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Editorials

It`s trade that fosters good neighbours not confrontation.

It`s trade that fosters good neighbours not confrontation.

Over at least the past 25 years, the case for investing in China came with little in the way of political strings attached. That could now be changing.

 


Years of relative calm have suddenly given way to rising tensions all along China’s maritime borders. Friction is also growing between Beijing and Hong Kong, where the Central Government is taking on democracy activists ahead of the 2017 election of the territory’s chief executive. This is all occurring against a backdrop of a slowing economy as the debt-fuelled, investment- driven growth model which sustained GDP rates for the past 20 years runs out of steam.

 


The threat of a hard economic landing had always been the key concern about China. Investors now must weigh up the risks associated with a more assertive Chinese foreign policy, as well as a dramatic hardening of official attitudes on the mainland.
It’s not enough to blame this sudden shift on the appointment of Xi Jinping as head of the Communist Party at the end of 2012. A globally more assertive China is the product of a confluence of factors, including the country’s own historical experience and surging economic growth. Changes in the international order - not least the perceived decline of the west following the global financial crisis - have also helped change Beijing’s thinking.

 


Chinese scholars blame the U.S. for upsetting the regional status quo after President Barack Obama’s “pivot to Asia,” starting in 2011. U.S. attention had been dominated by the “War on Terror” for the previous decade, and the Obama White House’s attempt to refocus on Asia was seen in Beijing as an effort to contain a rising China. Obama denied that this was U.S. strategy throughout his high-profile visit to the region at the end of 2011. The president’s visits to the countries on China’s periphery, including historical rival Japan, were intended to send the message that the U.S. remains committed to keeping the peace in East Asia.

 


If they were also intended to send a message to Beijing to back down from its various territorial disputes in the region, then Obama’s trip was a failure.

 


If the nationalists hogging internet message boards and composing editorials for the Global Times newspaper had their way, conflict in the Pacific would begin tomorrow. The increase in the official Chinese military budget has exceeded official GDP growth rates for years, though analysts believe the People’s Liberation Army still isn’t ready to adequately project power beyond China’s borders.

 


That hasn’t stopped long-simmering territorial disputes between China and its neighbors from deteriorating into open bickering. China and Vietnam are trading accusations about incidents of vessels ramming each other in the South China Sea, while the Japanese and US air forces complain of Chinese jets buzzing their planes in the skies above the East China Sea. China’s neighbours accuse Beijing of throwing its weight around, refusing to accept arbitration and risking open conflict.

 


This shift in perceptions about China can’t all be blamed on Xi Jinping, but his appointment to lead the country has brought with it a notable hardening in China’s foreign and domestic policy forgetting the adage that it`s trade that fosters good neighbours and not confrontation.

 


The optimistic view is that China, now the world’s second biggest economy and on track to be the largest by the middle of the decade, is attempting to redraw the lines of a post-World War II settlement that it wasn’t given a say in the first time around. An alternative view is that a newly assertive People’s Liberation Army, bolstered by China’s economic rise, with the civilian government in tow and cheered on by nationalist voices, is looking to settle historical scores in a dangerous game which risks open conflict.

 


It’s too early to say with any certainty what Xi Jinping intends, though it’s clear that his vision for China includes a more assertive stance overseas and less political dissent at home.

 


Xi’s domestic policy has so far been marked by a sweeping anti-corruption campaign, which has surprised both for its length and breadth. It’s not just corrupt officials and military officers who have suffered. Political activists, lawyers and journalists have been swept up in the campaign. Simultaneously terrorist attacks tied to Uyghur separatist groups have resulted in a more visible security presence on the streets of many cities.

 


This increase in political tensions hasn’t had much impact yet from an investment point of view. For now, business executives in China see the country’s deteriorating relations with its neighbours as an unwanted distraction. Meanwhile, the anti-corruption crackdown has only served to expose the dangers of basing a China business model on the practice of gift-giving, as some luxury brands have discovered to their cost.

 


Businesses operating here would rather focus on long-standing gripes about market access, unfavorable treatment and an opaque and arbitrary regulatory framework. But the investment case for China becomes harder to make as the onshore market cools without any corresponding improvement in the operating environment.

 


It used to be a given that the Communist Party would not threaten its economic development by challenging Asia’s long-standing balance of power. The Communist Party intends to bring China’s urbanization rate up to around 75% from the current 52% over the coming years, and that process requires a still-intense focus on domestic policy and avoidance of territorial entanglements.

 


But that view has been shaken in recent months by increasingly violent clashes between China and its various neighbours. The anniversary of the centenary of the start of the First World War has resulted in more than a few comparisons between modern China and Kaiser Wilhelm’s disastrous attempt to push Germany up the rankings of the Great Powers. If China could only resolve it`s identity crisis and become so much more than simply an enviable development model, it would find a more receptive Asia to its leadership ambitions and remove uncertainty about where the region is headed.


 

A direct policy response to Sino-African relations or a genuine new chapter in the U.S-Africa relations?

A direct policy response to Sino-African relations or a genuine new chapter in the U.S-Africa relations?

It is fair to assert that it has taken America decades to realise the true potentials of an emerging Africa, and that she is only doing so on the heels of growing Chinese influence on the continent. This assertion has led many experts to believe that the well-publicised upcoming US-Africa summit in August is another opportunity for the US to re-strategize and come up with policies that will counter and contain the growing Chinese presence and influence on the continent. Truth be told; there’s growing concern within the corridors of power in most western nations notably; France and the United States that, giving the speed at which China is penetrating Africa, China could soon start enjoying the level of political influence in Africa that was historically held by France and the United States. With this in mind, both countries have had to go back to the drawing board and drastically redesign their African policies, with each one of them emerging with different strategies and policy options to contain the Chinese expansion and grip on the continent. The forthcoming US-Africa summit could be seen as yet another opportunity to re-engage with Africa. However, for this to yield any fruits, many looming questions must be sincerely scrutinised and answered.

 

 

Is America stepping in late? Can the Americans match the Chinese success in curbing and nurturing Africa at the same time? Can they move in with full packages like the Chinese do? Have they got the extra money to spend like China? Can the Americans establish relationships based on friendship and mutual understanding rather than the tutor-student relationship that is being perceived by many Africans? Can the Americans compromise on their values for democracy and human rights in favour of a “cordial and friendly relationship”? What of the non-interference policy being advocated and practised by China? A well-known and highly adorable sweetener in the Sino-African relations has no match, especially with proponents and advocates of democracy and the respect of Human rights. With a capitalist system in place, how will America create and bank role state owned corporations to take on big and visible projects in Africa in return for natural resources?

