Henderson falls to 2nd at LPGA Tour event in China

Henderson falls to 2nd at LPGA Tour event in China

Mi Jung Hur birdied the par-5 18th hole for a six-under 67 and a one-stroke lead over Canadian Brooke Henderson on Saturday in the Reignwood LPGA Classic.

Hur was five under on the back nine at Reignwood Pine Valley to take a 20-under 199 total into the final round of the Asian Swing opener. The 26-year-old South Korean player had a bogey-free round after shooting a tournament-record 63 on Friday for a share of the second-round lead with Henderson.

“On the back nine, just everything works really well,” said Hur, a two-time winner on the LPGA Tour. “Front nine, I think it’s all about the putter. Didn’t work on the front nine, but works on the back nine.”

The fourth-ranked Henderson shot a 68, saving par on 18 for a bogey-free day.

“I think the winner tomorrow is going to shoot a really low score,” the 19-year-old from Smith Falls, Ont., said. “I don’t think anybody is going to run away with it, necessarily. I think it’ll be really tight right down until the end. So making lots of birdies and playing smart all the way around.”

Planning to play all six weeks in Asia, she has two victories this year, winning the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in June for her first major and successfully defending her Cambia Portland Classic title in July.

Henderson still in it

“Five under is a solid round for me and I’m happy with that,” Henderson said. “I would’ve liked to have finished with a few more birdies. Left one on 17 and kind of gave 18 away.”

She lipped out a birdie try on 17 and hit into a bunker on 18.

“Definitely not the finish I was looking for,” Henderson said. “Kind of let them both slip away. I guess that’s what tomorrow is for. Hopefully, get a couple quick birdies and get back in.”

China’s Shanshan Feng, the bronze medallist in the Rio Olympics, had a 69 to drop three strokes back along with South Koreans Mirim Lee and In-Kyung Kim. Feng won the inaugural Reignwood LPGA in 2013 at 26 under for the second of her four tour titles. In 2012, she won the LPGA Championship to become China’s first major champion.

Lee got the spot with Hur and Henderson in the final group Sunday, shooting a 66 to match the best score of the day. Lee is the defending champion after winning the 2014 edition of the event that was not played last year.

Kim had a 68 with seven birdies and three bogeys.

“I think I manage the round pretty well,” Kim said. “It was a little bit troubling getting the target with the tee shot. Maybe they moved the tee box a little bit here and there.”

It was another five strokes back to China’s Simin Feng (67) and South Korea’s Amy Yang (70) at 12 under.

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China’s first ever elevated monorail

Suspended service! China unveils its first ever elevated monorail where carriages are HUNG from the tracks like a rollercoaster

China’s first suspended railway has completed its test run without a hitch on Friday.

The hanging train carriages were filmed in action in the city of Chengdu as they zipped along the elevated monorail at speeds of 60kmph.
According to reports, the tests will continue until engineers have given it the all-clear but as of yet, no official opening date has been announced.

Instead of electricity, the suspension system is powered by lithium batteries.

Zhai Wanming, chief designer of the project, told People’s Daily China, that the new train is more cost-effective and environmentally friendly compared to electric and diesel rail systems.

Each coach on the upside-down monorail will be able to carry up to 120 passengers.

Further tests will be conducted to monitor the train’s ability to turn and climb up the tracks before it can be opened to the public.

The battery charging stations will also be examined.

Wangming added: ‘The test runs will continue for tens of thousands of kilometers to check performance capabilities before official operation.’
Chengdu, which also operates an underground Metro system, is the first city in China to officially unveil a suspension railway but the cosmopolitan city of Shanghai will also be opening one next year.

Shanghai announced plans for its futuristic suspended ‘Skytrain’ in 2015 at the China International Rail Transit Technology Exhibition.

MailOnline reported that five districts in the city’s financial hub have indicated they would be interested in being linked by the Skytrain.
The conductor-less train will operate above the ground at a height of around six metres – the equivalent of a three storey building.

