Sidney Leng

Hong Kong

Sidney Leng

Reporter, China Economy

Sidney Leng joined the Post in 2015 after spending a year and a half working for US media, including National Public Radio and Foreign Policy Magazine. He has been covering China's macroeconomic policies and financial regulations since 2016.

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Latest from Sidney Leng

Explainer | Is China’s population a cause for concern?

China’s overall population continued to grow in 2020, but Chinese mothers gave birth to just 12 million babies – the lowest total since 11.87 million in 1961 amid the Great Chinese Famine.

China’s overall population continued to grow in 2020, but Chinese mothers gave birth to just 12 million babies – the lowest total since 11.87 million in 1961 amid the Great Chinese Famine.

11 Aug 2021 - 5:22PM
China’s rust belt population plummeted in last decade, exacerbating regional economic divide

China’s three northeastern rust belt provinces – Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning – lost more than 30 per cent of their population between 2010 and 2020.

China’s three northeastern rust belt provinces – Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning – lost more than 30 per cent of their population between 2010 and 2020.

20 May 2021 - 9:31AM
China census: Xinjiang’s population jumps 18.3 per cent over past decade as sprawling XPCC conglomerate expands operations

Xinjiang has one of the fastest growing populations in China, jumping 18.3 per cent between 2010 and 2020, despite data showing plummeting birth rates among its minority groups.

Xinjiang has one of the fastest growing populations in China, jumping 18.3 per cent between 2010 and 2020, despite data showing plummeting birth rates among its minority groups.

12 May 2021 - 11:35PM
12 May 2021 - 9:32AM
China 2020 census records slowest population growth in decades

After delays and speculation, China has released the initial results of its once-in-a-decade population census, which reported that the country’s population increased to 1.412 billion in 2020. South China Morning Post political economy editor John Carter and reporter Sidney Leng unpack the news that China has recorded its slowest population growth in decades amid a falling birth rate.

After delays and speculation, China has released the initial results of its once-in-a-decade population census, which reported that the country’s population increased to 1.412 billion in 2020. South China Morning Post political economy editor John Carter and reporter Sidney Leng unpack the news that China has recorded its slowest population growth in decades amid a falling birth rate.

12 May 2021 - 4:11PM
China population: census confirms increase to 1.412 billion in 2020, but births fall again

Mainland China’s overall population continued to grow last year, up from 1.4 billion a year earlier, but the number of new births fell for a fourth consecutive year.

Mainland China’s overall population continued to grow last year, up from 1.4 billion a year earlier, but the number of new births fell for a fourth consecutive year.

13 May 2021 - 10:00AM
China’s census takers ‘coaxed’ citizens to submit personal information with prizes, and the coronavirus pandemic helped

Enumerators open up about collecting census data for the world’s most populous nation, and the difficulties they faced along the way.

Enumerators open up about collecting census data for the world’s most populous nation, and the difficulties they faced along the way.

11 May 2021 - 2:23PM
Explainer | China’s census: what is it and why is the latest population survey so important?

China’s national population census is conducted once a decade and is crucial to future economic and social planning, with the seventh conducted in November and December 2020 and released in May 2021. 

China’s national population census is conducted once a decade and is crucial to future economic and social planning, with the seventh conducted in November and December 2020 and released in May 2021. 

28 May 2021 - 1:10PM
China population census delay may be due to coronavirus impact on migrant workers, demographer says

Although much attention is being paid to China’s falling fertility rate, one demographer says that is unlikely to be the biggest reason behind the delayed release of 2020 census data.

Although much attention is being paid to China’s falling fertility rate, one demographer says that is unlikely to be the biggest reason behind the delayed release of 2020 census data.

3 Jun 2021 - 5:16PM
China population: coronavirus pandemic fuels decline in migrant labourers amid fears about ageing workforce

The number of migrant workers in China declined last year due largely to the coronavirus pandemic, but the nation is also contending with an ageing workforce.

The number of migrant workers in China declined last year due largely to the coronavirus pandemic, but the nation is also contending with an ageing workforce.

