A customer makes a payment using a WeChat QR payment code via her smartphone, next to an Alipay QR code, left, at a vegetable market in Beijing on November 3, 2020. Photo: AFP / Greg Baker

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the country’s central bank, said it would take measures to enhance prudential supervision of the financial activities of internet platform companies and strengthen an anti-trust push in 2021.

Measures will be taken to prevent the disorderly expansion of capital, as well as make steady improvements in inclusive finance services, the central bank said Wednesday during an annual work conference in Beijing to outline key policies and tasks for 2021.

The central bank will steadily carry out pilot programs for digital currency, encourage the use of credit reporting in digital finance and economic governance and step up efforts for the investigation and monitoring of money laundering.

As part of efforts to promote greater reform of the financial markets and financial institutions, the PBoC will move to improve diversified channels for bond default disposal and implement a prudential management scheme for real estate finance.

It will also deepen participation in global financial governance, expand the two-way opening-up in the financial sector, promote the opening-up in the capital account in a steady and orderly manner and keep the scale of foreign exchange reserve basically stable.

It said it would implement a prudent monetary policy that is flexible, precise, reasonable and moderate and make the money supply and aggregate social financing grow at basically the same level as the country’s nominal economic growth.

Besides, it will establish mechanisms that offer effective financial support to the real economy and prolong the policies on inclusive loan repayment extension and the credit loan support program for smaller businesses, and guide the financial institutions to strengthen support for technology innovation, private companies and small and micro-sized enterprises.

Innovation in Guangzhou

An innovation and entrepreneurship service center for young people from Hong Kong and Macao was launched in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, on Wednesday.

People from Hong Kong and Macao below the age of 44 who start businesses at the Guangzhou Hong Kong-Macao Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Service Center will not be charged rent for the first two years.

“The service center will help greatly reduce financial burdens for young people from the two regions who bring projects and start their businesses on the mainland,” said Li Rongxin, director of the Guangzhou Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Service Center, which also runs the center for Hong Kong and Macao youth.

Cross-border financing

China has adjusted a key parameter in its macro-prudential management to prop up the ability of its financial companies to borrow foreign debt.

The macro-prudential adjustment coefficient, a multiplier that decides the upper limit of outstanding cross-border financing an institution can have, has been revised to 0.5 from 0.3, according to a joint statement issued on Monday by the PBoC and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange.

After the policy tweak, the upper limit of overseas loans by domestic enterprises will be increased accordingly, the central bank said.

Company news

General Motors (GM) and its joint ventures delivered 2.9 million vehicles in China in 2020, with a year-on-year sales increase of 14.1% in the fourth quarter, GM China said Wednesday.

Although the Covid-19 epidemic impacted sales in the first quarter of 2020, they started to recover in the second quarter. Deliveries then posted a strong rebound in the second half, especially for SUVs, MPVs and luxury vehicles, the company said.

Last year, GM’s Cadillac sales hit a record high of more than 230,000 vehicles, increasing by 7.9% year-on-year. Chevrolet delivered nearly 291,000 automobiles, and Buick and Wuling sales increased by 4.1% and 8.8%, respectively, in 2020.

Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group released its third “Five-Year Plan” (2021-25) in green building and energy conservation, setting an example of environmental protection to fulfill its corporate social responsibility.

The new plan will increase the requirements for the group in terms of green building and saving energy. Over the past five years, Wanda’s properties across China have saved 150 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, equivalent to 150,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

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.