News & Reports News Year 2010 May , 2010 News 19th May 2010

News 19th May 2010

China's CPI to grow by around 2.5% in 1H   2010-05-18 15:23:00
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BEIJING, May 18 (Xinhua) -- China's consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, is expected to grow by about 2.5 percent for the first half of this year, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a statement released here Tuesday.
The top economic planner projected a 3 percent increase for May and June due to carryover effects, or negative CPI growth in the same period last year and 1.9 percent growth last December.
China's CPI rose 2.8 percent in April, and 2.4 percent in the first four months this year.
Rising prices of vegetables, fruits and grain in the past three months have caused much public discussion, since worsening inflation is feared as the government is expected to raise the price of energy and commodities to encourage higher energy efficiency and resource conservation.
But the NDRC said inflationary pressures were likely to decrease, adding that vegetable prices went down this month due to rebounding supplies amid warmer temperatures.
The Chinese government has set the CPI target of around 3 percent for the entire year.
Editor: Han Jingjing

Wenzhou speculators dump property for gold   2010-05-18 13:21:40
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BEIJING, May 18 -- Housing speculators from Wenzhou City in southeastern China are switching their money from property into gold following government restrictions on the real estate market.
Tao Xingyi, president of Beijing-based Jinding Group, a company specializing in high-end gold trading and investment, said the company’s customers have increased by 300 — 400 percent recently.
According to the Southland Metropolis Daily, a newspaper based on Hainan Island, most of the gold buyers belong to the “Wenzhou Real Estate Mission,” a group of property investors from Wenzhou who have been blamed for soaring house prices. Tao said that within one month, three groups of Wenzhou investors made purchases of gold from his company worth more than 10 million yuan.
(Source: Shenzhen Daily)

Shanghai: Home deals drop as buyers wait   2010-05-19 08:42:37
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Home buyers visit a property market exhibition. (File Photo of Global Times)
BEIJING, May 19 -- The volume of homes transacted fell to 60,000 square meters in Shanghai last week, the worst weekly performance since 2005 amid a "wait-and-see" sentiment among buyers after the central government tightened mortgage policies.
Transaction of homes, excluding those designated for relocated residents, declined 16 percent in the week ended May 16 from a week earlier,, the real estate Internet services provider, said in a report yesterday.
Though average housing prices also fell by 8 percent from a week earlier to 22,873 yuan (US$3,349) per square meter last week, they were still considered high, according to the report.
"Potential buyers hold a 'wait-and-see' attitude after the government introduced new policies last month, so transactions will keep shrinking," said an analyst at
On April 15 the central government raised the down payment on second-home mortgages to at least 50 percent from 40 percent.
Two days later, the State Council said in a notice that banks should suspend loans to buyers of third or more homes.
In Shanghai, where detailed guidelines have yet to be released by the local watchdog there has been speculation that the city is likely to implement a similar policy.
Meanwhile, the supply of homes rose 23 percent from a week earlier to 200,000 square meters, of which new homes gained 39 percent.
(Source: Shanghai Daily)

Macao joins HK to probe Google's intrusion upon personal data   2010-05-19 07:07:31
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MACAO, May 18 (Xinhua) -- The government of Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) said Tuesday it has sent a letter to Google, inquiring about the personal data "mistakenly" collected by the search giant when it carried out its Street View project photographing the city.
Google has revealed on its official blog that the company has been "mistakenly collecting samples of payload data from open (i.e. non-password-protected) WiFi networks," as the company's Street View data-collecting cars swept through various cities in the world. Macao and Hong Kong, China's two SARs, are among the cities included in the street view project.
Regarding Google's intrusion upon personal data, Macao SAR government's Office for Personal Data Protection said on Tuesday that it was highly concerned about Google's practice, and has sent a letter to Google HK demanding the company to explain the matter. For the time being, Google have not yet established its office in Macao.
Google Street View is a technology featured in Google Maps and Google Earth that provides panoramic views from various positions along many streets in the world. It was launched in 2007, originally only in several cities in the United States, and has since gradually expanded to include more cities and rural areas worldwide.
Hong Kong's privacy commissioner for personal data criticized Google's practice and demanded a meeting with the company's representative on Tuesday. The company agreed to delete the personal data collected when carrying out the Street View project in Hong Kong, said Roderick B. Woo, the city's privacy commissioner for personal data, after the meeting.
Meanwhile, Macao's Office for Personal Data Protection said that it has already contacted its counterpart in Hong Kong and expressed its support to Hong Kong's move in handling the Google event.
In Macao, the violation of personal data protection laws constitutes administrative illegality or even a crime.
Editor: Lin Zhi

