In the “why didn’t I think of that?” department, the US has imposed a new requirement that all Chinese products containing milk be certified as having no melamine before they are allowed into the country. A long list of products will be stopped at the port of entry and will not be released to importers without third party verification that they contain no melamine or cyanuric acid, a melamine derivative. Regulations are also making news in China. In fact, the regulations are about news. China has agreed to repeal a requirement that financial news services disclose confidential information to a competitor: a division of the state-run Xinhua news agency. Last year the US, the EU and Canada made news when they complained about that regulation to the World Trade Organization.
No complaints from Microsoft. It’s going to invest over US$1 billion on research and development in China over the next three years, despite the economic downturn. And that money does not even include any cash spent on mergers and acquisitions
Speaking of the downturn, China’s industrial growth last month fell to its lowest level in seven years. Industrial production grew by 8.2% year-on-year in October, compared with 11.4% in September and 17.8% in March. Steel production dropped by 17% and power generation fell for the first time in a decade. Fiscal revenues decreased by 0.3% in October, the first decline since 1996. Fiscal revenues had increased by 33% in the first half of the year.