China is relaxing Covid-19 testing rules for air travelers from more countries
A growing number of Chinese embassies around the world relaxed Covid-19 testing requirements for local travelers flying to China, a sign that the country may be changing its stance on the highly transmissible Omicron variant.
Britain and Afghanistan were among the latest to announce Thursday that they are updating requirements for travelers traveling to China from local airports, after Chinese embassies in Italy, Greece, Switzerland, Sweden, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates Emirates a day earlier.
Embassies in the US, Spain, Poland, Ireland, Denmark and Serbia said they updated local requirements on Tuesday.
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Global investors continue dumping yuan bonds as Treasuries and dollar rise
Capital outflows from the Chinese interbank bond market continued April for the third straight month as the narrowing yield spread over US Treasuries and a weakening yuan drove foreign investors away from yuan-denominated assets.
Overseas institutional investors held 3.77 trillion yuan ($558 billion) worth of Chinese interbank bonds at the end of April, down 108.5 billion yuan from the previous month, according to the latest data from China Central Depository and Clearing Co.Ltd. and Shanghai clearing house.
FINANCE & ECONOMY
Chinese President Xi Jinping promises to further open the door to the world
China’s commitment to opening up will not changeand the country will only open its door further to the outside world, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday.
The president delivered the message in a video speech celebrating the 70th anniversary of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and the Global Trade and Investment Summit in Beijing. China is still relatively closed in many parts of the country as it battles its worst pandemic outbreak in two years.
“We should seek dialogue rather than confrontation, tear down walls rather than build, integration rather than decoupling, and inclusion rather than exclusion,” Xi said.
Li Keqiang urges “decisive” action on growth policy
Premier Li Keqiang urged local governments to do so “act decisively” on measures to support growth in the coming weeks to get the economy back on track as quickly as possible.
Everyone should “infuse a sense of urgency” into their actions to counter “further intensified new downward pressures” on the economy, he said Wednesday while traveling to southwest China’s Yunnan province, according to a report by the official Xinhua News Agency.
China’s banking regulator says it is investigating rural lenders who have frozen online services
China’s top banking regulator and central bank are paying close attention the case of four village lenders in Henan province that have stopped offering online banking services, preventing non-local customers from transferring funds from their accounts, an official with the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) said on Wednesday.
The CBIRC’s Henan office and the Zhengzhou branch of the central bank have been instructed to work with local authorities on the matter, the official said.
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BUSINESS & TECHNOLOGY
Tencent Beijing office on April 3. Photo: VCG
Covid helps halve Tencent’s profits
Tencent Holdings Ltd profits halved and revenue barely rose in the first quarter of 2022 as ad sales slumped, the country’s economy stumbled amid Covid-19 outbreaks and Beijing’s tech crackdown weighed on business.
Net income attributable to shareholders plunged 51% year-on-year to 23.4 billion yuan ($3.46 billion), according to the internet titan’s Wednesday edition financial report. That figure included 18.5 billion yuan the company raised by selling its stake in Southeast Asian internet company Sea Ltd.
Shanghai speeds up customs clearance of Covid vaccines and materials
shanghai opens a “green channel” to expedite health quarantine approval procedures for Covid-19 vaccines, treatment drugs and other anti-epidemic materials, a customs official said on Wednesday.
Shanghai is the hub of China’s biomedical research and development industry, and most of the research and development of advanced mRNA vaccines takes place in the city, which has been grappling with a surge in Covid cases since March.
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China’s natural gas imports fall amid sluggish domestic demand
China’s imports of natural gas fell 19.6% year on year to 8.1 million tons in April, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) called Wednesday. Meanwhile, liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports fell 34.5% year over year.
Importers have been less willing to place spot trade orders this year due to high energy prices and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the GAC said. The average price of imported LNG last month was 4,423 yuan ($654) per ton, up 87% year-on-year.
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