Caixin
May 17, 2022 08:45 AM
CX DAILY

CX Daily: China’s Race to Provide for Its Aging Population

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Aging /

Cover Story: China’s race to provide for its aging population

As the world’s largest population rapidly ages, China is in a race against time to build a pension system capable of providing for its ballooning group of elderly.

About 18.9% of China’s 1.4 billion people were older than 60 as of the end of 2021. The proportion expanded by 5.64 percentage points within a year, according to data from the National Statistics Bureau. By 2025, people older than 60 will account for 20% of the population and by 2035, 30%, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MHRSS) projected.

But the country’s pension system is struggling to keep up with the pace of the graying population. At the end of March, the accumulated balance of all types of pension funds — including those funded by the government, by employers and by individuals — totaled 15 trillion yuan ($2.2 trillion), or 13% of GDP. That compares with a pension system equivalent to 150% of GDP in the United States, 130% in Australia and 90% in Singapore.

Shanghai /

Shanghai lays out plan to end lockdown and reopen business by June

Shanghai announced Monday that it has a plan that could allow businesses to fully reopen and life to return to “normal” by the end of June in a sign that the city’s worst ever Covid-19 outbreak might be coming to an end.

Vice Mayor Zong Ming said the city is embarking on a three-phase plan this week that will gradually lift restrictions, including a weeks-long lockdown, now that 15 of the city’s 16 districts have achieved the goal of no community spread — meaning no new cases were found among residents who weren’t already in quarantine — for the past three days.

Two carriers to resume domestics flights out of Shanghai this week

FINANCE & ECONOMY

 

Economy /

Chart of the Day: China’s record-breaking unemployment rates amid Covid lockdowns

China’s urban unemployment rates surged in April with multiple indicators hitting two-year highs as Covid lockdowns slowed economic activity in many regions.

The surveyed urban unemployment rate, which measures the number of unemployed job seekers over the age of 16 against a sample of the population, came in last month at 6.1%, 0.3 of a percentage point higher than the March reading, data released Monday by the National Bureau of Statistics show. The figure marks the highest since February 2020, when Covid-19 raged across the country.

The April surveyed urban unemployment rate for 16- to 24-year-olds hit the highest in available data going back to January 2018, climbing to 18.2% from 16% the previous month.

China’s economic data falls far short of expectations as ‘zero Covid’ hurts output

Editorial: China's short-term and long-term worries about foreign trade

Money laundering /

Hong Kong police smash money laundering ring that used virtual banks

Hong Kong police smashed a criminal group that used virtual banks to launder as much as HK$97 million ($12.4 million), the police said Wednesday.

Police from the East Kowloon regional crime unit arrested 17 people Wednesday and Thursday alleging that they lured people to open virtual bank accounts and lauder money through the accounts, the police said.

Mortgage /

China cuts mortgage rates to boost home sales

China’s central bank effectively cut the interest rate for new mortgages in an attempt to prop up the ailing housing market and boost the slowing economy.

The Sunday announcement from the People’s Bank of China means that first-home buyers will be able to borrow money at an interest rate as low as 4.4%, down from 4.6% previously. The change is aimed at supporting housing demand and will “promote the stable and healthy development of the property market,” the PBOC said.

Quick hits /

IMF raises yuan’s weighting in SDR currency basket amid weakness

Hong Kong cuts GDP growth forecast on Covid, trade risks

BUSINESS & TECH

A public housing complex in the Sham Shui Po area of Hong Kong in September 2020. Photo: VCG

Housing /

Wait time for public rental housing in Hong Kong hits 23-year high

Hong Kong residents as of last month were looking at an average wait of 6.1 years to get a public rental apartment, the longest estimated wait time since 1999, according to the local housing authority.

The lengthening wait time adds to the pressure on the city’s next chief executive, John Lee, who has promised to get low-income families into public housing more quickly.

The average waiting time for applicants of public rental housing was up 0.1 of a year from 2021, according to data from the Hong Kong Housing Authority. For single elderly applicants, the average waiting time was 4.1 years.

Videos /

Kuaishou looks to give small and midsize merchants a livestreaming leg up

China’s No. 2 short-video app Kuaishou Technology Co. Ltd. unveiled a strategy to steer more traffic and offer other support to 500 young brands selling reasonably priced, high-quality products via livestreaming on its platform.

The plan represents a renewed effort by Kuaishou to expand its brand pool beyond established companies like American designer brand Coach as the TikTok-like app hunts for more sources of income in its quest to become profitable.

Debts /

Chinese property developer Logan seeks to extend maturity of offshore bonds, sources say

Chinese property developer Logan Group Co. Ltd. is in talks to extend the maturities of its offshore debt amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars, several sources with knowledge of the matter told Caixin, the latest indication of distressed finances among developers as a growing number of defaults hit the debt-laden real estate sector.

If it can’t get offshore bondholders to approve the extensions, the company plans to undertake debt restructuring, the sources said. The company is seeking an extension of between four and seven years, one institutional investor said.

Quick hits /

Former Moutai chairman Gao Weidong under anti-graft probe

China pulls out of hosting 2023 Asian Cup due to Covid

GALLERY

15 natural wonders of China

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