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The weird world of Taobao

China Daily - 12 minutos 26 segundos atrás

Taobao Founder Jack Ma celebrates as the company's stock goes live during the company's initial price offering at the New York Stock Exchange. Provided to China Daily

From dead mosquitoes to someone to yell at, the e-commerce site is full of oddities, report Erik Nilsson and Zhang Lei.

Need a human hamster wheel? A spaceflight? Breast implants?

A fake boyfriend? An enchanted totem to conjure a breakup with a real significant other?

To scream whatever - really, almost anything - at someone on the phone?

How about a squashed mosquito's photo sent to your cellphone?

If you desire any of these things - or something stranger - look no further than Taobao.

The Chinese answer to eBay has everything anyone would want.

And more. Much more.

That's despite being relatively unknown outside China until recently. An early September BBC headline, foreshadowing its parent company Alibaba Group's now legendary initial public offering, echoes the premonitions of foreign media headlines: Why A Company You've Never Heard of Is Expected to Have the Biggest IPO Ever.

The country's largest online shopping website isn't just a one-stop shop for shoes, clothes or other daily necessities. (And that's what most people use it for.)

It also means cow brains, live leeches and underwater restaurant construction materials, not to mention early hominid androids, inflatable donkeys and robotic dinosaurs, are just a click away.

"It's beyond your imagination," says Dutch Sinologist Manya Koetse.

Moon insurance - compensation will be given to the insured if he can't see the moon on Mid-Autumn Festival

Growing pains

But Taobao's oddities aren't merely amusing. They're a testament to Chinese society.

They point not only to the expansion of the country's online shopping but also to the growing pains of marketization, internationalization and urbanization in what's arguably history's fastest-changing culture.

"The rise of the Internet has made Chinese people creative in making money online," Koetse says.

"No matter what they sell or services they offer, there will often be people buying."

The editor of Whatsonweibo.com, which tracks Chinese Internet phenomena, points to services in which you may scream and curse at a stranger on the phone.

"There are people who feel very stressed, and yelling at someone over the phone makes them feel better," Koetse says.

"This means that, one day, somebody thought: 'I'm going to charge money for being scolded'. Taobao makes people come up with the strangest ideas."

Stress relief

But this fosters chicken-versus-egg questions about bizarre Taobao versus its peculiar products.

Such "scolding" services exist because of demand. There are many providers because there are many consumers.

Chinese need release from the mounting pressures of work, exorbitant housing prices and pollution - plus supporting a graying generation, whom they must also gratify, despite immense fissures in values.

 

Horses are sold on Taobao.

"I for one love to earn money by being yelled at," says Lemon Consulting Room's owner, who only gives his surname, Chen.

He charges 2 yuan ($0.33) a minute to be cussed out and shouted at.

"I'm not a psychiatrist. But I'm sure it helps relieve their sadness. A tender voice can be very soothing to the wounded soul. That's why many pay to yell."

People call for diverse reasons, Chen says. "Some experience the deaths of relatives or friends and feel deep sorrow.

Some are puzzled by their marriages. Some are betrayed by friends. Some can't endure the fast pace of life nowadays and think the pressure is too intense. They just can't take it," he explains.

"Yet they often can't find a good listener, or vent anger or sadness on the wrong person. Sometimes, a total stranger with no real-life connection may offer the best medium for release."

A little magic

A Taobao user who only gives her online name Fast Sail sought a different Taobao solution for her failed marriage's vexations - a talisman whose supernatural properties she believes terminated her glum relationship.

"I've never encountered such an insufferable person, dragging me into a marriage without love. He refused divorce because he wanted to sustain a positive image in front of his colleagues and friends but kept seeing other women," she explains.

"The magical figurine is very effective. My husband has promised a divorce. I really appreciate the help."

Ring malfunction logo T-shirt of the Sochi Olympics

She bought the statuette from vendor Xian Yuange, who says the breakup talisman is among the most popular traditional enchanted items he sells.

"This spiritual figure is used to pray for guidance from the goddess of ninth heaven to break up doomed love or inappropriately obliged couples, so both sides are no longer entwined and quickly split," he explains.

"I advise prudence and that clients weigh the magnitude of their purchases. Only if your spouse has engaged in an affair and your marriage is beyond redemption will I sell to you."

Another set of popular and distinctly Chinese "magical" items on Taobao are amulets that profess to buoy test scores - a trendy commodity in a country that esteems education within a system that venerates exam results.

The statuettes' powers are unleashed when they're immolated, Xian claims.

But there's a caveat. "It only works if you believe in it," he says.

Fake partners

While some use Taobao to end real relationships, others employ it to find fake ones.

Boyfriend rental services are popular among single career women approaching or past their 30s, who face parental pressure to start families.

Hired men often charge additional fees for such extra services as smoking cigarettes or swilling baijiu (traditional Chinese liquor) with aspiring fathers-in-law.

And whereas some women rent sham suitors for their parents' sake, other phony Taobao "boyfriends" are purchased for women's personal needs and are likely to be concealed from their families.

Lonely single women grappling with contemporary life's alienation can order life-sized plastic partners - and, no, not just as sex aids. Some of these platonic boy toys come with interchangeable heads, presumably to spice things up.

Tomb-sweeping services for those who can't make it on the very day.

'Silicon-sucking' mosquitoes

That said, at least partially fake date bait captures such a considerable segment of the niche market that vendor Luo Yu's mosquito-killing Taobao service devoted to food safety and environmental awareness largely focuses on killing mosquitoes. That is, mosquitoes that might otherwise "choke" on breast implants.

He sends photos of the squished parasites to customers' cellphones for a donation of 1 mao per bug to the Magic Baby Bean project, named after a Taobao vendor with leukemia. His pitch is a wisecrack, in which a mosquito tries to gulp blood from a woman's breast but slurps silicon and dies.

It's a satirical interpretation of society's superficiality, environmental protection and food safety.

"It's for fun and a way to raise public awareness about our deteriorating environment and the world's shallowness," he says.

"Even mosquitoes lead hard lives. Our environment is getting really bad. Let's pay attention to food safety."

Luo claims to let the insects gorge on his blood before killing them so they die "happy". He has received 24 orders since May.

Ying Jing, who paid Luo to send a dead mosquito photo to his phone, explains why he financially supported such a sardonic initiative.

"His gimmick is good," Ying says.

"So I gave a cent. It's good to contribute to public welfare. I hope we can use many ways to care more about our environment and health."

Most of the "weird" items and services on Taobao, from photos of dead mosquitoes that theoretically dined on breast implants to actual implants, are mostly absent elsewhere, industry insiders say.

"It's not possible for (these items) to be profitable in traditional stores," general manger of Taobao agent Obook Harry Kwok explains.

"E-commerce helps locate and condense demand. Logistics' explosive growth also makes the business economically sound. Niche-market customers only constitute a small percentage."

Breeding specialties

Yet, like with most China market realities, it's about both an economy of scale and a scale of economy.

