Caixin Media

09.05.12

Making a Killing on Herbal Medicine

Mushroom gatherers converge and crawl on hillsides in Qinghai province every March while foraging for wild caterpillar fungus.Theirs is not a garden-variety morel hunt. Caterpillar fungus is a hard-to-find parasite that infects and mummifies a host...

Caixin Media

08.31.12

In Guangdong, Tea Oil Greases Official Palms

In the financial documents for a Guangdong province grower and processor of tea seed oil is a list of key shareholders who also happen to be the relatives of local government officials.Off the record, Guangdong Xindadi Biotechnology Co. Ltd. and its...

Caixin Media

08.31.12

Tall Order in Ordos

A desert city infamously littered with new but vacant apartment buildings and idle construction sites is getting no relief in the parched climate for local government budgets.Ordos, where local leaders have been trying for years to build a thriving...

Caixin Media

08.25.12

Revamping the Landscape of Forex Flow

Capital flows out of China may be accelerating, a phenomenon commonly associated with waning confidence in a nation’s economy. But the foreign exchange regulator says the change is a step in the right direction.In the first six months of the year,...

Caixin Media

08.25.12

Gu Kailai: Getting Away with Murder?

Closer Look: Nearly Getting Away with MurderBy Zhang JianjingShortly after Bogu Kailai received a death sentence with a two-year reprieve, four former high-ranking Chongqing police officers were sentenced to jail terms ranging from five to eleven...

Caixin Media

08.18.12

Economist Lin Yifu on State-Sustained Growth

Standing up to a wave of pessimism about China’s prospects for continuing high-level economic growth is no easy task.But economist Lin Yifu, who recently retired as a senior vice president and chief economist at the World Bank, is holding his ground...

Caixin Media

08.16.12

Rise Of The Online Titans

China’s titans of online retailing have unsheathed their marketing swords for a war in cyberspace that industry watchers say will decide the future of everyday shopping habits for nearly a billion consumers.Dozens of retail companies have staked out...

Caixin Media

08.13.12

We Make It Pour, Declare Cloud-Seeders

Will it be clear or gray skies today? Increasingly, the answer in China may be decided by the government.The Chinese have been seeding clouds for decades. Airplanes equipped with rocket-launchers and chemicals for inducing rainfall are based in...

Caixin Media

08.09.12

Subsidized Cartoons, Comics Tickling Too Few

Breaking into the animated film industry usually requires a basic plan for blending colorful images and clever storytelling in ways that entertain the public—and make money.Since 2006, however, animated film start-ups in China have done quite well...

Caixin Media

08.07.12

Shenyang Businesses Closed By Inspection Panic

Most shop owners in a city of roughly 8 million people have pulled down their shutters to avoid what they fear will be stringent enforcement of a city ordinance tied to the hosting of the 2013 National Games.Small business owners in Shenyang,...

Caixin Media

08.03.12

Queerly Not Dangerous

Several authors of a “danmei” fiction website were recently detained by authorities. The injustice is so glaringly obvious that I can’t stop myself from saying something.Danmei (or “boys' love”) fiction is particularly interesting only to a...

Caixin Media

08.02.12

Landlords of the Rings Push Urban Rents Higher

A twenty-six-year-old woman who moved to Beijing from a distant town for work could be a poster child for urban China’s latest housing market phenomenon: skyrocketing rents.The woman, surnamed Fang, said goodbye to Liaoning province three years ago...

Caixin Media

07.31.12

Shedding Light on the Solar Crisis

After Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd., a Wuxi-headquartered photovoltaic cell producer, went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2005, China’s solar industry grew at an astonishing speed. More than 200 photovoltaic product manufacturers are...

Caixin Media

07.27.12

LDK Solar Owes Twenty Suppliers 600 Million Yuan

Debt-ridden Jiangxi LDK Solar has defaulted on at least 600 million yuan in unpaid bills for raw materials and equipment, twenty suppliers say.“Starting from late last year, LDK Solar was delinquent on 15 million yuan to our company,” Liu Qingfeng,...

Caixin Media

07.26.12

Buried Under Water

Ding Zhijian, a 34-year-old editor at a children’s literature publishing company, was on his way home after meeting a colleague when a horrific rainstorm hit Beijing.Earlier that day, his wife had asked Ding not to leave the house. It was the...

