Yawen joined Reuters Breakingviews in Hong Kong in September 2020. Previously, she spent four years covering China’s economy for Reuters in Beijing, crunching economic data, interviewing high-level officials, and travelling to far-flung provinces to visit factory floors and talk to local shopkeepers. Before that, she spent nearly three years in Santiago, Chile, where she built a trade news website reporting on the produce industry – and developed Spanish as a third language alongside Mandarin Chinese and English.
Beijing set a growth target of above 6% for 2021 on Friday, after a post by a famous economist warning of a toxic mix of slower growth and rising prices went viral. With activity cooling, shares down and commodities up, popular anxiety hints at a monetary conundrum.
Shares in energy champions like Sinopec are rallying as they announce plans to serve Beijing’s carbon-neutral push. State firms generate 4.5% of global GDP; cleaning them would pay big dividends. But smaller players can’t pivot so easily. Green progress means dirty defaults.
China’s $10 bln retailer Suning.com threw a financial lifeline to the troubled property developer. Its founder is now selling a controlling stake as the embattled group faces $5 bln of debt due this year. A government bailout, which may be imminent, would send the wrong message.