Koetse believes China's e-commerce sector is "worlds ahead" of Europe's and points to the vast population generating a titanic market.

"Over 45 percent of (China's roughly 1.4 billion people) are on the Internet," she explains.

"Taobao is one of China's largest shopping platforms and has millions of people every day. Among all those people, of course, there will always be people who want to sell and buy strange items."

Taobaomode.com manager Alan Smith believes abundance breeds specialization.

"There will certainly be more strange and stranger products as so many come out," he says.

"It's proof China's colossal productivity is growing ever-huger."

Koetse also points out China "has an enormous selection of products".

"No matter where you look in the world, you'll always find made-in-China items," she says.

"On Taobao, you can buy anything that is made-in-China. And more."

Yet it's not just products made in China that fuels Taobao's niche markets.

It's also made-in-China demand - that is, for people who want insurance to compensate them if they can't see the moon during Mid-Autumn Festival or to hire someone to visit their relatives' graves on their behalf during Tomb-Sweeping Festival.

Contact the writers at erik_nilsson@chinadaily.com.cn

Categorias: , China

Investors turning to Chinese bonds for better yields

China Daily - 12 minutos 26 segundos atrás

Global investors are helping drive China's biggest bond rally since 2008, drawn by the widest yield advantage over US Treasury securities among similarly rated nations as the authorities grant increased access to domestic markets.

Foreign holdings of local notes surged 59 percent this year, pushing the Bank of America Merrill Lynch China Broad Market index of the nation's publicly traded sovereign and corporate debt to climb 8 percent, the most in six years.

The yield on two-year government securities is 312 basis points higher than that of Treasuries, the biggest gap among nations graded Aa3 by Moody's Investors Service.

China has been easing restrictions on the flow of capital from world financial hubs to push greater global use of the yuan. Quotas totaling 640 billion yuan ($104 billion) have been granted to invest offshore yuan in domestic securities and a trading link between the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock markets is set to begin soon.

Premier Li Keqiang has called for lower financing costs to support small businesses and prevent any systemic risks, boosting bonds.

"China's government notes offer the biggest bond-market opportunity in the world," Jan Dehn, London-based head of research at Ashmore Group Plc, which oversees $71.3 billion of emerging-market assets, said in an interview in Singapore this week.

"They have zero correlation with the Treasury market. Interest rates in China are a function of growth and inflation and monetary policy in China."

The People's Bank of China, the central bank, has cut reserve requirement ratios for some lenders and provided liquidity to selected banks to encourage lending and control any fallout from rising debt, which Standard Chartered estimated to be 251 percent of gross domestic product as of June.

Overseas entities have increased their bond positions for nine consecutive months, with their holdings rising 6.7 percent in September to 634.14 billion yuan - the biggest gain since March, according to PBOC data.

Two-year Chinese government notes yielded 3.51 percent on Thursday while consumer prices rose only 1.6 percent in September from a year earlier, the slowest pace since January 2010. Yields on similar-maturity sovereign bonds in Chile were 3.22 percent, and in South Korea 2.15 percent on the same day, which have the same Moody's rating as China's, while that on US Treasuries was 0.37 percent.

The yuan climbed to 6.1172 per dollar on Wednesday, the strongest level since March. The yuan's Sharpe ratio, which measures returns adjusted for price swings, is 4.2 so far in the second half, second only to Argentina's peso. The Chinese currency has trimmed its loss for the year to 1.1 percent.

"The low volatility of the yuan and high yields are among the main reasons to invest in onshore yuan bonds," said Ken Hu, Hong Kong-based chief investment officer for Asia-Pacific fixed income at Invesco Ltd, which had $812 billion under management globally at the end of August.

China has allowed 166 overseas institutions to trade on the interbank bond market, and 81 qualified foreign institutional investors obtained licenses to buy domestic securities using the local currency as of August, according to a transcript of Monday comments from PBOC Deputy Governor Hu Xiaolian posted on the monetary authority's website.

Govt bond yields fall most in one month on stimulus bets  China treasurybond futuresclose higher Monday

Categorias: , China

Amway planning national network of centers

China Daily - 12 minutos 26 segundos atrás

Amway Corp, the world's largest direct selling company, on Friday opened its first experience center in Shanghai as part of its efforts to further expand its presence in China.

The company said the new center will play a big role in upgrading its image, branding and provide more transparency and understanding in connecting with customers.

The center, located in the central business district of Shanghai and covering 7,500 square meters, was designed by architects from South Korea. It features high-tech and green-style immersion experiences of various business units of Amway.

The retailer plans to set up a similar center in Shenzhen in South China's Guangdong province later this year and another one in Beijing next year. More centers could be opened in other big cities to upgrade the company's traditional shops that mostly offer transactions with distributors.

The next generation of Amway shops will be upgraded to serve as the branding, culture and communication unit of the company, it said.

Doug DeVos, president of Amway, who is slated to take over as the new president of the World Federation of Direct Selling Association next month, said his main agenda will be to make the direct selling business more transparent and widespread.

About 50 direct selling companies have got licenses to conduct businesses in China and there are growing expectations that they would soon be connected through an industry association.

He said the global direct selling industry has been growing steadily. "Our efforts would be to promote the industry, build transparency and make everybody understand the direct selling business," said Devos.

Though direct selling is in essence a simple business, there are still lots of misunderstandings, said Devos, adding that companies must simplify their messaging and enhance innovation and creativity to further improve the quality of their products and customer experiences, especially in markets where direct selling is relatively new.

The Michigan, US-based company posted sales of about $11.8 billion last year.

 Amway says 2014 China sales may grow 8% China has grown into Amway's number one market 

Categorias: , China

Ford plans network of Lincoln showrooms

China Daily - 12 minutos 26 segundos atrás

US automaker Ford Motor Co has launched its first vehicles under the luxury Lincoln brand in China as it seeks to make inroads into a car market dominated by German models.

Ford announced in April it would begin Lincoln sales in China in the autumn, adding to its other passenger car and commercial vehicle offerings in the country - the world's largest auto market.

Lincoln has launched a mid-sized sedan, the MKZ in China, priced from 315,800 yuan ($51,770) to 395,800 yuan. It has also started offering the MKC, a small utility vehicle, for 339,800 yuan to 438,800 yuan, the company said, adding both were specifically designed for the Chinese market.

Management consulting firm McKinsey & Co has estimated that German automakers - including Audi AG, BMW AG, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen AG - account for 80 percent of China's premium market, which it defines as cars costing upwards of 200,000 yuan.

Ford's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Lawler said the start of Lincoln sales marked a "significant" step.

"We now will begin serving luxury customers in China," he said.

The company said it will launch three more Lincoln vehicles in China by 2016: a mid-sized utility vehicle, a full-size sedan and a large SUV.

Ford said it plans to open specialized Lincoln showrooms in Shanghai, Beijing and the eastern city of Hangzhou early next month, to be followed by five more locations by year-end. It aims to have 60 Lincoln stores in 50 Chinese cities by 2016.

