Caixin Explains: China takes another step to unshackle interest rates
China’s central bank is testing the waters for a new mechanism that will give banks more freedom to set their own deposit rates, the latest step toward realizing its long-standing goal of liberalizing interest rates.
Lenders are being encouraged to adjust deposit rates using a deposit interest rate marketization mechanism, which was rolled out in April by the Self-Discipline Mechanism for Market Interest Rate Pricing, a banking industry body overseen by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC). The central bank disclosed the new mechanism in its first-quarter monetary policy implementation report released May 9.
Uproar over a baby taken during the one-child policy days
Several officials in South China’s Quanzhou county, including the county health bureau chief and deputy chief, were suspended Tuesday amid an uproar over a 32-year-old case of alleged official abduction of a baby during the one-child policy era.
A letter apparently from the bureau rejecting the parents’ request to probe the 1990 incident surfaced and stirred online outrage that led to the official inquiry.
Living will /
Shenzhen codifies living wills, giving terminally ill patients more rights
Hospitals in the southern city of Shenzhen will be required to respect patients’ wishes in carrying out end-of-life medical treatment as an amendment to local medical regulations was approved in late June, giving people greater autonomy over how they die.
Shenzhen has become the first place in China to incorporate the living will in local legislation, ensuring that hospitals take patients’ written or recorded wills into consideration when treating them for terminal illness or at the end of their lives. Discussion generated by the decision has drawn more than 120 million views on Weibo.
FINANCE & ECONOMY
China has nearly 4,000 small and medium-sized lenders that collectively control almost $14 trillion in assets.
Henan village banks in fund freezing scandal replace leadership
Four village banks in central China’s Henan province that are under investigation for freezing billions of yuan of customer savings named new top leadership in a reshuffle orchestrated by the provincial government, Caixin learned from people familiar with the matter.
Each of the four lenders named a new chairman, chairman of the board of supervisors and senior executives, they said in statements posted on their websites. The banks are Yuzhou Xin Min Sheng Village Bank, Tuocheng Huanghuai Village Bank, Shangcai Huimin Village bank and Kaifeng Xin Dong Fang Village Bank.
China’s Silk Road Fund strikes deal with Indonesian sovereign fund
China’s state-backed Silk Road Fund (SRF) signed a framework agreement with the Indonesia Investment Authority (INA), a sovereign wealth fund, to facilitate investment in the Southeast Asian nation, the two funds announced Monday.
The SRF plans to invest up to 20 billion yuan ($3 billion), preferably settled in the yuan, SRF President Wang Yanzhi said in a statement.
Beijing makes vaccination mandatory for crowded venues
Beijing will ban most people who have not received a Covid-19 vaccination from entering busy public venues starting July 11 after a recent flare-up linked to bars demonstrated the high risk of exposure to the virus in such places.
The city government mandated that, apart from those exempt for medical reasons, people must have at least one Covid-19 shot to enter after-school training institutions, libraries, museums, cinemas, gyms, internet cafes and performance venues, among others, Li Ang, deputy director of the city’s health commission, said at a press conference Wednesday.
BUSINESS & TECH
An advertisement for Chinese mobile phone maker Vivo painted on the shutters of a closed shop at a market in Mumbai, July 31, 2020. Photo: VCG
Vivo says it’s cooperating with Indian authorities after raids
Chinese smartphone-maker Vivo Mobile Communications Co. Ltd. says it is cooperating with Indian authorities after they raided its local offices as part of a money laundering investigation.
The Directorate of Enforcement, a financial crime-fighting agency affiliated with India’s Ministry of Finance, Monday raided 44 offices of Vivo and associated entities in multiple states including Uttar Pradesh, Meghalaya and Maharashtra over suspected violations of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, according to local media reports.
Japan’s Shionogi seeks China approval for Covid treatment
Japanese drugmaker Shionogi & Co. Ltd. applied for Chinese approval to sell its antiviral treatment for Covid-19, racing to become the second oral therapy to land in the country after Pfizer Inc.’s Paxlovid.
Osaka-based Shionogi said an application for marketing the drug, known as S-217622, was submitted to China’s National Medical Product Administration (NMPA) by its joint venture with Chinese insurer Ping An Insurance Group Co. — Ping An-Shionogi.
Fewer trucks on China’s highways as storms, Covid disrupt recovery
China’s road freight volume dropped at the start of this month as extreme weather and fresh Covid flare-ups threw up roadblocks to an industry already hit by earlier virus outbreaks and as weak consumer confidence weighed on demand.
In the week ended July 3, an average of 6.98 million trucks were running on China’s highways every day, according to Caixin calculations based on the Ministry of Transport data. That was the first time in a month that the figure dipped below 7 million after rising from 6.48 million in the week ended June 5 to hit 7.01 million in the week ended June 26.
Electric cars /
BYD takes Tesla’s EV sales crown — if you count hybrids
Chinese automaker BYD Co. Ltd. overtook Tesla Inc. in sales of electric vehicles — but only if you count cars that also burn fossil fuels.
In the six months through June, Shenzhen-based BYD sold 641,350 new-energy vehicles (NEVs) worldwide, representing a year-on-year increase of 315%, according to an exchange filing published Sunday. Of those sales, 323,519 were pure electric passenger cars and 314,638 were hybrid passenger cars. BYD also makes electric buses and cargo vehicles.
Quick hits /
Kaisa Group in debt restructuring with Citic Bank, sources say
Blaming investors, Guinea again suspends Simandou iron ore project
U.S. wants Dutch supplier ASML to stop selling chipmaking gear to China
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