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Refinery deal in Myanmar key for Guangdong Zhenrong Energy

China Daily - 7 minutos 10 segundos atrás

Guangdong Zhenrong Energy Co, a major Chinese bulk commodity trader, expects the country's "One Belt One Road" strategy to help boost its overseas investments, which in its case includes a planned massive oil refinery in Myanmar.

The country's New Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road strategies were launched in 2013 to further open up to the rest of the world and speed up infrastructure connectivity in the region.

The proposed Myanmar refinery, with an expected annual processing capacity of 5 million metric tons of crude oil, has been submitted by the Guangdong provincial government to the State Council under the strategy, said Cui Yi, director general of Zhenrong Energy's refining and petrochemical department.

He said the company also expects to benefit from policies within the strategy to develop other overseas petrochemical industrial parks.

Zhenrong Energy received the go-ahead for the $2.9 billion Myanmar project from the National Development and Reform Commission in November and is currently applying for state approval from the authorities in Myanmar.

Myanmar's laws on foreign investment were amended in August last year and now require participation in any new petrochemical project by its own Ministry of Energy. Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd and Myanmar's HTOO Group of Companies are already joint venture partners in the project.

Located in the Dawei special economic zone in southern Myanmar, the complex will become the largest refinery in the country when completed, Cui said, and is expected to play a key part in the raising of professional standards in the country's petrochemicals industry.

Its facilities will include the construction of a 150,000-ton crude oil dock, two refined oil docks, warehousing and logistics facilities, a power plant, and a network of gas, and liquefied petroleum gas stations.

Products from the refinery will mainly satisfy the Myanmar market, with the surplus to be exported.

Cui said the refinery's plans date back to 2009 when Zhenrong Energy's Chairman Xiong Shaohui first learned how the country's refining technology had remained low. Myanmar still imports more than 80 percent of the refined oil products it needs.

A memorandum of understanding on the project was signed the following year with an environmental assessment then carried out in 2012, a year before the country's environmental protection law was passed.

The refinery is expected to adopt China's national IV environmental standards, the equivalent of the Euro IV standard, Cui said.

To assure local people about its environmental commitment to the project, the company invited a group of around 30 Myanmar villagers, monks and journalists to tour an oil refinery in Luoyang, Henan province, and oil exporting facilities in Guangdong in 2013.

In May last year, 1,370 villagers signed a letter in support of the refinery project, which was handed in to the country's president's office, the energy ministry and local governments.

"Although the investment environment in Myanmar has appeared to be unstable over the past two years-which slowed the pace by some investors-the reform and opening-up in Myanmar is accelerating," Cui said.

"The market is underdeveloped but still has a positive outlook and offers considerable opportunities. Although some risks exist, it is attracting increasing numbers of foreign investors."

Xiao Yaofei, a professor with the School of Economics and Trade, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, said China's "One Belt One Road" strategy, which is emphasizing future infrastructure connectivity with various countries, is expected to lay the foundations for foreign investment by Chinese firms.

Xiao said Zhenrong Energy's Myanmar project should also pave the way for other petrochemical-related investments by other Chinese firms, such as those engaged in chemicals manufacturing, for instance, and its support industries.

Founded in 2002, Zhenrong Energy generated 105.2 billion yuan ($16.8 billion) in revenue in 2013, including 65.2 billion yuan from international trade, ranking 139 among the top 500 Chinese companies. It is jointly owned by the State-owned Zhuhai Zhenrong Corp, one of the country's largest oil traders.

As the global refined oil trading sector becomes increasingly competitive, the company has placed overseas investment at its core and aims to become one of the world's top 500 multinationals in the next three to five years.

Categorias: , China

Chinese company finds secret to business success in West Africa

China Daily - 7 minutos 10 segundos atrás

It took Su Yuehua a while to figure it out, but he learned the secret to business success in West Africa, reports Xiao Lixin.

Two decades ago, Su Yuehua landed in the West African nation of Ghana to build from scratch the branch office of China Gansu International Corp for Economic and Technical Cooperation, a contracting company.

Su, now 50, has remained in Ghana since then, and has been recognized by Chinese and local authorities for turning that branch into a large, thriving and diversified company that is expanding to other parts of West Africa.

Along the way, he said, he has had to abandon some ways of thinking and absorbing local customs, ways of doing business and even learn an African language. In the process, he has improved ties between China and Ghana and made many friends, too.

Su, chairman of the subsidiary, China State Hualong (Ghana) Corp, has led the transformation of the Ghanaian branch of the company, which has grown beyond its main businesses of industrial and civil architecture, urban road and bridge construction and international project contracting, into an enterprise with annual revenue of more than $100 million.

Su at first met many challenges, such as extremely harsh living and working conditions at the time, as well as consecutive setbacks in failing to win project bids.

But instead of feeling intimidated, Su made a big effort to gain experience by working with employees on construction sites. He would often wonder what went wrong when there was a problem with the company's operations.

Su noticed that the fundamental reason that Hualong did not win project bids was the failure to better understand local culture and background information about the bid project, and, more importantly, to build mutual trust with the local people.

From then on, Su started to learn and practice not only English, but also the local Twi dialect because, he said, he believed that only through barrier-free communication could he learn what the local people truly wanted.

Before too long, Su could communicate freely with local people. That not only brought him many friends, but also bridged the distance between him and Ghanaians, as well as helping the company better integrate into the local community.

Over the decades, Su's company has established seven of its own subsidiary corporations, stretching its business into real estate, import and export trade, pharmaceuticals production and the hospitality business, making Hualong a comprehensive group corporation.

Hualong's newest enterprise is pharmaceuticals production. It is a business removed from the company's established strengths and advantages, but still is considered a highlight in the company's operations, given the considerable market prospects of pharmaceuticals in Africa.

The company put a new pharmaceutical factory into production in 2014 after equipment testing was finished. The production and sales of pharmaceuticals will be given priority as a key sector in Hualong's diversified business operations, the company said.

After gaining a firm foothold in Ghana, Su set about expanding Hualong into the entire West African region.

There are good reasons for that. The past few years have not been so good for Ghana's economy. With the economy's problems and its limited market capacity in the construction industry, the board of directors of Hualong decided on an "out of Ghana" strategy and started exploring opportunities in neighboring African countries. Benin, for its stable political and economic situation and healthier market, was chosen as the first step in Hualong's business expansion in the region.

On Dec 29, Hualong made its latest expansionary move by signing a contract for a road and harbor construction project in Benin worth $623 million. The project, estimated to take three years, is expected to create a transit center for crude oil and supplies, connecting Cotonou, the country's biggest city, to northern Benin and the neighboring countries of Nigeria, Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso.

The project will cover 61 hectares, including 300 large parking lots for platform trailers, 9,600 storage areas for containerized freight, five oil tanks each with a volume of 18,500 cubic meters, four large warehouses as well as office buildings, banks and fire stations.

Hualong also is involved in the construction of a hospital in Guinea and a deepwater port in Benin.

Su said Hualong always keeps its social responsibilities in mind. It has donated money and materials to local groups in need. It donated $20,000 and built a canteen for a girls' middle school in the Upper West Region in 2006, and helped with the maintenance and renovation of a 3-kilometer road in Accra in 2011.

"We will continue building local infrastructure and devote resources to public welfare establishments in Ghana, for the sake of Ghana's social, economic and cultural development and China-Ghana friendship," said Su.

Twenty years of devotion to his career and the enterprise's operation in Ghana has also won Su accolades. Not only was he nominated by the China Enterprises International Development Association as a "China excellent entrepreneur", he also was selected as vice-chairman of the China-Africa Business Council. Ghana's president also made Su an honorary citizen.

When asked for advice on what Chinese enterprises should do to win business opportunities in Africa, Su said priority should first be given to localization in the host country. Chinese companies doing business in Africa should strictly abide by local laws and regulations, respect local customs and habits, and learn to cultivate local management and technical talent, he said.

They also should be aware of local laws to protect their legitimate rights, he said.

Hualong has about 3,000 employees, both Chinese and Ghanaian, that include senior engineers, engineers, senior mechanics and workers of all kinds.

In the past two years, the company achieved annual revenue of more than $140 million and each year has created hundreds of jobs in local communities in Ghana.

Categorias: , China

Japanese rice turns new luxury food for Chinese

China Daily - 7 minutos 10 segundos atrás

First it was European formula powder milk, then New Zealand milk. Now Chinese consumers are adding Japanese rice to the list of everyday foods they will bring in from abroad at luxury-good prices because they fear the local alternatives are not safe.

The volume of rice imported from Japan remains small-160 metric tons last year, according to Japan's National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations.

But that is more than triple the total in 2013, a trend that illustrates Chinese consumers' dwindling confidence in the safety of the country's own agricultural produce.

