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The Daily Brief for Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Alibaba had a busy day. First, the e-commerce giant’s founder Jack Ma had a chat with US president-elect Donald Trump about his ideas on how to create 1 million US jobs – bringing farmers and small businesses onto its platform to sell to Chinese consumers over the next five years. “We had a great meeting,” Trump told reporters on January 9 as he accompanied Ma back down to the lobby of his Trump Tower headquarters after the meeting. Then Alibaba and Intime Retail Group’s founder announce a joint bid to take the Chinese department store operator private for HK$19.79 billion (US$2.55 billion). Alibaba Group chief executive Daniel Zhang said: “Those who cling on to the old ways of retailing will be disrupted.”

It seems American princelings can make the most of their political connections just like their counterparts in China, writes Johan Nylander, after Donald Trump appoints his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as his senior advisor in the White House. Kushner, who is heir to his family’s privately held multibillion-dollar real estate firm Kushner Companies, has been working for several months on a Manhattan property deal with Chinese investment giant Anbang Insurance.

As Myanmar looks to attract foreign money to boost the economy, a sketchy and opaque legal system makes investors think twice Matthieu Baudey and Carole Oudot take a look at how the country is working toward a better business climate one year after the National League for Democracy’s landslide win in Myanmar’s historical elections.

China has decided to rewrite history, ordering all textbooks from primary school to university to be republished to extend the length of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression – widely known as the Second Sino-Japanese War in Western history books – from eight years to 14, writes Lin Wanxia. The War of Resistance will now start from September 1931 – the Mukden Incident – instead of July 1937 – the date of the Luguo Bridge Incident.

Posted inChinaShanghaiTianjin

China Digest for Tuesday, 10 January 2017

China encourages more overseas mergers and acquisitions

The Ministry of Finance is encouraging firms to acquire high-quality brands, core technologies and marketing channels through overseas takeovers, The Paper reported, citing the 13th Five-Year Plan on foreign trade issued on Monday.

Yuan exchange rate stable versus basket of currencies, PBOC says

The yuan exchange rate is stable when compared to a basket of currencies, the People’s Bank of China said in a commentary published on its website on Monday, Caixin reported on the same day. The yuan rate against the basket hit 94.83 on December 30, 2016, a gain of 0.16% from November, the report said.

Supreme Court issues legal guidelines for pilot free trade zones

The Supreme People’s Court released legal directives for seven pilot free trade zones to combat smuggling, illegal fund-raising, evading foreign exchange controls, money laundering and infringement of intellectual property rights, CCTV reported Monday evening. The zones are in Liaoning, Zhejiang and 5 other cities.

China’s GDP growth settled at 6.9% in 2015

China’s gross domestic production totalled 68.9052 trillion yuan (US$9.936 trillion) in 2015, up 354.6 billion yuan from the preliminary accounting, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, reported Shanghai Securities Journal on Monday. The annual growth rate remained at 6.9%.

Business disputes at private companies to be handled through criminal laws

Business disputes at private companies should be handled through criminal laws, The Supreme People’s Procuratorate of China said in a notice on Monday, Caixin reported.

Shanghai ranks third in number of international retail enterprises

Shanghai ranked third after London and Dubai in 2016 in the number of international retailers operating in the city, with more than 180 out of a total list of 340, Xinhua reported citing figures from Shanghai’s Municipal Commission of Commerce.

Tianjin plans large expansion of electric vehicle charging stations

Tianjin plans to encourage use of electric vehicles by building more than 92,000 charging stations by 2020 to bring the total to 150,000, reported Yicai on Monday night. The city hopes to have 160,000 electric vehicles on the roads by then.

Hubei to develop 50 culturally distinctive towns within five years

Hubei plans to develop 50 culturally distinctive towns within five years to boost local tourism and economies, Sina Finance reported on Monday citing information from the province’s housing and urban-rural development website.