Qi Zhiheng, project manager of the Shanghai Air Train Rail Technology Corporation, said the columns which will support the suspended railway will be just 80cm wide.

He said the pillars are so narrow they could even be built on the green belt in the middle of the road.
Suspension trains are usually compiled of six carriages.

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China’s Movies Are a Hit With Investors

China’s richest man targets Golden Globes and Miss America

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The conglomerate led by China’s richest man is in talks to buy the US studio that stages the Golden Globe Awards and Miss America pageant for a reported $1bn, the latest in a flurry of moves by Chinese companies to snap up Hollywood assets.
Eldridge Industries, owner of Dick Clark Productions, said on Tuesday that it had agreed to enter into “exclusive talks” with Wanda Culture Industry — a unit of the Wanda conglomerate — “with the shared goal of finalising a mutually satisfactory transaction”.

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The production company founded by television personality Dick Clark in 1957 remains a mainstay of Hollywood’s self-promotion, staging the Golden Globes and American Music Awards. Both are popular among Chinese audiences.

The Chinese push into Hollywood is led by Wang Jianlin, the country’s richest man and founder of Wanda Group, already the world’s largest cinema owner-operator. Mr Wang is building a global cinematic giant by snapping up global assets on both the production and screening end of the global film industry.

While Chinese entertainment companies covet the prestige and expertise of established studios in the US, cosy relations with Beijing bring Hollywood access to China’s burgeoning audiences of newly-affluent consumers. Should the deal go through, Dick Clark Productions would allow Wanda new access to TV production.

However, US Republicans have voiced concerns over China’s incursion into America’s film industry, with 16 lawmakers — led by congressman Chris Smith — this month calling for greater scrutiny of Chinese investment in the industry.

Wanda began its global expansion in film distribution with the 2012 purchase of US cinema chain AMC, while a drive towards production followed with a controlling stake in Legendary Pictures, producer of Godzilla and Jurassic World movies in January this year.

Once solely a property conglomerate in the Chinese coastal city of Dalian, Wanda has inked a deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment to distribute films over the company’s domestic cinema network, soon to be expanded to include 150 IMAX screens in the next six years.

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Legendary Entertainment’s ties to Wanda gave the company access to data on the Chinese market that allows it to target films to the Chinese consumer using advanced ticket sales and other metrics to target fans likely to enjoy a particular film.

Such techniques helped Warcraft , a film adaptation of computer game “World of Warcraft”, to account for an unprecedented 74 per cent of the Chinese box-office sales in its opening weekend, despite sluggish sales elsewhere.

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Manufacturing in China - Mark Schlarbaum

China official manufacturing PMI shows factory activity continued apace in September

Activity in China’s manufacturing sector expanded again in September, an official survey showed on Saturday, which may indicate that recent positive momentum can be sustained.

The official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) stood at 50.4 in September, identical with the previous month’s level. A reading above 50.0 shows growth on a monthly basis. September’s 50.4 reading matched the prediction of a Reuters poll.

After a significant pick-up in March, China’s official PMI slipped, falling below 50 in July before showing expansion in August.

In an encouraging sign, new export orders increased in September, rising to 50.1 from the previous month’s 49.7. In September, output edged up to 52.8 from 52.6 in August, but the index for total new orders slipped to 50.9 from 51.3.

A sub-index for smaller firms fell, while performance at larger companies improved, a sign that the government’s dependence on big state firms for growth this year has not changed.

Economists say the pattern over the past few months suggested sustained economic growth, but a growing dependence on government spending and an overheated property market may pose increased risks later this year with debt levels continuing to rise.

Industrial profits rose at the fastest pace in three years in August, with rising sales and higher prices stimulated by a construction boom and heated property market.
But profits remained uneven, as traditional heavy industries with excess capacity such as steel still struggled for growth.

Sectors like high-tech, auto manufacturing and shipbuilding showed strong expansion, the survey showed. Jobs were again lost, though at a slower pace, with the employment sub-index rising to 48.6, compared to 48.4 in August. Job losses could be rising as the government has pledged broad capacity cuts across a range of industries.

