China's natural gas output up 6.5 pct in December 2022

BEIJING, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- Chinas natural gas output logged steady growth in December 2022, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.Aerial photo taken on Nov. 20, 2021 shows a berthed ship being filled with liquefied natural gas (LNG) at an LNG filling station in Macun port of Chengmai County, south Chinas Hainan Province. (Photo: Xinhua)The country produced 20.4 billion cubic meters of natural gas in December, up 6.5 percent from a year earlier, according to the bureau.The growth rate was 2.1 percentage points lower than that of November, the bureau said.In 2022, Chinas natural gas output rose 6.4 percent year on year to 217.8 billion cubic meters. The country imported 109.25 million tonnes of natural gas in the same period, down 9.9 percent year on year.

China's postal industry registers stable growth in 2022

BEIJING, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- Chinas postal industry saw steady expansion in terms of both business revenue and parcels handled in 2022, data from the State Post Bureau (SPB) shows.A staff member sorts parcels at the workshop of a logistics company in Lanshan County of Yongzhou City, central Chinas Hunan Province, Nov. 10, 2022. (Photo: Xinhua)The sector raked in over 1.35 trillion yuan (about 199.4 billion U.S. dollars) in this period, up 6.9 percent year on year, while its business volume rose 2.7 percent compared to one year earlier, according to the bureau.Chinas courier companies handled 110.6 billion parcels last year, up 2.1 percent from a year earlier. Their combined business revenue topped 1.06 trillion yuan during the period, a yearly increase of 2.3 percent.The SPB expected the total revenue of Chinas postal industry to grow by 6 percent year on year in 2023, while that of the courier sector is projected to rise 7 percent from the previous year.

Tokyo stocks open higher

Tokyo stocks opened higher on Tuesday as investors took heart from rallies on Wall Street.The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 1.10 percent, or 297.20 points, at 27,203.24 in early trade, while the broader Topix index added 0.84 percent, or 16.41 points, to 1,961.79.

China's box office during Spring Festival holidays surges, reaching 2.1 billion yuan as of Monday morning

Photo: VCGThe box office during the 7-day Chinese Spring Festival holidays has hit 2.1 billion yuan ($295 million) as of around 12 am on Monday morning, the third day of the holidays, after adding 1.8 billion yuan on Sunday, a vivid display of the fast recovery of the movie sector that is set to shrug off the pandemic-induced ebb.Chinese-made blockbusters have led the box office. Ticket sales from science fiction film The Wandering Earth-2 and famed director Zhang Yimous historical epic movie Man Jiang Hong both exceeded 600 million yuan in box office on Monday morning, data from film ticketing platform Maoyan showed.The Spring Festival marks the first seasonal peak for film industry in four years, after China optimized COVID response and lifted caps on entertainment and cultural facilities.Across China, movie theaters are thronging with audiences during the festive holidays, with some of them having watched two or three movies so far "to release moviegoers pent-up desire for high-quality films," the Global Times was told."Were very thrilled to see the returning of hustle and bustle, even in the midnight. Theres no doubt that the box office during the holidays will surpass last years level," a manager of a movie theater in Ningde, East Chinas Fujian Province, told the Global Times.He voiced confidence that the revenue will be at its highest level since 2020, the first year of the pandemic, or at least return to 80 percent of the 2021 level soon.There are seven films hitting the market during the Spring Festival, across diversified genres, showing the creativity and high-quality development of Chinas filmmaking industry. In addition to the aforementioned, other movies include espionage suspense movie Hidden Blade, and "Ping Pong: The Triumph", which tells the story of underdog victory of Chinas national table tennis team in 1995. The latter will be released on Tuesday.It is expected that the overal...

Tokyo stocks open higher

Tokyo stocks opened higher on Monday after Wall Street stocks rebounded, led by tech shares buoyed by Netflix results and Federal Reserve comments signalling smaller interest rate hikes.The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 1.21 percent, or 320.96 points, at 26,874,49 in early trade, while the broader Topix index added 0.88 percent, or 16.95 points, to 1,943.82.

