HANGZHOU – Two brothers and their father were sentenced to death on Monday for cheating 15,000 investors out of over $1.1 billion in east China’s Zhejiang province. Ji Wenhua, president of the Yintai Real Estate and Investment Group, was sentenced to death for the crime
Dan Collins CMR “Gold going to $7,000”, an article today in the Chinese media is going viral and one of the most viewed articles in the financial press. The article references American Jim Rickards and his concept of comparing inflation-adjusted gold prices. Most Chinese economists
It’s not uncommon for the large Wall Street banks to combine in shorting an entire years supply of minded silver in a single day.The same goes for all commodities. Endless paper printing getting funneled to Wall Street has destroyed all real price discovery. Capitalism fails
You have to laugh at the whole “China will collapse crowd” on CNBC and even respected sites like Zero Hedge. Personally, I love the Zerohedge stuff. They understand the ponzi-financial fraud-money printing-welfare state economy that now envelops the West. But China is a real economy,
Dan Collins CMR When I moved to China back in 1998 I was surprised to learn how highly the Chinese thought of America. Of course China was a much poorer place back then but coming from the Detroit area I couldn’t fathom where was all
Chanos is back! His short China thesis is very long in the tooth but as it goes with most ego maniacs he cannot accept failure or that fact that he might be wrong. Being wrong on an entire country where you have never visited and
Breaking News today that a Chinese vessel as rammed and sunk a Vietnamese fishing boat. All countries in the South China Sea and East China Sea are using fishing boats in a game of cat-and-mouse to challenge each other on their respective areas. This time
Stockswatch China has become a banking powerhouse. Four of the five largest banks in the world are Chinese, according to SNL Financial’s latest global bank rankings. It’s a big change from the past few years when only two Chinese banks made the top five. Beijing-based
Scared of losing the Chinese tourist dollar, France has relented to China and will allow Chinese police on the streets of Paris. More signs of the benefits of third-world immigration into the West to the point where cultural breakdown has occurred and law and order
D.Collins CMR China’s cloud computing market is expected to be worth 37.2 billion yuan (US$6 billion) in 2017 as demand for the service grows, the Chinese-language China Securities Journal reported on Friday. Some American tech companies are watching the largest and fastest I.T. market in
Gold has been flowing East for a decade. When the West wakes up to the fact that their gold is gone, they will no longer have sound money with which to back a currency. The world has only been off a gold standard since 1971
From the China Daily… BEIJING – China will lower banks’ reserve requirement ratio (RRR) by 0.5 percentage points starting May 18, the country’s central bank announced Saturday. The cut, the second of its kind this year, will drop the RRR for the country’s large financial
One year after the launch of direct trading between the renminbi and Japanese yen, the daily trading volume between the two currencies has reached 50-100 billion Japanese yen on the Shanghai market and 15 billion yen on the Tokyo market, a combined volume double that
Japan will learn the hard way that destroying your currency is not an viable economic strategy. Shanghai Daily JAPAN posted a record 1.63 trillion yen (US$17.4 billion) trade deficit in January as rising exports trailed surging imports of crude oil and gas due to rising
Is China tweaking its numbers on GDP? Probably. For twenty years Chinese GDP roughy came in right on the governments target. This would be an almost magical performance record considering economists in the West can predict absolutely nothing. For years, China most likely lowered GDP
Top with logo “LOL” offered by China’s leading online retailer for 6,324 yuan
A white top with the logo “LOL”, which was worn by a woman suspected of involvement in the assassination of the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was briefly available on Taobao.com for 6,324 yuan (HK$7,146).
Dubbed the “same Tee worn by North Korean female spy”, it was quickly removed from China’s largest online shopping platform after it briefly went viral on the internet.
Chinese Wire & Cable company has purchased Aston Villa Football Club now diversifying into Hollywood.
China’s Recon Group in Talks to Acquire Millennium Films (Report)
The Chinese conglomerate bought British soccer team Aston Villa from the former owner of the Cleveland Browns last year. Chinese conglomerate Recon Group is in talks to acquire Avi Lerner’s Millennium Films, producer of The Expendables franchise and genre flicks such as Olympus Has Fallen. The purchase would be made through Recon’s Shenzhen stock exchange-listed subsidiary Recon Wenyuan Cable Co., Bloomberg reported Tuesday, citing two unnamed sources. No potential price tag was reported. Headed by Chinese businessman Tony Xia, Recon took over Wenyuan Cable — a manufacturer of wires and cables — last October and has sought to shift the company’s focus to entertainment. Last May, the parent company, …
The purchase would be made through Recon’s Shenzhen stock exchange-listed subsidiary Recon Wenyuan Cable Co., Bloomberg reported Tuesday, citing two unnamed sources. No potential price tag was reported.
