Ag bank of China primarily serves the less-developed regions and people in China: the rural areas, the villages, the farmers and peasants, the agriculture related business. Since the founding of People’s Republic (and Ag bank shortly after), farm produce price has been kept artificially low by the central government (in a way subsidize other industries), and since 1978 the reform of economy, the situation has improved, but the economy gap between rural and urban has increased in last 30 years.
I felt I have to say a few words about that day. After all, some friends back home have already express that in various means.
Today marks the twentieth anniversary of that day, a lot good things have happened to my home country in last 20 years. The giant US corporations are making money in China, left and right. Chinese company has bailed out the General Motor in a small way yesterday. So everything looks like “ok dokey” again. But we should not forget the history. From psychological point of view, getting over denial is one of the most difficult and important thing. So let me roll back the clock.
Twenty years ago, I was a graduating senior in high school, at the time I was thinking this Culture Revolution thing is deja vu all over again. Things are quite chaotic at that time, esp. in the capital. Then things happened on that evening (morning). As we all went back to classroom, preparing for the Gao Kao (College Entrance Exam, the black July, July 7 to 9), I have one thought: life is the most precious thing in the world, taking innocent life is not right, for whatever excuse one may claim.
Twenty years later, I am sitting here, I think I still have the same thought.
四川腾中重工(in Chinese, Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Machinery) The little known Chinese Co. who bought Hummer brand from GM yesterday (News: Bloomberg; Reuters; Tengzhong web site). Quote Reuters:
Tengzhong, formed in 2005 through several mergers, makes special-use vehicles such as dump trucks and fuel tankers, as well as construction machinery, energy equipment, and structural components for highways and bridges.
It has 4,800 employees, according to its website, about the same as Changfeng. The site does not disclose any financial data.
(Special Vehical made by Sichuan Tengzhong, full size pic here. From the pic it appears Tengzhong is OEM maker for SinoTruk 中国重汽)
On Nov 17, Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU), China largest web search company got a huge blow in the market as the news of “Baidu placed “faked doctors and drug ad” broke (see BW for more details). This reminds me of the Focus Media (Naqdaq: FMCN) Spam text messaging story about 7 months ago. In both cases the news was broke in CCTV, Chinese national TV channel and a part of offical Chinese media. Some people may not know CCTV has large market share in the TV Ad market. Some people may sympathize with Baidu and call for “buy” the BIDU stock amid this temporary weakness.
Before this news about Baidu, actually there were reports that Baidu was guilty of “intensionally hiding the China San’lu milk powder scandal” during August this year (Olympics time). Luckily to them, local goverment officials did the exact same thing to keep the big party on. But this time they got caught. Some financial analysts naively think those Ad. made up a small portion of the Ad. revenue. This maybe true. But I don’t the problem is that simple.
My initial thought
China announced a giant $586 billion economy stimulus package a few days ago. My first response was not warm to it: I always think the Chinese goverment should invest in “Education and healthcare”. Infrustructure? Did not China already get really good infrustructures in the coastal areas including Beijing? China’s economy problem is more serious than US (on the surface it’s not), because it solely relied on foreign trade (export) for economy growth in last 30 years.
I can appreciate the goverment intention here is solving the “excess migrant labor workers”, and lack of middle class problems in China. They should act from tax policy, business regulations, etc. But I guess the Chinese goverment is for the business, by the business and of the business, just like the US gov.
According to Chinese news, China Mobile’s ultimate parent, the China State Asset Management Co. (CSAM), took 50 billion Chinese Yuan (about 7.30 billion USD) from China Mobile Group (the parent of China Mobile Limited, NYSE: CHL; HKSE:0941), and gave it to China Telecom. For CSAM, this is merely put money from left pocket to right pocket, because both China Mobile and China Telecom are majority owned by CSAM. But for CHL shareholder like me, this is merely another highway robbery, orchestrated in the name of “balance of power in China telecom industry”.
Ross Perot is a fun guy. He was known for founding the IT service giant EDS, sending in team to rescue EDS employee kidnapped in Iran, and his presidential bid in 1992, among other things. Here is his Wiki entry.
I found his opinion on China economy growth when I searched “Ross Perot McCain” and found this article on Newsweek. The China quote is in page 3.
A subdued Olympics rally?
The Olympics is coming. But we are not seeing much sign of an Olympics stock market rally, both in Shanghai, or in New York. The Shanghai composite index is barely above 52 week low, at around 2800 to 2900 range. Two of the Beijing 2008 Sponsors, China Mobile (NYSE: CHL) and Sohu (Nasdaq: SOHU), were not strong performers in the US market either. For instance, Sohu reported a strong 2Q 08 (transcript seekingalpha), but its stock is down today. I guess it’s just selling on the news, 11 days before the game?
Apple launched its first China store in Beijing last Saturday, with 2000 fans waiting outside, including some celebrity names such as Lu Yu (Phoenix TV), Cui Jian (China rock star) etc. You can see the scenes of Apple launch at Sina (Chinese), or preview pictures at David Feng. The Sina picture reminds me of the iPhone launch here in the US, a mob scene
The cult culture
Over the years Apple has this cult like culture among its fans. Looking at site such as MacRumors you will get an idea. While I think Apple products are generally very good, I don’t like their prices. It seems they are going to lower their prices, as they are expanding their market. This is a delicate problem for Apple because people usually got wooed to Apple because of its unique design, cool brand, and thus get the “being cool” status from friends. Now if Apple is everywhere, like iPod did, it loses that status. But Apple is going to pursue this route anyway, under the pressure from Wall Street. This can be shown in its earning forecast for next quarter.