Economy

The BYD EV Dolphin Mini is displayed as the Chinese electric-vehicle producer announces the launch of the low-cost EV in Mexico City, Mexico, on 28 February 2024. (Toya Sarno Jordan/Reuters)

China-Mexico-US trade relations remain evermore interdependent

Talk of relocation of supply chains and geopolitical tensions notwithstanding, China, Mexico and the US have been in an interdependent trade relationship for a long time, says academic Liu Xuedong. In particular, Mexico’s sales destined for the US market are very much dependent on purchases from China. Even Chinese manufacturing firms who have moved to Mexico may find that China and Mexico’s trade relationship remains evermore interdependent.
Signage at the Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. offices in Beijing, China, on 8 August 2023. (Bloomberg)

Alibaba renews strategy reset to revive growth momentum

Alibaba has been grappling with sluggish growth in the face of a cooling Chinese economy and rising competition from upstarts such as PDD Holdings and ByteDance’s short-video app Douyin. How is the e-commerce giant responding to these challenges?
Shenzhen's EV penetration rate reached 67.9% in 2023, nearly double the national average of 35.7%.

China’s EV market: Rapid development amid slowing sales

Chinese automakers have made improvements in production and quality of electric vehicles (EVs), leading to a growing number of people who are purchasing EVs. However, convincing people to make the switch is not easy, as sceptics still have reasons for holding on to their fuel vehicles.
This photo shows an aerial view of shipping containers stacked at the Lianyungang Port in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province, China, on 26 March 2024. (AFP)

'World’s factory' status threatened as supply chain shifts away from China

Even as China seeks to maintain its position as the “world’s factory”, globalisation means that companies are seeking to diversify their operations, and are shifting away from China in favour of alternatives. Commentator Jin Jian Guo delves into this trend.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Qiang arrive for the closing session of the National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, on 11 March 2024. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

Xi Jinping's conundrum fixing the Chinese economy

Japanese academic Toshiya Tsugami notes that even as China's economy is facing a difficult time, the Chinese government's efforts to prevent the bubble from bursting might in fact be having the opposite effect in the long run, and the more important thing is to fix structural problems.
Representations of cryptocurrency Bitcoin are seen in this illustration picture taken in Paris, France, on 9 March 2024. (Benoit Tessier/Reuters)

Rising cryptocurrency appeal in China despite ban and escalating restrictions

In times of economic uncertainty, the allure of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is stronger, despite China’s ban on cryptocurrency trading and mining since 2021. In some cases, it might even be a means for wealth transfer. NUS academic Ben Charoenwong discusses the issue.
The mastermind of the fraud Qian Zhimin (left, also known as “Hua Hua”) is still at large. Wen Jian (right) is charged with money laundering and will be sentenced on 10 May 2024. (The UK’s Crown Prosecution Service)

How billions in Bitcoin laundered from China ended up in British hands

A high roller from the UK has been found to have participated in what the British Metropolitan police described as the largest Bitcoin money laundering case in UK history, resulting in the seizure of 61,000 bitcoins, now worth approximately 31 billion RMB.
Founder and chairman of Chinese internet giant Alibaba Jack Ma gives a speech at a high-profile startups and high-tech leaders gathering, Viva Tech, in Paris, France, on 16 May 2019. (Charles Platiau/Reuters)

Jack Ma's reappearance energises Chinese internet and investors: Will Alibaba rise again?

Jack Ma recently sent out an internal memo, affirming Alibaba’s reforms and organisational restructuring, stating that the company has returned to a healthy growth track. Meanwhile, reports suggest that Ma, having returned from obscurity, is once again deeply involved in strategic decisions. Will this be Alibaba’s foray back to the top? Lianhe Zaobao’s China Desk tells us more.
This aerial photograph taken on 5 April 2024 shows tourists at a vacation resort in Huai'an, in eastern China's Jiangsu province. (AFP)

Why China's debt-ridden local governments left trillions of special bond proceeds unused

PIIE researcher Tianlei Huang explains how local governments did not make the best of the local special bond programme, a major instrument of fiscal stimulus after the pandemic in 2020. He considers if the programme needs to be downsized, and resources possibly channelled to other areas such as building human capital.