Economy

Participants of reality TV series Sisters Who Make Waves (《乘风破浪的小姐姐》). (Internet)

Rich and wealthy ‘little sisters’ are the new driving force of Chinese consumerism

“Little sisters” — young women urbanites between 20-40 who have high spending power and little financial commitments — are the new darling demographic for those targeting China’s domestic market. In fact, the 2020 market size of the “little sisters economy” in China is expected to reach five trillion RMB. In keeping their buy-in, integrating e-commerce with social apps is key.
A man wearing a protective face mask walks past a mural inside Toyota's Mega Web showroom in Tokyo, 4 August 2020. (Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg)

Japan is not decoupling from China

As the coronavirus continues to affect supply chains worldwide, especially with China being a key hub, Japan is taking steps to diversity its sources and be less reliant on China. However, contrary to previous speculations, Japanese academic Shin Kawashima does not think that the Japanese government is attempting to decouple from China, in the way that the decoupling of advanced industries is being carried out in the US.
A security guard wearing a face mask walks past the Bund Financial Bull statue, on The Bund in Shanghai, China, on 18 March 2020. (Aly Song/File Photo/Reuters)

180 years later, China is still an outsider to the Western-led world order

The West has been setting up new rules and regulations targeting China's economic system, which they regard as a non-market economy that could undermine the proper functioning of international trade. These rules and regulations are formulated through international organisations, multilateral and bilateral trade agreements, and even as unilateral domestic laws. However, Chinese academic Zhu Ying says China is not buckling under pressure as its market economy is a mere means for China’s economic development, and not the end goal of its economic system.
An employee works on a production line manufacturing steel structures at a factory in Huzhou, Zhejiang province, China, on 17 May 2020. (China Daily via Reuters)

Can the domestic market save jobs, livelihoods and companies in China?

With Covid-19 uncertainty and downturns pummelling its export-dependent economy, China’s leaders are trying to steer companies towards the domestic market instead. This may seem like a case of putting old wine in a new bottle, as China has tried this route before. Significant challenges are proving yet again that achieving export sales domestically is no mean feat. Can export-driven companies brave the storm while they reinvent themselves and recover?
Workers labor at the construction site of an elevated highway on the outskirts of Shanghai, 12 June 2020. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Even as the US obstructs its way, how can China build trust for the BRI?

Yu Hong says while the US is mobilising all of its national strength to try to convince the international community to stand against the BRI, there are ways that China’s Belt and Road Initiative can have a second wind. As China rises to the challenge of advancing its “grand strategy” amid a global economy ravaged by Covid-19 and an increasingly hostile international environment, the key to solving its woes is in building trust. 
In this photo taken on 18 June 2020, welding works can be seen at the China-Laos Railway construction site. (Kai Qiao/Xinhua)

Amid a looming debt crisis, will China press the reset button on the BRI?

Since China launched its BRI in 2013, over 100 countries have signed agreements with China to work together on projects such as railways, highways, ports and other infrastructure. According to estimates from Refinitiv, there are over 2,600 projects in the BRI with a combined value of US$3.7 trillion. However, amid the pandemic spread, disruptions to global supply chains, anti-Chinese sentiment and clamours for debt relief, China is facing major hurdles and dilemmas on how it should forge ahead with the BRI. Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu reports from Beijing.
A police robot keeps watch on a shopping street in Shanghai, following the Covid-19 outbreak, on 16 June 2020. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Smart cities: The future of ASEAN-China cooperation

In the post-Covid-19 world, global supply chains are expected to be reconfigured as countries look to reduce their reliance on China. Enter greater room for ASEAN-China cooperation, particularly in areas related to the digital economy, such as in the development of smart cities. Associate Professor Gu Qingyang of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP) sets out the arguments.
Bridgewater Associates Chairman Ray Dalio attends the China Development Forum in Beijing, China, on 23 March 2019. (Thomas Peter/File Photo/Reuters)

Ray Dalio at the China Development Forum: What can history tell us about the rise of China?

Ray Dalio, founder, co-chief investment officer and co-chairman of Bridgewater Associates, spoke with Lu Mai, vice chairman of the China Development Research Foundation and secretary general of the China Development Forum (CDF), on 8 June 2020. Drawing from patterns and cycles that he observed from history, his talk focused on global economic trends and how the pandemic would shape the world. He also gave his opinions on China-US cooperation and competition, and gave suggestions as to how the two great powers can work together for the greater good of the world.
The Hainan free trade port is a new initiative by the Chinese government. (Internet)

Hainan free trade port: Replacing Hong Kong?

Offshore duty-free policy, lower rentals and proximity to mainland China — will the development of Hainan free trade port impact Hong Kong’s functions and status? Zaobao correspondent Meng Dandan seeks experts’ views for a clearer picture.