No. 17 | 12.09.2020

Delivery worker for JD Express online shopping platform, 2020 [Kuaibao]

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China opens capital markets to foreign firms, attracting Wall Street giants to niche of up to $3.4 trillion by 2023

20% of Chinese household assets are held in cash, ⅔ invested in real estate, while only 7% in stocks and investment funds (32% in US), leaving enormous room for market growth

92% of US companies plan to stay in China despite White House pressures, according to the US Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai

Almost 50% saw more revenue growth in China than in the rest of the world and ⅔ plan to maintain or increase number of employees, but only 28.6% intend to increase investment

Washington imposes sanctions on five subsidiaries of China Communications Construction Company for alleged “militarization” in the South China Sea

The SOE is the largest provider of transportation infrastructure in the country and main Belt and Road contractor, with 855 projects (US $141.1 billion) in more than 100 countries; effects are still uncertain

China has cut African oil imports (32% to 18% of total) in recent years and shifted sourcing to Middle Eastern and Venezuelan markets

As the largest receiver of Chinese loans in Africa (⅓), Angola still supplies 10% of oil to China, but conflicts in Sudan and South Sudan have reduced their production

National Politics

New Chinese “dual circulation” strategy aims to maintain economic growth through expansion of the domestic market, but faces big challenges

Domestic consumption amounts to only 38.8% of GDP (US at 66%), but country foresees increase in middle class (400 to 560 million) and GDP/capita (US $14,000) by 2024-25; high income inequality and aging population may impose limits

China will build two new nuclear power plants (US $10 billion) and increase production (42.8 to 108GW), surpassing the US as the largest nuclear power producer

Country leads in wind and solar energy and is diversifying energy sources, but coal dependency continues (57.7% of consumption) in the last months due to the crisis


Chinese August exports grew 11.6% year-on-year and imports fell 0.5%, with a 74.4% trade surplus increase (US $58.9 billion)

While trade surplus with US increased 27% year-on-year (US $34.2 billion) and deficit with Australia decreased 48.1% (US $4.3 billion), slow recovery of imports shows weak domestic consumption

Chinese yuan could become the third most sought-after currency in the world by 2030, behind dollar and euro, reports Morgan Stanley bank

Due to high profitability, increased use in international trade and tensions with the US, yuan’s global foreign currency reserves could grow from current 2.02% to 10%

Category Icons

Agriculture and Environment

Ministry of Natural Resources plans to restore and create 18,800 ha of new mangrove forests in China by 2025

55% of current 29,000 ha of mangroves are in nature reserves, but country still faces difficulties in preserving the “green lung of the ocean”, located in the most developed region of the country

Chinese company innovates with automated crop-dusting drones that protect farmers from pesticide exposure and increase crop yields

Technology proves effective on hilly terrain (66% of China’s 134.8 hectares of farmland) and can help reduce 200,000 annual deaths of peasants caused by pesticide poisoning globally


Online debate shines light on “period poverty” due to high costs and inadequate safety regulation for feminine hygiene products

Social media post with 1.37 billion views draws attention to taboo topic, rising costs and counterfeit products; according to WHO, 63% of gynecological diseases result from unhygienic pads

People’s Life and Culture

Two major food delivery companies (Meituan and criticized for overworked delivery workers and promise to review rules

Driven by AI algorithms since 2015, delivery workers have less time and more penalties; Meituan outsourced all 2.95 million delivery workers and made US $1.5 billion in profits last year”

Netflix to create series from Chinese sci-fi epic “The Three-Body Problem”, spanning 1960s Cultural Revolution to futuristic interplanetary warfare

US streaming giant’s production team includes “Game of Thrones” producers and author-advisor Liu Cixin, whose book sold 21 million copies worldwide, and authored blockbuster “The Wandering Earth” (US $685 million Chinese box office)

Liu Cixin at the Nebula Awards book signing, 2014 [Greeny/Sohu]