Breaking news and analysis on China’s economy, including its opening up, the US-China trade war, the impact of tariffs and trade talks, growth rates and other key economic data, the Belt and Road Init

iative, and Greater Bay Area plan.

China’s growth falls to 29-year low. Official says progress ‘unstoppable’
China’s economy grew by 6.1% in 2019, the lowest annual growth rate for 29 years, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday. The gross domestic product (GDP) figure came in a year in which the Chinese economy was hammered by US tariffs as a result of the trade war. The new data comes a day after China and the United States signed an initial trade deal on Wednesday, marking something of a ceasefire in the trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies. However, despite falling to a new low since 1990, when political turmoil drove economic growth down to 3.9%, the 6.1% rate met the target range of between 6.0% and 6.5% set by the central government at the beginning of last year
China’s growth falls to 29-year low. Official says progress ‘unstoppable’
More people downloaded this Chinese app than Facebook
TikTok, the Chinese-owned short video platform popular among American teens, and Douyin, the domestic version of the service, became the world’s second-most downloaded app last year, according to market analyst Sensor Tower. TikTok and Douyin amassed a combined 740 million downloads last year, overtaking Facebook and Messenger, trailing only WhatsApp (which, like the Messenger app, is also owned by Facebook). As one of the rare Chinese-owned services that took off overseas, TikTok’s rise in the US has been met with pressure from lawmakers over national security concerns and alleged censorship.  The scrutiny has come at a time of mounting skepticism in Washington over China’s rising global in
More people downloaded this Chinese app than Facebook
Revealed: China to make huge purchases of US goods in initial trade deal
This story is part of an ongoing series on US-China relations, jointly produced by the South China Morning Post and POLITICO, with reporting from Asia and the United States. China has agreed to make significant purchases of US goods as part of the phase one trade deal to be signed in Washington on Wednesday. The goods will total $200 billion over two years across four industries, according to a Trump administration official and two other sources briefed on the matter. Beijing has agreed to buy manufactured goods worth around $75 billion, $50 billion of energy, $40 billion of agricultural goods and $35 billion to $40 billion in services, the three sources said. Perhaps in reciprocation, the U
Revealed: China to make huge purchases of US goods in initial trade deal
China province, population 80 million, says only 17 people live in poverty
A Chinese province of 80 million people has claimed that only 17 residents, from six families, remain in poverty, sparking intense debate about the veracity of official anti-poverty statistics. The coastal province of Jiangsu is the first to declare a near elimination of absolute poverty – which is defined in China as per capita net income of 2,300 yuan ($331) in 2011 prices – as part of President Xi Jinping’s drive to wipe it out and build China into a comprehensive well-off society by 2020. China has yet to publish official statistics for all of 2019, but the government has said the number of people in poverty was cut to 16.6 million at the end of 2018 and an additional 10 million were lif
China province, population 80 million, says only 17 people live in poverty
China’s government needs to take its thumb off the economic scales
China’s economic growth is expected to have slowed to just over 6%, and it is unlikely to accelerate any time soon.  In fact, analysts generally agree that China’s economic performance last year – its worst in nearly 30 years – could be its best for at least the next decade. What observers cannot seem to agree on is how worried China should be, or what policymakers can do to improve growth prospects. Optimists point out that, given the size of China’s economy today, even a 6% growth in gross domestic product translates into larger gains than double-digit growth 25 years ago. That may be true, pessimists note, but slowing GDP growth hampers per capita income growth – bad news for a country a
China’s government needs to take its thumb off the economic scales
China is struggling to break reliance on old economy
As China battles a trade war-fuelled economic slowdown, one of its main growth engines – the “new economy” – is stalling. The “new economy” has never been officially defined, but it is a concept loosely applied to a wide range of industries, from artificial intelligence and advanced manufacturing to fintech and web-based tourism. Beijing had hoped these industries would propel China from a traditional economy powered by unsustainable infrastructure investment and low-end manufacturing to a modern services-based economy. New research suggests this is not happening. Compared to 2014, the share of Chinese companies concentrated in the new economy has fallen.  Those companies that are in the ne
China is struggling to break reliance on old economy
9 fascinating China stories you might have missed in 2019
In 2019, Inkstone published some 250 issues and about 1,500 stories about China. By our rough estimate, that’s more than 1 million words, or about the length of the whole Harry Potter series.  That’s a lot of news, owing in part to an eventful year. But as unrest in Hong Kong and tensions between the United States and China dominated the headlines for months on end, there were stories that we liked that you might have missed. At the year’s end, we have put together a list of interesting, but lesser-read articles 📝 and videos 📺 that deserve a second chance. 1. ‘Let’s find somewhere private’: Single, retired and looking for love in Beijing 📝 China's widowers and single elderly people are lo
9 fascinating China stories you might have missed in 2019
Trump got 3 things right in China deal
Although the formal text of the US-China phase one trade agreement has yet to be released or signed, observers haven’t wasted a minute sharing their views. By far, the most controversial part has been the tariffs. Some believe the agreement was not worth the harm and uncertainty caused by the tariffs – many of which will remain in place, at considerable cost to US businesses, workers and consumers. Others say the escalating tariffs were instrumental in bringing the 18-month dispute to a successful partial conclusion. The tariffs certainly played a role, but three other factors were critical. First, in the final stages of the trade talks, the United States made important compromises. Usually,
Trump got 3 things right in China deal
One in 20 Chinese workers could be replaced by robots by 2025
By 2025, machines and robots are set to replace nearly 5% of China’s workforce, according to an industry report released this week. In a survey of nearly 2,000 companies in China, the Wuhan University Institute of Quality Development Strategy found that 13.4% used robots as part of their processes in 2017, up from 8.1% two years before. As a result, about 40% of China’s manufacturing workforce could be “potentially affected” by the use of robots, putting further strain on the job market of the world’s most populous country, according to the report. The rise of automation had a disproportionate impact on workers with lower levels of education. Between 2015 and 2017, robotics replaced 9.4% of
One in 20 Chinese workers could be replaced by robots by 2025
China’s first driverless cargo ship sets sail
China's first autonomous cargo ship successfully completed a test sailing in the waters surrounding the southern province of Guandong. The nation launched its remote-controlled cargo vessel project in 2017. The ship, called No 0 Jindouyun, is said to be the first autonomous cargo ship in Asia.
China’s first driverless cargo ship sets sail