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China

From Oil to Soya: China’s Commodities Consumption Rockets

 2 min read / 

As Xi Jinping starts his second five-year term, China shows no sign of slowing demand for the world’s raw materials.

Economic growth is obviously the main reason behind China’s insatiable appetite for commodities. The Chinese economy is expected to surpass government targets and grow by 6.8% for 2017.

Oil imports for 2017 were up by 10%, making China the world’s biggest buyer of crude oil, surpassing the US for the first time. Similarly, a booming construction industry is leading to a massive increase in copper, needed for wiring and piping.

However, rising Chinese consumption is not simply because of economic expansion. A conscious effort to lower levels of pollution has led to a huge upturn in iron ore imports. Compared to domestic ore, imported ore is often ‘cleaner’ and contains fewer impurities belched into the atmosphere by China’s goliath steel industry.

Similarly, rising living standards are leading to changing domestic consumption and higher demand for erstwhile luxury foods such as pork. Record-levels of soya imports are being crushed down to be used as a cheap feed to fatten pigs quickly and cheaply for the meat industry.

China shows no sign of giving up its mantle as the ‘workshop of the world’ but as it begins to feel the effects of its own success, transitions are inevitable. Increasing living standards, both in the diet of citizens and in the air they breathe, are the tip of the oncoming iceberg.

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China

China’s 2017 GDP Beat Estimates as Xi Announces Change

 1 min read / 

china gdp 2017

China’s economy grew by 6.9% in 2017, the fastest rate in two years.

For the fourth quarter, GDP grew by 6.8%, exceeding government expectations which had estimated a growth rate of 6.5%.

The announcement on Thursday comes at a time of great economic change for China. Following his re-election to a second term, Chinese Premier Xi Jinping announced plans to refocus future economic development in the PRC, with emphasis on industrial upgrading and environmental protection.

China’s rapid rise to the world’s second-biggest economy has been attributed to quantitative-focused government targets, like long-term GDP targets, which have led to higher industrial output year-on-year. However, officials are worried that continuing stimulus policies of this kind will become too aggressive, with projects that are unlikely to see any meaningful return.

Nevertheless, China is still expected to announce a high growth target at the 2018 annual session to be held in March.

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China

Tencent Targets Game Cheats

Tencent Cheats

Ahead of releasing PlayerUnknown in China, Tencent is cracking down on cheat software.  

Editor’s Remarks: The world’s largest video game company, Tencent, is collaborating with Chinese police to unearth criminal rings that make and sell programs that allow players to cheat. So far, there have been 30 such cases with over 120 people arrested and many doing jail time. PlayerUnknown has around 27 million users worldwide, and shattered video game records in 2017; around half of these users are in China despite the game not yet being officially released there. It is suspected that there are around 5m cheats on the game’s network – the majority of whom, it is believed, are also Chinese.

Read more on Technology:

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Americas

Bitmain Considers Canada Move

Bitmain Canada

The Chinese bitcoin miner is looking to expand abroad and is eyeing up Canada.

Editor’s Remarks: Although Bitmain has not confirmed that it is seeking an overseas relocation because of China’s recent announcement that it will clamp down on cryptocurrency trading, it is unlikely to be a coincidence. Just a few days ago, the company said it had also opened a new branch in Switzerland, which would play an essential role in its further global expansion. Now, it has publicly said that it is considering an expansion to Canada’s Quebec region, which will give Bitmain access to cheap hydropower to power its mining operations, leading a number of crypto miners to move there.

Read more on Bitcoin:

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