I had a great time on the Qatar A350 inaugural from Doha to Frankfurt last month -- there is something special about being on inaugural flights. There is a return flight from ORD -DFW Flt 2320 on 787-8 from 1210pm arriving just before 3pm into DFW. FLOWER POWER: A girl looks at some toy flowers on May 21 at an international expo for children's goods and entertainment equipment in Zhengzhou, capital of Henan province.
German software company SAP SE is seeing big growth opportunities from China's e-commerce boom and its partnership with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, said Mark Gibbs, president of the software giant's China region, on May 24.
The insurance regulator has asked all of its branches to heighten vigilance against sales of products in the Chinese mainland by overseas insurers that break rules, Shanghai Securities News said on May 24. A group of Chinese investors has agreed to buy Aixtron SE, a German supplier of semiconductor equipment, for 670 million euros ($752 million), giving the manufacturer a chance to boost sales by expanding in Asia. A consortium that includes sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp and US buyout firm KKR & Co has ended discussions to buy a stake in Yum Brands Inc's China unit, people familiar with the matter said. E-commerce companies have been given a one-year buffer period to rethink their cross-border strategies, after the government released new regulations that ease controls introduced in April on certain imported goods sold online. China may open up its commodities futures market to overseas and financial investors, the country's securities regulator said, as the world's top consumer of many raw materials seeks to play a larger role in setting global commodities prices.
BTS Group, which runs the Skytrain mass transit system in Bangkok, has signed a contract to buy 24 trains from CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles Ltd and another 22 trains from Siemens AG, according to media reports. Chen Tianqiao, the founder of Shanda Group, who a decade ago was China's youngest billionaire, has led the purchase of an 11.7 percent stake in online lender Lending Club Corp, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. MP & Silva, a sports media company whose partners include the National Football League, Formula 1 racing and the English Premier League, has agreed to sell a controlling stake to a group led by Beijing Baofeng Technology Co, which went public last year. Workers at China Gezhouba Group say that while they are happy to take a shower after a hard day's work near Negele, a town in southern Ethiopia, it doesn't always make them feel clean and comfortable. That's because the river water they use, despite their now having a purification system, can be cloudy during the rainy season. An Ethiopian woker in a tunnel under construction for the GD-3 hydropower project on the Genale River. The water is a lot better, however, than during the first two years after they started the GD-3 hydropower project on the Genale River in 2011, they say. The company has established a water supply point to serve residents around the construction site without charge and also donates water to a primary school once a week, he says. Internet speeds are extremely slow and unable to support WeChat, China's biggest social networking application.
Wang Yabin and his coworkers, most of whom were born in the 1990s, have to cover work at the tunnel construction site 24 hours a day in three shifts to ensure they meet their deadline to complete a 10.4-kilometer tunnel.
It takes more than 40 minutes for the workers to arrive at the construction site, and their travel time will increase as the tunnel progresses.
Some construction materials, equipment and spare parts used in the project must be imported, then usually transported from the capital by truck, a three-day trip to the construction site, Zhang says.
One truck with diesel for power generation and at least one cement truck leave Addis Ababa every day for the construction site. Jiang says Ethiopian workers are trained before they start working, and skilled and experienced Chinese workers also teach them on the job. The first phase of the venture is expected to be operational by 2017 and will be the largest Chinese-invested LCD TV production base in North Africa, the companies say.
An assembly line of home appliance maker TCL Corp, which is based in Huizhou, Guangdong province. While signing an agreement on May 19 in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, TCL representatives said the plant's annual output will reach 2 million TV sets over the next five years. The Chinese company is the largest domestic TV exporter to Egypt, while Elaraby is its country's largest home appliance company. He says the company expects the venture to lift its annual TV sales in Africa and the Middle East to at least 3 million sets over the coming three years, 500,000 of which will be sold under the TCL brand. Mohyielden Elaraby, the Egyptian company's chief sales officer, adds that he is confident the partnership will expand its sales network and increase market share.
Despite TV sales stalling in China, the United States and Europe, TCL is also optimistic about its prospects in Arab, African and Mediterranean countries, with data from market researcher GfK suggesting combined demand still exceeds 20 million sets a year. Michael Wang, chief financial officer at TCL, says trade agreements between Egypt and its neighboring countries will also help TCL boost sales. In addition, the Egyptian government gives export tax rebates to companies that produce at least 40 percent of their components in the country.
TCL Multimedia, part of TCL Corp, set up its first overseas TV production base in Vietnam in 1999. The company also has a major production base in Poland serving Europe, and one in Mexico feeding products into North and Central American markets.
In an interview in late March, TCL Corp Chairman and CEO Li Dongsheng said the company is considering production bases in India and Brazil. Liang Zhenpeng, a consumer electronics analyst, says demand for LCD TVs in emerging economies in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East remains strong and is expected to continue growing over the next three to five years. After strolling around the Auto China 2016 expo, which ran in Beijing from April 25 to May 4, and checking out 1,000 cars from more than 100 automakers, Luo Xin saw his future. The Volkswagen Multivan is one of his favorites, as the price is similar to a Mercedes-Benz V-Class, although he says he'd likely choose the Toyota Sienna because it is cost-effective and safe. He reflects a change sweeping the passenger car market in China, where consumers no longer view vehicles as a means to show off, but as machines that serve a practical purpose.