Ford sold 813,412 vehicles in China during the first nine months of the year, up 26 percent from the same period last year, according to the company.

Its US rival General Motors Co is also trying to accelerate its luxury sales in China with its Cadillac brand. It launched a Chinese-produced luxury sedan, the XTS, in the country last year and is steadily adding more vehicles to its Cadillac range.

Volvo Group reports Q1 growth in mature economies, China  Volvo goes upscale for wealthy buyers 

Categorias: , China

Limited impact from 'HK-SH through train' delay

China Daily - 12 minutos 26 segundos atrás

The delay of the much-anticipated stock trading link between Shanghai and Hong Kong has become a certainty, but analysts see limited impact on the Chinese equity market.

The start of the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect will miss the widely assumed date of next Monday, given that the China Securities Regulatory Commission made no announcement on the progress of the program during Friday's regular news conference.

Analysts said the delay reflects regulators' concern that there should be sufficient preparation to assure a smooth launch of the program, which could generate daily transactions of billions of dollars.

Some saw the delay as having little impact on the markets because institutional investors are likely to take a wait-and-see attitude toward the program even after it starts.

"Most of our long-only fund clients are not concerned about the possible delay, as they were not planning to or not able to join the Stock Connect program from the very beginning for various reasons", Japan-based Nomura Securities International Inc said in a report.

"They are likely to stay on the sidelines for the first three to six months monitoring how the Stock Connect program goes," it said.

Li Daxiao, chief economist at Yingda Securities Co Ltd, said that some foreign institutions might need additional time to prepare for the program.

Other analysts said the delay may cause frustration and disappointment in the markets in the short term. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index on Friday posted its biggest weekly loss since March, declining by 1.64 percent.

"Hedge fund clients seem more concerned about the starting date of the Stock Connect as they are more eager to trade A shares via the program," Nomura said.

Earlier media reports said that the Asia Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association had asked the Hong Kong stock regulator to delay the launch on the request of some banks and asset managers.

It cited concerns over uncertainties involving program rules, technical issues and tax policies. It also asked for its members to be given a month's notice before the launch.

Some institutional investors expect the launch of the program to be delayed to early November or December.

But Charles Li, chief executive of Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd, said that investors should not read much into the timing of the program.

Li added that regulators might not necessarily announce the launch date one or two weeks in advance.

Announced by Premier Li Keqiang in April, the cross-border trading program has been seen as a milestone in the opening of China's capital markets.

It will allow international investors to trade selected Shanghai-listed A shares via Hong Kong with a daily trading quota of 10.5 billion yuan ($1.72 billion).

Chinese mainland investors will also be able to trade Hong Kong-listed H shares with a daily quota of 13 billion yuan.

Cai Xiao contributed to this story.

Four-party agreement signed for Shanghai-HK stock connect Derivatives to take off with 'through train'

 

Categorias: , China

China buys Colombian oil as global glut deepens

China Daily - 12 minutos 26 segundos atrás

An oil tanker unloads imported crude oil at the Shihua crude oil wharf in Zhoushan, Zhejiang province. China consumed the second-biggest amount of crude on record in September and imported the largest volume ever for that time of year. Yao Feng / For China Daily

China is finding oil supplies 14,000 miles (22,530 kilometers) away, aided by the global fall in prices that has left producers vying for new markets.

PetroChina Co said it has bought Colombian crude for a northern refinery for the first time because it was good value, in a transaction which underscores how the world's second-biggest oil consumer is benefiting as producers from the Middle East to Latin America vie for customers in Asia.

Brent oil futures tumbled to the lowest level since 2010 as the highest US output in almost 30 years cuts its consumption of foreign crude. The biggest producers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries are reducing prices to defend their market share.

China consumed the second-biggest amount of crude on record in September and imported the largest volume ever for that time of year, customs data show.

"China will just look to get the cheapest crude possible from whatever source it can," said Virendra Chauhan, a London-based analyst at Energy Aspects Ltd.

"I expect lots more volumes flowing to China in particular."

The country's crude imports rose 7.8 percent to 27.6 metric million tons, or 6.74 million barrels a day, in September from last year, the data show.

The number of supertankers sailing to China's ports surged to a nine-month high last week, according to IHS Fairplay vessel-tracking signals compiled by Bloomberg as of Oct 17.

Between January and September, China's purchases of Colombian crude totaled 7.8 million tons, more than twice the amount the year earlier, customs data showed. Shipments from Saudi Arabia, its biggest supplier, shrank about 11 percent to 36.6 million tons, according to the data.

Colombian oil output has increased about 10 percent since 2011 and the nation is seeking sales in Asia to compensate for the weakening in short-haul exports as US production increases, said Bernard Leung, a Bloomberg oil strategist in Singapore.

China's supplies from Colombia cost an average of $94.56 a barrel last month while Saudi shipments were purchased for $102.30, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, earlier this month reduced the price of its Arab Light crude for Asia to the lowest level since December 2008, sparking speculation that a price war was set to start among members of the OPEC. OPEC members Kuwait, Iran and Iraq also cut official selling prices this month.

Refiners including PetroChina processed 42.02 million tons of crude in September, or about 10.3 million barrels a day, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics in Beijing, that was up 9.1 percent from a year earlier and the most since a record 10.5 million in February.

China National Petroleum Corp's Economic and Technology Research Institute said in a report in January that China's refining capacity will rise 20 percent to 800 million tons a year by 2020, from about 668 million tons at the end of this year.

Brent crude futures slid 8.3 percent on London's ICE Futures Europe exchange in September, the biggest monthly loss since May 2012. They had slumped a further 8.7 percent to $86.40 by Friday after touching $82.60 on Oct 16, the weakest since November 2010.

"Chinese buyers are jumping on the opportunity to buy crude on the cheap at the moment," David Wech, the managing director of JBC Energy GmbH in Vienna, said in an Oct 17 e-mail. "Refining margins have surely benefited from weak outright crude prices."

The US imported 7.62 million barrels of crude a day in July, 29 percent less than the peak in June 2005, data from the Energy Information Administration show. Shale oil has boosted the country's crude output to the highest since 1985.

European consumption is also shrinking as refineries shut or convert to storage depots at the fastest pace since the 1980s.

The Paris-based International Energy Agency said that crude that may have previously found a buyer in the US or Europe is now available for Asia and competing with traditional suppliers from the Middle East.

Asia will account for almost 80 percent of global demand growth this year, with China alone responsible for one-third.

"The next area we see being backed out, if US production continues growing, is some of the Latin American producers such as Colombia and Venezuela," said Chauhan of Energy Aspects.

PetroChina's Liaohe refinery had processed about 30,000 tons of Colombian crude by Monday, its parent company, China National Petroleum, said on its website.

The plant ran 792,000 tons of imported oil last year, or about 15 percent of its total throughput. Suppliers included Russia, Brazil and Venezuela.

