Two 5G robots displayed in Shanghai in 2019. Photo: Asia Times

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has launched a nationwide scheme to promote 5G, artificial intelligence and blockchain projects in the country.

Companies can apply to register their high technology projects as “showrooms” for other industry players in the country to take references, the MIIT said in a statement. Applicants must be locally-registered companies with good social responsibility practices and relatively high capabilities in technological services and innovations, it said. 

Each province or autonomous region can recommend up to 10 high technology projects, which can be learned, replicated and promoted by other provinces, it said.

The scheme is aimed at improving the quality of consumer products, enhancing innovation and improving the consumption environment in China. It was expected to help boost consumption demand in the country and stabilize local economies. 

Market liquidity 

Last Friday, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the country’s central bank, announced it would cut the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) for small and medium-sized banks by 100 basis points in its latest effort to bolster the real economy amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

The RRR cuts will be implemented in two phases, with the first round of 50 basis-point reductions expected on April 15. The second phase of the reduction of an equal amount will be effective on May 15. The move is expected to unleash about 400 billion yuan (US$56.3 billion) of long-term capital into the market.

The Chinese economy will continue to demonstrate strong resilience against the global economic shock triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, and its financial system is sturdy enough to fend off the risks that emerge, Liu Guoqiang, vice-governor of the central bank, said over the weekend.

Company news  

The China State Construction Engineering Corporation has signed a contract with the Algerian government to design and build a hospital with 700 beds in the Zahada area in Algiers. The contract is worth US$500 million, while the construction period is 36 months. The company said on its website that the project will significantly enhance the public health service capacity of Algeria. 

The Industrial Bank Co Ltd, a Shanghai-listed bank, said the lockup period for its 563 million shares, or 2.71% of its stake, will expire on April 7. Locked up three years ago, the shares are now worth about 9 billion yuan. Some of these shares are owned by Yango Holdings and Fujian Investment Group.

Meanwhile, the total number of shares that will have their lockup periods expire this week amount to 2.32 billion shares from 22 companies. They are worth about 36 billion yuan. 

SAIC General Motors Wuling ranked the No 1 automobile maker in China after it sold 130,000 vehicles last month. The company had 98% of its sales points opened in March while its sales were picking up gradually after the lockdown in February. 

The company said its overseas business was also growing. In the first quarter, it shipped 20,752 vehicles overseas, up 254% from the same period of last year. Baojun 530, a 5-/7-seater compact crossover SUV produced by the company, has entered Middle East markets. The first batch of 1,660 units was shipped on February 25. The company received orders for another 2,554 units last month.

The story written by Yang Ying and Xu Jiangshan and was first published at