With the second-child policy now in place, more couples are expected to have two children, which is likely to boost the MPV segment. Industry insiders predict that MPVs will this year overtake mid-size cars to become the third best-selling auto segment in China, just behind compact cars and sports utility vehicles.
Krupinski says the second-child policy will have an impact on the population structure, family structure and economic development in the decades to come, and he believes that a bigger family size will create a need for bigger cars. He was quoted as saying that young Chinese couples tend to live near their parents, so the second-child policy is expected to make family units larger. According to Reuters, Toyota officials and dealers think the Voxy's interior comfort offers a more subtle way for China's rich to signal their wealth in a climate where overt excess is frowned upon. For example, the top best-selling models last year were the Wuling Hongguang microvan and the Baojun 730 minivan, both produced by SAIC-GM-Wuling, a joint venture between General Motors, SAIC Motor Corp and Guangxi Automobile. Popular models priced from 200,000 to 400,000 yuan are the Buick GL8 and the Honda Odyssey.
Zeng Zhiling, managing director of LMC Automotive Consulting, says the most important reason behind the rise in MPV sales is the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers' rejig of vehicle categories in 2013, which saw MPVs classified as minivans. The rising demand for logistics and commuting in the lower tier cities and towns, as well as the expected rise in use of MPVs by high-end families in the wake of the second-child policy, are also key reasons, he says. Zhang Yu, managing director of Automotive Foresight Co, forecasts that the segment will grow at a rate of more than 10 percent year-on-year for the next five to six years. Zeng says most MPV buyers are from semi-urban areas and have budgets of 50,000 to 70,000 yuan. Cao, a sales assistant for Sunfonda Group Holdings, the second-largest dealer in luxury and ultra-luxury cars in northwestern China, says he was constantly talking to prospective car buyers and visitors at the seven-day auto show in Xi'an.
The high level of purchasing power of some consumers in China's western provinces is giving hope to makers of luxury cars who have been experiencing low sales growth and obstacles to their "go-west" strategy. Cao says many luxury brands have launched more models with lower prices, ranging from 250,000 to 350,000 yuan ($38,000 to $53,000; 34,000 to 48,000 euros).
According to the expo organizers, the seven-day Xi'an auto show attracted 418,000 visitors and helped sell 14,219 cars for more than 4 billion yuan, 1 billion yuan more than the sales revenue from a similar exhibition in July. The location of Xi'an also helped attract visitors from neighboring provinces and autonomous regions such as Sichuan, Shanxi and the Inner Mongolia autonomous region.
Record sales at Xi'an came in spite of another auto show being held at the same time in the northwestern city of Yinchuan in the Ningxia Hui autonomous region.
According to the organizers of the four-day Yinchuan show, there were 220,000 visitors, and 2,309 vehicles were sold for 345 million yuan. Liu Jiazhen, marketing director at Ningxia Jinrunbao Auto Sales Service Co, a major local BMW dealer, says the auto industry still sees good potential in western China. In addition to popular Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi models, Lincoln Motor Co, a traditional luxury brand from the United States, is doing well. After setting up stores in first-tier cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, Lincoln opened a new store in Xi'an, the first one in western China, in January.
Tian Jing, executive deputy general manager of Xi'an Haolin Lincoln Store, says the company has confidence that car buyers in the western region will bring in more revenue for Lincoln. Cao, the sales assistant, says he thinks only brands such as Aston Martin can be called luxury brands now. For some, many luxury car brands are less and less of a luxury because they are launching models targeted at young and middle-class consumers. Prospective buyers of luxury cars in the region are those who have built their fortunes on soaring demand for mining resources like coal, oil and natural gas. When a harried shopper goes to buy a T-shirt at a Uniqlo store but is faced with a dizzying array of hundreds of designs, how does she choose?
A company called Dentsu Aegis has come up with a novel solution: The shopper can put a digital device over her head, watch a short video, and the device records brain waves reacting to the video. Visitors experience the brainwave-sensing technology designed by Dentsu at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Shanghai on May 12.
The brainwave-sensing technology designed by Dentsu was introduced at a Uniqlo store in Sydney, Australia, last year and is expected to be available in China and other countries soon. This type of cutting-edge technology is what Tim Andree and his well-equipped digital team at Dentsu Aegis Network are busy working on - crafting a digital marketing strategy that's innovative and surprising. Andree, 55, executive chairman of Dentsu Aegis Network, which consolidates Dentsu's operations outside Japan, is pretty surprising himself. First, he's a 2.1-meter-tall former professional basketball player who was drafted by the NBA's Chicago Bulls in 1983 but then became a free agent. Prior to joining Dentsu, Andree held senior marketing positions at Toyota, Canon, BASF and the NBA. Andree says his basketball experience was an important form of self-development and teamwork that has helped him in business. Dentsu has been in China for more than 20 years, and has evolved with the development of the industry. With yearly organic growth of 17 percent over the past four years, the Chinese operations of the company have become Dentsu's third largest, after Japan and the US.
