Global Lens on China
Shopping in Australia, while in China
IN Sydney, a multi-million dollar export industry starts with a simple trip to the shops.
Laden with plastic bags that are almost too heavy to carry, we meet Rika Wenjing, a 24-year-old accountancy graduate from Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province.
She labours with tins of infant food, supplements and skin lotions from a discount chemist to sell to customers back home in China.
Rika has worked part-time for the past two years as a daigou, a freelance retail consultant.
She is glued to her phone and tablet, using the messaging app WeChat to build a network of 300 clients who aren't afraid to pay premium prices for trustworthy Australian goods.
October 24, 2016, Monday
From Rihanna's Dress to Paris Couture: This Is How Guo Pei Is Changing the Fashion Landscape in China
RIHANNA likes to make a grand entrance. But possibly the most dramatic in recent memory would have to be her arrival at last year's Met Gala, when she made her red carpet stroll in a remarkable 55-pound couture creation by Chinese designer Guo Pei. To this day, it's hard to not think of that moment when you mention Guo Pei or her work.
Of course, RiRi's star power helped, but in a single year, the Beijing-based couturier has built up an international presence, garnering worldwide recognition for her exquisite designs and her unwavering commitment to creating beauty, regardless of how long it takes (a shining example: Rihanna's dress took her 30 months to create). She also famously turned down a $700,000 offer to buy her masterpiece of a gown that was on display in the "China: Through the Looking Glass" exhibit at the Met, citing that it was invaluable, that the 50,000 hours she invested couldn't be quantified ("It's as if the piece has a life of its own that can't be bought," she explains).
October 9, 2016, Sunday
China football boom offers golden goal for UK firms
FOOTBALL in China is enjoying a boom as investors not only snap up overseas clubs but also lure big name players and coaches to the nation's Super League.
Its government wants to see China become a footballing superpower, and that means that as well as big stars, the nation is also hungry to acquire knowledge and expertise from overseas.
That provides numerous potential business opportunities, from the grass roots to top tiers of Chinese football, for British firms and clubs to get a foot in the commercial door.
A team of 11 Chinese sports firms is currently in the UK until 2 October, on a visit organised by the UK government's Department for International Trade (DIT).
They have been attending the Soccerex football business convention in Manchester to make contacts and learn more about the game in the UK. All have different reasons for visiting this country.
September 28, 2016, Wednesday
Is This The Most Expensive Apartment In China?
FOR years the southern city of Shenzhen has been famous for being China’s technology hub where you can find the headquarters of web giant Tencent and the country’s biggest smartphone maker Huawei. Lately, however Shenzhen is attracting attention for an entirely different reason: tiny apartments measuring six square meters priced at nearly 1 million yuan.
A local developer named Shahe Shiye has built 11 such mini-homes making up a 15-storey residential property project which is supposed to have a total of 169 apartments in the city’s Nanshan district. The tiny flats, dubbed “pigeon cage apartments” because of their small size, are equipped with bathrooms, kitchens, wardrobes and fold-down beds. These flats each costs 880,000 yuan ($132,000), or $22,000 per square meter. Larger apartments are available, ranging from 36 to 60 square meters.
September 27, 2016, Tuesday
Chinese outrage over 'ugly' restoration of Great Wall
CHINESE social media users were in an uproar Friday over restoration of a 700-year-old section of the Great Wall that has been covered in concrete, turning it into a smooth, flat-topped path.
Known as one of the most beautiful portions of the "wild", unrestored wall, the eight-kilometre (five-mile) Xiaohekou stretch in northeast Liaoning province was built in 1381 during the Ming Dynasty.
Photos posted online showed that its uneven, crumbling steps and plant growth had been replaced as far as the eye could see with a white, concrete-like cap.
"This looks like the work of a group of people who didn't even graduate from elementary school," said one user of China's Twitter-like Weibo platform. "If this is the result, you might as well have just blown it up."
"Such brutal treatment of the monuments left behind by our ancestors! How is it that people with low levels of cultural awareness can take on leadership positions?" asked another. "Why don't we just raze the Forbidden City in Beijing, too?"
Even the deputy director of Liaoning's department of culture Ding Hui admitted: "The repairs really are quite ugly," according to state broadcaster CCTV.
The Great Wall is not a single unbroken structure but stretches for thousands of kilometres in sections from China's east coast to the edge of the Gobi desert.
In places it is so dilapidated that estimates of its total length vary from 9,000 to 21,000 kilometres, depending on whether missing sections are included. Despite its length it is not, as is sometimes claimed, visible from space.
Emergency maintenance was ordered for Xiaohekou in 2012 to "avoid further damage and dissolution" caused by "serious structural problems and issues due to flooding" and was completed in 2014, the State Administration of Cultural Heritage said in a statement on its website in response to public and media outcry.
