China is forecast to be Asia’s largest retail economy with sales of $1.7 billion for 2013, according to a report by Cushman & Wakefield, a global real estate services firm. “Retail growth in China has remained vigorous while signs of moderation have surfaced as the
Sha ZuKang is correct of course….but many nations have gone to war over much more silly matters. WTC It is not worth it for China to go to war with Japan over “those two tiny rocks” in the East China Sea, said Sha Zukang, former
More evidence of the rise of the RMB. I can add to this story by telling you that major Fortune 500′s have also converted and started paying suppliers in RMB if they are based in China. This is a new phenomena as everyone was previously
Global demand for gold fell sharply last quartet, but Russia is still accumulating the precious metal. Russia’s central bank added another 20.6 tons to its gold reserves in the first three quarters of the year, and, with 1,237 tons, it has now crossed the 1,204
How many more years can people in the West expect to turn out poorly educated, lazy teenagers hooked on sugar and video games and still expect to compete in the global economy? The answer is they already cannot compete. The USD as the world’s reserve
Asia Frontier Capital Launches Vietnam Fund Dec 3 2013 | 10:52am ET Asia Frontier Capital Limited has launched a Vietnam-focused fund. The open-ended, Cayman-domiciled AFC Vietnam Fund, available for subscription to qualified new investors as of December 10, will invest in Vietnamese listed equities. The
Chinese Think Tank Warns Higher Inflation Next Year 12-03 15:58 Caijing The Price Monitoring Center, a research institute under the top economic planning body forecast that the consumer price index will rise more than 3 percent next year. Inflation in China will quicken next
Moscow is preparing to develop a joint weapons system with Beijing, according to Military Parade, a Russian-language military website, citing Russia’s deputy defense minister Anatoly Antonov at a press conference on Nov. 29. Following the appointment of Sergei Shoigu as defense minister and Valery Gerasimov
Sir Martin Sorrell Founder and CEO of WPP In Beijing yesterday the leaders of Prime Minister David Cameron’s trade mission to China were given a sneak preview of one of the marketing world’s most fascinating and revealing studies. Millward Brown, the global research firm, has
BEIJING—China said it scrambled fighter jets Friday to monitor two U.S. surveillance planes and 10 Japanese fighters and reconnaissance aircraft inside China’s new air-defense identification zone over the East China Sea. Col. Shen Jinke, a spokesman for China’s air force, said the Chinese planes, including
China is forecast to be Asia’s largest retail economy with sales
of $1.7 billion for 2013, according to a report by Cushman &
Wakefield, a global real estate services firm.
“Retail growth in China has remained vigorous while signs of
moderation have surfaced as the economy undergoes a restructuring
process,” said Annie Lei, National Director of China Consulting at
Cushman & Wakefield.
First-tier cities, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou, have
the most wealthy and brand-conscious consumers and show retail sales
growth of 9 percent to 16 percent.In major second-tier cities, such
as Chengdu, Wuhan, Nanjing, Shenyang and Chongqing, retail sales
growth ranges from 13 percent to 17 percent.
“Overall, we expect a steady rise in income levels to nurture an
aspiring middle class population and, barring any economic
surprises, this should underpin balanced retail growth for the next
decade,” said Lei. While growth in retail demand is unprecedented,
the surge in supply is stronger still, and as a result, many major
cities in China have the potential for some measure of oversupply.
Oversupply stands to affect weaker projects in the market; expect
suburban locations and inexperienced developers to be most vulnerable,
with high vacancy and project failure in extreme cases, the report said.
Oversupply will have little impact on prime rents which will continue
to exhibit strong growth as retailers compete for key locations to
define their brand in China and generate the strongest sales. The top
retail centers in China, including Shin Kong Place in Beijing, Grandview
Plaza Guangzhou and MixC in Shenzhen, achieved sales of around $1 billion
Sha ZuKang is correct of course….but many nations have
gone to war over much more silly matters.
It is not worth it for China to go to war with Japan over
“those two tiny rocks” in the East China Sea, said Sha Zukang,
former deputy secretary general of the United Nations and
retired Chinese diplomat, in a report from the Party-run
If China started a war with Japan, it would be much larger than
both the Sino-Japanese War (1894-95) and World War II (1931-45),
said Sha. The United States and Japan should cooperate with China
to maintain regional peace.
The “rocks” Sha refers to are the Diaoyutai (Diaoyu or Senkaku)
islands in the East China Sea. The disputed territory is claimed
by both China and Taiwan, and administered by Japan. Sino-Japanese
relations have been unsettled since last September, when Japan
claimed to nationalize a part of the island chain by buying them
back from private ownership.
Ultranationalism must be distinguished from a healthy patriotism,
said Sha. “I am firmly against ultranationalism because it is far
too arrogant to deny the right for other nations to pursue their
own interests. However, we must not harm Chinese patriotism: they
are two totally different ideas.” It is time for politicians and
people from both countries to sit down and talk, Sha said.
Even if China still has many problems, Chinese people cannot lose
faith towards their nation. “Most Americans and Westerners I have
met are confident of China’s future,” said Sha. “I don’t know why
so many of our own people believe that China will collapse tomorrow.”
