Economy

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.
People commute on a bus during morning rush hour in Beijing on 22 May 2020. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP)

China's turn towards domestic market amid global uncertainties — good for the world?

China is speeding up its construction of a “domestic circulation system” to complement its international efforts, in a bid to protect itself from any anticipated effects of decoupling from global supply chains. If the world wishes to cut itself off from China, it seems to say, so be it, as it can make its own plans.
China-US competition  has extended into the realm of digital currency. (iStock)

As China's digital currency moves ahead, can Facebook's Libra match up?

The People’s Bank of China recently started pilot-testing a digital RMB in Shenzhen, Suzhou, Chengdu and Xiong’an New Area. Will this development threaten the US dollar’s role as the world’s reserve currency in the future? Meanwhile, Facebook and the non-profit Libra Association headquartered in Switzerland have been working towards launching a revolutionary cryptocurrency since June 2019. Although the shape of the project has changed, what will Libra be adding to the mix?
People with face masks are seen at a square near residential buildings under construction in Xianning, Hubei, China, on 25 March 2020. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Property now a liability for China’s middle class

With salary cuts, housing loans on their backs and little means of generating cash flow, middle-class workers across China’s cities are walking the tightrope of trying to maintain their living standards while keeping up with their mortgage payments. The recently-announced stimulus plan may not solve their housing woes either.
Mochtar Riady, founder of Lippo Group. (SPH)

Lippo Group founder Mochtar Riady: Globalisation without China is unrealistic

Nonagenarian Mochtar Riady, founder of Lippo Group in Indonesia, shared his views on “New Challenges and Opportunities in a Post-Covid-19 World” at a webinar yesterday. He believes that with its combined strength, ASEAN can weather any potential headwinds of deglobalisation. And contrary to what others predict, China’s place in global supply chains is firmly anchored and the country looks set to play a leading role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
George Washington is seen with printed medical mask on the one Dollar banknotes in this illustration, 31 March 2020. (Dado Ruvic/REUTERS)

AIIB, ADB or World Bank: Which is the bigger lender to Southeast Asian countries?

In the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, various countries have extended support to nations in need, including those in Southeast Asia. There has been talk about possible shifts in the international balance of power. In terms of funding provisions to Southeast Asian countries at least, the pandemic does not seem to have made big dents to long-established patterns. The more established multilateral development banks — the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank — are still ahead of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, but this could change in the near future with the latter stepping up its efforts in the region.
A woman walks past Vietnam national flags along a street in Hanoi, 18 May 2020. (Nhac Nguyen/AFP)

Foreign investors exiting China: Vietnam milks the gains

Vietnam stands to benefit from MNCs’ efforts to diversify their production base beyond China. How much it will actually benefit, however, depends on how fast it can roll out measures to further improve its infrastructure and business environment.
Pedestrians wearing protective masks walk with umbrellas past stores in Wuhan, China, on 30 April 2020. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Can Hubei bounce back after the pandemic, like Sichuan did after the earthquake?

China’s Hubei province — most badly-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic — has pressed the reset button on its economy, becoming China’s first province to implement an economic revitalisation package following the pandemic. Although policy details are not yet released, academics interviewed predict that Hubei will receive more financial subsidies than any other province or city, and industries like auto manufacturing and infrastructure will benefit from industry support policies. Hubei’s revitalisation scheme will also give an idea of how the country’s yet-to-be-released economic stimulus package will look like. While help is on the way for Hubei, due to the enormous economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, making a fast and effective recovery is going to be a tall order.
A deliveryman walks past a closed Luckin Coffee store at Sanlitun, Beijing, China on 7 February 2020. (Jason Lee/File Photo/Reuters)

Misbehaving US-listed Chinese enterprises and their gambler attitudes

Chinese companies listed on US stock exchanges such as Luckin Coffee and iQiyi have been embroiled in accounting scandals of late, causing investors to eye Chinese concept stocks with doubt. What can Chinese companies with hopes of gaining access to foreign investment do to improve their bad reputations by association?