A new Chinese personal income tax regime is taking shape and may make its long-awaited debut in the first half of next year, the Economic Observer reported on Tuesday. The reform is expected to feature various new deductibles, such as education expenses incurred by workers equipping themselves with a new skill, and interest payments on personal mortgages. The revamped tax regime aims to alleviate the burden on low wage earners, expand the tax base among the middle class, and boost tax receipts from the highest income brackets.

Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, has launched a new data center in Dubai. The company plans to open three more overseas data centers in Europe, Australia and Japan by the end of 2016, to add to its ten established centers: two in North America, one in Singapore, one in Hong Kong and six in mainland China. The additions reinforce the company’s ambitions to compete with leading market players Amazon and Microsoft.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has stated that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would be meaningless without US participation. His comments came after the US President-elect Donald Trump said he would withdraw the United States from the pan-Pacific free trade deal.

In an exclusive piece for Asia Times, Anita Nair writes that where once she spent idyllic summer holidays in a secular village in the southern Indian state of Kerala, life there has become increasingly polarized and regressive. Nair is a critically acclaimed, award-winning best selling author, poet, playwright and screenwriter whose books have been translated into 30 languages.

Kenny Hodgart

Kenny Hodgart is an editor for Asia Times.