Worried about the slowdown in the Chinese economy? Or Beijing’s austerity drive? Lane Crawford, the iconic Hong Kong purveyor of luxury brands, is not.
It says the time is just right to open a shop in Shanghai which, at 150,000 square feet, is twice the size of any other Lane Crawford store anywhere. It will open in September. Continue reading »
When Barack Obama and Xi Jinping meet at the Annenberg Estate two weeks from now, the focus will be on how the American and Chinese presidents (pictured during a meeting in February 2012) can build a personal relationship able to bridge the many differences between the world’s two largest economies.
That may be a challenge. Politicians in both nations often struggle to hide their mutual dislike. Just now, Chinese netizens are working themselves up over Joe Biden’s dissing of their country in a recent speech. Continue reading »
A recent conference held by the China Medical Board, a US foundation, on China and the Global Burden of Disease identified smoking as the third greatest risk to health in the country, behind dietary risks and high blood pressure but ahead of China’s deadly environmental pollution about which so much has been written.
Asia is one of the last great global bastions of smoking, with China and Indonesia – the first and fourth most populous countries in the world – setting the regional lead. China alone is home to more than a third of the world’s smokers, puffing away at a rate of more than 2tn cigarettes a year. Continue reading »
The troubled Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange looks unlikely to be back in business any time soon. With regulators and the Hong Kong police opening separate investigations – followed quickly by three arrests on Tuesday night – the fledgling futures exchange may have done itself irreparable damage. Hong Kong’s financial sector will be very keen indeed to ensure the damage is restricted to HKMEx itself. Continue reading »
It’s tempting to think that the Hong Kong IPO market is finally back to good health. Two $1bn+ deals have been completed in the past few days and on Wednesday, one of them shot up on its debut.
But don’t pop the champagne just yet. While the deals got done, they did so with a lot of legwork. And its too early to tell whether they will ultimately offer much reward for investors. Continue reading »
The China Food and Drug Administration has promised to get tough on health foods before, with little result. This time, it seems, it is serious.
The recently-reformed CFDA has promised a five-month campaign from May to September to crack down on illegal activity in the health food industry, part of a broader drive by authorities to stamp out corruption and unethical business practices. Continue reading »
What is a Nobel Prize worth in the Beijing property market? Not very much if Nobel-winning Chinese author Mo Yan’s experience is anything to go by.
Chinese media reports say Mo (pictured) has bought an apartment on the far outskirts of the Chinese capital that they estimate will have cost him about half his Nobel prize money of $1.2m. Continue reading »
The sudden blow-up of the Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange (HKMEx) not only represents the collapse of a commercial proposition. It is also a warning call to Hong Kong’s ambition to develop itself as a commodities trading centre. Continue reading »
Shares in Mengniu, China’s largest milk seller by volume, soared more than nine per cent on Monday on news that Danone of France was set to invest €325m in two joint ventures with the Chinese company.
Danone will take a four per cent indirect stake in Mengniu through a joint venture with Cofco, a state-owned agricultural company that is Mengniu’s largest shareholder. Danone is also purchasing a 20 per cent stake in Mengniu’s yoghurt businesses, subject to regulatory approvals. Continue reading »
While many Chinese data points attract dubious looks – last month’s curious trade release for example – one set of figures looks pretty convincing. Official numbers for house prices released on Monday confirmed what private sector statistics told us last week – China’s property boom is back, and it’s moving at a rapid clip.
Of the 70 cities tracked by the National Bureau of Statistics, 67 saw prices rise in April from the previous month. That’s equivalent to 96 per cent, up from just 50 per cent in October. Continue reading »
Even in China, David sometimes beats Goliath – though it’s sometimes hard to be sure.
This week, residents of Songjiang – a suburb of Shanghai which has gained fame around the world for having over 10,000 dead pigs floating in its water supply – found that though they could not vanquish the porcine invader, they had scared away an intruder from the corporate world. Shanghai Guoxuan High-Tech Power Energy company said it was abandoning plans for a battery factory in Songjiang, after residents protested on the streets and on the internet against it. Continue reading »
China’s property market is suddenly looking a whole lot hotter.
A new housing index covers more cities than any other available gauge, reaching into many of the smaller towns where development has been most frenetic. And lo and behold it has produced a striking conclusion: that property prices are rising twice as fast as official data suggests. Continue reading »
Disputes between managers and shareholders aren’t new in Communist China. But now a public row has erupted in one of the country’s oldest businesses – a one-hundred year-old cosmetics manufacturer called Shanghai Jahwa.
Shanghai Jahwa’s predecessor was Hong Kong Kwong Sang, a company that made its name with Shanghai Vive toilet water, a so-called secret weapon of pre-Revolutionary Shanghai ladies.
But the Shanghai-listed company is now making headlines for a different reason: an internal conflict between its top managers and its controlling shareholder Ping An Trust, a subsidiary of Ping An Insurance, the big Chinese insurer. Continue reading »
Remember the tiff between US and Chinese regulators over accounting regulatory standards? You know, the one that resulted in the SEC charging the Chinese affiliates of the Big Four audit firms (plus BDO) with violating US securities law after the five firms allegedly refused to turn over audit work related to nine Chinese companies being investigated for potential accounting fraud?
Well, after a 10-month stand off, it looks like some progress is finally being made to avoid an accounting Armageddon that could have led to the wholesale delisting of Chinese companies on US stock exchanges. Continue reading »
and so 1990s
While many Chinese of a certain age are reliving their college days through the movie “So Young”, the country’s students of today are facing the fiercest ever competition for jobs, with a record high number of nearly 7m graduates this year.
“So Young” – a nostalgic look at student lives and loves of the 1990s from actress-turned-director Zhao Wei – has successfully captured the collective memories of those who left campus all those years ago. But when they look at the pressures facing today’s graduates, they may be glad their own student days are in the distant past. Continue reading »