China’s medical cosmetology industry sees global fastest growth rate

China’s medical cosmetology industry has seen the world’s fastest growth rate of 40 per cent since 2015, far exceeding the global growth rate of 7 per cent. The information is contained in a white paper recently released by SoYoung, China’s most popular medical cosmetology mobile app, Beijing Morning Post reported on August 9.

The paper shows that 1 in every 2.5 medical cosmetology consumers around the globe is Chinese. And 14 million Chinese people are projected to seek beauty through medical cosmetology in 2017, up 42 per cent than 2016 year-on-year. This is much higher than the global growth rate of 7 per cent.

Post-90s consumers are predicted to account for 53 per cent of the whole industry in 2017, quite different from the U.S. where according to statistics, consumers aged over 36 exceed 74 per cent.

Young consumers in China choose medical cosmetology mainly to be much more confident and meet job demands, while American consumers seek to resist senility.

In addition, statistics reveal that people with high incomes are much more inclined to choose medical cosmetology.

Nearly 80 per cent of women with monthly incomes of more than 30,000 RMB ($4,497) say they intend to seek beauty through medical cosmetology.

However, the rapid growth of the Chinese medical cosmetology industry does not only bring opportunities, but also challenges for practitioners.

Some beauty parlors without operation qualifications seek excessive profits by any means, thereby posing potential risks to consumers’ interests, the white paper disclosed.

Low-cost shared fitness rooms introduced in Beijing

Many shared fitness rooms were recently introduced in Beijing residential communities after a series of shared products including bikes, sleeping capsules and phone chargers were made available.

The room offered by the Beijing-based Mipao Technology requires a deposit of 99 RMB ($14.8) and charges 0.2 RMB per minute. Every room occupies an area nearly 5 cubic meters, in which a running machine is offered.

Bi Zhen, CEO of Mipao Technology said market research shows that 95 percent of Chinese need exercise, while those with gym cards make up only 10 percent. Bi added that the shared fitness rooms will greatly meet the people’s exercise needs.

However, analysts worry that there could be low demand for shared fitness rooms due to single variety fitness services, the high construction cost of the rooms and lack of shower facilities inside the rooms as in common gyms.

They suggested that self-service fitness rooms could only grow in future if they offered high-quality, experienced services.

Consecutive rise in China’s foreign exchange reserves attributed to supply-side reforms

Experts say consecutive improvements in China’s foreign exchange reserves in the first 6 months of 2017 illustrate that supply-side structural reforms undertaken by the government in 2016 to support economic growth are beginning to bear fruit.

According to statistics released recently by the People’s Bank of China, foreign exchange reserves reached $3.08 trillion by the end of July 2017, up $23.9 billion from the previous month and achieving increments in six consecutive months.

Experts said the rise can be attributed to a series of positive changes in China’s economy brought about by reforms, including good momentum for economic transformation and upgrading, rationality in purchasing foreign exchange and active investments by overseas business people in the Chinese market.

Against the backdrop of supply-side reforms, upgrade of enterprise products and improvements in export comprehensiveness provided strong economic support for the picking up of China’s foreign exchange reserves, said Zhang Huanbo, associate researcher at the Department of Research, China Center for International Economic Exchanges.

Zhang added that China’s foreign exchange reserves saw rapid growth from nearly $165.5 billion at the beginning of the 21st century and a slow decline after reaching the peak of $3.99 trillion in 2014.

Due to pressure from capital outflows brought about by irrational purchase of foreign exchange before, concerned Chinese departments took timely measures to offer proper guidance. Many enterprises faced with risks and problems of investments, mergers and acquisitions overseas reconsidered their plans abroad and thus released pressure for outflow of foreign exchange, Zhang noted.

In addition, increase in foreign direct investments is another contributor to the rise of China’s foreign exchange reserves.

Statistics released by China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange show that China’s net inflow of foreign direct investments was $14.2 billion in the first half of 2017, signifying foreign investors’ bullish bet on the Chinese market as evident in the fact that more and more foreign banks are setting up branches in China.

Experts stressed the possibility of China’s international balance of payments being further optimized and cross-border capital flows becoming steadier despite any future fluctuations in the country’s foreign exchange reserves.

Chinese firm begins construction of Indonesia’s pioneer coal-fired power station

An artist rendition of the Kalbar-1 project

A Chinese private enterprise on August 7 began constructing of a coal-fired power generation project in Indonesia, reported on August 9.

The first stage of the Kalbar-1 project in the western area of Kalimantan, which will be jointly constructed by the Chinese firm, Taicang Harbor Golden Concord Electric-Power Generation Company Ltd and Indonesia Power, is expected to be completed in 2020.

