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Lock-up shares worth 51.5 bln yuan eligible for trade in China

China Daily - 58 minutos 10 segundos atrás

An investor checking stock index in a localbrokerage firm, at Fuyang, Anhui province, Dec 2, 2014. [Photo/IC]

BEIJING - Lock-up shares worth nearly 51.5 billion yuan ($8.3 billion) will become eligible for trade on China's stock markets in the coming week.

A total of 3.9 billion shares of 23 companies will be tradable on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges.

Under China's market rules, major shareholders of non-tradable stocks are subject to one or two years of lock-up before they are permitted to trade the shares.

These stocks will hit the market after Chinese shares realized remarkable performance in the past weeks, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index hit a 49-month high at 3,108.6 points on Friday.

Investors flocked to broker companies to open trading accounts, but China Securities Regulatory Commission warned of market risks and advised small investors to make rational decisions.

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China eases market access for foreign banks

China Daily - 58 minutos 10 segundos atrás

BEIJING -- The Chinese cabinet announced new rules on Saturday that will ease market access for foreign banks in a move to further open up the domestic banking sector.

The State Council published the amended rules on Saturday, which will no longer require a specific amount of operating funds to be transferred from the parent foreign bank to its newly-established Chinese branch.

Previously, a foreign bank would have to unconditionally allocate at least 100 million yuan ($16.4 million) or the same value in other freely-convertible currencies.

The requirement has had a restrictive impact on capital replenishing at foreign banks' China branches. Meanwhile, direct capital injection from parent companies to their branches would also be treated as foreign direct investment, which often involved a complicated approval process from multiple government agencies.

The new rules will also scrap the previous requirement that foreign banks or Sino-foreign joint venture banks should first establish a China representative office before they could set up branches.

Meanwhile, the new rules have relaxed requirements on foreign banks' application to carry out Renminbi business. Foreign banks will be able to apply for such business if they have operated in China for at least a year, down from the previous requirement of three years. The banks applying for such business will also face no profitability requirement, a change from profit making for two successive years in the past.

Under the new rules, if a foreign bank has one branch already carrying out RMB business, its other branches will no longer face restrictions in launching the same business.

The new rules will take effect on Jan 1, 2015.

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Ruble devaluation hits Chinese businesses in Russia

China Daily - 58 minutos 10 segundos atrás

VLADIVOSTOK -- A plunge in the value of the ruble has hit Russia's economy and exerted visible influence on Chinese businesses in the Far East region.

Chinese businessmen in Vladivostok, a Russian port city, told Xinhua that the depreciation of the ruble has pushed up prices of meat, fish, and grain, hurting their businesses.

Liang Xiaowei, a restaurant manager in Vladivostok, said the restaurant is facing the most difficult situation since its opening in 2001.

The restaurant has secured only 38 reservations for New Year celebrations, he said. "We used to have about 200 people celebrating the New Year in our restaurant."

Liang said the ruble's devaluation is the main reason for poor business. "I wish the situation would get better soon," he said.

Ma, another restaurant manager in downtown Vladivostok, said that the prices of meat, vegetables and dressings are going up and his restaurant is getting quiet.

"The ruble exchange rate affects not only Russians, but also the Chinese businessmen living here. We have not raised the prices in our restaurant yet, but it will happen after the New Year," he said.

Some of the Chinese businessmen trading at the Sportivnaya market, the largest trading area in Vladivostok, have closed their shops due to the devaluation of ruble.

Ran Peng is a salesman for a vegetable store, the only Chinese grocery store that remained open at the Sportivnaya market. He told Xinhua that the Chinese shops there cut off business within a week.

A new Russian market manager has said the rent would be up next year by a third or a half. "That is why they left," said Ran.

"I want to try and sell the vegetables in stock, and then decide whether to stay or leave," Ran said.

However, there are still some Chinese who believed the situation would be improved. "I believe in (Russian President Vladimir) Putin, and it will get better within six months," said yet another manager of a Chinese restaurant.

Putin is confident about China-Russia trade and economic cooperation. At an annual end-of-year press conference, he said he believed that Russia-China trade would keep the momentum with volume to reach $90 billion this year although the world economy is in trouble.

The ruble has lost nearly 50 percent of its value against the US dollar and the euro since March, despite several currency interventions of the Central Bank.

The Russian currency plummeted to historic lows Tuesday, with the euro briefly hitting 100 rubles and the dollar 80 rubles respectively in Moscow trade.

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China Mobile wages war for new-age telecommunications

China Daily - 58 minutos 10 segundos atrás

GUANGZHOU -- China Mobile will launch an integrated service, which will feature voice/video calls and multi-media messages, next year in a move to lure customers away from other similar applications.

The company's integrated service will be an "all under one roof" application, combining the functions of other popular applications such as Skype, WeChat and QQ.

The surge in messaging and social networking apps, which even offer real-time voice calls, has sparked industry concerns as phones are no longer used in the "traditional" sense any more -- for phone calls, which was once the main pillar of operators' revenue and profits.

