Risk Watch: Skyrocketing Rents Signal a Deepening of China’s Economic Woes

Skyrocketing housing rental prices have become a hot topic in China recently. Property rental and sales companies have been accused of bidding up leases and inflating rent prices through various unscrupulous tactics. According to property search engine Fangtianxia, the annual rental price of housing in 17 popular Chinese cities rose by over 8 percent between …

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Politics Watch: China’s Finance Ministry and Central Bank Clash as Economy Worsens

In an article published on July 13, Xu Zhong, the head of research for the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), criticized China’s Ministry of Finance (MoF) for failing to actively implement fiscal policy to stimulate growth and for “playing the gangster.” On June 30, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had published a guiding opinion that …

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Risk Watch: Does China Have Ammo for a Trade War?

On July 6, the United States imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods. China hit back with tariffs on a similar scale on the same day. News reports say that another $16 billion of U.S. tariffs targeting products under China’s “Made in China 2025” program would go into effect two weeks …

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Risk Watch: Property Prices on ‘Lockdown’ as China Development Bank Limits PSL

News that the China Development Bank (CDB) had ceased funding new shantytown redevelopment projects first surfaced on the Chinese internet on June 25. Many observers believe that CDB’s move meant that shantytown redevelopment projects would no longer be supported, and the “monetization” of the projects would be halted. In the morning of June 26, real …

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Risk Watch: China Central Bank-backed Media Signals Severe Debt Crisis

China’s Financial News published an article on May 22 titled, “‘Breach of Contract’ Force Reshaping of Bond Market Rules,” that commented on the recent cover-up of contract breaches in China. The article noted that “breaching contracts has become a trend in China’s bond markets,” and that the phenomenon is a “mandatory lesson” for businesses in …

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Personnel Watch: Decoding Guo Shuqing as People’s Bank of China Party Secretary

Following an internal meeting on March 26, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) announced that central bank chief Yi Gang would serve as the bank’s deputy Party secretary. Guo Shuqing would serve as PBoC Party secretary and vice president. On March 21, Guo was named as director and Party secretary of the new China Banking …

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What Yi Gang’s Appointment as China Central Bank Chief Signals

Yi Gang, the former People’s Bank of China (PBoC) vice president and director of the Central Leading Group for Financial and Economic Affairs, replaced Zhou Xiaochuan as central bank chief at the Two Sessions on March 19. The appointment of Yi as PBoC president sends two key signals. First, China’s financial and economic problems may …

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Over 71% Accurate: Our Predictions for China’s New Vice Premiers, State Councilors, Ministers

On March 19, the 13th National People’s Congress elected new vice premiers, state councilors, ministers, committee heads, and key central bank appointees. Han Zheng, Sun Chunlan, Hu Chunhua, and Liu He was confirmed as vice premiers. We called this in January. (It is unclear where Yang Jiechi, whom we felt could be a fifth vice …

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Risk Watch: China’s Banking Regulator Plans to Supervise Financial Data

On March 16, the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) issued a document soliciting views on guidelines for its governance of financial institution data. The document proposed that regulation of bank and other financial institution data should be part of data governance, and that a chief data official should be appointed per actual conditions. The submission …

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Is Liu He the Next China Central Bank Chief?

Near the end of February, several media outlets reported that Liu He, a Politburo member and director of the Leading Group for Financial and Economic Affairs, will be appointed vice premier in charge of finance and the next president of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC). We anticipated Liu’s entry into the Politburo before the …

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