No. 65 | 28.08.2021

Common Prosperity

President Xi announces a new cycle of reforms to address social inequalities in the country and build “common prosperity”

Following recent measures in education, housing, and the tech sector, government will formulate public policies that reconcile economic efficiency with the strengthening of the welfare state, such as taxes (property, income, and inheritance), social security reforms, and encouraging philanthropy

Government’s centennial goal of “common prosperity” continues the work of reform and opening-up of Deng Xiaoping

Letting a “few get rich first” of the Deng-era was seen as a transitional phase in building socialism, while developing the productive forces to create conditions for more people to share in society’s material and cultural wealth

Inequality between countryside and city, social classes, and regions increased in recent decades, decreasing social mobility

Despite China’s economic success, the wealth share of the top 1% increased (20.9% to 30.6%) over the last 20 years, with average disposable income in Shanghai (US $9,843) exceeding Gansu and Tibet’s (US $2,620); medical expenses remain the main cause of “illness-induced poverty”

Tech giant Tencent Holdings donates US $7.7 billion towards “common prosperity” after Xi’s announcement

Funding to support low-income groups, rural revitalization, and healthcare and education comes after the company’s April commitment (US $7.7 billion) towards “sustainable innovations for social value”; Tencent’s revenues rose 20% (April-June) year-on-year, with daily profits of over US $77 million

National Politics

China’s new Personal Information Protection Law sets international standard, defending national security and rights of Chinese citizens

Effective November 1, provisions govern the collection and use of personal data, limit practice of “automated decision-making” (e.g. targeted marketing), and regulate cross-border data transfers, while requiring companies to undergo regular third-party audits


Argentina and China reactivate agreement to build the fourth nuclear plant in the South American country, using Chinese technology Hualong

The 1,200 MW reactor project will receive Chinese financing (ICBC) – with 8-year grace period – for 85% of the cost (US$ 8 billion) and technology transfers; the two countries reinforce “comprehensive strategic alliance”


Fearing risks of real estate and financial markets crises, government requires Evergrande – country’s largest developer – to resolve debts (US $300 billion)

Regulators asked the construction company to reduce leverage after a series of court orders to freeze assets in loan disputes or suspend sales of real estate projects; Evergrande discusses the sale of assets ranging from shares in other companies to buildings

Agriculture and Environment

China halves rice growth cycle to 60 days through groundbreaking controlled “factory” environment

Precisely regulated artificial lighting, temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide, and nutrients provide optimal conditions for year-round growth; one dwarf-variety among the six tested yielded the equivalent of 43.3 kg/hectare, with two others showing high-yield potential

China plans to plant 33.33 million hectares of forest and grassland by 2025 to achieve carbon neutrality goals

Having created the world’s largest planted forests that increased coverage from 12% to 23% (1980s- 2020), China plans to further increase forests to 24.1% – including national parks (18% of land area) – and grasslands to 57% by 2025

Science and Technology

Government subsidies aim to boost Chinese companies in the domestic industrial robot market, which doubled between 2016 and 2020

The goal is to increase the domestic industry’s market share from 30% to 50% (2020-25); Chinese robots cost about 30% less than Japan and Europe’s, which are more advanced and own nine of the top 10 brands in the Chinese market

Student with robot at an expo in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, 27 May 2017 [Photo/VCG]

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