"Chinese rice farmers use pesticides," said a seller identified as Ying Ying, who started offering Japanese rice on the Taobao online marketplace in August. "Japanese rice isn't polluted by heavy metals."

Pollution from industrialization has exacted a heavy toll on China's soil and water. In May 2013, officials in Guangdong province in southern China said 44 percent of rice samples contained excessive levels of the metal cadmium.

A study by the Ministry of Environmental Protection in April estimated that 16.1 percent of China's farmland was contaminated. In parts of the country, soil pollution is so bad that some rice farmers refuse to eat what they grow.

After the cadmium revelations, some Chinese consumers began to see rice from Thailand as an affordable and safe substitute.

In contrast, Japanese rice is neither cheap nor easy to find in China. Japanese rice imported by Chinese grain trader COFCO Group sells for 74 yuan ($12) a kilogram on PinStore, an online supermarket run by Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp. Domestic rice sells there for as little as 7.5 yuan per kg.

As demand grows, Chinese consumers are increasingly turning to online platforms such as Taobao, to buy rice directly from individuals in Japan.

One person seems to have paid as much as 1,499 yuan ($241) for 5 kg, according to Taobao.

Steep prices, though, are no deterrent for some.

"Much tastier than Chinese rice. Worth every cent-great texture and taste," one delighted buyer wrote on Taobao.

To meet demand, some Chinese producers now say they use Japanese seeds and promote their rice as a safer alternative to purely domestic strains.

Zhejiang Xinxie Yueguang Agricultural Science and Technology Co said its Echizen brand rice is safe and grown with "water from pure sources and strict quality control". The packaging says the rice is a Japanese variety.

But Echizen rice is grown in Changxing county, a hub of lead-acid battery production in eastern Zhejiang province. Battery production can be highly polluting.

The Chinese eat around 120 million tons of rice a year and the country imported more than 2.2 million tons in the first 11 months of 2014, including 1.2 million tons from Vietnam and 626,000 tons from Thailand, Customs data show.

Japan is a small rice exporter-just 3,777 tons in January to November 2014, according to Ministry of Agriculture data-but it is looking to boost shipments to Asian countries as part of a wider push to export more agricultural products.

However, if the trend to China looks encouraging, any further increase through normal export channels may be slow: the Chinese authorities have given just one Japanese rice mill clearance to send polished rice.

Others have begun an application process but that has stalled. Some would-be suppliers have been waiting for three years, a Japanese government official said.

Categorias: , China

Motorola back to China market

China Daily - 7 minutos 10 segundos atrás

Liu Jun, senior vice-president of Lenovo Group Ltd who heads the Motorola mobility unit, said in Beijing on Jan 26, 2014 that coming back to China and other emerging markets will help Motorola become profitable sooner. [Photo/China Daily]

New owner Lenovo hoping for renewed interest in 'Hello Moto'

Motorola Mobility LLP is saying "Hello Moto" once again to China, three years after abandoning the world's largest smartphone market.

Releasing an array of handsets, and now a Lenovo Group Ltd subsidiary, Motorola said on Monday that coming back to China and other emerging markets will help it become profitable.

Liu Jun, Lenovo's senior vice-president who heads the mobility unit, said it has already localized a number of Motorola applications, set up for Chinese buyers. The devices will pre-install a China-only navigation software, some utility apps and an app store operated by Lenovo.

Liu said the Moto devices will be initially manufactured in Tianjin municipality and in Guangdong province but there are also plans to move manufacturing to Central China's Wuhan, where Lenovo operates its largest phone and tablet assembly facility.

Motorola, headquartered in Chicago, quit selling phones in China more than a year ago after it was bought by Google Inc.

But since acquiring the company from Google for $2.9 billion early last year, Lenovo officials say they had been preparing Motorola to move back into more emerging markets.

Motorola will focus on the mid- and high-end sector in China, a market Lenovo has been finding hard to penetrate.

Liu said Motorola will not compete face-to-face with Lenovo-branded phones because the latter's major target customer group remains budget phone buyers.

Before reintroducing Motorola to China, Lenovo depended heavily on contract phone sales. But dramatic subsidy cuts from telecom operators have hurt sales.

According to research firm Analysys International, Lenovo remains in an intensive fight with Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and affordable phone maker Xiaomi Corp to claim the top position in China.

"We come to China as a challenger," said Rick Osterloh, Motorola's president and chief operating officer, as he pledged to offer buyers the chance to design their own gadgets.

An online customer design program named Motorola Maker allows buyers to choose both the material and color of their phone case as well as the storage space available inside their phone.

Wang Jingwen, a Shanghai-based analyst from Canalys China, said Lenovo also has the chance to cooperate with Google in producing Nexus products after the Motorola buyout. Google is updating the world's most popular smartphone OS Android, which is also used in Motorola and Lenovo handsets.

"More importantly, (after buying Motorola) Lenovo gains access to a large patent portfolio which will be very useful for vendor's overseas expansion," Wang said.

Motorola's new China strategy does not include its popular wearable technology, however.

The highly anticipated smart watch, the Moto360-run on Google Inc's Google Wear operating system-is not currently available on the Chinese mainland, but Osterloh said it will be later this year.

Although the growth in smartphone sales slowed significantly last year, China remains the world's most valuable handset market.

A recent report from technology consultancy IDC said growing demand in smaller cities and increasing demand for fourth-generation telecom networks will provide new opportunities for smartphone vendors.

IDC estimates that in future more than 90 percent of the country will have 4G signal coverage.

 

 

Categorias: , China

Yuan suffers biggest loss since 2008

China Daily - 7 minutos 10 segundos atrás

The yuan slid 0.41 percent to 6.2542 per dollar in Shanghai on Jan 26, extending a decline of 0.31 percent on last Friday, according to securities information provider Wind Information Co Ltd.[Si Wei / China Daily] 

Biggest two-day loss for currency since the onset of global financial crisis

The yuan's value tested the boundaries of what the authorities will tolerate on Monday, trading as much as 1.94 percent weaker than the lower limit of the People's Bank of China's reference rate.

Further declines are possible as the dollar has been strengthening in response to the European Central Bank's quantitative easing program and the outcome of the Greek parliamentary elections, analysts said.

But they said that China still has plenty of tools to prevent a sharp decline.

The yuan slid 0.41 percent to 6.2542 per dollar in Shanghai on Monday, extending a decline of 0.31 percent on Friday, according to securities information provider Wind Information Co Ltd.

It was the currency's biggest two-day loss since 2008, when markets were shaken by the global financial crisis.

The PBOC sets a reference rate every trading day and imposes a trading band of 2 percent. If the currency touches the bottom of the reference range, the central bank can take one of three steps: intervene to support the yuan, cut the reference rate or widen the band.

The central bank adjusted its daily fixing lower to 6.1384 from 6.1342 previously to prevent the spot rate from hitting the bottom of the range.

"The dollar is on a cyclical rise, rather than an instant one," said Ding Zhijie, a professor of international finance at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing. "That means downward pressure for all major currencies around the world, not only the yuan."

Wang Youxin, a researcher at the Institute of International Finance under Bank of China Ltd, noted the 12-month nondeliverable yuan forwards, which signal the offshore market's outlook for the currency's value, have been declining since July.

That trend implies that the global market's bet on a weaker yuan a year down the line is based on China's own declining economic growth.

"Given the situation, widening the trading band is an option. Further, the central bank should shift from its strategy of a de facto peg of the yuan against the dollar to one that gives other major currencies more weight," said Wang.

That could lead to a scenario where the Chinese currency depreciates against the dollar while also appreciating against, for example, the euro, instead of falling against all currencies just because of a dollar rally.

In terms of the trading band, many institutions have speculated that the PBOC may widen the band to 3 percent this year as long as the currency continues to demonstrate two-way volatility.

Ding said that doing so might prompt institutions to bet on continuous appreciation of the dollar and buy the dollar, which would prompt a further slide of the yuan.

Instead, he said, there is still room to use the reference rate to prop up the currency.

Many expect the yuan to depreciate slightly against the dollar in 2015. Fielding Chen, a China economist with Bloomberg, said in a note that a big drop is unlikely, because such a drop would inspire political pressure from the US.

Significant depreciation might also trigger big capital outflows, which would threaten the financial sector's stability, Chen said.

As the PBOC is expected to cut interest rates this year, a narrower yuan-dollar interest rate differential could deter capital inflows while contributing to the depreciation of the yuan.

But Wang said there are also factors positive for appreciation. For example, the falling oil price would push up China's trade surplus.

Categorias: , China

Beijing-Shanghai high-speed line turns profitable in 2014

China Daily - 7 minutos 10 segundos atrás

A surge in passenger traffic drove the high-speed rail route from Beijing to Shanghai into the black for the first time in 2014, its third year of operation, the official Xinhua News Agency reported on Monday.