More evidence of the rise of the RMB. I can add to this story by
telling you that major Fortune 500′s have also converted and started
paying suppliers in RMB if they are based in China. This is a new
phenomena as everyone was previously paid in USD. The RMB is only
a few years away from showing the world completely that the Dollar’s
dominance is history.
Yuan Passes Euro, Yen to Become Second-Most Used Currency After Dollar
Updated Dec. 3, 2013 3:58 p.m. ET
The Chinese yuan has vaulted ahead of the euro and Japanese yen to
become the second most widely used currency in international-trade
finance, another milestone in China’s bid to open up its currency.
Companies used China’s currency for 8.7% of credit agreements tied
to global trade in October, up from 4.4% a year earlier, according
to financial-services firm Swift, which monitors international currency
That puts the yuan above the euro and yen—at 6.64% and 1.36%, respectively
—although still well behind the dollar, which backs 81% of trade finance.
While trade credit is but a sliver of the $5.3 trillion-a-day foreign-
exchange market, the rapid adoption of the yuan underscores the rising
importance of the currency. In recent years, the Chinese government has
undertaken efforts to make it easier to convert in and out of yuan, with
an eye toward competing with the U.S. dollar as a global reserve currency.
The rising use of the yuan, also known as renminbi, in international-trade
credits is a sign that Beijing’s efforts to loosen its grip on the currency
are slowly paying off. “Companies are getting more of a comfort zone to trade
in renminbi,” said Debra Lodge, a New York based head of renminbi business
development at HSBC Bank USA NA. “It’s just a natural progression in
the opening up of China.” Statements following the government’s recent Third
Plenum meeting have led many observers to think that Asia’s largest economy
will see more-aggressive foreign-exchange reforms in the near future. Its
central bank announced a blueprint on Monday to facilitate cross-border
investments for businesses and individuals living in Shanghai’s pilot free-
trade zone. However, there are significantbarriers to the yuan’s wider use.
Tight government controls of money flowing in and out of China prevent
foreigners from easily holding yuan assets, and concerns about transparency
have also made many yuan assets unattractive to foreign investors.
“Changing China’s currency is not like turning a battleship; it’s like
turning an aircraft carrier,” said John Rutledge, chief investment officer
at asset manager Safanad SA. “It’ll take decades before the renminbi is
a stable, liquid currency like the dollar.”
Despite the jump in yuan use in trade finance, the currency
holds a relatively small 0.84% share of overall global
payments flows, Swift data show. Most of the trade finance
in China occurs with Hong Kong and Singapore, meaning
the yuan’s growing use is primarily a regional phenomenon
One explanation for why the yuan’s role in overall payments
lags its role in trade finance is that Chinese companies may
be using trade finance as a way to borrow money more
cheaply offshore. Trade finance includes so-called “letters of
credit,” which are bank-issued guarantees between two
companies that a payment will be made at a future date for a
A Chinese company can get around the country’s capital
controls by getting a yuan-denominated letter of credit from
its Hong Kong subsidiary, for instance, and using the
proceeds to get a loan in Hong Kong for a lower interest
rate. China’s benchmark interest rate is 6%, while the offshore rate
is 0.5%. “It’s not the easiest to get money into or out of China, so
savvy Chinese businesses are using letters of credit as a way to borrow
at a lower rate outside of China,” said Alfred Nader, a vice president
at global payments firm Western Union Business Solutions.
If this is the case, the renminbi may not be gaining as much traction
in global trade as the numbers initially suggest. Still, the gradual rise
in yuan use globally is significant. This year, China became one of the
top-10 most traded international currencies for the first time, according
to the latest Bank for International Settlements report in September. Trading
in the Chinese currency has more than tripled in three years, to $120 billion
a day in 2013, the BIS said. By paying in yuan, American and other foreign
companies can get more competitive pricing from their Chinese suppliers.
Last year, China’s central bank said foreign importers could save 2% to 3% on
their invoices if they pay in yuan. For the Chinese supplier, accepting yuan
payments eliminates the fees to convert dollars to yuan, along with any risk
of exchange-rate fluctuations.
Global demand for gold fell sharply last quartet, but Russia is
still accumulating the precious metal. Russia’s central bank added
another 20.6 tons to its gold reserves in the first three quarters
of the year, and, with 1,237 tons, it has now crossed the 1,204 ton
mark for the first time, Quartz reports.
Along with Turkey and Kazakhstan, Russia was the only country among
the top 30 gold reserve-holding countries to add to its stockpiles
Although Russia’s reserves still rank only seventh in the world, its
store is quickly catching up to Switzerland’s stock of 1,292 tons.
The latest number for China is 1,323 tons, but that is outdated
because Beijing stopped reporting its holdings some time ago,
according to Quartz.
Russian lawmakers have reportedly attributed the central bank’s gold
accumulation in part to a strategic shift away from reserve currencies
like the dollar or the pound.
Experts say it may not be such a bad idea. Even with prices dropping,
supply has been shrinking, which could mean steady or higher prices
down the road.
How many more years can people in the West expect to turn out
poorly educated, lazy teenagers hooked on sugar and video games
and still expect to compete in the global economy? The answer is
they already cannot compete. The USD as the world’s reserve
currency is the last thing holding together a massive Tsunami of
poverty that will hit the waves of the United States unlike we
have ever seen.
