China: Pre-U Economics
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A Map of Two Chinas — Internet Penetration and Economic Development

A Map of Two Chinas — Internet Penetration and Economic Development | China: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it

On Friday, China’s National Bureau of Statistics announced that income inequality in the country exceeds a warning level set by the United Nations.

China’s publication of its Gini coefficient – a widely used measure of economic equity – drew attention for a number of reasons. For one, China has not published its Gini coefficient since 2000. More significantly, China’s figure of 0.47 exceeds a UN-established benchmark of 0.4, indicating an increased risk of social unrest.


Via DOSID
Graham Watson's insight:

Another great find, courtesy of China Commentary - I've started to follow it. It looks a fascinating source of China material. This little article looks at formal and informal indicators of welfare and implies that there are increasnigly 'two' Chinas.

 

Well worth a look.

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DOSID's curator insight, February 23, 2013 11:27 PM

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In terms of the production of online content, the gap is even wider. Beijing-based websites host over 38 billion web pages, or an average of 1,890 pages per city resident. Tibetan-based sites host fewer than 3.5 million pages, or just over one page per person.

 

Tea Leaf Nation highlights some of the CNNIC findings in the maps below, which show that Internet penetration corresponds roughly with the level of economic development by region (with the notable exception of Inner Mongolia, a resource-rich but sparsely populated area)."

China: Pre-U Economics
All things Chinese - for Paper 3 of the Pre-U Course
Curated by Graham Watson
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The sinking feeling in China's overmined regions

Villages across China's coal heartlands are sinking underfoot thanks to decades of over-mining which will now cost billions of yuan to fix. Natalie Thomas reports.
Graham Watson's insight:

Proof of one of the environmental problems facing China: the government estimates that 2.3 million people live in homes that are in danger of falling into sinkholes caused by mining.


As a consequence, the government are having to relocate some citizens of China's coalbelt.

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Australia risks Chinese anger over power grid sale - BBC News

Australia risks Chinese anger over power grid sale - BBC News | China: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Australia's government preliminarily blocks Chinese and Hong Kong bidders from taking a controlling stake in the country's largest electricity network, citing worries over national security.
Graham Watson's insight:
Karishma Vaswani summarises the current state of play as regards Sino-Australian relations, given the decision to block the Chinese bid for the largest electricity network, Ausgrid. It raises the whole issue of whether using "national security" as a reason for this is justified, with one commentator suggesting that was reasonable for the Australian government to block the sale of the national broadband network, but not an electricity network.  
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Australia blocks Chinese firm from stake in electricity grid - BBC News

Australia blocks Chinese firm from stake in electricity grid - BBC News | China: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Australia's government preliminarily blocks Chinese and Hong Kong bidders from taking a controlling stake in the country's largest electricity network, citing worries over national security.
Graham Watson's insight:

An interesting China story with the Australian government blocking a Chinese/Hong Kong-based bid to take a controlling stake in Australia's largest electricity network on "national security" grounds.


Ausgrid represents the New South Wales electricity network, and the bid to buy it represents another attempt to get control of electricity assets - Chinese General Nuclear already own Edra Global Energy in Malaysia.


However, the "national security" card is an interesting one to play, although the Australian government also used it to block a bid for Australia's largest landowner, S Kidman & Co. 

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Greenpeace sounds alarm over China's long-distance fishing fleet

Greenpeace sounds alarm over China's long-distance fishing fleet | China: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
The government is subsidising an industry that is growing rapidly, fishing in waters as far away as South America and Antarctica
Graham Watson's insight:

An interesting China story has emerged today with Greenpeace highlighting the growth of China's fishing industry, it's greater reach and the possible environmental implications of this. Of course, the income elasticity of demand for fish will be important going forward. If the Chinese middle class start to consume more fish, then any adverse effects are worsened.


Another in a long list of areas where China's demand for resources has global implications.

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China 'warning' over Hinkley Point delay claims - BBC News

China 'warning' over Hinkley Point delay claims - BBC News | China: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
China will not tolerate "unwanted accusations" following the UK government's decision to delay signing off on the Hinkley nuclear power project, the country's state-run news agency says.
Graham Watson's insight:
I have to say that  Xinuhua's observation that the current delay - it "not only draws queries from the international community about its openness towards foreign investment, but also adds uncertainties to the 'Golden Era' of China-UK ties"- isn't entirely unreasonable.
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Hinkley Point: Theresa May's China calculus - BBC News

Hinkley Point: Theresa May's China calculus - BBC News | China: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
As PM Theresa May delays a decision on Hinkley Point, what is the reason and what might be the effects of such a move from a Chinese perspective?
Graham Watson's insight:
An unusual perspective on Hinkley Point: what do the Chinese think of the British decision to delay the decision to invest in nuclear power at Hinkley? The BBC's Carrie Grace writes.
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Ethiopia Industrial Park: Global firm jostle for space, 50,000 jobs to be created

Ethiopia has inaugurated the new Hawassa Industrial Park for textile & apparel - a project that has hopes of creating upwards of 50,000 jobs Hawassa Industrial Park is Africa’s largest industrial park in the city of Hawassa 275km southeast of the capital Addis Ababa.

