The current wave of closures among international schools in China can be attributed to factors such as high tuition fees, options in other countries, and falling birth rate. But the biggest factor is undoubtedly financial tightening by parents, in turn due to China’s economic situation. Zaobao journalist Daryl Lim finds out more.
China’s innovative drug developers are increasingly partnering with foreign companies to pitch their products overseas due to tighter profit margins in the domestic market. But this route, while lucrative, can also be precarious.
While China’s pre-made meals are quick and convenient for eateries to provide to general consumers, there has been a recent controversy over bringing them into schools. There is also concern over the ingredients used and what goes into the meal. Given the current lack of regulation in pre-made meals, how will the authorities handle the rapidly growing industry?
China’s population policies have had a tendency to veer towards the extreme since the era of Mao, says commentator Yu Shiyu. A delayed response to adjusting the one-child policy, which has resulted in a declining population and is expected to have an adverse economic impact, demonstrates the inefficiency of an authoritarian system in self-correcting. Its decision making could also swing between extremes as it is based on subjective top-level thinking.
Despite the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, the office vacancy rate in China’s capital Beijing has not recovered, and is set to increase. From considerations such as rental cost and traffic, internet companies are opting to move out of prime central locations. Lianhe Zaobao journalist Meng Dandan tells us more.
The world is concerned that the Chinese people are beginning to lose confidence in China’s future, dampening the prospects for sustainable development. Researcher Wei Da believes that there is little connection between this crisis of confidence and the cyclical boom and bust of the economy, but China’s severe economic problems are ultimately political problems.
EAI academic Chen Gang notes that although the Chinese authorities are against the Western notion of “de-risking”, it has itself taken steps to de-risk, with ASEAN overtaking Europe and the US as China’s largest trade partner. As major countries are gaining ground in their de-risking strategies, the global south is set to benefit.
Unhappiness among villagers in Rempang, close to Batam island, has led to riots in Batam City and threatens existing and future foreign investment. A small but diminishing window exists in which the local and central governments can improve their approach towards convincing residents of the need to relocate for a better future.
Japanese academic Toshiya Tsugami notes that while China's economy is likely to fall into medium- to long-term stagnation, its outward investments and financing through the Belt and Road Initiative may not be immediately affected. However, other factors may have a ripple effect on China's ability to maintain the momentum of the BRI.