PISA education tests: Why Shanghai pupils are so special
For the second time running, pupils in China’s financial
capital have been world beaters in maths, science and reading.
Every day, Lucy Dong and her best friend Amy Zhu wake at 7am – 7.10am
if they are lucky – munch through their breakfast of steamed buns and
noodles, and head off to what may be the best schooling system in the
The 10-year-olds, who are natives of Shanghai, China’s sprawling
financial capital, study in 35-minute bursts from around 8am to 4pm,
with a small break for lunch – and a class meeting – sandwiched in
the middle. Outside school hours, the girls’ lives are a blur of extra-
curricular activities: English class, flute class, drumming class,
handwriting class, calligraphy class, Taekwondo training, modeling
lessons and choir practice.
Over the coming years, as they chase their respective dreams of becoming
an astronaut and a poetry reciter, Lucy and Amy’s lives are unlikely to
be easy. But they will at least be part of an education system that
appears to be paying great dividends.
This week, Shanghai was crowned – for the second time – the champion of
the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which compares
the maths, reading and science skills of some 510,000 secondary school
students around the world.
hanghai’s students came top of the global class in maths with an average
score of 613 (up from 600 in the last PISA tests of 2010). That was 119
points, or the equivalent of nearly three years of schooling, above the
average, and placed Shanghai 25 places above Britain, which had 494 points.
Shanghai also came top in reading (570 points), just ahead of Hong Kong
and Singapore, which joined it on the podium in all three PISA categories.
Britain languished in 23rd place with 499 points.
Shanghai was also victorious in science (Britain came 21st) and excelled
when it came to “top performers”. Twenty-five per cent of its students
were placed in that bracket, the PISA results showed.
Some experts question the value of comparing cities and countries. Others
point out that Shanghai’s relatively well-funded schools and well-paid
teachers are not representative of the Chinese education system as a whole.
Average pay for a Shanghai teacher is 4,400 yuan (£441) a month compared
with 2,000 yuan in some cities in the southwestern province of Yunnan.
Even so, the latest results are likely to see more and more educators
flock east in search of the mega-city’s magic formula.
Prof Kong Lingshuai of the College of Education at Shanghai Normal
University has studied the city’s PISA successes. He says that the
secret is a mix of “traditional elements and modern elements”. The former
relate to the high expectations of “tiger” parents, and a belief
instilled in Chinese children from a young age that effort is crucial to
gaining a good education.
“Chinese parents pay great attention to their children’s education in the
hope that their sons will one day become dragons and their daughters
phoenixes,” says Prof Kong. The “modern elements” include Shanghai’s
willingness to constantly adapt its curriculum and teaching practices; its
focus on improving under-achieving schools by pairing them with those that
excel; its openness to foreign ideas; and the introduction of performance-
An obsession with training has also been key, says Prof Kong. As of last
year, new teachers have to undergo a standardised, one-year training course
before starting in the classroom.
Once qualified, they are required to complete at least 240 hours’ training
in their first five years. Teachers are also encouraged to attend each
other’s classes to promote a culture of “idea sharing, exchanging and
positive competition”. Outsiders often dismiss China’s education system as
a pressure-cooker-style frenzy of exams that places too much emphasis on
rote-learning and does little to stimulate creativity.
But in Shanghai at least, that may be starting to change. Authorities are
attempting to move away from testing that relies too heavily on memorising
facts and figures, and some schools are also giving students more time to
play, rather than just study.
Gao Xinhong, a Shanghai student who became a minor local celebrity after
getting the highest marks in this year’s “gaokao” university entrance exams,
says the schooling system is becoming more flexible. “The greatest part of
Shanghai’s education system was that it gave me a broad perspective compared
to other Chinese cities. Shanghai’s education is good because it does not
treat grades as the only thing for a student,” she says.
Zhu Yi, the father of 10-year-old Amy Zhu, agrees. “It is much better than
before. Schools in Shanghai now focus on the all-round development of
students,” says Mr Yi, a 44-year-old sports instructor.
He points to an ancient Chinese dedication to learning when asked to explain
the city’s PISA successes, but warns: “Education is cultural. It can’t simply
be copied or borrowed.”
Prof Kong says cultural factors have been central to Shanghai’s PISA glories
but suggests western students hoping to catch up with their Asian peers would
do well to take on some extra homework.
“The number of hours Chinese students put into homework is several times higher
than their western pals,” he says.
Asia Frontier Capital Launches Vietnam Fund
Dec 3 2013 | 10:52am ET
Asia Frontier Capital Limited has launched a Vietnam-focused fund.
The open-ended, Cayman-domiciled AFC Vietnam Fund, available for
subscription to qualified new investors as of December 10, will
invest in Vietnamese listed equities. The fund has a target size
of US$50 million.
Overseeing the new fund will be AFC’s two Andreas—CEO Andreas
Vogelsanger and CIO Andreas Karall—and COO and founder Thomas
Hugger. The Vietnam fund will focus on growth companies,
particularly small to medium-sized firms.
