August 4 – August 10, 2014

[Technology] LG Electronics seeks fresh smartphone start in China with G3 launch – Reuters

(Reuters) – LG Electronics Inc will on Monday begin selling its latest flagship smartphone in China, a market where it has struggled to make a dent and that has become increasingly tough for makers of high-end handsets other than Apple Inc.

Eager to capitalize on strong early reception for its G3, the company on Friday said it will sell the device through online shopping site JD.com, China’s second-biggest e-commerce company by market share, at 3,999 yuan ($650). … Read Full Story

[Business] In China, Japanese cars are losing their cachet – Market Watch

SHANGHAI–In April, 30-year-old financial manager Deng Dan replaced her three-year Nissan Qashqai crossover and upgraded to an Audi sedan.

“Audi is very popular among young people. I just wanted to go with the fashion,” said Ms. Deng, who lives on the outskirts of the southern Chinese city of Changsha. “In my mind buyers of Japanese cars are those who are less affluent.”

Ms. Deng’s thoughts highlight the challenge confronting Japanese auto makers in the world’s largest auto market: weakening popularity among younger and more affluent consumers. … Read Full Story

 

[Business] M&M’s Rides the Chocolate Wave in China – The Wall Street Journal

SHANGHAI—Mars Inc. will unveil a flagship store in Shanghai on Friday in a move to expand its brand in China, where candy makers are heating up competition in one of the world’s fastest-growing chocolate markets.

For closely held Mars, best known for its M&M’s chocolates and Mars and Snickers candy bars, the 1,600 square-meter, $10 million M&M’s department store, located in Shanghai’s version of Times Square, is a first foray into China’s retail scene. … Read Full Story

[Business] What to Expect When You’re Targeted by China’s Antitrust Cops – Bloomberg Businessweek

These are busy times for Chinese officials in charge of fighting monopolies. Last week, antimonopoly investigators swooped in on Microsoft (MSFT) offices in four cities, seizing documents and computers. The government’s State Administration of Industry and Commerce followed up with a warning to Microsoft on Monday. “The SAIC formally told Microsoft not to interfere in the investigation process,” theChina Daily reported the administration announcing on its website. … Read Full Story

[Business] China Exports Accelerate, Imports Fall in July – The Wall Street Journal

BEIJING—China’s exports surged in July on the back of strong demand from the U.S., Europe and Southeast Asia, while imports fell, surprising markets on both counts and resulting in a record monthly trade surplus.

The news was largely welcome in Beijing, as the world’s second-largest economy struggles to regain growth- and foreign-trade momentum after this year’s weak start, although negative import growth underscores continued weak domestic demand. … Read Full Story

[Business] McDonald’s July Sales Slip on China, U.S. Pressures – The Wall Street Journal

McDonald’s Corp. MCD -0.01% on Friday reported its worst monthly global same-store sales in more than 10 years as it deals with a meat-supplier scandal in China and continued weakness in the U.S.

Global sales fell 2.5% in July, far worse than expected. The steepest drop came in its Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa region, where sales at existing locations slumped 7.3% last month. Analysts were expecting a 0.5% drop in that region. … Read Full Story

[Business] Tesla in China: Slow Sales Acceleration and a Brand-Name Dispute – Bloomberg Businessweek

Elon Musk, Tesla Motors’ (TSLA) chief executive, has big hopes for China, a country that should be a natural for his electronic cars. The world’s largest auto market has notoriously awful smog problems, and the Chinese government has made the pollution fight one of its top priorities. Last month, for instance, China’s State Council agreed to exempt electric cars (as well as plug-in hybrids and fuel-cell vehicles) from the 10 percent tax normally assessed on new autos. And the government on July 13 said electric cars would make up at least 30 percent of its vehicle purchases by 2016. … Read Full Story

[Social Media] China Tightens Restrictions on Messaging Apps – The Wall Street Journal

China for the first time placed restrictions on instant-messaging services—an increasingly popular platform in the country for discussion and debate.

Beijing said the restrictions were instituted to “help build a clean cyberspace” and safeguard national security. … Read Full Story

[Business] BMW Profit Growth May Be Exhausted, While China Probe Clouds Future – Forbes

BMW’s latest financial results excited most investors, again, but there are some who wonder if, just maybe, the leading German luxury car maker’s growing profitability might be peaking out.

