Posted inChina, Japan, North Korea, Northeast Asia, World

The Daily Brief for Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Wither Japan’s democracy? Hiroji Yamashiro, a long-standing campaigner against the US military presence in Okinawa, has become a symbol of modern Japan’s uneasy attitude towards dissent. Daniel Hurst writes that Japan’s postwar constitution guarantees freedoms of thought, association and expression but Yamashiro, who was detained for five months last year after a protest, is seeking to shine a spotlight on a new anti-conspiracy law that critics say is part of a gradual erosion of these rights.

China’s IPO frenzy: China has more than tripled its IPO volume this year, with a total of 246 companies going public so far in 2017, reports Lin Wanxia. Industrial businesses lead the charge, as the government works to transform and upgrade the country’s manufacturing industry, with technology, media, telecommunications, retail and consumer sectors also featuring strongly.

Pyongyang down deep: As Washington, Seoul and Tokyo fret about North Korea’s repeated firing of ballistic missiles into the skies of Northeast Asia, another part of Pyongyang’s arsenal has gone largely unnoticed because it’s under the ocean. Peter J. Brown writes that North Korea has one of the largest – and indeed nosiest – submarine fleets in the world and analysts are asking if China’s expanding footprint in the region means this fleet will become more protected or exposed.

Silk Road tea? China has the world’s largest tea industry and the government wants producers to seize the opportunity window provided by the One Belt One Road initiative to bolster stagnating export volumes.
Zi Yang reports that this may prove quite a challenge as China’s tea industry is oriented towards domestic consumption, with only 14% of its output exported, and producers currently have little incentive to head abroad.

China-Employment is key: In his speech at the opening of the World Economic Forum’s summer meeting in Dalian, Premier Li Keqiang said employment is key to China sustaining inclusive economic growth, writes Zheng Xin. Li said under the so-called “fourth industrial revolution”, structural adjustments in the economy together with increased innovation will boost job opportunities for those who lose work to robotics and automation.

Posted inChina, Shanghai, World

China Digest for Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Summer Davos opens today in Dalian

The World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions, also known as Summer Davos, opens today in the port city of Dalian, the Economic Information Daily reported. To achieve inclusive growth in the fourth industrial revolution is the theme this year, which focuses on technology and industry change.

Five provinces to set up pilot areas for green finance

Jiangxi, Guizhou, Guangdong and Zhejiang provinces as well as the Xinjiang Autonomous Region can set up pilot zones on green financial reforms, the Securities Daily said on Tuesday. The People’s Bank of China and nine other government bodies on Monday approved the pilot zones that will encourage green enterprises to merge or list on the stock market.

All levels of government must draw up balance sheets

Governments at all levels will be required to provide balance sheets on assets, liabilities and the health of the economy after a reform group under the Politburo approved the move, the National Business Daily said on Tuesday.

Nine third-party payment agencies lose licenses

The People’s Bank of China refused to renew licenses for nine non-bank payment agencies and told two others to cut the scope of their business on Monday, Shanghai Securities Journal reported on Tuesday. Around 20 licenses of 185 third-party payment agencies had been cancelled.

Public consultation on Environmental Protection Tax Law

The Ministry of Finance and the State Administration of Taxation is seeking public opinion on regulations on the Environmental Protection Tax Law, the Economic Information Daily reported. The law will take effect on January 1, 2018, and is expected to add more than five million yuan in tax revenue.

AI to boost national economy

New Accenture research said artificial intelligence (AI) was expected to push the annual economic growth rate up to 7.9% from 6.3% by 2035, Yicai reported. The report, titled How Artificial Intelligence Can Drive China’s Growth, found that AI would contribute more than US$7 trillion in gross value-added revenue by 2035.

China Unicom denies Tencent, Alibaba to be shareholders

One of the country’s big three telecoms firms, China Unicom, denied a Reuters report last week that internet giants Tencent and Alibaba would become shareholders, the state-owned operator said in a Yicai report. No framework or subscription agreement has been signed, it said.

Shenzhen tops GDP density rankings in 2016

Shenzhen GDP per square kilometer stood at 976 million yuan (US$142 million) in 2016, twice than that of Shanghai, ranking the border city in Guangdong first on a GDP density list, Yicai report. The GDP density of 41 cities was more than 50 million yuan per square kilometer, while in 18 cities it was more than 100 million yuan.

US$36.82 billion in overseas outsourcing projects on books

The value of Chinese firms’ outsourcing projects overseas stood at 251.75 billion yuan (US$36.82 billion) in the first five months of this year, a 12.8% increase from a year earlier, the Finance Ministry said. Of that total, the value of projects for one belt, one road (Obor) countries stood at 28.69 billion yuan, a 36.6% rise in the same period year on year.

Mobile video shopping revenue soars 174% in 2016 report

Young consumers led the increase in shopping sales via mobile videos, rising 174% year on year in 2016, which was 43.5 times retail revenue from traditional TV, the Economic Information Daily reported. The 2016 China TV Shopping Development Report said the figure was also higher than the 67% rise in retail revenue from stores.