 

To be able to answer the above questions, one will need a full understanding of the foundations on which these relationships with Africa are established and how they have evolved over time.

 

It is evident that China’s huge and expanding presence and success in Africa is not by chance or luck. It has been a well thought and worked out strategy in the making for many years. A Chinese foreign minister Li Zhaoxing once stated that “today’s Sino-Africa relationship is viewed by both sides as deep-rooted and forged in years of mutual support “. Well, that is the Chinese narrative, and what they do not also tell the world is that it is an unbalanced relationship in which one out-powers the other in everything, leaving the weaker with little or no bargaining power or a better alternative.

 

Early foreign policy reforms embarked on in the early 90s by the Chinese government regarding Africa can be credited for the country’s success on the continent. As early on as 1995, the commerce ministry, on orders from the Chinese state council was instructed to reform its Africa policies, prioritising any link between aid and trade.  Creating the Forum on China–Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in 2000 was a clear indication that there was a true commitment within the highest level of Chinese government to foster bilateral trade and relations with Africa. The cornerstone of this commitment was the Chinese believe in the continent and willingness to take risk while the rest of the world’s investment community watched from a safety distance. Note, FOCAC was launched in October 2000; five months after the US congress had approved the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

 

Via partnership programs with host countries, the Chinese government has help fund multimillion dollar projects across the continent, most in infrastructure ranging from road construction, power plants to rail ways. To many Africans, this is the kind of investment and development aid the continent has been yearning for and not development aid in the form of wheat and flour or digging wells. Even if the oil and other natural resources are being siphoned to China, they are at least leaving behind visible investments. 

 

 

So far Africa seems quite comfortable with that relationship with China, but not to the satisfaction of the US, who sees China’s presence in Africa as being exploitative and on many occasions has had to voice these concerns openly. In 2012, Hillary Clinton, the then US secretary of state while on an African tour warned Africans against unnamed “outsiders” coming to “extract the wealth of Africa for themselves, leaving nothing or very little behind.” It was obvious who the unnamed outsider was. China feeling guilty, quickly responded by accusing the United States of seeking to sow discord between China and Africa while keen to reap benefits for itself from the booming continent. It is indeed a battle between two elephants.

 

America and other proponents of democracy believe China has no plans to halt its expansion on the continent even when democracy and humans rights are at risk. But fairly speaking, if one was to do a survey in many African countries on what they will choose between visible development and democracy, we all can guess the outcome. Very few will want to compromise any development initiative or project (even with known long term exploitative objectives) for democracy. That is not to say democracy does not have its place.  Both should go hand in hand. America seems trapped in a dilemma, given that on one hand they do over emphasised democracy; while on the hand continue to support some autocratic and in some cases military regimes on the continent. These mixed messages have not been doing America any good.

 

The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) approved by the US congress and passed into law in 2000 was a golden opportunity for the United States to re-engage Africa and take over the front seat in piloting the continent’s growth. However, the lack of commitment and the limitations with AGOA explains why 14 years down the line; the US is still trying to catch up. First and foremost AGOA which granted preferential duty-free and largely quota-free access to the U.S. market for some 1,800 products from 41 sub-Saharan African countries was a bold and a major step taken by the US to engage with Africa on the trade front, however the details of the program lacked the ingredients required to enhance and kick start growth on the continent.  Secondly AGOA highly publicised as a program aimed at encouraging exports from Africa, failed woefully in encouraging new product lines being exploited and exported to America. There was hardly any investment in infrastructures to boost new productivity, whether be it in the garment industry or basket weaving.

 

The program ended up only facilitating exports in products that would have been exported with or without AGOA. For example, 2008 figures show that African countries exported over $66 billion worth of products to the United States, an increase of almost 30% from 2007. But more than $62 billion, or 94%, came from oil and gas and minerals, products that would have been exported with or without trade preferences. Similar in 2013, oil and petroleum products accounted for over 80% of the exports to the United States from African countries. Hopefully, the shortcomings of the AGOA program that is expected to come to an end in 2015 will be used as a yard stick and learning curve for future engagements with Africa.  America had the opportunity in Africa, but lost it to China.

 

Another bone of contention between the US-Africa relationship is the perception held by many Africans with regards to the Washington consensus. For close to three decades today, the market fundamentalism or neoliberalism (Washington consensus) being implemented by the World Bank, and her sister institution the International Monetary Fund has had very little noticeable impact in developing the African continent and alleviating poverty via economic growth. It is again fair to assert that both institutions failed to jump start the continent’s economy. Many [1]studies have concluded that the strings and conditions attached to most development aid under the Washington Consensus were dampening rather than encouraging economic growth on the African continent. Even still in cases where lesser strings and conditions were attached, the implementation mechanism of policies designed in Washington had very little impact, since they often failed to directly address the problems and challenges facing the struggling masses.

 

The Washington consensus on a grand scale agreed and encouraged developing countries to export more of their natural resources including cash crops to international markets, so as to raise funds for servicing debts. Countries implementing the Washington Consensus (structural adjustment and stabilisation programs) were often forced to cut spending on vital sectors such as health, education and development so as to meet up with debt repayment plans.

 

This left many impoverished African countries with no glimpse of hope to ever industrialise and diversify their economies.

 

Many impoverished countries were often encouraged to concentrate on the production of cash crops similar to other developing countries, which obviously resulted to a surplus in the market and hence leading to a drastic fall in prices on those products and commodities, this to the benefit of the richer and developed nations. Fairly speaking, the Washington Consensus, from its inception was never designed to enhance development, economic growth and fully alleviate poverty in the developing countries. In a real world, it was/is a well-crafted debt creation and collection tool. The only thing the Washington Consensus succeeded in doing was widening the gap between the rich and poor, and creating new oligarchs in countries that were implementing privatisation programs.

 

Twisting the arms of developing countries to carry out recommended structural reforms at the expense of key functions of the state was never going to be growth enhancing. This may be explains why for over a quarter of a century, the World Bank and the IMF despite spending a chunk of cash, have failed to deliver tangible results in Africa.

 

Contrary to these conditional and strings development aid, the Chinese aid comes with no strings or conditions attached to it. However encoded within the aid packages are pseudo long term exploitative objectives whose adverse impacts are often too blur to see. The perception being portrait by China is that, they have agreed to deal with African countries as partners in development rather than the master-servant relationship practiced by the western nations in Africa. As per the Chinese narrative, it is a give and take kind of relationship.

