Big three carriers to

scrap roaming charges

The country’s three telecom carriers announced on March 6 that they will scrap domestic long-distance and roaming charges from October, a move that will push telecom carriers to seek new sources of business growth, including cloud computing and big data.

The three carriers are China Mobile Communications Corp, China United Network Communications Group Co and China Telecommunications Corp.

Li Yue, president of China Mobile, said his company will push forward with the scrapping of the charges, although such fees account for 8 to 10 percent of its total revenue.

Although roaming charges are subject to wide criticism, they remain an important source of revenue for China’s three telecom heavyweights, accounting for nearly 10 percent of net profits.

Premier Li Keqiang announced on March 5 the nullification of the years-long practice of charging long-distance calls and domestic roaming fees, as part of the government’s effort to build a stronger Internet industry.


Beijing tops world for

number of billionaires 

Beijing is listed as the billionaire capital of the world for the second year running, ahead of New York, and followed by Hong Kong and Shenzhen, according to the latest findings in the Hurun Global Rich List 2017 released on March 7.

Bill Gates remains the richest man in the world with a net wealth of $81 billion, and Warren Buffett held onto the second place with $78 billion.

The total number of Chinese billionaires exceeded that of the United States for the second year running. China and the US, with 609 and 552 billionaires respectively, accounted for half of the billionaires worldwide, the report said.

Globally, the logistics and retail sectors performed the best, gaining 15 percent and 13 percent respectively, in terms of the number of billionaires.


Women head only 5% of China’s listed firms

About one in every 20 A-share companies is led by females, according to a report by Securities Times released on International Women’s Day on March 7.

The number of chairwomen in Chinese mainland-listed firms totals 151, accounting for 5 percent of all top posts. Equipment manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, chemical engineering, real estate and automobile are the top five industries with the most female business leaders.

About 70 percent of the chairwomen were born in the 1960s or 1970s, according to the report. Corporate head Hu Jiajia of Shanghai Metersbonwe Fashion & Accessories Co and Liu Xiaoqing of Dalian Yi Qiao Sea Cucumber Co, both 30, are the youngest.

Of the 153 A-share firms run by women, 56 are listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, 45 on the Shenzhen small-and-medium enterprise board, and 31 on the Nasdaq-styled ChiNext board.


Spring Air to spread

international coverage 

Spring Airlines, China’s first and largest budget carrier, plans to consolidate and expand its overseas forays.

China’s most internationalized airline, Spring already has nearly 40 percent of its capacity serving international flights.

This year, Spring plans to launch more routes from Chinese cities to Phnom Penh in Cambodia, and expand its market in Cebu in the Philippines. Besides, more routes from inland Chinese cities to Japan are in the pipeline.

Given the government’s objective to expand the Belt and Road markets — encompassing the ancient Silk Road routes — and an increasing demand for outbound tourism from Chinese travelers, it is necessary for domestic airlines to add more international flights, said Zhang Wu’an, Spring Airlines vice-president.

Starting from 2015, Spring has launched flights from Xi’an to Osaka in Japan, from Chengdu and Shenzhen to Siem Reap in Cambodia, and from Guangzhou to Phnom Penh.


HNA buys major stake

in Caijing website

Chinese conglomerate HNA Group has added news media to its recent string of acquisitions by taking an 80 percent stake in a media company in Beijing that runs the website of Caijing Magazine, one of the most popular and influential Chinese business magazines.

HNA’s business spans aviation, finance, real estate, logistics, hospitality, tourism and ecological technology. 

According to Tianyancha, an enterprise data query system, the equity change occurred on Dec 12.

HNA Capital, the financial unit under HNA, now holds an 80 percent stake in Beijing Lianban Caixun Cultural Media, and the media organization itself holds a 10.91 percent stake. The remainder is held by a State-owned media group under State Grid Corp of China.


Survey shows people

confident of pay rises

More than 50 percent of people are optimistic about their incomes increasing in 2017, with rural people expressing more confidence than their urban counterparts, according to a recent survey report. 

About 55 percent of respondents in rural areas believe that their annual income will rise in 2017, compared to 53.4 percent people in urban areas, according to the report released by China Central Television, which surveyed 570,000 people. 

China has implemented favorable policies to help reduce the rural-urban income gap. In 2016, China lifted 12.4 million people out of poverty. 

The report said people in 10 provincial-level regions were most confident of increased annual income: Qinghai, Tibet, Hainan, Jilin, Ningxia, Anhui, Shandong, Shaanxi, Guizhou and Chongqing, all regions where a large number of poverty-alleviation projects are located. 


Nation to become top

display maker in 2019

China is expected to become the world’s biggest producer of semiconductor display panels around 2019, according to Li Dongsheng, chairman and CEO of TCL Corp.

“As a major manufacturer of televisions and cell phones, we have a large demand for semiconductor display panels, which will be a big boost to the industry’s development,” Li said.

“The government is also encouraging companies to invest more in technological research in this sector so as to catch up with the world’s leaders like Samsung Electronics Co,” he said.

Li added that the 53.8 billion yuan ($7.8 billion) new project of CSOT Corp, a major TCL subsidiary, showed the electronics giant’s confidence in the market potential for the panels.

ASIA WEEKLY is a publication by China Daily
Contact us at +852-25185111
Copyright by China Daily, All rights reserved