News in review Friday, September 20 to Thursday, September 26

Updated: 2013-09-27 11:47

(China Daily)

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Tuesday - September 24

PMI data suggest economy is strengthening

China's manufacturing activity hit a six-month high in September as new orders rebounded, signaling that the economy is strengthening.

HSBC's preliminary Purchasing Managers' Index released on Monday rose to 51.2 from August's final reading of 50.1, the second consecutive month above the watershed 50 level, which separates expansion from contraction.

The preliminary survey, conducted by HSBC Holdings Plc and market data vendor Markit Group Ltd, is usually published about a week before the release of the final figures, making it the earliest available indicator of the manufacturing sector's performance.

Official PMI data, which focus on large and State-owned firms, have been generally rosier than HSBC's survey, which mainly looks at smaller and private companies.

The latest survey suggested that smaller firms are starting to follow their larger counterparts, as official data last month climbed to 51 from 50.3 in July. (Photo 4)

Alibaba joins mobile-chat market

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd - the country's largest e-commerce company - officially joined the battle to win mobile-phone messaging traffic with the launch of its first social-networking app.

Laiwang, which means come and go in Chinese, is the first product unveiled to the public after the company announced an internal restructuring program earlier this month with a strong focus on the mobile Internet business.

Lu Zhaoxi, Alibaba's chief executive officer, said that his company's expansion to social-networking systems is a natural evolution driven by the public's growing reliance on mobile phones.

He denied rumors suggesting that Alibaba's new app launch was due to the success of WeChat, which is owned by Tencent Holdings Ltd, Alibaba's archrival. WeChat has about 400 million registered users in China.