"High-speed rail is good for the nation and can offer convenience to the public, but it is not a profitable business," Cai Qinghua, former chairman of the Beijing-Shanghai High-speed Railway Corp, told the agency.

But the Beijing-Shanghai route shattered that rule, proving that high-speed services are not just a way to waste money, experts said.

Ticket sales last year stood at 30 billion yuan ($4.8 billion), with an estimated net profit of 1.2 billion yuan. The line carried more than 100 million passengers between the capital and the coastal commercial center, up 27 percent from a year earlier.

In 2012, ticket sales totaled 17.4 billion yuan and the line posted a loss of 3.7 billion yuan.

Cai, who was also the former vice-minister of the railways, said on Monday that the project was forecast to break even after five years of operation, but it reached that target in advance.

"We could not operate at capacity in the beginning," he said. "We need to manage a healthy passenger rail system and gradually meet the transportation demand."

The ministry was replaced by the China Railway Corp in 2013.

Experts have said high-speed trains are always the preferred option for passengers in China. These trains overcome the disadvantages of buses, which have a bad safety record (especially for the overnight services) and they are more convenient than planes.

"We will build a second Beijing-Shanghai High-speed Railway, if things go on like this," said Cai.

Luo Renjian, a researcher at the Comprehensive Transport Institute of the top planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission, said that the Beijing-Shanghai bullet line is a role model that offers bright prospects for the rail sector, especially for strategic investors.

"It provides a quality management solution for high-speed rail routes both in operation and under construction," Luo said. "Also, it proves that high-speed rail lines can generate a profit ... even in the short term."

The Beijing-Shanghai line was initially proposed in 1990, but construction only began in 2008. Work was finished in 2011. The cost was about 208.8 billion yuan.

According to the China Railway Corp, total railway ridership in 2014 was 800 million people, and the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed line accounted for one-eighth of the whole.

 

 

Categorias: , China

Chinese companies to invest $20b in overseas properties in 2015

China Daily - 7 minutos 10 segundos atrás

Photo shows the Tower Place in London. [Photo/Tower Place website]

Chinese investors are set to fork out $20 billion on offshore property this year, up 21 percent on 2014 as more domestic real estate developers and insurers internationalise their holdings, Jones Lang LaSalle Inc said on Monday.

Chinese offshore property investment had increased 46 percent to $16.5 billion last year on the year before, with nearly 70 percent going to commercial real estate, the property consultancy said in a report.

Outbound spending on commercial property, including office buildings, for the first time outpaced domestic investment, the company said.

"The easing of restrictions over the last few years by the Chinese government has (made it) much easier for institutions as well as individuals to move money overseas," said David Green-Morgan, the Singapore-based head of global research for International Capital Group at JLL.

Big Chinese insurers, including Ping An Insurance Group Co of China and Anbang Insurance Group Co, have emerged as major buyers in global markets.

Earlier this month Ping An, China's second-biggest insurer, bought the Tower Place office block in London for 327 million pounds, having previously bought the Lloyds of London insurance building.

Last October, Anbang agreed to buy New York City's Waldorf Astoria hotel for $1.95 billion.

Driving China's outbound insurance investments are 2012 rules changes by the country's insurance regulator that allowed companies to invest in real estate outside of the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong.

As of the end of 2014, Chinese insurers invested nearly $24 billion outside China, accounting for 1.4 percent of the industry's total assets, said Zhou Yanli, vice chairman of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission at a press briefing last Friday.

Last year, about 20 percent of insurance investment overseas went to real estate, Zhou added.

Chinese property developers, including Dalian Wanda Group Co, have also moved to globalise their portfolios to ensure long-term returns as China's property market cools.

Dalian Wanda on Monday announced a $1 billion investment to purchase two buildings at Sydney Harbour, the Chinese conglomerate's second investment in Australia.

Europe was the most popular destination for Chinese overseas property investment in 2014, raking in $5.5 billion, JLL said. London topped the list of favourite cities with $4 billion capital inflow, followed by Sydney and New York City.

Related stories: Dalian Wanda to invest $1b for prime property development in Sydney 

Dalian Wanda Group, China's biggest commercial real estate conglomerate, said on Jan 26 that it is investing $1 billion in a prime property development close to Sydney Harbour, its second large investment in Australia.

The amount includes A$415 million ($327 million) paid to the United States-based private equity firm Blackstone Group for office building Gold Fields House, an undisclosed sum for an adjacent building, Fairfax House, as well as the cost to construct a complex that will consist of a hotel, apartments and retail projects.

The purchase adds to a string of deals as Wanda diversifies away from a weak domestic market and highlights growing Chinese investment in Australia's red-hot property market.

Australia was the third top destination for Chinese property investment after the US and the United Kingdom in the first 11 months of 2014, with around $2.1 billion in inbound investment, according to real estate consultancy firm Savills.

China's Country Garden Holdings and Greenland Group have also made large investments in Australia.

Wanda is backed by China's fourth-richest man Wang Jianlin and last year the group's Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties Co Ltd raised $3.7 billion through a Hong Kong listing.

"We look forward to creating a new Sydney landmark," Wanda said in a separate statement from Blackstone, adding that the complex will include a 185-meter tall building.

Ping An buys landmark Tower Place in London by Zheng Yangpeng, China Daily

Ping An Life Insurance (Group) Co of China Ltd has acquired another landmark site in London, after it bought the Lloyds of London building a year and half ago, highlighting Chinese insurers' growing appetite for trophy real estate in international gateway cities after the sector was given freedom to invest overseas since 2012.

The second-largest insurer in China has bought Tower Place in the City of London for 327 million pounds ($491 million), the seller, Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management, said on Thursday night. Ping An did not respond to calls for comment on Friday.

Tower Place was designed by renowned architect Norman Foster and is in the heart of London's insurance district. The anchor tenant of the low-rise office and shopping complex is the United States-based insurance consultancy Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc, according to a statement by Gaw Capital Partners, the Hong-Kong-based private-equity firm that advised Ping An on the deal.

Ping An in July 2013 bought the Lloyds of London building, home to the world's oldest insurance market, for 260 million pounds. Gaw Capital Partners advised that deal as well.

A number of high-profile overseas purchases made by China's insurers and other financial institutions occurred after the industry regulator made it easier for insurers to invest in overseas real estate in 2012. The Lloyds deal was followed by the June 2014 purchase of a tower in London's Canary Wharf for 795 million pounds by a group led by China Life, the nation's largest insurer.

Anbang Insurance Group Co, another major insurer in China, sealed a $1.95 billion purchase of New York's Waldorf Astoria hotel, setting a new record for a single hotel transaction. The deal even provoked US government security concerns as officials soon began to review the deal. No progress has been announced.

Asian buyers spent about 9.9 billion euros ($8.86 billion) on European commercial properties in 2014, compared with 9.4 billion euros in 2013, according to data compiled by DTZ Research in London. The Chinese insurance industry spent an estimated $15 billion on overseas properties last year, according to Knight Frank LLP. That is almost triple the total from two years ago.

Chinese insurers have been drawn to European office buildings because they are typically anchored by tenants with 10-year leases and offer yields as high as 5 percent, according to real estate services company CBRE Group. That compares with Shanghai offices where three- to five-year leases and 4.5 percent yields are typical, CBRE said.

With Chinese financial institutions ramping up their hunt for prime properties, office prices in central London and Manhattan jumped 15 percent and 11 percent, respectively, in the nine months through September, according to CBRE.

Kitty Liu, senior director of CBRE Global Capital Markets, said: "Outbound real estate investment, now a flourishing component of China's overseas investments, is becoming the 'new normal'".

 
Categorias: , China

Foreign high-tech vendors may face stricter controls in China

China Daily - 7 minutos 10 segundos atrás

A China UnionPay stand at a network security promotion week in Beijing shows the vulnerability of magnetic stripe bank cards and promotes the use of cards with chips. [Photo/China Daily] 

Tighter controls on information technology products used in the financial sector may pose more hurdles for overseas companies in China, industry sources said on Monday.

Overseas companies like IBM Corp and EMC Corp will need to fully comply with the regulations if they want to win deals in the country, said the sources.

According to a report published in the Shanghai-based newspaper China Business News, the China Banking Regulatory Commission, the nation's banking regulator, is conducting a full-scale research across Chinese banks and large financial institutions to gauge the information security conditions. The research involves IT hardware, software and services, it said.

The government has indicated that it or other suitable organizations should have control over the technology used in financial organizations. According to a document released by the CBRC last year, China plans to have at least 75 percent of the IT products used in the financial sector under its control.

