Sanya city in Hainan province, China. Photo: iStock

China will allocate 3.5 billion yuan (US$495 million) from the central budget to promote the development of the Hainan free trade port, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

The fund will be used for infrastructure construction and public services improvements of the free trade port, the country’s top economic planner said.

Targeted support will be offered to long-term projects, including monitoring facilities in comprehensive bonded zones and tourism-related infrastructure as well as projects concerning epidemic prevention and control, said the NDRC.

Earlier this month, Chinese authorities released a master plan for the Hainan free trade port which aims to build the southern island province into a globally-influential, high-level free trade port by the middle of the century.

A free trade port system, focusing on trade and investment liberalisation and facilitation, will be “basically established” in Hainan by 2025, and become “more mature” by 2035. This is according to the plan, jointly issued by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council. 

Central bank bills

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) on Tuesday issued 10 billion yuan of six-month yuan central bank bills in Hong Kong with an interest rate of 2.21%.

The issuance was well-received by overseas institutional investors such as banks, central banks and funds from the United States, Europe, Asia and other countries and regions, as well as a number of international financial organisations, with the total bid amount exceeding 34 billion yuan, 3.4 times the amount in circulation, according to the PBoC.

This reflects the strong attractiveness of renminbi assets for overseas investors, as well as the confidence of global investors in the Chinese economy, the PBoC said.

The bills are the sixth batch issued by the central bank this year. As the issuance has been carried out on a rolling basis, the balance of renminbi central bank bills in Hong Kong is still 80 billion yuan, the central bank said.

Since November 2018, the PBoC has gradually established a mechanism for the regular issuance of renminbi central bank bills in Hong Kong.

ChiNext in Shenzhen

The Shenzhen Stock Exchange has started reviewing the first batch of applications for initial public offering (IPO) under the pilot registration-based system in ChiNext, China’s Nasdaq-style board of growth enterprises.

The stock exchange said in an online statement that it has accepted 32 IPO applications and one refinancing application. It had put prospectuses and other documents online for information disclosure.

The move marks another step forward in the reform of ChiNext and its pilot registration-based system, the statement said.

China decided in late April to reform ChiNext and replace its approval-based IPO system with the registration-based one, introducing a series of measures on June 12 in a bid to better cultivate new industry start-ups and bolster the real economy.

Dong Dengxin, head of the financial research institute at Wuhan University of Science and Technology, told Securities Daily the board would be more inclusive and open after the reform. It will facilitate access to financing for promising innovation companies and become a leading force of China’s industrial upgrading, .

Wearable market

Huawei has ranked first in China’s wearable market with solid performance of watches, showing strong growth momentum despite the downward trend of China’s wearable market in the first quarter of this year, Sina Finance reported on Tuesday.

With a 24.3% market share, Huawei topped the list of China’s top five wearable equipment manufacturers in terms of shipments, market share and year-on-year growth, followed by Xiaomi and Apple.

The shipment of China’s wearable market was 17.62 million units in the first quarter of 2020, down 11.3% year-on-year according to the quarterly report on China’s wearable equipment market by global market consultancy IDC.

Shipments of basic wearable devices, which refer to wearables that do not support third-party applications, fell 5.5% year-on-year to 14.86 million units, while shipments of smart wearables witnessed a 33.3% decrease year-on-year to 2.76 million units, the report said.

China’s wearable equipment market was characterised by reverse-trend growth in earphone and watch markets, consumers’ sensitivity in price and increasing importance in channel operation capability in the first quarter.

Cainiao Network

Cainiao Network, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group, has announced that it will ramp up investment to double cross-border air-freight efficiency.

The announcement is Cainiao’s latest initiative to build its global logistics infrastructure since Alibaba Group increased its stake in Cainiao in 2019, with the goal of delivering packages throughout China within 24 hours and within 72 hours elsewhere in the world.

Cainiao will, specifically, increase its chartered export flights from 260 to 1,260 over the next nine months, which means air-freight time should be halved to 3-5 days from the current 7-10 days.

The story was written by Xu Jiangshan and Liu Licong and first published at ATimesCN.com. It was translated by Nadeem Xu.

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