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News from China
Transport investment to be steady
26th December 2017

 CHINA will invest steadily in transport development in 2018, flat with this year, Minister of Transport Li Xiaopeng said yesterday.

 
In 2017, fixed-asset investment in railways and highways was targeted to reach 800 billion yuan (US$122 billion) and 1.65 trillion yuan respectively.
 
Citing the main transport target for next year, Li said around 5,000 kilometers of highways would be built and put into use.
 
The country will also renovate about 200,000km of roads in rural areas and increase over 600km of inland waterways.
 
China will continue to support the construction of roads in poor regions, so as to ensure these areas are connected by highways by 2020.
 
Over the past five years, China has made remarkable progress in transport development with total length of roads increasing by 534,000km and railways in operation by 27,000km.
 
In particular, over 7 billion trips have been made through high-speed railways in the 2012-2017 period.
 
In the following three years, transport will play a bigger role in eradicating poverty and achieving greener, safer development, according to Li.
 
He also said China will continue to push supply-side structural reform in the transport industry and further lower logistics costs in 2018.
 
China reduced logistics costs by more than 88 billion yuan in 2017, according to the ministry.
 
The cuts were made through measures such as the removal of some road tolls in provincial regions and streamlined traffic services, according to the ministry.
 
The country will expand pilot programs in highway toll collection and streamline some charges in ports, Li said.
 
Statistics from the National Development and Reform Commission showed the cost of logistics in China took up about 14.9 percent of GDP in 2016, down by 1.1 percentage points from the previous year.
 
Although the ratio had dropped for four years in a row by 2016, it is still higher than some developing economies.
 
Authorities have stepped up reform in the transport sector this year to reduce the logistics burden of companies. Rail freight charges were canceled or lowered, while more means of financing were made available to companies in the logistics sector.
 
Source: Shanghai Daily, December 26,2017
Adapting policies to home needs
25th December 2017

 Different policies on different housing will support first-home buyers and upgraders in China and curb speculation in 2018, an official has said.

 
“We should stick to the principle that housing is for living in, not for speculation, and improve the long-term mechanism to promote a steady, healthy housing market,” Wang Meng­hui, minister of housing and urban-rural development, said at a meeting.
 
Market monitoring and analysis should be improved to ensure the accuracy of policies, he added.
 
“We should move faster to put in place a housing system that ensures supply from multiple sources, provides housing support through multiple channels, and encourages both house purchases and rental,” he said.
 
Large and medium-sized cities with net population inflow should step up the development of the housing rental market and set up state-owned home renting companies, Wang said.
 
China will support home renting companies and build government-led rental management and service platforms.
 
Third and fourth-tier cities and counties should continue to reduce unsold housing, according to the minister.
Source: Shanghai Daily, December 25, 2017
Kobe Steel: execs aware of cheating
22nd December 2017

 KOBE Steel Ltd, at the center of a data-falsification scandal that has shaken Japan’s manufacturing industry, admitted for the first time that executives were aware of the cheating, and reassigned three senior officials.

 
Japan’s No. 3 steelmaker, which supplies the manufacturers of cars, planes and trains across the world, has said about 500 customers had received products with falsified specifications, throwing global supply chains into turmoil.
 
Outside investigators appointed by Kobe to look into the malpractice have found that senior officials in the company’s copper and aluminum business knew of some of the cheating.
 
“Based on this information, as of today, we have reassigned these three executives,” the company said, adding it would decide on any punishments after the probe was completed.
 
The three were senior officials in the company’s aluminum and copper business, where most of the cheating occurred.
 
Kobe Steel “takes it very seriously that current executive officers were aware of this,”
 
Kobe also said the investigation would be completed by around the end of February, two months later than expected.
 
The 112-year-old company has had Japanese government-sanctioned seals of quality revoked on many of its products and is also the subject of a US Justice Department inquiry.
 
Kobe Steel has been in touch with the Justice Department multiple times since an initial contact through lawyers, Yoshitsugu Nishimura, a public relations manager, said at the briefing. He declined to provide further details.
 
No safety issues have so far been identified from the data cheating, which mainly involves falsely certifying the strength and durability of products.
Source: Shanghai Daily, December 22, 2017
Shanghai’s economy records steady expansion in November
21st December 2017

 SHANGHAI’S economic growth in November was steady, with increases in industrial output, consumer prices and transport activity, according to data from Shanghai Statistics Bureau.

 
The value of total output of industrial enterprises above a designated size grew 1.3 percent in November from the same month last year to 310.78 billion yuan (US$47.16 billion).
 
November’s industrial sales-output ratio edged up 0.8 percentage point from that of the same month in 2016 to 99 percent. But the value of exports of industrial companies in Shanghai dropped 4.7 percent to 67.21 billion yuan.
 
Shanghai’s six key industrial sectors produced a total output of 214.97 billion yuan, up 1.1 percent from November last year.
 
The output of automobile manufacturing last month grew fastest by 11.8 percent to 67.33 billion yuan while the production of complete equipment manufacturing rose 2.8 percent. The output of petrochemical and fine chemicals sectors rose 2.5 percent year on year, while the other three sectors posted a fall in output.
 
The city’s Consumer Price Index, a main gauge of inflation, rose 1.2 percent in November year on year, and grew 1.7 percent annually from January to November.
 
Transport of goods in November expanded 10.2 percent annually to 82.73 million tons.
 
Cargo throughput at Shanghai port grew 6.5 percent annually to nearly 64.2 million tons from November 2016. Container traffic jumped 11.8 percent to 3.6 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) last month.
Source: Shanghai Daily, December 21, 2017

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