A source close to the commission said the regulator would also check the actual use of domestic software by lenders while assessing the safety of banks' information networks.

Several top Chinese lenders, including Bank of China Ltd, did not reply to China Daily's requests for comment.

IBM, EMC, Microsoft Corp and Hewlett-Packard Co are among the biggest overseas IT providers in China. A number of the products, including Microsoft's Windows 8.1 operating system, have been banned from government procurement projects because of security concerns.

Chinese vendors, by contrast, are making aggressive moves by trying to fill the void left by the foreign brands.

ZTE Corp, the communications equipment provider, and Inspur Group Ltd, a maker of servers, have announced "breakthroughs" in self-developed IT products that can be used in critical industries including banking.

The only way for overseas IT companies to win government procurement deals is to fully cooperate with the government and disclose core operating data to regulators, said Zuo Xiaodong, vice-president of the China Information Security Research Institute.

"The meaning of making a safe and controllable IT environment is to better protect national security rather than ousting foreign firms," said Zuo, who co-authored the first security standard for cloud-computing industry.

Gene Cao, a senior analyst at Forrester Research Inc, said that being controllable does not necessarily exclude overseas vendors from government procurement.

"An example is recent media reports stating Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook's willingness to accept security checks. If Apple's products pass the checks, they will be eligible for government procurements," Cao said.

IBM denies reports of huge job cuts

IBM Corp on Monday denied media reports that it will cut 110,000 jobs, saying the layoff only involves several thousands employees.

In a response to a Forbes report that IBM would downsize staff by 26 percent, the company refuted it as "groundless" and said it will invest $600 million on corporate restructuring, with the number of employees involved being several thousands.

After a disappointing third-quarter earnings report, the company said it decided to initiate job cuts in some areas, even as it created more than 10,000 new jobs across the world.

Most of the jobs are in cloud computing, data mining, cybersecurity and mobile technology where IBM is seeing quick growth, the company said.

It remains unclear how the layoff will affect the company's China operations. The company is yet to disclose detailed plans of the job cuts.

Robert LeBlanc, senior vice-president of IBM, said this week the company is planning to recruit 1,000 cloud-computing experts.

The latest round of job losses comes as the company grapples with declining revenues. Data show its third-quarter revenues plummeted to $24 billion, down 11.9 percent from a year earlier.

 

 

Categorias: , China

Ten trends in China's health industry in 2015

China Daily - 7 minutos 10 segundos atrás

China's medical service and health care industry will likely continue to grow explosively in 2015, with new business models emerging and taking shape, according to a latest industry research report.

The industry consultancy IDC expects information technologies such as data analysis and cloud computing to drive the upgrade of medical services.

"New medical service and health management model will leap into maturity and develop a sustainable profit pattern," said Xiao Hongliang, IDC's senior research manager.

Let's take a look at the 10 major trends compiled by the IDC that will likely determine China's health industry in 2015.

10. Importance of health management data to rise significantly

The development of mobile Internet, wearable gadget and O2O (online-to-offline) is bringing health care industry into a new phase. Due to the reforms underway, community health care system will operate in a more efficient way in 2015.

New medical centers managed under PPP (public-private partnership) and BOT (build-operate-transfer) model will emerge as additions to traditional public hospitals.

Residents of Kunming city, Yunnan province, pick up their health cards, ones with individual medical data, on May 8, 2014. [Photo/IC]

 

9. A third research platform will promote bio-scientific breakthrough

Consultancy firm IDC expects medical research to accelerate in 2015, as more hospitals are actively involved in drug clinical trials. A follow-up system on patients will be established, and analysis on the data gathered will support clinical research.

A nurse prepares medicine in Cang County, Heibei province, May 8, 2012. [Photo/IC]

8. Reforms will include separation of clinic from pharmacy

E-commerce behemoth Alibaba achieved breakthrough cooperation with hospitals in Hebei province last year, where patients can now make an appointment online and pick up medicines at pharmacy after the treatment.

Medical reforms in 2015 are expected to include further separation of clinic from pharmacy and Internet will play a more important role.

A consumer buys medicine at a pharmacy in Shanghai, Mar 31, 2013. [Photo/IC]

7. Data-enabled pilot programs to cover wider areas

The IDC expects individual medical record and health information to constitute a colossal data system, which can be used for future diagnosis and treatment. Thanks to Internet, wearable devices and more doctors' involvement in the running of the system, data analysis will accelerate and achieve more breakthroughs.

A smart devices exhibition kicks off in Taipei, China, Feb 19, 2014. [Photo/IC]

6. New forms of health management to emerge in large numbers

The concept of health management has really been a hit and contains a market potential of 20 billion yuan in the next five years. Enabled with mobile applications, data cloud and participation of medical professionals, the O2O businesses will grow rapidly and provide all-dimensional services to customers.

A hotel project, co-invested by Hotel Royal Group and Taipei Beitou Health Management Hospital, opens on Jan 13, 2015. Visitors at the hotel can make an appointment for body check-up, exercise and order food advised by personal nutritionist. [Photo/IC]

5. Doctors to flow more smoothly and effectively

As Beijing now allows doctors to practice at multiple sites, other municipal governments are expected to push forward similar relaxation. Licensed doctors can finally offer legitimate medical services to Internet and mobile health care agencies. Chinese residents can have family doctors in a real sense.

An oculist conducts optic examination in a specialized hospital in Loudi, Hunan province, Jan 1, 2015. [Photo/IC]

4. Private hospitals with healthcare functions to grow rapidly

The general office of the National Health and Family Planning Commission has launched a series of policies in the past two years to promote an effective flow of medical resources and make the best use of their social benefits. Thanks to that, private hospitals, though low-profiled, grew rapidly in 2014.

Such momentum will likely continue this year and private hospitals will adopt more cutting-edge information technology.

Jinshan Hospital, affiliate branch of Chongqing Medical University First Hospital, opens on Dec 27, 2014, offering services including medical treatment, rehabilitation, health care and precaution. [Photo/IC]

3. Cloud computing technology to board with medical service

The IDC expects cloud computing technology to break ice and connect with medical service in 2015. Hospitals will update their central apparatus rooms and prepare for the application of next-generation technology.

A health management command center, with a total investment of 2 million yuan, opens to public in Wuhan city, Hubei province, on July 5, 2014. [Photo/IC]

2. Internet medical service model leaps to maturity

Internet medical service will likely continue to grow explosively in 2015, with an increasing number of hospitals expanding their services online where doctors can answer inquiries and prescriptions from afar.

A Chinese netizen browses the website of Chinese online medical service provider Guahao.com in Tianjin, May 6, 2013. [Photo/IC]

1. Hospitals to upgrade and rebuild IT structures

Internet medical services and new health management products are increasingly challenging the operation of traditional hospitals. As a result, such technology and industrial innovation is pushing hospitals to upgrade and rebuild their IT structure, and bring changes to their services.

A doctor at Shenzhen People's Hospital takes online appointment, on Nov 13, 2014. General medical practitioners also use the system to dial in discharged patients or patients with chronic disease to conduct follow-up checks. [Photo/IC]

Categorias: , China

Clients urged to be wary as deposits vanish

China Daily - 7 minutos 10 segundos atrás

Central bank tells others to enhance internal checks

Cases in which clients' bank deposits have disappeared have triggered a call for Chinese banks to strengthen internal management and for depositors to be wary of interest rates that are much higher than benchmark figures.

In several widely reported cases, criminals colluded with bank clerks or executives.

They lured clients with high deposit rates, provided them with false information and later transferred the clients' money to criminals' accounts.

Zhao Xijun, deputy dean of the School of Finance at Renmin University of China, said, "Banks must improve supervision of their operations to prevent their clerks from doing illegal business while keeping other people in the dark."

The cases reported include the embezzlement of 95.05 million yuan ($15.26 million) from 42 depositors at a rural commercial bank in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.

Banking researchers said deposits are also being invested increasingly in financial products with high returns and high risks.

Guo Tianyong, director of the Research Center of the Chinese Banking Industry at the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing, said, "In some cases, bank clerks did not enter a deposit into a client's bank account.

"They transferred it to another account to offer loans at extortionate rates of interest without telling the depositor where the money really went. Bank defaults occurred when the loans turned sour."

As the Chinese economy slows, similar defaults may continue, because many deposit contracts with high interest rates have not yet matured, Guo said.

Small and medium-sized banks are more likely to have such problems, he said. Compared with large commercial banks, they are more willing to offer high interest rates to attract deposits.

Wu Qing, deputy director of banking research at the Development Research Center of the State Council, said, "In some cases, bank clerks did not tell clients their deposits had been turned into entrusted loans organized by an agent bank between borrowers and lenders.

"In some other cases, clients connived with bank clerks to earn higher profits with their money, believing that banks would cover their losses even if defaults occurred."

