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News from China
China's 2017 growth shows "high gold content:" NDRC
22nd January 2018


China's economic growth pickup in 2017 was better than expected and accompanied by improving quality, efficiency, and structure, a spokesperson for the country's top economic planner said Monday.
"China's sound economic performance in 2017 was not the result of just one year, but the accumulation of arduous and lasting efforts since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China," Yan Pengcheng, spokesperson for the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said at a press conference.
The 6.9-percent GDP growth for 2017 showed "high gold content," Yan said, citing positive changes in economic structure, new growth sources, market vitality, and improving macroeconomic regulation.
During the structural transformation, the country worked hard to improve supply-demand relations and optimize the supply structure, he said.
In 2017, the country's value-added industrial output rose 6.6 percent, reversing the drops of the previous six years, NBS data showed.
The contribution of consumption to economic growth reached 58.8 percent, up from 51.8 percent for 2012.
In the past five years, China has maintained "strategic composure" by not resorting to large amounts of liquidity injection, and has sought new ways to improve macroeconomic regulation, Yan said.
"We have paid more attention to the functions of expectation management in macroeconomic control, raised policy transparency, and defused hidden dangers in the economy in a timely manner," he added.
"Looking ahead, conditions exist for continuous steady economic growth with sound momentum in 2018," Yan said.
China's economy expanded 6.9 percent last year, picking up for the first time in seven years and well above the government annual target of around 6.5 percent.
Source: Shanghai Daily, January 22, 2018
Chinese yuan advances on upbeat economic data
19th January 2018
The central parity rate of the Chinese currency renminbi, or the yuan, advanced to 25-month high on Friday after China released expectation-beating economic figures for 2017.
The yuan strengthened 232 basis points to 6.4169 against the US dollar Friday, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trade System.
The strong reading came after China released a string of impressive economic data for 2017, including a 6.9-percent GDP growth, which picked up pace for the first time in seven years.
Two-way movement will be normal for the exchange rate of the Chinese yuan in the future given uncertainties in the global economic recovery and the monetary policies of major economies, Wang Chunying, spokesperson with the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), said Thursday.
China will continue to improve the formation mechanism of the renminbi exchange rate to enhance its flexibility and keep it generally stable within a reasonable range, Wang added.
In China's spot foreign exchange market, the yuan is allowed to rise or fall by 2 percent from the central parity rate each trading day.
The central parity rate of the yuan against the US dollar is based on a weighted average of prices offered by market makers before the opening of the interbank market each business day.
Source: Shanghai Daily, January 19, 2018
China sees more balanced cross-border capital flow in 2017
18th January 2018

 China saw more balanced cross-border capital flow in 2017 as willingness to purchase the greenback waned thanks to rising confidence in the Chinese yuan and the domestic economy.

Chinese banks' net forex settlement deficit fell significantly last year, according to the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE).
Commercial banks bought 1.6441 trillion US dollars' worth of foreign currency, up 14 percent year on year, while selling US$1.7557 trillion, down 1 percent compared with 2016. This resulted in a net forex settlement deficit of US$111.6 billion, down by a whopping 67 percent year on year.
The top forex regulator pointed out that the forex market has seen more balanced demand and supply, with the fourth quarter of last year reporting a settlement surplus of US$1.2 billion.
An index weighing bank clients' willingness to purchase forex fell 9 percent year on year, while individual cross-border remittances and deposits also shrank significantly compared with 2016.
"The year 2017 marked the threshold when China's cross-border capital flow transited from net outflow to general balance," said SAFE spokesperson Wang Chunying.
China's forex reserves ended the downward trajectory of the previous two years to gain US$129.4 billion in 2017, while its current account surplus remained in a reasonable range and the financial account saw net capital inflow in the first three quarters of last year.
Wang attributed the more balanced forex supply and demand to steady domestic economic expansion, acceleration of the financial sector's opening as well as a recovering global economy.
Cross-border capital flow will continue to remain generally stable as China's emphasis on high-quality growth will boost market confidence and more opening-up efforts will attract more capital inflow, according to Wang.
Source: Shanghai Daily, January 18, 2018
What's in a name? Chinese automaker nixes 'Trumpchi
17th January 2018

 Chinese automaker GAC is changing the name of models it plans to introduce in the US market next year, because "Trumpchi" sounds too much like its linked to President Donald Trump.

"The name will change for the US market to avoid the wrong connotation or misunderstanding," a GAC spokesman told AFP on Tuesday at the Detroit auto show.
The Trumpchi models have been available in China for years, and the word actually means "legend" in Chinese, the spokesman said.
US media has previously reported that company executives had been deliberating over a name change.
GAC, or Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd, which sells 500,000 cars in its native country and 13 others in Asia and the Middle East, has long announced plans to be the first Chinese auto maker to enter the US market by the end of 2019.
The company also plans to expand into Europe after trying to woo American consumers.
The cultural dissonance with its chosen brand name is something with which another auto maker can relate.
Tata Motors' "zippy car" abbreviation Zica was an unfortunate choice in 2016 for its new hatchback sedan, considering it debuted as the World Health Organization declared the Zika virus a global health emergency.
The Indian company renamed it Tiago after making marketing lemonade out of a public relations lemon by holding an online renaming contest. 
Source: Shanghai Daily, January 17, 2018

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