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
China’s efforts to lure its scientists back from overseas institutions have been paying off militarily, with more than a little help from the United States.
Military projects they have been involved in include China’s development of hypersonic weapons capable of penetrating missile-defence systems and the design of new submarines able to patrol quietly along the US west coast, researchers familiar with the programmes told the South China Morning Post.
For more than a decade, China has been ramping up efforts to lure back talented scientists working at laboratories in the US linked to America’s nuclear weapons programme and other military research, as well as those working for Nasa and companies such as Lockheed Martin Space Systems and Boeing.
Many of the scientists returning to China have worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, the birthplace of the atomic bomb, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, which plays a key role in today’s US nuclear weapons programme, or the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.
While the numbers remain unknown, so many scientists from Los Alamos have returned to Chinese universities and research institutes that people have dubbed them the “Los Alamos club”.
The Los Alamos laboratory, home to a wide range of defence research facilities, including a supercomputer and particle accelerator used for weapons research, has hired many foreign scientists to compensate for a shortage of American science and engineering talent. Its website says more than 4 per cent of its nearly 10,000 employees are of Asian origin.
In 1999, the US accused Taiwanese-American nuclear physicist Wen Ho Lee, who worked at Los Alamos, of giving the design of America’s most-advanced nuclear warhead to China. The charges were dropped by 2006 due to a lack of evidence but the incident sparked widespread unease among ethnic Chinese scientists at the laboratory, according to media reports.
China has been trying to woo foreign-trained scientists back home since the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949, with one early success being Qian Xuesen, who returned to China from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1955 to lead the country’s space and military rocket research.
But it has stepped up its efforts in recent years, using financial incentives, appeals to patriotism and the promise of better career prospects to attract scientists with overseas experience in defence research.
One scientist who returned from Los Alamos was Professor Chen Shiyi, who as director of the State Key Laboratory for Turbulence and Complex Systems at Peking University played a key role in the development of China’s hypersonic glide vehicle, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in Beijing told the Post.
China tested the hypersonic glide vehicle, capable of travelling at speeds of up to 11,000km/h – about 10 times the speed of sound – in April last year. At those speeds it could deliver a nuclear warhead anywhere on the planet in just over an hour – too fast for any existing anti-missile system to respond to.
CHINA continued to lead the world in courier delivery volume in 2016, a report showed Tuesday.
China made up over 40 percent of global express delivery volume last year, contributing about 60 percent to the sector’s growth, according to a report released by the State Post Bureau (SPB).
The total number of packages delivered increased by 51.4 percent year on year in 2016 to more than 31 billion.
Last year, couriers delivered over 4 trillion yuan worth of retail sale products that had been bought online, accounting for 12.5 percent of total retail sales, the report showed.
The delivery network expanded from 4.8 depots per 100,000 people and 6.7 depots per 1,000 square kilometers in 2010 to 15 and 19.1 depots, respectively, in 2016, according to the report.
Meanwhile, service quality also improved, with fewer complaints.
Saudi Arabia’s key science and technology organisation has confirmed that one of the deals sealed during Saudi King Salman’s visit to China this month was an agreement to set up the first factory for Chinese hunter-killer aerial drones in the Middle East.
IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly reported on Thursday that the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) had signed a partnership agreement on March 16 with China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), which makes China’s CH-4 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), a model with similar capabilities to the American Air Force’s MQ-1 Predator.
China and Saudi Arabia signed US$65 billion worth of deals in energy, culture, education and technology during the king’s visit in the middle of this month.
A Chinese military website and military experts said Saudi Technology Development and Investment Company (TAQNIA) had signed a protocol with China’s Aerospace Long-March International Trade (ALIT) for the drone production line at the biennial International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi in February.
TAQNIA is a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, while ALIT is a Chinese export-import company that specialises in aerospace technologies.
A report published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) in February said Iraq had imported 56 per cent of its arms from the United States over the past five years. However, Iraq’s defence ministry said in a report it had opted for the CH-4 over the US Predator because it was cheaper. A CH-4 drone costs US$4 million, while the US Air Force website says a package including four MQ-1 Predators and a ground control station costs US$20 million.
