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News from China
Index set to measure rising ‘new economy’
25th November 2016

 THE National Bureau of Statistics is working on an index that will measure the burgeoning China’s “new economy,” a bureau official said yesterday.

The index will gauge the new economy in terms of knowledge, economic vitality, innovation, digitalization, transformation and upgrading, as well as achievements, Xian Zude, the bureau’s chief statistician, said at a forum.
The new economy has seen rapid development in China in recent years, with high-tech industries accelerating, Internet-based business prospering, online retail sales soaring, as well as new products and services springing up, Xian said.
However, China lacks statistical standards and a unified indicator to reflect the development of the new economy, he said.
To better grasp the status of the new economy, since May the bureau has started to collect data on new industries, new forms of commercial activities and new business models, Xian said.
An ongoing nationwide agricultural census also includes data about how farmers use the Internet and transact online, he said.
The sharing economy, such as ride-sharing and room-letting businesses, will be excluded from the new-economy index due to difficulty in quantitative measuring, Xian said.
China’s economy grew 6.7 percent year on year in the third quarter, but it was the slowest growth since the global financial crisis.
Source: Shanghai Daily, November 25, 2016
Joy City acquires mall in Shanghai
24th November 2016

 JOY City Property Ltd, the flagship commercial real estate brand of COFCO Group, has agreed to acquire a shopping mall in Shanghai’s Putuo District from a consortium of investors led by Grosvenor Vega China Retail Fund.

Joy City will pay about 1.4 billion yuan (US$202 million) for Parkside Plaza, a 121,995-square-meter mall adjacent to Changfeng Park, the company said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange late on Tuesday.
The acquisition provides an excellent investment opportunity and further strengthens the company’s established presence in Shanghai’s property market, according to the filing.
Sales proceeds from the mall, which was bought by Grosvenor in 2010 and opened in December 2011, will be reinvested in the commercial, residential and mixed-use sectors in Shanghai, said Brenda Chung, executive director and China chief representative of Grosvenor Asia-Pacific.
Parkside Plaza will possibly be rebranded by year’s end to become the second Joy City mall in Shanghai, said yesterday.
Source: Shanghai Daily, November 24, 2016
China, Brazil should work on steel woes
23rd November 2016

 CHINA and Brazil should work together to address steel sector overcapacity, as protectionism only compounds the situation, China’s Ministry of Commerce said yesterday, after Brazil launched probes into Chinese steel products.

“The Chinese government has always held that trade remedies should be used in a cautious and restrained manner, and encouraged its businesses to solve trade frictions through trade, investment and technological cooperation with their foreign counterparts,” said Wang Hejun, head of the ministry’s trade remedy and investigation bureau.
Protectionism will do no good in overcoming difficulties in the global economy and steel sector. On the contrary, it will hinder normal trade, Wang said.
The two emerging economies are closely related in the steel sector as Brazil boasts vast iron ore deposits, and China is the world’s largest steel producer.
Wang’s remarks came after Brazil announced on Monday its first anti-subsidy probes into hot rolled steel plate from China. Chinese steel products saw 14 anti-dumping probes from the Brazilian government in the past five years, with most cases ending in restrictive measures.
But Chinese steel accounts for under 2 percent of the Brazilian market, Wang said.
Plagued by excess production, the global steel sector has seen more trade disputes in recent years, with Chinese companies suffering the most.
Source: Shanghai Daily, November 23, 2016
Yuan extends decline against US dollar but remains stable overall
22nd November 2016

 HE Chinese currency extended its decline against the US dollar yesterday, 

while analysts expect the central bank to place short-term priority on the 
yuan’s stability against a basket of currencies rather than the dollar alone.
The central parity of the yuan against the dollar weakened for a 12th day 
in a row to 6.8985, the lowest in more than eight years.
Triggered by heightening expectations for a US interest rate hike, the yuan’s 
retreat has accelerated since Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election.
The real estate mogul has vowed to roll out a fiscal stimulus package in the US and 
threatened to brand China as a currency manipulator, both weighing on the yuan’s value 
against the dollar.
The dollar may keep strengthening at the end of this year and next year, putting 
depreciation pressure on the yuan, but the Chinese currency is expected to stay stable 
against a basket of currencies, said Lian Ping, chief economist with the Bank of Communications.
China’s policy-makers have been wise to avoid reckless interventions to shore up the yuan 
against the dollar, which would have wasted large amounts of foreign exchange reserves and 
compromised the market mechanism, Lian said.
However, “the yuan’s short-term fluctuation does not mean the authorities have opened the door 
and given up currency management,” he said, stressing that China still applies a “managed” floating 
exchange rate mechanism.
The People’s Bank of China’s current strategy is to keep the yuan stable against non-dollar currencies, 
Lian said.
“The bank may go with the tide for now and intervene only at the proper time,” he noted.
Compared with the yuan, other currencies have weakened even more against the dollar, while the yuan remained 
stable against them.
The yuan’s market rate against the dollar weakened by 1.49 percent in October, but the eurozone, 
Japan and Singapore saw their currencies weaken by 2.05 percent, 3.02 percent and 1.87 percent, respectively, 
against the dollar, according to data released by the China Foreign Exchange Trade System.
In the meantime, the yuan exchange rate composite index strengthened by 0.16 percent against a basket of 
currencies in October, the CFETS said.
Lian’s view was echoed by Liu Yuhui, professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a government think tank.
The central bank’s decision on whether to intervene in the currency market largely depends on the yuan’s status 
against a basket of currencies instead of the dollar alone, according to Liu.
Meanwhile, he was cautious about the dollar outlook, noting that the market has yet to see how Trump’s future policies materialize.
Lian said the dollar may see some corrections after rapid upward movement due to profit-taking and market digestion of the 
US interest rate hike.
The dollar will gain at a milder pace next year, and its appreciation may not be sustained as long-term dollar strength will 
hurt US exports and manufacturing, Lian predicted.
The weakening yuan has aggravated concerns about capital outflow as China’s economy grew at the slowest pace since the global 
financial crisis.
Chinese officials have repeatedly ruled out the possibility of sharp, sustained yuan depreciation against the dollar, citing China’s 
economic fundamentals, current account surplus and huge forex reserves
Source: Shanghai Daily, November 22, 2016

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