New shopping options make cabbage queues a thing of the past

Many residents in northern China have slowly abandoned a long-held tradition of stocking up on cabbage before the freezing winter season, because the widely used vegetable is no longer as hard to come by during the winter as it used to be, and there is a growing variety of vegetables to choose from.

Such a change in cabbage consumption is a small aspect of a broad upgrade and transformation process in Chinese consumers’ habits, through which more and more attention is being paid to quality and health benefits, and the trend could benefit both domestic and overseas farmers, an expert pointed out on Tuesday.

It used to be normal to see long queues of people waiting to buy large amounts of cabbage and onions for their entire winter supply, but in recent years this has become rare in cities like Beijing, where people are now only a short trip or even a click away from fresh vegetables in nearby supermarkets or online shopping platforms.

“My family prefers fresh vegetables, so I don’t store much cabbage like we used to do years ago,” a consumer at a Jingkelong supermarket in Beijing, who only gave his surname as Lü, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Another consumer said she only buys one or two cabbages each time, usually from the supermarket, where a variety of cabbages, with prices ranging from 1.18 yuan ($0.17) to 3.78 yuan per kilogram, filled the shelves.

Another consumer at the supermarket pointed out that it’s hard to find enough space for storing large amounts of cabbage, and modern shopping conditions mean it’s no longer necessary. “There is not much space in my kitchen and balcony to store any vegetables, and I can go shopping every day,” said the consumer, who was in his late 50s.

Many consumers don’t even need to make a trip to the shops to buy their vegetables.

“I haven’t been to a supermarket for weeks now and I don’t stock up on anything. If I decide to cook tonight, I can put an order online for what I need about an hour ahead and I will be good to go,” a Beijing resident surnamed Lin, who is in his late 20s, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

The greater variety of produce is another factor. “I have more options besides cabbage and potatoes,” said a consumer at a Walmart store in Beijing.

Changing tastes

There is also a broader trend of changing tastes among Chinese consumers, driven partly by an increase in disposable income, according to Ma Wenfeng, a senior analyst at Beijing Orient Agribusiness Consultant.

Ma told the Global Times on Tuesday that residents’ disposable income levels determine the demand for green and organic food and vegetables.

“The more disposable income residents have, the greater their demand for green and organic food and vegetables produced by reputable brands,” Ma said. “People will pay more attention to the quality instead of prices.”

Ma said the trend will develop further and innovations such as the Internet of Things will be applied to track vegetables from farms to markets to ensure quality.

“If all food and vegetables are traceable by scanning a QR code, the food products will be more secure,” Ma said, noting that such a trend will require supply-side reform in the domestic agricultural sector to meet the new demand.

Source: Global Times

Geely says it reaches agreement to buy flying car maker Terrafugia

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group reached a final agreement on Monday to acquire all the businesses and assets of US-based flying car company Terrafugia, Geely said in a press release sent to the Global Times on Monday.

The deal has been approved by all relevant regulators, including the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US, said the press release.

“Flying cars are a very exciting sector… I believe that Terrafugia will change the traffic mode in the future and lead the growth of a rising industry,” Geely Chairman Li Shufu was quoted as saying in the press release.

Geely will offer technological research and development support to Terrafugia and increase investment in Terrafugia to create more jobs.

Terrafugia plans to launch the first flying car in the US in 2019 and unveil the world’s first flying car with vertical takeoff and landing abilities in 2023, Geely said.

Terrafugia’s headquarters will remain in the US and the company will continue to focus on the research, development and production of flying cars, the press release said.

Terrafugia took a step forward in making flying car by unveiling a folding-wing, two-seat roadable aircraft in February, according to the company’s website. And it will be a platform for autonomous flight technologies such as automatic ground collision avoidance and full envelope protection.

Source: Global Times

Chinese firms eye Laos opportunities

Country still lacks infrastructure, transparency: insiders

Chinese investors in Laos believe there is great potential for China-Laos business ties, even though some challenges still remain in terms of investment in the country.