China Petroleum and Chemical Corp's Maoming refinery processed crude from Brazil's Ostra field for the first time last month, the company known as Sinopec said on its website on Sept 17. China's purchases of Russian crude increased by 57 percent in September, the customs data show.

"China will continue to import more crude from Russia next year," said Wech of JBC. "Imports from Latin America are also likely to increase as Mexican and Venezuelan volumes are gradually eased out of the US Gulf Coast."

China, Russia to start construction of joint gas pipeline Weak demand for refined oil, gas hits CNOOC, PetroChina

Categorias: , China

New home prices continue to fall

China Daily - 12 minutos 26 segundos atrás

The seafront at Xiamen, Fujian province: The only city where new home prices did not fall in September, remaining unchanged from the previous month. [Provided to China Daily]

Analysts predict chill will continue for rest of the year

New home prices fell in all but one city monitored by the government last month as easing of property curbs failed to halt a market downturn amid tight credit.

Prices dropped in 69 of the 70 cities in September from August, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement on Friday, the most since January 2011 when the government changed the way it compiles the data. They fell in 68 cities in August.

The central bank on Sept 30 eased mortgage rules for homebuyers who have paid off existing loans, reversing course after a four-year campaign to contain home prices as Premier Li Keqiang seeks to prevent economic growth from drifting too far below the government's 7.5 percent annual target. Home sales slumped 11 percent in the first nine months of this year.

"Prices will continue the downtrend for the rest of the year," said Donald Yu, Shenzhen-based analyst at Guotai Junan Securities Co.

"If sales in the fourth quarter fail to clear inventories as developers want, more price cuts are still likely in the first quarter of next year."

All but five of the 46 cities that imposed limits on home purchases since 2010 have removed or relaxed such restrictions amid the property downturn that has dented local revenues from land sales.

Developers will keep prices attractive as they open more projects toward the end of the year to meet sales targets, boosting supply and increasing competition, Shenzhen-based Ping An Securities Co's analyst Yang Kan wrote in a report.

New home prices fell 0.7 percent from August in Beijing and 0.9 percent in Shanghai, according to the government. The port city of Xiamen in Fujian province was the only city where prices did not fall, remaining unchanged from the previous month.

Prices in Shanghai fell 0.8 percent from a year earlier, the first annual decline since December 2012, compared with a 17.5 percent jump in January this year. Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province, had the biggest decline among all cities, with 7.6 percent.

The average new home price in 100 cities tracked by SouFun Holdings Ltd fell 0.9 percent in September from August, dropping for the fifth consecutive month. The price rose 1.1 percent from a year earlier, narrowing for a ninth month in a row, China's biggest real estate website owner said.

The People's Bank of China's new rules give homeowners who have paid off their mortgages and want a second property the same advantages as first-time buyers, including a 30 percent minimum down payment, compared with at least 60 percent previously, and interest rate discounts of as much as 30 off the central bank's benchmark. The PBOC also eased a ban on mortgages for people without home loan debt who want to buy a third home, allowing banks to lower downpayments and rates.

Sales in 32 cities tracked by Barclays Plc, meanwhile, rose to the highest level so far in 2014 last week, "with the primary driving force from the combination of accelerating new launches and improving homebuyers' sentiment", the bank's Hong Kong-based property analysts led by Alvin Wong wrote in a report on Monday.

Home sales in September jumped 40 percent from August, the biggest increase this year, according to Bloomberg News calculations, based on a government report earlier this week.

 China's property investment further slows Economist: Property oversupply to be digested at most within 2 years 

 

Categorias: , China

Sony taps high-end segment for growth

China Daily - 12 minutos 26 segundos atrás

Sony Corp Ltd is altering its growth strategy for China to focus on the high-end market and younger consumers, its President and Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai said in Shanghai on   Xbox One to provide a perfect world for China's players  Friday.

He said its entertainment arm will be the pillar of its business in China, and the Japanese electronics giant's best-seller PlayStation 4 will be introduced to the market soon.

Sony is creating a joint venture with Shanghai Oriental Pearl (Group) Co Ltd, based in China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, in preparation of the Playstation's arrival.

Andrew House, president and group chief executive officer of Sony Computer Entertainment, said the venture will be responsible for the production, sales, research and development of the hardware and software for PlayStation gaming consoles.

More than 10 million PlayStation 4s had been sold by the end of August, according to House. But he gave no details on how the products will be priced, or when it will be introduced to China.

Sony Corp's combined sales revenue hit $74.5 billion in the financial year ending March 31, 2014. Nobuki Kurita, president of Sony (China) Co Ltd, said the new strategy and the new products would help solidify and strengthen China as the main contributor to the company's overall growth.

Kurita said Sony's music player Walkman series of products are expected to see sales grow by a record 40 percent in China this year.

 

Categorias: , China

Malaysia joins 20 countries to set up AIIB

China Daily - 12 minutos 26 segundos atrás

KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysia joined 20 proposed founding member countries to set up the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB),a government statement said here Friday.

Malaysia's Ministry of Finance (MoF) said in the statement that AIIB would focus more on financing physical infrastructure projects for economic growth as compared to other multilateral development bank (MDB) on eradicating poverty.

The 20 countries signed a non-binding multilateral MoU on Friday in Beijing, China to set up AIIB, which will be funding infrastructure development. Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, second minister of finance signed on behalf of Malaysia, said the statement.

"As such, it is intended to complement and supplement the other existing MDBs such as the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank as well as other financial initiatives, for example the ASEAN Infrastructure Fund, by co-financing big scale infrastructure projects," the statement added.

The proposed initial authorized capital for AIIB is $50 billion, of which 20 percent will be the paid-up capital. AIIB will use commercial funding from financial markets to raise the necessary resources to provide competitive loans to the member countries.

MoF said the resources will be allocated based on three key criteria; regional development impact, assisting the poor and no fixed system based on share allocation.

AIIB's objectives would be to speed up infrastructure development in energy and power, transportation, telecommunication, rural infrastructure and agricultural development, urban development, logistics and other productive sector as deemed appropriate.

"This will facilitate higher economic growth which will give significant impact to the well being of especially low income countries," said the statement.

 Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will guide capital  ADB to work together with China-proposed AIIB

Categorias: , China

Time for all Apple products to enter China

China Daily - 12 minutos 26 segundos atrás

Tim Cook, right, CEO of Apple Inc, shows a gift as he shakes hands with Qian Ying, left, dean of the School of Economics and Management (SEM) at a dialogue during the Tsinghua Management Global Forum at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, 23 October 2014. [Photo / IC]

Apple Inc Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said he hopes to adapt all of Apple's developments to work for the Chinese market, which he describes as a "key market" for the tech giant.

Cook made the remark before ending his four-day China visit, which started on Tuesday.

Apple announced its latest models of the iPhone on Sept 9. Initial 24-hour pre-orders surpassed 4 million, far beyond the company's expectations.

China, however, had a delayed release while waiting for the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to issue a network access license to the new iPhone on Sept 30.