In China, these applications are based on data flow, users pay telecom operators fees to secure a suitable data package.

Analysts see the new service by China Mobile, the nation's largest wireless service provider with more than 800 million users, as a move to consolidate its market presence. Some have even said it may change the current social networking landscape.

"The new voice service provided by China Mobile will ensure smooth and high-definition audio and video telecommunication using VoLTE technology. Meanwhile, through the new messaging service, users can send text, pictures, video and voice messages to other cellphones," said China Mobile chief executive officer Li Yue at the company's global partners conference held in Guangzhou on Friday.

VoLTE, short for Voice over LTE, is an important development as it sends speech as data.

The company said that the commercial operation of the integrated service was set to begin mid-2015. It also expects that major smart phone manufactures, including Samsung, and domestic producers, including Huawei; Coolpad; ZTE; and Lenovo, will launch new phone models that comply with the new integrated service in the first quarter next year.

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US extends anti-dumping duties on PET film from China, UAE

China Daily - 58 minutos 10 segundos atrás

WASHINGTON -- A US trade panel voted Friday to extend anti-dumping duties on Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) film, sheet and strip from China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after the first five-year review of the measures imposed initially in 2008.

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) voted against revoking the existing duty orders on PET film from China and the UAE, saying it "would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury within a reasonably foreseeable time."

The US Commerce Department is required to remove an anti-dumping or countervailing duty order, or terminate a suspension agreement, after five years unless the department and the ITC vote against it, according to the Uruguay Round Agreements Act.

PET film refers to a thermoplastic polymer resin of the polyester family and is widely used in containers for food and beverage, package wrappers, bottle caps and materials for liquid crystal display panels.

The United States initially issued the anti-dumping duty orders on imports of PET film from China and the UAE in November 2008. The Commerce Department agreed to institute the first five-year review of the measures in October 2013 and the ITC voted to conduct full reviews in January 2014.

As a result of the ITC's affirmative ruling, anti-dumping tariffs ranging from 3.49 percent to 76.72 percent will be re-imposed on PET film from China, while the rate for products from the UAE will be placed at 4.05 percent.

Beijing has repeatedly urged Washington to honor its commitment against protectionism and work with China to maintain a free, open and just trade environment.

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US official hails results of trade talks with China

China Daily - 58 minutos 10 segundos atrás

WASHINGTON -- A senior US trade official said Friday that the latest round of the US-China high-level talks on trade and commerce produced concrete results.

The 2014 session of the US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT), which concluded on Thursday in Chicago, delivered tangible outcomes in sectors including agriculture and high-tech exports, said Undersecretary of Commerce Stefan Selig.

"We are the two largest economies in the world that have never been so intertwined and connected than ever before," Selig told reporters.

He said US exports to China have created jobs domestically and China is currently America's fastest-growing source of foreign direct investment.

Stressing that better trade relations between America and China are the purpose of the JCCT, Selig said better relations would help both countries deal with recent anti-dumping and countervailing cases.

"A better relationship we have overall will allow us to deal with those issues when they come out from time to time and will allow us to continue making progress on other important issues without having those things that come between us from time to time fundamentally impact the nature of our relationship," he said.

Launched in 1983, the JCCT plays an important role in promoting China-US economic cooperation and addressing trade issues.

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Light festival kicked off in Shenzhen

China Daily - 58 minutos 10 segundos atrás

The "Shenzhen Cartoon & Comic Light Festival" kicked off in Shenzhen, Guangzhou province on Dec 18, 2014. The festival featuring five themes: "Snow world", "Fluorescence beach", "Space adventure", "Candy world" and "Under the sea". [Photo/IC]

The "Shenzhen Cartoon & Comic Light Festival" kicked off in Shenzhen, Guangzhou province on Dec 18, 2014. The festival featuring five main themes: "Snow world", "Fluorescence beach", "Space adventure", "Candy world" and "Under the sea". [Photo/IC] 

The "Shenzhen Cartoon & Comic Light Festival" kicked off in Shenzhen, Guangzhou province on Dec 18, 2014. The festival featuring five main themes: "Snow world", "Fluorescence beach", "Space adventure", "Candy world" and "Under the sea". [Photo/IC]

The "Shenzhen Cartoon & Comic Light Festival" kicked off in Shenzhen, Guangzhou province on Dec 18, 2014. The festival featuring five main themes: "Snow world", "Fluorescence beach", "Space adventure", "Candy world" and "Under the sea". [Photo/IC]

The "Shenzhen Cartoon & Comic Light Festival" kicked off in Shenzhen, Guangzhou province on Dec 18, 2014. The festival featuring five main themes: "Snow world", "Fluorescence beach", "Space adventure", "Candy world" and "Under the sea". [Photo/IC]

