Category Archives: Industries

Guangdong’s largest auditor probed

GP Certified Public Accountants, the auditor of an embattled pharmaceutical company, has been placed under investigation by the country’s securities regulator, after the drugmaker was suspected of fabricating a financial report, according to Caixin Global.

Shanghai-listed traditional Chinese medicine supplier Kangmei Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., has itself been under investigation by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) since late December for allegedly violating information disclosure laws and rules.

The pharmaceutical company announced at the end of last month that it was making massive corrections to its financial report for 2017, including an overstatement of RMB29.9 billion (US$4.4 billion) in the company’s cash holdings.

The discrepancy has put the company’s auditor GP Certified under enormous pressure to give reasonable answers to many detailed questions.

GP Certified has been Kangmei’s auditor since it went public in 2001. The firm is the largest auditing company in Guangdong and ranked 22nd in China in 2017 with revenues of RMB492 million. Kangmei paid the accounting firm a total of RMB37 million for services over the past decade, higher than the average paid by listed companies in the country. GP Certified audits another 86 Chinese listed companies, most of which are local firms in Guangdong.

Read more. 

New project to boost GBA water supply

OK, so it’s not exactly a Grand Canal. More like a Grand Pipeline. But still, the significance of a major new project to improve the region’s water supply cannot be emphasized enough. With a total length of 113 km and investment of RMB35.4 billion (US$5.2 billion), a new water-diversion project is under way to link the western and eastern sides of the Greater Bay Area.

The project is designed to deliver an average of over 1.7 billion cubic meters of water annually from the Foshan city section of the Xijiang (West River) to Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Dongguan, officials with the Ministry of Water Resources said.

One of the country’s 172 major water conservation and supply projects, it’s also the longest water diversion line with the largest investment value in the province.

The project presents a great engineering challenge as pipes will be laid 40 to 60 meters under the ground throughout, including 2.4 kilometers under the estuary of the Pearl River. Upon its completion in about 60 months, the project will solve the water shortage problem of the three cities and provide a backup water source for Hong Kong. 

Up to now, the Dongjiang (East River) has been the major water source for 40 million residents in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Heyuan, Huizhou, Dongguan and Hong Kong on the east side of the Pearl River estuary. It contributes 18% of the water resources in Guangdong and supports 28% of the population and 48% of the GDP in the province.

However, the Dongjiang has seen its utilization rate reach 38.3%, close to the international alarm standard of 40%. In contrast, the water capacity of the Xijiang is 10 times that of the Dongjiang, while its utilization rate is only 1.2%. 

Read more (in Chinese).

Jiangmen to build RMB100b cluster

The government of Jiangmen has set its sights on creating New Energy Vehicle industrial cluster in the city, potentially worth as much as RMB100 bn.

There is a way to go. Last year, the NEV and related equipment industry contributed just RMB17 billion to Jiangmen’s GDP. However, the city government has recently released a new plan to “actively push forward” development of the industry. 

Cash subsidies are on the way for NEV enterprises with a capital investment of RMB2 billion and related equipment manufacturers with an investment of RMB1 billion. 

Jiangmen will have competition. Most cities in the GBA have a liking for the NEV industry. Dongguan is particularly focused on it. In 2017, China’s leading auto manufacturer, Dongfeng Motor, invested RMB4 in Dongguan’s Heshan to build an NEV commercial vehicle base to specifically serve certain industries: e-commerce, supermarkets, postal logistics and special vehicles for municipal sanitation facilities. 

Jiangmen also pledged to ensure all its public transportation would be electric-powered by 2020, and to spread a dense network of charging stations across the city for private cars. 

Read more (in Chinese).

Guangzhou’s Conghua district a hot spot

Guangzhou’s northeastern Conghua district attracted 360,000 tourists during the recent four-day Labor Day holiday. The draw? “Getting out into the countryside” promotions. Tourists were apparently drawn to the district’s hot springs, village walking, and fruit-picking activities.

The district is known for its natural beauty and family-oriented activities. These generated tourism-related revenue of RMB115 million over the four days. By comparison, Macau welcomed just over 600,000 tourists in the same period. But there are no prizes for guessing what drew them there: it is pretty much the opposite of getting out into the countryside.

Read more (in Chinese).

New cruise to link Guangzhou, Hong Kong

Dream Cruises will open a one-day Guangzhou-Hong Kong cruise route at the end of April, offering a new way of traveling between the two cities, reports News Guangdong.

