Property market

Mannequins stand behind a shop window with a sale sign, at a clothing store inside a shopping complex in Beijing, China, on 4 January 2024. (Florence Lo/Reuters)

Is China’s middle class slipping back into poverty?

As the group of people most sensitive to social change, the middle class is a yardstick for measuring the state of China’s current economy and a window into the future. At the moment, the signs are there that China’s middle class is not doing as well as before, leading to cutting down on spending and saving on daily expenses.
Residential buildings under construction by Chinese real estate developer Vanke in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, on 15 March 2024. (AFP)

Chinese property giant Vanke seeks more time to repay debts as market slump lingers

Chinese property giant Vanke has avoided defaulting on its publicly traded bonds so far even during the prolonged market crisis. But its balance sheet has been weakened by falling sales of new homes and fragile market sentiment, and it has resorted to offloading assets to repay its debts on time.
Pedestrians ride escalators in Pudong's Lujiazui financial district in Shanghai, China, on 29 January 2024. (Raul Ariano/Bloomberg)

China’s economic transformation: Unbearably painful?

Academic Chen Gang notes that while China needs to reform its current economy to maintain growth, whatever adjustments that are made will have to be bearable for the people. Also, some measures may be painful, but necessary.
Visitors throng a pedestrian shopping street in Shanghai, China, on 10 February 2024. (Nicoco Chan/Reuters)

China set for interest rate cuts to support economy

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) left a key interest rate unchanged on 15 January, leading the country’s major lenders to keep their benchmark interest rates on hold a week later. The PBOC has been constrained in its ability to cut interest rates over concerns that such a move would drive more capital out of China in search of higher returns. Even so, analysts say the next window of opportunity for a rate cut is likely to be in March or in the next quarter.
A shot of people on escalators at an urban shopping mall in Hong Kong. (iStock)

[Big read] Golden passports, visas and residential permits: How the wealthy go places

Lianhe Zaobao senior correspondent Poh Lay Hoon takes a closer look at "golden passports" (passports in return for investment) market, including the popular countries to seek these passports, the cost of becoming a citizen of a foreign country, the impact it has on the people of the country issuing such passports, as well as whether money laundering has had an impact on the investment immigration business.
Gantry cranes at the Yantian International Container Terminals in Shenzhen, China, on 16 January 2024. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

How can China deal with deflationary pressure?

Although the Chinese economy showed some signs of recovery in 2023, prices have not improved in tandem, with key economic indicators signalling a persistent decline. This has served to deepen fears of deflation and sparked calls for more supportive policy measures.
Pedestrians cross a road in Pudong's Lujiazui Financial District in Shanghai, China, on 9 January 2024. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

The first economic report card for the Li Qiang government

While the latest economic results for China seem promising, one underlying factor could suggest otherwise — the lack of confidence in the authorities’ approach in stimulating the economy. How can China boost investor confidence and improve the economic climate?
Motorists and cyclists on the Bund in Shanghai, China, on 9 January 2024. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

[Big read] When will the Chinese stock market thrive again?

Even with the efforts of the Chinese government to revitalise the stock market, investors and shareholders seem to be unconvinced and hesitant in putting in funding, which in turn is not helping the market to recover as fast as would be hoped. What else can be done to bring back the good days?
Apartment blocks are pictured in Beijing, China, on 16 December 2017. (Jason Lee/Reuters)

Real estate sector in China’s first-tier cities still in a slump

The real estate sector in China’s first-tier cities such as Beijing and Shanghai has recorded declining performance since the pandemic, with a full rebound still nowhere to be seen. Given the usual lag in the effectiveness of policies after implementation, will the real estate market see a silver lining ahead? Lianhe Zaobao correspondent Chen Jing tells us more.