The "Shenzhen Cartoon & Comic Light Festival" kicked off in Shenzhen, Guangzhou province on Dec 18, 2014. The festival featuring five main themes: "Snow world", "Fluorescence beach", "Space adventure", "Candy world" and "Under the sea". [Photo/IC]

The "Shenzhen Cartoon & Comic Light Festival" kicked off in Shenzhen, Guangzhou province on Dec 18, 2014. The festival featuring five main themes: "Snow world", "Fluorescence beach", "Space adventure", "Candy world" and "Under the sea". [Photo/IC]

The "Shenzhen Cartoon & Comic Light Festival" kicked off in Shenzhen, Guangzhou province on Dec 18, 2014. The festival featuring five main themes: "Snow world", "Fluorescence beach", "Space adventure", "Candy world" and "Under the sea". [Photo/IC]

Categorias: , China

China's high-speed rail traffic to grow within 20 years

China Daily - 58 minutos 10 segundos atrás

BEIJING -- By focusing on passenger needs, and efficient operations, China's high-speed rail (HSR) traffic is expected to continue rapid growth over the coming two decades, said a World Bank paper.

China has the world's largest HSR network, but passenger numbers have been the subject of debate.

A World Bank paper released Friday finds initial traffic volumes are promising, with traffic growing from 128 million trips in 2008 to 672 million trips in 2013. In 2013, China's high-speed rail lines carried more passenger-kilometers (214 billion) than the rest of the world combined, about 2.5 times the volume in Japan and four times the volume in France.

China is a very large country with a high population density, widely spaced large cities, and economic rebalancing strategies go for the long-term success of HSR.

A survey by the World Bank, China Railway Corporation and the Third Railway Survey and Design Institute indicates that a large proportion of high-speed train passengers are between the ages of 25 and 55, with many using the HSR for business travel.

The survey shows the average income of high-speed train passengers was 35 to 50 percent higher than that of conventional train passengers.

"Understanding and addressing passenger needs are critical to achieving the full impact of the HSR network. While initial results are encouraging, HSR remains a major investment that requires high traffic density to be justified economically and financially," said Gerald Ollivier, a World Bank senior transport specialist and co-author of the paper.

"This can be achieved by working closely with cities to develop areas around stations in a way that leverages the gain in accessibility that HSR provides," Ollivier said.

It is important to optimize train frequencies and city pairing, introduce flexible ticket prices reflecting peak and off-peak periods, and introduce convenient e-ticketing services. "By focusing on these aspects, and on the efficient and effective operation of the network, HSR in China can continue to experience substantial growth for many years to come," he added.

The World Bank has provided loans to support six railway projects in China.

The Lanxin (Lanzhou-Urumqi) High-Speed Railway crosses a vast expanse of the Gobi Desert and windy areas -- a major technical feat -- and is the first high-speed railway of Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

With this railway, travel time between Lanzhou,capital of Gansu province and Urumqi,capital of Xinjiang will be cut from the current 21 hours to 8 hours or less.

The operation of the new line will complement the current railway networks and greatly improve Xinjiang's transport capabilities to Central Asian and European countries and strengthen its role of being the transportation hub along the Silk Road Economic Belt.

Train attendants wait for passengers of a high-speed bullet train which is about to go on a test run on the Gansu section of the newly built Lanxin (Lanzhou-Urumqi) High-Speed Railway at Lanzhou West Railway Station in Lanzhou, capital of Northwest China's Gansu province, Dec 10, 2014. [Photo/Xinhua]


Train attendants wait for passengers of a high-speed bullet train which is about to go on a test run on the Gansu section of the newly built Lanxin (Lanzhou-Urumqi) High-Speed Railway at Lanzhou West Railway Station in Lanzhou, capital of Northwest China's Gansu province, Dec 10, 2014. [Photo/Xinhua]


Train attendant Li Jia waves as a high-speed bullet train which goes on a test run on the Gansu section of the newly built Lanxin (Lanzhou-Urumqi) High-Speed Railway leaves Lanzhou West Railway Station in Lanzhou, capital of Northwest China's Gansu province, Dec 10, 2014. [Photo/Xinhua]


Train attendant Li Jia is seen in a high-speed bullet train which is about to go on a test run on the Gansu section of the newly built Lanxin (Lanzhou-Urumqi) High-Speed Railway at Lanzhou West Railway Station in Lanzhou, capital of Northwest China's Gansu province, Dec 10, 2014. [Photo/Xinhua]


A train attendant prepares desserts for passengers in a high-speed bullet train which is about to go on a test run on the Gansu section of the newly built Lanxin (Lanzhou-Urumqi) High-Speed Railway at Lanzhou West Railway Station in Lanzhou, capital of Northwest China's Gansu province, Dec 10, 2014. [Photo/Xinhua]


Train attendant Li Jia stands alongside a high-speed bullet train which is about to go on a test run on the Gansu section of the newly built Lanxin (Lanzhou-Urumqi) High-Speed Railway at Lanzhou West Railway Station in Lanzhou, capital of Northwest China's Gansu province, Dec 10, 2014. [Photo/Xinhua]


Categorias: , China

Nation gets WTO ruling on US duties

China Daily - 58 minutos 10 segundos atrás

The World Trade Organization backed China on Thursday in the final ruling of a dispute over countervailing duty measures imposed by the United States on 22 kinds of Chinese products.

