News in review
Updated: 2013-02-22 12:05
Friday, Feb 15 to Thursday, Feb 21
Friday_________________________ Feb 15
GM's profit rises with help from China sales
General Motors Co reported a slight increase in fourth-quarter profit and said 2012 was its third consecutive money-making year, thanks in part to sales in China, the world's biggest market for automobiles.
The US company on Feb 14 posted a weaker-than-expected profit for the period, due to wider losses in Europe and rising costs in North America. GM said for 2012, revenue grew to $152.3 billion, up from $150.3 billion in 2011.
GM is fighting Germany's Volkwagen AG to keep its status as the best-selling foreign auto maker in China. For 2012, GM outsold Volkswagen in China, with record sales of its Wuling minivans. Deliveries at GM and its Chinese joint ventures rose 11 percent to a record 2.84 million vehicles. At Volkswagen, deliveries were up 24.5 percent to 2.81 million.
Fourth-quarter GM deliveries in China increased 15 percent to 754,000. GM and its partners in China held 14.3 percent of the market in the latest quarter.
Monday____________________ Feb 18
The Titanic is coming back in Nanjing
CSC Jinling Shipyard Co Ltd has signed an agreement to build Titanic II with the Australian mining billionaire Clive Palmer.
The shipyard in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, says it will take three years to build the replica, which will be 270 meters long, 53 meters high with nine floors and have 840 rooms.
The maiden voyage is scheduled for 2016 from England to North America with 900 crew members and 2,400 passengers, the shipyard said.
The Titanic sank on April 15, 1912, off Newfoundland when it hit an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to New York, killing 1,523 people.
Tuesday___________________ Feb 19
Labor shortage worsens after festival
Inland provinces are holding job fairs to lure migrant workers back home. There are more than 250 million migrant workers in China, and many leave home for better jobs in other provinces.
Manufacturers in coastal cities are concerned that if the fairs are successful and if migrant workers going home for Spring Festival don't return, they'll suffer a labor shortage.
Meanwhile, job hopping in 2013 came earlier than usual because of economic uncertainty, according to ChinaHR.com, the Chinese subsidiary of Monster Worldwide. About 27 percent of job hoppers said they were quitting because of their company's poor prospects, according to a report by ChinaHR.com. (Photo 3)
Wednesday__________ Feb 20
Property firm Vanke comes to San Francisco
China Vanke Co, China's biggest residential developer, is making its first entry into the US real estate market.
The company and New York-based Tishman Speyer Properties signed a deal to build two connected luxury condominium towers (see below) with 655 units in downtown San Francisco, two blocks from the waterfront.
Tishman will build the towers, which would be the city's largest condo project. China Vanke will put up 70 percent of the deal's $250 million in equity and Tishman will put up the remaining 30 percent, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Two companies bid for US automaker
Two Chinese firms are bidding for a majority stake in the struggling US electric car maker Fisker Automotive.
The Anaheim, California-based Fisker is considering bids from Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co and Dongfeng Motor Group Co.
Geely appears to be the preferred bidder, according to a Reuters report, which cited two unidentified sources familiar with the deal. Both offers were worth $200 million to $300 million, Reuters said.
In 2012, Fisker had a series of recalls due to battery, software and cooling issues.
The companies' interest in Fisker is a result of the Chinese government's encouraging development of alternative-fuel vehicles in a bid to ease the country's reliance on imported oil and to reduce emissions, said Zhong Shi, a Beijing-based analyst in the new-energy vehicle sector.
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, the parent company of Volvo Car Corp and Geely Automobile Holding Ltd, also said on Wednesday that it will set up a research and development center in Gothenburg, Sweden. (Photo 2)
Thursday________________ Feb 21
China, US exchange cyberattack charges
China and the US continued to exchange charges and countercharges on cyberattacks.
One day after a US security firm's report accused a People's Liberation Army unit in Shanghai of hacking US websites, the Defense Ministry said China's military has been the target of cyberattacks from abroad, with "a considerable number" originating in the US.
Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng on Wednesday didn't directly accuse the US government of being behind the attacks, as Internet protocol addresses can be disguised.
The Obama administration announced on Wednesday that it plans to use trade and diplomatic action to combat cyberattacks and the theft of trade secrets by foreign countries.
Asked whether the strategy is aimed at China, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that "we need to separate reports yesterday about hacking".
"It is vital that we continue a sustained, meaningful dialogue and work together to develop an understanding of acceptable behavior in cyberspace," Carney said.
Foreign direct investment drops again
The global economic slowdown and concern about China's economic recovery continue to take a toll on foreign direct investment in the world's second-largest economy.
FDI last month registered $9.27 billion, 7.3 percent lower than a year ago, the Ministry of Commerce said. FDI has declined in 14 of the past 15 months, with May 2012 being the only exception.
China's nonfinancial outbound direct investment increased 12.3 percent in January, to $491 billion, according to the ministry.
Shanghai sees baby boom after 19 years
Shanghai is experiencing a baby boom.
Last year, 226,100 babies were born, a 25.6 percent increase year-on-year, according to Shanghai Population and Family Planning Commission. Among the newborns, 121,100 were registered to residents in the city.
It marks the first positive natural growth rate in Shanghai's registered population after a 19-year stretch of negative population growth, according to the commission.
Starbucks plans to open 800 additional cafes by 2015 on the current basis of 700. It opened the first outlet in the Chinese mainland in 1999. Making China Starbucks' second-biggest home market outside the United States was John Culver's ambition in late 2011 when he was about to become president of Starbucks Coffee China and Asia Pacific. Zou Hong / China Daily