August 11 – August 18, 2014

Not to Be Left Out, China Embraces the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ – The Wall Street Journal

Over the past couple of days, China’s technology tycoons have lined up to get soaking wet by participating in the so-called “ice bucket challenge,” in which people pour buckets of ice water over their heads as part of a fundraising drive to help fight ALS, a neurodegenerative disorder commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease…Read Full Story

China Home Prices Fall in Most Cities on Weak Demand – Bloomberg

China’s new-home prices fell in July in almost all cities that the government tracks as tight mortgage lending deterred buyers even as local governments eased property curbs…Read Full Story

Property Developer China Vanke Posts First-Half Profit Increase – The Wall Street Journal

SHANGHAI— China Vanke Co. 000002.SZ -0.21% , the world’s largest residential property developer by revenue, said Sunday that it managed an increase in its net profit for the first half of 2014, despite China’s housing downturn, by focusing on home sales in larger Chinese cities where profit margins are higher…Read Full Story

Obama’s Green Dilemma: Punish China, Imperil U.S. Solar – Bloomberg

From the State of the Union address in January to a recent California fundraising swing, President Barack Obama has missed few opportunities to tout the nation’s use of renewable energy to fight climate change…Read Full Story

Foreign Direct Investment Into China Falls to Lowest Level in 2 Years – The Wall Street Journal

BEIJING—China denied on Monday that a spate of recent antitrust probes into foreign companies could be responsible for falling levels of investment in the country, after data showed that foreign direct investment in China fell 17% in July compared with a year earlier…Read Full Story

China calls for greater use of homegrown medical devices-Reuters

Aug 18 (Reuters) – China may use incentives to encourage domestic hospitals to use Chinese-made medical devices as it looks to stimulate the local market and reduce soaring healthcare costs, a potential threat to the global firms who currently dominate the sector…Read Full Story

Thousands in Hong Kong Rally in Support of China – The New York Times

HONG KONG — Tens of thousands of people marched under a blistering sun in Hong Kong on Sunday to express their opposition to a pro-democracy movement that has threatened to bring Asia’s biggest financial center to a standstill if the government does not open up the nomination process for electing the city’s top leader…Read Full Story

China Pushes Cleanup of Banks – The Wall Street Journal

Top Four Lenders Are Raising Capital and ‘Bad Banks’ Are Being Created to Absorb Soured Loans..Read Full Story

Protecting fair skin with China’s ‘face-kini’ – BBC

Perhaps drawing inspiration from Spiderman, beachgoers in China’s eastern city of Qingdao have come up with a novel way of protecting their skin from the sun…Read Full Story

U.S. losing its interest in buying China companies – MarketWatch

LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — U.S. companies, and really companies all around the world, are losing interest in buying up their Chinese counterparts, according to a Dealogic report out Friday…The Wall Sreet Jurnal

Doubt Is Cast on Vetting of Deals by Alibaba –  The New York Times

The Alibaba Group, the Chinese e-commerce giant, has been on a buying spree since the start of last year, spending billions of dollars to acquire stakes in businesses like department stores and mapping services in China and an array of technology start-ups in the United States…Read Full Story

UPS And FedEx Can Now Ship Packages In China Without Joint-Venture Partners –Business Insider

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – After years of waiting, United Parcel Service Inc (UPS) and FedEx Corp have received licenses in China to extend domestic express package services to Beijing and other cities without needing joint-venture partners…Read Full Story

Worst drought in half a century hits China’s bread-basket – The Wall Street Journal

HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — China’s worst drought in half a century is sweeping across crucial agricultural regions, devastating harvests in its wake and threatening food security…Read Full Story

After China smartphone success, Lenovo plans leap forward overseas – Reuters

(Reuters) – China’s Lenovo Group said first-quarter profit jumped 23 percent, beating estimates, as a surge in smartphone sales showed how quickly the world’s biggest personal computer maker is transforming itself into a major player in mobile technology…Read Full Story

America’s view of China is fogged by liberal ideas -Financial Times

Do the events that led to the outbreak of the first world war carry lessons for the Sino-American relationship? A century ago it was the ascent of Germany under Kaiser Wilhelm II that unsettled the world; today a rising China is roiling east Asia. Then, as now, domestic politics on both sides played a role; one that is too easily neglected…Read Full Story

China Is Rejecting GMO Corn and That Isn’t Good for American Farmers – Truthout

The industrial agribusiness has embraced GMOs in the United States, but it’s having a serious effect on farmers. Most recently, China began rejecting a variety of genetically modified US corn, and the rejection is reportedly costing American farmers upwards of $3 billion, according to the National Feed and Grain Association… Read Full Story

‘Return to rationality’ signals big shift in China’s housing market – Financial Times

As China’s real estate slump began to hit sales at the Champs Elysées development in the picturesque lakeside city of Hangzhou, the company building it responded with a price cut.

