No. 149 | 03.06.2023

This week, while you read the digest, we recommend listening to the Argentine tango “Por una cabeza” (by a head [of a horse]), performed by Chinese singer Tong Zhuo (仝卓).


Argentina renewed and extended the yuan swap to US$ 10 billion, with China to support its entry into the BRICS bloc

After the four-day visit led by the Minister of Economy, Sergio Massa, a work plan was announced totaling investments of more than US$ 3 billion, including agreements to open agricultural markets; in addition, the first direct flight between the two countries will take place this year, visa procedures will be reduced to one week, and Chinese electronic means of payment will be allowed in Argentina

Dangdai, 02.06.2023

Dangdai, 03.06.2023

Ámbito Financiero, 03.06.2023

Increasingly, countries in the Global South prioritize their manufacturing industries, seeing a rise to intermediate goods from China

Exports of intermediate goods, which are items used in the manufacture of final products, increased 18.2% year-on-year in the first quarter; countries such as Brazil, India, and Pakistan are demanding fewer consumer goods and more capital goods, including machinery and tools used to manufacture consumer products locally

Caixin Global, 31.05.2023

National Politics

China fined two pharmaceutical companies 321 million yuan (US$ 45.4 million) for monopolistic practices

Grand Pharmaceutical monopolized ingredients for norepinephrine and epinephrine injections, used in cardiopulmonary resuscitation to reverse cardiac arrest and in severe allergic reactions; together with Wuhan Huihai Medicine, the company made other injection manufacturers sell them the drugs at low prices, in order to resell them at higher prices to hospitals – leading to shortages in some regions

Caixin Global, 30.05.2023

China sets target for civil nuclear sector to reach 1 trillion yuan (US$ 141 billion) by 2025

Production value increased from 300 billion yuan (US$ 42.2 billion) in 2015 to 700 billion yuan (US$ 98.9 billion) in 2022, or 0.57% of GDP; though more than 50% of the market comprises industrial purposes, Beijing believes that nuclear advances can also drive economic growth through use in medical (currently 20%), environmental protection, and other civilian areas

South China Morning Post, 29.05.2023


China’s UnionPay surpassed Visa and MasterCard in debit card payments in 2022 globally, reaching US$ 160 billion

Of every US$ 100 in debit transactions made last year, US $40 were through the Chinese state-owned company; part of UnionPay’s growth is due to the sanctions imposed by the West on Russia since the conflict in Ukraine; Visa and MasterCard, for example, stopped working with cards issued by Russian banks last year

Sputnik, 28.05.2023

Evergrande has accumulated nearly 900 billion yuan (US$ 127 billion) in overdue debts, unpaid bills, and payments involved in lawsuits

The construction company faces 1,426 lawsuits involving a total of 349.6 billion yuan (US$ 49.3 billion) as of April and its stake in some of its subsidiaries and joint-stock companies have also been frozen in 27 court orders; Evergrande is still awaiting support from its creditors to begin a massive US$ 19 billion offshore debt restructuring plan

South China Morning Post, 30.05.2023

Category Icons

Agriculture and Environment

China opens center to develop technology for growing crops in alkaline soil, to take advantage of area of more than 333,000 km2

The main work of the center, which stores more than 20,000 types of seeds, is to create new plant traits with saline and alkaline resistance; the ultimate goal is to find a sustainable way to implement technologies and turn more than 123,000 km2  of China’s alkaline soil into reserve agricultural land

CGTN, 30.05.2023

Shanghai is building the world’s largest bioenergy center, which will process 4,500 tons of organic waste by 2025

Part of the project is already in operation and currently processes 2,500 tons of organic waste per day; Shanghai became the first city in China to implement garbage sorting in 2019, and its household waste recycling rate is expected to reach 43% by the end of the year

Yicai Global, 29.05.2023

People’s Life and Culture

Hong Kong airline passenger is humiliated by crew member, generating strong reactions on Chinese social media

“If you can’t say ‘blanket’ in English, you can’t have it,” the Cathay Pacific employee told the passenger who accidentally mixed the words “carpet” and “blanket”; social media debate focused on anti-China sentiments in Hong Kong and the role of language in promoting or hindering unity between Hong Kong and the mainland

Global Times, 30.05.2023

What’s on Weibo, 30.05.2023

Team sports gaining ground in China as people become less concerned with medals and more concerned with well-being

Cycling, frisbee, and flag soccer are gaining more and more followers, while running has become the most popular physical activity in China in 2022, with up to 10 million people practicing the sport; this trend is related to the Healthy China 2030 plan and CPC goals to accelerate the growth of sports from kindergarten to professional leagues

Pandaily, 25.05.2023

Ride Like a Pro 2023 competitors in Shanghai last May [Liu Haibin/China Daily]

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