CX Daily: China’s Land Sales Still Sluggish Despite Relaxed Auction Rules
Year in Review: The regulatory storm that targeted China tech
For Chinese tech giants, 2021 will be remembered as a harrowing year of regulation, where government penalties and a litany of tough rules hampered the sector’s performance and resulted in some big losses of market value.
Regulators had a range of concerns, from specific targets like minors’ gaming habits and online insurance sales to broader issues like clamping down on anti-competitive behavior and the disorderly expansion of capital, which is in line with the country’s strategic goal of achieving “common prosperity” — a phrase that has been frequently mentioned by the top leadership since last year.
On their end, Chinese tech firms have been trying to comply with stricter rules and stay profitable despite all the penalties. These companies would also have a clearer picture of how to maneuver the regulatory landscape in 2022 since there are signs that authorities are winding down.
FINANCE & ECONOMY
Hegang, a city in Heilongjiang province that sits on the border with Russia, last Thursday said it canceled a plan for hiring lower-level government workers. Photo: VCG
Once a China coal boomtown, Hegang now can’t afford to hire
A city in China’s rust-belt northeast canceled a government recruitment plan as it struggles to fill a hole in its coffers amid mounting debts and falling revenues from its once-dominant coal mining industry and slumping property sales, revealing yet another tip of the iceberg of debt plaguing regions across the country.
Hegang, a city in Heilongjiang province that sits on the border with Russia, last Thursday said it canceled a plan for hiring lower-level government workers because a fiscal restructuring plan brought “significant changes to the city’s financial condition,” according to a statement posted on its website.
The announcement was later removed after it went viral. The local finance department didn’t respond to Caixin’s request for more information.
China’s land sales still sluggish despite relaxed auction rules
China’s land market remains sluggish following a slump that started mid-year even as local governments began relaxing restrictions on auctions to attract reluctant cash-strapped private developers.
In the fourth quarter as of Dec. 20, the average transaction price at land auctions in 300 major cities was only 3% higher than the average starting price, falling from 17% in the second quarter and 8% in the third, according to a report released by real estate data collector China Real Estate Information Corp. (CRIC).
Central bank /
China’s central bank vows greater support for real economy
China’s central bank pledged greater support for the real economy and said it will make monetary policy more forward-looking and targeted.
There will be more “proactive” use of monetary policy tools, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said Saturday in a statement. It said there will be “good use” of the monetary policy tools’ quantitative and structural functions, referring to the adjustment of liquidity in the market and policies targeting certain groups.
Quick hits /
China injects most cash in two months as demand for funds jumps
Singaporean leader says his country can contribute to China’s growth
BUSINESS & TECH
A Turkish Airlines flight lands on June 22. Photo: VCG
China probes online claims of price gouging by Turkish Airlines
A price list of the flights from Istanbul to Guangzhou went viral online Dec. 22, showing an economy ticket priced as high as 200,000 yuan ($31,372) and a business class ticket at more than 250,000 yuan.
In 2019, a business class ticket on a Turkish Airlines flight from London to Shanghai — a route that usually includes a transfer in Turkey — only cost about 13,000 yuan, according to an agent who spoke to Caixin.
China rebuts reports citing new Covid-19 rules as reason for flight U-turn
China to scrap last foreign ownership cap on car manufacturing JVs
China will scrap its foreign ownership cap on joint ventures producing passenger vehicles Jan. 1, clearing the last major obstacle for global carmakers to set up a wholly owned subsidiary in the world’s largest auto market.
That’s according to the 2021 version of a negative list jointly issued Monday by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country’s top economic planner, and the Ministry of Commerce, which itemizes domestic businesses that are off limits to foreign investors.
Designed to be the world’s biggest copper mine, Qulong gets up and running
The Qulong mine is operated by Tibet Julong Copper Co. Ltd., which is controlled by Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. With the combined output of Qulong and another mine Zhihula, Julong is expected to produce 120,000 to 130,000 tons of copper in 2022, according to a Zijin exchange filing (link in Chinese) on Sunday. The first phase of the mine was designed with an annual production capacity of nearly 160,000 tons.
Quick hits /
Evergrande races to restart projects as debt repayments loom
Huawei, Honor and Motorola push new foldable phones in China
Energy Insider /
China’s clean energy generation tops 1 trillion kWh
Tech Insider /
Baidu’s first ‘robot’ electric car, BYD establishes self-driving venture
Xi’an tightens Covid curbs as cases climb
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