A man wearing a protective facemask walks along a street in Beijing on January 23, 2020. Photo: AFP/Noel Celis

China will adopt policy steps to optimize the mechanism for deterring acts of bad faith and refine the social credit system to underpin the development of the socialist market economy.

On Wednesday, the State Council’s executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang decided on measures to refine the bad-faith deterrent mechanism to promote the orderly and healthy development of the social credit system.

The principles include adhering to laws and regulations, protecting rights and interests, taking a prudent and appropriate approach and implementing list-based management.

The scope and procedures of credit information shall be formulated in a science-based way. Including certain behaviors in public credit information will require strictly following laws and regulations and a catalog management approach. Such information will be made accessible to the public.

Administrative departments must determine acts of bad faith on the basis of legally-binding documents. The scope and procedures for sharing credit information shall be standardized. The principle of legality and necessity shall be observed when deciding whether and to what extent credit information is shared and disclosed.

Such decisions shall be made clear when compiling the credit information catalog.

The meeting underlined the need to strengthen information security and privacy protection. Access to and procedures for credit information inquiries shall be strictly enforced.

Leaking, tampering, damaging or stealing credit information or utilizing credit information for personal gain will be seriously investigated and dealt with. The illegal collection and transaction of credit information will be strictly cracked down on.

Identification of list of entities with serious acts of bad faith will be better regulated. The list shall be limited to those who put public health and safety in grave jeopardy, seriously sabotage the fair market competition order or disrupt normal social order. The list shall not be expanded without authorization.

Domestic route airfare

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said on Thursday it would liberalize airfares of domestic routes operated by at least three airlines from December 1.

The reform will substantially increase the number of domestic air routes with market-based prices, and the mechanism for the market to determine prices will further strengthen, the CAAC said.

This move will likely continue to tap domestic market demand and accelerate the recovery of the sector. The CAAC has been boosting reforms on fares for domestic air routes since 2004 and stepped up such efforts, especially since 2013, effectively spurring the vitality of the market.

Central bank bills swap

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the country’s central bank, said it would conduct this year’s 11th central bank bills swap (CBS) operation on Friday to improve the liquidity of perpetual bonds issued by commercial banks.

The CBS, valued at 5 billion yuan (about US$760 million), is open to primary dealers for bidding at a fixed rate of 0.1%, the central bank said in a statement. The swap will be due on February 27, 2021, said the statement.

The CBS scheme allows dealers to swap the perpetual bonds they hold for central bank bills, which will boost market demand for perpetual bonds but have a neutral impact on liquidity in the banking system.

Perpetual bonds are fixed-income securities with no maturity date and are not redeemable but pay a steady stream of interest in perpetuity.

Company news

Xiaomi Corp, a Chinese smartphone maker, opened its first store in the Republic of El Salvador in Central America on Wednesday. The shop is the brand’s largest one in the Central American region.

According to its website, Xiaomi is now the third-largest smartphone manufacturer in the world and is now venturing into the Salvadoran market with a “technology experience center” in one of the top shopping centers in the Salvadoran capital.

The Xiaomi store features a wide range of products, from smartphones to smartwatches, high-tech televisions and multimedia players, among other consumer electronics.

The brand has a presence in more than 90 countries and regions around the world. In Central America, there are already stores in Panama and Costa Rica, and the company hopes to expand into the Honduran and Guatemalan markets soon. 

The Dongfang 13-2 gas fields project, China’s largest offshore high-temperature and high-pressure gas fields project, has been put into operation, its operator China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) said on Wednesday.

With an annual gas output of more than 3 billion cubic meters, the project can meet the gas demand of one million people for 15 years, said CNOOC. A gas field is a deposit rich in natural gas.

The natural gas from the project, located offshore off Dongfang in Hainan province, will be supplied directly to regions in South China through subsea pipelines and ensure a clean energy supply for the building of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and Hainan Free Trade Port, said Yang Yun, general manager of the CNOOC’s Zhanjiang unit, which is responsible for the gas field development.

The stories were compiled by Nadeem Xu and Shan Hui and first published at ATimesCN.com.

Xu Yuenai

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