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China

Pension fund beats out beleaguered bourse

By Li Jianlin “China’s social security fund has outperformed the volatile local stock market this year and will book an acceptable return for the full year,” the head of the country’s $120 billion pension fund said Tuesday. “For the first eight months of this year, fund returns have by far outperformed the Chinese stock market,” said Dai Xianglong, chairman of the National Council of Social Security Fund. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index has plummeted from 3200 at the end of last …

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By Li Jianlin

“China’s social security fund has outperformed the volatile local stock market this year and will book an acceptable return for the full year,” the head of the country’s $120 billion pension fund said Tuesday.

“For the first eight months of this year, fund returns have by far outperformed the Chinese stock market,” said Dai Xianglong, chairman of the National Council of Social Security Fund.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index has plummeted from 3200 at the end of last year to hover around the current level of 2700.

“For the first half of this year we managed to secure a positive return on the fund’s investments (in the stock market) and in the second half returns will be even better,” Dai told the Global Times on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Tianjin.

China’s pension fund is allowed to invest a maximum 30 percent of its capital in the local stock market, and last month Dai told reporters that through the end of last year the pension fund maintained an annual average investment return of 9.8 percent over the past 10 years.

But Dai admitted that spiraling inflation – at a 22-month high of 3.5 percent in August – remains a looming risk for the fund.

“If the inflation continues there is indeed (the possibility) that the value of the social security fund may shrink in the future,” he said.

He warned that local governments are not well versed at managing the pension fund, which usually generates a mere 2.3 percent annual return.

About 50 percent of China’s pension fund is now invested in financial products with fixed returns, mostly debts. But China’s one-year benchmark deposit rate is currently capped at 2.25 percent, making it very hard for the social security funds to earn returns beyond that rate.

&$&$Source: Global Times&$&$

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Pension fund beats out beleaguered bourse

Reforms started in the late 1970s with the phasing out of collectivized agriculture, and expanded to include the gradual liberalization of prices, fiscal decentralization, increased autonomy for state enterprises, the foundation of a diversified banking system, the development of stock markets, the rapid growth of the non-state sector, and the opening to foreign trade and investment.

Economic development has been more rapid in coastal provinces than in the interior, and approximately 200 million rural laborers and their dependents have relocated to urban areas to find work.

The People’s Republic of China is the world’s second largest economy after the United States by both nominal GDP ($5 trillion in 2009) and by purchasing power parity ($8.77 trillion in 2009).

Some economists believe that Chinese economic growth has been in fact understated during much of the 1990s and early 2000s, failing to fully factor in the growth driven by the private sector and that the extent at which China is dependent on exports is exaggerated.

The country is one of the world’s largest producers of a number of industrial and mineral products, including cotton cloth, tungsten, and antimony, and is an important producer of cotton yarn, coal, crude oil, and a number of other products.

A report by UBS in 2009 concluded that China has experienced total factor productivity growth of 4 per cent per year since 1990, one of the fastest improvements in world economic history.

China’s ongoing economic transformation has had a profound impact not only on China but on the world.

On top of this, foreign direct investment (FDI) this year was set to “surpass $100 billion”, compared to $90 billion last year, ministry officials predicted.

China’s ODI growth witnessed strong momentum this year.

China reiterated the nation’s goals for the next decade – increasing market share of pure-electric and plug-in electric autos, building world-competitive auto makers and parts manufacturers in the energy-efficient auto sector as well as raising fuel-efficiency to world levels.

Although China is still a developing country with a relatively low per capita income, it has experienced tremendous economic growth since the late 1970s.

Even with these improvements, agriculture accounts for only 20% of the nation’s gross national product.

Except for the oasis farming in Xinjiang and Qinghai, some irrigated areas in Inner Mongolia and Gansu, and sheltered valleys in Tibet, agricultural production is restricted to the east.

Due to improved technology, the fishing industry has grown considerably since the late 1970s.

There are also extensive iron-ore deposits; the largest mines are at Anshan and Benxi, in Liaoning province.

There are large deposits of uranium in the northwest, especially in Xinjiang; there are also mines in Jiangxi and Guangdong provs.

China also has extensive hydroelectric energy potential, notably in Yunnan, W Sichuan, and E Tibet, although hydroelectric power accounts for only 5% of the country’s total energy production.

As part of its continuing effort to become competitive in the global marketplace, China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001; its major trade partners are the United States, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Germany.

China

China Implements New Regulations for Fair Competition Reviews to Enhance Business Environment

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The State Council released Fair Competition Review Regulations to ensure a level playing field for state-owned and private companies. Administrative authorities must conduct fair competition reviews of policy measures to prevent favoritism. Policy measures that restrict market access, flow of goods, or increase production costs will not be issued.


On June 6, 2024, the State Council released the final version of the Fair Competition Review Regulations (the “regulations), in an effort to “unify the domestic environment” and level the playing field between state-owned and private companies.

The regulations, which are based on China’s Anti-Monopoly Law, will require administrative authorities to conduct fair competition reviews when drafting laws, administrative regulations, local regulations, rules, normative documents, and policy measures (hereinafter collectively referred to as policy measures), to ensure that they do not unfairly favor certain market entities.

