CX Daily: Major Manufacturing Expansion But No Business Confidence?
China’s manufacturing sector expands at fastest pace in nearly three years, Caixin PMI shows
China’s manufacturing activity expanded at the fastest pace in nearly three years in October as output and new orders grew at a clip not seen in several years, a Caixin-sponsored survey showed Friday.
The Caixin China General Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) increased to 51.7 in October from 51.4 in the previous month. The gauge hasn’t been this high since February 2017; readings above 50 signal expansion. The output subindex expanded at the fastest pace since December 2016, while new orders placed with goods producers grew at the quickest clip since January 2013, partly because of improved market conditions and a recovery in customer demand, according to the survey.
“China’s manufacturing economy continued to recover at a relatively quick pace in October,” said Zhong Zhengsheng, director of macroeconomic analysis with consultancy CEBM Group, a subsidiary of Caixin Insight Group. “However, business confidence has been weak.”
FINANCE & ECONOMICS
Pies of coal sit near the port facilities in Qinhuangdao, Hebei province, on Oct. 28, 2016. Photo: Bloomberg
China likely to loosen cap on foreign coal as imports race ahead
China’s coal imports are on track to exceed last year’s tally, confounding predictions that the government would cap purchases at 2018’s levels. The world’s biggest buyer regularly limits imports to bolster domestic miners amid a broader campaign to reduce the nation’s reliance on the fuel. This year, a slowing economy and the attraction of cheaper overseas coal are likely to steer policymakers away from a repeat of 2018’s curbs.
Coal imports in the first nine months have already raced ahead of last year’s levels by 10%, suggesting it’ll be “difficult to have imports at the same level as last year, while a rise is highly possible,” according to Zeng Hao, an analyst at consultancy Fenwei Energy Information Services. The gain is all the more notable given rising domestic supply.
China will create ‘space economic zone’ by midcentury: Report
China will strive to establish an economic zone in space by the middle of the century, a senior official at the country’s main state-owned space-program contractor said, according to a government newspaper report.
Bao Weimin, who is the chief of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp.’s science and technology commission, said Wednesday at a forum in Beijing that the country plans to set up the economic zone in "cislunar space" — the area lying inside the moon’s orbit — within the next few decades. His comments were reported Friday by the Science and Technology Daily, a newspaper affiliated with the Ministry of Science and Technology.
Postal Savings Bank fills another top position ahead of Shanghai IPO
Postal Savings Bank of China (PSBC), one of the country’s largest state-owned lenders, has chosen a new president just days after winning approval from regulators for an A-share IPO.
We've learned from multiple sources that the PSBC will nominate veteran banker Guo Xinshuang as president, filling a position that’s been vacant for 10 months since Lü Jiajin resigned to take up a new position as deputy president of state-owned Bank of Communications Co. Ltd., another of the country’s top lenders. Guo previously served as an executive director of China Export & Credit Insurance Corp., also known as Sinosure, which provides export credit insurance.
Coming up /
Tues, Nov. 5: Caixin will release October's Caixin China Services PMI.
Thurs, Nov. 7: The GACC will release October's import and export data.
The 10th Caixin Summit will be held Nov. 7 to Nov. 10 in Beijing. The summit is Caixin Media's annual flagship event and has been diving deeply into critical global issues from economic, political and social perspectives in its 10-year history. This year also marks the 10th anniversary of Caixin Media.
Fri, Nov. 8: The PBOC will release October data on M2, M1, M0 growth, new yuan-denominated loans and newly added social financing.
Quick hits /
10 Years of Caixin: Mapping Zhou Yongkang’s vast web of graft
China wealth fund to review stake in German rest stop chain
Opinion: Monetary policy has hit its limit
Opinion: Blockchain should stay out of currency and finance
BUSINESS & TECH
China enlists Thousand Talents Program in major revamp to undergraduate studies
China’s Ministry of Education has called for a three-year revamp of the higher education system, aiming to devote vast resources to undergraduate studies, including the expertise of those who are part of its controversial Thousand Talents Program.
By 2021, the ministry wants 10,000 national-level courses and 10,000 provincial-level courses of “top quality,” taught online, offline, via virtual reality and in practical settings, according to a Thursday directive. Those courses will be designed by “high level talent” such as scholars of the renowned Chinese academies of sciences and engineering and the Thousand Talents Program, a government-backed recruitment project to lure scientific talent from foreign countries to work in China.
Alibaba's sales surge 40% and profit triples
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. reported a 40% increase in sales in the third quarter as the Chinese e-commerce giant reached its 20th anniversary and continued to add users to its online marketplace.
For the quarter ended Sept. 30, the Hangzhou-based company posted sales of 119 billion yuan ($16.9 billion), up from 85.15 billion yuan a year earlier. Sales beat the 117 billion yuan that analysts estimated, driven by strong growth in the core e-commerce and cloud computing businesses.
Alibaba’s net profit more than tripled to 70.75 billion yuan, or 27.51 yuan per American depositary share. Earnings included a significant one-time gain recognized on the receipt of Alibaba’s 33% equity interest in Ant Financial Services Group.
In depth /
Inside the deadly Wuxi bridge collapse
The vehicles involved in the Wuxi incident, visible in photos and spotted by witnesses who spoke with us, were carrying large steel coils. By our calculations, based on documentation, the trucks, which appear to come from the same logistics company, were carrying 171 tons and nearly 200 tons respectively. By comprison, this section of the highway was classified as Class I with a maximum load of 55 tons.
The design of many of China’s road bridges mean they can be unstable if confronted with uneven, heavy loads. A number of locals told us that the 312 National Highway is the only road connecting a number of steel processing plants, factories, distribution centers, and logistics companies, while an industry insider said that if companies don’t overload the trucks, they “can’t make any money.” Overloading isn’t as bad as it once was, but the problem is still endemic.
Check out our investigation.
China-U.S. shipping emissions helped cause thousands of premature deaths: Study
Maritime shipping is fundamental to global trade, carrying millions of tons of goods around the world each day. But carrying those goods produces an enormous amount of pollution, including 938 million tons of carbon dioxide each year. Now, researchers at Tsinghua University in Beijing have found a way to drill down into the macro figures and model just who is responsible.
In a new report published in online journal Nature Sustainability, they find bilateral shipping between the United States and China is responsible for 2.5% of the industry’s carbon dioxide emissions — 23 million tons — as well as 4.8% of the premature deaths from air pollution linked to the trade.
Quick hits /
Swiss Telecom CEO explains why he’s sticking with Huawei
Baidu launches ‘AI Teahouse’ with facial recognition and robot waiters
Amgen targets China expansion with 20% stake in drug developer
Hillhouse to focus on Gree after adjusting holding in air conditioning rival Midea
China job hunters’ blockchain interest grows as Xi voices support
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