European stock exchanges start off 2023 strongly

ROME, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Stock Exchanges in the European Union have started 2023 strongly, despite broadly mixed economic data.Through the close of trading on Friday, the blue chip index on the Paris stock exchange is up 8.1 percent over the last month, stocks on the Frankfurt exchange in Germany are up 7.9 percent over the same period, Milan by 8.7 percent, Amsterdam by 7.2 percent, and in Madrid, the blue chips gained 8.4 percent over the last month.Those all compare favorably to a 2.5 percent increase over the last month for the composite index on the New York Stock Exchange, the worlds largest bourse.The gains in Europe come despite estimated 0.3 percent economic growth in the fourth quarter of last year for the 19-country euro currency zone and previsions for an economic contraction over the first quarter of this year.Among the factors pulling down economic growth are record high levels of inflation, energy supply challenges, and unreliable supply chains sparked by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine."We dont have all the data yet, but it is clear that stock exchanges are easily outperforming the broad economy," Alessandro Polli, a professor of statistical economics at Romes La Sapienza University, told Xinhua.Part of the reason for that is increasing business and consumer confidence -- the belief among companies and individuals that economic conditions are more likely to improve than to deteriorate.Another factor is the inflation rate: prices in the euro currency zone were 9.2 percent higher at the end of 2022 than they were a year earlier.Though rising prices reduce consumer spending they also increase the value of products sold, expanding company revenue and -- potentially -- pushing stock prices higher.The euro zone is also benefitting from a stronger euro. The currency has gained 8 percent against the U.S. dollar over the last 60 days, increasing the buying power of European companies and individuals.According to Christine Lag...

China's digital yuan proves its cash-like qualities with offline payments

Chinas central bank has enabled a new function for offline digital yuan payments for users of several Android smartphone models, CGTN has recently learned from several sources.With the new feature added to the Peoples Bank of Chinas (PBOC) digital yuan mobile application, users can make payments even when their device has no internet connection or power, with the central bank digital currency (CBDC). It is understood that the feature uses near-field communication, or NFC, technology.The digital yuan app aims to provide the convenience of cash by offering the option for offline payments, even though it may be infrequently used, Qi Mohan, a Beijing branch digital yuan team member from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China told CGTN."Digital yuan is a legal currency in digital form. In essence, its a type of digital cash," said Qi. "Only by taking into account these scenarios, will the digital yuan be readily available, just like paper currency."On the app, users can activate a "tap to pay" function and set a limit on the number and value of offline payments that can be made."The ability to set limits is meant to ease security concerns if users phones were lost or stolen, as a verification code will be required for payments exceeding the preset quota," said Qi. "Plus, those who have lost their phone can suspend the offline payment function by logging into the app from another mobile phone," he added.Although this new function – only available on some models of Xiaomi and VIVO phones – is still in its infancy, it is expected to be available on other handsets in the near future, Wang Xin, manager of the network finance department of the Beijing branch of Agricultural Bank of China, told CGTN.Meanwhile, PBOCs website shows the digital yuans pilot areas have also been further expanded.Since 2014, the PBOC has been piloting the e-CNY in various forms.Now it is being rolled o...

Chinese economy to contribute to overall global economic stability

Chinas economy has maintained stable growth in the past year amid resurgences of COVID-19. The countrys gross domestic product (GDP) hit an all-time high of 121.0207 trillion yuan (about $17.95 trillion) in 2022, increasing 3 percent year on year, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows.People dine at a restaurant in Beijing, capital of China, January 1, 2023. (Photo: Xinhua)According to Kang Yi, head of the NBS, the 3-percent growth rate is relatively fast compared with other major economies globally, but he also noted that the current per capita GDP needs to be doubled at about $12,700 to meet its goal of parring with mid-level developed countries in 2035.While the Chinese economy grew 3 percent in 2022, its value-added industrial output rose 3.6 percent year on year, according to the NBS data. Specifically, the high-tech manufacturing and equipment manufacturing sectors showed a growing momentum with the output values increasing by 7.4 percent and 5.6 percent, respectively.The countrys GDP hit an all-time high after surpassing the threshold of 110 trillion yuan in 2021 and 100 trillion yuan in 2020. Over the past three years, China maintained the stability of its economy in the face of multiple challenges. It was among the worlds first countries to resume work and reopen businesses in 2020, and became the only major economy to attain positive growth that year."China has been working on minimizing the impact of the pandemic on its supply chains and business operations," said Professor Liu Bin at the China Institute for WTO Studies under the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.To stabilize economic growth, the Chinese government issued a series of policies like mobilizing funds for infrastructure investment, reducing the utility costs for market entities and helping ease the burden on companies severely affected by the pandemic.With China adapting its epidemic response, economists have raised t...