Angry homeowners gathered to protest, holding banners with slogans such as “Return my blood and sweat money!” as police formed a barricade around the office entrance. The residents relented eventually, perhaps with the creeping realisation that the days of making easy money in the Chinese real estate market are over…Read Full Story

China’s Wanda Takes on Disney, DreamWorks Animation With Plan For 200 Theme Parks – The Hollywood Reporter

Wanda Group, China’s biggest real estate company and the world’s largest cinema chain, is planning to build 200 children’s theme parks by 2020, local media reported, making it the country’s biggest kids entertainment company. The parks are set to provide domestic competition for U.S. giantsDreamworks and The Walt Disney Company, both of which have big plans for China… Read Full Story

Ganji gets $200 million funding as China’s online classifieds battle heats up – Tech In Asia

The recent IPO of China’s top online classifieds site has sparked new competition in this very unsexy sector. Today Ganji revealed it has pulled in a sixth round of funding worth US$200 million in order to keep pace with 58.com, its NYSE-listed rival. Craigslist is a very minor player in China mostly just used by expats…Read Full Story

Why Investors Are Furiously Protesting Outside China’s Biggest Bank – The Wall Street Journal

“Swindler ICBC, pay back our blood and sweat money!”

That’s what Chinese protesters earlier this week had to say outside Industrial and Commerce Bank of China offices in Guangzhou and Shanghai.

The protesters weren’t displaced farmers or migrant workers: Instead, they were a group of furious investors demanding that the country’s biggest bank bail out a trust company that had failed to pay its bills…Read Full Story

Anxiety Is Local in China’s Property Woes – The Wall Street Journal

A whiff of desperation lingers over China’s property markets. Investors betting on a quick real-estate recovery would be wise to consider the consequences. Shares of China’s biggest listed developers rallied in July in response to moves by local governments to make it easier for buyers to purchase property. An S&P Index of China property companies is 15% higher than in late June. It is thought that loosening of curbs should attract skittish buyers back to the market. These included minimum down-payment requirements and other limits, especially on buyers of multiple properties…Read Full Story

Li Ka-Shing, Wang Jianlin and China’s Falling Home Prices – Forbes

According to a story on Friday in the Wall StreetJournal, Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, who is ranked by Forbes as Asia’s richest man, is reported to be selling a property in Shanghai for RMB 1.54 billion ($250 million). If realized, the disposal of Shanghai International Capital Plaza by Li’s ARA AssetManagement would be the fifth property asset sold off by a company controlled by the Chinese tycoon in the last year…Read Full Story

China Probes Threaten to Squeeze Foreign Profits – Bloomberg

China’s antitrust crackdown signals a new era of regulatory scrutiny in the country and threatens to end the days when products from Audi sedans to Starbucks lattes generate fatter profits in Beijing than in London or New York… Read Full Story

How China’s Trying to Boost Its Economy: ‘Qualitative Easing’

To describe the nature of China’s current monetary policy and to differentiate from that of the U.S. Fed, one economist has coined a new term: “qualitative easing.” Professor Willem Buiter, chief economist at Citigroup, came up with the phrase to distinguish the Chinese central bank’s recent moves from the much better-known quantitative easing program by its U.S. counterpart… Read Full Story

China Struggles to Expand Quake-proof Construction – Voice of America

HONG KONG—The powerful earthquake that hit Southwest China earlier this month killed more than 600 people and flattened an estimated 22,500 homes. The tragedy has highlighted the difficulties China faces in extending safety standards for homes in remote areas of its countryside… Read Full Story

China’s Political Spectrum under Xi Jinping –The Diplomat

When, in November 2012, Xi Jinping took up his position as secretary general of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), his political ideas and positioning inside the Party remained largely a mystery. The CCP is a huge bureaucratic machine mainly devoted to its own survival, within which various interests and priorities unceasingly compete at every level. The personal convictions of supreme leaders are at best diffuse and changing, and none of them can lastingly avoid going through the system of decision by consensus. For this reason it is somewhat futile to try to identify perennial political factions… Read Full Story