“After a 70-90 % price decline in the years 2007-2012, we now
see enormous upside potential in this new business cycle which
has just started and is expected to last for the next 5-7 years”
said Karall, in a statement. “About one third out of more than
700 listed Vietnamese stocks have a P/E ratio between 6x and 7x,
are trading below book value, many of them have a dividend yield
of more than 9% and there are even some companies whose net cash
position is almost as high as their market cap.”
“Vietnam’s growth prospects are very compelling, especially with
the restructuring of the banking sector and various government
stimulus packages to support the economy” said Vogelsanger, in a
statement. “A stable local currency combined with very competitive
labour costs will help to further accelerate foreign direct
investments into Vietnam.”
Hugger characterized the new fund as “an excellent addition to the
well-established flagship AFC Asia Frontier Fund which provides
investors with exposure to Vietnam as well as listed equities across
high-growth Asian frontier markets including; Bangladesh, Cambodia,
Iraq, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka
Chinese Think Tank Warns Higher Inflation Next Year
12-03 15:58 Caijing
The Price Monitoring Center, a research institute under the
top economic planning body forecast that the consumer price
index will rise more than 3 percent next year.
Inflation in China will quicken next year as food prices,
wages and rents increase, a central government think tank said
The Price Monitoring Center, a research institute under the top
economic planning body, the National Development and Reform
Commission, forecast that the consumer price index will rise
more than 3 percent next year.
It also estimated that the CPI will show an increase of 3.2 percent
in the fourth quarter of this year. The CPI jumped unexpectedly in
October, increasing 3.2 percent after several months of moderate gains.
In the first 10 months of the year, the CPI was up 2.6 percent, well
below the government’s target of 3.5 percent. The center forecast that
food prices will continue to show upward momentum this year and lift
the overall inflation level by 0.2 to 0.5 percentage point.
Although the nation’s harvests might be favorable, providing a good
base for food price stabilization, other factors are likely to keep
food costs rising. Those factors include higher pesticide costs, more
demand for irrigation and rising agricultural wages.
The CPI will also be driven up as the producer price index, which shows
costs at the wholesale level, declines more slowly or even rises, the
A booming property market will drive up rents and housing-related
material costs, and that will eventually translate into higher household
spending on real estate. This factor could raise the inflation rate by 0.1
to 0.3 percentage point. Unlike consumer price indexes in mature economies,
in China, food costs represent the bulk of the indicator. Accommodation
expenses take a much smaller piece of the household spending pie. Another
CPI forecast, based on Bloomberg News’ survey of economists, sees momentum
for an upswing in China’s inflation.
But its forecast is higher than the NDRC’s, putting the number for 2014
at 3.2 percent. It estimated a 3.2 percent rise in the fourth quarter of
this year. Another report, released on Monday by the State Information
Center, also affiliated with the NDRC, put next year’s CPI gain at 3.2
percent. It forecast that average housing prices nationwide will rise
another 5 percent next year.
Tang Jianwei, a senior researcher with the financial research center at
Bank of Communications Ltd, said experience indicates that China’s CPI has
entered an upward cycle that could last for two years.
The highest point in this cycle could occur next year, Tang said.
“The upward pressure for inflation next year will be a bit higher than
this year, and next year’s high point could be more than 3.2 percent,” he
said. With prices apparently set to rise, the NDRC offered several
suggestions.The report said that the government should rein in “unreasonable”
property price hikes and expand the trial program for property taxes.
The agency, while admitting that the pilot tax program hadn’t had much
impact on property prices in the cities involved, urged that the tax be
extended beyond newly bought housing to all residences, new or old.
The tax rate should also be raised, it said. The report urged the
establishment of a system to disclose civil servants’ assets, in an effort
to rein in housing-related corruption. In response to calls for liberalizing
energy prices — specifically oil, natural gas and electricity — the report
cautioned that reforms should proceed in line with actual circumstances.
The report called for minimizing the spillover of higher prices by levying
special dividends on the producers of those commodities. Those levies should
be used for subsidies to consumers, it said.
An announcement after last month’s Third Plenum of the 18th Central Committee
of the Communist Party of China promised to liberalize oil, natural gas and
electricity prices, which fueled the expectation that prices would soar once
controls are eased.
Moscow is preparing to develop a joint weapons system with
Beijing, according to Military Parade, a Russian-language
military website, citing Russia’s deputy defense minister
Anatoly Antonov at a press conference on Nov. 29.
Following the appointment of Sergei Shoigu as defense minister
and Valery Gerasimov as general staff of the armed force, the
Russian military has conducted 60 major events and received
three foreign leaders, 20 defense ministers and 13 chief of
staff, Antonov said.
Antonov said Russia is ready to provide military assistance to
Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan as soon as NATO withdraws from
Afghanistan, while Moscow has signed a contract this year to
form a joint air defense system with Kazakhstan. Russia will
also maintain military communication with other former Soviet
states including Belarus, Ukraine, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and
Armenia, he added.
As for East Asia, Antonov praised China’s cooperation with
Russia last year in the Maritime Cooperation 2013 and Peace
Mission 2013 exercises, as well as Xi Jinping’s first visit to
the Russian defense ministry since becoming president. Antonov
said that like Russia, China is also worried about the US
missile defense program.
