Blog Archive


China’s Homegrown EV Market Isn’t Ready to Travel

Text size

A NIO EP9 autonomous electric vehicle on display during the 2020 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition at China International Exhibition Center on Sept. 28, 2020, in Beijing, China.

Getty Images

China’s government has thrown $100 billion in subsidies at its domestic electric-vehicle industry over the past decade, according to a new report. But it is still unlikely Beijing will succeed in its mission to conquer the global EV market, analysts say.

The report, from Scott Kennedy with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, found that Chinese government subsidies account for approximately one-third of an electric car’s sales price

While subsidies are expected to decline, the government has announced plans to encourage buyers to purchase so-called “new energy vehicles” which it hopes will make up a quarter of all automotive sales within five years. It is already vastly easier for city residents to obtain permits to own electric cars

Read More
  • November 19, 2020

Singles’ Day Bonanza May Herald Return of China’s Consumers

(Bloomberg) — Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. kicks off the world’s biggest 24-hour shopping binge Wednesday, an annual frenzy of consumption for hundreds of millions that this year will also serve as the best barometer so far of China’s post-pandemic recovery.

Singles’ Day debuted in 2009 and has grown over a decade into a nationwide marathon of frantic bargain-hunting that dwarfs sales events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday in both intensity and size. 2020’s edition features a record number of brand names from Apple to Nike betting that — after months of Covid-enforced abstention — China’s 400 million-strong middle class is ready to spend on everything from Hainan beach-side vacations to takeaway coupons and electronics.

Alibaba, Asia’s largest company, is expected to blow past last year’s record $38 billion total after the pandemic forced Chinese consumers — who already buy about 30% of the nation’s retail purchases online — to

Read More
  • November 11, 2020

Covid Forces China’s Tourists to Spend ‘Golden Week’ Closer to Home

Along the Great Wall, extra security guards have been deployed to deter rowdy tourists. Hotel bookings in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, have risen 600 percent from the same period last year. In Wuhan, where the coronavirus outbreak began late last year, visitor demand for the city’s Yellow Crane Tower has been so high that the landmark sits atop a major travel agency’s list of the “Country’s Hottest Scenic Spots.”

China has kicked off Golden Week, the annual spree of shopping and travel built around the Oct. 1 National Day celebrations, and the first major holiday since the country brought its epidemic more or less under control.

In any year, the outlay of the weeklong holiday is a closely watched barometer of the country’s economic health. This year it may be especially so, offering the clearest measure yet of China’s recovery from the pandemic as people squeeze into train cars,

Read More
  • October 1, 2020

China’s domestic tourism glitters on Golden Week rebound

SHANGHAI — With the coronavirus pandemic making international vacations all but impossible, Chinese citizens are heading to domestic destinations during the National Day holiday that starts Thursday, giving the country’s tourism industry a much-needed boost.

Upward of 600 million trips will be made within the country during this year’s seven-day holiday, booking site estimates. This figure would fall short of the 780 million in 2019 but provide a solid recovery in tourism.

“We used to vacation overseas every year, but we have to make do with a domestic trip this year,” said a 29-year-old Shanghai woman who is traveling to Sanya, a renowned resort on the island province of Hainan. “I thought going to Sanya would save money, so it was surprising to hear the room rates at the hotel where I’m staying are 50% more than usual.”

Hotel room prices in the beach resort have surged, some costing

Read More
  • October 1, 2020

Coronavirus dampens seasonal cheer in China’s Christmas production hub

By Sophie Yu and Brenda Goh

YIWU/SHANGHAI, China (Reuters) – At the Yiwu Fuye Christmas factory in eastern China, workers are stitching and testing out Santa Claus toys, checking they play a Christmas tune at the press of a button.

But the jingles are the only seasonal cheer in the factory in the city of Yiwu, which produces 80% of Christmas consumer goods exported globally, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

“There is no way to save this year,” Luo Jingjing, the company’s co-owner, told Reuters after losing almost half her clients because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Let’s see if the virus will return when weather becomes cold and if it does, my next year’s business is also finished,” she added.

Yiwu is a city dedicated to Christmas all year round, filled with factories, showrooms and stores that deliver decorations and toys to destinations all around the world.

The city last

Read More
  • September 22, 2020

Shoppers return as China’s recovery gathers pace


China’s economic recovery reached new heights as retail sales rose above 2019 levels last month for the first time this year.

Shoppers’ enthusiasm pushed sales up by 0.5pc compared with August of last year, though this is not yet enough to make up for lost purchases through the pandemic months.

As in the UK, sales have shifted online. Internet shopping accounts for one quarter of sales, with volumes up more than 15pc on the year.

The pandemic has also left its mark on the type of goods in demand, with communications kit performing well but petrol sales down on the year.

Economist Xiangrong Yu at Citi said the rise in sales to above 2019 levels represented a “milestone” in the recovery, with more growth to come.

“As public health conditions improve, more consumer sectors like movie theatres are back in business. The upcoming golden week

Read More
  • September 15, 2020

Police detain prominent law professor and government critic as China’s crackdown continues

Chinese President Xi Jinping <span class="copyright">(Ng Han Guan / Associated Press)</span>
Chinese President Xi Jinping (Ng Han Guan / Associated Press)

Tsinghua University law professor Xu Zhangrun, one of China’s few remaining outspoken critics of President Xi Jinping and the communist government, was taken from his home in Beijing by police on Monday morning.

Close friends of Xu’s who spoke with his family confirmed that he had been arrested and that they did not know where the police had taken him.

About 20 police officers surrounded Xu’s home while more than 10 others entered, searched the residence, confiscated his computer and then took Xu away, according to a statement from friends of Xu, which has been widely circulated among Chinese activists.

Police did not make any public statement about Xu’s arrest or any charges.

The Chinese legal expert had taught jurisprudence and constitutional law at Tsinghua, one of China’s most prestigious universities, but was suspended in 2019 after publishing a series

Read More