The SIPRI report showed that arms imports by states in the Middle East had risen 86 per cent in the past five years and accounted for 29 per cent of global imports, with Saudi Arabia being the world’s second-largest arms importer after India.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is on the verge of becoming a ‘bubble’ in China as a large influx of money and talent heat the market, analysts and experts warn.
“For the job market in China’s AI sector, I see a bubble already exists now. Some practitioners in the AI industry and are paid salaries that are unfairly high,” said Wang Xiaochuan, chief executive officer of Chinese internet company Sogou. “Investors expect too high a return on their investments, and the valuations of China’s AI enterprises are much more expensive than those in the US.”
In terms of investment in AI enterprises, China was in second place in 2016 on US$2.6 billion, followed by the UK on US$800 million, according to data from Chinese think tank WuZhen Institute. The US topped the list on US$17.9 billion.
“The amount being invested in AI in Asia is growing by the day,” said KPMG partner Egidio Zarrella. “2017 will be the year investors will look at AI and say, ‘if you’re not investing in it, you’re missing the boat’.”
The vast amounts of capital and talent flooding into AI industries in China is not without good reason. Artificial intelligence is poised to transform almost every aspect of people’s lives, even though it is currently somewhat limited in scope, generally working on repetitive tasks based on big data and complex calculation.
“From an economic standpoint, I believe AI will replace human beings, including managerial and technical jobs, as well as manual labour jobs. It is almost unavoidable,” said Ben Goertzel, chief scientist at Hanson Robotics, a company that claims it is developing the worlds’ most human-like robots.
Sogou’s Wang echoed this view, saying that AI has numerous critical roles to play in business.Data provider i-Research expects the value of China’s AI market to reach US$9.1 billion in 2020 by growing at a 50 per cent annual compound rate.
With such an the explosive and potentially rewarding market, it’s not just venture companies that are springing up across China. The country’s internet giants are racing to ramp up their efforts in the artificial intelligence field too.Alibaba, the country’s largest e-commerce company and owner of the South China Morning Post, announced a new suite of AI products last year which includes everything from audio transcription to financial risk analysis. Meanwhile Tencent, the operator of China’s largest social network, has assembled more than 250 people for its AI Lab to research and develop areas such as machine learning, computer vision, speech recognition and natural language processing.
And China’s biggest search engine, Baidu, hired former Microsoft executive Lu Qi as part of its plan to become a “global leader in AI”. However, its chief scientist Andrew Ng , the core driver of its AI development, announced last week that he was stepping down. Zhang Yaqin, Baidu’s president, said: “The movement of talent is common in the market and it is pity that Ng left but lucky that Lu joined us.”
Chinese scientists have found a way to turn silkworms into virus killers, a technology they say will not only increase worldwide silk production but can also fight human viruses such as HIV.
The researchers transformed a popular gene-editing tool into a weapon that the silkworm can use to shred deadly viral strains into fragments, according to a paper in the latest issue of the Journal of Virology.
A bacteria named CRISPR/CAS is an immune system that attacks attack foreign genes in a host body. CAS9, a simplified version of the system, has been widely used by life scientists as a “molecular scalpel” to modify animal and human genes.
The research team in Shanghai tweaked the CAS9 system so it could recognise and attack Bombyx mori nucleopolyhedrovirus, a virus responsible for more than 80 per cent of unnatural deaths of domestic silkworms. They injected the system into worm eggs and produced a new transgenic species capable of generating CAS9 in its cells.
China Mobile saw wireless data traffic become its largest revenue source for the first time in 2016, outstripping the combined inflows from voice, text messages and multimedia messages.
Operating revenue for the state-owned telecoms operator rose 6 per cent year on year to Rmb708.4bn ($102.8bn), with revenue from telecommunications services up 6.7 per cent and accounting for Rmb623.4bn. Wireless data traffic revenue grew by 43.5 per cent year on year to account for 46.2 per cent of annual revenue from telecommunications services.
Net profit rose 0.2 per cent to Rmb108.7bn ($15bn), coming in a median estimate from analysts of Rmb108.3bn compiled by Bloomberg.
China Mobile raised its final dividend to HK$1.243 per share ($0.16), bringing the total dividend for the full year to HK$2.2732 per share, a payout ratio of 46 per cent.
The company, which has 71 per cent of China’s 4G subscribers, added 223m 4G customers in the twelve months to December, bringing its subscriber base for these services to 535m.
