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The Daily Brief for Thursday, 23 March 2017

China and Malaysia: Prime Minister Najib Razak and Alibaba Group executive chairman Jack Ma announced yesterday the establishment in Malaysia of Alibaba’s first regional e-commerce distribution center outside of China. David Hutt writes that Alibaba’s choice of Kuala Lumpur puts a spotlight on growing China-Malaysia ties and highlights a warming trend that Najib has driven with a series of fruitful trips to Beijing that are starting to bring his country a much-needed economic boost.

Pyongyang and geopolitics: Beijing’s latest National People’s Congress made it clear that today’s China is framed by a set of core and non-negotiable modernizing principals centred around economic and legal reforms and expanding regional commercial partnerships. Yet, writes READ THE STORY HERE

Paedophilia in Vietnam: Police did not repond to a mother’s allegations that her eight-year-old daughter had been sexually abused by a family friend in Hanoi in January. Tran Thi Minh Ha reports that when outrage spilled onto social media, with Facebook users demanding to know why the allegations had gone unchecked for three months, Vietnamese police made an arrest in days and scored a rare win for public opinion in the communist country.

Brazilian meat scandal: Over a dozen Hong Kong fast food outfits, including KFC and Starbucks, announced that they have stopped serving meat from Brazil amid food safety concerns. Asia Times reports that the announcements came after Hong Kong’s Centre for Food Safety said it was suspending the imports of Brazilian frozen meats after 21 food suppliers in the South American country were put under investigation by police over accusations they bribed health inspectors to turn a blind eye to grubby practices.

Posted inChinaHong Kong

China Digest for Thursday, 23 March 2017

Building 5G networks with rivals possible: China Telecom boss

Yang Jie, China Telecom chief executive and acting chairman, said on Tuesday the mobile network operator did not rule out working with other telcos on building 5G networks, Caixin reported on Tuesday evening. Yang made the remark at China Telecom’s 2016 results announcement, reporting a 6.4% rise in revenue to 353 billion yuan (US$51.26 billion), but annual net profit dropped 10.2% to 18 billion yuan compared to 2015. Yang also aims to increase the number of new 4G users to 60 million by the end of this year.

Net profit at Citic Securities slumped almost 50% in 2016

China’s largest investment banking firm by total assets blamed volatile markets for poor results in 2016, reporting an almost 50% slump in net profit to 10.365 billion yuan, with revenue also down 32% to 38 billion yuan in 2016, Caixin said on Tuesday evening. Citic Securities aimed to strategize business based on offering “high-end” profits in 2017, the report said.

China Resources Land spent US$9.09 billion in 2016 on land

China Resources Land, the property developing arm of state-owned enterprise China Resources Group, spent 62.6 billion yuan to buy 39 plots of land in 2016, Caixin reported on Tuesday evening. The Hong Kong listed property developer posted a 10% year-on-year rise in net profit to HK$20 billion (US$2.58 billion) in 2016, it added.

Software industry revenue to hit US$1.16 trillion by 2020: MIIT

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said estimated revenue of the country’s software industry would reach 8 trillion yuan by 2020, Securities Daily reported on Wednesday. MIIT Minister Xie Shaofeng said it would also push for technical innovation and cultivate new business formats in the internet of things, artificial intelligence and big data, the report added.

We welcome mainland property buyers in Hong Kong: Li Ka-shing

Home prices in Hong Kong will not fall over the next two years due to strong buying demand, Caixin reported Wednesday evening, quoting Li Ka-shing, the city’s wealthiest man and chairman of CK Hutchison Holdings. CK Hutchison Holdings and CK Property, Li’s two holding companies, both saw stronger profits in 2016. “Hong Kong is an international and open city and I welcome people from mainland China to buy property here,” he said.