China economy

China economy

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.

Pick a side: Hong Kong national security law poses dilemma for foreign firms
Foreign companies operating in Hong Kong are facing a delicate decision as they digest the details of the city’s controversial new national security law: abide by the rules or support US sanctions against China for imposing the legislation. Company insiders and diplomatic sources said it was too early to assess the impact of the law on business in the financial hub. But its vague language and broad provisions have stoked fears and may result in “huge insecurity” for foreign firms – particularly a clause stating any person or organization that imposes sanctions could be punished. They said the legislation could be a wake-up call for businesses to re-evaluate their engagement with China, and i
Beijing wants to turn the ‘Chinese Hawaii’ into a trade hub to rival Hong Kong
China has unveiled plans to turn its southern island of Hainan into the mainland’s answer to Hong Kong or Singapore, as it tries to dampen the risk of decoupling with the United States. Beijing on Monday outlined a package of special policies to make the tropical island a free-trade port by lowering the income tax rate for selected individuals and companies, scrapping import duties and relaxing visa requirements for tourists and business travelers. The island province of 9.5 million people will also enjoy freedoms in terms of trade, investment and the movement of people and data, according to the plans. The project to create a regional trade, shopping and shipping center in Hainan – which at
China looks inwards as it plans for economic ‘worst-case scenario’
China is turning inward and looking to its domestic market, rather than international trade, to revive its economy in what has been described as preparation for a “worst-case scenario” that might see it decoupling from America and the rest of the West.   President Xi Jinping told dozens of top economic advisers in Beijing over the weekend that China was pursuing a new development plan where “domestic [trade] circulation plays the dominant role.” “For the future, we must treat domestic demand as the starting point and foothold as we accelerate the building of a complete domestic consumption system, and greatly promote innovation in science, technology and other areas,” Xi said in comments pub
Beijing abandons 2020 economic growth target
In a break with the past, the Chinese government will not set a target for its economic growth this year, Premier Li Keqiang said on Friday. The decision underscores the uncertainty facing the world’s most populous country brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and worsening US-China relations.  Li announced the decision during the opening session of China’s annual parliamentary gathering, which was delayed for two months due to the Covid-19 outbreak.  China has set a hard target for its gross domestic product growth every year since 1994. Li attributed the move to scrap the 2020 target to “the great uncertainty regarding the Covid-19 pandemic and the world economic and trade environment.”
‘The public is still fearful of the virus’: Wuhan faces long road to recovery
When Kang Wei landed a job with the local government in Wuhan last month, he believed his luck had finally turned. “I thought it was under a government bureau and would last until the end of the year,” he said. The migrant worker in his thirties had left his home in Huanggang in the central Chinese province of Hubei last year, heading to the provincial capital Wuhan to look for work. He then spent two months under lockdown as the city fought the Covid-19 outbreak, before joining the long lines outside businesses in the city looking for work before landing a job patrolling farms and villages to look for illegal structures. But as it turned out, the job lasted only a week before it fell victim
China’s poorest are battling to survive
Li Ming, a 36-year-old marketing manager for a car company in Beijing, is feeling the pinch for the first time in her life. When the coronavirus outbreak started, car sales slumped and she was furloughed from her job in February. To make matters worse, her husband, who works for an airline, has also had to take a 40% pay cut. “Suddenly half our household income evaporated,” Li said. “I haven’t had a decent sleep for months. We have a mortgage to pay and two children. They are a heavy burden now.” Li was able to save 12,000 yuan ($1,700) a month by firing the family’s domestic helper. “I explained and told her not to come back after the Lunar New Year holiday, which she was spending with her
China’s new priority is preventing an unemployment crisis
The coronavirus pandemic has forced a dramatic change in priorities for Beijing’s leaders.  Now they must grapple with falling economic growth and a rising unemployment rate that threatens social stability – the foundation of the ruling Communist Party’s legitimacy. University graduates, migrant workers and the country’s small business sector are the most at risk. China’s leadership has responded by making controlling unemployment a higher priority for the year ahead than getting the growth rate back on track. At the same time, local officials have been told multiple times that they must also fulfill the country’s anti-poverty targets by the end of this year, putting further pressure on loc
China’s youth had it good. Then the pandemic struck
(This story has been corrected. For details, see the note at the end of the story.) Su Yuxin has always looked forward to graduation. The 21-year-old dreams of making it as a hip-hop music producer. When she landed an internship at a famed music label in Beijing, she was excited to move on from her life in a lesser-known university in southern China. Now, with a pandemic weighing on the global economy, millions of students like Su have bigger things to fret about than being unable to land a dream job out of the gate. Her internship at the music label ended abruptly in February when her employer laid off all interns in response to a new coronavirus that was spreading across the country. “The
China’s jobs crisis could give leaders sleepless nights
Years of social progress in China are at risk of being undone as the world’s second-largest economy grapples with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic that has driven unemployment to historical highs. Over the past few years, the country’s labor market has been underpinned by the rise in service sector jobs, allowing newly laid-off factory workers to take up employment as delivery drivers or store clerks. But the pandemic has broken this virtuous cycle, fanning the government’s worst fears about massive unemployment and the potential for ensuing social unrest that could undermine its iron grip on power. Across the country, it is not uncommon to see stores closing or popular rest
China wants to help new graduates find jobs in 100 days. Here’s how
Beijing has kicked off a campaign to help graduates enter the labor market as the country faces growing pressure to reboot a sagging economy. Much like the rest of the world, China’s economy ground to a halt as the country instituted strict movement restrictions to battle the coronavirus, which first emerged in the central city of Wuhan.  The country’s economy shrank 6.8% in the first quarter this year – an unprecedented GDP contraction. Ten initiatives were announced on Wednesday that aim to help people find jobs for this year’s 8.74 million new graduates. The “100-day” campaign includes more graduate degree programs for universities, hiring an extra 400,000 graduates as teachers, expandin