7days ago, 15 Apr, Thursday
South Korea and Taiwan joined China in opposing Japan's plan to release radioactive water into the Pacific OceanSouth Korea and Taiwan joined China in opposing Japan’s plan to release radioactive water from the wrecked Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean starting in about two years. The three Asian governments, all with coastlines nearby, swiftly criticized Japan’s announcement Tuesday that it would conduct controlled releases that are expected to last for several decades. South Korea said the move posed a risk to the marine environment and the safety of neighboring countries, while China said it reserved the right to take further action. “Despite doubts and opposition from home and abroad, Japan has unilaterally decided to release the Fukushima nuclear wastewater into the sea before exhausting all safe ways of disposal and without fully consulting with neighboring countries and the international community,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters in Beijing. “This is highly irresponsible.” The U.S., on the other hand, said the approach appeared to be in line with global standards while the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said the global body would help ensure the plan is carried out “without an adverse impact on human health and the environment.” “Disposing of the treated water is an unavoidable issue for decommissioning the Fukushima nuclear power plant,” Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said.
ByteDance silent on rumored Hong Kong IPO planShunning the U.S. financial markets amid ongoing political tensions with China, ByteDance Ltd. has chosen to IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and will file its prospectus in the second quarter, Caixin has learned. The Tiktok owner, shares of which are privately trading at levels that value the company at $300 billion, declined to comment. ByteDance opted against a U.S. listing because the risks for concept stocks have grown considerably in the past year, and ByteDance’s state-owned shareholders may cause it to fall afoul of the U.S. regulatory environment, sources said.
1week ago, 14 Apr, Wednesday
Developers' spending spree on land in GBA cities will buoy house prices
Home builders have been on a spending spree on land in the nine mainland cities of the Greater Bay Area (GBA), a show of confidence that analysts say is likely to prop up house prices in the future economic hub.
Developers forked out 82.5 billion yuan (US$12.59 billion) to acquire land in the first three months of the year, 40 per cent more than in the same period of 2020, according to data from the China Real Estate Information Corporation (CRIC). It is the highest amount spent on land there since 2014.
A total of 114 plots were sold in the nine cities in the three months ending March. The southern Chinese cities in the bay area include Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Dongguan and Foshan.
“Cities in the Great Bay Area are all seeing population inflows while we have seen so many other cities in the country are experiencing outflows, and homes built in such cities are selling at a rather faster pace,” said Li Maozhe, head of the Beike Research Institute’s Guangzhou Centre.
“The developers are apparently bullish on the future of the GBA.” The huge appetite for bay area land comes despite pressure on developers to comply with a government crackdown on their heavy debt loads. Many of them have said they would cut their land purchases to save more cash.
Guangzhou published a three-year action plan to further develop the financial industry in GBA regionThe Guangzhou municipal government published guidelines and a three-year action plan to further develop the financial industry in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA). Guangzhou plans to attract more financial institutions from Hong Kong and Macau to establish regional centers or subsidiaries in the city, and for them to invest in domestic financial institutions. It will encourage qualified institutions to set up financial holding companies in the city, and for Guangzhou-based financial institutions to actively attract foreign capital including from Hong Kong and Macau. The local government will also work towards aligning the financial regulations in Guangdong province, Hong Kong and Macau, boost the connectivity of financial infrastructures, and improve the green finance co-operation mechanism for the GBA. Guangzhou-based companies are being encouraged to issue green bonds, and use the platforms in Hong Kong and Macau to fund and certify their green projects. Financial institutions are being encouraged to work with their Hong Kong and Macau counterparts in green finance, and to issue green financial bonds while using the proceeds in projects in Guangzhou. Institutions from Hong Kong, Macau and globally are also being encouraged to come to Guangzhou and start credit rating businesses for green bonds. In addition, the government is encouraging companies in Guangzhou to issue offshore renminbi bonds and repatriate the proceeds, and for technology firms to list in domestic and overseas stock exchanges. Bank will be supported to start cross-border loan businesses, and non-bank financial institutions to begin cross-border businesses in Hong Kong and Macau.
1week ago, 13 Apr, Tuesday
Alibaba's record fine is a 'warning shot' in China's tech crackdown
Alibaba is trying to draw a line under accusations that it behaved like a monopoly after Chinese regulators hit the online shopping giant with a record fine over the weekend. But that doesn't mean the crackdown on tech in China is over yet.
Joe Tsai, Alibaba Group's co-founder and executive vice chairman, told investors on Monday that the company will not appeal the 18.2 billion yuan ($2.8 billion) penalty that China's State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) imposed on the business. Regulators had investigated Alibaba for "exclusive dealing agreements" that prevented merchants from selling products on rival e-commerce platforms — a practice known as "choosing one from two."
"With this penalty decision, we've received a good guidance on some of the specific issues under the anti-competitive law," Tsai said on the investor call. "We are pleased we are able to put this matter behind us." The company has promised to cease the "exclusive dealing" practice.
While the fine is equivalent to 4% of Alibaba's 2019 sales in China, it could have been worse and the outcome appeared to provide some relief to Alibaba and its investors. The antitrust investigation had gone on for months while Beijing scrutinized other big tech firms, including Alibaba's financial affiliate Ant Group.
U.S. covid case counts return to last summer peaksThe U.S. reported 4.6 million vaccine doses administered on Saturday, a single-day record, and another 3.6 million shots given on Sunday. That brings the daily average of doses administered over the past week to 3.1 million. At the same time, the country is reporting 70,000 new coronavirus infections per day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, a level in line with last summer’s surge, when average case counts peaked at 67,000 in late July. No state is recording more daily infections on a per capita basis than Michigan, according to a CNBC analysis of Hopkins data, with daily case counts and hospitalizations nearing the state’s prior peaks and Covid-19 deaths there on the rise.