 

The coming of the Chinese with their new model, aka the Chinese full package (Money, Technical expertise and protection from international sanctions) changed the balance. The complete package, from the sound of it is always too good to not tempt many African leaders, especially those with murky human right records.  But the big question is, to what extend can these countries rely on China for protection in the event of a unilateral action, say from one of the super powers? For now, and lessons from recent events have shown that the probability of China stepping in and preventing a military action with the use of  counter force is close to, if not zero per cent. In that full package, their guaranteed protection ends at blocking UN Security Council resolutions against countries in which their interest is at stake. But as soon as the Security Council is by passed, China has proven not to have the guts to stand in the way. Sadly in some instances, they have quickly switched sides to get closer to the winning group so as to secure their interest when the new group takes over.

 

 

Possible policy options if the US-Africa summit fails to achieve its goals

 

If the summit fails to achieve its defined goals, the US will be left with no option but to concentrate on hotspots where there are conflicts, since it is evident that China often shies away from mingling in internal conflicts. With its military strength, which is also its biggest asset and export, the US will stand to benefit by increasing the exportation of this asset to countries rich in natural resources.

 

One way to achieve this will be to promote and expand the war on terrorism, so as to militarily engage those countries.

 

To a lesser extent, encourage espionage to foment new conflicts on the continent, so to have a reason for intervention in favour of a regime that will be pro-American.

 

Form new alliances and strengthen existing ones with other disgruntled stakeholders such as France who are losing grounds on the continent, for a joint resistance against the Chinese expansion on the continent.

 

What America should do

 

It is not yet too late. There is still a void in the industrialisation sector across Africa and the US has another chance to fill that gap. If the Americans will want to remain relevant in Africa for a foreseeable future, then they will have to deviate or shift their strategy from the heavy military oriented interest to a rather economic interest.

 

Cut down its military assistance to the continent and redirect the resources to visible growth enhancing infrastructure projects.  It is pointless to carry on providing military assistance and training regimes that in most cases are the very ones creating the greatest problems. Not cutting down on this will imply that, the US will carry on expanding its military presence on the continent via the Africa Command Centre (AFRICOM), while China on the other hand will carry on expanding its economic presence. It is obvious which one will pay off in the long term.

 

Rather than embarked on exaggerating the security risk of the continent and scaring off potential American investors, the US should promote and encourage investors to move into the continent and invest in the continents’ infrastructure, so as to turn Africa into the new factory of the World. There is enough cheap and available labour to run that new factory. Infrastructure should be built to take on the production that is currently being outsourced to Asia, in particular China. It will be beneficial for America to have an alternative, and hence reduce the heavy reliance on China who is at the same time a real rival.

 

With over 200 million people aged between 15 and 24 (the youth bracket), Africa has the youngest population in the world, an asset which the US can exploit for its consumer based economy.   With that youth population size, it is evident that cheap and sustainable labour can be sourced from the continent.

 

 

After this summit, Obama should multiply the number of trade visits to Africa during his remaining years in the Whitehouse, taking along with him large delegations of potential investors. The era of the “BIG America” perception is fading out, so it will be a miscalculation to seat back and send low level government officials on behalf of the president and expect much in return from the African head of states. Taking the lead and championing such trips will delineate a new level of commitment and readiness to do business. A Long term commitment to invest in key sectors of the economies will be key to the success of this summit.

 

The US must stop leaning on the risk factor in Africa, because others are taking the risk and succeeding. One of the reasons why security is an issue is because of the huge youth unemployment. Dangerous sects and extremist are exploiting this high rate of unemployment to their benefit.  A case in hand is the dangerous extremist sect Boko Haram originating from North Nigeria. The shrinking of the major garment in industry in that part of the country left many youth unemployed and hence vulnerable to Boko Haram recruiters. Therefore seating back and relying on a military response is not an option.

 

From a Pan Africanist perspective

 

Africa has a lot to offer and has complete packages as well, which are; expanding markets, cheap labour, and natural resources. They deserve the full attention and respect from their counterparts.It is obvious today that the opportunities in Africa and its potentials far outweigh any challenges the continent might be facing. Now the fastest growing continent in the world with growth estimated at 7 to 10 per cent and home to 7 of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world; Africa really has a lot to offer. The continent must stop portraying itself as a victim and the weakest link during negotiations. To carry on wearing the victims’ hat at the negotiation table is self-defeating.

 

The continent has what it takes to be in control now and to define the rules of the game on the continent. External actors should not be the ones setting the rules of the game being played on the continent.  Despite all the odds and criticism, the coming of the Chinese gave the continent an alternative and a backup to cut loose of the conditionality regime that had governed the continent for many years. It has repositioned Africa and given the continent some leverage over its bargaining power. However, China should not be blindly embraced. Africa must plan now for the long term and its leaders must be conscious of the fact that whatever arrangements they make today, their impacts will determine the future of the continent. Externalising our economic growth and surrendering it to external actors to design and control the pace of that growth is not healthy for the continent and that format is not sustainable.

 

Africa has one more chance in its history to correct the errors of the past by clinging on these new opportunities, exploiting them to its benefit and get the continent ready for the next wave. Though there is so much interest on the continent and somewhat inflated speculations about its growth potentials, the continent is at a cross road and any policy blunder now will be very costly for its’ future.  The purported adoration for the continent will not carry on forever so it must act wisely.  If it squanders these opportunities then it will have but itself to blame.

 

Addressing the high rate of youth unemployment on the continent should be given a priority. Reducing youth unemployment will tackle a majority of the security problems while at the same time creating a consumer base, which will in turn guarantee a sustainable economic growth.

 

And finally the need to boost intra-regional trade within Africa and speed up the process towards a single trading union is more important now than ever before.

 

This article was originally published in the African Policy Forum and is reproduced here with the permission of the author. Eric Acha is a policy analyst and the Executive Director of the Africa Policy Forum.

 

Of course China Innovates, just look at the Smartphone sector.

Of course China Innovates, just look at the Smartphone sector.

China being the worlds largest Smartphone market has invigorated entrepreneurialism and brought to the fore some of the world's most innovative new companies - particularly in field of mobile technology. Relatively new companies such as One plus One, Smartisan, MeiZu and of course XiaoMi are increasing research and development spending by up to 20% a year and bringing to market some incredible new devices set to change the established order. Not only competing on price but also on specifications and design, these companies are set to become global names as they begin an aggressive global expansion policy, particularly in the emerging markets of Latin America, India, Africa and Asia.

 

China produced some 870 million mobile phones in 2013, with some 70% of these being manufactured by domestic companies catering to the vast lower end of the market, typically less than 2,000 rmb (330 usd).  However with the domestic market predicted to slow in 2014 the emphasis will be on delivering higher specification handsets to both telecoms operators and non contract purchasers as well as tapping into foreign markets, in particular those in Asia.