The project leader said Indonesia’s population is three times that of China’s Jiangsu province, but power generation is merely 56 million kilowatts or half of Jiangsu’s.

Statistics show that 2,519 Indonesian villages lack electricity. West Kalimantan depends on diesel generating sets at high cost and emissions, while electricity is imported from Malaysia at high price.

The project is expected to produce about 1.4 billion kWh of electricity a year, mitigate power supply shortage in the region to a great extent and promote local employment in addition to economic development.

Most countries along the Belt and Road lack electricity, which provides a good chance for Chinese energy enterprises to seek development overseas. Meanwhile, the en-route nations will benefit from advanced technology and job opportunities brought by the enterprises, Zhu Gongshan, the enterprise’s chairman noted.


New theater showcase China Focus debuts at Edinburgh Fringe

China Focus marked the launch of its inaugural annual theater showcase at the Edinburgh Fringe over the weekend.

The event kicked off the run of seven top Chinese productions at the UK’s famous theater festival, including Luocha Land performed by the National Theatre of China, The Dreamer by the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre, musical China Goes Pop staged by the China Arts and Entertainment Group and The Boor, a traditional Peking Opera production by the Shanghai Theatre Academy.

These award-winning contemporary shows fuse traditional Chinese opera, dance, acrobatics, shadow art, as well as modern jazz and pop music.

Xiang Xiaowei, minister counselor of cultural affairs at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China to the UK, said, “The collaborations between China and Edinburgh festivals can be seen as one of the wonderful movements in the symphony of China-UK cultural exchange.”

This celebration of excellence in Chinese theater and dramatic production coincides with the 70th anniversary of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The Edinburgh Festival is an open platform with rich and colorful art styles that encourages new talents and promotes artistic quality.

Li Ming, vice president of the Center for the China Shanghai International Arts Festival as well as the organizer of China Focus, said at the launch ceremony for the event, “We will put on more than 60 performances for spectators, some of them professional artists themselves, from all around the world.”

“China Focus 2017 shines a light on the diversity of art from China, and the potential for Chinese performing arts in the future,” Li said.

“The openness and tolerance embodied by Edinburgh Festival Fringe represent a wonderful opportunity for us to make new friends, listen to more feedback, and begin future collaborations,” he explained.

China Focus is scheduled to end on August 28.

Source: Global Times


China World Hotel Beijing prepares for 2017 Beijing Marathon

On July 21, China World Hotel was given the honor of being the officially appointed hotel for 2017 Beijing Marathon.

The hotel has made a series of elaborate preparations to greet the contestants of 2017 Beijing Marathon.

The hotel will bring high-quality experiences to guests, including top-notch service. All guests will enjoy comfortable and spacious rooms and healthy and exquisite food and beverages.

Meanwhile, China World Hotel will bring the customers, guests and employees together to actively prepare for the marathon, spread healthy sports concepts and to create a fashionable, healthy life style.

Christopher Chia, the general manager of China World Hotel, expressed his feelings of honor to be the officially appointed hotel for Beijing Marathon once again and expressed his appreciation for the trust of Organizing Committee of Beijing Marathon and China World Trade Center in China World Hotel.

In his address, Chia also introduced briefly the series of activities that will take place during the marathon for the guests and invited them and people of all circles to participate and explore the joy of the marathon event.

To satisfy the needs of the contestants and runners participating in the Beijing Marathon who will be staying in China World Hotel, the hotel invited professional dietitians and chef teams to work together to prepare a series of healthy foods and energy-boosting beverages.

The coffee garden will be used as a marathon nutrition center and will offer a nutritious eight-week menu exclusively for the 2017 Beijing Marathon runners.

The hotel has prepared food such as lamb chops and beef rich in protein along with various carbohydrate beverages that help shape the body, increase speed, help muscle recovery and improve physical conditions.

Besides the sports beverages, the center also provides fruit juices such as orange and pineapple juice, which increases stamina and provides energy for the runners.

Inspired by the sports spirit, the chefs specially made nutrient-rich sports desserts, including cereal energy bars, oatmeal cakes, banana cakes and yogurt brownies. These nutritious and sweet treats will keep runners strong and full of energy.

“All the staff members are honored to be the only officially appointed hotel of Beijing Marathon once again,” said Chia.

“We will do our best to provide a high-class accommodation experience and hearty food and beverage service to the contestants.”

Source: Global Times

DoubleTree holds National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

In celebration of National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day on August 8, DoubleTree by Hilton Beijing invited 15 children from the surrounding community to participate in a cookie class and offered free chocolate chip cookies to anyone who visited the hotel, even if they did not have a reservation. National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day activities celebrate the cookie and offer travelers and the community residents a fun way to share their experiences with loved ones.

