The Chinese economy is in transition, but China’s financial

system hasn’t turned around yet. This is why private enterprises are facing difficulty in financing recently.

Small- and medium-sized enterprises have been squeezed out of the formal financing market, pushing up interest rates on informal financing.

Interest rate liberalization is crucial for the financial system to support the private eco

nomy, which will increase interest rates on formal financing and lower rates on informal financing.

It is necessary to regulate the informal financial sector, but not eliminate it. Shadow b

anking and fintech sectors do pose certain risks, but they are the meaningful products of financial liberalization.

Wang Yiming, deputy director of the Development Research Center of the State Council

We are still a developing country, with capital stock and per capita stock much lower than

in developed countries. So there is nothing wrong with stabilizing investment, which should be not seen as a sin.

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Financial Times said that the UK National Cyber Security Centre

had determined that there are ways to limit the risks of using Huawei in future 5G ultra-fast networks, citing officials familiar with the matter.

Such a decision dealt “a serious blow to US efforts to persuade allies to ban the Chinese supplier from high-speed telecommunications systems,” the report said.

One person familiar with the debate said the British conclusion would “carry great weight” with European leaders, since the UK

has access to sensitive US intelligence through its membership in the Five Eyes intelligence sharing network, the FT reported.

Zhang said that the UK had been concerned about the risks of usi

ng Huawei because of warnings from the US. But Huawei products are inexpensive a

nd qualified that they could not refuse, which was why they proposed schemes to test Huawei equipment.

Zhang hailed the system and the UK’s conclusion as “significantly pragmatic, and will set an example for other European countries.”

Cui Hongjian, director of the Department of European Studies at the China Institute of Interna

tional Studies, told the Global Times on Monday that it was not in European countries’ interests to blin

dly follow the US, which was confusing security with the market to crack down on Huawei.

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Moreover, the number of Chinese who go abroad is closely

residents’ disposable income levels and income growth. Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that in 2017, the per ca

pita disposable income of the high-income group reached 64,934 yuan ($9,604.71). For most of the residents in the high-inco

me group, overseas tours remain as a kind of luxury spending, thus the per capita disposable income for residents that traveled abroad

should be raised to at least 120,000 yuan a year. Yet this group probably numbers less than 100 mil

lion residents. In other words, the number of people who can afford the average cost of going abroad is theoretically less than 100 million.

Although many research institutions are optimistic about the development pr

ospects for Chinese people’s overseas tourism, the growth rate of private outbound trip

s was only 5.7 percent in 2017, compared to 22 percent in 2010 and 10.6 percent in 2015, showing a do

wnward trend. This may actually reflect the decline in the growth rate of disposable income.

I don’t agree with the so-called “consumption downgrade,” as the Engel coefficient – the propor

tion of money spent on food in household expenses – fell to 28.4 in 2018. Yet, the slowdown in consumption growth, increased leverage r

atio in home purchases and other factors have all impeded the pace of the consumption upgrade.

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According to The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Repor

eased by the World Economic Forum, global tourism revenue contributed over 10 percent of the global GDP, but China’s domest

ic tourism revenue was around 5.5 percent of its GDP, which has been the world’s second highest since 2012. C

ompared with its economic volume, the Chinese tourism industry is not very well developed, which may have something to d

o with the overall low disposable income levels of Chinese residents. For example, in 2017, China’s gross national inc

ome (GNI) per capita ranked 69th in the world, while the US GNI per capita was 6.5 times that of China during the same time period.

In recent years, various local governments have been making great efforts to promote the increase of local tourism revenue

s by building traditional towns, exploring and developing local history, local culture and other tourist resources. It is certainly justified for au

thorities to develop tourism, to expand domestic demand, to increase “green” GDP and promote an economic transformation. However, it should be no

ted that the development of a tourism industry is closely related to the growth of residents’ disposable income. As the income level of residents rises, the to

urism industry will naturally see a rapid development. In the context of the declining growth of residents’ disposable i

ncome, it is completely unrealistic to achieve a rapid growth in tourism revenues. Furthermore, as various local gov

ernments are competing to develop tourism resources, this may lead to an “oversupply” within the tourism ind

ustry, and this will result in a low efficiency of fiscal expenditure and a waste of precious resources.

In short, it is of fundamental importance to find ways to improve the disposable income level of re

sidents as well as social security and welfare, which is the prerequisite for sustainable prosperity.

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ang Haonan, who was believed to be the heaviest man

Wang, from Laiwu in East China’s Shandong province, stood at 334 kg at his heaviest. In July

2018, he underwent a weight-loss surgery in which four-fifths of his stomach was removed.

Half a year later, his weight has dropped to 192 kg.

Liu Shaozhuang, a doctor with Qilu Hospital of Shandong University in charge of Wang’s surgery, told Beijing Youth Daily the surgery h

as not had an impact on Wang’s digestion and he only needed to chew food well before swallowing it.

Wang revealed that a philosophy of “eat less, exercise more” was also a reason for his becoming thinner. He said he did not e

at any meat during the Spring Festival holiday, a traditional time for family reunion and feasting.

Wang suffers from fatty liver, heart and lung problems due to his obesity. These conditions have i

mproved after the surgery and sleep apnea due to snoring has also been alleviated, according to Liu.