Not to ignore established companies such as Huawei, Coolpad, K-Touch and Lenovo we instead focus on those companies we believe bring Apple-esq build quality and design to their products but at half the price of their foreign competitors.

 

 

MEIZU

 

 

Jack Wong, Founder, Chairman and Chief Architect: Founded Zhuhai based MEIZU in 2003 as an MP3 player company and began smartphone production in 2006. Committed to developing high-end smartphones since then, they have focused on developing innovative and user-friendly smartphones for consumers. With more than 1,000 employees and 600 retail stores as well as 100 patents in China, the company has built a global presence in Hong Kong, Israel, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Ukraine.

 

 

One Plus One

 

 

OnePlus is a technology startup committed to bringing the best possible technology to users around the world. Created around the mantra ‘Never Settle’, OnePlus creates beautifully designed devices with premium build quality. OnePlus currently sells directly to global buyers via its website in 15 countries - Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and the United States. However the purchase process seems to be a little trickier than expected.

 

 

XiaoMi

 

 

Xiaomi (little rice) is a Beijing based mobile internet company dedicated to creating an all aspect user experience. Founded in 2010 by Lei Jun, the company has fast become one of the leading tech firms in China. The company is currently valuated at over 10 billion USD and has over 3000 employees. With its new international headquarters in Singapore the company has already landed in Malaysia, Philippines and India, and also has plans to enter Indonesia, Thailand, Russia, Turkey, Brazil and Mexico. During Q2 of 2014, they overtook the top spot from Samsung in terms of shipments in China. Competing primarily on price and design: the newly released Xiao Mi 4 has the same specifications as a Samsung Galaxy S5 at less than half the price

 

 

Xiaomi's main portfolio of products includes:

  1. - Xiaomi Phones: high quality and performance Android devices
  2. - MIUI ROM: highly customizable ROM that can be flashed across multiple Android devices
  3. - MiTalk: a preeminent messaging application
  4. - MiBox: A smart set-top box the enriches your TV experience

 

 

Smartisan

 

 

Founded in early 2012 the Beijing start-up, Smartisan, is both a manufacturer and OS/Android UI design company. It`s name is derived from ‘smart’ and ‘artisan’ combined into a word, meaning "intelligent mobile phone era". Headed by entrepreneur Luo Yonghao, the company is all about the details less than affordability, in both it`s OS and phone design. It`s flagship T1 is a sleek, predominantly glass exterior, higher-end handset using the Android-based Smartisan OS.

 

 

Chinese manufacturing plants have been producing foreign brand phones for most of the last decade, so the technical know-how is well established. Combined with the massive pool of design and development talent, domestic brands are now coming to the fore both on the international and domestic stage. They are no longer willing to compete simply on price but taking on the established OEM`s in terms of design and innovation.

 

With the shift in demand for smart connected devices moving from developed markets to emerging markets (its is estimated one billion devices will be delivered to emerging markets in 2014), Chinese OEM`s seem ideally placed to meet this demand. Although the double-digit growth of smartphones and tablets in emerging countries is a driving force for market entry, the low selling price and margins mean OEM`s will struggle to meet the demands of profitably.

 

Electric Vehicles, a strategic emerging industry.

Electric Vehicles, a strategic emerging industry.

China is already the world's largest manufacturer of electric bicycles and electric tricycles but only 6,900 domestic-brand electric cars (EV`s) were sold in China in 2013, according to a new report on China’s EV production and sales. That’s in contrast to China’s total car sales for 2013 of 22 million, surpassing 15.6 million in the US. Little demand for EVs means the nation is far off it`s target, set in 2012, to sell 500,000 electric cars in 2015 and five million in 2020. The one caveat being in the booming demand for electric busses. Not to be perturbed the Government has released new incentives to promote what it sees as a strategic emerging industry.

 

Subsidies will continue for at least the next 6 years and from September the 10% purchase tax will be waived on all new EV`s. Whilst the main factor for the slow take up on EV`s is their price, lack of charging facilities and private investment have also been identified as crucial factors. With new partnerships, Tesla is set to build 40 new Supercharger stations across China.

 

Aside from the pricey Tesla, no foreign car company is selling an EV in China at the moment. Nissan plans to sell a Chinese version of its all-electric Leaf, which will be called the Donfeng-Nissan Venucia e30, in September. The top selling passenger EV in China last year was the BAIC E150 (pictured below), according to the Paglee report. The Ford Fiesta-sized car starts at a pricey RMB 195,000 (US$31,700) for the electric model, as opposed to just RMB 58,000 (US$9,430) for the identically-bodied petrol model with a 1.3-liter engine.

 

 

The Warren Buffet-backed BYD is struggling to generate interest in its growing range of EV`s. The auto-maker, known for its battery technology, aims to triple sales of EVs to 8,000 units this year, including 2,000 buses. But most of its electric cars will be sold to taxi fleets.

 

   

 

2014’s EV sales in China could get a much-needed boost from cash incentives put in place in last year and the new announcements. China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) introduced hefty government subsidies to buyers of all-electric or plug-in hybrid cars. The largest subsidy option, of RMB 60,000 (US$9,450), is available to buyers of all-electric cars with a range of over 250 kilometers; the smallest is RMB 35,000 (US$5,690) for plug-in hybrid vehicles that go for over 50 kilometers. These are available only to buyers of domestic-brand cars. Many cities around China have also implemented local incentives in addition to the national subsidies to promote electric vehicles in their cities:

 

  • Beijing: Same as national subsidy + free license plate
  • Shanghai: CN¥40,000 ($6,504) + free license plate (a CN¥70,000 [$11,382] value)
  • Guangzhou: CN¥10,000 ($1,626) + free license plate
  • Shenzhen: Same as national subsidy
  • Hangzhou: Same as national subsidy
  • Hefei: CN¥20,000 ($3,252)
  • Changchun: CN¥35,000 ($5,691) to CN¥45,000 ($7,317)

 

But fundamental problems remain. One is that China’s urban middle class prefer foreign brands. The top-selling three models in China last year were the locally-manufactured versions of the Ford Focus, VW Lavida, and Buick Excelle. Another is that most urban residents in China live in gated apartment communities, meaning people have no personal garage in which to charge an EV. Homeowners in Shanghai can apply for installation of private charging facilities, but they must actually own a parking space inside their compound – which not all property owners do.

 

The Shanghai Daily reported earlier this year that Shanghai Power Company has received 140 applications for home-based charging ports, but has so far given the go-ahead for just 30 of them. These charging stations can cost as much as RMB 50,000 (US$8,000), which eradicates much of the savings people make from the EV subsidy. A further barrier is that not all real estate companies are open to such modifications being made to parking spots.

