Bureau Chief, Vietnam
John's Feed
Jul 28, 2012

Angry Chinese occupy govt office, smash computers in environment protest

QIDONG, China, July 28 (Reuters) – Angry demonstrators
occupied a government office in eastern China on Saturday,
destroying computers and overturning cars in a violent protest
against an industrial waste pipeline they said would poison
their coastal waters.

The demonstration was the latest in a string of protests
sparked by fears of environmental degradation and highlights the
social tensions the government in Beijing faces as it approaches
a leadership transition this year.

Jun 29, 2012

China main money rate up, market awaits next bank reserve cut

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s main short-term lending rate rose 14 basis points on Friday as banks hoarded money to prepare for extra bank reserve payments due early next month while the market awaited a cut in bank reserve requirements.

The benchmark seven-day weighted-average bond repurchase rate rose to 4.1240 percent at midday from Thursday’s close of 3.9832 percent.

Jun 26, 2012

Angry Birds sweet-talk copycats in booming China market

SHANGHAI, June 26 (Reuters) – When Peter Vesterbacka visited
China last spring, the marketing chief for Rovio, the Finnish
firm behind the video game Angry Birds, saw fake Angry Birds
products everywhere – and he was happy about it.

“I realised that China was already happening in a big way
for us,” Vesterbacka said in an interview.

Jun 15, 2012

China’s Yili recalls tainted milk powder, shares slump

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s biggest milk producer by revenue, Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Co, has recalled baby formula tainted with “unusual” levels of mercury in the latest safety scare for the country’s dairy sector.

The recall, during China’s “Food Safety Week” and a day after the cabinet introduced fresh measures to tighten supervision of the sector, sent Yili shares down by their 10 percent daily limit.

Jun 7, 2012

Rectangle Oreos and cucumber gum, made in China for China

SUZHOU, China (Reuters) – There are no bad ideas inside Kraft Foods’ biscuit research lab in China, according to director Maggie Wang. Not even the chewing gum Oreo cookie that a colleague asked her to bite into one day.

Instead of creamy white “stuff” in the centre, a glob of gum was sandwiched neatly between a pair of Oreo’s iconic dark chocolate biscuits.

Jun 4, 2012

June 4 crackdown remembered in China stock index, or chance?

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Is it a coincidence that China’s most-watched stock index fell 64.89 points on the anniversary of the June 4, 1989, crackdown on student-led democracy protests centered on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square?

Most likely, say the experts.

Trying to work the Shanghai Composite Index .SSEC to hit a specific number would take Herculean muscle and precision, requiring a trader, or traders, to buy and sell huge quantities of blue-chip stocks with an improbable degree of exactness.

May 21, 2012

Analysis: China reformer sees his opportunity after Bo’s fall

SHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) – One of China’s most conspicuously reform-minded leaders has stepped back into the spotlight after the nation’s biggest political convulsion in a generation, positioning himself to gain from the fall of populist politician Bo Xilai.

Wang Yang, leader of Guangdong province and well known for his deft handling of recent civil unrest there, is the first of three provincial-level party bosses who stand to benefit after a murder scandal snuffed out Bo’s career last month.

May 10, 2012

Apple, supplier Foxconn to share costs on improving factories

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Apple Inc and its key supplier Foxconn Technology Group will share the initial costs of improving labor conditions at the Chinese factories that assemble iPhones and iPads, Foxconn’s top executive said on Thursday.

Foxconn chief Terry Gou did not give a figure for the costs, but the group has been spending heavily to fight a perception its vast plants in China are sweatshops with poor conditions for its million-strong labor force. It regards the criticism as unfair.

May 4, 2012

Vietnam’s drive to fix its weak banks could be stalling

HANOI, May 4 (Reuters) – Moves to shrink the number of banks
in Vietnam and reform its financial sector may be stalling,
which could hurt efforts to put the country’s economy on a solid
footing for the long-term.

Four years of economic volatility and sky-high inflation,
coupled with tumbling asset prices, have put the Vietnamese
banking system under strain. Last November, State Bank of
Vietnam Governor Nguyen Van Binh said eight small banks were
“unhealthy” while in January he said 10 percent of the country’s
nearly 50 banks were “ailing.”

Feb 2, 2012

Analysis: Southeast Asia goes slow on nuclear

HANOI (Reuters) – After the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Vietnam suspended its nuclear plans and waited for more than a decade before reviving them.

But Vietnam was undeterred by last year’s Fukushima nuclear meltdown in Japan, the world’s worst atomic accident since Chernobyl, and is racing ahead with plans to start construction of its first reactor in 2014, which should go online six years later.