Oct 19, 2020 11:28 PM

China Business Digest: Third-Quarter GDP Growth Comes In at 4.9%; China Vaccinates More People for Coronavirus



China’s GDP grew 4.9% in the third quarter as its economic rebound from Covid-19 continues. The central bank’s governor now predicts the economy will grow 2% this year. China is expanding the number of people receiving its experimental Covid-19 vaccines.

By Timmy Shen (


China GDP grew 4.9% in third quarter

China’s GDP grew 4.9% year-on-year in the third quarter, accelerating from 3.2% growth the previous quarter, official data (link in Chinese) showed Monday. The reading was lower than the median estimate of 5.4% growth in a Caixin survey of economists.

The GDP for the first three quarters grew 0.7% year-on-year, back into positive territory after being dragged down by a 6.8% contraction in the first quarter at the height of China’s Covid-19 outbreak.

In Depth: China offers experimental Covid-19 vaccines to more people

China is expanding the number of people receiving its experimental Covid-19 vaccines, with two eastern cities offering one to the general public and a biotech company providing another free to students heading abroad, even though there are still uncertainties on the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines.

China passes export control law

China’s national legislature passed an omnibus export control law on Saturday, mandating the government to consolidate its export control regime and to take action against violations from oversea entities and individuals. The legislation will take effect Dec. 1.

Chinese embassy in Fiji denies provoking conflict with Taiwanese staffer

The Chinese embassy in Fiji denied allegations that its diplomats provoked a physical conflict with a Taiwanese delegation member during an Oct. 8 event in the South Pacific country’s capital, an incident that drew wide attention amid tense cross-strait relations.

Alibaba to invest $3.6 billion for control of Sun Art Retail

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. will invest HK$28 billion ($3.6 billion) through a subsidiary to acquire 70.9% of A-RT Retail Holdings Ltd., which owns about 51% of Sun Art Retail Group Ltd., a major hypermarket operator in China, Alibaba announced Monday. The purchase will double Alibaba’s stake in Sun Art to 72%.

China state firms’ assets grow even as government presses for lighter debt

The assets of China’s state-owned enterprises outside the financial industry grew 11.2% to 233.9 trillion yuan ($34.9 trillion) last year, even as the State Council pledged to push ahead with mixed-ownership reform and accelerate restructuring in the sector amid debt concerns.

Death follows as people push into elephant enclave

Xishuangbanna, the southernmost prefecture in China’s Yunnan province, is known as a safe haven for wild Asian elephants. But balancing modern human activities with protection of wildlife has never been easy. For some people in Xishuangbanna, coexistence with the wild elephants is becoming more and more challenging, and in some cases — fatal. (Read this week’s cover story here.)

Digest Stock Chart 1019


Finance & Economy

• Yi Gang, governor of China’s central bank, said Sunday at an online seminar that China’s economy will likely expand by about 2% this year.

1 Xu Weidong, a former deputy general manager and Communist Party committee member of the private banking division of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd., has been dismissed from public office and expelled from the party for “serious violation of (Communist Party) discipline and law,” the country’s corruption watchdog said Saturday.

• China on Sunday released a list (link in Chinese) of reform measures to give Shenzhen more autonomy to attract talent and manage its financial markets.

Business & Tech

• Electric vehicle startup Faraday & Future Inc. has signed an extended financing agreement securing a bridge loan of up to $45 million from Chicago-based merchant bank Birch Lake and New York-based private equity firm ATW Partners LLC.

• Tesla Inc. will start exporting Model 3 electric cars made at its factory on the outskirts of Shanghai to Europe starting later this month, the automaker said in a statement.

• Hundreds of parents protested Monday outside the headquarters of Youwin Education in Beijing, demanding their money back (link in Chinese) after the private tutoring company collapsed amid the coronavirus pandemic. The founder and chairman of the company promised in a video conference with some parents that he won’t flee and the company won’t file for bankruptcy.

• Tencent Holdings Ltd. has chosen a coworking space for its first office in Singapore — taking almost 200 seats at JustCo’s coworking space — joining other Chinese tech giants in using the city state as its launching pad into the rest of Asia. (Bloomberg)

• Nippon Express Co. Ltd., Japan’s top logistics company, will double the number of freight trains it operates between China and Europe next year. (Nikkei Asia)

• China’s top legislature on Saturday passed a new law on biosecurity (link in Chinese), establishing systems for risk prevention and control, including risk monitoring and early warning.

• Liu Baohua, a deputy head of the National Energy Administration, has been put under investigation on suspicion of “serious violations of (Communist Party) discipline and law,” the country’s anti-graft body announced Saturday.

• Mao Hongtao, party chief of Chengdu University, was found dead after he apparently posted online that he intended to commit suicide and accused the university president of “persecuting” him.


• On Sunday, the Chinese mainland reported 13 new Covid-19 cases with symptoms (link in Chinese), all imported, according to China’s top health body.

 Read more 
Caixin’s coronavirus coverage

• As of Monday afternoon Beijing time, the number of coronavirus infections globally exceeded 40 million, with the death toll surpassing 1.1 million, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

** Looking ahead

Oct. 21: China Unicom reports third-quarter financial results

Oct. 22: China Telecom reports third-quarter financial results

Contact reporter Timmy Shen ( and editors Yang Ge ( and Michael Bellart (

 Read more 
China Business Digest: Central Bank Unveils Major Revamp to Commercial Bank Law; Bitcoin Exchange Suspends Cryptocurrency Withdrawals

Support quality journalism in China. Subscribe to Caixin Global starting at $0.99.

Register to read this article for free.
Share this article
Open WeChat and scan the QR code