Economy & Trade

Hong Kong’s Startup Scene: the Future of Mainland–Hong Kong Economic Cooperation

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By Zolzaya Erdenebileg

CB-Hong Kong Startup Scene BANNER

While Hong Kong’s startup ecosystem is relatively young, it has grown quickly in recent years. Many entrepreneurs are attracted by the city’s high rate of internet penetration, which has allowed for greater adoption of tech innovations. Additionally, the Hong Kong government has been aggressively promoting initiatives to expand entrepreneurship in the face of increased competition from southeast China.

However, Hong Kong’s proximity to Shenzhen, one of the key tech start-up hubs within mainland China, has added dynamic considerations to the Hong Kong startup environment, and this has multiple effects for multinationals and foreign investors.

In this article, we explore the rise of Hong Kong’s startup scene, and the multitude of factors that have contributed to its emergence. We also analyze what it augurs for the Mainland-Hong Kong relationship and how this will affect multinational companies.

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China Makes Digital Inroads into Smart Europe: Traditional Europe Watch Out and Learn

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CDE Op-Ed Commentary

China, often the target of calls for investment into Europe, has been making further inroads into the EU’s digitally advanced economies, giving strong hints in the process as to where Beijing and Chinese businesses see both value and growth being added.

Chinese ride sharing company Didi Chuxing is investing in a smaller European Uber rival, Taxify, which dominates the Baltics. Didi has a strong presence in China, headquartered in Beijing, and providing rides for 400 million users across 400 cities in the country. It provides services such as taxi hailing, private car hailing, Hitch (social ride-sharing), Didi Chauffeur, Didi Bus, Didi Test Drive, Didi Car Rental, Didi Enterprise Solutions, Didi Minibus, Didi Luxe, and bike-sharing to users in China via a smartphone application.

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Investing in Inland China: Assessing Chongqing’s Industrial Zones

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By Waiyan Varsha Tse

Rising minimum wages have led commentators to declare the end of affordable Chinese labor. However, these assertions ignore the vast expanse of the Chinese mainland, and the varying economies that exist within it. The sprawling city of Chongqing especially stands out as a major emerging manufacturing destination for foreign investors.

Over the past years, manufacturing in China has steadily crept inland as companies seek not only to lower their costs, but also to take advantage of government incentive programs aimed at developing western provinces. In particular, the State Council enacted the “China Western Development Plan” in 2000, which prioritized increasing foreign direct investment (FDI) into Central and Western China.

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Asia Investment Brief: Import-Export in Laos, Digital Payments in India, and Indian Investment in Vietnam

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Our weekly round up of other news affecting foreign investors throughout Asia:

ASEAN BRIEFING

Import and Export Best Practices in Laos – Best Practices

As Laos continues to integrate its market and regulatory system within ASEAN, the ease of doing business for both importers and exporters will continue to improve. In this article we explain best practices for importing into and exporting out of Laos.

INDIA BRIEFING

Growth of Digital Payments Systems in India

Since demonetization in November 2016, and given the ongoing rapid spread of internet connectivity and smartphone usage in India, the country’s digital payments industry is become more attractive for investors. This article illustrates the major factors shaping the online cash and payments sector in India.

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China Market Watch: Telecom Roaming Charges to be Cancelled, Starbucks Buys out JV Partner

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Telecom roaming charges to be abolished by September

China’s three major telecom service providers, China Telecom, China Unicom, and China Mobile, will cancel roaming fees for mobile phone services in September, a month ahead of the preliminary deadline. They added that data and leased line fees for small and medium sized enterprises will be cut.

The move, which will affect around 80 million mobile phone users, comes as part of the government’s plan to create a stronger internet industry, as initiated by China’s Premier Li Keqiang in March of this year. Shortly following, the three telecom providers announced their commitment to the effort.

China Telecom also announced that it will remove long distance domestic call charges. The changes will also benefit users subscribed to international calling services, and services for Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.

China Unicom has disclosed estimates that the removal of the fees will cost around RMB 6.4 billion in losses per year.

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China-Africa Relations: At a Crossroads?

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By Linh Tran Huy
Editor: Thibaut Minot

China Africa bilateral trade BANNER

After over 15 years of rapidly expanding economic and political exchanges, China-Africa relations are changing.

During the sixth Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Johannesburg in 2015, China’s President Xi Jinping announced 10 major Sino-African cooperation projects. Covering areas such as industrialization, agricultural modernization, infrastructure, environmental issues, and financial services. With funding for such projects amounting to around US$60 billion, a number of them are already well underway.

The forum reflected the conventional interpretation of Sino-African relations since the early 2000s. China aids Africa’s development through the construction and modernization of local infrastructure and financing apparatus. In return, Africa provides China with a steady supply of natural resources.

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Asia Investment Brief: Masala Bonds in India, Estonia as an OBOR Port, and Renewables in Vietnam

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Our weekly round up of other news affecting foreign investors throughout Asia:

ASEAN BRIEFING

IP Protection in the Philippines’ Automotive Industry

In this article, South-East Asia IPR SME Helpdesk discusses the strategies foreign companies should adopt to enforce their intellectual property rights in the Philippines’ automotive industry.

INDIA BRIEFING

New RBI Guidelines on Issuance of Masala Bonds

In a bid to strengthen India’s regulations governing external commercial borrowings, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently came up with new guidelines on the issuance of ‘masala bonds’. In this article, we discuss what are masala bonds and the new requirements for its issuance.

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China Market Watch: Foreign Brands Lose Popularity, Slowing Property Sector to Affect Economy

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Foreign brands losing popularity among Chinese consumers

Market reports have shown that the popularity of foreign brands’ consumer goods are gradually being over taken by domestic Chinese competitors.

Foreign brands’ market share fell from 33.5 percent in 2006 to 30.2 percent last year, having only increased market share in four out of 26 product categories.

Domestic brands have been employing more natural and health oriented marketing strategies to gain greater market share, and are able to adapt to the changing consumer base quicker than their foreign counterparts. This is mainly due to their deeper understanding of Chinese consumers’ preferences, and their ability to make faster marketing decisions.

A more stable economy and steady wage growth has fueled consumption, contributing 77.2 percent to China’s economic expansion in the first quarter of this year, an increase of 64.6 percent from the previous year.

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