Chinese Spice Giant Laoganma Rips Tencent Over Lawsuit

The iconic pepper sauce and spice giant Laoganma has ripped technology behemoth Tencent over its $2.3 million lawsuit against Laoganma for unpaid advertising fees, saying it had never signed an agreement with Tencent or entered into any form of business cooperation.

On June 29, the people's court of the Nanshan district in Shenzhen, where Tencent is headquartered, issued a ruling to have US$2.3 million in privately-held Laoganma's assets frozen until the lawsuit is settled. 

Following the ruling, however, Laoganma announced on its WeChat official platform that the company had never signed or authorized a third-party company to sign an agreement with Tencent, as Tencent has alleged. 

Laoganma said it reserved the right to take legal actions, and the company also reported to the police that they think Tencent was cheated by a company acting as Laoganma's proxy.

Tencent claimed that it had signed an agreement in March 2019 worth up to tens of millions yuan with Laoganma to promote Laoganma's chili oil condiments, but that Laoganma has failed to pay Tencent a single yuan since the agreement.

Hailed domestically and overseas for its signature chili sauces, Laoganma's annual revenue hit RMB5.02 billion (US$708 million dollars) in 2019, an increase of 14.43 percent year-on-year. Based in Guiyang in Southwest China's Guizhou Province and established in 1997, Laoganma is known for its refusal to list on any stock market and for holding abundant cash reserves. 

The case is expected to open in court on July 17, 2020 in the people's court of Shenzhen's Nanshan district.

China Central Bank Lowers Relending And Rediscount Rates By Quarter Percent

China's Central Bank has announced it is lowering its relending and rediscount rates by 25 basis points starting from July 1, with the measure aimed at easing the funding costs for small-scale firms and the rural sector and injecting liquidity into the financial system.

The three-month relending rate will be decreased to 1.95%, the six-month rate will be decreased to 2.15% while the one-year rate will be decreased to 2.25%. It was the second time that China's Central Bank has lowered relending rates this year. The last time was at the end of February, when the relending rate was also dropped 25 basis points, to 2.5%. The Central Bank is also lowering relending rates related to financial stability by 50 basis points to 1.75%. 

New Railway And Bridge Boost Yangtze Delta Region 

China has unveiled two major infrastructure projects aimed at easing transportation bottlenecks in the bustling Yangtze River Delta area, opening the Shanghai-Suzhou-Nantong Railway on Wednesday as well as launching the Shanghai-Suzhou-Nantong Yangtze Bridge.

The railway is being touted as a significant part of the national railway development plan known as the "Eight Vertical and Eight Horizontal" network. It goes north to Nantong in Jiangsu province and south to Shanghai across the Yangtze River, with a total length of 143 kilometers.

The Shanghai-Suzhou-Nantong Yangtze Bridge, meanwhile, is the first cable-stayed highway and railway usage-combined bridge, with the main span of the bridge reaching over one kilometer.

The project bridges the cities of Shanghai on the southern mouth of the delta and Nantong on the northern shore. China's first rail bridge was built in Nanjing, in the west of Jiangsu province. The new railway shortens transportation time to 66 minutes from four hours, as passengers will no longer need to transfer in Nanjing. 

Hainan Free-Trade Port To Benefit From Preferential Tax

China's Ministry of Finance and State Administration of Taxation has issued a notice regarding preferential policies of corporate income taxes in the Hainan free-trade port. For certain enterprises fitting the qualifications of the Catalogue of Encouraged Industries for Foreign Investment 2019, corporate income taxes will be reduced by 15%. The measure will last through the end of 2024.

The measure exempts corporate income taxes on the additional direct overseas investment gains for enterprises related to the tourism, modern services and high-tech sectors.

The direct overseas investment gains refer to business revenue earned from overseas subsidiaries, or dividends from the overseas subsidiaries with shareholding ratios over 20%. Additionally, in the country or region being invested, the statutory corporate income tax rate shall not be lower than 5%.

President Xi Chairs Meeting On Reform To Mark 99th Anniversary Of CPC

President Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, presided over a meeting Tuesday on deepening reform and the country's further opening-up, marking the 99th anniversary anniversary of the founding of the CPC on Wednesday. 

He stressed during the meeting the need to put into action the 13th Five-Year Plan, which focuses on poverty alleviation and the building of a "moderately prosperous" society in all its aspects.

The meeting passed the Action Plan for State-owned Enterprises from 2020 to 2022 and four other suggested guidelines to enhance development and integration in the sectors of information technology, manufacturing, education and media. It also updated structural reform progress within the healthcare sector.