If a bank or senior bank executive induces clients to make deposits for high returns through fraud by withholding information from the clients, the bank should take full or joint responsibility for deposit losses, Wu said.

Wen Bin, principal researcher at China Minsheng Banking Corp, said banks are striving to prevent "moral hazards" by introducing double-checking in their business processes with the help of information technology.

Clients, on the other hand, should increase their risk awareness and learn the basics of investing and personal finance, Wen said.

Pan Gongsheng, deputy governor of China's central bank, said at a news conference on Friday, "The People's Bank of China and the China Banking Regulatory Commission will urge commercial banks to further strengthen their internal control and risk management.

"Cases of missing deposits should never happen again."

Categorias: , China

10m new jobs on way, Li vows

China Daily - 7 minutos 10 segundos atrás

Premier Li Keqiang speaks during a meeting with representatives from the business sector on Monday in Beijing. Li sought their opinions on the Government Work Report. WU ZHIYI / CHINA DAILY

Premier says that economic growth speed will be kept at medium-to-high

Premier Li Keqiang pledged on Monday to create at least 10 million jobs this year by maintaining economic growth at medium-to-high speed through stable macroeconomic policies.

He said job creation remains the most important index in drafting the country's target for economic growth, which many experts believe will slow further this year to about 7 percent from 7.4 percent.

Li made the jobs pledge at a meeting with economic experts and corporate leaders from burgeoning industries such as Internet and information technology, as well as industries with overcapacity.

The meeting, held to gauge opinions on the government's policies and its Annual Work Report this year, lasted for more than two and a half hours.

Li said China is expecting a new urban labor force of more than 16 million this year and a rural labor force of 6 million, meaning the government has to create at least 10 million new jobs in 2015.

"Stress tests show the possibility of a large amount of unemployment, which could lead to social instability if the economy cools down too fast," he said.

China created 13 million new urban jobs last year, with both the registered and surveyed unemployment rates lower than in 2013.

Li said rural residents, which make up about two-thirds of the population, earn more than half of their annual income from part-time jobs in cities. This has made job creation, especially for these residents, so important.

"As the European Union is joining other areas in quantitative easing, it is becoming increasingly difficult for China to remain unchanged in its fiscal and monetary policy," Li said.

"But it is important to do so, since we must give the market a stable expectation."

Monday's meeting was the first of three symposiums to be held seeking suggestions on the Work Report, which Li is due to deliver at the annual meeting of the National People's Congress in March.

The report will include major economic and social development targets for 2015, including targets for economic growth, job creation, the consumer price index and others.

Wu Xiaoling, deputy director of the Financial and Economic Committee of the National People's Congress, who spoke at the meeting, agreed on the need for a generally prudent monetary policy, but said this has to be flexible sometimes to avoid risks.

She urged the government to be cautious on the wording of the Work Report to avoid misleading the market into thinking the authorities are poised to either cut or increase banks' reserve requirement ratio and interest rates.

"The Chinese capital market is not lacking liquidity. What it lacks is a channel where money can be guided into the right places," said Wu, a former deputy governor of the People's Bank of China.

Categorias: , China

Govt takes longer view on fiscal planning

China Daily - 7 minutos 10 segundos atrás

China will draft its fiscal policy on a three-year basis, instead of the current one year, to better manage its fiscal budget and improve the efficiency of resource allocation, the State Council said in a recent statement.

Adopting medium-term fiscal planning will help address the problems of "fragmented and unsustainable" fiscal spending, Chinese media reports quoted experts as saying. Medium-term planning would also better suit items that require continuous fiscal spending and cannot be planned on a yearly basis.

The Ministry of Finance will also establish a budget evaluation system and intensify its efforts to reallocate unspent money to better manage existing funds.

The country's fiscal budget is currently drafted on an annual basis, often resulting in shortsighted and unsustainable fiscal policies.

Categorias: , China

Regulator lowers PE crowdfunding threshold

China Daily - 7 minutos 10 segundos atrás

China will lower the threshold for investors participating in private equity funds through crowdfunding, an online financing platform, to expand fundraising channels for small- and medium-sized enterprises, Chinese media reported on Monday.

The minimum investment in one particular project will be reduced from one million yuan ($162,910) to 100,000 yuan, according to a report citing a revised regulation issued by the Securities Association of China.

The regulation also requires investors to have a minimum of one million yuan in financial assets, down from the previous limit of three million yuan.

Meanwhile, the requirement for individual investors' annual income over the past three years will be cut from 500,000 yuan to 300,000 yuan. The regulator also scrapped its rule that institutional investors should have net assets of at least 10 million yuan.

Categorias: , China

Nippon Paint China sweeps China Charity Festival awards

China Daily - 7 minutos 10 segundos atrás

Eric Chung, president of Nippon Paint China, wins an award for the Best Annual Philanthropic People at the 4th China Charity Festival held in Beijing on Jan 22.[Photo/provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

At the 4th China Charity Festival, in Beijing, on Jan 22, Nippon Paint China put in a successful effort and walked away with three major awards for Best Annual Philanthropic Group, Best Annual Philanthropic People for Eric Chung, President of Nippon Paint China, and Best Philanthropic Project.

The theme of the festival was "Engaging in charity to influence China", so the Best Annual Philanthropic People honor went to Eric Chung, president of Nippon Paint China, and 7,600 employees he got involved in charity projects by encouraging them to show more concern for people who are vulnerable.

In commenting on the company's contribution to society, Chung said that Nippon Paint China sees sustainable development as its business and makes every effort to be socially responsible by encouraging its partner companies and their employees to be charitable in their actions. It has carried out five major operating projects-"Employee Care", "Color, Way of Love", "Society Care", "1+3", and "Green Movement".

Nippon Paint China itself took the Best Annual Philanthropic Group honors for devoting itself to charity. It explains that it started a social responsibility project with the name, "Color, Way of Love" in 2008, with the idea of supporting education in the arts, improving the school surroundings in remote areas and began a "Social Care" activity to bring a ray of hope to vulnerable groups in 2010.

The Best Philanthropic Project award went to the company for its "Refresh for love" program as part of its many "Social care" projects in 30 cities across China, which has provided 200 painted campuses and 195 art rooms by working with Nippon Paint China's 1,800 employees, its 30 partner enterprises, and NGOs.

Ariel Wu, CSR, PR and brand communications director of Nippon Paint China, clearly showed her excitement that Nippon Paint China has won the awards for three consecutive years and said the festival is a great place to promote corporate responsibility projects and to get more enterprises and people involved in charity. Nippon Paint China, Wu said, will continue to make people's lives better and fulfill its responsibilities as it has in the past.

Nippon Paint China was established by the Nipsea Group, in 1992, to manage its paint and coating business in Asia, and worked hard to be the No 1 brand of materialist type in the building industry. It has a complete line of facilities, with paint manufacturing and powder material plants, in 15 cities across China.

Nippon Paint China's charity program of "Refresh for love" carries out a volunteer activity in the city of Luohe, Henan province.[Photo/provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Categorias: , China

Beijing's commercial realty to see rise in investment

China Daily - 7 minutos 10 segundos atrás

The office buildings in Beijing, Dec 15, 2013. [Asianewsphoto by Fan Jiashan]

Beijing's commercial real estate investment volume is expected to see an increase in 2015 after a sluggish 2014, as the market and policies uncertainties has been diminishing, industry experts said.

Beijing's office investment was less active than 2013, despite a high volume of enquiries and sourcing activities from international and domestic institutional investors, according to international real estate service provider Colliers International.

"But recently, we found that the process for potential investors has been much quicker, and we are anticipating a higher investment volume this year," said Xin Yong, director of Colliers Beijing.

The office investment market will continue to attract interest, given Beijing's solid market fundamentals, high rental levels and potential for the growth of asset values. However, limited investment opportunities may drive investors with a higher appetite for risk towards emerging office areas such as the Lize Financial Business District in Fengtai District and Tongzhou New Town in Tongzhou District. Asset performance is expected to be relatively stable with capital values maintaining moderate growth while yields compress slightly, Colliers' report.

According to Ted Li, executive director of capital markets, Cushman & Wakefield: "Despite slight yield growth in the market overall, core products will likely see yields remain at the current low levels due to robust investment demand and the limited number of tradable high-quality assets available for sale in Beijing."

Categorias: , China

China's 2015 GDP growth forecast at 6.8%

China Daily - 7 minutos 10 segundos atrás

China's 2015 GDP growth forecast has been maintained at 6.8 percent, as further policy support and export recovery is expected to help bolster the sluggish economy. [Asianewsphoto by Zhang Guorong]

BEIJING - China's 2015 GDP growth forecast has been maintained at 6.8 percent, as further policy support and export recovery is expected to help bolster the sluggish economy, said UBS on Monday.

