Economy

A man drives his bike inside a fenced residential area under a Covid-19 lockdown in Beijing, China, on 11 May 2022. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Tough Covid measures in China may drag on for another year

The swift way that districts and communities were shut down in Shanghai and Beijing is a reminder that the authorities will not hesitate to take drastic steps to stamp out Covid-19, whatever the human cost. Not only that, the end may not be in sight even by the summer of next year.
A resident looks on behind barriers at a fruit shop, during lockdown, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, in Shanghai, China, 16 May 2022. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Covid-stricken Shanghai is down, but is it out?

The seemingly unending lockdown in Shanghai has taken a toll on investor confidence, leading to some entrepreneurs and companies talking about leaving the city. Zaobao’s Shanghai correspondent Chen Jing surveys the short-term reactions and long-term outlook of China's top financial city.
This file photo taken on 4 August 2021 shows police officers wearing protective gear against the spread of Covid-19 spraying disinfectant at Nanjing port, Jiangsu province, China. (AFP)

China’s powerful export engine losing steam amid Covid-19?

Waves of Covid-19 outbreaks have dealt a big blow to China's economy, with strict anti-epidemic measures affecting businesses, exports and trade. Lockdown uncertainties have also sparked fears of increased competition with foreign manufacturers and a global supply chain restructuring away from China. Caixin surveys the challenges ahead.
The Bakun Dam in 2009. (Wikimedia)

Building dams in Sarawak: Can China and Malaysia ensure sustainable hydropower development?

ISEAS academic Tham Siew Yean notes that it is a win-win situation for Sarawak and China to co-develop dams and produce hydropower for domestic use and export. However, more can be done to safeguard environmental sustainability standards, especially if China means to change its image as a sustainability laggard.
Pedestrians walk in front of an electronic quotation board displaying share prices of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo, Japan, on 6 January 2022. (Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP)

Can a sliding Japanese yen survive the Fed's interest rate hike?

The Japanese yen has been on a prolonged decline and is unlikely to see an upside given the Japanese central bank’s persistence with its ultra-loose monetary policy. As a result, Japan’s trade balance is worsening and the Japanese people are feeling the crunch as energy and consumer goods prices soar. Chinese academic Zang Shijun believes that the Japanese currency will face even more pressure of rapid depreciation as the US Federal Reserve raises interest rates.
Alibaba founder Jack Ma in Paris, France, 15 May 2019. (Charles Platiau/Reuters)

How Jack Ma’s surname sent shockwaves through China’s capital market

News of the arrest of an individual surnamed Ma in the technology industry in Hangzhou on suspicion of endangering national security led to a sharp drop in the stock market, as people associated the name with Jack Ma, co-founder of Alibaba. Zaobao’s Beijing correspondent Yang Danxu notes that perhaps this is not so surprising, given Jack Ma’s previous trouble with the Chinese government, especially during the crackdown on the “disorderly expansion of capital”.
A man walks along a street in the central business district in Beijing, China, on 18 April 2022. (Wang Zhao/AFP)

China’s unified national market will benefit ASEAN in the long run

The authorities are taking steps to solve the issue of the Chinese market being “big but not strong” by standardising rules and standards and unifying the national market. But local governments used to fighting for their region’s interest at the expense of the national interest may find the changes hard to swallow.
An electronic ticker displays stock figures in Pudong's Lujiazui Financial District in Shanghai, China, on 7 February 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Japanese academic: China’s economy pushing forward with neoliberal reforms

Japanese academic Kai Kajitani doubts that the Chinese government's emphasis on common prosperity last year had the aim of implementing radical redistributive policies. Instead, he sees it as a “vaccine”, in the sense of a precautionary measure against widening disparities caused by the essentially neoliberal growth-focused strategy that Beijing is consistently advancing.
Workers in protective suits disinfect an old residential area under lockdown amid the Covid-19 pandemic, in Shanghai, China, 15 April 2022. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Shanghai's Covid shutdown is disrupting domestic and global supply chains

As Shanghai battles with its worst Covid-19 outbreak, stringent anti-epidemic measures confining almost everyone at home have ground the city to a halt. It is believed that if Shanghai is not able to resume production by May, industries with supply chains in the area will not be able to function, and the automotive industry will be hit the hardest.