Caixin
Aug 27, 2020 04:11 PM

Caixin Business English 04 财新商业英语进阶计划 04

重点词汇

Patent

(n.)专利权。政府机关向发明人授予的在一定期限内生产、销售或以其他方式使用发明的排他性权利。

专利权是知识产权的重要组成部分,在中国由国家知识产权局负责专利权的行政管理工作。根据《中华人民共和国专利法》,专利分为发明专利、实用新型专利和外观设计专利三种类型,保护期限分别为自申请日起20年、10年和10年。

例句:Syngenta AG, as the world’s third-largest seed supplier and top pesticides-maker, brought its rich store of seed and agrochemical patents to state-owned ChemChina.

翻译:先正达作为全球第三大种子生产商和最大农药生产商,给国企中化集团带来了丰富的种业和农化专利。

To learn how the phrase is used in English reporting, please click here.

进阶英语0724

Debt-to-asset ratio

(n.)资产负债率。企业负债总额占其资产总额的百分比。

作为企业负债水平的综合指标,资产负债率显示出企业总资产中有多少是通过负债筹集的。既能反映出企业举债经营的能力,也反映债权人向企业提供信贷资金的风险程度。如果资产负债比率达到或超过100%,说明该企业已经资不抵债。

例句:The problem is its debt-to-asset ratio is far higher than its international peers. Its growth prospects seem limited and it has to overcome a number of regulatory hurdles.

翻译:问题在于中国化工的资产负债率远高于国际同行。 它的进一步发展可能受限,还需要克服许多监管障碍。

To learn how the phrase is used in English reporting, please click here.

进阶英语0724

Property rights

(n.)产权,财产权。一种以物质财富为对象,直接与经济利益相联系的民事权利。

财产权是人身权的对称,可以以货币计算价值,一般具有可让与性,受到侵害时需以财产方式予以救济。财产权包括以所有权为主的物权、债权、继承权,也包括知识产权中的财产权利。在中国,财产权及各类财产关系由最新颁布的《民法典》物权编所规定。

例句:The small property holders would still have rights - The new policy would be achieved by modifying an existing rule to say that if a developer obtains 95% of the legal property rights of an existing development and complies with other housing acquisition rules, then the city or district government can execute individual acquisitions from remaining property owners.

翻译:业主仍然拥有权利——新政策规定,当已签订搬迁安置协议的合法产权比例不低于95%,且符合房屋征收相关规定时,市、区政府可以对未签约部分房屋实施个别征收。

To learn how the phrase is used in English reporting, please click here.


MATT: Hello and ni hao!

MATT: This is the Caixin China Biz Roundup broadcast every week day from Beijing with the essential news for everything you need to know about China and the world of business – plus a little bit more.

MATT: I’m Matthew Walsh

YILIN: And I’m Yilin Chen

MATT: Welcome back. Today’s show is extra special because we have someone new on the show! I am excited to be joined by Yilin Chen, one of my colleagues at Caixin Global. Alright Yilin, would you like to do the honors and introduce the lineup.

YILIN: Of course! We’ll be exploring Youku’s own toy story: the platform managed to sell hundreds of thousands of designer figurines in just sixty seconds. We’ll also delve into new rules which could transform the nation’s property and development industry. Plus, California has inked a deal with a Chinese carmaker to supply the state with millions of face masks.

YILIN: But, first, Matt is going to get the ball rolling highlighting a great piece from our Caixin website.

MATT: For my top story today I want to look at China National Chemical Corp – better known as ChemChina and its mounting debt(债务) problems – the story is featured in a great in-depth piece online and it’s important because it reveals something quite interesting about China’s spending spree a few years ago when many Chinese companies were aggressively buying foreign companies. And I think it also says something really important about China’s agricultural sector.

YILIN: OK, two important reasons to pay attention to the story – so what are the details?

MATT: OK, first a little background – three years ago state-owned(国有的) ChemChina acquired Switzerland’s Syngenta AG for a blockbuster $43 billion, paying only $5 billion in its own capital and cobbling together loans from banks and other institutions to make up the rest.

MATT: Syngenta AG, as the world’s third-largest seed supplier and top pesticides-maker, brought its rich store of seed and agrochemical patents(专利) to state-owned ChemChina.

MATT: There were plenty of people warning against the deal at the time. China’s ambassador to Switzerland, said quote “it wasn’t a good deal for the Chinese side,” end quote.

MATT: However others were more welcoming. Niu Dun, former deputy minister of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said at the time, quote: “Syngenta has strong research ability and vest marketing network, so the advantages of this acquisition(收购) should outweigh the disadvantages,” end quote.

