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News from China
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
Huajiao sees payment rise
20th December 2017

 ONLINE broadcasting platform Huajiao Live expects viewers to pay 5 billion yuan (US$757 million) for content and broadcasts this year, a jump of 60 percent year on year.

Huajiao, founded by China’s biggest cyber security firm 360, plans to cooperate with TV stations to improve brand awareness and help widen the influence of Internet celebrities on the platform. The platform shares income with broadcasters in the ratio of 30 to 70 on average.
Viewers are set to pay 5 billion yuan to Huajiao’s broadcasters, who offer online stream performance from talk show, dance, music playing, use of cosmetics to sports. In 2016, viewers paid about 3 billion yuan to Huajiao, which raised about 1 billion yuan in the latest round of financing in May.
Barely a presence three years ago, the fastest-emerging Internet broadcasting sector produced revenue of more than 30 billion yuan in 2016. The income will triple in 2020, according to an estimate of investment bank China Renaissance Securities.
Source: Shanghai Daily, December 20, 2017
China's home prices remain stable in November
18th December 2017

China's property market held broadly steady in November with home prices edging down in major cities amid tough purchase restrictions and a tight liquidity environment, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Monday.

New residential house prices went down on a yearly basis in 11 of the 15 major cities, considered the "hottest markets." On a month-on-month basis, new residential housing prices fell in 7 of the 15 cities, while Beijing, Shanghai, Zhengzhou and Wuhan saw prices flat with October.
NBS statistician Liu Jianwei said that housing prices stayed generally stable in major cities as differentiated control policies continued to take effect.
In first-tier cities where the curbs are strictest, home prices continued to soften, with new residential housing and second-hand home prices down 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively, from a month earlier.
In contrast, the property market in second- and third-tier cities is showing signs of picking up, with new residential housing prices gaining 0.5 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively, from October.
The data provides evidence that government cooling measures to prevent asset bubbles in the property market are producing the desired outcomes.
Since late last year, dozens of local governments have passed or expanded restrictions on house purchases and increased the minimum downpayment required for mortgages.
The property market was also cooled by relatively tightened liquidity conditions as the government moved to contain leverage and risk in the financial system.
Chinese authorities have constantly reiterated that "houses are built for living in, not speculation," pledging to step up housing system reform and foster a long-term market mechanism.
Source: Xinhua

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