Chinese overseas acquisitions reached $22 billion in first half of 2018

The value of Chinese outbound mergers and acquisitions (M&As) in the first half of 2018 reached $22 billion, business consultancy Bain & Co. said in a report released on Oct. 11.

Although the value of outbound deals declined compared with those from the 2015-2017 period, Chinese companies have gained market shares in utilities, construction and online business in Brazil, India and Indonesia.

The report showed that in 2016 and the first half of 2017, the value of overseas M&A transactions by Chinese companies stood at $118.7 billion and $56.7 billion respectively. From 2015 to 2017, in the Asia-Pacific region, Chinese companies were involved in more than 40 percent of M&A deals for three consecutive years, while the number of transactions aimed at acquiring all shares increased significantly.

Among them, the number of cross-border M&A deals with a target of 100 percent control from Chinese companies doubled in the 2016-2017 period when compared with the 2013-2015 period, while the number of transactions to acquire 50 to 100 percent ownership more than tripled.

The report indicated that Chinese companies enjoy tremendous opportunities in overseas mergers and acquisitions.

In 2017, China only spent 0.6 percent of its GDP on overseas mergers and acquisitions, about half the percentage spent by Japan. Furthermore, the number of overseas M&A transactions by private companies is growing much faster than those of state-owned enterprises.

China’s Hezhou prepares “longevity feast” to celebrate Double Ninth Festival

To celebrate the Double Ninth Festival, also known as “senior citizen day” in Chinese society, a special feast was prepared in Hezhou, a city in southern China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, which for centuries has been famed for its residents’ unusual longevity.

Earlier this year, the Tourism Development Commission of Hezhou, as well as a vocational school and a cooking association, organized a team to study delicacies with features of “longevity.”

Finally, a special feast was designed. The meal was made up of 20 dishes including traditional Chinese tea, soup, and other delicious food.

More Chinese, both young and old, are writing wills

A staff member of the China Will Registration Center in Beijing guides a senior citizen to fill in a reservation form before she can write her will.

Senior Chinese citizens are becoming more open-minded in regards to writing wills. In the last two months, about 7,500 Beijing seniors made an appointment at the China Will Registration Center, China Youth Daily reported on Oct. 17.

Some of them will have to wait for more than a year to register after this initial appointment.

Launched in 2013, the center now has branches in Beijing, Tianjin, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Guangxi, Shanghai, and Chongqing. By the end of 2017, it had offered a free consultation to more than 100,000 seniors and archived around 82,000 wills.

The center stated that the older people become, the harder it is for them to make a will due to worsening health. Between 2013 and 2017, about 64.05 percent of senior Chinese citizens failed to create a will because they were no longer capable of completing the necessary formalities independently.

For example, an 88-year-old grandma in Beijing, whose illness worsened after her first will was made in 2014, had almost lost her writing ability when she tried to amend her will three years later.

It seems that the younger generation are listening to the troubles of their elders, with figures showing that more people are writing wills earlier in life. The number of people aged 30 and over who have written a will has risen by 30 percent year-on-year, according to Li Zongyong, head of a notary office in Beijing.

Young white-collar workers in high-pressure jobs opt to write wills for fear that they might die due to stress, leaving their possessions disposed of improperly.

Other young people appoint their parents as beneficiaries, believing that leaving their possessions, such as houses, bank cards and money management contracts to their parents is better than bequeathing them to someone else.

The properties of young people are sometimes virtual, such as money locked up in Alipay or WeChat Pay accounts. According to the General Rules of the Civil Law of China, which came into force in October 2017, these are lawful personal properties of natural persons and can be lawfully inherited.

China’s reform and opening-up further links Chinese people with the world

Students in Vietnam greet China.

The 40 years of reform and opening-up in China has promoted an increased interaction between Chinese people and the rest of the world.

