Xi-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Talking Point","page":"1"},{"id":46025,"title":"Did Long\u2008March rocket launch go to plan?","content":"What counts as a successful rocket launch? Simply getting into space? Presumably any astronauts on board are interested in getting home safely too. But it seems fair to expect that parts of the rocket shouldn\u2019t come crashing back to Earth in an uncontrolled manner, at least?\r\n\r\nGoing by these criteria, the launch of the Long March 5B carrier rocket on May 5 wasn\u2019t quite the success that China\u2019s space agency has claimed. On May 11, part of its staging \u2013 sections normally jettisoned before the spacecraft achieves orbit \u2013 came hurtling back to Earth, narrowly missing Los Angeles and New York, before finally coming down somewhere over the Atlantic on Monday morning US eastern time.\r\n\r\nWeighing almost 18 tonnes and measuring thirty metres in length, it was one of the largest piece of space debris to make an uncontrolled re-entry since a Soviet space station fell back to Earth in 1991.\r\n\r\nPictures posted to Twitter appeared to show some debris had careered into the Ivory Coast. Seismic and infrasound monitoring stations in the area picked up the impact.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nWhat happened was that the staging components made it into very low orbit and hurtled through space for almost a week. \u201cThis rocket stage was just…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/Long-March-5B-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Space Programme","page":"7"},{"id":46028,"title":"Taipei presses its case for a voice at the WHO, irking Beijing","content":"Two visits by US politicians to the Far East in 1971 were influential in reshaping the world order.\r\n\r\nThe often-told tale of Henry Kissinger\u2019s secret trip to the People\u2019s Republic of China (PRC) took place in July that year. That culminated in Richard Nixon shaking hands with Mao Zedong a year later \u2013 a move said to have begun to tilt the balance of the Cold War in Washington\u2019s favour.\r\n\r\nA less-heralded saga saw another American visit to the Republic of China (ROC) in Taiwan. Three months before Kissinger\u2019s covert mission in Beijing, Nixon had dispatched his Undersecretary of State Robert Murphy to Taipei.\r\n\r\nAn idea of \u201cdual representation\u201d for the PRC and ROC at the United Nations was presented to Chiang Kai-shek. But the generalissimo rejected the proposal outright and the result was the ROC\u2019s replacement by the PRC at the UN in the same year.\r\n\r\nThere have been two main explanations \u2013 from the perspective of Taiwanese politicians and historians, at least \u2013 for why the island lost its place at the UN. The first focuses on the stubbornness of Chiang, who insisted that the ROC was the only legitimate representative of China. The second is that Taiwan lost its position at…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/Taipei-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Cross Strait","page":"8"},{"id":46035,"title":"WiC takes a tour of the newly reopened Disneyland in\u2008Shanghai","content":"The House of Mouse is back. Shanghai Disneyland reopened this week after shutting up shop for 107 days (owing to the coronavirus). But is the fantasy kingdom set to flourish or will the Disney dream become a more dystopian world of social distancing and disinfectant?\r\n\r\nWiC made a visit on Tuesday to find out how the park is trying to move on from the pandemic.\r\n\r\nDisney had already reopened some of its retail outlets in Shanghai earlier in March but the resort in the city was the first of its 14 theme parks worldwide to readmit visitors. That puts the spotlight on Shanghai for what it might signal for the prospects of the world\u2019s largest entertainment company, including more than 100,000 furloughed employees around the world. \u201cThis is a first step, it\u2019s a baby step,\u201d Walt Disney CEO Bob Chapek told CNBC. \u201cWe\u2019re moving slowly, but we\u2019re very encouraged by what we see in Shanghai.\u201d\r\n\r\nOf course, the return of Shanghai Disneyland is also one of the biggest tests yet of whether large groups of people can gather safely as tourists, especially at a time when a round of new infections in Wuhan and Jilin has demonstrated that the threat of the virus…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/Disney-w.jpg","category":"China Tourist","page":"10"},{"id":46040,"title":"Six months ago few would have predicted Zhang Wenhong\u2019s stardom","content":"Hu Yaobang, a former general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, was one of the first of China\u2019s leaders to switch to Western-style suits in the 1980s. And at a time when the country was beginning to experiment with market reforms, Hu even suggested his compatriots should ditch chopsticks.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe should use knives and forks more, buy more plates and sit around the table to eat Chinese food in the Western style, that is, each from his own plate,\u201d he suggested during a visit to Inner Mongolia in 1984. \u201cBy doing so we can avoid contagious diseases.