Unlike its rivals in China with a legacy in traditional media, Dentsu has accelerated acquisitions in China. Andree says the most important element is talent: "To take all of the complexity and technology and turn it into value - value for both clients and consumers. Digital advertising depends greatly on strong technological support, and Dentsu has both its own subsidiary and collaborative technical firms such as Dentsu Robotics Business Operations, Dentsu Media Laboratory and Dentsu ScienceJam. Since big data became a popular concept in 2008, it has become one of the most repeated terms in China. That has created problems for global firms that are accustomed to data-based analytical methods. Drafted by Chicago Bulls, played in professional leagues in Italy, Spain, Monaco and Japan. China Railway Engineering Equipment Group Co Ltd, one of the Chinese manufacturers that has developed its own independent shield tunneling machine, aims to secure a greater market share around the globe, according to the company's top executive. According to Li, the independently manufactured shield tunneling machine is a good example of China's efforts to move from "Made in China" to "Created in China".
CREG is a subsidiary of state-owned China Railway Group Ltd, focusing on the development and production of shield tunneling machines and tunnel boring machines.
This year, CREG will produce 60 to 80 sets of shield tunneling machines for the domestic market and also export to Israel, India, Singapore and other countries. Li notes that the need for infrastructure construction remains, even though global economic growth is slowing.
His company plans to move its factories abroad so as to bring down transportation costs and as well as offer jobs locally. According to a report on shield tunneling machines by Beijing-based Bosi Data Research Center, these devices have great advantages over traditional excavators in that they are safer, faster and more convenient. Song says that China's technology for shield tunneling machine manufacturing is on par with the best in the world. Yet Song says it has made some major steps in terms of technological breakthroughs, and now marketing is particularly important in enhancing its brand recognition. CREG has exported its products mostly to Asian countries, including Malaysia, Vietnam, India and Singapore. In one project in Singapore, for instance, it's the first time that rectangular pipe jacking has been used in the country to build tunnels.
Su says that employing such a novel method did not interrupt the traffic on the ground, with all work taking place below the surface. Tian Ze is a registered international tobacco merchant involved in tobacco contract growing, auction floor purchasing, processing and exporting of the leaf to China.
The exports of the company, founded in 2005, are predominantly destined for China, which consumes over 50 percent of the flue-cured golden leaf from Zimbabwe.
Moreover, farmers were unable to access affordable loans from the banks since they lacked collateral.
Matibiri is pleased with Tian Ze's no-interest loans and says it has buoyed farmers' confidence in the sector.
The company carries out due diligence on new farmers by evaluating their creditworthiness in terms of prices fetched previously on the public auction floor, which indicates the quality of the leaves. Nonetheless, farmer involvement in the operations of the farm weighs heavily since the company avoids investing in "briefcase" or absentee farmers.
Second, this has translated to better foreign currency earnings for the country despite falling global prices. Third, the merchant company has a firmer hold of the supply chain, creating a linkage between the farmer and the market.
Despite the enormous risk of financing farmers without collateral, the Chinese firm says its stringent requirements have seen the quality of the leaf improve.
BAIC will also build more than 100 after-sales service centers in five major regional markets: North Africa, North America, Southeast Asia, Central Asia and Eastern Europe, which could brighten its brand image and bolster its sales networks.
Xu Heyi, chairman of BAIC, says Chinese vehicle manufacturers that used to rely on gaining easy money through joint venture brands are shifting focus to global markets as growth in the domestic markets has more or less bottomed out. The company has set for itself a sales target of 300,000 units globally by 2020 through exports and overseas factories and different assembly lines. The initiative, proposed by the Chinese government in 2013, envisages a Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road covering about 4.4 billion people in more than 60 countries and regions in Asia, Africa and Europe. China's 15 major automakers, including Chongqing Lifan Group and Great Wall Motors Group, have established 61 overseas plants.

BAIC, which has subsidiary joint venture companies including BAIC Hyundai Motor Co Ltd and Beijing Benz Automotive Co Ltd, had adopted the original equipment manufacturer business model for its Mexico factory initially.
With an investment of 5 billion yuan ($762 million; 681 million euros) in South Africa, BAIC plans to produce up to 100,000 units per year at its new manufacturing base in Port Elizabeth from 2018. It will be operated as a joint venture with the involvement of South Africa's Industrial Development Corp, which is a financial company providing capital support for the country's enterprises and investment projects.
The new manufacturing base will produce passenger vehicles, sport utility vehicles, minivans and vans. Buoyed by the surging demand for new vehicles in Africa, BAIC established a minibus assembly plant that employs more than 500 people in Springs, town in South Africa, in 2013.
