The Caixin-Sinica Business Brief, episode 75


Welcome to the 75th 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 note that Yang Hengjun 楊恒均, an outspoken writer and former Chinese official who has been an Australian citizen for nearly 20 years, has been detained in Beijing for more than a week.
  • We report that growth in China’s personal-consumption spending bounced back last year, as authorities stepped up efforts to encourage consumers to open their wallets.
  • We hear that eight regions in China, including Beijing, are predicting slower economic growth this year, in the latest sign of a worsening economic outlook for the world’s second-largest economy.
  • We learn the news that two Chinese farms housing tens of thousands of pigs have been blamed for mismanaging and attempting to conceal African swine fever cases.
  • We discuss Beijing’s decision to name 10 of its largest state-owned firms “World Class Enterprises,” a designation that means the government will likely focus resources on them to make them more competitive at home and abroad.
  • We analyze the rebranding of Chinese bike-rental company Mobike after it was bought by internet giant Meituan Dianping.
  • We take a close look at the deal between Alibaba’s film unit and Huayi Brothers, one of China’s leading independent studios, which is the latest of a growing string of high-profile tie-ups as it tries to claw its way back to profitability.
  • We dive into a recent study that reveals what the average Chinese person does every day.

In addition, we talk with Doug Young, the managing editor of Caixin Global, about China’s rapid growth in the retail industry. We also chat with Charlotte Yang, a reporter with Caixin Global, about zombie companies in China.