What do Aluminum Corp of China (Chalco, the listed arm of Chinalco, also known, helpfully, as Aluminum Corp of China) and China Petroleum and Chemical Corp (Sinopec) have in common, other than too many names? Both companies have released their earnings reports for 2008, and the news isn’t good. Sinopec posted its first full-year earnings decline since 2001, its net profit falling 47%. That would seem pretty bad if not compared with Chalco, where profits fell nearly 100%, from US$1.6 billion in 2007 to US$1.3 million in 2008. Fortunately, there may be some good news ahead for Sinopec at least. It expects profits to rise more than 50% in the first quarter thanks to higher domestic fuel prices, and will be laying out a bit of extra money in the form of capital expenditures. Good news also from a government researcher, who expects the government’s stimulus package and a relatively loose monetary policy to help China reach – you guessed it – 8% growth in 2009. Perhaps more newsworthy would have been a government researcher saying China wouldn’t be able to reach that oft-quoted target, but we hear that researcher was busy celebrating Serf Emancipation Day. Less happy Tibetans can be found in Dharamsala, where computers may (or may not) have been the target of a China-based computer spying network.