The People's Bank of China. Photo: iStock

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has promised stronger macro-economic policy adjustment as well as better fiscal, monetary, and employment policy coordination and implementation to counter the impact of Covid-19 on economic growth.

China will pursue a prudent monetary policy in a more flexible and appropriate way, and put boosting the real economy and sustainable development in a more prominent position, the PBoC said after a quarterly meeting of its monetary policy committee.

China’s economic growth faces challenges as the situation of the pandemic and world economic development remains grave and complex, the central bank said.

The central bank said it will use a variety of monetary policy tools and develop new ones to maintain liquidity at a reasonable and sufficient level.

It will encourage financial institutions to enhance support for the real economy, especially small and micro companies as well as private firms.

The country will further promote high-standard opening-up of the financial sector, while improving its economic and financial management capabilities as well as those for risk prevention and control.

The central bank also vowed to deepen interest rate reforms and maintain the basic stability of the yuan exchange rate within a reasonable and balanced range.

Hainan free trade zone

China said it will temporarily adjust the implementation of five administrative regulations in the pilot free trade zone (FTZ) of the southernmost province of Hainan to support its all-round reform and opening up.

The adjustments, effective from Sunday to the end of 2024, cover regulations on customs guarantees, tariffs, international maritime transport, inspection of ships and offshore facilities, as well as domestic waterway transport, according to a circular issued by the State Council.

Owners of private yachts will no longer have to pay large sums for tariff guarantees in the Hainan FTZ. These will be replaced by a cheaper insurance fee. Approvals for the operation of international passenger ships and international bulk shipping of hazardous liquid will be delegated to the provincial transport department.

After the adjustments, foreign ship inspection agencies will be allowed to provide classification services for Chinese ships that are registered in the Hainan FTZ and engaged in international voyages.

China announced plans in April 2018 to build a pilot FTZ covering the whole island and explore the establishment of a free trade port with Chinese characteristics.

Industrial profits

Due to the Covid-19 impact, profits of China’s major industrial firms dropped 19.3% to 1.84 trillion yuan (US$257.7 billion) in the first five months of 2020 from the same period last year, said the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The contraction narrowed from the 27.4% decline in the first four months, NBS data showed.

In the January-May period, profits in 10 of the 41 industrial sectors surveyed increased year-on-year, while 30 sectors saw their profits down, according to the NBS.

Broken down, profits of the mining and manufacturing industries went down 43.6% and 16.6% year-on-year respectively, while those of the production and supply of electricity, thermal power, gas and water reported a year-on-year decrease of 16.7%.

In May alone, industrial profits went up 6% from same period last year, as against a 4.3% fall in April. Efficiency of major industrial firms continued to improve in May as the restoration of work and production progressed, NBS statistician Zhu Hong said.

Self-driving technology

China’s tech giant Tencent has released TAD Sim 2.0, the new generation of its autonomous-driving simulation platform, to improve the development and testing efficiency of autonomous driving.

Simulation has been widely used in self-driving technology development and urban smart-transportation management. Tencent’s new platform, driven by real data and gaming technology, has a built-in centimeter-level digital map, as well as dynamic and static environments for autonomous driving testing.

Compared with the previous generation, TAD Sim 2.0 fills the gap between road test data and virtual scenarios. With higher resolution in 3D scenario reconstruction and sensor simulation, the platform can make the simulation closer to reality.

A huge variety of environments, weather conditions and even extreme traffic conditions can be generated by combining road test data and virtual scenarios to fulfill the needs of autonomous driving testing in TAD Sim 2.0.

According to Tencent, TAD Sim 2.0’s cloud version is able to run more than 10 million kilometers per day.

The story was written by Xu Jiangshan and first published at It was translated by Nadeem Xu.

Xu Yuenai

Xu Yuenai is a Beijing-based columnist specializing in international relations.