 

Beijing municipal authorities have published a ‘2014 to 2017 action plan’ for electric vehicles, according to Tencent Tech. The initiative centers around building 10,000 charging facilities across the capital by 2017. The first batch of 1,000 will be positioned within a five-kilometer radius of the city center, focused on major transport hubs. But what of the nation’s other cities? Only once a city has a charging infrastructure that’s even larger than its network of petrol stations might EV`s stand a chance of being seen as a viable alternative to petrol driven cars.

E-commerce & online payment trends for 2014.

E-commerce & online payment trends for 2014.

In a tech market that is moving as quickly as China`s, spotting the latest trends as they develop is crucial to reaching consumers and capturing sales. As of the first half of this year we have seen some interesting developments in both the sites that consumers use and how they pay for products. In China you can forget PayPal and Credit Cards its all about the likes of Alipay and Tenpay.

 

 

Only about 1 in 4 Chinese people own a credit card and they certainly don't use them to purchase goods on Tmall or Taobao, instead preferring to use one of the online payment services as below:

 

Payment Method Market Share
Alipay 48.7%
Tenpay 19.4%
Union Pay 11.2%
99Bill 6.7%
China PnR 5.8%
YeePay 3.4%
Huanxun IPS 2.9%
Others 1.9%

% transaction volumes in 2013, according to iResearch

 

China is certainly embracing e-commerce with enthusiasm: advertising from e-commerce companies and websites are filling every available space. Logistics companies are growing exponentially with deliverymen on bikes, trikes and vans lugging packages around every corner of the major cities. It would be interesting to survey how many office hours are lost annually to e-commerce shopping.

 

 

The rise of WeChat and the fall of Weibo.

Weibo continues to lose popularity among China’s netizens with users abandoning it in favor of WeChat. A couple of reasons for this being the tightening of registration requirements for Weibo (requiring real ID`s) along with the appeal to users who prefer a combination of Twitter-like communication with a native mobile chat app experience.

 

 

For companies the prevalence of fake Weibo accounts has taken away the allure of gaining “1 million followers’ since the current going rate is 5 RMB for 1,000 fans and combined with its limited functionality companies are now looking at other platforms to engage consumers. WeChat on the other continues to innovate and improve, now allowing you to pay for some services, call a cab or even make purchases.  WeChat has proven to be a superior marketing platform for business: merchants can advertise their products and send coupons by messaging directly to their subscribers.

 

 

Possibly the most significant development to watch will be the proliferation of more decentralized consumer finance integrated directly into smartphones. In recent months, China’s web giants, Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent have been applying for financial services licenses to be issued by the government. That will allow those companies to offer the same services that the banks do: savings portfolios, loans, insurance, and payment methods. Such new services would include savings and investment in funds like Alibaba’s Yuebao and Baidu’s Baifa, microfinance and peer-to-peer lending.

 

 

But who will process these payments: Alipay v`s Tenpay v`s Baidu.

Alibaba was the first to introduce its hugely popular Alipay system that today accounts for about 50% of all online transactions. It is currently the system used for buying products at the most popular online shopping sites and most importantly is trusted by consumers. However hot on its heals is Tenpay by Tencent which thanks to the popularity of Tencent’s WeChat platform, is projected to grow beyond that of Alipay due to its integration with the platform. Not to be left out Baidu was a late entrant to online payments with its Baidu Wallet. It focuses on mobile payments and the service will be integrated with other Baidu platforms and its 14 apps. Considering its 600 million users this should form a solid base for the system.

 

                           

 

With the continuing expansion of China`s 4G network smartphone users are experiencing faster connections and more bandwidth meaning the ability to receive richer content, such as HD videos, as well as faster loading times for ecommerce sites and apps. This can only translate into an even wider adoption of e-commerce, which is completely mobilized. A Ministry of Industry and Information Technology forecast, which regulates China’s internet, stated that it aims to double the value of China`s e-commerce sales to RMB 18 trillion (USD 2.86 trillion) by the end of 2015 which would imply there is ample room for growth for payment provides, E-commerce sites and the logistics companies that support them.

 

 

Vast amounts of venture capital has poured into the Chinese online retail industry over the last few years and we are now seeing the effects. With a current estimated 250 million e-shoppers and an annual increase of 30 million new users, China e-commerce market is something not to be ignored.

 

Thought Leadership more...

Report on the Diversification of China’s Education Industry 2014.

Report on the Diversification of China’s Education Industry 2014.

Date: 2014-06-16

Since the beginning of 2014, two hot issues have emerged in China’s private education sector. First, in March this year, Premier Li Keqiang pointed out that “vocational education reforms should keep current with social progress”, emphasizing that “efforts should be made to develop vocational education and professionals that are suited to market needs, to create a merit-based but not diploma-oriented social atmosphere.” This statement opens up a new pathway for vocational education, serving as a beacon for the development of private and vocational schools in China. Second, an investment spree in the on-line education sector beginning the second half of 2013, has continued to make headlines in mainstream media. Internet behemoths are making inroads into this new business area, leading to turbocharged growth of the online education market. But a look at the private education market clearly shows that online education represents only a small proportion. In fact, the market is now growing at a slower pace, in its transition from “enclosure movement” to “intensive cultivation”. In this stage, How China’s private education groups diversify becomes especially vital.

 

 

Caged Tiger: The Transformation of the Asian Financial System.

Caged Tiger: The Transformation of the Asian Financial System.

Date: 2014-05-27

There will be no Asian Century without an Asian financial transformation.

The ‘Asian Century’ is upon us. Asia’s economy already accounts for a quarter of global economic output, up from 17% two decades ago. ANZ expects Asia’s share to rise to 35% in 2030 and to be over half the world economy by 2050. The United States (US) and Europe, which currently account for around half the world’s economic output, could see their share fall to less than a quarter by mid-century. This is a tectonic shift in the global economic landscape.

 

Yet with the exception of Japan and the newly industrialised economies, Asia’s rapid industrialisation of the past two decades has not been matched by an extensive development of its financial system. Many Asian countries have relatively closed and highly regulated financial systems, with a dominant bank sector and heavily managed exchange rates.

 

Litigating effectively: When in China, do as the Chinese do?

Litigating effectively: When in China, do as the Chinese do?

Date: 2014-04-02

Whenever a Western company loses a business dispute, it usually accepts the ruling of the court and pays up (assuming appeal is no longer possible). Chinese businessmen tend to hold a different view: it ain’t over until it’s over.

                 

When entering into a transaction with a Chinese counterpart, enforcement of the agreement should already be taken into account during negotiations. A (foreign) bank guarantee or escrow is of course a good solution, but this is often a non-starter for the Chinese side.