Headed by Chinese businessman Tony Xia, Recon took over Wenyuan Cable — a manufacturer of wires and cables — last October and has sought to shift the company’s focus to entertainment. Last May, the parent company, which owns businesses in industries ranging from infrastructure to healthcare, bought British soccer club Aston Villa from Randy Lerner, former owner of the Cleveland Browns, for an estimated $101 million.
Founded in 1996 by Avi Lerner and Trevor Short, Los Angeles-based Millennium Films has been courting potential Chinese buyers for the past year, sources in Beijing tell THR.
Several of the company’s genre films have found big success at China’s box office. Expendables 2, which was co-financed and distributed by Beijing’s Le Vision Pictures, earned $57 million in China in 2012. Last year, Mechanic: Resurrection brought in $49 million there, while London Has Fallen pulled in $52 million.
Over the past few years, Chinese firms have been acquiring U.S. media companies with ever greater frequency. Other high-profile acquisitions include Dalian Wanda Group’s purchase of Legendary Entertainment and Dick Clark Productions, for $3.5 billion and $1 billion, respectively. Last summer, Los Angeles-based Tang Media Partners, which is backed by Chinese investment, snapped up Stuart Ford’s IM Global, while Alibaba Pictures Group took a stake in Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment.
Wenyuan Cable has a market value of about $1.2 billion. The company’s stock has been suspended from trading since Jan. 26 pending an acquisition in the film sector, according to regulatory filings.
Whether Wenyuan Cable, an untested firm new to entertainment, could close a sizable cross-border film acquisition in the current regulatory climate is an open question. Late last year, China’s regulators began scrutinizing overseas media deals much more closely. The clampdown is part of a broad effort to curb capital flight, which is seen as contributing to the devaluation of the Chinese currency. Regulators also are concerned about publicly traded manufacturing firms using high-profile diversifications into entertainment — a trendy sector among Chinese investors — as a short-term strategy to boost stock prices.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s brother has been assassinated in Malaysia, South Korean media reports.
Kim Jong-nam was killed at Kuala Lumpur airport after being attacked by two women with “poisoned needles,” according to local TV reports.
The two women, believed to be North Korean agents, escaped in a taxi and remain at large, TV Chosun reported.
His death was confirmed by Malaysian police.
Police official Fadzil Ahmat told Reuters the cause of Mr Kim’s death has not yet been confirmed, but said a post mortem would be carried out on the body.
“So far there are no suspects, but we have started investigations and are looking at a few possibilities to get leads,” Mr Fadzil said.
He said Mr Kim “felt like someone grabbed or held his face from behind.” He added: “He felt dizzy, so he asked for help” at an information centre.
Mr Kim was then taken to an airport clinic and then died in the ambulance on the way to hospital.
An employee in the emergency ward of Putrajaya hospital told the agency a deceased Korean there was born in 1970 and surnamed Kim.
Mr Kim was born from his father’s non-marital relationship with Sung Hae-rim, a South Korean-born actress who died in Moscow.
While he was widely seen as the hermit kingdom’s heir apparent, he fell out of favour after being detained while trying to enter Japan on a forged passport.
He told authorities he wanted to visit Disneyland with his family.
Steve Bannon: ‘We’re going to war in the South China Sea … no doubt’
Only months ago Donald Trump’s chief strategist predicted military involvement in east Asia and the Middle East in Breitbart radio shows
The United States and China will fight a war within the next 10 years over islands in the South China Sea, and “there’s no doubt about that”. At the same time, the US will be in another “major” war in the Middle East.
Those are the views – nine months ago at least – of one of the most powerful men in Donald Trump’s administration, Steve Bannon, the former head of far-right news website Breitbart who is now chief strategist at the White House.
