Economy & Trade

Approval Process for Telecom Services in Shanghai FTZ Streamlined

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SHANGHAI – Last week the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) announced revisions to the procedure for FIEs (foreign-invested enterprises) to register and operate value-added telecom services (VATS) in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ). Continue reading…

China Regional Focus: Dalian, Liaoning Province

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By Rainy Yao

Dalian: The Pearl of Northern China

As the biggest free trade port in Northern China, Dalian is a modernized international shipping metropolis serving as a gateway to Beijing and Tianjin. In this article, Rainy Yao from Dezan Shira & Associates takes a look at this national garden city with abundant commercial opportunities. Continue reading…

Ban on Video Game Consoles Tentatively Lifted in the Shanghai FTZ

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SHANGHAI – On Monday this week, details were announced regarding the lifting of China’s 14-year ban on video game consoles, set to begin as a pilot program in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ). The lifting of the ban is poised to fundamentally alter China’s lucrative video gaming market, which is currently dominated by PC and mobile games, as the giants of console gaming compete over the world’s 3rd largest video game market in terms of revenue (valued at 123 billion yuan).

Under the changes, foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) must apply to the Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture, Radio, Film & TV on a case-by-case basis for approval to manufacture and sell video games in China – a process stipulated to take 20 days. Application requires the submission of a thorough catalog of all content to be included in the final market version of the product, including bilingual transcripts of all video, audio and text, and images of the product exterior. Continue reading…

Newly Signed China-Germany DTA Continues Trend of Sino-European Economic Cooperation

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SHANGHAI – As a further sign of China’s growing economic cooperation with Europe, the leaders of China and Germany signed a double taxation agreement (DTA) on March 28, 2014. The agreement comes in the wake of, and shares strong similarity to, several important DTAs signed between China and other European countries in recent years. For example, a DTA between China and France signed on November 26, 2013 is estimated to go into effect on or after January 1, 2015.

China and Germany have shared a DTA since the mid-80′s. The revised version is the product of negotiations begun in 2007 and is due to go into effect 30 days following the completion of each country’s domestic ratification measures. Continue reading…

South China’s Balancing Act Between Raising Wages & Keeping Investors

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Vietnam Beckons as South China Governments Walk a Development Tightrope 

Op-Ed Commentary: Alberto Vettoretti, Managing Partner, Dezan Shira & Associates

Annual increases in Chinese worker salaries and the increasing mandatory welfare costs associated with this are making some local governments in China have to strike a fine balancing act. On one side are investors facing increasing overheads at a time when Chinese exports are weak. On the other is social discontent from workers demanding higher salaries and benefits.

In South China for example, minimum wages were last increased in Dongguan, Foshan, Zhuhai and Zhongshan on a mandatory basis on May 1st of last year. This year, no announcement has been made, although rumors are the increase is being deferred a few months to August. Continue reading…

Understanding China’s Youth Consumer Marketing

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Interview with Kevin Lee, COO – China Youthology

China Youthology offers provocative insights about Chinese youth and facilitate the use of insights to spark actions, to help brands be part of youth culture, to be relevant and meaningful to today’s individual and society.

Please tell us a bit about China Youthology and what it does.

China Youthology is a consumer insight agency and one of the top quality research companies in China. Youths in China today are really striving to find meaning and we believe brands have a role to play in that. We focus on digging very deep into youth culture, understanding youth and their changing values, including their lifestyles, behaviors, what they say, what decisions they make, what they buy, etc. We take all that information and we help brands understand and bring them closer to young people today. Continue reading…

Leveraging India to Sell More China Manufactured Products

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Op-Ed Commentary: Chris Devonshire-Ellis

The dynamics between China and India have long been one of Asia’s more fascinating relationships. Both are vast countries with similar population sizes. Both are ancient cultures, and have long had significant impact upon the development and shape of the modern world over their centuries of existence. Yet they can also appear mysterious, impenetrably exotic and inscrutable for the foreign investor. Much also has been written about the rise of China and India, and their very different paths over the last twenty years. China is often projected as superior, dynamic and modern, and India as dirty, poor and archaic.

Yet in fact, India has been following China’s development progress at a steady clip for much of the past 15 years. Growth rates have reached 8 and 9 percent and, although “languishing” at the 5-6 percent mark for the past two years, the fact remains that India has not been at all slovenly in its development. Much needed infrastructure has been and continues to be put in place. The Delhi and Mumbai international airports are first rate, the Delhi Metro system is arguably better than Beijing’s, and ring roads and express highways continue to spring up in all major cities, and crucially, between them. Continue reading…

Leveraging ASEAN to Sell More China Manufactured Products

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China Outbound

Op-Ed Commentary: Chris Devonshire-Ellis

One of the benefits of being part of a firm that now has a Pan-Asia presence is the different viewpoints and perspectives it provides in terms of business opportunities beyond China. Although China will remain a heavyweight in Asia, it is changing, and manufacturers that came to China twenty years ago to manufacture cheap products and then resell overseas, primarily back to the United States and Europe, are having to change their business models.

It is now China that is developing as the “must be there” consumer market, with its middle class consumer base expected to rise from about 250 million today to some 600 million by 2020. That is the equivalent of adding the entire population of the United Kingdom as new affluent consumers, every year. Asia, meanwhile, is also going through a period of rapid economic growth and wealth creation. Continue reading…