"December and Q4's better than expected data will unlikely trigger any immediate significant new easing measures for now, but the first rate cut may happen (around) March or April, when even lower CPI (consumer price index) and PPI (producer price index) are reported," said Wang Tao, chief China economist with UBS, said in a research note.

Wang added that policy support will intensify in 2015 with accelerated pro-growth measures in areas such as price, social safety net and hukou (household registration) reform, and more infrastructure projects.

Further monetary easing via liquidity provisions, including required reserve ratio cuts, is expected to offset slower foreign exchange reserve accumulation and benchmark rate cuts of at least 50 basis points (bp) are also expected to prevent real rates from rising, according to UBS.

UBS forecast Q1 2015 gross domestic product (GDP) growth would weaken further sequentially, weighed down by the ongoing weakness of property construction and infrastructure related funding issues.

The economy is expected to pick up in Q2 as funding issues are resolved and policy uncertainties are reduced when the National People's Congress (NPC) meet in March to release key polices related to the issue.

China's GDP grew 7.4 percent in 2014, its weakest expansion in 24 years.

Related story:

China's economic growth to stabilize by Cheng Yingqi

China's economy is likely to stop falling and begin to stabilize with a predicted 7.2 percent GDP growth in 2015, according to latest forecast report released by the Chinese Academy of Sciences on Friday.

The report, the 2015 China Economic Forecast and Outlook, was published by the Center for Forecasting Science under the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The annual report focuses on China's major economic indicators.

According to the report, steady economic growth in 2015 is to be expected, though the GDP growth rate is still predicted to drop by 0.2 percentage points from that of 2014.

China's GDP growth rate has been on continuous decline since 2010, and had drooped to 7.4 percent in 2014, reaching the lowest record in 24 years, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

"China is going through an economic transformation period from 2011 to 2015, with the pace of growth adjusting from high-speed to medium-to-high-speed. However, with a series of important reform measures adopted by the government, such as expanding free trade zones and the ‘One Belt and One Road' initiative, the economy this year is likely to run smoothly," said Chen Xikang, an operational research expert who took part in writing the forecast.

The "One Belt and One Road" plan, refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century, was an initiative put forward by President Xi Jinping in 2013 to promote trade and communications in the region.

In 2014, bilateral trade volume between China and countries in the region enjoyed a 7 percent yearly increase.

"The economic growth rate is unlikely to drop below 6 percent in the coming one and a half decades," Chen said.

Chen predicts that the average annual GDP growth rate will hover between 6 percent to 8 percent till the year 2030, and then further decrease to 4 percent to 6 percent over the next 20 years, if not influenced by profound changes in external demand or government intervention.

Zhu Baoliang, director and chief economist of the Economic Forecast Department under the State Information Center, another forecasting research institute, is less optimistic for the year 2015.

"Although I basically agree with the forecasting logic of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, my research results show that this year's GDP growth rate is at best 7 percent," he said.

"China's excess capacity problem could not just be cyclical. Instead, it is a structural problem. The growth rate will see no improvement until most existing capacity is put to productive use," he said.

Niu Wenyuan, an expert on sustainable development as well as a consultant for the State Council, said that the focus of government should change from GDP growth rate to the quality of GDP.

"The GDP growth rate is going down as China readjusts economic structure, but we can hedge the declining pressure by increasing the quality of GDP," Niu said. "If the growth implies more responsibilities in redistribution and social assistances, it will help us avoid the middle-income trap."

Niu and his team developed a system to evaluate China's GDP quality from its contribution to economic efficiency, social benefit, environment protection, improvement on people's livelihood and sustainability of public management.

The quality report was published on Wednesday in Beijing, which showed that China's GDP quality had increased by 46.5 percent from 1993 to 2013.

"The GDP quality of China had seen a faster increase since 2013, and I am expecting it to increase by 24.2 percent to 33.8 percent till the year 2020," Niu said.

 

Categorias: , China

Motorola says hello to China, again

China Daily - 7 minutos 10 segundos atrás

A launch event that marks Motorola's official return to China market held on Monday at China National Convention Center in Beijing. 

China Daily Website covers the event Live here:

5:10 pm, China National Convention Center, Beijing

The pre-order date of Chinese version MOTO G starts on Feb 10, 2015. The prices are 1299 yuan ($207) for 8 GB and 1499 yuan for 16 GB. [Photo/Screen shot from youku.com]

The pre-order date of Chinese version MOTO X starts on Jan 26, 2015. The prices are 3299 yuan ($526) for 16 GB and 3699 yuan for 32 GB. [Photo/Screen shot from youku.com]

5:02 pm, China National Convention Center, Beijing

Chinese customized colors of MOTO X announce during the event.[Photo/Screen shot from youku.com]

4:41 pm, China National Convention Center, Beijing

Chinese Motorola fans speak during the event.[Photo/Screen shot from youku.com]

4:35 pm, China National Convention Center, Beijing

Steve Sinclair introduces the MOTO Hint to audiences during the event. [Photo/Screen shot from youku.com]

4:32 pm, China National Convention Center, Beijing

Steve Sinclair introduces the MOTO G to audiences during the event. [Photo/Screen shot from youku.com]

4:15 pm, China National Convention Center, Beijing

A product manager of Motorola introduces Moto Maker to Chinese fans during the event. Moto Maker lets users to choose material of the case, colors, laser engraving and ROM space.All the services are done online and will be delivered to the owners. [Photo/Screen shot from youku.com]

4:04 pm, China National Convention Center, Beijing

The phone did not immediately response to alarm setting requests during the demo. [Photo/Screen shot from youku.com]

3:58 pm, China National Convention Center, Beijing

A Moto engineer is doing a live-demo of Moto X's features. It's voice control feature is very similar to Apple Inc's Siri. It helps user to check weather and send SMS. [Photo/Screen shot from youku.com]

3:51 pm, China National Convention Center, Beijing

Moto x will run android 5, aka lollipop. Nothing big though, same OS setup in other countries.[Gao Yuan/chinadaily.com.cn]

3:48 pm, China National Convention Center, Beijing

Steve Sinclair, VP, head of marketing of Motorola speaks during the event. [Photo/Screen shot from youku.com]

3:40 pm, China National Convention Center, Beijing

Jim Wicks, senior VP who heads customer experience program at Motorola speaks during the event. [Photo/Screen shot from youku.com]

3:32 pm, China National Convention Center, Beijing

Motorola's new products present at the event. [Photo/Screen shot from youku.com]

3:31 pm, China National Convention Center, Beijing

Rick Osterloh, COO of Motorola, holds the Moto X during his speech at the event. [Photo/Screen shot from youku.com]

Rick Osterloh, COO of Motorola, said supports from top Lenovo executives made China relaunch possible three months after acquisition.

Motorola to sell Moto X series and Moto G in China. China will be the first Asian market to have an online design studio that enables buyers to customize the device.

The company will also release a wearable, Moto hint.

3:23 pm, China National Convention Center, Beijing

Liu Jun, Lenovo vice-president who also heads the company's mobility unite, takes on stage. "After Moto missed out the smartphone wave years ago, Moto will focus on innovation and user experience," said Liu.[Gao Yuan/chinadaily.com.cn]

The decision of leaving China and other emerging markets was wrong, said Liu.

Lots of localization work needs to be done before bringing the device back to China by Spring Festival. The phones will be available in major e-commerce sites.

Lenovo's sales network in Asia to help Moto devices penetrate the emerging markets like China, India.

3:20 pm, China National Convention Center, Beijing

Liu Jun, Lenovo executive vice-president and president of Lenovo's Mobile Business Group delivers a keynote speech at the event.[Gao Yuan/chinadaily.com.cn]

3:10 pm, China National Convention Center, Beijing

Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing said his first phone (in 1994) was a Moto. "The new Moto will give customized features to buyers," says Yang. [Photo/Screen shot from youku.com]

Lenovo has vowed to revive the brand in China since it finalized the purchase of Motorola Mobility from Google Inc for $2.9 billion in October, 2014.

After more than two years' absence, the rollout starts with the Moto X in February, with six-inch Moto X Pro and dual-SIM card Moto G coming online later, targeting medium, high and low-end markets, respectively, said Liu Jun, Lenovo executive vice-president and president of Lenovo's Mobile Business Group.

According to Beijing-based consultancy Analysys International, Motorola once owned around 40 percent of market share in the country's mobile phone sector, but now more than 75 percent of market share belongs to rising Chinese handset makers such as Xiaomi, Huawei and ZTE.

Rick Osterloh, president and chief operating officer of Motorola Mobility, said Lenovo's channel and supply chain resources will help it grow market share in China.

