The annual meeting of the National People's Congress on March 5, 2019. Photo: Xinhua

China’s State Council said its 38 quantitative target tasks listed in the government work report in 2019 have been completed, covering areas such as employment, tax reduction and fee reduction, infrastructure investment and people’s livelihood.

The central government announced its achievements for 2019 on Tuesday evening before the “two sessions” – the annual meetings of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and the National People’s Congress – start on Thursday and Friday, respectively.

China recorded 6.1% growth in its gross domestic product last year, meeting its growth target of 6-6.5%.

In terms of employment, 13.52 million new jobs were created in urban areas last year. The unemployment rate in urban areas stayed at a range between 5% and 5.3%, below the upper limit of 5.5%.

The State Council said the government had made great achievements in tax and fee reduction, as well as investments in the country’s transportation systems.

In 2019, China invested 802.9 billion yuan (US$113 billion) in railways, which exceeded its targets of investing 800 billion yuan. The country also built 290,000 kilometers of roads in rural areas, which exceeded its targets of building 200,000 kilometers of roads.

The government targeted to invest 1.8 trillion yuan in road and waterway transportation in 2019. It finally invested 2.35 trillion yuan.

Banking shares

More than 140 billion yuan of banking A-shares will have their lock-up periods expire this year, adding pressure on their share price performance.

Original shareholders in the Bank of Qingdao, Bank of Hangzhou and China Zhejiang Bank were not allowed to reduce their stakes within the lock-up periods after the three banks were listed in the A-share markets. Lock-up periods usually range from one to three years, depending on the size of the shareholders’ stakes.

A total of 630 million shares owned by the original shareholders of these three banks will be allowed to be traded as their lock-up periods will expire within a week, the 21st Century Business Herald reported on Wednesday. These shares are worth 3.25 billion yuan.

On Thursday, original shareholders of the Bank of Hangzhou were allowed to sell up to 147 million shares worth about 1.29 billion yuan. On May 26, original shareholders of the China Zhejiang Bank will be able to sell up to 482 million shares worth about 1.96 billion yuan.

About 5.39 billion shares of 13 banks have had their lock-up periods expired so far this year. About 24.96 billion shares of 16 banks, worth 141.3 billion yuan, will have their lock-up periods expired by the end of this year.

Company news

Huawei Technologies, a Shenzhen-based company, said it will step up the push to help global telecom operators build simplified and converged 5G networks to cater to the dominant trends facing the 5G industry.

In the first wave of the global 5G rollout, massive multiple-input multiple output (MIMO) technology, which can multiply the capacity of antenna links and promote signal transmission efficiency, has become standard practice, said Gan Bin, vice-president of Huawei’s wireless network product line.

In China alone, 200,000 massive MIMO sites have been constructed and the number is expected to hit 800,000 by the end of 2020 in more than 340 cities. Speedtest has reported a 10-fold data rate improvement on 5G networks over 4G networks, Gan said.

Luckin Coffee, a Chinese coffee shop brand, announced Tuesday that the company had received a delisting notice from the Nasdaq. The company said it planned to request a hearing with the Nasdaq.

The move came after the company drew the attention of capital market regulators for involvement in a massive fraud scandal.

Lu Zhengyao, the Chairman of Luckin Coffee, said in a statement on Wednesday that all funds generated from the shares pledged as loan collateral were used to support the company’s operations, instead of personal spending.

Luckin Coffee, founded in 2017, was operating about 4,500 stores in more than 40 cities across China at the end of 2019. The company raised $561 million in its initial public offering on the Nasdaq in May 2019. On April 2, the company admitted that its 2019 revenue was substantially inflated. Trading of its shares was suspended on April 7 and will resume on Wednesday.

The story was written by Xu Jiangshan and Nadeem and first published at ATimesCN.com.

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