China United Network Communications Group Co Ltd, one of the nation's three leading telecom operators, said that its online pre-orders exceeded 600,000 two hours after it opened the service. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus hit the Chinese mainland market on Oct 17.

Cook did not disclose the latest sales of these models but said he was "really happy with how things were going".

Apple's third-quarter earnings decreased in the region comprising the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao, which was attributed to the delayed launch of the iPhone 6 in China and insufficient inventory. Analysts expect a dramatic rebound in the current quarter, driven by huge demand for a "bigger modern smartphone", as Cook describes it.

Cook's ambition, however, does not rest on the iPhone. He has been advocating Apple Pay, a mobile payment service, and Apple Watch long before they will reach the China market.

"We want to bring Apple Pay to China," he said. "I'm convinced there will be enough people that want to use it. It's going to be successful."

He said he wants to understand the necessary steps to bring Apple Pay to China before he asks local networks, banks and merchants to work together to make it happen.

Apple's market share in China was 16 percent in the first five months of the year, compared with Samsung Electronics Co's 23 percent and Xiaomi Corp's 21 percent, according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

High-end iPhones, however, may imply customers are from the country's growing middle class, who are most likely to become users of Apple Pay and Apple Watch.

"China is a really key market for us," said Cook. "Everything we do, we are going to work it here. Apple Pay is on the top of the list."

Cook said prospects for Apple Watch are "enormous" because it is so rich with possibilities that even people from Apple who have been conceptualizing it for three years have not thought of all the possibilities.

"We are going to wonder how we ever lived without it," said Cook.

"That's the real test of a great product: you wonder how you lived without it. And I think that's going to happen to the Apple Watch."

Apple CEO visits iPhone Plant in Zhengzhou Apple unveils iPad Air 2 with Touch ID to secure Apple pay

Categorias: , China

An envoy champions UK China relations

China Daily - 12 minutos 26 segundos atrás

Zhou Xiaoming, minister counselor with the economic and commercial office at the Chinese embassy. [Photo by Cecily Liu / chinadaily.com.cn]

Trade and Investment links between China and the UK have become ever closer over the past five years, and observing these transformations first-handedly is Zhou Xiaoming, minister counselor with the economic and commercial office at the Chinese embassy.

Zhou, who assumed his current office in December 2010, has actively helped to push forward cooperation between the two countries in strategically important sectors such as financial services and nuclear power, as well as between individual companies in all sectors.

Lord James Sassoon, chairman of the China Britain Business Council, has called Zhou "the UK's best salesman" on several occasions, and Zhou says he is not reluctant to accept the title.

"I am a salesman for the UK because I believe this country has a lot to offer for China, and at the same time China's support and partnership can also help the UK grow," Zhou says, sitting in his central London office near Hyde Park.

The latest Chinese government statistics shows China UK trade in September totaled $7.4 billion, representing a 17.1 percent increase, compared to a 12.5 percent increase for China EU trade.

From 2009 to 2013, bilateral trade between China and the UK grew from $39.1 billion to $69.9 billion, representing a 78.7 percent increase. Over the same period China EU trade grew by 37.2 percent.

China's investments and acquisitions in Britain last year were worth more than $3 billion, with big deals involving well-known brands, infrastructure, media, research and property development.

Recent investments have included $2 billion by the developer Greenland in two London property projects, ZhongRong Group's 500 million pound ($840 million) plans to redevelop Crystal Palace, and Sanpower's 480 million pound purchase of a majority stake in the department store chain House of Fraser.

Zhou says Chinese investment in the UK has significantly widened in scale and range of sectors over the years. Of particular significance is China's investment in the UK's infrastructure, banking, property and brands.

In 2012, China Investment Corp, the country's sovereign wealth fund, bought a 8.68 percent stake in Thames Water Utilities Ltd and a 10 percent stake in Heathrow Airport Holdings, the company that runs London's Heathrow Airport. In 2011, China's Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings bought the UK utility company Northumbrian Water for 2.4 billion pounds.

Zhou says these infrastructure investments demonstrate that the UK is very open for business, and this open attitude makes the UK a great springboard for Chinese investment into Europe in strategically important sectors like energy and infrastructure where Chinese investors can demonstrate their credibility in the UK first.

One such area is nuclear power, in which sector Zhou has witnessed continuous effort by Chinese companies to invest in the UK in the past few years.

Zhou Xiaoming (right) chairs a business seminar in North East England. [Photo by Cecily Liu / chinadaily.com.cn]

In 2012, two Chinese nuclear companies formed consortiums with their respective partners to bid for the UK's Horizon nuclear programs, but unfortunately withdrew their intention before the bidding process finished.

But Chinese companies' intention to enter the UK market did not end. Encouragingly, two Chinese nuclear power companies have reached an agreement to invest in the UK's first nuclear power stations in two decades, a milestone move that will demonstrate the strength of the Chinese nuclear industry in Western countries.

The two planned reactors are at Hinkley Point C, in Somerset. Led by EDF Group of France, they will cost 14 billion pounds, and are due to start operating in 2023 if built on time and will run for 35 years.

China General Nuclear Power Group and China National Nuclear Corporation are expected to have a combined 30 to 40 percent stake in the consortium, with Areva taking another 10 percent. Exact plans for cooperation at Hinkley Point C are expected after a European Commission decision on UK state aid for the project is made.

Zhou is optimistic about the future of Chinese nuclear investment in the UK, saying that Chinese nuclear companies have great management skills to share with the UK's nuclear industry.

"China is continuously building nuclear reactors so Chinese companies have the knowhow to finish projects on time and on budget. This skill is very valuable to the UK, because delaying nuclear projects can lead to escalating costs," Zhou says.

Like nuclear power, China's high speed railway sector also has great technology and management expertise to share with the UK, although the time scale of the UK's high speed railway projects means Chinese companies are not seeing immediate entry opportunities just now, Zhou says.

Known as High Speed 2, the British high speed railway is planned to link London with English Midlands and North England cities. Construction for phase one of the project is set to begin in 2017 with an indicated opening date of 2026.

In the financial services sector, Zhou is relieved to see the significant growth of Chinese banks in London in recent years, and more so the UK government's support for Chinese banks to open branches in London.

Since the financial crisis in 2008, Britain's financial services regulator, has made it difficult for foreign banks to set up branches in the country.

Branches are offshore arms of foreign banks, so their lending and financing abilities are proportional to their parent companies' balance sheets. Subsidiaries, in contrast, are subject to the strict capital requirements that apply to Britain's local banks.

"When I arrived in the UK in 2009 many Chinese banks explained to me that inability to establish branches is a big problem that restricts their growth," Zhou says.

In subsequent years, Zhou helped to facilitate the dialogue between the two governments to help Chinese banks.

"I explained to the UK regulator that Chinese banks greatly support the growth of Chinese investment into the UK, and as well they play a significant role in helping London to become a significant offshore renminbi center," Zhou says.