The Evolution of the 2nd & 3rd Tier Cities in China.

The Evolution of the 2nd & 3rd Tier Cities in China.

Date: 2014-01-06

There are 35 regional cities in China which account for approximately 16 percent of China’s population and 36 percent of China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The majority of regional cities are located on the east coast, particularly in the economically advanced regions of the Bohai Rim, the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta, and a number of inter-connected ‘city clusters’. The remaining cities are more widely distributed through the country. Each one of these 35 featured cities offers foreign companies particular opportunities, as well as challenges, in a wide range of sectors. These regional cities are considered as the 2nd and 3rd tier cities of China. In general they have a population of more than 5 million people, have a provincial GDP of at least RMB 250 million and the key characteristics are rapid economic growth, lower input costs, large and developing consumer and industrial markets, strong local government support and policy momentum for regional economic development.

Finding faster growth. I eat therefore I am.

Finding faster growth. I eat therefore I am.

Date: 2013-12-16

As millions of Chinese emerge from poverty they use newly disposable incomes to define themselves through food. If they are to take advantage, brands must first understand why.

 

23 million members of the Chinese population will have money to spend on indulging themselves for the first time this year. By 2020, it’s likely that over 160 million more will be able to do the same.
 
 
New research from TNS proves that the vast majority of these newly disposable incomes will be spent on eating and drinking, enjoying new types and new quantities of food and beverages. For brands and manufacturers in these categories, no greater opportunity exists on earth

 

Repatriation Strategies – How can a SME get their profits out of China?

Repatriation Strategies – How can a SME get their profits out of China?

Date: 2013-12-09

In today’s environment, with China as an increasing consumer market, many companies have a respectable part of the total value chain in China. Quite often this results in having money “trapped’ in China. Through the appropriate business model, foreign investors can create solutions and structures to remit cash back to the shareholder or any other related company.

 

Profit repatriation is a delicate subject under China’s foreign direct investment regime. Various regulatory, formality and tax factors surrounding the issue make it worthwhile for investors to define carefully their repatriation strategies, so as to entail tax and profit outcome that they should be legally entitled to. These strategies may not necessarily be complex or costly, while their effects could be substantial.

Value-Added Tax (VAT) Reform in China

Value-Added Tax (VAT) Reform in China

Date: 2013-11-20

For many years, China has operated a dual system of indirect taxes, with VAT applicable to the domestic purchase and sale of goods as well as the importation of goods, typically at a rate of 17%. By contrast, most services have been subject to Business Tax (BT) at rates of either 3% or 5%. These reforms are taking place because BT is an inefficient turnover tax. It effectively taxes each stage of a supply chain, irrespective of the profit or “value-added” by each business in that supply chain. By contrast, VAT is a tax collected by businesses, but effectively borne by the end consumer.

 

Taxpayers should actively communicate with customers and suppliers and re-evaluate their business models, including but not limited to pricing, invoice issuance, previous arrangements for the purpose of avoiding repeated BT tax levy etc., to effectively reduce their VAT liabilities and optimize the cost savings benefits. Most importantly companies should meet with their direct tax officers to discuss the tax liabilities imposed upon them for various “services” in order to have a full understanding of the new VAT principles.

 

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) - Best Practices in China.

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) - Best Practices in China.

Date: 2013-09-03

"If you can make it, they can fake it!” – A common phrase used in China. Intellectual property (IP) protection is one of the major concerns that western companies have while deciding whether to collaborate with Chinese companies or even enter the China market. The IP protection history in China is very short. For centuries, the Chinese people had not had any sense of protecting their own inventions or respecting the inventions of others. Not until 1984, when the Chinese government established its first patent law. The Chinese government has realized that creating a positive IP protection environment is not only important to protect the rights of foreign companies collaborating with their Chinese partners, but also critical to foster a creative environment for technology advancement of Chinese companies.

 

There are numerous internal and business policies that companies can undertake to reduce the exposure of IP misuse in the first place, including internal IP control; non-disclosure of trade secrets and know-how; careful selection and monitoring of business partners in China, including distributors and licensees; or avoidance of business partners. Although this may make market penetration more difficult, it will protect a company’s vital assets from being exploited. It is advisable for companies to seek advice on IP issues before entering the market.

 

Analysis of the competition strategy for MVNOs

Analysis of the competition strategy for MVNOs

Date: 2013-08-23

In May 2013, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued the Notice for the Launch of the MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) Pilot Program in China, allowing private enterprises to enter into the MVNO business. In a short period of time, we will start seeing MVNOs operating in China's telecom market.  Which types of enterprises have advantages in the MVNO area? When different types of enterprises enter the MNVO market, should they adopt different strategies? What are the potential opportunities and threats in the MVNO market?

LTL

Resources

Insurance companies of China

Insurance companies of China

Having experienced rapid expansion and growth over the last decade the industry as a whole is still considered to be in its infancy even with a compound annual growth rate of 28-30% for the 2009-2013 period. FDI has played a major role in the development of the industry accounting for about half of the companies currently operating in the mainland. The market is mainly focused on two segments: auto and commercial property insurance however health insurance is becoming significantly more widespread along with emerging non-life insurance products like product liability, credit and marine insurance etc. Currently, auto insurance accounts for over 70% of the premium in the non-life insurance sector (please click here for KPMG`s latest outlook on auto sector insurance).

 

 

As a whole the industry is investing more in risk segmentation, new distribution, product innovation, and customer services. Sustained growth of the China non-life insurance market will be maintained over the next few years.

 

The list below comprises China`s top 10 Insures:

 

No.1 China Life Insurance Co Ltd

China Life Insurance Co Ltd is the largest life insurer in the People's Republic of China. The company offers individual life insurance, group life, accident insurance, and health insurance policies. China Life commands 45 percent of the market, and holds the number one position in 29 of the country's 31 major markets.

Total Assets: $321.205 billion

 

No.2 Ping An Life Insurance Company of China Ltd

Ping An Life Insurance Company of China, Ltd. is a major subsidiary of Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd. It was established in year 2002. For the past 10 years, Ping An Life has been growing rapidly as China's insurance industry has expanded, achieving a leading position in both scale and service quality. It is now the world's second-biggest life insurer by market value.

Total Assets: $117.795 billion

 

No.3 China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co Ltd

China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co Ltd ("CPIC") is an insurance group basically encompassing by China Pacific Insurance Company, a company established on 13 May 1991. The head office of CPIC is located in Shanghai.

