2024 Calendar Week 15

Posted on April 8, 2024

1.China’s Foreign Exchange Reserves Reached $3.2457 Trillion at the End of March, Up 0.62% Month-on-Month

The State Administration of Foreign Exchange of China released data on April 7 showing that, by the end of March 2024, China’s foreign exchange reserves stood at $3.2457 trillion, an increase of $19.8 billion from the end of February, with a rise of 0.62%. Additionally, China’s gold reserves were at 72.74 million ounces; in terms of Special Drawing Rights (SDR), China’s foreign exchange reserves amounted to $2,4513.12 billion SDR.

Guan Tao, the global chief economist at Bank of China Securities, noted that in the first quarter of this year, on one hand, affected by the re-estimation of the Federal Reserve’s tightening expectations, the U.S. dollar index rose by 3.1% to 104.5, with the yields on 2-year and 10-year U.S. Treasury notes rising by 35 and 32 basis points respectively. On the other hand, the prices of risk assets continued to rise, such as the S&P 500 index, which increased by 10.2%. The positive valuation effect brought by the general rise in stock prices outweighed the negative valuation effect caused by the appreciation of the dollar and the fall in bond prices, thus maintaining the overall stability of China’s foreign exchange reserves.

Data Source: https://www.safe.gov.cn/safe/2022/0207/23934.html

2.China’s low altitude economy is expected to exceed CNY 500 billion by 2023 and surpass CNY 1 trillion by 2026

The “China Low Altitude Economy Development Research Report (2024)” released on April 1 highlighted significant growth in China’s low altitude economy, which reached CNY 505.95 billion in 2023, showing a robust growth rate of 33.8%. The report forecasts that this sector is poised to surpass CNY 1 trillion by 2026, marking a significant milestone in its development.

The low-altitude economy refers to economic activities conducted within an airspace of 1,000 meters or less from the ground, utilizing both unmanned and manned aircraft for transporting people, goods, and conducting specialized operations. This sector is inclusive of the comprehensive industry chains that encompass flight, manufacturing, maintenance (security), and services related to low-altitude aviation, including the production, upkeep, and servicing of low-altitude aircraft.

A significant focus within this economy is on electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (eVTOLs) and civil drones. eVTOLs, in particular, are seen as a pivotal element of the future air transportation industry, with 2024 expected to be a landmark year for their initial commercialization phase, which is anticipated to drive substantial growth. The sector is poised for continued high growth, with projections estimating it to reach CNY 9.50 billion by 2026, buoyed by the accelerated airworthiness certification of various models.

The entry of more enterprises into the low-altitude industry chain indicates a broadening focus across different areas, including aircraft power systems, low-altitude operation services, and the development of new low-altitude infrastructure. In the last five years alone, 21,000 new enterprises have emerged in this domain, with the vast majority being established in the last decade.

Manned eVTOLs, in comparison to traditional helicopters, present several advantages such as pure electric propulsion, low noise, cost efficiency, easy maintenance, safety, and eco-friendliness. These characteristics position eVTOLs at the heart of the low-altitude economy, showcasing their potential to be a transformative force in the sector.

3.Huawei to distribute dividends of CNY 77.095 billion to shareholders

On April 2nd, Huawei Investment Holdings Co. communicated to the Shanghai Clearing House its plan to distribute a substantial CNY 77.095 billion in dividends to its shareholders, an increase of CNY 5.140 billion from the previous year, following approval from the company’s decision-making body.

In advance of this dividend announcement, Huawei reported its 2023 financial performance, showcasing a global sales revenue of CNY 704.2 billion and a net profit of CNY 87 billion. This indicates that an impressive 99% of the company’s earnings were allocated to its employees.

It is worth mentioning that Ren Zhengfei, the founder of Huawei, also participates in the employee shareholding plan. Ren, who once stated, ‘Money can make more talent,’ lives by this mantra, evident throughout his career. By the end of 2023, Ren’s total investment represented 0.73% of Huawei’s total share capital, entitling him to over CNY 500 million in dividends this time, a modest sum compared to his peers at other large firms.

Huawei’s ability to offer such generous dividends is supported by its significant commitment to research and development (R&D). Over the past decade, the company has invested over CNY 1.1 trillion in R&D, engaging more than half of its workforce in these initiatives. These investments not only enable Huawei to maintain control over critical technologies but also foster profitability and facilitates ongoing dividend payments, thus sustaining a virtuous cycle of growth and reward.

4.During the Qingming holiday, domestic travelers in China made 119 million trips and spent CNY 53.95 billion

During the Qingming holiday, there was a noticeable uptick in the travel sector, with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s data center reporting that domestic travel numbers soared to 119 million over the three-day period, marking an 11.5% rise from 2019’s figures. This surge in travel was accompanied by a significant increase in expenditure, with domestic tourists spending CNY 53.95 billion, up 12.7% compared to 2019

Cultural and tourism departments across the country, as well as numerous scenic areas, witnessed a notable rise in visitor numbers compared to the previous year, with many popular attractions selling out tickets well in advance. The Ministry’s data highlighted a more than 50% increase in tourist numbers, with cities like Taian, Zibo, Tianshui, Kaifeng, and Jingdezhen emerging as top destinations. Notably, Tianshui, known for its spicy cuisine, experienced an extraordinary boom, with tourism orders skyrocketing over 21 times year-on-year. By April, Tianshui had welcomed 6.13 million visitors, generating CNY 3.5 billion in tourism revenue, underscoring its newfound popularity.

The holiday also saw a shift in travel preferences, with many opting for self-drive tours, cycling, and hiking, indicating a trend towards more active, immersive experiences. Short-distance, local, and peripheral tours were particularly favored, reflecting a desire for convenience and proximity. This shift is largely driven by younger travelers, who are increasingly seeking diversity and uniqueness in their travel choices, moving away from conventional tourist circuits and attractions. They are no longer satisfied with the same old cities, tourist hotspots, and snacks. Even simple attractions like an old street, a vegetable market, or a unique food can make a city stand out.

5.YunDa Express interviewed by China’s State Post Bureau

On April 1, CCTV’s ‘Focus Interview’ exposed malpractices at Yunda Express’s Yiwu Beiyuan outlets, including the unauthorized sale of returned items. Reacting swiftly, the Market Supervision Division of China’s State Post Bureau engaged with Yunda Express’s senior management on April 2 to address these issues. The discussions focused on improving the handling of returns and ensuring consumer rights. Yunda was instructed to overhaul its return processes, particularly at the Yiwu outlet, and to work closely with authorities to resolve these matters comprehensively.

The incident with Yunda Express highlights the problematic trend of ‘Express Blind Boxes,’ which are marketed as new, authentic, or exotic items, attracting consumers seeking unique and valuable products. However, these boxes often mask unethical practices, with many sellers pushing large volumes. The central problem lies in the unauthorized redirection of returned items, which are subsequently sold at greatly reduced prices without adequate verification and misleadingly presented as ‘blind boxes.’ This practice not only deceives consumers but also undermines the delivery industry’s credibility, posing serious concerns about consumer rights and business ethics.


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