May 14, 2021 09:29 AM

CX Daily: Chinese With Rare Diseases Face Painful Predicament — Affordable Yet Unavailable Drugs

Medicine /

In Depth: Chinese with rare diseases face painful predicament — affordable yet unavailable drugs

Xu Kai and her family smashed 1,000 boxes of tablets used to treat her 8-year-old daughter’s rare genetic disorder.

The latest shipment of the medicine, which Xu had been buying through purchasing agents since her daughter was born, turned out to be fake. Phony pharmaceuticals are just one of the problems that patients and their relatives face trying to get their hands on medicine for treating rare diseases in China.

Many of these drugs are cheap and readily available outside of China, but lagging regulations and the cold logic of the market economy have made them difficult to come by inside the country. The situation has forced people like Xu to turn to an unreliable network of sometimes untrustworthy purchasing agents to buy drugs overseas that they or their loved ones need to lead normal lives.

Population /

Charts of the Day: China’s shrinking household size

Household size in China has gradually shrunk over the past five years, the latest census results show, with the average number of members in a family dropping to 2.62 in 2020 from 3.11 in 2016.

The change was due mainly to the increasing mobility of the population, improved housing conditions and more young couples choosing to live independently, Ning Jizhe, head of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), said Tuesday in a statement (link in Chinese).

Related: Opinion: The threat of China’s national baby bust

China’s population will peak in the later half of this decade, expert says



Xue Jining pleaded guilty to charges that he took $62.1 million in bribes. Photo: The People's Procuratorate of Hohhot

Corruption /

Retired bank regulator admits taking $62 million in bribes, court statement shows

A retired banking regulator in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region admitted taking bribes amounting to more than $62 million in a corruption case with links to Baoshang Bank Co. Ltd., a failed local lender that was taken over by the state in 2019.

Xue Jining, a former head of the Inner Mongolia branch of the now-defunct China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) and a former central bank official, pleaded guilty to charges that he took 400.4 million yuan ($62.1 million) in bribes from 37 individuals and entities from 2002 to 2015, according to a statement (link in Chinese) released Wednesday by the Intermediate People’s Court of Hohhot where his trial is taking place.

BlackRock /

BlackRock’s China wealth management venture cleared to start business

BlackRock Inc. won approval to start operating a wealth management business in China as the world’s largest asset manager pushes into the country’s vast financial market.

A joint venture in which BlackRock holds 50.1% received approval from the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) to start business, BlackRock said Wednesday. China Construction Bank owns 40% of the venture while Singapore’s state fund Holdings Pte. Ltd. has the remaining 9.9%.

The venture was among the first foreign-controlled wealth management companies to obtain regulatory clearance to tap the country’s growing wealth as the world’s second-largest economy moves to further open its financial services sector.

Fraud /

Leshi and fugitive founder Jia Yueting sued for fraud

Leshi Internet Information & Technology Corp. and its fugitive founder Jia Yueting were sued by 11 individual investors alleging fraud after China’s top securities regulator imposed penalties on similar charges.

The Beijing Financial Court said Wednesday it accepted the case brought by the Leshi investors, whose suit names the company and 21 parties including founder Jia.

The case was the first securities dispute accepted by the Beijing court, which opened in March as the country’s the second tribunal created to specialize in civil and commercial financial disputes. The first such court was established in Shanghai.

Quick hits /

Credit Suisse makes new hires in push to capture China’s rich

Wang Tao: China’s growing inflation won’t be not enough to alarm the central bank



China’s new draft rules stipulate that important data and personal information collected from vehicles should be stored within China.

Data /

Automakers face new limits on collecting user data

Automakers in China need to seek customer approval before collecting data on driving, and personal information and important data should not be collected unless absolutely necessary, according to draft rules issued Wednesday by the Office of the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission.

Tesla Inc.’s controversial handling of auto data related to crashes generated considerable debate on who owns the data after a Tesla owner staged a dramatic protest last month at the Shanghai auto show. The protestor, whose father was involved in a February Tesla crash, climbed atop a Tesla car at the auto show, shouting “Tesla brakes fail.”

Tesla originally rejected the vehicle owner's request for access to the vehicle’s data but then disclosed it under pressure from regulators.

Hydrogen /

Sinopec strikes deal with automaker Great Wall to develop hydrogen energy

Sinopec Corp. signed a cooperation agreement with Baoding Great Wall Holdings Group Co. Ltd. to develop hydrogen car technology, broadening the Chinese oil and gas giant’s low-carbon portfolio.

The two companies will team up to demonstrate vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells, build hydrogen refueling stations and develop integrated applications between cars and stations, according to their press releases.

Dairy /

Plant-milk maker Oatly aims for $1.6 billion Nasdaq listing, though Chinese backing could prove a problem

Major plant-based milk-alternative maker Oatly Group AB spelled out its IPO pricing, though questions remain about whether its ties with a Chinese state-owned backer could affect its Nasdaq listing.

The Swedish company expects to raise as much as $1.65 billion with an offering price of between $15 and $17 per American depositary share, it said Tuesday in an updated prospectus. That would give it a $10 billion valuation.

As of March 31, conglomerate China Resources (Holdings) Co. Ltd. and Belgium-incorporated Verlinvest S.A. jointly hold 55.9% of Oatly through the 50-50 joint venture Nativus Co. Ltd., according to the filing.

Smartphones /

Apple peels off China market share from sinking Huawei

A sanctions-hobbled Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. barely managed to stay in the top five smartphone brands in its home market of China during the first quarter as it lost share to a surging Apple Inc., according to data supplied to Caixin by IDC Thursday.

The latest trends in China extend a broader global movement for the pair of smartphone titans heading in opposite directions. Huawei’s home market had been one of its last safe havens, thanks to a strong local sales network and nonreliance on Google’s app store for models sold in the market, as it battled crippling U.S. sanctions that cut it off from the tech giant and many of its other key partners.

Quick hits /

Dingdong Maicai raises $330 million for expansion

Canadian court to decide on new Meng Wanzhou evidence

U.S. Senate advances bill that would ban TikTok from government devices

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