Xu says the company will increase its investment in its South Africa production base and the assembly plant in Nairobi, Kenya, to produce pickups and light trucks. As China and other partners are accelerating the pace of the ongoing negotiations to upgrade the free trade agreement between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Xu says the company will add more products and part-fund warehouses in its manufacturing base in Ruili by the end of 2017, to compete with foreign brands in Southeast Asian markets.
The Chinese company has already built a number of plants and research and development centers in India, Pakistan, Russia, Italy, the Netherlands and the United States. Cai Jianjun, vice-president of BAIC, says as is the case in most African countries, where new cars are beyond the reach of most people, used vehicles command a large share of the market, with the proportion being 70 percent in most countries in sub-Saharan Africa such as South Africa, Ghana, Ethiopia, Angola and Kenya.
The disadvantage of such a big used car market is that the brand life of some cars can be as long as 20 years, and anyone with one of the old models can face problems in obtaining spare parts. Cai says this is a new growth opportunity for BAIC because the company can provide spare parts in sufficient quantities and technical services on time through locally built warehouses, established logistics and service networks.
Roche, the Swiss-based pharmaceuticals and diagnostics company, will continue to increase its investment in China as the nation adapts to new normal economic conditions, the company's chairman says.
Christoph Franz, chairman of the board of Roche Holding, says the company hopes for faster approvals in China for its breakthrough treatments.
Roche has had a presence in China since 1994, when it set up a pharmaceutical branch in Shanghai. China's aging population, growing individual wealth and the government's increasing investment in the healthcare sector are creating increasing opportunities, he says. Roche announced last year it was investing 860 million yuan ($131 million; 117 million euros) in China in a new research and development center, which is expected to be completed in 2018. Franz outlined the challenges and opportunities Roche faces and its business strategy in an interview with China Daily. Innovation is our answer to the future and to ensure Roche's profit growth and pipeline expansion. How would you evaluate the performance of the Chinese market and its contributions to Roche's global results in 2015?
In 2015, China was the third-largest market for Roche's pharmaceuticals business and the second-largest market for Roche's diagnostics business.
On the diagnostics side of our business we see very strong growth that is a reflection of China's investment in medical infrastructure and hospitals. We have a long history of firsts, for example, we are the front-runner in personalized healthcare, the global leader in cancer treatment.
Roche plays an increasingly important role in shaping the future of medicine by contributing to the personalized healthcare approach. We recognize that accessibility and affordability of innovative drugs is still an issue in many countries including China.
In addition, the government has announced its goal of improving reimbursement coverage for critical illnesses, which will bring further opportunities. Our targeted therapy for the treatment of (aggressive) Her2-positive breast cancer has not yet been included in the National Reimbursement Drug List, since its latest update is about six years ago, but through our efforts, as well as the support of the government, the therapy has been included in the reimbursement list of 11 provinces covering a total population of 350 million. How do you view China's rapid economic growth over the past 20 years, and its recent slowdown?
We have a long-term plan for our growth and success in China and a plan to provide more benefits to more Chinese patients. Wanda Group was scheduled to open its first outdoor entertainment complex in Jiangxi province on May 28. The launch of Nanchang Wanda City looks well timed by the company's ambitious founder, Wang Jianlin, to take at least some of the thunder from its biggest potential rival.
On June 16, the gates are due to open to what is arguably China's most anticipated park, the Shanghai Disney Resort, the US entertainment giant's first venture on the mainland.
According to the Chinese Tourism Academy, total domestic tourism revenue last year soared to 4 trillion yuan ($610 billion; 545 billion euros), about 230 billion yuan of which was generated by theme parks. Wang and his property conglomerate have ambitious entertainment plans right across the country and have spared no effort in telling the Chinese public where they will be able to find the most fun, at the right price. In recent months, Wanda's top management have also been equally bullish, insisting its venues will beat Disney hands down in terms of visitor numbers and total revenue once it has rolled out what could eventually be as many as 20 Wanda Cities nationwide by 2020. Ben Cavender, the principal of China Market Research Group, however, is more balanced in his predictions for the market. A ticket to the first Wanda City outdoor theme park in Nanchang costs 198 yuan during the week and 248 yuan on weekends and holidays, compared with Disney's 370 yuan and 499 yuan respectively. Liu Mingsheng, a spokesman for Wanda, says its ticket prices have been calculated based on its investment at the site: Nanchang Wanda City cost 20 billion yuan to build compared with 34 billion yuan for Shanghai Disney. US theme park giant Universal Studios Inc also plans to open a flagship site in Beijing, but most of Wanda's complexes are in cheaper second-tier cities, helping the company to build more in the future. After Nanchang, Hefei Wanda City in the capital of Anhui province is expected to open in September, and there are five others already under construction, in Harbin in Heilongjiang province, Guangzhou in Guangdong province, Wuxi in Jiangsu province, Chengdu in Sichuan province and Guilin in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. Lynn Xu, senior vice-president at Nielsen Greater China, predicts massive growth and potential in years to come for theme parks, particularly in third-tier cities and rural areas, where competition will be far less fierce than in big population centers such as Beijing and Shanghai.
