Caixin
Sep 09, 2021 09:40 AM
CHINA

CX Daily: Huarong’s $3.4 Billion Debacle On A South Korean Tourist Trap

Huarong /

In Depth: Huarong’s $3.4 billion debacle on a South Korean tourist trap

When it was sold for a song in 2014, the plot of land was little more than an undeveloped stretch on a South Korean tourist trap for Chinese vacationers called Jeju Island.

About the size of New York City’s Central Park, the plot had been left vacant for years because few could afford the enormous amount of money needed to develop it, according to Kim Yong-cheol, a South Korean certified public accountant with knowledge of the matter.

The buyer at the time was a newly established South Korean company that paid around 630 million yuan ($97.5 million) for the property, a bargain-basement price that was probably due to the sky-high investment requirement, Kim told Caixin, citing its financial statements.

Over the next three years, the parcel would become the target of a nearly $60 billion investment fantasy, be bought on the sly by a Chinese gambling tycoon, and entice a group of insiders at China Huarong Asset Management Co. Ltd. to collude with the property’s owner on a deal that promised to net them almost 10 billion yuan in ill-gotten gains.

FINANCE & ECONOMY

1

Chinese banks’ deposit rates declined after the PBOC allowed banks to set ceilings, prompting a drop in loan interest rates.

Liquidity /

China’s central bank says liquidity is ample and balanced

There is no large monetary base gap in China, and the supply and demand for liquidity will maintain balanced in the next months, a senior official at the central bank said.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has adequate tools to smooth out periodic fluctuations in liquidity caused by factors such as fiscal revenue, expenditures and government bond issuance, Sun Guofeng, head of the PBOC’s monetary policy department said Tuesday at a State Council briefing. The PBOC is fully capable of maintaining reasonably abundant liquidity, the official said.

The central bank has used a combination of monetary policy tools, including cutting the reserve requirement ratio (RRR), relending, medium-term lending facilities (MLF) and open-market operations, to inject liquidity, Sun said.

Covid-19 /

China gives Covid-19 shots to more than 1 billion people

China has given at least one Covid-19 vaccination shot to more than 1 billion of its 1.4 billion population as the country moves to offer booster injections to fend off the fast-evolving pathogen.

As of Monday, China administered doses to 1.09 billion people, or 77.6% of the population, Wu Liang, a deputy head of the National Health Commission’s disease control department, said Tuesday at a press conference. Among them, nearly 970 million were fully vaccinated with two shots.

About 162 million doses of Covid vaccines have been given to minors ages 12 to 17, Wu said.

UBS /

UBS names tech, media and telecom head for Southeast Asia and India

UBS named Warren Wu head of technology, media and telecommunications for Southeast Asia and India effective immediately, according to an internal memo.

The appointment is part of the global bank’s strategy of focusing on new-economy industries. Wu will report to Nicolo Magni, head of global banking for Southeast Asia and India, according to the memo reviewed by Caixin.

BUSINESS & TECH

ICT

A 5G communication base station installed in Southwest China’s Chongqing municipality Aug. 17. Photo: VCG

ICT /

China’s IT industry needs new approach to cut emissions, experts say

New strategies and technologies are needed to bring down energy consumption and reduce carbon emissions by China’s information technology and telecom industries, according to leading experts, as the world’s largest emitter strives to meet ambitious climate goals.

The country’s information and communications technology (ICT) sector — which includes the world’s largest 5G network and second-biggest data center industry — accounts for about 25% of total energy consumption by the industry globally, Zhou Hongren, former executive vice chairman of the Advisory Committee for State Informatization, said Tuesday at a summit.

With the rollout of 5G networks, electricity usage by the nation’s communications networks has increased by 14.6% compared with 2019, Wu Hequan, academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said at the First China Digital Carbon Neutrality Summit held in Chengdu, Sichuan province.

Education /

China’s after-school tutoring companies must register as nonprofits by year-end

China’s Ministry of Education set a year-end deadline for after-school institutions that teach school curriculum subjects to register as nonprofit entities, according to a sweeping new national regulation targeting the industry.

The announcement published Tuesday confirms a Caixin report last month that Beijing’s municipal education commission had told executives of leading tutoring companies to revamp their business models and become nonprofits by the end of this year. Sources told Caixin that these companies were told they could shift to senior high school tutoring, vocational training, lifelong education and other areas.

Green power /

China powers up pilot program for trading in green electricity

China kicked off a nationwide pilot program to trade green power in a bid to encourage renewable energy consumption to support the country’s low-carbon transition.

The program, launched Tuesday, permits electricity generators to sell green power directly to end users. Previously, China did not have such a system to trade green power.

NEVs /

China’s total NEV subsidies jumped tenfold even as government slashed per unit handouts

Over the last few years, government subsidies for new-energy vehicles (NEVs) have declined by as much as four-fifths per vehicle as Beijing looks to wean the industry from the handouts that helped it get off the ground.

However, the dramatic takeoff of sales means that the government still paid out more than 10 times as much in 2020 compared with 2016.

The country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology disclosed Monday the subsidies received by carmakers over the five-year period. According to the data (link in Chinese), China gave out 32.9 billion yuan ($5.09 billion) to subsidize electric car production.

Quick hits /

JD.com-backed Dada’s autonomous delivery investment undercuts revenue jump

Evergrande’s second downgrade in two days raises fear of default

Kai-Fu Lee: What companies need to do to harness the potential of AI

Hot Topics /

Foreign ministry spokesperson calls story of Chinese Kabul airport takeover ‘fake news,’ 969 million China citizens fully vaccinated, Qianhai zone expanded

GALLERY

Va001

Mass vaccination targets seniors, children

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