Dou Tsang, sales and export coordinator at Ford Aerospace Ltd (right) with Zhou Xiaoming. [Photo by Cecily Liu / chinadaily.com.cn]

With Zhou's help to understand the significant role of Chinese banks in London, the UK regulators reassessed the issue, and in 2013 British Chancellor George Osborne announced a regulatory change where foreign banks are allowed to open branches as long as their branch operation relate to wholesale activities.

Several major Chinese banks applied for branch licenses subsequently and in September Industrial and Commercial Bank of China became the first Chinese bank to receive a branch license in the UK since the regulatory change.

Zhou says ICBC's branch license signifies the British government's recognition for Chinese banks' important role in London, and he expects more branch licenses will be granted to other Chinese banks in the near future.

Meanwhile, London's strong capital market has also provided great opportunity for Chinese companies to raise capital, as there are currently 60 Chinese companies listed on the London Stock Exchange, Zhou says.

London is also a great financial market to support the renminbi's internationalization, he says.

In September 2011, China's then Vice-Premier Wang Qishan endorsed the London private sector's initiatives to develop an offshore renminbi market in London.

Since then, many renminbi products and initiatives have been launched in London, including a renminbi swap line established between the two countries' central banks and the appointment of a renminbi clearing bank in London.

As a further demonstration of the UK government's initiative, Britain became the first Western country to announce the issuance of an offshore renminbi-denominated sovereign bond in September.

In addition, there are 20 renminbi-listed bonds are sold in London, and they have raised a total of 15 billion yuan ($2.4 billion). Issuers include the Bank of China, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Lloyds Bank, HSBC and International Finance Corporation.

Over the past five years, Zhou has also witnessed a growing number of Chinese acquisitions and is happy to see great post-acquisition integration between the parent and target companies happening for most deals.

Zhou says a good example of Chinese investment and its market supporting British technology is the purchase by the Chinese company Zhuzhou CSR Times Electric of British company Dynex Semiconductor Ltd, of Lincolnshire, which specializes in a particular type of semiconductor technology.

In 2008, Zhuzhou CSR Times Electric bought a 75 percent share in Dynex and retained Dynex's management board. With financial support from Zhuzhou CSR Times Electric, Dynex built a 12 million pound R&D center to focus on developing its semiconductor technology.

"I went to Dynex in Lincolnshire and met the company's management team, which consisted mostly of British people who have worked at the company for years," Zhou says. "They are very excited about working with the Chinese owners, and they say Chinese investment has injected new life into the company."

So impressed is Zhou with Dynex's growth model that he has been promoting such cooperation to many British businesses.

Zhou says another example of acquisition leading to great synergy is Shandong Yongtai Chemical Group buying the British firm Covpress in 2013, in partnership with TIA Treadsetters Ltd, a firm that first started buying tires from Yongtai in 2003 to supply its European customers.

The deal, which stood out as one of China's biggest investments in Britain, was valued at $45.3 million, with Yongtai taking a 70 percent stake and TIA the rest.

Covpress, a globally renowned supplier of car body parts, already has customers ranging from Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Plc to Nissan Motor Co and Renault SA. The acquisition was helpful for Covpress as Yongtai can help it to continue selling tires to its existing customers as they start to manufacture in China.

There are many other deals like the Dynex and Covpress stories. Zhou says he is optimistic about these acquisitions because they combine UK's technology and innovation with China's market and manufacturing strength to achieve win-win benefits.

"British people are very innovative, and they come up with amazing designs. Those ideas and designs can potentially be commercialized, produced and sold on a large scale to bring down cost to generate great profit.

"However, very often British companies do not have the capital to invest in this commercialization, and Britain's market is insufficient to accommodate increased production. But China has both capital and market."

Looking into the future, Zhou is greatly optimistic about China UK trade and investment relationships, explaining that the UK is a great platform for Chinese companies' internationalization, brand building and innovation.

"UK is an important partner for China, and the importance goes much more beyond its GDP. It can help China to move up the production chain, develop innovation and it is a gateway for China to increase bilateral trade and investment with Europe and the world."

 

Categorias: , China

7% 'new norm' for expansion

China Daily - 12 minutos 26 segundos atrás
 

Yu Bin, director of research for the department of macroeconomic Research at the Development Research Center, said on Friday the next two years will be a “window period” in which China would shift steadily toward a new “normal economic state”.JIN LIWANG / XINHUA

Think tank says economy started on two-year shift to lower GDP growth

A leading State think tank said on Friday that China's annual growth target will be around 7 percent in 2015, in line with economists' forecasts that the country's economic slowdown will continue next year.

Gross domestic product is expected to expand 7.4 percent in the fourth quarter, from a five-year low of 7.3 percent in the third quarter, said Yu Bin, director of research for the department of macroeconomic Research at the Development Research Center of the State Council, China's cabinet.

That result would give the country a full-year growth rate of 7.4 percent, lower than its annual target of 7.5 percent.

Yu said maintaining China's macro policies would be beneficial to its economic restructuring, but plans for fiscal or monetary stimulus should still be prepared in case of any sharp economic slump in a short term.

"China's economy could maintain an average annual growth rate of around 7 percent," said Yu, dismissing concerns that the world's second- largest economy may face a hard landing.

Nomura's China Stress Index, a gauge of economic hard-landing risks published on Friday, averaged 101.2 in the third quarter, down from 101.4 in the second quarter, which remains relatively high.

The crackdown on shadow banking activities, moderating inflation, economic rebalancing and property prices easing were factors driving down the index, it said.

Yu described the next two years as a "window period" in which China would shift steadily toward a new "normal economic state".

Two old economic boosters — the heavy chemicals industry and the real estate sector — have reached their peak, he said, and greater tolerance to slipping growth will allow the economy to explore new drivers for sustainable growth.

The latest property industry figures, published on Friday by the National Bureau of Statistics, showed new home prices dropped in 69 of the 70 cities in September from August, one more city than in August.

Yu predicted that property sales are likely to rebound in coming months as easing of property curbs and mortgage rules for consumers who have paid off existing loans gradually have an impact on the market. Home sales slipped 11 percent in the first nine months of this year.

Investment in the real estate sector, however, will continue to slide in the fourth quarter, dragging the nation's annual investment growth to around 15 percent, from 16.1 percent in the first nine months, he said.

The real estate sector accounts for around one- quarter of China's total investment, with the manufacturing sector and infrastructure facilities accounting for one-third and one-fifth, respectively.

Yu said imports and consumption will maintain steady annual growth of 6 percent and 10.8 percent, respectively.

Xu Hongcai, director of the information department at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, called slower investment growth "a major contributor to current economic slowdown".

Takehiko Nakao, president of the Asian Development Bank, on Thursday encouraged more use of local government bond issues to fund planned structural reforms, including the government's new urbanization strategy.

He said there is also a need to reform inter-governmental fiscal relations to better assign responsibilities for public services provision and allocate revenues between the central and other levels of local governments.