The WTO's Appellate Body upheld its previous findings that the US "acted inconsistently" with international rules when it imposed extra import duties on the products.

Sun Jiwen, spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, said he welcomed this decision, given that China's major trade interests had been at stake in the case.

He said it represented "a major victory for China in its efforts to rely on WTO rules to fight the US abuse of trade remedy measures and protect China's own legitimate interests".

Countervailing duties are tariffs on imported goods intended to offset subsidies in the exporting country.

The US has levied additional tariffs on various Chinese products ranging from coated art paper to chemicals, tires, kitchen fittings and solar panels, declaring they were being dumped to help Chinese manufacturers grab more market share.

"China hopes that the US lives up to its WTO commitments and corrects its wrong conduct and creates a fair environment for world trade," Sun said.

The Appellate Body, formed by members including the European Union, Japan, India, Brazil and Canada, confirmed that the benchmarks applied by the US in conducting the countervailing duty investigations against certain Chinese products were against WTO rules.

Sun said China was disappointed, however, that the panel failed to complete legal analysis concerning the use and specificity of raw materials subsidies.

China first requested consultations with the US on the imposition of countervailing duty measures by the latter on the 22 products as far back as May 2012. The WTO later set up a panel to look into the dispute.

The WTO issued a panel report in July backing China on many aspects after finding the US measures breached WTO rules. The US then lodged an appeal against the ruling.

Vice-Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao said at a forum on Thursday that rather than fighting each other to develop their own economies, China and the US are now finalizing details on a bilateral investment treaty and will formally exchange negative lists at the beginning of next year.

Negotiating a discrimination-free treaty is considered the most important economic issue between the two nations. Both countries wish to complete talks within Obama's administrative term, Zhu told the forum in Beijing.

Talks on the treaty began in 2008 as the two countries started to increase mutual investment, which at that time still accounted for a small share of their total overseas investment.

Bilateral trade volume increased to $520 billion in 2013, and outstanding two-way investment rose to $100 billion.

During the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Beijing last month, the world's two biggest economies agreed to accelerate bilateral investment treaty negotiations with the aim of achieving agreements on the core issues and major provisions by the end of 2014.

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Shandong moves to curb LGFV debt

China Daily - 58 minutos 10 segundos atrás

Authorities in Shandong province said they would not bail out the borrowings of cities or counties in the province, becoming the first region in China to follow the central government's campaign to curb regional debt.

Shandong has banned all new debt by local government financing vehicles, according to a statement dated Dec 10 and posted on its website on Thursday. Local governments should reasonably control financing demand for projects under construction, it said.

Questions about the future of LGFVs began in October when Premier Li Keqiang started to pare implicit guarantees for these bodies.

The State Council said on Oct 2 that LGFVs may no longer raise funds for local authorities and that governments have no obligation to repay debt that was not raised to fund public projects.

Shandong is the first province to issue corresponding rules, Li Ning, a bond analyst at Haitong Securities Co, said on Friday.

"More provincial governments will issue similar regulations", said Yang Xiaolei, a bond analyst at China Securities Co. "In the near term, the rules will probably increase uncertainty in the LGFV bond market. LGFV bond yields may continue to rise."

Earlier this month, two local governments pulled support for their financing vehicles' planned debt sales. Changzhou Tianning Construction Development Co, based in Jiangsu province, announced on Dec 12 that it would not go ahead with a 1.2 billion yuan ($192 million) sale just one day after authorities said they would not support its debt. Less than a week later, officials withdrew backing for another planned LGFV issue in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

Shandong is one of the wealthiest provinces and its GDP is the third-biggest in the nation. It is also no stranger to default controversy. CHTC Helon Co, a fiber maker formerly called Shandong Helon Co, repaid 400 million yuan of notes in April 2012 even as it failed to make loan repayments.

The extra yield that investors demand to own one-year yuan-denominated corporate notes rated AA - the most common score for LGFVs - instead of Chinese sovereign debt has risen 94 basis points this month, the most since ChinaBond began compiling the data in 2008.

While a national audit showed regional liabilities stood at 17.9 trillion yuan as of June 2013, the actual amount may be larger, according to media report.

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Moscow's woes spark closer links

China Daily - 58 minutos 10 segundos atrás

Employees inspect the China-Russia crude oil pipeline at a pumping station in Mohe, Heilongjiang province. In May, Russia agreed to supply China with 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually for 30 years, starting from 2018. [Photo/China Daily]

Cooperation already close with major long-term commodity deals in place

Falling crude prices and the rouble's depreciation will lead to more opportunities for Sino-Russian cooperation on energy, a leading industry expert said on Friday, who added that China's resource-rich neighbor will also remain eager for outside investment, particularly from Beijing.