Wang Jianlin, chairman of Wanda Group, recently sat down for an interview with China Central Television and said he bets the Shanghai Disney Resort, which is scheduled to open on June 16, will not make any profit in the next 20 years due to the existence of Wanda. First, we have to admit that Disney is a global entertainment business, especially in the amusement industry.
As an outdoor amusement park, Disney has an advantage: a great amount of international properties. The weather in Shanghai is not good for an outdoor park, as it rains a lot during the summer and gets cold in winter.
It's hard to understand for many people in the international and the domestic capital market why Wanda would delist to privatize just 18 months after going public in Hong Kong, which they would think cost more than going public in the first place.
Disney is playing karate, which expands with franchising with its brand around the world without paying money. Of course, it's not easy to get to this status, which is based on a good reputation, brand influence and trust from people for a long time.
Traveling to the Earth's stratosphere in a balloon and returning in a parachute will soon be a thrill that's possible for the public in China, according to some high-flying local entrepreneurs. JHY Space Technology Co Ltd (known as Space Vision), a Beijing-based company, released China's first "space parachute" suit on May 19. Professional parachutists Wang Desong, He Yufeng and Qi Yao (from left to right) unveil China's first "space parachute" suit on May 19 in Beijing.
In the next few months, the company says, it will test related equipment, and recruit more volunteers for training. The first three who've said they're willing to give it a try are an entrepreneur, a champion parachutist and an aircraft engineer.
While they wouldn't be traveling to outer space, they would go beyond the troposphere, the lowest of the five main layers of the atmosphere, 7 to 20 kilometers thick, where the weather happens.
The target is the next layer of the atmosphere, the stratosphere, which is very thin, dry and cold. Jiang Fang, founder and president of Space Vision, says many technical experts have endorsed the feasibility of the commercial tour, and China's flight system technology for spacesuits is mature enough for such a project. Jiang expects the "space parachuting" trip to cost around 500,000 yuan ($76,400; 68,100 euros). The commercial project would be launched in Sanya, in South China's Hainan province, a tropical island with lots of open area around it, clean air and a space launch center.
By 2030, China hopes to become an aerospace power, thanks in part to the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) to drive aerospace growth. With a long whistle, a train left the station in Central China's Zhengzhou city to the applause of dozens of European leaders on May 20.
The Zhengzhou-Europe International Block Train takes 10 days to travel 10,214 kilometers across six European and Asian countries and to deliver Chinese goods to Hamburg, Germany, from where the cargo reaches other parts of Europe. European representatives at the Zhengzhou-Europe Block Train during their visit to Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province.
The European well-wishers were from more than 30 political parties from 24 countries, regional political parties and political groups in the European Parliament. One of the reasons for their enthusiasm is that the train is a tangible example of the opportunities to draw the regions together, such as China's Belt and Road Initiative and green development, as discussed at the forum. The Zhengzhou-Europe Block Train is one of the most important transportation links of the Belt and Road Initiative. The initiative encompasses the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which use investment and trade to link China, Europe and other areas. During their visit to Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province, the European delegates attended the Economic and Trade Dialogue of the China-Europe political parties forum. Zhao Jiancai, vice-governor of Henan province, says Europe is one of Henan's most important trade partners.
Zhengzhou has opened air passenger routes and 32 cargo airlines to seven cities in the European Union such as Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Milan.
Henan is a dynamic and innovative part of China, with more than 12,000 new businesses registered every day, Zhao says.
Last year, the province's smartphone output exceeded 200 million units, about one seventh of the world's production. Henan's exports to Europe mainly consist of cellphones, tires, steel, bags and suitcases, garments, chinaware and auto parts, and its imports from Europe are mostly iron and copper ore, metalworking machine tools, integrated circuits and microelectronic components, and cosmetics. More than 300 EU companies are investing in Henan, while companies in the province have increased their investment in the EU to $700 million, says Jiao Jinmiao, director of the Henan Provincial Commerce Department. Du Junfu, president of Shuanghui Group, China's largest pork producer, says it does business in more than 40 countries, and earned a revenue of $21.2 billion last year. The EU leaders expressed great interest in the goods that had just arrived in Zhengzhou from the EU, including wine and milk, as well as the different types of buses exported to Europe by the Yutong Group, a conglomerate based in Zhengzhou. Catherine West, foreign secretary in the British Labour Party's shadow cabinet, says the United Kingdom is interested in working with China on green technology and increasing exports to China.
Grund says Germany and all of Europe is talking about how to improve transportation and increase green technology in the auto industry, and there is potential in this sector for collaboration between China and Europe. Services-related online consumption in China has surged in the past five years, according to a report by the China Academy of New Supply-side Economics and research company Ant Financial, the financial arm of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.
This year, the value of services-related online consumption accounts for 25 percent of the total. Shoppers at a party organized by Alibaba, the country's largest e-commerce service provider, in Shanghai. Over the past five years, people have bought more and more products online and obtained services through online payments. For instance, more people choose to book taxis by ride-hailing apps, as well as reserve restaurants and movie tickets online. The scale of services-related online consumption has risen by 70 times in five years, and the average monthly growth rate was 7 percent.