2:35 pm, China National Convention Center, Beijing

Fans and journalists waits for the opening of a product launch event of Motorola. [Gao Yuan/chinadialy.com.cn]

Fans and journalists register at the receiption of a product launch event of Motorola. [Gao Yuan/chinadialy.com.cn]

12:30 pm, China National Convention Center, Beijing

A photo posted on Motorola's official Sina Weibo account on Jan 26, 2015 shows that a booth stands at Beijing's China National Convention Center that will held a product launch event of Motorola. [Photo/Sina Weibo]

11:33 am, China National Convention Center, Beijing

A photo posted on Lenovo executive vice-president Liu Jun's Sina Weibo account on Jan 26, 2015 shows that a hall at Beijing's China National Convention Center that will held a product launch event of Motorola. [Photo/Sina Weibo] 

Categorias: , China

China's Dalian Wanda to invest $1b in Sydney

China Daily - 7 minutos 10 segundos atrás

Photo taken on Sept 28, 2013 shows the night view of the Wanda Plaza in Wuhan, Hubei province. [Photo/IC] 

Dalian Wanda Group, China's biggest commercial real estate conglomerate, said on Monday it is investing $1 billion in a prime property development close to Sydney Harbour, its second large investment in Australia.

The amount includes A$415 million ($327 million) paid to the United States-based private equity firm Blackstone Group for office building Gold Fields House, an undisclosed sum for an adjacent building, Fairfax House, as well as the cost to construct a complex that will consist of a hotel, apartments and retail projects.

The purchase adds to a string of deals as Wanda diversifies away from a weak domestic market and highlights growing Chinese investment in Australia's red-hot property market.

Australia was the third top destination for Chinese property investment after the US and the United Kingdom in the first 11 months of 2014, with around $2.1 billion in inbound investment, according to real estate consultancy firm Savills.

China's Country Garden Holdings and Greenland Group have also made large investments in Australia.

Wanda is backed by China's fourth-richest man Wang Jianlin and last year the group's Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties Co Ltd raised $3.7 billion through a Hong Kong listing.

"We look forward to creating a new Sydney landmark," Wanda said in a separate statement from Blackstone, adding that the complex will include a 185-meter tall building.

Related: Top 10 Chinese companies to look out for in global market in 2015

As more and more Chinese companies cross borders to expand their business, people might be curious about which might do better in the new year.

Joel Backaler, a contributor to Forbes and the author of China Goes West: Everything You Need to Know About Chinese Companies Going Global, shares his predictions for top 10 Chinese companies to watch out for in 2015.

These rankings were based on a combination of factors, including their existing global presence, pending overseas transactions, and internationalization of their management team and user/customer base.

Let's take a look of these companies.

No 10 Bright Food

Shanghai-based Bright Food Group Co made headlines for high-profile investments in the UK and New Zealand. The company is aiming to achieve 25 percent of revenues from overseas by 2017, according to Joel Backaler.

Lyu Yong Jie, chairman of Bright Food Group Co said in June that the company is seeking acquisitions and has the ability to pay as much as 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) for a target, according to a China Daily report.

He added that Bright Food isn't interested in deals that are "too small" and prefers to work on one acquisition at a time.

A shopper places a box of Weetabix into a shopping cart. China's Bright Food Group Co Ltd paid nearly $1.12 billion to acquire a 60 percent stake in the cereal brand. [Photo/Agencies]

 

No 9 Tencent

Tencent, one of the top three giants in China's Internet sector, has been stepping up its investments in Silicon Valley during the last two years. The global success of its social messaging app WeChat also makes it a key company to watch this year, said Joel Backaler.

WeChat had 468 million monthly active users during the second quarter of 2014, slightly less than Silicon Valley-founded WhatsApp, which has more than 500 million, China Daily reporter Lian Zi reported on Nov 26.

Chinese students often introduce WeChat to their classmates, friends and professors at US universities, especially in California, the state with the largest Chinese-American population.

A screen shot of a WeChat TV commercial, which features Argentina football star Lionel Messi. [Screen shot/ Youtube.com]

  No 8 Baidu

Despite its US IPO in 2005, Baidu has focused primarily on the Chinese market in recent years, but in 2014 the firm began pushing more aggressively overseas with its Nokia partnership, $3 million Israeli startup investment and strategic stake in Uber, Joel Backaler noticed.

Baidu Inc bought control of Brazilian online-discount company Peixe Urbano for an undisclosed sum, the latest step in a push to expand in Latin America's largest economy that began more than two years ago, China Daily reported on Oct 27, 2014.

A side view of Baidu's headquarter in Beijing, May 22, 2014. [Photo/IC]

No 7 Xiaomi

Xiaomi Inc sold 61.12 million smartphones in 2014, up 227 percent year on year, Xinhua reported on Jan 4, citing company founder and chief executive officer Lei Jun.

Sales of the brand expanded to six countries and regions over the past year, including Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines.

Xiaomi, which was founded in April 2010 and valued at $45 billion in the new round of financing late December, is among the world's top four smartphone vendors.

The smartphone maker introduceditslatestmodelMiNoteonJan 15 at a floor price of 2,299 yuan ($370), hoping itto gain popularity among developed regions.

Lei Jun, founder and CEO of Xiaomi, speaks at a launch ceremony of Xiaomi Phone 4, in Beijing, July 22, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

  No 6 Alibaba

China's e-commerce giant Alibaba Group on the morning of Sept 19, 2014 rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, marking its initial public offering on Wall Street.

Alibaba set its IPO price at $68 per American Depositary Share on the evening of Sept 18, raising $21.8 billion. The IPO is believed to be the biggest in US history.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's employees applaud as the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange signals debut of the tech giant's shares, Sept 19, 2014.[Photo/Agencies]

  No 5 Wanxiang

The Chinese auto parts producer has acquired more than two dozen companies in North America since opening its overseas headquarters there in 1994, according to Joel Backaler.

Wanxiang acquired the assets of stylish electric car pioneer Fisker Automotive for $149.2 million in a US bankruptcy auction in February, 2014.

The Fisker automotive electric Atlantic sedan logo is seen during its unveiling ahead of the 2012 International Auto Show in New York April 3, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]

No 4 Huawei

Despite facing challenges in the US in its core telecommunications equipment business, Huawei continues to do exceptionally well around the world, said Joel Backaler.

The company exhibited over 100 products at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held early this month in Las Vegas.

The showcased products include Huawei's latest flagship smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, mobile access devices, home access devices, smart home devices, OTT and vehicle-mounted modules.

People visit the stand of Huawei during the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the United State, on Jan 7, 2015. [Photo/IC]

No 3 Fosun

Chinese conglomerate Fosun International Ltd is moving into the US property and casualty insurance market by acquiring Meadowbrook Insurance Group for about $433 million, China Daily reported on Jan 1, citing chairman Guo Guangchang.

Fosun also zeroed in on its 18-month quest to buy French holiday resorts group Club Med when Italian businessman Andrea Bonomi refused to raise his latest offer in early January, according toAgence France-Presse.

Fosun Group, which has a diverse portfolio of core holdings in real estate, steel, pharmaceuticals and mining, is building itself into a premier global investment company.

A view of Fosun Group signage in Shanghai. Fosun bid 24.60 euros ($30.20) per share for Club Med on Jan 2, 2015, which values the iconic holiday brand at 939 million euros. [Photo/IC]

  No 2 Dalian Wanda

China's real estate developer Wanda acquired US cinema chain AMC Entertainment at $2.6 billion in 2012, drawing worldwide attention.

The company announced an investment of 45 million euros ($52 million) for a 20 percent of stake in the Spanish football Club Atletico Madrid, marking the first time that a Chinese company has invested in a top flight European football club, chinadaily.com.cn reported on Jan 21.

Wanda aims to raise its business revenue to 600 billion yuan ($97 billion) by 2020, with 30 percent hopefully coming from overseas businesses, according to Xinhua News Agency.

Wang Jianlin (C), chairman of Dalian Wanda Group, holds an Atletico Madrid jersey with his name, to pose for a photo with Atletico Madrid's President Enrique Cerezo (R) and managing director Miguel Angel Gil after a signing ceremony in Beijing, Jan 21, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

 

No 1 Lenovo

Lenovo Group got known worldwide for its acquisition of IBM’s ThinkPad division in 2005.

The year 2014 also saw the company's two major acquisitions in the US: Motorola Mobility and IBM’s x86 enterprise server division.

Lenovo chairman Yang Yuanqing said the company can become a global information technology giant if it uses its global resources in an optimal manner.

Judicious use of research and development expertise in developed economies and the adequate labor resources in emerging markets have fueled Lenovo's rapid growth during the past decade, Yang said. Roughly 60 percent of the company's businesses are located outside China.

