We admit, dear readers, that the Chinese economy has seen better days. Some economists, reporters, analysts, traders and even the average Zhou might be tempted to turn bullish these days as negative economic indicators pile higher than however tall the latest addition to the Pudong skyline might presently tower. But not us, oh no. We’re keeping our chins up.
Now granted, there was the flood of jewelry exports early this week that pointed pretty clearly to inflated invoicing. Yes, it’s also true that bad loans rose the most in nine years during the third quarter. Sure, lending in October was pretty weak despite a massive injection of capital. Absolutely, you’d be right to point out that after a decent launch day performance, interest in the Hong Kong-Shanghai Stock Connect fell on both sides during day two. Okay, yes, it fell on day three as well.
Of course one has every right to note that slowed growth and rising wages have put something of a squeeze on China’s small and medium-sized manufacturers — that’s entirely true, we admit. And we’re as quick to point out as anyone that Standard & Poor’s found the finances for 15 of the provinces it recently inspected worthy of “junk” ratings. No one is denying that. Naturally we’d be remiss if we didn’t note that China’s Internet filtering efforts were cranked up to eleven this week during a big conference about, yes, the Internet.
Alright, we suppose it’s also true that Xi’s pledge that China will hit peak coal emissions by 2030 would come ten years too late according to even a central government-run think tank. Yes, we also read about how China’s strategic oil reserves are only good for about nine days’ consumption rather than the standard three months most countries keep on hand for emergencies.
Sure, you can cite the staggering losses incurred by American farmers thanks to China’s rejecting all shipments of certain kinds of genetically modified corn from the US. That’s rough. And we’ll grant you that Sinopec has racked up a staggering RMB4 billion bill in the course of repairing pipelines across China simply so that they don’t explode.
But… Well yes, fine, the methamphetamine problem along China’s southern and northeastern borders doesn’t really seem to be getting much better despite a massive crackdown. And to cap it all off, it’s looking like manufacturing didn’t actually grow at all in November.
But!: This week Apple added a UnionPay option to iOS on the mainland. In other words, we can finally buy all the iPhone games necessary to distract us from the terrible news that keeps popping up.