Russia's currency saw a 20 percent drop against the dollar on Tuesday, as the downward spiral in oil prices continued.

Liu Yijun, professor with the China University of Petroleum, said that Moscow historically has "always become more open to energy cooperation when it has been faced with financial difficulties", and there is no reason to think that might change this time.

China is a major buyer of Russian crude oil and natural gas, and the two sides have signed several long-term trading contracts in recent years, which Liu said means China will have a bigger say in any future negotiations on Sino-Russian energy projects.

The two nations signed a crude supply agreement in 2009 during the last major downturn in international crude prices, under which Russia agreed to deliver 15 million metric tons of crude annually between 2011 and 2030 to China.

The two sides increased that to 30 million tons in June 2013 and extended the supply period for another 25 years.

In May this year, Russia also agreed to supply China with 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually for 30 years, starting from 2018.

"China has already formed a mature and diversified energy supply structure, and the country's demand growth for oil is declining," Liu said.

According to research from Sinopec Group, China's largest refiner, the country's petroleum consumption growth in 2014 will be around 3 percent year-on-year, a 10-year low.

In view of that slowing consumption, Liu said, Russia will be worried to lose its major energy buyer, especially given its domestic financial problems and the ongoing political crisis in Ukraine.

Li Yan, a crude analyst with domestic consultancy Shandong Longzhong Information Technology Co, agreed that the current conditions pointed to closer ties between the nations.

"Based on China's long-term relationship with Russia, the world's second-largest economy will offer its help when its neighbor needs it," said Li.

The low crude prices will allow China to place bigger orders and be guaranted a more stable supply from Russia in the long run, but there is unlikely to be any instant impact on energy trading between the two countries, since the deals are done in dollars, Li said.

He said that the rouble's depreciation will have limited impact on China over the short term, but that Russia will definitely need a huge amount of investment and cooperation in the future from foreign countries, especially China.

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'Graveyard’ for aging buses in Hangzhou

China Daily - 58 minutos 10 segundos atrás

A bird's eye view of scrap buses in a wasteland in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang province. [Photo/]

A bird's eye view of scrap buses in a wasteland in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang province. [Photo/]

Scrap buses are parked in a wasteland in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang province, Dec 18, 2014. [Photo/]

A caretaker surnamed Chen stands in front of scrap buses in a wasteland in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang province, Dec 18, 2014. [Photo/]

Photo taken on Dec 18, 2014 shows a seal on a scrap bus in a wasteland in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang province. [Photo/]

Scrap buses are parked in a wasteland in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang province, Dec 18, 2014. [Photo/]



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Lawsuit puts biodiesel use under spotlight

China Daily - 58 minutos 10 segundos atrás

Yingding Biofuel Technology Co Ltd, the privately owned Chinese biodiesel producer, has won its monopoly case against the country's biggest oil refiner, China Petrochemical Corp Ltd.

The company had accused the industry giant of blocked sales of its fuel and that it had effectively monopolized the market.

The Kunming Intermediate People's Court in Kunming, the capital city of Yunnan province, has ruled in favor of Yingding, in what is being seen as a landmark lawsuit in efforts to reduce the country's reliance on oil and promote the use of biofuel energy.

Lyu Dapeng, a spokesman for China Petrochemical, also known as Sinopec, said on Friday that the company now plans to appeal against the ruling in the Yunnan Higher Peoples' Court.

"This is not about conflict between State and private companies, it is about being responsible to our consumers to make sure they get better quality oil products, and about guarding our brand reputation," he said. "We have the right to choose our distributors, and separate the good from the bad."

The legal team working for Yingding, which is based in southwest Yunnan province, also said it planned to take matters further, appealing the decision even though it already won the lawsuit, claiming that the trial had only been against Sinopec's subsidiary in Yunnan province, instead of the group.

"This is the right thing to do because our products meet the required standards; our biodiesel is economically better and also cleaner," said Chen Weibiao, its lawyer and legal counsel.

Gas stations owned by State oil groups now no longer sell biodiesel. And so those who are still trying to make it in the business have no choice but to sell to middlemen who mix the fuel and sell it to China's oil giants including Sinopec and China National Petroleum Corp, or directly to end-users.

Yingding, which is capable of producing 15,000 metric tons of biodiesel annually, said they are able to meet the nation's quality standards but the block from the sales network has caused them losses of as much as 3 million yuan ($482,000) per year.

Conflict between the dominant State-owned enterprises and privately owned energy firms has been long running in China with smaller firms often being starved of credit or muscled out completely.

Experts have argued that the dominance of the State-owned oil giants has hindered the use of China's biofuels as they have little incentive to develop the clean fuel, given the huge profits they make from traditional fossil fuels.