Caixin Media

07.26.12

Mass Medal Preparedness

China’s Olympic training system demands its athletes give their all—and not expect much in return.It’s a structured, planned, and government-funded system specifically designed to churn out winners.While other countries around the world build...

Caixin Media

07.19.12

More than Medals for China’s Olympic Stars

China’s best athletes have not only broken records but they’ve hauled in increasingly sizeable cash bonuses from central and local governments for their champion, medal-winning performances at Olympic events.Between 1984, when China re-entered the...

Caixin Media

07.19.12

Vineyards Pop Corks on Chinese Wine Investors

Wine-tasting party conversations among investors in China are increasingly sounding like sour grapes.Some well-heeled wine investors have been anxiously debating whether a price bubble for investment-grade wine is getting ready to burst. Others...

Caixin Media

07.18.12

Financial Reform Has Only Begun

The Chinese economy’s rapid growth over the past thirty years has fundamentally changed global economic structures. But our achievements have come at a price: We have run up against hard limits in many areas, including factor investment costs and...

Caixin Media

07.11.12

Railroaded into a Fast-Train Technology Trap

The professional dreams of a team of locomotive designers and rail systems engineers sped along steel tracks through the countryside of northeastern China.The year was 2003, and high-speed track testing was under way between the cities of Shenyang...

Caixin Media

07.11.12

Economic Ties that Bind

Labor leader Wayne Swan has his finger on the pulse of the Australian economy as the nation’s deputy prime minister and treasurer, which means he’s well-equipped to explain factors defining the increasingly robust relationship between China and...

Caixin Media

07.06.12

Land of Vanishing Lakes

The last lakes in Hubei province are shrinking so fast that no one knows whether new government regulations—the latest leg of a sixteen-year-old environmental scramble—can reverse the disappearing act.The province has been losing its once-bountiful...

Caixin Media

07.06.12

Fighting the Filth

Has the division of spoils from China’s rapid economic growth become a one-sided affair? The answer is less abstract when one considers the state of the nation’s environment.Waterways are barricaded by garbage, mountains gouged with dusty pits, and...

Caixin Media

07.06.12

Powering Down Coal-Fired Economic Expansion

Slowing nationwide power demand and coal consumption, twin barometers for economic growth, suggest the Chinese economy may be sailing into the doldrums while at the same time changing its course.Electricity use in May rose a relatively mild 5.2...

Caixin Media

07.02.12

Deal Puts Saab in Green Technology Driver’s Seat

The dark clouds over bankrupt Swedish car maker Saab have finally cleared.Saab Automobile AB’s liquidator signed an agreement in mid-June with National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB (NEVS) to sell the company’s main assets to the Sino-Japanese...

Caixin Media

06.29.12

Barclay’s Diamond Offers an Optimistic Vision

A calm, confident Robert Diamond discussed financial restructuring in Europe and economic options for the Chinese government during a June 14 interview—thirteen days before the British bank where he serves as CEO, Barclays Group, was fined for...

Caixin Media

06.29.12

Shale Gas Race

The shale gas revolution in the United States has led to a debate in China over shale gas development. But can the United States really achieve energy self-sufficiency? And if it can, what are the implications for China?Ever since the Nixon era,...

Caixin Media

06.27.12

Cash for China’s Homegrown Smartphone

Xiaomi Mobile Internet Co. has raised US$216 million, its CEO says, raising the total value of the upstart, homegrown Chinese smartphone maker to US$4 billion.If Lei Jun’s claim is accurate, his two-year-old company’s value is close to the market...

Caixin Media

06.21.12

Economist Sees Room for Slashing Taxes

Increasing government spending would be a disservice to society rather than a benefit if Beijing wants to create a consumption-led economy, one economist says in a recent research report.“The so-called ‘structural optimization,’ which refers to...

Caixin Media

06.20.12

China’s Food Fright

There’s no denying that the gastronomic horizons of Chinese cuisines sometimes verge on the infinite. But on factors of food quality, there’s little subtlety or nuance for safety standards.In the past five years, the number of public food and drug...