And news that the Chinese government is investigating foreign automakers’ alleged monopolistic pricing won’t help BMW or for that matter its competitors like Daimler’s Mercedes, VW’s Audi and Jaguar Land Rover. Massive sales in China have been almost a license to print money for luxury car makers, with BMW accounting for one fifth of its revenues there. China provides around 30 per cent of BMW’s operating profit. … Read Full Story

[Business] China’s Coming Shale Gas Auction Offer Little Hope to Private Investors – Forbes

China’s auction of shale blocks is a somewhat strange business. The first shale sale in June 2011 was largely a staged play among the six state-run bidders. The second round held in 2012 was open to private investors, but shortlisted candidates included the bizarre choices of a home-appliance company and a hardware firm that mainly sells hand tools. Now the repeatedly delayed third round is expected to take place, but things are unlikely to get any better for private investors hoping to benefit from the country’s future shale gas boom. … Read Full Story

 

[Environment] China’s War On Air Pollution Shows More Promise Than Reports Indicate – Forbes Asia

Multinational corporations like Coca-Cola andPanasonic are increasingly offering expat executives “hardship packages,” which include allowances for frequent trips to their home countries and additional ‘bonuses’, to entice them to stay in China’s polluted cities. While the private sector is offering a short-term solution to China’s air pollution problem, it is not the only plan for making China’s smog-choked cities more livable. … Read Full Story

[Business] China stocks are back from the dead – CNN Money

Chinese markets are showing signs of life after a dismal first half of the year, driven higher by a steady flow of positive economic news.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite has jumped about 7% since the end of June, erasing a 3.2% decline in the first six months of the year. The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average have both fallen around 2% since the end of June. … Read Full Story

[Business] China Said to Exclude Apple From Procurement List – Bloomberg News

China’s government excluded Apple Inc. iPads and MacBook laptops from the list of products that can be bought with public money because of security concerns, according to government officials familiar with the matter. … Read Full Story

[Business] Wal-Mart’s Strategy to Jump Start Growth in China – The Wall Street Journal

David Cheesewright, who started his career as a gym teacher, faces a big challenge as the newest chief executive of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. WMT +0.87% ‘s international division: Get the retailer’s overseas operations back in shape.

Following years of double-digit sales growth, sales at its 6,100 international stores rose 1.3% in the year ended Jan. 31 as the company struggled to turn around what was once its fastest-growing division. … Read Full Story

[Breaking News] Death toll in China rises to 589 – AOL

LUDIAN, China (AP) – The death toll in southern China’s earthquake rose to 589 on Wednesday as search and rescue teams pushed into isolated mountain communities to clear debris from collapsed homes.

The Yunnan provincial government said more than 2,400 people were injured in Sunday’s 6.1 magnitude quake in the mountainous Yunnan farming region of Ludian county – the country’s deadliest temblor in four years. … Read Full Story

[Business] Yachtbuilders Are Eyeing A Boom In China – Business Insider

With a fortune made in Chinese finance, Li Wang already has six cars including a Bentley and a Porsche, and his eye on his next multi-millionaires’ toy: a boat.

“I only know a little about yachts at the moment,” acknowledged the chubby 27-year-old, strolling in golden sunglasses among the sailboats, catamarans and motor cruisers lining the jetties at a boat show in Dalian. … Read Full Story

[Business] Car Makers Face Hits in China – The Wall Street Journal

SHANGHAI—Foreign auto makers came under new pressure in China on Tuesday, with Daimler AG DAI.XE -1.01% saying it is assisting Chinese authorities in an investigation into the car maker’s Mercedes-Benz brand and Chrysler unveiling wide-ranging price cuts on some of its cars and spare parts. Chrysler said its move is a “proactive response” to an antitrust probe. … Read Full Story

[Technology] Forget Samsung, Xiaomi is China’s new smartphone king – CNN Money

The upstart Chinese smartphone maker has knocked Samsung off its throne in China, shipping more units than its South Korea-based rival for the first time in the second quarter.

The performance is the latest indication that Xiaomi has evolved from niche player in China to a major force in its home market. … Read Full Story

[Business] BMW sales top one million. Thanks China! – CNN Money

China’s love of luxury cars continues unabated, helping drive BMW group sales to a record one million vehicles in the first half of 2014.

Global sales of the group’s three brands — BMW, Rolls-Royce and Mini — rose by 7% over the same period last year. China sales were up 23%. … Read Full Story

[Environment] China to ban all coal use in Beijing by 2020 – ABC News

China’s smog-plagued capital has announced plans to ban the use of coal by the end of 2020 as the country fights deadly levels of pollution, especially in major cities.

Beijing’s Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau posted the plan on its website Monday, saying the city would instead prioritize electricity and natural gas for heating. … Read Full Story

 

[Breaking News] China rescues 32 from rubble after quake kills hundreds – USA Today

BEIJING — Firefighters rescued more than 30 people Monday trapped in rubble from a strong earthquake that hit southern China, even as the death toll rose to nearly 400 people.

