Domestic consumption

Two women lie on the ground after being assaulted by a group of men outside a restaurant in the city of Tangshan, China, 10 June 2022, in this screen grab taken from surveillance footage obtained by Reuters on 12 June 2022. (Video obtained by Reuters)

Chinese public safety fears rise after Tangshan assault case

The violent beating of a group of women on 9 June in Hebei province’s Tangshan has sparked an outcry for the safety of the public. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan notes that the attack has also brought to light the underworld of organised crime in the city, despite the central government’s crackdown. Will justice be served?
Pedestrians carry shopping bags on Geary street in San Francisco, California, US, on 18 May 2022. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)

Can high inflation in the US bring an end to the China-US trade war?

With inflation reaching historic highs, the Biden administration is facing a challenging road ahead of the midterm elections in November. The lifting of some tariffs on China could ease inflation in the US and appease voters, bringing an end to the China-US trade war. However, views in the White House are mixed. Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong speaks with academics to find out more.
A worker in a protective suit disinfects at a closed residential area during lockdown, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, in Shanghai, China, 17 May 2022. (Aly Song/Reuters)

It takes a mountain of effort to tell the truth about China's economy

Chinese economist David Li Daokui has been mocked by netizens for comments he made at a recent economics forum, where he said that China’s life expectancy has increased by an average of ten days due to pandemic efforts, and suggested setting up quarantine facilities next to factories in order to maintain productivity. But is this derision deserved? Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu analyses the issue.
People ride escalators at a business district in Beijing, China, on 16 May 2022. (Wang Zhao/AFP)

China's unified national market has its drawbacks and challenges

The Chinese government has recently announced plans to establish a unified national market that is highly efficient, standardised, open and competitive. It would break down walls, raise the standards of the business environment within China and act as a buffer against external pressures. While the intention is good, NUS academic Lu Xi points to possible drawbacks and challenges.
A resident looks on behind barriers at a fruit shop, during lockdown, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, in Shanghai, China, 16 May 2022. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Covid-stricken Shanghai is down, but is it out?

The seemingly unending lockdown in Shanghai has taken a toll on investor confidence, leading to some entrepreneurs and companies talking about leaving the city. Zaobao’s Shanghai correspondent Chen Jing surveys the short-term reactions and long-term outlook of China's top financial city.
A man walks along a street in the central business district in Beijing, China, on 18 April 2022. (Wang Zhao/AFP)

China’s unified national market will benefit ASEAN in the long run

The authorities are taking steps to solve the issue of the Chinese market being “big but not strong” by standardising rules and standards and unifying the national market. But local governments used to fighting for their region’s interest at the expense of the national interest may find the changes hard to swallow.
People walk past the headquarters of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank, in Beijing, China, 28 September 2018. (Jason Lee/Reuters)

China’s 2022 economic growth will start low and end high

China's 2021 quarterly economic figures showed a general weakening, falling to a low 4% in the fourth quarter. While international analysts are of the view that China’s economy is in rapid decline, Gu Qingyang thinks otherwise. But that does not mean China's road ahead in the new year will be smooth sailing. Policies will need to be tweaked to ensure a stable economic trajectory in 2022.
People walk past a showroom outside Tesla China headquarters at China Central Mall in Beijing, China, 11 July 2018. (Jason Lee/File Photo/Reuters)

Tesla’s choice on Xinjiang: Will the benefits be enough to offset the costs?

The US’s recently enacted Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act prohibits the import of Xinjiang-produced goods, leaving US companies in a bind. In response, Walmart and Tesla have taken different approaches. While Sam’s Club under Walmart removed Xinjiang products, drawing the ire of Chinese consumers, Tesla gained cheers for opening a new showroom in Urumqi. Will US companies be forced to choose sides? Zaobao correspondent Chen Jing looks into the matter.
People walk past a Canada Goose store in Beijing, China, 2 December 2021. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

Canada Goose: Why Western brands are not open to returns in China

Commentator Chip Tsao notes that even as Chinese consumers are unhappy about perceived differential treatment by Western high-end brands in terms of returns and refunds, this is due in some part to their penchant for buying items and then easily changing their minds, or returning them after only using them once, perhaps just for selfies for social media. Not to mention the possibility of consumers’ irrational nationalism kicking in and the high costs of processing returns, it’s no wonder that brands are thinking twice before offering returns.