Economy

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.
A view of part of the Laos-China Railway under construction in Vientiane, Laos, 5 July 2021. (CNS)

BRI projects in Cambodia and Laos roll on despite Covid-19

The pandemic has affected BRI projects, but China has swiftly taken measures to keep BRI projects going by ensuring financial flow and supply of materials, so that key BRI projects in Cambodia and Laos are not much affected. Through the BRI, China’s economic presence and influence in Southeast Asia will continue to rise, while Cambodia and Laos will continue to rely more on China for their economic development.
A pedestrian pauses on a footbridge in the Lujiazui business district in Shanghai, China on 20 July 2021. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

The Yangtze River Delta region: Promoting economic integration amid provincial competition

While the Yangtze River Delta region comprising Shanghai and parts of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui has been seeing strong economic development, it could be more productive. Provinces with their own targets to meet have few incentives for regional integration, leaving the region as a whole less competitive. How can policies or market mechanisms be implemented to encourage more collaboration between local governments?
A picture illustration of the banknotes of the euro, HK dollar, US dollar, Japanese yen, British pound and Chinese yuan. (Jason Lee/File Photo/Reuters)

Escalating China-US confrontation will accelerate RMB internationalisation

Peking University PhD student Xiong Lan believes that as US-China tensions ratchet up from competition to confrontation, it is likely that the process of internationalising the renminbi (RMB) will be accelerated. The next ten years will be crucial, if China is to reach targets such as for the RMB to exceed 10% market share of international currencies by 2029 and account for 30% of global reserves in the long run. What obstacles stand in the way?
Traders work during the IPO for Chinese ride-hailing company Didi Global Inc on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) floor in New York City, US, 30 June 2021. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

If not the US, can the Chinese government provide better IPO choices for internet companies?

Analyst Zheng Weibin notes that the clampdown on Didi shows that the competitive relationship between China and the US has affected the global interactions of tech giants, and political factors will matter more in global investments of startups in China. In the aftermath, will technological innovations such as digital manufacturing through artificial intelligence be straitjacketed?
A general view of Benzilanzhen, Yunnan province, China, 22 July 2021. (CNS)

Overcoming uneven growth in China's poorer western provinces: Potential and challenges

High-speed rail and other infrastructure development have been proceeding apace under China’s Western Region Development Strategy. However, in trying to catch up with the eastern region, the gap between provinces in the western region may have inadvertently been widened. Without an effective division of labour, wasted resources and unnecessary competition are likely.
A man waters a tree planted on the edge of the Gobi desert on the outskirts of Wuwei, Gansu province, China, 15 April 2021. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

Can China revive its poorer western provinces?

China has sought to rectify the imbalance in east-west regional development by improving connectivity and accelerating infrastructure-building in the western provinces through the Western Region Land-Sea Corridor and BRI projects. How successful they will be depends largely on continued capital injections, the region’s greater opening up and good cooperation with China’s neighbouring countries.