Posted inBeijing, China, Guangzhou, Shanghai

China Digest for Wednesday, 28 December 2016

China taxes will fall further under VAT, government says

China’s businesses will see further reductions in tax bills in 2017 due to the new value-added tax system, said Wang Jun, State Administration of Taxation Director, in a press conference, National Business Daily reported Tuesday. The VAT system was introduced in May and has saved 470 billion yuan (US$67.6 billion) in taxes in the first 11 months of 2016, on track with the country’s goal of 500 billion yuan by the end of the year, according to the report.

Financial data must stay in China, says PBOC

Financial institutions have been ordered by the People’s Bank of China to process all personal financial data within the country and not to use overseas companies, Beijing Business Today reported Tuesday citing a notice issued by the central bank. The order covers collecting, storing and analysis of such personal financial data.

Zheshang starts to pay Cosun bond default claims

Zheshang Property and Casualty Insurance on Wednesday will start to pay claims related to the Cosun Group’s bond default, Sina Finance reported on Tuesday citing a company statement. The default has attracted more than the usual controversy due to claims of alleged fraudulent documentation used in the bond sale.

PBOC taps new director with forex background

A new deputy director of the People’s Bank of China was appointed on Tuesday who has a track record in dealing with foreign exchange issues, reported Yicai. The official, Yin Yong, 46, worked as a department director in the State Administration of Foreign Exchange in charge of the foreign currency and reserves business since 2002.

Beijing to remove price controls on salt in 2017

Beijing will remove price controls on salt-related products starting from 2017, the Beijing Times reported, citing a notice issued by the city’s Municipal Commission of Commerce. The government will keep monitoring market prices to ensure stability.

Asset managers face more property restrictions

Further restrictions will be imposed on issuing asset management products to raise funds for real estate projects, especially in 16 so-called hot spot cities with overheated housing prices, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, according to the 21st Business Herald. Regulators will refuse approvals for such products, the report said.

Guangdong sets up 1.5 bln yuan fund for small businesses

Guangdong Province has set up a 1.5 billion yuan (US$215.8 million) fund to aid small and medium enterprises, Xinhua reported on Tuesday citing official sources.

Posted inBeijing, China, India, Japan, Northeast Asia, South Asia, World

The Daily Brief for Wednesday, 28 December 2016

India’s cash crunch took a fresh twist as the government announced on Wednesday that those found with large amounts of the newly scrapped banknotes will face jail sentences. In the country’s ongoing battle against its shadow economy, anyone found with significant quantities of demonetized 500 and 1,000 rupee notes after December 31 will be liable to a jail term of up to four years and a fine of five times the value of the money they are caught with.

It’s 40 years since the trigger was pulled on the Lockheed bribery scandal – an event that led to the biggest political upheaval in postwar Japan and the arrest of Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka. But how far was the US government involved in Tanaka’s downfall? Investigative journalist Eiichiro Tokumoto has delved into archives and eye-witness testimony to seek some answers.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a symbolic visit to Pearl Harbor with President Barack Obama on Tuesday, commemorating the victims of his country’s World War II attack and promising that it would never wage war again. The visit, just weeks before President-elect Donald Trump takes office, was meant to highlight the strength of the US-Japan alliance amid concerns that Trump could forge a more complicated relationship with Tokyo.

Beijing-based designer Guo Pei, who hit the limelight in the US after the singer Rihanna wore one of her extravagant gowns, may be quiet and softly-spoken in person, but her outfits are anything but toned down. She speaks to Asia Times about her passion for detail, extravagance and eccentricity.

Kenny Hodgart

Kenny Hodgart is an editor for Asia Times.