Housing

Pedestrians cross a road in Pudong's Lujiazui Financial District in Shanghai, China, on 20 June 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Shanghai hit by civil servant pay cuts

With the impact of the pandemic putting pressure on local government budgets across China, the latest wave of salary reductions for civil servants has taken hold in Shanghai, with no quarterly bonuses given out in some cases. China’s financial capital has not been doing well since the two-month pandemic lockdown took a heavy toll on businesses and general operations. Can the city recover?
A girl takes a photograph beneath the flags of Hong Kong and mainland China, in Hong Kong, in this file photo. (CNS)

25 years after the handover: The ‘end for Hong Kong’ or just the beginning?

After the political and societal changes that have taken place in Hong Kong in the 25 years since the handover, what’s left in the aftermath? Zaobao journalist Tai Hing Shing ponders the nostalgic, the bittersweet and the hard realities of Hong Kong’s present and future.
Pedestrians along the near-empty Nanjing Road shopping street outside of the impacted areas during a lockdown due to Covid-19 in Shanghai, China, on 31 March 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

China gears up for grimmer economic outlook

China is currently dealing with its worst Covid outbreak since the start of the pandemic in 2020. It is aso facing the "triple pressures" of shrinking demand, disrupted supply and weakening expectations. The central government has introduced new policies and measures such as tax cuts for businesses, the easing of property market restrictions, and providing support for local governments' infrastructure investment, but analysts are expecting a bumpy road ahead for China's economic growth.
Pedestrians pass a Chinese flag in Beijing, China, on 3 March 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Stability and growth: Two Sessions' government work report spells out what China wants

China’s Two Sessions annual meetings commenced this week amid the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The government work report delivered by Premier Li Keqiang outlined the key theme of “stability first” for China's economic growth and geopolitical outlook. Despite some calls for an armed reunification with Taiwan, Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan says that nothing can distract China from its priority for stability, as it progresses towards building a modern China by 2035 amid challenges in its internal and external affairs.
As Taiwan is set to become a super-aged society in 2025, what is the plight of the elderly destitute in an ageing Taiwan?

Growing old alone: Elderly poor want better housing, better care in Taiwan

Taiwan is set to become a super-aged society in 2025. At present, a considerable proportion of its elderly face poor living conditions, with 430,000 living in old residential buildings without elevator access. There is also a sizeable number of elderly folk who are homeless and living on the streets. What are the authorities doing to meet the living needs of the elderly and provide them with support? How are community groups playing a role?
Only ten eggs per person at a time at this grocery store. (CNS)

Egg shortage reveals deeper economic issues in Taiwan

Chuang Hui Liang warns that an egg shortage in Taiwan is indicative of rising inflation in Taiwan, which is currently held in check by the DPP government freezing price hikes on oil and electricity. But the huge losses due to this policy are only building up and one cannot say how long it can last. Harder times may be ahead for the Taiwanese who are tightening their belts and turning to property as a hedge against inflation.
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.
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?