Economy

China backs Hong Kong to join RCEP trade deal in potential boost to city’s flagging logistics sector

China’s central government has expressed strong support for Hong Kong joining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), after its financial secretary said the city intended to become a member of the 15-nation trade bloc in what could be a boost to its flagging logistics sector.The China-backed RCEP was signed in November and includes the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) plus China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. By eliminating…

China coal mine closures after deadly incidents likely to add to commodity pressure

A growing number of local authorities across China are temporarily closing coal mines to avoid more deadly incidents ahead of the Communist Party’s 100th anniversary next week, but the move is expected to add more pressure to commodity prices in the world’s second largest economy.China’s biggest coal-producing province Shanxi, which accounted for about 14 per cent of total global coal output last year, announced on Thursday the immediate closure of two local mines for at least a month following…

Millions turn to livestreaming to earn a living during Covid-19 pandemic, as the gig economy takes hold

Disruptions to people’s work lives from the coronavirus pandemic over the past 16 months have fuelled significant growth in people seeking to pursue live streaming as a gig, particularly in emerging markets, according to the co-founder of Asia Innovations Group (AIG), the tech start-up behind live streaming service Uplive and dating app Lamour.The Beijing-based company, which counts the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, White Star Capital and Instagram’s co-founder Mike…

China digital currency: could Beijing’s advanced e-yuan replace smaller Asian currencies?

Central banks around the world are developing sovereign digital currencies to improve international payments, but one concern that has emerged is that a foreign digital currency could displace a domestic one, especially in smaller Asian nations with less effective financial systems, analysts said.There is potential for a major central bank digital currency (CBDC) to make inroads into daily transactions, causing harmful spillover effects in the domestic financial market and challenging monetary…

Global minimum tax faces ‘long and rocky path’ to implementation after G20 endorsement

A new global minimum corporate tax could take up to five years to come into effect if endorsed by the Group of 20 (G20), with countries such as India likely to be beneficiaries, tax consultants say.G20 finance leaders are set to endorse a global corporate tax floor aimed at preventing multinationals from shifting profits to jurisdictions where they pay little or no tax when they meet next month, according to a draft communique reviewed by Reuters.No tax rate was mentioned in the document, but…

In windfall for Xinjiang, huge US mutual funds invest millions in its companies

Earlier this month, after US President Joe Biden expanded a Trump-era ban on investments in companies linked to China’s state security apparatus, the White House declared that it would “not hesitate” to block US capital from flowing to certain parts of China’s economy if they threaten human rights and US national security.The 59 blacklisted corporations include Chinese oil companies, aerospace firms and telecommunications giants, part of a broader crackdown in Washington that increasingly sees…

Xinjiang firms blacklisted by US seen ‘shifting orders within China’ to minimise impact

The US ban on imports and restricted exports involving five Chinese companies will not have an outsized impact on them, because producers can simply change the production origin by shifting orders elsewhere in the country, according to a Chinese analyst.The Biden administration confirmed on Thursday that it has banned US imports of metallurgical-grade silicon, as well as products made from it, from Hoshine Silicon Industry, over forced-labour allegations in China’s far-west Xinjiang Uygur…