2017 in Eight Terms
During 2017, these must-know headlines sparked debate about the nature of doing business in China and Hong Kong and how it is changing.
“Made in China 2025”
China’s plan to develop world-leading manufacturing tech by 2025 is having deeper consequences, e.g. car-makers having to adjust to newly announced e-vehicle quotas.
“Belt & Road”
China’s trade and investment mega-project continued to spread China’s infrastructure investment and geopolitical influence beyond its borders.
“The Great Firewall”
Web censorship toughened in 2017. The Cybersecurity Law became effective, VPNs and WhatsApp were blocked, and WeChat and Weibo saw tougher censorship rules.
“19th Party Congress”
While most of Xi Jinping’s speech was about continuity rather than change, he did signal a shift in focus from speed to quality of economic growth.
The central government has ramped up its anti-pollution inspections as it struggles to cut PM 2.5 levels (hazardous airborne particles) to reach air pollution targets.
China has long used panda bear donations as a form of soft power. Under Xi Jinping, Beijing’s efforts to spread its influence are intensifying.
China’s tech trinity (Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent) reached new heights. Tencent became the first Chinese firm to rank within the world’s top five by market value.
Two decades after Hong Kong’s handover, its GDP as a fraction of China’s fell from 16 to 3 percent, but the HKSAR’s advantages as a regional business hub remain.
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