YILIN: So who has been proved right?

MATT: When it comes to these kinds of stories I am loathed to make definitive judgements but now, with both companies deep in debt, there are concerns the lion’s share of the debt accrued in the acquisition could wind up back on Syngenta’s shoulders. Syngenta Group is now preparing to list on the Chinese mainland by mid-2022.

MATT: The problem is its debt-to-asset ratio(资产负债率) is far higher than its international peers. Its growth prospects seem limited and it has to overcome a number of regulatory hurdles. 

YILIN: OK, so massive debts and no easy way to get out of it.



MATT: Precisely - now like I said at the start this is part of a bigger in-depth story online and I’m only able to skim the surface here on the podcast.

YILIN: I get that, but at the start you said this story was important because it said something wider about China’s foreign acquisitions and China’s agriculture sector.

MATT: The Syngenta deal in 2017 should be seen in the context of what was going on at the time. Between 2016 to 2018 the number of newly announced Chinese overseas M&A transactions averaged around 90 per month, and that has dropped to barely 30 per month in the first five months this year, according to a June 18th report by international law firm Baker McKenzie and Rhodium Group, a US consultancy.

MATT: Also new outbound deal-making by Chinese firms plunged by 71 percent in volume and 88 percent in value year-on-year during the first five months this year, according to the report.

YILIN: So Syngenta and ChemChina is the morning after the wild M&A party of a few years ago

MATT: Possibly, but like I said the story is also important with regards to China’s agriculture sector. So there are specific issues one should consider.

MATT: The past several years have been hard for the agrochemical industry as a whole. Industry insiders told Caixin of the limited development space left in China’s seed and pesticide market, and the growing costs of land alongside its shrinking profitability per acre.

MATT: China is also among the many countries that have tightened regulations on the use of agricultural chemicals like those that make up a core part of Syngenta’s business.

MATT: Now here is the important part – the big question is whether genetically modified (转基因的)crops could ride to ChemChina’s rescue?

MATT: In January, China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs gave the green light for China’s farmers to plant genetically modified corn and soybeans. This is the first time the country has granted safety certificate to genetically modified food in 10 years, sending a positive signal to the agriculture industry. And ChemChina and Syngenta could really benefit from this decision.

YILIN: So the whole ChemChina story helps us understand the fallout from some of the spending spree a few years ago and the fate of ChemChina might be tied up with what happens next with genetically modified crops?

MATT: That pretty much sums it up – but for more I would urge people to go online and check out Caixin’s in-depth piece.

MATT: Ok, now, Yilin, today you make your grand debut on the show. What story have you chosen for your first venture into the world of podcasting?

YILIN: Well, since its Friday, how about something fun? My essential story of the day is all about how Youku has taken the nation’s collectible toy frenzy to the very next level.

YILIN: And for any listeners who may be thinking Youk-who?, well its basically China’s answer to Youtube. It’s a hugely successful video-sharing platform backed by tech titan Alibaba.

MATT: What exactly are these toys and how is Youku further hyping up the craze?

YILIN: The items are mostly figurines, which have been created by local artists and game designers.

YILIN: I should also point out that this not the first time Youku plays around. In May, the company actually established a sub-unit, UTS, which is specifically focuses on collectible toys and merchandise, and getting famous faces to promote such goods.

YILIN: That’s why, earlier in the week, the platform kicked off a live-streamed variety show where celebrities endorse and sell these toys. The show is called ‘the luckiest guy’ and aimed at teen audiences.

YILIN: So far, two episodes have been aired, with the premiere featuring Chinese pop star Kwin opening up boxes to discover the surprise collectible figurine inside.

MATT: Honestly, if I was made to watch such nonsense I would definitely not feel like the luckiest guy.

MATT: Now this quirky story is definitely entertaining. And I certainly agree that ‘all work and no play makes Matt a dull boy’, but our show is all about China’s top business and economic trends, so I do have to ask why did you pick this story?

YILIN: Well, first of all, Youku’s approach demonstrates the incredible power of livestreaming(直播) to sell goods. And its performance stats are truly mindboggling. For instance, the company boasted selling 10,000 collectible toys in a single minute. If that doesn’t sound crazy enough, Youku also raised 400,000 yuan, or roughly $57,000, in the show’s very first 30 seconds. 

MATT: Ok, so livestreaming really does seem to be the way forward. Now, I am starting to think I may have chosen the wrong career path.

YILIN: Yeah, I’m pretty sure Youku has galvanised even more businesses to turn to livestreaming as part of their marketing campaigns.