China's national oil reserve open to private firms   2010-05-18 14:31:22
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BEIJING, May 18 -- Public bidding for national oil reserve projects started over the weekend, marking the first time that the national oil reserve project was opened to private enterprises, the Beijing Times reported Tuesday, citing a source close to the matter.
Zhao Youshan, head of the Commercial Petroleum Flow Committee of China, said involving private oil enterprises in the national strategic reserve of oil will help private enterprises relieve the pressure of finding oil sources.
China has built several national oil reserve bases, but reserves held by private enterprises and local State-owned enterprises were excluded from the system. The report said enterprises bidding for the project should meet certain requirements, such as the volume of a single oil storage tank should be no less than 10,000 cubic meters.
Most bidders participating in the project were private enterprises and local State-owned enterprises, and the project is still under evaluation, sources with private enterprises told the newspaper.
Reserve capacities of private enterprises were scattered and comparatively small, not easy to be managed, but they had been eager to enter the national oil reserve system, according to the report.
Editor: Wang Guanqun

Editor: Lin Zhi

Higher power prices for energy-intensive sector   2010-05-18 11:22:53
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BEIJING, May 18 -- China will raise power tariff surcharges for some energy- intensive firms by 50 to 100 percent from June 1, in renewed efforts to curb expansion in energy-guzzling and polluting industries.
For firms that fall into the restricted category, power surcharges will rise to 0.1 yuan per kilowatt hour (kWh) from 0.05 yuan previously, while those under the to-be-eliminated category will see their power price surcharges rise to 0.3 yuan per kWh from 0.2 yuan in the past, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a report posted on its Web site last week.
These firms are mainly in the aluminium, cement, steel, zinc, ferroalloy, calcium carbide and sodium hydroxide sectors.
Local governments and power suppliers must cancel any ongoing favorable power prices to aluminium, ferroalloy and calcium carbide makers at a designated date, and any preferential power rates in the name of direct trade between power generators and power users but without any approvals must be halted immediately, the report said.
It sourced a joint notice by the NDRC, State Electricity Regulatory Commission and National Energy Administration.
The government had asked local governments and power firms to cease preferential power price treatment to energy intensive sectors in the past, but the calls were loosely followed as local governments wanted to boost their economic output and increase fiscal revenues.
The policies were mostly ignored since late 2008 when the economy was roiled by the global slowdown.
(Source: Shenzhen Daily)
Editor: Lin Zhi

HK's exports of service reach $86 bln in 2009   2010-05-18 20:14:03
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HONG KONG, May 18 (Xinhua) -- The services sector played a significant role in supporting the growth of Hong Kong's external trade, the value of export of services reached 669 billion HK dollars (86 billion U.S. dollars) in 2009, representing an average annual growth rate of 9.2 percent over 1999, said the Census & Statistics Department on Tuesday.
In 2009, exports of trade-related services represented the most important major service group, contributing 30.2 percent to the value of total exports of services. It was followed by exports of transportation services and travel services, contributing 29 percent and 19.1 percent respectively to the value of total exports of services in 2009.
In 1999, the respective percentage shares of these three major service groups in the total value of exports of services were 29.5 percent, 32.3 percent and 15.5 percent respectively.
The services sector also became the principal source of employment. In 2009, the services sector as a whole engaged 3.1 million persons out of the 3.5 million overall employment, said the department.
During the decade from 1999 to 2008, the services sector in the Hong Kong economy gained greater prominence. This change was reflected in the share of contribution of the services sector to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The contribution of the services sector to GDP increased from 86.1 percent in 1999 to 92.0 percent in 2008, according to the department.
While the services sector registered an increase in the share of the GDP over the period from 1999 to 2008, the relative importance of the manufacturing sector declined correspondingly, as reflected by its contribution to the GDP, which went down from 5.3 percent in 1999 to 2.5 percent in 2008.
Editor: Zhang Xiang