Posted inBeijing, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Middle East, North Korea, Northeast Asia, South Asia, South Korea, Tianjin, World

The Daily Brief for Monday, 24 April 2017

America needs game-changer: In the Middle East, America is in what chess players call zugzwang, where any move it makes loses, and the situation in the Korean Peninsula is even more dismal, writes David P. Goldman, who argues that America needs a game-changer. Innovation is the most destructive force known to man, argues Goldman, and if America can restore this to its economy, it will be China’s turn to worry.

Pyongyang, tough call: The US President called his counterparts in China and Japan on Monday morning to discuss the response if North Korea marks its army’s anniversary on Tuesday with another missile launch. Asia Times writes that as China continues to call for calm, Japanese destroyers have sailed with the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group and may be also joined by the South Korean navy.

China’s pollution problems: Beijing’s environment ministry said that almost 70% of 250 companies it inspected across 28 cities were found to have “pollution problems,” reports Asia Times’ China Digest. The ministry’s checks constitute the largest inspection it has conducted since announcing its intention to reign in pollution in the Beijing, Hebei and Tianjin area last year.

Udine Film Festival: At the Far East Film Festival, a new generation of Hong Kong filmmakers, represented at Udine by debut directors Yan Pak-wing and Chiu Sin-hang, are attempting to come to terms with a city that is now riven with political and social discord. In his Udine film diary, Mathew Scott writes that Yan and Chiu’s film, Vampire Cleanup Department, shows how this discord has disconnected the generations in today’s Hong Kong today, played out here between the old guard of vampire hunters and the new.

Posted inBeijing, China, Middle East, Shanghai, Tianjin

China Digest for Monday, 24 April 2017

Insurance watchdog demands tighter risk control

China’s Insurance Regulatory Commission has instructed insurers to tighten their risk management across 10 different areas, the official Economic Information Daily reports. The commission has issued a 39-rule notice covering everything from liquidity to use of capital investment and creating new policies, the paper says.

None of applicants meet requirements to run social credit system: PBOC

An official from the People’s Bank of China said on April 21 that no licences have yet been issued to run China’s personal social credit system. As reported by The Paper on Sunday, this is due to three main factors, namely “instability of the internet financing sector,” increased demands from the eight applicants and and those applicants being unable to offer what market and regulatory bodies require. The PBOC is working on refining licensing for consumer credit rating services, the Economic Information Daily reported separately on Sunday, citing deputy governor Chen Yulu.

China Eco Watch Table 0424

Provinces looking to attract foreign investment

Hubei, Jiangsu and Fujian provinces are welcoming overseas capital to invest in the elderly care sector, and to develop service industries, the Economic Information Daily reports. Hubei province is encouraging foreign investment in public-private partnership project for the first time, the paper’s report adds.

Manufacturers account for one third of companies in IPO queue

A total of 607 companies are in the queue to apply to make an initial public offering, the Securities Daily reports, citing the latest figures from the China Securities Regulatory Commission. One third of those companies are manufacturers, the report adds.

Property prices to drop by middle of the year

Housing should become more affordable by the middle of this year thanks to the government’s multifarious cooling measures, Securities Daily states. The newspaper lists efforts to increase land supply and new restrictions on property resales as policies which will have an impact.

HNA Infrastructure to focus on PPP projects

HNA Infrastructure is set to invest in public-private partnership projects in Hainan province, complementing its existing property and airport construction projects, the Securities Daily reports board secretary Qian Junfa as stating in an interview. The company’s net profit rose 96% to 960 million yuan (US$ 139 million) in the last financial year.

Ningbo limits property purchases and loans

Ningbo, a city in northeastern Zhenjiang province, is introducing new property curbs with effect from Monday, The Paper reported on Sunday. Locally-registered residents will not be allowed to purchase additional properties if they already own two, and non-locals if they own one, in key districts such as Jingzhou. Downpayments are increasing from 20% to 30% for new buyers without existing mortgages in certain districts. Buyers who own at least one property under mortgage will need to pay 40%, up from an 30%.

Shanghai authorities insist overheated housing market now under control

Gu Jingshan, the head of Shanghai city’s housing department, told The Paper on Sunday that property prices in the city have stabilised, following cooling measures last year. Land and housing supply will increase significantly under the 13th Five Year plan to 2020, easing market pressures, Gu said.

“Pollution problems” at almost 70% of companies inspected

The environment ministry said on Saturday night that 67.6% of 250 companies it inspected across 28 cities were found to have “pollution problems,” according to a report in Jiemian on Sunday. The ministry’s checks constitute the largest-scale inspection it has conducted since announcing its intention to reign in pollution in the Beijing, Hebei and Tianjin area last year. Jiemian’s report did not give details of any sanctions imposed.

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