Yao Ming Wants to Wean China off Ivory and Shark Fins – Time

BEIJING – Former NBA all-star center Yao Ming is now dishing out assists to much wilder targets. After retiring from the Houston Rockets in 2011, Yao returned to China and set out to end his homeland’s traditional appetite for endangered and threatened animal products… Read Full Story

Upstart Bank in China Rides High on Technology I.P.O. Crest – The New York Times

HONG KONG — When Alan Guo was chief strategist at Google China, he would have leisurely conversations with Fan Bao, a Beijing banker, exchanging ideas about the future of the Internet in China and swapping gossip about industry personalities. Mr. Bao, who had been a strategist at a Chinese technology company before setting up his own boutique investment bank in 2004, would occasionally prod Mr. Guo about his plans…Read Full Story

U.S., China tussle over sea claims – The Washington Post

NAYPYIDAW, Burma — The Obama administration insists it isn’t having a contest with China for influence and leadership in Southeast Asia, but both sides were clearly keeping score at a weekend meeting of regional foreign ministers here… Read Full Story

Chinese banks getting serious as risks from bad debts swell – Shanghai Daily

CHINESE banks are scrambling to get on top of bad debts they have downplayed for years, cutting off riskier borrowers, further tightening lending terms and, in one case, deploying teams of investigators to assess the risk of loan defaults.

China’s banks keep reporting bad loan levels well below what most analysts consider realistic, but their recent actions suggest the slowing economy may be squeezing borrowers and lenders harder than thought only a few months ago… Read Full Story

California Related:

Former Executives From E&J Gallo and Constellation Launch New International Wine Company – Market Wired

SANTA BARBARA, CA–(Marketwired – Aug 13, 2014) – Today two wine industry veterans on different continents announced they are joining forces with noted import/export experts to form the Aspira Corporation. As part of a long-term plan to introduce a broad portfolio of wines into Asia, Aspira will launch Sunterra™ as its first brand to be sold in China. John Kochis, CEO, has long seen the opportunity in Asia but needed the right team and the right brand… Read Full Story

Door to China reopens for California citrus – The Produce News

After more than 14 months of being denied official access to the Chinese market, the California citrus industry was notified verbally the week of July 28 and in writing Monday, Aug. 4 that China was once again open for exports of California citrus.

“We are very happy the market is open,” Jim Cranney, president of the California Citrus Quality Council, told The Produce News Aug. 7. “We estimate [China] to be approximately a $70 million market” and growing, with “somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 million cartons of California citrus going into China annually before the market closed…Read Full Story

California Drought Transforms Global Food Market  – Bloomberg

For more than 70 years, Fred Starrh’s family was among the most prominent cotton growers in California’s San Joaquin Valley. Then shifting global markets and rising water prices told him that wouldn’t work anymore…The result will affect everything from the price of milk in China to the source of cherries eaten by Americans. It has already inflamed competition for water between farmers and homeowners…Read Full Story

University of California steps up out-of-state recruiting –The Sacramento Bee

Last spring, representatives from the University of California, Davis, made 20 trips to China to encourage admitted students to accept their offer to study in the United States. The director of admissions at UC Santa Cruz met one young man in New Delhi, India, who had traveled hundreds of miles to make the case that he belonged at the coastal university thousands of miles from his home…Read Full Story

California named top overseas property destination for Chinese buyers – Property Report

Chinese investors who buy residential real estate abroad have picked the Golden State as their favourite investment destination in the United States, according to Washington, DC-based National Association of Realtors. In its recently released 2014 Profile of International Home Buying Activity report, Realtors determined that affluent buyers from China are now the biggest group of foreign investors in the US in terms of total sales dollar volume, claiming a 24 percent market share, mostly spending their money in high-priced markets like California, Washington and New York… Read Full Story

Billions will be lost unless Congress reauthorizes Export-Import Bank – The Boston Globe

FIRMGREEN, A SMALL renewable-energy company in California, lost a $57 million contract this year because of ideological posturing in Washington. One firm’s woes — the company had to furlough workers when it lost the job in the Philippines — might not affect the economy much. But the needless stalemate in Congress over the future of the Export-Import Bank of the United States threatens many other companies and workers too. At a time when the economy is still recovering, the conservative hardliners rallying to shut down the agency are risking a serious, self-inflicted economic wound. The bank is a hard institution to understand, much less to love, but Congress and Speaker John Boehner should stop fooling around and reauthorize an important economic tool…Read Full Story

Chinese startups get taste of Silicon Valley with TechCrunch-CNN

Beijing (CNN) — San Francisco-based TechCrunch brought a taste of Silicon Valley to Beijing this week, with more than 50 startups showcasing their innovations to tech fans and investors at a two-day event in the Chinese capital.

