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from Breakingviews:

China’s mini-stimulus verges on micro-management

By John Foley

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Fine-tuning and micro-management are close cousins. China’s central bank is tending toward the latter. The latest policy tweak will let some banks lend more to the rural sector, and fits a wider regulatory trend of selective easing. But it adds needless complexity, and takes China further from its stated goal of being more market-driven.

When growth is slowing and job creation is the top priority, adding more credit to the economy is a short-term fix. So from June 16, banks which lend mostly to the rural and small business sector will only need to keep 16 percent of their deposits with the People’s Bank of China’s rather than the current 16.5 percent. The result is that these rural specialists can lend more; no such goodies for the bigger banks prone to propping up foolhardy property developers.

The stimulus, though, is likely to be small. Size up the two-thirds of city-level banks and majority of small rural lenders which qualify, and the tweak could release just 50 billion yuan of extra funding power, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. That compares with 774 billion yuan of new loans made in April overall. Other regulatory restraints, like the cap on loans as a percentage of deposits, further dull the impact. Nor are small businesses and farmers obviously in dire need, even if they are most often shunned by big banks.

from Photographers' Blog:

Life on a leash

Daohui village, China

By William Hong

Every morning, as soon as Xie Juntu wakes up, he ties his grandson to a pillar. His aim, however, is not to torture the boy but to keep him safe and save the family from bankruptcy.

When I met him in the remote Chinese village of Daohui, Juntu’s grandson Guobiao looked like any other normal 11-year-old. The only difference was the rope that prevented him moving more than a few steps away from the place where he had been tied.

from Breakingviews:

China-U.S. cyber spat risks corporate casualties

By Ethan Bilby

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

China’s security spat with the United States risks corporate casualties on both sides. The People’s Republic has responded to U.S. allegations of cyber spying by targeting American tech companies. A continuing dispute could lead to blocked deals in the United States and lost sales in China. Though companies can try to ease concerns, it’s hard for them to escape a political escalation.

from Breakingviews:

Review: China gives Africa handy investment lesson

By Stephanie Rogan

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

In the last decade nearly a million Chinese citizens have taken up residence in Africa. In his vivid new book, “China’s Second Continent,” Howard French tells stories of these migrants and the Africans whose lives they affect. The book weaves anecdotes and interviews with historical and geopolitical background to tell a larger tale of the PRC’s economic engagement in the continent. The result is an unflattering portrait of China’s involvement.

from Breakingviews:

Jack Ma soccer buy does Alibaba investors a favour

By Peter Thal Larsen 

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Jack Ma’s decision to buy half of China’s most popular soccer club has done prospective investors in Alibaba a favour. The $192 million investment in Guangzhou Evergrande which the internet giant’s founder hatched over a drinking session this week won’t affect Alibaba’s value when it goes public later this year. But it offers a priceless insight into how the company works.

from Breakingviews:

Chinese hiccup temporarily deflates dairy bubble

By Ethan Bilby 

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The world’s biggest milk importer is taking a break from its dairy diet. The price of milk-related products tracked by auction platform GlobalDairyTrade has fallen 25 percent since January. Though the decline is partly due to improving supply, demand from voracious buyer China has also fallen. That lull is unlikely to last.

from Photographers' Blog:

Living on e-waste

Dongxiaokou village, China

By Kim Kyung-Hoon

Dongxiaokou village lies just on the outskirts of Beijing, but a trip there does not really offer a pleasant escape from the city centre. For Dongxiaokou is no ordinary village: it is a hub for rubbish.

A waste recycle worker looks around a broken piano which he recently picked up from the street at the yard of his tenement house at Dongxiaokou village in Beijing May 14, 2014. This village is known as Beijing's biggest site for the disposal and recycling of electronic waste and it has been the home of E-waste collectors and recyclers for a decade.    REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon (CHINA)

For years, the area has been home to people who make their living by collecting and recycling electrical and electronic waste – from abandoned air-conditioners to fridges and TV sets. Several hundred families work to gather this “e-waste” from people in wealthy, downtown Beijing.

from Full Focus:

Ghosts of Tiananmen

Scenes from the bloody crackdown of pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

from Breakingviews:

China wrestles with repression of financial sort

By John Foley 

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

China is richer and more stable than when tanks rolled into Tiananmen Square 25 years ago. Then, incomplete political reforms led to chaos, violence and retrenchment. While there’s little risk of that now, a similar dynamic is playing out in the financial system.

from Breakingviews:

China’s strikes not as bad as they seem

By Katrina Hamlin

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

China’s workers are asking for more. Luckily, many employers can justify the expense.

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