Caixin Media

06.18.12

Recurring Dreams for the Rule of Law

On the Beijing campus of the China University of Political Science and Law stands a dramatic monument inscribed with the words of legal expert and former university president Jiang Ping: “Rule of Law for Everyone.”Jiang’s words carry special weight...

Caixin Media

06.14.12

Uproar over Aborted Fetus Photo

{vertical_photo_right}A Shaanxi Province woman provoked an uproar with an online posting of a photo showing her with her seven-month-old fetus after what she said was a forced abortion.The gruesome photo was reposted across the Internet in China,...

Caixin Media

06.14.12

Private Economy’s Original Sin

Whether measured in terms of gross domestic product, tax contributions or job creation, statistics prove that the private economy plays a crucial role in China.In some well-developed parts of the country the private sector, when factoring in...

Caixin Media

06.08.12

Road Show Media Bandits Squeeze IPO Hopefuls

Buying media silence is a common first step toward an initial public offering in China that siphons billions of yuan every year from companies seeking investors in Shanghai and Shenzhen.The phenomenon has been documented by the China Securities...

Caixin Media

05.31.12

Heading Deep for the First Time

On May 9, China National Offshore Oil Corp.’s (CNOOC) first deepwater drilling platform began operating in the South China Sea. The world-class vessel is stationed in the Liwan 6-1-1 field, about 320 kilometers southeast of Hong Kong, in waters...

Caixin Media

05.28.12

Rail Builders Shift Interest to Overseas Mines

After a three-year wait, China Railway Construction Corp. Ltd. (CRCC) recently won permission to launch a major copper mining project in Ecuador.The production agreement signed April 25 by Ecuador’s government and Corriente Resources, a Canadian...

Caixin Media

05.25.12

Hard Lesson for China Concept-Stock Investors

Imagine discovering on your first day as a new CEO that your employer is merely a shell that may be destined for a shameful delisting on the Nasdaq Stock Market.That’s what happened recently to ChinaCast Education Corp. CEO Feng Yiyi, who is now...

Caixin Media

05.25.12

Policeman Burned for Dealing With the Devil

On March 17, the Chenzhou Public Security Bureau announced Huang Bailian had been removed as head of the police department’s drug squad.Huang offered a simple explanation for his sacking: “This is retaliation.”Three years earlier Huang, who is forty...

Caixin Media

05.23.12

Identity Crisis Rattles Volvo’s Chinese Owner

New models bearing the Chinese-owned Volvo badge shared a luxury spotlight at the Beijing International Auto Show in April with perennial stars Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Lexus.But behind the diamond-studded presentation was confusion over the legal...

Caixin Media

05.18.12

Near Three Gorges Dam, the Exodus Continues

Walls inside Zhang Haomin’s home in Zhenxi Township, in Chongqing, started cracking in 2008, around the time the reservoir behind the new Three Gorges Dam neared capacity.“Early on, the cracks were small,” said Zhang, whose home is about three...

Caixin Media

05.18.12

Demography and Destiny

China is facing a demographic reckoning that is approaching a nightmare.For thirty years, the government has been obsessed with keeping population growth down, often resorting to late-term abortions and other brutal measures. The panic now is that...

Caixin Media

05.18.12

Message in a Bottle for Spirits Maker Moutai

A glass of Feitian Moutai packs a wallop, which is one reason why the 106-proof baijiu is a hit among influential government officials.They also like Feitian Moutai because a single bottle, thanks to special arrangements between state agencies and...

Caixin Media

05.18.12

Era Ends for China’s Legendary Stock Picker

Investors who closely followed the stock picks of one of China’s most successful brokers are wandering in the wilderness—and wondering what will happen next to their unemployed luminary Wang Yawei.In April, and without warning, Wang resigned from...

Caixin Media

05.09.12

Along the Xiang, It’s Toxic from the Tap

Water flowing from the Xiang River into the faucets of Hunan Province homes has been dangerous for decades. The central government first classified the river’s water as toxic in the 1980s. But the river was being called the most polluted in China as...

Caixin Media

05.04.12

Chinese Firms Try Scoring with Spanish Soccer

When NBA journeyman Damon Jones signed a shoe deal with sporting goods maker Li Ning in 2006, he became the first in a long line of American basketball players to win a sponsorship from a Chinese company.Today, China’s Peak Sport Products leads...

