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China Digest for Friday, 23 December 2016

Xi weighs in on curtailing housing market bubble

Regulating the residential rental market and restraining the housing bubble are major initiatives to protect and improve people’s livelihoods, President Xi Jinping said in a report by Xinhua news agency on Wednesday night. Local governments should ensure taxation and land policies meet the needs of citizens, he said at the 14th meeting of the Central Leading Group for Financial and Economic Affairs.

Chinese companies plan plants in the US

More Chinese companies plan to set up factories in the United States, reported Securities Daily on Thursday, pointing to the start of a possible new trend as operating costs will fall in the country as the US enacts policies to attract more manufacturing jobs.

Tax to protect environment expected this wee

A new tax to protect the environment will be voted on by the standing committee of the National People’s Congress, which means the law could be passed this week, reported Beijing Business Today. The law will give local governments the authority to impose taxes on environmental contaminants, though it fails to include automobile emissions.

Beijing, Shanghai tighten ride-hailing rules

New ride-hailing guidelines released by Beijing and Shanghai on Wednesday afternoon require car drivers to be local residents and vehicles to have the city’s licence plates, said Caixin on Wednesday evening. Beijing will also impose restrictions on engine capacity and wheelbase sizes, the report said. Didi Chuxing, the major ride-hailing platform in China, welcomed the guidelines, the report said.

Cosun bond default leaves investors in lurch

Cosun Group’s 312 million yuan (US$43.16 million) bond default has left investors in the lurch about getting some of their money back, reported Caixin on Wednesday evening. Zhejiang Property Insurance, which insured the bonds, claims documents submitted by holders for payment are incomplete, but Guangdong Equity Exchange, the issuer, and Zhaocaibao, the platform where the bonds were sold, say all documents were provided — leaving investors caught in the middle.

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Posted inChinaIndiaSouth AsiaWorld

The Daily Brief for Friday, 23 December 2016

Just who is Peter Navarro, the newly appointed head of President-elect Donald Trump’s White House National Trade Council?
In the first in a series by Asia Times writers profiling key individuals in Trump’s cabinet, Harry J. Kazianis, the director of defense studies at the Center for the National Interest in the US, says that the economist’s elevation betides an awakening when it comes to US understanding of the motives and aspirations of China.

India has just offered the world an object lesson in how not to demonetize, writes long-standing Asia Times contributor Chan Akya in the first installment of a two-part series on the policy and its impacts. The reasons for demonetization are sound, he believes, but its execution has been bungled.

The United States has returned Alibaba’s Taobao, China’s most popular consumer-to-consumer shopping website, to its blacklist of “notorious marketplaces” known for trading counterfeit goods and violations of intellectual property rights. The move by the US Trade Representative’s office against the online bazaar followed complaints from US and international trade groups for apparel and luxury goods that Taobao was not doing enough to police sales of fakes and pirated products.

In the second of a two-part series of articles on the beneficial impact of Chinese students on US colleges and universities and their local economies, Doug Tsuruoka says that if the number of Chinese and other foreign students were to plunge in the wake of Donald Trump’s election as president there would be a clear economic fallout.

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Asia Times Financial is now live. Linking accurate news, insightful analysis and local knowledge with the ATF China Bond 50 Index, the world's first benchmark cross sector Chinese Bond Indices. Read ATF now. 

Kenny Hodgart

Kenny Hodgart is an editor for Asia Times.