In the first weeks of Trump’s presidency, Bannon has emerged as a central figure. He was appointed to the “principals committee” of the National Security Council in a highly unusual move and was influential in the recent travel ban on citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries, overruling Department of Homeland Security officials who felt the order did not apply to green card holders.
While many in Trump’s team are outspoken critics of China, in radio shows Bannon hosted for Breitbart he makes plain the two largest threats to America: China and Islam.
“We’re going to war in the South China Sea in five to 10 years,” he said in March 2016. “There’s no doubt about that. They’re taking their sandbars and making basically stationary aircraft carriers and putting missiles on those. They come here to the United States in front of our face – and you understand how important face is – and say it’s an ancient territorial sea.”
China says nearly the entire South China Sea falls within its territory, with half a dozen other countries maintaining partially overlapping claims. China has built a series of artificial islands on reefs and rocks in attempt to bolster its position, complete with military-length airstrips and anti-aircraft weapons.
Bannon’s sentiments and his position in Trump’s inner circle add to fears of a military confrontation with China, after secretary of state Rex Tillerson said that the US would deny China access to the seven artificial islands. Experts warned any blockade would lead to war.
Bannon is clearly wary of China’s growing clout in Asia and beyond, framing the relationship as entirely adversarial, predicting a global culture clash in the coming years.
“You have an expansionist Islam and you have an expansionist China. Right? They are motivated. They’re arrogant. They’re on the march. And they think the Judeo-Christian west is on the retreat,” Bannon said during a February 2016 radio
On the day Trump was inaugurated, China’s military warned that war between the two countries was a real possibility.
“A ‘war within the president’s term’ or ‘war breaking out tonight’ are not just slogans, they are becoming a practical reality,” an official wrote on the website of the People’s Liberation Army.
Aside from conflict between armies, Bannon repeatedly focused on his perception that Christianity around the world is under threat.
In one radio show, used to promote an article incorrectly claiming that a mosque had been built at the North Pole, Bannon focused heavily on China’s oppression of Christian groups.
“The one thing the Chinese fear more than America … they fear Christianity more than anything,” he said.
But China is not the only hotspot Bannon sees, and forecasts another ground war for American troops in the Middle East.
“Some of these situations may get a little unpleasant,” Bannon said in November 2015. “But you know what, we’re in a war. We’re clearly going into, I think, a major shooting war in the Middle East again.”
He also branded Islam as “the most radical” religion in the world, and moved swiftly since entering the White House to enact policies hostile to Muslims. Some have called Trump’s central doctrine a “war on Islam”.
In what defense officials say represents a dramatic shift in Beijing’s nuclear strategy at a time of growing tensions with the United States, China tested a new version of a long-range missile with 10 warheads, The Washington Free Beacon reported on Tuesday.
The test of the DF-5C missile is significant, because it demonstrates that China is boosting the number of warheads in its arsenal and could alter the strategic balance, especially as it strives for a second-strike capability.
Two officials familiar with reports of the missile test said it was carried out last month and was monitored closely by U.S. intelligence agencies.
The test comes as China is stepping up preparedness for a possible military conflict with the U.S., the South China Morning Post reported.
International Assessment and Strategy Center analyst Rick Fisher told the Free Beacon that the missile test appears to be sending a signal to the new Trump administration due to his vocal opposition to their military buildup on disputed South China Sea islands and on American policy toward Taiwan, which Beijing regards as a renegade province and not an independent country.
Fisher added that this test is only the latest in attempts by China to demonstrate strength toward the U.S., as previous signs “have included the public revelation in late December via Chinese websites of the new DF-41 ICBM in Heilongjiang province, plus articles in China’s state-controlled media touting the need for China to increase its nuclear forces to intimidate Washington.”
China’s small independent refineries, often nicknamed ‘teapots’, account for a fifth of its refining capacity, consume about half its fuel oil imports and many use quite sophisticated technology.
Nearly 100 plants scattered across the country can churn out 1.8 million barrels of oil per day. (bpd)
The plants, which earned their nickname because of their small size and basic equipment, have upgraded and expanded in recent years to compete in a market where state-set pump prices can shave margins to razor thin levels or destroy them entirely.
“China’s independent refineries are key swing producers of diesel and, to a lesser extent, gasoline. They are also key suppliers of bitumen, accounting for about 60 percent of national production,” Argus said.
