China Readings for October 21st

  • China Starts Municipal Bond Sale Trial in Shanghai, Shenzhen – Bloomberg – China has approved a trial program that will allow select local governments to issue bonds for the first time and alleviate the debt burden on companies set up to raise funds on their behalf.
  • Fixing America’s housing market… with Chinese landlords? | beyondbrics | News and views on emerging markets from the Financial Times – FT.com – For a Chinese millionaire, investing is a chore these days. The stock market is in the dumps, house prices have stopped going up, and even gold is in a funk. Perhaps some real estate overseas?

    Enter Charles Schumer – China-currency-policy-basher, and US senator for New York State. Under a bipartisan bill, drafted by Schumer and Utah’s Mike Lee, foreigners could be granted a US visa if they buy an American home.

  • United States Seeks Detailed Information on China’s Internet Restrictions | Office of the United States Trade Representative – U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk announced today that, under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, the United States is seeking detailed information on the trade impact of Chinese policies that may block U.S. companies’ websites in China, creating commercial barriers that especially hurt America’s small business.

    An Internet website that can be accessed in China is increasingly a critical element for service suppliers aiming to reach Chinese consumers, and a number of U.S. businesses, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises, have expressed concerns regarding the adverse business impacts from periodic disruptions to the availability of their websites in China. While the United States believes that the best Internet policy is to encourage the free flow of information globally, the United States’ WTO request relates specifically to the commercial and trade impact of the Internet disruptions. Accordingly, the United States is asking China to provide details that will allow a fuller understanding of the legal and policy rules relevant to the accessibility of commercial websites in China.

  • CIC and SINA release joint white paper – ‘Microblog Revolutionizing China’s Social Business Development’ – The evolution “From Social Media to Social Business” outlined by CIC was recognized by Sina and other industry representatives.  In November of 2010, CIC and Sina formed a strategic partnership and in order to better drive China’s social business revolution. CIC will augment this collaboration with Sina in October 2011 with the release of the co-branded white paper <CIC•SINA – Microblog Revolutionizing China’s Social Business Development >. This white paper will discuss the features and market values of the microblog medium,  thoroughly explore the microblog led social business revolution and help brands and agencies comprehensively understand and leverage the platform in the Chinese market.
  • Report: Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent Receive Million of Government Subsidy in Cloud Computing | iChinaStock – Chinese Internet companies including Baidu Inc (NASDAQ: BIDU), Alibaba Group and Tencent have received millions of government subsidy in cloud computing, according to a report from Chinese media.

    The report said the the National Development and Reform Commission(NDRC), the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology(MIIT) and the Ministry of Finance have decided to give a total of RMB 1.5 billion subsidy to companies that made technology breakthroughs in cloud computing.

  • Condom app lifts off – Beijing government has launched a smart-phone application called "FreeCondom," making it easier than ever for people to find free condoms.
    While the delivery company says orders are strong, some residents say they do not trust domestically produced condoms, even if they are for free.
  • China’s Overhyped Sub Threat | The Diplomat – really?//

    Even if numbers really did matter, the trends aren’t in China’s favour. Beijing might match the United States in submarine production rates, but it can’t possibly keep up with the combined sub acquisitions of Washington and its closest Pacific allies. Japan is in the process of adding six diesel attack boats to its current force of 16. Australia aims to double its fleet of six diesel boats. South Korea is also doubling its six-strong undersea fleet. Two years ago, Vietnam purchased six Kilos from Russia.

    The Song submarine’s surprise appearance alongside the USS Kitty Hawk helped stoke fears of Chinese undersea dominance that were further fuelled by a brief surge in PLAN sub acquisition. Today, with more US and allied submarines entering service and fewer Chinese boats on the slipways, those fears – and the policies and assumptions they produced – warrant reconsideration. China isn’t building a world-class, globally-deploying submarine force. It’s building a mostly defensive, regional undersea force – and a smaller one than once predicted.

  • E-retail sector control tightened – Commerce authorities vowed Wednesday to strengthen management over the e-retail sector following a conflict between Taobao's B2C platform Taobao Mall (Tmall) and its small-scale merchants, which broke out earlier this month.

    "A root reason (behind the conflict) is China's lack of relevant management rules for the e-retailing business," Ministry of Commerce spokesman Shen Danyang said Wednesday, adding that the ministry will lead the drafting of such a regulation.

    The regulation will outline an access-and-withdrawal mechanism for third-party payment platforms and further clarify the responsibilities, rights and obligations of each party involved in e-retailing businesses, Shen said.

