GOvernments and policies

Sino-US ‘clean coal’ research accord reached

The United States and China took a major step on Tuesday toward agreed development of “clean coal” technologies, which could help boost the fortunes of the overall coal sector. The agreement between the US Department of Energy and China’s National Energy Administration will allow the two nations to share research results as they refine technologies to capture the greenhouse gases produced from burning coal, said Christopher Smith, the USDE’s assistant secretary for fossil energy.

Draft e-commerce law to be ready by year-end

A draft e-commerce law should be completed by the end of this year, Beijing Times reported on Tuesday. Regulations for giants such as Taobao.com, T-mall.com, JD.com, and other platforms are likely to be covered within the draft. The public evaluation system, initiated by Taobao, is considered an effective tool to address trade disputes and has been encouraged by lawmakers, the report said.

Car maintenance sector guidelines expected

Guidelines on the car maintenance industry are expected to be released next month, an official at the Ministry of Transport told a conference held on Wednesday by the China Automotive Maintenance and Repair Trades Association. Meng Qiu from the Ministry of Transport told the conference that the ministry and the National Development and Reform Commission expect the new rules to help break the current monopolistic practices within the sector, and will take effect at the turn of the year.

Companies and markets

Jiangxi Copper predicts hike in global output

Jiangxi Copper Co Ltd, China’s top integrated copper producer, expects global production of the metal to rise as raw material concentrate supplies increase in coming years. Its half-year report said the rise would push up refining charges and could prompt smelters to raise production. The charges are paid by sellers of concentrate to smelters and then deducted from copper buying prices.

Sinoma seals $4.34b deal with Dangote

Nigeria’s Dangote Cement Plc has signed $4.34 billion worth of contracts with China’s Sinoma International Engineering Co to build plants across Africa, Nigeria’s largest listed firm said. The plants to be built in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Nepal, Niger, Senegal and Zambia, will add 25 million tons to Dangote’s existing capacity of almost 50 million tons, said Dangote Group Executive Director Edwin Devakumar.

Samsonite expects sales growth in H2

Luggage maker Samsonite International SA is predicting its China sales growth to halve in the second half of the year, Chief Executive Ramesh Tainwala said on Wednesday. China sales are expected to grow 15 to 16 percent on a local currency basis in the period compared with nearly 30 percent growth in the first half of the year. “China is an important part of our business but not the only part,” Tainwala said.

WPP’s Sorrell remains ‘raging bull’ in China

Martin Sorrell, chief executive of global advertising giant WPP Plc, delivered an upbeat review of its China growth on Wednesday. “I remain a raging bull in relation to China,” he told BBC radio’s Today programme. WPP sales rose 6.8 percent to 5.84 billion pounds ($9.17 billion), compared with the 5.93 billion pound average of analyst estimates. Profit before interest and tax rose 7.6 percent to 669 million pounds.

Around the world

Morgan Stanley lures Sharma to metals desk

Morgan Stanley, the United States multinational financial services corporation, has lured Saurabh Sharma from Hong Kong hedge fund HFZ Capital Management to be its vice-president for metals in Singapore. Sharma worked for HFZ Capital for more than two years. HFZ is a joint venture between London-based Red Kite Management Ltd and Maike Metal International in China, both among the world’s biggest players in industrial metals.

Uber, Arizona to work on self-driven cars

Ride-hailing service Uber Technologies Inc is partnering with the University of Arizona to help develop mapping technology and test self-driving cars. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said the new partnership would provide new jobs, research opportunities, and transportation options. The move is Uber’s latest effort to boost its research into driverless vehicles.

Google Calendar claims to be even smarter

Google Inc’s Calendar application has begun automatically updating any ticketed events it detects in users’ Gmail accounts, such as flights, hotel or restaurant reservations. Google said the feature should roll out over the coming week to everyone with a Google app account, except government-linked accounts.

(China Daily 08/27/2015 page14)