 

Categorias: , China

Xi eyes better global financial governance as AIIB MOU signed

China Daily - 12 minutos 26 segundos atrás

BEIJING -- Chinese President Xi Jinping looks forward to better global financial governance as 21 countries signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) Friday on establishing a new multilateral bank to finance infrastructure projects in Asia.

Xi made the remark as he met with representatives from the 21 countries involved in setting up the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) at the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing.

The representatives were from Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, the Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

The memorandum specifies that the authorized capital of the AIIB is $100 billion and the initial capital is expected to be around $50 billion. The paid-in ratio will be 20 percent. As agreed, Beijing will be the host city for the AIIB's headquarters.

It is expected that the prospective founding members will complete the signing and ratification of the Articles of Agreement in 2015 and the AIIB will be formally established by the end of 2015.

Congratulating the representatives on inking the memorandum, Xi said it reflects all the parties' aspiration, determination and action for unity and cooperation in pursuit of common development.

"(The establishment of the AIIB) will help to improve global financial governance, which is very meaningful," Xi said, adding that he hopes all sides concerned will make concerted efforts to make the AIIB a financing platform of infrastructure construction featuring equality, inclusiveness and high efficiency, and multilateral development bank that meets the demand of all countries in the region.

"To become rich, you need to build roads first," Xi said during the meeting, quoting a Chinese saying.

He said the AIIB should focus on boosting interconnectivity of infrastructure and economic cooperation in the region to inject new driving forces into the economic development in Asia.

Xi stressed inclusiveness and multilateralism in the development of the AIIB, saying that all countries with interest are welcome to join the bank and that the AIIB should work together with other multilateral development organizations to promote prosperity in Asia as well as the world at large.

Briefing the representatives on China' economic prospect and ongoing overall reform, Xi said China will firmly stick to the opening-up strategy for win-win reciprocity.

"The purpose of my proposing a joint push to build the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road is also to deepen economic cooperation among Asian countries for common development," said the Chinese president. The AIIB was proposed by Xi as he visited southeast Asia last October.

"We will make further efforts to make China's development more beneficial for countries in Asia as well as the whole world," he added.

Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, on behalf of all the foreign representatives, expressed appreciation for proposing and leading the establishment of the inter-governmental regional development institution in Asia.

Shanmugaratnam said the establishment of the AIIB will be a milestone and strongly improve the infrastructure and long-term development in Asia.

Echoing Xi's remarks, Shanmugaratnam said all the participants will adhere to openess and multilateralism, and work together to make preparations for the establishment and operation of the AIIB smoothly and make it a good example for multilateral cooperation in the world.

 Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will guide capital  ADB to work together with China-proposed AIIB

Categorias: , China

China treasury bond futures close higher Friday

China Daily - 12 minutos 26 segundos atrás

BEIJING-- China's treasury bond futures closed higher on Friday, with the contract for settlement in December up 0.15 percent to 95.632 yuan ($15.56).

The contract for settlement in March 2015 gained 0.16 percent to close at 96.090 yuan. The contract for settlement in June 2015 edged up 0.19 percent to finish at 96.402 yuan.

The contracts are agreements to buy or sell treasury bonds at a predetermined price and set date. They allow investors to bet on and profit from the movements in the value of the bonds.

The treasury bond futures were launched at the Shanghai-based China Financial Futures Exchange and started trading on Sept 6, 2013.

Categorias: , China

West Lake International Expo kicks off

China Daily - 12 minutos 26 segundos atrás

The 16th West Lake International Expo kicked off in Hangzhou, Capital of East China's Zhejiang province, Oct 17, 2014.The expo runs for 22 days and ends on Dec 7.

According to the expo's website, the West Lake International Expo is expected to attract around 8 million tourists. The trade volume is expected to reach 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion).

The water-drop shaped exhibits of "The Dancing Water Drops" float above the waters of West Lake in Hangzhou, Capital of East China's Zhejiang province, Oct 16, 2014. The droplets were designed by Chinese artist Simon Ma. The tallest one in the middle is 25 meters in height. [Photo/Xinhua]

   

Visitors at the bank of West Lake in Hangzhou, Capital of East China's Zhejiang province look at and take pictures of "The Dancing Water Drops" exhibition, Oct 16, 2014. [Photo/Xinhua]

The night view of West Lake in Hangzhou, Capital of East China's Zhejiang province, Oct 20, 2014. In order to protect the environment, the organizers replaced the regular fireworks show with a more environmentally friendly light show. [Photo/IC] 

In the evenings, light is shone on "water drops" in Hangzhou, Capital of East China's Zhejiang province, Oct 20, 2014. [Photo/IC] 

 

The water-drop shaped exhibits on display on the lawn are also part of artist Simon Ma's "The Dancing Water Drops" exhibit on the West Lake in Hangzhou, Capital of East China's Zhejiang province, Oct 19, 2014. [Photo/IC] 

Models show models of several famous towers in China at one of the themed exhibition halls of the West Lake Expo in Hangzhou, Capital of East China's Zhejiang province, Oct 17, 2014. [Photo/IC]

Actors perform a show at the culture themed exhibition of the West Lake Expo in Hangzhou, Capital of East China's Zhejiang province, Oct 17, 2014. The actors are dressed as figures described in traditional Chinese fairy tales. [Photo/IC]

 

 China's Top 10stock marketmilestones Intl commodities fair opens in Yiwu Forbidden City's Taobao store hot on the Internet

Categorias: , China

iPhone loses subsidies in China

China Daily - 12 minutos 26 segundos atrás

Tony Zhan, 32, holds up his new iPhone 6 Plus after it went on sale at the Apple store in Pasadena, California September 19, 2014. [Photo/Agencies] 

Chinese telecom operators are reportedly cutting subsidies to Apple's popular iPhone smartphones, reducing the California company's dependence on the carriers, says a senior telecom market analyst.

The major carriers in China, China Unicom, China Mobile and China Telecom will reduce subsidies on the iPhone in part to improve financial performance as the subsidies is not tax exempt, said James Yan, a senior analyst at IDC.

As Apple launched iPhone 6 on Chinese mainland on Oct 17, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom released their the pricing for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The telecom offered the phones on contract at about the same or even more than Apple own retail stores.

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus retail starting at 5,288 yuan ($860) and 6088 yuan ($994).

Telecom companies typically offer subsidized pricing for mobile phones to entice customers to sign contracts. The company's recuperate the initial loss on the sales price of the phone through the contract period, typically one to two years. This time around, Chinese companies are opting to charge full price for the phone and offer service bonuses to entice consumers.

China Mobile is offering customers the base iPhone 6 model for 5,288 yuan. Customers will receive a balance bonus of as much as 3,264 yuan on a two-year contract. That balance can be used towards cellular data plans, voice plans, and other charges the user may incur. In comparison, China Unicom offers a different plan with a package starting at 5,499 yuan. This plan allows the option of a one to three year contract and includes a maximum balance bonus of 5,472 yuan. China Telecom offers a two or three year contract with a useable balance that totals the cost of the phone.