Since a proposed amendment to a law on promotion of investment was introduced to the National Assembly in Laos in November 2016, the country has been stepping up efforts to improve the business environment for foreign investors, Chen Cuiying, general manager of a Laos-based subsidiary of Yunnan State Farms Group Co, told the Global Times over the weekend.

Agriculture is one of the main sectors targeted by Chinese investors in the neighboring country. In recent years, Laos has also seen a growing amount of Chinese investment in electricity, mining and manufacturing.

“The official visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Laos will boost the business ties between the two nations, and the cooperation will also expand into the modern agriculture sector,” Chen said, noting that the company aims to produce and sell 300,000 tons of rubber annually in Laos by 2020.

Xi will visit the country from Monday to Tuesday, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Sunday.

The Southeast Asian country is an active partner in the China-proposed Belt and Road initiative and has seen a growing trade volume with China in recent years, helped by the fact that the two countries’ economies are highly complementary.

Bilateral trade increased 25.1 percent year-on-year in the first nine months of 2017, reaching $2.1 billion, Gao Feng, spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, said at a press conference on November 2.

China is now Laos’ second-largest trading partner, and China’s accumulated outbound investment in Laos reached $6.31 billion as of September.

Chinese telecommunications services provider Huawei Technologies entered the Laotian market in 1998, and has since set up a subsidiary in the country that has more than 200 employees, 70 percent of whom are local residents, Gao Yang, a PR manager at the subsidiary, told the Global Times on Sunday.

“As the business ties between China and Laos are growing stronger, Huawei also plans to increase its investment in the country to help develop its information and communications technology,” he said.

Hongxin Industrial Co, a motorcycle company that entered Laos 20 years ago, now has a market share of around 30 percent in the country.

Li Wenke, president of the company, told the Global Times on Sunday that Hongxin is eyeing new opportunities, based on economic growth and improvement in local people’s living standards.

“To seize opportunities brought about by the Belt and Road initiative and China-Laos railway, we have purchased 40 engineering vehicles and invested nearly 40 million yuan to set up four stores along the railway,” he said.

Chinese companies have lots of opportunities to develop in Laos, especially in the infrastructure sector, which remains a weak point in the country, Li said. Laos also has a “stable political situation, low labor costs, and rich resources,” he noted.

Challenges remain

Though the volume of Chinese investment has been growing rapidly, Chinese investors in Laos still experience some difficulties in doing business there.

“There is control over foreign exchange settlement accounts in terms of a company’s profits, which requires approval from the Bank of Laos,” Chen said, noting that the approval process usually takes a long time and is not transparent.

The local authorities ought to improve their efficiency, and there should be more of a crackdown on widespread corruption in administrative institutions, she said.

Also, it is hard to find skilled workers in Laos as many local people are not well educated, and some projects have been delayed due to a lack of employees, Chen noted.

The relative lack of infrastructure compared to other Southeast Asian countries is another problem, Gao said. “Without a sea port, the country has low transport capacity, and the electricity supply is also insufficient,” he explained.

Amid the country’s economic growth, competition in Laos is becoming fiercer. “In addition to Chinese companies, their counterparts in Vietnam, Thailand, South Korea and other Asian countries are also investing in the country. Take the motorcycle and automobile industry – Chinese brands are encountering strong competition from their Japanese counterparts,” Li said.

Source: Global Times

Tourism fair held in East China to boost industry exchange

A 6-day tourism exchange fair was convened in Taizhou City, east China’s Zhejiang province on Monday, in a grand performance of the traditional Chinese martial arts tai chi of 500 people at a park in Huangyan District.

The fair was attended by more than 500 guests, including some 50 tourism operators from China, Australia, Poland, the Netherlands, Canada, Thailand, Spain, Singapore, and other countries, over 60 foreign journalists, as well as local tourism departments and companies.

A traditional art performance with Taizhou characteristics is staged at the opening ceremony of the fair. (Photo by Han Dong)

The event was sponsored by the People’s Government of Taizhou, organized by the tourism bureau of Taizhou with the help of Tencent.com and Huanqiu.com, two influential websites in China.