Considered cleaner and cheaper, biofuel is viewed as important in the country's efforts to diversify its energy mix.

The world's largest crude importer, China started developing the fuel later than other major markets such as the United States and Europe.

Zhang Yonghao, a leading oil and gas analyst, said he thinks China can realistically use more biofuel to reduce dependence on imported crude oil in the future, and that Yingding's victory has caused quite a stir in the market.

"It has bought hope to struggling biodiesel producers who have been squeezed out of the market despite a renewables law launched in 2006 mandating that oil companies accept biodiesel that meets industry standards."

"The technology is mature, but the question is how to regulate the biofuel industry, since all the players in the sector are small and sometimes cannot meet certain standards," he said.

China plans to blend 2 million tons of biodiesel into its annual fuel consumption by 2020, said a report from the National Development and Reform Commission.

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ZTE to revamp product lineup to stay strong

China Daily - 58 minutos 10 segundos atrás

ZTE Mobile Devices, a division of global telecommunications equipment and networks provider ZTE Corp, will trim its product lineup to boost competitiveness in the fast-changing mobile industry, a top company official said.

"We will focus on developing two or three core devices and shed some products which have proved less competitive in the market," said Zeng Xuezhong, chief executive officer of ZTE Mobile Devices.

According to Zeng, the company will focus more on developing devices with core technology, especially those that can create new consumer experiences.

Zeng's remarks came after ZTE launched a new product, Star II, its latest fourth-generation LTE flagship voice-control device, on Thursday in Guangzhou, capital city of Guangdong province.

Launching the new product represents ZTE's effort to boost its competitiveness and increase its market share by offering voice-control functions that redefine the smartphone experience, said Zeng.

He said the new product is supported by more than 1,000 patents, of which 158 relat to voice control, further demonstrating ZTE's strength in intelligent voice technology in the industry.

Since it launched its first smartphones in 2003, ZTE has developed a varieties of smart mobile devices, covering Android, WP and other operating systems, according to company sources.

However, a wide range of products has not helped boost ZTE's value in the market.

"We had a large volume in the market, but it did not help increase our brand value," he said.

Citing Apple Inc's smartphones as an example, Zeng said Chinese mobile phone producers need to focus on boosting brand value by paying more attention to its core and competitive products.

"We have introduced a strategy to increase the value, instead of the volume of our products by focusing on developing core technology in major devices, such as the Star II," said Zeng.

"We are committed to changing consumers' lives and how they interact with mobile devices in the era of a connected world via mobile broadband Internet," Zeng said, adding that launching the voice-controlled device would help boost ZTE's market share in the domestic industry.

ZTE expects to sell 60 million smartphones in 2015, said Zeng.

"There will be more products equipped with high technology that will be launched next year, which will help boost our presence in the high-end mobile industry," he said.

In a move to promote Internet services in the mobile industry, China Mobile Ltd, the country's biggest telecom carrier, has encouraged mobile device manufacturers to invest more to develop new devices by integrating the Rich Communication Services technology.

ZTE Star II is one of the few devices that supports China Mobile's new RCS and comes with voice-control technology that integrates RCS voice messaging and call features.

Li Yue, chief executive officer of China Mobile, said: "Voice-controlled technology will be a major part of the smartphone industry in the 4G era."

Categorias: , China

Manipulation probe launched into 18 A shares

China Daily - 58 minutos 10 segundos atrás

Investigations are being conducted into alleged market manipulation of 18 A-share issues, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said on Friday.

The CSRC's announcement came after equities hit a four-year high on Friday, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rising 1.67 percent to 3,108.6 points.

Mainland stocks have surged this year in highly volatile trading, triggering concern about speculative trading.

Zhang Xiaojun, a CSRC spokesman, told a news conference that the agency had noticed "new trends" in market manipulation that are especially negative for small investors. Such trading "has become much quicker and harder to detect", Zhang said.

The regulator will step up its crackdown on illegal trading activities, Zhang added.

Common tactics cited by the CSRC include high-frequency trading, placing fake orders and the rapid entry and cancellation of large orders to gain an advantage over slower market participants.

Zhang said that market manipulation is now often disguised by "value management", through which listed companies selectively disclose information to influence stock prices.

Most of the 18 stocks being investigated are listed on the board for small and medium-sized enterprises at the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, a market that is prone to manipulation due to the relatively small market capitalization of the stocks.

The equity market in the Chinese mainland has long been seen by experts as more of a casino than a legitimate financing venue. The market has been plagued by financial scandals, insider trading and manipulation.

Earlier this month, the regulator warned of growing speculative risk after the market surged by 18 percent in just two weeks.

The CSRC ordered stock brokerages to give appropriate guidance to clients, and it also warned retail investors not to engage in risky practices such as "borrowing money or selling houses to buy stocks".

Those warnings have done virtually nothing to rein in gains or reduce volatility.

