4/19/2021 Financial News: Possible Testing of Digital Yuan during 2022 Winter Olympics, Rampant Online Sales of Personal Records in Communist China
1.CCP May Test Digital Yuan with Foreigners During 2022 Winter Olympics
During an annual gathering of top Chinese and foreign policymakers, executives, and academics on Sunday, Li Bo, deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), said that Communist China is planning to make it possible for foreign athletes and visitors to use its digital currency during the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022. It could be the first time the digital yuan is tested with international users. Li also said the PBOC will include “more scenarios and more cities” to test the digital yuan but no timeline has been set for a nationwide rollout yet.
Despite the opinions of commentators that Communist China’s digital yuan could be used to internationalize the renminbi and challenge the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency, Li said the aim of the digital yuan is not to replace the U.S. dollar’s dominance on the international stage. He reiterated that the PBOC is focused on the domestic use of the digital currency. “For the internationalization of renminbi, we have said many times that it’s a natural process and our goal is not to replace (the) U.S. dollar or any other international currency,” Li said. “I think our goal is to allow the market to choose and to facilitate international trade and investment.”
2.Rampant Online Sales of Billions of Personal Records in Communist China
An “Economic Information Daily” reporter conducted an in-depth investigation on personal information up for sale on Telegram and other social platforms. According to the report, hundreds of millions of accurate personal records are being sold publicly on Telegram and the dark web. Such information spans many categories including location tracking information, credit information, property information, accommodation information, communication records, and even facial information. It is shocking to see the vast amount of information available for sale and the large volume of transactions. With the prevalence of cryptocurrency, the dark web forums, Telegram and other social platforms are becoming the main channels for information trafficking.
Qianxin Data Security Research Institute’s Executive Director Liu Chuanyi told reporters that as many as billions of records of personal data are leaked every year. For example, the reporter saw on the dark web that a collection of 930,000 college students’ identity information from a tutoring organization was sold for $30. The poster stated that the data included name, mobile phone number, school, and address from 2016 to 2018.
3.Increasing Labor Shift from Manufacturing Industry to Delivery Industry in Communist China
The rapidly growing Internet service industry in Communist China has been attracting more and more young and middle-aged labor. A food delivery person said, “I would rather take three to four thousand RMB in wages than to go to the factory for five to six thousand RMB.” In 2019, the number of people working in the express delivery business exceeded 10 million and more than 7 million of them worked in the food delivery business. The CCP virus has accelerated the shift of labor from the manufacturing business to the delivery business. During the pandemic, within two months 580,000 people joined the delivery industry and 40% of them switched from manufacturing jobs.
Manufacturing factories have had difficulties recruiting and retaining workers for quite a few years. To retain front-line workers, some companies have to continuously increase their salaries. It is believed that young people born in the 90s and 00s prefer more flexibility and more control in how much to work and how much to earn. Many of them are unwilling to work in a rigid factory setting with an inflexible work schedule. Based on data collected in 2018, more than 70,000 food delivery workers had a master’s degree or above.
4.Communist China Allows Banks to Import Large Amounts of Gold
As the world’s biggest gold consumer, Communist China has recently given both domestic and international banks permission to import large amounts of gold into the country, according to Reuters, which cited five sources familiar with the matter.
Communist China’s gold imports typically come from Australia, South Africa and Switzerland. They are regulated by the People’s Bank of China through a system of quotas given to commercial banks. The country’s gold imports slowed down as the CCP virus spread and local demand dried up last year. But that seems to be changing. Approximately 150 tons of gold, worth $8.5 billion, are likely to be shipped upon approval from Beijing. Two sources said it would arrive in April and another two said the imports would be spread over April and May.
5.Communist China’s Aihuishou to Raise Up to $1 Billion in U.S. IPO
HONGKONG (Reuters) – According to two people with direct knowledge, Aihuishou, a Chinese secondhand electronics trading platform, is planning to raise $500 million to $1 billion in an U.S. initial public offering by early June. A major shareholder of Aihuishou is JD.com, an Internet retail giant in Communist China. Aihuishou is aiming at a valuation of $4 billion to $5 billion in the float. One of the people mentioned that the company wants to attract investors with its environmental, social and governance-friendly business nature. According to the sources, Aihuishou has hired Bank of America and Goldman Sachs to plan its IPO and plans to file around mid-May. The company and the two banks declined the requests for comments.
6.Global Oil Inventory Pile-Up from Last Year is Almost Gone
LONDON (Bloomberg) – Only a fifth of the oil surplus that accumulated due to the crashing demand caused by the CCP Virus pandemic was left as of February, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Since then, the inventory has continued to drop. Based on the IEA estimates, oil inventories in developed economies were only 57 million barrels above the 2015-2019 average as of February, compared to a peak of 249 million in July. The U.S. stockpiles of crude and products dropped to 1.28 billion barrels in late February, according to Energy Information Administration. Last week its stockpiles in the East Coast fell to the lowest level in at least 30 years. The nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve used to store oil for emergency use has also been declining.
Ed Morse, head of commodities research at Citigroup Inc., said that “commercial oil inventories across the OECD are already back down to their five-year average. What’s left of the surplus is almost entirely concentrated in China, which has been building a permanent petroleum reserve.” As demand increases further, global inventories will decline at about 2.2 million barrels a day, pushing Brent crude up to at least $74 a barrel, according to Citigroup’s prediction.
By 【Financial Team – Kate】
News Collection: Totoro、Lingken-文武、Kate