Waves of Covid-19 outbreaks have dealt a big blow to China's economy, with strict anti-epidemic measures affecting businesses, exports and trade. Lockdown uncertainties have also sparked fears of increased competition with foreign manufacturers and a global supply chain restructuring away from China. Caixin surveys the challenges ahead.
Despite its economic benefits for locals, rare earth extraction has become quite a headache for the people of Ganzhou, Jiangxi province. They have been left with toxic water and contaminated soil which has an impact on the livelihoods of farmers nearby. With a lack of funding and technology, how can local governments clean up the mines?
Despite a record number of graduates entering the job market this year, China is seeing a shortage of skilled tradesmen, especially for the manufacturing industry. Chinese economics professor Li Jingkui believes that the main reason for the talent demand gap is China’s education system, which is driven by remnants of the backward ideology of the ancient feudal society.
As Shanghai battles with its worst Covid-19 outbreak, stringent anti-epidemic measures confining almost everyone at home have ground the city to a halt. It is believed that if Shanghai is not able to resume production by May, industries with supply chains in the area will not be able to function, and the automotive industry will be hit the hardest.
Over the past three decades, China has implemented and revised its labour regulations in an effort to progress its market economy. Despite the strengthening of labour protection, young migrant workers have fallen through the cracks. Chinese economics professor Li Jingkui believes that the labour reforms have led to the social phenomenon of “Sanhe legends” — youths who are caught in an employment cycle characterised by poor working conditions, low wages and a lack of stability.
Hit by China's regulatory crackdowns, increased competition and slowing growth, Chinese internet titan Tencent had a tough 2021. The company has had to restructure and expand its international revenue streams, and it is now faced with tough layoffs. How is it staying relevant in the tech game, and does this mean that "winter is coming" for the internet giant?
China is currently dealing with its worst Covid outbreak since the start of the pandemic in 2020. It is aso facing the "triple pressures" of shrinking demand, disrupted supply and weakening expectations. The central government has introduced new policies and measures such as tax cuts for businesses, the easing of property market restrictions, and providing support for local governments' infrastructure investment, but analysts are expecting a bumpy road ahead for China's economic growth.
Despite many Chinese provincial-level regions reporting higher-than-expected revenues in 2021, some lower-level governments struggled with budgetary constraints. A gloomier budget outlook this year could add to woes all round and hurt local governments' capacity to finance investments and repay debts.
The case of Li Yayuanlun, a Chinese national who was kidnapped and forced to work as a “blood slave” by a gang of online scammers in Cambodia, sent shock waves through China. While the Cambodian police have questioned the veracity of Li's story, this incident nonetheless reflects the transnational illegal activities and violent crimes involving Chinese nationals in Cambodia.