\u201d\r\n\r\nBut chopsticks have been used by the Chinese for thousands of years and Hu\u2019s idea about changing to cutlery was never going to stick.\r\n\r\nNeither did Hu. As a flag-bearer for the economic reform of the time he was soon being targeted by hardliners, who accused him of being a \u201cbourgeois liberal\u201d.\r\n\r\nHu was forced to resign as Communist Party leader in 1987.\r\n\r\nThe debate about the role of chopsticks in combating the spread of viral diseases has been a stubborn one, however. And new attention on \u2018family\u2019 dining culture (i.e. dipping into food on shared plates with chopsticks) has been stoked up by Zhang Wenhong, an expert…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/Zhang-Wenhong-w.jpg","category":"Chinese Character","page":"12"},{"id":46044,"title":"XPENG accuses Tesla of bullying behaviour","content":"Can rappers drive sales? In an unlikely collaboration, British family shoe brand Clarks has partnered with the Wu-Tang Clan, a hip-hop collective from Staten Island, for years. But in China last month it was Tesla that was getting the lyrical love, courtesy of Chinese rapper RoseDoggy, who had just bought his first Tesla car. \u201cMy bro and I are in the All Star,\u201d he rapped. \u201cDon\u2019t stop, keep hitting. The autopilot makes it feel like a spa.\u201d\r\n\r\nChina\u2019s wider love affair with Tesla is showing up in the sales figures. It topped the rankings for electric vehicle (EV) sales every month in the first quarter after it began rolling out locally made (and tariff-free) Model 3 cars from its gigafactory in Shanghai. In January, it sold 2,620 cars. In February, it sold 3,900 more. Then in March the figure jumped to 10,160, double that of its nearest competitor, the BYD Qin Pro EV. That month, one in every four EVs sold in the country was a Tesla.\r\n\r\nCan it keep it up? Tesla says yes, with plans to ramp up its production of 3,000 vehicles per week to 4,000 within the next couple of months. It has also launched phase two of…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/Tesla-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Auto Industry","page":"14"},{"id":46048,"title":"SMIC to go public in Shanghai as China ups stakes in semiconductor war","content":"For many years, a rule insisted that companies needed to show three consecutive years of profit before they were allowed to apply for a listing on Hong Kong\u2019s main bourse.\r\n\r\nThat rule was amended in 2004 to make way for \u201clarge corporations with market values higher than HK$4 billion ($510 million)\u201d.\r\n\r\nThe amendment, it was suggested at the time, was tailormade to lure the IPO of SMIC \u2013 a foundry set up by the Chinese government to take on Taiwan\u2019s older and larger fab TSMC.\r\n\r\nSMIC floated its shares in both Hong Kong and New York that year. But in a case of history repeating itself, the semiconductor firm seems to have found favour again with the regulators this year.\r\n\r\nThis time round a change in the rules by the China Securities and Futures Commission (CSRC) is paving the way for SMIC\u2019s return to the A-share market.\r\n\r\nOn April 30, the CSRC announced a change to market capitalisation thresholds for so-called \u201cred chip\u201d companies (businesses operating in China but floated on overseas bourses \u2013 including Hong Kong \u2013 or registered abroad) to apply for a listing on a mainland Chinese bourse.\r\n\r\nPreviously only red chips with market values above Rmb200 billion ($28.3 billion) were eligible. This…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/SMIC-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Internet & Tech","page":"15"},{"id":46051,"title":"Coca-Cola launches beauty supplement beverage for Chinese market","content":"Soft drinks giant Coca-Cola is on a mission to become a \u2018total beverage company\u2019. Cynics read that as a necessary push to reduce its reliance on its sugary bestsellers. But the journey continues: this week there was the announcement of another new joint venture in China with dairy firm Mengniu to sell chilled milk. And the beverage behemoth was in diversification mode last month as well, launching a new product called Zunxuan 28 Sleep-Recharged Face, a drinkable supplement said to boost skincare and sleeping patterns.\r\n\r\nThe drink contains gamma-aminobutyric acid and collagen peptides. The beverage also claims to draw on the salubrious effects and flavours of Brazilian coniferous cherry powder and Italian blood orange powder. The offering, meant to promote Coca-Cola\u2019s social e-commerce platform in China, targets a burgeoning class of sleep-deprived urbanites and draws on the concept of \u201coral beauty\u201d or \"eating pretty\" in China. The idea is also influenced by the TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) tenet of food-medicine homology, which believes that everyday food contains healing properties.