The conference attracted some of the most forward-thinking and dynamic Chinese technology wannabees, including ANTVR, a wearable gaming device company…Read Full Story

China Business Insight:

Sending the Right Message in China – The New York Times

Read Full Story

Foreign retail web sites load slowly in China – Internet Retailer

China leads the world in online retail sales, and shoppers there will buy $446 billion worth of goods from web sites this year, says Beijing-based market watcher iResearch. But slow-loading web sites may be keeping international retailers and brands from selling to those Chinese online shoppers…Read Full Story

What Do China’s New Free Trade Zones Mean For North American Businesses? – Forbes

After 30 years of rapid economic growth, China is looking to refuel its momentum by restructuring its economy to suit the changing times. Late in 2013, China unveiled the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, the first of several experimental free trade areas within mainland China. The zone is a testing ground for a number of economic policy changes, including relaxed restrictions on many industries, from banking and shipping to video games and motorcycles. What do the features of the SFTZ mean for foreign investors?…Read Full Story

China’s Food And Drugs Saga: Xi Jinping’s True New Plan – Forbes

In October 2013,the then CEO of a food multinational in China shared with this journalist a confidential information from high sources : China was going to bring down its licensed milk producers number to 15, half of the figure officially released. “This number”, he meant, “represents about the group of large foreign players on the local formula milk market”. Therefore, only a tiny number or local companies, among the largest like Yili orMengniu would be allowed to stay and compete with those major world producers…Read Full Story

Three Things Mondelēz International Has Learned About Success In China – Forbes

Introducing a new brand to the marketplace is a challenge. Introducing an existing brand to a new marketplace is a challenge. Introducing an existing brand to a marketplace whose culture is poles apart from that of its home turf is an even greater challenge, still.  How do you take what you’ve learned from a successful brand launch in one country and adapt this information to meet the needs, tastes, and buying habits of another country? And, what if this country is China, an arena for business that is growing not incrementally, but exponentially? Suffice it to say, challenging…Read Full Story

Entrepreneurs: China’s Next Growth Engine? – The Diplomat

Should China want to remain an international economic superpower, it will need to substitute its current growth model – one largely based on abundant, cheap labor – with a different comparative advantage that can lay the foundation for a new, more sustainable growth strategy… Read Full Story

Chinese Consumers: Increasingly Optimistic but Also Realistic – The Boston Consulting Group

Last year, China experienced a decline in GDP growth, along with a steep drop in consumer sentiment exacerbated by an anticorruption campaign that dampened the intention to spend in lower-tier cities in particular. This year, although business activity was slow in the first quarter, the economy has shown signs of stabilizing, with improved consumption growth. After dropping to a five-year low in January and February, total retail-sales growth increased in May to 12.5 percent, its fastest pace since December of 2013…Read Full Story

Could Stronger Unions Make China More Democratic? – The Nation

Han Dongfang, a longtime Chinese labor activist, has some ideas about democracy in China. But unlike most of the liberal Western critics and prominent exiled dissidents, Han is not focused on freeing Tibet, street rallies for human rights, or freedom of the press—though he understands that all those issues are vital to the debate on China’s political future. He thinks democracy begins not by casting a ballot for far-away political leaders, but electing your shop steward. And the interesting part is that the foundation for this emerging in workplaces across the nation that is defining, for better or worse, our global economy… Read Full Story

[Report] Chinese shoppers: Evolving behaviors in a challenging environment – Bain&Company

The growth of the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) market continued to slow in China in 2013. Fierce competition among brands and thriftier shoppers mean that marketers can no longer grow a brand just by riding a category wave. Gaining market share is imperative, and market penetration is the primary way to achieve it

Have you got guanxi? The top five barriers for SMEs exporting to China – Smart Company

Compliance costs, a lack of resources and difficulty in creating personal networks are among the biggest challenges faced by SMEs when exporting to China, according to research from the Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce.

VECCI Export Services says knowledge of the local market and an understanding of the local culture and language are also barriers for Australian SMEs doing business in China, which VECCI says is home to 300 million middle-class citizens… Read Full Story

E-Commerce in China: What to Expect – Power Retail

The Chinese e-commerce market is exploding. But there are some key differences between the East and the West for those entrepreneurs to consider while sizing up the opportunity, writes Mathew McDougall…Read Full Story

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