Business

Business

China’s digital money goes into large-scale testing
China’s big four state-owned commercial banks have started large-scale internal testing of what would be the world’s first sovereign digital currency, according to mainland media.  The state-owned commercial banks are working on the digital yuan with the central bank in major cities, including the southern tech hub of Shenzhen, the Guangzhou-based 21st Century Business Herald reported on Thursday. Different from decentralized cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, Beijing’s digital currency is expected to give the government more power in tracing the movement of money within the second-biggest economy. Instead of allowing transactions to happen outside of a central authority – like what bitcoin does
China buys more from Australia despite rising tension
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features one important number about China to give you insight into the rising power. 7%: The increase in Chinese imports from Australia in June.  China is importing more goods from Australia despite rising diplomatic tensions between the countries. The rise in Chinese import of Australian materials crucial for China’s infrastructure projects made up for drops in other products Australia exports to China. In May, Beijing slapped tariffs on Australian barley and suspended imports of Australian beef from four producers. The tariffs came after Australia called for an independent probe into the origin of the coronavirus in April, leading some to speculat
Longing to travel? These Taiwan airlines offer to take you to nowhere
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to make travel abroad difficult, two Taiwanese airlines are offering those itching to fly a rare opportunity to take off – and return to where they come from. Next weekend, an EVA Air A330 will take off from Taoyuan International Airport, fly over the northeast cape, circle Japan’s Ryukyu Islands and head home again via Taiwan’s southeast coast. “There will not be a stopover in Japan,” a spokesperson said. The brief weekend getaway – the flight will last two hours and 45 minutes – is an example of airlines’ attempt to keep their business afloat as the virus has wiped out the majority of international flights. Globally, airlines could lose more than $345 bi
How much does India rely on imported goods from China
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features one important number about China to give you insight into the rising power. 14%: How much China accounted for India’s overall imports in 2019. Last year, commerce between India and China was worth about US$85 billion, making it Delhi’s second-most fruitful trading relationship, behind only the US.  Nearly one-third of India’s imports from China are electronics, such as smartphones and telecommunications equipment. India also heavily imports materials for nuclear reactors and organic chemicals.  But the close economic ties are under threat after a deadly border conflict in June, igniting wide anti-Chinese sentiment in India. The Indian gover
How much money has China lent to Africa? 
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features one important number about China to give you insight into the rising power. $147 billion: How much China loaned to Africa from 2000 to 2018.  In less than two decades, China has grown to become the largest lender to sub-Saharan Africa, surpassing the World Bank and the Paris Club.  China’s loans to Africa are lent from the Chinese government, banks and contractors to African governments and their state-owned enterprises.  The investments have helped to lift living standards in the continent. But China’s growing presence in Africa has also alarmed the US and Europe as they jockey for global influence.  China holds loans in 50 of the 54 count
What is Moutai, the spirit of China?
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Explains unravels the ideas and context behind the headlines to help you understand news about China. Moutai, or Maotai, is the most prominent Chinese liquor brand. The drink is a popular choice as a luxury gift – the price for a bottle starts from about $150, and a good vintage can go as high as $30,000. It’s what Chinese President Xi Jinping served in 2018 when he threw a state banquet for North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un. Over the years, the drink’s steadily rising value has made it an attractive investment. Some people stockpile bottles of it as a hedge against inflation. Investors have also poured money into Moutai’s stocks, giving the distiller a hi
How much is China investing in the world?
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features one important number about China to give you insight into the rising power. $117 billion: How much China invested abroad in 2019. China has become a significant investor in the world over the past two decades, mainly through buying and building business operations overseas. Last year, China was the world’s fourth-largest overseas investor, accounting for 8.9% of the money invested in foreign nations. Japan, the United States and the Netherlands were the world’s top three foreign investors in 2019. China’s 2019 investment represents a 17-fold increase from the $6.9 billion that China invested abroad in 2001 when it joined the World Trade Org
The reclusive Chinese billionaire whose kidnapping brought unwanted fame
He Xiangjian, the Chinese billionaire who founded the world’s biggest home appliances maker Midea Group and was the victim of a recent botched kidnap attempt, is a man of few words. The man with a $25 billion fortune shares only 26 words with his staff and customers on Midea’s official website. But plenty has been written about He – China’s sixth-richest person, according to Forbes – since June 14, when five kidnappers with explosives held the 77-year-old for ransom after breaking into his luxury villa in Foshan, his and Midea’s birthplace in southern China. Local police arrested the suspects after He’s son – 55-year old He Jianfeng, who sits on the Midea board – sneaked out of the property
China’s rich are worried about the future of Hong Kong
Wealthy investors from mainland China are watching developments in Hong Kong with growing concern, as tensions between Beijing and Washington over a new national security law raise questions about the future of the city. While anti-government protests have hurt Hong Kong’s reputation as an orderly financial hub, well-off investors in the mainland are still attracted to the city’s unique privileges within China.  Unlike mainland China, Hong Kong has unrestricted capital flows, an uncensored internet and rule of law upheld by an independent judiciary. The freedoms have allowed affluent investors to park money in the city and access the outside world. But China’s decision to move ahead with a
Online shopping is exploding in China
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features a single, illuminating number that helps you make sense of China. 710 million: the number of online shoppers in China.  The number of people in China who shop online reached 710 million in March 2020, according to the state-run China Internet Network Information Center.  The number has grown by 100 million from the end of 2018. Currently, more than half of China’s 1.4 billion population are buying things online. E-commerce has become a massive industry because of the growing spending power of China’s middle class. Also, the proliferation of online payment methods, as well as the low cost and efficient delivery infrastructure, has helped co