The Caixin-Sinica Business Brief, episode 47


Welcome to the 47th installment of the Caixin-Sinica Business Brief, a weekly podcast that brings you the most important business stories of the week from China’s top source for business and financial news. Produced by Kaiser Kuo of our Sinica Podcast, it features a business news roundup, plus conversations with Caixin reporters and editors.

This week:

  • We analyze the two-day meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in northeastern China’s port city of Dalian, where the two leaders voiced support for the easing of tensions and the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
  • We note that Chinese Premier Li Keqiang called on Sino-Japanese relations to get back on track during his long-awaited official visit to Tokyo.
  • We hear that Sun Zhengcai 孙政才, once a rising political star in China, was sentenced to life in prison last week for bribery.
  • We learn that Wu Xiaohui 吴小晖, the onetime high-flying founder of Anbang Insurance Group, was sentenced to 18 years in prison for fundraising fraud and embezzlement at his financial empire.
  • We discuss the news that China’s regulators are drafting rules to put the country’s freewheeling financial conglomerates under stricter oversight in a bid to control risks created by the companies’ aggressive and often debt-fueled expansions.
  • We explore new data that suggests that the Chinese film industry surpassed North America in quarterly box office revenue for the first time, raking in $3 billion from January to March.
  • We delve into Chinese short-video platform Douyin 抖音, which was the most downloaded non-game app on Apple’s App Store in the first quarter, edging out big international names.
  • We find out that shares of Lenovo fell to their lowest price since 2009 after it was announced that on June 4, the world’s second-largest PC maker would again be dropped from Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index.

In addition, we talk with Liu Xiao, reporter for Caixin Global, about the problematic nature of debt, especially local government debt and the very high debt-to-GDP ratio. We also have a conversation with Doug Young, managing editor of Caixin Global, about domestic smartphone sales in Q1 and the latest about ZTE.

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