 

Lenovo tablets and mobile phones are displayed during a news conference on the company's annual results in Hong Kong in this May 23, 2013 file photo. [Photo/Agencies]

 

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Jaguar salutes life achievers

China Daily - 7 minutos 10 segundos atrás

The Jaguar Achievers Awards 2015 was held on Jan 23, 2014, in Shanghai. [Photo / provided to China Daily]

On Friday, the inaugural Jaguar Achievers Awards 2015 was held to pay tribute to car owners who embrace the marque's "Never Stop Achieving" spirit to reap success in their own industries.

More than 1,000 people attended the brand show, featuring "Life Achievers" from different fields, including Jaguar China ambassador David Beckham, Sogo CEO Wang Xiaochuan, Geek Park CEO Zhang Peng, singers David Tao, Zhang Yadong, Li Jian, Ada Choi and Tia Ray, Miss China Zhang Zilin, and designer Alex Wang.

"Achievers are simply people with an inner desire for significant accomplishment, for mastering of skills and control, for reaching a higher standard of excellence. They are goal-oriented people, constantly seeking challenges and always striving to perform to the very best of their ability," said Bob Grace, regional president of Jaguar Land Rover Greater China, in his opening remarks.

"My biggest achievement in life is my family, my children. The thing I'm most proud of, outside my family, is the work I do for UNICEF. That's the work I have passion for, to give back what I have been given for the last 24 years as a football player," Beckham said.

"One of the reasons why I like to be part of a brand, a company like Jaguar, is not only because they make great cars but also the work they do behind the scenes, for different charities and their own foundations. They've got a lot of beliefs that I have-the history, the heritage and the work they do for the children, is the best thing about Jaguar as a company. So I'm very proud of to be part of that."

In Jaguar's salute to achievers from all walks of life, the company presented exceptional Jaguar owners with awards in five categories-Pioneer, Challenger, Game Changer, Loyalty and the Jaguar Driving Challenge Award. Winners included art designer Alan Chan, China film industry veteran Hu Qiming and Jaguar car collector Gao Lingfeng, who were chosen as ambassadors to illustrate how the "Never Stop Achieving" spirit guided them to turn their desires into reality.

The awards ceremony reached yet another height at the end when Beckham reunited with four teen fans he had met a year earlier, inspiring them to realize their dreams of playing football.

In May 2014, Jaguar Land Rover established the Children & Youth Dream Fund, engaging in corporate social responsibility programs under four pillars, Sports for All, Road Safety, Children & Youth Development and Social Care.

In October, through the Jaguar Sino-UK Football & Cultural Exchange program, 56 Chinese teenaged soccer enthusiasts went to the UK to experience the local football culture and meet Beckham.

In addition, the company initiated Jaguar Football Open Days in Beijing and Shanghai, as well as providing football pitches and free coaching to young people in both cities, to help them realize their sporting ambitions.

Jaguar China ambassador David Beckham believes goal-oriented people are those who constantly seek challenges and always strive to perform to the best of their ability. [Photo / provided to China Daily]

Hearts leap like jaguars

The modern British icon also fueled the brand day by presenting awards to the Jaguar Driving Challenge winners.

More than 8,000 Jaguar fans took part in the Jaguar Driving Challenge four months ago to vie for the triumph.

After fierce racing in 66 cities, 49 challengers qualified for the finals at the Shanghai International Circuit earlier the same day, where seven champions were named and received their awards that evening from Beckham.

Their success on the track showed their understanding of the meaning of achievement-that their powerful souls, like leaping jaguars, drive them toward continued achievements in dily life.

From Beckham to every Jaguar owner, what defines the hearts of such achievers is the desire, obsession and courage to reach greater accomplishments.

Never stop achieving

It was a great day for Jaguar, and was the first major show in China to celebrate its 80-year anniversary.

"For 80 years, we persistently adhered to our design philosophies, creating design masterpieces that are like no other," Grace said. "We have been staying true to our heart, to the mission of creating cars that excite the senses."

Jaguar's "Alive DNA" philosophy combines the strands of experience, design and technology. The brand creates an unrivalled driving experience that feels responsive and instinctive for every second of every journey. It is constantly evolving for greater power, efficiency and refinement that allows the marque to unleash its racing blood to conquer every track.

Jaguar's Alive Design pushes the boundaries of what is possible. From its first model to the current product line-up of the XJ, XF, F-Type and XE, Jaguar has created many legendary designs that stand at the forefront of the industry.

"I definitely know the reason why Jaguar has so many enthusiasts around the world is that they appreciate our Alive spirit. You can even say it's the common quality between Jaguar and its drivers," said Julian Thomson, the advanced design director.

That philosophy is how the Jaguar F-Pace was made. This highly efficient five-seat performance crossover is the ultimate practical sports car, blending exhilarating performance with intuitive technology and classleading practicality.

To better meet the demands of local customers and deeply root itself in the market, Jaguar Land Rover has 248 authorized dealers across China, of which 170 were already in operation. By working closely with existing retail partners, the automaker is expected to open another 100 new dealer outlets in thirdand fourth-tier cities this year.

Being a pioneer, a challenger and a game changer, the pursuit of grand achievements has been in the Jaguar bloodline for 80 years. It's the principle behind how Jaguar makes cars today and the innovations for cars of the future.

Eight winners of Jaguar Driving Challenge received certificates on the track of Shanghai International Circuit. [Photo / provided to China Daily]

Competitors participate in Jaguar Driving Challenge activities. [Photo / provided to China Daily]

Categorias: , China

Navigating a growth course for the future

China Daily - 7 minutos 10 segundos atrás

Global growth was yet again lower than initially expected in 2014, continuing a pattern of disappointing outturns over the past several years. Growth picked up only marginally in 2014, to 2.6 percent, from 2.5 percent in 2013. The global growth outlook for 2015 is not rosier either: It is expected to rise moderately to 3 percent, and an average of about 3.3 percent through 2017.

Several major forces are driving the global outlook: soft commodity prices, persistently low interest rates but increasingly divergent monetary policies across major economies, and weak world trade. In particular, the sharp decline in oil prices since mid-2014 will support global activity and offset some of the headwinds to growth in oil-importing developing economies. However, it will continue to dampen growth prospects for oil-exporting countries, with significant regional repercussions.

Risks to this slow-moving global recovery are tilted to the downside. If the eurozone or Japan slips into a prolonged period of stagnation or deflation, global trade could weaken further.

So how will China navigate this ever-complex and fragile international economic landscape? The World Bank projects 7.1 percent growth in GDP for China in 2015, followed by 6.9 percent in 2016-still impressive, and contributing more than a third of global growth in 2015. The "new normal" growth rates reflect the government's desire to pursue structural reforms that would allow the country to maintain a fast-paced but more sustainable and equitable longterm growth. The agenda, set at the Third Plenum of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee, is capable of delivering such growth and the implementation thus far has been promising.

In implementing these reforms, China is facing a delicate balancing act: Some of the reforms, notably those that slow down the rapid credit growth that China experienced in the past, are desirable, as they reduce the risk of a hard landing. They also prevent a further buildup of wasteful excess capacity in industry and ghost towns.

But some fear that a too rapid slowdown would compromise growth and employment if no other sources of demand emerge. At the same time, reforms that would spur higher quality growth and create new jobs in the new economy may take time to bear fruit.

How should China strike this balance?

First, it is important to observe that despite the lackluster recovery in highincome countries, China's economy will still benefit from growing external demand and lower oil prices-adding perhaps a percentage point in growth in 2015. This contrasts with the years right after the global financial crisis, when domestic demand had to carry all the weight for growth.

Second, by any measure, despite lower growth in recent years, employment conditions remain robust-with urban wages growing by slightly more than 10 percent in the first nine months of 2014, and with 10.2 million new urban jobs created in the first nine months of 2014, exceeding the government's targets.

Third, those sectors that are likely to grow more rapidly as a result of reforms are more labor intensive than the heavy industry that benefited from the credit boom after the global financial crisis. In the first three quarters of 2014, services grew by 7.9 percent, contributing close to half of China's GDP growth. This is significant for the demand for labor, because for every percentage of growth in the services sector one can expect more jobs created than for the same growth in industry.

Finally, credit growth has been less and less effective in boosting demand. Indeed, whereas before the global financial crisis, 1 percent growth in credit was associated with 1 percent growth in GDP, in recent years it needed 3 percent credit growth for 1 percent GDP growth, because much of the credit leaked into asset price inflation rather than real activity.

What to do if this year's growth were to slow down below what is deemed desirable? China has the policy buffers to do more if needed to keep up demand, including sufficient fiscal space to accommodate a larger central government deficit to compensate for the expected lower local deficits.

The author is World Bank country director for China. The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

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