Antonov said Russia is willing to cooperate with China in developing
advanced weapons systems and hardware. He also indicated Russia’s
cooperation with China’s other potential enemy, India. He added that
Moscow and New Delhi may hold joint military exercises together in
the near future after handing over the INS Vikramaditya — a modified
Kiev-class aircraft carrier — to India.
Sir Martin Sorrell
Founder and CEO of WPP
In Beijing yesterday the leaders of Prime Minister David Cameron’s
trade mission to China were given a sneak preview of one of the
marketing world’s most fascinating and revealing studies.
Millward Brown, the global research firm, has today published its
definitive annual BrandZ list of China’s most valuable brands –
essential reading for Sinophiles like me (and indeed for anyone
with an interest in what’s happening in the world’s second
Now in its fourth year, the WPP-commissioned survey for the first
time documents the leading 100 brands rather than the top 50. You
can read the full report here, but the top ten are:
China Mobile – $61.4bn
ICBC (Industrial & Commercial Bank of China) – $39.7bn
Tencent – $33.9bn
China Construction Bank – $25.5bn
Baidu – $20bn
Agricultural Bank of China – $19.3bn
Bank of China – $13.6bn
PetroChina – $13.4bn
Sinopec – $13.1bn
China Life – $12.7bn
These companies are among the biggest in the world, with a
combined brand value of more than $250 billion, but most in the
West know little or nothing about them (yet).
The report is absorbing both in itself and in what it tells us
about the unprecedented industrial revolution that has taken
place in China over the last 20 years or so. Here are five
things to emphasise:
1. Technology, telecoms and banking brands dominate
Seven of the top ten brands are financial institutions, tech
companies or telecoms providers. Looking at the top 100, the banks
have a collective brand value of $114 billion, telcos $74 billion
and tech businesses $60 billion. The next largest category
(insurance) is worth about half that at $32 billion.
Each of these three dominant sectors is developing rapidly, as
China’s industrial revolution drives financial, social and
behavioural change on a massive scale.
As businesses they’re finding they have more and more in common.
The web is bringing them into ever-closer proximity (more on this
below) – and convergence happens pretty fast in a country with
an online population approaching 600 million.
2. China’s tech businesses already stand toe-to-toe with the
Baidu, which operates almost exclusively in China, processes more
than five billion search queries every day. This is on a par with
Google’s global figure.
Tencent’s WeChat messaging service, launched only two years ago,
is now used by around 400 million people – and continues to grow
exponentially. Tencent’s revenues and profits are greater than
And in China, where more than half the population is yet to go
online, the digital explosion is only just beginning.
3. Chinese tech companies want to be banks, too
Financial institutions may occupy four of the top ten slots in the
BrandZ rankings, but they’re looking nervously over their shoulders
at a new breed of competitor.
Baidu isn’t just China’s Google. It’s Google plus Amazon, and now
it’s moving squarely into the territory of the banks as well, as
the latest tech player to offer users financial services. Deposits
to new wealth management service, Baidu Wallet, reached their limit
of one billion yuan within five hours of the service launching a
few weeks ago.
Transaction platforms are increasingly important to the tech companies,
which already have online payment systems and even offer loans. According
to Reuters Breaking Views, Alibaba is the biggest threat to the banks:
by July this year it had made short-term loans totalling more than $16
billion to businesses selling merchandise on its sites. Both it and
Tencent are reported to have applied for banking licences in the last
Given their phenomenal scale and growth, and the convenience of their
platforms, these tech players are well placed to disintermediate the
traditional banks in much the same way that Amazon has disintermediated
traditional retailers. Many believe that physical retail banks will soon
become little more than showrooms, with the real business conducted
almost entirely on mobile devices.
Will we see GoogleBank in the West?
4. The scale of mobile is incredible
A banal observation perhaps, because in every respect China is a land
of very big numbers, but the scale of mobile usage is worth reflecting
on for a moment. China Mobile, which tops the BrandZ list with a value
of $61 billion, has 750 million subscribers, making it the largest mobile
provider on the planet.
Significantly, mobile has already overtaken the desktop as the primary
means of accessing the web. In China, as in other fast-growing markets,
the era of the desktop has been short-lived compared to Western countries.
Official estimates suggest that three quarters of China’s 591 million
internet users access the web via mobile devices. In 2012 the Chinese
bought 213 million smartphones, a figure that is expected to rise to
360 million this year.
For marketers, this means China (the world’s largest smartphone market)
is the place to watch: Hugo Shong, one of the leading Chinese venture
capitalists and a WPP director, believes that a penetration of 400 million
smartphones could be the tipping point when mobile advertising comes into
5. Chinese business stereotypes are out of date
There’s a persistent myth that all Chinese companies are good at is stealing
intellectual property or at best replicating existing business models (just
as people used to say about Japan or Hong Kong or South Korea). This is a
lazy stereotype and well past its sell-by date.
Chinese companies often have a better understanding of trends in digital,
social and mobile, for example, than Western counterparts, and are becoming
increasingly innovative in their approach. This innovation is driven by huge
demand from consumers – as demonstrated by the presence of so many fast-
growing tech and telecom companies in the BrandZ rankings.
I’d like to highlight an example not on the list, though: smartphone
business Xiaomi (a private company and therefore not eligible).
