US debt is now at 21.6 trillion with a foreseeable budget deficit of around 650 billion. Add to that a negative trade balance of 798 billion, of which 376 billion is with China alone (US Debt Clock). It would be counterproductive for the Chinese to bring about a rapid depreciation of the dollar as they would be damaging themselves.
Chinese producer price inflation decreased to the weakest level since late 2016 in December, while the consumer price expansion was mostly stable, removing pressure from the PBoC to constrain inflation even, as it hikes interest rates to curb the debt increase.
First, they beat us at chess. Then it was Go. Now it’s basic reading comprehension. The robots are coming. Alibaba says its deep neural network model has outscored humans in a global reading test, paving the way for the underlying technology to reduce the need for human input. The Chinese tech giant's research unit, Institute of Data Science of Technologies (IDST), said it had developed a deep-learning model that attained a score of 82.44 in Exact Match on the Stanford Question Answering Dataset (SQuAD). Humans had clocked a previous score of 82.304, it said.
Chinese authorities plan to block domestic access to Chinese and offshore cryptocurrency platforms that allow centralized trading, Bloomberg reported Monday citing sources. Chinese authorities will also target individuals and companies that provide market-making, settlement and clearing services for centralized trading, Bloomberg reported. There is no indication how Chinese authorities plan to restrict access to decentralized currencies.
Chinese bitcoin mining giant Bitmain Technologies is expanding to Switzerland in a move that will be key to widening its reach, the group told a Swiss newspaper. Local Swiss publication Handelszeitung reported that the subsidiary, Bitmain Switzerland, was registered in Zug last month, to Bitmain co-founder Jihan Wu, Ti Liu (a Chinese national residing in Birrwil), and Christian Johannes Meisser (a Swiss national residing in Klosters-Serneus), according to commercial registry filings.
The proposed acquisition of global payment service MoneyGram by Alibaba’s Ant Financial is off after the U.S. Government blocked the $1.2 billion deal. Ant Financial, the Alibaba affiliate which controls Alipay — China’s top mobile wallet — and other financial services, announced a deal to buy Nasdaq-listed MoneyGram in April 2017 after it beat off a rival bid from Euronet. Ant initially bid for MoneyGram in January 2017 as a means to develop its cross-border payment network into the U.S., and major corridors including India and the Philippines, but instead it will “explore and develop initiatives” to collaborate with MoneyGram’s business.
Beijing is planning to build a 13.8 billion yuan ($2.12 billion) artificial intelligence development park in the city’s west, the official Xinhua news agency reported, as China pushes ahead to fulfil its ambition to become a world leader in AI by 2025. The AI park will house up to 400 enterprises and have an estimated annual output of 50 billion yuan, Xinhua said, citing a report from authorities in Beijing’s Mentougou district.
China has dominated global issuance of "green" bonds for two straight years — a trend that will likely continue as the world's top carbon-emitter tries to play a larger role to contain climate change. The Asian economic giant burst onto the scene in 2016 to take the crown as the world's largest issuer of green bonds — a debt instrument with proceeds that are used to finance activities that benefit the environment. China is set to retain its top spot in 2017.
Chinese factory workers producing toys for major brands like Mattel, Hasbro, and Disney continue to work in grueling conditions, according to a recently published report by the nonprofit China Labor Watch, in collaboration with NGO Solidar Suisse. Some workers have committed suicide amid work pressure, the report said. While China Labor Watch was investigating the Early Light Toy Factory in Shaoguan City, Guangdong Province, which manufactures toys, clothing, and travel accessories for major brands like Big Lots, Hasbro, Mattel, Costco, and Wal-Mart, two workers jumped from buildings. The organization reports the case of Yang Zongfang, 38, who was fired after violating a factory rule forbidding workers from allowing other people to use their entry card, and Lin Jinhua, 34, who tried to end his life after verbal abuse by a manager.
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