"China Mobile stopped offering a contracted iPhone for free in order to attract customers," said Yan.

He added that China Unicom and China Telecom also have reduced the subsidies on the iPhone 6 compared with earlier models.

The strategy evolves as Apple taps into a more high-end customer base in China.

"Its (Apple's) cooperation with major Chinese carriers will continue but the tech giant will depend less on them," said Yan.

Apple was the sixth-largest smartphone vendor in China by volume during the second quarter with a market share of nearly 7 percent, according to consultancy Analysys International.

According to Yan, e-commerce has also played a big role in Apple's sales in China. Yan estimates that 20 percent of the iPhone 6's sales came from online shopping sites such as JD.com.

JD.com delivered the first batch of iPhone 6 within three hours of the official launch in the Chinese mainland on Oct 17, New Express Daily reported.

"I'm thinking of buying a contracted iPhone 6 by the end of the year in the US, because it will be much cheaper there," said Laura Fernandez, a student in Uinersity of International Business and Economics in Beijing.

Apple unveils iPad Air 2 with Touch ID to secure Apple pay iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launched in China

Categorias: , China

AIIB open to countries committed to Asian, global development

China Daily - 12 minutos 26 segundos atrás

BEIJING -- Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei said on Friday that the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is open and welcomes all countries that are committed to Asia's development and global economic development.

Lou said the consultation process of AIIB follows the sequence of "regional first and non-regional later" . Countries that signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Establishing AIIB (MOU) Friday are all regional countries in Asia and will be the first batch of Prospective Founding Members.

Lou said these regional Prospective Founding Members will begin the negotiation of the Articles of Agreement (AOA) thereafter. Other countries can also become Prospective Founding Members and join the process of negotiating AOA if they endorsed this MOU and be accepted by the existing Prospective Founding Members.

He said it is expected that the Prospective Founding Members will complete the signing and ratification of the AOA in 2015 and AIIB will be formally established by the end of 2015. Original signatories of the AOA will be the Founding Members of AIIB. Therefore, membership of AIIB will be not limited to countries that signed the MOU Friday.

"AIIB is an open, inclusive institution. All countries that are committed to regional development in Asia and global economic development can join AIIB. We believe there will be more countries joining it in the future," he said.

Twenty-first Asian countries that are willing to join AIIB as founding members on Friday signed the MOU. As agreed, Beijing will be the host city for the AIIB' s headquarters.

The 21 countries are Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, the Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

 Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will guide capital  ADB to work together with China-proposed AIIB

Categorias: , China

Chinese finance minister says AIIB a win-win

China Daily - 12 minutos 26 segundos atrás

BEIJING -- Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei said the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a win-win choice for each member as 21 Asian countries that are willing to join AIIB as founding members signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Establishing AIIB (MOU) Friday.

World Bank head says new entrants 'will be welcome'   "It is very necessary to establish AIIB at present and it is a win-win choice for every country," Lou said, noting that in October 2013, President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang announced the initiative of establishing AIIB during their respective visits to South East Asia countries.

Lou said for developing countries in Asia, AIIB can promote infrastructure development and help maintain steady and fast economic development; for Asia region as a whole, it can promote regional connectivity, strengthen self-development ability of this region and inject continuous momentum to economic development.

"For developed countries, it can expand investment demand and promote economic recovery. Moreover, it can help expand the global demand and promote the recovery of global economy," he added.

The minister said this initiative has been greeted with enthusiastic response from many countries. Thereafter, following the principle of "regional first and non-regional later" and "open regionalism" , China has had extensive consultations with both regional and non-regional countries.

"Up to now, we have had five rounds of multilateral consultation meetings and one ministerial working dinner with some Asian countries. We also convened an information sharing meeting to share information with regional countries that are interested in but have not decided to join AIIB," Lou said.

As agreed, Beijing will be the host city for the AIIB' s headquarters, according to Lou.

The 21 countries are Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, the Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

 Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will guide capital  ADB to work together with China-proposed AIIB

Categorias: , China

China sees a retail growth of olive oil

China Daily - 12 minutos 26 segundos atrás

BEIJING -- China's appetite for olive oil increased amidst a shrinking cooking oil market, according to a UK-based market research report sent to Xinhua on Friday.

The sales of olive oil during a 52 week ending Aug 8, 2014 were 5.35 percent percent higher than the previous year, the Kantar Worldpanel's monitoring released.

Sales were up 27.17 percent from two years ago, it said.

In contrast, the overall cooking oil market, which includes all cooking oil products no more than 5 liters, shrank by 4.35 percent between 2014 and 2013. When compared between 2014 and 2012, it inched up only 0.4 percent, the report said.

The report said the rising health consciousness among Chinese consumers has led to this growth trend, even though the cost of olive oil is much higher than conventional oil.

Olive oil's average price is 98 yuan ($16.1) per liter, compared to the average price of 17 yuan per liter for the whole cooking oil market, said the report.

Given its penetration rate of 15 percent, olive oil recruited 695,140 more urban families within the year, according to the report.

The report estimated that China's market potential for olive oil would be great as Shanghai-based Bright Food Group has bought a majority stake in Italian olive oil producer Salov Group in early October, boosting Tuscany-headquartered Salov's production and sales after the acquisition to help it grow outside its home market.

China's first Hermes Maison opening in Shanghai   First luxury item authentication class starts in Beijing

Categorias: , China

AIIB authorized capital amounts $100 billion

China Daily - 12 minutos 26 segundos atrás

BEIJING -- The Memorandum of Understanding on Establishing the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) specifies that the authorized capital of AIIB is $100 billion and the initial subscribed capital is expected to be around $50 billion. The paid-in ratio will be 20 percent, according to Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei on Friday.

Lou said Prospective Founding Members have agreed that GDP will be the basic parameter in determining share allocation among member countries. Therefore, China will be the largest shareholder.

Previously, China announced that it is willing to subscribe up to 50 percent of the capital. This is an indication that China would like to provide strong support to AIIB, Lou said.

However, China will not seek to be "the single majority shareholder" and will not necessarily subscribe 50 percent of the capital, He said. " Moreover, China' s share ratio will be gradually diluted with more members joining AIIB in the future."

Lou said the governance structure of the Bank will consist of three levels: Board of Governors, Board of Directors and the Management, adding that all powers of the Bank will be vested in the Board of Governors which may delegate to the Board of Directors and the Management its powers as stipulated in the Articles of Agreement.

The Board of Directors will be non-resident initially and meet regularly to make key policy decisions. The Bank will develop an effective oversight mechanism to ensure the accountability of the Management. The President and senior management of the Bank will be selected through an open, inclusive, transparent and merit-based process, the minister said.

Twenty-first Asian countries that are willing to join AIIB as founding members on Friday signed the MOU. As agreed, Beijing will be the host city for the AIIB' s headquarters.

The 21 countries are Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, the Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. 

 Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will guide capital  ADB to work together with China-proposed AIIB

Categorias: , China
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