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News from China
Lenovo sees ‘challenges’ as earnings decline 67%
17th February 2017

 CHINESE technology giant Lenovo yesterday said it faced “sizeable challenges” as it saw profit plunge by more than two thirds.

 
The Beijing-based company remains the world’s largest PC maker, but has been trying to broaden its smartphone business as the market for personal computers fizzles.
 
But it has struggled to keep pace with Apple and Android rivals.
 
Net profit fell by 67 percent year on year to US$98 million in the October-December quarter, the company said in a statement.
 
That came in well short of analysts’ estimates by Bloomberg News which on average predicted earnings of US$145.9million.
 
Revenues fell 6 percent from a year earlier.
 
“Lenovo faced sizeable challenges in its three main lines of business, namely data center, mobile devices, and PCs and smart devices,” the firm said.
 
The company is battling as consumers opt for smartphones instead of PCs.
 
Rising component prices are also weighing on profits.
 
Sales of the company’s Moto and Lenovo-branded phones slipped 23 percent year on year in the three months through December.
 
Sales of its data center business, which includes servers, storage, software and services, also tumbled 20 percent compared with the previous year.
 
However, Lenovo’s PC and smart device business, which includes tablets, still saw sales growth of 2 percent year on year. That was spurred by strong growth in North America, the company said.
 
US firms HP and Dell follow Lenovo as leaders in the global PC market. All three increased their share of the market in the final quarter of last year, according to industry trackers.
 
Lenovo said in January that it is launching a “Smart Assistant” which recognizes user’s voices to conduct tasks including web searches and playing music.
Source: Shanghai Daily, February 17, 2017
China to keep monetary policy neutral: central bank official
16th February 2017

 CHINA should keep its monetary policy stable and neutral, a Chinese central bank official said Wednesday.

 
Yi Gang, deputy governor of the People's Bank of China, made the remarks at the annual meeting of Chinese Economists 50 Forum (CE50) when responding to questions on China's monetary policy.
 
Top officials have set China's monetary policy in 2017 as "prudent and neutral" to keep appropriate liquidity levels and avoid large injections, as the government tries to maintain stable growth while avoiding risks.
 
Yi said that keeping monetary policy neutral meant not being too tight or loose.
 
Chinese banks extended 2.03 trillion yuan (about US$295 billion) of new yuan loans in January, doubling from a month earlier, a level that Yi described as "very appropriate."
 
In open market operations earlier this month, the central bank raised the lending rates to banks by 10 basis points, a move widely interpreted as a shift towards a more neutral monetary policy.
 
China's GDP grew 6.7 percent year on year in 2016, the lowest in nearly three decades, but within the government's target range.
 
Founded nearly two decades ago, the CE50 is a civil academic organization and think tank that brings together around 50 prominent Chinese economists, including officials and academics.
Source: Shanghai Daily, February 16, 2017
Machinery sector set to expand slower in 2017
15th February 2017

 

 
CHINA’S machinery industry is likely to see stable but slower growth in 2017 due to weak demand amid downward economic pressure, an industry group forecast yesterday.
 
The annual growth of the sector’s value-added industrial output may slow to 7 percent in 2017 from 9.6 percent in 2016, while the business revenue increase would slow to 6 percent from 7.44 percent last year, according to data released by the China Machinery Industry Federation.
 
As China was trying to reorient the economy away from its reliance on exports and investment toward a consumption and service-driven model, traditional industries such as steel, coal, power generation, oil and chemicals were undergoing restructuring, and demand for machinery products would remain weak, said a federation statement.
 
Growth of fixed-asset investment in the machinery industry slowed to 1.7 percent in 2016 from 9.7 percent in 2015, the fifth straight year of decline
 
However, as China’s economic restructuring continued apace, machinery industries in consumption, environment protection and high-tech industries boomed. Sales of pollution control equipment surged 30.3 percent year on year in 2016, while that of new-energy vehicles grew 53 percent from a year earlier, the federation data showed.
 
China’s economy grew 6.7 percent in 2016, slower than the 6.9 percent growth in 2015 but within the target range.
Source: Shanghai Daily, February 15, 2017
China consumer inflation quickens, factory prices beat expectations
14th February 2017

 CHINA'S consumer inflation quickened in January due to holiday effects, while prices at factory gates rose faster than expected following soaring oil and gas prices, official data showed Tuesday.

 
The consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, grew 2.5 percent year on year last month, fractionally above market expectation of 2.4 percent, the National Bureau of Statistics announced Tuesday.
 
The pace quickened from the 2.1-percent rise in December as the Lunar New Year Holiday pushed up food, transport and travel expenses, according to NBS senior statistician Sheng Guoqing.
 
On a monthly basis, consumer prices edged up one percent.
 
Tuesday's data also showed the producer price index (PPI), which measures costs for goods at the factory gate, gained 6.9 percent year on year in January, beating market expectation of 6.5 percent and marking a new high in more than five years.
 
The jump was mainly driven by the carryover effect of last year's price changes, and rising prices of raw materials and fuels, the NBS explained.
 
Source: Shanghai Daily, February 14, 2017

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