Since China’s reform and opening-up, more and more Chinese have traveled outside of China to communicate with the world. The following stories are from three Chinese citizens who have traveled, worked and volunteered overseas, to discover their perspective on how China is integrating with the world.

Ding Qiuge, a woman from a small village in central China’s Henan province, traveled together with her family to attend her daughter’s wedding ceremony in Phuket, Thailand this year. She told People’s Daily that it was her first time outside of China, and that she never dreamed she would be traveling abroad at the age of 52.

She explained that to travel abroad was once beyond the imagination of her generation, adding that when she was a child, people were excited to receive small gifts from as far afield as Beijing or Shanghai.

Ding’s first trip abroad impressed her greatly. “Everything there was fresh to me, and the scenery was breathtaking,” Ding said, adding that she was also fond of Thai food.

The constant rise in outbound Chinese tourism indicates the continuous improvements to the life of those living in China in the 40 years of reform and opening-up. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the number of outbound tourists from China has ranked first in the world since 2013.

Between 1995 and 2016, the number of Chinese outbound tourists rose from 5 million to 135 million, with an average annual growth rate of 17.6 percent. In 2017, 136 million Chinese residents went abroad for private purposes, accounting for more than 95 percent of total outbound tourism.

The reform and opening-up, enhancing China’s overall abilities over the past four decades, also encouraged Chinese enterprises to go global and expand their business overseas.

Foreign students learn to write Chinese characters.

Zhang Jin, an assistant chief engineer from a state-owned engineering company, was part of the earliest group to take part in a Chinese project overseas. In 2001, he was deployed to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for a hydraulic engineering project.

Zhang didn’t know what to expect from working overseas, adding that though he had some friends working in foreign companies back then, he had never considered working in a foreign country.

After working for years in the UAE, Zhang gradually noticed changes in the development between the two countries. “When I first came to Dubai, there were limited air routes from China, but now several cities in China such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou have opened direct flights,” he said.

Moreover, Chinese investment and business are commonplace in the city now, and Chinese company advertisements are everywhere, he added.

According to statistics released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, from 1982 to 2000, China’s foreign direct investment was only $27.8 billion. However, between 2002 and 2017, the figure soared to $1.11 trillion.

Today, more Chinese people like Zhang are working overseas. Statistics from China’s Ministry of Commerce showed that a total of 994,000 Chinese citizens were working in foreign countries by the end of August this year.

Feng Ai and African children.

Feng Ai, honored as one of “the top ten young volunteers” in China, served as a volunteer overseas in 2005.

Feng said that when she visited Nepal in 2002, she was surprised when some children were able to say “hello” in Chinese, and she even found a board with “hello” written on it in Chinese during her time in a small village. Thanks to this trip, she decided to become an international volunteer and help people in need outside of China.

Three years later, in 2005, Feng joined one of the earliest volunteer groups sent to Africa by the Chinese government, teaching Chinese at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia.

Feng said that in the beginning, her family expressed concern about the life of a volunteer in Africa. However, much to their delight, Feng shared that the locals were curious and friendly towards Chinese people.

Taxi drivers would say “hello” to her in Chinese when she walked along the street, and Chinese Kung Fu was well-known by locals, Feng said.

Six months later, Feng became the only volunteer to extend her service, staying for one year in total. During this period, she not only worked in overseas enterprises, but also shuttled between the embassies of Italy, Turkey, South Korea and other cities in Ethiopia, giving full play to the language and service advantages of volunteers.

“We were the first group of volunteers there, and we were always exploring what we could do and what they needed,” Feng said, adding that the first group was made up of 12 volunteers in the fields of Chinese language, agriculture, sport, traditional Chinese medicine and informatization, and by the second year there were more than 50 volunteers.

Since the reform and opening-up in China, Chinese youths continue to gain more opportunities and choices to volunteer abroad.

Chengdu to launch “artificial moon” in 2020

Southwestern China’s city of Chengdu plans to launch its illumination satellite, also known as the “artificial moon”, in 2020, according to Wu Chunfeng, chairman of Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute Co., Ltd.