YILIN: But, that isn’t the only reason why this story matters. This also says a lot about the booming collectible toy market. While it may sound like a silly fad to many of us, the designer-toy industry is nonetheless becoming a thriving business in China. In fact, the consultancy(咨询公司) Frost & Sullivan says that the sector's value surged from 6.3 billion yuan in 2015 to 20.7 billion in 2019. They also predict the sector’s value to almost quadruple by 2024.

YILIN: If you still not convinced by that, just check out another big player on the scene, Pop Mart. The company runs 8.5 % of the market and struck gold with its ‘blind boxes’ which boast a mysterious collectible figure inside. But the toymaker seems to be collecting an empire of its own with over 150 retail shops, 900 vending machines, and online channels on popular apps such as WeChat and Douyin and on Alibaba’s popular Tmall shopping platform. Last month Popmart has filed to go public in Hong Kong.

YILIN: So, all in all, the collectible toy craze is far from child’s play.

MATT: For my second story I have a development that could have a massive impact on China’s property and development industry.

YILIN: I like stories with massive impact – so what’s new?

MATT: The southern boomtown of Shenzhen has proposed a new rule that would give the government or developers authority to buy out property from a small numbers of holdouts(“钉子户”) when they stand in the way of redevelopment(重新开发)projects.

YILIN: Explain that to me slower please.

MATT: Previously if a company or local government wanted to redevelop an area it had to buy out 100% of the residents, That meant a few hold outs known locally as “dingzi hu” or nail homes, could stop anything going forward and effectively gave them the power to blackmail(勒索) developers. Such holdouts are often featured in local news reports due to their dramatic David-and-Goliath storylines, as well as dramatic photos of entire areas that have been cleared for development with often just one or two dwellings left intact.

YILIN: So how would this new policy work – can the Goliath developers just bulldoze the little Davids’ properties that refuse to sell to them. I’ll be honest, I’m not sure which side of the debate I am on this one.

MATT: The small property holders would still have rights - The new policy would be achieved by modifying an existing rule to say that if a developer obtains 95% of the legal property rights(合法产权) of an existing development and complies with other housing acquisition rules, then the city or district government can execute individual acquisitions from remaining property owners. Holdout residents who feel such acquisition terms are inadequate can file for administrative proceedings to arbitrate the case.

MATT: The hope is the new rules will remove a persistent obstacle in the way of urban renewal, and lay a legal foundation for sustainable(可持续发展) urban development.

YILIN: OK this is all very interesting for residents and developers in the city of Shenzhen, but feels a bit local for us to feature on our podcast – so why have you picked it?

MATT: The action is being taken with the blessing of the central government, and here’s the important part – Beijing often uses Shenzhen as a testing ground for such reforms that are later rolled out in the rest of the country. So if the policy works in Shenzhen expect to see it across the rest of China soon.

YILIN: Ok, thanks Matt! Now, let’s find out what else has been making the news in China.

MATT: China’s Foreign Ministry said the country may not recognize British National Overseas passports, or BNO passports, as valid travel documents in an escalating clash with the U.K. over Hong Kong. When asked about the U.K.’s plan to confer citizenship on BNO passport holders in Hong Kong, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin that quote, “Given that the British side broke its commitment first, the Chinese side will consider stopping recognizing BNO passports as valid travel documents and reserves the right to take further actions.”

MATT: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised British citizenship to eligible Hong Kongers as part of the nation’s response to China’s decision to impose a national security law in Hong Kong. Earlier this week, the British government released a detailed plan saying people in Hong Kong with BNO status would be granted a special path to obtain U.K. citizenship starting in 2021.

YILIN: Chinese carmaker BYD  secured a $316 million contract(合约) to supply 420 million facemasks to California as the most populous U.S. state struggles amid the resurgent Covid-19 pandemic. California placed the order, including 120 million N95 masks and 300 million surgical masks, to BYD, adding to the hundreds of millions the state already purchased from the Chinese company, according to Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat.

MATT: And finally, national science competitions for primary and secondary school students have come under intense scrutiny after it was revealed that a sixth-grader’s research project heavily involved his father. At the 34th China Adolescents Science and Technology Innovation Contest in July 2019, the boy presented a complex gene study related to colorectal cancer and won third prize. Subsequent investigations have sparked a massive debate about academic dishonesty and the unfairness that is thought to plague such contests.

YILIN: And that completes today’s Caixin China Biz Roundup. Goodbye and Zaijian.

觉得还有地方需要改善?想要学习的单词不在这里?欢迎发邮件到hello@caixin.com,或在讨论区留言,期待您的来信哦~

This is only for Caixin Global's app users to read.

Share this article
Open WeChat and scan the QR code