July 2023 / China

July 17 2023

China’s GDP expands 5.5% in H1

China's gross domestic product (GDP) grew 5.5 percent year on year in the first half (H1) of 2023, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed Monday.

China's GDP reached 59.3 trillion yuan (about 8.3 trillion U.S. dollars) in the first half, NBS data showed.

In the second quarter, the country's GDP expanded 6.3 percent year on year, according to the NBS.

In the first half of this year, in the face of a grave and complex international environment and arduous tasks of reform, development and stability at home, all regions and departments made great efforts to stabilize growth, employment and prices, said NBS spokesperson Fu Linghui at a press conference.

Market demand gradually recovered, production and supply continued to increase, and economic performance, on the whole, picked up, Fu added.

China's retail sales of consumer goods went up 8.2 percent year on year in the first half of this year, 2.4 percentage points faster than that of the first quarter, the NBS spokesperson said. Retail sales of consumer goods totaled around 22.76 trillion yuan in H1. In June alone, retail sales edged up 3.1 percent year on year.

The country's value-added industrial output, an important economic indicator, went up 3.8 percent year on year in H1, according to the NBS. In June alone, industrial output rose 4.4 percent year on year.

China's fixed-asset investment went up 3.8 percent year on year in H1, NBS data showed.

The country's value-added service output went up 6.4 percent year on year in H1. The growth rate accelerated by 1 percentage point from the pace recorded in the first quarter.

The surveyed urban unemployment rate in China stood at 5.3 percent in H1 of 2023, 0.2 percentage points lower than that in the first quarter, official data showed. On a monthly basis, the rate stayed unchanged from that in May, at 5.2 percent.

China's per capita disposable income stood at 19,672 yuan in H1, up 6.5 percent year on year in nominal terms, data showed on Monday. After deducting price factors, per capita disposable income rose 5.8 percent from the previous year.

Source: scio.gov.cn

July 19 2023

China sees increase in number of new foreign firms

China saw a rapid increase of newly established foreign-invested enterprises in the first half of the year, an official with the Ministry of Commerce said Wednesday.

Some 24,000 new foreign firms established themselves in China in the first half of the year, marking a 35.7 percent rise year on year, Guo Tingting, vice commerce minister, told a press conference.

Foreign investment was basically stable in the country during the period, Guo said.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in the Chinese mainland, in actual use, dipped 2.7 percent year on year to 703.65 billion yuan (about 98.46 billion U.S. dollars) in the first half.

Investments from developed countries kept growing, with investments from France, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Germany increasing by 173.3 percent, 135.3 percent, 53 percent, and 14.2 percent, respectively.

"The mild decline in FDI does not affect the continued optimism of foreign firms on China's development prospects, and the overall trend of expanding investment in China remains unchanged," said Zhu Bing, an official with the ministry.

There has been a wave of senior executives from multinationals visiting China and seeking investment and cooperation opportunities here, Zhu said.

"It's agreed that the Chinese market is not an 'option' but a 'must'," Zhu said.

China will continue to improve its business environment for foreign investment and shorten its negative list for foreign investment access, Guo said, adding that the ministry will maintain regular communication and exchanges with foreign firms.

China also continued to raise the quality and level of its outbound investment and cooperation in the first half, Guo said.

China's non-financial outbound direct investment jumped 22.7 percent year on year to 431.61 billion yuan from January to June.

Source: Scio.gov.cn

July 5 2023

China to Take Measures to Promote Consumption of Home Appliances

The State Council has listened to a report on further strengthening the prevention and defusion of major production safety risks, and adopted the Measures on Promoting Home Appliances Consumption, according to a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Qiang on June 29, 2023.

The meeting stressed the need to implement a policy mix to coordinate the measures taken to promote home appliances consumption with those related to areas such as the renovation of old urban residential communities, the elderly friendly renovation of residential buildings, and the optimization of the country's recycling network. It said that quality and supply levels should be improved, and efforts should be made to encourage enterprises to provide customized home appliance products to boost residents' willingness to consume and improve the quality of their lives.

July 28 2023

China online retail sales steadily expand in H1

China's online retail sales logged steady growth in the first half (H1) of 2023, with emerging livestreaming e-commerce gaining steam, according to the Ministry of Commerce on Thursday.

In the January-June period, online retail sales nationwide hit 7.16 trillion yuan (about 1 trillion U.S. dollars), up 13.1 percent year on year, said the ministry, citing data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

The emerging livestreaming e-commerce industry has shown great vitality in this period. Key livestreaming platforms monitored by the commerce ministry sold merchandise worth 1.27 trillion yuan in the first six months of the year, with 110 million livestreaming shows held and 70 million types of products involved.

