Hong Kong lawmakers need Shanghai trip to face up to social issues

Shanghai is definitely not what it used to be in the eyes of its people.

Most of the time, Shanghai just means business, but the city has also played some significant political roles in contemporary Chinese history. The Sino-US Shanghai Communiqué was signed there in 1972, marking a new chapter in ties for the two big nations.

Monday, 31 March, 2014, 8:13am 1 comment

As China drafts property tax law, fate of pilot programme up in the air

A trial property tax in Shanghai has failed to cool down home prices. Photo: Xinhua

The mainland has started drafting a property tax law, but analysts are not sure whether it means a pilot programme already in place for three years will be suspended.

A trial tax was imposed in 2011 on owners of spacious, expensive and multiple homes in Shanghai and Chongqing.

12 Mar 2014 - 2:40am

Shanghai allows city-owned firm to buy bad loans from local banks

Bank of Shanghai has troubled loans to struggling solar firms. Photo: Mark Ralston

The Shanghai government has given approval to a city-owned investment company to buy non-performing loans from local banks, state media reported yesterday.

8 Mar 2014 - 4:26am

Greedy Shanghai taxi drivers show the 'evil' side of new technology

Shanghai's municipal government issued an order forbidding taxi drivers from accepting reservations through booking apps during rush hours.

Google once had an informal corporate motto - "Don't be evil" - a sentiment often shared by many other technology firms around the world. Technology itself can't be evil if we see it purely from a scientific perspective, but how we make use of it can be a very different story.

3 Mar 2014 - 12:07pm 9 comments

Shanghai outlet centre to promote affordable Italian luxury

Members of the mainland's increasingly affluent middle class, who are enjoying rising disposable incomes, are seen as the biggest consumers of luxury items. Photo: EPA

Luxury retail is not the most obvious target sector for mainland shopping centre developers in the wake of the Communist Party's crackdown on conspicuous consumption and corruption.

28 Feb 2014 - 12:25am

Chinese art buyers help Christie's to record sales year

Christie's staff take phone bids at its Shanghai auction in September last year. The firm now has a Chinese-language website. Photo: AFP

Chinese buyers drove up Christie's sales by 14 per cent to US$7.13 billion last year, a record high not just for the British auction house but for any company ever in the art market.

23 Jan 2014 - 4:30pm

Hong Kong's top ranking for economic freedom feels a good laugh

 Hong Kong is still the regional headquarters of many Fortune 500 firms, but the growth trend looks weak.

Did the Heritage Foundation ever send its experts into the streets of Hong Kong to meet ordinary people and ask them how free the city's economy has become in recent years?

20 Jan 2014 - 9:17am 3 comments

Regulation delay puts foreign banks in a spot in Shanghai free-trade zone

More than 1,400 companies have registered to set up in Shanghai's free-trade zone but only 38 of them are from overseas. Photo: Reuters

Foreign banks lobbied to set up in the mainland's first free-trade zone in Shanghai are grappling with a dilemma - what can they really do in the ambitious zone?

15 Jan 2014 - 5:39am 1 comment

Toys and games help us get back to a simpler way of life

HKTDC Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair, which features nearly 2,000 exhibitors from 39 countries and regions. Photo: Handout

Follow the author on Twitter: @george_chen

With politics seemingly crowding out business in Hong Kong these days, Asia's largest toy fair has come to town and is a welcome distraction.

6 Jan 2014 - 8:29am

Pollution heads south to Shanghai as steel mills driven from Beijing's environs

Steel mills in Hebei province were polluting Beijing, leading to a crackdown that saw many of them move to Jiangsu. Photo: Xinhua

Chinese steel production is moving from its heartland in Hebei province in the wake of government efforts to tackle pollution near Beijing, but Shanghai could be paying the price as steel mills around the commercial capital ramp up output.

4 Jan 2014 - 2:03am

Faith can go on its merry way, but get the festive spirit and shop

A view of holiday lighting decorations on trees and installations at an open plaza of a shopping district in Beijing. Photo: EPA

"Merry Christmas and Happy New Year" is probably the most frequently heard greeting these days in offices or on the street in Hong Kong. On the mainland, the story might be a little bit different.

23 Dec 2013 - 8:21am 1 comment

IPO hopeful's business is built on a dead certainty: hundreds of millions of Chinese will die one day

One of the properties run by Fu Shou Yuan, in Shanghai, from where the company has expanded across the mainland. Photo: SCMP

Before Santa Claus visits Hong Kong this Christmas, a mainland firm in the “death care” business aims to go public in the city, offering investors the gift of a rare opportunity to make some quick cash, bankers say.

4 Dec 2013 - 3:59am

For many, having an extra child just brings on labour

The long-awaited changes to the mainland's controversial one-child policy did not surprise or please every parent in Shanghai when they were revealed last week. Why? Well, it comes down to those familiar issues of money and power.

18 Nov 2013 - 7:57am 1 comment

Google's Eric Schmidt to Hong Kong: You need more engineers to start companies like mine

Google chairman Eric Schmidt receives a warm welcome at Chinese University yesterday. He wants to encourage more young entrepreneurs. Photo: Felix Wong

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt has one suggestion for the Hong Kong government on how to make the city remain competitive – to open more technical universities, thereby attracting more software engineers, rather than more bankers.

5 Nov 2013 - 3:25pm 17 comments

Pay trends point to greener pastures across the border

Thee gap in average salary levels between the mainland and Hong Kong will come to an end - or even reverse. Photo: AFP

Every year at this time, many people will begin to think about the same thing - how big a pay rise can I expect for the coming year?

4 Nov 2013 - 3:08pm