BUSINESS >> Insight

Family-owned conglomerate leaves bankers in the cold in $23b telecom tie-up

One might figure that India's $72 billion in merger and acquisition (M&A) deals in 2016 would have investment bankers scrambling to get into the country. One would be wrong, however. In a recent $23 billion tie-up between India's Idea Cellular and the Indian subsidiary of Vodafone Group, Vodafone hired six outside advisors. Idea Cellular hired none. Rather than bringing in big investment banks for advice on such deals, India's family-owned conglomerates have increasingly been turning to their own in-house teams of advisors. The trend, bankers said, is about bringing back control for Indian tycoons behind some of the country's biggest companies. The result: More and more big banks are pulling out of the country.
Source: Reuters | 2017/3/22 18:28:39

Real estate agency regulation urgently needed to stabilize overheated housing market

After a new round of home-buying restriction policies were released around the country, authorities began conducting inspections of some real estate agencies to further stabilize the domestic housing market and curb speculative buying. Experts said that measures such as examining online home sales information should be implemented to better regulate real estate agents. Industry insiders said that restrictions should cool China's overheated residential housing market, but they will spur growth in the commercial property market. Given the realities of the current housing market, the home rental market also has great growth potential.
Source: Global Times | 2017/3/21 18:33:39

Ukrainian tourism sector seizes opportunities to win over Chinese market

The number of Chinese visitors to Ukraine hit a 10-year-high in 2016 thanks to looser visa rules. The Eastern European country hopes to extend its success in drawing travelers from the world's largest outbound tourism market by offering tours more tailored to Chinese tourists. To achieve that goal, Ukraine's tourism industry is training a brigade of Chinese-speaking guides and forging alliances with neighboring European countries and other former members of the Soviet Union to offer packaged tours.
Source: Xinhua-Global Times | 2017/3/20 18:03:39

Access, standards and resource-sharing issues hamper integration with civilian economy

In the government work report, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said one important task in 2017 will be integrating economic and military development, as well as deepening reforms in the science and technology industries related to defense. The Beijing-based China Reform Daily (CRD) spoke with industry experts and insiders attending the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC), which concluded last week, to shed light on means to tackle institutional barriers in the integration of economic and military development and ways to channel more resources to better develop the national defense industry and benefit Chinese society.
Source: Global Times | 2017/3/19 19:58:39

Experts offer divergent views about what early-2017 economic figures portend for rest of year

The economic data released so far this year indicate that the economic turnaround that emerged in the second half of 2016 may have extended into 2017 – or at least that's what some experts think. Others see the promising economic numbers as simply the result of yet another unsustainable increase in infrastructure spending. Economists have diverging opinions about the longevity of the turnaround because no one is sure what's behind it, so it remains unclear whether it is the beginning of a trend or just a flash in the pan.
Source: Global Times | 2017/3/15 19:18:39

As China's lingerie market grows, industry experiences consolidation

Chinese mainland's lingerie market is in the midst of consolidation. On one hand, growing demand for lingerie, especially in the high-end market, has been drawing big international brands to the mainland. On the other hand, the lower-end market has been saturated with domestic products and brands, few of which stand out. The resulting fierce competition has left domestic lingerie companies with falling profits, though some are finding ways to set themselves apart.
Source: Global Times | 2017/3/14 18:33:39

Chinese firm hopes to wire continent with same strategy that boosted Internet access across China

China has one of the highest Internet penetrations in the world, thanks to the country's efforts to rapidly build out its telecommunications infrastructure. Chinese companies hope to accomplish the same feat in Africa, where for years they have been pursuing the same strategy of building up telecom infrastructure and upgrading broadband networks. Hong Kong-based China Communications Services Corp has moved some of its business to Ethiopia as it attempts to tackle projects that major Chinese telecommunication companies like Huawei and ZTE could not accomplish, because they lacked supportive policies from the central government.
Source: Global Times | 2017/3/13 17:48:39

Chinese heavy equipment companies need more name recognition in US

China boasts some of the biggest makers of construction equipment in the world, but these names are barely heard of in the US. The country's heavy-industry heavyweights, Sany Heavy Industry Co, Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science & Technology Development Co and Xuzhou Construction Machinery Group Co have stuck to traditional marketing to get their names out, yet remain nearly unheard of across the Pacific Ocean. For its part, Sany has dived deep into social media marketing, hoping that it will be as successful for them as their American competitors
Source: Xinhua | 2017/3/12 18:58:39

Rising labor costs drag down Zhejiang's garment-making industry

The garment-making sector in East China's Zhejiang Province is undergoing a difficult time as its profits continue to shrink. Some factories have closed, while others have held on by the skin of their teeth. Garment makers said rising labor costs are primarily to blame. One expert said the decline of lower-end manufacturing is inevitable, but new industries will rise to replace them.
Source: Global Times | 2017/3/8 20:13:39

Poor Guizhou county introduces online businesses to boost villagers out of poverty

