People commute on a street in Beijing, China, on 25 July 2023. (Jade Gao/AFP)

Struggling economy now a taboo topic in China

Lianhe Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu notes that the public space for discussion of China’s economic situation has tightened, even for experts and analysts. Should China control the narrative surrounding its struggling economy, which its people can clearly see and feel the impact of?
Baiterek, a monument and observation tower, in Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan. (Photo provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan)

Big Read: Kazakhstan’s economic emergence amid US-China-Russia power struggle

Kazakhstan’s development since gaining independence in 1991 has led it to become a leader in the Central Asia region. With much potential still waiting to be explored in this resource-rich country, Kazakhstan is walking a tightrope to balance its relations with the US, China and Russia. Lianhe Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong shares findings from her visit.
The logo of Temu, an e-commerce platform owned by PDD Holdings, is seen on a mobile phone displayed in front of its website, in this illustration picture taken 26 April 2023. (Florence Lo/Reuters)

US legal battle exposes Temu and Shein's questionable business practices

Chinese e-commerce giants Temu and Shein are currently locked in a heated battle for the US market and Chinese supply chain. As both sides are digging in their heels and accusing the other side of unsavoury business practices, who will emerge victorious?
People cross a street on the Bund in the Huangpu district in Shanghai, China, on 15 June 2023. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

China’s economy lacks foundation for expanding consumption

Chinese academic Han Heyuan notes that following the pandemic, disposable income in China is not at a level that allows for more domestic consumer spending, leading to economic growth being hampered. Also, the Chinese mentality is one of saving rather than spending, which makes it more of a challenge to encourage domestic demand.
People walk on a street as they shield themselves from the sun, amid a heatwave alert in Shanghai, China, 11 July 2023. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Low consumer confidence will dampen China's push to boost consumption

The Chinese government is pulling out all the stops to boost domestic consumption, including a list of 20 measures from the National Development and Reform Commission. However, given that these measures do not include direct funding policies, how effective will they be in getting people to spend?
People ride past residential buildings developed by Country Garden Holdings Co. in Baoding, Hebei province, China, 1 August 2023. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

China’s property crisis contagion spreads to state-backed developers

With sluggish sales, a growing list of unfinished projects and mounting debt repayments, China's property crisis, which is stretching into its third year, is now spreading to state-owned developers.
Attendees at the ChinaJoy Expo in Shanghai, China, on 30 July 2023. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

China’s first half GDP growth: Has the economy bottomed out?

While the latest economic data from China show encouraging GDP growth, taken in context, many provinces are actually seeing slower growth as compared with the first quarter of this year. Lianhe Zaobao journalist Li Kang examines the figures and speaks to economists to find out more.
People walk past KeeTa advertisements in Mong Kok, Hong Kong, China. (HKCNA)

Food delivery giant Meituan’s foray into Hong Kong: Getting ready for internationalisation

Meituan, mainland China’s food delivery giant, made its first foray outside the mainland to Hong Kong recently, under the brand KeeTa. It faces stiff competition from incumbents Foodpanda and Deliveroo, amid a strong sense of local identity among Hong Kong residents which may affect take-up rates to some extent. Nevertheless, this is a testbed for Meituan’s internationalisation plans. Lianhe Zaobao journalist Tai Hing Shing reports.
A livestreamer promotes coal during a livestreaming session on the Douyin app, in this illustration picture taken on 15 June 2023. (Florence Lo/Illustration/Reuters)

WeChat’s short video e-commerce drive suffers from a lack of customers

Tencent is pushing hard into the crowded social video market through its three-and-a-half-year-old Channels platform, a function embedded in WeChat. It has hopes of deriving associated revenue from livestreamed e-commerce. But how will this platform compare to frontrunners in the field such as Douyin and Kuaishou?