No. 53 | 05.06.2021

Dear reader,

In this week’s News on China: New Kids on the Blockchain, Tings Chak and Marco Fernandes speak with Daniel Dumbrill about China reining in bitcoin mining and the international contributions of Yuan Longping, “father of hybrid rice”. You can also listen to the show on all major podcast platforms.

—Dongsheng editorial collective


Latin America becomes largest recipient of Chinese vaccines with agreements for 225 million doses (36 per 100 people)

China is second largest trading partner and foreign direct investor (US $60 billion since 2016) for region hardest-hit by pandemic – 8% of global population but ⅓ of deaths; upcoming elections (Peru, Chile, Brazil) could establish progressive and China-friendly governments

Eyeing China’s growing US $18.9 trillion wealth market, Goldman Sachs set to own 51% of new joint venture with state-owned ICBC bank

Last month, BlackRock partnered with China Construction Bank as the world’s largest banks announce expansion with focus on Greater Bay Area (Hong Kong, Macau, Guangdong); China’s financial opening creates unease in Washington


Foreign holdings of Chinese government bonds reach US $327.3 billion and $564.6 billion in Chinese stocks in April

Chinese 10-year bonds offer high yields (3.089%) compared to US (1.576%); foreign ownership of government bonds are expected to increase from 10% to 15% in next three years

Inclusive loans to support micro and small enterprises (MSEs) reach US $2.63 trillion in April, up 32.5% year-on-year

Loans supported 82.4% of MSEs (36.27 million) with focus on pandemic-hit sectors (foreign trade, tourism, offline sales); China’s 44 million MSEs and 95 million self-employed individuals are primary national job providers

Science and Technology

New wind tunnel capable of simulating flights 30 times the speed of sound, putting China ahead in hypersonic technology

Technology could make flying anywhere in the world in under two hours possible, cut 90% of space launch costs, and have military uses; China’s advance comes as US Air Force’s hypersonic weapon failed recent test

Agriculture and Environment

China’s digital industries’ energy consumption will surge 289% to reach carbon-emissions peak in 2035, five years behind national goal

61% of this sector’s electricity was coal-generated last year; by 2035, digital infrastructure will make up 5-7% of national power consumption (+2.7% from 2020) with fastest-growing 5G sector increasing 488% (297 billion kWh)

National Politics

National policy for creating data center hubs aims to meet growing needs of US $6 trillion digital economy

Plan prioritizes green targets to balance data demands of east and renewable energy supply of west; China increased data centers from 1.25 to 5 million (2015-20) with market reaching US $36.18 billion by 2025

“Three-child policy” announced to cope with aging population and declining birthrate, after enabling families to have two children in 2016

“One-child policy” introduced in 1979 – with exceptions for rural and ethnic minority families – reduced 400 million births during period; more social support for families and women expected to come with new policy

People’s Life and Culture

Three-child policy sparks online debate, raising concerns about cost of living, access to education and childcare, and burden on women

State media poll on Weibo social media showed that 90% of 30,000 people would not consider having a third child; one-child era Chinese already bear the burden of caring for elderly parents and children

“C-Dramas” draw ten million African subscribers in 30 countries due to shared values and expansion of streaming services

With 300 African voice-actors, media giant StarTimes has dubbed over 20,000 episodes of Chinese series into 11 local languages (including Swahili and Yoruba) since 2011; some African viewers prefer Chinese themes and styles absent in Western productions

“The Untamed” is among Chinese TV series reaching African audiences

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