China: News for the Start of 2014

January 2nd, 2014
in econ_news, syndication

Econintersect:  This is a collection over the past several days of news stories about China.  Click through Read more >> for the list of stories with links and brief summaries.  Among these stopries are some that would have gotten individual news article postings in a non-holiday season, including the latest reports on China's PMI (Purchasing Managers' Index) data and the ongoing credit rate and liquidity volatility which is related to the concern about local government debt.


Follow up:

US cosmetics company Revlon said Tuesday it was shutting down its operations in China to cut costs, eliminating about 1,100 positions. Revlon said its China business represented about two percent of total sales, which topped $1.4 billion worldwide in 2012, and that the move would lead to savings of about $11 million a year...

A report from the National Audit Office says debt rose 12.7% in six months, which is likely to further raise concerns about China’s borrowing.

China has local government debts of 17.7 trillion yuan ($2.9tn), up 70% from three years ago, according to an official report.  China's government asked the National Audit Office (NAO) in July to do a round-up of the debts outstanding at a local level.  The report showed some local governments were using new loans to repay more than a fifth of their debt.  China has a total government debt of about 58% of its economic output.

China's benchmark money-market rate dropped by the most in a week amid ample cash supply at commercial lenders even as the central bank drained funds.  The People's Bank of China withdrew a net 29 billion yuan ($4.8 billion) this week in open-market operations after refraining from selling reverse-repurchase contracts, according to traders at primary dealers required to bid at the auctions. The PBOC conducted repurchase agreements on Dec. 30 and Dec. 31, reported, citing unidentified people from two banks, without giving the amount.

Guess what is coming soon to a building site near you.  Until now it has been widely assumed that construction equipment made by Chinese companies, and even equipment made in China by the leading foreign firms, was inferior in both quality and technology to gear produced in the foreign firms’ factories back home...

Economic Times:  China may raise Iran oil imports with new contract.
BEIJING: China may buy more Iranian oil next year as a state trader is negotiating a new light crude contract that could raise imports from Tehran to levels not seen since tough Western sanctions were imposed in 2012, running the risk of upsetting Washington ...

Growth in China's factories slowed slightly in December with the official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) dipping to 51.0, but the figure confirmed views that the world's second-largest economy showed resilience at the end of the year. Economists polled by Reuters had expected the official PMI, published by the National Bureau of Statistics, to ease to 51...

Three years ago, Renmin University of China made national headlines when it became the first college in the country to offer a master's degree in anti-corruption studies.  Last month, the university was in the news again, but for less welcome reasons. Cai Rong-sheng, head of student admissions at Renmin - one of China's most prestigious educational establishments - was detained as he attempted to flee the country.  While the investigation into Cai continues, two weeks ago another high-profile figure, An Xiaoyu, vice-president of Sichuan University, the most respected college in southwestern China, was reported to be under investigation following allegations of corruption related to the construction of a new campus.

China's first aircraft carrier has successfully completed sea trials in the South China Sea, state media reported.  The Liaoning returned to port Wednesday after a 37-day voyage, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

When a Chinese furniture maker announced in November it would open its first US factory in Virginia, Roy Dahlquist, an official with the state's economic development group, said the news signified "a growing trend that manufacturing is returning to the US".

Thousands of people took to Hong Kong's streets today demanding the city's government introduce full democracy with international standards in the next election for its leader in 2017.  About 6,100 protesters participated in a march from Victoria Park in the Causeway Bay district to government headquarters near the Central financial district, according to Hong Kong police estimates.

  • China's largest auto parts company made a surprise bid for Fisker Automotive just days before the bankrupt maker of the Karma plug-in hybrid sports car was to be sold to a Hong Kong tycoon, according to court documents.

Steven Hansen
John Lounsbury

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