Sectors including catering, air travel, education and lifestyle services have witnessed tremendous business growth. They saw an annual increase of more than 70 percent, and those companies have become new engines that are driving national consumption. He says from a macro point of view, it showed that the strong online consumption had become a "dark horse" in the picture of overall consumption, and it would contribute to further growth in consumption.
When it comes to area, Beijing, Shanghai and the provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Guangdong have topped the list, with what is called the highest enjoyment-type consumption.
These include spending on cosmetics, jewelry and sports and entertainment, indicating that the more developed the city or region is, the higher level of services-related consumption they have achieved. On the other hand, the number of consumers from third- and fourth-tier cities and rural areas has shown a steady increase.
Last year, 63 percent of online consumers came from third- and fourth-tier cities, up from 55 percent in 2011. For instance, men shell out more money on catering, culture and educational services, sports and entertainment, cars and air travel. A Chinese consortium has agreed to buy an initial 70 percent stake in Italian Series A soccer club AC Milan, with negotiations continuing over the sale of the remaining 30 percent, a person familiar with the talks told China Daily. Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, whose Fininvest investment group owns the club, will remain president for the next two or three years until the final 30 percent is acquired by the Chinese. A possible clause, for the remaining stake to be bought by the Chinese investors, is still under discussion. Negotiations are continuing and both sides will be discussing the governance of the club, as well as the financial structure. The Italian side has asked the consortium to reveal "exactly who will be buying and how many of them there are", he added. The Italians are also seeking a list of the consortium's members, with the percentage that each member intends to buy. The exact amount has not yet been disclosed, but Italian press reports have in the past few days talked of a price of 700 million euros ($782 million) for the whole club. Italian media reports also said talks in China between Suning Commerce Group and officials from Inter Milan, AC Millan's great rivals, have been positive but no other details of the rumored takeover bid were available.
Simon Chadwick, a professor of sports enterprise at Salford Business School in Manchester, said that as China pursues its sport industry vision and its soccer goals, "it is highly likely that we will see more European club acquisitions". Chadwick said he believes there are obvious reasons for Chinese investors to get involved in the AC Milan deal. Its China sales grew 8 percent in the last quarter, down from the company's historic highs of 20 percent, led primarily by gains in e-commerce and mobile commerce. Tmall has brand partnerships with many retailers from the United States that run their official stores on the e-commerce platform, selling to customers who are wary of fake goods that proliferate on the web.
The New York-based cosmetics giant owns more than two dozen brands in makeup, skincare, fragrance and hair care, including Clinique, MAC, Bobbi Brown and Smashbox.
Freda said that Estee Lauder is also planning to invest in freestanding stores - in particular with entry-level brands like MAC - in areas where there are no department stores.
American Airlines took delivery of its first 787-8 this week and has just published its inaugural flight -- from Dallas to Chicago on 07, May 2015. Gibbs spoke after SAP Greater China delivered strong financial performance in the first quarter. It said the China Insurance Regulatory Commission has asked all branches to investigate cases of domestic consultancies, wealth management and insurance firms receiving payments from foreign firms, or holding summits or advertising regarding foreign insurance products.

The offer is being made through a unit of Fujian Grand Chip Investment Fund that is 51 percent owned by Zhendong Liu, a Chinese business executive, Aixtron said.
Kentucky-based Yum Brands, owner of Pizza Hut and KFC, has been looking to spin off its 7,205 China restaurants this year amid pressure from activist investor Corvex Management. The country's customs authority said it will continue to allow the direct importation of cosmetics, baby formula, medical equipment and healthcare-related food in 10 cities, without permission, or the filing of special applications.
China's commodities exchanges will also maintain a close eye on movements in the futures market, China Securities Regulatory Commission Vice-Chairman Fang Xinghai said.
The 46 four-car trains from both the Chinese producer of mass transit vehicles and German-based train maker will be used for the Thai capital's green lines and their extension in the next 10 years.
In a continued move away from the online games industry in which Chen made his early fortune, the Singapore-based investment company said it is teaming up with three other investors in acquiring the stake. The school used to be part of the company's camp and was donated to the school after they moved on.
Working deep in the bush and connected with Negele by an unpaved road of about 40 kilometers, they are isolated from the outside world not only by distance, but also the limited access to internet and phone signals.
Four signal towers were erected last year, but they stopped working consistently after two months because of the unreliable power supply. The workers on each shift have to alternate mealtimes as the boring machine needs constant attention.
Though they have been working in the country for years, few have had the chance to visit Addis Ababa. About 50 Ethiopian workers will go to China to be taught how to run and maintain the power station, according to the company's contract with the Ethiopian government.
Sales hit about 1 million units in 2013, accounting for almost 7 percent of the passenger vehicle market, just 4 percent less than small cars.
And in China, trends that catch on at the premium end traditionally spread quickly through the rest of the market.
Low-end models priced below 100,000 yuan ($15,200; 13,600 euros) currently account for the majority of sales.