Its CEO Lei Jun is often referred to as the Steve Jobs of China
(a moniker he dislikes), the company has been accused of copying
Apple, and it has an Android-based operating system.
In truth, though, Xiaomi is forging its own path. Its business
model relies not on handset sales but ongoing services to the
user, such as accessories and apps, and it has recently launched
a TV box. The company also incorporates the views of customers
into design and software development, releasing an update every
week based on feedback from its core user base. As The Economist
has pointed out, a far more democratic approach than that of its
Xiaomi launched its first Mi smartphone in October 2011. At $10
billion, after only three years, the company is worth more than
Nokia’s handset business and has recently overtaken Apple’s market
share in China.
Xiaomi is just one example of a growing trend, a trend that will
see China become the origin of various disruptive changes in the
current structures of global business – and challenge many a
complacent Western assumption in the process.
BEIJING—China said it scrambled fighter jets Friday to monitor two U.S.
surveillance planes and 10 Japanese fighters and reconnaissance aircraft
inside China’s new air-defense identification zone over the East China Sea.
Col. Shen Jinke, a spokesman for China’s air force, said the Chinese planes,
including SU-30 and J-11 fighters, had “identified and verified” the U.S.
and Japanese aircraft, according to a statement on the website of the
Ministry of National Defense.
It was the second consecutive day on which China said it had sent fighter
jets to patrol the zone that it established last Saturday in an area covering
islands that are claimed by both China and Japan.
But it was the first time China said it “scrambled” its fighters and “verified”
aircraft in the zone, suggesting that the Chinese planes had responded to an
incursion rather than carrying out a routine patrol, and may have directly
observed the foreign aircraft.
Col. Shen identified the U.S. aircraft as P-3 and EP-3 surveillance planes
and the Japanese ones as including P-3 and E-767 reconnaissance planes and
F-15 fighter jets, according to the Defense Ministry statement. The statement
gave no details of where exactly any of the aircraft had flown, how close they
had come to each other, or whether there had been any communication between them.
China’s establishment of the new zone has provoked strong protests from the U.S.
and its Asian allies, who see it as an escalatory move that increases the risk
of an aerial collision or clash. China’s rules for the zone state that aircraft
entering it must identify themselves and their flight plans and obey instructions
from the Chinese military or face unspecified “defensive emergency measures”.
The U.S. challenged Beijing’s credibility over the zone on Tuesday by flying two
B-52 bombers into it without informing China. Japan and South Korea have also said
they flew military planes into the zone without telling China in the last few days.
China has since dialed back its warnings, saying it won’t shoot down any aircraft
in the zone, but will monitor, identify, supervise and “deal with” unidentified
incoming aircraft according to the situation.
After two US B-52 bombers entered China’s newly announced air defense
identification zone over the East China Sea, aircraft from South Korea
and Japan also flew into the region to test what the reaction from the
People’s Liberation Army would be, according to the Hong Kong-based
Ta Kung Pao on Nov. 28.
On Nov. 26, a reconnaissance aircraft of the Republic of Korea Air Force
flew into the the region claimed by Beijing as its air defense
identification zone without sending any prior notification. South Korean
authorities informed Japan however that the aircraft was conducting
reconnaissance mission over the disputed Socotra Rock, called Ieodo by
South Korea and which is also claimed by China as Suyan Rock.
As with the case with the unarmed US bombers, the PLA did not move to
intercept the South Korean aircraft. Patrol planes from Japan’s Self-Defense
Force and Coast Guard also continued to carry out reconnaissance mission in
the disputed region. Itsunori Onodera, the Japanese defense minister, said
Tokyo does not recognize the ADIZ announced unilaterally by Beijing and
that Tokyo and Washington are working together to pressure Beijing to
retract its move.
The United States has also declared that its aircraft will continue
operating in the region just as before Nov. 23, when the Chinese ADIZ
The dangers of getting a Chinese character tattoo when the subject — or the tattoo
artist — does not read Chinese are by now well-known, and a report Germany’s Bild
magazine has added a serial offender to a long and ignominious list: a tattoo artist
of Vietnamese nationality in Sao Paulo, Brazil who has been arrested for giving his
customers tattoos that were far from what they asked for.
A female customer from Germany asked the artist for a tattoo on her shoulder of the
Chinese translation for “You are responsible forever for that which you tame,” a
quote from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. This would have been a
lengthy and probably ill-advised translation in any case, but the woman got far
worse — the three Chinese characters that mean “chicken noodle soup.”
She was not the only victim of the renegade tattoo artist, whose motives are unknown.
Another woman asked for “fire, strength, faith” and went away with the words “Thailand
church tree” engraved on her body. Possibly the most egregious example of the artist’s
contempt was when a man reportedly asked him for a tattoo which said “God is a lover”
in Chinese; instead, he got “Ralph is an asshole.”
As a veteran of Fortune 500 companies, I can tell you price
fixing goes on all the time. If you are shocked at this then
you are probably also shocked that large global multinational
“American” companies have avoided almost all of the taxes
Today, In the U.S., consumers are paying twice the price for
telecom services as Europe, and 5 times higher than Asia.
