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Updated: 2013-01-17 07:28

(China Daily)

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Apple begins installment plan for Chinese site

Apple Inc has begun allowing users of its Chinese website to pay in installments as the company looks for ways to make its iPhones and MacBook laptops more affordable in the country. Payments can be made over a two-year period for purchases of 300 yuan ($48) or more, up to a limit of 30,000 yuan, Apple said on its Chinese site. The installment plans require a credit card from China Merchants Bank Co, it said. Apple will let buyers split payments into 3, 6, 12, 18 or 24 installments, and choosing 12 or fewer installments carries no fee. A fee of 6.5 percent of the selling price will be charged for 18 installments, and 8.5 percent for 24 installments.

Report: Alibaba hires Credit Suisse, Goldman for IPO

Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd, China's biggest e-commerce company, is reported on Bloomberg to have hired Credit Suisse Group AG and Goldman Sachs Group Inc to arrange an initial public offering, which could raise $3 billion to 4 billion in Hong Kong this year. John Spelich, a Hong Kong-based spokesman for Alibaba, declined to comment on the report, which quoted sources close to the company. Alibaba agreed last May to buy back about half of Yahoo's 40 percent stake in the Hangzhou-based company for about $7.1 billion. Yahoo acquired the shares in 2005 in exchange for $1 billion and ownership of Yahoo's Chinese operations.

Nation becomes world's top smartphone producer

Chinese shipments of smartphones totaled 224 million units in 2012, making the country the world's largest smartphone producer, official data showed on Wednesday. In 2012, more than 730,000 Chinese apps were launched on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad platforms, and the number of apps in China Mobile's online Mobile Market approached 150,000, according to a statement from the China Academy of Telecommunication Research under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Beijing-based research firm Analysys International predicted that China's mobile Internet market will reach 429.6 billion yuan ($69 billion) in 2015.

Property developers plan to buy land in Cyprus

Some Chinese property developers have plans to buy land in Cyprus or to form joint ventures with local developers to build homes for Chinese people there, a source told China Daily. "They are also interested in developing a exhibition center for Chinese exporters," said Christos Mavrellis, managing partner with Chrysses Demetriades & Co LLC, a law firm in Cyprus. Mavrellis declined to reveal the names of the developers. The move would be in line with the change in Cyprus' immigration law that encourages foreigners to buy property in the country.

Zhongwang gets $200m, 3-year syndicated loan

China Zhongwang Holdings Ltd, a maker of industrial aluminium extrusion products, said on Wednesday it signed a $200 million three-year syndicated term loan facility with a consortium of 15 financial institutions. The deal was provided by banks in the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Wahaha signs deal with MU to be soft-drinks partner

Chinese food company Wahaha Group Co Ltd said on Wednesday it will enter a partnership with the English Premier League soccer club Manchester United. The three-year deal, which was signed on Tuesday night, will see the popular drinks brand become the club's first official soft-drinks partner in China, according to Wahaha's website.

Stable policy environment key to restructuring

The government should create a stable policy environment and a fair competition plan for the restructuring process of companies, scholars and experts said at a forum. "The government must guard against a changeable policy, and let the market play a bigger role in choosing pillar industries and controlling production scale," Li Wei, director of the Development Research Center of the State Council, said at the 11th China Enterprises Development Forum.

Credit Agricole sees GDP growth at 8.5% in 2013

Markets can breathe a sigh of relief, due to monetary policy easing, progress in Europe and a pickup in Chinese growth, although there are plenty of risks, Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank said. The bank estimated that China's GDP growth in 2013 will be 8.5 percent, compared with the 7.7 percent the bank estimated for 2012.

Ansteel returns to profitability in December

Anshan Iron and Steel Group Corp, known as Ansteel, said that it turned its losses into profits in December, which may signal the recovery of China's economy. Zhang Guangning, the chairman of Ansteel, said the group will make every effort to increase efficiency in 2013. Due to the sluggish macroeconomic situation, Ansteel suffered big losses in past years. In the first quarter of 2012, the company posted a loss of 1.89 billion yuan ($301.17 million). In 2011, its losses reached 2.446 billion yuan.

Harbin Electric international contracts hit 2.6b yuan

Harbin Electric Corp, China's top power equipment maker by sales volume, said that its international contracts reached 2.6 billion yuan ($418.3 million) in 2012. The company launched its international strategy in 2010, and has achieved robust progress in the past two years. International revenue accounted for more than one-third of the company's total, said a senior official from Harbin Electric. The company exports products to more than 50 countries and regions. Its main markets include Africa, South America and Southeast Asia.

China Daily - Agencies

(China Daily 01/17/2013 page14)