A woman receives a vaccination at a hospital in Shanghai. Photo: AFP

China has unveiled new regulations aimed at encouraging more medical institutions and retail pharmacies to link up with the country’s medical insurance system for reimbursements.

Licensed medical institutions and retail pharmacies that have been in operation for at least three months can apply for a tie-up with the medical insurance scheme, said the National Healthcare Security Administration.

The new regulations, which will go into effect from February 1, have simplified the application requirements, with the aim of expanding the supply of medical resources and providing more quality medical and pharmaceutical services for the public, the administration added.

On December 9, China’s State Council has approved a draft of the country’s first regulation on supervising the use of medical insurance funds.

The draft regulation defines the rights and responsibilities of medical-insurance authorities, designated medical institutions and the insured. It stipulates the timely settlement of medical bills and prompt allocation of insurance funds.

According to the regulation, insurance fraud will be punished by various means, including fines and the revocation of medical certificates. As of December, 10 provincial-level regions, including Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, established special institutions for the supervision of medical-insurance funds, the National Healthcare Security Administration said last month.

New yuan loans

New yuan-denominated loans totaled 19.63 trillion yuan (US$3.03 trillion) in 2020, up by 2.82 trillion yuan year-on-year, according to the People’s Bank of China (PBoC).

In December alone, new loans stood at 1.26 trillion yuan, up by 117 billion yuan year-on-year. The M2, a broad measure of money supply covering cash in circulation and all deposits, increased by 10.1 % year-on-year to 218.68 trillion yuan at the end of 2020.

The M2 growth was 0.6 percentage points lower than that at the end of November, but was 1.4 percentage points higher than the same period of the year before. The narrow measure of the money supply (M1), which covers cash in circulation plus demand deposits, rose by 8.6% year-on-year to 62.56 trillion yuan by the end of December.

The M1 growth was 1.4 percentage points lower than that at the end of November, but was 4.2 percentage points higher than the same period in the previous year.

Civil aviation

China’s civil aviation sector handled 420 million passenger trips in 2020, down 36% from 660 million in 2019, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).

The recovery of the number of passenger trips accelerated in the fourth quarter and will keep the growth momentum this year, said the CAAC. China’s civil aviation sector remained the world’s second-largest in terms of passenger trips for the 15th consecutive year, it added.

Company news

Chinese tech giant Lenovo Group on Tuesday filed a notice with the Hong Kong stock exchange that the company’s board of directors had approved the proposed issuance of Chinese depositary receipts (CDR), and the application for CDR listing and trading on the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s Science and Technology Innovation Board.

Under the proposal, Lenovo intends to issue new ordinary shares that would represent no more than 10% of the total enlarged number of ordinary shares of the company.

Proceeds from the issuance will be used for the company’s research and development of new technologies, products and solutions, strategic investments in related sectors and replenishment of its working capital, Lenovo said.

The proposed issuance and admission of CDRs is subject to market conditions, shareholders’ approval and the necessary approvals of relevant stock exchanges and regulatory authorities, it added.

Alibaba Group has pledged to help 2,000 brands reach the 100 million yuan revenue threshold on its Tmall site this year through a dedicated new product launch mechanism.

The e-commerce giant is looking to incubate 10,000 new products with 10 million yuan of sales under the so-called Hey Box initiative, where brands leverage consumer insights offered by Tmall to launch new items or speed up product development.

Monthly active users of Tmall Hey Box have reached 180 million, with sales generated through this vehicle accounting for 35% of all Tmall transactions last year, according to Alibaba Vice-President Liu Bo. He said nearly 1,000 brands achieved 100 million yuan in transactions last year thanks to the initiative.

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

Xu Yuenai

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