Bah! Heavens! What the–Oh, we’re sorry, gentle readers. We didn’t see you there. We’ve just sat ourselves down here in the old rocker with some chamomile tea and a few biscuits to calm our jittery nerves after a week of having them rattled. What’s that, you say? You hadn’t heard what happened? Well pull up a chair and we’ll bring you up to speed.
To start with the authorities went public with plans for three new free trade zones in Guangdong, Fujian and Tianjin. Three FTZs? Figuring out what the heck the one they’ve already got does is stressful enough, we think. Then came claims that China had lost $1.25 trillion (with a ‘t’, for landsakes!) to illicit outflows. We nearly keeled over, we tell you! Thankfully they’ll be getting some of it back now that Canada has promised to return overseas assets from the bounty of corrupt officials that have skipped town for sunny Alberta.
But readers, we couldn’t so much as take a drive without fearing for our health! Honda recalled over half a million cars thanks to faulty air bags this week, and we were lucky to have been wearing our seatbelts when news came of two crashes–one impending, one still fresh: First Geely Auto said full-year net income could fall by up to 50%, then BYD saw its shares plunge 47% in the course of a day!
What’s that? The detention of that China Resources VP? Oh, we saw that one coming a mile away–not surprising in the least. Our trick knee always goes off ahead of storms and detainment of corrupt officials.
But lately we’ve heard talk of Beijing planning to wean itself off foreign hardware and software out of security concerns. Is not even our Microsoft stock safe from local protectionism? And then there’s the matter of a supposed security backdoor in the smartphones of a local Chinese manufacturer. Clearly they can’t care too much about strange foreign tech–otherwise they’d never have OK’d those genetically modified corn crops for import from the US.
Now now, the doctor tells us we shouldn’t get too worked up over all this conflict; it angries up the blood, you know. But darned if that rouble hasn’t set our hearts a-pounding with its freefall–not the least on account of all those toy factories we own down in the Pearl River Delta that get sold at outlets all across Siberia by Toys “я” Us. Maybe we just aren’t what we used to be in our younger days. A publication can’t help but feel a bit old after nearly a quarter-century in circulation, don’t you know! But if we’ve learned anything in all this time, it’s that you win some and you lose some. Best to take everything in stride.
Unless of course you were dumb enough not to get out of the property markets earlier this year. Anyone who didn’t see the latest dip in land prices coming was a grade-A jackaninny, if you’ll pardon our blue language.