Robots in a Cainiao logistic center. Photo: cangxiaoer.com

China’s e-commerce logistics sector reported robust growth in August, propelled by strong demand, according to a survey by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing and e-commerce giant JD.com.

The index tracking e-commerce logistics activities rose to 109.2 points last month, up from 108 points in July, the survey showed.

The total demand for e-commerce logistics rose steadily in the period, with the sub-index tracking the total business volume coming in at 124.7 points, up 4.4 points from the previous month, with the central regions of China posting strong performances with month-on-month growth of more than 10 points.

The survey attributed the demand increase to easing pressure from floods in the country’s southern regions and a favorable Covid-19 epidemic containment trend, as well as the reopening of schools in September.

Demand for e-commerce in rural areas maintained its growth momentum, with the sub-index tracking e-commerce logistics in these regions standing at 120.2 points, up 3.5 points from July.

Pilot free trade zones

China’s pilot free trade zones (FTZs) attracted robust foreign investment and trade in the first seven months of the year despite downcast sentiment in the global market, official data showed.

The six pilot FTZs in the regions of Shandong, Jiangsu, Guangxi, Hebei, Yunnan and Heilongjiang, as well as Shanghai’s Lingang Area, a newly launched section of the Shanghai FTZ, attracted 13.11 billion yuan (US$1.9 billion) of foreign investment between January and July, Tang Wenhong, an official from the Ministry of Commerce, said at a press conference.

Foreign trade in those FTZs came in at 660.76 billion yuan in the seven-month period, accounting for 10.8% of the total foreign trade in the regions. The pilot FTZs have played a positive role in stabilizing foreign trade and investment amid the sluggish international market and will make further contributions to the country’s pursuit of higher-level opening-up, Tang said.

Prudent monetary policy

The State Council, China’s cabinet, on Wednesday stressed efforts to pursue a prudent monetary policy in a more flexible and appropriate way in order to promote steady economic and financial operation.

It also specified rules on the establishment of financial holding companies in order to better serve the real economy, according to a statement released after a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.

Air pollution

China will enhance science-based prevention and control of air pollution and promote green development, said the State Council.

After seeing a research report, the meeting required building on the outcomes achieved and intensifying targeted control over the causes of such pollution in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and their neighboring areas.

It urged continued efforts to prevent and control air pollution, especially tackling industrial pollution, promoting clean substitutes for small-scale coal burning and controlling diesel exhaust emissions and ammonia emissions in agriculture and animal husbandry.

Unmanned aircraft system

China is looking to play a dominant role in the global unmanned aircraft system (UAS) sector after launching its first international standard for the sector recently, experts said.

“With the new international standard, China has transformed from a participator to a leader in the field, which will provide the impetus for the overseas expansion plans of Chinese drone companies,” said Shu Zhenjie, deputy chief engineer of AVIC China Aero-Polytechnology Establishment, a key research institute on the standardization of defense and aviation procedures.

The newly-released standard led by China focused on the categorization and classification of civil unmanned aircraft systems, which is the basis for the safe operation protocols for the drone industry.

An unmanned aircraft system includes an unmanned aerial vehicle, commonly known as a drone, a ground-based controller and a system of communications between the two. Industry experts said that competition among the sector leaders is no longer limited to market scale or technological superiority, but is more about competition in system design and regulations.

China-Europe freight trains

The number of Europe-bound freight trains departing from the city of Yiwu in east China’s Zhejiang Province reached 529 this year as of Wednesday, surpassing the total number of last year, according to the train operator.

Dubbed Yixin’ou in Chinese (Yiwu-Xinjiang-Europe), the cargo line is 13,052 kilometers long, connecting China’s major small commodity hub with Europe.

A train loaded with 100 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of daily necessities, Christmas articles and other goods departed from Yiwu on Wednesday afternoon, heading for the Belarussian capital of Minsk. It was the 529th China-Europe freight train to leave the city since January 1.

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

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