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)

China’s burgeoning biotech industry pioneers discovered-in-China medicines as regulatory reforms drive drug innovation

CFDA head Bi Jingquan Photo: IC

Investors are betting on China’s potential to feed the global pharmaceutical pipeline, putting a multibillion-dollar price tag on a handful of stocks, even as the country struggles to close a huge R&D gap with the West.

Shares in firms such as Chi-Med, Beigene and Zai Lab have soared on international markets this year, fueled by hopes for their drugs and recent reforms to China’s regulatory system that should speed up approvals.

“It’s almost a coming-out party for China biotech,” said Christian Hogg, chief executive of Hutchison China MediTech, or Chi-Med, which presented promising data at a global medical congress in October on a lung cancer drug it discovered in China and is developing with AstraZeneca.

“China is in vogue because of the positive moves on the regulatory side, as well as advances at companies. It’s a big, big change versus 10 years ago and it is accelerating.”

Importantly, national and provincial authorities are also moving faster to agree payments for innovative drugs, albeit after negotiating price discounts in many cases.

Yet amid the euphoria, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that China still has far to go. It contributes just 4 percent of global drug innovation – as measured by the number of products in development and recent launches – against 50 percent from the US, according to an October 2016 report from four Chinese pharmaceutical associations.

“It is very apparent they are trying to transition to being more of a novel drug development environment and bring in more innovative research,” said Scott Gottlieb, head of the US Food and Drug Administration.

“I think it’s going to be a long transition… we’ve built up an ecosystem in this country over decades and decades,” Gottlieb noted.

China’s traditional strengths lie in generic drugs and the bulk production of active pharmaceutical ingredients that are found in pills in pharmacies worldwide.

The shift in focus to original research is a change in mind-set, although it builds on the success of contract research and manufacturing company WuXi Biologics, which does much of the legwork for China’s budding biotechs.

Reforming drugs watchdog

Bi Jingquan, the reformist bureaucrat who has led China’s drugs watchdog the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) since 2015, views innovative – and affordable – drugs as the key to meeting the country’s growing clinical demands.

China is now the world’s second-biggest drugs market after the US, given China has the largest population worldwide.

But the CFDA head lamented in a recent speech on October 10 that Chinese domestic drug industry R&D investment was only 42 billion yuan ($6.3 billion) last year, a small slice of the $157 billion spent worldwide by drug companies in 2016, according to market intelligence group EvaluatePharma.

Redressing the balance is a priority.

“We want to make our pharma industry big and strong, make our drug companies more competitive, so that we can shift our country’s long-standing reliance on imported new drugs,” said Bi Jingquan’s deputy Wu Zhen.

A big part of that involves overhauling regulation, with a new system now in place to accelerate full and conditional drug approvals as the CFDA strives to narrow a typical five to seven year lag between how long new drugs reach the market in China, compared with Western countries.

The agency will now accept data from overseas clinical trials. That was applauded by Pfizer, the top foreign drugmaker in China, highlighting the stiff competition still facing local biotechs.

So far many of the new drugs discovered in China are follow-on medicines in established therapeutic classes rather than groundbreaking first-in-class treatments.

Some global companies like Swiss-based Novartis and Roche, with deeper institutional scientific knowledge, are also tapping into China’s science base to discover their own promising new drugs in the country.

Still, Chinese firms are notching up their first homegrown successes, particularly in cancer, with Shenzhen Chipscreen Biosciences in 2015 winning a CFDA green light for the first modern oncology drug, used to treat a rare lymph-node cancer.

Now Chi-Med, working with Eli Lilly, hopes for approval of what would be a broad-use bowel cancer medicine, fruquintinib, around the end of this year.

On the international stage, Beigene and Chi-Med are also racing to be first to bring China-discovered cancer drugs to US and European patients, often doing deals with global firms that can provide marketing expertise outside China.

In July, Beigene signed a deal worth up to $1.4 billion with Celgene, licensing a promising cancer immunotherapy drug candidate to the US group in the largest-ever transaction involving a Chinese medicine.

Long-cycle business

Beigene CEO John Oyler is convinced Chinese drug discovery is on a roll, backed by powerful interests in the Chinese government who want to forge a leading position in the sector.

“The day you see a China-grown company that is one of the five major global pharmaceutical companies is approaching,” he said, though he admitted recent big share price rises were “not commensurate with clinical data being reported”.

