Nov 02, 2021 09:57 AM

CX Daily: How Drugmakers Feed On Chinese Parents’ Anxiety Over Children’s Height

Height /

Cover Story: How drugmakers feed on Chinese parents’ anxiety over children’s height

The soccer career of Argentine superstar Lionel Andrés Messi almost ended before it began. As a child, he was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency, and his family couldn’t afford the treatment. Eventually, a club agreed to pay his medical bills. Now 5-foot-7, Messi is widely considered the best player in the world.

That anecdote is widely told in the growth hormone industry. After Xia Dongdong was told the story by a doctor, he decided to treat his 8-year-old son Qianqian with synthetic human growth hormone (HGH). At the age of 5, Qianqian was only 37 inches tall and was often mistaken for a 3-year-old.

Today in China, HGH treatment for children is in high demand, even when there is no medical abnormality. This has enabled the expansion of domestic HGH producers while prompting global pharmaceutical giants to rush to the lucrative market.

Carbon /

China to issue carbon reduction plans for specific sectors, Xi says

China will release a series of plans and measures to reduce carbon emissions in major areas and industries, as part of efforts to build a “1 plus N” policy framework to reach its “dual carbon” goals, Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a video message delivered to the Group of 20 (G-20) leaders’ summit in Rome Sunday.

Xi said China will continue to promote the transformation and upgrading of energy and industrial structures and promote the research, development and application of green and low-carbon technologies, according to the state-run Xinhua News Agency. The government will also help qualified localities, industries and enterprises take the lead in reaching China’s carbon peak, and will make positive contributions to global efforts to address climate change and promote the energy transformation, he said.


Residential buildings under construction in Lianyungang, East China’s Jiangsu province, on Oct. 11. Photo: VCG

Property /

Chinese property firms report rapid contraction in sales, financing

Sales in China’s troubled property sector continue to cool, adding to developers’ already heavy financial burdens as their access to financing kept tightening amid regulators’ ongoing campaign to deleverage the indebted industry.

Last month, property sales of the country’s top 100 developers dropped 32.2% year-on-year by value, following a 36.2% slump the previous month, according to a report released by real estate data collector China Real Estate Information Corp. (CRIC) Sunday. Traditionally, September and October are a high season for property sales, which are a key source of developers’ funding.

Another major funding source has also come under pressure. Eighty out of the 128 property developers listed on the Chinese mainland reported that in the first nine months of the year, their financing activities cost more money than they brought in through the activities, as debt payments outweighed new borrowings for many.

Editorial: Guiding expectations can help property tax pilot progress smoothly

Economy /

China’s manufacturing activity expands amid weak supply, Caixin PMI shows

China’s manufacturing activity expanded in October from the previous month as demand recovered although supply remained sluggish amid a power crunch and raw material shortages, a Caixin-sponsored survey showed Monday.

The Caixin China General Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which gives an independent snapshot of the country’s manufacturing sector, rose to 50.6 in October, up from 50 in the previous month, according to the survey report. A number above 50 signals an expansion in activity, while a reading below that indicates a contraction.

China’s economy weakens as power crunch, Covid rules hurt

China-U.S. /

Beijing urges Washington to pursue a ‘real one-China policy’

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi called on the United States “to pursue a real one-China policy” during his meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the sidelines of the G-20 summit Sunday, noting that bilateral relations would be damaged if Taiwan issues are mishandled, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

If handled improperly, matters related to Taiwan, which is “the most sensitive” issue between the two countries, can cause “subversive and overall damage” to bilateral ties, the top diplomat said. He also said that China urges the U.S. “to fulfill its commitments to China faithfully rather than treacherously” and “to truly implement the one-China policy and put it into action, instead of saying one thing and doing the opposite.”

Covid-19 /

Shanghai Disneyland shuts down temporarily over Covid-19 concerns

Shanghai Disneyland and Disneytown temporarily closed Monday and Tuesday as part of pandemic prevention requirements, according to a Sunday notice by the theme park operator. The announcement followed the emergence of a new Covid-19 case in neighboring Zhejiang province, who was found to have visited the attraction.

The reopening date has not yet been determined.

Shanghai Disney Resort first announced the suspension of entry into its theme park and commercial area on Sunday. All visitors within the resort premises were told to undergo nucleic acid tests before leaving.

Opinion: Excessive measures to contain Covid are doing more harm than good

Quick hits /

Release of final rules for Beijing Stock Exchange signals it’s about to open

China’s mega banks extend profit gains on easing bad loans


HNA Group’s headquarters in Beijing in 2018. Photo: VCG


HNA’s mammoth bankruptcy restructuring clears two more hurdles

Embattled HNA Group Co. Ltd. received court approval for its restructuring plan just days after creditors gave their OK, clearing two major hurdles for the debt-ridden conglomerate to move forward with the bankruptcy reorganization that began earlier this year.

In its ruling Sunday, the Hainan High People’s Court approved four separate restructuring plans, one each for its airline, airport and retail businesses, as well as one for the conglomerate itself, according to a company WeChat post (link in Chinese).

About a week earlier, HNA’s creditors voted to approve the debt restructuring plans, the company said in a separate WeChat post (link in Chinese).

Hong Kong mansion linked to HNA Group’s Dennis Chen seized by lender

Fines /

Gree fined $91 million for waiting a year to tell U.S. regulators about fire-prone appliances

Chinese home-appliance maker Gree Electric Appliances Inc. of Zhuhai agreed to pay a $91 million fine to resolve criminal charges over faulty dehumidifiers sold in the U.S., according to federal prosecutors.

Gree Electric Appliances and two of its subsidiaries, Hong Kong Gree Electric Appliances Sales Co. Ltd. and Gree USA Inc., failed to inform regulators that the more than 2 million dehumidifiers they sold to U.S. consumers between 2007 and 2013 could overheat and catch fire, prosecutors in California said Friday in a press release.

Digital economy /

China applies to join pact setting standards for digital trade

China formally applied to join the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) in a bid to boost international cooperation on the digital economy. This followed President Xi Jinping’s announcement in his virtual speech during the G-20 leaders’ summit in Rome.

In a statement Monday, the Ministry of Commerce said the request (link in Chinese) was made through an official letter from Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao to the New Zealand trade minister.

China tightens scrutiny of outbound data transfers

Meituan /

Sequoia dumps billions of dollars of Meituan shares amid regulatory woes

Sequoia Capital China, a longtime backer of Meituan, dumped billions of dollars of shares in the food delivery giant and slashed its holdings by nearly 60% over three years as the company endured probes, fines and public scorn over anti-competitive practices and mistreatment of labor.

Sequoia China and its billionaire founder Neil Shen Nanpeng reduced their combined stake in Meituan from a peak of 12.05% in September 2018, when Meituan went public in Hong Kong, to the current 5.29% in 24 transactions, public market records showed. This year alone, the stock lost almost 40% over four months before rebounding.

Quick hits /

GAC Aion invests $52.6 million to test out self-developed EV batteries

Su Hua steps down as Kuaishou CEO in core leadership reshuffle

Online health-care stocks plunge on new industry rules


Shanghai Disney closed due to Covid 

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