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News from China
Shanghai demands lottery for purchases of new commercial homes
20th July 2017

 SHANGHAI has published a new property market guideline, outlining plans for all buyers of commercial houses to apply to a lottery-like registration system to purchase new homes.

According to the guideline, purchasing orders must be generated by lottery software provided by authorized notary organs in Shanghai. The results should be publicized immediately after the draw.
Real estate developers are prohibited from setting up beneficial lottery conditions for their staff or those connected to them, and sales agents of the developers are not eligible for the lottery.
Real estate developers must examine the eligibility of home buyers and submit applications to Shanghai's notary organs for inclusion in the lottery at least ten days ahead of a new program.
The list of all eligible buyers and houses as well as the lottery results must be published and notarized.
Any fraudulent activity or cheating will be strictly prohibited. Any developers implicated in underhand activity will be blacklisted and may face criminal charges.
Source: Shanghai Daily, July 20, 2017
China’s coal prices surge since June
19th July 2017

 CHINA’S coal prices have surged since June amid a short-term supply shortage, economic recovery, a hydropower shortage and a cut in oversupply, the nation’s top economic planner said yesterday.

The benchmark Bohai-Rim Steam-Coal Price Index ended at 581 yuan (US$86) per ton last week, up 19 yuan per ton from the beginning of June after a five-week growth. Meanwhile the most traded coking coal contract for September delivery surged 32 percent from June 1 to close at 1,244 yuan per ton yesterday.
Steam coal is used for power generation while coking coal is to refine steel.
China’s economic recovery has sparked growth among power, steel, and chemical industries which rely on coal as feedstock, Yan Pengcheng, spokesman at the National Development and Reform Commission, said.
China’s hydropower generation slumped 27.2 percent from January to the beginning of June compared with a year ago, Yan said.
Meanwhile, 111 million tons of coal capacity had been trimmed over the first half of the year, worsening the supply shortage to drive up the coal price sharply.
Source: Shanghai Daily, July 19, 2017
Chinese developers head overseas to raise funds
17th July 2017

 CHINESE real estate firms have turned to the overseas market to seek financing as tougher regulations have made it more difficult for them to raise funds at home.

At least five property companies have announced moves to issue notes or bonds, worth more than US$2 billion in total, in the overseas market since the beginning of July, according to latest statistics from Centaline Property Research Center.
They include Greentown China and Longfor Properties, both major property developers in the country.
Greentown China said earlier this week it would issue US$450 million of senior perpetual capital securities, with the net proceeds to be used to refinance existing debt and for general working capital purposes.
Longfor Properties said early this month it would issue US$450 million of senior notes due in 2020 and use the proceeds for refinancing only.
The moves came as domestic financing by real estate developers shrank, following tightened market regulation aimed at curbing asset bubbles and preventing financial risks.
Property firms raised 177.2 billion yuan (US$26.1 billion) through bond and note issuance in the first half of 2017, a 74-percent plunge year on year, Centaline Property said.
“Authorities have strengthened control over various sources of funding for developers,” said Le Jiadong, analyst at GF Securities. “Major financing channels have been narrowed across the board.”
Meanwhile, the cooling housing market means less contribution from home sales to the companies’ cash flow.
Property sales had surged over two years of pro-growth policies before authorities moved to rein in speculation in the second half of last year.
Of 70 large- and medium-sized cities surveyed in May, new home prices fell or rose more slowly month on month in 35 of them, up from 31 in April, the National Bureau of Statistics said.
An indication of weaker sales, real estate loans took up 35 percent of all new loans extended by Chinese banks in the first half, down from 44.9 percent in 2016, central bank data showed
Source: Shanghai Daily, July 17, 2017
A future of pilotless planes, flying cars
14th July 2017

 PILOTLESS aircraft, flying electric vehicles and bespoke air cabins are the future of flight, Airbus said yesterday.

Paul Eremenko, the European plane-maker’s chief technological officer, painted a picture of skies buzzing with new flight forms at the RISE tech conference in Hong Kong.
Airbus is already testing out what it calls a “module” cabin concept — passenger planes being tailored to different demands.
“You can imagine on a flight to Vegas, you might have a casino module,” said Eremenko. “Or in a more general sense, you may have a sleeping module and you go and pay 50 bucks an hour to have the ability to sleep in a sound-proof, climate-controlled area.”
Eremenko said Airbus had been working on the project for a year already, including user trials. Airbus has also been working on a self-piloted flying car, the Vahana, with testing on a full-size prototype to be done by the end of the year.
“Our goal really is to open up the third dimension in cities and we believe that the time is right,” said Eremenko, describing the growth of mega-cities, increasing congestion and technological developments as factors fuelling the development of electric short-hop flight travel.
Pilotless flight was also on the cards, he said.
“We believe the first autonomy will come in the domain of urban air mobility where the vehicles are smaller and there are fewer occupants,” he said.
“That, I have fairly high confidence that we will get to in single-digit years,” he said, adding the problem was not a technical one but of social acceptance.
Artificial intelligence was the main focus of the sprawling RISE conference, which Wednesday included a debate between two lifelike disembodied robot torsos on the future of humanity.
Source: Shanghai Daily, July 14, 2017

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