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News from China
Changning creates better environment for foreign investors
9th February 2018

 Changning District will implement a "pre-establishment national treatment system" and a "negative list" to broaden market access for foreign investment.

 
The newly released policy means foreign companies will be treated the same as their Chinese counterparts, while the "negative list" only determines industries in which foreign participation is prohibited or limited, the Changning government said yesterday. 
 
Changning will also work to become the first district to ease market access restrictions on cultural consumption fields for foreign investment. Current restrictions on telecommunication, culture, education and transport are also likely to be eased for foreign enterprises, according to the district government.
 
"Foreign companies to do business in Changning will only need to fill in a single form and apply at a single service window," an official with the government promised. The district will also improve its mechanism for foreign investors to protect their legal interests and intellectual property rights.
 
The district announced a collection of efforts and new policies today to create a convenient business environment that meets "advanced international standards."
 
As another effort, the district will expand its practices in cooperation with Shanghai's quarantine watchdog to speed up the inspection of imported products.
 
The Shanghai Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau will clear imported products at more companies with a good reputation in Changning District by supervising their manufacturing and transport processes, or by examining sample batches.
 
Currently, five Changning-based dairy and textile companies have been chosen for a trial operation. Under the scheme, consumers are able to drink fresh milk from New Zealand, for instance, within three days of production, compared to at least eight days under the normal inspection procedures.
 
The district also plans to expand its “one license with more addresses” trial scheme citywide. Firms based in Changning, especially Internet startups, will be able to operate in multiple addresses across the city and expand more rapidly with only a single business license.
 
Furthermore, customized preferential policies will be implemented for top professionals who plan to work in the district, the government added.
 
"The district government will spare no effort to solve the most concerned issues on children's education, medical care, housing and social security for foreign professionals," the government promised yesterday.
 
Changning has established the city's first district-level foreign expert bureau to serve these highly skilled professionals from abroad. 
 
The district has also opened a "one-stop service center" for residence permits, foreign expert certificates and related documents. It is located on Jinzhong Road in Hongqiao area.
 
Its services will be further expanded to become China's most functional and efficient foreign professional service center with the best services, the government said yesterday.
 
In total, Changning has gathered 273,600 professionals from both home and abroad, which accounts for nearly half of the district's total employment. About 70,000 residents from abroad are living in Changning, accounting for about 30 percent of the city's total foreign population.
Source: Shanghai Daily, February 9, 2018
Lujiazui plans global asset platform
8th February 2018

 Lujiazui, the commercial and financial center of Shanghai, plans to set up the Global Asset Management Association of Lujiazui in the first half of this year.

 
More than 60 global asset-management institutions, including BlackRock, Fidelity International and JPMorgan, attended a preparatory meeting in Lujiazui on Tuesday.
 
The association aims to establish an exchange platform for global asset-management institutions to help them to set up in Lujiazui and understand China’s asset-management industry.
 
Yuan Yefeng, director of Lujiazui Financial City Authority’s department for finance, shipping and innovation, said the association would attract more leading asset-management organizations to do business in Shanghai.
 
Currently, over 60 overseas asset-management institutions have subsidiaries or plan to set up branches in Lujiazui. Nine of the top 10 global asset-management institutions have wholly foreign-owned enterprises in Lujiazui.
 
By next year, China will have the world’s second-largest asset-management market after the United States, with more than US$17 trillion of assets under management by 2030, up from US$2.8 trillion in 2016, according to Casey Quirk, which advises investment-management businesses.
 
In September 2016, JPMorgan set up a wholly foreign-owned enterprise in the Shanghai free trade zone with the first asset-management license for a foreign company in China.
 
The license allows a foreign firm to offer onshore fixed-income, equity and multi-asset private funds to both institutional and high-net worth investors in China.
 
“There was only one member of staff when the wholly foreign-owned enterprise was founded, but now there are 13. We are growing fast,” said Zhou Lingling, deputy general manager with JPMorgan Asset Management (Shanghai) Ltd.
 