Art performance is staged at the opening ceremony of the fair.

Zheng Minqiang, deputy mayor of Taizhou, delivered a brief but emotional speech to extend his warm welcome to the guests and best wishes for the meeting.

Zhejiang is using all efforts to forge the tourism brand “Picturesque Zhejiang”, and Taizhou, the original place of Buddhism and Taoism, is one of the most mesmerizing attractions in the province, said a letter of congratulation sent by Zhejiang provincial tourism department.

Art performance is staged at the opening ceremony of the fair.

Shan Chengbiao, General Manager of Huanqiu.com, said the aim of the fair-building a shiny tourism card for Taizhou-coincides with the long-term pursuit of his website.

In addition to the speeches and greetings, a banquet featuring Taizhou delicacies was prepared for the guests. To make the event more fascinating, tourism surveyors from Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Wuhan brought a freestyle performance onto the stage.

Art performance is staged at the opening ceremony of the fair.

A traditional art performance with Taizhou characteristics was also staged at the opening ceremony of the fair.

Taizhou is a beautiful place and most of her beauty has yet to be developed. The place was mentioned in the poems of Li Bai and Du Fu, two genius poets of Tang Dynasty (618-907).

American Airlines launches nonstop daily service from Beijing to LA

From the Great Wall to Hollywood

American Airlines (AA), the world’s largest carrier by fleet size, commenced its nonstop daily passenger service between Beijing and Los Angeles on Monday, the first US airline to offer such service between the two countries.

It is the eighth nonstop service for AA to China and the 16th transpacific route for the carrier after it started the business 11 years ago in China.

Before that, Air China operated this route for many years three times per day.

Industry watchers believe the newly opened route could drive more profit as Los Angeles has become a hot destination for many passengers traveling from China.

Last year, Los Angeles welcomed more than 1 million travelers from the Chinese mainland, meaning one-third of all tourists traveling from the mainland to the US would have flown to Los Angeles, Ernest Wooden Jr., president and CEO of the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board, said during an interview in Beijing on Tuesday.

“In 2016, the spending for Chinese exceeded more than $1.6 billion and we believe the growth could keep up with a pace of more than 10 percent in the next few years,” he remarked, noting the target of the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board is 47.3 million travelers this year and 50 million by 2020.

However, it wasn’t so easy for AA to win the slot.

In November 2016, the carrier was granted permission from the Department of Transportation of the US for the route, but there was a delay due to the slot being tight in China.

Smart partnership

In March this year, AA agreed to pay $200 million for a 2.9 percent stake in China Southern Airlines, China’s largest airline in terms of fleet size. It is widely believed that the successful bid for the route from Beijing to Los Angeles is closely connected to the China Southern deal.

“AA and China Southern are seeking to codeshare as AA has been approved by the Department of Transportation and is waiting for approval by the Civil Aviation Administration of China,” Shane Hodges, managing director of AA’s Asia Pacific Sales, said in an interview on Tuesday.

According to AA, it plans to codeshare domestic flights in China with China Southern, with the number of destinations estimated to reach 14, including Guangzhou in South China’s Guangdong Province and Dalian in Northeast China’s Liaoning Province.

Further collaborating with China Southern, AA has moved from Terminal 3 to Terminal 2 at Beijing Capital International Airport in a bid to share the same terminal with the airline giant.

“Currently, the transit time has been cut from 150 minutes to 100 minutes,” said Russ Fortson, managing director of AA’s Asia Pacific Operations, noting the move to Terminal 2 could help passengers transfer to more than 30 cities in China with the help of China Southern in a timelier manner.

However, he said the carrier has not decided to move to the new airport located in the southern part of Beijing, which is due to start operation in 2019.

On Monday, Qatar Airways announced it has acquired a 9.6 percent stake for $662 million in Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong’s troubled flag carrier.

The two airlines both belong to the Oneworld airline alliance.

When asked to comment on the cooperation, Hodges said the airlines industry is very complicated and it is not only that the world’s three alliances – Oneworld, Skyteam and Star Alliance – are conquering the world, but the members within those alliances are gradually forming some very complicated cooperative networks.

