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The city of Shanghai has become the first local government to answer the call of the central gove
rnment to promote automobile consumption by providing subsidies, since 10 mi
nistries and commissions of the country released six major methods of promoting car sales in January.
The official WeChat account of the Shanghai Municipal Government announced yesterday it will launch a car trade-i
n program, encouraging car owners to trade in their vehicles for new gas-powered cars complying with State-VI emi
ssions standards or new energy vehicles, according to a report by the 21st Century Business Herald.
The government will provide a subsidy of 10,000 yuan ($1,489) for a trade-in gas-powered
vehicle and 15,000 yuan for a trade-in new energy vehicle, the announcement said.
China’s automobile market saw a sales decline in 2018 for the first time
in 28 years, with passenger vehicle sales slumping for 10 consecutive months from last y
ear to March, according to the China Passenger Car Association. As the central government halved subsidies for new energy
vehicles this year, the promotion of car consumption depends more on local governments and enterprises.
last year. Every day, an average of 5.5 million people use the nation’
s high-speed trains, accounting for nearly 60 percent of daily users of the country’s rail network.
The State-owned rail car manufacturer CRRC Corp, the world’s largest train maker, had sta
rted developing a new-generation of bullet train that will operate at 400 kilometers per hour.
A preliminary report issued on Thursday by Ethiopian officials found that a malfunctioning sensor sent incorrect inform
ation to a Boeing 737 Max 8 jetliner, triggering an anti-stall system that began a chain of events that ended with th
e plane nose-diving into the ground, killing 157 people on March 10, the Associated Press reported.
Boeing has acknowledged that the sensor malfunctioned in the Ethiopian Airlines 737
Max jetliner, triggering the anti-stall system when it was not needed, the AP reported.
In addition, CRRC is designing two types of maglev trains-a 600 km/h high-speed version and a 200 km/h medium-speed ver
sion. Designers said the company expects to put them into service sometime around 2021.
growth－and with good reason. China sustained an average annual growth rate of 10 percent from 1980 to 2011, unprece
dented for a large economy. Since 2012, however, the annual growth has slowed down with the Government Wor
k Report presented recently by Premier Li Keqiang setting a growth target of 6-6.5 percent for 2019.
For China doubters, this is a “gotcha” moment. After all, the premier’s grow
th target implies a 40 percent deceleration from the “miracle” trend. This seems to vin
dicate warnings of the dreaded “middle-income trap”－the tendency of fast-growing developing economies to re
vert to a much weaker growth trajectory just when they get their first whiff of prosperity.
The early work on this phenomenon was precise in terms of what to expect: as per capita inco
me moved into the $16,000-$17,000 range (in dollars at purchasing power parity in 2005), a sust
ained growth deceleration of around 2.5 percentage points can be expected. With China having hit that income thr
eshold in 2017, according to International Monetary Fund estimates, its post-2011 slowdown looks all the more ominous.
Chinese local government bonds worth 1.4 billion yuan ($208.5 million) were snapped up by retail investors within a single day, after counter sales in banks we
re made available for the first time. The fundraising will help supplement a broader fiscal deficit this year, analysts said.
On Monday, individuals in China were able to purchase bonds issued by t
he Zhejiang provincial government (five-year term, 3.32 percent coupon rate) and the N
ingbo city government (three-year term, 3.04 percent coupon rate). Proceeds from the sales will be used for land purchases (300 million yuan) and shantytown renovations (1.1 billion yuan), acc
ording to a notice on the website of China Central Depository and Clearing, a clearinghouse under the central bank.
The minimum investment amount for retail investors is 100 yuan, lower than most wealth management products issu
ed by commercial banks. Previously, individual investors could only purchase bonds issued by the central government, kno
wn as treasury bonds. And before Monday, local government bonds were traded mainly in the interbank market.