Total Assets: $117.795 billion

 

No.4 New China Life Insurance Co Ltd

New China Life Insurance Co Ltd, headquartered in Beijing and founded in 1996, is an insurance company. The company primarily provides life insurance services. After the company went public in 2011, the total assets of the company reached 565.849 billion yuan.

Total Assets: $92.123 billion

 

No.5 Taikang Life Insurance Co Ltd

Taikang Life Insurance Company Limited is a Beijing-based, China-incorporated life insurance company. It is one of the largest in China and offers services ranging from life insurance to asset management. It was founded in 1996 and has branches in Beijing, Shanghai, Hubei, Shandong, and Guangdong.

Total Assets: $71.879 billion

 

No.6 Sino Life Insurance Co Ltd

Sino Life Insurance Co Ltd, incorporated in 2002, is a nationwide professional life insurance company in China currently headquartered in Shenzhen.

Total Assets: $31.888 billion

 

No.7 Taiping Life Insurance Co Ltd

China Taiping Insurance Group Ltd ("China Taiping") is a Chinese state-owned financial and insurance group whose management headquarters is located in Hong Kong. China Taiping is currently the longest standing national brand in China's insurance industry. It had already become an industry leader in the 1940s after its foundation in Shanghai in 1929.

Total Assets: $31.339 billion

 

No.8 AIA Group Ltd

The business that is now AIA was first established in Shanghai over 90 years ago. It is a market leader in the Asia-Pacific region, except for Japan, based on life insurance premiums, and holds a leading position across the majority of its markets.

Total Assets: $11,223 billion

 

No.9 CCB Life Insurance Co Ltd

CCB Life Insurance Co Ltd, headquartered in Shanghai, is an insurance company and its principle shareholder is China Construction Bank, one of China's major banks.

Total Assets:  $4.281 billion

 

No.10 Manulife-Sinochem Life Insurance Co Ltd

Manulife-Sinochem is a joint venture company between Manulife (International) Limited and Sinochem Finance Co Ltd (a member of the Sinochem Group). It was the first Chinese-foreign joint-venture life insurance company established in China.

Total Assets: $2.081 billion

China Railway Engineering Corporation

China Railway Engineering Corporation

China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC) 中国中铁 is the second largest construction contractor in the world and occupies the 102th place on the Fortune Global 500 list. The Beijing-based SOE, together with its main rival, China Railway Construction Corporation, are of vital importance to the infrastructure expansion plans of China. The Group has 46 subsidiaries, including 28 wholly owned subsidiaries, 15 holding subsidiaries, 4 branch companies and 3 joint venture subsidiaries. CREC's construction teams are found in over 1,000 cities throughout China. In addition to the core business of construction, the company does surveying & design, installation, manufacturing, R&D, technical consulting, capital management as well as international economic and trade activities.

 

  

 

CREC has shown strong financial performance in recent years, as is shown in its financial results below (for its full annual report please click here). The company signed new contracts worth ¥929.6 ($149.2) billion dollars last year (2013), while existing contract revenue was ¥1.38 trillion ($222.3 billion).

 

 

2013

2012

Change %

Revenue

¥540.4($86.7) billion

¥465.6 ($74.7) billion

16.1%

Gross profit

¥40.3 ($6.5) billion

¥35.6 ($5.7) billion

13.4%

Net Profit

¥9.4 ($1.5) billion

¥7.4 ($1.2) billion

26.8%

 

 

Three sources constitute the majority of CREC’s revenue: railways, highways and municipal  construction. Last year the company built 4,843 kilometres of railways, 1,008 kilometres of new highways and 199 kilometres of light railway and subway lines. Notable projects include:

 

 

 

Railway lines

Highways

Municipal works

Nanjing - Hangzhou

Dali – Lijiang

Beijing Subway

Hangzhou - Ningbo

Fengjie – Wuxi

Shenzhen Subway

Tianjin - Qinhuangdao

Kunming – Bangkok

Shanghai Metro

Xiamen - Shenzhen

118 kilometres in Ethiopia

Guangzhou Subway

Addis-Ababa railway

Jiujiang Yangtze River

Shenyang 4th Ring Road

Tbilisi railway

Bristol Grieg cable bridge (Morocco)

Liuzhou Guangya Bridge

 

 

Other business areas in which CERC operates are: engineering equipment manufacturing, surveying, design, consulting, property development and natural resources mining, with the latter two showing the fastest growth.

 

 

Increasingly important, but often overlooked, is the China Railway Resources Group (CRRG), responsible for precious metals, ferrous and non-ferrous metals extraction, as well as logistics and surveying. With a strong focus on mineral extraction, specifically gold, copper, coal, cobalt, silver, nickel, zinc, lead and graphite, the Group has an active presence in Qinghai, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang (where CRRC and Baoan Steel have signed an agreement to cooperate over a graphite mine). International operations in Congo, Australia, Laos and Venezuela (CREC began construction in 2009 of the Anaco-Tinaco railroad, an 800 million USD project to build a 471 km high speed railway line across the country).

Qingdao

Qingdao

A Snapshot

 

Qingdao is one of China's most dynamic, and possibly livable costal cities. An important international trade port located along the western coast of the Pacific Ocean in the south of the Shandong Peninsula, it is a main transportation hub for Northeast Asia. The original port built in 1892, then know as Tsingtao, now connects with 450 ports in 150 countries. The city currently boast numerous development and trade zone including: National Qingdao Economic and Technological Development Zone, Qingdao High and New-Tech Development Zone, Qingdao Qianwan Bonded Port Area, Qingdao Export Processing Zone, Qingdao West Coast Export Processing Zone, Sino-Germany Ecological Park, and Jiaozhou Economic and Technological Development Zone.

 

 

With a population of just under 8 million, Qingdao is also a major National Tourism city, know for it`s restored European buildings, beaches and International Conference venues. The city hosts the China International Consumer Electronics Show (SINOCES), the China International Marine Fair, Qingdao International Fashion Week, and the Qingdao International Beer Festival annually.

 

In recent years, Qingdao has been positively promoting the construction of a blue economic zone (for marine sciences) and a high-end industrial cluster, to build a advanced manufacturing base lead by companies such as Haier and Hisense.

 

Industries:

 

Logistics.

Valued at 412 Billion USD in 2011 the modern logistics industry in Qingdao has developed quickly in recent years: 6 major logistics parks, including Qianwan International Bonded Port. Four logistic centers, including the west coast export processing area, and six distribution centers, including Jiaozhou and Fu’an. Qingdao is now home to over 30 domestic and international logistics companies. Small and medium-sized logistics companies, in particular, are being actively encouraged to strengthen resource integration to meet the demands of national diversified logistics.

 

 

Tourism.