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nAccording to Tmall International, oral beauty was one of the three most popular product categories for consumers during last year\u2019s 618 shopping festival (JD.com\u2019s answer to Alibaba\u2019s Singles\u2019 Day). Total turnover on the…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/Zunxuan-28-Sleep-Recharged-Face-w.jpg","category":"China Consumer","page":"16"},{"id":46054,"title":"Top soccer club to get 100,000 capacity stadium","content":"With the world\u2019s favourite game in unprecedented deep-freeze, it almost seems perverse to announce the building of the world\u2019s biggest stadium dedicated to soccer.\r\n\r\nAfter all, even though the leading leagues in Europe are desperately trying to restart their football seasons, the games are going to be played behind closed doors (Germany\u2019s Bundesliga will restart this weekend).\r\n\r\nNonetheless, there has been much fanfare in China for the news that Guangzhou is to get a new lotus-shaped stadium \u2013\u2002a design inspired by its local reputation as \u201cthe capital of flowers\u201d.\r\n\r\nIt will be built by property giant Evergrande as home to the Chinese Super League club that it co-owns with Alibaba and which goes by the name Guangzhou\u2008Evergrande. The new ground is expected to have capacity for as many as 100,000 fans, squeaking past Barcelona's Camp Nou as the world\u2019s largest \u2018football-only\u2019 stadium (the May Day Stadium in Pyongyang, the Dallas Cowboys' AT&T Stadium and Melbourne Cricket Ground can all host larger crowds).\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\nXia Haijun, president of Evergrande Real Estate Group, expects the project to make a major splash, telling media during the groundbreaking ceremony to prepare for a \u201clandmark comparable to the Sydney Opera House and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, and an important…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/Flower-Stadium-w-scaled.jpg","category":"Property","page":"17"},{"id":46057,"title":"Online concert receives over 350 million views, bringing relief to artists","content":"One World: Together at Home was billed as the largest gathering of pop stars since the Live Aid concert in 1985.\r\n\r\nThe prime-time special was conceived as a tribute to healthcare workers, volunteers and civil servants fighting the pandemic. Lady Gaga helped to select the musical line-up, which included Billie Eilish, Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Elton John and many more. The acts performed over a six-hour webcast followed by a two-hour televised broadcast in April.\r\n\r\nThe charity concert seems to have inspired the music industry in China to organise a show of its own. Yin Liang from Damai, the concert and event ticketing platform, together with Li Jie from Alibaba Pictures and Zhu Yiwen at NetEase Music came up with Believe in the Future, a benefit for musicians hit hard by the pandemic.\r\n\r\nAccording to Entertainment Unicorn, an industry blog, over 20,000 music shows and events were cancelled in China between January and March. \u201cIn this epidemic, musicians are some of the biggest losers. Offline performances have stopped so their incomes have essentially gone to zero. In the face of this crisis, what else can we as platforms do to help the industry?\u201dasked Zhu from NetEase Music.\r\n\r\nBelieve in the Future…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/wangfei-w.jpg","category":"Entertainment","page":"18"},{"id":46061,"title":"Posts and messages on social media can now be used in civil cases","content":"Be extra careful what you say on WeChat. That\u2019s the joke many were making last week when new rules allowing the admission of digital evidence in civil court cases took effect.\r\n\r\nPreviously transcripts of conversations on social media, blog posts and online videos could be used as evidence but it was deemed less reliable than other documents or testimony. It also had to be validated as authentic before it could be considered.\r\n\r\nThe guidelines from China\u2019s Supreme Court bring mainland courts into line with the lives of most mainland citizens, who now get hired, fired, paid and even proposed to online.\r\n\r\n\u201cThe Chinese increasingly live online, not offline,\u201d a lawyer told the Global Times.\r\n\r\n<<ad>>\r\n\r\n\u201cKnowing how to use digital records as evidence is particularly important for the parties to prove the facts of the case and protect their legitimate rights and interests,\u201d he added.\r\n\r\nSina quoted a law professor saying that digital evidence \u201chas changed from an auxiliary form of evidence to one of the main and most important types\u201d.\r\n\r\nDigital evidence has been admissible in the criminal courts since 2016, when the Supreme Court formally deemed text messages, emails and other electronic records as separate and valid forms of proof.\r\n\r\nYet as the online revolution has…","image":"https:\/\/www.weekinchina.com\/app\/uploads\/2020\/05\/WeChat-w-scaled.jpg","category":"And Finally","page":"20"}]}]}