China Mobile said it expects government policies – such as the need to upgrade bandwidth as part of Premier Li Keqiang’s “internet plus” strategy and the scrapping of domestic long-distance and roaming charges starting from October – to negatively impact its 2017 results.
CHINA’S biggest parcel delivery firm SF Holding’s annual profit soared nearly 113 percent in 2016, the company said yesterday in its first annual report since listing, but that did not boost its share price.
The company’s annual profit jumped about 113 percent year on year to 4.2 billion yuan (US$608 million) last year while its operating revenue rose 22 percent to 57 billion yuan. It delivered 2.58 billion parcels last year, up 31 percent from 2015, SF said in a notice filed to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.
The financial results, however, didn’t buoy its shares, which shed 3.21 percent to 60.89 yuan yesterday.
The company’s market valuation hit 254.7 billion yuan by the end of yesterday, overtaking the country’s biggest developer Vanke Co and electronics giant Midea Group as the most valuable company listed in the Shenzhen market.
Caixin magazine said earlier the China Securities Regulatory Commission was closely observing SF’s trading amid concerns that the company aimed to capitalize on the huge share price gain to issue additional shares at a higher price.
SF listed on February 24 via a backdoor listing by injecting assets into Maanshan Dingtai Rare Earth & New Materials.
By Tim Kelly and Nobuhiro Kubo
TOKYO (Reuters) – Rattled by North Korean military advances, influential Japanese lawmakers are pushing harder for Japan to develop the ability to strike preemptively at the missile facilities of its nuclear-armed neighbor.
Japan has so far avoided taking the controversial and costly step of acquiring bombers or weapons such as cruise missiles with enough range to strike other countries, relying instead on its U.S. ally to take the fight to its enemies.
But the growing threat posed by Pyongyang, including Monday’s simultaneous launch of four rockets, is adding weight to an argument that aiming for the archer rather than his arrows is a more effective defense.
“If bombers attacked us or warships bombarded us, we would fire back. Striking a country lobbing missiles at us is no different,” said Itsunori Onodera, a former defense minister who heads a ruling Liberal Democratic Party committee looking at how Japan can defend against the North Korean missile threat. “Technology has advanced and the nature of conflict has changed.”
An American woman has invited bids for her hand and home country at the Shanghai marriage market, touting her US citizenship as her major selling point.
Photographs of the woman at the Shanghai market were posted on Sina Weibo by users last Saturday, and were shared by many.
The woman in the picture, dressed in a form-fitting wedding gown, held up a sign written in Chinese and English that offered “USA Citizenship through marriage to the highest bidder.” She also held her US passport in her other hand to confirm her offer.
The Shanghai marriage market is a matchmaking event held at the People’s Park in Shanghai for several hours every Saturday and Sunday, where hundreds of parents gather to search for suitable spouses for their children.The parents pin information on their sons’ and daughters’ ages, height, weight, occupations and education levels on umbrellas, which they leave open for other parents to view.
CSL SMASH EPL TRANSFER SPEND
The January transfer window in China closed on Tuesday and saw Chinese Super League (CSL) clubs smash their spending record. A total of £331m was spent by CSL clubs which surpassed the £215m spent by the Premier League.
The £331m spent was £36m more than the previous record, set in 2016. This is a remarkable increase from 2013 which saw just £25m spent – showing the rapid growth and investment in football in China. Guangzhou Evergrande’s signing of Oscar from Chelsea for £60m was the biggest deal globally. However, Guangzhou recently announced they vow to phase out foreign players over the next years. The ‘best team in China’ is leading the way in helping strengthen the domestic game and achieve the objective of making China competitive at international level.
This weekend also marks the return of Chinese Super League and the much-anticipated debuts for the new superstars. CSL recently released figures showing average attendances are up 10% year on year with the league ranking 5th globally. In 2016, total attendance figures reached 5.8m. The increased investment is set to make 2017 the biggest CSL season yet.
China overtakes eurozone as world’s biggest bank system Status reflects global influence but also reliance on debt to fuel economy
China’s banking system has surpassed that of the eurozone to become the world’s largest by assets, a sign both of the country’s increased influence in world finance and its reliance on debt to drive growth since the global financial crisis.
While China’s gross domestic product surpassed the EU’s economic bloc in 2011 at market exchange rates, its banking system did not take over the top spot until the end of 2016, Financial Times analysis shows.
