Global Lens on China
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
"This is Fu Yuanhui's Olympics," say foreign media
FU Yuanhui, a Chinese swimmer at the Rio Olympics, is becoming a new social media star not only within China, but around the world, thanks to her adorable and outspoken interview saying she was "really pleased" with her performance.
In just two days, the video clips and photos showing her utter disbelief at finding out her time of 58.95 seconds in the women's 100m backstroke semi-finals is "already the stuff of legend," said an online report from BBC on Tuesday.
The news broadcasting company listed Fu as one of the "priceless faces lighting up the Olympics," along with U.S. swimming megastar Michael Phelps.
The U.S.-based Huffington Post called Fu the "most lovable athlete at the Rio Olympics" in a Tuesday report, praising her as "the best Olympian" this time, although she hasn't even won a gold medal.
The online media even concluded that "This is Fu Yuanhui's Olympics."
The Sun from Britain also said that Fu's "adorable" interview has won hearts around the globe, adding that she will "live long in the memory," and Australia's news site news.com.au directly called Fu "Rio's new sweetheart."
Netizens were immediately impressed by Fu's genuine excitement. One user commented on the Dailymail's online report by saying "Lovely to see someone so genuinely delighted."
Another British user commented on the online report from The Guardian, saying that Fu "gives a good message to us all: Live for today."
Xinhua News Agency |
August 10, 2016, Wednesday
These viral selfie apps with 1 billion downloads are shaping China’s start-up culture
THE selfie, we all know, is an art form. That cast of light. That tilt of the chin. Not that you’re trying.
But at the southern Chinese headquarters of Meitu, the maker of some of the world’s most popular beauty apps, the selfie is also science.
Here in the company’s sparse, oh-so-start-up offices, tables of 20-somethings are using facial recognition and 3-D modeling to build a suite of apps that, quite literally, transform.
Their eye-widening, skin-lightening, chin-narrowing photo apps and “beautifying” video platform are ubiquitous in China, downloaded a billion times in total, according to the company. They are known by fans as “zipai shenqi,” or “godly tools for selfies.”
The company has hundreds of millions of monthly users, a valuation in the billions of dollars, according to estimates, and plans for global expansion. If you haven’t heard of Meitu, chances are, you will. If you’re reading this on your phone, watch this space.
The extraordinary popularity of Meitu says much about today’s China.
Washington Post |
August 3, 2016, Wednesday
China cracks down on Great Wall brick thieves
THE Great Wall is disappearing, brick by brick, and Chinese authorities have had enough.
A new campaign has been launched to protect the ancient fortification that snakes for 13,000 miles (21,000 kilometers) across northern China from criminal damage.
Built in different stages from the third century B.C. to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the wall was built to defend an empire but parts of it are now crumbling.
Bricks have been stolen to build houses, for agriculture or to sell as souvenirs to tourists -- exacerbating the natural erosion wrought by wind, rain and sandstorms.
July 29, 2016, Friday
Apple’s China Problem Is That Local Phones are Good -- and Cheap
FOR Beijing resident Nie Miao, spending 5,000 yuan ($749) on a new iPhone 6S from Apple Inc. “just isn’t an option.”
That’s because the lion’s share of his 7,000 yuan monthly pay goes toward the mortgage on the downtown apartment he bought last year. And he’s perfectly happy with the 2,000 yuan handset he got from Huawei Technologies Co.
The 29-year-old embodies the challenges in China for Apple, which has lost ground to local competitors. It’s been almost two years since the Cupertino, California-based company revamped the iPhone for the sixth generation. In the meantime, rivals like Huawei and Xiaomi Corp. have developed their own cheaper products with similar specifications, while the relative success of the iPhone 6 has made it harder for Apple to sustain its growth rates.
July 24, 2016, Sunday
China's Wanda eyes stake in Paramount Pictures: report
CHINESE conglomerate Wanda is in talks to buy a stake in US film studio Paramount Pictures, according to a report, marking the Asian company's latest move to expand its entertainment empire.
Wanda, which in January bought production giant Legendary Entertainment for $3.5 billion, is seeking 49 percent of Paramount from parent company Viacom, the Wall Street Journal quoted "people familiar with the discussions" as saying. It did not say how much the deal would be worth.
The agreement would give Paramount -- which is behind the multi-billion-dollar Star Trek and Indiana Jones franchises -- a crucial foothold in the vast Chinese market, but the Wall Street Journal said hurdles remain before any deal.
The report comes as Viacom is embroiled in a bitter internal power struggle that pits controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone and his family against other executives.
July 14, 2016, Thursday
Virtual reality heats up in China
THE virtual reality (VR) market in China is expected to reach $860 million in 2016 and accelerate to $8.5 billion by 2020. In the last six months alone, the Chinese VR market has seen a flurry of investments, partnerships and new ventures involving both local and international players. With capabilities in low cost, mass scale manufacturing, a hot investment climate, and international support, China could become the epicenter of the global VR market’s growth.
Venture Beat |
July 3, 2016, Sunday
We Went To Shanghai Disney & All We Brought Back Was This AMAZING Stuff
WHEN Shanghai Disneyland opened a few weeks ago, crowds raved about the Chinese park. The futuristic Pirates of the Caribbean ride! That massive castle! The too-cute Toy Story-themed hotel! Naturally, we wanted to know more — but about the question no one was asking: What Disney merchandise was for sale here that we couldn’t buy anywhere else?
After taking a stroll through every single store at the park, well, we walked away seriously impressed. (Merch on high, people.) There weren’t just Minnie ears and Mickey hats, there were princess earrings that aren’t too dainty, keychains that aren’t too cliché, and even some unexpectedly chic home decor. It was hard not scooping it all up — if only we had a Mary Poppins bag! — but we did the very best we could.
Here’s a first look at the very, very impressive souvenirs for sale across Shanghai Disneyland Resort.
July 1, 2016, Friday
The Rise of China's Global Consumers
CHINESE companies are making international news like never before. By May 2016, Chinese outbound mergers and acquisitions tallied $111 billion, already surpassing the full year total of $108 billion for 2015.
Yet unprecedented media coverage of Chinese companies’ rapid overseas expansion overlooks the more human face of an increasingly globalized Middle Kingdom – China’s global consumers.
With record numbers of Chinese overseas travelers, students studying abroad, and diaspora communities around the world, Chinese consumers are a major global demographic that no company can ignore.
June 28, 2016, Tuesday