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The Daily Brief for Friday, 2 June 2017

China-EU, warming climate: China and the European Union today will discuss the way forward on the global pact against climate change after US President Donald Trump said the world’s biggest economy will withdraw from the agreement. Asia Times reports that China is now emerging as Europe’s unlikely global partner, on areas from free trade to security.

WeChat’s China takeover: The already popular instant messaging app WeChat, which doubles as a Facebook-style social media platform, is starting to take over China’s mobile internet ecosystem. Asia Times reports that WeChat is said to now account for 29% of the time spent using mobile apps in China for May and total active users on the app are up 23% year on year.

US island hopping: Okinawa is host to more than half of the 47,000 US troops stationed in Japan but opposition to this military presence is growing among the island’s residents. Grant Newsham writes that a re-thinking of a plan to move American Marines from Okinawa to Guam and Hawaii is yet another example of the US military’s often haphazard approach to Asia-Pacific.

Silk Road Fund: The China Development Bank will set aside 250 billion yuan (US$36.6 billion) to support one belt, one road (Obor) projects, reports Asia Times. The fund will run over three years and hopes to attract private capital to public-private partnership deals intended to bolster Beijing’s ambitious multi-continent development program.

Posted inBeijingChinaShanghai

China Digest for Friday, 2 June 2017

Ministries let provincial governments issue land reserve bonds

Provincial governments will be allowed to issue land reserve bonds to raise financing, Caixin reported, citing a joint Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Land and Resources statement. The move will also help governments stabilize their land markets, the report added.

Bank sets US$36.6 billion aside to support Obor projects

The China Development Bank will set aside 250 billion yuan (US$36.6 billion) over three years to attract private capital in public-private-partnership deals to support one belt, one road (Obor) projects, Xinhua reported on June 1.

Consultation paper on online lending agencies issued

The Shanghai Finance Office released a consultation paper on regulating online lending agents, including a requirement for government registration, said the Paper.

May sales in Beijing’s secondary market lowest in two years

The number of sales in the secondary market stood at 10,800 in Beijing, the lowest in more than two years, showing a dramatic drop since the 16,900 in April and the 32,000 in May 2016, Chinanews reported.

30% rise in Weifang is highest among third, fourth-tier cities

Weifang, Shandong province, showed the highest increase in real estate prices of 30% in a survey of third and fourth-tier cities over two months, the Securities Daily reported. The survey shows that when prices began to fall in first-tier metropolises because of government policies, prices in third and fourth tier cities rose.

SF Express, Jack Ma’s Cainiao split two days after deal

Two days after signing a cooperation deal, SF Express and Jack Ma’s Cainiao Network cut ties, accusing each other of blocking data flow, Beijing News reported. Taobao vendors couldn’t input delivery notices to SF Express, so buyers could not see SF’s logistics information. The State Post Bureau intervened on June 1, hoping to reduce the impact on the market and customers.

Ministry seeks public comment on car-sharing rules

The Ministry of Transport is seeking comment on draft rules for rental cars similar to the bike- sharing concept, said Caixin, adding that private vehicles that meet requirements can be engaged on a part-time basis. The consultation will close in two weeks.

13 provinces in agricultural disaster insurance pilot scheme

A pilot scheme to improve insurance coverage in the agricultural sector will be launched in 13 food-producing provinces and 200 grain counties, the Securities Daily reported, citing the Ministry of Finance. Administrative funding will be issued on June 14.

Retailers lost 0.71% of total revenue in 2016 due to theft, graft

The country’s retail sector lost 181 billion yuan in 2016, accounting for 0.71% of total revenue and a 0.02% increase compared to the 0.69% in 2014, said Caixin, citing the China Business Safety Survey Report. The report, published every two years, shows that internal and external theft of goods or cash are the two main causes. Processing errors, fraud and corruption are among other reasons for losses.