Wu made the remarks at a national mass innovation and entrepreneurship activity held in Chengdu on Oct. 10.

The illumination satellite is designed to complement the moon at night. Wu introduced that the brightness of the “artificial moon” is eight times that of the real moon, and will be bright enough to replace street lights.

The satellite will be able to light an area with a diameter of 10 to 80 kilometers, while the precise illumination range can be controlled within a few dozen meters.

The idea of the “artificial moon” came from a French artist, who imagined hanging a necklace made of mirrors above the earth, which could reflect sunshine through the streets of Paris all year round.

The testing of the illumination satellite started years ago, and now the technology has finally matured, explained Wu.

Some people expressed concern that the lights reflected from space could have adverse effects on the daily routine of certain animals and astronomical observation.

Kang Weimin, director of the Institute of Optics, School of Aerospace, Harbin Institute of Technology, explained that the light of the satellite is similar to a dusk-like glow, so it should not affect animals’ routines.

Chinese smartphones lead Indian holiday sales despite reported restrictions

Chinese smartphone brands are the biggest winners in India’s October holiday sale, beating foreign rivals and lifting the world’s second-largest smartphone market to record sales, despite reported calls among some Indian officials to put restrictions on Chinese telecom firms’ operations in the country due to security concerns.

The win for Chinese vendors in the ongoing online shopping spree in India also points to the strengthening Chinese smartphone industry and offers a unique experience for them to increase their footprint in more overseas markets, analysts noted.

Chinese smartphone brands such as Xiaomi, OnePlus and Huawei’s Honor are driving sales for one of the biggest online sales seasons in India, which kicked off on Wednesday, according to latest data from Hong Kong-based Counterpoint Research.

Chinese vendors could account for 70 percent of total smartphone sales during the sales event, which is expected to reach a new record of $1 billion, the data showed.

James Yan, research director at Hong Kong-headquartered Counterpoint Research, said that the domination by Chinese brands in the Indian smartphone market stems from a robust domestic supply chain that puts other players at a disadvantage.

“The Chinese smartphone supply chain is very mature… Chinese companies are very strong in many areas, from supply to research and development,” Yan told the Global Times on Monday, adding that Indian consumers are still keen on more affordable smartphones rather than high-end devices.

“I think only Chinese companies could produce extremely cost-effective smartphones, which are perfect for the Indian market,” said Hu Tu, secretary general of the Bangalore Chinese Chamber of Commerce.

He told the Global Times that Chinese vendors have also adopted very effective marketing strategies in India and invested big money in building up brand awareness in the country.

Chinese companies’ sales success in the Indian market also offers a great lesson for reaching out to more overseas markets, Yan added. “Chinese vendors’ strategies in India have been proven very effective, and they can copy these strategies and use them in other markets,” he said.

Political factors

Though demand is the chief factor in the sales success of Chinese smartphones, warming relations between China and India have “definitely” helped, Hu added, noting the overall business environment for Chinese companies and products has improved.

The two Asian neighbors have had strained relations at times, but things took a positive turn after the leaders of the two countries met in Wuhan in Central China’s Hubei Province in April.

Still, there are some media reports that suggest Indian officials might follow the lead of the US and Australia in restricting business operations of Chinese telecom giants Huawei and ZTE.

In September, India’s Economic Times reported that Huawei and ZTE were left out in the Indian official list of companies for trials to develop 5G networks. Huawei later denied the reported ban, saying the company is an active participant in India’s growing 5G development, according to ZDNet.

Yan said that such a ban, even if it were true, would only have a minimum impact on sales of smartphones. “Sales of smartphones depend more on demand. For consumer electronics, I think the impact is limited,” he said.

Analysts also noted that if the Indian government moves to ban Huawei and ZTE, which have become main players in the 5G rollout globally, it could also hurt domestic 5G development and eventually consumers.

