In this edition of China Data, we bring you data about China’s ‘supply-side’ investments, export stagnation, growing outbound travel and more.
China announced it will build a $4 billion railway connecting the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa to the neighboring country of Djibouti. This will be the first electric transnational railway in Africa. “This line will change the social and economic landscape of our two countries,” says Hailemariam Desalegn, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia.
China’s house loans in the first nine months of 2016 reached $539 billion, more than double the same period in 2015. In October 2016, Shanghai’s second-hand house price index rose by 27.8% y-o-y, based on figures from Ehomeday. From October onwards, skyrocketing house prices slowed across the country due to tighter government restrictions.
China has launched a RMB 350 billion ($52.5 billion) state enterprise restructuring fund to advance its “supply-side” reforms, which are said to include mergers of inefficient state-owned enterprises as well as finance the laying off of employees in traditional sectors like coal and steel.
Stream of Money
Live stream apps, which allow anyone with a smart device to broadcast live to an audience, are expected to generate $5 billion in China in 2017 as some users hit stardom, according to Credit Suisse. China’s giant internet companies Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent have either developed their own live stream platforms or invested in this business.
Growing as rapidly is China’s bicycle-sharing business. A couple of start-ups raised $200 million from venture capital funds and expanded their business from China’s largest metropoles to the lower-tier cities. Will this be another Uber-Didi competition?
Not Shipping Out
China’s September exports fell 10% from a year earlier amid a broad economic slowdown. For 2016, Chinese exports dropped 7.7% year-on-year, the worst fall since 2009, according to Reuters. But in January, exports rose 7.9%, beating forecasts and setting an encouraging tone for 2017.
As smartphones become increasingly common and e-commerce sites offering both great discounts and convenience, China’s online sales of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) has been growing at an average of 78.4% annually from 2010 to 2015, while the US and UK markets grew at 10.7% and 7.9%, respectively.
A record 133 million Chinese tourists made overseas trips in 2016. Their passion for overseas travel peaked during the week-long Spring Festival holiday, with 6.15 million overseas trips made by Chinese tourists this year, up 7% from last year.
Dalian Wanda’s new movie studio complex in Qingdao will offer $150 million in annual subsidies to Hollywood movie producers. The studio complex was said to begin operation in 2018, by which time it will be the biggest omni-functional film shooting grounds in the world. Wang Jianlin, CEO of Wanda Group, told Chinese media that it will also help make Qingdao a world-famous cultural city.
Out of Juice
95% of China’s electric vehicle start-ups face closure in a massive industry shakeout. Currently, there are over 200 EV companies in China, some backed by billionaires like Jack Ma and Li Ka-shing. However, the government is raising technology standards and may further limit the number of EV makers to 10.