By Godfree Roberts – selected from his extensive weekly newsletter : Here Comes China plus editorial notes. You can get it here:

– The consumer price index (CPI) declined 0.2% YoY in February. Food prices dropped 0.2 %, lowering consumer inflation by 0.05%. Read full article $ →

Ed:  This is in sharp contrast from the Zone A sphere where the reporting is of food price increases. 

– China’s FDI rose 34% in January-February. Investment in the service sector accounted for 80% of FDI inflows. Read full article $ →

– Sales of construction equipment jumped in February to the highest level  in four years. Excavator sales spiked 205% YoY to 28,305 units. Read full article $ →

– China plans to create 11 million new jobs in 2021, while keeping inflation at 3% and cutting the deficit-to-GDP ratio to 3.2%. The goal is to increase annual R&D spending by more than 7% for the next five years, including foreign-funded R&D centers in China. Read full article $ →

– Only 12% of the 345 US firms surveyed by the American Chamber of Commerce in China said the investment environment was deteriorating–the lowest proportion since 2012. “Half of the surveyed companies said the investment environment is improving and just 12% said it is deteriorating.”Read full article $ →

– China 1,000 Bitcoin miners produce 85%-95% of the world’s supply. But mining is extremely energy-intensive and Inner Mongolia (the only province to fail Beijing’s energy consumption review!) ordered energy intensive industries closed. NB: Chinese property law protects virtual private property, including virtual money and virtual swords. Read full article $ →

Ed:  Note that these miners not only mine Bitcoin (BTC) but a raft of other Bitcoin derivatives that depend on Proof of Work (POW), and not Proof of Stake (POS). 

– Lufax, one of the largest fintech companies in China, says 54% of its active users were women in 2020 and they outnumbered men by assets held and frequency of investment. China’s largest mutual-fund company, Tianhong, reported that its female clients averaged over $3,524 in investments, almost double that of men. Read full article →

– China’s carbon market will expand more than 30-fold over the next decade, from $800 million this year to $25 billion by 2030, putting one-fifth of global emissions under a tax or trading scheme. Online trading begins in June with the power sector, and energy-intensive industries like steel, petrochemicals and cement will join by 2025. Read full article →

– China produced 37 million tons of electrolytic aluminum last year and is moving to carbon neutrality through recycling and relocation to areas with more renewable energy, most notably Yunnan. Electrolytic aluminum accounts for 65% of electricity consumption by the non-ferrous metals sector. 30% of the world’s aluminum comes from recycling, but only 17% of China’s. Read full article →

– Who owns Huawei? How do they exercise ownership? (corrected link from last week). A distinguished legal scholar untangles the company’s unconventional ownership structure and settles popular conspiracy theories. Read full article →

– Global high-tech companies won’t pick sides. 158 senior business executives working for American, Chinese, European, Japanese, Taiwanese, and Korean global high-tech firms expect multinational companies to redouble their efforts to compete in the Chinese market. Brookings. Read full article →

– Nearly half of Amazon’s top sellers—those with more than a million dollars in annual sales in the US—are in China. Read full article →

– US agricultural exports to China in 2020 comprised 25%  of all farm shipments, or 55.5 million tons. China now buys more farm goods than it did before the trade war, and U.S. agricultural officials expect Chinese demand to grow further. Read full article $ →

Ed:  Can anyone still remember the Trade War? 

– Huawei has 31% of global telecoms sales and ZTE has 10% in Broadband Access, Microwave & Optical Transport, Mobile Core & Radio Access Network, SP Router & Carrier Ethernet Switch and grew 2-3% in 2020. Nokia has 15% of the market. Read full article →

– Cell phone exports rose 49.2% YoY, in the first 2 months, to $22.9 billion. 73%  of US cell phone 2020 imports came from ChinaRead full article →

– Europe-bound freight train trips and containers rose 50% and 56% respectively in 2020. Charges jumped from $2000 to $9000 per container by year’s end. Read full article →

– Exports jumped 61% YoY in January-February, above the 40% median estimate. In February, exports more than doubledTrade with the U.S. surged 81% YoY, taking the trade surplus to $51.3 billion. Imports climbed 22% YoY, exceeding the predicted 16% gain. Read full article →

– China’s Ambassador informed Bangladesh that “the Chinese side shall no longer consider projects with high pollution and high energy consumption, such as coal mining, and coal-fired power stations.” Beijing has been taking steps to fulfill recent promises of sustainable and green Belt and Road investment. Read full article →

– Iran has ramped up oil deliveries to China to record levels and sold 17.8 million tonnes of black gold in the last 14 months, or 306,000 bpd. Sales increased at the end of 2020 to 850,000 bpd in February 2021. Read full article →

Ed:  Just taking a look at the numbers we have to understand that China is here and we’re going to have to reckon with her. 

A few numbers from the defense sphere:

– “China’s navy battle force has more than tripled in size in only two decades,” read a December report by the leaders of the US Navy, Marines and Coast Guard. “Already commanding the world’s largest naval force, the PRC is building modern surface combatants, submarines, aircraft carriers, fighter jets, amphibious assault ships, ballistic nuclear missile submarines, large coast guard cutters, and polar icebreakers at alarming speed.” Read full article →

– Adm. Philip Davidson, head of Indo-Pacific Command told the Senate,  “We absolutely must be prepared to fight and win should competition turn to conflict”. Davidson’s timetable for a major conflict is in years, not decades. Read full article $→

– Song Zhongping, a military expert, said China will reach new levels in weaponry and equipment by 2025, using mechanization, informatization and intelligentization. A large number of advanced weapons and equipment will be developed and commissioned during the period, and will even surpass the achievements reached in the past five years. Read full article →

This is but a fraction of what I gleaned from the Here Comes China newsletter.  If you want to learn about the Chinese world, get Godfree’s newsletter here:


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