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 »
Rat meat disguised as mutton, fake pharmaceuticals, entire replica Apple stores – China has seen almost every scam imaginable. But in the latest scandal unearthed by Chinese police the pirates have started to intrude into people’s love lives.
In a nationwide crackdown the authorities have arrested 37 people on suspicion of manufacturing nearly 5m fake brand-name condoms and selling them to unwitting consumers through supermarkets, pharmacies and sex shops across the country. Continue reading »
After an IPO drought in Hong Kong lasting more than half a year, China Galaxy Securities Co Ltd raised $1.07bn in an initial public offering on Wednesday, the largest local deal so far this year and a cheer-up both for Hong Kong’s IPO market and for investment bankers.
Galaxy is China’s biggest brokerage in terms of clients base and its seventh largest in terms of revenue. It sold 1.57bn shares at HK$5.3 (68 US cents) a share, according to two bankers familiar with the deal. Continue reading »
Langfang, a small inland city in Hebei province, is emerging as an information technology services hub in northern China, with a large number of big data centres.
For years, this gritty industrial centre, lying about 50 km away from Beijing and 90 km from Tianjin, found it impossible to compete with these two modern metropolises.
But recently it has taken advantage of its location between them to develop high-end industries, such as data storage and cloud computing. Continue reading »
When might the Chinese authorities lift the ban on domestic IPOs imposed last year to accelerate reforms and stabilise a weak stock market?
With the wonderful benefit of hindsight, it wasn’t surprising that predictions that the October suspension might be lifted in March proved wrong. After all, Beijing was in the throes of its leadership change.
But now that the new team is in place, there are signs that officials are preparing the ground for a resumption – albeit with tougher regulatory standards for issuers and sponsors alike. Continue reading »
The media and netizens alike have been chatting up a storm about the upcoming Alibaba IPO. Even though the offer has not been officially announced, estimates of the company’s potential value once it is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange have literally doubled in the past six months.
Is this a repeat of the frenzy that accompanied Facebook’s IPO, which ended in crashing disappointment when the stock plunged after the sale? Or can Alibaba Group make a better fist of handling the market? Continue reading »
There is a new man at the top of the China Investment Corporation (CIC), China’s sovereign wealth fund, prompting debate about whether the change in personnel will also mean a change in approach.
Lou Jiwei (pictured), who is still listed in CIC’s website as chairman and chief executive officer, became China’s finance minister in March. His successor has not been formally named but it has been locally reported that he is Tu Guangshao, the executive vice mayor of Shanghai. Continue reading »
Where can investors seek compensation in China if they think they have been cheated in a public stock offering?
Until now it’s been the company itself or its controlling shareholders. But in the case of aggrieved investors in Wanfu Biotechnology (Hunan) Agricultural Development the authorities have created a new option – the sponsoring broker. Continue reading »
Chinese people are used to hearing about the extraordinary benefits enjoyed by employees of big state-owned enterprises. But the size and scope of such benefits still delivered a shock when the National Audit Office released its annual reports on 10 SOEs and further exposed the extent of the problem.
Among the 10 were China Mobile, China Huaneng Group, China Publishing Group and other SOEs and, notably, their subsidiaries. They were found to have violated financial regulations by offering staff a variety of “invisible benefits”, according to audit reports for 2012 on the NAO’s website. Continue reading »
Official figures released on Monday showed that China’s economy is not getting worse – industrial production rose a touch, as did retail sales. Fixed asset investment fell slightly, but stayed above 20 per cent year on year growth.
But those banking on a speedy bounce in Chinese growth are unlikely to take much comfort. Continue reading »
The news that Guangzhou is to start building a costly cemetery exclusively for revolutionary heroes and government officials this October has stirred up something of an online controversy.
With the cost of cemetery space far higher than housing, it has highlighted the increasing inequality in Chinese society – in death, as well as in life. Continue reading »