For the high-end niche, the typical model is the Mercedes-Benz V-Class, a replacement for the Viano, which ranges in price from 500,000 to 600,000 yuan. A growing number of young people are considering buying a Mercedes-Benz, a BMW or an Audi as their first car.
The ultra-luxury car segment in western China has gone cold, savaged by the commodities' price drop, which has severely affected incomes of the rich in the region. But their wealth has shrunk in recent years because of coal mine bankruptcies due to falling prices and weak demand. Then, it recommends a few designs based on the device's perception of mood and preferences. The United States native also is executive vice-president of Dentsu Inc, the first non-Japanese director and member of the board of the world's fifth-largest advertising holding company. He also played in professional leagues in Italy, Spain, Monaco and Japan, where he made business connections. He joined Dentsu in 2006 as CEO of Dentsu America, and that same year, was named Dentsu Inc's first non-Japanese executive officer. But the real growth in China has come since its acquisition of the British digital media company Aegis Media four years ago, a move also led by Andree.
Dentsu Aegis Network acquired local digital agencies, including this year Darwin Marketing Ltd of Shanghai and Shanghai VeryStar Internet Science and Technology Co Ltd.
The big change is that consumers are now much more informed than before, so the messages coming from the brand have to create value for that person. However, doubts have been raised at times about the validity of some big data in China, especially in the notoriously chaotic e-commerce industry, in which some data and rankings have been called into question.
So, last year, Dentsu Aegis Network China formed strategic alliances for data with Tencent and Alibaba, the internet giants, which enabled the company to break through the isolation of data "islands" and jointly build a new, open environment for digital marketing, according to Dentsu. A shield is a protective structure that serves in essence as a temporary support during tunneling.
China used to rely completely on imports until 2008, when CREG developed its own shield tunneling machine independently after six years of research.
But international recognition of our brand is still very low," says Su Wenyang, deputy project director of the company's overseas department.
That's where rectangular pipes are jacked into place right behind a boring machine using hydraulic jacks. Moreover, it has effectively prevented collapsing or swelling in shallow earth excavation, Su adds.
Tian Ze Tobacco Ltd, located in Harare, Zimbabwe, has inked deals with more than 400 farmers to buy their leaves at a much better price, which has pushed up market rates.
Contract growing refers to an agreement between a buyer and farm owner to undertake production according to the needs of the buyer, who may specify quality and price, while the farmer promises to deliver at a specified time.
For five years now, it has provided interest-free long-term loans to farmers to acquire modern farming equipment such as irrigation systems and tractors in a bid to boost yield quality. Wholly owned by the state giant China National Tobacco Corp, the African subsidiary also buys tobacco leaves from Zambia and Malawi. We mostly source for our leaves in Mashonaland," says Raymond Mambondiani, the quality systems and human resources manager of the firm.
The price, volume and quality of the tobacco had dwindled following a national land redistribution exercise.
They realize that their returns cannot cover expenses and so they fall out," says Andrew Matibiri, the agency's chief executive officer.
Infrastructure such as irrigation systems, barns, grading sheds and the labor available also shore up creditworthiness. The Chinese market paid 50 percent more than what Belgium, which paid the next highest amount in the export market, paid for the leaf last year.
In recent years, the two-decade-old cliche has been making way for a new theme, as Chinese auto companies such as Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co decided to go global with its easily serviceable and inexpensive products. It will complete building three global manufacturing bases in South Africa, Mexico and Yunnan province's Ruili by the end of 2017.
It will also deploy more resources in markets that are part of the Belt and Road Initiative. They produced more than 270,000 vehicles in different regional markets last year, data from the Ministry of Commerce show.
The idea was to limit its investment to a certain level, to pre-empt large losses due to possible political uncertainty. The Port Elizabeth factory is expected to entail the largest one-time investment in South Africa and even Africa. It will create 2,500 jobs directly, and more than 10,500 jobs for upstream and downstream industries indirectly. It managed to sell 40,000 vehicles in global markets through its 24 overseas plants and 124 sales branches in 37 countries and regions by the end of last year.
Over the past two decades, it has developed a complete value chain covering research and development, manufacturing and sales, Franz says. Through our research we create state-of-the-art diagnostics and pioneering medicine that help millions of people. Our strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics enable us to better fit treatments to patients. It's imperative for Roche to find solutions to address the unmet needs of Chinese patients. Roche has made tremendous efforts to improve affordability in terms of reimbursement breakthroughs at the provincial and city levels, in collaboration with the government, charity foundations and private healthcare insurance providers. Roche invested considerably to build the full value chain in China from R&D and manufacturing to marketing and sales. Proud as we are of our past and present achievements, however, the future is what we are excited about. Disney has opened six theme parks around the world, attracting a total of about 130 million visits a year, which makes it the biggest tourism enterprise globally.
But it can also be a burden, as Disney has been expanding based on international property rather than exploring new products or business models.