More than 50 million tourists visited Qingdao in 2013 catered to by over 155 star-rated hotels, including the international: Intercontinental, Hyatt, Kempinski, Accor chains. The city is currently focused on developing resort and vacation facilities and accelerating the development of Shi Laoren Resort, Phoenix Island, Langyatai, Tianheng Island, Lingshan Bay and Aoshan Mountain Hot Spring areas.

 

The municipal government is currently implementing plans to expand it`s port facilities to allow the city to become the `Home Port’ for a domestic cruise industry with an annual capacity of over 1 million passengers. Cruise operator Carnival expects to carry 500,000 Chinese cruise passengers in 2015, up from 350,000 this year.

 

 

Service Outsourcing.

The city currently has 167 outsourcing companies registered, employing around 30,000 university graduates, the largest seven companies accumulated accounting for over $10 million USD in revenue, including Lucent Technologies, Caterpillar, Qingdao Risong, and Unihub.

 

The city's Preferential Policy on Developing Service Outsourcing in Qingdao was launched in 2008, to provide financial support for the service-outsourcing sector. A supplemental policy on Service Outsourcing came out the following year to provide financial incentives to pay income and business taxes. It put more than 40 million RMB into the development of service outsourcing, a major force behind development in the city.

 

The city has a number of service outsourcing parks, with a total area of 1 million square meters, and more than 500 companies focusing on: software development, digital animation, data processing, integrated circuitry design and industrial engineering.

 

 

New Energy Companies.

Currently, there are five companies specializing in producing solar photovoltaic devices in Qingdao: Qingdao GIGA Solar New Energy Co (specializes in producing single crystal silicon, polysilicon, film solar cells and components). Abo New Energy Co. NESI Solar Co (solar film batteries). China Creative Wind Energy Co (on-grid wind power generation apparatus). Shandong Datang Corporation (wind power generation apparatus).

 

 

Established Industries.

Electric appliances- The leading companies, such as Haier, Hisense, and AUCMA are developing quickly and developing support companies so that, now the city has almost 1,000 supporting manufacturers, producing a range of goods.

 

Petrochemicals- As one of China`s major ports a whole range of companies have established industrial facilities in the city including: Sinopec Qingdao Refining & Chemical Co, Anbang Petrochemical, Huanhai Oil Technology, Yellow Sea Rubber Group, Guangming Tire, Huntsman Textile & Dying and BASF Pigment.

 

Automobiles - The city has 20 automobile manufacturers (18 for special models) and 260 spare-parts manufacturers, 82 of them large-scale.

 

Textiles and garments- The textile and garments industry has been evolving from traditional textiles to garments, household textiles, materials for fabric, dying and textile machinery which are all done in large scale production plants.

 

Ship and marine engineering- A ship and marine engineering area has been established on Huang Island at Haixi Bay, and at Jimo and Jiaonan. The Haixi Bay site is a production base for large barges, offshore platforms, low speed diesel machinery, large rollers, decks, ship electrical systems, and water loading. The Jimo and Jiaonan areas are bases for R&D centers for high value-added oil tanks with a 100,000-ton capacity, special ships, high-tech barge equipment, and support products. Companies, such as the China Shipbuilding Industry Corp, Branch Five, CNOOC Offshore Engineering, PetroChina Offshore Engineering, Yangfan Shipbuilding, and Harbin Engineering University research center all have facilities here.

Trademark Law of the PRC.

Trademark Law of the PRC.

China's new Trademark Law has been issued and becomes effective May 1st, 2014. Important changes in the areas of anti-piracy, prosecution, enforcement, well-known mark determination and usage, opposition, and cancellation have been made. Foreign companies and their counsel should be aware of these changes so that rights and interests are not prejudiced and opportunities are not missed.

 



The significant changes include:

 

  • Strengthened protection against piracy.
  • Shortened trademark prosecution times.
  • Sound marks and multiple class trademark applications made available.
  • Strengthened well-known mark protection.
  • Narrowed legal standing for oppositions and invalidation.
  • A mark proceeding to registration if the opposition fails at the first level of adjudication at the Trademark Office.
  • Increased fines, compensation, and statutory damage against infringement.

 

For the full updated atricles of the new law please click here for the PDF.

Is China’s Economy Crashing? The Imminent Middle Income Trap.

Is China’s Economy Crashing? The Imminent Middle Income Trap.

China’s economy might indeed crash. Then again, it might not. Bearishness on China has gone viral. Two years ago, talk was of China’s economy saving the world. Today observers have swung to the opposite extreme, one expressed elegantly by Paul Krugman as “the Chinese model is about to hit its Great Wall, and the only question now is just how bad the crash will be.”

 

 

The following essay was written for the Boao Review by Professor Danny Quah of the LSE where he carefully dissects current predictions that the Chinese economy will either dramatically crash or else become ensnared in the ‘middle income trap’, please click here to open the full PDF.

 

China News more...

Research & Commentary more...

Iris Worldwide

Past Polls more...

Do you believe China housing prices may be set for a long period of stagnation?

Respondents:54

Yes:13%No:50%Only in Tier 1 Cities:37%

Are you willing to change your lifestyle to reduce your environmental footprint?

Respondents:120

Yes:57%No:8%Yes, but to the extent that comfort & convenience of my life is not sacrificed:36%

Do you believe Beijing would benefit from having the Central Government moved away to a purpose built centre outside the city limits?

Respondents:54

Yes:63%No:20%Interesting Idea!:17%

Which city in China will enjoy the highest GDP growth in 2013?

Respondents:129

Chengdu:38%Chongqing:23%Tianjing:14%Shenzhen:11%Hangzhou:14%

If China were to reach the levels of Individual consumption of the West, do you believe the World could support that?

Respondents:86

No:71%Yes:29%

Which of the following Chinese Auto brands would you consider purchasing?

Respondents:68

Geely:12%BYD:21%Great Wall:32%Cherry:1%None of these:34%

What do you see as being the most pressing Social issue China faces over the next decade?

Respondents:61

Education:23%Healthcare:30%Housing:7%Retirement:41%

Is China currently an investment opportunity or heading for crisis?

Respondents:107

Opportunity:88%Crash:12%

How many gold medals will China win in the Olympics?

Respondents:25

45+:16%40-45:24%35-40:48%-35 :12%

Where will the Shanghai Composite be at the end of 2012?

Respondents:14

more than 2,200:50%more than 2,500:21%more than 2,700:29%

How many Chinese companies will be in the Fortune 500 by 2015?

Respondents:14

more than 50:57%more than 100:21%more than 150:21%

What do you think China's GDP growth will be in 2012?

Respondents:5

less than 5%:20%less than 10%:60%more than 10%:20%

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