Industrial over capacity remains one of the main drags on economic growth. Beijing has pledged to quicken the pace of its industrial capacity cuts, particularly in steel, after falling behind earlier in the year.

China’s state planner rejected a request in September by the nation’s steel makers for coal mines to ramp up coking coal output to help ease supply tightness that has triggered a frenzied price rally.

China’s slowing economy and problems with industrial over capacity have also reduced investment opportunities, a view reinforced by Fan Gang, a member of China’s central bank monetary committee. Private investment grew just 2.1 percent in the first eight months of the year, remaining at record lows.

A similar official survey showed activity in China’s services sector expanded at a slightly faster pace, with the official reading at 53.7 in September from 53.5 in August.

A measure of the construction industry rose as the government has gone on an infrastructure spending spree.

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China’s Movies Are a Hit With Investors

Star Trek Beyond dominates box office in China

The latest adaptation of a half-century-old sci-fi series last week sailed over its Chinese box-office competition, most of which involved unusual encounters with animals.

“Star Trek Beyond” pulled in $23 million the first full week of September, according to film industry consulting firm Artisan Gateway. The movie earned $31.5 million in three days the previous week, when it beamed into the country.

The 13th “Trek” film should beat the Chinese box office of “Star Trek Into Darkness,” which came out in 2013 and grossed $57 million, about 12% of its $467-million haul. This time, Paramount Pictures got help from Chinese backers Alibaba Pictures and Huahua Media. Total sales already have reached almost $55 million.

The fantasy-adventure movie brought in nearly three times as much as its new runner-up, Columbia Pictures’ “The Shallows,” a survival thriller about a female surfer pursued by a great white shark. The man vs. animal film, which features Blake Lively, came out Friday in China and made $8.5 million.

The other new release, EuropaCorp’s “Nine Lives,” clawed at its heels with $8.3 million. Kevin Spacey stars in the French comedy about a man whose mind is trapped inside a cat’s body.

“Ice Age: Collision Course,” 20th Century Fox’s fifth computer-animated comedy adventure about the lives of several feisty animals, dropped from second to fourth place with $4.3 million. “Parasyte,” a Japanese film by Toho International that explores ones boy’s struggle with alien parasites, grossed $3.1 million.

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most expensive cities for expats in Asia

China’s housing market is going nuts again

China’s housing frenzy is still very much alive.

Credit growth roared back, with medium and long-term new loans to households in August, which are comprised of mostly mortgages, jumping 32.2% year-over-year.

That’s the fastest pace of growth since 2010, and suggests homebuyers are trying to get ahead of the game as they expect further tightening of housing and credit regulations, according to a note from a team led by Credit Suisse’s Ray Farris.

Investors and speculators shrugged off the government’s cooling measures, boosting property investment growth to 6% in August. That figure was up 5.4% in January to August from a year earlier, according to data released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday.

Property sales also made a strong recovery, growing 31.8% in August compared to a year ago. And on top of that, most Chinese cities saw gains in home prices.

The data not only exacerbates fears of a property bubble, but also hurts the outlook for the Chinese economy in the long run, according to a note from Zhiwei Zhang’s team at Deutsche Bank.

Here is Zhang (emphasis added):

“The latest development in the property sector puts upside risk to our H2 GDP forecast (6.5% yoy in Q3 and 6.4% yoy in Q4), and downside risks to our 2017 forecast (6.5%). We believe a bubble is building up in some of the tier 2 cities. We thought the government would have started to tighten liquidity condition and contain the risk of bubble in the summer, but property sales rebounded in July and August, and land auction market continued to boom. The government chose to tolerate the property boom. The momentum in the property sector may carry into Q4. This helps the economy in the short term but imposes higher macro risks in the long term.”

Keeping the property market in good shape is critical for Chinese officials as a bust could impair economic growth and spur social instability. The housing market is a key driver of loan growth, commodities demand , and employment .

Additionally, stabilizing property prices is important because of their impact on China’s leverage ratio.

