A worker at a gas station in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province. Photo: Xinhua

China raised the retail prices of gasoline and diesel from Friday, marking the third increase this year, said the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

Based on recent changes in international oil prices, the retail prices of gasoline and diesel will be increased by 275 yuan (US$42.6) and 265 yuan per tonne, respectively, according to the NDRC.

Under the current pricing mechanism, if international crude oil prices change by more than 50 yuan per tonne and remain at that level for 10 working days, the prices of refined oil products such as gasoline and diesel in China will be adjusted accordingly.

China’s three biggest oil companies, China National Petroleum Corporation, China Petrochemical Corporation and China National Offshore Oil Corporation, have been urged by the NDRC to maintain oil production and facilitate transportation to ensure stable supplies.

Duty-free shopping

Duty-free shops in Hainan province saw sales of 1.5 billion yuan during the Spring Festival shopping spree, double the figure for the Spring Festival holiday in 2019.
Between February 11 and 17, sales at Hainan’s nine duty-free shops reached 1.5 billion yuan, 1.4 billion yuan of which was for duty-free goods, official data showed.

The stores welcomed more than 200,000 visitors over the holiday period, and many of the visitors tried the new “mail and delivery” shopping service, which was introduced on February 2.

SME indexes

China’s Small and Medium Enterprises Development Index fell slightly in January due to sporadic cases of Covid-19 reported in different areas of the country ahead of the Spring Festival.

The SME Development Index, based on a survey of 3,000 SMEs, fell 0.2 points from the previous month to 87 in January, according to the China Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (CASME).

The decline came after reporting gains or flat growth for six straight months, but the index remained the third-highest since the Covid-19 outbreak last year.

Chinese SMEs will continue their role as key contributors to the nation’s economic development in the still difficult year of 2021, said Zhou Dewen, economist and deputy head of the CASME.

Overseas cargo flights

The number of overseas cargo flights during the Spring Festival holiday between February 11 and 17 more than doubled compared with the previous two years, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said.

There were 2,553 overseas cargo flights during the holiday, an increase of 212% over the same period last year, and an increase of 259% from 2019.

Company news

JD Logistics, the delivery arm of China’s second-largest e-commerce company JD.com, filed for an initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong, making this the third branch in the conglomerate to go public.

The move came shortly after JD.com’s healthcare unit JD Health completed a US$3.5 billion IPO in December last year. The IPO is jointly sponsored by BofA Securities, Goldman Sachs, Haitong Securities and UBS.

The logistics company’s revenue reached 49.5 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 43.2%, in the first three quarters of 2020.

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.