U.S. Cargill Sweet On China Sugar Substitute Market

The largest privately held corporation by revenue in the U.S. Cargill, Inc. says it will build Asia's largest trehalose production plant in Jilin province to meet growing demand for sugar substitutes in China, Yicai Global reported. Trehalose is a sugar consisting of two molecules of glucose. It is also known as mycose or tremalose.

The factory is expected to start working in June with an annual capacity of 50,000 tons. Cargill already runs a production line in eastern Zhejiang province for flavored syrups which can be used as sugar substitutes - primarily in milk teas.

In April last year food company Cargill said it was spending $112 million to expand the capacity of its cornstarch processing facility in Songyuan, Jilin province. It is working with the Songyuan government to build the China-U.S. Cargill Biotech Industrial Park - featuring the Cargill Food Safety and Technology Center, according to a Cargill statement on its website.

Cornstarch, a common food ingredient often used to make corn syrup and other sugars, can be used as the substrate for cell growth and trehalose accumulation. Trehalose is 45% as sweet as sugar and is marketed as a nonchemical sugar substitute and is widely applied in high-end food processing. 

Garment E-Tailer Calls Foul on Vipshop

U.S. listed Vipshop, an e-commerce company specializing in online discount sales, is facing accusations from a competitor of foul play. Vipshop recently saw its chief financial officer depart as its stock price fell.

Aikucun, a relative newcomer in the e-retail field, claimed it had submitted reports to China's top market regulators of Vipshop's alleged violation of e-commerce laws. It claims that, since August, Vipshop has been forcing merchant vendors not to trade on both platforms or be kicked off Vipshop. 

A Vipshop representative told Beijing Business Today the accusations were groundless but refused to give details. 

Vipshop has a negative revenue projection for the third quarter as it faces a slack season for the garment and e-commerce industry. Its second quarter financial report estimated it would make 20.6 billion yuan ($304.2 million) to 21.6 billion yuan in revenue in the period.

China Cleans Up Online Content For Minor Viewing

Up to 6,900 illegal sites and 860,000 illegal accounts have been closed and 64 websites including iQIYI and Douban have been told to remove content considered inappropriate for minors, according to a statement from the National Cyberspace Administration of China.

The administration has been cleaning up online content - especially in online education programs - since early this year. It said some of the closed sites were providing vulgar content - including luring minors to worship celebrities and to access pornographic content. Others were providing entertainment content such as online games and movies rather than educational material.

Minors were enticed to write insulting comments on platforms like Sina Weibo and Douban. Educational sites including TV.Sohu.Com, Youku and Mango TV were inappropriately promoting games, movies and TV dramas as well as shopping, the cyberspace administration said.