3 Jun 2021 - 12:25PM
China says population grew last year, refuting Financial Times report of first decline in nearly 60 years

The Financial Times reported earlier this week that the latest census figures were expected to show nation’s population slipping to fewer than 1.4 billion.

The Financial Times reported earlier this week that the latest census figures were expected to show nation’s population slipping to fewer than 1.4 billion.

29 Apr 2021 - 5:43PM
Container shortages, delays beset shipping industry as ‘ripple effect’ of Suez Canal blockage continues

More than three weeks after the skyscraper-sized Ever Given was freed from the Suez Canal, major ports are struggling with a backlog of vessels, forcing some carriers to skip port calls and contributing to container shortages worldwide.

More than three weeks after the skyscraper-sized Ever Given was freed from the Suez Canal, major ports are struggling with a backlog of vessels, forcing some carriers to skip port calls and contributing to container shortages worldwide.

26 Apr 2021 - 12:45PM
China facing economic crisis as population peak nears, PBOC adviser says

Consumption set to slump after population tops out in 2025, says Cai Fang, a member of the central bank’s monetary policy committee.

Consumption set to slump after population tops out in 2025, says Cai Fang, a member of the central bank’s monetary policy committee.

18 Apr 2021 - 3:00PM
China’s job market improves a year after coronavirus shock, but young people still face ‘pressure’

China’s official surveyed unemployment rate was 5.4 per cent in the first quarter, down 0.4 percentage points from a year earlier, but young people are still having a hard time finding jobs.

China’s official surveyed unemployment rate was 5.4 per cent in the first quarter, down 0.4 percentage points from a year earlier, but young people are still having a hard time finding jobs.

17 Apr 2021 - 2:06AM
China population: birth control policies should be scrapped to retain economic edge over US, says central bank

The People’s Bank of China has recommended Beijing completely abandon birth control policies or lose its economic edge over the United States.

The People’s Bank of China has recommended Beijing completely abandon birth control policies or lose its economic edge over the United States.

28 Apr 2021 - 9:34AM
US-China relations: Premier Li Keqiang tells American firms there is room for cooperation, despite frosty diplomatic ties

Beijing gathered executives from dozens of American multinational firms for meetings this week, briefing them on issues ranging from investment to the US-China relationship.

Beijing gathered executives from dozens of American multinational firms for meetings this week, briefing them on issues ranging from investment to the US-China relationship.

15 Apr 2021 - 9:47AM
China’s high pork prices are dropping, but African swine fever still poses a threat to supply

Wholesale price of pork has fallen for nine straight weeks, approaching the level from August 2019, but remains twice as high as it was in mid-2018 before the virus hit.

Wholesale price of pork has fallen for nine straight weeks, approaching the level from August 2019, but remains twice as high as it was in mid-2018 before the virus hit.

8 Apr 2021 - 8:12PM
China’s expat tax reform could see more than a third of American firms leave Shanghai, AmCham says

China will end tax exemptions on expat allowances next year, a move that has caused more than a third of foreign companies in Shanghai to consider relocation, a new survey shows.

China will end tax exemptions on expat allowances next year, a move that has caused more than a third of foreign companies in Shanghai to consider relocation, a new survey shows.

1 Apr 2021 - 4:09PM
China container maker reaping rewards as Suez Canal blockage adds to global shortage, demand set for record high

The blockage of the Suez Canal by the Ever Given ultra-large container ship has created a backlog of hundreds of vessels, which is set to further exacerbate global container shortages.

The blockage of the Suez Canal by the Ever Given ultra-large container ship has created a backlog of hundreds of vessels, which is set to further exacerbate global container shortages.

31 Mar 2021 - 10:30PM
China’s advanced manufacturing upgrade backed to gather pace, driven by top priority status in five-year plan

China outlined a comprehensive plan to upgrade its manufacturing capabilities by 2025 as part of the latest five-year plan via eight priority areas, including robotics, aircraft engines, new energy vehicles and smart cars.

China outlined a comprehensive plan to upgrade its manufacturing capabilities by 2025 as part of the latest five-year plan via eight priority areas, including robotics, aircraft engines, new energy vehicles and smart cars.

