Economy

People visit the Alibaba booth during the 2021 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) in Beijing, China, 4 September 2021. (Florence Lo/Reuters)

How internet giants' monopolistic practices hurt SMEs in China

Internet giants in China have been engaging in monopolistic practices that hurt the development of small- and medium-sized enterprises, says technology specialist Yin Ruizhi. As such, these practices will be dealt with by the government if the platforms themselves do not find ways to resolve them. Is this another move towards "common prosperity"?
This photograph taken on 8 June 2021 shows a street vendor walking past narrow residential houses, known as "nha ong" in Vietnamese or "tube houses", in an urban area of Hanoi. (Manan Vatsyayana/AFP)

Vietnam needs to do more to reduce trade dependence on China

Vietnam’s trade deficit with China has grown rapidly since 2001, and its heavy dependence on Chinese intermediate and capital goods creates vulnerabilities in its entire production chain. Besides, China has a history of using trade as a weapon to punish countries with which it has disputes. To reduce its trade dependence on Beijing, Vietnam has signed a number of new-generation free trade agreements (FTAs) in recent years, but these efforts have not produced desired outcomes. Vietnam will need to increase the utilisation rate of these agreements and push forward economic and institutional reforms to strengthen its overall economic resilience.
Pedestrians cross a traffic intersection near commercial buildings in Beijing, China, 25 August 2021. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Why China is setting up the Beijing Stock Exchange

With President Xi Jinping’s announcement of a new Beijing Stock Exchange, innovation-oriented SMEs will benefit and Beijing’s stock as a credible financial centre will also rise. Not only that, it is hoped that this will show China’s resolve to continue pursuing the market economy as it continues its push for “common prosperity”.
Pedestrians wearing protective masks walk down Nanjing East Road in Shanghai, China on 14 August 2021. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Why China is embarking on the journey of 'common prosperity'

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.
People wearing face masks are seen on an overpass in front of a residential building in Beijing, China, 11 August  2020. (Tingshu Wang/File Photo/Reuters)

Why China is regulating the property market

Rapid real estate and infrastructure development in China over the past two to three decades has improved people’s lives, but also led to rising housing prices and property speculation. Regional governments have started to step in with regulatory measures. Commentator David Ng thinks these are good signs, as a society’s wealth should be distributed by labour and contribution instead of through housing.
Cryptocurrency representations are seen in front of an image of the Chinese flag in this illustration picture taken 2 June 2021. (Florence Lo/Reuters)

China’s crackdown on cryptocurrencies: Trade-offs between stability and innovation

China’s crackdown on cryptocurrencies has increased the volatility of the market, not least with bitcoin miners fleeing and the price of bitcoin plummeting. What are the reasons behind China’s regulatory clampdowns and will other countries follow suit?
This photo taken on 1 April 2021 shows a worker adjusting cryptocurrency mining rigs at a cryptocurrency farm in Dujiangyan in China's southwestern Sichuan province. (STR/AFP)

China’s crackdown on cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin miners eyeing overseas ventures

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.
People stand in front of an electronic display showing the Hang Seng Index in the Central district of Hong Kong on 26 July 2021. (Isaac Lawrence/AFP)

HK Stock Exchange to benefit from returning US-listed Chinese firms

With the recent tightening of regulations in China and the US, US-listed Chinese companies and those seeking to launch IPOs in the US will be faced with a path of obstacles. To save themselves further headaches and from being embroiled in US-China tensions, will they turn their attention to Hong Kong?
A woman wearing a protective face mask walks the street following a surge of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections in Taipei, Taiwan, 18 May 2021. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

Taiwan's unequal status in US-Taiwan trade talks

Chinese academic Long Yan notes that even though the US seems open to developing its economic ties with Taiwan, the latter is not a significant trading partner of the US and trade talks between them have always been used as political mileage. Long suggests that Taiwan should reconsider its currently confrontational political stance towards China, and build on close cross-strait trade relations.