The lag reflects Beijing’s increased “financial deepening” — the term for the growth of a country’s financial system relative to gross domestic product. This has been fuelled by an extraordinary increase in bank lending since 2008, when the government unleashed aggressive monetary and fiscal stimulus to buffer the impact of the global crisis.
“The massive size of China’s banking system is less a cause for celebration than a sign of an economy overly dependent on bank-financed investment, beset by inefficient resource allocation, and subject to enormous credit risks,” said Eswar Prasad, economist at Cornell University and former China head of the International Monetary Fund.
Chinese bank assets hit $33tn at the end of 2016, versus $31tn for the eurozone, $16tn for the US and $7tn for Japan. The value of China’s banking system is more than 3.1 times the size of the country’s annual economic output, compared with 2.8 times for the eurozone and its banks.
World leaders and economists lauded China’s stimulus at the time for helping to stabilise global growth at a time when developed countries were deep in recession. Now, however, the stimulus is seen as leading to significant wasteful investment, industrial overcapacity and dangerous debt levels.
Analysts note that unlike in developed markets, Chinese local governments have relied heavily on bank loans to finance infrastructure. Unlisted, state-owned policy banks — notably China Development Bank, with assets of more than $2tn — play a central role, while commercial banks also participate.
“There’s a lot of hidden sovereign credit within the corporate loans on bank balance sheets, which can distort the picture when you do a cross-country comparison,” said Hou Wei, China banks analyst at Sanford C Bernstein in Hong Kong. “In most other markets, governments just borrow directly from capital markets. In China, it’s a unique situation.”
But in other respects, the headline figures understate the true scale of Chinese banks. Shadow banking has exploded since 2010. While ostensibly off-balance-sheet, most of this credit remains closely linked to commercial banks. The central bank warned last month that the distinction between on- and off-balance-sheet assets is often hazy due to the prevalence of implicit guarantees. Banks have frequently provided bailouts for off-balance-sheet products, even where no legal obligation exists.
In recent weeks, top leaders have signalled that they intend to shift policy focus away from stimulus towards risk control. But concrete action is still lacking. The flow of broad credit hit a new record in January.
In addition to controlling overall debt growth, economists say more developed capital markets can help diversify China’s financial system away from banks. The heavy reliance on banks is partly the result of tight regulation of stock and bond issuance. For the Communist party, however, a more diversified financial system reduces its ability to manage money flows.
“The Chinese government’s ambivalent approach to financial markets — seeing them as a useful resource-allocation mechanism but unwilling to let them operate freely, with the ostensible aim of maintaining stability and control — has often added to market volatility and made them less efficient,” said Mr Prasad.
JD.com, China’s second largest e-commerce player after Alibaba Group, has agreed to sell its finance arm as part of a spin-off deal that potentially creates the biggest rival to billionaire Jack Ma Yun’s Ant Financial.
The Nasdaq-listed JD.com said on Thursday it agreed to sell all of its equity stake of 68.6 per cent in the rapidly growing JD Finance in exchange for 14.3 billion yuan (US$2.1 billion) in cash. JD will get 40 per cent of the finance arm’s future pretax profit and it has reserved the right to swap this for 40 per cent of the finance unit’s equity, subject to applicable regulatory approvals.
Under the deal, Richard Liu Qiangdong, chairman and chief executive of the Beijing-based company, will take about 4.3 per cent of the unit, but maintain a majority of voting rights through proxy agreements.
JD. com didn’t reveal the buyer of its finance unit, which offers online financial services such as small loans and wealth management to small businesses and individuals, similar to what Alibaba-backed Ant Financial offers. The transaction is expected to close in mid 2017, the company said in a statement.
The deal was announced on Thursday as JD.com reported better-than-expected fourth quarter revenue for 2016. “The transactions of JD Finance have grown more than eight times over the past three years, exceeding 1 trillion yuan in 2016. We aim to make JD Finance one of the top three fintech companies in the world by 2020, serving thousands of financial institutions and millions of enterprises,” Liu said at the company’s annual meeting in early February.
The spinoff of JD Finance has been anticipated by the market, with speculation that JD was eyeing a listing of its finance arm in 2020.
JD Finance was ranked No 10 globally in KPMG’s 2016 Fintech 100 list.