“A high debt-to-GDP ratio could usher in a high leverage ratio through a sharp correction of property prices. Although China’s current leverage ratio remains low, it could spike if property prices drop significantly,” analysts at Nomura wrote in a note to clients Wednesday.

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Why China loves crocodile meat

Why China loves crocodile meat

I have been fighting the running nose and teary eyes that come with Allergic rhinitis, better known in the west as hay fever, for most of my 23 years. As a kid, my parents tried giving me over-the-counter anti-allergy medicines and consulted medical doctors, and relied on traditional Chinese medicine: boiling eggs with Plumeria flowers, and cooking honey produced by Chinese dark bees.

Last year they gave me a milk-shake thick, off-white stewed meat soup, which they told me was good for the respiratory system.
The soup was plain and tasted of pork, while the meat tasted like chicken. But it was crocodile meat. Many people in Guangdong province in southern China, where I am from, have tried the chicken-like meat, out of curiosity or for its medicinal effects.

This demand is part of the reason for the current crocodile farming craze in Africa, where 85% of crocodile exports go to China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan combined. Last year, African countries exported some $196 million worth of crocodile to China.

“There is nothing Guangdong people wouldn’t eat in the sky, besides planes, and on the ground, cars,” is a popular Guangdong idiom describing the local craze for exotic meats. That includes the masked palm civet, a popular wild meat that was linked to the 2003 SARS outbreak.

But the crocodile’s use in traditional Chinese medicine dates back to at least the Ming Dynasty in the 16th century, when it was regarded as a highly nutritional meat that can cure respiratory illnesses like asthma caused by the prevalence of disease-causing “feng,” or wind, according to the Compendium of Materia Medicine (link in Chinese) written by Li Shizhen, a Chinese pharmacologist.

“My families said it’s good for nutrition, and every other day there would be vacuum-packed crocodile meat in the refrigerator,” said 22-year-old Kong Minying, a Guangdong native, recalling her family’s craze for crocodile meat that started several years ago. She said she didn’t know exactly where the crocodile came from, only that the meat was from the crocodile’s back, and “quite expensive,” at around 500 yuan ($78).

“It’s like a treat to eat crocodile meat,” said 25-year-old Vanty Pan, who lives in Guangzhou. “I had the crocodile soup at a fancy seafood restaurant at Zhanjiang,” a city in the southwestern part of Guangdong. He recalled the restaurant kept crocodiles.

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Peugeot China

Peugeot tries French turnround in China

Two years after his impressively quick turnround of Peugeot’s struggling European operations, PSA Group chief executive Carlos Tavares says he is attempting the same tricky manoeuvre — but this time in China.

PSA’s Chinese car sales fell 19 per cent in the first half of this year, despite a 9.5 per growth in the wider domestic market, exacerbating a price war between global car brands and putting pressure on their margins.

Mr Tavares says PSA’s China business — which last year accounted for a quarter of group sales — needs to be whipped into shape, and he has sent his former Europe chief, Denis Martin, to do it. “The guys over there are going to learn what it is to have a boss,” warns Mr Tavares from his office in Paris.

He claims the situation in China is now so bad that it resembles the European car market in the aftermath of the financial crisis. “We are facing conditions that are now similar to [what we saw in] Europe,” he says — and argues cost cutting is the only answer.

“In summer 2015, when the Chinese brands started to gain share, all of the western companies started to panic and throw money at the problem,” he says. “That destroyed the pricing power of the western brands.”

For PSA, this represents a complete reversal of fortunes. When Mr Tavares took over in 2014, China was the bright spot, with plans to triple vehicle sales by 2020, and Europe was the financial disaster. Six years of declining car sales on the continent and a high cost base had led to five years of operating losses — which ultimately forced the group into a €3bn bailout from the French state and China’s Dongfeng.

In the two years since then, however, Mr Tavares’s reforms have breathed life back into the group. He reduced the number of models in Europe, squeezed suppliers, cut labour costs and raised prices — winning the plaudits of investors and analysts.