The Shanghai index jumped as much as 2 percent and dropped as much as 1.3 percent on Friday. Price swings have increased, with 30-day volatility surging to the highest level since November 2010 this week, Bloomberg reported.

The Shanghai market has gained 47 percent this year, sending valuations to 11.6 times 12-month projected earnings, the highest level in three years, according to data from Bloomberg.

Investors are betting on further monetary loosening by the People's Bank of China to shore up the economy. Many believe that the central bank will reduce banks' reserve requirement ratios as a follow-up to last month's interest rate cut, the first in two years, to support growth.

Analysts said that falling oil prices will continue to benefit sectors such as airlines and shipping lines in China, so that bullish sentiment will push stock prices higher but at a more stable pace.

"The market is trending up at a measured pace now," Dai Ming, a fund manager at Hengsheng Asset Management Co, was quoted by Bloomberg as saying.

Categorias: , China

Trust rating for cloud firms on cards

China Daily - 58 minutos 10 segundos atrás

Cloud computing services displayed at a recent exhibition in Beijing. China will soon evaluate cloud computing companies' trustworthiness level in the government procurement segment, a move that could shut out overseas providers. [Photo/China Daily]

Security nod must for participation in govt projects, says expert

China will soon start rating the trustworthiness of cloud computing service providers, especially for government procurement contracts, a move that could potentially shut the doors to foreign companies, a leading expert involved in drafting the policy told China Daily on Friday.

Only companies that get full security clearance from the government will be allowed to join Smart City and various other government-funded projects, said Zuo Xiaodong, vice-president of the China Information Security Research Institute, an industry think-tank.

"The basic idea of the security rating mechanism is to find trustworthy hardware, software and service providers to ensure that the government has total control of the entire ecosystem," Zuo said.

He said the country is building a cloud security assessment, authorization and monitoring system similar to the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program adopted by the United States two years ago.

Zuo is one of the key officials involved in drafting one of the two fundamental national standards designed to avoid security loopholes in for-government-use cloud products. The standards will be implemented from April.

The new policy, however, poses a threat to the market share of overseas companies in the sector although they will be allowed to take the assessment. China may ask cloud providers to hand over key operating data and source codes for security reasons, but no overseas company has publicly agreed to disclose such information to the government.

Increasing IT safety concerns are pushing China to hire more local cloud technologies. A number of projects even abandoned overseas providers for made-in-China products.

Earlier this year, Beijing-based virtualization company Sugon Information Industry Co Ltd replaced VMware Inc, a US firm, in a high-profile cloud project in Wuxi, Jiangsu province.

Sugon, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd are among the most active supporters of replacing overseas cloud products.

Wang Zhengfu, chief operating officer of Sugon, said years of heavy investment in research and development have made local firms more competitive in the market. He said the company sees the government's security requirement a golden opportunity to take on foreign players.

Industry sources said China may want overseas IT providers - including cloud companies - out of the government procurement market by 2020. According to Zuo, though the government has no fixed timetable, it is "determined" to use safer IT products.

Turnover of the Chinese public cloud market is expected to exceed 6.2 billion yuan ($1 billion) this year, a 30 percent growth over the corresponding period in 2013, according to figures from the China Academy of Telecommunication Research under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

The academy expects the government to be the major buyer of cloud products in China.

Zhou Min, deputy director of the State Information Center, said local providers are capable of meeting most of the technological demands in the cloud-based public service sector. As the country demands a bigger say in the entire ecosystem, local companies are ready to take a bigger share, he said.


Categorias: , China

Hacked e-mails reveal Alibaba's plot for box office success in Hollywood

China Daily - 58 minutos 10 segundos atrás

Pedestrians walk past Sony Pictures Studios in Los Angeles. Sony was the only studio where Alibaba chief Jack Ma met executives in person during his whirlwind tour of Hollywood in October. AGENCE FRANCEPRESSE 

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd showed interest in partnering with Sony Corp on movie franchises including Ghostbusters when billionaire Jack Ma met with Hollywood executives in October, e-mails revealed by hackers show.

Asia's largest Internet company also considered investing in Pixels, a 3-D computer-animated comedy starring Adam Sandler, and plans to produce around 10 movies a year, according to messages to Michael Lynton, chief executive officer of Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.

Sony was the only studio where Ma met executives in person during Alibaba's whirlwind tour of Hollywood, with actor Jet Li and others in his team of advisers talking to production houses to learn about co-investment in movies, the e-mails show.

Alibaba is hunting for films and TV shows to compete against Tencent Holdings Ltd in China's online video market, which could be worth 40 billion yuan ($6.4 billion) by 2017, according to iResearch estimates.

Alibaba also expressed interested in investing in a movie about Spider-Man villains known as the Sinister Six; Dragon Raja, a series of fantasy novels popular among young Chinese; and co-producing a film about One Piece, the best-selling Manga comic series.

"Alibaba believes that they can enhance performance through marketing, crowdfunding, products on Taobao and the Alibaba ticketing platform," Dede Nickerson, a Sony film executive in China, said in an Oct 28 e-mail to executives including Lynton.