The magnitude-6.1 quake that struck the mountainous region in Yunnan province on Sunday has killed at least 398 people and injured more than 1,800, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported. … Read Full Story

[Business] Chinese Regulators Search Daimler Offices – New York Times

The German automobile giant Daimler has become the latest multinational company to bear the brunt a Chinese regulatory investigation, confirming on Tuesday that officials from an agency that enforces antimonopoly and pricing rules had searched its offices in Shanghai. … Read Full Story

[Environment] China needs ‘sustainable’ urbanization – ChinaDaily USA

As its urbanization continues, China needs to use more renewable energies to reduce possible impact on the environment, said C.S. Kiang, founding dean of Peking University’s College of Environmental Sciences, on Sunday at a conference in New York. “In 15 or 25 years, Chinese urbanization is going to be the largest human activity ever undertaken. What’s the possible ecological impact? I specifically stress that urbanization is not only a China issue. It’s a global issue,” Kiang said at a US-China economic and trade conference as part of the Vision and Innovation Forum at New York University. … Read Full Story

[Business] Local Governments Out of Pocket? – Beijing Review

According to a report issued by the National Audit Office, local government debt in China had totaled 17.9 trillion yuan ($2.9 trillion) by the end of June 2013. Of this, local governments are responsible for repaying 10.89 trillion yuan ($1.76 trillion), which accounts for 61 percent. They also assume the liability of guarantee for 2.67 trillion yuan ($430 billion) and some liability of salvage for 4.34 trillion yuan ($700 billion), respectively. … Read Full Story

[Sports] Baseball serves as bridge for US ties – ChinaDaily USA

Baseball may be America’s national pastime, and while the jury is still out on whether the sport will ever find a similar following in China, several Chinese community leaders are happy to use it as a bridge for better understanding between the world’s two largest economies. … Read Full Story

[Technology] China’s mobile game market to grow a scorching 93% to $2.9B in 2014 – VentureBeat

SHANGHAI — It doesn’t get much hotter than this, unless you’re talking about the temperatures this city reaches during the summer. The Chinese mobile-game market has exploded, with revenue expected to grow 93 percent to $2.9 billion in 2014, and that expansion should continue at a compound annual growth rate of 37.6 percent from 2013 to 2018. … Read Full Story

[Business] China’s Stocks Rise to Eight-Month High as Chalco Rallies-Bloomberg

China’s stocks rose to an eight-month high, led by financial and commodity shares, on speculation the government is accelerating state-owned enterprise reform and relaxing rules to help brokerages free up capital for expansion. … Read Full Story

[Business] How will China handle its real estate bubble? – Al Jazeera America

China’s economy has been on a rocky path since the global financial crisis of 2008. Many observers have decried the existence of massive excesses in property investment, warning the country’s economy is too reliant on a property bubble that is waiting to burst. Yet China marches ahead. In April, The Financial Times estimatedthat, for the first time since the 1870s, this year China will be the world’s largest economy, supplanting the United States. … Read Full Story

[Business] China Crackdown Turns Treasury Wines Into a Takeover Target – BloombergBusinessweek

Billionaire Henry Kravis may turn out to be an unlikely beneficiary of Xi Jinping’s campaign to fight corruption in China. The Chinese president has been leading a fight to curtail conspicuous consumption and extravagant gift-giving among Communist Party and Chinese government officials, and that has dampened demand for, among other high-end luxury goods, premium wines. …Read Full Story

[Breaking News] US ready to help China in quake relief – ChinaDaily USA

WASHINGTON – The White House on Sunday offered condolences over loss of lives in China’s southwestern province of Yunnan, where a strong earthquake befell earlier in the day, saying the United States was ready to help. “The United States offers sincere condolences to all those who lost loved ones in the Aug 3 earthquake in southwestern China,” National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said in a statement. … Read Full Story

[Technology] China to Microsoft: Don’t Interfere in Antitrust Probe – PCMAG

Chinese officials this week issued a stern warning to Microsoft: don’t interfere with our antitrust investigation. China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) recently questioned Microsoft’s Deputy General Counsel, Mary Snapp. But in a later statement, SAIC warned Microsoft that it “should strictly abide by Chinese laws and may not interfere [or] in any way hinder investigation of the case, to ensure an objective and impartial investigation.” … Read Full Story

[Policies] China relaxes capital controls for some foreign firms – Yahoo Finance

BEIJING (Reuters) – Some foreign firms in China can now use their registered capital to buy stakes in other Chinese companies as part of an experiment to further loosen capital controls, the foreign exchange regulator said on Monday.

The State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said the pilot test would also reduce red tape for companies that want to convert their registered capital into yuan to attract more foreign investment. … Read Full Story

[Business] China’s surging investment in US heralds new multinational era – South China Morning Post

Chinese investments in the United States now exceed American investments in China in an historic shift that may see the emergence of joint Sino-US multinationals, but one that is also fraught with geopolitical risks, said analysts. “Chinese FDI [foreign direct investment] into the US will be one of the great economic stories of the next decade,” said Mike Margolis, a partner at US law firm Blank Rome. …Read Full Story

[Business] McDonald’s Hopes to Bring Burger Back to China Soon – Wall Street Journal

BEIJING— McDonald’s Corp. MCD -0.62% hopes within a week to put burgers and McNuggets back on the menu in many of its China stores, two weeks after it cut ties with a Shanghai supplier that allegedly sold the chain expired meat. The Oak Brook, Ill., company has been working with existing suppliers to increase capacity, a China-based spokeswoman for McDonald’s said Monday. McDonald’s had to conduct due diligence on new potential suppliers so they would fit the company’s “farm-to-fork process,” she said. “It takes a longer time for good reasons.”… Read full story

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