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News from China
Huawei insists on Meng's innocence, calls for justice after judge's ruling
28th May 2020

 A Canadian judge ruled on Wednesday that the extradition case against Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou can proceed. Huawei insisted on Meng’s innocence and hopes to see “justice is served.”

 
According to the ruling, the case against Meng meets the Canadian extradition standards of “double criminality,” Xinhua news agency reported.
 
Huawei is “disappointed” in the ruling by the Supreme Court of British Columbia.
 
“We have repeatedly expressed confidence in Ms Meng's innocence. Huawei continues to stand with Ms Meng in her pursuit for justice and freedom,” said Huawei in a statement, which also mentioned that Meng’s lawyers continue to work to see justice is served.
 
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian on Tuesday urged Canada to immediately correct its mistake, release Meng and ensure her safe return to China. The United States and Canada abused their bilateral extradition treaty and arbitrarily took compulsory measures against a Chinese citizen without cause, Xinhua reported citing Zhao.
 
“This is a serious political incident that grossly violates the legitimate rights and interests of the Chinese citizen,” said Zhao.
Source: Shanghai Daily, May 28, 2020
China's industrial profits improve, pressure remains
27th May 2020

 Profits of China's major industrial firms continued to fall in the first four months of 2020, but the decline was seen to narrow amid efforts to coordinate COVID-19 containment and economic growth, official data showed on Wednesday.

 
Profits of industrial companies with annual revenue of more than 20 million yuan (US$2.8 million) totaled 1.26 trillion yuan during the January-April period, down 27.4 percent year on year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
 
The contraction narrowed from the 36.7-percent decline in the first quarter, NBS data showed.
 
In April alone, industrial profits edged down 4.3 percent, recovering from the 34.9-percent drop registered in March as production and sales rebounded amid the nationwide restoration of economic activities, NBS statistician Zhu Hong noted.
 
Profits at 80 percent of the industrial firms showed improvements, with more than half of them reporting profit growth last month, according to the NBS.
 
Automobiles, special-purpose equipment and electronics were among the sectors that saw the most visible recovery, with profits in the auto industry expanding 29.5 percent year on year, rebounding from the 80.4-percent slump in March.
 
High-tech manufacturing and strategic emerging industries also outperformed, with profit in high-tech manufacturing surging 55.7 percent last month, quickening from the 0.5-percent gain in March.
 
Increasing investment returns last month as well as a low comparison base last year also contributed to the improvement, Zhu added.
 
Despite the recovery, the business profitability situation remained "not optimistic" as yet-to-recover market demand, retreating industrial prices and cost pressure would combine to weigh on profits, Zhu stressed.
 
Earlier data showed China's economic activities continued to normalize as the industrial output, retail sales and investment reported across-the-board improvements, but the recovery still faces uncertainties and challenges from the global spread of the novel coronavirus.
 
The industrial sector was among the quickest to rebound from the impact of the virus, with the value-added industrial output returning to growth last month, the first expansion since the virus outbreak as factory activities recovered amid easing containment measures.
 
The value-added industrial output went up 3.9 percent year on year in April, rebounding from the 1.1-percent drop in March and 13.5-percent slump seen in the first two months of the year.
Source: Shanghai Daily, May 27, 2020
New infrastructure talent in short supply
26th May 2020

 There is a long-term shortage of core technical talent in the new infrastructure sector, which is expected to exceed 4 million by the end of the year, a new study finds.

 
While China is accelerating its 5G business and strengthening the construction of new infrastructure in fields such as artificial intelligence, industrial Internet and Internet of Things, talent for relevant industries has been in short supply in recent years, recruitment firm Zhaopin.com said.
 
Demand for information technology talent will continue to rise steadily and the talent gap will be further widened, with Zhaopin.com predicting that the sector will lack 4.17 million qualified applicants by the end of 2020.
 
In the first quarter, the most in-demand positions were mainly general technical talent in 5G, big data, artificial intelligence and other fields. Among them, Java development engineers have the best career prospects, as about three jobs are available for each job seeker.
 
Positions like system architecture designer and algorithm engineer earned about 24,277 yuan (US$3,402)/month and 19,124 yuan/month, respectively, in the January-to-March period.
 
Source: Shanghai Daily, May 26, 2020
Volvo a pioneer in new trade zone easing
25th May 2020

 Volvo Construction Equipment, an arm of Sweden’s Volvo Group, said it plans to move its Asian headquarters from Singapore to Shanghai.

 
The reason for the shift is a new set of policies in China(Shanghai) Free Trade Zone, allowing foreign businesses headquartered in the zone to conduct offshore business.
 
Foreign companies used to set up operations in China focused only on business in the domestic market, but policy changes now permit them to engage in offshore trade.
 
Last year, the Shanghai arm of Volvo Construction Equipment was the first company in the trade zone to complete an offshore transaction, with coordination from the Shanghai government, supervisory authorities and banks.
 
It shipped two excavators from its South Korea factory to Nigeria as part of China’s “Belt and Road Initiative.” The machinery itself did not go through Shanghai, but all the paperwork, including orders, capital transfers and insurance, were arranged in Shanghai.
 
“Previously, policies here meant that we had to do offshore trade through Volvo Asia in Singapore,” said Zhan Xu, vice chief executive of Volvo Construction Equipment in China.
 
Sales of the Shanghai operations now account for more than half of Volvo Construction Equipment’s global revenue, and the company said it expects to increase its Shanghai-based offshore business.
 
The new policies are part of Shanghai’s ambition to become an international trade center.
 
In the case of Volvo Construction Equipment, they also deliver a 1-billion-yuan (US$140.8) tax bonus for Shanghai, Zhan said.
 
The Lingang Special Area set up last year as part of the free trade zone is designed to create a cluster of multinational headquarters to develop deeper international trade.
 
“In essence, the new development is offshore trade, with corporate headquarters integrated with international finance,” said Zhang Yong, a researcher with the Comprehensive Institute of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone at Fudan University.
 
“For Shanghai, the aim is to attract multinationals to establish headquarters in Shanghai and conduct supply chain management here.”
 
Volvo’s Zhan said the company plans to move a whole set of related service industries, including legal affairs, tax and audit operation to Shanghai from Singapore.
 
“This is a typical benefit for Shanghai from offshore business, which will help the city improve its capacity of allocating global resources,” said Yang Chao, vice director of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce.
 
To form a comprehensive offshore trade center, customs and the banks all have to undertake reform in their policies and work practices.
 
For example, if the goods could not be inspected by customs in the past, it was impossible for relevant certificates to be issued. Without them, banks could not conduct foreign-exchange transaction related to the goods.
 
The Volvo China example shows how Shanghai has come up with solutions.
 
Zhan cautions that the new offshore business is at an early stage and will need carefully nurturing form all involved parties.
Source: Shanghai Daily, May 25, 2020

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