AA also belongs to Oneworld.

“We accept the complexity of the airlines industry, but also accept the cooperation under the alliance; it is not a market of black and white. Sometimes, it is good for us when it is grey,” he said.

Hodges is quite frank about AA’s market strategy, saying the AA holds advantages in both the US and Latin American markets. But the company also has confidence in the Asian market, as shown by its targeting of major Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.

Source: Global Times

Chinese firms succeeding in Vietnam, with stronger bilateral relations seen helping

Stronger bilateral relations seen helping

Chinese businessmen are making serious money in Vietnam, as Vietnam’s economic development has provided many business opportunities, according to several Chinese entrepreneurs in Vietnam.

Ou Kui, chairman of Vietnam Yanian Clothing Co, a clothing manufacturer and exporter in Vietnam, said that his company’s order quantities have been able to “guarantee 20 percent growth” annually in the last few years.

Chen Xiying, chief representative of Dongfang Electric Corp’s Vietnam office, also noted that Dongfang Electric has carried out many hydropower and thermal power projects in Vietnam.

“So far, power equipment manufactured by Dongfang Electric in Vietnam has a total capacity of 10 million kilowatts,” he said.

Big industry, good business

The Chinese businessmen the Global Times talked to said that certain business sectors in Vietnam are developing very fast, which has offered opportunities for Chinese businessmen there.

For instance, Chen said that Vietnam’s power industry is still in the midst of a “rising period” currently.

“Chinese power companies entered Vietnam’s power construction market around a decade ago. Nowadays, the northern areas in Vietnam no longer suffer from frequent blackouts – this has a lot to do with projects completed by Chinese companies,” Chen said. “Now that the Vietnamese economy is continuing to grow, there is still development space and market demand in the power sector.”

Ou also said that the clothing industry in Vietnam is “booming,” with the sector’s revenue currently accounting for about 15 percent of the country’s annual GDP.

“We chose Vietnam to be our manufacturing base for a number of reasons: The country has abundant resources; it has a mature labor force; and the Vietnamese government has rolled out a series of policy bonuses for overseas companies,” Ou said.

He added that these factors have prompted many domestic clothing companies to move to Vietnam.

Warming-up interaction

Another factor aiding Chinese businesses in Vietnam is the fact that the two countries’ economic and trade relations are warming up rapidly.

China’s exports to Vietnam surged by 16.3 percent year-on-year to $56.36 billion in the first 10 months this year, while imports increased by 30.1 percent, according to Chinese customs data published on Wednesday.

China’s investment in Vietnam in 2016 also surged by 130 percent on a yearly basis to $1.28 billion, data released by the Ministry of Commerce showed on November 2.

Gu Xiaosong, an expert on Southeast Asian studies at the Guangxi Academy of Social Sciences, said that in the past, Sino-Vietnamese political friction negatively impacted the two countries’ economic relations for quite a long time, and the situation hit a low point in 2014, when anti-China protests broke out in certain parts of Vietnam.

“The friction around 2014 frightened many Chinese businessmen away from investing in Vietnam. But the two countries’ relations have warmed up in the last two years. I believe there will be a big wave of investment from China into Vietnam, particularly with the progress of the Belt and Road initiative,” Ou told the Global Times Thursday.

Gu also said that the two countries’ economic relations have got back on track in the past two years.

“For one thing, both China and Vietnam are prompting economic development by expanding overseas economic cooperation. Also, changes in the global political situation – such as the US paying less attention to the Asia-Pacific region after Donald Trump took office as US president – have impelled Vietnam to embrace products, businesses and capital from China,” Gu told the Global Times on Thursday.

“Vietnam can’t do without help from China to carry out its economic construction. In the future, at least in the short term, economic relations between the two countries will continue to proceed smoothly,” Gu noted.

Ou said that challenges still remain for Chinese businesses in Vietnam, including a lack of project information, the language barrier and rising costs.

Chen said that the biggest problem is still how the two sides adapt to each other in completing the projects.