Spending on R&D in China hits new high

China spent a record 3.09 trillion yuan ($443 billion) on research and development in 2022, a 10.4 percent year-on-year increase that came from the nation's accelerated efforts to enhance its innovation capability for more breakthroughs.The National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday that China's R

US-listed Chinese firms trade mostly higher


Selected outbound tours given go-ahead

Chinese tourists are welcomed by local officials and ground staff at Velana International Airport, Maldives, on Wednesday. China was the largest source of tourists in the Maldives for years before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, nearly 300,000 Chinese tourists visited the Maldives, a

China reopening spurs record inflows into emerging market funds: BofA data

People walk by a currency exchange house in Buenos Aires, Argentina, July 11, 2022. (Photo: CFP)Investors poured a record $12.7 billion into emerging-market debt and equity funds in the week to Wednesday, in response to Chinas easing of its COVID-19 restrictions on activity, data on Friday from BofA Global Research showed.The policy change boosted many different asset classes, from commodities and mining stocks to currencies and equity markets in popular tourist destinations.Hong Kongs share market benchmark, the Hang Seng Index, closed on Friday at an over six-month high ahead of the Lunar New Year Holiday. Chinese onshore blue chips went into the break at a five-month peak.BofAs "Bull & Bear" indicator is at 3.5, a 10-month high driven by the inflows into emerging markets.The research firm also noted that markets are still facing several major uncertainties despite recent optimism, as central banks near the end of their aggressive interest rate hikes, as well as the possibility of an economic "hard landing" and political tension in the United States around its debt ceiling."We are in the trickiest part of the investment cycle: tightening ending but easing far from beginning, inflation over but recession not yet begun, China re-open vs U.S. recession … little wonder Wall Street narratives [are] changing quicker than a TikTok video," it said.

Alphabet cuts 12,000 jobs after pandemic hiring spree, refocuses on AI

Googles parent Alphabet Inc. is cutting about 12,000 jobs as it faces "a different economic reality," it said in a staff memo, doubling down on artificial intelligence (AI) and axing staff who support experimental projects.The logo of Google LLC is seen at the Google Store Chelsea in New York City, U.S., January 20, 2023. /Reuters via CGTNThe job cuts affect 6 percent of its workforce, and follows thousands of layoffs at tech giants including Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Meta Platforms Inc. who are downsizing after a pandemic-led hiring spree left them flabby in a weak economy.Shares in Mountain View, California-based Alphabet, which boosted its workforce by nearly a third through 2020 and 2021, rose 4 percent on Friday. They had fallen 30 percent in the past 12 months, echoing a 24 percent slump in the broader tech industry.Sundar Pichai, Alphabets boss since 2019, said in the memo on Friday that he took "full responsibility" for the decisions that led to the layoffs.Pichai, whose pay was recently tied more closely to performance, said this was a moment to "sharpen our focus, reengineer our cost base and direct our talent and capital to our highest priorities," as Alphabet looked to get imbue its products with more AI, echoing comments from Microsoft that announced job cuts on Wednesday.Alphabet, long a leader in AI, is facing competition from Microsoft, which is reportedly looking to boost its stake in ChatGPT – a promising chatbot that answers queries with human-like responses.Advertising dollars, Alphabets mainstay revenue source, meanwhile, is feeling the squeeze from businesses chopping budgets as consumers pull back spending."It is clear that Alphabet is not immune from the tough economic backdrop, with worries about a U.S. recession growing," said Susannah Streeter, an analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown."Ad growth has come off the boil... Competition is also heating up, with Alphabet facing a po...