Since 1986, the DoubleTree by Hilton chocolate chip cookie has represented a warm, friendly welcome for travelers. Every guest who checks into one of the more than 494 DoubleTree by Hilton hotels and resorts in 41 countries across five continents receives this same signature, sweet treat at check-in.

Source: Global Times

Bay areas expected to boom

The landscape of Tianjin’s Binhai New Area, a key part of the Bohai Sea Rim Photo: IC

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has urged further development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Initiative highlighted in the 2017 Government Work Report. This reflects the central government’s firm support of pushing forward this top-designed and ambitious plan. The initiative, which was first discussed in 2008, now intends to emphasize the region’s role in global economic supply chains and is often compared to other bay areas such as those in San Francisco and Tokyo. Some experts have suggested that, after the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area is established, more bay areas could also be considered in other Chinese regions. However, not every expert specializing in urbanization and city development agrees with the idea.

When the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area began to take shape, some experts looked beyond this region and suggested that China, like the US and Japan, could have more than one bay area serving as the engines of regional economic growth.

“The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area covers nine cities in the Chinese mainland and two special administrative regions [SARs]. If they can be integrated in spite of different systems, why not unite other regions in the mainland that have more in common [with regard to governance]?” Xu Hongcai, deputy chief economist at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE), asked recently.

This newly established bay area in South China is considered a pioneer, where adjacent metropolitan areas can share and exchange resources, Xu told the Global Times on Monday.

“The bay area’s economic growth will outpace other regions, similar to how bay areas in the US and Japan have performed,” he said.

The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area encompasses a total population of 100 million, with a GDP volume of over $1.34 trillion, equal roughly to the GDP of South Korea or that of Spain in 2016, China Central Television reported in April.

But bay areas in the US and Japan have different characteristics.

For example, the Tokyo Bay Area is a cluster of industries, which add up to only 3.5 percent of Japan’s total land. Nonetheless, it generates one-third of the economy’s total GDP, news site reported in April.

Bay areas are growth linchpins and drivers of innovation and can contribute to up to 60 percent of the global economy, according to media reports citing data from the World Bank.

The economic growth of the bay areas in the US outpaced that of the rest of the states for the fifth consecutive year in 2015, San Francisco Chronicle reported in September 2016, citing data from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis. Particularly, Silicon Valley, the southern portion of the San Francisco Bay Area, has attracted companies from around the world and become a hub of technological innovation.

As these two bay areas are the exemplars of the world, similar Chinese regions could follow suit, such as the Bohai Sea Rim – which encompasses provinces surrounding the Bohai Sea, including North China’s Hebei, Northeast China’s Liaoning and East China’s Shandong provinces – and the Yangtze River Delta Region.

In fact, some related transportation projects, which are seen as first steps in improving connectivity in potential bay areas, have already taken place.


Mega-city cluster

The construction of a high-speed railway line connecting Beijing and Binhai New Area in North China’s Tianjin is scheduled to kick off in September. Meanwhile, the feasibility report of another line linking Binhai to Weifang, a city in East China’s Shandong Province, has been filed with the authorities, the Guangzhou-based 21st Century Business Herald newspaper reported on August 3.

Recently, local authorities also launched a study on a railway line between Weifang and Yantai, another city in Shandong. The rail transport planning is considered as significant progress in finalizing the Bohai Sea Rim railway, the report noted.

When the transportation network is completed, it will take less than two hours to travel from Tianjin to Qingdao, a port city in Shandong. Meanwhile, a tunnel more than twice the length of the Channel Tunnel underneath Bohai Bay is expected to connect Yantai and Dalian, another port city in Liaoning.

Moreover, another convenient transportation initiative will connect two major economic regions: Jing-Jin-Ji – which stands for “Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei” and is located along the coast of the Bohai Sea – and Shandong.

“It’s not the first time that Bohai Sea Rim Bay Area has been pursued. Back in the 1980s, [former top politician] Li Ruihuan advocated for the building of a cooperative system among provinces along the Bohai Sea coast, but nothing ever came of it,” Cong Yi, a professor at Tianjin University of Finance and Economics, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Hard to unify

Unlike in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area – which is also the biggest Cantonese-speaking region and a place where Guangdong Province and the two SARs have fostered close business ties over the years – provinces in the Bohai Sea Rim have less in common and less of a relationship, Song Ding, a Shenzhen-based expert from the China Development Institute, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Besides Bohai, another possible bay area is located in the Yangtze Delta Region, also known as the Hangzhou Bay Area initiative, Song noted.

