How much does China stand to lose from its anti-corruption push?

While China’s anti-corruption campaign has undeniably contributed to the country’s recent economic slowdown – particularly where real estate and luxury goods like wine are concerned – its long-term effects on the economy are still up for debate.

One relatively pessimistic view of the changes to come was published in The Wall Street Journal‘s China Real Time Report in the form of a graph illustrating projected changes in China’s GDP based on improvement in corruption perception index. Continue reading


It’s all Chinese to me

I awoke this morning to a sunny winter’s day in Cape Town, and decided to go for a run in the Company’s Garden. It’s more like a park, and its beautiful botanical plants and heritage site status attract plenty of tourists – Chinese, in particular, this time of year. The regions’s first European settlers established the garden in the 1650s to grow fresh produce to replenish ships rounding the Cape. Earlier this year a project began to reintroduce a vegetable garden to the Company’s Garden, and orange overall-wearing men have been hard at work on it for a few months now. This morning, as I ran past the construction area, I saw three of them surrounded by a group of middle-aged Chinese tourists. There was an exchange of some sort going on. I took my headphones out and slowed to a jog. Continue reading

Accusations over Alibaba’s political ties debunked

An article in The New York Times has drawn unwanted attention to the Alibaba Group and the “deep political connections” of some of its Chinese investors, shortly before the giant e-commerce goes public in the United States. The company filed for an IPO on 6 May, disclosing the owners of approximately 70 percent of its shares, among them Yahoo and Alibaba’s chairman, Jack Ma.

But less is known about other shareholders, whose sway may be significant even if their stakes are not. The situation raises questions about the transparency and operations of Alibaba, which is set to go public in the United States in the coming months.

Continue reading