Fixed-asset investment of central SOEs up 5.6 pct in first 11 months of 2022

File photo shows an ethylene project at Sinopec Zhenhai Refining and Chemical Company in Ningbo, East Chinas Zhejiang Province. (Photo: Xinhua)BEIJING, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- The fixed-asset investment of Chinas centrally administrated state-owned enterprises (SOEs) increased 5.6 percent year on year to 3.6 trillion yuan (about 531.74 billion U.S. dollars) in the first 11 months of 2022, data from the countrys SOE regulator showed.The investment structure of central SOEs was optimized last year, said Peng Huagang, spokesperson for the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission.Central SOEs investment in strategic emerging industries remained at a high level, accounting for more than 20 percent of the total. Investment in new-energy vehicles, communications and electronics manufacturing maintained double-digit growth, Peng said.Central SOEs will continue to increase investment in sectors such as cloud computing, broadband infrastructure network, 5G and 6G, industrial Internet, high-end equipment, new-generation information technology, and new materials, he said.Revenues of central SOEs increased 8.3 percent year on year in 2022, while profits gained 5.5 percent from a year ago.

China Development Bank ups loan support for science, technology innovation

A staff member introduces a minimally invasive orthopedic surgery robot to visitors at the 2022 World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) in East Chinas Shanghai, Sept 1, 2022. (Photo: Xinhua)BEIJING, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- China Development Bank, one of the countrys policy banks, issued a total of 261.9 billion yuan (about 38.68 billion U.S. dollars) of loans to support the countrys science and technology innovation in 2022.Over 90 percent of the loans were mid-term and long-term loans, the bank said.The loans mainly went to sectors including integrated circuits, biological breeding, aerospace science and technology, and intelligent robots.

Incomes of people lifted out of poverty jump 14.3 pct in 2022

(File photo: Xinhua)BEIJING, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- Incomes of people lifted out of poverty grew at a robust rate of 14.3 percent year on year in 2022, data from the National Rural Revitalization Administration showed.The growth rate was 8 percentage points higher than that of per capita disposable income of rural residents, the administration said.Last year, the per capita net income of those lifted out of poverty reached 14,342 yuan (about 2,118.4 U.S. dollars).Chinese authorities have been creating more jobs for those lifted out of poverty and developing characteristic industries in rural areas in a bid to boost their incomes.China will continue to increase job opportunities for people lifted out of poverty with the support of policies to expand effective investment and stimulate domestic demand, Liu Huanxin, head of the administration, said earlier this week.Measures will be taken to ramp up the development of the rural collective economy, such as making good use of collective land and supporting the growth of rural cooperatives, he added.

Oil prices rise amid expectations of higher China demand

NEW YORK, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices climbed on Friday, driven by optimism over demand in China.File photo: AFPThe West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for February delivery gained 98 cents, or 1.22 percent, to settle at 81.31 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for March delivery added 1.47 dollars, or 1.71 percent, to settle at 87.63 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange."Oil markets continue to move higher as traders bet on rising China demand," Vladimir Zernov, market analyst with market information supplier FX Empire, said on Friday."Next week, Chinas demand for oil will rise as the country would celebrate the Chinese New Year, which is bullish for oil markets," he said.Traders continued to digest data on U.S. fuel stockpiles.The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported Thursday that the countrys commercial crude oil inventories jumped by 8.4 million barrels during the week ending Jan. 13. On average, analysts polled by S&P Global Commodity Insights had expected U.S. supplies to show a rise of 0.9 million barrels.According to the EIA, total motor gasoline inventories increased by 3.5 million barrels last week, while distillate fuel inventories decreased by 1.9 million barrels.For the week, the WTI rose 1.8 percent, and Brent advanced 2.8 percent.