Over 2.7 million live streamers are actively engaged in the online sales frenzy, said the ministry.

Eight out of 18 categories of goods monitored by the ministry reported double-digit growth, the data showed.

Specifically, sales of gold, silver and jewelry increased by 33.5 percent year on year, while sales of communication equipment rose 23.3 percent.

Online service consumption also demonstrated a robust growth trend, with the sales of tourism products and tickets surging by 272.4 percent from the same period of 2022, and online culture and entertainment jumping by nearly 70 percent, the data revealed.

Online retail sales in China's rural areas rose 12.5 percent year on year in H1, 3.7 percentage points faster than that of the first quarter. Rural online retail sales totaled 1.12 trillion yuan in the period, according to the ministry.

Early data showed that China's retail sales of consumer goods maintained a relatively fast growth of 8.2 percent year on year in January-June, 2.4 percentage points higher than that of the first quarter. The country's retail sales of consumer goods totaled around 22.76 trillion yuan in the period.

July 20 2023

China unveils measures to encourage private investment

China's top economic planner unveiled detailed measures to encourage private investment further as the country moves to revive the private economy.

The document, issued by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), stressed fully recognizing the significance of promoting private investment and pledged efforts to maintain the share of private investment in fixed asset investment at a reasonable level.

The NDRC said it would particularly recommend that private investment go into a selected number of industrial segments with great market potential and in line with national strategies and industrial policies from sectors like transport, water conservancy, clean energy, new infrastructure, advanced manufacturing, and modern facility agriculture.

A catalog of recommended investment projects will be created, and a platform will be set up to introduce such projects to private investors, according to the NDRC.

The NDRC also pledged to improve financial assistance for private investment projects and ensure the support of other resources like land supply. Private investment projects are encouraged to issue Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) products, it said.

July 21 2023

China Construction Bank increases loan support for manufacturing

China Construction Bank, one of the country's largest state-owned commercial banks, has enhanced financial support for the manufacturing sector.

According to the bank, by the end of June, its outstanding loans to the manufacturing sector exceeded 2.7 trillion yuan (about 377.85 billion U.S. dollars), expanding 21.4 percent compared with the same period last year.

The bank's outstanding medium and long-term loans to the manufacturing sector exceeded 1.36 trillion yuan at the end of June, rising 36.23 percent year on year.

To meet the financial needs of advanced manufacturing, strategic emerging industries and high-tech industries, the bank's outstanding loans to specialized and innovative firms increased 35 percent year on year to over 250 billion yuan during the period.

July 8 2023

NFRA Issues No.2 Document Expanding Commercial Insurance Products Eligible for the Personal Income Tax Incentives

The National Financial Regulatory Administration ("NFRA") released on July 6, 2023 the Circular on Matters concerning Commercial Health Insurance Products Eligible for the Preferential Personal Income Tax Policies, to be effective on August 1, 2023.

The document expands the scope of commercial health insurance products that are eligible for the preferential individual income tax policies to include medical insurance products, long-term care insurance products, and sickness insurance products. It requires commercial health insurance information platforms to set up information accounts for the insureds, use the accounts to collect and record the information about all the commercial health insurance products purchased by insureds that are eligible for the preferential personal income tax policies, and support the insureds to make pre-tax deduction of personal income tax in accordance with the applicable rules. By clarifying four conditions, it also encourages qualified life insurers to carry out commercial health insurance business that is eligible for the preferential personal income tax policies.

July 25 2023

China Extends, Optimizes, Improves and Ensures Implementation of Tax and Fee Reduction Policy

The Political Bureau of the Central Committee of Communist Party of China held a meeting on July 24, 2023 to analyze the current economic situation and make arrangements for economic work in the second half of the year, according to a statement on the website of the Chinese government.

It said that it is necessary to stick to a proactive fiscal policy and a prudent monetary policy, extend, optimize, improve and ensure the implementation of tax and fee reductions, give full play to the role of quantitative and structural monetary tools, and provide strong support for scientific and technological innovation, the real economy, and the development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. It stressed efforts to boost consumption of major items including automobiles, electronic products and household items, encourage spending on services such as sports, leisure and cultural and tourist services, promote the in-depth integration of digital economy with advanced manufacturing and modern services, advance the the safe and sound development of artificial intelligence, promote the well-regulated, healthy and sustained development of platform enterprises, strengthen financial regulation and steadily encourage high-risk small and medium-sized financial institutions to defuse risks through reform.