For prescription drugs, they are paying 10 times the price
of Switzerland or Canada. Instead of going after oligarch firms
with links into the political system, Americans are milked for
what money they have left after taxes.
China has started to get tough to ensure a full and free marketplace.
Something that we have not seen in the U.S. in decades.
China’s top economic planner and price watchdog will extend its
anti-trust probes into six other major industries, Xinhua reported.
The National Development and Reform Commission will extend probes
into price fixing in sectors including airlines, daily consumer
goods, vehicles, telecoms, pharmaceuticals, and household appliances
in the next step, the state-run media quoted an official as saying.
China has played strong hands so far this year in cracking down on
illegal activities including price fixing, targeting baby formula
brands, drug makers, jeweler distributors and others.
Earlier this year, the NDRC fined six liquid crystal display
manufacturers a total of 353 million yuan for their participation
in a cartel to fix the price of LCD panels on the Chinese mainland
between 2001 and 2006. This was the first time for China to punish
foreign companies in China for price fixing.
The Chinese Embassy in Tokyo has recently asked all Chinese nationals
in Japan to voluntarily register with its consular section as tensions
between the two nations continue to escalate over the disputed
Diaoyutai (Senkaku or Diaoyu) islands in the East China Sea, reports
the Chinese-language Beijing Times.
According to the state-run China New Service, this policy will help
the embassy contact and provide quicker assistance to Chinese citizens
in various local regions of Japan in case of “unexpected emergency.”
Chinese nationals living in Japan can download the voluntary
registration form online or pick up a form at the embassy.
And so it begins. All eventual wars start long before the first
bullet is fired. Back in the late 1930′s you could see Japan’s
ever increasing demands of Chinese territory and port concessions
would result in the eventual full-scale Mainland invasion by the
You could also see in the early 1940′s the American sanctions
against the Japanese including and oil embargo would result in
war between the two countries. Once the embargo was announced
against Japan, the Japanese imperial Navy got down to 3 months
worth of oil reserves…they had no choice but to strike.
It is government’s political miscalculations or in some cases
deliberate calculations that set up the eventuality of war.
We may be seeing one of the first steps on a new road to war
in East Asia with Beijing’s new “Air Defense identification Zone”.
It sounds incredulously to say, but keep in mind the bad blood
in China left over from World War 2. From an American perspective,
we lost many of our best young men in the conflict but in many
places, like China, they had entire cities put to the knife.
Today in China, people grow up on a steady diet of “Kang Ri”…or the
resistance movement against the Japanese that happened in WW2.
Today in China, 20-30% of nighttime dramas take place in occupied
China and deal with fighting the Japanese. There is even a child’s
cartoon which stars 3 Chinese peasant children whom constantly
out-wit and play tricks on the Japanese Imperial Army.
It is with this cultural background one must be wary of the recent
establishment of Beijing’s East China Sea Air Defense Identification
Zone. The Air defense zone smacks right up against Japan and covers
disputed islands that are already for all intensive purposes
administered by Japan.
The new zone covers the airspace above the disputed Diaoyu (Senkaku
and Diaoyutai) islands, which are a source of rising tension.
The island chain is referred to as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyutai
A Chinese armed forces spokesmen said China is capable of effective
control over the zone, and will take measures to deal with air
threats to protect the security of the country’s airspace.
It was reported that China has already started patrolling the zone.
Its just a matter of time before China or Japan shoot down one of
each others aircraft. Once that happens…where we go next will not be
Housing prices in major Chinese cities continue sizzling, with year
-on-year growths in four of the country’s largest cities exceeding
20 percent in October. Shanghai led the rally as newly-built home
prices soared 21.4 percent in October compared with the same period
last year, following by Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, the National
Bureau of Statistics said Monday on its website.
Home prices in Beijing rose by 21.2 percent year-on-year while that
of Guangzhou and Shenzhen jumped by 20.7 percent and 20.6 percent,
respectively. Of the 70 cities monitored, 69 have seen home prices rise
from a year ago while Wenzhou in east China’s Zhejiang Province, for
the sixth consecutive month, become the only city to see declining
The pace of growth, however, is slowing down on a monthly basis, as
the NBS data showed average prices of newly-built houses in October
inched up 0.7 percent from a month earlier, 0.2 percentages lower
The slower monthly rise is due to tougher regulations and increasing
supplies in October, a traditional strong season for the housing
market, said Liu Jianwei, a senior statistician with the NBS.
Low base data partially explained the strong year-on-year rally last
month registered, Liu added, citing newly-built houses dropped by
1.1 percent last October compared with a year ago.
$1 trillion in loans and infrastructure projects vs drone
bases. Who will will hearts and minds in Africa? China or
Want China Times
The Chinese government and state-run banks will offer loans of
up to US$1 trillion to Africa until 2025 as the continent emerges
as China’s newest top destination for investment, according to an
analyst with the state-owned Export-Import Bank of China.
At a recent conference in Hong Kong on investments in Africa, Zhao
Changhui said his bank would provide between 70% and 80% of the
US$1 trillion in loans to Africa. “For many enterprises in China,
Africa is poised to become China’s top overseas destination for
commercial activities and investments over the next two decades,
” Zhao stated. “With US$3.5 trillion in foreign reserves, China
should not only buy US debt but should inject its funds into other
overseas investments,” Zhao said.