31 Mar 2021 - 3:10PM
Want a job in China? US$7,700 VVVVVIP service still leaves applicants out of pocket, out of work

Career coaching consultancies charge up to 50,000 yuan (US$7,700) to help jobseekers in China gain an edge in an increasingly competitive market, but the industry has become a hotbed for complaints and controversies.

Career coaching consultancies charge up to 50,000 yuan (US$7,700) to help jobseekers in China gain an edge in an increasingly competitive market, but the industry has become a hotbed for complaints and controversies.

20 Mar 2021 - 4:15PM
Chinese workers fear job discrimination will rise under plans to increase mandatory retirement age

Deep-seated workplace bias in China’s labour market – on the basis of gender, age and education – has led many to believe that postponing retirement could make finding and keeping a job even more difficult.

Deep-seated workplace bias in China’s labour market – on the basis of gender, age and education – has led many to believe that postponing retirement could make finding and keeping a job even more difficult.

19 Mar 2021 - 8:30PM
Coronavirus eroded China’s middle class, but India has fared much worse, new findings reveal

The pandemic forced about 32 million people out of India’s middle class and increased its poverty total by 75 million last year – both figures account for the majority of the global totals.

The pandemic forced about 32 million people out of India’s middle class and increased its poverty total by 75 million last year – both figures account for the majority of the global totals.

18 Mar 2021 - 11:33PM
Coronavirus: Chinese scientists try using radiation to kill coronavirus on food packaging

‘Results will be of great significance for disinfecting imported cold food and preventing virus infections during big international sports events,’ China National Nuclear Corporation says.

‘Results will be of great significance for disinfecting imported cold food and preventing virus infections during big international sports events,’ China National Nuclear Corporation says.

14 Mar 2021 - 9:53AM
China’s goal of productivity growth faster than the overall economy hinges on rural education, innovation

China is in need of new sources of growth after the old growth model propelled by investment began running out of steam, and laid out its plans in the draft of its 14th five-year plan for 2021-25 last week.

China is in need of new sources of growth after the old growth model propelled by investment began running out of steam, and laid out its plans in the draft of its 14th five-year plan for 2021-25 last week.

13 Mar 2021 - 11:58AM
China population: Beijing hoping for ‘appropriate’ 2021 fertility level as demographic challenges mount

Premier Li Keqiang said that China would ‘work to achieve an appropriate’ fertility level while delivering the government work report at the National People’s Congress on Friday in Beijing.

Premier Li Keqiang said that China would ‘work to achieve an appropriate’ fertility level while delivering the government work report at the National People’s Congress on Friday in Beijing.

5 Mar 2021 - 6:34PM
China’s 6 million ‘black lung’ workers living on just US$61 a month, with most struggling to survive

The plight of some six million migrant workers in China currently suffering from black lung disease is set to be discussed at the ‘two sessions’ meetings in Beijing.

The plight of some six million migrant workers in China currently suffering from black lung disease is set to be discussed at the ‘two sessions’ meetings in Beijing.

5 Mar 2021 - 6:49AM
China’s ‘two sessions’: population decline, rising debt worries to be hot topics for political elite

China’s population could be surpassed by India’s as early as 2027 due to a declining birth rate, while Beijing is also increasingly concerned about its level of debt after it fought to offset the economic impact of the coronavirus.

China’s population could be surpassed by India’s as early as 2027 due to a declining birth rate, while Beijing is also increasingly concerned about its level of debt after it fought to offset the economic impact of the coronavirus.

4 Mar 2021 - 2:39AM
China mulls allowing investment in overseas stocks, insurance, says foreign exchange official

China is studying the feasibility of allowing individual investors to buy overseas financial assets, according to an official from the foreign exchange regulator

China is studying the feasibility of allowing individual investors to buy overseas financial assets, according to an official from the foreign exchange regulator

20 Feb 2021 - 12:15AM
China population: plan to lift birth restrictions in the northeast panned for not tackling economic roots of crisis

China has suggested three northeast provinces can experiment with lifting birth restrictions, but critics say this does not get to the root of the region’s demographic crisis.

China has suggested three northeast provinces can experiment with lifting birth restrictions, but critics say this does not get to the root of the region’s demographic crisis.

19 Feb 2021 - 6:45PM