South Asia and Beyond

A Guide To Contemporary China

 A Guide To Contemporary China

China’s Economy Will Grow Beyond 5% in 2023, Say Experts

At least eight provincial-level regions in China saw their total GDP exceed 5 trillion yuan ($737 billion) in 2022, with both Guangdong and Jiangsu provinces reaching over 12 trillion yuan, according to provincial government data. Local statistics authorities nationwide are revealing their GDP figures for 2022, following the National Bureau of Statistics’ announcement of last year’s national GDP, which grew by 3 percent, last week. Guangdong’s total GDP is the nation’s largest for the 34th consecutive year. Official data show that last year, its GDP came in at over 12.9 trillion yuan, up by 1.9 percent year-on-year. The figures have once again proved the resilience of China’s economy — the world’s second-largest — and show potential for growth, analysts and company executives said. Some predict that China will likely post above 5 percent economic growth in 2023 due to the further implementation of optimized COVID-19 control measures and a package of stimulus policies that are taking effect gradually.

Source: China Daily

Retirement Means More Work For China’s Migrant Workers

In China’s major cities, registered workers are able to retire by 60 and claim a decent pension. Retirees in Shanghai receive a minimum of 4,000 yuan ($575) a month, and many receive up to 10,000 yuan. Migrant laborers, however, are often shut out of that system. Because they are officially classified as part of the rural population, they are only entitled to the meagre social security payments provided in their hometowns. The result is a gaping rural-urban divide. Nationwide, around 40% of Chinese seniors intend to carry on working after reaching the official retirement age, according to a 2019 study led by Peking University. But in rural areas the rate is far higher: Nearly 80% of men aged 60-64 are employed, and even among over-80s, the employment rate is as high as 20%. For China, this trend has proved useful. As its population ages and young people increasingly shy away from blue-collar work, elderly migrant laborers have become ever more essential to the economy. But the bad news for China is that eventually the ageing migrant workers eventually will have to stop working. And when they do, the country will face a labour crisis.

Source: Sixth Tone

Red Tourism Sees Rebound During Chinese Spring Festival Holidays

Many scenic spots across the country have embraced the tourism peak during the Chinese Spring Festival holidays, with some tourist attractions seeing tickets sold out, and the red tourism which refers to visiting historical sites with a modern revolutionary legacy, also saw a strong rebound. Shaoshan, Central China’s Hunan Province, the birthplace of the late Chinese leader Mao Zedong, received more than 210,000 visits in the first five days of the Spring Festival, according to local media reports. As early as before the Spring Festival, the data of several online travel platforms have indicated that people’s travel demand and enthusiasm increased significantly, which have effectively increased consumption, according to the Hunan authorities. The 925 tourist attractions in Central China’s Hunan Province received more than 4 million visits, up 102.51 percent year on year, with the business revenue reaching more than 407 million yuan ($60 million) in the first four days of the Spring Festival, according to the Hunan local government.

Source: Global Times

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China’s Box Office Bounces Back During Spring Festival Holiday

China’s box office revenue for the holiday exceeded 3 billion yuan (about 443 million U.S. dollars), a strong signal that the country’s cultural and tourism industry will see a robust recovery this spring. Once sluggish due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the film market is getting back on its feet following the country’s downgrading of COVID-19 management. Cinemas across the country have basically returned to regular operation, with 89.7 percent of all cinemas, or 11,494, in operation as of Monday, according to the box office tracker Dengta Data. Cinema managers are glad to see audiences coming back. According to Guo Sisuo, head of an IMAX theater of Xiaoxiang Cineplex in Changsha, capital of central China’s Hunan Province, attendances for the three movies screened at the theater on Sunday morning all surpassed 70 percent. Guo also believed that the wide variety of genres of the seven domestic titles released for the holiday, was another positive for the booming film sector.

Source: Xinhua

Youngsters Find Niche In Second-Hand Market Across China

The second-hand market has gained ground in China, increasing from 300 billion yuan (about 44.2 billion U.S. dollars) in 2015 to over 1 trillion yuan in 2020. Also, it is expected to reach nearly 3 trillion yuan in 2025, based on the report released in 2021 by consulting company Frost & Sullivan and the Institute of Energy, Environment and Economy at Tsinghua University. With the market thriving, many young people have spotted a niche and started their own businesses. They say buying second-hand goods is not only a personal inclination but is also favoured by some start-ups in the catering business. For Tian Wei for instance, a very simple supply chain has been formed. She travels to different countries and sends goods back to China. Many coffee shops, hotels and restaurants are buying stuff from her, trying to add a special vibe to their venues. “This will also enhance the public’s understanding and awareness of second-hand goods, which is beneficial to the growth of this market,” says Tian.

Source: People’s Daily

Male Influencer Helps Rural Women Meet Their Menstrual Needs

Xi Yajun is doing his best to help rural women meet their menstrual needs. However, as a male influencer who mainly makes short documentaries on manufacturing in China, launching a feminine care product has brought Xu unwanted suspicion. Negative comments came pouring in, and many questioned his true intentions. Nevertheless, Xu launched a brand and charity called Super Girl with a particular mission in mind: to empower schoolgirls in rural areas by providing them with access to sanitary pads. “Well, I understand it’s normal to be targeted online as an influencer,” he tells RADII. “It’s useless to explain; actually, the more you explain, the more negative comments will come at you. All I can do is persuade others through my actions.”

Source: Radii China