Graham Watson's insight:
Hat tip to Geoff Riley who's shared this on Tutor2U, but worth scooping nonetheless - it highlights the extent to which China is investing in Africa and it will be interesting to see if the Hawassa Industrial Park is going to be a success in creating 50,000 jobs or another 'white elephant' that in the fullness of time fails to generate the promised growth.
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China GDP explainer | FT World

The Chinese economy may be suffering a slowdown in manufacturing, but a housing market revival has lifted gross domestic product in the second quarter. The FT’s Gabriel Wildau explains how to read the latest economic data.

Graham Watson's insight:

This FT clips looks at the current ongoing Chinese slowdown, with government being able to sustain sufficient growth to avoid serious social and economic unrest, and the signs are that investment is continuing and the worst outcomes, a hard landing, have, so far been avoided.


However, there are some concerns about debt levels and whether or not the current state of affairs is simply putting things off.

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China's aviation expansion ambitions - BBC News

China's aviation expansion ambitions - BBC News | China: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
China wants to increase earnings from aircraft building tenfold, to one trillion yuan (£115bn; $150bn) a year. How can it be so hopeful?
Graham Watson's insight:

The simultaneous strengths and weaknesses of Chinese manufacturing in less than 90 seconds. China's capacity to produce cheap aircraft is a concern to the West but there hasn't yet been a Chinese firm to oust Western incumbents.


Perhaps COMAC might change that: certainly if China can sell enough C919s to hit its revenue target of $150billion in 2017, then it will have started to gain market share at the expense of Boeing and Airbus.

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Walmart announces Chinese partnership with JD.com - BBC News

Walmart announces Chinese partnership with JD.com - BBC News | China: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Walmart announces a partnership with the Chinese e-commerce firm JD.com to help revive the struggling website Yihaodian.
Graham Watson's insight:
This brief snippet hints at the importance of China for major Western retailers, like Walmart, but also at the difficulties in breaking into the market. As a result, Walmart have sought to link up with China's 2nd largest e-commerce firm, JD.com, to try and revive their website Yihaodian.
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The Chinese brands of tomorrow - BBC News

The Chinese brands of tomorrow - BBC News | China: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Colm O'Regan takes a look at the up-and-coming Chinese brands that may soon become household names.
Graham Watson's insight:
This week, Colm O'Regan's Talking Point looks at the emerging Chinese brands that might become ubiquitous, with the help of Vicky Wang and Howard Grindrod of Hisense UK.
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China rules against Apple over iPhone patent claim - BBC News

China rules against Apple over iPhone patent claim - BBC News | China: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Beijing's Intellectual Property Office has ruled against Apple in a patent dispute brought by a Chinese handset maker.
Graham Watson's insight:

With a couple of days to go before Paper 3, a fairly typical China story - the Chinese authorities have ruled against Apple and in favour of a little-known indigenous manufacturer, Shenzhen Baili's 100C phone.


However, Apple have appealed against what is a fairly common state of affairs - as the article notes:


"Earlier this month, senior US officials warned American companies felt increasingly unwelcome in China, while the European Business Council noted its members were encountering a "hostile environment" in the country.

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China re-opens steel mills despite pledge to cut production - BBC News

China re-opens steel mills despite pledge to cut production - BBC News | China: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Despite pledges to cut steel production, China is reopening some of its mills.
Graham Watson's insight:
This BBC clip suggests that the Chinese steel industry is re-opening some of its steel mills, months after some of them shut down and despite pledges that the country is going to cut steel production. This is likely to mean bad news for British steelworkers - on the day that Tata is starting to look for a buyer for its UK-based assets.
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How Does China’s Outlook Stack Up?

China is still enjoying strong growth – 6.6 percent in 2016 –as it shifts from investment to consumption and industry to services, but the country needs faster progress on structural reforms to boost medium-term growth and reduce risks.
Graham Watson's insight:

This IMF clip summarises the slowdown in the Chinese economy noting the change in the structure of Chinese growth, but also a number of potential pitfalls, such as high levels of corporate debt, stopping the continued financing of 'zombie' firms whilst ensuring that any unemployed workers are looked after.


Equally, the IMF draws attention to the fact that the environment remains a concern. 

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China's economic slowdown deepens - BBC News

China's economic slowdown deepens - BBC News | China: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Fresh economic data from China adds to a raft of indicators suggesting the world's second largest economy remains in the doldrums.
Graham Watson's insight:
The Chinese slowdown continues apace, but the tenor of the announcement from the National Statistics Bureau is much less strained than it used to be. Retail sales are up, but by less than forecast, and the same is true of industrial output. All part of the rebalancing process.
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China-UK investment: key questions following Hinkley Point C delay

China-UK investment: key questions following Hinkley Point C delay | China: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Theresa May’s decision to put off approval for nuclear power station has put Chinese-British business relationship under strain
Graham Watson's insight:

The Guardian details the extent to which the Chinese have invested in the UK. Their largest investment to own a business outright? Pizza Express. According to George Osborne, 265,000 British jobs owe their existence to China.


This is an excellent article replete with plenty of detail and will be required reading for all VI Book 1 economists.  

