Category Archives: Economy

Dongguan cross-border e-commerce keeps surging

Dongguan’s cross-border e-commerce industry continues to accelerate, with its key bonded logistics centre in Shatian seeing exponential growth, according to local media. Located inside the Binhaiwan Bay Area, one of the ten cores of the GBA masterplan’s Science and Technology Innovation Corridor, the center has recorded 1.6 million packages delivered for the year ended November 30, almost six times the total volume of last year. 

It is not only happening in Shatian. Since Dongguan was designated a national-level pilot zone for the cross-border e-commerce industry last July, a number of bonded logistics centres, which are duty-free, have been opened in Qingxi, Humen, and Fenggang town. Humen’s is a national-level zone.

With imported goods entering the bonded parks via “fast track” channels, without customs declaration, processing times have been sharply shortened, said Huang Guohua, deputy director of Shatian’s customs, as quoted by local media.

According to official data, total cross-border e-commerce trade in Dongguan hit 37.01 billion yuan last year, up 133% YoY. The number for the first nine months this year totalled 29 billion, retaining the top spot across the country.

Huizhou slows further

Huizhou’s economy slowed further in October, with industrial output and retail sales both down, according to the latest official data. However, fixed-asset investment is kicking in.

From January to October, industrial output grew just 2.3% YoY, 0.4 percentage points down from the year to September. The traditional staple of the electronics industry grew by just 1%.

Fixed-asset investment surged by 15.5%, accelerating in October to grow 1.7 percentage points faster than the year to September, and 11.2 percentage points faster YoY. Industrial investment rose 21.8%, 3.4 percentage points up from the year to September; infrastructure investment grew by 19.3%, 0.1 percentage points up; and real estate investment increased by 21.1%, 1.1 percentage points up.

Total retail sales grew by 8.1%, 0.1 percentage points slower than the first three quarters. Among them, wholesale, lodging and catering industries have seen faster growth while retail industry has seen slower growth at 8.5%.

Prices kept rising, with CPI jumping 2.8% from January to October, 0.1 percentage point up from the first three quarters. All categories of products listed, except traffic and telecommunication products, rose.

Exports strong as Foshan grows trade 6.6%

Foshan’s foreign trade numbers appear to be holding steady, with total exports and imports for the first 10 months at 402.79 billion yuan, up 6.6% YoY. Exports were fairly strong, up 7.4% at 312.54 billion yuan, while imports were up 4.1% at 90.25 billion yuan.

According to official data, Foshan’s traditional exports, such as home appliances, furniture, and ceramics, have remained stable, while cross-border e-commerce has been surging, up 1.2 times, albeit still only at 6.35 billion yuan.

Although trade with the United States was flat, at 51.55 billion yuan, trade with ASEAN was up 16.8% to 69.25 billion yuan, while trade with the EU was up 11.5% to 52.68 billion yuan.

Read more (in Chinese).

Guangdong industrial profits outperform

As has been well-documented by now, the Greater Bay Area has been hit harder by the US-China trade war than the rest of China. This is simply because it was more exposed to external trade when the tariffs began to be imposed; the higher you are, the further you have to fall. However, the region has certain strengths that are holding up, and it looks increasingly like it will recover quicker and be in better shape once the inevitable upturn in the country’s credit cycle begins again. 

The most important of these strengths are Guangdong’s longer history of international trade, and its greater weighting toward private enterprise. These enable the province’s leadership, in politics and business, to pivot more quickly when external circumstances change. That is what seems to be happening now, as companies trim costs and refocus their sales teams on domestic consumers while exploring new overseas markets along the Belt and Road Initiative. 

Continue reading Guangdong industrial profits outperform

Canton Fair down in numbers, up in spirits

The country’s biggest trade fair wrapped up this week with disappointing numbers but buoyant hopes for an upturn, according to local media. This was for two reasons: the US-China trade talks appeared to be edging toward an agreement that could see tariffs start to be lifted; and there had been a surge in orders from Asean countries, i.e., the Belt and Road Initiative appears to be working.

Nothing could dampen the mood of the fair’s irrepressible spokesperson, Xu Bing, deputy director of the China Foreign Trade Centre, who pointed out that although orders were down 1.9% in comparison to last year’s Fall session, they were up from the Spring session held earlier this year: RMB 207.09 billion vs RMB 199.5 billion.

Moreover, although attendance of 186,000 was the lowest since 2017, the 2% decline was less than the 3.9% year-over-year drop at the Spring session.

Continue reading Canton Fair down in numbers, up in spirits

Shenzhen confirms 6.6% growth, blames nothing

After the provincial government leaked Shenzhen’s GDP headline number for the first three quarters yesterday, causing a rush of commentary by bloggers and real-estate analysts, the city government decided today to clarify the reasons why its economy slowed so sharply, to 6.6% from 7.4% in the first six months.

Understandably, the report was full of numbers that the Shenzhen Daily tried to portray in a positive light.

At the heart of the data was an unmistakeable weakness: a sharp slowdown in industrial output and input, as we had expected in our report published yesterday.

Continue reading Shenzhen confirms 6.6% growth, blames nothing

Services pumping in hi-tech Guangzhou

More detail is dribbling out in local media after Guangzhou reported strong GDP numbers last week. One of the clear standouts was growth in the services sector, especially the so-called “modern services industry”, which is dominated by software and other IT-related services.

Although the city is often thought of as a bastion of heavy industry and manufacturing, while Shenzhen is usually described as the “tech hub”, Guangzhou’s economy is increasingly being driven by software and other IT-related services. According to official data, this sector accounted for 68.6% of Guangzhou’s GDP in the first three quarters, an increase of 0.1% over the first half of the year. Its added-value was up 15.5% YoY.

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Shenzhen sees sharp slowdown in Q3

Something is going on in Shenzhen. The city has not yet released any reports on its economic performance in the first three quarters, yet provincial data show that the city’s GDP growth dropped sharply in Q3.

Private commentators have been reporting the provincial data today, many with alarmist analysis. This is rightly so: the 6.6% growth number recorded by Shenzhen for the first three quarters of this year follows 7.4% reported for the first six months. If accurate, that is an unprecedented quarterly slowdown.

Continue reading Shenzhen sees sharp slowdown in Q3