  • Andrew Beebe | LinkedIn – Chief Commercial Officer at Suntech Power
    Foundation Board Member at Clean Economy Network Foundation
    Vice President, Global Product Strategy at Suntech
  • U.S. Solar Panel Makers Accuse Chinese of Trade Violations – NYTimes.com – Seven American makers of solar panels filed a broad trade case in Washington against the Chinese solar industry on Wednesday, accusing it of using billions of dollars in government subsidies to help gain sales in the American market.

    The companies also accused China of dumping solar panels in the United States for less than it costs to manufacture and ship them.

  • China-bashing nothing new – The Washington Post – Many Chinese — or those paying attention to the constant China talk — call these complaints a normal part of the U.S. election cycle, and they expect the white-hot rhetoric to cool down once the campaign is over, regardless of who wins the White House.

    But economists, business people and others here also said that while some of the accusations against China hold some truth, others are unproven, and most involve complex issues that have been the subject of years of often tedious U.S.-China negotiations.

  • Northern Mariana Governor Offers to Lease Islands to China – Businessweek – The governor of the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory in the western Pacific Ocean, said he is willing to lease some of the islands to China as long as it’s not for military purposes.

    “If you are interested, I am offering these islands to China,” Governor Benigno Fitial told a group of Chinese governors and provincial Communist Party Secretaries at a conference in Beijing. “Lease these islands so that I can have enough financial resources to provide for more full employment for my people.”

  • At 105, Chinese Linguist Now A Government Critic : NPR – Zhou Youguang should be a Chinese hero after making what some call the world's most important linguistic innovation: He invented Pinyin, a system of romanizing Chinese characters using the Western alphabet.

    But instead, this 105-year-old has become a thorn in the government's side. Zhou has published an amazing 10 books since he turned 100, some of which have been banned in China. These, along with outspoken views on the Communist Party and the need for democracy in China, have made him a "sensitive person" — a euphemism for a political dissident.

  • CBD办公楼高达50元/天/平方米仍一房难求_笢弊冪撳厙求求弊模冪撳藷誧 – rents soaring in beijing CBD, vacancies near 0, price to rent ration in many areas in beijing, both commercial and residential, has contracted significantly. surprised western press not covered this//

      “国贸三期的高层写字楼已经达到了1600元/月/平方米,而且是一房难求。” 中原地产华北区域董事总经理李文杰表示。

      “今年写字楼租金在前三季度已经累计涨幅29.6%。”仲量联行研究部负责人覃晓梅说。

      商业地产的火爆已经远远超出了人们的预料,尽管行业中关于商业地产的泡沫言论不断,但是依然没有阻挡住商业地产的投资热潮。

      年内租金上涨30%

      “国贸的写字楼现在贵得已经离谱了,国贸三期的高层大概的租金是1500元/月/平方米,可能最高的都超过1600元/月/平方米了,这是什么概念呢?我们一天按照使用面积成本算上使用率大概超过80块,这是非常惊人的。相比之前的租金已经出现了大幅度上涨,在一期和二期的时候,当时的租金是200、300元/月/平方米,经过这几年的发展,实际上北京商业地产租金的上涨是非常突出的。”在西二环价值成长潜力及发展论坛上李文杰列举了这样一个例子。

  • Funding Shortages Halt China Rail Projects – WSJ.com – In the latest signs of trouble for China's multibillion-dollar rail ambitions, builders are being forced to suspend work on construction of more than 10,000 kilometers of railway owing to funds shortages caused by a tight monetary environment and a deadly July crash, a senior railway company executive said.
  • News Corp. Ignored Aberrant Wall Street Journal Circulation From Publisher – Bloomberg – News Corp. (NWSA), the media company facing an investor uprising over its business practices, was alerted to a plan to inflate circulation at the Wall Street Journal Europe almost a year before the newspaper’s publisher resigned, according to a former employee and internal documents.
    Les Hinton, the former chief executive officer at the News Corp. unit that publishes the Wall Street Journal Europe, was contacted with details of the payment practice in November 2010, according to former circulation manager Gert Van Mol and e-mails he provided to Bloomberg News. Todd Larsen, president of the Dow Jones & Co. unit, was also notified.
  • China Will ‘Strictly Control’ Shadow Banking Risks, CBRC Chairman Liu Says – Bloomberg
  • China’s Love of Sleeping U.S. Cherries Fuels Chilled-Cargo Surge: Freight – Bloomberg