“When we started to do business in Vietnam, we needed to understand local laws and business regulations, while the Vietnamese side needed to understand our technological features and construction habits. But after several years, we have got to understand each other better and business has become more efficient.”

Source: Global Times

Local authorities work to alleviate poverty in Muslim community, align religion with socialist values

In some Chinese regions where ethnic minority groups reside, fighting poverty is a big challenge. Some experts suggested that an overwhelming sense of religious practice might hinder local economic growth and that some communities should become more modernized and live in line with the country’s socialist values. A Global Times reporter recently traveled to Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture in Northwest China’s Gansu Province to find out more.

On the way from Lanzhou, capital city of Northwest China’s Gansu Province, to Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture, which is south of the provincial capital, numerous mosques are hidden in small villages along the national highway.

The prefecture is home to the Hui and 30 other ethnic minority groups, which account for 59 percent of the 2.19 million-strong local population, according to the prefecture-level government’s website.

Among the total 1.8 million local people who follow religions, 1.14 million are Muslim, making it the most influential religion in the region, according to Chinese ethnic minority news site mzb.com.cn, which is under the auspices of the State Ethnic Affairs Commission of China.

As the heartland of the Hui ethnic minority, Linxia has built thousands of mosques with a mixture of both western and eastern styles.

There were in total 4,606 mosques in Gansu as of 2015, according to the latest data on the Beijing-based China Islamic Association. And Gansu has been ranked as the region with the second-largest number of Muslim worship venues, following Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

Gansu’s multicolored mosques, however, with their crescent moon symbols sitting on the top, are in sharp contrast with the surrounding mud-brick houses.

In 2014, Linxia ranked as the second to last poorest area nationwide out of the 339 monitored. However, it has been receiving a large amount of financial support from the government, according to a post published by Cai Fushun, a historian and blogger, in September 2016.

“While many children in the prefecture can’t afford to go to school, Linxia, known as ‘Little Mecca’, has so many splendid mosques,” he wrote.

Ma Fucheng, a resident in Yanzi village of Guanghe county, used to work as the village Party chief for several years.

“The hostile environment in a mountainous area is a major reason why people are so poor here,” he explained to the Global Times in a recent interview.

Over the past five years, the village, like many others in the prefecture, has become one of the country’s main battlefields for fighting poverty.

As the home to 452 households, Yanzi village registers 270 as poor households. But they have received a slew of favorable policies from local authorities in recent years, such as personal grant loans of up to 50,000 yuan ($7,534), and have received help on infrastructure improvement.

“Every village here has at least one mosque, and villagers voluntarily donate hundreds or thousands of yuan to build them,” Ma the retired village Party chief said.

Authorities’ concerns

While some mosques in the region are Pagoda-style, reflecting traditional Chinese architecture, more and more have been shifting toward Arabian-style, which has caught the attention of authorities.

For instance, many Arabian-style mosques, which are overtly decorated and surpass original construction budgets, have emerged across the country, from southeastern to northwestern regions, according to a seminar held by the China Islamic Association in April in Xi’an, Northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, as noted on the local government’s website.

Places of worship ”should not be luxurious or oversized” in their scale, and religion ”has to be in line” with China’s socialist values, the seminar noted.

Some Weibo users, China’s Twitter-like platform, have also commented on the growing conspicuousness of mosques.

In India, temples are predominant in villages and towns, and religions are closely connected to local lifestyles and economic activities, noted Xiong Kunxin, a professor at Beijing’s Minzu University of China.

“Once a religion is overdeveloped, it will pose an impact on the wider secular society, sometimes posing a negative influence,” opined Xiong to the Global Times on Monday. “We should keep it [religion] personal and it should not interfere with normal social activities,” he said.

In the view of Xiong, not only Chinese Muslims, but other ethnic minority groups must get rid of feudal and superstitious practices and ideas to increase social productivity.

“From the spiritual to the material, cultural life to economic activity perspectives, they need to move toward secularism and social modernization,” he remarked.

