Economy

Cooperatives seem to be making a return in China, like this one in Heilongjiang. (Internet)

Cooperatives are making a comeback. Is China preparing for combat and famine?

Cooperatives that used to manage agricultural and other daily resources in China faded away during China's reform and opening up, but recently, they were highlighted again by the state media and promoted in various regions. Chinese people are concerned if this means that the government is going to further tighten its grip on the economy or that China is preparing for the likelihood of containment and even war?
A person walks past a sign of Alibaba Group during the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai, China, 1 September 2022. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Rebirth of China's tech companies possible through regulatory reforms

While it appears that large digital platforms in China have been hit hard by a series of regulatory reforms in the last few years, they are down but not out, says researcher Jia Kai.
In this file photo taken on 12 October 2022, people walk along a pedestrian street surrounded by shops and shopping malls in Shanghai, China. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

China's private sector has continued its rise against all odds

Peterson Institute of International Economics researchers Tianlei Huang and Nicolas Véron analyse the seeming anomaly that an increasingly statist policy environment in China has not prevented a rapid rise of the private sector. While various factors have paused this rise, will the upward trajectory likely resume in President Xi’s third term?
A screen grab from a video featuring the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway. (Internet)

Easy highway, troubled city: How China wins and loses Cambodians’ hearts

Two China-driven projects show striking contrasts. The newly opened Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway has been well-received by Cambodians. But grand plans for Sihanoukville to be an investment hub and “multi-purpose” city have instead seen Chinese businesses crowding out locals, a boom-bust cycle in construction and illicit trades.
A general view of Malaysia's Bukit Bintang shopping district in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 19 January 2022. (Hussain Hasnoor/Reuters)

Taiwan can be key driver of Malaysia’s industrial upgrading

While it faces stiff competition from countries in the region such as Vietnam, Malaysia stands in good stead to win high-quality investments from Taiwan.
People and traffic pass near a marketplace in Taipei, Taiwan, 4 August 2022. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

Why Taiwan's New Southbound Policy has failed to achieve its goals

Taiwanese academic Hung-Jeng Tsai analyses decades of Taiwan’s Southbound Policy, now embodied in the latest iteration of the New Southbound Policy under President Tsai Ing-wen. He finds that despite the fanfare, few benefits have been won for Taiwan.
Consumers purchase pork in supermarkets in Taiyuan, Shanxi, 9 November 2022. On the same day, China's consumer price index (CPI) in October, released by the National Bureau of Statistics, rose 2.1% year-on-year, 0.7 percentage points lower than last month. (China News Agency/Zhang Yun)

Inflation under control in China, but rising pork prices says otherwise

Despite the wave of interest rate increases from central banks globally, China has gone the other way and cut borrowing cost, signalling a control in inflation in the country. But food prices, in particular pork products, have been soaring, and the continued weak domestic demand amid ongoing Covid-19 restrictions and a crisis of confidence among consumers worried about jobs and wages, pose major risks to China's economic stability.
This photo taken on 13 July 2022, shows a housing complex under construction in Dongguan, in China's southern Guangdong province. (Jade Gao/AFP)

China’s overreliance on land finance could lead to its downfall

Retired economist Zeng Yongchang shares his views on China’s land finance policies — while quick and efficient, land finance is unsustainable, as evidenced by the widening inequality, intensifying social conflicts and dire economic situation.
The business district in Hong Kong, 28 October 2022. (Isaac Lawrence/AFP)

Will an investment summit revive Hong Kong’s status as a financial hub?

This week’s Global Financial Leaders' Investment Summit in Hong Kong was an effort by the Hong Kong government to restore its position as a financial hub, which has been somewhat weakened due to China’s pandemic measures and other global responses. But despite John Lee’s optimistic address at the summit, the actual situation appears to be less than rosy, with several adopting a wait-and-see attitude.