China's Evergrande Group has agreed to sell a 20% stake in Shengjing Bank Co. to the local Shenyang government for 10 billion RMB (US$1.55 billion) to settle debts with the lender, according to a Bloomberg report. But the sale will do little to help Evergrande pay its massive debts to bond holders and homebuyers, many of whom camped outside its Shenzhen headquarters since news of its possible bankruptcy was reported more than two months ago. In fact, Evergrande missed paying its bond interest due on 29 September, in its second unpaid offshore debt payment in a week. Caixin journalists investigate the "high risks, high rewards" modus operandi of the Evergrande Group and its executives who lived on high debts, high financing costs but also big profits. Can Evergrande's high life continue or will they become "China's Lehman Brothers"?
In recent years, Chinese criminal gangs have moved to Southeast Asia including Myanmar, Laos and Thailand as China tightened its crackdown on telecom fraud at home. These gangs even have the support of local authorities in some cases. Now that the Chinese authorities are cracking down on cross-border crime, will the situation improve? Or will it be a never-ending merry-go-round?
How can one encourage a society where people do things that benefit not just themselves but also others? How can we eliminate bad behaviours and encourage better ones by institutionalising various means of rewarding good behaviour? Chinese economics professor Li Jingkui looks at examples from Chinese modern life and history to find the answers.
China has set itself the goal of achieving "common prosperity" in the coming years, after realising its goal of "building a moderately prosperous society in all respects". Chinese academic Luo Zhiheng describes this ideal society which is the opposite of a society plagued by a serious wealth gap — people should look forward to improving their quality of life and not worry about their basic needs; social safety nets should also provide basic livelihood protection for the disadvantaged groups. He outlines how China can realise this ideal by harnessing the strength of all who are able and who have "gotten rich first" during the reform and opening up process.
Caixin journalists take a look at China's after-school tutoring industry following a government clampdown that bans all tutoring related to the core school syllabus during vacations and weekends for students in elementary and middle school while barring private tutoring companies from going public or raising foreign capital. What is the industry doing to survive? Will they find new opportunities for themselves amid this major change?
In the wake of floods in Henan and the case of a hotel that raised its prices sky-high, Henan native and economics professor Li Jingkui gives a rejoinder to purists who swear by market-based resource allocation. He says sometimes, special circumstances warrant intervention to ensure an orderly distribution of resources. Profiting from the misfortune of others is certainly not a virtue according to Confucius or any good economist.
Bitcoin mining has been a huge money spinner for many people in China, not least in the less developed areas where it can be a lifeline out of poverty. While some Bitcoin miners have been put in a very difficult position with the Chinese government's recent clampdown on Bitcoin mining farms, they are not giving up yet.
Dr Kai-Fu Lee recently spoke at a summit reviewing the development of artificial intelligence. He gave five predictions about the industrial changes that would be brought about by the combination of artificial intelligence and other new technologies. Lee feels these changes would allow China to lead the world in science and technology in the next 20 years or so. This is the edited version of his speech.
In recent years and since the pandemic led to the surge in livestreaming, e-learning and other online activities, the demand for cloud computing and related services has increased significantly. Chinese companies led by frontrunners Huawei, Tencent and Alibaba are launching into all-out competition in the cloud services sector. While Huawei has been fiercely climbing the ranks with the injection of talent and funding, Alibaba and Tencent are not resting on their laurels either. What could be their winning war chests? And are they ready to take on the world? Caixin journalist Zhang Erchi finds out.