Source: Global Times


China’s restraint can prevent Cold War

US National Security Adviser John Bolton ramped up rhetoric on China in an interview on conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt’s radio show on Friday. He accused China of taking advantage of the international order to gain substantial economic and military strength, saying “now is the time” to stand up to China. Bolton also said US President Donald Trump’s tough approach toward China, a country the administration regards as the “major issue this century,” had left Beijing “confused”.

“They’ve never seen an American president this tough before. I think their behavior needs to be adjusted in the trade area, in the international, military and political areas, in a whole range of areas,” he said.

The US recently is piling pressure on China. Bolton’s remarks are a part of it and more like a continuation of the stinging speech against China delivered by Vice President Mike Pence on October 4.

A barrage of high-profile accusations against China made by senior US officials has exerted a bad influence globally. China refuted the false accusations, but meanwhile Beijing didn’t take retaliatory countermeasures to escalate Sino-US confrontation.

China exercised restraint in showing toughness. That doesn’t mean China will concede on issues of principle. Whenever the US provokes China on trade, the South China Sea or the Taiwan question, China never hesitated to strike back.

The US has labeled China a “strategic competitor”. China could have retaliated and defined the US as a “strategic rival”. Seen from the viewpoint of Chinese history, it would not be so difficult to decide that. But today’s China didn’t, not because Beijing fears Washington, but because the country is determined to further reform and open up. China will not close itself up under US pressure.

It’s believed China will not head into a new Cold War with the US, nor will it become a second Soviet Union. China has economic and military power and will respond rationally and powerfully to US provocations on specific issues. China has no interest in an overall confrontation with the US. A new Cold War pattern will not take shape if China exercises restraint.

No matter how the US political and public opinion elites rabble-rouse, the majority of Americans and the world will finally understand the significance of China’s rational strategic restraint.

If these US elites think they can convince the whole of US society to pay the price for a confrontation with China to prevent imaginary threats, they can keep trying.

The US side has been constantly releasing information on a possible meeting between President Xi Jinping and Trump during the G20 summit in Argentina in late November. Its purpose clearly is to put pressure on the Chinese side.

But the fact is: Few Chinese expect a breakthrough at the summit to end the trade war. This round of China-US conflict is more likely to be a protracted war. Most Chinese people are prepared for that.

Despite deteriorating China-US relations, China’s adherence to reform and opening-up hasn’t changed, nor its determination to resolve external conflicts in a reasonable way. China still believes that a peaceful bilateral relationship makes both sides winners while a confrontation makes both losers.

Source: Global Times


Victims to Apple account fraud have varying experiences with getting reimbursed

Several Apple users in China have reported losses from their accounts in recent days, ranging from several hundred yuan to thousands of yuan. The cases have sparked concerns about the security of Apple accounts, reported on Oct. 11.

A user surnamed Zhang in Anhui in east China said that someone stole his Apple account on Oct. 1, spending 3,000 yuan ($433) over several transactions to purchase mobile games.

On Oct. 10, Alipay, the leading payment provider operated by Ant Financial Services Group, released an alert warning on Weibo, saying it had detected risks of stolen Apple accounts and suggested that users set lower transaction caps to limit risks.

Security risks for Apple accounts have been detected before, said chief technology officer of Team Pangu Chen Yexuan, who suggested users set up two-factor authentication to avoid possible hacking attacks.

Zhang contacted Apple to recoup the loss, submitted required documents for compensation and soon after that he received the reimbursement. But some users said they haven’t received any compensation.

A lawyer in Beijing said Apple should take responsibility for protecting users from the risk of data leaks or account theft, and if not, users can contact Apple to have their losses reimbursed.

Natural forest coverage reaches 200 million hectares in China
(People’s Daily Online)    16:13, October 11, 2018

The coverage of natural forests in China has grown by 150 million mu (1 hectare is 15 mu), or 10 million hectares to nearly 200 million hectares thanks to the protection efforts over the last 20 years, reported on Oct. 10.