Faced widespread diesel shortages, the government even relaxed its crude regulations, ordering from majors PetroChina (PTR.N) (0857.HK) and Sinopec (SNP.N)(0386.HK) to provide their smaller rivals with feedstock.
Now, thanks to China’s Teapots, Russia has overtaken Saudi Arabia to become the number one supplier of oil in the Chinese market.
According to data released yesterday by the General Administration of Customs, Russia last year boosted its year-on-year supplies of crude to China by 24% to 52.5m metric tons (1.05m bpd), while Saudi Arabia dropped back to second place with 51m metric tons (1.02m bpd).
The Teapots are now importing as much as 1.2m barrels of crude oil per day or 15% of the country’s total after Beijing gave them permission to use overseas oil in 2015. Russia’s role in supplying these teapots with crude from its Siberian oil fields has been boosted by the proximity of its Far Eastern port of Kozmino to Qingdao, one of the ten busiest ports in the world, and a main hub for private-sector oil imports.
MIT Technology Review
In 2017, China Is Doubling Down on AI
The country’s Internet giants are focusing on AI research, and
domestic venture capital funding is pouring into the field.
by Jamie Condliffe January 17, 2017
This year, China looks set to make larger waves than ever in
artificial intelligence and augmented reality.
This year, China looks set to make larger waves than ever in
artificial intelligence and augmented reality.
The nation’s search giant, Baidu, is leading the charge. Already
making serious headway in AI research, it has now announced that
former Microsoft executive Qi Lu will take over as its chief operating officer. Lu ran the applications and services division at Microsoft,
but, according to the Verge, a large part of his remit was developing strategies for artificial intelligence and chatbots. In a statement, Baidu cites hiring Lu as part of its plan to become a “global leader
Meanwhile, Baidu’s chief scientist, Andrew Ng, has announced that
the company is opening a new augmented reality lab in Beijing.
Baidu has already made progress in AR, using computer vision and
deep learning to add an extra layer to the real world for millions
of people. But the new plans aim to use a 55-strong lab to increase revenue by building AR marketing tools—though it’s thought that the company will also consider health-care and education applications
in the future.
But Baidu isn’t alone in pushing forward. Late last year, Chinese Internet giant Tencent—the company behind the hugely successful
mobile app WeChat, which has 846 million active users—said that it was determined to build a formidable AI lab. It plans to start publishing
its work at conferences this year.
Smaller players could also get a shot in the arm. According to KPMG, Chinese venture capital investment looks set to pour into AI research
in the coming year. Speaking to Fintech Innovation, KPMG partner Egidio Zarrella explained that “the amount being invested in artificial intelligence in Asia is growing by the day.”
Similar growth is already underway in China’s research community.
A study by Japan’s National Institute of Science and Technology Policy found China to be a close second to the U.S. in terms of the number of
AI studies presented at top academic conferences in 2015. And a U.S. government report says that the number of papers published by Chinese researchers mentioning “deep learning” already exceeds the number published by U.S. researchers.
All of which has seen South China Morning Post label AI and AR as
“must haves” in any self-respecting Chinese investment portfolio.
No kidding. This year, it seems, many U.S. tech companies might find themselves looking East to identify competition.
THE head of Taiwan’s tech giant Foxconn confirmed yesterday he is considering a US$7 billion investment to make flat panels in the United States in a joint project with Japan’s SoftBank.
US President Donald Trump had announced before taking office a US$50 billion deal with SoftBank which he said would generate 50,000 jobs.
Trump was speaking last month alongside SoftBank’s chief executive Masayoshi Son, who displayed a document which indicated Softbank and Foxconn would “commit to invest US$50bn + US$7bn in US, generate 50k + 50k new jobs in US in next four years.”
Foxconn, a major supplier to Apple, had earlier said it was in “preliminary discussions” with US officials about a potential investment but gave no details.
“I have discussed with my major clients about going to (the US) and they are also willing to invest, including Apple,” Terry Gou told reporters in Taipei after the company’s year-end party.
The firm is the world’s largest contract electronics maker and is best-known for assembling products for international brands such as Apple and Sony.
“Pennsylvania is active and I urge other states to act more quickly or I will sign the contract with Pennsylvania,” he said, adding that the investment could create 30,000-50,000 jobs.
Foxconn is still waiting to see the tax policies of the new US government and what incentives state authorities can offer, such as cheap land and electricity.
Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai, employs around a million workers at its factories across China and has operations in more than 10 countries.
Last year it took over the struggling Japanese electronics maker Sharp after acquiring a 66 percent stake for US$3.7 billion in a move Gou described as “really worth it.”
In the US, it has a plant in Virginia for packaging and engineering which employes over 400 people. It has also announced a US$40 million investment in a facility in Pennsylvania to build precision tools and develop a robotics program.
Gou said Foxconn aims to increase investment in China this year to try to boost Sharp’s market share in the country.
If nothing else tells you that the your currency will one day be
destroyed by governments is that fact the Obama administration was
ready to start printing trillion dollar coins.
Pod Save America
On “Pod Save America,” a podcast from Crooked Media, the new media startup featuring former Obama staffers and speechwriters, Obama was asked what the “scariest moment” of his presidency was.
“I think it was the moment when it seemed that John Boehner didn’t seem to generate the votes to make sure the US didn’t default on our debt,” Obama said, referring to the former House speaker. “We had to start drafting a speech.”
Obama told the podcast that, amid the possibility of a government shutdown and default that would most likely have lowered the US’s credit rating, the administration was considering numerous options to avoid the shutdown and deal with the national debt.
One of the ideas floated, Obama said, was having the US Treasury mint a coin worth $1 trillion to pay off a good portion of the debt.
Alibaba founder Jack Ma has a brutal theory of how America went wrong over the past 30 years
DAVOS, Switzerland — Alibaba founder Jack Ma thinks America went wrong over the past 30 years by focusing too much on war and Wall Street. Speaking at the World Economic Forum on Wednesday, Ma was asked about globalisation and the reaction to it represented by the election of Donald Trump as US president.
He responded that back when Thomas Friedman published “The World Is Flat” in 2005, globalisation looked like “a perfect strategy” for the US: “We just want the technology, and the IP, and the brand, and we’ll leave the other jobs” to other countries like Mexico and China, he said.
“American international companies made millions and millions of dollars from globalisation,” Ma said.
As an example of just how much was available, Ma said, “When I graduated from university I tried to buy a beeper, and it cost me $250. My pay at the time was $10 a month.”
“IBM, Microsoft,” he added, “the profit they made was larger than the top four banks in China put together … But where did the money go?”
At the same time, the US spent a lot of money on foreign conflicts. “In the past 30 years, America had 13 wars spending $2 trillion … no matter how good your strategy is you’re supposed to spend money on your own people,” Ma said. “The money goes to Wall Street. Then what happened? Year 2008 wiped out $19.2 trillion in US income … What if the money was spent on the Midwest of the United States?”
“The other countries steal jobs from you guys — that is your strategy. You did not distribute the money in the proper way.”
Elsewhere during his talk, Ma said his favourite film was “Forrest Gump” because he saw something of Alibaba in Gump’s shrimp boat. Ma quoted Gump as saying “Nobody makes money catching whales — people make money catching shrimps.”
“That’s how we make money” at Alibaba, he said.
He also revealed that he wanted to retire early: “I don’t want to die in my office,” he said. “I want to die on the beaches.”
China is now out selling the United States vehicle market by
almost 2 to 1. (28m vs17m)
More importantly, due to restrictions, China manufactures 98% of the
vehicles sold in their domestic market while the U.S. only manufacturers
roughly half of the vehicles sold in the country.
Volkswagen said this week that it sold 3.98 million vehicles in China
General Motors delivered a record 3.87 million vehicles in China in 2016.
Ford also set a company record for China sales in 2016 with 1.27 million
vehicles, up 14 percent from the previous year.
THE National Bureau of Statistics yesterday revised the size of China’s economy in 2015 to 68.91 trillion yuan (US$9.9 trillion), up 354.6 billion yuan from its preliminary figure.
Economic growth for 2015 stayed at 6.9 percent, according to a bureau’s statement on its website.
The value of the primary industry was revised down to 6.09 trillion yuan in 2015, with the growth rate remaining at 3.9 percent.
The value of the secondary industry was revised up to 28.2 trillion yuan, a rise of 148 billion yuan on the preliminary figure, with annual growth revised up to 6.2 percent from 6.1 percent.
The value of the tertiary sector was revised up to 34.62 trillion yuan, with growth reaching 8.2 percent.