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Victor Chin

Hong Kong, Hong Kong
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About Victor
Victor Chin is a journalist based in Hong Kong, Hong Kong.
Chinese (Mandarin)

China Presses Economic Relief Measures at Massive Teleconference

27 May 2022  |  www.voanews.com
China held a massive nationwide teleconference to coordinate economic relief measures amid the economic strain caused by its zero-COVID policy. Premier Li Keqiang emphasized the urgency of stabilizing the economy, which is at a critical point. The meeting followed the introduction of 33 economic stimulus measures, including tax refunds and emergency loans. Local governments face challenges in implementing these policies due to high costs and declining revenues. The central government aims to support small businesses to sustain jobs, as the unemployment rate has risen to 6.7%.

China's Economy Contracts Sharply in April on Lockdowns

18 May 2022  |  www.voanews.com
China experienced a significant economic contraction in April due to strict lockdowns aimed at containing COVID-19. Retail sales plummeted by 11.1%, and industrial production fell by 2.9%, with manufacturing dropping 4.6%, particularly affecting the auto sector. Shanghai's six-week lockdown is set to phase out, aiming for normalcy by June 1. Despite the downturn, China's National Bureau of Statistics remains optimistic, citing the temporary nature of the pandemic's impact. Global economic growth forecasts by Morgan Stanley have been adjusted to 2.9% for the year, partly due to China's restrictions. The lockdowns have severely affected local businesses, with a 22.7% decrease in catering services. Some foreign manufacturers are contemplating moving production out of China, but the transition is not expected to be swift due to established production and consumption relations.

Guangdong Plans to Build Maglev Railways, Scholar Calls It a Pipe Dream

05 Mar 2021  |  Radio Free Asia
Guangdong authorities recently revealed plans to reserve space for two maglev railways, connecting Beijing-Hong Kong-Macao and Shanghai-Shenzhen-Guangzhou. Railway experts have strongly questioned the carrying capacity and cost-effectiveness of maglev trains, describing the plans as unrealistic. Professor Zhao Jian from Beijing Jiaotong University criticized the project for its high costs and incompatibility with existing rail networks, predicting severe losses. In contrast, Xu Zhen from the Hong Kong Smart Research Institute argued that maglev trains are suitable for China's national conditions and could potentially replace aviation services. China currently operates two maglev lines and has unveiled a high-temperature superconducting maglev train in Chengdu, capable of speeds over 600 km/h.

Despite Controlled Epidemic, Foreign Workers in Singapore Still Forced into Quarantine

25 Feb 2021  |  美国之音
Singapore has managed to control the COVID-19 epidemic, but many foreign workers, including those from China, remain in forced quarantine, unable to work normally. Han Yongji, a Chinese construction worker, shared his experience of being quarantined in a dormitory with poor conditions. The majority of Singapore's nearly 60,000 confirmed cases are foreign workers, with over 150,000 infected when including serological tests. The rights group Home of Love has been following Han's case and advocating for migrant workers. Singapore's Ministry of Manpower has been criticized for the treatment of these workers, and although they have established a task force to improve dormitory conditions, restrictions on workers' movements remain. Independent media worker Han Liying has raised concerns about discrimination and the mental health of quarantined workers.

What are China's calculations in strengthening rare earth regulations?

17 Feb 2021  |  美国之音
China, holding over half of the world's rare earth resources, recently introduced a draft of the 'Rare Earth Management Regulations' to strengthen supply chain management, which some analysts believe is to increase leverage over the United States. China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology is seeking public feedback on the draft. Despite China's dominance in rare earth production, with 63% of global output in 2019 and 37% of reserves, experts like Wang Weiluo note China's weakness in high-value-added production and reliance on raw material exports. The U.S. imports about 80% of its rare earths from China, but efforts are underway to reduce this dependency, including establishing processing plants in Texas with Australia and seeking alternative supplies in Japan. The new regulations aim to control the entire supply chain, from mining to export, and could use the export control law introduced last December to regulate strategic material flow. The potential tightening of exports is seen as a way to preserve resources and reduce environmental impact, rather than just a negotiation tactic with the West. The move may accelerate the separation of supply chains and could have geopolitical implications for global alliances and resource distribution.

Is the Year of the Ox Spring Festival a turning point for Chinese cinema?

15 Feb 2021  |  美国之音
During the Year of the Ox Spring Festival, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, China's film market flourished, breaking the country's single-day box office record on the first day of the lunar new year. The absence of Hollywood blockbusters, due to the pandemic, allowed Chinese domestic films to further commercialize and dominate the market. Industry insiders suggest this period may be a watershed moment for Chinese cinema. The trend towards commercialization is blurring the lines between mainstream 'main melody' films, traditionally produced under government guidance, and other genres. The success of domestic films during this period sends a clear message to Hollywood about the robustness of the Chinese market, which may influence future film production and market strategies.

China's crackdown on capital outflow causes panic, exacerbates economic woes in Macau's gambling industry

25 Sep 2020  |  Radio Free Asia
The ongoing pandemic and China's stringent measures against capital outflow have led to a crisis in Macau's gambling sector, particularly affecting VIP rooms used by mainland high-rollers, with an estimated $1 billion withdrawn over the past two months. Some VIP rooms have even restricted withdrawals, causing panic. The crackdown includes monitoring large bank transactions and limiting cash transactions, with the government concerned about unrecorded cash flows. Macau, heavily reliant on gambling revenues, has seen a 95% year-on-year decline in gambling income, significantly impacting the government's revenue. The VIP intermediary industry, accounting for about 50% of Macau's gambling revenue, reached $36.5 billion last year. There are hopes that resuming mainland tourists' travel to Macau will aid the industry's recovery.

Can the cancellation of the medal table at the National Games eliminate corruption and malpractice?

22 Aug 2017  |  Radio Free Asia
The 13th National Games of China, starting on August 27 in Tianjin, will no longer publish a medal table for provinces, a move some scholars believe will help diminish the 'gold medal supremacy' phenomenon. However, sports researchers argue that the medal count still affects the careers of sports officials and funding, and that malpractices like bribery and fraud may persist. Incidents from past Games highlight the issue, and while some believe the cancellation of the medal table will reduce unfair practices, others argue that without addressing the underlying issues of sports official assessments and the emphasis on provincial prestige, the problem will remain. Calls for the cancellation of the National Games in favor of individual sports championships have been made, but there is concern that this could negatively impact China's strong sports disciplines.

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