On Weibo, some Chinese scholars have also questioned whether it is necessary to renovate some mosques with poverty alleviation funds in Linxia, something which has been allegedly occurring, according to a post published on October 29 by Xi Wuyi, an expert on Marxism at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

But as Hui people’s lives get better and better, the mosques in their villages are simultaneously improving, as those people have a strong willingness to renovate them for their beliefs, Ma noted. “It’s all about their beliefs,” he said.

Echo core values

In Yanzi village, a villager surnamed Ma (a common surname among Hui people) has not finished renovating her mud-brick house, despite the help of the poverty alleviation fund. As a result, she has temporarily put some of her personal belongings outside under a shed. Her daughter, who is in her 20s, sits in the yard washing clothes, where her two kids play around.

The lack of education, which has led to low literacy rates, is also a major reason why this village is so poor, a local official, who prefers not to be named, told the Global Times.

“Some young girls get married in their early ages,” he said, another result of poverty and poor education.

Compared to other poor villages, the local government has adopted more favorable policies for the ethnic minority group as part of its anti-poverty campaign, noted Ma, the retired village Party chief.

However, some experts have discussed whether some ethnic minority groups should enjoy more policies and whether they should practice their religion in a limited capacity.

“While Hui people in this region are enjoying priorities, the majority of Han people have been treated unfairly, which has led many talents to outflow and the local economic growth to lose momentum,” Mei Xinyu, an associate researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, told the Global Times on Monday.

To drive local economic and social growth, the region should dilute ethnic and religious identities, Mei opined.

“People spend a large amount of money on religious activities, and more and more products being labeled with a Halal tag could be seen as a new form of industry monopoly, which will hinder local economic growth,” he opined.

Officials in regions where ethnic minority groups live should help local communities practice religions in line with characteristics of a socialist society, and by respecting Chinese laws.

Indeed, local authorities in Linxia have been making efforts to align religious activities with core socialist values in recent years, the local official told the Global Times, so those minorities can still practice Islam.

The local Bureau of Religious Affairs in particular has been encouraging activities that promote core socialist values in places of worship, domestic news site sohu.com reported in August.

Some core socialist values, including a set of moral principles, have also been integrated into the study of religions, such as patriotism, justice, the rule of law, and so on. And some officials are urged to enhance ties with leaders of religious groups, the government of Linxia said in October.

(Source: Global Times)

Slew of China-US deals signed as expert says cooperation will expand despite friction

Xu Chen, chairman of the China General Chamber of Commerce – USA (CGCC) Photo: Courtesy of CGCC

Economic ties serve as the ballast in Sino-US relations and there is great momentum for more bilateral development as the two economies are highly complementary, a Chinese business leader said late on Tuesday.

Business agreements worth a total of $9 billion were signed between Chinese and US enterprises on Wednesday, the first day of US President Donald Trump’s three-day visit to China, according to media reports.

US aircraft manufacturer Bell Helicopter signed a deal with Reignwood International Investment Group Co, with the latter agreeing to buy 50 Bell 505 Jets, Bell told the Global Times on Wednesday.

JD.com Inc also committed to buying more than $2 billion of US goods in the next three years, including over $12 billion worth of US beef and pork, and Mobike tied up with Dow Chemical Co.

“Based on the business delegation traveling with the US president, the deals are likely to center on China buying American energy and farm products, as well as aircraft and other machinery,” Xu Chen, chairman of the China General Chamber of Commerce – USA (CGCC), told the Global Times on Tuesday.

The two presidents are expected to focus on topics like the trade imbalance between China and the US, Xu said, noting that after July’s Comprehensive Economic Dialogue in Washington, both countries expressed their interest in narrowing the US deficit.

With the gradual deepening of economic and personnel exchanges between China and the US, the business development between the two countries has seen some big achievements in recent years, according to Xu.

“Notably, 2016 was a fruitful year for Chinese investments in the US. We saw the figure hit a record high of $45.6 billion, up by 200 percent from 2015, and more than 70 percent of it was from private-sector firms,” Xu said.

Xu noted that Chinese companies continue to show confidence in the US market under the Trump administration. “Most of the Chinese companies involved in the CGCC have increased or plan to increase their investment and hire more local staff,” he said.