The government body has begun an investigation into the approval, implementation and outcome of the maintenance work, stating that it would deal with work units and personnel found to be at fault severely, "without justifying their mistakes".
Around 30 percent of China's Ming-era Great Wall has disappeared over time as adverse natural conditions and reckless human activities -- including stealing the bricks to build houses -- erode the UNESCO World Heritage site, state media reports said last summer.
Under Chinese regulations people who take bricks from the Great Wall can be fined up to 5,000 yuan ($750), but plant growth on the wall continues to accelerate decay, and tourism, especially to undeveloped sections, continues to severely damage the world's longest human construction.
September 23, 2016, Friday
IPooch: Son of China's richest man 'buys eight iPhone 7s for his DOG'
COCO the Alaskan Malamute might be the most pampered pooch in the world.
The pet dog has apparently been given eight iPhone 7 handsets by his doted owner, the only son of China's richest man Wang Jianlin, worth £23 billion, according to Chinese media.
Pictures have emerged on China's social media showing the lucky canine posing next to a stack of eight boxes believed to contain a £800 phone in each.
Coco's eccentric owner Wang Sicong, 28, was educated at Winchester College and is already worth £430 million.
These pictures were believed to be uploaded by Wang Sicong to the dog's very own social media account on Weibo, which has nearly 1.9 million followers and is ironically named 'Wang Keke is a bitch'.
The images were posted in the afternoon of September 16, the first day the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 went on sale.
Along with the pictures, a post read: 'Not sure what people are showing off on Moments (a Chinese social media platform)! There is nothing to show off. I was forced to take action.'
Daily Mail |
September 20, 2016, Tuesday
iPhone 7 pricetags may hinder China sales
DESPITE Apple's crystal clear endeavor to amplify its presence in China, the higher Chinese pricetags on the new iPhone 7 may further drag down sales, as Chinese smartphone brands are offering equally powerful gadgets at much lower prices.
Apple is not giving up on China even though iPhone sales in the world's most populous economy have lost steam over the past year: China remains in the first batch of countries to release two iPhone 7 flagships, and has been added to the "iPhone Upgrade Program" along with the US and UK, which aims to encourage consumers to change for a new iPhone handset every year.
But Apple is also lifting its retail prices in China, mainly due to the depreciation of the Chinese currency over the past year, in a bid to protect its profits denominated in the US dollar. According to the Apple's official website for China, retail prices of all sorts of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models have added 300 yuan ($45) in comparison with equivalent iPhone 6S models.
September 9, 2016, Friday
How did China save the giant panda?
THEY'RE cute, they're cuddly and they've just been brought back from the brink of extinction.
We're talking about the giant panda, a global icon that's just been taken off the endangered list, largely due to Chinese conservation efforts. But how exactly did they do it?
It's all about the bamboo.
China has been trying for years to increase the population of the giant panda.
September 5, 2016, Monday
Investing In China: Too Big To Ignore
MANY American investors focus solely on the U.S. economic cycle and ignore the rest of the world. But sophisticated family offices are now paying a lot of attention to China as well. China has become the world’s second largest economy, the primary consumer of many commodities, and a key driver of global growth. According to HSBC, China consumes more than half of all global aluminum and nickel production, and close to half of global copper and zinc production. China is the second-largest importer of crude oil, and is on track to surpass the United States in total demand for oil.
China has also been a key source of opportunity for U.S. multinational companies. For example, China accounts for 25% of Apple’s revenue. Five years ago, China accounted for only 11% of Apple’s revenue. Chinese monetary and fiscal policy also has global consequences. Investors will remember that in August 2015 China surprised investors with a 2% depreciation of the yuan. Global stock markets tumbled on fears that China’s growth would slow, and bond yields crashed as investors worried about the deflationary impact of a larger Chinese currency devaluation.
August 25, 2016, Thursday
Why a celebrity divorce has Chinese social media buzzing
MOVE over Olympics, this celebrity split is now what everyone in China's talking about.
A Chinese actor's divorce from his wife, over her alleged extramarital affair, has social media buzzing, with posts about the subject gaining over five billion views.
Wang Baoqiang announced online on Sunday that he was divorcing his wife, Ma Rong, and sacking his agent, Song Zhe.
He alleged that his marriage broke down after his wife had an affair with his agent, and that she had also transferred the couple's joint assets.
Ma has hit back at Wang, accusing him of abandoning their family.
The topic has sparked a debate about relationships and divorce, and it seems Wang's predicament has struck a chord with many - which could explain the number of views, which are high even by Chinese standards.
August 16, 2016, Tuesday