The analyst said his bank is seeking cooperation with Africa’s
infrastructure projects, including transnational highways, railways
and airports. He estimated work on a railway network linking various
states in Africa would cost US$500 billion.
Jeff Gable, head of the unit of non-equity research in Africa for
Barclays Africa Group, hinted at an area that investors might be
interested in examining, saying there is a huge need for the
electrification of the railway in Africa. The infrastructure is far
from complete in Africa, he remarked.
Another area that might draw funding from the Chinese government is
the agriculture sector, according to Zhao. With fertile lands on the
African continent, Zhao said he believed cooperation between China
and Africa on agriculture may help alleviate starvation in the
continent over the next 10 to 15 years. This view was echoed by Gable,
who pointed out that Africa has the potential to grow into a leading
global exporter of grains in the next 20 years, with output likely
to climb from US$280 billion to US$880 billion during the period.
According to media reports, China Machinery Engineering signed a deal
with the government of Equatorial Guinea in October to develop electric
grids in the central African state.
Under the agreement, inked on Oct. 14, the Chinese company will build
six new grids and expand existing grids in Equatorial Guinea for
US$127 million, with construction expected to be completed in 21 months,
according to the reports.
SINGAPORE (Reuters) – China, set to pass India this year as the
world’s top gold consumer, has imported nearly a fifth more bullion
than data from its traditional conduit HongKong shows as it brings
in the metal via other routes. Gold shipped from Hong Kong to the
mainland, used as a proxy for Chinese demand as bullion imports are
a state secret, nearly tripled to 855 tones in the year to September.
But a surge in China’s gold purchases as prices slumped by a quarter
this year has also seen at least 133 tonnes shipped directly, according
to Reuters calculations based on data from Global Trade Information
Services (GTIS).That figure could be even higher as it does not include
central bank purchases.
One shocking difference between the U.S. and the rest of the world
is in the cost of telecom services. Americans are paying 5 times for
telecom services compared to people in Japan, Korea, or China.
In China, you purchase a cell phone , no subsidizes or trick financing.
There are very small set-up charges. You then pay $10-$15 per month
for unlimited voice, data, and text. You only pay for data that you use
unlike in the U.S. where you pay for data you use and for the “right” to
use the network.
In America, you sign a contract that supposedly subsidizes the phone price
,however, upon your first bill you are charged made-up set-up charges wich
fully recover the costs of the phone for the telecom companies. Meanwhile,
instead of paying $10-$15 per month…you are milked by the telcom companies
and the American captured regulation system to the tune of $70-$80/a month
for phone services which in East Asia costs $10-$15/a month.
More padding for the “Exceptional” American GDP.
It would appear that in the United States a deal has been done between the
Telecom companies and the Government. As long as the telecom companies continue
to violate your civil rights and send all of your conversations to the NSA..
they will be allowed to treat you like a milk cow.
Welcome to the land of the unfree.
It’s not too late for America to regain pre-eminance but
the clock is ticking. What’s worse..like a dug addict that
doesn’t know it has a problem the U.S. has been living off
printed money and welfare both corporate and personal they
no longer even realize they have a problem.
There is no intellectual honesty in American anymore.
The country must collapse before it can reboot and resent.
We can only hope it happens quickly… as Nietszhe said…
“Only the weak fear chaos”
Want China Times
The 19th century may have belonged to England and the 20 century
to the United States, but the 21st century belongs to China,
says American investor Jim Rogers.
Rogers, the billionaire co-founder of the privately owned hedge
fund Quantum, made the comments on Nov. 16 at an economic forum
in Nanjing, the capital of east China’s Jiangsu province, according
to a report from the state-owned China News Service.
During his speech, Rogers said he has strong confidence in China’s
future development based on his personal experiences over the years.
The 71-year-old said he has toured the world twice, the first time
in 1990 when he visited more than 50 countries in nearly two years,
and again in 1999 when he visited 116 countries over three years.
He said he was certain that the 21st century would belong to Asia
— and in particular, China — the first time he visited Nanjing in
1984, when China was undergoing reforms and opening up.
Rogers added that he has two young daughters, both of whom can
speak Mandarin well, and that one day his lifestyle and his US
dollars will follow him to China.
Speaking just days after the conclusion of the pivotal third plenary
session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, Rogers said he is optimistic
about the potential of the Chinese yuan on the international currency
market, predicting that it will replace the US dollar as the global
reserve currency in the next 10 to 20 years.
As for the mainland stock market, Rogers said he has purchased some,
but not a lot of Chinese stocks, though he believes China will become
his biggest investment target if it continues its opening up and becomes
the world’s largest financial state. He revealed that he has not sold
any of the Chinese stock he purchased during visits to the country in
1999, 2005 and 2008.
Repeating remarks he made earlier at a forum in Guangzhou, Rogers said
he feels China’s environmental sector holds a lot of potential as the
government will increase expenditure in reducing pollution by 25% over
the next five years. He also saw a positive outlook for the agricultural,
rail transport and pharmaceutical industries, adding that investment
opportunities will follow the focus of government strategies and policies.
Rogers also said that he will consider buying more gold if prices fall
below US$1000 per ounce.