The price-earnings ratio of Wanda's Hong Kong shares was just 5, making a market value even lower than our net assets, which is unacceptable. When Wanda starts to plan a merger, we think over the goals, how we do business, how we make a profit, and what kind of business model we choose from the very beginning, and through private listing or issuing new shares after it goes public, we dilute the costs.
The trip up would be in a high-tech balloon and the trip back in a customized suit with radar, image transmission, ground-based monitoring and communication capability, and, of course, a specialized parachute.
He expects plenty of potential customers in China who have the courage, physical strength, skills and wealth to take the plunge. Experts say that with government policy encouraging it, demand for the brand new industry is increasing, and many other private aerospace companies are emerging. They were in China attending the fifth China-Europe High-Level Political Parties Forum in Beijing. The province has seen great developments in emerging industries such as electronic information, equipment manufacturing, bioenergy and new energy cars. In Europe, the company has eight pork processing factories in Poland and one in Romania, and combined annual sales of about $1.4 billion.
Europe has advanced agricultural technology, rich natural resources and good products and equipment, but they need external markets, while China has the largest market but lacks resources and needs importation of products. The group is the political alliance of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany and Christian Social Union in Bavaria. In 2011, it took up only 4.3 percent, according to the report, which collected data from 450 million Chinese online consumers. At another level, buying a club contributes to a diversified business portfolio, something that aligns with the conglomeration of some Chinese entertainment businesses," he said. If Chinese clubs are to learn how to successfully identify playing talent, build their marketing departments, understand how sponsorship deals work, engage fans and create exciting stadium facilities, then transferring knowledge from a European club an investor owns makes a lot of sense," Chadwick added.
At this moment, there's a little bit of down, but it's not dramatic, it's just a bit of softening and we're still growing in China. It has a partnership with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's Tmall platform, which Freda said has been a good partner for building its business because the company is able to control the image, equity and execution of the brand.
SAP has joined with Alibaba Cloud in April to help local businesses accelerate digital transformation. One of the main sticking points was the CIC consortium's desire to have majority control in the China business, which Yum reportedly would not entertain due to negative tax implications. Companies have been told they have until May 11 next year to bring imported goods into bonded warehouses in the cities - including Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Zhengzhou, Guangzhou and Shenzhen - without having to complete the customs clearance forms originally required.
Over the past 10 years, he has been working closely with others in the company to help it expand on a bigger global stages. Chinese consumers are very e-commerce-driven and adaptive to technology, so big data becomes of great value in determining consumer habits and preferences in China.
They have collaborated in such areas as big data management platforms, consumer study systems and consumer tracking platforms, with the goal of increasing the diversity, breadth and depth of data, enhancing the understanding of consumers' online behavior and their attitude toward brands, the company says.
We have to create cultures that empower people, and even if cultures differ, values are shared," he says. This led to difficulties in accessing the global market, traditionally dominated by the US and Europe.
A recent market report by the state regulator links self-financing to a 16 percent decline in active growers last year. This should help it to compete with established global rivals such as Toyota Motor Corp and Ford Motor Co. We are one of very few companies in the world that has consecutively increased dividends over the past 29 years. This is the largest R&D investment in the healthcare industry, and underscores our innovative focus.
In our research pipeline, 60 percent of our medicines are developed, together with diagnostic tests.
One of the most important aspects for us is to have a level playing field with regard to regulatory processes, such as approval processes or reimbursement coverage. I like to interact with people, love to work with them, talk to them to exchange ideas and get a variety of perspectives. I think they have to keep a high price strategy to make up for the high cost, which will lose customers. There is only one Disneyland, in Shanghai, but Wanda has almost 20 amusement parks nationwide, and the number is still growing. This is different from the traditional type of privatizations, in which major shareholders usually take control. Some overseas investment banks think Wanda has caused huge finance burdens with its continuous mergers and acquisitions.
Professional parachutist He Yufeng intends to become the world's first woman "space parachutist" after her tryout. More than 50 companies from countries along the way are using the train to transport goods, says Zhao Wenming, general manager of the Zhengzhou International Hub Development and Construction Co Ltd, which runs the service. During the first quarter of this year, bilateral trade exceeded $2.4 billion, double that of the first quarter of 2015.
Workers usually rest one day a month, when they go to town to buy daily necessities, Wang Shizhong says. Government statistics show that China imported 61.72 million kilograms in 2015, up from 43 million kg the previous year. Statistics from TIMB shows that 70 percent of Zimbabwean tobacco was sold on private auction floors last year, with Tian Ze handling 7.5 million kg through the public floors at 50 percent more than what its closest competitor by volume paid. As for Shanghai Disney Resort, however, I bet it won't make any profit in the next 10 to 20 years. My aspiration is to introduce a new drug to China the same day that it is introduced in the United States and Europe. The total country earnings from gold leaf stood at $855 million, according to Tobacco Industry Marketing Board. We expect to see faster approvals of our new-to-China medicine, but also accelerated approval for new-to-the-world treatments like cancer immunotherapies.
We affect activities and employees, but most importantly, we affect the lives of patients we are serving. I think it is very important to be doing something different from my professional life to refresh my mind.

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