Social Media Platforms Face Heightened Scrutiny

Social media platforms across China will be facing tightened regulatory scrutiny through October, with 13 major social media platforms including Weibo and WeChat receiving special attention from authorities, according to the Cyberspace Administration. 

A Cyberspace Administration spokesman said that some social media accounts have continued to spread false information, distorted China's history, promoted improper values and spread malicious marketing and racketeering rumors, despite the authority's ongoing efforts to rectiy these problems. 

The three-month investigation will focus on "problematic" accounts and promote a classification system for the 13 major social media platforms, aimed at enhancing the quality of online information. 

Since November 2018, over 9,800 social media accounts in China have been banned, with the Cyberspace Administration having accused major platforms including Sina's Weibo and Tencent's WeChat of not responsibly supervising online content. and, may also come in for scrutiny, CCTV reported.

In 2018, it was reported that roughly 2,580,000 WeChat accounts were deemed by the supervisor to be "problematic" because they had at least 100,000 followers each and were found to be spreading false, pornographic or vulgar content, according to CCTV.

Doubts Raised On Doctor's Best NMN And Kingdomway

Doctor's Best NMN, a popular dietary supplement advertised as an anti-aging product, used a cheap ingredient that had been exported from China and repackaged overseas before being brought back into the country to be used in making the supplement, Beijing News reported.  

Doctor's Best NMN sells from RMB1,500 (US$241.20) to RMB2,999 (US$428.26) per bottle. The share price of its parent company, Xiamen-based Kingdomway, has hit the surge limit eight times over the past 11 trading days, with the company's market value now at RMB34.517 billion (US$4.93 billion.)

Last week, Kingdomway, in response to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange's demand to provide more information about Doctor's Best NMN, said that its board of directors guaranteed there was no falsified information regarding the product, which it claims is made in the U.S.

But unidentified sources said most of the raw NMN material came from China, where the NMN material is not approved for use as an additive.

NMN is also in products like NAD Booster and Mkule NMN9600, which are available on the cross-border sales channel. Since July 24, a variety of NMN product brands from the U.S., Japan and Australia have been seeking sales agents in China, according to the news report. 

State Council Opens Way For More Foreign Investment

The State Council is rolling out four more pilot programs for the innovative development of trade in service industries including medical insurance and education as a way of attracting more foreign investment. 

Key foreign-invested companies in China will be entitled to apply for special re-lending and re-discount quotas and new loans from the Export-Import Bank of China the same way as their Chinese peers. 

The State Council said it was also encouraging the middle-western and north-western regions of China to take over labor-intensive industries from coastal regions, and that it would support small- and medium-scaled enterprises' export businesses via cross-border e-commerce.

As of 2019, the national import and export in service industries topped US$785 billion, ranking second globally. During the period of June 2019 to May this year, export services decreased by 5.9%, 18.5% lower than import in services, according to the Ministry of Commerce. 

Since 2016, with the approval of the State Council, 17 provinces and municipalities have implemented pilot programs for the innovative development of trade in services, bolstering their service exports by 6.7%.

Aging Migrant Workers Becoming an Issue

The number of migrant workers aged 50 and over hit 24.6% of total migrant workers in 2019, more than double the figure of 11.4% in 2009, with those reaching 50 and above increasing at a rate of 1% to 2% each year since 2013, the 21st Century Business Herald reported. 

Older migrant workers are becoming more prevalent in factories, particularly in small- and medium-size enterprises, while migrant workers born after 1990 prefer to work in service industries. Migrant workers aged 21 to 30 accounted for 23.1% of total migrant workers in 2019, a drastic reduction from over 35% in 2010.

The change has come because of the transformation in China's economic structure, as the focus turned from labor-intensive industries to service industries, said Pan Helin, the executive dean of Digital Economic Research Institute of Zhongnan University of Economics and Law. 

As of 2019, migrant workers across China totaled 290.7 million people, a rise of 2.41 million people compared with the year earlier. Around 116.5 million of them were local migrant workers, working within the vicinity of their hometowns, while 174.2 million worked distantly, according to the National Statistic Bureau. 

Migrant workers' monthly incomes averaged at RMB3,962 (US$566.06) in 2019. The highest migrant worker monthly salary was in the transportation and express delivery industry where average income reached RMB4,667 (US$666.69).

Facing increased salaries and an aging work force, traditional factories are choosing automation, replacing labor with an intelligent and automated work forces, Pan said.

Small- and Medium-Size Banks Struggle Under Covid Cloud

Only seven small- and medium-size banks out of 23 in the regions of Xijiang, Jiangxi, Hubei, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Anhui, Guangdong, Shandong, Zhuhai, Zhejiang, Dongguan and Shanxi reported increases in net profits in the first half of the year, reported. 

The seven banks are Tailong Commercial Bank in Zhejiang province, Taihe Rural Commercial Bank and Xinnong Rural Commercial Bank in Anhui province, Jinmen Rural Commercial Bank and Xianning Rural Commercial Bank in Hubei province, Sihui Rural Commercial Bank in Guangdong province, and Dongguan Bank. 

Taihe Rural Commercial Bank in Anhui province saw the biggest profit gain, with revenue of RMB106 million (US$15.13) during the period, a rise of 26.19% year-on-year. 

Meanwhile, Jiujiang Rural Commercial Bank in Jiangxi province experienced the biggest loss, with a 85.39% drop of net profit to RMB13 million (US$1.86 million), and a provisional coverage ratio as high as 201.09%, indicating a surplus of bad loans.

Of the 23 banks, 20 are classified as rural commercial banks – a financial institution closely tied with its local rural economy.