Wang now has a body mass index (BMI) of 57.3, still well above the level of 24.5 for a healthy person, Liu said.

Wang said he aims to further reduce his weight to be less than 100 kg by the end of this year

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Xiao was rescued when procurators from Pingyuan county

visited his village during a campaign focused on protecting children’s rights in March last year.

Procurators interviewed Xiao’s grandparents, visited Xiao’s former primaryers, and contacted Xiao’s mother during their visit.

Procurators then transferred Xiao’s case to local police and suggested the detention of his aunt while they further investigated the case, having found evidence of maltreatment in his uncle’s home.

After a health examination in a local hospital, Xiao returned to live with his grandparents.

With the help of the county’s procuratorate and relevant government departments, Xiao returned to school in September.

The procuratorates of Meizhou city and Pingyuan county have jointly granted a 60,000 yuan ($8,860) relief fund to help financially support Xiao.

An open public hearing into the matter is to be launched by Pingyuan county people’s court.

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henzhen to strengthen smoking policylayed at a shopping ma

Shenzhen is to strengthen its regulations on smoking in public places, making it the strictest smoking policy in history, Nanfang Daily has reported.

The strenghtening is to focus on five areas of the policy.

Since the implementation of the smoking policy in Shenzhen on March 1, 2014, smoking in public places has been banned, carrying a total fine of 3.745 millio

n yuan, comprising a 3.325 million yuan fine for illegal smokers and 420,000 yuan for public places that failed to control smoking.

In implementing the policy however, problems arose with excessive fines, difficulties

with law enforcement and evidence collection, and complicated punishment procedures.

Deputies of Shenzhen People’s Congress on Jan 18 jointly proposed that Shenzhen should revise the policy to make the regulations more practical and operable.

The revised draft of The Regulation on Smoking Control explicitly expands the de

finition of smoking to include the use of e-cigarettes and other lit tobacco products.

It also expands the scope of smoke-free areas, which now include outdoor p

latforms and areas featuring wait lines for public transport, such as buses, coa

ches, taxis, subways, ships, civil aircraft and other public transport vehicles.

Smoking is also prohibited within five meters of subway entrances and exits.

The draft enhances protection for minors. It stipulates that no tobacco produ

cts are to be sold within 100 meters of kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, and children’s activity centers.

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Nation’s property sector remains robustperty models in Donggu

Experts said the Spring Festival holiday was the major factor behind the significant drop in property sales perfor

mance nationwide in the first month of 2019 and did not necessarily represent a negative market trend for the industry.

According to Centaline Property Agency’s research, in January property sales declined by 38 p

ercent year-on-year in the first-tier cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

Among the four cities, Guangzhou saw the most dramatic decrease of 65 percent year-on-year, followed by Beijing, where home sales dropped by over 40 percent.

Country Garden, one of the country’s biggest developers, sold 33 billion yuan ($4.88 billion) of prop

erty in January, a 52.2 percent yearly decline. Vanke, whose monthly sales were 48.8 billion yu

an, saw a 28.1 percent drop year-on-year, while Evergrande Group’s sales performance shrank by 32.9 percent.

Third and fourth-tier cities accounted for most of the sales, but these had also slowed down com

pared to the same period in 2018. Zhang Dawei, chief analyst at Centaline, said the lack of e

nthusiasm from buyers was caused by the overheated market during last year’s Spring Festival.

“During the Spring Festival in 2018, housing prices in first and second-tier cities suddenly increased, triggering price

rises in lower-tier ones too,” said Zhang. “Back then, buying properties in one’s lower-tier hometown became a trend.”

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Spain’s govt loses budget vote, paving way for snap election

Spain’s parliament rejected the government’s 2019 draft budget on Wednesday, pushing the country to the brink of a national election.

Sources in the government and the Socialist party of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told Reuters on Tu

esday that he would call a snap election if the draft was rejected, with April 14 or April 28 the most likely dates.

The Socialists hold less than a quarter of the seats in parliament and needed support fr

om smaller regional parties, including the Catalans, to get the budget proposal voted through.

But the Catalan parties, unhappy with the government’s refusal to consider or dis

cuss – amongst other issues – an independence referendum for their nor

theastern region, voted against it, as did the centre-right and the conservatives.

“This shows that the right wing in this country is intent on blocking social progress,” Bu

dget Minister Maria Jesus Montero told reporters, in the government’s first reaction to the vote.

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Payment by phone sees big growth overseas

Swiping phones for payment is shaping up to be the new norm for Chinese people shopping oversea

s, as the adoption of mobile payment becomes more evenly distributed by age and geographical location.

Customers in their 50s saw a 1.3-fold increase in Alipay usage as they traveled overseas during the Spring Festival

holiday that concluded on Sunday, according to the country’s largest mobile wallet operator.

The age group has recorded the highest growth rate among all demographics tracked by Al

ipay, as more older people embrace digital payment at home and extend such habits overseas.

Meanwhile, those born in the 1990s, who grew up in relative material abundance and are more “digitally native”, formed the ba

kbone of outbound travel this year, data from Tencent’s popular messaging app WeChat showed.

They accounted for 31 percent of users who embarked on overseas trips, the biggest pr

oportion, and paid with WeChat’s embedded wallet, according to data released on Sunday.

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