Others pointed to an underdeveloped academic ecosystem in China and the fact most big local drugmakers were deeply rooted in generics, despite outward talk of innovation.

“It’s easy to say I want to do new drug development, but then it’s harder to see yourself spending $100 million and then fail,” Samantha Du, chief executive of Zai Lab, said at the company’s headquarters in Shanghai. Du was also a co-founder and chief scientific officer at Chi-Med until 2011.

Zai Lab, which listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange in September, has a drug discovery program focused on immuno-oncology, though for now, its pipeline is dominated by molecules bought in from the likes of GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi and Tesaro.

Du hopes to change that one day, but says it won’t happen overnight.

“It’s such a long cycle, if you want to discover and develop drugs from ground zero, that’s 12 to 15 years,” she said. “It’s going to take time.”

Source: Global Times

China’s online shopping festival promotes e-commerce development of Southeast Asia

Elements of the Singles Day shopping festival are seen in streets in Singapore.

The upcoming online shopping festival in China is promoting the e-commerce development of Southeast Asia, said Zhejiang Online on Nov. 8.

Through the annual shopping craze, China is connecting with the world via the Internet, and opening its economy in the real world.

Singapore, a country hailed as shopping heaven, had no cultural background of the Singles Day shopping festival, which originated in China and takes place every 11th of November. However, the expanding influence of the Chinese shopping carnival has gradually impacted the Singaporean market.

“With people purchasing online, my business has experienced a sharp drop,” said Abby, a Lion City dress shop owner, adding that she has to make proper adjustments to adapt to the new changes.

Kuala Lumpur, capital city of Malaysia, is also experiencing a similar phenomenon. The Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba was heavily reported by Malaysian media when it promoted its “24-hour 11.11 Global Shopping Festival” in the country on Nov. 1.

Local newspaper Sin Chew Daily said that Malaysian consumers bought over 1 million dresses from Alibaba’s e-commerce platform Taobao over the last year, and predicted that the shopping festival this year will offer the most relaxing experience and the best discount to local consumers.

Chinese products have found their way into Southeast Asia markets through the shopping craze. China has also become the largest consumer in Southeast Asian countries.

For instance, through cross-border e-commerce, the Malaysian bird’s nest corporation PT Swift Marketing Sdn Bhd has expanded their business to China.

Though the company is currently far from achieving its sales goal this year, its chairman, Tan Chengzhe, has never worried about the situation. The company’s sales surged by 400% on last year’s promotion day, and it is expecting more this year, Tan said.

Currently, online shoppers account for only 3% of the 560 million-people population in Southeast Asia, which suggests huge market potential for e-commerce.

Lazada, the largest Singapore-based e-commerce platform in the region, has attracted nearly 30,000 Chinese merchants within a week in this June on its new shopping site Taobao Collection after it merged with Alibaba. Now the site operates in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand.

In addition, Alibaba has also been promoting international capacity cooperation with a spirit of innovation, in a bid to establish a global network of trade, manufacturing, and services.

In 2016, a logistics network linking China and Southeast Asia was jointly built by Alibaba’s logistics arm Cainiao, Lazada, Singapore Post, and cross-border e-commerce solutions provider 4PX Express.

So far, Cainiao has established over 16 warehouses in Southeast Asia that cover all the important business divisions, reducing delivery time from 2 months to 2 weeks.

Shanghai elementary student who does homework on subway triggers debate

A video clip showing an elementary school student doing his homework on a Shanghai subway carriage recently triggered public debate.

It can be seen from the video that the boy is sitting on a seat in the subway carriage and doing his homework on a small desk in front of him. Though the train shakes every now and then, he always concentrates on studying.

Some people hailed the boy for his hardworking spirit, while others complained that the desk occupies too much public space and would affect others.

A woman who claimed to be the elder sister of the boy explained on micro-blogging website Sina Weibo that the desk was not taken onto the carriage on purpose and her brother just happened to take it back home.

“My brother just wanted to finish his homework early so he could hang out with his friends,” she wrote.

In addition, children’s heavy homework load also became a hot topic.

Some netizens said that elementary students rarely have an opportunity to play, and their backpacks have turned into trolley cases because of the heavy load.

Education expert Ji Dahai said that doing homework on the subway is not good for children’s health because of the noisy and shaky environment.

In addition, he thinks that teachers should assign moderate tasks to students and improve their education methods.

“Parents should also guide their children to properly arrange their time so that homework and play time don’t get mixed” he added.