Spending on R&D in China hits new high

Scientists conduct a solar spectrum experiment at a Chinese Academy of Sciences laboratory in Shanghai. (Photo: Xinhua)China spent a record 3.09 trillion yuan ($443 billion) on research and development in 2022, a 10.4 percent year-on-year increase that came from the nations accelerated efforts to enhance its innovation capability for more breakthroughs.The National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday that Chinas R&D expenditures accounted for 2.55 percent of the GDP last year, which is 0.12 percentage point higher than the previous year.That percentage of R&D spending is close to the average of 2.67 percent among OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) economies. It moved China to the 12th place globally, ahead of Frances 2.35 percent and the Netherlands 2.32 percent."Despite multiple unfavorable factors, Chinas R&D expenditure continued to soar and injected strong vitality into the nations innovative development. Notably,the investment in basic research continued to grow rapidly," said Li Yin, the chief NBS statistician.Last year, the country spent some 195.1 billion yuan on basic research, a year-on-year increase of 7.4 percent."Accelerated efforts will be made this year to again beef up R&D expenditure, especially in some self-developed innovations, and meanwhile to improve the quality of the overall R&D, so as to offer stronger support for tech breakthroughs," Li said.According to Chinas 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25), the country will scale up spending on R&D by more than 7 percent annually during the period to drive more technological breakthroughs.Consultancy McKinsey and Co said in a report that such a growth target will set the country on the path to becoming the worlds largest spender on R&D.In the first three quarters of last year, Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd, Chinas largest electric vehicle battery maker, spent 10.58 billion yu...

IMF predicts better prospects for world economy

Photo taken on May 16, 2018 shows an automatic container dock in Qingdao, east Chinas Shandong Province. (File photo: Xinhua)The global economic outlook might not be as bad as previously feared, with Chinas optimized COVID-19 measures expected to boost growth, said the IMF chief on Friday.Speaking during a closing panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said the worlds economic prospect is not as bad as a couple of months ago, but "less bad does not quite yet mean good".The International Monetary Fund downgraded its economic outlook projection three times last year,"so not downgrading (this year) is already good news", she said, adding that inflation seems to start leading into the downward trajectory, particularly headline inflation.With China optimizing COVID-19 measures, Georgieva said the IMF forecast the countrys growth to be at 4.4 percent compared to the 2.7 percent global average in 2023."What has also changed in the positive is that we have seen the strength of the labor market, translating into consumers spending and keeping the economy up," she said. "But we should be cautious."Georgieva said while labor markets are holding up, interest rates are yet to bite. "If they bite more severely,then we can see unemployment going up. And it is very different for a consumer to have a cost of living crisis and a job, and then to have a cost of living crisis and no job," she said."So we have to be thinking of possibly unemployment going up at a time when fiscal space in governments is very tight, there isnt that much they can do to help people. And yet they would be pressed to do it."Ongoing risksShe also pointed to ongoing risks,including the Russia-Ukraine conflict dampening confidence, especially in Europe.According to the World Banks latest Global Economic Prospects report, global growth is slowing sharply in the face of el...

US-listed Chinese firms trade mostly higher

NEW YORK, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- U.S.-listed Chinese companies traded mostly higher on Friday, with eight of the top 10 stocks by weight in the S&P U.S. Listed China 50 index ending the day on an upbeat note.Shares of Baidu and Li Auto rose 5.91 percent and 3.47 percent, respectively, leading the advancers in the top 10 stocks.Shares of BeiGene and NetEase dipped 2.94 percent and 0.18 percent, respectively, the only two decliners in the top 10 stocks.Wall Streets major averages climbed on Friday, boosted by strong gains in tech-related stocks.The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 330.93 points, or 1.00 percent, to 33,375.49. The S&P 500 added 73.76 points, or 1.89 percent, to 3,972.61. The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 288.17 points, or 2.66 percent, to 11,140.43.The Cboe Volatility Index, widely considered as the best fear gauge in the stock market, fell 3.27 percent to 19.85.As of Thursday, the S&P U.S. Listed China 50 index, which is designed to track the performance of the 50 largest Chinese companies listed on U.S. exchanges by total market cap, stood at 2,871.05, marking an 11.72-percent rise for the month-to-date returns and an 11.72-percent increase for the year-to-date returns.

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