CRRC Corporation Limited is one of the 97 centrally-administered state-owned enterprises. Photo: Xinhua

China will strengthen the management of overseas state-owned property rights held by centrally-administered state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and prevent the loss of overseas state-owned assets, the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) of the State Council said in a statement.

China will optimize the structure of overseas state-owned property rights, according to the statement.

All central SOEs shall strictly manage the registration of overseas property rights and handle the registration of overseas property rights through an information system of the SASAC to ensure timely, complete and accurate reports of the situation of overseas property rights, it said.

Net profits of the country’s 97 central SOEs expanded 2.1% year-on-year in 2020 to 1.4 trillion yuan (US$215.77 billion), official data showed. 

Outbound investment

China’s outbound direct investment (ODI) rose 3.3% to US$132.9 billion in 2020 from a year ago. Non-financial ODI fell 0.4% to $110.2 billion, said Gao Feng, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Commerce (MoC).

Gao said China and the countries along the Belt and Road increased cooperation last year as non-financial ODI in 58 Belt and Road countries surged 18.3% year-on-year to $17.8 billion. In addition, the proportion of non-financial ODI in Belt and Road countries in total ODI value climbed by 2.6 percentage points to 16.2%.

The country’s ODI in the wholesale and retail sector increased the most, going up by 27.8% year-on-year, said Gao. Sectors including leasing and business services, electricity production and supply and scientific research and technical services also saw growth.

The value of newly contracted projects overseas reached $255.6 billion, down by 1.8% year-on-year, said Gao, adding that about 80% of these projects are in the infrastructure sector.

Service outsourcing business

The executed contract value of China’s offshore service outsourcing business stood at $105.78 billion in 2020, crossing the threshold of $100 billion for the first time, the MoC said Thursday. 

This marked an expansion of 9.2% from a year ago and contributed to an increase of 3.8 percentage points in the growth of the country’s service exports, achieving the goal set for the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020). 

Last year, the executed contract value of the country’s overall service outsourcing business came in at 1.21 trillion yuan, up 13.3% year-on-year. 

Virus test demand

Demand for nucleic acid tests is expected to expand further amid the Spring Festival in February, the busiest travel time of the year in China, as authorities move to prevent further outbreaks of Covid-19.

Measures to guide the public during their holiday trips were rolled out on Wednesday afternoon. Under these measures, migrants who return to the countryside should show negative nucleic acid test results within seven days before their journey, Chinese health authorities told a press conference on Wednesday.

It is estimated that 1.7 billion trips will be taken during the Spring Festival travel rush this year, with an average of 40 million passengers per day, up more than 10% from 2020, according to the Ministry of Transport on Wednesday.

Company news

Ant Group refuted rumors about Jack Ma Yun transferring his 10% stake in Ant’s controlling shareholder Alibaba Group for free to the Zhejiang provincial department of finance, media reports said on Thursday, bringing more attention to the Alibaba founder who has just re-emerged after being missing from public view for over two months. 

The transfer, supposedly intended to supplement the local social security fund, was “fake news,” the financial news website Yicai.com reported, citing Ant Group.

The finance department in East China’s Zhejiang Province, where Alibaba’s headquarters is located, has yet to comment on the alleged share transfer. 

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