China Business Briefs 25/11/13

(Reuters) – Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng denounced the United States as “irresponsible” on Sunday after Washington accused China of jeopardizing a deal that aims to cut tariffs on technology products, saying Washington had disappointed participants in the talks.

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said on Thursday that China’s demands to exempt more than 100 products from a technology trade deal risked leading to a breakdown in the negotiations.

As I see more and more production lines in China equipped with robots and not workers, as I read about the modularization of housing construction and presumably the reduction in needed workers, and as I write about the impact of e-retail in eliminating many physical retail locations and related jobs, I do increasingly wonder where the next wave of jobs is going to come from, and what skills people will require to fill them.

Residents in Heze, a third-tier city in Shandong province, were angered last week after they discovered they would have to turn over their homes to the local government. Officials in Juancheng county are offering a scandalously low compensation rate for land that they plan to clear, add basic utilities to, then turn around to a property developer at a steep profit. Residents there say they refuse to move.

Incidents such as these are commonplace. They occur as local governments, entrusted as the sole purveyor of rural land, look to finance regional development with the proceeds of land sales. However, reforms underfoot may soon edge local governments out of the rural land market.

China Central Television (CCTV) ­reported Sunday that major real estate companies are behind on payments of land value-added tax (VAT) amounting to more than 3.8 trillion yuan ($623.58 billion) for the period between 2005 and 2012.China’s real estate companies should have paid a total of 4.6 trillion yuan in land value-added taxes between 2005 and 2012 but only paid 0.8 trillion yuan, CCTV reported, citing Li Jinsong, a Beijing lawyer and certified tax agent.

An explosion at a China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (386) oil pipeline and the nation’s deadliest spillage since at least 2005 may threaten the government’s efforts to lure investment to state-controlled industries as President Xi Jinping called for improved industrial safety.

The Nov. 22 accident at the Huangdao district in the eastern city of Qingdao killed at least 52 people, Xinhua News Agency reported. Sinopec, as China Petroleum is known, said yesterday it was still investigating the cause of the blast, which happened after crude oil leaked from a 27-year-old pipeline into Qingdao’s municipal rainwater pipe network.

When Samsung Electronics Co’s Galaxy Gear launch in early September created a hype around the potential market for smartwatches, it was certain that we would soon see cheaper versions from Chinese competitors.

Now, ZTE Corp., mainly known for its telecom equipment but also a smartphone maker, plans to launch a smartwatch in the second quarter of next year, according to Lu Qianhao, head of the Shenzhen-based company’s handset marketing strategy.

Earlier this month Cisco CEO John Chambers admitted in an earnings call that political dynamics were stymieing his company’s long march into Huawei’s backyard.

Asked whether the recent U.S. spying scandal was affecting overseas business, Chambers said it was having an impact, particularly in China, which is Cisco’s biggest emerging market country but represents less than 5 percent of its total revenue.

BEIJING, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) — Shares of Sinopec, China’s top refiner listed in both Shanghai and Hong Kong, opened to tumble on Monday following Friday’s deadly oil pipeline blasts in east China’s Shandong Province.

A-share of Sinopec in Shanghai opened at 4.85 yuan (79 U.S. cents) per share, down 3.96 percent from Friday’s closing price.

A group led by Aluminum Corp. of China has abandoned its bid for Glencore Xstrata Plc (GLEN)’s Las Bambas copper project in Peru, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

Chinalco, as the state-owned aluminum producer is known, decided to drop out rejecting a proposal by the Chinese government that it be a minority partner in a combined bid led by China Minmetals Corp., said one of the people, who asked not to be identified as the deliberations are private.

Mobile device chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. expects to continue growing in China, but Chief Executive Paul Jacobs acknowledged U.S. restrictions on Chinese companies and revelations about surveillance by the National Security Agency are impacting its business in the fast-growing country.

Evergrande bid for a piece of land with 20.84 ㎡building area in Chaoyang  District, Beijing on Thursday for CNY5.14billion, a premium of 30 percent over  the original auction price.

This is the third plot the group bought in the capital city this year,  raising the aggregate investment to CNY12.7billion in its first year marching  into Beijing’s property market.

One of the key questions is if China Mobile and Apple were to announce their partnership would the 200,000 TD-LTE base stations that it plans to have in place by the end of the year, which could handle 4 million active users, be enough for the initial iPhone demand. At least one analyst believes that 10% of China Mobile’s users, or about 76 million, could be potential customers. Note that as of September 2013 Apple has sold a total of 421 million iPhones worldwide since it was launched over six years ago.

The COMAC America Corporation aims to further COMAC’s relationship with local civil aviation authorities, aerospace companies and academic institutions, mainly in areas such as airworthiness certification, civil aircraft development and educational training, said Jin Zhuanglong, chairman of the COMAC.

“Chinese civil aviation market is the No.1 booming market…The fast-growing Chinese civil aviation industry is now becoming an indispensable force to world aerospace industry,” Jin said, adding that China is embracing an era of mass aviation with its remarkable air transport growth.

Muddy Waters NQ Short Call Fails to Freeze Chinese IPOs

Chinese companies are selling shares in New York at the fastest pace in two years less than a month after short seller Carson Block’s call spurred a 62 percent plunge in Beijing-based NQ Mobile Inc. (NQ)

Three Chinese companies have debuted on U.S. bourses this month, raising $345.4 million, the most since May 2011, when six companies listed $1.3 billion of shares. 500.com Ltd., an online sports lottery service, raised $75.2 million in an initial public offering. Sungy Mobile Ltd., which makes applications for Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Android software, sold 7 million shares at $11.22. 58.Com Inc. (WUBA), an online marketplace similar to Craigslist, and travel agency Qunar Cayman Islands Ltd. (QUNR) have sold shares above their price targets since Oct. 30.

BEIJING, Nov 22 (Reuters) – As China struggles to rid cities of choking smog, one of the early priorities for Beijing’s economic reforms will likely be to force state-run PetroChina to allow private producers fair access to natural gas pipelines.

Without fair access to the distribution network, independent producers have no incentive to develop the country’s vast gas reserves to their full potential. Already the world’s fourth-largest gas user, China’s leaders want to boost domestic output to accelerate the substitution of cleaner-burning gas for coal to fuel power and heating.

Sina will soon launch a service to enable Weibo users to make online payments on credit, Dai Geng, vice GM of Sina Payments, told Nandu reporter (in Chinese).

Zhong An, the online-only insurance company jointly founded by Alibaba, Tenent and Ping An, will provide coverage for defaults on payments.

Posted from Diigo.

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