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Will trimmed subsidy roll back knock the wind out of Taiwan’s offshore turbine sector?

A retrospective reduction in subsidies for offshore wind power development by Taiwan could take the wind out of international developers’ sails, and erode some of the sector’s attractiveness relative to Japan, mainland China and South Korea as an investment destination. The Taiwan government had proposed an aggressive cutback in subsidies for offshore wind power projects in November 2018, after the ruling Democratic Progressive Party suffered a major election setback at the hands of the opposition Kuomintang Party, which has criticised offshore wind subsidies previously given as too generous. It initially…

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You thought 2018 was bad for China’s stock market? Profit warnings suggest worse may be yet to come

Last year was a dreadful one for mainland Chinese equities as a slowdown in economic growth and the trade war with the US combined to crush market sentiment. The bad news for investors is that the worst may be yet to come. Preliminary announcements showed that 390 companies listed on China’s bourses are set to report a combined loss to the tune of 330 billion yuan (US$49 billion) for 2018. That means the total loss for the country’s listed firms is on track to be three times greater than a…

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Middle-aged Chinese tourists lead use of mobile payments abroad during Lunar New Year holiday

Middle-aged Chinese travellers were the country’s biggest spenders abroad during the recent Lunar New Year holiday, as these older tourists led the use of mobile payments to go shopping overseas, according to an Alipay study. That finding, drawn from the more than 40 markets where Alipay is accepted, covered two groups who used the popular mobile payments platform: those born in the period 1960 to 1969 and 1970 to 1979. They were “the main driving force in outbound tourism and overseas consumption”, according to the report from Alipay, a unit…

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Trump signs order prioritizing artificial intelligence research amid looming China ambitions

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Monday directing the U.S. government to prioritize artificial intelligence in its research and development spending, the White House said. The order, which comes amid concerns about China’s ambitions to dominate the sector and the likelihood of disruption for workers as the technology automates millions of jobs, doesn’t outline specific funding goals, but says it aims to ensure that AI develops in a manner that reflects U.S. values and to push training for the future workforce. Is China really snapping at the heels of…

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Veggie ‘meat’ start-up backed by Nasa wins financing from tech moguls and Silicon Valley climate fund

A Chicago-based biotechnology company working with Nasa to develop a new form of plant-based protein fit for supporting space exploration has received US$33 million from venture capital firms, including an energy tech fund backed by Bill Gates, Jack Ma and Jeff Bezos. The funding will support the development and commercialisation of the animal protein alternative, according to Sustainable Bioproducts co-founder and chief executive Thomas Jonas. The climate-friendly protein is a product of research into extremophile organisms that live in Yellowstone National Park’s volcanic springs. “That work led to the development…

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China 

Where? When? How? China and United States at odds over right place and time for next Xi-Trump summit

Beijing has suggested the next China-US summit take place on the tropical Chinese island of Hainan next month, following suggestions from the White House that US President Donald Trump is eager to meet with his counterpart, Xi Jinping, sooner than later. “He wants to meet with President Xi very soon,” White House adviser Kellyanne Conway told Fox News on Monday, adding that it “absolutely” looked like both sides were closing in on a deal to end the trade war. Chinese officials proposed that Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US…

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China’s crowded labour market is making life tough for foreign workers and new graduate ‘sea turtles’

With the Chinese economy slowing, concern has increased among Chinese policymakers about the outlook for employment, since ensuring a sufficient number of new jobs is seen as a necessary ingredient in maintaining social stability in the country. Employment was the top priority the Politburo set last July when it shifted its economic policy focus to stabilising growth, leading the government to enact a series of policies to counter rising joblessness. This series will explore the employment challenges faced by different segments of the Chinese economy. The second instalment examines the…

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China 

Donald Trump’s ban on Chinese telecoms equipment would have ‘limited impact’ on China’s economy

US President Donald Trump’s plan to ban Chinese telecommunications equipment from US wireless networks will not have a major impact on China’s economy, analysts have said. However, the ban would be a new blow to the expansionary plans of China’s telecoms giants, which account for the bulk of the country’s exports in this sector. Currently, the US imports a relatively small amount of telecoms equipment from China that could be used in wireless networks. Granular data is not available, but according to the latest available figures from China Customs, the…

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China joins global central bank gold rush as its foreign exchange reserves stabilise

China has joined a global central bank gold rush in the last two months by increasing its official gold reserves, even though the purchase remains modest compared to the volume of the mainland’s foreign exchange reserves, according to data released by the People’s Bank of China on Monday. The country’s gold reserves rose slightly to 59.94 million ounces at the end of January from 59.56 million ounces at the end of December 2018, marking a second straight month of increase. The latest gold purchase by the world’s second-largest economy came…

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Why these two Russian metal stocks are forging their way back into Hong Kong investors’ hearts

Shares in Rusal, the world’s second-largest aluminium producer, have surged by 71 per cent since the United States signalled its intention seven weeks ago to lift sanctions against the company. But can the Hong Kong-listed stock rise further? It is possible, according to some analysts who said they considered the stock to be undervalued. The Moscow-based company has been beaten down by a geopolitical spat between the US and Russia, which led last April to US sanctions against 23 Russian heavyweights and the firms they control, including Rusal. US sanctions-hit…

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