The central government clearly is not going to let up on Macau’s junkets. While the Greater Bay Area plan is pushing more mass-market tourists through Macau, Beijing is pursuing the offshore online-gaming operations run by groups widely believed to be tied to junket operators – although most deny any links to the activity.
Cambodia recently announced it would crack down. The Philippines also said it would stop taking new applications. But that is apparently not enough for the Ministry of Public Security, which sees the online-gaming operations – and their associated money-laundering networks – as threats to national security. Now, the central government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has called on Manila to ban the operations outright.
As reported by GGRAsia: “POGOs [online operators] are said to have been expanding aggressively in the Philippines, with currently 58 licensed such operators in the country, and three others awaiting licences. Many of these operations specifically target Chinese customers.”
Timing is obviously an issue. The President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, and Chinese President Xi Jinping are poised to discuss the issue during a meeting later this month.
The news comes just as official data shows Macau’s tourism industry to be in good health, with visitor numbers up 16.3% YoY in July to 3.53 million. Mainland tourists were up 18.5%, with most growth coming from the nine GBA cities inside Guangdong (+27.5%).
However, data also showed that non-gaming spend by visitors is declining. In Q2, they spent MOP15.71 billion, excluding gaming expenses, down 4.8% year-on-year. Shopping remained the largest single-category, at 44.8% of total outlay.
Read more on GGRAsia.
Guangzhou may have launched the country’s first 5G bus line back in May, but Shenzhen has not been far behind. It now has two routes running from the Lianhua Mountain Bus Terminal – No. 10 and No. 14 – offering a superfast 5G network to passengers on their daily commute through the city’s main business districts of Luohu and Futian. The lines are used by around 12,000 passengers per day on a fleet of 50 buses.
Download speeds inside the buses reach 1.5Gbps, allowing for movies to be downloaded in seconds. However, that is not the main attraction. The 10-meter compartments of these “smart buses” offer “immersive VR travel experiences” as well. With the help of exterior cameras, passengers can have aspects of scenery along the way projected onto the bus screens, with explanatory details included.
Needless to say, the buses also come equipped with onboard cameras running facial-recognition technology. This is being promoted by the bus company as an improvement on safety.
Guangzhou has released a three-year action plan to accelerate the development of 5G, which is faster than even Shenzhen’s. By the end of the year, the provincial capital will have 20,000 base stations working, covering most of the city’s key business hubs. That compares to Shenzhen’s planned 8,500 base stations by the end of this year. Moreover, Guangzhou has set a three-year target of 65,000 base stations, compared to 45,000 in Shenzhen.
The differences are largely due to their respective geographic size – Shenzhen squeezes its 13 million residents into a smaller space than Guangzhou does with its 14 million. Both will ensure “comprehensive coverage” across their urban areas by 2021.
Continue reading Guangzhou unveils 3-year 5G plan
We have been tracking news related to the liberalization of the elderly-care market in Guangdong for some time. Now, the provincial government has issued some guidelines that look promising for investors, although the emphasis is clearly on non-profit organizations first.
Continue reading Guangdong to boost retirement communities
Asset managers and enterprises from Shenzhen have been spearheading the growth of science and technology parks beyond the city, official data shows. At present, there are 210 industrial parks nationwide established by Shenzhen’s state-owned asset managers and enterprises, according to Shenzhen Special Zone Daily.
One of the main forces behind this expansion, Shum Yip Grop, has introduced a total of 17,275 enterprises into industrial parks across the country. These now include 179 listed companies, 19 of the world’s top 500 enterprises, and 50 incubators and entrepreneurial service institutions.
Although only 49 are science and technology industrial parks, their construction area (36.862 million square meters) accounts for more than half of the gross. Shenzhen is intending to strengthen its ability to acquire and allocate scientific and technological resources domestically and overseas and built highly-integrated industrial complexes in batches all over the world, the paper says.
Sadly, in the financial markets, there is little room for sentiment. While Hong Kong struggles to get its airport back into smooth operation after days of chaos caused by protesters, investors have been pumping up the shares of regional competitors likely to gain from an overflow of demand.
Continue reading HK airport woes focus attention on regional rivals
China is about to shake the global finance industry with its launch of the world’s first major sovereign e-currency. As it turns out, much of the research that went into development of the “digital Renminbi” has been taking place in the Greater Bay Area.
Continue reading Shenzhen plays key role in ‘Digital RMB’
As a traditional manufacturing base, Zhongshan has a collection of clusters in home appliances, lighting and apparel. That might not set anyone’s hair on fire, given how the Greater Bay Area has been turning gung-ho on industrial upgrading since the release of the masterplan in February. However, they are just what is needed by some of the country’s biggest e-commerce behemoths.
Continue reading E-commerce giants move into Zhongshan
Shenzhen is a pretty smart city already. Its public transport fleet is electric. It has AI surveillance systems to catch jaywalkers and speeders. It is home to Tencent and Huawei Technologies, and hundreds of other leading technology companies. But, like the kid with the pushy parents who sits near the front of class, Shenzhen is always looking for ways to get smarter. Which is why the city government this week launched an initiative to drag some of its leading state-owned enterprises into the digital era.
The initiative is being run by the Smart Cities Science and Technology Development Group Co., Ltd. And yes, it is a state-owned enterprise, fully funded by the city’s State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission.
Continue reading Smart Cities Group launched in Shenzhen
Huizhou Airport’s new terminal is expected to be completed by the end of this month. As of July 31, passenger throughput has exceeded 1.5 million this year. This will jump to 2.5 million after the new terminal is officially put into operation, by the end of year, according the Huizhou Municipal Transportation Bureau.
Currently, Huizhou Airport has 12 airlines offering 36 flight routes to connect 31 cities around the country, while cargo and courier handling capacity reached 4679.6 tons, up 45.6% and 59.1% respectively. The airport’s existing capacity has reached its maximum.
Continue reading Huizhou prepares for new airport terminal