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Recent Issues

What we talk about

We highlight macroeconomic developments early, so you can stay ahead of the game

Finance and Macro

Shenzhen releases housing mega-plan

As one of the hottest property markets in China, Shenzhen’s policy stance is a leading indicator of how overall real estate policy is evolving.

Yesterday, the city’s government dropped a new mega-plan for its property market for the next two decades.

We keep tabs on the political process — in fact, we never miss a meeting.


Everyone reports to Xi

Xi Jinping is keeping tabs on the most important organs of the Party-state. On Monday, the Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC) heard reports from: The legislature (NPC), State Council, and Political advisory body (CPPCC). The overall message: Xi is large and in charge. The highest bodies in the land all report directly to him.

We contextualize quotes from key stakeholders, so you can read between the lines.

Heard in Beijing

“Local governments are under water. No one wants to be the first to come up for air.”

– Anonymous official

Context: This official was talking about local government debt – multiple local governments are on the verge of bankruptcy. They’re all trying to allocate every possible source of revenue – and even cutting critical expenditures like salaries – to pay down debt. No one wants to be the first go bust.

We connect the dots by focusing where politics, policy and economy intersect.

Political Economy

Xi’s new tool to exert control

The newly established Central Audit Commission had its first meeting Wednesday. It was created as part of the MASSIVE Party-state restructuring that was announced in March.

Expect the new commission to add even more firepower to the financial de-risking campaign. It will be combing through the books of local governments and SOEs.

We track policy developments that will shape China’s business environment for the next decade.

Tech & Business Environment

Indigenous innovation is back

The first ever National Cybersecurity and Informatization Work Conference was held in Beijing on Friday and Saturday.

The name might sound boring, but the conference was a big deal. Xi Jinping himself was there along with all six of his Politburo Standing Committee colleagues. That’s a lot of political firepower.

Our on-the-ground conversations let us pinpoint the Chinese view on geopolitics.


Trade tensions with US abate – for now

What we have heard: In our convos with Chinese officials, they talk about a trade war as a war of attrition. Whoever can bear the most suffering wins. Given its political system, Chinese officials are confident that they can eat more bitterness than Americans.


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