Helped by a recovering European car market, he brought the group back into the black. PSA made a €1.2bn profit in 2015, compared with a €555m loss in 2014. Max Warburton — at the time a Bernstein analyst, now at Morgan Stanley — was so impressed by the turnround that he likened PSA’s efforts to “splitting the atom, walking on the moon and mapping the human genome”.

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Audi China

Audi signs deals with China’s three tech giants

Audi, the luxury German carmaker owned by Volkswagen, plans to work with China’s three biggest technology companies to enhance its reputation for building “connected” cars.

At its annual summit in Shanghai on Sunday, Audi signed agreements with Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu, saying it will work closely with each in data analysis, internet-vehicle platform building and urban intelligent transport.

Audi’s move is the latest example of a traditional carmaker linking up with software specialists to avoid being left behind, as new entrants compete on self-driving vehicles and so-called “internet of things” connectivity. In July, German rival BMW teamed up with Israeli sensor maker Mobileye to produce autonomous cars over the next decade.

China is the world’s largest car market for new cars, and while Audi lags behind BMW and Mercedes in the global luxury market, it has been China’s number one luxury car brand by sales since 1988 — when it established a joint-venture with partner Chinese First Automobile Works.

From January to July this year, Audi sold 336,580 cars in China, accounting for almost one in- three of the brand’s global sales. However, its rivals are catching up. Audi sales were only up 6.5 per cent, while BMW deliveries were up 8.5 per cent and Mercedes sales climbed 32 per cent, to 287,753 and 257,276 respectively.

Maintaining the lead requires investing in internet-connected technology, analysts argued. Arndt Ellinghorst, at Evercore ISI, said Chinese car buyers “appear to be even more connected than people in the western world”, in part because the average buyer is 36 years old — 10 years younger than in the US and 20 years younger than in Germany.

In 2013, Audi opened a research and development centre in Beijing to develop technology that it will aim to monetise in China first, and then export globally.

“The Chinese are early adopters. If you’re not here with the latest stuff, then you can’t win,” said Martin Kühl, an Audi spokesman in Shanghai.
Mr Kühl said Audi has already been successful developing technology in China and then deploying it elsewhere. Touchscreen technology developed in Beijing is now being used by engineers in Germany.

Audi’s relationship with Alibaba already goes back a decade. This year, the two companies have been working on 3D maps and traffic data technology that Mr Kühl said is high-resolution, providing almost real-life pictures of buildings.

“This kind of map material is not even available outside of China,” he said. “Alibaba has done a really great job and we’ve been the first to use this data, to use these maps.”

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BP China

BP strikes new shale deal in China

BP has doubled down on its commitment to shale gas in China by striking a second exploration deal with China National Petroleum Corporation.

The agreement, covering a 1,000 sq km area of Sichuan province in south­west China, sets BP apart from rivals such as Royal Dutch Shell and ConocoPhillips, which have backed away from investments in Chinese shale gas.

Analysts say the high cost of shale exploration in China has made it vulnerable to deep cuts in capital expenditure by energy companies in a period of protractedly low oil prices. However, BP is eager for new resources after a period of retrenchment since the disastrous
Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.

BP’s contract with CNPC involves a block called Rong Chang Bei, adjoining the companies’ existing partnership in Neijiang­Dazu. CNPC will have operational control in both cases. Financial terms were not revealed.

Thursday’s deal represented a renewed sign of commitment from BP to China after Sinopec said last month that the UK group planned to sell its 50 per cent stake in their Secco petrochemicals plant near Shanghai.

The agreement stems from a wider strategic partnership announced between BP and CNPC when Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, visited London last year and came ahead of a visit to China this weekend by Theresa May, UK prime minister, for the G20 summit. Investment ties between the countries have been under scrutiny since Mrs May announced a review in July of the proposed Hinkley Point nuclear power station in which state­owned Chinese investors have a one­third stake.

Edward Yang, president of BP China, said the production­sharing deals with CNPC demonstrated the group’s “continued confidence in the Chinese market” and its dedication to helping China “in unlocking its potential for more sustainable energy development”.

