Economy

Omicron impact on China manufacturing ‘ambiguous’ as November activity expands

China’s factory activity unexpectedly returned to expansion in November after seven months of decline due to an improved power supply situation and lower raw material prices, but the potential impact of the “big caveat” of the Omicron coronavirus variant remains “ambiguous”.The official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 50.1 in November, up from 49.2 in October, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Tuesday, halting a run of two months of contraction…

Why China’s strategy for avoiding the middle-income trap is a challenging one

Almost a decade ago, the World Bank and the Development Research Centre of China’s State Council published a report titled China 2030: Building a Modern Harmonious and Creative Society.While the report was presented as a research, its publication was widely viewed as a strategic blueprint for China to escape the “middle-income trap”, a stage of economic development in which income levels stagnate, preventing a country from joining the ranks of rich nations. Key suggestions in the report…

China’s economic arsenal has ‘more ammunition’ than other countries as 2022 uncertainties loom

Chinese authorities need to stay ahead of the curve to stabilise the national economy in the face of outsized threats in the coming year, senior policy advisers said at the weekend.The nation’s massive export machine may lose steam, its financial markets could be stressed, and its zero-Covid policy will be further tested, according to Huang Yiping, a former member of the People’s Bank of China’s (PBOC) monetary policy committee.The warning by Huang, who is now a professor with Peking University…

China’s property tax causing sleepless nights for homeowners as Beijing walks the ‘tightrope’

This is the third in a three-part series looking at the potential impact of China’s proposed property tax law.Computer programmer Zheng Wenxuan has two flats in Beijing – one for his own family and one for his parents who moved from their hometown in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang.The 42-year-old spends 25,000 yuan (US$3,900) a month for the combined mortgage payments – a heavy burden for the only breadwinner in the family.And that financial burden could become heavier with China’s…

US-EU press on with plan to tackle ‘dirty’ Chinese steel flooding markets

China’s “unfair trade practices” are once again in US crosshairs, with Washington indicating it will use a new metals alliance with the European Union (EU) to prevent Chinese dumping amid uncertainty over the next phase of bilateral trade talks.In an op-ed published on Sunday in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo took aim at cheap Chinese metals flooding global markets, lowering prices for American manufacturers and leading…

Record 2.1m Chinese sit civil service exam as economy slows, youth jobless rate climbs

A record number of Chinese are sitting the national civil service examination this year, in hopes of landing a secure government job amid slowing growth and high youth unemployment.More than 2.12 million applicants registered for Sunday’s exam, known as guokao in Mandarin, according to the state-owned China News Service.That is 35 per cent higher than last year’s 1.57 million, and the first time the number has crossed 2 million.That also gives applicants just a 1-in-68 chance of success, even…

How did China’s digital music industry become the second largest in the world?

How big is China’s music industry?China’s music industry has grown rapidly to become one of the world’s largest over the past decade. Since breaking into the top 10 of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry’s (IFPI’s) global rankings of music markets in 2017, it has risen to seventh place, just behind South Korea.But in terms of revenue from digital music, China was second only to the United States with US$2 billion in sales last year, and that number is expected to exceed US…