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March 26, 2021


China's regulator urges banks to make more loans to private companies. The country lists Covid-19 as the second highest deadly infectious disease after AIDS. ByteDance hires a Xiaomi executive as its CFO. Plus, the world's second largest economy will add more airports. If you haven't already, click here to sign up for this briefing.



By Kevin Guo
 

TOP STORIES

China will need to ramp up its solar and wind energy capacity in order to meet its aggressive goals for a carbon emissions peak by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060. Photo: VCG

Carbon /

Analysis: China’s power system needs more flexibility to hit carbon goals


China’s power system could soon get a major jolt of green energy.

Such a drive for zero-carbon power could well be on the way as the nation races to meet its goal of reaching peak carbon emissions by 2030, and going carbon neutral by 2060, which President Xi Jinping stressed at the ninth meeting of the Central Committee for Financial and Economic Affairs in mid-March.

Concurrent with that message, the Central Committee proposed the concept of a “new power system” for the first time, which would include a clean, low-carbon system as part of a move away from traditional fossil fuels, with more focus on renewable sources like wind, solar and hydropower.
 

Suez Canal /

Trade disruption fears mount as giant ship blocks Suez Canal


A huge container ship remains stuck in Egypt's Suez Canal after it ran aground, blocking more than 200 vessels and sparking fears that traffic could be disrupted for days in one of the world’s busiest maritime trade routes.

The Ever Given, with the length of four football pitches, ran aground in the southern part of the canal in Egypt at about 07:40 local time (05:40 GMT) on Tuesday, blocking marine traffic in both directions. As of 11:00 GMT Wednesday, the Suez Canal has been shut down for more than 34 hours as rescue teams work to free the ship. 

The vessel, operated by Taiwanese transport company Evergreen Marine Corp. and registered in Panama, ran aground amid poor visibility caused by a dust storm and strong winds, according to the canal authority.
 

FINANCE & ECONOMY

The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission has urged banks to lend more to healthy private companies, particularly those in advanced manufacturing and strategically important industries. Photo: VCG

Loans /

Banks urged to lend more to China’s loan-starved private sector 


China’s banking regulator wants to steer more credit toward the private sector.

The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) has urged banks to make more loans to healthy private companies, mentioning in particular those in advanced manufacturing and strategically important industries, according to an official statement seen by Caixin on Wednesday.

The document indicates that financial regulators are trying to reassure the markets amid concerns about the financing difficulties facing a number of private companies, especially small businesses, whose prospects have fallen with the outbreak of Covid-19. Over the past few years, many private companies have had trouble borrowing money as banks prefer to lend to large, state-owned companies.
 

Trusts /

Fallen star Anxin Trust goes after debtors to recover 5.5 billion yuan

 
Anxin Trust Co. Ltd., which is facing 60 lawsuits from investors seeking to recover 25 billion yuan ($3.82 billion), is taking legal action of its own against three companies who owe it money, including two with links to its boss who has been detained by police on suspicion of issuing illicit loans.

The former darling of the trust sector, which is undergoing a financial restructuring, is suing two companies for overdue debt involving about 2.9 billion yuan, according to a filing (link in Chinese) made to the Shanghai Stock Exchange Wednesday. 

The two companies are related to Anxin Trust’s controlling shareholder, Gao Tianguo, sources familiar with Anxin Trust told Caixin. Gao was detained by police in Shanghai in June last year over allegations he violated lending regulations.
 

Covid-19 /

China lists Covid-19 behind only AIDS as second deadly category B infectious disease in 2020


China included Covid-19 statistics in a newly-published national statutory infectious diseases report, listing the new coronavirus as the second highest deadly infectious disease after HIV/AIDS among category B infectious diseases in 2020.

In 2020, China reported 87,071 Covid-19 cases and 4,634 deaths, with 6.2 infections and 0.33 deaths per 100,000 people, according to the annual report released by the National Health Commission (NHC).

The death rate in the report refers to the proportion of Covid-19 deaths among the whole population. Based on the data, the coronavirus fatality rate, the number of deaths divided by the number of confirmed cases, was about 5.3% during 2020.
 

Quick hits /

BUSINESS & TECH

Chew Shou Zi, then chief financial officer of Xiaomi, at the company’s listing ceremony at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on July 9, 2018.

CFO /

ByteDance hires Xiaomi executive Chew Shou Zi as CFO, fuels IPO speculation 


Smartphone giant Xiaomi Corp.’s international business president Shou Zi Chew tweeted Wednesday he is leaving Xiaomi and will join ByteDance Ltd., returning to his home country of Singapore to take up a post as chief financial officer.

Chew, who oversaw Xiaomi’s initial public offering as its chief financial officer in 2018, thanked his boss Lei Jun, founder and chief executive of Xiaomi, for the years of guidance. His appointment fuels speculation over ByteDance’s plans to go public.

Earlier Wednesday, Xiaomi announced Chew’s resignation along with several senior management changes from after the company reported its fourth-quarter financial results.

Baidu /

Baidu AI chip unit valued at $2 billion after raising fresh cash


Baidu Inc. said Wednesday it has completed a funding round for its artificial intelligence (AI) chips unit, one day after the search engine operator made an uninspiring Hong Kong debut.

The round of investment in Kunlun, which designs and manufactures AI chips that are used by Baidu for its autonomous driving and cloud computing projects, valued it at around 13 billion yuan ($2 billion), Baidu said. However, representatives for the company would not say how much it raised.

It’s the first funding round to treat Kunlun as a standalone business, Baidu said, increasing speculation that the unit will seek to recruit more external clients and even spin itself off as a separate company. About half of Kunlun’s chips were used by third parties last year, according to Baidu.
 

Airports /

Smaller cities reach for the sky with new airport construction


China is aiming to boost its overall airport capacity by nearly half in the next five years, with an emphasis on regional facilities, reflecting its focus on lifting living standards in less developed areas and building infrastructure to stimulate the economy.

The country will add 30 new civilian-use airports through 2025, bringing its total annual transport capacity to 2 billion trips, said Wang Zhiqing, deputy at the Ministry of Transport, at a briefing Wednesday. That would represent a 43% increase from last year’s level.

China has rapidly built up its civilian-use airports over the last 20 years, catering to a new generation of people who travel both for work and vacation in the modern market-oriented economy. 
 

Education /

China aims to grow tech-savvy workforce with new vocational training


China’s education ministry updated a national list of vocational courses to include subjects like 5G, big data and cloud computing, as the government looks to equip the workforce with the necessary skills to transform the country into a technology superpower.

The new catalogue (link in Chinese) published Monday includes a total of 1,349 majors to be taught at the nation’s professional and technical colleges, a network of higher education institutions for people who do not attend universities.
 

Quick hits /

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Today's CX Daily was compiled and edited by Kevin Guo (xinguo@caixin.com).

We would love your feedback for this briefing. Click to send us your thoughts or hit 'reply.' 

 

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