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Crossing the new Silk Road

China is trying to redevelop the old Silk Road trading routes from east Asia to the Middle East and Europe. Jack Farchy travels with a container train from Kazakhstan to Azerbaijan, that crosses the Caspian Sea by boat
Graham Watson's insight:

Another fascinating clip looking at the development of the new Silk Road, highlighting the development of the trans-Caspian sea to Azerbaijan and the fact that it will speed up transportation of goods from China to Europe.


It's the signature foreign policy of Xi Jinping.

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Paul Bird's curator insight, August 2, 4:10 PM
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Uber to merge China business with rival Didi Chuxing, reports say - BBC News

Uber to merge China business with rival Didi Chuxing, reports say - BBC News | China: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Ride-hailing firm Uber has agreed to merge its operation in China with much bigger rival Didi Chuxing in a $35bn deal, reports say.
Graham Watson's insight:
You could put this almost anywhere - but it's clearly a China story that demonstrates the fact that technology in China is as advanced as that in every other developed country and the fact that Uber is prepared to lose such sizeable sums, let's you know all you need to know about why Western companies are so keen to grow their Chinese presence, given the growth of the Chinese middle class. 
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Sainsbury's steps up online push in China

Sainsbury's steps up online push in China | China: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
UK supermarket will be only international retailer highlighted during Tmall’s ‘super brand day’ promotion on 8 August
Graham Watson's insight:
Proof that the Chinese market is increasingly important to UK firms as Sainsbury's are going to expand their online presence in China via the online marketplace Tmall. However, at this stage they are only offering 100 products in the hope of appealing to the growing Chinese middle classes.
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China in three numbers | FT World

How would you summarise China in 3 numbers? The FT's emerging markets editor James Kynge picks his 3 to tell the economic story of the world's most populous country
Graham Watson's insight:

As part of an FT series describing economies in three numbers, Emerging markets editor, James Kynge looks at the three numbers that, to him, offer the greatest insight into the current state of China.


He starts with the level of local government debt, then considers the dislocation between central and local government, the number of electric vehicles sold in China in 2015 - revealing its attitude to the environment and cutting edge technology before ending with the suicide rate per 1000.


A really interesting take on what's really important to China.   

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Why China keeps firing up more coal plants

China's made lots of big promises about cutting back on fossil fuels. But, as Eve Johnson reports, Greenpeace says the country now has a huge glut of new coal-fired power plants.

Graham Watson's insight:

China appears to be embarking on a coal-fired power station boom, at a time when demand for energy is falling, contrary to some of its promises about reducing fossil fuel consumption.


The clip also highlights the disconnect between central and local government, and the decreased chance of China hitting its environmental targets.

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Odeon & UCI cinemas sold to China-owned firm - BBC News

Odeon & UCI cinemas sold to China-owned firm - BBC News | China: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Odeon & UCI Cinema Group is bought by AMC Entertainment, a US cinema chain owned by Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda.
Graham Watson's insight:

The Chinese are coming: in this instance, property group, Dalian Wanda, are buying the Odeon and UCI cinema chains from Terra Firma in a deal worth nearly £1 billion. This will confirm Dalian Wanda as the world's biggest cinema owner.


However, there might be some concerns that in owning production studios in both China and the US, where it owns Legendary Entertainment, there's some potential for vertical integration that might, at some point become anti-competitive.

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Designed in China: Can China innovate? - BBC News

Designed in China: Can China innovate? - BBC News | China: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
China has always been a country that copies its way to success, not a place where creativity thrives. So are China's plans to turn into an innovation superpower realistic?
Graham Watson's insight:
This gives the overview of the Designed in China series - as I've said elsewhere, the ability of China to innovate is absolutely key to its future.
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China's Cheetah Mobile leads way in creative innovation - BBC News

China's Cheetah Mobile leads way in creative innovation - BBC News | China: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Growth is slowing in the world's second largest economy, China. So what's the fix? Karishma Vaswani finds out if it could be the nation's creative side.
Graham Watson's insight:

This is a fascinating piece, and part of a new Designed in China series. Karishma Vaswani looks at whether or not China's commitment to becoming an innovation powerhouse by 2020 on the basis of its top-down strategy. It's an important part of rebalancing and essential if China is going to break through the middle income trap.


The piece looks at Cheetah Mobile, an example of a Chinese company which has moved from a replicative to an innovative mode of entrepreneurship.

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Alarm as pork prices sizzle in China

Beijing is stepping in to urgently try to curb a surge in Chinese pork prices, including taking the rare step of offloading frozen supplies stashed by the state. The cost of China's favorite meat has skyrocketed to record highs, and as Graham Mackay reports, that could have serious social consequences.
Graham Watson's insight:

This Reuters clip looks at recent changes in Chinese agriculture that have succeeded in boosting pork prices by 40%. However, even more remarkably, China has a pork reserve, much as most developed countries have a strategic oil reserve.


However, even given this and intervention to subsidise supermarket sales of pork, there's little to suggest that prices are going to fall anytime before 2018. A classic example of the cobweb theorem - with hogs being one of the markets originally studied.

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