Sony showed keen interest to work with Alibaba on Dragon Raja instead of One Piece, according to the e-mails. The film company was also open to Alibaba investing in Pixels, and China Film Group Corp was in talks about financing the picture as well, the e-mails showed.

Alibaba prefers to invest in specific films rather than in studios, a person familiar with the matter said in November, asking not to be identified. The Hangzhou-based company wants to become a more significant distributor of content by using customer shopping and viewing data to forecast what productions will become hits, the person said.

"Securing licensing agreements to distribute content across the Alibaba ecosystem remains an important part of our long-term business strategy," Bob Christie, a spokesman for Alibaba said in an e-mailed statement.

Tokyo-based Sony Corp declined to comment on Alibaba's interest in movie investments, according to an e-mailed statement. Bob Lawson, a spokesman for Sony from Rubenstein Communications, declined to comment.

"This could be a great partner for us on many levels," Nickerson said in a separate Oct 28 e-mail to Lynton.

Alibaba, which completed the largest initial public offering ever in September, distributes movies and TV shows through its set-top boxes.

It also established a platform called Yulebao for individuals to invest in movies in March. People can invest as little as 100 yuan through the platform and receive an annualized return rate of about 7 percent, the company said in an e-mail at the time.

The investment interest among users could help Alibaba gauge box office sales and forecast which movies could do well.

Alibaba also is working with local cable providers to distribute content. The e-commerce giant has been in talks to work with Beijing Gehua CATV Network Co, the e-mails show.

Categorias: , China

Court orders compensation for design infringement

China Daily - 58 minutos 10 segundos atrás

GUANGZHOU -- A court in South China's Guangdong province has ruled that Jiaduobao (China) Drink Co Ltd must compensate Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Holdings Limited for design infringement.

Jiaduobao must pay 150 million yuan ($24 million) for losses suffered by GPH -- best known for herbal tea Wong Lo Kat, sold in a famously red can -- and costs of more than 260,000 yuan, the Guangdong Higher People's Court said on Friday.

Hong Kong-based Jiaduobao had been using the Wong Lo Kat brand since 1995, when it leased it from GPH. However, the company was only authorized to use the brand until 2010, and had the lease contract extended only by bribing administrative staff of GPH.

The two companies then fell into a trademark dispute. The case went to arbitration in April 2011, with the China International Economics and Trade Arbitration Commission ruling in May 2012 that the brand rights rest with GPH. Jiaduobao has since then produced a similar red tin herbal tea branded with the "Jiaduobao" name.

In July 2012, GPH filed a lawsuit against Jiaduobao, claiming the latter infringed its right to the red can, and asked for 150 million yuan compensation.

The ruling said since the red Wong Lo Kat can was a well-known product, there was an innate connection between the fame of the trademark and the product's packaging and decoration.

The behavior of Jiaduobao has confused the public and is unfair competition, it said.

The court ordered Jiaduobao to stop using similar packaging and decoration to Wong Lo Kat, and suspend production and sales.

Jiaduobao must also make a public apology to GPH. Jiaduobao said it would appeal.

Categorias: , China

Changing face of global economic system

China Daily - 58 minutos 10 segundos atrás

Investment aid will be a new feature of the global economic pattern and China is adapting it to implement reforms, said Chinese economist Wu Jinglian on Friday.

Wu said at the 5th Caixin Summit that China is experimenting with the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone and lessons learned are being copied to other regions.

The basic service of the trade zone is to assist with trade and investment, and build a market-oriented, global and law-based business environment, said Wu.

"China is helping improve the trade and investment rules of the global economic system".

Categorias: , China

E-invoices make online shopping easier

China Daily - 58 minutos 10 segundos atrás

Nearly 120 e-commerce companies have submitted applications of electronic invoices for individual buyers in Tianjin, said Dong Jiye, general economist of Tianjin Municipality office of State Administration of Taxation (SAT) on Thursday in Tianjin E-commerce industry park.

"It will further enhance efficiency and reduce the unnecessary cost for e-commerce companies in tax declaration," said Dong.

Dong said that the online electronic invoices system will automatically generate a series of identifier codes to certify electronic invoices' legality after e-commerce companies upload the transaction records. And consumers can check the information on the electronic invoices on the Internet.

He noted that e-invoices are temporarily not claimable for personal reimbursements but they are critical for protecting consumers' rights and interests when shopping online.

The e-invoices appear as strip-shaped PDF files for ease of customers' reading on smart phones, which are different from the formats that Beijing and Shanghai utilized.

"The electronic invoice is an energy-saving and low-cost way to hand out tax certificates," said Yao Fang, senior finance director of Vipshop (China) Co.

"It would benefit the taxation authority, customers and e-commerce companies at the same time," added Yao, whose company just successfully issued Tianjin's first electronic invoice on Thursday.

Categorias: , China
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