The cruise will depart at 11:00 am every Friday in Guangzhou and every Sunday in Hong Kong and arrive at its destination at 5:30 pm the same day.

With a ticket price of RMb499 ($74.45), passengers can enjoy different cuisines and entertainment facilities on the cruise during the six and a half hour long journey that combines sightseeing, leisure and entertainment.

Guangzhou to launch GBA promotions

Guangzhou plans to push a new promotion designed to attract tourists to visit the entire Greater Bay Area, not only the provincial capital. Moreover, the city will facilitate mutual recognition of qualifications for travel agencies and tour guides in Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macau, according to the local media 21st Century Business Herald.

Guangzhou generated more than RMB400 billion from tourism last year, a 10% increase from the previous year. The city government has also recently released a proposal on how to encourage domestic consumption, in which it placed tourism as a top sector, followed by culture, sports and health.

Guangzhou’s overall competitiveness in tourism is ranked third in China, after Beijing and Shanghai. In 2018, Guangzhou received 223 million inbound trips, up 9.23% from the previous year. Of these, more than nine million were overnight trips, up 0.02%. The city’s foreign exchange earnings from tourism were US$6.48 billion, up 2.7%.

Among the 11 GBA cities, Guangzhou scored the highest in tourism revenue, followed by Hong Kong’s RMB256.2 billion, Shenzhen’s RMB148.2 billion and Foshan’s RMB709 million.

Guangzhou and Hong Kong recently collaborated to launch China’s first tourism “Red List”, which includes 196 travel agencies, 40 from Guangzhou and 156 from Hong Kong. The two cities also looking at ways to expand the list to all GBA cities, focusing on boosting service levels and easing visa approvals while also improving the border-crossing experience.

Banks to help with Qianhai company setup in HK

Shenzhen’s Market Supervision Administration announced that it has partnered with a number of Hong Kong and Shenzhen banks to launch a new service that will allow investors to conveniently register a new company in Shenzhen’s Qianhai district.

The so-called “Shenzhen-Hong Kong Easy Connect, Easy Registration”(深港通注册易) scheme will rely on Bank of China, ICBC, China Merchants Bank and Chong Hing Bank to provide company registration services, in addition to opening bank accounts. The service will not only save on travel time between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, but also make the process a lot easier for a Hong Kong resident who may not be familiar with procedures involved in cross-border investment.

The scheme will start in Shenzhen’s Qianhai Free Trade Zone, which is not far from the Shenzhen Bay bridge connecting to Hong Kong, and later expand to other districts.

Philip S.M Fung, deputy chief executive of Chong Hing Bank, said the new service has “taken down geographic barriers” while also setting an example to push forward increased connectivity among GBA cities while exploring new models for financial services development.

IHG focused on Hengqin, CEO says

UK-based InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has chosen Zhuhai for the celebration of the opening of its 400th hotel in China. This reflects its determination to develop in the Greater Bay Area, above all Hengqin Island, Jolyon Bulley, CEO of IHG China told local media Yicai Global.

Hengqin, the Zhuhai special economic zone facing Macau, has just been approved by the State Council as an “International Leisure and Tourism Center”. IHG is in discussions with developers on the island to understand local conditions and the masterplan for tourism, finance, education and commerce. The company expects to build hotel projects in Hengqin and is very upbeat about the potential for future development, Bulley said.

IHG had about 78,000 hotel rooms under construction in China as of the end of last year, and the company will site its new projects, especially mid-end hotels, in second-, third- and fourth-tier cities, Bulley added.

Logistics chief says HZMB not yet right for trucks

George Yeo, head of Kerry Logistics, knows the art of diplomacy. The former Singaporean foreign minister now heads one of the Greater Bay Area’s biggest logistics companies, Kerry Logistics. Yet it is clear in this feature on SCMP that he has decided it’s time to speak some hard truths. Here is an excerpt:

“The details are very important. Right now we have the broad framework and the general idea [of the plan]. We have to go down now to the nitty gritty, to the specific details,” Yeo said.

“There is still very little cargo going across because the rules are not clearly settled with the customs authorities. I am sure it will be resolved within a few months. There are practical details about how to clear containers and where to clear them and the smoother it is the better.”

“The clearer the rules are the more the trucks that carry such containers can pass through with minimum friction.”

Read the full story here