More and more villages in China have embraced e-commerce to boost their local economies, and the e-commerce boom is helping to alleviate rural poverty in Southwest China's Guizhou Province, one of the poorest regions in the country. Internet giants such as Alibaba Group Holding and Inc have responded to the central government's call to fight poverty by setting up service centers in rural areas. The centers are run independently by local entrepreneurs, who sell locally produced agricultural products. The Global Times recently visited one service center in Huishui county, an hour's drive from provincial capital Guiyang, to see how those online businesses operate and what role they play in poverty reduction.
Source: Global Times | 2017/3/7 19:18:39

Poor region explores collaborative business model to fight impoverishment

The fight against poverty has been one of the hottest topics at the ongoing two sessions of 2017, the major annual political event that takes place this week. In 2016, the rural population living under the poverty line declined by 12.4 million people as the central government put 100 billion yuan ($14.49 billion) into poverty alleviation, according to the government work report delivered on Sunday by Premier Li Keqiang at the opening of the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC). The government vowed to continue to tackle poverty in 2017 by reducing the impoverished population by 10 million. The Global Times recently traveled to one of the poorest regions in the country, Southwest China's Guizhou Province, to look into how local authorities, companies and villagers are working together to fight poverty.
Source: Global Times | 2017/3/6 19:08:39

Customer, community activism at work in 'networked economy'

Assessing China's rapidly changing consumers and how businesses are coping in the face of the increasing activism of communities and consumers were the central topics of a Global Times-organized roundtable on Wednesday. The event has brought together senior executives from a full range of businesses, including agriculture, food and beverage, manufacturing, energy, healthcare, entertainment, financial, banking and luxury goods. They made for a lively exchange of views on the trends shaping China's transformation to a consumption-based economy. North Head is strategic counselor of the roundtable.
Source: Global Times | 2017/3/5 19:38:39

China steps closer to sustainable farming by encouraging use of organic fertilizers

In February, the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) released a plan to pilot a fertilizer-replacement program by the end of 2017 in 100 counties and districts. Over the years, Chinese farmers have grown dependent on chemical fertilizers to boost output, but that dependency has taken its toll on the land and has increased risks to public health. To curb the overuse of chemicals in agriculture, China is promoting bio-fertilizers as an alternative. But change comes with a price, as organic fertilizers cost around four times as much as their chemical brethren. The situation begs the question of whether Chinese farmers can go green without government support.
Source: Xinhua-Global Times | 2017/3/1 19:58:39

Experts predict govt will soon regulate rapidly growing industry

Bike-sharing has taken China by storm. But along with the business's success have come questions about how bike-sharing companies manage their user deposits. Over the last few days, domestic media reports have questioned what the companies do with the deposits and speculated whether there is anything stopping them from misusing the funds. Experts predicted that the government will step in this year and impose a wide range of regulations on the industry, including rules on how companies deal with user deposits. Right now, the industry continues to expand rapidly, but the intensifying competition will likely soon lead to acquisitions, as leading companies attempt to cement their position in the market.
Source: Global Times | 2017/2/28 18:13:39

High-end product sales pick up as brands cut prices, build presence online

China's luxury product market started growing again in 2016 after three straight years of stalling. The return to growth resulted largely from luxury brands lowering their prices, diminishing the long-grumbled-about price gap between the Chinese mainland and other markets, consumers and analysts said. Luxury brands have seen sales jump as they have moved sales channels online, hoping to reach younger shoppers and potential consumers in second- and third-tier cities.
Source: Global Times | 2017/2/27 19:38:39

Enforcement key if Chinese banks want to avoid being investigated

More and more overseas branches of Chinese banks are getting investigated on money laundering charges, including Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China and China Construction Bank. Experts said the investigations are largely the result of a strengthened supervision, the banks' own lack of vigilance and imperfect internal controls to catch money laundering. Although China has established laws and regulations to combat money laundering, they have not been very successful because the penalties are not severe enough to be a deterrent. Authorities need to enforce the regulations better to show China's consistent stance in the fight against money laundering.
Source: Global Times | 2017/2/26 20:28:39

Already popular at home, Yunnan sells itself as global tourist destination

With its beautiful landscapes and diverse ethnic population, Southwest China's Yunnan Province has become one of the trendiest tourist destinations in China. In 2016, it attracted 431 million visits from home and abroad, up 31 percent. In 2017, the province is holding promotional activities around the world to attract more tourists, especially from overseas.
Source: Global Times | 2017/2/22 18:28:39

Zhuhai grows at rapid pace under 'Belt and Road' initiative

In March 2015, the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Commerce jointly proposed an action plan for the “One Belt and One Road” initiative that aims to leverage the strengths of coastal regions like the Pearl River Delta and advance the development of several pilot free trade zones, including the one in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province. Zhuhai was among the first cities to launch economic reforms more than three decades ago. Currently, the “B&R” initiative gives the city new opportunities to strengthen ties with Hong Kong, Macao and the global market. The Global Times recently visited several landmark projects in Zhuhai to see how long it will take to fully integrate the city under the initiative. This story is the second in a two-part series.
Source: Global Times | 2017/2/20 19:48:39