The Natural Forest Protection Project, carried out in 1988, has made great achievements in the protection of forest resources, growth of forest and forest quality improvement.

Sichuan was the first Chinese province to implement the forest protection project. Zhaohua district in Guangyuan city of Sichuan saw 440,000 mu of new forests planted over the last two decades.

According to statistics, by the end of 2017, China had allocated 331.4 billion yuan to the project, making it one of the most heavily invested forest projects in the country.

“Before we implemented the project, we could hardly see the footprints of protected wild animals. But after the project was carried out, the number of wildlife under second class protection reached 13, and at present 90 animal species are under our protection,” said deputy director of the forestry department in a county in east China’s Jiangxi province.

Jin Min, director of the national forestry protection office at the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, said the number of wild giant pandas in China has reached 1,864, and the number of Siberian tigers has also surpassed 30 thanks to the recovery efforts.

Foreigners enjoy Chinese National Day

The Tian’anmen Square on Oct. 1.

October 1 marked the 69th National Day of China. In addition to Chinese citizens, plenty of foreigners also celebrated the holiday to express their love for the country.

A 24-year-old student by the name of Sophia from Hungry was one of them. Sophia, studying in central China’s Henan province, came to Beijing for the first time during the 7-day vacation. She told People’s Daily that she came to Tian’anmen Square to watch the flag-raising ceremony, which has long been a dream of her.

“I felt the pride and confidence of the Chinese as I heard the national anthem and saw the flag rising,” she said, adding that it reminded her of her motherland.

Chinese and foreign players attending an international ice hockey tournament in Beijing celebrate the National Day together on Oct.3.

Mason, an American who came to China two years ago, is an employee at a hotel in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu. Visiting the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven and other tourism attractions in Beijing, he said that the National Day holiday, or the “golden week”, was a showcase of China’s increasingly improved public infrastructure, developed market economy and strong consumption trends.

Thanks to the Belt and Road Initiative, the German city Duisburg finally regained vitality, said a German by the name of Paul at a photo exhibition held in the city to celebrate China’s National Day.

“Duisburg is a stop along the China-Europe freight train, and our business gets busy again because of it,” he noted. In the eyes of the German, the Belt and Road Initiative was not proposed to pursue China’s exclusive development, but common prosperity of the world.

African students visit a traditional medicine clinic in Wuqiao county, Hebei province on Oct. 5.

On Oct. 6, a Senegalese woman surnamed Averyka sent her blessing for China’s 69th birthday by singing a beautiful Chinese song in the streets of Senegal. Averyka studied in Beijing for seven years, and considers China her second homeland.

The woman is planning to make a music album with elements of Chinese culture and a film that integrates Chinese and African cultures next year to celebrate the 70th Chinese National Day.

What attracted the foreigners to join the celebration of China’s National Day was the country’s glorious achievements.

Pan Liying (left), an English teacher with Yangqiao Middle School in Fuzhou, introduces the art of paper cutting to US guests on Oct. 3.

When Mustafa Mohamed Ahmed Yahi, a Sudanese professor, first came to China in 1995, the Beijing Capital International Airport had only very limited air routes. But now China has established a well-developed transportation network, and the airport has also evolved into one of the busiest airports in the world. The professor was astonished by the rapid development of China over the years, saying China’s achievements are nothing but a miracle.

China’s development not only facilitated its own citizens, but also helped foreigners realize their dreams.

A worker introduces Chinese bonsai to foreign clients at a bonsai expo held in Zhongshan, Guangdong province on Oct. 7.

Gabonese Idoko came to China 16 years ago to study electronics and computer engineering. After graduation, he worked for a Beijing company as a certified engineer. Now he has grown into the backbone force of the company, and established his own family in China. Celebrating the National Holiday in China with his family, Idoko told People’s Daily that China is developing in a rapid manner, and he is proud of his experiences in China.