The regulations prohibit drafting authorities from including any content in policy measures that may negatively impact market access, the free flow of goods and resources, production and business costs, or production and business activities. Policy measures found to contain any such content during the review process (or that do not qualify for the exemptions, see below) will not be issued.

Specifically, the following content that may directly or indirectly restrict market access and exit cannot be included:

They also cannot include the following content that may restrict the free flow of goods and resources:

Without a legal or administrative regulatory basis or State Council approval, they also cannot include the following content that affects production and business costs:

This article is republished from China Briefing. Read the rest of the original article.

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at china@dezshira.com.

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A Timeline of EU-China Relations Post-2024 European Elections

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EU-China relations are crucial in global business, with geopolitical shifts and technological competition shaping the dynamic. The recent EU Parliament elections have brought a political realignment, leading to a more assertive stance towards China. Strategic discussions and new working groups aim to navigate the evolving relationship.


EU-China relations play a crucial role in the global business landscape. The current circumstances, marked by geopolitical shifts, economic interdependence, and technological competition, contribute to the volatility and frequent adjustments in this relationship. In this timeline, we aim to capture key milestones and developments that shape EU-China ties.

The European Parliament elections, held between June 6 and June 9, 2024, have ushered in a new era for EU-China relations. The election results revealed a significant shift in the political landscape, with centrist parties losing ground to far-right groups like the Identity and Democracy (ID) and the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR). This political realignment is poised to influence the EU’s approach to China, introducing more varied and potentially conflicting perspectives on policy.

Traditionally, the EU has maintained a cautious stance toward China, epitomized by the 2019 publication of the EU-China Strategic Outlook, which framed the relationship as one of “partnership, competition, and systemic rivalry.” This tripartite approach was later reiterated in the European Council’s Conclusion on China. However, the narrative toward China has taken a decisive turn with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s speech delivered on March 30, 2023. This speech marked a shift towards a more assertive stance, further strengthened by the release of the European Economic Security Strategy in June of the same year.

In the aftermath of the 2024 elections, the increased fragmentation within the EU Parliament suggests a more complex and uncertain path to forming a cohesive strategy toward China. This uncertainty poses challenges for European companies conducting business with China, as well as Chinese and global businesses operating in Europe, who must now navigate a more unpredictable regulatory environment.

Amid these developments, the Chinese government is keenly observing the evolving dynamics within the EU. China aims to cultivate allies within the European bloc, and this intent was evident during President Xi Jinping’s recent European tour, which included official visits to France, Serbia, and Hungary. During his visit, President Xi reiterated the EU’s significance as China’s major trading partner.

As the new EU Parliament begins its work, strategic discussions have been underway to address key issues, including the EU’s technological and strategic autonomy. To manage different views and promote collaboration on shared interests with China, new cross-regional working groups have been established. These groups are focusing on sectors such as agriculture, aviation, artificial intelligence, energy, and finance, aiming to enhance resilience and foster dialogue.

In this article, we present a timeline of EU-China relations following the EU Parliament elections, reflecting the complexities and opportunities presented by this new chapter in bilateral relations.

This article is republished from China Briefing. Read the rest of the original article.

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at china@dezshira.com.

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Economic Update: Consumption and Trade in China See Strong Recovery Despite Decrease in Industrial Output by May 2024

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Industrial output growth in China has slowed, with robust performance in some manufacturing sectors but an increase in consumption driven by services, retail sales, and imports. Despite a slowdown, equipment manufacturing has been crucial in stabilizing overall industrial growth. Certain high-tech and electronic equipment manufacturing sectors have shown strong performance, while the automobile manufacturing sector has decelerated due to falling domestic demand.


The data indicates a slowdown in industrial output growth, despite some manufacturing sectors still showing robust performance. In contrast, consumption is on the rise, driven by growth in services, retail sales, and imports. The uptick in these areas suggests a strengthening of domestic demand, spurred by a stabilizing global economic situation and the boost from the Labor Day Holiday at the beginning of May.

China’s foreign trade also continued to show marked improvement, reflecting the country’s strong export capabilities and increasing imports.

Year-on-year growth in China’s industrial sector slowed in May from the previous month but remained relatively strong. Total industrial value-added output grew by 5.6 percent year-on-year in May, a month-on-month increase of 0.3 percent but a deceleration from 6.7 percent year-on-year growth recorded in April. Value-added output of the manufacturing industry grew 6 percent year-on-year, a deceleration from the 7.5 percent year-on-year in April.

According to NBS spokesperson Liu Aihua, equipment manufacturing played a crucial role in stabilizing overall industrial growth. The sector’s added value increased by 7.5 percent from the previous year, contributing 2.6 percentage points to the growth of all industries above the designated size and accounting for 45.7 percent of the total growth. Within this sector:

Certain high-tech and electronic equipment manufacturing sectors exhibited particularly strong performance:

However, the automobile manufacturing sector decelerated significantly from a 16.3 percent year-on-year jump in April to 7.6 percent year-on-year growth in May, possibly due to falling domestic demand.

This article is republished from China Briefing. Read the rest of the original article.

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at china@dezshira.com.

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