Property market

A man rides a bicycle past a Yango Group real estate project under construction in Yanan New Zone, Shaanxi province, China, 4 January 2019. (Yawen Chen/Reuters)

China's local governments going bankrupt?

Local governments in China are facing a problem of not having enough in their coffers, leading to various measures such as a hiring freeze in Hegang city. Corruption also remains a problem, with some officials using their authority and influence to line their own pockets. Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu notes that there is a danger of such debt issues becoming a risk to social stability.
Signs of Alibaba Group and Ant Group are seen during the World Internet Conference (WIC) in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, China, 23 November 2020. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Painful retrenchments at China’s internet giants

Even as the pandemic created greater demand for internet companies like Kuaishou, Alibaba and Meituan, these companies are finding their large staff numbers unsustainable, leading to a wave of major retrenchments over the past year or so. This is not just due to overexpansion, but also operational pressures that come with new regulations to protect employment rights. Zaobao journalist Meng Dandan reports.
People cross a road in the central business district in Beijing, China, on 16 December 2021. (Greg Baker/AFP)

China's desperate measures to avert a looming economic crisis

Hefty civil servant pay cuts and desperate measures to get more money in regional coffers portend headwinds in China’s economy. The “triple pressures” it currently faces — demand contraction, supply shocks and weakening expectations — will see China needing to right severe imbalances and do more than just pushing for high-quality development.
A woman takes a photograph of the China Central Television (CCTV) Tower in Beijing, China, on Monday, 13 Dec, 2021. Economists predict China will start adding fiscal stimulus in early 2022 after the country’s top officials said their key goals for the coming year include counteracting growth pressures and stabilising the economy. (Andrea Verdelli/Bloomberg)

China holding off on regulatory crackdowns and common prosperity?

“Stability” was the main keyword of the CPC’s annual Central Economic Work Conference on 10 December. Emphasising “economic development as the central task” without compromising on stability, the signs seem to point to the party soon putting the brakes on some of the extreme regulatory measures it has taken to rein in capitalist forces. While it fears its powers could be eroded by the wealthy, it fears even more the collapse of the Chinese economy, which would have dire consequences. Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong analyses the situation.
A person looks towards cranes in front of the skyline of the central business district (CBD) in Beijing, China, 18 October 2021. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Can China pull itself out of the economic doldrums?

China was the only major economy to expand in 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic swept across the world. But its regulatory whirlwind over the past year has created uncertainties and headwinds for the economy. Caixin tells us the five key things to watch for as the world’s second-largest economy ploughs through the final quarter of the year.
This file photo taken on 17 September 2021 shows a man walking past a housing complex by Chinese property developer Evergrande in Guangzhou, China's southern Guangdong province. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Can China achieve a soft landing for its housing market?

Qin Yu notes that the property market will cool somewhat, if people’s housing price expectations go down. But this might at the same time bring down property prices too much. How can the right balance be struck?
People walk along a street in Beijing, China, on 12 October 2021. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Is a zero-Covid policy adversely affecting China’s economic recovery?

In the face of some turbulence in China’s economic indicators lately, academic Xu Le looks at certain bright spots amid falling aggregate demand and aggregate supply for a realistic gauge of China’s economic prospects in the coming months.
Labourers at a construction site in Shanghai, China, 12 July 2021. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Is China’s economy collapsing?

While China’s latest third quarter year-on-year growth rate of 4.9% is still considered strong, some international commentaries have recently revisited the idea that “China’s economy is collapsing”. Taking a hard look at the situation of power cuts, a depressed property sector and the fact that state media saw fit to rebut these conjectures, Yang Danxu notes that there is some truth to slowing growth in the Chinese economy. However, the larger question is not how many percentage points drop here and there, but if downward momentum will shake the nation’s resolve to make structural adjustments for the good of the long-term health of the Chinese economy.
Residential buildings are seen in Beijing, China, on 17 September 2021. (Greg Baker/AFP)

How China’s housing market landed in the deep freeze

Policymakers have imposed a series of measures to limit rampant borrowing by developers and tighten standards for mortgage lending since Chinese President Xi Jinping declared in 2017 that “houses are for living in, not for speculation”. Following this, developers are experiencing a sharp drop in home sales, which adds to their financial burdens. In spite of this, industry experts opine that Beijing’s determination to reduce dependence on real estate investment will not change easily.