Caixin Media

05.04.12

The Ruins of Yuanmingyuan

Sheila Melvin
On a balmy, moonlit evening in the autumn of 2010, I took my son out to Yuanmingyuan to wander among the ruins. The 150th anniversary of the destruction of “The Garden of Perfect Brightness”—often called the Old Summer Palace—was approaching and I...

Caixin Media

05.02.12

Yearning for the Yuan

London is forging ahead with plans for yuan-based financial services by developing an infrastructure and banking services that match its ambitions for the Chinese currency.On April 18, the city welcomed the first yuan-denominated bond issuance...

Caixin Media

05.02.12

Garish Flowers of War

The Flowers of War begins December 13, 1937, with young convent girls fleeing for their lives through a besieged Nanjing shrouded in mist. The first words heard are those of the lead girl Shujuan: “Everybody was running that day but no one could...

Caixin Media

04.25.12

Watery Grave for Yangtze River Fish

(Beijing)—Fishermen along the banks of the mighty Yangtze River have long spoken of emptier nets and longer waits for a catch.On April 2, an unusual auction held in a downstream city in Jiangsu Province added weight to their bleak reports: A single...

Caixin Media

04.24.12

China’s Tax Burden: A Mysterious Lead Sinker

(Beijing)—In much of the world, admiration and envy are common reactions to China’s consistently high GDP growth rates. But closer to home, the Chinese public’s admiration of their own economic miracle is shadowed by tax increases that...

Caixin Media

04.19.12

Strategic Reserves

(Beijing)—In an odd twist for China’s powerful banks, the biggest state-owned lenders last year started running low on the foreign currency needed for loans to enterprises investing overseas.“Some commercial banks suspended U.S. dollar loans” after...

Caixin Media

04.18.12

Unscathed by Scandals, Official Promoted

{vertical_photo_right}(Beijing)—Although sacked once for the coverup of the 2003 SARS epidemic and a second time for blocking media coverage of the 2008 Shanxi mudslides, Meng Xuenong’s career has always bounced back.According to the website of the...

Caixin Media

04.09.12

Dalian Businessman Who Built an Empire Vanishes

(Dalian)—The sudden disappearance of a self-made billionaire in the coastal city of Dalian has unnerved not only bank executives concerned about loans they made to his companies, but also government officials who have lent generous support to the...

Caixin Media

04.06.12

China: The Worst Place To Retire

China is facing a crisis over providing for the elderly as its population ages and the supply of labor diminishes.The Beijing News reported in late March that state-run homes for the elderly in the capital are overcrowded. One had 7,000 applicants...

Caixin Media

04.01.12

China’s African Challenge

Roughly 1 million Chinese nationals are working or doing business in Africa, from Egypt’s Mediterranean shore to the Cape of Good Hope.Theirs are the faces behind China’s soaring direct investment in Africa, which, according to the Ministry of...

Caixin Media

03.29.12

Give Wenzhou What It Needs

The development of China's private economy requires financial support, especially private financial support. Wenzhou is the home of the private economy. With 99.5 percent of companies falling into the category of small and micro enterprises,...

Caixin Media

03.27.12

Wang Shu, Wary of the New

At a time when China was bursting with an urge to cover buildings in shimmering silver and gray, Wang Shu, the first Chinese winner of the Pritzker Prize, was an architect who felt that changing tastes didn’t have to mean changing one’s sense of...

Caixin Media

03.19.12

An Insider's Account of the Wukan Protest

For months, thousands of villagers in Wukan, Guangdong Province, staged large protests over illegal land seizures, rigged elections and official corruption. The unrest started in September, and as the months wore on they attracted nationwide, then...

Caixin Media

03.19.12

Fair Trade

A typically opaque investigation can begin with a tip from a Shanghai Stock Exchange official and end with a ten-year jail term for a businessman convicted of insider trading. What happens in between is a carefully guarded secret.Likewise hidden...

Caixin Media

03.09.12

Ex-Officials Battle Plan to Build Nuclear Plants

Work on China’s nuclear power plants started picking up again about a year after the Fukushima disaster in Japan. But the meltdown in March 2011 was still fresh on the minds of four retired cadres in Anhui Province’s Wangjiang County.They filed a...