“We are confident of our performance in China, and we will seize every chance in this market,” said Zhou. She said China is expected to become the largest asset-management market in the next five to 10 years.
 
“We are so glad to be a member of the coming Global Asset Management Association of Lujiazui. I believe it will be a great exchange platform for financial institutions like us,” Zhou said.
 
Last July, UBS Asset Management became the first international manager with a Qualified Domestic Limited Partner quota to receive a private fund management license in China.
 
Given the license, UBS is able to provide a broad range of services to onshore and global investors, and to work more closely with subsidiaries of global firms in China to meet their domestic investment needs.
 
Gao Ting, head of China strategy at UBS Securities Equity Research, said at the preparatory meeting that with China’s efforts to open up its capital markets, its yuan-denominated A shares will be included in the MSCI indexes in June, making China’s stock market more important for both onshore and offshore investors.
 
Meanwhile, Chen Ting, general manager with BlackRock Investment Management (Shanghai) Co, also showed her passion for the Chinese market.
 
“Given the opening-up policies and the pleasant business environment, Lujiazui Financial City in Shanghai will be the first choice for global financial companies to do business in China,” Chen said.
 
At the World Economic Forum in Davos last month, China reiterated its commitment to opening banking, securities and insurance sectors.
 
Global investment managers like JPMorgan and Vanguard are eying a share of China’s public fund market as well as China’s pension market, according to Chen. “I hope foreign investment managers like us will be allowed to manage China’s public fund in five to 10 years,” she said.
Source: Shanghai Daily, February 8, 2018
4 killed, over 200 injured in Taiwan earthquake
7th February 2018

 Four people were killed and 225 were injured by 7:30am Wednesday after a 6.5-magnitude earthquake hit Taiwan.

According to the China Earthquake Networks Center (CENC), the earthquake jolted waters near Taiwan's Hualien County at 11:50pm Tuesday.

The epicenter was monitored at 24.13 degrees north latitude and 121.71 degrees east longitude, with a depth of 11 kilometers, said CENC.

The victims include a 66-year-old male and a 60-year-old female.

A total of 236 people have been rescued but there are still 148 people missing with 143 trapped in Yun Men Tusi Ti building, according to the local disaster relief administration.

Two shelters have been set up, the local fire department said.

The injured people have been sent to hospitals.

The earthquake was felt across Taiwan, with some buildings, roads and bridges in Hualien damaged.

The earthquake also caused 200 households out of power and 35,000 households out of water supply, the fire agency said.

According to the Taiwan's emergency operation center, a total of four buildings have partially collapsed or tilted, including Marshal Hotel, Yun Tsui building and two residential buildings.

The quake caused the Marshal Hotel in Hualien to cave in, with its first two floors fallen into the ground.

The highway from Suao to Hualien was temporarily closed.

It's reported that the earthquake-stricken area is in shortage of heavy machinery and professional disaster relief vehicles.

The earthquake was followed by a series of aftershocks including several measured over 5-magnitude.

Since February 4, more than 100 sensible earthquakes have jolted the area. Taiwan's earthquake experts said more quakes might happen in the coming weeks.

Source: Shanghai Daily, February 7, 2018
Spring Festival holiday retail sales expected to rise 10%
6th February 2018
Total earnings of retail and catering enterprises in China are expected to surge by 10 percent year on year during the week-long Spring Festival holiday starting from February 15, Ministry of Commerce said Tuesday.
 
Sales revenue of these enterprises could reach 900 billion yuan (US$143 billion) during the 2018 Spring Festival holiday period, Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Bingnan told a press briefing.
 
China's domestic demand has steadily expanded, with consumption contributing 58.8 percent to economic growth in 2017, nearly four percentage points higher than five years ago.
 
Meanwhile, the added value of the service sector accounts for 60 percent of GDP, more than five percentage points higher than five years ago.
Source: Shanghai Daily, February 6, 2018

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