Bureaucrats in Beijing see shale gas as a promising means of protecting Chinese energy security, and initially offered subsidies to get the industry off the ground. Those subsidies have been cut back as the oil and gas market has swung into oversupply over the past two years.

China holds the world’s largest shale gas reserves, with 68 per cent more technologically recoverable than the US, according to the US Energy Information Administration. But efforts to exploit these have so far been disappointing. Chief among the problem

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China Vanke Reportedly Plans to Buy a Shanghai Tower From Carlyle

China Vanke Reportedly Plans to Buy a Shanghai Tower From Carlyle

China Vanke is seeking to buy Central Plaza in Shanghai from private equity firm Carlyle Group for around 2.46 billion yuan ($368.94 million), Basis Point reported on Friday, quoting sources.

Vanke, the residential property developer at the center of a high-profile power struggle, is planning to buy through its wholly owned private equity arm V Capital, with a $194 million loan facility, sources told Basis Point.

China’s top homebuilder will eventually hold only a 10% interest in the property after selling 90% to a third party, it said.

Vanke did not respond to an email seeking comment, while Carlyle declined to comment.

Central Plaza is a grade-A office tower in Shanghai’s central business district Huangpu, opposite to the city’s landmark Shanghai Grand Theatre.

Carlyle bought the building from Singapore-listed real estate fund Forterra Trust for $267 million in April 2013.

Meanwhile, Vanke is trying to fend off a hostile takeover by financial conglomerate Baoneng Group with a $6.9 billion deal with white knight Shenzhen Metro. However, the deal was opposed by major shareholders as it will dilute their shareholding.

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China Billionaires

These viral selfie apps with 1 billion downloads are shaping China’s start-up culture

XIAMEN, China — The selfie, we all know, is an art form. That cast of light. That tilt of the chin. Not that you’re trying.

But at the southern Chinese headquarters of Meitu, the maker of some of the world’s most popular beauty apps, the selfie is also science.

Here in the company’s sparse, oh-so-start-up offices, tables of 20-somethings are using facial recognition and 3-D modeling to build a suite of apps that, quite literally, transform.

Their eye-widening, skin-lightening, chin-narrowing photo apps and “beautifying” video platform are ubiquitous in China, downloaded a billion times in total, according to the company. They are known by fans as “zipai shenqi,” or “godly tools for selfies.”

[What do selfie filters say about beauty standards in China?]

The company has hundreds of millions of monthly users, a valuation in the billions of dollars, according to estimates, and plans for global expansion. If you ­haven’t heard of Meitu, chances are you will. If you’re reading this on your phone, watch this space.

The extraordinary popularity of Meitu says much about today’s China.

When Americans think about China’s Internet, many gravitate to one thing: censorship. While it’s true that the country’s Great Firewall keeps the Web here tightly controlled and painfully slow, Chinese tech firms are flourishing nonetheless, building products that capitalize on the spending power of a billion-plus consumers.

[Internet activists are finding ways around China’s Great Firewall]

In 2015, four of the world’s top 10 Internet companies ranked by market capitalization were Chinese, according to the data website Statista. China is now the world leader in e-commerce, with ordinary Chinese using their phones to invest, buy groceries or pay for street food.

To compete, U.S. businesses need to understand the forces shaping China’s digital culture and commerce. Understanding Meitu helps.

The company behind some of the world’s biggest beauty apps started out as something much humbler.

When Cai Wensheng and Wu Xinhong founded the company in 2008, “selfie” had yet to be added to the Oxford English Dictionary, and Meitu was a desktop photo processor inspired by Google’s ­Picasa.

Bei Gou, a former portrait photographer who is now Meitu’s senior vice president for product, said the goal was to bring simple photo editing to China, allowing users to, say, quickly crop a shot of Shanghai’s skyline.

The team soon realized that many users seemed focused on one type of editing: fixing their faces. Meitu adjusted accordingly, creating the one- or two-touch “beautifying” options that became their signature.

“We recognized a good concept and optimized it,” Bei said.

