Hi everyone. I’m Stephanie LI.
Coming up on today’s program.
Another 28 local infections were reported in the Chinese mainland on Thursday, a new high of the recent COVID-19 resurgence;
China’s October mortgage rates fell for first time this year.
Here’s what you need to know about China in the past 24 hours
Delta is back, again. This time, the Northwest suffers the blow.
Since two tourists originally from Shanghai were found COVID-19 positive in Northwest China's Shaanxi Province on October 16, this wave of epidemic resurgence has spilled to at least 10 provinces and cities as of Thursday.
Transmission links related to the latest flare-up continue to expand as the original transmission source remains unclear. China reported 28 new domestically transmitted cases on Thursday, affecting Inner Mongolia, Gansu, Shaanxi, Ningxia, Beijing, Guizhou and Qianghai around the country, bringing the total number to 70.
Officials in Beijing, which is busy gearing up for its hosting of the 2022 Winter Games in February, vowed stringent efforts against the virus, while parts of northern China braced for more curbs. The district where one local infection was spotted on Tuesday in Beijing is under soft lockdown and screenings are underway.
However, health experts believe the sporadic outbreaks are common and China is able to to curb the epidemic resurgence soon. Shao Yiming, a leading physician and immunologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said China's epidemic prevention and control strategy in the past had proven effective as more than 80 percent of the population is now fully vaccinated.
By the end of 2020, China had been the world's second largest import market for 12 consecutive years, and a major export destination for many countries and regions, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday. Data of China's foreign trade shows that the country's imports hit a historic high of 2 trillion in the first three quarters, a 32.6 percent jump year-on-year.
Greater Bay Area, Greater Future
Financial regulators in Hong Kong and the Mainland are pushing to allow the southbound trading of stocks via the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect to be priced in yuan, said Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po. He added that the stock and bond connect programs are warmly welcomed by international investors and are helpful to further develop an important platform in Hong Kong to offer RMB-denominated assets as well as promote the process of RMB internationalization.
Next on industry and company news
The average mortgage rate in China’s major cities declined in October for the first time this year. The average mortgage rate in 90 major cities for first-home purchases was 5.73 percent, and the rate for second-home purchases stood at 5.99 percent, both 1 basis point down from last month, according to Beike Research Institute.
Huawei got a sweetheart deal on a piece of industrial land in its home city of Shenzhen, apparently paying a below market price for the over-500,000-square-meter plot. The tech giant paid 298 million yuan ($46.6 million) for the plot for up to 760,000 square meters of total floor space, costing Huawei less than 400 yuan per square meter.
Chinese smartphone maker Oppo is reported to be developing its own high-end semiconductors for its flagship mobile phones, joining a race by smartphone makers—including Apple, Samsung, Huawei and Google—to develop in-house processors in pursuit of a competitive edge.
Switching gears to the financial sector
China’s recent crackdown on illegal activities, such as monopoly and “disorderly expansion of capital,” shouldn’t be seen as targeting the private economy, an official at the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) told a press conference yesterday. Yi Huiman, chairman of China's top securities regulator, said on the Financial Street Forum a day earlier that China must pay more attention to the regulation and guidance of capital amid ongoing registration-based reforms, which aim to make capital market mechanisms play a bigger role in IPO process.
During the Financial Street Forum yesterday, China’s top financial regulator, the China Securities Regulatory Commission, vowed to make greater efforts to improve the regulatory framework of the private fund industry as part of systemic moves to beef up the role of equity financing in serving innovative startups. Also, a senior official from the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) said the indebtedness of Chinese developer Evergrande Group is an individual case and will not have a major impact on the entire industry and the credit of Chinese companies.
Wrapping up with a quick look at the stock market
Chinese stocks closed mixed on Friday with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index down 0.34 percent, at 3582 points. The Shenzhen Component Index closed 0.33 percent higher at 14492 points. The Hang Seng Index closed 0.42 percent higher to stand at 26126 points.
Biz Word of the Day
A Sweetheart Deal is an agreement of any type that generally consists of one party presenting another party with a proposal so attractive and potentially lucrative that it is difficult to turn down.
Executive Editor: Sonia YU
Editor: LI Yanxia
Host: Stephanie LI
Writer: Stephanie LI, ZHANG Ran, TIAN Chang
Producer: XIANG Xiufang
Sound Editor: ZHANG Ran, Andy YUAN
Graphic Designer: ZHENG Wenjing, LIAO Wanni
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