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News from China
New technologies ‘boost’ marketing
20th September 2016

 THE use of artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality technologies has made advertising and marketing more user-friendly and interesting, officials with tech giants Tencent Inc and Google Inc said yesterday.

Picture recognition, AR-featured games and VR experiences have been adopted by advertisers, like Pokemon Go in McDonald’s, and VR room review has been used by firms like Ctrip.

AI and data analysis offer dot-com firms the ability to “predict” consumer behavior and fashion trends. The new technologies have brought data-driven firms, like Tencent, unique advantages, Steven Chang, corporate vice president of Tencent, said at an AI marketing forum in Shanghai yesterday.

“The technologies have changed marketing rules of the TV and newspaper era, even though they had existed for up to over 75 years,” said Chang, whose Tencent boasts millions of users on its social, game, video, news and e-commerce platforms.

Scott Beaumont, president of Google China, expects AI and data analysis to be key drivers in improving marketing methods, covering machine learning, picture recognition and integrated data analysis.

In China, VR has become a game-changing technology in the industry, making marketing more interactive.

More than 6.35 million VR devices are expected to be sold globally this year, 40 percent coming from China, according to industry analysts

Source: Shanghai Daily, September, 20
Chinese banks' net forex sales plummet in August
20th September 2016

Chinese banks saw their net foreign exchange sales dropped by 70 percent from July to 9.5 billion U.S. dollars in August, official data showed Monday.

Chinese lenders bought 125.7 billion dollars' worth of foreign currency last month and sold 135.2 billion dollars, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said in a statement.

The amount of net sales in August was the lowest since July 2015.
 
A SAFE spokesperson attributed the decrease largely to seasonal factors as forex demand had been satiated the previous month as many foreign companies in China remit profits overseas in July, which is also the high season for overseas travels.
 
Despite the monthly drop, the forex market remains calm, the spokesperson said, predicting stable and more balanced capital flow in the long term.
 
Source: Xinhua
Embattled Samsung sells share stakes
19th September 2016

 SAMSUNG Electronics said yesterday it had sold shares it held in four technology companies including US chipmaker Rambus and Japan’s Sharp to free up money and focus on its main business.

The South Korean tech giant said it had also sold shares in Dutch semiconductor equipment maker ASLM and US hard drive maker Seagate.

Samsung ­— the world's top smartphone maker which also manufactures memory chips, TVs and home appliances — has for years bought shares in other tech firms in semiconductor or display panel industries.

“It was aimed at focusing on our core business by efficiently managing the investments made in the past in line with changes in business environments,” Samsung said.

The news of the sales came as the firm is mired in a major recall of its flagship smartphone over a series of battery explosions.

The global recall of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone raised alarm among air carriers and aviation safety authorities worldwide that banned the device on flights.

Samsung sold half of a 3-percent stake it held in ASML, and its entire stakes in the other three companies for “efficient management of assets,” it said. It had held a 4.5-percent stake in Rambus, 0.7 percent of Sharp and a 4.2-percent stake in Seagate.

The firm did not elaborate on the timing or the value of the sales.

Source: shanghai daily
News Analysis: Deleveraging not panacea for China's property market
16th September 2016

The latest data on China's property market reveals symptoms that will need more than deleveraging measures, analysts said.

 
The growth of real estate investment in August was 0.1 percentage point more than the January-July period despite slowing growth in land sales, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.
 
New home prices in 100 surveyed cities continued to rise for the 16th-consecutive month in August on a month-on-month basis, according to data compiled by the ChinaIndex Academy.
 
Concerns have been raised over the excessive issuing of loans, which fueled the recent increase in record-breaking land deals and panic home buying in several cities, which Zhang Dawei, chief analyst wit Centaline Property, termed as "irrationalities."
 
Improving deleveraging would be a plausible move to cool the market, but Ma Jun, chief research economist at the People's Bank of China (PBOC), called for discretion.
 
"Abrupt deleveraging could shoot down the growth rate and hurt employment," Ma said, adding that a balance must be struck between short-term and long-term to ward off a crisis.
 
The government and personal leverage rate of China is not high when viewed internationally, so the short-term task is to curb and stabilize the growth in China's general leverage rate, according to Yi Gang, deputy governor of PBOC.
 
Deleveraging alone is unlikely to defuse tensions in the property market, while developing the real economy and cutting back reliance on the real estate are now essential, said Fan Xiaochong, vice president of Sunshine 100, a developer focused on second- and third-tier cities.
 
August lending data released by the central bank suggests that more than 600 billion yuan in mortgage loans was issued, an increase of more than 100 billion yuan from a month earlier.
 
Despite the substantial increase, lenders see the mortgages, a relatively small portion of the all lending, to be at a safe level as a lot of countries have a ratio of between 40 to 50 percent, said PBOC governor Zhou Xiaochuan earlier this year.
 
When looking at the Chinese economy as a whole, deleveraging will not necessarily channel resources toward strengthening the weak links, said Huang Zhiling, chief economist of the China Construction Bank.
 
China's property market has become increasingly diversified, with major cities reporting record prices and smaller cities struggling to shift the glut, Sheng Laiyun, NBS spokesperson, said Tuesday.
 
While stabilizing the growth in leverage rate, targeted efforts must be made to avoid property bubbles in first- and second-tier cities, said Chen Sheng, executive director of China Real Estate Data Academy in Shanghai.
 
Chen said everything boils down to developing new industries to create new pillars for the economy.
Source: Xinhua

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