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News from China
China ‘regrets’ duties on cold-rolled steel plates
5th August 2016

 CHINA’S Commerce Ministry said yesterday it “regrets” the European Commission’s decision to put anti-dumping duties on Chinese cold-rolled steel plates, the latest spat between the trade partners battling a global steel glut.

China’s steel industry, a major employer, has struggled to meet targets to reduce its overcapacity, and rising prices for steel have encouraged firms to ramp up production for export.

Rival producers have accused China of selling in export markets at below cost after slowing demand at home, forcing job cuts and plant closures elsewhere amid a global crisis in the industry.

The commission said yesterday that it would levy retroactive anti-dumping duties on imports of certain cold rolled steel products from China and Russia after a year-long investigation triggered by a claim from European steel lobbying group Eurofer.

“In the wake of the global steel overcapacity crisis, the commission is applying the trade defense instruments to re-establish a level-playing field between EU and foreign producers,” it said in an emailed statement.

The duties of between 19.7 percent and 22.1 percent on Chinese firms Angang Group and Shougang Group would weaken the European Union’s downstream manufacturing competitiveness, the ministry said in a statement on its website.

“This move amplifies legal uncertainty and gravely affects normal international trade,” the ministry said.

It called on the EU to “avoid abusing trade remedies and sending a wrong signal” to the world, and added that it was willing to work with the EU to appropriately handle current problems facing the steel industry.

Source: Shanghai Daily, August 5, 2016
China to encourage private investment
4th August 2016

 CHINA aims to encourage private investment in infrastructure construction and advanced industries to counter the effects of a slowing economy, said the National Development and Reform Commission in a report yesterday.

The government will push for proactive fiscal policies to boost private investment, and also ease entry thresholds for private capital in infrastructure and social construction in electricity, telecommunication, transport, oil and gas, health care, and education.

Meanwhile the government will also prioritize advanced industries such as energy saving and intelligent manufacturing to attract investment.

To spur the development of these industries, taxes will be cut for relevant startups and subsidies will be provided to high-tech companies to support research and development.

“Encouragement of private investment and efforts to foster advanced industries will be pushed simultaneously to boost investment in them,” the report said.

The NDRC, the top economic planner, also said the government will push banks to offer low-interest loans to prominent small and medium firms as well as urge private investors to support them.

Source: Shanghai Daily, August 4, 2016
Fosun’s interest lifts Portuguese bank
2nd August 2016

 SHARES in Portugal’s Banco Comercial Portugues were volatile yesterday after China’s Fosun made a surprise offer to take an almost 17 percent stake in the country’s largest listed bank by assets.

BCP’s share price jumped 7 percent in early trading before falling back to trade 2 percent higher at 0.02 euros (2 US cents) a share.

The bank’s board announced the proposal from Fosun Industrial Holdings Limited on Saturday, saying it had “many positive aspects” and would be analyzed in coming days. It added that Fosun is considering ultimately buying up to 30 percent of BCP. No cash value was put on the stake.

Like much of the Portuguese banking sector, BCP has struggled to make a profit in recent years amid low interest rates and soured loans. The global financial crisis and Portugal’s economic woes after needing a 78 billion-euro bailout in 2011 have also taken their toll, with BCP's share price falling from more than 3 euros a share in 2008.

Analysts expect the Portuguese financial sector to consolidate, either via mergers or alliances with banks in Spain, and Fosun’s interest was a surprise. The Shanghai-based conglomerate owns Club Med and other businesses in Europe, including Portugal’s biggest insurer, Caixa Seguros.

BCP has assets of over 75 billion euros, according to European banking authorities. It has had mixed success in its battle to restore profitability, posting losses of 197 million euros in the first half of this year, down from a profit of 241 million a year ago.

Source: Shanghai Daily, August 2, 2016
High-tech park showcases new products
1st August 2016

 A range of new technology products designed to make it easier to care for elderly people and children are being developed by firms at the Zhangjiang High-Tech Industrial Park, the local equivalent of Silicon Valley.

They include video communications applications specifically designed for the elderly, and wearable posture-correcting devices for children, Shanghai Daily learned at a forum held at the park over the weekend.

Qingmang Inc displayed a video communication application for elderly people living apart from their children called Missing Home, which features a one-click monitoring function that connects elderly people with their family.

The wearable device Elfear allows parents to remind their children to sit in the right position, thanks to remote control features and sensors.

Source: Shanghai Daily, August 1, 2016

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