“However, how to distinguish the functions and positions of different cities involved [in the Hangzhou Bay Area initiative] is a tough question to tackle,” he said.

Furthermore, East China’s Zhejiang Province is piloting a bay area partnership with Shanghai in an aim to build an innovation hub, according to the 21st Century Business Herald. The sea bridge between Shanghai and Ningbo, a port city in Zhejiang, is already improving economic activities in this region.

“To further develop other bay areas in the country, top-designed guidelines are a must-have,” Song said.

He also noted that bureaucratic administration, which is reportedly most commonly seen in northern China, would impede the further integration of different regions.

“In the Pearl River Delta region, industries are closely related to each other. For example, electronics manufacturing has a full supply chain in this region,” he said, adding that regional integration should be more market-driven rather than an administrative order.

To foster a new bay area, industries should be complementary, Xu, the CCIEE economist, noted. “Some existing projects in Tianjin should not be promoted again in Caofeidian [an industrial zone in Tangshan, Hebei] to avoid wasting time and money,” he said.

Source: Global Times

Businesses play big role in Sichuan quake rescue

Dozens of domestic companies said on Wednesday that they are actively participating in rescue and relief missions while assessing their business operations in a remote region of Southwest China’s Sichuan Province, which was struck by a severe earthquake.

Most of the firms said that so far there has been no impact on their assets in Jianzhaigou, Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture from the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that hit the region on Tuesday night. The death toll was 19 and more than 200 people were reported injured as of press time on Wednesday.

But Jiuzhaigou, a popular tourist destination, has been closed for travelers, as rescue efforts are still underway. It remains unclear how the shutdown would weigh on the economy, which relies heavily on tourism revenue.

More than 30 centrally administered State-owned enterprises (SOEs), including State Grid Corp, China State Construction Engineering Corp, China Railway Construction Corp and Power Construction Corp of China, are assisting the ongoing rescue and relief efforts in Aba, according to a statement from the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) on Wednesday. SASAC overses these SOEs.

State Grid’s Sichuan unit set up a team of 181 power emergency workers and dozens of pieces of equipment for rescue missions in the quake-stricken regions to ensure a power supply, according to the statement.

State Construction workers at a construction site in the region responded to the quake, rescuing more than 60 people and providing shelter for more than 260, it said.

The SASAC added that other companies, including Sichuan SOEs, also offered assistance in their respective areas, such as communication and road building.

In a statement on Wednesday, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission also responded to the earthquake by ordering insurance institutions to quickly assess damage and open a fast track for insurances claims resulting from the quake.

“All sectors are actively responding to the earthquake and offering their assistance in the rescue work,” a soldier surnamed Hu of the Aba unit of the Sichuan Armed Police General Corps, which is at the forefront of the rescue mission, told the Global Times on Wednesday. “So far, the rescue work is going very well… we’ve got sufficient resources,” Hu said.

Business impact

While assisting the rescue mission, companies are also assessing their business operations in the region, though no major impact has been reported as of Wednesday.

China Railway Construction told the Global Times that the company is currently conducting an assessment of its assets and operations in and around the region and so far, there have been no casualties or property loss.

China Three Gorges Group and China Communications Construction Co also told the Global Times that its business operations in Sichuan have not been affected by the deadly quake.

Travelers take pictures at the Jiuzhaigou tourist attraction in Southwest China’s Sichuan Province on July 29. Photo: IC

At least three publicly traded companies, which are located or have assets in the region, also said their business operations have not been affected.

Sichuan Minjiang Hydropower Co, which is said to be the only company in Aba that is listed on China’s A-share market, Sichuan Datong Gas Development Co and Sichuan Yahua Industrial Group said their business operations have not been affected, according to media reports and company statements.

Share prices of the three companies saw a mixed reaction to the news on Wednesday, with Minjiang Hydropower seeing a 1.76 percent drop at market close, and Sichuan Datong and Sichuan Yahua both seeing an over 2 percent rise.

However, some hotels and local businesses sustained minor damage to their properties, according to media reports. Nevertheless, most businesses in less-affected areas remained open, also offering assistance to local people, according to Hu, the Armed Police solider.

Meanwhile, China Central Television reported on Wednesday afternoon that Jiuzhaigou’s tourist sites has been closed without a reopening day and travelers have been told to change their visiting plans.

In 2016, Aba received more than 37.61 million domestic and foreign visitors and drew 31.84 billion yuan ($4.77 billion) in revenue, up 11.7 percent from 2015, according to data from the Aba government released in February.

It still remains unclear how the earthquake will impact the local tourism sector and, in turn, the local economy.

Source: Global Times