All posts by anthony@greaterbayinsight.com

Macau’s visitor arrivals up 15.9% in April

Visitor arrivals to Macau rose 15.9% to 3.43 million in April, driven by day-trippers from the mainland.

According to the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC), overnight visitors rose by 5.4% YoY to 1.62 million, while same-day visitors surged 27.4% to 1.81 million.

Mainland visitor numbers rose 13.4% to 2.34 million. They came mainly from neighboring Guangdong and Hunan province. The majority arrived through the Gongbei land crossing – 1,759,111, up 17.2%, while 558,637 came in via the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. Visitor arrivals by air increased by 18.4% year-on-year to 314,870, whereas those by sea declined by 38.6% to 586,431.

Read more.

Foshan exports stay strong in April

Foshan’s exports remained resilient strong in April, helping the city to a 6.2% rise over the first four months of the year, above the province’s average. Mechanical and electrical products accounted for more than two-thirds of the RMB101.42 billion total, while the private sector was more than half of the total, rising 8.6% YoY.

Imports remained strong too, up 5.4% to RMB32.97 billion yuan. They were dominated by raw materials such as scrap metal, plastics and sawn timber. However, a standout was integrated circuits, which came in at RMB1.28 billion yuan, up 39.1% YoY. Auto parts and accessories was also noteworthy, up 19.4%.

Zhongshan exports rise 11.9%

Zhongshan has come in a close second behind Dongguan for growth of exports in the first four months of the year. At RMB61.92 billion, exports were up 11.9% YoY, driven by private enterprises.

Imports, however, were down 10.2% YoY at 15.29 billion yuan.

Overall trade by foreign-invested enterprises was down 1.2% to RMB44.63 billion yuan, while that of private enterprises was up 24% at RMB28.3 billion. State-owned enterprises were down 2.2% to RMB4.27 billion.

Mechanical and electrical products still dominated, rising 10.3% and accounting for 73.4% of total exports. Traditional labor-intensive products such as furniture, toys, luggage, shoes, plastic products, textiles, clothing, etc., rose 17.7%. Lamps, lighting fixtures and parts were 2.69 billion yuan, an increase of 35.3%.

Investment, retail sales push Zhuhai’s growth

Fixed-asset investment and retail sales drove Zhuhai’s economy in April, according to the latest statistics. It would appear that Hengqin’s construction boom is entering a new gear, while tourism is helping the city’s offshore islands.

From January to April, Zhuhai completed projects worth RMB54.931 billion yuan, up 10.5% YoY and 4. 8 percentage points higher than that of Q1. Among them, construction investment (excluding real estate) was RMB31.302 billion, up 13.3% YoY and higher than the provincial average of 3.7 percentage points. Service industries were also no slouch, completing investment projects worth more than RMB47 billion, an increase of 13.1%.

In the first four months of this year, the consumer market in Zhuhai continued to pick up. The city’s total retail sales hit RMB40.137 billion yuan, up 4.4% YoY, and the growth rate was 0.4 percentage points higher than that in January-March. The catering industry was notable for its 10.7% YoY growth.

Foreign trade fell 6.1% YoY to RMB94.241 billion yuan, but the decline was narrowed by 5.3 percentage points from January to March.

Foreign investment in Zhuhai from January to April rose 7.3% YoY to US$1.12 billion. Most of this came into Hengqin, where an international tourism hub is being built. However, it was in the city’s offshore islands, under the Wanshan district, where tourism gew fastest in the fiest four months, generating income for the industry rhat was up 14% YoY.

Guangzhou opens classes for HK, MO kids

Hong Kong and Macau residents may now enroll their children in public schools throughout all 11 of Guangzhou’s districts. Two schools in the Yuexiu district, in fact, have already started recruiting Hong Kong and Macau kids for specially tailored classes that start in September.

Shenzhen has classes for Hong Kong and Macau professionals working in the city, but they are at private schools. Zhao Li, deputy director of the Shenzhen education bureau, said previously that the city will further optimize policies regarding the education of the families of Hong Kong and Macau residents.

Read more (in Chinese).

China Southern Power launches spot electricity trading

China Southern Power Grid has completed the country’s first spot trading of electricity, marking a shift toward market-oriented pricing, reports Yicai Global.

Power prices are currently set by the state. Under the new system, a trading platform matches bids to derive prices based on supply and demand, according to Xinhua. The trial transactions involved 123 power distribution companies, 190 power generators and three major users.

Beijing unveiled plans last year to start spot power trading in western Inner Mongolia and the provinces of Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, and Zhejiang. Most provinces and cities have already introduced a medium-term power market, with annual and monthly cycles, but this is the first time that daily and intra-day spot trading has been conducted.

Read more.

Tencent: Guangdong leads governmental digitalization

Tencent’s annual Digital China Index Report, which tracks the spread of “digital government” shows Guangdong in the lead, followed by Beijing, Shandong and Zhejiang.

The provincial government’s integrated WeChat mini-program platform offers more than 100 types of services and has more than 10 million registered users, accounting for 12% of the province’s population.

Guangzhou surpassed Shenzhen, leaping to first place among all cities.

The report also showed that a local government’s level of digitalization has a strong correlation with its GDP growth. Digitalizing government affairs attracts external investment and ultimately helps to boost productivity through innovation, it said.

Read more (in Chinese).

Guangdong pumps up transport spending

Guangdong speeded up fixed-asset investment in transportation in Q1, completing projects worth RMB57.02 billion, 47.5% of the annual target, up 35.7% YoY.

Roads took the bulk of this spending, at RMB51.91 billion, an increase of 35% YOY. Of this, expressways accounted for RMB39.51 billion, up 43.6% year-on-year, while city and rural roads took the rest. Port projects saw RMB2.63 billion spent, an increase of 87.4% YoY.

Freight and cargo volumes seemed to be holding steady despite the deteriorating external environment. Waterway freight volume was up 5.6% and highway cargo turnover up 0.1%. At the ports, cargo throughput rose 7.4%, even though foreign trade cargo throughput was down 2.1%.

AmCham members decry tariffs

The American Chamber of Commerce in China has released its Second Joint Survey on the Impact of Tariffs. The survey received nearly 250 responses, with 61.6% manufacturing-related, 25.5% services, 3.8% retail and distribution, and 9.6% from other industries.

Findings include:

The negative impact of tariffs is clear and hurting the competitiveness of American companies in China. The vast majority (74.9%) of respondents said the increases in US and Chinese tariffs are having a negative impact on their businesses.

To cope with the impact of the tariffs, companies are increasingly adopting an “In China, for China” strategy (35.3 percent), or delaying and canceling investment decisions (33.2 percent). In China, for China is a strategy to localize manufacturing and sourcing within China to mainly serve the China market.

While over half of respondents (53.1%) have not seen any increase in non-tariff retaliatory measures by the Chinese government, roughly one in five have experienced increased inspections (20.1%) and slower customs clearance (19.7%).

Approximately 40.7% of respondents are considering or have relocated manufacturing facilities outside China. For those that are moving manufacturing out of China, Southeast Asia (24.7%) and Mexico (10.5%) are the top destinations.

Read the full report here.