Q&A with Xu Chen

GT: Do you see any challenges and difficulties in the bilateral trade relations?

Xu: We understand the US trade deficit with China is a concern for the Trump administration. US exports to China totaled $116 billion in 2016 and imports from China were $463 billion, so the deficit was $347 billion.

However, it is important that we understand the meaning behind this figure. One should not look only at the “surface data.” For example, to suggest that China accounts for 50 percent of the US trade deficit requires careful analysis.

About 37 percent of China’s exports to the US come from other parts of the world and come from the global supply chain. Actually, from a value-added perspective, only 16 percent of the US trade deficit comes from China, slightly higher than the 13 percent of Japan and 11 percent of Germany. In addition, a large portion of China’s exports to the US comes from US multinational companies operating in China.

The trade structure between China and the US is more of a complementary relationship rather than direct competition, which means that it is not a zero-sum game.

As long as leaders from the US understand this notion and recognize that trade deficit reduction is a time-consuming process, I believe there will be a way to resolve this issue.

GT: Have you observed increased obstacles in investing in the US?

Xu: In recent years, the trend of protectionism in the US has been greatly strengthened. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS) has repeatedly restricted cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&As) involving Chinese-funded enterprises on the grounds of national security.

In 2016, the CFIUS instituted a record number of probes into foreign investment projects, 170 in total, and the main focus was Chinese companies. As the overall Chinese investment in the US has risen, the US has also proposed increasing scrutiny of investment in industries such as high-tech. In particular, it fears China’s growing interest in artificial intelligence and machine learning.

With the increase in economic integration between China and the US, it is not surprising that there are some differences and frictions. Both parties can properly handle this through dialogue and consultation.

(Source: Global Times)

China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System expands into a global network

China launched the first two of the BeiDou-3 satellites into space on Sunday evening, indicating that its BeiDou Navigation Satellite System has begun to expand into a global network, Cyol.com reported on Nov 6.

Positioning accuracy of the BeiDou-3 satellites have an accuracy of 2.5 to five meters, which is comparable with that of GPS, said Xie Jun, chief designer of the satellite at China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASTC).

In addition, the system can provide users with high-precision surveying and mapping data. For example, it can measure several millimeters of building subsidence after an earthquake, Xie noted.

The BeiDou system not only provides navigation services but communication services, as some of its satellites are in a geostationary orbit, Xie said.

Moreover, their design life can reach the international level of 10 or more years, as high standards were set for selecting components and parts of the satellites to ensure continuity, reliability, and stability of services, according to Chi Jun, general director of the satellites at CASTC.

The BeiDou system will not only serve Chinese people, but also people around the world, noted Chi, adding that the system is compatible with other satellite navigation systems, providing an alternative for users.

Once China’s BeiDou, America’s GPS, Europe’s GALILEO, and Russia’s GLONASS are constructed, there will be more than 100 navigation satellites in use, according to Chi.

(The story is also published on People’s Daily Online)

More and more like WeChat? Facebook may launch ‘red envelope’ payments feature

Facebook may follow in the steps of China’s messaging app WeChat and add a “red envelope” payments feature that will enable users to send money to others on its service, news site thepaper.cn reported.

The new feature still hasn’t been officially tested, but was spotted by Matt Navarra, the director of social media at The Next Web.

Navarra shared screenshots of the feature on his Twitter account on Nov. 3. “Pick an amount, choose a photo and write a personal message,” reads the red envelope page. The amount of money that can be put inside the digital envelope ranges from $1 to $20.

The payment service, which can be done through bank cards, is currently unavailable, according to Navarra’s post.

Facebook has been vague about the feature, though did not deny its existence. The company confirmed to Recode, a technology website, that it constantly tests new products. As of press time, Facebook has not disclosed any details about the new function.

Red envelopes are typically used for gift giving during holidays like the Spring Festival and the feature, if it becomes available, could facilitate Facebook’s peer-to-peer payments, Recode said.

(The story is also published on People’s Daily Online)