Their timing was excellent. In the past five years, China’s Internet population has soared. There are now almost 700 million Chinese Web users, about 20 percent of the world’s Internet users.

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China launches first mobile telecoms satellite from Beijing

China has launched its first mobile telecommunications satellite.

The Tiantong-01 satellite will establish a mobile network serving China, the Middle East, Africa and other areas, the state run Xinhua news agency reported.

It was sent into space after midnight local time in Beijing (16:00 GMT) on Sunday.

The ground service will be operated by China Telecom, which is owned by the Chinese state.

The country is also preparing for the next round of its manned space mission.

China’s science revolution
On Saturday two launch rockets arrived at a launch centre in northwest China. They will carry a second module of the country’s planned space station – replacing Tiangong 1 which has ended its service – and a staffed spacecraft called Shenzou-11.

China sent its first astronaut into space in 2003, and since then has taken huge advancements.

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China Said to Mull Mergers to Create Two State Steel Giants

China is considering a sweeping overhaul of its steel industry that would consolidate major producers into two giants, with one located in the north and another in the south, according to people familiar with the plan.

Hebei Iron & Steel Group, the nation’s biggest mill by output, and Shougang Group will be combined into Northern China Steel Group, while No. 2 producer, Shanghai Baosteel Group Corp., and Wuhan Iron & Steel Group Corp. will be merged into Southern China Steel Group, said the people, who declined to be identified because the information is confidential. Shares in the listed units of Hebei and Shougang rose on the news.

The state-owned Assets Supervision & Administration Commission didn’t respond to a request for comment on Monday, while a Baosteel Group spokesman declined to comment when reached by Bloomberg. Calls to Hebei, the news department at Shougang and Wuhan Iron & Steel were not answered.

The potential combinations would give Chinese mills the scale to rival global giants such as ArcelorMittal, and enhance government efforts to reduce overcapacity as part of its drive to overhaul an inefficient state sector. Smaller steel companies could later be absorbed into the two new groups once they are established, although nothing has been decided, according to the people familiar with the plan. The plan has yet to win formal approval, they added.

The plan “will help accelerate eliminating excess steel capacities,” Helen Lau, an analyst at Argonaut Securities Asia Ltd., said from Hong Kong. “It will also boost their competitiveness and strengthen their customer bases and leave little room for non-competitive smaller mills.”
Shares in the listed units of Hebei and Shougang rose the most in over two weeks. Hesteel Co. climbed as much as 2.8 percent, while Beijing Shougang Co. added as much as 3.7 percent. Baosteel and Wuhan’s listed units are suspended from trading as their parents discuss a restructuring, which analysts have said may presage a union.

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Mark Schlarbaum

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Mark Schlarbaum: Building and Developing business relationships with main land Chinese investment professionals including Chinese brokerage firms, QDIE private funds, Chinese investment management firms. Mark Schlarbaum joins the 100000 Strong Foundation as its supporter.

4 Things You Need To Know About China’s Record Solar Installations (They Aren’t All Pretty)

China installed a record number of solar panels in the first half of 2016.

The numbers are so crazy that I wondered if there was a mistake.

We’re used to big numbers from China, but the reported 20 gigawatts or so of solar power that was installed in the first half of 2016 are worth a close look.

The figures are preliminary, but the story that they tell is clear: In the first half of the year alone China installed more solar power than any other country has ever done in total, since the dawn of solar power, except for Germany, Japan, and the U.S.

China’s first-half solar installations were larger than the cumulative total of everyone outside of the big three listed above – larger than Italy, Britain, France, and Spain, all of which for years had aggressive subsidy programs to encourage solar power.

For China, the 20 gigawatts of new solar power installed in the first half of 2016 is as much new solar capacity alone as Switzerland’s total electricity generating capacity.

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About the Author

Mark Schlarbaum

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Mark Schlarbaum: Building and Developing business relationships with main land Chinese investment professionals including Chinese brokerage firms, QDIE private funds, Chinese investment management firms. Mark Schlarbaum joins the 100000 Strong Foundation as its supporter.