A worker assembles toy cars at the Mendiss toy factory in Shantou in Guangdong province. Canceled shipments, returned goods and a dearth of new orders have left China's exporters in crisis. Photo: AFP

Chinese authorities have announced an action plan to drive the integration and innovation of the logistics and manufacturing sectors and maintain the stability of industrial and supply chains.

Efforts will be made to promote a new development pattern in which domestic and foreign markets boost each other, with the domestic market as the mainstay, according to the action plan jointly released by the National Development and Reform Commission and 13 other government departments.

The action plan proposed to reduce costs and enhance the efficiency of the logistics industry amid manufacturing transformation and upgrades, so as to promote the synergy between the two industries.

By 2025, the logistics industry will play a more significant role in cost reduction and improvement of efficiency in the real economy, supply chain coordination and high-quality development of the manufacturing industry.

Integrated circuits

China’s imports of integrated circuits rose at a robust rate during the first eight months of the year, buoyed by a rebound in market demand, said Gao Feng, spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce (MoC).

The country’s imports of integrated circuits jumped 15.3% year on year to 1.5 trillion yuan (US$219.52 billion) between January and August. During the same period, China’s total imports fell 2.3% to 9 trillion yuan.

Epidemic-induced lifestyle changes, such as the increasing popularity of working from home, distance education and online health care, spurred demand for integrated circuits, Gao said. China’s 5G network construction and some companies’ rush to stock up on integrated circuits also contributed to the increase in imports, he added.

New-energy vehicles

About 109,000 new-energy vehicles (NEVs) were sold in mainland China last month, up 25.8% year on year, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

In the first eight months, 596,000 NEVs were sold, down 26.4% year on year.

CAAM said China’s auto market maintained its recovery momentum last month due to the increasing demand and strengthening incentives.

China’s total automobile output hit 2.12 million units in August, up 6.3% year on year, while total sales hit 2.19 million units, up 11.6% year on year.

China’s auto market, hit by Covid-19, began to recover in April thanks to unleashed pent-up demand and encouraging policies, with sales rising 4.4% year on year. This ended a contraction streak over the past 21 months, according to CAAM. 

Chinese firms in the EU

Chinese companies in the European Union (EU) have a less favorable view than last year on the ease of doing business in the bloc, but are willing to increase investments when the situation gets better, according to a recent survey conducted by the China Chamber of Commerce to the EU (CCCEU) and Roland Berger, a global strategy consultancy.

The survey was part of the CCCEU’s annual recommendation report titled “Acting for Common Future: Chinese Enterprises in the EU Striving for Growth amid Slowdown and Regulatory Hurdles.” It found that Chinese companies in the EU gave a score of 70 points to the general business environment, slightly lower than the 73 points in 2019.

When asked to assess the overall business environment, close to 60% of the interviewees cited “a slight decline,” and 10% “a significant decline.” The survey also found that if the ease of doing business in the EU improves, 60% would consider investing more and close to 20% intended to increase “significantly.”

According to the survey, Chinese businesses have somewhat less favorable views in three aspects concerning the ease of doing business: political environment, macroeconomic and sector-specific environment and labor market.

Nearly three in four respondents (72%) believe that the EU market is grimmer than last year, and 55% experiencing more difficulties in hiring European and foreign talent.

Courier sector

China’s courier sector is expected to handle more than 75 billion parcels this year, the State Post Bureau said Thursday.

The country’s express delivery firms had handled 50 billion parcels as of Thursday, accounting for about 200 million packages daily on average, the bureau said.

Due to Covid-19, the sector saw dampened business in January but resumed growth in February. In the second quarter, along with work resumption, the growth rate of the sector hit more than 30%.

The year-on-year growth of the courier sector exceeded 40% in May, a record high since February 2018, the bureau said.

Company news

Huawei Technologies Co said on Thursday that its in-house operating system HarmonyOS would be used in smartphones next year, marking a breakthrough in Chinese companies’ efforts to commercialize self-developed operating systems and to build their own globally competitive software ecosystems.

Analysts said the increasing use of HarmonyOS showcases Huawei’s resilience and technological prowess, but challenges still exist as the latest US chip bans weigh on Huawei’s smartphone business.

The stories were written by Xu Jiangshan and first published at ATimesCN.com. They were translated by Nadeem Xu.

Asia Times Financial is now live. Linking accurate news, insightful analysis and local knowledge with the ATF China Bond 50 Index, the world's first benchmark cross sector Chinese Bond Indices. Read ATF now.